Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach

Ichigo, hollow Ichigo, (Rukia): Unrequited

"I don't believe this," Ichigo said slowly, between pants, and shook his head as blood trickled down into his eyes. "You're really -"

"Fuck off," the hollow snarled, and charged, bringing his sword up sharply to clang against Ichigo's downstroke. Ichigo parried easily, planted a foot in the hollow's chest, and thrust it back to slam against the concrete of the skyscrapers. Then he was gone, blurring back into existence to alight further down the building, a light smile threatening to turn into a smirk.

"See how easily I did that?" He called out to his hollow, which was levering itself up using the white Zangetsu. "Hey, hollow, you should never have let me find out! You don't have a chance at defeating me any longer, now that I know - "

"Damn it! Shut up!" The hollow said, its face contorted with rage. This was not how it was supposed to go. It was supposed to be the one taunting, provoking Ichigo to a rage, making him lose control ... things were reversed, and it was finding that it really didn't like it at all. "One more word, Ichigo, and - "

"And what?" Ichigo prodded, triumph burning in his eyes. The hollow didn't answer, and Ichigo smiled.

"You also possess the same weakness that I have now," the hollow ground out, its distorted voice malicious and bitter. "Never forget that, King" - it spat the word out - "the moment you let go, the moment you let control slip, even for one second, I'll be there to exploit it."

Ichigo remained smiling, knowing it infuriated the hollow. "I may have the same weakness," he replied, "but I can do something about it, at least."

"Not that you ever will," the taunting tone was back.

"Maybe I will, maybe I won't," Ichigo said, completely serious now. "But I can touch her. Something that I will never, ever allow you to do."

He blurred, and vanished; somewhere in the outside world, Ichigo blinked and steadied Zangetsu, ready to face his next opponent. Inside, the hollow sheathed its sword and sat, as Zangetsu rose behind him to watch, silently.

"Just wait," it said, the garbled syllables laden with hatred. "Just wait."