Title: Sour Apple (1st in Series)
Rating: PG-13
Pairing:: Urahara x Ichigo
Word Count: 6280
Author's Note: This took me two months to write! I have no idea what took me so long…but I hope you enjoy it! This is a first in a series of three.

It was the bothersome droning of a dragonfly buzzing near his forehead that prompted his chestnut eyes to open, blinking quickly into the near-blinding sunlight flashing mercilessly into his face. Even through his heavy black sunglasses, Ichigo could see summer hanging heavy in the air, the shimmering heat pulsing in waves off the concrete around him as it floated up into the atmosphere. Shifting slightly, he grimaced as his skin stuck to the green and white lawn chair under his thighs, lifting his hips to the sound of the plastic sucking against his body.

Why had he decided to come here, to sit in front of the Urahara Shoten in an aging sun lounger, instead of doing something better like going to the beach? He had no idea.

Though Ichigo had no real desire to analyze himself, had he done so he probably would have decided he simply needed the privacy, to be away from everyone in his "normal" life and sit alone where very few knew he might be. In truth? There may have been more to it, that nagging whisper of curiosity nibbling at him every time he found himself pinned down by Urahara's moss green stare. If he'd been more knowledgeable about these sorts of things, he could have identified it as…a crush? Infatuation? Stupidity was more like it.

He shook his head sharply, willing that line of thought to end so that he could go back to relaxing. He'd done enough thinking about the blonde lately anyway. All it ever led to was endless amounts of confusion regarding his sexuality and restless dreams of milk white skin just out of his finger's reach.

The owner of the shop had been only too happy to oblige Ichigo's desire for solitude, setting the youth up in one of the few outdoor chairs he owned and then leaving him to his thoughts. Only every so often had Ichigo even bothered to open his eyes, cocking an orange eyebrow when he could have sworn he felt a gaze on his back…or his front…or from the side. It was an odd sensation, though not an entirely unpleasant one; a warm burn in his belly that made heat rise up in his cheeks without his say-so. Each time, however, he found that no one was around, leading him to believe that perhaps Ururu or Jinta were wandering around the premises taking care of some business for Urahara.

It was only after an hour and a half of this strange re-occurring sensation that the shopkeeper in question finally began to appear, performing strange tasks and then retreating back into the safety of the shop. Ichigo, for his part, did his best to hide the fact that he was watching his host, though he had the feeling that he wasn't exactly being subtle about it. He surmised that he simply didn't have enough experience to be sneaky, which was probably all the more reason to not do it.

But there were so many things he found strangely fascinating about Urahara, even when the older man didn't seem to be accomplishing anything at all. He'd started by getting the mail, then moved on to watering the small pots of brightly-colored flowers, going out to the car and rummaging around in the front seat, feeding a stray cat, and then just walking around aimlessly. By the time he'd come out for the third time to stroll around, Ichigo had finally had enough and decided to come right out and ask what the hell he was doing.

"What are you doing?" he said, his eyes closed as he felt Urahara walk past him for what seemed like the hundredth time.

Urahara, for his part, had started all this with exceptionally good intentions. When Ichigo had wandered up to his door to ask if he could spend a quiet day alone at his shop, he had been pleased to offer him a peaceful place to sit and think. Or not think. Or whatever the younger man wanted to do with his time. It was only after walking outside the second time, the heat settling around him like a thick, wet blanket, that he'd really started to notice the problem.

What, one might wonder, was this not-so-obvious and yet entirely embarrassing problem?

Why…Ichigo himself. What else?

Everything about the young man went outside the average box, lending the teen an air of mystery that Urahara found…tempting. While other teens would have worn shorts to sit out in the blazing hot sun, Ichigo chose a pair of incredibly ripped jeans to lounge in. In all actuality, they may as well have been shorts, because they exposed enough of his legs that Urahara was certain that they'd fall apart at any moment. The rest of the outfit was no less charismatic. His t-shirt was clinging to him like a second skin, made even worse by the fact that he was sweating, his feet sitting bare against the concrete, toes extending out every so often in a languid stretch. All in all, it was a horribly alluring picture, tempting as the forbidden fruit upon the branches of the tree of knowledge.

Urahara had always had a problem resisting the temptation of knowledge…always…and Ichigo seemed full of untested theories.

He'd tried simply watching him from the windows at first, making excuses with himself as to why he might be idly standing around looking at Ichigo in front of the store. Of course, he'd made certain he wasn't being seen, moving slowly and skillfully from window to window as the younger man's eyes gently opened and looked around, detecting the scrutiny. It was only after about an hour of this that Kisuke finally decided he'd had enough of the little game and wanted to take it to another level.

If only Ichigo had known he was the second participant in the match…it might have made things less complicated.

And so the problem arose, Urahara finding more and more excuses to go outside and allow his eyes to wander over the youth, reprimanding himself each time for doing so, all the while Ichigo becoming more and more aware of Urahara's growing frustration. What was wrong with him? It wasn't as though Ichigo was never going to notice all the useless activity, though the older man was sort of counting on that exact thing occurring. He was almost looking forward to the opportunity to have a little friendly banter with the substitute shinigami…even if Ichigo had no idea as to the whys or wherefores. It wasn't as though Urahara's reasons for doing so were entirely clear to himself anyway.

And so it was with a small grin that the blonde turned to answer Ichigo's question, cocking his head to the side with a small raise of his eyebrow.

"I believe I am standing outside in the blazing heat talking with you Kurosaki-san," he said with a small laugh, lowering his head slightly so that his hat covered more of his eyes than was necessary, hiding. If he'd been a lesser man, he might have been blushing somewhat, but that wasn't really in his personal user's manual. He'd learned a long time ago that the only way that someone could embarrass you was if you let them, and strong though Ichigo may have been…he didn't have that power just yet.

Nevertheless, there was the inevitable, slightly shameful feeling that came with being discovered in his intentionally obvious behavior. He was probably lucky that Kurosaki didn't have his eyes open, as the look he might have given him probably would have been enough to make Kisuke cringe. Maybe. A little. As it was, Urahara was slowly watching his companion's reaction, waiting for some kind of opportunity to say something witty.

"Stop being a smartass and answer the question," Ichigo replied, chocolate eyes finally opening lazily. He had the countenance of someone who was too tired to really pay full attention to what he was looking at, or someone who was trying very hard to look disinterested. The former idea made something in Urahara bristle; he hated being ignored…it was one of his great flaws. He hated trying so hard to get someone's attention only to find that he couldn't keep it when he attained it.

"Do you really want me to go through the long list of chores I've done today? A candy-store owner's work is never done I'm afraid. Paperwork…schmoozing customers…"

Urahara would have continued if not for Ichigo, who raised a hand with a frustrated sigh, shaking his head. "You're right, I don't want to know that badly."

Ichigo looked up at the older man, eyebrows drawing together in slight frustration. There was coyness about him that the teen found peculiar, as though he were up to something nefarious (as if that were a surprise). The very thought made him inwardly amused, the corners of his mouth drawing up in a tiny, quiet smile. Here was a man who prided himself on having his finger in every pie, being in control of every moment, and yet he seemed to be having trouble meeting Ichigo's gaze. It was…endearing…a side of Urahara that he'd never seen before.

"What's wrong Urahara-san?" Ichigo said, his voice softer than he had expected it to come out. "You're distracted. It's not like you."

Urahara frowned a bit, crossing his arms tightly across his chest before pointing at Ichigo over his forearm. "In all fairness, you haven't really seen me in enough varied situations to really gauge my usual behavior. For all you know, this could be entirely normal for me."

"But it isn't…is it?" Ichigo replied, the grin he'd been sporting splitting into a full smile. "Seriously, what's wrong?"

This game of cat and mouse, fun as it might have been, was sincerely getting on Ichigo's nerves. So much so, in fact, that he found himself sitting up in his chair, eyes fully focused and concentrating on the man in front of him. Urahara merely blinked a few times in response, his own smile returning before shaking his head and moving back towards the house. Ichigo frowned at that, twisting his spine around to watch the shopkeeper walk away, his coat blowing slightly in the hot summer breeze, a tenseness in his back that Ichigo couldn't help but want to erase.

"You worry too much Kurosaki-san," he called over his shoulder, his pale hand coming up to wave away Ichigo's concerns. "Perhaps the heat is going to your head. I'll bring you something to drink."

Once inside Urahara cringed, rolling his eyes at himself in absolute disgust. He paused in front of his refrigerator, fingers digging uselessly into the handle as he stared into the flat, white surface. He'd put all that effort into being noticed, and then when he finally was, he found that the ability to say anything even remotely intelligent floated from his brain like a cloud after a summer storm.

"I seem to be losing my charm," he said quietly, pulling open the door with a small sigh. "Perhaps I'm out of practice."

"Kisuke-san," a small voice carried from the doorway. Ururu wobbled unsteadily into the room, her shy voice slightly muffled by what Urahara discovered was a box, which was about a foot taller than her head, with magazines inside piled higher than that. The girl craned her neck to the side, peeking around the corner of the overflowing box with a small smile. "This box was in the back of storage. I was going to throw it out, but I wasn't sure if you wanted me to."

Depositing the box at Urahara's feet, Ururu scampered off to some other part of the shop, leaving the blonde to sift through what she'd brought. Crouching down, he began picking up the magazines one by one (Popular Science, Wizard Magazine, National Geographic, Highlights, Vogue…why he'd gotten these he had no idea), flipping through them with vague interest until he'd gotten closer to the bottom where his eyes widened slightly and he began chuckling. He certainly didn't remember buying them, but there was no denying that there were at least twenty or so porn magazines staring him in the face, their pages slightly yellowed and aged.

Perhaps he'd bought them for Tessai…

Turning one to the side, he smiled as the centerfold slowly came out, causing him to turn his own head to get a better look. Though a pretty girl, she couldn't have had three parts that weren't artificially enhanced in some way, shape, or form. She also couldn't have been wearing two pieces of clothing. Did pasties count as clothing? As he continued to skim the pages, he paused to glance out the nearest window at the young man sitting out in the sun, raising a pale eyebrow as his mind began to whir.

Suddenly Kisuke got an idea. A naughty idea. Kisuke got a wonderful, naughty idea.

Wordlessly he closed the magazine and placed in precariously on top of the rest of the pile, making certain that it didn't fall before he intended it to. With that out of the way he grabbed a can of lemon soda from the refrigerator and picked up the box, still holding onto the drink with two fingers as he made his way towards the door of the shoten. The stack of reading material was so tall that it even got in the way of his own line of sight, and he found himself peeping around the side of the heap to keep himself from running into anything the exact same way Ururu had.

Ichigo was dozing off, having a strange half-dream about marshmallows and a wading pool, when his attention was drawn to the sound of clacking upon the pavement. Instantly he was wide awake, though keeping his eyes firmly closed, wanting to see what Sandal-Hat would do when he didn't realize he was being watched. Of course, this all depended on the theory that Urahara wouldn't automatically know that he was being observed. He was a genius after all. It stood to reason that he would notice something like that.

The noisy steps came closer until Ichigo could feel Urahara standing over him, the blond shifting on one foot and then the other, finally leaning down so close that it was all Ichigo could do not to open his eyes.

"I know you're busy pretending to be asleep, but I've brought you a drink," Urahara whispered, his voice laced with laughter as he brushed something cold against Ichigo's upper arm. The perspiration on the side of the can smeared against his skin, making goose bumps break out across his shoulder and halfway up his neck.

"Stop it," Ichigo complained, pulling away from the cold and meeting Kisuke's amused gaze. What he saw made his eyebrow rise, blinking a few times at the mess that was firmly nestled in Urahara's arms. The can was waved in his direction again and Ichigo took it with a small smile, looking down for a moment before motioning at the box.

"What's that stuff?" he opened the soda, taking a sip of it before setting it on the ground beside the chair and reaching upwards towards the magazines. "Lemme see."

Ichigo grinned as Urahara made to move the box away from his grasp, not able to get back before Ichigo's fingers tipped the crate, sending the stack swaying unsteadily towards his orange head. For a second it almost seemed as though the entire mess would fall down upon him, but in the end it was only two magazines that tumbled into his lap.

The top magazine was some kind of children's book with little zebras and ostriches on the front. It looked as though at one time someone had taken crayons to it, splashes of green and blue scrawled across the cover in unsteady lines. In the lower right corner was a little note done in a different color, purple this time; some kind of random math problem (Ichigo had no idea what it was, only that it looked more like symbols than numbers) written across the bottom and then up the side when it had gotten too long for the horizontal edge. It apparently had no answer because there was a small sad face drawn in the place where the total should have gone.

As for the other magazine? Ichigo's eyes widened when they landed on one very dirty photo, sputtering a few times as his hand slammed down onto the page to shield his eyes from the model's nudity. All he could see of her now were the bottoms of her spread legs, a flush creeping over his cheeks as he glared up at Urahara, steadily ignoring the magazine in his lap. This had to be intentional, if the wide smile on the other man's face and the way he was softly chuckling was any indication. Ichigo's lips came together in an almost-pout, splaying his fingers on the shiny paper in front of him, trying to calm the fire in his face.

"You're an asshole," he hissed, eyes narrowing. "You just love to watch me squirm, don't you?"

The box found a new home on the ground as Urahara felt his smile grow to phenomenal proportions, practically making his cheeks hurt with its intensity. He couldn't help it when he saw how deliciously Ichigo was blushing, the color making his orange hair stand out in wondrous relief. Without a word he crouched down next to the younger man, leaning his elbow against the armrest of the chair and cupping his chin in his hand while the other reached down into Ichigo's lap to take the magazine away. He laughed softly when Ichigo turned his eyes away, stubbornly refusing to even glance in Kisuke's direction as he opened up the center and allowed it to unfold.

"You don't like it?" Urahara purred, trying to get it in Ichigo's line of sight without success. The teen kept moving his head with each attempt, like he was trying to get away from a spoon full of cough syrup. "Does this sort of thing not amuse you? You're young…aren't you interested?"

Ichigo's cheeks brightened further (Urahara hadn't thought it possible), eyebrows drawn together in a furious scowl. "No, I'm not!" he shook his head and closed his eyes all together.

This was too good to be true…and would probably prove to be so. Nevertheless, the very thought that these naked young women (or women in general) might not be the trip to Ichigo's trigger was enough to bolster Urahara's courage and allow him to act. If females didn't arouse the young man, than perhaps it was the less flowery sex that caught his attention more. Then again, Ichigo could have just been an incredibly prude person who wouldn't be turned on by anything…

But Kisuke was willing to give it a try anyway, even if he was probably about to be rejected utterly.

"Hmmm," he murmured, moving his body around the chair until he was sitting indian-style in front of Kurosaki's knees, the magazine discarded. "What does interest you then? It's almost impossible for a young man your age to not at least be a little curious about sex."

"I didn't say that!" Ichigo choked out, shaking his head but still not looking down at Urahara. "I just said I'm not into that stuff," he motioned towards the magazine nearby with a nod of his head. "What are you doing down there anyway?"

"Getting comfortable," Urahara murmured, leaning his elbow on Ichigo's knee. In all actuality, he was incredibly hot at the moment, the scorching concrete upon which he sat practically burning his thighs, making him think he might melt at any moment. But he'd be damned if he was going to move from this perfect vantage point, Ichigo's throat flashing like a deer's, quickly and nervously. It set off a chain reaction in Urahara's chest, made his own pulse speed up, made his mouth dry. And yet the younger man wasn't pushing him away, his arms like stone across his chest, unmoving even though Urahara could swear that he could see Ichigo's heart pounding.

"Ichigo," his voice was quiet, but unwavering and firm. "Look at me when I'm talking to you…"

Ichigo instantly looked down upon hearing his given name, eyes widening with shock. Urahara had never once, in all the time they'd known each other, called him that. There was something inherently sensual about hearing that one small word come from the older man, the way the syllables rolled off his tongue making it sound nearly exotic. It was enough to make the blush that had almost gone down rise back up again, Ichigo feeling like a little girl the entire time.

"S-since when did I give you permission to t-touch me?" Ichigo stammered out, swallowing hard. The hair on his legs was beginning to stand on end as Urahara crossed his arms over Ichigo's knees and deposited his chin there, blinking soft green eyes up at him. Why wasn't he doing anything about it? Why wasn't he pushing the older man away like he obviously should have been?

"Since the moment you didn't protest," came the response with a gentle smile. "Besides, we're just going to have a nice little chat here…no need to get upset."

"I'm not upset!"

In reality? The tips of his ears were on fire, and Ichigo could fully imagine himself passing out at any moment. He had to calm down, push the intensifying feelings down so that he could think. It was just like he was in battle, driving past the fear and uncertainty so that you could survive, so that you could win. True, this might not have been quite as dire of a situation as getting your ass handed to you, but it was just as overwhelming.

But what was he trying to win? What would constitute a victory?

"Kurosaki-san," Urahara whispered, reaching upward to push the pad of his index finger against Ichigo's nose. He laughed delicately when the younger man crossed his eyes to see the finger shoved into his face. "Relax. If the magazine bothers you I won't bring it up again. It's not like I'm going to go out of my way to make you feel uncomfortable."

With that the finger was withdrawn and Urahara reached over to the magazine and put it underneath a few of the others still sitting in the pile, noticing with amusement that the tension in Ichigo's shoulders seemed to lessen with its disappearance. Perhaps he was being too forward, after all, Ichigo was a virgin…not to mention completely bashful. True, the teenager's mouth got away with him sometimes, but when push came to shove he was still the same coy young man who blushed when someone mentioned anything remotely sexual. And yet it was that shy demeanor that was so terribly tempting. A veritable conundrum…

"See?" Urahara chuckled, putting both his hands up and waving them to show that they were empty. "It's all gone. You're safe from the evil pornography."

Now that the offensive material was out of sight, Urahara could go back to studying his company, blinking every few moments as Ichigo seemed to be busy collecting himself and deciding on one emotion to focus on. Finally the younger man looked down at him and smiled softly, making Urahara's heart speed up without his consent. There was innocence there that spoke to him of a time when things were simpler…at least for Ichigo. On some level he wished he could have seen Ichigo in those days (it wasn't as though he had lived far away the whole time), but on most levels he was glad he hadn't.

It would have made this infatuation he had with the teen even more obscene than it already was.

"What is that smile for?" Kisuke asked. "You'll embarrass me if you continue on that way."

Ichigo reached up to his own lips for a moment, touching at the small grin that was there. In all actuality, he wasn't sure what had caused the act, since for all intents and purposes he should be pissed as hell at Urahara. And yet he wasn't. True, he was intensely humiliated, but the heat of the blonde's arms on his thighs was making him feel lightheaded, every nerve standing at attention. It was as though he could feel every hot breeze, hear every shrill cry of a cicada in a nearby tree, could veritably see Urahara's pulse pounding down his pale neck.

"I dunno," the confession bubbled up without Ichigo really thinking about it, his finger moving along his own bottom lip. He found that watching Urahara's gaze linger on his fingers was making heat rise up in his stomach again, trickling down until it pooled in areas he was…unaccustomed to. This was like every frustrated dream he'd ever had about the man, except this was all too real and more exciting than he'd originally imagined it could ever be. "What are you looking at me like that for?"

Urahara paused at that, making Ichigo's eyebrow's come together in confusion. There looked to be a war going on inside the man at his feet, multiple emotions passing inside his eyes one after the other without the usual guarded conservatism that the blonde usually had. Apprehension, curiosity, mischievousness, finally settling on calm before his lips opened once, twice, three times and he pulled the words from his mouth.

"Just wishing I could be your fingertips," he murmured, his throat constricting visibly as he sat back, away from Ichigo's body, obviously surprised at himself.

Brief seconds passed while Ichigo tried to figure out what Urahara had meant, when suddenly the realization fully smacked into him and the hand that had been pressing into his lips fell useless at his side, his eyes almost painfully wide. Ichigo's head was spinning in circles, each thought trying desperately to catch up with the next but not really able to settle on anything. All he knew was the tension in the air was crackling and his heart was pounding so loudly that he couldn't hear anymore. He knew what he wanted; it was all a matter now of working up the courage to do anything about it.

And if there were any lingering questions about his sexuality now…they had pretty much jumped out the window and died on the pavement below.

Urahara was inwardly dying. Why had he said that? It was as though he wasn't in control of his own mouth anymore and the words had come unbidden from his lips! This was not the calm, thoughtful outward appearance that he had worked so hard to build. This was the stuttering, naïve man that he'd been once upon a time, far too eager and entirely stupid. Ichigo was a teenager! There should have been no hesitation in Urahara's mind to get up and walk away before the situation got out of hand.

But Ichigo's eyes were like a warm cup of tea sitting out in the sun, and Urahara could feel himself smile in the unguarded way the he could only barely remember doing anymore. Before he could stop himself his hand had shot out to capture Ichigo's limp wrist, turning it over slowly for his inspection, fascinated by the delicate color of his skin. He stared at their joined hands, his thumb caressing the thumping pulse, feeling the way the younger man's blood was racing like a rabbit's through his veins. There was no doubting Ichigo's excitement, though whether it be in fear or anticipation Urahara wasn't entirely sure. However, Ichigo wasn't pulling away; it boded well for anticipation.

Then again, that could have been bias on Urahara's part…

Ichigo offered no resistance as Urahara brought those long fingers to his mouth, closing his eyes (more out of fear than anything else) and letting his lips trail feather-light along the battle-rough pads. In his imagination he could nearly taste the younger man's flavor that had been pressing against them only moments before, could imagine their own mouths sliding together, slowly and without force. Urahara's hand was shaking gently as it continued to move Ichigo's hand along his lips, eventually pausing when he realized he'd been holding his breath the entire time. His eyes opened then, swallowing hard, forcing himself to look up at the young man who had been taking up so many of his thoughts and private moments. He was expecting the worst, to never be spoken to again, to be punished in some way for his brazen behavior…he held out little hope.

Surely the young man wouldn't stand for such a thing…

Yet Ichigo was simply staring, his eyes wide and vulnerable with a look in them that Urahara had never seen. Silently he pulled his hand away and looked down at it, blinking a few times as though he'd never seen the appendage before, the act making Kisuke smile a little. But the moment was lingering too long, and the need for spoken words was eating at him.

"Say something Kurosaki-san," he pleaded quietly, barely realizing he was biting at his bottom lip. Hopefully Ichigo would speak before he well and truly passed out. He'd never live it down.

Ichigo's heart was pounding out of his chest, and he was rather certain he'd never felt quite so lightheaded in his entire life. The second that his fingertips had touched the blonde's lips had been the instant that he could have sworn his whole life began to crumble into little pieces…or were all the pieces coming together? Either way it seemed like something big and shattering. Rather cliché, all in all.

Orange eyebrows twitched in contemplation while he tried desperately to gather his scattered thoughts into one pile, staring down at his hand. Urahara needed an answer. That much was without doubt. His green-gray eyes were wide and almost frightened, a look that seemed foreign and uncomfortable on his face. The desire to wipe such a desperate look away was overwhelming to Ichigo, making his hand reach out mindlessly, brushing away a lock of bangs that had fallen over one of the older man's eye. Urahara's mouth fell slightly open though he was quick to recover, blinking rapidly as though he were trying to wake himself up. Former captain indeed…

"What do you want me to say?" Ichigo finally pushed out. He grinned and cocked his head to the side, shrugging lightly. "Just tell me and I'll say it. I don't know…what I'm doing here."

The response didn't seem to help the situation at all, and much to Ichigo's dismay Urahara stood up, waving his fan nervously and stepping around the chair. Ichigo turned with him, trying to catch his gaze, but finding that the older man wouldn't meet his eyes. There had never been a time when they hadn't treated each other like equals, so to see Urahara act so defeated was beyond disconcerting. It was painful. This wasn't how it was supposed to be at all! He'd dreamed, fantasized, thought about Urahara for months. Why now, when there was a chance to make his fantasies real, was he faltering? Where was his resolve?

"I'm sorry Kurosaki-san…I've overstepped myself. Dismiss this whole incident."

Ichigo could barely believe himself. Was he just going to let this go by? Was that the kind of person he was? Urahara was nearly out of reach, his blonde head sagging just a bit, dejected, not even willing to glance back at Ichigo. Even the playful fan, usually fluttering and buoyant was lying limp against his thigh. Ichigo couldn't do it…he couldn't let the opportunity pass. He had to do something! Anything! That would be the victory, that would be what winning meant. Even if he felt stupid and didn't know what the hell he was doing. He still had to do something.

"Wait!" he said sharply, spinning around in his chair and reaching blindly for the other man, grabbing harshly onto his black sleeve to pull him down. "You can't just…leave. What kind of person leaves after that?!"

If someone were to ask Ichigo, years later, what those next few moments felt like…he probably wouldn't have been able to accurately tell them. All he knew was that his body was suddenly moving, and all his inhibitions were thrown to the wind in the face of his desires. He may not have had a good handle on what he should have been doing, but instinct was guiding him to do what he wanted to be doing…and that was pressing his lips against the older man's. So that's what he did.

Or at least what he tried to do…

Urahara's eyes widened practically to the size of saucers when his face was pulled down to meet Ichigo's, the younger man's lips landing not against his own…but at the corner of his mouth. Awkward seconds passed as their eyes met and locked, Ichigo's cheeks beginning to color bright pink, Urahara's lips curling into a gentle smile. Then, as though it had been planned that way, Kisuke began gently kissing at the corner of Ichigo's mouth, nipping at the skin tenderly while holding their gazes together. There would be no embarrassing the younger man about his slight blunder, nothing to make him feel as though he wouldn't want to do this again.

Slowly Urahara watched the embarrassment ease from Ichigo's expression, a hazy, yearning look rising in its place to mesmerize Kisuke in a way that he couldn't seem to resist (and wasn't sure he wanted to). First kisses were always so perfect, no matter how sloppy or strange or completely embarrassing. This one was no exception, a delicious blend of eroticism and naiveté that was enough to leave anyone breathless and wanting. Who wouldn't want more?

Though from the way Ichigo hadn't been breathing for the past thirty seconds, Urahara was starting to think that the younger man might pass out before they got that far.

"Breathe Kurosaki-kun," he murmured softly, pulling away fractionally and running his nose along the stubborn jaw-line until he reached Ichigo's ear. He felt a shiver run through the younger man's body as his breath bounced off the shell of his ear, wanting so much to simply latch onto the lobe and suckle at it for a little while. But Urahara knew that if he pushed Ichigo too far, too fast, that he very well might fall over on the spot and die or something. Better to take things more slowly…there was all the time in the world to develop this to fruition.

"Kurosaki-kun," he said, clearing his throat while he pulled away to look into Ichigo's face. "Would you care to accompany me to dinner tomorrow night?"

Mortified…absolutely mortified. That would have been an accurate description of how Ichigo was feeling when he missed Urahara's lips. If he could have turned into a puddle of goo and sunk down into the ground he would have gladly done so just to get away from his humiliation. However, much to his surprise, the blonde didn't seem bothered by it at all, instead doing wicked things with his lips and teeth to the side of Ichigo's mouth. It pulled Ichigo's breath from his lungs in a rush and didn't allow it back in, making his body heat up in ways that had nothing to do with the summer sun.

It wasn't until moments later that he realized that Urahara had pulled away, his ear tingling from the feel of the older man's breath on his skin. Mouth falling open slightly, his head tried to wrap around what had just been said. Had Urahara just…asked him out on a date? A "date" date? As in a dressing up, having dinner together, kiss at the end of the night…date? That sounded so…normal.

"I-I…," he stammered, letting his fingers run up Urahara's forearm until they rested on his elbow, rubbing circles in the crease. Finally his voice seemed to find him again and he was able to speak.

"Sure. Under one condition…"

"Lovely!" Urahara practically chirped, his fan coming out with a loud snap to fan at his face, making Ichigo smile despite himself. "Don't worry about money. I will pay for your every whim. Just…make sure to dress nice…and…wait, condition?"


"Name it Kurosaki-kun, and it is yours." he murmured, eyes lidded and expression soft. It made Ichigo want to lean forward again, feel that same heat, only more so.

But that wasn't what he was going to do. Instead, Ichigo's face broke out into a wide grin and he leaned back, crossing his arms over his chest to scrutinize Urahara with a raised eyebrow.

"You have to shave."

Urahara seemed almost taken aback, the fan falling loosely at his side as he looked at Ichigo as though he'd grown a second head.

"Truly you've cut me to the quick," he took a deep breath and bowed down slightly. His eyes were shadowed and mysterious, full of some unknown emotion as they gazed from under his hat, making Ichigo swallow hard. He wasn't quite sure what that look was for…wasn't sure how to place it. He knew only that it made his pulse speed up and his face flush hotly. "If I didn't want you so badly I'd never agree to it. Lucky for you you're quite hard to say 'no' to."

Unable to stop the blush that rose up into his cheeks, Ichigo turned his gaze away and pretended not to notice the smile that was rising up onto his own face nor the soft, secretive chuckle that rose from Urahara's throat.

This was going to be an interesting date…


Thanks a lot for making it all the way to the end! You have my luffs!!