Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach or any Bleach affiliates.

(A/N: This is the companion piece to Emotional Experimentation. It answers some questions and sheds more light on the previous story.

Please don't forget to review!)

Gut Instincts

"There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis."

Malcolm Gladwell

Gut instincts were strange things.

They were the feelings you had inside of you that told you whether or not to charge ahead or stay behind. They were the little devils in your stomach that made you stop and think twice about rational thinking and action. They were the tiny angels on your shoulders that goaded you in one direction or another. Do this, don't do that… it's this feeling that tells you that shouldn't… so don't.

Ichigo had relied on gut instincts his entire life—almost all the time actually. He used them when he was fighting Hollows, taking tests, or even ordering new food. Whatever his gut told him to do he did. Most of the time anyway. Common sense intruded sometimes, telling him to go one way when his gut told him to go another. He listed to his common sense a couple of times but most of the time it was his gut that won out.

In fact it was his gut that started this whole deal with ghosts. He could have just chosen to ignore all of the spirits who were bombarding him as he grew up… he could have, if his gut hadn't told him to talk to them and try to help them. He was young when it first started to really happen, after the death of his mother the ghosts became clearer and needier and in the end it was all he could do to help them. Over the years his gut guided him to hundreds of different celestial beings that he would later aid in their quest to spiritual fulfillment.

Then Rukia came and it was his gut that allowed him to trust her… even though she was a samurai chick with a sword.

Hell, it was his gut that allowing him to let Rukia stab him through the heart and, later, stay in his closet. The weeks she stayed with him were some of the best. He grew to trust her and she… well, she changed everything about him. She taught him how to fight. She taught him how to defend. She taught him about true friendship. She even taught him how to deal with little crushes—mainly multiple ones on her.

But it was most definitely his gut that told him to go after that woman who changed his life. When he came into his room and Kon showed him her stupid little note with the stupid little bunnies on it there was no hesitation in his line of thinking. He didn't stop and consider the choices of going or not going, he just went. Of course he got his ass kicked and his life almost extinguished, but in the end he kept on going.

His gut—and his sword—kept him alive in the Soul Society—through his battles with Renji Abarai, Zaraki Kenpachi, Byakuya Kuchiki, and anyone else who got in the way of rescuing Rukia.

It was simple really: just complete and mindless obedience to his gut.

But nowadays there was something different going on. His gut was beginning to tell him strange things. Things he had never thought about before. In all truth it was beginning to severely creep him out. There were even things he had never experienced before that would run through his head until he could feel his head and his gut spinning.

A couple of times he had woken up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, his stomach hurting and his mind racing with forbidden images of entwined arms and panting mouths in the darkness of the night.

At first it scared him that he was having pornographic dreams. He had never been one for masturbation or even dirty videos but now… now he was having full blown dreams about himself having sex with an unknown woman.

The dreams came inconsistently at first, only once or twice a week. Then after three weeks of his brain delicately teasing his memory, the dreams multiplied into longer and more frequent episodes. It went to four times a week, then five, then six, and then finally, it was each night. Each night he saw tantalizing visions of a naked woman in his arms, their lower bodies gyrating in the harmonic motion of sex.

What was even more, he couldn't stop thinking about it. These dreams were baffling him so much he ended up thinking about them during school and in the evenings, then he just went to bed and had more dreams about sex. It was a vicious cycle—one that didn't seem like it was going to end soon. It kind of felt like déjà vu, he felt that he had seen that dream before, played that game before, and smelled that scent before. It was real but it was intangible, it was something he couldn't touch or taste or even remember.

It was, well… it was like a ghost.

The dreams were excessively vivid. He could see himself—he knew it was him, he could see his distinctly orange hair—in a very compromising position with a girl he couldn't quite recognize. He knew that she had extremely dark hair and luminescent skin, but his mind stopped just short of revealing her identity. In the dreams he would start by biting at her lips and kiss her deeply then continue into undressing her until she was wearing nothing but her pale skin. He would suckle her breasts and touch her between her legs—even going as far as inserting several fingers inside of her. She came on his hand and then it was his cock that was inside of her, he would push and pull in and out of her until he filled her completely with his cum.

But her face… in each of his dreams he could never see the face of the woman he was fucking. It was driving him crazy! Each night he took this woman but each night he was never able to see her face. It chewed at his brain until it was all he could do to just go to sleep a little bit earlier and revel in what the dreams were showing. Some nights they were clips of his body wrapping around hers. Other times it was a full blown porno playing through his head. It kept continuing until every night for three weeks he saw an ebony night with sweat stained sheets, biting lips, and heaving chests.

When he woke up from these delicious dreams he was not surprised to find himself slightly stiff in the crotch area and sweating profusely underneath his tee shirt. These experiences were all in addition to him being equally disturbed and pleasured by the dreams. The entirety of the situation was making Ichigo's gut and brain twist into a roller coaster ride.

His gut was telling him that there was something very wrong about these dreams. It was telling him that this was not a normal teenage boy fantasy. No, his gut instinct was telling him that there was something more intense going on here. It was something he should know about but couldn't seem to grasp.

One night, he saw one of the most realistic dreams he had had in a while. It involved his hand wrapping around the woman's entire body and teasing her most intimate spot until she curled around his body and cried out in extreme pleasure.

That was the morning—only two o'clock if Ichigo's alarm clock was to be believed—Ichigo awoke in a cold sweat and was so aroused that he had to go into the bathroom and finish the job with his hand as he played out the rest of the fantasy inside of his head.

The walk to the bathroom was painful due to how turned on Ichigo was. His mind was dazed with a sense of drugged sleep but his body was alive with electric feelings. When he reached the room he shivered and realized how cold the chilly marble was on his already heightened senses. With a groan of distaste he held his hot erection in his hand and began to stroke himself.

Then his fingers, his ever inquisitorial fingers, pressed up against a small bundle of nerves located at the very summit of her glistening mound. Ichigo pressed this thumb over the top of his erection.

Her gasp shuddered out and she could feel her throat constricting under the intense weight of the sensations she was experiencing. His other hand smoothed down the side.

He noticed her reaction and instantly smirked; his lips conquered hers after he released her breast and searched hungrily for her mouth. His motions became faster and hungrier as he stroked himself with more diligence.

His fingers continued their tireless work on her sex. He wrapped his hand around his throbbing cock and wondered when this torture was going to be over.

He would flick her nerves with a single finger and then penetrate her with another. He could feel his cum beginning to drip slightly.

His ministrations caused her to buck against his hardworking hand. He knew it was coming to an end, he was so close…

She was moving above him, creating the additional friction that was causing her insides to self destruct. Ichigo groaned and watched as his stiff member shuddered and exploded in his hand, his cum sprayed out into the empty bathtub and he watched it as it emptied into the drain.

Ichigo swallowed thickly and shook his sopping hair out of his face. Shaking, he turned on the faucet and watched as the water drained out the rest of his release. Ichigo braced his forearms against the sides of the bathtub and waited until he finished shaking.

Kami, when was this nightmare going to be over? Not that these dreams were nightmares, in fact they were the exact opposite. But still… he just hated having to pleasure himself in order to retain some ounce of his sanity. What's more, he hated the disgusting way his mind was playing with him each night. Who the hell was the woman he was pleasuring? What was her name? What did her face look like? Why couldn't she just turn around or slide her face out of the shadows? Why, why, why!

The door rattled behind him and he felt his heart jump inside of his chest. He checked the base of the bathtub and made sure that there was no trace of his release in the bottom. Shaking his hair once more he swallowed his nerves and went to the door. He clicked the lock out of place and opened the door.

"Hey," Rukia said as she stood in the threshold, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes. "You alright?"

Ichigo nodded his head and stood awkwardly as he took in the sight of Rukia before him. She looked sleepy but content and as she rubbed away at her eyes he thought of how adorable she looked in her yellow checkered pajamas.

She blinked sleepily and smiled softly, "Why are you up?"

Ichigo shrugged, a bit more comfortable now that he knew it was Rukia and not one of his family members. "I was just getting a drink of water." He lied.

Rukia offered a lopsided smile, "Me too, I'm thirsty."

Ichigo moved back a bit and let her inside the bathroom. He stood near the side as he watched her fill a small paper cup and drink from it. He knew he might look slightly creepy just standing there and staring at her, but he didn't care. She just looked so cute. Ichigo let his face relax just a bit and allowed a small smile to rest upon his lips. Rukia must have noticed him, but she didn't say a word and seemed to allow his silent scrutiny to continue. Gingerly, she took another sip and Ichigo watched as a small drip of water slid down from the edge of her mouth and drop down her chin.

Ichigo swallowed dryly, "You've got something on your—your face." He pointed to the mirrored spot on his own face and smiled.

Rukia smiled in return and wiped it away. For a moment, Ichigo imaged his own tongue licking away the small drip. He shuddered and willed away the forbidden thought.

Rukia stepped away from the sink and wandered over to him, his body was tense and he could feel himself trembling slightly. Her smiled turned to a look of concern and she cocked her head to the side, "Are you sure you're alright? You look a little shaken up."

Ichigo forced an annoyed look from his eyes. "Yes, I'm fine, I just—" He rubbed the back of his neck with his hand and shook his head. "I don't know, I'm having these weird dreams and I just…"

Rukia's eyes narrowed slightly, "What kind of dreams?" Her voice was gentle, welcoming even—not the shrewd and calculating voice he had grown to know. It almost made him want to tell her everything that was happening inside his muddled head.

"Just… I don't know." He sighed, defeated. She would most definitely laugh at him if he told her what he was dreaming about.

However, instead of simply shrugging and walking away, Rukia turned to the toilet and slid the seat down. She sat down gingerly and crossed one leg over the other. With another soft smile on her lips she patted the ledge on the side of the bathtub and said, "Come on, I know something's wrong, you can tell me. If you want to, I mean."

It was comforting, this confidence that she was exuding. Ichigo felt like, in the darkness of the early morning, that he could trust Rukia beyond any shadow of a doubt. She wouldn't laugh at him. She would listen to what he would tell her and she would smile and hand him the advice she was so infamous for giving. Despite his mind telling him to keep away from the girl sitting on the toilet, his gut led him to the ledge of the bathtub. He sat down in the spot and mused half heartedly that he had masturbated here not a couple of minutes ago.

Rukia turned to him and smiled again, her eyes were still hazed with sleep but she was at attention, alert and ready to listen.

Ichigo shook his head again and shrugged, why not just jump into it? "For the past couple of weeks I've been having these strange dreams."

"What kind of dreams?" She asked again.

Ichigo's frown deepened and he gave a dangerous glance over to the woman sitting beside him. "Promise you won't tell anyone?"

Rukia's softly smiling face took on a solemn expression; she raised her hand and pressed her palm to her heart, "I swear I will not tell anyone about the contents of this discussion."

Ichigo quirked an eyebrow, "Okay, good enough for me." He nodded and stared down at the tiles on the floor. "I've been dreaming about… well… sex."

Rukia's eyebrow jerked up ever so slightly and she nodded her head. Ichigo frowned at her and she stopped, felt like he was talking to a therapist and not a friend. She cleared her throat and asked, "Just with yourself or with another person?"

He started and began to stutter. "No! No! Not with myself," Ichigo muttered bashfully, even though he had just completed the act with his own hand. "With someone else."

Rukia's glassy eyes shifted and all he could see was the opaque darkness. When she spoke, her voice was slightly harder, and if he was correct, he could sense a trace of… fear? "Who?"

Ichigo sighed and began to examine his hands, focusing on them instead of Rukia, whose eyes were shining in the dimly lit bathroom. He shook his head—again—and said, "That's just it, I don't know who." He let a small growl escape his lips as he ran his fingers through his orange locks. "Each one of my dreams is really clear—I mean, I can—I can see everything that's going on… with us but I never see her face. It's bugging the hell out of me because I have these dreams each night and I don't know who I'm, well, fucking." He let out a breath angrily and bit the bottom of his lip; images of his dreams were attacking him with full force. His face, contorted in pleasure… and her face… empty.

"Damn it." He muttered as he set his elbows on his knees and hung his head between his hands. "It's just frustrating."

Rukia frowned, "Do you think it's just some kind of wet dream?"

"I don't know," he answered wearily, "It seems too real to be just a teenage fantasy. I feel like I've lived it before. I just can't remember it."

Rukia was silent for a long while, her tiny foot tapping against the side of the bathtub and the other against the marble tiles of the floor. She breathed evenly and her sleep-mussed hair fell into her face in a peaceful manner, she looked serene and calm.

But there was something else he saw in her liquid eyes that he hadn't seen moments before. He couldn't be sure, but it looked genuinely like concern—not the type of concern that was directed towards him, but the type that appeared when someone was extremely troubled about a secret. It was the type of look Mafia members had when figuring out where to stash a body before the cops found out. Why Rukia was wearing it, he had no idea, but she had it—and that, in truth, was what was worrying him.

He turned his head over to her, "What is it?"

She raised her pointer finger to her lips and began chewing on the nail, "Nothing… I was just wondering if you were having a… how do I say this…?" She paused and turned to him, taking her finger out of her mouth she held up two hands. She pointed to her right hand, "Okay, so on this hand you have you're dream, a dream that you're having over and over about you having sex with an unknown woman," she pointed to her left hand, "Then on this hand you have your actual life. Is it possible that you had sex with an woman in your real life and don't remember it?" Ichigo blanched and she shrugged, still looking at him she linked her fingers together and pressed her palms tightly. "So could your dreams be a representation of a sexual act you had in your life that you don't remember?" She shrugged again and wiggled her fingers.

"I-I-I d-don't think s-so," he sputtered, horrified. He knew his face was a strange mix of either white or red but he couldn't tell if it was from embarrassment or rage. To think that he would have sex and not remember it… was she nuts? "I-I mean, h-how would I have sex and not even remember it?" He raised a shaking hand to his forehead and wiped away a few beads of sweat.

"It's possible," she said calmly as she unlinked her hands and resumed chewing on her fingernail. "I mean, there are certain drugs, alcohol, roofies, crack, and whatever else you can think of that would make you forget."

"But I never—"

"Maybe the girl in your dreams could have done it to you," she continued, "Or you purposefully blocked it out of your memory. Wait," she turned to him and frowned, "In the dream, are you enjoying it?"

"I-I-," Ichigo stuttered, his eyes were wide and his hands were shaking. How could she—how did she—?

Rukia looked at him expectantly, "Well?"

Ichigo heard a sound of disbelief escape his throat. Quickly, he placed both hands on the side of the bathtub and tried to calm himself down. It was just a question… just answer the damn question.

"Yes," he answered, a good deal calmer now that he was taking deep breaths of air, "Yes, I'm enjoying it in the dream. Actually, I'm enjoying it a lot in the dream."

Rukia's eyebrows inched upward and she smiled softly. "Well that's good; the dream wouldn't be any fun if you didn't enjoy it."

Ichigo nodded as if by compulsion. He didn't think he would be this turned on if his dream involved him being tied up in chains while some dominatrix in a leather teddy and a spiked dog collar whipped him senseless.

They sat in silence for a few moments; Rukia was chewing on her fingernail and Ichigo was watching Rukia. Even this late at night, sitting on a toilet seat, and chewing on a nail, she looked like a princess. Her eyes were a hazy violet-grey, her skin was a pearly hue, and her hair was a waterfall of black ink.

After a few moments, Rukia turned to him and asked quietly, "Do you know if you've had sex with any girl you might be familiar with?"

Ichigo growled at her, "I think I'd know it if I had sex."

"Sometimes you don't."

"Most of the time you do."

"You could have passed out."

"From what?"

"Pain, pleasure, exhaustion, heart failure… anything like that."

"I don't think I would have passed out."

"It happens."

"Not to me."

"If you say so."

"I do say so."

"Okay… okay… okay, calm down." Rukia acquiesced, her face was slightly flustered and her cheeks were tinged with a healthy shade of pink. Ichigo huffed and crossed his arms across his stomach. She had the nerve to even suggest he would pass out during sex! He was far too strong to do that… at least, he hoped he was. But… if anything Rukia said was true then… well, maybe he wasn't as strong as he thought.

Ichigo contemplated this as he raised his hand to his hair and ran a hurried hand through the spiky tresses—he had ferocious bed-head from his skull being pressed awkwardly against his pillow during the night—self-consciously he patted it quietly.

"Well," Rukia said softly as she picked at a wayward string in her borrowed pajamas. "Then I guess the only thing that can be done—since you're absolutely sure that you haven't had drugged sex—is to find out who the girl in your dreams is."

Ichigo blinked twice before rounding his head over to Rukia and glaring at her, "Are you insane?" He growled as he pushed off from the edge of the bathtub and began to pace the room. "I'm sure that I haven't had sex, why would we need to find this girl if I haven't had sex with her?"

Rukia remained seated but resumed tapping her foot onto the tiles, "I didn't say we had to find her, I said we had to find out who she is. If she does exist anyway, it could just be a fantasy girl." She stood up, shrugged, and smiled at him, "But I doubt it. Anyway, all we need to do is take a closer look at all of the girls in your life right now and go through a process of elimination."

Ichigo raised both hands to his head, he tugged at his hair and he leaned his head back to let out an exasperated sigh. "You're not making any sense."

"Yes I am," Rukia answered slowly, "Make a list of the women you have daily contact with and think about your dream. Consider the body shape, the hair, the way they performed during sex, figure out which one of the women it is."

Ichigo's jaw dropped and he felt like his eyes were going to pop out of his head. "What?"

"Meanwhile," she continued, "I'll make a copy of your list and ask around school. If someone there had sex with you I can definitely find out for you." She turned to him and smiled, "Plus, I'm a girl, I can get much closer to them than you can."

Ichigo felt his heart faltering in his chest, "W-what?"

Rukia flipped her hand out in a nonchalant gesture. "Don't worry about it. Girls are secretive but we tell each other about our sexual experiences, although we don't advertise like guys do." She winked at him and pressed a hand flat to his chest. Through the cotton of his beater he could feel her soft hand as it pushed lightly against his body. Ichigo's heart, which was already moving at faltering speeds, quickened exponentially. For a moment, his mind deviated and he imaged taking his own hand and closing it over hers, trapping her warmth on his chest.

Rukia grinned at him and nodded encouragingly, "Don't worry about it. Get some sleep and you can make the list tomorrow, then we can get to work."

With that said she turned from him—taking her hand away in the process. Ichigo mourned the loss of her fingers momentarily but told his mind to shut up and stop fantasizing. She opened the door to the bathroom and was ready to leave when she turned around and smiled comfortingly, "Don't worry about it… we'll figure it out. Just get some sleep." She winked at him, "Sweet dreams."

Ichigo choked slightly at her coy little remark and watched as she disappeared into the darkness of the hallway.

Wearily, he placed a hand on his face and rubbed it up and down. Kami, he wasn't going to get any sleep tonight.


Ichigo went to school the next day feeling groggy and grumpy. Not only did he not get anymore sleep the following night, but he had stayed up until dawn composing a list of all the women in his life he would consider sleeping with.

Ichigo shuddered at the thought and tried to empty his mouth of a nasty taste. His list was divided into two columns: the women he would sleep with only under duress and the women he would sleep with only under extreme duress. He had felt better when he split it that way, but it still made him want to throw up when he thought of it.

He walked to school with Keigo and Mizuiro as usual, his list tucked safely into his pocket. He entered school as normally as possible, keeping his head down and trying to ignore every girl who walked past him.

He knew for certain that most of them could not be the ones who were haunting his dreams; too wild, too quiet, too nervous, too gothic, too bubbly… he ruled each of them out without a second glance. There were also those who had physical characteristics that he could eliminate as well. He also knew that the ones who were too tall, were too large, had too many pimples, changed hair color twice a week, and had too many piercing could never be the goddess that haunted his dreams.

He reached the room and sat in his desk when class began, but was surprised to find a note taped to the front. On the surface of the note was a small but idiotic bunny holding a piece of paper and a pencil. Despite himself, Ichigo smiled as he opened the piece of paper.

Put the list in my desk.


Sighing, Ichigo placed the note inside of her desk and wondered when she would come in.

A few moments before the bell rang Rukia rushed through the door, hurriedly fixing her hair back into place. Ichigo noticed a dark smudge on her cheek and instantly frowned. What had she been doing? He watched her as she sat down in her desk and shook out a few particles of dust from her clothes. She must have sensed his eyes on her and looked up moments later; she smiled at him and mouthed "Hollow."

Ichigo scowled immediately. She should have told him. What's more, he should have sensed it. He cursed himself inwardly; he was too preoccupied with his dreams that he had forgotten all about his duties as a Shinigami Representative.

Ichigo growled softly, okay… not forgotten completely, he was just distracted, plus, he had good reason to be.

She sat down and offered him a quick smile before shaking her head and shrugging her shoulders. Ichigo took this to mean "No problem, Hollow wasn't bad." He glared at her before staring pointedly at her desk. Rukia looked down and opened it quickly; she grabbed the note and read through it once. She nodded a few times, shook her head a couple more, and shrugged at some names.

She looked up at him and smiled, tucking the list back inside of the desk.

School went on as normal that day, Ichigo sat at his desk and tried to focus on the work in front of him but found it difficult with his girl-sense heightened to near-extremes. Whenever a girl in his class raised her hand, answered a question, or even got up to sharpen a pencil his mind was forced back to his dreams and tried to imagine her—or her—or even her as the woman in his dreams.

By lunch, Ichigo was feeling worn and irritated. This idea was stupid, why Rukia thought of he had no idea—he didn't even want to know what had given her this "process of elimination" scheme.

Rukia met Ichigo by a tree in the lawn during lunch. She was holding her lunchbox in one hand and the list in the other. She motioned for him to sit down in the shade and he followed.

"Any headway?" She asked as she opened the cute box Yuzu had made for her—it had bunnies on the cover.

Ichigo scowled, "Not really," he glared at her and muttered, "But thanks to you I can't even look at a girl without thinking I had sex with her."

Rukia gave him a rueful smile and shook her head, "The list should have helped." She pulled out her own list and smoothed it out. "I took a look at it and crossed out a couple of names—" she showed it to him, "Those are just ridiculous, but the other ones—" she pointed to those, "Are more reasonable."

"Okay," Ichigo said, "Let's see… wait, why did you eliminate Chizuru?"

Rukia stared at him blankly. "Because she's a lesbian." She answered flatly.

Ichigo's eyes widened, "Really?"

"You didn't know that?"

"I just thought she was kidding." He shrugged and munched at his lunch.

Rukia shook her head, "She'd much rather have sex with Orihime than with you."

"Well, that's good." He muttered darkly.

Rukia took a bite of her lunch and looked at the rest of his list, "There's Michiru, Ryo, Mahana, Mizuho—" she paused and raised an eyebrow, "Why did you put Keigo's sister on the list, I marked her out."

Ichigo felt his cheeks heat, "You told me to write down any females that I knew, you didn't say I had to know them well."

She shrugged, "Okay, I can understand that." She scanned the rest of the list, "You didn't tell me the characteristics of the girl in the dream so I starred Orihime and Tatsuki because you see them regularly."

Ichigo gulped and shook his head, "Did I ever tell you how uncomfortable this conversation—this whole idea in fact—is making me?"

"You'll get over it," Rukia said, brushing his comment aside. "Now, what does the girl in your dream look like?"

Ichigo's blush continued to grow and he hated himself for it, "I can't really be sure—"

"Just try and remember anything you can," Rukia pressed, holding the list and a pencil in her hands.

Ichigo growled at her, "I will if you stop interrupting me."

Rukia raised her hands in mock defense and sneered, "Sorry about that, I'm just trying to help."

"You have a funny way of doing it."

"Just shut up and tell me."

He glowered at her, "Fine…" he took in a deep breath and closed his eyes, picturing the goddess of his dreams, "She's small, she has dark hair, and she has very pale skin." He smiled and murmured, "It shines in the moonlight in my dream." He opened his eyes and shook his head, "N-Not that I'd notice something l-like that." He sputtered in a panicked voice.

Rukia smiled softly and nodded, "It's okay, I don't mind." She looked at the list and bit her bottom lip, Ichigo saw and thought about how cute she looked. He watched as she ticked off a couple names on the list. She shook her head and began to mutter as the pencil worked against the paper, "Too tan, too large… hmmm, okay, so… do you know what color hair she has?"

Ichigo screwed his face into a frown, "Black, I think."

Rukia nodded, "Alright. So that basically leaves two options… Ryo and Tatsuki."

"That can't be right," Ichigo pleaded, "Ryo is too tall and Tatsuki… well, Kami, I don't know."

"Why not Tatsuki?" Rukia asked quietly, checking the area around them to make sure none of the girls they were talking about were around. "She's cute enough."

Ichigo's eyes nearly popped out of his head, "B-but I've grown up with Tatsuki. We went to karate when we were little, we went to school together, and, well—I just know her too well to have sex with her. It would feel like I was doing my sister." Ichigo shuddered and shook his head. "Definitely not."

Rukia scowled, "Then we haven't got a single lead."

"Maybe it's just a fantasy," Ichigo explained, "I mean, lots of teenage boys my age have them."

"Not many teenage boys transform into Shinigami Representatives and fight evil beings on a daily basis." Rukia pointed out, sounding a bit sour. She finished up the rest of her lunch and shook her head. "Do you think it could be any Shinigami women?"

"No," Ichigo answered immediately, "Definitely not. I know for certain that I wouldn't have sex with a Shinigami girl." He snorted and began to laugh, "That would be an experience." He chuckled for a few more minutes and swallowed the rest of his lunch.

To his surprise, Rukia rose abruptly and swung her foot at his exposed knee. Ichigo avoided the blow swiftly but anger rose inside of him and he straightened his back against the sturdy tree. "What was that for?" He cried crossly.

"It was for you being an insensitive ass." She snarled as she began to huff away. She was only a few feet away when she swiveled around and narrowed her eyes. "You know, Ichigo, there's a name missing from your list."

His face melted from anger to confusion in less than a second. "What? Wait, what do you mean? Who?"

But by the time he had his last question out, Rukia was gone.


Ichigo went to bed that night with a twisting stomach and a muddled brain. It took him over an hour to go to sleep and even when he did, his dream returned, and this time, he was keeping the woman close. His mouth was fastened to hers and his fingers were deep inside of her, pumping in and out until she was screaming into his mouth.

He saw this dream as if he was looking at the act from the outside. He saw that his cock was soaked in her juices as he ran through her again and again. He stood transfixed as he watched. Damn, he must be having the time of his life—if his face looked like that. Unfortunately for him, her back was facing him and he could see nothing more than her clearly pale skin and her shining black hair. With a shudder, his body began to move in the dream, not the one that was fucking, but the one who was looking. He inched slowly, motion by motion as he shifted around. He moved until he was at her side and could see the shadow her small breast made in the puddle of moonlight. He swallowed loudly and willed his body to move just a bit further. Just so he could see her face. Her face would solve every problem he was going through.

His body began to move again. One toe at a time until he was able to see her profile—just the shadow of her tiny nose, of her precious lips, and—

Ichigo jerked awake and pressed a shaking hand to his forehead, which was—of course—covered in sweat.

"No!" He moaned, shaking his head and beating his other fist in the pillow. "No, no, no!" He snarled in abject misery and slammed the pillow to his face, "Damn it, why can't I just see her face? It's just one fucking glance!"

He groaned and sat back against his headboard. He looked at his alarm and saw that it was only a little after four in the morning.

"Fuck." He swore as he pressed his head into the callused skin of his palms. "This is going to drive me to an early grave."


Two weeks.

It went on for two weeks and by the end of them Ichigo was so wearied that he had difficulty even getting up in the morning. He was almost completely inactive during the weekends; he simply sat on his bed and continuously nodded in and out of sleep. Even if he was able to catch fifteen minutes here or ten there he could gain enough stamina to go pay attention in school the following week, or even patrol for Hollows.

While he was contained in this self-imprisoned insomnia he had sensed a few Hollows here and there, but they vanished within a matter of minutes. It was his guess that Rukia was taking care of them—Kami knew he couldn't.

But speaking of Rukia… well, she wasn't speaking to him at all. It had ticked him off in the beginning, the fact that she wouldn't talk to him even though she had given him a cryptic message that he still couldn't decipher, he had pestered her for a few days before realizing that she wouldn't tell him a single thing.

Once he got the idea that she wasn't going to give him a damn slice of information he backed off, taking her cold shoulder with all the pride he could muster. She didn't talk to him at lunch or at home or even walking to and from school. He knew that she was cross at him, he just didn't know why.

She was mad at him for not adding a name to his list, she knew the name, but she wouldn't tell him what it was. It was annoying him to no end. During the day he would glare at her while she turned away from him and during the night he would glower at her from across the dinner table while she chewed slowly and made casual conversation with his father and sisters.

The silence was what he hated most. Usually when he was having a bad day it was Rukia that eventually cheered him up. But now, when he needed her the most, she wasn't talking to him or even acknowledging him.

Ichigo tried to calm his mind down as he wearily moved to the bathroom and relieved himself before coming back into bed. It was Saturday night, only eleven o'clock, and he was already going to bed. Groaning, he flopped down onto the bed and prepared to shut his eyes. He wanted sleep… he needed sleep…

She had almost released him fully before he grabbed her hips tightly and thrust her back down upon his erect member. She nearly cried out at the sensation. To be emptied and filled, to be incomplete and complete—it was dizzying. Her breathing was coming in distraught pants when he stopped. His brow was now furrowed, his eyes concerned by her reactions.

In the dream, Ichigo was the spectator again; he was frozen in the exact same spot as the last times. He saw the act and noticed the pale skin of her back and the dark ebony of her hair. He began to move immediately, in his dreams his speed differed. Sometimes he was moving as if he was swimming through molasses and other times he would run towards them at full speed but watch as the couple moved further and further away. It was torturous, but tonight… tonight he wanted—needed—to see her. He began to move closer to her, he sidled to the side.

She allowed her drooping head to rise; her hair cascaded around her eyes like a warm blanket and tickled his chest as she gazed at him, straight in the eye. Hunger was written in every aspect.

Ichigo gasped and shot straight up on his bed. He was panting and was covered in a cold sweat. Shakily, he rubbed his hands over his face and tried to calm his breathing.

"Oh no," he groaned, "Oh no, oh no, oh no. Rukia… oh Kami, it was Rukia."

He ran his hand repeatedly through his hair and forced himself to stop shuddering. How could he have done that to Rukia? A person he had been with for so long, who taught him everything about killing Hollows and using his spiritual powers, a person who was his fucking teacher. He had had sex with her?

And had forgotten about it?

"Oh fuck," he moaned, placing his head in his shaking hands.

In the dream, he had enjoyed it. He had seen his tightly shut eyes and panting mouth as he kissed her soft lips and caressed her silken skin. He had sucked on her taunt breasts and inserted his fingers inside of her most intimate area. He had done all of this and had enjoyed it so much… but… but… why hadn't he remembered it?

Ichigo frowned, his head still between his hands. He had been fantasizing about having sex with Rukia since the first time he met her but never had he followed through on his actions. Had he really done this… or was it simply just a prolonged fantasy? And… and when had this happened—if it even did happen? Why didn't he even remember it?

"Did you figure it out yet?"

Ichigo lifted his head from his hands and whipped his eyes around the room. The soft voice had come from the corner of his room. His heart began to beat hard and fast as he saw Rukia, sitting at his desk at the opposite side of the room, she was dressed in those yellow checkered pajamas and had her hands calmly clasped in her lap.

He gulped and shook his head as he looked at her. "Tell me it wasn't… was it really—did we…?"

Rukia stared at him for a moment the nodded slowly, in the darkness he could only see pieces of her—ones that were illuminated by the shining moonlight—it made her look like an ethereal being. "Yes… we did."

Ichigo gulped, "H-How?"

Rukia was silent for a few moments; she was looking down into her lap, watching as her fingers fiddles with each other, when she looked up she said softly, "Do you really want to know?"

Ichigo sat on the edges of the bed and nodded his shaking head, "Yes… I-I do."

Rukia nodded and rose from the desk chair. She paced across the room and sat down on the edge of the bed, only four feet from Ichigo. He felt nervous with her sitting so close but kept it to himself.

"It was my fault." She began as she linked her hands again and stared down at them. "It was back before Renji and Byakuya came for me. I was starting to feel human emotions that I had never felt before. You know that the life of a professional Soul Reaper is supposed to be without the standard emotions normally felt by a human being." She snorted, "Just look at my brother if you want an example."

Ichigo nodded and willed her to continue.

She looked over at him and smiled ruefully. "I was starting to feel desire towards you, Ichigo." His eyes widened and he gulped, she nodded and continued. "I was starting to want you so badly that I was thinking about it all the time, my panties would get wet at night and I could feel the desire curling inside of my stomach." She shrugged, "So I started to seduce you."

Ichigo blanched and felt his jaw drop. "Wh-what?"

Rukia shrugged again and shook her head, "I wanted you, so… I did what I had to in order get you."

"Oh Kami," Ichigo murmured as he tugged aggravatingly at the hair on his limp head. He swallowed and choked out, "W-What did you d-do?"

Rukia sighed, "I woke up early in the morning and stood right in front of your bed—" she pointed to the spot, "And took my pajamas off so you could see most of me naked, then I dressed in my school uniform. I knew that you watched me so I did that for a while." She turned to look at him and smiled weakly, "I also would press up against you when I taught you things about fighting Hollows, I would scratch unnecessary itches on convenient places during school." Her smile grew a tiny bit and she shook her head, "Then one morning I turned to you and I let you touch my naked breasts, I kissed you and stroked your erection but you wanted to stop. So I told you I'd wait."

The redness on Ichigo's face grew until he was positive he resembled a fire truck. "And d-did you?"

Rukia smiled at him, her lips only shy of a full grin. "I did… until that night." She took a breath and continued, "I started to undress and go to bed but we… well… I think you can guess from there." She turned to him and nodded, "That was basically what happened."

Ichigo's throat was so dry he knew that no amount of water could ever replenish the wetness. "So… why don't I remember it?"

"I used my memory eraser." She answered simply.

Ichigo's red face shook and he frowned, "But I thought that only worked on people with low spiritual pressure."

Rukia shrugged once again, "Maybe it was because you had my powers at the time, maybe the thing worked a bit more because you were exhausted, or maybe the thing is stronger than I thought—I mean, it did erase the entire memories of the school… I'm not exactly sure, but needless to say it worked." Her face darkened into a scowl. "Or at least I thought it did."

"So the dreams…" He began.

"The dreams must have been a way to re-familiarize yourself with the event." She reasoned. "I haven't heard of it happening before, but then again… you're not the picturesque definition of normal either, so it could have just been your spiritual energy messing with your blocked out memories."

Ichigo raised his head and glared at her, "So when I told you about the dreams… you knew that you were the girl the entire time?"

Rukia nodded.

Ichigo's anger grew exponentially, "So why didn't you say anything?" He ground out.

Rukia scowled at him, "I wanted you to figure it out by yourself." She rubbed her feet against the floor in frustration. "You know Ichigo, I've been living in the human world long enough to feel every human emotion," she turned her head and glared at him, he also noticed that a small blush was growing on her cheeks. "You know, it hurt when you didn't put me on your list, I mean, it's not like you couldn't see my frame in the dream. You just thought I was someone else and didn't even consider me." She stood up and began to pace the room. "I mean, I like you Ichigo. I hated it when I erased your memory. I didn't want to go back to my closet and pretend like it hadn't happened." She turned to him and sighed, "I wanted to stay in that bed with you and rest my head on your chest and listen to you breath as we fell asleep together."

Ichigo felt his throat closing slightly and his heart was pounding inside of his chest.

"Ichigo," she continued, "I didn't want to do that to you, but there were just too many complications that would come up if you actually remembered!" She shook her head and delicately rubbed her forefinger and thumb against the bridge of her nose. "I didn't want to." She said softly—almost sadly, "But I did it so I could… I don't know… protect you I guess."

She sighed and came back to the end of the bed. She clomped down ungracefully and shook her head. "I'm sorry." She said glumly.

Ichigo swallowed with difficulty and inched a bit closer to her. "So basically," he croaked after a few minutes of silence, "You gave me a night of—what I'm guessing was—the best sex of my life and then made me forget about it in order to protect me?"

Rukia nodded and sighed heavily. "Yes." For some reason… she sounded defeated.

Ichigo made another small move towards her, now he was only two feet away. "So what you're saying is that I had sex and don't remember it?"

Rukia scowled at the floor, "Are you deaf? Of course that's what I'm saying."

He moved closer to her again. "Let me tell you something Rukia," he was very close to her now, so close in fact that he could feel the heat radiating off of her skin. She looked up and began to scowl, but when she saw his proximity her expression turned to one of surprise.

Ichigo was so close to her now that her pajamas brushed his arms. As she stood in rigid shock he pressed one of his hands to Rukia's cheek. He quirked one of his eyebrows and smiled a slick grin as his second hand came to rest on the back of Rukia's neck. Her face now gleaned with terrified and surprised delight. He snickered inwardly, "Let me tell you… when a guy has sex, he wants to remember every, single, minute detail about that night. Men don't like it when they can't remember having awesome sex with someone—especially if it's a girl they've wanted to have sex with for long, long, long, time."

Rukia's eyes widened and her lips parted slightly in surprise. Ichigo took notice of this significant advantage and pulled her face towards his, closing the remaining space between them with his lips.

He felt no hesitation in Rukia as she surged back onto his mouth and kissed him with fervor. She opened her lips instantly and allowed his tongue to slip inside. Ichigo took the initiative, wrapped his tongue around hers, and groaned helplessly. His hand tightened around her neck and smoothed up into her hair, tugging the black strands so her head would arch back and open her mouth further to his oral assault.

Ichigo groaned as he tasted her. This flavor he was savoring now was familiar—it bombarded his brain as he groaned out loud. Familiar but so new all at once. It was shooting through his tired brain and straight down into his cock. He could feel himself growing and pushing against his boxers. Already aggravated, he leaned closer to Rukia and tugged her mouth closer to his. Her nose smashed lightly against his and she whimpered as she raised her hands and gripped his shoulders.

His fingers traveled from her neck and massaged the muscles on her arms. They were thin but strong and he reveled in her strength, just as much as he reveled in the feeling of her hair as it brushed his cheek or the caress of her tongue against his. He moved her body closer to hers and immediately her chest was pressed against him. Through the thin cloth of the checkered pajamas and his beater he could feel her taunt nipples straining.

His mouth released hers when the need for oxygen became too great. Panting, he rested his forehead against hers and let his hands travel down until he was able to feel her breasts through the cloth. She groaned audibly and pushed into his hands, allowing him to palm her.

"Ichigo…" she moaned helplessly as her fingers went into spasms on top of his shoulders.

He leaned forward and pressed butterfly kisses around the edges of her mouth. She was panting hard and leaning against him. Ichigo could feel the desire flowing out of her body and he knew that if he were to touch between her legs she would be wet and ready.

But he had other ideas… ideas that involved time and strung out desire. Seconds later, Rukia was lying flat on her back on his bed and Ichigo was atop her. Grinning, he placed his knees on either side of her hips and pressed a gentle kiss to the tip of her nose.

"We did it sitting up last time, right?" He asked her, his eyes heatedly tell her that he already knew the answer.

"Y-yes." Rukia moaned as she arched her back against the bed, trying to reach up and reconnect her body with his.

"Then this time we'll do it differently," Ichigo murmured as he leaned down and licked her neck. Rukia was whimpering beneath him, Ichigo thought if funny that she was doing so—he had never thought of Rukia as the whimpering type.

He began to suck on her rapidly beating pulse, "And since I can't remember anything about your body," he continued even though he was finding that it was getting harder to breathe with Rukia's hands palming his chest, "I'm going to take my time."

She nodded and took the initiative to grab Ichigo by his hair and pull him down into a soul shattering kiss. He allowed her to explore his mouth with vigor and used the distraction so he could peck at the buttons on her shirt. Damn the buttons… they were getting in the way of—ah, they were gone…

Ichigo immediately pushed away the sides of fabric so her breasts were completely uncovered. Slowly, he eased out of his mind-blowing kiss with Rukia—damn, if had known she could kiss like that… well, he wouldn't have been so late in doing this.

His eyes rested on hers for a moment—they were inky in the darkness and shining in the moonlight. He could have drowned in their expressionism. She stared back at him with those eyes and he felt himself swallow convulsively. He could see it… she was challenging him—challenging him to look at every inch of her and to take any part of her. He knew then that Rukia was not one to submit. She wouldn't whimper unless she wanted to whimper and he was here to do one thing and one thing only: pleasure her and thus pleasure himself. Ichigo grinned and stared right back at her, Rukia read his eyes and smiled…

…Before raising her knee and rubbing it gently against his throbbing erection. Ichigo gasped and felt his back arch in response. He gritted his teeth together and forced his instincts to calm down. Everything inside of him was screaming to take her, use her, swallow her whole and not let her out until she was spinning in cartwheels… but patience, he had to have patience.

He felt the material of her loose shirt brush his hands and he remembered that he had unbuttoned it. Slowly but hungrily, his eyes traveled down the smooth column of her neck and over the delicate rise of her collarbone. He crossed the vast expanse of her ivory skin and finally allowed his eyes to climb atop her perfect breasts. He swallowed dryly as his gaze circled her mulberry nipples and silky skin of her mounds.

"Kami," he whispered hoarsely. "You're so beautiful."

He saw Rukia's face blushed and could swear that he could feel the heat radiating off of her. He didn't care though; right now he was completely transfixed with her chest. His breathing became short and rapid as he began to lean down. Rukia saw what he was going to do and instantly arched a bit further. Her breast collided with his mouth and without hesitation he opened his lips and sucked at her nipple. Rukia moaned softly and reached up to tangle both of her hands into his bright locks of hair. He groaned and began to suck with earnest. He bit the sides of the distended nipple and listened to her sharp intake of breath. The sound sent pleasure spiraling through his body and encouraged him to raise his hand to her other breast and mimic the motions of his mouth. She moved underneath him, pulsing against his body so her core would press against his erection. He groaned against her breast, Rukia gasped at the vibration and moaned softly. Ichigo smiled and switched his mouth to her neglected nipple, this time he groaned without stimulation. Rukia shivered underneath him and he smiled again.

Ichigo raised his head from her nipple and kissed his way down the valley of her breasts. He licked every inch of her skin he could reach. She looked like sugar and tasted like crème. He breathed hotly onto her skin and smoothed his hands over her sides. He could feel the dip of her hips and wanted to go lower, until the obstruction of her pajama bottoms became too much.

"Rukia…" Ichigo moaned before hooking his thumbs inside the waistband and yanking them down. He saw Rukia jump slightly at the feeling of the cold air hitting her bare skin. Goose bumps rose on her thighs and he smoothed his hands overtop of them. She was so excited he could practically smell it. With the fingers of an angel but the intentions of a devil Ichigo lowered his hand and brushed against the thin cotton of her panties, lightly touching the damp material and causing her to lurch against him.

"Oh… Kami…" she groaned. After a moment of breathless panting her hands jerked up and she grabbed the bottom edges of his beater. She shot in a dangerous look, plainly telling him not to interfere, and proceeded to rip it off. "Quid pro quo." She muttered breathlessly as she rose up and pressed a kiss to the center of his chiseled chest.

Ichigo nodded and leaned forward until she was lying back on the bed. He smiled at her and moved until his lips were pressing against hers in a deliciously heated kiss. She groaned against his mouth and relinquished to his touch. Her hands roamed over his body as she rested against the feathery pillow. She could feel each groove in his abdomen and the sinew of his pectorals. Teasingly, she pinched her fingers around his nipples and grinned as he started and shivered.

Ichigo lifted his lips from hers and smiled darkly into her eyes, "Last time, I used my fingers, didn't I?" He brushed them against his core to reinforce his statement.

Rukia nodded, her eyes wide.

"Well this time," Ichigo murmured as he moved down her body, kissing her skin as he did, he dipped his tongue into her belly button and smoothed his callused palms over the inside of her thighs, she shuddered under his touch, "I'm going to use my tongue."

With that said he gripped the sides of her panties and yanked them down her body. Savagely, he threw them aside and immediately dove for her pussy. Rukia had to hold back the vicious scream by biting her lip so hard it started to bleed—not that she cared anyway. The only thing that mattered was Ichigo's mouth, licking her over-heated core and nipping at her clit. It was so different from his fingers, she mused mindlessly as she rubbed her breasts with her hands, he was alternating between sending his tongue inside of her and circling it around her clit. Each touch was a jolt to her body and every lick was a shock through her mind.

Rukia was panting hard underneath the assault of his mouth. Ichigo knew that she could come soon. He could feel the tightness winding inside of her and he couldn't wait until she released. It took only a few more minutes before Rukia moaned that she was coming. Ichigo didn't move away from the inside of her legs as she exploded into his mouth. Ichigo heard her groan and he smiled as he lapped up all of her wonderful juices.

When it was over, Rukia was panting on the bed, her hands limp at her sides. "Oh… Kami…" she murmured as her body recovered from the mind-blowing experience.

"You okay?" Ichigo asked huskily as he kissed his way up her body. He reached her lips and offered her a gentle, loving, kiss.

Rukia nodded and wrapped her arms around his neck. "Never better," she lifted an eyebrow, grinned wickedly, and pulsed her core against his stiff erection. "Are you going to finish or are you going to leave me like this?"

Ichigo's smile darkened and he rubbed his clothed member against her. "Is that a challenge?" He asked breathlessly.

"Maybe…" Rukia snickered as she ran her hands down his sides until she felt the tip of his boxers. She tugged them down as far as she could and allowed Ichigo to do the rest. Finally they were off, tossed aside next to her discarded panties.

He positioned himself above her and stared deeply into her eyes. "This one," he whispered as he hovered above her warmth, "I'm going to remember."

With that he thrust himself into her. Rukia moaned and instantly molded herself to his body as he withdrew and drove back inside. Her body moved in synch with his as he teased and hit areas inside of her she had no idea she possessed, Ichigo relished every moan, ever whimper, and every softly spoken swear, he was committing each sound to memory. He would never lose the tiny noises she was making. Never.

Ichigo felt the pressure building inside of him as he moved above her in heated passion. Oh he adored how she complied with his every move and allowed him to take as she willingly gave. Just as easily she was the one who was consuming him, greedily taking every part of him into her—and he loved it. He groaned when he heard his skin slapping against hers as he continued the luscious torture.

All too soon Ichigo felt Rukia's inner walls clamping around his pounding cock. She panted helplessly and raised her hand to the back of his head and yanked his mouth to cover hers, he kissed her with every once of passion inside of him. As she came she surged against him and screamed softly into his mouth. Ichigo followed her only moments later, streams of thick and hot liquid flowed into her as his muffled roar escaped his mouth.

He thrust into her only a few more times before he collapsed, shifting to the side so he didn't squish the goddess on his bed.

Panting, Ichigo wrapped his arms around her and nuzzled his face into the crook of her neck. Ichigo inhaled deeply, Rukia smelled of fresh sex and satisfaction. He loved the scent and would do anything to smell it every day.

He felt drugged and with his arms around Rukia's waist, he blissfully fell asleep.


Ichigo didn't know how long he slept, only that when he woke up, something was wiggling in his arms.

Blearily, he opened his eyes and saw the Rukia was trying to slip quietly away from him, she had already gotten one of his appendages off of her, but the other she was still having trouble with. When he saw what she was trying to do he instantly tightened his hold. Rukia yelped and fell back onto the bed with a plop.

"Just where," Ichigo whispered, "Do you think you're going?" His mind began to take dangerous turns—she wasn't going to—did she really think he would—?

Rukia turned to him and smiled softly. Leaning upward, she pressed a kiss to his lips and murmured, "I was going to lock the door. I want to stay in your room tonight and I don't want your insane father to disturb us in the morning."

Ichigo loosened his hold on her ever so slightly and grinned sheepishly, "Well… if you must."

Rukia rose from the bed and walked naked across the room. Ichigo gazed hungrily after her, his eyes watching every motion she made—from clicking the lock in place to walking back towards him and crawling into the bed.

Rukia sighed and pressed her head to his chest. He wrapped his arms back around her and buried his nose into her hair.

Rukia smiled against his skin and whispered, "Sweet dreams."