7. This meaningless skirmish . . . must end now.

Ishida stuck his needle into the hem he was trying to finish and pushed his glasses up to rub his eyes. The last time he had looked up, there had been two nurses from the 4th Division making bandages at one of the other tables, but they were gone now. He must have been too intent on his sewing to notice when they left. The windows showed that the afternoon was almost gone, the light going dim as the sun faded. Still, he thought he had enough time to finish his mantle before it got too dark.

He adjusted his glasses and peered at his stitches to make sure they were even. He didn't want to give Soul Society too much credit, but he appreciated being allowed the use of their sewing room. The clothes he had made for Chad and Inoue-san were already neatly folded in the basket one of the 4th Division officers – he couldn't remember the little guy's name, for some reason – had found for him. Kurosaki didn't need Living World clothes – there were Shinigami uniforms a-plenty for him here. He only needed to finish replacing his Quincy uniform, and he would be ready to go home.

Home. Ishida let the fabric drop onto the table and sat back on his heels. Why am I doing this? he asked himself, not for the first time that day. He'd lost his powers. He'd never fight as a Quincy again. Why was he going to this much trouble over something he would never wear again? He let his head fall forward, catching sight of his fists clenched on his thighs. White hands on black fabric. The Shinigami robe they had given him to wear was comfortable and, he had to admit, well-made, even by his standards. The only problem was... it was a Shinigami robe.

No, troublesome or not, he had entered Soul Society as a Quincy and he was going to leave as one. He might have been stripped of his powers, but his pride was still intact. He would go out just as he had come in, dressed in Quincy whites.

Even if that was the only thing about him that was the same.

"There you are."

Ishida looked up and felt his heart lurch. Kurosaki was standing in the doorway. Ishida hadn't even sensed his approach. Kurosaki, whose reiatsu was always blaring like loud music from a car window in stalled traffic. How could he not have known he was there? His stomach twisted at the thought – had he lost that ability along with everything else?

"Kurosaki?" Ishida finally remember to speak. "What are you doing here? I thought you were still in the 4th Division."

"Ah, I'm fine now," Kurosaki said, stepping into the room and letting the door close behind him as he glanced around. He looked like he always did – annoyingly orange hair, bored face one squint away from a scowl – but Ishida couldn't help remembering how he'd looked a few days ago, his face pale and blood-splattered beneath the glow of Inoue-san's healing shield. Ishida had knelt by his head, staring at him and silently praying Don't die, Kurosaki. Don't you dare die! I won't forgive you if you do.

"So are Chad and Inoue around?" Kurosaki's voice brought his attention back to the present. He blinked the image away.

"They're at the 8th Division, I think. Captain Kyouraku came and invited everyone to dinner," he answered, picking up his sewing again.

"That's the big guy in the pink robe, right?" Kurosaki frowned in thought. "The one that likes sake?"

"That's him," Ishida nodded.

"Huh. So why aren't you there?"

"I wanted to finish this," Ishida shrugged. "You could go join them, you know. There's no reason for you to miss out on a nice dinner."

"Nah. I'm not really interested in food right now."

"That seems unusual. So what are you interested in?" Ishida was counting his stitches and didn't notice that Ichigo had moved closer until he sat down on the low worktable almost in front of Ishida.

"Talking to you," he said. Ishida eyed the Shinigami briefly. Sitting this close, he could feel the faint prickle of Kurosaki's power on his skin, but it was nothing like the unruly reiatsu he usually exuded. Ishida shifted uncomfortably, wondering again what had changed. Was it him? Or was this something to do with Kurosaki?

"What's brought on this sudden fit of sociability?" Ishida frowned, then paused and looked more closely at Kurosaki's eyes. "Are they still giving you painkillers?"

"No," Ichigo huffed. "Stop being such a dork all the time. I just wanted to see how you were doing."

"I'm fine," Ishida said, looking back down at his sewing. "Why wouldn't I be?"

Ichigo watched him sew for a moment, then said "Captain Ukitake told me you had a couple of pretty hard fights. I heard you took down a captain."

Ishida's needle paused. "So?"

"So I figured I'd come over and we could compare battle scars."

"Compare scars?" Ishida looked up to see what almost looked like a smile on the other boy's face. "Kurosaki, only troglodytes do that sort of chest-thumping." Really, there was no hope for the guy.

Ichigo leaned back on his hands and looked Ishida up and down. "I'll bet mine are bigger."

Ishida pursed his lips and kept sewing. "Considering that you fought three psychotic devils to my one, and then almost got cut in half by another, I'm sure they are. More numerous, too, I expect."

"Hey, wait a minute." Kurosaki screwed up his face in concentration. "I fought more psychotic devils than that."

"I was excluding Captain Kuchiki."

"Oh." Ichigo chewed that over, then shrugged. "Yeah, alright, I'll give you that one. Yeah, I got cut up some, but I didn't fight any mad scientist types, like I heard you did. I figured maybe your scars were more interesting."

Interesting. Yes, Ishida supposed he did have some 'interesting' scars from that encounter, but the bad ones weren't on his skin. They weren't where Kurosaki could see them at all, even if he had wanted to show them off. Ishida realized he was clenching his teeth. He made himself relax and tried to keep sewing.

"C'mon, Ishida, I swear I won't laugh," Kurosaki urged. "What'd he do? Use a scalpel?"

"Shit!" Ishida cursed and dropped his needle, then grabbed the finger from which a bright drop of blood was welling. Both his hands were trembling so hard he could barely keep his grip, and he was starting to feel light headed. He closed his eyes and tried to slow his breathing, at the same time trying to banish the image of his grandfather's mutilated corpse from his mind's eye.

"Ishida! What the fuck? Are you okay?" Before Ishida could answer, Kurosaki's hands were wrapping around his, steadying them. For a moment Ishida had the strange impression that Kurosaki had embraced him; he seemed to feel a gentle pressure around his shoulders, but the other boy's hands never left his. When his breathing was closer to normal, Kurosaki released his hands just before he could pull them away.

"Sorry," Ichigo said, still looking at Ishida's hands. "I guess I shouldn't have brought that up, huh? I heard that guy is kind of a sick fuck, but—."

"Kurosaki, just leave it." Ishida snapped. Bad enough that he'd been reminded of the incident, but to lose it like that in front of the Shinigami? He ground his teeth, hating his own weakness.

Ichigo watched him for a few moments. "You gonna be okay?"

"Fine," Ishida lied. Kurosaki was still studying him with eyes that were very un-Kurosaki-like – calm and assessing. Ishida found that almost as disturbing as his memories from the battle. He disguised a stray tremor by shaking his hair off his face, then reached for his sewing. "Kurosaki, I—I have to finish this, so—."

There were three perfect drops of blood on the edge of his white mantle. He stared at the ruined garment, let out a breath, then crumpled it and threw it to the far side of the work table. He stood up and scanned the shelves, looking for more white fabric, and was half way to getting it when he felt hands grip his shoulders and draw him back.

"Hey, hey, whoa," Kurosaki said, speaking to him like he was a nervous horse, guiding him back to the work table. "It's getting dark out there," he said, nodding toward the windows where the last of the sunlight gleamed. "You're not going to have enough light to sew by anyway. You can start again in the morning, right?"

Kurosaki was being far too calm and making far too much sense, and it was really getting on Ishida's nerves. He pulled away from the Shinigami and jerked one shoulder out of his grasp.

"Don't treat me like a child, Kurosaki," he snapped, pushing up his glasses. "If you came here for some purpose, would you please state it and leave? I'd—really prefer to be alone right now."

"Ah, sure," Ichigo said, scratching the back of his head and looking only vaguely perturbed by Ishida's outburst. "I really just came by to show you something. It's—well, I thought you might be interested, you know?"

"I'm really not in the mood, Kurosaki," Ishida grumbled.

"Five minutes, okay?" Ichigo offered. "All you have to do is just stand there, alright? And close your eyes."

Ishida glared at the Shinigami, then took a breath and complied. After a few moments, he frowned. "Kurosaki, what am I supposed to be—." His words cut off as a wave of light pressure rolled slowly over him, making him catch his breath. His eyes flew open in shock.

"Hey, no looking!" said Kurosaki. Something gently stroked Ishida's eyelids shut, and another slightly stronger swell of sensation washed over him. It was like being rocked by warm, heavy water – an ocean with currents of pressure that held him upright without force or stress, moving with and against his body. He tried to ask what was going on – even tried to be vexed about it – but the waves that rocked him in place were washing even his curiosity away.

"You can open your eyes now, if you want." He did, only to see Kurosaki sitting on one of the worktables a few feet away. He looked rather pleased with himself.

"What's going—on?" Ishida gasped, his eyes fluttering. "Is this—no—can't be—."

"Reiatsu manipulation?" Kurosaki grinned. Ishida's eyes sprang wide.

"You?" Ishida couldn't believe it. Kurosaki was doing—this? "How?" he gasped.

"Ah," Kurosaki said, standing up from the table and stepping toward Ishida. "As to that, remember the day you challenged me?" It seemed almost a lifetime ago to Ishida, but it wasn't like he could forget. "About the first thing you did was tell me that there were a lot of things I didn't know about being a Shinigami," Kurosaki continued. He was rubbing the back of his neck and looking just a bit uncomfortable. "I thought you were just being a prick about it – and actually, you were, you know – but it turns out that you were also right."

Ishida wondered if he were dreaming. Kurosaki was holding him in place with his spiritual pressure, and now he was admitting that Ishida had been right. Could this be real?

"I got a crash course in a lot of that stuff when I started training with old Sandal-Hat," Ichigo went on. "Then I got another crash course here in Soul Society."

"You—learned this here?" Ishida hated how breathless his voice sounded, but felt too relaxed to care that much.

"More or less," Kurosaki admitted. He cocked his head at Ishida, who was starting to feel dizzy, as if he'd been in a steam room too long. "Huh. You look like you've had about enough of that for now." Ishida didn't protest as Kurosaki reached out, took him by the shoulders and disengaged him simply by pulling him into his arms. The web of reiatsu supporting him vanished, and he collapsed against Kurosaki, unable to stand on his own.

"You okay?" Kurosaki asked, boosting him up a bit.

"I can't stand up." Ishida's voice was muffled by Kurosaki's shoulder. He should have been embarrassed, even outraged, at sagging helplessly in Ichigo's arms like that, but he wasn't. It was just one more thing that made him question whether this was all really happening.

"You'll be fine in a few minutes," Ichigo told him. "Till then," he added, sinking to his knees with Ishida, "floors and walls are good."

Ishida had to agree as Kurosaki settled him against the wall. Across from him, the windows were darkening as the sun went down, and the sewing room was filling with shadows.

"That—that was what you wanted you wanted to show me?" Ishida asked as the other boy knelt in front of him. They were almost knee to knee.

"Part of it, yeah."

"You mean—there's more?" Ishida was still finding it hard to grasp that Kurosaki had learned even one technique like that.

"Well, yeah," he admitted, looking a bit uncomfortable again. "Except, not all of it is 'show', exactly. Some of it is—I guess, some of it is more like 'tell'."

"Show and Tell?" Ishida was glad he could at least still roll his eyes. "That's tragic, Kurosaki."

"That kinda depends on the story, don't you think?"

Ishida peered at the boy across from him. He seemed relaxed, but Ishida sensed an underlying tension, as if he was unsure about something. "There's a story?" he asked.

Ichigo made a face. "Yeah, there is," he said, but then didn't continue. Ishida started to feel his usual Kurosaki-induced frustration return.

"Kurosaki, if you have something to say," Ishida said, "stop sitting there like some half-witted sphinx, waiting for me to ask the right questions. Just tell me!"

For the first time since he had walked into the sewing room, Kurosaki seemed to hesitate. He considered the floor for a moment, then looked up and met Ishida's eyes.

"Okay," he nodded, then took a breath. "Here goes. Once, there were these two guys. They might have been friends, except that one of 'em was a prissy Quincy and the other was an idiot Shinigami, so they fought and argued a lot more than normal guys. Then one day, after a really big, really stupid fight, the Shinigami saved the Quincy's butt, and then the Quincy saved the Shinigami's life." Ichigo paused for a moment, almost as if he expected Ishida to say something, but Ishida didn't make a sound and he went on.

"After that happened, somehow they ended up alone on a roof together, and – big surprise – they started arguing. And I probably should have said this earlier, but the Shinigami? He was absolute crap at controlling his reiatsu; and even worse at controlling his temper.

"Now, here's where it gets complicated." Kurosaki sighed. He looked at his knees rather than at Ishida, his face settling into a scowl of concentration. "Deep down," he said slowly, "the Shinigami wanted to kiss the Quincy; and maybe, deep down, the Quincy wanted to kiss the Shinigami, too. The Shinigami didn't really know he wanted to kiss the Quincy, but— his reiatsu sure did. In fact, it thought it would be a great idea, so it harassed the Quincy till he couldn't take it anymore, and grabbed the Shinigami and kissed him." Ichigo paused, then glanced up at Ishida. "Know what happened then?"

"No idea," Ishida deadpanned.

"Well," Ichigo continued, looking away again, "the Shinigami liked it when the Quincy kissed him. In fact, he liked it so much that he started to get one hell of a hard-on, and for some stupid reason—that scared him. So, instead of grabbing the Quincy and kissing him back like he should have done, the Shinigami freaked out and smacked the Quincy so hard he bounced about 10 feet, then called him a weirdo and ditched him. The idiot Shinigami ran home and spent the rest of the night hiding in his room, trying to ignore his hard-on so he wouldn't have to whack off thinking about the Quincy. But then he couldn't take it anymore, so he did. In the shower. Twice.

"So," Kurosaki said, not quite daring to look Ishida in the eye, but giving him a sidelong look. "How was that?"

"Pretty tragic," Ishida assessed. He tried to keep his tone even and prayed that Kurosaki couldn't hear the way his heart was pounding. "So was that—the end?"

Kurosaki chewed his lip, then looked down. "I don't think so," he said. He scooted forward until their knees touched.

Ishida glanced down at their conjoined knees. "In that case," Ishida ventured, "what do you think happened?"

"I think," Kurosaki said slowly, "that the Shinigami found out that he had a lot to learn: about life, about being a Shinigami, and—about what he really wanted." He looked up then and met Ishida's eyes. "I think he also figured out what an idiot he'd been; and how bad he'd fucked up. And I know that if he could do it over again – if he got a second chance – it wouldn't go down the way it did that day on the roof. Because back then, there was a hell of a lot that idiot Shinigami didn't know. But he knows it now."

Ishida swallowed. "A second chance."

"Yeah," Ichigo whispered. He leaned in close; so close that Ishida could feel his breath ghosting over his cheek and the hum of power just beneath his skin. "A second chance. A do-over. I know the Shinigami doesn't really deserve it, but..."

Somehow, even though he hadn't consciously made the decision, Ishida found himself leaning forward, his eyes fixed on Kurosaki's mouth. He stopped, surprised, when Ichigo reached up and laid his fingers against his lips.

"Just one thing," he said. "Just one difference. This time—I want to be the one kissing you." Ichigo was so close that Ishida's head was almost spinning. He saw Ichigo's gaze flick from his eyes to his mouth and back up. He took his hand away from Ishida's lips. "Just don't hit me, okay?" he asked, and then he leaned in and kissed him.

For a moment, it was just Kurosaki's rough, chapped lips balanced against Ishida's waiting mouth and nothing more, but then Ishida remembered to breathe. He parted his lips with a small sigh, Kurosaki tilted his head and slid his tongue inside, and then both boys were moaning into the kiss as they reached out, clutching at hair and fabric to drag each other closer.

Just one difference, Kurosaki had said, but this kiss was nothing like the first one. This one came with a dizzying surge, with their tongues sweeping against each other, hot and urgent, with Kurosaki's fingers digging into Ishida's arms, and with their bodies shifting, rising, stumbling, awkward as colts as they fell against each other and went down.

Ishida didn't feel the floor or the wall or even the side of the table he hit as they tumbled and thrashed. For him, there was nothing but Kurosaki: nothing but the heat of his mouth, the scent of his skin, the pinch of his fingers holding his hair too tight, the intoxicating weight of his hard-muscled body, and the rasp of his breath as he panted into Ishida's mouth, murmuring "Uryuu—god, Uryuu!" between fevered kisses.

Ishida wanted to kiss him back, wanted to breathe his name into his skin like that, but it was all he could do just to clench his fists in Kurosaki's robes and hang on – hang on to Kurosaki, hang on to consciousness – because it wasn't just Kurosaki's lips and hands and voice driving him wild. It was Kurosaki's reiatsu, too; wrapping around Ishida like another pair of arms, another set of hands, another mouth, shadowing his every move. For every kiss and nip and caress that Kurosaki bestowed, there was another in its wake, amplifying each shock of pleasure, refusing to let him come down.

"Fuck, Uryuu!" Kurosaki was whimpering against his throat, repeating his name and punctuating it with bites on his collarbone. Somehow he'd pulled Ishida's robe open and was twirling a nipple between callused fingers, sending sharp twinges of pleasure straight to his groin. Ishida wanted to beg him to slow down, tell him it was too much, that he couldn't even process all the sensations that were ricocheting through his body, but it was no use. The fierce pleasure had stolen his voice, and all he could do was pant and whimper and twist to no avail, because Kurosaki had him pressed to the floor.

"Uryuu," he moaned again, kissing his way down the dip in his chest. "Wanted this—wanted you so much! After the Menos—wanted to touch you—feel you—yes!"

Yes! Ishida wanted to echo, because those could have been his words, but Kurosaki's mouth was moving lower and suddenly it felt like the center had been pulled right out of Ishida's body. Kurosaki tongue was drilling into his navel as he sucked at the sensitive flesh of his stomach, and it was too much too much too much for Ishida to take. He let out a wail, his muscles contracting so hard that he sat up and grabbed Kurosaki's head, trying to pull him off. The wild, orange hair was softer than Ishida had expected, and even while writhing from an overload of sensation, Ishida still could wonder how that hair would feel against his hip, against his thighs.

"Ah! Easy, easy," Ichigo was whispering, now rubbing soothing circles on Ishida's belly. Ishida whimpered and fell back, chest heaving, his heart just starting to slow, but then Kurosaki's hand stroked lower, and lower still. Ishida's hips bucked up and a cry caught in his throat, because now Kurosaki's hand was on his prick, cupping it through the cloth, kneading it, spreading his hand to try to get all of it in his grip. It was the most indecently wonderful thing Ishida had ever felt, and he tried to take in every part of it in – the electric twinge in his nipples, twist behind his balls, the dizziness as the blood rushed down to thicken his cock.

"You're hard!" Ichigo groaned, almost as if it surprised him. "God—so hard! You want it—you want it, don't you?" Kurosaki's panting was driving Ishida almost as wild as the way he was gripping his cock, because yes, god yes, he did want it – wanted Kurosaki to keep touching him; wanted whatever Kurosaki thought he wanted. He thrust into the firm pressure of Kurosaki's grip, needing more, but then felt Ichigo moving. The hand didn't leave his cock, but Ishida shivered when he felt anxious breath against his neck, and Ichigo's lips against his ear.

"You want me," he whispered. "You want me, don't you?" Before Ishida could summon the breath to say just how badly he did want him, Ichigo was clutching his wrist and dragging his hand down, and absolutely nothing Ishida had felt before compared to the jagged bolt of arousal that blazed through him when Kurosaki guided his hand against his rock-hard cock. "That's what you do to me," he moaned, rocking into Ishida's trembling fingers. "Make me so fucking hard!"

Kuro—Kurosaki!" Ishida gasped, because the cock pushing against his nerveless palm was huge and hard and so hot he didn't know how it hadn't burned through the hakama covering it. It throbbed against his fingers, and Ishida felt his groin tighten as his own cock leaked in sympathy. He wanted to grasp it, wanted to tear through Kurosaki's clothes and take the hard length in his hand, feel the silky slide of tender skin. He wanted to touch it, to taste it, he wanted it inside him – he'd never wanted anything so much.

"Tell me you want it," Ichigo whispered, and Ishida told him the only way he could. With a wild growl, he shoved Kurosaki over and rolled on top of him, tangling their legs, mashing their mouths and erections together, panting and kissing and clawing. Their hands were everywhere, tearing at clothing, gripping hair and shoulders and hips, mouths gasping as they rocked against each other. It was so good – a crazy storm of sensation – that when he heard the deep growl in Kurosaki's throat, felt his obi yanked off and his hakama falling, the sudden connection of their cocks – hot, hard flesh to flesh – froze him.

He couldn't move, couldn't breathe, because it was that moment in the Rukongai all over again, and he was suddenly afraid. For a second, all he could hear was the pounding of his heart, and then Kurosaki's big, sword-callused hand was encircling both their lengths, binding them together, as his other hand reached up to cup the back of Ishida's neck and pull him down into a kiss. Ishida moaned because the wetness of Kurosaki's mouth was like the wetness of their cocks leaking together, and Kurosaki's tongue swept his mouth the same way his thumb swept over their slits, smearing the moisture over their shafts. Kurosaki shifted, sliding his prick against Ishida's, vein to sensitive vein, and Ishida heard himself whimper into Kurosaki's mouth. His balls were already tightening, his slit was leaking a steady stream; he didn't want it to end, but he was already so close – maybe he'd been this close all along.

"Ichigo," he gasped, rolling his hips, his face hot. "Ichigo, I—."

"No," Ichigo panted, pushing him up. "You can't—not yet!" Before Ishida could protest, Kurosaki was sitting up, wrapping his arms around Ishida, and shifting backwards. "Wait," Kurosaki was saying. "Just wait!" He gripped Ishida hard by the hips, boosted him up, and pulled him forward.

"Kurosaki!" Thrown off balance, Ishida didn't understand what Kurosaki was doing, but then it didn't matter because his reiatsu was there, steadying Ishida as it pulled him upright. "What?" he gasped, looking down to see that Kurosaki's head and shoulders were now propped against the wall, and he was straddling Kurosaki's chest. He was gripping Ishida's hips with both hands and gazing up at him, and even in the shadows Ishida could see his parted lips, and his eyes shining, open, intent, beneath the fringe of his unruly hair. Ishida's dick was hard and upright, dripping onto Kurosaki's bare chest, and he caught his breath when he felt something constrict behind his balls.

"Come here," Ichigo said in a voice that made Ishida's stomach flip, then he hauled his hips forward, opened his mouth and sucked in the full length of Ishida's cock.

Something bright and burning exploded behind Ishida's eyes, and he would have collapsed and come at the same moment if Kurosaki's spiritual pressure hadn't prevented both. As it was, he reeled and fell forward, throwing his hands against the wall to brace himself, staring down open mouthed at Ichigo's face buried in his groin, nose pressing into the faint trail of dark hair on his pelvis, his lips around the base of his cock. Kurosaki pulled back slowly, tongue sliding on the underside of Ishida's shaft until just the head was in his mouth, then swallowed the length once again, and Ishida trembled and dug his nails into the wall because it felt so warm and wet and good. The pressure in his balls was increasing, the discomfort of it a counterpoint to the pleasure of Ichigo's mouth, but when he tried to say something, to beg Ichigo to end it, all that came out at first was a ragged sob.

Sweat was running down Ishida's body, droplets of it falling on Ichigo and sliding over his skin, but Ichigo was strangely, unusually patient, his mouth sliding on Ishida's cock in a slow, steady rhythm.

"Please!" Ishida finally managed, the word bursting out in a gasp. "Kurosaki—Ichigo! Please! I have to—have to—god!" Tears were starting to sting his eyes, because it was too much, it was all just too much. He saw Kurosaki's eyes watching him, peering up from under spikes of his hair, and he slowly pulled off Ishida's cock. Ishida swallowed as he watched him drag a finger through the pre-come on his chest, then slide his hand between Ishida's legs, briefly cupping his swollen balls before pushing behind them. Ishida bit his lip and closed his eyes briefly as he felt Kurosaki's finger slid into his cleft and rub the moisture onto his tight hole.

"Uryuu," he whispered, the desire in his voice making the space just under Ishida's heart clench. "Uryuu," he said again, just as he pushed his finger in, moving it gently, going deeper.

"Yes!" Ishida cried out, pounding a fist on the wall as his head fell forward, because he knew what Kurosaki wanted, knew what he was asking. "Yes, please, yes!" he sobbed, and he felt Ichigo's mouth close around his cock again, just as his finger crooked inside him and rubbed against a spot that made sharp, almost painful shocks surge through his body. "Please!" he begged again, his voice almost gone, and when he felt the constriction ease just as Ichigo pressed hard on that spot inside him, Ishida came so hard he nearly doubled over. His hips slammed forward as his cock spurted, and he heard Ichigo's head thump against the wall, but he couldn't stop himself, couldn't keep his hips from rocking and thrusting as the release ripped through him. He heard – felt – Kurosaki moaning around his cock, but it sounded distant, and when Ishida felt the last of his semen pulse onto that hot tongue, not even Kurosaki's reiatsu could keep him upright. Dazed, torn, empty, he slumped against the wall in front of him and fell to the side.

He didn't pass out, but the shadowed room spun around him, and it wasn't until he felt movement and saw Kurosaki bending over him that he started to come back to himself. His body was still echoing with the aftershocks of his climax, and he wasn't sure he could speak, but it didn't seem to matter. Kurosaki looked down at him without saying anything, but reached out to touch Ishida's face. Ishida kissed his fingers when they grazed his lips, and Kurosaki closed his eyes at that. His face was tense, his hair was damp, and Ishida could see the sheen of sweat on his body as he knelt between his legs, naked and gorgeous and fiercely aroused. Ishida had never seen anything so beautiful or anything he wanted more.

As Ishida watched, Ichigo bent his head and spit something into his cupped hand. A bit of it dripped from his fingers, pale and sticky, as Ichigo reached down and began to smear it on his cock, and Ishida felt an impossible pang of arousal when he realized it was his own come.

"I want you," Kurosaki said, gazing at Ishida as he coated his stiff cock. "I want to get inside you so bad." He moved closer, still stroking, pushing Ishida's knees apart, and Ishida tilted his hips up and let his head fall back, because that was what he wanted, too. He groaned as he felt Kurosaki fingering his ass, stroking his come onto his tight opening. He opened his eyes when he felt his knees gripped hard, felt Kurosaki lifting his legs. Rough lips placed a kiss on his thigh, then Kurosaki hooked his legs over his arms and leaned into him, his thick cock sliding against Ishida's cleft.

"Do you have any idea how much I want you?" Ichigo whispered. His face was so intent, so strained with need that he looked almost cruel, and in response, Ishida reached up and pulled him down until Ichigo's face was against his.

"Fuck me," Ishida murmured into his ear, pushing his fingers into the soft, sweaty hair. "Show me, Kurosaki. Fuck me."

"Uryuu—god!" Ichigo panted. "You—." Ishida never knew what he might have said because he leaned in and bit Ichigo's neck, and the moment he did, Kurosaki growled like a wild thing, shoved Ishida's knees into his shoulders, and drove his hard cock into his ass.

Ishida's body went rigid with shock, but he didn't cry out. There was pain. There was a sharp ache and a strange burn and the unbearable feeling of being stretched to the point of breaking. There was the dizzying sense of being invaded and possessed – that the cock inside him and the guy who'd put it there now somehow owned him. But there was also the look on Kurosaki's face: the wide eyes, the open, gasping mouth, the expression of someone who'd attacked only to find himself overcome. As Ishida watched, Kurosaki closed his eyes and took a short, hitching breath. A drop of sweat fell from his face onto Ishida's neck.

"Ichigo," Ishida murmured, shifting just the slightest bit beneath him and wincing. "Ichigo, move."

Eyes still closed, Ichigo dropped his head so that his hair grazed Ishida's cheek, took a breath, then pulled out a little and slid back in. He did it again, and again, not speaking or even groaning until the two of them were rocking against each other in a halting rhythm. Ishida bit his lip and held tighter as Kurosaki started to speed up, the thrust and friction sending odd surges into his body; not quite pleasure, not quite pain. Their breathing became louder and harsher, their movements more urgent. Ichigo let go of one of Ishida's legs so he could touch his hair, so he could lean closer and kiss him.

"Fuck, Uryuu," he shuddered, pressing their foreheads together as his thrusts deepened. "I don't know why I need you so bad—but I do," he gasped. "I do. Ever since the Menos—couldn't stop thinking about you. Driving me—fucking crazy."

Ishida whimpered, wanting to tell him it was the same for him, but Ichigo's thrusts were coming too fast and deep for Ishida to get his breath. Ichigo's cock was hitting something inside him, over and over, and it felt like he was being wound tighter and tighter as they fucked.

"I could feel you," Ichigo panted, kissing Ishida between words and breaths. "My reiatsu—inside you. You took it in—saved me—and I could feel it. Like I was inside you—going through you—hot and tight and crazy. Just like this—God, Uryuu! Just like this. So good. So—fucking—good!"

"Ichigo!" Ishida cried out, panting and starting to struggle beneath him. "Ichigo—please!" He had no idea what he was asking for, but it didn't seem to matter. Kurosaki shifted and freed his other leg, and Ishida immediately wrapped them both around his waist.

"Fuck!" Kurosaki grunted as Ishida arched up to meet his thrusts, and he started pounding into him faster and harder. "This is—what I wanted," he was gasping, holding Ishida so tight and fucking him so hard he could barely breathe. "You—just like this! God, Uryuu—I can't—can't stop! I'm gonna—gonna—Uryuu!"

Ichigo's back arched as he slammed into Ishida a final time, hips tensing as he shuddered in release. Ishida's eyes flew open and his head snapped back as Ichigo came, because it wasn't just his muscles seizing and his cock gushing inside him. It was more.

"Ichigo!" Ishida gasped, just before the surge of Kurosaki's reiatsu crashed through him like a storm driven wave, sweeping everything in its path. He felt his body responding, muscles tensing, nerves tingling, felt the delicious spasm in his groin as a double orgasm hit – his own and Kurosaki's – and his cock spilled, untouched, all over his belly. He felt Kurosaki's reiatsu flooding even the charred places inside him where his powers had burned out in their own fire, and just like everything seemed to be with Kurosaki, it was too much – too hard, too good, too painful to take it all in – and Ishida turned away, trying to escape, stumbling, falling and sinking beneath the surface.


He blinked, then blinked again because it was rather dark. Something was above him, but he couldn't quite make it out. A face. Scowling.

"Kurosaki? Is that...?"

"Ah, your glasses! Sorry. Here. They fell off when—well, at the end." He felt his frames set back on his face, and there indeed was Kurosaki hovering over him, scowling and naked in the moonlight.


Ishida sat up, then fell back, wishing he hadn't. His entire body was throbbing. He was stiff and sore and felt quite ill used, and there was a strange, uncomfortable burn in his tender regions. When he reached down to check things out, he realized he was naked, too.

And then it all came back to him.

"Oh god," he moaned.

"Hey, hey, are you alright?"

Kurosaki sounded worried, and when he opened his eyes again, Ishida saw that he looked worried, too. He also looked tousled and sweaty and sticky and—beautiful. Kurosaki leaned over him and laid a hand on his cheek, and it felt so good, Ishida couldn't resist turning his head just enough to graze his lips on the edge of his hand. Kurosaki's face brightened with a ridiculous smile. He leaned down and planted a kiss on Ishida's mouth, then stayed to kiss some more. Ishida found his arms winding around Kurosaki's shoulders, and when Kurosaki sat up, Ishida came with him.

"I'm sorry," Kurosaki said, settling Ishida's back against his chest and placing another kiss on the side of his neck. It was a little weird, being held and kissed like this, but Ishida decided he could probably get used to it. "I shouldn't have been so rough with you."

"It's okay," Ishida sighed. "I've had worse." Even with the sore and abused places on his body, he still felt pretty good, relaxed and tingly. And there were some places that felt even better.

"Yeah, I can see that," Kurosaki said, tracing a finger along the healing scar that ran from his chest across his shoulder. Ashishogi Jizou had done that and more besides. "You really did get messed up, didn't you?"

"Not as bad as you," Ishida insisted, and because he didn't want to talk about it, he turned in Kurosaki's arms and kissed him. Kurosaki held Ishida's face and made a pleased sound as their tongues pressed together. His reiatsu hummed around them, ever present, but now it was more of a relaxed purr than a dissonant presence; a contented cat instead of an ill-behaved, inquisitive dog. Their kiss deepened, and Ishida pressed closer, feeling a faint surge of warmth as his hands roved over the sinewy planes of Kurosaki's back and shoulders. He felt something nudge his thigh, then nudge again, harder. He reached down and a rush of arousal flickered through him when he touched the other boy's half-hard cock.

"You're incorrigible, Kurosaki," he huffed, but his words didn't have much heat, since Kurosaki's hand had moved down and was currently fondling his own not-uninterested dick.

"Speak for yourself," the Shinigami grinned, then ducked his head to lap at one of Ishida's nipples.

"Kurosaki," he groaned, grabbing the boy's head. It felt good, and he didn't really want him to stop, but he didn't want things getting out of hand. There were parts of him – his ass, mainly – that really needed a bit of a rest. "Kurosaki—ahh! We can't—."

"Nobody's going to come," he murmured, lifting his face. His hand was still between Ishida's legs, gently cupping his balls, and Ishida was loathe to tell him to stop. "If Chad and Inoue are at the 8th Division, they won't be back till late."

"I know," Ishida said. He reached down and put his hand on Kurosaki's wrist. "It's just—I don't think I can. Right now."

Kurosaki paused, then gave an amused snort. "Dumbass. We don't have to do that." He reached around and gave one of Ishida's cheeks a squeeze. "Besides," he grinned, gently pushing Ishida down on a pile of their discarded clothes. "I owe you for being such an idiot before. In fact, I probably owe you for a lot of things."

Ishida decided he wasn't going to argue with that. He watched as Kurosaki snagged a floor pillow from under one of the work tables, dropped it behind him, then knelt in front of Ishida with a mischievous grin.

"So, relax," he said, nudging Ishida's chest until he lay back on the pillow. Despite his misgivings, Ishida's arousal was growing as he watched Kurosaki settle between his legs. "It's my fault you got mixed up in this whole mess anyway," he added, his breath warm against the insides of Ishida's thighs. "It wouldn't kill you to just let me be nice to you sometimes, right?"

Actually, Ishida wasn't sure that Kurosaki being 'nice' to him wouldn't kill him, either now or eventually, but he supposed that was just a consequence of being part of Kurosaki Ichigo's life. As much as he might once have disagreed with the idea, it was probably better than the alternative. His life had certainly been quieter before Kurosaki had noticed him, but....

No, Ishida decided, closing his eyes as he felt Kurosaki's hands slide up his thighs and his warm mouth close over the head of his cock, this was definitely better than the alternative.