Lendra-chan: I. Warn. You.

I have absolutely NO direction with this. I'm writing it for the sake of writing because I've been dying to AND my skills are getting rusty.

And it's kind of like…a loophole for not updating my other fics because I've been so bloody busy with other things..

It burns.

It burns with the fires of a thousand evils.

And Rukia x Hichigo is intriguing in the most forbidden way possible. So sue me.

Warning – potty mouth alert

Disclaimer – not even the potential idea of Hichigo's black fingernails are due to polish do I own.


Reverse

Part I

All the King's Horses


If Ichigo is the one who is known to have no patience and a short temper, then his hollow is the hell child of said negative attributes.

His impatience is little to none, and Ichigo feels it more than anything when that mask is on his face. It's like he's screaming in his ear, tearing at his eyes and just repeating it like a maddening cycle.

Ichigo's tolerance only runs so thick. And he's especially intolerant of himself. The hollow knows this too, and Ichigo can hear the ring of his screeching become more strident with every glance because of it.

With every breath, every glance, every grip, every beat, every glance, every breath, every fucking breath that he takes.

And Ichigo thinks to himself;

Fuckit! My lungs would be on fire anyway, so why not deal with it just a little longer?

Because Ichigo is not the self-preserving type, but he is still a teenager.

And when his hollow, whatever the fuck that bastard's name may be, because he only answers to two or none at all, grins and speaks to him in these riddles and broken phrases with his sword in his hand, Ichigo thinks to himself,

I'm not a fucking guinea pig, so don't test your weird-ass stunts with my mind, my body.

And he always answers back that it was never his body to begin with, but theirs and he should be grateful because-

"I could take it from you with the easiest of slipups and even you know that."

And Ichigo does not believe him, because he has beaten him before – more than once, he reminds himself out of reassurance, because pride is just plain stupid to consider when you're only fighting yourself.

So Ichigo still does not believe him.

And neither does Rukia.

He had tried so long to keep her a secret. But when a blue tongue licks grinning lips, Ichigo knows just how fucking stupid that was to even try.

Because he's been there from the start, and Ichigo was never really good at keeping his thoughts from himself anyway.

Zangetsu knew, so why not him? It?

"Hichigo, if you please."

Ichigo does not please, whatever that means, because that name is way too close to his own and he is so definitely different.

Oh so definitely, assuredly, undoubtedly, damn fucking different because I am real and he is not; It is not and god damnit, I do not have a blue tongue.

Or the black fingernails, but Ichigo can overlook that abnormality because he is pouting at him now and Ichigo is unsure of what to think of this expression.

"I'm hurt, King; really, I'm as real as I'll ever be, which is as real as it gets."

He lifts his hand and inspects his fingers, as if Ichigo's lack of scrutiny had drawn to his attention that, perhaps he does need something a little bit more 'antithesis of Ichigo' on his nails.

But that isn't his focus, and he grins as he waves his white palm and replies smoothly;

"Shirosaki, then. I want a name for when I meet her."

He—It isn't going to meet her; ever. And Ichigo tells him as such.

"But it's so sunny, King. The metal is hot, and I'm tired of you being a selfish little snob."

Ichigo does not understand what hot metal and being a snob has to do with anything, so he reminds this Shirosaki that he will never meet Rukia and that was that.

So when sandal-wood feet and a vision of blue eyes and black hair balance along the thin beam of metal - between two rows of unending windows and glass and sky, Ichigo wants to scream. But he is no longer part of this anymore. Rukia's curiosity cannot be suppressed by mere psychological catastrophes (fucked up shit) like Shirosaki (that hollow bastard.)

And it is just like that little bitch to think she could handle something like hi---it.

But it isn't handling, she says. It is learning and growing and moving and breathing, and why should she run away when she told him that was the last thing he was allowed to do?

It does not make sense, so it is worth figuring out.

And with that, that little bitch left without another word. She didn't wait for my approval, or to even hear why it's fucking suicidal to go in there.

It's my mind and I don't get a say on who takes the grand tour? That did not make sense, and god fucking damnit, he is shaking and frightened, frightened for the first time in a long time, to maybe hope that she will be alright.

But Ichigo can do little more than hope, and that scares the shit out of him.

She stands now, leering up into the sky and focusing on a small patch of blue while the rest cupped it gently in a fluffy collage of white and gray.

It is overcast, but to Rukia, it is normal; he is unsure. Ichigo has no confidence in her abilities, does he. She sniffs at the vertical accumulation of psychological vapor and controls the smirk that threatens at the corners of her lips when another patch of blue appears.

"My, aren't you patient."

Rukia has half a mind to turn around and scold Ichigo, but she knows better.

Rukia is not careless or naïve; not again; not with this boy. She turns to face the mirror image of him garbed and painted in white and black.

It is sheik for a dead thing, but he smells like those familiar spirits with that teasing brush of Ichigo and she does not like it.

That's what she says.

"It's not patience" She replies and she can imagine him cocking his head to the side as he questions-

"Oh? What is it then?"

Her eyes are set and she does not answer him. Instead she decides to move things along and regards him with the name she is most familiar with his kind.

"Hollow."

"Hichigo – I'm much different than those beasts—"

"Hollow," she interrupts him, a bit more assertive than before.

His face screws and Rukia holds her tongue, for she so desperately wants to rebuke habitually that one should not make such a face at a lady, Ichig—

"Shirosaki, then," he bargains, but Rukia does not bid on what she does not want.

"Hollow." She nearly bites it out this time, and his hollow both admires and hates her for this loyalty.

But this Shirosaki is a quick learner, and Rukia is a creature of curious nature. She's much too nosey to let something unexplored pass her by when it willingly is allowing her to out-step her boundaries and proceed well into his own territory.

He pivots on his heel and begins to saunter away – hand raised above his head as a casual adieu.

"See ya," he chirps.

Rukia knows this game, and she is angry, [sofuckingpissed as Ichigo says] that she has to play along.

"Shirosaki!" Rukia calls, annoyed that he so easily manipulates. And as expected, he stops and gives her a handsome little smirk over his shoulder.

"Not too tough, I expect?"

And she gave him the iciest Kuchiki glare she can muster.

Which does not matter to him, because names of people he cares little for and has even less interest in do not mean a thing. Rukia counts where Kuchiki does not and that is all that matters.

And really, she is simply part of this fucked up game of puppets and puppeteers he runs.

He turns back and even hums a tune in his stride.

"Y'know, I ain't got a name."

He says this, and Rukia is perplexed. She furrows her eyebrows, suspicious at his new riddle and licks her lips before retorting back.

"But you just—"

He cackles in interruption of her accusation and gives her one of those grins – those grins which a hollow can't sport, but an Ichigo most certainly can, so she gets so, so angry that it can, and does it so well.

"Aaahh, that was a test, you see." He waves his fingers like a wand and his words are the magic that flow out.

Rukia does not like his cunning, and she almost laughs at her thoughts of yes, this most certainly is the opposite of Ichigo.

"A test," she parrots, miffed.

"Indeed. And you passed. Bravo~" he croons, and gives her a one-man clap that echoes so softly in the soundlessness that is Ichigo's mind, Rukia is sure one could mistake the applause for the beating of hummingbird wings.

"You almost didn't, though. You were in a dangerous zone! But you got out – admirable, Rukia, very admirable." He beams at her and Rukia is enraged.

"How do you know my name," she demands, fists clenching but not yet itching for her blade. His smirk is coy at her question and she feels her fingers twitch.

"How could I not is the real question." The man [creature] before her grins and preoccupies himself with his black nails.

"Stop your mind games!" She is seething and tired of dancing around subjects that do not matter. The man [creature, Rukia, CREATURE] cackles for he is amused by the irony.

"Oh, but it's my specialty."

Rukia knows that it is pointless to argue about this creature's sanity, and decides to take things into her own hands – speeding things along were not going to come from his participation in the silly conversation.

What conversation? This isn't a fucking conversation, Rukia, it's—

"Why do you wish to see me." She seethes the question, voice hard and cold and the hollow finds himself enjoying it completely.

"I don't believe it's any different than the reason why you wish to see me." And there he goes again, waving his hand around like a maestro – his orchestra the worldly strings of minds around him.

And Rukia does not like that he is right. She does not say another word and the smugness in the hollow's eyes is nearly tangible.

"You see, these buildings gab all day. And Ichigo's mind is so fucking empty, it just echoes."

Rukia's eyes are curious now – that type of curious sapphire with that hint of violet which siphon into gold.

"They speak?"

Absurd, Rukia says to herself. They are large rectangular structures made up of glass and metal. Speaking is far beyond such elemental capability. But Shirosaki's expression is not mocking and he instead spreads his arms out wide.

"Love, this is the great mind of Ichigo Kurosaki!" He shouts, and his voice is booming.

Of course the buildings speak, Rukia reasons. It is Ichigo's mind after all.

There is a pause before Rukia's eyes narrow.

"Don't call me that."

His face quirks at her inquiry.

"Call you what, love?"

"That!" Rukia barks, and her small fist is clenched tightly around the hilt of Shirayuki. Her cheeks bleed red.

He loves it, loves it, and he understands now why Ichigo argues so valiantly with someone so impossible to win against.

Rukia releases her sword on the hollow and before she is even able to raise her arm, his palm is grasping the weapon and holding it steady.

Rukia shivers because his thumb is stroking the blade as though it were flesh, and it is almost as though he is stroking her face.

"Ah-ah-ah, love; we'll have none of that." And his hand slides down the blade slowly – caressing the blade between bleeding folds of flesh. "I'd rather not bloody that pretty face."

And it is only now Rukia realizes that this time, he truly is caressing her face. Her mind is screaming, screaming because she is doing nothing but gaping and his hand is so warm and so unusually soft.

She feels helpless and angry, which is so very dangerous in the face of being rational in irrational situations. He leans in, his nose nuzzling the crest of her ear, the line of her neck, the hollow of her collarbone and repeats this cat-like motion.

He hums, deep and clear and it so strangely intimate and affectionate, Rukia is frightened and so fucking pissed that she isn't doing anything, cannot do anything, but more so that a hollow is the one performing.

He breathes now and his whispers ring like a funeral bell.

"You smell good enough to eat."

Rukia screams and strikes out her blade.

She thinks she nicks him at the sight of blood, but she is wrong when a pair of white palms wrap around her delicate neck. They squeeze and Rukia gags in need of air for a moment.

"Not yet, Rukia, not yet~" His voice is in her ear and suddenly, she is flying down to the floor of glass beneath her as the hollow pushes her down.

When her back strikes, a rain of water that was once seemingly sediment on the ceramic floor jumps, tiles leaping for a moment – as if the floor was ripped from underneath them and they had yet to fall back into place. Rukia opens her eyes and the water and tiles clack and spatter back to the flooring, having been suspended in the air above.

She is breathing heavy. Her sapphire orbs are wide as she looks around, the scenery having completely changed as though the hollow had body slammed her into another dimension.

She is slow to rise from the floor, feeling as though eyes were on her, burning, burning. She is right, however, for there is a small sloshing of water and a smooth voice beckons her attention elsewhere.

"Love~" He chimes and sapphire eyes whip at him too warily for her taste. She is unable to prevent her mouth from gaping; pink lip hanging just a little bit. The tiles lead off unevenly to a stone bed circled with steaming water and…bubbles; a mimic of eloquently designed baths.

And a bath it is – though seemingly twisted between dimensions of domesticated and wild. Past the bubbles and hot water - which flows over the stone like a cascade - the tiles dance and seep fleetingly into what Rukia deems forest ground. Moss and ferns sprout up along Celtic designs of mystically twisted roots of trees and wood.

It is a captivating scene of a misty, vast rainforest that towered with trees and foliage mystically over the corner stones of the bath. Rukia's mind can only piece together some fantasy of elves and fairies in such a mystic looking wood.

"Look here, love." That voice chimes again and Rukia's eyes shift back – surprisingly more daunting than aggravating. That quickly changes when she spots him—it! It's it, goddamnit!

Perplexity dawns her expression like a curtain presenting a show, and her face is hot in her spout of frustration and perhaps even embarrassment. How humiliating does this creature plan to make this visit, she wonders.

The hollow is wading in the hot water, flitting the bubbles about and purring at the sensation. Rukia sniffs and averts her gaze, not to be taunted by his demeanor. The hollow chuckles at this, wholesome and empty at the same time.

"Love, you are too cute." He admonishes, and Rukia feels her temper rise. The hollow scrutinizes her pink cheeks and believes that a deep, strawberry red would compliment them better. He dips a toe up, breaking the surface and wiggling it.

He is being playful.

Rukia is not expectant of his nature and, as he continues to tease her, she continues to grow more and more impatient. Her shoulders rise and she sputters at him – eyebrows drawn.

"Quit this foolishness and speak with me!" She orders and believes she is seeing things when a span of wings flutter above her and glides into the vast spread of rainforest.

"Come on in, Rukia, the water's great~" He notes in a sultry voice. Rukia feels her mind reeling from the change in character and barks back.

"I will not be puppet to your games, hollow, now start talking!" Rukia is just as confused as Ichigo is when he pouts at her.

"I won't talk unless we're together." How childish Rukia thinks and glares even more so.

"Then you come out here. I am not stepping foot in that water." She states resolutely and stands ground. She is surprised when the hollow shrugs his shoulders, having easily caved and sighs.

"As you wish~" he chirps and stands fully.

Rukia immediately understands why.

Her eyes avert as soon as the Hollow raises himself from the water – her face that desired shade of strawberry red. He is smirking and unashamed as he stands, awaiting her reaction.

He is completely naked below the torso. And above as well, Rukia – call him an it now, when his body mimics his human mirror so well.

Rukia is ashamed to find it is hard to do just that. She feels her nostrils flair and she jabs a pointed finger toward the bath.

"Back in the water. Now." When she hears a snicker and the ring of water, she slowly turns her eyes back to see him submerged decently, though arms lazily perched atop the stone. His chest is puffed in arrogance and he is smirking at her so hungrily, she almost hears the rolling purr of his stomach.

"Come on in, Rukia. The water's great." He repeats and Rukia finally understand.

She glares. Hard.

"I'm not joining you, hollow." She hisses, her hand shifting to grip around the comforting scabbard of Shirayuki's sheath.

But it is not there.

Her eyes are fearful when she finds that her zanpakutou is no longer strapped to her waist. Her hand brushes skin.

"But you're all ready to jump right in." He remarks with a wave of a wet, white palm. His golden eyes are on her hotter than before. Rukia looks down and yelps at what she finds; creamy skin with not a trace of white or black silk. She panics and slaps small arms over whatever she can hide from scrutiny.

The hollow smirks – he's seen it all anyway. And he likes it.

"What sick games are you playing at?!" Rukia bellows, infuriated and thoroughly embarrassed from the shock. The hollow is barely adjourned by her outburst and cocks his head to the side.

"What do clothes matter in the preparation and act of deep conversation?" He chimes wisely, but Rukia is quick to quip back.

"It is a sign of domestication, modesty and—"

"The question was rhetorical for it doesn't matter. Get in the water, Rukia." He says for the third time. Rukia is shocked to find that the third time is, indeed, a charm, for she begrudgingly shuffles over and eases in.

Not without a venomous glare that never wavers from her sapphires to his golden gaze. The water obscures her body from view and the small path of bubbles aid her in decency. The water is warm, but she still feels the chill.

Her eyes never cease their scowl on the hollow. He hums, however, either ignorant or ignoring the malice in her glare, and treads water on the tips of his fingers.

"Are you warming up, Rukia?" He asks, conversationally.

Rukia has never really upheld a conversation with a hollow before and she decides it's best not to start.

However, when she opens her mouth to protest, hissing, she finds that her body has warmed considerably so, and the water has soothed her aggravated nerves. She sees the smirk on his white face and the playful skim of his fingertips.

Rukia's eyes narrow. This was, indeed, the creature who had attempted to eat Ichigo alive, inside and out, and mentally scrape a path into the outside. It is ruthless and spiteful and did not hesitate to try and kill Ichigo when given the chance.

It did not make sense. It did not make sense at all as to why—

"Why are you doing this."

"Doing what, love?" He tweets and Rukia ignores it.

"This. Coaxing me like this. Coddling me. Why aren't you trying to kill me."

And to Rukia's bewilderment, the Hollow begins to laugh. It starts with a giggle, a boyish one at that. Then soon, it erupts into full-blown laughter. His cackling makes Rukia a bit self-conscious and her arms raise over her breasts, though they are blocked from his view regardless.

"What are you laughing about?" She snaps and glares a bit harder than before.

His snickering dies down and when he opens his eyes, they are coy and interested. Rukia draws away, though her back is pressed against stone.

"I'm surprised that you think I would do such a thing. You think I'm unwise enough to nip at the hand who feeds me? Well, at least in the harmful way." He chimes with a teasing little ring and traces a circle on the surface of the water with his index finger.

That is the most perplexing riddle that he has spewed and Rukia finds that she is unable to decipher it at all.

"You don't understand." He states, able to read her eyes.

Rukia does not dwell on it and demands of him instead,

"Explain."

Rukia nearly regrets her decisional choice of words, for the hollow has suddenly advanced upon her and she has nowhere to go but to circle around this stone tub. And with his left, white arm boxing her in and brushing his wrist against her right shoulder, and his right palm encasing her breast, Rukia is stuck.

She opens her mouth to lash out at him; to thrash and kick and bite and punch and tear him away.

Until she realizes that, his right palm is not encasing her breast, but is simply resting right above it- cupping the pumping of her erratically beating heart. When she realizes this, and lifts her sapphires to his golden eyes, her heart rate slows just a bit, though she is still quite wary and unable to decipher what the feeling of his touch is.

"This. This is what I lack, is it not?" He whispers, voice strangely low in comparison to what it has been and Rukia finds herself shivering at how it is so alike.

He leans in this time, his lips barely brushing the shell of her ear and murmurs again, lower, lower, lower, "Tell me, shinigami~ A heart is what a hollow lacks. Isn't that right?"

Rukia curses, for her heart rate picks up again.

"Yes." She agrees and swallows thickly.

"Well then," he continues and slowly draws away from her form. She finds she can breathe again and wonders why the hollow is smirking before she realizes her cheeks are dusted pink.

He does not hesitate at the pleasant color on her face and continues.

"I am a hollow." He mocks, knowing he's just a bit more than that, but humors Rukia's ever so ignorant declaration of his existence. "But I exist inside a being who harbors a heart."

Rukia watches – eyes hardened into marble and listens to him.

"I'm fashioned of instinct and desire, and that little extra oomph given to me that allowed me to materialize was that little incident my partner had training with a man you'd know as Urahara Kisuke."

Rukia's eyes widen and she is speechless – lost and knowing, damnit, knowing she was hanging on his words now.

He smirks and flourishes his hand. "Though I would refer to him as a shady old, old man. Very old indeed."

Questions were buzzing through Rukia's cranium. She has completely forgotten about the forest surrounding them, about the warm water, about her lack of clothing. She just wants answers.

"What are you talking about, 'extra oomph'? Training? Urahara? How do you know all this? How do you know Kisuke?!"

He laughs full heartedly and gives her a coy, pleasant grin. "Love, calm down~ You're going to make yourself blue in the face." He teases and then drops his tone to something more devilish. "I like the blue in your eyes and the red on your face. Don't mix them." He warns and Rukia is reminded that he is dangerous.

She quiets and bites her lip, knowing he'll make sense of it all, but only in due time. Rukia is patient, though she is unsure she's patient enough to deal with his riddles much longer.

"My 'oomph,' love, is what makes me…hollow." He begins and licks his lips, blue tongue darting out across the flesh.

"You see, King had a little brush with being a hollow - without you knowing, of course. He was trying so hard to get you back when they had taken you away." He seemingly sing-songs and Rukia is finding her heart spinning.

Ichigo had almost turned into a hollow?

Her brows sink and guilt swipes at her belly and constricts her heart.

Why…why didn't he tell me?

"Urahara Kisuke had taken him under his wing – I'm sure you know this. But what you don't know is Ichigo had turned into a hollow." He is grinning at her and winks then. "You're looking at him." He explains.

"But…where does desire and instinct fall into this? You're much too sane--…" she shakes her head and the hollow chuckles. "-Much too conscientious to be a regular hollow. How--"

"Ichigo and myself share a mind. Why shouldn't I be….conscientious?"

Rukia finds she is still confused.

"I am made of his desires. His primal instincts." He begins, as though narrating a story. He shifts his eyes to her and smirks devilishly.

"At the time, they were to save you. To survive so he could save you. To get stronger so he could save you. To kill so he could save you."

Rukia is almost disgusted with herself when she feels here heart pounding hotly at the idea.

"Well~ Of course, killing was kind of a last resort deal~" He giggles, then shrugs nonchalantly. "But it was still there. And they still all built together as he trained."

Rukia begins to follow this time. But for the sake of thorough explanation, she listens to him instead.

"Ohhh, and when he turned into that hollow, you wouldn't believe how I fed off those emotions~" He then presented a hand over himself and grinned so complacently, it was like a split across his face. "And here I am~" he chirps languidly.

"So he's dealt with you since that fiasco in Soul Society…" she finishes and the hollow makes a hissing sound of disapproval.

His face is contorted as if she made a comment that stung.

"Dealing with? That's a bit touchy. I was simply…there until I made myself known." He grins and shrugs his shoulders. "He needs me— "

"He does not." Rukia argues with that valiant courage and loyalty and the hollow really feels his skin crawl. The chills feel just so damn good.

"-But regardless of his needs, his urge to rescue you fueled the creation of my now existence."

"So you believe I'm the reason for you being?" She sounds incredulous but the hollow is never more assure.

"That's exactly what I know." He avoids this trifling use of the word 'belief' for it is a personal opinion but what he's talking about is fact.

Rukia's gaze is ever lingering; debating, mulling, washing over this information as she stares at it – humming pleasantly and tracing the pads of his fingers across the water.

Her brows furrow more.

"I do not believe you." She states; strong and powerful. She pays no mind that she is nude before this powerful being, curled within a warm tub with it and denying it her submission to this 'truth' that he speaks of.

"Oh?" He chimes, curious at her response.

She lifts her chin and sniffs. "You are a creature of darkness- created by the excluded thoughts that Ichigo refused to acknowledge, compressed together and formed into a spiritual being; a hollow, simply because the life form you reside in his half dead himself; to which you negatively mimic."

His stare is curious until she continues and it is then he slowly begins to stiffen.

"You are not fully hollow, nor are you fully anything else, for you live a half life of a ghost and a half life of a conscious thing with a mind to create witticism and charm, insanity and power, yet you have nothing else to push you to materialize- create life and your own body to live in. You are an imitation of an ignorant Ichigo Kurosaki and it is due to your ignorance that you, hollow, are nothing more than his shadow!"

His fingers are around her throat now and she is lifted from the tub; water flowing down her flush naked form. She is gagging and scraping at his white fingers as he squeezes. She can see his eyes sparkling and his lips cracking his face in a dark smile.

"Aren't you beautiful." He says, low and gritty before she is swirled around and her back is thrust against something hard and cold and it knocks the wind from her. But she does not stop fighting for air.

Its body is hard against her own, one hand still gripping her throat as he molds against her form and hums into her ear. They are clothed now – decent in their shinigami robes, but she can still feel the warmth of the water emanating from its skin and it is terribly hard to deny how dazed his pressing form is making her.

"You don't get it, do you, Rukia-chan." He snickers into the shell of her ear and begins to nibble along the lobe.

She grunts and struggles against him, pleased to get an airflow but not happy with the heat wave his actions are permitting – thus restricting what little air supply she can squander.

"I am his fighter. I am the fighter. I'm that instinct; raw and carnal and it is he who is ignorant. He comes to me to learn how to fight and survive and if he passes my tests, I teach him." He growls low and nips the skin behind her ear as he presses his chest against her own; pleased to feel her little hands pressing and scratching and pushing against him.

"It's the last fucking thing I'd like to do, but he holds the reins and if he dies, I go kaput as well. Frankly, I'd like to tear off his head and take his throne" He chuckles then and shakes his head.

"Silly little Rukia. You can't pretend I don't exist. I may not be born of the womb and beat the heart of a living breathing soul, but I ain't a fucking cloud of imaginational dust created for convenience." It whispers softly and one hand goes to her chest once more, pressing against her heart before it cups her breast and squeezes the mound of flesh.

It earns an aghast little gasp from the puny shinigami and she struggles more valiantly against his hold.

"Rukiiaaaa~" He sing-songs, breathily into the air like a warm wind brushing by with a rolling distant storm deep in the heats of summer. She is flushed and angry and trying hard to reach for Shirayuki who is back at her waste and pulsing.

"Fucking hell, I want you so bad~" He growls against her ear and Rukia stills. She cannot believe what she hears and thus picks up her movement more – pretending that his words have fallen upon deaf ears. He snickers and begins to knead the cupped flesh softly to which Rukia whines angrily and begins to kick her feet.

"You don't know how badly I want to eat you. You smell so fucking delicious; and when King sniffs you when you're standing so close, your scent just carries along the wind and I can't fucking stand how much I want to feed on you." Rukia can no longer discern if his desires consist of sexual motivations or the hollow's drive to snack on the ripe soul of a shinigami.

"But I'd be damned if I'd submit to my own undoing." He murmurs softly and pulls his mouth from her ear. Rukia is panting softly and her cheeks are pink with sapphire orbs, glazed ever so slightly. She is still having a hard time gathering proper air, and with his other hand softly kneading her breast, her concentration on gathering air and escaping is waning.

She shakes her head and whines a bit more, pushing against him – "W-Wha—"

"I'd drown if I even took a little nibble~" He admonishes in almost a strange, cynical amusement. "Little baby King would make it rain until the floods would look like rivers and the sky would look like ocean. He'd never recover if you were damaged~" It looks over her face and grins whimsically at the beautiful creature before him.

He throws his arms out then and cackles lightly. "You're the sun in the sky, Rukia! That ray of light that evaporates all those awful rain clouds." He stares at her, eyes deep, heavy, gleaming. He is angry suddenly and his palms are on her shoulders, pinning her to the wall once more and growling.

"You don't know how fucking hard it is for me not to devour you right now. You smell so good, love~" He whispers and shakes his head with a grin. "But I can't do a fucking thing." His brows raise and he sniffs softly. "I want to know you, Rukia. I want to know why you make things so dry, so bright, so warm~" His hands squeeze ever so slightly and it is almost frightening how much he resembles his King. "Is that too much?"

His gut is pierced then, right clean through, by a gleaming white blade, cold and beautiful and Rukia's arm is extended forward as she grips Shirayuki. He is surprised that this beautiful blade has run him through, but more so that the shinigami before him has taken him by surprise.

" 'Parently so." He answers his own question with a scoff and a twitch of his brows before he nonchalantly removes his torso from the blade and tinkers with the end of it.

She is breathing hard, impulse having driven her arm forward to pierce his body. She is frightened, but not of him. In all honesty, she is unable to identify what it is exactly that has her so scared. The anxiety is different from any type of fear that she has had before.

He sniffs then and pushes the blade away, the hole in his abdomen bleeding and seeping down onto the metal and glass – splattering as it hits the pane of the tilted window and smearing as it continues to drip.

"Fine." He concludes and Rukia sucks in a stiff breath. She realizes now. He is done with her – at least for now, and she is afraid – afraid that she may never return and right the wrongs she may have made.

"I'll let you try and figure it out." He chimes and leans in a moment to brush his mouth against her neck. She is slow in her thoughts and only manages to draw away when a sharp pain erupts from her jugular. She jerks away and hisses, slapping a palm over the nip wound – now bleeding form where he has bitten.

"What the hell are you talking about," she tries, her heart beating faster and faster as he advances.

His elbow extends back a bit and he cocks his head to the side – his neck cracking.

"Just what the hell he wants to do with you, is what-" he starts and she barely notices that his hand is in her gut, just as that insane blue-eyed espada had done, and he twist his fingers in delight.

"-Love." He finishes, chiming so pleasantly against her ear as he twists his fingers all the way around, as if winding a clock and she chokes.

His fingers pull out, he blows her a kiss, and there is suddenly a rush of sun, metal, glass and sky – as if she is falling into a black hole and she is still and staring and vacant in the mind as opposed to filled with thoughts of her life and the one whose mind she tried to penetrate.

She sits up.

Gasping, breathing hard.

Eyes wide, blue and shattered as she tries to pick up the pieces.

A palm goes to her belly and there is no warmth of seeping blood. She is intact and there is no ache of torn muscles and flesh and organs.

She notices then that panicked filled amber orbs have been staring at her all along and she whips her head up.

She is seated at the end of his bed and he is frozen, observing her like he had so long ago. Analyzing with frantic eyes.

She holds her hands up quickly.

"Ichigo, I'm fine." She assures him

But his gaze is unrelenting. Something sickening is twisting inside her gut as she sees his broken stare.

He speaks then, deep voice dipped richly in guilt.

"You're bleeding." He says softly.

Her brows furrow. She is confused, for she had checked herself over and her stomach was not run through. But she notices then, that her hand is stained and she stares at it a moment.

His palm us cupping the side of her neck then, and when he draws away, he too bears the mark of fresh stained blood on his palm. It's beaded and small, but it is there and to him, that's all that matters.

She knows then.

That it is not the last time she will see it.

She lifts her eyes to Ichigo and they sit there, staring, staring, staring.

"I need to ask you something." She says softly, after an eternity of amber and sapphire.

His hand grips tightly, the smell of her blood so delicious.

And he waits.


END OF PART I


Lendra-chan:

Yes. It's been ages. I understand.

And I'm terribly sorry. I just need major motivation and I have ADHD – those two don't work well.

Please review this – I worked very very hard on it.