Ikkaku stumbled down the street awkwardly, his feet having a battle of their own as he tried to make his way home. His coordination wasn't working as well as it usually did, and his vision was fogged to a state that wasn't entirely normal either. With a low, wet chuckle he closed his eyes, feeling as his body swayed to the right.

"Ikkaku watch where you're going, you almost ran into me!"

"Then get outta my fuckin' way, Yumi. And stop howlin', my head hurts."

"I wonder why. Maybe it has something to do with all the sake you drank? Really Ikkaku, I thought you could hold your alcohol."

"Shuddup," Ikkaku whined, reaching out blindly in a vain attempt to punch the petite fifth seat. His fist connected with air, and then he felt sword-calloused hands curling around his wrists, pulling them around.

"Come on Ikkaku, I'll help you get home."

"Huh?" Grunting hoarsely the baldheaded man cracked his eyes open, searching for the soft voice behind his lashes. Kira Izuru was in front of him suddenly, the blonde's calm but kind face looking back at him. The third division tugged on his wrists, encouraging him to follow.

"Wha--nah Kira, ya don' hafta. I can make it 'ome alright."

"Don't be stubborn Ikkaku, you can barely walk. You'll end up passed out in an alley somewhere."

"Oh don't even bother Kira-san. Waking up in a muddy gutter will do him some good."

Kira laughed quietly, his pull remaining gentle on Ikkaku's wrists but no less insistent. The third seat found himself going along without resistance, still stumbling over his own feet as the blonde lead him up the street.

"You know, I would have thought you could hold your sake better too," Kira suddenly commented, his voice soft, laced with amusement. "You're giving the 11th division a bad reputation."

Ikkaku just grunted, his eyelashes fluttering lazily. He was too tired and his mind too bogged down with alcohol to come up with a decent retort. He could always just punch Kira in the face, but then again, it was Kira. Guys like Kira didn't get punched in the face by guys like Ikkaku. Guys like Abarai Renji got punched in the face by guys like Ikkaku.

"You should dunk his head in water Kira-san, that'll wake him up to his own stupidity!" Yumichika suddenly called, his voice a high chime as it drifted towards Ikkaku and Kira from somewhere down the street. The baldheaded man wondered briefly why his friend sounded so far away, and then he remembered that the fifth seat had planned on seeing Hisagi that night. Some friend Yumi was, not even sticking around to help Ikkaku with his inevitable hangover. What a fucking asshole.

"And make sure you turn him on his side when he falls to sleep! I don't want him choking on his own vomit, it would be a hideous."

Ikkaku could practically feel the disgust dripping from Yumichika's words. The guy was such a goddamn queen.

"Don't worry Ayasegawa-kun, he'll be fine."

"Whatever you say, Kira-san!" Yumichika replied in his sing-song voice.

Ikkaku let Kira lead him up the street, stumbling behind the other man in a drunk stupor. The blonde didn't say anything else as they made their way to Ikkaku's home, though it was a comfortable silence. As the night's warm air pulsed around him he stared at Kira, his vision blurry but decipherable. Good ole' reliable Kira, the guy that everyone thought had to be walked around on eggshells because of what had happened with Ichimaru-taicho. But nah, Kira didn't need to be tiptoed around. Good ole' Kira was stronger than he looked, stronger than the fragile glass figure everyone perceived him to be. Yea, he was holding up just fine, or as fine as he could manage having his captain betray Soul Society. Fuck if Zaraki-taicho had done that…Ikkaku didn't know what the hell he'd do. Probably because Zaraki-taicho never would do something like that. It was unfathomable.

Good ole' Kira… Good ole' Kira who at that moment smelled like almond (1) and sake, the scent drifting back with the soft breeze to assault Ikkaku's senses. He blinked lazily and inhaled, thinking how good the smell of almond and sake was together, then reopened his eyes to stare at the back of Kira's head. The third division's hair was slightly disheveled, the soft strands out of place from their usual neatness. They appeared almost silvery under the moonlight, as did the pale skin of his neck and face.

Kira was all paleness, Ikkaku realized. Pale hair and pale skin and pale blue eyes.

Good ole' Kira… Good, sweet, pretty Kira…

"Ikkaku? Why are you standing there like that? Come on."

Frowning, Ikkaku stepped forward when Kira tugged on his arm, then grunted in pain when his foot hit something hard and solid. He heard the blonde mutter something softly before an arm was winding around his waist, encouraging him to lift his feet upwards. He realized he'd run into the step just outside his home, and laughed wryly as Kira slid the door open and lead them inside.

"Here Ikkaku," Kira murmured, shuffling his way into the other man's bedroom. Walking towards the futon he turned Ikkaku so they were facing each other, then slowly pushed on the third seat's shoulders. "Lay down."

When Ikkaku's backside hit the mattress he kind of flopped, his body going limp and falling so he was resting on his back. Kira sat on the edge of the futon beside him, smiling softly as he watched the third seat already falling victim to sleep. The man's bald head was turned away from him, and all he saw was the straight line of his nose and the strange red marking above his eye. Why did Ikkaku have those markings on his eyes, anyway?

Sighing softly Kira got up to go into the kitchen, but faltered when he felt a strong hand clasp his wrist, pulling him back down. He fell on the futon's edge with a quiet grunt, then turned to look down at Ikkaku.


"I need t' tell ya somethin', Kira."

The blonde watched the other man as he slowly sat up, the hairless head lolling backwards.

"Ikkaku, lay back--"

"Would ya stop fussin', fuck. I'm just drunk, my kidney ain't hangin' out."

Sitting up completely Ikkaku paused for a moment, his eyes closed. The man swayed and Kira put a hand on his shoulder, trying to steady him. With a lazy laugh and uncoordinated grin Ikkaku opened his eyes.

"Yer 's sweet, Kira," he drawled.

The blonde blinked at him, then smiled faintly. "Right. That's nice Ikkaku, let me get you some water."

"No," Ikkaku said, grabbing Kira's arm when the third division tried to stand once more. "I ain't finished. That's not all I wanna say."

Giving a quiet sigh Kira reclaimed his seat patiently. He reached up to push back a few strands of pale hair, but was suddenly intercepted. He stared in surprise as Ikkaku's hand curled around his own, holding it for a moment before pushing it away. Blue eyes widened further as rough fingers that weren't his own combed through his hair, moving the blonde tresses back. Those same fingers drifted down slowly, touching first his temple and then his cheekbone, ghosting towards his jaw before falling away completely.

"Yer the kinda pretty that'll turn a guy fag."

Kira made a soft sound that may have been a gasp, heat racing to cover his nose and cheekbones. His flush only grew hotter the longer Ikkaku stared at him with drunken eyes half hidden by dark lashes.

"Ikkaku, I think even you have managed to drink too much."

The baldheaded man blinked and smiled tiredly. "I know, I can barely see straight. But that ain't the point. The point is, I think about ya all the time."

Swallowing Kira tried to lean away, certain that his face was now so dark it resembled a tomato. Ikkaku's bold words had to be encouraged by the bottles of sake he'd drunk, and nothing more. The third seat had never spoken to him in such a way, and he couldn't help but feel confused, and even aroused with those dark eyes staring into him. He opened his mouth to speak but Ikkaku suddenly leaned forward, closing the distance between them so they were only inches apart.

"I've never had cock before, Kira," the larger man murmured, a crooked smile on his face. "Be my first?"

Before the blonde could even think of a response Ikkaku was crushing their mouths together in a lazy, wet kiss. He thought he'd been surprised before, but now he was in complete shock. He stared wide-eyed at the larger man, whose own eyes were closed, streaks of red dancing above thick eyelashes. Ikkaku's lips were chapped against his own, the feel of them rough but gentle, however possible that was. The third division tasted like sake and cigarettes. It was such a dark and coarse flavor that it had Kira's heart throbbing against his ribs in a way that wasn't unpleasant.

And then Ikkaku slumped, breaking the kiss so he could sway to the side and fall face first against the futon.

**(1) I love the smell of almond.