Title: Hurt and Help
Pairing: Hitsugaya/Ichigo YAOI
Disclaimer: I don't own bleach!
A/N: I'm a little worried abut posting this one. It's my first yaoi fic and I'm not sure I like it so I'm letting you guys be the judges! Tell me what you think!
Hurt and Help
Ichigo watched the scene silently. It was after midnight in seretei and the full moon shone down, glinting in the hair of the tenth division captain magnificently as he trained.
Ichigo hadn't intended on intruding, he really hadn't. Though few people knew it the moon element of his Zampaktou effected him. His connection with Zangetsu was strongest on nights like this one and the teen thrived on it. He'd only been intending on taking a walk, purposely heading towards the abandoned training grounds so as not to disturb anyone so late at night. Instead he'd stumbled across Toshiro.
He hadn't been well since the run in with Kusaka, that much was obvious to everybody in Seretei but Ichigo was particularly worried. The short captain had lost a huge amount of weight and his eyes were permanently bagged in deep purple. The scars Ichigo had seen on his hands spoke of nights of training until his hands bled.
The look in his eyes… It made Ichigo shiver. Not that he could blame Hitsugaya. He'd be no better if he'd had to kill a friend and not even once but twice. It was a cruel fate.
Nobody really knew how to deal with the poor guy. Hitsugaya was extremely private and liable to explode over even the simplest of things these days. Ichigo was pretty certain he knew what was going on behind the scenes though and now that he was there he might as well try and broach the subject, even if he was in for a frosty reception.
"What do you want Kurosaki?" The Captain snapped suddenly, bringing Ichigo from his thoughts.
"How long were you together?"
"What did you just say?" Hitsugaya snarled, his eyes glinting nastily in the moonlight. Luckily for Ichigo he wasn't afraid of the moon or the shadows it created.
"You heard me. How long?" Ichigo repeated calmly.
Ichigo had half expected it so when the blade of Hyorinmaru came down on him he was able to pull Zangetsu just in time.
"This is not a night you want to fight with Zangetsu and I Toshiro." Ichigo warned softly.
"That's exactly what I want to do." Hitsugaya snarled.
"As you wish. You will tell me eventually."
Hitsugaya let out a sound somewhere between a scream and a cry as he threw an attack at the teen.
Ichigo wasn't fighting back.
The thought registered in Hitsugaya's mind as it began to clear. Sparring always cleared his mind… No instead the teen was doing just enough to keep himself safe. Blocking the attacks and giving a slight push if Hitsugaya faltered.
True to Ichigo's word there was something different about the strawberry and his blade tonight. Ichigo was completely calm and he watched him with knowing eyes that had just served to anger Hitsugaya at the beginning. Zangetsu hummed with energy, energy that Ichigo had under complete control. The teen hadn't even released his bankai though Hitsugaya had long ago. Bent on killing anybody who dared step in front of him.
Ichigo was letting him vent.
With that observation the fight seemed to leave the Ice captain. He stumbled, slamming his blade into the earth in an attempt to catch himself but instead found himself caught in a pair of strong arms. He didn't struggle, a sob rose in his chest, ripping from his throat.
Ichigo held the ice captain tight but kept an eye on the area around them. Hitsugaya's spirit energy had shot through the roof before he gave in, assuring them an audience.
Sure enough Matsumoto Rangiku, Abari Renji and Captain's Kukichi and Unohana flash stepped to the edge of the grounds.
Byakuya went to step onto the court but Matsumoto and Unohana grabbed his uniform. All three shook their heads at him. Ichigo caught Renji's eyes. Mouthing the words 'we're fine' and 'leave'. Renji nodded, murmuring something to the others before flash stepping away. Rangiku stayed an extra second. 'Thank you' She mouthed, tears in her eyes. Ichigo gave a slight nod.
Hitsugaya's knees buckled and Ichigo caught the weight, lowering them both to the ground as Hitsugaya sobbed.
"S'okay." Ichigo murmured, rubbing his back in circles. "I got ya Toshiro."
It took Toshiro a good twenty minutes to regain even a semblance of control. Of course as soon as he had it he tried to get up. Ichigo was having none of it though and pulled him back down into his arms.
"You aren't going anywhere until you talk to me Toshiro."
Hitsugaya let out a shuddering sigh but made no attempt to get up again. He was comfortable. It was nice to be held again…
"We g-got together at the beginning of third year. It was the end of third year when it was decided one of us had to die." Hitsugaya said raspily. "We broke up about a month before the fi-ight. H-he changed after we found out. C-controlling and c-cold. Textbook manipulation…"
"It was my fault. He turned bad because he had to kill me."
"No. You listen to me." Said Ichigo grabbing his chin and making the captain look at him. "You Shinigami really have no understanding of this at all do you? Everybody has the potential to do good or evil. Everyone. People choose their paths in life Toshiro and it all depends on your power of will. Sometimes it's easier to be evil than good. You and Kusaka faced a horrible situation but you came out of it good Toshiro and you have to believe that if you came out of it good then Kusaka had the ability to too. He just lacked the will. Life is forever throwing challenges at us but we adapt. Kusaka died and you turned serious. My Mother was killed by a hollow so I stopped smiling and became a Shinigami. Turning bad is just going a step too far. It's lacking the will to fight and you can't change Kusaka's will to fight Toshiro. That's all him."
"Your Mother was killed by a hollow?"
"Grand Fisher. I still haven't managed to kill the bastard."
Ichigo shook his head. "You know hollows are a good example too…"
"You cannot fight the hollowfication process." Said Hitsugaya matter of factly, regaining some of his usual personality.
"I wouldn't be so certain Toshiro. Everybody knows what I am."
"You have an inner hollow."
"And nobody ever bothered to wonder how that came to be."
"You fought the hollowfication process?"
"I did and I won. It isn't just me though. Don't you ever wonder why some souls become hollow faster than others? Why some are more blood thirsty than others? Whether you Shinigami like it or not we're all the same thing. Human, Hollow and Death god. We're all souls Toshiro. Can you see what I'm trying to say?"
Hitsugaya nodded. "You're saying it's a constant fight and some people just give in…"
They were silent a few minutes.
"You fought differently tonight." Said Hitsugaya. "Why?"
"It's a full moon. We always fight better at night, the same way you and Hyorinmaru are stronger in the cold."
Hitsugaya looked up at the moon thoughtfully.
"Why do you bother? Why not just go after Grand fisher and go back to a normal life?"
"Because I'm a good guy Toshiro and I don't have a normal life… I was nine, when my Mother died right in front of me. I wouldn't talk to anybody but Lucy. Everyone assumed she was my imaginary friend. I'd talked about her since I was four. She was actually the soul of a ten year old girl who had died in the clinic… I can't stand by and let people suffer Toshiro."
Which is why you're here talking to me. Thought Hitsugaya.
They fell silent again, Hitsugaya still cradled in Ichigo's arms. Hitsugaya focused on the steady beat of the other man's heart. Stability was exactly what he needed right then and the regular rhythm was soothing.
"How did you know?" Hitsugaya asked the question he'd been dying to know the answer to since he calmed down.
"Reactions and interactions."
"But everyone else saw that too. You're the only person to find out."
"Soul society has a real taboo on homosexuality so it isn't something most would even consider especially not with your position of power…"
"Is it different with humans?"
"A little. There's still those who won't accept it but a lot of people will these days."
"Why aren't you nervous? Sitting with me like this."
A small laugh rumbled in Ichigo's chest under Hitsugaya's ear.
"You're much too upset at the moment." Said Ichigo simply. To Hitsugaya's amazement he felt fingers run through his soft white hair gently. His first impulse was to smack the hand away and tell the teen off for ruining his hair. That was followed closely by an impulse to return the favour, followed by a desire to kiss the substitute Shinigami hard. Hitsugaya shook his head to clear his thoughts none of them were right at that point.
He was just so grateful… His sexuality had always been his darkest secret, the idea of someone finding out his worst nightmare… But never had he dared dream that anybody could possibly accept it, let alone the rash, traditional Kurosaki.
"Ishida dumped me three weeks ago…"
The look of shock on the smaller boy's face was worth blurting out his secret to see and Ichigo laughed despite himself.
Hitsugaya looked up at the teen gaping, his mouth opening and closing silently in shock. He couldn't be serious.
"B-but Kukichi a-and Inoue-san..."
That just made Ichigo laugh harder.
"Sorry to disappoint you Toshiro. Rukia is with Renji and Orihime is lesbian, loves our friend Tatsuki. She just hasn't figured that out yet."
"He's Bi. His dad found out and well… he's one of those humans that have zero tolerance. Of course Ishida slept with a girl outta our class behind my back to prove his father wrong ended up knocking the poor girl up. I was promptly dumped on my ass. Their wedding is next month."
"Ouch." Said Hitsugaya simply. A frown bloomed on his face. "You don't sound too upset."
"Ah, it was fun while it lasted. We fought more than anything else though. Ishida prefers women it was never going to survive."
"Does Kurosaki-taichou know?"
"Dad? Yeah. I told him two years ago. It's not so difficult when you know you're talking to a bi man. He never did much to hide it so our family is pretty open minded. The girls are both as straight as they come though."
"Kurosaki-taichou is bisexual?" Said Hitsugaya amazed.
"Yeah he and Urahara are on and off a long time now. Nothing committed apparently even though a hollow could tell they are." Ichigo rolled his eyes.
Hitsugaya just gazed at him in amazement. He could speak so animatedly on something so frowned upon… Obviously only here in soul society though, Hitsugaya realised. He'd never known that it was something so common, so apparently normal in Ichigo's life anyway.
"Gods it's really in the shadows here in soul society isn't it?"
"I guess so…" Hitsugaya replied.
"Soi-fong taichou is lesbian. She's Yoruichi's long term partner though Yoruichi herself is Bi I've heard some interesting stories about she dad and Urahara."
The smaller boy in his arms went scarlet and Ichigo laughed, fluffing his hair before returning to running his fingers through it. It really was incredibly soft.
"And I'd put money on the fact that Unohana-taichou is sleeping with her fukutaichou…"
"How do you know all this?"
"You just have to look around Toshiro. You've kept your head buried so deep in the sand out of fear that you're missing what's right in front of you. Live a little."
Ichigo shot him a rare smile. Hitsugaya decided that he needed to smile more often. The teen seemed to light up the training grounds… Hitsugaya wouldn't be against being the one to put that smile on his face either.
"Could you stop playing with my hair?"
"Sure… sorry Toshiro…"
"N-no! It's just distracting… that's all."
Ichigo smiled at the hasty explanation but dropped his hand back to his knee next to Toshiro's.
"Thank you… For fighting with me and understanding and letting me cry like a baby and telling me and…. Just thank you… You've done a lot for me… when Kusaka was around and now…. I'm sorry for attacking you back then on earth too."
Hitsugaya looked up and Ichigo smiled fondly.
"Shut up already it's no problem."
Ichigo pushed to his feet, bringing the boy in his lap with him easily and placing him on his feet too.
"I'm going back to earth at sunrise. Come find me when you're up to it…" Ichigo leaned down placing a soft kiss on the captain's forehead. "And even if you aren't and just need someone to talk to come find me anyway, okay?" He asked gently. "You aren't as alone as ya think."
And just like that he was gone, leaving the blushing Captain watching his retreating back, a small smile on his face and a warmth long missing back in his heart.
A/N: I'll admit it. I'm still worried about this one… Oh well. It's up now anyway.