Title: Protecting the Oblivious

Summary: Who knew fending off perverts from an oblivious Ukitake in the World of the Living would be more strenuous than fighting a group of Hollows? Ichigo had his work cut out for him; however, Ukitake was worth the stress, right?

Pairings: None, really. Maybe a smidgen of IchiUki if you tilt your head just right...

Disclaimer: I own nothing of the Bleach series, so you can't sue me. Not that you'd get much, anyway...

Warnings: Ah, nothing much. Shounen Ai, perhaps? Oh, and Ukitake completely naive and oblivious? Would that be a warning? Also obnoxious pick-up lines that should never, ever be uttered with an air of seriousness. Never...

AN: Don't take this seriously. No, don't, your head will hurt if you do. I swear! It was meant to be a drabble, but it kinda...grew. Yeah, not much else to say, so, um, enjoy?

"And this is my school," Ichigo stated as they stopped just outside the front entrance, giving Ukitake a moment to take in the scenery. "Not as impressive as the Soul Academy, I'm sure."

"Oh, no, it's wonderful," Ukitake said warmly as he allowed his gaze to study the building in front of them, his eyes taking in every detail as if it was highly significant.

It was nice showing Ukitake around his home city, Ichigo decided. The much older male's company was a joy to have. He would listen intently at the stories the locations they come across bring to him, laughing softly at the funnier ones and offering a sympathetic ear and an occasional warm hug at the no-so good memories.

And he really did listen well, taking in every piece of information like it was very important and significant, asking questions at the right time or not saying anything at all, and refusing to press on those memories that brought him pain.

Ichigo really liked spending time with Ukitake.

Ukitake's presence was light, loving and carefree when he was happy, a presence that you could not help but feel when you're with him. His joy was contagious and if you didn't find yourself laughing and enjoying life with him, then there was something seriously wrong with you.

Like, seriously wrong.

It was Rukia's idea that he'd take Ukitake out and away from his Division for a while, claiming that a nice, leisurely walk would do him a world of good. But, as he entered the Seireitei, he was pulled into a rather hasty talk with Kyouraku just before escorting Ukitake into the World of the Living with him. The other male, Ukitake's longest and bestest friend in the entire Soul Society, had told him rather bluntly not to let Ukitake out of his sight, don't let any strangers near him and most certainly, do not, under any circumstances leave him alone.

And for God's sake, don't let him question your actions.

During that conversation, he had no idea what he was so worried about. Everyone knew Ukitake was a captain and he could very well take care of himself, but Ichigo soon learned that Kyouraku wasn't worried about threats from Hollows, but rather the human themselves.

Spending time with Ukitake was nice, but it was hard to relax when you're constantly trying to ward off potential threats in the form of sleazy guys and lame pick-up lines.

Case in point when Ichigo spied a group of males talking amongst themselves, all of them blatantly staring at Ukitake like he was a piece of meat. The clothes that he was wearing; a pair of jeans that sat on his hips that seemed to be made just for him and a top that was a little bit too baggy for him as it kept slipping off his shoulder didn't help much at all.

And then, one of them approached with a cocky swagger in his steps and an egotistical gleam in his eye.

"What has 142 teeth and holds back the Incredible Hulk?" the stranger asked before grinning widely. "My zipper!"

Ukitake blinked at those words while Ichigo resisted the urge to uppercut the guy in front of them, wanting to so badly wipe that ridiculous smirk of sheer ego off his face.

"Ichigo-kun?" Ukitake said his name, turning to face him with nothing but sheer confusion in his gaze. "What's the incredible Hulk?"

"Some big, green ugly dude who has a hard time controlling his temper," Ichigo explained quickly, to which only seemed to confuse Ukitake further, his brow creasing and his nose taking on an oh-so adorable wrinkle.

"Then why does he-?"

"It's nothing to get concerned about," Ichigo interrupted him, snaring his wrist in his hand and abruptly turning him back toward the school, pointing in a random direction as he tried to sound surprised. "Hey, is that Uryu and Chad?"

Ukitake immediately began searching in the direction that he pointed in, lifting his hand to shield his eyes from the sun as he continued to look. "Where?"

However, with Ukitake currently distracted, Ichigo wasted no time spinning around and delivering a powerful kick to the guy's jaw, sending him flying through the air and landing on the ground a few feet away with a resounding and highly painful crack. And as fate would have it, he landed directly in front of his friends, his current state of unconsciousness acting as a warning to them.

"Oh, you were right, Ichigo-kun," Ukitake suddenly stated with an air of excitement in his voice as he turned to him and pointed in the direction he had chosen totally at random. "Ishida-kun and Sado-kun are here. Did you sense them?"

No, he hadn't, but he was grateful that they were here nonetheless when he spied yet another group of males staring blatantly in their direction. He knew Ukitake was a very beautiful man, no sense in denying it, everyone knew, but he had no idea he had this kind of effect on people.

"Sado-kun! Uryu-kun!" Ukitake called them over, the two youths momentarily surprised upon seeing the talented captain in their world. But they immediately pushed away their shock and greeted him with the respect and friendliness he deserved.

Engaging and friendly chitchat inevitably followed, Ichigo making them walk toward the park area as they did so, Ukitake hooking his arm through his. And all the time, he was glancing over his shoulder. Thank goodness, they managed to lose them and he relaxed a little.

But only a little.

Suddenly, a child holding a balloon ran out in front of them, only to trip over his untied shoelaces and he fell to the ground, his face hitting the grass. And due to his fall, he released the balloon and laid rather silent.

"Oh," Ukitake uttered when the child let out a hurtful cry and immediately removed his arm from Ichigo's to make his way over to the child, lifting him up off the ground with great gentleness and soothing his tears by whispering softly and running his fingers through the child's short hair.

Ichigo watched the scene for a moment with a gentle look of his own before he turned to his two friends, a sense of desperation in his posture. If he could see this, then everyone else could as well!

"I need you guys to help me," Ichigo hastily said with a hushed tone, watching Ukitake from the corner of his eye as he spoke with the small child, the tall lanky male crouching down so he wouldn't intimidate the little one, a warm and friendly smile gracing his lips. And the child, who was once crying was now brightly beaming up at him, smiling and laughing in great joy. Ukitake seemed to have that effect on children, no matter where he was.

"What's wrong, Ichigo?" Chad asked immediately as he picked up on his serious tone of voice.

"We have to protect Ukitake-san at all costs," Ichigo explained, temporary ignoring the expressions of surprise on his friends' faces. "Don't let anyone near him."

"Protect him from what, Ichigo?" Uryu asked as he adjusted his glasses to sit further upon his nose.

Before Ichigo could have a chance to reply, he very visibly twitched and stood up straight. He turned his sharp brown eyes in Ukitake's direction, bristling almost wildly as the gentle snowy-haired captain was conversing with another human, the guy standing like a cocky bastard, a tooth-pick in-between his teeth.

"I'm no Fred Flintstone," the guys said with a very overly-confident drawl, practically leering at Ukitake, who was blissfully unaware of the full intention of his words. "But I sure could make your bed rock."

Ukitake titled his head to the side in question. "Who's Fred Flintstone?" he asked simply, causing the guy to deadpan at his response.

"Protect him from that," Ichigo hissed to Chad and Uryu, the two other males seemingly catching on to Ichigo's true words immediately before they hurriedly made their way to Ukitake's side.

Ichigo wasted no time slipping an arm around the Captain's shoulders, pulling him protectively against his side and glaring at the man through narrow, piercing eyes. Chad and Uryu were standing on either side of him, looking just as lethal as Uryu adjusted his glasses again while Chad simple glared down from his lofty height. The guy looked blatantly surprised, but thankfully made no attempt to chat back and quickly got the message.

And like the rat he was, he made a rather hasty exit.

Good, that threat to Ukitake was gone, now they can-

"Hey there, sexy!"

Ichigo twitched. They were being bombarded in every direction.

"I'm the captain of my football team. I play quarterback. How would you like to take a pass from me? I'm sure that you'll score. On second thought, I'll do the scoring."

He received no response from the person he was directing his question to as Ichigo suddenly diverted Ukitake's attention elsewhere as Chad answered his pick-up line by simply shoulder charging him out of the way without uttering a sound, sending him flying some feet before skidding across the dirt and gravel. He then towered over the older, but shorter and weaker man, his one visible eye staring down with utter contempt and warning.

"He's not interested," he simply stated, the dangerous chill in his voice causing the other to literally shiver from fear.

"Did you hear something, Ichigo-kun?" Ukitake questioned, blissfully unaware of the cowering man a few feet behind him.

"Er, nope! Didn't hear a thing!" Ichigo answered hastily, doing whatever he could to draw Ukitake's attention or suspicion away to what was going on around him. "Did you hear anything, Uryu?"

"Not a thing," Uryu replied as he nervously adjusted his glasses, risking a glance of his shoulder as the man who yelled out such a perverted pick-up scrambled to his feet and scurry away like the vermin he truly was. "I'm sure it was nothing important."

"I suppose so," Ukitake hummed lightly in confusion before smiling brightly at the two of them.

Suddenly, a man appearing about middle aged appeared before them, looking Ukitake up and down quite blatantly with a studying gaze, his fingers scratching his chin in thought. "Your face must turn a few heads," he commented.

Ichigo immediately bristled and abruptly turned Ukitake around, the white-haired man uttering a small sound of surprise. "And your face must turn a few stomachs," he hissed back at the man before one again ushering Ukitake away.

And straight into someone else...

"I think I could make you very happy."

"Why?" Ichigo asked as he this time literally hustled the man roughly away, acting more and more like a disgruntled security guard with each passing pervert. "Are you leaving?"

Where the hell were they all coming from? Honestly, if they keep this up Ukitake will be suspicious and might even demand to know what the hell was going on. Or, even worst, think that it was his fault and start apologizing for being such a bother.

Kyouraku-san would just slaughter him if that happened.

"Can I have your name?"

Dammit, he left Ukitake alone for one second!

Thankfully, Uryu stepped in. "Why?" he asked as he stood in between him and Ukitake, adjusting his glasses as he did so, the lenses catching the sun's light and reflecting it straight into the guy's eyes in a rather ominous manner. "Don't you have one already?"

The guy appeared both startled and annoyed, but wisely took a step backwards when he heard a noise that sounded suspiciously like someone cracking their knuckles maliciously. He spared a quick glance at the tall brown-haired male before making a hasty departure.

"Oh, that was quite witty, Uryu-kun," Ukitake complimented sincerely, causing a light blush to dance across Uryu's cheeks.

"It was nothing," he responded, trying to sound and act cool.

Ukitake accepted his reply with a smile while Ichigo placed his hand on the small of his back, leading him again through the busy streets. If they couldn't find solitude away from these idiots in the park, where else could they go? The shopping and market district was out of the question and a bar of some kind wasn't even a remote possibility.

Maybe they could...

"Hey there, beautiful," an unfamiliar voice said with that ever so recognizable conceited drawl. "You leavin'? How about going back to my place?"

Argh! Could they be any more arrogant?!

"Well, I don't know," Ichigo once again found himself answering a question hastily so not to give Ukitake a chance to give the obviously self-centred twit a tiny indication of acknowledgment and pulled him against his side. "Will two people fit under a rock?"

The man looked utterly miffed by Ichigo's interference, but before he had a chance to retaliate, Chad stepped in front of him and cracked his knuckles menacingly, Uryu taking on a rather no-nonsense pose next to him.

"You go ahead, Ichigo," Uryu suggested. "We can take care of things from here."

"Appreciate it," Ichigo said as he gave them a quick two-finger salute, his arm still wrapped tightly around Ukitake's back. "Catch you later. Come on, Ukitake-san."

"Ah, ok," Ukitake said in a slight sense of hesitancy before nodding his head in Chad and Uryu's direction before smiling warmly and offering them a small wave. "It was nice seeing the two of you again. We should catch up again sometime!"

Chad and Uryu made motions of agreements before Ichigo ushered him away as discreetly as possible, knowing that those two could handle whatever those deviants would throw at them.

"Is it customary for complete strangers to ask you seemingly random questions or make puzzling statements, Ichigo-kun?" Ukitake suddenly asked him.

Ichigo wasn't sure how to answer that so simply laughed somewhat nervously before muttering a reply along the lines of; "Well, only when the right person is around." And he left it at that, Ukitake easily picking up the vibe that he didn't want to talk about it in further detail. He didn't want to and he was unwilling to. It would take too long, anyway.

"Oh well, it doesn't matter," Ukitake said cheerfully as he gazed out at the sun slowing sinking into the horizon in an array of colours, alerting to Ichigo that it had quickly reached the end of the day. It was time for Ukitake to be escorted back into the Soul Society.

"I had a wonderful time today," Ukitake told him with sincerity, folding his hands elegantly in front of him, his eyes holding this appreciative warmth. "So, thank you very much, Ichigo-kun. I hope I wasn't too much of a bother."

Ichigo found himself smiling softly in reply at the white-haired captain and shook his head. "No, you weren't a bother at all."

And that was true; he wasn't a bother, all those smug perverts were the bother. Stupid, narcissistic bastards; did they really think they had a chance with someone like Ukitake? Could they be anymore conceited? Honestly!

Anyway, they weren't that difficult to get rid of, just incredibly annoying. It was probably fortunate that Kyouraku-san wasn't here. He could be downright terrifying when he wanted to be.

Ukitake gave him this beautiful, heart-warming smile before he moved toward him, wrapped his arms around one of his and rested his head on his shoulder, sighing rather contently. "I like spending time with you. We should do it again sometime."

Again? Could Ichigo spend the entire day kicking the crap out of guys who just wouldn't take the hint?

Looking down at the older, but slender male resting against his side, Ichigo just melted. "Yeah, we should."


Stepping back into the Soul Society, Ichigo felt a small sense of relief and did his best not to throw his hands up a thanks to whoever was listening that he won't have to deal with perverts with wandering hands and vile tongues for a while. Don't get him wrong, Ichigo had enjoyed being in Ukitake's company immensely today; he just felt utterly exhausted. Who knew literally scaring off cocky, egotistical bastards without Ukitake knowing was more tiring than fighting off Hollows?

"Welcome back, Captain!" Rukia greeted sincerely as Ukitake was escorted back into the 13th Barracks by Ichigo himself as well as Captain Kyouraku who had met them at the gate. "How was your day?"

"Oh, I had a great time," Ukitake said as he carefully arranged his haori upon his person, still smiling as brightly as he did the moment he stepped back through the gate. "Although, I did receive a lot of strange questions, but Ichigo-kun told me they were nothing to worry about. Apparently, it was quite common these days."

Kyouraku turned harshly in Ichigo's direction, looking at him with a critical, searching gaze from under his hat. There was a sense of protectiveness in his posture, his eyes giving off an eerie glint.

But Ichigo easily matched his expression with a somewhat annoyed, yet satisfied expression of his own. "He didn't suspect a thing," he said quietly to the older captain. "And they won't be trying that again."

Kyouraku nodded once sharply. "Good. Those bastards aren't good enough for sweet little Juu-chan."


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