I was listening to some old songs, one which inspired this fic: Love Potion Number 9, and this little plot was born. So much for my no new fics until others are finished rule -_-
Special thanks to super-fast beta-reader Dream7!
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in this fic nor am I making a profit off of this.
As they walked down the hall of the sixth division, Renji was enthusiastically telling Ichigo a story about something that had happened the other day between him and Shūhei, but Ichigo wasn't really paying attention. In truth, he didn't need to be there and really should have been at home doing his homework and patrolling for hollows. His friends were still there, though, and so was Rukia, so he figured they could handle things without him for a short while.
"Are you listening to me?" Renji asked, noticing that Ichigo's mind seemed to be elsewhere. The redhead smirked and nudged his friend to get his attention. "You're only here to see my captain, aren't you?" he asked, and had his suspicion confirmed when a blush spread across Ichigo's face.
It was no secret that Ichigo had had a crush on Captain Kuchiki since their fight. The graceful way the man moved, the way he held himself, the beauty that surrounded him; the list could go on. He had spent nights questioning Rukia about her brother until she finally figured out that Ichigo had a crush, which eventually led to her telling Renji.
"So what if I am?" Ichigo growled, coming to a stop.
"I just don't want you to get your hopes up," Renji said with a sigh. He felt bad for his friend. Ichigo's crush seemed to be pretty serious, but his feelings were not returned. Byakuya often looked down on Ichigo, calling him "boy" or bringing up the fact that he wasn't a real shinigami. All those demeaning remarks would have driven Renji off, but his friend was too stubborn for his own good.
"Whatever," Ichigo muttered as Renji walked into the Sixth Division office to see his captain sitting behind the desk. They waited awkwardly for Byakuya to acknowledge them, but even after a few minutes had passed the captain kept working on his paperwork. Renji finally coughed, and it felt like the entire room froze as Byakuya finally looked up at them.
"What do you want?" he asked sternly, and for a moment both of them forgot to breath. The black-haired shinigami set his pen down and stared at them with a demeanor as cold as stone.
"I asked Renji if-" Ichigo started, but the older man cut him off.
"What are you doing here? Your place is in Karakura Town, not here."
Renji looked over at his friend in concern. He could almost see Ichigo's heart breaking, but he held his tongue.
"I'll see you around," Ichigo muttered, feeling like his crush had rejected him before he could even confess his feelings. He gave Renji a single glace before stepping out of the room and walking down the hallway. He felt a pain deep in his chest as he looked back at the door once more.
He'd never had problems getting along with anyone who personally knew him. In fact, it was usually other people who came on to him rather than the other way around. Byakuya was one of the only people who still looked down on him. Heck, he probably had a better chance of getting along with Captain Kurotsuchi. He knew he should just forget about his feelings for the other man; he tried to purge them from his mind every night before he went to bed. However, he always spent those nights tossing and turning, unable to get images of Byakuya out of his mind. He had never had a crush before so this was all new, and to be rejected so quickly hurt more than being stabbed by his enemies.
Ichigo sighed as he exited the portal into Urahara's shop and saw the hat-and-clogged man relaxing in his usually spot with his fan covering half of his face. The teen turned his head to avoid the shopkeeper's gaze and attempted to walk towards the exit without attracting attention.
"You looked troubled, Kurosaki-san," Urahara said playfully. He stood up and lowered his fan to reveal his smirking face, which only annoyed Ichigo more.
"It's nothing," Ichigo replied sorrowfully, and was about to leave when he felt a tug on the back of his shirt. He turned to find Urahara leaning over him, and took a surprised step back.
"No one would believe that. Now come and tell me what's wrong with my student." Urahara pulled Ichigo into an empty room and sat him down. The teen started feeling even more uncomfortable when Urahara sat down next to him and watched him from under the brim of his hat. "Now tell me what's troubling you, and maybe I can fix it." He laughed. "Who am I kidding, I can fix anything."
Full of himself as always, Ichigo thought to himself, but decided to tell his teacher about his problems after all. He needed some advice, and he couldn't tell his dad what was going on because he'd freak out, run to the poster of Ichigo's mother, and cry that their son was growing up. That and his father had no idea about Soul Society and Ichigo's involvement. "I have a crush on someone," Ichigo started – Urahara didn't need to know who – "and that person doesn't have the same feelings for me." Ichigo sighed and looked down, not wanting to see Urahara's reaction. He knew that if he saw the older man smirking he'd punch him so hard his hat would fly off.
"I am sorry to hear that, Kurosaki-san." Urahara leaned forward in thought. He didn't like seeing Ichigo so depressed, at least not unless he made him that way. It would be hard for the teen to start a relationship with anyone with so much going on in his life. He had to deal with school, his personal life, his shinigami life, and then there were all his enemies lurking around the corner. If there was a way he could help him out…
"Ah, I think I have the perfect thing for you." Urahara laughed, standing abruptly and dragging the vizard up with him. Ichigo looked at the man like he was insane … well, more insane than before.
"What do you mean?" Ichigo asked, though he was almost afraid to hear the answer. He knew that with Urahara he'd never get a straight answer, and the results would probably have a few side effects he wouldn't like. Heck, that was the reason he'd ended up with a hollow!
"Come, come," Urahara coaxed, dragging the teen into a back room filled with boxes and other merchandise for the shop. "Hm, now where did I put it?" He placed the fan against his chin and tapped it twice before wandering further into the room. He bent down to look at the bottom shelf, and Ichigo looked away in embarrassment. The older man winked at him; it seemed he'd been purposely trying to get Ichigo to look at his ass.
"Pervert," Ichigo muttered as Urahara stood back up with a small black bottle in his hand.
"Catch!" Urahara tossed the bottle to him and the teen caught it. "This, my dear student, is something I made up a few years ago when Tessai was having some love problems. It makes the person you desire fall in love with you," he explained, and covered his fan with his face.
"But I don't want to force him to love me," Ichigo replied, looking at the small bottle dubiously.
"Oh, no need to worry! It doesn't change the person's personality; it just focuses their attention on you more. All you need to do is add a strand of hair to the bottle and get the other person to drink it," Urahara told him, and Ichigo made a disgusted face. "Don't worry; the hair will dissolve in it, and before you can say anything: no, it's not acid!" Ichigo's closed his mouth; Urahara had answered his question before he could ask.
Ichigo looked down at the bottle, wondering how he'd get Byakuya to drink it when the man couldn't even stand being in the same room with him. "Can it be mixed with something? Like if I put it in a muffin or a rice ball?" he asked, and Urahara nodded.
"Yep; that'd work fine." Ichigo moved to leave again, but his teacher continued, "Oh, and that will be fifteen hours of work for the bottle!" He laughed as Ichigo turned back and glared at him. "Good luck, Kurosaki-san."
"Whatever," Ichigo growled. He swore, if this didn't work the bottle was going up Urahara's ass!
Ichigo knew exactly who to go to for help with cooking. Uryu was an expert in cooking, sewing, and pretty much everything feminine. Ichigo knew he could count on his friend to help him, especially considering how Uryu owed him for saving his life God knew how many times. But unfortunately, Uryu was out of town with his father, and that left only one other option…
"I'm so happy you came to me for help with cooking, Kurosaki-kun!" Orihime cheered as they stood in the kitchen of her apartment. He had thought about asking Yuzu to help him, but that could lead to disaster. He wouldn't know how to explain the secret ingredient he was adding, and he knew his sisters would want to have a cookie after they were finished. On top of that, their father always had to sample any treats Yuzu made, and that just couldn't end well!
"Yeah, thanks Orihime," he said, giving her a small smile as she checked on the cookies once more. He just hoped they didn't turn out as bad as most everything else she made. He could just imagine Byakuya trying a cookie and immediately spitting it out.
"It's so nice of you to make cookies for the people in Soul Society, but I don't think there'll be enough. We might need to make some more!" Orihime worried as she looked at the oven. They were only baking sixteen cookies, and that wouldn't be enough.
"It's only for a few people there. I thought they'd like it since they've been so busy preparing for the war and everything," Ichigo said awkwardly, but she bought his story and that was all that mattered.
"Oh, it looks like they're done!" Orihime said as she put on an oven mitt and took out the pan of freshly baked cookies. Luckily, the potion had been clear and hadn't turned them a suspicious color.
Ichigo stood back as she placed the cookies onto a tray. He hoped this worked; his emotions had been driving him nuts every single night. He didn't care whether or not Byakuya fell in love with him (he hoped he would, but only if it were by his own choice); he just wanted the man to defrost a little and acknowledge his feelings. Now was as good a time as any to try it out, but if this didn't work a certain perverted shopkeeper was getting his ass kicked!
"Thanks again, Orihime," Ichigo said, taking the tray of cookies after she'd wrapped them up. She smiled brightly at him with a small blush on her cheeks.
"It's no problem; we should do it again sometime!" Orihime said, though her suggestion went mostly ignored as he left her apartment. She sighed happily as she went back to the kitchen to clean up. She hummed as she put all the dirty dishes in the sink and threw away the dirty napkins, then walked over to her refrigerator and opened it to reveal a large bowl. Unbeknownst to Ichigo (who had needed to run off to kill a hollow for a few minutes while she was cooking), there was plenty of dough left with which to make more cookies. Perhaps she'd make some more and give them to her friends. After all, if Kurosaki-kun was spreading joy in Soul Society, maybe she ought to do the same around Karakura Town.
Ichigo gave the cookies to Renji since no one would question a lieutenant moving in and out of his division. Of course his friend gave him a look that read "you're pathetic," but he ignored it. Rukia found out, but to his surprise she thought it was a wonderful idea. However, neither of them knew about the potion Urahara had given him, and only thought it was a regular plate of cookies.
Byakuya was walking towards his office, but stopped when he spotted his lieutenant and saw what he had in his hands. Renji suddenly felt nervous about giving Byakuya a plate of cookies, but all he had to say was that it was a gift from someone. There was no need for him to tell his captain who they were from, especially since Byakuya would just toss them in the trash if he found out they were from Ichigo.
"What is that?" Byakuya asked, and Renji gulped.
"Uh, I was told to give these to you as a gift," The redhead replied nervously. Byakuya looked down at the cookies under the clear wrapping, but his face remained emotionless.
"Give them away; I don't want them," Byakuya stated, and walked into his office. Renji frowned down at the plate in his hand. Well, maybe he could give them to someone else. He sighed as he unwrapped the plastic and bit into a cookie. It tasted a little strange, but it wasn't half bad.
A/N: This is a Byakuya/Ichigo fic, and other ppl maybe developing for some feelings for Ichigo, but they are completely one-sided because Ichigo will have feelings for only one person in this fic: Byakuya.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it, and please review!