It wasn't often that Ichigo had to share the gym's equipment with someone else at this late hour. He followed an odd routine himself – sometimes sleeping in 'til midday, other times waking at dawn, and either having a very early or very late night – and as such, his daily training tended to occur at odd hours. His part time work as security personnel, or occasionally bodyguard if the job called for it, kept him occupied at all odd hours.

So at 1:00 a.m. at the all-night gym he frequented, he generally expected to be alone. Not so today, apparently.

He'd just finished a round of bench presses, when the door swung open. It had a sticky sort of sound, the kind that comes with all that rubber on the edges to keep it 'silent', and he glanced up, wiping sweat off his upper lip to see a petite blond walk in.

There was no way he'd mistake this one for a girl, no matter how delicate his features were or how short he was – his body was toned and muscular. The simple black singlet and baggy sport shorts certainly weren't disguising breasts, and the look the blond gave him as he stepped in was calm, assessing, and clearly would brook no nonsense. It wasn't a look he usually got from females, given his tall stature and fiery hair.

Ichigo watched silently, stretching his arms a little and turned facing half away. There was a pretty good view of the city where he was – it was the highest building around in the quiet neighbourhood and made for a pleasant jog whenever he decided to use the treadmill. It wasn't particularly often

When the blond took a swig of his water bottle, popped the cap shut and stood up languidly, Ichigo moved to a treadmill. The treadmills and the bicycles beside were the only pieces of equipment in the gym that faced away from the centre of the room, and as such Ichigo figured he'd be able to finish his workout in silence and partial privacy.

Or so one would think. A minute later, the blond had stepped up to a treadmill as well. Not right beside him, but two down from him. And it ticked Ichigo off. He turned the speed on his machine up a little and steadfastly looked out the window. A sidelong glance every few minutes revealed that the slender man could certainly hold his own, and his build was probably more suited to running than Ichigo's was.

Ten minutes.

A sly glance sideways from the blond showed Ichigo blue eyes and a very, very tiny smirk that hat he might have dreamed up. He watched, jogging in place, as the blond man's eyes flickered away and he pressed a button several times on his machine. The treadmill began to go faster.

Not to be outdone, Ichigo upped the speed on his treadmill again. And again, for good measure.

Thirty minutes.

For a long, long while, all that could be heard was the light steps of each man, and the whirring of the machines.

Ichigo increased the speed again, even though he was now beaded all over with sweat. He steadfastly ignored his contender, although he could now hear small gasps of breath that weren't his own. His machine was making a racket now, getting louder and louder…

Thirty-five minutes.

He sprinted. The speed was set at maximum. He had no doubt his competition was in the same boat, if the sounds of exertion were anything to go by…

And Ichigo gave up first. With a heavy expulsion of air he hit the off button, slowing down over about twenty seconds until the belt came to a halt. He held his breath for a split second and had to let it go – after a full solid hour in the gym beforehand and the impromptu race against the blond, he was, quite frankly, buggered. He managed to walk to the front of the room with dignity, barely noticing that his foe's machine had also come to a stop, and reached gratefully for a cup next to the water cooler.

A bottle came in contact with his hand before he grabbed a cup. He looked down, then up – the hand holding it out to him belonged to the blond man. The man gave a tiny smile, shaking his bottle a little, and Ichigo blinked. "Cloud." The other man said.

It took all of fifteen seconds for Ichigo to realise what that meant, and by that time Cloud had turned away. "Ichigo," he stammered back lamely, twisting the cap on the frosted water bottle. The slight nod from the other man was all the acknowledgement he got before he swallowed several huge gulps of the chilled water.

When Cloud started to do some exercises, presumably to warm down, Ichigo watched for a few minutes, bottle in hand, before joining in. Just a little bit. And he talked this time.

"You come here often?"


"So do you just use the gym, or do you do any other sports?"

"…Judo, and kendo."

That was a bit of a surprise, although it shouldn't have been – Ichigo knew enough people proficient at all things deadly by now to know better than to judge someone so quickly. And that look earlier, the one that said 'I can take you' – shouldn't that have informed him? Regardless, he shook his head and stretched out his legs some more.

"You do that much?"

"Some training every day. Weapons need constant practice and fitness."

That, Ichigo could definitely relate to. He'd had some odd customers in his line of work, and several had required him to be proficient in the use of a very, very large katana before he was deemed acceptable by their standards. The pay was the best he'd ever received, so it was a worthwhile skill for him to pursue.

Ichigo straightened eventually, glancing at his company as he did so. "I'm going to hit the showers," he said almost apologetically.

Cloud nodded back. "Tonight was just a quick session for me," he said quietly, gathering his things. An explanation of sorts, Ichigo suspected, as the other man led the way to the change rooms.

They stripped off, and Ichigo most definitely had to avert his eyes. Nudity wasn't something often came into contact with, particularly from the waist down, and definitely not in a typical western shower setting. He blushed – he could feel his ears burn – and quickly moved into the nearest cubicle. Seemingly unconcerned, Cloud walked slowly past to the cubicle beside him, completely naked and without even the token towel Ichigo had wrapped around himself to preserve a semblance of modesty – and turned the taps on not long after Ichigo himself did.

The warm, warm water was comfortable, and just sharp enough that it heightened the buzzing sensation in his nerves; his muscles were already burning pleasantly after the hard workout, and the water felt much better than his sweat did, especially in the cool air. He sighed, running long fingers over his scalp until his eyes fluttered closed…

And he heard something next door. One eye came open, and while Ichigo would not look over the cubicle to see, he shot a curious look at the bottom of the dividing wall. Their showers both led to the same shared drain, and beneath it, Ichigo could just see Cloud's feet, set about a shoulders' width apart. Another sound came, and another, and they sounded an awful lot like somebody trying to keep the sounds in.

Cloud appeared to be jacking off.

And the thought got Ichigo hard almost immediately. He tried passing it off as the exercise, the adrenaline – he knew several guys in the company he worked for who often had an erection at the end of a shift that had involved fighting – but he couldn't deny that the sounds next door and the thought – oh, god, the thought of that blond, with his eyes closed and his tongue protruding just a little from that soft pink mouth, gasping with each touch, maybe even tugging at a nipple between each firm stroke on his cock and having to bite his lip to stop from making any louder noises – it was enough to make Ichigo seriously reconsider his already doubtful sexuality, be done with his modesty, and slip around into that cubicle right now.

But he didn't. Instead, he let his eyes close again, groaning softly as the water hit his sensitized skin. His fingers danced lightly over his chest, his other hand, which had been simply feeling the pressure of the shower before now went behind him to press against the cool tiled wall to steady himself – he was leaning back now, feeling that water hit his face and chest and even lower down, and he was rubbing his throat and then, and then, with agonizing slowness, he moved one hand down his chest, trailing his fingers oh so gently and imagining all the while that it was somebody else's hands, that there was somebody else making a beeline for his throbbing manhood.

And ever so gently, like the touches of a butterfly, one finger, then more, ghosted so, so softly over the hypersensitive flesh, and he bit back a groan as he threw his head back further, hitting the wall –

And the water turned freezing.

"Shit!" He swore, eyes snapping open and stumbling for his towel after lunging for the taps. A similar cry had come from the booth beside – nobody liked their shower to be cut short – and he staggered out, wrapping his towel firmly around his waist to hide something that was still undeniably there – to come face to face with Cloud. They stared at each other for a moment, then grinned sheepishly.

"Water only stays hot for ten minutes at a time," Cloud explained, grinning just a little. "Should've remembered that. It's so that people don't use up all their hot water."

Ichigo watched the lithe man turn away, reaching for his clothes, and sighed.

My apologies for the somewhat awkward writing, the overabundance of hyphens, the ridiculous premises on which this fic was based, the possible OOCness for each of the characters, the odd pace of the story, and for my first time using the word 'cock' in a fic, ever, I do believe. But this is for a very, very dear friend, and it had to be done. Also, 'throbbing manhood' is a hilarious phrase that may or may not have ruined the flow, and I just had to include it.

To someone I love more than most. Goldie, this is for you. It'll probably get another oneshot or four along with it, too. Because these two guys are kinda hot. XDD

Tallyyyyyyyyyyy is actually using her account, lolwhut?