Taste of Life

Viva la Viveca

Disclaimer: I can't remember the name of the guy who owns Bleach. I just remember the name of the guy who owns Ichigo. His name is Kenpachi Zaraki. The other guy... well, he should find solace that I don't profit from things like this.

Summary: Sequel to Sweet Dreams. Now mated to the demon king Kenpachi, Ichigo must readjust to his new life. AU, KenIchi, yaoi, smut, Mpreg. Minor IkkaYumi.

To My Regular Reviewers: Betcha didn't miss me too long, didja?! DDDDD I plan for the chapters to be much longer in this one. I'm talking like double chapter length (think about as long as the very last chapter of SD.)

Chapter 1 :: Morning

Ichigo groaned miserably, trying to block out the bright sun filtering through the one large window in the room. He had once questioned why there was only one window, but today, he decided, he wished that window would fucking disappear. His head hurt. His ass hurt more, now that he attempted to move. His arms were a bit sore, and there were muscle aching that he didn't even know existed until now.

"Ahhh fuck..." he burrowed into the blankets and scooted to get closer to his lover. All he got was the empty space where the larger man normally lay. "Kenpachi???"

His throat sounded a bit raw, and he knew exactly what from. The exact same thing that was causing his pain everywhere else; Kenpachi's insatiable sex drive. Ichigo sat up with some difficult, looking around the room with bleary eyes and wondering where the hell he had disappeared off to so early in the damned morning. "Kenpachi?" he sighed when he got no reply, flopping back in the large bed. It felt empty whenever Kenpachi wasn't in it with him, which was extremely rare.

Of course six months ago, when he originally met Kenpachi, he never figured he would be so totally, utterly... well... in love.

Now it wasn't even a question whether he loved the man or not. It was a fact of life, and Ichigo couldn't imagine the world without him. Well... he could, but he figured he'd still be miserable, or worse, mated to some idiot like Grimmjow. Not that he didn't like Grimmjow, he just wasn't fit to be a mate.

Ichigo sat up again and managed to get out of bed with a little bit of effort. Finally he made his way to the bathroom to assess the damage done to him the night before. Most people would be horrified by the bruises on his thighs and legs and arms, but he smiled. They were an improvement over just a couple months ago when Kenpachi had first let loose his full power and had gotten a bit carried away. Now he could get away with just a few minor bruises while Kenpachi had his eyepatch off. Which he required while they were alone. Getting used to that power bearing down on him hadn't been difficult, it was just during their sex that it got a little too much to deal with.

He climbed into a shower without another thought, his aching body soaking up the hot water like a sponge. His groan was in pleasure this time as he slowly relaxed and his muscles began to feel a little better. At least most of them. He knew his ass would be sore for a day or two from the abuse it had taken last night. He was thankful for his ability to heal so quickly otherwise he had no doubt he would have been permanently damaged internally months ago. He didn't blame Kenpachi, he normally was moaning and trying to get more and Kenpachi didn't seem to know his own strength when handling him. He knew it was because he let Kenpachi do what he wanted, and because he could tolerate the strength. Besides, his mate would most likely leave him be for a couple days and treat him like a wounded child. Ichigo didn't mind those days one bit.

He had gotten into a pattern here, almost like his routine he had at home, only with a lot more sex involved and a certain demon child attached to his leg most of the day. He didn't mind Yachiru calling him mommy really, it was just a fact of life and he knew some day he would have kids of his own and Kenpachi's calling him the same damn thing.

Every morning he woke up. Some morning he woke up in pain. Some mornings he woke up with a cock still shoved up his ass. Some mornings he actually woke up without any pain. Then he showered (it was pointless to shower at night for him after all), and headed down to the kitchen for a wonderful breakfast, provided by their cook Yumichika. Yumichika was a pleasant fellow, the mate of one of the guards in the manor, and only a half demon himself. This was something they found they had in common, their human blood. And they often talked about their families. Yumichika's had been forced to sell him for the right to live, and he had wound up in the hands of his future mate Ikkaku's family. He had grown up with Ikkaku and when it was discovered he was a carrier for their race, he was pretty much hitched off to the man then and there. Yumichika didn't mind; he and Ikkaku had been having an affair for almost a year by then.

Afterwards they had escaped their homeland when it was destroyed by a minor demon lord on a rampage, and Kenpachi had taken them in and gave them shelter. And jobs. And a bedroom they could use for more than just sleeping. Ikkaku was one of the few that Kenpachi called a friend.

Ichigo loved the story, mostly because when Yumichika told it he became so lively, and his eyes lit up in the memories. It was nice to know someone else had gotten their happy ending, especially since stories like that seemed rare.

Yachiru's story was a nice one too, albeit much gorier and shorter. She had met Kenpachi on the battlefield shortly after the Demon Wars had ended, crawling around and trying to get to the other side so she could get away. She came across Kenpachi sitting there by himself looking at the dead body of his father, who had died trying to take out the last of the rebellion alongside the remnants of Isshin Kurosaki's army. She looked up at him, giggled, poked his sword and then attached herself to his leg. That was that. Kenpachi took her back home with him since she was the first to not be afraid of his power besides his own, now dead, family. He adopted her as his daughter and awaited the day Isshin would have a daughter that he would take as his mate. He got Ichigo.

Ichigo had once voiced his silent fear of Kenpachi getting bored and some day not wanting him; of wanting a real woman instead of some half-breed male that could give birth because of the demon race's circumstances. To say Kenpachi's reaction was angry was an understatement. There was a long drawn out speech (with a very loud voice that he denied was yelling), about how much he loved Ichigo and how long he had been waiting for him even though he could have mated long ago (Ichigo only knew that Kenpachi was somewhere under a hundred years old as he was old enough to partcipate in the Demon Wars over fifty years prior,) and how he would never get bored.

The he decided to show him why. That was the first night Ichigo had ever gotten to look in both Kenpachi's eyes while he screamed out his name in orgasmic bliss. After that Ichigo was determined to get used to Kenpachi's power, and to teach the demon king to be a tad bit more gentle than he was.

Ichigo finally climbed out of the shower when the water started to get a bit chilly, wrapping himself snuggling in the big fluffy towels he had come to love. He dug through the closet that was mostly filled with his stuff. Kenpachi only owned some clothes, and most of them he stuffed into the dresser out of laziness, leaving Ichigo with enough closet space for everything he owned. It was an unspoken compromise that worked for them.

After finally picking out his clothes for the day, and struggling to put on his jeans (he was gaining weight, and he blamed the good cooking and the fact he had little, if anything exercise related to do) and his t-shirt, he headed down to the kitchen for his breakfast.

"ICHI-MOMMY!!!!" a squeal that he could have heard from miles away was the only warning he got before landing hard on his ass with a pink head of hair suffocating him. He flinched as he was reminded that he wouldn't be sitting comfortable today, especially after the painful landing.

"Good morning to you too, Yachiru," he ruffled her hair and stood up with her in his arms.

"Sorry about that, Ichigo-san," Yumichika came rushing after her, looking worried. "She didn't hurt you did she?"

Ichigo chuckled. "Nah, I'm used to it, and how many times do I have to tell you to call me Ichigo?" Ichigo smiled at his friend. It was a formality they had yet to get over, but Yumichika was trying as best he could. He was just so used to treating everyone as a higher position that it was a habit by now. Especially since Ichigo was a higher station; 'bride' of the demon king Kenpachi Zaraki, and son of the demon king Isshin Kurosaki.

"Sorry, Ichigo," Yumichika gave him a smiled and scratched his cheek. Yumichika was what Ichigo would describe as a pretty boy. He woke up at some ridiculous hour to primp and make himself look as good as possible before heading off to the kitchen to figure out what things to make for supper. He just made everyone's breakfast as they came in, just as he did with lunch (at least until Ichigo demanded he be allowed to make his own sandwich at the very least, citing that he was very specific about how he liked his sandwiches, which fully convinced Yumichika to agree to it.) The cook wanted everyone to have everything the way they liked it; he fully believed in letting Ichigo make things he wanted a specific way if he couldn't do it right for him.

Despite being the home of a demon king, only four or five guards lived here with their mates, each of them having their own duty. The only ones Ichigo ever saw was Ikkaku, and another one that rarely spoke and wore a mask over her face to hide a notoriously hideous burn she had received as a child. When Ichigo had gotten up the courage to ask her about it she laughed and said in her odd accent: "Twas za dwagon zat lived in my homeland."

Shortly after that he found out she had originally been a dragon hunter that Kenpachi had took in because of her reputation and because she mated with a servant that had served his family since his father's time.

The others that he had contact with weren't anything special. One did all the laundry, one cleaned most of the halls and things like that, and the others he failed to notice what they did. He felt sort of guilty for that, but at the same time he knew it couldn't be helped when Kenpachi seemed determined to keep him close.

They walked down to the kitchen together, Yachiru talking non-stop about some weird bird she saw that morning in the tree outside her window. Ichigo smiled and just agreed with whatever she said before sitting down at the kitchen table and ordering his normal breakfast of cereal and fruit. Lately it was the only thing that agreed with his system. Yachiru disappeared like she normally did, already have eaten. "Hey, Yumi, have you seen Kenpachi today? I woke up and he wasn't in bed. It's not like him to at least not wake me up and tell me he's going somewhere."

Yumichika sighed and shook his head. "Ikkaku was gone too before I even was up. That worries me... considering I looked around and they weren't fighting each other... not that we wouldn't have felt it from a mile away," he gave a small affectionate smile as he cut up fruit for his friend. It was no secret that they liked sparring together mostly because Ikkaku was one of the few that could give Kenpachi a challenge, next to Ichigo. The lovers had fought once or twice since his arrival, just to test Ichigo's real strength, but one time had ended in a draw, and the other ended in sex.

"Hmm... maybe there was an emergency or something? Or something they had to do that they forgot about? Or they're drunk out back again?" both men frowned at that thought as Yumichika set a bowl of fruit and a bowl of cereal in front of the orange-haired demon.

One day when Ichigo and Kenpachi had gotten into their first ever actual argument, they had found Kenpachi and Ichigo drunk in what might have once been a beautiful garden but now was just a tumble of weeds, hedges and barely living flowers, complaining about their respective mates. As funny as it had been, they were still disciplined. This was when Ichigo had discovered that when he got pissed off and denied Kenpachi sex, the demon king bowed down to his mate. And would find a way to sneak into bed at night, somehow managing to be cute even though he was such a beast of a man in size and appearance. That was part of his attraction though.

Ichigo thought of places they could be. He figured they weren't in the castle; he had become attuned to Kenpachi's aura, he would have sensed it if it was still in the building. Something niggled in the back of his head, something that worried him and he didn't know why, but he was determined to find out. As soon as he finished breakfast of course!

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AN: annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd another anticlimatic cliffhanger. Because tomorrow the REAL fun begins 3 and yes, I'm going to be a bit evil to poor Ichi and Ken.