Hungry for Strawberries

Standard disclaimer: all characters herein are the creative property of Kubo Tite.

~Ichihime flash fic, AU-ish




It hurts …

Stumbling down the hall, her delicate hand pressed to her forehead, trying to stem the agonizing pounding. Orihime fought back the urge to vomit as the hammering inside her skull intensified.

What is happening to me?

She had awakened earlier, lying perfectly still as she sensed the familiar reiatsu of her friends entering Hueco Mundo. Trembling slightly as she rolled from the comfortable couch placed in her room, Orihime had glanced to the high window in the wall before racing to the door. They had come for her. Ichigo had come for her.

It was too bad that they were already too late to save her.

It burns …

Wrapping an arm around her tiny waist as what felt like a snake coiled in her stomach, clenching and constricting. Orihime swallowed thickly, fighting this new pain.

She wondered if this was a side effect of Aizen-sama's earlier experimentation. He had smiled that smooth, practiced smile, telling her that everything would be fine, but she could tell that something had gone wrong with his plans.

Forgetting about Las Noches' lord and his dubious schemes for her, Orihime lifted her chin as she sniffed the air. The healer turned her face, following the musky scent. It smelled familiar, like sweat and swords, resolve and rain.

It smells exactly like …

A sudden wave of dizziness broke her concentration and sent her stumbling into the starkly painted wall. Bracing a trembling hand against the corridor, Orihime carefully shoved herself to her feet as her stomach clenched again in pain.

She was starving. Ravenous. Gritting her teeth against the insistent ache, the healer glanced to the doorway of Aizen-sama's ostentatious throne room as her mouth watered when that scrumptious scent swirled around her once more. With a hand pressed to her twisting stomach, Orihime staggered forward on trembling legs, needing to find the source of that delicious smell, positive that it could save her and make this pain go away.

Hearing a whisper of sound, Aizen glanced over his shoulder, watching the russet haired teen lean weakly in the doorway. Orihime had ideal sense of timing, coming without being summoned and just when he was ready for her.

Smiling calculatingly at the young woman's shaking form; he admitted that his slight miscalculation earlier couldn't have turned out better. She was even more beautiful now, hauntingly lovely. A veritable goddess. And like the goddess of old, she radiated power, primeval and animalistic. In a word, perfect.

Wanting to gloat over his newest and greatest creation, the ex-captain knew that now wasn't the best time to celebrate. There would be plenty of time to wallow in triumph, later. His darling pet looked famished, now.

Aizen gestured for the healer to enter with a simple tilt of his head before stating in a gentle, accommodating tone, "You must be hungry."

Orihime glared at him, unusual anger shining in her brown gaze. Aizen must have known this would happen to her. This excruciating pain. The mindless hunger. She wanted to rail at him, cursing him for not giving her any warning, but the healer could only stare in shock as the ex-shinigami captain turned with Ichigo -her Ichigo- held tightly in his arms.

Her friend and brave protector stood woodenly with his back pressed to Aizen's broad chest, his arms trapped at his sides. The defiant look on his face melted off as he stared at her surprise. An immediate look of relief passed through his eyes before his expression grew serious as he took at long hard look at the familiar woman in front of him.

The tip of her tongue wetted her bottom lip as she returned his questioning stare with a pained one of her own. This was just too cruel, Orihime thought as her body leapt to life as the heat of his body, the muskiness of his sweat, and the coppery tang of his blood reached out towards her, mesmerizing her, enticing her.

She had finally found the source of that delicious scent.

"Come my dear, feed." Her eyes flared at the invitation, but still she hesitated until Aizen tilted her friend's head back, baring his heavy corded neck as he temptingly added. "He's all yours."

Drifting forward with unimaginable speed, Orihime panted shallowly, unable to remove her gaze from the pulse throbbing at the base of Ichigo's throat. Wincing as her fangs lengthened for the first time, she drew in his addicting scent as saliva pooled in her mouth.

"Kurosaki-kun smells so delicious."

"Inoue?" Ichigo's disbelieving tone turned to horrified stammering as the redheaded beauty nuzzled his neck before dragging sharply pointed incisors over his skin. "I-Inoue, no, don't."

Using the tip of her tongue to paint over his warm skin, Orihime tasted the dust of the desert sands and the saltiness of his sweat. Moaning softly as her hands mindlessly wandered over Ichigo's tense chest, she could feel his blood rushing madly just below the surface.

It called to her.

He called to her.

Ichigo has always called to her.

"Inoue, please …" the orange haired shinigami stuttered out, straining against Aizen's hold. It wasn't supposed to be like this. He was supposed to save her, protect her, but he couldn't deny her what she so desperately needed. Ichigo knew that Orihime was in agony. Her eyes were wild, burning, and tight with pain.

His broken sigh echoed through the chamber as her sharp teeth slowly sank into his flesh. Relaxing into Aizen's arms, Ichigo stared blindly up at the ceiling as his blood began to flow.

In a state of suspended disbelief, a tremor wracked his body as unfamiliar heat coiled through him, spreading from the point where Orihime's fangs pierced his skin. Keeping his breathing steady, Ichigo's hand spasmodically clenched in the material covering Orihime's waist, as she began to hungrily drink from his neck.

Feeling hot color invade his cheeks as the healer's plush lips pressed against his skin, the orange haired teen tried to stay focused, waiting for the moment he could escape the traitorous captain's firm grip and save his friend. Ichigo bit back a groan as her finger dug into his chest, and his eyes drifted shut, wondering if she would end up draining him completely, leaving his dried-up husk of a body on the floor of Aizen's throne room.

"You're right, my dear. He does smell delicious."

Aizen murmured voice broke the silence. Ichigo's eyes snapped open as the older man leaned near, brushing his lips over his bright hair before sniffing curiously at the air. Swallowing tightly, feeling an icy change in the air, the substitute shinigami held himself very still as the ex-captain silkily inquired.

"Care to share your meal with me?"

Orihime's reaction was immediate and violent.

Light glistened on her moist lips as they curled back, baring her teeth in a threatening display. A thin stream of blood flowed from the corner of her mouth as she softly growled in the back of her throat, possessiveness gleaming in her blood red eyes.

"Kurosaki-kun is mine!"

Narrowing his eyes at the feral woman, Aizen cautiously released the orange haired teen and stepped backwards. "I never thought you would be the greedy type, Orihime."

Swiftly moving so that she stood protectively in front of Ichigo, shielding his body with her own, the healer ruthlessly reminded the ex-shinigami captain. "You gave him to me. He belongs to only me now."

"Fine, I'll leave you to it then, and find my own meal."

Watching the lord of Las Noches confidently stride from the room, leaving them alone, Orihime relaxed her defensive stance, only to pause, as her breathing grew labored. The healer pressed a hand to her tight chest, wondering what was happening to her now. She could suddenly feel Ichigo's essence mingling with her blood, becoming a part of her. His fierce will. His unfailing protectiveness. His tender feelings. His guilty desires.

Glancing over her shoulder with wide eyes, she wondered if what she felt was actually true. Did he desire her? Could he still want her, even now that she'd been turned into this …this monster? Didn't he realize that his life could be in immediate danger?

Freezing as her stomach clenched demandingly, Orihime already feared that feeling. Was Aizen's experiment really turning her into a ravenous creature, one out only for blood? Keeping a neutral expression on her face until the pain passed, she realized that it was different this time. The unrelenting hunger was still present, but it was tempered by another subtler craving.

Flicking her eyes over the silent man behind her, the healer explored this new need in the safety of her mind. Hmm, interesting, and unexpected. Brushing her knuckles over her wet lips, gathering each precious drop of Ichigo's blood, Orihime met her friend's uncertain gaze before slowly turning to face him as her tongue ran teasingly over her slender bloody fingers.

His eyes followed her motions with abject fascination before he reached out to brush his thumb over her stained chin. Offering his sultry eyed friend his blood-coated finger, Ichigo swallowed thickly as her plump lips closed around the tip before sliding forward to accept the rest of its length. The hot, moist suction of her mouth sent heat racing through him as his cheek flushed further with the first stirrings of arousal.

Letting her eyes drift closed, Orihime's tongue caressed the orange haired shinigami's finger before gradually allowing it to pull free of her wet mouth. She could feel Ichigo's blood surge, race, and pool low in his belly. He did feel it, too. She wanted to roar victorious, thrilled she wasn't the only one drowning in these unfamiliar sensations, yearning, burning, and lusting.

Slipping her fingers under the cloth knotted at his waist, Orihime pulled Ichigo forward. Her eyes snapped open at his surprised gasp and an impassioned shiver raced up her spine as anticipation mounted. Restlessly clenching and unclenching her fingers in the material of his shihakshou, Ichigo stared into her eyes unblinkingly, and without fear.

Shuddering from the barrage of sensations battering her body, her breathing quickened as her blood heated, rushing like scorching flames through her veins. Orihime panted softly as the orange haired shinigami unquestioningly stepped closer, brushing their eager, straining bodies together.

Lust pulsed through her, insistent, demanding, and needy. She tilted her head back to watch his eyes darken as he loomed over her smaller figure. Black tendrils spread, enveloping the white as fierce brown was replaced with glowing gold. Their gazes met and locked. Pierced by the wicked intent in the orange haired shinigami's stare, Orihime licked her lips as the privacy of her room strongly beckoned.

Boldly twining her fingers with Ichigo's, she smiled deviously before she tugged him unresistingly down the hall.

One hunger was fulfilled. However, it might take Ichigo longer to satisfy this new hunger, much, much longer.




A/N: umm, yeah, something just a little different from me. I just had to get it out of my system so I could work on my normal updates and my homework. :/

I hoped you enjoyed a little dark Hime action and if you want more, you have to ask. If there is enough interest, I'm sure I could come up with a smexy second chapter.