Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach (my whites weep) or make any money off of this story (my whites wished I did so I would buy some bleach though).
Pairing: Starrk x Ichigo, mentioned others (very briefly in the past) with Ichigo.
Summary: AU set in Tokyo, Japan. Ichigo has genophobia, fear of sex, because of something that happened when he was younger which he doesn't remember. He's unable to get over it until he meets Starrk. Issues in the relationship make it hard to maintain, but sex isn't everything. FuzziBunniez wrote her own version of this called Sol Invictus- read it, it's great =D
Sexual abuse is heavily alluded to, but it will not be graphic unless specifically stated otherwise as a warning in the chapter. This is NOT going to be an 'everyone wants Ichigo' story like a lot of my other ones, and I will be keeping it as realistic as possible. Although there is going to be hinted affections, none of them are all-out like StarrkxIchigo.
This story contains: Yaoi, sexual content, cursing, and violence.
Beta'd by the kick-ass Warrior Nun- thank you!
Genophobia: Chapter 1
When Ichigo Kurosaki was young, a bad incident happened to him that he never quite recovered from. He was kidnapped by a man and a woman who wanted revenge against Isshin Kurosaki who was a doctor that wasn't able to save their son's life, through no fault of his own. A son for a son was their reasoning.
His family was distraught and did everything they could to find him. When they finally did he was alive, but almost catatonic and in critical condition. He retreated within his mind in order to escape the horrors they forced upon him.
When he recovered and was able to function effectively again it was discovered that he had lost all memories of what had happened to protect his mind and sanity. The police had plenty of physical evidence to put the two kidnappers away in prison permanently so Ichigo wasn't required to be questioned, not that he could have answered anything useful.
It was a closed trial and only those involved and Ichigo's parents knew the full extent of what they had done to him. However they had no intention of revealing it to Ichigo who seemed perfectly fine with not remembering.
Years later, though, when Ichigo entered that stage of teenagers where sex is everything Ichigo discovered that he was afraid of anything sexual. He happened upon this realization because one of his acquaintances- that weren't quite close enough to be called a friend- kissed him. He hardly knew the girl Orihime Inoue, and he wasn't sure how he was supposed to handle it when she suddenly confessed to him.
He stood there, frozen like a statue and then she leaned up and kissed him. Ichigo recoiled instantly and pushed at her shoulders. He didn't use a lot of strength, but she still stumbled backward a step and stared at him with hurt in her eyes. He opened his mouth to apologize but she ran off immediately, crying.
He felt sick to his stomach with guilt although he had no interest in the girl, but he knew that their mutual friend Tatsuki would be pissed at him. Sure enough, not five minutes later she came stomping down the hallway to him and wasted no time in punching him in the face.
Ichigo couldn't help but feel that it was an unjust reaction, but he didn't say anything and just let her hit him until his confused friends dragged her off. He touched the bruises and winced, however he wasn't thinking of the pain, but about the feeling he had when Orihime had kissed him. It was complete and utter fear. Something he hadn't felt in a long time, if he had ever at all.
He didn't ever tell his parents about the incident, although he was sure his mother would understand. He was embarrassed by his feelings of fear, and even of disgust. He knew that his reaction wasn't normal, but he didn't want to admit to himself that something was wrong.
He was fifteen at the time.
Three years later and he was in college, surrounded by academics, jocks, and party girls and boys who got in with their daddy's credit card. Ichigo was quiet and studious and didn't try to draw attention to himself, but he stood out because of his orange hair which seemed to make him more popular than not.
He didn't date much because most students his age weren't interested in chaste, monogamous relationships. He tried going out with a guy named Renji, thinking that maybe it was the gender that was wrong, but that ended just as badly.
Ichigo knew that there was nothing physically wrong with him because he woke up with a hard on or with wetness in his boxers occasionally. It was just that he didn't find anyone sexually attractive, or even if he did in the slightest bit, he still couldn't bring himself to even kiss them.
With Renji, there was some sexual attraction and he was even able to kiss him, but as soon as Renji tried to touch him he freaked out. Renji was at first understanding and tried to take it slow, but in the end he couldn't handle not having a sexual relationship and they broke up.
Ichigo's therapist, whom he had been seeing since he decided to finally tell his parents about his problem, considered Renji to be a real break through. The therapist, Urahara Kisuke, had at first considered the idea that Ichigo was asexual, but dismissed it when Ichigo opened up to him a little more and told him about his feelings of fear and disgust.
Since Ichigo was a minor at the time and he gave Urahara permission to discuss it with his parents, Isshin and Masaki revealed the event that happened when Ichigo was younger. Urahara initially agreed with their decision to keep it secret from Ichigo, but when it became more apparent that it was getting better and affecting his life he brought the subject up with his parents again.
Isshin and Masaki wanted to tell Ichigo about what happened themselves, so they sent Yuzu and Karin over to a friend's house and sat him down. As realization dawned on Ichigo, he was naturally upset. He got angry and yelled, but his mother easily calmed him down.
Ichigo remembered what happened after the incident. He remembered waking up in the hospital, sore all over and unable to move, yet with no memory of how he got there. He was confused and afraid and his parents tried to reassure him, but it didn't help when the police had come in and tried to question him, asking weird things, but he wasn't able to answer them.
So Urahara diagnosed Ichigo with genophobia. It was hard phobia to treat because desensitization and other methods that were usually used for treatment of phobias wouldn't work with genophobia. Urahara even tried to hypnotize him in order help him face the memories, but that ended disastrously.
He didn't remember anything while he was put under, but when he regained awareness he was curled up in a ball in the corner, shaking and terrified with tears running down his cheeks. Urahara was sitting next to him and trying to soothe him while the hypnotist they had called in was on the other side of the room with a white face.
After he had calmed down, Urahara decided that facing his past wasn't going to be anything but destructive. His consensus was that the only thing that would help Ichigo was finding a nice woman (or man) that wouldn't push him for sex and that he would gradually be able to do more things with.
But now Ichigo, 23 years old and recently graduated from college, was sitting at a bar and trying to drink his sorrows away. He had gone a full six years at college to get his professional degree because that was what was expected of him, but he was already bored with his job.
His friend Kira had gotten it for him, from his boss Gin who worked for a man named Aizen Sousuke who ran a multi-billion yen business. Ichigo had never even met the man, but he was thankful none the less. The work wasn't hard, it was a desk job that just required some brains, but it paid well. Yet he wasn't satisfied with it.
As he sulked at the bar, a few women had tried to sit beside him and strike up a conversation but he showed no interest and they left in a huff. They were probably mortally offended that the young salary man wasn't interested in someone as hot as them.
Ichigo looked up at the bartender who had spoken- he hadn't really paid attention to the man before, but now that he did he couldn't imagine why. He had wavy brown hair that fell just below his jaw line, a goatee, and grey eyes that drew Ichigo in instantly.
"Is that why you aren't interested?"
"Not really," Ichigo answered once he remembered how to speak.
"Not really as in yes, no, or maybe?" The man asked and Ichigo gave a slight smile.
"Maybe. I'll let you know when I figure it out."
The bartender chuckled softly and leaned against the counter with his chin propped on the palm of his hand. Ichigo gulped at the sudden closeness and leaned back slightly to gain some distance from the tall, broad man. The bartender didn't look offended though and instead gazed at Ichigo with interest.
"Someone as beautiful as you probably has a line of people waiting to help you with that, so I wonder why you don't know."
"Hm…" Ichigo took a sip of his beer and stared into the muddy depths. "Maybe I have a shitty personality."
"That wouldn't be enough to stop them," the bartender mused and studied the slightly flushed man closely. He really was beautiful, and Starrk wasn't just flattering him to get a tip. He seemed interesting although Starrk couldn't quite figure him out.
"Are you some kind of monk?"
Ichigo snorted and Starrk gave a very small smile, which was rare for him who didn't like to expend so much energy on his expressions.
"Not that then, something else…"
Ichigo shrugged at the last statement and chugged the last of his beer before standing and fishing his wallet out of his back pocket. He tossed some bills onto the bar and turned to leave by the bartender placed his hand over his before Ichigo could leave.
"Not enough?" Ichigo asked with a frown but the bartender shook his head. He tried to slide his hand away but the bartender followed the movement.
"May I have the pleasure of your name?"
Ichigo stared at him for a few moments as he tried to figure out his motive before giving in. "Ichigo Kurosaki."
"I'm Starrk Coyote."
"Do you own this place?" Ichigo asked as he remembered the name of the place was 'The Coyote.'
"Half. My sister and I went in on it, but she handles the restaurant." He still hadn't taken his hand off Ichigo's and Ichigo was starting to turn red and shift in discomfort.
"Um, was there something else?"
"Ah…" Ichigo thought it might have been something like that, although he didn't know why a man as handsome and seemingly self-assured as Starrk would want that from him.
"No?" The hand tightened on Ichigo's, but it wasn't in a threatening manner. Ichigo met his eyes which stared into his questioningly and he gave in.
"Alright," he said and grabbed a napkin to scribble his number onto it. "But I don't do one night stands."
"A date," Starrk said and carefully pocketed the napkin. "I promise I won't get fresh."
Ah, the magic word. "Whatever, just don't call too late."
With that Ichigo left and he could feel Starrk's eyes boring into his back. When he looked back a pouting woman was trying to gain Starrk's attention, but he was still gazing at Ichigo who looked away quickly.
He didn't seem too bad, but Ichigo had learned to be wary of people who showed attraction to him. More often than not they only wanted sex in the long run and would leave him, one or two taken his broken heart with them. He didn't trust the girls (or guys) interested in him to not want him for just sex and he had given up on dating long ago.
He walked back to his apartment, slightly unsteadily from his consumption of the alcohol. He unlocked the door and grunted as he almost stepped on his cat. He sighed and scooped the little beast up and carried him further into the house after he toed his shoes.
His cat, Taikei, dug its nails into Ichigo's shoulders and kneaded him with his claws while purring loudly. Ichigo winced and cursed at the 'affection' before dropping him onto the couch and making his way into the kitchen.
He never really liked cats, he was more of a dog person (a fact that Taikei never stopped holding against him), but his mom got him the cat so he 'wouldn't feel so lonely in an apartment by himself.' He loved his mom, but sometimes she acted just as strangely as his father. At least his sisters seemed semi-normal.
Ichigo got himself a drink of water to chase away any hang over he might have in the morning. He undressed and slipped into his bed with a sigh. The door creaked open and the demon cat padded over to the bed and hopped up.
Ichigo might not have been particularly fond of the beast, but it did keep him company. He didn't feel so alone at night with Taikei curled up against him and generating enough body heat to keep him warm in winter. It was hard to fall asleep sometimes with the cat purring so loudly, but most nights it was a comfort that he didn't want to go without.
Maybe his mother knew what she was doing sometimes, not that Ichigo ever doubted her.
His thoughts drifted to Starrk and he sighed, burying his head in the pillow. He seemed like a nice enough man, but Ichigo thought all the people he went out with were nice enough. He also had really dreamy eyes. Ichigo smiled to himself and wondered if Starrk's hair was as soft as it looked. Maybe he would find out sometime.
Because someone actually commented on this (anonymously) on one of my stories, here is a long author's note. I think they must have been a minor or just ignorant because I think that it is pretty obvious that what's true for some is not true for all.
Drunk people and people who are only slightly intoxicated don't all act the same way. You don't automatically forget what happened the night before if you get drunk. Some people don't get bad hangovers (me included, no throwing fruit please), some people get awful hangovers.
Just because lots of fan fiction (and normal fiction) authors write the drunken night scenario and forgetting everything that happened, does NOT mean that's what always what happens. Yes, sometimes it could, but no, that is not the universal drunk experience.
Now that that's out of the way, please review!