Chapter 7

Ichigo lay there, bathed in the moonlight streaming through the window. He watched Renji's chest expand and contract; listening to his breathing which was the only thing breaking the silence.

Mixed emotions raced through Ichigo: hurt, confusion and lust. He wanted Renji, even though he didn't want him. He placed a palm to his forehead, running his hand through his bright hair. What was he doing? He was messing around with someone who was already taken. Maybe he really was stupid? They had kids!

He gazed at the peaceful sleeping face of Abarai-fukutaichou and wondered what was going on his head. Was he dreaming of him? Or was he dreaming of his boyfriend? Frustration built up inside him, angry that he didn't know where he stood with Renji. Was he just using him as a play-thing of was it something more? Ichigo's fist tightened around his hair, tugging at his scalp until it hurt.

He sat there, contemplating what he should do. Kurosaki was left to his thoughts in the semi-darkness, staring at the ceiling.

After what seemed like years, Renji stirred, breaking the torturous silence. Sleepy-eyed, the lieutenant pushed himself up until he was sitting upright, yawning as he did it. Ichigo watched as Renji tried to piece together where he was. When he finally realised, he looked towards Kurosaki and met his eyes.

Ichigo quickly broke eye contact.

"What's up?" Renji said sleepily, noticing Ichigo's discomfort despite his tiredness. He maybe a blockhead when it came to female emotions but when it was another man he could tell something was wrong.

Ichigo lay there silently, unwilling to answer him. Finally he took a deep breath and choked out the words he didn't want to say. "You don't like me, do you?" he said quietly.

"Whatcha talkin' about? Of course I do" replied Renji, his tattooed eyebrows furrowing. "No, you don't. You don't have any feelings for me; you like him. I heard you- you said his name" responded Ichigo, unhappily. Byakuya's face flickered through Abarai-fukutaichou's mind and he felt a flash guilt mixed with incomprehensible love.

"Look, I love Byakuya, when I said that we should try again, I only meant once but it kinda followed on from there. I never meant for this to get so out of hand. I didn't mean to use you" said Renji.

Ichigo hurt; he didn't want to hear this, even though it was the truth. "So this is the end, right?" he mumbled. "Yeah, I'm sorry but it is" replied Renji sadly, finally trying to end the mess he'd created.

Abarai-fukutaichou got completely dressed and ready to leave in silence as Ichigo watched, pain stabbing through him. Renji turned to leave and whispered "Goodbye Ichigo." "WAIT!" the strawberry yelled "Don't leave me, I'll give you everything you want- I'll do everything you want me to"

Renji stared at him. "I, I can't..." he replied.

Kurosaki was desperate now, uncharacteristically desperate. "I'll tell Byakuya! I'll tell him you've been cheating on him all this time!" he begged, a threatening tone to his voice which told Renji that he meant what he said.

"Don't, please, he'll kill me" pleaded Renji who was terrified at the thought of Byakuya's fury. Ichigo, pleased that he finally had the upper hand, decided to abuse his newly gained power. He smirked once and Renji was helpless. Upset that he wasn't strong enough to terminate the relationship, he returned home, his tail between his legs.