Copper/le_cuivre gave me this prompt a few days ago and I just managed to finish it... :P So a whole, 4,000 words of half-HichiHime, half-IchiHime. Enjoy my lovelies, because I'm not sure what, if anything, I'll write next. (Yes, I still am stuck in my writer's block.)


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It seemed so pointless to keep running. The blood was pounding in her ears as she panted heavily, trying to regain her breath while she stabilized herself by putting her hands on her knees. Why did she choose to run again? She knew he wouldn't cause her any harm. Or would he?

That's right... He was why she was running. But as she remembered those dark eyes and his hoarse yelling, it was quite obvious it wasn't so much him that made her run, but rather, his hollow. A quick shudder ran through her slim body as her mind recalled his almost black eyes and distressed state as he yelled out for her to run away. Orihime had wanted to stay and help, but his reiatsu alone made her knees tremble with fear. Reaching out her hand, she whimpered lightly, only wanting to assist him in taming his darkness after their previous battle with a hollow.

Only, he had turned around to face her with black eyes, a bright yellow-orange iris glaring right into her soul. For a quick second, her stomach plummeted and she felt very sick, forcing herself to bring a hand up to her mouth to hold back a gasp and possibly anything else that might want to show up. She stumbled a step backwards, her hand still rose in the air. His pain and somewhat frightening eyes startled her enough, but what he did next made her feel even more useless.

Ichigo turned his body towards her, taking a heavy stride closer to her form, all while wearing a clearly angered expression on his face.

"Get out of here!!" He yelled in his hollowed voice, hastily pointing towards the nearby woods while his white mask started to form over his left eye. It wasn't a second later that she had bolted towards the woods like he had told her to, half-heartedly wondering why she had chosen to wear her brown pleated skirt and pink, slightly frilled camisole with brown flats while going after the hollow. Perhaps she knew Ichigo would be there and she wanted to look somewhat presentable? Shaking her head, she rid her thoughts of menial clothes and focused on the distressing issue at hand.

So she continued to run, tears stinging at her eyes. The healer didn't know just how far she ran, however, it wasn't like she cared either. What she really wanted was to stop and cry, as the tears were blurring her vision too much for her to see properly. Perhaps it would've been better if she did stop before she tripped on a tree root of sorts and hurt herself further. Although, as luck would have it, she did end up tripping anyways, her small, ample form falling into the dried leaves, the mixture of a loud thud and crunch being heard in the otherwise quiet woods.

"O-Ow..." Orihime mumbled, pulling herself off the mucked ground and ignoring the slight stings into the palms of her hands. Still, as the tears burned into her eyes, she wondered why she had to be so useless. She didn't even help Ichigo out when he was attacking the hollow, except from this very rare case when she shielded an attack, keeping him from turning into food for the said monster. Sniffling, she pushed herself up and off the ground, blurrily noting the red splotches now on her knees and hands.

Crunch.

Orihime's eyes snapped open, heart starting to race with fear at the unrecognizable sound. It had been quiet before, and she was definitely sure it wasn't a small woodland creature romping through the forest. If anything, it was a much larger creature stalking the woods, possibly stalking her. Trying to breathe regularly again, she hoped that wasn't the case.

Taking small steps backwards, Orihime felt herself breathing too quickly, as if panting. She fisted her skirt in her small hands until she bumped into the tree behind her, the wildlife still managing to scare the living daylights out of her. Squeaking in surprise, she was glad to find it was just the tree, but her heart still raced with her eyes, searching for the origin of the noise.

Crunch.

The noise resounded again, making her want to turn invisible. Admittedly, Orihime would say she was frightened. Not of Ichigo himself, but of what was taking over him. She had no idea what she was up against.

"K-Kurosaki-kun..." She whimpered, screwing her eyes shut as a few tears made their way down her rosy cheeks. She kept herself so busy with crying, she hadn't noticed the figure that had been lurking around her before was now right in front of her. As she wiped her eyes, a hand rose as well, abruptly taking both wrists and pinning them above her head on the tree. Orihime gasped, preparing to scream when another hand covered her mouth, preventing her from doing so.

"You should really listen to Kingy when he says to run," the voice cackled, his eyes boring straight into her afraid ones. Orihime instinctively tried to force herself back further and away, regardless of the tree still being there. Unfortunately for her, it only resulted in unwanted fidgeting and wriggling, which was something his hollow might've wanted. Hot tears ran down her face as she looked into his scary eyes, a chill racing through her.

Not even caring if she'd scream or not, the hollow removed his hand from her lips, moving it closer to his own face. He pulled the mask to the side, letting it somehow hang on the right side of his head and revealing a very familiar face that belonged to Kurosaki Ichigo. Only, his chocolate brown eyes weren't there like she had hoped, but rather, it was still those menacing black and yellow ones.

"Well, what do we have here?" He questioned coyly, his eyes hovering to her hands above her head. He brought them down to his eye-level, noticing they were still bleeding from her earlier fall. "Looks like Hime-chan got herself hurt. You didn't do this to please me, did you?" Her eyes grew wider, wondering how her blood would make him happier. Unfortunately for her, the healer's inner question was answered as the demon inside Ichigo brought her small, dripping red hands to his mouth. His tongue darted out to touch her skin, lapping at the dark hued liquid. A heavy and noticeable shudder ran through her body, her cheeks growing hotter at the feel of his warm tongue on her flesh.

"K-Kurosaki..." She mumbled, forcing back a groan at the lewd actions towards her hands. It was clearly his dark side doing this to her, but it still looked like her normal Kurosaki-kun, so she couldn't help but accept it anyways. The hollow surprisingly pulled back, his brows knit together tightly.

"You of all people should know he's not here," he told her nonchalantly, his tongue running between the spaces between her fingers. "But I'll have you know he's positively pissed that I'm doing this to you." His hot breath fanned over her fair skin as he spoke, taunting her further.

Orihime had wanted to question more about Ichigo, but instead of words, an unsuspecting moan escaped her lips as he gripped her thigh, pulling it upwards by his hip. It was almost like he was nestling his lower half closer to hers while he continued to sweep his tongue over her still bleeding wound, causing the healer to wince occasionally at the quick pain.

"You're such a whore," he half-heartedly commented, finally letting at least one of her hands drop to her side while he still held another one up. "Dressing like this only means bad things, don't you know?" Taking her finger, he popped it into his mouth, sucking the digit free of excess blood. Orihime's cheeks grew warmer still as she could only watch what looked to be the boy she loved so much doing something so illicit to her. The healer screwed her eyes closed tighter as he dug his lower half closer to hers, constantly thinking just how wrong all this was.

"P-Please..." She begged, trying to keep her words short. Although, she wasn't sure if she was wanting to say less because of fear of saying something wrong or perhaps she'd moan like that again. Doing the latter would just be completely embarrassing and it was definitely something she'd rather not do again in the presence of Ichigo's hollow.

"What?" He questioned, adding another blood-coated finger into his mouth. Orihime could swear her eyes were starting to roll to the back of her head at his actions and the heat of it all was starting to mull all her thoughts together. How could she expect to keep herself together if his hollow kept doing things she wished the normal Kurosaki-kun might venture to do? The fact he looked like him alone made her heart race with embarrassment.

"S-Stop..."

The hollow pulled her thin digits out of his wet cavern, licking his own lips as he inched away from her frail form. He also released her thigh, allowing it to go back to its normal position. In a flood of relief, Orihime fell to the ground.

"Thank you..." She whispered, smiling lightly to herself as she clamped her legs together, hoping they wouldn't shake as much. "Thank you so-" Orihime thought she had gotten lucky and the hollow had somehow stopped like she requested, or perhaps Ichigo was his normal self, but when he crouched down with that dark smirk, her heart fell all over again. He placed his large hand on her relatively thin knee and pulled it away from their upright position. With her leg extended like so, it provided the opportunity for her underwear to be exposed, which was one thing she really didn't want happening.

Her gray eyes followed his tongue again, watching it dart out to lap at the blood on her knee. Orihime bit down on her lip, holding both pained hands close to her chest as she insistently tugged her leg away from his grip. However, he was too strong for her and she could only start to cry again as his pink tongue swirled over her glistening wound, his hands inching up her already shorter skirt on the same leg.

"N-No!" She cried, hands and legs shaking hard from fear. "P-Please stop!" He didn't stop, unfortunately for her, and latched his lips onto her other bleeding injury, his moist tongue still flicking and lapping at the raw skin. It wasn't long until he was done with the first leg and moved onto the second, making Orihime shudder in defeat. So on top of being useless, she reasoned, she was also the most defenseless. Instead of forcing this dark man away, she just cowered in fear. So much for wanting to be stronger...

His hollow continued to feast on her oozing blood, not caring just how much of a mess he made. Giving up now seemed to be the best idea for her, she thought. No matter what she tried to do, however much she tried to fight back; it'd all end up being useless. She didn't have enough strength to repel this beast. Sobbing to herself as his dirty hands crawled up her skirt was about all she could do.

"F-Fuck!" He swore, his grip on her leg growing very tight. Orihime gasped in pain and threw her hands to his own, trying to pry away the tight hold on her limb. If he held onto her any tighter, she felt like she'd bruise badly or even bleed all over again. And bleeding that far up her skirt was a door she didn't want to open to him.

Miraculously, he loosened his grip and fell back, sitting on the hard ground no more than a few inches away for her. More harsh obscenities spilled from his lips as he clutched his head, his lean fingers pulling at his bright orange locks. The blood of hers on his hands smeared over his face and hair as he struggled with something beyond Orihime's knowledge. As she whimpered to herself, the healer cracked an eye open to determine what was happening.

"K-Kurosaki... kun..." She breathed, huddling her body closer to the tree behind her. She really did want to help him, but she already knew her level of assistance was far too low.

He stilled after moments of thrashing, the mask on the side of his head starting to break apart. Orihime's stomach flipped with hope, wondering if he had was fighting back his hollow. She still kept to herself, but his named poured from her tender lips again.

"Kurosaki-kun...?"

Ichigo's head rose up to look at her, his breathing ragged. Orihime's eyes grew wide with his own as she shut her unknowingly open mouth, swallowing the lump in her throat. He had a menacing look in his eyes, but somehow he seemed calmer.

"A-Are... you okay?" He asked, surprising her with the question. She was taken aback by the inquiry, but managed to relax a bit upon finalizing that he had indeed taken his body back again. However, Orihime was torn. Was she to say that yes, he plastered his hands all over her and used his mouth for the most frightening, lewdest ways? Or should she shake her head like every other time something wrong happened and she clearly lie and said there wasn't? Biting her lip, the healer resorted to glancing down at the ground, saying nothing.

Ichigo sighed in distress, bringing up a hand to grasp at his long bangs. However, he stopped short upon noticing the red hued liquid on his hands. His eyes widened at the sight and immediately he brought his hands to his body, checking for any unnoticed wounds. Upon finding none, his heart rose in relief for himself, but quickly dropped as he remembered the innocent healer sitting feet away from him. Nervously meeting her gaze, his heart raced with fear all over again. She held her hands to herself, but the obvious cuts on her knees were out in the open for him to see.

Ichigo extended his hand shakily towards her, and unintentionally, Orihime flinched back as if afraid. Her actions confirmed his suspicions and made him hate himself all over again. He retracted his hand back quickly, not wanting to scare her further.

"W-Why...." He grumbled, almost inaudible for her to hear.

"E-Eh? I'm sorry, I didn't hear..." She quickly apologized, forcing back the stuttering and clattering of her teeth. Orihime tried to meet her eyes with his, but she had to keep blinking the tears away. But after a while, it wasn't just tears of her own falling. Rain had started to move in and it was sprinkling lightly on both of them. Ichigo groaned again as he fisted his bangs in his bloodied hands, his eyes squinted closed in anger.

"Why the hell didn't you run?!" He roared, his voice hoarse with rage and exhaustion. Orihime flinched back again, holding her raw hands closer to her chest. At this point, she didn't care too much that the seeping blood from her hands was ruining her top and smearing more of the liquid on her skin. She just wished she would stop acting so afraid of the boy in front of her.

"I-I'm sorry!" she quickly apologized again, tears forming in her eyes. "I-I really tried! Y-You... He just could run faster..." She wanted to make sure she was doing the opposite of what he was, which was referring to his hollow as a separate entity. The normal Kurosaki-kun she knew would never want to harm her or his other friends.

He sat on the muddy ground, his knees propped up and both his hands dug into the thick tresses of his hair. Harsh, but quiet words spilled from his lips as he sat still, and after a while, he pounded a fist into the wet ground, splashing water a bit.

Why aren't I doing anything? She questioned herself, huddling her small body against the tree. He was clearly in pain, as was she, but he seemed to be hurting more than she was mentally. But it was to be expected that he was upset.

"Ku-Kurosaki-kun?" She inquired softly, now extending her red-tinted hand towards him with hopes of reassuring him. "A-Are you alright?" His head snapped up, hands still buried in his hair.

Do I look like I'm alright?? He yelled inwardly, not daring to say it out loud. He'd already scared his precious nakama enough, he wouldn't want to yell at her for something she had no control over. Ichigo only looked at her with pained eyes, his lips pursed into a tight line.

"I-I should go," he mumbled, shaking lightly from the growing rain problem. Yeah, and leave her here to find her way home on her own? Great idea. He shook again with the bitter thoughts, scolding himself for even thinking she could find her way home on her own.

"N-No!" She cried out, soon clutching at the leg of his hakama. He could get a good look at her now, through the opening between his hands, and his heart fell all over again at her sad, pleading eyes. Not to mention her outreached hands now showed the tender wounds on her palms, still bleeding just as much as her knees ... I made her cry. "You're hurting, Kurosaki-kun..." Her innocent words made Ichigo want to burst out in bitter laughter.

"Tch, me?" He scoffed, averting his ashamed eyes. "You're the one hurt, in case you haven't noticed..."

"But you're suffering."

He didn't know how to respond, so he kept quiet. He could hear her shuffling and movement, but he made no attempt to look up and see what she was doing. He didn't deserve to look at her after what he had done. Just the thoughts of his hollow's wandering hands and vulgar acts made his cheeks heat up with shame and anger. Why did it have to be Inoue his hollow went after? Why did she come after the hollow in the first place? If she hadn't been there to try and assist in defeating it in the originally, none of them would be in this mess, soaked and bleeding on the ground in the middle of nowhere.

Surprisingly, inched closer to him, wearing a sad expression on her face, until she sat close enough to him, their limbs casually brushed against each other's. Rising his head, Ichigo looked at her with nothing but shame in his eyes, his heart aching terribly over the thoughts of what his hollow did to her. Oh yes, he remembered it all so clearly, and with every action, he inwardly yelled louder, harder, trying to get the beast to stop. She was his friend, an innocent one at that, and he could see his hollow darting out his tongue between her fingers, sucking the blood from her dainty hands.

Oh God... The blood. Even after fighting countless enemies, never before had he felt so sick after seeing blood. Even now he could still taste that coppery tang in the recesses of his mouth. And his own hands fared no better. Right about now, he wanted to pretty much burn everything off, feeling absolutely dirty for snaking his palms and digits up her skirt like that, in such a possessive, degrading way.

But Orihime took his hand anyways, sniffling lightly to herself as she shook from the chilliness of the rain. She wasn't sure why she was doing what she was doing, nudging herself closer, between his legs. Perhaps she was cold from the rain, or maybe she wanted to heal his inner pain. She did want to reject his hurt, giving him some sense of normalcy. As she sat in the wet dirt, she held his hand in her lap, lightly tracing the lines of his palms and digits, as a means of distracting them both.

But how could she be so gentle with him after what he did? Ichigo had half a mind to push himself away, giving space between the two. But he also didn't feel so sick with her so close like this. Maybe it was the feeling of acceptance she radiated that made him feel better. Shuddering from her light ministrations, he closed his eyes tight in defeat.

"I can't..." He mumbled, bringing his other hand back up to cover his eyes.

"Eh?" Orihime squeaked quietly, her eyebrows scrunched in confusion. What was it he couldn't do?

"I can't be around you, Inoue..." He told her quickly, his hand in her lap noticeably tensing up. She held it a bit tighter, her thumb rubbing against the soaked skin.

"It's okay, Kurosaki-kun. I'm not hurt, it's just-" He harshly cut her off with a pained glare, his eyes never wavering from hers. Orihime could feel her cheeks heating up at his dark, deep stare, causing a shiver to go down her spine at the seriousness of it.

"And what if I did it again?" He asked harshly, grinding his teeth together as he spoke. "What would you do, Inoue?" His tone was bitter, angered, but she couldn't tell who he was angry at. Probably me... She thought, averting her eyes. However, he took hold of the hand she used to hold his own and yanked her closer, scowling hard. "What if my hollow went further?" Ichigo said the last part quieter, feeling nauseous at the thought of doing even worse things to her innocent form. His darkness was unpredictable and he could end up raping her for all he knew. God forbid that ever happen though.

He continued to look at her, even though she still looked away. He would wait for her to give him an answer, and he hoped that answer would be something along the lines of her never affiliating with him ever again. Sure, the idea of her going away made him immensely upset, admittedly, but if it meant her safety, he'd sure as hell do it.

"I don't care," she mumbled, still looking at the mucky ground. Ichigo froze, thinking he got water in his ear or possibly heard wrong otherwise. Orihime raised her head, her hair sticking to her face. But damn... He could feel his own cheeks heating up regrettably at the way she looked at him. Big, generous eyes, holding nothing but the truth, the way her hair clung to her similarly rose-brushed cheeks, puckered lips formed into small smile... It was definitely something the shinigami hadn't expected to see from her after what he did moments ago.

"Inoue, you can't-"

"It's okay..." She tried to reassure him, blushing more from the closeness between the two. "If it's you, it's okay..." Ichigo opened his mouth to respond while fighting back the blush of his own, but he ended up shutting it closed, scowling harder at her naive response. But what surprised them both was when he hooked his arm around her neck and pulled her close, letting her small form rest on his built chest.

"You're an idiot..." He grumbled into her damp hair, unsure if his heart was beating fast from fear or embarrassment. "You're gonna regret saying that..." Orihime blushed hard as she placed her tiny hands on his front side to balance herself, unable to keep her fingers from feeling the firm muscles underneath the shihakusho.

"Hm... We'll see about that," she hummed in reply, closing her eyes as she took in his spicy scent. Fisting the cloth in her hands, she sighed again, suddenly growing weary with fatigue. But she tried to keep herself awake, as this would probably be the one of the few times she could be close like this to her beloved Kurosaki-kun.

"Yeah... we'll see..."

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