Title: Hindsight
Warnings: het (HichiHime), non-con, lemon
Disclaimer: These characters belong to a lot of Japanese people, namely people like Tite Kubo and Shonen Jump. You'll notice how none of those are me. Not responsible for epileptic seizures or allergic reactions. May contain eye-and-brain-bleeding levels of radioactive ANGST and/or peanut products. Please sit a reasonable distance from your computer screen.

Author's Notes: In honor of the Lust chapters getting animated, here is a HichiHime one-shot! I'd also like to thank my RP partner, Eskiwen, who actually RPed a couple of the ideas in here out with me on LJ. She is amazing and so is this pairing!

In hindsight, Orihime realized she shouldn't have opened that door.

Then again, hindsight is always 20/20 and right about now, Orihime couldn't see much but the paint on her hallway wall. Her cheek was pressed hard against that cold wall, disallowing her to see what had pinned her there. Honestly, though, she didn't need to see him; she already knew who and what it was.

If she could see behind her, she was well aware what she would see there. Black and gold eyes hidden beneath familiar and well-loved bright orange locks. A predatory smile curling across a mouth that was normally turned down into a scowl. One dominating hand firmly wrapped around the back of her neck.

How had this happened? All Orihime knew was what the last few minutes had told her. She'd come home from school and before she could pull her books out of her bag, there was a harsh pounding on her front door. She had felt Ichigo's reiatsu from the other side; it was muted and... sideways somehow, but it was definitely Ichigo. Could he have been hurt? What if he just wanted to see her? Maybe he finally wanted to talk about what had happened in Hueco Mundo? Her cheeks warming, Orihime had gone for the door.

As soon as she opened it, though, she saw the eyes. Those demonic eyes that she remembered so well from behind that mask, those eyes Ichigo had worn while fighting Grimmjow and Ulquiorra. But this was different. This wasn't Ichigo, not exactly - this was what was underneath that mask. This was the horned creature she'd seen that night, roaring in pain and fury at his enemies. As her eyes widened in fear and shock, he only smiled at her.

"Evenin', Princess," he ground out, his voice carrying a strange echo. Even stranger, he wasn't just shortening Orihime's name - he was using it as a title.

He moved before she could respond, setting upon her faster than her eyes could register. Before Orihime knew what was happening, the front door was shut and they were both in the hallway, him pressing her face and body against the wall by her neck.

"Not gonna invite me in?" he asked, tightening his grip until she stopped struggling, "It's cold out there, Princess."

And that was how she'd wound up here. To his credit, he hadn't actually hurt her yet. Orihime found that odd, indeed. Just like that time he fought Ulquiorra, even though he was terrifying, even though he made her flinch and start and his reiatsu pressed heavily upon her, he had made no move to hurt her. Oh, he certainly had a firm grip on her neck; when she struggled, he tightened it until she stopped, but there was no way for him to cut her air supply off from behind. It reminded her more of an animal that wanted to show its dominance, almost as if he was trying to say 'I'm the more powerful one here, and I want you to acknowledge that'.

Then again, the throaty chuckle from behind made her think that he might just enjoy toying with her before he killed her.

"What are you going to do?" Orihime asked, keeping her voice low so as not to agitate him, but trying not to show fear in her tone. She wasn't entirely convinced she did such a good job of scrubbing that fear out of her voice.

His movements were slow and languid, almost lazy, as he pressed against her back. Orihime could feel his breath on her neck, right above where he held her tightly. She wasn't sure if she should flinch or not; there were warning bells ringing throughout her body, to be sure, but the signals were conflicting, confusing. Her heart was racing and her breath had picked up, but she didn't feel like he was going to eat her. Maybe she wasn't afraid for her life because, even though it was a hollow, it was Ichigo's hollow. Part of her wanted to trust that face, to believe it could never hurt her; and the other part didn't want to hurt him even if he wanted to hurt her. Or maybe it was because she knew she was completely helpless; she knew she couldn't outrun or outfight Ichigo, let alone his violent hollow, so being still and submissive was the best option she had.

"I wanted to talk to you," the hollow said, his lips brushing the shell of her outer ear. She thought she could even feel his teeth just behind his words.

"Talk?" she echoed, not sure she'd heard right, "You're not... You're not going to eat me?" He had molded to her back by this point, his free hand curling around her waist while his nose seemed to be buried in her hair. And... was he smelling her? Orihime felt a jolt of fear and... something else go through her.

"Maybe in a manner of speaking," he replied; Orihime could feel his feral smile against the back of her head, "But we're going to talk first."Her eyes strained desperately to see him, but to no avail; he was pressed just behind her ear.

"Wh-What do you want to talk about?" She had meant for her voice to sound friendly, but it just came out showing through with fear laced with suspicion.

"Oh, this and that," he replied, his grip on her neck relaxing just a bit, "I finally wanted to meet you in person." As his hand relaxed, Orihime found her body doing the same in response; she thought that was a bit odd, but then realized that he probably meant to show her that as long as she stayed where she was, she wouldn't be hurt. Or maybe he just felt like she was secure enough with her body pressed firmly against the wall by his like that. But she couldn't help but wonder if he was conditioning her for something.

"In... In person?" Orihime asked, not really quite understanding the hollow. If she was perfectly honest with herself, she didn't understand exactly what Ichigo's relationship with the creature was. Was it another personality? A parasite? A symbiote? Was it another sentient being inside him, struggling to get out? Or was it exactly like her brother: a warped mirror held up to Ichigo's darkest thoughts and feelings. When Orihime thought of what something like that might want with her, it chilled her. There was another feeling underneath that, though: something very close to gratitude that he even acknowledged her and possibly curiosity.

"You see, Princess," the hollow began, his voice reverberating through the base of her skull, "Even though I've been around a while, and even though I helped him win all those fights, Ichigo still doesn't like me very much. He tries to keep me out of sight, so you won't see me. But that don't stop me from looking out at you." He coiled around her tighter as he spoke. If Orihime hadn't known better, she'd have thought he was hugging her from behind.

"You watch me?" she asked, not entirely sure where he was going with this.

"I see everything Ichigo does," the hollow replied, "But I'm a little more observant than he is. I can pick up signals that he misses. For instance, your body language - Ichigo's too self-depreciating to believe it, but you send him little signals all the time. Your mouth might be saying 'Good morning, Kurosaki-kun' or 'Did you do last night's assignment, Kurosaki-kun', but your body is actually saying 'I want you to fuck me in front of all these people, Kurosaki-kun'!" Orihime could feel her cheeks heat up. That wasn't true, was it? Was her body really saying that? It was true that she adored Ichigo and wanted his attention; that was a fact. But she was sure she hid her feelings better than that. If she had been hiding her feelings that well, though, how did this hollow find out about them?

"That's... That's not true at all," she weakly denied, "I don't think that way." The hollow only smiled into her hair.

"Everyone thinks that way, Princess," he rumbled, using his free hand to gently stroke her stomach, "Everyone has thoughts and feelings they want to hide from the outside world. Some of us just use a mask to do it." Orihime started against him, her stomach quivering beneath his touch. She hoped he hadn't noticed the small flutter of muscles, but she was sure he had.

"Then you're... What are you?" she asked quietly, second guessing herself.

"I want to hear it from you," he said, a tinge of amusement in his voice. He was certainly toying with her now.

"You're... You're a part of him, aren't you?" she asked slowly, choosing her words carefully, "You're the part of him he doesn't want me to see." She was rewarded by the hand at her neck loosening entirely as it stroked the sensitive flesh at the crook of her neck, pushing the collar of her uniform shirt away.

"You're very observant, Princess," he muttered into the flesh there, grazing it with his teeth, "So tell me - even knowing that, can you accept us that way?"

Orihime's brows knitted in confusion. His voice sounded so unsure, almost like Ichigo himself would have sounded. It was as if, even though he could easily snap her neck or crush her with his enormous reiatsu at any moment, he desperately wanted her approval.

"That's something I can't ask you to change," she said quietly, "Even if... Even if I'm still scared of you, I still... It doesn't change how I feel about Kurosaki-kun." Even though he wasn't making any sudden moves, Orihime could feel his reiatsu ripple behind her. His teeth came down into the juncture of her neck and shoulder, just barely hard enough to break the skin, and definitely hard enough to make Orihime gasp; and just as quickly as he'd bitten her, his tongue darted out to soothe the wound and, more importantly, to lap away the tiny droplets of her reiatsu-rich blood that had welled up through the cuts. What had she said to upset him like that?

"God, you taste so fucking good," he muttered under his breath, sending a chill down her spine before changing the subject abruptly back, "We can tell you're scared of us, sweetheart. Do you know how much that hurts us?" The words dropped like a stone to the pit of her stomach. At first, they reminded her of her brother's pain when he became a hollow. But as the seconds ticked by and this hollow made no further moves except to continue his ministrations on her neck, Orihime relaxed a bit. Instead of being as furious as Sora had been, he seemed to be merely chiding her, content to punish her a little and then let her go.

"I'm sorry," she said quietly, the fear genuinely starting to leave her voice, "I couldn't help it..." He was now tugging her collar free from underneath her necktie, popping the button in the process; Orihime watched it hit the floor and skitter away nervously. What was he doing now? He seemed almost like a vampire. Even though it was a silly thought, it had Orihime stretching her neck for him anyway. Almost as if on cue, he latched on, teeth scraping flesh and causing Orihime to gasp.

"Such a good girl," he mumbled against her neck, "You submit so easy, I'm gettin' hard just thinkin' about it." That weight in Orihime's stomach turned over and rolled. She only just then noticed exactly the kind of predicament she was in; pressed face-first against a wall, a hollow molding his body to her backside while one hand pulled at her shirt and one hand worked its way down the front of her skirt. And from the heat pressing firmly into her bottom, he wasn't lying about being hard, either.

"What are you d-doing?" she asked breathlessly, squeezing her eyes shut as another button on her shirt popped and skidded across the floor. She could feel his lips spread into a devilish grin against her skin.

"What do you think I'm doing?" he asked, slightly amused, "Now that we've got the formalities out of the way, you're going to make it up to us. You are ours, after all." Something about his tone and choice of words sent a jolt through Orihime; that possessiveness was simultaneously frightening and exciting.

"I'm... I'm yours?" she asked shakily, "Both... Both you and Kurosaki-kun's?" She looked over her shoulder to see him looking at her impatiently.

"It's not like we have separate things, you know," he responded gruffly, giving her shirt another yank, "But yes, you belong to us. Why do you think we tore those assholes in Hueco Mundo apart? We won't allow anyone to harm you or take you away from us." The last words were said almost gently, but they caused Orihime's heart to ache. She had caused all that carnage, just by her misguided attempt at helping her friends after all. Before she could say anything, though, a large hand reached inside her shirt and grasped her breast roughly. Instead of an admission of guilt, he'd wrung a pleasured cry from her throat.

"Stop blaming yourself, woman," he growled, pulling one large tit free of its cloth wrappings, "You were kidnapped. It wasn't your fault. We killed that asshole because he fucked with what's ours." His tone brooked no disagreement of any kind; instead, he squeezed her hard enough to leave an imprint of his hand on her milky skin.

What's worse, his admonishment actually worked. Between his rough ministrations with his hand and his harsh words, he'd managed to derail her train of thought completely. He'd changed the focus of the entire fight for her from being about her to being about a personal grudge in which she was merely coincidental. Fire spread through her body at the knowledge that he was so painfully jealous over her; she even wanted to think she was a bad person for getting turned on by that jealousy, but she couldn't quite fight it that hard. Was her own wicked, bad side reacting to his?

Unconsciously, Orihime had even begun to press her thighs together to fight the heat he was causing to combust there. It was shameful and dirty and she prayed his other hand would stop before he found out just how much his words had affected her there. But again, her body couldn't hide its secrets from him; he ground his hips against her buttocks, pressing her against the wall again.

"What are you rubbing your thighs together like that for, your highness?" he asked lightly, his voice teasing, "Did I get you hot?" Orihime whimpered, having been found out again through her own indecent body.

"N-No, that's not it," she lied, her voice caught between a gasp and a sob. The hand at the front of her skirt wormed its way between the apex of her thighs, two long fingers pressing against the crotch of her panties. He slowly moved those fingers back, following along the divide between her lips, rubbing against her hard while he did so.

"Feels hot to me," he continued as though she hadn't spoken, "What's this?" While he was murmuring into her ear, he'd slid a finger beneath the legband of Orihime's panties. She gasped and tried to hide her face when she felt his finger moving against her opening. As her heart pounded, she realized he was still only toying with her.

"You're wet already," he gleefully observed, drawing his fingers out and showing her the glistening substance coating them, "And all I did was talk to you a little." He licked them both clean, flooding Orihime with both embarrassment and heat. "You really are secretly a little slut, aren't you?"

Orihime turned her face back to the wall, thoroughly ashamed. She thought she might cry; was that really what he thought she was deep down inside? And she had responded to him lustily; she couldn't even help it! Before she had time to think on the subject much more, though, his hand was back underneath the waistband of her panties and between her legs.

"But that's alright," he murmured, finally working his middle finger inside her, "Just as long as you're our slut." Orihime cried out at the intrusion as he worked his finger in and out, squeezing her breast harshly with his other hand. She knew it was rough and it even hurt, so... Why was she enjoying it? Was she a masochist?

The truth was, though, that it didn't hurt after the initial shock of the pressure wore off. In fact, his fingers felt really good, moving the way they were. She even caught herself trying to take more of their length inside her; she considered stopping, but just couldn't bring herself to.

"I-I'm not," she finally answered breathlessly, still accommodating the motion of his hands, "I'm n-not like that." The hollow didn't even look up from her shoulder at her weak protests.

"But you're like that for us," he said calmly, maybe even happily, "You're even riding my hand right now. I don't even have to move it anymore, you want it so bad." Orihime nearly froze when she realized he was right; when had he stopped moving? She actually didn't want to stop and pull away, but she was too embarrassed to continue now. And after a few seconds, his hand even slid away.

Orihime didn't know if she was sighing in relief or frustration. While she hadn't wanted him to stop, she was still a bit relieved he had. Maybe she'd offended him? But if that was the case, why hadn't he let her go?

And suddenly, it felt as if he would. The hand that had gripped her breast so firmly was now trailing down her side to her bottom. The heat of Ichigo's body drew away from her back, leaving her somewhat dazed. Was he really leaving? But then why were his fingers working their way underneath the legband of her panties, this time from behind?

Then she felt it. It was bigger than his fingers by far, and the tip was warm and round and firm. As she felt her panties drawn aside, this new object rubbed her slick outer lips, even managing to find its way to her entrance after a few more seconds. Her body reacted accordingly before she could even think about it, legs spreading ever-so-slightly and waist bending just enough to jut her bottom out towards him. Then it finally dawned on her. Orihime thought her heart might stop when she realized exactly what he was doing behind her.

"Wh-What are-?" she stammered, her stomach doing somersaults.

"I thought you wanted something bigger," he said, his smirk audible through his strange, watery voice.

Orihime's mind lurched. This wasn't the way this was supposed to happen. There was supposed to be candlelight and soft music and confessions of love. Well, technically she figured there was a confession of love in there somewhere, but it had also come from the hollow of the boy she loved, so she wasn't really sure how valid that should be considered.

Still, though, she didn't move away. Her body simply wouldn't let her. This was almost like the cravings for pickled eggs in tomato paste that she got sometimes; it had taken hold of her, and in that moment she thought she might die if he stopped.

Taking her silence as permission (or possibly not caring if he had permission at all), he finally entered her. Orihime felt herself stretch and then eventually tear to accommodate him; she could even smell the blood. Even with that pain, he had still only gone about halfway in; the next stroke took him into his full depth and caused her to cry out.

"None of those bastards touched you," he muttered into her shoulder, "You're really all ours now." Orihime barely heard him, instead focusing on the myriad of sensations swirling through her now, but there was something very close to relief in his voice.

There was the pain, of course, but it was quickly growing less intense. No, the more overwhelming sensation at the moment was the pleasure she was feeling. He was pounding a certain spot inside her over and over again, and the intensity of his strokes was driving her mad. It was like she was reaching for something just out of reach, but couldn't quite grasp it.

"Please," she gasped, unsure of what she was even asking him for. In response, he grasped both her hips and slammed himself home.

"Beg me for it, bitch!" he growled, moving a hand from her hips up to her breast, pulling her back against him. This drove him into her hard, causing her to cry out from the sharp sensation. Her breasts were given no mercy, either, yielding like ripe fruit in his powerful hands.

"I-I don't know wha-" she stammered, unable to complete the thought as he continued his assault.

"Beg me to come inside you," he commanded, his voice almost a calm growl. Orihime barely even registered what he was telling her by this point. Her mind was too full of dizzying, cottony haze; if he had told her to cluck like a chicken at that point, she would do it happily just to make sure he didn't stop.

"P-Please," she said breathlessly, "Please come inside me, Hollow-san..." She braced her hands on the wall to steady herself; her proclamation seemed to have pleased him, and that in turn caused a small feeling of pride to bubble up inside her.

Giving her tender nipple one last sharp tweak, his hand roamed back down to her hip. His fingers dug in almost so hard they hurt, steadying her hips as he slammed into them with frightening, desperate force again and again.

Finally, after Orihime had accepted those nearly-painful, frantic thrusts, he drove completely inside her once more before stilling altogether. She could feel him move inside her body, liquid heat washing through her as he covered her back with his still-clothed chest. As she panted, trying to catch her breath, he rasped into the crook of her neck. But he did not move away.

"H-Hollow-san," she whispered, her fatigue finally catching up to her. Even so, she felt as though this was incomplete; her body wanted him to continue still.

At the sound of her voice, the hollow sunk his teeth into her flesh again. All at once, Orihime finally understood exactly what he was doing - he was pinning her the way a tomcat pins a she-cat in heat. He was imitating an animal.

"You're not done yet, Princess," he muttered against her skin, "You didn't come yet." His tone was accusatory, as though Orihime had done (or failed to do) it on purpose just to annoy him.

And then, his weight was gone from her back. Her skirt fell over her bottom and her now-soaked panties slid back into place. She staggered for a second, her legs now free and aching from their awkward position. This time, she was leaning against the wall of her own volition to keep her balance.

"Bedroom," he barked, his face taking on the shadow of a familiar scowl, "Now." It was spoken as an order, and before Orihime even had time to blink he had grabbed the back of her school shirt and was dragging her towards her bedroom.

"Wh-What are you-"

"Round two, sweetheart," he said, the scowl melting into a fierce grin, "You didn't think we were done, did you? We got six months worth of sexual tension to work off 'cause of you." He pushed her through the bedroom door, following shortly behind as she reflexively covered her chest with her arms.

"Now... Strip."

Orihime lay prone on her back, staring at the powerful creature towering over her from beyond the edge of her bed. He eyed her appraisingly, black and gold eyes scanning her nearly bare body as though she were a parfait or a work of art.

In this position, she felt like a painting, or possibly even an AV actress. She'd shed all of her clothes except her necktie and school socks. The hollow had odd tastes; he'd said the bow made her look like a present, and he just thought the socks were sexy.

He had undressed as well, with surprising restraint she thought. Later, she'd realized that he probably wanted to get home unnoticed, possibly even hiding what they'd been doing from Ichigo himself. It was an odd thought.

Either way, the man standing over her now was powerfully built, muscles rippling beneath skin only a few shades darker than her own. She could make out pale scars criss-crossing his torso, reminders of a time before her own powers had developed as far as they had. Far from being disfiguring, she thought they were handsome, sexy even.

And below that, fringed with wet, reddish-orange curls, was his manhood. He had recovered before she'd finished stripping; it was already full and hard and proud once again. Orihime was trying her best not to stare - she really was! A rose-colored blush dusted her cheeks as she caught herself looking again. She couldn't help it, though; it just looked so strange and foreign to her. And thinking about how it had so easily slid inside her, regardless of its seemingly-impossible size, had her realizing that she was still soaked from their first encounter.

Suddenly, the hollow's eyes flitted back up to her face, catching her in the act. A grin spread across his formerly contemplative face.

"You still want it that bad, huh?" he asked, a proud tone coloring his voice. He took his cock in hand and gave it a leisurely stroke, the reddened skin sliding smoothly beneath his palm. Orihime reluctantly tore her eyes away to look at something, anything, else. Unconsciously, though, she drew her knees up, finding purchase on the bed with her feet.

"Spread 'em," he ordered, the smirk almost audible in his tone, "I wanna take a look." Orihime found she instinctively understood what he was saying now. She was his to look at and to touch however he wanted. Somehow, this didn't bother her in the least; she was more bothered by the fact that it secretly thrilled her.

She did as she was told, though, spreading her legs for him as wide as they could go. She turned her half-lidded eyes away from him, unable to meet his gaze in such an embarrassing position. Even so, that little display of shyness caused him to leer at her from beneath wet red bangs.

"Still so shy," he remarked thoughtfully, caressing the insides of her thighs, "So fucking sweet. And it's all ours." Orihime knew what he was going to do next; her body quivered, anticipating the contact before it happened. When it did, though, it was not as rough as she'd expected; indeed, instead of plunging deep inside her, he merely stroked her entrance with the head of his cock. He was teasing her again.

She focused her hazy caramel-colored eyes on him again only to find him watching her reactions from above. A small whine escaped her throat as she tried to move forward against him and capture him inside her.

"Ah ah," he chided, evading her neatly, "You know what I want." Orihime tried to think; lust was clouding her mind, but she realized he wanted to hear her beg again.

"Please...?" she whispered, barely even sure what she was asking him for. He only moved forward a bit, almost imperceptibly, to rub her slick entrance.

"Please what?" he asked, grinning wickedly, "Tell me exactly what you want."

"I-I want you to... to p-put it in..." she stammered, blushing furiously. He still seemed unfazed.

"You can do better than that, Princess," he chuckled, giving her another stroke. He was driving her mad, just hovering there like that.

"I-I want you to... t-to fuck me w-with your huge cock!" Orihime scrunched her eyes shut - that was possibly the most embarrassing thing she'd ever said in her life. She didn't even think words like that normally. But if it was so embarrassing, why did it make her feel so good?

"Mmm," the hollow practically purred at her, "You really do have a dirty mind. How can I say no to that?" Finally, finally, he drove inside her, burying himself to the hilt. Orihime couldn't fight the relieved moan that escaped her lips. Her body consumed him hungrily, craving the contact as he crushed his body against hers again and again.

"God, you sound like such a little whore," he growled, riding her even harder, "Louder! Sing, bitch, sing!" Orihime found she didn't even care what he called her this time; all that mattered was her obedience.

She did exactly as she was told, crying out at each thrust. The vague realization that her neighbors could probably hear them didn't even faze her; in fact, it made her feel even better. She suddenly found the idea that others would know what they were doing exhilarating. They would know she belonged to him, too.

With each thrust, the heat inside her built more and more. She was sweating now and so was he; droplets of sweat splashed her skin and soaked into her bed. Their bodies made slick noises as they came together. Orihime could hear those wet sounds just beneath her own lusty voice. They seemed more obscene by far.

Then she felt it, really felt it. The heat gathered and pooled right below her navel, building with every stroke. Her breathing and even her voice became uneven, as if she was waiting on something. If he stopped now, she feared she might die.

"Don't... Don't stop," she pleaded breathlessly, clutching at one of his wiry arms. All she could see when she looked up at him was his smile; powerful and dominating and confident.

"Do you want to come, Princess?" he asked, almost gently. If anything, his strokes became harder, making her groan beneath their power. Still, when he spoke, Orihime knew exactly what he wanted to hear next.

"Please make me come, Hollow-san!" she cried. This time, her voice wasn't timid in the least; she had forgotten entirely to be shy about what she wanted from him.
In response, the hollow covered her body with his, driving himself deep within her. To Orihime's surprise, she also found her mouth covered as well. He kissed her deeply, his tongue pressing frantically against hers. Closing her eyes, Orihime relaxed into the kiss, feeling him move deep inside her. Her fevered cry was devoured by his hungry mouth as the pleasure finally washed over her in powerful waves.

"Well done, your highness," he murmured, breaking their kiss to move to her neck.

Orihime could feel her slick walls closing in on him as she came, in turn causing his strokes to become more harsh and uneven. She cried out sharply as he clamped down on the tender flesh of her neck again, holding her firmly while he poured his seed into her a second time.

This time, though, the bite was different. Even in her hazy, pleasure-drunk state, Orihime could tell. While other wounds would only leave a trace of reiatsu in them, he was purposefully pushing his dark reiatsu beneath her skin. No, not only his reiatsu; she could feel Ichigo's clearer, lighter reiatsu mixed in with it. Was he present, too?

They stayed in that position for what seemed like an eternity; him buried completely inside her, her legs wrapped around his back and fingers threaded through his hair, and both breathing heavily. His fierce bite had subsided into a gentle lapping, simultaneously cleaning the blood from the wound and soothing her pain. She also couldn't help feeling that he was trying to encourage it to heal faster in order to trap his essence beneath her skin.

Finally, after several minutes, he stopped worrying her wound to speak into her ear.

"Don't forget," he whispered, his voice hoarse from exertion, "You're our woman now. Anyone else touches you, we'll make 'em bleed." He followed it with a long kiss to the marking he'd just given her. Orihime knew he was trying to be comforting, but she couldn't help but be chilled at his declaration.

Still, when he finally stood to go, she found that she missed the heat of his body.

It had been bothering him since he woke up at home in his bed, "it" being several things, actually.

Not only had Ichigo blacked out that afternoon for several hours, but he was sure that meant his hollow was out. When he'd awoken in his own bed, he'd been covered in sweat and... something else.

Even more disturbing, he was certain there was blood on him somewhere. He could smell it. A thorough examination in the shower revealed no cuts, healed or otherwise, anywhere on his body. Which meant that the blood had come from someone else. He had a pretty good guess as to who it had come from, too.

Ichigo had never been good at sensing the reiatsu of others; his own was simply too strong to catch others' through it. But this was hard to miss. He was absolutely covered in Inoue Orihime's reiatsu - hell, it was almost as though he'd been rolling in it.

Anxiety twisted in his gut. He could recall snippets of things from the hollow's little adventure - the layout of Orihime's apartment, the image of her pressed against a wall. Something had happened to her, that was for sure. And he couldn't help thinking he the guilty party.

As soon as he got out of the shower, he threw his bedclothes on and ran to the phone. It was late, to be sure - past midnight now - but he wouldn't be able to sleep until he knew she was alright. And calling her place was a lot less intrusive than rushing over in the middle of the night, to say the least.

When he called, though, a sleepy Orihime answered the phone and mumbled a slurred greeting as though nothing was wrong. Confused, Ichigo mumbled an apology and told her he'd see her at school tomorrow before hanging up red-faced.

Just what the hell was going on here?

"Good morning, Kurosaki-kun!"

There was no way he was imagining this now. Her voice was definitely sleepier than usual, like she'd become anemic overnight. And when he looked up at her face, even though she looked well-rested and... almost practically glowing, he could tell he wasn't the only one who'd noticed something off about her.

Ishida in particular was glaring daggers at him as he walked through the door, but he wasn't alone. Chad's eyes had gone wide beneath his wavy bangs, and Tatsuki... dear god, the look she was giving him almost made his testicles climb up inside his stomach.

"Uhh, hi, Inoue," he muttered, eyes flickering back to the smiling girl. And then his eyes widened in shock; there was definitely something off about her, and at this close range he could actually tell what it was. His stomach dropped as he recognized his own hollow's reiatsu waving back at him like a cheery little flag.

There was no time before class to ask her about it, but the waiting was torture. What had he done to her exactly? Why did she seem happy about it? And why would his hollow only answer him in annoying cackles whenever he tried to ask him about it? And for the love of everything holy, why did he now know the layout of Orihime's bedroom?

By the time lunch arrived, he felt like he was going to be sick. Instead of heading to the roof (where he was sure at least Ishida would be waiting to pulverize him), he left right behind Orihime and pulled her into an empty classroom before she could join Tatsuki and her girlfriends.

Orihime looked up at him with confused topaz eyes as he pulled the classroom door shut behind them. As he rounded on her, he stopped short, the sudden intensity of her confused stare paralyzing him. Had she always been this stunning?

"What's wrong, Kurosaki-kun?" she asked, watching as he shook his momentary stupor off and stalked over to her. He put a hand on either shoulder and squeezed, searching her face as though examining it for injury.

"What happened yesterday?" he asked bluntly, quietly, "What did he do?" Orihime's skin reddened as he watched.

"Y-You don't remember?" she said, disappointment painting her voice. She seemed to search his eyes for a moment before looking away demurely, and perhaps a bit sadly. Ichigo released her shoulders, his own slumping in defeat.

"He won't tell me," he choked out, his voice gone hoarse, "He's been mocking me all morning." Orihime thankfully stopped frowning, giving him a tired smile. Then, with no further warning, delicate fingers moved up to undo her necktie as Ichigo's eyes widened - just what the hell was she doing?

"Wh-Wh-What are you-?" he stammered as she undid her top button. If anyone saw them, they'd be in so much damn trouble! If that someone was Tatsuki, he'd be in traction.

But as Orihime pulled her collar aside, his eyes widened. There, hidden beneath the fabric of her school shirt, was a bandage about half the width of his hand. As she pulled the bandage back, though, horror pierced his heart; there were two rows of freshly scabbed over teeth marks. His stomach lurching, Ichigo knew instinctively where they'd come from.

"You can touch it if you want," she whispered, turning her head to bare her neck for him. A fierce protective urge rose up in Ichigo's chest; if anyone else had done that to her, he'd hunt them down and murder them. As it was, he was simply resigned to feeling like the biggest asshole in the world.

But as he grazed the wound with his fingertips, something strange happened. A jolt of electricity coursed through his veins; judging by Orihime's gasp, she felt it as well.

Even stranger, he could feel the memories from his lost time flow into him through his skin. Her voice, her smell, her body, he remembered everything now.

'You... bastard!' he shouted inside his head, 'How could you do that to her?' He could practically feel the hollow smirking at him.

'Oh, get over it, King,' came the distorted answer, 'I just gave her what she wanted. She ain't as innocent as you seem to wanna think. 'Sides, now she knows she's ours - no one's gonna fuck with that.' The hollow clearly thought he'd done a good job of it from the smug tone of his voice. Ichigo would've given anything to have his neck in his hands right then.

"Kurosaki-kun? Are you okay?" Her sweet voice made him ache, the memories of it saying much less innocent things still fresh in his mind.

"I'm the one who should be asking you that," he exclaimed, grabbing her shoulders again, "Are you okay? Did he hurt you? Oh god, he... he didn't even pull out, did he?" To say Ichigo was having something of a freak out was an understatement; he felt like he might combust or drop dead of a heart attack at any second. Orihime, however, merely tilted her head to the side and looked at him curiously.

"Of course he didn't hurt me," she said as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, "I don't think he can. A-And I'm at the end of my cycle anyway, s-so he didn't have to." Strangely enough, that last part colored her face with a light blush.

'Of all the things to be embarrassed about,' Ichigo thought, the absurdity striking him. Instead of saying anything, he merely pulled Orihime into a tight embrace.

"I'm so... so... sorry," he muttered, burying his face in her crown. Orihime blinked against his shirt, bunching the fabric beneath her hand.

"Don't be sorry, Kurosaki-kun," she breathed, "I... I kind of... liked it." Ichigo froze, eyes wide in shock, as his hollow cackled just behind his ear.

"You... did?" he asked hesitantly. How was that even possible? A light blush dusted his face as he looked down to find her blinking up at him curiously.

"U-Uhn," she reassured him with a small nod, "I... wouldn't mind if you wanted to do it again."

Ichigo merely stood rooted to the spot, a living statue. He couldn't believe his ears. Inoue Orihime, the most sought-after girl in school, the girl he'd gone almost literally to hell and back for, the girl he had coincidentally been nursing a crush on for the past however many months, was inviting him over to her apartment. For sex.

'Say yes, dumbass,' the hollow commanded from somewhere inside his mind. Ichigo directed an annoyed scowl inward before turning back to Orihime. He hugged her tighter, burying his nose in the crown of her head and inhaling the scent of her grapefruit and ginger shampoo.

"If... if you're sure," he answered haltingly, cheeks burning against her cool hair. He was answered with a bright smile as Orihime leaned up on tippy-toes to kiss his cheek.

"I'm sure!" she chirped happily before pulling away and heading for the door, "You should eat your lunch, Kurosaki-kun! We only have forty minutes left!"

Ichigo watched her go, dumbfounded. How could so much change in the space of a day, yet it feel like nothing had changed at all? Somehow, he realized, this felt... right. Like it was always meant to be this way.

'Yeah, you can thank me later,' the white hollow echoed inside his skull. Ichigo hated to admit it, but... that thing's instincts had actually been on target.

'I'll thank you when half the school isn't out for my blood,' he huffed back. He wasn't looking forward to lunch one bit.