Hey guys! Back again with some good ol' fashion angstsmutfluff, which is quickly becoming a specialty of mine. I noticed that people really seemed to like my only ByakuyaxIchigo story, so I put this thing together for my very wonderful and dedicated readers. As usual, I've gotta let you know that I do requests!

Warnings: Angst, anal.

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Please review me! Love you guys!

It was raining. For some time there had been nothing but watery, grey light casting the world in a constant starless twilight. It had been cold as well, unusually so for early autumn. And the clouds had loomed there, promising rain or snow. Everyone had been waiting, leaving umbrellas on their doorsteps, gazing out their windows before venturing out, anxiously waiting as their breath became fog in the air.

Ichigo had been notably scarce. The manor was too quiet without him, disarmingly tidy; it felt lifeless, empty. Byakuya hadn't spent too much time worrying - the boy was temporarily in the real world, the softer world, where Urahara and Yoruichi and Tessai could look after him, where he could be again a boy in his family's care, and feel - as all children do - that nothing could ever hurt him.

But then it had begun to rain, and Byakuya knew he could expect Ichigo sometime soon. He freed the latch on the manor's rear doors which opened onto the wrap-around porch, as Ichigo was fond of running through the vast grounds, swimming the spring and leaping over various boulders, trampling the manicured grass and pounding the stone path before bursting inside sweating, grinning widely.

There wasn't any real work to be done, but Byakuya set about clearing up odds and ends anyhow, kneeling at his low writing desk to sign and stamp this and that.

Yet he was too distracted for the simplest of tasks. He stilled to listen, straining his ears to detect the sounds beyond the polished walls of the manor. Rain fell on the shingles, washed down in torrents, filled the gutters and poured out into the grass, rang the rain chains, soaked the cold wind. He waited to hear the easy slide of his doors, the heaviness of wet footsteps on his floor, and finally - most importantly - hey, Byakuya! Long time no see! It was maddeningly informal, headily so, effusive, passionate, youthful and lively.

To the day of her death, Hisana had never dismissed his honorific.

I'm sorry I can't return Byakuya-sama's love.

His eyes drifted shut. More and more he thought of her, of those last words, her confession, her search for absolution. He had come to accept that she hadn't ever loved him, not in the sense that he had loved her. He could understand that she must have felt a deep respectful affection toward him, and gratitude - but not love. In his youthful naiveté he had believed that his nobility could be forgotten even by the poorest of peasants in the face of love.

Of course it couldn't be forgotten. Everyone had told him as much. Money never could be forgotten. It hovered over him endlessly, his first name and greatest quality, the banner over his house and the ink of his signature. Anywhere he went, his money preceded him, hung tangibly between himself and anyone he met, like an old grudge, like something one meant to say but didn't. Everyone - everyone knew it.

Except Ichigo.

Ichigo came from a world that had no use for the wealth of the afterlife. They had their own money and their own nobility, all of which were unrelated to that of the spirit world. Byakuya did impress the boy with his aristocratic bearing and massive influence, but there was nothing he could want from him that would inspire manipulation.

It was liberating. As much as he was driven mad by Ichigo's irreverence, he was aroused by it extremely. The boy's lack of inhibitions destroyed his as well. For the first time, Byakuya was made to sweat in bed with the sheer frenzy of their sex. Ichigo was loud, he gave voice to his pleasure in grunts and moans and drawled words; he moved, bucked, squirmed, spread his legs wide and touched himself freely; his skin was smooth and hot, slick with sweat and perfectly soft.

Byakuya reflected bitterly on his sessions of intimacy with Hisana. He had been perfectly glad to give his virginity to the woman, though presently he regretted his inexperience: had he been with others, he thought, he certainly would have been alarmed by her solemnity, her cold stillness, her silence. At the time he had merely thought her appropriately modest.

And now he hated himself for being disgusted with her. Anyone could understand her reasons for feigning devotion. It wasn't malicious; she never meant to harm anyone a day in her life. But she was a practical woman, one who would leave her sister for the promise of food, and create the illusion of love for the promise of a roof above her and bed beneath her.

But he hadn't ever intended to be a banker of comfort.

Immersed in his lonely thoughts, he felt the sting of alarm when the sound of his door opening pierced his consciousness.

There was stumbling. Byakuya stood clumsily in his haste and sprinted toward the back entrance.

Ichigo had slid down the wall nearest the door, which stood open a little: rain splashed against the hard wood floor. Byakuya rushed to his side, sliding the door shut quickly, then dropping to a kneel beside the boy. He had evidently possessed the wherewithal to tug his shoes off.

"What's happened?" he asked, following Ichigo's arms down with his eyes.

The boy was holding his leg, where the cloth of his soaked jeans was also coated with mud and strewn with blades of grass, as well as a few spots of diluted blood.

"Tripped," Ichigo hissed, teeth ground together from the pain, "over a rock. 'Cause of the rain."

Of course he had to make it clear that his physical prowess was not to be blamed for the accident - just the damned rain. For a moment, Byakuya's intense expression of concern faded to an exasperated smile. He laid his hand gently on Ichigo's shoulder and leaned closer to inspect his shin.

"Here," he began, tucking his fingers beneath the hem of the boy's pant leg to begin cuffing it, "let me see."

Ichigo looked on nervously, brows furrowed, an indignant frown tightening his lips to whiteness. As Byakuya turned up his jeans, a low whine began in his throat, which came to a crescendo in a hiss.

"Hurts," he ground out, jerking his leg away.

Byakuya looked up at him and nodded gravely.

"You'll have to take them off," he muttered, "in the standard way. Come along."

"Hey - here?"

"No, not here," Byakuya reached beneath Ichigo's shoulder, took the boy's arm behind his neck and helped to lift him to a stand, balancing the weight due to his injured leg with his own support.

Ichigo stumbled for a moment, and Byakuya held him steady until he nodded, jutting his chin out.

"Alright," he assured him, "ready."

With that, Byakuya led him into his bedroom - where the boy had been so many times before. It no longer startled him to pass that dim threshold into the austere chamber of polished paneled walls and glossy hardwood floors. A pale lantern painted with a few strokes of black calligraphy and a lone grey fish hung on a hook in the corner, gently dispelling the darkness.

"Lie down," Byakuya said softly, helping the boy onto his back with desperate attention paid to his injury. He brought his hands to the fly of Ichigo's jeans, where he deftly freed the clasp.

Ichigo squirmed.

"I'll do it," he grumbled, batting Byakuya's hands away.

"It's nothing I haven't seen before, Ichigo," the noble reminded him coolly.

"I can get my own pants off, okay?"

Byakuya sat back with a sigh and allowed Ichigo to try to shift and writhe his way out of his pants. It was difficult - he couldn't put any pressure on his right leg due to the injury, so he was left turning on his hips and gritting his teeth against the pain as he struggled to arch his back and kick them off.

Impatient, Byakuya wordlessly intervened, sliding his hands beneath the waistband and tugging the jeans off in one long, easy stroke. Ichigo scowled and jerked away, but by then his wound was revealed, and Byakuya hardly noticed his protest.

"Hey!" he snapped, "I told you to quit it!" Again he pulled sharply to the side, bringing his damaged knee closer to his chest and away from Byakuya's attention. He glared at the noble with a fiery scorn, lips pressed in a tight, indignant frown.

"If you didn't behave like a child," Byakuya hissed, "I wouldn't have to treat you like one. Clearly walking would suit you better than bounding as you do."

Immediately he regretted it. Ichigo looked away at once and seemed to be struggling to think of some immediate retort, though he failed. Byakuya could see the machinations of his mind, trying to find something that would hurt him as much as he had been hurt, humiliate as much as he had been humiliated.

"Yeah, it's my bad," Ichigo muttered, "for getting excited about seeing you." He was clearly unsatisfied with his reposte - it hadn't been sharp enough, cruel enough; it hadn't seemed to cut the way he had meant it to. After a long moment of tense thought, he added: "..Asshole."

He pointedly ignored the noble then, instead investigating his leg.

Ichigo refused eye contact and curled his body away as he took inventory of his injury. Byakuya could see his anger - his narrowed eyes, the tight muscles of his jaw - and he knew that the frustration of being so insulted but unable to walk out had the boy seething.

Though he knew he had no right, Byakuya was consumed with a sudden pain of his own. So it wasn't just unbridled energy that sent the boy sprinting and jumping and swimming. It was - genuine excitement.

He couldn't decide upon what to say. His urge to apologize burned in him, though he hadn't the words to give voice to it. When he reached out to bring Ichigo close to him, the redhead lashed out at him with a well aimed strike that caught his wrist.

Byakuya rose and left. Cleaning supplies and bandages were in the other room at any rate, and he thought giving the boy a moment alone might be considerate - though he felt those chestnut eyes boring into his back as he left without a word.

As he moved gracefully through the long halls of his manor, Byakuya wished desperately that the past few moments hadn't ever transpired - and then again, he was grateful for them.

Hisana hadn't ever fought him. Of course not. She'd had too much to lose. It must have been her greatest fear, he thought, that they should separate, leaving her homeless and starving again, yet this time sans a sister to provide her with purpose. She wouldn't ever have uttered a harsh word nor raised a hand to him - not in all her life.

And yet Ichigo, in the other room, was trembling with angry indignity, putting every effort into coming up with words incisive enough to express it. Byakuya knew that he would likely have a few choice statements prepared upon his return, his verbal equivalent to walking out and slamming the door.

The mere thought was at once painful and thrilling.

Two servants stood expectantly at the doorway to his bedroom when he returned from his errand for bandages.

"Shall we attend him, Kuchiki-sama?" one asked expectantly.

"No, thank you. I will look after him."

They nodded, bowed, and promptly moved aside for Byakuya to enter his room. Their retreating footsteps sounded quietly as he slid the door shut behind him and turned to face Ichigo. The boy's eyes lit on the bandages he carried, and he frowned.

"I apologize, Ichigo," Byakuya said gently, kneeling down beside him.

Ichigo was silent.

"I was only frustrated," he explained hesitantly, "that you were injured - that you were in pain."

As Ichigo thought his words over, Byakuya began to spread out the aid implements he had brought along: a soft cloth soaked with an antibacterial agent, a little earthenware pot of soothing salve and bandages. The noble had resolved to summon a representative from the fourth squad at once if the wound was anything more serious than a skinned knee - he wouldn't have anything less for Ichigo.

He waited for the boy's retort, entirely prepared for it.

Yet after a few long moments of silence, the redhead merely sighed. Byakuya glanced up at him immediately, cloth in hand.

"Well, fine," Ichigo mumbled, "whatever."


"Yeah, whatever."

Byakuya pondered for a moment, brows furrowed.

"But - what do you mean by that?"

"Did I stutter or what? I mean whatever."

It clearly wasn't processing for the noble.

"You know," Ichigo went on with dramatic exasperation, "it's no big deal. Somebody does something, they say they're sorry, so it's whatever," he shrugged.

For a moment, Byakuya said nothing. The sound of the rain on the sloping shingles became again apparent, its persistent strength showing no signs of lessening even as the day descended into evening.

Displeased with the rather emotional process of forgiveness, Ichigo looked away, doing his best to look tough and unfazed.

"You never have to placate me because of who I am, Ichigo," Byakuya reminded him gravely, having considered his lover's reply for some time.

"Ch, as if," he rolled his eyes, "Nobody's good enough to turn down an apology. What made you think about that, anyways?"

He gazed curiously at the noble as he drew closer. A soft gasp sounded as the antiseptic cloth came into contact with the wound, washing away the dried blood and mud that had gathered there.

"It's been on my mind lately," he replied quietly, "that is, a certain confession that Hisana - my late wife - made."

"Ow," Ichigo whined, his leg twitching as the stinging liquid passed over his scrape, "Yeah? What'd she say?"

"Quite simply that my affections weren't returned."

Ichigo said nothing. Byakuya busied himself with gathering the salve onto his fingers and smoothing it over the wound to save himself the difficulty of meeting the boy's eyes.

"She didn't love you?"

"Apparently not."

"How'd you know?"

"She apologized for it on her deathbed."

Ichigo's questions would have been construed as mean-spirited if not for their boyish innocence. He waited for some time before speaking again, sorting through his sudden emotions as he watched his lover tend his wound.

"At least she said she was sorry," he offered gently.

"She did," he stopped momentarily, rolled the bandages over the wound, and then went on, "and I'm sure she had her reasons for all of it. Poverty will cause such - will cause the worst behavior."

"You don't think she was sorry about it?"

"I imagine she was looking for peace of mind."

Ichigo winced at the trace of old, bitter pain that underscored Byakuya's words; immediately he hoped that the other man had not seen, or had mistaken it for a response to the bandaging of his injury.

"Well hey, it's dumb to be upset about it now, right? She said she was sorry and all. Besides, it doesn't matter anymore."

When Byakuya met his eyes, he found them unusually soft. It seemed to the noble that Ichigo's features had a way of becoming exceedingly gentle that surpassed even the kindest hearted. Perhaps, he thought, it was his youth, the tenderness of his heart, the depth of his empathy, or some mixture of all of those - even though the boy tried so hard to mask it all.

Byakuya cupped his smooth cheek thoughtlessly, as in a dream. Ichigo nuzzled into the touch.

"I know you're right, Ichigo," he murmured, watching the boy with rapt attention. Still there was a trace of sorrow in his eyes. Despite his youth and inexperience, Ichigo was empathetic enough to sense it there, beneath the heavy grayness and steady gaze.

"Then don't think about it," came the hushed reply.

"Haven't you ever spoken to Ukitake-taichou? The right path is always the one beset with hardship."

Ichigo thought hard about that kernel of wisdom, proud of himself for giving it due consideration.

"Just think about something else," he suggested, "think...think about what you've got now. We've got a sweet deal going, right?"

"We do," Byakuya agreed.

"And hey, if you've still gotta be mad, think about it like this: the best revenge is living well."

The statement was surprisingly witty and elegant for Ichigo. Byakuya raised an eyebrow.

"Heard that from my old man," the boy admitted sheepishly.


"Sounds pretty true though, if you think about it. I mean, man, I'd be pissed off if somebody I didn't like was living the high life, and I had to see it all the time."

"But do the dead observe us, Ichigo?"

A long silence passed before the boy sighed.

"I don't know, Byakuya. I don't know about any of this stuff, really. I've had it pretty good, I guess."

He collapsed back onto the bed, fingers laced behind is head, tangled in damp red hair. He felt ashamed again, embarrassed, more like a child than ever, as though he had said things that made no sense and were beyond him.

And perhaps he had, and though he was aware that he could not know the depth and complexity of betrayal, he could not have known how dearly Byakuya loved him for it. The noble did not believe, in the deepest recesses of his heart, that anyone understood the scope or order of the elaborate, infinitely tangled web of love and betrayal, lies and grudges, sorrow and pain, and their inexorable relationships. Even the priest spoke in circles when he consulted them over his troubles, and the books of wisdom that structured the world made no sense of them. Ichigo seemed to him to be the last stronghold of honesty.

The boy's warm eyes widened as he felt Byakuya's lips press sincerely against his own. Still, he fell into their rhythm and fit with a practiced ease, his fingers immediately rising to work those damned kenseikan. The captain grinned against his lips and ignored the tugs and pulls as Ichigo freed them.

Satisfied, the boy's fingers slipped beneath the white belt of his lover's uniform, carefully teasing out the knot. Yet when the haori fell open and the hakama loosened around his hips, Ichigo again became hesitant, drawing his hands back up to Byakuya's broad shoulders.

It seemed to the noble then that no matter how many times they shared explosively passionate love, the redhead would never be too far from his days as a blushing virgin.

"Still so shy?" Byakuya murmured.

"I ain't shy," Ichigo mumbled, moving to fumble clumsily with the remaining clothing.

"Then don't hesitate to touch me, Ichigo," came the husky reply, "you mustn't fear anything between us."

"I - I'm not afraid of anything."

Yet as Byakuya carefully eased him out of his boxers and t-shirt, Ichigo considered whether or not he was, on some subconscious level, afraid. Byakuya was so different when aroused; his cool facade seemed to change into something intense and slightly predatory, from which there was perhaps no escape. His body was overwhelming, taller and stronger and more broad than any other the boy had encountered, even in its white elegance. And there was, of course, the startling expanse of his sex, which Ichigo was certain stimulated his very core.

The black cloth of Byakuya's haori slipped easily from Ichigo's weak grip as he shrugged it off, revealing his chest and abdomen in naked splendor. Then his lips were on one of Ichigo's nipples, and the boy closed his eyes, gulping quietly as pleasure coursed through him, even as he felt the shifting against his body that signaled the removal of Byakuya's hakama.

Ichigo was already squirming, toes curled. It vaguely occurred to him that Byakuya was gingerly moving his injured leg aside, spreading the other shortly thereafter. Spread out on his back, incapacitated by his wound, buried under the broad body of his lover, Ichigo felt vulnerable, exposed. He felt the beginning of a whine in his throat as he squirmed underneath Byakuya, the attention to his nipples now soft, then intense, alternately soft lips and sharp teeth.

Byakuya returned to kissing him, and Ichigo jerked as he felt the pads of his lover's fingers teasing his entrance. A hot flush blossomed over his cheeks and chest as he felt the muscles there twitch, pulsing expectantly.

Byakuya moved up, reaching over him for something. A warm drop of precum dripped onto his stomach, and Ichigo moaned, thoroughly aroused, tense with anticipation and need, cock pounding hard against his smooth abdomen.

"Please..." he gasped, writhing. Sweat glistened on his clear golden skin, casting a godlike glow around him. Byakuya's lips fixed on Ichigo's neck, working fervently at leaving a possessive mark.

Ichigo spread his legs instinctively as Byakuya's finger, slick with the salve from earlier, slid easily inside him. The captain groaned with the feeling of it, the searing heat and pulsing, wanting tightness. By the time he pressed the second finger inside, he was sure that the boy was ready for him, ready to take him inside and be filled with him.

"Mhm, please - Byakuya..." Ichigo gulped and squirmed, "...please, fuck!"

"Ichigo...," Byakuya purred in his ear, positioning his hips between Ichigo's slim thighs.

A long, breathy moan followed as Byakuya pressed inside of him in one steady stroke. Ichigo arched his back, twisting his hands in his lover's sheets. He hooked his knee over Byakuya's sharp hip, thrusting back against him as he began that perfect rhythm, one deep stroke after another.

"Yeah," Ichigo groaned, "yeah, yeah - fuck, fuck me!"

Byakuya thrust hard at that, stimulating that place inside him that drew harsh and heavy moans from his lips. He angled his hips for more, and begged his lover for it.

"More, fuck - right - there -!"

Of course Byakuya obliged him, watching his features contort in intense pleasure. He bit Ichigo's pink shining lip for a moment and the boy knit his brows, then gasped, moaned, grunted as he bucked up for more. It was clear to the captain that Ichigo was close, perilously close. His cock was leaking a steady stream of precum which gleamed on his stomach.

Only a few sharp strokes later, Ichigo's legs jerked open, the sensation of his injury fading as he cried out in orgasm. The pleasure was fierce and constant for long moments, coursing through him from his nipples to his dripping cock to his curled toes. His slender chest heaved with each deep breath.

Ichigo's body twisted with one final spasm of pleasure as Byakuya finished inside of him, filling him completely; the boy bit his lip and whined lightly as those last few thrusts became softer and slower, ending with a gentle pull.

Byakuya laid down beside him as gracefully as he could, spreading a hand over Ichigo's chest as he gazed intently at him. Perhaps it could have been sweat, but the captain was sure as the moonlight fell across his lover's face that a few tears had gathered in his lashes during the midst of their sex.

"I love you, Kurosaki Ichigo," he murmured softly, running his fingers through silky red hair with a blissful smile.

"Love you too, Byakuya," the boy sighed, his post-orgasmic exhaustion already drawing him into a contented sleep.

And Byakuya knew with indescribable certainty that he was Ichigo's first love - and in that sense that the boy was his, too.

Thanks for the read!