Summary: Ichigo hated to cry, and since his mother's death only one has been allowed to see it.
Warnings: Not much. Ichigo a little OOC, same with Hichigo.
Disclaimers: I don't own Bleach.
Ichigo hated to cry. He simply couldn't stand it. He used to be such a cry-baby when he was younger, before his mother died but afterwards he sobered up, refused to shed a tear when someone could see him. Preferably never.
Because once they started, they didn't stop.
Hence the reason why his phone was off, his door and windows locked, Kon thrown out and his covers drawn around his shaking frame as the tears poured out of him, making him sob horribly and gasp for breath.
The worst part was he wasn't ever sure why he was crying. He had felt it earlier in the day during school, his eyes stinging and a heavy feeling growing in his chest. Rukia had caught him rubbing at his chest, asking him if anything was wrong and that caught the others' attention. The Shinigamis wondered if it had something to do with his reiatsu, Inoue offered to heal him, Ishida huffed and Chad just stood there. But once the orange-haired had managed to make them leave him alone the large teen had crouched down, slowly, and Ichigo had met his eyes. His throat had contracted at the look, and the stinging feeling returned. Chad had smiled a little bit, and said:
"You should go home and get some rest."
How Chad always knew when Ichigo was feeling horrible the teen had no idea. But he appreciated it all the same. He had talked to his teachers and gone home. More like run home, because the moment he left the school area his eyes began to blur and overflow. The normal walk of ten-fifteen minutes was done in five, with him running all the way and ending up crashing into the house.
So here he was. Bawling his eyes out without a reason. And it hurt. It hurt a lot. He was grasping at his chest, making pathetic hiccupping sounds as he slowly rocked back and forth. He dearly hoped no one in his family would come home before he got time to get himself together.
The voice made him whip his head up and Hichigo's face looked down at him. There was no grin on his face or any amusement in his eyes. Instead he looked worried.
"Why… why're ya cryin'?" He was asking the question like he didn't understand. He hadn't felt any sadness beforehand, like he usually could. Mostly he had stayed away though, watching the teen's tears from afar. While they were on speakable terms, he wasn't sure how the teen would react on any touching from the Hollow's side.
"I don't know," Ichigo managed. "It just hurts…" He clutched at his chest and doubled over as the cries began anew. It hurt Hichigo too, and he didn't like it one bit.
The Hollow's cold hand settled on his shoulder, pushing the covers away and he gently sat down on the bed, pulling Ichigo towards him and to his surprise the teen didn't protest. Instead the body slumped against his own and Ichigo cried softly into his shoulder.
It was only later Ichigo was dimply aware the tears had stopped. His eyes felt raw, his throat hurt but he was warm, and his chest didn't hurt as much as before. And he was still resting against his Hollow who had been surprisingly silent through the whole ordeal.
"Feelin' better?" Hichigo finally asked, quietly, no mocking tone.
"Yeah…" Ichigo rubbed at his eyes a bit, sniffed and sat up more properly. "Yeah, I'm good."
"No, yer not. Not yet."
The teen looked at the Hollow in surprise who leaned closer and pressed his cheek to Ichigo's forehead. The skin was cool and without a thought Ichigo leaned into it with a small groan.
"Ya need some sleep, King…"
"Mmm…" Ichigo let Hichigo lay him down on the bed, and barely reacted as the Hollow got his shirt and pants off, leaving him in a T-shirt and underwear. The tears had taken his energy with them, and he let himself be wrestled into the covers and tucked in.
"Why don't ya let others see ya like this?"
"They're not supposed to see," the teen mumbled.
"But yet hurt."
"I can't let them see. I'm the one… supposed to protect… not be protected…" He was nearly asleep, barely aware what he was saying and Hichigo clenched his jaws. They had made his King think he was supposed to be strong at all time, that he couldn't show weakness to them. He hated them. He hated them all.
"That's wrong," Hichigo whispered as he slowly lay down too. "Ya can be protected too. I want ta protect ya."
"Mhmm…" Ichigo pushed against him, burrowed in and yawned. "You stayin'?"
"'Kay. Don't go anywhere."
"Stupid. Not goin' anywhere, trust me. My place's right here with ya, King."
This produced a drowsy grin from the teen and he whispered against the Hollow's skin:
"That was so sappy, Hollow."
Hichigo whined. "But it's true, King! I don't know anythin' about bein' sappy, ya can't blame me of that!"
Ichigo snorted, moving closer. He felt warm, and safe for some reason. He felt that for the first time he could be the one to be protected, and that feeling was the best thing he had felt in months. He just hoped Hichigo could pick that up on his own because there was no way Ichigo's mouth would work if he tried to tell the Hollow that.
"Go ta sleep, Ichi," Hichigo said. "I'll keep ya safe, forever and ever."
It was all Ichigo needed to hear.
Short little sappy one-shot. Hope you enjoyed!
Until another time,