Okay, I know you guys want more Panther King. I know! Trust me, I'm working on it. For now, a little present. These two popped into my head, and I wondered why no one has tried them yet. That in mind, I wrote this. Enjoy.

Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach. There, I said it. Now on with the story.

People weren't sure how things had gotten to the point that they had now. In fact, most weren't even sure where she had come from, save for a select few. And all that they had known was that it had started when he had found her.

Aizen had been defeated. And the one who defeated him was without a doubt sure of that. He'd even brought back the Hogyoku and Kyoka Suigetsu (what was left of it) as proof of that. After the defeat of that man, he'd returned to the fake Karakura to see if there was anyone that he could help. Urahara had long before unlocked the Garganta to Hueco Mundo and brought everyone back, Orihime included. Everyone that was an ally was either healed or on their way to being healed. With that in mind, he stayed off to the side and out of the way. It was only by chance that he'd felt that small amount of reiatsu.

The fact that she was still alive when he found her was a miracle to him. Bloodied, burned, and missing an arm, she covered her face with her remaining hand to try to quell the tears that flowed from her eyes. She cried for her friends, for her mistress, and cursed not the Shinigami, but Aizen. If it hadn't been for him, her mistress would still be alive, and so would her friends. He stepped until he was standing over her broken form. She looked up at him, still crying. Before she could even say anything, he held out the hilt and tsuba of Aizen's now ownerless weapon and dropped it to the ground.

She stared at the broken sword, tears still flowing, and then looked back up at him. She cowered and covered her head when he lifted his foot, but then her eyes widened when she heard the clear crunch of metal and wood. She looked, seeing the hilt, tsuba, and broken blade of the weapon crushed under his foot. Her eyes found his face again, his own strong eyes staring down from beneath unruly orange bangs.

He'd killed Aizen. That much was clear to her. Her Ressureccion had long sing given way. She couldn't fight. She didn't want to fight. There was nothing left for her to fight for. Her mistress and her friends were gone, sacrificed for Aizen's stupid ambitions. But she didn't want to die either. That was the reason why she cowered and cried when he bent to one knee before her.

He didn't strike her, didn't harm her. Instead, he pitied her. She'd been used and thrown aside. Everything and everyone close to her, they were all gone. She was alone and scared now. That was why, when he bent to her, he cradled her against his chest, letting her sob and cry her anguish out.

"No more killing," he said quietly. "No more death. There's been enough of that."

She believed his words. He was the enemy, but she didn't care. His words were as strong as his eyes, but warm and full of truth, unlike the cold emotionless lies that Aizen always spoke. Her lone arm cradled around his neck, dragging her face to his shoulder, burying it there in the hard muscle. Her eyes opened when she heard footsteps behind him, only for them to widen, her burying herself in his shoulder and shivering, fist clenching his shihakushou for all she was worth. Ichigo glanced back.

Yamamoto. He was a little worse for wear, even after Unohana had gotten through with him, but otherwise he was himself again. A single gray eye peered out from under the lid at the boy.

"Kurosaki, what is it that you think you are doing?"

Ichigo only spared the Sotaicho a glance before he hefted the young woman into his arms. "I'm helping someone who needs it." He began walking, she still clinging to his neck even in the bridal carry that he held her in. He passed Yamamoto and then stopped, his expression never changing.

"You are well aware of what she is." He knew the boy knew. Any fool could tell the woman in his arms was an arrancar. But he wanted to hear the answer.

"Yeah, but there's been enough killing today." He leveled a glare ahead of him. "The war's over old man. Let the survivors have their peace."

The old captain simply stood for several minutes. The boy had certainly changed in the short time that he had left for Hueco Mundo. How he acted was a clear indicator. How his power felt was another. And considering his actions and the fact that Aizen was dead because of him…

"Let it be known Kurosaki," he said slowly, "that she will be your responsibility from this point onward." Ichigo did not respond at first, and there was silence amongst them, save for the scared whimpering of the woman in Ichigo's arms. His response came in a single word before he shunpo-ed away.


There was confusion when he appeared in front of Orihime. Then there was some anger when he asked Orihime to heal the woman in his arms. Some were outraged, others distressed, and some of the more straight-laced were preparing to attack him. Until Yamamoto reappeared amidst them all.

"Leave them be."

Soifon, now with both arms intact, was the first to say anything. "But Sotaicho-"

"Soifon-taicho, you will leave him be. Him and that girl."

"But she's-"

"She's his responsibility. Now Leave Him Be."

There was no arguments after that. Orihime healed her, the real Karakura was brought back, and life went on as it had before, without the threat of annihilation. But throughout all of this, there was one thing that everyone noticed immediately.

Effectively, Mila-Rose was a prisoner of war, but without all the necessary detainment. Officially, she was free to do as she pleased when she pleased, so long as Ichigo kept a leash on her. Urahara even made her a special gigai so that she would be able to survive without the need to ingest souls. But then, keeping an eye on her wouldn't be much of a problem, because she wouldn't go anywhere without Ichigo. Not because she was forced, but because she wouldn't leave his side or let him leave hers.

It had first happened in Urahara's shop. She needed to be fitted for her gigai, and it had required that she strip. Ichigo, being the gentleman that he is, was going to leave the room. When he tried though, Mila had latched onto him and buried her face in his shoulder.

"Please. Stay."

Ichigo, despite his new strength and calmness, had still raised his brows in surprise and allowed some red to color his cheeks. He glanced away from her. "Ano…I don't think I-"

Mila looked directly at him, her eyes teary and her lip actually quivering. She gripped him just a bit tighter. "Please?"

Much to the surprise of everyone present, Ichigo relented. He kept his eyes shut the entire time, but he stayed. He even helped her pick out some clothes while the gigai was being made. Although, he'd come out of that red in the face and with a small dribble of blood leaking from the one nostril. Afterward, he'd taken her home.

His sisters had mixed feeling about her when he brought her home. Yuzu was welcoming, as she was with Rukia and anyone else Ichigo had brought home. Karin, well, she was a little shocked. She'd always said he'd have to bring home someone of at least Orihime's caliber to be surprised by him bringing home a girl, and apparently, he'd finally succeeded. She was a bit suspicious still.

Both twins weren't lost on how their brother was acting either. His calmness was new, but not necessarily bad. And given his looks and the bit of height he'd seemed to gain, it wasn't too shocking that he'd brought home Mila-Rose.

Now Ichigo's dad…there had been the problem. With a shout and a high flying kick, he'd attacked like he normally would when Ichigo came home. This time though, when Ichigo fought back, he kicked his father hard enough to slam him almost through the wall. Actual blood was spilled. And all Ichigo said was, "Knock it off dad. You're scaring her."

Indeed he was. Mila knew what Isshin was, and the fact that he'd moved to attack in her direction had sent her into a scared quiver, making her grip onto Ichigo's shirt and bury her face in it once again. Isshin treaded rather carefully that night.

That first night had been a bit stressful for Ichigo, because the first thing that she did was follow him to the bath. She moved as he did, stripped as he did, and all around followed his every move. He almost didn't realize her intentions until he turned to throw his shirt in the hamper and there she was, stripped to her bra and panties. He'd stopped, sputtered, tried to dissuade her in every way possible as she just stared at him, and then she looked down and spoke in a quiet voice.

"I was just going to wash your back."

Even with that calm face, the eyebrow had been breaking new twitch speed records. He finally palmed his face, grabbing a towel. "Fine." Even he wasn't sure why he relented, but he did. He did have to admit that it was nice when she scrubbed his back. Sharing the tub had been really awkward, especially when she nestled herself in front of him, right between his legs. If she was freaked out by the happenings of a teenage boy's body, then she didn't project her thoughts. She simply leaned up against him.

Then there had been the bed. He had expected her to climb in with him. After the bath, how could he not? He hadn't expected her to climb in clad in just her underwear. He would have sputtered, but he stopped before it started. At least she was wearing something. He went to sleep back to back with her.

Halfway through the night, he woke up in her cleavage, her arms wrapped as tightly around his head as a snake about its prey. Before he even moved more than the muscles in his eyes, he heard the quiet sobbing, the whisperings, "Halibel-sama, Apache, Sun-Sun" He didn't need to look up to see the tears. She squeezed him all the tighter, like she was trying to absorb him, maybe even protect him.

He felt his arms move of their own accord, and he squeezed her back. He knew what it was like to lose someone you loved. He knew how it felt to be powerless to have stopped it. If indulging her helped ease her pain, even if just a little bit, then he wasn't about to say no to her.

Isshin was back to his normal exploits the next morning, and Ichigo was ready for him. Just as his dad jumped for the bed, Ichigo jumped, a hand over Isshin's big mouth as he slammed his father to the floor as easily and as quietly as he was capable.

"For once dad, listen very carefully." Ichigo's tone was all business, and Isshin paid very close attention. The boy jerked a thumb at Mila on the bed. "She does not like it when you attack out of nowhere, and neither do I. She knows what you are, and you attacking scares her." He pushed hard on his dad, both his chest and mouth, making sure his next message would get across. "From now on, you make one move towards her that scares her, and I promise to put you through the wall. Got it?"

Isshin looked at his son, somehow surprised. He did that on a normal occasion. This time though, Ichigo sounded like he would cause serious harm. That in mind, Isshin nodded. And Ichigo…Isshin shuddered. His son had just taken on a rather Ichimaru Gin-esque smile.

"Good." He then wasted no time in throwing his dad out the nearest open window, watching the man fall.

"My son, what was that for?"

"You really thought I wouldn't throw you out the window?" Ichigo deadpanned before bringing his head back in the window. He moved to leave his room for the bathroom, but he missed the fact that Mila had been wide awake and listening through the whole conversation.

As he'd expected, she followed him to school. Good thing Urahara had the foresight to provide the uniform and the necessary transcript papers for her to become a student. He wasn't surprised to see Rukia back in the class, but she seemed surprised to see Mila-Rose. She knew he was supposed to keep an eye on her, but she didn't think she'd be going to school with him. She was over her surprise quickly though.

For the entirety of the day, she was his shadow, either attached to his arm, or following behind him holding a handful of his shirt. People were surprised. Ichigo was back, he'd grown, and he had a new girl practically attached at the hip. The questions were ignored. Although, he got a good laugh when asked if Mila was Chad's sister.

Uryu was wary of her at first. Chad wasn't that bad. His thoughts were something along the lines of if Ichigo trusts her, then so could he. Orihime was more than ready to be friends with her. Tatsuki greeted her like she would any normal transfer student, Keigo had acted like always did, asking why Ichigo got all the girls, Mizuiro tried to hit on her and failed miserably, and Rukia…well, not all roads lead to a silver lining. She refused to talk to her. Actually, Rukia barely looked at her. It went on like that for most of the morning.

When it was time for lunch, Ichigo found that little Yuzu had seen fit to pack two lunches, one of which Mila was all to eager to have. It had been a long time since she'd had real human food, and she found that Yuzu's cooking was some of the best that she could remember. She had blushed when Ichigo had picked a piece of rice off of her cheek. No one commented, but Rukia had scowled.

The day ended without incident. The group of friends all said their goodbyes, and Ichigo stalked off with Mila hanging off of his arm. He didn't miss Rukia following a few feet behind him. Of course she was going to be staying with his family. He expected that much, since she pretty much did every time that she came to the world of the living. However, he did miss the scowl that she was leveling at the back of his and Mila's heads.

She kept up the normal cutesy girl act for Yuzu and Karin, though it was more for Yuzu at this point. She knew about Isshin of course, and he kept his act up as usual as well. Although, Ichigo had to wonder if that was actually an act at this point. The man did not attack him or Mila. However, when he hugged Mila, even Ichigo got a good laugh of the bewildered look on his new charge's face.

Rukia was quiet through most of dinner, Isshin and Yuzu were jovial, and Karin was Karin. However, Ichigo and Mila were being nauseating. Ichigo had been surprised when she held a chopstick of food for him, but he'd accepted. He did the same for her and she accepted with a smile. This continued for the entirety of the meal, attributing to everyone's mood, and the feeling in Karin's stomach.

After dinner, everyone else got a good surprise when they followed the strawberry and his charge, only to find them going to the bath together. Even Rukia and Karin had put an ear to the door for that. They heard a thump, a low groan, and the whisper of "Ichigo…" followed by an airy moan.

If any of them were to turn any darker, then their names could have been called Ichigo. And while red on the outside, Rukia was also seeing red. Enough red that she slammed open the door without a second thought. There was Ichigo on his back, rubbing the forming lump on the back of his head, Mila atop his stomach, his hand at her side, both sans clothing. They both glanced at their audience and reacted accordingly.

Finding her normal personality rather quickly, Isshin received a bucket to the face courtesy of Mila. Rukia dodged a glare from Ichigo, along with a stool, a bar of soap, and a bottle of shampoo, getting as far from the door as possible. Karin just covered Yuzu's eyes as she deadpanned the two of them.

"You know, if you're gonna do that, do it in the bedroom."

"GET OUT!" The two were in unison until the door closed and they looked back at each other. Mila looked away first, getting off and pulling him into the sitting position, his legs crossing and his hands covering him as well as he could. She kneeled before him, looking anywhere but him, her own hands covering herself. Her voice was rather small when she spoke.


Ichigo just blinked, doing his level best to keep his eyes above her neckline. Then he just grinned. "Don't worry about it." From there, he moved her to their recovered stool. She did notice that he was rather gentle when he washed her back, and he missed the blush that appeared this time when she stepped into the same position that she had the night before.

For the better course of a month, this was normal. The two of them went everywhere together. If Ichigo went out, so did Mila. If Mila wanted to go somewhere, Ichigo went with her. They bathed together, the embarrassment between them quick to subside after the first couple of experiences, and of course, they shared a bed.

No one really questioned it after a while. Granted, Ichigo's family had to be chased away from both doors many, many times, along with Rukia, and there was the occasional case where whisperings started up after Ichigo was founding waiting outside the school bathroom for Mila, and vice versa, but these were quickly dismissed.

Over the course of that time, Mila slowly regained her normal personality, and Ichigo almost did a face palm as she did. It was almost like dealing with a female Renji. Although, she never really argued with him. And she never stopped following him around. When it came to him, she was very much obedient, and he never really questioned it. It was what she wanted to do, so he didn't say anything. Besides, in his mind, he was helping her. Who was he to turn her away from something she needed.

Rukia didn't really bother them after them after the first night. In fact, save for listening in sometimes, she barely interacted with them at all. At least, not when Mila was around. Halfway through that first month, she had cornered Ichigo waiting for Mila outside the bathroom, his arms crossed and his face set to that calm look he'd had since Aizen's defeat.

"Ichigo, just what are you thinking?"

He'd quirked an eyebrow at her. "What are you on about now?"

"Ichigo, she's an arrancar. Why are you helping her?"

That calm look became a scowl. "That's none of your business."

"Why not?"

"It's personal."

"So personal that you let her bathe with you?"

His only response for that was to blush. "Look, just drop it."

"Not until you tell me why you're helping her."

Neither one noticed Mila's presence standing just inside the bathroom door. She leaned with her back to the wall listening in on the conversation. Outside, Ichigo gave Rukia a rather pointed look.

"You really don't know, do you Rukia? For being my friend, you really don't know how I think, do you?"

Rukia was slightly taken aback at that. Was he implying that she wasn't his friend just because she couldn't figure this out? No, that was absurd, but clearly, he expected her to at least figure it out.

Ichigo leaned back against the wall, his eyes a bit glassy. "Rukia, I only lost my mother. It hurt like hell, and I still haven't completely gotten over it."

Mila had listened on the other side of the door with rapt attention. Rukia had just stared at her friend. "Ichigo…"

His head turned toward her, scowl back again. "So tell me something, how do you think Mila-Rose feels, having lost everything important to her?" He'd seen the understanding flash across her face instantly. "Got it yet?"

Rukia's only response was to look ashamed and nod. "Good. Then let it be." On the other side of the door, Mila had a hand over her mouth, stifling the sobs as the tears came.

That had been half a month before. Rukia had backed off the subject some, and even started to be a little friendlier with Mila after that. Although, she quickly realized the same thing that Ichigo did. It was like dealing with Renji. The two of them fought, bickered back and forth, and all around got on the other's nerves. It took Ichigo to make them knock it off. Even in that case, Mila never argued with him.

Staring at the bathroom ceiling as he was now, hands behind his head and thinking over the events of the past month, even Ichigo wasn't sure why he let things develop like they had. Sure, he tried to rationalize his reasons, but even then, he couldn't find a real explanation. He breathed deep, letting out the sigh slowly.

Mila stirred at his chest, glancing up at him. "Something wrong Ichigo?"

"Just thinking."

"About your mother?"

Ichigo, if he was surprised, didn't move. "Heard it all that day, didn't you."

"Every word."

"Thought so." One of his arms shifted so that it was resting across the back of her shoulders. Mila felt herself curl in on him just so. He almost felt warmer than the water by now.

"Sorry," she said.

"For what?"

"Being a burden."

"You're not." He breathed deep again. "If that were the case, I would have said so a long time ago." He felt a hand lay across one of his pectorals.

"Is it okay if I stay for good then?"

Again, Ichigo didn't move, save for the light stroke of her shoulder. "Yeah." He returned to his thoughts rather quickly after that.

Mila was quick to follow those actions. She'd noticed that she was doing a lot more of that lately as well. And given what those thoughts were usually about, she wasn't surprised by the next few lines that left her lips.



"Would you kiss me?"

Apparently he wasn't surprised either, because he barely moved before he said, "Sure."

His head tilted forward towards her just as she towards him. Amber met light emerald for the barest of moments before that short gap was closed. Mila had turned by this point, the front of her body pressing against his, soft, generous breasts pressing against the hard expanse of his chest.

For his first kiss, Ichigo thought that he did pretty well, even if he had no real idea of what he was doing. He would not deny that he was enjoying himself. Mila's lips were pillow soft against his, so warm and pliable to his own as the two of them pushed against the other's.

Mila herself was pleasantly surprised by the feel of his lips. His face was strong and angular, his jaw chiseled and hard. However, for all that strength and hardness, his thin lips were ever so soft. A little chapped to be sure, but still soft. It almost made her laugh; someone so strongly built having such a tender kiss.

After several moments, the two of them parted, taking in a deep breath, their eyes opening to take in the other once again. Mila Rose just stared at the young Shinigami savior beneath her, words lost on her. In turn, he stared up at her, his eyes never leaving hers.

Neither moved for what seemed like very long time, until Ichigo did. Mila was only just aware of the hand that came to rest on her cheek, the other combing its way through her thick locks of chocolate hair. When the pressure came, she went with it willingly, her lips once again locked in a sweet kiss, her evergreen eyes slipping closed.

Ichigo felt both hands very clearly. One of her arms circled under his arm, the hand coming to rest just between his shoulder blades as the other fisted his newly grown orange strands. The hand he had on her cheek moved, sliding slowly down her side and coming to circle at her waist. He pulled her forward, smashing her up against his front. She pulled against him all the harder, her breasts molding to the muscles of his chest. He felt hardened nipples scrape along his flesh.

They would have continued if not for the thump at the door. They had stopped, both glancing at the door to see it slid open just enough for someone to peek through. They parted and they both scowled. Ichigo growled and hefted the nearby bar of soap. He tossed it up once or twice to gauge the weight, and then sent it flying.

The bar slipped through the open door easily and they were rewarded with the sound of his father grunt of pain. The door shut quickly, and they both heard the scrambling of at least a few other people outside the door. Karin could be heard talking. "I told you he'd notice."

Another voice spoke, Yuzu this time. "But-but! They were kissing!"

"And you're surprised by this how?"

Isshin was heard now. "Oh my son! You're finally becoming a man!"

And then Rukia. "I didn't think Ichigo would actually do it. He's such a beast."

"Oh sweet, dear, innocent Rukia! Worry not! My beast of a son shall not harm you!"

Ichigo's temper finally hit the roof. He through the bucket at the door this time, making it thump rather loudly. "Knock it off already!" The scrambling left the outside of the door, and Ichigo sighed. He glanced at Mila, who had taken up her spot at his chest again, facing away from him. A perfect moment, ruined by his family and Rukia. "Mila, listen-"

"Ichigo…" Ichigo raised a brow. She sounded nervous. That was new. Sure, at the beginning of their time together, she'd been a little meek and somewhat withdrawn. Then as time went on, she had begun to sound rather confident and cocksure, just like himself, Renji, Rangiku, or some of the other Shinigami that he knew. But nervousness, coming from her, was not something he was used to.

She turned to him, her dusky cheeks tainted by red. "Ano… I… that is…"

He raised a brow at her. "What?"

"Could we…" She started to blush all the harder. This was harder than she thought it would be. For crap's sake, she'd bathed with him for over a month. Why was she so nervous now? Maybe it would just be easier to do.

"What Mila? Out with it already."

The arrancar woman just shook her head. "Never mind. It's nothing." Almost immediately she was up and grabbing her towel. She refused to look at him. Ichigo just watched her for a minute before rising out of the tub as well, pulling the plug as he did. The two of them dried, wrapping their towels around themselves, having left a spare set of clothing out in his room. The hallway was empty when they came out. Probably a good thing too, otherwise they would never hear the end of Isshin's ranting. When they got to Ichigo's room though…

Ichigo was surprised to hear the sharp click of a lock after the door closed. It was almost booming, considering how quiet it was. He looked back at Mila, she facing the door, her hand on the lock. "Mila?"

She didn't answer him. She still didn't look at him. Instead, she grasped his hand tightly in hers, moving slowly further into his room. Ichigo stayed stationary until she pulled on his arm, and then he followed her just as slowly. The only light on in the room was a small lamp on his dresser, which provided just enough light to cast a moderate glow over the whole of the room.

She sat on the edge of the bed, still grasping his hand while he stood over her, and still refusing to look at him. He sat next to her, placing his unoccupied hand on her shoulder to turn her towards him. "Mila, what's-" As he turned her to him, she silenced him with a kiss. Once again he felt himself become amazed at how soft her lips were and she his. They parted, but she stayed close, her forehead pressed up against his.

"Ichigo…" She still sounded nervous, but now he had a good idea why. "You were being serious when I asked if I could stay for good, right?"

He felt his hand get squeezed a bit tighter. She was shaking, and even so close, still refusing to meet his eyes. She wasn't just nervous, he realized. She was afraid. Afraid of what he might say. But he'd already answered. It was still the same.

"Yes." He squeezed her hand back. Now she met his eyes. "You won't lose me, Mila." He grinned.

At that very moment, Mila-Rose looked she wanted to cry, but then she quickly blinked it away, all but the two lone tears that streamed from the outer corners of her eyes. She leaned away from him and smiled. "I'd better not."

Ichigo kept his grin, bringing a hand up to her face, fingers combing into her hair and thumb wiping away the tear on her cheek. "Promise."

She sniffed once, wiping her eyes on the back of her arm. She kept her smile, bringing her hands up, one laying across the hand on her face, the other slowing caressing his forearm. She turned her head, kissing his palm and knuckles. He slowly guided the hand towards himself and their eyes met again, just before their lips.

For a third time, the two of them enjoyed the plush softness of each other's lips. Although, there was the sharp intake of breath and a gasp when Ichigo felt the tentative lick of Mila's tongue on his bottom lip. Hands fisted in the lush locks of his hair, the action reciprocated by one of his own. The other found its way around her, pulling her towel clad body closer to him.

Mila was delighted when she felt his lips open. Her exploration of his mouth began slowly, tracing along his teeth and gums before delving deeper. Their tongues made the first tentative touch before entwining in an awkward dance for dominance. Mila quickly lost, allowing his rough, wet organ to intrude in her mouth. She let out a moan when his tongue dragged across her palate, then following her own tongue to dance with it again.

They continued for several minutes before they parted, a string of saliva connecting them by the bottom lip. They exchanged several small kisses before Mila backed away from him, moving toward the head of the bed. She panted as she moved, drawing Ichigo's eyes to the steady rise and fall of her breasts.

When she reached the pillow, she laid back, hand on either side of her head. She watched him closely, her look smoldering as her eyes slowly clouded with the smoky haze of lust. She saw him swallow, saw the muscles in his jaw and throat tighten. She heard the sharp intake of air that came with the heavy rise she saw in his chest. He shifted uncomfortably.

How enticing she must have been to him, she knew too far too well. A month of sharing the bath with him had made it all too clear. But then, it had been that way the very first night. She had felt it. It was almost impossible to ignore, but she had. After that night, it was still noticed, but always ignored by both. She could only imagine how much it had pained him, how he pained for release. But she would see to that. No more pain for him.

"Ichigo." His eyes darted from her chest to her face and then away, ashamed and blushing. That wouldn't do. "Ichigo…" His eyes were back. Her tone was light and airy. Warm, husky, and promising. Her hand moved to her towel, and it was quickly discarded. She lay nude before him, face flushed and breathing steadily growing deeper as she panted. Around her head, her hair spread out like a brown halo. She watched his eyes move, a strange tingle tracing everywhere that they roamed. She shivered. He could see everything.

Ichigo felt a desert in his throat. He tried to swallow, but couldn't. His eyes were beyond him now, taking in long expanses of cocoa skin. He paused briefly on perfectly formed breasts, capped with dusky brown nipples, and the apex of her thighs, a small, trimmed triangle of brown curls between her barely parted legs. His eyes focused on her arms when they raised and she reached out for him.

"Ichigo…come here." She smiled for him, a tremble in her voice. "It's my turn to take care of you."

He was slow to accept her invitation, but he accepted. He crawled until he was on all fours over her body. Mila wrapped her arms around his neck, still smiling. She pulled until his lips were an inch from hers. The only reason that she stopped was because he spoke.

"Mila, are you sure?"

She didn't answer him verbally. She only pulled him into another kiss.

When the two of them finished, neither of them moved for several minutes, save for the small tremors that rushed through their flesh, and their lungs as they both took deep breaths of air. Sweat poured off them both, coating their skin and hair. When they both finally lifted their heads from the others shoulder, they looked at each other and smiled. That smile turn to a grin, which turned to a chuckle, and then finally became a full fit of giggles and laughs from the both of them. They pulled each other into a tight hug, and continued to laugh, their fingers entwining the other's sweat soaked, and rather messy hair.

Mila was the first to back off, and she laid a quick, tender kiss on his lips when she did. "I think I love you Ichigo." She grinned when she said it.

Ichigo just stared, and then he chuckled. "Ya know, I was just thinking the same thing about you." He grinned, she grinned wider, and the two of them broke out into a fit of laughter again, just before they dropped back onto the bed, Mila sprawling out on top of him.

Outside the door, four individuals weren't sure what they should be doing. And then the idiot amongst them broke the silence.

"NOW THAT'S MY BOY!" Isshin stood and pumped his fists to the heavens, his face still red and his nose distorted by a large number of now bloody tissues. Then he pointed at the locked door, face beaming with perverted pride. "Ichigo! Now that you are a man, I expect to see some grandchildren very soon! It is your DUTY as a man to provide me with grandkids to spoil!"

"Oh will you shut up!" Karin finally found herself, and she made sure that it hurt. He went down hard, clutching at the area between his legs. Karin huffed and looked at her sister and Rukia. Yuzu was red in the face.

"They were…" Yuzu looked at her sister. "They were…"

"Yeah. Yuzu, I don't think you wanna dwell on that subject." The young blond merely nodded and blushed. Rukia was blushing just as well.

"I was only kidding about the beast thing earlier," she said quietly, pointer finger between her lips. "He really is a beast. And a strong one at that."

"Don't worry dear, sweet Rukia! That beast won't get to you like he did to Mila-Rose!" Isshin was up and open-armed again. "I shall protect you!" Karin kicked him again, and he went down, this time bleached through. The three girls left him lying there in a crumpled heap. The young younger ones didn't hear the contemplative thought that danced only once through Rukia's mind.

'I wonder if they'd let me join them?'

Back in Ichigo's room, Mila still lay sprawled over Ichigo's body, tracing small patterns on his chest with her fingers as her head rested against his left pectoral. She was listening to his heartbeat. His hand was splayed on her back, the other supporting his head as he stared at the ceiling.



"Promise me you won't die on me?"

He glanced down at her, catching wintergreen eyes. "Didn't I already promise that you'd never lose me?"

She stroked her finger a little slower along his chest. "Yeah. I just want some reassurance."

He sat up, taking her with him, and came eye to eye with her. He grasped her shoulders as she kneeled. "Mila, I promise, I won't leave you. Not for anything."

Mila stared at him, and then smiled, leaning in. "Thank you Ichigo."

He grinned, leaning in to meet her. "Anytime, Mila-Rose." With that, the two of them shared a long, tender kiss.

People weren't sure how things had gotten to the point that they had. Even the two of them weren't. They were sure of one thing though. She had lost every reason to keep going, and he had brought all of them back.

Well, what do you think? To my team (especially the one member) tell me what ya really thought. To everyone else, including my team, constructive criticism is nice. Also, Panther King should be out soon (hopefully). And now, back to Chapter 7. Bye for now! SnK.

Update for all of you guys. The version with the lemon has been moved to my DeviantArt account. My screen name is PanteraIchigo.