A/N: Okay, so as I'm sure most of you are aware by now, I have a huge tattoo fetish. When it comes to good tattoos I often have to restrain myself from putting my mouth on them. Embarrassing, yes, but I'm comfortable with people knowing it. XD

Anyway, as you can probably imagine, someone like myself, upon looking at someone like our darling Renji, finds herself practically frothing at the mouth.

Being a RenIchi fan, I often wonder...

Does Ichigo share the same compulsion?


At age 19, Kurosaki Ichigo had found that his life was different in more ways than he could possibly imagine. Living on his own, with a part-time job and his university classes all piled together in a pillar of responsibilities he hadn't carried before. Not that he had trouble with responsibility, being a part-time shinigami on top of everything made responsibilities like those seem like a breeze. It was almost a relief to sit in the quiet and just work on his assignments.

But things were so different, in the four years since all of this had started, and so much of it simply had to do with growing up.

Back then, Ichigo would've been insulted if you'd called him a kid, or said he was young. But looking back on his life, he hadn't realized how young he'd been, how young he still was, how much he still had to learn. About himself, about the people he was close to. And he craved that knowledge, reveled in the learning, and people had started to see in him a depth of maturity that hadn't been there before.

He was studying art and literature in university, something that surprised many. Most people expected him to go to medical school like his father. But a few years of battle had taught Ichigo that his hands weren't meant for healing, they were meant for protecting. He just wasn't fit to be a doctor. But art and literature, things of beauty, these things seemed precious to him, because there was so little of it.

Maybe that was why he'd applied for that job at the tattoo parlor, maybe it wasn't. Tattooing in itself was a kind of art, wasn't it? And the people he worked with had talent that sometimes left him dumbfounded with awe. Beautiful.

He worked the front desk, and he sometimes helped out with the piercings, but when it came to the tattoos he just liked to watch, to see the ink and colour somehow come to life on a person's skin. Like a butterfly, fluttering delicately on the thin ankle of a girl, or a tiger, rippling in an ever present crouch on a man's arm, just waiting to spring. It sometimes took his breath away how simple and powerful these images could be on a person.

He was especially fond of the tribal work, though he kept the reasons for that to himself. Because no matter how long he worked there, he'd never seen anything as breath-taking, as skilled, or as powerful, as the living canvas that was Abarai Renji. He had yet to see anything like it, and he doubted he ever would. Renji was made for tattoos, and his tattoos were made for him, they wouldn't fit on anyone else.

Sometimes sitting with Renji in the hot springs in Seireitei was pure torture, watching those perfectly black tattoos stretching across tanned, taut skin. It made Ichigo's mouth go dry, and then begin to water with the insatiable urge to run his tongue over every single crisp line. Like today, on his vacation, hanging out in Seireitei with his friends, having just finished a quick sparring match with Renji. The redhead loved the hot springs, just letting it all wash away in the heat and steam, he couldn't think of anything better right now. He glanced over at Ichigo, who was watching him intently as he talked to him about some paperwork fiasco from the week before.

"Enough about me workin', it makes me depressed." he said, grinning a little. "Ya like yer job, right? Ya don't ever talk about it."

Ichigo snapped out of his silent admiration in order to pay attention. "Well, there's not much to say... I work in a tattoo parlor... Sometimes I get to give people piercings, but most of the time I just give people the same speech over and over about how it's permanent and how the artist isn't liable if they don't like it in a month. And then I get them to sign some paperwork and make sure they're old enough and then the others do the rest."

"Sounds kinda boring... Well, 'cept for the piercings part. That actually sound kinda fun." Renji chuckled, a little sadistically. "What do you like about it?"

"I, uh..." Ichigo blushed lightly, clearing his throat. "I like to watch people get there tattoos done. I'm studying art, so it's kind of fascinating."

Renji nodded, he knew about Ichigo's studies, had actually talked to him about it at length. "Yeah, it's pretty cool, huh? But I noticed ya haven't gotten one yet."

Ichigo shook his head. "I wanted to make sure it was something I was positive I wanted." he said, looking at Renji and smiling crookedly. "I don't suppose you'd draw something for me?"

He'd found out a couple years ago that Renji liked to draw, in his spare time, in order to unwind. It had come up when Ichigo had begun his studies, talking to Renji about how different shapes make up everything, if you look at it the right way, like puzzle pieces. Renji had grabbed a piece of paper from Ichigo and quickly sketched out an almost perfect rendition of Ichigo's face. "Like this?" he'd asked. At the time Ichigo had been to stunned to answer with anything but a nod. Now, though, both him and Renji had discussed Renji's talents for hours, with Ichigo eagerly encouraging Renji to do more.

"Yeah, sure." Renji agreed, grinning. "I know just the thing."


The next day, Renji showed Ichigo what he'd done, holding up his completely finished and inked drawing for Ichigo to examine. The paper had rendered a beautiful, heart-wrenching image of a shattered moon, stylized in black and stark white.

"For Zangetsu." he explained, looking proud of his work.

And Ichigo had to admit, "It's perfect."


How Renji had managed to see inside him what would perfectly click, Ichigo had no idea, but as soon as he returned to work he showed his coworkers the picture, asking if they would be able to do it for him.

"Sure, Ichi-kun." One woman said, her name was Ayame, but a flower she was not, with a rough appearance and full sleeves of intricate tattoos. But she was one of the most talented of the artists, and she thought of Ichigo as a kind of son she'd never had. "Gorgeous work, too, it'll be a good one. You come up with that?"

Ichigo shook his head. Despite his apparent fascination he had no talent for art himself. Maybe that was why he encouraged Renji so much.

"No, a friend of mine came up with it." he said.

Ayame nodded. "You should bring him by one day, I might want to hire him." she said with a laugh. Ichigo laughed quietly with her.

"I'll bring him when I get it done, he'll wanna see."

"Tomorrow then."


Renji grinned over at him, dressed in torn jeans and a plain black t-shirt that seemed to almost blend with the tattoos on his arms. When they walked in Ayame was waiting for Ichigo, holding out a hand to Renji.

"So, you're the friend Ichi-kun was talking about. Ayame."

Renji shook her hand, smiling in a friendly manner, seeming to almost unconsciously radiate charm. "Renji."

"I like you." Ayame said decisively, leading them into one of the sterilized rooms. "Though I'm surprised I haven't seen you here before. You look like you belong in a place like this."

Renji chuckled. "I'm afraid by the time I was in the area I didn't have much space left on my body."

"Oh? Full body work, huh? No wonder Ichi-kun likes you."

Ichigo blushed and glared at her. "Can we get started please?"

"Yeah, yeah, don't get snippy with me."


Renji watched quietly as his simple little picture was transformed onto Ichigo's pure skin. The younger male had opted to get the tattoo on his right shoulder blade, beside the arm that swung his sword, right where Zangetsu would rest across his back. It seemed appropriate to him, and Renji had agreed. Ichigo valued his opinion on this, since Renji was pretty much the expert on getting tattoos as tributes to his zanpakuto. As bonded as Ichigo was with Zangetsu, though, he didn't plan on getting his entire body done...

The pain was minimal, just a light stinging, almost a burning sensation. Compared to previous pains it was practically nothing. And by the time it was over, Ichigo barely noticed the needle sliding across his skin.

"It looks great on you, kid." Ayame said, beaming at him with her cigarette yellowed teeth. Renji nodded and grinned.

A bandage was put over it before he carefully put his shirt back on, waving to Ayame before leaving the shop with a grin.


"C'mon, "Ichi-kun", drink up! We're celebratin', remember?" Renji laughed and slapped Ichigo's back, putting another bottle of sake in front of him.

"Ugh... Ease up, Renji. I ain't an alcoholic like you and Matsumoto..."

"I ain't an alcoholic! I'm what ya call a "social drinker"."

Ichigo just rolled his eyes and took a sip of his drink. "Well then I guess you're a regular social butterfly, huh?"

Renji grunted, talking a much larger gulp. "Yer just jealous 'cause I'm popular."

Ichigo couldn't help but laugh. They were sitting on his living room floor in his tiny apartment, drunk off their asses, arguing over Renji's sake problem. Good times.

It was always like this with Renji, just easy companionship, like you could say anything in the world and it wouldn't matter.

Still, Ichigo figured saying something along the lines of "I wanna lick your tattoos like a horny dog" wouldn't go over that well.

But, oh, it was tempting, especially since Renji had a rather gratifying habit of taking his shirt off once he had some alcohol in him. The couple of times Ichigo asked him why he did that he said something along the lines of what Yoruichi said "clothes are confining."

Sometimes Ichigo swore that Renji did it just to tease him...


It had been an hour, maybe two, the haze of sake made it difficult to tell. All Ichigo knew was that somewhere along the way he'd started to understand what Renji had said about restraining clothes and had wiggled out of his shirt. Now he was laying face down on the carpet, barely conscious, with Renji a few inches away, grinning like an idiot.

"Ne, ya think you can take that bandage off yet?" Renji asked, looking over at him. Ichigo shrugged as best as he could in his current position.

"I guess..."

Renji leaned over top of him, nimble fingers gently pulling away the bandage until the new tattoo was fully visible. He grinned, because aside from the redness that tattoo looked damn good. He was happy for Ichigo, this sort of thing was always kind of exciting.

He was about to say something about it, but when he glanced back at Ichigo he seemed to be completely absorbed in staring at the redhead's neck. Specifically, he was glaring at the elusive lightning bolt shaped tattoo that was simply begging for Ichigo's mouth on it.


The only answer he got was the smaller male leaping on top of him, pushing him into the carpet hard enough for Renji to feel a burn forming. "O-oi! What th' hell, Ichigo?" he slurred, still too drunk to react too forcefully.

Once again, he didn't get an answer, he got a small, hot mouth clamping onto his throat with animalistic pleasure, growling as a soft pink tongue peeked out to lap at his tattoos hungrily. Renji let out a startled sound, hands moving to Ichigo's shoulders. But he didn't push him away, oh no, why would he? He'd been waiting for Ichigo to pounce on him for years. If he'd known all it would take was a tattoo and some sake he would've done it long before now.

He moaned quietly, voice low as Ichigo bit down at the juncture of his neck and shoulder, neck arching back a bit, making Ichigo moan in return.

With a mix of booze and eagerness spurring him along, Ichigo nipped and licked down to Renji's chest, lapping at the tattoos there as he had the ones on his neck, biting here and there in his enthusiasm. Some vague part of his mind was nagging at him that he shouldn't be doing this, that he shouldn't be on top of Renji with his mouth all over him like a ravenous animal. But it was just so damn good. He couldn't stop.

The taste of Renji's skin was intoxicating, and the more Ichigo moved over that hard body the more Renji moaned, and the more Renji moaned the more Ichigo moved over him, in a vicious pleasurable circle that neither of them wanted to break. Renji was hot and hard against Ichigo's stomach and Ichigo...

Ichigo was passing out...

Damn sake...


I know, I know! I'm such a tease X3 I might finish the smut properly later but right now my brain feels like it's going to melt out of my ears. Still, I hope you like it.