I'VE FINALLY FINISHED IT! Only took me four years. But who's counting?

Thank you (if anyone's still reading) for your incredible patience. I'm sorry for the long absence. Life gets in your way sometimes, but I appreciate all the people who reviewed and encouraged me to come back and give this story the proper ending that it deserves.

Also, this chapter is mostly porn. Woo-hoo. I'm sure no one's complaining, lol. Hope you enjoy it!

Chapter Five:

It should be recorded as a minor miracle in Seireitei's history books, Ukitake thinks, that Captain Yamamoto doesn't have a stroke immediately after Ukitake finishes giving his report on the events that occurred in the material world over the course of the last day. Yamamoto does, it must be noted, turn a rather frightening shade of purple and appears to have difficulty speaking for a moment or two.

"Well," he finally manages to grit out. His knuckles are white and he grips at his staff as though it's the neck of somebody (or rather, several somebodies) he'd like to wring. "Well," he says again, weakly. Ukitake lets him regain composure. The longer they take to resolve the matter, the longer Kyouraku, Kurotsuchi, and Zaraki have to remain huddled outside of Yamamoto's quarters, sweating as they await their impending discipline. Ukitake pictures Shunsui, pacing and gnawing at his fingernails like he always does when he gets nervous, and can't help a stab of immense satisfaction.

Yamamoto clears his throat once, twice. "I suppose I've been too lax when it comes to the Gotei 13. I assumed that they possessed the self-restraint necessary to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. That, so it would seem, is entirely my fault."

"You shouldn't be too hard on yourself." Ukitake pats Yamamoto gently on the shoulder; Yamamoto nods, gazing out the window onto the sprawling courtyard of the First Squad barracks. His expression is serene now at least, apart from the way his right eye twitches occasionally.

"What should I do, Ukitake-kun?" Yamamoto asks. He shakes his head, and for a moment looks so old and tired, it makes Ukitake's heart wrench. He squeezes Yamamoto's shoulder a little tighter, smiling when Yamamoto finally looks up at him.

"Don't you worry, sir," Ukitake tells him. "You just take it easy and let me handle this. I know exactly what to do."

"So where the hell are you taking us?" Kenpachi spits out between gritted teeth. There's blood dribbling down into his eyes, blinding him, and his clothes are half-torn to shreds from his fight with that damn blue-haired Espada. They've been wandering through the Gotei 13's barracks for nearly ten minutes now. He's in no mood for games and Ukitake's cheerfully cryptic demeanor is wearing away little by little at his remaining patience.

Ukitake stops short, nearly making Kenpachi stumble and crash into Kurotsuchi. Kurotsuchi, for his part, shoots him a filthy look.

"Watch where you're going, you beast," he mutters under his breath. Kenpachi's hand twitches, grasping for the hilt of his sword.

"Watch your mouth," he hurls back.

Kyouraku sighs melodramatically and slumps against the nearest wall, sliding down to the floor. "Can't you both be a bit quieter?" he whines. "I've got an awful hangover and listening to the two of you argue is only making it worse."

"Hurry along, everyone!" Ukitake cries cajolingly. He slings an arm around Kurotsuchi's and Kyouraku's shoulders, ignoring Kurotsuchi's sneer and Kyouraku's whimper of pain. "We must keep going! Wouldn't want to be late!" He begins to drag them bodily the rest of the way down the hall. Kenpachi follows, albeit more slowly. Something about the way Ukitake is practically skipping is making him hesitate; something about the way he keeps prattling on about how nice the weather is and again and again, how they're going to be late

"Late for what?" Kenpachi says abruptly. Ukitake pauses; his smile, now that Kenpachi looks closer, is a little too wide, a little too manic. Kenpachi feels a prickling at the back of his neck. It's a sensation he hasn't experienced in centuries and it takes a second for it to register: fear.

Ukitake releases Kyouraku and Kurotsuchi, his smile widening even further, if possible. Kenpachi's senses slams into high alert and he studies the surrounding barracks, a small high-pitched voice screeching in his head for him to flee before it's too late. Kurotsuchi and Kyouraku seem to be on the same page, judging from the way Kurotsuchi is grasping for his sword.

Kyouraku blinks determinedly through his drunken haze. "Wait a sec. Isn't this—?"

Ukitake flings open the door of a nearby office and Kenpachi feels his heart plummet.

"Good afternoon, Captain Ukitake!" Unohana cries pleasantly from where she's seated at her desk. She rises slowly, beaming serenely at the four of them.

"Afternoon, Captain Unohana," Ukitake replies casually. "Here are the three trouble-makers. As promised. Captain Yamamoto and I trust that you'll discipline them accordingly?"

"I shall certainly try!" Unohana says, eyeing Kurotsuchi, who Kenpachi didn't think could get any paler. Kyouraku has already fainted. "Won't you come in?" she asks, with a sweep of her arm. A metric ton of reiatsu collapses on top of Kenpachi, nearly suffocating him. He manages to wheeze faintly in protest, unable to evade her as she reaches out to grab his shoulder. Her fingers bite into his skin. Her smile never wavers for an instant.

"I'll be back for all of you later!" Ukitake says, slamming the door in Kenpachi's face. He strides off down the hall, humming to himself as the first of many high-pitched screams erupt from Unohana's office.

"I still don't understand why everyone's so upset," Rangiku growls. "I was only trying to help." She's been irritably sweeping up rubble for nearly an hour now, alongside Ikkaku. Technically, Yumichika is supposed to be helping as well but he's perched himself atop a nearby mountain of debris, since according to him, "Hard labor will ruin my beautiful hands." He's content to watch from the shelter of his parasol—although where he was keeping a parasol on him is anybody's guess.

"Seriously," Rangiku continues to mutter. "Everyone's blowing this out of proportion."

"Give it a rest, already," Ikkaku sighs, struggling to reassemble the remains of the roof from Orihime's apartment building.

Rangiku tosses her hair and pointedly ignores him. "I notice Kurosaki still hasn't thanked me. After everything I did for him, too!"

"Stalking and sexually harassing him?" Yumichika raises a slender eyebrow.

Rangiku puffs herself up in indignation. "All of you are so overly sensitive! Sheesh! If it hadn't been for me—"

"Less talking, more working!" Hitsugaya calls out. He's sprawled out in a stray recliner that's slightly charcoaled from the explosion earlier. "We don't have all day here," he adds. Rangiku plants one hand on her hip and squints at him. Hitsugaya looks uncharacteristically cheerful: the sleeves of his shihakusho are rolled up, his shoes toed off, a faint smirk playing on his lips.

"Aren't you going to help us?" she demands.

"I'm supervising," Hitsugaya replies idly.

"More like sun-bathing," Ikkaku grumbles, though under his breath.

Hitsugaya doesn't even bother to open his eyes and look at them. "I had to erase the memories of everyone within a three mile radius. I'm working just as hard as all of you." He takes a leisurely swig of his melon soda, smiling all the wider. Rangiku grits her teeth, beads of sweat trickling down her face, her long hair sticking to the back of her neck.

"Well, where's everyone else? Renji? Ishida?"

"Cleaning themselves up. Ishida nearly asphyxiated from that corset you strapped him into."

Rangiku's face goes redder. "And Rukia? Where she's gone to?"

Hitsugaya gives a lazy shrug, eyes still closed. "Search me."

Rangiku lets out a sharp, annoyed sigh and turns on her heel, ready to resume her work. Behind her, Hitsugaya clears his throat. "Matsumoto? You missed a spot."
It is through sheer force of will that Rangiku doesn't proceed to beat him over the head with her broomstick.

"I'm really sorry. This is all my fault," Rukia says, for the third time in the last ten minutes. Ichigo actively resists rolling his eyes. It's not that he doubts her, or that he isn't enjoying the (much deserved) groveling. It's that she keeps looking at him like he's some kind of wounded puppy, like at any second he's going to burst into tears and it's making Ichigo want to throw himself into the depths of river that they're currently trudging alongside.

"Yes," he says instead, "it kind of is." He nudges her with his shoulder—a little harder than he means to, but not enough to be painful. Rukia looks startled a second before she notices his grin and returns it with one of her own. She's not off the hook just yet—she's close, though, closer than Rangiku or Kyouraku are ever going to get in the course of their immortal lives. He knows Rukia and him will work through it all eventually, in the slow, offhand way they always do.

Ichigo sinks down to the grass and she joins him after a moment's hesitation. It's early afternoon and there's a summertime sweetness in the air.

"I was a pretty shitty friend." Rukia bites her lip, staring out over the water. "I didn't stop her."

Ichigo snorts. "More like you couldn't."

"I just wanted to help." The sincerity in Rukia's voice catches him off guard. Ichigo watches her out the corner of his eye, as she pulls up fistfuls of grass and looks anywhere but at him. He's heard a string of similar apologies over the last day or so: Chad, near-silent; Orihime miserable; Ishida, squirming and uncomfortable. Even Kyouraku, Kenpachi and Kurotsuchi stopped by his house to apologize, cowering and beaten thoroughly into submission by Unohana. But Rukia sounds different—she sounds desperate.

"It's okay," he says.

"It's not," she retorts.

"But I understand. I know you care about me and that you just wanted to…support me. It's just one of those things that I needed to do on my own."

"Would…I mean…" She runs a trembling hand through her hair. "Were you going to tell me that you were, you know, gay? Because I…" Rukia's hands twist together in her lap. "I just want you to know that you can always come to me. You can always talk to me."

"I know that," Ichigo replies gently. He waits until she finally looks at him, her eyes wide, her face still a little pale with worry. "I was going to tell you, Rukia. Maybe not right away. But when the time was right…you were going to be the first to know."

Rukia smiles finally at that, the fear leaving her eyes. Ichigo shoves at her again, playfully. She shoves him in return and they collapse together back into the grass. Overhead, the clouds chase each other across the sky and Ichigo savors the feeling of finally being able to hold still, to relax and breathe easy.

"I heard Urahara called in a special favor with Soul Society," Rukia says suddenly. "Rangiku's going to be buried under a mountain of paperwork for the next four months. She has to write her own official suspension slips."

Ichigo snorts before he can stop himself. The other day, at tea, Kisuke had looked suspiciously smug—more so than usual, anyway. Mystery solved. He can feel Rukia watching him out of the corner of her eye. "You don't like it, do you? Me and Urahara?" he asks.

She sighs. "I think he's a shifty bastard."

"That is true."

She allows herself a laugh. "But you like him. And I think…well, that he wants to make you happy. And what the two of you have is nobody's business but yours."
Ichigo lets his mind wander, back to the other morning. He spent the night at the Shoten, talking with Kisuke until they both passed out from exhaustion. He woke up this morning, in bed, curled up against Urahara. The sun was falling through the windows and Ichigo lay perfectly still, breathing in the smell of Urahara, feeling the weight of his arm curled around Ichigo's waist until finally there was movement and lips pressed against his forehead and Urahara whispering, "Good morning," in his ear.

Ichigo smiles abruptly and knows that he probably looks like a sappy idiot and, for the first time, doesn't care if anyone else sees it.

"There," Rangiku snaps as she swipes with her broom at the last spot of rubble. "Finished."

"Finished over here, too!" Ikkaku says, gesturing toward the piles of garbage he's stacked together. Yumichika descends from his distant mountain, parasol still shielding him from the afternoon sun.

"I need to maintain my porcelain skin," he explains as he draws closer to them.

Rangiku doesn't even have the energy to fantasize about punching him in the face. She hurls her broom to the ground. Hitsugaya, who's starting in on his second melon soda and third pudding cup, cocks an eyebrow at the three of them. "Didn't you hear me?" she says. "We're all done. Can we return to Soul Society now?"

"Oh, you're not done," Hitsugaya says calmly. He helps himself to a large spoonful of pudding.

"What are you talking about? Everything's cleaned up. We just need a maintenance crew to put the rest of the building back together. That's it!"

Hitsugaya's infuriating, stupid grin collapses into infuriating, stupid laughter.

"What's so funny?" Rangiku demands from between clenched teeth. Later, when she's nursing a black eye with a bottle of sake in her private quarters, she'll reflect on how she never was particularly good at spotting even the most obvious of traps.

"You three were assigned to clean-up. That means containing the amount of damage, certainly. That also means containing any stray enemies. And I believe—" Ikkaku, Rangiku, and Yumichika shrink at the vaguely deranged glint in Hitsugaya's eyes—"there were quite a few of those in the area."

The pressure of multiple reiatsus hits them first, followed by raucous shouting.

"I'm just saying," Grimmjow snarls, struggling over the wreckage and dodging the occasional, listless cero blast from Ulquiorra, "it's not a total waste of a day."

"This is all your fault," Ulquiorra retorts, carrying a battered Aizen over one shoulder. "If you'd just kept to the mission—"

"Bickering won't solve anything," Halibel cuts in, struggling with her own task of dragging a snoring Stark by his ankle. "We have lost. We might as well return to…"

The three of them pause, slowing to halt. Rangiku swallows hard. Yumichika has gone an impressive shade of white. There's a split second's pause, in which they all stare at one another; it's broken by a croak from over Ulquiorra's shoulder. Aizen lifts his head, a wad of tissues stuffed into either of his nostrils. "You…you broke my nose," he hisses, pointing a trembling finger at Rangiku.

A gleeful smile replaces Grimmjow's previously sour expression.

"Shall we dispose of them, Aizen-sama?" Ulquiorra asks darkly.

"You got in my way," Grimmjow says and cracks his knuckles. "I would've had Kurosaki if it hadn't been for you three."

Halibel sighs, tossing aside Stark's unconscious body for the moment to assume a fighting stance.

Rangiku gives a strangled sort of gurgle. Ikkaku whips out his sword, practically bouncing on the balls of his feet. Yumichika is already running for cover.
"Have fun!" Hitsugaya says cheerily, as Ulquiorra's hands glow with an incoming cero.

Rukia still has some unfinished paperwork to attend to back in Soul Society. She leaves him to wander along the banks of the river, through the streets of Karakura, his mind blank, his feet carrying him until he finds himself standing in the front yard of the Shoten.

Urahara is out in the backyard, sitting in the shade of a large tree and sipping tea. Ichigo lingers on the back porch, allowing himself a moment longer just to look. His gaze trace along the slope of Urahara's perfect posture, the delicate way he raises the teacup to his lips, every motion careful and controlled. He always liked Urahara's precision, even back during their first training sessions: Ichigo was wild energy, all over the place but Urahara was always so calm. He never flinched when Ichigo released his full power, never gave up on him when Ichigo, after hours of practice, still failed to master an attack. He was always there, with a steady hand on Ichigo's shoulder, a quiet word of encouragement.

From his spot beneath the tree, Urahara sets down his teacup and coughs politely. "Are you going to join me, Kurosaki-kun, or are you simply going to stare?"
Ichigo laughs in spite of himself. He joins Urahara on the blanket, the coolness of the shade sending a shiver down his spine. Urahara hands him a teacup, their fingers brushing; Ichigo blushes in spite of himself, and then takes a fast sip to cover for it, burning his mouth in the process.

Around them, the yard stirs. Long grass sways in the breeze and birds sing to each other. There's a patch of wet, fresh dirt nearby and gardening tools strewn about.

"I didn't know you liked to garden," Ichigo says. He takes a slower sip of tea this time and it's sweet and rich on his tongue.

"There are a lot of things you don't know about me yet," Urahara replies. It's the way he says it: like it's a promise, like there's a long future ahead of them. Ichigo tentatively shuffles closer, letting his head fall on Urahara's shoulder. An arm curls around his waist, pulling him closer still, and Ichigo breathes in Kisuke's smell, of earth and green tea and faint cologne.

"This is nice," he whispers. He feels the rumble of laughter, deep in Urahara's chest.

"Surprise, surprise."

The quiet, the tea, the closeness of them makes Ichigo feel drowsy. It takes him a moment to realize that there are fingers pressing under his chin, tilting his face up. Urahara is looking at him, those light gray eyes fixed on him with an intensity that makes Ichigo want to hide his face. He drops his gaze and it falls on Urahara's mouth instead, and that's worse, Ichigo thinks weakly. Urahara leans in slightly but stops short. He's waiting, Ichigo realizes, and then he forces himself not to think anymore as he leans in the rest of the way, closing the distance, their lips meeting.

It's a slow kiss at first, the two of them testing, feeling each other, feeling the moment. Ichigo parts his lips. Urahara takes the kiss deeper, letting Ichigo taste him, letting Ichigo wrap his hands in the front of Urahara's haori and pull him closer.

Hands on his shoulders, pushing him backwards. Ichigo's on his back and the ground is solid and cool beneath him, Urahara hot and firm above him. He hears himself gasp, distantly, has time to see Urahara smile and then they're kissing again. The first nudge of Urahara's tongue makes Ichigo start and then open his mouth wider because he wants this, he wants to feel everything. Urahara's tongue is in his mouth, coaxing him. His thigh slides between Ichigo's legs, rocking gently. The friction sends a spark of electricity running through Ichigo and he feels like a livewire, exposed and shaking. He rocks his hips, meeting Urahara thrust for thrust.
When Urahara pulls back, it feels too sudden, over too quickly. Ichigo's lips feel wet and raw and Urahara's thigh is still between his legs and he's still hard and aching.

"Why'd—why'd you stop?" he pants.

Urahara grins down at him. "If I go any further, you're going to explode. You look like a tomato, Kurosaki-kun."

Ichigo feels himself flush further, and then realizes that it's probably doing nothing to improve his complexion. "Sorry," he mutters.

Urahara brushes loose hair off of Ichigo's forehead. His fingers leave a trail of heat wherever they touch Ichigo. "Don't be. You're cute when you blush."

"That's not helping," Ichigo retorts but he's grinning too now. Urahara rolls off of him, and Ichigo bites down quickly on a faint twinge of regret. Even side by side, they're pressed closely to one another. Urahara's hands continue to roam idly over Ichigo's body, tracing lines of muscle beneath the thin cotton of Ichigo's t-shirt.

"I also want us to take our time," Urahara adds. "That's really the most important thing to me. That you feel comfortable and ready."

"With you? About…sleeping with you?"

"I mean, that you feel right with yourself. That when the time comes, you can make that decision for yourself."

"You don't mind waiting?" Ichigo asks, his voice smaller than he wants it to be, because even though his hormones are raging like they haven't since he saw Urahara for the first time, even though he's got said man of his dreams right in front of him, ready and willing…there's still something inside him, hesitating.

Urahara smiles and presses himself closer to Ichigo's side. He tucks his face into the crook of Ichigo's shoulder.

"For you, I'd wait centuries."

"Cornball," Ichigo says, but he can't fight an impossibly broad grin.

The moment is interrupted by the sound of a distant explosion and a sudden burst of reiatsu. Ichigo sits up, trying to sense which direction it's coming from. Urahara, however, doesn't budge an inch. He remains sprawled across the blanket, eyes closed.

"Didn't you hear that?" Ichigo demands.

Urahara shrugs. "I did."

"What the hell was it?"

"Well. I suppose if I were a sadistic sort of man, that would be the sound of Rangiku and her compatriots being forced to fight off Grimmjow, Ulquiorra, and several more of Hueco Mundo's more notorious inhabitants, as per the deal I worked out with dear Captain Hitsugaya this morning." Urahara hums a little to himself and opens one eye lazily. "Good thing I'm not that sort of man, eh?"

Ichigo stares down at him. Urahara grabs the collar of his t-shirt and yanks him back down to the blanket. Ichigo doesn't resist.

"You're unbelievable," he says as Urahara wraps an arm around his shoulder.

Urahara only chuckles. "You love it."

Put simply: Urahara is the best boyfriend ever. Ichigo's willing to bet money on it, willing to put it down in the record books, and he doesn't care that he's being sappy in a puppy dog sort of way that Rukia mocks him endlessly about. Urahara is damn near perfect. He's super smart, and often they'll spend their afternoons sparring, Ichigo learning and watching the elegant way that Urahara moves. He loses more often than he wins, mostly because he ends up spending too much of the fight staring at Urahara's ass, but it's worth it for the way Urahara peels off his clothes afterward and licks the sweat off his bare shoulders.

He's also patient, and funny, and an absolutely terrible chef, despite his best efforts in the kitchen, which Ichigo discovers one disastrous evening when Urahara tries to make them toast and nearly burns the Shoten down. Kisuke loves the taste of lemon Italian ice and has a near-encyclopedic knowledge of Kurosawa films. The first time they sit down and watch Seven Samurai together, Urahara keeps his arm around Ichigo's shoulders the whole time and pretends not to notice when, at the film's end, Ichigo keeps swiping at his eyes and cursing non-existent allergies.

Urahara is all about precision, too. It's something that Ichigo was always very much aware of in battle, but it's fascinating to see that level of care that extends to every aspect of his life: the way he polishes Benihime; the way he always pauses to ruffle Ururu and Jinta's hair; the way he always touches Ichigo, gently, carefully. When they kiss, it's always slow, Urahara's tongue sliding into his mouth, like he's tasting all of Ichigo, claiming him. Ichigo savors these moments, in between the interruptions of school or battle, savors how close they are, wanting Urahara to be closer still.

"You're wonderful," Ichigo says abruptly one afternoon, while they're seated together on the back porch. Urahara cocks his head a little, hat slipping sideways. His mouth curls in a faint smile.

"No, you're wonderful," he replies. Yoruichi, in her cat form, rolls her eyes but Ichigo feels himself blush, pleased.

Sometimes he still wonders at his insane luck, that it worked out like this, that he could have everything he once hoped for and more.

Epilogue - One year later:

"I look stupid," Ichigo announces dully, staring at himself in the mirror.

"False. You look fantastic and you know it," Rukia shoots back from where she's sprawled across his bed and the mountain of clothes he's already tried on and discarded. His closet hangs almost empty, but Ichigo considers it a necessary sacrifice. It took him an embarrassingly long time to settle on an outfit—black jeans, a dark blue button down shirt—but he wants to look absolutely perfect. It's their anniversary and Urahara has been mysterious about what he has planned for the evening. No matter the situation, Ichigo wants to look good.

"You thinking something will…happen?" Rukia asks. There's a hint of slyness in her face and Ichigo fights back a blush.

"None of your business," he snaps and then throws a spare pillow at her when she starts to cackle.

Urahara picks him up at seven sharp. He's wearing a fitted charcoal gray suit that accentuates the sharp line of his shoulders, the curves of muscle in his arms, the flare of his waist. Ichigo fights the urge to drool all over himself.

"You look great," Urahara says.

"You too."

"I thought we'd walk. It's just a beautiful evening out."

Ichigo nods, and then starts as Urahara takes his hand. He glances back up toward the house. Rukia is plastered against his bedroom window, watching them; she makes kissy-faces when she catches him looking and Ichigo, with a scowl, yanks Urahara toward the street.

The weather is quite lovely. Overhead, the sun is sinking lazily in the sky, coating the late afternoon in a yellow sheen. They make their way slowly down the street, Urahara winding their fingers together.

"You're walking awfully fast, Kurosaki-kun," he teases. "You're not embarrassed by Kuchiki-san?"

Ichigo rolls his eyes, feigning exasperation. "No. You're just walking too slowly. Old man," he adds for good measure. He stifles a yelp when Urahara's arms suddenly fold around him, lifting him off his feet and twirling him through the air.

"Brat," Urahara says fondly. He doesn't set Ichigo down again until they're both laughing. Ichigo leans in against Urahara's chest, the warmth of the sun and of Urahara's body filling him with a sensation that's so sweet it hurts. Urahara tilts his face up with one hand, and the last rays of the sun fall in streaks of amber through Urahara's hair, across his face, bring his features into sharp focus: the jut of his chin, the curve of his nose, the long line of his neck.

He wants to stay like this forever, just the two of them. At length, though, Urahara kisses his cheek and pulls away.

They arrive at the Shoten. Urahara hurries to hold the door open for Ichigo, sweeping into a low dramatic bow as he passes. Ichigo rolls his eyes again. Urahara quickly takes his arm and pulls him toward the kitchen.

"I have everything planned. We have a fine wine for this evening. Italian food on the menu—because I know how much you like it. And for dessert, a tiramisu."
They reach the doorway of the kitchen and Ichigo stops short. The table has been set for two, surrounded by dozens of tiny candles. The smell of lavender incense tickles his nose. A single rose has been placed beside his plate. A trail of rose petals leads from the table, down one hall of the Shoten—towards Urahara's bedroom, Ichigo realizes, feeling his face go hot.

Urahara scurries about, retrieving the wine glasses. "I know it's a bit much, and that you don't really like this sort of thing. But I thought, you know, because it was a special occasion, it'd be okay." He fumbles with the bottle opener. "Also, I actually cooked this time. All by myself. No help from Tessai or anything. Lasagna's your favorite, right?" Ichigo nods wordlessly. "Oh, good. It nearly killed me." Urahara strains, failing to remove the cork from the wine bottle. He looks up, slightly flushed and grinning sheepishly. "So if it tastes horrible, just…don't say anything."

Ichigo tries to bite back a grin of his own. "You're so smooth."
"I do try."

"You're going to spoil me with all of this."

Urahara's expression is suddenly serious. "You deserve it."

His answer makes Ichigo blush; makes him move closer, pulling the bottle out of Urahara's hands. When Urahara tries to speak, his brow furrowed, Ichigo moves even closer, pressing their lips together.

"The food," Urahara mumbles.

"Forget the food." Ichigo pauses, breaking the kiss. He takes a deep breath, but it's still an embarrassing effort to choke the actual words out: "I…I want to see your room."

It takes a second for Urahara to get it, and then his eyes go wide. "Oh."

"Is that…okay?"

Urahara answers by scooping Ichigo up into his arms, bridal style and carrying him down the hallway, following the trail of roses. Normally he'd protest, but this time is different; this time, Ichigo only buries his face in Urahara's shoulder, allowing himself to be carried off. He hears the door slide open, hears the quiet hush as it slides closed again, with a note of finality.

The bedroom is alight with more candles, sending a soft yellow light washing over the crisp white sheets of Urahara's large futon. Urahara deposits him on the mattress and Ichigo takes another deep breath, his heart skipping with nervousness, with excitement.

"Are you sure?" Urahara asks softly.

Ichigo smiles and nods. "Absolutely."

It's all the permission Urahara needs. He drops to the bed, Ichigo's hands already winding themselves in the front of his shirt. Their lips meet again, and Ichigo shivers as Kisuke deepens the kiss. His hands are everywhere: on Ichigo's waist, on his hips; quickly undoing Ichigo's belt, unbuttoning the front of his shirt. Warm air hits his bare skin, as Urahara yanks Ichigo's shirt off of him and tosses it carelessly to the floor. They've seen each other naked before, gotten each other off before. It's nothing new, and yet it's all new. It makes Ichigo feel like it's the first time again, the way he felt, vulnerable and exposed beneath Urahara's intense gaze.

The cool sheets stick to his damp skin as he's pressed hard into the mattress. Urahara's mouth finds the crook of his neck, tongue and teeth teasing his skin. Ichigo spreads his legs wider, accommodating Urahara between them. Their hips rock together and Ichigo arches off the bed with a moan. This is happening, he thinks hazily, and he resists the urge of hysterical laughter. This is really happening.

"So sweet," Urahara whispers in his ear.

"Why the hell are you still dressed?" Ichigo snaps. Urahara sits back on his heels, making quick work of his shirt and jacket and tie. Ichigo pops the button on the front of his jeans and then Urahara's hands are on him again, pulling off his pants and boxers in one swift motion. Fully naked, Ichigo almost covers his face, to escape the way that Urahara is looking at him, expression almost reverent.

"You're so beautiful," Kisuke says, kissing him again. It's chaste but firm and Ichigo lets the pressure, the familiarity of it anchor him. "I'm going to make you feel so good."

They break apart long enough for Urahara to retrieve a small bottle and a condom from the bedside table, for him to strip off the rest of his clothes. Ichigo tries not to stare as Urahara toes off his pants, followed by his underwear, not to focus on the fully flushed erection between Urahara's legs. He's, well…big, and Ichigo swallows hard, his face on fire.

"Is it going to hurt?" he asks abruptly as Urahara moves back onto the bed. The question makes something in Urahara's gaze soften. He combs a hand gently through Ichigo's mussed hair.

"It'll feel…strange at first," he admits. He kisses Ichigo's forehead. "I've got you, Ichigo. This is going to be good. I promise. Okay?"

"Okay," Ichigo says, his throat seizing up.

Urahara keeps kissing him, keeps whispering reassurances, as he unwraps the condom, grunting into Ichigo's mouth when he slides it down onto himself. He breaks away to sit back again, his hands trailing down along Ichigo's inner thighs, pressing Ichigo's knees up against his chest.

"Keep them up, right there. I'm going to get you ready."

"What are you going to do?"

Kisuke pours lube onto his fingers until they gleam. "I'm going to finger you."

Ichigo thinks it's damn impressive that doesn't immediately burst into flames on the spot. He holds his legs in place, his eyes screwed shut. He nearly jumps off the bed at the first sensation of Urahara's finger, sliding up behind his balls.

"Easy, baby," Urahara murmurs and it's the term of endearment, the way it rolls thick and sweet off of Urahara's tongue, that keeps Ichigo still. The finger enters him. It's a bizarre sensation: not unpleasant but not pleasurable either. A second finger slots into him after a minute and already it feels too tight, Urahara's fingers too thick. The touch of a third fingertip has Ichigo lifting his hips up and away.

"It's okay, Ichigo. You're doing so well. I need to add a third, though. So it doesn't hurt."

"It…it feels weird," Ichigo admits and cringes at the whine in his voice. Urahara kisses along his inner knee, his inner thigh, whispering encouragement against Ichigo's skin, about it's okay, to keep breathing. Urahara's fingers pull out, and then press in again, three at once. Ichigo spreads his legs wider, trying to concentrate on Urahara's assurances and not on the aching feeling that's beginning to spread along the base of his spine. It's not that he hasn't endured worse than this—it's not even painful, if he really concentrates on the sensation of it—but he just wanted this to be good for them, to be perfect, he was hoping—

Urahara's fingers press a little deeper, brushing against something inside him that sends a spark of electricity through him. Ichigo gasps, involuntarily.

"There we go," Urahara murmurs, sounding satisfied. He hits that same spot again and everything in Ichigo trembles. "C'mon, baby," Kisuke practically purrs. He crooks his fingers, eliciting a whimper from Ichigo in spite of himself. "You like this?"

"Yes," Ichigo grits out, panting.

Urahara strokes along that sweet spot again. "Let me hear you."

Each thrust pulls a low moan from Ichigo. His hips jerk, pushing into the feeling of being slowly fucked open. "Kisuke. Please," he moans.

The fingers slip out of him, leaving Ichigo feeling achy and loose. Urahara leans over him, hair tousled, eyes bright. On impulse, Ichigo reaches up, taking hold of Kisuke's erection. It's hot against his palm, in spite of the condom; Ichigo pumps his hand once, watching with a hint of satisfaction at how Urahara tenses at the touch, the way his hips jerk forward into Ichigo's fist.

"Careful," Urahara says, a little breathlessly. "Or this'll be over before it even starts."

"So what are you waiting for?" Ichigo retorts, with more confidence than he was expecting of himself.

Urahara only chuckles. "How do you want me to do this?"

"Do…what?" Ichigo asks nervously. So much for his confidence.

Urahara leans in, until their faces are only inches apart. Their breath intermingles; Urahara's lips are red and bruised-looking. "How do you want me to take you?" he asks softly.

It takes every last bit of Ichigo's notorious willpower not to squeak from embarrassment. "How…how do you want me?" he asks.

Kisuke considers him. "On your back," he says at length. "I want to see you. Is that…okay?"

Ichigo nods mutely, not trusting his own voice. He lets Urahara arrange them accordingly, Ichigo's legs hooked over his shoulders, Ichigo's hands gripping at the edge of the sheets. He holds his breath as he feels the first nudge of Urahara's cock against his hole, feels his head start to pound. This is it, this is it.

"I…I love you," Ichigo whispers.

"I love you too," Kisuke whispers back. The first push has Ichigo slamming his head back into the pillows, his whole body tight. The head of Kisuke's cock breaches him and Ichigo can't stop the groan that escapes between his clenched teeth.

"It's all right, Ichigo. Just breathe, baby, just relax."

"I'm okay," Ichigo insists. "I'm fine, don't stop, just do it—"

Kisuke slides the rest of the way inside him in one smooth stroke. Ichigo struggles to breathe, staring up at the ceiling. If he wasn't being held so tightly by Urahara, he feels like he'd shatter into a hundred pieces. Ichigo takes a deep breath and then another. Urahara is hard and thick and inescapable and finally inside of him.

"You okay?" Kisuke's voice is quiet in his ear. Ichigo makes himself nod again, biting down on his lower lip hard enough to make it bleed. Kisuke's mouth finds his, kissing him slowly through the pain.

"Move," Ichigo demands weakly when they break for air. Kisuke's hips rock against his, in slow, careful circles, staying deep. Ichigo moves with him, his body trembling with the slide of damp skin, the stretch and burn of Kisuke and this is happening.

Kisuke's hips snap forward, hitting that sweet spot inside of Ichigo again. The feeling makes his toes curl, Ichigo's mouth falling open in a loud moan.

"I love you," Kisuke murmurs, hips thrusting, hands palming over Ichigo's ass, pulling them harder against one another. "I love you, Ichigo."

"I know," Ichigo breathes, and he understands now, what making love is, what it can mean. It isn't pain, or shame, or fear, like Aizen once told him. It's something so much more, something that he can feel, tingling and electric, at his very core.

Ichigo's legs tighten, pulling them closer together. Kisuke laces their fingers together. Their hips meet each other, thrust for thrust, and Ichigo can hear himself as if from a distance, panting and desperate.

"I'm—I'm going to—" he gasps. His whole body goes tense, like a bowstring, and then he's coming without being touched, everything in him shaking, his thighs and stomach slick with heat. He's aware only of the tingling in his legs and in the pit of his stomach; the sound of Urahara moaning as he comes too; the sharpness of Kisuke's teeth sinking into his shoulder; their bodies, intertwined.

Both of them lay still, listening to each other breathe. Urahara pulls out, rolling off of Ichigo. He disappears into the bathroom and Ichigo waits as the sweat cools on his skin, as his body throbs with the aftershocks. There's a pleasant, pulsing ache deep inside of him and Ichigo closes his eyes and wishes he could make it last forever.

He's startled back to himself at the touch of a wet cloth against his stomach.

"All good?" Urahara asks, wiping the lingering traces of cum from both of them. He says it casually enough, but his expression is hesitant, his eyes wide with concern.

In response, Ichigo winds his arms around Urahara's neck, pulling him back down again.

They curl back together, under the sheets. Ichigo can't help but marvel at the way their bodies seem to fit together so perfectly.

"So how does it feel, to no longer be a virgin?" Urahara murmurs in his ear.

Ichigo thinks a moment. "I'd say pretty fucking fantastic."

Urahara's laughter is contagious and Ichigo joins in, his body warm, his chest light. He turns in Urahara's arms to kiss him again, just because he can, and feels a swoop of anticipation, at knowing that this is only the beginning.

The End.

Yayyyyy! That's the ending, folks. Please let me know if you liked it!

Thanks for sticking with me. If I have my way, I will be writing more fanfiction in the future because I will never get tired of this pairing. So keep your eyes peeled!

Much love to all of you! Cheers!