Love Potion 101

Urahara's usually boisterous and loud shop is actually unusually peaceful today, the spring weather outside leading everyone to spend the day away from the shop. Kurosaki Ichigo dropped by to spar with Renji, Urahara locked himself in his room to work out some new invention, Ururu and Jinta have run off to play with Karin and Yuzu in the park accompanied by Tesai so he can do some shopping, and Yorouchi is roaming around the house in her human form. She's been on Urahara to clean up and straighten his shop for a month now, but he hasn't even started so she decided it wouldn't get done unless she did it herself. Now, she's working on the kitchen sorting through some vials of ingredients and potions Urahara just started selling three months ago. Ichigo walks in from the basement, no longer in his full shinigami form.

"Man, what a sparring session," Ichigo sighs in satisfaction. "I'm wiped."

"Where's Renji?" she asks.

"He went back on patrol, but I actually think he just went to see Byakuya… I think there's something going on between them," Ichigo mutters secretively. "You know… something secret."

She laughs at the wink he gives her, grabbing a glass from the cupboard.

"Sit down, I'll get you some water," she grins.

"Hey, thanks."

She turns off the tap, noting immediately that she missed a few vials. She sets the glass in the sink a moment, grabbing the vials and placing them in the correct cupboard. In her haste, one tips over and spills on the counter. She immediately searches for a towel in the mess around her to wipe it up, and then grabs Ichigo's water and hands it to him. He gives her a beaming grin before downing the water, making a strange face afterward.

"Man… what was in that water?" he frowns as his face heats up.

"What do you..?"

She stops immediately as she notices that the liquid in the pretty purple vial that spilled on the counter dripped into the sink… right where Ichigo's water sat. She takes the vial down and reads the label, blushing horribly and feeling a shock of guilt tear her down as it fights for dominancy against the bubbling humor… it loses, by the way, the humor was just too strong. She covers her mouth, fighting back the fit of laughter that wants to get past as she tries to sound remorseful.

"Oh, Ichigo, I'm so sorry," she says as she turns to look at him. "I'm so sorry, it was an accident. Oh, I'm so, so, so sorry."

His face is crimson now, his eyes unfocused and half mast, and he's panting rather badly as he slumps forward onto the table in front of him.

"What's… happening to..?"

"Ichigo, I really didn't mean it," Yorouchi says again sounding a tad more believable. "I accidentally knocked over a vial of some potion and it leaked down into your water."

"What… potion?"

"Well, Urahara's taken to making potions to sell a few months ago. This was one of them… a very popular item, actually…"


"Uh… right… it was… Love Potion 101. It's highly potent stuff, only a small drop is supposed to be used," she says in a small tone.


"I said I was sorry," she huffs. "Wait here; I'll go get Urahara… Hopefully, he'll know what to do with you."

Ichigo can feel the drug racing through his system, burning through his body and jump starting his hormones… as if they needed any encouragement to give him trouble; he's a teenager after all. He groans in agony as he buries his face in his arms, the heat spiking radically through him along with his reiatsu. Urahara is half asleep, Yorouchi dragging him into the kitchen urgently as he holds his green and white stripped hat onto his head. One look at Ichigo and he's wide awake, holding a hand beneath his chin to look into his eyes. Pain laces his tone as he groans at the touch, the heat unbearable and his hand just making it worse.

"How much did you give him, Yorouchi?" he asks in shock.

"I don't know, it spilled on the counter and got into his water," she blushes. "Is it that bad?"

"Ichigo, can you still hear me?" Urahara calls a bit loudly.

"I'm… drugged, not… deaf!" Ichigo shouts angrily as his mind starts to black out.

"Oh good," Urahara grins happily. "At least you're not comatose."

Ichigo passes out, a worried expression flitting passed the blonde's features as the orange haired teen falls into his arms. The shopkeeper takes that time to glare over at a sheepish Yorouchi, the purple haired female slinking out of the kitchen and running off. Urahara sighs, lifting Ichigo up and carrying him into one of his spare rooms… this was going to be quite a rollercoaster.

"… I better call Isshin," he groans unhappily.

The last thing he needs right now, is to deal with his old friend. Said friend will most likely be furious that his only son was victim to Yorouchi's carelessness… not to mention Urahara's invention. Then again, Urahara knew when dealing with Isshin it's all about timing. It's much the same with Ichigo, the orange haired teen a mystery within the blonde's eyes… one that's fascinated him since he met him, though he keeps that to himself. Unlike Yorouchi, Urahara is very patient and tactful when dealing with potential lovers and he's hoping with the right amount of push that Ichigo will be just that.

*Maybe this Love Potion isn't going to be such a waste after all, * he grins inwardly. *Why didn't I think of it? *

Ichigo groans and raises a hand to his face, holding his aching head as it pounds rhythmically with the rain outside. His whole body is sore, reminding him of his sparring session with Renji, and his mind is screaming for him to remember some important tidbit of information that it simply can't come up with. He remembers the sparring with Renji, talking to Yorouchi, getting a drink of water… what is it that he's supposed to remember.

"Good morning, Kurosaki-kun," Urahara grins happily from the doorway. "My you've been asleep all night and all yesterday, are you feeling well rested?"

"… What happened yesterday?" Ichigo asks after digesting the information.

"Yorouchi gave you some tainted water, that's all," Urahara waves off. "It would seem that it didn't have much of an effect on you… must've been a bad dose."

"Dose? Of what?" he wonders.

"Oh, she knocked over one of my potions and it got into your water. No need to worry, though, it must've just been mislabeled or something. I think it was a sleeping potion instead of a love potion… Jinta must've been playing tricks again."

"Love potion?" Ichigo says in shock. "What happens if it was a love potion? Does it really work? What'll happen to me?"

"Don't panic, Kurosaki-kun," Urahara smiles. "My potions work, but they have an expiration date. If this one was indeed love potion, which you took a rather healthy overdose of, your positive emotions toward those around you will increase in according to the dosage. Those you care for you'll like more, those you like you'll love, and those you love… well… I hope you don't mind if people think that you're a tramp, because you'll be laying down for them in an instant."

"URAHARA!" Ichigo screams.

"Sorry, Kurosaki-kun, but like I said… it doesn't seem to be effecting you at all. Sometimes, the larger doses force the one that takes them to sleep off the effects. I think you got lucky, but next time… don't let Yorouchi do you any favors."

Ichigo walks home irately, slamming his bedroom door and gawking in shock when he notes that he's not alone in his room. Sitting in his window is Toshirou, on the bed is Rangiku, in his desk chair is Rukia, on the desk is Renji, and Kon is sitting on the floor beneath Rukia's foot along with Ikkaku and Yumichika. At the sight of the others, he feels himself start to react and notes that they're all looking much nicer on the eyes than he'd normally think. Toshirou, on the other hand, has him walking back out of his room hurriedly and locking himself in the bathroom in a panic. A knock and his heart is pounding in his ears frantically, the voice sending chills throughout his body that immediately heats him up.

"Kurosaki, we've been told to bring you into the Soul Society for a briefing," Toshirou sighs in irritation. "Yamamoto-taicho has personally requested your presence, so you'd better hurry up."

"Uh… I… I think I can't talk to you right now," Ichigo stammers with a deep crimson blush.

"What! Get out here, Kurosaki, or I'll pull you out kicking and screaming!"

"Uh... could you… could I..? I need to talk to Rukia," he calls through the door.

A growl sends vibrations through his body in a shiver, the chilling reiatsu only serving to make him hotter. Suddenly, Rukia walks through the bathroom door as they're all in shinigami mode. He jumps and puts some distance between them, causing a curious look to cross Rukia's features.

"What's wrong with you, Ichigo?" she asks. "You're acting strangely… even more than usual."

"I have a slight problem," Ichigo hisses in embarrassment. "Yorouchi poisoned me with one of Urahara's potions!"

"Poisoned?" she asks skeptically.

"Okay, it wasn't poison and I won't die from it… at least, I don't think I will," Ichigo mutters. "If I get anywhere near Toshirou I will, though! Look, Rukia, that potion was a stupid love potion! My emotions are on the fritz and I've always been pretty close to you guys, but there are a few I wish I were closer to. Toshirou is one of them and the others… well… my chances of surviving this thing look extremely grim if I were to go to Soul Society now."

"You can't back out of this, Ichigo," Rukia frowns. "The old man summoned you himself, that's big for a substitute shinigami… it never happens!"

"I know, alright. I just… I need you and the others, that won't make my life miserable or any shorter than it probably is, to help me out… Okay?" he pleads.

"Hold on a minute, I'll be right back," she grins.

She passes through the door and comes back a minute later with Rangiku, the woman absolutely beaming with pride that she was chosen and Renji wasn't. Behind her are Yumichika and Ikkaku, both are looking curious as Renji's outraged voice sounds from outside. Obviously, Rukia knew that Renji would never let Ichigo live down the fact that he'd be fawning over quite a few captains in Soul Society.

"What's going on?" Yumichika wonders.

"Well…" Ichigo begins with a furious blush.

"Yorouchi gave Ichigo a love potion by mistake," Rukia provides. "We have to make sure he lives to see his next birthday… apparently, he's got a thing for a few of our more volatile taicho."

"… Thanks, Rukia," the orange haired substitute shinigami mutters blandly.

"No problem, Ichigo."

"Oh, this is gonna be so exciting!" Yumichika squeals quite girlishly.

"Don't worry, Ichigo, we've got your back," Ikkaku grins. "If you get too girly, I'll engage you in a spar."

"I'll pull you away, alright?" Yumichika smiles. "There's so much to see in the Soul Society that you haven't seen yet, no one will be the wiser."

"I'll take up your attention," Rangiku states confidently. "I'm really good at that; I've had years of practice with my taicho."

"I'll sit on you, okay?" Rukia grins mischievously. "And I'll hit you as hard as possible when it comes to the really dangerous taicho."

"… Great."

"Now that that's settled, let's go!" Rangiku grins happily.

They drag Ichigo out of the bathroom and past Toshirou, whose displeasure at the length of time they took radiates off him in a frosty wave of reiatsu. Ichigo shivers at the feeling, but it isn't a cold shiver and Rukia knows this. She quickly drags him away from Toshirou and into his bedroom, where they use his soul badge to push out his shinigami form.

"What took you guys so long?" Toshirou growls.

"I'm sorry, Hitsugaya-taicho, but I have been sworn to secrecy on pain of torture and eventually death," Rangiku states holding up a hand as though swearing. "Ichigo just has a little problem he needs help with, but we sorted everything out and you don't have to worry about a thing."

"He better have," Toshirou grumbles. "Let's go."

The Soul Society is quiet and Ichigo relaxes, thinking he won't see anyone until the meeting. He was wrong, as Soi Fon immediately seems to pop up out of no where. Now, Ichigo has never really liked Soi Fon and everyone knows that, so when he greets her fondly… well, Toshirou is too much of a genius to not know something is wrong.

"Hi, Soi Fon," Ichigo grins. "How's life treating you? Well… I suppose it'd be afterlife for you, huh?"

"… Are you trying to be funny?" she frowns.

"… No, not really. I just wanted to know how you've been, that's all."

"I'm fine."

"That's great! How's your division?"

"… You're acting strangely, Kurosaki," Soi Fon frowns before turning to Toshirou. "The meeting will commence once you've arrived, so you'd better hurry… everyone isn't as patient as Yamamoto-taicho."


He goes to grab Ichigo's wrist, but Yumichika saves him. The raven haired shinigami snatches Ichigo's wrist immediately, surprising Toshirou with the action, and tugs on the shinigami's arm.

"Come on, Ichigo, the meeting hall is this way," he grins excitedly. "Oh, you'll simply love it, everyone will be there. Well, the taicho and fuko-taicho will. I won't, but Rangiku will take good care of you!"

He chatters on, the little genius noting the fear and hesitation within Ichigo's eyes though it vanishes just as quickly. He frowns, knowing that Ichigo is the last person to fear anything, and follows as his mind attempts to figure everything out. Ichigo is the only person that's been too enigmatic for him to unravel, even though he wears his emotions on his sleeve, and this problem is no different. The orange haired shinigami is considered quite a catch in the Soul Society and, though he acts differently, Toshirou is one that's been casting his nets to catch him. He's a rarity and rarities are always worth more once they're caught, but most taicho simply can't wait until Ichigo joins them to chase him.

"Kurosaki, what exactly is going on?" he asks.

"Nothing," the teen in question answers too quickly. "Everything's fine, I'm fine, nothing's happened."

"He's just nervous," Rukia grins slamming her elbow into Ichigo's gut to shut him up. "It's not every day the old man personally calls in a substitute shinigami for a taicho meeting."

Although the answer makes sense and is easily believable, Toshirou isn't called a genius for nothing. He can see the deception and need to protect within Rukia's eyes, the blush that flickers across Ichigo's face, and the glance shared between Yumichika and Ikkaku. But what gives them away… is his fuko-tachio's snicker. He knows Rangiku better than anyone and he knows her different snickers… something embarrassing has happened to Ichigo. A smirk flickers across his lips, the first real emotion he's shown since waking up that morning, and he plots on ways to get Rangiku to expose what's happened to the orange haired shinigami. After all… she's never been able to keep a secret from him.

"Something wrong, Hitsugaya-taicho?" she wonders.

"No, nothing. I was just wondering…what's the most embarrassing thing that's ever happened to you guys?" he says curiously. "I mean, since we're all here and it'll take a while to get to the meeting hall… we might as well get to know one another better. Don't worry, it'll be strictly confidential."

"I accidentally kissed Renji when we were younger," Rukia provides as her face lights up on her afterthought. "Big brother teased me for a month."

"… Yeah, he teased me as well," Renji growls. "All I heard for a month was how I'd better be a good boyfriend or he'd kill me. We weren't even dating; it was during a spar that it happened!"

"I got totally wasted and told Ikkaku I loved him," Yumichika says thoughtfully. "I do believe it was in front of Kenpachi and Byakuya… Yamamoto and Shensui might've been there as well."

"… I squealed like a girl," the bald shinigami blushes terribly.

"It was so cute; I couldn't help but like him more!"

"I had a boyfriend once that I accused of cheating and beat until he was begging for mercy," Rangiku thinks out loud. "… Turns out it was his twin brother. He dumped me the next day. What about you, taicho?"

"I accidentally saw Motsumoto in the shower once," he sighs with a blush. "She took that opportunity to give me the talk about the birds and the bees."

"Every little boy needs to know about that," she grins teasingly.

"In front of the thirteen court guard! Every taicho and fuko-taicho was there! I didn't hear the end of it for two years!" Toshirou shouts with a heavy crimson blush. "Just about every taicho came up to me and asked if I needed someone to explain things further. Do you have any idea how many different versions of the same talk I had to go through? Yamamoto-taicho even had the talk with me!"

"… Oops. I didn't know everyone would feel the same as me," Rangiku blushes.

"You had me sitting on your lap when you did it!" Toshirou screams.

"Well… you were just a little boy. You were still in the academy, so I thought it would only be natural to treat you your age."

"I just graduated! I was just instated as a taicho! You embarrassed me in front of my subordinates!"

"… You did need to hear what I told you," she states. "You were so frustrated in that area…"

"You're making me another moment," he warns.

"Uh… right."

"So, what moment is considered your most embarrassing, oh great and fearless substitute shinigami?" Renji asks curiously.

"… I know what you're trying to do," Ichigo remarks quietly. "And I refuse to tell you what's going on. So, the best you're getting out of me is that my most embarrassing moment is currently in motion."

"… Damn," Toshirou frowns. "I thought for sure you'd spill."

"Taicho!" Rangiku snaps. "I swear, sometimes you're just as bad as a child!"

"I am not!"

"Then leave Ichigo alone! You don't need to know everything," she frowns. "If Yorouchi overdosed him on Urahara's potion, that's his… oops."

"Thank you, Rangiku," Toshirou grins pleased. "That was exactly what I was going for."

"What?" Ichigo asks a bit stunned.

"I knew you wouldn't tell me, so I tricked her into telling me. It's actually quite easy, I've been prying secrets from her for years," he remarks. "So… what potion did you overdose on?"

"You don't need to know that," Ichigo snaps even as the frosty taicho's voice sends shivers through him.

"It wouldn't happen to be… this potion… would it?" he wonders holding up a small purple vial.

"… How'd you get that?" Ichigo asks immediately.

"I stole it from Motsumoto when she thought I was doing paperwork," he says carelessly. "She was planning on using it on me so I'd 'be more sociable', so I snatched it when she wasn't looking."

"Taicho! That was supposed to be a surprise," she pouts.

"She also used one on Byakuya last week," he smirks.

"So that's why he was being so nice to everyone," Renji murmurs. "I knew something wasn't right with him, but I thought I just got hit in the head too hard."

"So, Kurosaki… was this the potion you overdosed on?" Toshirou wonders slyly.

"… Yes," he grumbles.

"Dude, you overdosed on a love potion?" Renji laughs. "Oh man, you're never gonna live this down."

"You have excellent foresight, Rukia," Ichigo mutters. "I applaud you on a job well done… but it was for naught."

"Seeing as you over dosed on a love potion…"

"It wasn't on purpose! Yorouchi put it in my water, I had no idea!"

"… and your behavior is especially strange around myself," Toshirou continues unhindered. "I'm going to have to come to the conclusion that your feelings toward me are a fair amount stronger than simple friends."

"Great, here it comes," Ichigo huffs closing his eyes. "Come on, get it over with."

"Get what over with?"

"You're gonna kill me, right? It's okay, I'm completely prepared."

"How low do you think me to kill someone simply because they're affected by an overdose of Urahara's surprisingly strong love potion?" Toshirou smirks. "Besides, your affection isn't completely unwanted."

With that, Toshirou walks by him and continues on his way to the meeting. Ichigo stares in shock, looking to Rangiku for some sort of explanation. She notes the questioning look and grins, shrugging before trying her hand at explaining her taicho's strange behavior.

"Taicho rarely have the time to seek a relationship, so they mostly sleep with their fuko-taicho when in need," she remarks. "My taicho is really only in need about once every other month, so I don't get a lot of action with him… he's extremely good at controlling his emotions, but it's so annoying when I want to play."

"Wait… Byakuya and Renji..?" Ichigo remarks in shock.

"Oh my god! Big brother is so busted!" Rukia laughs maniacally.

"It's just a friendly thing," Renji scoffs. "Its sort of a lieutenant's duty, or part of it anyway. If our taicho are frustrated, their performance on the battlefield is shot."

"But… Byakuya?"

"Big brother always told me he didn't do that kind of stuff," Rukia grins. "I'm so gonna harass him for this, the liar."

The meeting hall is deathly quiet as Toshirou walks in, a wicked little smirk on his features as mischief plays in his eyes. Immediately, everyone knows something is up for their little genius of snow and ice to act like this. Yamamoto simply raises a brow at the childishness his usually stoic and well behaved taicho is exhibiting; knowing immediately that the orange haired shinigami is the cause for it. Ichigo walks in, catching everyone looking at him, and tries to hurry back out at once. Rukia is holding him in place with Yumichika and Ikkaku, Rangiku grabbing onto the back of his collar and trying to pull him inside. Apparently, even Rangiku's monstrous strength is no match for the substitute shinigami's determination to get away. With an annoyed huff, Byakuya grabs Ichigo's arm and is surprised when his entire being stiffens up and his effort to get away is tripled. He breaks loose and bolts, Rukia tackling him and the others dog piling on him to keep him in place.

"I'm so gonna kill Yorouchi for this!" he screams near tears. "It's just not right!"

"… What's going on?" Byakuya frowns.

"Sorry, big brother," Rukia grins innocently. "But Ichigo has a little problem being touched by… well… anyone at this particular point in time. Yorouchi is behind it, if you're wondering, but I'm not saying anything more."

"Byakuya, catch," Toshirou smirks.

The man catches a little purple vial, looking at it a moment and then over at Ichigo's blushing face before his eyes widen in understanding. A smirk graces his features as he looks down at the orange haired shinigami trying to avoid his gaze.

"I wish I could say I feel sorry for you, but I simply can't bring myself to," he smirks meanly. "Deep down, I feel you really deserve it for all the trouble you cause."

"I hate you so much," Ichigo growls.

"That's not what that blush across your face is saying," Byakuya replies.

"Yorouchi is so dead!" Ichigo screams.

"Big brother, please be nice," Rukia says frowning. "He probably had ten times the dose you had."

Byakuya smirks once more, and then turns to go back to his place. Toshirou is standing in his own, a large grin on his features as Rangiku drags a pouting Ichigo over to her spot and sits down to wrap her arms around him tightly. She gives him an apologetic smile as he leans his head back on her shoulder, groaning in irritation all the while.

"Before I ask what's happened to our substitute shinigami… which you will tell me… I must get to the reason I asked him to be present," Yamamoto states. "Arrancar and Hollow activity within the confines of Karakura Town has been increasingly large recently. We believe they're attracted to Kurosaki's reiatsu, as it's powerful and has traces of Hollow in it. As such, I will issue at least one taicho to be present in Karakura Town as well as our substitute shinigami and three other highly ranked shinigami. Now… what is going on?"

"Yorouchi… accidentally overdosed Ichigo with Urahara's love potion," Rangiku grins sheepishly. "It would seem he has a thing for power."

"Rangiku!" Ichigo shouts. "What happened to sworn to secrecy on pain of torture and eventual death?"

"Well… It's the head taicho, I can't not answer him," she pouts. "Besides, if I didn't tell Hitsugaya-taicho would've… only he'd make it sound as embarrassing as possible."

"This is so unfair."

"If I may," Kurosuchi remarks curiously. "Urahara's Love Potion 101 is a powerful substance that manipulates the brain's emotional impulses. Such an overdose could possibly send his Hollow into heat."

"Why me?" Ichigo whines.

"If you would allow me to do a few tests on him, I'm certain I could come up with an antidote."

"The antidote is far simpler than you would think," Byakuya frowns. "I've gone through it myself thanks to Rangiku."

She grins innocently, but everyone already knows it was her. She backs down from all the glares directed at her, sulking in her own fashion.

"He just needs to satisfy his frustrations."

"WHAT! I don't think so," Ichigo huffs. "It'll go away… eventually."

"Arrancars are very powerful," Toshirou smirks playfully. "It would be a shame should one show up before it 'goes away'… Grimmjow seems to like stalking you and Ulquiorra is particularly powerful. I'm certain one of them wouldn't mind taking advantage of you in your… submissive state."

"Shut up!"

"He's right, Kurosaki," Yamamoto frowns. "Until this passes, I'm confining you to one of our barracks. I order you to choose someone to help you through this, but I'll also send Soi Fon to talk with Urahara. If he can find an alternative method of helping you, you will be allowed to go home early."

"… This sucks," Ichigo pouts.

"So… who's it gonna be, Ichigo?" Rangiku asks mischievously. "Just so you know, you're a very popular fish to catch here in the Soul Society. Even my taicho has been casting a net for you."

The last part is whispered in his ear conspiratorially, sending a shiver through him. He sighs in misery, looking between all the taicho grinning lustfully at him and then gets up to walk out.

The breeze is gentle as Ichigo sits on the porch of his small home, confined as promised by the Fuko-taicho. He's been hearing a buzzing in his ears all day, having woken in the middle of the night from it and now desperately attempting to get rid of it. After a while, practically dying of boredom, he decides to visit his hollow in his inner world. Perhaps a good fight will ease his mind.

"Hollow?" he calls once he gets there.

He looks around the vertical white buildings, scratching his head curiously when he finds his hollow nowhere to be found. He settles his large sword on his shoulder, searching for the hollow now out of curiosity more than anger.

"Hello? Hollow, are you here?"

"Tha's a stupid question, King, where else would I be?" a mocking and distorted voice scoffs from above.

Ichigo immediately looks up to see his hollow lounging on a building above him, leaping up to get on even ground with him. If its one thing he's learned within these many encounters, its that its especially important to maintain even footing with his hollow. Shiro may look marginally like Ichigo, but Ichigo's good sportsmanship he lacks.

"What are you doing, Shiro?"

"I was sleepin'," Shiro remarks a bit irritated. "Why ya botherin me?"

"I was bored, okay? I thought perhaps you'd like some attention."

"… Somethin's different bout you, King. Wha's up?"

"… You don't need to know."

"Yer kinda nice today… wake up on the wrong side of the bed?"

"… Something like that."

It's a small instant, just a heartbeat, and the hollow has Ichigo pinned beneath it. Those golden eyes burn straight into Ichigo's brown ones, a cocky grin spread across the hollow's face as he gazes down at his captive. Ichigo doesn't struggle, which is a sign that something isn't right, and the hollow finds that he's even more curious as to what's going on. As his king's face starts heating up, he can tell immediately what's off.

"Yer in heat," he chuckles.

"Am not!"

"Oh yeah you are," Shiro grins. "Wha happened ta bring this about?"

"… Yorouchi accidentally spilled an overdose of love potion into my water," Ichigo grumbles.

"Hmm… I'll hafta thank her."

"What do you…"

He's cut off by the lips that press eagerly against his, his hollow pressing him harder against the building's glass surface. Ichigo knows he shouldn't give in to a hollow he's supposed to be dominating, but the way Shiro moves against him just right keeps him compliant. A pale hand traces down Ichigo's chest, stopping at the tie to his outfit, and the shinigami is startled out of his lust addled mind.

"Whoa, stop that!" he snaps. "I can't let my guard down around you, you'll devour my soul!"

"Its not ya soul I'm interested in," Shiro chuckles darkly.

"Back off, Hollow!"

"Yeah… I might've lied bout that, King," Shiro states thoughtfully while continuing with Ichigo. "I'm not a hollow… not like those others anyway. I'm a skimmer, a placid hollow that feasts off dreams. I been eatin' yer dream energy, livin' inside yer head and roamin' bout when ya sleep. I'm still dangerous… but only ta those that hurt my mate."

"… You have a mate?"

"Hmm… not yet," Shiro smirks with layers of implication.

After that, words are useless and Shiro makes certain Ichigo doesn't get the chance to use them. He's much more interested in hearing the moans and screams of 'more' from his orange haired mate, thrusting into him roughly and taking him as though it were just another fight. Ichigo can feel every movement Shiro makes within him, gasping and whimpering as he gladly takes the role of submissive for once. He protects and dominates so often, it feels good to be the one being spoiled for just this moment in time. He sees white when he finds his release, vaguely aware through the screams of Shiro's name of the hot seed the Skimmer empties within his core. Shiro pulls out and settles next to Ichigo, a self satisfied grin on his features as he lets the younger male cuddle with him.

"You know… I don't have ta be inside yer head ta feed off yer dreams," he says in thought. "I do have a solid form… I just thought ya'd be more comfortable if ya thought I was somethin' ya could control."

Ichigo grins against him and he knows this might be the last time he has to sleep within the shinigami's inner world, the thoughy enough to place him in a restful slumber.

The morning has all the taicho gathering to see who Ichigo chose, Urahara one of them. They've grown tired of waiting for the substitute shinigami to call on them, so they've decided to force a decision out of him. Byakuya knocks on the door, gasping when its opened by Shiro. The albino grins at the gathered taicho, leaning casually against the door frame and crossing his arms over his chest.

"Ichi ain't gonna chose ya," he remarks. "He's sleepin'."

"Wake him up, hollow," Toshirou demands.

"I would… but he was up pretty late last night. Yer too slow, ya know… I already marked him. Ichi's my mate now, ya all lost out. Shoulda been more aggressive, that's what he likes ya know."

"Stand aside, hollow!" Byakuya growls.

"Shiro? What's going on?"

"Ya woke him up," Shiro frowns. "Ya just had some visitors, Ichi-chan, go back ta sleep."

"Guys… what are you doing here?"

"The love potion, Ichigo, is it finished?"

"Yeah, took care of it just yesterday… Why?"

"With your hollow?" Toshiro remarks.

"Well… he was pretty convincing," Ichigo blushes.

"Told ya," Shiro grins.

"Besides, he's not a hollow… he's a skimmer."

"Those are extinct," Kurosuchi frowns. "The only known skimmer alive was the king of Hueco Mundo, but he vanished just before… Aizen."

"Tha's right, I felt Ichi's reiatsu and went down ta bond with him," Shiro grins. "He was so strong I felt him all the way in the darkest parts of Hueco Mundo… worthy of bein' my mate."

"Wow, I'm so lucky," Ichigo mutters sarcastically.

"You've no idea, Ichi," Shiro laughs. "Ya can bet yer luck is greater than these pushovers, cause bein' my mate means yer they're queen."

"Wait…what?" Ichigo glowers.

"My kind is the bridge between hollow an' shinigami," he explains. "I'm more powerful than anything yer precious pals have ever seen, cause I'm the first Skimmer. I evolved in a way no other can boast, as I mate with Shinigami. They're my breeders, my females!"

"You just called me a girl!" Ichigo yells in anger.

"Course I did, ya didn't think I'd waste my time in yer human world for a dominant, did ya?"

"You are so dead!" Ichigo shouts before leaping.

The group watches as the two fight, neither holding back as they pummel the other. Toshirou sighs, disappointed he missed catching Ichigo although he's glad he found someone that can handle him. If anything, Ichigo is difficult to handle. Byakuya watches Ichigo throw his weight against Shiro, flinging them both into a tree recklessly. At least he can feel justice has been served a bit, as Ichigo's new mate will make him suffer just as much as Ichigo made them. With a small smirk of satisfaction, he leads the others away to report to their fuko-taicho. Behind them, they listen to the steadily rising screams and insults between the two violent males and go about their days. Life with the substitute shinigami has taught them to expect everything, no matter how bizarre… and this is as bizarre as it comes.