Skimmer

The Winter War has been over for a long while, Kurosaki Ichigo now nineteen years old. After the war, his Hollow vanished and his power sky rocketed. He's how trying to learn how to control all this reiatsu, handle his life and school, keep up on his duties as a shinigami, and still manage to avoid all those keen on pursuing a relationship with him. That's why, on this glorious Saturday when he has nothing to do, he collapses on his bed and passes out.

Ichigo is exhausted, his body is feverish, his entire day has been nothing but one headache after another, and he shudders at the fact he almost enjoyed the gropes a few over enthusiastic admirers managed. He shudders once more, wondering why he's beginning to feel so strangely. It started when he woke after his wonderful nap on Saturday, he shook it off as the beginnings of a cold… but now he's certain there's more to it. Halfway up the stairs and on his way to bed late that night, warmth floods his body and his knees buckle. His vision blackens on the way down, his breath caught in his chest as fear hits him.

The crash of waves is what wakes him, the smell of the ocean filling his nostrils as blue fills his now open eyes. When he sits up, he notes how warm the sand is beneath his hands.

"Oh good, you're awake," a chipper voice states. "I have to admit I was kind of thrown to see you. Normally when I dream about you, it's in a far more sultry setting…"

"You're joking, right?" Ichigo scowls at the shopkeeper with a tick in his brow.

"No," Urahara murmurs in thought. "Although, when you are with me in this dream, sex on the beach is a given… Shall we get started?"

He rubs his hands together eagerly, reaching to yank Ichigo's pants off. Before he can get them to his knees, however, the orange haired teen has punched him in the face.

"Back off, pervert!" Ichigo snarls. "I'm not part of your stupid dream… I'm pretty sure anyway."

"… How odd," Urahara murmurs. "It's not usual to cross dreams like this… What do you remember?"

"I was walking up to my room to sleep… then I passed out," he shrugs.

"Well, it looks like you're waking up now."

Ichigo looks to his hands, watching them disappear slowly before sighing in relief. He wakes up in bed, clueless as to how he got there and at a complete loss when he finds sand on his skin. He shakes it off, glancing out his window and scowling. Standing across the street, gazing up at Ichigo's window, is a man he's never seen before. He's tall, probably a head taller than the nineteen year old, with tan skin on a lithe frame and shaggy white hair. His ears are pierced, his wrists are adorned with many bracelets, a gold circlet is around his forehead, and his clothes are crimson. Ichigo knows this man isn't human, as three clear facts point that out. His clothes are styled like Grimmjow's with gold trim, two swords are sheathed behind his waist at a crossing pattern… and his golden orbs are glowing in the dark of night. Those eyes lock onto Ichigo's amber ones, the glow intensifying.

"Little pup," a distorted voice whispers. "Soon, everything will change. I will be watching you."

After the message is given, the man vanishes without a trace. Startled, it takes him a moment to gather himself. Once he does, he turns on his lamp and pulls out a sketch pad and a pencil. He's fairly adept at art, just doesn't let anyone know… Renji would never let him hear the end of it. The only reason he's so talented, is because his dad made him give up fighting to relieve stress and take up drawing… he has a lot of stress, so he got very good very fast. Once he's satisfied with the man's picture, he puts the book away and goes back to sleep.

The next day his fever is worse, but is now accompanied by the horrific need to cuddle. He's with his friends now, Rukia and Renji amongst them, yet he'll be damned if he's about to ask for such attention. They can tell he's acting strangely, however they don't venture into it. The orange haired Visored sighs, feeling oddly alone at their inability to read him and bringing up what's been on his mind.

"Are there other creatures aside from those I know?"

"Like what?" Renji asks.

"I saw something last night… it looked like an Arrancar, but without a Hollow hole or the bone fragments. It dressed in a crimson outfit like Grimmjow's and had glowing gold eyes," he says digging out his sketch book and flipping it open. "See?"

"Those are Zanpakto!" Rukia gasps.

"… You draw?" Renji laughs. "What a sissy."

"Shut up!" Ichigo scowls. "Dad made me take up drawing instead of fighting for stress relief!"

"What, you never thought of having sex?"

"Renji, enough!" Rukia frowns. "This is bad. We've never encountered something like this before, it could be extremely dangerous. We'll have to take this picture to Sotaicho, he might know what this is."

"But… I like this picture," the Visored pouts.

"You're such a girl lately," Renji scoffs. "It's not like we're gonna keep it."

"You can't have it!" Ichigo scowls. "Not if you're gonna be such a dick to me."

"Just cough up the damn picture, Rembrandt!"

Ichigo flinches at the tone, but defiantly closes the book and holds it close to his chest. Sticking out his tongue for good measure, he marches off. He catches Renji muttering 'what a chick' as he walks off, growling in anger at himself. He doesn't understand why he's acting so feminine, but it hasn't escaped his notice that he does so without thought… and without the ability to stop. He stops suddenly, his eyes darting across the street even as his friends catch up. They immediately follow his timid gaze, gasping at the sight of the crimson clothed man. He holds a hand out to Ichigo, a wide grin splitting his face in joy.

"Come, little pup, I'll keep you safe," that voice on the wind says softly.

The orange haired teen smiles minutely, stepping into the street without thinking. The only thing that save him from getting hit by a car, is the Hollow screeching only a block away. The man frowns and disappears, the Hollow darting far too fast and straight for Ichigo. He has no time to get in his shinigami form, the Hollow hitting him so hard the badge is knocked from his hand. It's only belatedly that he realizes the Hollow's tail has captured his waist. He's yanked away from his friends and toward the park, his fever rising drastically.

"Ichigo!" Orihime shouts.

"Hold on, we're coming," Uryu calls.

The Hollow is fast, leaving his friends in the dust and reaching the park in no time, and keeps Ichigo pinned in its tail as he sets him on the ground. It curls around him and nuzzles his cheek, purring with a mixed in growl. The Visored growls back without thought, furious this weaker creature would attempt to touch him. That tail tightens its hold and Ichigo cries out, watching in dread as the infuriated Hollow brings down a clawed hand… It's blocked by a tan forearm.

"Oi, that's no way to treat a Beta," a familiar cocky voice remarks. "You okay bit… Ichigo? What the hell are you doing here?"

"I was kidnapped," he shrugs. "You?"

"Hang on a minute," Grimmjow sighs.

He slices through the tail binding Ichigo, turning once more so he's shielding the younger. The action isn't lost on Ichigo, the pure respect and longing washing away the anger at the assumption he needs protecting… which he does, but damn his pride if he'll admit it. The Hollow leaps, yet a nice sized Cero has it dropping to the ground. After it's dead, the teal haired Arrancar drops down to sit next to Ichigo. Without warning, and after a quick search of the Visored's amber orbs, he draws Ichigo close to him.

"What are you..?"

"Shut up and enjoy it," he huffs with a light blush. "I don't normally waste my time like this, you know!"

Ichigo smiles and cuddles closer to the larger male, sighing at the reiatsu that wraps around him like a security blanket. With a low hum of satisfaction, he lays his head on Grimmjow's shoulder.

"So… what are you doing here?" he asks again.

"I got curious," the older shrugs. "It's mating season, but the majority of Hollows are crossing over here. That usually doesn't happen, so I assumed a very powerful Beta was drawing them here. Imagine my surprise at finding you to be their target… though it shouldn't be too surprising considering your display in the war. Betas are just fucking scary."

"Wait… mating season?" the orange haired Visored gapes. "Why are they after me?"

"Oh, I don't know," Grimmjow says sarcastically. "Probably for the same reason that you find safety in cuddling with an ex-enemy that almost killed you."

"I totally kicked your ass," Ichigo pouts.

"Keep telling yourself that," the teal haired male chuckles. "Anyway, since I'm the strongest one in Hueco Mundo now… well… it's sort of my job to keep things moving smoothly. I don't like all these Alphas raiding the living world, normally only Betas are allowed unless they're weak Alphas. Big guys like that one are too dangerous for this world… I don't want another visit from the Seireitei, after all."

"You're just one person," Ichigo yawns. "You can't shoulder the whole world."

"I got people," Grimmjow smiles. "Go to sleep, I'll watch you until your friends get here."

"Hmm… thank you," Ichigo purrs.

He falls asleep, Grimmjow's reiatsu still wrapping around him. As he promised, the older man stays and watches over him until his friends arrive. He lays the orange haired teen down once he feels them getting close enough, hiding his reiatsu and cloaking himself in the shadows to make certain he's okay. Grimmjow has never felt the need to take a mate… but Ichigo has never felt like a Beta before. For some reason, ever since the Winter War, he's been unable to get those fiery defiant orbs out of his head. There was something in them, something more than the power behind the Visored mask… something familiar. He glances to the side, almost kneeling beneath the powerful orbs of gold watching him… That's the familiarity he saw in Ichigo.

Ichigo wakes in Seireitei, the eyes of all the Taicho and their Fuko-taicho upon him. For a moment, he panics and thinks he did something wrong. At the look in his eyes, Yamamoto-sotaicho sighs and fights the urge to roll his eyes.

"You did nothing wrong," he assures.

"Oh… good," the teen sighs in relief. "So… why am I here?"

"You have a picture for us," Toshiro remarks.

"… I do?"

"You wouldn't give me the damn thing, so I brought you here to share it," Renji bites before his tone softens. "Besides, you were just kidnapped by a Hollow for no apparent reason. We got worried… thought you'd be safer here."

"Speaking of which… do you notice anything different about yourself, Kurosaki?" Kurosuchi wonders excitedly.

"You have no idea," Ichigo mutters.

"You're in your human form!" he grins. "The badge couldn't push your shinigami form out of your body. Isn't that fascinating? I would certainly love to poke about and find the reason."

"I bet you would," he glares.

"We will discuss this matter later," Yamamoto sighs. "First, the picture please."

Ichigo grumbles to himself as he shifts through his bag, pulling out the sketch book and flipping it to the desired picture. He gives it to Soi Fon, who takes it up to Sotaicho after peeking. Her features express her surprise at Ichigo's talent and also a bit of impression… but his automatically reads recognition and fear.

"Are you certain this is what you saw?" he asks.

"Yep," Ichigo nods. "Can I go home now?"

"Kidnapped! Does that mean anything to you?" Renji growls.

"… It's not like I can avoid it," he shrugs. "It happens, probably more so to me. And as for my body, my friends came here through the same gate Renji probably used. No doubt my badge just lost a bit of power and Urahara's gate did the same thing to me as my friends. Nothing to get worried about."

"… I suppose," Kurosuchi grumbles.

"Kurosuchi, the topic for study at this moment in time is the 'Skimmer'," Sotaicho announces. "Nothing else matters, find everything you can on the subject… and send word to Urahara Kisuke that he's to help."

"Yes, Sotaicho," everyone states in unison.

"Uh… What about Ichigo?" Renji wonders curiously. "We can't just let him go."

He's allowed back home after a long argument, Sotaicho adding nothing to the heated discussion. When he gets home, he immediately heads up to go to bed and passes out without much trouble. Unfortunately, he wakes with that odd feeling in the pit of his stomach, something mixed between nausea and unbearable warmth… it's far worse than before. He let's confusion and curiosity pass his features, and then shakes it off in favor of a shower. He can't deny he misses his Hollow, a thought that is brought to his attention multiple times a day. Right about now, his Hollow would be making itself known. He usually says good morning, or even insults him for sleeping too long… but he hasn't said anything in a long time. Ichigo sighs miserably and disrobes once he's in the bathroom, stepping into the spray of hot water. He washes up quickly, turning off the water and grabbing a towel to wrap around his waist. He closes his eyes a moment, a sudden spell of dizziness slamming into his mind, and he feels his legs give out beneath him.

"Kurosaki?" a familiar voice remarks. "Kurosaki, are you okay?"

"Hmm… my head hurts," Ichigo mumbles. "What the hell happened?"

He sits up, strong arms helping him stay put as his body has begun to sway terribly, and then looks around. He's no longer in his bathroom, but in a meadow filled with cherry blossom trees and a beautiful brook.

"Holy shit," Ichigo gasps. "I'm dead!"

"You're not dead," that familiar voice sighs in ever more familiar irritation. "You're in my inner world… which probably means you're either comatose or dying. But you're not dead yet."

"Gee, that makes me feel so much better," Ichigo growls.

He gets up on those shaky legs, Kuchiki Byakuya standing beside him in all his regal manner. Ichigo falls, just as he thought he would, and the noble catches him effortlessly. After a defeated sigh, Byakuya lifts Ichigo bridal style and carries him over by the brook to sit. The orange haired teen has to admit, this is a very peaceful place… the company the only thing that makes this better than Urahara's dream.

"Might I ask why you're here… in a towel?" Byakuya wonders.

Ichigo starts, blushing ten shades of red when he looks down to see his towel hanging dangerously low on his narrow hips. At the look of shock, the raven haired Taicho shakes his head. Ichigo is desperately attempting to ignore the fact he's sitting within Byakuya's inner world one piece of cloth away from his birthday suit… but is failing miserably. Before he can even whine about it, a heavy cloth is dropped onto his head. He glances sidelong at Byakuya from beneath it, the dark haired noble watching the water in front of them quietly, and notes that he's taken off his haori so Ichigo can cover up.

"Thank you," Ichigo says quietly as he pulls the haori onto his slight frame. "I really appreciate it."

"Not a problem," the man waves off. "Now, what are you doing here?"

"… I don't know," Ichigo sighs. "I was just getting out of the shower at home when I felt really dizzy. My legs gave out, I fell, and I woke up here with you. I didn't mean to intrude, I swear."

"It doesn't matter," Byakuya shrugs. "I wasn't busy anyway. Senbonzakura alerted me to a strange presence here and I answered his call, but I didn't expect to find you."

"This has happened before, but at that time I went to Urahara's dream," Ichigo muses. "And every time I wake up, I see that man in crimson. Did Sotaicho tell you anything about him?"

"Only that he is very dangerous… he didn't let us see the picture," Byakuya sighs.

"I wish I knew what was going on," Ichigo mutters. "I've been feeling so weird lately. Grimmjow had to save me from that Hollow that kidnapped me, he seemed to know exactly what I needed… I just feel so weak."

"That Arrancar saved you?" the noble questions. "You never said anything about that. Did he say something to you?"

"Yeah," Ichigo blushes. "That it's mating season in Hueco Mundo."

Byakuya thinks on this a moment, his eyes widening and his face turning red suddenly. After a moment, he clears his throat and shakes off the surprise.

"I'll have to bring that up with Kurosuchi," he mutters. "Perhaps he knows more of it… or Urahara, maybe."

When he looks back at the teen he's grown fond of, he shocked to see that he's no longer there… and neither is his haori. He wakes himself rather easily, growling in annoyance at the strange dream as he stretches. After looking back at his abandoned paperwork, which won't be due for another week or two, he finally realizes that his haori isn't with him here either.

Ichigo wakes on his bathroom floor, his little sisters banging on the door in worry. He groans, calling out that he's okay and he'll be right out, and then notices that his body is wrapped in Byakuya's white haori. He's shocked, touching it carefully just to make certain it's real, and then gets up to check if he's been injured in his fall. Since he's not, he quickly dries off and folds Byakuya's haori up gently before hurrying to his room. The minute he enters his room and slams the door shut, he turns around for a shock.

"Holy shit!" he squeaks as he grips his chest to calm his beating heart.

Huddled in his room is a group of his shinigami friends, consisting of Rukia, Renji, Rangiku, Toshiro, Ikkaku and Yumichika.

"What the hell! Are you trying to kill me?" he growls. "Get the fuck out of my room!"

"Nii-sama sent us," Rukia frowns. "He's really worried about you, said he was afraid you were hurt or dying. We're just here to make sure you're okay."

"I'm cold, in pain, and fucking naked! Get out so I can get dressed!"

"Calm down, Ichigo," Renji sighs. "Let's give him some privacy before escorting him back to Seireitei."

"I don't mind watching," Rangiku grins widely.

Toshirou sighs, grabbing her ear and pulling her forcibly out of the window. Ikkaku and Yumichika follow, Renji and Rukia just turning around… they're far too used to Ichigo stripping down and changing from all their visits, as they're practically siblings. Once he's finished, they're holding his badge to his chest… cursing when it doesn't work. It's back to Urahara's, stepping through the gateway and heading back to the meeting hall. On the way there, Ichigo catches sight of that same man watching him. He stops, however all his friends keep going a few steps.

"Little pup of mine, the time has come," the man says in his head. "It's time you were placed in a safe spot. These people will not understand what's happening to you. They're a danger to you until you turn."

When they look back, the orange haired Visored is heading toward the stranger almost in a fog. The white haired man is grinning widely, hand outstretched and waiting… yet Renji and Ikkaku have a hold of Ichigo faster than Rukia can hit him in a rage. The grin slips away, narrowed golden eyes glowing in anger before the man just disappears.

"You all saw him?" Sotaicho asks nervously. "All of you? You all saw him here?"

"Yes, Sotaicho," Rangiku nods. "All of us."

"… You think he's targeting Kurosaki?" he wonders quietly.

"Ichigo seems to respond to him well," Renji comments. "Both times I've seen him, he held out a hand and Ichigo was the only one to move toward him… almost like a trance."

"This isn't good. I know this man from long ago… we all do," he sighs. "Shiro of the Red Rain… the most powerful being to ever don our uniform. But he died centuries ago!"

"He was always an odd one," Juushiro muses. "I remember when he was younger, always hassling Kisuke like a little boy with a crush."

"I remember that as well," Shuunsui laughs. "I also remember he'd always tell Kisuke how much he wanted a child… always said it'd be the proudest moment of his life."

"But why is he targeting Kurosaki? That doesn't make any sense," Soi Fon asks.

"… I am standing right here," Ichigo scowls. "I think I should be included!"

"I'm still curious as to why he's been targeted by Hollows in heat," Kurosuchi muses. "That has never happened before."

"That is quite curious," Juushiro says a bit worried.

"… I don't want to talk about that," Ichigo glares. "Let's talk about something else."

"If you don't share your information, Kurosaki, we won't be able to let you return to the living world," Yamamoto-sotaicho sighs. "We don't want you endangering yourself."

"… I'm in heat," Ichigo mumbles with a dark blush.

"What are you talking about?" Renji mutters. "That's not possible, you're not a Hollow. Only Hollows do that."

"I'm a Visored," Ichigo snaps. "I have an inner Hollow, which means sometimes I have to deal with the shit that comes with it! It's not like I asked for this!"

"But… only Beta Hollows have been known to go into heat," Kurosuchi says in confusion before grinning impossibly wide. "You're a Beta!"

"Beta?" Rangiku wonders.

"Like… not an Alpha," Byakuya smirks, having gotten his haori back from Ichigo.

"… I'm leaving," Ichigo growls.

"So that's why you've been acting like a chick!" Renji shouts with a laugh. "You went into heat and your brain went to shit!"

"Careful, Renji," Urahara grins as he steps into the room. "The most dangerous creature in the world is a Visored Beta… not even the Alphas will go against them."

"Ah, you got my summons," Sotaicho nods. "Please, join us. Do you have anything to add to this?"

"Of course. I did a little research, asked about with the Visoreds, that sort of stuff," he shrugs. "Apparently, a Visored goes into heat just like any other Hollow or Arrancar… Arrancars are the same breed, believe it or not, just on a different end of the spectrum. Anyway, Shinji told me he's come across a couple Skimmers that took Arrancar form… but they both disappeared after their heat."

"… I don't like the sound of that," Ichigo mumbles.

"I wouldn't either," he grins. "Apparently, when they go into heat, it's only once. That heat lasts as long as it takes for them to find an Alpha! Once they find one, they just vanish. No trace at all, just 'poof'! Shinji could recall them, but it was so long ago that the Visoreds weren't even thought of yet… it was just through rumor."

"So, there's a chance it's not true?" Renji wonders.

"Unfortunately, Skimmers are an ancient race," Urahara sighs unhappily as he answers Renji. "A race we've never been able to trace, one born before the shinigami and Hollows… their parents, in essence. You've all heard the legends of the Skimmers, right?"

"A scary story equivalent to a human's boogieman," Renji mutters.

"They may have been stories, but the race is most definitely real… and until now, considered extinct," the blonde frowns with a pout. "Skimmers are wicked clever, with limitless power and potential, and they rarely take a corporeal form. They reside within the minds of anything capable of dreaming, feeding off the energy given off when they dream. Not much is known about them, a study was done once which I found the notes to… but the creature simply vanished and was never found again."

"I am not one of those things," Ichigo states. "You know, you've been studying me for years now. You know my father, you know my mother was a simple human… there's no way."

"It was assumed there were two ways it could reproduce," Kurosuchi adds quietly. "One is through natural means, but the other… is by passing genetics to a child at the time of the conception. To do so, they had to inhabit the mother's mind during that time. They took great care in not creating hybrids… at least… that's what was assumed."

"Why?"

"We can catch hybrids easily," he shrugs. "Those studies were on different hybrids found by earlier scientists of the Seireitei. Once they reached a certain age, if they didn't die first, they would simply disappear."

"… I don't feel very well," Ichigo mutters. "I think I need to lay down."

"Don't worry, Kurosaki-kun," Urahara laughs. "We won't be experimenting on you. You're our friend and a valuable asset to Seireitei."

"I need to throw up."

"I'll take him outside for a bit," Renji sighs. "Come on, Ichi."

"Pup," a voice calls quietly, making them all jump. "Ichigo. I can hear your thoughts, I can feel your uncertainty… I know what you need. Come with me, little pup."

"Who's that?" Kenpachi wonders. "The voice sounds familiar."

"Just ignore it," Sotaicho mutters. "He is nowhere near us right now."

"You shouldn't trust these fair weather friends of yours," the voice cackles.

The cackle shocks Ichigo to the core… he knows that cackle. He keeps his mouth shut, though, afraid of what they'll do if they knew this was his missing Hollow. If that's the case, however… how could he be his parent as well?

"Turn your back for only a moment and their swords will run you through. You should be with your own kind… We can take care of you like you should be taken care of."

"Stop," Ichigo growls forcing himself not to call him 'Hollow'. "Don't talk about my friends like that. I don't care who the hell you think you are… I'm not going anywhere with you."

The voice stops, yet they can still feel the presence there for a long while. It's not heavy or oppressive, not angry or calculating, but it feels almost humored at Ichigo's words. After a moment, it's gone and Renji takes Ichigo outside.

"This is crazy, man," Renji sighs. "A Skimmer? Those things are what nightmares are made of. I remember hearing stories about them from the elders in Rukongai… almost turned my hair white."

"I'm really tired, Renji," Ichigo sighs. "I feel terrible. I'm nauseous, too hot, I have a horrible headache, and I feel like I'm dehydrating from sweating so much. I really need to sleep."

"I don't think that's a good idea," he frowns. "We should get Unohana to take a look at you."

"Why, do you think she'll be my Alpha?" Ichigo scoffs.

"Funny, Ichi," Renji smirks. "Really funny."

Just down the way, Ichigo catches that cocky smirk from the white haired man… Shiro of the Red Rain. He's slowly lowering himself to the ground, watching Shiro intensely, when he feels he sudden urge to throw up. Those golden eyes glow, a concerned look upon the man's brow, and Ichigo feels a coolness wash over him as his stomach settles. The Taicho are just walking out to check on him, catching his gaze and following it. Shiro looks away from Ichigo only a moment, never retracting his power from him.

"Shiro!" Urahara shouts. "Don't move!"

"If they harm my pup… I'll kill them all," comes the telepathic warning upon the air, his lips never moving.

With that, he's gone and Ichigo is fast asleep. Byakuya is the one to carefully lift him up into his arms, holding him just as he would his sister should she be injured. After Ichigo's arrival, he slowly wormed his way into the hearts of all the Taicho… but he especially managed to soften the noble. Not only does he have a sister, but she insists Ichigo is like their baby brother… and he doesn't disagree. Ichigo has never needed help in any form, so this is new to him. He doesn't mind giving the help, though he's more used to giving a little advice the teen would ask of him and no other… like when he started with the whole wet dream thing. His father was far too evasive and Urahara was just a pervert, so he sought out Byakuya's help. The noble, he found, was far easier to speak to and never judged him. Now, however, was something far greater than advice… he was, essentially, mentally trapped in another gender and learning he's nothing he ever thought he was. When he was human he learned he was a shinigami, when he was a shinigami he learned he was a Visored, and now he's learning he's not even that.

Ichigo wakes in the Kuchiki manor, Rukia lying down next to him and Renji sleeping in a chair nearby. Byakuya walks in quietly, sighing in relief when he sees Ichigo sitting up.

"You worried everyone," he remarks. "We've never seen you so sick before."

"I'm not sick, I'm in heat," Ichigo huffs. "When can I go home?"

"I don't think you will be," he frowns. "Not yet, anyway. Everyone is still very concerned about you… Shiro of the Red Rain is a very dangerous man."

"He called me his pup," Ichigo muses. "What does that mean?"

"Kurosuchi-Taicho and Urahara are very certain he is your father," he sighs. "At least… they're pretty sure he was present in your mother's mind at the time you were conceived."

"But… Isshin is my dad."

"When that happens, they say that a child has three parents… but the Skimmer genetics slowly take over the hybrid during their course of life. Eventually, you'll stop aging all together."

"… I hate my life," Ichigo moans in distress. "Why does everything have to happen to me? Haven't I suffered enough yet?"

Byakuya says nothing, just waits for Ichigo to finish. He doesn't really know what to do, as holding Ichigo like he would have his wife or even Rukia seems so… wrong. The teen is so strong, it's almost inconceivable to think of him as a submissive. Ichigo finally settles for pouting quite childishly, leaving Byakuya to sigh and walk out of the room.

"Tired of their idiocy yet?" Shiro wonders quietly.

"I don't know what you mean," Ichigo mutters.

"Sure you do. They've been pushing you away without thought, thinking you need space… when that's the last thing you need."

"They don't know any better," Ichigo mutters in pain. "They aren't like me."

"And you should suffer for their ignorance?"

"I can't leave them… they're my friends."

"You don't have a choice, pup. Soon, it will become too much for you. You'll subconsciously get tired of their unintentional abuse, calling upon your power to take you to the only person that understands you," Shiro says with an amused chuckle. "You've already chosen your Alpha, Ichi-pup… You just have to get to him now."

"Why are you doing this to me?" Ichigo cries. "Why couldn't you just let me be? What did I ever do to you?"

"… You're my pup, Ichi," Shiro says sadly. "I would do anything for you… to keep you safe."

"Then stop this from happening!"

"… I can't do that," he replies a bit hurt. "Once the transition begins, it's too late."

Ichigo leaves the room quickly without noting that Renji was awake, blind to where he's going and only attempting to get away from everyone. In his haste, he runs into Ikkaku and Yumichika as he they talk with Kenpachi and Yachiru. He feels that odd spike of nausea hit him, begging that it just go away this time and leave him be. They watch in shock as his brows draw together in confusion, warmth shooting through his body as he stumbles. Ikkaku quickly leaps to catch him as his body falls, but his hands pass right through him. In complete awe and fascination, they watch his body vanish… the golden orbs of their former ally-turned-execution watching from the shadows in satisfaction.

When he wakes this time, he's in a desert of white sand. The sky overhead is blue and clear, the buildings around him bleach white… Hueco Mundo. He can't move, his body far too tired from all these blackouts, and he feels like falling asleep again. He hears footsteps though his vision is still unfocused, feels someone lifting him into strong arms, and sighs contently as a wave of warm security washes over him. He closes his eyes and smiles, nodding off to the sense he so rarely feels that this one time is almost addictive.

That warmth stays with him even as he wakes the second time, a heavy blanket wrapped around him and long fingers gently running through his hair. He purrs unconsciously, moving ever closer to that warm safety. An arm wraps around his back, pulling him closer as that hand stays tangled in his silken orange locks.

"That feels nice," Ichigo mumbles sleepily.

"Look at you," a familiar voice chuckles. "Just soaking up the attention like a bitch in heat. What, those shinigami friends of yours too weak to handle you?"

"Hmm… I don't know," Ichigo purrs. "I guess."

Ichigo moves to curl up on Grimmjow's lap, suddenly realizing that he has no clothes on. With a bright blush, he picks his head up and looks around as though just waking up. The room is like any other in Los Noches, completely white and huge. The bed is enormous, the two of them lying in the middle against a thousand cushy pillows. Grimmjow is sitting up against the headboard, the pillows stretching around them like a nest of sorts, and Ichigo is completely bare beneath the warm blanket. He scrambles away and wraps the sheet around his body tightly, pacing with an air of hostility and complete distress. Grimmjow sighs, getting up as well. He can read Ichigo like a book, unlike the shinigami that claim to know him so well, and he knows that they've been asking too much of him. He carefully wraps Ichigo in his arms, nuzzling his jaw carefully before tucking the orange head beneath his chin… Ichigo breaks down and bawls.

"Great, as if life wasn't complicated enough. What am I supposed to do now? I'm loaded with stress, I'm attracting far too many psychotic suitors, I'm passing out at random and waking in increasingly strange places, and I've just learned I'm not even a Visored!" Ichigo cries. "If I don't belong with the humans, the shinigami, the Hollows, the Arrancar, or the Visoreds… Where do I belong!"

"You belong here, with me," Grimmjow sighs as he climbs back on the bed and reaches a hand for Ichigo. "Now, you need more rest."

"I need to get home! Everyone must be worried sick by now," Ichigo says in a mix of stress and anxiety.

"Ichi, I won't tell you again," Grimmjow frowns. "You come over here and lay down, you're far too strained to be dealing with everyone else at the moment. If you don't settle, you'll end up hurting yourself."

The tone is a new one to Ichigo, not parental or one his friends would use… but completely dominating. Ichigo whimpers at the tone, at the serious and heavy gaze of those cyan eyes, and crawls up to the teal haired man carefully before curling up on his lap once more. Grimmjow is still tensed, Ichigo flinching at the thought of him being angry at the orange haired teen. His body moves on its own, his mind taking a backseat and screaming 'what the fuck do you think you're doing!' as it watches. He moves up Grimmjow's body, straddling his hips carefully and wrapping his arms around his neck. He nuzzles his neck affectionately, purring as he nips his chin and then gives him a couple hesitant kisses.

"Time to sleep, Ichigo," Grimmjow sighs. "I'm not mad anymore, you can lay down now."

"Grimm… you look different," Ichigo mutters.

Now that he's calm, he's taking in everything much more clearly. Grimmjow has no bone fragments on his face and his Hollow hole is gone, looking far more like Shiro than Ichigo could ever imagine. Grimmjow sighs, runs a hand through his teal locks, and then looks into Ichigo's orbs.

"Why do you think I've been able to read you so well?" he asks. "I'm a Skimmer, just like you. I was only in Aizen's court because I had nothing else to do, Ulquiorra and myself… and Nell. We're all Skimmers. Those two went their own way. Ulquiorra went to the living world to learn about the heart and Nell went to Seireitei in the guise of an Arrancar to play with Yachiru, but I stayed here… someone needs to look after things until Shiro stops fucking around in the living world."

"… You know Shiro?"

"Sure, who doesn't?" he shrugs. "He's the true king around here… used to be king of all the worlds, but got fucked over by the shinigami. They tried to execute him, so he had to hide out here for a long while so they wouldn't find out he's alive. Years ago, he decided to test the waters and went to the living world… haven't seen him since."

"I have," Ichigo mutters bitterly. "He's the one that made me into what I am. Uh… not that there's anything wrong with it! It's just… I've never really been able to call myself anything except hybrid and actually be telling the truth. It kind of sucks not knowing what you are in the first place."

"Skimmers are whatever they choose to be," Grimmjow smiles warmly. "Arrancars were the most powerful things here, so I made myself look like one. Those who choose corporeal bodies have to blend in as well as possible, that way shinigami don't come looking for us… or Szayel, that would've been horrible."

"Sort of like Kurosuchi," Ichigo shudders. "He's horrible, too. Always trying to get me to be his guinea pig."

"I won't let him hurt you, Ichi," Grimm says with a purr. "You belong with me, right here, in our world."

"But… that's just it, Grimm," Ichigo sighs. "I don't know where my world is anymore. I still have a life in the living world… at least… I think I do. My friends are scattered throughout the living world and Seireitei, my family is still in the living world, and everyone still needs protected. What am I supposed to do about that?"

"Ichi, this is your time of heat, there isn't much you can do. You'll be weaker until you choose an Alpha, and since you're a Skimmer and not a Visored… you'll only get weaker by the day until that happens," he sighs. "I know you won't like that idea, but until you choose one I don't mind watching over you."

"… So… until I do, I can't leave," Ichigo sulks.

"Sorry, Ichigo," he frowns. "I would never keep you prisoner, but you're not ready to fight on your own yet. If you leave, you'll likely get violated before you open a Senkaimon… which I'm positive you haven't learned to do yet."

Ichigo cries silently, curled in Grimmjow's lap as the larger male's hand runs through his hair soothingly. Eventually, he cries himself to sleep and Grimmjow sighs a bit sadly. He's never taken a mate before, never found Betas to be worth his time, but he'd give anything for Ichigo to be his completely… anything, that is, except Ichigo's happiness. Sure, he could lean down right now and mark the sleeping teen… but if this isn't what Ichigo wants he'll regret it every day of his life at the sight of the other's forced smiles and dead eyes.

"He's already chosen you," a voice remarks.

"Hmm… Shiro, about time you got your ass back," Grimmjow smirks. "How was vacation?"

"Perfect. I conceived a little firecracker of a brat," Shiro grins widely. "Well… more like a nuclear explosion when riled just right. So, how were things here?"

"Hell," Grimmjow scoffs. "You leave for a few years and some ego-driven bitch of a shinigami decides to move in."

"I apologize, I meant to come back sooner… but I never expected his shinigami powers to be activated," Shiro sighs. "Not to mention reactivated in such a manner as a Hollowfication. Ichigo never had the ability to turn into a Hollow, so I had to intervene and push his Skimmer genetics into triggering as well… and then I had to sit inside his mind and keep his powers reigned in until he could handle them. I had no idea having a little pup was so much fucking work!"

"You didn't expect a pup of yours would be easy, did you?" Grimm laughs. "Sorry, king of mine, but hell hasn't frozen over yet."

"Is he okay?" the older asks in worry.

"He broke down and cried for a bit, but I think he'll be fine. He's just really confused right now."

"Good. I hated seeing him suffer at the hands of his so-called friends," Shiro growls. "They shouldn't tamper with things they know nothing about."

"That's not fair, Shiro," Grimmjow frowns. "They fought beside him, I saw how they stood with him and protected him. I saw how they interacted with him, how they fought for him. They really care about him, I really doubt they would actually harm Ichigo willingly."

"I cannot take that chance," Shiro murmurs. "Ichigo is my only pup, I can't let him get hurt. He's already been so close to death so many times because of those worthless shinigami… no more. You'll take better care of him than they ever could."

"… I won't keep Ichigo from his friends and family, Shiro," Grimmjow sighs. "I can't do that, he's a social creature by nature… That would kill him."

"I know you'll choose what's best for him, Grimmjow," Shiro smiles. "You're my right hand man, after all. I completely trust your decisions and I know you'll be right beside him."

Ichigo wakes up a few hours later, Grimmjow snoozing as he uses his chest as a pillow. One of the teal haired Skimmer's arms are draped over Ichigo's waist loosely, so Ichigo carefully slips from beneath it. He locates one of Grimmjow's extra outfits and slips it on, heading out of the bedroom to look around. At first, he's nervous and wishes he had Zangatsu with him… but slowly he becomes more confident in his steps. Once he's outside, he can make out many forms in the distance… forms in black and white and a few in colorful clothes that cut through the Hollows rushing them without problem. He smiles happily, heading out thoughtlessly to meet them.

"Ichigo!" Rukia calls out. "Oh, we were so worried about you! If Renji hadn't of woken up when you were arguing with that voice, we might've never found you… well, that and Nii-sama remembered how your face looked when you were talking about Grimmjow."

Ichigo's face heats up immediately, his glare pinning a stoic Byakuya. The noble holds up his hands in defense, eyes finally widening just a bit with emotion… which would've been apprehension.

"Would you rather we never know your whereabouts?" he counters.

"… Okay, I'll forgive you this once," Ichigo mutters reluctantly.

"What are you doing here?" Uryu asks. "Why are you all by yourself… and in Grimmjow's clothes?"

"Uh… well… we were asleep and mine were dirty. I woke up first and started looking around, but he's still asleep."

A powerful reiatsu slams against them, all the shinigami and Ichigo's friends brought to their knees at the strong bloodlust and panic within it. Ichigo stands there as though nothing is going on, apparently unable to feel the strength behind it, and watches in the direction he came from with raised brows.

"Well… he was asleep," he amends looking back to them. "What's wrong?"

"Can't you feel that?" Toshiro asks. "That reiatsu is crazy!"

"That? Oh, that's just Grimmjow," Ichigo smiles. "He woke up and found me gone, he's very worried. I guess I should've left a note."

In a heartbeat, the teal haired creature is standing between the group and Ichigo. His arms are wrapped around the orange haired male tightly, worry evident in his voice when he starts speaking.

"Where the hell did you think you were going?" he asks. "You could've been seriously hurt! You can't just walk around Hueco Mundo during mating season unarmed, that's just begging for them to take advantage of you, damn it!"

"I'm sorry, Grimm," Ichigo pouts cutely. "But I was bored and you were sleeping. You looked so relaxed and I know you haven't been getting enough sleep, so I thought I'd just let you catch up on it and show myself around!"

He says it so happy and so… completely feminine… his friends and the shinigami are caught off guard. Grimmjow, on the other hand, must be more used to this sort of behavior from those who are usually more dominant… because he just melts.

"Just don't do it again, okay?" he says quietly. "I don't think I'd be able to handle something happening to you."

"I promise," he says with a quick kiss to the other's chin. "Oh! Look who came for me!"

For the first time, the teal haired man turns to regard the shinigami. The majority of the Taicho are there with their Fuko-taicho and a few seated shinigami, Orihime next to Uryu and Chad, all watching the exchange in complete bafflement. Grimmjow growls, though it's contained and barely audible, and then moves so Ichigo is shielded by his larger body. He puts his arms across his chest and glares at them, frowning deeply though keeping an air of civility about him.

"Why the visit?"

"You kidnapped Ichigo!" Renji snaps.

"Do not test me," Grimmjow snarls. "It's hard enough trying to be civil to another Alpha during mating season, don't give me reason to hurt you!"

"Grimmjow, please," Ichigo pouts. "They're my friends."

"… Fine. Look, I didn't kidnap him," he sighs. "He just came here, he was looking for me. Don't worry, I made damn certain no one touched him."

"Grimm's my Alpha!" Ichigo cheers happily as he peeks around the larger man's arm. "He's gonna take care of me!"

"Ichigo, you don't know what you're saying," Rukia says calmly. "You're choices are impeded by your heat, you only think you want that."

"No, Grimm promised!" Ichigo says as he fights back tears. "Didn't you, Grimm? You promised you'd take care of me, you said I belong with you!"

"That's right, Ichi, I did," he says soothingly.

"You're my Alpha, aren't you?" the younger asks almost meekly.

"Ichigo, your Alpha is whomever you choose to take that spot," he smiles minutely. "I'm not forcing you into anything, this is your decision."

"Don't listen to him, Ichigo," Uryu frowns. "He's an Arrancar, he'll only hurt you! You can't trust them!"

"Grimm's not an Arrancar," Ichigo glares. "He's like me… we're the same."

"What?" Kurosuchi asks in shock. "A Skimmer? Are you certain?"

"Well, I'm in Hueco Mundo without a Hollow hole and no bone fragments," Grimmjow scoffs. "It would seem that way, wouldn't it? Besides, I could've marked him in the living world when I saved his ass from that Hollow, but I didn't. I could've marked him while he was here, but I didn't… I probably should though, his personality is getting far too girly for my liking."

"So… if you mark him, he'll go back to normal?" Chad wonders.

"I'm the Alpha he chose, but if any Alpha marks him he'll go back to normal," he shrugs. "The only problem with that is… he has one hell of a temper and if the Alpha he chose isn't the one he sees when his mind clears we're all in for a hell of fight. Your choice though, I don't care either way."

"… Ichigo, come over here so we can get you back to normal," Orihime says softly.

"No!" Ichigo snaps holding tighter to Grimmjow's arm. "I belong with Grimm!"

"That is preposterous," Kurosuchi scoffs. "Creatures like him feel nothing, you're better off with the shinigami. At least we have morals."

His eyes light up in a rage, literally glowing gold, and he grits his teeth. Grimmjow catches the change immediately, gasping as he acts on instinct. Ichigo leaps for Kurosuchi's throat, Grimmjow grips the back of Ichigo's collar, and the next thing he knows his canines are sunk deep in Ichigo's collar bone. The shinigami gasp in shock, Ichigo's body going completely limp as a far away look takes over his once again amber orbs.

"Hmm…" he hums in satisfaction. "I love you."

"I love you, too, Ichi," Grimmjow chuckles. "Sorry for the mark, but I can't have you killing people just because you're feeling especially insecure."

"Hmm, 's okay," Ichigo replies with a purr.

Grimmjow lets him go, stepping away slightly but close enough to catch him again should he have to, and Ichigo's eyes clear. He yawns, stretches, and looks around in confusion for a moment before remembering what's going on. A bright blush lights up his face, his orbs large in shock and humiliation.

"Oh… my… god!" he shouts before grumbling. "This is the most humiliating moment in my life! I can't believe I acted like such a… a…"

"Chick?" Renji provides helpfully.

"Shut up!" he snaps. "This is horrible! Why is this happening to me? Why is it always me? This sucks!"

Toshiro steps forward to assure Ichigo everything is fine, but Grimmjow holds up his hands and motions for him to step back. Hesitantly, he does so and they all listen to the pacing Kurosaki rant to himself. After a long while, so long everyone just took up a spot on the ground, he stops and looks up as though in thought. He turns to Kurosuchi and tilts his head to one side.

"Sorry for trying to kill you," he murmurs. "I don't know what got into me."

"He attempted to take you away from me," Grimmjow shrugs from the sands. "At least, that's what your overheated mind provided."

"Oh… that's right… you're my Alpha, aren't you?" Ichigo muses before glaring furiously. "You're my Alpha? I should kick your ass, what were you thinking! Don't even think I'm gonna let you touch me! You stay away from me for now, or I'll break every damn bone in your body!"

"Ah… I just love having a mate," Grimmjow sighs sarcastically. "And here I always wondered why I refused to take one. Thank you for reminding me."

"You asshole!" Ichigo snarls. "I'm way too good for you! Don't act like I'm such a burden!"

"You're no burden, precious, you're a headache," the teal haired male grins meanly. "They're totally different."

"Why you…"

Ichigo leaps, Grimmjow dodges, and everyone watches as the two meet in a heated argument that quickly turns into a fistfight. They sigh, glancing at each other in question before Kurosuchi looks to Nemu. She nods and takes out a blow dart, dropping the two like flies once the sedative hits their system. They're almost to the Senkaimon when a reiatsu far more powerful than anything they've ever felt before slams into them so hard they're almost lying flat on the sands. Orihime quickly places a shield over them, struggling to keep it up as they manage to get through the gate. Uryu and Renji yank her through before her shield shatters, the gate closing on the vicious reiatsu tinted with bloodlust.

Ichigo wakes in a cage, no surprise there, and is immediately hyperventilating. At the sound from his cage, someone hurries to it and checks on him. The person is Byakuya and Ichigo manages to calm himself just enough to get oxygen to his lungs, as he knows the noble would never let anything happen to him. The next thing he knows, the cage is being moved… and he can make out distinctive curses and insults that soothe him. When light hits his eyes, he realizes he was in a room off the meeting room… and Grimmjow is in another cage with Kurosuchi poking curiously at him.

"He should've vanished by now," the man muses. "I wonder what he's waiting for."

"Grimm!" Ichigo calls happily. "You're okay!"

"I've been stuck in here for the last three hours!" he snarls. "They've poked, prodded, questioned, and treated me like an animal! I am so not happy!"

"… I love you," Ichigo states with a sexy pout.

"… Awe, I love you, too," the teal haired man says as he immediately relaxes.

Byakuya has the cage moved close to Grimmjow's, watching as Ichigo reaches out at once to grasp his hand. Grimmjow caresses the orange head's cheek with his free hand, tilting his head to each side to look him over in concern.

"I'm fine, they didn't hurt me," Ichigo smiles. "Were you hurt?"

"No, they've just been irritating."

"They do that," Ichigo chuckles. "They don't mean anything by it, they're just curious, that's all."

"You have an excuse for everything," Grimmjow scoffs before the tone turns curious. "So, what's your excuse for the Hollow that attempted to rape you?"

"… He can't fight his instincts," Ichigo chuckles. "And neither can I, unfortunately."

"This does not make me happy," that voice from before hisses around them.

Everyone stills, that reiatsu slamming down on them again, and all but Ichigo and Grimmjow are pushed down to their knees. Ichigo watches quietly, yet Grimmjow sighs in aggravation.

"Enough, Shiro," he growls. "Stop playing around, damn it, you know very well they haven't harmed either of us. Stop trying to make them piss themselves."

Laughter erupts from around them, bubbly and distorted in its humor, and a form slowly appears in the midst of them all. They're doubled over in their laughter, holding their stomach in mirth as they attempt to laugh and breath at the same time. They quickly wipe tears from their eyes, attempting to control themselves, yet only a single voice manages to still them.

"Shiro!" Ichigo cheers. "I knew you were hiding in my head somewhere… I could hear you cursing under your breath."

"Hiding in your head?" Toshiro asks.

"Shiro was my Hollow," Ichigo confesses. "The one that vanished after the Winter War? Well… apparently, he just took his own form again. I don't know why he was there to begin with, but I liked the company."

"I was there because I couldn't chance them catching on to the fact you're a hybrid Skimmer!" he snaps. "These blood thirsty, holier than thou, assholes would've cut you up before executing you!"

"You don't know that," Ichigo huffs.

"They did it to me!" he snaps. "Execution, but not the experimenting. You can't keep a Skimmer caged, especially a pure bred like myself and Grimmjow."

"He stayed caged fairly well," Kurosuchi mutters in disappointment.

"Grimm," Shiro states.

With a sigh, Grimmjow crosses his arms over his chest… and walks straight through the bars holding him. Everyone gapes in shock, watching Ichigo grin and do the same. Shiro pats him on the head, kissing his forehead affectionately before ruffling his orange locks.

"Good job," he grins widely. "You're a natural, pup."

"I learn fast," Ichigo smiles.

"Well, it helps I've been feeding you the knowledge for a few years now," Shiro says arrogantly. "After all, your old man's the oldest and most powerful Skimmer there ever was!"

"Shiro… I admit we got off to a terrible start," Sotaicho sighs. "We never intended to keep the two locked up, it was for their safety… and more so our own. They told me how Kurosaki attempted to kill my Twelfth division Taicho, I didn't want another misunderstanding like that."

"That only happens when he's in heat," Shiro waves off. "The first heat is killer, the others are for… different reasons."

"We're gonna have to talk about that one, Ichi," Grimmjow states seriously. "Because there's no way in hell I'm having sex with you during your other heats."

"You're not having sex with me period!" Ichigo snarls with a dark blush.

"Wanna bet?"

"Wanna be bedridden in the fourth division for three months?" Ichigo challenges.

"… We'll talk later then," the older grumbles. "You know, as a matter of fact, I'll just start now! Think it's funny to deprive your Alpha of sex? The reason I won't sleep with you during your future heats, is because you're a Beta… and can get pregnant at that time."

"… I'm going to kill you," Ichigo growls as his eyes light up.

Renji busts up laughing, snorting at the fact Ichigo is truly more feminine than a male should be. Ichigo's heated gold gaze on him shuts him up, a fist taking Grimmjow by surprise. Shiro sighs as he holds a struggling Ichigo upon one shoulder like a sack of potatoes, Grimmjow just picking himself up off the ground.

"My apologies, young ones are so immature," he says. "Well… young ones and Grimmjow."

"You can reproduce, Kurosaki?" the scientist wonders in delight. "I would love to find out how that works!"

"Shiro!" Ichigo shouts in panic.

"He's not gonna touch you," Shiro assures. "Now, you were saying, Sotaicho?"

"Ah… It would benefit us greatly to have a greater understanding of your race," he informs. "Therefore, I would appreciate the chance to get more information on you. Only that which you're willing to share, of course. I know Ichigo is quite fond of Urahara Kisuke…"

"As am I," Shiro grins wickedly.

"Yes… well… I also happen to have three Taicho positions open yet," he states. "I would appreciate you returning to the ranks, I had already planned to accept Ichigo as a Taicho as well… and now I have a third candidate for the last position."

"Why didn't you just ask Nell?" Grimmjow frowns. "She's already here and her number is higher than mine!"

"You're stronger than she is," Shiro points out. "You took a lower number in case you guys had to gang up on Aizen, he wouldn't think anything of the sixth Espada challenging him."

"Shut up! You don't know anything!"

"I know everything," Shiro intones before sticking his tongue out childishly. "Sotaicho, we would be happy to accept your offer."

"Wait! I can't," Ichigo pouts. "I'm still alive in the living world, I can't just leave my family there!"

"And there's no way in hell I'm leaving Ichigo alone there," Grimmjow huffs.

"Perhaps, if you two were to come back here on three day weekends?" Byakuya suggests with a glance at Yamamoto.

"That is an exceptional idea, Kuchiki-Taicho," the old man smiles. "Shiro, of course, will have to stay here. Until we're certain you're of no threat… we know next to nothing about your kind."

"We feed on dream energy once a month," Shiro smirks. "It causes absolutely no damage or harm to anyone. We reside within a person's mind as a thought or daydream, no harm there either as you've seen with Ichigo. Everything else is just like a human or shinigami… except that we're ruled by instinct like an Arrancar. We have a conscience to guide us, but our instincts tell us when we're in danger or… other things."

He glances at Ichigo, everyone looking to his face. His amber eyes are filled with lust and love as he gazes on an oblivious Grimmjow, a minute smile touching his lips before he masks it with a scowl when the teal haired Skimmer glances at him. They all laugh, glad to have their Ichigo back to normal. Grimmjow and Ichigo leave later that day, Shiro staying behind to speak with Kurosuchi… though the man was warned immediately that Skimmers were dangerous when pissed off. Of course, they already saw that in Ichigo as well. Grimmjow managed to get an apartment, a job at Urahara's shop and as a tester for his more hazardous inventions… hey, the pay was awesome so he wasn't complaining… and Ichigo moved in with him the next day. Everything has fallen into place, though Ichigo still refuses to let Grimmjow touch him.

It's late on the night of their fourth week in their apartment, Grimmjow sleeping contently in bed and Ichigo pacing the living room. He can't figure out what's wrong with him, he managed to catch his monthly feeding off one of Orihime's dreams… which tasted as strange as her cooking… yet something is still off. He took a shower, got a snack, got something to drink, but there was still this want he couldn't place. At a loss, he climbs in bed with Grimmjow and shakes the older awake.

"What the hell?" he mumbles sleepily.

"I want something," Ichigo states.

"So get it," the teal haired Skimmer growls in irritation.

"But I don't know what it is I want."

"And how am I supposed to know what you… oh," Grimmjow remarks quietly.

"What do you mean? 'Oh' what?"

"Your eyes are foggy with lust," the older laughs. "You've been keeping yourself awake because you want to get laid."

"You're so lying," Ichigo scoffs.

Grimmjow leans over and captures his lips, the orange haired Skimmer immediately melting into it. He knows the other wasn't lying, his body is screaming for attention from his Alpha. He moves to straddle Grimmjow's hips, the other sitting up just enough to kiss him deeply. Ichigo never knew denying himself attention from Grimmjow could make him feel so needy, making a mental note to never do so again unless he seriously deserves it. He moans into the kiss, his Alpha's hips rolling upward to rub them against one another. The younger has never been so eager for anything in his life, rolling Grimmjow on top of him easily.

"Take me," Ichigo purrs with half lidded orbs. "Make me yours."

"You're already mine," the other chuckles. "But I'll make damn sure you never forget it."

Clothes are tossed aside, hands roaming freely, and moans fill the room. It takes nothing to prep Ichigo, Grimmjow delighted this is the younger's first time, and then he's pushing his rock hard member into that tight warm channel. They both moan, Ichigo letting loose a whimper at the pain that quickly twists to a pleasured scream. The teal haired Skimmer grins maniacally as he realizes he hit Ichigo's spot, slamming himself repeatedly against that same area. The pleasure builds in them both, Ichigo unable to utter anything anymore unless it's a gasp or moan, and finally Grimmjow's hand comes up to touch his leaking member. Ichigo hisses, lost to the daze of finally getting attention from his Alpha, and whimpers as it becomes too much for him. He wants to come so badly, but something is holding him back and it's driving him crazy.

"P-please," he whispers desperately. "P-please, I want… please, G-Grimm."

"Just let go, precious," Grimmjow purrs.

With that, Ichigo cries out his Alpha's name and sees white as he coats his stomach. His body tenses, squeezing Grimmjow's pulsing rod, and he picks up speed desperately to slam in a few more times. He throws himself into Ichigo one last time, hitting his prostate hard as he pushes in as far as he can possibly go. He body shudders as he plants his seed in Ichigo's core, hissing in pleasure at the intensity of his release. He falls to the side, taking Ichigo with him so he doesn't have to pull out immediately. Ichigo purrs in content, wrapping his arms tiredly around Grimmjow's neck and nuzzling as he pulls out of the smaller. With a satisfied sigh, he allows Ichigo to lay with his head and half his torso on the older male's chest. Ichigo is out like a light in less than a minute, Grimmjow playing with the silken strands of orange for a bit longer. He grins that predatory grin, glancing at Ichigo as more thoughts of things they can do after he rests a bit flood his mind.

"Thanks, precious," he purrs quietly so as not to wake him. "You've just reminded me of all the reasons I thought it was a good idea to take a mate."