Ichigo Kurosaki is a quiet and brilliant artist, modest and patient and bears a hot temper when provoked. He knows when he should back down, knows he probably won't do so, and he's aware that he's more beautiful than any male has the right to be… he gets told that all the time by his female friends. He loves nature and hates people who think they're better than everyone else. His biggest flaw, however, is his thoughtless treks through dangerous places simply to get a good scene to paint. He's been in the middle of the Serengeti to paint a pride of lions, lost in the rainforest looking for the perfect anaconda, high in the mountains to paint the snow leopards that live there, in the Arctic for the polar bears and penguins, and even diving to get pictures of sharks to paint. Oh yes, he was born to paint nature. He normally doesn't take people with him, as they only get in the way or hold him back, so he's usually on his own. If something were to go wrong, he'd probably die out in his perfect scene… but he can't seem to care. If he were to die in one of those scenes, he could honestly say he'd die happy.

"What are we doing in the middle of the jungle again?" Renji sighs.

"I'm in the middle of the jungle to find that white panther everyone talks about!" Ichigo grins widely. "You're just here to drop me off."

"Well, it was nonsense letting you walk all the way here when the nearest village is days away."

"I don't mind. The walk is half the fun."

"There's something wrong with you, do you know that?"

"I love nature," Ichigo shrugs. "There's nothing wrong with that. I prefer jungles and oceans to cities and towns, they make me more… comfortable."

"You have coverage here?"

"Yeah, I think so," Ichigo nods.

"Just… call if you need anything, okay?"

"You bet! See you later, Renji!"

"Yeah… later."

The redhead sighs in irritation as his best friend jogs into the wilderness of yet another jungle fraught with danger. It wouldn't be so bad if the orangette would take a guide or something, but he has to admit… Ichigo moves through these uncharted areas as though he's lived there all his life. He can read signs of danger from the animals, track anything without problem, and even live off the land like he was born to do it. If anything, Ichigo is a child of nature through and through. He wouldn't be surprised if he were raised by ancient Native Americans or something. With one last look as his friend disappears into the thick of the jungle, Renji steps on the gas and drives back to the village he'll be staying at until Ichigo calls to be picked up… or shows up after a long walk.

Ichigo breaths in the warm air of the jungle, not quite a rainforest but an area with many different terrains, and gazes around happily. He's never been here before, but it seems to call to him. Ichigo never told Renji the real reason he's here… the dreams that plague him every night that feel so real. He can't remember the last time in the past months where he's slept all through the night, can't remember waking without finding a new mark on his body. Within this area, within these trees, is a legend among animals he could almost bet is the same as in his dreams. He's not even sure it exists, but he's going to find out. The villagers say that a spirit lives here, a protector of animals and the nature here. That many people have tried to destroy this place in order to develop more modern towns, but the spirit constantly thwarts them. Anyone that's seen this creature says it's a panther… with pure white fur and brilliant glowing blue eyes. Ichigo could imagine what it was like to see this spirit in the middle of the night, hidden among the trees with the moonlike encompassing it… how beautiful… how so like in his dreams. He came to this jungle in hopes of finding this ethereal sight and putting it to easel. Well, to his sketch pad at least. He'll put it on easel once he gets back home.

"Now… where to start looking," he muses aloud.

He searches for signs of this strange and unique predator all day, stopping only at night when it becomes difficult to see. From what he can tell, he's near the middle of the jungle's forested area. He knows from the locals that this place is surrounded by a thick jungle that rings a forested and mountainous area, a very special jungle sitting in the cradle of the mountains… one no one can ever get close to. This place is so large, it would take a week for a normal person to reach the meadows… most likely five to come close to the mountains. Ichigo has told Renji he plans on being there for over a month, just to be on the safe side. He sets up camp in the clearing he's found, close to water and food should he need it, and sits by the fire to think. He found absolutely no trace of panthers here, though he did notice many human footprints. He knows this is a safe zone for the locals, a place the spirit rarely comes, and he also knows the closer he gets to the mountain's cradle… the more often the spirit is spotted.

"I'll just have to get as close as possible then," he smirks. "Shouldn't be too hard."

"What shouldn't?"

Ichigo shrieks like a little girl, falling backward over the log he's been sitting on and scrambling away from the voice with a hand over his heart. Standing close enough that the firelight plays magically on all the right contours of his body, is a gorgeous man that simply can't be real. The man is simply a living sin… and Ichigo knows exactly which one if the tightness in his pants is anything to go by. He blushes horribly as his eyes unconsciously take in the other's hard muscular body, tan skin, wildly spiked teal hair, and bright blue eyes that seem to glow in the firelight. The six foot one man, as though he knows the less than innocent thoughts rushing through Ichigo's mind, gives the smaller male a cocky grin.

"You okay?" he chuckles.

"I… I… I'm f-fine."

"That's good to know," the man grins. "Sorry I startled you, I didn't mean it. What are you doing way out here? The locals don't usually camp in the jungle, so you must not be from around here. Haven't you heard of the dangerous animals in this place?"

"I have, but I'm not scared," Ichigo smiles as he slowly relaxes. "I've come to paint… well, sketch. I couldn't carry all my painting stuff."

"An artist, huh? Didn't know they made a habit of putting themselves in danger for a good picture."

"They don't, I'm not like them. Nature is where I belong, it's where I'm most comfortable," Ichigo says with a content sigh. "I'd rather be swimming with sharks and laying with lions than partying with teens and dealing with people."

"Hmm," the sex god nods. "What's your name?"

"Ichigo Kurosaki," the orangette murmurs a bit bashful. "Yours?"

"I'm Grimmjow Jaegerjaques," he states as he sits across from Ichigo. "I live around here."

"But… the locals said they were the closest village for days!" Ichigo gasps. "They said this place was uninhabited!"

"The inside is, but not this outside ring," the teal haired man smirks. "This is the safe zone, the place the animals behave around humans. I live just over there, in a tree house by a lake."

"But… why?"

"Wouldn't you if you had the chance?"

Ichigo thinks on that only a moment before nodding with a smirk, realizing that this man is much like himself. Simply gazing upon his predatory grin and sharp piercing eyes, the way he moves so fluidly and the markings of aqua along those blue pools that seem so feline, he can tell Grimmjow was born for the wilderness, too. After a long silence, in which Ichigo just entertained fantasies regarding the other male, Grimmjow speaks up again.

"So… what are you doing out here? I mean… where are you planning on heading?"

"To the mountain's cradle."

"… No one goes there," Grimmjow frowns. "Not for any reason. It's sacred ground, you know."

"Oh, I'm not planning on going in," Ichigo waves off. "I'm just heading in that direction. You see, the locals told me about a spirit that protects this place! I'm going to paint it!"

"A spirit… seriously."

"Yeah! It's supposed to be a white panther with glowing blue eyes," Ichigo grins excitedly. "I can't wait to see it, but they said you're more apt to see it if you get closer to the mountain's cradle."

"What if you don't see it?" Grimmjow asks quietly.

"I don't know… I'll just… stay until I do."

"Pretty determined little artist, aren't you?"

"I've done things you seriously wouldn't expect of an artist," Ichigo says in determination. "One stubborn spirit isn't going to stop me."

Grimmjow looks into the fire, the light dancing in his eyes, and Ichigo is pulled in immediately. He's had his share of crushes, boyfriends, and girlfriends. He's gone through the 'I'm so in love' and the 'break my heart' stuff, but this is a connection he's never felt before. This is more of a soul mate thing, where his very spirit seems to be on a matching wavelength to the man across form him… like a siren is calling him and he can't help but follow. He wants to scream I love you, throw himself into the arms of the man across from him, and beg him to show him who he belongs to. He shakes his head, giving the fire a look of absolute disbelief and confusion at the thoughts.

"Something wrong?"

"Uh… no," he blushes. "So… What do you do out here?"

"I watch the borders of the jungle, make sure no unfavorable people slip past."

"You mean… like a policeman?"

"… Something like that."

"… Am I unfavorable?" Ichigo wonders almost shyly.

"Not from where I'm sitting," the taller male purrs. "Hey, how about I go with you? Just to make sure you're okay on your little journey into the unknown?"

"Well… thank anyway, but… I really like to do these things on my own," Ichigo frowns.

"I doubt you've ever been anywhere like this place. Wait for me in the morning, I'll guide you around," Grimmjow smirks. "Who knows… maybe I'll learn you a thing or two about ancient rituals."

"Really? Like what?"

"Well there's one that's still practiced today," the other says with an even wider grin. "All over the world, in fact."

"What is it?"

"I bet you can guess, if you think really hard," Grimmjow purrs with a more sultry look in his eyes.

Ichigo scrunches up his brow in thought, blushing a bright crimson before stuttering in shock as Grimmjow laughs. God he loves the naive ones, they're so much fun to tease. Leaving the beautiful orangette sitting speechless, Grimmjow saunters back into the trees and vanishes. Once he's gone, the hold he had over Ichigo… so powerful and absolute… goes with him. The nineteen year old sits up and looks around, his blush slowly fading as he realizes the other isn't there. As flattered as he is for the offer, and as much as he really wants to take up the teal haired man on his other offer, Ichigo doesn't like company when he's looking for his muse. As soon as he positive he's alone, he gets a few hours sleep. His dreams filled with moans and groans… and a muscular body moving against his own more lithe one. Then, before the sun comes up, the teen packs up and leaves. He doesn't see the glowing blue eyes that watch cautiously from the shadows of brush, however.

"Hmm… A feline was here," Ichigo murmurs to himself.

He's kneeling in the moist dark soil, one hand absently tracing a track he knows to be of a large feline. A twig snapping catches his attention, his eyes moving slowly to peer sidelong at the one following him… a huge gorilla. Ichigo has come across gorillas before, knows this is a male and he's likely in its territory.

"Shit," he mutters.

The gorilla shrieks and beats it's fists on its chest, moving quickly toward the small male. Ichigo, on the other hand, leaps and kicks off the nearest tree to launch himself over the creature's head. Once he hit's the ground, he's moving from a crouch to a flat out run. He knows this place, reads the terrain easily, but this gorilla is persistent and he has difficulty losing him. A river is coming up and Ichigo dives into it without much thought, almost passing out when an alligator lurks right past him. He backs away from the long log-looking thing, eyes wide and senses on high alert. Before he can slip onto the opposite bank of the gorilla, however, the alligator turns in a nice curve that would've been beautiful had Ichigo not been in danger. It leaps, Ichigo squeaks in fear, and something yanks him from the waters at the last minute.

"What the hell were you thinking?"

"G-Grimmjow," Ichigo mutters. "What are you dong here?"

"Apparently, I'm saving your ass from becoming gator-bait!" he snaps. "Why didn't you wait for me?"

"… I'm sorry, but… I like doing this stuff on my own," Ichigo frowns. "I can't find my muse if people are breathing down my neck!"

"If I hadn't of been here, you would've been dead!" the taller huffs. "I don't care if you want company or not, I know this jungle and it's dangers like the back of my hand and I'm not letting you go out there alone again! Run off all you want, but I will track you and I will find you. You'd just better pray it's before something bad happens."

Ichigo groans, having met enough people with Grimmjow's personality to know he won't get his own way with the wild feline-like man. With a pout, he trudges along with the taller following. Grimmjow stays far enough away, observing more than leading, and Ichigo silently thanks him for that. The travel in silence, Ichigo walking through the tall grass of the meadow past the jungle as his eyes gaze out over the beautiful scene. He stops abruptly, setting down his bag and kneeling to rummage through it. Grimmjow stands alert, blue orbs raking the area for any threats, and then sits beside Ichigo after deeming things quiet enough.

"What are you doing?" he asks.

"I want to sketch this place," Ichigo smiles lightly. "It's beautiful."

"It looks like any other meadow," Grimmjow says curiously. "The only thing different is the fact you're standing in it."

Ichigo blushes hotly at the comment, trying to shake off the nagging voice in his head that's saying Grimmjow is flirting with him. Once he gathers his thoughts and locates his pad and pencil, he situates himself and starts drawing. Grimmjow lays back against a large boulder, stretching out in the sunlight to take a nap while Ichigo occupies himself. The other is still sleeping when the orangette finishes, Ichigo quietly putting his things away and tiptoeing off.

"Where do you think you're going?"

He 'eeps' and looks back toward the other, who's eyes still haven't opened. At the lack of response, one eye peeks open and Grimmjow gives him a cocky smirk. Once Ichigo relaxes and gazes away impatiently with a disgusted look in his amber eyes, Grimmjow gets to his feet and saunters after his new charge.

"What do you know about the white panther?" Ichigo asks after two hours of silence.

"Hmm… not much."

"Have you seen it?"

"No, not really."

"… Do you even believe in it?" Ichigo accuses in a flat tone.

"I don't really know. I mean… I'm not saying it's impossible that it exists, but… I've never even seen a trace of it. It's getting late, we should stop to camp and eat something."


They're sitting with their dinner, a few fish Grimmjow caught from a stream added to some wild vegetables Ichigo turned into a stew. It's rather good, the orangette actually surprised this place has so much variety when it comes to food. The air is getting cool, the sky darkening with more than just night, and Ichigo can feel depression setting in along with the need for a body beside him. He hates the rain, it always forces horrible memories long since locked away into his mind. When he finds himself close to leaving with a completely stranger on Fridays at the bar, it's usually on rainy days and his friends have difficulty stopping him… Renji's actually told him he'd leave him go next time.

"There's a cave system over there," Grimmjow points out. "Get deep enough in and we won't even hear the rain. I think you can still set up your tent as well, if you're worried about it."

"Caves?" Ichigo asks almost fearfully. "Can't we just stay out here?"

"Oh sure, I always love getting blown away in a dinky tent that can barely stand up to the weather."

"B-but… I hate caves."


"… There are… bats!"

"Duh, that's normally where they live. Don't tell me you're afraid of a little bat," he laughs.

"I'm not afraid of them!" Ichigo snaps angrily before letting his features fall more submissive. "I just… don't like them."

"Don't worry, princess, I'll protect you from the big bad bats," the other teases.

Ichigo grumbles furiously as they head in the direction of the caves, Grimmjow humming to himself as he picks up a couple rocks along the way. Thunder rumbles above them, Ichigo flinching as he moves closer to the taller male unconsciously. The older male gives him a curious look, yet sets an arm around his shoulders for a bit of comfort anyway. The cave's mouth comes into view, the vibrant haired teen immediately turning around to leave, and Grimmjow sighs as he grips the back of Ichigo's waistband and drags him along. He releases him, forced to tackle him again and pull him in out of the incoming storm. With a huff, the larger male pushes Ichigo up against the rock wall and presses his own body against him to pin him effortlessly. Ichigo stills, eyes wide and blush consuming his whole body. He can smell Grimmjow's unique scent of fresh rain and the forest air before an incoming storm… much like it is now, but he can tell this scent hangs on the other's skin permanently. Grimmjow moves, Ichigo's mind providing only the fact that rock hard body is gliding over his own as his mouth goes dry. He whimpers, but the teal haired male ignores it if only to save Ichigo's pride… for now. Suddenly, Grimmjow presses almost painfully close and both can feel the slight hardness in the smaller male's jeans. The older male grins feral, though he continues with what he's doing… though he can't resist pressing his knee into his captive's groin. Ichigo swallows the moan quickly, glaring at the taller man as he knows he's doing this on purpose. A flame flicker and blazes off to Ichigo's right, the orangette jumping in surprise as Grimmjow lifts the torch from it's bracket.

"Let's go," he smiles.

"You… but you just… how could… why..?"

"What's the matter? You look like you were expecting something a little less innocent."

"… Sh-shut up," Ichigo growls. "Just lead the way. And… watch out for any bats!"

Grimmjow chuckles to himself, lighting a few more torches that line the walls of the tunnels. He's been here multiple times, always moving around and locating many scattered shelters for storms just in case. This is one of his favorites, as these tunnels all connect with a huge cavern. It's 'rooms' are set up like a small house complete with an underground spring… he's actually thought of moving here, but then he couldn't watch the border as well. He didn't tell Ichigo there are no bats here, they vacated for more secluded caves about two years ago. When he steps into the cavern he loves so much, he glances over to see Ichigo's jaw drop in absolute awe.

"You've been here before," Ichigo comments once he gathers himself.

"Yeah, it's one of my storm shelters… just in case I get caught in an unexpected downpour. You like it?"

"It's… amazing."

"This is the living area, over there is the kitchen, the bath is back there… it's where all the steam is coming from," Grimmjow explains as he points to the different rooms. "The bedroom is over that way, but it only has one bed."

"… Bed? You have a bed?"

"Well, duh. I've lived in this jungle all my life, Ichigo," Grimmjow grins proudly. "I know how to survive better than anyone."

As he looks out over the wide collection of hides and furs, Ichigo can tell that Grimmjow isn't lying. He peeks in the bedroom to see a long rock with a deep hollow in the middle, hides sewn together with thick thread filled with feathers for a mattress and pillows and furs lying atop them. A couple torches are in brackets away from the bed, ones Grimmjow lights now.

"This place really is beautiful," Ichigo smiles. "It almost makes me not mind it's a cave."

"There aren't any bats here, you know. They headed toward the mountains a couple years ago."

"… They could come back."

"We should really get some…"

A great boom of thunder cracks around them, Ichigo yelping and leaping into Grimmjow's arms. The taller male just stands there, staring at the smaller as though he's lost his mind. Even though a part of him screams he should take this seriously… he's always been the more playful type.

"Gee, if I knew you wanted me that badly I would've skipped the tour," he remarks.

"… Grimmjow, I don't like the rain," Ichigo mumbles.

"Who does?"

"No, you don't understand. I have really bad nightmares when it rains," the other sighs. "If I'm not totally exhausted, I end up waking in the middle of the night from night terrors."

Grimmjow can only look at him with something akin to fascination mixed with thoughtfulness, his mind going a mile a minute as it provides less than innocent ways to exhaust the smaller male. Ichigo seems to notice this within the teal haired male's lecherous gaze, because he's immediately out of Grimmjow's arms. It's that strange pull again, the one Grimmjow seems to exude without even trying… the otherworldly one. It's relaxing Ichigo, calming him, and pulling him in as it chips away his ever present guard. He wants this man… he needs him. Without thinking, he leans forward until he's inches from those perfect lips. Grimmjow takes the initiative, looping an arm around Ichigo's slim waist and tugging him tight against his own body… so much like when he pinned him to the wall. He presses their lips together, trying to pull Ichigo from the shy kiss and turn it more heated. A soft lick along Ichigo's bottom lip and the smaller opens his mouth to moan, inviting the more domineering male into the moist cavern to explore. The vibrant haired teen grips the front of Grimmjow's shirt tight in his fists, his knees threatening to give out as he's carefully scooted back to the bed. He's lain down gently, Grimmjow's larger body sliding in over top of him. Ichigo gasps as a knee touches his hardened length, the gasp transforming into a throaty moan when it's pressed harder.

"Mm… You sound beautiful," Grimmjow purrs.

Grimmjow rips open Ichigo's shirt, the other beginning to protest when those sinful lips latch onto his bottom lip to suck. The tattered shirt is thrown to the floor, the taller man's half jacket following soon after. He moves his mouth down Ichigo's neck, biting a bit too hard on his collar and drawing blood that he immediately laps up in apology. Afterward, he heads down further to nip and suck on caramel nipples. The vibrant haired teen arches off the furs, gasping for breath as one slender hand tangles in blue locks. His pants and boxers are slipped off as he arches in pleasure, Ichigo none the wiser to his sudden nudity. With an inhuman purr, Grimmjow slips his fingers past the smaller male's lips.

"Suck," he murmurs at Ichigo's confused stare. "Get them nice and wet."

He does as told, biting down when the more dominant male's hand presses between his long tan legs. He moans loudly around the digits in his mouth, feeling the pleased smirk against his chest as the heel of that hand grids harder into his member. Once he feels his fingers are wet enough, Grimmjow removes them and watches Ichigo's dazed amber orbs turn black with want, a sight he's not ashamed to admit only got him harder. One finger slips into Ichigo, that hand in Grimmjow's hair tightening painfully as the smaller male cries out. The teal haired man moves his mouth to engulf the erection he was tormenting only moments before, the discomfort lost on Ichigo in the face of more pleasure. A second and third finger are added to help stretch the vibrant haired teen, but soon all that pleasure is removed and Ichigo is left staring up at the ceiling unseeing.

"Are you still with me?" Grimmjow chuckles.

"… mm-hm…"

"Surely you've done this before."

"… mm-hm…"

"Not this good, then?"

"… mm-hm…"

As much as he's loving the other's complete short-circuit, he hastily pulls his pants off and rolls Ichigo onto his stomach before lifting his hips. Ichigo grumbles as he shaken from his daze, lust-fogged orbs looking back at Grimmjow disgruntled. He says nothing, simply draping his own body over Ichigo's frame and thrusting into him to the hilt in one go. He's actually impressed the other didn't cry out, but the younger is far more stubborn than that. It only takes a few minutes for Ichigo to get used to his size, rocking back on the hard length so Grimmjow with get the idea. After that, however, Grimmjow is finished taking it slow. He rams into the smaller male with vigor, Ichigo crying out in ecstasy as his prostate is struck every time. Ichigo rocks his hips back into Grimmjow harshly in hopes of getting the huge erection deeper, feeling every thrust as his lover grows thicker with need.

"Oh god!" he screams. "Ah! G-Grimmjow, I'm s-so close!"

Grimmjow slows down, a frustrated growl from Ichigo almost breaking his resolve. He wants this to last a little longer, wants to feel this gorgeous male beneath him just a bit longer. His slow thrusts are even and rough, not completely satisfying but enough to keep them just at the edge. A whine drifts back to him from the orangette, the larger male taking pity on him and starting up that fast and brutal pace once more. Ichigo screams, pushing back to feel more and gripping the furs beneath him tightly. His body, slick with sweat, trembles with exhaustion. Finally, he finds his release, gasping out Grimmjow's name as he sprays white fluid on the fur he's been placed on. Grimmjow growls, a sound Ichigo knows isn't the least bit human, and ejects his release straight into the abused prostate. With a gasp and one last tremble, Ichigo passes out. Grimmjow pulls out of him, his blue eyes glowing in the dark of the cavern, and covers the other so he won't get cold. With a sigh, he puts on his clothes and walks out.

Ichigo wakes after a long and restful sleep, yawning and stretching… only to wince in pain. A large grin consumes his face at the memory of that night, yet it falls away at the lack of a warm body beside him. He didn't expect anything to come of a fling in the jungle, but he had hoped. With a sigh, he gathers his clothes and pulls a new outfit from his bag. After a quick bath and something to eat, he heads out again… alone.

He doesn't stay to find the white panther this time, his heart hurts too much for a serious search. He, instead, heads back to the forest line and the village he left from. Disappointment in himself is thick within his veins, though it's not because of his lack of focus… It's because he knows that if Grimmjow were to ask him, he'd do it all again. The sex god is a drug, one Ichigo became addicted to at first glance.

"You're so stupid, Ichigo," he mutters to himself. "Throwing yourself at a complete stranger! Fuck him! Fuck the rain! I'm going home."

"Did you find your panther yet?" a voice wonders.

Ichigo screams and trips over an upturned tree root, his bag flying into the air and falling fast. Before it can beam him in the head, it's caught and he's staring at it cautiously. Once it's pulled away, he's left to stare at the person responsible for his current self-hate.

"No, I'm gonna go home," he murmurs.

"Why? I thought you weren't gonna leave until you found it."

"… Where did you go? You weren't there when I woke up," the teen mutters with a brilliant blush.

"I had to check the border," Grimmjow answers. "I can't neglect my job just because I chose to escort you around the jungle."

"… I guess. But I'm sure you escort a lot of people, right?"

"No. You're the first."


"Because I like to look at you and this is less creepy than me stalking you," he shrugs. "Come on, let's find your panther."

Against his better judgment, Ichigo allows Grimmjow to pull him to his feet. He knows he shouldn't believe him, knows he'd be better off just turning around and going home to get as far from this sexy god-like creature as possible, but he needs him… he's his drug and there is no cure for this addiction. He follows the tall Adonis deeper into the unpopulated jungle, eyes firmly set on nothing but him.