Summary: Ichigo's a rare male submissive vampire. So, what happens when he finds that he is destined not for just one perfect mate, but three? And those three are the ones holding him for ransom? GrimmjowxShiroxRenji/Ichigo AU mpreg
Warnings: AU, yaoi, polyamorous, mature sexual content, occult themes (vampires), language, violence, OOC, mpreg in later chapters, and while not set in a specific time period or real location it is not meant to take place in modern day.
Sweet Submissive Sixteen
Chapter One: Birthday Wishes
Ichigo Kurosaki had always led an unusual life. Ever since he could remember, he'd never done the expected. With his brightly hued sunset orange hair and contradictory personality - brash yet introverted- he was the exception to all rules.
He'd been orphaned before he'd reached his first birthday, a distant relative dropping him off at an inner city orphanage apparently without a second thought. No one could tell him who his parents had been or how they'd died as that relative hadn't given any information besides his name.
The orangette lived in that awful orphanage until he was around six years old (he was never quite sure of his age, not knowing his birthday) and a nobleman visited to possibly locate a companion for his charge, the younger sister of his deceased wife. He'd made the mistake of bringing the girl along with him for her tough exterior scared off all of the children. Or almost all of them, actually.
Ichigo remembered that day vividly, when he met Rukia Kuchiki and her adoptive older brother, Byakuya. The pint-sized girl had glared at him with those wide violet eyes of hers and when the boy didn't scurry away in fear but instead scowled back fiercely it had been the start of a beautiful friendship.
He'd been taken to live at the Kuchiki Manor, the somewhat secluded, ancient estate located in the outer ring of the province they lived in; that being Rukongai. On the first night the aristocrat had informed in a tone far too severe to be used with a child that he and Rukia were vampires, or the latter would be when she reached her Inheritance.
See, Rukongai's population was near equally split in half between humans and vampires so Ichigo had known plenty of the immortal beings beforehand and so didn't even blink at the information. Vampires were really not much different from humans, he thought. They only had scientifically baffling qualities like living off of the blood of humans, enhanced strength and senses, and extraordinary mental abilities.
Ichigo and Rukia grew up like brother and sister despite one being human and the other vampire.
Life for the orangette turned relatively normal and since this just would not do, Fate had to shuffle up her deck of cards and deal one that blindsided not only Ichigo himself, but the entire Rukongai vampire population as well.
Because he couldn't do anything by the book, never ever. He would always and forever be unusual.
Ichigo woke from a deep slumber precisely one minute before midnight on the fourteenth of the July of his sixteenth year.
His tangerine honey-colored hair clung to the skin on his face that was damp with sweat and flushed a dark rosy pink. The teenager threw the quilted duvet off of him, disappointed when it did nothing to lessen the unnatural heat he felt coursing through him. Not only this but his breath was coming in shallow, rapid gasps, as if he'd just run a great distance. His chest heaved up and down as he brought one hand to his heated forehead, eyelids fluttering open.
Unfocused ochre orbs traveled the room from underneath vermillion eyelashes until they stopped on the grandfather clock set in the corner just as both hands struck twelve.
The orangette groaned when he felt a sudden, sharp ache in his abdomen and he clutched the front of his nightshirt, curling up into a ball as the waves of pain washed over him. When the feeling, akin to having white hot pokers stab him repeatedly, didn't dissipate within the minute Ichigo determined he needed to get help, and quickly.
However, this was easier said than done considering when he tried to push himself to a sitting position he found all of his strength had been sapped, leaving him as weak as a newborn lamb. Swearing under his breath as the feeling in his stomach heightened in its intensity, he licked his dry lips, swallowed a couple of times, and silently prayed that someone in his household was still awake despite the late hour.
What was happening to him? This didn't feel like any ordinary illness.
"Help!" he cried out, forcing his lungs to take in as much air as possible to make projecting his voice easier. "Somebody help me!"
Ichigo went to call out again but a swell of agonizing pain ten times worse than before overwhelmed him and even in the darkness of his bedroom, his vision blurred and faded in and out at the sensation. It was like his insides were on fire and he was burning from the inside out. Tears gathered in the corners of his eyes and a few spilled over as he gasped at the pain.
Was this the end then? Would he really die right there in his bedroom completely alone?
The teenager thought he would go insane from the unknown torture when the door to the hallway flung open. He peered through tear-impaired eyes to see a small, almost child-like figure standing in the threshold, only the familiar, petite face of Rukia Kuchiki visible from the light of the candle she held in her hand.
"Ichigo!" she said, rushing forward so that her linen nightclothes billowed around her, giving her the appearance of a midnight spectre. "What's wrong?" Her voice was loud but unsteady as she took in her friend's condition, obviously at a loss of what to do.
"S-stomach... hurts," the orangette managed to say through clenched teeth. Rukia's already impossibly wide, violet eyes enlarged even further and she sat the candle and its holder on the night table by Ichigo's bed, leaning over his now shaking form. With one tiny hand she hesitantly reached out to push his upper lip up and to the side, inhaling sharply when she must have seen something that alarmed her.
"I'm going to get my brother, Ichigo. Just hold on, everything's going to be okay," Rukia said, her words rushed and breathless. Then she fled from the room, leaving behind the candle with the tiny flicker of flame that only seemed to make the darkness of the room that much more sinister as it cast its unstable light on the walls.
Ichigo thought it was strange that the girl had moved his lips aside as if checking his teeth. He'd told her it was his stomach that was causing him indescribable agony at that moment, not his mouth, so it didn't really make sense why she would do such a thing.
If he'd had the energy, the orangette would have shaken his head at the simply preposterous scenarios his mind provided just then. This wasn't anything momentous, his stomach most likely reacting badly to whatever he'd eaten for dinner that evening, very badly.
Even he couldn't convince himself to believe that. For some reason, he knew that whatever was happening was nothing ordinary.
Ichigo sobbed as not only the pains in his abdomen persisted but his head started to throb with the worst headache he'd ever experienced and he felt bile rise up in his throat, making him dry heave for a few seconds before two shadowy figures appeared in the doorway. He recognized them as Rukia returning to his room with her older, adoptive brother that she'd obviously pulled from bed as he was also dressed in his nightclothes, though still intimidating as ever.
Ichigo managed to posture his head over the side of his bed before he was violently sick all over the hardwood floor.
"Rukia, please fetch Ms. Matsumoto from the servant quarters and inform her of what is happening. Then the both of you are to return here immediately," a severe tenor voice said, the orangette barely able to make out the words over the sounds of his illness and the blood pounding in his ears. However, there was no mistaking that it could only be his and Rukia's legal guardian, Byakuya Kuchiki.
"Yes, Brother," Rukia said before rushing out of the bedroom and down the hallway.
Ichigo panted for breath as his stomach no longer tried to force its contents to the surface, though the seizing pains there did not cease one bit. He looked up with anguished eyes to where Byakuya was standing closer to his bedside than he expected, the man's aristocratic features no doubt as stoic as ever though the teenager had no way to see them in the dim lighting. However, he was able to make out his guardian bring his own wrist to his mouth, lowering it after a second to reveal the droplets of scarlet blood gathering on the bite wound he'd inflicted upon himself.
"Drink from my wrist," Byakuya said, proffering his slender, pale forearm to Ichigo who tried his best to shake his head in the negative.
"N-no, I...I'm not-"
"Mr. Kurosaki, do as I say or you will not live to see morning." The man didn't wait for a response before pressing his bleeding wrist to the other's parted lips. The younger of the two made an effort to turn his head away, not wanting to do something that to him was utterly unnatural, but he could barely move and when that first drop of blood hit his tongue, all other thoughts besides ones of that crimson liquid vanished. It was sweet and spicy and felt like heaven in his mouth, the single most delectable thing he'd ever tasted. Even the torturous pains in his abdomen were nearly tolerable as he drank deeply, whining in protest when Byakuya pulled his wrist away.
"That is enough for now," he said in his monotonous way. "I cannot believe that after all this time we have never noticed you were one of us."
Ichigo didn't say anything, now again completely pulled under the waves of agony, the pain in his stomach as terrible as ever. He was so confused; just what was happening to him? The orange-haired youth was sure he could figure it out if his mind wasn't so dulled by the pain.
Footsteps by his door alerted both the males in the room to Rukia's return with the curvaceous, strawberry-blonde Rangiku Matsumoto hot on her heels.
"Master Kuchiki, I came as quickly as I could," the latter said, gaze falling on the bed where Ichigo lay curled on his side as he clutched at his abdomen, clearly in massive amounts of pain if his tear-stained cheeks and gasping moans were any clue. "But I don't know if I can do much, I'm only trained to deal with female Inheritances."
"That is why I sent for you; Mr. Kurosaki says it is his abdominal region that is causing him so much pain." Byakuya gestured to the orangette but didn't look away from his employee.
"Oh...oh! I see..." Rangiku trailed off, approaching the bed cautiously, hands extended. Ichigo could make out she was also dressed in her night wear "Well I suppose I can be of some help, then, but I will need a few supplies."
"Anything you require will be provided."
"Thank you, Master Kuchiki. I'll need some rags soaked in cold water, and a dry one, some brandy - not the cheap kind, root tea..."
Even as he listened to the conversation around him, Ichigo felt his eyelids become heavy and his heart rate slow despite the pain he was in. His mind could only withstand so much physical torment before it would shut down in order to protect itself, but still he clung fast to consciousness because perhaps Rangiku would say he'd come down with influenza or food poisoning or some other common illness that would explain his current condition other than what he almost knew for certain it was.
Because it just couldn't be that... it was impossible.
"I've already let him feed from my wrist, will that sustain him throughout?"
"Oh yes, even one good mouthful would do the trick," Rangiku said before leaning over him, running a hand through his hair in a maternal gesture. "You can sleep now, Ichigo; when you wake the worst will be over."
The teenager would have smiled in gratitude or at least nodded if he'd had even an ounce of energy to spare. Instead he let his eyes close, darkness overtaking his senses and minutely dulling the monstrous, aching pains in his abdomen.
"He will be all right, won't he, Rangiku?" he heard Rukia's unusually soft voice say just before his last bit of awareness faded away.
"Ichigo will be fine, he'll just be... different."
When he opened his eyes next, Ichigo was ecstatic to discover that not only did he not feel pain anywhere in his body but that it was morning.
The sunlight filtered in through the translucent, sheer curtains on his windows, brightening his entire bedroom. He was also pleased to notice that he was no longer sweating profusely, body temperature seemingly back to normal as his nightshirt and hair no longer clung to his skin.
Blissful, he pushed himself up to a sitting position, stretching his arms over his head and making the bones in his back crack before he stood to make his way over to where his clothes had been laid out for him like they always were. He never liked to spend precious time sorting through pieces of cloth just so others would be appeased by his comely appearance.
However, Ichigo had to pause in between his bed and the dresser and wonder if the time when he'd awoken in the dead of night to endure the worst pain he'd ever felt and Rukia, Rangiku, and Byakuya had all come to his aid had been nothing but a dream. Surely it had to be, because now he recalled some parts of it that would never ever happen in reality, like the stern aristocrat Byakuya, who still called him by his last name though the man had been his legal guardian for a decade, willingly letting him drink his noble blood from his wrist. The idea was completely absurd, and he felt better than ever, not like he'd just been on his deathbed mere hours before.
Yes, it had all definitely been a very vivid, very painful dream.
The teenager, satisfied with his conclusion, went about dressing in his usual summer, daytime wear- white linen shirt and cotton britches, light blue buttoned vest, and leather boots made especially for riding his prized horse, Zangetsu. Once he was done he made sure to double check in the full-length mirror that he was dressed impeccably so he wouldn't have to listen to another lecture from Byakuya on the importance of personal appearance, but something made Ichigo freeze in place, eyes glued to his reflection.
Maybe the night before hadn't been a dream after all... that or he was dreaming right now.
There were many minute physical changes that altogether they completely altered his appearance, not so much so that he looked like a different person but so that he was almost... prettier?
Somehow overnight he'd lost some of the little muscle tone he'd had and that his formerly straight as an arrow figure now bizarrely tapered in ever so slightly at the waist, creating a feminine curve that led to his hips. Also, rather eerily, his hair had grown several inches, again overnight, and his face was no longer distinctly boyish. He now had more defined cheekbones and his eyes looked larger with dark, longer lashes. His lips were plumper, fuller and red like he was wearing some of that awful rouge older women painted on their aging faces.
However, all of these adjustments to his appearance didn't really quite catch his attention as well as the pair of pointed, white incisors that protruded from underneath his top lip to rest on his (now much fuller) lower lip.
Ichigo's resulting horrified scream must have carried all throughout the large estate he lived on before he tore away from his reflection, barging through his bedroom door.
Several servants stared at him incredulously as he charged down the hallways of Kuchiki Manor, finally ending up in the dining room where Byakuya was reading a book at one end of the mile-long table and Rukia sat across from him, eating her breakfast. They both looked up when he entered the room, panting and double over, hands on his knees.
"Mr. Kurosaki, I don't know how many times I've had to remind you to use an appropriate volume when speaking indoors," the dark-haired aristocrat said in his apathetic way, the ever-present pearly fangs nearly identical to Ichigo's newfound ones glinting in the sunlight that streamed through the windows. He then went back to reading his book, which was usual dining room behavior for him as he had no need to eat but insisted on sitting down three times a day because it was 'tradition.'
"Ichigo, you... you're," Rukia started to say but was interrupted by her own giggles.
"What?" the orangette said defensively, straightening up and silently daring his best friend of ten years to say anything negative, even if he had similar sentiments about his sudden change in appearance. The diminutive dark-haired girl regained her composure, indigo eyes widening considerably as she clasped her hands under her chin.
"You're completely adorable!" she said. "You look like one of those porcelain dolls I had as a child. Remember those, Brother?"
Byakuya hummed, Ichigo unsure if that was an affirmative answer but not really caring as he pointed to Rukia from where he stood ten feet away, cheeks flaming.
"I am not adorable and I most certainly do not look like a doll," he said heatedly. The girl didn't say anything in response, just shaking her head and returning to her breakfast of what appeared to be poached eggs. Ichigo was dumbfounded when he could only stare at one of his favorite breakfast fares with distaste; he didn't even feel hungry, but really very... thirsty.
"What the hell happened last night?"
"Please take care to watch your language, Mr. Kurosaki," was Byakuya's immediate response.
"Last night you slept right through," Rukia said matter-of-factly. "I think you mean the night before last, as today is the sixteenth."
"I slept for a whole day?" Ichigo collapsed into the nearest dining chair, slumping over to rest his elbows on the table and his head in his hands.
"Yes, but that's because Rangiku put some sort of herb in the tea we gave you. She said you'd want to sleep through your Inheritance because of the pain."
The orange-haired teenager tentatively reached to touch one of his razor sharp incisors, the weight of what he'd become coming down on him heavily. For all of his life he'd believed himself to be one hundred percent utterly human, but now... well, he was anything but.
"So I really am... one of your kind," he said quietly.
"That's correct," Byakuya unexpectedly cut in from the opposite end of the table, but not even bothering to look up from his book, the riveting thing it must be. "You, Ichigo Kurosaki, are a submissive male vampire."
And there it was, what he'd turned into, finally spoken aloud and making the entire situation so real he felt like he may pass out right there at the dining table.
"That you are," Rukia said, looking much more cheerful about the situation than he did. "I'm so glad you're one of us, and that you're older than me and went through your Inheritance first. Now I know what to expect, though Rangiku said mine wouldn't be as painful."
"Congratulations," Ichigo said, looking down at the burgundy fabric of the table cloth like it was the most interesting thing in the world, then his head snapped up, gaze darting between the two brunettes at the table. "Wait... what do you mean 'submissive'?"
Neither Byakuya nor Rukia said anything for a few moments, the latter actually looking a little uneasy, averting her eyes away from the orange-haired youth beside her. Ichigo felt his brows pull together in a scowl.
The fact that he was 'submissive. couldn't be the reason why he'd woken up with longer hair, shapelier hips, and eyelashes any woman would kill for now could it?
"I think Ms. Matsumoto could explain that in greater detail than either of us would be able to," Byakuya finally said.
"Good idea, Brother!" Rukia stood from her chair, revealing that she'd chosen to wear her lavender dress that was relatively simple except for a weird little white rabbit pin on the sash. "I will take Ichigo down to see her now, the sooner the better, I believe. May we be excused?"
The girl then grabbed the orangette by his wrist, dragging him out of his seat and to the narrow staircase in the next hallway over leading down to the kitchens that only the servants would have any use for after Rukia turned sixteen.
Rangiku was there per usual, having great fun at the expense of a young servant boy with frost white hair and turquoise eyes by bothering him incessantly about what he was doing wrong in preparing some kind of broth and shoving her none too small endowments into his face. Ichigo would've been content to watch them for a little as such entertainment was hard to come by, but Rukia called out a greeting, alerting them to their presence.
The boy blushed bright red, plainly flustered at his proximity to the younger masters of the estate, and murmured some formality before scurrying away. In contrast, Rangiku smiled easily at them, her own ivory canines not looking the least bit menacing when paired with her soft features.
"Hello there, Rukia... and Ichigo, you're up!" the strawberry-blonde said as she approached the two teenagers. "I see your Inheritance made you into quite the heartbreaker. Not that you weren't cute before, of course."
It was only because Rangiku had been the closest thing he'd ever had to a maternal figure that Ichigo allowed the woman to touch his hair and inspect all his recent changes. Delight shone in her crystal blue eyes as she drank in his now androgynous features.
"I look like a girl," Ichigo said miserably, shoulders hunching. "It has to do with the 'submissive' thing Byakuya mentioned earlier, doesn't it?"
Rangiku withdrew her fingers from the piece of shoulder blade-length sunset-colored hair she'd been fawning over to tap a fingertip against her lips, shaking her head.
"It's a shame you never knew your heritage before now. There are so many things about vampires you have to learn. Sit down and I'll tell you what you need to know about 'submissives' ," she said, gesturing towards the small, circular table where the servants of Kuchiki Manor ate their meals. Ichigo smiled weakly at the female vampire and took a seat at the table, Rukia following suit.
Rangiku straightened the white apron over her standard black uniform dress (that she took extreme liberties with in regards to the neckline) before seating herself between them. Drumming her fingernails against the rough wooden surface of the table, she looked to the ceiling and chewed on her bottom lip.
"Where to start, where to start... oh I'll just start by answering your question, Ichigo," she said, letting her blue eyes swivel down to meet the orangette's coffee brown. "Byakuya told you about your status as a male submissive vampire and then wouldn't elaborate, is that correct?"
Ichigo and Rukia nodded, eager to hear what Rangiku had to say. The boy understood perfectly what 'male' and 'vampire' meant, it was just the other word that was throwing him for a loop.
"Typical," the strawberry-blonde said, huffing. "He has to be the most prudish man on the face of the earth, but as I was saying... there are the essentials of being a vampire, but you know those, don't you?"
"They drink blood for sustenance, mate for life, have speed and strength greater than a human's, have mental abilities like telepathy and telekinesis, and they live just like human children do until their sixteenth birthday when they go through their Inheritance to gain all these things," Rukia said.
Ichigo couldn't help but grin at how excited she obviously was to turn sixteen and go through her own Inheritance. He almost felt sage next to her, having done it already, though he'd had no idea he was anything other than a normal human until midnight on the fifteenth of July.
"Yes, but the 'mate for life' part is really what the term 'submissive' relates to. Do you see where I'm headed with this, Ichigo?"
The orange-haired youth thought for a moment, but shook his head, the strands of hair longer than he was used to hitting him in the face as he did. Truth be told however, he could guess where this conversation was going but didn't want to acknowledge it. His life had been drastically altered enough just from his Inheritance.
Rangiku arched a perfect eyebrow at him but continued on anyway.
"Humans are different from vampires not just in the more obvious ways, but because they're black or white when it comes to gender, either female or male, but vampires have an area of gray. We call that gray area the 'male submissive'."
The teenager almost blurted out with "Well that explains a lot!" but remained silent, staring unblinkingly at the strawberry-blonde vampire sitting next to him. He felt like the gears in his brain had suddenly stopped, mind blank like a fresh canvas.
The strawberry-blonde woman looked unusually somber as she studied Ichigo's face for any kind of reaction to her words, and she traded a quick look with Rukia.
"I figured he wouldn't take this well," the brunette teenager said, huffing.
"Give him a minute, Rukia," Rangiku said. "This may take a while for Ichigo to accept." The kitchen maid then contradicted herself by leaning forward and waving a hand in front of the orangette's dazed stare.
"Hello? Is anyone home in there?"
Ichigo blinked once, twice, three times before shaking his head to rid himself of the disconnected feeling he had been experiencing. Then he inhaled shakily, but deeply.
"Then you're telling me I'm a... girl?" His voice cracked on the last word, revealing just how uncomfortable he was at the moment.
"No, no," Rangiku said, sighing. "Weren't you listening? I said you're a male submissive which means that you're still every bit the boy you were before, Ichigo."
"But I don't much look like one, now do I?" he said, grabbing handfuls of his tangerine hair to make his point.
"You're still a male, you've just... gained a few things that don't typically belong to one." Rangiku's eyes darted away to stare into space, twiddling her thumbs in an effort to look nonchalant.
"What do you mean when you say 'things'?" Ichigo said, chocolate toffee orbs narrowing dangerously as the horrific pictures of what the woman could possibly have meant running through his mind.
"Well, it's known that a male submissive's Inheritance is the most painful as new organs form inside of their bodies," Rukia answered instead of Rangiku. "That's why your stomach was hurting so badly."
"And these new organs, they're...?" the orangette trailed off and both of the females nodded. "So I can...?" They nodded again and he felt the blood drain from his face as he slumped bonelessly in his chair. "That's so great, really. Someone up there must really hate my guts."
"Oh Ichigo, stop being so dramatic!" Rukia said. "It's not so bad, the fact that you can bear children, is it? Women, human and vampire, do it every day!"
"I think... I need some fresh air," Ichigo said, not even bothering to respond to his surrogate sister's protest about his attitude towards finding out that he could... that he could...
Yeah, he was definitely not ready to say it mentally to himself, let alone out loud.
It wasn't a bad thing to him, the teenager knew that much. But it was all so... so different to think right then about his future where instead of seeing a happily pregnant, beautiful wife by his side he envisioned himself like he looked now, all gussied up, full with the child of the faceless lover behind him.
"I'll take you to the stables to see Zangetsu," Rukia said, walking around the table and linking her arm with Ichigo's to practically force him to his feet. Despite being under five feet tall, she could still toss him around like a rag doll. "Would you like to join us, Ran?"
"I'm afraid I can't, there's so much to do in preparation for the suitors," Rangiku said almost wistfully. "You two have fun... oh, and make sure to get a good look at the new stable hand." The strawberry-blonde winked once before rising to her feet in order to attend to whatever demanded her attention.
Rukia led the barely responsive Ichigo out of the stone-walled manor and onto the sprawling grounds of the estate, a servant rushing up to them with a ladies parasol as soon as they stepped outside. The girl held it over both of their heads somehow despite their height difference.
The orange-haired youth was silent as they made their way along the path to where the stables holding the latest descendants of the Kuchiki's prized thoroughbreds were stationed far away from the estate gardens, lest the horses eat or ruin the perfectly trimmed rosebushes. Ichigo ran his tongue along the still unfamiliar fangs whose points rested against his bottom lip but never broke the skin even though they were undoubtedly fatally sharp.
However, he was pleasantly distracted from his thoughts of fangs and submissives and vampires in general as he heard amicable neighing he recognized at once, looking up from the ground to let one of his incredibly rare smiles cross his face.
Ichigo broke away from Rukia, knowing his oldest friend would understand, and ran towards the pen in front of the stables themselves. He jumped the fence far more easily than he had been able to before and crossed the yards between him and the stunningly beautiful jet-black stallion pawing at the ground. But when he was about ten feet away, he came to a halting stop.
What if Zangetsu didn't recognize him anymore?
Heart sinking just at the thought of his animal companion staying his distance because of the recent physical changes he's gone through, Ichigo didn't even register that the ebony-coated horse had walked straight up to him until Zangetsu nudged his hair with a cold nose. Laughing under his breath in both relief and amusement, the orangette stroked the animal's nose with one hand.
"Hey boy, you'll never guess what happened to me this morning. If you can believe it, I found out I'm actually a vampire and no one even knew before I started growing fangs the other night," he said softly and Zangestu snorted in response. "I know. And not only did I find out that I'm a vampire, but I'm a submissive one too and now my hair's all long and I look like a girl, a really ugly girl."
Zangetsu neighed indignantly, shaking his head back and forth.
"Thanks, Zan, you always know what to say," Ichigo said, aware that any one other than Rukia would think him completely insane for talking to a horse like he did.
"Mistress Kuchiki, please allow me to assist you!" a desperate male voice sounded from across the pen. Both the youth and his horsed turned their heads to see what was essentially the aftermath of Rukia trying for the thousandth time to climb over the fence into the pen without help. Every time she ended up teetering at the top, legs too short for her to jump from the height without injuring herself. Ichigo snickered under his breath at the sight as the elderly man who oversaw the stables pleaded with the girl as she hiked up her dress, showing off her lacy bloomers as she insisted she could get down by herself.
"Besides, you couldn't catch me. I'm not exactly as light as a feather," Rukia said, furthering her case.
"All right, I'll get someone else. Just... please do not jump, " the man said, whipping around, eyes immediately going toward the entrance of the stables. "Abarai, get over here and help Mistress Kuchiki down!"
It really was astonishing the way his tone changed when he spoke to one of his workers, Ichigo noted. He thought people who didn't treat everyone as they deserved were spineless creatures and so his nose wrinkled in distaste, looking away from the man and where Rukia still perched on the fence to see if the newcomer could potentially knock any sense into the petite, stubborn girl.
He didn't expect what emerged from the shadows of the stables at all.
The man was maybe a few years older than him, no younger than eighteen but definitely not over twenty-five. He had hair that was such a deep red it had Ichigo licking his lips subconsciously, the locks of scarlet silk obviously past his shoulders though it was pulled into a disheveled ponytail and away from the man's face. From what the teenager could see from his position twenty feet away, the other male was in possession of the perfect masculine features - the strong chin, straight nose.
But this all paled in comparison to the expanse of bronzed flesh marked with black tattoos in a jagged pattern stretched over perfectly just big enough muscles, all of this glory exposed for the world to see as the redheaded man wasn't wearing a shirt. Ichigo watched with wide eyes as the man walked up to where Rukia was staring down at him with a dazed expression similar to the orange-haired male's.
"Just jump, I'll catch you," the man said to her in a deep, rough voice that weakened Ichigo's knees. The teenager wondered enviously why he hadn't been the one to get stuck on top of the fence as Rukia only nodded before letting herself fall from her perch and into the waiting arms of the stable hand. Though he was slightly appeased when the redhead hurriedly set her on her feet, nodding his head once at her thanks before stalking across the pen to return to the stables.
Their eyes met as the man walked past him, this time only ten feet away, and Ichigo could make out the other's were a rich russet color. However their direct eye contact lasted for only a moment before the redhead turned his head and headed back into the wooden structure he'd originated from.
"I suppose that's the new stable hand Rangiku told us about."
Ichigo started, nearly jumping foot in the air, at the sound of Rukia's voice so close to him when he hadn't been aware of her approaching at all. After he recovered, he glared down at the brunette heatedly but she only smiled softly.
"I saw the look you two were giving each other when he walked back over here," she said in a lilting manner. "It's a shame he doesn't have any wealth or a title, otherwise I would tell you to go for it."
"Since when have you cared about that?" Ichigo said, surprised at his friend's sudden concern about such things. They'd bonded so many times over the fact that neither of them were concerned with money or status though that was expected of them when they were raised as if they were Byakuya's own, essentially as nobleman's children.
"You know I don't," Rukia said somberly, twirling her parasol in her hands. "But my brother does."
"Good for him," the fledgling vampire said, shrugging his shoulders. He was at a loss as to where his friend was going with this.
"Oh, that's right!" Rukia gasped and clasped a hand to her cheek. "He was supposed to tell you this morning at breakfast."
"Tell me what?" Ichigo asked warily, burying his head into his beloved Zangetsu's neck as trepidation welled up within him.
"Well, you know how when female vampires reach their Inheritance an announcement is sent out and then all eligible suitors are invited so that they may try and win her father over so a marriage and mating could possibly be arranged?" The diminutive girl kept her gaze strictly on the grass they stood on as she spoke.
Ichigo really did not like where this was going.
"It is tradition for the same to be done for the Inheritance of a... submissive male."
"Well, this day just keeps getting better and better," he said, before then promptly fainting dead away.
A/N: I feel as though for those that have read my other stories I should do the Monty Python voice and say "And now for something completely different!"
I'm really challenging myself with this fic. I want to incorporate mpreg in a way I would enjoy reading it, along with the fact Ichigo will fall in love with three different hotties and won't prefer any one of them (Renji's not getting any special treatment just because he's the first to appear.) And it's somewhat historical.
A few things I want to clarify...
1. This is not a "Who will Ichigo end up with?" kind of fic. No, eventually he will be happily involved with all three of his romantic interests, that being Renji, Shiro, and Grimmjow.
2. This will have an actual plot tied in with the romantic fluff and drama, I promise.
3. The story is set in the fictional province of Rukongai which I've made extremely similar to Victorian era England.
4. I will be switching the other main character after Ichigo every new chapter. This time it's Grimmjow because I'm at home in the GrimmIchi fandom, but the next it will be labeled with Dark Ichigo and after that, Renji, and then starting over again with Grimm. : )
Let me know what you think? Worth continuing or not? I love the idea for this story, I really do, but I realize it's incredibly taste specific and can only hope there's someone out there who likes it at least a little!