Chapter 1

"You still cold?" Ichigo softly asked the huddled form shivering under a sea blankets in the middle of his bed. It was the third night Rukia had been with her illness. Every time she transformed she would have to lay down because of the pain. Right now she was shaking violently in seizures as her body grew larger. Even with the blankets covering her, he could see how her legs grew longer underneath the layers of quilts he had lain on her.

"Y-Yeah...," her voice was changing again and unable to do anything for her in her current state, he pulled out his desk chair and sat down slowly to watch her continue with the painful procedure, feeling helpless in not being able to aid her in any way. The pain-killers Urahara had made only dulled the agony of it, meaning that Rukia was still raked with fevers and some discomfort from her elongating bones.

If we find that Hollow and killed it... Or just took something from him to find a cure, then Rukia wouldn't have to go through this every night!, Grinding his teeth as her deepening whimpers reached his ears, Ichigo knew that she was almost finished. It would be just a matter of seconds before she would whip the blankets of her head to show him the shocking transformation that always left him gaping no matter how hard he had been trying to get used to it.

Guessing that she was thirsty, like she always had been after changing, he wordlessly reached for a glass of water on his desk that had been prepared just for her.

A male voice spoke up in that instant, still concealed by blankets,"Wa-"

"I've got it," he interrupted her standing up with glass in hand, not needing to be told how much Rukia hated to talk when in that form. It must be difficult for anyone to hear a different voice come out of his or her own lips. He couldn't blame her or even begin to guess what it felt like to be a stranger in your own body.

He couldn't keep himself from stiffening in badly hidden shock when she, or he, pulled the blankets from his head. Ichigo couldn't even think of Rukia as Rukia when she was in that new form. He could still tell they were the same person because even as a male, the resemblance between her and the male form of her, was uncanny. People would have thought the boy sitting up in his bed with the tousled long blue black hair was Rukia's twin brother.

Wordlessly taking the glass from his hand, Rukia whiped her now thinner hair from her face. Ichigo paled at the sculpted features revealed. For some reason, looking at her reminded him of a younger teenaged version of Byakuya. Though both her and her adoptive brother weren't related by blood, with her as a male, they looked too similar except for certain differences like the eye color, hair style and...


"What the heck are you gawking at, Ichigo?" nearly cattish dark blue eyes glared up at him as he blanched. He had been telling himself that he would try to pretend it was no big deal for her sake, but there he was making her feel even more uncomfortable by staring at her as if she were a circus freak.

"Nothing!" the male eyes glowering at him didn't relent at his exclamation. Even when he hurriedly sat down and feigned relaxation by slouching in his seat, Rukia wasn't buying it. She knew that he was still unnerved by her appearance.

"You make me feel like crap by trying to make me feel better, do you know that?" the boy Rukia sighed tiredly, before moving blankets off his taller lean body while using his other hand to draw the glass to his lips.

"I don't want you to feel bad...,"Ichigo murmured lamely, noting Rukia's longer stronger legs peeking under the oversized nightgown she had donned just before morphing her body.

"Well, whenever you keep your thoughts to yourself, you do that quite easily," was the boy's terse reply.

I can't call him Rukia! What the fuck am I supposed to call him? She's now a guy in a nightgown!, Embarassed and almost shamed by his thoughts, Ichigo looked away from the tired looking boy that had a riot of sweaty hair sticking to the sides of his pale oval face.

"You can take a shower-"

"No," hearing the hardness in Rukia's tone, he looked at 'him' in questioning.

"You've been late to school for the last couple of days because of your showers in the morning-"

"I could care less. I have my reasons for wanting to shower during the day," Ichigo didn't hide his wince because he should have known the reason why Rukia didn't wash the sweat of 'his' body soon after changing. It had been obvious from the begining so he, being so dense, had overlooked it and had to say something absolutely stupid that only succeeded in making Rukia feel awful.

She hated her new body. Suggesting a shower just brought the reality of the situation back to her.

"Fine, forget I said anything," he finally said in resignation because he just knew that he would screw up again... However there were some things that Rukia might have forgotten about.

Seeing the now tall male shinigami rising off his bed and shaking the skirting off his feminine nightgown, Ichigo cringed at remembering what that something in specific was.

"Aren't you-," he stammered when irritated indigo eyes glared in his direction,"aren't you supposed to call Byakuya every Thursday night?"

The boy blinked slowly as Ichigo waited for it.

"Don't tell me its Thursday already!" though it took Rukia a while to react, Ichigo rolled his eyes at 'his' delayed response.

"Yeah...," scratching the back of his head warily, he had to ask,"What are you going to do about it? Your voice is different-"

"You call him!" he gaped at his mode of escape.

"Are you out of your mind, Rukia? This is Byakuya we're talking about! He can't stand my guts!" Had he finally lost it completely? If Ichigo called Byakuya, he would be signing his own deathwish! Besides that, Rukia's beloved 'nii-sama' wouldn't buy any excuse he fed him.

"What the hell am I supposed to tell him?" he couldn't stop gaping. He seriously didn't want to talk to that guy! If strangling was capable over the phonelines, he was sure that Byakuya would kill him while calmly talking. Even having defeated him in the past, that particular shinigami was still so intimidating. It was all in his attitude and dull emotionless eyes. Rukia was crazy if she or he thought he would be able to go through-

"Tell him I ate something and am stuck in the bathroom!"

"What if he tells me to give you the phone anyway?"

Making a disgusted face and crossing 'his' thicker longer arms, Rukia said smartly, "What kind of pig talks in the phone while using the toilet?"

Rukia...!, Face-palming at how Rukia was literally backing him into the corner with this, Ichigo sighed loudly. He didn't even look when Rukia who was almost his size at present, ran towards the closet to slide the door open loudly, probably searching frantically for her soul-page.

"Here!" he yelped when the cell-phone was slammed against his chest, his eyes widening on the towering shadow in front of him. Rukia was already unusually strong for a small girl, but as a guy she was probably five times stronger. Ichigo was certain that the hearty shove of the cell-phone on him would leave a bruise.

"You don't have to nearly stab me with the thing!" he glowered, yanking the phone from the pale hand that was slightly smaller than his.

"Whatever! Just call and tell him what I said!" pulling back, Rukia crossed his arms again and impatiently tapped one of his bare feet on the wooden flooring of his room.

Still pushy!, Giving his female turned male friend a wary glance he flipped the phone open and gave a mental eye-roll at seeing a Chappy face-image hopping happily on the screen.

"Quit staring at it and call!" the male voice hissed in annoyance.

"Okay! Okay!" feeling even more anxious with the dreaded call, Ichigo hurriedly looked for the number in Rukia's screen.

Nii-sama? Typical., Tapping the dial button, he put the cell-phone to his ear and eyed Rukia, noting his own nervousness in how he fidgeted while standing in front of him. It seemed like his whole body were jiggling.

"Calm down," all Rukia did was snort and roll his dark blue eyes at that soft command.

Hearing the dial tone, Ichigo shivered, knowing who was going to answer.

It wasn't long before theother line was answered, "Rukia?"

Oh, yeah. He was definitely inwardly shriveling at that cold tone alright. Byakuya was even scary over the phone.

"Byakuya?" he asked and Rukia finally stopped shaking, fully alert to everything he said to her brother.

"Kurosaki Ichigo? What are you doing with Rukia's phone?" that monotone deep voice just dripped murder.

Laughing nervously as Rukia glared at him for turning into a complete wimp so quickly, Ichigo stuttered, "Well you see... Rukia is a bit sick and in the bathroom right now...!"

"Give Rukia the phone," that was an obvious command.

"I can't! She's in the bathroom really sick! It's really embarassing for her!" Ichigo couldn't believe it. Moments earlier Rukia had said that only a pig would use the phone while on the toilet and Byakuya was demanding to speak with her inspite of it!

"What ails her? You sound too nervous for me to believe you," Ichigo face-palmed again because he had figured it out so easily. He just happened to be an awfulactor. That was why he was increasingly growing pissed with Rukia for putting him on the spot. He couldn't lie that easily, even over the phone.

"She ate some sushi," he couldn't think of anything better and Rukia's agitated expression just screamed 'dumbass' for him saying that.

"Sushi? I find that hard to believe. Rukia has never liked sushi."

At that revelation, Ichigo blanched as he looked at livid Rukia helplessly. How the freak was he supposed to know that Rukia didn't normally eat that?

"T-That's probably the reason why she got sick!"

"I see..."

Damn it, Byakuya! Why do you have to be such a pain in the ass?

"Any symtoms in specific that may require physicians?"

"Um... She already has that taken care of!" he winced at his squeaky tone and Rukia, clearly seeing how he kept messing up threw his hands up in the air in agitation.

"Symtoms, Kurosaki Ichigo."

Scowling with a red face, he blurted out, "Vomiting and tons of... other stuff she wouldn't want you to know about! She's going to be okay, honest!"

A long agonizing pause in the other line had him twitching uncontrollably in his seat.

"Tell my sister to call me herself at seven a.m. sharp." Ichigo deflated with a relieved smile.

"Yeah! Will do that!" he almost wanted to leap in joy over getting away from that creepy tone.

"And I expect you to never call me from her number ever again."

"Okay...," finally, after what seemed like ages, Byakuya promptly hung up after giving those threatening last words.

"He said to call him at seven in the morning which is good since you'll be a girl then," closing the phone, he lazily handed the cell-phone over...

"Ow!" a loud smack hit him in the shoulder as he jerked his head up in astonishment.

"Sushi? Sushi?" Rukia's red male face was disturbing. To tell the truth, Rukia was far too pretty for a boy. Urahara had even mentioned it the night they had discovered the awful truth about Rukia's transformation. He had said, "Good thing she'll stay holed up at night. She's going to draw a lot of attention looking like that than when she's a girl."

That thought definitely made him uncomfortable. He already found Rukia attractive as a girl, though he was too shy to say anything on it, but as a boy...? He sometimes doubted his heterosexuality around her. She was even more beautiful in that form. It not only disturbed him, but disgusted him that he would have that kind of reaction towards her male form. It was almost as if she hadn't changed at all. He still liked her equally in a more than normal level in both ways.

This is... The creepiest thing that has ever happened to me., The pale nearly feminine features and the expressive large eyes... No, Rukia had to get cured not only for her sake but for his.

"Did you want me to tell him that you drank a bucketful of battery acid?" he defended himself.

"Why do I even waste my time?" Rukia groaned, running a hand over his perfect face that was an almost exact duplicate of her female one.

Softening his scowl, Ichigo knew when to back off, even if she didn't. For once he was going to do the right thing.

"We're both having a hard time with this." Rukia nodded in agreement with his words without looking at him, "But we'll just have to wait for Urahara to find you a cure..."

"I just hope it won't be for long. I don't know how long I can keep hiding this," removing his larger graceful looking hand from his face, Rukia gave him a tired look before heading to the closet that was now far too small for her larger body.

Guessing how uncomfortable it was for the boy Rukia to bend his longer legs to fit in, Ichigo started, "Ah, Rukia-"

"I've told you that I'm not going to sleep in your stinky bed! I like the closet and I'm going to keep using it!" the boy snapped, crawling inside the dark cramped confines before struggling to pull the sliding door closed.

"Stubborn dumbass," he muttered at hearing the growls of frustration from inside the closet accompanied by loud thumps.

SKELLE! You dared to CHALLENGE me! Of course I would do it! I don't like being called chicken though this fic will not go on the route you want it to. And about Rukia's changed looks... I dunno yet. I kinda' had Ichigo figure something out like that Rukia looked like Byakuya's younger blood brother. I doubt Rukia would be an ugly guy.

Clarissa! Huggles to you! About the poll... right now there seems to be a tie. I HATE ties! Three fic ideas are 'stuck'. The Ulqui/Hime, The Ulqui/Momo and my 'bi-twincest' fic for OHSHC. Those three got three votes each, so I'll either have to get more voters or will have to redo the poll once 'Salvation' is over. *wails* It's currently mid-chap that's gonna' be called 'Sayonara Karakura'. I'm attempting to make their escape a bit EPIC! (because I like writing LONG chapters for that fic and it'll be awhile before I give 'All Along' a treat in another chapter before the poll is closed, just in case you're wondering...)

And since I know that both you and Skelle aren't fond of Ichi/Ruki, I should warn that there will be some 'moments' between them. Nothing sexual or anything. Just 'moments'.

And to you LURKERS! Say something because I can see visitor hits on this and I'm honestly wondering what your thoughts are on it.

For my other readers... This is just a second chap for a very confusing story I will pick up in the future (very DISTANT future). I haven't forgotten my other stories, is just that I know people might be confused with the prologue to this. I bet everyone was like 'WTF?' LMAO