Heya peeps! It's been sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo long! I finally has me a laptop! Gateway! :D So updates will now occur and perhaps a new fic along da way! So here's the next chappie of Curse!

Chapter 9: Witch

Ichigo's mind trailed back to the brief, sweet kiss he had shared. His lips were soft and warm... He thought. He was so in his thoughts that he tripped on his large, striped tail and tripped for the sixth time. "Damnit!"

"Ya gotta focus or yer gonna keep trippin' Ichigo." Shiro yawned and licked a large white paw. "I can't take ya hunting until ya at least master walking numbskull."

"Shut it Shiro. I was able to walk earlier." He growled, the sound much more menacing in his new tiger form. He scratched behind his ear as Shiro walked forward, licking his nose with a rough tongue. "Hey!"

"And how did ya do it before?" Shiro asked him. "Did ya think uber hard or something?"

"No, I just walked-"

"That's what's wrong Ichigo: just do it, don't think about it." He bounded off and sat down, tail curled over his paws. "Now walk ta me ok?" Ichigo glared, slitted eyes now determined as he took it, step by step and walked over almost effortlessly. "See? Ya got it my feisty tiger." Shiro let out a rumbling sound that was as close to a purr as he could get. "Ok, shift back now."

"But it hurts still..." He complained. He could still feel the shifting of bones and reshaping of muscles, making the experience agonizing. He shifted back, and when he was done, he was panting, his entire body soaked in sweat, hair damp and a shade darker. He felt gentle hands on his shoulder and bare chest.

"Its ok Ichigo...just breathe." Shiro whispered. Ichigo nodded and took slow breaths and found his shaking body start to still and he sat on his knees. "See? Knew ya could do it."

"It'll stop hurting though...right?"

"...No, never completely." Shiro admitted. "But you can change anytime, or never at all. You aren't bound to a time limit like I am." He explained and looked at the setting sun. "C'mon, Senna and her father must be near done with dinner."

"God I hope it isn't more charcoal." Ichigo joked.

"Dad! I fucking told you 375, not 475!" Senna snapped at her father, throwing a plate, which he easily caught. "You burnt it again!

"Oh hush! It's...just well done!"

"Too well done!" Ichigo and Shiro just watched, Shiro sipping tea and Ichigo on a soda.

"Mr. Ganryu isn't all there is he?" Ichigo asked.

"Just about as there as yer dad." Shiro joked, although flinched at the sad frown on Ichigo's face. "Sorry..."

"N-no, I'm over it. I just...still feel bad I couldn't save Karin too."

"I'm sure he understands Ichigo." Shiro placed a black nailed hand on Ichigo's and smiled warmly at him. Ichigo stood up. "Where ya goin'?"

"For a brief walk." Ichigo waved. He walked outside and made his way through the woods, enjoying the smell of nature. It really is nice around here... He thought with a soft smile. Shiro...does he love me? He closed his eyes and sighed. When he opened his eyes, he found himself in a small grove of weeping willow trees, a warm, musky scent in the air. "Maybe it was just spur of the moment Ichigo...don't get too excited here."

"Perhaps, but the Prince is not all as he seems." Ichigo jumped and shifted instantly, growling. A woman stood before him, clad in black robes and long, purple colored hair. Her eyes were a bright yellow and slitted like a cats'. She regarded Ichigo and waved her hand. "Shift back, Cursed Being. I mean no harm. I am simply...observing." Ichigo shifted back, but kept a wary gaze on her.

"Observing who exactly?"

"The spoiled Prince and his new...interest." She said and walked over, her bare feet hardly making a sound against the leaf covered ground. "He has not changed, despite the hundreds of years he has walked the earth."

"I think he has." He frowned. "How do you know him?"

"Has he not told you? Or has he ever mentioned my name?" She asked, raising a purple eyebrow in amusement. "I am Yoruichi." Ichigo blinked as the wind seemed to blow cold air around them, her hair whipping in the wind. "We have met before, but you and I...this is our first." She blinked and looked at him. "Farewell. I suspect we shall meet again shortly." She then seemed to vanish just as Shiro ran towards him.

"Ichigo. Why'd ya stay gone fer so long?"

"I just left-"

"Ya left four hours ago...ya had me scared." He sighed. "Look, tell me where yer going next time ok?"

Four hours? But I'm sure it was... He then looked around and saw he was back in the woods. "Wait...I...how did I get back here?"


"I...I was surrounded by willows...and then I was talking to some lady..." Ichigo shook his head. "Maybe I was just daydreaming?"

"Ichigo, let's go inside. Senna fixed up more steaks." At the mention of food Ichigo's stomach growled hungrily. "Sounds like ya need it!" He laughed and walked back. Ichigo looked around and sighed.

"Was it a daydream?" He mumbled. He shook his head and walked back inside.

"Something's bugging ya Ichigo." Ichigo finished removing his shirt and looked at Shiro. "Was it about earlier?"

"Yeah...I did see someone Shiro. I know it. I wasn't where you found me..." He explained. "There were willow trees, and this woman with purple hair-" Shiro's eyes snapped up and narrowed.

"You met her." Ichigo blinked. "The witch that cursed me...Yoruichi." He sighed. "I've only met her once...and I only wanna see her again so I can rip her fucking throat out..." Shiro hissed, his nails extending slightly.

"Shiro relax. She didn't do anything to me...just talked." Ichigo hugged Shiro before kissing his neck. Shiro sighed and slid golden eyes shut in satisfaction. Shiro slowly trailed hands across Ichigo's bare chest, enjoying the slight shiver that made Ichigo's muscles quiver under his touch.

"Ichigo...I'm...so grateful that yer still here with me..." He said quietly. He kissed Ichigo's chest, but hesitated going further than simple touches. Ichigo looked into his eyes with earth brown ones.

"We don't have to do more." He said and touched Shiro's cheek. "I'm ok with just this." He said. Shiro kissed Ichigo then, sighing as he felt hands run and yank lightly at his white hair. Just this...it's all I want right now... Ichigo thought. We're perfectly fine like this...I think I love him...but I'm not ready to say it yet...so this is fine...

Aizen paced outside the woods, hatred glowing in his eyes. Just wait Prince...I'll rip his life from your grasp...and I'll devour you as you grieve... He thought with an evil, toothy smirk. Oh just you wait...

Chapter 9 end

Sorry it's a bit brief...little rusty lol Well updates for lotsa fics are on the way, so be patient with me ok? Well review please! Oh! Lemme know from the list below what you wanna see updated next! I'll be counting until tomorrow, since I'm off of work and I'll have aaaaaaallllllllllll day!

The Orphan and his Brother

Tarot of Fate

Cracked Soul

Running Blind

Natural and Unnatural Love

Amnesiac Mystery

Tamed and Controlled

New fic (either Bleach or new series: Hakuoki!)