Off to the Races 6

Thanks all my reviewers and I apologize for the long wait!

Ichigo stared in minute shock at the tall tattooed red headed male. "Been awhile hasn't Ichi, did ya miss me?" Ichigo pulled away quickly, shuffling along the ground till he reached the other wall and managed to pull himself up. His previously calm look turning into a deep scowl as his chocolate eyes flashed amber in anger.

"What are you doing here Renji? You don't fucking belong here. Run home to your shitty friends and the shitty people you work for." Renji's grin grew larger and Ichigo clenched his fists. This wasn't good…he hadn't seen the slightly older male in a while and he certainly wasn't prepared to meet him like this.

"Aww and here I was thinking you might be missing me after our sad little break up cause you couldn't swallow your fucking pride. See, I went down to the track and I hear you've gotten cozy with Aizen. I was shocked…didn't think you'd whore yourself out for money before coming to me."

Ichigo's clenched fist hit the wall hard in anger. "I did not whore myself out! I am still the sole owner of Karakura Town Stables, I am still the owner of the two best race horses in the country and I never, ever gave into you! Maybe you should stop thinking so hard, you might blow an aneurism or something. Besides, you know why we fucking broke up."

Ichigo left that end comment hanging between them before pulling away from the wall and leaned down to pick up the still clean tack. He didn't get the chance to collect it though when Renji's foot slammed down on top of his hand. Letting out a loud grunt as pain throbbed from his hand, he glared up at Renji.

"We didn't break up. You broke up with me! I was nothing but good to you and you couldn't swallow your fucking ego!" As the red head spoke, Ichigo yanked his hand out from under the other's boot, cradling the damaged limb in his opposite hand.

"I couldn't swallow my ego? Oh Fuck off! You brought you captain from the Gotei 13 to try and convince me to sell out! When I wouldn't, you tried to prove why Zangetsu needed better training and took a whip to MY horse! You caused me to get kicked, Shiro to almost get trampled and Tensa to almost break his leg trying to mount the raging stallion all because you were an ass. When I yelled at your stupid ass, you had the audacity to SMACK me for supposed embarrassing YOU!"

Ichigo took deep breaths, trying to calm himself as he snatched up the tack before Renji even had time to digest all that the orange haired man had said. Ichigo rushed towards Pantera's stall and made it to just in front of the door when a hand grabbed him again making him yell out.

Luckily for him, Pantera heard him and the tall roan looked over the half door, ears pitched forward and eyes wide. Renji's fist collided with his face and the sudden taste of copper told him his cut his cheek. Pushing away from Renji with practiced movements, Ichigo spat out the blood pooling in his mouth, wincing as his apparently split lip ached. Obviously Pantera didn't like the scent of blood as the filly's head reared back, a loud ear splitting scream like neigh splitting the air.

Ichigo gripped the stall door, feeling it vibrate harshly as Pantera battered it with her front hooves. His eyes narrowed and his scowl deepened fiercely as he took in the sight of the enraged red head. "Okay, that's it. I'm so tired of letting you beat up on me!" Ichigo took a stance and waited for the red head to lunge.


Line break


Aizen's head snapped around at the shrill call echoing from the stable. He knew that call anywhere…it was the angered, distressed sound any animal made when they felt there was danger. Zangetsu recognized the call as well and returned it with a booming trumpet, rearing up and causing Aizen to lose his grip on the reins. He didn't have time to think as the horse backed up a few steps, tossing its head and snorting in anger, before the colt launched forward and jumped the railing.

Aizen jogged after the horse, his face becoming a mask of anger and confusion as he tried to figure out what had set the two normally calm beasts off. The only thing that came to mind was that something was wrong with Ichigo. It only took Zangetsu a mere minute to reach the stable before, entering the building in a clatter of hoof beats and cries of rage. Aizen was there a few moments behind the beast and out of the corner of his eye; he saw Tensa, Grimmjow and Ulquiorra on their way over as well.

Entering the stable, he came upon a rather interesting picture. Ichigo was standing in a half crouch, ready to attack a tall red head with tribal tattoos covering his body. Zangetsu was rearing and screaming before launching himself between the two and pawing at the red head as though challenging him.

It only took a second for Aizen to gain his voice and when he did, both young men turned to him, one with bitter hatred in his eyes and the other with relief.

"Abarai! To what do I owe the pleasure?" Aizen's eyes didn't even both to meet the brown ones of Renji, instead, he stared into warm chocolate eyes and studied the blossoming bruise on his cheek. "Ichigo, calm Zangetsu…"

Aizen strode forward, making Renji stand straight and back up slightly. "I find it rather interesting that you thought you could just walk onto my property and hurt one of my employees, Abarai-kun. Maybe instead of just calling your captain, I should contact the police as well. Breaking and Entering…assault, I think I just might do that." He watched over the red heads shoulder as Grimmjow, who had been drawn by the commotion snuck up behind him.

When the tattooed male backed into the bluenet's chest, Aizen couldn't help but smirk. 'Checkmate' was the only thought floated through his head. Turning back to Ichigo, he watched calmly as the orange headed boy calmed the stallion with gentle words and touches, his forehead leaning against Zangetsu's and hiding the bruise on his face.

"Are you okay, Ichigo?" the boy flinched slightly, as though not expecting any questions directed at him. He walked around Zangetsu's side and buried his face in the black coat. "Yeah…I'm fine. Could you um…could you just get him out of here? I think if I look away from this horse right now…I'll kill him" The threat hung in the air and Aizen nodded to Grimmjow who grabbed the red head's ponytail and drug him out of the barn.

As soon as he was out of sight, Tensa, who had finally arrived, took Zangetsu's reins and murmured softly that he would take the stallion out back and rub him down, training was over for the day.

When they were finally left alone, Aizen stepped closer to the younger male. "Are you truly okay?" Ichigo had his back towards him but he could see the boy's shoulders shaking but the oranget just nodded slowly, causing Aizen to narrow his eyes. Reaching out, Aizen physically turned Ichigo to face him and knew he must have looked rather scary from the nervous look that shone in normally warm brown eyes.

"You have a bruise and you are shaking, obviously you are not as okay as you think you are." At his words, Ichigo's eyes hardened. "If I say I am fine, I am fine! Don't assume you know me!" He tried to pull away but Aizen held him tight, his own blue eyes becoming icy and cold.

"Yes, I don't know you but I do know when someone is hurting. I am not blind, Ichigo." His voice was cold but the emotion was there and it shocked Ichigo slightly. His friends normally allowed him to work through his problems on his own time but this…this wasn't necessarily uncomfortable. Finally, he broke…

"I loved him. We dated for a while and I really did love him… But he hit me…and I can't do that again. So I broke it off and we went to war. All I want is to show him and that stupid stable that always picked on us that it is the time spent not the money which dictates a good race horse!"

When he finished Aizen gave him a soft smile and his hands moved from Ichigo's shoulders to his cheeks, wiping away tears the younger hadn't remembered sheading. "You don't have anything to worry about here. I will make sure both our dreams come true and we will put your ex in his place along with every other person he is close to. Trust me and I will give you anything."

Ichigo swallowed thickly and offered a watery smile. "Thanks…I'll be fine after a rest. Tomorrow we'll get back to training hard. In return for your hospitality, I'll make sure Zangetsu knows he has to fight even harder than before. He holds both our dreams on his shoulders."

Yay! Hope you all enjoy! Sorry it is so short but I just wanted to give Aizen and Ichi a little cuddle moment. I am pretty sure this is gonna turn into Aizen/Ichigo but side pairings are still up for vote!

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