Warnings/Disclaimer: I won't ever own Bleach or its characters -_- Warnings include an attempted suicide, which is quickly foiled so it's barely even an attempt- you'll see. Just know it's there. What else, um, there'll be a lot of language/cursing from everyone's favorite albino, OOCness from Ichigo at first because Ichi's the angsty near-jumper here, and a big old lovely AU~! Cuz I love AU's. I need to make up my own characters and start actually writing my own fictional stories with all my ideas, but ShiroIchi is just wired into my brain. Which leads to the final warning of yaoi! :D yay~! Inspired by all the foiled suicide attempts out there! Let's stop this pandemic okay? Life's worth living. Enjoy it :)
You Owe Me
"Sonuvabitch-! What the fuck-OW!" Shirosaki shouted in pain, stumbling forward a pace before crouching down on the sidewalk, balancing his weight on the balls of his feet to rest his forehead on his knees and cover his head with both hands in the universal attempt to soothe the pain of being hit hard on the skull. Eyes watering and quite pissed off, the albino looked around for whatever had hit him smack dab on the top of his head and his search ended on a scuffed maroon converse lying innocently on its side about a yard from him. Just one…
Due to a pessimistic mind, Shirosaki Ogihci groaned unhappily as he slowly straightened into a normal standing position once more, eyeing the shoe with regret. "Oh don't tell me…" With great reluctance but needing to anyways, Shiro rolled his head backwards to look up at the bridge he'd just walked under and see a person perched on the railing about forty feet above his head. "Fuck, I knew it. A goddamned jumper… OI!" He yelled, backing up somewhat so he wouldn't have to crane his neck so hard to look up at the poor bastard.
Speaking of whom had just flailed wildly in surprise at the loud shout and latched onto a support wire to avoid falling, all of which Shiro found morbidly amusing. If the guy was really serious about killing himself, he would've jumped even before his shoe and Shiro would've probably walked across his dead body. But since he wasn't truly serious, he automatically latched onto a support wire to keep from falling. And to a person with dark humor like Shiro? All that was just fucking hilarious.
After staring at one another for a few more minutes, where the jumper probably assumed Shiro would keep walking but in fact the albino didn't move, instead continuing to stare near-straight-up with an occasional bored blink. Shiro realized after a while that they were both waiting for the other to say something before also realizing that out of the two of them, he definitely had more to talk about considering that it wasn't him attempting to end his life.
"Oi!" He decided to call again, stuffing his chilled hands inside his hoodie pockets with a little automatic shiver. Damn, it must be cold up there if it was breezy down here.
The jumper shifted a bit, uneasy, probably expecting for Shiro to be a good person and for the albino to yell at him for being stupid and throwing away his life and to get down from there. Shiro saw him tighten his grip on the wire and simultaneously edge closer off the edge in rebellion.
"Ya hit me with yer goddamned shoe. That fucking hurt yanno." The twenty-one year old didn't give a shit if his voice carried up to that height, but he guessed it did if he was judging the jumper's startled jolt as an appropriate reaction. "Are ya even gonna apologize?"
There was another block of silence besides the background city noise. They were on the backroads and it was late at night; the chance of someone else walking up was rather low. The relative silence was probably what had let the jumper hear Shiro in the first place anyways. This time, Shiro was content to wait out the silence for the jumper to speak. He wasn't leaving any time soon.
Finally after yet another five minutes, the jumper finally called back down in a sullenly reluctant tone. "Sorry. Didn't know you were there."
Pleased, Shirosaki nodded happily to himself. "Good. I accept yer apology. But I don' forgive ya." He stated obstinately, crossing his arms with a scowl tugging down his previous smirk.
The jumper made an odd snorting sound of bewildered protest. "I don't want your forgiveness! Just go away!" A choked off sob slipped into the last word, but the albino far below remained unaffected with a stoic expression of his own annoyance.
"Sorry, can't do that. Cuz now I'm involved." The white haired male sneered the last word like it was the most horrible thing on the planet. Right now, it was fulfilling that perception quite nicely. "If I walk off now, after seeing a poor sucker, aka you, about to jump and somebody finds out about it, then I'm all kinds of fucked with police gonna be hounding my ass about some connection- cuz lemme guess, yer friends and family have no fuckin' idea that yer suicidal." Shiro cursed mindlessly for a few minutes after his long winded sentence. "Seriously dude, this is so not what I wanted to spend my Friday night doin'."
The jumper remained silent, probably stunned into silence. The pale man was actually blaming him for ruining his Friday night? Instead of preaching to him? If anything, his tone suggested that he would be all too pleased if the deed was actually accomplished, but the words refused it because the albino selfishly didn't want to be bothered with the police snooping around? Now that was something unheard of. How selfish.
After another irritating block of silence, Shirosaki decided to continue on with his tirade, this time with a single finger pointed upwards in accusation. "Not only did yer shoe gimme a headache, but now I'm involved with yer emotional shit and can't leave to get a drink like I'd originally planned, so there goes my happy night! What're we up to now?" Shiro trailed off with a mumble, recounting what he'd just said along with numbers. "Three? Ya owe me three things now! No, wait, FOUR! My neck is goddamn killing me lookin' up at ya like this. Why can't people commit suicide in their house these days- always gotta be jumping off places and makin' more mess for other people. Selfish bastard!" The albino shouted up at the jumper, ironically hypocritical but not giving a shit. "I'm making that a fifth thing just cuz I'm pissed! Oi, what's yer name anyways? Calling ya 'the jumper' is getting me all confused."
Said jumper was just really, really confused also and despite himself, answered weakly. "Kurosaki Ichigo…" The customary greeting of 'Nice to meet you' was politely left off because the strange man far below him was not at all pleased to have "met" Ichigo.
Shirosaki whistles obnoxiously after rolling his neck a few times in an attempt to ward off the stiffness. "Nice name there Berry. And yes I know it could mean somethin' else, but since yer about to kill yerself, yer obviously failin' at that meaning of yer name, so Strawberry it is. Now are ya gonna fucking get down yet or not? ! I toldja, my neck hurts! Oh, and I'm Shiro by th'way." He waved a white hand to accompany his random introduction.
Frankly bewildered and bristling defensively a bit at the jab to his name, Ichigo wobbily lowered himself down onto sitting on the railing rather than standing, keeping both fingers wrapped around the steel wire and calling down to Shiro again. "Why're you doing this? I don't care about any of that. I just want- Go away!" He watched in disbelief as the completely weird male stomped a foot in childish exasperation.
"I already toldja I can't! And I don't give a shit about yer reasons for wantin' to die, just that yer now on a fast track to ruinin' mine! And if yer wonderin' why I'm not trying to stop ya for yer sake is because I don't know yer reasons so I can't tell ya why ya shouldn't. Though here is a reason why ya shouldn't anyways for me- You OWE Me!"
Ichigo snorted in wild disbelief. "You're insane! I don't owe you anything, bastard!" Now Ichigo was getting angry. He was nowhere near ready to safely climb down and try and attempt to fix his skewed up life, but he wasn't drowning in misery anymore- his ire doing great things at replacing it.
"Oh yes you do! I've already toldja five things, haven't I? ! Headache, involved, no drink, my neck hurts, AND I'm pissed off! Ha! That's five! Ya owe me at least five favors for this fucked up night, Strawberry!" Shirosaki retorted immediately, stomping his feet again to get warmth back in them. He hadn't dressed to be outside for this long, damn it was getting cold. Might as well add that to the list then. "Six favors! I'm fuckin' freezing down here! Totally yer fault! I'd be inside a bar right now if it weren' for yer ass!"
Ichigo shrieked in pissed off protest. "Oi! Don't keep on tacking on useless crap like that! You're pissing me off! Get lost! If anyone's night is fucked up, it's mine!"
"You don' count cuz ya were already planning on fuckin' yerself up anyways! Ya just said something useless yerself so don't go preaching to me! I hate when people preach. Seven favors!"
"WHAT? ! Where the hell did that seventh come from? !"
"Just now when ya preached, dumbass!"
"You're the dumbass!"
Shirosaki suddenly laughed heartily, startling Ichigo but going far from soothing his now raging annoyance. The albino bastard continued to cackle obnoxiously, disregarding Ichigo snarled insults for more chortles of selfish amusement. "Oh man, this is just great. Okay, since I'm a lil bit happier cuz yer not bad when yer not bein' all angsty, then ya owe me six and a half favors instead."
Ichigo arched one eyebrow but was well aware that the pale eccentric man below most likely couldn't see it. "What the hell? That doesn't even make sense. How could I owe you half a favor? If I quit halfway during the favor, that's not a favor, dumbass." Seriously, how the hell had he even entered this scenario?
Shirosaki put a hand to his chin in mocking thought. "Oh? So ya don't want fewer favors? Fine, we'll keep it at seven then!" He grinned sadistically when Ichigo spluttered to himself. "Idiiiiiooot~! But seriously, if this keeps up much longer, the bar's gonna really close before I can get there, and then tonight's full of wasted effort from the whole way climbing out of bed to walking here. All that energy has been wasted by you and that rightfully totals up to another favor- so eight!"
Ichigo shook his head. "You're insane." He restated mulishly, scowling fiercely in a familiar expression that had entirely nothing to do with his past- current misery. This stupid albino was distracting him from the fact that he had nothing left by making himself a giant goddamned nuisance.
"Bah." Shiro waved a hand over his head in a disregarding manner. "So they say, but I don' listen to them anyways. Now ya gonna climb down and start fulfilling these favors before I get sick? Cuz lemme tell ya know, since I'm a fucking albino, my immune system goes to shit sometimes and I gotta go to the hospital to get my lungs cleaned out whenever I get so much as a goddamned cold, and if this whole thing with you leads to all that, ya are SO paying for my medical bills because my insurance agent is a bitch who won't put out- money that is, but I doubt she puts out anyways cuz she's a tightass prude."
Ichigo nearly gaped in open shock. This Shiro man was the most vulgar person Ichigo had ever had the misfortune of meeting in his life! The things he said-! The man shook his head fiercely. Stop getting distracted. Get rid of the damn fool so he can jump and just end all this shit. He made to stand back up again but was halted when the number of favors jumped two digits. "What! Ten? ! How did it become ten? !"
"Nine was the whole sick and hospital shit, but ten is the fact that ya just tried to ignore me! I don't take kindly to being ignored asshole! It makes me annoyed." Shiro informed happily. "At this rate, yer gonna be m'personal servant before ya even realize ya've been pussy-whipped. Hmm… though that's probably not the right phrase for it… Eh," He shrugged uncaringly. "I'll just say whipped then."
"That's still not right!" Okay now Ichigo was getting seriously ticked off. The freak was now just fricken toying with him by tacking on such pointless, selfish things. Not that it mattered! Ichigo wasn't coming down! "You're a complete moron!"
Again, a broad show of teeth was flashed up to Ichigo. "Ha, don't gimme that crap! Yer not even givin' me valid arguments back! Just screamin' 'no' like a baby fussing over food! Which I'm still missing!"
They must have carried on for hours, yelling up and down at each other- Shiro with ever increasingly annoying yet simple things that racked up the total of favors Ichigo supposedly owed to him and Ichigo becoming steadily less in control of himself and shouting worse and worse insults down, only to be beaten in the contest by the albino's own fouler mouth. Neither were willing to give, and if they had been standing face to face instead of forty feet separating them, then they'd have long come to blows.
"Sixteen! It's nearly fuckin' dawn and people are gonna be out thinking I drove ya up there!"
Ichigo jolted at that admission, whipping around to stare behind him in shock at the lightening sky in the east. He'd known that it had been late when he'd dragged himself to this bridge, but he hadn't realized that he'd been arguing with this bastard for so long that the new day- and his window of opportunity- had quite nearly passed. But at this rate, there was no way he'd be able to jump without Shiro getting under him to cushion his landing- if only to tack on more favors; whether it be for the injury or some other made up shit.
Snarling to himself, Ichigo shot a hateful look down at the smug looking Shiro, before he swung his feet around onto the metal of the bridge's walkway, pushing himself upright and striding away back towards the road despite missing one shoe. He heard the annoying bastard shout something at his disappearance, but he just grumbled another insult under his breath and kept walking. He'd gotten to the first block of sidewalk under a dimming street light when his arm was grabbed and Shiro's irritating voice was suddenly very loud in his ear. Ichigo whipped around with his other fist raised and a shout in his throat that died on his tongue when he'd fully turned and froze.
Right there on an abnormally pale face that was eerily similar to his very own, a bright and very much genuine smile of happiness rested upon his newly made nemesis's lips.
"I'm glad you didn't jump."
And just like that, Ichigo realized that he had been well and truly played. Ichigo's anger fluttered weakly at the realization, but it had started dying the second he'd seen Shiro's brilliant smile and had truly realized that the albino had actually cared enough to create such an elaborate scheme to keep him from suicide. He had cared enough to spend hours out in the cold bickering with a complete stranger in order to piss him off enough to stop from jumping or leaving until Ichigo'd had no other choice but to leave and live for another day.
Ichigo's crushed heart inflated so fast that it must have been a hair-line trigger to his tear ducts because his eyes were suddenly flooded and pouring down his cheeks like a fucking damn had been smashed to pieces. He crumpled against the albino, sobbing into a warm shoulder and clinging onto the hoodie's fabric between Shiro's shoulder blades when even warmer arms wrapped around him comfortingly and a hand was laid gently on his hair, coaxing him into letting it all out. And throughout his keening wails of anguished gratitude, Shiro was murmuring words.
"I did mean every lil favor though. Ya still owe me sixteen favors. So yer not going anywhere until ya pay those off, y'hear? I'm gonna go through the trouble of taking ya home, bundling ya up in some warm blankets and making ya soup. That makes seventeen, don't it? Yup, yer never gonna be able to pay off yer debts to me, so looks like yer just gonna have to live right by my side huh? And I don' plan on dying for a long time, so ya won't either. Got it, Ichigo?"
Choking on his own breath and catapulting emotions, Ichigo could only nod repeatedly in desperate agreement, clinging tighter to the albino who- just like that- had become his sole reason for living.
"Yer gettin' snot all over my favorite hoodie yanno. Eighteen. Yer totally paying up the quarters for the wash. Nineteen. Though I dunno if ya got any cash, so I'll lend ya some but ya gotta pay me back. That makes twenty. But don't worry, I won't make ya be very specific about repaying every favor like that. Going on dates counts as favors- OI! Don't go wiping yer nose deliberately on me! Ya little shit!"
Ichigo's laugh was watery and more than a bit hysterical, but a laugh it still was. Looks like in one night, he'd found both his reason to live and the boyfriend to spend his newly retrieved life with. And the sun glared harshly over the horizon, allowing Shiro to make some sarcastic comment about how Ichigo's hair really was orange (he'd thought it had just been the bridge lights) but kept his eyes open and allowed it to burn this morning into his memory forever.
That turned out as great as I'd thought it would ^^ I am extremely pleased with this. What did you guys think? :D review away!