Stand In the Rain

Shadow of an Echo

Summary: When a plot of Aizen's creation leaves Ichigo in a fragile state, and a painful confession has Ichigo's usual support grow cold, whose hands will stop the rain pouring down in his soul? Shunsui/Ichigo/Jyuushiro

Rating: high level Mature, and not just for smut, though that will come into play

Warnings: mental trauma, steadily increasing in intensity Yaoi, threesome relationship, potential Mpreg, bad language, nudity, homophobia, and gay bashing

Additional note on warnings: This story will include homophobia and gay bashing, this is a warning to those who read this thinking I agree with this behavior. I am a homosexual myself, and I will keep these topics as respectful and true to life as I can manage. As far as Ichigo's initial mindset, he hates himself for it, but things will change steadily.

Request Fic: This story was requested by emobunny4eva, a very loyal reviewer that has helped with the inspiration and planning for the story. If you enjoy this, you have her to thank for it.

A/N This story is going to have dark themes to it, but will have its lighter moments too, this is a bittersweet story with a bit of bite to it. I don't traditionally write fluff, but I can do gentle, honest, compassion. This story will have a bit of Grimm/Ichi in the beginning, but that is not the main pairing, or even a focal point of the story.

Chapter One

Everybody's Fool

Ichigo didn't know how long he had been a prisoner in Los Noches. Was it Days? Weeks? Surely, it couldn't have been months. Could it? Zangetsu was with him, but the connection had never been so faint between them before. His sword was safe, but kept well away from him, the distance straining the deeply ingrained bond between them. Even his Hollow had retreated to the background. Ichigo's violent alter ego had worn himself out fighting, not even his strength could break them loose.

A collar. A simple collar, and black stone chain, was all that kept Ichigo kenneled. Well not all, but that was all that could be seen at first glance. The collar wrapped around his neck, hugging his skin, heavy with the weight of seki seki stone. The chain linked into the collar was short and heavier than steel, keeping his head bowed while his neck and shoulders screamed in pain at the position. The other end of his chain was secured to a chair at the head of the Espada meeting hall. Aizen's chair. This alone would have shamed the prideful young Visored. That wasn't the end though.

Ichigo's chain and collar was the only thing worn on his body. Not one stitch of fabric covered him from view. His crouched and hunched over form was revealed to all who looked on. During every meeting, Aizen's hand would be stroking down his naked back and shoulders, even petting his hair like he was a prized show dog. Aizen did not want his pet going soft, he had the Espada run his prize into the ground in the practice arena at least three times a day. Ichigo's physical body had never been in better shape, but his mind was locking down, protecting itself with layers of obscurity.

Aizen's touches. They burned into his flesh. Not just revulsion ran through him at the stroking hands, and his shame grew. The further his brain shut down, the more his body reacted to those touches; he was reaching out to the warmth and seeming comfort of human contact rather than the loneliness of his confinement. In his more lucid moments he heard the screaming of his family and friends in his head, asking him what the Hell he had been thinking, and telling him what a disgrace he was.

Women had never truly held his interest before, the incidents with Yoruichi didn't really count, after all how would you react if you were suddenly confronted by a naked woman when you were expecting to see a male, if not a cat? His blushes had been pulled from him thanks to embarrassment, not desire. No, Ichigo realized a few years ago he was not intended for the fairer sex, but it wasn't something he mentioned, ever. He did think Chad might have figured it out, but his quiet friend would keep his secrets.

Aizen was not unattractive. Even in the midst of illusion and shadows the man had a kind of allure to him, he had to, otherwise the very same Arrancar he created could just as easily turn on him. Having an attractive male running his hands all over Ichigo's sensitive skin was igniting his repressed desires. No matter how much Ichigo hated Aizen, he couldn't get away from those questing hands.

The Espada gathered in the hall whenever there were no missions to attend to, meaning Ichigo's shame was witnessed. The majority of the Espada averted their eyes and kept their mouths shut about him in his presence, they did not want to anger their lord by insulting his plaything. The sexta Espada had no such compunctions, he was often seen staring at the Visored's embarrassment, or growling insults at him. Grimmjow was punished most every day for his impudence, yet he hadn't backed off on it.

Another 'night' descended on Los Noches, but with Aizen's illusions night came when he made it so, none of them knew how long he would stretch each period of light or dark. Nighttime was the only point Ichigo was left alone with his thoughts, he was a pet and plaything, not a consort. Evenings were spent chained to that damn chair, Ichigo fighting tooth and nail to break the chain, every morning Szayel would be required to heal the welts left by the collar when it dug into his skin as he fought to free himself.

This night he didn't fight. He pulled repetitively against the chain, rocking back and forth, but no real strength was used. What was the point? It would only be painful, and when the day came he would have to do his daily torture with the Espada when he was worn out from a night of struggle. Those voices started up again, yelling at him for his weakness, but he was so tired. His body curled up on the stone floor, the chill stiffening his muscles, and his eyes slowly drifted shut. Sleep, maybe sleep would help.

The moment he dropped off to sleep he felt himself slip into his inner world. The blue sky was dark, the clouds had gathered, and it was pouring down rain. Within moments Ichigo's naked shivering form was soaked, his shaggy orange hair plastered to his skull, and he once again curled up laying listlessly against the sideways building he had materialized on.

"King, get up," His Hollow, one of two additional parts of his soul, was stroking his hair and urging him to stand.

Tired, dead looking, brown eyes opened, "Why should I?"

"Because no King should bow to a commoner, get up now, fight me again. Wake up and fight." The Hollow pressed.

"If you want my soul, take it, it's yours." Ichigo rolled over, avoiding the stunned golden gaze.

The next thing Ichigo was aware of was a smack across his face, the Hollow hitting him solidly, "When are you going to figure it out?" The Hollow demanded.

Ichigo only stared.

"I don't need to take what I already have." The Hollow informed him, "I am not a separate being, I AM your soul, well half of it anyway. Zangetsu is the separate entity, but we are one." It was a minor, but important, difference; Zanpakuto were connected to the Shinigami's soul, but a Visored's Hollow was a part of it.

"Why all the fighting?" Good, Ichigo still had enough spirit to protest, a small but good sign.

"I will not obey a weak King, and who better to toughen you up than the one who knows you best? I hurt you, I threaten you and those you care about, and you rise to the challenge and win. You get the training, and I get a King worth serving," The Hollow explained.

Ichigo's eyes closed in shame, "I guess we both lose now."

Another smack, "We haven't lost yet. You and I are still here, battered and bruised as we are, but we are still alive. The only way we lose is if you give up now. I will not let you do that, not with help so close to us."

"Help?" Ichigo whispered.

"Yes, and not coming from where you think." The Hollow started stroking his hair again, the touch gentle despite the hits, but not possessive like Aizen's.

"Who?" Asked without much enthusiasm, hope had been squashed out of him awhile ago.

"You are telling me you honestly haven't noticed?" The Hollow enticed, trying to provoke some kind of reaction.

"What am I supposed to notice when I can't even lift my head?" Ichigo protested gruffly, relieving the Hollow. Ichigo could still get mad, another good sign.

The Hollow smirked, an evil looking expression crossing his face, "Who is the one that stares when all others avert their eyes? Who is the one who yells when you are moments away from breaking? Who is the one that endures punishment after punishment trying to keep us sane?"

"Are you trying to tell me Grimmjow did all that to help us?" Ichigo was feeling lost again, but the Hollow didn't miss the switch from singular to plural, so he had accepted his words as truth. Very, very good sign, trust was easily broken when the mind was already fragile.

"Probably," The Hollow responded.

"You are basing your hope of rescue on a probably?" Ichigo groused.

If Ichigo was going to play that game, the Hollow had no problem following his lead, "Better than giving up, I can't help but think his timing is suspicious. He pulls one of his stunts at around the same time I am tempted to slap some sense into you. I may be tired out from fighting those chains, but I can still cause damage. He knows something, what I don't know, but his actions bear watching."

"I don't like it, he hates us, why would he help?" Ichigo mused.

"He isn't particularly fond of Aizen either," The Hollow reminded. "Do you really think a person like Grimmjow likes bowing down to a Shinigami on a power trip? The Espada are just as trapped here as we are, their chains are not visible like ours, but they are still there."

"Why would he follow Aizen in the first place if he hates him so much?" Ichigo grumbled, and with every bit of emotion shown, the Hollow's hope grew.

He quirked an eyebrow, "Grimmjow is not a natural Arrancar, Aizen made him, and following him lets Grimmjow indulge his battle lusts. If there is anything deeper, you would have to ask him and survive the asking, but that is a lowly Hollow's view on him." He teased.

Ichigo didn't want to talk about that any more, hope could be a dangerous thing. "What do I call you?"

The Hollow blinked, "Huh?"

"Seems rude to call you Hollow all the time. If you really are a part of me, we are going to be stuck together for a long time, if we manage to get out of here anyway. You might as well have a name, Zangetsu does." Ichigo felt a fleeting touch of amusement at the flustered Hollow, but it soon dispersed.

"I don't have one," He admitted.

Ichigo thought for a few moments, "What about Junichi?"

"Obedient one? You're kidding right?" The Hollow glared and bristled in irritation.

"You call me King," Ichigo started to explain, "And everyone else seems to expect me to be the one controlling you. What they don't know, we can use against them. You are a part of me according to you, so 'Ichi' would fit." He finished with a slight shrug.

The Hollow stared down at his human counter part, thinking over what he said, a vicious grin bloomed across his face, "I knew you weren't broken yet. All right, I will accept the name, but don't let it go to your head. We are equals, don't ever forget that."

Ichigo gave him an odd look, "Why would I forget? I'm the one who suggested it be used as a cover."

Junichi suddenly tensed, "Ichigo you have to go, I feel someone trying to wake you, hurry." As soon as the words left him, Ichigo faded out of this world and back into the hell hole called Los Noches.

Junichi stared into the dark clouds, his King still had the spark of life he needed, but it was so dim. "Careful King, this is only the beginning," He whispered, watching the awful rain still pouring into the sideways world.

Ichigo was surprised when he woke up to find it still dark, he had feared Aizen had decided to shorten the night and it was time for another round of humiliation. The faint glimmer of moonlight filtering into the room made it possible to see the vague outline of a solidly built figure standing over him, light filtering through the hole in his abdomen. That was shocking enough, but the truly terrifying part was the hand covering his mouth, preventing any sound from escaping.

"Finally awake," The half-growling voice was low and rumbling, barely loud enough for Ichigo to hear despite being inches away from Grimmjow. "If you care about your miserable hide, don't scream."

Ichigo slowly nodded in agreement with the order, feeling the hand slowly retract, "What are you doing here?" Ichigo's voice was raspy from disuse on the physical plain, but he kept it as quiet as possible.

"I'm busting you out of here," Grimmjow grinned widely, a cat catching the canary kind of grin.

"Why?" Ichigo asked, wanting to know how right Junichi had been.

The grin widened to impossible levels, "To piss off Aizen," He replied simply. "I have your Zanpakuto, Gin really should have kept better track of it, but while you are wearing that rather fetching collar it's practically useless to you." To prove it Grimmjow held up the hilt with the broken blade he held in his hand, the connection so weak between sword and master Zangetsu couldn't maintain even Shikai release.

Ichigo was reaching for it anyway, relieved enough if Grimmjow hadn't been standing over him his eyes may have watered a bit. His battle partner stayed in the broken form, even while Ichigo clutched the precious sword to his bare chest. "How do I get the damn collar off?"

If the grin was scary, that was nothing compared to the predatory gaze smoldering into Ichigo now, "Tell me Shinigami, are you a virgin?"

Ichigo's whole body blushed, and Grimmjow watched it with unabashed glee, the sputtered response making his feral side come out to play even more, "Why the Hell does that matter?" Ichigo barely managed to keep his voice down, but even that level of shock wasn't enough to forget about Aizen.

"Ever wonder what happens when a person with as much spiritual pressure as you gets fucked?" Grimmjow was sounding way too pleased with himself.

Ichigo's silence was all the answer he would get on that.

Grimmjow's expression never faded, "You really are an innocent aren't you? Interesting. Sex is the only release stronger than battle. Especially the first time. In short, you get fucked, all that power suppressed by that collar will force its way out, if you are powerful enough even Seki Seki stone has a limit to what it can take before it breaks. Why do you think as much as Aizen strokes and pets you, he has never once made you come, despite how much humiliation you would suffer?"

"How do you know he could make me even if he tried?" Ichigo said defiantly, the spark of life Junichi had beaten back into him coming to the forefront.

"Hmm, I wonder Ichigo, did you know Hollows have a curious adaptation? Our home was originally endless night, can you guess what that means?" Grimmjow was deliberately drawing out that fire, it would make what was to come even better.

Another blank stare.

"We can see in the dark," Grimmjow informed with his teasing grin, looking pointedly down to Ichigo's bare body, and the secret that Ichigo had been trying to hide. "You have been half-hard ever since you woke up with me standing over you. If Aizen wanted to make you come, you would have, without illusions." To prove his point, Grimmjow put one calloused hand on Ichigo's shoulder, and stroked down the length of his back, ending at his hip. The teen shuddered and gooseflesh sprung to life, with Ichigo once again looking down at the ground in shame.

"This doesn't have to hurt, or be unpleasant, but if you fight me I will not be able to control myself. We only have a short time before the drugs Szayel administered to the Shinigami wear off, if you are not gone by then we could be killed," Grimmjow's voice was tinged with urgency, he wasn't joking.

"What do I do!" Ichigo shouted into his inner world.

Junichi surfaced, wrapping his arms around his King in comfort, "Let him, he isn't lying. It has the best chance of working, plus it's not like you aren't attracted to him, and he is kind of giving you a choice."

"I trust you," Ichigo responded, turning to look at Grimmjow, not noticing the startled look, "I won't fight," He whispered softly, a few more pieces of his pride collapsing at the admission.

"Why did your eyes change color?" Grimmjow asked curiously, running his hands along Ichigo's exposed back and sides, caressing the toned muscles, getting Ichigo ready for more.

Ichigo was shuddering at the feel of the hands on him, Aizen's hands were soft, he didn't fight just stood back and watched, but Grimmjow didn't let a day go by that he wasn't picking a fight. His hands were tough, and strong, scars and calluses scraping roughly over Ichigo's overly sensitive flesh. "Hollow." Ichigo ground out between clenched teeth, not wanting to let the low moan of pleasure out.

"No mask?" Grimmjow let his voice go low and husky, whispering into Ichigo's ear, nibbling on the side of his neck.

Ichigo shook his head weakly, "Not fighting, helping," Well that wasn't very helpful. Oh wait.

"Your Hollow is protecting you?" Grimmjow's lips found the sensitive patch of skin over Ichigo's collarbone, just below the article keeping him prisoner. He felt Ichigo nod, but more importantly, heard the slight hitch of breath as he sucked on the spot he found, not quite biting, just putting pressure there. "You like that?"

Ichigo's body dropped below him, "Quit teasing," He ground out, hating the weakness he had shown.

"If you insist," Grimmjow replied, unapologetically nibbling that sweet spot once more, before reaching into his pocket and fishing out the bottle of oil he had thought to bring.

Ichigo heard the faint click as the lid came open, but was distracted by now wet fingers sitting on his lower back, not sliding lower until his body heat had warmed the fluid. The feel of the first intrusion was a mix of slight pain, but shameful pleasure too. It felt odd, but not unpleasant. A few moments later and a second intrusion, a little more painful than the last, made itself known. This did not stay stationary, but moved, stretching him, but at the same time searching. It wasn't long before stars danced across Ichigo's vision and for the life of him he couldn't stop the moan.

"Relax," Grimmjow's deep voice purred into his ears, "It will hurt less if you relax." He used his free hand to rub small circles into Ichigo's tense shoulders, trying to loosen the tension there while nudging the little bundle of nerves with his other hand earning another moan.

Junichi held him tighter, joining the pieces of their soul back together, allowing Ichigo access to the feral side of their nature. With less human and more Hollow, some of the shame died and Ichigo allowed Grimmjow's touch to relax him.

When Grimmjow felt the softening of Ichigo's muscles, he slid in a third to join the others. A surprised, but cocky grin spread on his face as Ichigo began to respond to his touch, arching into him, finally allowing himself to enjoy it. Seeing that, his hand went to the tie on his pants, letting them fall to the ground.

Ichigo let nothing but the feel of Grimmjow, and the sensation of his touch, wash over him, not allowing himself to think about it any more. He made his choice. When he felt the intruding, but oh so pleasurable, fingers retreat he was embarrassed at the needy whine that escaped him.

Grimmjow carefully adjusted how Ichigo was positioned, finding the best angle the short chain allowed. A bit more of the oil spread over his aching manhood and he was poised and ready. "Stay relaxed," Grimmjow warned, before claiming the man below him.

The first thing Ichigo felt was pain, stinging, burning pain, Grimmjow himself was bigger than what had prepared him. A pained gasp escaped him, only to be followed by a chocked cry as Grimmjow finished entering and brushed against the place that sent fireworks through his mind. Thought stopped at that point. Nothing was felt, or thought, or said, beyond the sensation of their joining. Ichigo found himself rocking backwards, keeping rhythm with the man claiming him. It wasn't all gentle, a few intrusions were harsh enough to be overcast by pain, but Ichigo didn't mind pain, made him feel alive again.

When Ichigo felt the strong hand stroke his own hardness he let out another moan, knowing he wouldn't last long like this. That was okay, Grimmjow wasn't far either, and he could feel the blocked power pushing against its bonds, growing steadily stronger as Ichigo grew closer to the end. He had noticed Ichigo found a bit of pleasure in pain, and there was one more way he could help Ichigo. As he thrust hard and fast, but controlled at the same time, he watched for the signs. The tensing of his muscles, the closing of his eyes, the clenching of his internal walls, at the moment of release Grimmjow bit down on the back of Ichigo's neck, forcing his own spiritual pressure into the wound, boosting Ichigo's.

The moment Grimmjow's teeth sank into his neck, Ichigo lost control, his release combined with Grimmjow's burst of Spiritual Power had the bonds on his power strain, and buckle, before shattering completely. The collar falling from his neck as Grimmjow thrust into him again, finding his own release in feeling Ichigo's power flaring around them.

Ichigo had never felt more completely alive as he did in those moments of completion and release. His power flooding to him like a long lost friend. The familiar presence of Zangetsu in his mind returning to his full glory, he even let out a chuckle as Junichi let go of him in order to tackle the old man.

Then Grimmjow moved off of him and reality came crashing back down. He had just let an Espada fuck him. A male Espada. A male Espada that had tried to kill him. A male Espada that had tried to kill him, and was an enemy to his kind. He felt all the shame come washing back to him as he realized he didn't feel violated or dirty, just satisfied and content. He had enjoyed it.

Grimmjow had been watching Ichigo's face, he saw when the real world hit him once more, the panic and distress, followed quickly by disgust and the beginnings of rage. "We don't have time for self-pity, like I said those drugs won't keep those vultures asleep for much longer. I can open a Garganta for you, but do you want it into the living world or Soul Society?"

Both Junichi and Zangetsu were clutching Ichigo to them, their battered King was at the end of his endurance. "Soul Society… I don't think I can face my family yet." Ichigo admitted quietly, taking comfort in their arms. Even if they were just mentally holding him, it was more gentle support than he had since his mother was alive.

Grimmjow handed the distraught Visored his Zanpakuto, watching as the broken hilt morphed into one of the strongest swords ever wielded. Seeing the broken form, knowing how close Ichigo was to letting that spark of life die in shame, Grimmjow redressed himself, and picked Ichigo up. Carrying him in his arms he Sonidoed away from the fortress, knowing someone would feel the opening of the gate if he tried it anywhere in range of Los Noches.

Grimmjow set Ichigo on his feet once the Garganta was opened. "This will take you to Sokyoku hill, it's the one place in Soul Society we can get to since Aizen escaped from there, he left it vulnerable to the opening of Gargantas." Grimmjow wondered if Ichigo realized that he had just been given a vital piece of information, it was just one more way to piss off Aizen.

Ichigo started walking woodenly through the portal, only to stop as Grimmjow called out. "Oh by the way, if you do not manage to kill Aizen, I will be forced to fight you again. Get stronger Shinigami, you are the only one with a shot." With that Grimmjow turned and started back towards Los Noches.

It was not Ichigo that made it through the portal, a few steps in Junichi took over from his King. The orange haired young man faded into their world and stood clutching Zangetsu to him, for his part the stoic sword allowed it, he had missed his tough young wielder too. By the time their feet hit the ground in soul society, the toll of their imprisonment caught up to them, the weakness from lasting exposure to seki seki stone that no amount of physical activity could alleviate hit them hard. Ichigo collapsed onto the dusty ground, breathing in the scent of Soul Society. When a Squad Two team investigated the disturbance they discovered the nude body of the missing substitute Soul Reaper passed out cold.

From there he was taken to the Squad Four barracks, where Captain Unohana herself took care of him. He didn't wake up once during her examination. When she was satisfied she had done all she could for him, she had her seventh seat watch over him, knowing the boy and Ichigo knew each other, while she went to report to the other Captains.

All other Captains had managed to get there before her, a rarity considering they were often scattered all across Soul Society. It had only been a few hours since Ichigo was found.

"Captain Unohana, please explain in what condition Substitute Soul Reaper Ichigo Kurosaki was found in?" Head-Captain Yamamoto ordered, despite the please, it was definitely an order.

"For the length of time he was gone, his body was in surprisingly good shape. He has been allowed, or forced, to exercise regularly during his capture. There is evidence of exposure to seki seki stone, for what seems like the majority of time he has been missing. Damage to his neck and shoulders indicate a collar of the stone was the most likely method. The damage wrought was most likely self-inflicted in attempts to get away going by the bruising patterns. There are signs of healing around those same areas, suggesting Aizen had some interest in keeping the boy healthy. There was unfortunately signs of very recent sexual intercourse, the spirit pressure found within him indicate an Arrancar class Hollow, with Espada level power." She spoke clinically and to the point, she could never afford to show emotion during a briefing, no matter how much she may want to.

"Okay, I think we can leave the hornet's nest for last," Kyouraku spoke first, surprising a few, "You said he may have been forced to exercise. How can you tell if he was forced, or he was just pushing himself too hard?"

"There were several strained and badly healed tears in his muscles and connective tissues, I have treated Ichigo after his own training sessions, and sparring matches, he has never let himself get that bad. Especially on enemy territory, he would be much more cautious than that," She responded to her old friend, guessing he was up to something by his unusual forwardness.

"This collar, how big would it have to be to contain Kurosaki's power? He has an obscene amount." Captain Soi Fon spoke up, a tad jealous of her mentor's other protégé, but not so much she would over look her duties.

"Placed around the neck, even a small amount of the stone can be brutally efficient. I would say about an inch thick and two or three inches wide. The weight alone would be enough to hamper movement, seki seki stone is one of the heaviest naturally occurring substances." Kurotsuchi took over for that explanation, having investigated the rock and its uses heavily.

"Is the stone going to have any lasting effects on him?" Captain Ukitake asked worriedly.

"A bit of dizziness and nausea for the first few days, and an inclination to faint or black out for the next few weeks, after that he should be back to normal." Kurotsuchi didn't have a whole lot of empathy for Ichigo, the brat would be fine in time.

Yamamoto looked over his Captains realizing they were going to circle around the topic for hours if someone didn't speak up soon, he was just about to speak up when the question that needed asking came from an unusual source, "All right you cowards, was the boy raped or not?" Zaraki asked Unohana sharply.

"Inconclusive on that," Unohana made a quick choice, her incredibly underestimated friend not missing her slight tells. "The encounter is likely what broke Ichigo free from his collar, there was no damage that says it was torn off, so it had to have fallen through other means, he is one of the few I would guess to be strong enough to break such a device if his power was condensed enough."

"So either he was forced and it was an accident he escaped, or he figured out the answer and found someone to help him." Komamura was able to state, he didn't really know Ichigo, and was not clouded by bias like most of the others.

"With what I know of the kid, he would never allow something like that," Kyouraku spoke lazily again, a sharp gaze passing between three old friends. "With the apparent attempts to keep him healthy Aizen made I don't see him authorizing that kind of abuse. I think we are dealing with a rogue Espada, one of them is not following Aizen's orders, or at least not completely. None of the Espada have shown any tenderness towards Ichigo, but enough hate him, one may just hate Ichigo more than they do Aizen."

"A very good point," Yamamoto spoke up then, "The boy will be kept in Soul Society until the effects of the Seki Seki stone have abated. He has until that time to log a full report of what happened to him. What happens beyond that comes down to the details in the report."

Once they established there was nothing more that needed to gone over, the Captains were dismissed. Retsu was not surprised when she was followed back to her division, and to Ichigo's sick room. Once the lightly dozing Hanataro was sent on his way, she turned to her oldest friends. "All right, go ahead and ask," She invited.

"What didn't you say in the meeting? You were hiding something," Shunsui spoke softly, Jyuushiro nodding in agreement.

"I think he is going to need you two," She spoke just as softly.

"What did you find?" Jyuushiro urged gently, worried about the courageous young man.

She went over to where Ichigo was curled up under the covers in the fetal position, his back facing them, carefully moving the blankets so she didn't wake her patient she revealed the bite mark. "I found this, it's laced with Spirit Pressure, the same as what I found inside him."

"The Arrancar was helping him break the collar? Why couldn't you say that in the meeting?" Shunsui knew it was sensitive, but something like a potential ally on the inside would be necessary information.

"There's more," She replied. "I found nothing that showed his hands were bound in any way, but there are no defensive marks, he would have fought this had it been forced. I found traces of oil and signs of preparation, and only as much tearing to be consistent with it being a first time. In addition, I found a bit of the boy's own fluids still on him. This all indicates to me it was not rape, the partner took care of him, and Kurosaki enjoyed it."

Jyuushiro's eyes softened even more, "So that's why you kept quiet."

"Even if it was a one time thing to get him out of there, Old Man Yama would not approve of him enjoying it," Shunsui's words were slightly bitter, but only to those that knew him well.

"Shun, we will take care of him, you heard Yamamoto, we have at least a couple weeks to get through to Ichigo. We have to be careful though, I don't know how comfortable he is with himself yet." Jyuushiro let his hand fall to Shunsui's arm, pulling him close, and resting his head on Shunsui's pink clad shoulder.

"Does it help if I say his current unconsciousness is brought on by shock as much as the Seki Seki," Retsu didn't want to interrupt them, they were rarely safe in showing affection, but Ichigo needed help now.

"So either he just found out he enjoys male company, or it hasn't really hit him until now." Jyuushiro guessed, remembering his own terror.

"We will do all we can for him," Shunsui assured the healer, his arms still wrapped around Jyuushiro.

Retsu just recovered Ichigo, and smoothed down his brightly colored hair, the touch of a mother, "Please do. He has been through a lot, we can only guess how much until he wakes up."

Ending Notes: I wanted to say something about Grimmjow's actions in this chapter, despite the fact I made him interested in males, I do believe he was in character. He is an honorable fighter that won't battle an already injured opponent and yells when a fight isn't fair. I believe that when he has a sexual encounter that once his partner submits he wouldn't mock or hurt them beyond what they wanted.