I don't own Bleach or it's characters. That's said. This is my first Bleach fic! YAY! I hope you enjoy it, I'm having fun developing it's concept. I plan for this to be a long one. I also plan to finish it...unlike the lingering Fruits Basket stories I have to wrap up...(it's eating at my conscious, I'm sorry!) This will be yaoi eventually, so be warned.

Chapter One: Meet Your New Partner

It was pelting a hard, cold rain when Ichigo rolled over with a groan and smashed his fist down on the blaring alarm. 5 a.m. and the sky was too busy having a piss to care about Ichigo not being able to take his morning run. Scowling, he glared out of the window from the comfort of his bed at the blackness as the beep of the coffee maker sounded from the kitchen, automatically brewing his coffee and telling him to get a move on. He shoved his lean form from the tangle of blankets and sheets and stalked toward the bathroom, resolving to train with Renji later if they were both off duty.

Ichigo could see in the mirror that his bright orange hair was in total disarray and that he had grown a little peach fuzz overnight. He flipped on the shower and quickly made use of the electric razor charging on the marble counter to trim away the little hair he was able to grow on his face. He examined his work, never meeting the gaze of his own reflection. Deeming it perfect, he got in the shower and let the heated spray beat down on his head.

Closing his eyes, he tried to block out the memories that came flooding back to him every morning he resumed consciousness- memories that haunted him until the time he fell into a dreamless, drug induced sleep. He braced himself against the tiles as the tightness coiled in his chest, tears slowly mixing with the water that cleansed him as the flashback replayed.

~ It had been a simple traffic stop- or so they thought, really, was anything simple in the unforgiving streets of Huceo Mundo? They'd been trailing behind a black Escalade with dark tinted windows for about a mile. Ichigo ran the plates and they were legit. However, at a stop sign they noticed the right brake light was out. His partner hit the lights and the car turned right, immediately pulling over to the curb. They rolled up and both got out.

Chad's dark, stoic face asked for license and registration of the driver, a grinning fool with long black hair and a white eye patch. Ichigo got the i.d. of the passenger, a short kid with messy black hair and teal make up lines running from his eyes. Chad passed off the driver's i.d. to him to run a check while he questioned the boys and shone his flashlight around the car.

Ichigo's eyes widened at the information the computer gave him about these kids. They had a long list of priors ranging from drug possession to breaking and entering, and were known to be affiliated with the notorious gang, Espada. There were no warrants out for their arrest, however. He was just about to tell Chad they were clean when the dispatcher's voice came over the radio.

"Attention all units! We have a 10-29 out for a black Cadillac Escalade plate number Tengo-Charlie-3-4-Delta-9-2. Repeat, we have a 10-29 out for a black Cadillac Escalade plate number Tengo-Charlie-3-4-Delta-9-2. Over."

Shit, Ichigo thought as his eyes followed the dispatcher's voice reciting the plate numbers of the car they'd just pulled over. Seemed these boys were adding auto left to their list tonight. He radioed in they'd apprehended the vehicle, signaling to Chad, who asked the driver to take the keys out of the ignition and step out of the vehicle. Ichigo started to make his way toward the SUV, when he saw a pistol shoved in Chad's face.

The gun shot sounded, Ichigo hitting the ground and screaming Chad's name, taking cover behind their cruiser as the passenger leaned out with a semi automatic and fired at him. Bullets pinged off the car and sprayed the gravel as the SUV sped away with a screech of rubber. Once Ichigo was sure they were gone, he ran to his partner, stopping short as he looked down at the now unrecognizable face of his best friend. He knew he wasn't alive; no one could survive a point blank shot to the head.

Ichigo did the sensible thing, he radioed in for back up and officer down, and he'd been hit, the blazing burn in his shoulder let him know. All the while, he stared at the licenses that still remained sitting on the seat of the cruiser. Burning the images of Ulquiorra Cifer and Nnoitra Gilga into his mind forever, because he wasn't going to stop until he saw those bastards pay for what they did to Sado.~

Ichigo sighed heavily, the grotesque image of his friend's face still lingering in his mind as he quickly and mechanically scrubbed himself and rinsed. Stopping the water and throwing back the shower curtain, he thought to himself as he thought every morning since, today will be the day I avenge you, Sado.

Ichigo fidgeted in the cream colored leather chair, balancing his black hat on his knee and tapping his fingers impatiently on the arm. The office was bright and cheery, with motivational posters and plants. She was ten minutes late. He quickly straightened up and stood, clasping his hat in his hand as the force psychologist burst into the office, her long orange hair held back with shining black clips, and a mountain of papers in her arms pressed tightly against her ample chest. She deposited the papers on her desk and quickly shut the door, blushing furiously when she met Ichigo's eyes and frantically began smoothing the wrinkles from her gray suit.

"I'm so sorry I'm late, Lieutenant Kurosaki! The subway was packed and then of course my assistant had to give me all this paperwork…"

"Please, Orihime, it's really alright," Ichigo replied, stopping her breathless rant. "Let's just get this done so I can get out on patrol."

"Right!" she replied, grabbing a clip board and pen from her desk and took a seat on the small couch across from Ichigo.

"Please sit," she gestured to the chair with a small smile.

Ichigo sat, hat in his hands, and did his best to remain calm and relax his features.

"How have you been sleeping?" Orihime asked gently.

"Great. Full eight hours."

"Still taking Silenor"? (1)


"How is that working for you, any side effects?"

"It's working great. Helps me sleep and gets me through the day. No side effects really."

"And the shoulder?"

"Working great. Stopped P. T. two months ago."

Orihime flipped through some pages and scanned over one.

"I see you are seeing the weekly therapist still."

"I have to, or I can't be on patrol. You know that."

"Is he helping you? Are you able to manage your feelings about Chad?"

It hurt to hear her speak his name so effortlessly. As if they hadn't all been friends throughout their whole lives. Went to high school together, hung out.

"Yes," he replied curtly.

"Ichigo," Orhime stated softly, reaching forward and touching his knee gently. "I miss him too. But we both have to do our jobs, and mine is to make sure you can do yours competently before you are reinstated back to patrol."

Ichigo stared into her big eyes.

"I want nothing more than to move on with my life by getting back to work, Orhime. I'll still take the pills, I'll still see the therapist, I'll moonwalk, and whatever you want me to do. Just please sign off on this so the Captain will release me from desk duty. It's been 8 months. I cannot stand to push paper for one more day. That will make me crazy, not the death of my friend."

Orhime searched his face for a long moment and sighed. She leaned back on the couch and signed the bottom of a yellow paper, ripped it from the pad and handed it to him.

"Give this to the Captain. It's in his hands now."

Ichigo grinned and took the paper, putting his hat on his head and throwing a "thanks" over his shoulder.

Orhime smiled and wished him luck as he bounded out of her office.

Ichigo was really getting tired of sitting in people's office and having them stare at him, picking apart his every movement, expression, and word and analyzing it to see if he was some psycho. He met his Captain's cold, unwavering stare with one of his own, his usual scowl and bad boy demeanor flaring up at the scrutiny.

The Captain cleared his throat, looking down at the papers on his large desk, back ramrod straight despite the plushness of the leather chair, proper as ever. Pompous asshole, Ichigo thought, getting irritated at the suspense. Finally, the low, strong voice of his Captain spoke.

"While I am sure that no Lieutenant of mine would lie to the psychologist with whom he knows well, I cannot help but to be a bit suspicious of how quickly you wish to be assigned back to patrol after such a tragedy, Kurosaki."

Ichigo opened his mouth to argue, but the Captain held up a hand to silence him, glare still present.

"However, I know that you are a damn good cop and a moral person, Kurosaki, and I also know that you would never embarrass me or this precinct by doing something reckless on the job," he said, his voice softening slightly, proof of the respect he held for the man who served under his reign for the last 6 years. Ichigo dared to let a glimmer of hope shine in his chocolate eyes at his Captain's words, and held his breath.

"At the suggestion of the various therapists and our precinct psychologist, I am reinstating your position to patrol officer, with a raise in salary. Your badge and gun will be issued to you at the end of this meeting."

Captain Kuchiki hit a button on his phone and Ichigo let out a sigh of relief, pumping his fist in the air at his victory and springing from the chair to get to work.

"Sit back down, Kurosaki, you are not released to go," the Captain said.

"Why not, you just said…"

"You have been assigned a new partner, a transfer from the Las Noches division," snapped the Captain, not appreciating Ichigo's interruption.

Ichigo stared at the Captain, before turning at the sound of the Captain's door swinging open. Ichigo stared incredulously at the towering figure before him, dressed in the black uniform of the HMPD and a sarcastic grin stretched across his lips.

"You must be strawberry," he said in a smooth baritone, arching a delicate blue brow as if daring Ichigo to challenge him on the nickname in the Captain's presence. He extended his hand. "Grimmjow."

Ichigo shook his hand quickly, and said through gritted teeth, "Pleasure to be working with you." That was for the Captain's benefit, for Ichigo already hated this guy.

They both stood in front of the Captain, who had paid no attention to the exchange but was proceeding through his paperwork as if they weren't there. He looked up briefly at two of them when he felt their eyes on him.

"Don't just stand there, get to work!"

Please, reviews are always appreciated! (1) Silenor is a pill used to treat insomnia and depression. Sorry if it's a bit slow and boring, the set ups usually are. It will get better. XD