I've been out of commission for more than a week due to a nasty eye injury, but the doc finally gave me the all clear to use the computer today! This had been in my head for a past few days, all I had to do was to type it out. :)

This is written for Cuzosu, who gave me this idea and let me run with it. ;)

Abarai Renji swallowed as he eyed the rice cooker; steam wafted into the air from the freshly-cooked, fragrant white rice. Various platters of Tessai's cooking dotted the dining table, all partially eaten. Jinta and Ururu were half way through their first bowl of rice while the burly, moustached chef and the blonde shopkeeper, Urahara Kisuke, sat at the table with their bowls empty.

"Would you like seconds?" Urahara's light-hearted, melodious voice tore Renji's attention away from the rice cooker.

"Yes please," the redhead said immediately, his eyes lighting up in relief. He had been debating if he should ask for more food since he was still hungry, but was too embarrassed to do so because he was freeloading—to quote Urahara—after all.

"Sure, freeloader-san, let me give you your seconds," Tessai said cheerfully, reaching for Renji's bowl.

Renji blanched. His face reddened at the jab and his outstretched hand faltered.

"Come on, don't be shy!" Urahara piped up with a big grin. "You're absolutely welcome to have seconds, freeloader-san!"

By then, the two children were beginning to giggle at Renji's awkwardness.

"Go on, get your seconds!" Jinta added gleefully.

Renji looked from one face to the other; all four of his hosts were giving him encouraging—if not rather exaggerated—smiles, but their usage of the term freeloader made Renji very, very self conscious. Eyeing the steam rising from the rice cooker again, Renji sighed.

"It's okay, I...I'm not that hungry," he said dejectedly. Standing up, he gave a quick bow and added, "Thank you for the meal." Then, he immediately turned to flee the dining room, feeling the heat on his face spread to the tips of his ears and neck. His embarrassment only increased as calls of "Wait! You haven't had seconds!" followed him out of the room.

Asshole, he thought, picturing Zabimaru slicing Urahara's striped hat into two. His stomach growled innocently, seemingly unaware that its owner was already frustrated enough. Maybe I could go to Ichigo's and see if he'd had dinner, Renji thought, but then quickly dismissed the idea. He was hungry, but his pride triumphed his hunger.

Renji made his way to his room and slid the door shut. His stomach gave another growl, and he punched his stomach as if that would shut it up. It was times like that when he truly missed Soul Society, along with the food, sake, and company. But here he was, stuck at Urahara's while he's stationed at Karakura to protect the town along with Ichigo. With another sigh, he threw himself onto his mattress. His hand went to his ponytail and tugged off the hair tie; his fiery long hair immediately fanned out around his head and spilled onto his shoulders. His rather uncooperative stomach growled once more, and he let out a frustrated groan and buried his face into the pillow.

What seemed like minutes later, light knocking on his door caught his attention. "Abarai-san?" Urahara's familiar voice rang from the other side of the door.

Swearing under his breath, Renji got up and slid open the door. His eyebrows arched at the sight of the blonde man holding a tray with a bowl and a pair of chopsticks.

"I feel bad about earlier and thought I'd bring you your seconds," Urahara said in a surprisingly sincere voice.

The redhead was taken aback at the rather uncharacteristic display of kindness. "T-thanks," he said, and reached out to take the tray. To his surprise, Urahara held the tray away from his reach and stepped into the room.

"Now now, as apology, allow me to at least serve the food to your table," the blonde man said, then promptly made his way over to the low table next to Renji's mattress. He pushed aside the various knick knacks that Renji had accumulated over the months in Karakura, and placed the tray on the table.

"Thanks, Urahara-san," Renji said before plopping down at the table. Picking up the pair of chopsticks, he held up the bowl and began to eat. Two bites later, he realized that the blonde shopkeeper was still in the room; in fact, the man had made himself quite comfortable sitting at the table across from Renji. His face was partially hidden by his fan, and the shadow from his hat cast a dark shadow over his eyes, making it difficult for Renji to decipher his expression.

Narrowing his eyes suspiciously, Renji cleared his throat and asked, "Is there something wrong?" He assumed that Urahara wanted to ask him to do something, most likely a chore. He should've known, the shrewd fellow would not be so kind without an ulterior motive.

"Nothing!" Urahara said merrily. But he continued to sit there and look at Renji with a smile, as if he was just there to watch Renji eat.

"Huh," Renji mumbled. He let his gaze linger on the man's face for a few more seconds, then he shrugged and went back to his food. Whatever, he thought, the freak can look all he wants for all I care.

As he cleaned out the last two pieces of lettuce in the bowl, Renji finally felt full. Tessai was an excellent cook, although—in Renji's mind at least—the man was a little odd in the head. Putting the bowl down, the redhead licked his lips. His eyes flicked to Urahara; the blonde man was still sitting there, silently staring.

"Uhh, is there something I can do to help?" Renji asked again, feeling awkward. It was unnerving, the way the man sat there silently; Renji smelt a trap, but he hadn't the slightest clue what it could be.

"How was the food?" Urahara asked suddenly. He folded his fan and placed it on the floor next to him.

Renji hesitated. What an odd question; the food was exactly what they'd just had. "Good, I guess," he answered anyway. His inner warning bells clanged; something was definitely up.

"Ah" was all Urahara said in response. After a few more seconds of awkward silence, the blonde man scooted nearer to Renji. "How do you feel?" he asked, peering into Renji's face.

Renji instinctively leaned back, away from the shopkeeper. "I feel great," he muttered. What the hell did this guy smoke? As soon as the words left his mouth, he suddenly felt hot; as in, temperature hot. It was as if someone had just lit a fire beside him. Warmth crept up his neck and radiated to his entire face.

"You're blushing," Urahara commented with a raised eyebrow. "Are you sure you're feeling alright?"

"Y-yeah," Renji stammered, but his voice was uncertain. He reached up to wipe his brow and was surprised to find his face wet with sweat. His cheeks burned, and he suddenly felt a wave of dizziness. Feeling suddenly off-balance, he swayed.

"You're not feeling well," Urahara said, more of a statement than a question.

No shit, Renji thought. He leaned to his side and rested his weight on his palm. Hot. He staggered slightly as another wave of dizziness hit him. This time, the feeling left him light-headed, and his heart suddenly began to beat quickly. Hot.

"I...uhh," Renji mumbled, feeling alarmed at how thick his tongue seemed to feel in his mouth. He tried to stand, but only managed a weak movement before his arms buckled under his weight. He fell onto his mattress with a groan. Hot. Hot hot hot.

"My my," Urahara said, his voice sounding distorted and distant even though he had moved to Renji's side. Renji flinched when he felt the man's cool palm on his forehead. "You have a fever of sorts," Urahara said with a frown.

Hot. Renji gasped as he struggled to breathe; it was as if he was enveloped in an invisible layer of blanket. Despite his grogginess, a thought dawned on him with sudden clarity. The food. Something must've been added to his food. No wonder the bastard kept asking him about the stupid food! But he couldn't say anything; by now the heat had begun to radiate downwards and along his limbs, making him weak.

"You're burning up under all these layers of clothes!" He vaguely heard Urahara's voice, then felt his jacket being tugged off. His fingers held on to the fabric weakly, but was promptly knocked away as Urahara peeled the jacket off.

"You know," Renji heard the shopkeeper say, "You really don't need to wear so much, it's way too thick for this weather." Urahara sounded cheerful, but Renji couldn't help feeling a shiver at the words.

The redhead struggled a little, then he felt his shirt being pulled off. His jeans followed soon after. Hey, he thought numbly. As the fabric of his jeans brushed over his hip and thighs, he shuddered at the friction. That was when he realized that he felt hot, very, very hot between his legs. When his boxers slid over his groin, he couldn't stop a low moan from escaping his lips. That felt good, he thought groggily. He was now aware of a constant, warm throbbing down south.

"Ooh." He heard a small gasp; he wasn't sure if it was a gasp of surprise, or delight—it sounded like a mixture of both.

"Do you feel better now?" Renji heard Urahara ask. He opened his mouth to reply, but could only croak; his throat was suddenly very tight, and his mouth was dry.

"Let me get you some water," Urahara said reassuringly. Then, Renji heard his footsteps approach the door, then heard the door slide open and shut quickly as the man exited the room.

He was finally alone.

Fuck. Renji was confused by his body's odd behavior. He touched his own forehead with the back of a hand; it was still warm, but seemed to have cooled down somewhat compared to a few minutes ago. But—oh—the throbbing between his legs was beginning to become downright uncomfortable. Casting a quick glance at the door to make sure he was still alone, Renji reached down. A loud sigh of relief left his lips when his palm pressed against his arousal. Feeling a little bolder, and wanting a little more than just relief, he rubbed himself lightly.

Oh, god. His eyes fluttered closed as his hand continued to move; the pleasure and relief overwhelmed his fear of being discovered. With a low moan, he tightened his fist and began a slow pumping motion. The rush of pleasure added to his dizziness, and his head swam. Subconsciously, his lips parted slightly as his breath quickened. Faster. Faster!

By now, any thoughts of being caught red-handed had receded deep into the back of the redhead's mind. All he could think of was getting his release. He didn't hear his own moans and pants, and most definitely did not hear the soft sound of the door sliding open.

Renji felt a familiar tension build in his lower abdomen and he shivered in anticipation. His hand worked in an instinctive frenzy of movement; he was no longer consciously aware of his own actions, his mind lost in a mist of arousal and need.

Then, the tight coil of tension snapped and he let out a choked cry; a sudden tidal wave of pleasure crashed over him, and his body stiffened as he finally climaxed. Paralyzed by the onslaught of sensation, he was only vaguely aware of spreading warmth on his hand and his stomach. The release and exertion left him gasping for breath. With his eyes clenched close, he did not see the pair of feet that approached his mattress.

"Oh my," a voice suddenly said.

Renji froze amid a haze. Turning stiffly, he looked towards the source of the voice, and his heart sank to the pit of his stomach. Crouched next to him was the blonde shopkeeper, a cup in his hand, with a look of amusement on his face. There was a glint in his grey eyes; Renji thought the man actually looked delighted.

"Feeling frisky?" Urahara asked as he peered at Renji over the tip of his fan.

The redhead wished he could simply drop dead that instant. Instead, his panicked body remained rooted in place; he couldn't even pull his eyes away from the smiling face of the blonde man.

"Here, here," Urahara said soothingly, taking a sip of water from the cup in his hand. Before the redhead could react, the man leaned in and pressed his lips over Renji's. Shocked beyond belief, Renji's mouth fell open conveniently, and water trickled in from Urahara's mouth.

The cold liquid was like a slap in the face. Sputtering, Renji's hand shot up to push the blonde shopkeeper away. At the same time, he sat up and pulled his clothes to his body in a frantic attempt to cover himself.

"What the fuck!" Renji yelled, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. "What the fuck was that for?"

Urahara's fan covered the man's entire face, but Renji could imagine his expression based on the man's almost-hysterical laughter and the way his hand shook. The redhead wanted nothing more than to lunge at Urahara and tackle the man to the ground, but the fact that he had to first put on his clothes deterred him. The thought of dressing in front of Urahara made him sick.

After laughing for a good few minutes, Urahara finally folded his fan shut and stood up. "That was most entertaining, Abarai-san!" he said in his irritating, overly-cheerful voice. Then. he gave an exaggerated bow at Renji's direction, and strode out of the room, leaving the redhead alone and completely bewildered.

Renji gritted his teeth as he finally felt safe enough to shrug off the pieces of clothing he had used as an emergency blanket. Never again would he ever ask for—or even think of—seconds in this house.