I seem to be quite into angsty stories, so...despite setting up a fluffy, seemingly perfect world for Renji and Ichigo in "Stressful Situation", "Out of Sight", and "Between a rock and a hard place", I decided that it's time for them to face reality.

If you've read the stories I just listed, you'd know that even though they have a sweet and loving relationship, they're hiding it from their friends.

And what happens when you try to hide?

"Shhh..." Renji murmured, pressing his lips firmly on Ichigo's to muffle the boy's moans. It was amusing how vocal Ichigo was, but it was the also main reason why it was so difficult to find a place where they could make out in peace without having to worry about being overheard.

Ichigo's eyes watered as he clenched his jaw in a supreme effort to silence himself, but it was a losing battle. His body rocked in time with Renji's gentle thrusts, and he just couldn't help making noises as wave after wave of pleasure swept over him. It was like trying not to scream during a roller coaster ride—you could try to hold it in, but in the end, at the final plunge, you would still squeal, or at least gasp at the frightening sensation of a free fall. And for Ichigo, every thrust was like the final plunge, and for the life of him, he simply could not shut up.

When another loud groan escaped Ichigo's lips, Renji couldn't help laughing. He was already being extra gentle, hoping that the slower pace would give Ichigo more control over his body, but it was not to be. For a fleeting moment, he entertained the thought of covering Ichigo's mouth with a pillow or something of that sort, but it seemed...wrong.

It was times like this that he wished that they didn't have to hide from people. At least if their relationship was known, people would be more likely to keep a polite distance when they sensed that they were in the middle of such...healthy activities. But Ichigo had stubbornly refused to tell anyone, not even Rukia. Renji wasn't entirely sure if it had to do with the boy trying to keep up his "cool" reputation, or if he was simply too embarrassed to show his sentimental side. Either way, Renji respected Ichigo's decision, but that didn't mean that he had to like it.

"Renji..." Ichigo's breathless call shook Renji out of his brief distraction.

"Hmm?" Renji bent down and rested his forehead on Ichigo's. His long red hair immediately swept down like a curtain, covering both their faces. He really didn't need to hear Ichigo's reply to know what the boy wanted to say, but he loved to hear it from Ichigo's lips, so he asked anyway.

Ichigo made a soft noise that sounded almost like a whimper before whispering, "I'm gonna..."

Renji chuckled and watched the boy's face flush a delicate pink. "You're gonna what?" Renji asked in a low whisper, brushing his lips along Ichigo's jawline.

"I'm..." Ichigo gasped, eyes wide and glassy. As Renji rolled his hips in another well-placed thrust, the boy arched his back and whispered urgently, "I'm gonna come..."

Ichigo's words gave Renji the little push he needed, and with a hoarse cry, the redhead gave one last snap of his hips and stiffened, spilling himself inside his lover.

"Fuck," Ichigo swore as sudden warmth flooded his insides, then he, too, lost himself in a rush of intense pleasure that left him panting for breath.

Arms trembling from supporting his body weight for so long, Renji rolled off Ichigo's body and collapsed onto his back next to the boy. Rolling his eyes, Renji said in a teasing but tired voice, "That last one sounded so romantic."

Ichigo snorted and elbowed the redhead in the ribs. "I don't do romantic." Still, he blushed anyway.

"Mm hmm," Renji mumbled sleepily. Eyes sliding close, he draped his arm over Ichigo's waist and tugged the boy closer to him. Just as he began to drift off, he muttered something under his breath, so softly that it was barely audible.

Ichigo waited until Renji's breathing tapered off into a slow, steady rhythm before whispering, "Love you too."

They weren't so lucky the next time they slid under Ichigo's covers.

Renji had just become fully erect and was in the middle of positioning himself between Ichigo's knees when the front door of the clinic slammed. It was immediately followed by Rukia's voice announcing her return.

Ichigo reacted so quickly that he didn't even warn Renji. Snapping his knees together, he leapt off the bed and immediately began to pull on his pants. It took him a few seconds to realize that Renji wasn't doing the same thing next to him like he usually did. He turned towards the bed.

Renji was curled up in a fetal position on the bed, his hands covering his crotch and jaw tightly clenched, but even so, low moans of pain could be heard.

Ichigo forgot about his clothes and rushed to the redhead. "What happened?"

"You idiot..." Renji hissed through gritted teeth as he glared at Ichigo. "You fucking kneed me right in the groin!"

Ichigo gasped in dismay and gripped his friend's arm. "I'm so sorry!" he whispered urgently. He ran his palm along Renji's shoulder and bicep to comfort the man, but his eyes kept darting to door, fretting that Rukia would be here any minute. He was frantic, torn between taking care of Renji and handling Rukia's arrival.

Just as he feared, Rukia flung the door open as soon as she arrived at Ichigo's room, just like she usually did, and he was so panicked that it didn't even cross his mind that he could've simply yelled for her to give him a few minutes before coming in.

"Huh," Rukia said, looking around the room as she walked in. "I could've sworn I felt Renji's reiatsu here. Did he stop by?"

It was only then did Ichigo notice that the redhead was no longer lying on his bed. Feeling confused and guilty, he stared blankly at his palm, the one which had just been caressing Renji's arm. He had been so distracted by Rukia that he didn't even notice that Renji had left. And Renji was in pain too...

"Something wrong?" Rukia asked, puzzled by Ichigo's odd expression.

Ichigo looked up with a start. "No," he lied, hoping that he looked convincing. "Everything's fine."

To be continued...

I'm busy the entire day tomorrow, but I'll update this weekend! Love you all! :)