Ch. 3

Between tranquility and chaos

A few are those who understand the importance of peace; although everyone talks about it.

*Shirosaki's POV

The fire burned nicely in the fireplace as Kurosaki and I ate marshmallows and drank hot chocolate. Outside the snow was falling smoothly while the wind blew wildly making the windows shake sometimes. For a while I had been listening the wind wandering the woods; it somehow tickled my ears and I liked that feeling.

Ichigo was sitting on the sofa with a composed look on his face, his mocha eyes glowing as he watched the fire burn. Even though he seemed calm, his usual frown just wouldn't disappear. He took a sip of his hot chocolate, and then he finally noticed I was looking shamelessly at him, or should I say that I was staring at him.

But he didn't say anything. For some unknown reason he just stood there, on the brown sofa, and stared back at me. His eyes were expressionless as he studied me. For a second I had thought that he has gotten sick of me and he'd kick me out of his house, yet he did none of this. He just stood there thinking about things I did not know about.

In the end, he stretched his arms and his back as if he had been sleeping the entire time, then he stood up. In that whole time his gaze did not drop, not even for a second. Neither did mine. You could say that was our way to get to know each other, by analyzing the others reactions. This and the curiosity. I would be lying if I said I wasn't interested in the strawberry boy, mind you not that kind of curiosity.

Just I said before, a relationship between a human and a hybrid was something I've never heard of. We have our rules, as well. Just because I was homeless it didn't mean I knew no one of my kind. And if there was a rule one should obey no matter what, that was: "Do not fall for a human." It is the only rule I never broke. The rest of them were totally worthless. So pointless I don't even remember them.

"Shirosaki, I'm going to take a shower first." he announced and left the room without waiting for me to say anything. I shrugged and snuggled closer to the fire. It felt so warm and comfortable I would have taken a nap, but only one think stopped me from doing so.

If Ichigo was going to shower first, then, that meant I was the second. Holy Aizen, only you know how much I hate showers. I take them only occasionally because I can't stand water, but now…To even think two days ago I had my last one. Maybe I should just hide or run away. It's not too late.

Before I could even lift a finger, Ichigo was already downstairs, handing me a black towel. Forget about the towel he held in his hand. The dude was almost naked. It didn't take too long for me to notice his well-toned muscles, nor the water that was dripping from his hair, nor that sexy scowl of his while steam wrapped around him. Scratch that, I had greater problems to deal with. One of them was the stupid shower I had to take.

"Bathroom is downstairs. You take this towel and go. Don't worry, you'll find anything you need there, but if anything happens just shout and I'll come." Ichigo said seeing I wasn't reacting at all.

"Look, Ichi, I don' think I really wanna take a shower, yanno." I started looking away while scratching my head. He gave a suspicious look for a couple of moments. His mouth opened a few times, but closed the next second. I thought I couldn't stand it any longer and I was prepared to hide under the sofa or Aizen knows were, but then Ichigo let out a rather loud "Ahh" of realization.

"Don't tell me your afraid of water, Shirosaki." He blurted and I frowned. He was mocking me, wasn't he? "But water can't do any harm to you, you silly cat. I mean I take showers everyday and I am still alive, aren't I?" he added seeing I wasn't going to even move.

"Don' care 'bout ya, but I ain't takin' a shower. Now deal with it." I spat and crossed my arms. He should know that any argument will be won by me. However, he didn't seem to get it. Something in his brown pools shone, something more like excitement, dunno. But he just dropped the towel on the floor and the next second I was being lifted in the air and tossed on his shoulder.

No. This was NOT happening. What was he going to do? Drown me? Kick me out? Or even worse, wash me himself? I think I prefer the variants in which I'm drown or kicked out. But you know how bitchy life can get and sometimes, what you fear the most happens.

He carried me as if I was as light as a feather and when we reached the said bathroom he kicked the door with his foot to open it. The room was all steamy and smelled like shampoo. I could see myself in the mirror while he held me. Do I need to tell you that the bastard had a rather smooth skin despite his rough appearance?

Ichigo put me down, but his hands were holding my shoulders firmly, telling me not to move otherwise…who knows what the orangette would be capable of? Even so, no matter what, I wasn't going to comply.

It seemed that he figured it out as well. Now that I think about it I should have complied but, hey, I had my pride, yanno. The next thing I knew was that he took off my shirt unbelievably fast. He tossed it to the ground then he crashed his fingers as if he were preparing himself for a though battle. Well, be sure that would normally happen if you try to make me do thing I don't want to, but at that time, for some reason, I couldn't move. Maybe because the steamy atmosphere got me dizzy, or maybe because he looked so damn hot, I dunno why.

He took off my pants, and don't ask how cuz I don't even know. I can only remember the way he shoved me in the shower cabin then coming after me. Now really, did I smell that bad? But I didn't ask him.

"Hush, Shirosaki. There's nothing to be afraid of. I'm here so you can relax." He said softly behind me and turned on the water.

My first reaction was to jolt, of course, but he gently held my shoulders, caressing my skin. If I weren't that terrified of water I for sure had raped him there. It didn't take too long though, for me to get accustomed to the water. I dunno exactly why, but I think that the way Ichigo stroked my skin made me relax to the point I get over my natural fear. He proceeded and poured some shampoo in his palms.

It smelled spicy and manly and I liked that. He then started to rub my scalp. "I can do it by myself you know." Is what I wanted to say but didn't after I gave it a second thought. Being treated sure felt nice. After all it was the first time someone was being nice with me. I couldn't let something like that slip.

After he washed my hair he started to wash my back. His touch was so gently I thought I would melt right there. I was really lucky I wasn't facing him; otherwise I'm sure I would have attacked the poor teen.

"I think you can handle it from now on, Shiro. If anything happens just call me, ok. I'll wait for you in the hall." Ichigo said and left the shower, leaving me a bit disappointed. But oh well…you can't have everything you want. That's how life works. That stupid bitch.

*Ichigo's POV

His hair was silky. I ran my fingers through his bangs, through his locks. The foam matched so much his hair color I could hardly distinguish which one was his hair. After cleaning his hair I felt the urge to touch and play with his ears, yet I did not lay a finger on them. I did not dare to do so.

If I thought his hair was cute and stuff, I was to discover that his skin was the smoothest thing I'd ever touched. I took my time washing his back while he said nothing against it. Was he enjoying it or did he really feel awkward? I don't know. After I finished washing his back I rushed out of the shower. If I stayed any longer who knows what I might have done. Don't get the wrong idea. I am definitely not gay. Shirosaki is just a big sweet cat and when I see him all I want to do is hug the soul out of him. Ok, I was exaggerating. In reality I am just being curious, not gay.

My thoughts were interrupted when he got out of the shower with only a towel around his waist. I looked at him for a couple of moments then went upstairs to get him some clothes. He followed. After a little research I found a polka dotted pajama which Hichigo seemed to like.

"Ne, Ichi." He started and I turned to look at him. He was so cute in those blue pajamas! "Where am I going to sleep?" he asked and I paused for a moment to think. Really, where was I going to let him sleep?

"Well, you can sleep on the couch ooor…you can take the room next to mine. It is not occupied so…" I said analyzing the situation.

"Does tha' room have a fireplace or somethin'?" he asked scratching his chin. It did have a fireplace, but it would take some time for the room to warm up so it was out of question.

"Well, you see, it has but…you know, it will take a while until it warms up so…I don't think it's a good idea to sleep in there tonight." I confessed and he agreed.

"How 'bout I get ta sleep with ya?" the albino asked and I froze. S-s-sleep wi-with m-me? "Don' make such a scared face! It ain't like I'm gonna eat ya, yanno." he said in a mischievous voice and grinned like a beast.

"No way. You sleep on the couch and that's it. No buts!" I said firmly. Seriously what have gotten into me that night? Acting all nice and stuff? Was I an idiot or what?

He pouted, of course, and inside me I felt bad for treating him that way, but I couldn't help it. I was who I was, no human could change me, especially not a cat.

*Normal POV

Shirosaki left the teen's company without complaining and deep inside him Ichigo felt bad for letting him go like that. It wasn't Shiro's fault for his crappy past, but he couldn't help it. He wasn't used to actually live with someone. Of course, once in a while his aunt showed up and stayed over for a couple of nights but that was something else. Shirosaki was not his aunt, moreover he was a complete stranger. Yet he allowed him to live with him.

Ichigo shook his head in disapproval and let himself slip under the warm blanket. He lyed on his back feeling the soft bed engulf him sweetly. His head turned to the window and his cocoa eyes looked through the window sleeply. He had no idea what he was going to do with Shirosaki, or why he actually accepted that guy's company.

Was it just because he felt indebted to him or what? Just before he fell asleep he thought that he might have seen in that hybrid something familiar. That they were somehow alike. But he didn't really catch that thought. Then he fell asleep.

*Shirosaki's POV

I don't know what time was when it happened. All I know is that it was still dark and it was past twelve when I heard it. At first, being still asleep, I didn't really pay attention to it. I thought I was imagining things. Or to be more honest I didn't think at all. But then I heard him scream again and that was when I woke up, my senses in alert.

I gazed around checking my surroundings. The living room was peaceful and the fire still burned in the fireplace, smaller than it did a couple of hours ago. Then I realized. The screams were coming from the first floor, meaning Ichigo's room. There was no time for thinking. I run like I never did before and the next second the teen's door flew open.

I searched around for an eventual attacker but all I could see was Ichigo who was screaming in his sleep. I jumped in his bed, on top of him and thinking to wake him up. But then I froze. In the moonlight that broke through the window I could see his beautiful face now distorted in pain while silver tears ran down his cheeks. He seemed so fragile, I cound wrap my head around it. All I could do was to sit next to him and wrap my arms around his body, to whisper in his ear that everything will be alright.

And it worked. After a few minutes he stopped crying and so did his desperate screams and he fell asleep, in my arms. I hugged him even more tightly, pressing my body against his, sharing my warmth with him. His breath was steady and his heart was beating calmly. Charmed by his smell, by his breath, by his heartbeat, by the way his skin felt under mine, that's the way I fell in the most peaceful sleep ever.