A/N: Konnichiwa, minna! This was written for Veteran's Day but I wound up having to put it on the back burner for a little while because I was so heavily focused on The Demon King with Silva. We're almost done with that one, by the way. Fu fu fu. So, a little word of warning, there are some dark themes in this. Mention of PTSD, and it is HEAVILY D/s! Heh...if you guys didn't realize that from the title. Anyway, enjoy! Ja ne!


It began as a simple game, something he played with himself when he was alone and never spoken of out loud. He'd wrap the dog collar he found on the street, and cleaned meticulously, around his neck and pull it tight. Then hooking a finger in the D-ring, he'd pull on it as though his hand belonged to someone else. It was all he could do to keep himself from shooting off at first, but slowly, as he began to do his research in private, he began to deny himself that pleasure, because good boys didn't indulge until they were told they were allowed. And it made facing the horrors of his life that much easier.

He tried to be the strong, self-reliant man they wanted him to be, and he really did try to be aroused at the things that society said should arouse him. But, as with all things in his life, it didn't work like that. He was aroused by things that inflamed his cheeks and sent him watching over his shoulder, terrified that someone would walk in on him indulging and he'd get in trouble for it. It didn't matter that his father had never discouraged his exploration, or that the Goat Face had even sat down with him on multiple occasions to talk about how it didn't matter what he decided to do with his life, the retired military captain wouldn't judge him. His father loved him no matter what, but he just couldn't get it out of his head that he enjoyed things that he really shouldn't enjoy.

So, he kept his secret. Even after he graduated from high school and joined the same military where his father had been a part. Even when the way the instructors at Basic Training yelled made him have to suffer through obstacle courses with the worst set of blue balls he'd ever had in his life. Six weeks of training, and six weeks of denial. That first orgasm in that hotel room, his first weekend off base was like he'd never felt pleasure before. He didn't even breathe a word of it when he was sent out of the country to fight for the freedoms he used to enjoy his secret desires.

Coming home from that war had been the worst part. A stray round from an enemy insurgent hidden in a broken down hovel clipped him through the leg, shattering the bones, and rendering him unable to continue serving his country. It wasn't the loss of mobility he minded so much as with medical discharge he lost that structured order. Therapy went well though, and a year after he came home only those who knew he'd been injured could tell as his gait adjusted to the new twist of his foot. It was almost enough to wash away the discontent, but no Veteran's Hospital could erase the pit of need in his belly. Worse yet, on top of the lack of commands, now he had nightmares and flashbacks to deal with each night.

It was strongest when the house was quiet in the middle of the night. He tried headphones but the sense that he wouldn't be able to tell if someone was there made them uncomfortable. If he played music without them though, it bothered his housemates—a couple of high school buddies who were attending college in their home town and didn't want to live on campus. One was pre-med, one was graphic design with an emphasis on tattoos, and the third was undecided but dabbling in humanities, nursing, and, strangely enough, business management. He didn't quite get it but his large-framed best friend would do what he always did; follow his own path.

Unfortunately that left him rather lost while his three roommates were out at classes or social gatherings, which more and more he was feeling extremely uncomfortable attending. It wasn't that he was trying to be a shut-in, but putting himself out there, taking a chance at being rejected was difficult, even more so because of the way he tended to get jumpy around loud sounds and sudden changes. It made it extremely difficult for him to get close to anyone, let alone someone he could let in on his secret, and as sure as he grew more cautious about being out in social situations, the feeling grew that he needed to have someone he could not only trust with his secret, but would know how to exploit it in all the right ways.

It was building. His need. His desires. His secret. Now he had a collar bought brand new, cuffs that would hold him back if he wanted to, and things to clamp around his manhood to keep him from touching or playing or even climaxing, depending on the level of restraint he needed. It eased things a little, but that overwhelming lack of safety, the sense of not belonging, the purpose to his life was missing. Dating held no interest. The few times he tried he couldn't even keep his attention on the person, more guys than girls, but both held little appeal. Well, no, a few appealed to him, but once he started to get closer, he discovered that not a one of them had the kind of presence he craved. He had just made up his mind to give up on ever finding that person to thoroughly provide the remedy to his secret when the end of winter finals arrived, bringing jovial behavior from his roommates and an almost required night out at the boys' favored club, Soul Candy.

He stared up at the ceiling in exasperation, arms flung out to either side, legs shoulder-width apart, though his left foot turned inwards enough to be noticeable. Letting out an exasperated breath, he nearly jumped out of his skin when one of his roommates pounded on the door.

"Oi! Ichi! Ya almost ready?"

Renji. Loud, boisterous, happily committed, Renji. He'd almost spilled his secret to the vibrant redhead, but the night he had planned on it, the budding tattoo artist had brought home not one, but TWO ebony-haired beauties hanging on either arm. Apparently fraternal twins, and not above sharing the happily bisexual male who paraded them around the apartment like a pair of prized racehorses. Identical seductive arrogance in matching silver and violet, framed by porcelain skin and delicate, noble features? Oh, yeah, ungainly, sand-weathered, skinny Ichigo didn't stand a chance. So, he'd smiled and celebrated Renji's conquest with the rest of them.

He blinked slowly, taking the burning cigarette from his mouth. It had been hanging there for a while. He flicked the ash off into the empty soda can he used in lieu of a proper ashtray, tucked the butt back between his lips, and sat up with a grunt. Long night. Incredibly long night. The pounding was going to start up again if he didn't answer, so he just crossed to the door and pulled it open, exhaling slowly with a raised eyebrow. All he wore were a pair of tattered jeans, boxers peeking over the waistband of said jeans and his socks.

"Ah. Uh…y'know, ya don't hafta go if ya don't want ta." The redhead looked him up and down, noting that the muscle definition the orangette had come home from overseas with was gone. At least across his torso.

"Nah, I'm comin', jus' give me a min. I'll change. Sorry, was thinkin' 'bout Rukia and Bya. They gonna be there?" He took another slow drag on the cig, exhaling through his nose so as not to blow the smoke in his friend's face.

"Yeah, they're meetin' us. So's Hime an' Jackie." Renji scratched his head a little nervously.

Ichigo made an acknowledging noise in response. He'd dated Orihime for a while after coming home, but not only was she not in any way what he was looking for, the girl was rather needy and it was a bad time for him to have anyone depending on him. He'd been recovering from his injury, and suffering severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the girl had unfortunately taken the brunt of his adjustment phase head-on, certain she could power through it. She'd failed, horribly. To the point that she'd abruptly changed her major from nursing to teaching because she determined that if she couldn't find the patience to deal with Ichigo's mood swings and anti-social behavior, she didn't have the constitution to handle the type of patients that would throw things and actually try to harm themselves or others.

"Eh. Ruki said she's bringin' her new man though. So, we'll fin'lly get ta see who distracted her, ne?" The two regarded each other for a little while, and Renji fidgeted.

"Oh. Good." Ichigo's monotone was a bit unnerving.

He turned then, and shut his door to get dressed—a graphic tee that was a size too big, relaxed jeans that hid the way his left leg turned in, and a dark hoodie so he could blend into the corner of the bar and watch the crowd with eyes that were entirely too sharp and too old for a twenty-seven-year-old. Stepping into his supportive sneakers, he lit another cigarette and exited his room.

The others were waiting for him. Renji in cargo jeans, sneakers, and a dark red hoodie over a similar graphic tee. Chad in his signature Hawaiian/Mexican style, from floral print button-down shirt to the khaki pants to the pseudo-combat boots that replaced his typical sandals in the winter. Finally, Uryuu, looking haughty, though slightly less impatient now that Ichigo had returned, in smart dress jeans and button down shirt with a skinny tie. He had a jacket over his arm, and gave the orangette a once-over, as though assessing his outfit. He apparently passed because without a word the foursome exited the third floor apartment.

Down the stairs and out into cold that Ichigo absolutely refused to acknowledge freezing his bones. If he had to walk more slowly when the wind cut through his jeans to the jagged line of scar tissue down his thigh and calf, nobody commented on it; they just adjusted their pace to match his.

He was positively shivering by the time they reached the car, and completely missed the look the other three exchanged in his rush to dive into the shotgun seat of Renji's Mustang. Stupid, old car was the redhead's baby, but it got the crew from place to place. Ignore the facts that it guzzled gas like a drowning man, and couldn't heat for shit until they got to their destination. So, in spite of that, the orangette hunched around himself for warmth, and watched the city lights, the passing cars, the entire view outside the vehicle like he was a hawk, eyes tuned, ears perked, and nerves on edge, until the flashing lights of the club colored the street.

Renji parked, they checked in with Z and Nnoi, the bouncers, and headed to their customary table in the corner between the bar and the dance floor, on an elevated platform that had a solid, gold-painted, steel barrier between them and the crowd of undulating dancers. Ichigo picked it out for the vantage point he got from the corner seat. He gained a wall at his back, and could use most of the scenery in front of him as either a defensive position or a weapon. It was just one of those things that came home with him, and the group allowed him, his quirks.

Tonight, however, there was a problem.

Sajin, the crossbred guard dog, pushed his way through the people to glue himself to Ichigo's left side, like always, but the look the orangette received from his owner, the burly bartender, made him frown, even as he let his hand rest on the canine's watermelon-sized head. Following the flow of his group to the table, he watched everyone tense before he could see his usual seat.

"Ichi…" Renji started, as the veteran froze staring at the man that had the audacity to sit in his seat.

"Who is he?" He asked softly, using Sajin's ears to steady himself.

"I brought him, I hope you don't mind, Kurosaki-san." The pale-as-fuck, dark-haired man holding Orihime on his lap spoke just as softly as Ichigo.

The blue-haired new-comer had one large hand curled around a bottle of imported German beer, and the other lifted to pluck the cigarette from his lips. He held the inhale for a few moments as his cerulean, piercing gaze devoured the orangette as though he was a particularly tasty side of beef. Then he exhaled slowly through teeth that were entirely too sharp.

"Well, well, well, ya weren't kidding, Cif." His voice rumbled, and commanded Ichigo's attention. "He's delicious."

"Jag, I told you to proceed carefully with him." Ulquiorra frowned, and Orihime bit her lip, waiting for her ex-boyfriend's reaction.

The orangette took the final steps up to the large, blue-haired man and his usual spot. He couldn't help but inhale the combination of mint, body-spray, and cigarettes as he spoke in the same monotone. "That's my chair."

"Was it?" 'Jag' exhaled his drag straight into Ichigo's face. "Guess yer gonna have ta make me move…" Another drag. "If ya can, Strawberry."

Around them, the entire group went silent. A small twitch was all the indication that the veteran had even heard the newcomer. The girls clung to their men, and the men all held their breath. The tension climbed higher, thicker, and heavier. Then Ichigo turned away, grabbing another chair to pull it against the wall. It seemed the moment was over, but as soon as the others had gone on to drinking, dancing and celebrating the end of the semester, the blunette leaned over towards Ichigo, snagged the chair and pulled him closer.

Yet another cloud of cigarette smoke, that the orangette was sure was going straight to his head, accompanied the husky words, "So, how come none o' th' others c'n tell yer wearing a cock ring?"

He choked on his beer, and wide amber eyes flew to stare at the imposing other male. "Wh-what makes you think I'm wearing one?"

"Cuz," 'Jag' leaned in closer, breathing on Ichigo's neck. "I c'n see it." His lips were millimeters from the veteran's tanned skin. "It's in yer eyes." Kiss. "It's in yer skin." Lick. "An' I c'n see ya tryin' not ta submit ta me from here."

He tried to pull away, tried to fight it, but it was too strong. The scent, the sound, the feeling, everything; it blew away his concentration. That blissful state of non-thinking came over him, and he let his eyes close. A shiver ran down his spine, confirming what the blunette suspected about the fiery orange-haired man. Oh, yes, he could sense a needy sub from a mile away.

"Th' name's Grimmjow Jaegerjaques, but ya c'n call me 'Master', Kitten. Capice?" He rumbled in his prey's ear.

"Y-yes." Ichigo stammered.

That heavy hand that had been holding his foreign beer shot out and grabbed the orangette from his chair, forcing him to kneel on the floor. A shock of pain ran through him straight to his cock, making it strain between his jeans and the cock ring he was indeed wearing, and when he thought it could get no harder, that sinfully commanding voice rumbled above him.

"Yes what, pet?"

"Yes, Master." Wide, lust-filled eyes dare to look up at his Dominant.

The feral man chuckled with a smug smile, "Good, Kitten. Very good."

He was hauled up onto that lap, curled into the broad, insanely strong chest, and completely missed the look Grimmjow gave his companions, who were all exchanging muted congratulatory gestures. Chad collected a stack of bills from Uryuu. Byakuya and Ulquiorra sighed. Rukia and Orihime smiled and hugged each other, and Renji wiped his forehead, looking intensely relieved, absently scratching Sajin's ears.


A/N 2: If I get inspired or enough requests for it, I'll add smut in a second chapter, but I know how touchy D/s can be for people who don't live in the lifestyle. So, let me know, minna, if it's something you want me to write out, or if you want it left up to your imagination.