Ichigo yawned as yet another day came to an end. He had been walking for about an hour. It was a really annoying way to travel, but he liked the fresh air and didn't mind the exercise.

Anyways, Ichigo was a reporter. That meant four days of typing and one day of researching each week. He didn't mind his job, really, it's just... his boss could get a little demanding sometimes. That's why Ichigo usually worked at home.

In fact, that was where he was headed right now; home. He brought his work home this afternoon in order to touch it up and have it ready for tomorrow's deadline. His laptop was really heavy, especially after carrying it for three hours, but until he could afford a new one, this was what he was stuck with.

Just as Ichigo round the corner, he got a very peculiar feeling. Ichigo paused in his marching when, what only could be described as, an ice cold chill shot up his body. He slowly turned to his right and observed the dark alley way in a trace like state. He brushed his hair away from his eyes and entered the narrow lane with caution.

The darkness swallowed him. Ichigo was thankful for the dim light shining in from above otherwise he wouldn't have been able to see at all.

Taking another step, Ichigo nearly jumped out of his skin when he heard a groan. Ichigo once again whipped around to his right and was forced into squinting to see the other person within the alley.

Ichigo could see the vague outline of something avocado in color beginning to stir. He watched, curiously, as the figure seemed to stretch its limbs, and he chuckled when he could hear a soft sneeze.

His chuckle echoed through the alley increasing its eeriness from none to a thousand. The figure yelped and the blanket rolled off revealing nothing more than a set of glowing gold eyes. Ichigo gasped and backed away, fear marking every area across his body.

But the eyes merely blinked before imitating Ichigo's exact expression. The figure jumped up and backed towards the corner created by the dumpster and the building.

Ichigo looked into the stranger's eyes and all he could see was fear. His natural instincts took over and the orangette reached out a gentile hand. The stranger's eyes remained fixed on the hand and the fear on his face grew with every second.

"It's okay."

The stranger jumped at Ichigo's voice but seemed more comfortable than before.

"You're safe now. It's okay."

The stranger slowly lifted his hand. Ichigo took a step forward and immediately the stranger dropped it.

Ichigo gave his best smile and brought his hand only slightly closer to the other's. He spoke with a gentle voice, "I promise. I won't hurt you."

The stranger blinked as if he didn't understand the language, but understood Ichigo's words. He lifted his hand in a slow, yet oddly graceful manner and Ichigo noticed that it shone a bright white while it was in the light. The albino let his hand hover in the air just a few centimetres away from Ichigo's fingers. Then he timidly touched Ichigo's fingertip, gradually connecting their hands more and more.

Ichigo's fingers were rough and rather thick, and seemed to be the exact opposite of the stranger's. The albino's fingers were thin, but moisturized and soft, a touch that Ichigo very much enjoyed.

Ichigo felt a sense of peace, one that normally came when you play with a younger child. He could see the curiosity clearly written across the stranger's face as their hands were slowly brought together. Then suddenly the stranger's eyes snapped up to meet Ichigo's and his grip turned almost deathly. Ichigo's first instinct was to escape and run, but he found his body unable to move when he looked into fear filled gold on black eyes.

The stranger jumped into Ichigo's arms and Ichigo caught him almost immediately. His hand came up and his fingers ran themselves through the stranger's hair. The albino relaxed, but only slightly, his eyes closing as he clung to Ichigo for dear life.

"It's all right," Ichigo found himself saying. "I'm here now, you don't need to be afraid."

The shaking slowed and the stranger's body became limp. He fainted and collapsed against Ichigo, much to the teenager's surprise. Ichigo caught the stranger and lifted him into his arms. Then, for the first time in twenty minutes, realised the albino was naked.

"He hasn't spoken a word."

Ichigo looked to the entrance of the alley where the outline of an old woman stood. "Excuse me?" he asked.

"He's been there for 'bout a week. Hasn't eaten any o' the food I bring. He just sits there, scared and hidden beneath the blanket."

Ichigo looked down to the albino's face. There was no fear, just peace as he slept in his arms.

"Many have tried, by none could make 'im move. None until you."

Ichigo looked back to woman. "Me?"

The woman nodded and slowly began to make her way into the alley. "He 'peared about a week ago. I heard a crash, came out an' found him curled up in a blanket. I tried to get 'im tah come inside. I live just across the road, you see? But he wouldn't so much as blink."

"A week..." Ichigo repeated softly.

The woman nodded. She reached out to touch the stranger's head, but he flinched away. "He hates it when anyone touches 'im. But he seems to like you."

Ichigo nodded and focused his vision back on the albino's face. He rolled further into Ichigo's arms, collecting a handful of Ichigo's shirt and pulling it towards his nose.

"Tell ya what. I'll give you some money an' some food if ya take 'im home with you."

Ichigo nodded and quickly found himself smiling. "That'd be great, thank you very much!"

The woman nodded and did a waddle-walk back towards her house. Ichigo followed and about ten minutes later found himself marching through the streets with a back pack filled with canned soup, a wallet filled with two hundred dollars and a blanket wrapped albino resting in his hands. He figured the extra weight should've killed him, but in an odd way the albino seemed to boost his strength.

Entering his house was slightly difficult. It was slightly, not because of opening the door, but because of fitting through the door. It was a narrow passageway, Ichigo knew it needed to be fixed but he simply didn't have the money.

Ichigo Kurosaki lived on the outskirts of Karakura town. It was a small village, one of the only remaining, in the warm valleys of Japan. He lived alone in a small house, but it was cozy and empty, just the way he liked it.

Ichigo entered his bedroom and placed the sleeping stranger onto the bed. He gently ran his hand across the albino's forehead before standing and turning to walk away. Ichigo was quickly proved incapable of doing much more because the stranger refused to let go of his hand.

"I've got work, so I'm gonna need that." Ichigo said, his voice just on the edge of a whisper.

The stranger refused to give up Ichigo's hand and the teenager sighed.

"Alright, have it your way!" Ichigo kicked off his socks then, with slight hesitation and much difficulty, removed his jeans and slipped in bed. He pulled the covers up over both his head and the albino's before shifting into a comfortable position.

Sleep came easy that night.