Shay Sheridan

Fandom: Bleach, a strange, cracked-out anime about adolescents with unusual powers.
Written for the "Seven Deadly Sins" Challenge on Ishi_Ichi


Kurosaki Ichigo has a miserable disposition, ridiculous hair, a cavalier attitude about promptness and a tendency to get into pointless fights on a regular basis. He has two irritating little sisters and an embarrassment of a father who should probably be locked up for child abuse. Kurosaki Ichigo can't remember names or faces and displays the attention span of a gnat. He has the taste in clothing of a color-blind clown; his taste in music would lead one to think he is tone deaf. Kurosaki Ichigo stands for everything Ishida hates.

He is also – incredibly, in Ishida's opinion -- extremely popular at school, always the center of a crowd, and constantly drawing people to him, both male and female, despite his frowns and obnoxious personality and total lack of social skills. If you consider all Kurosaki's obvious flaws he should be detested, not liked.

Ishida Uryuu considers the flaws, and can't figure out why Kurosaki is so popular.

More appallingly, he desperately envies Kurosaki's popularity. He'd rather be shot with his own arrows than admit it, though.

Possibly Kurosaki has….charisma, though Ishida scoffs at the very idea of a "charismatic personality." It's stupid and pointless to be popular, not to mention distracting and complicating, particularly when your life has been laid out for you from birth, as Ishida's own has been. Yet secretly he wishes he, too, had charisma, because truthfully it wouldn't suck to have more friends than he actually does, which at latest count hovers around zero, not counting a couple of younger girls in the Handicrafts Club who only like him for what he can do for them, and not for who he is.

Ishida hates Kurosaki with his entire being.

Ishida wishes Kurosaki liked him.


The asshole challenged him!

Challenged him!

That stupid, boring, squinty-eyed, skinny, annoying, geeky, fruity, stupid –did he say stupid? -- freak challenged him, him! -- a, a, an actual shinigami, who could kill him with one stroke -- the geeky, gay, coldhearted son of a bitch -- okay, so he doesn't know for a fact if Ishida's gay, but he seems gay, whatever—the whatever-he-is had the nerve to challenge him to a contest? A freaking stupid contest – did he mention stupid? because it is stupid to do what that Quincy did, which is to dream up a stupid contest to kill hollows! And the idiot didn't figure out that it was a moronic, totally stupid, incredibly dangerous idea, one that could have gotten them all killed? Is the stupid freak totally stupidly insane?????!!!!

Okay, fine, Ichigo allows, frowning. It ended up okay, but what the hell was Ishida thinking?

Kurosaki Ichigo, I detest you, that's what he was thinking.

Yeah, well who cares? So he's got an enemy, so what? Two can play that game! If Ishida comes near him again, he'll…he'll…

Ichigo lies in his bed in the dark, heart thudding with anger and leftover adrenaline. Geek. Fruit. Freakazoid. Moron. Idiot – aahhh, there are way too many words to describe that dude Ishida, and each and every one of them is true. Creepy. Boring. Weird. Reckless. Stubborn. Pretentious. Dangerous. Brave—

He freezes. Brave. Where did that one come from?

Okay, sure. Ishida may be brave, in a stupid kind of way. Like if he hadn't set up the whole damn thing in the first place, he wouldn't have had to be brave, would he? He wouldn't have had to whip out that weird-ass bow and arrow and shoot all those hollows so fast, and so accurately, and so incredibly well, and so many that his fingers bled—

Yeah, sure, Ichigo admits, trying to ignore the cold sweat that's broken out on his forehead, maybe the guy is kinda brilliant with the weapon, fine, and he did sorta save Ichigo's life at the end there, and never missed, not once, and almost killed himself doing it. And watching Ishida fire bolt after bolt with his hands bleeding and his face so, so…indescribable – it was like their power, his own and Ishida's, were flowing together, and it gave Ichigo a rush the likes of which he'd never felt before, like an electric zap directly to the…to the…

Ichigo claps both hands over his eyes and rubs, trying to scrub the image from his brain. No, no. Not good, he tells himself. Do not think about that, about how when you watched the light form into arrows and strike right between the eyes of the hollows your gut tightened and your…you know, down there…started to—

"Aaaauugghh!" He rolls over and presses his face into the bed.

"Ichigo?" The voice from the closet is followed by a sharp tap. "You okay out there?"

"Yeah, fine, shut up and go to sleep," he growls. Great. Now Rukia knows something's up. Something's "up!" Aggghhh! He groans, muffling it in the sheets. Bad enough he has a girl living in his closet so he can't get any privacy at all, and hasn't been able to touch himself …you know, down there…in weeks, but now he has this creep, this demon archer freak inside his brain torturing him from the inside out.

I hate him! Ichigo yells…inside his head.

But man – the way the guy looked with that bow and arrow, so different from the geeky nobody he is at school—

Ichigo feels a surge of energy…down there… and groans again. He tries not to think of it. When that doesn't work, he tries to think about Orihime's breasts, which are, let's face it, hard to ignore.

Nope. No use.


...Maybe tomorrow he'll invite the asshole to lunch.


By the Quincy pride…

He's said it so many times, sworn it. It's the first thing he thinks in the morning, the last prayer he utters at night. It's been drilled into him by his grandfather until it's inseparable from bone, muscle, sinew. Ishida has come to believe he is the embodiment of Quincy pride, the culmination of everything his people have ever believed in and vowed to do. In times of distress and danger the pride of the Quincy has been his strength and his salvation.

Now he wonders if perhaps it is possible to have too much pride. Perhaps, if he had less pride, he would unbend a little. Perhaps he would not stand here so silently, spine stiff, eyes hidden by lenses. Perhaps his hands would unclench from the back of the chair and reach out to touch the orange hair less than a foot from him, or even stroke the angry face of his antagonist. Perhaps, if his pride did not get in the way, he would no longer respond to the blatantly provocative words with insults of his own, but instead would kneel before Kurosaki Ichigo and let his arms wrap around his waist, and press his face against the other boy's stomach and not speak words at all, but let his actions do the talking. If his pride were not so great, he might give voice at last to his desires; he might ask Ichigo if he has desires, too. Ishida might risk embarrassment, ridicule, scorn, or -- possibly worse – Kurosaki's acceptance, if the pride of the Quincy had not made him who and what he is.

But he has pride, and his pride won't let him do these things. He wonders, with despair, if he had no Quincy pride, would there be anything left of Ishida Uryuu at all.


They sit side by side on Ishida's sofa in his sterile living room, not touching, not even close to touching. It's been a stressful and dangerous day. They've argued about their skills and techniques. They've tried to lay out rules of engagement for the future. They've dressed each other's injuries. They've had soft drinks and eaten junk food. There isn't even a television in the room.

They are silent. They've run out of everything – food, drink, words. They've even run out of insults.

With nothing left to occupy his hands, mind or stomach, Ichigo is thinking things he's never allowed himself to think before; he's feeling things with his adolescent body that terrify him by their intensity.

Ishida is slowly unwinding bandages from his now-cured hands. The white of Ishida's bandages match the white clothes, white couch, white walls, white rice-paper window screens. There's no color in the apartment except Ichigo himself and the blue of Ishida's eyes, and they are lowered at the moment.

Ichigo watches the pale face hidden behind black, sleek hair, the long-fingered, talented hands, the narrow body within the white-as-snow clothing, and wants it. All of it.

He feels a burning compulsion to claim Ishida for his own, even though he can't stand him most of the time. That doesn't matter. He wants the icy white coldness to melt against his own burning heat, wants to see the hidden eyes open wide with surprise; wants to see them close again in desire. Wants the chilly voice to steam with passion, and the snotty words to fall to wordless groans. Wants to be the one to shake the Quincy's composure. Wants to conquer him. Wants his power. Wants his skill. Wants his control. Wants his breath. Wants his hands clenching his shoulders. Wants to bury himself inside. Wants to feel the bolt of lightning inside himself.

Ichigo is afraid, so very afraid of what he wants, but he can't stand it any more. He's too greedy to wait.

Ichigo's greedy hands reach out and take.


Ichigo is moving and Ishida has expected it, has wanted it, in fact has wanted it longer than he can remember, maybe from the first time he saw Ichigo destroy a hollow, maybe from the first time he saw him at school. But there's such a vast difference between wanting Ichigo in the abstract and having Ichigo actually make the first move right here, on Ishida's sofa, in his own living room, that when it happens, it's not at all what he thought it would be. He thought they'd touch tentatively, casually, as if it were in error. Maybe they'd laugh, or treat it like a joke, or a one-time-only "have you ever tried" kind of thing.

That's not so much what happens. Not remotely, actually.

The thing he's most shocked by is his own reaction. It's as if that first touch slides back a screen that has until now shielded Ishida from the world; one touch from Ichigo's hand and Ishida cries out and falls forward as if released from bonds, latching onto Ichigo's shoulders and pressing him backwards, forcing him bodily onto the sofa with Ishida on top.

Ichigo snarls and struggles, tries to push him off, but Ishida will not be stopped. That touch has sent a fire raging through his body, as if the spiritual energy that creates his weapons were turned inward to consume him in white hot flames. Something has opened in him, or broken, or healed; he can't tell which and wouldn't stop to try even if he were aware of the thought.

But he's not aware, not of anything but the feel of Ichigo under him, the taut muscles playing against his own, the strange silk-yet-wire texture of the orange hair he clutches, the raspy argumentative voice protesting in his ear, the hard fingers belying the protests by grasping him tightly about the waist and holding him in place, seeking control.

Ishida lets himself be held, lets Ichigo do what he will, lets himself leap without a net, lets lust have the upper hand, lets fire consume him utterly.


Want touch smell stroke feel push rush shove fight demand want move lean lick taste savor press kiss taste drool slurp sweat sniff smell relish learn reach grab pull hold rub rub want take give kiss suck suck unbutton rush rush moan pull rip rend tear shove slide leap grip grope moan fall kneel touch move mouth kiss lick taste open gag try choke slurp stroke suck suck suck swallow swallow swallow

More more more more more more more

Slide fall leap shove push pounce wrestle fight fight demand grab grab grab want want want want want insist plead yield give give open push hurt feel hurt thrust hurt thrust enjoy demand take take take take take consume devour gorge come pant pant breathe

repeat repeat repeat repeat


Ichigo yawns. His limbs feel heavy, his body feels beaten up, his skin is clammy, his stomach is sticky and there's an unpleasant wet spot somewhere under his hip. There's a really funky smell in the air, too, sorta familiar, sorta not. Interesting, though. He takes a deep breath and parts of him get twitchy, in a good way.

Ichigo tries to stretch, but his left arm bumps into something that protests and shoves an elbow, really hard, into Ichigo's ribs. He opens his eyes to see what exactly it is, and encounters black hair hanging over him, framing a cranky face with squinty ice-blue eyes.

"Quit shoving me," the cranky mouth says. And then the cranky face moves and soft black hair settles back down on Ichigo's chest and warm breath puffs out against his neck and a wiry arm snakes around him and pulls tight.

Ichigo blinks into the dusk at the unfamiliar surroundings, and sensations, gets his bearings, and closes his eyes again with a sigh of contentment.


They really should get up and go save the world.

Screw that.

They will. In a little bit.

But not quite yet.

redchance @
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