[Bleach] Minutes to Midnight 26

Points of Engagement

The quiet was soft and peaceful, the only noise in the room the soft breath of wind from beyond the open window and the sound of Ichigo’s steady breathing. He lay on his belly, head tucked on one arm and the other sprawled out carelessly, lightly dozing. The lean lines of his nude back were bared by a drooping sheet, which was pulled down to the base of his spine and covering the lower portions of his unclothed frame.

Beside him, Gin admired the view. Perched on his side, one elbow propping him up. He leaned over a few scant inches and pressed a light kiss to Ichigo’s shoulder. Warm flesh met his lips. The sleeping teen barely stirred.

A smile, that was far from his usual sarcastic smirk and filled with something a bit more fond instead, crossed his lips. Ichigo was cute when he slept, the frown lines erasing from his face and the furrows of a scowl leaving his forehead. He looked his age for once, the careless and fun-loving teenager he should have been.

Gin reached out with his free hand and gently danced his fingers along Ichigo’s spine. A twitch met his touch and he bent his lips towards Ichigo’s ear. His voice lowered to a sultry whisper.

“I got somethin’ for ya,” he purred, hoping to entice Ichigo into waking.

He had waited long enough after all. It was time he stopped procrastinating and followed through with his plans. He was sure of his feelings and was certain Ichigo felt the same. It was just a symbol anyways. Just a symbol.

He watched as Ichigo’s eyelids flickered and he murmured sleepily in the back of his throat. “Tired,” he breathed on the end of a sigh. “Later.”

Gin wasn’t really surprised; he had worn his lover out earlier. Both with sparring and with after-sparring exercise. But he wasn’t planning on continuing those activities, which was what Ichigo was expecting.

He chuckled softly. “Not that, Ichigo,” he replied, pressing another kiss to the tempting shoulder in front of him. “But just as good. Ya have ta wake up though.”

Shifting, and repressing a sigh, Ichigo peeled open his eyes slowly. Brown eyes focused on Gin’s face, which was both serious and yet, also smiling. An almost strange combination. Ichigo realized, then, that Gin was trying to tell him something.

Rolling over, he drew himself up into a sitting position, the sheets pooling around his waist. One hand rubbed over his face to help wake him up. “What is it, Gin?”

Pleased that he finally had the attention he had been seeking, Gin held up a finger for a moment and turned to lean over the bed. After digging around for a moment in the clutter they tended to shove beneath it, he pulled out a box. It was long, about the length of his forearm, and plainly wrapped, but the way he held it, Ichigo could tell it was important.

He held it out to Ichigo and watched as confusion filtered into his sleepy expression. Ichigo lifted a hand to take the offered gift, but before he could, Gin pulled it back. And then he couldn’t help but kiss Ichigo, drawn by the muddled look that was simply too cute. Ichigo pressed their lips together with a slow, but satisfying kiss. Yet, Gin was the first to draw away.

“I’m not sayin’ ya have to take it,” he explained softly. “I’m just makin’ the offer.”

“Okay,” Ichigo agreed, but he still wasn’t quite sure what was going on.

Gin watched him as he took the box, and wondered if the rapid beating of his heart was anticipation or maybe just an edge of trepidation.

He pulled off the thin outer layer to find a long box inside. Prying open the lid revealed something pale blue pooled in the bottom. Ichigo reached in and pulled out the item, letting fabric slip through his fingers.

It was a sash, Ichigo belatedly realized. One to replace the dark blue obi of neutrality he currently used. And it was in Gin’s color. He would basically be declaring just whom he belonged to in Hueco Mundo, not that everyone didn’t already know who held his heart.


A hint of anxiety filtered into Gin’s practically bubbling reaitsu. “I won’t be hurt if ya say no,” Gin told him quietly, though it was obvious his tone was filled with hope. “A man’s gotta have his pride ‘nd all. But just in case–”

Ichigo didn’t give him the chance to finish whatever he was going to say. He grabbed Gin’s chin with his free hand and pulled their mouths together, kissing him deeply. His tongue slipped past Gin’s lips to meet his own tongue, sliding together. He wasn’t so blind that he couldn’t recognize the gift for what it truly was.

Perhaps on some level, it might have represented a sort of possession, but Gin was a man after all. And they tended to jealousy guard what was theirs. Ichigo, however, knew that there was something deeper. A declaration of love.

No one else in Hueco Mundo wore Gin’s colors, no Arrancar. No Shinigami who had wandered to their side. Not even Izuru had been offered or accepted Gin’s colors just yet. It was as much Gin telling him he trusted him as it was that he loved him. And Ichigo couldn’t think of a gift more precious.

When the kiss ended, Ichigo had a smile to offer his lover. “The other one’s been getting a little frayed,” he said, rubbing a thumb over the satiny fabric. “Every since Stark snagged it on his blade.”

Gin lifted a brow, infinitely pleased. “Oh? Ya forced him to draw his zanpakutou again?”

The teenager nodded, but it was distracted as he lowered his hand and began to fiddle with the gift. “Yeah. He’s getting pretty annoyed by it.” He paused and reconsidered. “Well, as annoyed as Stark gets.”

“Righ’,” Gin responded, but it, too, was distracted. He looked down, finding that Ichigo was ever-so-carefully, winding the sash around his thin wrists. “Ichigo… what’re ya doin’?”

Brown eyes looked up to him as he paused, “Is this okay?” he asked. “I can stop if it bothers you.” Fingers were already reaching for the knot.

Gin shook his head, a leer replacing his grin of happiness. “Nah. I was just checkin’,” he answered, and leaned in for a kiss. But Ichigo fell back a space, a playful look on his face.

“Punishment,” he declared, tying the last knot with a light jerk. He leaned forward, just out of Gin’s reach. “For waking me up.”

And damn but Gin thought that a confident Ichigo was the sexiest thing in the world. He had the feeling it would be the most satisfactory punishment he had ever received.




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