They are fighting again. Over something stupid this time, she’s sure. Rukia has yet to see them have an actual, heated argument over a topic of any worth. Even when it comes to her, it’s always something silly.
Rukia sighs and flips a page in her magazine, pretending not to notice as Ichigo slams a fist into Renji’s gut. There’s a startled whoosh of air before the redhead recovers, tackling Ichigo across the room. The outright thud nearly tips over her drink, but she’s been through this before. Her hand has already moved to steady it.
The apartment really is too small for this, the three of them. Together in the unconventional way that they are. Rukia can’t help but wonder if it’s even possible for them to remain this way. Relationships are hard enough for two people, but to add a third to the mix? Especially those two?
Can it work?
She thinks of the world. The natural order of things is to exist in pairs. Mating couples. Man and woman. Black and white. Opposing colors. Love and hate. Sword and sheath. Bow and arrow. Zanpakutou and Shinigami. Peace and war. And so many others. There’s little room for a third equal party.
Rukia takes a sip of her drink, glancing at her boys. Ichigo has Renji in a headlock, but Renji’s got a good grip on Ichigo’s hair. It’s how they show their love or something. At least, that’s what Orihime claims. Sometimes, she wonders how she fits in that. The bond between men is different than that between a man and a woman.
She knows that they love her in their own way, and she loves them as well. Rukia can’t imagine her life without either of them in it. Ichigo and Renji have become so ingrained in her existence, she can’t tell where she ends and they begin. It’s almost scary how much she needs them.
Is she the only one who worries? Who thinks about the future?
Rukia doesn’t know. Ichigo and Renji don’t seem the type to be concerned about this sort of thing. But Rukia wonders all the time.
Can anything exist as a trio? As three instead of two?
She tries to think of something, anything that could be taken that way. Something that is essential as three.
The leaves of clover. The Holy trinity, like she’d read about from the living world. Sea, earth, and sky. The sides and angles of a triangle. The sun, moon, and stars. The primary colors: blue, red, and yellow. The amount of books in a trilogy. Rock, paper, scissors. Shinigami, Hollow, and human… Except Ichigo happens to be all of the above.
But are they enough?
The sound of scuffling stops, and Rukia peers over the edge of her magazine. Ichigo has Renji pinned, both hands locked around the redhead’s wrists. He’s sealed his mouth over Renji’s, one emotion exchanged for the other. Her boys are beautiful together, as much as they are separate. She can’t help but watch, all interest in the glossy pages lost.
Renji is reckless heat, barely restrained. He is rougher with Ichigo than he is with her, wrestling around with hungry abandon. His holds are stronger, kisses more bruising. But he is always gentle with Rukia, as if touching something he can’t believe he has finally gained.
Ichigo is the tie that binds them. He can return Renji’s ferocity with equal fervor and smack some sense into him when necessary. He doesn’t let Renji sulk. He is passion, warm and soft, like a blanket wrapping around them. He wears his emotions on his sleeves, and sometimes, he clings to Rukia like someone desperately seeking safety in a storm.
Renji has more experience, but Ichigo is a quick learner. And Rukia is the mastermind of them both, loving to watch them together as much as she enjoys being with them herself.
They need her, and she needs them. If someone asks, not that anyone would dare, that’s what Rukia would say.
They all have their connections with each other, and that makes Rukia wonder how they haven’t gotten sick of one another yet. How jealousy hasn’t completely made its home and driven them apart. Renji and Ichigo can be rough together. They fight and spar all the time, cutting loose where they wouldn’t dare with her. She just can’t keep up to their desire to get stronger. There is the added benefit of a rivalry, a connection that doesn’t match up to what she shares with them.
And Renji and Rukia have their past, their lives together in Rukongai. They share their lives as Shinigami and see each other more as a result. She wonders if Ichigo ever feels lonely in the living world as a result of that.
But then, Rukia’s been assigned to Karakura, and she spends a lot of her time there. With Ichigo. Renji’s visits are limited to when he is allowed leave to come be with them or the times when Ichigo can escape from school to come to Seireitei.
They are there for each other. Always. In June when Ichigo slips into a melancholy that hasn’t eased despite the passing years. In sorrow when any random thing reminds Rukia of Kaien and her failures. In anger when Renji despises himself for not yet meeting his goals.
She wants so desperately for it to last.
Ichigo lets out a gasp as Renji bends his knee, grinding it against his covered arousal. The substitute growls low in his throat, a smirk stealing across his lips before he drops his mouth to Renji’s throat, teeth scraping across the darker skin. He laps his tongue over a tattoo and makes Renji groan.
Rukia’s belly tightens, and her cheeks heat. She doesn’t want to be just a casual observer. She wants to join them.
She sets aside her magazine, careful to mark the page, and stealthily crawls over the floor. Neither seems to notice her approach until her hand creeps up Renji’s shirt, palming heated flesh. He groans, and his eyes open, her name falling from his lips.
Ichigo looks at her, heat in his eyes. “Finally decided to join us?” he says, voice a low growl that shoots straight through her and pools in her belly.
“Oh? Was that show for me?” Rukia returns, arranging herself and busily pushing Ichigo aside with a playful nudge of her side. She grins cheekily and insinuates herself partially in the way, lowering her head to steal Renji’s lips from Ichigo’s reach.
Ichigo wisely releases one of Renji’s hands, and it rises to tangle in her hair, helping him to deepen the kiss. She sighs into his mouth, their tongues dueling as he tastes of a mixture of himself and Ichigo. Beside her, Ichigo mutters something, and she hears him moving, the floor creaking as he shifts his weight. And then Renji moans, the sound vibrating into their kiss.
She sneaks a peek and sees the reason behind the noise. Ichigo has taken it upon himself to divest Renji of his borrowed pants and has licked a long, wet line across the redhead’s arousal. Rukia shivers herself, knowing the talent of that tongue and then pushes her palm further up Renji’s belly, admiring with her fingers the firmness of his muscles.
It’s always a confusion of limbs, she reflects briefly. These encounters between the three of them, because they rarely – if ever – commit anything without all three members present. She’s gotten to the point now where she can tell one touch from another, but in the beginning, she remembers being overwhelmed by sensation.
Fingers tickle up the back of her leg, and she knows it has to be Ichigo as he slips under her skirt and under the hem of her panties. She unconsciously shifts position, spreading her legs to make it easier and fumbling with one hand to undo a small button and help him remove both. They slide off her hips and legs with relative ease, joining the strange puddle of mismatched clothes on the floor.
She glances over her shoulder, and her stomach leaps into her throat at the sight of Ichigo’s mouth on Renji, something that never fails to arouse her. And then, his fingers are back on her, teasing at her folds and pressing inside, making her moan. One of her hands clench against the floorboard as she dots kisses along Renji’s throat, one of the redhead’s hands creeping under her own shirt. His palm is hot and heavy against her, even more so as it moves upwards and cups her breast in its lacy confines.
Rukia’s hips take up a soft rhythm as Ichigo’s fingers move inside her until he suddenly removes them, and she hears the sound of plastic crinkling. The sound is easily identified, and the heat racing through her body centers and pools in her groin. Renji groans too as she catches a glimpse of Ichigo rolling the condom over him.
Ichigo moves forward and grabs her hips, gently guiding her over Renji. His hands glide down her sides, teasing touches as she lowers herself, sucking in a breath as the lieutenant slides inside of her. Renji lets out a low groan of want, his fingers clamping down on her hips as he struggles not to move too quickly. She can feel Ichigo behind her, his lips on the side of her throat as his hands move to the buttons of her blouse.
Even without seeing them, Ichigo undoes them quickly, pulling off the shirt and tossing it to the side. His fingers make even quicker work of her bra, and as he presses his chest against her back, she feels his own arousal nudge against her buttocks, insistent and wanting. He mutters something into the crook of her neck, his hands cupping her, fingers tugging and playing with her nipples.
Rukia can’t help but surrender to the dual sensations of her lovers touching her, hips moving restlessly atop Renji. He finally realizes it’s alright to move and slowly thrusts into her, a slick slide in and out that rattles through Rukia’s entire body. Frankly, she’s surprised Ichigo has held back this long, obviously the maestro for the night. On another evening, it might be her. Or another, it could be Renji. They never really know, and maybe it’s that spontaneity that makes it so damn erotic.
She is a force in motion, her body rising and swelling between them. And then suddenly Ichigo is gone, warmth missing from her back. Rukia is given no time to complain about the loss before Renji surges upwards, picking her up as if she weighs nothing and changing positions. She finds her back on the floor, comfortable amidst a hefty pile of clothing rather than bare wood.
He growls low in his throat, but his returning thrust into her is careful and restrained. Renji’s mouth covers hers hungrily, tongue seeking hers, and she is eager to reply. They speak here without words, the only sounds to fill the room that of their staggered breathing, skin sliding against skin, and erotic moans. Rukia clings to Renji as wave after wave of pleasure rattles through her body, slithering through her senses to build into a thick press of want in her belly. It churns and coils, like a snake waiting to strike, a tension demanding to be released.
Renji’s rhythm falters, and Rukia looks past him, finding that Ichigo is pressing against Renji from behind. Renji tosses his head, hair falling around him in a crimson curtain and prompting Rukia to bury some of her fingers in the soft length. She loves Renji’s hair and has often begged him not to cut it. Ichigo has as well, thought not in so many words. She’s seen him pull it on occasion, an action that usually illicits a very favorable response from Renji.
Ichigo’s hands settle on the redhead’s hips, and Rukia slides her hand up to meet his, briefly squeezing his fingers. Renji buries his face in her neck, a low sound passing as Ichigo presses into him. She remembers fights for dominance once upon a time, the both of them grappling for long hours before one or the other submits. Now, there is no argument; there is only pleasure.
Renji throbs in her, and Ichigo sucks in a breath, leaning over Renji to kiss her. It is a tight squeeze, but they make it. There is a sloppy connection of tongues before Renji turns his head, stealing Ichigo’s lips for his own.
The sight always makes something in her clench with need; it’s so erotic. She watches the muscles ripple in Renji’s neck as he picks up rhythm again, his tattoos gleaming with sweat. One hand curves around her back, holding her effortlessly as he slides in and out of her, building a delicious heat in her groin. They move together so flawlessly, months of familiarity doing away with the confusing placement of limbs and hands and mouths, only desiring to bring pleasure to one another. Sometimes, she’s surprised jealousy hasn’t become more of an issue. Other times, she knows why it never will be.
She cries out as she comes, shaking in Renji’s arms and pulling him in with her. He groans, a mixture of names dropping from his mouth in a confused tangle, and spills into the latex barrier. Behind Renji, Ichigo curses, fingers tightening in their hold as the other man becomes languid in his arms.
Rukia edges out from beneath them, her body still shaky from her orgasm. She admires her two men as Ichigo grabs Renji’s arm and pulls Renji onto his lap, muscles flexing and shifting in all the right ways. Rukia rises to her knees, reaching around Renji to drag Ichigo’s lips to hers, trapping Renji between them, he gasping at the combined assault. Renji deftly rides out Ichigo’s thrusts, the sounds they make a series of grunts, growls, and groans that would be frightening if they weren’t so sexy.
She gets hot again just listening to them, and even as Ichigo slows his pace, trying to draw things out, Renji’s arousal has barely faded at all. Rukia drops a hand, her fingers carefully plucking the full condom and tossing it to the side to be cleaned later. She wraps her hand around him, stroking him in all the ways she knows he likes.
Renji groans and throws an arm around her waist, pulling her tight against him. Her breasts collide with his chest, nipples rubbing against his slick skin. Her hand is trapped between their bodies, though she never stops stroking him. Renji’s fingers slide down her body, one slipping inside her and dragging through her wetness. She gasps something unintelligible, a mixture of syllables that doesn’t require translation.
They move together, a disjointed rhythm that somehow works, surrendering to the passion and the pleasure. Rukia just clings to them, feeling connected to both. She watches as Ichigo finally comes, slamming up into Renji with more force than he would ever use with her. His entire body shakes as his back bows, his head colliding with Renji’s shoulder.
Rukia’s mouth hungrily moves to the redhead’s, tangling her tongue with his and briefly tasting Ichigo on Renji’s lips. The kiss is heated, a frenzy of motion, before she feels Renji shudder. He spills a messy splatter into her hand, heat radiating from his body. His fingers curl in her, thumb moving to press against her arousal, and Rukia moans and joins him as her body writhes against his.
The three of them collapse in a sweaty bundle of limbs, drowsiness pulling at Rukia’s eyelids. It’s been a lazy day, making for lazy moments where all she wants to do is curl up with her boys and let time pass her by. Renji stirs first a few minutes later, working himself free to pad softly to the adjoining bathroom. He returns later with a wet rag, cleaning the three of them up.
They alternate, she thinks to herself fondly, and Renji’s turn happened to be this time around. Rukia throws out an arm, idly letting her fingers tickle at Ichigo’s side as his eyelids flutter, close to sleep himself.
He lazily swats at her. “Stop it,” he mutters half-heartedly.
She finds it incredibly amusing that he’s so ticklish to such light touches. “We do have a bed,” Rukia reminds him because sleeping in a large pile of bodies has become the unusual norm for them.
“You’re still on the floor, too,” he retorts, and in true male fashion, stretches out across the floor as though it were the most comfortable place in the world. Completely at home in his nudity.
Rukia can still remember a time that the simple act of removing his shirt made him turn a red darker than Renji’s hair. And now, it’s just natural for him to initiate things, to luxuriate in his own naturalness as well as Rukia and Renji’s. He can look at them both without blushing now, and she’s even been the victim of a few subtle gropings when no one is watching. Renji is far less subtle, something which often prompts the disagreements between he and Ichigo.
Renji returns and steps over both of them, offhandedly toeing Ichigo in the side on his way to the futon. “Bed’s more comfortable,” he reminds the both of them, dropping down on said item and making himself at home. He’s the biggest of them, and as such, he takes up the most space.
“Bastard,” Ichigo mutters, but since Rukia agrees with Renji, she hauls herself upwards and crawls over him, pausing briefly to exchange a kiss.
His hand glides down her back, but then, she’s gone and heading for the bed. Rukia snuggles against Renji’s side, the heat of his body always greater than her own. Renji is like his own source of warmth, one that requires little more than a thin sheet regardless of the season. Rukia herself is always perfectly comfortable, and Ichigo complains that he’s always cold.
“Hey there,” Renji mumbles when she joins him.
She trails a finger down a familiar tattoo on his chest, tracking the jagged edges. She has an absurd obsession with his tattoos, perhaps because she knows what they mean to him.
She smiles. “Hey yourself.”
Rukia hears a sigh as Ichigo throws himself to his feet and shuffles across the floor, snapping his palm against the switch. Darkness falls, broken only by the light streaking in through the blinds, and then, Ichigo is padding towards the bed. He climbs in, elbowing Renji aside to make room, and wriggling into a comfortable position.
She rolls her eyes as the two playfully jostle at each other for several annoying seconds before they find a situation that seems to make them all comfortable. Even going so far as to bodily pick Rukia up and thrust her between them where she’s sure to suffocate all night.
She knows that by morning, Ichigo will end up in the middle – still complaining that he’s cold – and Renji will be half off the futon, one foot shoved towards the floor. She herself will be curled into perfect comfort between Ichigo and the wall, the pillow somehow shoved between them. She doesn’t know why they shift like that, but it happens.
They fit together, even as different they are. And she still wonders if they can stay forever like this. In their togetherness as three separate but whole parts.
Sea, earth, and sky. Ichigo as the sky, blanketing over them. Always reaching higher, binding them together. Renji as their earth, solid and strong in the face of everything. Determined, resolute. And Rukia herself, the endlessly flowing water. Cool and calm but a force to be reckoned with when angered.
Sun, moon, and stars. She thinks Renji would agree with her in saying Ichigo is like the sun to them. It is him, after all, they must thank for making this possible, for helping them to understand the truth. Renji forever bays at the moon, resolute to reach it. And Rukia is the stars, glittering and gleaming, seemingly from a distance.
Red, blue, and yellow. Primary colors. Renji is their passion, red as fire. Burning bright with eyes the color of the dying sunset. Ichigo is their light, determination gleaming golden. Rukia is their balance, what keeps everything in check, endlessly solid blue.
Renji sighs and shifts position, throwing an arm over the both of them then, sure to share his body heat. Ichigo grumbles but doesn’t move away from the sprawled arm. Rukia just lies there, curled between the both, feeling unexpected emotions swelling in her chest.
She loves them. She knows that she does. And she doesn’t have to ask or demand confirmation to be sure they return it. Rukia doesn’t want this to ever end, even as she contemplates the reality of it all. She doesn’t know what the future will bring or how they will meet it. But she does no she’s not letting go. She’s going to hold onto them, to this with both hands.
And come what may – devil or beast or Aizen – she won’t let go.