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The Picture

Chapter Text


It felt as though someone cracked his skull with the use of tire-iron, as Ichigo’s upper body automatically springs forward, causing his head to hit the steering wheel. His vision blurred, and his whole face stung when another rapid knock from the passenger side nudges his wobbling head.

"Son of a... shit... yeah, yeah, I’m up, I’m up... god!"

He gently massaged his temple and blinked his brown eyes few times. When he thought was clear enough, he shot a glare towards the invader to his right, the one who created the rap. Ichigo saw a middle-aged woman with an average height, looking diligently with her long plaited black hair and large gray eyes, standing outside his car. He instantly softened his gaze as he recognized the non-offending woman was none other than his physics professor. Ah shit. Perplexed and somewhat hazed, Ichigo then lunged sideward, rolled down the window so that he could greet the professor as humane as he could.

The professor beamed her lips, teasing him lightly. “Seems you’re early for tomorrow’s class, Kurosaki-san." She flicked a glance towards the clock above the Men’s dorm building across the parking lot. "Or was I mistaken."

In an impulse, Ichigo pushed the visor out of the way and gazed up through his window. Fuck! Twenty-five! - No! Twenty-four minutes to Nine. "Dammit, I'm late!"

"Guess not." She giggled and started to walk away. “Good day, Kurosaki-san,” she said. “I hope you keep your time frame smart.” And then she’s gone.

Ichigo almost stumbled himself to the ground when he got out of his car and, without any hesitation, run towards the dormitory. The two personnel sitting behind the desk startled when he burst the front door, and then ignored their probing eyes as Ichigo’s feet dragged him towards the elevator door. He had at least a few minutes or so to reach his time, peruse his notes to prepare himself for his exam scheduled today at exactly... shit Nine! But he can make it, he can make it! He knew he can make it. He can make it if there’s...

Elevator Out of Order.

Oh now what!

There’s no time. He had to run upstairs to reach the fourth floor.

Ichigo pinched the bridge of his nose and sighed deeply. Damn it, he should have been awake by five to read his book, run his morning routine. Except the plan didn't favor him, that even brushing of his teeth escaped him. Thanks to me I'm nowhere near my bed, he growled inwardly, has backpain from sleeping in an upright position for six hours in his car, had stomach pains because skipping meal is not advisable for someone who has a peptic ulcer, and probably flunked the exam because his head, aside from aching, was empty.

Oh wait a minute, he seethed, this is not entirely his fault. He didn’t choose counting stars in the parking lot last night. That’s right - this’ Renji’s fault! Make that he’ll probably endure his fucked-up day by thinking why he didn’t put poison in Renji’s coffee when he had a chance.

However, and to think it through, he himself was to blame for letting his friend don the tenacious act, let alone evasive ones, and buffering an argument beforehand that he didn’t give a shit until now. Behind those famous wolfish grins of Renji’s was the only sign he had to imply for a promising probability, but nevertheless if Renji had only reached the deal, Ichigo would never have to jolt his legs all the way up to his room while depicting how a baseball bat and a crowbar would do for his homicidal tendencies.

But Renji is his friend, was after he whacked his head off, and they've been together since they can remember. However, the incident last night made Ichigo a very, very angry guy. While eating their takeout dinner inside their shared room, a favor was put out for him by Renji, a favor that was usually repeated every Sunday night - by bringing a girl to their room. Ichigo, on his part, constantly agrees about the idea because any young man that overcomes puberty, and has a libido the size of their heads, who could refuse such an offer? However, things changed. For six months the Ichigo who used to be a watcher and a partaker, has turned into almost a Saint. Renji had to enjoy his thing alone for the reason the perverting days are over for Ichigo. And to prove a point, he'd seriously dated a girl named Orihime.

At exactly ten in the evening, Renji told Ichigo to leave for the evening and call him back by four in the morning. And since Ichi’s home is a long way drive, he might as well stay in the parking lot. Orihime's apartment is a tempting option too - well, if not for her brother on guard, popping when least expected, Ichigo’s probably singing happy tunes by now.

Another option is the room of Ikkaku Madarame and Yumichika Aysegawa, two doors down from theirs. But sadly, he can’t. The two are lovers, so there’s a borderline there. Doing the math, it’s either witnessing Renji’s ragging breath while boning a girl or two guys fencing fleshy swords, Ichigo settled to sleep in his car just makes things a lot easier for him.

Besides, one night is not that bad...

Well, except for this very day, that is.

Because, and as Ichigo could recall, Renji promised to call him about four hours ago.

“Fucking dumbass,” he muttered as he dashed through the now crowded hall. And what makes his day any better than seeing Ikkaku grinning like a simpleton from one corner of his eye, standing at the threshold of their occupied room, ready to laugh at him once he made an eye contact. To start, common sense is more applicable than humor when someone is raging and about to burst in nanoseconds. But seeing those grin makes it hard to believe Ichigo will earn sympathy from one of the jackass' of their group. How many forewarning glares he produced in a split second Ichigo had lost count. The more he grimaced, the wider the grinning the other made. “Cork it, Cueball” and middle finger in the air to make it accurate were his and only alternative. However, for the likes of Madarame, Cueball would only roar with laughter if he does that.

“Please, not now,” Ichigo murmured, or rather prayed. It wasn’t his intention to be heard, because that would be humiliating for the likes of him. However, to his surprise Ikkaku was taken aback. It worked. Hmm that’s odd, he thought, since when Ikkaku had learned to give mercy towards anything that moves?

He stepped forward, still wondering about the unusual behavior of his friend, and then banged the brown door in front of him, cursing to add more drama to the scene. He knew all eyes now on him, but the silent queries were shut down, since they're aware that when Ichigo Kurosaki look pissed he'll grab any fuckers who tempt to ask him why - only to be slammed into the nearest wall. Or better yet, use the head as a battering ram just to open the goddamned door. Numerous aliases of Renji twined with “open the fucking door” roared from his exasperating throat, while Ikkaku gave wave of a hand, or a shrugged to every flinching student near their proximity. Good thing Ichigo Kurosaki and his friends have a reputation to precede them, within or outside the campus. Brawls with brains - if that was the word, which mostly ends in a fight, or worse, starters, resulting to a short reunion at the Faculty by the end of the day. However, how defiant or brash they are, indeed they have their own popularity to account for.

Like for instance, the mischievous Ikkaku Madarame, aside from being a kendō varsity, is pursuing Law (difficult to believe, but yeah). The short-tempered and impulsive Carrothead - though had a hard time maintaining his scholastic grades because of his uptight demeanor - was an excellent Med student. Yumi, apart from being well-known as an extremely vain, boastful, flamboyant brunette and a mockery of all - Ikkaku’s alter-ego when it comes to rudeness, but with style - is an Advertising major. And lastly, the infamous Renji Abarai, the charmer, the six-foot-two-tattooed-marked walking sex with legs is an Architectural student and known as the best friend of Ichigo Kurosaki.

Best friend, huh? Ichigo thought grimly. Let’s see about that.

The knock turned into a rapid slam of a palm, seconds later, Ichigo’s feet started to kick in. The noise made everyone peak outside their room, shook theirheads and turn away. No one dares to stop him, not even the biggy-man standing next to the drinking fountain. And since it was probable that all things must come to an end, and this ridiculous commotion must come to its close, one door suddenly flew open from the opposite wall and out comes Yumi to enlighten Kurosaki’s action. In three strides, he reached the scandalous young man and, without a preamble, smacked the fuming boy’s head, causing Ikkaku to laugh finally.

Ichigo found his nose kissing the doorknob. He whipped back to express his irritants, but resisted, forcing himself to mute his anger at the brunette man. He could have punched him though, if he wasn’t aware of Yumi’s capability. Though his flamboyant friend has more feminine features like the rest of the girls in the campus, slim hips and charming face, Yumi’s beautiful hands are not. Ichigo should be smarter than to argue with the non-morning person like Feathery-brow.

“I’m having a migraine, you idiot,” Yumi snapped at him. “Can’t you even knock without destroying the rest of the building?”

“If you’re pissed, you do some thrashing too,” is all Ichigo could mutter in return. His head spins from the pain burning the back of his skull. “Damn, Yumi. Do you have to do that?”

Ikkaku laughed. “Lucky for you he’s already up.”

“There’s this one invention called keys, and you have one,” Yumi said. “Unless you’re a moron and dunno what it's for.”

Ichigo groaned inwardly, flicked his eyes somewhere but Yumi. The look on his face can be easily read; he can’t remember where he put it and shit, he couldn’t even remember if he'd left his car keys inside his car.

“Well?” Yumi peered again, breaking the angry glance of Ichigo from the giggling crowds behind them. “Where is it?”

“I... I lost it.”


“I said I lost it!”

“Again?” Ikkaku said. “That’s your third.”

“I don’t fucking care. I want to go to my room, and I want to go now!”

“Then why don’t you use your fumbling head to knock it down?”

“Good idea, but can I use yours? Mine is little throbbing right now.”

“Enough!” Yumi said, pinching the bridge of his nose. “Least that’s more reasonable than allowing humpy - boy here have all the fun... nevermind,” he jerked his head towards the brown door when Ichigo mouthed the ‘huh?’ gesture. “Ikkaku, dear...”


Yumi stepped aside. “Would you do the honor? My nails are done.

Ikkaku grinned. He gets the picture. “Thought you never asked,” he said, and after few stretches and some enchanting whatsoever, he lunged swiftly and kicked the door in full force, leaving only the hinges intact at the threshold. “There...that should do the trick.”

Whatta...” Ichigo gasped. “The fuck you did to my door!”

“Hey,” Ikkaku pointed. “That, or your face, man.”

Ichigo was about to smack his friend’s head, but caught up with something, and all of them turned their heads at once when a faint voice sounded inside the room.

“Oh look,” Yumi smiled. “Behold. Dickhead’s awakening.”

Ikkaku was the first one to move inside the room... and came out quickly right before Ichigo could. Scratching the back of his head, he said, “Are you sure this is your room?”

Ichigo blinked. “Huh?”

“Well...I think you better come inside.”

Seconds later they did so, and all of them felt their jaw dropped.

The room was not that big, yet not that small. Ichigo’s bed was on the left side, near the window, while Renji’s near the bookshelf to his right. Aside from tumbled used clothes hanging here and there, all things much the same since he left last night, except...

Well, except the brunette girl sleeping on Renji’s bed.

Yumi tugged Ichigo’s sleeves. “Was she drugged?”

“I don’t know.”

“Was she dead?”

Ichigo raised a brow at Ikkaku. Although that was a joke, it wasn’t near funny at all.

“You’re the doctor, man, you tell me,” Ikkaku objected.

“Are you sure we’re in the right room?” Yumi asked, looking around. “Because I don’t wanna see you guys at the faculty later on.”

Ichigo thought a bit. Yes of course this is his room!

He roamed around, check the bathroom, check the closet, checked everything that needs to be checked, but found nothing.

“Where’s Renji?”