Dawn and Dusk

BY : Demonized
Category: Bleach > Yaoi - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 306
Disclaimer: I do not Bleach and any characters within, nor do I make anything off of this work.

One would think that he couldn't have possibly tripped over such a blatantly obvious individual, especially with that fiery orange hair giving him away, but Zangetsu manages to do the impossible. He doesn't know why the sun yōkai is sprawled out in the center of an empty clearing, just snoozing away, but that doesn't keep Zangetsu from tripping over him, and he doesn't even wake up! No, he just rolls over onto his left side and…Zangetsu's gaze is drawn to the dark red symbol, somehow stark against the sun yōkai's tanned skin, seemingly painted onto his right side.

It's not painted on, Zangetsu knows this quite well, and he also knows what the symbol means. Dawn suits the sun yōkai quite well, especially with his coloration, and it explains why he's not waking up right now. It's long past his time of day when he is at his strongest and most energetic and is well into what is Zangetsu's domain.

He rubs at his own symbol, which reads Dusk, and wonders if he's just lucky for finding a sun yōkai that is his exact opposite, or if there's something more to this chance meeting. It's practically unheard of from what he knows, and that's mainly because sun yōkai tend to hide away once their time of day has passed. This one, however, is just out in the open and completely vulnerable.

And breathtakingly beautiful, Zangetsu decides as he lets his gaze drift to the sun yōkai's face. It'd be a shame if some other moon yōkai came across this sun yōkai and took advantage of him, not that Zangetsu would ever dare to even think of doing something like that. No. He has honor, and so he puts some space between himself and the sun yōkai and starts to draw a protection circle around him.

It will use up most of his energy, and so soon into his time of day, but Zangetsu would want the same done for himself if he was ever in the sun yōkai's position. Besides, he estimates that he'll have enough energy to find a place to rest. Preferably not out in the open, like what happened to this sun yōkai.

Unless he purposefully fell asleep out in the open, Zangetsu thinks as he pauses long enough in his drawing of the protection circle to look at the sun yōkai again. It's possible, but he can't think of a reason why a sun yōkai would do so.

Giving a shake of his head, Zangetsu finishes the protection circle then stands up to inspect it. There isn't a line out of place, and it's strong enough that it will last until it is time for the sun yōkai to wake. It's probably his finest protection circle yet, not that he's one for boasting, and, satisfied with a job well done, he turns to leave the clearing.

The fatigue hits Zangetsu before he even finishes taking his first step, letting him know that he's perhaps used up all of his energy instead of most of it, and as he collapses from a lack of energy, his mind going fuzzy, he hopes that his good deed doesn't screw him over. He's now the vulnerable one, and there is plenty of other yōkai who roam this forest that would spring at the chance to either kill him or claim him.

Well, at least the sun yōkai is safe, he thinks, right as he slips into unconsciousness.

There is an unfamiliar and potent energy lingering in the area as Ichigo wakes up, and at first, he's confused. He doesn't remember falling asleep out in the open, and certainly not in this portion of the forest, but he is thankfully unmolested. Largely in part to the protection circle that's been drawn around him, which he realizes when he sits up, but that's quickly forgotten when he spots the crumpled form of a moon yōkai right outside of the protection circle's boundary.

He doesn't want to jump to conclusions, at least not right away, because it doesn't look like there were any attempts made to get past the protection circle. There would be scorch marks on the ground along the boundary where an attempt is made, and he definitely doesn't see any of those. So, the likely conclusion is that this moon yōkai had been the one to draw the protection circle, which, don't get Ichigo wrong, was kind of dumb on the moon yōkai's part if it left him in such a vulnerable state. Not that Ichigo can actually talk on that point, given the circumstances that led him to where he is right now.

Still… "Why would you go out of your way to protect me?" A silly question to ask when the moon yōkai isn't even capable of responding. He also wants to know how the hell he even ended up out here, to begin with, but the moon yōkai is the more pressing issue right now.

His position can't be too comfortable, so Ichigo goes over to the moon yōkai and kneels to carefully roll him over onto his back. He notices the symbol for Dusk almost immediately, and his eyes go wide because for the protection circle to last as long as it did… the moon yōkai had sacrificed a significant portion of his waking hours just to keep Ichigo safe and had ended up right where Ichigo had been before his kind gesture.

"Did you even get a chance to hunt for yourself?" Ichigo wonders aloud as he sits back on his heels and looks to the moon yōkai's face. There's no way of knowing that for sure, so he's going to assume that the moon yōkai didn't. "I'm sorry I caused you so much trouble," he says to the moon yōkai even though he knows there won't be a response, and his mind wanders back to how he had gotten out here.

He doesn't get much of a chance to think about it before a twig snaps to his east, and Ichigo is on his feet in a flash with a hand outstretched in that direction. Flames ignite at the tips of his claws as he starts charging an attack, only for them to sputter out when he recognizes the figure stepping through the brush and into the clearing. "Grimmjow," he growls out, and he narrows his eyes at the other sun yōkai in suspicion. "Fancy seeing you all the way out here."

"Just checking to see if you were still alive and kicking Berry," Grimmjow responds with a smirk, and he stops just at the edge of the clearing. His gaze flicks from Ichigo to the moon yōkai, and his smirk widens into an overly smug grin. "Is that what I think it is?"

"First off, Grimmjow, stop calling me that," Ichigo all but snarls at the panther-like sun yōkai, and he places himself firmly between Grimmjow and the moon yōkai. "Second, he's none of your fucking business and, so help me, if I find out that you're the one responsible for leaving me out here, then I'm going to dust you," he promises in a dark tone, and then he reignites the tips of his claws.

"Whoa, hey, I swear I didn't leave you out here, Ichigo," Grimmjow quickly says, his gaze going back to Ichigo, and he puts his hands up as a show of surrender. "It was that stupid baboon friend of yours!"

Ichigo gives Grimmjow a look of disbelief then starts charging up a fireball that is certain to leave the other sun yōkai injured. "I know you're lying to me, and you know that I know you're lying to me, so I think I'll save myself the trouble of hunting your pathetic ass down later and just dust you now."

"Okay! I'm going!" Grimmjow takes a step back, putting himself back in the brush surrounding the clearing, and turns to leave. "But just so you know, Ichigo, word about that moon yōkai is gonna travel pretty fast," he says over his shoulder, his mouth curving with a malicious smirk before he darts off.

Ichigo scowls after Grimmjow for a long moment, flames still dancing on his claw tips, before he remembers the unconscious moon yōkai just behind him. With a quick shake of his hand, he puts the flames out, then turns to look down at his protector and unwitting victim to whatever the hell Grimmjow had been plotting. It isn't clear if Ichigo himself or the moon yōkai is the intended target, but Ichigo isn't going to let anything happen to the moon yōkai. Not while he has breath in his body.

"Seems like someone used me to get to you," Ichigo determines as he glances back at the direction Grimmjow had run off in, then he gives a hard shake of his head. It isn't going to be long before Grimmjow finds someone to run his mouth off to about the moon yōkai, so he needs to move quickly. With that in mind, he kneels beside the moon yōkai and carefully scoops him up. "I hope you don't mind."

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