Briar: So, I rememebr reading Recovery by Riza Winters last year and I re-read it today. I thought it'd be cool to do a sequel to her story instead of revise her current story. So, if you want read her story before reading this one :) Other than that, enjoy another hurt/comfort fict
It had been five years since Ichigo had taken in Grimmjow and things had started getting better. Even though Grimmjow still suffered from nightmares from time to time he managed to get a few hours of sleep and even napped during the day. There were times Grimmjow would flinch of cringe but he even offered to go to the grocery store. However, after one call from a cashier Ichigo had to find another way to help Grimmjow. Uruhara had offered Grimmjow noise cancelling headphones because cellphones sometimes had the ring of the noises Mayuri would use against Grimmjow. It had taken Grimmjow a couple weeks to fully recover from the shame of vomiting on the floor in public and dropping to the floor when an unfamiliar hand touched his shoulders. He had been unconscious from a panic attack and when Ichigo heard the cashier reiterate what happened he ran to the store and saw Grimmjow in a stretcher in an ambulance. Ichigo had convinced the paramedics that Grimmjow was okay and was only a torture victim reacting from an intense flashback. They nodded their head and waited until Grimmjow woke up which wasn't long but Grimmjow had been frantic when he couldn't move. Ichigo demanded that Grimmjow be released and was able to hold Grimmjow down and remind him that he was no longer with that monster and he was dead. After a while Grimmjow was calm enough and apologized for messing up a simple task. Ichigo couldn't blame Grimmjow for what happened and they went home.
There were other times that Grimmjow had panic attacks but Ichigo was always there for Grimmjow. The professors at university became more irritated at Ichigo randomly leaving class without a word until he admitted that his roommate was a torture victim and more often than not his running out of class was because his phone went off alerting him of it. They tried asking how Grimmjow was able to call through his anxiety but Ichigo lied saying there was another roommate who was at home in case something like that happened but she was unable to calm him down. The professors accepted the answer and when Grimmjow showed up one day looking beaten and tired from not sleeping for twenty four hours they knew the orange haired student wasn't lying.
Grimmjow killed hollows, sometimes ate them but he still wasn't the same as he had been five years ago. The muscle mass was better but Ichigo would see Grimmjow scowl when he saw his reflection in the mirror. It hurt Ichigo to see Grimmjow like that and he had to remind his blue haired charge that he was better than he was before. Grimmjow accepted the answer but deep down Ichigo could see that he wanted to be better. Grimmjow reistu was at the level that he was when Grimmjow and Ichigo their last battle in Hueco Mundo during Aizen's desire to become the soul king.
Ichigo's relationship with Orihime began to crumble in year 2 and by year three of Grimmjow living with Ichigo it ended. Even though Orihime was very understanding her heart broke when in the middle of a date Kon would replace Ichigo's body as his soul form would run off to comfort a distraught Grimmjow when he had a panic attack from a nap or if a hollow was too much for Grimmjow to handle. Grimmjow was whole with Pantera but he was still suffering from the wounds of the past. The skin was fresh and the only scar that remained was the large one Ichigo had delivered him with a getsuga tensho. Though the skin held no scars Grimmjow still saw them even though they were gone.
When Ichigo's relationship with Orihime ended he was heartbroken but he didn't cry. His heart broke but Grimmjow was there to pick up the pieces. Holding Ichigo like he held Grimmjow, Ichigo couldn't help but feel happy; Grimmjow had been there for Ichigo. There were times Grimmjow would admit that he saw Mayuri from time to time but he reminded himself that the man was dead and had died by his hands. It made Ichigo proud of Grimmjow however, half way through the fourth year Ichigo began looking at Grimmjow differently. After a few months he remembered something Orihime had told him.
"It's like we're not even dating!" Orihime had protested back then. "It's like you and Grimmjow are. You're there for him more than me sometimes because of what happened to him. I know you love me, but, I can't do this anymore."
It was then that Ichigo realized that after four years of living with Grimmjow that he began feeling non-platonic feelings towards his friend. Their relationship had been a pretty intense friendship and some would assume they had been dating if they saw them in the confines of their own home but they weren't. Ichigo didn't hold Grimmjow's hand in public but there were times when the streets had been crowded with people that Grimmjow would walk a little closer to Ichigo and he'd let him. Ichigo knew the chance of having a relationship with Grimmjow was fruitless. Though Mayuri never raped Grimmjow Ichigo knew he might fear sex even though Ichigo knew he would never be dominant if they had a more sexual relationship.
Living with Grimmjow wasn't bad though and more often than not Ichigo enjoyed his company. Sometimes Ichigo could watch television but he deterred from it in case a noise set Grimmjow off. Ichigo had his phone on vibrate too and when it was on it had a more serene noise that wouldn't have been used by Mayuri. Most would consider the constant needs attended to Grimmjow would be a pain but to Ichigo he didn't consider it a pain because it became a job of his to protect and protecting wasn't a burden. Sometimes Grimmjow would ask if he was a burden but Ichigo would always tell Grimmjow he wasn't' a burden. They became allies in sands of Hueco Mundo and the battle with the Vanderich.
Ichigo had just finished school yesterday and it was the summertime which was since there was more time to relax. Going to new places had Grimmjow nervous but after seeing the Kurosaki family for some time he had gotten used to Karin, Yuzu and Isshin. They still announced when they were home since Grimmjow didn't go there often enough. The house was close by and Ichigo could sense Grimmjow in the kitchen beside Yuzu who was most likely preparing some food. They twins were in a local university; Karin to be a gym teacher and Yuzu to become a chief. Yuzu had finished her program since it was a yearlong program while Karin had three more years to go. She had scholarships and started right after high school. Everyone thought she'd go on to being a professional soccer player but she had torn her ACL when she was fifteen and had to get surgery. There had been a few surgeries done but Karin knew she wouldn't be as great as she had been so she decided in being a high school gym teacher.
Ichigo opened the door and took a step in. "I'm home!"
Grimmjow knew Ichigo's schedule like the back of his hands as well as the twins which made it easier and if they went out they gave an approximate time they'd be back. Grimmjow was in his soul form at the Kurosaki resident but even with a cero and Pantera he wasn't sure if he could defeat someone of captain class like Soi Fon who had Suzumbachi; the shikai killing in only two strikes. Grimmjow still sometimes wondered if the Soul Society was truly done with him or not.
Entering the kitchen, Ichigo noticed Grimmjow chopping vegetables while Yuzu was frying up some meat. She seemed to be using the rice cooker and it looked like they would be having ginger beef with the sauce on top of gravy with a side of vegetables. Desert was in the oven and it seemed like Yuzu was making snicker doodles. They were Grimmjow's favorite so Ichigo assumed it was to make Grimmjow feel at home since it was their first day back. Ichigo had their bags in his room along with Grimmjow's but he had gone out to pick up more food for their visit; there wasn't enough food for five at the moment.
"Welcome back, Onii-can," Yuzu greeted Ichigo.
"Yo," Grimmjow greeted Ichigo.
Ichigo nodded his head and moved towards the two. "Need help?"
Yuzu shook his head. "Grimmjow has been a lot of help."
Grimmjow sent a warm smile to Yuzu but remained silent. Ichigo could still remember their fight in Hueco Mundo when being the sexta espada meant something to Grimmjow. He had talked more back then but now Grimmjow was more reserved and only spoke when necessary. It was hard for Ichigo sometimes but Grimmjow would speak to Ichigo more than he would the others. Dinner was nearing and the door opened with Karin announcing her arrival. When she entered the kitchen Ichigo noticed she was sweating in shorts and a tank top. Her hair was in a tight ponytail while she held an empty water bottle in hand. With a wave to everyone Karin went to the sink and refilled her water bottle only to drink her water in under a minute.
"Thirsty enough?" Grimmjow teased.
"I just ran six kilometers in thirty minutes," Karin grunted. "Let's see you do that."
"I can," Grimmjow replied
"Uphill?" Karin questioned.
"There are no hills in Hueco Mundo," Grimmjow answered. "Only slopes and I do not go to that gym thing you go to."
Karin nodded her head before leaving for a shower leaving the three in the kitchen. Ichigo poured a glass of orange juice and watched the two cook. The meal was almost finished and the snicker doodles were left to cool. Grimmjow snuck one in and even though Yuzu saw she didn't say anything about it to Grimmjow. It was hard to get the male to eat three meals a day and getting him to eat something always made Yuzu smile with happiness.
When everyone was together for dinner they said their prayer before beginning to eat the food. There wasn't much said and as a pregnant silence began to fill the room besides the sound of silverware scrapping against the plates Grimmjow spoke up.
"I want to return to Hueco Mundo," Grimmjow told everyone.
"Why now?" Ichigo asked in curiosity.
"I do not need to live here anymore and I'm better enough than I was," Grimmjow replied.
Ichigo nodded his head. "I understand."
"Thank you," Grimmjow whispered softly.
For Grimmjow, hearing that Ichigo was accepting that Grimmjow was moving on sent relief all over his body. Grimmjow felt his body lose tension and a breath of air escape his lungs. It had taken him the whole week to try and bring this up with Ichigo without panicking and to have the male so compliant made everything easier. Five years had passed and even though it pained Grimmjow to leave without admitting his feelings to Ichigo he was okay with it; it was better not hearing rejection.
Grimmjow realized the emotions easily in his second year with Ichigo but he had been dating Orihime at the time leaving no room for a chance. When they broke up Grimmjow felt regret at seeing Ichigo so downtrodden at no longer being with Orihime so Grimmjow was there for Ichigo like Ichigo was for him. The love was unrequited but whenever Ichigo helped him it made Grimmjow happy; he didn't feel forgotten.
Time seemed to have gone faster and before Grimmjow knew it, it had been five years he had lived with Ichigo. Living with Ichigo was safe and different than anywhere else Grimmjow had lived. Ichigo cared, even if he had exams the next day Ichigo would stay up all night when the night terrors got to Grimmjow. Grimmjow tried to make Ichigo leave so he could rest and not drop out like he had before but Ichigo was resilient and after a while Grimmjow stopped trying; Ichigo was his rock.
Now, Grimmjow was ready to live in the harsh world of Hueco Mundo where it was kill or be killed. There was a chance that he could run into the old ones but Grimmjow could handle himself enough to run away. He was the espada of destruction and even if that title meant nothing now the lower hollows would avoid him knowing he was stronger. Gillian and freshly turned adjuchas might not but that was a free meal for Grimmjow. Hollows replenished his power faster than food from soul society but Grimmjow never revealed that to Ichigo. Grimmjow feared Ichigo would be sickened with his taste for hollows. Grimmjow knew if Ichigo ever saw Szayel he would have been disgusted with him and how he ate his own fraccion; Grimmjow didn't want to be seen as a monster in Ichigo's eyes even if that was what he was.
"And that's why I'm coming with you," Ichigo told Grimmjow, interrupting him from his thoughts.