Note: Y'know... I think I will make this GrimmxIchi series into a complete story, or at least, put it under one giant title. There may be very little coherency between the "chapters" but who cares? You guys still like it, don't you? That's all that matters to me. (grins) Now, if only I can figure out a main title... Geh. Brain fart. Maybe when it's done or my muse run's out I'll slap it together. I dunno... you tell me, guys. You are the best evil voices I've ever listened to...
Rumors or Fact
by Duchess of Darkness
"Can you believe it?! I mean-- that guy-- he-- Ichigo-- they---!!" Two wiry arms flailed about in the air in giant, indiscernible gestures as Keigo relayed his story to best friend Mizuiro, his one audience who wasn't even really listening to him in the first place.
"Mizuirooo! They were---"
Twin sable eyes looked up. "So?" he returned, interrupting as he sipped from his juice box. It was lunch time, and today they were eating in a different spot, suggested by Keigo in order to skirt Ichigo and his favorite lunch spot. "What were you doing spying on Ichigo, anyway?"
A long half-shriek erupted from Keigo's mouth as he waved his arms even harder, shooting up from his seat to pace around like a caged animal. Despite his original efforts to keep on the down-low, now his voice was loud, raised in his excitement.
"I wasn't spying on them! I mean-- I didn't even know Ichigo had a-- He wasn't-- I--"
Mizuiro chuckled as he spotted a curtain of red cover the brunette's cheeks. It seemed as though he was remembering the incident, a forbidden scene only he knew of. To be frank, he didn't know if Keigo was telling the truth or not, the guy did tend to overreact and over exaggerate, but then again, there were a lot of surprising things about Ichigo he didn't know of before. ...A whole forest of interesting things. If indeed he had a secret homosexual life as well, then gee, it wasn't Mizuiro's place to stop him. To each their own; it wasn't like gays were unaccepted in Karakura.
Keigo should've known that. And besides, he didn't really expect to know everything about Ichigo, did he? Their classmate had more aces up his sleeve than a whole deck of them.
"Keigo..." he intoned quietly, putting down his empty juice box as he looked up at his buddy. "Are you sure you saw that right?"
"Yes! Ichigo was kissing some blue-haired guy during PE yesterday!" He stomped right up to Mizuiro, pointing to his own as he said, "I know what I saw! He was there. They both were there. And he had Ichigo right up against the lockers doing... that."
Suddenly Keigo faltered and leaned back, falling into a sitting position in front of the smaller teen. A groan rumbled in the back of his throat as he covered his eyes in a failed attempt to block the images from his mind.
Mizuiro sighed and stuffed his juice box in his lunch sack, rolling the thing up as he was finished with his meal. "I'm still not sure if you really saw what you're saying, Keigo," he said, glancing at him as he stood up. "Even if Ichigo was like that, he wouldn't do those things in public where he could get caught. He knows better than that, and it's not like him at all."
Keigo glared at his disbelieving friend and stood up, snatching his garbage as well. "I'm not lying!" he exclaimed and followed Mizuiro to the trash, back to class. "I bet you they were doing some triple x-rated stuff in there."
The shorter boy gave Keigo a look over his shoulder before he continued on to class, his garbage now disposed of. Lunch was now over, and other students were filing with them back to class. When Mizuiro and Keigo entered, they found Ichigo already in his seat, head down on his desk, cradled in his arms.
Taking a bold step as always, Keigo leaped to the redhead and pounced him. "Iiiiiichigo! How was your lunch!"
As expected, Ichigo made a face at the other boy's misplaced enthusiasm, sitting up as he replied gruffly, "Same as always, I guess." To their surprise, a loud yawn pushed pass Ichigo's lips. Ichigo made a half attempt to control it, but the moment had passed and he was left to just scratch at the side of his neck.
"Ah, sorry 'bout that... Guess I haven't been getting much--"
"Ichigo, is that...?"
Ichigo blinked and turned to Mizuiro who had interrupted him. "What?" Keigo too questioned him as he suddenly leaned forward.
Mizuiro could have sworn he saw it wrong, but under Ichigo's still hand, just under the cover of the collar of his school uniform was...
"Ichigo, is that a hickie?"
Two pairs of brown eyes widened and stared at Mizuiro in surprise. Keigo was the first to speak. "Hickie? What? Where?" He looked at Ichigo who stared back in alarm, his hand pressed firmly to the side of his neck. "Let me seeeee"
Ichigo glared at the loud teen. He opened his mouth to deny him when a fourth voice interrupted their conversation.
"Kurosaki-kun!" It was their teacher. She was standing in the doorway, waving something. "For you! Come and get it."
Ichigo welcomed the interruption and pushed out of his seat to catch what turned out to be an envelope from his sensei. He flipped it over in his hand as the woman left, off to do something else before she returned to class. He didn't know what it was, or who it was from, but it had his name neatly printed on the front.
Without much thought, he ripped the envelope open, revealing ice blue paper, folded three times to conceal what probably was a letter. Ichigo unfolded it and scanned the words on the page. No sooner than he started did he stop, turning pale before a deep blush stained his cheeks.
Both Keigo and Mizuiro noticed the strange change in their classmate and made their way toward him. And before Ichigo could hide the letter, Keigo reached out and snatched it from his fingers.
"What's it say?" he asked aloud though already his eyes were reading the paper:
I got two tickets to a hockey game tomorrow afternoon. How 'bout I come pick you up after school? What do you say, Berry Head? Even if you refuse, I'll come looking for you. And I WILL find you.
Meet me at
Keigo didn't even read any farther than that. He looked up at Ichigo who only stared back with a red face, caught between anxiety and anger. He didn't even make a move to snatch the letter back as Mizuiro took it from Keigo's slack fingers and read it for himself.
"Berry Head?" Keigo repeated, wincing at whatever reaction that nickname would incite. To his surprise, Ichigo faultered and looked away, the blush on his cheeks deepening further. Under his breath Keigo could've sworn he heard Ichigo mutter, "I'm going to kill him..."
"What's the six mean?"
Ichigo looked back at Mizuiro. "What?"
Mizuiro waved the letter in his hand. "At the end of the letter it's signed with the number six. Look." He handed it back to Ichigo, as if the boy hadn't read it in the first place.
Ichigo took the letter back and much to his distaste his gaze automatically dropped to stare at the paper and the words printed on it.
Meet me at the spot where I first met you. You remember the one... Be there at five, and dress appropriately.
Don't be late.
"Is that some kind of code name?" Mizuiro inquired, staring at Ichigo intently.
Ichigo crumpled the letter in his hand and shook his head. "No," he replied, finally finding his voice. "It's that idiot's way of messing with me." He didn't offer any more as he retreated back ot his seat where he shoved both letter and envelope in his school bag.
Keigo and Mizuiro remained by the doorway. Keigo's face was drawn into a miserable expression because he didn't understand what the letter meant, only that Ichigo had a date tomorrow afternoon with some mystery man named "6." Mizuiro, thought, was not so disappointed as he smiled and chuckled at Ichigo's embarrassed attitude as he buried his face in his arms again to feign more sleep.
"Waaaait..." Keigo whined. "Who names themselves six? Who's this six guy? Or is it a woman? Why does Ichigo have a daaate??"
"Ichigo has a date?"
Mizuiro looked behind to see Tatsuki enter the classroom with Orihime behind her. "Ah, yeah, Ichigo just got a letter from some person who called themselves by the number six. A mister Six, I might say, if Ichigo's muttering says anything."
"Mr. Six?" Tatsuki repeated, raising her brows. She didn't seem to know any more about it than they did. Yet Mizuiro caught the brief look of recognition that flashed in Orihime's eyes as she looked over his shoulder at Ichigo.
Quietly slipping away from the group, she made her way over to Ichigo's desk, hovering nearby as she called his name. Mizuiro watched her while Tatsuki and Keigo continued to argue about the identity of "Mr. Six."
Ichigo peeked out of the crook of his arm. "Orihime? What is it?"
"Is it true?" she asked timidly, folding her hands in the shirt of her uniform as she leaned forward slightly. "You're going out with him?"
A frown creased between Ichigo's brows as he sat back up, leaning heavily on his elbows. Even without asking what she meant, or who she was implying, the redhead answered gruffly, "...Yeah. He sent me a letter. At school!" He shook his head, glaring out at nothing as he continued. "What an asshole..."
He glanced up at Orihime and shook his head. "He's not going to do anything," he reassured her, but of what, Mizuiro didn't know.
"But he's..." Orihime interjected, her voice soft and quiet as always.
Ichigo scratched the side of his neck, his fingers passing over the rough bruise that marred his skin. "Yeah, I know... It's not like I can't take care of myself. He probably just wants to..." He couldn't continued. He couldn't tell Orihime just what Mr. Six wanted to do for fear of what her reaction may be. "It'll be fine," he said instead. "I'll be okay, Orihime."
For some reason or other, Orihime did not look convinced, or pleased that Ichigo had disregarded her concern. Yet still, being the kind of person she was, she backed down and retreated to her seat. Mizuiro was surprised at this exchange, yet he could not find it in himself to interject or judge. Whatever went on between them, it wasn't his business, really. Just as long as Ichigo didn't hurt himself or those around him, well, Mizuiro was all for whatever the boy was into. Let him have his secret fun.
Chuckling at whomever this Six guy was, Mizuiro settled into his own seat in the classroom, silently congratulating this mystery person for getting a reaction like that out of Ichigo. "Must be some lucky fellow."
Mizuiro glanced at Keigo who sat beside him. "Oh, nothing," he chimed .
"Y'know what? I want to follow Ichigo to go meet whoever this Six person is..."
"Keigo, you're just asking for trouble. "
"What? But aren't you curious? It'll be fun! Besides, Ichigo blushed! Who do you know can make him do that? "
...True. But Mizuiro still didn't like the idea of spying on their classmate.
"Come oooon, Mizuiro! Think of it as being safe and cautious for Ichigo's sake. We'll be his bodyguards or something! "
Mizuiro threw Keigo an incredulous look before turning away, muttering, "Sometimes I wonder why I'm friends with you...
"What?" Keigo asked, having not heard what the smaller boy said
"Eh? But you said something. What did you--
"Yo! Lunch is over!" Keigo stopped as he turned his attention to the front of the class where he saw their teacher come in. "Good afternoon class!
"Good afternoon, sensei!" the class chimed in return
"Right! Now let's get started. Turn to page..."
Keigo flipped open his book and whispered one last thing to Mizuiro: "I'm following him tomorrow after school.
Mizuiro wondered if Keigo was either deaf or stupid. Either way, it would have to be his job to go with Keigo to make sure he didn't accidentally get into trouble while he was spying on Ichigo. ...And, well, he had to admit (at least to himself) he was interested in the identity of this Six person.
Note: If anyone's willing to drop a suggestion for a title, you're welcome to. In the meantime, I'm going to put the links to all the "chapters" of the "series" in order on my bio. If you missed a part, stop by and scroll to the bottom. That's usually where I put it...