One day, a crazy friend of mine (die-hard Ulquiorra fan) asked me to write a fanfic based on this great idea she read in another fan fiction.
Half a year later, I listened to her request.
shrap·nel n. metal fragments and debris from an exploding object
The battlefield is a shithole. It's filled with mud (which is shit), it's filled with scraps (which is shit), it's filled with blown off limbs (shit), and it's filled with dead people (which is even more like shit). And Grimmjaw was stuck in this shithole.
He crawled through the mud. Wiped the grime off his face as he clutched his gun closer to his chest. Aircraft flew overhead, making a dreadful noise as they soared across the gray sky. Grimmjaw flattened his body, burying himself to the ground as he crawled.
Behind him was the rest of his platoon. Codename 'Panther.' Stupid name. They followed him earnestly, hoping the trench walls would shelter them. There wasn't many left. Most had been killed by mines or gunfire. A few had been plucked off one-by-one by snipers. Sticking close to Grimmjaw was Reynolds, a physics graduate who didn't have the faintest idea what he was doing here. He was a skinny one, and he used a pale hand to clean his thick glasses. The first time they met, he had held out the same white hand for a handshake with a toothy grin. The grin faltered when he was met with Grimmjaw's withering look. Grimmjaw spat on the ground and conceded one nod before he turned his heels to walk away.
Unfortunately, that kind gesture led Reynolds into thinking they were now friends. So the nerd stuck to him like a leech.
"Grimmjaw!" Reynolds choked. "Are we there yet?"
Grimmjaw ignored him and continued to move forward. He just hoped the others weren't straying away. It was always a pain to go gather them later. Annoyed, he yanked open his shirt. His soiled uniform was stifling. His shoulders were too broad for the jacket and his pants too short. At the same time he got his uniform he had gotten in an argument with his superior over his blue hair. The captain ordered him to either dye it or shave it off. Grimmjaw gave him the finger. They got into a fistfight, which he had never lost before. So Grimmjaw came out victorious with his blue hair untouched.
"Shut the hell up!"
Dirt flew in the air as bullets peppered along the trench's edge. Everyone ducked, digging their heads into the dirt, arms wrapped over their heads. Grimmjaw hid behind a burnt piece of torso, face twisting at the smell. Unable to stand the acrid stench, he shoved away the corpse, raised himself, and positioned his gun. He let loose.
Three things about Grimmjaw: 1. he was deprived. 2. he was pissed. 3. his aim wasn't bad.
"You like it?" he yelled, laughing loudly. "I asked if you like it! FUCKERS!" By the time his bullets had ran out (though he continued to shoot), there was silence on the other end. Silence except for his mad laughter that echoed throughout the battlefield.
"Crazy bastard," a soldier from his platoon muttered.
Still, their asses had been saved multiple times by him. Grimmjaw had his berserker moments when he'd release his rage with an insane grin splashed across his face. In the middle of gunfire, he'd shoot back and somehow, somehow manage to defeat the enemy. How they didn't have a clue.
The others were scared silly during those times, but Reynolds at least appreciated it. While he would never have approached Grimmjaw if they had met before the war, he couldn't help following him. As hostile as he was, there was something about Grimmjaw that drew people to him like flies.
The first thing Grimmjaw had said to Reynolds was: "You a number freak?"
"Excuse me?" Reynolds said.
"I said are you into numbers, you freak."
"Er..." Reynolds didn't want to lie (and was scared of lying to that scowling face). "Yes, I'm a physics major. I work mostly with quantum mechanics and applied—"
"Shut up," Grimmjaw interrupted. "You're making my head hurt."
After a while, Grimmjaw spoke up again, "I was never into numbers. Dropped out of school to work off my fucking old man's debt. The only math I know is 1 plus 1 equals 1."
"But 1 plus 1 is 2," Reynolds protested.
Grimmjaw turned his glass-blue eyes onto Reynolds, who flinched. He punched him in the head. "Dipshit. 1 plus 1 equals 1."
Reynolds rubbed the bump on his head, grateful that Grimmjaw had spared him. On his second day, he saw Grimmjaw pummeling the shit out of some poor guy who had spilled his lunch on Grimmjaw's front. "Yes, you're right. 1 plus 1 is 1."
Grimmjaw grinned. "You're not such a freak," he said.
They somehow came out alive from the trench war.
Darkness had fallen. The platoon sat around a makeshift fire, warming themselves in the berating cold. The wind howled, piercing through their bones, taunting them as it whispered threats into their ears. There were only four soldiers left, three of them huddling closer to trap the warmth. Why no one had sent for them or rescued them out of this shithole wasn't such a mystery. The other Allied forces had a handful with the Japs and Nazis. And good ol' America was too busy sending death notification letters to notice they were still alive.
"Hey Reynolds," said one soldier, scratching his hooked nose. His name was something like Jackman. "Where's Grimmjaw. The asshole said I'd be dead by today but I win the bet. Five limbs all here."
"He's fixing his gun," another soldier, Hershey, replied. Hershey was a 20-year-old with a mournful expression as if he had already lived past fifty. "Said it got jammed halfway."
"So where is he?"
"I wouldn't bother him," Reynolds muttered. "Don't touch him when he's with a gun."
"I don't care for the sick things he does with that gun," Jackman laughed. "But I want my ten bucks."
Something cold pressed up against his head. Jackman turned around slowly to see Grimmjaw standing over him, blue eyes staring down, gun pointed at Jackman's head. "I could still win this bet," he said.
Jackman yelped and fell backwards, scrambling out of the way.
Grimmjaw lowered his gun and took Jackman's seat. "Jackass."
"In a bad mood?" Hershey asked. "You always sulk after a killing spree."
"Shut it, Chocolate," Grimmjaw spat. "You want me to snap you in half?"
"Guys, stop it," Reynolds intervened. "Wait till we find an American camp. You can chew each other out then."
Grimmjaw laughed, bitterly. "American camp, my ass. This is Nazi land. Nobody knows we're alive and nobody cares we're alive."
"Speak for yourself," Jackman said. "I've got a wife and kid back at home." He drew a picture out of his pocket. "Ellen and my little Tessa." He kissed the photo.
There was a thoroughly disgusted look on Grimmjaw's face. He turned to Reynolds, "What about you? Do you have family waiting for you like this jackass here?"
Reynolds fidgeted. "I think I got dumped by my girlfriend. Not too sure because the letter got blown up when our camp was ambushed."
They laughed at Reynolds' misfortune. Next was Hershey. "My dad kicked me out of the house a few years ago. Nothing to really go back to."
"Why'd your dad kick you out?" Jackman asked.
"I came out of the closet," Hershey said.
The three stared at Hershey. "Shit. You a chocolate fruitcake?" Grimmjaw said.
"Man, you didn't have to tell us," Jackman said. He raised his hands. "Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against gays."
Hershey shrugged. "Don't have anything to lose. We all might die tomorrow."
Optimistic of him, Grimmjaw thought. He had thought there was something queer about the guy in the first place. Not that he cared.
"Well, thanks for telling us," Reynolds said, accommodating as always. "You were hella brave to—"
"Are you the fucker or the fucked?" Grimmjaw asked, quite bluntly.
Reynolds turned red and rounded on Grimmjaw. "Sit your ass down," Grimmjaw said. "I was curious."
Jackman slapped Hershey on the back. "You just haven't tasted a woman yet. Ellen is my angel and Tessa my baby angel." He raised his photo again and gazed dreamily at it.
Then there was an ambush. They should have expected it; after all, they were deep in Nazi territory. A rat-tat-tatting sliced through the air. "GET DOWN!" Grimmjaw bellowed. He shot out his arm and grabbing the back of Reynolds' head, who was sitting closest to him, shoved him to the ground. These jerks didn't even give them a single minute to rest. He couldn't pinpoint were the bullets were coming from. Snipers probably.
By the time the dust had cleared, the fire had been put out. Everyone was kneeling on the ground, waiting for the worst to pass. Grimmjaw sat up first and his eyes flicked around, checking for the enemy, confirming the state of the other soldiers.
Reynolds was shaking like a cornered rat while Hershey's mournful expression went down another notch. Jackman was trying to stand up, still holding onto his precious photograph. Through the picture was a large hole. A matching hole was in Jackman's chest.
Jackman sank to the ground, his chest heaving as blood pulsated from the wound.
"Holy shit, Jackman..." Reynolds murmured.
They all ran to him, except for Grimmjaw who stood motionless.
"Jackman! Fuck, Jackman!" Hershey said hoarsely. He griped hopelessly around the fallen soldier, unsure of how to move him.
Jackman stirred a little. He raised the hole-bitten photograph. "Shit," he whispered. "There's a hole through my Ellen."
Grimmjaw still didn't move; his eyes were glued to Jackman.
Jackman chuckled. "Looks like I lose the bet. The ten bucks are in my pants pocket."
Grimmjaw approached him slowly. He stared down at Jackman, who was sinking into a sleep. "Jackass," Grimmjaw said. "I'll see you in hell."