A/N: The sexual content has been removed from this chapter--this chapter has been edited to fit the guidelines of fanfiction dot net. If you wish to read the full version, you must be 18 years or older. It can be found on LiveJournal under my username as Desperatembrace. If you have trouble finding it, the link is in my profile as my homepage.
Started July 11th.
Completed July 19th.
Disclaimer(s): I do not own Bleach. If I did, we would have known Isshin's secret a long time ago. (The curiosity is freaking killing me!)
Brown eyes glared at the clock on the wall, watching as the second hand slowly made a full revolution. He had counted that particular hands revolutions far too many times since he had sat down. It was mocking him. He just knew it. He let out a harsh sigh, tapping his fingers impatiently on the wooden armrest of the lobby chair. What the hell was taking Grimmjow so long?
The ding of the nearby elevator caused him to chance a glance in that direction, a sigh of relief being exhaled when blue hair came into view.
Ichigo stood up and watched as Grimmjow made a beeline his way, tugging on a coat and holding his work bag between his teeth. Orange eyebrows furrowed as he snatched the bag from the man's mouth, rolling his eyes and proceeding out the large automatic doors. Grimmjow followed along behind him, struggling with the buttons of his coat. "Not my fault I'm late, Ichi. You know how it is."
He stopped when the younger man paused, turning around to face him. Ichigo fixed him with a hard stare before raising an eyebrow and reaching out to help him with his buttons."Yeah, yeah. You poor, poor man. Just because you ended up becoming the company president doesn't mean you get to use it as your excuse. You're the one who wanted me to come meet you!" The sentence was ended with him waving his arms, the bag in his hand flopping around dangerously. Grimmjow looked off to the side, muttering to himself. He was still upset about Ulquiorra pushing the president's position onto him. Just because he didn't want the position, didn't mean he had the right to push it on to the next person he saw! He had things to do, too! He was a busy person! Grimmjow's thought process halted when his companion put his hands on his hips, a questioning look taking over his features.
"So? Why did you want me to come meet you? What's the deal?" Ichigo pinned him with a heavy stare, truly curious as to why his boyfriend had so fervently demanded that he come to meet him after work. He led him to his car, sliding in after Ichigo had already buckled up in the passenger seat. Starting the car and exiting the parking lot, he turned a small smile on him before saying, "You'll see."
The car was parked next to the curb of a small street. Grimmjow got out of the car and lead Ichigo down a simple sidewalk around a tall fenced-in area. He was rather curious about the whole ordeal, especially since flowers were now involved. A few blocks back, Grimmjow had stopped and bought a few white roses from a street vendor, pushing them into his hands and telling him to hold on to them. As they were walking, the orange haired man had begun to realize exactly where they were, grabbing uneasily at his sleeve. He had never been here before, but considering the place, he should have been here many, many times. But he had never had the courage nor support to do so.
The pair entered the area, keeping to the gravel path that was surrounded by grass and trees. Grimmjow followed the instructions that Isshin had given him, making his way to a particular patch of grass. He paused, gently pushing Ichigo in front of him so that he could see it. Ichigo's eyes landed on a beautifully carved stone, on which loving words were inscribed.
'Here lies Kurosaki Masaki, loving mother and wife.
Kind and pure of heart, she will forever be missed.
May she rest in peace.'
He could feel the unshed tears gathering in his eyes, the want and need to bawl like a child grabbing and clutching at him. He missed her so much. Ichigo vaguely wondered how he lived without her. He had always been rather attached to his mother... He sniffed slightly, leaning back and letting a smile overcome his face when Grimmjow was right there behind him, holding him up. Still staring at the stone, he dropped to his knees, not caring about dirtying up his pants or how cold the ground was. Delicately, he lay the roses across the grave and muttered a quick, silent prayer. He allowed Grimmjow to pull him back up to his feet.
Wordlessly, he followed his boyfriend over to a nearby bench, not protesting when he was pushed onto the artistically-carved stone seat. Grimmjow sat beside him, waiting silently. A few minutes passed before Ichigo finally blinked out of his thoughts, burying his head in his hands and smiling. "Thank you. It really means a lot to me." Teal eyes concealed themselves beneath eyelids as Grimmjow shook his head with a smirk. It was a bit hard to hear, but... he had heard it.
"This..." Ichigo's voice was quiet as he continued. "This has always been too hard for me. I couldn't do it alone. Especially since all of those events had happened on my birthday. After that event, I despised my birthday, just because it shared my mother's death date. I thought it was a bad day... unlucky..." He shook his head, probably unable to continue. Grimmjow hummed in thought, staring off across the grass. "Really? I don't think it is. You were born that day--brought into existence. Wouldn't most people think that's a good thing--the beginning of life? The good balances out the bad." Ichigo wanted to laugh. Grimmjow--being sentimental! It was utter insanity. He instead stayed quiet, a smile playing at his lips. The gift of life, huh?
The couple stayed silent, watching people pass by to make their way to their own loved one's graves. The cold was made apparent when the wind blew, sending a chill down Ichigo's spine. He shivered slightly, pulling his coat a little tighter around himself. He looked down at his pants, noticing some dirt stuck to his knees. After brushing the soil off and having nothing else to do, his light tan hands started playing with the decorative zippers on his thighs.
Grimmjow stared at Ichigo, his face contorted in confusion. The orange haired man looked up from what he was doing, catching the man's eye. He looked around for a second before focusing his gaze him. "What's wrong?"
Blue locks of hair went slighlty askew as he shook his head, rubbing his chin. "No.. it's just... you seem to look... different. I can't really place it." He glanced down at Ichigo's shoes, raking his eyes up as he examined every detail. Finally, his eyes rested on Ichigo's bright orange hair--for once, not concealed by a hat. He let out a sound of revelation, his eyes scrunching up as a rare smile tainted his lips. "You aren't wearing a hat."
Ichigo covered his hair in defense, shrinking away from his boyfriend slightly. Grimmjow caught him by the wrist and pulled his hands away. "No. It's fine." He reached forward, running his own hand through the soft hair, marveling at how the orange hair would always return to its previous position. It sort of made him wonder if it would stay the same if he gave the man a nuggie... Instead of acting on his small, random urge, he said, "Why do you wear hats all the time, anyways?"
The younger man gave an almost uncaring shrug as he looked off into the distance. He shifted in his position on the stone bench before saying, "It stands out too much. Sometimes people would pick fights with me just because I had orange hair. I prefer to blend in with the crowd." Grimmjow gave a small snort, causing Ichigo to look back at him in confusion.
He smacked Ichigo's arm playfully, shaking his head as if everything were perfectly crystal-clear now. "Haven't you learned in that class you've been going to lately? Isn't it the job of an artist to stand out?" Brown eyes blinked a few times before a large smile spread beneath them. It was true. He started taking a college art class around the start of winter to pursue his dreams. He was still doing fashion design on the side, of course. "Yeah. I guess it is." A blue eyebrow was raised, taunting him. "Damn right it is. No more wearing hats..." He trailed off slightly before a smirk pulled at his lips. Ichigo watched him for a moment, waiting for more. He chuckled quietly to himself before resting his chin in his palm, his elbow propped up on his knee. "Well, now it will be a hell of a lot easier to find you in the crowd. All I have to do is keep a look out for a glaringly orange head." He snickered as Ichigo slapped him on the thigh, huffing before standing up. "Yeah, yeah. Now that you've had your laughs, let's go home. It's cold." He glanced around at the trees littering the cemetery, each of the branches bare.
Already, it was February once more. It had been nearly a year since he had met Grimmjow--the year-long anniversary being in only 36 hours. A little more than half a year had passed since the confrontation with his past. Time had passed so quickly...
He shook his head. Who really cared? All that mattered was he was here with Grimmjow. For now and always. Said man stood up, nodding. "Yeah. Let's go."
Ichigo stepped into the apartment flat, Grimmjow stepping in behind him and shutting the door. "Jeez. It's still cold. Why did I forget to leave the heat on..?" Ichigo kept his coat on, only toeing off his shoes and going further into their home to turn up the thermostat. He then collapsed onto the couch, curling up to retain body heat. When Grimmjow walked into the room, he only chuckled, raising an eyebrow at his lover.
"Are you a bear now? Going into hibernation?" He smirked when a brown eye peaked open, Ichigo huffing indignantly. "Is it so wrong that I'm cold?" he asked. Grimmjow just shrugged. "Whatever you say." He pulled off his coat and tossed it over the back of the chair, stretching a bit. Ichigo watched him from his position on the couch before he asked, "What do you want for dinner tonight?"
Grimmjow shrugged. "I don't really know. Something good for the cold weather. Soup. Or stew," he added as an afterthought.
He stood there for a moment, just going through his thoughts. Now that he thought about it, they needed to make a trip to the therapist sometime soon--to cancel Ichigo's sessions. They had been planning on putting Ichigo back through therapy ('they' meaning Rukia--he was merely coerced into the idea) to 'rid Ichigo of his problem'. That problem was Hichi. Strangely enough, though, Ichigo had claimed that he hadn't heard from Hichi since the day of the incident. There was a lot of random muttering about buildings crumbling to the ground and hardened resolve. As far as Grimmjow could guess, Hichi had only existed to protect Ichigo from his past--and seeing as how his past was over and done with... He shook his head, deciding to just forget about such things for the time being. He really needed a smoke right about now... He hadn't had one of those in days... He shivered, remembering just how cold it was when a chill went down his spine. He needed to warm up...
He was going to make his way to the bathroom for a nice hot shower until he was stopped by Ichigo's voice. "Say..."
Grimmjow turned around and glanced at his boyfriend. "What?" he asked, a little annoyed that the warming shower was being delayed. Ichigo had sat up by now, watching him with a bit of a mischievous twinkle in his eye. "Tell me, how many times has your birthday been considered unlucky?"
The blue haired man stiffened in his place, wincing slightly. Shit. Did that mean he had caught on? Instead of giving anything away, he asked, "What makes you say that?" Ichigo scowled, standing up from the couch. "Don't play stupid, you damned jack-ass. Today is February the 13th--Nel told me it's your birthday. And you scolded me for not liking my birthday." Grimmjow was fuming. His damned sister could never just keep her mouth shut. Not for Ichigo, at least.
He sighed, running a hand through his hair. "Today is my birthday, yes. It's not important." Grimmjow really wanted to take back his words when he saw Ichigo's scowl deepen. Brown eyes glanced discreetly at the bedroom door, an action that he caught. Ichigo just shrugged, making his way over to the door, shaking his head. "Alright, then. If it's not important, then I suppose you don't want your gift." He opened the bedroom door, Grimmjow following him in curiosity. "Gift?" He watched Ichigo make his way to the bedside table and stepped up behind him. "I'll still take the gift, you know." He smirked, the smirk falling slightly as Ichigo deviously glanced over his shoulder.
"So you still want the gift?" he asked, eyes lit up in amusement. The moment that Grimmjow nodded his head in confirmation was the exact same moment that he found himself falling onto the bed.
He blinked up at Ichigo in confusion. He hadn't been expecting such a turn of events. Of course, it's not like he was about to complain. He wasn't one to look a gift horse in the mouth. Grimmjow, having finally regained his wits, raised an eyebrow and smirked. "So this is my gift? A nice ravishing man atop me?"
Brown eyes watched him with a nervous undertone before they hardened into determination. Ichigo rotated his shoulders slightly in a make-shift shrug and said, "Yeah, well, what's the point in purchasing a material item that could easily be bought? I figured something a little more hard-to-get would be a lot more..." He paused, searching for the right word before giving his own smirk. "Satisfying."
Strands of blue hair flared around him as he turned and glanced at the arms holding his lover up, on either side of his head. "Well..." His questioning eyebrow dropped, a playful, challenging expression taking over his features. "What are you waiting for?" He reached up and buried his fingers into Ichigo's hair, pulling the man down into a heated kiss. In all truth, he had been waiting for this. Ever since they had officially become lovers, the farthest that they had gone had been... not that far. After all, the lowest that either had gotten to had been the neck.
And he found that pretty damned sad.
Not to mention frustrating. He was a man--a man with abundant sexual desires. To suffer through half a year of abstinence... it was torture. Pure torture. Point blank, no debate about it. Ichigo seemed to have a sensor... a sensor that was ridiculously attuned to sexual tension. Every single time Grimmjow got into the mood, either something interrupted them, or Ichigo would back off and away. Terribly unsatisfying.
Their tongues twisted and tangled together, Ichigo fervently battling for dominance. He had realized that Grimmjow had blatantly pushed aside that debate for who-tops-who. Needless to say, he was not the least bit pleased. He was going to win the battle for topping position, damn it.
His blue haired lover let out a chuckle during the kiss, probably figuring out his train of thought. He grew irritated, pushing the opposites wet appendage out of his mouth and moved the fight into his partner's mouth. Grimmjow finally grew tired of the fight and decided to assert some of his dominance. The corners of his lips quirked into a smirk when Ichigo let out a (highly masculine, of course) squeak as he sucked on his tongue. Ichigo pulled away, his arms growing a bit tired from holding his weight up during such an intense kiss. He stared down at his lover, pleasantly flushed and desperately pulling air back into his lungs. Grimmjow adopted a (highly fake) look of innocence onto his face for a moment before the smirk won out. He had been about to say something before Ichigo dove back down, seeming like he was going to start another rough kiss.
Grimmjow would be lying if he said he wasn't surprised. Instead of the mouth-to-mouth kiss he had been expecting, his lover had placed a simple, chaste kiss to the corner of his mouth. There was a short pause before he continued, slowly pressing kisses down to the side of his jaw before he traced it up to the man's upper jaw, right below the ear lobe. While the kisses had been enough to make his skin (that already had goosebumps from the cold) tingle pleasantly, he clenched his teeth, withholding the groan that threatened to spill from his lips when Ichigo flicked his tongue out at the skin behind his ear.
With the treatment he was receiving, Grimmjow was ready to get things on the road. He was already half hard with anticipation. He had been about to take control of things, but sadly, had to stop. Ichigo, ever the instinctual one, seemed to notice his new-found determination and pulled away with a smirk. He slid his knee into the crotch of his older lover and pressed down, locking his brown eyes onto blue. "Nope." He leaned forward, tracing his tongue along Grimmjow's lower lip.
"This is my gift to you," He murmured against tanned skin, kissing again at the corner of his mouth. His lover froze, arms laying limp at his side as Ichigo trailed down his neck. Kisses were pressed against his skin, slowly moving down inch by inch. There was a pause before a tongue was swiped against the hollow of his neck, a surprised groan spilling out of his mouth. Deciding to help out, Grimmjow began unbuttoning his shirt, relishing in the tingling sensation as Ichigo started attacking newly exposed skin, kissing each and every spot available. Before long, the older man's shirt was on the floor, the younger still unwilling to give up his dominant position from atop his lover.
Grimmjow grinned up at his lover. This was going to be interesting....
The blue haired man reached over to the table to grab a few tissues and do a half-ass job of cleaning them up. Tossing the dirty tissues into the nearby trashcan, he allowed himself to collapse next to Ichigo, draping a heavy arm across the younger's midsection. The next few moments were spent in a comfortable silence.
Ichigo finally shifted, the awkward feeling of semen running down his thigh making him restless. He propped himself up a bit and glanced around, finding that the sight of the room was an utter mess. Their clothes were strewn in multiple places around the bed and now that he was out of the heat of the moment, he was starting to feel just how cold the room was. Granted, it was warmer than when they had first gotten home, but it was still chilly. He shoved his legs under the bedsheets with little care, not bothering with straightening the fabric out so that it covered all of his skin. Grimmjow stirred, sitting up and rubbing at his head. He stared at Ichigo for a moment before he frowned. "Hey..." he said, his voice thoughtful. "Weren't we going to have dinner?"
Hazel eyes blinked before Ichigo groaned. "Oh right... Sheesh. Even after that you're hungry.." He flushed ever so slightly, just waiting for Grimmjow to start teasing him. When none of it came, he sighed and shook his head, straightening up a bit to get out of bed. What he didn't expect, however, was the sharp pain that shot up his spine from the movement. He toppled over with a yelp, going headfirst over the side of the bed. His face met the carpet while his lower half was still on the bed. His ass was in the air, a perfect view for his boyfriend--considering that he was, quite literally, butt-naked. All in all...
Grimmjow, on the other hand, would easily admit one thing. He was a fucking pervert. Point blank. This point was easily proved as he watched Ichigo wave his ass back and forth, trying desperately to right himself. The blue haired man grinned and asked, "Wanna have another go at it?" Ichigo finally managed to right himself, his face flushed in embarrassment. Looking down, he groaned, the heat in his cheeks slowly receding. He had sadly managed to tangle himself further in the bed sheets during the struggle.
"Are you gonna be on bottom?"
"Hell no," Grimmjow answered back haughtily, crossing his arms as Ichigo struggled to untangle his limbs from the sheets. "Hmmm..." Ichigo paused thoughtfully, smirking in victory as the sheets were finally kicked away from him. He turned a face of pure innocence on his lover before it melted into a winning smirk.
"Then I do believe you just answered your own question."
Grimmjow sat back against the headboard, frowning in what Ichigo identified to be his 'sulking expression'. He rolled his eyes, making an attempt to make it out of the bed once more. He paused when a hand locked around his wrist. He turned back around to see Grimmjow shake his head before he tugged on Ichigo's wrist. "It's fine," he said. "I'm not that hungry. Besides. I don't feel like getting up. When I feel like getting up, I'll kick your ass outta bed to make me food." He grinned at the redhead's scowl. Well, aren't you a saint?
Ichigo rolled his eyes and sat back, sinking into the mattress. His eyes slipping shut, he let out a thoughtful noise before saying, "This is nice." A smile spread across his lips. Grimmjow looked over at him with a curious expression. "What is?"
"This," he answered back, waving his arms about him with his eyes still closed. "Like I said before--I'm not really a people person. I'm more of a loner, so I tended to have little company. I've always been alone in a metaphorical sense, persevering and pushing forward--struggling to survive." He opened his eyes, staring up at the ceiling thoughtfully.
"In this world you must endure and survive."
Grimmjow sat up and fixed him with a funny look. "Why must you make it sound so fucking difficult to live? Just live the way you want to and never look back." He pulled Ichigo close to him and smiled into the orange locks. "Besides, even if you must persevere, you've got me right there next to ya, right? To save your ass..." He added, almost as if he were clarifying.
Ichigo snorted quietly, holding back the urge to call him on the cheesy line. But it was fine. As long as it was Grimmjow using it. "Yeah," he answered earnestly. He wasn't really alone. He never really had been. But now he had someone he was close to, someone whom he could entrust everything to--someone who could help him past all of the terrible things that happened during an average life.
Someone to enjoy life with.
It was nothing special. Just a simple day at home with the two of them enjoying each other's presence--enjoying their existence.
A/N: Thanks for all the support, you guys. You have been the most amazing readers ever. I hope to hear from you in my future works! (And if you plan on writing any good Grimmichi fics, let me know about it--I really enjoy reading other people's works.)