A/N: Thank you to all the reviews, favs, etc.. You guys are so kind.
I'm sorry it keeps taking me so long to update. I wanted to get what I could out when I have the time.
Here's a new chapter for you - I'm trying to keep Grimmjow in character, but as time goes on he will change just a bit. Nothing drastic, but I'm toying with emotions here, and it's a little hard playing with a rather emotionless race of characters. Hollows...damn them.
I don't own Bleach or any of it's characters or locations. This is a fan fiction created for amusement.
The sun had just lowered itself past the horizon by the time Grimmjow and Koyuki reached the little bistro she had led him to. After reconciling, she had offered to treat him to dinner. He somewhat reluctantly agreed, stomach winning over his mind. Besides, she seemed pleased, and for some reason he liked seeing her pleased.
'Better than the sniveling mess she was in before,' Grimmjow thought to himself as they settled into two chairs that a waitress showed them to. The bistro was small, but already had a considerable amount of people arriving for dinner. It was situated next to the river, not too far from their apartments. The table they were at looked out over the water, lanterns from boats and buildings creating intricate dances of light across the water. The entire place had a nice, comfortable atmosphere, Grimmjow noticed as he leaned back and picked up a menu. The food looked good as well.
"Their shrimp and lobster is delicious," Koyuki said, flipping through her own menu. "My favorite is the butternut squash ravioli with ham. It's sweet and savory at the same time, and the sauce is so creamy..." She trailed off, a distant smile on her face.
"You really like western food, don't you?" Grimmjow asked. Koyuki nodded, folding up her menu. "Yeah," she replied, "Food in general has always been my thing, but western dishes are my favorite. Cooking it, preparing it, eating it, whatever. Ever since I was little I wanted to be a chef, especially one specializing in Italian food. My parents preferred traditional Japanese dishes, but I had an aunt who would make beautiful Italian dishes, and I've loved them ever since." She laughed quietly, folding her hands in her lap. "I actually went to a culinary college, but I haven't been able to land a true chef job yet. Right now, that little coffee shop is all I have," she continued, looking a little sad. "But I've perfected biscotti, which is pretty good."
Grimmjow listened to her in silence. Humans lived such short lives compared to hollow and shinigami, and yet they had such huge dreams. It was almost impossible for him to fathom the kind of dedication it took for a person to truly reach their dreams in a lifespan that very rarely reached a century. Why, he'd been a hollow for countless centuries before Koyuki was even born-the amount of time she had on Earth was like a few seconds to him.
"What about you?" Koyuki asked pleasantly, lacing her fingers together and placing them on the table. "You're living next door to me and I barely know you."
Grimmjow cleared his throat, trying to come up with a good lie. "I, uh, work in a company. It's kind of a small workforce, but it's got a lot of impact in the world." Or it's going to, at least...
Koyuki nodded her head, clearly buying into the fib. Grimmjow shifted, slightly uncomfortable, but before the woman could ask more questions, the waitress appeared to take their orders. Glad for the small distraction, Grimmjow pointed to his selection and sat back, content to watch as Koyuki conversed with the waitress, whom she obviously knew.
"-glad to see you're back on the bandwagon, Koyuki! This one's good looking, not like that Kyouya guy." The waitress giggled, one hand on her waist. Grimmjow raised a brow as Koyuki turned pink and shook her head.
"No, no, Sachi-chan, Grimmjow-san isn't my boyfriend! He just moved in next to me, that's all!" Koyuki corrected her friend, avoiding Grimmjow's gaze in embarrassment. 'She looks so flustered.' Grimmjow decided he liked seeing her flustered.
Sachi merely smirked, catching Grimmjow's eye and winking. "Sure, sure, Koyuki. I'll be back with your drinks in a minute. Don't let me keep you from your date, m'dears!" She turned, ponytail flipping back and forth as she waltzed back to the kitchen, giggling the whole way.
Grimmjow looked to Koyuki, who had her hands in her lap and was glaring after her friend. "Sorry about that," she said quickly once she noticed Grimmjow looking at her. "Sachi's just weird like that. She's been on my ass about dating a lot recently, so when she saw us together, she just assumed..." She trailed off once she realized she was only embarrassing herself more.
"It's okay," Grimmjow said, a little too hastily. Koyuki looked up from her lap, frowning slightly. Clearing his throat, Grimmjow scratched the back of his head.
"I mean, it's only natural. For people to assume...since we're in a restaurant together..." Koyuki finished, nodding slowly. It was quiet for a few moments as Grimmjow mentally berated himself. 'That's not what I meant...'
The arrival of their drinks broke the silence as Sachi returned with wine and water. Pouring the blood red liquid into their respective glasses, she winked again and left for her other duties. Koyuki picked up her glass and toasted Grimmjow, taking a sip.
Grimmjow had never tried wine before, as a hollow at least. Picking up his glass, he discreetly sniffed it, frowning at the fermented fruit smell of it. Raising the glass to his lips, he took as sip, not particularly liking or disliking it. It was okay- better than tea any day.
"Do you have a girlfriend, Grimmjow-san?" Koyuki asked suddenly, tracing the rim of her glass with her finger. Grimmjow snorted into his glass, setting it down before he spilled it.
"Why?" He asked, slightly amused. Koyuki shrugged, biting her lower lip. Grimmjow decided he liked it when she did that too.
"I dunno...I mean, you're...attractive and all, and I was just wondering..." She drunk from her glass, trying not to seem too interested in an answer.
Laughing shortly, Grimmjow propped his elbow up on the arm of his chair. "Is this how you flirt or somethin'?" Koyuki jumped at the accusation, turning a darker shade of pink.
"N-no! I was just-it's just that..." She covered her eyes with her hand, shaking her head. "Sorry...I shouldn't have asked..."
Chuckling, Grimmjow downed his glass, tongue curling at the taste. "No, I don't. I'm not really the dating type."
Koyuki peeked from between her fingers. "Really?"
Grimmjow nodded. "Yeah. Don't really have the time...or resources. Where I come from, there's a definite lack of females." And the ones who are there are liable to stab you as soon as look at you...
Smiling softly, Koyuki dropped her hand. "I see."
Their food arrived after that, and they busied themselves with eating. Grimmjow's dish was delectable (nothing like a good, raw gillian, though), and Koyuki seemed to enjoy hers immensely. Once they were finished, they split the bill (Koyuki refused to let him pay), and they left.
It was nearly nine o'clock as they started their walk home, and the few visible stars were dotted throughout the sky. The weather was slightly cool, and Koyuki wrapped the thin cardigan she was wearing around her as they walked on.
Before long, they reached the apartments. Koyuki pointed out the small bathroom window she left open for Mitsu, remarking that the feline was probably hungry and slightly annoyed. Smiling, she paused at her door, turning back to Grimmjow.
"Thank you for forgiving me, Grimmjow. You've, uh, been a great help."
Frowning, Grimmjow shoved his hands in his pockets. "With what? I didn't do anything."
Koyuki shook her head. "No. You have." Walking up to him, she surprised the blue-haired Espada by kissing him lightly on the cheek where his hollow mask would have been. Stepping back, she opened her door, waving as she stepped inside and turned on the lights.
Grimmjow entered his own apartment and sat on the couch, head in his hands. The kiss had been light and airy, but even through his gigai he could feel the sensation. Shaking his head, he sighed, frustrated. 'What is she doing to me?'
A dimension away, Aizen looked out over the sands of Hueco Mundo, a steaming mug in his hands. Behind him, a sliver of Gin's form could be seen in the light shed by the horned moon.
"Are things goin' the way you wanted, Cap'n?" Gin smirked. Unbeknownst to Grimmjow, Szayel had discreetly dispatched several bugs and cameras in and around his apartment, and the two men had been monitoring the entire scene that had just played out.
"Extremely so," Aizen replied, sipping from his mug. "Soon, I'm sure, all the cogs will be in place and we will be able to proceed as I had planned."
Gin's smile faltered slightly. Aizen had only just revealed his plan to him, and while it was necessary, Gin couldn't help but feel a small twinge of regret for Grimmjow. 'Poor guy. He has no idea what's in store...'
Sorry it's kind of short. Things will be this way for a while longer.
Thanks for reading!