From the author: When I started to write this fic, I planned it to be sort of drabble but it evolved somehow in the course of writing… I dedicate it to tooliepanna, one and only ;) Oh, and the title if from Muse's song. Their perfect GrimmIchi song, called "Undisclosed Desires" (surprise, surprise)
To make it clear, the first part is Grimmjow's POV, the second – Ichigo's. Have fun reading!
I like the moments when I wait for him knowing that he will come any minute. I'm not very good at waiting and lose patience very easily but when I'm sure he's coming, when I hear his footsteps going up the stairs – it's kind of exciting. I find pleasure in recognising the sound of his movement from the time he opens the door downstairs. Sometimes I hear his voice when he quarrels with his father or talks with sisters. I like the timbre of it. Especially, of course, when he whispers to my very ears, it's so deep and hoarse then. I'm waiting for him curled up into a ball on his bed, dozing off from time to time. I know I'm safe here; nobody will get in to his room without asking or knocking first. So when I'm bored or just feel the need to see him, I get in through the window. I already know more or less when he comes back home and even if he's not there for a longer time, I just sleep in complete safety, smelling his scent on the pillow. Everything in this room has become familiar for these few months I've kept on visiting him. Pale yellow of the walls, softness of his bedclothes and scent of his freshly washed clothes piled up on his desk as if he never had time to put them to the wardrobe. When he opens the door he always peers at me, surprised and I cannot help but smile slyly. That day wasn't different.
"How's life, Strawberry?" I asked, knowing that although he would never admit it, he liked that nickname. When I heard about the meaning of his name for the first time I thought I'd die laughing. It was so cute and absurd that I couldn't stop using it to irritate him. But then, somehow, the usage switched from the need to make him angry to something… more intimate. I used it only when we were alone and, how much I hate to admit it!, it escaped my lips a few times when we made especially passionate love.
He rolled his eyes, as usually. He would sooner die than admit he likes these crappy little things like sweet words or cuddling on the bed in complete darkness while it's raining outside. Although it's not easy for me to read through his thoughts, I understand that much.
"I had an awful day at school," he explained, putting his bag on the desk. "A lot of homework to do."
"It probably won't run away," I shrugged, "so come here."
I clapped the place on the bed next to me, smiling invitingly. He frowned, looking at me rather seriously.
"It's no use, Grimmjow," he sighed, "I really have to do my stuff first. It was a hard day, so do not make it worse and don't play your tricks on me."
As if I have to resort to tricks! I pouted and lay down on bed. Today I was in a good mood so I could wait for him. Well, I'd lie if I didn't admit that I spent some considerable time thinking about Ichigo and the relationship between us. It was all Yoruichi's fault. I like to stay at Ichigo's place but I feel bad when I stay in one place for too long so usually I sleep at Urahara's shop if I am not wandering in the surroundings aimlessly. Urahara is irritating in his own way as all Shinigamis are but we manage to get along together. Living at his side has some advantages: he opens the Senkaimon for me to Hueco Mundo or the Dangai where I can hunt for hollows or any other enemies I need. I can train in his special training place, whatever he calls it. And what's more, he has that sexy friend who likes to spend time in her cat form. I'd rather not try to pick her up in any way. I don't want to mess with Urahara and, to be honest, nothing tastes too well after you tried a particular kind of strawberries. However, I really enjoy spending time with her. We lie in the sunspot in our cat forms and have our little cat talks. The topics vary from really light ones to rather serious stuff, even though it's usually her who's talking on such solemn occasions. She asked me about many things connected with my life in Hueco Mundo and told me the story of her life. And, what's far more interesting, she's the infinite source of anecdotes from Soul Society and the surroundings. She also seems to be really concerned with my relationship that is irritating but sometimes can be useful. At first, when she heard about my… well, Ichigo and me, she was laughing so hard she couldn't catch her breath. But since then she's always been asking me how we are getting on and give me some pieces of advice, surprisingly accurate. Maybe she knows how cats should treat Shinigamis and the other way round from her own experience. Either way, it was her who told me that not only cats like being petted and that I should pay more attention to this so-called foreplay and I'd have marvellous results. And truly, she was right. I thought about it and realised we always did what and how I wanted. He didn't complain so I assumed he got his satisfaction. Well, I was sure of that. But when I started observing him, his needs and reactions I explored something new, fascinating and gave the new dimension to all we did. And probably most importantly, Ichigo seemed to be much more caressed and happy. Yoruichi gave me also some specific hints and… well, brining them into effect was certainly a pleasant experience.
So I kept lying on his bed and observing him with half-closed eyes. He took of his jacket and remained in a fair T-shirt and jeans. He looked as gorgeous as usual with this messy orange hair, bare feet, slim but muscular body and my thoughts started to drift away. But then I reminded myself of my resolution to pay more attention to his needs and feelings. I do care about them; I did in the past as well. But when you're alone for a very long time and the only person you're taking care of is yourself you somehow lose the balance between your desires and the world beside you. Well, I admit that my personality isn't the easiest one to deal with and I haven't really cared but… He did care about me. So, with a rather painful sigh, I decided to change some of my behaviours. Some days ago in such a situation I'd just come up to him, turn his chair so that he'd face me and start kissing him so passionately that after a short while he'd have no choice but to surrender. But today I noticed his eyes circled with shadows and the fact that he was some kind of pale and his back a bit hunched. He looked rather miserably and to my surprise I felt a bit worried.
"Hey, what's wrong with you?" I demanded sharply. "Are you ill or something?"
"No, just tired," he glanced at me, looking really exhausted.
"Come on, a fighter like you is finished by the school?" I snorted ironically, "That's quite pathetic, don't you think?"
"Grimmjow, just shut up if you please," he said without emotions, "I'm really trying to do some serious stuff. Tomorrow I have to go on a mission and…"
"Oh, a mission," I interrupted him dryly. "That explains everything."
And all my resolutions got lost. I knew I sounded like a spoilt child but it was a sensitive issue. After the great battle I was granted sort of a pardon but my status was still something between an outcast and an enemy. I was simply bored. I wanted to do something serious, fight with some great opponents, not only stupid hollows in Karakura or Dangai. Ichigo had the reputation of a saviour of the world, or even a few worlds, to be exact and had much to do. From time to time he had missions in other dimensions, usually with other Shinigamis from Soul Society. I wasn't allowed to enter Soul Society, not to mention going on missions. So I was always pissed off when he went there. And although I wouldn't admit it to him even being put to torture, I was simply jealous. I was jealous of these guys from Soul Society that they went on a mission, but even more importantly that they stayed by his side, fought by his side. I hated that times when he went on a mission, I spent all days at Urahara's place then, drinking with him and his cat-woman or just dozing off, letting the time pass quicker than usually.
In the past he would go with me for a little hunting. However, no matter how hard I tried to make it entertaining, he never took real pleasure in it. Once he told me there was something cruel in hunting hollows that do not really attack anyone but I laughed it off. Because, really, I'm the Arrancar after all so if I don't feel any remorse after killing some useless hollows, he shouldn't feel it either. He couldn't put his heart into such fights, which again pissed me off. So, sometimes I used a deceit: I fought the strongest hollows so riskily and without releasing all my power that he became worried about me and lost his balance in order to protect me. That was cruel. But what a pleasure it was to have him wear the hollow mask and fight with all his power, defeating his opponents within seconds! Usually, after such situations he was a bit angry with me, sensing that I tricked him and didn't want to talk to me. Well, I on the contrary was really excited after seeing him in such a state during the fight and usually we ended up on his carpet, his clothes torn into pieces.
But some time ago I exaggerated and it was the last time we fought together. It was also the situation that made me think more about our relationship in general. It started as usual; we went to Dangai by a special gate Urahara designed for such trips. The hollow we found was exceptionally awful and, to my happiness, strong as hell. I wanted to make Ichigo fight with all his strength so I came too close to it and that was my mistake. Bastard had some thorns with poisonous ends and before I could react, thinking only about provoking Ichigo, it caught me with its limbs and almost tore me to pieces with these damn horns. Well, of course I managed to break free and treated the hollow with my cero but the damage was done and the poison started to circulate in my body. I had what I wanted; Ichigo killed the monster immediately and appeared by my side, seriously worried. Unfortunately, my state didn't allow me to feel satisfied. I felt incredible hotness and then coldness together with dizziness.
"Grimmjow, you fucking idiot," he growled helping me to stay straight and watching me carefully. "Are you able to walk? We have to go back as soon as…"
"Of course I can," I managed to say in a husky voice, feeling worse and worse with every moment. The injury wasn't probably that deep but the poison was a bigger problem. I wanted to push him away as I hated to appear as weak, needing help from anyone. I saw black spots in front of my eyes. I made a few steps on shaky legs, leaning heavily on Ichigo. I felt dizzy and suddenly the ground disappeared below my feet and I fainted pathetically.
I learnt from Yoruichi what happened later. Ichigo took me on his back and we returned to Urahara's shop. My state wasn't that bad, Yoruichi said, but nevertheless I remained unconscious for about three days, fighting the poison in my body. I had high fever and shivers. The only thing I can remember were tiring dreams in which I were on a dessert, similar to that in Hueco Mundo but with the sun shining blindingly. I wanted to drink; I needed water so badly I was on the verge of crying. I would never cry even if I were dying, I know that, but in this dream I was like a child, alone and scared. I don't remember my childhood, it's difficult to say if I had any but that vision was similar to what I imagine as being so little and helpless. I wanted somebody to come to me and take me away from that place. I was walking and searching for anything to drink when suddenly the ground started to vanish into thin air. I was screaming and drowning, I had this certainty that I could be saved if only I did a few steps – but my legs and arms were numb, I couldn't move them. I felt so helpless and pitiful that I yelled and put all my determination in that yell – it woke me up, finally.
What was a desperate scream in my dream, must have been another pitiful moan in reality. I opened my heavy eyelids and realised I was lying on a low bed. I had a terrible headache but my mind was clear. It was dark in the room where I was lying but the window was opened, letting in some fresh, summer air. So it had to be night. I felt terrible dryness in my mouth and turned my head to look for some water. Moving my body was painful and I had the impression that I did it in a kind of a slow motion but when I finally turned round I faced Ichigo.
He was sleeping on a mattress, a lower one than my bed, huddled like a kitten. I nestled my head into the pillow and looked at him. Because of the hot, he slept without any covering, only in T-shirt and boxer shorts. He was breathing regularly; his lips parted slightly, hair messy as usual, cheeks reddened by sleep. He looked so cute and vulnerable that I bit my lip not to touch him. It could have woken him up, which I didn't want. I noticed a glass of water on a little desk near my bed, within my reach, so I finally could quench my thirst. It was almost a blessing. My head was still heavy so I lay back on the pillow and returned to observing the boy next to me. He was so peaceful I felt that this peace reached also my own mind. His mere presence drove all the nightmares away. He exuded certainty, some kind of reliability. Really, being with him, I could believe in everything. Almost. Once, I started to believe I owned a soul. Even, if it wasn't mine, not exactly at least. My soul existed in his body; he was the part of me which made something more than just Arrancar out of me. Then I was made to realise I could have an affection for somebody. And, even more surprisingly, that someone was able to feel something for me. I wonder if he knew how much he meant for me. Because, well, I never told him about it. I'm not good at talking about feelings, especially with the most concerned person. I assumed he should know. He should feel it. Otherwise, what would be the point of being together? That was what I thought.
It's not like me to talk about my feelings. I used to be proud of it but then Yoruichi scolded me. She called me a total idiot and asked some questions which were to prove me wrong. She explained that my behaviour wasn't exactly very emotional. In fact, due to her opinion, I acted mostly as an arrogant brat, not really caring about my partner. So I should at least do my best to assure him in words about my affection. I told her to get lost but I pondered on it later. Yoruichi wasn't somebody I could listen to, I hate listening to anybody, but her comments were valuable. At least some of them.
Ichigo and I weren't a couple that would exchange sweet nothings on every occasion. Quite the contrary, we usually spoke ironically to each other, smirking and scoffing. Sometimes he would say something tenderer and I adored these moments, even though he seemed rather uneasy then. Just once he told me he loved me but even now he doesn't know I heard it. We were lying in bed then, after the sex of my life. Well, with him every second time can compete to be the sex of one's life. He thought I was sleeping because I didn't respond to his words. In fact, I was still coming to my senses. He started petting my hair involuntarily, his thoughts elsewhere. I wondered what he was thinking about when he suddenly leaned and kissed my exposed shoulder. "Love you, idiot," he whispered so softly I could barely heard. But I did. I made no motion, nothing that could make him aware of the fact I wasn't sleeping. I felt as if something warm spilt all over my body and I was thankful I didn't have the tendency to blush. He then cuddled up to me and fell asleep, leaving me staring at the ceiling for the rest of the night. I was angry with myself – a man like me shouldn't get so excited about a simple love confession. It was pitiful, really. But I just couldn't help it.
I tried to say it back on several occasions. I couldn't refer to his words because he'd probably die because of embarrassment. There were times when I breathed in and formulated the phrase in my mind but I always let it out without saying anything. It wasn't like me. I was to act, not to talk.
When I was lying next to him on that night in Urahara's house, being injured and exhausted after a nightmare, I was thinking about it. Did he long for my words? Did he feel that he was loved? Suddenly I felt a wave of guilt. I wasn't good to him, I should have been better. I should care more, should appreciate every little moment we spent together. He was such a good person and the best warrior I knew. He didn't have to waste his time with me but he did. It was in the middle of the night, I didn't know how many days had passed, he had school and all his duties but still he was sleeping next to me. He did care. I felt shame and affection, I watched him with amazement. So he was truly mine. His hair almost glowed in the dark. My night sun. When you were brought up in Hueco Mundo you don't really know the sun. And then you get one for yourself only, isn't it too much? I felt it was. I knew I should wake him up and thanked for being with me, for everything. I should caress him for the rest of the night, saying all the little nonsense he'd like to hear and I should declare, at last. But I couldn't. These emotions were too strong to be spoken out. My affection was almost devastating. So instead of telling him everything, I transformed into my cat form, in which I didn't feel the pain that much and went out through the window. I slept on the roof of Urahara's place and came back to my room after Ichigo came home in the morning. He didn't return and I couldn't force myself to visit him for a few days, until I fully recovered.
When I came to him after this break for the first time, it was as if we were never separated. No accusations, no big words either. We were ironic and amused as always. Only when I was telling him about some stuff from my Hueco Mundo's past, he approached me and without a word kissed me on the cheek and smile in a soft, tender manner. His brown eyes were so warm I almost stuttered but I continued my story and he seemed to be content anyway.
I thought about it all when he mentioned that he was going on a mission that day. I don't like silence and I know he doesn't enjoy it either but it looked we both had nothing to say then. He shrugged and got to his work, I was lying and staring at him. My good mood vanished.
"Ok, I feel your eyes burning my shirt," he sighed, facing me. "What's up?"
I snorted, not knowing what to say. That I was jealous and bored? That I wanted him to take care of me instead of wasting his time on that school nonsense? I wanted to be better but I was getting more and more irritated. I wanted him to know my feelings but whenever I felt a surge of affection and tenderness towards him, I became so overwhelmed by them that it was too much. I simply couldn't deal with it. And when something surpassing me, I become angry and touchy.
"I don't feel like wasting my time with you anymore," I heard my own, irritated voice.
"As you wish," he growled and turned away. "Thanks for being so supportive."
"As if you needed my support!" I was already heating up. In such a situation rows are doing me good. I have a chance to let out my emotions. The problem is I feel something so positive but I show exactly the opposite. But when I start, it's so difficult to relax and forget it. "Just go on that mission and get lost!"
"Wonder what you'll do then," he faced me again. His face reflected anger but something in his eyes looked more like… hurt. I felt like a piece of shit again but couldn't make up for the wrong. I wanted to come to him and apologise but my legs were numb.
"If I don't come home after a mission, I guess what you'll do," he repeated. "Probably shrug and find another guy to shag from time to time?"
I resisted the urge to punch him.
"You know," he continued, "it's nice you have a lot of free time but I have my duties and it would be even nicer if you could respect that…"
"Am I saying anything?" I interrupted him in a light voice. I knew it would piss him off even more. He was in a serious mood, probably due to his weariness. I felt that he wanted some kind of assurance. He needed it; there was something almost desperate in his eyes. But I continued, "Go on that mission, why not? If you don't have time for me, just say it. Say, Grimmjow, fuck off, why won't you?"
"I don't want to say that," he whispered, staring at me sadly. I wanted to hug him. But I already was irritated and what was getting even more on my nerves was the fact that he didn't yell at me. His accusations weren't full of anger. I knew he was right. But it was so hard to apologise.
"I want you to stay," he added, resigned. "I just want to do my work as well. I have to."
"Ok," I shrugged. My emotions made me tired. My nervousness was a nightmare sometimes. I needed a break and some fresh air. "Get to your stuff, I'm going for a walk."
"Will you… be back?" he asked softly. I knew him well so I knew how much it cost him to ask this question, revealing his needs and feelings.
I wanted to shout that I would always be there for him. That I would hold him in my arms till he fell asleep and then we would sleep the whole night cuddled. That I cared for his condition in that stupid mission and if something happened to him, I would… I'd… I even didn't want to think about it. I never said such things. I wanted but they would sound so foreigner in my mouth. I wanted to exercise but… I was too tired by my own outburst of rage. So instead of all the words he wanted to hear, he heard my voice saying lightly, "One day I will be. Why wouldn't I?"
"Yeah. Sure," he nodded; looking even more exhausted and turned his back on me. "Have a nice walk."
"Take care," I muttered. He probably heard it because his back quivered a little. I went out through the window and took a long walk on the empty street.
I was an idiot and I knew it.
Once, I tasted strawberries. Ichigo had them at home and gave me to try. I'm not a big fan of fruit but how could I not try the fruit that has the same name as him? They were good and had a specific, distinguishing taste: sweet and a bit sour. And that taste suited Ichigo as he had strong character, individuality; he could not to be mistaken for anyone else. He was sweet at times but usually sour, always ironic with these frowned eyebrows. His name was right. After that I asked Urahara to buy me lots of strawberries and I ate them when I felt bad, to his and Yoruichi's amusement. The taste reminded me of him. But when it comes to Ichigo, he's always more than anything else. My strawberry is sweeter, sourer, bitter, tastier, more specific, and more individual. No stupid fruit can be compared to him.
I should go back, apologise and tell him that he deserved better. Since he chose me, I'd try my best to treat him as he should be treated. But I decided that it was too late on that day. He was exhausted and I wasn't completely relaxed. It might not appear the way I wanted it to be. It could simply result in another row, which would be a disaster. So I decided to visit him the next day and make up for that stupid evening. I went home feeling lighter.
I should have known that when you plan future, it always differs from your schemes. I didn't think some things would happen in the nearest future and that they would make me realise I have more than I've ever thought I would, not to mention I don't deserve even the half of it.