The final chapter. Enjoy.

Dark Moon Rising by Boogermeister

Chapter 21

My King.

I am sorry. I am sorry for the pain and the abuse I had given you for the time we have been together. I hurt you because I was afraid of being alone, as I had been for my entire life. Remember when I told you that I have been in loveless after loveless foster family, that was probably it.

Growing up like that might be the reason why I was holding in so much anger and messed up my way of thinking. If I had knew that sooner, then I wouldn't have tried to hurt you as much like that. But we both know that it's too late now. The guilt and the grief had already eaten my heart, if I stay alive then it would get even worse.

I don't wish for you to forgive me. But I truly wish that you'd be happy with your life along with your new love. I'll see you next time in the afterlife, Ichigo.

-Your Horse, Shiro.

Ichigo sobbed silently. Grimmjow just stood there behind him, with a solemn frown. There was only both of them, dressed in complete black, in front of a small tombstone, as the rain drizzled over them. It said 'Taikei Shirosaki'. It happened at that day.

Shiro finally admitted to himself that he was the one that he gave Ichigo pain and sorrow throughout the relationship. He asked the nurse for a notepad and a pen, and had scribbled something down. After that, he suddenly ripped off his I.V. and other wires from his body and stumbled for the window. Despite the panicked pleas from the nurse, he opened the window and without a word he jumped out.

That was then a scream was heard. Shiro was found seven stories below to the ground, a side of his head was splattered against the concrete ground and his eyes were wide from the fatal impact. Copious amount of blood drenched the albino's white hair and skin. There was a panic throughout the hospital. When it was found out that it was Shiro, Ichigo immediately felt an ice-cold horror shivered throughout his body.

He felt instant guilt in his heart, he couldn't believe that Shiro did something like that. That was then a note was found written on the notepad and was given to the teen. Ichigo couldn't help but cry sorrowfully, his first love commited suicide.

"No . . . .! I can't believe this . . . ." Ichigo whimpered, he was crouching down the entire time with the folded note clutching close to his heart. "Why . . . .?! Why did he do such a thing . . . .?!"

"Ichigo . . . ." Grimmjow muttered sorrowfully. Ichigo glanced up with him, the tears mixed in with the rain drenching his face.

"Why, Grimmjow?" he whimpered. "I've never wanted something like this to happen. But it did! It's my fault that I had wished death on Shiro before!"

"It wasn't your fault, Ichigo . . . ." muttered Grimmjow.

"Yes, it was!" cried Ichigo. "I shouldn't have done this to him but it happened! And now he's dead!"

"Ichigo, listen to me," Grimmjow frowned as he pulled him up into his arms. "It was never your fault in the first place. What Shiro did was wrong, but he doesn't want you to look like this. He doesn't want you to be sad anymore."

"But . . . .!" Ichigo couldn't finish talking as he resumed sobbing into the older man's chest. He didn't care that his ex-boyfriend had abused him greatly during their relationship. All he knew that he had loved him, and now it was over. "Grimmjow . . . .!" Ichigo sobbed. "Shiro's really gone . . . .!"

"I know, kid . . . ." he muttered, petting at his drenched hair.

"He was finally sorry, but he shouldn't have done that!"

"I know . . . ." Grimmjow muttered, but he was starting to feel pity for the dead man. He didn't know that Shiro was sick in the head. Nobody knew.

"If I . . . . if I had knew sooner that he was sick, then . . . .!" sobbed Ichigo, his body shivered from soaking cold. "I would've try to help him . . . .! Then he wouldn't had to kill himself!" His fist clutched at the note tighter, it was the final redemption to him. "I hate it . . . .! I hate it . . . .! I hate that he did it! Why?! Why?!"

"Kid . . ." Grimmjow muttered softly, hugging him tighter.

"I hate him! I hate him so fucking much . . . .!" cried the teen, but the angered tone was at no one. "He could've gotten help but he took the coward's way out! He's nothing but a fucking coward!" He coughed and hiccuped from the crying, the aching in his heart was getting too much for him. "Shiro . . . . Shiro . . . ." he mumbled in agony. "He's really gone . . . . I can't believe he's gone, Grimmjow . . . ."

"I know . . . . it's getting too much for you, Ichigo . . . ." the blue-haired man sighed. Ichigo coughed again before sobbing quietly, they didn't notice someone walking up to them until they realized an opened umbrella sheltered over their head. Ichigo glanced to his side and saw his father, he was also dressed in black but he was smoking.

"Ichigo, glad I found you with that bright hair of yours . . . ." muttered Isshin.

"Dad . . . .?" hiccuped Ichigo.

"Just came to see how you're doing, son," Isshin sighed, handing the umbrella to Grimmjow. "I hadn't seen you break down like that since Masaki's death . . . ." Ichigo sniffed sadly at that, over ten years since his mother died he hadn't expressed strong emotion like that until now. Isshin exhaled the white smoke as he glanced at the tombstone. "I know that you had loved him, Ichigo . . . ." he sighed. "It wasn't that it wasn't Shiro's fault, nobody ever knew how sick he was. Everybody else just assumed that he was an abusive, cold-hearted person that doesn't care about anyone, and I understand that."

"But, Dad . . . ." Ichigo mumbled, but the obvious was clear. Because of Shiro and his violent personality, nobody else but the three of them had came to the funeral. "This wasn't how I wanted it to happen . . . . He was truly sorry that he had given me so much pain, but I didn't want for him to die. I don't want anybody to die . . . ."

"I know that, Ichigo . . . ." sighed Isshin. "You can't really stop death, though. You and I both know that . . . . it's easier to prevent it, but it's inevitable in the end. Shiro's death should have been prevented but it happened anyway."

". . . . You're a doctor, couldn't you have seen the signs?" asked Grimmjow.

"I'm just a simple clinic doctor," shrugged Ichigo's father. "I'm no good in psychology."

"But . . . . aren't you pissed off that he hurt Ichigo?"

"Who wouldn't be? It's my son, for crying out loud," sighed Isshin. "But . . . . after finding out that Shiro was mentally sick, I can't help but feel a little sorry for him." Ichigo sniffed, the tears continued to run from his bloodshot eyes as he stared at the tombstone. The only thing that the man had asked him was that he would be happy. Nothing else. Thinking about it, he remembered that he was very depressed despite being in love with Shiro. The sadness would overtake his happiness more often than other times, almost to a point of thinking about suicide himself. They weren't so different after all.

"Shiro . . . ." he whimpered quietly. "I wish that you hadn't done this . . . . I would've wanted you to tell me that you're sorry . . . . and I would have forgiven you."

"Ichigo . . . .?" muttered Grimmjow, but Ichigo moved away from his hold and walked towards the tombstone.

"I know . . . . you said that I shouldn't forgive you, Shiro," he muttered as he knelt down. "You think that you don't deserve it . . . . but it's okay, everyone need to be forgiven one way or another. No matter what." A small, sad smile tugged at his lips as he ran his hand across the indented letters. "You were sick, I would've helped you if I had knew earlier. But nobody did, not even you. And I can't find myself to blame you." He moved closer and hugged the tombstone with one arm.

"I'm sorry that . . . . this had happened to you," he muttered. "But you shouldn't have done this to yourself. You could've gotten some help for yourself. To be honest . . . . I don't care that you think that I shouldn't forgive you just like that. You were my first love, Shiro." He then pressed his lips gently against the stone and his smile widened a little as the note was still clutched to his heart. "Thank you, though . . . . to ask me to be happy with my life along with Grimmjow. Thanks, Shiro. I hoped that your journey to the afterlife will be a safe and happy one . . . ."

One year later . . . .

Twenty-year-old Ichigo trailed lazily alongside Grimmjow as he carried a picnic basket. Mass amount of cherry blossom petals snowed over them as they walked past other people sitting on blankets in the park. "Here, give that to me, kid," smirked the twenty-five-year-old man as he took the food-filled basket from Ichigo.

"Hey! Quit calling me a kid!" scowled Ichigo. "I'm considered an adult since last summer, Grimmjow!"

"Really now?" quirked Grimmjow as he walked ahead of him. "You didn't mind it last week when we were--"

"Stop saying things out loud, you retard!" Ichigo frowned, catching up to him and kicking him in the leg. Grimmjow let out a playful yelp but continued walking. He then held his hand in a comforting matter, Ichigo glanced at him and couldn't help smile lightly at him. Nearly a year had passed since they became a couple; despite the horrific and tragic events that soon followed, it brought them closer and they couldn't be any happier.

"Where's your crazy-ass family? They said they would be around here," Grimmjow scoffed softly as he glanced around.

"It wouldn't be long, we'll find them eventually," replied Ichigo, clenching at his boyfriend's fingers tighter. "In the meantime, why don't we think about how long would it take to get our own place?"

"Why are you thinking about it? What's wrong with our old place?" questioned Grimmjow.

"Nel's there," the younger man replied simply, and Grimmjow let out an usual 'oh yeah'. "I feel insecured whenever she had that face after we finished doing . . . . you know."

"Oh, right," Grimmjow smirked with a smug tone. "For me, I feel great." That earned him an elbow to the stomach.

"You're such a bastard, you know that?" scoffed Ichigo. The blunet simply smiled as he leaned down and kissed him gently on the forehead. Ichigo glanced at him and smiled, leaning closer to kiss him back on his lips. ". . . . You're really a bastard, Pantera," he smiled.

"And you're still acting like a kid," Grimmjow smirked back. Ichigo playfully rolled his eyes at him, just as he recognized someone in a near distance. "Wait, I think that's Dad," he stated as they walked towards the said. "Dad! We're here!" he called, waving his hand. Sure enough, Isshin suddenly ran towards them, with a very ecstatic look on his face.

"MY DARLING ICHIGO!" he yelled joyfully. "I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT YOU AND YOUR PRECIOUS BOYFRIEND ARE FINALLY HERE!" Letting go of each other's hand, Ichigo and Grimmjow stepped away just in time as Isshin jumped to hug his son, only to fall flat on his face. "Agh! Can't believe you still got it, my beautiful son!" he muffled through the thick grass.

"Hey, Dad!" smiled Ichigo, pulling his father up to his knees. "Where's everyone else?"

"They're just right there!" Isshin replied as he publicly pranced around. "Just follow me, my gorgeous son!" Ichigo sighed in slight annoyance as he and Grimmjow followed him. As soon as they reached there, they saw their friends aside from the family on two blankets.

"Finally, you're here, guys!" Renji greeted happily with a quick wave.

"Yeah, Renji ate most of the food," frowned Rukia.

"With what proof?"

"You challenge to see if one of us could eat the most rice balls," Chad replied quietly.

"And Mr. Kurosaki won anyway," added Uryuu.

"Don't worry, we brought some more," shrugged Grimmjow as he and Grimmjow sat down.

"And no, Grimmjow didn't make the food and that's a good thing," Ichigo smirked, earning an annoying huff from the older man.

"I'm still trying," Grimmjow frowned.

"How can you set a turkey sandwich on fire, for crying out loud?" Ichigo argued humorously, and Grimmjow retorted by giving him a sharp noogie. "Ah! Ouch!" laughed Ichigo.

"Quit acting silly, we got enough of that from Goat-Face already," scoffed Karin, skimming inside the basket for a can of soda.

"Your Dad's still the same after all these times, Ichigo!" smiled Nel.

"Tch, don't remind me," scoffed the young man. He leaned close to Grimmjow's side and sighed in content when the strong arm wrapped firmly around him. After a week of raining, the trees bloomed out flowers so tremendously and attracted people into having picnics. The round, light pink-colored flower fell gently onto Ichigo's opened palm. He blinked in slight surprise and glanced down at the tiny flower, before a decent wind blew it away. "Huh . . . ." he sighed.

"Anything wrong, kid?" asked Grimmjow, noticing his fazed expression.

"Hmm? No, it's nothing," Ichigo replied with a shake of his head. They heard a small click of a digital camera and they saw Isshin smiling with far too much glee.

"Aw, look at the happy couple, cuddling so close together!" he exclaimed joyfully.

"Don't take take pictures of me, you idiot!" frowned Ichigo, kicking him square in the face.

"Why cand I, my darlding Ithygo?!" Isshin muffled from the foot against his face. Ichigo scowled as he kicked him again. After a while of conversing with his friends and family, the young man stood up eventually from the numbness of the legs.

"I'm gonna walk around for a while, Grimmjow," he said, his hand slipped casually from Grimmjow's.

"Hurry up and get back," Grimmjow replied quietly. Ichigo nodded and slowly walked away from the small party, tiny petals fluttered over his head as he walked towards a cherry blossom tree. It was pretty bigger than most other trees, when he walked underneath the pastel shade. Away from everyone, he reached inside his pocket and took out his wallet. He then took out the pale yellowed, folded paper out of the wallet. He sighed sadly as he unfolded the paper.

He still kept it. The final atonement from his first love. Shiro. After nearly a year since his ex-boyfriend's suicide, he couldn't find himself throw away the last thing he had from him. It was too special for him. "Shiro . . . ." he mumbled quietly, his chocolate eyes gazed slowly at the hasty yet honest handwriting. "I wonder how you're doing out there . . . . in the afterlife." He folded the note back before slipping it back into his wallet.

"My King . . . ."

Ichigo's heart jolted suddenly at a familiar voice whispered by his ear. What was that? Could it be . . . .? He glanced around quickly but he saw no one, it was nobody. His eyes widened in anticipation before glancing down in false hope. "I must be going crazy . . . ." he muttered sadly. "I couldn't really had heard him . . . ."

"Ichi, my King . . . ."

Ichigo gasped sharply at the voice and whipped his head around. He felt his body shivered and his eyes widened once again. It was Shiro. His gold-black eyes were soft with content and his smile was small and gentle as he leaned against the tree. "Sh . . . . Shiro . . . .?" Ichigo gasped softly but he couldn't try to reach for to see if he was real.

"I'm glad, Ichigo . . . ." sighed Shiro. "I'm glad yer really happy wit' Grimmjow . . . ." Ichigo immediately felt tears trickling from his eyes, this can't be real but it was. "Ya forgiven me, King . . . . even though I've never asked fer it. An' cuz o' that . . . . I managed ta get ta tha afterlife, safe an' sound."

"Shiro . . . ." Ichigo whimpered breathlessly.

"Thanks, my King . . . ." Shiro smiled, a transparent tear fell down on his white cheek. "I still love ya . . . . Ichigo . . . . I'll see ya later." And just like that, Shiro vanished into the petal-filled wind. Ichigo blinked and realized what had happened.

"Shiro . . . ." he gasped, he was too late to reach for him. Only his hand was now touching the thick bark of the tree. "Shiro . . . ." He swallowed hard before sobbing silently, falling down to his knees. "Me too . . . . I still love you too . . . ." he sighed deeply, his hand was still against the tree before curling into a light fist. "Thanks, Shiro . . . ."

"Ichigo . . . .?" Ichigo glanced up, teary-eyed, at Grimmjow. "Ichigo, what's wrong?" he frowned concernedly as he knelt beside him. But Ichigo shook his head with a small smile.

"It's nothing, Grimm . . . ." he replied, he snifled before letting out a small laugh. "It's just that . . . . I saw Shiro, against this tree."

"Shiro?" Grimmjow questioned surprisingly. "Are you sure?"

"Yeah . . . ." smiled Ichigo, wiping away the last of his tears. "He was happy that I was happy. I prayed that he got into the afterlife safely, and he did. Grimmjow . . . . he was very glad that I had forgiven him. He was so happy." Grimmjow sighed deeply before smiling himself.

"Are you really okay, kid?" he asked.

"Of course, you idiot," Ichigo replied happily, his chocolate eyes glistened to prove his point. "Shiro just came back to make sure if his wish was fulfilled. And it did." His arms wrapped around the other man into a blissful embrace. "He was my first love and I do still have feelings for him . . . . but you're the one that I love, Grimmjow."

"Yeah . . . ." sighed Grimmjow, kissing him on the forehead. "I love you too, kid." Ichigo smiled and kissed him back on the lips. The kiss was short-lived as they moved away and stood up.

"Grimmjow . . . . can we do something next week?" the younger man asked as they walked hand-in-hand.

"Sure . . . . What are we gonna do?"

"We're almost there, kid . . . ." Grimmjow said as they walked through rows of gravestones and was holding his lover's hand. Ichigo nodded, in his arm was a bouquet of fresh flowers. They remembered where it was, they were getting near to it.

"I think I see it, Grimmjow," replied Ichigo, looking a little to his left. He was right, they reached the tombstone. Ichigo smiled as he stared at the name, 'Taikei Shirosaki'. "Hey, Shiro . . . ." he sighed as he knelt in front of the small stone. "Thanks for making sure that I was happy. I still am . . . . and Grimmjow's right here with me." Grimmjow simply nodded in acknowledgement, letting the other man to speak his peace. "I brought these for you, to show you my gratitude," smiled Ichigo, as he left the flowers against the stone. "I hope that your stay in the afterlife is making you happy."

". . . . You're done, Ichigo?" asked Grimmjow. Ichigo glanced up to him, his eyes glistened with happy tears.

"Almost, Grimm," he smiled. He glanced back at the tombstone and his fingers caressed at the carved name. "I'll see you later, Shiro . . . . Good-bye." He kissed gently at the cool stone before standing up. "Come on, let's hurry up and meet our friends."

"All right, kid," smiled Grimmjow, his arm wrapped around him comfortably as they walked. ". . . . I know you still got the note, Ichigo." Ichigo blinked in surprise and glanced up at him. "I often noticed that you would stare at it at nighttimes, but I'm not mad about it."

"Really, Grimmjow?"

"Yeah . . . . you're not the only one who still have sentimentals from their first love," shrugged Grimmjow.

"Huh? Does that apply to you?" Ichigo smirked.

"Hmm, maybe," the blunet replied.

"Like what?"

"Well . . . . remember that bat-shaped pendant you saw me wearing a few weeks back?" he asked.

"Really? I didn't notice that you got that from your first love," Ichigo exclaimed surprisingly. "I'm pretty oblivious about most things."

"Yeah, I notice that," smirked Grimmjow, earning an elbow to the stomach. "Ouch! Stop hurting me!"

"You started it, Grimm . . . ." smiled Ichigo. Grimmjow chuckled as he leaned down to kiss his lips. Ichigo smiled and kissed back. All the while, the bouquet ruffled a little before Shiro reappeared, sitting leisurely on his tombstone as he gazed happily at the dwindling couple.

"Yer welcome, my King . . . ." he smiled before dwindling away himself. "Good-bye . . . ."

The End.

Thanks for reading my story. I hoped you readers have enjoyed it. I just created a new supernatural story called 'Crescent', and it's really good. Also, I'm currently writing my first ever AiIchi story. Check it out soon! Until next time!

Read, review, and no flames.

I'll upload a new story ASAP!!