Pick Up The Pieces

Shinji sighed at his reflection in the mirror before giving it his widest smile and standing. This was it, his first night as an official business owner and he was only twenty four. A lot had changed over the past four years; in the past four months really. Three months ago the club that he had spent so much of his time and effort in was shut down. Z had told him along with the other workers that in no uncertain terms he was done with the place. It was time for him to move on and everyone else should do the same. Shinji had been devastated. Having saved up just over half of what he needed to lease and refurbish a small building so that he could start his dream job everything was suddenly coming to a grinding halt. But if he had thought things had changed in the last four years, more had changed in the last four months.

With the birth of the triplets Ichigo and Grimmjow had found themselves changed with parenthood. Ichigo had continued with work, managing to get day hours so that he could spend the evenings with his new family. Grimmjow, after one day of working at the office with his children in the care of a hired nanny, had decided that he couldn't handle it. His excuse had been that he didn't want some strange woman raising his kids but everyone knew it was because he couldn't part with them. Working out a deal with Aizen, one that required him to attend monthly business meetings out of town, he spent most of his time working at home and taking care of the children.

When Shinji had come to Ichigo drunk and in tears after the club had officially closed he hadn't known that Ichigo had plans. A week later Grimmjow called him up and asked him to come over. To his utter shock Grimmjow helped him apply for a loan so that he could live his dream, even going so far as to co-sign for it. Shinji would have kissed him had things been different. So now, after months of preparation, it was time to open his brand new host club to which he had given his onetime stage name, Solid Gold. Everything was set, the hosts were hired and the grand opening party was waiting for him. With a smirk and a toss of his head he left his bedroom to return to his living room.

Tesla was there, one of his employees as of tonight, waiting on the couch like the good obedient boy he was.

"Shin-chan you look wonderful!" He cried out as he pushed off the couch and walked towards him, pulling him close for a hard hug before holding him out at arm's length.

"Don't hug too hard, you'll fuck it all up, baka." Shinji replied, knocking his hands away.

"Sorry. I'm just so excited. And I haven't seen you this happy in a while so…." He let the sentence trail off and Shinji's smile turned sad.

"Well, I have everythin' ta be happy 'bout now, ne? Nothin' holdin' me back and no one tyin' me down. The world is my oyster. Ain't that the sayin'?"

Tesla smiled again and Shinji almost rolled his eyes. This man, though a bit older than him, was such a simple person. Simple but correct. Shinji hadn't been this excited and happy about life in so long he couldn't even remember when. Though he was good at hiding it; covering over the sadness and pain with smiles and cheeky comments. His mother had taught him well there. Over four years had passed since he had watched his entire world get turned upside down by two unexpected men. Over four years since he found out he would never dance again. He almost shuddered at the thought, never liking to relive that moment, however brief it had been.

His phone rang, startling him, and he reached for it, not having to check who it was.

"You're going to be late to your own grand opening." Ichigo's voice called out and Shinji smiled again.

"Am not. I'm on my way right now."

"Well, Grimm and I are outside with the car so hurry up."

Shinji heard a distinct grumble in the background and almost laughed. For all the spit and fangs Grimmjow showed off Ichigo had him wrapped around his little finger. He'd bitch and moan about doing what was asked of him, but he'd basically do anything for the love of his life. Even if it meant hanging out with his best friend for a while. Grimmjow and Shinji had decided a long time ago to do their best at setting aside their mutual dislike of each other in favor of pleasing Ichigo. Always, anything for Ichigo.

"Yeah, yeah. Be right there." Shinji hung up the phone and reached for his coat, the bitter September wind was in full swing and he wasn't about to freeze to death just to look good before he got to the club.

"Tesla, let's go."

"Yes sir!"

Tesla was so obedient, so attentive to his needs and near every wish. He sighed to himself and wondered why he couldn't feel at least something for the man. Tesla might have been able to make him happy if that were the case. Instead his heart was stuck in the past with someone it shouldn't have belonged to in the first place. It was a good thing Tesla understood that and was happy with what he could get. Otherwise their friendship might have ended years ago.

They had rented a larger apartment together two years ago when the club had been doing well and Shinji was surprised to find that they cohabited well together. Tesla loved to clean and cook and Shinji loved that he had someone to talk to whenever he wanted. Eventually they had tried to date but it hadn't worked out for various reasons so they had reverted to their easy friendship of before.

Outside in the car Grimmjow was grumbling about going out on a week night and Shinji opened the back door in time to hear Ichigo snap at him.

"Quit acting like an old man! You're only thirty two, you can go out on a week night every once in a while." Shinji supposed he'd already missed the part of the argument about the kids. Grimmjow was such an obsessive father already.

"And what about you? You have no business out tonight either. You said the clinic was going to be packed tomorrow with clients."

"Grimmjow just stop and enjoy yourself. If you don't knock it off your gonna get grey hair."

Grimmjow's hand flew up to his thick blue locks and a glare narrowed his eyes.

"Don't even joke about that." He said in a dark menacing tone.

Ichigo just smiled and leaned over, placing a small kiss on Grimmjow's temple. "Just relax and have some fun, ne?"

Grimmjow sighed and dropped his hand as he watched Shinji and Tesla slide into the seat in front of his.

"Fine." He conceded with a pout.

Ichigo turned to his friend and smiled. "Excited?"

Shinji grinned. "Yeah. Majorly. Still kinda weird ta think I finally did it though."

Half way to the opening Grimmjow reached for his cell phone and started dialing. Ichigo pulled it from his hands and shut it off.

"Don't shut it off! What if something happens and they can't get a hold of us?"

"Grimmjow you're being obsessive again. Stop it. The kids are fine. Both Karin and Yuzu are with them so chill out."

Yuzu's self imposed exile from the babies had lasted a month but she often said that she was happy she did things that way. With the time away to adjust to being alone for the first time in months she was able to get over any kind of separation anxiety that she had in the beginning. Karin had been a big help too, forcing her sister to get out of the house and act like a normal twenty year old for their birthday.

Shinji grinned at Grimmjow's obvious discomfort. "Why'd ya come if ya couldn't handle it?" He asked and Ichigo immediately rolled his eyes at the thinly veiled bait.

Grimmjow narrowed his eyes and crossed his arms. "I gotta see what the hell ya did to the place so I can make sure you didn't screw away the money I helped you get."

Tesla shifted uncomfortably and Ichigo shook his head. Shinji glared at Grimmjow for a moment before sighing and sticking his tongue out. "Yer gonna love it. It's fuckin' awesome. A Mecca fer lonely men and women everywhere."

"Better be." Grimmjow grumbled before he looked out the window and ignored everyone. This was the first night he and Ichigo had been out together since before the babies were born and he wasn't exactly pleased that it had to be for this.

Everyone had been surprised when Shinji had announced that Solid Gold would not in fact be solely for gay men. An even bigger surprise was that he had hired women to work there, both at the bar and as hosts. He had insisted that, though the gay scene would bring in a lot of customers, expanding it to the heterosexuals of Tokyo would make it even more profitable. As much as he was looking forward to the fun of the job he wasn't in it just for that. He wanted to make money just as much as anyone else and after years of managing the books for Wank he had more than a little idea on how to make that happen.

Tonight was a chance for the future customers to meet and greet the hosts and decide if they liked what they saw as they tasted expensive wines and alcohols and munched on pricey hors d'oeuvres. Shinji had gone all out on this one night, digging a little deep to make sure he left a good impression. When they arrived a few minutes later to a line at the front doors he couldn't contain the little squeal of delight. This was going to be so much fun!

Two hours later the place was packed and the vibe was easy going though lively. Shinji wandered from group to group, introducing himself and making sure everyone as happy and comfortable. He was in his element now, surrounded by people who were praising him and his business. He could work a crowd with ease and it was apparent in the smiles of each group of people he walked away from. Each of his hosts, both male and female, were either working the room just as he was or sitting already with a fan club of their own. Yumichika seemed to have attracted the most so far, again both male and female. He was already starting out as number one just as Shinji had predicted. The only other one from Wank he could see at the moment was Tesla who had a group of older women crowed around the booth he was in. Shinji smiled and thanked the fact that he was the owner and not a host. He would probably have found himself in a similar position and he wasn't sure he would be handling it as well as Tesla seemed to be.

He had finally made a circuit of the entire room and was preparing to take a much needed breather when he was tapped on the shoulder gently. When he turned around his jaw dropped and his eyes went wide. It may not have been the last person he expected to see but this man was certainly on that list.

"You tell me about this event and then tell me not to come. You are too cruel, Shin-chan." Szayel said with a toss of his chin length pink hair.

Shinji closed his mouth and cleared his throat. Over the past few years he had for some reason kept in contact with the man, even if he had sounded reluctant for the most part. Szayel had joked that it was his animal magnetism but Shinji sometimes wondered if he had been hypnotized or something.

"I asked ya not to come because I didn't wanna see ya." He said in a snippy tone.

Szayel chuckled and reached out, pulling Shinji closer by his tie. "You're such a bad liar." His eyes raked over the slim body and a greedy smirk tilted his lips. "My, but you do look good in a suit."

Shinji smacked Szayel's hand off his silk tie and straightened it. "Don't touch baka. You'll fuck it all up."

"You still don't talk like a business man. Perhaps I should give you lessons."

Shinji rolled his eyes and looked around the room. "No thanks. I'm good."

Szayel grinned and leaned forward to kiss Shinji's cheek, stopping long enough to whisper in his ear. "Then perhaps for another kind of lesson."

Shinji sighed. "Have you spoken with Ichi or Grimmjow yet? Have you stopped by to see the kids?"

Szayel straightened and sighed dramatically. "I only got back an hour ago so that would be a no. Don't worry. I'll bug them soon enough."

Shinji licked his lips and cocked an eyebrow. "The kids are over four months old now. Ya coulda shown up a little sooner."

Szayel laughed quietly. "Are you reprimanding me? You're too cute."

"Have a drink and enjoy yerself. I gotta make my rounds." With that he was gone, heading towards the back of the room. It had surprised him to see Szayel there but he wouldn't let it get to him. After all, tonight was his night.

Tesla and Shinji staggered into their home after two in the morning, giggling like little girls. The night had been a total success and all of the hosts were booked for a month. Tesla himself had turned out to be the second most requested male, much to his surprise.

"Shin-chan baby, that was the most fun I've had in ages." Tesla slurred. He was so cute when he was drunk.

"Mmm. Let's have another drink, ne?" He suggested as he made a beeline for the kitchen.

"You should be getting laid tonight!" Tesla said much too loudly and Shinji laughed.

"Yeah well, looks like that ain't gonna happen." For once it wasn't bothering him.

"Hey, I could suck you off before my man calls." Tesla offered, flopping on the couch with a huff.

"Tempting." Actually it wasn't as tempting as it should have been since he had, after all, taught Tesla everything he knew about sucking cock. But he wasn't the least bit interested in being the "other man" even if it was just drunken head.

"Aw, c'mon. I'm kinda horny and I told him I wouldn't get off until three."

Shinji handed Tesla a bottle of beer and sat next to him. "Here, suck on this instead."

Tesla giggled but did as he was told, pulling the bottle away when it was half gone. He leaned his head on Shinji's shoulder and sighed contentedly.

"Too bad Nnoitra-sama isn't here. He would make you feel better."

Shinji stiffened at the name and closed his eyes at the rush of emotions that hit him. Tesla sat up, knowing he had said the wrong thing and set his beer on the coffee table.

"Oh, God! I'm so sorry. I didn't mean it I swear." He reached out and cupped Shinji's face, forcing the younger man to look at him. "Please don't hide like this. It's a good night; just forget I ever said anything. God, I'm such an asshole." He berated himself.

His lips brushed lightly over Shinji's and he accepted them, the little bit of tongue against his lips dulling the pain in his chest just a bit. Tilting his head to the side, Tesla pressed forward in an attempt to make Shinji feel better and instead of pushing him away he gave in and opened his mouth. It was never that intense of a kiss between them; more of a sweetness as tongues slid along each other and hands delicately held on to slim bodies. There were no teeth, no fire, no passion, but at the same time it was still a soothing experience. At the worst times in the last two years Tesla had been there for him to ease the pain with such kisses.

"Are you sure you don't want me to help you out?" He asked, lips still hovering over Shinij's.

"I'm good. Just go let yer man fuck ya stupid and tell me all about it tomorrow, 'kay?"

Tesla kissed him sweetly once more before sitting back with a frown. He felt horrible for bringing up that name now of all times. With another quick kiss Tesla trotted off to the shower leaving Shinji alone with his thoughts.

It had been nearly two years since he had seen that man; two years since he woken up to find him gone without so much as a note. He had done things like that in the past, disappearing for a week or more out of the blue and coming back like nothing had happened. They fought all the time but it was because of those times that they fought the most. Shinji knew that they were basically fuck buddies, whatever emotions were behind their actions were deeply veiled behind their thick walls, but he still felt he deserved something from him. A note, a phone call, hell he would have even preferred a slap in the face and a grin before the man left. Anything that proved he meant just a little more to him. Especially after that last night together.

With a deep breath and a shake of his head Shinji pushed himself off the couch and headed for his bedroom. As he stripped off his clothes he watched himself in his mirror, letting a small smile grace his lips. Whatever, he thought to himself. I'm still hot as fuck with or without him. He winked at his naked form and grabbed a small pill bottle off his nightstand, tossing one into his mouth and drinking down the full glass of water that had been sitting next to it. Hoping that the sleeping pill would kick in quickly he slid between his sheets and shut his eyes.

"Hey, Hirako-san, you're early today." The blond haired man said with a bright smile and Shinji rolled his eyes.

"Shinji. I keep tellin' ya to call me Shinji. Hirako-san was my papa."

"Ah, yeah I forgot." The man rubbed the back of his neck and continued to smile brightly. "So how have you been this week, Shinji?"

"Fine." Shinji crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back in his chair.

"Fine? Well then why do you come here if you're fine?"

Shinji sighed. "Okay fine, I'm okay but not great."

"Good. Should I bust out my little notepad and get to work?"

"You are the weirdest therapist I've ever had, ya know that?"

The blond man smiled and nodded. "I get that a lot."

Shinji had been seeing a therapist for most of his life, off and on. Ever since his father had died his mother had felt the need for him to seek professional help to deal with his problems. Every few years he stopped going only to find himself back at it again. He had been seeing his current therapist since the accident that had caused him to stop dancing.

"So, how was the grand opening?"

The man was good at what he did, if only a little eccentric about it. For one they met outside in a park for their sessions and either sat in the shade or wandered around aimlessly as they spoke. It made for an easy going atmosphere that Shinji absolutely loved. Even if it was raining like it was today.

"It was good, everything was perfect. I still think you'd make a great host."

"Oh? And why's that?"

"Because yer manipulative as fuck and can make people smile even if they don't wanna."

The man laughed and looked away briefly. "I wouldn't say I'm manipulative…." He let his sentence trail off as he waited for Shinji to continue.

"Szayel showed up outta the blue. I haven't heard from him all day though so I guess he did finally go see the kids." He bit his lip and frowned. "Tesla brought him up though."

Blond eyebrows shot up and a frown marred his brow. "And?"

"And nothin'. He was drunk, we both were, so he apologized by kissing me and I took a pill and passed out."

"How long has it been since you last took a pill?"

Shinji shrugged. "Couple weeks. Maybe." He stopped walking and looked up at the older man. "Ne, Kisuke? Why…?" He sighed and shook his head, shaking himself and taking a few steps forward. Kisuke stayed where he was, waiting for what Shinji had to say. "Why can't I forget him? It's been two years. It's fucked."

"We talked about this, Shinji. You can't forget him because you have unresolved feelings for the man. You had no kind of closure so you have to do it on your own." They were silent for a moment before Shinji turned back to him, a deep frown still in place. "You still blame yourself for it don't you?"

"It's just… God, I don't wanna do this today." He hung his head and slumped his shoulders.

Kisuke walked up behind him and placed an unprofessional arm around his shoulders. "If you didn't want to talk about it you wouldn't be here." He reminded.

"I had a dream about him last night." Shinji started quietly. "I was in my old apartment and he showed up like he always does, like he lived there or somethin'. It was just like any other time, we hung out fer a while, fought a bit and then… he kissed me. Only it wasn't like… it was like a goodbye kiss, ya know? And that was it. He stood up after that and walked out. Didn't even look back at me."

"And how did that make you feel?"

Shinji snorted and looked up at the taller man. "That's such a therapist thing ta say."

Kisuke smiled. "Gotta keep up appearances."

Shinji sighed and closed his eyes. "I woke up cryin' again. I fuckin' hate it. I mean sure I'm gay as fuck but it's a bit unmanly to cry like a bitch after a stupid dream."

"You curse more when you're upset, did you realize that?"

Shinji nodded. "Yeah." After another moment of silence Shinji smirked. "Maybe I should start datin' again. I mean, it's been a while since… well since my big fuck up. It might be a good idea."

"Do you think that will help you or make things worse?"

"I don't know, but it's an idea at least. Guess I can't know one way or another unless I do it."

After another long night at work Shinji was glad to be home alone. Tesla had left work with his current boyfriend, an older man with a lot of money, and hinted that he wouldn't be coming home tonight. That was just fine for Shinji. He planned on taking a nice long bath and relaxing with a movie before he passed out. It had been a week since the club opened and things were going great. The place was packed, money was rolling in and the customers always left happy. It was almost more than he could ask for. The only problem he was having was that ever since the dream he had had about Nnoitra he hadn't been able to stop thinking about him. It was as if the remote for his brain had run out of batteries and he could no longer change the channel. All Nnoitra TV all the time. Even as he lay in the bathtub trying to forget, the memories still came to him.

It had been a year after Ichigo's kidnapping and the two of them had spent two long blissful night's staying at his mother's place fucking everywhere they could. One of the things he loved best about her house was the huge tub she had and after all the brutal, hard sex he figured the two of them needed a nice long soak. Of course he hadn't been sure how to ask Nnoitra if he wanted to join him so he had just gone about filling up the bath and making the temperature to his liking. When Nnoitra poked his curious nose inside the door and asked him "what the fuck" he was doing he had looked up with a cocked eyebrow and answered, "The fuck's it look like? I'm soakin'."

After watching Shinji lower himself carefully into the water and sigh in contentment Nnoitra had frowned at him and finally, after at least five minutes, decided to join him. Just as Shinji had expected he hadn't been allowed to relax on the other side of the bath and was quickly pulled into Nnoitra's lap so that the large man could run his hands all over him. Shinji had sighed and leaned into him, closing his eyes and enjoying the feeling of those large hands on his body.

"Nnoi, why do ya keep buggin' me?" He asked suddenly, not really meaning for the words to come out and certainly not that way. He wanted to know why the man liked him but there was no way he could ask it.

Nnoitra snorted. "Well now that I know ya suck such good cock 'the fuck you expect?"

It shouldn't have made him smile, a lot of things Nnoitra did shouldn't have made him smile, but it did. After the heavily veiled confessions they had made to each other the first night there he had been wondering about it though.

"Well damn, now I know ya like it in the ass I might actually start buggin' you." Shinji teased back.

"Fuck you." Nnoitra countered but will little heat.

He nuzzled Shinji's neck and began to cover it in gentle kisses. It was one of those random sweet moments the man had been capable of and Shinji had treasured those moments almost above the outrageously good sex. The next morning he had woken up alone and Nnoitra had left without word only to show up fifteen days later like nothing had happened. That had been the first time they had fought about that specifically. Shinji had told him flatly to get the fuck out of his house to which Nnoitra replied with a firm, "Fuck you." When Shinji had thrown a book at the back of his head the fight was on. It ended with a few bruises on both sides and a little blood on Nnoitra's but in the end Shinji had let him stay and they had made up for lost time with angry rough sex on the kitchen floor. Shinji had smoked his first cigarette that night as they lay naked on the cold linoleum.

As soon as his bath was done he dried off and wrapped the thick baby pink robe around his body, ready to settle in on the couch and find something good on TV. Throwing the throw on the back of the couch over his feet he flipped through channels and finally settled on an American romantic comedy. Ten minutes later there was a knock at the door and Shinji frowned. Tesla must have gotten in a fight with his boyfriend again and forgotten his key. He sighed and threw the blanket off, rolling his eyes when another knock sounded.

"Fuck, Tess. I'm comin'!"

When he opened the door his heart nearly stopped in his chest. His head rose as did his eyes and for the first time in two years he stared into the violet depths. A wide grin stretched thin lips and Shinji felt his breath hitch.

"Yo." The deep voice came but all Shinji could do was blink at him. "The fuck you doin' movin'? Took me ferever ta find ya."

Shinji's mouth worked and he closed his eyes, shaking his head and leaning his weight on the door. No, this wasn't real. He must have fallen asleep on the couch again. No more drinking sake and taking a bath before relaxing. When he opened his eyes again the body was still there, still smirking. This had to be a dream because he hadn't pushed his way inside yet. He gulped and looked up into that fierce eye once more. His mouth opened once again but nothing came out. He could hear the blood rushing to his head and he could do nothing to still his racing heart.

"Ya gonna let me in er what?"

Shinji shook his head. Oh fuck. Ohfuckohfuckohfuck! No, no, no; this wasn't happening. Things were going good in his life for once. He was happy for the most part even if he did think often about this asshole. No damn it!

"No." He breathed, his eyes hardening and his back straightening. He only hoped that his shaking limbs wasn't as visible it they felt.

"The fuck you mean 'no'?"

"I said no. Get the fuck outta here." He slammed the door, his eyes widening as he stared at the grain of the wood.

He knocked on the door again. "Let me the fuck in, damn it!"

"Go away or I'll call the police!" Shinji yelled, knowing that that should be one sure way to get the man off his porch.

"You stupid little bitch! I come all the way back here to see ya and ya fuckin' do this? Let me the fuck in!"

"I'm dialing the phone!" He called out, the shaking in his limbs getting harder.

There was a sharp kick to the door before he heard his footsteps retreat. All at once his legs gave out and he crumpled to the floor, the shaking in his body taking over. He closed his eyes and tried his best to control his breathing. No, it had been a dream. No way that man had come back after all this time. He squeezed his eyes shut tight and felt the shaking completely take over as he saw the grin in his mind's eye. Nnoitra was back in town.

A/N So much for taking a break, ne? I couldn't help myself though. I really hope you guys like this one because I've been so excited about it for so long. So first off, yes, that was Urahara the therapist, lol. I wanted to put him in this story but not have him as a main character and figured this was a decent idea. Also, for those of you that have read the RP I did with LoveyourflyingV Dirty Me you will have noticed the reference I made to it in Shinji's memory. If you haven't read it I totally suggest it :D Also, if anything seems like I didn't explain it enough I hope you will all bare with me on that. Since it's basically been four years since Shinji was a big part of the story (For years since the end of SBB) we all have a lot to catch up on and I don't want to reveal everything all at once. Anyway, enough of my yapping! I hope you all enjoyed this first chapter and please, I'd LOVE to hear what you think. LOVE YOU!!