"Your night life must be more intense than anyone could have expected of you, Kurosaki."

Ichigo had learned long ago not to talk his teacher back. That particular time, however, it had been due to different reasons that he hadn't tried to put her straight, instead he had blushed in a very unmanly way. Fortunately, she had spared him any further comments, and he had been already used to hitting his head with a register. He had been happy it was the last class, after which he had managed to leave home rather quickly. That way he hadn't had to witness Keigo's hysteria and Mizuiro's polite remarks, thought to be comforting. Ishida's meaningful hem, Tatsuki's approving slap on his back and Inoue's eyes wide open had been enough. Well, Inoue could have him since she wasn't any better than him. Perfect start of a week.

Ichigo looked at the ceiling. Really, he had to do something before it turned worse. Today he had fallen asleep in the middle of the class - which wasn't associated with Monday itself - and he wasn't very proud of himself. Even his duties as Substitute Shinigami, he had held round the clock, had never made him so exhausted. Even if Rukia's alarm made him go into action in the dead night, he had tended to deal with the problem quickly, come back home and fall asleep again. Recently, however, even though his life was much more peaceful, he experienced unusual sleeping difficulties and he knew perfectly what - or rather: who - was the cause of it.

Grimmjow rolled over and stretched himself. Ichigo sighed inwardly. What was most depressive, he himself was the only person to blame. Consistency was the trait he rated highly, so he couldn't even relieve himself with a criticism levelled at someone else.

After war with Aizen, he had taken ex-Espada to his own home. It had just... happened. He couldn't do otherwise, though when he thought of it now, he couldn't find any reason for having done that. Nothing else that it had seemed right, and Ichigo tended to listen to his intuition and feelings instead of considering all the pros and cons. It had been just clear that Grimmjow, who had managed to survive fellow Espada, Aizen and Shinigami - he must have had nine lives indeed - had stayed by him. Rukia had been in Soul Society, planning to continue there, so the closet was free, at least, with no-one claiming a right to it.

Not that Grimmjow spent his time in it, not at all. Here started Ichigo's problems with sleeping. The second evening ex-Espada had announced he hadn't intended to sleep in the closet; in fact, he hadn't even bothered to say anything, instead he simply barged into Ichigo's bed, regardless of the protest of the latter. The bed wasn't that narrow, yet it was planned for one person, not two, even so slender they both were.

In any case, Ichigo was able to sleep on anything flat, so even that wasn't something he couldn't overcome. The problem was Grimmjow liked to do some other things in bed than merely sleep, and, somehow, that things involved Ichigo too. Ichigo was under a vague impression it was his fault as well, at least to some extent. Right at the start of their renewed acquaintance, he had informed ex-Espada in a very emphatic way that there would be absolutely no fighting between them. Grimmjow could be furious and thrash about, could beg and entreat, but Ichigo was though. He was fed up with fighting with Grimmjow for the rest of his life and even less he desired for a fight with someone who wasn't his enemy any more. Grimmjow wasn't apparently that stupid, for he had given the begging and entreating up rather quickly. Ichigo could be happy for that, but only to some extent, for Grimmjow had engaged himself - and Ichigo too - in some other activities.

Ichigo, faster than he had wished, had found out what it meant to have a cat.

In a way, Grimmjow was a cat, even if a phantom one, and he acted like one. He was endearing when he wanted and predatory when he felt like; Ichigo didn't know which one was worse. He had canine teeth, claws, long tail and soft ears, he had rough tongue and instinct of a predator. Ichigo, on the other hand, had an impression he had fallen a prey to something between a domestic cat and a panther.

Scratching. Biting. Brushing. He curled and demanded to be scratched behind the ears. He pressed Ichigo to the bed with his muscular body and hypnotized with his turquoise eyes. He tickled with his tail or blue hair. He moved his rough tongue against the neck and cheek. Whatever, whatever he though of. A cat. He purred. Sometimes he hissed, but usually he purred.

Ichigo let himself being scratched, bitten, tickled and licked. He had already taken Grimmjow to his home, so it would be stupid to start protesting all of the sudden. After all, to object the cat's caresses was an utter nonsense, for there were as natural as Shinigami's urge to kill Hollows. Okay, perhaps it was a bit different thing, but of that kind anyway. And Grimmjow had never hurt him doing it.

Ichigo simply couldn't tell him to stop. Well, it would be ignored anyway, but he just couldn't. His inner self didn't consent to push Grimmjow away by any means. Grimmjow was one of two who had turned their backs to Aizen and who had lived. They had gotten a chance to live a better life, and they had right to try. The thought Grimmjow was on his side now filled Ichigo with overwhelming happiness. He had never enjoyed to kill his opponents and tried to refrain from it with all his with all his might. When some of them had recognized their errors, or had simply decided to do otherwise than so far, it couldn't be of no significance to Ichigo. It didn't even matter how much he himself had contributed to it. He bestowed a stupid, unconditional sympathy on them. He didn't want to lose them by any meaning.

So he couldn't push Grimmjow away.

Besides... he didn't want.

Used to personal and bodily inviolability, he had been much surprised to find out Grimmjow's presence, physical too, hadn't bothered him at all. Far too soon, he had grown accustomed to the warmth of his body, to the heart-beating - faster than his own - and to the touch of his paws and tongue. Even to the teeth and claws. It felt so good he couldn't imagine any more that he would sleep in an empty bed again. He had never had a cat before, and now he wondered if he hadn't been passed over something; now it didn't matter anyway. And cats were said to reduce the stress...

Of course, Grimmjow wasn't literally a cat, yet he owned a personality of one. Ichigo was aware that sleeping with Hollow was a bit more extreme than sleeping with a cat, but he was already used to the thought he himself wasn't the most normal person in the world, so he didn't attach any special weight to it. Only sometimes a thought crossed his mind: what would Ishida say if he learned about it...

No, wait. Why exactly had he thought of Ishida? What did Ishida have to do with it?

He shook his head, trying to drive away the though of his Quincy friend.

Perhaps what he did with Grimmjow wasn't normal - perhaps, in some classifications, it could be considered some kind of... deviation? - but it was Grimmjow. And, to tell the truth, he didn't do anything with him. After a dose of cat's caresses, he turned over, fell asleep and slept 'till morning. Ex-Espada did so as well.

It had been like that until recently. Ichigo sighed again.

He couldn't say when everything had changed. He gulped, feeling the blush coming in, and covered the face with his arm.

He had realized, one day, he had started to react to Grimmjow's play in a totally different way. At first he had been too stunned to wonder about it, but sooner or later he had been forced to. He didn't like the feeling he had no control over himself, and now it felt exactly like this, so his distress was justified. He had been shocked quite a lot by the conclusion he had reached. He couldn't believe that too had been a normal effect of communing with cat. After all, cats were said to help relax, not to make all his body tense and experience every touch tenfold. Grimmjow made him so, and Ichigo lay for hours afterwards, unable to sleep and speculating about his very unattractive future.

Ichigo used to trust his intuition; it didn't mean, however, he was unable to analyse the facts. No matter how difficult it was - ridiculous, horrible, embarrassing, shocking - he couldn't escape his own feelings. As long as possible, he tightly clang to the thought that his virgin body of a teenager, unused to such close and intense physical contact, simply reacted that way, and there was absolutely nothing to it, except the normal physiology. After all, he couldn't accept the most absurd explanation that Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez - Hollow, Arrancar and ex-Espada - turned him on.

It was so... so...

Ichigo gulped once more.

It was a fact.

So, he spent long hours 'till morning sexually aroused, while the culprit slept curled against his back, purring and totally unaware of his guilt. All in all, Ichigo hoped only for one thing: that Grimmjow would never realize how he affected sixteen years old Shinigami, whom he had long ago claimed his prey. Ichigo's imagination kept putting into his head many varying vision, which resulted in only one conclusion: he'd rather die than experience it.

Somewhere in his subconsciousness, there was a practical part of his mind that, in cooperation with said imagination, kept informing him that all his efforts were completely useless... He kept telling it to shut up. He didn't want to think about it. He didn't want to imagine...

Although... Yet another part...

And there was the third one, suggesting most dramatic scenarios, like the one Grimmjow would... just... leave... him.

Ichigo shuddered, feeling a pang in the stomach.

It was not easy to be a teenager. Actually, being Shinigami didn't even compare.

He sighed. It was awfully hot for a spring; an open window didn't make any difference. He took his T-shirt off and tossed it on the chair. Grimmjow didn't move.

"You're hot too," came from his side.

"Too? I didn't know Hollows register the temperature."

Grimmjow shrugged. "The closer to you, humans, we are, the more similar reactions we have."

You. Ichigo shrank inwardly. One more barrier, he thought, not knowing where that thought came from. "Today, it's been the hottest day of the year so far," he said.

"Can be," Grimmjow replied. "Don't mention the hunt. I caught only a bat."

Despite himself, Ichigo visualized their mutual friend and almost burst out laughing. No, Inoue wouldn't let him go out at night, he thought not so innocently. And then, it was impossible that Ulquiorra let himself be caught by Grimmjow.

"But it doesn't mean I've no energy left... for anything else," ex-Espada added, leaning up on the elbow.

"Not today..." Ichigo tried to protest.

Grimmjow opened his eyes wider, already drawing closer. Right, nothing would entice a predator more than the resistance of a prey, he should have already known...

"You've got a headache?" Grimmjow asked in a definitely mocking voice.

"You'd bet," Ichigo retorted, aware he sounded like a fool. "Didn't sleep enough last night," he added as an explanation.

Grimmjow had already taken an interest in his neck, and Ichigo knew all his objections - very insincere anyway - would be for nothing. Ex-Espada moved his hand lower, and Ichigo only now realized Grimmjow didn't bother to assume his cat form. Apparently, he was too hot as well. Well, it meant less possibilities of molesting, Ichigo thought, still feeling the scratches on his back from the day before. In his human form he couldn't accomplish a lot...

Ichigo's eyes grew wider as he realized it was by no means better for him. He felt dizzy. He opened his mouth to object... Grimmjow's hand, with no claws this time, moved along his chest and brushed his left nipple. Ichigo gasped, his head jerked back.

That is probably that as for the secret, he thought almost hysterically.

Grimmjow froze, his teeth on Ichigo's earlobe. Ichigo took a deep breath and tried to calm his pulse. He wouldn't open his eyes for his life, and he truly hoped the darkness concealed his blush. For a moment nothing happened, and then Grimmjow - as if trying - moved his hand lower, on Ichigo's stomach.

"No...!" Ichigo whispered, grasping his hand and sitting up.

Grimmjow wrenched himself away, but didn't say anything.

"I've to get enough sleep. I've school tomorrow," Ichigo explained, taking another deep breath. "Today my teacher scolded me for sleeping during the class," he added as an excuse and lay down again, turning his back on Grimmjow and determined to sleep.

Grimmjow bent down over his ear and murmured, "Too few stimuli in your life, evidently, if you fall asleep in class."

Ichigo hunched. Quite the contrary, he thought, trying to calm himself.

Grimmjow turned round and pressed his back to Ichigo's. "Too hot today," he said in a bored voice and yawned.

Ichigo didn't dare to heave a sigh. Grimmjow rarely was so agreeable. Like he'd ever cared for Ichigo's school before... Ichigo felt relieved. Saved by a heat, he was.

Deep in his consciousness something was struggling. Only in the blissful moment between reality and sleep, he identified it as a bitter disappointment.


Whatever you could think about him, Grimmjow was an intelligent beast. He left Kurosaki in peace 'till Friday. Not that he cared for his school; he simply didn't want to listen to the stupid excuses. It was terribly hot for the whole week, and it was only April! Grimmjow preferred not to think of upcoming summer. As a cat, he ought to like being warm, but it was his first year in the real world, so he only started to get used to the sun. Well, he would think about it later, he decided. For now there were more important things.

Kurosaki was stupid. He was so terribly stupid; but what else could you expect of Shinigami? Grimmjow snorted. As if it made any difference to him how Kurosaki experienced his, say, caresses. It didn't at all, as long as he liked it - and he did like it with no doubt, Grimmjow could feel with his intuition. Humans were so ridiculous it was pathetic. You're pathetic, Kurosaki. Well, he used to tell him that many times. Kurosaki usually made some snide retort, but today Grimmjow was under impression he would merely blush and avert his eyes.

He was pathetic.

Did he really thought Grimmjow wouldn't notice? He was so stupid. Grimmjow could hear his fast heart-beating and crazy rush of his blood in the vessels. He could see it pounding just under the skin of his neck and colouring his cheeks. He could see the hair rising all over his body. He could feel his skin going tense under Grimmjow's fingers. He didn't even need Resurrectión. And even if he couldn't perceive it, Ichigo's reiatsu was more than enough as it almost blew up an air. Out of that, not only him, but all the familiars in the area could realize what was happening to Kurosaki, while he himself reminded ignorant and thought he could keep it a secret.

And pretend everything was like before.

Not that Grimmjow cared, only such an attitude got on his nerves. He himself, if wanted something, simply did it. Unlike that worthless Shinigami who probably as a last one realized the matter didn't concern an innocent scratching behind the ears.

You're pathetic, Kurosaki.

Besides, the scratching behind the ears had never been innocent.

Ichigo sat down on the bed, drying up his hair.

"Strawberry blonde," Grimmjow said.

"What?" Ichigo turned and looked at him confused.

"Colour of your hair," Grimmjow explained as if he spoke to a half-wit.

"E-e?"

Grimmjow sighed. Today, he didn't even feel like proving his superiority, also in a matter of erudition. It would be playing with a half-dead mouse. A cat-like, okay, but he spared himself a trouble. He would prove only one thing today... Ichigo shrugged and finished drying his hair, then put the towel on the back of the chair. Grimmjow was waiting patiently. For a quarter or so.

"You're gonna have the spring-cleaning on Friday evening?" he asked, regarding him with one eye.

Ichigo stopped shifting the items on the chest of drawers. "Now's as good as ever," he said in an overly indifferent voice.

Grimmjow sighed again. Perhaps he wasn't so stupid if he sensed the danger... But it had something to do with an instinct, not an intellect. "Come to bed already," he muttered.

Ichigo cast a curious look at him. "You're not going to hunt tonight?" he asked carefully.

Kurosaki, I read you as a book.

"Too hot," was a bored answer.

Ichigo's face clearly indicated he was deciding if he should be relieved or quite the contrary. Grimmjow smirked.

"Grimmjow," Ichigo started in a cautious tone, and then his eloquence ended.

"Well, come," Grimmjow said, wondering if he already feel like whacking him or not yet. "It'll be very decent," he added casually.

Ichigo stopped. "You know that word?" he asked with clear disbelief.

Grimmjow leaned up on an elbow. "I know... a lot," he answered seriously.

Ichigo sat down on the bad again and run his fingers through his still wet hair. Grimmjow wanted to pull him down on the sheet, but he held off with the rest of his self-control. Ichigo seemed the type who acted before thinking - just look at his tendency to charge on the enemy as a first - but Grimmjow already knew that sometimes he would gain more acting slowly. The cat cunning was needed here.

Ichigo lay down, at last, and pulled the cover over him. Grimmjow relaxed, moving himself closer. Wait, relaxed? Did it mean he had been tense before? He snorted. Okay, he could admit he took pleasure in Kurosaki's closeness. He liked to curl by his side. It was... natural.

So what that he was Hollow, and Kurosaki was Shinigami?

They lay like that for a while, and then Kurosaki started to squirm.

"What's up, Kurosaki?"

"No, nothing..." came an unconvincing answer.

"You may scratch me behind ears, if you feel like," Grimmjow declared with a catty haughtiness.

Ichigo's heart sped up; here an there, his reiatsu flashed red.

"Or, perhaps, you feel like doing something else?" Grimmjow murmured and noticed, with satisfaction, Kurosaki's pulse grew even faster.

Ichigo turned his back on him. "Good night, Grimmjow," he said, his voice a mixture of resentment, hurt and fear.

You're pathetic, Kurosaki. And a coward. You know what you want, yet you're afraid to admit it and reach for it.

You're lucky to have me.

Grimmjow embraced him and put the hand on his chest. Ichigo didn't stir. Like a mouse under cat's claws, Grimmjow thought, distracted. He moved the hand over Ichigo's heart and for a moment he marvelled at the accordance of what he felt under his fingers with what he heard.

"Don't turn your back on me like that," he murmured in the angle Ichigo's neck and shoulder formed.

Ichigo shifted.

"In such state of mind," 'and body,' "you won't fall asleep anyway."

"What can you know about the state of my mind, Grimmjow?" Ichigo's answer rang with scepticism.

"What your reiatsu tells me," ex-Espada whispered with satisfaction.

It worked. Ichigo turned rather quickly and looked at him, his eyes wide open.

"And what does it tell you?"

Grimmjow merely smiled, moving his hand lower; his fingertips tickled at the smooth skin on Ichigo's belly. Ichigo gasped, his body tensed.

"That you like it."

"No... stop..." Ichigo whispered.

"But we've done it before," Grimmjow replied in a whisper, too, and nuzzled at his ear.

"But... not like this..."

"Don't you think it's unfair I'm the only one who changes here? You could too, sometimes."

Ichigo opened his eyes and looked at the ceiling. A doubtful expression that appeared on his face indicated he also found that idea stupid.

"You're right," Grimmjow muttered over his temple. "Your ragged coat would tear even more." Ichigo gulped. "You prefer my Resurrección? Being bitten and scratched? You never looked as if you especially liked it," Grimmjow continued. "I've never thought you were a masochist, like that one of your captains..."

"Which one?" Ichigo got interested, despite the situation.

"Sixth."

"Byakuya is a masochist??"

"When fighting with Septima, he almost cut off his arm and leg. With his own Zanpakutō, mind it."

"How d'you know?" Ichigo's voice was sceptical.

"We shared the consciousness in Espada," Grimmjow explained in a bored tone. "But, you know what, I'm not interested in talking of your captains."

"Me... neither," Ichigo replied weakly.

Grimmjow moved his hand even lower, the tip of his tongue tracking at Ichigo's cheek bone.

"Stop," Ichigo gasped, his breath already breaking.

"Stop?"

"Yes! ...No."

"Kurosaki?" There was a warning in ex-Espada's voice.

Ichigo gulped, again.

"We'd better... go to sleep," he choked.

"You've no school tomorrow," Grimmjow pointed out teasingly.

"B-but..."

Grimmjow moved away and sat up. Ichigo stirred, his face expressing definite disappointment.

You're pathetic, Kurosaki.

"Could you please tell me straight what you want, Kurosaki?"

Ichigo lifted his eye-lids; he was breathing heavily.

"What I... want...?"

Grimmjow regarded him with squinted eyes.

"I want..." The rest of an answer turned into a moan.

Grimmjow sighed. He had been positive to make Kurosaki tell it, yet apparently even Kurosaki had his limits. Grimmjow cast a glance at him. Here he was - hero of Soul Society and suppressor of Aizen - not able to move his fingers or pull a sentence together. His head tossed back, eyes tightly shut, lips apart. His breath fast, his pulse even faster, his skin sweaty.

I could do with him whatever I wanted, Grimmjow thought.

But only me, he realized a moment later.

He smiled. You're really pathetic, Kurosaki. And innocent like a newborn kitty.

He bent down and kissed him. Ichigo shivered; his reiatsu flashed red. Closing his eyes, Grimmjow cupped Ichigo's face. Nice, nice... His tongue slipped into Ichigo, for the first time tasting him from inside. Ichigo moaned. Grimmjow pulled his mouth away. Ichigo breathed in deeply and then... he took Grimmjow's head in his hands and pulled him down, demanding another kiss.

Definitely, Grimmjow liked it.

Evidently, he had forgotten the obvious thing: Kurosaki was a man of action, not talking.

They broke away for a longer while now. Ichigo leaned his head back, breathing quickly through parted, maltreated lips. Grimmjow rested the forehead on his sternum, Ichigo's fingers still in his hair.

"Where... have you... learned it?" Ichigo panted.

"You didn't possibly thought... Hueco Mundo was some uncivilized shit-hole?" It wasn't an intelligent answer to that question, but Grimmjow didn't bother to wonder about it.

"In fact... yeah... I thought something like that..."

Grimmjow almost snorted; for now he tried to catch his breath.

"You're not gonna tell me... you had some kind of... lessons?"

"Nah... Gin would never..."

"Ichimaru educated you to family life...?!"

"I tell you he didn't! Besides... what family, Kurosaki?" Grimmjow lifted his head and tried to focus his puzzled gaze on Ichigo.

"No, nothing... But I didn't know... Hollows too..." He fell silent.

Grimmjow kissed the skin over his ribs. "If they want it, they can."

Ichigo moaned. "But... in Hueco Mundo?"

"Geez, Kurosaki, give me a break. There were two of them, if you must know. Third Espada and her Fracción..."

"Actually, I don't want to," Ichigo decided.

"That's great as nothing happened," Grimmjow replied and then moved his tongue along Ichigo's pale skin, evoking another moan. "Jealous, Kurosaki?"

"If nothing happened... then what was that about...?" Ichigo apparently regained his interest.

"Mila-Rose dragged me to the closet... Well, anyway, she tried to do with me the same I'm doing with you now."

"To closet... wha... what you mean... she tried?"

"I escaped her."

Ichigo burst out laughing, but the next moment he moaned again when Grimmjow's tongue found his left nipple.

"You like it," Grimmjow whispered.

Ichigo only tightened the grip on his hair and tried to remain silent.

"Though your build differs slightly..."

"What...?"

"Orihime liked it, too."

"What??! Grimmjow, you..."

Grimmjow pulled himself away from Ichigo's chest and bent over his face, looking with amusement. Ichigo's voice showed that, despite his pacifist ideas, he wanted to bash him. Though, of course, he wasn't able at the moment...

"I admit it with reluctance - so not a word - Ulquiorra's imagination and intuition surpass mine. Sometimes."

"What?"

"Stop clacking. I thought I'd take a good look, just in case.

"You spied on Inoue and Ulquiorra?!" In Ichigo's voice, indignation mixed with a shock. "And... in case of what?" he added distrustfully, and there were his last words for a longer while as Grimmjow silenced him with another kiss.

It was good. And Kurosaki apparently liked it.

"You spied on them," Ichigo replied, that time oddly content.

"You were jealous, again," Grimmjow whispered into his ear.

"I wasn't...!" Ichigo moaned.

"Ulquiorra was. He almost hit me with his cero," Grimmjow admitted reluctantly. "And, since then, they've drawn the curtains more carefully," he added.

Ichigo shot him a sharp glance; or, at least, as sharp as it was possible in his current state. "It means you didn't manage to see anything more?" he guessed. "And you don't know what now," he added with a kind of satisfaction.

Grimmjow shut him with a kiss. "Perhaps not as much as Ulquiorra, but I too have an imagination," he stated firmly.

"Don't strain yourself."

"I see your nerve is back, Kurosaki," Grimmjow decided in a warning voice.

"No, I just suppose..." Ichigo felt silent.

"Well, say it," Grimmjow bent down over his face.

Ichigo turned his head aside. Blood rushed under his skin. His reiatsu was flashing red and pink. "Lips and fingers," he whispered, closing his eyes, "will do everywhere." He nipped his lips.

Grimmjow drew closer to his ear. "You're not so stupid, Kurosaki," he muttered.

Reiatsu flashed blue when Ichigo smiled.

Grimmjow turned his eyes away. For some reason, that smile felt almost painful. With it, Ichigo seemed almost perfect - here, now, when he lay under him, pressed to the bed, blushing and breathing quickly.

Smiling.

He was perfect.

And Grimmjow, though he would never say it aloud, had ia right and an honour/i to be close to him, touch him and make him smile.

It was...

Good. Warm. It filled him with happiness.

He would never leave him. Never. Just like he had come with him, left from Hueco Mundo and opposed Aizen - risking everything, and then so ridiculously little. To see that smile and those eyes looking at him and seeing just him.

Ichigo lifted his eye-lids, as if disturbed by a sudden stillness. "You decided to take it easy?" he asked a bit snidely.

To hell with sentimental nonsense.

"I think it's your turn now, Kurosaki," Grimmjow replied with a haughty grim of elite.

Ichigo's eyes flickered with a concern. "Ee-e... My turn?"

"Perhaps you didn't notice, but it was me doing the whole work so far."

"But what should I possibly do?" Ichigo asked confused.

Grimmjow grinned more. "The same you'd like to be done to," he said casually.

Kurosaki was an idiot, after all. It was a charm of him, too.

And then something changed.

Ichigo's eyes grew wide, and he levered himself up on his elbows, looking at Grimmjow as if he had just sprouted wings. Grimmjow blinked, suddenly totally lost. What had he said?

Ichigo's eyes searched his face though, of course, he couldn't possibly see much in the darkness. He frowned, almost frustrated. Grimmjow decided he didn't like his expression.

"What's up, Ichigo?" he blurted before he thought.

Idiot, another one. They were a good match, undoubtedly.

Ichigo shivered, probably after hearing his name. Well, anyway, something was wrong... and it was Grimmjow's fault.

"It was... a joke," he said, recalling his last line. "You don't have to do anything. I'll manage by myself, somehow... However, for making me like that..." Something stabbed him. Feeling of disappointment was sudden and unexpected.

Ichigo swallowed and licked his lips. He sat up on the bed. His reiatsu changed its colour; from chaotic orange, that flashed variously depending on his emotions, it turned into calm blue. Ichigo drew nearer, and now he was sitting next to him. He embraced him and rested the head on his shoulder. Grimmjow didn't move a muscle. Embarrassment flashed pinky in Kurosaki's reiatsu. That was probably why he couldn't look him into eyes.

"Grimmjow," he whispered. "What you've just said..." He stopped. "Grimmjow, I know I'm an idiot," he put with disarming conviction. "I'm good at fighting, a bit. At caring about my family and friends. Nothing more."

"Kuro-"

"Grimmjow," Ichigo's whisper interrupted him. Kurosaki swallowed again. "Damn!" he suddenly swore, probably at himself. "I'm gonna say it." It was to himself, too. "Do you... Grimmjow... Do you want me... in that way?"

You're an idiot, Kurosaki.

"Isn't it obvious?"

Reiatsu flashed gold.

"Shall I show you?" Grimmjow asked almost with a sneer.

To his astonishment, he felt Ichigo's hand slide in his own. Gold was creating an interesting mosaic with pink. Grimmjow moved their hands down so that Ichigo could touch the prove of his desire.

Ichigo sighed. "I'm sorry," he whispered. "I thought it was only a fun to you."

"It is fun," Grimmjow admitted. "But if it was only fun, I could play with anyone," he added in a softer voice. His throat clenched.

Ichigo's reiatsu was pulsating with gold.

"But... why me?"

Grimmjow snorted.

"You're an idiot."

Ichigo smiled.

"What an interesting taste you have."

"Shut up."

Ichigo lifted his head and looked him into face. Then, closing his eyes, he drew near his lips. How different was that kiss from the previous craziness and fierceness. Grimmjow felt dizzy. He embraced Ichigo's slender shoulders, as if it was to help him recover his balance.

Actually... Why not? Kurosaki Ichigo was his signpost and guide. He led him. Always.

"If that's the case, I'd have to strain my imaginary," Ichigo stated after they split up. "You say Espada has the same anatomy as Humans?" he asked in a suggestive tone Grimmjow had never heard of him.

He took a deep breath.

"Luckily, you're a guy," Ichigo added, his reiatsu flashing pink.

"You're a pervert, Kurosaki."

"Oh yeah?" Ichigo asked with a polite astonishment. "I don't want to remind you whose plays started it all."

"I think I'll let you wait with your fantasies," Grimmjow decided, knocking him down and pressing against the mattress. "Someone is cheeky here and I feel like grounding him," he said, taking an interest in his neck.

"I'm already grounded," Ichigo chuckled, but then his laugh turned into moan.


"You think Inoue and Ulquiorra reached as far already?" he asked later with quite perverse curiosity, pulling the cover on them both.

"I don't care," Grimmjow replied, his voice sleepy. "I know one thing, however..." he whispered. Ichigo lifted his head and looked at him, intrigued. "We have more options," Grimmjow declared with satisfaction.

"Who's a pervert here?" Ichigo called.

Deep in his heart, he had to agree with him.

He pulled his knees up, curled like a cat and, blush creeping to his cheeks, he decided he couldn't wait for it.