May 10, 2012. Finally cleaned this piece up and fixed a lot of horrible mistakes. Apologies. I'm back into this universe and will be finishing it as soon as I am able. Enjoy.
I started this fic forever ago, but I remember the basis for creating this: suffering through some college classes, loving my art classes (as you will see with Ichigo), and watching Fast & the Furious way too many times, so there will be some dropped references as the F&F world is all I will ever claim to know about cars or racing. The image of Grimmjow as an anime Dom was just too much for my puny brain to resist. -TPP
Tear It Up
Chapter 1: Curious
The last person in the world Ichigo Kurosaki would have pegged for a knight in shining armor was a delinquent from the automotive program at Karakura University. Ichigo had heard rampant rumors about the blue-haired beast: he was infamous for being cold, quiet, and deadly as a wild cat of the jungle. His cobalt blue eyes shined with barely-controlled chaos, both beautiful and fierce as he stood feet away from the situation Ichigo had found himself in thanks to his best friend Shinji.
"Didn't'cha hear me, Blueberry?" Senior Renji Abarai taunted, his outrageous red hair pulled back into his classic ponytail, his various tribal tattoos making him look more menacing than he actually was. Ichigo knew Renji was one thing and one thing only: a bully. A bully with a big mouth. He tended to pick on whatever student had the balls to challenge him or talk back to him, but his favorite activity was beating the shit out of members of the gay community.
But no one knew that Ichigo was gay. He was currently getting his ass kicked beside his best friend Shinji, who happened to be what many would consider a "flaming gay." Shinji was currently wearing skin-tight dark jeans with a baby pink top, a rainbow wristband proudly proclaiming a giggle-worth phrase "Eat More Dick". Ichigo didn't even want to know where Shinji had found it; he might as well have tattooed "BEAT ME UP" on his forehead for all the chaos it was causing the both of them now.
"What'cha lookin' at, faggot?" Renji sneered, calling across the common lawn to Shinji who had been sitting cross-legged on a free bench.
Ichigo had been sitting at his side, listening to a rather engrossing story about Shinji's adventures at a gay bar during the weekend, when they had been rudely interrupted by Renji's less-than-subtle invitation to an inevitable fight. Of course both of them had given a quick glance at Renji and his little posse of assholes, but it had been a quick glance that had confirmed everything the two had needed to know: trouble was in their presence.
But of course Shinji was one to never back down from a challenge and his mouth was notorious for getting him into trouble, "Your ugly-ass shirt. It totally clashes with that skanky mop of red Koolaid you call hair."
"Wha'd'you say, queer?" Renji bellowed, already making his way towards the two friends, three of his cronies trailing behind him with knowing smirks on their faces.
Shinji shook his head, making a tsk-ing noise, "Ugly and dumb? Well at least you got a cute ass to make up for it."
"Shut up Shinji," Ichigo ordered, shoving his best friend in the shoulder before facing Renji's wrath, "Look, we don't want any trouble. Just ignore him."
"Can't do that, berry," Renji said, addressing Ichigo before his eyes turned back on Shinji, "not until I teach this little asshole a lesson."
"I doubt there's anything you can teach me or my tight asshole," Shinji shot back, rolling his eyes.
Damn it, sometimes Ichigo just wanted to kill Shinji.
"Just apologize," Ichigo hissed, now standing up from the bench to stand between Renji and Shinji.
"Get outta the way," Renji said, shoving Ichigo's shoulder quite hard, "unless you want me to beat the fag out of you too."
"You're gonna beat somethin' out of me?" Shinji antagonized, practically leering at the angry delinquent, "Oooh, promises promises!"
"Fuck you!" Renji bellowed, pushing forward and grabbing Shinji by the collar roughly and pulling him forward.
Instead of pissing his pants, Shinji cackled with laughter, "But you're really not my type!"
God, Shinji had chosen today of all days to be a fucking comedian. Worried for his idiot friend's safety, he grabbed Renji's shoulder, trying to pry him off, "Hey man, come on, he's just kidding-"
The blow stunned Ichigo, making him fall back a few steps, but keeping his balance. Renji's goons howled with laughter and praise, the one named Ganju grabbing Ichigo's arm and twisting him out of the way as Shinji started cursing.
"Get out," Ichigo murmured, completely enraged, "of. My. Way."
The air left Ganju's lungs in a whoosh as Ichigo's powerful, karate-trained leg came up for a cheap shot to the gorilla's testicles. He dropped like a rock, his face composed like a dead fish as he floundered on the ground.
Renji pulled back from Shinji, his fist mid-air as he surveyed the damage done to his friend, "Heh, didn't know ya knew how ta fight, Strawberry."
"Back off," Ichigo threatened, moving to a fight-ready stance from years of training.
Renji grinned, laughing, "I think I can handle two fags."
Oh hell no.
Before Ichigo could comprehend what was happening, he felt the stone-hard bone of his ankle connect with the redhead's face, his arms offering balance as he pivoted around for a clean roundhouse kick. His old sensei would be so proud.
Before Renji had a chance to recover and before the one unhurt idiot reacted, Ichigo grabbed Shinji's wrist and pulled him from the bench and launched across the common lawn, running like his ankles were on fire.
"That was awesome, Ichi!" Shinji praised, giggling maniacally as they ran together, "You're so awesome!"
"Shut up!" Ichigo yelled, realizing Renji and the others were now pursuing the accused gays, "This is all your fault! You and your stupid mouth!"
Shinji just giggled some more, knowing if he had made another sexual innuendo, Ichigo wouldn't hesitate to beat him within an inch of his life, "Sorry, Ichi."
They rounded the Humanities building, weaving through a few wandering students and plenty of wooden benches. Ichigo's breath nearly left his chest as he realized in his haste he had made them run south, away from the crowded common hall and parking lots. There was nothing south but the old science building, a dilapidated dorm, and the garage units used for the automobile industry students. What were they going to do? Hide behind an old tire?
"Fuck," Ichigo murmured as he felt 200 pounds of muscle slam into him, both of them making an oofing noise as they flopped into the grass.
"Caught'ya!" Renji crooned, locking his arms around Ichigo's neck and tugging him around so that he was on his back, Renji looming over him like a god of war, "Should'a left when ya had the chance."
Ichigo refused to cry out as Renji's fist slammed into his face. He wouldn't give the bully that satisfaction. He wiggled and wormed underneath Renji's weight: he had to have been at least forty to fifty pounds heavier than him, and it didn't help that Renji was captain of the university's wrestling team. Of course THAT had been the reason Shinji had gotten a black eye last semester by suggesting that Renji had joined the team simply to wrestle and pin down sweaty attractive men.
And here Ichigo had gone and gotten himself involved for friendship, and his face was paying for it.
"You're all losers!" Shinji cried, practically sobbing as Renji's friends began kicking him. He could do nothing but ball himself up, trying to protect his head as feet connected with ribs, hips, and ankles, "Stupid, goddamn losers!"
"Shut up, faggot!" the boy named Ikkaku growled, grabbing Shinji's blonde hair and tugging on it with enough force to make Shinji scream, "before I put that mouth to better use!"
"He'd probably like that, the sick fuck," Renji added, his hands now wrapping around Ichigo's throat and pushing down, "probably has a hard-on right now, so many fuckin' men on him right now."
"Ichi!" Shinji screamed, looking over and seeing Ichigo gasping and kicking frantically as his air supply had been cut off, "Let him fucking go! You're gonna kill him!"
"Let the kid go."
Ichigo's eyes had been in danger of rolling back in his head when the grip was lost completely. He gagged, breathing in deep lungfuls of air as he rolled sideways as Renji's weight left his body completely. He had stood up, his stance menacing as he stared at the sorry idiot who had interrupted all of his fun.
"And who the fuck are you?" Renji snarled, staring at the student who had stood up to him.
Everybody had stopped; even Shinji was keeping his mouth shut as they all turned and stared at the male who had potentially saved Ichigo's life.
Ichigo continued to wheeze as he tried to return his lungs to normal, still lying in the grass as he stared up and over to his savior.
The student was dressed in ripped jeans smeared in what looked like motor oil, a white wife beater sculpted to his torso, leaving little to the imagination as to how fit and ripped the boy was. His tan skin was sun kissed and slick with sweat, his arms at his sides as his cobalt blue eyes stayed locked on Renji's. His thick blue hair was pushed back off of his forehead, slightly wet as if he had dunked his head in the sink after spending hours in the garage working on a car. Perhaps that was exactly why it looked that way, and Ichigo unknowingly licked his lips at the rumored delinquent. He was gorgeous, deadly, and sexy as sin, three things Ichigo had always taken care to avoid.
"Didn't'cha here me, Blueberry?" Renji taunted.
The boy didn't move, didn't flinch, just kept that commanding stare on Renji, making Renji finally snap, "Ya need me ta beat some sense into you too?" Renji nodded at Ikkaku and Ganju, both of them tentatively approaching the interfering student.
Grimmjow looked at them as if he were utterly annoyed, as if he were about to reprimand small children for misbehaving. It was almost a frown but there was hope in those startling blue eyes as he loosened his grip on something that had been blocked behind his forearm, falling into view for all to see.
He was holding a rather mean-looking, long-armed wrench, his eyes and stance screaming 'If ya got balls, come and get some'.
The two goons looked from the wrench up to his face, then back at Renji. Obviously this bluenette was not fucking around. Perhaps the rumors were true about his criminal record.
"Che, whatever," Renji said, his voice wavering slightly as he took a few steps back, "I have all the time in the world to make these faggots' lives miserable."
Grimmjow shifted his weight to his other leg, the hand that held the wrench turning nearly white as he gripped it harder, "This is the part where you either run or bleed. I suggest you take option number one before I lose my patience."
"Yeah yeah," Renji said, beginning to walk away with Ganju and Ikkaku in tow, "Next time on my turf, Jaegerjaques."
Ichigo almost shivered at the mention of the auto student's last name. Yeah, he had heard it whispered throughout the campus. The only thing Ichigo knew for a fact was that he was a transferred junior studying mechanical engineering. The word was his old man had kicked him here after he had been released from his six-month stay in prison for assault and battery. Staring at him now, Ichigo wasn't sure if that particular rumor was true or not, but he could see why so many students avoided him. He seemed to exude power, quietly deadly like a grenade. Ichigo had seen him several times walking on campus with his crew, everybody scattering like ants when he came within hearing distance. It was like he was wrapped in barbed wire, untouchable, but his crew followed him loyally, like he was gravity.
"Anytime, Abarai," the mechanic said, only approaching the sprawled boys when Renji and his goons had moved off enough to be almost dots.
"Th-thanks," Shinji mumbled, standing up with a wince when Jaegerjaques offered him a hand.
The stranger moved on to Ichigo, who was staring up at his savior like an idiot, his mouth finally moving to close as he tried to break contact with those penetrating eyes.
"You alright?" he husked, his arm descending, his palm up and inviting. Ichigo's fingers grazed over the calloused palm, a bolt of warmth shooting through his spine at the contact. Strong fingers gripped his hand as he helped hoist Ichigo up to stand. Ichigo instantly felt dizzy and stumbled sideways, knowing he was falling but helpless to stop it as he felt his gut clench like he might throw up.
Toned, muscled arms caught him as he stumbled again, helping him back down to the grass to sit up, "Just relax, kid. He knocked you good."
Ichigo lifted a hand to press against his throbbing cheek, hissing slightly as he pulled his fingers back to reveal some blood. In Ichigo's opinion, Renji had a terrible punch, but he had gotten lucky a few times. Ichigo shuddered to think what would have happened if Renji weren't such a good wrestler and a better fighter, "Ow."
"You okay Ichigo?" Shinji whined, both of his hands on his left hipbone, his face free of any damage. At least that was something to be thankful for.
Ichigo nodded slightly, waving off his friend's concern, "I'm good."
"Come with me," Jaegerjaques ordered, standing up and turning, not bothering to wait and see if the boys would follow him. Of course they would: they were almost compelled to, and to be honest, they were both curious. They had never been within seeing distance of the garages, much less given a chance to see the insides.
Shinji followed at Ichigo's side as they trampled through the grass, which finally gave way to rubble and concrete as they approached several large buildings about the size of high school gyms. They passed the first five, Jaegerjaques not stopping until he reached the rolled-up steel door of the garage marked with gigantic, black letter sixes. He nodded at the entrance and disappeared inside, Ichigo and Shinji following.
Both tried to ignore the bodies of cars inside the shop, but some were just too impressive to pass by without least gaping a little. There was the sound of someone working on a hydraulic system. Ichigo actually stopped when he saw sparks flying about twenty feet away from them, a masked student carefully working with a blowtorch on a piece of metal that somehow belonged to the car. Ichigo and Shinji were both red-blooded males, but neither knew anything about cars other than how to drive and park them.
Grimmjow opened a normal-sized door and stepped through, ushering the two boys in as he flipped a light switch and illuminated what looked like a break room. Two black leather sofas faced each other with a metal coffee table between which held a recently-used ash tray and a massacred deck of playing cards and a discarded candy bar wrapper. A kitchenette graced the corner while one entire wall was devoted to manuals, magazines, and textbooks stacked on sturdy-looking metal racks. It smelled faintly of oil, coffee, and cigarette smoke, but the place actually looked comfy. Ichigo supposed this was their break room, a chance to get some air conditioning or grab some lunch before going back to work on their student masterpieces. Ichigo didn't quite understand how the auto program worked at the university, but it seemed like quite a sweet set up to be able to get away with all this.
The bluenette opened the freezer door of the refrigerator, pulling out an ice pack and tossing it to the berry. Ichigo fumbled but didn't drop it, settling it against his throbbing cheek and nearly sighing with contentment. It felt amazing, "Thanks."
The bluenette just nodded, opening the main fridge and pulling out some water bottles and holding them out to the beaten friends. They took them gladly, thanking him under their breaths. Even though the kid had saved them, the situation seemed forced and awkward. Ichigo could tell this was a guy that wasn't accustomed to small talk, but he had saved them, so he had to be a good person. Right?
The bluenette approached Ichigo, making his breath hitch as his large hands gingerly touched Ichigo's neck. For a second, he didn't know whether to pull back or allow those hands to continue. His skin felt like it was on fire as Grimmjow's fingers gently traced the damage.
"You'll be black and blue for a while, but no real damage," he murmured, finally removing his hands. Ichigo took another shaky sip of water, trying to banish the blush and straying thoughts in his mind.
"Thanks for helping us back there," Shinji finally said, always the more sociable of the two friends, "Renji's such an ass. Can't take a joke."
"No, he can't," Grimmjow said, folding his arms over his chest and leaning back against one of the counters, "So unless you're a masochist, don't joke. Neanderthals like him love the attention."
Ichigo had chugged nearly half of his water by this point, trying to think of something to say. For some reason, staring at the rumored-delinquent made his tongue feel swollen and stupid. Of course he had seen Jaegerjaques from a distance plenty of times, but never this close. He fought a lump in his throat as he studied the bluenette from the tips of his boots to the tips of his natural blue hair.
It was only after trying to sneak a peek at the boy's eyes that Ichigo realized his gaze was locked onto the berry.
Ichigo felt himself tense, lowering the water bottle from his mouth at the intense gaze. Was he trying to convey emotion like that, or were his eyes just that deep? "We appreciate what you did for us. We owe you one, Jaegerjaques."
"Grimmjow," the bluenette offered, his eyes roaming Ichigo's body quickly and making him blush. It had been too quick to be a checkout, and Ichigo was an idiot if he thought there was even a one percent chance that this stud was interested in him, "Call me Grimmjow, and I'll call you Ichigo."
For a second Ichigo thought Grimmjow was psychic, then remembered Shinji had said his name earlier back in the field when he had fallen. So it wasn't cosmic-all-knowing-love-at-first-sight. Drat.
Ichigo started nodding like an idiot, internally chastising himself for staring so much at Grimmjow. Why couldn't he stop staring?
Oh, yeah. He was fucking attracted to him.
Ichigo had known from an early age about his sexual preference. It hadn't exactly been a mystery when he had come to the age of sexual virtual exploration. Porn had been on every boy's mind when Ichigo had gone through puberty, so he had shrugged and jumped into the phenomena with his other male friends. Several gay porn sites and a chat group later, Ichigo had come to the conclusion that he was certifiably gay. Plenty of girls had crushed on him, asked him out, or dropped subtle bombs on him to pursue them, but he had never reacted to any of them. Every boy (and some girls) in his high school had practically disowned him when he had told Orihime Inoue not so gently to stop trying to rub her ridiculously huge breasts on him at every given opportunity. To be honest, Ichigo found them rather gross. He used to have nightmares about the globes of fat smothering him to death, screaming him awake only to have his goat-faced father rush in, thinking someone was trying to murder his only precious son. Oh the memories.
But Ichigo had never acted on his instincts, too afraid of how his classmates would react to finding out such news. The only friend he had ever confided in was Shinji, who had been openly gay since the age of five. Shinji was about as subtle as a bull in a china shop when it came to self-acceptance and embracing one's individuality, blah blah blah. Ichigo loved his friend to death, loved him enough to suffer the occasional name-calling or innuendos. Ichigo had even dated a girl for a few months named Rukia to get people to leave him alone, but it had been extremely rocky considering Ichigo had felt nothing for her but friendship. He had eventually caved and told her, and instead of being insensitive, she had gotten really creepily happy and hugged him a lot, telling him it was okay and that his secret was safe with her. A week later, a Chappy the Bunny gift-wrapped box had been waiting for him at his house. He had opened it to find a very nice but small collection of yaoi boy love manga, a note from Rukia telling him to cheer up and enjoy his calling. Ichigo hadn't known whether to cry from embarrassment or happiness. From that day forward, Ichigo had made a conscious effort to see and date boys in extreme secrecy, but he hadn't had a relationship since the beginning of his freshman year of college, and now he was a lonely second-year, having nearly daily daydreams that a cute male student would lose his mind and take the willing berry. He wanted love, yeah, but he also wanted to get laid.
Shinji's voice broke Ichigo out of his internal reverie, "And my name's Shinji, by the way, in case you were wondering."
Grimmjow looked at him a second, as if he had forgotten the tall, slender blonde was there, "Shinji Hirako, right?"
Shinji's tone had been satirical, but now his face lit up like a Christmas tree, "The one and only! You've seen my work?"
Grimmjow nodded his head once, "My girl Halibel told me she models for you."
Shinji practically squealed as he began to gush, "Oh you know Harribel? She's my favorite! She's absolutely flawless, trust me, if I were straight, I'd-"
Ichigo clamped a hand forcefully over Shinji's mouth, giving him a stern look, "Shin, you shouldn't talk about people's girlfriends like that."
"Oh," Shinji realized, looking back at Grimmjow with a sheepish grin, "you don't have to worry about me, especially when she has a hot piece like you! She's a lucky girl!"
Ichigo's blush was in danger of eating his face as Shinji rambled. God, sometimes Ichigo couldn't believe how straightforward and sociable Shinji was. He just didn't have a filtering system; some people found it endearing while others chased him with pitchforks.
Grimmjow snorted, drawing Ichigo's attention, "She's like a sister to me. Thanks but no thanks, Shin."
Shinji beamed at the nickname, while Ichigo felt less tense. He took another breath, feeling refreshed. Why was he so relieved that Harribel wasn't dating Grimmjow? That didn't mean Grimmjow was rooting for their side of the team, far from it. He probably didn't have one girl, he probably had several girls…
"Well then who's the lucky lady?" Shinji said, wiggling his eyebrows as he took a sip from his water bottle, "Don't tell me you're chivalrous, hot, and single."
Ichigo watched Grimmjow carefully, hoping Shinji wasn't offending him with his abrasive flirting techniques. Shinji was Shinij: Ichigo knew he was just being friendly, but sometimes Shinji's idea of friendly was offensive.
Grimmjow had been looking at Shinji but his eyes flitted to Ichigo again as he said, "I don't have anybody right now."
Ichigo suddenly felt like his heart was going to beat right out of his chest. Could he dare hope? Ichigo immediately discarded the thought when he thought about how many rumors were flying around: plenty of girls were drawing out jealousy in other girls by commenting that they had gone somewhere with Grimmjow, some even bold enough to admit that they had slept with him. Another rumor Ichigo was dying to find out: Grimmjow was notorious for one-night stands of passion, according to half the student body. Apparently badass, sexy delinquents with a mysterious past were hot this season and in high demand. No matter how much smack people talked about him, girls still wanted to sleep with him and boys wished they could be him. Ichigo wondered if even Renji was jealous of this guy, and Ichigo knew from how he had acted in the field that he was at least scared of Grimmjow, which was a good start.
"Are you looking for anybody?" Shinji asked innocently, although Ichigo knew better than to assume anything Shinji asked or thought was completely innocent, "because Kami knows that love doesn't just fall into your arms."
Ichigo resisted the urge to deck Shinji in the face. Ichigo, after years of being friends with Shinji, knew that Shinji was implying Ichigo's stumbling spell in the field. It would be instant gratification for that snarky little coded statement to break Shinji's face, but Ichigo would feel like shit later. Shinji had had enough beatings for one day.
"I think we should go," Ichigo growled, setting the ice pack down on a table, grabbing Shinji by his collar and nearly dragging him towards the door, "Thanks again, Grimmjow."
"See you around."
"See you around," Shinji whisper-giggled, poking Ichigo when they were away from the door and out of earshot.
"Shut up," Ichigo warned, slapping at Shinji's poking finger, "Let's go, I need a shower."
"A cold one, I bet," Shinji grinned, scampering next to him as they headed towards the blazing sunshine outside of the large open garage door, "He was absolutely edible, wasn't he? Totally your type!"
Shinji yelped as someone slid out in front of them from beneath one of the stripped cars on a mechanic's creeper. Long, jet black hair was trailing over the ground, a white bandana tied around his head, hiding one violet eye as he leered up at the two boys, laughing, "Sorry, did I scare ya?"
Both boys shook their heads no, trying to make sense of the foreign creature at their feet as he pulled himself completely out from underneath the car he had been working on and stood to his full height, towering over both of them easily. His grin was large and to be honest, scared Ichigo a little bit, "What're ya doin' here? Ya little fruits lost?"
Of course, to counter the stranger's remark about being gay, Shinji scoffed and cocked his hip to the side, a hand resting there while he rolled his eyes, "If I hadn't already gotten beat up for bein' a fag today, I'd take 'ya on, stick man."
The boy's eye narrowed, his lip curled as if he were about to snarl.
"Chill Nnoi," a tired voice called, all heads swiveling to stare at the man that had been working the blowtorch. He had lifted his face protector up, revealing gray-blue eyes set in an attractive face. His brown hair was wavy and shoulder-length, and Ichigo admired the brilliant shark tooth necklace around the mechanic's neck, "Grimmjow brought them."
Nnoitra looked from the easygoing man back to the two kids he had nearly tripped, both of them looking slightly pissed but victorious, "Why'd Grimm bring 'em here? These two cocksuckers probably don't know a steering wheel from a piston ring."
"Do I need a reason to bring somebody to my garage?" a voice challenged.
Everybody's attention turned towards the voice of Grimmjow, who was leaning lazily in the doorway between the garage and the break room.
Nnoitra folded long arms over his chest, obviously not wanting to antagonize the alpha male, "Just don't like havin' people that don't belong is'all."
Grimmjow walked in a few steps, making Ichigo gulp. God, just the way he moved was predatory, as if the air around him was his to command.
Grimmjow was becoming more attractive, and more dangerous, by the second.
"That's Nnoitra," Grimmjow said, nodding towards the tall, one-eyed mechanic, "but you can call him Nnoi." Nnoitra gave Grimmjow an annoyed look: obviously it was a nickname reserved for close friends. Ichigo wanted to laugh at Grimmjow's attempt at subtle humor, but decided the murderous look on Nnoitra's face was enough to keep himself in check.
"And that's Starrk," Grimmjow said, nodding sideways towards the sleepy-looking welder, "he's too lazy to bite. You're safe around him."
Shinji laughed while Ichigo smiled, Nnoitra looking more pissed off by the second.
"So you boys like cars or are you here for the company?" Starrk asked, leaning over a metal work bench towards the small party.
"Neither," Shinji answered, arms folded over his chest as he cocked a hip, "That dumb fuck Renji Abarai decided to chase us down and beat us 'cuz we're gay."
"Shinji," Ichigo warned a moment too late. Damn: so much for staying secretly gay. His best friend had not only just announced it to the world, but to a room of nearly complete strangers.
Starrk's eyebrows knit together, his face contemplative, "That's not a good reason. You guys should be allowed to have a relationship without some jealous idiot hounding on you."
"Whoa, wait!" Ichigo held out his hands like he was stopping traffic, "We-we're not together."
"But you're both gay," Nnoitra said, like it made all the logical sense in the world for two people he had just met to be together, "ya both like dick, ya both have dicks, so why not?"
"Oh that's just gross," Shinji said, sticking his tongue out at Nnoitra, "Ichi's like a brother to me! Besides, we both like to bottom, so–"
"Stop it!" Ichigo nearly screamed, shaking Shinji's shoulders, completely red in the face with embarrassment, "Just stop talking!"
"Who needs to stop talking?" an unfamiliar voice asked, strolling into sight from the raised door of the garage wearing a gray mechanic's jumpsuit with the first couple buttons undone, exposing a tanned, tattoo-covered chest. His ink black hair was messy and spiky, a black 69 tattooed underneath one eye. His steel gray eyes nearly matched the jumper, a red rag hanging out of one of the oversized pockets. As he drew closer, Ichigo noticed very thin, healed-over scars running down one side of his face from temple to jaw. His hands were dirty from some kind of oil, his fingernails sporting chipped black paint.
"And this is Shuhei," Grimmjow said, gesticulating towards the mechanic who had just wandered in, "he belongs at MIT with that genius brain of his, but that same brain decided to stay here with us, so you decide if he's smart or not."
Shuhei grinned, punching Grimmjow in the shoulder playfully before turning towards Shinji and Ichigo, "If you're friends with this ass hole, I guess you're my friends too."
Both boys smiled at Shuhei, thankful that although he looked a bit intimidating he seemed honest and sincere.
"Did you get those parts from Urahara?" Nnoitra asked, his face looking expectantly at the tattooed genius.
"Yeah, but they cost a bit more than originally estimated…" Shuhei said, averting his eyes from Grimmjow.
"How much more?" Grimmjow asked, his voice low, careful.
"Uh," Shuhei scratched the back of his head, "About 100,000 yen."
Instead of freaking out or screaming like Ichigo would have done, Grimmjow nodded his head, "We buy from him because we know he can get it. Those parts aren't exactly buyable on the open market yet."
Nnoitra whooped with laughter, putting a long arm around Shuhei's neck as he began dragging him out the garage door, "Damn, we get started now, we should have that baby locked and loaded by Friday!"
"Not a bad way to spend 10,000 dollars," Stark murmured in agreement, hands in his pockets as he followed after his classmates.
"What college student has that kind of money lying around?" Shinji said, staring at Grimmjow with a raised eyebrow.
Grimmjow smirked, making Ichigo hyperventilate internally, "It's clean money, I promise. Besides, we race for pinks."
"Pinks?" Ichigo said, looking lost, "What are pinks?"
"Pink slips, the deed to the car," Grimmjow said, shrugging his shoulders, "What, you thought we tinkered around on Hyundais all day? The garages are supplied for our engineering classes, but what we do with it in our spare time doesn't always have to be legal."
"So you really are a delinquent," Shinji smirked, winking at Ichigo, "Nothing hotter than a fast man and a hot car."
"Don't you mean a hot man and a fast car?" Ichigo replied.
"No, I meant exactly what I said," Shinji said, winking again.
Ichigo groaned, sick and tired of Shinji's seemingly-unending sexual innuendos, "Alright, we'd better let you guys go."
"Yeah, have fun tinkering with your toys," Shinji said, barely suppressing a giggle as he waved goodbye to Grimmjow and headed out of the garage with Ichigo practically dragging him again.
"Oi, yer gonna tear my arm off!" Shinji growled, pulling his arm away and flicking his hair out of his face, "It's bad enough I'm gonna be covered in bruises!"
"Yeah, me too," Ichigo reminded him, pointing at where he could feel his cheek swelling. It would probably be a garish purple-green for the next few days, but the cut wouldn't scar and his eye hadn't swollen shut, so he considered it a victory. His neck would probably look awful as well, "and thanks for announcing that I was gay in front of complete strangers, Shin. Very smooth."
"They won't be strangers for long," Shinji said, putting a hand on Ichigo's shoulder and giving him a terrifying grin, "At least, I don't think Grimmjow will be. How many times did you undress him with your eyes? I counted seven, but I think it's higher than that -"
Ichigo didn't even have the energy to hit him. Besides, he was right. It was more like thirteen.