Chapter 23

A/N: I have a new laptop and will therefore be able to write again. So, here goes.

Thank you to anyone who has reviewed in the past, favourite and alerted. And special thanks to those who are staying with it till the end. This is also unbeta'd so bear with any mistakes you may find :)

Fancy Dress

''Hello… Ichigo'' Luppi purred.

Ichigo's P.O.V

Time seemed to stand still when I saw him.

I can't even begin to explain the sheer panic and fear I felt flood through my veins. I could hear Grimmjow talking to me but I couldn't take it in. Not with those vile eyes looking up at me. Pleasure filled. Sadistic.

I took a step backwards and flinched as he said my name. I knew I wasn't thinking straight but all my instincts seemed to scream was run.

''Grimmjow. What a nice surprise.'' Luppi said, turning his attention to Grimmjow. Grimmjow glared at him and rolled his eyes.

''Go fuck yourself Luppi, c'mon Ichigo.''

How did Luppi know Grimmjow? What was the connection? What do I do? Should I try and ignore him? Should I run? My questions remained unanswered as Grimmjow made to grab my arm and pull me away but Luppi's words stopped him.

''So, got a new fuck buddy I see. How is that working out for you, Grimmjow? Did you know that he's damaged goods? But he likes being damaged… don't you, Ich-i-go?'' He stepped forward with each whispered syllable of my name and I felt a new wave of icy cold fear sweep over me and a shudder run down my spine.

''What the fuck are you on about now?'' Grimmjow growled down at him. I looked at him seeing him try and make the connection between us like I had mere moments ago. Luppi smirked up at me, putting his hands in his pant pockets.

''So he doesn't know. Well, let's leave him to find out. There's nothing he can do anyway, it's all in the past. Forgive and forget and all that.'' He flicked his black hair out of his eyes, glancing at Grimmjow. I felt sick to my stomach. Grimmjow raised his eyebrows in question, still frowning as he turned to me. I shook my head and took another step back, refusing to speak. I knew I would have nightmares tonight. There was no point in adding to possible material.

I turned and walked. Shakily at first but then I ran. I ran as fast as I could, ignoring Luppi's delighted laughter and Grimmjow's shouts for me to come back. I felt bad, leaving him there, with that disgusting excuse for a human being but I just couldn't deal with it. I don't think I'll ever be able to. I wasn't going to wait for Luppi to give Grimmjow hints and I couldn't stand there any longer. I don't know how long I ran for but it must have been for a while because by the time I had stopped I was nearly on the other side of town, gasping for breath and holding my sides. Looking around I saw that I was nearly in Espada territory, the other side of town. I spotted a bench and sat down, holding my head in my hands.

So, in the middle of what could have been an excellent first date, Grimmjow's….ex shows up. Said ex just happens to be a former classmate and bully. How do you react, Ichigo? You stand there shaking, speechless, before just running. Is that all you ever do? Run? At the moment, it seems like it. You'd think after years apart I could at least look at the bastard. He's nearly half my size and yet I'm still terrified of him. I still have nightmares. Sighing, I thought over the situation and eventually came to a conclusion. Walk home, text Grimmjow an apology and possibly visit Renji whenever he finishes his shift at Vizard's. ''Right'', I said aloud, my voice cracking slightly, ''Get over it. It's passed. Right.'' I zipped up my sweater and started walking, feeling the stitch in my side gradually reduce and the goose bumps on my arms fade.

By the time I was at least well out of Espada territory my thoughts were a mess. Questions such as; why is Luppi back? Will he try anything? Should I report him? Should I tell Renji? What does Grimmjow feel towards him? What does Grimmjow feel towards me? What do I feel towards Grimmjow? My cell buzzed a few times in my back pocket and I considered pulling it out and at least checking it. I didn't though, as I kept walking, my pace a little faster as I neared my street. Upon opening my front door I breathed a sigh of relief when I realized that dad and Yuzu were probably in the clinic and Karin was playing soccer or something. Slipping off my converse and throwing my sweater over the couch I jogged up the stairs to my room and tried not to think about my situation any longer. I shut my bedroom door and located my mp3 player, plugging my head phones in and sitting on my bed.

I lay on my bed for the next four hours, blasting the loudest music I had and thinking about everything I liked about Grimmjow as opposed to what I deeply hated about his ex.

The word irked me. Ex. The shortened version for an ex-boyfriend, an ex-girlfriend, an ex-friend. It irked me how familiar it made him sound with Grimmjow. The word kept repeating in my head. Over and over like a mantra.

My cell buzzed again and I remembered that I already had a text from earlier.

Messages (2)-

Grimmjow- Are you ok? Ignore Luppi x

Renji- Grimmjow is worried bout ya, if ya don't reply in the next five minutes I'm comin' over.

My fingers hovered over the keys for a while. I was going to see Renji anyway. So really there's little point in texting him back. As for Grimmjow…what reply could I give? He wouldn't know about that incident in middle school.

Grimmjow's P.O.V

Well. I was fucking confused as hell. Luppi and Ichigo seemed to have some kind of connection but I couldn't for the fuckin' life of me figure it out. I knew they used to be classmates before Luppi's mysterious transfer. What exactly went down there anyway? But more to the point, what the fuck did Luppi do to him?

He did somethin' that much is clear. I've never seen Ichigo so pale, so scared.

Looking down at the useless little fuck, I don't get why.

I towered over him and was nearly twice as wide. He hadn't grown since I last saw him. His snake eyes were as icy as ever, his hair as fuckin' girly as ever. Shit, he was always girly, all over.

''Now that he's out the way, I say you and me get down to business,'' Luppi purred. I growled down at him, making him raise a slim eyebrow. ''Problem, Grimm?'

''Yeah, major fuckin' problem,'' I spat, ''for one, don't ever call me Grimm. We have no business, you fuck-tard and lastly fuck off.'' I probably looked deranged.

''I lost count of the amount of times you swore, Grimm. Language, kitty'' Luppi grinned, his voice laced with poison. Oh, he is so fucking in for it. I made to grab at his shirt but he danced out of reach, quickly and shook his index finger at me, shaking his head and 'tut'ing.

''I wouldn't do that if I were you''

''And why not? Give me one reason.''

''I'm on the same side as you'' I grinned at him, a manic look in my eyes.

''What side is that, Luppi?'' I asked my voice dangerously low.

He seemed to lose a touch of his cocky attitude as I advanced towards him. ''I'm an Espada! Gin's right hand man.''

I stopped in my tracks. Come again? ''That's a lie. Gin wouldn't want a little fuck like you at his side''

''Aizen's orders!'' Luppi smirked. He looked up at me, his eyes shining with hate, ''You can't touch me. Game over.''

He laughed manically and skipped away, leaving me standing there, even more confused.

If he's under me then I can still do some damage but if Luppi's right and he's above me then I'm fucked. Fucked a million times to hell and back. He'd be one position above me. Just one. But one is enough.

I took out my cell phone and texted Ichigo, hoping that he was okay and safe. I still don't understand what happened but I can deal with that later. Now for the matter at hand. I dialled Gin's cell and got his answering machine nearly straight away.

I glared down at my cell and tried not to melt the device, pocketing it and deciding to go to Ulquiorra's for the afternoon. He had better be at home because someone needed to explain this bullshit and he never answered his phone on Sundays.

Ten minutes later, I knocked on Ulquiorra's apartment door. I sent Pineapple a text to make sure Ichigo was okay, he wasn't replying.

I knocked on Ulquiorra's door with a lot more force and nearly fell through it when he opened it. ''Have you no patience?'' He asked stoically. I grunted and walked past him, raising an eyebrow at the state of his usually pristine living room.

''Been busy.'' He shrugged.

''Too busy to tell me Gin has a new bitch?'' I frowned, sitting down on the large white couch.

''I was only made aware of it yesterday evening. I didn't think it was valuable information to you.'' Ulquiorra sat across from me on the matching chair, his green eyes looking at me with something akin to confusion.

''Don't happen to remember Luppi do ya?'' Ulquiorra frowned slightly and nodded, signalling for me to go on, ''me and Ichigo ran inta him when we came outta Vizard's. He has some kinda connection to Ichigo as well and Ichigo looked fuckin' terrified. I don't know what got into him but Luppi was talkin' about how Ichigo was damaged goods or something.'' I ran a hand through my hair, frowning deeply.

''That sounds like rape to me.''

I looked up, startled as a familiar looking teen appeared at the living room doorway. Toushiro.

''Rape?'' I echoed.

He nodded, his brow creased as he walked further into the room. ''You should talk to Renji when you get the chance. He told me what happened but it's best you hear it from him. Besides, I doubt Ichigo would tell you himself.''

Ichigo was…? What? ''Perhaps you should arrange to meet him now. I have further business this afternoon.'' Ulquiorra told me, standing. I pushed down a smirk as I saw Toushiro blush out of the corner of my eye and took out my cell and texted Renji, asking him if he was free and put my it in my pockets, standing up as well.

''Um, thanks I guess.'' I ruffled Toushiro's hair on the way out, grinning at his protests as I exited Ulquiorra's apartment.

Well that sorted that part out.

Right on cue my cell phone buzzed and I checked my messages.

Renji: Tomorrow my uncle's store. 3pm.

And there's the other part.

Renji's P.O.V

I set off to Ichigo's at around 6pm. He never did text me back and Grimmjow said he wasn't replying to his texts either. I had been texting Grimmjow throughout most of my shift. He told me all about what happened with Luppi and as soon as the little bastard's name was mentioned I felt dread fill me. Ichigo must be in some state by now, I mean, his rapist is his boyfriends fucking ex!

When I got to his door Yuzu answered, looking worried. She smiled when she saw me and hurried me up to Ichigo's room, talking about how he wouldn't come down for dinner. I cracked open the door, spotting Ichigo's vibrant orange hair splayed across his pillows, his headphones firmly in place.

''Oi….''

Nothing. I cracked the door open further and walked across the room, moving shirts, empty CD cases, soda cans and a whole load of other miscellaneous crap out of my way as I went. The air felt heavy and distraught. The curtains were drawn shirt and his bed sheets were at the foot of his bed. Even his forehead was covered in lines as he frowned deeply, probably lost in thought.

''Oi, Strawberry face.'' I nudged his shoulder slightly. Still nothing. I took off his headphones, grinning when this got a reaction- in the form of a groan- out of him. He blinked his eyes open and looked up at me.

''Renji? What're you doing here?'' He asked, his brown orbs still a little cloudy from his cat nap.

''Fucking wake up pussy. We need to talk.'' I sat on the edge of his bed while he sat up, turning off his Ipod.

''Yeah? About what?''

''Luppi.''

I watched as his head turned so fast towards me, he probably gave himself whiplash. Grimmjow was right, he looked terrified. He paled considerably, ''What about Luppi?''

''Ich, I heard what happened today and we gotta talk about it. What should I tell Grimmjow? He's pretty fuckin' confused right now, '' I frowned as Ichigo avoided my gaze, ''ya gotta tell him somethin'!''

''What's the point in telling him? He won't be able to do anything about it! What can he do about the fucking nightmares, Renji?'' Ichigo finally looked at me, his eyes full of hurt. My frown softened,

''Luppi's in the Espada too now, maybe if Grimmjow can set him up or something and get him outta the Espada, that way he can't stay in Karakura town anymore.''

''He's in the Espada as well? Fuck, Renji, what if he moves schools?''

I scowled, ''Then he'll fucking move again.''

Ichigo smiled half-heartedly and shook his head, lying back against his headboard.

''Need a hug?'' I asked teasingly, he laughed and punched my arm. I rubbed at it and faked a scowl, ''I was just asking ya big fuck face.''

''Did I hurt your feelings? Aww, I'm sorry for rejecting you Ren-Ren'' He grinned, batting his eye lashes at me.

''Shut your mouth bitch tits!''

''Vagina licker.''

''Cock sucker.''

''Clot pole!''

''Ass-…wait, what?''

We burst out laughing at my ridiculous statement and for the first time since I stepped into Ichigo's bedroom, the air seemed lighter.

A/N: Done. I've deleted the hiatus notice so if you can't review it's because you reviewed on the hiatus chapter. If you want to review that badly and tell me how good/bad this chapter was then find one you haven't reviewed yet! There's always one.

Expect a new chapter soon.