Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach
A/N: Well, here is another monster that got a bit out of hand (should have been around 10000 words, now it's three times as big) that's why it will be my first multi-chapter fic. Yeah, I'm proud, too... +cough+ Anyway, I always wanted to create a super-anti-hero and who wouldn't be better for the job than Grimmjow? So, here he is.
Actually, I wanted to name it 'Shit happens', but I wasn't sure whether I would get into trouble or not. So well, yeah, 'It happens'.
Some warnings: Plot (so much plot that this whole damn thing just didn't want to stop growing), Yaoi, angsty stuff, dramatic stuff, funny stuff, Grimm's smart ass (he got a crude humor...), frequent abusing (you'll soon now why), eeeh, if something else comes to my mind, I'll let you know.
A/N2: Finally! The first chapter is checked! Thanks goes to Enslavement-Thesis! :)
Some things in life are bad, they can really make you mad.
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle don't grumble, give a whistle
and this'll help things turn out for the best.
And always look on the bright side of life,
Always look on the light side of life.
"Come on, five thousand."
"Oh my god...!"
Grimmjow rolled his eyes exaggeratedly as he listened to the whiny noise the woman in front of him made.
"Four thousand, that's my last offer."
She whimpered loudly, clinging with her scratched and bruised hands on the brick. She made the mistake of looking down again, seeing the distance to the ground. "Oh my...god..." she cried and wiggled her legs helplessly. "Anything, god, anything but don't drop me!"
Grimmjow smirked. "Four thousand, right?" He pulled a chequebook out of the back pocket of his trousers. "I just need your signature here-" He held the pad up and she stared at it incredulously.
"Don't look at me like that. Lifesaving has its price. Now sign here-"
"Y-you're a disgusting asshole!"
"Say that again and I'll go without you."
How she was able to hold herself upright with one hand on a loose brick on a 50 meter high wall and scribble a shaky signature onto the cheque she didn't know. However, Grimmjow nodded contentedly, gripped her around the waist, hoisted her over his shoulder and flew effortlessly to the ground, where he was welcomed by several police officers, two paramedics and some firefighters.
Considering their furious faces, they were as pleased to see him as ever,so he gave them a cocky salute and flew off, his short trench coat fluttering in the wind.
The newspapers called him boon and bane of the city; the authorities called him a sick psychopath; and the victims acknowledged him as the biggest asshole the world has seen.
Like he cared.
The victims cling to their life and after some threatening they were more than willing to pay the sum he demanded in order to save them. It wasn't his problem that other sissies like Superman or Batman or whoever-man were willing to do the hero-job without payment. He wasn't as rich, nice or naive as those other idiots, so he played hero. For money.
Even though the city didn't like his 'greedy' behavior, he has to make money somehow! Why shouldn't he use his powers instead of wasting his time delivering pizza, or working like a pussy in an office? Wearing glasses or shit like that...pfft, what a joke.
After landing on a roof top of a random skyscraper, Grimmjow reached into the pocket of his trench coat. He counted the big cheques he had gotten that night. Seriously, how many idiots would have died if it wasn't for him? He grinned, pocketed the cheques and tousled his bright blue hair.
With his work done, it's dinner time!
"Four victims, fourteen thousand."Renji threw the newspaper onto his desk, cursing. "Such a bastard!"
"A tricky bastard with an excellent sense of business."
Renji gave him a look. Stark shrugged his shoulders. "As if other managers wouldn't pull uglier things than that. He's just more prominent and...exotic."
"He's supposed to be a goddamn superhero with his fluttering around the city! Last week he lifted a fucking bus like it was made of paper!" Renji ran a hand through his hair, cursing loudly. "There has to be a trick to it. It must be a plot against something... Maybe a television broadcaster has planned all this."
Stark yawned loudly. With Renji everything was a conspiracy: the 'Blue Bird' he was currently cursing about, television companies, the price of the vending machine coffee on the third floor ("Two bucks for this lousy shit! That's sheer robbery!"). Stark had learned to ignore this after a while.
"If you're not interested in doing actual work, please say so."
Renji threw the newspaper in the bin angrily, revealing a folder that had been lying under it. "You mean this one?" He picked it up and flicked through it, making a face.
"Not him again..." he sighed, rubbing his temple. "That's what? The fourth time already?"
Stark shrugged his shoulders again. "Considering the state he was in the last time, there had to be more accidents than four."
Grumbling, Renji left the office.
The sight that greeted him in the separated waiting room was what he had expected.
The known troublemaker sat slouched on a chair in one corner of the room, half his face covered in purple bruises and scratches, his right arm in a sling. Next to him sat an angry, middle aged man with a bump on his forehead and his car keys in his shaking fist.
"Good morning, gentlemen." Renji sighed inwardly when the older of the two men shot up from his seat, going straight into rampage mode.
"Officer! I demand that this kid be arrested! He nearly got me killed with his recklessness!"
Said kid scowled at the wall next to him, not moving an inch.
"Please, calm down, Mister..."
"I am calm!" The man assured him in a growling voice. Renji tuned him out in favor to look over the kid in the corner again. He wore the same hoody as the last time; slightly ripped and partially covered in dirt and traces of blood. He seemed to ignore everything around him and his eyes held some kind of resignation he should be too young for. The brown hair that hung into his face just pronounced the mood that was radiating from him.
"...and suddenly he was right in front of my car!"
Renji blinked, suddenly hearing the babbling again. He cleared his throat. "I am sure one of my colleagues had already made a report of the accident."
"Yes, they have!" The man started gesturing wildly (as if his spitting while speaking wasn't enough already...) "So, I have no idea why I'm still sitting here if that brat is obviously the guilty one!"
"Sir, you can't just..."
"Goddamnit, declare him innocent already." Renji blinked at the sudden noise from the emo-corner and cocked a brow at the sour look the kid was giving him. "I'm guilty. Don't make a drama out of it."
The man smiled widely, seeing already the end of the debacle.
"It's not that easy..." Renji started, but was interrupted.
"Splendid! Finally, he came to his senses!"
"Sir, he can't just say that! We have rules to follow." And to the kid, "Listen, you said something like that the last time too, and you weren't guilty! Not at all! Are you that desperate to get into prison!"
The prominent scowl was thrown into Renji's direction again.
Before the angry man could get the possibility to drown him in more saliva, Renji grabbed the next policeman walking by. "Get me one of the officers who were with those two by the crash scene!" he whispered lowly.
The guy gulped. "Officer Shiba was in the night shift and left the case to Kotsubaki who, in return, was declared incapable to handle the job."
"The guy who was screaming until now. He demanded to see the chief of this station. Unfortunately the chief is still in Hawaii and since Stark is declared second-in-commandand he sent you instead of going himself..."
Renji opened his mouth to say something, when another officer stepped through the door, papers in her hand."Abarai! We just got some information from the accident this morning."
Even the angry man saw fit to shut his mouth at the news.
"Apparently there was a defect in the programming of the traffic lights, so that it was possible for both the lights to turn green at once. Something like that rarely occurs but the responsible people are already looking for the trigger for this defect."
Renji nodded once.
"This process may take some time but they said they would inform us as soon as possible." She turned to the stunned man still clutching his car keys in hishand.
"Thank you for your patience, Sir. However it seems we have to wait for the answer first. Please feel free to go."
After that the man all but ran out of the room.
Left alone with the kid still sitting in the corner, Renji sighed loudly.
"You're guilty, huh?" he said sarcastically and saw the boy shift ever so slightly. Somehow he wished that every case would solve itself as easily as this one. However...
"But what kind of crazy accident was that... Defect lights? Last time you were almost crushed by a dumpster falling off a driving truck. Fate doesn't like you, huh?"
He frowned at the bitter smile that stretched over the kid's thin lips.
Opening the folder in his hands again, Renji scanned the papers for the name of the kid, being too lazy to remember it the last three times. "Kurosaki, huh? You're living alone... Wonder why nobody's put you into a juvenile shelter yet."
Sharp brown eyes turned up to him. "I'm a little bit old for that, don't you think?"
Renji checked the folder again. "Twenty-four. " He whistled. "I'm impressed."
"Hey, you little shit. Stop mouthing off. I'm still an officer here!"
"Whatever..." he mumbled and slowly got to his feet.
Renji furrowed his brows even more when he saw the guy limping to the exit. "You're sure your injuries don't need to be checked?"
"It'll heal..." he heard the retreating boy mumble as he left.
"Don't expect any sympathy," Renji called after him and stomped back to his office where he could fish the newspaper out of the bin and curse the Blue Bird again.
Grimmjow hated fire. Not that he could be burned by it, but his cheques would, as would any other dollar bill. And he loathed the prickling feeling of the sizzling heat over his skin. Moreover he barely owned clothes that were able to resist fire, means: they would burn and leave him half-naked and in a very sour mood. Unfortunately that night had nothing else to offer and he hadn't had a decent deal in a week.
"I have to live from something, too. Six thousand!" he growled over the sounds of sirens and the burning building. The woman coughed heavily.
"I don't have any money!" she wailed back, clutching onto his jacket.
He sighed frustrated and run a hand through his hair. "Anything else?"
She threw a panicked look to her soon-to-be-ashen surroundings and gripped the cloth tighter. "Y-you wouldn't leave me here...?" She coughed again.
"I ain't that nice and save you for nothin'."
She paled even more, tears leaking down her cheeks. "No...oh god, no..! I would you give anything!"
The ceiling to their left collapsed, making the woman scream loudly. The firefighters wouldn't hear her. They were busy saving the other victims in other rooms easier to reach than this one.
"Think of something."
In a desperate attempt she grabbed his hand a placed it over her breast, making him feel the panicked beating of her heart.
Grimmjow's face turned into a disgusted grimace. "As flattered as I am that you'd offer somethin' like that, believe me, you wouldn't survive that kind of sex."
Just when all the hope vanished in her eyes the door on the far end of the room was broken down, revealing two firefighters in heavy clothing and a respirator clutched to each face.
Grimmjow was gone before either one could see him.
Another useless job, he grumbled inwardly when he flipped open his cheque book and was greeted by nothing but empty papers. Little by little it became more difficult do make money like this.
He had thought about leaving the city, but where else would more crime and accidents be than in the biggest metropolis of the country? And leaving the country? Hell no, he hated trying to accommodate himself to another culture. He just had to try harder.
And he had to find another coat. The tattered remains almost fallng off his body told him so.
Strolling down the mall the next afternoon, he eyed the shops warily. Nobody would recognize him. His sleek black hair was pulled into a short pigtail and sunglasses hid his piercing blue eyes. It was his luck that nobody had gotten a real picture of him, just shadows or tiny pictures, for example when he lifted the bus – almost the deal of his life he had to say proudly! (most occupants were wealthy and desperate enough to pay him huge sums) – the only thing recognizable was his bright blue hair.
He grinned when a paper boy offered him the daily newspaper. On the cover last night's fire was described, explaining in disgusting detail what had happened. Nobody got killed...and nobody mentioned him. He frowned at that. He thought he had left an impression on that woman. Tsk, women! Stupid chick most probably thought he was a hallucination or something. His mood got worse. He had lost his coat in his heroic attempt to save them and they dared to ignore him?
Flicking through the rest of the paper, he tried to find something interesting or some forewarning that some idiots would try and rob a bank again. But the only sign he got whenever something was about to happen was a nervous tingle in the back of his neck right then. He lowered his paper and looked down the road just in time to see a giant advertising sign fall forward. The only passer-by standing there was a dirty boy who looked far from wealthy. He snarled. He didn't need to blow his cover by saving-
-oh, well. Too late anyway.
As expected several other witnesses screamed at the brutal display, running to the poor guy.
"God, somebody call the ambulance!"
"Hey, can you hear me?"
Grimmjow found dark amusement in seeing the people struggle to get him out. His amusement stopped abruptly when he saw them lifting the sign and – against his belief – the boy wasn't a pancake, but was coughing heavily, struggling to get up.
What the hell?
"I-I'm alright...d-don't worry." Grimmjow saw that he tried not to use his left leg – broken or strained – and due to the hand clutching his head and the babbling, he assumed the kid was either in shock or had a concussion. Or both.
To his further surprise, he managed to shove the overly caring passers-by away, giving them something between a smile and a glare, and limped away from the scene, with nobody holding him back.
Hm, he was impressed.
Obviously it was Grimmjow's lucky day, or night for that matter. Some brainless idiot or psychopath had tried his best to kidnap his big idol, the actress Matsumoto. Seriously, even he could see that this busty woman wasn't a whiny girl.
To prove his point, she had jumped right out of her adorer's clutches after she had castrated him with a well aimed kick and climbed out the window. Sadly, she forgot that she was on the twentieth floor of a skyscraper. Even if her high heels had proven themselves worthy as a deadly weapon, they were rather useless in balancing on a tiny ledge of the wall. That's when Grimmjow's heroic part would start. The signs had been right although the newspaper article about the Matsumoto-stalker one or two weeks ago was a bit too...obvious? But since there were an award show, a famous actress, a kidnapper and much more money, why should he be picky? What's the worst that could happen to him?
So with a feral grin Grimmjow rubbed his palms together and jumped from the edge of the roof where he had waited. That whole ordeal was better than any movie she had acted in anyway.
"Hey there," he smiled charmingly while standing in the air a small distance to the actress.
"Holy shit!" she said loudly and eyed him up and down. She pressed herself even more against the wall, her nails scraping over the surface of the bricks. "You're real!"
Grimmjow looked down at himself and patted his torso. "Seem to be." he deadpanned. "So, I guess you need a little bit help there?"
Matsumoto looked down to the ground – uff, the distance was...high. Too high – and blinked at the flying man in front at her. "I guess you're eager to help a poor woman?"
Grimmjow's smile turned into a grin. "Of course." He rubbed his forefinger and thumb together. "For a little donation I'm willing to do many things."
"An autograph?" she smiled sweetly.
Grimmjow's left brow twitched. "Just for you, I'll make a special offer: how about I bring you safely down and you'll give me – in your sheer thankfulness –five million?"
That woman gave him a headache.
"Listen, bitch." His eyes twitched to the ground where a horde of journalists and fans and whatever was screaming their hearts out. The flashing of the cameras was irritating as hell. "I don't need to bring you down, but how about this: Saved from a skyscraper like this, your face will be all over the world within hours – many interviews, many photos, much more money?"
Her pretty face twisted into a sneer. "You're just too full of yourself, Blue Birdy."
As much as he wanted to, it would be tactically foolish to push her from the ledge and save her afterwards. He already regretted leaving such an opportunity unused, but when she was unwilling... "Your loss," he grumbled and turned around.
Grimmjow shot his head around and just saw the creepy fox-like grin of the kidnapper as he leaned out of the now smashed window next to Matsumoto. Matsumoto, not whiny but still a woman, screamed loudly and jumped out of the clutches of the creep again. Just...well...
Her and Grimmjow's eyes met a second after she fell, when he was ripped away by the sound of a shooting gun. Something hit him in the head.
The silver haired creep cackled loudly. "You won't get her!"
"Ouch, you stupid fuck!" Grimmjow cursed loudly and rubbed the spot where the bullet had hit him. The kidnapper's eyes widened.
Then the wailing woman's scream echoed through the air and in a moment of unknown instinct, Grimmjow shot downwards with lightning speed and caught her as gently as he could before she would be decorating the street. He came out of his stupor when he felt something clutching onto his shoulders and something wet pressing into his neck. Inwardly he slapped his forehead repeatedly. God, he was such an idiot!
In order to get out of the wave of flashlights from the ground he flew to their previous point again, coming face to face with the creep again.
"Okay, now I have a bone to pick with you."
The creep's answer was a panicked scream and a series of shots towards the two flying. When Grimmjow caught the bullet aimed at his head in his palm, the kidnapper threw the gun at him and fled into the building.
"What an idiot..." He grumbled and shifted Matsumoto so that he could reach into his back pocket, pulling out his famous chequebook. "About the five million..." Before he could get out another word she had grabbed his face and planted something wet over his mouth. He stopped in his tracks until his senses kicked back in, ripping her from his face. "What the hell!"
"Ouch! I wanted to thank y-AH! Stop, you're hurting me!" Being lifted by just one arm with a brutal fist holding onto her wrist, she glared at the man who looked as if she had kicked him in the nuts.
"I should drop you for this!"
"S-sorry, you ass! How should I know you're gay?"
Grimmjow stopped again, turning from white to furious red. "I'm what!"
"You find a kiss from me disgusting! Which straight man would think so?"
"Now who is full of herself!" Grimmjow screeched, barely containing himself – or his fist – from slapping her. He would break her neck in the process.
"And you have serious attitude problems, darling."
"Are laughing at me?" He shook her arm threateningly.
"You know, you're cute when taking a closer look."
Shifting into gear he flew up to the highest floor of the building, dropping her unceremoniously onto the flat roof.
"Ouch, gentlemen through and through."
With a flick of his wrist the security camera next to the roof's entrance exploded. Matsumoto blinked stupidly, before she whistled lowly. "Wow," she said, obviously impressed.
"So, since nobody's listening..." He towered over her with a dark gleam decorating his eyes. "You're awfully cocky since I saved that sweet ass of yours."
She smiled at him. "That's me."
"Don't underestimate me. I have no problem in throwing you over the edge." He eyed her up and down. "Spit it out. Something's fuckin' fishy here."
Her blonde brows went up to her hairline.
"Don't look at me like that. I saw some security guys watching the scene from the building on the opposite side. And the white idiot got too easily to you, don't you think?"
She threw a look across the street, barely seeing anything in the dark windows.
"I have good eyes." Grimmjow smirked proudly.
"So, then why did you save me in the first place?"
Grimmjow had no answer to that, especially because it was a mystery to him as well. "Dunno," he admitted. "But you're lucky that I did. You would have been a red spot on the pavement if I hadn't had caught you."
Matsumoto tried to grin at that, but her pale face showed something different.
The next moment, the entrance to the roof was kicked open. Several security guards were flowing out and before they could reach them, Grimmjow jumped several feet high.
"Ask them," was the last thing Matsumoto heard from him.
"Matsumoto's got them all! Hero has a soft spot for famous actress" Renji furrowed his brows at that. "That jerk and Matsumoto Rangiku? The hell?"
Stark shrugged his shoulders and gulped the rest of his vending machine coffee. ("I can't believe you really paid for that!") "Can't you stop reading this gossip paper?"
Renji glared at him and folded it neatly before tossing it in a drawer.
"They just wrote half the story." Stark put his head in his hand, playing with the empty cup. "Matsumoto was barely a decoy for Blue Bird; truth to be told, this story is a real plot."
"A plot against our superhero? But..." Renji sat down on his chair. "How do you know that?"
"One member of the team securing the area is a friend of a friend. Telling everyone loudly how they got him." Stark lifted his cup when one of the younger policemen went by his office, silently asking for another. "I would appreciate if you have a look in our guest room."
Renji stood, stretching slightly, when stopping in the door way. "You mean..."
This time the troublemaker Kurosaki was accompanied by three bruised guys in their teens, maybe older. Even if they looked roughed up, it was nothing compared to Kurosaki. One of his eyes was so swollen that you couldn't see it anymore. His whole body looked stiff and one of his hands was swollen as well, matching his eye.
"Hello," Renji didn't know what to say. Instead one of the three other guys beat him to it.
"We were just minding our own business when he came up and provoked us!" His lip was bleeding and his nose wasn't really straight anymore.
Kurosaki sat slouched in his usual chair, seemingly just to be waiting for his chance to say that he was guilty.
Renji fist went outside the doorway, grabbing the next policeman that run by – the recruit Rikichi.
"Don't say that the officer getting these guys left already."
"N-no, but Officer Stark said you should be taking over."
Feeling dumbfounded, he let go ofthe other's collar, but managed to ask for the report and the needed folder before Rikichi ran off.
"You want to say anything?" Renji's question went to the emo-corner.
He saw Kurosaki shrugging his shoulders, but kept quiet. The next option was to have a closer look at the other three. When his tattooed face came closer to them, they twitched slightly, eying him warily. "Have you little punks something to say, too? Something close to what really happened?" His eyes caught suddenly a familiar feature, and Renji's stony face turned into an evil grin. "Hey don't I know you? Weren't you the little shit who stole my wallet?"
"I-I didn't know you were an officer?"
"Oh," Renji's eyebrows shot upwards. "So, if you had known this little detail, you wouldn't have robbed me?"
"O-of course not!"
Within the next twenty minutes Renji made those three guys' life a living hell. And he enjoyed every minute of it. Contentedly, he left them to the former officers, instead occupying himself with the last one. Deciding that he needed at least some kind of treatment, Renji fetched some supplies from the infirmary.
"Here." Kurosaki looked up from his spot and was surprised by the icebag. "It may be already too late, but anyway..." Nodding once, the boy took the bag from him, holding it up to his swollen face.
Renji took the swollen hand carefully in his own, observing the red flesh around the knuckles. He ignored the visible jerk of Kurosaki's arm. Without seeing any visible injuries he put another icebag onto it, hoping it would do the job.
"You're really in deep shit, aren't you?"
Kurosaki laughed at that. "You have no idea."
"Should I order someone to bring you to the hospital?"
"Weren't you the one who said you wouldn't show sympathy?"
Grimmjow had an excellent memory for faces and so he recognized the boy immediately. That, and the fact that he was just run over by a motorcycle and stood some minutes later. That guy had stamina. And resistance.
Grimmjow shrugged. He had finally found the coat he was looking for. Since the incident with Matsumoto he had to be extra careful. Not that they had gotten a picture of him, but he wasn't sure whether the woman would talk or not. She was not as much in shock as the other victims and could describe him easily. However, even if those idiots would find him, they would merely be getting on his nerves, rather than being a real threat.
When he was about to lift his newspaper so he could read it, the stamina boy went by, barely giving him a side glance. Grimmjow frowned at the resignation in his eyes and the dark bruise covering his jaw. Pale skin, freckles blooming over his cheeks, a scar that ranover his pulse point on his neck, a freckle on the edge of his upper lip – then the second was gone.
Grimmjow snapped out of his stupor, pulled his hat further over his hair and hurried away.
Ichigo just exited the subway at the last second, sighing when the doors closed behind him. When he tried to go forward, he was stuck. Panic crept over his face when he was forced to his right. He shot a glance over his shoulder and saw that his backpack was stuck in the door, dragging him over the track. His eyes widened when he saw the wall coming closer; he struggled with the straps of the bag, stumbled over the tiles and screamed as the wall—
His eyes opened but he saw nothing besides those famous twinkling stars dancing across his vision. Ichigo turned his head to the side, and the picture cleared somehow. He saw several feet standing in his view and further, much further behind those, he saw the stranger with the hat and the coat and those strange eyes again.
Grimmjow asked himself if the kid wanted to be saved or if he was a masochist (a hardcore masochist..?) He observed him slipping on something invisible and nearly cracking his head open on the pavement. Frankly, he had been too lazy to count how many times he saw him getting into one accident or another. He didn't know if this behavior should piss him off or amuse him to no end. He opted for the latter.
It wouldn't be the last time he saw him.
It would be Grimmjow's second bus to save when they met again.
Due to some Hollywood-like accident, the bus had spun on a bridge and come to a shrieking halt over the edge, its rear dangling dangerously over the river flowing several meters under the bridge. Everybody was able to evacuate without any super-help. Well, everybody but one poor soul hanging from the rear window of the bus.
Grimmjow cocked a brow at seeing him and silently flew up to him.
"Need any help?" he asked casually, looking down to the river. He asked himself if the boy would rather die by drowning or already die by hitting the surface of the water.
"Get away from me!"
Grimmjow blinked stupidly. He seldom heard something like that. "So, I guess you'll save yourself then?"
Just then the bus made a loud cracking sound and was dragged further down by gravity.
"You'll fall any moment," Grimmjow promised and looked for his chequebook again. Although, that kid didn't look like he would be able to pay him. So why was he waiting?
"I said get away from me!"
Not being one to take orders, Grimmjow flew directly next to the kid, leaning against the rear of the bus. "Actually, you're in no position to give me orders."
"Like I care," he whispered, his eyes firmly pressed closed.
Grimmjow looked up to the kids hands and was surprised that he was able to hold himself up. The broken rear window left sharp edges everywhere, even where the kid held himself upright. His hands looked quite cut open and blood was all over them.
"Come on, give me everything you have, and I'll-" Grimmjow made the mistake of touching the guy.
Instantly, his right arm shot out and swatted Grimmjow away, his eyes wide and wild, and after an agonizing long second, he seemed to notice his mistake when his other hand couldn't hold him up anymore. The bus seemed to see it fit to finally submit to gravity and fall off the bridge as well.
In a second stupid moment (in Grimmjow's point of view), he reacted before his brain kicked in.
That's why Ichigo found himself in a firm grip instead of cold and wet water and smashed by a big vehicle. He ripped his eyes open and looked down to his feet dangling in the air. His eyes darted back and forth until his head shot up to the stranger's face. His mouth fell open when he saw the features.
"Y-you!" he gasped out, his voice raw and recognition all over it.
The stranger's eyes turned darker. In an instant he ripped Ichigo from his body, holding him up by a hurting grip around his throat.
"You remember me?"
Ichigo would have said yes, but no sound came out of his mouth. He saw the similarity easily, the strong jaw, the high nose, the intimidating eyes – but his hair was black then, not blue.
His consciousness left him.
Cursing at the limp form, Grimmjow shook his head and threw him over his shoulder. He wasn't interested in showing himself on the busy bridge and the riverside would be flooded soon...Why should he dump him in the river when he could just leave him on a random street? While flying there he rummaged through the guy's backpack. The wallet brought him barely twenty bucks and he found no credit card. A half eaten sandwich, a bottle of apple juice, a scarf and a time table (he was working at the post office?). Great.
Taking him to next deserted road he dumped him on the concrete, walking away slowly and still rummaging through the backpack. He still found a thing or two. The condoms got him laughing. If he had sex like he lived his life... He could almost pity the guy. Looking back over his shoulder, he saw the light of an upcoming car before it rolled over the unconscious guy.
Without losing any speed the car drove by. Grimmjow frowned at that and looked down to the man in his arms. ...wait, why the hell had he done that again? Dumping him again on the street he barely got away by fifty meters or so when the next vehicle dared to smash him. This time he didn't curse when the man was in his arms again, safe from the road.
He threw him over his shoulder, jumped into the air and observed the road he had been sitting on until that moment. Nothing. No cars whatsoever.
Something wasn't right. At all.
The guy was an enigma. Grimmjow didn't understand how he survived half the things he suffered. Of course, if Grimmjow would be the one on the receiving end, the result would be the same. But he wasn't. It made him wonder. Maybe...just maybe...
But otherwise, the guy was one big bruise walking around, whereas Grimmjow got no scratches no matter what he did. If the guy was somehow...then perhaps...maybe...
The guy bugged him. In fact, that little shit bugged him so much that he caught himself stopping mid-walk and look whenever the guy showed his bruised little face. The first two times he was furious with himself, but truth to be told, he hadn't much to do anyway. So why not observing him and get a laugh or two out of this?
Grimmjow ignored the call and walked on, a new newspaper in his hands. However, he couldn't ignore the hand that gripped his upper arm. He glared at it, then at the person the hand belonged to.
"Please, wait," she said, her big eyes were hidden by horrible big sunglasses. Her hair was wrapped under a wide hat, her clothing inconspicuous.
He smirked, easily seeing under the cover.
"What?" he said in a rather gruff voice.
"I want to talk to you...in private." She added the last part quieter.
"Well, I don't." Grimmjow would have walked on but she stopped him again by crossing his path.
He shoved her away.
A couple of notes were held under his nose. Grimmjow eyed them suspiciously and grabbed them. "Now you're speaking my language."
In a private chamber of a small restaurant, Matsumoto put her glasses and the hat down. Grimmjow did the same, his black hair shining in the dim light. He had noticed nothing out of order. No suspicious men or any camera or micro technology that could have blown his cover.
"I wanted to thank you." She said timidly, toying with the flower attached to the hat. She cleared her throat. "You were right. If you hadn't caught me that day, there would have been no strings to save my life."
Grimmjow suppressed the urge to pat his own shoulder.
"I'm in your debt."
"That's why I came here? To hear this?"
Another bill shut him up.
"I don't expect anything from you, but I'm willing to help you if you need it someday."
Grimmjow grinned. Whatever that meant, it couldn't be too bad, could it? "That's good to hear."
How the guy's – Kurosaki, he had learned due to his ID-card – brakes of his bike broke without him knowing was a mystery to Grimmjow. He observed him speeding down the hill with nothing to stop him but the gully on his way. Kurosaki did a rather graceful somersault over the handlebars of his bike, landed heavily on his back and rolled until he came to a stop in the middle of the road. The upcoming truck would kill him. For sure.
His limbs moved on their own as he threw himself in front of Kurosaki who stood on his bruised legs shakily; Grimmjow's back was hit by the truck, he braced his feet against the concrete, slammed into Kurosaki and got the whole mess to an abrupt halt in the middle of the intersection.
Several horns beeped loudly, the truck was heavily damaged, as was the street; some cars seemed to create a pile-up behind the truck.
Grimmjow could barely wrap his mind around the whole mess he just had made. Kurosaki was shaking on his knees in front of him and in the next second, both of them vanished.
"I told you to keep away from me!" was the first thing Kurosaki managed to get out of his mouth when he was able to.
Grimmjow almost got angry. "I saved your fucking pathetic life out there! Be grateful, you idiot!"
"I would have managed that..."
"Managed? Have you seen the truck!"
Kurosaki cringed. He was sitting on the cold floor in a random empty warehouse and put his arms around his shaking knees. "You followed me these past two week, haven't you!"
"Well, did you notice anything? Huh? Something out of ordinary?" The shaking got worse. Kurosaki lowered his head on his knees, gripping them more tightly. "Shit," he whispered.
It was the first time Renji had to order Kurosaki to the station, not the other way around – more or less at least.
Kurosaki sat guiltily on a chair, looking everywhere but him.
"We found your backpack in the middle of the gigantic crash scene yesterday. We asked some witnesses and they were able to describe someone like you standing in the middle of the intersection." Renji noticed the shaking hands that gripped his trousers tightly. His gaze lifted up to the other's face and he saw the pain and the fear in those eyes. "Strangely, most witnesses could describe another person jumping right in front of you before the truck could hit you. Can you tell me anything about that?"
Kurosaki pressed his lips together, shaking his head lightly.
"You okay? You look a bit white." Not to mention those dark bruises covering the back of each hand and his chin. "Should I get you something to drink?" Another head shake.
Renji wanted to ask something else, when Kurosaki whispered: "Did someone die?"
Renji opened the folder in his hands, as if needing to look it up. "No, nobody. The majority of the drivers got a bump or two, but were all fine, why are you-"
Kurosaki burst into tears.
"So you say all these accidents happen because of you?"
Ichigo put the next letters into the postbox, leaving the entrance of the building and getting his working bike into motion. Surprisingly the stranger was walking next to him. He should have thanked him for saving his life twice, but he couldn't get out the words.
Grimmjow (he introduced himself after Ichigo complained, he didn't want to call him 'hey you' all the time) screwed up his nose. "Well, that's stupid. Why should it be your fault?"
A dark brow was lifted. "Bad Karma? You're religious or what?"
"I have no choice, have I?" Ichigo dumped more letters in another postbox. He flicked through the remaining ones, checking the address. "I would go insane if all this happened without the guidance of an upper force."
Grimmjow chuckled. "You're kidding. That sounds ridiculous!"
Kurosaki examined a colored letter closely, frowning at the barely readable address. "Maybe I should have died a long time ago..."
"Then you're a part of 'Final Destination' or what?"
Ichigo couldn't find the humor in that. The pain he suffered every day was hardly bearable. "You know, ever since you came in contact with me, the accidents got worse." He looked Grimmjow in his blue piercing eyes. "And to make it worse, other people are affected more than ever." He feared the day someone would die because of him.
Grimmjow barked a laugh. "Well, now I'm the bastard bringing doom and death to this city?"
Ichigo pulled his lips into a thin line. "You better keep away from me, or you might be hurt as well..."
Grimmjow had laughed heartily at that pathetic reasoning of Kurosaki.
But, well, he would soon stop laughing.
With a shit-eating grin Grimmjow sat with crossed legs on the kid's bed inside his shabby apartment, enjoying the look of pure horror and shock in Kurosaki's face.
Kurosaki stumbled two steps back and lean heavily into the doorframe he just came through, taking shaky gasp of air. "Oh god..." he said and covered his eyes with his hand – the one that wasn't bandaged. "Don't. Do. That. Ever. EVER. Again!" Grimmjow chuckled. "You scared the crap out of me!"
"Were you expecting someone else?" Making a scene of standing up without touching the floor, Grimmjow had no idea that he had looked in his completely black clothes like the god of death himself. One of the many reasons why Ichigo nearly had an heart attack upon entering his home and finding the supposedly hero inside his bedroom.
"Can't you just let me be?" Occupying himself with his backpack, Ichigo threw the flying man a glare, but stopped when he noticed one glaring change.
"Still frightened?"Grimmjow taunted.
"Your hair...it changed," he said dumbfounded, seeing the shiny black turn into bright blue. Even if the display fascinated him, he shook his head firmly. "Are you even listening? Get out! You'll just make everything worse!"
A scowl was his answer. "I would like you to stop ordering me around. I'll be wherever I want to be. Got that?"
"Not in my apartment!" Ichigo shouted angrily, before Grimmjow grabbed him by his arm, clenching it threateningly.
"You don't seem to listen-"
Afterwards Grimmjow had to admit that he was somehow shocked to hear that loud Crack! that followed his firm grip (like the tight grip with Matsumoto). Kurosaki had shook and, in the next moment, fallen to the floor moaning in pain. Grimmjow had eyed his hand incredulously, barely believing what had happened. He had broken his arm? Just like that? During all his life saving and his harsh treatment towards the victims something like that had never occurred.
"Grimmjow!" A sing-song voice appeared behind him seconds before two arms slung around his shoulders.
"Leave, woman," he hissed darkly and shook those arms away. He was already in a foul mood, no need to make it worse. Just after he had dumped the kid at the hospital with great protest of the cripple ("There's no point! I don't even have money to cover the treatment!") did he noticed that he shoved him the needed money into his hands to shut him up. What the hell had gotten into him that time? It was a week later and he still brooded over his idiocy.
He glared at the disguised Matsumoto who, in returned, grinned widely.
"I was just going to my favorite restaurant. Would you like to join me?"
His glare froze. Food? For free? Hah, like he would turn down such an offer.
After two hours, Matsumoto eyed him warily. "Where are you putting all this...?" she asked hesitantly, looking at the mountain of emptied dishes next to her guest.
"I burn a lot ofenergy," Grimmjow explained shortly.
"You always eat so much?" No wonder he needs the amount of money he asked from the victims...
"So, you are uber-fast, uber-strong, have uber-good sight and can fly? What else?" Ichigo was on his lunch break, eating a lousy sandwich. He was finally freed of his cast and was able to go back to work again, just to have this super-human start following him (most likely to get his money back). After several arguments, he had given up on trying to scare, order or get the man away. Grimmjow himself was like his daily accidents: inevitable.
Grimmjow looked up from his bag of small chocolate bars, eating them like any other would grapes.
"How about x-ray, heat-emitting and infra-red vision? Super-hearing? Super-breath?"
"Do I need to answer that?"
Ichigo shrugged his shoulders, eating the last bit of his lunch. "You know so much about my curse, and with me dying sometime soon, your secret will be safe."
Grimmjow cocked a brow. "You? Dying?"
Shrugging his shoulders, Ichigo jumped from the bench and loosened the kickstand of his bike. "My body can only suffer so much. It's just a matter of time until it'll collapse."
They walked next to each other.
"Nothing can harm me. My skin is unbreakable by fire or bullets or any pressure for that matter."
Whistling Ichigo looked the other over. "You never had a broken bone?"
Grimmjow tried to remember how it was without his powers, but couldn't remember not having them. He shook his head. "To be honest, I'm impressed that you haven't died already."
Ichigo smiled, a smile that that didn't reach his eyes. "Funny, huh? I wonder myself when that time will be. Maybe you can help me out?"
The mocking answer that should have followed didn't come.