Hope Dangles on a String

Chapter 4.


'Hope dangles on a string, like slow-spinning redemption.' -Dashboard Confessional 'Vindicated'


I hadn't been expecting that answer.

Of all the answers to expect.

I had never even considered it.

It was just so…random.

So I repeat myself because I feel as if my brain will never accept what Byakuya has said.


Byakuya nods, "He is a close friend of yours, is he not?"

Yeah. Well. Kind of. Keigo's more of a burden then anything else. Always joking. Always immature. I'd met him in high school and he had managed to assimilate into our group pretty easily. Inoue had put up with him, Tatsuki always fighting with him, but it had always been funny. Chad had never seemed to care one way or another, but I knew the two were close. I wonder what Chad would do when he found out that his longtime friend and roommate had slept with one of his best friend's girls and knocked her up.

I would never expect something like that from Keigo. Never. Not in a million years. He slept around, sure, but…I've never even seen Rukia look at him twice. They never even really talked, so…

I lean against Byakuya's grey Mercedes as I lose myself in giggles, trying to imagine Keigo pounding into Rukia. I can't, so I laugh harder. Byakuya is staring at me with that even, controlled expression I hate so much.

When I can finally breathe normally again, I stand up straight and wipe my face before telling him thanks and walking away.

"That was not the reaction I had been expecting," I hear Byakuya mumble.

"I don't know why I continue to be surprised," I throw back over my shoulder, unable to help my grinning face, "Shit. What am I supposed to do with that? Nothing, right?"

"Are you going to confront him?"

"What's the point?" I say, spinning back towards him, feeling ridiculously giddy. I don't know why I feel this way, but it's better than thinking that Grimmjow or Renji would ever betray me in such a way. Yeah it hurts to know that someone I've known for almost six years would go behind my back, but it's Keigo. Keigo. I remember the last time I saw him, when he asked me if I had any blow on me, how dark the rings around his eyes had been, how he had been as white as a sheet. I see him in his Don Kanonji boxers snorting a line and talking to me as if it's any other day, as if he's the raddest fucking friend ever and will always have my back.

And I remember what he said when I was leaving with Chad:

"See ya later, Keigo," I said when Chad opened the door to the apartment and stepped out, me on his heels.

"You're awesome, Ichi," he says, rubbing his nose really fast, "You're the fucking man. You know that, right?"

I'd snorted, "Yeah, Keigo. The fucking man."

"You're the best," he said with a giant smile, "I mean it, bro. Whatever you need, whatever you fucking need, man, I got you next time."

I feel my pockets for my cigarettes and realize I left my nearly empty pack on my dresser at home. Fuck it.

"Where are you going?" Byakuya asked, making me jump slightly. I'd almost forgotten he was there, and I'm still standing in the Kuchiki's yard, and I feel totally exposed and I wonder if Rukia's awake and then I think that it would be totally fucking rad if she decided to look out her bedroom window right now and saw me standing here with this stupid smile on my face.

"Grimmjow's," I say almost instantly, "I got some shit to sort out."

"I'm heading into town for a lunch appointment. I can drop you off at the corner of 6th and Pantera."

I can't help myself as I say, "You're becoming more human by the minute."

I hadn't expected him to say, "Aren't we all?"


I stand outside Grimmjow's apartment door for a good twenty minutes.

I'm not scared. I'm not. That's not the point. The point is that I have no idea what exactly it is I AM feeling. Whatever it is, it's not fear.

It's like…let me try to describe it.

When it's raining really hard, and you're cussing at the cold, but you have an umbrella, and even though it's a rickety-ass, piece of shit umbrella, you're still better off with it then without it.

Or like when you have graham crackers and chocolate, but you're desperate for a marsh mellow so that you can create the perfect smore; something to hold it together, something to make it right.

Like a scratchy knit sweater, but you know someone's fingers are hurting and they made it just for you, and even though you pretend to hate the color or the feel, you know you secretly treasure it.

It feels strange, and weird, and girly, and then I remember his text messages from the night before, how pissed off he's going to be when I walk in.

I walk in anyway.

The first thing I realize is how quiet it is. Grimmjow almost always has his stereo playing; I think this is the second time in three or four years that I've ever walked in on no music playing. The living room is abandoned, nobody in sight. No Starrk. No Gin. No Renji. No random druggies.

The next thing I notice is the smell. I smell bleach and other antiseptics. I toe my shoes off and step further inside and notice how shiny the wood floorboards beneath my feet look. I wander the living room. Cds are off of the floor, put in their rightful place on shelves in this massive wood entertainment system Grimmjow bought for cheap at a flea market. The glass coffee table is clean, not even an ashtray.

No trash. No cups. No greasy pizza boxes or Chinese take-out containers of any kind to be seen or smelled anywhere.

No blow. No razor blades. No weed. The smell still lingers in the air if I sniff really hard, but the cleaners have done a good job. I check on top of the television and behind an empty picture frame, Grimmjow's usual places to stash. Nothing.

I wander towards the kitchenette, where the smell of bleach is strongest. I can see my own reflection in the kitchen sink. This worries me. I have never, ever seen my reflection in the kitchen sink. I've never even seen the kitchen sink empty before.

The countertops are shiny and devoid of anything. Not even a set of car keys or a napkin. The coffee maker and a retro toaster are the only testaments that someone actually uses the space.

I turn down the hallway that leads to the single bedroom, thinking that maybe Grimmjow isn't even here, but that's just crazy because he has never left his apartment unlocked unless someone is inside it. Sometimes he's not home, but whoever it is always locks up afterward.

His bedroom door is cracked open.

I push it open slowly.

Grimmjow's sitting on the floor, his back to me so that he's facing the light streaming in through the glass doors of his small patio and I can hear him rustling something that sounds like paper. I can see a couple shoeboxes stacked by his side, beat-up containers for whatever he's looking at.

"Grimmjow?" I say it like a question because honestly I have never seen this type of behavior from him. He's never been a complete slob, but he's never had the apartment this magnificent either. Even his room is neat except for the bed, the sheets all twisted. The door to his closet is slid open and I can see the few shelves are organized. The single bureau in the corner is bare, the side table holding nothing but a lamp with a blue lampshade and his cell phone. I never realized how few possessions Grimmjow actually has until this moment. The apartment looks like he could walk out tomorrow with nothing more than a backpack or a duffle bag and never look back.

He stops what he's doing and lifts his head, but he's still not looking at me. I think he's looking out the glass doors, which are not streaked and gross looking like usual. They're crystal clear and beautiful and I can almost see his expression from the reflection.

"So what? You talkin' 'ta me now?" he says right before going back to whatever it is he's organizing.

I give him a minute before I say, "I deserved that."

"You're an ass hole."

"I know."

He finally turns his body enough to look over at me and the blue of his eyes nearly blinds me. I see the dark half moons under his eyes, the dishevelment of his hair. His white wife beater is streaked and his grey sweatpants are torn in several places.

And he says, "What do you want?"

And I don't have an answer. I stand there like an idiot with my mouth half-open, my hands loose by my sides because I can't believe Grimmjow was this sick over me.

"Everything's so clean," I say stupidly.

"Che. What else was I supposed to do? I couldn't fuckin' sleep and I didn't have work today," he growls, flipping through what I now see are photos.

I take a few steps closer to him, "You didn't sleep?"

"Are you fucking retarded?" Grimmjow shoots back at me, nearly making me jump out of my skin, "You leave, half out of your fuckin' mind, don't fuckin' stop and talk 'ta me when I practically beg, and don't answer any of my fuckin' calls or texts. Don't fuckin' play with me, Ichigo."

He ruffles through some more pictures then finally throws the pile down and rubs his hands over his face and I say, "I heard you talking to Renji and Nel. I thought Renji was the father."

Grimmjow looks up and over at me again for at least a minute before shaking his head slowly and sounding disgusted, "You're a fuckin' idiot."

"I know."

"I fuckin' hate what you did."

"I can see it."

"You can't do that," he says, looking at me with serious eyes, "You can't fuckin' do that again."

"I won't."

"We'll see."

"I mean it." I want to touch him and kiss him and make him forget, but I'm afraid to go near him yet.

He finally stands up and looks at me hard again before saying, "I'm gonna take a shower."

"Okay," I say lamely. He walks past me, not touching me, and I feel my throat tighten and I have this sick twisty feeling in my gut and I feel like screaming in frustration.

He closes the bathroom door behind him and I hear the shower turn on. I run my hands through my overgrown hair and decide the only way to clear my head is to hear something precious.


I turn on Grimmjow's stereo and rotate to a random cd.

The beat starts up and I immediately recognize it and I stand stupidly in front of the bureau, staring at the stereo because I had no idea that Grimmjow even liked Placebo. The tone is haunting and beautiful and perfect:

'It doesn't hurt me

You wanna feel how it feels?

You wanna know, know that it doesn't hurt me?

You wanna hear about the deal I'm makin'?

You...could be running up that hill…

You and me…could be running up that hill…

And if I only could make a deal with God, and get him to swap our places

Be runnin' up that road, be runnin' up that hill, be runnin' up that buildin'…

If I only could…

You don't wanna hurt me,

But see how deep the bullet lies…

Unaware that I'm tearin' you asunder…

There's a thunder in our hearts, baby…

So much hate for the ones we love

Tell me we both matter…don't…we…?'

I've heard enough.

And then suddenly I'm moving and I'm pushing the bathroom door open and I'm sliding the glass of the shower over and Grimmjow turns towards me, his hands frozen on his chest where he had been rubbing in this spicy smelling body wash and I say nothing, just step inside with him and water immediately begins to soak through my clothing and I can still hear the song playing from his bedroom.

He doesn't say anything, only watches me slide my wet t-shirt over my head so that I can expose my little secret and he's staring at my tender new tattoo and he says, "Ichi."

And the way he says it makes me think that we're going to be okay, and this makes butterflies swirl in my stomach and heat gather in my nether regions because I'm standing in the steaming shower with a soapy and naked Grimmjow and I lean into him and I'm not tall enough so I have to grab his head and pull him down to me and the kiss makes my toes curl.

Then he's grabbing and tugging on my hair as he holds my head in place and annihilates my tongue, just absolutely overpowers me and I hear myself moan but I don't care because he's all I want.

"I wanted to show you yesterday," I admit after we break for air, "but Renji fucked with my head and…I just…fuck, Grimm, I think I've wanted you forever. Fuck Rukia and her bullshit."

I take a deep breath because my next sentence is crazy and insane but I gotta tell him because it's true and I need something real right now, "You're important to me."

"Shit," he growls, pressing himself against me and I see how hard he is and I'm shivering because he says, "let me fuck you."



I smile before I tug him down for another kiss and suddenly I'm feeling giddy and like a love struck teenager and we're tripping over each other and then we're out of the bathroom and he's tugging on my jeans and his weight hits me as I land on the bed and then he's everywhere and I'm nowhere at all because he's smothering me in heat and affection and I know I don't deserve someone as amazing as him.

He's got his hand wrapped around both our cocks as he grinds against me and I'm arching my back and trying not to sound like a dime-budget porn movie when he stiffens and stops and has this frustrated look on his face before I finally ask him what's wrong.

"I can't fuck with Amberlin playing in the background," he growls, getting off of me in the next instant and hitting the power button on his stereo to silence it, "Embrace the Dead isn't exactly sexy."

I laugh, I laugh to the point of tears as he laughs with me and then he's on me again and I stop laughing because he's making me squeal and make all these other unmanly noises because he's begun attacking my nipples with his teeth, biting then laving, biting then laving, and it's driving me insane. I tug on his wet blue locks and shudder when his tongue finds my weeping cock. His fingers aren't far behind, and this time I barely register them because he's doing something amazing with his teeth on the underside of my cock and I can't stop trembling and I can't take it anymore so I grip his hair really tight and pull him off of my cock and say, "G-Grimm, fuck me already."

He hisses, and I hope it's because his cock just got too hard for comfort. He grabs the inside of my thighs and spreads me and I dig my heels into the mattress as he enters me and I cry out because he's so warm and I'm almost butter as his kisses return to me and he bites my neck when he plunges into me again.

Over and over and over and I'm crying for him not to stop because he's spearing that tightness deep inside of me that makes me see white. Our bodies slide against each other, slick with sweat and I hear him pant my name and moan and I think that's what takes me over the edge.

I tug my cock once.

The blinding white light.

I hear Grimmjow cuss and rotate his hips, fighting my constricting muscles because he doesn't want it to be over just yet. My hands trail his abs, one of my fingers brushing over a nipple and he stiffens and I smirk because I had no idea he was sensitive there.

Not even a minute later he comes hard inside me and we're sweaty and disgusting and I know we aren't finished yet.

He pulls out of me. I feel his cum dripping out of my ass and sliding on my thighs and he rolls off of me, his eyes dark as they stare up at the ceiling and he's breathing as hard as I am and I don't warn him as I move and begin to lick his juices off of his cock. He stiffens and throws his head back and starts speaking in hushed, hurried German and I realize my cock is getting hard again listening to him, tasting him.

I try to deep throat him, almost gag, and pull off, but he's hard again and that's good enough for me. I throw my leg over him and straddle his waist, my knees digging into the mattress on either side of his torso as I reach a hand behind me to grasp his straining cock and I lift my sore ass and slam down on him.

I watch his eyes roll into the back of his head as I cry out at the sudden intrusion but I adjust quickly, rotating my hips to accommodate his girth once again.

"Fuck, Ichigo," Grimmjow pants, his fingers now digging into my hipbones with enough force to bruise. I arch my back, my spine tingling as I slowly begin to ride him, completely inexperienced, having no idea what I'm doing, just knowing that I want to do it.

It's erotic, and insane, and it's the first time I've ever truly made love with someone. This isn't just fucking, this is something private and deep and my body tenses up as Grimmjow begins to lift himself to meet me and he brushes my prostate and I scream.

"More, shit, more," I continue to cuss every bad word I can think of, losing myself in sensation and then I feel one of Grimmjow's hands stroking me and I explode, cum slapping warm on Grimmjow's chest. He lifts my thighs and the change in angle is enough for him because he thrusts deep two times before groaning out another orgasm.

I fall on top of him, completely boneless, breathing hard into his shoulder with no will to move. His fingers run along my sides once before his arms are spread eagle, lying on the bed as if he has been crucified by good sex.

Minutes pass and I'm starting to get cold when Grimmjow finally announces that we need another shower.


After we've showered and I've changed into a pair of his green pajama pants, we proceed to the kitchen where Grimmjow heats up some instant ramen. We eat on the couch while watching a rerun of some ninja anime we haven't watched since middle school.

"This Naruto kid is a pussy," Grimmjow announces after slurping up some noodles, "He cries too damn much."

"At least he has a sense of humor," I defend, always feeling as if I need to defend my favorite character, "At least he's not fucking emo like Sasuke. Oh wait, I meant to say Sasu-GAY."

"Whatever. Sasuke's where it's at. He's got the brains and the bitches," Grimmjow says with a smirk, "I bet'cha every girl in this anime'd let him fuck 'em. Some'a the guys too. He looks like he's willing to play both ways."

I laugh because this is stupid and pointless but I find it ridiculously entertaining and I think to myself that this is how it should be when we're together. He hasn't changed for me and I haven't changed for him. He'll still talk trash and I'll still punch him; we'll fight over shit things that won't matter in the morning and won't apologize because we know we're already forgiven.

We pass out on the couch and when I wake up I feel fingers lazily tracing the gothic-style 6 on my chest that is a match to the version of the 6 on his lower back and I wait for him to ask me why but he doesn't.

The key difference in our tattoos is that my 6 has a ribbon twisted on it, two words etched in gothic lettering.

"Mala Suerte," Grimmjow says out loud, "What the fuck does that mean?"

"It's Spanish. It means bad luck."

His eyebrows are drawn together and I enjoy the confusion on his face before continuing, "Six is an unholy number. It's actually the numerical symbol for the devil."

Grimmjow smiles wide, showing me his elongated canines, "I know that. Ya know six has always been my favorite number."

"It's considered bad luck. You've been bad luck to a lot of people, but not to me. I'm bad luck too. I wanted something that meant something personal to me."

"Hn," Grimmjow says, leaning into me for a lingering kiss, "You're so fucking sappy."

"Bite me."

"Stay with me."

I do.


It's a week later when I run into her.

I'm coming out of the convenience store with a bottle of water and a bag of Doritos and I see her face and she sees mine and I freeze.

She stands there awkwardly for a moment, dips her head to the side, hands going into her pockets, "Hey."

"You," I say, not really sure why I sound so robotic. I busy my fingers by tugging on the cap of my water, my eyes trailing the clunky black boots she's decided to put her dainty little feet in, "What's up?"

She gives me a level look, the look she's always been good at giving me, the look that makes me feel like an idiot, "Really?"

I shrug, "What else do you want?"

"I don't know," she answers, her hands now free of her pockets, one of her hands rubbing idly at her other arm. Her eyes are glassy and I snort.

"You into heroin now?"

"Shut the fuck up," she replies, looking at me angrily. She's still itching at her arm and I notice how pasty her skin looks, but there are small patches of red on her arms and on one of her cheeks.

Pathetic. Simply pathetic.

"So," I can't help myself. I just can't tell myself not to, "Keigo."

Her head whips up as if I've electrocuted her, her small mouth hanging open, "What?"

"Keigo," I repeat slowly for her benefit, "How's that working out for you?"

"You're an ass hole."

"And you're a bitch," I reply, taking a pull from my water, "I just have one question for you, and then I'll never bug ya again."

"What?" she snaps, her eyes falling on my package of chips.

"Why'd you lie? Why tell me Grimmjow was the father? You could've picked anybody."

She doesn't look at me for almost a complete minute. Another convenience store customer walks out with a few shopping bags whistling, ignoring us young people and our youthful problems.

"I knew," she begins, rubbing her arm instead of itching it this time, "that it would hurt you the most."


"Huh," I say, nodding once, "You were right."

"Renji told me," she says with a snort, "about you thinking he was the dad."

"I did. But we're good now."

"Yeah, good now," Rukia mocks, snorting again, "You're just fucking great with everybody, aren't you? Good old Kurosaki, ne?"

"You know," I say conversationally, popping a chip into my mouth. I chew and swallow before saying, "I'm still trying to figure out what I ever saw in you."

"Fuck you."

"Never again," I snap back while walking away from her.

Oh, I almost forgot something.

"Oh yeah," I turn back towards her. She's poised at the half-opened convenience store door, looking aged and confused and alone, "Grimmjow fucks me now."

Her eyes bulge. I grin.

She eventually starts laughing and calls me a faggot, a fucking faggot and a loser and she's glad to be rid of me and that she knows I'm the one who egged her fucking car.

"Byakuya helped too," I quip, not understanding why I'm feeling so good and calm and perfect right now.

She shuts up, her face falling and looking broken and then she yells something at me but I'm already walking away and don't care.

I saunter away, king of the world.


A couple days after my confrontation with Rukia, I'm sitting in Grimmjow's living room on the couch, laughing uncontrollably at the dubbed version of Jack Ass that Grimmjow insisted we all watch again.

We've all seen it at least a dozen times, but it never gets old.

Oh well. Boys will be boys.

I've had a few beers by this point and Grimmjow's sitting cross-legged on the floor between my legs and he throws his head back into my lap and asks me something about what just happened on the screen but I'm not listening because I'm getting lost in those goddamned perfect blue eyes again. He must not be expecting an answer because he turns his attention back to the screen and Starrk yells from the kitchen what do we want on our pizza and we yell back that it doesn't fucking matter we'll eat anything.

Gin's smiling like an idiot as he finishes another beer and Chad and Renji are arguing over which brand of beer tastes better but they eventually give up because it's a pointless battle.

Later, after we've gorged ourselves on pizza and the television is nothing but static and the speakers are blaring everything from Avenged Sevenfold to Saliva and Grimmjow's thrown his stack of cards at Renji, claiming that he's a dirty cheater, we all snap our heads up at the sound of the front door opening.

And who should walk in but our buddy Keigo.

He looks even sicker then the last time I saw him, which really wasn't that long ago.

But to me, it feels like a lifetime ago. I've been clean for almost two weeks, Grimmjow right behind me.

But we weren't naive: we knew the world wasn't going to stop for us.

Renji had done a few lines before the night had started. Starrk still dealt. Gin still rolled. The world kept spinning.

And now Keigo was standing in the living room, pale as the white t-shirt he's wearing and he smells pretty awful and I wonder if he's bathed at all in the past couple days. The black rings around his eyes make him look like a raccoon.

He's itching at his arms, his eyes glued to Starrk, "Hey man, I called you, like, fifteen times. What's up with that, man? Like what the fuck?"

"Keigo, I don't have that shit," Starrk says in a deep voice and for a second I remember that Starrk is one tough motherfucker, "Don't fucking ask me again."

"Fuck you, dude," Keigo says, pointing his finger at Starrk, "I got the money and everything. You're just being a prick."

"Watch yerself," Gin said, his pale blue eyes slitting open, "If 'ma man says he don't got it, he don't got it. So why don't you walk yer skinny lil' piece 'a shit ass outta here before I rearrange 'yer face?"

"You don't scare me, faggot," Keigo spits, looking pretty deranged at this point. His jaw is sliding and he looks like he's going to crawl right out of his skin and it's so pathetic I don't know whether to cry or laugh.

Starrk gets up but he hasn't taken two steps before Grimmjow's holding him back with a hand on his chest and I'm wondering what's going on.

"Get the fuck out," he snarls in Keigo's direction. Keigo stiffens then shakes slightly, but he's desperate and he needs something now and he's not thinking straight and out of his goddamned mind.

"You gotta give me something, man. Anything," Keigo finally begs.

Starrk pulls a tiny baggie out of his jeans pocket, "Forty, asshole."

"You do twenty for Ichi!" Keigo shrieks.

"You ain't Ichi," Renji says, wiping his hand across his nose, "And you're tweakin' mad bad, bro. Get the fuck up outta here before ya embarrass yourself."

Keigo looks at me.

I already know, and it makes me sick.

"Come on, Ichi. Help me out here," he says, scratching at the side of his neck, "Please? Come on, bro, for me?"

"For you?" I repeat, still sitting on the couch, my hands on my knees, "You want me to do something for you, Keigo? Wasn't fucking Rukia and knocking her up enough?"

The room goes quiet. The music is still blowing out the apartment but everyone's now staring at either Keigo or me, waiting for a reaction.

I hadn't told anybody that I'd heard the truth from Byakuya. Renji had been told from Rukia, but I was pretty sure that Grimmjow and Chad were still in the dark.

And when it came to Starrk and Gin, I never knew what they knew. They'd probably already been informed. It made sense that they had known, considering how hostile they were being towards him right now.

This was the first time I'd run into him since finding out.

And I wasn't bashing his face in, or threatening him, or even really caring.

He's still standing there looking like a lost zombie, like he has nothing. Nothing at all.

"You son of a bitch!" Grimmjow says, moving towards him, but Chad is soon blocking him.

Keigo's cowering behind Chad's broad shoulders, Chad's face reserved.

"Get out of my way," Grimmjow growls, and I think that this is a fight that I would like to see, because honestly I can't see Grimmjow fighting Chad.

Chad is a beast at 6'7'', which forces Grimmjow to look up at him another four inches. Keigo's nearly non-existent as he whines something from behind Chad.

Chad gives Grimmjow a level look, and then...

Chad hits Keigo so hard he falls back, smacking against the wall. Keigo's screaming as he holds his hands over his now bloody and very broken nose.

"I didn't know," Chad says simply, looking at me for a second before turning his attention back to Grimmjow, "and I wanted the first hit. Sorry."

Grimmjow's brows are drawn together, and I wonder what he's thinking because he looks over at me like he's asking for some kind of permission to carry out vengeance.

I stand up from the couch and make my way over towards them, standing with them as we stare at a sniveling, crying, broken Keigo.

I finally sigh, "He's just...too fucking pathetic."

I watch them drag him out of the apartment and out of my life.



"What?" I reply. I'm sprawled out on Grimmjow's bed naked, staring up at the ceiling. He has just walked into the bedroom, water dripping off of him as he towels his hair.

He's also naked.

This makes me hard again.

We've been fucking for months. It's been almost a year.

And I still want him.

I'll never get sick of him.

"Come to Germany with me," he says, tossing the towel to the floor before crawling into bed and settling his arm across my stomach.

It's not sexual at all.

Just nice.

"Germany?" I repeat because I don't know what else to say.

I know he has to go, but I don't want him to. His elderly uncle, the only sibling of Grimmjow's late father, had just passed away, leaving his estate unattended. With his own wife and child dead, Grimmjow was the only living blood left.

There was a lot of paperwork to be worked out, considering the old man had left millions behind due to selling his very profitable shipping business only a few short months before passing away of natural causes. The old man had had his fingers in stocks and trades all over the world. Someone would have to manage it.

Grimmjow had explained all of this to me.

Grimmjow's flight was in three days. He would be gone a few months. Maybe even a year.

It was his father's homeland. It was Grimmjow's childhood, Grimmjow's forgotten life.

Grimmjow wanted, needed, to go.

"What about school?" I say.

"Skip a semester with me," he says, "One semester. That's all I'm asking."

"Is it?"

He looks at me a little guiltily, our heads turned towards each other, our eyes focused, "What if...what if I don't come back?"

I swallow the lump in my throat. Of course. Grimmjow had deep roots there: what if he wanted to start life over again? Become something more then what he had managed to become here with me?

"I wonder what it will feel like."

"Huh?" he says right as Autumn to Ash's 'Pioneers' switches over on the stereo.

'And this will never be,

And this will never be reversed...'

"I wonder what it will feel like to be an alien," I elaborate, "I don't even know English, and German sounds even harder."

He smirks.

We kiss.

And I think to myself that I don't know what I'm doing.

That I'm being reckless. Quite stupid. Possibly setting myself up for destruction.

And then I remember that I am just now beginning to live.

The end.