Different languages warning: "English Speaking" "Normal/Japanese Speaking"

Chapter 25

The stage was dark, only a small spotlight shining from above and onto the piano keys. Grimmjow's instincts made him realize that he should be playing the beautiful instrument before him. The quietness of the room was bothersome and it needed to be filled with the sweet melody that always slid from his fingers. Lofty, soft fingers ghosted across the rectangular keys, taking in the coldness of each one and the way they sparkled in the light from above. It just came to him, something deep to resonate against the unseen walls and his fingers quickly fleeted across the instrument, the thumping spread throughout the area and his foot tapped against the pedal, his leather loafers clicking softly against them.

Though he was playing, he couldn't find it in him to smile, his lips pulled into a thin line and his perfect Carolina blue eyebrows creased with anxiety. He didn't feel as alive as he always did, couldn't feel the happiness he usually felt while he played. The sheer joy of being around the one thing that made his heart sing. It just didn't feel the same. A jolt of pain shot through his heart and he wondered why he was feeling so upset. Was there something he was missing? Something that he should be worried about?

He opened his eyes, only just realizing that he had had them closed the whole time, but that hadn't been the reason for the darkness he was seeing. That wasn't the reason for the unknown feelings in his heart.

Soft humming drifted into his right ear and out the other, the deep voice familiar and enriching. The tone impersonated the very music he was playing and blunet found himself relaxing at the soothing voice. Lowering his eyes, he noticed fingers slipping from the darkness, sliding across the black piano top, slowly revealing manly hands that were a tad smaller than his. The flexed forearms were smooth and hairless and Grimmjow tried to pinpoint where he recognized them.

They reached out and ghosted across his cheeks and Grimmjow sighed as then ran through his baby blue locks. Deep, mahogany eyes showed and the pianist's heart started to pound in his chest, recognizing the determination and underlining delirium in those deep pools. Ichigo. There was only one person who could have such a readable expression, only one person who would touch him in such a way. The smile pulled on the boy's lips was sweet and the happiness radiating from it was stimulating. It had been so long since he had seen Ichigo smile, so long since he seen his lover genuinely happy.

The darkness surrounding them started to slowly illuminate and Grimmjow took in the bareness of Ichigo's body that was being revealed. The taut, tanned skin stretched across washboard abs and hard chest glistened with sweat and Grimmjow can plainly see the limp genitals hiding under vermillion curls that sit between strong and muscular thighs. Glancing back up, the blunet could see the deep lustful look in the younger man's eyes and wondered what had brought about such a look.

Ichigo leaned over and captured Grimmjow's trembling lips in an unprepared kiss and the man abruptly tapped against an incorrect key. Ichigo didn't seem to mind, as he was too infatuated in letting his tongue make love to the pianist's mouth. Tongues engaged and intertwined as lips became swollen and wet.

The blunet felt weight being pressed down against him and a deep heat enclose around him, and he groaned into the mouth that latched itself onto his. His body slicked with cooling sweat and for some reason his hands were no longer on the piano, but wrapped around a narrow waist as he rocked upwards into the body above him. The high-pitched wanton cries spilled from Ichigo's open mouth continuing to flow in tune with the harmonic music that Grimmjow was so accustomed to. The lithe body was on display before his deepened blue pools and the blunet started to notice the scars that were manifesting across his lover's smaller body. Smooth flawless skin was being replaced by rubbed raw and pink skin that peppered itself across Ichigo's chest. The thighs hugging close to his were damaged with healed scrapes. Looking up, Grimmjow gazed into the endless pools of white, noticing how the rich chocolate irises and dark pupils had vanished.

A stab of pain ran through Grimmjow's body, but when he looked up at Ichigo, the boy was still showing such a radiant, happy smile and every doubt in his body slowly washed away letting him form his own lop-sided grin. Large hands ran across the perspiring back, pulling the oranget closer and Grimmjow captured the plump lips in an endearing kiss that made himself explode with the sheer joy he had been missing before. Light quickly broke through the darkness surrounding them and everything became too bright to see, but Grimmjow only focused on the feeling running against his hands, the feeling of fingers in his hair and thighs clinging to his own. Ichigo was there and nothing else even mattered, not even the music that he always known and loved.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Grimmjow groaned at the annoyingly loud alarm clock that he had forgotten he had set the night before. It pierced through the passionate dream he had been having and disintegrated the chance of it even continuing. Slamming down on the button, the noise stopped and he threw his arm over his eyes before he sighed and stretched his toes underneath the soft bed sheets. He was burning up from the desire still inside him, but he could feel the stickiness inside of his boxers knowing just what had happened.

The purring off to his side only added to the fact that he was no longer dreaming and he had certainly exploded into his underwear and not his handsome and quite intoxicating boyfriend. He threw his forearm off of his face and gazed up at the ceiling, trying to remember the last time he had ever had such a cryptic wet dream. He was too damn old to be acting that way anymore.

"Fuckin' great," he mumbled to himself. Sighing, he pushed himself up onto his elbows, blinking his eyes of any sleepiness left behind. He couldn't remember when he had fallen asleep; being that he was so exhausted the night before. Grimmjow had wanted to go back to see Ichigo, but he guessed his body had other plans. Glancing down, he reached and threw the covers off of him before staring down at his boxers. "Are you a goddamn teenager, Grimmjow?" He could plainly see the wetness where the tent was formed in his undies.

This was a wonderful way to start the day. Having wet dreams and white hot passion with himself while Ichigo was holed-up in the hospital. He knew he couldn't really help it. It had been five months since he and Ichigo last had sex. The more and more he had been with the oranget, he had been becoming thirstier for the man. Three months away from Ichigo was pure torture in more ways than one and being around the man was just as bad. Well, maybe worse. The knowledge that he couldn't do anything with his lover was frustrating. The knowledge and the guilt every time he gazed at Ichigo were unnerving. It was all just too hard to deal with and sex seemed to be only allowed in his dreams.

"What the hell are you thinkin' about, dumbass? Ichigo is in the hospital for Pete's sake." Pushing himself up from the bed, he waddled over to Ichigo's dresser and pulled out some of his clothing. If he was going to visit Ichigo today, he would need a cold shower. Not just for his body, but for his mind as well.

Green grass surrounded short, silky tangelo locks as Ichigo laid back and gazed at the sky full of fluffy, white clouds. His coppery brown eyes took in every hue that made up such a large vast of the world. The green grass felt soft against his bare legs, tickling the skin gently. It had been so long since he saw the sky for what it really was. Big, beautiful and blue. Grimmjow. It made him smile just knowing how much such a simple thing could make him grin. The distinctive features of the pianist were unknown to him, but Ichigo knew what he felt with his own two hands. He could feel how large Grimmjow was, body and soul. His limber fingers could always grasp how beautiful every inch of the blunet was. And though he knew nothing of the hair pigment that everyone seemed to be so familiar with, he somehow knew that such a vibrant and strong color matched the man in its own ways.

The calm sensation he would receive just being in the man's arms. The sense of solitude and peace he experienced when he heard the man's husky, baritone voice. It was all a part of him now, keeping him balanced and strong.

The faint melody blew in the wind and Ichigo instantly recognized the style, the way the fingers executed each key lucidly. It made his heart palpitate fiercely and his skin tingle with lust. Ichigo's fingers traced over the defined lines of his muscles, listening to the way the music's volume started to steadily rise. Each note seemed to match the curve of his pectorals, dropping and rising as Ichigo's fingers ran across his bare skin. His body quivered as he started to suddenly feel those experienced fingers running over his now naked body, knowing every secret spot as if it was made for the larger man. Grimmjow always seemed to ignite Ichigo's fire with one touch and keep it ablaze with every husky whisper and moan.

Burnt orange eyelashes fluttered against his cheeks as Ichigo felt moist lips trail across his chest with butterfly kisses and he moaned at the exploring hands and strong body that was pressing down against him. How he wished if he opened his eyes that he would see Grimmjow above him. How he wished to see how those eyes gazed at him full of lust or how the pianist worshipped his body.

Lips captured his with need and want, sucking profusely as the hard, larger body rocked against his. Ichigo could only gasp and moan into the mouth clinging to his own, his fingers gripping and pulling at the grass. Toes curled dangerously and Ichigo could feel himself getting closer to that hot white nirvana. Legs hugged tight around Grimmjow's waist, sweat rolled across his body, making him hotter in a way only the blunet could achieve. Just their bodies held tight and close and Ichigo would be sent skyrocketing into the heavens. It was so easy for him to fall into such a state. Just one thought of that unseen man and Ichigo become a dripping puddle of desire. All because of Grimmjow.

Orihime hummed to herself as she walked down the white corridor, her arms holding an arrangement of items. It had been a couple of weeks since she had come to see Ichigo and she was starting to worry about him. She had spoken about her feelings towards Ulquiorra, who insisted that she go visit the orange haired male. That had been another thing that she adored about the dark haired man. Ulquiorra knew about her past feelings for Ichigo, but showed no jealously towards the man she still considered a very good friend. The green eyed stoic man knew how solid his relationship had become with Orihime and he knew nothing with jeopardize what he had been slowly building up.

When she thought about the oranget there was still some lingering love and she knew with time they would slowly dissipate. She wanted to be there for him as his support. Though she wasn't hurt physically like Ichigo was she could still feel his pain right down to her soul. It had always been that way ever since high school and now that she had come to terms with her feelings and expressed them in such a obvious way, it seemed that she had become hypersensitive to everything Ichigo felt. His pain, his sorrow, even the new found love he had for Grimmjow. She could relate in her own way and she hoped that she could bring a smile to her bright haired best friend.

Rounding the corner, she slightly bowed to one of the nurses who smiled gently at her. It had been one of the nurses she recognized from being in Ichigo's hospital room. Finally reaching the door, she softly pushed it open, slightly frowning at the darkness of the room. It was the early morning and she had thought Ichigo would be up. Inoue debated leaving, but she just had to see how the oranget was doing.

Quietly slipping into the room, she softly padded over to the bed and gazed down at the man she once loved.

"Good morning, Kurosaki-kun," she mumbled softly. Her ears could pick up the soft rhythmic breathing and realized that he was in fact sleeping soundly. "I-I brought you some gifts. Uhm, well…"

Looking down into her small little bag filled with goodies she started to pull out an array of item: A little golden plush lion with a red bow, a small box of rainbow sprinkled doughnuts, some flowers she had asked Ulquiorra to help her pick out and a small box of chocolates.

She didn't know if the oranget could have sweets while he was in the hospital, but she hoped that her gifts brought some kind of smile to Ichigo's lips. She rounded the bed and started to set the items out on the small side desk were a large amount of cards, flowers and stuffed animals had been placed. It was obvious that everyone was very worried about the young man's health and they all hoped he would make a full recovery.

After cleaning up the area a bit and opening the curtains to let in a bit of light, she set herself down into the chair that had made a permanent spot beside Ichigo's bed. Her large gray eyes gazed at her friend's broken state, noticing the fresh white bandages wrapping around his torso and forehead. Her eyes trailed down the arms that she remembered being a bit larger and gazed at the bandages wrapped around the forearm and hand, some of it hiding under the yellowish cast.

"Oh, Kurosaki-kun. It hurts to see you like this." Her voice was somber and she could feel the tears trying to break forth in her eyes. Her hand reached out and she slid it into Ichigo's open palm, wrapping her fingers around the back of his hand and softly squeezing. "I wish there was something I could do to take away all of your pain. I would switch places with you if I could just to see you up and moving around." She smiled softly feeling hot tears slowly rolling from her eyes. "Grimmjow is in so much pain and so are your sisters. I'm worried for them all and I pray that you will be back to yourself again."

The tears started to roll faster and she sniffled to keep her face from looking a mess. It had been hard for everyone to see Ichigo in such a state, lying in the bed, unable to move about. It didn't fit such a fiery personality, such stubborn ways. Orihime knew Ichigo hated being in that bed just as much as he hated being blind and she couldn't wait for the day to see the orange haired man back to his vibrant and short tempered self.

"Be strong, Kurosaki-kun. Everyone is waiting for you to walk out of those hospital doors with determined eyes and a kick in your step." Her lips turned up into a soft smile and her eyes glimmered with shed tears. Just wait, Kurosaki-kun. You'll be back to your old self.

Grimmjow's body seemed a bit more relaxed after his night of erotic dreams and much needed sleep. He was still a stressed mess, but he hoped that Ichigo would pull through and he would be there to help in anyway. He had been thinking hard about his relationship with Ichigo up until now and he couldn't bring himself to end it anytime soon. Of course he was almost as stressed as he was when his mother passed away, but he felt like he would be betraying the oranget if he just left. He was fucking up his own life, his own dreams but if it wasn't for Ichigo's encouragement he wouldn't be where he was now.

Sitting in the waiting room of the hospital, he flipped through a magazine nervously. He had first headed to Ichigo's room, but upon arriving he had noticed a few nurses pushing Inoue out of the room as they rolled an unconscious Ichigo away. He had been in shock, wanting to know what the hell had happened, but had been slightly calmed by the orange haired woman who said that his lover was going in for some x-rays.

He really hoped that was all it was, not being able to afford any more bad news when it came to Ichigo's well-being. There were still so many unanswered questions about his partner's health and the sooner he figured out what was going on, the sooner he could pull his stomach up off of the floor.

"Grimmjow-san…" The blunet had completely forgotten that he was sitting next to the voluptuous woman with long flowing orange hair. Glancing over, he could see the big gray eyes gazing up at him with worry and he wished he could put on a smile. "Have you eaten today, Grimmjow-san?"

The pianist knew it was in Inoue's nature to be worried about other people before herself, but he wished that she wouldn't fret about him. He was a grown man and he could take care of himself. Well…maybe that was a lie. Ever since Ichigo was placed into the hospital his own health had become nothing more than an ant crossing the road. He knew he was losing weight, as well as sleep, but it just didn't matter.

To keep face he just grinned at her with all the strength he had in him and answered with a soft "yeah." Slate gray eyes narrowed and Grimmjow was surprised to see something familiar in her eyes. He watched her reach into her bag and pull out a wrapped object before handing it over to him. Gazing down at it, he wasn't sure what to say.

"It's some rolled eggs I made this morning. Ulquiorra was over for breakfast and I had some left over. I was going to eat them, but you seem to need them more than me. They are filled with bean paste, squid and peanut butter."

Grimmjow's eyes widened as he gazed at the still covered food (if that was what he was supposed to call it). Ichigo had told him many times to never eat anything Orihime cooked and now he could see why. Just listening to the ingredients gave him the urge to throw it across the room and wash his hands double time.

"Hime…I-I'm really okay. Yuzu made sure I ate something before I left." That was a total lie, but he didn't want to tell the woman that her food wasn't even fit for a dog to eat. That wouldn't be right. "D-Did Ulquiorra eat some of these?"

"Oh yes! Five of them! He said they were delicious!" Grimmjow found himself snorting at hearing that. Ulquiorra wasn't the type to lie about anything, so either the man didn't want to hurt Inoue's feelings or he really thought the girl's cooking was delicious. It was just another thing that made the blunet realize just how much his best friend liked Inoue.

"That's good then." Handing them back to her, he smirked. "You should save them for him. He might be upset if he knew you were giving them to me." Inoue gazed up at Grimmjow, her eyes searching anything amiss. It was hard to figure out if he was lying or not, but she didn't want to pry too much. Sighing, she just nodded, taking the wrapped food and placing it back into her bag.

They both fell silent, becoming victims of their own thoughts. Grimmjow's mind was firing off ideas of how he was going to deal with Ichigo's recovery and his still waiting job in America. He wasn't going to be able to stay in Japan much longer what with the string of symphony concerts and events coming up. He had already left San Francisco far too early and had been staying in his hometown for much longer than he should. This had not been an everyday opportunity and he knew if he didn't focus on it, it would slip through his fingers rather quickly.

Leaning his head back against the wall, he sighed, his fingers twitching nervously in his lap. There were too many big decisions to make, too many feelings welling up inside him. Slowly closing his eyes, he let his thoughts overflow and cloud his mind, feeling it pull at his tired nerves and muscles. He knew he should be wide awake and waiting on any news about Ichigo, but the fatigue surrounding him was pulling him down into an abyss of dreams.

Inoue hummed to herself next to Grimmjow as she read the lines of text in the new romance novel she bought. It was so intriguing, talking about an innocent woman who fell in love with a monster with large green eyes and big bat like wings. She unconsciously took a bite of the egg roll she previously tried to give Grimmjow, her eyes wide and flicking back and forth across the pale colored paper.

"Wow," she mumbled as she turned the page. She was only a few pages into the book and it was already becoming a good read. All of a sudden a sound interrupted her publication adventure and she set the book down and she gazed out in front of her. The sound was soft at first, but the music began to grow louder and louder until it stopped completely. Waiting for a moment, Inoue didn't hear it again and shrugged before going back to her book. Not even ten minutes later the sound went off again and she detected it coming from next to her, somewhere in Grimmjow's vicinity. Narrowing her eyes, she listened for a while until it stopped again.

"What is that?" She looked down and the sound blared to life again and this time she noticed the colorful blue light emitting from Grimmjow's light grey sweatpants. She whispered a quiet "oh" before looking up and seeing the tired display on the man's face.

Orihime worried about waking Grimmjow. The blunet looked so peaceful slumped in the uncomfortable plastic hospital chair. His phone had been ringing non-stop, not even waking him a bit. She couldn't find it in here to bother such a serene look. The dark circles under his eyes were such an ugly thing and she knew if anyone of them needed sleep more it was him. But the phone. It just kept ringing and ringing, playing some soothing piano song that she had never heard.

"G-Grimmjow-san…" The man didn't even twitch when she called his name and she wondered if she should shake him. "Grimmjow-san, your phone is ringing," she repeated, slowly pushing against his shoulder. Frowning as he didn't move, she looked down at one of the uneaten egg rolls and pulled it out. Placing it under his nose, she hoped this would work like it usually did on television. Inoue waved it, letting the smell waft against the man's nose and smiled when his eyes started moving from behind his eyelids.

They slowly opened, blurry with sleep and gazed down at the infuriating smell waking him from his dreams. Eye's instantly wide, Grimmjow reeled back, hitting his lower back against the metal chair arm and groaning in pain.

"Oh! S-Sorry, Grimmjow-san! I-I was trying to wake you up a-and your phone was ringing and you wouldn't wake up and it just kept ringing and ringing and ring-"

"It's fine, Orihime," Grimmjow said off-handedly, rubbing his lower back. His cell phone announced itself again as if to let Grimmjow know Inoue wasn't lying and the blunet sighed, pulling the small device out of his pants.

He gazed down at the caller id and cursed under his breath, before excusing himself. Pressing the answer button, he stilled himself for impending doom. Or maybe a chew out.

"Byakuya," he answered, his voice still somewhat heavy with sleep.

"Grimmjow," the man replied, his voice sounding slightly annoyed. Grimmjow knew he was probably on the dark haired man's bad side for being gone for so long. He wished he could feel angry about Byakuya's unfeeling attitude, but right now he needed to save his job and that called for some major ass kissing.

"Look, I'm really sorry about-"

"How is Kurosaki?" The question totally caught the blunet off guard and he found himself dumbstruck on what to say. As if sensing the confusion, Byakuya sighed. "My sister has been calling non-stop telling me to give you a break because of Kurosaki's predicament. I find that utterly silly though since that boy will be back on his feet in no time."

"…W-What do you mean?" Byakuya could only sigh again. This man was almost as idiotic as Renji.

"Do you know how many times Kurosaki has gotten himself into trouble? It follows him around like a shadow. He would never let anything keep him down for too long. He is like his late father always trying to battle things he has no business battling and trying harder than anyone else to do things."

Grimmjow didn't even realize Byakuya had known Ichigo's parents, but he could hear something close to endearment in the man's deep voice. It was shocking to hear the man talk about anything so fondly. Even music.

"You and Renji are worrying yourself way too much. I insist you two stop before you kill yourselves and then I will be lost of a pianist and a loud mouth who I find quite hilarious at times." Grimmjow found himself chuckling at that. He still didn't understand where this conversation had gone to, but it was nice to hear Byakuya speak so highly about a man who he detested (at least that's what Renji told him).

"Yeah whatever you say," Grimmjow responded.

"Now, on a more serious note. You need to push your troubles aside and come back to work. I think you have been gone for far too long and it making us both look bad, me more because I was the one that brought you in."

"I really don't know if I can come back before I know exactly is wrong with Ichigo."

"Mr. Jeagerjaques," Byakuya started and Grimmjow could tell he was beginning to rattle the man's nerves. "Don't try my patience. I understand how you are feeling, but sometimes you need to choose for what is best for you. Do you want to give up your dream for someone you know is going to pull through?"

"But I don't know-"

"You do," Byakuya responded coolly. "Stop being so unsure. You are never this way in front of the piano."

It was true. Grimmjow was overconfident when he was playing the piano. He knew nothing could go wrong and everything was right in the world when the music flowed. He couldn't understand why that confidence wasn't following him wherever he needed it.

"…You're right, but I need to let Ichigo know about this."

"If you must then do it, but I don't want a month to pass by and you still haven't made it back to San Francisco." Grmmjow nodded and said his goodbyes before ending the call and leaning back against the wall he was standing near. Closing his eyes, he thought about how he would feel about leaving Ichigo alone again. It hit him right in the heart and he worried that something else would happen in the timeframe of his absence. Ichigo would want him to go. The man he'd come to love would want him to follow his dreams.

So was he ready after such a great ordeal? After the misfortune that rocked both his and Ichigo's world? He sighed and ran his hands down his face. It was just another complicated decision he had to make. All by himself.

So I hope you guys enjoyed this double post. I'll try to get something out for tomorrow but no guarantees. I'm slowly getting back into writing. It seems like all my motivation just flew out of the window, but I have some stuff hidden away. Anyway I'll talk to you guys again. Please review, adios~