CHAPTER 7

Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach...

Onwards...

XOXOXO

"Uncle Grimm! Uncle Grimm! Uncle Griiiiiiimmm!"

Ichigo lifted his head from its comfortable resting place and looked around. Was he dreaming? He could've sworn he'd heard whispering. As his still drowsy eyes tried to adjust to the daylight filtering into the living room from the kitchen window, he licked his lips and stretched. And that was when he realized that he wasn't laying on just his couch. A firm, broad chest rose and fell beneath him, making him focus on the face of its owner. Grimmjow's mouth was open, and he was snoring. Not obnoxiously loud, but since Ichigo was only centimeters from the man's face, he was able to hear it perfectly fine. Grimmjow had his left arm secured around Ichigo's waist, and his hair was a right mess. But it was a nice mess. Since his hair gel had worn off, his bangs were covering his forehead, and the rest was just bed head gone great. Ichigo swore under his breath at the unfairness of it all.

And then, he remembered why he was awake in the first place. He turned to the left and grimaced as he locked eyes with wide, way too innocent ice-blue. Grimmjow's godson was standing over them, staring. Ichigo didn't know what to say, but he was pretty sure that a kid walking in on his guardian sleeping very intimately with someone he didn't know was high on that list of "bad shit for kids to see."

"Uh, g'mornin'," Ichigo croaked. He fumbled around in his mind for the kid's name and was grateful when the sleep cobwebs dispersed enough to allow him to do so. "Yoichi, right?"

The kid pouted and ignored him, those wide eyes turning to Grimmjow's still sleeping form. Ichigo could understand. Hell, Yoichi didn't know him, but he did know Grimmjow. However, the blue-haired man was still deeply lost in Snoozeville. From the looks of it, Grimmjow needed his rest, and Ichigo really didn't want to disrupt it. He sighed and sat up, wiping the cobwebs from his eyes and yawning luxuriously. Truthfully, he wasn't prepared to deal with a kid who clearly had abandonment issues, but what was he supposed to do? He climbed to his feet from the warm, comfortable nest of gorgeous blue-haired man and scratched his back as he gave Yoichi his undivided attention.

"Ya hungry?" he asked.

Yoichi eyed Grimmjow some more before turning his big, ice-blue eyes to Ichigo. He bit his bottom lip and nodded slowly, which Ichigo considered a huge step in the right direction. With a smile, he gestured for Yoichi to follow him to the kitchen. Luckily, he had practice in the area of cooking and looking after kids since he had two sisters who'd needed him when his old man had been working late hours in the clinic. They traipsed through the living room and once Ichigo entered the kitchen, he ambled over to the cabinets. He knew just what to make to try and draw Yoichi from his shell. He pulled down a box of pancake mix and waved it in the air.

"How 'bout some pancakes?"

Yoichi paused beside the kitchen table and glanced at the box in Ichigo's hand. Ichigo grinned. Though the little boy had yet to speak, his eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. Well, that was one thing down. Ichigo set the box on the table and shuffled over to the refrigerator, his hand going to his head. When he pulled it open, a bunch of nothingness glared back at him. He thinned his lips and turned to Yoichi with a blank look.

"I think a trip to the corner store is in order, buddy. Ya up for it?"

Fear flashed into Yoichi's eyes for about three seconds before he checked the kitchen doorway, then gave his attention back to Ichigo. "Can Uncle Grimm come?"

It was progress! At least Yoichi was speaking. However, how could he break the news to the boy that his uncle needed his rest, and Ichigo really didn't want to wake him? He sighed and ran a hand over his face. He had to do something. He carefully edged over to Yoichi and lowered himself into a squat in front of him.

"Hey," he started softly. "I know you're scared, and you wanna make sure your uncle sticks around, but I can promise you that nothin's gonna happen to you. And Grimm's not goin' anywhere, either. He loves you very much, and he's not going to leave you. You can stay here with him while I run to the store, but just to let you know, you're safe with me, too. I won't hurt you." Yoichi's eyes were wide, but a little of the fear had left them. Ichigo pressed on with a small smile. "And guess what? I've got two little sisters who used to be your age. We hung out all the time, and I cooked breakfast for them and took them to the store with me, too. Now, they're big girls, but nothing ever happened to them with me, and I can make sure it's the same with you. So...whattaya say, Yoichi? Wanna go?"

Ichigo held his breath as Yoichi's ice-blue eyes roamed his face. The kid was adorable, that was for sure. And it was pretty obvious that he was still traumatized by what had happened with his parents. Ichigo didn't blame him. He still had moments where he fell into depression and fits of guilt over his mother's death so many years ago.

"But...I'm not stuh'posed to talk to strangers," Yoichi whispered.

Ichigo chuckled. "That's very true. But! I'm a...uh...friend...of your uncle. My name's Ichigo, and I already know that you're Yoichi. So...now, I'm not even a stranger anymore," he ended with a secretive whisper.

Finally, Yoichi smiled, his big eyes slanting into happy little arcs. When they opened, he nodded enthusiastically. However, right after, the smile turned into a concerned frown. "But Uncle Grimm will be alone."

"Yeah, but he's a grown-up. He'll be alright. Plus, he's sleepin'. He won't even notice we're gone."

"Are you sure?"

"Yep. I'm positive." Thankfully, Grimmjow gave a loud snore from the living room, which made Ichigo chuckle. "You see? He's totally knocked out."

Yoichi snickered and leaned closer to Ichigo. "He sounds like a bear."

Ichigo outright laughed at that, tucking the insult away for later. He ruffled Yoichi's silver hair and nodded. "He sure does. So, ya comin' with? Maybe we can find something good to go with those pancakes."

"Strawberry sauce! My mommy-"

Yoichi abruptly stopped, a sad frown pulling at his brows. He pouted and looked down at the floor, eyes starting to glisten. Ichigo felt the boy's pain. Everything was still so fresh and new for him, and it had to be tough to deal with at such a young age. Ichigo knew it was when his mom had passed.

"I know it's hard, and you're really sad. I was sad when my mom went to heaven, too. As a matter of fact, I was about your age."

Yoichi lifted his head, eyes wide. "Really?"

"Yeah. But...I had to be strong for my sisters and my dad."

"My daddy's in heaven, too."

Ichigo nodded. "Which is why you have to be even stronger than I was. Who's gonna take care of your Uncle Grimm, huh?"

Yoichi stared at him, considering the question before he slowly nodded. "I am. He's my best uncle ever."

So damned cute, Ichigo thought as he smiled. Grimmjow was a lucky guy, even if he didn't realize it yet.

"That's right. So, you have to be a big boy and be happy for him. Even though your parents are in heaven, they're still watching you. I bet they're proud of you for taking care of your uncle for them."

A smile blossomed on Yoichi's young face. "They can see me?"

"Oh, yeah. You didn't know that?" Yoichi shook his head, eyes wide. "That means you have to be extra good because they can see everything you do."

"But I can't see them."

"True. You'll always be able to feel them, though."

"Really?"

"Yup." Ichigo pointed to the little boy's chest. "Right here, in your heart. That's where I feel my mom."

Yoichi glanced down at the spot Ichigo pointed to before looking into his eyes again. "But I miss them."

"That's OK. I miss my mom, too. Just think about all the fun times you had with your parents, and remember how much they loved you. It makes it a little better."

Yoichi nodded thoughtfully. "OK."

Ichigo ruffled the kid's hair again before climbing to his feet. When he stood, he held out his hand. "Ready to go?"

Yoichi nodded and slowly took the offered hand. "Can we have orange juice, too?"

"We can get whatever you like."

Ichigo led the boy into the living room to the door, where they slipped into their shoes. He peeked at Grimmjow from the corner of his eye. The blue-haired man was sprawled on his back, right leg hanging off of the couch, right arm on his stomach and left arm behind his head. His mouth was wide open as he snored. Ichigo grinned and turned to Yoichi, who was staring at Grimmjow as well. When their eyes met, Yoichi giggled.

"Uncle Grimm looks funny."

"Haha! You're absolutely right."

Ichigo grabbed his keys from the table next to the door and they quietly left the apartment. Once they left the building, Yoichi's hand tightened around Ichigo's, his eyes wandering. It was early, so there weren't many people out and about, but the sun was shining pleasantly. Thankfully, the heat hadn't caught up to it yet. There was a nice breeze that swayed the leaves on the surrounding trees, and the air smelled like Spring instead of the sweltering Summer they were stuck in.

They made it to the corner store without incident. As they went inside, Ichigo grabbed a blue hand basket and cut a right towards the dairy section. He remembered how his kid sisters used to love helping out, grabbing the items from the shelves and placing them in the basket.

"Hey, Yoichi. Ya wanna grab that milk for me?" Yoichi turned glowing, glacier-blue eyes to him and nodded. "Cool. I need the one with the red label." Yoichi reached over and tugged on a gallon of milk, his small arms struggling with the weight. Ichigo chuckled. "How 'bout we get the smaller one next to that one?" The boy sighed with relief, immediately letting go of the gallon and reaching for the half gallon. He moved it from the shelf and into the basket with a little more ease. "Thanks, buddy. Think you can grab me a carton of eggs now?"

"OK!"

Yoichi skipped over to the eggs and amazingly lifted the lid of one of the cartons. He glanced at them for a few moments before closing the lid and moving the carton carefully into the basket.

"Great job! Hey, you've done this before, haven't you?" Ichigo asked.

Yoichi nodded with a smug smirk that reminded Ichigo too much of the kid's blue-haired uncle. "Yup. My mommy always said to check the eggs before you buy them. That way, you don't buy broked up ones."

Ichigo chuckled and nodded. "Your mommy was a very smart lady. Alright, let's go find some bacon. You eat bacon?"

Yoichi's eyes brightened like freshly polished shoes. "I love bacon!"

"My kinda guy!"

Ichigo led the boy to the end of the dairy aisle where the bacon was located. He decided to watch Yoichi choose a pack of bacon instead of pointing out which one they needed. Yoichi marched right over to the best brand and lifted it into the air.

"This one?" he asked.

"That's perfect! You're really good at this, Yoichi. I might have to take you with me to the market all the time," Ichigo said with a wink.

"Yayyy! Can we have the strawberry sauce, too?"

"Of course. Before that, though, can you grab that box of butter right there?"

XxxxxxxX

Ichigo had to admit that he was enjoying Yoichi's company. They'd made it back to the apartment with their goodies, and now, Yoichi was helping Ichigo with breakfast. Grimmjow was still soundly asleep on the couch. Though, he had turned onto his stomach by the time the two had returned.

"Ya got that batter mixed up good, yet, Yoichi?" Ichigo asked over his shoulder as he scrambled over half the carton of eggs.

"Almost! It's still chunky right here."

"Alright, well, lemme know when you're done. I'll clean the pan we need until it's ready."

Ichigo turned off the eggs, satisfied with the bright yellow hue and the fluffy, bouncy texture. He slid that pan towards the back of the stove and grabbed the pan he'd used to fry the bacon. As he washed it, he let his thoughts wander. He was still sexually frustrated, but hanging out with Grimmjow's little nephew had put a lid on his randiness. Outwardly, anyhow. Inside, all he could think about was the blue-haired fire fighter's larger and more muscular body, the man's hands all over him, his mouth, his voice. Ichigo shuddered at the stove as he vividly recalled another part of Grimmjow's anatomy.

...Maybe that wasn't such a good idea. It wouldn't be cool if he sprouted a woody in front of Grimmjow's innocent nephew. Ichigo glanced over his shoulder again and smiled at the sight of Yoichi stirring pancake batter with much gusto, his tongue curling up over his top lip. There was pancake powder on the boy's cheek, forehead, t-shirt and arms, but he supposed Yoichi didn't care. Finally, the little boy looked up with a wide grin.

"All done, Ichigo!"

"Great! Can you bring it over?"

Ichigo rinsed the pan, dried it with a paper towel and greased the inside with a stick of butter. Yoichi hopped off his chair and bounced over with the bowl of batter. When Ichigo looked into the bowl, he tucked his lips between his teeth, hiding his amusement.

"Let's add a little water to this. You were right when you said it was chunky." Yoichi nodded and handed over the bowl. After Ichigo added water and blended the batter, he turned on the stove and heated the pan. "OK, buddy, I need you to take a few steps back. Fire's dangerous."

"Yeah, my mommy said it can really hurt you. And my daddy put out the fires with Uncle Grimm."

"That's right. You know what that's called?"

Yoichi paused and seemed to think it over before he asked, "Fire biters?"

Ichigo chuckled. "Close. It's fire fighters. They fight the fires to keep everyone safe."

"Like super heroes?" the youngster breathed in awe.

"Yup. Like super heroes."

"Cool!"

"Yeah, it is pretty cool," Ichigo agreed as he poured pancake batter into the pan.

"Are you a super hero, too, Ichigo?"

Ichigo set down the bowl on the counter and wiped his hands with a dish towel before facing Yoichi. He shook his head.

"Nah." He stooped to eye level with Yoichi and winked as he said, "I'm more like a fish."

"What?" Yoichi squeaked through a smile, but before Ichigo could respond, his attention was diverted to the sexy man standing in the kitchen doorway, scratching his stomach and yawning.

"Somethin' smells good," Grimmjow rumbled.

XOXOXO

Grimmjow slowly opened his eyes and looked around. Where the hell was he? Nothing seemed familiar. He sat up and rubbed a hand through his hair until it gradually dawned on him where he was. Ichigo's smell permeated the place, but where was the feisty, orange-haired man? Last Grimmjow remembered, Ichigo had been using him as a body pillow. And where was Yoichi? Normally, the kid was up at the crack of dawn, asking for breakfast. And then, Grimmjow smelled bacon. His stomach gurgled and growled as he climbed to his feet. He felt well-rested for a change, and it showed in how hungry he was. He followed his nose to the kitchen and paused in the doorway at what he saw. Ichigo and Yoichi were near the stove, talking amiably. Yoichi was even smiling.

Hot damn.

He watched as Ichigo squatted in front of the boy and said something that made Yoichi laugh. Grimmjow gave a sideways smirk. It was oddly comforting seeing his godson interacting with the guy he had an interest in. It would make bringing the boy around Ichigo a lot easier.

He yawned and scratched his belly. His body wasn't sore or anything, even after sleeping on Ichigo's couch. "Somethin' smells good."

"Uncle Grimm!" Yoichi shouted as he barreled into Grimmjow. "You're finally up! You slept so long! And you sounded like a bear!"

Grimmjow blushed and glanced at Ichigo, who was on his feet and grinning. "Was I really snoring?"

He never snored.

"Oh, yeah," Ichigo said before turning back to the stove. "You were snorin' alright."

"Yeah!" Yoichi chirped. "Like 'rawwwrrrr'!"

Completely mortified, Grimmjow bent over and scooped the boy up and over his shoulder. Yoichi's head hung over his back as Grimmjow tickled him. "Oh, yeah? Ya makin' fun a'me, now?"

Yoichi was breathless with laughter as he shrieked and squirmed. "It's true! Y-you were!"

"Oh, really? Ya sure about that?" Grimmjow growled as he tickled harder and faster.

"OK, OK! I give up!"

He ended his assault and lowered Yoichi to the floor. "That's what I thought. How ya doin' this mornin'? Sleep good?"

Yoichi nodded, looking happier than Grimmjow had seen him since his parents had passed. "Ichigo's teaching me how to make pancakes!"

Grimmjow met Ichigo's brown eyes and grinned crookedly. "That's nice of him."

Ichigo's resulting blush as he turned back to the stove was entirely too cute. Grimmjow sauntered over to the orange-haired man as Yoichi announced that he had to pee and scampered from the room. He slipped an arm around Ichigo's waist and nuzzled the soft skin of his neck.

"Good morning, honey. Ya know, I can get used to you cookin' for me."

Ichigo's breathing grew fast and shallow as he tilted his head and met Grimmjow's heated gaze. "Shut up," he grumbled before connecting their lips.

Grimmjow grunted and pulled Ichigo back against his chest. He was already hard from just waking up, but feeling that lithe body pressed to his added fuel to the fire. One hand ran up and down Ichigo's abdomen as the other gripped his slim waist. Ichigo moaned as the kiss deepened, but after a few blissful moments, he pulled away.

"This is a bad idea," he murmured.

Grimmjow thought so, too, but also didn't care. He nudged Ichigo's bottom with his stiff manhood. "He doesn't agree with you."

Ichigo moaned again and closed his eyes. "Don't do that. Shit, now I'm all hard. I was doing good this morning, too!" he scolded as he opened his eyes.

Grimmjow smirked. "Hey, I can't be the only one suffering."

"Jerk. Go brush your teeth. I have extra toothbrushes under the sink for you and Yoichi."

He chuckled at the look on Ichigo's face. The man was red as an apple, his scowl fierce. Before Grimmjow separated their bodies, he pressed another kiss to the back of Ichigo's neck. As he was walking away, he smacked the orange-haired man's butt and winked at the incredulous look he received in return.

"You'd make a really good housewife, Ichigo."

He howled with laughter and skipped out of the kitchen, dodging the plastic bowl that had been aimed at his head. Something warm spread throughout his body as he ambled towards the bathroom. He hadn't been lying when he'd made that statement. He could honest-to-goodness see himself coming home to Ichigo every night. Or at least whenever he wasn't working. It was a nice feeling.

"Uncle Grimm, you gotta pee, too?"

Grimmjow stopped in his tracks and looked down at his godson. Yoichi seemed so happy, and it made Grimmjow wonder just what Ichigo had said to the boy to create such a change from last night.

"Yeah, I do. Didja brush yer teeth, yet?"

"Nooo," Yoichi dragged, voice annoyed.

Grimmjow chuckled and ruffled his hair. "Well, gimme a sec ta use the bathroom, and then come in an' brush yer teeth."

He stepped past his godson and entered the bathroom, making a beeline for the toilet. Thankfully, his hard-on had calmed down enough for him not to paint Ichigo's wall with urine. He was in mid-flow, when the cracked open door swung wide. Yoichi still had a hand on the knob, but his eyes were huge and focused directly on Grimmjow's penis.

Grimmjow's face flushed as he stuttered, "U-uh..." his voice trailed off as he tried to think of something intelligent to say. He felt like his mom had caught him with his hand under a girl's skirt. "I-I didn't mean right away, Yo-chi," he mumbled.

"Why's yours so big, Uncle Grimm?" Yoichi squawked. "Mine doesn't look like that!"

He was so uncomfortable with this whole situation. What the hell was he supposed to say? Thank goodness he finished. He shook and tucked himself away before turning to his godson.

"It, uh...well, when you get bigger, yours'll probably do the same thing."

Yoichi arched a skeptical brow, but didn't say anything else. He entered the bathroom, and Grimmjow busied himself finding those toothbrushes Ichigo had told him about. Man, that was fucking awkward.

XxxxxxX

They were at the kitchen table, and Grimmjow was inhaling the food off of his plate. It was so good. He hadn't even come up for air yet. He happened to glance in Ichigo's direction and saw the orange-haired man watching him with wide eyes and raised eyebrows. Finally, he slowed down and wiped his mouth with a paper towel.

"What?" he grunted.

Ichigo seemed startled at being addressed. "W-well, I, uh...you seem pretty hungry there."

"Yeah, Uncle Grimm! Your food's almost gone, and I still have all my pancakes!" Yoichi added.

Grimmjow sighed. "What is this? Double team Grimmjow day?"

Ichigo chuckled and shook his head as he went back to his own food without giving a response. Yoichi, on the other hand, tilted his head to the side.

"Double team? What's that?"

Ichigo cackled this time as he looked up at Grimmjow. "Yeah, Uncle Grimm. What's that?"

That little...

He cleared his throat. "It's, uh, you know...when two people gang up on one person. Sorta like wrestling. You know how they call it tag-team? Same deal."

"Ohhhhhh, I get it," Yoichi said before returning to his food.

Grimmjow locked eyes with Ichigo and mouthed, "You're gonna pay for that."

Ichigo chuckled again, but his eyes were warm and inviting. Grimmjow wanted to drag him across the table and kiss him. Along with some other stuff that would be equally disturbing for his godson to witness. He shook his head and went back to eating. He really needed to fuck his boyfriend, and ASAP. The sexual tension was killing him.

A sudden, loud beeping sounded from the living room, and Grimmjow filled with dread. He still had time off, but if the department was paging him, it had to be big. He sighed and climbed to his feet before stalking to the wall phone he'd spotted in the kitchen. He knew the number by heart, so he dialed and waited for someone to pick up. After two rings, a panicked female voice answered.

"What's goin' on?" he grunted.

"Oh, thank God! Grimmjow, there's a four alarm blaze in the eastern district. Chief says he needs all hands on deck. We're sorry to disturb you, but-"

"Nah, I understand. I'll be there in five."

He hung up the phone and stared at the wall. Who could he call to watch Yoichi for him? He couldn't just leave the kid. A hand on his shoulder made him jump. When he turned, he came face-to-face with syrup-brown eyes and creased orange brows.

"I'll look after Yoichi. You just go do what you gotta do."

Grimmjow frowned, still uncertain. Even though he felt like he could trust Ichigo, he really didn't want to impose. "You sure? I don't know how long I might be gone."

Ichigo waved away his protests and nodded. "They need you right now. I've got this. Besides, Yoichi's pretty good with me, so we'll be fine." Ichigo turned to the little boy watching them from the kitchen table with wide eyes. "Right, buddy?"

Yoichi looked like he wanted to say otherwise, but he slowly nodded. "It's OK, Uncle Grimm. I'll be alright."

Grimmjow didn't have time to consider other options, so he crossed the room in three long strides before stooping to Yoichi's level. He put a hand on the boy's head. "I'll be back as soon as everything's done, OK? I'm not leaving you."

Yoichi grinned. "I know! Ya gotta go be a super hero now."

Grimmjow frowned, confused, but still leaned forward and kissed the boy's hair. "You be good for Ichigo, alright."

"OK."

He stood and faced the orange-haired man, grateful beyond expression for what Ichigo was doing for him. He moved towards the doorway and nodded at his new boyfriend. He really wanted to kiss him and hug him. Who knew what might happen during the blaze? Grimmjow understood the risks that came with his job, and he was prepared to face them as well. But...there was a chance he might not see Ichigo again, and he really didn't want to leave without at least telling the man goodbye. And thank you. He hesitated, not sure what to do in front of his godson. However, Ichigo took the initiative and grasped his arm, leading him to the door. Grimmjow quickly slipped into his sneakers and followed Ichigo into the hallway.

As the door shut behind them, he wrapped his arms around the shorter man and buried his nose in that loud, orange hair. For a while, all they did was stand like that, but time was of the essence. He stepped out of the embrace, still holding onto Ichigo's waist.

"Thank you for doin' this. You don' have to-"

Ichigo cut him off with an urgent kiss. Grimmjow's brows creased as he immediately deepened the connection, his hands tightening their hold on Ichigo's shirt as he pulled him into his chest again. He didn't want to let go.

Ichigo was the one to pull away this time, his eyes bright. "Just, uh...be careful if you can, Grimm."

Grimmjow nodded and kissed him again. He felt bad for putting Ichigo in this predicament, but what else could he do? "I'll see you later," he said, voice quiet and serious.

"You better!" Ichigo called after him.

Grimmjow grinned over his shoulder and jogged towards the exit. He would make sure he made it back to Ichigo and his godson. He had to.

Yes, yes, I know it's been a long time. It's been a long time for all of my updates. However, I haven't changed. I'd still like to know what you thought of the actual chapter LoL. Anyway, thanks for reading!