A Question of Time

Grimmjow watched the gaggle of kids coming out of the school from his vantage place atop of the building, the loathing and disdain he felt for the pathetic creatures clearly etched on his features.

The humans, the weak and stupid humans who carried on with their lives completely unaware of the other worlds around them. The cattle waiting for the predator to arrive, laughing freely in their ignorance.

And with them, trying to be one more among the lowly creatures was him. Trying to blend in, trying to fit and failing miserably.

Even unconsciously the other kids avoided him. They didn't know, they were blind to see the wolf in sheep's clothing hiding in their midst, and yet they felt it.

Grimmjow observed how he moved among them, walking on his own with a pensive expression on his face and a book bag hanging from his shoulder. He looked exactly the same as the last time Grimmjow had seen him, except for the blood.

The blood was a good look on him.

Grimmjow moved from his spot and dropped next to him, unseen. There was a slight falter on his steps, but nothing that signified he had felt Grimmjow approaching.

For some reason, this pissed him off to no end.

"I finally found you, Ichigo," Grimmjow said, leaning close enough to touch him, letting his breath ghost over Ichigo's face. He saw the skin of is neck ripple with a shudder, the way his breath hitched in his chest and his eyes closed for an instant. And then nothing, Ichigo kept walking as if Grimmjow wasn't there, had never been.

Grimmjow clenched his teeth in fury, wanting nothing more than to grab Ichigo and push him down right then and there.

He didn't, instead he matched his pace to Ichigo's and kept talking to him.

"I know you can't see me or hear me. Lost your powers, didn't you, Ichigo? Can't call you Shinigami anymore because you ain't one now."

And that was the crux of the problem. Kurosaki Ichigo, the most powerful Shinigami Grimmjow had had the misfortune to fight against, had sacrificed his powers to win the war. The waste of it all was enough to make Grimmjow want to kill the idiot.

But he wouldn't, because he wasn't like Yammi or Nnoitra, he didn't delight in killing weaklings. Power was what motivated him, power to rival his. And now Ichigo didn't have it.

"But you still feel me, don't you? You know I'm here, you know I'm close and that scares you. I could kill you right now, could break your pathetic little neck without breaking a sweat, and no one would be able to stop me. Least of all you."

Grimmjow observed Ichigo's reaction to the killing intent he let out and the way he increased his pace, forcing his eyes straight ahead. Pretending he didn't feel anything.

It was obvious to Grimmjow that Ichigo, Shinigami powers or not, knew he was there.

"You feel me, you feel my breath on your skin and my energy around you. Don't pretend you don't." Grimmjow smirked, walking next to him until they were out of the main streets, entering back alleys and deserted places. "Is that the reason you've led me here? So I can kill you without witnesses?"

Ichigo stopped, standing still in the middle of a dead end. He closed his eyes, his expression resigned.

"Or do you have other plans in mind?" He leaned forward, his tongue sneaking out to lick the shell of Ichigo's ear. Ichigo's entire body shuddered. "You remember, don't you Ichigo?"

Grimmjow certainly did. He remembered every one of the times they had fought in both Hueco Mundo and Earth. He remembered the blood and the pain and excitement of a worthy enemy.

He also remembered the other moments, the ones in which they weren't fighting. At least, not fighting to kill.

"You think I'd push you down here, when you can't defend yourself and nobody can save you, and fuck you? Maybe that's what you want, to feel me inside of you even if you can't hear me or see me. To be unable to resist me so you can keep telling yourself you don't want this."

Ichigo refused to move or open his eyes, his breathing steady and quiet in the middle of the empty alley. Waiting.

Grimmjow circled around him, his fingertips ghosting touches over Ichigo's neck and face, down his exposed arms. He stopped right in front of him, their faces almost touching, their lips a scant inch apart.

"Not gonna happen, though. You'll get your powers back soon, you can already feel me. And when you do, I'll be there, waiting for you. And then I'll do all those things to you, over and over again. And you won't stop me, even if you can." He moved one of his hands to the nape of Ichigo's neck, brushing his hair, before stepping away from him. "I have all the time in the world, and I'm not going to let you escape. Not this time."

He jumped up, stopping atop of the building and watching Ichigo open his eyes again, a hand moving to the back of his neck and repeating Grimmjow's motion. Ichigo shivered, exhaling a loud breath, and started walking out of the alley again.

Grimmjow watched him from the distance, his lip curling into a smile.

It was taking longer than he thought, but Ichgo's powers were returning.

He had never had any doubt about it, it was just a question of time.

And time was the one thing Grimmjow had to spare.