Chapter Fourteen: Charity.


Stick 'Em Up.

Tensa may have hated rainy days, but Ichigo found them perfect for thinking. It always seemed the world was quieter, less busy, and all he had to do was focus on the sound of individual drops landing here and there, lulling him into a comforting sort of trance.

"Do you think they'll get back together?" Shinji asked, reclining on a couch next to Ichigo with his head dropped on his shoulder. Ichigo shook from his thoughts and peered across the room at Shiro and Tensa, sitting at a small dining table. At the brunet's request, both Ichigo and Shinji had come for support as the couple talked out their next steps. At a glance, it seemed Tensa had a calm expression, but his body was angled toward Shiro, his fingers clenched for one reason or another. Ichigo didn't think Tensa was mad, he hardly ever was, but he was sure that Tensa was trying desperately to keep his emotions at bay.

It had been two weeks since Ichigo had been released from the hospital, and from that time, both he and Tensa resolved to take a break from their partners to figure out what they wanted to do. Over the days, it was clear that Tensa was leaning toward going back with the albino, and Ichigo couldn't honestly blame him. Tensa had told him about how Shiro declared his love before exiting dramatically to –as Shiro calls it- 'save the day'. Ichigo still wouldn't accept the expression, even if Shiro had truly saved his ass, and his life. Shiro didn't have to be his favorite person, and he wouldn't let their differences get in the way of Tensa's happiness. "I don't know," Ichigo answered honestly, idly scratching at the scab left over on his cheek from the cut.

Shinji pulled Ichigo's hand from his face with a scolding look, and then returned his attention to the couple conversing across the room. Not even a full week after Ichigo had been kidnapped and saved, Shinji had dropped his angry front and got back together with a surprisingly apologetic Nnoitra. At one point, Ichigo had actually seen the tall man do something akin to begging, though Nnoitra was not aware that Ichigo had been at Shinji's place at the time, just around the corner as they talked at the front door. Shinji had closed the door in Nnoitra's face, grinning from ear to ear because he knew that eventually, he would take the guy back, and he did just that two days afterward. Shinji only meant to make him suffer, but it had been taking a toll on him as well.

Ichigo shook his head, stifling a laugh. If only it were so easy for him to forgive Grimmjow. He hadn't contacted the blunet once since he'd been discharged because he felt he had some big decisions to make, and deciding if they were still in a relationship was only one of them. A part of him did feel bad for shutting the man out after he'd risked his life, but that didn't change the fact that their entire relationship had been built on a lie. It was hard for Ichigo to guess how different things would be now. Would Grimmjow be less guarded without the added pressure of an assignment, or more, because he had no outside incentive to gain Ichigo's trust?

Ichigo sighed loudly. He couldn't make Grimmjow wait forever, but he didn't want to make a decision until he was positive. He'd only just made the decision to take part in Kisuke's operation, and that was sure to make a change in his daily life. There was training he had to do and adjustments to be made. In addition, the pressure to make a choice about Grimmjow doubled when Ichigo found out that the blunet, along with his two friends, would be joining Kisuke also. It seemed that the blond bar owner was commandeering most of Sosuke's employees and giving the rest an ultimatum.

Yammy and Zommari defected immediately with Kenpachi quick behind them, finding no interest in clean business. Kisuke let them go under the promise that they'd no longer contact Sosuke, but he had them being watched just in case. Ichigo had even heard that Kaname and Ulquiorra took Kisuke's offer to switch teams, seeing as Sosuke's had all but dispersed, and the only other option was to disappear. They were allowed to join only with a recommendation from Starrk saying that it was worth giving them a chance. Kisuke agreed so long as he could keep them under very close surveillance.

It did not seem as if Kisuke meant to take everything from Sosuke as the man had once done to him years before. But Seven was mostly stripped from him, and the blond intended to return the business back to its original purpose, using the foundation he'd been slowly building over the years. Ichigo wasn't sure about many of the details quite yet, but he'd be filled in when necessary. Security within the bar had been increased tenfold, and all of the new members were to be heavily screened and tested, which meant Ichigo was still going to be out of the picture until things settled enough to give him the close training and education that he needed to fully understand his new job. At the very least, he was relieved to know that through the process, he would be able to prevent situations like the ones that put him and his friends in danger. Maybe next time, he could be the one saving the day.

Ichigo snorted. It all sounded very adventurous and exciting, but it was going to be a big change from his relaxing life. It almost seemed like too much to stack a relationship on top of it all, but he knew that a close connection like he'd had with Grimmjow wouldn't be anything like a burden. On a job or not, Grimmjow had supported and comforted him, and genuinely made his life a hell of a lot more enjoyable. But could Ichigo really trust the man?

It felt as Ichigo he were floating somewhere in the middle of his old life and new one. Shinji and Tensa had also been offered positions by Kisuke, but they'd turned them down. Shinji loved his job, and Tensa preferred the simple bartending occupation and the freedom it gave him to paint. With Grimmjow, Kisuke, Zan and plenty of others now working under the little bar, Ichigo wondered how he'd ever balance his life. He supposed it would be just another thing he had to ask Zan about when he was given the chance.

Ichigo had been spending a lot of time with the family lately, and was present when his father decided to share some of what was going on with Yuzu and Karin. Both Isshin and Ichigo had come to the agreement that it was better that the girls know, so that something like what had happened to Ichigo would not repeat with them in the line of trouble.

"You still in there?" Shinji prodded, sliding down to rest his head in Ichigo's lap.

Ichigo nodded absently, closing his eyes. "He said that he loved him."

"Who?" Shinji turned on his side and studied Tensa's expression across the room. The brunet looked to be a bit happier now, which was good news. "Tensa said that?"

"No, Shiro did to Tensa. Before he came help me." Ichigo twisted his mouth a bit just saying the words. He didn't like to think about that day or how helpless he had been. Tapping his fingers on Shinji's shoulder, he gave half smile and sat up a little straighter. "I think I'll go home now, I have some thinking to do."

Grimmjow didn't even bother answering the door, he knew his visitor would barge in anyway. It seemed the popular thing to do of late- storm into Grimmjow's house and attempt to reassure him about Ichigo's lack of contact with him. Or tease him, which was the more common of the two.

Looking up when he heard the door click, Grimmjow was surprised to see Starrk in his living room with Gin right behind him. "Oh, it's you," he mumbled and lifted a beer bottle to his lips. He'd admit that he probably looked like shit. A weeks' worth of blue scruff darkened his face and tired circles had formed around his sleepless eyes. The only reason his place wasn't a mess was because he had nothing better to do but clean until Kisuke made the right arrangements to start training him to be a fancy schmancy body guard. Grimmjow's clothes could use a change, but he didn't smell, he didn't think. He sniffed casually to be sure, and then snarled at his guests. "Come to laugh at me for losing everything in a days' time?"

"And for comin' outta the closet," Gin teased, chuckling at his expense.

Oh right, Grimmjow rolled his eyes, that was still new information to Gin.

"Actually," Starrk said, clearing his throat, "I thought I should apologize for not confiding in you earlier. It's just that you were so invested in your job that I couldn't be sure which side of the fence you'd come down on."

"You really think I'd pick that weasel over you, Coyote?" Grimmjow snapped, bending to smack his empty bottle down on the table in front of him.

Stark smirked and sat on the couch, smoothing a hand through his hair. "Need I remind you that you didn't know he was a weasel until after he manipulated you, and you fell-" Starrk stopped abruptly and seemed to rethink his words.

"No, you can say it," Grimmjow kicked his feet up next to the empty bottle and crossed his arms behind his head. "I fell for Ichigo and look what it got me! All alone with a lower paying job! Yay?"

"You can't honestly believe that he won't come around?" Starrk chided, patting the blunet on the arm. "You have to understand that he doesn't know who to trust anymore. The majority of his family has been lying to him for half of his life, and then he finds out the man he loves was assigned to spy on him."

"Not to mention that it'll take a lotta convincing from his friends to get him to come crawling back!" Gin put in.

"Okay, I get it! But you know the one thing that bothers me the most?"

"Wha's that?"

Grimmjow ignored Gin, turning to Starrk. "Why did Ulquiorra warn me? Wasn't he closer with Sosuke than any of us?"

"Well,.." Starrk paused. "It's hard to tell what goes on in his mind, but I don't believe that he was ever the blind follower you may have thought him to be."

"Hn, well that's a fucking shock. I always figured he had his nose so far up Sosuke's ass that he couldn't see anything but bullshit."

Starrk chuckled, shaking his head.


"No, nothing," the brunet threw his hands in the air in surrender, but it still earned him a glare from Grimmjow.

Gin stepped in front of the couch, plopping right down on the table in front of Grimmjow with his grin ever widening. "I think what Starrk here is laughing about is the fact that even as the second ranked, you were unable to read the fourth."

"Tch," Grimmjow dropped his arms and crossed them over his chest. "I guess not."

Ichigo turned his face away from the stream and yawned loudly, the sound covered by the run of water from his shower. He'd slept in later than he meant to, but it didn't matter all that much since he didn't have to work for the next couple of days. He grabbed a bottle of shampoo and started scrubbing it into his hair, closing his eyes and stepping back so his head wasn't under the water. It felt good to be able to lift his right arm without cringing anymore. It took some time for the soreness and most of the scrapes and bruises he'd gotten to fade away. Two scars could still be found on either side of his calf, and a shiny sliver of pink skin still stood out on his cheek from the cut. Ichigo had broken it open at least one more time before the nurses came to stitch it properly, and that had hurt like a bitch.

Everything after leaving the hospital was kind of fuzzy for him. He'd gone back to working at Benihime's as soon as Kisuke would let him, glad to have something to do to pass the time. As a result, Ichigo had ended up clocking a lot of hours at the bar, which meant plenty of time with Kisuke. The up side of that was that he was allowed in on a couple of conversations that cleared up some of his questions about what would happen with Seven.

Once Starrk and Gin were revealed as unloyal to Sosuke, it became obvious how few of his subordinates actually were on his side. In the end, Kisuke had decided to allow the man to participate. Apparently, his worth ethic at least did have its merits, and his ideas weren't completely without sense. However, Sosuke would serve as merely an advisor to Kisuke, with all of his movements being closely monitored. Starrk was given the task to look after Sosuke and keep him on his toes, which wasn't all that different from what he was doing before anyway.

The change had happened a lot more smoothly than Ichigo thought it would. It turned out that Gin's information and personal leverage on Sosuke was one hell of a deal breaker. Poor Sosuke, Ichigo almost felt bad for him, up until he heard that he was actually planning to stay with Gin romantically. Ichigo wasn't even sure how that was going to work, but he didn't want to know. Apparently, Gin wasn't quite as heartless as he was made to be?

With more individuals available for Kisuke to send out for jobs, more money was coming in and thus more clients were gained. Over the weeks, there was talk of making the company public and truly bringing Sosuke's father's dreams to light as they were meant to be instead of hiding them away underneath a bar. No concrete plans were made yet, just talk.

After their recent talk, Tensa and Shiro had unsurprisingly started dating again, but with every one of Tensa's friends ready to jump down Shiro's throat if he dared so much as lie to the brunet ever again. Ichigo knew that he personally would love to be there to give the albino a close look at just how unprincess-like he could be when not injured.

Ichigo had spent the last couple days taking advantage of the private beach behind Zan and Kisuke's house, reminding himself of his passion and using the peace there to think. While he was there, Ichigo kept replaying Zan's words over and over, and those of Grimmjow's before he left him alone per request. The look in Grimmjow's eyes when Ichigo told him to give him time was one of the most painful he'd ever seen. But Ichigo knew he had to think this over. Maybe the others felt better about taking their men back because they weren't given jobs to pry into their lives, but Ichigo still felt a little strange. His friend's relationships were mostly based on honest interactions, a beginning and meeting that was without pretense, whereas Ichigo only met Grimmjow because Grimmjow was paid to meet him.

In the end, it all came back to Grimmjow's words in the hospital. The ones that made Ichigo's skin warm from just the memory.

"…and the hardest thing I have ever had to do was watch you walk away the other night because you thought I didn't care."

Ichigo smiled as he rinsed the shampoo from his hair, running fingers idly through his bangs while the water poured onto his face. He had come to a final decision the day before, and now he was completely certain about his choice. It still made him nervous though, and anxious. No matter what he did, Grimmjow's words would haunt him. The blunet had frequently shown up in Ichigo's dreams causing him to wake up sweating quite a few times. It wasn't the nightmare sort of sweat, but the heated kind where he sat up with panting breaths and arousal restricting his underwear. Just thinking about it made it difficult to concentrate on anything.

After rinsing himself off and finishing up in the shower, Ichigo pulled back the curtain and reached for a towel, using it to wipe himself off before draping it around his waist. When he turned to pull the shower curtain shut, he felt a cool breeze at his back and was just about to turn when something cold pressed against his spine at the small of his back. A chill raced through his body and pulled a gasp from his lips as he froze, panic spreading throughout his veins and lifting his stomach into his throat. He knew that familiar press of metal. It was a weapon, and not only that, but a gun.

It was for a short couple of seconds that Ichigo stood there before a rough voice sounded in his ear with a dangerous edge that made his toes curl into the fluffy bathroom mat beneath his feet. Ichigo's shoulders did drop half an inch in relief, but he could still feel the bite of steel against the skin of his back, pressing harder as the attacker spoke. A mixed rush of fear and arousal swept through him at just the thought, and he found himself glad he'd agreed ahead of time to try this out. This time, with Grimmjow ready and the gun unloaded.

"G'morning," a low voice greeted.

Shivers chased up and down Ichigo's spine again and his eyes fell shut.

"Sure did take your time in the shower, didn't you?" Grimmjow asked, whispering warm breath out onto the nape of Ichigo's neck.

"W-what do you want?" Ichigo asked, breathing harshly from his nose when soft lips followed the ridge of his right ear. Even though he'd expected this, he couldn't believe it was actually happening. He should have been screaming or scrambling for his life, but instead, he was just short of gasping for breath and the steam in the room was only helping the cause of making him sweat. Water dripped from his hair down his face and ran along his body as if seeking return to the ground. The blunet behind him hummed softly and Ichigo felt the tickle of breath in his hair as a nose buried into his damp locks.

Grimmjow breathed in deep and slow, eyes fluttering at the fresh scent of Ichigo's newly washed hair. He'd been debating with himself about taking this approach, but after remembering the way Ichigo's eyes lit with heat back at his house when he first saw the weapon, Grimmjow knew there was more to be explored there, that he could maybe have some fun with that side of the tangerine. Who could have known Ichigo would shudder so violently? That the redhead would be on the verge of moaning just from the sheer thrill of being held up like this? Grimmjow didn't bother answering Ichigo's question. He knew that Ichigo understood, but there was something in particular he was hoping to get out of this.

"Damn," Grimmjow purred. "Your scent.." He nipped at Ichigo's shower warmed skin and licked a couple flecks of water away.

Ichigo frowned and craned his neck "What? I just showered!" He started to lift an arm, but Grimmjow captured it and brought it back down.

"I know. Quit squirming," Grimmjow breathed in deeply once more and sighed. The fingers of his free hand rubbed up and down Ichigo's arm, touching so lightly that Ichigo shuddered twice, biting back a groan.

Grimmjow could see the blush breaking out on Ichigo's skin and smirked. He dropped the hand to grab the back of Ichigo's towel covered thigh and follow the curve of his butt until he met the skin of his back. The hand circled around to splay over Ichigo's chest and pull the redhead back. Grimmjow lifted the gun higher to press under the edge of Ichigo's shoulder blade while he nuzzled beneath his ear. "I'm going to fuck you, Ichigo."

The rumbling words had Ichigo's legs and spine feeling like jelly, his eyes so heavy he couldn't open them. His head dropped back, lips parting in a silent moan. If Grimmjow had let him go, he might have slipped to the floor and died there happily. "Is th-that so?" he asked.

"Mm. Right after you dance for me," Grimmjow said.

Ichigo blanched and his eyes fluttered open, blinking at the ceiling. "Dance?"

"Is there something else you could offer right now?"

"But I don't- You want me to dance with my injuries?"

"Yeah, that's what I'm saying. Besides, I waited weeks for you to heal," Grimmjow pressed a kiss on Ichigo's shoulder as if in example.

"No, you waited weeks for me to decide I wanted anything to do with a liar," Ichigo couldn't help the bitterness in his words.

"Don't remind me," Those had been the longest weeks in Grimmjow's life. What made it even worse was that Nnoitra got Shinji to take him back much quicker and the two weren't exactly hiding that fact from anyone. Neither were Shiro and Tensa, though they weren't so obvious about it.

"But you let me stay over last night," Grimmjow said. He dropped a hand over Ichigo's hip bone and traced the hollow area with his fingertips. "And I even behaved myself," He slipped two fingers under the towel Ichigo wore and traced the lower area of his belly. "Just dance for me."

Ichigo whined over a chewed lip when he felt Grimmjow press his body firmly against his bare back.

"Show me what that blondie taught you, Ichigo," Grimmjow pressed harder with the gun for emphasis. "Move for me," A hand wrapped around Ichigo's hip once more and Grimmjow swayed side to side, holding Ichigo close.

Ichigo swallowed and closes his eyes. He could feel Grimmjow's hot skin on his own through his clothes, his hardness through his pants. "N-not here!"

"Yes, here."


"Come on. I've been patient enough as it is."

Ichigo sighed. Grimmjow had been good and waited without pushing until he called. "Okay, I'll dance for you, but- Ah!" Ichigo gasped as Grimmjow's hand loosened his towel and it dropped around his feet. "I have one condition," he said shakily.

"Condition?" Grimmjow frowned. He didn't like the sound of that.

A couple of minutes later, a much dryer Ichigo was moving around his bedroom. Doing what, Grimmjow wasn't sure. The blunet sat in a padded chair Ichigo had insisted he bring in from the dining room, and he was facing the end of the bed. Blue eyes were trained on the undressed tangerine as he set something on the bed sheets and then turned toward him.

Grimmjow felt his dick twitch at the sight; Ichigo in all his naked glory with a little smirk tugging at the corner of those soft, pink lips. Grimmjow hadn't been able to get a good look before, but now he could see that Ichigo must have shaved during that shower he took. Apart from Ichigo's bare face, the area just above Ichigo's half awakened erection was completely smooth. Grimmjow licked his lips with a hungry look in his eyes. He had no idea how much he favored clean shaved men until that moment. Ichigo looked positively edible and it took Grimmjow reminding himself that he wanted Ichigo to come to him to keep himself rooted in the chair.

Deciding to distract himself before he lost his patience, Grimmjow sat forward and tugged his shirt over his head, tossing it on the floor and spreading his legs in a welcoming gesture as he waited for Ichigo to start.

The condition Ichigo had mentioned in the bathroom was that he was given the chance to dry off -at least for the most part, because his hair was still damp- and he wanted to do all of the dancing in his bedroom where he felt more comfortable and less likely to slip and fall on his face. That way, Ichigo had more room and a couple of minutes to mentally prepare himself for what he was about to do.

Ichigo knew that when Grimmjow said he wanted him to dance, he didn't just mean the relatively tamed rocking back and forth they were doing in front of the shower. Grimmjow wanted to see the sort of dancing Shinji had taught him. But Ichigo was having a hard time remembering all of the tips the blond had given him and he hadn't ever actually performed in front of anyone. Ichigo wasn't normally the nervous type in the bedroom and considering Grimmjow was technically the least experienced in the room, he shouldn't have been worried. This felt different though. Just having Grimmjow's eyes on him made Ichigo feel incredibly vulnerable and it had been weeks since he'd seen him at all. It certainly didn't help that Grimmjow looked so smug, sitting in the chair like a cat that got the cream.

"Are you going to do it this year, or what?" Grimmjow asked, quirking a brow at Ichigo's fidgeting form. Ichigo looked up with a nod, moving over and then standing behind the chair Grimmjow sat in. It took a moment for Grimmjow to realize that Ichigo was doing something in the closet behind him, and then he felt two hands drop down on his shoulders.

Ichigo bent over to lightly brush his lips on the blunet's cheek, smiling when Grimmjow inhaled sharply. For all Grimmjow's outward confidence, the blunet was still new to having a guy touch him. Ichigo made sure to memorize all of the surprised and hesitant moments Grimmjow had because he knew that eventually, the blunet would get over it.

Ichigo squeezed his shoulders lightly, lips still seeking Grimmjow's, and when Grimmjow turned his head to accept the kiss, Ichigo let his hands fall down Grimmjow's arms, slowly pulling them back behind the chair. Before Grimmjow could question it, Ichigo stifled his voice with his tongue until he snapped Grimmjow's wrists together tight. Grimmjow cursed when he felt something smooth and cool sliding over his skin.

"What the hell are you doing?" Grimmjow growled, pulling from the kiss and tossing a look over his shoulder. He couldn't see, but he could feel something being wound around his arms up from his wrists. Soon, whatever Ichigo was using was fastened behind Grimmjow's elbows, holding them tightly together behind him. Grimmjow shifted and squirmed to free himself, but he'd reacted too late. "Uh, Ichigo?"

Ichigo smirked, watching Grimmjow for a moment to be sure he wouldn't get free. He'd worried that a belt wouldn't work, but he'd somehow managed to get it right on the first try. Dancing wasn't the only thing Shinji had taught him, after all. Just to be safe, he grabbed another belt and secured the one around Grimmjow's arms to one of the back legs of the chair he sat in. It wouldn't do to have Grimmjow simply stand up and start stumbling around the room, angry with his arms behind his back, though it did make Ichigo smirk just to think about it.

With the belt effectively pinning Grimmjow to the chair without use of his arms, it served perfectly as a way to keep Grimmjow at least somewhat under control while Ichigo went about the rest of his quickly formed plan. Ichigo wanted to do this right, and now that he had agreed to a dance, he wasn't about to back down or let Grimmjow ruin it by getting impatient and making him stop. Then again, dancing wasn't all he had planned.

Ichigo turned back to the closet, and from one of the built in dressers, he grabbed a pair of his tightest boxer briefs, one of the Calvin Klein sort with a thick waist band and hardly any room for his already stirring erection. He slipped them on and adjusted himself, chewing his lip when he craned his neck to see how they hugged his ass and rode high around his thighs like teensy, white shorts. When Ichigo was sure he was set, he stepped around in front of Grimmjow's chair and grinned at the indignant set of his face. "Something wrong, Grimmjow?"

"Oh, I don't know. Maybe the fact that I'm stuck to this chair? And what's with the underwear? I thought you were going to dance for me."

"Did you say I had to be naked?" Ichigo asked. "I don't think you did," Ichigo backed up slowly until he pressed against the closest corner of his bed and raised his hands to hook around the tall bedpost. He saw Grimmjow's lips twitch in amusement and he nodded slowly. "Yeah, interested now, aren't you?"

Grimmjow snorted and tried to shift in the chair again, only to find it was uncomfortable to slouch with his arms pulled so tightly behind his back. "Was this really necessary?" he asked, frowning when the belt buckle pinched at the skin behind his arm. "Do I scare you that much?"

"You did hold a gun to me, in case you forgot. But…maybe I just want to have my way with you," Ichigo bent his knees and slowly slid down with his back against the bedpost, legs spreading and giving Grimmjow something better to focus on besides bitching. When Ichigo was down in a squatting position with legs wide apart, he dropped one hand down and cupped himself, rocking his hips into it and groaning while tipping his head back. Ichigo thought he heard a distinct 'fuck' and gave himself another slow, lingering stroke before straightening up and shaking the hair from his eyes.

Ichigo turned to face the bedpost, rolling his body against it and closing his eyes when his cock slid against the smooth wood. He didn't expect it to feel so good, and after hearing Grimmjow's heavy breathing from where he sat a few feet away, Ichigo felt all the more confident about going through with this.

Slowing a little, Ichigo peeked over to see instead of just hear how Grimmjow was doing and nearly dropped his jaw at what he found. The blunet had his head tilted back to rest on the top edge of the seat back, his lips were parted and both piercing blue eyes were gleaming from under dark, lowered lashes. Grimmjow's pants were tented with an impressive bulge and his legs were stretched out almost completely straight. Ichigo could see the veins and sleek muscles straining in Grimmjow's arms as he struggled against the bindings, clearly impatient.

Just as Ichigo was about to turn and provide a better view of his rear, Grimmjow's rumbling, hungry voice stopped him on the spot.

"You enjoy torturing me, don't you?" Grimmjow drew his feet closer to the chair, bending his knees and struggling to sit up straighter. "Or do you just love showing off how slutty you are in those little panties of yours?"

Ichigo let his eyes roll back and ground harder against the post to distract himself. He could feel his cock pulse in reaction to the words and frowned when he turned to face Grimmjow with a damp spot showing around the head of his cock. "They aren't panties, jackass."

"Hn," Grimmjow grunted, and despite how much he meant for it to be sarcastic, his voice came out as almost breathless. "Want me to get you some then? I bet you'd like that, wouldn't you? Prancing around in girly underwear," Grimmjow groaned at the images that summoned in his mind. If he was honest, he'd be just fine seeing Ichigo wearing some silk panties, watching them stretch around his hard cock and- what the fuck was wrong with him?

Ichigo hadn't expected his words to turn him on so much. "Is that what you want, Grimmjow? he licked his lips. "Would seeing me wear them make you feel better about what's underneath?" Ichigo turned again, sitting himself on the edge of the bed and parting his thighs. "Or maybe you've gotten used to the fact that I've got a cock. You certainly liked it back in your room," Ichigo's tone dropped an octave while he spoke. One hand was braced on the mattress behind him and the other came up to shift his trapped erection so that the head poked out under the waist band, wet and swollen. "I bet you want it now, don't you?"

Grimmjow let out a long, drawn out groan and Ichigo could actually see his dick jerk in his pants. "Yeah, you do." Ichigo spread himself further and pressed the heel of his palm against his shaft, fingers dipping down to cup his balls and roll them gently.

"Fuck, Ichigo," Grimmjow twisted himself left and right and growled when the belt didn't loosen any from his attempts. "Would you just let me go? You're off the hook for the dance!"

Ichigo smirked and slid off the bed, stepping over and watching Grimmjow's face flush hopefully. "Let you go?" He bent forward and rubbed a hand down Grimmjow's bare chest, following it to his pants and tugging on the waistband. "So you can have me however you want?"

Grimmjow nodded and lifted his hips. "You're practically dripping. I know you want this," Grimmjow rolled his eyes back when Ichigo traced two fingers over the fly on his pants. He swallowed and took a deep breath. "Ichigo, take this thing off of my arms."

Even if he didn't say it, Ichigo could hear the 'please' in Grimmjow's voice. It made his gut tighten and he unzipped Grimmjow's pants, gingerly reaching in and taking out his heavy length. "I hardly even danced and you're ready to go," Ichigo grinned, giving it a soft tug, surprised at easily his hand moved. Pre-come was freely trailing down from the tip and Ichigo smeared it along his shaft before letting go and stepping away again. Grimmjow let out a sound between a whine and a growl in protest and Ichigo smirked, turning his back to the blunet as he faced the foot of the bed. Ichigo lifted a small container he'd placed there earlier and twisted the lid off before coating his fingers in gel.

Grimmjow watched, wondering what Ichigo was up to. When the redhead turned his head, he gave a quick little wink that Grimmjow almost missed. Then, Ichigo used his clean hand to reach down and tug the back of his briefs down, showing off his firm, round ass. Before Grimmjow could even wrap his mind around that sweet, curved temptation, Ichigo reached back with one hand and bent himself over the edge of the bed, legs straight, and butt up in the air. Ichigo parted his cheeks and delved between, pressing two slicked fingers against his opening. Grimmjow's eyes widened comically and he bit down on his lip near to the point of breaking skin. Ichigo's head turned to the side and stared him with glazed eyes as his two fingers slipped into his tight hole.

"God damn, Ichigo," Grimmjow couldn't contain it. He hardly recognized his own voice as he spat the first words his brain could produce.

Ichigo's thumb and pinky spread his cheeks further while his pointer and middle finger sank deep inside him then spread apart. Ichigo let slip a tiny whine as he stretched himself and his eyes fell shut as he rocked back against his own hand. Ichigo felt a bit strange, putting on the small show for Grimmjow when he'd been asked to dance instead, but he shook it off, knowing the effort would be worth the reward. Pulling his fingers back out, Ichigo forced himself to reopen his eyes and stared at Grimmjow's face, his half sagging body and pulsing erection. Grimmjow sat there cursing and muttering hot little comments that made Ichigo all the more hard and ready to take him right then and there. He knew he had to draw it out a little longer for what he wanted, but was starting to feel even more impatient than Grimmjow looked.

Pressing his ring finger against the other two wet ones, Ichigo spread his legs a little further and shoved the three of them in. Ichigo twisted his hand and arched his back, rocking into it and moaning loudly with abandon. Grimmjow groaned behind him and Ichigo knew the blunet was nearly at his limit. He heard Grimmjow struggling helplessly against the restraints and tried to hide his grin in the bed sheets. "Don't you want me, Grimmjow?" Ichigo panted, licking his lips and turning his face to stare back at the struggling blunet. "Why don't you come and get it?"

Grimmjow growled lowly and Ichigo caught the flash of anger in his eyes. That was what he was looking for, hoping for all this time. Just a little bit more.. Ichigo curled his fingers and rubbed his prostate, mewling loudly and arching his body into the touch. "Nnh, Grimmjow!" he moaned, caressing that spot again. Grimmjow was practically shouting behind him now and Ichigo waited another moment, withdrawing his fingers and standing up to slowly walk back over to Grimmjow with slightly shaky legs.

Ichigo grabbed the thick waistband of his underwear and then gave it a little shove, just enough to loosen them from his thighs and drop them to his feet. His erection jutted away from his belly as it was freed, leaving a damp smear glistening on the skin. Ichigo licked at his lips and pushed Grimmjow's knees together to sit down on his thighs. Grimmjow moaned at the contact and gave the belt another pointless tug.

Grimmjow glanced at his weapon across the room, lying on Ichigo's bedside dresser, just as harmless as when he'd stepped into Ichigo's bathroom with the clip and chamber empty. Grimmjow didn't think he'd ever wanted a person so badly before. Ichigo had him at his will and just that thought unsettled Grimmjow's stomach. Being trapped and without a plan was not a situation he was ever comfortable with, especially when he was damned horny and not even a foot away from what he wanted. "Can we get past this teasing bullshit and just fucking…fuck?"

Ichigo tilted his head curiously, directing his eyes down on Grimmjow's lap. "Do you always get this wet?" he asked, ignoring Grimmjow's question. Ichigo traced a finger around the smooth head of Grimmjow's member and bit his lip, pulling his hand away with a thin strand of pre-come attached until it broke. He smirked and touched it again, watching Grimmjow twist and struggle beneath his teasing caress. "You know, I thought that maybe the lotion you kept by your bed was for jerking off, but it doesn't look like you even need it."

Grimmjow chuckled lowly and tilted his head down, eyes shrouded by sweat dampened bangs. "I don't normally have a naked cock tease hanging around to motivate me."

Ichigo smirked and nodded. "Did you like my dance, Grimmjow? Do you want more?"

Grimmjow groaned and lifted his hips, urging Ichigo to do more than just draw light circles around the head of his erection. "What I want is for you to untie me."

"Is that so? Oh, I guess I could.." Ichigo leaned forward, lifting both hands to rub Grimmjow's involuntarily flexed biceps, sliding along taut skin over firm muscle. "Hmm…" he hummed softly, lingering near enough to Grimmjow's neck to have him dropping his head to the side in offering. Ichigo blew on the skin, still faintly yellow with fading bruises, and he watched Grimmjow shudder as a result of his indecision.

"Nah," Ichigo said at last, drawing his hands back and planting them on Grimmjow's cock once more. He jerked it firmly, not giving the blunet a chance to complain. Grimmjow moaned instead and Ichigo scooted forward in his lap, letting his own dick sit inches away, swelling with each sweet moan he drew from Grimmjow. "You sound so good," Ichigo murmured, leaving wet kisses over Grimmjow's bruised neck. "Almost as good as when I was inside you."

Ichigo slowed his hand, gripping Grimmjow loosely and steadying his feet on the ground. "Do you remember how that felt, Grimmjow?"

Grimmjow's head fell back again and he let out a strangled, frustrated groan. "Damn it, Ichigo. Let me fucking go! I need to come and you're …fuck."

Ichigo felt Grimmjow pulse in his hand and looked down, almost afraid he'd finished too soon. He hadn't, though, and Ichigo smirked. "Fuck, what? What do you want?"

Grimmjow grit his teeth and growled, jerking his hips upward and still twisting his arms and hands to try and escape the damn belt. "I want to fuck you, that's what! I want to fuck that stupid smirk right off your face."

Ichigo merely smiled and began to stroke Grimmjow faster, making the blunet writhe beneath him and let out half muffled, sexy whines. "Well, when you put it like that.." Ichigo teased, trailing off and pressing a thumbnail down on the slit. Then Ichigo suddenly stopped with this hand and gripped the base of Grimmjow's cock, rising up on his feet and breathing in deeply. He waited for the attention of Grimmjow's lidded eyes before dropping himself down, taking Grimmjow in to the hilt and throwing his head back with a deep throated moan.

Both of them gasped together, breathing harshly as Ichigo adjusted to the quick intrusion and Grimmjow enjoyed the sudden heat and tightness surrounding him.

Meanwhile, Grimmjow couldn't control his voice anymore. Nothing but incomprehensible, half formed words made it past his lips. It was lucky Ichigo still hadn't let go of his cock because he thought he might have come right then if he hadn't been held so tightly as Ichigo impaled himself like that.

"Did you like that?" Ichigo purred, loosening his grip on Grimmjow and pulling his hand away. He still didn't move, knowing they both needed the pause. Ichigo bent for a soft kiss, licking and sucking Grimmjow's lips while he settled down. He considered how Grimmjow must have felt, unable to do anything with his hands, and smiled against his mouth. Grimmjow couldn't be blamed for needing a second, but Ichigo was aching to move. "You okay?"

"Holy shit," was all Grimmjow managed say, his eyes finally peeking open and arms giving another jerk behind him.

Ichigo chuckled and bent forward, shivering as Grimmjow shifted inside him. He leaned against the blunet's chest, burying his face in his neck. "Ready?"

Grimmjow took a deep breath and twitched his hips upward. Ichigo took that as a yes and wrapped his arms around Grimmjow's neck while using his feet planted on the ground to lift and then drop on the thick length beneath him.

Grimmjow's back arced away from the chair and one of his arms snapped forward in reflex to grab Ichigo. It was still restrained, but he felt something give and groaned loudly, lifting his hips while Ichigo dropped on him again. As much as Grimmjow loved watching Ichigo use him like his own personal toy, he wanted more, wanted to flip him over and- shit, his hand was free. What the fuck was he waiting for? Grimmjow bit his lip, took one last look at Ichigo's flushed face while shaking his arms the rest of the way out of the belt, then he grabbed Ichigo's waist and unceremoniously pulled him off and shoved him to the floor.

Ichigo fell with a thump and a cut-off yelp, looking up at Grimmjow like he'd just grown another head.

"When did you-?"

Grimmjow was on the redhead before he could finish the question, pinning his arms on either side of his head and ravaging his neck, his cock still ramrod straight and dripping down on Ichigo's belly. "I was going to go easy on you, you know," Grimmjow said, biting down on Ichigo's shoulder and moving down to suck one of his nipples between his teeth, clamping down on it and watching Ichigo squirm because of the rough treatment "But now…" Grimmjow sat back and pulled Ichigo's lower half into his lap, rubbing hands over his inner thighs.

Fuck, he's beautiful, Grimmjow thought, licking his lips. He dipped a hand down to guide himself back in and watched Ichigo's face while he teased him with the tip. "Ready?" Grimmjow mocked, pressing it in and then pulling back out.

Ichigo nodded eagerly, trying to get his feet on the ground to move closer, but Grimmjow held him still.

"You sure?" Grimmjow let the head slip back in and groaned at the sight of his own cock tucked inside Ichigo's rear.

Ichigo whined and reached up, trying to grab at Grimmjow or sit down on him further. Frustrated, tangerine mumbled a 'yes' and then fell back, tossing his head side to side with an arm coming up over his face. "Grimmjow, now!"

Grimmjow didn't need much more convincing. He hunched forward and rolled his hips, burying himself the rest of the way while leaning down to grab the carpet on either side of Ichigo's body. Grimmjow quickly adopted a relentless pace, at first just wanting the friction of fucking, Ichigo's tight heat closing around his cock, then he craved more. Grimmjow needed Ichigo wailing, screaming out his name, so he angled his hips and thrust upward, watching the redheads face for any change. On this third go, Ichigo's mouth went wide with a deep groan.

Ichigo felt Grimmjow's gaze slide away from his face as the blunet bent forward, lips brushing against his cheek and curling with a smirk as he got the hang of things. Every time the blunet pulled back, Ichigo thought he might slip out. Then Grimmjow would deliver another deep stroke to his prostate that would have him clawing at Grimmjow's back and with his head lolling back.

Ichigo didn't know how Grimmjow knew this position would get him deeper and harder, but he wasn't going to complain. He couldn't remember the last time he'd been sought after so fervently. It was what he wanted to begin with, when he decided to tease Grimmjow into breaking out of the belt. Ichigo knew it was only a matter of time before the blunet somehow squirmed or worked his way out of it, and by that time, Grimmjow would be over any anxiety or doubts and ready to go with no holds barred.

Grimmjow kept a fast pace until his legs ached, drawing each gasping moan and grunt out of Ichigo like he needed them to breathe and watching his face twist in pleasure and dampen with sweat. With each rough drive of his hips, Ichigo was starting to scoot across the floor, so Grimmjow got his knees under him again and wrapped an arm under Ichigo's back, pulling him into each thrust.

Ichigo bucked into him harder after the shift in position, shivering at the tickle of stubble against his cheek as Grimmjow panted near his ear. Wrapping his legs tight around Grimmjow's waist, Ichigo locked his ankles behind him and buried his face in his neck, muffling his moans and cries of pleasure. Grimmjow shifted his angle slightly to hit more accurately and continuously, and Ichigo felt his breath catch as the other man's warm stomach brushed rapidly against his straining cock.

Ichigo licked his lips and shoved his hands into Grimmjow's hair, yanking him down and crushing their lips together. "Ahh- don't- don't stop!" he whined, closing his eyes tight and moaning as Grimmjow kissed all over his face and down his neck. "Need," he mumbled, panting for breath, "Grimmjow, more!"

Grimmjow frowned, but didn't stop, wondering if Ichigo was just begging him to keep going, or if he needed something else. Closing his eyes, he imagined what Ichigo had done when he topped. He remembered needing to be touched, wanting those few final tugs to take him over. Smirking to himself, Grimmjow sucked on Ichigo's neck, leaving blooming red spots in his wake and shifted to rest on his elbow while reaching down with his other hand. His fingers wandered over Ichigo's side, dragging down to his stomach and nudging closer before he took Ichigo's length in his hand. "Say please," he ordered, jerking his hips forward roughly and gripping Ichigo harder, preventing him from coming as well as teasing him.

Ichigo, red-faced and painfully hard, curled a hand behind Grimmjow's neck and looked into his eyes with his own darkened to near black. "You…asshole!" Grimmjow chuckled and Ichigo could see he wasn't making a good case. "Please…please make me come," he moaned, closing his eyes in embarrassment.

Grimmjow kissed him in response, setting his hand in motion and grunting with each of the final pushes he made, forcing sharp gasps from Ichigo beneath him. He felt the tight grip of Ichigo's warm thighs fall away and groaned as the redhead pushed his heels into the ground instead and bucked into each roll of Grimmjow's hips. Finally, Ichigo gasped, sucking in one long breath of air before letting go with a drawn out moan. Grimmjow bit down on his lip, spending himself with his own deep groan as Ichigo's come spilled over his hand and he tightened down around him. Ichigo's eyes fluttered shut and his body sagged, melting into the floor as Grimmjow hovered rigid over him for a few moments, still rocking into him shallowly as he slowed to a stop. Sighing in relief, he pulled out and moved to the side.

Ichigo turned to face him and smiled, reaching out to run a hand over Grimmjow's slick chest. Grimmjow hummed, eyes still closed as he lay on his back and breathed. Ichigo scooted himself closer and nipped at his neck, rubbing his hand up and down his torso soothingly.

"Why do you have so many dressers?" Grimmjow asked out of the blue, peeking open his eyes when Ichigo was silent for a moment. "What? It's a valid question."

Ichigo shook his head and rolled over onto Grimmjow's lap. "As if I'd let you change the subject before I could ask how you feel."

"I feel fine. More than fine," Grimmjow mumbled, grunting when Ichigo shifted onto his lap. "I don't remember you being so heavy when I sat in that chair."

"That's because you were desperate to have me sit on your cock," Ichigo responded, rocking forward and sifting his fingers into Grimmjow's hair, tugging it back so the blunet had to look up into his eyes. "Do you have any idea how hard it was not to let you free and take whatever you'd give me?"

"Considering how you begged near the end there, I'm guessing it was pretty hard," Grimmjow's eyes blinked slowly for a moment and refocused on Ichigo's face. "You're… leaking on my legs."

Ichigo wiggled around and grimaced. "Yeah, I feel that. Guess I need another shower."

"Mmm," Grimmjow chuckled and slid his hands over Ichigo's thighs. "Give me a minute to relax first and I might make it worth your while."

"Oh?" Ichigo glanced down and smirked at Grimmjow's softened length. "And how were you planning to do that?"

Grimmjow's arms wrapped around him and Ichigo felt himself being pulled against the blunet's chest, those strong arms hugging him close. "You'll see."

After another long, very interesting shower with Grimmjow, Ichigo changed and took out some clothes the blunet could borrow. Apparently, Grimmjow had been so shocked by Ichigo's random offer to let him stay over out of the blue that he'd completely forgotten to bring anything other than what he had on him already. Grimmjow was still in the bathroom fussing over his hair in the mirror as Ichigo stepped in, offering a folded pair of jeans, some boxers and a shirt he could wear.

Grimmjow smirked and turned to the tangerine. He took the clothes from Ichigo and set them next to the sink, then pulled Ichigo into a hug. Relaxing into the strange comfort of Ichigo's embrace, Grimmjow drew in a deep breath and let it out just as slow. "Why is it that I always seem to be borrowing your clothes?"

Ichigo grinned and pulled back, lifting a hand to flatten over Grimmjow's chest. "Because you look so good in them?"

"Is that so?"

"Yup. I distinctly remember thinking to myself that you wore my shirt much better than I did when we met back at the bar," Ichigo lifted his arms to wrap around Grimmjow's neck, then rose up on his feet a little to peck at Grimmjow's lips. They were still warm as ever and Ichigo lingered for another moment, glad to have Grimmjow around again.

"What ever happened to my shirt anyway? I think I left it there, but I can't remember."

"Oh," Ichigo blushed and thought about the shirt Shinji had found on his bed. Ichigo had eventually figured out its hiding spot but left it there in hopes of keeping his mind clear of distracting thoughts while trying to sleep. Of course those thoughts weren't so easily evaded. "I have it here. It's clean if you'd rather wear that than one of my shirts."

"No, that's alright. You can keep it."

"What makes you think I want one of your shirts at my place?" Ichigo teased, lowering his arms and tugging at the towel Grimmjow wore.

"Maybe the fact that you've been sleeping with it every night?"

Ichigo flushed and stepped back. "What did you say?"

"Your little blond friend is terrible at keeping secrets," Grimmjow smirked.

"I haven't been sleeping with it every night! He hid it and now…I don't."

"Anymore," Grimmjow corrected, smiling so that his canines showed.

"So what's your point? Is there something wrong with –" Ichigo paused and swallowed. "Wait, why would Shinji tell you that? You guys talk when I'm not around?"

Grimmjow snorted and turned, removing his towel and slipping on the boxers that Ichigo had given him. "Not exactly. But Nnoitra is one of my friends, you know, and those two have been together nonstop since their.. - What was it? Two days apart? I swear they have the attention spans of flies. You even mention sex and they're eye fucking each other until the second they can be alone," Grimmjow zipped up his pants and tugged the fabric down on his legs, glad that they were long enough to brush the tops of his feet. "Well, that's not entirely true. They tried to go at it in my living room once. I wasn't having any of that."

"Wow, I knew Shinji was shameless, but that's just.. and you were right there?" Ichigo leaned against the door frame, a little sorry that he'd so willingly giving Grimmjow clothes to cover up.

"I had gone outside to smoke, which is your fault by the way, so don't give me that 'I thought you didn't smoke' look. I only started because of you."

Ichigo frowned and handed Grimmjow the shirt when he reached out for it. "Are you going to quit?"

"Yeah, it's a nasty habit and makes everything smell. That's why I took it outside, didn't want it around the cat or stinking up my furniture."

Ichigo nodded and started to walk out of the bathroom before paling suddenly and turning around, staring at Grimmjow as he pulled the shirt over his head. "Uhm, what else did Shinji tell you?"

Grimmjow checked his hair one last time and shrugged. "He babbles so much, I don't remember half of it. He only told me the shirt thing because he could tell I was starting to lose hope about you taking me back. Speaking of which, is that what this is?"

Ichigo frowned and crossed his arms over his chest. "Of course it is. Why would I just use you for sex?" Ichigo sighed and realized how bad that sounded. "I mean, yeah, you are fucking amazing in bed and all but I just don't do that, okay?"

Grimmjow cocked a brow then pushed past Ichigo to leave the bathroom.

Ichigo growled and trailed after him, grabbing his arm and turning him around. Grimmjow stared at him, eyes narrowing as he tried to figure out what was going on the tangerines mind.

"Are you even ready for this, Grimmjow?" Ichigo asked. "To be with a guy, in a relationship."

Grimmjow raised a brow. "Would I be here if I wasn't? I know you're still worried about all that straight shit but when you ignored me for a couple weeks I started to realize that…that all I cared about was how you made me feel… and how I felt about you," Grimmjow turned completely around and chuckled lightly. He never would have figured he'd be saying shit like that. "It's not like my friends care if I'm into dudes, and I know yours don't, so I've got no excuse. Even if they didn't like it, fuck them because I –" Grimmjow swallowed and looked away. "I just don't let others tell me what to do, that's all. I want you so I'm going to fight for you."

Ichigo looked stunned. Grimmjow had this expression on his face that made his chest swell with anxiety and excitement. Almost like he was on the edge of a drop on a roller coaster and about to fall. It was the second time the blunet made that face, the first being back in the hospital, but both times Grimmjow stopped and changed course.

"Grimmjow," Ichigo reached out and cupped his lovers cheeks. Part of him felt that this sort of thing was too sappy to be trying on a man that was new to all of this, but Ichigo shook the doubts away. Grimmjow needed this push, and he knew it wouldn't take much. "How do you know you're so ready, that I'm worth fighting for?"

"Because I just do," Grimmjow said stubbornly, pouting his lips out a little and hardening his gaze.

Ichigo stepped closer, drawing Grimmjow in so that he couldn't focus on anything but his face. "That's not it and we both know it. You said yourself that you risked everything to be with me, to save my life. Why would you do that for me, Grimmjow?"

Ichigo's eyes pinned Grimmjow to the spot and his heart raced. Grimmjow felt like he couldn't breathe. This damn kid wasn't letting up and his eyes were on fire, tearing into him in a way that made Grimmjow even more uneasy about his recent thoughts. Ichigo must have known. So why couldn't he just say it?

When a too-long moment passed, Ichigo dropped his hands away and Grimmjow could see his spirit sink. When the tangerine sighed and started to turn, Grimmjow snatched up his arm and yanked him close, relishing the wide eyed expression he had and sucking him into a kiss. Ichigo made a soft sound at the back of his throat and Grimmjow smiled, remembering a similar sound Ichigo had made before their first kiss. He pulled back and rubbed slow circles on Ichigo's hips, eyes not wavering and lips parting hesitantly. "The reason why I fought, why I gave it all up and waited for you while to figure things out… it's because you're worth the trouble and because I love you. Whether you're a guy or not, that's how I feel."

Ichigo blinked at Grimmjow then folded himself against the blunet's chest. "Do you really mean that?" he asked with his voice slightly muted from being pressed into Grimmjow's shirt. He had to wonder how Grimmjow still smelled like himself after showering in his home and putting on his clothes.

Grimmjow rolled his eyes though Ichigo couldn't see it and patted the tangerines back. "I said it, didn't I?" Ichigo didn't respond other than by squeezing him closer and Grimmjow wondered if he'd be getting any reciprocation. Then Ichigo pulled back and Grimmjow sucked in a breath, knowing the big smile on his face was good news. So Ichigo did feel the same way, that was- "OW!" Grimmjow frowned at the spot on his arm where he'd just been smacked and rubbed it sorely. "What the fuck was that for?"

"Did you have to yank my bad arm so hard when you pulled me in?" Ichigo said, dropping a hand on his hip and eyeballing Grimmjow. "Don't you remember that was dislocated not so long ago? It still hurts!"

"It was kind of a pressing issue and I thought I was being romantic," Grimmjow spat, lip curling as he pulled up the sleeve of his shirt to find a big red mark.

Ichigo started to laugh and Grimmjow scowled.

"I tell you something like that and I get punched then laughed at. Thanks a lot," Grimmjow rolled his eyes when Ichigo covered his mouth but his attempts to stop giggling failed. The blunet turned, fully intending to actually get away this time, but he didn't get far before Ichigo stopped him.

"No. Grimmjow, wait!" Ichigo caught his hand and pulled him back, being gentle not to repeat what Grimmjow had done to him. "I didn't mean to laugh, it's just the look on your face when I hit you.." Ichigo shook his head, trying really hard not to smile so much. "I'm glad you told me that, know why?"

Grimmjow shook his hand from Ichigo's grip and crossed his arms. "This oughta be good."

"It is.." Ichigo licked his lips and hooked his fingers into Grimmjow's borrowed jeans, bringing him closer. Grimmjow kept his arms folded on his chest and Ichigo framed his face with his hands, kissing him soft and slow. Ichigo withdrew only an inch after a moment and whispered over Grimmjow's lips that he loved him too. Grimmjow responded by dropping the pout act and lifting him up, bringing Ichigo into his arms and backing him against the wall, using the leverage to pin the tangerine there.

Grimmjow could feel Ichigo smile against his mouth and did the same. "Do be a fabor," Grimmjow said, not wanting to pull from the kiss and resulting with slurred words as he nipped Ichigo's lips.

"What's that?" Ichigo asked, pulling back so his head pressed against the wall.

"Just promise me you won't suddenly become a psychotic bitch down the road and ruin my life before moving out of the country."

Ichigo's brows drew and he looked to be considering that seriously. "You know, I think I can manage that, but we'll have to see. I really had my heart set on ruining your life."

Grimmjow scowled and reinforced his hold on Ichigo, pressing him harder against the wall as a not so subtle reminder that he had the upper hand. "Don't play with me, Ichigo."

Ichigo's eyes lowered and darkened. "But I love playing with you."

Grimmjow groaned at the sound of his name flowing in Ichigo's voice. "You better be ready to back those words up with actions."

Tilting his head back, Ichigo offered his neck as bait and Grimmjow took it, dropping harsh bites and eager licks over his skin while rocking his hips between Ichigo's legs. Just because they'd messed around twice in the last hour or so didn't mean Grimmjow was about to give Ichigo a break. Especially after that last little statement.

The trill of Ichigo's phone sounded from back in the bedroom and Ichigo sighed, eyes darting in its general direction. "Grimmjow.."

"Leave it," Grimmjow growled, rolling his hips and sucking on Ichigo's pulse point.

"What if it's important?" Ichigo managed to say, trailing off into a moan when Grimmjow leaned on one hand against the wall and used the other to slide under his shirt and pinch at an already hardened nipple.

Ichigo's legs tightened around Grimmjow and the blunet smirked, changing his mind mid thought and stepping back. He let the tangerine slide to his feet. "You're right, it might be important," Grimmjow said, turning away and heading out of the hallway, leaving Ichigo looking debauched and confused.

Ichigo frowned at Grimmjow's retreating form, then the progressively louder ring tone brought him back to his sense and he jogged quickly to the room to answer it.

Grimmjow leaned against the kitchen counter, a can of Coke in hand and a smirk on his face. He'd been half hard when he left Ichigo high and dry and he knew any minute now, the tangerine would come parading back in to attack him for more. Or Ichigo would just play the pity card and put on that pouty face that made Grimmjow's gut stir. As he stood, ankles crossed in front of him and one elbow leaned on the counter behind him, Grimmjow surveyed the kitchenette, noticing the round metal covers on the individual stove burners and small hooks for oven mitts on the wall behind it. Either Ichigo was a fucking girl at decorating or his sister had helped out. Grimmjow hoped it was the latter.

"Grimmjow!" Ichigo rounded the corner and Grimmjow smirked, glad that it seemed Ichigo wouldn't be taking the shy approach. He parted his legs in preparation then frowned when Ichigo stood there, staring at him with his cheeks flushed and eyes wide.

"Rukia's in the hospital."

Grimmjow lifted a brow. He'd remembered hearing about the small woman on the trip they went on for Shinji's birthday. The redheaded guy with the spiky pony tail kept moaning about how she couldn't come and he missed her or some shit. At least, he thought that was the one Ichigo meant. "Is she okay?"

"No- I mean yeah. Uhm."

"Well which one is it?" Ichigo's face pinched in concern and Grimmjow rolled his eyes, walking over and putting his arms on Ichigo's shoulders. "Is everything alright?"

"She's having the baby," Ichigo said, eyes widening further, if possible, and Grimmjow mirrored the expression, suddenly remembering mention of her particularly round state of affairs.

"I take it that we're going to the hospital then?" Grimmjow asked, stepping passed the still stunned tangerine and searching for his car keys. "Did you want me to come with you?"

"Yeah," Ichigo mumbled more than spoke. He turned slowly and retrieved his keys from Grimmjow's hand as they were held out to him. "Thanks."

"It isn't your baby, you know. You don't have to look so serious."

Ichigo just stood there like he wasn't sure which way was the door.

"Hey," Grimmjow pulled Ichigo into a hug and kissed his hair gently. "I'm sure Renji will still be able to hang with the guys and all, you'll work something out," He was only guessing on Ichigo's worry, but the tangerine did slump a little, relaxing against him.

"It's not that," Ichigo withdrew a little and bit his lip. "I guess I just realized they're going to have a kid, you know?"

"Just figured that out after eight or so months of that girl blimping up?" Grimmjow asked, smirking at the annoyed flash of Ichigo's eyes.

"No, I knew that, but it just made me feel so…so insignificant all of a sudden."

"Because you aren't out there impregnating women?" Grimmjow snorted. "You don't need a baby to matter. Hell, I didn't start dating you because…" Grimmjow bit the inside of his cheek and looked away. Not a good example to bring up. "Point is, I like you and so do your friends. You're living well, have a job you enjoy, your family loves you," Grimmjow paused and touched Ichigo's cheek. "All of that is enough to matter in my book. You don't need a diaper filling midget to give you that."

Ichigo's cheeks filled with color and he dipped his head into Grimmjow's chest. "We should really go," he said and Grimmjow nodded, pulling away and heading toward the door to find his shoes. Ichigo looked after him, still standing in the kitchen, somehow holding Grimmjow's Coke and face still close to the color of his hair. Then Ichigo snapped to, realizing he had to be at the hospital for his friends and hurried to find his own shoes.

A couple of weeks later, Ichigo answered the front door of his family home, finding the wide smile of one of his best friends on the other side. Shinji's golden hair beamed in the sunlight, hardly outshining the exuberant expression on his face. Behind him, Nnoitra stood, giant as ever, with a look of lazy amusement as he addressed Ichigo with a jut of his chin.

"Ichi!" Shinji squealed, pulling the tangerine into a hug and squeezing the breath out of him before pulling back. Ichigo was about to check if he had squeeze marks on his arms when Nnoitra brushed passed him into the house and Shinji bounded off behind him, both of them moving down the foyer toward the great room where Ichigo's family and several others were congregated.

Renji and Rukia were there with their newborn baby girl, Mai, as well as Kisuke and Zan. The little girl had been born perfectly healthy and seemed to have a knack for smiling at things that weren't meant to be funny. Kensei was there and also Hiyori, who Ichigo suspected would promptly pounce on Shinji the second he stepped into the room, blocking his attempts at fawning over the baby.

Next at the door were Tensa and Shiro, the latter looking rather excited, eyes scanning the large house and wandering inside with a look of awe. When Shiro spotted a model car on a display case off to the side then turned around, shooting Ichigo a look, the tangerine chuckled.

"Just ask my father to give you the tour, he's in the room with everyone else," Ichigo said. "Grimmjow's probably already down his throat about seeing the garage again, so I'm sure he'll go along with you"

Shiro grinned and took off, leaving Ichigo alone with Tensa. The tangerine shut the door carefully and turned, luring Tensa into a soft hug. Tensa pulled back with a genuinely happy smile, the warmth showing all over his face and in his relaxed posture as he gestured for them to continue into the room. Ichigo smiled back and led the way, glad to just have the brunet along. By the sound of his most recent conversations with Tensa, it seemed his relationship with Shiro hadn't completely suffered from their slight stall and had only grown in intensity over the weeks. Tensa ensured Ichigo that the test on their relationship was well taken and proved to be a worthwhile bump in the road on their way to rebuilding and maintaining a trusting bond.

Ichigo had similar experiences with Grimmjow, though they did have a few first fights and some disagreements when living arrangements were discussed, ending with them deciding just to live apart until they were sure they were ready. Ichigo practically lived with Grimmjow anyway, but the blunet was being a bit of a snob about allowing Ichigo to warm the place up a bit. Ichigo suspected it was more to do with Grimmjow's previous relationship with his ex, and after gaining some insight from Shiro and Nnoitra about how that failed marriage had ended with Grimmjow's ex-wife, Ichigo had backed off and promised to allow Grimmjow whatever time he needed before pressing him to decide on living arrangements any time soon.

When Ichigo made it to the big room with people all crowded in, lining couches and littering the floor and against the walls, he greeted everyone, and took some time to coo at the sweet baby everyone had been lurking around. Yuzu stepped in a moment later, announcing that dinner was ready and she could use some hands to place the food on the table.

When everyone was settled down and ready to eat, Grimmjow scooted his chair closer than it was set to make sure he bumped elbows with Ichigo as they filled their dishes. Shinji stood up suddenly and lifted his glass. Ichigo half rolled his eyes, knowing that what was coming was either a speech or some ridiculous toast that would no doubt embarrass somebody at the table, and it was probably going to be him.

"I know you all just want to eat, so I'll try to make this short," Shinji said with a faint coloring to his cheeks. "I figured now was the best time to announce it since pretty much everyone I know is right here at this table," Shinji reached out for Nnoitra's arm and tugged the man up from his seat, smiling over at him and receiving a nervous smirk in response. Ichigo gaped at what he saw and stared at Shinji, a desbelieving slack to his jaw . Shinji raised the glass and took a deep breath.

"It may seem soon to some of you, and I honestly don't expect any other announcements to come along like this for quite some time, unless Karin over there isn't telling me something about that boyfriend of hers, that is," Shinji winked and Karin blushed for the first time many at the table had ever seen. "What I am meaning to say is that Nnoitra and I are engaged to be married, and we are planning our ceremony for the end of the year!"

Cheers broke out at the table, many people getting out of their chairs, food forgotten and congratulating Shinji and Nnoitra properly with hugs and kind words. Ichigo was there first, practically hopping across the table and taking Shinji's hands in his own, staring the blond down with all of the seriousness he could muster. "Are you sure about this, Shinji? 'Cause you know who won't be getting anymore you know what if this is for real," Ichigo winked and Shinji giggled despite himself.

"Oh, Ichi. You and I both know that that job belongs to Grimmjow and Nnoitra now, and it damn well better continue to be from now on," Shinji winked at Grimmjow whom had come up behind Ichigo. The blunet blinked at him, completely confused. Apparently nobody else had caught on, but it didn't matter that much to them. Shinji let his laughter die away and pulled Ichigo in to kiss him on the forehead. "I promise. I have never been more sure about anything in my life."

"What about that tattoo you got on your-" Ichigo started, never really intending to finish.

Shinji cut him off, predictably, and Ichigo burst into laughter, returning a kiss on his cheek and flitting away, allowing the rest to filter in and address Shinji as they wished. Ichigo stopped by Nnoitra on the way, merely giving him a pat on the shoulder and whispering under his breath that he'd hack off something important if he so much as made Shinji cry. Nnoitra, not one to be scared of much of anything, did actually shiver when he heard the words and saw the glint in Ichigo's eyes. The fear melted away, though, when he glanced at Shiro and remembered the tale he'd heard about Ichigo fainting after having a gun pointed at him.

Nnoitra snickered and turned to find Rukia in front of him with baby Mai in her hands and bright blue eyes filled with excitement for the two. She rocked the infant in her arms, adjusting a small, ratty bunny that lay on the child's stomach. Nnoitra sneered at it, spotted some weird stitching around its neck and limbs. The little girl clutched the stuffed thing in her tiny hands and Rukia looked up at Nnoitra, face stern and lips tight.

"Just a little word of wisdom from somebody that has dealt with a man from this little group for the last couple of years," Rukia warned and rose on her toes a little to whisper in Nnoitra's ear. Hearing the words, Nnoitra's one good eye bugged out, mouth falling open when Rukia rocked back on the heels of her feet and left without any further comment.

Nnoitra shot a look over at Shinji and gulped, for the second time feeling like his manhood had been threatened. What was it about this little group that thought it was cool to do that so carelessly?

Grimmjow, already having known about the engagement, as Nnoitra had been the one pacing around his apartment before popping the question, merely slapped the man on the back roughly and gave him a big grin. Nnoitra smiled nervously, not so sure about being a part of this family of protective individuals he was being dragged into.

Ichigo returned to the table and soon after people started filtering back to their seats, conversation still loud between them as nothing short of a roar. Ichigo dug into his food immediately, quite hungry because it had turned out to be a late dinner. He was adjusting a napkin in his lap when Grimmjow slid a hand over his, looping their fingers together and eating with his less practiced hand just so that they could maintain that connection. Ichigo smiled over at him and Grimmjow returned to his food.

Ichigo realized something as he sat there at the table, surrounded by friends and family, Grimmjow not noticing the way Ichigo gazed at him with a softness in his eyes. Somehow through all of this, he'd ended up with just what he needed. A few months ago, he would have said that getting into a serious relationship would mean the end of his casual life and that someday he would have to compromise, choosing between happiness in his career choices and life style, or love and a true bond with someone. Ichigo wouldn't have guessed he would find such an accepting and understanding man in the random way that he did, or that meeting a stranger in a bar and watching him walk away, still a stranger, would lead him down the road to a relationship he could feel in his bones would last for a very long time, if not the rest of his life.

Ichigo had forged quick friendships, shared his own friends, introduced his family and come within a second of losing his life all in such a short time, and now, as he stared at a man he had only known for a couple of months, he could truly say to himself that he loved him with all of his heart. The cheesy side of him would comment that he was living the dream, one that most wouldn't chase, but Ichigo was alright with that.

Thank you all, a final time, for the support. You guys have been absolutely wonderful.