Title: You Take It Off First
Author
: Ephemeral Rainfall
Brief: In which Grimmjow and Ulquiorra attempt to take a shower. Together. With their clothes on.
A/N: I'm so sorry for the late update. No excuses for me. School and deviantart are distracting.

~ And Stay Out! ~

Rain splattered darkly against the panes of his bedroom window.

…His bedroom window.

For the second day in a row, Ulquiorra came to with that tempting warmth he so hated brushing gently against his body. Only this time, the pleasing weight on his waist had traveled down a bit, since he was on his stomach, and the hand on the end of the foreign arm was splayed fondly across his backside. Additional force on his thighs told him that the annoyance had hiked one leg over them as well.

Ulquiorra was rather proud of the fact that he wouldn't be the one greeting the rather unforgiving floor with said bottom this morning.

"…AaaAAGH, SUNNUVA DUCK!"

…Son of a…duck? He hadn't heard that one before.

"Good morning, Grimmjow," Ulquiorra said steadily.

"You—d'you psh shme off?" Specifically, it had been a kick.

"I would like to ask you about that, Grimmjow."

"Huh? You p'shmeedoff. …You—,"

"We have already established that." This was interesting. Grimmjow's voice had lost that husky, dark edge to it that he had woken up with yesterday morning. Now, if anything, he had an amusing pre-schooler lisp. "What am I doing here, Grimmjow? I went to sleep on the couch last night just so you could have space in the bedroom by yourself. Was I not clear enough?"

"…" For a long while, Grimmjow did not reply, and Ulquiorra thought that maybe he had fallen asleep with his eyes still half-open, sprawled fitfully on the floor.

He slid over a bit and folded his palms over the edge of the bed, craning his neck to get a closer look at the clouded cerulean beneath heavy eyelids, such an odd contrast to their usual striking clarity.

Grimmjow's irises did not shift as Ulquiorra leaned in, one palm resting on the floor as he levered his body half off the bed, so Ulquiorra noted that he must've fallen back to sleep. Oh well, he'd demand his answer later.

Other hand joining the one already cushioning himself, Ulquiorra pushed his weight gently forward once more, magnetized to the sight of a sleeping Grimmjow, so peculiarly innocent and peaceful as opposed with his usual cacophonous demeanor.

He was close enough now that some more treacherous strands of his hair hung perilously close to Grimmjow's cheek, ghosting faintly over the rich skin whenever Ulquiorra exhaled.

Grimmjow had long eyelashes. He had never noticed before, mainly because he had never had such interest or proximity. They were trim, tapering strands of dark navy blue, a shade so heavy that Ulquiorra had always mistaken them for black, thus raising conflict about the natural-ness of Grimmjow's sky-blue mop.

His eyelids were parted a fraction of a millimeter, just so Ulquiorra could glimpse the edge of the irises beneath. The color of Grimmjow's eyes seemed to have shifted when he was unconscious, gaining a translucent, filmy quality. They lost the aggressive, solitary edge that scattered pigeons and frightened squirrels.

Ulquiorra walked one of his palms forward, then aware of how precarious his position on-and-off-the-bed was becoming. Ah well, he would just—

"…Lonely."

Startled at the sudden response—wasn't he asleep?—Ulquiorra slipped forward ungracefully, the rest of his body sliding off the bed.

He was spared from the unwelcoming floor as an arm made its way across his shoulders, his face landing into a firm but smooth area, heavy with the scent of a warm summer breeze.

With a jolt as he realized where his face was, Ulquiorra ineptly resisted, managing to send the rest of his body off the bed in a mass of sheets, landing firmly on Grimmjow, who accepted the additional weight with a soft 'oomph'.

Wrenching his face away from the comfortable crevice between Grimmjow's neck and shoulders, Ulquiorra sat back panting, cheeks already flushed. Damnit his plan completely backfired.

"Don't hurt yourself, Dollface," came the amused, impudent taunt, now devoid of all morning bleariness. Ulquiorra could feel the rumble beneath his palms as Grimmjow spoke, the blue-haired male's abdominal region—six pack, really?—convulsing in chuckles.

…Wait…if his hands were on Grimmjow's stomach…Ulquiorra soon realized just where he was sitting, and why his seat was so uncomfortably pointy.

Jumping up and rushing into the bathroom, (his room was now contaminated), Ulquiorra slammed the door and locked it, only remembering too late how easily Grimmjow could break in.

Bloody hell.

Before Grimmjow could expose his poorly thought-out escape plan, Ulquiorra waltzed out of the bathroom with his face drenched in cold water, which didn't really help the bright red at all. Correctly counting on the taller's hatred of mornings, he managed to march past without inciting any violent or otherwise discomforting outbursts, straight into his closet where he reached in for a new shirt.

He had barely slipped an arm into the sleeve when a hand landed on his shoulder, simultaneous with an intense flash of lightning—just like in that movie yesterday, Ulquiorra connected. In the next instant, it pulsated off of him just as he turned to slap it away. Thunder rumbled loudly shortly after.

"What do you want?"

"To ta—," CRRRHKKK. Grimmjow's eyes dilated slightly at the fierce curl of lightning, completely fumbling the rest of his sentence.

Ulquiorra noted the flush of discomfort that washed briefly into his roommate's face.

"Are you…afraid of lightning, Grimmjow?" He could barely grasp it.

The flush instantly evaporated. The other's mouth wrenched into a sardonic sneer. "Fuck no!"

Something dawned on Ulquiorra. "Is that why you brought me inside?" the brunet mocked, uncharacteristic lilt to his voice. "'Grimmjow Goddamn Jeagerjacques' is scared of a bit of noise."

Grimmjow's brows furrowed in agitation, for once registering the change in tone. "Fuck you! I ain't—," a roll of thunder interrupted him.

At Ulquiorra's nearly amused stare, Grimmjow decided to change methods, squaring his shoulders like an affronted cat. "You—what's up with you anyways? It's usually I step into the room and you're up, but yesterday you were out like a log!" Damn heavy like a log too, he mentally added. Seriously, you'd think what with being so short and stick-like he'd weigh next to nothing, but nooo.

Ulquiorra tallied the subject change and filed it away for future reference. "I find thunderstorms calming."

Grimmjow scrutinized him as if he had sprouted another head. "Are ya shitting me? It's a bunch of violent good-for-nothing noise, and ya never know when you could be next!"

"So you are afraid of thunder." A small crackle of lightning lit up the room just as the last word landed.

"Hell no, moron! It was just a little loud, and I got bored cuz I couldn't sleep!"

"Excuses, excuses—,"

"Shut up. Can we go eat now?"

Ulquiorra nearly wrinkled his nose. "Have you showered yet?"

"I'll shower after you feed me." Grimmjow insistently tugged on his elbow. "Let's go."

"…I need to dress first."

"Go ahead."

"…Leave."

"No."

"I can't dress with you here."

"Well then you can wear that frilly apron. Only that apron."

"LEAVE."

They had cereal.

Of all the shopping they had done yesterday, Ulquiorra could come up with nothing besides cereal.

Bland, half-soggy, boring cereal. With a side of bland, half-dry, boring silence.

Ulquiorra desperately wanted to break it. Perhaps Grimmjow's love of destruction was rubbing off on him.

…No. That was most definitely not it.

"…Kurosaki's cat," he tapped a spoonful of yogurt against the container, "is also afraid of thunder."

"Can you blame her?" Grimmjow jumped on the topic, visibly dying to kill the silence as well. "Kit-Cat's always been real sensitive to noise—,"

"You named it?" Sentimental. Even Kurosaki didn't lavish as much attention on the stray feline, and it was his house it had claimed as its own too. And the name…Kit-Kat? Grimmjow dared to call him droll and inconsiderate.

Grimmjow swallowed a mouthful of mushy cereal. "Not it, her."

"If you named her after candy, you have no right to criticize my generalization of her sex."

"I didn't! It's Kit-Cat, with a C, like kitten-cat!" Grimmjow protested, indignant.

"…I fail to see how that makes it any better."

"Y'know what, screw you! As if you could come up with a better name!"

"I could think of a better one right now."

"Oh yeah? What would you call her then?"

Ulquiorra didn't hesitate to answer. "Ceres."

Grimmjow looked in the general direction of the cupboard, noticing the box of puffed rice instantly. He then glanced down at the little pieces of broken breakfast food drowning pitifully in his milk. "Cereal. Nice. I can feel the respect."

"Cereal comes from that name, not the other way around. Ceres was the Greek goddess of the harvest."

"I'm not naming any cat after Cheerios."

Ulquiorra picked up a fork and speared one of said life-saver-shaped pieces from his bowl. "You're right, it doesn't suit her personality. It's too open-ended and generous for a cat. She needs something aloof, treacherous, and foreshadowing… How about Charybdis?"

"Dude, what is up with you and the Greek crap?" Grimmjow glanced into the living room where he had entered two nights ago, remembering the nasty nerdy book of Socratic Seminar that the shorter had been occupied with. "…Never mind."

"Artemis would be a good name," Ulquiorra mused, having fun. "Or you could—,"

Grimmjow took the lifeline. "Kay, fine! She's Artemis, will you shut up now?"

"No."

"What else do you want?"

Ulquiorra was in the mood to indulge. "You slept with me against my will twice, I—,"

"Uncalled for!" This was certainly a turning of the metaphorical table. A very welcome turn, actually.

"Get your head out of the gutter." Ulquiorra calmly took a bite of his yogurt.

"You're the one who always says awkward shit!" Grimmjow's violent motions splashed some of his milk out the edges of the bowl, leaving behind small pools of white on the tablecloth.

Ulquiorra was definitely feeling decadent. "I wouldn't have said anything if you hadn't dragged me into bed," this time he had to consciously repress the impulse to smirk.

"There you go again with the weird wording!" The blue-haired male huffed and pulled out a napkin, slamming it against the puddles of milk, only achieving the birth of more spillage.

Grimmjow was just a cycle of destruction, Ulquiorra mused, peacefully consuming his dairy product as the cyan-eyed wonder sloshed milk everywhere. It was entertaining to watch. "You wouldn't be subject to it if you had left me alone," he interjected, pointing with a spoon. Grimmjow's vigorous rubbing with the waterlogged napkin sped up.

"Y'know what? It wasn't worth it! You're fucking heavy!" Grimmjow spouted without thinking.

Bad.

Choice.

The atmosphere dropped a few degrees, although Grimmjow failed to see the outcome of his words, being so absorbed in mopping up the lactose.

"Are you…implying…that I am fat, Grimmjow?" Ulquiorra had long since grown immune to the insults of him being underweight and nigh-anorexic, (he was perfectly healthy, damnit), but heavy…he had never.

Too late, Grimmjow realized what he had done. "Fuck no!" he spat, completely inconsiderate. At Ulquiorra's insistent glare, he gnawed on his lip. "…I was just tired from not bein' able to sleep, and you were really just conked out, y'know what I mean? And…"

"…" Ulquiorra's expression didn't change.

Grimmjow considered what he had been blabbering about. What the hell was he apologizing for? Tch, stupid. "Why're ya bein' such a girl anyways? It's a fricken' compliment!"

"I am not a girl."

"See? This is what I'm talking about! Yer twistin' my words!"

"I fail to see how the calling one overweight would be a compliment to either gender."

"Well if you had any testosterone—,"

"All people are born with testosterone, Grimmjow."

"—you'd wanna be called heavy 'cuz it'd mean you're like, I dunno, built or something! No guy in their right mind wants to be called a stick, ya fairy!"

"No one wants to be called "fucking heavy" either. I highly doubt any brain-dead jockey would take it that way if you had approached him so."

"Muscle weighs more than fat, ya pansy."

"That does not change the fact that you said I was 'fucking heavy'." Ulquiorra did not swear much, but it gave him an odd charge to use Grimmjow's own dialect on him.

"Definitely a chick."

"I am not a—,"

"Prove it then!"

"You've seen me shirtless, imbecile."

"Hermaphrodite."

Grimmjow was doing it again. The running of the mouth without the brain. "…You are making it difficult to refrain from hurting you."

"Nah, I'm just tryna make you drop yer pants."

Ulquiorra did not care that Grimmjow was cleaning. He punched the moron anyways.

Grimmjow reflexively shifted to return the blow, tipping over the rest of the milk with his arm. It splashed over the side of the table onto the floor, splattering onto Grimmjow's shirt and dribbling onto his jeans in the process. Ulquiorra watched passively as Grimmjow yelped and leapt away from the clutter.

"Crap, learn to throw yer punches already! If that's what telling the truth gets me, I'm gonna…" He uselessly wadded up a corner of the tablecloth to blot at the clear-white stain on his pants.

Ulquiorra automatically got up to pull a bunch of towels onto the mess. "Simple methods such as penalization don't work for you anyways." He knelt slightly to clean the spill, silently recognizing his part in creating it. "Your peanut brain doesn't have the capacity for consequence association."

Grimmjow righted his chair, dropping the corner of tablecloth to steal a towel. "If at first ya don't succeed, try, try again!" He rubbed at the stain on his jeans that refused to come off. "What about positive reinforcement? Ever tried that?" Great. The awkward splotch in the middle of his left thigh was there to stay.

Giving up, he knelt to join Ulquiorra in fixing the puddle on the floor, only to find that he had placed his knee squarely into the milk. Cursing, he leant back onto his haunches to try to staunch the liquid from spreading further along his pants.

Ulquiorra inaudibly sighed at his antics. "With you, it's impossible to consider the softer approach."

Grimmjow's lip curled as he viciously attacked the wet spot on his knee. "What, cuz it'd require High-and-Mighty Pole-Up-His-Ass Schiffer to step off his pedestal and recognize others for a change?"

Ulquiorra snorted, not looking up from his work. "For me to do that would require you being something worth recognizing."

Grimmjow's hand stopped.

Ulquiorra didn't notice.

Grimmjow stood up.

Ulquiorra continued wiping.

"I'm going to change."

It wasn't until the door slammed that Ulquiorra ceased cleaning to momentarily wonder if something was wrong.

~Too Little, Too Late~

A/N: Hm. question: how long do u guys think this should last? I already have the last chapter in mind, but I'm not sure how much more to do in between…including the dreaded M rating, which I am feeling pressure for…

Thanks to TheCatIntheHat for the rush beta-job! And u amazing readers. U GAIZ ROCK. Next chapter es coming, I sware!