Aaaaaand here it is! The last chapter! The epilogue! And I hope your last view of Ichigo and Grimmjow and their romantically innocent love ^_^
'You give it!'
'No, you give it!'
'Because you're a girl!'
'What did you say, Renji Abarai?'
'Uh…uh… that's not what I meant! Uh…'
'You have till the count of three to explain, Renji, before the knock your lights out! One…two…thr-!'
'Hi, you guys, what's-why does Renji look like you're going to beat the shit out of him?' Ichigo exclaimed in confusion as he approached his friends. Tatsuki snorted and crossed her arms.
'Because I am going to beat the shit out of him,' she said matter-of-factly. Ichigo rolled his eyes and he heard Grimmjow chuckle next to him. He smiled. At least the boy could still laugh at jokes.
He squeezed Grimmjow's hand, causing the boy to look up at Ichigo and smile brightly. That's when Ichigo realized it hurt to smile right now. Especially when things were not okay anymore.
His okasan had insisted on Grimmjow staying with them till the children's welfare could find a suitable home for him. She didn't mind caring for an extra child. She refused to allow Grimmjow to be coped up in a small place with so many other residents. Masaki had always been kind-hearted.
But then, there had been Ichigo's otosan. He was still coming to the place, hoping to claim his home back bit by bit. However, things changed when Isshin confessed his feelings for Masaki.
Of course, everyone was aware of the love going on between the two although the two pretended they didn't know about it. It was becoming so unbelievably obvious that finally, with much egging on by Ichigo and company, Isshin finally asked Masaki out on a date and since then, it had been smooth sailing.
The best part of the whole deal had to be the day Masaki's husband came 'visiting' one day. This had been the day Isshin had spent the night at Ichigo's place. So when the door opened to reveal Isshin, Ichigo's dad had gone paler than a glass of milk. No shit Isshin was bigger than that scrawny man. And no shit Isshin didn't waste any time beating the living daylights out of him.
Ichigo and Grimmjow, who were 'forced' to share a room, had scrambled out when they heard noises and couldn't stop the huge grins splitting across their faces when they saw Isshin giving Ichigo's dad a black eye. It had to be the best day of their lives.
After that, he never showed up. Isshin permanently moved into their apartment. But that was only temporary. See, he and Masaki were already planning on buying a house together. They needed a fresh setting for a fresh start.
Ichigo couldn't have been happier for his okasan. And now that Isshin was taking care of her, he could focus on his own love life, namely Grimmjow.
Grimmjow had been a mess after that day. He was given the guest room to sleep in and he never left it for at least a week. Whenever Ichigo would pass by, all he could hear was Grimmjow's muffled sobbing and he felt his tear rip in two.
But as Grimmjow never left his room, Ichigo never left his door. He'd sleep in front of it, have his meals in front of it, do his homework in front of it after school and basically never leave it at any time. He practically lived in front of it hoping that one day, when Grimmjow finally emerged, Ichigo would be the first to see him and comfort him. He wanted to help Grimmjow so badly and he was ready to risk anything to make sure Grimmjow was happy.
One day, while Ichigo had just started on his bowl of rice, the door creaked open. He had frozen. Quietly, Grimmjow had pushed the door out all the way so that he alone stood in the doorway. Ichigo quickly stood up, his heart racing. Grimmjow licked his lips.
'I…' he mumbled. 'I vant to talk…to my…Mutter.'
It had been a start. It meant Grimmjow was finally accepting what was happening. To finally see his father for what he was, to accept that he was wrong and his father had a problem, is hard.
One cannot be expected to no longer believe in their utopian world and accept everyday life. It's such a drastic change that takes time. And now that Grimmjow had finally let it set in, his way of accepting the real world again was to contact his family in Germany. That led to even more tears but at least it was out of joy and acceptance. It was a way of repairing the damage done to Grimmjow's psyche.
Even though both Ichigo and Grimmjow had suffered damage from both their fathers, Ichigo felt Grimmjow received the worst of it.
Ichigo's father had abused him in a fairly straightforward way. He would hit them and assert his dominance aggressively whenever he felt like it. In a movie, he would outright be the villain and it would be up to Ichigo to help save his family. Simple as that.
But Grimmjow…Grimmjow's story was far more complicated. Aizen didn't abuse him verbally or even physically. His abuse had been more psychological because his method had been to abuse the meaning of love. Aizen purposely twisted Grimmjow's perception of love, probably not even realizing what he had been doing. Grimmjow was forced to accept Aizen's advances as purely fatherly love. While Stark had seen the error in that, Grimmjow had chosen to ignore that. He had truly been blinded by love.
'Hey, Grimmjow, guess what we got you?' Orihime said excitedly as she held up a huge bag of something. Grimmjow glanced at it curiously.
'It's a bag of those chips you like so much!' Tatsuki exclaimed and handed the bag to the German. 'We thought you might not get those back home so we decided to get you a while bag which will probably last you for a while!'
Grimmjow's eyes widened in surprise before he glanced at the bag and then back at the gang which was smiling happily at him. He smiled back.
'Thank you zo much,' he murmured and cast his eyes to the ground shyly. 'For everything, really.'
'No problem!' Renji remarked and jumped forward arrogantly. 'You're pretty cool, you know! For a foreigner!'
'Stop being prejudice, Renji!' Tatsuki snapped.
'I'm not being prejudice! I'm not always making fun of people, Tatsuki!'
'HA! Yeah, right!'
'Don't mess with me!'
'Oh? What're you gonna do about it? You gonna fight me, pineapple head?'
'I don't hit girls!'
'Well, neither do I but for you I'll make an exception!'
As the two bickered it out with Uryu and Orihime trying to calm them down, Ichigo steered Grimmjow away so that they stood at the edge of the curb where a taxi was loading luggage in the back. Grimmjow's luggage that is.
Ichigo winced. He didn't want to remember that.
After Grimmjow had calmed down and gone back to his usual routine (he pretended he couldn't sleep alone so Masaki had insisted he slept in Ichigo's room. Not that either complained) he started to think about his future. The children's welfare stopped by once in a while to talk to Grimmjow. His name was Shunsui Kyoraku.
He would generally ask how Grimmjow's life was going and once he was done, he'd go talk to Masaki. Ichigo made sure he was somewhere nearby so he could listen in on their conversation. But what they were discussing wasn't what he had wanted to hear.
They were thinking that it was best for Grimmjow to go back to Germany.
He didn't want Grimmjow to go. He'd just found Grimmjow. He didn't want to lose him. What if…what if something bad happened to Grimmjow and he wasn't there to comfort him? He couldn't bear the thought of Grimmjow being hurt anymore. He wanted to be by Grimmjow's side 24/7 to make sure he never got hurt again ever.
But the real truth that had twisted Ichigo's insides was: what if Grimmjow wanted to go back?
'Grimmjow, what would you do if I wasn't there anymore?' he'd once asked as the two of them sat to do math homework. Grimmjow had given him a peculiar look.
'I'd vouldn't be able to live,' he had answered simply and gone back to his work. But Ichigo hadnt been done.
'What if…' he had pressed on, twirling his pencil nervously in hand, dreading the answer to the next question. 'What if you were given the chance to go back to Germany and…and leave me? Would you?'
Grimmjow had stared. Ichigo had known he was being obvious now. He had bared his fear so openly to Grimmjow someone would have to be blind not to see.
Grimmjow had then crawled over and kissed Ichigo passionately on the lips.
'I vould vant vhat's bezt for both of uz,' Grimmjow had replied softly. 'I vould vant uz both to be happy vith our decizionz. I know I can't bear to zee you unhappy, Ichigo. But the thing iz, can you bear to zee me unhappy?'
It was then Ichigo had realized how selfish he was being. If he had been asked to leave his family and go with Grimmjow to Germany he'd be torn. He needed his family. He loved Karin, Yuzu and his okasan. To be asked to leave them would simply kill him. He couldn't do that. Just like he couldn't ask Grimmjow to forget about his and stay in Japan.
So when Shunsui had asked Grimmjow if he would like to go back to Germany, Ichigo had already told him beforehand that he should go back to his family. After all, he wanted nothing more but to see Grimmjow happy.
Though he wasn't expecting it to hurt this much to say goodbye.
'Vell, thiz iz it,' Grimmjow murmured and stared at their joined hands. The taxi man closed the trunk and began to make his way to the driver's seat.
Ichigo swallowed painfully and tightened his grip on Grimmjow's hand.
'I don't want you to go,' he muttered and blushed. God, he sounded like such a selfish child!
Guess Grimmjow saw that too because he smiled and hugged Ichigo tightly like he never wanted to let go. Tears pricked the corner of Ichigo's eyes as he hugged him back. He really wished he couldn't let go. There was so much they still hadn't done together.
'You're my whole vorld,' Grimmjow whispered into his ear. Ichigo's eyes widened. 'I love you, Ichigo Kurozaki.'
Ichigo choked on a laugh and pulled away from Grimmjow, a grin spread across his face.
'I'm not a Kurosaki, Grimmjow!' he laughed. Though he loved the way the name just rolled off his tongue like it belonged.
'Yet!' Grimmjow added and raised an eyebrow suggestively. Ichigo laughed again and kissed the tip of Grimmjow's nose.
'You're my whole universe, Grimmjow,' Ichigo murmured. 'Without you, it would be incomplete.'
'Don't get lovey dovey on me!' Grimmjow remarked and punched his arm playfully. 'I'm not the girl in thiz relationzhip!'
'Yes, you are!' Ichigo teased and ruffled the boy's hair. 'You've got the hair to prove it!'
Grimmjow's eyes narrowed in annoyance and this time he punched Ichigo hard. The boy laughed and rubbed his sore arm.
'Ow! Okay, okay, I take it back! You're not a girl!' he chuckled.
He stopped to simply smile at the boy who changed his world. Who knew he'd be right about something like that? But he wouldn't have it any other way. He just wished he had more time to spend with Grimmjow at least. To actually enjoy this moment that seemed like a drop of bliss from heaven.
Ichigo laughed out loud again. Grimmjow raised an eyebrow at him.
'Vhat'z zo funny?' he queried.
'It's just…' Ichigo sighed happily. 'Everything that happened…seems like right out of a movie or something! Like Cinderella or some random chick flick!'
'If you compare thiz to a chick flick I vill murder you,' Grimmjow said menacingly.
'Okay, okay, not a chick flick! Jeez, stop being such a girl! Kidding kidding!' He tried to prevent a laugh escaping at the deadly look in Grimmjow's eyes. 'But, you know, this is something that should be made into a movie! It was just…it was just so intense, wasn't it?'
Grimmjow calmed down and nodded.
'Yez,' he said softly and smiled as he stared off into the distance. 'It certainly vaz…'
'It needs a name,' Ichigo exclaimed and scratched his chin. 'Like…all amazing love action movies have epic names! So we need one too! Like…The Tale of Two Youths! Or…or…Forbidden Love! Or…or-! Hey, what's with that look? You making fun of me!'
'No!' Grimmjow sighed and shook his head, his shoulders shaking with laughter. 'You are already doing a good job of that!'
'Ichigo…' he smiled gently at his lover as he pushed some wild orange bangs out of Ichigo's eyes. 'Our love esztory… doezn't need a name.'
'That's so boring, Grimm!' Ichigo whined and almost pouted like a child.
'It doezn't need one!' Grimmjow repeated and wrapped a hand around Ichigo's neck, drawing him closer so that their breaths were intermingling. 'Namez, titlez…they don't make a good esztory, Ichigo. It'z vhat'z in them that makez them vorth the read. And the experience.'
Then, he pressed his lips firmly against Ichigo's, kissing him sweetly and passionately. Ichigo didn't waste time in kissing back. This was going to be their last kiss. And he wanted to make sure that he never forgot it.
When they parted, Grimmjow hugged Ichigo one last time before looking away but Ichigo saw the tears welling in those sapphire eyes. He could feel his own pooling with salty tears as his lover clambered into the taxi.
'Bye, Grimmjow!' Orihime yelled and waved enthusiastically as the cab slowly drove away.
'Don't finish those chips yet!' Renji called.
'Stay safe!' Tatsuki piped.
'Have a safe trip!' Uryu managed to utter without sounding pompous.
But the only thing Grimmjow heard, and will probably remember, was the 'I love you' Ichigo whispered in his ear when they shared their last hug. And that was all he really wanted to remember
I hope you all understand why I left this story unnamed XD
Crappy happy ending I know but…I'm just glad everyone enjoyed this story and stuck by to review and stuff. It means a lot. I love all my stories equally and I love it when people review on how good they are. It shows how hard works pays off. And it's all because you guys said 'good job!' or 'I liked this!' See how much power you guys have?
Well, on to the next story! Thanks once again for the lovely reviews!