Chapter Eleven: Yesterday Don't Mean Shit
Predictably enough, Ichigo immediately ran for the front door the moment he was fully clothed again. He didn't get far though, as the door was slammed open before he could quite reach it.
Judging by the voices that Grimmjow could hear, two of his current favourite people were blocking Ichigo from leaving. Nel and Shiro both sounded deviously gleeful, even as Ichigo started ranting and raving about "irresponsible dickhead relatives" and "conniving she-devils". Dragging himself out of bed, the blunette pulled on a pair of jeans and made his way to the others, one hand scratching through the trail of hair at the bottom of his abdomen.
"Could you be any goddamn louder?" He grumbled without any real feeling.
Twin smirks were turned on him, Nel barrelling over to hug Grimmjow around the chest. "Congrats, G! He's easily the least-regrettable person you've ever managed to talk into drunkenly fucking you!"
Rolling his eyes, Grimmjow pushed his sister away without too much force, giving Ichigo a sideways glance just to see how the younger man would react to hearing that.
He wasn't disappointed.
"He might not regret it," Ichigo snapped, eyes blazing with anger, "but all three of you are assholes."
Because Shiro was the only one left blocking the doorway, it didn't take much effort for Ichigo to shove his way through and escape. Grimmjow couldn't really say that he cared- he'd gotten what he wanted- but Nel actually looked a little worried.
That was different: she usually took great pleasure in terrorising Grimmjow's one-night-stands and throwing them out of the apartment, half the time acting like a cheated-on wife just for shits and giggles.
"…What the hell, G? Oh god, please tell me it was consensual…" Nel seemed genuinely scared of that possibility, and it actually hurt Grimmjow a little that his own sister thought he could rape someone. People who looked the way he did had no need for non-consensual sex, and he might be a lot of bad things, but he was not a rapist.
"Christ, Nel, d'ya really think that little of me? He's probably just ragging or somethin', how should I know?" Crossing his arms over his chest, Grimmjow glared at Nel and thoroughly ignored the way Shiro was laughing at the entire situation.
"Sorry, Grimm, that was actually kinda uncalled for. I'm gonna go after him though, 'cause I feel a bit bad that he thinks we manipulated him into this. I'll be back a little later, and then you're going to fill me in on why Shiro told me that you'd already met."
Waving his sister away disinterestedly, Grimmjow turned to Shiro as Nel left the apartment. "Hair a' the dog?"
"Damn fuckin' straight!" The albino grinned, practically bounding over to the fridge and pulling out two beer bottles. Grimmjow grabbed his out of the air as Shiro chucked it towards him, slumping down on the couch and grabbing the TV remote. He was aimlessly flicking through channels when a sharp nail poked into the side of his neck.
"I'm givin' ya a free pass on this one, 'cause Ichi's shitty at me n' Nel too, but jus' remember what I said about him gettin' hurt."
Grimmjow huffed out a sigh, taking a swig from his beer. "Don't be such a friggin' princess, Shiro. I'm done with him, and he's obviously done with me. Nobody's gonna get hurt."
"Uh-huh," Shiro muttered with obvious disbelief.
"Oh, shut th' fuck up and let me watch TV in peace."
Ichigo was just digging out his wallet to pay for his coffee when a hand stilled his movements.
"And add a regular skinny latte to the order, yeah?"
Ichigo turned towards the female voice, gaze narrowing as he watched Nel hand over enough money to cover both drinks. He raised an eyebrow as she met his angry stare, but the woman didn't seem cowed in the least.
"You wanna find us a table? I'll grab our drinks."
"I'm not staying here, Nel. My clothes are filthy, I need a shower, and I was just grabbing something to drink on the way home."
"Five minutes. That's all I want."
Ichigo groaned, but gave in. Nel might have been half the reason he was in this mess in the first place, but she seemed like a decent enough person. He was fully planning on ignoring the hell out of Shiro for a while, and that went double for Grimmjow, but he couldn't just run off on Nel.
"Five minutes. But then I'm bailing, because I feel like scummy garbage and I'm pretty sure I'm still drunk."
The smile she flashed him was earnest and, quite honestly, adorable. Even if Ichigo hadn't already been stalked and thoroughly creeped out by her brother, he could never have seen Nel as a sexual object: she reminded him way too much of his sisters, Yuzu in particular.
Shaking his head a little, Ichigo wandered over to a free table and slumped down rather ungracefully. He hadn't been lying when he'd told Nel that he was most likely still drunk from the previous night, and the room was wavering a little bit. He'd put up with worse in the past, though.
It only took a couple of minutes for Nel to come over with their drinks, and Ichigo practically inhaled the coffee the moment it was placed in front of him. Nel watched him with totally unconcealed amusement, but Ichigo held off on acknowledging that until he'd gotten as much caffeine into his system as he could.
Giving Nel an unimpressed look, he finally put the cup back on the table. "So?"
"Okay," Nel began, not even pretending to be confused as to what Ichigo was asking. "Yes, G can be a massive dickhead sometimes, and Shiro and I shouldn't have helped him out, but he's a great guy under all his posturing."
"If you say so," Ichigo muttered under his breath. Raising his voice, he asked, "And this has what to do with me, exactly?"
"Give Grimm a chance. Go out on a date…for me?"
Oh god, the wide-eyed innocent look was back.
"Nel, I can't do it. And why do you even care so much?"
When the woman turned her back to Ichigo, he honestly had no idea what was going on. She brushed her long hair over her shoulder, showing off an ornate 'G' that was tattooed on the back of her neck. A long fingernail tapped at the black design.
"You see this, Ichi?"
"This was my first tattoo, and I got it 'cause my brother is the only family I care about anymore. He's made some shitty choices in life, and I just want what's best for him."
Nel turned back to face Ichigo, pinning him with an inquisitive stare. "I think you're what's best for him right now."
Ichigo honestly had no idea what to say to that. It usually took a couple of dates before he had the family getting this involved in him, and that was usually because some overprotective father was worried about his daughter.
"I've never even dated a guy, Nel. I'd be totally useless at it, probably."
Unfortunately, she didn't look at all perturbed by that. If anything, her earnest look came back in greater force than ever. "Well then, that means your standards won't be too high, and you won't leave him the minute he inevitably screws up!"
The redhead dropped his face into his palm. "We've slept together once, and had like, four conversations. Why are you assuming that we're going to get into a relationship?"
"Because sister knows best!" Reaching across to condescendingly pat Ichigo on the head, Nel grabbed her half-full drink and stood up. "Now then, I'll get him to text you the details for your date. See you around, Ichi."
"Wait a minute, I didn't even agree to anything!"
Nel didn't bother responding, only giving him an enthusiastic wave as she left the café. Ichigo slumped onto the table, resting his head on his forearms as he wondered where he'd gone wrong in his life.
Grimmjow and Shiro were still parked in front of the TV, onto their second beers, when Nel slammed through the front door again. When they didn't even look at her, she stood directly in the way of the TV, hands planted on her hips.
"Tryin' to watch that, Nel," Grimmjow snarked. Nel didn't move from her spot, only glancing behind her to see what was on the screen.
"Because it's so important that you watch…is that Next Top Model? Jesus, G…" Nel turned back to the guys, lips pursing as she tried not to laugh. Grimmjow and Shiro glanced at each other, shrugging slightly.
"The chicks are all really hot. Couldn't give a shit about the fashion junk, but this is a lingerie shoot episode, so fuck off." Grimmjow made a shooing motion with his hand, glaring when his sister was still blocking the view.
"You've got a date with Ichigo," Nel asserted, ignoring the venomous glare being directed at her.
"Uh, no I don't." Raising an eyebrow, Grimmjow leant to the side, trying to see the screen around his sister. Nel laughed sarcastically, stepping forward until she was directly in front of Grimmjow.
"Listen carefully: you will be going on the date that Ichigo agreed to, and you will like it."
"I'm sorry, I didn't realise that you're my fuckin' mother, Nel. I don't date and you damn well know it."
Sighing, Nel jabbed Grimmjow's chest with her index finger. "Lemme lay some knowledge on you, dear brother of mine. The only reason you don't date is 'cause you only go for smashable chicks: the kind of girls who're completely batshit insane and who no one in their right minds wants to date. You're getting older, so you need to start going for wifeable girls. They're out there, and you've got one. Don't fuck it up just because you're a fucking asshole, yeah?"
"After last night, I can tell ya that Ichigo definitely ain't a chick."
"The point still stands!" Nel screeched as she threw her hands in the air, exasperated. "Ichigo's the kind of guy you could settle down with, so he's wifeable. It's not my fault that 'husbandable' sounds stupid."
Draining the last of his beer and punching Shiro in the side for laughing way too hard at the whole exchange, Grimmjow snarled at his sister. "I dunno where you pulled that bullshit from, but you don't get ta tell me how I should live. Our prick of a father did the same fuckin' thing, and you know it."
Nel's expression darkened ominously at that, which even made Shiro stop laughing and sit up straight. It wasn't often that Nel got furious, and the men knew better than to take her lightly when she was in such a state.
"I am nothing like him. You're a goddamn dick, Grimmjow, and if you compare me to that bastard one more time, I'll break your arm the same way he did mine." Whirling around, Nel stomped from the apartment; however, Grimmjow still caught the glossy redness of her eyes before she turned away.
It took a lot to make the blunette feel bad. He didn't bat an eyelid at throwing his one-night-stands out of his apartment, nor at beating the shit out of someone who deserved it.
Here, though, he was fully aware that he'd crossed a line he really shouldn't have. He and Nel's father was the worst kind of person, and Grimmjow knew that Nel trying to set him up with Ichigo was nothing like what their father had done when they were younger. He'd been backed into a corner, and he'd come out swinging; but it'd been a despicably low blow, and he could actually feel guilt gnawing at his insides for reducing his sister for tears.
There was only one way he could make up for this.
Ichigo was stepping out of the shower when there was a loud knock on the door, making him groan in frustration.
"Gimme a moment," he called to whoever it was as he quickly dried off and threw on the clean sweatpants and T-shirt he'd brought into the bathroom with him. Making his way to the front door, he could hear two familiar female voices talking and briefly considered not opening the door at all.
"We know you're there, idiot."
Well, there went that plan. Pulling the door open, Ichigo leant against the frame and looked tiredly at his visitors. Rangiku smiled in greeting, but Rukia just pushed Ichigo out of the way and walked into the apartment, settling herself casually in an armchair. Clearly stifling a laugh, Rangiku linked her arm through Ichigo's, dragging him inside and pulling him down onto the couch.
"To what do I owe this pleasure?" The redhead asked, sarcasm heavy in his tone. The two girls looked at each other, both grinning in a way that was unsettlingly evil.
"Did you have fun last night?" Rukia asked in an innocent voice that didn't suit her at all.
Ichigo immediately felt sick.
Pressing a manicured index finger to her beauty spot, Rangiku widened her eyes in mock naïveté. "Apparently you were seen getting up close and personal with a certain blue haired hottie."
"Wha…I…no, I was just…uh…" Ichigo was fully aware that his awkward stuttering was confirming what the women seemed to already know, but he couldn't stop his instinctive denials.
"I'm really surprised it took us this long to find out you're into dudes. From what I hear, you were pretty much screwing the dude in the middle of the club…not that I blame you, I'd climb that guy like a tree." Rangiku dropped the innocent act, and Rukia did the same.
"Why didn't you tell us you had a date, idiot?" Rukia demanded, sitting forward in the chair.
Flushing, Ichigo glared at both women and tried to keep the flustered tone out of his voice. "It wasn't a date, dammit! I didn't even know he was going to be there."
Rangiku arched a thin eyebrow, laughing. "So you didn't even make it to the first date before you gave it up for him? Oh honey, I thought you had more class than that."
"Don't you know that you're supposed to wait until the third date to sleep with someone?"
They were ganging up on him, and Ichigo didn't like it. For once, he decided to put everything out on the table, and hopefully get the females off his back. What was it with women today? They all seemed to have it out for him.
"Here's the deal. Listen carefully," he started, Rukia and Rangiku both watching him with total interest. "I thought I was just going out with Shiro- my cousin, I've told you about him- and a woman he works with. That's Nel, she's pretty cool. Turned out, though, that she brought her brother with her. That was Grimmjow, but I only found out about that once Nel decided she didn't want me to leave."
The girls were now clearly trying not to laugh, and Ichigo frowned. "Nel and Shiro got me really drunk. It wasn't my fault that…hang on."
Hearing his phone start ringing from where he'd left it in the kitchen, Ichigo got up and quickly headed over to it. He groaned when he saw the caller ID, but reluctantly answered the call anyway.
"What the hell do you want?"
"Oh, sweetheart, is that any way ta talk to the guy who's takin' you out on a date tonight?" Grimmjow let out a deliciously deep laugh, and Ichigo felt himself involuntarily shiver as he remembered flashes of that voice talking dirty to him the previous night.
"I don't think so," the redhead managed to force out in a nearly level tone. "I never agreed to what Nel said. We're not going on a date."
"Y'see, I think that's gonna be a problem," Grimmjow said. "I'll pick ya up at seven. Dress nice."
"Wait…" Ichigo spat out as the call end tone sounded. He let out a sigh, jumping slightly as hands grabbed his shoulders.
"Ichigo, take us to your wardrobe. We've got to get an outfit picked out for your big date!"
"How the hell did you know that?"
Rukia grinned, practically vibrating with glee. "You should really turn down the volume of your calls. That gorgeous voice was pretty easy to hear."
Pulling away from the women, Ichigo turned to stare them down. "I don't even want to go on this date!"
"But you do want to get laid," Rangiku giggled. "And since you've already hit that, we need to make you look extra fuckable for tonight."
Dropping his head in frustrated exhaustion, Ichigo finally gave in and let his friends drag him towards his bedroom.