CHAPTER 9INE: GRAND THEFT AUTUMN

**Disclaimer in first chapter. Grand Theft Autumn belongs to Fallout Boy. Not me.**

**(::.. As an apology for not updating any sooner, you get a long chapter. There's more on Ichigo's disabilities from being born with heroin in his system. That part in this story is not fictional—my cousin was born a heroin baby and supports my writing (She even reads it sometimes!) So with her permission, I'm putting in what she can't do as what Ichigo can't do. The paragraph will be marked with an asterisk. Second time skip—this one's more major, several years actually. And by "several years" I mean that this is skipping from Ichigo being a poor wittle 4 year old, to being a 15 year old in the 10th grade. Slight Stark/Ichi with a sprinkle of jealous!Byakuya. ..::)**

**(::. .REVIEWS MAKE ME UPDATE FASTER. .::)**

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When I wake up,

I'm willing to take my chances on the hope

I forget that you hate him more than you notice

I wrote this for you.

You need him.

I could be him...
I could be an accident but I'm still trying.
That's more than I can say for him.

Where is your boy tonight?

I hope he is a gentleman.
Maybe he won't find out what I know:

You were the last good thing about this part of town.

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Ichigo's hand hurt as much as his head, or rather his brain, did. He was half way through his tenth grade mid-terms, bore the biggest headache that he did not deserve, and had his nose to his exam in an attempt to read it. After first receiving the test and looking at the first line he had embarrassingly cried out, "Oh shit! I'm blind!" causing his oh so lovely proctor to negate ten points off for speaking and his profanity. He wasn't really blind though, the lettering was just several font sizes too small for lord knows what reason. At the moment, Ichigo was the only one still working on finishing his test. Everyone else was either rechecking their work, staring blankly into space, or, like the guy who was sitting next to him, sleeping.

*Due to the life long after effects of being a heroin baby, numbers made just about absolutely no sense to him. At all, whatsoever. He couldn't count to 100, he couldn't tell time via non-digital clock or dial/memorize phone numbers, he could just barely so simple math (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), and although he could drive, he couldn't read or make sense out of a speedometer to save his life.

And at the moment, he couldn't do geometry. He would look at the time to see how much longer he had until he had to start pulling answers out of his ass, but of course his watch was at home when it should've been on his wrist.

"How much time do we have left, I wanna go home~!" Oh, thank god! Ichigo recognized the green-haired female from somewhere, but he couldn't remember. He didn't think it was necessary to wear a spandex jump-suit to school though… As the proctor called out, "five minutes, shut up!" Ichigo cursed Byakuya's existence. If he hadn't gotten Old Man Kuchiki to pay the school so Ichigo got Uncle Kisuke for a math teacher, then he wouldn't be in this troublesome situation! In another way it was his own fault as well. In his rush to make it to school on time he'd left his now much needed calculator on his and Byakuya's bed. He knew all the formulas, but he needed multiplication and division to do the final steps of the problems and get his answers. Why did his mom have to hate him?

A clatter on the floor to his left gained his attention. The sleeping brunette had been momentarily woken up by his calculator falling to the floor. In his sleepy daze, he picked it up and placed it on Ichigo's desk before seemingly nodding off again. Ichigo was going to kiss that man. Rushing through the several unanswered questions on his test and bubbling in the answers on his scantron, he barely finished in time. He had filled in the final bubble just as the proctor reached his desk. Ichigo nearly sobbed in relief.

As they were dismissed, Ichigo glanced at the boy next to him. He was still asleep to Ichigo's astonishment. Standing up and hesitantly shaking his shoulder, the boy woke up and stood himself. Ichigo held out the blue calculator,

"You uhh… dropped this." He cursed at his crappy social skills, blaming Byakuya for that too.

"You looked like you needed it. Finish on time?" The brunette yawned. Too surprised to do anything else, Ichigo settled for nodding. The boy nodded in response and as he took the calculator back he slipped Ichigo a piece of paper with "Stark" and a sequence of numbers on it to him. He had no idea what they meant but he didn't necessarily feel like making a fool out of himself by asking the now retreating boy. Maybe Byakuya would know…

Byakuya was shaking his head. More specifically, Byakuya was shaking his head at Ichigo. When he finally looked away and went back to his typing, the annoyance on his face made it clear that he wasn't going to give his friend an answer as to what it was. Irritated, Ichigo left the office-like room and went out in search of Old Man Kuchiki.

When he did manage to track him down, he was in the garden drinking tea. Before he'd even finished his explanation, the old man was waving him off to get the paper from Ichigo. Several minutes of silence passed before he let out a noise of affirmation. Ichigo perked up before deflating as Ginrei announced in what sounded like surprise,

"It appears to be a name..!" Ichigo had forgotten how useless he was without his glasses.

Asking Rukia was his next stop. Rukia was Byakuya's younger sister. She was supposed to be a twin, but the elder one had gotten ill shortly after their birth. Their mother had died during child birth of a rare disease, and Hisana, Rukia's would-be twin, had contracted it as well. Even though she had been hospitalized immediately, she never got any better and had died the next day.

Rukia was eleven and having a tea-party with her stuffed bunny, Chappi. Ichigo found it strange for her to be doing so at her age, but he never really cared to question it. In the end she ended up refusing to help him unless he joined her tea party, which he flat-out refused to do, so he went back to his and Byakuya's room.

After Ichigo's mother's overdose eleven years ago, Ichigo couldn't bear to be alone for several hours at a time. When he woke up in the hospital and explained everything, he'd been so confused. The doctors, as gentle as they tried to break it to him, did just that; break it to him. She wasn't going to come back; she was never going to come back. She wasn't going to say she was sorry; she wasn't going to tell him she loved him. And before he knew it, his innocence had been snatched out from under his feet with the sudden slap in the face of the memory of his mother, the center of his whole word, yelling at him, blaming him, telling him how it was his fault. And his four year old self believed her wholly. He believed that it was his actions of being a bad son, of being a bad person in general, which caused his hero to make the choice to never come back to the world. Since that realization came to him, nightmares plagued his sleep every night that followed. And from that night on, the plagues would vanish the minute someone crawled into bed with Ichigo. So when Ichigo went home with the Kuchikis, he would scream and cry until Byakuya quickly crawled into bed with him. Sometimes though, Ginrei got there before the six year old and lay down with the four year old all night, reading and occasionally glancing at him as he made sure he was okay throughout the night. From time to time Ichigo would just lay awake every night and simply want to be held by whoever he was with. Eventually, Ginrei was sent away for a business trip for a few months. Left in the care of numberless nannies to raise him, Byakuya he never really connected personally with anyone but Ichigo. As time went on it pretty much just became an "Oh hi, Nice to meet you even though I'll never see you again after a week or so from now," routine. Ichigo, to the nannies and maids, seemed meek, quiet, and if nothing else deathly shy. Eventually Byakuya grew colder to the maids and nannies. And, as time went on, he grew colder to everybody. Ichigo and Ginrei seemed to be the only ones who treated him the same, but insecurities still lurked within him due to the never-present motherly figure in his life.

Ichigo flopped onto his stomach, face buried in his best friend's pillow. For some reason he always smelled of flowers. Not that he was complaining though, he loved flowers and he loved that Byakuya smelled like them! Blushing slightly at that last thought, Ichigo blindly reached to his left and felt around Byakuya's side-table for his cell phone. Once Ichigo had a hold of it, he pushed the center "OKAY" button and scrolled through all of his contacts in search of his cousin's name. When he reached it he pressed "SEND" and waited.

"Wha' Ichi?"

"Ichigo," he corrected. "I need you to come over for something."

"Ask your boyfriend, I got shit ta do."

"He won't hel—tell me. And he's not my boyfriend!"

"Uh huh. Sure he ain't, lover boy. What ya need help with?"

"I don't need any help! Just get over here you giant baboon!"

"The only thing giant on me—"

"Other than your hair?"

"Yeh," he chuckled, "Other than my hair, is my coc—" Ichigo hung up and reburied his face in the fruity scented pillow, groaning at how disgusting his cousin was. Just because his mother looked and acted like porn stars probably looked and acted, didn't make it okay for him to at like he was some Adonis. Ichigo doubted that talking to your cousin like that was appropriate anyway…

Granted, Aunt Yoruichi had ovary problems and Uncle Kisuke was sterile so having kids was virtually impossible for them, all four of their kids were adopted. Renji and his punk thirteen year old brother Jinta, and Tatsuki and her quiet eleven year old sister Ururu. Both of their birth parents were either dirt poor or lived in unsuitable conditions to have children in. So at first Aunt Yoruichi and Uncle Kisuke adopted Tatsuki before Ururu was born, and fell in love with having children in their house. When they found out a toddler and a new born were going into an orphanage a few miles away, the approached the parents and adopted Renji and Jinta. Tatsuki's mother called the couple up when she was pregnant with Ururu and explained that she couldn't afford her. They gladly took her in once she was born.

Lost in his thought and Byakuya's scent, Ichigo didn't notice the door opening or the red head creeping into the room until his body fell on top of Ichigo's.

"Oof!"

"Ooh, ooh ah, ah!"

"Fricken monkey!" Ichigo shoved the red head off of his back and rolled over.

Renji snorted and rolled onto his back with his arms behind his head,

"Whatcha need help with?" Ichigo leaved across him and went to grab the little slip of paper on his side table. Renji chuckled and grabbed Ichigo's hips,

"Oh baby."

"Shut up." When he grabbed the paper, he shoved it at his cousin and crossed his arms. Ichigo removed one hand in place of grasping the paper and getting a good look at it. He looked back up at Ichigo with a blank stare,

"Really?"

Ichigo was confused,

"Really what?"

"Ya are retarded," Ichigo glared at him. "It's a number dumbass."

"No shit? I hadn't realized, thanks!"

Renji scowled, "Fuck you, it's his phone number smart ass!" He continued at Ichigo's silence. "If it's Stark that gave it to ya then he obviously's makin' an effort with ya."

"An effort with what?"

"Ta dip his dick in yer asshole." Renji spoke slowly with a roll of his eyes as if he were explaining it for the fifteenth time in a row. Ichigo glared and slapped Renji's chest with the back of his hand,

"Shove off, he does not!"

Renji raised an eyebrow, remembering how naïve his adoptive cousin really was. "Call him an' find out then Mr. Know-it-all. If I'm right ya gotta tell pretty boy ya want his dick. If you win, I'll stop actin' like I'm hittin' on ya." Immediately agreeing to the bet, if only for the sake of what he got for winning, Ichigo gave Renji his cell phone. After adding Stark to Ichigo's contacts, Renji pressed "SEND" and gave the orange haired boy his phone back, his hand returning behind his head to join the other. As the phone rang, Ichigo glared at his cousin. When he heard a muffled "H'lo?" his face dropped slightly.

"Uhh… hi." Renji rolled his eyes. Ichigo really needed to get something done about his poor-ass social skills.

"Who's this?" A bored voice answered like it had something better to do.

"Oh! It's uh, it's Ichigo. Sorry…"

"Hey."

"..." Ichigo felt so awkwardly uncomfortable talking to the guy he had only spoken to once before.

"You busy?" Both shocked and angry that Renji won the bet, Ichigo scowled.

"Now?" The man yawned and let out a sound of confirmation.

"Uhm.. no..?"

"Wanna come over? I'll give you the address." Ichigo blushed, but not for the invitation. He turned away from Renji to hide his pink tinted pace from his snickering cousin,

"I can't drive…"

"Hmm. I'll go to you place then. You live with the Kuchikis right?"

"Uh yeah, but—" Stark sighed,

"I'll be there shortly." As the busy tone screeched at Ichigo to shut his phone (and his mouth), Renji smirked and left the room.

Byakuya was just going to love that!