Heyo! Just got back from vacation with no internet- here's a present, everything I finished while I was away. I hope you all had awesome holidays, I'd love to hear your stories!
See? I'm going again. Is everyone happy? Yeah? Okay. Let's get this going again, totally disregarding the rules placed within the world of Bleach. Enjoy the train wreck.
The oranget sighed in relief as he lay down in his new bed, feeling a sense of relief from being here, away from the others… away from Grimmjow. Maybe things could start getting better now that he was away from all that and could relax a bit and focus on this baby stuff.
"Hey Ulquiorra?" he called, turning his head toward the door where the other appeared moments later. "How long do you think I'll be here?" he questioned, his eyes revealing how much the subject troubled him. The Espada's face didn't change or show any emotion as he moved to sit next to Ichigo on the bed.
"Do you really expect to leave now?" it was a question but it sounded like a statement, like he knew something the berry didn't.
"What do you mean?"
"What do you think will happen if you go back? Do you think the soul reapers will just allow your child to live? Do you think they will allow you to live in peace?" Ichigo's eyes slowly moved away from the fourth's. He was right… they wouldn't allow any of this to go without harsh punishment. He hadn't really thought about that part… maybe he just thought that he would be an exception to their strict laws because he was different. Why was he such an idiot? As if they'd allow a child such as this one to survive long. They would probably kill it the first chance they got and who knows what they would do to him for creating it. Even if he were to break out, he would be hunted. And if his friends were to get involved, which he knew they would, they'd all probably be executed for betraying Soul Society. Ulquiorra was right… he couldn't go back.
He said nothing as he rolled onto his side, facing away from his caretaker. He wanted to be alone so he was grateful when Ulquiorra stood and exited the room to leave Ichigo with his thoughts. There was still stuff he wanted to do with his family and friends… there was something he really needed to do before it was too late… he needed to say goodbye.
He stood and made his way to the nearest mirror, exposing his stomach to his own eyes for inspection. It was getting bigger and more noticeable… he stared at it with saddened eyes, wondering again how this could have happened. His stomach was still flat enough that no one would notice it though so maybe… maybe he could convince Ulquiorra into taking him to go see his family before it was too obvious that he was pregnant. That was by far the last thing he wanted anyone from his life to know. Well, it was worth a shot.
"Ulquiorra." he called as he walked out of his room to the kitchen where the fourth was preparing a meal. "I want to visit my family before it's too late. I promise I won't run or anything, as you said before it wouldn't be very good for me or my baby if I did."
"Why would you want to do that?" Ulquiorra asked, looking between what he was doing and Ichigo. It took him a little while to answer, trying to find the most important reasons. As a hollow, he wasn't sure if the fourth would understand if he said it was because he loved and missed them.
"I want to say goodbye and let them know that I'm okay so they don't worry. It could also probably help with keeping everyone away longer." he quickly added, feeling like a little kid that needed to justify his reasons for wanting something to a parent that would deny them. Ulquiorra studied him for a moment before his eyes remained on his cooking.
"I will have to discuss it with Lord Aizen first." Ichigo nodded with a sigh. Of course he did.
... ... ...
"And you're sure it'll work?" the berry asked doubtfully, turning the small grayish white pill in his hand.
"I wouldn't hand it over otherwise." Szayel rolled his eyes as he gave Ulquiorra and Tier the same item. "It doesn't hide your reiatsu, it actually blocks it which means that you won't be able to fight if you're discovered so if you are found out, just get the hell back here."
"How long does it last?" the berry's caretaker questioned, looking the pill over with blank eyes.
"You have two hours." his voice gained an edge to it. "If you had given me more time, I might have been able to give you more."
"It's great, thank you." Ichigo smiled to be polite. He had two hours to see his family and perhaps some of his friends… two hours to say goodbye. He could work with that. "Let's go." he called as he turned and started for the door, not wanting to waste a moment.
"You must stay close to us at all times." Tier reminded and the oranget nodded.
"And if we're discovered, you guys have to tie me up and pretend I'm a prisoner." the two espada walking at his side nodded and in agreement. He had changed back into his black uniform for just a situation, it wouldn't do to have someone see him dressed as an arancar. Ichigo's steps suddenly stopped when a certain espada who shall not be named, with a six on his back, walked out of a room to share the hallway with his pregnant berry. They stood and stared at each other for a moment, Ichigo's chocolate eyes hinting at fear and worry while Grimmjow's cyan shone with mixed emotions, anger and regret being among them. Tightening the fist that held his pill, the substitute soul reaper narrowed his eyes and continued to walk passed his former lover. He had to resist the urge to bump into him with his shoulder since he was sure that would start a fight and he really didn't have time for that right now. Right now he needed to go home. His free hand rubbed his stomach. He needed to see his family before he had to start a new one.
"Wait- Ichigo!" Grimmjow called though he wasn't sure what it was he wanted to say yet- that was a lie, he knew what he wanted to say he just didn't know how to say it. He wanted to apologize for being such an asshole and for kicking him out unjustly and… and he wanted to ask him to come back. Honestly his place somehow had grown cold without Ichigo there... and the panther missed him. He missed his voice, he missed talking with him about stupid shit that didn't matter, he missed somehow waking up with the human in his arms, he missed caring for him and sitting up with him when he wasn't feeling well, and as odd as it was he even missed the times when they would just fight and scream at each other. It wasn't like him to be sentimental over anything but Ulquiorra really knocked some sense into him the other night.
"What?" Ichigo growled, not turning to face the blunet but Ulquiorra did and his green eyes held a warning because he knew that the berry was scared. If he was going to hurt him more, he would be the one in pain. He knew that but really… he was already in pain.
"I…" shit the godparents of his child were glaring at him, telling him to choose his words carefully and… he wasn't going to say anything bad, he just… damn it. This so wasn't like him, he couldn't do it- especially not with these two around. "Nothing." he tsked and turned to walk away, scolding himself with a vow to get his berry alone and talk to him about all this before the day's end. Ichigo closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths to calm himself. He was really wishing that Grimmjow would've actually said something maybe about them, what's happened, or their child but of course he got his hopes up for nothing like usual. How long was that bastard going to continue to playing these stupid tricks that fucked with his emotions?
He only started walking again when his caretaker placed a hand on his arm and guided him to the door, offering no words as there was nothing to say that hadn't already been. Grimmjow was an instinctual beast with a wild nature that no one could control. Hoping for him to shape up and become part of a family was like wishing for hollows to stop eating humans. It's just what they were and that wasn't going to change.
No one had told Grimmjow what they were doing today for a multitude of reasons but somehow Ichigo still felt bad for not telling him about something like this especially since it was rather dangerous. What if they were captured in their vulnerable state? What if their unborn child was hurt or even killed? What if he was? Would the sixth espada even care?
… … …
Just before they stepped into the world of the living, the three travelers swallowed the pill each had carried with them and gave it a moment to take effect before heading out. The first thing Ichigo felt was the wind, it was a light breeze that caressed his skin as it passed him and it left him with a very nostalgic feeling of being home. He took a deep breath and slowly exhaled it in a relieved sigh. Smells of food from nearby restaurants, the stream not far from where they had come through, and the pollution of gas from cars and such lingered in the air. Street lights had just come on to act as guiding beacons to those trying to find their way around with the darkening sky. The sounds of bustling people as they went about their daily lives was somehow more than just useless background noise now. The oranget found it all so beautiful now, these everyday things no one took time to appreciate. He almost couldn't believe he used to be one of them but he knew how easy it was to forget how nice something was when you were around it at all times. 'You never know what you have until it's gone.'
His thoughts were interrupted when an angry pain pulsed from his stomach. He grunted and held his arms over his belly, willing his unborn child to settle down. The godparents were at his sides, trying to figure out what was happening. They were concerned that someone would sense the reiatsu that normally flared out but there didn't seem to be any.
"Guess it doesn't like this pill, huh?" he groaned, trying to ignore the still present tension in his torso.
"Come." Ulquiorra ordered, taking the berry by the arm to get him moving. "We don't have much time." Ichigo nodded and led them to his family's house. That's right, the pill would wear off in two hours, maybe less if this kid had anything to say about it, so he had to hurry if he wanted to see everyone in time but his family came first. He knew needed to avoid anyone that might be able to actually see him though that thought made him feel kind of lonely. He wanted to see everyone and he wanted them to see him, he wanted to talk to them and tell them he was okay... he wanted to come home.
They stood above the Kurosaki Clinic but he was almost afraid to go in. He knew Yuzu wouldn't know he was there, his dad claimed to be as clueless as the youngest but Ichigo suspected he knew more than he let on, and he wasn't sure how much Karin could see but he knew she would normally at least be able to sense that something was there though that no longer mattered with this pill in effect.
"Could you guys just stand watch out here?" he requested of his child's godparents and they looked at each other for a moment before nodding.
"Be careful." the third warned and Ichigo chuckled dryly.
"I'm going home to see my family, not invading enemy grounds." both the espada looked at him like that's exactly what he was doing. "I'll be fine." he reassured them both lowering himself to the front door. He took a deep breath before stepping through the wooden door and into his home. Everything was the same as he had left it, the smell of Yuzu's cooking drifting through the air. He wandered into the kitchen to find his little sister at the stove, making dinner for the family. She sighed sadly and looked up toward the ceiling with a concerned gaze.
"Ichi-nii…" his heart ached for his sister and he wanted to tell her that he was alright and not to worry... but even if he did, she couldn't hear him.
"Stop that already." Karin stated lazily as she walked into the room to take her seat at the dinner table.
"How can you be so calm about this Karin? Ichi-nii has been missing for a long time now!" the younger shouted defensively but her twin just shrugged.
"He's strong and can handle himself so I'm sure he's fine." Yuzu looked down before silently turning back to dinner. Slowly Ichigo sat at his regular seat at the table and sighed, running his hands through his orange hair.
"Yuzu, Karin... I'm so sorry. I wish I could come home and be here with you guys but something happened... I wish this was a normal situation where I could introduce you to the person I'm in love with and give you the good news that you're going to be aunts but nothing about this is normal and that isn't good news in this case." tears stung his eyes though he held them back but he couldn't stop his regretful voice from shaking. "You'll probably never know what really happened to me and honestly I kind of hope that's true. This is all just too weird..." the girls sat in the silence they shared and did their own things, completely unaware that their brother was speaking or even that he was there. "I just wish I could let you know that I was okay..." he figured he could write on the walls or something but that would just freak them out and make them think he was a ghost or something. "I miss you two and I love you so much."
"Do you think this needs more spice?" Yuzu asked and the other stood to walk over and try her food, saying that it was fine. The tears in the oranget's eyes sprung forth, demanding to be released and flowed out as he folded his arms on the table and buried his face into his arms. They didn't know he was there... he was talking, trying to vent and let his sisters know that he was okay and they didn't even know he was there.
"Girls I'm home!" their father shouted cheerfully as the door slammed open.
"Welcome home Dad!" Yuzu called happily but Karin just made her way back to her seat with a sarcastic remark.
"Dad?" the oranget questioned as he lifted his head to see the man rush in with a huge smile on his face though it instantly vanished when he opened his eyes and looked at the table.
"Ichigo?" he sounded hopeful but his eyes reflected horror.
"Can you see me?" the pregnant boy asked with widened eyes, fear creeping into him when he realized that his father was looking right at him.
"Dad?" the youngest asked with worry, both girls looking up at him with pitiful eyes and he turned to them with a quick smile.
"It's nothing girls, why don't you go upstairs for a few minutes?" he used his normal happy tone but it was obviously forced. Ichigo quickly wiped away his tears, feeling foolish for having let them stay on his face that long.
"Yuzu just made dinner-"
"Take it upstairs." the urgency of his desire to speak to his son made his voice strict and demanding, something neither of the girls questioned with their voices but rather with their eyes as they got their food and ascended the stairs. Isshin's eyes examined his only son carefully as if still disbelieving that he was really there mainly because he couldn't feel any spiritual pressure coming from him. Ichigo slightly fidgeted under his gaze but tried not to panic at having been discovered so soon. "You're not dead, are you?" his voice asked rather than the exclamations of joy from seeing him again that rushed through his mind between his questions. Ichigo chuckled dryly at the question.
"No I'm not dead, just in spirit form." Isshin sighed in relief. "But Dad... how can you see me and how did you know the girls couldn't?"
"Let's just leave it at I'm a substitute soul reaper like yourself so I know everything." he shortly explained as he sat across from the berry at the table. "How did you get away from Aizen and out of Hueco Mundo?" so he's been kept in the loop.
"Actually I..." he shouldn't admit that he was here willingly but then again the whole prisoner thing wouldn't exactly fit now would it? "I didn't. Espada three and four are standing wait outside the house right now." a protective look of terror flashed on Isshin's face but Ichigo quickly continued to calm him. "They're not going to hurt anybody, they're just here to make sure that I don't run off or get hurt." his father's eyes demanded answers the oranget didn't know how to give. "We all took a pill that blocks our reiatsu so I could come... say goodbye." his decision to be truthful earned him a look of horror and denial.
"What are you saying son? Why don't you just come home?"
"Because the council in Soul Society would kill me-"
"They don't know about it!" Isshin argued and the berry's eyes widened.
"What are you talking about Dad?" the two were silent for a long moment.
"I know about your love affair with that espada." he admitted and Ichigo gained a disgusted expression. How did he know? Why did he know? Ichigo never wanted him to know! "I don't care about that Ichigo, just come home and we can pretend like it never happened." pretend he never loved Grimmjow? Never. Even if it was just as simple as that, he wouldn't do it. Of course he would come home but he would never give up his love!
"I can't, it's not that easy." Ichigo pleaded, wishing they could just stop talking about this. His dad might know that he loved a man who's an enemy at that but he didn't want him to know that his son was pregnant!
"You can't tell me that you're actually siding with them!"
"Then what is it?" the berry lowered his head and grabbed a fistful of his hair. He sighed in frustration and tried to think of what he should do. It was obvious he wasn't fully a prisoner anymore and he couldn't just let his dad think that he was a traitor but... damn it he was supposed to be admitting to getting a girl pregnant not becoming pregnant with another man's child! This was all too weird and impossible! What made it worse was that he was a human/soul reaper and Grimmjow was an arrancar which made their unborn child an abomination! This was all too impossible!
"They'll kill my baby!" he shouted as Isshin started another demand to be told what was going on. Silence fell over father and son, the oranget's hands covering his face in shame.
"What does that have to do with you not being able to come home? You don't have to stay with... I thought the arrancar you... isn't it a boy?" Ichigo focussed on breathing normally as his arms wrapped protectively around his stomach. "You..." Isshin studied his son, realization sinking in though he didn't know how it could be true. "But you're a man... you can't be..." Ichigo softly hiccuped as he tried to hold back tears.
"I didn't believe it either but somehow it's true." they were left in silence again as Isshin tried to take in this information.
"They must have you under some illusion or-"
"It started before I left for Hueco Mundo."
"Dad, please." he looked up at his father with pleading eyes. "I'm already freaked out enough about this, I don't need you making it worse." he looked down again and Isshin sighed.
"You're right, I'm sorry. But what else do you want me to do? Am I just supposed to accept that you're living with the enemy so you can raise an abomination for them to use?" he sounded angry now and his eyes narrowed with worry mixed in to confirm it. "The girls are worried sick about you- what am I supposed to tell them and your friends, who are planning a rescue mission by the way."
"I don't know..." Isshin stared at the oranget for a moment, hating how defeating he looked. Pained sounds escaped the berry as the protective arms around his stomach became pleading ones that asked for calm.
"What's happening?" Isshin rushed as he sprang to his son's side.
"It's fine... it'll calm down in a minute. Maybe it doesn't like all the yelling." the teen managed between panting through the bursts of pain, his father rubbing his shoulder to attempt to ease him.
"Ichigo." he called to get his boy to look at him and his once again hopeful eyes with the brilliant idea that came to mind. "You can still come home like this didn't happen- we can abort it. I don't claim to know how to give an abortion to a man but I can figure it out." a sharp pain stabbed Ichigo's chest and he struggled to understand what his father was saying. Abort his baby? The thought had never even crossed his mind. When he finally stopped denying that he was pregnant, he had accepted it. And now his father was not only reminding him that abortion was an option but he was offering to do it too. He should eagerly accept, right? What else was he supposed to do? Refuse and go back to the arrancar when he really wanted to just be right here where he was, home. But... his baby... Grimmjow... Ulquiorra and Tier. He did want to get out of this impossible situation and come home to stay but... but the very thought of killing his and Grimmjow's baby... it disgusted and horrified him. But what else was he to say? "We can do it right now and then call some reinforcements to take care of the arrancar outside." one of Ichigo's hand slid into his hair as he chewed on his lip. Small pains pulsed from his stomach though these ones were bearable and he almost felt like someone was telling him to run away.
Just as Isshin was about to question his son's hesitance, his eyes widened in fear when he felt a familiar reiatsu. The wall next to them fell to pieces with a loud blast to allow a flash of blue to enter, throwing a quick punch at the older man though it was successfully blocked.
"The fuck did you just say?" a sharp voice growled dangerously. "That's my kid you're talking about!"
"Grimmjow?" the berry questioned the appearance of his child's father.
"Stay away from my son!" Isshin shouted as he pushed the espada away from him but before he could attack again, the other two rushed in.
"You're not actually listening to this shit are ya Berry?" the sixth demanded with a mix of an accusing and pleading expression aimed at the oranget. He was afraid... afraid that Ichigo would jump the offered chance to be rid of him and their unborn child. Without that baby in him, he'd have no reason to stay and knowing Ichigo he would find a way to escape and be gone forever.
"Stop it Grimmjow, you are not supposed to be here; you've ruined Ichigo's visit with his family." Ulquiorra stated, a bit of anger in his voice.
"Why the hell didn't anyone tell me about this? What if they got hurt?" the panther shot back, holding onto Ichigo's arm and quickly looking over him. "You're not, right?" Ichigo shook his head.
"We had everything under control until you showed up." Tier said matter of fact. "We need to leave before we get surrounded by soul reapers since Grimmjow is the only one here that can fight right now."
"You're not taking Ichigo!" the old man ordered, reaching for his son but Grimmjow pulled him closer to his own body so he couldn't be stolen. Ulquiorra handed him the chains they brought with them so he could bind his berry.
"No- wait, I'm not done!" Ichigo called, writhing as he tried to escape the already locked restraints.
"I'm sorry Ichigo but we must go now." the fourth apologized as he picked him up, instructing Grimmjow to cover them as he and Tier made their way toward the hole in the wall the sixth had made.
"Dad!" the oranget cried out, trying to find something to say that would make all of this okay or rid him of this feeling of failure that swallowed him up.
"Ichigo!" his father tried to go after him but was preoccupied by Grimmjow and without getting out of his body, there wasn't anything he could do but watch the blunet's back as he rushed to catch up to the others.
"Damn it Grimmjow why the hell did you come?"
"I wouldn't have if you would'a told me where you going in the first place!" the panther shouted back.
"Last I checked you didn't care about-"
"Well I do!" Ichigo fell silent in surprise. Of course now it seemed obvious, why else would he have rushed to the world of the living to find his berry and make sure he was alright if he didn't care? And why would he get mad at Isshin for offering to abort their child if he didn't care?
"What?" Ichigo pressed, not caring that Ulquiorra and Tier were there. They were remaining quiet and staying out of this because they knew they weren't a part of the conversation.
"Forget it, we'll talk later." he said with a lowered, almost shy voice. "Now get out of here!" he exclaimed before dodging a blue arrow that was shot at them and catching another in his hand. Uryuu stood with Chad and Orihime on the ground, bow in hand, while Rukia and Renji started flying up to them.
"Ichigo!" the girl screamed when the sixth espada opened a garganta but was the only one not stepping through it.
"Rukia, Renji!" the berry called in slight panic as the portal to Hueco Mundo began to close. If Grimmjow was fighting to protect them... hell if he was fighting in general, they didn't stand much of a chance even if they were working together. "Don't fight him, he'll kill you!" their eyes widened and they stopped to heed his warning, thinking maybe it was some sort of trap.
"We'll be coming for you real soon Ichigo." Renji promised with a hard glare at the berry's lover.
"Don't bother." Ulquiorra started, readjusting Ichigo so he wasn't in view of the others. "It's too late for him now." with that, the garganta closed and a weight seemed to drop on Ichigo. He just missed his only chance to go home where he belonged. He was leaving behind his good life with his family and friends in favor of a bad life on the run with his enemies from the people he loved. He was defying his good fate.
... ... ...
Ichigo paced anxiously in the building he had stayed in with Grimmjow, waiting for the blunet to return from the world of the living. Ulquiorra had suggested that he wait in his room but Ichigo insisted on being here and the fourth had to make his report so he let him go. He wasn't sure how long they had been in the world of the living but Grimmjow's been gone long enough for the pill to wear off and the baby to stop causing pain for Ichigo as if stretching after being cooped up. He hoped that he wasn't hurt going up against all of his friends at once but he really hoped that he hadn't hurt his friends too badly, or worse... he better fucking not have killed anyone.
The door opened and a mildly scraped up Grimmjow waltzed in with a determined glare in his vibrant eyes. Though relieved to see that he was okay, Ichigo was now more concerned for his friends.
"Did you kill anyone?" the pregnant boy rushed as the other opened his mouth to speak. Grimmjow rolled his eyes and sighed.
"No, I didn't kill any of your friends. I just stalled them for a while and that woman was there to heal whatever wounds I gave them." so Orihime was able to help everyone, Ichigo released a relieved breath.
"Now do you want to explain to me what the hell all that was back there?" the blunet demanded, continuing when he was given a confused expression. "Were you really thinking of letting that asshole kill our child?" Ichigo's eyes widened and he looked down with a guilty feeling swelling inside of him. He felt like he was living two lives that completely conflicted with each other. In one he was a normal human apart from being a substitute soul reaper and in the other he was sort of friends with the arrancar, lived with them, loved one of them, and carried his child. Sometimes he felt... he felt as if he were one of them and it didn't make it any better that a part of him was a hollow. While he was in the world of the living, he thought the idea of aborting the baby was disgusting but reasonable though now that he had switched back to this life, he questioned what the hell he was thinking for even letting the thought into his mind.
"Well... I could go home if I did..." he couldn't look up to meet the other's infuriated and hurt eyes. "But I-" Grimmjow raised his arm and punched him in the jaw but the oranget caught himself before he could fall.
"What the fuck happened to me being the jackass for not caring? I thought you were supposed to-"
"I didn't go for it!" Ichigo yelled back, silencing the blunet. "Just because I thought about it because it was suggested to me doesn't mean that it didn't disgust me!" the panther's eyes softened with relief.
"So you weren't going to let him touch our baby?" the human shook his head, a small smile tugging at his lips when his panther referred to it as their baby. Grimmjow moved closer to the other until they were nearly touching. It was Ichigo that made the first move by hesitantly wrapping his arms around the sixth's shoulders and he felt happy when strong arms snaked around his waist and lightly pulled him closer so their chests touched. Without warning Grimmjow's lips were suddenly pressed to his but gone again before he could return it. "I love you too Ichi... and I want you to come home." as if believing it was just a wishful dream, Ichigo rubbed at his eyes and looked around to make sure his surroundings hadn't changed. "I'm serious." Grimmjow stated with a bit of an irritated tone as he carefully grabbed his berry's chin to make him look at him.
"Say it again." he spoke in a whisper so not to disturb the fragile situation, still a little disbelieving.
"I love you." the panther repeated, stronger now and the oranget's smile returned as his chocolate eyes glowed with excitement.
"I loved you too." Ichigo said lovingly as he pressed himself to his lover and kissed him passionately. He was home.
Good enough that you won't kill me? I hope so. REALLY sorry about the super long wait, I got cluttered with other stories and lost sight of this one. I was going to discontinue it but everyone demanded that I didn't so on it goes. I'll be updating regularly again so we'll see this through to the end, thank you all for keeping this fic going.
I was going to add some smut there at the ending but since turned into a bitch, I can't so I apologize for that. I may or may not write the scene up anyway and post it on deviantart or something, Idk. If I do, I shall inform you where you can find it.
Also, I really need your guys' help with something, if it's not too much to ask. I know I did have their baby at least a little thought out but it seems I've forgotten even what gender I was going to make it so I decided to leave it up to you! Is their child going to be a girl or a boy? What does s/he look like and what's his/her personality? Go nuts and let me know what you think?
Again, extremely sorry for the terrible wait but Aston's back in gear. Why do I randomly speak in third person sometimes? Why do I randomly talk to myself sometimes? The world may never know. Maybe I just like to interfere with people's day because I'm a Ruud. Want to know a secret? Soon I won't be able to use that excuse... because I'm going to be a Snyder. Gold star to everyone who gets what that means.