Epilogue

(Shiro POV)

Two months later…

I was bound to get in trouble for this – for checking up on Ichigo and Grimmjow without proper permission. I'd been doing it for about a month and a half now, ever since I could get everything straightened out with the higher-ups.

It certainly wasn't easy, trying to convince them that the contract between Ichigo and myself had been fulfilled. Grimmjow had confessed his love, and that had been my goal. I knew that Ichigo loved Grimmy too, but he'd never said it. That, in turn, made the others think that I had failed. For that I wasn't allowed to leave their sight until they said I could. Luckily, I played the 'good boy' act and was released rather early, then becoming free to do whatever I wanted, except for make any kind of contact with Ichigo.

It was the law that said two previously contracted beings – once the contract had been either fulfilled or nullified – couldn't associate with one another ever again. The penalty for breaking this law was for the demon to be imprisoned until either his previous contractor was dead, or he was – whichever came first.

Despite knowing this, I needed to see Ichigo. I'd unintentionally taken something from him when I'd left – all of his memories that had anything to do with myself. That means everything I did to him, everything that I caused to happen, Ichigo didn't remember.

He didn't know that he had a criminal record.

He didn't know that he'd ever met Grimmjow.

He didn't know who I was.

It was like the past seven months of his life had never even happened. And I felt horrible about it. Watching Ichigo now, it was almost painful. He had decided to stay with Kisuke instead of going back with Grimmjow, and ever since then he'd been acting a little… Odd. He spaced out a lot, had night terrors frequently, and sometimes wouldn't eat or drink anything. Kisuke had tried to help, but nothing worked. The shopkeeper had worn himself ragged, trying to find a way to bring Ichigo's memories back, only to fail at every attempt.

The only time I saw Grimmjow was when I visited his home, finding him either passed out in a drunken haze or absently petting his cat while staring at a blank TV screen. I'd followed him to a bar one time, where he'd met up with a pale man with black hair and green tear streaks tattooed onto his cheeks. The man didn't talk much, only watching as Grimmjow drunk himself stupid, then dragging him back home. Another time, I'd been unlucky enough to see Grimmjow and the man in the middle of a round of what I assumed to be rage sex on the kitchen floor. I didn't stay very long before making my way back to Ichigo.

I was thankful that nobody could see me – that, to humans, I was no more than an oddly placed, slightly cool wisp of air dancing through the room. Ichigo was in too much of a daze to notice, Grimmjow was either sleeping or drunk or in the same daze as Ichigo, Kisuke was too frazzled and stressed, a heavy burden of guilt weighing down on his shoulders. Even the strange man was starting to be affected – long red scratches down his back, arms, and chest, dark circles under his eyes.

It was starting to show on all of them. If kept up, there wouldn't be anything left of them except for hollow empty shells after a while. Saving them seemed like something I needed to do, and fast.

The only problem was, I didn't know how.


A.N.: Thank you all for reading the first fic I've ever finished in the past five years. =D

There WILL be a sequel, as soon as I figure out the plot and all that awesome junk. I have another GrimmIchi fic I'm working on, hopefully better and longer (chapter wise) than this one. ^^

Till then, stay tuned!~

N.