The winner! ;p I'm glad someone picked it, but I'm beginning to think no one has an interest in Dream anymore T^T It's okay, I'm ending it soon =) I've been working on that for the last couple days! Yet I barely got anything done *sighs* ^^; Your new pool: Dream x2, Lust x1, Tiger x1. Happy reviewing! XD I'd also like to say I'm also located in 'An archive of our own', just in case anyone would like to browse there =) I heard a lot of members of FF went there when they thought their fics would be deleted.

Shiro: Yet we're still here! =p

Ichi: Yep, you're still bugging the world. *rolls eyes*

Shiro: And I'm fuckin' good at it! XD

Ichi: *facepalm* Why me?


Chapter 4

The small family is quick to rise the next morning, Chess grumbling in irritation as Grimmjow's large paw rolls him in an unwanted wake up call. Ichigo scoops the cub over to him for a morning bath, the small jaguar whining the whole while. As Ichigo takes care of their cub, Grimmjow heads out to the river to find their breakfast. This time he doesn't go out of earshot and keeps one cyan orb on his lover through the dry brush.

*Grimmjow, * Ichigo purrs as they join him. *Will we be leaving after breakfast? I'm sure Renji is already beside himself with worry and Shuuhei isn't likely making matters better. *

*We'll leave once you've eaten. *

*I wonder what surprise Papa Kisuke left, * Chess pipes up as he bats at Ichigo's tail. *Do you know, daddy? *

*It's hard to tell with him, * Grimmjow sighs. *I usually don't have to worry about it for a few weeks… but the 'good' surprises always have me paranoid until they show their ugly faces. *

*I'm sure his idea of good isn't a bad one, * Ichigo scoffs as his ears lay back. *Let's eat and head toward camp, I'm eager to start getting those photos! *

Grimmjow grumbles beneath his breath, wishing the smaller male would forget about his photos for once. It's not that he doesn't like Ichigo scouring the world for dangerous predators… it's the never ending reminder his mate might as well wear an 'I'm bait, come eat me' sign above his head in neon lights. Non-fail, every time he heads out for these stupid paintings Grimmjow ends up zapping himself halfway across the word to save the orangette from one predator or another. Last time it wasn't even a predator, it was a pack of irritated monkeys! He can't even hunt down a fucking lizard without getting bitten!

*Mama, why don't you just turn into a jaguar and let your friends take pictures of you? * Chess questions curiously. *You're a wild animal, too! *

*Excellent question, cub! * Grimmjow remarks with a cool and mischievous look toward his mate. *Why don't you? It would be a lot safer. *

*Why don't you let me paint you in your panther form? * the jaguar hisses. *Besides, it's not the same! *

*Of course it's not, the worst you can do to yourself is chase your fucking tail, * the panther snorts derisively.

Ichigo takes an irritated swap at the larger feline, Grimmjow dodging it with a feral grin on his lips that showcases his sharp teeth. Chess watches the interaction, knowing without a doubt he'll be wanting to sleep in Renji's tent once they get back. This is one of those times when his parents need 'alone' time, at least that's what the female panthers say when he has to stay in the den with the other cubs.

The trio walks most of the day, stalking through brush and across open expanses to locate the campsite. Ichigo loves being a feline, loves wrestling with his cub playfully… and with Grimmjow not so playfully.

*Momma, look! Renji! * Chess cheers happily. *And I smell food! *

The small family saunters over to the campsite, Chess bounding around his parents excitedly before jumping on an unsuspecting redhead. Renji cries out in surprise, Shuuhei laughing as he tries to tell his friend it's the cub they know well.

"Chess! You can't do that," Renji frowns. "I thought you were gonna eat me!"

*Yuck, you wouldn't have tasted very good, * Chess comments as he sticks out his tongue.

Grimmjow and Ichigo change back, the orange haired god a bit dizzy from a feeling of vertigo. He leans on Grimmjow and the other lets him gladly, Grimmjow's arms wrapping around the other as he nibbles on Ichigo's ear.

"Hey! Save it for tonight!" Shuuhei frowns. "I don't need to see this shit!"

"Jealous," Grimmjow snickers.

"Shut up, Grimm," Ichigo sighs. "I'm gonna get started, okay? Chess, do you want to come?"

*Nope, * the little cub states. *I like eating more than getting chased. *

"Good boy!" the older god grins feral.

Ichigo rolls his eyes and heads to the tents, intent on grabbing his camera and getting something done today. He'll be painting near the end of their trip, as he doesn't want the easels ruined, so right now is just photos.

The watering hole isn't far from their camp, sporting a wide array of animals just lounging about or getting a drink. Ichigo crouches in the sparse brush there, grinning as he snaps some shots. He licks his lips as he zooms in on a small family of elephants, the baby no more than a few weeks old. A water bottle is set on the back of his neck and Ichigo sighs in relief, his amber orbs turning to locate the one that did it. Grimmjow is crouching beside him, watching the area curiously as old memories surface.

"It hasn't changed a bit," he murmurs.

"Isn't that a good thing?"

"Sometimes," Grimmjow relents. "Sometimes not. Every other time I came here, something bad happened… poachers were always a problem in these lands."

"What happened?"

"I was shot a few times, captured a couple," he shrugs. "Nothing big, but nothing good either. Are you almost done? Renji and Shuuhei are just fixing dinner."

Ichigo nods, finishing up with his roll of film and getting up to join the others. Renji and Shuuhei are already eating, Chess begging at Renji's feet with huge eyes. Grimmjow growls at the cub, Chess slinking away to 'long-distance' beg by the tents.

"Damn it, Chess!" Grimmjow snaps. "You know how to hunt, go get a fish or something."

"Grimmjow, I don't want him by the watering hole," Ichigo frowns. "I saw crocodiles in there! Just take him out and teach him how to take down an antelope or something."

"Tomorrow."

"Well then, he's eating with us tonight."

Ichigo sets some food down for the cub, Chess happily bouncing over to snap it up. Grimmjow rolls his eyes, waiting for Ichigo to turn his back before gently nudging the cub over with his foot. Chess shoots him a dirty look, hunkering down over his food before growling as fiercely as a cub can.

"Oh you're so scary," Grimmjow snorts derisively.

"Grimmjow, stop teasing Chess," Ichigo frowns.

Renji and Shuuhei snicker at the reprimand, yet quiet once Grimmjow growls at them. Ichigo sits beside his mate, sighing in an almost loving fashion as he snuggles close. The redhead isn't stupid; he knows that sound very well. He and Ichigo had grown up together after all; they're practically brothers in everything but blood, so he knows Chess will be keeping him company tonight.

"I'm going to bed," he announces with a stretch. "Come on, Chess, you can stay with me tonight."

*Good, I don't want to see momma and daddy playing like big cats, * he mumbles.

Grimmjow rolls his eyes, scoffing at the comment. He doesn't know why Ichigo doesn't just tell the brat they have sex, he knows enough about it anyway without actually realizing it. Chess scampers after Renji, Shuuhei taking that as a good sign to leave as well. Once Grimmjow and Ichigo are alone, the larger male can't help but pounce on his mate.

"Grimmjow! What the hell are you doing?" Ichigo snaps.

"Playing like big cats," he remarks sarcastically through his feral grin.

"Not out here, you idiot!"

"Run with me."

"I've told you already, I'm not having sex with you in a feline form. I'm just not comfortable with that idea yet."

Grimmjow huffs, yet nods in disappointment. They've had this conversation at least once a month since they got back together, but it always ends in fantastic sex. Ichigo tries to make up for his unwillingness by doing whatever else Grimmjow has the whim to try… and he has a big imagination.

"Fine, but can we still have sex outside? It's a nice night out," he grins. "And it'll be just like the first time we met! Sex under the stars."

"You're such a sap," Ichigo chuckles. "I'll go with that, but not here. Chess or the guys could walk out any minute."

"Oh… exciting."

"Grimmjow."

"Alright, spoil sport," he mutters. "To the watering hole!"

He lifts Ichigo into his arms and hurries off, the other sighing in exasperation. He's jostled as Grimmjow leaps over the brush, and then dropped with a yelp once he finds a good spot. It reminds Ichigo of the spot in the meadows they played in on his first trip to Grimmjow's jungle, though at the time he was under the impression Grimmjow was a regular guy that liked living on the outskirts of the god's territory. He gazes around them, breathing in the cool night air and taking in the ring of trees that surround them.

"Will this do, or do you want me to make a bed of soft grass?" Grimmjow wonders.

"… Grass, please," Ichigo murmurs.

He loves when his mate worries about his comfort, the one thing that pegs Grimmjow as a softy that only Ichigo gets to see. The grass sprouts from the dry ground easily, said earth moistening with just a thought from Grimmjow. Ichigo's laid back carefully upon the soft vegetation, Grimmjow sliding along him and getting comfortable over him. He leans down and captures pink lips in his own, massaging them slowly and indulging in Ichigo's taste. Ichigo wraps his arms around Grimmjow's neck, sighing into the kiss before his tongue is coaxed into a mini-battle.

"Grimm," he purrs. "Mm… I love you."

"I love you, too, Ichi," Grimm smirks.

Ichigo's fingers play with Grimmjow's waist band as they kiss, his mate's hands traveling along his muscled abdomen beneath his shirt. The smaller male quickly pulls his shirt off, the night getting far too warm for him to wear clothes comfortably. Disrobing is a chore for them both as they fight to continue with their ministrations while shedding cloth, Ichigo growling in irritation and Grimmjow struggling not to rip the fabric in his need.

"Fucking clothes," he mutters. "They were a brilliant invention ages ago, but they make sex such a chore!"

"Stop fucking complaining," Ichigo grumbles. "It's not my fault the human race developed modesty, just get them off!"

Grimmjow smirks at his mate, finally taking off his boxers and pinning Ichigo's nude form beneath him. He nibbles on Ichigo's collar as he prepares him, hoping the lack of lubricant will deter him from getting in too much trouble tomorrow. The orange haired male groans at the burning sensation, yet he's too far gone to care at the moment.

"Suck it," Grimmjow mutters.

Ichigo doesn't hesitate, moving to capture Grimmjow's hard member between his lips. The other hums in appreciation, gripping orange locks in one hand as Ichigo bobs his head. With a soft tug, the smaller backs away and Grimmjow enters him in a swift thrust. Ichigo wraps his legs around Grimmjow's waist, trying to keep quiet and failing. He moans and purrs as he's taken, Grimmjow's hard thrusts punishing his prostate and overloading his nerve endings with tingles of pleasure.

"M-more," Ichigo moans. "Please, Grimm… harder!"

Grimmjow smirks at the request, pulling away to flip the other over. Ichigo is startled to find himself on his knees, beginning to raise his upper half as well before a large hand pushes his head to the ground. Grimmjow reenters him harshly, hammering into his mate with force that almost boarders pain on Ichigo's end. The gentle breeze races along their sweat soaked skin, drawing a shiver from Ichigo even as the heat within him burns horribly. His nails cut into Grimmjow's shoulders, their breathing quickening to pants in their race to reach the finish, and Ichigo cries out his release. Grimmjow purrs as those velvet walls tighten around his straining cock, sinking himself as deeply as possible before filling his mate to the brim with his seed. He sighs in satisfaction, draping himself over Ichigo's back to provide his body heat.

"You're so not staying in that position," Ichigo mutters.

"Yes I am. I like being buried in you," Grimmjow states in satiation. "It reminds you that you belong to me."

"I don't need a reminder every three seconds, Grimm, you tell me enough already."

He ignores the smaller male, his weight successfully keeping Ichigo from getting away, and waits until the orangette falls asleep to release him from his hold. He gently pulls out of Ichigo, cleaning them up with the first article of clothing he touches. Afterward, he picks up his mate and carries him to their tent for some much deserved rest.

The next morning, Chess is eager to play and Ichigo is too tired to bother with pictures. Grimmjow is in his feline form, wrestling with their cub and subtly teaching him how to hunt and fight. Chess loves to play with Grimmjow, though he's never bested the older feline. Renji and Shuuhei left to gather information from locals about the poachers they heard of, so the trio is alone within the campsite.

*I wanna play by the watering hole! * Chess whines. *Momma, come play chase with me. *

Ichigo smirks and lets his form change to that of a jaguar, nudging Chess in the direction of a huge expanse of land to play. Grimmjow goes with them, intent on keeping his family safe. The two jaguars spend the day playing tag together, the dominant of the group lying in the shade to watch.

Ichigo's just letting Chess chase him back to camp when Grimmjow hisses in warning, tackling the two to the ground and hovering over them as he listens intensely. A gunshot in the distance, hollers between a pack of humans, and jeeps squealing tires after running animals.

*We need to take human form, * he hisses out. *There are poachers in the area. Chess, I need you to go on a leash for now. *

*Awe, I don't wanna! * the little cub whines.

*Do as your father says, * Ichigo murmurs firmly.

They're about to follow Grimmjow's plan, but a herd of antelope burst into the area and separate them. Ichigo is turning in circles looking for Chess, Grimmjow hissing at the scared creatures blocking his mate from him, and Chess is climbing a lone tree in an attempt to find his parents. A jeep speeds over, someone shouting from the passenger seat.

"A jaguar cub!" they call. "Can you believe it? It must've come with that eccentric artist!"

"Shoot it down anyway! Where's the tranquilizer?"

There's rummaging, Ichigo frantically trying to get to his cub, and then a poof of air has Chess yowling. The little cub falls from the tree, caught only by a net stretched out beneath him. Ichigo roars in fury, chasing the jeep and snapping at the tires. The gun, not the tranquilizer, is moved to aim at him and Grimmjow tackles him to the side before the bullet can strike.

*No! * Ichigo screams. *My cub! Not my cub! Let me go, I have to get him back! Chess! *

*Ichigo, please stop, * Grimmjow pleads. *I know you're upset, but we can get Chess back. They only drugged him, they would've injured you. *

*My cub! * the jaguar sobs.

Grimmjow gazes upon his broken mate sadly, moving to nuzzle the other lovingly and cautious of any paw that may attempt to injure him. Ichigo loves being loved, but when he's pissed he doesn't mind showing it. Cyan eyes turn to the jeep, now gone within nothing more than a settling trail of dust to show their direction of escape. He never liked to admit it, but he loved that little fur ball… it was his only cub, after all. He'll stop at nothing to get Chess back, though he may regret that later, but right now… he needs to make sure Ichigo doesn't do something stupid.


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! SADNESS! ToT And that's as far as I got so far ^^; Sorry, I've been working on everything else *sheepish grin* I figured I should start ending my older fics, they're just getting to be too many. I had to stop with Divine, because it has a special vote in it =D I believe I could only write one chapter of that ;p

Shiro: I know what it is! I know what it is! *waving hand wildly*

Ichi: So do I! So do I! *sarcastically mimicking Shiro*

Grimm: *snorts in humor* You guys are a riot.

Vae: Should I tell them the special vote?

Twins: *look to one another in thought*

Grimm: Let them find out for themselves, we're not handing out free spoilers. *waves off carelessly*

Vae: Okay then! Grimm-kitty has spoken! XD

Twins: What about us?

Grimm: You didn't promise to snuggle later! =3

Vae: *snuggling with Grimm-kitty* Best bribe ever! Well... almost ;p