So i'm watching the NHL playoffs here in Canada (around Jan 2012), and an idea hits me. Grimmjow and Ichigo as rough and tumble hockey players. And I thought, yes. Oh yes.

Thing I love about hockey (aside from the scoring) are the hits, the injuries, and the fights.
Thing I love about Grimmjow and Ichigo... the hits, the injuries, and the fights.. and especially the scoring.

For those who need an "instant fix" of grimmichi cocaine, you won't find it in the first few chapters. My stories are a slower burn. I try to keep them IC, and I do my best to get the characters to hate each other, then slowly move towards a hot sweaty climax. If there are things you especially enjoy or hate, hearing about it makes my day.

Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach or its characters. That honor goes to Tite Kubo.

Five Minute Major

Kurosaki Ichigo couldn't believe his eyes or his ears as he stepped off of the padded walkway and glided onto the ice at Seireitei's Sokyoku Hill Arena.

The huge arena was at capacity tonight. Over nineteen thousand horny, hungry fans had come out to see the home team kick some Hollow ass tonight. People from all walks of life lined the interior circumference of the building. The place was sold out.

The pure energy that seemed to fill the entire building was almost a physical thing, a creature alive with a will of its own. The crowd roared with delight as the team made its way onto the ice one by one, fully equipped players, ripe with testosterone and talent, forming an intimidating line along the blue line just off centre ice.

There was a constant sense of motion amongst the men as they shifted from skate to skate and toyed nervously with their sticks. Despite the fidgeting, every man was focused. They were oiled up and ready to go, every one of them hungry to win.

The music thundered out an excited beat and hammered its way into Kurosaki Ichigo's head, while bright lights and moving advertizements flickered and flashed and jogged their way around the screens that circled the stands.

It was almost too much for Ichigo, a near visceral overload.

Everywhere he looked, Ichigo saw black, blue and gold, Soul Reaper colors. In the crowd, on the banners, and on the ridiculously large screens that loomed above the ice. The people and the team colors seem to blanket the entire arena, filling it with an almost overpowering feeling of raw energy and highly charged emotions.

Ichigo had never felt so proud. Or so small.

He'd played almost every game of the regular season, many of them in this, his home town's arena, but he couldn't remember ever feeling quite this nervous. Even his first NHL game as a Soul Reaper hadn't left him this high strung.

Christ. His fucking knees were shaking.

He just hoped to God that the cameras that lined almost every available space in the arena didn't zoom in on him while he waited in line along with his teammates for the anthem to begin.

He was stupid to think they wouldn't, though. He was as an up-and-comer, one of the team's top scorers and in his first season at that. The cameras would be trained on him, and his every move would be scrutinized during this entire series. Normally Ichigo liked the attention, but the pressure was on now and he couldn't afford to make any mistakes. His team needed him to be at his best.

Oh, God. He was going to throw up.

He felt something nudge his arm and he turned his head, only to find himself caught like a fish in a net, unable to escape a penetrating blue gaze.

"Hey. Don't let it get to ya. It's just another game." Electric blue eyes crinkled slightly at the corners as the larger player's mouth flared out into a broad, cocky, lopsided grin.

"...'Sides," he shrugged, indicating towards the fans that surrounded them with a sideways nod of his head. "They love us."

A fanged smile and the tip of a pink tongue was suddenly all Ichigo could see for a moment, and he felt himself blush slightly. But he grinned back regardless, the mere sight of the man beside him somehow managing to settle his stomach like nothing else could have. Even if they didn't win the series, he had everything else he ever wanted. The taller, broad shouldered player raised his glove and Ichigo reached up with his own to bump their fists together.

"Thanks," he mouthed.

The larger man grinned down at Ichigo and graced him with a wicked smile that he knew was reserved for him alone. The taller man finally straightened and faced forward as the music began to play, the crowd quieting down just enough to hear a man proudly belt out the words to their country's anthem.

In just a few minutes Ichigo would be playing in his first NHL playoff hockey game.

He couldn't be happier, or more surprised. They were squaring off against their bitter rivals, the Hueco Mundo Hollows. It was going to be a battle royal, and only one team was going to come out on top.

It had been a long, hard, rocky road for the Seireitei Soul Reapers, but for the first time in five years, they'd made it to the playoffs.

The real surprise though, was in the contrasting duo that played such a pivotal role in getting them there.

To say there had been friction between them would have been a world class understatement of epic proportions.


If you got this far, thanks for reading! And I hope you don't bail. It does get better. ;)