~As always, I only own the plot. I don't own the series or characters so don't sue me.

Chapter Seven - Beautiful World

Ichigo... His Ichigo... Had been shot.

"No! No!" Grimmjow shouted as he shook the wounded idol slightly in his arms. "Ichigo, don't do this!"

Aizen hadn't expected Ichigo to sacrifice himself. It was Urahara that he wanted wounded or worse to ensure his cooperation. However, with the man's nephew slowly dying in the Sexta's arms, it was obvious there would be no form of cooperation. Perhaps if he prevented the boy's death, things will still go according to plan.

"Ichigo!" Grimmjow shouted once more as gathered the orangette into his arms and slowly climbed to his feet. "Just hold on!"

Holding onto the teen tightly, Grimmjow turned and headed for the large doors of the meeting hall. Just the Visoreds parted to allow him to pass, a loud bang resounded in the hall. Grimmjow grunted loudly as he felt something rip through his left arm. However, he would not be deterred from his current mission of saving his beloved's life.

Gray eyes narrowed on the dark skinned companion of Aizen's who had blatantly opened fire on the Sexta. Just as Tousen was squeezing the trigger to fire another bullet at Grimmjow, Urahara aimed his gun and quickly discharged the weapon. Just as Tousen fell backward from the fatal shot, gun fire rang out from both sides. Thankfully, Ichigo and his boyfriend had made it out of the room and a ways down the hall.

"Hachi!" Urahara shouted at the rather large pink haired man over the gunfire. "Take them to Seireitei!"

Hachi nodded before quickly following after the blunette. He easily caught up with the pair and offered to take the orangette from the injured Espada, but Grimmjow wouldn't allow it. The chaotic sound of gunfire quickly died down as they approached the exit. Hachi ran ahead of Grimmjow to get one of the cars the Visoreds arrived in running. Within moments, the pink haired man was speeding off in the opposite direction of the hospital.

"Hey!" Grimmjow growled, slowly realizing they were going the wrong way. "Where do you think you're going?"

"Seireitei," Hachi responded. "They're much better than a hospital and it'll keep the public in the dark about this. That is... If he makes it."

"Don't talk like that!" the blunette shouted, fighting back newly forming tears. "Ichigo's a fighter! He'll... He'll pull through this."

Hachi sighed at the almost desperate self-reassurance. Sure, the teen was strong both physically and emotionally, but the bullet had ripped through his chest. From what he could tell it had grazed his heart. Only a lucky few survived that kind of damage. Seireitei may have the world's best doctors, but only they could do so much when faced with a wound as fatal as his.

It wasn't long before the two pulled into a large and rather fancy looking building. Grimmjow didn't wait for Hachi to exit the car. Throwing the door open, he quickly slid out of the backseat and dashed toward the lit doors. Blue eyes scanned the brightly lit lobby looking for some place to take Ichigo, but not finding any sort of indication as to where to go. Just as he was about to shout for help, Hachi appeared and ordered the blunette to follow him down a long hallway. Grimmjow did so without question.

At the end of the hall was what appeared to be an emergency room waiting area, albeit smaller than any he'd ever seen. Within seconds, a white pristine bed was wheeled in front of him. Several nurses suddenly appeared and took the unconscious orangette from his arms, laying him on the bed before quickly wheeling him away. Grimmjow attempted to follow, but a few nurses showed up to hold him back. Specifically a short male with shoulder length black hair.

"Sir, he's in very capable hands," the nurse said. "Right now we need to treat your wound. If you would just come-"

"No!" Grimmjow shouted. "I need to see him. I need to make sure he's okay!"

The blunette finally pushed past the few nurses and rushed down the hall he saw his boyfriend being wheeled down. At the end, it split off into two different directions. Blue eyes looked left then right before he trusted his instinct and rushed down the left hall. Grimmjow heard yells and cries for him to stop, but he didn't care. His eyes finally fell upon on lit sign that read Surgery. Bursting through the doors, a horrific sight flooding his senses.

The deafening high pitched wail assaulted his ears, bright orange and red consumed his vision, and the distinct metallic smell of blood filled his nose. Ichigo lay there, spread out on the metal gurney, his face incredibly pale. He knew the doctors and nurses were screaming at him, but he just couldn't move. He was frozen to his spot as fresh tears spilled over and down his cheeks. He recognized that annoying sound anywhere thanks to all the medical shows on Television. It meant that the idol's heart had stopped.

Ichigo had died.

Grimmjow didn't even resist as a few sets of hands latched onto him and dragged him out of the operating room. He barely registered the pricking in his arm before his vision began to swim as he was forced to sit and subsequently lay on a white bed similar to the one Ichigo had been wheeled around in.

Faint voices and sounds reached his ears. Grimmjow's head turned from side to side as he moaned lethargically from the commotion. He heard a squeaky voice gently calling out to him. It took a good long while, but eventually the blunette woke enough to be able to open his eyes. Dilated blue orbs scanned the bright white room for a moment before the previous events rushed to the forefront of his mind. Bolting upright, he planned to run, but was halted by an intense throbbing in his left arm. His right hand flew up to clutch the affected area only to feel thick bandages wrapped around his upper arm. The Espada's gaze shifted to examine the bandages.

"You almost lost your arm," the voice he'd heard calling out to his semi-conscious mind said.

Grimmjow turned to look at the same raven haired nurse who had insisted on treating him however long ago. "What do you mean?" His voice sounded rough from lack of use. Just how long had he been out?

"The bullet tore through all the tissue and muscle in your bicep. We couldn't reverse all the damage, but we were able to keep you from losing it. We won't know if you'll have limited movement or functions until it fully heals."

Well that was just fantastic. However, he'd gladly sacrifice his arm if it meant Ichigo would be here beside him. "How long have I been out?"

"About a day," the nurse replied as he set about checking the blunette's vitals.

"Is he... Is he..." Grimmjow clutched the blanket that had pooled around his waist tightly as his eyes welled up with tears he stubbornly refused to let fall. He just couldn't bring himself to say it.

The nurse's face fell slightly, not entirely sure what he wanted to say, but had a general idea. "It's not my place to say."

Just then the door burst open to reveal a rather disheveled blond, his gray eyes cold as ice. Just one look had the raven haired nurse scurrying out of the room. Urahara fixed his icy stare on Grimmjow who couldn't bring himself to look at the man. Without a single uttered word, the blond quickly moved over to the bed before connecting his fist with the Sexta's jaw as hard as he could. Blue eyes turned to glare at the Visored.

"That's better," Urahara sighed out. "Don't you dare blame yourself for my nephew's actions. He chose to push us out of the way. You would've done the same for him."

"This is all so messed up," Grimmjow muttered.

Silence filled the room. It was true after all. Grimmjow would have sacrificed his life to save Ichigo's without a second thought. However, that didn't matter now. You couldn't exactly turn back time to change what had already happened. It was obvious he wasn't meant to have the one he loved as he had been taken so quickly from him.

The silence was shattered by Urahara speaking again. "I'm sure you're curious as to what happened after you left." A quick nod from the blunette was all he needed to continue. "I shot and killed Tousen sparking a quick round of gunfire from everyone save Aizen. He seemed to be in a slight state of shock at being the one to ruin his own plans. A couple of Espada were killed in the cross fire, the 9th, 7th, and 2nd."

"Tch, no one really liked them anyway," Grimmjow grunted.

"Surprisingly, Aizen was the one to bring about the cease fire. Apparently he was tired of our constant foolish fighting and wanted to make a truce of sorts." Blue eyebrows shot up at hearing this. That was very surprising indeed. Perhaps it was because the man was getting on in his years. "Basically, the Visoreds and Espada are combining their territory. Everyone still holds their previous job, only now we work together. However, it would only go through if Ichigo survived his wound."

Tears he could no longer hold back finally spilled over down his cheeks. He brought his right hand up to his face to wipe them away as quickly. Grimmjow's voice was cracking under the strong emotions crashing down over his body. "If only I was quicker. Maybe he'd still... he'd still..."

"Still what?" Urahara blinked, confusion flooding his mind.

"Still be here..." Upon finally admitting aloud that his beloved was gone from this world, more tears spilled over and Grimmjow fiercely bit his lip to keep silent.

"Well they couldn't exactly put you both in the same room seeing as they're fairly small."

"What?" Blue eyes widened as he stared on in shock at the smiling blond. "What the hell are you talking about?"

"Ichigo's not dead."

"He was! I saw him covered in blood. He... He wasn't breathing... He..."

"Ah yes," Urahara pulled out his trademark fan. "He coded once, but after that they were able to fix him up good as new."

More tears overwhelmed the blunette upon hearing that his beautiful orangette was still alive. Tearing out the IV in his arm, he leapt from the bed and hurried out of the room down the hall, ignoring the fact he had no idea exactly where the idol had been placed. He ran past a room that had a bright orange blur caught his attention. Skidding to a halt, the Sexta slowly turned around and headed toward that room. Heart pounding in his chest, he pushed the slightly ajar door open the rest of the way. His breath caught immediately in his throat at the sight.

Ichigo lay unconscious on the white hospital bed, an IV in his arm and a few wires attached to his chest. The room filled with the soft steady beeping of the heart monitor. Grimmjow slowly approached the bed before lightly settling onto the bed next to his love, his right hand clasping his limp hand firmly. The blunette could feel the tears starting to well up again as he felt his beloved's warm skin. The color had returned to his face and he looked rather peaceful sleeping in the bed.

"Oh god Ichi," he breathed. "I'm... I'm so sorry. Our worlds were never meant to cross." Grimmjow ran a shaky hand through his hair as he leaned over the unconscious idol. "But I'm glad they did."

With that, he pressed his lips gently against the warm and slightly dry ones of his boyfriend. The heart monitor picked up speed ever so slightly in response. As Grimmjow pulled back, amber orbs fluttered open only to stare into dark blue depths in pure confusion.

"Grimmjow?" Ichigo muttered. The teen suddenly found himself being embraced by the blunette, further deepening his confusion. "Grimmjow what's wrong?"

The Espada pulled back just enough to gaze into those creamy chocolate eyes he was certain just moments ago he'd never see again. "I thought I'd lost you." His thumb rubbed the idol's cheek affectionately. "I love you Ichigo."

Grimmjow pressed his lips against Ichigo's once more, causing the heart monitor to beep a bit more frantically. He felt soft fingers twine in the blue strands dangling at the back of his neck as the kiss was deepened. After a few moments, the two broke apart panting lightly for air.

"I love you too," Ichigo gasped out before his lips were captured once more in a searing kiss.

A/N: Sappy end to this chapter, I know. But I do believe it was well deserved after all the crap Ichi went through last chapter. Some of you might think I hate Aizen since I make him the villain a lot, but really I don't. He's too manipulative to not be the villain. Chapter title is from one of my favorite songs by Utada Hikaru. It's the song they use for the Rebuild of Evangelion movies. Just one more chapter to go after this. There will be smut, but it won't be hardcore like my usual stuff. It'll be nice and romantic. As always, if you read it, please review it!

Thanks for all the reviews/faves/follows! They mean a lot to me! =)