DISCLAIMER: The characters aren't mine. They belong to Mr Kubo. The lyrics are not mine either. In this chapter, the lyrics belong to Three Days Grace.

This will be my second publishing on . My first one was Stupid Love, my Zolu fanfic. w I hope you all enjoy this fic.

EARLY WARNING: I only have this chapter so far, and it may be a while till I upload the lext chapter. If you would like to continue to read this fic, please watch this, fav it or whatever you do...ha ha ha -scratches back of head- The reason I may take a long time for this fic, is coz of my school work. Just ask Curiosity Killed Kristy, she knows.

Anyway, ENJOY!

Pain

Chapter 1

The instrumental began with the power of the bass and drums, then the electric joining in and then all finally collecting together to continue the first verse of the song, along with the sexy, but untouchable vocalist.

I can't escape this hell
So many times I've tried
But I'm still caged inside
Somebody get me through this nightmare
I can't control myself

The chorus began with feeling as the rock band gave the audience their all. The blue haired vocalist pouring all his feelings into his gruff singing, sweat glistening his body from the heat of the spotlights, giving him a glow like that of a god.

So what if you can see the darkest side of me?
No one will ever change this animal I have become
Help me believe it's not the real me
Somebody help me tame this animal
(This animal, this animal)

On the electric guitar was a blonde haired woman with as much aggression as a fully grown male, on bass was an emotionless raven haired man with a tattoos of straight green lines, starting at the bottom of his eyes to his jaw. Lastly on the drums was somebody the band picked as a temporary replacement from their former drummer, who happened to commit suicide by ODing. The drummer was also the vocalist's best friend. They did everything together without it being anything more than just close brotherhood. The only person who knew the real reason the drummer killed himself was the lead singer. The rest thought that the stress of band life got to him, even though he had never had complaints and he always enjoyed his time with the band.

The vocalist almost faltered in his singing as these thoughts were making him angry and miserable, so shaking his head he belted out the next verse and even more so when the chorus rolled around again.

I can't escape myself
(I can't escape myself)
So many times I've lied
(So many times I've lied)
But there's still rage inside
Somebody get me through this nightmare
I can't control myself

So what if you can see the darkest side of me?
No one will ever change this animal I have become
Help me believe it's not the real me
Somebody help me tame this animal I have become
Help me believe it's not the real me
Somebody help me tame this animal

Getting angrier and more despairing as he hadn't thought of his friend since the day he died, Grimmjow Jeaggerjaques poured the rest of his emotion into this song as it depicts what he has been feeling without his best friend. He didn't even know what he was feeling or even what his song was about, but he trusted his instincts.

Somebody help me through this nightmare
I can't control myself
Somebody wake me from this nightmare
I can't escape this hell

(This animal, this animal, this animal, this animal, this animal, this animal, this animal)

So what if you can see the darkest side of me?
No one will ever change this animal I have become
Help me believe it's not the real me
Somebody help me tame this animal I have become
Help me believe it's not the real me
Somebody help me tame this animal
(This animal I have become)

The vocals stopped and the guitars and the drums carried out the last of the riffs and chords and the song finished. The audience roared, clapping and yelling franticly.

Since their drummer's death, Grimmjow had been writing the songs in a different style as his emotions took over what he was writing. 'Animal I have Become' was Grimmjow's way of dealing with his pain even though he didn't know this himself, but the songs were great hits and the band had gained more fans.

When the lights dimmed to a pitch black symbolising the end of the show, Grimm walked away from the stage quickly, hoping his band mates didn't notice and follow him. He was distraught and tears ran down his face. He had never cried before in his life except when he went to his friend's funeral, but no one saw him in that state, and he wasn't about to start now. So walking through the many corridors finding his dressing room, he went in, closed and locked the door. He turned his back to it and slid down with his knees drawn up to his chest as he silently cried, his arms hugging tightly around his legs. All his pent up grief just burst and Grimmjow was unable to stop the steady flow of tears streaming down his face. After a few hours, the flow was only a small dribble and the vocalist had fallen asleep in his position. There was a sudden knock at the door which gave the singer a fright, as he jumped quite high in the air when he was awoken. With his hand against his heart while trying to control his breathing, he called through the door and was quite surprised that his voice didn't waver in the slightest.

"Yeah?"

"It is Hallibel. Let me in."

He chuckled a bit at her abruptness, not bothering to see if he was okay. His river had dried up but his eyes were still red and puffy from his excess crying.

"No. What do you want?"
"I came to talk to you."

At Hallibel's hint that she was actually worried about him, Grimmjow swallowed his pride as a male, unlocked the door and scooted aside so the door could open. The guitarist slipped through, making sure that she wasn't followed, then shut the door after herself. Hallibel sat cross legged on the floor in front of her friend though he had his head down so she couldn't see his face.

"What's wrong? You never run off stage like that, you always stand there ginning like the proud son of a bitch you are."

He laughed at her use of language to describe himself. She always seems to know there is something wrong with him, it is freaky but Grimmjow accepted it as Hal was the only one he talked to about anything concerning his private life. Though she didn't know the real reason the drummer ODed, he thought that she should know now. She was always very helpful in these situations though none were this bad.

"I have to tell you something, but you have to swear to not tell Uluquiorra or anyone else for that matter. I know he has a right, but it isn't the right time. Okay?"

Grimmjow looked up at his guitarist, eyes pleading, pride totally down the drain. Hal gives him a nod and he sits properly, legs crossed and begins.
"You know Joel had a boyfriend, right?" He waited until she nodded and he continued, "Well a few times, Joel had come to my house at random times crying and bashed up. It was that bastard Yammy. Joel said that he would crack at the smallest of things. For example, he was late coming home from work once and therefore didn't have dinner waiting for Yammy when he came home from work. So when Joel got home, the bastard was already there and started yelling at him for being lazy and not caring about him and he also went as far as to say that Joel was staying late to hook up with whores. I know Joel isn't...wasn't some weakling, but he loved Yammy and couldn't bring himself to hit back or break it off."

Hallibel just sat wide eyed at this story.

"Another time was when Joel refused to have sex with him 'cause he was tired and had to get up really early in the morning. Yammy, being the beast he is, took him by force with no care for him and when Joel showed up at mine..." Grimm had to take a few breaths to stop himself from crying again, rage evident in his voice, "when he showed up, he was bleeding, his legs were trembling, I don't even know how he managed to walk that far, he had two black eyes from being punched repeatedly while Yammy...raped him. He had so many cuts and bruises I lost count. I tried talking him out of staying with that monster, saying it wasn't good for his mental health. But he loved that brute even though he was afraid of him."

The vocalist was now standing, pacing back and forth, hands bunched in his hair, as he got lost in the story, reliving the trauma.

"THAT FUCKING BASTARD!" he yelled as he punched the wall, dust particles from the paint on the ceiling falling to the ground.

"You know what the worst part was? When he came to me that last time, battered, raped...again, and broken. He told me he had enough of living like he was, though he still loved his abusive boyfriend. He said that he was going to end this life that he had. I thought he was talking about his relationship with Yammy! I egged him on to do it, that he would feel better! I COULD HAVE SAVED HIM!" A second lot of tears streaming down his face, "I practically killed my best friend. I can't believe I missed his silent cry for help. I can't believe I killed him."

Grimm was now on the floor sobbing, Hallibel next to him rubbing his back for comfort. She was so filled with anger at Yammy. The band knew him well as he used to be a friend. The big brute got a different job which caused him to move and drift apart from the band members, but obviously not Joel.

"That ass hole. I'm gonna kill 'im. I really am gonna kill 'im. I cannot fathom what he did to Joel and, in consequence, you as well. He broke Joel in every way possible, mind, spirit and body. You didn't do anything, Grimm. It wasn't your fault, you couldn't have known the underlying meaning of what he said. You couldn't have done anything. It isn't your fault."

Hal was getting angrier by the second that, that bastard reduced the strongest person she knows into a bawling mess after killing his one and only best friend.

Grimmjow and Joel were so close they were like brothers except they didn't fight, at all. Joel knew everything about Grimm, all his darkest secrets and the same goes for the singer. They knew each other in every possible way, being there for each other when they most needed it, doing everything together. With Grimm's expression and aura that screamed 'punk' and 'delinquent', no one ever had the courage to approach him to try and befriend him. Joel had an affinity for reading people and so began a relationship with Grimmjow effortlessly.

Grimm was lonely though he had his band mates, but they never got close enough to be allowed to delve into his personal life. It was only recently after the months of Joel's passing that the vocalist let in Hallibel. She was the only female in the group and that made it easier for Grimm to show his softer side. The vocalist's tears ran dry. He was still sniffling, but sighed heavily as he ran out of steam to show any more emotion. Hal still hugged him close on the floor, his arms also around her finding comfort in the friendly gesture. He sighed once more before letting go and wiping his eyes with his sleeve.
"Thanks, again, Hal. I don't know what I would do without you. I think I would be worse than this if it wasn't for you, so thank you."

Hallibel nodded,

"You're welcome. I'm grateful that you can confide in me. No matter what it is, I will help you by any means."

The two just sat there enjoying the silence after the storm.

Uluquiorra was leaning against the door of Grimmjow's dressing room. He heard everything. Though he and Hallibel weren't as close to Joel as their vocalist, they were still good friends with him. Under his unbreakable mask of a poker face, inside he was seething with the urge to kill his once called 'friend', Yammy.

The temporary drummer was back in a big room that is used for lounging and holding meetings, asleep and oblivious to the internal band trauma. Uluquiorra left the dressing room and went to his own, to pack what he had brought to the concert and then left. Hallibel and Grimmjow were now standing, Grimm breathing a relieved sigh as the weight that had been on his shoulders for months had finally become lighter. Grimmjow thanked Hallibel again and started to pack up this things so he could go home, but Hal stayed behind and helped him as she knew he would like the company. Once they were finished, they headed to Hal's room to pack while still saying nothing to another, just enjoying the presence of each other.

Once Hal and Uluquiorra said their good byes, Grimm headed to the big meeting room, only to find Nick, the temporary drummer, asleep on one of the plush couches. He took out his wallet and counted out the amount of money Nick was being paid for this gig. He had been given Nick's share of money as the manager couldn't find the drummer so he entrusted it to the singer. He tossed the money on the coffee table in front of the couch and nudged Nick with his hand. A sleepy eye cracked open.

"Oh, hey. Sorry. I didn't get much sleep last night. Is it time to leave?"

Grimmjow nodded, "Yeah. The others have left. Your money's on the table. I'm 'bout to leave. Thanks for coming. You saved our asses. I'll ring you if we need you again and if we haven't found a permanent replacement. See ya."

Grimm walked out of the room and headed toward the back entrance.

With the windows rolled down, Grimmjow cruised home, not in a rush. He glided along a strip of clubs, letting the thumping of the music relax his tense muscles when something caught his attention. He slowed and parked on the side of the road in front of the club where an awesome drum beat flowed through the door. He got out of his car and walked up to the bouncer, taking out his wallet. The man was huge. His whole body bulging with muscle and his face had one scar going vertically from his forehead down onto his eye, then continued to his mouth and down past his chin and he had an eye patch covering the other eye. Grimm knew this guy. It was Kenpachi Zaraki. They were friends in high school and into collage, but Kenpachi dropped out to practice MMA fighting and he hadn't seen him since. Grinning, he stepped into the light looking up at his childhood friend.

"Kenny!"

Kenpachi looked down, confused, but a wide grin spread across his face seeing his old friend. "Grimm! Nice ta see ya! How's it goin'?"

They bro-hugged and laughed a bit.

"Ah, okay I guess. I haven't been in the best of states my friend, to be honest. But I'm dealing with it. So what's up with you? I take it you have followed your dream?" The bouncer grinned and laughed, knowing better not to ask about what his friend is actually dealing with.

"Oh, I followed my dream alright. Defeated all the champs! Now I got nothin' to do, so I opted to be a bouncer to this club, 'cause they always have misfits tryin' to sneak in and then cause fights when they're caught. So I'm more than willing to take on a bunch of punks."

The vocalist laughed.

"Of course!" He said once straightening up then continuing, opening his wallet and plucking out a few notes, "So how much will it be?"

Kenpachi shook his head.

"Nah, man. You're all good. You're a superstar now. Can get in any where. Go ahead and have some fun."

"Thanks man. See ya 'round."

Grimmjow walked through the door and faintly heard Kenpachi yelling at a punk who was saying that it isn't fair that the 'blue haired freak' got in for free. He just shook his head and continued into the club which had the floor covered in smoke from the smoke machines. The amazing drumming getting louder and louder until he was among the throng of people in the club. He looked toward the stage but the white smoke was concealing the drummer from sight, so he just sat at the bar nodding to the beat, the sound moving within him giving him a feeling of false euphoria. But it was making him happy and keeping him from thinking about his deceased friend. It was amazing that the drummer didn't need any other instruments to sound great.

"Hey!" Someone yelled over the loud drumming. Grimm looked from the stage to stare at the bartender.

"Hey!" he yelled back.

"Do you want something?" the bartender asked. Grimmjow shook his head and went back to bobbing his head to the beat. The mysterious drummer began a furious bashing against the drums as he neared the end of his tune. With a final bash on two of the drums, the beat finished and the club went up in hysterics. The women screaming and clapping and the men clapping also with some whistling. The smoke slowly cleared to reveal a sexy, fiery man. Fiery as in orange hair, just as unusual as the vocalist's blue hair. Grim smirked as he watched the red head stand from his chair and head toward to bar. The singer swivelled in his chair so he was facing the bar as he decided he did want a drink after all. He flagged down the bartender who went straight past the drummer who also tried to flag him. The red head turned his head to send a glare at who ever it was who stole the bartender, but his eyes widened in awe as he saw who it was. Grimmjow caught this while ordering his drink and chuckled a bit before turning to the side and, bending his index finger, silently told the drummer to come over. The man looked shocked then pointed at himself in question and Grimm just laughed and nodded his head. The drummer slowly made his way over to the vocalist and sat next to him.

"So, you angry I got the bartender first?" Grimmjow said teasingly, laughing slightly. The red head's face went red as he became flustered and began to stumble over his words.

"No...I—He—he was closer...so wouldn't—isn't it e—easier to serve the—the—" he was cut off as Grimm laughed loud and it was a real laugh, one he hadn't been able to muster since the death of Joel. The drummer looked confused.

"Um...What are you laughing about?"

Grimm wiped a tear from his eye and held out his hand to introduce himself with a big smile.

"I'm sorry. I teased you. Name's Grimmjow Jeaggerjaques."

"I—I know..." the drummer said shyly while shaking the hand which made Grimmjow's smile widen, but he continued, "My name is Ichigo Kurosaki. Ni—nice to meet you." Ichigo bowed from his seat.

"Whoa, whoa. You don't have to do that. No one does that any more in America." Grimm said surprised. Ichigo frowned, eyes apologetic.

"So—sorry. I was raised in Japan and the customs have been imprinted deeply in me. It is out of habit. In Japan, when meeting someone of higher status than yourself it is polite to bow." The vocalist's eyes widened at the statement.

"I—I'm not that superior, really. With the way that you work your drums, I should be bowing to you. Your drumming is fantastic."

Ichigo blushed shyly as he struggled to find words to tell the other man that he was wrong. Grimm grinned.

"Ichigo." The red head looked into the blazing blue of the singers eyes when he heard his name, "Don't be shying away from praise. Your drumming is magnificent and if you weren't that great then why would you think they let you play here?"

Ichigo looked at the ground and mumbled.

"What was that Ichigo?" Grimm said, frowning.

The drummer looked up. "I know the owner. He is my dad's friend."

The vocalist nodded his head in understanding.

"I see. Well, coming from a band myself, I can tell you your drumming is the best I have ever heard. It makes me feel happy and relaxed, like I'm drunk. I have never had that experience before with a drum solo. Guitar and bass, yes, when they do their solos and pianos and all the other wonderful instruments, but never, up until now, have I ever heard such talent on the drums." Ichigo blushed deeper as he was embarrassed and became more self concious.

"I—I don't think I'm that good..." the red head trailed off looking at the ground. Grimm smiled as he had an idea.

"Hey, I have a question." he said, making Ichigo look up from the wooden floor.

"Yeah?" Ichigo asked.

Grimm smiled wider and continued, "Well, my band is looking for a new drummer..." he trailed off watching the red head's eyes widen in surprise, "and I was wondering if you would like to join us? Of course if you don't have any other business." Ichigo's mouth kept on opening and closing as he couldn't find the words he wanted to say and his eyes were still wide in disbelief.

The vocalist laughed again. "It is a simple shake of the head or nod. Would you like to join?" Grimm said through chuckles.

"I—you are my—the band is my—I love your band! It would be a dream come true to come and play for you!" Ichigo looked excited and Grimmjow was still laughing, but it died down a little when he began to speak.

"That's great! Welcome to the band, Ichigo. It is great to hear that you are a fan. Well here are..." the vocalist trailed off while writing something on a napkin with a pen from his own shirt, "the details. My phone number, my address if you ever need anything, the address of the studio where we practise and the name and the phone number of our manager if you ever need him for something." He gave the napkin to the drummer and took a swig of the beer he forgot was in front of him.

"Th—thank you! I—I won't let you down!" Ichigo yelled, staring at the napkin like it was a piece of gold. Suddenly there was a cheery voice sounding all over the club.

"Could Ichigo Kurosaki please return to the stage for one last time before we close! Everyone have fun and we hope to see you back here often." The drummer looked up to the ceiling and laughed muttering something that sounded like 'Stupid Renji' and got out of his seat.

"Well I have to go. It was a pleasure meeting you Mr. Jeaggerjaques." Ichigo bowed again and was about to set off but Grimm grabbed his wrist.
"Please don't ever call me Mr. Jeaggerjaques again. It makes me sound old. Also remember, don't bow, you don't have to and the band is meeting at the studio tomorrow at 10.00 in the morning. I'll see you there." He let go of the drummer's wrist and winked, watching him blush again. He laughed and turned back to the bar to skull down the rest of the beer. He decided that he'll stay for the last performance then he'll leave.

'Damn he's hot. Nice ass. What a good score. Maybe I'll get to tease him again tomorrow...' Grimm thought as he rested his head against him arms on the bar, listening to the enchanting drums.

Once the beat was over, the vocalist headed out of the club to his car. The drummer had left him in a really relaxed, calm and sleepy trance, but the beer had helped too. Once he was home he went straight for his bedroom and as soon as his head hit the pillow, he was out like a light.

Ichigo was so ecstatic that he couldn't sleep. During his last drum solo of the night at his 'uncle's' club, he had watched his idol, Grimmjow Jeaggerjaques, listen to him on his drums. He couldn't believe he was now part of his number one favourite band, the Arrancars. He was wide awake from his nerves because he was meeting the rest of the band the following day, but he was also scared that the other band members wouldn't like him and tell him to leave. The Arrancars were the biggest band in the whole of America and he didn't want to rain on their parade. After pacing a hole in the ground, the drummer decided to make some hot chocolate to help him sleep.

Blowing on the steam that the hot chocolate was emitting, Ichigo sat on his couch and tried to calm his brain as it was still running at miles per hour. He took a sip from his cup and instantly felt the warmth spread throughout his body, relaxing the muscles and making him sink further into the soft cushions with a satisfied sigh.

He finished off the chocolate in one last mouthful and rinsed the cup, putting it on the drainer, then he walked into his room as a drowsiness overtook him. The drummer crawled into bed and curled up, sleep washing over him with ease.