Okay, I initially posted this last night, but it apparently only lasted a few hours on ffnet because after a while clicking the link brings you to the "story not found" error page. :( And then I tried again this morning, and it too only lasted less than half an hour! Grrr... Let's see how long this attempt lasts.

Thank you, GrimmIchiLover, for letting me know! And thank you, darkhuntressxir, Leylani-sama, and azul renge for the reviews that you guys gave before the story was lost. Now that I've removed and reposted the story, I'm afraid I lost your reviews. *cries* Thank you so much for them, I did manage to read them in the notification email!

So here it is, not only is this my second attempt at AU, it is my first time trying out Grimmjow x Ichigo. How's that for a challenge? A little disclaimer...while I try my best to keep them all in character, I tamed down Grimmjow's destructive tendencies to a more socially-acceptable level (at least, in the society in this AU).

This is a gift to Scatter Hyourinmaru! Hope you'll like this. :)

Everybody stilled as the white lump of cloth slid off of the messy head of powder blue hair down along the lean lines of a strong, long neck, and finally, with a dull thud, landed on the floor.

For a moment the hallway fell into stunned silence as all eyes zeroed in on the tall high school senior, who had stopped in his tracks. And then, slowly, the head turned.

"Abarai-fucking-Renji!" the blue-haired teenager bellowed, baring his teeth.

A few feet away, another teenager was bent over at his waist, coughing and laughing like he'd just seen the best stand-up comedy in his life. His eye-catching red hair spilled over the top of his head as he wheezed, trying and failing to reel in his laughter.

"How old are you, man?" the one who got hit in the head grumbled as he stalked up to the redhead and threw the rumpled ball of cloth in his face. "Do you really have to do that every day?"

His red-haired friend grinned and straightened up. "Absolutely," he said, picking up the piece of cloth and smoothing it out into its original form. Satisfied that it was finally less crinkled, he folded the cloth into a long, thin strip and tied it around his head, partially covering his forehead. Once that was done, he flashed a bright, toothpaste commercial-worthy smile before landing a good solid punch on his friend's bicep.

"Idiot," the blue-haired one growled darkly, but one corner of his lips curled up involuntarily into a small smirk that only the redhead could see.

With that, the two boys strolled down the hallway towards class, oblivious to the amused stares and snickers from the other students.

Grimmjow scowled and shifted in his seat, his long legs bumping into the chair in front of him, immediately earning a glare from his bespectacled classmate. The size of the furniture in the classroom was entirely too small for him — with his six feet one stature, having to sit still within the confines of his desk and chair for hours on end was a daily ordeal.

Across the room, Renji wasn't faring much better; he looked cramped, his knees scraping against the bottom of the desk. Grimmjow couldn't help snickering under his breath at the sight of the disgruntled look on his best friend's face.

The two of them had known each other since...forever. There weren't many memories in Grimmjow's head that didn't include the spunky, loud-mouthed redhead. Their fathers were close friends, and they'd inevitably ended up as each other's playmates from a young age. The bond only strengthened over the years. They were quite the sight — one with light, baby blue hair that stuck out in a thousand directions, including a few strands that hung over his forehead; the other with long, red hair that tended to clash with everything the guy wore. They two were skinny — bordering on scrawny, even — and then puberty hit and they both shot up above average height, towering over most of their classmates at school.

So it was no wonder that they were both top athletes at Karakura High; Grimmjow was into basketball while Renji was the best soccer player on the school team. Their popularity was only dampened slightly by their collective cockiness and dirty mouths, and they could care less about it. It was always brothers against the world, and as long as they had each other, everything was fine and dandy.

Grimmjow looked up as the teacher waltzed into the room. His eyebrows arched when a boy he'd never seen before walked in behind Ochi-sensei. It wasn't so much that the boy was a stranger — it was the guy's obnoxious head of brilliant orange hair. And there he thought he and Renji had drawn the short straws in the hair color department.

"Good morning, good morning, children!" Ochi-sensei sang with a smile that made her large eyes almost disappear behind her eye glasses. She rapped her knuckles on the blackboard until the class settled down, and then she gestured to the new boy. "Let's all welcome our new classmate, Kurosaki Ichigo! He's joining us from Tokyo, so be nice to him and make him feel at home, okay kids? Inoue-san, do you mind pulling up that desk...there we go..." Ochi-sensei pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose and then handed a piece of white chalk to the new guy. "Do you mind writing your name on the board?"

Grimmjow was trying very hard not to laugh out loud; Ichigo? The boy's parents must not like him very much to give him a name like that. Seriously, he almost felt bad for the guy if not for the scowl that was plastered on the orange-haired kid's face like everyone on the planet owed him an apology. It was a strange time to transfer to a new school, Grimmjow noted. It was already past the half year mark for that school year, and it was the last year of high school, he would hate it if he had to go to another school at a time like this; having to leave behind all your friends so close to graduation, and not to mention having to adjust and study for the most important school exam in your entire high school career. Yeah, perhaps the guy had the right to look so downright pissed.

He watched the kid scribble his name in kanji on the board, noting the rather interesting — and rather cool, if he was honest to himself — first name. And then the kid, Ichigo, made his way grumpily over to the hastily arranged desk next to Inoue Orihime and slid into his seat without so much as a glance at the girl. Grimmjow couldn't help feeling surprised; Orihime was easily the prettiest girl in school, with her bubbly personality and of course, generous helpings of breasts, and the new guy didn't even bat his lashes at the gorgeous sight next to him.

Grimmjow flicked his gaze across the room and caught the weird facial expression on his best friend. Renji was attracted to guys and had no qualms showing it, but damn, Grimmjow didn't think he'd ever seen the guy gawking so openly at another man before. The redhead looked as if he had just swallowed a ball of gum, his eyes wide and glued on Ichigo. Grimmjow chuckled — looked like the new guy was in for a rough start. Renji was a stubborn bastard, and when that stubborn bastard liked something, he would do anything to get it.

This is not fair.

Ichigo didn't usually sulk, but he sulked now as if his life depended on it. It wasn't fair that he had to leave his friends and his beloved hometown so suddenly. His old man couldn't even wait until he finished high school — that job offer at Karakura General Hospital had been a once-in-lifetime opportunity, or so the goat-face had said. Ichigo supposed it was true; his father had worked his ass off at a small clinic his entire life, the chance to be the deputy director of one of the best hospitals in Japan was not something he could simply pass up. It wasn't like Ichigo couldn't graduate from another high school, it just really, really sucked.

He missed his friends already — yes, even that silly-ass Yumichika, who stuck to him like a band-aid. And Ikkaku, Shuuhei, Izuru, Rukia... Ichigo gritted his teeth. He let his eyes roam the classroom. The school wasn't too shabby for a place in the middle of nowhere, and Karakura was pretty much middle of nowhere for a city boy like him. The kids here even looked half-decent; there was this air-head sitting next to him who looked alright, and there was this giant of a man with wavy brown hair that covered half of his face. They looked friendly enough. The bespectacled guy with almost chin-length black hair though, not so much.

And then there were the two boys with hair color almost as ridiculous as his own. They sat at opposite ends of the room; one with spiky, powder blue short hair, and the other sported a ponytail the color of blood. They were huge, although not as big as that wavy-haired guy. Ichigo wondered if it was something about the water in Karakura. He himself was muscular too, but in the lean sort of way, just like his old friends, while these guys were ripped and tall.

Ichigo jumped slightly when he suddenly caught a skull-piercing stare from that redhead. The guy was looking at him with a lopsided grin, and there was something in those reddish brown eyes that made his skin crawl. If he didn't know better, he would've thought that the guy wanted to eat him alive.

"Did you see the ass on that one?" Renji asked, his face flushed in excitement as he leaned over the railing and looked at his best friend.

They were on the rooftop at their favorite lunch spot, and Grimmjow was looking at him with bored, half-lidded eyes that practically screamed "you're such an idiot" even as a corner of his lips lifted in a sly smile.

But Renji was too happy to care, he was still too occupied with the images of that transfer student. The school uniform molded around that long, lithe body like a piece of erotic lingerie, and the boy had graceful hands that looked like they could do many delicious, less-than-innocent things. The way those eyebrows pulled together and how those full lips pursed in a scowl just made Ichigo look even more irresistible, like a present surrounded by a sea of land mines waiting for Renji to unwrap.

And Renji loved challenges with a passion.

"You don't even know if he swings that way," Grimmjow drawled.

Renji's grin faltered slightly, but then he immediately perked up again. "I know! You can test it out for me!"

Grimmjow's mouth hung open in disbelief. "Why me?" he asked with a frown.

"See, I calculated already," Renji said, lowering his voice in a conspiratorial tone. "You know in Chemistry class? How you're always paired with that tight-assed Ishida?"

Grimmjow grunted at the mention of his lab partner. "Yeah, so?"

Renji grinned. "Well, I happen to know that he's scheduled for a national debate championship the week after next."

"So?" Grimmjow cocked an eyebrow, not understanding what that had to do with his friend's request to test the waters with Kurosaki Ichigo. Then his eyes narrowed in suspicion. "Wait, how'd you know that?"

Renji looked flustered for a moment before saying, "That's not important, the important part is: lab partners are paired according to our last names, with Ishida gone, you, Jaegerjaques-san, will be paired with Kurosaki."

Grimmjow rubbed his face with a groan. "Aww, that's just great," he muttered. As if dealing with that straight-laced model student wasn't enough, now he'd have to handle a new lab partner who looked like somebody had just stolen his favorite stuffed animal, and he had to somehow find out whether the guy liked men? He must've been a baby killer in his past life.

"Come on, what are friends for?" the redhead nudged him in the arm with a shit eating grin on his face.

After what seemed like an eternity, Grimmjow finally said, "You know those Adizero Ghost 2.0 basketball shoes?"

"The new arrival that you were looking at on the adidas website? What about them?" Renji asked, confused.

"Yeah, those. I like 'em in Aluminum and Running White."

To be continued...

Hopefully this makes you interested to know what will happen next! :D