I don't own Bleach or its characters. I hope everyone had a great holiday! Please forgive me -gets down on my knees- for taking so long to update! Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I have seemed to catch every illness under the sun! My son brought me the flu home and a cold which put me down for 3 weeks. Unfortunately when you are prego there are only like 5 meds on the planent that are safe to take. :/ But I am better now! We go next week to hear the heartbeat, I will be 13 weeks along. Another 7 weeks and we will find out the sex! Do enjoy this next installment, and I will try to be faster now!
Chapter Five: After Chores: Shenanigans
Ichigo scrunched up his nose.
"You're kidding, right?"
"No way," answered Weiss, with a smirk. "We've gotta scoop the horse shit up with a shovel, put it in the dump trailer on the lawn tractor, and ride over to the utility barn and put it in the large trailer. They take that into town once a week and we sell it to fertilizer makers. They let the horse shit dry out over the winter and turn it into fertilizer for gardens."
Ichigo shook his head.
"It's a whole different world out here. Anybody I know would go into town to do anything but sell horse shit."
"Careful Ichigo, your city boy is showing!"
"Haha," Ichigo said, swiping the pair of gloves Weiss was holding and grabbed a shovel. "Go get the damn tractor so we can get this over with."
Ichigo stepped into Pantera's stall and eyed all the poo on the floor. He heard the roar of the tractor as Weiss backed it up and sighed, pulling his t-shirt over his nose and set to work. Minimal gagging and a lot of shovel scraping against cobblestone ensued, and the two had a nice pile of poo in the dump trailer.
"If you want to rinse out the stalls, I'll shovel all this in the trailer. I do it by myself all the time, and it'll be faster this way," Weiss said sympathetically.
"That sounds great," Ichigo mumbled from behind his hands which were shielding his mouth and nose from the stench of collected poo.
Weiss showed him where the pressure washer was and gave him the low down on how to operate it before he was zooming off on the lawn tractor, carrying away the foul dump trailer.
Ichigo made quick but thorough work of cleaning the floors, the power washer blasting the horse waste right out of every crack and crevasse of the cobblestone. Weiss relieved him of the washer when he was done to clean the lawn tractor out and the shovels, and they set to the task of restocking the feeding troughs and replacing the hay beds with fresh hay.
Weiss peeled back his flannel and glanced at his watch, whistling in amazement.
"I like this a lot better, it's only 6:30! It usually takes me til 8 to get this all done by myself, which leaves me like 20 minutes to get ready for school. Thanks Ichigo, for helping," he added shyly.
"No problem dude," Ichigo replied with a grin, holding out a fist and Weiss bumped it with his own, his own grin on his face.
"Well, since it's Saturday and you don't have school, now what do you do?" Ichigo asked.
"I'll go check in with Nel, Grimmjow has probably left her with a long list of chores since I'm grounded," Weiss said sourly.
"Well, if you want, I'll help you, and that way you'll get done faster. Then maybe we can find something fun to do before he gets back, yeah?" Ichigo said with a conspiratorial wink.
"You're on, man!" Weiss said, brightening.
Weiss wasn't kidding when he said Grimmjow would leave a list. They had to weed out the vegetable garden that was to the west of the barn, tucked back behind a hilled tree line. And this was no little garden by any means, Ichigo guessed it to be at least 10 feet by 10 feet. There were rows of sweet corn, pumpkins, and potatoes growing here. Weiss took one end and Ichigo another, working their way inward to meet in the middle. It took them a good hour and a half to get out the stubborn weeds by hand, and Ichigo was grateful that they did this before the hot summer sun rose up high in the sky.
Next they were sent to the greenhouse behind the utility barn to gather up whatever was ripe. Nel was planning on making a fresh salad for dinner and they made sure to gather up plenty of cucumbers, lettuce, assorted bell peppers, and tomatoes. Ichigo quickly discovered a greenhouse wasn't going to be a fun place to be once it got warmer outdoors, it was already quite warm inside and it was only going on nine-o-clock.
Once they returned the produce to the green haired chef, Weiss agreed to take the dusting off her hands if she'd make them a snack. Ichigo found the simple act of dusting to be as daunting as the rest of the chores, observing the meticulous and careful way Weiss dusted the tables, shelves, picture frames, and various other things in the rooms. Weiss explained if they didn't do it right Nel would have their hides, and probably put beets in their salads. So Ichigo was extremely careful not to miss a speck, dusting in the den while Weiss took the living room.
The den wasn't a room Ichigo had been in before, nestled in a large room just before the stair case. The same maple flooring that ran throughout the house was in here too, a large executive desk sat before the bay window that was framed with gray velvet draperies. Ichigo could tell instantly that this was Grimmjow's space, judging from the décor and the lingering smell of the spicy aftershave he wore. Several riding trophies adorned the built in shelves; Ichigo was extremely careful when dusting them. From the dates on them, Ichigo surmised Grimmjow was a competitive rider when he was a teen. That explained his ramrod posture when riding Pantera.
Farther down on the last shelf, a large, worn, green leather bound photo album caught his eye. He bit his lip, and eyed the doorway. Ichigo was not one to pry into people's privacy, but he was curious about the book that was covered in dust although Nel was so meticulous about dusting. His inner devil won out and he turned over the cover of the old book, grinning immediately at the pictures inside.
It was no wonder where Grimmjow got his looks from. He was the spitting image of his old man. If he didn't know better, he'd think he was looking at a picture of Nel and Grimmjow getting married under an arch covered in pink roses and white tulle. The only difference between their mother and Nel was that Ichigo was certain Nel was far bustier. Their mother's hair framed her face in green ringlets, a slim fitted lace wedding gown making her look elegant. She was glowing with happiness in the arms of their father, who smirked that shit eating grin Grimmjow perfected at the camera from beneath a white Stetson hat.
They looked so much in love; it was hard to believe that it didn't work out for them. There were pictures of them cutting the cake, and then their mother in a fit of laughter smearing cake across their father's face, the bouquet toss, their first dance. The next page was better, their very pregnant mother at her baby shower, holding up little knitted booties and a baby jumper with a train on it. Ichigo eagerly skipped past the rest, dying to see a picture of baby Grimmjow.
It was hard to believe that the blue haired Adonis was once so small, but there he was, red faced and screaming, his little fists balled as his mother beamed into the camera and his father looked so proud. A mop of blue hair covered his little head and one tiny foot had escaped the blue and white striped blanket that he was swaddled in. It was absolutely darling, and Ichigo felt his heart melt at the picture of baby Grimmjow sleeping, his tiny thumb in his mouth, blue hair hidden beneath a knitted cap.
Ichigo jumped when a hand clasped his shoulder, looking up to Weiss grinning down at him.
"You know he'd kill you where you stand for looking at those, right?"
"Hard to believe he was so little and cute once, what happened?"
"Hell if I know," laughed Weiss. "Flip farther back; there are pictures of me in there too."
Ichigo flipped past pictures of chubby toddler Grimmjow and baby Nel, school pictures, Christmas and family gatherings, until he found a picture of chubby baby Weiss, blond curls all over his head in a beaming Nel's arms.
"Awww, you were so cute!" cooed Ichigo, teasingly pinching Weiss' cheek.
"Aww, whatever," said Weiss, ducking away, embarrassed. "Let's finish this room so we can watch a movie. I'd battle you at video games, but Grimm has my PS3."
"No problem," Ichigo said, stooping and putting the album back. He grabbed his dust cloth and went over to the desk, careful to put everything back exactly where it was when he lifted it up. A silver colored laptop sat open on the desk, the screen saver popping up when Ichigo dusted over the keypad. It flashed various pictures of the three siblings together, and some of Weiss doing bmx tricks on a bike.
"You bmx?" Ichigo asked, studying the pictures.
"Used to freestyle," Weiss said, coming around to watch the pictures as they faded in and out on the screen.
"That was from a competition two years ago that I took third in. It was my first competition. I sort of stopped practicing when Pa got sick. I wonder why he even has these pictures on here."
"He was probably proud of you, this is really cool Weiss. Not just anybody can do this kind of stuff."
"Maybe," Weiss said, blushing a little and looking thoughtful. He shook it off and asked, "Do you like Bruce Lee films?"
"What a ridiculous question," Ichigo replied, following the grinning teen back to the living room.
Grimmjow was hot, hungry, and tired when he got back from the pastures. Once Pantera was properly taken care of, he sauntered to the house after bidding his crew a "See yer asses at the table". He hung his hat on its peg in the foyer and kicked off his boots, his stomach growling at the delicious promise of dinner that was wafting from the kitchen. He followed his nose to the kitchen, kissing his sister on the cheek while simultaneously dipping a finger in a bowl of mashed potatoes.
"Grimmjow!" she admonished, slapping his arm. "I hope your hands were clean, you barbarian!"
"I washed them, relax," he said, licking the potato from his finger.
"How'd it go today?" she asked, returning to the salad she was making.
"We mended lots of fence, found some blood in the grass. I'm thinking soon a small crew and I will be going hunting for the brave little kitty that keeps sneaking in trying to eat my racers. The one it got put up a hell of a fight, probably wounded the lion nicely because it didn't kill the horse, but unfortunately I don't think there's any coming back from the way it was mauled. Stark's having a look at him now, but it doesn't look good."
"I'm sorry Grimm," she said, putting down the knife and giving him a hug. Grimmjow hated it when he had to put down an animal. He returned it and they both froze, shrieking laughter coming from the living room.
"What the hell are they up to?" asked Grimmjow, pulling away.
"They were watching a movie, last I knew, and before you get all pissy Weiss did all his chores and then some. He's been hanging out with Ichigo all day. It's nice to see him have a friend aside from the two he hangs out with at school. In fact, it's been a while since I heard him laugh like that," she mused thoughtfully, picking back up the knife.
"Hn," was all Grimmjow said, following the sound of his brother's laughter to the source.
Grimmjow stood in the door way, observing the shenanigans taking place. The boys were watching Way of the Dragon, and they were at the part where Bruce Lee unknowing goes home with a prostitute. Ichigo was standing in front of the tv, acting out the scene, going between being Bruce and the prostitute. Weiss was nearly in tears, he was laughing so hard. Grimmjow smirked, watching until both the guys noticed him standing there.
Grimmjow's smirk got wider when Ichigo went red with embarrassment, having being caught acting like a loon. Weiss wiped at eyes, climbing off the couch.
"Dinner will be ready soon," Grimmjow said. He turned to go shower and stopped, turning back to Ichigo, "Nice acting Ichigo. You played the prostitute real well," he said with a wink. Ichigo turned impossibly redder and started spluttering, and Weiss started laughing again. Mayhem on Ichigo complete for now, Grimmjow ascended the stairs.
End Chapter. So, what did you think? Comments are always greatly appreciated! 3 XD