I don't own Bleach or it's characters. Well, hello lovlies! Sorry to have left you on such a cliffhanger, but it makes for such good suspense! Do enjoy the next installment!

Chapter Eight: Drugs and Temporary Insanity

Ichigo was floating. At least that's how he felt, weightless and suspended in time. There was a nagging thought somewhere in the back of his mind that something wasn't right with his situation, but he couldn't bring himself to imagine what it was. The clouded depths he was sinking in were gentle, relaxing, and Ichigo found it hard to care about much of anything in this moment. Everything felt like it was slipping away, the nagging thought, the throb on the side of his head. There was a burning in his chest, but he knew how to get rid of that too, he just needed to inhale. He closed his eyes to the far away light that rocked back and forth in his blurred vision, and tried to suck in much needed air.

Grimmjow didn't even hesitate to take off his boots, just dived fully clothed into the lake. Since he executed a perfect swan dive, he'd have to remember to give thanks to Nel for the lessons when they were kids, his body was arched enough that he didn't hit the loose piece of steel bar that stuck out from the dock's support structure beneath the water. He swam downward, propelling himself with broad strokes, his eyes frantically searching the murky lake water for Ichigo. A flash of orange in his peripheral had him veering to the right, quickly gliding over to where the orange head floated peacefully in a bloody cloud.

Grimmjow grabbed Ichigo's still frame, praying to every God he'd ever heard of that he wasn't too late as he clutched Ichigo to him and propelled them both to the surface. Thankfully, Weiss had caught on to what was going on and was waiting on the dock to help haul Ichigo up out of the water, which was good because he needed immediate attention and Grimmjow didn't have time to swim to the shore.

Weiss lay Ichigo out on his back, while Grimmjow pulled himself up onto the dock and immediately dropped to his knees before Ichigo. His worried cyan eyes scanned Ichigo's head wound, a sizeable gash at the base of his skull that was leaking blood at a steady rate.

His large palms fitted themselves over Ichigo's breastbone and he began to pump, keeping count in his head while he ordered Weiss to radio Nel from his two-way on Pantera's saddle to get Szayel pronto, and then stifle the bleeding with his t-shirt. Grimmjow's lips hit Ichigo's unresponsive ones as he blew in air, Weiss racing off to do as he was told.


God damn it, Ichigo! Don't fucking do this to me!

Back to the pumping, and trying to ignore the weird shade Ichigo's skin was starting to turn. That wasn't Ichigo, that wasn't how he was supposed to look. He put his lips to Ichigo's again, delivering another series of air puffs.


Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck! Grimmjow pumped again frantically, angry at the whole situation, angry at how the fiery man below him could be taken out by mere water, what a fucking city boy he was, couldn't even swim! His lips cold and unmoving, when they should be warm and gliding beneath his, or at least cussing him out. This wasn't Ichigo; this wasn't how he was going to remain. Grimmjow would get him back.

The floating feeling was gone, and the nagging feeling was back. Something was wrong; he tried to move but couldn't, feeling hazy and heavy as if he'd been drugged. There was pressure on his chest, crushing repeating pressure, and it hurt. He knew he wasn't floating anymore; he was lying on something hard and was being crushed to death. There was a screaming pain at the back of his head. What the hell happened to him?

Something warm pressed against his mouth, and Ichigo's eyes snapped open. All he could see was blue. And then he was overcome with a coughing fit, twisting away from the crushing source and hacking up his guts, trying desperately to breathe in wheezing breaths. Then he vomited.

Grimmjow had never been more relieved his life than when Ichigo suddenly took in his breath, and then twisted away in a horrible coughing fit. He commanded Weiss to keep compressing the head wound and thumped Ichigo's back, trying to help his lungs dispel the water they had wrongfully filled with. Ichigo began to vomit, the water divesting itself from the vessel of his body, and Grimmjow was so happy, he'd have kissed Ichigo then, vomit mouth and all.

Ichigo wasn't sure what was more embarrassing in his current situation. The fact that he'd almost drowned after losing unconsciousness from the head wound he'd sustained from falling off the dock, or how Grimmjow administered him life saving CPR while he lay half dead in nothing but his underwear, and then he was forced under nonnegotiable terms to ride back to the ranch on Pantera with Grimmjow clutching him firmly to his chest, trying to eliminate as much jostling about as he could for Ichigo, and the whole crew saw, and now was having to get stitches from a doctor with bright pink hair while Nel fussed incessantly over him, Grimmjow watched with a critical eye, and Weiss sulked in a corner.

Szayel asked him questions while he sewed, what was his name, what year was it, who was president, what state was he in currently, all which Ichigo answered in irritation. The doctor finished and flashed a light in his eyes for what seemed like the millionth time, announced that he didn't feel Ichigo suffered any brain damage, the brief loss of consciousness came from the loss of blood as head wounds seem to bleed a lot more than other wounds, and shock. He had 27 tight stitches that Szayel would be back to check on in a few days, and that just for tonight he should be awoken every 2-3 hours just to be safe.

He left Ichigo with a small prescription bottle of Vicodin, and he and Grimmjow exited the room. After a little bit more of motherly fussing, fluffing of the pillows and such, Nel went to get Ichigo some soup so he didn't take the meds on an empty stomach and end up vomiting some more. For that, Ichigo was grateful, one stomach empting in a day was too much for him. He was left alone in an awkward silence with Weiss.

"Don't even say it, it's not your fault," Ichigo croaked out, closing his eyes and gingerly relaxing backwards into the pillows, careful to not put too much pressure on his bandaged wound.

"I really shouldn't have been playing around, God, I nearly killed you," Weiss said softly.

Ichigo cracked open an eye.

"I should have been honest and let you know I can't swim, and there's no way you could have known about that loose bar. Give it up, Weiss, you can't argue with a stubborn injured man. Plus, if you want to get rid of me you'll have to try harder, that was a pretty lame murder attempt," Ichigo joked.

Weiss smiled weakly.

"Yeah, I guess next time I try to kill you I won't help save you."

"See?" responded Ichigo. "That's all that matters for me. You were there when I needed you. Don't worry about it, I'll be better by tomorrow once the pain meds are in full swing, and maybe I'll get a cool scar out of the deal."

"You are ridiculously nice," Weiss said as Nel bustled in with a tray of food large enough to feed an army. Ichigo would have rolled his eyes, but that hurt, so he just smiled at Weiss, who slipped out the door when Nel mentioned she'd be feeding Ichigo, leaving him to fend for himself against his overly protective sister with a knowing smirk. He couldn't argue with Ichigo, but Ichigo sure as hell wasn't going to win against Nel's will.

The Vicodin knocked Ichigo out cold, and he barely remembered the couple times that both Nel and Weiss shook him awake. It was about eight at night when he woke up for good, his stomach demanding he put something in it. He wandered down to the kitchen, passing Grimmjow's office where the blue haired beast sat at his laptop, making no indication that he seen Ichigo passing by. Ichigo considered the fact that he was going to have to thank Grimmjow for rescuing him, which was infuriating and embarrassing, but the right thing to do despite his pride. Well, he'd come up with something after he ate.

He opened the refrigerator in the pristine but empty kitchen, figuring Nel must be in her room reading harlequin novels, as Ichigo recently discovered that she devoured, and saw that she already had him a tray made. He loved this woman for taking such good care of him. He devoured the brown sugared ham sandwich on a home baked Kaiser roll and happily wolfed down the strawberry cheesecake-he'd have ate the whole rest of the pan but he didn't want to be a pig. While he ate, he thought about the kitten cubs and decided to detour out to the barn before he went to speak with Grimmjow. He wasn't being a coward; it would just give him time to think.

Ichigo placed his dishes in the dishwasher and headed out into the cooling night air. It was still warm, but pleasantly so, a breeze finally rolling in from the mountains and the humidity was dropping. He slipped into the barn, and after finding no trace of Stark, he went over and sank to his knees in front of the "nest", finding Yin and Yang playfully wrestling each other. Yin pushed her paw in her brother's face and mewed loudly when she saw Ichigo there, trying to get her little legs untangled from her brother to get to their savior.

Ichigo grinned and picked her up, cuddling her carefully to his chest, adding Yang when he protested at being left out. They mewed and snuggled into Ichigo, liking his body heat, and Ichigo had the sudden suspicion that Stark was letting them sleep with him not unlike the first time he met the man in the barn loft. He stroked them absentmindedly as his mind began to wander about his next problem- facing Grimmjow.

Grimmjow sighed and snapped his laptop closed. He couldn't focus on anything right now. Calculating feed orders and balancing accounts wasn't appealing in the first place, and the numbers just swam before his eyes while his mind was only focused on a certain orange haired guy. He saw Ichigo pass by earlier and what little concentration he did have went sliding by the wayside. The instantaneous overprotection and overbearing curiosity he was feeling for Ichigo led him to believe he was headed down a path that was longer than lust for a person. And honestly, it scared the shit out of him.

From his window he could see Ichigo disappearing into the barn, and he wondered if it was a good idea for the previously injured and prescription medicated to be rummaging around in a barn by themselves. He happened to know that Stark wasn't around at the moment. He pushed his hair anxiously back from his forehead just to have it fall stubbornly back in place and decided he better go after Ichigo- just in case.

"I figured you snuck out here to be with those little beasts."

Ichigo nearly had a heart attack, Grimmjow's deep baritone startling him out of his thoughts and had him springing to his feet. What was that saying, speak of the devil and he shall appear? Well, apparently, all you had to do was think of blue haired, ice eyed devils and they manifested instantaneously. Grimmjow walked over and plucked Yang out of Ichigo's arms, holding the little kitten from his body at arm's length and examining him.

Yang decided he didn't like the scrutiny one bit, and yowled and swiped his tiny paw at Grimmjow's hand.

"Feisty little fucker," Grimmjow said with a grin, poking Yang's nose and smirking when Yang nipped his finger.

"Be nice to Yang," snapped Ichigo, snatching the kitten back from Grimmjow and placing the pair back in the nest.

"Yang?" questioned Grimmjow, arching an inquisitive eyebrow.

"That's his name. The girl is Yin."

"You've gotta be shit'n me."

"Nope," replied Ichigo defiantly, crossing his arms across his chest.

"You named them?" Grimmjow demanded incredulously. "Why would you do a dumb thing like that?"

"What's wrong with that?" spat Ichigo, his amber darkening in anger, his body tensing for a fight.

"You don't go naming wild animals, like they're going to be domesticated! It creates attachment, which is stupid because those little beasts are NOT staying here," Grimmjow growled.

"Well, technically they are mine, so I will name them if I want to, and they WILL stay here until we find somewhere for them to go. It's because of you they are in this situation in the first place!" Ichigo replied fiercely, unconsciously stepping toward Grimmjow and setting his jaw, daring the other to challenge him.

Grimmjow's face contorted into a mixture of disbelief, rage, and curiosity. He closed the space between them, towering above Ichigo. With a sort of manic grin, he said, "And what makes you think I'll ever agree to that?"

Ichigo wasn't exactly sure of the how or the why of what happened next. He remembered grabbing a fistful of Grimmjow's white cotton shirt, but he didn't realize on a subconscious level that the intent behind it wasn't to initiate a scuffle like the rushing, boiling blood in his veins wanted to, because only this bastard could make him angry enough to resort to violence. What happened instead derailed everything.

Grimmjow didn't know what the fuck was going on. One minute he and Ichigo were at each other's throats, and as ashamed as he was to admit it he was mad enough to punch a person who'd just suffered head trauma. The second Ichigo grabbed hold of him, the mania in Grimmjow's chest snapped and adrenaline started rushing through his veins, his muscles twitching to bring destruction to life. But Ichigo was faster, and he brought the element of surprise.

Ichigo surged upwards while simultaneously yanking the larger male downward by his shirt, connecting their mouths together in what immediately turned into a primal fight of dominance between tongues. Grimmjow wasn't one to dwell on shock or surprise, immediately slipping his tongue into Ichigo's mouth and explored fiercely, trying desperately to map out and memorize Ichigo's cavern before he came to his senses. He tasted like strawberry cheesecake and something else-distinctly Ichigo. Being a man of action, Grimmjow's hands went straight for Ichigo's hips, drawing them to his own harshly.

Time had stopped for Ichigo. There was only this moment in which Grimmjow was kissing him senseless, even though he didn't understand it. He fought back against Grimmjow's demanding tongue, giving as good as he got, and decided he didn't care why it was happening. He gave a slight groan when Grimmjow connected them together at the hips, liking the way Grimmjow's large hands felt on his body, craving the dominance and passion from this crazy man he barely knew.

The hand fisting Grimmjow's shirt sprouted a mind of its own, letting go of the bunched up cotton in favor of splaying out and tracing over the hard, chiseled muscle of Grimmjow's chest that lie beneath the t-shirt's thin barrier. Grimmjow hummed in appreciation, a hand slipping around to squeeze a firm, jean clad ass cheek. Ichigo pressed himself further into Grimmjow's body, their arousals brushing together and eliciting bolts of pleasure through their bodies respectively.

Ichigo's nails sank into Grimmjow's biceps upon the contact, Grimmjow nipping harshly at Ichigo's bottom lip. He let go and they broke away, chests heaving as their lungs replenished. Grimmjow leaned his forehead on Ichigo's and studied his face, the slight blush across his nose, his plump and ravished lips, and his passion darkened eyes that were still hazy with lust. Grimmjow wondered if he should suggest continuing and leave the option open to Ichigo, or just get the berry boy so turned on he didn't care, when he heard boots tapping toward them on the cobblestones.

Ichigo heard it too, and the quirky whistled tune that had Grimmjow rolling his eyes.

"It's just Stark," he said to the other, his voice still heavy with lust.

That was enough to break the spell, though, and Ichigo jumped away from Grimmjow like he'd been electrocuted. Emotions flashed through both their eyes as Grimmjow straightened back to his full height, his mind racing. Ichigo tried to push past him and he caught his wrist.

"What the hell, Ichigo?"

"Just forget it, Grimmjow. It's-it's the drugs. The drugs and temporary insanity," Ichigo said, yanking his wrist from Grimmjow's grasp and rushing out of the barn, past Stark, who noted his flushed face and lips. Dipping his head low and smirking at the ground, he quietly questioned, "What was that all about?"

Grimmjow shook his head in disbelief, staring at the swing barn door.

"I honestly don't even fucking know."

End Chapter. Well, what do you think of that? Reviews/comments? XD