Grimmjow frowned as Starrk finished talking. He glanced towards the door to his bedroom, wanting to run out and find his precious captive, but knowing that Starrk wouldn't allow it right now.

"You said it was an assumption…" Grimmjow said carefully, not wanting to believe that the beautiful human may never be able to trust him because of possible Vampires from his past. "…It doesn't mean you know for sure…"

"I do not know for sure," Starrk said. "I have a feeling based on the way he behaves. I won't take him off you, but I want you to calm down around him, Grimmjow."

Grimmjow sighed before he nodded. "Understood. I wanna go to him now."

"No." Starrk pushed the younger Vampire back onto the bed. "I'm afraid he's far too damaged to have us near him at this current time. I'll keep an eye on him and let you know when I feel he is ready to socialise again."

Grimmjow nodded. He grit his teeth, furious at every little thing that could possibly have made his soon-to-be lover like this. Yes, that's right; soon-to-be lover.

Grimmjow wanted him for more than a companion, and one way or another, he'd be sure to get what he wanted. Maybe if he put more trust in Ukitake, the human would trust him back? Maybe, to get what he wanted, it meant taking risks, such as letting Jūshirō do what a human should be doing instead of keeping him locked up in the room day after day.

Grimmjow nodded to himself as he thought of how he could get closer to the white-haired man. Whenever he calmed down, Grimmjow would take Jūshirō into the bathroom and let him bathe. He hadn't allowed the human to do such natural things, but perhaps it was time for him to start loosening the lead.

Starrk had already left, leaving Grimmjow to think to himself. He stood up and left the room, wandering around the small house. He knew he was disturbing some of the other residents, but he didn't care; he hated all the other Vampires here. That was why he had been so desperate to keep Jūshirō to himself; he couldn't deny his loneliness any longer.

Jaegerjaquez passed by the pink-haired Vampire, Szayelaporro Granz, ignoring the hateful glare the other sent him. He made his way down to Jūshirō's room, intending on cleaning it up a bit. Perhaps the human would be grateful if he weren't forced to be living in a dump.

When Grimmjow really thought about it as he surveyed the trashed room, he wondered how anyone could be happy here. The floorboards were mouldy and broken in places, the window was not only filthy, but smashed, letting in the cold breeze at night. The adjoining toilet didn't flush half properly, and the sink was as mouldy as the floorboards.

"It's a wonder he's not sick…" Grimmjow mumbled to himself as he moved over to the window, deciding that it would be nice if the sunlight could actually enter the room instead of being blocked out by all the grime that covered the glass.

The Vampire tore a piece of his shirt off, intending on using it to wipe down the glass. He had placed the material on the window before he realised it would be best to use water. He left to go and find a bucket, fully intending on creating a better living area for his captive.

-XX-

The next morning, Starrk approached Grimmjow, informing him that he had taken Ukitake back to his bed while the human was still sleeping, but was now currently awake.

Grimmjow had hurried towards the room, intending on staying with the man until he awoke. He cursed out Nnoitra, hoping that the man didn't come as well. The two hated each other and their competing only got worse when Jūshirō arrived.

The Vampire admired his handy-work when he pushed the door open. He had spent all night fixing the room up. He had even replaced the moulding, splintering door with a new one he had stolen during his trip into the town. He had replaced the floorboards and window and wiped down the bathroom. He had swept, removing all the debris and rodent droppings, and even wiped down the walls.

All in all, it looked like a different room.

Grimmjow's breath caught in his throat as he caught sight of the human. Jūshirō was sitting on the bed, staring out of the window. The sunlight shone on him, defining his pale skin and features.

The blue-haired male struggled to contain himself, always amazed at how beautiful the human was.

"J-jushiro…" Grimmjow winced inwardly at how pitiful his voice sounded. The human turned to face him, confusion mixed with fear in his expression. "…"

Jūshirō tilted his head before he spoke. His voice was barely audible and strained. "…W-what… happened to my room…?"

"I cleaned it for you." Grimmjow explained. "…Thought you might appreciate a homier room."

Jūshirō sent a small smile – a genuine smile – towards the Vampire. "Thank you."

Grimmjow stood where he was, watching as Ukitake looked back out of the window. The room was silent for a few moments before the Vampire cleared his throat.

"Do you like being outside?" Grimmjow asked. Jūshirō nodded at his question. "…Well… I can take you back outside if you wanna go for a walk or somethin'…"

Jūshirō turned back to Grimmjow. His eyes shone with glee. Grimmjow's breath stuck once again, finding his captive to be more beautiful by the minute.

"That would be very nice…" Jūshirō whispered. "…T-thank you…"

Grimmjow grunted as he pulled a key out of his pocket and approached the human. He knelt down, unlocking all of the chains from around Jūshirō's wrists and ankles.

When Jūshirō went to stand up, he stumbled. The human blushed and avoided eye-contact as the Jaegerjaquez grabbed him and steadied him.

"Suppose we'd better take it slow for you…" Grimmjow rubbed the back of his head sheepishly. He didn't miss the way Jūshirō's blush darkened as the Vampire's arm slipped around his shoulders.

Jūshirō remembered what Nnoitra had said before. He knew that the two Vampires were fighting over him, but for such blood-thirsty beasts (as Jūshirō had always viewed them), they were pretty gentle with him.

The two walked out of the house without hurry, taking their time. Grimmjow watched as Jūshirō glanced around them with such a happy expression on his face.

The Vampire was feeling pretty guilty for having kept him locked away for so long when it was clear that this man loved being outside.

"There's a really nice clearing out that way," Grimmjow said, grabbing Jūshirō's attention. He jerked his thumb over his shoulder. "Fairly peaceful, if that's what you were after."

Jūshirō's eyes lit up with joy once again. He ducked his head as he nodded, not knowing what brought this strange act of kindness up, but knowing he should appreciate it while he could.

"Let's get crackin', then." Grimmjow started walking, pulling Jūshirō along with him.

The walk was quiet. Jūshirō was too busy admiring the scenery whilst Grimmjow focused on their proximity.

When they arrived at the clearing, Jūshirō gasped. It was beautiful. It was free of the trees that had plagued their trip, and instead was full of flowers and bushes. The blue, cloudless sky made things even prettier, Jūshirō thought.

Grimmjow released his hold on Jūshirō reluctantly, not wanting to in fear of the man running away, but knowing that it was something he had to do lest he gain the man's trust.

It was like this for quite a while. Grimmjow stayed back, keeping a close eye on the Ukitake, as said man moved around, wanting to get a close look at everything he could possibly find. It brought a smile to Grimmjow's lips, seeing how caring his human was towards even the flowers.

Jūshirō would pick them up ever so carefully so that the stems wouldn't break. He would sniff them and smile before putting them back down as they were with such gentle hands, Grimmjow couldn't believe it.

Sadly, their fun was cut short by Grimmjow catching a familiar scent. He growled and hurried towards Jūshirō, pulling him away from one of the bushes.

Jūshirō whimpered and ducked his head, sure that Grimmjow had gotten sick of being kind for the day.

"We have to get out of here," Grimmjow muttered as he pulled the human into his arms, intent on carrying him away.

"W-why?!" Jūshirō was concerned greatly by the hatred in the Vampire's voice. He wrapped his arms around the other's neck, not understanding what was going on.

"There's another clan of Vampires in this area," Grimmjow explained. "They're not as friendly as we are…"

Jūshirō gulped and buried his face in the blue-haired male's chest. He unconsciously tightened his hold and begun to shake.

"Don't worry, Jūshirō…" Grimmjow muttered. "I'm not gonna let them lay a finger on you."

Jūshirō didn't know how to reply. He didn't trust this Vampire, but he understood that right now, Grimmjow was his only chance for survival.

Before the Ukitake could think too much on it, he screamed as a large body came out of nowhere and knocked Grimmjow off his feet. He rolled out of the Vampire's arms and fell down a small ledge. He cried out as a sharp, burning pain made itself known in his arm.

There were footsteps rushing towards him accompanied by a loud growl. Ukitake screamed as he tried to get away, but the pain in his arm not only became worse, but the same feeling was felt in his leg. He was sure that he had broken them.

The human closed his eyes, bracing himself. He was certain that it was the end. However, he wasn't expecting for Grimmjow to jump in front of him, fending off a dark-skinned Vampire with black hair.

"Get out of here!" Grimmjow shouted at the human. He grunted and turned, blocking an attack from a silver-haired Vampire. "Go!"

Jūshirō whimpered. He tried to pull himself along, but his injuries prevented him from getting far. When Grimmjow was knocked to the ground by a third Vampire entering the fray, Jūshirō knew that neither of them stood a chance.

The human broke down into tears as Grimmjow threw himself over the human, stopping the other Vampires from getting at him. He knew that his protector was taking some serious damage – and for what? To save him? He certainly wasn't worth it… Why would a Vampire risk everything for a human…?

But then, it clicked. Perhaps… Grimmjow truly did love him…

Jūshirō opened his eyes, making eye-contact with the blue-haired Vampire. The other stared back at him, an emotion Jūshirō had not seen in his eyes before, nor could he recognise.

"They'll be here soon…" Grimmjow whispered to his prisoner. "…Hold on… They'll be here…"

As soon as Grimmjow's mumbling ended, Starrk's powerful voice boomed through the forest. "Stop this now, Aizen!"

Jūshirō knew that the Vampires that had attacked them were backing off, because Grimmjow was getting to his feet. He looked around, finding the two that had attacked them standing with a brunet. Looking towards Starrk, he realised that probably the entire Clan had come with him; there were many Vampires standing with Starrk that he had not seen before.

"Can you move…?" Grimmjow whispered as he reached out for Jūshirō. He frowned when the white-haired male shook his head. "I'll carry you."

Jūshirō cried out as he was jostled around. He buried his face in Grimmjow's chest, scared out of his mind.

"He was harbouring a human," the brunet spoke in a cool voice. "We had every right to attack him."

"That human is a part of our Clan," Starrk said. "Come after him and you'll be dealing with us."

The silver-haired Vampire stepped forward, but he was tugged back by the brunet. The brunet must have been the Leader.

"We are outnumbered here," the brunet said. "We'll retreat, for now."

Jūshirō heard three sets of footsteps leaving. He shivered as Grimmjow dropped his face on top of his head. He knew that they themselves were heading back home, but no words were spoken between any of them.

Jūshirō, however, found himself finally trusting the blue-haired Vampire. If he had stood up against three other Vampires for his sake, he had to have cared.

-XX-

The walk home seemed to take forever to Jūshirō. When they stepped through the door, most of the Vampires went their separate ways, leaving he, Grimmjow, Nnoitra, Stark and Ulquiorra alone. Starrk was examining Grimmjow's injuries, thankful that they weren't too bad.

Jūshirō had watched for a few minutes before a dreaded familiar feeling made itself known. He knew that it would only be a matter of time before it happened due to not having his medication, but he had hoped that it would at least hold out until he could get away.

"Jūshirō…?" Nnoitra frowned as he ran a hand through the human's hair. Said male was quivering, his eyes rolling into the back of his head as loud, racking coughs made themselves known. "What's wrong?"

The other three Vampires turned, observing the scene. They were horrified to find that Jūshirō was coughing buckets of blood.

"Shit…" Starrk turned to Grimmjow with worried eyes, knowing that out of all of them, Grimmjow had the least self-control when it came to blood. "Nnoitra, get him to his room and let no one in except for Ulquiorra and myself."

Nnoitra nodded, about to pick Jūshirō up, but he was knocked away as Grimmjow lunged at them. Jūshirō screamed in horror as he was attacked by the one Vampire he had just begun to trust, feeling nothing but pain as the blue-haired male savaged him.

Starrk was shouting commands to Nnoitra and Ulquiorra, but Grimmjow was blood-thirsty, proving it to be a difficult task to get the Jaegerjaquez away from Ukitake.

Jūshirō could feel himself becoming numb. The agony he had been in was slowing disappearing as he lost all feeling in his body. His eyes slipped closed, despite his struggle to keep them open, and then all was black.

A/N It's not over yet! There's still plenty more to go :)