[Sighs happily] Well guys...it's been real. I want to thank every single one of you for your interest in this story & favoriting/following/reviewing. I do not plan on writing a sequel to this story but anyone who would like to is more than welcomed. I just don't really have the time to write one at the moment, not to mention I have other stories I'm working on. Anyhoot, ja nae! =]
I sat down & admired our little tree in all of its Christmasy glory. I'd just put some white lights & bows on it with a glittery silver star on top & really, that was all it needed. As a kid, I remember Dad used to have us put at least four sets of lights on (2 white, 2 multi-colored), bows, bells, wreaves & ornaments & it felt like it took forever. But this simply dressed tree was just as beautiful.
"It looks good. I told you you'd fall in love with it"
I scowled at Grimmjow who came down the stairs with his bedhead & Corona pajama pants. "I am not in love with it"
"Whenever you're in love with something you stare at it & sigh happily, like you do to me every night"
"You're not funny"
He chuckled & came over to kiss my forehead. "What's for breakfast?"
"Whatever you can find"
"What? Baby, I know you're mad at me getting this tree-"
"I spent all morning on this stupid tree, I didn't have time to cook!"
He gave me a soft smile. "Aww, you spent quality time with our little tree. You do love it…"
I growled as he dodged the pillow that I aimed at his face. "I do not love it!"
"Alright firecracker" he said, laughing.
The old pet name brought back a flood of (good) memories & as much as I didn't want to, I smiled. I stood & playfully shoved him out of the way (which didn't even make him move. Ugh) before I made my way to the kitchen. I'd been so wrapped up in getting this tree perfected before Christmas Eve I hadn't even realized I was kinda hungry.
"Bacon or sausage?" I asked over my shoulder.
"Por que no los dos?" Grimmjow responded, shrugging.
"Ugh. You know Spanish too?"
"Just that & 'yo quiero Taco Bell'. I just watch television, that's how I know"
I rolled my eyes. He always was proud of that forty five inch television he bought with his first paycheck. "What does it mean anyway?"
"I asked you why not both"
"You fat ass. You're asking to have a stroke or heart attack"
"At least I won't die hungry" he retorted, smacking me on my ass, "Hop to it!"
"Keep it up & I'll spit on your food…" I growled.
He chuckled & winked. "Wouldn't be the first time I ate your body fluids"
"Jow, you're disgusting!"
I cooked bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, waffles & French toast. I don't know why I cooked so damn much; this meal was going to make us gain so much weight…
"Ah! Baby that was so good, if I wasn't full I'd give you the D" Grimmjow said with satisfaction, patting his belly.
I gave him a look as I took our plates to the sink. "Speaking of which…why exactly did you wait so long to have sex with me? & if you say you didn't want to corrupt me, I'm going to throw this plate at your face"
He scoffed. "Yeah cause I'm just going to sit here & watch the plate come towards me until it hits me in the face. Because I don't have quick reflexes. I thought you knew me better than that, baby"
He sighed & slowly ran his fingers through his hair. "Most of it did have something to do with not wanting to corrupt you. I liked that I would be your first. It was like…when a cake is so beautiful you don't want to cut a piece out of it. If you do it won't turn ugly but that missing piece just…does something to the image"
I turned & gave him a warning look, one plate in my hand. "Jow, that doesn't even make sense when-"
"Let me finish Ichigo" he said firmly.
I nodded for him to continue.
There was a moment of silence as he (I assumed) gathered his thoughts. "When I fifteen there was this guy that I really liked in high school. I'm pretty sure he was my first ever guy crush. I don't remember all the gory details but we ended up together & dated all the way up until senior year. At prom he wanted me to have sex with him so bad. During all this time no one ever knew I was gay so I was really uncomfortable with the situation. Anyway, he had money so we got a hotel room for the night & well, we fucked. It's wasn't great but it wasn't horrible. He enjoyed himself though. So much so that it seemed like that was all he ever wanted from me. Whenever we talked on the phone, it was about when was the next time we could have sex. Whenever we were at school, he talked about sex with his friends & jokingly flirted with me in front of them. Every damn time I was around him, sex, sex, sex"
I sat down, my eyes never straying from his frowning facial expression.
"So I left him. There wasn't anything in it for me anymore; I preferred masturbating anyway-"
I covered my mouth with my hand to prevent myself from snickering.
"Of course, he was pissed: talked about me to his friends & made them not like me & all this other childish shit. It didn't matter though. But…anyway….that's why I didn't want to have sex with you at first: because with you having been a virgin, I was afraid you'd become a sex addict & you'd only want me around for my dick. I can't…I won't deal with that feeling of being used ever again"
I reached forward & gently put my hand on his. "I'm really sorry, Jow. I never even considered how it made you feel; I was only concerned about myself. I'm sorry"
He nodded & his face finally relaxed. I leaned forward & kiss his forehead.
"I love you. Seriously"
I grinned. "I love you too"
The rest of the day we just snuggled. Yeah, I know, we don't look like the cuddling type but even though I wasn't interested in it before I sure am now & plan on doing it a lot more in the future. With Christmas in just two days it was the perfect time to make hot cocoa & watch old movies & cartoons about Christmas. We fell asleep on It's A Wonderful Life, the best nap ever with his arms around me & my face against his chest. When I woke up I just laid there, thinking about the past year & a half: the retreat, how Grimmjow & I started talking, seeing Deacon Aizen with the whip cream crotch (that made me laugh a little), when we got kicked out of McDonald's….it seemed like a lifetime ago. Even with the bad I was able to appreciate the good & I didn't regret a thing.
I yawned as I slowly roused from a perfect night's sleep. Grimmjow finally got some wool sheets for the bed & it was gloriously soft & warm & made me feel like a baby in the wom-
I sat straight up. It's Christmas!
I flung the blankets off of me & rushed down the stairs, almost tripping a few times. Forget washing my face or brushing my teeth, I had presents waiting to be opened! Grimmjow would understand.
As I landed on the floor I froze when twenty sets of eyes turned to me & regarded me with looks ranging from surprise to smugness.
"Uh…hi…" I said quietly.
Orihime, Uyru, Chad, Mayuri, Gantenbainne, Renji, Byakuya, Rangiku, Shuhei, Tatsuki & of course Grimmjow greeted me before laughing.
"Might wanna wash that crust on the side of your face there, babe" Jow said, smirking.
I turned around quickly & felt my face. Sure enough there was dried drool running from the corner of my mouth to my jaw. Rolling my eyes in embarassment, I washed my face in the kitchen (something Yuzu would've really looked down on) & dried it on my shirt…which was when I noticed I was wearing my white t-shirt which looked like someone had shot me a couple of times t & my raggedy black basketball shorts. I shrugged it off; it was no big deal, it was fuckin' Christmas!
Once I got into the living room & everyone wished everyone a merry Christmas, the presents were passed around along with nutmeg.
"We won't tell no one it's got alcohol in it" Rangiku said in a mock-whisper to me then winked.
"Are you serving my man alcohol?" Grimmjow asked, his eyes narrowed.
"What? No, Grimmy, why ever would I do such a thing?" she responded, her hand pressing into her chest & her eyes wide as she played the perfect innocent person.
"Don't call me that…" he grumbled.
I sat with him on the loveseat as Renji took presents from under the tree & passed them around.
"Oooh, Uyru got a big box! I bet it's a dildo with numerous tubes of lube & several bottles of travel size massage oil"
Everyone giggled. Except Mayuri who looked like Renji had just spilled a secret.
When Uyru opened the large box he blushed.
"Watcha get, Uyru?" Orihime asked.
"A d-dildo with four tubes of lube & four travel sized bottles o-of massage oil…" he murmured & Renji cackled.
"I know Mayuri too well to not have guess that right!"
"Idiot" Mayuri growled.
Next Renji passed a rectangular box to Chad. Judging by the face Renji made & how he kind of dumped it in Chad's awaiting arms it was quite heavy but Chad held it with ease. We all watched as he slowly unwrapped it & revealed a box featuring a professional looking crossbow.
"Oooh…" Orihime cooed.
"You said you wanted to try out archery so I got you some reservations with ya friends at the range with ya own crossbow" Bainne rumbled, his lips upturning into a smirk when Chad opened the box & ran his hand over it lovingly.
"It's…it's great Bainne. I…thank you"
Everyone aww'ed as Bainne leaned over & gave him a smooch. It was the first time I ever saw Chad blush.
"They're going to be some interesting parents if they decide to have kids one day" Grimmjow mused.
Renji then passed a hexegon shaped box to Orihime, his eyebrow raised. "Who's your secret Santa, Hime?"
She looked as about as confused (& bashful) as he did. "I have no idea"
When she opened it, everyone was quite surprised to find a Lala Loopsy collectable, some kind of snow queen/princess, standing all nice & pretty but we were even more shocked when Orihime started bawling her eyes out.
"Hime, what's wrong? Is it really that bad?" Tatsuki asked, putting a hand on her shoulder.
The red head pulled herself together, wiping her face & sniffling. "N-n-no I'm just so…I'm so blessed to have the k-k-kind of friends that I do cause I've been w-wanting this since it came out!"
Renji gave Byakuya a what the hell look but Byakuya only shrugged, shaking his head.
"Right…on to the next!" Renji piped & grabbed a very large, peppermint wrapped box, handing it to his sweetheart, "There ya go. Figured ya might like it"
I leaned forward in anticipation. Lately Renji's been talking about getting Byakuya a promise ring which Grimmjow thought was nice but he figured the idiot should just propose already. What good was a promise ring when you've already been dating well over a year?!
But Byakuya's face lit up at the…uh…um…
"What the hell is that?" I blurted.
"It's a display stand for all the swords I've collected!" Byakuya said in a breathy, excited voice. I'd never seen him so…animated so I guess he really liked it. He even stood & pulled Renji down for a kiss & everyone chuckled. I was a little disappointed Renji didn't propose but oh well.
Renji handed everyone else their gifts: Shuhei got a new game console & several games to play on it (he turned to Tatsuki & blew her a kiss which caused all of our eyebrows to raise high into our hairlines), Rangiku got a new sweater & several skirts, Tatsuki got a Kindle with a cover, Bainne received a thick gold necklace & a gold watch (to which he started rapping that God awful All Gold Everything song), Renji got a bunch of pair of jeans & Polos & several new shoes & Mayuri…well…Uryu gave him a kiss.
"You know I'm broke, baby, but merry Christmas" the nerd said.
Mayuri only shrugged. "It's fine. I only wanted to have sex anyway"
As everyone enjoyed their gifts I tried to keep the smile on my face to hide the fact that I wanted to cry. Why hadn't I gotten anything? I mean sure, presents are not what Christmas is all about but Grimmjow had a job! Why didn't he get me anything?
Shuhei hooked up his game system to our TV & played his new games. "I gatta get in a few hours before I go prepare for my sermon" he'd said.
I watched (kinda), occasionally looking at Grimmjow who was showing Tatsuki how her Kindle worked. Thank goodness she got a cover because it came with a light & for some reason the Kindle did not have a backlight so it was be impossible to read in the dark. I cooked us all a big breakfast & we all ate in the living room, half watching Shuhei play & carrying on conversations. Renji brought sparkling cider ("Sorry, Ichigo, but I ain't tryna go to jail" he'd said. Ugh) & we all toasted to lasting friendships, relationships & a great year. & then Bainne burst out the champagne. I hated being under twenty one….
I looked up from watching Rangiku showing Tatsuki this erotic novel she'd once read when I felt someone lightly bump me.
"Hey where's my gift?"
I tried to smile at Grimmjow's joke. "Still at the store. Sorry…"
He kneeled, his hand on my thigh. "Hey. You alright?"
I watched his face to see if I could really tell him I'm not & why but it felt too selfish so I just nodded, putting on the fake smile. "Yeah. I'm good"
"You look like ya lost ya best friend. Or like someone kicked ya dog" Renji butt in. I sneered at him.
When Grimmjow stayed where he was I gave him a questioning look. "What's wrong?"
He didn't answer me for a minute. "Nothing is…wrong. I just can't believe how far we made it"
I chuckled. "I know right. Even after all that fighting we did at first we're still together"
The side of his mouth lifted briefly. "You've been there no matter what, Ichigo. & you don't even realize how that one action alone meant so much. I know I wasn't always the best to or for you but…you knew how hard I tried"
I nodded. Where the hell was he going with this?
"You were there through thick & thin. At times I treated you a lot less than you deserved & you could have easily thrown that in my face & left but for some reason you decided to stay"
I was getting uncomfortable because everyone was looking & "aww"ing, not to mention I was not used to this kind of affection from him. "I stayed because I love you Jow, you know that"
He nodded & to my absolute shock he bit his lip & his eyes got wet. "Yeah. Yeah I do know that. & I want you to wear a ring to show everyone else that you do & make them all jealous"
My heart stopped, dropped & rolled. "Oh…oh my God, Grimmjow this better not be a fuckin' prank!"
He rested one of his knees on the floor & dug around in his pocket & pulled out a little box. When he opened it, revealing the most beautiful ring I'd ever seen in person, I wanted to faint.
"Oh shit!" Renji exclaimed.
"Oh my God! Look!" Rangiku shouted unnecessarily.
"Ichigo will you marry me?" Grimmjow asked.
I…oh my God…I didn't…I can't….what? How…? But…when…I can't….
I started panting, my heart beating so fast & my skin prickling as if I was having a sudden hot flash. Oh. My. Fuckin'. God. Oh my, God Grimmjow was seriously proposing to me…& I was sitting here like an idiot! I needed to say something!
"Oh….shit" I whispered.
"Come on Ichigo…" I heard someone say.
"Please…" Grimmjow whispered. I'd never (& probably never will) seen him look so vulnerable.
"Oh my….God, Grimmjow, I…." I stuttered. I swear everyone in the room leaned forward, anticipating my answer.
My palms began to sweat. I'm not sure why I was so nervous. I tried not to think about the cost of a wedding. I tried not to think about where the hell we would have it. I tried not to think about the fact that not even that many people would be there. I tried not to think about all the planning that went into a wedding & how Grimmjow stays busy during the day so I'd have to do most of the planning. I tried not think about how it was illegal for same sex marriages here. But…I thought about all of that.
During this whole time Grimmjow did not move; he barely even blinked. It'd probably been all of thirty seconds but when it came to a question like this thirty seconds was an eternity. Obviously Grimmjow thought I was worth the wait, even if he had to wait an eternity & I was not going to find anyone else like him. Ever.
Fat tears rolled down my cheeks as I nodded. "Yes. Yes, Grimmjow"
He had his arms around me so quickly it was all a blur. We clung to each other & let ourselves be in our feelings a bit, heaving & panting from the sobbing (well I was anyway). Everyone erupted into cheering & woops & hollering & at that moment I could've only been happier if someone said we won the lot-
The doorbell rang & I gestured for someone to answer it.
"Oh my God, Ichigo!"
I looked up to find a guy with a life sized check & a handful of balloons. "Is Ichigo Kurosaki here?"
I stood up, walking to the door in a daze. "That's…that's me…"
The man smiled. "Congratulations! You've won $1000 every month for the rest of your lif-
I'm just kidding, that didn't happen.
But anyway, Grimmjow leaned back & put the ring on my finger, his face nearly split in the biggest smile I'd ever seen from him. "I love you, Ichigo…Jeagerjaques"
I laughed, wiping the tears from my face. "I love you too, Grimmjow"
& so my friends, this is where my story ends. Grimmjow & I got married that following summer, my Dad attended & though he's not fully comfortable with the idea of his son being gay he has accepted me. I went to college & graduated with a master's in business management & also became manager of Sprint in three years. Grimmjow & I are expecting our first child &…I became a member of Yuzu & Karin's church, rededicating my life back to Christ. My life & this story…is now complete.