Merry X-Mas my wonderful readers! XD Today is the day I give you your present! It's a little something different from what I usually write, I think. Okay, maybe there are a few similarities. I'm not a miracle worker! DX I hope you enjoy this little one shot. And yes, it's a one-shot. There are no other chapters, this is it. You're not that special. ;p

Shiro: Where am I?

Ichi: You're not in this one ;p

Shiro: ... T^T

Grimm: Don't worry, Shiro, you probably don't want to be in this one anyway. =3

Ichi: Wait... why?

Grimm: Well... I get to teach you a thing or two.

Ichi: Why does that not sound promising to me? =(

Grimm: I've always been a more 'hands on' type of teacher ;p

Life was so good before Shuuhei came into Ichigo's life. He's not abusive, nor is he disloyal, but like everyone else he's far from perfect. They were high school sweethearts, went strong through college, but Shuuhei began gambling. Ichigo works hard to keep their heads above water, yet his boyfriend just keeps throwing away money they don't have. He tried counseling, but he could never resist the call of the casinos.

Ichigo sighs as he enters their apartment, owned by a friend that had no need for it at the moment. They're lucky Ichigo knows so many great people, or they'd be out on the streets. Shuuhei isn't home, which isn't a surprise to the orange haired male. Ever since they moved in together, the raven has been missing dates and spending days at a time at the casino down the road. Even though he has a college education, Ichigo can't find very good work. He's holding down two full time jobs, one at a corner store and one at a nursing home. Ichigo's sore and irritated, tired, and just wants to be held by his boyfriend.

"When he gets home, I'm gonna kick his ass," the temperamental male growls. "I work two jobs, six days straight, and I can't even get adequate time with my boyfriend for sex!"

In all truth, they haven't had sex for a couple years now. Shuuhei's fallen deep into his addiction and Ichigo is at the end of his rope. Three fourths of his check goes to paying off the other's debts, the rest going to bills and necessities. They have no TV or cable, no internet, no home phone, and haven't gone out for anything since they graduated college. Ichigo makes certain they pay rent, electricity, and water… but that's about all he can afford without casting aside their money for food.

"Ichigo!" Shuuhei calls happily. "Baby, I'm home!"

"You're drunk," Ichigo frowns.

"I was with the high rollers," he states. "We had free drinks, so I didn' spend anything for 'em."

"How much did you gamble away?"

"… I don' 'member, baby. Just… give me some sugar."

Ichigo pushes Shuuhei away in anger, crossing his arms over his chest in warning. He may have been ready to put out when he got home, but he'll be damned if he's gonna reward Shuuhei for giving in to his addiction.

"How much!"

"I spent a hundred at the slots I think," he muses. "An' then I went ta the blackjack table an' spent… five hundred. After that it was poker! I won three thousand, but lost four thousand after that."

"How much did you bring back home?"

"… Nothin'. Sorry, babe."

"Shuuhei! Christmas is only a week away! I was saving that money to buy presents for my sisters!" Ichigo snaps. "I told you that! I told you not to touch it! Why would you do that?"

He has the peace of mind to look guilty, hanging his head of shaggy black locks. He really loves Ichigo, but the orange head has the quickest and most volatile temper Shuuhei has ever come across. He knows he'll be sleeping on the couch tonight, even through the fog caused by alcohol in his mind. Ichigo sighs in annoyance, pinching the bridge of his nose before grabbing his jacket and leaving.

"I promise I'll find a way ta get the money, babe," Shuuhei calls after him.

"Don't bother," Ichigo snaps. "I'll think of something. I don't only need to get back that money, rent is due this week and so are the bills! You used up all of our money and I won't get paid in time!"

"I'm really sorry, babe."

"Save it! You've been on thin ice with me for a while now, Shuuhei! It's either me or your addiction, because I can't handle this anymore!"

With that, he slams the door shut and heads to the stairwell. Outside is a rush of snow and frigid air. Ichigo huddles deeper in his coat and stuffs his hands in his pockets. Christmas music drifts from stores, mixing in a calming assortment of soothing voices. Ichigo feels himself relaxing as he walks through them. Snow is piling up around him, turning to slush in the streets with the continuous movement of cars and trucks. Shuuhei had gambled away the titles to both cars just out of college, so Ichigo is stuck walking… he hasn't the money to spare for the bus.

The chill is getting to him around ten thirty, the orange head ducking into a bookstore to find a bit of relief. His friend, Uryu Ishida, owns the place so he doesn't feel guilty loitering. The raven usually takes the late shift and Ichigo likes to hang out with him in the quiet of the bookstore, so when he finds Uryu gone tonight it sort of brings him down a little more. In the flamboyant male's place is his business partner, Ulquiorra Cifer.

"Hey, Ulquiorra," Ichigo greets with a sigh. "How's your night?"

"Relatively quiet," he answers. "I can see the appeal of the night hours to Uryu; neither of us appreciates some of our customers' stupidity. What brings you out at this ungodly hour?"

He looks up, having been leaning on the countertop to read the book there. At the sight of Ichigo, he immediately regrets asking such a thing. He's heard that the orange head normally comes here to talk to Uryu about his problems, that he never takes a walk this late unless something is bothering him. Though he wants to help Ichigo, Ulquiorra's never been very good at providing the appropriate emotions.

"I apologize, that was a stupid question," he sighs. "You're obviously here because something is wrong. You have circles under your eyes, so you haven't been sleeping. You're not dressed properly for this weather, which indicates you left in a hurry. And I do believe I saw Shuuhei stumbling past from the direction of the casino… another fight?"

"… You're too observant for you own good," Ichigo mutters. "And you might want to make a mental note that not all people are like me. They won't like you laying their business out like that."

"My apologies, I'm still getting used to people."

Ulquiorra has been alone the majority of his life, starting with an orphanage from the day he was born. He was home schooled by nannies after getting adopted by a wealthy couple, then placed in a career as a philosopher. He rarely had contact with others, spending his days writing theories and such. It wasn't until he met Uryu and the other drew him out of his shell just a bit that he started socializing. They've been dating off and on, but neither has been serious about it. In fact, Ulquiorra has recently started seeing a woman named Orihime and Uryu found interest in a man named Szayel.

"Do you wish to talk about it? I may not be Uryu, but I try to consider us friends. From what you two constantly say, friends are supposed to help one another with problems like these."

"I would greatly appreciate that," Ichigo sighs with a slight smile.

Ulquiorra continues to lean on the counter, but he shuts the book after marking his page and offers a stool to Ichigo. The orange headed twenty-two year old sits across from him, his amber eyes looking everywhere but at the raven as he tries to find the words to begin. Ulquiorra has always found Ichigo attractive, with his lithe figure and subtly muscled body Ichigo is gorgeous, but their personalities clash far too much to try a relationship.

"It's Shuuhei," Ichigo comments. "He's gambling again. He gambled away all our money for the month and half of next month! I have nothing to get my sisters' presents with for Christmas, we're about to get evicted from an apartment my friend owns, and I can't pay our bills! Our water was shut off yesterday, our electricity is about to be shut off, and I'm just so tired of it! How can I get that much money in a week?"

"… I may have a solution," the raven murmurs uncertainly. "Of course… your accepting it would depend entirely on how desperate you are and how far you're willing to go to get it."

"… I'm not selling my body," Ichigo frowns. "It's illegal and I'd rather live on the fucking streets."

"This isn't illegal, I assure you. You see, my friend films a rather popular genre of film," Ulquiorra informs. "We grew up together. He was one of the only people I knew from childhood… we met in the orphanage; both of us were there since birth. He's extremely popular and can make a very nice sum of money through sales. I'm sure he would love to have an actor like you. I would make certain there were rules set out, however. I would make sure he's the only one working with you, of course, that's important. I can trust him, but I'm not so sure about his staff."

"… How much would I be making?"

"A generous amount, if I know my old friend. I'll put in a good word for you, send him your picture… hang on, he should still be awake. He's a night owl."

Ulquiorra takes a quick pic of Ichigo, the other really not paying attention. He sends the picture with a text to his friend, smirking at the almost seductive look Ichigo sends off to the side. It isn't a couple seconds later and there's a beep, Ulquiorra and Ichigo looking to see that it's an answer to the picture.

"What's he saying?" Ichigo questions as he watches Ulquiorra text.

"He's very interested in employing you. Perhaps even permanently. Here's his address," the raven remarks as he scribbles it down. "He'll be expecting you tomorrow night. He'll be at home around ten, but he'll wait for you no later than ten-thirty. After that, he'll lock the door and ignore anyone knocking. He's not normally a very patient person, but I'm sure he'll make an exception for you."

"And who will I be asking for?"

"Grimmjow Jaegerjaques."

The name sounds familiar, but Ichigo shakes it off. He really needs this money, or he seriously will be living on the streets. He takes the offered piece of paper with a grateful smile, and then bids Ulquiorra good night. The raven watches him head back home, wondering if perhaps he should've given Ichigo a little more information.

Ichigo enters the apartment to find Shuuhei passed out on the floor by the couch. The orange headed male sighs and shakes his head, walking past his boyfriend and into the bedroom. He undresses and crawls into bed in a pair of sleeping pants and a tank top, the comforter heavy enough to keep him warm in the winter nights. With a small amount of hope, Ichigo closes his eyes and drifts off into slumber.

The next morning, Ichigo wakes to Shuuhei moving about the bathroom. He rolls his eyes, having already told the other the water was shut off the other day. He forces himself out of bed and heads over to his boyfriend. The raven is trying to get the water working in the shower, having already stripped down to wash up. Ichigo leans against the doorframe and admires his beau's body, all lithe muscle and tan skin.

"The water was shut off, remember?" he comments.

"… Oh yeah. Look, baby, I'm so sorry," Shuuhei sighs. "I'll try harder, okay? I don't want to lose you because I can't help my gambling problem. Just hang on a few more months, okay? I swear I'll clean up my act."

"You said that before… three times," Ichigo points out skeptically.

"I know I disappointed you, but… I promised it'd fix it and I will. Just… give me a few days, okay?"

"Don't bother, I already found a way to get some extra money," the younger male remarks. "I talked to Ulquiorra last night and his friend is interested in me working on one of his movies. I'm not really into modeling or acting… but I really need the money."

Shuuhei frowns, thinking it over. Ichigo is younger than him by a month or two, but still the seme. In fact, he's been Ichigo's only partner. The orange head was drunk when they first had sex and that was the only time Shuuhei topped the other, though being alcohol impaired left him uncaring of his partner's wellbeing. He turned Ichigo off to the whole idea of bottoming that night. He highly doubts the other would turn to prostitution for money, although he could probably make a pretty penny pimping him out.

"What are you thinking?" Ichigo accuses.

"Uh… nothing. What do you know about this director guy?"

"Just that his name is Grimmjow Jaegerjaques and the fact he makes a lot of money for his movies," Ichigo shrugs. "I have a meeting with him tonight around ten."

"I don't know about this, baby."

"Don't worry, I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself," the orange head waves off. "I haven't decided either way yet, but I wouldn't have to even consider it if you had left that money alone!"

Shuuhei sighs and drops the subject, knowing Ichigo won't likely let him forget that little bit for another three months. He's not happy about Ichigo meeting this other guy, especially since he's heard of him. A sexy man with a feral attitude people swoon over… men and women alike. And he certainly isn't picky about which tail he chases. Ichigo may be turned off to bottoming, but Shuuhei's positive Ichigo will warm up to the idea quickly around Grimmjow Jaegerjaques.

Ichigo paces nervously in front of the house he was given the address to. It's a modern style, exuding expensive taste to show how successful this man is. Ichigo didn't know what to wear for this meeting, so he stuck with a pair of tight black jeans and a white button up dress shirt. Finally, he takes a deep breath and marches up to the front door.

"Okay, just calm down," he murmurs to himself. "It's only a meeting, you can do this."

With a steel resolve, Ichigo knocks on the door and waits. He can hear footsteps within the house, padded upon the carpet before they hit hardwood. The door is opened while Ichigo isn't paying attention, he focus turned to the right as a sprinkler system goes off. The man that answered the door is struck at the sight before him, so much sexier in person. Ichigo hears the intake of breath, turning to face the owner of the house… his jaw drops. The man before him is built nicely, tan skin glistening after a shower and blue locks darkened from the water. He has a feral grin that makes Ichigo's knees weak, his cyan blue orbs almost phosphorescent within the night.

"Uh… hi, I'm… I'm looking for Grimmjow Jaegerjaques," Ichigo stammers after a moment.

"Thank you so much," the man whispers with a glance heavenward. "I'm Grimmjow. You must be Ichigo."

"Yes. Ulquiorra told me…"

"Inside," the blue haired man comments. "It's fucking cold out."

Ichigo nods hesitantly, Grimmjow stepping aside to allow him access to the house. The orange head is nervous, though he doesn't know why. He slips off his shoes at the door, walking along the wood floor in his socks. Grimmjow leads him to the living room, offering him one of the armchairs and sitting in the other across from him.

"So, Ulqui said you need some fast cash," Grimmjow muses. "I must say, I'm glad I was his first thought. You're fucking gorgeous!"

"Um… thanks," Ichigo mutters uncertainly. "He, uh, didn't… tell me much."

"I make porn," the larger male states.

Ichigo's eyes go wide, the younger male uncertain how to take that. Grimmjow is just watching him, so calm and patient. For a moment, the orange head is ready to get up and race from the house… but those cyan eyes are so peaceful and promising. He's never had problems performing before, he and Shuuhei weren't exactly private in college… they were caught screwing in the janitor's closet, an empty classroom, the teacher's lounge, and even on the grounds a couple times. It's just… he's only ever been with Shuuhei.

"Problem?" Grimmjow questions with a purr. "If you don't want to do it, I'm not gonna force you. You can leave."

"What, exactly, would I have to do?" Ichigo wonders cautiously. "I mean… can you make it so no one can see my face? Who would I have to be with? Will people be watching?"

"You don't have to worry; Ulquiorra and I already talked about the rules. You'll be dealing with me, no one else. I'll have my cameras set up in the room we use, so staff won't be necessary. It's one on one, just me and you," the other explains. "I'll take my time, ease you in to it, and stop whenever you're not ready. The cameras are digital, so I don't have to worry about running out of film."

"We have to have sex?" Ichigo frowns.

"One of the reasons my movies sell so well, is because nothing is faked," Grimmjow comments. "I employ all types of kinks and personalities, so nothing is forced and everyone has their favorite partner. I don't have a partner, I don't normally star in these films, but Ulquiorra was very specific when laying down his law. Though… I don't mind taking such a fine ass partner."

Ichigo blushes brightly, trying to sink into the chair and disappear. Those eyes are predatory as they rake along his body, the younger wishing he hadn't worn his tight jeans. Not only do they provoke a response from Grimmjow… but his response is provoking his jeans to shrink far too quickly. He's never felt so vulnerable and warm before, so… turned on. Guilt immediately races through Ichigo, killing his arousal easily.

"Um… I need to talk to my…"

Grimmjow's heart sinks visibly, stopping Ichigo's comment. He doesn't know why he's so worried about Shuuhei; the raven doesn't worry about Ichigo when he gambles away all their money. Besides, this is legal and Ichigo wouldn't have to do it if Shuuhei hadn't of lost all their money and more.

"… When are you planning this shoot?" Ichigo asks quietly.

"You don't seem the type to jump for the uke position," Grimmjow murmurs. "So… I say we test the waters tonight. Nothing serious, just exploring. We'll try to go further each night, okay?"

"Okay, just let me make a phone call first."

Grimmjow gets up and heads back to the kitchen, leaving Ichigo alone to make his call. Ichigo pulls out his phone and punches in Shuuhei's number, listing to the line ring a moment. After the third ring, his irritation gets the better of him and the orange head hangs up. If Shuuhei isn't answering, he's back at the casino. That's the only time he turns off his phone. Ichigo takes a calming breath and turns to find Grimmjow.

Grimmjow is standing in the kitchen, pulling out two sodas. The last thing he wants is to give Ichigo the impression he's attempting to get him drunk. When Ichigo walks into the kitchen, he grins widely and hands him a bottle of pop. Ichigo takes it gratefully, his frustration still plain on his features. Grimmjow leans against the kitchen counter languidly.

"So, what's got you so pissed?"

"… I'm just so sick of Shuuhei and his gambling problem," Ichigo grumbles. "He just promised me this morning he'd stop, but now he's back at the casino when he knows I don't have any money!"

"That would piss me off, too," Grimmjow scoffs. "Why do you stay with him if you can't handle his addiction?"

"… I don't know," Ichigo sighs. "Maybe because I know what to expect with him. He's the only person I've ever been with; we've been together since high school."

"Afraid to venture out into the unknown?" Grimmjow smirks. "I know how that is. Spent three miserably years with my bitch of an ex-wife before I tossed her ass out in the cold. You'll figure things out, trust me."

Ichigo gives him a soft smile of thanks, sipping on his drink quietly. They spend the next hour or so getting to know one another through chit-chat, laughing at jokes and warming up to one another. After they finish their drinks, Grimmjow leads Ichigo back to the bedroom. The orange headed male starts fidgeting again, though it's not from nervousness. He's actually excited about this.

Grimmjow sits on the bed, beckoning Ichigo toward him. Together they move to the middle of the bed. Grimmjow pulls Ichigo onto his lap, caressing his cheek gently. Ichigo lets his hands roam on a chiseled torso, shivering in delight at the feeling. He's not paying attention when Grimmjow nuzzles his cheek, jumping in surprise at that and almost hitting Grimmjow with the abrupt movement.

"Calm down," the larger male chuckles. "I'm not gonna hurt you."

"You surprised me," Ichigo blushes.

Grimmjow lies back on the pillows, reaching for Ichigo carefully. The orange head shifts his position so he's straddling the other's thighs. Ichigo's never felt such a pull before, his amber eyes almost devoured by his lust. Grimmjow props himself up by an elbow, using his free hand to pull Ichigo closer and connect their lips. They lose themselves in one another, touching and kissing. Grimmjow's hands travel low on Ichigo's hips, his fingers working at the other's jeans, and that's when the orange head calls it quits.

"I can't," he remarks.

"Then that's where we'll stop," Grimmjow smirks.

Ichigo sighs in relief, almost angry at himself for stopping Grimmjow. His amber orbs catch sight of the digital clock next to the bed, a gasp leaving his lips at the time. They've been 'getting to know each other' for a long while. The conversing and play has lasted so long, it's almost midnight.

"Damn, it's late," Grimmjow murmurs. "You can stay the night if you want. I have a guest room, but you're more than welcome to snuggle with me tonight!"

Ichigo thinks on it a moment, and then gives in. It's been a long time since he snuggled with anyone and Grimmjow is quite inviting. The other already knows he's staying, even before Ichigo says anything. Grimmjow gets up and rummages around for pajamas for Ichigo. He tosses the other a pair of sweat pants and a tank top, rejoining the other afterward. Ichigo changes quickly, ignoring the presence beside him, and lies down beneath the covers. Grimmjow shuts off the light, pulling Ichigo close to him before sighing happily. A part of Ichigo feel guilty for staying here when Shuuhei is most likely at home, but a larger part feels justified after everything he's lost to the raven… including his virginity, and in such a brutal display of drunken affection.

"Comfy?" Grimmjow questions happily.

"… Actually, I really am," Ichigo smiles.


Ichigo grins and closes his eyes, hugging Grimmjow's waist tightly. The other wraps Ichigo in his arms, breathing in his scent of apples and cinnamon. Both males fall asleep happier than they've been in years, but neither thinks anything of it.

Ichigo wakes the next morning in Grimmjow's arms. It feels so natural to be there, so right. Ichigo is comfortable with Shuuhei, but being with his boyfriend doesn't feel this great. Guilt settles in once more, the orange head slipping out of bed and getting dressed. He writes a note for Grimmjow, leaving his number at the bottom, and then quietly leaves.

Shuuhei is snoozing on the couch when Ichigo gets home, the younger male grumbling under his breath at this. It's ten o'clock in the morning, Shuuhei should've been at work fifteen minutes ago. Ichigo heads over, yanking the pillow from beneath the raven's head and smacking it back down hard. Shuuhei fails at the sudden attack, sitting up sleepily as he searches out the perpetrator.

"What the hell?" he mutters. "Ichigo, that was very nice."

"You're late for work!" Ichigo snaps.

"No, I called off," Shuuhei murmurs as he lies back down. "I have a hangover; I don't want to work today."

Ichigo growls in anger, balling up his fists and trying so hard to keep from hitting the other. Shuuhei works at a grocery store, so it's not like he can't go on autopilot. Ichigo turns away from the other, heading to the kitchen and taking inventory on their food. Apparently, the raven was in the mood for stacks last night… because they're running out of food quickly. Shuuhei sits up again, eyeing the other carefully.

"You just getting in?" he wonders.

"Yeah, it was really late last night, so I stayed at Grimmjow's."

"… In his bed?" Shuuhei comments searchingly.

"… Yes, in his bed. But I didn't have sex with him."

Shuuhei frowns, standing up and walking over to Ichigo. It may have just been one night and one meeting, but he can already feel Ichigo being pulled away from him. The thought scares Shuuhei; however he pushes it aside for the moment. He needs to know what Ichigo is thinking right now. More importantly, he needs to know what happened last night.

"So?" he murmurs.

"We drank pop, talked business, and made out," Ichigo states honestly.

"Made out! Ichigo..!"

"I'm not gonna lie to you, Shuuhei!" the orange head snaps. "I need this money. We both do! I can't pay the bills on time without it. If I have to make a movie with Grimmjow, I really have no other choice."

"You're making it with him? Like… he's sleeping with you?"

Ichigo rolls his eyes and walks away from Shuuhei, ignoring the other's protests. His phone rings in his pocket, the orange head answering it quickly to get away from Shuuhei's accusations.


"Hey, Ichigo," Grimmjow's deep baritone replies. "Where'd you go this morning? I woke up all alone and lonely."

"I had to get back home," Ichigo murmurs with a blush. "Shuuhei was waiting for me last night and…"

"Is that him? You tell that boundary stepping douche you're not doing that movie with him! You're mine and I won't let anyone else touch you!"

Ichigo turns a venomous gaze to Shuuhei, who quickly backs away and wilts. If there's one thing the orange head can't stand in the least, it's being referred to as a possession. Shuuhei meekly wanders over to the couch to stay out of Ichigo's way, leaving the other to his phone call. Although he listens in as best he can.

"Ichigo?" Grimmjow questions. "Who the hell was that?"

"Shuuhei, my boyfriend," Ichigo remarks. "Don't worry about him, he's on thin ice at the moment… and keeps digging his hole deeper."

"So, you coming over tonight?"

"Of course. I can't wait," the younger remarks with a smile.

"Don't eat dinner, I'll cook for you. I have the whole set up for the movie, I'll tell you everything step by step!"

Ichigo can't feel the nervousness he had felt before, just agrees with the other and hangs up. Shuuhei knows that look on Ichigo's face… it's one of anticipation. It isn't something he wants to see; he knows Grimmjow is the type to fight for what he wants… and who wouldn't want Ichigo?

"Ichigo… I don't know if this is a good idea," he finally sighs. "This guy… he'll do everything in his power to take you away from me…"

"Shuuhei, I told you when we got together that I would never lie to you," Ichigo remarks with his back to the other. "I have to tell you now… I really don't know if I want to stay with you or not. It's been a few years now, but all I've gotten from you are empty and broken promises. Grimmjow is a nice guy, I like him. I don't know if I love him, but I feel so… right in his arms. It might be a passing thing, but I owe it to myself to explore what this might become. I've wasted far too many years cleaning up after you."

Shuuhei's features fall, an invisible blow to his gut stealing his breath. Ichigo has never lied, but he's never been so brutally honest before either. This could really be the end of their relationship. He's still standing in the middle of the kitchen when Ichigo leaves the apartment.

Ichigo couldn't stay there much longer, especially since they're in need of groceries. He sighs heavily as he heads to the store, the cold nipping at his face. Ichigo steps into the warmth of the store with a smile of relief on his features, heading back to the canned goods. He checks his wallet, frowning at the depleting funds, and grumbles as he attempts to find food on the meager amount. He's just reaching for a can of soup on a shelf, standing just at the corner of the aisle, when a larger form bumps into him. Ichigo yelps and falls to the side, a strong arm catching him before he hits the ground.

"… Hey, Ichigo!"

"… Grimmjow?" Ichigo says in surprise. "What are you doing here?"

"Why else would be at a grocery store?" the other chuckles.

Ichigo berates himself mentally for his stupid question, but seeing Grimmjow here is certainly a big surprise. He's pulled back onto his feet, Grimmjow easily grabbing the can of soup Ichigo knocked askew and handing it to the other. Ichigo looks at the price again, mentally calculating the total… and sighing in annoyance. He sets it back on the shelf a bit downtrodden.

"Weren't you gonna get that?" Grimmjow asks.

"I… can't afford it," Ichigo murmurs. "I'll just get bread and peanut butter… I should be able to get that and it'll last a little while."

"Damn, you weren't kidding. You need to pitch that guy," he frowns. "When his addiction starts affection your health, it's gone too far. He knowingly puts you in this position and just doesn't care!"

"… He doesn't mean it," Ichigo whispers.

The remark is automatic now; Ichigo doesn't even believe it anymore. He's gone too many nights without food in order to pay bills, too many days taking cold showers because he had to choose between heat and meals… he knows Shuuhei doesn't care. Or at least, he doesn't think about the consequences and ignores them after they're revealed.

"Hey, how about I get your groceries today," Grimmjow comments. "Before you say anything, I don't mind. I have the money to spare and I need my actors fit and healthy."

"I wouldn't feel right…"

"Oh come on," Grimmjow scoffs. "You're going to be sleeping with me; I think I can at least buy your groceries. Think of it as an advancement of your pay."

Ichigo gives in, but only because Grimmjow doesn't seem the type to give up until he's won. He starts gathering essentials, not wanting to spend more than he has to, yet the larger male takes over the gathering when he realizing what Ichigo's doing. When they check out, it's nearing lunchtime. Conversation has picked up where it left off last night; Ichigo falling easily into the spell Grimmjow gives off. It's like being with someone he's known his whole life.

"You hungry?" Grimmjow asks. "I'm starved. Let's stop and grab a burger."

"But… you just got my…"

"You talk t0o much," Grimmjow waves off. "If I didn't want to take you out, I wouldn't suggest it. Come on."

Ichigo is swept up in the tide, finding himself unable to resist. For once, he's not in charge and he's loving it. They drop their bags off in Grimmjow's car, a white jaguar with black paw prints trekking over the hood. After he locks up, the two head into a nearby restaurant. They're seated immediately, the small place giving off a homey feeling. Ichigo looks around at the place, mostly open save for the kitchen in the back. A couple waitresses stand behind a counter that doubles as a bar during nighttime hours, a few other customers scattered about the place, and the glass top tables are spotlessly clean.

"I really like this place," Ichigo smiles. "It's new, right?"

"Yep, my friend owns it," Grimmjow states. "Her name is Nelliel, Ulquiorra and I have known her a long time. She used to stop by the orphanage to play with all the kids there. She's a sweetheart."

"I've been wanting to come, but… well… I don't think I have to tell you."

Grimmjow frowns a moment at the sad look in Ichigo's eyes, unable to think of a way to bring back his smile. Thankfully, the perfect way to do that walks out of the kitchen at that very moment. The busty woman with curly sea foam hair catches sight of Grimmjow, her face lighting up as she hurries over.

"Grimmy!" she squeals happily. "Oh, I've missed you! Where have you been?"

"Working mostly," he smirks. "How have you been Nell?"

"Same old, same old," she comments. "So… who's your boyfriend?"

Ichigo blushes hotly, yet doesn't correct the other. Grimmjow feels a fluttering of hope at this, however knows he should play things safe for now. He wants Ichigo, but he doesn't want to jump to conclusions and force the other away.

"No, Nell, he's not dating me," he chuckles. "He's just a good friend."

"Ah… code for 'I want more than a fling so behave'," she comments with a small salute. "Don't worry, Grimmy, I'll be on my best behavior! Do you want the usual?"

"Yeah, two orders if you don't mind."

She nods and heads back to the kitchen. Ichigo's spirits are a bit lifted at the interaction, but there's still a slight guilt at the way he spoke to Shuuhei earlier. He didn't lie, however he hates hurting Shuuhei's feelings. Grimmjow is watching Ichigo very intently, noting all the emotions swimming past amber orbs.

"You know… I understand how conflicted you must feel," Grimmjow ventures in soothing tones. "This guy, he's the only one you've ever been with. You never let your eyes stray, you never took a time out to explore your choices, and he's pretty much taken up every available moment in your life. Anyone can understand that. But… would you rather live the rest of your life in misery with him falling deeper into his addiction… or would you rather move on to something that makes you happy and give him the chance to find someone he's willing to give up his addiction for? Obviously, that person isn't you if he hasn't changed yet."

Ichigo looks up at Grimmjow in surprise, his amber eyes widened at the insight. He hadn't thought of it like that, but now that it's been pointed out… the larger male has a very good point. Shuuhei promises to change, but he just can't bring himself to make good on that promise. Ichigo's grown comfortable with Shuuhei, which is why he's hesitant to step away from him. He's being selfish. If someone else out there can help Shuuhei better than he can, Ichigo needs to take that leap.

"… You okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine," Ichigo smiles minutely. "I'm actually a little relieved you pointed that out. It was right in front of my face, but I didn't want to face it."

Grimmjow is about to move in to 'comfort the heartbroken submissive', but Nelliel rejoins them with their food. Ichigo clams up after that, falling into himself to think, and Grimmjow watches curiously as they eat. He's never found anyone as fascinating as this new guy, nor has he ever been so taken with another. The fact Ichigo has a boyfriend isn't about to stop Grimmjow from swaying the orangette into his arms. This certainly won't be the first person he's tempted into an affair or cheating, though Grimmjow's almost positive Ichigo will be the last.

After their lunch, Grimmjow takes Ichigo back home. The neighborhood isn't the best, the accommodations a little rundown, and the blue haired man can't help but feel Ichigo is too good for this place. He could give Ichigo so much more than this. The orange haired male thanks him, trying to gather all his bags. Grimmjow turns off the car, getting out and helping the other with his groceries. As they head toward the apartment building, Grimmjow locks his vehicle.

"You didn't have to help," Ichigo comments with a blush. "I could've gotten it."

"Shouldn't your boyfriend be helping you out?"

"… He should be at work today," Ichigo states bitterly. "But he had a hangover and called off. He's probably napping, unless he headed to the casino."

Grimmjow nods in understanding, waiting for Ichigo to unlock the door before they both head in. Shuuhei walks out of the bedroom about the same time, he and Grimmjow eyeing one another like two alpha wolves about to fight over a female in heat. Ichigo ignores them both, leaving them to size each other up while he puts away groceries. Shuuhei moves toward his boyfriend, frowning at the glare he's given by Grimmjow.

"Where'd you get all the money for food?" he wonders casually. "You been hiding some away? I didn't know you found a new hiding spot… I'll have to look harder next time."

"You did not just say that," Ichigo deadpans.

"So… where'd you get the money?"

"I bought the groceries for him," Grimmjow states.

Shuuhei stops and turns to face Ichigo, a look mixed with accusation resting upon his features. Ichigo sighs in annoyance, pinching the bridge of his nose before acting. He moves forward fluidly, grasping Shuuhei's upper arm and pulling him into the bedroom. He shuts the door after signaling Grimmjow to wait a moment, and then stares down Shuuhei.

"Shuuhei, you've always been my best friend, you know that right?"

"Of course. I'm pretty much the only person you've hung out with since high school."

"Because my friends didn't get along with you," Ichigo points out. "I chose you over them… and I've regretted it every day since. You've gotten really bad lately, your addiction is far worse than before. I can't keep you from getting better. I'm enabling your addiction and you don't care enough for me to stop on your own… so I'm breaking up with you."

"… He put this idea in your head, didn't he?" Shuuhei snaps. "I knew he would try and take you away from me! He can't have you, you're mine!"

Ichigo slaps the raven hard, surprised at himself before indignation gets the better of him. Shuuhei is immediately guilty for his outburst, though he meant every word. Ichigo is his, they've never needed anyone but each other… at least, that's what he thought. The raven didn't take into account that Ichigo would regret giving up his friends for Shuuhei. Ichigo is a social creature by nature and Shuuhei tried to take him out to the club as often as possible, even invited him to the casino more than once. The orange head resists his attempts, though.

"I am not a possession," Ichigo hisses out. "Never refer to me as one again, or you'll get worse than a slap to the face! Now, I was going to stay in the apartment with you… but obviously you won't be able to move on if I linger. I'll try to find another place soon; I'll even give you some money to start off on your own, but don't gamble it away!"

"Ichigo, don't leave me," Shuuhei pleads quietly.

"This is all my fault, Shuuhei," the orange head sighs. "I'm so sorry I let you get this bad, that I offered you an out to the point you didn't have to care about anyone or anything. I'm trying to set things right, so please… don't make this harder for me. There's someone out there that can help you, someone you'll gladly clean up your act for. Find them. Find them and never let them go. I'm sorry I couldn't be them."

Shuuhei reaches for Ichigo, yet the orange head backs away. He packs a bag quickly, throwing in a few outfits, and then heads out of the room. Shuuhei is far from clingy or vulnerable, he'll bounce back from this in a day or two, but the moment is hurting both men. Ichigo doesn't want to see his friend fall, Shuuhei doesn't want to lose that out he's come to rely on, and neither know what they're going to do now.

Grimmjow has already put the groceries away when Ichigo heads out with his bag, an elegant blue brow rising in question. Shuuhei looks positively beaten, joy and hope surging through Grimmjow so quickly he almost grins… almost. Ichigo gathers up a few books, his bathroom things, and a battered old laptop he's had a couple years now. The whole while, Shuuhei follows him about.

"I'm going to see if Uryu will let me crash on his couch for a little bit," Ichigo sighs. "Just… please, take care of yourself, Shuuhei. I won't be here to pick up your messes anymore."

"You don't have to leave…"

"Yes, I do. This is best for both of us, Shuuhei. I won't say goodbye, because you'll always be my friend, but… I'll see you later."

Grimmjow leaves the groceries on the countertops, not angered in the least he spent so much on Ichigo only to stock Shuuhei's shelves. In all truth, he would've bought a million dollars' worth of groceries, a whole apartment building, and three new cars for Shuuhei if Ichigo would've just left the man. He's right behind Ichigo, eyes glued to the orange haired man's ass appreciatively.

"You can stay with me," he offers. "I have the guest room you can use."

"… I really shouldn't…"

"I would appreciate the company," Grimmjow admits sheepishly. "It's been a long time since I had another person living with me. Last one was my ex-wife, but I was glad to get rid of her."

Ichigo chuckles at that, finding that Grimmjow has a knack for charming others. He used to pride himself in the fact he never fell for such things, but Grimmjow's personality had this natural pull to it. Not even rethinking his decision, Ichigo agrees to stay with the blue haired man. He'll have to go over the movie anyway… right?

Grimmjow is an adept cook, his dinner of choice for the night being lasagna and garlic bread. Ichigo has fallen into a state of calm he hasn't felt before, as Shuuhei always had him worried or frustrated. Their conversation lingers into more personal areas, the two divulging their life stories without a second thought, and then Grimmjow brings up the film.

"Let's do it tonight," Ichigo states. "I… I think I can do that. I don't want to have time to rethink it and it's not like I haven't had sex before…"

"Are you sure? I don't want you to regret it afterward."

"You said you'd make it so people won't know it's me," Ichigo remarks. "And… I feel so calm with you. So much happier than with Shuuhei. I hate feeling that way, but I know I can't help it. There's just something about you that he couldn't give me."

"I was hoping you'd say that," Grimmjow smirks. "I don't mind being a rebound, but only under one condition… you don't regret being with me. I'm not gonna let you go once I have you, so you'd better think about this really hard."

Ichigo nods, finishing his dinner and washing his dishes. Grimmjow eats more slowly, contemplating Ichigo's change in attitude. He was so hesitant before, but now that he's come to terms with the fact Shuuhei isn't right for him… it's like he was never dating the other. Once he's done with dinner, he cleans up and heads for the bedroom. Ichigo is already there, lying on his stomach in the middle of the bed with a book.

"… You do know I don't bottom, right?" Grimmjow comments. "If you keep trying to entice me like this, you're gonna be sore a long fucking time."

"I'm not trying to entice you," Ichigo frowns. "I'm reading. How is reading enticing you? Oh wait… you're just that lecherous, right?"

"No! Well… not entirely," Grimmjow amends. "Shut the fuck up! That has nothing to do with this! What the hell are you smiling about?"

Ichigo just watches Grimmjow from over his shoulder, a wide smile on his lips as he listens to the other sputter about. It's humorous for him, as Shuuhei was always sure about what he was going to say… whether it got him in trouble or not. Ichigo sits up, leaning back on his hands with a sultry gaze that shuts Grimmjow up quickly.

"… It'll take me a minute or two to get the cameras ready," Grimmjow comments without thought. "I'll tell you when I'm finished. You're sure you want to do this?"

"Yes… as long as it's with you."

Grimmjow leaves the room and Ichigo lies back to stare at the ceiling. His book has been set on the bedside table; however he's content to sit with his thoughts. He's excited about this little fling with Grimmjow, as he knows it'll lead to more and he wants to be with this man, yet he's a little nervous about the world seeing him in such a state… that and the fact he'll be bottoming. Shuuhei's attempt had scarred him, every time after leaving him panicked enough to lash out at the other. Ichigo's almost afraid he'll do the same to Grimmjow.

"Okay, Ichigo, I'm ready for you."

Ichigo heads into the guest room, where Grimmjow's voice had sounded. It's decorated like a honeymoon suite during Christmas time, red and green sheer curtains on a canopy bed and white sheets with heart shaped pillows. Ichigo rolls his eyes at the décor, surprised when Grimmjow sets an outfit in his hands. It's red with white trim and Ichigo can already tell it's a Santa outfit.

"Do I have to ask?" Ichigo wonders.

"Christmas special," Grimmjow smirks. "Go change."

Ichigo frowns a bit, however he heads to the three panel divider that looks like wrapping paper anyway. Grimmjow changes while Ichigo is busy behind the divider. When they're finished, Ichigo steps out with a brilliant blush and a glare that could murder. It wasn't a Santa outfit like he had originally thought… but a Mrs. Claus costume. The skirt barely skims mid-thigh, the top split down the center to his belly button and sewn loosely with green ribbon. The red heeled boots are over the knee, a thick black belt rests titled on Ichigo's hips, his gloves are mid-upper arm, and the hat has a bit of mistletoe on the white lining.

"Are you fucking serious?" Ichigo spits out.

"Damn… you're fucking sexy in that," Grimmjow murmurs.

He's wearing the Santa outfit, the top more of a muscle shirt and lying open upon his torso to expose his chest. Everything else is the typical suit, but so much sexier than it should be. Ichigo shakes himself from his stupor, reminding himself that he's dressed like a woman that's about to be thoroughly molested by a sexy statuesque man.

"Why do I have to dress like a woman!" Ichigo huffs.

"I'm not even gonna go there with you," Grimmjow comments. "If you don't know the difference between dominant and submissive, that's your problem. I'm a much better teacher when it comes to hands on lessons… so get on the bed and prepare yourself for the most euphoric lesson you're ever likely to get."

Ichigo blinks at that a moment, yet finds his body gravitating to the bed without permission from his head. Grimmjow starts the cameras, moving over to pick up a red velvet bag. There's little interaction between them at first, mostly Ichigo acting demure and suggestive as Grimmjow attempts to lure him. Finally, the larger male begins to get bolder.

Grimmjow crawls over to Ichigo, running his hand up silky thighs and beneath a red velvet shirt. Ichigo gasps at the touch, longing for sexual contact after so long without it. His gloved hands cup Grimmjow's face, drawing him closer to lay a kiss on his lips. What starts as gentle and shy quickly turns eager. Grimmjow pulls Ichigo to straddle his lap, one hand grabbing his ass and the other holding the back of Ichigo's head.

Ichigo rocks his hips, their arousals brushing against each other to draw moans from both. Ichigo can't help but continue the gyrating motion, throwing his head back in ecstasy as Grimmjow moves to nip at his neck. Grimmjow takes this opportunity to leave his mark, sucking and biting at Ichigo's slender column until he creates a dark hickey.

"Oh, Grimm," Ichigo breaths out.

Grimmjow grins against Ichigo's collarbone, leaving another mark there as he slips off the other's black lacey underwear… okay, so that may have been a little too far. His grin grows to a feral version at the thought, a rich chuckle rumbling from his chest. Ichigo gets off the bed at the feel of Grimmjow playing with his underwear, languidly pulling them down and bending over for his lover. As he does so, he spreads his legs a bit and delights at the groan Grimmjow gives him. Once that black material hits the floor, Ichigo crawls back to Grimmjow and unfastens his pants. Ichigo carefully releases Grimmjow's sex, leaning down to lick the head of it. Grimmjow sucks in a sharp breath when Ichigo take the thick shaft into his mouth, swallowing it without trouble.

"Fuck," he whispers out.

His hand is gripping orange locks tightly, his body leaning forward slightly in the attempt to keep from coming so soon at the surprise. Ichigo wastes no time, bobbing his head and swallowing around Grimmjow's cock when he deep throats it. He flinches at the tugging on his locks, yet ignores it in favor of that salty bitterness leaking from Grimmjow's sex.

"No more," Grimmjow growls out.

He manages to pull Ichigo off him, catching breath enough to reach back for his bag. From the red bag of treats, he pulls out a pair of fuzzy handcuffs with a suggestive waggle of his brow. Ichigo keeps the building panic off his features. Grimmjow slips the chain to the cuffs onto a hook above the bed, snapping them around Ichigo's wrists. The bells on the red fuzzy cuffs jingle with his movements. Grimmjow then pulls out a tube of peppermint lube and a vibrating cock ring. Ichigo licks his lips even as his panic grows.

"You'll be fine," Grimmjow whispers into his ear. "You're my precious gift tonight, I won't hurt you."

Ichigo hums an answer, letting Grimmjow kiss him. The larger male pushes his tongue past the orange head's lips, tasting himself on Ichigo's tongue. He sheds his clothes, keeping their lips connected, and then starts unwrapping his gift. The dress goes with a quick pull of the ribbon, bunching at the waist until he takes off the thick belt. After the belt is removed, the cloth drifts down to the bed. He leaves the gloves, boots, and hat. Ichigo's erection is straining as Grimmjow slips on the ring, the small device vibrating along Ichigo's stiff flesh. He screams out in pleasure, pulling against the cuffs as his body shivers.

"So beautiful," Grimmjow purrs.

"G-Grimm," Ichigo breaths out.

"Scream for me, baby," the larger male whispers.

He uncaps the lube, coating his fingers and nudging Ichigo onto his knees. Ichigo's breathing picks up at the feel of Grimmjow's fingers at his entrance, yet he withholds the need to lash out. Grimmjow works his finger in carefully, the lube tingling within Ichigo's tight entrance. The orange head jerks and moans, arching his back so he's pressed tight to Grimmjow. Grimmjow takes his time loosening Ichigo, enjoying the pleas and screams he draws out. Ichigo's shaft is painfully hard, as is Grimmjow's, and the larger man takes pity on them both.

"Here we go, baby," he remarks. "Nice and easy."

He coats his member, drawing Ichigo closer and pushing past his entrance. Ichigo whimpers and gasps, growing tight against Grimmjow as his body tries to deny him access. Whispering assurances in soothing tones, Grimmjow finally seats himself completely in the other and stills. His exploration earlier doesn't go unrewarded, as Grimmjow seats himself right against Ichigo's prostate. The other yells out, moving his body to strike that spot again. Grimmjow quickly grasps Ichigo's hips, forcing him to stay still and placating him with shallow thrusts that barely have him moving.

"M-move!" Ichigo begs. "Oh god, please… G-Grimm! Ah!"

Grimmjow lifts Ichigo carefully, bringing him down sharply. Ichigo cries out, his prostate stuck perfectly. After a few more thrusts that way, Grimmjow lets Ichigo impale himself at his own pace. Ichigo bounces in his lap, fighting with his binds at the same time. As he's busy moving along Grimmjow's shaft, Grimmjow runs his hands along tan flesh… anywhere he can. His lips move over Ichigo's torso, nipping and sucking to leave marks wherever possible. Grimmjow bucks his hips when Ichigo drops down on him, groaning in pleasure at Ichigo's eagerness to cum. He can feel the end approaching rapidly, so he releases the cock ring from Ichigo's member. The orange head stills, screaming out his release as a shiver rips through his body. He tightens around Grimmjow, the other growling feral as he draws Ichigo close. There's no room between them now, his seed bursting forth to coat the other's insides. He reaches to release Ichigo from the handcuffs, the two of them collapsing onto the bed together. Grimmjow hits the remote to turn off his cameras, lying limply on the bed. Ichigo forces himself to move against Grimmjow's side, snuggling close to the other with a sated sigh.

"That was the best sex I've ever had," he remarks.

"Well… I've had a lot of practice," Grimmjow chuckles.

"I'm glad I decided to do this," Ichigo comments lightly. "Do you need help editing the movie for sale?"

"No, I can handle it. But… I would really like it if you stayed with me," the larger male states. "I like you having you here and I want to give you everything you deserve."

"… Let me think about it."

Grimmjow chuckles, stretching happily as he closes his eyes. He and Ichigo fall asleep beneath the mistletoe hung around the bed, both baring a smile upon their faces. Their heartbeats lull them, their only light being from a few colored lamps used to set the mood.

The next morning Ichigo wakes to Grimmjow watching him. Once the blue haired man sees that Ichigo is awake, he grins widely and kisses him on the head. Ichigo yawns and stretches, gasping at the pain in his lower back. It's familiar, yet far from the amount he had with Shuuhei.

"Need anything?" Grimmjow asks. "I'll put you in the tub and get you some aspirin, okay? I'm gonna work on the video today, so I'll be right here to help you with anything you need!"

Ichigo smiles at the other, holding his arms out to Grimmjow. Grimmjow waits until Ichigo's arms are around his neck, and then lifts the other up off the bed. Ichigo is set in the large tub, the hot water turned on full blast and a bottle of bubbles set at the side. Ichigo takes full advantage of them. He takes the aspirin he's given and sinks into the water with a happy sigh. He takes his time relaxing, wondering if maybe he should call Shuuhei. By the time he's finished with his bath, Ichigo's ready to head to the bookstore to talk to Uryu.

"Grimmjow?" Ichigo calls. "Where are you?"

"In the office," the other answers. "It's just across from the guest room."

Ichigo pulls on a pair of boxers and a tee shirt, using his towel to dry his hair as he heads for the office. Grimmjow is watching the footage from last night intently, pausing it when Ichigo walks in. The orange head tilts his head curiously.

"How much of a whore did I sound?"

"Let's just say, I'm gonna make millions off you," Grimmjow grins widely. "What is it you need, babe?"

"I just wanted to tell you I'm going to the bookstore," Ichigo smiles. "I want to visit my friend. Not to mention, I have to see if the book I ordered for my little sister is there yet."

"Here," Grimmjow says as he holds out a credit card. "I can't pay you yet, but you're more than happy to buy gifts for your sisters. I'll write the pin down."

"That… awfully trusting of you."

"I just taped you falling apart during sex, I could ruin your life if you fuck me over," Grimmjow points out easily. "I doubt I have to worry about you stealing my money."

"… Good point."

Grimmjow smirks as Ichigo takes the card, gripping his wrist and pulling him down for a kiss. He promises to spoil him when he gets home, smacking his ass as Ichigo walks away. It's new for Ichigo and he's uncertain he should like being the submissive this much… but he can't bring himself to care.

Uryu is at the counter when Ichigo walks in, a bounce in his step and an air of happiness he hasn't shown in a long time. Uryu gives his friend a questioning look, Ulquiorra carrying a box in from the back room at that moment. Ichigo moves forward and takes the box from the other, happy to help out his friends.

"Good morning, Ichigo," Ulquiorra greets. "You seem far happier than you've been in a long time. What's led to this change in mood?"

"I decided to move on," Ichigo smiles. "I was holding Shuuhei back because I was afraid to leave my comfort zone and start dating again, but I'm over that now. He needs to find someone that can help him better than I did."

"Apparently sooner than later," Uryu mumbles.

"… What?" Ichigo asks. "What does that mean?"

"… We just saw Shuuhei flirting with the tattoo artist across the street today," the bespectacled raven sighs. "You know the one… Kensei? They were making out outside of the shop."

Ichigo's smile falls, the news hitting him like a semi-truck. It seems his whole world shatters around him, the orange head quietly paying for his little sisters' books. He tucks the cookbook and sport's book beneath one arm, heading out into the snow as his friends watch in confusion.

Grimmjow is just finishing up editing for the day when he hears the door open and close. He smiles widely and hurries to meet his new interest, surprised when Ichigo drops everything and wraps his arms around Grimmjow's waist. His body is shaking with his tears, Grimmjow's immediate response being to hug him and shield him from the world. His second response is to dig out information on who hurt Ichigo so he can beat the shit out of them.

"What happened, babe?"

"Sh-Shuuhei… moved on!" Ichigo bawls. "I wanted him to, but… it only took him one night! D-Didn't I m-mean anything more to him?"

"Ichi, calm down," Grimmjow sighs. "I thought someone hurt you! Shuuhei needs to move on. The faster he finds someone worth changing over, the sooner he'll change and you won't have to worry about finding him in a gutter."

"I didn't think I'd find him in a gutter!" Ichigo says in panic.

"He won't, I'm just saying it's a possibility. You have me now. I may not be Shuuhei, but I'm hoping to make you happier. Can't you just be glad he's doing okay?" Grimmjow frowns. "He's still your friend, isn't he?"

"… I guess so," Ichigo sniffs. "I just… it hurts. Did I hurt him this much when I left? Oh god! I have to go back for my things! I can't face him after hearing that!"

"Wait… you heard it? You didn't even see it for yourself?"

Ichigo shakes his head, burying his face back in Grimmjow chest to cry. Grimmjow sighs and holds Ichigo closely, wondering just what the hell he got himself into. Ichigo was so certain he wouldn't regret sleeping with Grimmjow last night, but one word about Shuuhei moving on and he's falling apart. There's no way in hell Ichigo was the dominant in that relationship.

"Ichigo, why don't we watch a movie?" Grimmjow suggests. "We can cuddle on the couch with a horror flick and you can pretend the hero is killing Shuuhei zombies."

"… I might like that," Ichigo murmurs.

Grimmjow puts in the movie and they both sit on the couch. About halfway through the movie, Ichigo is sleeping and Grimmjow is lost for what to do next. He gently carries Ichigo to bed, tucking him in after slipping off his pants. Once that's finished, he writes a note in case he wakes and heads outside.

Grimmjow's known Kensei since he was twelve, the other having stumbled across Grimmjow when he was in a fistfight. He helped the other buy his tattoo parlor, as he had gotten into the porn industry after eighteen. Life was hard and he took money where he could get it. Now, he stands outside the tattoo parlor. Kensei steps out and locks up, turning to face his good friend.

"Hey, Grimm. What's up, man?"

"Are you fucking a guy named Shuuhei?"

"Hisagi? We just got together this morning, why?"

"I'm kind of dating his ex-boyfriend…"

"Ichigo? Damn Shuuhei fell hard when Ichigo left him. He spent two hours bawling about how he pushed him away and he had it coming," Kensei remarks as they begin walking. "I actually used to date Shuuhei before he was attracted to Ichigo in high school. We stayed friends, but couldn't be around each other… the temptation was too great. Always led to some freaky sex. I knew Shuuhei had a gambling problem, but he wasn't like that with me. I wouldn't take shit like that, I told him how it was gonna be."

Grimmjow is stunned for a moment, yet keeps quiet to hear the rest of the story. Shuuhei stayed with Ichigo, solely because Ichigo allowed him to get away with his addiction. He never had feelings any greater than friends for the orange head, just as Ichigo never felt more for Shuuhei. The difference, however, was that Ichigo was naïve and mistook those feelings of loyalty for love.

Ichigo listens to all this with teary eyes and Grimmjow's arms around him, having woken to Grimmjow shaking him awake. The information is hard to digest, yet he needs to hear it and Grimmjow knows that. It takes a long while; however Ichigo finally swallows that pill and settles down. Tomorrow is Christmas and they need to get some sleep. Ichigo spent all day out shopping, but Grimmjow only made a single stop before the tattoo parlor. He can't wait until the morning.

Ichigo wakes to Grimmjow leaping on the bed like a kid. The phone in his hands is Ichigo's cell phone, a wide grin on his lips as he curls around Ichigo and hands it to him. It's his sister, Karin. The little tomboy is already demanding her present. The girls will see Ichigo tomorrow, which is when they'll get their gifts. Today, however, he's all Grimmjow's.

"I want you to open your present," Grimmjow comments.

"Present? Oh my god!" Ichigo gasps. "I'm so sorry, Grimm. I was so worried about my sisters and my dad… I… forgot to give you a gift."

"You're my gift, dumbass," Grimmjow chuckles. "And this… is your gift. It's my promise that we'll be together for as long as you can tolerate me!"

Ichigo raises a questioning brow, holding out his hand for the small wrapped package. He opens it hesitantly, gasping in shock and disbelief at the object within the black velvet box. It's an engagement ring. One with a good sized diamond and a gold band. Ichigo doesn't know what to say as he stares at the ring, his jaw working though no sound comes out. Finally, he looks up at Grimmjow searchingly. There's nothing but a powerful emotion lurking in those cyan pools… an emotion Ichigo knows is far stronger than the loyalty he felt for Shuuhei.

"Grimmjow," he murmurs. "This is…"

"Someday, Ichigo, we're going to get married," Grimmjow grins. "I know we will. Until that day, though, I want you to remember my promise to you. I thought this was the perfect way. You're the best Christmas gift I've ever gotten and I want to give you the life you deserve. Merry Christmas, my precious gift."

"… Merry Christmas, Grimm," Ichigo grins. "This is the best Christmas yet! I hope we can make the next one even greater!"

"Yeah, well… the most you're getting is a pet," Grimmjow mutters. "Now get your fine ass over here. I intend to thoroughly keep your attention all day."

Ichigo laughs, making room for Grimmjow in the bed besides him. The ring sits in its box, set on the bedside table to be worn after they've tired one another out. Ichigo couldn't be happier at this moment in time. As quickly as his world had shattered, Grimmjow repaired it with a skill he didn't know anyone could have.

"Before I forget… I think I'll keep that movie for my own personal use."

Ichigo opens his mouth to argue the point, yet Grimmjow uses the opportunity to slip his tongue in. Ichigo gives a muffled complaint, but gives in anyway. He's glad Grimmjow won't be sharing their intimate moment with the world of perverts. The holidays can really get to him sometimes… they just seem to draw madness from everyone nowadays.

The end! I hope you liked it =D If not, that's fine... I liked it ;p

Ichi: Whoa wait a minute! Doesn't anyone find the speed of this relationship a bit odd?

Grimm: Nope. I know what I want and I'm not afraid to tell you 'kiss my ass, you're mine so be happy'. =D

Ichi: ... I want a new partner! This one is too possessive and domineering! DX

Vae & Grimm: ... uh... that's the point.

Shiro: Sorry, Aibou. Ya will never be a dominant in Vae's fics. I, on the other hand, am more apt ta top than ya are ;p

Ichi: Why do you guys insist on holding me down! T^T

Grimm: I would think my answer to that would be obvious, but if you need to be taught another lesson... =3

Ichi: *punches Grimm* I refuse to play submissive anymore!

Vae: Ichi... you don't want to anger me. You know what happens when I'm angered =(

Ichi: What more could you possibly do to me! DX

Vae: *whispers in Ichi's ear*

Ichi: *Pales drastically* ... When you put it that way...

Vae: Good boy =D