disclaimer: do not own Bleach
Could missing a few fragments of memories change a person's life so much?
The turning point in life was different for everyone. For some, it was something simple like meeting a certain person or having so and so accomplishment to pull them from the pits of their life.
For Ichigo, it was the moment his lover woke up from his coma and asked who he was.
Granted, it was not only Ichigo who was forgotten but that only lasted the first week. At the end, even after months had passed, it was only Ichigo that was not remembered.
Grimmjow's recollection was almost in chronological order, his memories coming back from when he was a child up till he was in middle school. Ichigo had held his breath then, because high school was next. And even though Grimmjow remembered high school, it was in fragments and he did not remember the important parts. At least, the parts that were important to Ichigo.
Ichigo knew Grimmjow remembered meeting him when he had casually called him Orange. His heart had leaped into his throat then. But that was all Grimmjow could remember of him. A nameless classmate who he occasionally fought and argued with and could not be damned to remember his name properly.
He did not give up though, continuing his visit to Grimmjow's hospital room. Grimmjow's friends were always irritated to see him there and would go out of their way to make his visit uncomfortable. With Grimmjow remembering only certain parts of their relationship, he had joined in the jeering.
Yet he still persisted. He was certain that Grimmjow would remember him. He loved the man and he was sure that the man did too.
More and more of Grimmjow's memories came back. He remembered college, he remembered his part time job and he remembered the accident which had landed him in the hospital.
But he still did not know who Ichigo was.
To him, Ichigo was the guy at the back of the crowd, the guy who did not fawn over him and the guy who he had pushed out of the way of the oncoming car.
It seemed like he truly hated Ichigo for that, forever deliberating what he should do to Ichigo to get his reward back. Would making Ichigo his slave be enough? Or perhaps he should humiliate Ichigo so thoroughly that he would disappear from his sight? Ichigo would often hear him discuss with his friends whenever he neared them.
And yet, despite Ichigo being constantly in their discussion, Grimmjow still did not remember him.
He wanted to march up to Grimmjow and perhaps punch him (kiss him). But his friends would remind him that it would probably not sit too well with Grimmjow even if he did remember.
Because their relationship had always been hidden. Grimmjow had never call him his boyfriend and had never introduce him to any of his friends. No one knew about them. That was the major problem straining their relationship and had been the argument which had resulted in Ichigo being pushed roughly, losing his sense of gravity and tripping out onto the road.
Ichigo had never forgave himself for that.
Perhaps if he had given in, if he had been more submissive, if he had understood Grimmjow better, that argument would not have happened and Grimmjow would not have been injured because of him.
That was the other reason why he never told Grimmjow about them.
How could he when he did not deserve the man he had so uncaringly injured?
College slowly passed by. Ichigo's days were back to its monotonous grey now that the vibrant blue was out of his life. He still saw Grimmjow in his classes, surrounded by his group of friends who were like a protective cocoon and were constantly sneering at him. His hope that the man would ever recall him had all but died out. It had been over two years since.
Soon, it was their graduation and Ichigo knew that it was probably the last chance to see the man. Once they were out into society, what excuse could he give to catch a glimpse of his once-lover?
So he plucked up his courage and approached the man, wanting to at least congratulate him on his graduation and perhaps...
But there was a girl clinging onto his arm.
He watched Grimmjow wrap his arm around her waist, laughing with her and nuzzling her head. That had used to be him. Not out in the open like the couple before him but he still had it, even if it was behind closed doors.
And that was when he knew that he could never have that again.