disclaimer: do not own Bleach


Could missing a few fragments of memories change a person's life so much?

Grimmjow watched him turned and walked off.

And he breathed a sigh of relief, loosening his hold on the girl in his arm. She turned and looked at him questioningly but he ignored her, his eyes remained firmly on the back of his once-lover who was walking away from him.

Because he did remember Ichigo.

He never told anyone but Ichigo had been the first person he had remembered. And if Ichigo had been two hours earlier in visiting him at the hospital, perhaps they could have gone back to how they were before.

But Ichigo was not two hours earlier in visiting and it had given Grimmjow enough time to make a decision.

He loved Ichigo. He was sure and certain of that. But he was also sure and certain that he minded how society viewed people like them. He minded how they had looked at Ichigo. How they would treat him.

And he was forcibly reminded of that every time his friends saw Ichigo. Admittedly, it was because his resolve on not interacting with Ichigo in college was weakening and Ichigo had crossed path with him more and more often. In fact, perhaps without the accident, he might have officially asked Ichigo out in front of his close-minded friends. Their homophobic-ness be damned.

But he had gotten angry. Angry that Ichigo was questioning him and being uncertain about them. And he had given Ichigo one shove too hard. It was almost in slow motion that he saw Ichigo stumbling out onto the road, the horn of the oncoming car deafening everyone nearby.

It was a week after he woken from his coma did he remembered Ichigo and remembered pushing him out of the way. Perhaps he had been lucky that the street had been narrow and that there was only one car. Because now that he had an abundance of time at the hospital, he would always imagine that he had merely pushed Ichigo out of the way and into the path of a truck. He had woken from more than one nightmare about it.

And he had not like it.

Had not like the thought that Ichigo could be in danger because of him.

And so, it was better this way. Where both of them walked their separate path.

How could he possibly stay with Ichigo when he now knew he could always hurt him, injure him, kill him? He knew that his temper was one of the worst possible. Even if he could protect Ichigo from his friends (and he would, his life be damned), he could not protect Ichigo from himself.

(Just like the accident two years ago.)

And so he plastered a fake smile, a loud voice and stuck close to his friends to avoid Ichigo.

It worked.

Ichigo came around lesser and lesser and eventually stopped approaching him. He saw Ichigo's smiles disappeared but reassured himself that it was for the best. Better to be unhappy than to be dead.

He was young. He was immature. He could not protect who he loved.

He needed more time.

Time which he did not want Ichigo to waste on him.

Because Ichigo deserved so much better. So much better than him.

And so he took to staring at his back. A view he had gotten very familiar with over the years. That was the only connection he allowed himself to have with his beloved.

The connection which was about to be severed with their graduation.

They would be strangers once they left college. Strangers who would not acknowledge each other.

But Ichigo would be safe. Safe from him.

That was the most important to him.

And so Grimmjow allowed himself only one last view of Ichigo's back.