Chapter IV: Come Break Me Down...

I sit quietly on the floor next to Helena's hospital bed, watching Nel as she plays with Shiin. The little girl seems completely oblivious to the fact that Helena is dying, but I know she knows better. I recognize her ever present happiness as a coping mechanism. How a girl so young learned to do that, I'll never know. Then again, she has faced death before; it must have just came naturally.

"Your kitty is so pretty, Itsygo." She laughs as she takes Shiin's front paws and makes the kitten stand on her hind legs.

"She's Grimm's kitty, Nel." I say. Just then, the man of the hour returns to the room, a pained expression marring his ethereal features. He glances at his dying mother before sitting in the chair next to her bed and putting his head in his hands. I feel so helpless. I hate to see him like this, but there's nothing I, or anyone else for that matter, can do. I scoot over to where he sits and pull his right hand away from his face. "I'm sorry, Grimm. I know how you feel."

He looks at me incredulously. I feel slightly offended, but then I realize I never told him how my mother died.

"My mother died when I was twelve. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer when I was nine, and it was back before there were treatments and medicines, so I basically watched her waste away for three years. I felt so helpless, just like I'm sure you do now, because there was nothing I could do for her. She held on much longer than the doctors thought she would, and my dad said it was because of me. He said I wouldn't let her go, so she continued to suffer. At the time I didn't understand what he meant and I thought he was saying her disease was my fault. I realized soon after she died that that wasn't what he meant at all; he meant that my love for her was causing her to try to hold on when she really wasn't able to. She needed to know that I would still love her, even if she couldn't hold on for me. She needed to know that I would be okay. And I am. My love for her hasn't wavered in the least bit; I still miss her, a lot actually, but I'm okay. You'll be okay too, right Grimm?"

He looks over to where Helena is laying. The only sound in the room is the steady beeping of the heart monitor. Then, he looks down to where our fingers are entwined, a small, woeful smile on his face.

"Yeah. I'll be alright."

"You have to let her know that, Grimm. You and Nnoitra both. You have to let her know that you'll be okay."

Grimmjow squeezes my hand before nodding to let me know he understands. I smile up at him and brush my lips across his knuckles.

"Take Nel to our place. She needs to get some sleep, and you do too." he orders. I frown.

"I'm fine, Grimmjow. I think you need more rest than either of us, but I know you're not going to leave. I'll take Nel to our place and Karin and Yuzu can watch her. I'm coming back though; it's non-negotiable." Grimmjow sighs and then nods. I stand and kiss him softly. I turn to Nel and scoop her up along with Shiin. "We're going to go to my house, okay Nel?"

"Okay, Itsygo. But I get to kiss Auntie goodbye first." I smile and carry the little girl to Helena's bedside. I lower her down until she's above the comatose woman's face and she kisses her aunt's cheek softly. "I love you, Auntie. Goodbye."

Her words sound so final. It's almost as if she doesn't believe she'll see Helena alive again. I feel a lump form in my throat as I look at Grimmjow. His thoughts must be along the same line as mine because he looks to be fighting tears. I've never seen Grimmjow even come close to crying. My attention is drawn back to the little girl in my arms as she buries her face in my chest.

"Okay. We can go now, Itsygo." Her voice is muffled but I can hear the slight quiver. Shiin lets out a soft mewl and licks at Nel's hand, trying to comfort her. I put a hand on her soft green hair.

"I'll be back soon, Grimm."

Once I'm home, I call Karin's cell phone after putting Nel in the bathtub. I sit on the toilet and watch the little girl play with the bubbles in the water as I wait for my sister to answer the phone.

"Hey, Ichi-nii. What's up?" she answers, finally. I sigh before speaking.

"Hey, Karin. I need you and Yuzu to do me a huge favor. Grimm's mom is in the hospital and we have to take care of his little cousin. I don't want to leave Grimm alone at the hospital, so would you two mind staying here in the penthouse with Nel for a few days?"

"No problem, Ichi-nii. We'll be there as soon as Yuzu comes back from her meeting."

"What meeting?"

"Oh, she went to meet with some potential buyers. They really like her designs; this could be her big break, Ichi-nii."

"That's great, Karin. Tell Yuzu I said congratulations. I know she'll do well, just like mom." I say. Karin lets out a wistful sigh.

"Yeah. Give Grimm-nii our condolences. We'll be there soon."

"Thanks, Karin. Love you."

"Love you too, Ichi-nii." I hang up the phone and turn my attention back to Nel who is now looking at me with her wide, innocent eyes. I don't think she speaks Japanese, which is why I always speak German around her.

"You get to meet my sisters, Nel. They'll take care of you while Grimm and I are at the hospital, okay?" Nel nods before turning to play with the bubbles again.

"Nel was supposed to have a sister, but Nel's sister died when we were in mommy's belly. Mommy said it was okay because she had Nel, but Nel knew she was sad. Just like Nel knows Grimmy is sad because Auntie is going to die soon." My eyes widen as I listen to the little girl's speech. She seems so insightful that it's almost scary. "Nel thinks Grimmy will be okay because he has Itsygo. You love Grimmy, right, Itsygo?"

"Of course I do, Nel. More than anything." I respond. Nel nods before going quiet once more. She doesn't look at me when she speaks again.

"Would you die for Grimmy, Itsygo?" Her tone sends a chill down my spine. The way this five-year-old talks about death like it's a discussion about what's for dinner really bothers me. "If Grimmy was going to die, would you save him, Itsygo?"

Damn, where the fuck did that come from? It seems out of nowhere, although I find that it's really not that hard to answer her question. You'd think it'd take hours of thinking, or a stroll around the countryside while listening to Dust in the Wind for me to answer, but it doesn't. I don't need to think about anything. Grimmjow means everything to me. My life doesn't exist without him. He is my life.

"Yes, Nel. I would do whatever I had to to save him."

I walk into Helena's room and shut the door behind me quietly. Grimmjow's head is resting on his arms on the bed; I assume he's asleep. I sigh and run a hand through my hair before sitting the food Yuzu gave me down on the table at the foot of Helena's bed. I make my way to where Grimmjow is and pull up a chair to sit next to him.

"Grimm?" He stirs awake at the sound of my voice.

"Hey. Is Nel okay?" he asks. I smile and nod.

"Karin and Yuzu love her. Yuzu is the only one who can really talk to her though, because Karin only speaks Japanese. They'd put Nel down for a nap when I left. Yuzu sent food for you." I pick the bowl up and give it to Grimmjow. He takes it and looks back at his mother.

"I think she'd like Karin and Yuzu. She likes you a lot." he says. I nod and Grimmjow continues. "I never talked to her about any of the people I got involved with before you. I didn't really feel the need to. She's so important to me, and those people weren't. No one means more to me than her. Except you."

I feel like crying. I have to say, this is the most that Grimmjow has opened up to me in all the time we've been together. It makes me happy, even if he isn't looking at me as he speaks.

"My father always told me that if I ever expressed myself I'd be weak. He said I could never be weak. 'The son of Fuishi Akihiko will never be seen as weak', is what he said. That was when I was eleven. I just realized, I've never told mom or Nnoitra that I love them. You're the only person I've ever been able to say it to. I guess it's because you aren't a part of that, of the family, I mean. Everything is so set, you know? It's like it was decided for me and I never had the chance to choose. I still don't."

Okay, he lost me. Da fuh is he talking about?

"What do you mean, Grimm?" He just shakes his head and doesn't respond.

"I could never decide anything without it coming with a test. Just because I'm his son. He probably would've found a way to turn my relationship with you into some kind of test; probably a loyalty test. He'd do something fucking crazy like kidnap you. Then again, he'd probably just find a way to get you to leave me. He never accepted that I'm bisexual. He never accepted anything except absolute loyalty to him and to..." He trails off, furrowing his eyebrows as he stares at his unmoving mother. "He didn't deserve her. The way he treated her...God, it pissed me off. He just yelled at her for no fucking reason half the time and the other half he spent pounding on her. You know why he did that? Because he could. Because she was weak. He once said to me, 'This is what happens when you are weak', while he slapped my mother across the face. I was only eight; I couldn't protect her. I...I still can't."

I don't know what to say. With what Grimmjow has said, his father was a horrible man. What kind of person would do that? I can't help but think that Grimmjow thinks he'll turn into him. I don't think that will happen though. I do think it's a miracle that Grimmjow is the amazing person that he is today, and I'd like to think it has everything to do with the woman laying in front of us dying. I touch Grimmjow's face and he leans into my touch.

"You are not him, Grimmjow. You are never going to become him." I say. Grimmjow tenses and a strained expression crosses his features. He turns away from me. He says it so quietly that I almost don't hear him.

"I already am."

There's no need for me to push it. He'll explain that when he's ready. A light knock at the door interrupts my musings. A beautiful dark skinned woman with purple hair pulled into a high ponytail and cat-like golden eyes walks in with a large bouquet of roses. She smirks when Grimmjow looks at her and rolls his eyes. She sits the roses down on the table by the window before crossing the room to stand by Helena's bedside.

"What are you doing here, Yoruichi?" Grimmjow asks, curtly. Yoruichi smiles softly at Helena's unmoving form.

"What do you think I'm doing, Grimmjow?" she responds. She reaches out and touches Helena's hair. She gives a wistful sigh. "She always had such beautiful hair. Just like you have now."

"What do you want?" he asks. Yoruichi sighs and turns to Grimmjow.

"I wish you'd cut the bullshit, Grimmjow. I'm obviously here because I want to help you. I've been associated with your family since before you were born. You're like family to me, and so is Helena. I have information for you, but I don't think you'll want Ichigo to hear it." She turns towards me and smiles softly. "Ichigo, could you give us some privacy for just a few minutes?"

"Sure." I say, even though I don't want to leave. I feel like what she's going to say is something I'd want to hear, even if Grimmjow doesn't want me to hear it. Nonetheless, I stand and exit the room, but not before making eye contact with Grimmjow so he understands that he'll have some explaining to do later, like why this woman that I've neither met nor heard about knows my name.

I walk down the hallway with my hands in my pockets as I think. When did everything turn to shit? For five years, everything's been great. Now, I have doubts and Grimmjow has entirely too many secrets. I'm still not one hundred percent sure about that Inoue girl; I talked to Shiro about it the night of the party. He contested that she was his girlfriend, but he hesitated. It was almost as if he didn't know about it before I said anything to him. Nnoitra is a complete shithead. He's been here at the hospital once. I made sure to uphold a cordial façade for the sake of the fact that it's his mother dying just like it's Grimmjow's, but he pissed me off when he kept staring at me, like I wasn't supposed to be there. Like the fuck is wrong with him? I know he's Grimmjow's brother, but it just seems like there's something off about him. I can't put my finger on it, but I know I don't trust him.

"Kurosaki?" I hear. I look up to see Kuchiki looking down his nose at me. I give him a deadpan expression.

"Kuchiki." I say. He stares at me a bit longer. I narrow my eyes. "What?"

"You are an idiot." he says. He steps around me and I grab the sleeve of his lab coat to keep him from walking away.

"The fuck is that supposed to mean?" I growl. The stoic doctor pushes my hand off of his arm before wiping at it like I'm dirty or something. I roll my eyes.

"It means that you are a person of subnormal intelligence. You have to be to have been with Jaegerjaquez for this long and not figure out who he really is." I furrow my brows, expressing my confusion. What the hell is he talking about? "I cannot tell you any more than I have. If you want to know, it is something he will have to tell you himself." With that, Kuchiki continues down the hallway in the opposite direction. Leave it to Kuchiki to be so damn snooty, cryptic, and annoying. I don't know how Renji puts up with him.

Now I'm worried again. What did he mean by 'who he really is'? He makes it sound like Grimmjow has another life that I don't know about or something. That's not possible, though. I know Grimmjow has secrets, but he loves me. He wouldn't keep a secret of that magnitude from me, would he?

I make my way back to Helena's room after a walk around the ICU. When I go inside, Yoruichi is gone and Grimmjow is standing by the window looking pissed as all hell. I'm not even going to ask. I just walk to my chair and sit down. I watch Grimmjow from where I'm sitting. He looks so tired. I'm really worried about him.

"Grimmjow?" I say. He doesn't look at me. He just keeps glaring daggers out the window. I stand and cross the room to him, turning him to face me. He looks down at me, his gaze softening automatically. I bring our lips together gently. I smooth my hand through his hair when I pull away. "I don't know what's wrong, but I don't want you worrying about anything but your mother, okay?"

He pulls away from my embrace and turns back to the window.

"I wish it was that simple."

"You don't have to tell me anything, okay? me a favor?"


"Call Retsu and have her come here to be with Helena. I need you to go home and rest. Please?" Grimmjow looks back at Helena and sighs.


When we finally make it back home, the sight we're greeted with brings a smile to both of our faces. Karin and Yuzu sit on the floor in the living room with Nel dancing and laughing in the center.

"Grimmy! Itsygo!" she exclaims when she catches sight of us. She runs and latches onto Grimmjow's legs. He picks her up and tickles her. "Is Nel pretty?"

My sisters have put makeup on her, but nothing too crazy. She looks adorable, even with her scar.

"You're very pretty, Nel." I say, pinching her nose. She giggles.

"You're still a mutt." Grimmjow says, as he tickles her again. He looks at the clock. "Alright, mutt, it's time for you to go to bed."

"No! Nel wants to stay up and play with Yuzu and Karin!"

"It's okay, Nel, we'll still be here when you wake up. You really should go to bed now." Yuzu says, motherly.

"Okay. But Grimmy has to read Nel a bedtime story."




"Grimmjow..." I say as a warning. He looks at me and rolls his eyes.

"Fine, shit."

"Don't curse in front of her!" Karin yells.

"How do you know I said a curse word?" he asks.

"Well, duh. I made Yuzu teach me the curse words." Grimmjow rolls his eyes before heading down the hallway.

"Goodnight, Yuzu and Karin and Itsygo!" Nel calls cheerily. The three of us say goodnight to Nel before I sit down on the floor with my sisters.

"She's such a sweet little girl. It's so sad that she has to go through this so soon after losing her mother." Yuzu says, quietly. Karin nods in assent.

"Is everything okay between you and Grimm-nii?" she asks, suddenly. I raise an eyebrow.

"Yes. Why?"

"I heard you asking that albino man at Grimm-nii's birthday party about some girl. He's not cheating on you is he? Because I'll kill him."

"Don't worry about that, Karin. It was all a big misunderstanding." At least I hope it was. "And don't try to kill Grimmjow. He's going through enough. He doesn't have time to worry about petty shit." I don't mean to sound clippy, but I guess I'm coming off harsh, since Yuzu looks like she might cry and Karin looks like she wants to castrate me.

"I'm gonna let that slide since you're right about Grimm-nii having a lot on his mind, but don't think for a second that I won't kill you with a fork if you get snippy with me again." I can't help but crack up at what she said. I laugh a bit and Yuzu joins in.

"How about a movie, guys? It's been a while since we were all together and everything's just been gloomy since we've been here. I've missed spending time with the both of you." I nod in agreement and so does Karin. It's been about six months since the last time both my sisters were in Japan. I stand up and open the cabinet on the entertainment center and search for our favorite movie.

"Finding Nemo? Don't you think we're all a little old for that movie?" Karin comments. I clutch the DVD to my chest and gasp in unison with Yuzu.

"Never!" we both hiss.

"Oh sure, what on Earth was I thinking? I'm only twenty-five. Definitely not too old for Finding Nemo."

"Exactly." I say, sticking my tongue out at her. Thinking we're too old for Finding Nemo. Bull fucking shit.

After Yuzu and I get strawberry PopTarts and grape soda from the kitchen, Karin starts the movie. About halfway through, and it feels like we're kids again and all of the shit that's happening right now doesn't even matter.

"Squirt totally rocks!" Karin says, with a giggle.

"He's completely adorable." Yuzu says with a giggle of her own. I agree.

"I'm gonna go check on Nel and Grimm. I'll be right back." I say. The girls shush me as Squirt tries to explain exiting the EAC to Marlon. I smile before getting off the floor and heading down the hall. I open the door to the guest room we've given to Nel trying to be as quiet as possible. A sight to behold indeed. I force myself not to "awwww". Grimm and Nel are both asleep on the queen-sized bed, with Grimm still holding on to a copy of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Nel has her thumb in her mouth, while her other little fist clutches Grimmjow's shirt. I step back out of the room and grab a blanket from the linen closet. Once I've covered both of them with it, I head back to the living room. The movie should be over soon.

"Okay, guys, I'm going to bed." I state. Yuzu turns to me and looks at me with her big doe eyes that she never really grew into.

"Can we sleep with you, Ichi-nii?" Karin turns to me too, giving me the same look. It'll be just like when we were young. How could I possibly say no?

"Sure." I say, smiling softly.

The sun streams through the floor-to-ceiling window and I decide to get up and shut the curtains before Karin wakes up. Out of the three of us, she's definitely not the morning person. Leaving the girls in the bed, I head out of the bedroom door and down the hall to Nel's room. Nel is still sleeping, but Grimmjow is nowhere to be found. I head into the living room, but he's not there either.

"Grimm?" I call.

"On the terrace, Ichi." I cross the living room and head out the balcony door. Grimmjow stands on the terrace, his gorgeous blue eyes raking across the view provided to them by Tokyo. After a few seconds, he turns around and opens his arms, which I readily fall into. For a while, we just stand holding on to each other as if for dear life. "I'm sorry, Ichi."

I lift my head from his chest and raise an eyebrow as I look at him.

"Sorry for what?"

"For everything that's been going on lately. For hiding shit from you and getting you involved with my family. I should've just handled shit on my own." I think I want to hit him.

"Grimm, I love you. You know that right?" He nods. "Then why would you think for a second that you had to go through any of this alone? You mean everything to me, Grimmjow. Sure, I'm more than a little pissed that you chose to hide so many things from me, but none of that changes the way I feel about you. I already told you once that I'll always be here for you. It's up to you to accept that."

Grimmjow looks like he wants to say something. He doesn't and kisses me instead. I guess that's okay too. A throat being cleared causes us to separate. Yuzu stands timidly, holding Nel who's rubbing her left eye.

"I'm going to start breakfast. Ichi-nii, could you help?" she asks. I nod. "Grimm-nii, you have a visitor."

Grimmjow and I leave the terrace. I follow Yuzu to the kitchen while Grimmjow heads into the living room. Yuzu sits Nel on the counter before going to the refrigerator and pulling out the ingredients she needs.

"Karin still sleeping?" I ask.

"Umhmm. So who's that man that came to see Grimm-nii?" I peek around the corner into the living room. A handsome sleepy-looking man sits in the armchair adjacent to the couch where Grimmjow is sitting. I shrug as I return to my original position leaning against the counter.

"Not a clue." Yuzu looks at me incredulously. "I genuinely don't know. Could be an old friend or distant relative."

"Wouldn't you know him if he was?" she asks. I shake my head.

"Probably not." Yuzu doesn't ask anymore questions. I pull the orange juice from the refrigerator and pour myself and Nel a glass. It's quiet as Yuzu cuts vegetables for the omelets she's going to make. The only other sound is the soft sizzle of the butter she's put into the skillet. It's quiet enough for me to hear the conversation in the living room.

"It'll be over soon. Her kidneys are failing; hasn't woken up since she got there." Grimmjow says. I hear a soft exhale.

"I'm sorry, Grimm. I know how much she means to you." the other man says gently.

"Yeah. I don't want her to suffer anymore. If dying will free her, than I don't mind letting her go."

"I hate to contribute to your troubles, but I have news from Hisagi. The mission in North Carolina was a failure. Arruruerie is dead."

Dead? Some guy is dead and Grimmjow has something to do with it? Who is Hisagi? And who is this man in our living room for that matter?

"Ichi-nii? Is everything alright?" Yuzu asks, snapping me out of the trance-like state I've fallen into. I nod after a few seconds. She turns back to the stove. "After breakfast, you and Grimm-nii should go back to the hospital, okay?"

I guess Yuzu heard what Grimmjow said too. I sigh and sip from my orange juice.

"Itsygo?" Nel calls quietly. I turn to her. "Is Nel going to be all alone when Auntie dies?" I stroke her hair softly.

"No, Nel. Grimm and I are going to take care of you."

"You're going to adopt her, then?" Yuzu asks as she pulls plates from the cabinets. I nod. "That's great. Once you and Grimm-nii are married, you'll have your own little family. Dad will be so happy."

"Yeah." I say, picking Nel up from the counter. I carry her into the dining room and sit her down in one of the chairs. Yuzu comes in after me and places an omelet in front of her. I walk into the living room. The man looks up at me with his sleepy grey eyes. He stands and stretches languidly.

"Well, I guess that's all for now, Grimmjow. I will contact you when more information becomes available." The man nods to me and I return the gesture. I wait until he's gone to approach Grimmjow.

"Do you want breakfast, Grimm?" I ask, sitting down next to him. He seems to be concentrating on something rather hard; his brows are furrowed as he stares off into space. I pull on his arm gently. "C'mon, Grimm. You should eat." He finally turns to me; looking at me as if he's seeing me for the first time.

"What? Oh. Yeah, I guess so." He stands and heads for the dining area.

"After breakfast we'll go back to the hospital, okay?" Grimmjow nods before he takes a seat at the head of the table. His movements are robotic. It's like he's numb.

"Grimmy, would you like Nel to sing Auntie's lullaby to you?" Nel asks around a mouthful of egg. Grimmjow gives a ghost of a smile before he nods. Yuzu and a groggy Karin join us at the table as Nel begins to sing,

Bist du bei mir, geh ich mit Freuden

zum Sterben und zu meiner Ruh.

Ach, wie vergnügt wär so mein Ende,

es drückten deine schönen Hände

mir die getreuen Augen zu!

Grimmjow seems to relax a little as Nel finishes the little tune. Though she sings it sweetly, I feel a bit unsettled by it, since I know what it means.

"Thanks, Nel."

"You're welcome, Grimmy. Sing it to Auntie for me when you see her today, okay?" Grimmjow nods.

"Alright." I shake my head and chuckle. He's not going to do that.

When we arrive at the hospital, Grimmjow heads straight for the ICU. I stay behind and go to the cardiologic ward. It's been a while since I've been at the hospital to work and I'd like to check up on some things. I stop by the lounge where Renji and another doctor, Kira Izuru, are talking. Renji stops mid-sentence to greet me.

"Hey, Ichigo! How's everything with Jaegerjaquez's mother?" he asks. I shake my head solemnly. Renji nods in understanding. "Tsumugiya was released yesterday."

"That's good. That's what I was going to ask you about anyway."

"Yeah, I saw her dad talking to a really tall guy with an eyepatch before they left. Hey, isn't that Jaegerjaquez's brother?" Nnoitra was here?

"Yeah, that's him. Do you know what they were talking about?" I ask. It's really a dumb ass question. Of course Renji's nosy ass knows what they were talking about.

"I heard something about money. I assume Jaegerjaquez's brother was unhappy about him paying for Tsumugiya's surgery. He also said something about him 'abandoning the family', but I was like, 'he's right here, you dumbass'..."

Renji's rambling fades off as I space out. What the hell was Nnoitra doing here harassing Shunsui when he should have been with his dying mother? I interrupt Renji. Does he ever shut the fuck up?

"I have to go. Thanks for keeping up with Ururu for me." I say as I leave. I walk quickly to Helena's room. Grimmjow is sitting in his usual spot next to her bed, staring wistfully at her stoic face. I sit down next to him. I don't really want to bother him while he's obviously grieving, so I decide to keep my speculations about Nnoitra to myself. That is until the idiot of the hour strolls into the room as if he's got not a care in the goddamned world. Grimmjow glances up at him for a moment before his pensive gaze returns to Helena.

"Where the hell have you been?" he asks dryly. Nnoitra tsks before crossing the room to stare out the window.

"Here and there. To and fro. Hither and yon'." Ugh, fucking asshole. Grimmjow stands but doesn't leave Helena's bedside.

"Stop fucking playing around, Nnoi. Where the hell were you, huh? You haven't been here since she got here. You let them put a fucking feeding tube in her!" Nnoitra turns to face Grimmjow languidly.

"I had things to take care of. You know that."

"This shit shouldn't be more important to you than her. You know that."

The two adoptive brothers stare each other down for a while as I watch on in silence. I don't feel it's my place to say anything although I have plenty of opinions, especially about Nnoitra.

"So you expect me to just abandon responsibilities for this?" Nnoitra asks coldly. Grimmjow seems to bare his teeth at him as he responds,

"I expect you to be here. You're my brother; this is your mother just like she's mine."

"She is weak."

I hold Grimmjow back before he can attack Nnoitra. I hug him around his waist as he growls angrily.

"I'll fucking kill you if you ever call her that again!" I continue to hold on to Grimmjow as I direct my gaze at Nnoitra.

"I think you should go." He continues to stand there, staring at the both of us.

"So you think you can tell me what I should do just because you're his bitch, huh?" Alright, now I'm pissed the fuck off. I push Grimmjow down in his chair and turn to him, my scowl set fully in place.

"Stay." He glares angrily at Nnoitra and then returns his attention to Helena. I turn back to Nnoitra. "Can I speak to you in the hallway, Nnoitra?"

"Fuck no." he responds crossing his arms over his chest. I stroll up to him and look up at him, hoping my irritation is showing in my eyes.

"Alright, let me rephrase. We're gonna go in the hallway and I'm gonna tell you exactly what I think of your sorry ass and exactly where the fuck you can go." Nnoitra tsks again but walks out of the room nonetheless. I turn to Grimmjow. "I'll be right back."

I step out of the room, glaring at the waste of fucking oxygen and vital organs that is Nnoitra. I always knew I didn't like him, and what just transpired did not change my opinion of him in the slightest.

"Keep looking down on me, Kurosaki, and I'll show you where the fuck you can go." he growls. I roll my eyes.

"I want to know what you were doing interrogating Shunsui yesterday."

"That's none of your business."

"Were you trying to force him to pay Grimmjow back for covering his daughter's surgery?" I ask. I have a strong feeling that that's exactly what he was doing.

"He has a lot of debt to Grimmjow already; that was just an add on. I was seeking to collect with interest." Nnoitra responds. I knew it.

"You're a piece of shit, you know that? You're a worthless piece of shit and if you died, the absence of your shitty existence would make the world a much better place."

"So you think you're better than me, that's what it is?"

"Not just me. I also think whale piss is better than you." I say, leaning against the wall. "You always look at me like I don't belong here when the fact of the matter is, I do. I love Grimmjow and I want to support him while he goes through this loss. You're supposed to be his brother; you should want to do the same, but you're not. And to call her that when you know and experienced for yourself everything that's happened with her and and your father, it only increases my absolute disdain for you."

"You think you belong here, huh? In this world? You don't know shit about us, about our family. You think you can come in here so high and mighty, telling me what the fuck I should do when Grimmjow isn't even telling you the whole story. You're just a bitch that he doesn't have to pay for."

"What are you talking about?" I ask. Nnoitra lets out a gravelly laugh.

"It's not my job to tell you if you're too dumb to figure it out yourself." I grit my teeth as he starts to stroll toward the exit. "I have business to take care of."

"Fucking dickslit." I mumble to myself as I walk back into the room. Grimmjow has his head bowed and his eyes closed. The soft sound of Helena's slowly beeping heart monitor fills the room. Once I get closer, I can hear him humming the tune of the lullaby that Nel sang earlier.

Bist du bei mir, geh ich mit Freuden

zum Sterben und zu meiner Ruh.

Ach, wie vergnügt wär so mein Ende,

es drückten deine schönen Hände

mir die getreuen Augen zu...

"Ichigo, there's something I need to tell you. It's something I should have told you a long time ago." I sit down next to him and he takes both of my hands in his. "I want to tell you. She wanted me to tell you but I didn't. I was too scared of losing you, but I know if I keep this from you any longer it's only going to make the situation worse."

"What is it, Grimmjow?"

"I...I'm..." I almost jump out of my skin as the once serene sound of the heart monitor suddenly turns into one continuous blare. She's...flatlined. Grimmjow's head snaps in the direction of the sound. The look in his eyes causes a lump to form in my throat. He lets go of my hands and clings to the sheets covering Helena's now lifeless form. ""

I turn away. I've never heard Grimmjow sound so...despaired. I don't think I could stand it if I saw him cry, but this could be the thing that breaks him down; it could break both of us down.

Hey, so...I know this is ridiculously late, but I couldn't help it...I've been going through a lot and plus writer's block is a menstruating bitch with a problem...I'm very sorry this took so long, and I do hope that you all continue to enjoy it...thanks so much for sticking by my story; I promise that it won't be another two months between updates...thanks again for reading:)


Lullaby translation:
If you are with me, then I will go gladly
unto death and to my rest.
Ah, what a pleasant end for me,
if your dear hands be the last I see,
closing shut my faithful eyes to rest!