Firstly; Happy Birthday to Blackstorm! I know you've actually seen peeks of the very beginning of this, though that was quite a while ago... but I thought something cute and fluffy would make a good gift to hopefully help cheer you up and this AU was the first thing that came to mind~ I hope my attempt at something cuddly turned out well and I hope you like it! Happy birthday, Stormy!
Secondly; omg Shadow wrote fluff...
The world was a very different place. Mankind had advanced at a fast rate and yet some things never changed. A small family, on their first vacation since the birth of their son, began having vehicle problems half way to their destination; a warm, tropical planet on the far outreaches of the galaxy. The planet was said to be true paradise, beautiful with rich blue waters and white sanded beaches, but the family was forced to make a pit stop and see what could be done for their ship.
The husband piloted the craft to a nearby planet, watching as a few of the censors on his dash lit red to tell him something was amiss with the vehicle. The planet they approached was relatively small and looked mostly uninhabited, no sign of human development other than the single landing strip and small base that accompanied it, but the running lights to mark the strip were bright and alive, letting the couple know the base had power and so must have been manned.
They landed the craft and unbuckled their young son, just turned four, but they hesitated before exiting the vehicle to make the short walk to the small base. All around them, a forest threatened to take over the cleared area for the landing strip. The trees were dense, the leaves wide and flat, the trunks thick and gnarled with age. The sky above was grey, the heavy, foreboding clouds beginning to let their load of precipitation trickle upon the ground and patter on the leaves and runway. The rain slid from the windshield of the small craft in thin, cold rivulets and the forest around them seemed to hold a heavy silence.
The wife, holding her young child tight, followed behind her husband as they quickly exited their vehicle and dashed off toward the base. As they neared, damage that had been impossible to see in the gloom became obvious. The windows were dirty and smeared with grime, some of them cracked or even broken out. The lock that should have held the door closed had been broken, leaving the metal door to sway slightly on it's rusted hinges.
Telling his wife to hurry back to the ship with their son, the husband entered the base. He found nothing. The floor was dirty and littered with dried leaves and the controls for the strip were covered in moss. The running lights only still worked because the solar panels used to create energy for them were still intact on the roof of the base. It was clear it had been abandoned long ago.
He hurried back to his shuttle and rolled up his sleeves, preparing to assess the damage to his craft and fix it on his own. A few minutes after he'd gotten started, the steady rain soaking through his clothes and making his dark, almost navy-black hair, stick to his forehead, the husband called to his wife, in need of her assistance. She obliged and buckled her child back in his car seat as she climbed from the craft.
While the two adults were busy trying to make their ship air worthy again, their young son looked out the windows with toddler-like wonder in his bright blue eyes. Crafty as little children always are, he managed to unbuckle himself and slip from the safety of the shuttle to begin exploring the strange new place he found himself in.
Stumbling from the slightly raised, concrete platform that made up the landing strip, the little boy was quickly soaked through by the rain. But as he entered the border of the forest, disappearing into the dense trees, he hardly noticed the chill and his developing and explorative mind was alive with wonder and awe.
The forest was just as gloomy as the landing strip had been, the shadows deep and nearly impenetrable. A tense hush settled over what should have been an area teaming with life, with insects and birds and small creatures that scurried over the ground, but all was silent, still. Like the landing base, the forest almost seemed abandoned. Almost.
Water dripped from the child's bright mess of sky blue hair to streak his features. It soaked through his clothing and made his pants heavy, the ends slipping over his shoes so that he stumbled as he stepped on them. Holding them mostly up with one little hand, the boy hurried forward as something white standing out amongst the dark shadows caught his attention and curiosity.
A creature unlike anything he'd ever seen in his young life lay curled on the dead and decaying leaves that made up the forest floor. Rain water dripped from the leaves above to patter over smooth skin and slide to the ground. A long, colorless tail curled around most of it's body, held close in defense of the chill in the air and long back legs were curled below it's body. The creature's face was hidden from sight, curled inward and also hidden by it's tail, but it's head was cushioned by very human looking hands, the claw-like nails black and dangerous. Long, ashen hair, damp from the weather, fell about it's sharp shoulder blades and down it's curled spine. Bits of color marred it's silken length. A few fetishes of small bones and carved wood had been braided into it's mane but the significance of such a thing was lost on the child.
The creature clearly slept, it's abdomen rising and falling in a slow, steady rhythm, making the wicked set of sharp protrusions along it's shoulder blades raise and fall slightly. It made not a movement as the little child neared and though the boy should have feared the beast, such notions were lost and hidden by the wonder and carelessness of youth.
Moving closer, the child stumbled slightly as he stepped on the too long legs of his wet pants. At the sound of his heavier misstep, the creature curled in sleep before him jerked in a surprised, twitching motion, the muscle along it's back and arms going rigid. The tip of it's tail slowly twitched in an aggressive and almost warning fashion as it's head slowly raised from it's crossed arms and a low, distorted rumbling filled the air like the buzz of the missing insects.
Inhuman eyes, the whites blacker than pitch, instantly landed on the small child, narrowing slightly in caution and appraisal. The child certainly didn't look dangerous. Gold caught what little light was to be found, flashing in the shadows of the forest where it sank in the blackness of it's sclera.
"Ooo-" The child cooed as the shine of the creature's predatory eyes drew his attention. Nothing but wonder sparking in his own crystallin gaze, the boy marched right up to the creature for a closer inspection. His little hands reached up and squished against the creature's ashen cheeks and pulled it's head forward slightly. Much closer than was probably necessary, the boy looked into the creatures eyes. "Pwetty." He cooed again, a smile on his rounded, childish features.
White brows furrowed slightly as the creature tilted it's head in surprise and a fair bit of it's own curiosity. He had encountered humans before, a handful of them that had attempted to build in and take over his territory. They hadn't lasted long against him and now their building sat empty. The child that wondered up to it was certainly not native to his planet, yet he found no fear in the tiny human. Snorting something of an amused grunt, the creature tilted it's head slightly to the other side as it looked at the human boy. As he did so, his long, white hair shifted and fell forward to cascade over lithe shoulders.
As his hair shifted, it caught the child's attention and small hands once more reached up to run little fingers through a few of the silken, damp strands. Ashen lips peeled away from pearly, white teeth and a snarling growl crawled from the beast's throat, lilting and threatening in a way that spoke of a killing confidence and danger.
Still the child showed no fear, quite the opposite, actually. He giggled a happy laugh and yanked on the lock of hair in his hands with enough force to yank the creature's head forward, trying to make him reproduce his odd snarl.
The growl fell away and white brows rose in surprise. Shifting into a more sitting position so that his weight was no longer resting on his arms, long tail curled out to the side, the creature reached out and gave the child a small, almost gentle push, just enough to make the boy take a few steps back and release his hair.
Not nearly as strong as the foreign creature, the child stumbled back a few feet, his smile never faltering and thinking it was only playing, but he once more stepped upon the ends of his sodden pant-legs and this time, his momentum going backward, he lost his balance. Little arms pinwheeled as the smile fell from his face and he tried to keep his balance. He failed and fell to his bottom, water from a small puddle splashing around him.
A slight grin curled one corner of the creature's lips as a lilting chuckle floated through the air but the expression quickly changed as the little boy sniffed and a shiver wracked through his small frame. Sniffing again, the boy's bottom lip quiver slightly before he closed his fathomless blue eyes and sneezed. The sneeze was followed by an unhappy, miserable whimpering whine as the boy rubbed his fists against his eyes before hugging his arms close about his trembling body.
Finally realizing just how cold the shivering child must have been in the frigid rain of a foreign world, the creature ducked low to the ground once more and reached out, hooking a leanly muscled arm around the boy. He effortlessly pulled the small human out of the puddle and closer to his own, still sleep warmed body. Stripping the child from his soaked and frigid clothing, a small smirk curled the creature's features into a fond smile as he positioned himself around the boy, curling his tail about himself and the child.
The creature's warmth and the safety of it's cuddling embrace quickly lolled the child to sleep as a pale face nuzzled fondly against damp, blue hair.
The two were awakened from their nap by shouting, panicked voices as the child's mother and father frantically looked for their missing boy. The creature, unable to understand the vast majority of the language the bigger humans spoke, jolted awake and to his feet in a single, instinctive motion. The boy climbed to his feet a little more slowly and stood between his new friend's long legs, hugging his little arms around the beast's knee. He looked up with wide, blue eyes as a lilting, protective snarl sang from a pale throat.
The creature looked back down at him, ashen brows furrowed into a conflicted frown as he began to realize what was going on. The sounds of the searching humans drew nearer and the creature knelt on his hunches, flicking his tail out behind him in a careless, natural motion. Tilting his head, he looked at the little child with almost sad, black and gold eyes as the boy looked from him, toward the direction his parents yelled from and back.
The little boy's bottom lip jutted out in a pout as he looked back at his new friend, shivering as his bare body left the warmth of the larger creature and was caressed by the cool air. He reached over to where a white hand dangled across the creature's bent knee and tugged in the direction of the calling adults, trying to bring the creature with him to his mother and father's ship.
But the creature didn't budge and when the little boy looked back up at him, pale features were pulled into a sorrowful frown. The creature shook his head slightly, his long hair dangling around his face and lithe shoulders as small droplets of water dripped from the tips.
Blue eyes widened slightly as the boy's lip quivered again and he threw himself at his new found friend. His little arms wrapped as far around the creature's waist as they would reach as he buried his face against a warm, smooth skinned and lean abdomen.
The creature seemed taken aback for a brief moment before he huffed a quiet breath and wrapped his pale arms around the child, effortlessly lifting him from the leaf littered ground as he straightened to his full hight. The child giggled and repositioned his arms to wrap around the creature's slim neck, smiling as he leaned in and pressed a messy, over exaggerated kiss to the creature's cheek.
Chuckling quietly in his distorted way, the creature nuzzled affectionately against sky blue hair and turned about, letting his long legs quickly put distance between himself and the abandoned air strip. All the child's parents found of their little boy was his drenched, discarded clothing and foot prints that almost looked human but were much too large to be their son's.
Retreating deep within his territory where the child would be the most safe at, the creature finally slowed and placed the boy back on the ground as they neared higher ground. The rain had lessened, letting just a hint of evening sun filter between the heavy clouds and peek through the canopy of trees above. It cast deep shadows on the jagged, uneven and unforgiving looking face of an inland cliff. The two sat in silence for a while as the little boy cooed away and tugged at the creature's hair.
"Heh. Ya like tha' do ya?" The creature tilted his head slightly as he sat upon the ground in the cliff's shadow, the child standing in front of him. He pushed his own fingers through the soft, thick blue strands of the boy's hair, careful not to let his wicked claws hurt the little human.
Blue eyes widened slightly as the boy paused and looked up at him before a wide grin split his rounded features. "Talk talk talk!" He shouted excitedly.
The pale creature chuckled but shook his head, unable to understand the foreign language. He was however able to understand the basics of what the child was getting at, simply judging by his surprise and reactions.
"Guess we're ganna have ta work on tha'." The creature told the child, not that the boy could understand what he said any better than the native could understand the human. The child was much too young to teach him the human tongue, probably too young to even fully comprehend it himself, which meant it would be easier for him to learn the creature's language. "Fer now, wha' should we call ya, hmmm?"
A big smile creased the boy's face as he clapped happily and listened to his new friend talk in his odd, lilting voice. Reaching up, he yanked on the creature's long hair a few times, earning a scowl and creased brows for his efforts. Unhappy with the results, the boy stomped his little foot and made a scary face. "Grrrr!" He practically shouted.
Stifling his laughter, the pale creature nuzzled at the boy again before pulling back and snarling his most vicious and fear inspiring growl, curling his lip and baring fanged teeth. The distorted rumble drew a giggle and another yank on his hair as the boy tried to imitate the sound, letting out a cute little rumble of his own.
"So brave and mighty." The native beast mused with a chuckle. "I'll call ya Grimmjow, my fierce lil warrior."
"Grrr." The boy, freshly named, rumbled again, pointing at his new friend.
Chuckling, an over-wide, delighted smirk on his pallid features, the creature shook his head. "Nah, I'm Shirosaki." He said, pointing to himself. He tapped his chest while the boy watched him, repeating the name a little more slowly.
"Shhiwoo...s-s-s-" Little Grimmjow said quietly, then he smiled again, still pointing at the pale creature. "Shiwo! Grrr!"
"Close 'nough." Shiro nodded, fond smile still firmly in place. He leaned forward toward his charge, placing some of his weight on one leanly corded arm, palm against the leaf littered ground, and used the other to tap the boy's chest. "And yer Grimmjow."
The boy smiled and nodded. He giggled when Shiro's finger left his chest and his pale arm snaked around little Grimmjow's waist to pull him from the ground once more.
"It's ganna be dark soon, we better get home." Shiro told the boy as he pulled him close and turned toward the shear rock wall behind them. Hardly giving it a second thought, the creature reached high above himself and with a little hop, managed to catch hold of the rock to begin hulling them up. The rock wall wasn't terribly high up, maybe standing four times the creature's hight, but it was a tough climb to the small cave at the top for those not experienced. The climb combined with Shiro's scent marking out the territory was usually enough to keep any would be predators away.
Grimmjow clinged against him, little arms wrapped around Shiro's neck as Shiro cradled him close with one arm and used the other to help propel them up. His long, white tail dangled below them, swaying slightly with his movements as the muscle in his toned back and legs bunched and flexed while he climbed. The whole while, Grimmjow cooed and looked around, no fear to be found in his bright blue eyes.
The two bedded down tucked away in the back of Shiro's cave, the creature curling protectively around his little human, his back toward the entrance to keep himself between the child and the opening. Grimmjow yawned and snuggled against the warm, pale chest before him as his guardian's long tail coiled securely around them, creating a blanket of warmth. The two slept soundly, Shiro's lean arms wrapped about the boy.
The next morning, as the sun rose in a much clearer sky and a low hanging mist snaked around the base of the trees below, Shiro's ashen brows furrowed as the small human snuggled in his arms began wiggling about. Still clinging to sleep, Shiro curled his lip in a small baring of sharp teeth while a small rumble of protest crawled up his throat. Grimmjow, much more awake and energized as little kids often are early in the morning, stifled a small giggle and pressed a sloppy kiss to his new guardian's cheek.
A smirk spread across the creature's features but his odd eyes remained closed as he squeezed the boy close to nuzzle against him and give his slobber back. Grimmjow once more giggled and finally wiggled free to begin exploring. Shiro rolled over but didn't get up, cracking one eye open to keep watch over the child.
Grimmjow curiously wondered about the cave. Finding a pile of furs stacked in a corner, he pulled one up and petted it, his bright blue eyes wide with wonder before he turned and dragged it by one corner over to where Shiro still lay. Nearly tripping over the fur, longer than he was tall, the little boy carefully pulled it over his companion like a blanket before rushing off to keep exploring.
Chuckling and accustomed to the morning chill still clinging in the air, Shiro pulled the blanket down and stretched, arching his lean body and flicking his tail out behind him in a languid motion. His jaw stretched in a wide yawn, flashing sharp fangs and a darkly colored tongue before his liquid golden eyes fell on the human child once more.
Crouching low, brilliant cyan eyes narrowed slightly as Grimmjow peered around a boulder near the entrance of the cave. His little hands on his knees, he nearly fell backward as a cat sized creature with too many eyes and long back legs hopped out from behind the boulder. Behind him and still seated where they had slept, Shiro snorted a laugh, knowing the small furry critter was harmless to the child.
Recovering quickly, the boy pulled himself up and looked down at the critter with wide eyes. His rounded features split into a delighted, just slightly manic little grin as he hopped forward at the creature, bringing his hands up beside his face in a clawing motion as he rumbled the scariest, meanest little growl he could.
The critter blinked each of it's five eyes separately, a bored expression on it's face as it looked up at the child. Shiro smirked and slinked a few feet closer in silence, his steps not making a sound. He watched as Grimmjow tried again, roaring out a vicious little growl as he bared his baby teeth in a fearsome expression.
Again the animal merely watched him but as Shiro crept another step closer and rose from his low, crouching position to tower behind the child, a silent snarl peeling his porcelain lips away from his teeth, the critter's eyes widened in fright. It quickly turned to scurry down the sheer face of the cliff and out of harm's way, a frightened yelp following it.
A wide smile spread across little Grimmjow's face as he giggled in glee, oblivious to the assistance from his larger companion. The boy turned to find Shiro. His brows rose slightly in surprise at finding the larger creature so close, but his surprise didn't last and his joy won him over again. He looked up at Shiro and pointed excitedly behind himself at where the little animal had disappeared, trying to show off his handy work.
Shiro chuckled, an amused smirk spreading his ashen features as he nodded and gently patted the top of the boy's head in an approving and fond manner. "Yer a scary lil runt, ain't ya?"
"Scawy..." The boy drawled slowly, his blue brows furrowing a little as he thought. Then his frown was gone and another happy smile took it's place as he vigorously nodded. "Scawy! Grr!"
He mimicked what he'd done to scare the harmless little critter at the cave's entrance, gaining a pleased smirk from his guardian. Shiro nodded, a little impressed that the child had caught on to what he'd said so easily.
Shiro sat back and watched as little Grimmjow continued to explore the cave's interior. It was nothing special but the human child seemed intrigued by the simplest things and rather content to roam the sparse little area. After a short while, he walked up to Shiro, a small pout on his rounded features, and patted at his little belly. He said something Shiro didn't understand as he held his belly and looked up at the taller creature.
Frowning, Shiro crouched down to the little boy's level. He brushed his blue bangs out of the way and laid his palm against his forehead. "Ya not feelin' well?" He asked, his lilting voice quiet, caring even.
Grimmjow held still but pouted, his blue eyes crossing slightly as he looked up at the pale hand against his head. He repeated a word that the creature didn't understand again and held his belly, whimpering slightly as his bottom lip jutted out.
Shiro's ashen brows furrowed as he pondered what the boy was trying to tell him, about what could be wrong. He moved his hand to settle on the boy's tummy, leaning forward to gently lay his head against his chest. The thump thump of the human's heart was quicker than his own and a little fainter but it was steady and strong so he assumed it was normal. Then a tell tale little rumble sounded from a little lower and a smirk slowly slid across Shiro's features as he realized what the child was trying to tell him.
"Ahhh, yer hungry, ain't ya?" Shiro asked as he pulled back. The little boy pouted and rubbed at his belly again. "Guess a growin' human probably's gotta eat more often than I do."
Shiro chuckled and maneuvered to the entrance of the cave, Grimmjow following closely behind him. He briefly considered leaving the child there, in the safety of the cave, but after seeing the lack of fear for the edge little Grimmjow had, he quickly dismissed it. Instead, he scooped the little boy up, pulling him close with one arm so that the child clung to him, and began climbing down the inland cliff face.
As his bare feet touched the ground, the creature known as Shirosaki paused in settling his human charge on the ground beside him. Still holding the child close, he took a few steps away from the rock face and raised on his toes, his head held high and upturned as he sniffed at the air. His long, ashen hair hung around his shoulders and down his back, little fingers twirling idly in it as Grimmjow looked around, quiet and a bit daunted. The tip of Shiro's long tail twitched an instinctive warning to anything that may have been watching, but he knew his concentrated scent alone should have been enough to keep other would-be predators away throughout the night. Still, he was cautious, letting his keen eyes search out the surrounding forest while he scented the air.
When it seemed that all was safe and quiet, the creature finally set the young boy down, allowing Grimmjow to almost nervously leave his side. It only took the little human a few minutes of walking beside the creature to grow bold again and as he did, he wondered further away, inspecting the plants and insects around him. Shirosaki didn't let him wonder far, never letting the young human out of his sight, but he was content to let Grimmjow explore near by.
The boy ran his fingers over the trees and leaves and picked up insects, running back to Shiro's side to hold the little wiggly critters out to his new guardian and friend. Shiro snorted a lilting laugh as he watched the boy's rounded features scrunch up as one particular insect squirmed wetly in his hands.
"Ew..." The little blue haired boy mumbled as he dropped the bug to the ground and watched it wriggle about before burrowing into the dirt.
"Tha's wha' ya get fer playin' wit' bugs." Shiro chuckled, ruffling the boy's hair, careful that his talon-like claws didn't harm the child.
Grimmjow pouted up at him, a bit of a confused expression on his features. "Bug?"
A smirk stretched Shiro's pale features and he reached down to pull the boy's hand toward him and made little wiggly lines across his palm with his fingertips. Grimmjow giggled and quickly pulled his hand back, a wide smile on his childish features. "Bug!" He repeated with childish fervor, quickly understanding what the word meant.
Shiro nodded and grabbed the little boy's hand again to guide him as he continued deeper into the forest. Little fingers wrapped around two of his own fingers to hold his hand back. After a few minutes more of walking, the forest around them grew thicker and darker and the inland cliff that marked Shiro's cave was lost from view. The forest grew quiet around them, the birds and other small animals falling into a tense hush as a larger predator wondered in their midst. Being used to the forced silence that usually followed him, the pale creature didn't take notice of it.
Grimmjow did, though. Big blue eyes were turned upward to look at Shiro. The creature's sharp senses picked up the little boy's slight movements before he said anything, and he glanced down as the child's grip tightened around his fingers and Grimmjow huddled a bit closer.
"Hmm?" Shirosaki raised his brows in question, turning his odd eyes downward to look at the boy.
Little blue brows furrowed and Grimmjow reached up with his other hand, taking the creature's pale one in both his much smaller ones. "Scawy..." He mumbled.
"Scary?" Shiro paused, a slight frown tugging at his features. "Wha's scary?"
The boy shifted his gaze away from Shiro, looking out at the trees around them with wide, blue eyes. He pulled one hand away and pointed as he huddled close to the creature, hiding his face against Shiro's body and holding his hand close.
Shiro eased into a crouch before the boy, frowning as Grimmjow scooted closer to huddle against his chest and hide in his leanly muscled arms. The creature carefully folded his arms around the boy's shoulders. "Ya don't gotta be scared... I ain't gonna let anythin' get'cha."
But little Grimmjow only let out a quiet, whining "mmm..." and huddled closer to his chest.
"C'mon then." Shirosaki pulled the boy from the ground as he continued on. "Let's find ya somethin' ta eat so we can go back, yeah?"
Grimmjow didn't really understand what the creature said, but he recognized the questioning tone and trusted Shirosaki already and so nodded against the pale chest he hid his face upon. As Shiro straightened, little boy held close, the smallest sound from further in the direction they had been heading had his gold on black gaze snapping in that direction, a sharp look to his eyes. Nostrils flaring, the creature's long tail swayed in jerky, almost feline motions out behind him as he bared white fangs and snarled a low, lilting growl.
The small human he'd adopted clung tighter to him, a small, frightened whimper leaving him. The sound sent an unnatural anger coursing through Shiro's veins. The quiet sounds of something lurking about the foliage ahead of them continued and the pale creature inhaled a deep breath, catching a whiff of something predatory, something other than himself. With another possessive snarl, he slowly lowered the child back to the ground and pushed little Grimmjow behind himself, where the human would be safer.
Without warning, Shirosaki darted off into the thick foliage. Bright blue eyes widened as the child reached out toward his guardian, his voice urgent and frightened as he said something in his own language. As the underbrush thrashed, two bodies colliding and vicious snarling shattering the silence of the forest, Grimmjow called Shiro's name. Birds shrieked and took to the air, abandoning the trees. He stumbled a few steps froward, his bare feet muddy from the still damp earth below him, but he paused, somehow knowing it wasn't safe since the creature hadn't brought him along.
"Shiwo?" The little blue haired boy asked again, his bottom lip quivering a bit as he looked around with wide eyes. Just as abruptly as Shirosaki had attacked, the forest around him fell silent again.
Not a moment later, Shirosaki calmly walked back out of the dense undergrowth. He smirked a bit as Grimmjow all but squealed a happy sound and ran up to him to wrap little arms around his legs again. The pale native chuckled and patted the top of the child's head fondly.
Grimmjow leaned back to look up at him, then leaned toward the side, still clinging to the taller, and peered around Shiro to look behind him. A small frown creased rounded features as Grimmjow looked at the strange animal laying on the ground, partially concealed in the undergrowth. A tell tale puddle of dark liquid spread out around it, staining short, molted brown fur.
Shiro pulled away from Grimmjow, but didn't go far, and bent to snag hold of the dead creature. It's limbs convulsed with the last of it's life as the pale creature dragged it out of the underbrush. It was only about half Shirosaki's size, but long, dangerous claws adorned it's front and hind paws and it's maw was full of shark like teeth, still bared even after death.
Grimmjow stared at it in a mix of curiosity and wariness before he scurried over to Shiro's other side and quickly wrapped his little fingers around Shiro's own. The native looked down at him and gently squeezed his hand back as they headed back toward the cave Shiro occupied this time of year, fresh kill in tow.
After managing to drag the carcass up to his cave and simultaneously carry Grimmjow, Shiro went about cleaning and readying their meal. It took him some convincing, but after showing the child it was still food, just different than what the little one was used to, he managed to get Grimmjow to eat. With a full belly, the blue haired boy went back to being his usual, rambunctious and explorative self until he wore himself out and was ready for a nap.
And so the days went. While the weather was still relatively nice, a little rainy, but still warm enough during the day, the pale creature taught the human child how to safely climb up and down from the cave. The boy was still much too small and young to learn to defend himself, so one of Shirosaki's first priorities was to teach the boy how to get away, how to hide. That included not only the rock face of the inland cliff, but trees and the like as well. There were a few mishaps, of course, but aside from a few scrapes and bruises, there were no serious injuries and Grimmjow seemed to take to what his guardian was trying to teach him quite well. The language barrier became less and less of an issue. Shiro began picking up on what the little human was trying to tell him based on body language and Grimmjow began understanding more of the creature's foreign, lilting words, mimicking them when the need arose.
It was quickly learned that Grimmjow needed to eat more than once a day and so while the two were busy exploring and patrolling the pale humanoid's territory, Shirosaki also went about discovering what else the child would eat. Fruits were quickly and easily added to the menu with the meat of fresh kills. Edible vegetation didn't seem to work too well. The little boy scowled at almost anything green that was set before him. But food and game would remain plentiful until the seasons shifted and the weather began to grow cold, so the creature had little trouble in keeping the child well fed and happy.
Toys were eventually made when Shiro found the little boy entertaining himself with the already cleaned skull of one of his smaller kills from early on in finding and keeping the human. Grimmjow giggled quietly, trying not to wake his adoptive parent as he made little rumbling growls for the skull and scooted it around across the rock floor of the cave. Shiro had watched with a sort of endeared fascination before deciding his charge needed more things to play with.
While the creature wasn't as advanced as the human race, he still wasn't far off from actually being human. He looked mostly human, aside from the things his kind had evolved to survive on a harsh planet; claws, dangerous teeth, even the row of defensive protrusions that ran the lengths of his shoulder blades. But he was still intelligent and crafty and thinking. While debating just what would be sufficient for little Grimmjow to play with, Shiro twirled a few heavy strands of his almost dreadlocked hair. His pale fingers ran over a few of the symbolic fetishes tied through the white strands and he realized bone and wood were things he could shape and carve into playthings.
"C'mon, lil one." Shiro bid as he stretched out, arching his back and flipping his long tail out behind himself in an equally languid stretch of it's own. Grimmjow had learned early on to stay out of it's way when Shiro did that. Even by accident, that tale could hurt when it whipped out like that, and Shiro had bared teeth in warning a few times, when Grimmjow had accidently stepped on it or curiously grabbed hold.
At his voice, upon realizing his parental figure was awake, little Grimmjow smiled and scrambled over to his companion. As had quickly become a morning ritual of sorts, he pressed his little hands against the side's of Shiro's features and gave the larger creature an exaggerated but affectionate kiss on the cheek before enthusiastically cheering something in his own human tongue. Shiro began to associate the foreign words with something akin to good morning or hello.
Together, they took their time in climbing down from their home in the relatively small cave and, like usual, stood in complete silence for a few moments while Shiro determined that there was no immediate threat to the child's safety nearby. Then they set off. Their destination was the area Shiro used to dispose of what was left of the carcasses of their meals, a shallow pit he'd dug to bring whatever he didn't use to. It was safely away from his home, where other predators and scavengers would be able to pick at the rotting bones and the leftover scraps and yet not disturb or pose a potential threat to himself or Grimmjow.
Once there, Shiro made the boy wait beside the trunk of a gnarled old tree that the human could climb if need be while he scouted out the area. When he found nothing of threat, he called the child over and the two began digging around for something he could turn into toys for Grimmjow. He kept them away from the more fresh, larvae and flesh eating bug infested bodies, making Grimmjow stick close to his side as they searched through a pile of scattered bones, bleached by the weather and sitting long enough to hardly resemble the bodies they once were.
Grimmjow picked up a few things, curiously inspecting them before tossing them away. Every so often he'd pause, looking over at his guardian with raised brows and wonder-filled blue eyes before mimicking the way Shiro picked through the bones, sniffing at them and studying them with a critical eye. Then Grimmjow would go back to inspecting them on his own again. Of course Shiro paid more attention than the boy realized, and hid a fond smirk as he watched the child imitate him from his peripheral.
After a few minutes, Grimmjow ran up to Shiro's side and held out the long femur bone of something relatively large. Shiro took it, inspecting it. It was thick and sturdy, not filled with hollows like an avian creature's, nor lightweight like a swift predator's. It was clearly the bone of a herbivore, which meant that it was not only sturdy and wouldn't splinter easily, but also that it didn't carry that distinctive and lingering smell of a carnivore. "Ya like this one?"
Grimmjow nodded vigorously, a happy smile on his rounded features as he mimicked the creature's words. He was learning more of them by the day, picking up on the important parts of what Shiro was saying. "Like!"
The creature chuckled, approving of the boy's choice. It would be something he could carve and cut into, and was long enough that he'd have plenty of material to work with. "Ok, we'll keep this one then."
With their material selected, they went back to the cave they called home and Shiro patiently scaled the rock wall below where Grimmjow climbed up, keeping an eye on the child to make sure he didn't fall or hurt himself. Once back up in the cave, Shiro set about cutting the bone into sections and shaping it into various parodies of other things, in different shapes and sizes, so that Grimmjow would have a set of things he could play with and use his developing imagination upon. They were mostly simplified things, no defining details like facial features or fingers, but Grimmjow ended up with a few vaguely two legged creatures, as well as a couple that seemed more four legged. By the time Shiro was done, having taken up most of the day in doing so, he had carved half a dozen little figurines for his adoptive child to play with and Grimmjow seemed to love them. He clapped as he bounced up and down, exclaiming something over and over in his native language as Shiro handed him the first completed toy. After the second, Shiro attributed the foreign words to gratitude and pulled the boy into a fond hug, nuzzling against blue hair as he purred an almost loving sound.
The season changed and the rain grew colder before turning into sleet. Shiro growled an unhappy sound, grumbling under his breath as he curled up tightly, tail coiled about himself to ward off the approaching cold, and watched the sleeting precipitation from the back corner of his home. Not understanding, Grimmjow curiously wandered to the front of the cave only to feel the full blast of cold wind and even colder, half melted ice that rained down outside. He shivered, wrapping his arms around himself, and scurried back over to where his guardian lay. After worming his way into Shiro's warm embrace, the two slept through most of the misty, ill-weathered day, waiting out this latest bout of chilly rain before Shiro finally decided they'd best begin the small migration he made each year to avoid the even colder, potentially deadly days.
Early that next morning, before even young Grimmjow had risen, the creature climbed to his feet. Doing his best not to wake the boy, he gathered the few things that would make the journey with them, including the child's playthings and toys, all tucked away into a little makeshift pouch made of hide. He selected one of the thicker, warmer furs he'd collected over the past summer and wrapped it around the still sleeping Grimmjow before hefting the boy up and gently carrying him toward the entrance. He made the careful, but surefooted climb down for the last time during that year, Grimmjow cradled close in one arm as the boy dozed and clung to him in his sleep. Once his feet hit the ground, he paused, scented the air, and left the cave behind.
A few hours into their trip, Grimmjow wiggled a bit as he began to wake up. "Shiwo?"
"Hmm?" The pale creature looked down at the boy's sleepy face as Grimmjow rubbed at his eyes and yawned, still wrapped securely in the thick fur and held safely against his companion.
"Potty..." He mumbled sleepily.
Shiro chuckled but nodded and pulled the fur blanket away as he slowly lowered the boy to the ground, setting Grimmjow on his feet so that he could do his thing. Still young, Grimmjow held Shiro's hand as he wondered a few steps further into the trees lining their path so that he could relieve his bladder. Shiro gratefully took the chance to stretch and loosen up the knots that had begun to form in his back and shoulders from carrying the boy. Little Grimmjow was still small, but he had certainly been getting bigger in the several months he'd been on the planet with Shiro. He was growing fast, like all children did.
Shiro didn't know it, nor really did Grimmjow, but just another handful of months would mark Grimmjow's fifth birthday, and only a few more months after that would make a whole human year since the child's arrival. It wouldn't have been a full year on the planet the two resided on now, the days and seasons longer on Shiro's world than on Earth, but the sentiment would have been the same, had either of the two really noticed.
After he'd finished, Grimmjow walked alongside the taller creature for a while as they continued their journey. He seemed to realize that this trip was different than their others and quietly looked around as they went. Finally, after a few minutes, he looked up at his adoptive parent, curiosity and maybe a little apprehension in his blue eyes.
"Shiwo? Where we go?" He asked, his understanding and mastery of the inhuman creature's language still broken and developing, but understandable.
Shirosaki smirked, fondly running his pale fingers through thick, shaggy blue hair. Just like Grimmjow was, the child's hair was growing too, getting longer and thicker. "Ta where it's warmer. I don't like this cold, d'you?"
Grimmjow shook his head, bottom lip jutting out a bit. "No...cold is icky...like bugs." His bare body shivered lightly in the frigid, early morning air and he huddled closer to Shiro's larger body.
Pulling the child in close with the hand still gently threaded through blue locks, Shiro chuckled as he wound the makeshift blanket back around Grimmjow's shoulders while they walked, covering him from the cold. Grimmjow fisted his little hands inside the fur's edges and held it tight about himself, sticking close to Shiro's side.
They walked for hours, quiet for the most part, as Shiro listened and looked for any signs of trouble among the dense trees around them. Eventually, Grimmjow grew tired, lacking the stamina his older companion had developed over years of living in the harsh wilderness of his home world. When the boy decided he needed a break, Shiro bent to scoop him up again, making sure the warm blanket stayed wrapped around his bare frame as he cradled the boy. Grimmjow let his head rest upon the creature's shoulder, arms wrapped around Shiro's neck, and was lolled into a nap as they continued.
Throughout the day, Shiro picked fruits as they came across them, giving them to his human charge so that Grimmjow could nibble and keep a full belly as they traveled. It wasn't until the sun was beginning it's downward journey late into the evening that Shiro decided he needed a break and some food as well. He walked a little longer and found them a clearing in the trees, tall grasses marking where the sun filtered through the canopy better in this spot than in others, alleviating some of the shadows and the chill that clung within them. He set Grimmjow down as they waded through foliage nearly to his waist, almost as tall as the child himself was.
The inhuman scouted the area out, sniffing about for any signs of predators before he led Grimmjow by the hand off to one side of the thicket. He didn't flatten the tall grasses out, but he shaped a little hollow in them near the trunk of a tree, just big enough for the little boy to curl up in. He wrapped the fur blanket around Grimmjow and instructed him to stay put before he straightened. Before he left the area, he turned and rubbed the base of his tail against the tree near Grimmjow's hiding place, marking the area with his scent. He repeated the action in several locations, making sure that should anything happen upon the area, they'd be unable to miss the mark of a top predator and hopefully overlook the young human's scent, fleeing the area in the fear that Shiro would return.
Doubling back to insure Grimmjow understood not to go anywhere, he nuzzled fondly against shaggy blue hair and stalked silently off into the forest. Despite his pale coloring, he disappeared into the shadows like a specter and was gone, off to hunt down something that would make a worthy meal for the two of them before they bedded down to rest through the night.
Already used to his larger, protective guardian leaving him alone for hours at a time to hunt, Grimmjow sighed a small breath and crossed his little arms over his chest as he sat in wait. Usually he was left in their cave home during Shiro's hunts, so he would play and entertain himself, but this time was different, since they weren't at home. He pulled out a few of his handmade toys to play quietly in the tall grass. But not long into his play, a sort of chirping, squeaking sound caught his attention.
Grimmjow looked up with wide, curiosity filled blue eyes, and trained his vision in the tree high above his head. Looking down at him, something more bipedal than quadruped clung to a branch of the tree. It's large, soft grey eyes blinked slowly, it's head tilting a bit. Another chirping sound left it as it quietly shifted lower in the tree. A slim, flexible tail coiled around the branch it stepped down onto and it's hands sported almost human-like fingers as they grasped at the trunk for added stability when the branch swayed slightly. The nostrils of it's wide, flattened nose flared as it took in a deep breath. A flash of primal fear crossed it's rather expressive features and made it's eyes dart around, searching for the source of the smell it'd detected.
The child frowned a bit, his blue brows furrowing as he looked around for his guardian before climbing free of the concealing burrow Shiro had made for him. He straightened and looked up at the animal, his little hands on his hips.
With his movements, the almost ape-like creature ceased it's worried search and snapped it's attention back down at the hairless, foreign little thing looking back at it. It's curiosity showed as it continued to slowly, cautiously make it's way further down the tree. When if finally dropped from the lower branches to land amongst the tall grass in front of Grimmjow, the boy took a small step back and away from it.
Having never encounter this type of animal, he didn't know how to react to it. He was curious and wanted to go over to it, but in the close to a year he'd been living with Shiro, the pale creature had inadvertently taught him that some things were dangerous and just not safe to run up to. The planet they lived on was hostile and deadly, the creatures just as threatening. There was a reason mankind hadn't been able to settle on this planet.
Shirosaki was among the largest of the two legged predators on the planet, but the animal slowly edging toward Grimmjow was still larger than the boy. It didn't stand quite as tall as Shiro, but it's form was bulky and roped with the heavy muscle needed to live in the trees, jumping and swinging from branch to branch. It may very well have matched Shiro's weight.
Grimmjow took another unsure step back as the animal, resting part of it's weight on it's knuckles against the ground to bring itself to Grimmjow's level, took a hopping step toward him. But it chirped another inquisitive sound and Grimmjow's curiosity and childish naivety won out.
As it drew closer to sniff at him, a wide grin spread across his rounded, youthful features and he giggled a happy sound. He reached out and settled his hand on the animal's arm, feeling the short, dark brown fur.
"Soft." He cooed, fingers curling against the animal's fur. At his voice, the animal looked taken aback and surprised. It sat on it's hunches and reached out to pull the odd, hairless child closer for a better inspection. Grimmjow laughed, thinking it was only playing, as it spun him in a circle before pulling him down so that he sat in front of it. Bending close, the animal sniffed at him, making more of it's chirping calls.
He gasped a surprised sound when one of it's thick arms wrapped around his waist and hoisted him from the ground as it stood and turned back toward the tree. Squirming a bit, Grimmjow's blue eyes widened as he tried to push away from the animal but he was much too small and young to compete with it's strength and when it started to effortlessly scale the tree, he was forced to cling to it for fear of being dropped.
"No..." He whimpered, his blue eyes beginning to show the first traces of confused and frightened tears. "P-put me down..."
Of course, not understanding such a complex language, the ape-like animal simply chirped back and kept climbing.
A little less than an hour later, having been as quick as possible, Shiro returned to the clearing he'd left his adoptive child. Absently cleaning fresh blood from the fingers of one hand with his tongue in a rather feline manner, he carried his kill over to the tree he'd had Grimmjow hide at the base of.
"Grimm, ya hungry?" He asked as he dropped the unlucky animal he'd killed. But his brows furrowed as he didn't receive a reply and nothing moved. He tipped his head and scented the air in short, panting inhales before scrambling through the tall foliage to find Grimmjow's toys dropped in the flattened grass he was supposed to be hiding in.
"Grimmjow?" Shiro spun a circle, an unmistakable wave of panic flashing through his mind. His voice rose as he called the boy's name again, his tone tinged with a hint of fear and desperation. He made a quick sweep of the grassy thicket before taking a deep breath and forcing himself to calm down. He made another circle, head tilted up as he scented the air, starting at the little area he'd had Grimmjow hide himself in. There, against the tree and nearly masked by his own overwhelming scent marking, was the softer, more subtle smell of another creature.
His keen senses told him he'd encountered this kind of animal before and memory told him it's diet consisted of mostly vegetation and insects, but it would occasionally scavenge the left overs of other predators' meals and even pick off weaker, sickly animals. A young human would surely fall under an easy kill. But the scent smelled female and he found no traces of blood, so it was possible the animal hadn't harmed the boy yet.
A low, rumbling growl left the humanoid's throat, threat wafting off his very being. He took off, following the scent from the ground below the path the animal had taken. His steps were swift and light as he covered the ground, following both the animal's and Grimmjow's scent. He knew he'd have to take to the trees eventually, since it was likely the animal had taken the boy to her colony, which was most likely high above in the canopy, but for now, he could cover the distance much quicker if he stuck to the ground. Climbing was not something foreign to him, he was quite skilled at it, but he lived on sturdy ground for a reason and those that had taken his adoptive child were natives to the trees. He'd never be able to catch up if he went to the trees now.
A few miles away and much higher above the ground than he was comfortable with, especially without his Shiro around to keep him safe and calm, Grimmjow stared with wide eyes as other animals like the one holding on to him began to creep closer from all sides. Some even climbed up toward him from the branches below. Their curiosity was obvious enough, but he was young and he had no way of knowing what would come of that curiosity. He whimpered a small sound of distress and huddled against the animal carrying him. She held him tightly, securely, as she navigated through the canopy.
The other animals around them poked and sniffed at him, but the female holding him didn't seem bothered by any of it, making it seem like it wasn't harmful or menacing in any way. Little Grimmjow looked around him, watched all the animals that circled around them. There were a lot of them, several dozen at least: a whole family troop.
Things went smoothly though, none of the animals around him made a grab for him and the few that started to show aggression were quickly put in their place by a hissing sound from the female that had brought him there. All around him, the animals chirped excitedly, bouncing and swinging through the branches as they followed the direction the female went.
Then, with a suddenness that even little Grimmjow understood, all went silent. The animals backed away, putting more distance between themselves and him and the female. They stopped their chirping and stopped bouncing about. Even the female paused, her soft grey eyes widening slightly as she looked up above herself. Not a moment later, a big, dark coated male dropped from the higher branches to join them.
Grimmjow didn't like this one. It looked at him differently than the others did. It bared blunt teeth and hissed that rattlesnake sound that made shivers run down his spine. The boy shied away from it, clinging tighter to the smaller female holding him. He wrapped his arms tighter around her neck in the effort to hide against her, but his blue eyes stayed anchored to the aggressive male.
The female chirped a short, quiet sound, her head and stance lowering slightly; a clear show of submission. Her hold remained tight on the child however, and when the male came forward, hissing that aggressive sound, she turned away from him, placing herself between the male and Grimmjow. The hissing continued as the male snagged hold of the female's arm, yanking with enough strength that she staggered on her perch. Grimmjow whimpered a frightened sound, looking over her shoulder at the male.
When she was forced to turn toward the leader of her troop, the big male made a grab for the foreign child she was carrying. The little human was not of the male's bloodline, so he was automatically viewed as a threat to the troop and to the male's rights as alpha. The female again twisted away, but not before blunt nails scraped across Grimmjow's bare shoulder blade.
He cried a scared and pained noise, tears starting to form in his vivid blue eyes. A small amount of blood beaded to the surface of his skin where the male had scratched him. The alpha made another grab for him as it hissed at the female and Grimmjow cried out again as a tight grip bruised his arm. Unintentionally, the female began pulling at him as well, attempting to keep him away from the aggressive and ill-tempered male.
From far below, a familiar, lilting voice caught his attention. Shiro's voice echoed with worry, the undercurrent of rage coloring his single word. "Grimmjow?!"
The little boy squirmed in the female's hold, trying desperately to get away. He knew how to climb, Shiro had taught him early on, and even if he hadn't known how, he still would have only wanted to get away from the fighting animals. "Shiwoooo..." He cried, tears tracking his rounded features now. He looked down below them, searching for signs of his guardian. At his cry, the alpha only seemed to grow more aggressive.
On the ground, Shiro came to where the scent he followed seemed to concentrate just in time to hear as his little human cried in pain and fear. The smallest drop of the boy's blood would have been enough to have Shiro seeing red and so when more than just that small amount leaked into the other smells drifting through the air, rage was all that clouded his mind. He snarled up, already sinking his claws into tree bark as he began scaling the thick, tall tree. When he called up to the child, he was relieved that Grimmjow was unharmed enough to hear him and respond and his climb grew to an even faster pace.
His long tail swayed below him with his motions, helping him keep his balance as he pulled himself away from the sturdy trunk and perched on one of the lower branches. With his nearly human build and lithe muscle, he was able to propel himself upward, clawing his way through leaves and the smaller branches that wouldn't hold his weight.
The animals still hopping about in the branches below the two bickering ones stared down at him before scattering like mice that had been spotted by a cat. They scurried away as fast as they could, chirping and squeaking in warning to their fellow troop members. Shiro paid no attention to them, his gold on black eyes locked only on Grimmjow as the boy stared back down at him, bottom lip jutting out and eyes wide.
When Shiro heaved himself up onto the same level as the two adults and Grimmjow. Most of the troop had scattered, knowing he was a predator and smelling the rage and killing intent on him. Some of them, however, did not, and those few turned to face him with bared teeth and hisses.
The pale creature tore through them. His wicked claws sliced through flesh, the thick coats of soft fur doing nothing to protect them. His fangs sank deep and shredded muscle, blood smearing his features. A distorted, enraged snarl rumbled from his throat on every breath as he fought and clawed his way toward the child he'd taken under his wing.
"Shiwo, hel-" Grimmjow started to call out to his companion again, but the word faltered, turning into a startled squeak as the female animal's grip around him loosened and he started to slip. She was still struggling with the alpha, but the male was larger than her. Shiro's snarling redoubled, only to cut off completely when he saw Grimmjow wiggle free of the female's grip and drop. His falling form was quickly lost amongst the leaves.
With a wordless, enraged and raw sound, Shirosaki pounced at the alpha that had been attempting to hurt the boy. He didn't even bother to attempt landing on another branch, or anchoring himself to the tree in anyway. His claws sank deep into unprotected flesh as the male tried to spin to meet his charge. Shiro's weight knocked the animal backward and the two fell several levels before a thick, sturdy branch near the tree's trunk put a sudden halt to it. Both grunted surprised, pained sounds but neither was willing to attempted to disengage. Shiro saw only red, the need to kill the animal filling his heart, pushing out the fear for Grimmjow's fate that wanted to make his body tremble.
From only a few more feet lower and partially around the tree, Grimmjow clung to a branch and watched as his adoptive parent fought and snarled and growled. He carefully climbed a little lower, edging his way against the tree's trunk as he found his footing on the next lower branch, but he kept an eye on the creature that took care of him.
By the time Shiro finally climbed his way to the lowest branches, fight over, and dropped to the damp earth, he'd killed the alpha as well as all the other animals that had challenged him. Their carcasses hung upon the branches of the tree like sickly, morbid ornaments, only one of them actually falling all the way to the ground. His long, white hair was matted and tangled, smeared in blood and dirt. He panted in harsh breaths, sporting a few of his own deep, bloodied gashes and bruises but the wounds hardly registered.
A pitiful, quiet and animal-like whine crawled up his throat as he began searching for Grimmjow again, fearful of what may have befallen the boy. He'd seen the child drop from the female's clutch, but hadn't seen him fall. He'd let her live, but only because she'd fled after he'd tackled the alpha and he was far more concerned with Grimmjow's fate than hunting down the remaining members of the troop.
He rounded the thick tree when the sound of squishy steps met his ears and there, tentatively looking up at him, was Grimmjow. The boy stood in a puddle of muddy red, still more blood dripping down from above, where the body of one of the dead animals hung amongst the branches. His bare feet were coated in the tainted substance, his hands smeared as well. He was marred in several shallow cuts and scrapes from making his own way down the tree, and the larger gashes along his shoulder blade still weeped in sluggish trickles, but he was standing under his own power and alive.
Shiro surged forward, dropping to his knees to pull the child into a tight hug, an overjoyed, relieved purr rumbling in his chest. Little Grimmjow giggled as his guardian nuzzled fondly at his blue hair before moving to begin licking clean some of the smeared blood that marred his face. All the while, pale arms wrapped tight and protectively about the little boy. It didn't matter that Grimmjow wasn't really his child, nor even the same species. Grimmjow wasn't even from the same planet as him, but Shiro loved the child like his own anyway and always would.
He lifted Grimmjow from the ground, still holding him close, and began the short trek back to where he'd left there meal and the boy's toys. Grimmjow wouldn't leave his sight the rest of the night as the two filled their bellies and finally bedded down as the sun disappeared below the horizon. Grimmjow curled comfortably and safely against Shiro's chest as pale arms wrapped back around him in a loving and protective embrace.
So...surprise! This will have more than one part~ Yay?
I hope everyone enjoyed it enough to want that second part! Let me know, please!