“Jaegerjaquez, speaking.” Grimmjow answered, placing his cell against his ear.
“Ah, hey, Grimmjow…” Ulquiorra, his old friend and classmate from high school, spoke reservedly. “Do you have time to talk?”
“Uh, well…” Grimmjow checked his watch impatiently. “I’m entering the tunnel. What’s up?”
“I just wanted… let y… know…” Ulquiorra said reluctantly. “…. passed… last night…”
“I’m sorry, I missed that,” Grimmjow said, pausing in the walkway. “Say it one more time.”
“He passed away last night.” Ulquiorra repeated. “I thought you should know.”
How? Why? I don’t understand! Grimmjow’s mind screamed a million questions. But he didn’t need to ask ‘Who?’. He knew, he knew with every ounce of his being. Grimmjow’s throat constricted painfully and he doubled over.
“Grimmjow? Are you okay?” Grimmjow couldn’t respond. “Grimmjow? Grimmjow? Grimmjow?!?! Are you alright?”
“Yeah.” Grimmjow lied weakly, his stomach twisted into knots. “Yeah.”
It was his scent that drove Grimmjow crazy. He smelled like bar soap and detergent, sweat and liquor, and, maybe, just a little bit, like daylight. Grimmjow buried his face into the other man’s neck, biting and suckling the exposed flesh as if in a frenzy. Partially because he was frenzied and partly because he was afraid it would all disappear if he let go. There was an absolute physical need for the person beneath him; and Oh God did his body ache. Grimmjow had held back for too long. He had restrained himself; deprived himself of the fine, slender body that was now quivering beneath him.
The man beneath him was older now; broader, taller, with more hair on his legs, arms, and stomach. He wasn’t the wide-eyed, naïve teen that Grimmjow had taken all those years ago. The first time their bodies connected, ten years almost to the day, they were young, stupid, nervous. There was a shaky trust between them and they had moved forward, hand in sweaty hand. Awkward kisses, unsure touches, and bumbling, quick release.
Grimmjow had improved vastly, his technique nearly obliterating the-man-beneath-him’s sanity. His smaller form shook, his legs trembling, his clothed toes curling as his legs wrapped around Grimmjow’s waist. He was tight; his body clean and almost, if they weren’t in the act and didn’t share a past, pure.
Pure, chaste; that was all Grimmjow could think, over and over in his head. It didn’t matter who was there before, because Grimmjow was there first and then, again, he was there now. Grimmjow thrust into the man beneath him, filling him, touching every inch, claiming him. This body and soul beneath him was pure, and no matter what Grimmjow did to him, that would never change.
“I…” Grimmjow growled, pulling the man’s legs up and onto his shoulders. He pumped into the man forcefully, his hips smacking against the other’s bottom noisily. His breathing hitched, his pace faltering. “I’m gonna…”
The man beneath him raised his hand, his fingers tracing along Grimmjow’s jaw. His large, brown eyes were unfocused and hazy, he smile crookedly, his peachy cheeks stained with pink. And then he leaned forward, his soft, wet lips pressing against Grimmjow’s. “I love you.”
Those three words struck Grimmjow like a blow. He inhaled sharply, his throat tightening painfully. And then his orgasm rushed over him. He rocked his hips forward slowly, pulling out as his orgasm ended. He collapsed onto the bed beside Ichigo, his hand ruffling the other’s coppery orange hair. “Yeah.”
Ichigo’s eyes widened, almost comically. But Grimmjow could feel the hurt pouring out from the other man and nothing seemed funny anymore. Ichigo sat up, grabbing the sheet off the bed and wrapping it around his waist. He stood up, wincing slightly, and he stumbled forward, naked except for his socks and the bedsheet.
“Ichi…” Grimmjow hesitated, looking at the clock on the bedside table.
Ichigo followed Grimmjow’s gaze and then he shrugged, a mournful smile twisting his handsome face. “Go on.” Ichigo leaned against the wall, his hand searching for the light switch inside the dark bathroom.
“We still have some time.” Grimmjow offered, sitting up on the bed, his penetrating blue eyes searching Ichigo’s.
“It’s over.” Ichigo whispered, nodding his head in acceptance. “Goodbye, Grimmjow.”
“I’m sorry.” Grimmjow apologized, and he meant it.
“Yeah.” Ichigo breathed, wiping quickly at the single tear that managed to streak down his cheek. “This time was my fault.”
“You look exactly the same!” One of the class officers said excitedly. She handed Grimmjow his nametag and welcomed him to the reunion. “Ten years did you well…”
“Ah…? Do I?” Grimmjow asked, narrowing his eyes skeptically. “I don’t remember being quite this good looking in high school.”
“You’re remembering it differently than the rest of us then,” Ulquiorra muttered, his dark hair falling into his eyes. He exhaled heavily and adjusted his nametag on his jacket. “I’m only here for the free booze.”
“I thought it was a cash bar.” Grimmjow eyed Ulquiorra with a smirk.
“Don’t tease me, asshole.” Ulquiorra snapped. “I will break your neck and bury you in the woods.”
“Thank God you haven’t changed.” Grimmjow whispered, shoving Ulquiorra into the main ballroom. “Come on, we paid to be here, go in…”
“I don’t want to see any of these people.” Ulquiorra complained, his enchanting eyes burning into Grimmjow.
“I haven’t seen anyone in almost ten years.” Grimmjow insisted. “You can go to the bar, I’ll make my rounds and then we’ll go…. Alright?”
“That’s because you moved away…” Ulquiorra pointed out. “I never got to leave this miserable, piece of shit town…”
“I’m gonna go talk. Go get drunk, lighten up, fucker… ‘Kay?” Grimmjow shook his head in irritation and crossed the room to the bar. He gestured to the bartender and smirked handsomely, “I’ll take a Perfect Manhattan on the rocks.”
With drink in hand, Grimmjow made tracks across the room. He wasn’t super popular in high school, in fact, he was one of the bad kids and technically graduated at alternative school a semester later than everyone else. He enjoyed seeing everyone, fat and unhappy with their stagnant lives, while he was a successful businessman in Tokyo.
His ex-classmates took him in slowly. From his designer shoes, expensive suit to his luxury brand wristwatch, he was the ideal image of a twenty-something; Attractive, healthy, successful, wealthy. He was never unattractive, but he felt like ‘He got hot’ was on everyone’s mind when they saw him. The entire room wanted to fuck him and he knew it.
“I hope you’ve finally learned to control your liquor, Jaegerjaquez…” Grimmjow turned around slowly, his eyes softening as the handsome, orange-haired man came into view. “H-hey, Grimmjow…”
Grimmjow had traveled six hours, cancelled three business meetings, and even used public transport to see the person in front of him. “Ichigo, hey… wow… You look good.”
“Ah, well, thanks…” Ichigo blushed, his large, chocolate eyes dropping to the floor in embarrassment. “You too.”
“So,” Grimmjow gestured to an empty table. “What’ve you been doing for the last ten years?”
Ichigo sat down at the table stiffly, smiling as his eyes met Grimmjow’s. He was still tense but handsome, and he had filled out since his school days. He was broad and tall, his body visibly muscular beneath his modest clothing.
“Actually I’m a doctor.” Ichigo answered, crossing his legs and leaning back from the table. “I’m finally done with my residency and I’ve just accepted a job at Hiroo Ebisu.”
“In Tokyo!” Grimmjow said excitedly, leaning forward. “That’s my neck of the woods.”
“What do you do now?” Ichigo asked, chewing on his bottom lip nervously.
“I’m in marketing.” Grimmjow replied. “I love my job.”
“That’s great.” Ichigo said with a nod. “I’m surprised you came to the reunion, you seem too high society for little Karakura now.”
“Oh, I had a lotta fuckin’ people to prove wrong.” Grimmjow said with a smirk. “Ya know what I mean?”
“Not really.” Ichigo said with a smile. “I never found it as difficult as you, to get along…”
“That’s true.” Grimmjow sat back, his eyes closing as he reminisced. “I’m an asshole.”
“How long are you in town?” Ichigo asked suddenly, his eyes darting to the floor again.
“I leave in the morning.” Grimmjow replied, clicking his tongue. “My old lady gets too lonely otherwise…”
“O-Old lady?” Ichigo’s face twisted in surprise. “You’re married?”
“Yeah, I’m married. Five years now, two kids, a girl and a boy…” Grimmjow explained, tapping his fingers against the table. “Is it that surprising?”
“No, well, I…” Ichigo stumbled over his words for a moment before his eyes flashed mischievously. “I just can’t believe you make enough money to keep a woman…” Ichigo teased, laughing softly. “She must have the patience of a Saint.”
“Hey, now…” Grimmjow chuckled. “So what about you?”
“What about me?” Ichigo asked.
“Are ya married? I bet little orange-headed kiddos would be pretty cute...”
“No. I’m not married.” Ichigo sighed. “I… I’m attracted to men. Did you forget that about me?”
“Oh, well, I guess, I mean, high school was ten years ago… I thought you might’ve found a good woman in college.” Grimmjow reasoned.
“Oh, I see. Well, I don’t pretend to be something I’m not.” Ichigo said coolly. “I don’t lie to anyone, especially not myself.”
“Yeah…” Grimmjow felt the sting. He smirked, looking down at his hands.
“Even you get embarrassed. I’m surprised.” Ichigo said with a dry smile.
“You’ve always been my weakness, ya know.” Grimmjow whispered.
“Grimmjow, I’m not a kid anymore.” Ichigo said firmly. “I don’t like playing games.”
“Sorry, I’m a real piece of shit and I know it…” Grimmjow smiled despite his confession. “I’m the fucking worst…”
“What do you want?” Ichigo challenged.
“Why do I have to want something?” Grimmjow barked. “I can’t just be honest?”
“It’s too late for any confessions or apologies. I don’t want them.” Ichigo growled, knocking his fist against the table. “I’m not a starry-eyed, stupid kid anymore…”
“Good. I don’t have any business with someone that innocent…” Grimmjow smacked his palm against the table, sliding Ichigo his business card. “I’m staying at the Brighton, room 1614.”
“You’ve got some nerve.” Ichigo snarled, his lips tightening in frustration.
“I’d love to see you before I leave.” Grimmjow said, standing as he flashed Ichigo an arrogant smile. “I’d love to see all of you…”
It was his scent that drove Grimmjow crazy. He smelled like bar soap and cheap liquor. The detergent from the clean sheets was overpowering, but Ichigo still managed to smell like daylight felt. Grimmjow kissed and nipped along Ichigo’s neck; Leaving kiss marks across his skin like a brand. Grimmjow had suppressed his desires for too long; struggled too much against his true sexual nature. He had restrained himself; deprived himself of the fine, slender body that was now quivering beneath him.
Purity, chastity; it’s was all Grimmjow could think about. Ichigo’s virginal, unexplored body was like a wrapped piece of candy. It was his, for him alone, and he was going to consume it. Grimmjow’s large, warm hands roamed over every inch of Ichigo’s soft, smooth skin. And then, claiming him without a doubt, Grimmjow pushed himself inside of Ichigo, filling him completely.
Ichigo held Grimmjow’s hand, tears threatening to fall from his closed eyes. He inhaled sharply, his rigid, tense body relaxing gradually into the twin bed beneath him. Grimmjow rocked his hips, moving inside with great effort. Ichigo’s body was so warm and tight, it felt as if the life was being squeezed from him.
“I love you,” Grimmjow murmured, pressing his lips against Ichigo’s temple.
“Oh, Grim…” Ichigo breathed out, his eyes opening and releasing a stream of collected tears. “I love you…”
Hours later, Grimmjow rolled onto his side, struggling to wake up. The liquor had left a terrible taste in his mouth and his head pounded violently. He sat up groggily, rubbing his eyes before looking around Ichigo’s tidy bedroom.
“Good morning…” Ichigo chimed, his nude body wrapped in a blanket. His fingers trailed across Grimmjow’s exposed shoulder before Grimmjow knocked it away. “Hey… what’s the matter?”
“What the fuck…” Grimmjow muttered, holding his pounding head. “Why are you naked?” And then it hit him all at once, a wave of memories. Grimmjow eyed Ichigo in disbelief, the other teen blushing profusely.
“Because we did it…” Ichigo pointed out, tugging at the blanket pooled at Grimmjow’s waist. “You’re naked too.”
“Shut up!” Grimmjow growled, backing up like a frightened feline. “What’re you talking about?!”
“What?” Ichigo’s eyes narrowed in confusion. “Last night…”
“I don’t remember last night.” Grimmjow lied fiercely. He stood, dressing in his commencement clothes quickly.
“Grim…” Ichigo reached out for Grimmjow and Grimmjow snapped.
His fist connected with Ichigo’s jaw forcefully. Ichigo’s head bounced against the wooden floor sickly, blood pouring from the gouge on his forehead. “Ow! What… are… you… doing?” Ichigo threw his hands in front of his face in defense, pulling his knees against his chest.
“I- I didn’t mean to hurt you. I swear, I didn’t…” Grimmjow cried out, dropping down on the floor beside Ichigo. Ichigo scrambled backward, blocking himself from Grimmjow fearfully. “B-But don’t ever talk about last night again! Do you hear me?”
“Grimmjow, what’s wrong with you?” Ichigo yelled, his voice raw. “What the fuck is wrong with you, you fucking asshole?!?!”
“There’s nothing wrong with me!” Grimmjow shouted back. “What about you? Why would you let another man do that sort of thing to you!?!”
“I love you…” Ichigo said, shaking his head in confusion. “Last night, I confessed and you… you accepted my feelings…”
“Ha! Like anyone would ever accept that sort of thing…” Grimmjow replied, his hand pressing against Ichigo’s face. He pushed his palm roughly, forcing Ichigo back down to the floor. “And I told you, don’t ever talk about last night again. I’m not like that… I’m not like that at all…”
“Okay, okay…” Ichigo breathed, his eyes wide in terror, blood streaming down his face.
“Do you understand?” Grimmjow asked, his voice cracking as he spoke. He looked down at the ground, his arm shaking feebly.
“Yeah…” Ichigo responded, licking his lips nervously.
“I’m sorry, Ichigo…” Grimmjow cried, sinking down to the floor. He covered his face with his hands and inhaled sharply. “This is all my fault.”
Ichigo slid across the floor slowly, cautiously, reaching out and stroking Grimmjow’s hand kindly. “You should go home now.”
“I’m sorry…” Grimmjow muttered, standing up and letting Ichigo’s hand slip away. “I can’t be like this… I’m not… I… I’m not like you…”
“Please don’t do this…” Ichigo pleaded, his fingers gripping the sheet tightly. “Please, Grimmjow… Not after last night…”
“Last night was a mistake.” Grimmjow insisted. “I was drunk and you… you were…”
“Don’t say anything else!” Ichigo demanded, punching the floor with a terrible crack of his knuckles. “Go on! Get out! Get the fuck out! I don’t ever want to see you again! Get the fuck out!”
“Yeah,” Grimmjow breathed, stepping around Ichigo and walking out the door.