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Hellfire

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Standing on the sky, Ichigo slung blood from the edge of Zangetsu with a sharp flick and sheathed the black swords on his back and hip, letting them disappear into the space Betwixt.

 

The demon he killed dissipated, blown away like smoldering ash on the wind.

 

Feathers reminiscent of bright autumn leaves were ruffled by the breeze, his wings and primaries spread in annoyance.

 

Half Blood, feather duster, chicken, lightweight; he’d heard it all, and he didn’t give a shit. He’d heard just as bad from the angels, if not more creative.

 

Setting his power aside, his long mane of fiery hair faded into the Betwixt like delicate strands of silk, as if they were never there at all. Shorter, decidingly human hair, spiked in all directions, just as shocking an orange if no longer as dazzling.

 

The corded muscle in his wings flexed, stretching with a longing he didn’t indulge, but they too faded, drawn into the same nonreality as his weapon and inhuman appearance.

 

“This one was a little stronger.” Zangetsu spoke in his mind, his irritation bleeding into Ichigo’s very posture. His tone was flat and devoid of inflection, and that spoke a mile.

 

Ichigo drawled, “Drawing both swords was optimistic, it still died when I looked at it sideways.”

 

Ossan spoke in the back of his mind, his voice deep and steady. “And the alternative is defeat, which would you prefer?”

 

Baring his teeth, Ichigo hissed, “A challenge.”

 

Boredom was quickly becoming a facet of everyday life. He didn’t mean to be bored, but...he was. Aizen was banished back to the deepest circle of Hell and the world of the living was no more or less in peril than usual. He didn’t want it to be in peril, but he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t itching to stretch.

 

He bottled his power up, he had to, or he risked affecting the mortal world, and he felt caged, smothered. What he wouldn’t give to let loose again, to feel his power sweep over his skin and sing through his bones in the jilting anticipation of violence.

 

Ichigo cast his eyes to the horizon, the golden shine of the sun stretching long fingers of violet light through the town below. The day was spent and night was creeping into the sky, so Ichigo did something unusual. He went to a bar.

 

He hated it.

 

He sat alone and scowled at anyone that stumbled within five feet of him, downing his shots and praying for death. At least then it wouldn’t be so boring.

 

‘I can’t remember why I came here.’

 

“It ain’t so bad, King. Start a fight.”

 

‘I’m not starting a fight in this shithole.’

 

“You’re bored, I’m bored, who fucking cares? These people don’t.”

 

Zangetsu was right. The demon in his soul had been ignored for years, but that was no longer the case. His ‘advice’, if it could be called that, was nothing but the whisperings of the darker part of his heart; ignoring him was as pointless as pretending he didn't need to eat or sleep.

 

He didn't need to kill, but there was a yawning abyss in his soul that begged to differ. A darkness so vast he thought he might never be able to pull himself out.

 

If Zangetsu wanted a fight, Ichigo was itching for a fight, but he wasn’t so far gone to throw the first punch. He wanted an excuse.

 

Throwing his head back, Ichigo downed the next shot, shuddering at the burn of alcohol in his chest, and felt his phone buzz in his pocket. Pulling it from his jeans, Ichigo frowned down at it.

 

Are you okay?

Inoue Wed 7:43pm

 

Guilt seeped into his stomach like acid. He forgot it was Wednesday. Wednesday was friend night, and now he was halfway to smashed. Ichigo refused to let his friends see him like this, it was embarrassing at the least, intervention inducing at the worst, especially since this wasn’t the first time. Hero of the Winter War, drinking alone in the shadiest bar of Karakura.

 

Ichigo scowled, grit his teeth, and braced himself for yet another lie.

 

Headache, sorry, Inoue.

Wed 7:45pm

 

Feel better! Take a bath, might help ;3

Inoue Wed 7:46pm

 

Ellipses danced on the screen followed by a swift text.

 

I’m so sorry!!! That was supposed to be a kitty face!! x~x

Inoue Wed 7:46pm

 

I know what you meant Inoue ;3 next week.

Wed 7:47pm

 

You both know this is a group chat.

Paladin Prick Wed 7:48pm

 

x///x

Inoue Wed 7:48pm

 

Proceed.

Chad Wed 7:48pm

 

GOODNIGHT all of you

Wed 7:48pm

 

Ichigo felt guilt crawl down into his throat and die. Great . Well at that point, what was one more shot? Infamous last words, Ichigo.

 

Waving over the bartender, Ichigo got his shot of liquid shame, and was interrupted by a loud and overconfident voice at his back. “The fuck is one of daddy’s little girls doin’ in a place like this?”

 

Grimmjow .

 

The voice was a shock to hear, but one he would never forget. Despite the nostalgic bit of familiarity, Ichigo’s blood surged hot at the insult. Don’t react.

 

Ichigo threw the shot back, slammed the glass down on the scarred and scuffed bartop, and finally spun in his chair to face him. Ichigo tried his hardest to look unimpressed, like this wasn’t exactly what he’d wanted. “Didn't expect to see you here, thought you'd be crawling around in Hell, licking your wounds.”

 

Blue eyes narrowed with the subtle light of sadism over a fangy smile, their depths burning with sharp royal flames. The look of pure joyful sin in his eyes was only accentuated by the savage streaks of turquoise beneath them, the estigma hidden from human eyes as were his horns. Two different pairs of wicked ivory horns curled from swept and tousled blue hair, sharp tips searing into obsidian. Horns like that betrayed what he was in a heartbeat; Arrancar .

 

Grimmjow drawled, “Everyone’s dead. The fuck else am I gonna do, Kurosaki?”

 

Ichigo’s eyes wandered, searching for new scars, and answered, “You don’t belong here.” Grimmjow never wore a shirt , he was fucking allergic to the concept, so Ichigo had front row seats to the gallery of tattoos visible beneath his open leather jacket. Black and blue ink contrasted against toned alabaster skin in designs as cutting and savage as the man that wore them. The deep scar Ichigo gifted him carved a brutal path from his clavicle to his hip, maring tattoos Ichigo couldn’t remember; a scar Grimmjow wore with even more pride than those tattoos.

 

Ignoring that observation, Grimmjow stepped up to the bar beside Ichigo, fearless, and reached for the shot glass. Ichigo got a good look at Grimmjow’s side, his eyes catching the edge of a six. It appeared that Aizen’s loss hadn’t inspired the arrancar to retire. Grimmjow wasn’t just an arrancar, he was the sexta arrancar; Destruction. The demon embodied every aspect of it.

 

Lifting the shot glass, Grimmjow took a whiff, wrinkled his nose, and gave Kurosaki a sidelong look. “Tequila, really ?”

 

Ichigo’s expression didn’t change. “And?”

 

The arrancar lifted a shoulder in a half hearted shrug. “Didn’t peg you as the type.”

 

He wasn’t, but if he was going to be there at all, it wasn’t to enjoy himself. Ichigo hated the burn of hard liquor, it tasted like gasoline. He asked, “What were you expecting?”

 

“Fruity shit,” Grimmjow answered. Of course he was.

 

The arrancar raised the empty glass to the bartender in a silent request to top it off and set it down, turning to rest his weight all his elbow, leaving his jacket close enough to brush Ichigo’s arm. Too close.

 

A scowl darkened Ichigo’s face and he growled, “I’m off duty, scram.”So he said, but it was a bitter lie to say he hadn't missed the turbulent chaos that hovered around Jaegerjaques.

 

Grimmjow laughed, “You’re always off duty, you’re nothing but a filthy mutt to those ball lickers.”

 

“Says the cat, ” Ichigo snapped. Twisting to face the bar, Ichigo hunched his shoulders and hoped the demon would leave.

 

That didn’t happen. Grimmjow took the seat beside him, his back to the counter and leaned a little closer, close enough that Ichigo got a good whiff of steel, blood and fire. The demon smelled like battle and violence, and at the fuzzy, alcohol hazed edge of Ichigo’s thoughts, he hungered for it, he missed it like an old friend or the hard edge of steel digging into his palm.

 

The fire in his soul needed something to burn, and to War , he smelled like fresh kindling.

 

It was somewhat fitting to Ichigo, that in his moments of vice and weakness, he should stumble onto the demon. For reasons Ichigo didn’t entirely understand, Grimmjow was hell bent on dragging him down, on proving they were alike.

 

The bartender poured a rushed shot, amber liquid spilling onto the bar to collect around the base of the glass. Ichigo supposed he shouldn’t trust that glass, Grimmjow touched it, but that wasn’t why Ichigo hesitated.

 

Grimmjow reached for the glass with the creak of well worn leather, loud to Ichigo despite the buzz of laughter and noise pressing in around him. Grimmjow touched the edge with the back of his fingers, sliding it across the bartop with a wake of spilled tequila, a shining arrow that caught the orange glow of the bar. The glass’s trek was stopped short against Ichigo’s fingers, cold and wet.

 

Ichigo tracked Grimmjow’s hand as the demon lifted his fingers to his lips. Grimmjow ran his tongue along the side of his finger like he was sealing an envelope, without care or thought. He hummed. “Still can’t taste that shit.”

 

The demon almost sounded regretful. Ichigo fingered the shot, spinning it in place, its wet edges warmed by his touch. The alcohol seeped a little deeper into his thoughts, blurring the edges and making him cautious. Ichigo asked, “Then why are you here?”

 

Grimmjow ignored Ichigo like he hadn’t even spoken and said, “Mortal enough to sin, devil enough to crave it, but too nephilim to enjoy it.” His tone had turned bitter and spiteful; Ichigo hadn't thought he’d been paying attention, but he was wrong.

 

Grimmjow turned Ichigo’s question on him. “Forget me , Kurosaki, what the fuck are you doing here?”

 

Ichigo’s eyes widened a fraction and he held himself taut, cautious, but he thought he buried it it well enough. “Why do you give a shit, Grimmjow?” In a surge of stubborness, Ichigo threw that last shot back and didn’t even taste it, shuddering at the sensation.

 

Ignoring him again, Grimmjow’s brows furrowed and his eyes narrowed, studying him like he was trying to read something too small and too far away, then his eyes widened in revelation. “What is this, punishment ? You hate this.” He stated it like an indisputable fact, and they both knew it was true.

 

Ichigo growled, “I’m restless .” His own words spurred some self evaluation and Ichigo caught himself bouncing his knee obnoxiously fast. He subsided and shot Grimmjow a glare. “Why the hell do you care?”

 

“I don’t,” Grimmjow said. He resettled against the bar in a new position. “Thought you were fuckin’ that busty princess.”

 

Ichigo blushed against his better wishes, cursing tequila all the way, both in rage and at the insinuation. “Inoue is a friend.”

 

Grimmjow laughed, a pitched sound full of derision. “ Savage, Kurosaki, and I thought I was a bastard.”

 

Ichigo’s brow furrowed further, his grip on the glass shattering it. Ichigo dropped the broken shards with a disappointed sigh and Grimmjow eyed him with fierce intensity, maybe even curiosity.

 

That violent need hadn’t abated, and Grimmjow was treading onto ground no one had tread. The bartender drifted back over, taking a rag to the shards with a pointed glare while Ichigo brushed his hands off over the counter. Glass dust clung to his palms so Ichigo rubbed them over his thighs and tossed cash down on the bartop. “Scram, Grimmjow.”

 

The bartender swept up his bills with the grace and efficiency of a seagull and was gone, leaving Ichigo with a demon hovering inches from his shoulder.

 

Grimmjow refused with an answer that made Ichigo’s jaw clench in annoyance. “I don’t answer to you.”

 

“Punch him, King.”

 

‘Why? He hasn’t done anything.”

 

“Who fucking cares. Hit him.”

 

What Zangetsu said didn’t align with what his demon felt. It was too tame for the fire that burned in his soul, a fire that was desperate to be fed.

 

Ichigo clenched his teeth, his jaw aching under the pressure, and he waited for his change in silence. Grimmjow didn't leave him any peace. “You drunk?”

 

“No.” Ichigo growled, wondering if he was bitter about that or not. Golden eyes landed on blue and Ichigo clenched a hand into a fist. “Sober enough to take you down.”

 

“Bragging?” Grimmjow belted out a laugh. “What's a boot licking bitch going to do in a room full of humans?”

 

It was all the excuse he needed. Ichigo whirled from his seat and punched him, his fist connecting with Grimmjow's cheekbone in a sharp slice of bone against bone. His knuckles split and Grimmjow swayed back under a hit that would have thrown anyone else ten feet back and through the front door.

 

Dropping his chin, the look in Grimmjow's eyes was volatile and bloodthirsty. Springing forward like a coiled cat, Grimmjow hit Ichigo in the chest, throwing him back off the chair.

 

The sudden shift in perspective made Ichigo's stomach lurch, his back slamming into the ground hard enough to knock a grunt from him.

 

Blinking away his brain's confusion over becoming horizontal, Ichigo took a solid punch to the nose. Blood poured down his face, but the tequila did wonders to numb the pain. Squinting past involuntary tears, Ichigo threw his hand out, the heel of his palm connecting with Grimmjow’s chin, shoving the arrancar to his back. Ichigo's punch was stopped short by Grimmjow's forearms, so Ichigo went for his ribs. A violent smile split his face when bloodied knuckles struck bone.

 

It was a dirty fight, and somewhere between hitting the floor and getting tossed into the street, Grimmjow had hit him with a chair and Ichigo had cut the arrancar with a broken glass and gotten his teeth in his arm.

 

Ichigo stood dejected on the corner outside the bar, shirt ripped, filthy, and blood sticky and tacky on his chin and neck. He didn’t remember when his nose had stopped bleeding, but it was all over the front of his shirt, and probably all over Grimmjow. His hand throbbed from the broken glass that had sunk into his palm when he'd stabbed Grimmjow with it, and now that the adrenaline was wearing off it ached.

 

It was a testament to the kind of bar he was in that no one called the police.

 

Grimmjow stood more than a few feet away, spitting blood onto the pavement and flexing sore knuckles. Ichigo thought they both looked like shit, but Grimmjow looked better, much better.

 

Ichigo staggered on the curb, swore, and let his back slam into a lightpost. He slid onto the ground to sit and checked his phone, struggling to read the screen through blurred and swimming vision. He flipped it shut, giving up.

 

Grimmjow’s voice cut through his pity party, scathing and sharp. “Don’t tell me you don’t have someone to come pick your sorry ass up.”

 

“Did I ask for commentary?” Ichigo asked. Ichigo’s skull still rang from being thrown into concrete and his eyes wouldn’t focus further than four feet in front of him. This was both pathetic and sad, but he was more than capable of walking himself home. He shoved the phone in his pocket and fought off a wave of nausea. That tequila was catching up with him and while it might have been pleasant under different circumstances, these were not those circumstances.

 

He looked like shit, anyone he called was going to ask questions. Lots of questions. “Don’t you have someplace better to be?” Ichigo snapped.

 

There was silence, then footsteps, so light Ichigo would have to have known to listen for them. He saw the edge of Grimmjow’s shadow and he looked up to meet blazing blue eyes. Grimmjow growled, “Get up, Kurosaki.”

 

Ichigo curled his lip into a snarl and parroted, “I don’t answer to you.”

 

Grimmjow’s expression fell, watching Ichigo with narrowed eyes. For a moment, Ichigo thought he might get a boot to the face, but that didn’t happen. Grimmjow extended a hand down to him, and Ichigo blinked at it like this was a foreign gesture he’d never seen before.

 

Grimmjow’s knuckles were as bloodied and bruised as his own, a tattoo snaking its way up the back of his wrist, twisting up and around his arm to disappear beneath a sleeve. Ichigo traced it back to Grimmjow’s face, frowning up at him.

 

Ichigo couldn’t read those smoldering blue eyes, but the hand Grimmjow offered him seemed genuine. So he took it, his palm flush to Grimmjow’s, just as rough and calloused as his own. Ichigo didn’t associate the demon with that sort of touch, he’d ever met him with clenched fists or a sword in hand. It felt strange to him.

 

The arrancar hauled him to his feet, and when he drew his hand back, the foreign sensation lingered, cutting through his pain and shame, despite how minute it was.

 

Ichigo turned and muttered, “I'm going home.” He wasn't going to thank the demon, it felt wrong, especially since he was an asshole.

 

To Ichigo's continued shock, Grimmjow trailed after him. For a second, Ichigo figured he was just going the same direction, but he was walking far too close for that. Shooting the demon a glare, Ichigo said, “Stop following me.”

 

“Why?” Grimmjow snarked, “So you can pass out on the road?”

 

“I'm fine,” Ichigo growled.

 

Grimmjow shot him a withering look. “Since when does ‘fine’ double as code for 'I have a concussion?’”

 

“I don't have-” Ichigo started, then stopped short, blinking past the spottiness of his sight to the road at his feet. Fine, maybe he did, but he'd live and that was what mattered. “ Again , why do you give a shit?”

 

 

“Whatever that was, it was pathetic. I want a real fight, I'm not gonna fight you when you're drunk, Kurosaki.”

 

“I'm not drunk.”

 

“Inebriated,” Grimmjow snapped. “If you were at your best I wouldn't have been able to punch you in the face.”

 

Ichigo frowned, because he wasn’t necessarily wrong. He flexed stiff and aching fingers. “I can walk, go home.”

 

“I don't have anywhere better to be,” Grimmjow answered. Ichigo looked back at the demon, who was inspecting the bite on his forearm with a skeptical, investigative look. “They call me an animal. If this gets infected…*

 

Ichigo rolled his eyes. “ Please , as if you wouldn't have done the same. Your arm was right there.”

 

“Biting is pretty desperate,” Grimmjow said.

 

“Well, it worked,” Ichigo said, “So it's fair game.”

 

“You fight pretty dirty for a nephilim.”

 

“You said it yourself,” Ichigo growled, “I’m not nephilim.”

 

“Guess that’s true.”

 

The way Grimmjow said it made Ichigo glance back, but the arrancar was looking elsewhere, lost in thought. They walked in silence after that, both of their footsteps were quiet considering the pair of barflies. Ichigo got to his apartment, taking the steps with a hand on the rail, and yet, Grimmjow followed.

 

Fumbling with his keys, Ichigo turned the lock and shouldered the door open. Grimmjow turned and folded his legs, sitting his ass down on the steps. Ichigo paused, door half open, and looked at him. “What are you doing?”

 

“Waiting,” Grimmjow answered, his eyes on the small courtyard below.

 

Here ?!” Ichigo whisper-shouted, not wanting to catch the attention of his neighbors.

 

Grimmjow let his head fall back and drawled, “Did you think I was lying when I said I don’t got a place to be?”

 

He sort of had; Ichigo figured Grimmjow would just go off to do...demon things. Ichigo’s grip loosened on the door, unsure what to do about this. “Then go back to the bar, go away.”

 

“I want that fight,” Grimmjow growled. He tucked his hands in his pockets and stretched his legs out down the steps, making himself comfortable. “I’ll wait.”

 

“You can’t be serious,” Ichigo said. No response. Scowling, Ichigo cast a look up and down the hall, then pulled the keys from the door and said, “You’re not hanging out on the front steps, someone’s going to think I’m in a gang. Get in.”

 

Grimmjow looked back, eyes narrowed in confusion. “Huh?”

 

Gesturing, Ichigo pushed the door open a little wider. “Get in the goddamn door.”

 

Grimmjow made a chiding sound. “Language, Kurosaki.”

 

Ichigo bit back another swear and said, “Just get inside.”

 

“I ain’t goin’ in your house like some stray cat.”

 

“You said it, not me,” Ichigo pointed out. Grimmjow hadn’t budged, and after a few seconds of silence Ichigo hissed,  “Look, just get in before someone sees you and calls the cops.”

 

“Let em’,” Grimmjow argued.

 

“I’m not getting evicted over you. Get in the fucking apartment, or go away.”

 

Grimmjow scowled over his shoulder, then stood and shoved past him, shoulder knocking into Ichigo’s as he passed, just to prove a point.

 

Ichigo shut the door after him and locked it, tossing the keys on the counter. Seeing Grimmjow in his apartment was even stranger than touching his hand. It wasn’t so different than turning around to see he’d let a jaguar into his living room. Why had he done that? Was he some sort of idiot? You don’t lead enemies to your home and you sure as shit don’t let them into your house.

 

From the puzzled look on Grimmjow’s face as he looked around the room, the arrancar didn’t know either. Unsure what to do with himself, Grimmjow stood in place, frowning at every surface of the room in disgust.

 

Ichigo kicked his shoes off by the door and said, “Take off your shoes.”

 

Grimmjow looked down at his feet then asked, “Why? I ain’t stayin, and I’m not getting comfortable.”

 

“It’s my house, take your fucking shoes off.”

 

Grimmjow’s response was scathing. “I don’t even want to be here.”

 

Ichigo rubbed his temple and growled, “ God , why is everything a fight with you?”

 

“Was that rhetorical? Cause Daddy ain’t gonna answer ya, Kurosaki.”

 

Ichigo shrugged out of his filthy jacket with a dramatized sigh. He dropped it by the front door on his shoes and made a beeline for the bathroom, muttering, “I don’t even care anymore. By all means, don’t make yourself comfortable.”

 

Closing himself in the bathroom, Ichigo pressed his back to the door and let his head fall back against it with a dull thud. Well, now he wasn't lying to Inoue, because his head was pounding something fierce. It felt like karma, even if he wasn't sure if he believed in it.

 

Closing his eyes, Ichigo could make out the quiet, muffled sounds of Grimmjow moving about the next room. The very idea of leaving the demon unsupervised in his apartment was enough to spur him into motion.

 

Stripping out of filthy clothes, Ichigo started the exhausting process of cleaning himself. The soap stung his split knuckles and Zangetsu couldn’t help but prod him to heal it. That meant drawing on his demon side, ironic, and Ichigo didn’t think he wanted to. It wasn’t because of the nature of his power, but the circumstances of the injuries he’d suffered. He deserved to feel it, for being an idiot and just because he knew he was being an idiot didn’t mean he felt compelled to stop.

 

Once he’d washed the bar off of himself, he sank into the tub with a groan of relief. It was perhaps hotter than it should be, but the fire in his soul kept the heat at bay. Hellfire and soulfire burned something fierce, and he had both in spades.

 

Dozing on the edge of consciousness, Ichigo wasn't sure if his head hurt less or more, but he felt better than he did during the walk over. An hour in the tub and he'd almost forgotten Grimmjow. That's right, he had a demon in his living room.

 

Fingers pruney, Ichigo wasn't tipsy anymore and the aches and pains of a good brawl were starting to set in. Ichigo didn't mind that either. Not only did he deserve it, but healing himself for his bad choices felt like cheating.

 

Wrapping a towel around his waist, Ichigo knew he wasn’t doing it to be courteous to Grimmjow, which left one option; he didn’t want Grimmjow to see the goods. Why should he care? Judgement? Ichigo scoffed at the very notion.

 

Stepping out of the bathroom, Ichigo immediately noted Grimmjow was no longer wearing shoes and that he was snooping with no shame. The demon wasn't even being subtle about it. Grimmjow was going through his bookshelf like he was looking for money.

 

Ichigo asked, turning his words sharp, “ Can I help you ?”

 

Grimmjow flipped through the pages of a book then shoved it back with the rest with a scoff. “No, you took forever, I’m bored as fuck.” He looked back at Ichigo and froze, like he hadn’t expected him to be almost naked. Grimmjow’s eyes only lingered on his face long enough to note he was Ichigo, then dropped below the waist.

 

The silence stretched between them, Ichigo took the moment to approach. Grimmjow noted, “No scars.”

 

Ichigo paused. “What?”

 

The demon clarified, voice stripped of emotion. “You don't have any scars.”

 

Ichigo looked down on reflex, even knowing Grimmjow was right. “Healer friend, remember?”

 

“Why do you let that girl take that from you?” Grimmjow sounded angry, his eyes searching for something over Ichigo's skin he would never find.

 

Ichigo frowned. He knew what Grimmjow was asking and he didn't want to answer him or himself. He could ask Inoue not to, but she would ask why and she wouldn't understand. So he lived without.

 

Tossing the book in his hand on the bookshelf, Grimmjow crossed the living room with the smooth tension of a predator. Ichigo planted his feet and faced him, sensing aggression, but no real killing intent. Grimmjow stopped close, too close. He reached and Ichigo didn’t make a move, letting Grimmjow grab his hand.

 

The arrancar's thumb pressed into the healing wound, blood welling in his palm to drip on the floor. It hurt, but Ichigo didn’t react; his pain tolerance was high and pain was less distracting than the angry, potentially violent demon standing a few inches from his nose.

 

Grimmjow snarled, “You'd let her erase this too.” It wasn't a question, they both knew that he would.

 

Ichigo tugged his hand, but Grimmjow’s grip tightened, keeping Ichigo from stepping back. Ichigo asked, “Why do you care what I do?”

 

Grimmjow let his hand go to flatten it on Ichigo’s chest, shoving him back into the wall. Ichigo winced at the sudden violence against his bruised back, watching Grimmjow with caution. The arrancar leaned in and bared his teeth like a snarling dog. “Don’t tell me it doesn't bother you. This is pathetic, Kurosaki, look at this place.”

 

Ichigo didn't take his eyes from Grimmjow's, but he wasn't following.

 

“This place is practically empty, it doesn’t even smell like you. There's nothing in your fridge but water and beer, the books you have look brand new, you haven’t adopted any hobbies; this is a prison. Everything you are is in that sword, you can't hide that from me, Kurosaki.”

 

Ichigo lifted his hand to the demons wrist and warned, “Grimmjow.”

 

“You sweep up Soul Society's messes, they have your power on a rope around your neck. You don't even get to keep your scars.”

 

Ichigo’s grip tightened around Grimmjow's wrist. “Shut up.” He let his power bleed through, wings of sunset spreading in threat. His primaries brushed the ground and the front door, too cramped for a space so small. His power flared with the spike of his anger and discomfort.

 

The pressure on Ichigo’s chest increased rather than lessened and Ichigo felt a wave of annoyance. It wasn’t Grimmjow’s goddamn business, it was his own problem if he wanted to wallow in misery; it was his house, his rules, his life.

 

Grimmjow let his own power bleed through, blue flame licking his skin and smoldering in his eyes. The demon flashed  sharpened fangs as he growled, “They're throttling you and you're just letting them do it.”

 

The words Grimmjow spoke made sense and Ichigo hated it. Ichigo growled, “We're not friends.”

 

“Where were your friends when you were belly up to the shittiest bar in this fuckin’ town?” Grimmjow's claws dug into his chest, slamming him back into the wall with a shout. “Where were they?!”

 

Ichigo felt the need to defend his friends, he didn't know why Grimmjow's opinion mattered to him so much. “That isn't on them, that's on me.”

 

A laugh broke from Grimmjow's chest, goading. “ What , did you lie ? You're the shittiest liar I've ever met.”

 

Ichigo had enough, using his full strength to pull on Grimmjow's arm. Twisting, Ichigo flipped their positions, throwing Grimmjow back hard enough to crack the drywall. Ichigo held him there with a firm grip at the base of his neck. “Fuck off, Grimmjow. Why do you give a shit?” Wasn't that the winning question, and from the way Grimmjow's eyes narrowed, he wasn't sure about the answer either. “I don’t see you for years and you show up with critique ? No.”

 

Ichigo’s grip tightened on Grimmjow’s shoulder because the alternative was sending him through the wall. “ Fuck. Off.

 

To the surprise of no one, Grimmjow didn’t back down. The arrancar leaned in close, teeth bared in distaste. “They have you collared like a dog, it’s fucking insulting. If it didn’t bother you, you wouldn’t have found me.”

 

“I wasn't looking for you,” Ichigo growled.

 

Grimmjow smiled, flashing a mouthful of razors. “Bull shit , Kurosaki. I didn't even need to give you a nudge, you were doing just fine on your own.”

 

“Why do you care!” Ichigo shouted.

 

“You're not supposed to destroy yourself . Not like this.” Grimmjow kicked his shin like he was trying to knock his feet out from under him. Kurosaki winced but didn't budge. “ This isn't who I want to fight. Where the fuck is the nephilim I couldn't tear down, the demon that wouldn’t fucking kill me? I don't see him!

 

Ichigo threw his arm out, feathers ruffling in frustration. “Look around, Grimmjow, the war's over. The world-” The words died in his throat, his anger undercut by the chasm in his chest that had done nothing but yawn wider with each day that passed him by. The world doesn't need him anymore.

 

Grimmjow saw that look on his face and his features crumpled into disgust. “You don't belong here. You look around. What is this? It’s just a cage built of mediocrity. You’re better than this, Kurosaki.”

 

Ichigo snapped, “I'm not better than everyone else.”

 

“Did I say that? This is a slow suicide, you reek of despair.” Grimmjow glared at him through narrowed eyes, ignoring the hand so close to his neck. He brought his sword from the Betwixt, Ichigo could hear Grimmjow's hand tightening on the katana without needing to look.

 

Despair...Ichigo didn't feel like he was despairing, but if a demon smelled it on him, he couldn't pretend otherwise. Demons lied, but not Grimmjow. Ichigo didn't know why he knew that, but it just didn't benefit Grimmjow to lie.

 

Anger undercut by Grimmjow's simple observations, Ichigo's hand loosened on Grimmjow's shoulder. “I'm going to sleep, try not to break anything.”

 

Ichigo made it one step around him and Grimmjow caught him, his fingers rough against the bend of his arm. “I'm not done with you.”

 

Ichigo took a moment to wish the arrancar would stop touching him. Looking elsewhere, Ichigo's eyes landed in the dark of his room. “What do you want from me? You want me to admit I miss it, I want it?” His hands tightened into fists, the memory strong enough to feel the haunting fingers of pain sink past his skin.

 

Grimmjow's grip tightened, an excited edge lining his voice. “ That . I know you crave it; violence and battle and destruction, you can't hide from me nephilim.”

 

“So what, Grimmjow?”

 

You found me , Kurosaki.”

 

Those words rang in the silence, and Ichigo knew what Grimmjow was saying. His soul ached for something so deep, he'd been drawn to the very core of his desire. And it was desire.

 

Fine ,” Ichigo growled. He turned back, moving fast, faster than Grimmjow was expecting, and grabbed the other’s sword by the guard, holding the blade by the sheath. He beat his wings, knocking over something, but he didn't care, nothing here held meaning to him.

 

The forced knocked Grimmjow back and the continued momentum had them both smack on the floor. Somewhere between throwing him down and settling on top of him, Ichigo had lost his towel, but that feeling of vulnerability was gone. Why hide anything when Grimmjow could read him like an open book?

 

The demon ground his teeth, looking up at him in expectation, something dark and feral burning in those depths.

 

“You wanna hear that you’re right?” Ichigo was perched over the demon, one hand tight on Grimmjow’s sword, but the demon didn’t try to take it back. Ichigo’s other hand was flat against Grimmjow’s chest, too warm to be human, the scar on his chest too smooth beneath his fingers. Ichigo leaned closer, the demon watching him in wide eyed curiosity. “You're right , Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez. I hate my own skin, I feel like a fake.”

 

His pain was only in his heart, in his memories, and that made him wonder if it was real at all. He bared his teeth and hissed, “I want you, I want what I was. Is that want you want to hear?”

 

Grimmjow made no effort to remove him, his eyes burning with greed. “ Yes .”

 

Ichigo dug his fingers into corded muscle, sliding them higher up Grimmjow’s chest, over the roughened stain of ink. The demon caught his arm, stopping his progression short. Eyes narrowed, Grimmjow hissed. “Can you handle me, nephilim ?”

 

Ichigo’s answer came easy to him. “I already did, demon .” Steel, blood and violence, he was bred for these things but it was tempered by restraint and a burning need to protect. He knew his own heart, he was tired of pretending he didn’t want and Grimmjow was temptation and a solution.

 

Hand uncurling from Grimmjow’s sword, Ichigo shifted his hand to the floor, aware it was still bleeding judging from the slick slide of his palm but uncaring. Grimmjow watched him, his back flat on the floor and asked, “How do you know you can trust me?”

 

Ichigo let out a long slow breath from his nose, acceptance weighing on his heart. “I know who you are.”

 

Blue eyes sparked with anger. “ Do you ?”

 

Ichigo pinned Grimmjow with a hand on his chest, making damn certain he wasn’t going anywhere, and crushed his lips against the demon’s. He couldn’t revel in the soft give of lips because Grimmjow parted them to bite down on vulnerable flesh, the bitter taste of copper on his tongue.

 

Ichigo took that as encouragement, exploring the sharp ridges of Grimmjow’s teeth. Ichigo’s hand rested on the hollow of Grimmjow’s throat, realizing Grimmjow’s hand on his wrist had vanished. Feeling claws grab a handful of feathers answered the question of where it had gone. Grimmjow’s grip punishing, but he didn’t push Ichigo away, he tugged him closer.

 

Their kiss devolved into something frantic and needy, Grimmjow’s claws digging through ruffled feathers to bite through skin. His other hand found his ass, pulling Ichigo’s hips down to meet his crotch. That was more than a little uncomfortable, and after suffering it for a long minute, Ichigo pulled back with a throaty growl.

 

Grimmjow took that as an opportunity, his hand fisting in Ichigo’s hair to jerk his head back. Ichigo winced and Grimmjow pulled harder, rising up to knock his shoulder over and switch their positions with brute force. His wings must have hit something because he heard shattering, but Ichigo could care less.

 

Glaring up at Grimmjow, the demon smiled down at him like a starving shark at a feast. Blood stained his teeth, his lips stained red with it. The demon trailed his claws along the nape of his neck, pressing into soft, vulnerable flesh; testing. Ichigo rolled his head back, baring his throat, and Grimmjow stared down in fascination. “I could kill you.”

 

“You could,” Ichigo agreed. His jaw worked when he spoke, drawing blood at the press of his claws.

 

“I don’t know if you’re fearless or stupid,” Grimmjow said. He took his claws away, and Ichigo didn’t move, wondering what the demon would do.

 

Grimmjow straightened, shrugging out of his jacket, and kneed Ichigo’s legs apart. Ichigo hissed in disapproval and sat up, protesting, “Nooo, you’re not going to fuck me, Jaegerjaquez.”

 

The demon curled his lip in a snarl, reaching for his throat. Ichigo caught his hand this time, tightening his grip in warning. Grimmjow growled, “I’m sure as shit not letting you fuck me , Kurosaki.”

 

Ichigo didn’t respond, he only reached out for Grimmjow’s crotch, tightening his hand around the bulge in his pants enough for Grimmjow’s hand to snap out for a fistful of Ichigo’s hair with one hand and his wrist with the other. Grimmjow's grip tightening in tandem with Ichigo's. “ Hey ,” Grimmjow growled.

 

“Hey,” Ichigo parroted.  

 

Ichigo sat up, his grip lessening, but Grimmjow became a coiled live wire, his claws digging into Ichigo’s wrist hard enough to draw blood. Ichigo leaned in to kiss gritted teeth, and after a confused pause, Grimmjow's jack slackened, allowing Ichigo in.

 

Ichigo's grip lessened to nothing more than a firm squeeze, his fingers finding the zipper on his pants. Ichigo pulled the zipper slow, lingering on each rung, but Grimmjow noticed and leaned back to pant. “What are you doing?”

 

It was clear what he was doing, but Grimmjow looked like he wanted a game plan. Ichigo wasn’t even sure himself, but he knew what he didn’t want. He answered, “Taking off your pants, stupid.”

 

Grimmjow studied him for a moment, his expression a tight mask of heated emotions too fleeting to read. He dropped a hand down to his own waistband, reaching to do Ichigo’s work for him.

 

Frustrated, Ichigo ground his teeth together and grabbed the back of his neck, grinding his nails into the nape and bringing Grimmjow’s head closer for a savage kiss, biting into his lips as some form of punishment.

 

Grimmjow bit back, the kiss more a fight now than something intimate. Instinctive action demanded Ichigo to scrape his nails down the nape of his neck, dragging his fingers low to scratch between his shoulder blades. Grimmjow jerked back from the kiss and made a rather gutted sound, back arching up and seriously-?

 

“You really are a cat,” Ichigo said with mild amusement.

 

“Shut up,” Grimmjow said, baring teeth with his hackles raised. Ichigo didn’t stop the grin that crept along his face, almost a cocky smirk with the natural furrow in his brow. He tested the theory, raking his nails with more force down the other’s spine to the base of his spine, raising angry and heated welts that would no doubt heal within minutes.

 

Grimmjow arched his head back and groaned, eyes fluttering shut, but not from pain.

 

Ichigo starred in rapt attention. “Holy shit,” he murmured, gleeful at this ridiculous bit of important information. Delicious fantasies of himself directing Grimmjow’s pleasure as one with a symphony played out in his mind, his dick twitching at the thought of the other moaning his name over and over again. God, how far could he arch his back? How loud would he cry out? How desperate for his touch would he become?

 

Grimmjow's eyes snapped open, trance broken by irritation. “You’re fucking dead, Kurosaki.” He dropped forward, snapping his jaws tight over the junction of his neck and shoulder. He bit down hard, teeth puncturing flesh with savage intent.

 

Ichigo let out a sharp yelp and his hands came up to grip Grimmjow’s shoulders, his nails digging in, but he couldn’t bring himself to push him away or pull the demon closer, both were an admission he didn’t want to give.

 

Grimmjow worried the bite, groaning around a mouthful of blood, tongue rasping across the expanse of Ichigo’s neck, coming up to break out a sinister smile with an obnoxious amount of cocky smugness. Ichigo wanted to break that face. With his foot. Over a canyon.

 

“At least you taste better than you look,” Grimmjow mocked. His teeth were red with blood, the fuckin’ vampire. “I’m gonna drain you fuckin’ dry.”

 

“God, do you ever shut up?” This time, Ichigo did push him back, using force to shove enough empty space between them that he could take Grimmjow’s hardening dick and do something with it, since the other wasn’t taking the opportunity.

 

Grimmjow growled, hand coming around to make a grab for the nephilim’s hair and pulled. Ichigo hissed, eyes squeezed tight, but he didn’t let go, the proximity a sudden an amazing opportunity to bring both their dicks together, the slide like hot velvet, dragging a groan from both.

 

Then Grimmjow was growling, one hand moving to join Ichigo in jerking them off, his hand a burning vice around Ichigo’s dick, the rough slide of his palm grating against his sensitive member. Ichigo loved it. He hated it, hated this desperate need within him for pain, pleasure, the fight, the war, but he loved the thin balance between it all. He loved the opposing forces that pushed and pulled, dragged him under and raised him up. It called out to his blood and his blood sang back.

 

It was familiar.

 

Grimmjow’s other hand came up and clamped down over his throat, a hard squeeze drawing him back to the demon in front of him, staring down with hard eyes of molten glass dipped in mercury. His thumb swayed from the hard beating arterie, grazing over his windpipe, and he pressed forward-

 

Grimmjow didn’t let up, testing the control Ichigo gave him, and the seconds pounded on with the roar of blood in his ears. Ichigo’s sight turned spotty, that moment hyper-focused in this rictus of pain and pleasure, drowning out everything but this . Grimmjow’s desperate, hot gasps between them filled the space and demanded attention.

 

Without warning, Ichigo’s hand was pulled away from their dicks, replaced with a rather apathetic hand that killed the rising sense of orgasm in four hard strokes.

 

Grimmjow suddenly released his throat, Ichigo gasping for a fresh breath, blinking away the black and white spots in his eyes at the heady rush of oxygen.

 

“Wha-”  Ichigo started.

 

“We’re not gonna fucking come like two rutting fledglings,” Grimmjow spat. His voice turned heady, the growl of a promise in his tone. “I’m going to fuck you and you get to come with my dick up your ass.”

 

There was only one thing Ichigo could say.

 

“Make me.”

 

The answering smile made Ichigo’s gut swoop in anticipation.

 

Grimmjow bent down once again, stealing a rough kiss, more tongue now than teeth, and Ichigo could taste his own blood in the other's mouth. The hand at his throat moved down, edging nails past his clavicle until they met his nipple. With no thought or hesitation, Grimmjow twisted.

 

Ichigo sang his lust, back arching up, fingers gripping tight at the skin between his naked shoulderblades, raking nails down in retaliation, his legs kicking out and yet his dick gave a rather telling jerk of want.

 

Grimmjow pulled away, letting go of the tortured nipple to look down at the other’s dick now streaming precum.

 

“Knew it,” he said, “A little pain whore, aren’t you?” It wasn’t so much of a question than it was an obvious statement of fact, one that pissed Ichigo off.

 

“Knew what?” Ichigo challenged, shoving Grimmjow by one shoulder to flip them over but the motion was aborted, the other moving to shove a now naked thigh between his legs, pants now gone and forgotten. Ichigo sucked in a fast breath, unprepared to clamp down on  reaction he hadn’t even known he’d have. The smile Grimmjow gave him was full of a cocky satisfaction, one that knew too much.

 

“You,” Grimmjow mused, “You’re so fucking obvious sometimes.”

 

“Obvious to you,” Ichigo said trying to shimmy his legs out from underneath.

 

“Yeah, to me.” Grimmjow ducked back in to give a hard kiss, one that pressed the bloodied cut of his lip back and stinging, but he moved on. Moved down. Scraping teeth against his jawline, pressing razor sharp kisses and nips down his throat, laving his tongue over the lingering wounds he had left behind. He moved on, visiting the neglected nipple and giving it a courtesy suckle in greeting, introducing teeth to nip at the delicate flesh.

 

Ichigo moved his hands from shoulders to ruffled locks of blue hair, threading his fingers then  kneading into firm tugs as Grimmjow worried the erect nub. Small bursts of pleasure interlocked with dull pain pilfered his senses, his head tilting back to just feel the moment.

 

It didn’t last long. Sensing the lull, Grimmjow turned his head and bit down, sharp canines pinching.

 

Ichigo hissed, hands tightening around his horns in a solid attempt to tug him off. His knee came up to dislodge Grimmjow's hips, but he already moved on, taking advantage of Ichigo’s widened stance to bully his way down between thighs.

 

“Good morning, glory,” Grimmjow greeted his dick with a shit eating grin.

 

“I’m going to pretend you didn’t just say that,” Ichigo complained. Hands tightening again in his hair, he tried tugging his head down towards his crotch, “Get on with it.”

 

Grimmjow did nothing that was expected of him, as per usual. He pressed a strangely intimate kiss to the dip of his hip and trailed down, circling around the dick standing at attention for him, kissing and pinching the sweaty skin between his teeth to elicit delightfully soft moans. He teased down his thighs, hands that bracketed his hips smoothing around to take a grip of Ichigo’s ass, raising it up just a tad as his mouth trailed underneath where he wanted him.

 

Ichigo spread his knees, a silent invitation to continue, and felt the tip of his nose press against his taint, a hot breath passing over his entrance and he was wracked with shivers, the whisper of possibilities teasing his mind.

 

It made him oddly angry, frustration gripping his insides. It rushed through his blood much like the pounding lust, the intrusive thought that there could be more . The reality that this thing right now wasn’t just a one time deal, that Ichigo not only wanted to fuck Grimmjow, but there was a very high chance that Grimmjow could fuck him . He hated this.

 

This thing. This thing that he didn't want to admit, but needed all the same.

 

Grimmjow moved on, nosing up to his balls, hands edging further down to catch the crease of his thighs and hips. They slid up and around as Grimmjow moved, hot breath grazing Ichigo's straining dick, a whisper of a touch he didn’t get.

 

“Oh, you're gonna like this,” Grimmjow threatened. He dove his head down, taking in Ichigo’s cock in one impressive move of skill while tearing through the bare skin of his thighs with ten wicked claws. The wounds weren't anywhere near deep, blood beading out in thin lines, but the wounds weren't the goal.

 

It was the pain.

 

Ichigo cried out, sensation assaulting his senses, adrenaline rushing up, blinding him for a moment as his heart rate kicked into high gear, the urge to fight kicking his gut and yet…it was just…so… good.

 

Grimmjow came back up, licking around the head of his leaking dick like a damn lollipop.

 

“You like pain,” he observed, delving his tongue a little into the slit, “You crave the hurt just as much as the fight.”

 

One of his hands came up and took a hold his dick, startling Ichigo with the realization that his hand was slick with blood. His blood. A noise of disgust escaped him and he rose on his elbows to voice his complaints, but Grimmjow didn't let him get that far.

 

He dipped down and slid a rough tongue over the wounds, tasting the blood and sweat with a groan of delight.

 

“Do you know what you taste like, Kurosaki?” He asked but didn’t expect an answer, savoring the taste, “Do you even know that demons can taste the darkest virtue in your blood?”

 

Ichigo stiffened and despite the rising panic fluttering in his chest, something excited churned in the deepest part of his soul. Something that lashed out to be recognised.

 

“I can taste the demon in you,” Grimmjow continued, licking blood off sweat soaked thighs, drinking the taste of nephilim power, not even noticing the hyper focus of the other. “Underneath all that soulfire, you have the taste of hell. Did you know?”

 

“No,” Ichigo hissed. The fascination was getting old. He didn't want to know. Didn't want to fall down so deep as to admit it aloud. Grimmjow was a psychopath half the time they're fighting, of course he would be like this here.

 

Infuriating. Digging deep underneath the skin. Seeing past everything Ichigo put forward, seeing past his best self and searching for the deep, dark parts of his being. The ugly bits. The parts Ichigo kept secret. The things no one knew about, things no one could even guess. Grimmjow saw past all the bullshit and cleaved straight through to the hell inside him.

 

Something in his voice or his body betrayed him, and Grimmjow looked up. His pupils were dilated, but his expression twisted into stone resolve, the horns framing his head gleaming in the weak light that streamed through his windows, setting the severity of his expression. He moved up, forcing their faces together until there was nowhere else to look at but him, a growl rumbling in the other's chest much like a panther.

 

“No?” he snarled, throwing his words back in his face. Grimmjow’s hand still moved, jerking him off in a tight and unforgiving grip that brought more pain than pleasure. “I want it all. I can taste your fucking virtue, Kurosaki, but there’s more than that. I taste the demon too. Do you know what I taste?”

 

“Shut up,” Ichigo demanded, hands moving to force the demon into silence, but Grimmjow just grabbed both his wrists and pinned them to the ground and continued, relentless.

 

“I taste rot,” he said. Like a lover would whisper sweet nothings, he tore down Ichigo's fortitude of silence, by speaking aloud the ugly things left abandoned in his soul. “Curdling blood spent too long in the hot sun. You taste like the vultures with a taste for human flesh. Your blood sings through war drums and battle horns. Want to know what your soul is screaming? Want to know what your sin tastes like?”

 

Ichigo already knew.

 

“War,” he whispered, his voice rough, raw, and if sound could bleed, this would.

 

“Yes, war,” Grimmjow agreed, his smile savage and gleeful. “Delicious. Strongest shit I ever tasted. But this-”

 

Both of his hands come down to rest on Ichigo's ruined thighs, his fingers spread and pulled apart the clotted wounds to expose fresh blood to the open air. Ichigo hissed at the pain, it wasn't enough to become pleasure, but that wasn't Grimmjow's intention.

 

“- This is heavenly.

 

“What are you doing?” Ichigo questioned. The longer Grimmjow kept talking, the more he wanted to end this now. His concussion was gone, healed from time and hellfire. Without the slight disorientation, Grimmjow’s egotism was on full display and Ichigo wasn’t feeling very forgiving of it. He wasn’t someone to play around with.

 

“Trying to prove a point,” Grimmjow said, digging his claws into the still bleeding lines, cutting deeper into the flesh. Ichigo groaned in pain, the pleasure following soon afterwards but everything was too high-strung to be enjoyable. Grimmjow didn't let him. “Show me the demon,” he demanded.

 

“No,” Ichigo insisted.

 

“I could always just make you.”

 

“How would you make me?” Ichigo challenged, annoyed by how weak his voice sounded with how breathy he had become.

 

“I'll gut you right here and now,” Grimmjow threatened, “I'll tear your heart out. Then you'll have to bring out that demonic hellfire you want so badly to hide. Not from me . Not anymore.” His grip tightened, claws sinking into flesh and he snarled, “Do it. Become the Demon of War your blood so names you.”

 

Ichigo had had enough of him talking, talking, too much talking . Who was Grimmjow to demand something of him? He didn’t deny his heritage. He wasn't trying to hide it. He was no coward , no insecure fledgling that didn't know his own soul. He was Kurosaki Ichigo .

 

He let go of his control, let the hellfire rise up under his skin in a rush of welcome heat. A black abyss tattooed itself over his heart, thick tendrils of lashing rays wrapping around his chest and up his throat, streaming over his now black sclera, the chocolate brown of his iris burning bright vermillion. His fiery orange hair lengthened and streamed darkness, black strands falling over his shoulders and pooling around his head. Reality flickered, the appearance of two thick and wicked horns adorning his head like a crown, declaring him the Demon of War.

 

Grimmjow jerked back, rising on his knees to look down at the hybrid below him, power simmering underneath the surface of the mortal world like a volcano threatening to rupture. In answer, Grimmjow's own eyes glowed feral, canines elongated and estigma that stretched back to his more demonic ears quivered in some primitive answer. His bright blue hair grew long, streaming down to the base of his spine, the two different sets of horns around his head streamed black shadows, weapons of the dark. His tattoos pulsed with a blue light, streams of hellfire pumping through the trails of ink like a map. The two auras of energy intermixed, War and Destruction, the scent catastrophic and oh so delicious.

 

Ichigo, up on his elbows, glared in hot fury at the other.

 

“Who the fuck do you think you're talking to?” Ichigo’s voice was different. A twisted sound of nails scraping across cell room floors, the trembling promise of fathomless power.

 

Grimmjow looked down at him with a smile that spoke of promised pain and pleasure.

 

That's more like it.”

 

The Demon of Destruction bent back down for a taste of Ichigo’s blood covered dick, moaning at the new taste of his precum and the delicious flavor of debauchery on his tongue.

 

Ichigo hummed in satisfied pleasure, threading his fingers back into a wild mane  of blue hair, sliding his thumbs over the arch of pointed, furred demon ears that cause them to shiver in bliss. Grimmjow enthusiastically sucked his dick, using his tongue and the walls of his mouth in expert technique, playing on the edge of danger by scraping teeth, but Ichigo had no fear. There was no need for threats when they both wanted the same thing.

 

At the sudden feeling of dry fingers teasing his entrance, Ichigo grabbed a firm hold of his horns to jerk him up, ripping his own dick out of that hot mouth slick from spit, blood, and precum.

 

No ,” he said. Grimmjow's eyes narrowed in obvious irritation.

 

“Kuro-”

 

“We’re not fucking on the floor of my living room,” Ichigo cut off.

 

Grimmjow's glare became thoughtful, then brightened at the obvious conclusion. “Bed?”

 

“Bed.”

 

The journey from living to bedroom was a short one, interrupted by Grimmjow twisting his fist around a lock of long black hair. He turned Ichigo around and plundered his mouth, the taste of precum and his own blood still present, but he couldn't care less. All he did care about was the hot slide of tongue, the hands raking through his hair and the body pressed against his front that burned with power.

 

Ichigo didn't even notice their approach to the bed, too busy sucking face, caressing skin, and trailing fingers over the rough scars and glowing tattoos of the other’s chest. His legs hit the edge of the bed and Grimmjow pushed him over and back. A small sound escaped as his back hit the mattress, staring up at the demon that now loomed over him.

 

Grimmjow stood naked, skin glowing from hellfire tattoos that marked rank and power. His clawed hands, but now covered in black shadows that stretched up to his forearms. He bared his teeth in a pathetic excuse for a smile, shining in the weak moonlight that streamed through the blinds. His eyes glowed blue and boiling with lust, horns black and threatening. His dick, framed by bright blue pubes, stood at attention, drooling precum in slick desire.

 

Ichigo drank in the visage of the stunningly gorgeous demon. Grimmjow returned the favor, but he wasn't satisfied.

 

“Bring them out,” Grimmjow demanded with impatience, his voice rumbling out like the growl of a panther in the dead of night, glaring at Ichigo’s wings.

 

“What?” Ichigo said, not seeing the problem.

 

“No,” he said as if were talking to a slow child, “Bring them out, demon .”

 

Ichigo did nothing, watching his expression and any hidden cues upon Grimmjow’s person but finding none.

 

The other sneered down at him, clearly irritated with how slow he was being and then deciding to show him rather than explain. His shoulders hunched, eyes closed and lips curled back in a snarl as his entire body wracked itself in shivers. Shadows flickered across the room and though Ichigo thought he saw something, it wasn’t enough to hint at what the hell the demon was doing.

 

Grimmjow growled, a deep and threatening sound like that of distant thunder, tossing his head to the side to look behind him and he heaved forward and the Betwixt shuddered as he pulled out his wings.

 

His wings.

 

Ichigo sat up, his attention fully riveted forward, heart beating faster the more time past and he realized just how far Grimmjow was willing to take this.

 

Now Ichigo understood. Demons didn’t show their wings. It was rare even in battle for demons to make physical their wings, pulling them out when their very life depended on it or as an intimidation tactic of power reserved for the strongest of Arrancar. Ichigo had only witnessed one pair of demon wings in their battle during the war that turned into calamity. Ulquiorra’s.

 

But to show wings during sex was intimate . Terrifyingly so. To demons, to show wings was a threat, more literal a statement of premeditated murder than a execution order. But there were no threats here, no reason for a fight, for hatred, for strung out guts and hearts in the palm of hands. This was no declaration of death, but a promise of commitment.

 

‘I show you these, because I will not hurt you.’

 

‘I could kill you, but I won’t.’

 

Grimmjow’s wings were huge, stretching up over his head and spread in a glorious showcase, spanning four meters in diameter if not for his bedroom walls to cramp them down. They were of black leather, blue lightning hellfire pulsing through a spiderweb of veins with the pulse of his heart. Ridged scales crested the forearm like dragon armor, tufts of black fur trimmed the look and stretching down to the skin. Five vicious claws on each side tipped each finger, no doubt sharp and set to stab and rip through his opponents wings in aerial flight.

 

His wings were just as lethal as their owner; a promise of violence, pain, and blood.

 

Grimmjow stared down at Ichigo with an unreadable expression, face turned as if he couldn’t help the instinctive need to turn away from a moment so vulnerable. Ichigo sat up, bringing his hands forward to collect the other’s hips. He pressed wet kisses along a plane of hardened muscle, licking the salt of his navel and sank lower.

 

He was interrupted by a hand fisted in black hair, yanking his head back. “Show me,” Grimmjow snarled, voice rough around sharpened teeth and lust. Ichigo’s eyes narrowed at the demand, glancing back at his angel wings that flexed behind him. Ichigo ignored the demon’s wants, jerking backwards. He continued to press teasing nips and kisses along the angular dip of Grimmjow’s hipbone, then moved on, scenting musk and sweat, to lick around the demon’s bulbous head.

 

Grimmjow growled above him, yanking harder at his hair, but Ichigo was immovable. The hybrid loosely wrapped his fingers around his pulsing shaft to kiss the head of his cock. He tasted the salt of precum, arousal and something else. Something he couldn’t describe.

 

“Kurosaki-.” His wings were already out but that wasn’t what Grimmjow wanted. Grimmjow wanted his demon wings. Ichigo had never seen, or tried to materialize them, but by instinct he knew how. He drew the hellfire within his soul to the surface, first at a trickle and then at a flood to reach places unventured, and he moaned. Like life brought back to a dead limb, suddenly his entire back, spine, and wings were alight with sensation. Bone and tendon cracked and stretched, burning with pain, but god was it good. Finally, he felt whole, born anew, and deliciously real. Alive.

 

The adrenaline rushing through his veins unconsciously made him suckle harder, lips stretched around the girth of the cock as he sank down deeper, inhaling more of Grimmjow’s musk, the scent caustic and biting in his nose. The ache settling into his jaw wasn’t concerning with the weight of Grimmjow’s dick on his tongue. Grimmjow’s hand, locked in his hair, pulled tighter and Ichigo’s resulting moan caused the other to vibrate in pleasurable tension.

 

He continued sucking with no real technique beyond the lurching rise and fall of his head, sucking hard on the up and groaning on the down, lavishing the glans on the underside of his head with lips and tongue wet with thick saliva, his hand reaching up to tease and roll the heavy testicles at his chin. His tongue pressed up in protest, tears pulling at the corners of his eyes when he sank down, taking the last few inches of neglected dick to stroke with the clenching of his throat.

 

Grimmjow gave an awful groan, like his very heart was punched out of him to see the erotic sight of Ichigo with his lips spread tight around his dick, cheeks suctioned and to feel that tight press of heat and soaking wet mouth. That throat was even better, maddening, the head of his dick was squeezed deep and burning hot. Ichigo’s enthusiasm was appreciated. Grimmjow moaned like a two dollar whore, shaking above him where he had bent at the waist, cupping the back of ichigo’s head closer.

 

Then his large hands gripped tighter and above him, Grimmjow growled, a low, threatening sound. One that raised Ichigo’s hackles and made him feel less. No. That wasn’t a word he thought to say, but one he felt rile his instincts in distaste. He wasn’t some bitch come crawling into his bed for a chance to taste him. No , this demon was only so lucky to gain his attention, attention all too easily revoked.

 

Ichigo growled back, a rumble that echoed in his chest, and dug his claws into hips to pull away, but his head was locked tight between Grimmjow’s hands, pushing him to take more.

 

Grimmjow ignored that warning, teeth bared in a snarl, and pulled back just enough for a brief respite of air. Without warning, the demon thrust back into the tightness of his throat, his balls slapping against the underside of Ichigo’s jaw. Ichigo gagged, the flood of drool around his dick making Grimmjow groan. Irritation sparked a wave of hellfire over his skin, his spine stiffening in distaste. No more warnings .

 

In retaliation, Ichigo lightly pressed his teeth down to the base of his cock, scrapping hard and unforgiving when the demon pulled back out to thrust again. Grimmjow would not take his mouth. Ichigo would give, but never would Grimmjow be allowed to take .

 

Grimmjow cried out, his grip loosening, and Ichigo jerked back, his teeth scraping the sensitive glans at the head of his cock. With a startled shock, Ichigo felt a pulse of hellfire on his tongue, dick straining with need and power. Ichigo managed to pull off and catch a lungful of air, licking the tingle along his lips.

 

He almost felt flattered, knowing that Grimmjow had a two-for-one boner with both his physical and spiritual form, just for him, but he was too busy being pissed. The bite of hellfire enriched precum lingered on his tongue and sparked both hate and lust, torn with an insane need to either eat Grimmjow alive or eat Grimmjow alive , and it disturbed him to think he might enjoy both.

 

Grimmjow reached for his dick to finish what Ichigo started, breath heaving with the desperate desire to cum. Ichigo’s hand snapped out to stop him, not pleased with the idea he should let Grimmjow lick his wounds, so to speak. He earned that, he deserved every bit of that pain, no matter how brief the sweep of hellfire might make it.

 

Hand tight around Grimmjow’s wrist, he saw he surprised the demon. Still hadn’t learned, even after he’d treated his dick to the threat of teeth, blood, and pain. Ichigo straightened, so he wasn’t looked down on, and fixed blue eyes with a steady glare. “I set the pace, not you.”

 

“Or what?”

 

Anger blazed in his chest and his grip on Grimmjow’s wrist tightened to grind bones, snapping his wings open in genuine threat. “ Guess , asshole.”

 

Grimmjow stiffened, falling silent.

 

Kurosaki,” he whispered as if strangled and punched hard in the chest. Ichigo’s rage wasn’t let go so easily, but he abated, confused. Grimmjow staring in awe at his wings. But why? Grimmjow had seen his wings. Everyone had. His plumage of the dawn and dusk was the stuff of legend and envy. Angels had no qualm with wings shown at any given time. But Grimmjow was staring now at his wings like he was shown something magnificent.

 

Grimmjow’s violence had caved in on itself when he’d spread his wings, Ichigo decided there was little to no risk to glance over his shoulders to see what was so fascinating.

 

“Huh,” Ichigo said, “That’s...different.”

 

His wings weren’t as large as Grimmjow’s, a few palms shorter but they were without a doubt thicker, corded muscle at a bulk after so much use in the war, the long and thick feathers hiding the true weight underneath. The mass was the same, it was everything else that was different.

 

His once gorgeous expanse of bright autumn feathers changed, now nearly entirely pitch black with only a shine of blood red. The edge of each individual feather was tipped with gold, like obsidian daggers crafted for sacrificial ceremony. The scarlet only shone at certain angles, the black swallowing the mass of his wings whole if not for the rare cuts of arterial blood that gleamed under the light of the moon and Grimmjow’s hellfire.

 

The black reflected no light save for the flashes of red and cutting edges of gold. It all translated into something Ichigo wasn’t prepared to see let alone show to his once enemy.

 

‘I am more powerful than you know.’

 

‘I am a danger to your existence.’

 

Ichigo ducked his wings down to fold them against his back, but Grimmjow’s hand shot out to stop him. He grabbed the bend of one wing, keeping his grip soft as to not cut his palm against the razor sharp gold of his feathers, though by the smell of wet copper, he didn’t entirely succeed.

 

Too many emotions were raw in his chest, he wasn’t willing to let Grimmjow see the doubt he hadn’t ever come to grips with, the reality that he was something savage and frightening. Something that had drawn nothing but primal fear from his friends, a monster that had no place in this world of sunshine and peace.

 

Grimmjow growled, grabbing his chin, turning his head and laying a vicious kiss that cut into the other’s mouth, forcing his tongue inside to ravage the blundering thoughts that were killing the mood.

 

“Don’t you fucking dare hide,” he growled through desperate pecks. His breathing became labored, eyes flickering up to his wings, then looking down on Kurosaki, “Don’t you ever hide those from me.”

 

Grimmjow pushed him back onto the bed, kneeling between his legs as he drank his fill of the sight. Ichigo now noticed the flush rising on the other’s skin, how heavy the pulsating hellfire now pounded behind his tattoos. The demon couldn’t look away from the slow opening stretch of wings, eyes riveted and absorbed in lust. Things started clicking into place and Ichigo had to grin.

 

“You hot for wings now?”

 

Your wings,” Grimmjow admitted absently. He reached out with a hand to card his fingers through the underside. It was rather easy to bypass the golden knife edge of his feathers and he abused the fact to pet the skin underneath. Ichigo let out a reflexive little moan, his wings falling into hyperactive sensation after such a sensuous touch.

 

Grimmjow bent down once again to give him a lusty kiss, all tongue and no finesse, more of a desperate fucking of mouths than anything else. His fingers were softly trailing through his feathers, causing shivers to run up and down Ichigo’s spine, the feedback from overstimulated nerves assaulting him.

 

“Fuck, you’re so hot,” Grimmjow mumbled, moved down to lay siege to his neck. “Got you. Got your fucking wings.”

 

“That’s presumptuous,” Ichigo muttered. “What makes you think you’ve got me ?”

 

Grimmjow peeled himself away to glare down at him like the answer was obvious, and Ichigo arched a brow in return. Grimmjow scoffed, “Everything with you is difficult.” Ichigo rolled his eyes, as if that wasn’t the pot calling the kettle black. “I earned this, fuck me if I’m not gonna enjoy it.”

 

Ichigo couldn’t help but bare his teeth in distaste. “I’m not a prize .”

 

Grimmjow smirked and prodded him with words like he might prod a sleeping cat. “More like a spoil of war.”

 

Ichigo felt something hot flash in his chest in genuine rage. He wasn’t the joy of victory, he was the price of it, he was the war , he wasn’t at the beck and call of a single demon. Ichigo clenched his jaw and held that need for violence back, something Grimmjow noticed and held in deep distaste. “I don’t fuckin’ understand you sometimes, Kurosaki. You deny all the best parts of yourself.”

 

Ichigo didn’t like the turn of the conversation, so he steered it back. He spoke slowly, focused on his answer, “You never liked my wings.”

 

“There’s nothing to like about angel wings,” Grimmjow sneered, moving his mouth down to his shoulder, probably to get a closer look at his feathers, the fetishizing creep. “You fluffy bastards wouldn’t know a sexy wing if it hit you in the fucking face. You think too much about how pretty your wings have to be.” He scoffed as if that was particularly offensive, then his tone shifted back into awe. “The wings you got now are...”

 

He removed his mouth from the fresh hickey at his shoulder to look him straight in the eye. Grimmjow’s eyes shined bright blue, the flames of his hellfire almost leaping out to physical form with the intensity of his desire, burning in a furnace of lust.

 

“- Godly,” he said, moving his hands from their carding to stroke the feathered forearm in praise. Ichigo had had enough of his talk, reaching a hand out to grab Grimmjow’s head to bring him back down in a kiss. With one hand stroking Ichigo’s wings causing waves of satisfied pleasure down his spine, the other hand wrapped around his dick and started to stroke, keeping the member very much invested.

 

Impatient, Ichigo reached his other arm out to find his bedside drawer, lube stashed away and ready for use. He had to rip his mouth away from the other to find the damn thing, but Grimmjow didn’t last a second without his mouth working, dipping down to his neck again. Ichigo moaned, his hand grabbing the bottle of lube and he knocked it against the other’s arm for attention.

 

Grimmjow leaned up and off, the cold surrounding air causing his nipples to tighten. The other grabbed the lube and spread the slick through his fingers, rubbing them together to get it warmed up.  He leaned back over Ichigo and with a shit-eating grin, gave him the softest, most chaste kiss he’d received that night.

 

“What are you doing?” Ichigo asked, feeling warm hands slide from his ribs down to caress his waist, a slow movement that in his impatience, loathed.

 

“Beg,” Grimmjow mumbled through soft kisses at his cheekbones, which was... freaky . Then Ichigo understood what he said.

 

He grabbed Grimmjow by the horn to rip him back and snarl, “What did you just say?”

 

“Beg,” he repeated himself, a nasty sneer on his face, “Beg for my fingers up your ass, or this isn’t going to be fun.”

 

“Fuck. You,” Ichigo hissed.

 

The answering grin just seethed with how ironic he thought it was. “No, I’m fucking you.”

 

His lubed fingers reached down to rub against his entrance, teasing the rim with fleeting pressure. Ichigo was snarling, writhing beneath the demon, affronted by his audacity. Grimmjow reached to grab his wing, and Ichigo beat them back against the bed, out of reach. He’d touch when and if he wanted it, and at the moment, he wanted to be the one to give.

 

He took shit from everyone, and goddamn Grimmjow straight back to the fiery pits of hell where he belonged, Ichigo wasn’t going to take it from him.

 

It was maddening. The rage that always boiled in his gut when he indulged his darker heritage choked up his lungs and gnawed at his heart. Ichigo saw red.

 

“Who the does he think you are?” Zangetsu whispered, and something inside him trembled .

 

Ichigo couldn’t think past the pounding of his heart, the hot breath that cracked past his lips like fire, rage and blood curdling with the urge to rend. Memory, instinct, the black tendril of his sins corrupted Ichigo’s thoughts, power pulsating through his veins. Something was breaking out, coming into fruition. Maybe there was a little piece of Ichigo that was alarmed, but it was smothered under all of his soul whispering, ‘Be.’

 

Who was Grimmjow to make him beg. He did not beg.

 

There was no mercy given to Kurosaki Ichigo. The Demon of War had no mercy to give.

 

With both hands, he grabbed Grimmjow by the horns, twisting him up to look him straight in the eye. The expression on the demon’s face was first disgruntled,  his mouth opening to complain, but one look at Ichigo’s face and all that cocky arrogance died.

 

I. Don’t. Beg ,” he snarled, done with all this bullshit, done with having to deal with the fury at being cast aside like trash by the angels, done with Grimmjow and his my-dick-is-bigger-than-your-dick attitude.

 

He was done .

 

Ichigo ripped Grimmjow’s head further back, his wings punching off the bed to send them up and over. Grimmjow grunted when his back hit the mattress, claws reaching up to tear away hands from horns. Fine. He could have that.

 

Both hands released, one moving down to the other’s clavicle to bare down his weight, the other hand with his elongated claws scratched against the scar that bisected down Grimmjow’s chest. His scar.

 

Grimmjow stiffened, the very real threat of Ichigo ripping him open, towering above with the indiscriminate fury of something old, something lacking reason or understanding of cruelty. His demon wings spread, hackles and feathers shivering in his fury.

 

And he was pissed.

 

Ichigo dropped his head down to give a punishing kiss, using teeth to tear at soft flesh, not even noticing the blood splattering his tongue. Grimmjow was straining up, trying to push him off and back, trying to get leverage, but Ichigo wasn’t having it. He shoved himself down in between his thighs, the hand at the scar moving down to grab hips and press a clawed hand down on the soft give of his stomach.

 

“Behave, ” Kurosaki growled. Grimmjow stared up at him, not comprehending, but smart enough to know that to move now would not end well. His breathing stuttered, then fell quiet, his stillness unnatural but unconcerning.

 

Ichigo moved the hand at his waist, trailing his fingers up until just his claws touched the soft skin underneath, down past all the scars and tattoos, running into a very erect and leaking dick. With no sympathy, he took a strangling hold of a viper on the throbbing member, stroking one punishing stroke up until his thumb swiped over the head. Grimmjow groaned, grinding his teeth together in frustration.

 

“Kurosaki, what the fuck-”

 

“You,” his voice rumbled with the hollowness of Tartarus, “Have no idea of what I am.”

 

Another stroke, this time with a punishing thumb to press against the frenulum of his dick while his vice of a grip remained immoveable.

 

“Me, in this form, and you believe me pliant? You think me weaker than you because I’m half? I am more.” He chuckled low in his throat, a chiding sound, his eyes wide with feral interest at the demon beneath him. His black hair curtained them off from the rest of the world and he leaned close. “Beg,” he spat the word with disgust, “I’m insulted.”

 

Grimmjow failed to choke back a yell when Ichigo stroked him once again. His thumb rose up and the tip of his claw dipped into the fragile slit of his cock, gently pushing it in for only a few millimeters, but the threat was enough. It got him as still as possible, trembling under the weight of danger and the lust pounding under his skin.

 

“I am nothing you know. You have sipped the ocean, demon , yet can’t imagine its depths.”

 

Ichigo’s hand at Grimmjow’s throat tightened, holding the demon down with controlled weight. Kurosaki’s maroon eyes watched as his face flushed red, breathing labored, and his pupils swallowing glowing blue into a thin halo. He stroked again and again, dull pain pushing Grimmjow into pleasure, forcing every ounce of sensation to be given under his hands.

 

“I am of Chaos and Death . They call me Lord of Catastrophe. Patron of Murder. King.

 

The last title had with a certain tremble, truth twisting the demon’s words through holy fire and perdition, the intonation singing like a funeral toll. As a rare gift, Ichigo twisted his wrist, pressing a thumb to the glan underside of the cockhead, precum smearing across his dick making the touch slick and equal parts wonderful. Grimmjow moaned of lust and pain.

 

“You know who I am. You shower my name with blood and bodies. You worship my cruelty, pray for my most selfish, savage desires. You are Destruction, demon, and what am I? I am your cause.”

 

Ichigo played him under his hands like the turn of a blade and the slide of a killing stroke. He knew Grimmjow, what he was and what he was born from. The demon’s very existence sang of something familiar, something that couldn’t be forgotten because it lived and surged in his blood as strong as instinct.

 

“I am your God.

 

He scraped claws up the underside of his cock, instinctive fear curdling inside Grimmjow and causing him to shiver and let slip a pathetic whine. Ichigo bent down until his mouth hovered over the soft give of his throat, hot breath billowing over the rush of fresh blood. He could hear the demon’s heart race, just out of reach.

 

“I. Am. WAR.”

 

Ichigo sank teeth into his willing offering, fresh blood singing with the pleasured cry Grimmjow let loose, his cock spilling cum in an intense orgasm. Hot blood wet Ichigo’s tongue and a rumbling moan of approval escaped his throat, sampling blood rusted iron and brittle bones, the scent of animal fear and adrenaline. Beneath it all, Ichigo moaned at the unfiltered taste of demonic sin.

 

If destruction ever had a taste it was Grimmjow; the lingering burn of tequila in his throat, the tilt of Grimmjow’s sneer, the satisfaction of the first punch, bringing the demon home, and fucking him within an inch of his life.

 

Sublime.

 

Ichigo pulled out his teeth, licking the wounds closed with his hellfire exciting the other’s natural regenerative abilities. His chest was rumbling a deep purr of approval in his chest, vibrating through Grimmjow who laid back and lethargic, head thrown in ecstasy. His purr turned louder and on the edge the demon mewled in delight, pleased and pleasured.

 

Ichigo pulled back from Grimmjow’s ravished throat, turning away to look around the bed, fingers sifting through tangled sheets until he found the neglected bottle of lube. As he soaked his finger, forcing his claws back, Grimmjow began to stir into full wakefulness. He hummed on a lower octave than his kitten mewls earlier as he stretched out, a satisfied smile spreading across his face.

 

“Oh, that was fun.” Grimmjow tilted his head to the side to give a rather seductive look. “We should do this again sometime.”

 

“We’re not done,” Kurosaki said, voice cutting through Grimmjow's bliss like a knife. The demon started paying attention. His eyes raked in the expression of vivid desire, wings that curled up and over his shoulders, and the forgotten, hard, red, and leaking cock that stood erect between his legs.

 

Grimmjow got up on his elbows, apprehension making his movements suspenseful.

 

“You didn’t-”

 

“You can’t say I’m not generous,” Kurosaki interrupted, looking at his mess with a smug grin.

 

Grimmjow moved his legs up, digging his heels as leverage.

 

“Kurosa-”

 

“Are you running from me?” Ichigo crowded over Grimmjow to stop any hopes to wriggle free. One of his hands touched his scar, the one he gave him, and caressed the jarring texture with adoration. “I thought you wanted this,” Ichigo teased, “Wanted me, all of it. Who is it that craves my taste, my power? My corruption?” The hard edge of anger lined his voice as he dug his accusations deep.

 

The flush that brightened the demon’s cheeks darkened, possibly with shame, but Ichigo saw nothing but the spark of renewed lust in darkened eyes. Arousal rekindled, Grimmjow considered resistance, but he did nothing to deny Ichigo’s touch.

 

Grimmjow brought him to this . He followed him home, a haunting presence, the memory of him a spear in Ichigo’s side. How dare he deny this. Deny him . Well, he got what he wanted, and now there were consequences.

 

Ichigo bent down and laid a kiss upon his lips, sliding into the hot mouth and fucking him with his tongue. Grimmjow groaned uneasy, fully aware of what the hybrid wanted. Ichigo trailed his hand from his scar to trace the dip and curve of taut muscle in smooth stokes. For now, Ichigo spared Grimmjow some mercy. It was all soft and languid, a fallacy for what was to come.

 

Ichigo let Grimmjow enjoy these few moments of taste and touch, allowing his pride the time to settle beneath the press of his hands.

 

That lull didn’t last long, not with the eager pounding of Ichigo’s shunned arousal. Propping his weight on one arm, Ichigo reached with his other hand down between the other’s thighs, claws teased the delicate flesh of his balls, forcing Grimmjow into paranoid arrest. Dragging his claw slowly back, Grimmjow’s breath hitched in his throat as Ichigo traced a path over his taint.

 

Drawing his hellfire away from his hand, Ichigo forced his demonic side back enough that the press of his fingers didn’t bring with them the promise of actual pain. Claws shrank back, blunted, and he was sure to let Grimmjow feel it.

 

Ripping his mouth away, Grimmjow voiced his supposed displeasure. “ I was supposed to be fucking you ,” he growled.

 

“You’re mistaken, demon ,” Ichigo purred, “ I hold the power here.” Pushing one finger past the tight rim of his entrance, Grimmjow drawn up, inner walls clamping down on the finger inside him. Forcing his body out of lock, the demon stubbornly pinned his eyes on Ichigo and rocked his hips down on the intrusive finger, letting it sink deeper inside.

 

Ichigo smiled, a pleased rumble echoing through his chest. Grimmjow subconsciously responded to the sound, arching up to take more. He pulled his finger out, circling the rim once, twice, pushing back in just a little bit deeper, digging into the hot channel, easing him to take more.

 

Grimmjow grunted when Ichigo introduced a second finger, the two uncomfortably stretching him, but one he could tolerate for now. Ichigo petted his insides, stroking across walls and feeling around. He scissored his fingers, stroking in and out, lube making the motion easy. He concentrated on looking for that one specific spot. That one-

 

“A-Ah!” Grimmjow yelped, spine arching off the mattress like a bow drawn taut. His chest heaved, eyes glassy and accusatory, swimming with the lingering dredges of pleasure.

 

“You act like you haven’t done this before,” Kurosaki mocked, brushing against his prostate again, but not yet hard enough to send another current of electric energy up his spine.

 

Grimmjow was barely over his surprise, a flush of consuming lust staining his cheeks. “It’s not-”

 

“Don’t worry,” Ichigo interrupted. “I’ll give you everything . I may be a merciless god, but I am not without gifts,” he teased.

 

Ichigo circled his fingers out, plunging them back in and stabbing straight into his prostate, sending the other teetering on a precipice of ecstasy. He pet the small bundle of nerves, keeping watch over the reactions of the demon beneath him. Grimmjow’s breath stuttered over careful scissoring after brutal prostate abuse. His entire body writhed to the feeling of fingers stretching him out.

 

When Ichigo introduced a third finger Grimmjow keened, fucking himself down on his hand, forcing more pressure down on his prostate. He began twisting the three, petting his walls, watching how his dick twitched at every stroke out as if a silent plea for him to stay.

 

But Ichigo wanted something out of him. He leaned over, black hair tickling his throat as he pressed kisses along Grimmjow’s clavicle, moving up to tongue at his pulse points. He didn’t linger, quick to move on and nip at Grimmjow’s ears that flickered at the attention.

 

“I’m going to fuck you,” Ichigo whispered at a tenor, the words as much a treat as a promise. Grimmjow blinked up at him, the force of what that meant sinking in with the finality of a killing blow. “You wanted me, Grimmjow Jaegerjaques, Demon of Destruction. You’ve had my blood, my wrath, now you’re going to take everything . My power, my desire. You’re in over your head. Despite your arrogance, no one is ready for war.”

 

No rules, no limits, an unstoppable force of nature and Grimmjow had thrown himself in its tracks. A thrilling and disheartening reality. He would consume him, and a secret part hoped he could stand it. Like a tempered sword, Ichigo thought he could, or he wouldn’t have tried.

 

Ichigo nibbled on his ear then bit down on the ridge, hard enough to chase a gasp from the demon. He wanted his attention, and he had it. He hissed, “ You will beg for me .”

 

As a act of goodwill on his promise, Ichigo let the tips of his nails grow back out, just a little bit. Just enough for his claws to be felt inside. Grimmjow’s eyes widened and a strangled sound of shock escaped his lips, his whole body writhing into a twist, but he wouldn’t allow it. Pressing his weight down on the body beneath him, Ichigo stroked his inner walls, running the edge of his nails inside the soft and delicate channel within.

 

“Kurosaki,” he warned, struggling to escape. Ichigo growled a threat deep in his throat, one hand working the other’s entrance open as he moved his other hand down to take Grimmjow’s jutting cock in hand.

 

“Pain is mine,” Ichigo admitted while rubbing a hard stroke over the head of his dick with a thumb, “You’re no stranger to it, but it was never yours. I know what belongs to you, I know your domain all too well.”

 

Grimmjow didn’t answer, couldn’t answer. He was too busy in the throes of pleasure, soft little grunts escaping his lips every time Ichigo’s swiped over his prostate. It didn’t matter, Ichigo was going to answer for him.

 

“You like it,” he whispered, his claws threatening delicate flesh within. Grimmjow let out a high whine, but Ichigo didn’t relent, he was probing for something Grimmjow guarded close. “Danger; the knife edge between life and oblivion. You’ve been looking for it. You’ve been looking for me ,” Ichigo said with conviction. Once he said it, he knew it was true.

 

Grimmjow glared up at him, lips parted in heavy pants, and fisted his hands in the sheets. “Arrogant asshole.”

 

“Stubborn asshole,” Ichigo countered. “You wanted me to admit what I want, I did. You should do the same.” Grimmjow didn’t answer, so Ichigo twisted his fingers inside him, seeking a reaction. He got one by the flutter of Grimmjow’s abdominal muscles and a flash of gritted teeth. Ichigo’s expression fell with a soft, disappointed sigh. “This isn’t a battle you have to win.”

 

Grimmjow shot him a fiery glare. “Isn’t it?”

 

Ichigo cocked his head down at the demon, too certain to let this go. “ Grimmjow .” That approach didn’t work, and it wasn’t shocking that it didn’t. The demon glared up at him, urging him to force his hand. And didn’t he always.

 

He leaned in, sliding claws up over his chest hard enough to draw welts. Grimmjow might be feeling resistant, but the demon bared his throat to him, ever so trusting, so certain he wouldn’t take his life and end it. Mouthing the corded muscle of his neck, Ichigo dragged his tongue over a pulsing artery and murmured, “You didn’t follow me home to rearrange my bookcase, Grimmjow.”

 

Arching into his touch, the demon growled in the back of his throat, and Ichigo sought to amend that.

 

Hot breath gusting over slick skin, Ichigo purred, confident. “An unstoppable force-,” he trailed off, teeth nipping the underside of his jaw, “-eventually finds an immovable object.” Grimmjow let out a heavy rush of breath, muscles coiling and uncoiling in pleasure. Ichigo curled his fingers in the demon’s depths and teased, “You lose, Grimmjow.”

 

Forcing his hand deeper, a tortured sound spilled from Grimmjow’s lips, and Ichigo promised, “That defeat is mine.”  Destruction was bound to war, a slave to its whims and desires, they couldn’t help what they were.

 

Ichigo rose up, letting his wings spread and blanket them in a shadow of darkness, Grimmjow’s eyes blinked open at the change and stared up in old testament awe. Secretly, he was pleased that his wings received such a worshipful reaction, but now wasn’t the time.

 

Ichigo teased a fourth finger within.

 

Grimmjow held tight, sensing the extra intrusion and started a weak definition of struggle. “W-Wait,” he said, voice ruined by wanton need. But Ichigo didn’t stop. He had plans.

 

“Take it, Grimmjow,” he said, “You can take it. You are Destruction. So be … destroyed.”

 

With one harsh push, Ichigo shoved half his hand inside, making sure to press down deep into the other’s prostate, nails pressuring down deeper into his soft insides.

 

Grimmjow gave an agonized cry of intense pleasure, shoulders hunched up around his ears and he tossed his head to the side, squeezing his eyes shut. No, that wouldn’t do. Ichigo quit milking his leaking dick and took his chin in hand, forcing Grimmjow to face him.

 

A cruel smile stretched across Ichigo’s face as he beheld his rival.

 

Grimmjow’s face was flushed an angry red, a thin trail of drool leaking from the corner of his mouth. His glare was pathetic compared to the ugly, hateful rage of their battles. Tears escaped the corners of lucent blue eyes, shimmering on his skin like stardust.

 

Ichigo hesitated, letting his brain rearrange that thought in his head. Grimmjow was crying.

 

Ichigo could stroke his ego about it all he wanted, but Grimmjow’s defenses were so lowered he let him see, the demon wasn’t shutting his reactions down at all. He was looking at Grimmjow, the bare and simple truth of him.

 

It was damn near sacred .

 

Ichigo leaned down to lick the salty evidence of his abandon, Grimmjow’s ‘complaints’ nothing more than a clenching of his fingers in the sheets like some tortured cat. He eased out his hand, knuckles stretching the rim, dredging a weak mewling from the body below. He pulled his entire hand out just as he licked up the trail of opposite tears, a sigh of relief and jealous want escaping from the other’s lips.

 

Ichigo hushed his worshipper with a kiss, one hand pressing down the front of his scar before looping around his waist to sweep up, petting over his heaving chest, taking in the rapid heartbeat barely contained within his flesh. He sank down deeper into the kiss, sweeping his tongue into his lax mouth for a tantalizing taste. When he pulled back, Grimmjow was glaring up at him but the expression fell flat with his body betraying him. “Fuck. You.”

 

“Don’t be like that,” Ichigo said on a chuckle, “We were just getting to the fun part.”

 

“Wha-”

 

Ichigo ran his hands down his thighs and hooked at the back of his knees, bringing his legs up and over his shoulders. One hand reached down to play with the stretched entrance, the other stroking down Grimmjow’s thighs to his vulnerable belly, fingers trailing into the cooling mess of cum staining his stomach and smearing it in random patterns.

 

“You’ve cum without my say so,” he mused, “That doesn’t seem fair now does it.” Ichigo growled in the dark, “My turn.”

 

Ichigo moved both hands down to cup the gravity of Grimmjow’s ass, sliding up to the small of his back and stretching up to his ribs, feeling the rough lines of scars lining his body, the subtle static of hellfire burning just a layer beneath the other’s skin. He bent down, forcing his knees to press up against his chest to place a soft and languid kiss, an indulgence.

 

One of his hands disappeared from Grimmjow’s body, groping the bed to grab the bottle of neglected lube. Without grace, he spread the slick into his hand, spilling some onto the sheets. He threw the rest away, grabbing ahold of his own dick, spreading the oil from root to tip.

 

Dick now prepped and ready, Ichigo’s hand guided it to Grimmjow’s entrance, and pressed in. Grimmjow ripped his pliant mouth away from Ichigo to give a high whine, his head turned, moonlight tracing the slide of tears into silver streaks. Ichigo pressed kisses along that bare evidence, licking up the salty proof of pleasure, the one thing he knew the other had given to no one but him. It was the purest offering he could ever hope to receive, and one given by choice.

 

Ichigo pressed further into the hot clench of his body, a groan tumbling out of his mouth at the feeling of those walls gripping him tight; the aching heat, and devastating desire to fuck deep into the other and never stop. He could feel walls shivering around him, a delectable sensation that sent tingles up his hips and spine. Grimmjow’s entire body opened up as he speared through, hips settling back, legs relaxing enough for him to fall deeper, easier.

 

This started as an opportunity for some dirty fun, maybe a helping of revenge for spending two years without so much of a glance of electrifying blue eyes, but this felt right. The absurdity of it drew his lips up into a faint smile. Looks like this sword found the right sheath . If he didn’t think Grimmjow would gut him for it, he might just tell him.

 

Ichigo had about an inch of dick left, but slowly, so slow, pulled back out. Grimmjow muffled a whine at the loss but it wasn’t his concern that Ichigo was leaving this unfinished. He didn’t wait anymore, thrusting forward, hips slapping against the meaty gift of ass and thighs, dick surging through to the base and striking his prostate in one movement, defying luck and god. Grimmjow threw his head back to give a pleasured yowl, his hands that had locked themselves to the mattress for dear life now letting go to wrap around his shoulders, claws coming out to scratch praise and worship into his god’s skin.

 

Ichigo’s wings arched higher as he pulled out, and with powerful strokes of his wings, the heavy presence of their intertwined hellfire billowing around them, he thrust back in. Grimmjow’s muscles rippled under the motion, a torturously pleasured reaction, and Ichigo moved again. His hips thrusted deep, his eyes raking over the body tuned to his pleasure, trembling for it.

 

It would be the perfect amount of friction to tease an orgasm out of himself, but the build up would be a long and laborious work. Just enough time to torture the poor demon he was fucking.

 

His hips moved faster, mirroring the rapid beat of their hearts. His hand smoothed up and down Grimmjow’s body, touching every line, turn and crevice. He loved on and felt every hardened line of muscle and soft, vulnerable curve of his body. His claws, having grown back out since their adventure in Grimmjow’s body, scraped along the edges of his ribs, caressing up to take both nipples by his fingers, pinching and twisting with savage cruelty.

 

Grimmjow cried out, pleasure and pain at war with each other and Ichigo was the master. He had been bent, covering his body with his own, breaths and moans shared in between them. Sweat dripped from one to the other, hands desperate to touch, closer, thirsty for more sensation.

 

It felt so good. Like coming home. War being welcomed back by Destruction, the two powers celebrating together in the most canal form of battle. But it wasn’t enough, could never be enough. Ichigo’s hands pressed down into Grimmjow’s stomach, nails raking the soft undercurve of his ribs and a morbid thought crossed his mind to claw inside that concave. He wanted to take his beating heart to see if it was as heavy as his sins implied. To split him open, dig his hands into the blood hot heat of his guts, build a temple within his ribs, and carve his claim in bone.

 

 Cominghome

Ichigo nosed his way to Grimmjow’s throat, lavishing the naked expanse of soft flesh with tiny nips and tongue licks. But blood wasn’t all he wanted. He didn’t just want the steady rhythm of his dick pounding into the other like a slow tide. Didn’t want the shape of his ribs, the feel of his wings, or the threads of long blue hair.

 

He wanted more.

 

Ichigo looked down at the expense of their chests pressed together, Grimmjow’s dick sliding against the curve of hip and belly, cum staining their front from the last orgasm. Scars cleaved their way through his chest, some given by him, others unknown. His eyes trailed pulsating tattoos glowing with blue hellfire and how untamable that power was, struggling beneath the confines of flesh.

 

His mouth watered.

 

“Grimmjow,” he moaned, his hips thrusting hard against the hot bundle of abused nerves, causing the other to cry out in pleasure. “Beg.”

 

Grimmjow stiffened underneath him, shoulders rising in defense, thighs and legs tensing. Ichigo laid another brutal thrust against his prostate to remind him of his place, this moment, this thing that they started and couldn’t stop, couldn’t fight back.

 

“You want this.” He mouthed at Grimmjow’s neck, tasting sweat, blood, and lust. “You got what you wanted. You got the demon.” Ichigo had been nice so far, but not anymore. “I won’t give you anything else. I will take what’s mine .”

 

He slowed his thrusts, dragging out inch by cruel inch, his hands coming back down to grip hips into stillness, Grimmjow’s body turning cold from his neglect. “You understand.”

 

Ichigo rose his chest up, taking Grimmjow’s knees with him, exposing the other to the world. The demon let out a needy cry, his hands reaching up to latch onto shoulders, but he wouldn’t allow it.

 

He knocked the offending hands away, continuing his excruciatingly slow pace, not allowing him any pleasure when he had already given so much. Grimmjow’s body twisted, desperate to fuck himself down on his cock but Ichigo withdrew his hips all the more out of punishment.

 

Kurosaki ,” he hissed.

 

He felt a thrill of excitement churning in his gut, static anticipation and appreciation dancing in his muscles as his eyes soaked in the vision of Grimmjow tortured upon his cock. It was an indulgence of his more sadistic side to see just how hard he could push, how much he’d bend, could take, and submit to. He was just so close to the edge, all Ichigo needed was to shove him over. Let him fall.

 

The other was making pathetic, mewling little sounds, counterposed to his actions, like a kitten tortured by inattention. Ichigo denied what he wanted, thrusting his hips forward once as incentive, pulling back out to be cruel. “You can’t cum, I won’t allow it.”

 

Allow it ,” Grimmjow rumbled, frustration thick in his throat.

 

Beg me your pleasure .”

 

“No.”

 

Ichigo bared his teeth down at the demon, his wings flaunting open and pressing up against the walls and ceiling of his bedroom. Grimmjow saw all of him; the crown of wicked horns, beautiful and lethal wings, the long hair that dripped darkness, the inky black tattoos that declared him King, eyes of hell’s abyss burning ruby bright. His voice held the seductive edge of temptation, sliding a clawed hand up his chest in a shadow of a threat. “Beg for me, Grimmjow.”

 

Eyes lit by hellfire burned up at him in lust and tenacious refusal to submit. Lowering his chin, Ichigo’s claws dragged up towards Grimmjow’s throat, not so much a threat as a subtle reminder. He wasn’t going to back down from Grimmjow’s pride, he had no problem tearing it down to lay bare Grimmjow’s own desires.

 

Claws resting on his throat, Ichigo smoothed the pads of his fingers over the corded muscle of his neck and felt the frantic flutter of his heart. Grimmjow’s expression twisted, jaw slackened through pleasured gasps, and the doubt in his eyes was slow to filter away. The gesture was one Ichigo knew Grimmjow’s instincts couldn’t ignore.

 

He wasn’t going to hurt Grimmjow. He had all the power to do it and then some, but he chose not to. His life was in his hands to do as he pleased, and he chose to give him pleasure, not pain. All he asked for in return was a single word, validation that this was what the demon wanted, that he trusted Ichigo with that need.

Eyes flicking away and to the side, Grimmjow rolled his head back, baring his throat in a silent show of submission. The demon was no less the powerful creature he was, his eyes were sharp, burning like the glint off of sharpened steel, but he bent, his voice like the whisper of a sword leaving its sheath. Almost unheard if Ichigo wasn’t listening for it. “Please.”

 

That was all it took. Ichigo thrust back into a body drawn taut, moaning his blessing, voice clashing against Grimmjow’s howl. He bent down over his lover, turning his head back to steal a deep and passionate kiss as a reward. His hands ran up and down Grimmjow’s sides, claws pressuring but never rending soft flesh, nicking but never tearing.

 

Ichigo took Grimmjow’s dick into his palm and stroked the hardened silk, the hot member jerking at the renewed attention. The demon arched up into his hand, spine leaving the bed, and Ichigo leaned close, whispering praise.

 

“Good boy.”

 

Grimmjow wasn’t listening to him, adrift in his own little world of relentless sensation. His chest heaved, greedy for air, eyes closed and scrunched at the assault of his senses. Sweat beaded at his brow and his chin tilted further up in offering. His hands raked through Ichigo’s black hair, scratching over his scalp and scraping down his back.

 

Coincidently, his hands found the bridge between naked flesh and feathers, fingers eagerly digging into the glorious spread of black, red, and gold feathers until it reached beneath the scapula. His claws scratched against a golf ball sized bump, tucked away and forgotten until that moment.

 

Ichigo roared in ecstasy, head thrown back and shouted to the ceiling. His hips surged forward in a thrust that dislodged his dick straight out of Grimmjow, jarring the other up the bed. It forced a strangled yelp from the demon, a surge of foreign power making a playground out of his body.

 

The spots in his vision were slow to disappear as Ichigo stared down in shock. Grimmjow wasn’t any better off, if anything he was worse. He was abuzz with Ichigo’s hellfire, shivering through his core and racing along his nerves. When he gathered himself enough to actually see his tormentor, the other looked just as frazzled.

 

Ichigo caught his breath and let out a heartfelt curse.

 

“What the hell was that?” Grimmjow demanded.

 

Ichigo growled, not liking the fact that their fun had to be put on pause once again because something inconvenient happened. “I lost control.”

 

Yeah ,” Grimmjow said, “I felt that. Why?”

 

Ichigo explained quick, “Angels have two oil glands on their wings, one on each side. It’s sensitive.”

 

Very sensitive. By the fiendish grin upon Grimmjow’s face, he had already figured out the truth.

 

It was the pleasure spot.

 

“So what happens if I do this?” With the pads of his fingers, he reached back and bullied the erect and swollen glands. Ichigo cried out once again, crumbling down to his elbows, pressing his brow into the other’s shoulder to steal his breath again.

 

“What is this shit?” Ichigo was wracked with shivers, aware that the other had asked a question in vague confusion but pleasure was driving him to the edge already and he couldn’t have that. NO . He turned his head back around, almost getting a faceful of Grimmjow’s hand covered in slick, the scent of himself driving him back.

 

“Wing oil,” Ichigo explained, getting back off his elbows in composure. He didn’t expect to see Grimmjow contemplating his stained hands, to bring his fingers up and lick them clean.

 

Ichigo’s breath punched out of his throat, lust skyrocketing to astronomical heights because that was the sexiest thing he could have ever done. Did Grimmjow know-?

 

“Tastes…” Grimmjow was slow to say, thinking in overdrive and not even noting Ichigo’s reaction, “Like…fuck, Kurosaki, why does it taste like brimstone and wine?”

 

“Grimmjow,” Ichigo gasped past his beating heart, it was pounding so hard. The demon looked up and jolted at his expression.

 

“What?”

 

Grimmjow,” he breathed, almost in pain with how hard his dick was straining to get back to fucking the brains out of the demon below him. “Do you know what you just did?”

 

Should I know?” The ignorant bastard. The hot, sexy–– his–– ignorant bastard. Ichigo dove down to kiss him hard, tongue swiping out to steal his own taste on the other’s tongue, moaning at the mix of his saliva and the oil, creating something new, something divine.

 

“You fucking idiot,” he hissed, not helping the endearment in his voice, cause how could anyone be so stupid? “Angel wing oil is concentrated essence.”

 

“So...I just tasted weird angel cum from your wing?” Grimmjow looked back down at his fingers like they might impart some sort of wisdom. “Gross,” he said, not understanding.

 

“Angels don’t have human bodies, Grimmjow,” Ichigo reminded him. His lust turned his words heavy with need. He was shaking with restraint, stopping himself for a moment so as to answer first and take later. “Their essence is pure soulfire.”

 

Grimmjow stared up at him, then asked, “This shit isn’t going to kill me, is it?”

 

“You stupid, asshole,” Ichigo said, laying another kiss on wet lips. “You just ate a part of my soul, you just marked yourself as mine.”

 

Blue eyes widened. “What?!”

 

“Fuck, you smell good,” Ichigo moaned, lips mapping a trail down to his neck where blood raced beneath thin skin, an entire new scent -them, it smelled like them, their scent, together, ONE- wafting in the room as an alluring aphrodisiac. “ So good.”

 

“Get your head out of your dick,” Grimmjow demanded, grabbed him by the horn to get his lips off his clavicle, “Explain.”

 

Ichigo had to blink past the pleasurable tunnel vision he was getting, common sense whispering beyond the pounding lust that he had to give an answer. “You. You smell so good. Smell like me. Will taste like me soon.” He smiled, a slow, feline smile, drunk on their own scent. “ You’re mine and now everyone can see it, smell it. You’re mine .”

 

Like hell I’m-” Grimmjow tried to speak, but Ichigo was too deep in the depths of desire to listen, his brain already sending him into a constant loop of lust and the chanting words of, ‘Mine. Mine. MINE. ’ He could taste it now, the demon’s blood was tainted with the whisper of his soul, a grasping, yet fleeting claim upon his body, as brief a visitor as the wounds Grimmjow’s claws carved into his skin.

 

It might not be permanent, but his dick didn’t care. The other should start feeling it too, the tingling of his fingertips, soon to become burning of his skin, the desperate need for more and closer.

 

He kissed down the edge of his jawline and scented along the thumping of his arteries, smelling something shift inside the demon. His tattoos flowered bright, rhythm of light beating faster and faster, the scent of ozone mixing with rain. Who was the lightning? Who was the storm? It didn't matter, together they were undeniably matched.

 

He couldn’t take it anymore. He opened his mouth once again to take a bite, fresh blood welling around his teeth, and Ichigo moaned like he was dying, the flavor of ambrosia on his tongue blinding him with pleasure.

 

Somehow, his dick found its way home and started to pound back against Grimmjow's prostate, his mouth locked on the others’ neck, his arms looped around Grimmjow to hold them as close as possible.

 

Grimmjow cried out at the ceiling, his prostate assaulted, body burning from hellfire that had thus been that of an enemy, not a lover. His dick strained between their bellies, twitching and drooling. His hands gripped his back tight, reaching blind, seeking those two glands that was key to their climax. Every time the demon swiped over them, Ichigo would groan in pleasure, fucking deeper, biting up and down Grimmjow until his neck looked ravaged by a wild animal.

 

Grimmjow nuzzled his face within the crook of Ichigo’s neck and returned the bite, letting out a muffled, yet loud  whine at the extraordinary flavor they now shared.

 

He pounded harder, thrusts turning rabid until it all become too much. Grimmjow’s hands ran up and down his back, clawing open deep wounds that he could dream of scarring, fingers playing at the edge of wing glands, deliberate in dragging his fingers over the oversensitive nubs at a pace Ichigo couldn’t hope to anticipate. The other doing so to force a reaction that didn’t disappoint.

 

Ichigo’s jaws locked Grimmjow’s savaged neck, drinking a mouthful of delicious, pleasure slick blood, his dick being strangled through Grimmjow's tight ass. It was all growing to be too much.

 

They were two entities, War and Destruction, smelt together in a forge built entirely of need .

 

But then there was this touch, this pull , and Ichigo gasped as every live wire inside him burned awake. Beneath him Grimmjow let out a short wail, arching up into his chest, the touch of their hearts pressed together electrifying. Ichigo hunched down, pressing as much skin as he could, to just feeling the sensation of electricity cleaving through his own soul and making a home out of him.

 

That’s when he noticed. The flavor of lightning wasn’t his. It was Grimmjow. He could feel Grimmjow beneath his ribs, carving into his blood, foreign hellfire creeping its fingers down into his secret reservoirs. A shock of electricity raced up Ichigo’s arms and through his guts, foreign and tinged with feral power, gnawing and surging through his skin with excitement. Ichigo gave a shuddering groan, following instinct by calling upon more of his hellfire, his power surging through the links between he and Grimmjow, forged by blood and essence.

 

With the returned wave of Ichigo’s power overwhelming him, Grimmjow cried out in pained pleasure, no doubt feeling Ichigo’s hellfire burning through him, the dark, stifling heat soaking through him and casting him in the throes of his own pleasure. He let out a lusty whine, the salt and gleam of tears matting dark lashes. Those tears that escaped left trails across his cheeks for Ichigo to catch on his tongue.

 

It was a rare glimpse into Grimmjow’s heart, and now that he had a taste he craved more, he wanted to crack apart his ribs and take . Ichigo let slip the controlled dam on his power, hellfire surging like a flood.

 

All of it, as much as Grimmjow could withstand and more. Beneath him, Grimmjow trembled in shaky jolts, overwhelmed by the weight of conquest. Ichigo could feel Grimmjow return the favor by surging his own hellfire back into Ichigo, but within the hybrid’s maelstrom of power, it was lost in a boiling, churning sea.

 

Grimmjow was no Atlas, this wasn’t his burden to bare; he was an Icarus that reached for the sun and burned, thinking Ichigo’s light that of a candle. But he was no Apollo.

 

He was the monster all gods feared. He was a demon with no better.

 

And Grimmjow––poor, selfish Grimmjow––was his to have. To conquer.

 

To ruin.

 

Pleasure peaked. Their hips falling into a crest of speed and violent meshing. Hearts beating like the drop of a great war drum. Grimmjow had stopped scrambling to touch his glands, letting out weak mewls through a ravaged throat, his tears spilling out in pleasure of having such a god feasting on his body and desire. Ichigo laid the last few licks of tongue against his neck, bite wounds now scarring the once flawless flesh.

 

Ichigo moved his lips down and across the other’s jawbone, gasping breaths into his ear.

 

“Now,” Ichigo growled out an order, deep and soft, only for Grimmjow. “ Cum.”

 

Grimmjow opened his mouth to scream, but all he could muster was an exhale of air, a high and broken whine shattering every last wall around the demon’s fortitude into dust of the wind. Untouched, his cock exploded with seed, the mess of it growing between them, filling the valley of clenching muscles until the streams could drip off his stomach.

 

His channel squeezed around Ichigo’s cock and he thrusted hard once, twice, lingering to savor the grip and finishing it all with one last world shattering push. His pleasure spilled over, orgasm pulsating through Grimmjow’s body, causing a third, rather weak orgasm from the other that caused a few dribbles of cum to jerk out, dick almost spasming with the attempt at a full course.

 

Grimmjow gave a short moan full of pain and weak pleasure, eyes squeezed shut, cheeks damp with the evidence of his tears. His face was slow to relax, body falling limp, tattoos ebbing away along with his full warlike ensemble as he fell to unconsciousness.

 

Ichigo watched it all on shaking elbows. He pressed a chaste kiss at the corner of his eye where one last tear clung to the delicate flutter of lashes. He drew himself out, hissing at the sensitivity of touch upon his dick, letting the others legs fall off his shoulders back down on the mattress and he threw himself over to the side, groaning at the relief of post orgasmic bliss and relaxing muscles.

 

Eyes closed, Ichigo listened to the rise and fall of steady sleep and soft breaths of the demon beside him. It was the single most settled and peaceful sound he’d ever heard from the other. It was uncharacteristically silent, and Ichigo couldn’t help but marvel at it.

 

Unsure if it was trust or sheer exhaustion, but his presence beside the sleeping demon was little cause for concern or caution, despite every sign that it should be.

 

The tang of Grimmjow’s blood lingered on his tongue, the scent of musk, sex, and lightning in his nose, and the voice of temptation in his memory. Sounds from the demon echoed in his head, sounds he had never heard from but was desperate to hear again. Swiping a hand over his face, Ichigo let out a heavy breath he wouldn’t dare call a sigh. “Goddamn it, Grimmjow,” he whispered.

 

“Regrets, King?”

 

Ichigo scoffed. “Concerns.” This changed everything.

 

He decided he needed to do something about the demonic wings and hellfire still seering at the seams of his physical form. It wouldn’t be festive to follow up something that pleasant with actual bodily damage.

 

Banking hellfire wasn’t easy, not with power as vast as his. The tattoos on his chest bled back at the pace of molasses. His horns stubbornly refusing to fade from reality, flickering off and on between the living world and the Betwixt until falling away. His power had been ignored for so long, to draw it back in so deep, so thorough, it clung to him like tar and refused to leave. In fact, even after the last few bits of black ink, horn, shining red eyes and long black hair was pulled back, there was still the lingering sense of violent hellfire tittering at the surface of his skin.

 

His wings were a different experience. Pain arched through his back as his physical wings went through another metaphorise, turning back from the black and life blood red plumage that killed in gold to his wings of bright rubies and polished amber. Overused muscles trembled at the continued strain, and Ichigo had to chew his lip through a groan to keep from stirring his sleeping companion. His wings hidden again in the Betwixt, he laid there exhausted, skin sticky with sweat, among other things, and took a moment to simply exist.

 

Before he passed out or lost the motivation, Ichigo rolled to his stomach and swiped a wayward shirt from the floor. His own shirt, he noted. He wiped the demon down the best he could, but it was a losing battle. They were filthy, he wasn’t even sure if he could salvage his sheets. Reaching in between twitching thighs to clean the mess at the other’s entrance, Ichigo made a note to burn this shirt. That smell was never going to wash out, human detergent didn’t stand a chance against demon essence. The long and the short of it was he wasn’t going to give Grimmjow the satisfaction and smugness of feeling like he’d marked him. No thanks.

 

Tossing the shirt back on the floor, Ichigo’s mind staggered over his own thoughts. He was planning an idle dream, and that was a dangerous road to follow when he didn’t know where it led. So he killed those thoughts early, smothering them but they rekindled when Grimmjow made a pitiful, content sound in his sleep and rolled over.

 

The demon was so at ease, it wormed guilt into his chest. Ichigo wasn’t so sure he could sleep next to the demon with any peace. Hell, he couldn’t sleep well next to anyone, and with the fear of failure looming over him, he wasn’t sure he wanted to try. Ichigo wasn’t even sure if he could. Exhausted or not, anxiety nipped and bit at the heels of sleep, chasing it out of reach.

 

Instead, Ichigo sat there in the dark and stared at Grimmjow’s unmarked back, the one place his claws hadn’t been able to reach. Moonlight softened hard muscle and cool light highlighted tattoos Ichigo wasn’t sure he had ever seen.

 

The majority of his bed was claimed by the demon, there was no ignoring or casualty with him. Long legs splayed out haphazard, the mass of all that muscle, skin, and bones taking up an enormous amount of space as if he was fucking lord of the bed. Overbearing, even in his sleep.

 

He slept twisted up like a housecat, far from the graceful panther he’d come to expect. A loud snuffling startled Ichigo, then drew his lips up into a bemused smile when Grimmjow rolled over, face smashed into the sheets.

 

It made Ichigo’s chest tighten in a way that made him nervous, so he looked away again, despite every one of his nerves and thoughts lingering on the demon’s presence.

 

Banished to the edge of the bed, Ichigo distracted himself by taking stock of the ‘damage’. His blankets and sheets were in such disarray he could see a corner of the mattress peeking out near his nightstand, and he wasn’t even sure where his pillow went, or the lube for that matter. His alarm clock was also missing, and he could assume the reason his room looked like it had been ransacked was because of two sets of wings in a very confined space.

 

His distractions didn’t last long, eyes naturally drawn back to Grimmjow. He wanted to touch, so what was stopping him? Reaching for Grimmjow’s shoulder, the pads of his fingers slid over tacky, smooth skin, pausing at the thin line of a scar. He felt a wave of possessiveness over the demon that squirmed its way into his guts and made him want to sink his claws into the other, or anyone else that got too close.

 

Ignoring that carnal urge, Ichigo leaned in and pressed a light kiss to the nape of his neck. He lingered, breathing deep, thought about pulling away. He didn’t. Observing Grimmjow when he wasn’t conscious was something new, and he couldn’t pretend he wasn’t interested. The other was usually in constant motion, animated, a blur of grace or lethality but to see him so at peace and relaxed was a eye opening vision. He smoothed a hand down his shoulder, following the gentle curve of muscle before wrapping around Grimmjow’s wrist, his skin was hot beneath his palm, despite the cool air in his room. He'd never noticed, not between trying to kill him or fucking him.

 

Ichigo knew what was eating at him, he knew why he wasn’t allowing himself to sleep.

 

Grimmjow wasn’t going to stay. Why would he? There was nothing for him here that wouldn’t still be here when he came back, because Ichigo knew this was home. The idea of what was his leaving for any sort of reasoned riled his instincts to sink in claws and teeth and never let go but he soon soothed his inner Nephilim with softer thoughts. But that insane little voice in his head wouldn’t shut up about it’s obsession to protect the things that were his. And Grimmjow was his .

 

His fingers swept over Grimmjow’s side, over hard muscle and ribs, and he snaked his hand under the demon’s arm and up his chest. Ichigo’s fingers grazed his collarbone, then smoothed up along his throat and Grimmjow woke with a start, sucking in a sharp breath. For a split second, the demon stiffened, apprehensive the way prey caught in a trap was, but settled once it was clear who was at his back and throat. Without opening his eyes Grimmjow mumbled, “Christ, Kurosaki. M’done.” He shifted, rearranging his twisted limbs to be more comfortable, but made no effort to pull away from his hand.

 

Ichigo couldn’t help but smile, nuzzling the back of his head. He reassured him, “I’m done. I’m admiring.”

 

“Go the fuck to sleep,” Grimmjow grumbled.

 

Ichigo’s smile widened, Grimmjow’s hair tickling his nose. “You don’t tell me what to do.” His tone was gentle in admonishing, but even if it wasn’t, he didn’t think Grimmjow would care, he was well and truly worn out. The demon grunted in annoyance, and the trailing moment of silence was enough to lure him back to sleep.

 

Hand curved around Grimmjow’s throat in a loose hold, Ichigo was surprised at how at ease Grimmjow was in accepted it. It was surprising because it didn’t fit the image in his head he’d painted. The Grimmjow he knew could barely skim the surface of the truth depth of the demon, that was clear the moment he realized he hadn’t even been able to imagine him asleep.

 

Now he wasn’t just asleep, but naked and in his bed . Trying to break it down didn’t make it feel any less strange.

 

His thumb brushed over the tender healing bites, none of it quite deep enough to scar, not noticeably so. He wasn’t sure if that was disappointing or not. He hadn’t intended to snuggle –hells, he was snuggling– but the possessive fire in his chest had been nurtured and rekindled.

 

He gave in and pulled Grimmjow back against his chest, committing to the cuddle fest. The demon was a broad shouldered monster, but he fit against him in a way that pleased the feral rumblings of his instincts. Little spoon , Ichigo thought. Grimmjow wasn’t even awake to gloat at.

 

Ichigo didn’t have a clue what time it was, but it felt late, and despite his adamance to remain awake, he’d had a long day, a longer night. If he fell asleep, Grimmjow might leave, and he didn’t want the demon to slip through his fingers. Not again.

 

So he held him tight, and the slumbering demon tolerated it, appeared to revel in it, and in spite of his fears and best efforts, Ichigo fell asleep.

Chapter Text

Ichigo awoke to a hand on his face, pushing his head back like they were determined to break his nose as collateral. Ichigo squeezed his eyes shut and protested, “OW.”

“Get off me,” Grimmjow growled.

That’s right. Grimmjow.

Ichigo blinked at him from behind his hand, his grip on Grimmjow’s chest loosening enough in his shock that the demon managed to escape. Ichigo stared at a tattooed back as the demon got up, his brain backtracking through everything up until that point.

Grimmjow caught his foot on the sheets and lurched forward, catching himself on the bathroom door jam with a wince and a swear. Then he looked back with an expression trapped between impatience and expectancy, and Ichigo felt like he was supposed to do something, or at very least say something, but his brain wasn’t working at the moment.

Ichigo sat up and stared a bit cluelessly until Grimmjow's expression twisted up, incredulous. “If the tables were turned, I'd say I fucked you stupid. What are you gawking at, Kurosaki?”

The insult jolted Ichigo's gears back into motion, swinging his legs off the bed to stand at eye level. “You're still here.”

Grimmjow made a face like he was an idiot. “Yeah? You're like a fucking bear trap Kurosaki, how was I supposed to leave?” Ichigo opened his mouth and Grimmjow shut him down. “No. I have one better, why would I leave?” Ichigo blinked at him, and Grimmjow answered his silent question with practical reasoning. “You have a shower. I’m taking a shower,” he emphasized, “and you,” Grimmjow grabbed his wrist and dragged him into the bathroom, “are joining me, you prick.”

“‘Prick’,” Ichigo repeated with no real force. He let Grimmjow drag him into the bathroom, cramped for two grown men, but Grimmjow didn’t give a damn. “And what did I do to earn that?”

Grimmjow bent over the faucet, trying to work out how to turn it on, and growled, “Seriously? Look at me, I’ve come out cleaner after ripping someone’s heart out with my bare hands.” He shot Ichigo a look of horror. “I’m fucking filthy.”

Ichigo’s brows raised, not enjoying the aftermath of their fun either, but it was amusing to see this be the thing that got to the other. Watching the demon struggle for another few seconds, Ichigo took pity on him and reached around, chest to Grimmjow’s back, and pulled up on the faucet, then turned it.

Grimmjow leaned back from the cold spray of water into Ichigo’s chest and snapped, “Why the fuck would they make it that way?”

“I don’t know Grimmjow, it’s old.”

“Humans are so stupid.”

“If you’re going to insult me and my shower, you don’t have to use it,” Ichigo said in dry humor.

He shouldered Ichigo off, turning to face him. He let Grimmjow shove him back against the wall with a firm hand on his chest, his back flattened against cold porcelain. Grimmjow’s hair was a mess, half of it fell into his face, obscuring narrowed eyes. Ichigo could see that Grimmjow’s eyes weren’t solid blue as he thought, they were flecked with an array of colors he wished he had more time to appreciate. What Ichigo found curious, was that the demon wasn’t angry or annoyed, merely expectant. “Your breath stinks,” Ichigo said.

Grimmjow gave him a flat look. “Deal with it. You’re gonna get in the shower, and you’re gonna fix this.” He gestured to the dried and flaking blood smeared over his tattoos and toned muscle as if it weren’t obvious.

Ichigo couldn’t resist. “Can’t fix stupid.”

“You’re gonna get in the shower,” Grimmjow leaned in closer, making a point to breath on him. “And fix this.”

Brows shooting up, Ichigo played dumb. “Am I?” The glare on Grimmjow’s face was answer enough. “You don’t tell me what to do.” Now he was just being cheeky, and Grimmjow knew it enough to go along with it. At least, he wasn’t upset about it, if anything, Ichigo swore the demon was enjoying himself, despite all the whining.

Grimmjow tilted his head and said, “Okay, fine.”

That was all the warning Ichigo got. Grimmjow peeled him off the wall and in the turbulence of hoisting him up off the ground, manhandling, and somehow getting them both over the edge of the tub, the demon got his way. Ichigo landed on his ass on smooth enamel, Grimmjow hunched above him, shielding him from the spray of water with a triumphant smirk plastered on his face.

Both brows raised in genuine shock, Ichigo looked up at Grimmjow and said, “Impressive.”

Grimmjow’s smile turned scandalous. “I know.”

He hadn’t been awake long enough for dick jokes. “Classy,” Ichigo said dryly. “Pass the soap.”

Suspicious of the sudden compliance with his wishes, Grimmjow hesitated. He finally tore his eyes off of Ichigo and twisted, fumbling for the soap. Once he got a grip, he popped the lid open, took a whiff, and gagged. “What the fuck is this?”

“Shampoo,” Ichigo said with the same dry humor. It was a rather forceful gift from Yuzu.

Grimmjow eyed it in distaste. “Smells like unicorn balls, don’t tell me you actually use this?”

Damn right he used it. “Don’t be so dramatic, it’s just strawberries.”

“Girly shit, I fucking knew it,” Grimmjow hissed. He dumped a small puddle of luminous white soap out in his hand and made a disgusted noise. “Oh God, it looks like sparkly jizz.”

Ichigo rolled his eyes. “It’s going in your hair, not your mouth. Turn around.”

Grimmjow made a show of grumbling but turned and sat between Ichigo's knees anyway. He scrubbed the soap into his hair with such violence, Ichigo felt the need to intervene. Knocking Grimmjow's hands away, Ichigo muttered, “Relax, let me do it.”

The demon caved easily, his hands dropping onto his knees with a slump of his shoulders. Sitting directly beneath the spray, he had to close his eyes or risk getting soap in them. Sopping wet, the demon painted a miserable picture. “It reeks,” he groaned.

Rolling his eyes, Ichigo threw his words back at him. “Deal with it.”

Lifting his hands to Grimmjow's hair, Ichigo scrubbed his fingers through soapy blue locks, the pads of his fingers massaging his scalp. Grimmjow melted beneath his touch, head falling back. Ichigo couldn't help but stare, running his fingers back up through the trails he just made. That earned him a full throated moan.

“Damn, did you cum? If it was that easy I would have just braided your hair.”

“Shut the fuck-Aaahhh.”

Ichigo had pressed his fingers down against his scalp, pulling slow lines back to his nape. Grimmjow sighed and remembered he’d been in the middle of an insult. “...Up.”

A smug smile curled Ichigo's lips, continuing his motions with the goal of earning another moan. “Didn't think you were the sort of cat to like pets.”

“Fuck off, Kurosaki, I'm not some stray.”

“Uh huh,” Ichigo said, unconvinced. Yet he didn’t stop, and Grimmjow didn’t hold back the soft sounds of enjoyment the drag of his fingers caused. When he stopped, Grimmjow looked back at him with equal parts confusion and delirious pleasure.

Picking up the shampoo bottle Grimmjow had abandoned near the drain, Ichigo took care of his own hair, Grimmjow’s eyes elsewhere, but Ichigo could feel the other’s attention on him all the same. It was a heavy, mutual silence, and one Ichigo might have thought would have been awkward or strained, but Ichigo found was comfortable, which was alarming.

Hair clean, he leaned forward, his chest flat to Grimmjow’s back, arms reaching around to turn off the shower and fill the tub. He was still draped over Grimmjow, the roar of filling bathwater echoing in the small room, when the demon decided it was a good time to drop a bomb. “You know you have nightmares.”

Ichigo stiffened and looked at him, which was next to impossible when he was an inch away from his face, but he tried. Blue eyes regarded him, sharp and searching. Grimmjow didn’t sound accusatory, just curious, as if his own mental picture of him didn’t match up.

Ichigo sat back, and Grimmjow twisted to look at him. Ichigo didn’t have a truthful answer, so he asked a question. “Did I say something?”

Grimmjow’s face twisted into a frown. “I didn’t call you a bear trap to be cute, you clawed me up pretty good.”

Ichigo blanched, his stomach swallowed by the chasm of guilt that always lurked, waiting for an opportunity. “I hurt you?”

Grimmjow stared like he didn’t know who he was looking at. “You didn’t know?”

He hadn’t. He knew Grimmjow could take it, but what if he’d been with someone else? God forbid, what if he’d been with a human? Whatever look was on his face must have been pretty transparent, because Grimmjow’s expression shifted to concern. The demon said, “I’m fine, Kurosaki.”

“That isn't the point.”

Grimmjow’s face crossed into something knowing and he twisted, his half position in his lap awkward and uncomfortable, but it put the demon above him. “You keep that locked up in your soul with nothing to do, what did you think would happen?”

“You’re saying this is my fault.”

“I am.”

“Koneko is right, King.”

He was, but that didn't mean Ichigo had to like it. The nephilim part of his soul was so much easier to fit into society. It could be just as ruthless and unforgiving, but the instincts that drove it were appeased by far less. His demon demanded sacrifice, and there was no blood or battle to feed it, not anymore.

“I already told you, dumbass, you don't have to hide from me.” Grimmjow said.

“I know.”

“I can't stand it.”

“I know.”

Grimmjow leaned in, teeth bared. “Then wipe that stupid look off your face.”

Guilt; A bad habit engrained by everyone around him, whether they realized it or not. Little words and stolen looks that made it painfully clear there was no place for that part of himself, it wasn't wanted.

Grimmjow caught on, eyes narrowing. “Big bad fear came to bite you in the ass, so what? Coulda been someone else? Well it wasn't, it was me.”

Twisting further, Grimmjow braced himself on the back of the tub and crushed their lips together. The kiss was forceful and brief, but when the demon leaned back, he lingered, voice rough. “It was always gonna be me, Kurosaki.”

Eyes flicked between smoldering blue eyes, Ichigo said, “You sound pretty confident about that.”

Grimmjow grinned, sliding a hand up Ichigo's chest. “Should I not be?”

The water was rising high enough that any movement sent it sloshing almost too close to the edge. Ichigo leaned forward, his chin on Grimmjow's shoulder just to reach the faucet and shut the water off. The resulting slosh of water cut through the silence.

Leaning back, Grimmjow resettled between his legs, catching Ichigo's jaw in his hand with a growl, “Don't ignore me.”

“Ignore you…” Ichigo hissed. “Two years, Grimmjow, where were you?” The demon opened his mouth to answer, but Ichigo wasn’t sure he even cared. The demon wasn’t there, and now he demanded everything. Ichigo gripped Grimmjow’s wrist, tearing his hand away and glared up at him.“You wanted me; this is it.”

He hadn’t throw up his walls again, there was no facade to hide beneath. “You have me,” Ichigo said, “Do I have you?”

Grimmjow pushed back on Ichigo’s chest, flattening him against the side of the tub. The demon shoved his knees on either side of his waist, caging him there beneath his weight. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Ichigo braced himself on the side of the tub and fought the slide of smooth slope to sit face to face. Grimmjow just flattened him again and growled, “Answer me.”

Head falling back against the edge of the tub with a hollow thud, Ichigo acquiesced. “You’re not going to stay.” Blue eyes widened a fraction, as if he hadn’t considered this. “I don’t know what you came for, but you got it.”

“I came here to kill you,” Grimmjow said, but there was no force behind his words, falling flat.

“Did you? Didn’t seem like it.” The demon made himself a thorn in his side, but he hadn't shown up looking for a fight. Ichigo understood the piece of his nature he had come to expect. Grimmjow was abrasive, volatile, loud, but the look on his face now was none of those things.

“You’re right,” Grimmjow spoke, “I came here for you.” Ichigo waited for more, and after a long moment filled with nothing but the sounds of lapping water, the demon swallowed his pride. “I was here; that’s where I’ve been. You never noticed, you didn't want to find me.”

Ichigo would have called bullshit, but the look on Grimmjow’s face stopped him short. There was a shadow of loneliness in his eyes, something Ichigo didn’t think he could hide. It was a deep and resounding thing Ichigo didn’t think he couldn’t empathize with. That was the haunted look of one who suffered loneliness. Ichigo spoke in a soft whisper, “That doesn’t sound like you.”

“Looked like you had a nice life,” Grimmjow said with a shrug, “Didn’t think you deserved me ruining it.”

“That’s arrogant,” Ichigo said. “To think you could ruin my life.”

“Asshole,” Grimmjow snarled.

Ichigo hooked his hand over the back of Grimmjow’s neck to pull himself up. He kissed him and Grimmjow didn’t put up a fight, didn’t even bite. Ichigo couldn’t find it in himself to apologize for something he didn’t think he would ever do differently, but this was the softest sympathy he could muster when he didn’t know what to say. Ichigo pulled back, searching Grimmjow’s face, and the scowl he expected to see was gone, replaced with subtle surprise.

Grimmjow’s voice was rough. “Don’t want yer pity.”

“It isn’t pity,” Ichigo said. If he was being honest with himself, he didn’t know what he was feeling. He didn’t think it was negative, but whatever it was, there was a lot of it. “You want something I can’t give you.” He wasn’t going to leave, and Grimmjow wasn’t going to stay. It left them at an impasse.

Staring down at him, Grimmjow spoke. “This life doesn't suit you.”

“But it is my life.”

Grimmjow’s nose wrinkled in a snarl. “Is it? Going to go back to being a leashed dog?”

Ichigo sat up, despite Grimmjow’s attempt to keep him down. He was tired of the jabs to his freedom, as if he’d lost all autonomy the moment he’d picked up the mantle of protector. Hands slipping around Grimmjow’s back, Ichigo held him, his fingers digging in over skin that had thus gone untouched.

Leaning in close, golden eyes met Grimmjow’s own. “So long as Soul Society’s interests align with my own, they’re an ally. They use me, I use them, and that’s fine,” his tone hardened with an edge of steel, “but I do not belong to them.”

Grimmjow almost accepted this, tilting his head back just a touch, diffusing the challenge he’d leveled at him. “If you say so, Kurosaki.”

“I do.”

Grimmjow dropped the subject at hand, leaning in close, his hands slipping up behind Ichigo to hold him in a tight embrace. “You’re mine.”

Ignoring the spike of satisfaction those words brought, Ichigo circled back to his previous question. “Again, why so confident?”

“I saw it in your eyes. Felt it in your sword.”

Ichigo knew, but he asked anyways, he wanted to hear it from Grimmjow’s own mouth. “Felt what?”

“Violence, need, desperation; You came all the way to Hell lookin’ for a fight. Looking to win.”

“Two years is a long time,” Ichigo said.

Grimmjow leaned in for Ichigo’s throat, lips hot against his skin. “Not that long.”

“Things change.”

“Not you.”

Sliding the pads of his fingers over his back, Ichigo acted blind to trace scars. He said, “I didn’t know demons could hope.”

“It ain’t hope if I already know,” Grimmjow exhaled along his throat, his hands smoothing over his hips to his ass. “I knew it when I watched you go home alone, night after night. None of these people have what you want.” He had to tack on an insult. “You’re a boring fucker, you know that?”

“You were stalking me?” Ichigo let out a heavy breath when Grimmjow added his tongue to the mix. The demon’s hands were smoothing up his back before reaching up his ribs, one hand moving to rest against the wall, the other thumb at his clavicle. He glanced down at the demon and said, “That’s creepy.”

Grimmjow shrugged, his attention firmly on Ichigo’s throat. “Didn’t have anything else to do. Should’a noticed me sooner.”

“That's right,” Ichigo mocked. “Blame the victim.”

Grimmjow scoffed, “You? A victim? Don’t make me laugh.”

One of the demon’s hands wandered, getting frisky enough that Ichigo leveled a questioning look at Grimmjow. “I didn’t wear you out? Maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough?”

Grimmjow made a rude noise, his other hand squeezing Ichigo’s ass hard enough that Ichigo felt it was fair to squeeze his ass back. A laugh spilled from Grimmjow, the end of it punctuated by a violent splash of water when the hand by his head pinned him against the back of the tub. “No, you were good, but don’t tell me you’re not wiped out too, I’m not blind.”

“So what’s this?”

“Fun.” Grimmjow smiled, earlier misgivings forgotten. “You had yours, I want mine.”

Ichigo let him have that, he wasn’t feeling too interested in arguing about it. “If you flood the apartment below mine, you’re paying for it.”

Ignoring that, Grimmjow said, “I got the demon, where’s the angel side?”

Ichigo rolled his eyes. “What do you want, bragging rights?”

Smile widening with a leer, Grimmjow said, “Maybe.”

Ichigo’s brows shot up. “Ah, a kink.”

Landing a bruising kiss on his lips, Grimmjow pulled back to say, “Let me have my fantasies, Kurosaki.”

“Thought you didn’t like angels?”

“Don’t,” Grimmjow agreed. “Hate em’.” The demon resumed his attention on his throat, but this time his hand went straight for his cock. Despite his enthusiasm, his grip was light and torturous with how slow he was moving.

Switching his grip from the side of the tub to Grimmjow’s back, Ichigo decided the attention was nice. Even if he’d rather curl up and go back to sleep, the demon was swift to change his mind. “So what are you after, a hate fuck?”

Grimmjow broke away to look at him, looking offended he would even ask. “You’re not one of them.”

“An angel? So, what then?”

Irritation crossed Grimmjow’s face. “I said I wanted you, you calling me a liar?”

Ichigo sighed. “Goddammit, Grimmjow, can you answer the question?”

It must not have occurred to him that Ichigo might not be on the same page, because he cocked his head in wonder. “You think I actually hate your nephilim side.”

“I wonder what gave me that idea?” Ichigo snapped, “It might have been all the subtext an-” Grimmjow shut him up with a kiss that Ichigo ended with a bite. Grimmjow pulled back with a smirk, and Ichigo scowled up at him. “I wasn’t done.”

“Oh, don’t get me wrong, I prefer your demon, but why would I not want to taste divinity? I don’t know if you’ve noticed, Kurosaki, but when the nephilim in you burns, it hurts. I like it.”

“If you’re trying to turn me on,” Ichigo lied, “It’s not working.”

Grimmjow leaned in to try to kiss him again and Ichigo turned his head away. Grimmjow didn’t take it personally, teeth and tongue lavishing his throat with attention instead. “Hell yeah it’s a kink, Kurosaki.” He twisted his hand around his cock, tightening his grip enough to coax a hiss out of the hybrid. “Want me to say it gets my dick hard to know that I’ve got a nephilim in the palm of my hand and I don’t have a sword in my throat?”

Whether it was the tone of his voice of the roughness of his strokes, Ichigo moaned, fingers curling with a fistful of Grimmjow’s hair. “You like to flirt with death. Does it ruin the fantasy when I don’t want to kill you?”

Grimmjow laughed against his throat, his breath hot on his skin. “You have no concept of what you’re like, do you?”

“A hybrid mess.”

“I’m working on that,” Grimmjow hummed. He wrung his cock with a punishing twist, one that had Ichigo biting his lip to hold back a hiss of pain. “I wanna see it.”

“Demanding,” Ichigo growled. “I'm not bringing my wings out in a bathtub.”

Grimmjow snorted, his grip loosening to tease the head of his cock. “Nothing stopping you from bringing out the rest.” Ichigo's hips jerked at the unsatisfactory light touches Grimmjow insisted on. “I'm not negotiating.”

Shoulders falling in a sigh, Ichigo caved into the demand. It wasn't that he was suppressing his nephilim side because he hated it, he just wasn't fond of catering to Grimmjow's whims. Not for any particular reason, it was pure stubbornness, but after he’d spent the night chipping away at Grimmjow’s pride, it felt fair.

His hair grew longer, golden silk spreading out in feathered strands between them and into the water. His soulfire smoldered beneath his skin in blue flame so hot it burned white, dazzling the warm glow of gold with even more heat. Grimmjow stared with such lust, Ichigo had to wonder just what it was he saw.

Angels were pretty---that was an understatement---but Grimmjow was never one to be drawn to sheer beauty. Ichigo knew he was strong, the depth of his fire reflected that, but he thought there might be something more. Grimmjow wanted his demon side, but it never occured to Ichigo that he might want the nephilim in him too. The desire radiating from Grimmjow proved his doubts were baseless. The demon wanted and Ichigo was all too willing to let him take in return.

Grimmjow's smile was sinful. “That’s it, those eyes that I hate.” He tugged Ichigo's cock in slow, forceful strokes. Ichigo let his head fall back, closing his eyes in bliss as the other stole the air from his lungs. “Look at me.”

Without thought, Ichigo complied, then considered why. “I thought you hated my eyes.”

Grimmjow answered, his own eyes narrowed in regard. “So confident,” he growled, his hand shifting from his cock downward, squeezing his jewels hard enough to drag a gasp of pain from the nephilim. “Even when I've got your balls in my hand. I hate it.”

Ichigo managed a smug grin. “Sorry.”

“Thou shalt not tell lies,” Grimmjow mocked, rolling his balls in his palm. “Ya ain't sorry, Kurosaki. I hate that look.” He accented his words with a gentle squeeze and continued, “I want to see it, I want to ruin it.”

Now Ichigo thought he understood what Grimmjow was after. His breath was already staggered with lust when he looked up at the other. He wouldn’t say it, his pride wouldn’t allow it, but the challenge was held behind his eyes. Destroy me, if you can.

 

--Grimmjow Jaegerjaques--

Flecks of gold shimmered in Kurosaki's eyes, like amber seen through a stream. It was beautiful, in a sickeningly angelic way. It was too delicate for his volatile personality, it went against everything he knew about Kurosaki. But then, did he know him at all?

He’d known him from a distance; he had only seen the warrior, a demon on the battlefield, but this side was just as real.

Kurosaki talked a big game, he was obscene with his power, but he wasn’t infallible. He had doubts, regrets, fears; it was a reminder that beneath all that power, he was still human.

Grimmjow wanted to see proof that he’d done something, to scar and cleave and ruin him. Just as he had been ruined. Let Kurosaki carry the claim of him. But the blood he drew always healed, never scarred, so he aimed deeper, beneath that flawless skin, for the places no one else could reach. Kurosaki claimed Grimmjow had his heart, but short of tearing it from his chest, how did he know?

The very fact Kurosaki submitted to this at all was a glimmer of proof, but he craved more, always more.

Stroking Kurosaki’s hard and pulsing cock, he leaned in, teasing a kiss, but kept just out of reach. “You’re holding back.” The hybrid bit back an answer, aware that the truth wasn't what Grimmjow wanted to hear. “Think I can't take a little bit of soulfire?”

“It's a lot more than a bit, Grimmjow.”

“Scared you'll hurt me?” From the look in Kurosaki’s eyes, he thought that might be true, so he circled back to another uncomfortable truth. “Scared I'll hate you?”

Golden eyes widened. “That's not-”

“Got a lot of fear for a so called hero,” Grimmjow said. His words cut deep, he knew they would. Kurosaki’s brows furrowed, jaw clenched tight. A potential mood breaker, but it needed to be said. Kurosaki got a good hard look at the parts of himself that filled him with shame, and he wasn’t going to let the hybrid off unscathed.

Grimmjow leaned in and planted a surprisingly soft kiss on his lips. It took a moment but Kurosaki relaxed, their lips molding together enough he felt he could risk slipping his tongue into his mouth. It was nothing like the frantic clash of last night; It was slow and tantalizing; deliberate. He was never one for words, he wanted it clear that this wasn’t just lust, or a primal need born from instinct and blood.

Stroking his shaft in a slow rise and fall, Grimmjow fed the hybrid’s arousal with controlled timing, holding them both back from the temptation of quick and thoughtless satisfaction.

Grimmjow waited for the hybrid to break the kiss, Ichigo’s smothered breaths degrading into pants when their lips parted. Grimmjow’s voice was low and rough. “You think I care? You're only human.”

Offense flickered across Kurosaki’s face and Grimmjow smiled. “That wasn’t an insult.” He saw the confusion in the hybrid, and he kissed it away, moving back down towards his neck.

“You think I don’t envy you?” Grimmjow mumbled along his throat, accented with the nip of teeth and held back lust. “I hate what you have.”

“That doesn’t make any sense,” Kurosaki said, breathless.

Chuckling under his breath, Grimmjow stroked him faster, hearing his breath hitch and feeling his hands tighten over his shoulders. It wasn’t Kurosaki’s fault his brain wasn’t working; the hybrid overthought everything, and this was a decent attempt to curb that tendency. “You think I don’t crave the burn of smoke in my lungs or the bitter wash of alcohol? You think I don’t miss the sunrise? You get everything, Kurosaki.” He hissed, “You’re alive.”

And he tasted alive. The swell of his soul was a wave that never crested; there was so much potential, he couldn’t help but be drawn to it. “I thought you had everything,” he amended. “You have so much power. I want it,” he snarled. Grimmjow squeezed his cock, earning a stifled whimper, blunted nails clawing into his back.

The punishing pressure eased, as did Kurosaki’s tension, and Grimmjow stroked soft in apology. It was shocking that it hadn’t dulled the hybrid’s arousal, if anything, it was stronger. He rumbled in the quiet between breaths, “But I don’t want this. This loneliness, this boredom and stagnation. You don’t belong anywhere, do you?”

Kurosaki’s bucked up in an attempt to dislodge the demon, but Grimmjow sat firm, bearing his weight down with all of his strength, the nephilim stronger now that he was in his more angelic form. He gave a hard but pleasing stroke, and the instinctive fury on the other twisted into pleasure, the two emotions warring. Soulfire crawled over his skin, thick with shame and lust, and Grimmjow didn’t stop, couldn’t stop until he was done flaying them both. Leaning back, Grimmjow looked down and found Kurosaki’s eyes locked on his own, raw and wary. Strong, but the power Grimmjow was wielding wasn’t a weapon the hybrid wanted to stop.

Grimmjow wasn’t done. “Not angel enough for heaven, not demon enough for hell...You’ve tasted fire and brimstone; being human isn’t going to be enough.” The pain in Kurosaki wasn’t just visual, he felt it in the soulfire that flared between them, defensive. He was unraveling the hybrid, giving voice to things unsaid.

He kissed Kurosaki, smothering a deep moan. Grimmjow wasn’t oblivious, he knew loneliness when he saw it, but he never expected to see denial run so deep, Kurosaki hadn’t even acknowledged the chasm in his heart. Grimmjow knew loneliness, but to be the only one, so unique in his existence and power?

Breaking their kiss, Grimmjow’s teeth caught his lower lip, biting hard enough to draw blood. Kurosaki sucked in a breath, and Grimmjow leaned back to catch his eyes. He hadn’t touched him enough, and he was already a wreck; wet strands of golden locks clung to his skin in tangled swirls, his lips parted and swollen. Blood glistened on his lower lip, and Grimmjow dove in, suckling it away.

All the while, his hand wasn’t idle, twisting and tugging the other’s cock just enough to keep him hard, to distract him enough that there was no telling where the source of his pain started or ended. “What would they say if they saw you now, Kurosaki?”

They; everyone. The people Kurosaki was so steadfast to lock out, the people that saw a smile and never dug deeper. They never saw this, but Kurosaki let him. He might have been tearing down his walls, but he was under no delusions that he'd done it against Kurosaki's will.

Shame darken his eyes, yet the hybrid didn't look away, he wasn’t hiding from him anymore. Kurosaki was stronger than him, Grimmjow didn't think he could take that.

Grimmjow hadn’t posed the question out of malice, that wasn't his intention at all. Kurosaki's heart was in his claws but he wasn't going to crush it, he was there to bleed out the poison.

He said, “You think you’re protecting them, hiding all this?” Kurosaki’s resolve wavered, and yet he didn’t break eye contact. He let go of his cock, hand tightening around his balls. He held Kurosaki tighter and tighter, until his legs tightened around him and a strangled sob slipped from his lips. Grimmjow accused, “Masochist.”

That did it, he looked away.

Grimmjow readjusted his position to free up the arm holding him up above the hybrid. He took Kurosaki’s chin in hand and forced his head back. “Look at me,” he ordered. To his surprise, Kurosaki complied.

Shame burned in amber eyes, and Grimmjow realized where all that shame came from; It wasn’t whatever Ichigo had done or hadn’t done, but that he couldn’t take it; he suffered the consequences alone.

“You have a sword leveled at your own heart, dumbass. Every inch you spare them, spears you. I can’t make you stop, but don’t you dare spare me.” He squeezed hard enough for Kurosaki to yelp, tears pulling at the corners of his eyes from pain or otherwise, he didn’t care. “Don’t you fucking dare.”

His hand left Kurosaki’s chin, returning to its place on the wall behind him. The hybrid let out a heavy breath, stumbling into a sound torn between a sob and a laugh. “I used you.”

“So what?” Grimmjow said. He swallowed his pride and smirked. “I begged you for it.”

Ichigo snorted and looked away.

“Ichigo.”

That got his attention, gold eyes snapping back to his. He never called him Ichigo, he didn’t want the familiarity to make him complacent, but there just wasn’t a good reason left not to. Grimmjow went from torturing his balls to stroking his dick, setting a pace that made Ichigo moan. He hissed, “It was always gonna be me, Ichigo. I awakened your instincts, I showed you carnal joy, ain’t anyone alive can say that.”

Ichigo’s hands slid up into his hair, watching him like there was no one else in the world. He’d have killed to be looked at like that, but that wasn’t what he’d had to do to get here. All he’d needed to do was wait. Humans had moments of weakness, and Ichigo had found him during his own. Grimmjow, demon of destruction. They scraped against each other; glass clenched tight in a bar fight, words thrown careless in anger, and in an insane sort of way, he loved it.

Grimmjow’s voice was low, jerking him off hard enough to disturb the water with watery echos that rang off cold bathroom tiles. “Be selfish, Ichigo. I can take it.”

Muscles tightening in a rippling wave of pleasure, Ichigo panted, his hands fisted in his hair. “Grimmjow…”

Grimmjow saw the plea in his eyes, and he knew he was never going to get Ichigo to beg, not as he was. He grinned, his intention never having been to hammer him down. “Never thought I’d see it; a nephilim, moaning and gasping under a demon.”

A healthy dusting of shame brightened Ichigo's cheeks. “Fuck you,” he gasped.

“Ahhhhh you already did that.” Grimmjow teased. He leaned in, picking up the pace until thoughts were the least of Ichigo's priorities. “Cum,” he ordered. Ichigo clenched his teeth and stiffened, holding back. Grimmjow drawled, “Noooo, Ichigo. No one has to know. Sin tastes the sweetest when it’s secret.”

“Grimmjow,” Ichigo moaned.

“No one has to know. Right now, your needs are mine, I am your everything.” He tightened his hand over the head of his cock, twisting. Ichigo’s hips lurched in pain, but the sound he made was tortured with pleasure. “How’s that feel?” Ichigo moaned, but he was hunting for words. “A near god, with a demon tormenting his cock.” His hand slipped lower again, feeling his cock strain for release. His let his claws elongate, threatening the delicate flesh between his balls. Grimmjow felt his cock twitch against his palm, demanding. “Tell me how it feels.”

Cheeks flushed red, Ichigo groaned, “Good, it feels good.”

Shifting his hand back around his cock, he traced a pulsing vein with a claw. “You’re going to cum for me.” Ichigo trembled, keeping still with claws pressed so close to something so delicate.

Grimmjow leaned in and kissed him, possessive and deep. He spoke close to his lips. “No one else will ever see. This is mine. Your weakness, your vice, your sin; Mine,” he hissed. Ichigo would never change, it was too late for that. He wasn’t selfish, and he would never stop putting others first, but for these moments they shared, Grimmjow wanted to erase that burden.

Pumping his cock in hard, purposeful strokes, Ichigo arched, hips thrusting into his palm and he came. A loud and guttural moan fell from his lips, his hands tight in his hair, as he clung to Grimmjow through his orgasm.

Grimmjow leaned back far enough to watch, teasing the head of his twitching cock through the waves of pleasure. The soulfire that raced over his skin and skirted the surface of the water wasn’t unwanted, it was as welcome as the pain in Ichigo’s heart, he wasn’t going to shy away from any of it.

Ichigo never took his eyes off of him, that shame gone and replaced by something Grimmjow had never seen on the other. Something nameless.

Grimmjow stroked his softened and sensitive cock until Ichigo began to make quiet, pained sounds from overstimulation. Having mercy on him, Grimmjow’s arms shifted to his waist, pulling Ichigo into his arms. Chest heaving, Ichigo settled in his lap, as awkward as the position was, and ducked his head down beneath Grimmjow’s chin, his breath hot against his throat. The hybrid’s hands weren’t idle, his fingers parted his hair and massaged his scalp, the silence broken by his voice, rough, as if he’d been screaming. “You didn’t cum.”

“If you won’t be selfish,” Grimmjow threatened, “I’ll make you.”

Silence stretched for a long moment and Ichigo murmured, “That doesn’t sound like you.”

“What would you know?” Grimmjow said. He hadn’t meant for it to be so biting but Ichigo didn’t take it personally.

“That’s true. What do I know?”

The hybrid sounded resigned, but not upset, so Grimmjow let it be. Ichigo’s breathing took some time to level and Grimmjow’s arousal calmed enough he could ignore it. It was mutually agreed upon to finally move again to rinse off and dry themselves.

It didn’t take long to fulfill that desire and get dressed, borrowing a shirt from Ichigo that was likely a size too small. He watched the hybrid all the while, noting that his walls weren’t just lowered, they were finally gone. He looked exhausted, especially when he was back to looking human. Dark smudges brought out his eyes in the worst way, his shoulders were taut, habit more than anxiety. Peace or not, he looked ready to fight at a moment’s notice, and it wasn’t because he was standing there next to him.

Ichigo found his phone on the ground under a sheet and when he took a glance at the screen, sheer panic crossed his face.

“What?” Grimmjow asked.

Ichigo didn’t answer, throwing himself into action. He lurched, stopped, then lurched again, torn on what to do first. He made an agonized sound as he looked over his bedroom, running his hand through drying hair. Then his eyes snapped to Grimmjow, fear on his face.

“What?” Grimmjow tried again, more forceful.

“They’re coming here. Right now.”

Well that made sense. Ichigo had soulfire like a beacon, and he’d drawn out his hellfire. Given Kurosaki’s track record of abstinence, Grimmjow had no doubt this was out of this ordinary. “Oh. Well let them come.” A look passed over Ichigo’s face and Grimmjow sighed. “You want me to leave.”

“No!” Ichigo blushed, surprising himself by the desperation in his voice. “No. It’s too late anyway, look at this place.”

“So close the door.”

“It’s pretty obvious what happened,” Ichigo hissed.

“Could probably fool the bimbo, but four-eyes? It is glasses and tits on their way, isn’t it?”

Ichigo let the insult slide, his shoulders sagging. “How’d you know?”

“He’s a nosy asshole and all over your business,” Grimmjow snarled. “The girl too.”

“They mean well,” Ichigo defended.

Nose wrinkling in a sneer, Grimmjow growled, “I’d tell you to grow a pair, but I just had them in my hand.”

Ichigo blushed like a virgin, which was the response he’d been hoping for. “You’re an asshole.”

Grimmjow sensed the light of a paladin not even a hundred feet from the front door. “They’re here.”

“Fuck!” Ichigo swore at no one and nothing in particular, giving the room another panicked once over. He shoved Grimmjow out and into the living room, slamming the door behind him. He let out another agonized sound, and Grimmjow traced his eyes to the blood smeared on his floor. Definitely didn’t have time to clean that.

Instead of panicking about it, Grimmjow crossed over to the sofa and sat his ass down. Ichigo shot him an appalled look, one Grimmjow responded to with crossed arms and a glare. He wasn’t leaving, not because his stupid friends were showing up to try to ruin this. THIS. This thing he’d been waiting for for years.

Fuck that.

There was a knock at the door and Ichigo jumped. The hybrid cast a forlorn look at the smeared and dried blood, then crossed over to the door. From where Grimmjow sat, he couldn’t see the door, but he heard it open. “Ishida, I can—”

“He bit you?!”

“Ishi––Hey!”

The paladin shoved past Ichigo into the living room, noticing Grimmjow first, then the blood on the ground between them. A bow of light materialized in his palm, crackling and humming with power, but Grimmjow didn’t move, a sneer curling his lip.

Ichigo staggered around Ishida’s weapon to get between them. “Ishida! Stop.”

“He’s an arrancar.” Ishida spat the name like a curse. With the bow of light in hand, he used the arrow to point at Grimmjow, as if Ichigo wasn’t aware. “You have an arrancar in your living room.”

Ichigo started to speak, but the paladin’s attitude was pissing him off. Grimmjow’s smirk was nearly auditory. “And on the floor, and in his bed,” The paladin paled and Grimmjow’s smile widened, “And his shower.”

Ichigo shot Grimmjow a look that promised murder, but the dick was out of the bag. Maybe the hybrid didn’t want his friends in on the details of his sex life but fuck if Grimmjow didn’t want to brag. That fiery monolith of power was his, and he wanted them to know it.

Catching the determined glint in his eyes, Ichigo’s shoulders slumped with tired acceptance. He lifted a hand, rubbing the bridge of his nose like he was trying to ease a headache.

“He isn’t—” Ishida started.

The hybrid gestured, a little helpless, and snapped, “What do you want me to say, Ishida?”

“Kurosaki-kun?”

All eyes landed on the girl, staring with a flicker of fear and wide eyed at Grimmjow. She wrung her hands in front of her stomach. Submissive simpering thing. She could be brave, he’d seen it firsthand, but she was always a bleeding heart first. He didn’t like her. He bared his teeth in a challenging sneer, confident enough to remain where he was. “Too late, princess. He’s mine.”

“Grimmjow,” Ichigo snarled. Grimmjow looked up at him and bit back what he was going to say at the fire that burned in him. The hybrid looked angry and stressed enough that he wouldn’t push him, despite how badly the urge clawed at his instincts.

Turning to Ishida, Ichigo spoke in a steady voice, “Put the bow away. He’s here because I asked him here, he leaves when I say he does, not because you want him to be.” The paladin opened his mouth and Ichigo raised his voice. “It’s my life, and my house.”

A look of disgust crossed Ishida’s face when he looked over Grimmjow, but his bow flickered out. “I thought your lease didn’t allow pets.”

Grimmjow ground his teeth, but to his shock, Ichigo stepped in. The hybrid grabbed Ishida by the bicep, his fingers digging in hard enough to earn Ishida’s full attention. “You don’t have to like it, but you will show a little respect, or so help me, Ishida, you can get out.” He raised his voice. “That goes for all of you.”

He said ‘all’, but his eyes were locked on Grimmjow’s, daring him to argue. Grimmjow thought that was sort of unfair; he won, there was no reason left to argue, so he looked away.

The girl looked like she wanted to run and Ishida like he wanted to scream, but no one made a move to leave. Ichigo loosened his grip and took a step back. “Now, are we going to talk about this like adults, or keeping shouting?” No one spoke, but the girl went back to the to the door to close it, then came back in and stood awkwardly in the living room.

Ichigo gestured at a small table with chairs, and Ishida dragged them out, Orihime’s first, then his own. Once he sat down, Ichigo went to the sofa and sat next to Grimmjow. The couch depressed under his weight, enough that their legs touched, and Grimmjow didn’t even try to hide the smirk that crawled across his face. The girl looked like she was going to be ill and the paladin tightened his hands into fists on his knees.

Resisting the urge to grab Ichigo’s thigh in a possessive hold, Grimmjow broke the silence. “We fucked, it’s not a goddamned funeral.”

“Why?” Ishida blurted.

“That’s none of your business,” Ichigo said, voice ice cold. That surprised Grimmjow as much as his friends. The hybrid folded his arms and sank back into the couch. “Next question.”

Orihime’s eyes flickered over to the blood on the floor, but she said nothing. Ichigo followed her gaze, but chose not to comment, so Grimmjow answered for him. “We're violent, what did you expect?”

“Kurosaki-kun isn't…”

“Violent?” Grimmjow let out a bark of laughter, crossing his feet on the coffee table with a thud of heavy boots. He shot glasses a smug look. “Does that answer your question?”

Neither of them were comfortable with the turn in subject, and Grimmjow didn’t need to look to feel Ichigo’s irritation. Ishida turned his attention back towards Ichigo. “What are you going to tell Soul Society?”

“Nothing,” Ichigo growled. “It’s my business, and he’s my responsibility.”

“He’s an arrancar,” Ishida stressed.

“Did you not hear me?” Ichigo said. “He’s my responsibility.”

“Soul Society will find out about him,” Ishida argued.

“What are they gonna do?” Ichigo asked, incredulous. “Fight me?” He sounded more bitter than Grimmjow had ever heard him. It startled him, but it floored his friends.

Orihime’s brows furrowed in distress. “You’re upset with them.”

“That’s my business,” Ichigo said.

Fiddling with the end of her sleeve, Orihime said, “You know we’re your friends? Right, Kurosaki-kun?”

Grimmjow didn’t pity her, she had years to notice Ichigo was drowning, and she kept waiting for the hybrid to move first. She lost her chance, Ichigo was his. In his mind, all this stress was deserved.

Ichigo didn't see it that way. Stealing a glance, Grimmjow saw the hybrid's resolve waver. Instead of waiting for him to respond to the girl, Grimmjow decided to dig a hole he might not be able to climb out of. “Are you? Took ya long enough to notice.”

The look Ichigo gave him was full of venom, and the girl went white as a sheet. If they were all too pussy to say it, he would. Before they could get over their shock, Grimmjow twisted the knife. “Took him fucking a demon to notice; That’s pretty pathetic.” All of them looked uncomfortable, but damn him, he couldn’t let up. “Or maybe you noticed, but you didn’t care?”

“Stop.” Ichigo’s voice was twisted up in a tangle of emotions Grimmjow recognized, but were too numerous to name. Grimmjow looked, and the sheer understanding on his face pissed him off. Here he was, doing he damndest to drive a wedge between him and his friends, and he already forgave him for it, just like that.

“That’s unfair, it isn’t that simple,” Ishida defended.

Ichigo agreed, “It isn’t. It’s just his nature.”

“Don’t make excuses for him,” Ishida said.

“It isn’t an excuse,” Ichigo said. “It’s just reality.”

Grimmjow wasn’t sure how he felt about that. He didn’t think he deserved a pass, but Ichigo already gave him one, for better or for worse. “ Well there’s no reason to get your panties in a bunch. I'm not stayin’.”

Grimmjow knew Ichigo was expecting to hear that, but he still felt the other lock beside him. Ishida leaned forward on his knees, hands clenched so tight, the tendons were stark underneath pale skin. “Is that supposed to convince me you're not using him?”

“Who said I wasn't?” Grimmjow said.

“There's no victim here,” Ichigo snapped. “Both of you, quit.” He ran his hands over his face with an exaggerated groan and let them drop in his lap. “You heard him, he's not staying, there's no problem.” His tone shifted, the edge in his voice softening when his eyes settled on the girl. “I know you're my friend, Inoue. That's why I'm going to ask you to trust me.”

“And if I think you're doing something stupid?” Ishida asked.

“Duly noted,” Ichigo said. “You still haven't changed my mind.”

“‘Changed your-’,” Ishida started, cutting short when realization hit him. “This isn't a one time thing?”

“No,” Ichigo said.

It was a forceful enough answer that Grimm turned to look. There was no uncertainty, the hybrid sounded resolute. Hell, he looked resolute. He'd seen that look on Kurosaki’s face in battle, he wasn't fucking around, and from the way the Quincy wound himself uptight, it wasn't a tone he took lightly.

Grimmjow had wanted that confirmation so badly, he hadn’t considered it might be within the realm of reality. Despite all of his bluster, he didn’t always get what he wanted. And he wanted Ichigo like nothing he’d ever wanted before. He thought once he had him, once he felt, touched and fucked the other, that feeling might diminish. It hadn’t.

If anything it had grown worse. He was a demon, he desired things he couldn’t have, and Ichigo was better than any drug he had ever craved.

Of course Ichigo wasn’t done with him, he was Grimmjow Jaegerjaques, god of all things sex. Yeah, he’d like to think that, but that was just his ego talking. His presence in Ichigo’s life was a net loss. It caused problems, yet Ichigo wanted him anyways.

The paladin stared at Ichigo, confused, then frustrated. “He tried to kill you, and Rukia. He might have allied with us once, but he's a demon, Kurosaki.” Emphasized, as if the hybrid might have forgotten in his sleep.

“Yes,” Ichigo growled. “Exactly. That's exactly what he is. And that's the point.”

“Point of what, Kurosaki?” Ishida asked.

“Everything,” Ichigo answered. “All of it. Sometimes I get tired of hiding, of pretending. And what am I supposed to do, Ishida?” His voice twisted with something ugly, something Grimmjow had never heard before. It was a desperate sound bordering on despair. Grimmjow had known it had clawed at the hybrid, but until that moment, he hadn’t realized how much it hurt him to keep it all locked away from the people he cared about. He sat and watched it happen for years and did nothing, and that was enough to elicit regret.

Shame was reflected on his friend’s faces. None of them knew, Ichigo was a, surprisingly, good liar.

The girl let out a soft breath, pained like some small animal in a snare, exhausted by the fight. “Kurosaki-kun...I…” She looked away, and Grimmjow felt a his shame spark into a small fire when she had the courage to say what none of them could. “I didn’t know...I’m s-” Her throat tightened and she looked at the floor, something that might not impart judgement. “I’m sorry.”

Ichigo’s voice was thick, laden with an emotion Grimmjow couldn’t name. “You don’t need to apologize, Inoue, you didn’t do anything wrong.”

Grimmjow looked at the three and felt a twang in his gut. Human problems. This was a silent discussion of time long since past and time not yet lived. He stood, and Ichigo gripped his wrist, demanding, “Where are you going?”

“I should go.”

Ichigo’s grip tightened, but he said nothing. Grimmjow looked back, and for a split second, he forgot about Ishida, the girl. Ichigo’s pride was too strong to allow him to say the things he felt in his heart, he knew that, but Ichigo’s silence was louder to him than any spoken words. He didn’t recognize all the emotions in his eyes, but Ichigo’s silent, angry plea was loud and clear; don’t you dare leave.

He was struck by the truth that he had a choice. He could leave now, and throw all of Ichigo’s trust in his face...or he could stay.

Stay...for awhile. Stay in this paper house smeared in blood and thinly veiled lies.

A breath left his lungs, light and unburned by his choice, and he moved to sit beside him. Ichigo withdrew his hand, and Grimmjow’s anger fled as quicker than his sigh. Caution be damned, he laid a hand on Ichigo’s thigh, warm and heavy. Ichigo stiffened.

Grimmjow sucked in a breath, focusing on the scents in the room, and realized Ichigo’s tension wasn’t out of anger or worry, but in a slight thrill. Ichigo’s eyes lingered on his hand, and to Grimmjow’s continued surprise, the hybrid let it be.

The hybrid’s acceptance forced the former Espada to think. Grimmjow realized then that he hadn’t touched him for the claim of it, or out of lust, he wanted to soothe a pain he’d had a hand in creating. He’d touched the hybrid out of empathy alone, and he couldn’t recall the last time he’d done that, if ever.

Their small moment was shattered by Ichigo’s voice. “I’m fine, it’s everyone else I’m worried about.” Ishida scoffed, slumping back in his chair with crossed arms and a scowl. Grimmjow wasn’t sure if his displeasure was over Ichigo or his apparent concern over them all. “I’ve got some shit to work out, and I’m sorry that board games and a night of drinking can’t fix it, but you’re my friends, and your opinion matters to me.” Ichigo swallowed and leaned forward again, forcing himself to stay engaged. “I know you don’t understand, but can you trust me?”

Grimmjow could feel Ichigo’s discomfort with the conversation in the tension in his muscles. Confronting a problem was Ichigo’s forte’, but admitting vulnerability wasn’t. Grimmjow could understand, too well.

Tightening his grip on the leg beneath his palm, Ichigo’s tension eased. It was Grimmjow’s intention, but to see himself succeed in a matter he hadn’t even cared about until now was...strange.

The paladin shifted in his chair, uncomfortable. “Dammit, Ichigo...I do trust you…”

“But,” Ichigo completed, “he’s a demon.” Ishida looked uncomfortable being called out, if the sour look on his face was anything to go by. “So am I.”

“Half.”

Ichigo’s brows drew together, not in the scowl Grimmjow recognized, but pain. “So I should pretend that half doesn't exist? The last time I tried that, I almost killed you.”

Ishida paled, and Grimmjow felt like he was missing an entire unspoken history. He'd never heard about this, or known, but it might explain the goddamn complex Kurosaki had built up around what he was. Ishida scowled and said, “That wasn't you.”

Ichigo tone sounded resigned, but remarkably light. “It was. A part, anyway.”

“You weren’t in your right mind.” The paladin was just making excuses now.

“I wasn’t; unrestrained instinct and violence will do that. It helped me realize just what it was I was ignoring. You don’t turn your back on something like that. I can hide it, pretend it doesn’t exist, but sometimes I don't want to.”

Propping his hands on his knees, Ichigo stood with a purposefulness of a predator, and Grimmjow didn’t think he was even aware of it. He crossed over to Ishida, and looking up must have been daunting, because the paladin stood, meeting him eye to eye. “You said you didn’t remember,” Ishida said.

“I didn’t.” The past tense of that statement made Ishida nervous. Grimmjow saw fear in the paladin’s eyes, and he finally understood Kurosaki’s problem. He didn’t empathize, he couldn’t, he knew Ichigo would never look at him in fear, but he saw the effect it had on the hybrid firsthand. Grimmjow couldn’t see his face but he knew; it hurt him, so much more than physical pain.

Ichigo's eyes landed on Inoue and he said, “You once asked me if I ever have nightmares, and I lied…” Whatever self control the girl had been clinging to broke, and her face twisted in a grimace, biting her lip to hold back a sob.

“I didn't want you to worry,” Ichigo said. “Sometimes the memories are mine, sometimes they’re not.”

Grimmjow couldn't help but raise his hand to his stomach, where Ichigo's claws had ripped through flesh the night before. He'd shown Ichigo trust he’d never shown anyone, his throat, his back, his belly, and he'd kill him for it? That split second of panic and betrayal brought on by pain abated when he realized Ichigo was asleep. Those claws sank into him with possessive ferver, not to kill, though it felt like the insane desire to try swarmed just beneath Ichigo’s skin. It hurt like a bitch, it was even a little frightening, he could admit that.

The girl opened her mouth to speak, but she failed, swallowing and focusing on a corner of the room. Her voice was thick with emotion she couldn’t hide. “Kurosaki-kun...I’m sorry. I didn’t know, I didn’t-I didn’t know, I didn’t know…”

She carried on like that, and the paladin crossed over to her and pulled her into a hug. It was genuine, and the girl wasn’t hesitant to return, leaning against his side. There was tension there, tension the girl didn’t appear willing to break, even when the object of her desire was out of reach. ‘Tough luck,’ Grimmjow thought. Ichigo was his, and he wasn’t ever going to loosen his jaws. Not even after death.

Ichigo said, “I know you didn’t Inoue, I made sure you didn’t, and I’m not telling you to lord it over you or make you feel guilty.” His eyes shifted to Ishida, “You think this is some kind of mistake, that I was tempted.” There was a bitter edge of sarcasm in Ichigo’s voice that put Ishida on the defensive. “When have I ever done something I don’t want to do?”

The paladin frowned and the girl’s sniffles died into something less pathetic. Neither of them answered, which meant they were at a loss for an answer. Grimmjow drawled, “Christ, do you have any faith in him at all? This is getting boring.”

Ishida pulled away from the girl and made a soft sound of aggravation. “If you aren’t going to listen to reason––”

“Have I ever?”

Ishida pushed up his glasses with a sour frown and continued, “If you won’t listen, then are you at least ready for Soul Society to stick their nose in your business?”

Ichigo sighed, lifting his hand to his neck, then winced and froze when he remembered all the tender yet healed marks Grimmjow had given him. He dropped his hand again and said, “Not really, but I’ll deal with it.”

Ishida jerked his head towards Grimmjow and said, “What about him?”

“What about me?” Grimmjow snarled.

Ichigo glanced back, and it was the first time since he stood that Grimmjow got to see his face. He looked a little tired, but that anger was gone and he looked relaxed. “Grimmjow can take care of himself.”

“I’m not worried if the arrancar can take care of himself,” Ishida said.

Biting back a sigh, Ichigo folded his arms and said, “I know what you meant.” Eyes locked on Grimmjow’s, he continued, “He won’t get caught, and he’s not a snitch or a spy. He’s a selfish asshole.” Grimmjow’s nose wrinkled with a sneer, but Ichigo didn’t give him the chance to respond. “Most of the time.”

The look on Ichigo’s face was strange, almost bitter, and it didn’t match the wistful lilt of his voice. Whatever hangups the hybrid had, apparently confrontation alone was enough to hammer them out. That shouldn’t have surprised him, it always took a kick in the teeth to get him to do anything.

Turning back towards his friends, Ichigo said, “If you noticed, then Soul Society noticed, and even with all their red tape and bureaucracy they’ll be on me like ants on ice cream by late afternoon. You should go.”

“Is that your excuse to kick us out?” Ishida asked.

A languid smile spread across Ichigo’s face. “Something like that. But this is my problem, not yours, I’ll spare you the hassle if I can.”

The girl stood, a faint blush dusting her cheeks. She gripped her skirt in her hands, hanging onto it like it was some sort of lifeline. “You know we’re on your side, right?”

“Of course I do, Inoue.”

She gave a stiff nod, once, unsure how to continue. She took a step back, paused, and worried her lower lip, sneaking a look at Ichigo’s neck. “Before I go...I could––”

Grimmjow readjusted his foot on the table, shoving it with an angry grind cross the floor. He dropped his foot and stood with a growl. “You wouldn’t fucking dare.”

She cringed back when he moved, both Ishida and Ichigo taking up a place between them. Ichigo stopped him with a hand on his chest, and it felt like a deliberate move to lay his hand right over smooth scar tissue. Despite his outburst and potential for violence, Ichigo hadn’t stopped him in anger, Grimmjow just saw unwavering resolve. Ichigo said, “How about you have some faith,” he muttered, “Hotheaded asshole.”

Grimmjow bared his teeth and leaned back on his heels, but the look he shot the girl was full of nothing but invective spite. He finally gets his teeth in the hybrid and she still won’t let him go. Those marks were his, Ichigo was his. “You just had to tack on an insult.”

“You just had to threaten my friends,” Ichigo countered.

“She started it,” Grimmjow said.

Ichigo huffed, “She didn’t know what she was starting, don’t put this on her.” He dropped his hand and looked back, pretending he didn’t notice how defensive Ishida was. “You guys should go, we have a lot to talk about.”

There wasn't much arguing about it after that, although Grimmjow suspected that had a lot to do with Ishida's white knighting over the girl. The second the front door clicked shut after them, Ichigo said, “Don't threaten my friends.”

Grimmjow glared at his back. “You heard what-”

“It’s not up for debate,” Ichigo snapped. He turned, crossing back over to him without so much as blinking. Grimmjow scowled, shoving his hands in his pockets and after a strained moment, he looked away, caving to that demand for submission. It was a brief thing, breaking the challenge he set forward, but no less powerful. Ichigo's tone softened around the edges, not taking Grimmjow's anger lightly. “She isn't a threat.”

“Damn right she isn't.”

Ichigo gave him a chiding look. “You know what I meant.” Grimmjow froze when Ichigo reached for his cheek in a surprisingly tender gesture. His brushed his knuckles, still busted with the evidence of their more violent reunion the night before, against his cheekbone and said, “I want the reminder.”

Grimmjow stared back, trying not to be intimidated by the intensity in the other’s eyes. He tried to pretend that wasn't simultaneously the comfiest and hottest thing he’d said that morning. “Of what? Best lay you ever had?”

“You're such an asshole,” Ichigo muttered. There was no bite to the insult, the tone was nearly too sweet for it.

“And you're a sap,” Grimmjow accused. “I bet your heart bleeds molasses.”

Ichigo wrinkled his nose. “Now there's a lovely thought.” Before Grimmjow could snap a reply, Ichigo ducked in for a kiss. He was tender when their lips touched, but that sparked a wildfire, both of Ichigo's hands suddenly clawing through his hair. Grimmjow was caught off guard by the sudden need between them as much as Ichigo was, judging by the clumsy way his hands gripped him close. Grimmjow realized his own hands were tight around Ichigo’s shoulders when he suddenly wrenched away from Grimmjow’s touch, putting a solid couple of feet between them.

The absolute desire in Ichigo’s eyes startled him. He’d been fucked into a mattress all night, he’d jerked him off only an hour ago, but that. That look. The blaze of amber in distinctly human eyes; more than lust, but it was too raw and new to be love. This was the first time he’d seen it, and his instincts finally let those thoughts click into place.

Ichigo wanted him.

Tongue darting out over his lips, the hybrid lifted his hand, running his thumb over his lower lip in thought. “If I don’t stop, you sure as hell won’t.”

“Yeah and why should we?”

Grimmjow took a step closer, and Ichigo reluctantly stopped him with a hand on his chest, tilting his head. “The fantasy was fun to live, but it’s over.”

“You said we weren’t done,” Grimmjow hedged.

“We’re not, but Soul Society is a few hours from breathing down my neck, and I have a lot of work to do.”

Grimmjow tried to reason that away. “Who cares, they’re going to find out.”

Ichigo’s brows creased in something close to disgust. “I’m not letting my friends in on my sex life if I can help it.”

“Shy?” Grimmjow snarled.

“Private,” Ichigo stressed. His eyes flared with slow burning rage, enough that Grimmjow felt uneasy when the hybrid took a step closer. “I am not sitting in an interrogation room explaining a cum soaked shirt to people I’ve been drinking with.”

“You went drinking without me? I’m offended.” Grimmjow feigned hurt feelings and reached for him. Ichigo frowned, but let him touch. He reached for his lower lip, but Ichigo jerked his head back, not allowing his fingers to explore where they wished, so he traced his jaw instead. “I don’t remember jerking off into a shirt.”

Ichigo corrected him with a hint of smugness. “You wouldn’t, you were unconscious.”

Grimmjow didn’t let that tick his pride, carrying on while he dragged his fingers through Ichigo’s hair, watching his lids sink in pleasure. “I had a very, very good time.”

Ichigo lifted his hand to cover Grimmjow’s, his grip tight enough to mean business. “You have to go.”

“You could come with me.”

Ichigo’s brows creased in pity and sadness, an expression Grimmjow never wanted to see. He tried to pull his hand back, but Ichigo didn’t let him, reeling him in for another kiss. His protest was muffled by the clash of lips, far from graceful or even pleasant. It was forceful contact, and that was all. Ichigo leaned back enough to speak. “You know I can’t leave...so I guess this is goodbye.” He leaned back and added, “For now.”

“For now,” Grimmjow repeated mildly. Ichigo was smart, that kiss was a bucket of cold water on his anger, he’s almost forgotten the reason he was angry. Tricky bastard. “You think I need you?”

Hurt flashed in Ichigo’s eyes, and he swayed back. “No, but I think you’re lonely.”


“I did just fine without you.”

More hurt. “I know.” Ichigo smiled a sad smile. “Get out of here, Grimmjow.”

That smile hurt him; tore him up like razor wire. Ichigo wanted him to stay, Grimmjow wanted to take the other with him and go. But neither of their desires could be followed because there was a bare truth they’d both tried so hard to ignore; they lived in different worlds. A demon cannot live at the side of one so close to angels. A nephilim would be committing suicide to choose a demon to be by his side.

Grimmjow stepped past the other and the hybrid didn’t stop him, even if he felt Ichigo’s eyes burning into his back all the way until he slammed the front door.

That first inhale on his worn out welcome mat felt thin and fragile. Alone again.

He would survive, he always did.

Grimmjow took to the streets and disappeared before any of the angels could notice that he was even there. He wasn’t sure what he’d expected from sudden onset solitude, but he was barely an hour away from Kurosaki and it was so much worse than before.

He’d finally known what it was like to be looked at, not through. Kurosaki was as good as a God in his mind, and he already ached to go back, to lavish him in the worship he deserved, to ruin him with the hope he might tear Kurosaki down to his level.

True to Ichigo’s fears, the angels were crawling all over Karakura. When their most powerful asset got cozy with the enemy, all eyes turned towards the hybrid. Before the sun had even set, Ichigo was whisked off to heaven for interrogation and Grimmjow was left wondering. For days.

Days turned into weeks, and it became clear Ichigo was indeed back in Karakura, but he had several shadows tailing him and all eyes on him. Grimmjow should know, he almost ran headlong into them twice, so lost in thought.

So he expanded his hopeful vigil to the outskirts of the city and waited. He returned to the comfort of routine: caused fights, overlooked fights, sat in some court battles that nearly had come to blows, inhaled thoughts of murder, exhaled acts of violence. There was an accident involving several cars and a semi, but all the agony, violence, and rage did nothing to derail his thoughts; the taste of divine sweat and blood of wine and brimstone, the sound of the nephilim’s moans, the royal lethality of Ichigo’s wings.

The angels sent weren’t strong, not in the slightest. They hovered around Kurosaki like gnats, but they were living tripwires. If he swat one, it was proof their efforts weren’t a waste. If he knocked them around a little, same difference. He couldn’t be seen, not around Kurosaki, not around the only person that made him feel.

So he returned to Hell and solitude and silence and it was, well...Hell. He tried what he did before: hunting, eating, raising terror where terror was due, but it was all incomparable to sinking his teeth into Ichigo’s flesh, tasting blood and dark virtue.

To return to empty wastelands of suffering now was cruel. He had a taste for Ichigo’s warmth, the savage twist of a smile, the flash of fire and want. Those eyes raged for him. For him. To be without them now he could do nothing but close his eyes and remember. And memories so quickly dissolved into blurry fantasy.

The white sands were cold and lifeless, so unlike the burning beneath his palms as he had touched freckled, golden skin. The silence hurt. Every moment without the steady beat of a strong heart and heated breath left him wanting. Suffering. Maybe he deserved this?

He missed Ichigo, craved him like he’d craved no other sin before. How someone bound in a mortal body could inspire such desire, Grimmjow didn’t know. It wasn’t merely desire out of lust; Ichigo invoked so much out of him, the closest to living that he had ever felt. He missed the shudder of his own soul, the uncomfortable throbbing of his heart, how his breath felt like ice unless the other had breathed into his lungs, how hot his blood pumped in his veins, the blinding addictive pleasure that enticed as much violence as it did something delicate.

Was this what the nephilim had to come back to? A lonely demon with no other prize to offer besides his hollow body? Grimmjow wasn’t ignorant, time was passing and though he had lost track of the days, he drowned in doubt and the disappointment that Kurosaki wasn’t coming back for him. Not that he couldn’t, but that he wouldn’t. He had nothing to give him, despite all his bluster. He was just a demon.

Then he felt the familiar wash of beautifully tainted soulfire.

“Ichi-” he turned to face it, seeing nothing, but he sensed that ball of energy in the same way he would sense a comet. “-go.”

Ichigo halted his neckbreak progress with a sudden appearance of light and fire that fooled his eyes into believing he’d always been here. Ichigo straightened, fire licking at his skin and tossing his hair in violent, turbulent waves. He was beautiful, like a vengeful mirage. But a godly mirage wouldn’t grin like a doofus and say, “Hey, asshole. Your boytoy came for his booty call. Did you miss me?”

Grimmjow smirked, lying. “That ain’t me, I didn’t miss you.” His heart wouldn’t shut up, pounding at the sound of a voice he had only appreciated in his memories.

Ichigo’s smile softened into sympathy. “Hey, what’s with the waterworks? If you hate me so much I can leave. It was only...” he blew out an exasperated huff as he finished calculating, “a few circles of hell.”

Grimmjow grit his teeth, but he was still smiling, so it was probably terrifying. “I’m not crying, asshole, it’s a desert, it’s dry.”

Ichigo scoffed, pulling his soulfire in close, so his skin was suspiciously luminous under the light of the moon. “Really? ‘Cause I think I see––”

Grimmjow couldn’t stand him talking anymore when there was so much else they could do, proven when he cut the other off mid sentence and crushed their lips together, his hands slipping around his waist, his back, holding him tight. God, it felt like coming home, the taste of warmth and whatever Ichigo had for breakfast this morning, but who cared beyond the thrumming of the nephilim’s heart beneath his fingertips.His memories of how soft those lips were under his collided with the force of the reality that he was kissing Ichigo, and Ichigo was kissing back.

Eventually, Ichigo had to breathe, and Grimmjow had to let him, showering his neck in affection rather than let him go. Ichigo sounded self conscious, breathless. “I wasn’t gone that long.”

“You found me,” Grimmjow muttered between breaths.

Ichigo sounded appalled. “Of course I did. I missed you.”

Missed him.

Grimmjow laughed against his throat and pulled back, sharing a wild and broken smile. “You came back.” What a fucking redundant thing to say, but he felt he needed to give voice to it to make it real.

Ichigo’s stupid grin was back, pleased. “Like a boomerang.”