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window of opportunity

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“Okay, so one, two - hold on Tatsuki, I gotta - fuck.“

“If you die, I’m saying mean things at your funeral, Kurosaki,” Tatsuki answers. She sounds a bit distant. Ichigo has a feeling she put him on speaker and went back to working on the English essay that’s due on Friday. He hasn’t even started his yet and probably won’t until he’s done being hungover the next morning.

“That’s mean, Tatsuki,” he says, tipping sideways until his shoulder hits the apartment building siding. That last round of shots had probably been a bad idea. “Which apartment is Chad’s again?”

“Third from the left.”

“Right. Okay. One, two, three,” Ichigo counts out, carefully enunciating the numbers. “Great. I got it. Thanks.”

“Mean things at your funeral, Kurosaki,” Tatsuki reminds him. “Or maybe I’ll just get Kisuke to officiate.”

“So mean,” Ichigo sighs. “Don’t let your creepy sugar daddy come to my funeral.”

“Then don’t die,” Tatsuki retorts.

“I gotta go, I need my hand,” Ichigo says and hangs up. At least, he thinks he hangs up. She doesn’t say anything further, so he assumes he managed it.

The window isn’t locked, which is the whole point of this, but it’s a bit of a struggle to get it open. Ichigo knows he’s drunk, but even so, he’s pretty sure it had been easier the last time he did this. He finally forces it open enough to hoist himself through, letting himself tumble to the floor. Chad isn’t home, so there’s no one to bother with noise whatever time it is. Too late or too early, whichever qualifies.

Ichigo hauls himself upright and shoves his pants down onto the floor. Past experience has taught him that he can’t undress and walk at the same time while drunk, so he’s very proud when he remembers this and manages to strip down to his boxers before he turns to the left where Chad’s bed is usually tucked into the corner of the room.

He finds a dresser there, instead, and spends a few seconds blinking at it before he realizes that Chad must have rearranged the room and forgotten to tell him. Turning to the right with a groan, he finds the bed in the opposite corner, blankets mussed and piled up closer to the wall. He crawls into bed and grabs for a blanket, hauling it over himself before letting himself faceplant into the pillow.

He’s out as soon as he lands.

Morning dawns entirely too bright and with the distinct feeling of someone poking his shoulder. “G’way, Karin,” Ichigo grumbles, burrowing further into the blanket.

“Think I should probably be offended at that,” someone who is definitely not Karin says. Too masculine, for one.

Ichigo shifts onto his back, cracking one eye open and peering around the blanket.

Blue is the first impression. Mussed blue hair, bright blue eyes. Definitely not Karin. Not Chad, either, though, who is the only other person Ichigo might expect to see. Then his brain starts processing more than color and he sees the amused smirk, the broad shoulders, the long fingers curled against a strong jaw. Oh, god.

“Um,” he manages. “You’re not Chad.”

“Nope. Strike two,” the stranger says, watching him, still amused. “You were pretty drunk, huh?”

“I - not that drunk,” Ichigo says, because he’s pretty sure he remembers talking to Tatsuki, remembers trying to find his way to Chad’s apartment to sleep off the alcohol. The headache that’s blooming behind his eyes is making it hard to think, though.

The guy hums and Ichigo flushes.

“Well, you clearly don’t remember me,” the guy says. “So you probably don’t remember last night, either, huh?”

And Ichigo would protest further, except he doesn’t remember this guy, doesn’t remember anything to do with him. So maybe he was that drunk.

“I...sorry?” he offers. “Um. It was - it was fun?”

The smirk becomes a full blown grin, dimple blooming to one side and Ichigo’s sleep and drink-addled brain can’t quite handle that much attractive this early in the morning. “It was the best night of my life,” he says and all Ichigo can think is that he needs to get drunk more often, if this is the sort of game he has. Worth the hangover to wake up to something - some one like this.

“Oh,” he says. “That’s...that’s great.” He can’t feel any soreness when he shifts, testing, so they must have - again, if this is what happens when he drinks, maybe he should do it more.

The guy just grins at him for a moment longer before something seems to break and he laughs, flopping down onto the bed next to Ichigo, whole body shaking. “Oh, fuck, sorry, you just. I’m fucking with you, dipshit. You climbed in the wrong window last night, that’s all. Fuck, your face .”

Ichigo blinks at the ceiling - bare, no sign of the glow in the dark stars that Orihime had pasted up there when Chad moved in - and feels his face grow hot. “Fuck, I knew I wasn’t that drunk,” he mutters, dragging a hand over his face. “You dick.”

“Worth it,” the guy wheezes, grinning at him, all white teeth and dimple and crinkles around his eyes. “So fucking worth it.”

“Fuck,” Ichigo says. “I climbed in your window?”

“Yeah, you did. ‘Bout two in the morning. Made a nice ruckus, then stripped down to your boxers and climbed into bed. You didn’t notice me?”

“I was drunk ,” Ichigo sighs. “I’m not. I’m not particularly observant when I’m drunk. Sorry. I thought I counted the windows right.”

“You said Chad,” the guy says, no longer laughing as he rolls over, arms wrapping around a pillow. “You mean Yasutora Sado? Big Mexican guy? Quiet as the grave?”

“Half Mexican, but yeah. That’s Chad.”

“He’s in the unit next door. You were only a window off.”

Ichigo groans and immediately regrets it, fingers pressing at his forehead. “Tatsuki is gonna kill me and let Kisuke officiate at the funeral,” he says.

“I don’t know who Tatsuki or Kisuke are, but I’m pretty sure I’d have dibs on killing you, if that’s on the table,” the guy says. Ichigo looks at him.

Like this, the guy looks like a big cat, eyes hooded and narrow, hair a sleep-mussed mess, peering over the edge of the pillow, shoulders and back a single long curve of warm-looking skin. Ichigo swallows. He thinks he might be okay with that being his death, if it comes to that.

“Then again,” the guy says, a bit muffled by the pillow. “If I kill you, you can’t make it up to me.”

“What? Make what up to you?”

“You cuddle,” the guy says. “In your sleep. It was like escaping an octopus when I had to go to the bathroom earlier. And that’s like, third date shit. So, way I figure it, you owe me at least breakfast.”

The horrible thing is that it almost makes sense and Ichigo’s too hungover to make a proper protest. “Yeah, whatever,” he agrees. “I’ll get you breakfast.”

“And no cafe shit,” the guy says. “You gotta cook it. You know how to make a Western breakfast? Eggs? Toast? Bacon?”

“Fuck, you’re high maintanence,” Ichigo says. “I can cook a Western breakfast, yeah. You got any painkillers?”

“That’s gonna cost you dinner,” the guy says, grinning. Smug bastard.

“How about I just let you fuck me and we call it even,” Ichigo retorts.

The guy doesn’t bat an eye. “After dinner,” he says. “And no alcohol, this time, or you might not remember it for real.”

Ichigo blinks, then huffs, grinning reluctantly. “Fuck. Alright. You got a name? Can’t just call you Chad’s Neighbor if I'm gonna be treating you to breakfast and dinner.”

“Grimmjow Jaegerjacques,” the guy says. “You?”

“Kurosaki Ichigo,” Ichigo says. “Nice to meet you. Now, you gonna get me painkillers or no?”