Private

Chapter 9

Chapter 9:

Well fuck. There goes our plans for the evening. Ichigo thought as Grimmjow growled in annoyance, stepping away from him to face his sister.

"Tomorrow?"

"Uhh... Yeah."

"Why the hell didn't you say something earlier?!" He roared, making both Ichigo and Nel jump. "Dammit Nel..." Grimmjow sighed heavily and ran a hand through his hair, turning to see Ichigo and paused. "You need to go."

"What?" Ichigo scowled when Grimmjow grabbed his arm and started dragging him to the door. "Hey!" Pulling his arm free, Ichigo stopped and glared at him. "What the hell Grimmjow?"

"Look..." Grimmjow groaned and glanced at Nel who shook her head slightly. "Our parents aren't people you want to meet."

"Ok, fine I get it."

Grimmjow looked at him stunned, obviously expecting some sort of resistance from him. "What?"

Ichigo shrugged and grabbed his bag from the floor, pulling it on his shoulder. "Look, you don't want me to meet them and frankly, I don't want to either. But that doesn't mean you can just chuck me out like this." He squared his shoulders and looked up at Grimmjow calmly. "I deserve a little more than that don't I?"

Grimmjow was still looking at him in confusion, but after a few moments his face relaxed and he gave a short laugh. "Yeah, you do. Sorry Ichigo, my parents just get me wound up."

"Yeah I can see that." Ichigo smiled reassuringly and leaned forward to kiss him quickly. "Call me when they're done visiting so we can finish up."

"I will, it's definitely better they don't see you."

"Mmm? Why's that?" Grimmjow pulled back and hesitated, Ichigo could see behind him Nel was shaking her head with an exasperated sigh. "Grimmjow, why can't they see me?" He asked in a low voice, demanding an answer.

"It's nothing."

Ichigo knew instantly something was up, Grimmjow never dodged a question so pathetically. His eyes narrowed in suspicion and he folded his arms, glaring at the older teen. "Answer the question."

Grimmjow sighed and rubbed the back of his neck before replying slowly. "It's just... They wouldn't want me to date you. They wouldn't like you"

"Why? What's wrong with me?" Ichigo frowned in confusion, how could two people he'd never met, dislike him? They didn't even know he existed. "What did you tell them about me? I'm the delinquent you're always fighting?"

"No it's nothing to do with that!" Grimmjow groaned and grasped Ichigo's shoulders, looking at him imploringly. "They just wouldn't approve."

"Why?"

"Because..." Grimmjow let go of one of his shoulders to wave his hand at him. "You know..."

"What? I'm a guy?" Ichigo raised an eyebrow at the reason which in his mind, was completely ridiculous. "Are your parents homophobic or something?"

"No, not particularly. It's just... They want me to be with some rich business tycoon's daughter, someone preferably beautiful, who I can marry and get a business deal with her father." Grimmjow shrugged and ran a hand through his hair. "Probably pop out a few kids whilst I'm at it too."

Ichigo's eyes narrowed in annoyance, letting the emotion flood his system to drown out any other emotions, such as hurt, he was feeling. "And what? I'm not rich enough for them? I'm not perfect enough?"

"No, it's got nothing to do with you!"

"Well it sure as hell sounds like it does!" He pulled away from Grimmjow with a huff and turned around to open the door. "Sorry I'm not some blonde bimbo with a rich daddy who will magically fall in love with you. Sorry I'm not beautiful enough for you."

"Ichigo..."

"Don't!" He whirled around and glared at Grimmjow. "Don't. I won't stick around and wait for the day you leave me when you or your parents find some rich guys daughter! I won't wait to be dropped like that!"

"I wouldn't do that to you!" Grimmjow's voice rose and he grabbed Ichigo's arm, pulling him back slightly.

Ichigo, with his free hand, swung round and threw a punch, catching Grimmjow on his chin, forcing him to stumble back and also let go of his arm. "Really? So you can promise me that in a years time we'll still be together?" When Grimmjow didn't respond, he laughed bitterly. "How about five years? Or ten? I didn't think so."

"But-"

"No buts Grimmjow. I'm leaving and I'm not coming back." Ichigo strode to the open door and hesitated, turning to look at him again. "I'm never going to be good enough for you so what's the point in even trying, don't even bother." He left without another word, slamming the door shut behind him.

Grimmjow groaned heavily and lent against the table, holding his heads in his hands. "Great, just fucking great..."

"Well that went well." His head snapped up and he looked at Nel in shock, suddenly remembering she was there and had witnessed the whole thing with Ichigo. She smiled sadly at him and came over to pat his shoulder. "Guess you two can't keep things simple can you?"

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Well... There always seems to be drama between you two. Maybe it's best this happened. I don't think it would've worked out anyway."

"Yeah and why's that?" Grimmjow asked, standing up again to look at her with a bitter smile.

"Too much history." She replied simply before walking to the door and opening it. "See you tomorrow Grimmjow."

"Yeah..." He watched the door shut with a soft click and sighed heavily, pondering Nel's last words. "History..."

...

Ichigo paused when he left the apartment complex, shaking his head when he got soaked instantly. Twice, in the space of twenty-four hours had he left Grimmjow's apartment after an argument and ended up in the rain. He sighed heavily and closed his eyes.

No crying this time Ichigo. Don't give him the satisfaction of your tears twice for the same goddamn reason. Better now than later as you said last night. Grimmjow isn't worth your trouble.

But... I love him. A smaller voice butted in, hesitant and unsure with its reasoning.

Love hurts.

Doesn't change things though, I still love him.

Ichigo squashed the small voice, burying his feelings at the back of his mind to deal with later. "Fucking arguing with myself over something so ridiculous." He muttered, before opening his eyes with a sigh and setting off home.

When Ichigo got home half an hour later, he was soaked to the bone and shivering so badly he was practically vibrating. With a particularly heavy shudder, he pulled out his keys and fumbled with the lock for a few moments before unlocking the door and going inside.

Closing the door, Ichigo sighed and leant against it for a moment before slowly peeling off his soaking clothes until he was down to his underwear and dropped the dripping clothes in the bag Yuzu had left at the door. Shaking his wet hair, he quickly headed upstairs to change before anyone came to investigate and found him stood in the hallway in his boxers.

"Ichi-nii?" Yuzu called up the stairs a few minutes later when she spotted the wet clothes next to the door. "Are you home?"

"Yeah Yuzu, just getting changed!" He called back, pulling a top on and a pair of sweatpants before heading down again. "Unless you want me walking around in my underwear?"

She wrinkled her nose. "No thanks, I don't need the nightmares."

"Hey that's cruel."

She stuck her tongue out at him and grinned before going back to sit on the sofa with everyone else. Ichigo sighed and grabbed the bag, taking his clothes to the drier, pulling out the dripping clothing, he looked down at them with a sigh.

"What's wrong with you? You look like your cat died."

Ichigo jumped and the clothes slid from his hands as he turned to glare at his other sister. "Damn Karin!"

She smirked and walked over to him, observing him carefully. "So what happened?"

Ichigo snorted and bent down to throw the clothes in the drier. "My cat didn't die if that's what you mean."

She rolled her eyes and hopped up onto the counter as Ichigo opened the cupboards in search of food. "Obviously, you don't own a cat. So you gunna tell me or what?"

Ichigo sighed heavily and glanced at her, deciding out of everyone in their family, she was the best one to talk to. "Remember Grimmjow?"

She frowned in thought for a moment before nodding. "Blue haired guy you fight at the dojo?"

"Yeah, him."

"What about him?"

"We haven't been fighting for a few months now."

"So what have you-" Her eyes widened in understanding and she cleared her throat. "Oh."

"Yeah, he's my 'secret boyfriend', if you can call him that. Anyway, we had an argument and I found out what I am to him and left." He shrugged and grabbed a can from the shelves. "Doesn't matter really. I was stupid for thinking anything could happen with us."

"Do you love him?"

Ichigo paused and glanced at Karin to see her watching him levelly, no emotions clear in her grey eyes. "Yes."

"Then you are stupid."

He laughed before smiling. "Thanks for the reminder."

"You're welcome." She smiled back and hopped off the counter to hug him quickly. "He doesn't deserve you anyway."

With that, she left the kitchen and Ichigo smiled softly, feeling better about the whole situation. That was, at least until his phone rang. With a sigh he went back into the hallway and rooted in his bag to find it, answering without thinking or looking at the caller ID.

"Hello?"

"Ichigo?" He straightened up quickly, almost ending the call then, but something inside him wouldn't allow it. "Ichigo, you there?"

"What do you want Grimmjow?"

"C'mon Ichigo, don't be mad at me. Look, I'm outside, you gunna let me in?"

"I dunno, should I?"

"Yeah, I've got something to show you." Ichigo rolled his eyes and ended the call, glancing at the door hesitantly. Curiosity getting the better of him, Ichigo opened the door to find Grimmjow stood there with a smirk, holding a box. "Hey."

"What's in the box?"

"I'll show you if you let me in."

Ichigo sighed and stepped aside, letting the man in. Grimmjow handed him the box and took his coat off which Ichigo took and hung up. He opened his mouth to speak but Ichigo covered his mouth and pressed a finger to his lips, jerking a thumb in the direction of his family's voices. Grimmjow nodded and took the box back as Ichigo glanced around warily before beckoning him to follow him upstairs and into his room.

"What the hell are you doing here Grimmjow?" He asked, shutting the door behind them whilst glaring at the man. "Didn't I make myself clear earlier?"

"Yeah, you did. But I decided to ignore it." Grimmjow smirked and held out the box again. "This is yours."

"What is it?"

"A box dumbass, open it."

Ichigo scowled at him, but still reached out to take the box, setting it on the bed. "What's in it?"

"Just open it."

He snorted and shook his head at the answer before opening it carefully, expecting something to jump out at him. What he found instead was several different things, all small in size and when he pulled one out to see it was a shoe, he could see it was several years old.

"What's with these? Are they meant to mean something to me?"

Grimmjow took the shoe from his hands and looked down at it with a frown. "When you left, Nel said something to me which got me thinking."

"Yeah, what's that?"

"She said we would never work because we have too much history."

Ichigo frowned in thought as he looked at the shoe, his eyes widening in understanding before he looked back in the box. "These are all mine aren't they?"

"Yeah."

Ichigo picked up the items, taking them out of the box. The other shoe, a couple of bags, some clothing, even a few books came out, each one bringing back memories for him. The last thing he pulled out was a small lion teddy, his colour faded from the years it had been left in a corner somewhere. Holding the teddy close and brushing some dust off it's nose, Ichigo could remember clearly loosing the teddy, and how much it hurt.

"You took all this?" He looked up at Grimmjow, seeing he was watching him carefully. "Why?"

"Because I wanted to hurt you."

"What?"

Grimmjow sighed and ran a hand through his hair, messing up his unruly hair further. "When we were younger, I was jealous of you."

"Why?" Ichigo asked, confused beyond belief. "You were the popular kid with all the money and toys you could ever want. What could I possibly have that you didn't?"

"Because you had a family, and I didn't. No amount of toys could make up for that." He sighed and looked at Ichigo again, moving to grasp his arms. "You had everything I wanted but couldn't have so I wanted you to suffer."

"Is that why you always beat me up? Took my things?"

"Yes."

"You fucking bastard." Ichigo pulled away and glared at him. "I went through all that shit with you, because you were jealous?! Do you know how much it hurt when you beat me up? Took my things? I learnt to fight so I could defend myself from you!" Ichigo paused and looked down at the teddy again. "Your sister's right, we can never work because of what's happened between us."

"That's bullshit Ichigo." Grimmjow moved forward to lift Ichigo's head and smiled at him. "Nel's wrong. I think, because of our history we can work."

"How?"

He sighed and looked at the teddy Ichigo was clutching tightly, frowning slightly. "By letting go. All this arguing and shit we're going through now is because we haven't gotten over our past." He looked back at Ichigo and smiled. "I'm ready to move on. Are you?"

Ichigo felt his body tremor slightly and he shook his head slightly. "I don't know how."

"How about we start with this." Grimmjow grabbed the teddy gently. "Let go Ichigo."

Ichigo looked at Grimmjow for a moment, frozen in place by fear. "What if I can't?" He whispered, gripping it tighter. "I can't Grimmjow."

"If you can't let go of this Ichigo, you'll never do it." Ichigo closed his eyes and sighed shakily, slowly letting go of the teddy. When he let go, Grimmjow took it and placed it on the side, moving back to cup Ichigo's face. "See? It's not that hard."

Ichigo smiled weakly and moved into his arms with a heavy sigh. "I don't want to fight any more Grimm." He mumbled, nuzzling his head to Grimmjow's chest. "I'm tired of fighting."

"So am I Ichi." He glanced back and slowly moved to sit on Ichigo's bed, pulling the younger teen onto his lap. "So am I."


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