"This could not be happening."
Ichigo groaned as he closed the door behind him. With a twist of his wrist he locked the door and leaned against it, hitting his head softly against the wood. Out of all the things the man could have taken a picture of, it had to be that one moment. It wasn't like Ichigo was a pot head or anything; that was his first time! At least, it was his first time since he became a celebrity. Ichigo groaned again as he pushed himself off of the door, flicking a switch on the wall to illuminate his small, pathetic looking kitchen. Even with the first couple of pay checks Ichigo had received from the debut CD, he couldn't get anything better than barely average looking apartment. He sighed as he looked in the fridge for something to eat.
I'm going to kill Renji. That was the only thought that was running through his head at the moment. It was the drummer's fault that he had started smoking weed in the first place. That and the fact that his best friend told him that it'd help him loosen up to talk to girls. Ha! That worked out well. He was so out of it that he ended up with word vomit telling some girl about a very vivid dream he had about engaging sexual intercourse with another male, giggling the whole time. According to Renji he was defined as a 'happy high.' It was this high that forced Ichigo into his latest problem.
Black mail. Ichigo had never been found of the idea. He had heard how people abuse motives and secrets in order to get others to do things for them, but he had never experienced it. Until now. After finding nothing to feed his hunger, Ichigo went to the living room and flicked on the television, the one expensive thing that Ichigo was able to buy with his newly acquired money. As the set flickered to life, Ichigo saw his face on the screen, one of the few things he couldn't get over. It was an entertainment news segment about one of the shows they had a few days earlier. Without even noticing, Ichigo's eyes landed on a head of blue hair that stood out in the crowd. The same mocking, eat-shit grin was placed on the man's full lips as he snapped pictures of the passing celebrity. Anger instantly boiled inside of the orange-haired youth.
Ichigo shut off the TV as he picked up his phone. His thumb slid across the screen until he had finally reached the 'R' section of his contacts. He pressed call, hoping Renji would pick up. His eyes glanced at the clock above the cable box, noting that it was almost one in the morning and Ichigo hadn't even realized it. On the fifth ring, Renji finally picked up, panting slightly into the microphone.
"What do you want?" Ichigo could hear Renji's boyfriend complaining in the background, along with a few choice words that Ichigo would rather he hadn't heard.
"We have a problem." Ichigo leaned back into the couch, rubbing his temples with his free hand.
"And this problem couldn't wait until morning?"
"Renji, if you don't get off the phone right now, I will finish the job on my own." Ichigo pulled the phone away from his ear and scrunched his nose. He wasn't entirely sure what kind of 'job' needed to be finished, but with the purr that was in Renji's boyfriend's voice, he figured it was something sexual.
"Oh god…Look, Ichigo, will this problem lead to your death within in the next twelve hours?"
"No, not exactly…"
"Then talk to me tomorrow."
Before Ichigo could finish, Renji had already hung up. Ichigo sighed as he banged the butt of his phone against his for head. Maybe this whole thing was a dream. Yes, that was it. Ichigo was dreaming. There was no way someone had actually caught him smoking pot. And plus, it wasn't like smoking pot was that bad. I mean, if people can sing about smoking pot, that means that you could do it right? Ichigo sighed again. Even he didn't believe that bullshit of an argument. Pot was illegal, aka something bad, aka something that could totally ruin his singing career. The worst part was that he wouldn't only get himself into trouble, but the band is well. Oh great. Shaking his head Ichigo stood up and walked to his bedroom. He was going to sleep this off, because this could not be happening.
"Ichigo! Open the damn door before I break it!"
Ichigo's face formed a scowl even before he was fully away. He wasn't sure how he had slept past the persistent knocking. He cracked on eye opened and checked his phone for the time. Eight in the morning already? Even though Ichigo had gone to bed at one, he hadn't fallen asleep until a few hours earlier; his mind bundled over the thought of Grimmjow. Ichigo stood up when the knocking sounded even more persistent. He figured he should let the hot tempered red-head into the house before he had to pay for damages.
As Ichigo walked to the front of his apartment, he pulled on a shirt and stretched, causing a series of joints to pop down his spine. He ran his hand through his hair, in attempt to tame it as much as he could before he let in his guest. Ichigo opened the door to a grinning Renji, who immediately noticed the dead look that Ichigo was currently wearing. Without a word, Renji walked into the house, kicking his shoes off to the side as he made his way to the living room. Ichigo hadn't noticed it, but Toshiro was there as well, now making his way inside, taking his shoes of carefully as he put them next to the door. The boy was always about order.
"Sorry for waking you, Kurosaki. I told Renji not to bang, but…well, you know Renji." Toshiro nodded at Ichigo before following Renji into the living room.
"Why are you here so early?" Ichigo made his way into his small kitchen, starting the coffee making before walking around the counter that separated the kitchen from the living room.
"Well, baka, you called me at one in the morning saying you had a problem; I figured it was important enough to make a trip in the morning." Renji turned on the TV while he propped his feet onto the table as if he owned the place.
"Really, considering what I heard on the phone, I figured Hisagi fucked you enough to not want to get out of the bed."
Renji turned to look at Ichigo with a cocky grin. "For your information, I do the fucking, not him." Renji even pointed at himself for emphasis. That was when Renji remembered the envelope that was in his hand. "Oh yeah, this was taped on your door."
Renji tossed the envelope in Ichigo's general direction. Ichigo watched as it fell to the floor with a soft thud. He eyed it questioningly as he walked towards it, picking it up, he looked for any clue to what would be inside, but the front was blank. He scowled at he flipped it over to see its contents. Ichigo felt the gloss of photo paper and his heart automatically sank. In front of him was a black and white copy of the photo Grimmjow had been keeping as ransom. Ichigo turned his back to his friends as he pulled the photo out completely, flipping it over to see if there was anything else. Sure enough, there was a message on the back.
"Told you, I'd keep in touch, berry. Meet me at IOIO at 9:30 Don't be late."
Ichigo turned his wrist so that he could check his watch, it was already eight twenty. He stayed silent for a moment, trying to decide whether or not he should go and meet up with the crazy blue-haired photographer. He had been extremely set on not going, but then he thought of the consequences. What if he hadn't shown up and Grimmjow showed up at his apartment while Renji and Toshiro were there? What if he let the photo leak? Ichigo's scowl hardened, hating himself more and more, now that he was in the situation.
"Kurosaki, are you okay?" Toshiro's voice drifted over Ichigo's shoulder, pulling himself out his reverie.
Ichigo shoved the photo back into the envelope quickly and turned around. He rubbed his neck in attempt to get rid of any tension there. "Yeah, I'm fine. Actually, guys…I just remembered that I have to go meet up with someone. You're welcome to stay, just ya know…don't trash the place."
Ichigo didn't say anything else before walking to straight to the bathroom to shower, completely missing the blank and confused stares that his band mates had given him. After a quick shower, Ichigo threw on the first clothes he found, before leaving, remembering last minute to grab a hat and sunglasses that Urahara insisted each band member wore when out in public. He looked down at his watch again. 9:10, already? Ichigo could have sworn he got ready faster than that. Whatever, that's enough time to get to the place. Ichigo hailed the first taxi he saw, telling the guy the name of the place as he buckled in.
Twenty minutes later, due to some heavy traffic, Ichigo pulled open the restaurant's door, his eyes immediately scanning the place for a head of blue hair. He let out a frustrated growl when he didn't see anyone fit the criteria he had been looking for. Without ordering anything, Ichigo took a seat at an empty table near the windows. Every so minute, Ichigo would look down at his watch, getting angrier and angrier. Suddenly, someone sat down across from Ichigo, bumping the table, causing Ichigo to look up from his wrist. His eyes instantly narrowed when he recognized the grinning man in front of him.
"You're late, asshole." Ichigo leaned back into his chair, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Didn't I tell you it's rude to insult people? Especially, when they hold something that is so vital to your career." Grimmjow smirked as he raised the coffee cup he had to his lips. "And, I wasn't late. I was hear all a long."
Ichigo narrowed his eyes. "No you weren't. I've been here for the past half hour and I didn't see you."
Grimmjow hiked a thumb over his shoulder, pointing to the kitchen of the small restaurant. "I was working."
"You work here?" Ichigo cocked his eyebrow, generally surprised at the information given to him. He looked around the sheik restaurant. It was the kind of place that college kids went to hang out and study.
"Taking pictures doesn't exactly pay the bills all the time, berry. But then again, sometimes you get a picture that sells really well." Ichigo visibly tensed and Grimmjow relished the sight as he shifted in his seat.
"Then why don't you sell it? I'm sure you could get a lot out of it." Ichigo knew that he shouldn't egg the man on, but he couldn't help but get mad.
"Tch. As if I haven't thought about doing that." Grimmjow took another sip of his drink. "No. I've decided to let the situation marinate a bit. Let you get really big before I sell it. It'll cost more when you're popular." Grimmjow smiled sinisterly as he watched Ichigo's reaction. He had the berry exactly where he wanted him. The berry would be squirming in a few minutes.
Ichigo leaned forward so that he was resting on his elbows, ducking his head so that he was closer to the man. "What do you want for the photos?"
Grimmjow laughed again, something that was starting to really irritate Ichigo. "You don't need to be so secretive, idiot. No one's around." Grimmjow looked at the younger male; he was clearly a naïve celebrity. Grimmjow scrunched his nose at Ichigo's appearance. "And take those damn glasses off. No one here gives a shit about that crap you try to pass off as music."
Ichigo scowled, something Grimmjow could see better now that he had removed the sunglasses that he had been wearing since he entered. "I don't play crap, asshole."
"Tch, that frat-rock bullshit is not music, no matter how much you try and defend it."
Ichigo was getting really angry now. Angry, annoyed, and frustrated that he was still talking to the jerk that was holding him hostage, in a sense. "Grimm, just tell me what you fucking want for the photos."
"Ah, so it's Grimm, now?" Grimmjow smirked. "Getting a little friendly there, aye berry?"
Ichigo stood up from the table slamming his hands on the surface in anger. "Stop fucking with me asshole. I don't have time for your games. Tell me what you want, and I'll give it to you."
Grimmjow leaned further into his chair, still completely calm on the surface, but Ichigo had noticed the menacing fire that was blazing in his eyes. He smiled, showing his over-sized canines. "What I want? That's a good question, berry. What exactly do I want?" Grimmjow cross his arms over his chest, looking to the side as if he was truly thinking hard over what he was going to say. "Money? Naw, from the looks of your apartment complex, you don't seem that better off than I do. Fame? Naw, and have people like me trying to ruin my life. I think I'll pass." Ichigo growled slightly as he noticed Grimmjow's grin grow a little larger at the last statement. "I know, exactly what I want."
Ichigo's anger grew a little when Grimmjow didn't say anything. "Well?"
"You sure you don't want to guess?" Grimmjow was having fun teasing the poor kid. But then again, he was the one in control here, so of course he was feeling a little haughty.
"I told you, I have no times for your games." Ichigo sat back down, feeling physically tired from all of the tension that was falling off of him.
"What?" To say Ichigo was shock was an understatement. "You want pictures?"
"To sell, of course." Grimmjow ran his fingers over the rim of his cup, watching Ichigo as he cocked his head.
"I thought you didn't want money." Ichigo scowled, this wasn't making any sense.
"Tch, I don't want your money, simply because you don't have any. But like I said, sometimes you get a picture that just sells."
Ichigo shook his head, rubbing his temples as he tried to grasp the situation. "This doesn't make any sense. You want to take pictures of me for money?"
"I want to take pictures of you in compromising situations. Like the one with Byakuya. That sold for thousands."
"I knew you were the one behind that." Ichigo sighed as he shook his head again. "Do you know how much shit you put me through because of that one picture?"
"It seems that your sexuality is an interesting topic for most." Grimmjow grinned sinisterly as he leaned forward. "People pay big for those kinds of pictures. I want you to set up situations for me with other men."
Ichigo's heart was pounding. Shock and anger were the only two emotions he was feeling. This could not be happening. "You want me to whore myself out so that you can make money?"
Grimmjow let out a bark of a laugh that caused Ichigo to physically jump. "Look kid, I'm not telling you to sleep with them. Just let me get a nice set of shots with you and some other men. Unless you want to, then go ahead, that'll make more money for me."
Ichigo scowled. "My reputation. You want me to lost my reputation for the sake of satisfying you."
"Look, you're going to lose either way." Grimmjow couldn't have been more pleased at the situation. He was really riling the berry up. He couldn't want to see what the kid had up his sleeve. "Either you seem like a little man slut or you look like a pot head, which seems more preferable to you?"
"And that's it, right? Just pictures. I dont...I don't have to sleep with you or anything?"
Ichigo felt his face blush from his question. He couldn't deny how surprised when the blue-haired man hadn't asked for any sexual favors in return for the pictures. But, with how the conversation was going, he was starting to think sleeping with the man once would be better off than playing office-whore with his colleagues. Except, when Ichigo thought about it, the likeliness of Grimmjow only making him sleep with him once for the picture seemed rather slim. Grimmjow was clearly the kind of man who would exploit any kind of situation.
Grimmjow's eyes flashed with lust for a moment, darkening from their bright teal to a deep sea blue. "Is that what you want Ichigo? To be my little play thing?" He grinned when he noticed Ichigo shift in his seat. "Maybe, that would be a better proposition, you could sleep with me. But then again, I don't think you're manager would like you all bruised and broken on stage after I fuck you on hours on en-"
"Stop." Ichigo slammed his hands on the table, feeling uncomfortable and confused by the words that were spilling out of the man's mouth. "Just stop. That's not what I want."
"So you'd rather have me take the pictures." Grimmjow gleamed with victory. "That's fine by me."
Ichigo didn't say anything for a minute, he simply sat there taking in the situation. Could he do it? Could he really help make this man money by being a little too friendly with other guys? It wasn't like Ichigo wasn't a flirt or anything, because if he was truthful, that was one of his past times while still in college. But, Urahara had told them to cut down on the promotion of their sexuality. A majority of their fanbase were girls, so if they were to show that they swung for the other way, Urahara feared they'd lose their fans. But pot, it's illegal, that's worse than just looking like a slut. Ichigo looked up at the grinning blue haired man, his eyes set as his heart sunk when his mind finally came to a decision.
"How long do I have to do this for you?"
The grin that was plastered on the blue-haired devil's face mad his heart drop further into his stomach. "Until I say stop."
Ichigo wasn't going to enjoy this one bit.
And that my friends is the second chapter of Flashing Lights.
I know, dialogue kinda took over, but considering what happened in the chapter, it was necessary.
I can use my description skills later on for a different kind of scene ;)
Oh, and a quick question for you guys. Do you guys have any musical muses?
The whole time I was writing this chapter I was listening to Nosaj Thing, Nujabes, and Temper Trap. Three different types of music, but they're good for the ears and the soul.
Check out Nosaj Thing if you're into DJ instrumentals.
If you've ever head Kid Cudi's Man on the Moon, Nosaj Thing did the instrumentals for that track.
Also, IOIO, the restaurant Grimm works at is named after a Nosaj Thing song
ANYWAYS ENOUGH ABOUT MUSIC!
Thank you to everyone who favorite/story alert! I got 13/17 on the first chapter alone. My little heart was so happy I put this out as quick as I can.
Don't forget to review.
Love you guys!