Chapter 15: Try and Try
Ichigo hummed to herself, gazing at the slightly noticeable bump that was her stomach. She could see the suitcases sitting out behind her in the mirror, but ignored it to gaze at her belly. She had been doing that more than a normal person should, but she was just too happy. The thought of something growing inside her made her burst with joy. And to think it belonged to the man that she loved. It made the experience so much more heartwarming. Grimmjow was going to be a great father and she hoped she would be a good mother.
It was weird seeing her normally toned belly poking out even in the smallest inch. There was such an unknown feeling of love and possession growing inside her and she hoped she would be as good as a mother as her own was. She smiled at the idea of how her mom would react if she was still alive. The beaming smile that would adorn her face, knowing that her daughter was with child.
"You know, if you keep staring into the mirror, you are going to be trapped in there." Ichigo smiled, seeing the reflection of Grimmjow behind her. Mocha eyes watched him walk over and she could see his hands sliding across her bare skin, rubbing the area where their child was growing. Lips pressed against her bare neck and she hummed. "Are you finished packing?"
"Mmm, almost, just a few more things. I'm glad you decided to come along."
"Well," Grimmjow started as he made his way over to the bed, gazing at the various women's clothing. "It might be good to get out of the house for the summer. I'm not too happy about whom we are staying with, but it's not like we are going to be in the same room."
"What do you mean 'you're not happy about whom we are staying with'? They are your family."
"Exactly! I see them all at work enough. I don't want to have to see them on my vacation." Ichigo snorted and made her way into the closet to gather some more clothing. School was finally over for summer break and she and Grimmjow had accepted Inoue's summer invitation. They would be staying at a beach house with a few other people for about a month. Ichigo wasn't too happy about it, being that Rukia would be there, but she didn't want Inoue to be upset. When they got back, they would be going to visit her family and spend some time with them. "What about you? Ain't that Rukia chick going? You guys don't seem to be the best of friends."
Ichigo frowned, peeking out from the closet. "Inoue persuaded me to kiss and make up with her, but I don't know if I'm going to be able to do that. She really pisses me off. And if she pisses me off too much I can't really attack her."
Grimmjow snorted, folding his arms across his chest. "And why can't you?" Ichigo rolled her eyes and pointed to her stomach. "Tch, you aren't too far along. You can still kick some ass."
"That's not safe, Grimmjow. I can't afford any mishaps." Those words sounded so foreign coming from Ichigo's mouth. She was always the kind of woman that jumped the gun, ready for action, but now that she was pregnant she didn't know if she could be that way anymore.
"Why the hell is she still mad, anyway?" Ichigo shrugged, walking back out and setting her clothing down on the bed.
"Renji and I will never go down that road again. I see him as a friend and nothing more. She should really just get over it."
"Hold up." Ichigo gazed at him, her head cocked to the side. "…Is that red haired fucker going?" She eyed him for a moment before smirking with amusement and going back to folding her clothing. There had already been one incident between Grimmjow and Renji, she being the one to break it up. It wasn't that Grimmjow didn't like the red head. It was just that Renji had a big mouth that usually got him into a lot of trouble. If she hadn't stepped in, they probably would have beaten each other bloody.
"Yes, he is. So don't be mean, Grimmjow. You have to be nice to people." Grimmjow really didn't feel the same way by the deadly sneer on his face. If it wasn't a good idea for Ichigo to be in the same room as Rukia, it definitely wasn't a good idea for Grimmjow to even see Renji again. He could already see himself trying to hide the man's bloody body in the closet. "Who knows, you two might become the best of buds."
"…I doubt that."
June 17, XXXX – One Month, Three Weeks Pregnant
"Wow! Look at this place!" Ichigo stepped out of the taxi once it stopped and gazed towards the large beach house in front of her. The white wood stood out against the large, blue, cloudless sky. The large paned windows showcased the neutral colors inside of the home and Ichigo wondered just what else there was to see. For as long as she lived in Japan, she had never been to Okinawa. It was only three-hour plane ride from Karakura, but wasn't a place she ever thought of visiting. But now that she was there, she decided that she and Grimmjow would have to return.
"Tch, figures Ulquiorra would spring for something so extravagant looking." Grimmjow started to pull the suitcases out of the car, closing the door. He paid the driver and watched him drive away before making his away towards girlfriend and standing next to her. Ichigo couldn't agree more, what with the small stone fence that wrapped around the property and large Japanese palm trees. The home was traditional but with loads of modern touches and Ichigo could see that Ulquiorra paid a lot for the luxury.
"…Don't be that way. Would you rather be staying in shack?"
"It doesn't really matter to me as long as I can relax and spend some much needed time with you."
"Smooth talker," Ichigo mumbled and Grimmjow just chuckled before pressed his lips against Ichigo's temple. She watched the blunet walk past her and she hoped that her nausea had subsided for the time being. The thought of sitting on the bathroom floor, hugging the toilet for the whole trip instead of having fun made her angry. She knew it was all for what was growing inside her, but she didn't want to feel miserable the whole entire trip. Now that school was over she wanted to enjoy her break as much as possible and wanted to enjoy her pregnancy in the most relaxing way.
"Kurosaki-chan!" Ichigo smiled when she saw Inoue waving to her from the porch of the beautiful abode, the woman's pastel yellow sundress fluttering in the summer breeze. Making her way closer, she could see Grimmjow and Ulquiorra speaking to each other inside, her boyfriend's blue eyes blazing with annoyance. It was going to be a long month.
"Hey Inoue, has everyone made it yet?" Ichigo made her way up the small flight of wooden steps and stepped inside the open doorway with the orange haired woman. Sienna eyes roamed over the well-furnished living area, noticing how bright and airy the place was. The multi-colored stain wood floor looked old world, a nice play off of the white walls. Ichigo was in awe by how homey the place looked, the mix of greens and browns with bright tropical accents.
When she thought of Ulquiorra buying such a place, her face when slack jawed. The quiet and serious man didn't look like he would enjoy something so bright and airy. There was Inoue, but she seemed to be the only thing cheery in his life. Maybe it was all Orihime's doing. Ichigo could see that. She could see the orange haired woman picking out fabrics and furniture like her life depended on it, making sure everything looked just as beautiful and bright as she was.
Ichigo smiled, taking in the warm beach house. It was actually the perfect mix of calm Ulquiorra and bubbly Inoue and she realized that maybe they were just as serious as she and Grimmjow were.
"We're still waiting for nee-chan, Rukia and Renji. Come on, I'll show you to your room." Ichigo couldn't take her eyes off of everything in the home. It really felt like they were on some tropical island and Ichigo wanted nothing more than to longue out and gaze at the sea. She walked passed Grimmjow, gripping his belt loop of his khakis and dragging him away from Ulquiorra.
"Hey!" The chuckle spilling from her lips was quiet, but she couldn't help it. It was nice to randomly catch Grimmjow off guard. She hoped she could do it more often during their trip.
"Leave Ulquiorra alone. You can glare at him later. Now is the time to spend with me." The man huffed and Ichigo smiled, still dragging him down the hall towards their bedroom. Orihime pushed open a door and they all stepped into an extravagant bedroom.
Ichigo's mahogany eyes widened when she saw the large sliding glass door which looked out onto the beach and the small lap pool in the backyard. She wondered just how much Ulquiorra made to own such an amazing piece of property. It was nothing she had seen in Japan before, the style and décor looking like something very western. Her bare legs moved and she made a beeline straight for the window and gazed out. The clear blue water was only a few feet away and the greens of the foliage blew in the soft breeze.
The beauty before her was making her calm and she realized that the fatigue was setting in. The three-hour plane ride to Okinawa had been a tiring trip. Though Grimmjow had slept the entire time, Ichigo had a bad case of nausea which kept her from sleeping even a tiny bit. Driving from Naha to the beach house had taken about forty-five minutes, making the orangette realize that they were a little ways out of town.
But now they were in the comfort of such a glorious place, all she could think about was a hot shower and a nap. Her ears didn't even pick up the sounds of whispered voices behind her or the quiet click of the door.
"You okay?" Ichigo listened to the soft steps of Grimmjow's feet before feeling his arms wrap around her waist. She sighed and leaned back in his arms, relaxing in his warmth and safety. It had been a while since he had just held her without it being followed by sex. It wasn't that she didn't enjoy it, but she did love to cuddle and with her body waging war against her, she relished in the softness that Grimmjow performed every now and again.
"Mmmm, just a bit tired. I just need a little nap." She closed her eyes, feeling the softness of his lips against her short coral locks. The moment made her body relax more against his body and the weight of it pushed onto Grimmjow. "This place is nice, huh?" she mumbled to him.
"Better than the city. I was never a city boy anyway." Ichigo just hummed, letting Grimmjow's deep soothing voice loll her to sleep. "My dad was a country man even though he had such a large company. I'm surprised he didn't become a farmer or something…" Grimmjow frowned, realizing that he was beginning to tell Ichigo his life story. They hadn't spoke much about their pasts, only knowing small details about each other, but he guessed it wouldn't hurt to know more. They were a couple, not to mention about to be parents. When he didn't hear a respond escape his girlfriend he looked down. Ichigo's breathing was low and deep and her face was void of any expression. He guessed she really had been tired. Grimmjow didn't blame her. It had been a long ride and she was pregnant.
Leaning down, he picked her up, his arms under her knees and carried her to the large king size bed in the middle of the room. She was so beautiful, and he couldn't help but stare down at her. He set her down on top of the covers before sitting on the edge of the bed and removing her shoes. This woman was pregnant with his child and he could feel something welling up inside him. The love he had for her was so much and the news about the child just made that love intensify. Never thinking about children before, he never thought he would be this happy about having them, about having a family.
Smiling to himself, he slowly pulled Ichigo's sandals off of her feet, slowly massaging the skin. She moaned at the feeling and it roused him to continue. His long fingers ran across the dainty, tanned painted toes and he figured that he would be doing a lot of that in the future. He would be catering to Ichigo's needs as she grew in size to hold their child. It was an amazing feeling to have and even though it would be his first time, he was more than ready to start.
Aquamarine eyes blazed as the gazed across the room. Long, flowing carmine hair, pulled back into a ponytail was the only thing he could see, well other than the angry red that was slowly enveloping his eyes. He had promised Ichigo that he would be nice, but the thought of that man having a piece of his berry just didn't sit well with him. Ishida had been a total difference, knowing the small, glasses wearing man wasn't much of a threat. Renji on the other hand was handsome. Don't get him wrong, he wasn't into guys, but he knew competition when he saw it.
The red head wasn't as handsome as he was, but Renji was in fact a commendable competitor. The man was tall, even if Grimmjow was taller. Renji was built like an athlete, even though Grimmjow knew he himself was built like a God. The man's attitude was almost like his, stubborn, but no matter what Renji knew what he wanted and knew just how to get it. It was no wonder that Ichigo dated him. It was no surprise that Ichigo's first was the man standing a few feet away from him. It still made him boil with anger that Renji knew the berry just as he did.
His large hands gripped the edge of the high table situated behind a couch and he heard a throat clear. "Shouldn't you calm yourself, Grimmjow? We don't want anything broken in this house."
"Shut it, Ulquiorra. Why the hell did you invite those two? I'm sure Orihime told you about the beef between that Rukia chick and Ichigo."
"…She did, but she also told me that she wanted them to be friends again. But I don't think that is what's bothering you. Do you have a problem with Renji?" Grimmjow frowned and folded his arms over his chest. There really wasn't a visible problem between them; it was just all in Grimmjow's head. Ichigo had said that whatever had been between her and Renji had been squashed years ago, but it still gave him an unwanted feeling. "Just talk to him…unless your brain can't even comprehend even that much." Grimmjow glared down into emotionless green eyes before looking back towards Renji.
That was the last thing he wanted to do. He would throw a punch before even thinking about being civilized to that man. He wasn't much of a talker and the only way to really settle things was with fists. At least to him anyway.
It had been such a relaxing sleep. No soreness or uncomfortable feeling. There was just a feeling of floating on a cloud that is until something broke though Ichigo's dreams. She bolted from the bed and headed straight to the bathroom that connected to the bedroom. The toilet had become her savior as she emptied her stomach into the commode. The hearty breakfast food she had made that morning emptied from her stomach and her sienna eyes spewed their own drops of tears. It hurt, but it felt good to get rid of the nausea that she was feeling. Flushing the toilet, she huddled over and laid her hot cheek against the cooling tiles of the bathroom floor.
It felt nice, like the feeling of a cold shower after running a mile in the desert. Groaning, she slowly closed her eyes before realizing that she should take a shower. Her body felt sticky and sweaty and she just needed to feel fresh again.
Pushing herself from the floor, she wobbled back into the bedroom to retrieve some new clothing from one of her many suitcases. Grimmjow scolded her about bringing so much clothing but she didn't want to be lacking for anything that happened. Pulling out some gray and black striped athletic shorts, an oversized thin white tee and some underwear, she made her way back into the bathroom and started to underdress before stepping into the shower.
Turning the knobs, she squeaked at the rush of cold water, but after a while it felt nice against her hot skin. It trickled down her face and rolling through her orange locks, damping and darkening it in color. The soothing cold water slid down her back, extinguishing the fire on her skin and she sighed in relief. The doctor said she would have mild hot flashes coupled with the fatigue and nausea and she cursed Grimmjow for starting this reaction inside her. She was happy to be pregnant, but it was going to be a difficult road ahead. The thought of these symptoms only getting worse didn't sit well, but she smiled at what was growing inside her. A child made from love and that was really all that mattered.
Shaking her head, she turned the temperature up a bit and started to wash away her tiredness and sweat. Finishing up, she stepped out of the shower and dried off before brushing her teeth and slipping into her clothing. She made her way out of the room and down the hall. Rounding a corner, she stopped, her eyes narrowing at the voices coming from the front of the house. Grimmjow's distinctive voice was loud, almost trying to talk over Renji's deep voice.
"What the hell?" she mumbled as she continued to make her down the hall. The scene before her made her mocha orbs widen as they gazed at Grimmjow and Renji at each other's necks. Ugh, not this bullshit again. She was too annoyed and tired to even think about pulling them apart. If they wanted to kill each other then she was all for it, as long as they didn't ruin Ulquiorra's home.
She made herself visible and completely ignored the two men standing in the living room surrounded by her friends. Ichigo didn't notice Inoue, so she figured the woman was in the kitchen, which is where she made a beeline directly too.
"Ichigo-chan!" Rangiku called after her and she stopped dead in her tracks to look over her shoulder. "Are you going to do something about these two?" The orangette arched her brow and glanced over to the two men before shrugging and continuing on her way.
"I could care less what they do. This is my vacation and I won't be taking care of anymore children other than the one inside me." The room's temperature suddenly dropped and it became silent. Rangiku wasn't really that surprised about the information, considering she could already see the signs, and of course Grimmjow knew, but everyone else's eyes threatened to fall from their face.
"Ichigo!" The woman snorted at the collective shouting as she stepped into the kitchen, seeing Orihime at the counter. It was nice to get that all out in the open. It wasn't that she wanted to keep it hidden, but she didn't want people to start asking her about her health if she suddenly fell ill. She didn't need twenty people breathing down her neck. Grimmjow was enough. And if the big blue haired brute wanted to fight with Renji for their entire stay, then she would let him do as he pleased. It was their time to spend together, but she wasn't going to whine about it. She was really tired of being emotional and she knew it would get harder as the time passed with her pregnancy.
"Yo, Inoue." The auburn haired woman looked up, smiling cheerfully at Ichigo before going back to making her a snack. Ichigo leaned up against the counter and watched her, enjoying the calmness of the kitchen. "So, what do you guys have planned for the month? I know we aren't going to sit in this house for thirty days."
"Well," Inoue started as she chopped away at some fruit. Ichigo's eyes were sparkling at the food in front of her and she couldn't help stealing pieces as Inoue cut them. "I wasn't really sure. Ulquiorra gave me a bunch of stuff to look at, but I was so excited that I didn't get a chance too. Oh! But he did say there were a large aquarium here and a really pretty waterfall. I should have looked at the brochures…"
Ichigo's lips were turning up as she listened to Orihime. She guessed the girl was really excited being that she had never had a boyfriend, let alone go on a trip with one. The orangette was in the same boat, but she could contain her excitement a bit more. Her time with Grimmjow was always precious, but to get away from home and be able to spend time together just made her heart soar. It really felt like she was in a serious long-term relationship. It had never been that way with Ishida, since the serious man had always been to busy working to go on vacations. It wasn't that Ichigo whined about going places, but she had always thought it would be romantic to travel with her lover.
"Maybe we should look through them together. We might find some fun stuff to do. Like rock climbing or scuba diving."
"Kurosaki-chan! Are you sure you should be doing that in your condition?"
"You know," Inoue mumbled before looking down at the pile of chopped fruit. "Your… pregnancy."
Ichigo's eyes lowered as well, but she couldn't help the soft smile that pulled at her lips. "…Oh…you heard me say that, huh?" She unconsciously slid her palm against her clothed stomach. She guessed she couldn't do those kinds of things now, but it did sound like fun. Being away from Karakura wasn't an everyday occurrence and she wanted to make the best out of the vacation she was having.
Orihime could see the longing look on Ichigo's face and guessed the spiky haired woman was torn between living her young life and becoming a young mother.
"M-maybe we can find something less dangerous! There are a bunch of places to go. Like…like the aquarium. And there are plenty of street markets and beaches. It doesn't have to be a boring trip just because you're with child."
"To tell you the truth Hime, it doesn't really matter what we do. It's just nice to get away from the city, away from the everyday things." Inoue just smiled, pulling out a small plate from the cupboard and setting it on the counter. She placed the pile of fruit onto the plate and handed it off to Ichigo, who looked at it curiously.
"Why don't you take that and go spend time with Grimmjow-san. I'm sure the ruckus in there isn't what you came here to be a part of. You should let him know that." Ichigo looked down at the pile of various chunks of fruit, her mouth completely watering and she slowly reached for it.
"T-thanks, Inoue." The auburn haired woman just smiled and went back to work, oblivious to the way Ichigo was gazing at the plate of food.
Ichigo could feel all the eyes on her, but she ignored them to gaze through a magazine she found sitting on the coffee table. Her presence in the living room had halted what had been going on between Grimmjow and Renji and now the room was completely silent, as if everyone was waiting for Ichigo to say something. Of course, she didn't, only sitting there plopping pieces of fruit in her mouth.
"Hmm?" she responded, chewing on the delectable juicy pieces and flipping through the fashion magazine. She could feel Grimmjow's hand rubbing her lower back as he sat next to her on the couch. His hands seemed to always sooth her, the long soft fingers making circles across her skin.
"So…you're pregnant," Renji continued.
"Yup." Ichigo looked up seeing Renji looking at her with wide eyes while Rukia was practically glaring at her. Ulquiorra seemed somewhat unfazed by the information, knowing that his cousin would get someone knocked up eventually. Rangiku was excited, but Gin on the other hand seems a bit surprised. He had never thought Grimmjow would settle down, let alone be ready to start a family. The blue haired man wasn't much of the father type, not to mention wasn't a person who did too well with kids.
"How, uh, how did that happen?" The orangette's eyebrow arched and Grimmjow was trying to contain his laughter at the idiotic question.
"What a dumbass. It's kind of obvious, isn't it?" The blush running across Renji's face told everyone that he wasn't really that stupid. He knew how those things worked.
"Renji, stop being an idiot," Rukia interjected. "She couldn't keep her legs closed, of course. Just like she couldn't keep from cheating on her husband. Or stealing someone else's crush." Ichigo's eyes narrowed at the comment, but she knew Rukia was just trying to get her angry. All she did was shake her head at the petite woman not even fazed by such a comment.
"And you obviously can't get over the fact that Renji chose me over you all those years ago. Talk about holding a grudge. What I do with my legs is my own business. Maybe if you kept to your own you could have decent relationship." Ichigo didn't want to rise to Rukia's taunting, but she was tired of the attitude. The woman had gotten her fired and ruined her reputation at work. The friendship they used to have had been completely shattered and she was just annoyed to continue down this route with the dark haired woman. Ichigo had no problem becoming friends with Rukia again, but if it was going to be this difficult then she would forget the notion.
"Tch, what a bitch," Rukia mumbled. Those hushed words explained how the little woman felt about becoming friends with Ichigo again and all the orangette could do was sigh. Pushing herself up from the couch, she slowly made her way out of the room and back to her and Grimmjow's bedroom. Everything was just so tiring and she just didn't want to deal with anything anymore. Rangiku frowned as she watched Ichigo walk out of the room before glaring towards Rukia. She didn't know much about the incident long ago, only hearing word of mouth from Orihime. She could tell how both women were feeling though. It seemed Rukia was only acting that way to keep from her feelings getting even more hurt. Ichigo on the other hand was just completely annoyed by the situaton. Years had passed and it only seemed that their fight was getting worse.
"...I hope you're happy, Rukia," Grimmjow said once Ichigo left the room, irritation clear in his voice. He could feel the annoyance that had been rolling off of his girlfriend and he was more than pissed off for her. "She came here to spend time with you guys and try to squash whatever issues she had with you." Pushing himself up off of the couch, he started to make his way out of the living area. "Whatever you do, just don't fuck up our vacation."
Making his way to the bedroom, Grimmjow saw the sliding glass door open and could smell the strong scent of sea water. Slowly making his way over, he noticed the bright orange locks with a backdrop of darkness. He guessed Ichigo was a little more frustrated about the situation than she seemed. Reaching for the blanket that sat in a chair in the corner, he made his way outside. Slipping up behind her, he wrapped the large cream colored throw around them both, letting his arms wrap around her waist.
For a while they just stood out there enjoying the crashing waves and the soft blowing wind. Grimmjow wouldn't say a thing until Ichigo did, not knowing exactly what to say. He didn't mind it though; it was nice just standing there, cuddled together.
"Maybe we should just go home," Ichigo mumbled after a while. "I came here to fix this for Orihime's sake, but there seems to be no point really. And I don't want that to ruin this trip. It's not like we can't come back another time."
"Ichi…that would be silly. And not to mention, who knows when we would be able to get out here again. I do have work and being able to take off now was a miracle. You have school and you have yourself to take care of. Did you forget you're pregnant?"
"…I could never forget a thing. I-I just don't want to be here if I'm going to have to deal with her attitude the whole time."
Grimmjow sighed and turned Ichigo around to face him. Looking into her mocha eyes he could see the sheer tiredness in them and leaned down to press his lips against her forehead.
"Do you want to be friends with her again?" He felt Ichigo nod against his lips and looked back down at her. "Then just suck it up and try again tomorrow. We will be here for a month, so you have plenty of time." Burying her face into Grimmjow's chest, she took a deep breath of the calming scent that was her boyfriend. She knew trying to be friends with Rukia again wouldn't be that easy. And she knew she was to blame just as much at the petite woman.
Once she could admit that to Rukia, then maybe they could become friends again.
Hope everyone enjoyed. Sorry for the VERY long wait. I'll try to get another chapter out soon, but there is no guarantee. Please review if you can and see you next chapter.