*Dedicated to my Ladies and Gentlemen Grimm-Ichi fans. Ask enough and you shall receive...eventually. Merry Christmas!

**Don't worry Shiro-Ichi fans, I've got one coming for you too (and if I have time to swing it, a Grimm-Kaien).

**Kubo owns Bleach and I do not profit from it. Shed Some Light is by Shinedown and guess what...I don't profit from that either.

Shed Some Light

"I'm falling apart again,

And I can't find a way to make amends.

And I'm looking in both directions,

But it's make believe,

It's all pretend..."

Every time he passed without looking Ichigo's way, the orange headed male felt worse. Why is he so good at pretending we could give a shit less about each others existence? He is acting, right?

Every time he would laugh at another of their squad members jokes, or give his attention too long to one man, Grimmjow would pass by him, careful not to raise suspicion but making sure Ichigo knew he was still there, still watching. Why is he paying so much attention to that damn red head? Don't forget who you belong to, Ichigo.

As their Sergeant, Grimmjow had ample excuse to wander around, checking on the rest of the squad. No one really paid him much attention in resting hours when he briskly walked by, so no one ever noticed him linger slightly in any area Ichigo seemed to be.

It was sheer torture, pretending that they didn't notice each and every little thing the other did, but it would do no good for rumors to start circulating now, not when their contract is so close to being finished, not when they've been so good these past few months.

"...So, shed some light on me,

And hold me up in disbelief,

And shed some light on me,

And tell me something that I'll believe in..."

It could be worse, the bluenette supposed, they could have realized their feelings for each other much sooner. Especially considering they had known each other since high school, and signed together under the notion that 'best friends don't let the other go to war alone.' Yes, being aware of their feelings back then would have definitely prolonged the suffering. But that doesn't change the fact that he is having a fantasy about knocking Abarai's teeth out. For someone so smart, Ichigo can be a bit too oblivious at times, which is what landed Grimmjow here in the first place.

Yes, joining the military had been Ichigo's idea. His father had offered to put him through college, proudly aware that his son wanted to follow in the family footsteps and become a doctor. However, much to the dismay of his family and friends, Grimmjow included, Ichigo said that he wanted to reach his goal by himself, and that he needed more 'real-world' experiences, so he was joining the Army with the intention of becoming a medic.

Grimmjow tried vehemently to dissuade him, nearly becoming physically ill when he thought of some of the things that could happen to his best friend while overseas. Sure the kid was smart, but it was a book smart that doesn't do a lot of good in the heat of physical battle. Faced with the enemy, guns firing in every direction, it doesn't matter how much calculus or history you can recall, if you can't keep your cool and avoid getting shot, well...

And it wasn't like Ichigo didn't know how to fight either. Hell with his martial arts training, he could certainly give Grimmjow, himself, a run for his money. But those fights are pretty fair, pretty regulated within the terms of the law. How well would Ichigo fight back against a group of insurgents, using anything they could get their hands on as a weapon. Kind of like the vicious street fighting Grimmjow used to be involved in before meeting Ichigo.

"...Shed some light on me,

And tell me something that I'll believe in.

It's innocence within the maze,

But I have chosen the wrong way.

I'm still getting over who I was,

There's no sense of trust,

There's no definition of love..."

Ichigo, his Ichigo, who believed in him at his worst and helped him put his life back together. He wouldn't have even graduated if it hadn't been for Ichigo's influence. It's not that he was stupid, far from it actually, his marks on the standardized tests were always excellent and he had the ability to communicate smoothly, making him very persuasive. He just never went to school, meaning his work was never done and he definitely wasn't favored among the teachers. He was Grimmjow of the 6th district, and he fought his way to the top of the ghetto, then had to fight to stay there.

It only took him being beaten to shit, left for dead, and months of severe pain to convince him that it was time to make a change. Well, that and the very determined orange headed male responsible for saving his life.

When Grimmjow did on the rare occasion decide to grace the school with his presence, he and Ichigo, to put it nicely, never saw eye to eye. They bickered and fought constantly, which amused Grimmjow to no end and pissed Ichigo off so bad that sometimes he had to leave the class. So imagine his surprise to find out that the one who picked him up off the street that night had been the orange headed boy he teased so mercilessly.

He remembers Ichigo scoffing at the doctors when they finally told him that he may not be able to walk on his own again. "Trust me, nothing could keep that annoying bastard off his feet."

He also remembers the first steps he took, weeks after the beating, and Ichigo's encouraging smile that screamed 'I told you so!'

"...So, shed some light on me,

And hold me up in disbelief,

And shed some light on me,

And tell me something that I'll believe..."

Grimmjow didn't know it then, but looking back, he definitely fell in love with Ichigo that night. Assuming in his own mind that he was just thankful, another foreign concept to the teen, he did something very un-Grimmjow. In his own way, he asked for forgiveness.

"Look Ichigo, about all the shit from before, think we can forget about it?"

"No. I won't forget the person you were before this happened. If you want my forgiveness, you will have to work for it."

"Kurosaki, what makes you think I asked that for yer forgiveness? And I sure as hell never asked for your pity that night either!"

"It wasn't pity you self-centered fuck. I was hoping that the beating you took would be enough to open your god-damned eyes! What has that life ever done for you? And don't feed me that, 'I'm stuck in it' crap, because I know you are better than that. I've seen your test scores, your physical resilience is unbelievable, and I know from your cousin, Nel, that you aren't a complete douche bag all the time and that you have resources capable of getting you out of the ghetto. You have the potential to actually be someone great in this world, and could potentially make someone else happy. That's why I picked your prick ass up off the street."

"That doesn't make any god damned sense! If you can't forget who I "was" then why would you expect me to live up to your stuck up expectations!"

"People don't forget who you are, but with time and effort they can forgive the things you've done, and I believe that working for forgiveness changes a person for the better."

"Whatever. Not that I agree with you, but hypothetically, what would I have to do?"

"Make sure my good deed to society doesn't go to waste."

Grimmjow knew that he owed Ichigo his life, and in more ways than one. So from that day he swore that he'd stay by the naïve kids side, waiting for the time when he could somehow return the favor.

"...I know now it's not who you are,

It's who you know,

And I see clearly now,

Which way to go..."

So, when every attempt to change Ichigo's mind about joining the military failed, Grimmjow signed up right beside him.

"Think you're getting rid of me that easily, Kurosaki?"

"You know that we will most likely be stationed separately?"

"Good thing I'm a lucky bastard then, huh?"

Though Grimmjow failed to mention to Ichigo that, aside from their friendship, he has always made his own luck. Using the resources he once swore he'd never touch, i.e. the generous trust fund from his asshole father, Grimmjow expectantly found himself in Ichigo's company overseas.

"How the hell did you get assigned to this squad?"

"I told ya Ichi, I'm one lucky bastard."

"...I remember the way

I fell from above,

And I recall the way I was.

So, shed some light on me,

And hold me up in disbelief,

And shed some light on me,

And tell me something that I'll believe in..."

***I am leaving this open with the thought that I will eventually write a sequel, though I can't guarantee when that will happen. Hope you enjoyed!