A/N: Work has been a shit show. Hopefully I can update a few more stories this week while I got some spirit in me. Easier to update my profile page with relevant info. -TPP

Gasoline Sandwiches

Chapter: The Fabric That Holds Us Together

"Like a shark that's combing the surface, we got a taste for blood

Don't believe what the pacifist tells you

No war, no peace"

-A Day To Remember

Ichigo hated sand. Had ever since he was a little kid and his family would take him to the beach.

But here he was, toes in the sand, watching a sunrise with a delusional man that he was probably in love with.

His life was so fucked.

"You're not happy," Grimm said offhandedly, lighting a cigarette as they stared at the colors coming up over the water.

"Does it matter?" Ichigo answered, surprisingly calm. He felt hollowed out by the colors bleeding out in front of him.

"Not really," Grimm laughed, blowing smoke out into the breeze.

Cancer spreading more cancer, Ichigo thought to himself. He hugged his knees tighter, wiggling his toes in the coarse sand.

"I hate sand," he finally said, wrinkling his nose at the texture, "Never liked it."

"Me either," Grimm answered, offering Ichigo his cigarette with a smirk, "Only reason I ain't fuckin' you right now, probably."

"Probably," Ichigo said drily, taking the cigarette. He didn't like smoking, couldn't stand the smell, but he'd always heard nicotine calmed your nerves. He inhaled, exhaled. It was a movie moment.

This entire scene was a movie moment, probably.

Ichigo rubbed over his burning, tired eyes. For a second, Ichigo almost felt normal. Just sitting on the beach, watching something nature did every fucking day with another human being.

A shitty human being, sure, but at least Ichigo wasn't alone.

"I'm not going to be like you," Ichigo finally said, handing the cigarette back to Grimm, "I'm not like you. Not really. You want me to be, but I'm not."

Grimm smiled at him, a slow, feral one that had the hairs on Ichigo's neck standing up, "Oh, baby boy, you think I'm trying to change you?"

Ichigo blinked at him, not surprised Grimm took the opportunity to throw his lit cigarette the short distance in the water. Ichigo hated litter but was too tired to fight him, "Aren't you?"

Grimm chuckled, running a hand through his hair, "Ichi, you're incredible, you know that? Who in their right fucking mind would wanna do a fool thing like that? You're perfect just the way you are."

Ichigo felt himself blushing despite his annoyance, "Whatever dream world you live in, whatever bullshit manifesto you've cooked up for yourself and your little tribe of psychopaths, I'm not like that. I won't be like that."

Grimm looked at him, that stupid fucking smirk still in place, "You're like an old record player here, man. Who you trying to convince, me or you?"

He stood up, looking out over the water, hands on his hips. Ichigo hated that the rising sun's light looked so good on his profile, his cheekbones sharp enough to kill a man.

And he could. He had. Ichigo had watched him kill and done absolutely nothing about it.

What kind of person was he? Who the fuck had he become?

"The only person making you unhappy is you," Grimm continued, finally craning his head to look down at Ichigo again, face serene, "You don't like how I live? That's fine, a lot of people don't get it. Don't like it. But Ichigo, you're not foolin' me or yourself. This is the most relaxed you've been in months, probably years. Admit it."

"You killed a man for me," Ichigo mumbled, heat building in his gut. He wanted to scream all of a sudden, the knowledge burrowing further into his brain.

Grimm shrugged, as if taking a human life was like taking out the garbage, "I've done worse for less."

And as fucked up as that sounded, it sent a thrill through Ichigo. He shook his head, standing up, "I'm tired. I'm going to bed. Leave me alone."

Grimm laughed, grabbing him by the neck and kissing him on the forehead, making Ichigo's heart lodge in his throat, "Whatever you say, cupcake."

Ichigo turned and left, heading back to the house before he was tempted to kiss Grimm for real, before he felt urges to…to…

Nothing. He was going to do nothing because he was eventually going to escape and all this would be a nightmare in the past.

Ichigo headed to the kitchen first to find something to eat. Urahara was by the stove. It smelled like heaven but Ichigo was in no mood for socializing.

"Good morning, Ichigo! My, you're up early," Urahara said cheerfully, pulling a pie out of the oven. It looked like blueberry, "I'll be whipping up a proper breakfast later, if you're interested."

"Um, I'm pretty hungry, actually," Ichigo admitted, taking a seat at the island as Urahara put more pies on cooling racks, "That's…a lot of baking."

Urahara smiled at Ichigo and laughed, "Helps the anxiety. Used to be on a lot of meds, but, baking seems to do the job just as well." Ichigo shifted on the stool, wanting to be comfortable with Urahara, who seemed to be the only halfway normal person in the house, but at the same time, Ichigo had no idea about who he was or what he'd done in the past.

Another part of Ichigo whispered if it even mattered.

Urahara brought some fruit and bagels over to Ichigo and Ichigo dug in as Urahara started getting out ingredients to make chocolate chip pancakes, Ichigo content to listen to Urahara prattle on about every day, useless things like he wasn't in a house full of insane people and maybe he was okay, maybe this wasn't as big of a fucking nightmare as he had thought.

Kenpachi rambled in a few minutes after Ichigo began to relax, Kenpachi heading straight for Urahara and engulfing him in a bear hug that had Urahara murmuring to him and rubbing his back soothingly. Ichigo didn't understand them at all: Kenpachi was a beast and Urahara was the equivalent of Martha Stewart, but somehow they were adorable together. Kenpachi grunted something, kissing Urahara before picking up a pie and disappearing back from wherever he had come from.

But Ichigo had noticed the blood spatter on his shirt.

"He's a good man," Urahara said, making Ichigo flinch. Was he that transparent?

"Look, I…I know what it's like," Urahara finally admitted, voice low and soothing, "At first, I thought…well. I was unhappy. Alone," Urahara held out his hands, taking off his oven mitts. Ichigo's eyes went wide when he saw the large, curving scars across Kisuke's arms, "I wanted to die. I…couldn't do it anymore. Act like…like nothing was wrong with me. With the world. I couldn't do it, I tried for years, and nothing was working. So I tried to kill myself."

Ichigo fought hard to swallow a bite of bagel, his throat tight as he looked at the earnestness in Kisuke's eyes.

"My roommate at the time found me, rushed me to the hospital. They saved me. Put me under psych watch. Lived in an asylum for a while," Urahara shrugged, "Didn't see the point in leaving. Finally got released 'cuz I played by all the rules, took all the meds, said all the right things. First thing I did was walk to the nearest bridge, ready to jump."

Ichigo continued to stare at Kisuke, horrified, but Urahara's face lit up with a smile, "And that's when I met Kenpachi. He was a total stranger, just, walked right up to me, I was already on the other side of the railing, and he offered to jump with me." Urahara laughed, like it was a precious memory instead of a horrifying one, "And he meant it. And…and I dunno, somehow it saved me. He saved me. And I didn't care that he had mood swings, and I didn't care that people were afraid of him. He's been there for me since the moment I met him, and I always want to be there for him, too."

Ichigo stared down at his unfinished breakfast, "Urahara…"

Urahara waved his hand, "No no, this isn't to guilt you, or make you think everything is okay. But I want you to know that, once you work with the fear? Once you accept the fear of what you don't understand? It's…so freeing Ichigo. It…you see purpose in things that were so empty before."

Ichigo stared back at Urahara, wishing his eyes weren't so sincere. He was happy, and in love, and Ichigo wanted those things, too.


"I…I'm going to bed," Ichigo finally sighed, rubbing his hands over his eyes again. Fuck, he was a mess.

"Okee dokee, Ichigo. Have a good rest. What would you like for dinner?"

Ichigo wanted to whine, watching Urahara whip up some pancake batter and content as all hell in a house full of crazy, "Why are you so nice to me?"

Urahara stopped stirring, frowning at Ichigo, "Why wouldn't I be?"

Ichigo wanted to cry, "How…how can you accept all this? They kill people."

"They kill monsters," Urahara sighed, putting his bowl down and grabbing the bag of chocolate chips to mix in, "Monsters feed on monsters. But, okay, for the sake of argument, you could've been shot yesterday, but you weren't. You lived, he died. Do you really regret that?"

Ichigo wanted to scream, "I don't know what the fuck to say anymore. I don't even know what to think anymore."

"That's the first step to accepting it, I guess," Urahara chuckled, dumping even more chocolate chips into his concoction, "Coming from a guy that lived with shrinks for years, I gotta say that you don't come off as one, though."

"Uh. Thanks?"

"You're welcome," Urahara said cheerfully, mixing again, "I'll save you some pancakes. I'll wrap them up for you for later."

Instead of arguing with an ex mental patient, Ichigo nodded and headed upstairs.

Ichigo slept the sleep of the dead, a dreamless, deep sleep unlike any he'd had in years.

It was absolutely criminal how good he felt upon waking, realizing how long it'd been since he'd had a good, proper sleep.

Then immediately felt guilty.

How could he have rested so well? But it would help him now, help him think up a plan on how to get out of here, get real help.

He couldn't stay here anymore, he knew that.


"No," Ichigo mumbled, punching a pillow and getting up, "No excuses."

Stomach growling, he headed down for dinner, passing through the disastrous, massive living room he'd seen on his first day there.

And immediately regretted it.

Ulquiorra was fucking the shit out of Shirosaki, making the albino howl. Ichigo practically stumbled back, embarrassed that he hadn't heard them from the stairs.

Shirosaki noticed him, cackling as Ulquiorra turned his head to look too, his face a mask even as he was balls deep in his partner.

"Oho, heyya there, bro!" Shirosaki sing-songed, grunting as Ulquiorra started moving his hips again, black painted nails dragging down Ulquiorra's back, "Nn, see somethin' ya like?"

Ichigo fought the urge to cover his eyes and sighed: why was he even surprised by this kind of behavior? If he wasn't starring in his own personal horror movie, maybe this would be an appropriate time to conduct a study on the effects of desensitization with varying stimuli over time.

"I'm not a voyeur," Ichigo offered, walking past them, "so if you get off on an audience, sorry, I'm hungry."

Shirosaki cackled, Ulquiorra not stopping even though he was clearly getting agitated by the interruptions.

Ichigo trekked on, shaking his head like he'd just been annoyed by brothers.

Which was a scary thought.

No. They were not family, they were not anything to him but his abductors. He was supposed to get them arrested, put in jail.

Something, anything, really.

Ichigo stepped into the kitchen, Urahara offering him a bright smile and ushering towards the table where there was some food. Apparently people had already come through, but there was plenty left so Ichigo took a seat, pouring himself some wine and digging into some pork and rice.

He couldn't help but moan, it was delicious.

"Urahara, this is fantastic."

Urahara smiled, sitting down next to Ichigo with a small plate of his own, "Thank you very much."

"You could open a restaurant," Ichigo continued, pouring some sauce onto his rice, "This is heaven."

"Well," Urahara said, watching Ichigo eat, "I doubt the public would very much appreciate my cooking methods."

Ichigo cut up some more meat, chewing thoughtfully, "What do you mean? I'm sure you could start a successful business easily. Anywhere, really."

Urahara smiled sadly, cutting off a piece of the pie on his plate and chewing, "Mm, no. I don't think I could run a business. It's too…much."

"Well, I'd eat there all the time, and get really fat," Ichigo admitted, pouring more wine for himself, "Is there more meat?"

Urahara smiled, standing up, "Of course."

Ichigo continued to eat and drink with Urahara, genuinely enjoying the man's company. Kenpachi came in around Ichigo's second bottle of wine, but Ichigo was relaxed enough now to actually engage in some conversation with him. He sat next to Urahara, holding his hand as Ichigo finished licking his plate.

"Thanks, Urahara. That was amazing."

"You're very welcome, Ichigo," Urahara sing-songed, sliding his unfinished pie over to Kenpachi, "I'm glad you enjoyed it. I don't cook it very often, but, well, when the opportunity arises."

"Is there more?" Kenpachi asked, looking at Urahara.

"A bit more, let me grab it," Urahara offered, kissing Kenpachi on the head as he went back to the kitchen.

"They like you," Kenpachi said gruffly, staring at Ichigo with intense, focused eyes.

Ichigo took another sip of wine, confused, "They?"

"Kisuke," Kenpachi said, tilting his head, suddenly looking like a bird of prey with his strong features and strange hair, "He only filets kills a few times a year, but he wanted to give you a present."

"What are you talking about?" Ichigo said, confusion and wine clouding his brain.

"Here we are," Urahara said, coming back into the room, placing a plate of meat and sauce in front of Kenpachi, "I saved the last of the loin for you. I know it's your favorite."

Kenpachi kissed him, thanking him before digging in. Ichigo continued to sip his wine, not understanding Kenpachi's cryptic words. He watched Urahara out of the corners of his eyes, trying to figure it out.

Shiro and Ulquiorra walked in a few minutes later, slathered in sweat but thankfully wearing pants.

"Awwwww, did you save me any?!" Shiro whined, draping his arms over Urahara's shoulders.

Urahara chuckled, flicking Shiro on the forehead, "Just the gamey bits. That's what you get for being late to dinner."

"But Kenpachi's getting second rounds!"

"Kenpachi fucks me," Urahara said nonchalantly, his voice changing from sweet to a purr as he gripped Shiro's chin harshly, "So he gets whatever the fuck he wants."

Ichigo went rigid in his seat: he had never heard Urahara speak like that before, and it was unsettling.

"It's fine, Shiro," Ulquiorra said, dragging his boyfriend away from Urahara, "Let's get some pie."

"Oooo, sweet," Shiro happily agreed, already content to eat something else.

"Kill what?" Ichigo asked, his stomach turning over, "What was…"

Kenpachi took another bite, cocking his head at Ichigo as Urahara chuckled.

"Oh, you're adorable. Honestly, I could just eat you up," Urahara purred again, his eyes hooded, "Kisuke whines about you a lot, how you remind him of his little brother," Urahara took a sip of his own wine and licked his lips, "You're very lucky."


Urahara chuckled, stealing a piece of meat from Kenpachi's plate, popping it into his mouth and chewing, licking the fat from his fingers, "You know exactly what it is, Ichigo."

Ichigo thought about the blood. The body.

Monsters eat monsters.

"I'm…I'm going to be sick," Ichigo murmured, standing up from the table, "Why…why would you…I don't..."

Urahara smirked at him, "I don't know, Ichigo. Why does anyone do anything?"

Ichigo didn't even make it to the sink before he was hurling up his guts, tears streaming down his face as he wretched over and over again.

He'd…he'd eaten someone.

Some kind of spice rub. Delicious sauce. Perfect rice. Fantastic.

"Fuck," he wheezed, staring down at his mess, trying not to throw up again. It was a lost cause. He continued to vomit until there was nothing left, his muscles protesting as he started crying harder.

"Sh, sh, sh, what's all this?" Urahara said, rocking him back and forth on the floor, petting his hair, "You're alright, everything is fine. Everything is going to be okay."

Ichigo practically choked on his sobs as Urahara rocked him, humming a lullaby, ignoring the sick on the floor.

Despite everything, Ichigo felt himself quieting down, slightly drunk, stomach hollow, eyes heavy. He rested against Urahara, Urahara still carding his fingers through Ichigo's hair.

"Shhhh, see? We'll take good care of you," Urahara murmured, kissing him on the temple, "Don't be afraid."

"I'm sorry," Ichigo croaked, hands wrapping around Urahara's neck.


And there Ichigo sat, being rocked and held like a baby. He closed his eyes, remembering his mother holding him when he was very little when he'd fallen in the backyard, shushing him just like Urahara was doing now.

And then she had died, and he was never held again.

He started crying harder, gripping at Urahara's shirt, sobbing into his neck. His stomach and throat still burned with acid, and he could smell his sick on the floor next to them, but Urahara didn't yell at him, just comforted him, and it was more than Ichigo could possibly stand.

Urahara murmured something, but Ichigo couldn't make sense of what he said. It could have been five minutes or even an hour, but he felt other arms pull him up, bigger arms, and Ichigo flailed like a baby colt, registering that it was Kenpachi.

"Ichigo, Ichigo he's not going to hurt you. He's just going to carry you to bed, okay?"

Ichigo shook, fingers like claws in Kenpachi's back, but the man said nothing as he carried Ichigo, Urahara trailing behind him so Ichigo could see him.

Ichigo was a grown man, but Kenpachi had no problem carrying him through the house, up the stairs, and to his special room. He sat him down on the bed, Ichigo rubbing snot and tears from his own face as Urahara pulled the blankets up around him.

"Threw up, didn't he?"

Ichigo turned, seeing Grimm sitting on the bed next to him in sweatpants. He wasn't smiling.

"I won't make him eat it again. It was a mistake," Urahara said.

Grimm nodded once, eyes narrowing as he stared at Urahara, "Neither of you better ever fucking hurt him, do you understand me?"

Urahara flinched, eyes wide, "I would never."

"I said neither of you," Grimm growled, sliding closer to Ichigo and tugging his head onto his lap, hands running gently through his hair, "Now go."

Urahara nodded, eyes dropping as he and Kenpachi left the room, closing the door softly behind them.

"Grimm...?" Ichigo mumbled, body relaxing into the mattress. Grimm's thigh was like a furnace, but he didn't want to pull away this time. His fingers felt so good in his hair, so soothing.

"Go to sleep, Ichigo."


Grimm leaned over him, kissing him. Ichigo tried to pull away, if only for the fact that he had just spent most of his time throwing up a dead man, but Grimm attacked his mouth, ferocious in his hunger, and Ichigo was weak to it.

Grimm owned him, and he fucking knew it.

Ichigo relaxed, tentatively kissing back, letting Grimm bite at his bottom lip until he drew blood and licked it off. Ichigo whined when Grimm pulled away, shimmying down into bed beside him, spooning him from behind, arms caged around him, breath on the back of his neck.

"Grimm?" he whispered.

Grimm bit the back of his neck, making him gasp.