Summary: What if Grimmjow had the courage to take their friendship further?
Theme #27: What if
You never know what you have till it's gone.
That's a famous saying, isn't it?
But the truth is, you do know what you have. It's just that you don't know when it'll be gone.
How long had he known Ulquiorra Cifer?
Since they were kids, right?
Who would have known that that stuck up little kid would end up being his best friend?
Grimmjow chuckled at the memory. He remembered that Ulquiorra did not take to him very well - Grimmjow, though, developed a crush on him the instant blue eyes laid on him. If anything, Cifer had detested him. It was probably because they were so different. Ulquiorra was quiet, whereas Grimmjow was loud. Ulquiorra preferred studying, whereas Grimmjow preferred sports. Ulquiorra thought before he acted, whereas Grimmjow acted on instinct. Ulquiorra liked to walk, whereas Grimmjow liked to run. Ulquiorra liked silences, whereas Grimmjow did not.
So with Grimmjow around to talk his ears off about the most senseless of things – at least, according to Ulquiorra – Ulquiorra's beloved silence was shattered. It probably did not help that the first time they had met, Grimmjow mistook Ulquiorra for a girl, and that impression led to an incredibly embarrassing situation for the both of them.
"H-hey... You're Ulquiorra, right? My name is Grimmjow. Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez," a blue-haired boy named Grimmjow stuttered, his heart beating fast. He had his hands behind his back for some reason, and a bright blush adorned his cheeks. "I think you're really pretty and... willyougooutwithme?" He pulled his hands from behind his back and presented a bunch of white daisies to Ulquiorra.
The dark-haired boy, who was busy building a sandcastle in his sandbox, lifted his gaze from the little pail that he was filling with sand. Confusion crossed his expression as he looked from the boy before him, to the flowers. He did not quite catch what Grimmjow had said.
Grimmjow took in a deep breath, and repeated his question a bit more slowly.
"You're the prettiest girl I've ever seen. Will you go out with me?"
Ulquiorra's reaction was instantaneous:
He flicked some sand into Grimmjow's eyes.
"I'm not a girl."
What if he had told Ulquiorra that he still thought that Ulquiorra was pretty, even after finding out that the raven-haired boy was... well, a boy?
And again, due to how different they were, who would have known that their "friendship" would carry on in primary school?
"I really wish that you would stop following me around, Jaegerjaquez."
"What? Why not? I've been doing this since we were five, and we're ten now."
Ulquiorra sniffed. "I'm not your mother. There is no need for you to constantly follow me around when I clearly detest it."
"Well, I'm glad that you're not my mom." Grimmjow slung an arm around Ulquiorra's shoulders. "And it has been about five years. Accept it, Ulqui." He squeezed Ulquiorra's shoulder. "I'm stickin' with ya."
It was a strange relationship, but it was friendship nonetheless.
An odd friendship where Ulquiorra constantly objected to Grimmjow's presence, and Grimmjow himself. At least, at first. Slowly but surely, Ulquiorra began to give in to Grimmjow's persistence, his insistence for friendship. And with that, though Ulquiorra still denied being friends with him, they were truly friends. Inseparable.
Grimmjow had learned not to take Ulquiorra's denials of friendship to heart. He knew that the guy cared. It was just that Ulquiorra had his own way of showing it. He did not use words, hell, he was often callous with his choice of words. He showed that he cared through actions. That was why Grimmjow never really gave a shit about what Ulquiorra said (usually). If Ulquiorra said that he was fine, he was not. If Ulquiorra said that he was not hungry, he was. If Ulquiorra said nothing mattered to him, there were things that mattered to him. If Ulquiorra said that he wanted Grimmjow to stop following him, Ulquiorra actually wanted to continue hanging out with him.
Such a woman, eh?
But that was one of the things that made Ulquiorra... Ulquiorra.
"Heh..." Grimmjow stretched his arms above his head. "Well, this sucks."
"You brought this upon yourself. I told you that coming here would be a waste of time," Ulquiorra said. "I don't even know why I let you drag me here."
"Hey, hey, hey," Grimmjow interjected. "It's our last year of high school! We should attend these dance thingies at least once. For memories, ya know?"
What Ulquiorra said was true, though. Going to proms was not really their thing. Neither male could be bothered to get all dressed up for a chaperoned event, converse with people they did not even like, and dance. But still. They had never gone to any of their school proms and it was just sad if they did not go. Even if they went to prove Ulquiorra right (and to laugh at the lameness of it all. Well, on Grimmjow's part anyway), at least they could say that they had gone to one.
"You were always the more sentimental one of the both of us, Grimmjow."
"Oi. You're the one who took in a starving stray cat."
"I happen to like cats," Ulquiorra said in his defense.
"Right, right." Grimmjow did not even bother to add that Ulquiorra was allergic to cats. Hah, him, not sentimental? Bullshit.
Ulquiorra rolled his eyes. "I'm leaving this place."
"What? Without having a dance with me?" The taller teen teased, holding his hand out.
Ulquiorra looked at the hand offered to him, then at Grimmjow's face. It was subtle, but Grimmjow noticed a light blush tint pale cheeks.
"Denied," Ulquiorra finally said. "I'm still leaving."
And so the two best friends left the party; a laughing and teasing Grimmjow tagging along behind a flustered Ulquiorra.
What if Grimmjow had told Ulquiorra that he really was serious about the dance?
After leaving the party, Grimmjow and Ulquiorra had somehow managed to find themselves at a playground, of all places. Since the place was empty, the both of them sat on a bench. Grimmjow was practically nodding off to sleep, his head on his friend's shoulder, tired from all the running around that he had done earlier. He was not complaining, though. It was comfortable being here, just the two of them. Even though they were not talking, it was a comfortable silence, the type that he could definitely live with. He treasured moments like these.
"You're such a child, Grimmjow," Ulquiorra noted. As usual, during moments like this, Ulquiorra began to unconsciously caress Grimmjow's hair. The blue-haired teen responded to this action by leaning into Cifer's touch. He loved it whenever Ulquiorra did that.
"Nn... Shut it..."
What if Grimmjow had told Ulquiorra that his crush from when they were kindergarten... had grown into something more?
"What is it?"
Grimmjow sat up a bit then, his hand reaching up to cup a pale cheek. Ulquiorra blinked at that, confused as to what Grimmjow was trying to do. When Grimmjow leaned in closer, the blush from earlier decided to make its appearance once more, spreading itself across Ulquiorra's cheeks, uninvited.
"Grimmjow." Ulquiorra had difficulty in trying to not make his voice waver. "What are you...?"
They were so close, their lips mere inches from one another.
So so close.
"Got a present for ya."
Instead of closing the distance between their lips, Grimmjow pulled out a white daisy from inside his jacket.
Grimmjow tucked the flower behind Ulquiorra's ear and chuckled.
"There." He patted Ulquiorra's cheek, and kissed it. "Beautiful. As beautiful as the day I met you."
What if Grimmjow's courage did not waver?
"Don't be ridiculous." As expected, Ulquiorra shoved Grimmjow away from him, causing Jaegerjaquez to fall off the bench and land on his bottom. "Don't tease me so much. It's not funny."
Though regret tore at his heart, Grimmjow just laughed.
They had nearly kissed back then.
What if Grimmjow had told Ulquiorra that he was in love with the raven?
Would Ulquiorra have accepted him?
Maybe it was his imagination, maybe he was just deluding himself, but he was pretty sure that throughout most of their interactions, he had felt something. There was definitely something there. He was quite sure of it. Which was why, about a week after graduation, Grimmjow had decided that it was about time for him to come clean with his feelings. Damn his worries about how he might be rejected. Damn everything that had been holding him back. Being in denial for years, and keeping all of this in hurt, and... even if Ulquiorra did not love him back, he wanted to make his feelings for Ulquiorra known. He wanted at least that.
After all, there was only a fifty percent chance that they would not end up together. That fifty percent would drop to a zero if he just shut the hell up about his feelings and moped about it like some pansy.
But that chance was taken away from him.
All in one fell swoop.
When Grimmjow had returned home one day (right after making his decision to tell Ulquiorra), he was met with not sunny smiles from his parents, but gloomy looks and a depressed aura. The silence that had stretched between them was so deep, so painful. He did not like it. Not one bit.
It was then that Grimmjow had got to know that Ulquiorra, Ulquiorra Cifer, his long time friend, had gotten involved in an accident.
And that Ulquiorra had died right on the spot.
Grimmjow had felt like his entire world had been pulled right from under his feet then.
And to think, that just a few days before, the both of them had been hanging out, just like they had always done for all these years. Just the two of them. One day Grimmjow was laughing and teasing Ulquiorra, and then the next...
The line shortened until finally, it was Grimmjow's turn.
The air in the church was a solemn one. Everyone around him were either crying, or wearing a serious expression. Grimmjow was not a part of those who cried, though. He had cried enough, and he did not want to approach Ulquiorra once more with tears in his eyes. Ulquiorra would not have wanted that. His throat raw, Grimmjow approached the coffin.
His gaze was met with what looked like a sleeping face – but he knew better. Dark lashes forming the shape of dark crescent moons dusted pale cheekbones, raven hair fanned across a white pillow, pink lips were drawn close, and Ulquiorra's hands were placed on his own chest. He looked peaceful.
Though Ulquiorra seemed to be much paler than when he was alive,
To Grimmjow, Ulquiorra was still as beautiful as the first time they met.
He was sure, though, that one day, he would meet Ulquiorra again, and that they would be able to hang out once more. He would be able to laugh and tease him again. One day.
So Ulquiorra was not gone.
At least, not truly.
So I'm not going to say goodbye to you, Ulquiorra.
Grimmjow leaned down and pressed his lips against a cold forehead.
Everyone came to your funeral today to say goodbye.
His lips lingered for awhile before he finally withdrew.
I came here to say;
He then took a white daisy out of the inside of his jacket and slipped it into Ulquiorra's hand.
See you later.
Disclaimer: Bleach is not mine.