Rainfall Sunshine

BY : phoenixreal
Category: Bleach > AU - Alternate Universe
Dragon prints: 1460
Disclaimer: Don't own Bleach, don't make money off this work of Fanfiction.


The music was loud but Ichigo Kurosaki didn’t mind it too much. He loved to come to the club, Tiberon, with his friends. He came for them, of course. Tonight, was a big celebration because Arisawa Tatsuki, his best friend in the world, had just been accepted into Harvard Law. The club they enjoyed visiting was called the Dangai. It was a really busy place on their slowest nights. He’d come out with the girls, which included Orihime Inoue, Chizuru Honshō, and Mizuho Asano.

Of course, Keigo Asano, Mizuho’s sister had come along, but honestly Ichigo didn’t pay him much attention. He was just there because he was cruising for a girlfriend again. Not to mention, lately he’d been giving off a weird vibe. Ichigo wondered what had happened between high school and college to put such distance between them, but it was like all of a sudden, the things that Keigo found annoying about Ichigo were the very things in high school he’d praised him for. Ichigo, two years into a medical program, was still bothered by this rift between him and his once closest friend. It was strange to have left Keigo behind and become better friends with his sister. It was indeed odd for him to come along, and even though they had all piled into Mizuho’s car, Keigo hadn’t once spoken to him. It didn’t matter, though, he wasn’t why he was at the Tiberon. He was here to hang out with the girls. He enjoyed their company.

Ichigo also went out with the girls because they were constantly bothered by guys in the club. Ichigo had no interest in girls, in fact, he wasn’t sure he was even interested in anyone. He just enjoyed the music, and he loved to dance with them. Despite being in school to become a doctor already, Ichigo’s passion had always been dancing. He’d been in all sorts of dance classes as a child, and continued with ballet until he was almost out of high school. He’d done gymnastics until he’d gotten too tall at about fifteen. Of course, he’d dealt with constant accusations of being gay or the like because he did dance. He eventually learned to ignore them. He didn’t care what others thought. It wasn’t like he minded it, after all, being gay wasn’t a bad thing in his mind, but he just wasn’t sure if he had any interest sexually or even romantically in others at all. People had a lot of trouble comprehending that he was twenty and just plain not interested. He thought maybe he was asexual, but he wasn’t sure yet.

He leaned back against the bar and watched. He smiled. He was proud of all the girls. Orihime had just started a program for fashion design, and Chizuru was going into culinary arts, practically an artist when it came to foods. Mizuho had entered business school last year as well, and was well on her way to being top of her class. They'd been friends since elementary school, the five of them and Keigo. Of course, now Keigo was a distant from Ichigo more often than not. Tonight, was odd though because it seemed like he was actively avoiding him.

He sighed and sipped the club soda he was drinking and saw someone starting to move on Tatsuki. He headed off the sort of creepy looking guy with greasy black hair and one of those medical masks and pulled Tatsuki onto the floor. A few minutes later, another creeper was trying to chat Orihime up at the bar, this one with a weird floppy mohawk sort of hairstyle. Again, he took her away onto the floor and got a glare from the guy. He was sure he would have killed him with that look if he could. Ichigo thought his intervention would be done there, but there was a hulking guy trying to hit on Chizuru. Considering Chizuru was a strict lesbian, that was laughable, but one thing he’d learned, these types didn’t take that as a reason.

Ichigo didn’t understand it. A guy would back off if he stepped in and pretended to be with them, but they wouldn’t just take no for an answer. He hated that, and he wished it wasn’t like that. A guy should respect a girl’s no as much as they respected a girl having a boyfriend. He sighed as he leaned back against the bar again. The four girls were dancing together at the moment. The night wore on and he figured he’d walk with Orihime home. She didn’t live far, and the other girls were taking a taxi together.

They were walking past an alley when they heard a loud click. “Freeze.”

They both turned to see the man with the mask over his mouth pointing a gun at them. Ichigo sensed someone behind him and he realized that there were two other men there behind them. “What do you want? We don’t have any money,” Ichigo stammered out. “I only carry my idea and my card.”

“Nah, we just want her, no money,” the masked one said.

Ichigo’s eyes widened and Orihime screamed as one of the other two men grabbed her. He’d been in the club too; he was the one with the weird flopped mohawk haircut. The last guy, now that he saw him up close had also been there, the huge guy that had been hitting on Chizuru. The mohawk guy put his hand over Orihime’s mouth and Ichigo reacted before he thought. He kicked the guy holding her right in the side of the knee, making a sick cracking sound and he let go. Orihime gasped and started to run but the huge guy grabbed her by the hair, dragging her to the ground. Ichigo turned and tried to punch him but there was another sick crack, and this time he knew it was because he’d been hit in the head. The world tilted and he wondered if he was going to wake up to find Orihime gone.


The world was moving into focus slowly, but only sounds. He couldn’t see and his head was pounding. He felt something, cloth by the taste, shoved into his mouth as a gag. “What the hell did you bring him for?” Ichigo heard. “Why didn’t you just shoot him? I mean, if he’s without someone looking for him, could sell him probably, he’s slender.”

“He’s a pain the ass, so though we’d show him a good time before we killed him. You’re always telling me not to fuck the girls because I’m too rough. Plus, didn’t the boss want to test that new batch of VR?” a voice he recognized as the one with the mask.

“True. Sure, just take him in the store room. Don’t want you scaring the girls with his screaming. Anytime you all do this, you make them scream so much it freaks the whores out.”

Ichigo heard steps moving away from him. “Good catch. Big tits. Tiny waist. How’d you come across her?”

Another familiar voice. “Oh, the boy, that one that got into Shaz for like two mil? Put a gun to his head and asked if his sister would make a good whore and he squawked like a pigeon about where we could find this hot bitch. No family, so she’s a good grab.” Ichigo was sure it was the huge guy. “She’ll sell for a ton.”

A long pause. “Alright, drag off your fuck toy. Clean up your mess. Last time you brought home a disposable plaything, I was cleaning blood from the ceiling. I’ll call out to Quilge to pick up the big titted bitch tonight.”

 Ichigo realized his eyes were covered and that was the main reason he couldn’t see. He heard a muffled noise he knew was Orihime’s voice. There was a loud smacking sound.

“Bitch, shut up. Whoever buys your sweet ass will be happy, so don’t worry about your gay boyfriend. He won’t be around much longer,” a different voice, female.

Ichigo heard Orihime sobbing and he wanted to tell her to stop, that he’d be okay, to not worry, but when he felt someone lift him from the ground, he struggled. His arms were behind his back and bound one on top of the other tightly. He felt the gag being pulled off his mouth and panted once.

“Feisty, here,” he heard, thinking was mohawk. His mouth was pried open and something was forced into it. It felt like a pill. He shook his head, whoever was holding him tightened their grip on his arms. “Ah, here, gimme that water bottle.” Ichigo felt him pry his mouth open again and pour water in. He felt his breath rushing through his nose rapidly as he panted until his nose was clipped shut. He jerked as another pair of hands held his jaw closed. He wasn’t going to swallow. He wasn’t. But the need for breath won, in the end, and he swallowed the water, and whatever pill had been put in his mouth before hearing laugher around him.

Then, he was being drug again, and through the thin fabric over his eyes, he saw shadows moving. By the time he heard a door open and close, his head was starting to spin. He was falling to the floor. The world faded for a few minutes and then came slamming back with vivid clarity. The blindfold was slipped off his eyes and his arms untied. The world seemed to be unreal and he was struggling to exist in a world that was fading in and out. Sensation was amplified around him. The feel of his clothes against his skin was like sandpaper and he wanted it off. He was only an existence. There was nothing before and nothing after. Breathing was agony, and his eyes felt like they were going to explode.

He got to his feet after some time and then stumbled against a wall with unsteady feet and his head full of sand. Vaguely, his head seemed to hurt, but it was getting farther and farther away every second. The pain was being fused with numbness. He could hear laughter. It echoed and bounced off the walls around him. Strange the way that happened. He blinked his eyes and tried to get the world to stay still. Everything kept moving around as he tried to walk. He stepped backward and felt someone hold him up. That was good; he didn't want to fall down, wherever he was. Where was he? Oh, that’s right. They said a storeroom.

His head cleared a little and he felt hot breath on his neck. "So, pretty boy, what have you got down there to have four girls on you all night," a ragged breath purred in his ear. He stiffened to feel a hand slide down the front of his jeans.

He struggled a little, the brain fog lifting a tiny bit. "Girls?" he muttered. "Don't have girls, just friends."

Suddenly, pain exploded in his face as he was slammed ruthlessly into the stone wall. He cried out, feeling the nose bones shattering on impact. Blood exploded in front of his eyes. Then the numbness took hold again.

"Like hell," the rough voice growled in his ear. "Your orange haired ass cockblocked me and my boys on all four of them. So I think you must be fucking all of them."

Oh shit, his brain told him, kicking into gear again finally. Even though he had been clear headed not ten minutes ago, right now he couldn’t remember how he got here. "No, no, we're friends…I come out…I-I'm their driver, not their lover!"

Then man leaned forward. All he could see was greasy looking black hair falling close to his face. He smelled funny too, like leather. "Why not? Are you gay? See I think that’s it." The image of a man with a masked face flashed through his mind. From the club.

Ichigo knew he was in trouble. His brain wasn't working fully but he knew he was in trouble. He shook his head. "No…just friends with them…"

The man behind him, who he still hadn't got a good look at, slammed him into the wall again, pressing up against his back. "I think you are a gay cockblock they bring with them to make sure no one gets into their pants. They use you, like any good gay boy. Bitches like them, they use a gay boy as nothing more as a toy you know."

"No!" he squeaked as he felt the man reach around and grab him by the crotch again.

There was hot breath on his neck again as he felt this man squeeze him through his jeans again and again. He felt himself tremble. “I smell the fear on you,” the voice said in a hoarse whisper. “I like fear. It smells wonderful. I like fear a lot, the more the better.”

“C’mon, Nödt, get on with it, I’ve fucking to blue balls after that big titted one got me hot,” came a voice nearby that Ichigo vaguely recognized. The guy that had been chatting Orihime up, that’s right. Orihime. They had kidnapped Orihime and him. “Can’t fuck her since she’s for sale.”

“Yeah,” another familiar voice. “If this faggot is going to stand his ass between me and pussy, I’ll take it out on him. I coulda fucked that black-haired dyke bitch by the end of the night if I tried hard enough.”

“Hush, now, Driscoll, boy’s shaking already, let’s see if I can’t get him a little more fearful for his life,” the first one muttered, Nödt, apparently.

Ichigo couldn’t stop trembling no matter how hard he tried. He knew this guy wanted to see him scared, but he really couldn’t not be scared. He had no idea where he was and no clue where anyone else was. He had no idea where the club was compared to here. He could barely remember what happened in the last half hour. No one would be looking for him until the next day at the least.

"P-please...let me go…" he groaned, still not in control of his limbs. What was wrong with him? He should have been able to shake off these guys and get out of here. He had a black belt for godssakes and sparred every week with Tatsuki, and barring that, he’d been a gymnast forever and should have been able to slip out of their grip.

"Oh, you know, I think we are going to have some fun, boys," Nödt said and breathed out breath on his neck again.

"He ain't looking too well Nödt; you think I doped him up too much? Ain't much fun if he don't scream," the one with the floppish mohawk said. Doped? The image of trying to hold his mouth closed flashed through his mind.

"I think he'll scream quite a bit, Bazz. He’ll scream a lot before we’re done,” the growling voice said in his ear.

Ichigo was flipped to face his attackers and his eyes went wide. The one with the greasy black hair had been wearing a mask before, but now he could see his lips and mouth were wrong, like they were eaten away by something. The visage was horrifying, to be honest, and in his drugged state, it made the guy look like some sort of hellish demon. In his rational mind, he knew that the guy must have had some sort of cancer or something that had caused some of his lips to be cut away, but it didn’t matter to his hazy mind right then. He began begging to be let go again and shivering.

“Ah, you know, when we’re done, we’ll kill you,” Nödt said with a too wide grin. “After we’re done and hurt you as much as we can.”

“Why?” Ichigo stammered. “W-why?”

Nödt leaned forward and licked a stripe of Ichigo’s cheek. “Because we can.”

Fear blossomed in his belly like never before. He could fight, really well, but he got it now. He'd been drugged, and from the feeling, maybe overdosed. He remembered suddenly that moments ago they’d put a pill in his mouth and forced him to swallow it. The world spun sickly as he fell to the ground, hands splayed out and almost crashing his face into the floor. The storeroom floor stank, though, and the smell roiled over him as a mix of metal and vomit. He barely noticed when his pants were yanked off his body, he just remembered sudden pressure and pain and then he was screaming into someone's palm, and they were laughing. Someone grabbed his head and pulled it up and his eyes went wide. Wait, no…even as drugged as he was, he knew this person. He knew them and if they were here… His thoughts were halted when the man he was staring up at wrenched his mouth open to abuse.


Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez stood beside his partner, Nelliel Tu Odell, and waited for word. This operation had been in the works for nearly a year now. They were members of the Shinigami police organization, and they were about to put a major dent in the works of the Wandenreich crime syndicate. The Shinigami were a large, national organization that worked with INTERPOL. Over the last fifty years, the increase in the number of criminal organizations had quadrupled. New innovations in designer drugs and their distribution had meant that more and more people were trying to move into organized crime. However, only a few of them survived. The Wandenreich had been one of those.

The Loving Touch Massage parlor was a front for a brothel being run out of the basement. It had taken a lot of work, but they had finally put enough together to bust the place wide open. They hadn’t been able to touch many of the other divisions, but this place was a steady source of income. It would put a dent in them. A big dent.

“So, do we know for sure if any of them are on site?” Nel whispered to him.

“No idea. All I know is that they said the warrants were hot, and that everything was in place,” Grimmjow answered as he waited.

“We are go, repeat, we are go,” the com link chirped in his ear.

Grimmjow grinned, stepping around to the door and nodding at Nell before kicking the door at the knob. The door popped open immediately and he was in. The whole operation went off seamlessly. The upper levels were easy enough; by the time they went in, the legal massage parlor was closed. They had gone down into the basement and found the brothel operation in full swing. Now, after they had taken several women who were running the brothel into custody, they were going room by room and clearing everyone out. Nel and Grimmjow and their whole division was heavily involved in this bust because of the human trafficking victims since they were the special victims division. The Tactical Assault division and the organized crime division were also heavily represented in this raid. 

So far, they’d found three empty rooms, but as they came to the end of a hallway they heard voices. Grimmjow put a finger to his lips and waved at Nel to slow her pace and keep quiet.

“I think you gave him too much, Nödt. He’s not even screaming anymore. This is like fuckin’ a corpse.”

“Nah, you sure he didn’t just become a corpse?” There was a pause. “Still alive. Just dazed. Hey.” There was a slapping sound. “Wake the fuck up. Or do I need to call our special friend back to see you again?”

Grimmjow heard a weak cry and he had to do something. He gestured to Nel to flank the door and he turned the knob to see it wasn’t locked. He held up his fingers and counted down from three before he pushed the door open with his gun, a pearl handled and engraved berretta he called Pantera.

“Freeze. Shinigami Police. The place is already locked down, so give up,” he announced.

“Oh, really?” the one standing with his back to the door said before he turned to face Grimmjow. Grimmjow grimaced because the guy’s mouth was fucked up. Grimmjow could see two other men but not who had cried out for help.

“See, the problem is, I don’t want to be caught,” the one with the messed-up face said. He grinned, which was slightly terrifying before he reached inside his jacket and threw something. There was a flash and a thunderous noise that sent both Nel and Grimmjow to the ground.

Grimmjow got up immediately and ran toward where there was still a body on the floor. He heard through the ringing in his ears the sound of the others. He dropped to his knees and found a pulse on the bloody body before him. He was shocked when the boy, he had to be a boy he didn’t look more than fifteen, opened his eyes and stared at him.

“Hey, hey, you’re awake, come on, stay with me,” he said and moved to put his hands on his neck to keep him from moving in case he had a neck injury.

He was kneeling with his knees almost touching the top of his head, holding his head still. He could feel the blood that was matting his hair was still wet. His eyes were blown wide but he locked eyes with Grimmjow as lights appeared around them. He guessed Nel had summoned an EMT. He heard them but he was focused on the boy’s face. “Hey, there you go, just look at me,” he muttered to him as the ringing started to fade.

“We need a backboard,” he heard Isane’s voice. “GSW to the gut, possible stab wound to the left shoulder and right thigh. Possible skull fracture. Nasal and orbital trauma. Sexual assault and related trauma definite. Possible dislocation of left hip and right hand appears to be damaged. Patient is still conscious.” There was a pause as whoever she was talking to on her com said something to her. “Confirmed, patient is conscious. Possible overdose on unknown substance.”

Grimmjow couldn’t let him go though, even when Isane was feeling behind his head. He just kept staring at him. Finally, he was moving his lips like he was trying to say something. Grimmjow looked at Isane who nodded at him.

“Hey, I’m here, okay. Whatever it is, it’s fine.”

He tried to say something a couple times before coughing and blood spraying everywhere, including all over Grimmjow’s face since it was so close to his. He didn’t move though.

“No, don’t talk. Just try to relax, we’re going to fix you up.” Grimmjow wasn’t going to tell him that he hadn’t seen anyone survive something this bad before. He wasn’t sure how to tell him that. The gunshot wound was enough, but the amount of blood covering the floor right now was enough to convince him that there was no way this kid was going to live.

He kept trying to talk, as though he had to tell them something, as Isane and the others tried to stabilize his wounds enough to move him. Finally, they got him onto the backboard, and Grimmjow let go of him as they strapped his head into the board. He helped them lift it onto the gurney and ran out with them to the waiting ambulance. Isane glanced at Hanataro and back at Grimmjow.

“Grimm, I hate to ask, but I need someone to ride in the back in with some muscle in case I need help. Hanataro isn’t able to lift this guy if I need it,” Isane said as they rolled the gurney into the back.

“Sure,” he said without hesitation, climbing up into the back and sitting next to the boy’s head. He put a hand on his forehead above the purpling bruises rising around his left eye. His face was a mess, to be honest. He kept trying to say something, though, and his lips were moving in the same fashion, so it was the same thing. He wasn’t going to stop until someone heard him.

“Hey, hey,” he said as he leaned over his face, putting his ear close to the boy’s mouth. “What is it, I’ll try and hear, okay?”

He tilted his head, watching Isane and Hanataro as they ran the IV lines and tried to keep him stable. He could feel the warm breath on his ear as the boy kept trying to say something. Finally, he caught it. He blinked and sat up, staring at him. “What…what in the hell does that mean?” he muttered.

As soon as he got the message across, though, the boy’s eyes fluttered and close. A second passed before he started violently seizing. Isane and Hanataro were saying things Grimmjow didn’t get and finally, his body calmed and they were at the hospital, rolling him out. Grimmjow stepped down out of the ambulance just as Nel walked up.

“Did you ever figure out what he was saying?” she asked as they walked together into the hospital.

“Yeah, finally caught it. Doesn’t make any damn sense, though.”

“What was it?” she asked as they went into the back of Shinigami Medical.

“Rainfall sunshine,” Grimmjow muttered, glancing at her.

“Rainfall sunshine?” she asked, looking just as confused.

Grimmjow shook his head. “Doesn’t matter, no way that kid is gonna live. You heard Isane reading off his injuries to Captain Unohana. No matter how good that woman is, I don’t know that she can fix that kid,” he said with a sigh.

“Sirs!” came a voice behind them. They looked to see it was one of Tac’s officers. “Director wants to speak with you!”

They nodded and left to find the massive director of the tactical division, Director Kenpachi Zaraki. Not surprisingly, he was in the main tactical room with his assistant director, a petite woman who only wanted to be called Yachiru, and Captain Ikkaku and his vice Yumichika.

“Director, sirs,” Grimmjow said, nodding as he came into the room.

“Yeah, the three fuckers that flash-banged you got out through secret exit in that storeroom to the sewers. By the time we got there, they were gone. Bastards picked that room for that reason, I’d imagine,” he said as he sighed. “Fucking cowards that wouldn’t stand and fight. How’s the boy you brought in?”

“I don’t know,” Grimmjow muttered. “He was in bad shape. No idea how long he’d been in that room with them, but he was messed up. They beat the dog shit out of him and he’d been shot and stabbed. Do we know what the kid did to merit that treatment?”

“One of the vics, a girl that was tied up in one of the rooms, might have information on it. Kuchiki is in with her now if you want to check it out. Interrogation room five,” Yachiru announced. “Do well!”

Grimmjow sighed and left with Nel. Before they even got to the room, they heard sobbing. He opened the door to see their petite captain sitting and holding a young woman with long light brown hair. They came in and sat down beside them.

“Honey, you have to calm down so we can understand,” Rukia Kuchiki, captain of the Special Victims Division said as calmly as possible.

The woman took a minute and seemed to be getting herself under control. Finally she looked up with teary eyes. “I’m Rukia, and thse are two ofmy people, Grimmjow and Nel. They found your friend and helped him get here.”

“You found Ichigo?” she gasped, looking at them. “They were going to kill him, is he okay? What happened to him?”

“Hold on, slowly,” Grimmjow said, putting a hand on her shoulder. “Let’s start at the beginning. Why don’t you tell us what happened.”

Orihime Inoue told them about the club, going there and then getting grabbed as they were leaving. She explained what she had been told, and that she was supposed to be picked up by someone named Quilge. She told them about Ichigo being drug off after they made him take some sort of pill that made him stumble and act strange.

“Please, is he okay?” she begged.

Grimmjow tried to look reassuring. “He’s in serious condition, but he’s with our Director, and she’s one of the best doctors in the country. She’s going to be doing everything to save him.”

She looked around at them. “Did they…they said they were going to…to…”

“You shouldn’t worry about the details, Ms. Inoue,” Rukia said with a smile. “For now, know that he’s getting the best care he can, and you need to take care of yourself. Do you have his family’s contact information?” she asked.

Orihime nodded, giving Rukia what she needed. Rukia stood and smiled at Nel. “Would you mind staying with her? I’m going to take Grimmjow to get Ichigo’s family.”

“Of course, Captain,” Nel said and nodded.

Rukia got up with Grimmjow and they left. “Prognosis?” she asked as they walked toward the exit.

“Not good. You got the prelim over the com.”

“Yeah. He seized on the way over. That’s not a good sign,” she said as they headed toward the plain black four door that they all drove. She got in the driver’s side and Grimmjow the other. “They’re close. I’d rather do this in person as it is.”

The sun was beginning to rise as they pulled into a house attached to an urgent care clinic. They got out and headed to the door, knocking for a long while before a girl with short black hair yanked it open.

“What the hell are you banging on the door at five in the morning?” she asked, rubbing her eyes.

“We need to see Dr. Isshin Kurosaki,” Rukia said formally.

“Wha…?” the girl asked and looked up as her father walked up behind her.

“I’m Isshin, can I help you?” he asked.

“I’m Captain Rukia Kuchiki with the Shinigami Police, and we need to talk to you about your son, Ichigo Kurosaki,” she said without a hint of emotion.

“Uh, come in,” Isshin said, letting them both in. “Has something happened? Is Ichigo in trouble?”

Rukia sighed and glanced at Grimmjow. “Sir, I’m afraid to tell you that he’s currently in critical condition at Shinigami Medical. We ask that you come right away,” she said, her face softening significantly since they were inside the house.

Isshin blinked and the dark-haired girl was staring at her. Another girl had walked up in the middle of what she said and had covered her mouth.

“What…what happened? Was he in an accident?” Isshin asked, trying to retain composure.

Grimmjow shook his head. “He was involved in an incident with organized crime. He has been injured badly, and the outlook isn’t good,” Grimmjow spoke slowly and tried to avoid their eyes. He hated this part. “If you wish to see him, you may wish to come right away.”

Isshin shook his head. “I don’t understand. What…what happened? He’s never done anything criminal, he’s a medical student, he’s a good boy…”

“Dr. Kurosaki, your son wasn’t involved in anything illegal. It was most likely a situation of him being in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were attempting to kidnap a friend of his, and he tried to intercede. The attack on him was retaliation, as far as we can tell. He hasn’t been conscious to tell us what he knows, however. We only know what his friend has told us,” Rukia assured him.

Isshin nodded. “Um, yeah, let me dress. I’ll go up there with the girls,” he said as he turned, leaving them.

Grimmjow and Rukia were let out by the darker haired girl and both collapsed into their seats. “I hate this,” Rukia said.

“Be a miracle if he gets there before the kid dies,” Grimmjow sighed. “I have never seen someone lose that much blood and live.”

“Stranger things have happened,” Rukia said as she started the care and took them back to the Medical facility.

They moved up to check on him and found Dr. Unohana. “How is he?” Rukia asked as the stood outside the glass walled ICU room.

“He’s stable, for now,” she said. “I’ve done what I could. We have to wait now to see if his body can start the healing process.”

“What are his chances?” Grimmjow asked as he watched the boy’s chest rise and fall in the mess of tubes and equipment in the middle of the room.

“Ten percent, maybe. I’ll know more after twenty-four hours. There’s no guarantee he’s not already brain-dead as it is. We just wait, now,” she said sadly as she turned and left.

Grimmjow stared and wondered. “That kid is pretty tough, though, he was conscious when I found him,” Grimmjow muttered.

“You say kid, but he’s twenty,” Rukia commented from where she stood, arms crossed over her chest. “He’s young, but no kid.”

Grimmjow smirked. “He’s a kid.”

“You’re a kid,” Rukia commented. “You’re only twenty-three, so hush up about that.”

“What do you think he meant?” Grimmjow said as he listened to the steady beep of the heartrate monitor. “He kept trying to talk, and finally I could hear it. He said ‘rainfall sunshine’ then looked relieved when I heard him.”

Rukia sighed. “Probably nonsense. His brain shutting down, most likely. Look,” she said as she held up the report. “Vermillion Rose. That’s what he was doped with. No telling what was going on his head. Even if he does wake up, he won’t be all there. You know what this stuff does to people. And they keep refining it and changing the formula.”

There was a long silence. “Maybe. I’m going home before his father gets here. I can’t take it right now, watching that family. Call me if we find out anything.”

“Good night…er, day, Grimm. Try to rest,” she said as he headed toward the door.

Rest. Yeah, after what he saw tonight? He’d be having nightmares for months about what he had seen in that storeroom. Still, as he drove to his apartment, he was dwelling. Something didn’t fit. Something wasn’t sitting right in his mind. There was a piece missing, like something they were all missing.

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