Author Notes: Hello, everyone! I was re-watching Bleach Episode 44 a couple of weeks ago and my daughter came up with this idea. Enjoy this silly little offering :)
Warnings: No plot whatsoever and spoilers for Episode 44. Words in italics are taken directly from the episode's English subtitles.
Disclaimer: Bleach belongs to Tite Kubo.
- Story Start -
"Didn't you know that soul slayers have two stages of release?" Mayuri asked.
"What?!" Ishida was shocked.
"Ashisogi Jizou is the first stage of my soul slayer's release, 'Shikai'. And this Konjiki Ashisogi Jizou is its second stage... in short, 'Bankai'. The deadly poison this thing breathes will exterminate all of you."
Right on cue, Konjiki Ashisogi Jizou started spewing purple poisonous gas.
"It's unfortunate that I can't do research on an excellent specimen like you," Mayuri continued. Despite his so-called regret, he started laughing as the purple gas billowed towards Ishida who stood his ground, blue eyes narrowed in determination.
"Go!" Mayuri commanded his zanpakuto.
Konjiki Ashisogi Jizou started charging towards Ishida who calmly created another arrow and nocked it, holding his ground until the creature was almost upon him. Then he fired straight into its open mouth. The arrow tore through the gigantic body, splitting it in two equal halves before ripping through a stunned Mayuri.
From her prone position on the ground, Nemu watched in horror.
"Mayuri... sama..." she whispered.
Slowly, the smoke cleared to reveal Mayuri still alive and standing, but with a bleeding head, a gaping hole in his chest and his left arm torn off. He was furious.
You... Quincy scum!" he shouted and plunged his resealed zanpakuto into his own throat. His body exploded into green liquid, splashing onto the nearby walls and roof, and flowing out from his robe openings.
'The ability to liquefy whatever it cuts?!' thought Ishida in shock.
"So close, Quincy," Mayuri's disembodied voice sounded. "One's last ace in the hole... should only be used after careful consideration."
"He kept that power hidden so he could escape?!" Ishida said out loud. "Damnit!"
He started to create another arrow.
"It's useless," Mayuri continued. "In exchange for being unable to attack in any way, I cannot be attacked in any way."
The green liquid was dripping down from various surfaces and seeping swiftly into the surrounding drains.
"I cannot change back from this form for several days, but in that time, I will return to the bureau and work on my wounds."
The last bit of the liquid vanished from sight.
"Goodbye, Quincy. It's become a bit complicated, but I will live, and you will die. That ending will not change."
- o -
Despite his smug words to that Quincy boy, Mayuri was seething, seething in anger as he travelled in the direction of the Twelve Squad barracks.
Never had he thought his thorough research on more than two thousand Quincy specimens could overlook something so significant as that Scattered Spirits Glove.
Never had he envisaged his Bankai could so easily be defeated by someone so obviously not of Captain level.
Never had he imagined he would be forced to forfeit his match, to slink away - literally - like some weakling!
It was humiliating. He couldn't think of anything that could equal this-
"Eww, I just stepped in something!"
"What? Where? Oh, gross, it's green slime!"
"Has the Fourth Squad has been slacking off again?"
"But where did it come from?"
Mayuri gritted figurative teeth as he quickly slipped through the cracks in the pavement.
Such utter imbeciles!
How dare they step in him?
What squad were they from?
He would use them as research specimens if he knew. This liquid form was his trump card, his ace in the hole, a foolproof way of escaping. No one in the whole of Gotei 13 knew of this, not even Squad Twelve, except for Nemu. And now, that blasted Quincy boy knew as well.
Mayuri was still determined to get him for his research... if he remained alive with all the Gotei 13 captains and officers after him and the other Ryoka.
Still muttering to himself, Mayuri continued making his way to his own barracks. At first, he tried to flow in a straight line, but there were officers running all over the place, looking for those intruders, and he was discovered several times. He was screamed over, pointed at, cursed at, stepped in, slid in, and at one point, he had even been mopped up.
That last one had happened near the Fourth Squad barracks. Mayuri fervently hoped the little bit of him that now resided in a bucket somewhere wasn't part of a vital organ.
After that, he kept hidden as much as possible, sliding up walls, flowing in drains or travelling under the walkways. By the time he reached the Twelve Squad barracks, he had picked up an assortment of dust and debris, and was more relieved that he would care to admit.
The whole thing had turned out to be a rather mortifying experience and it was all that damned Quincy boy's fault. He was exhausted - who knew moving along in liquid form was so arduous - and all he longed for now was to hide away in one of his private labs and rest while his body regenerated itself.
Forcing himself to move faster, he slid across the courtyard, heading for the main entrance. He made a mental note to build a more convenient drain that would lead directly to his office, only to discard it a moment later.
That would indicate he expected to have to use this last ditch resort again, which would of course indicate he would meet someone stronger than him.
No! Impossible! Unthinkable!
Sliding under the main doors, he headed down the hall, thankful there was no one about-
"Hey, where did all this liquid come from?"
In a trice, he was surrounded by the senior officers of his own squad, each of whom he had personally handpicked for having bright, analytical minds and insatiable curiosity. He was the Head of the Technological Bureau of Research after all.
"What is this green liquid?"
"Whose experiment is this?"
"What's it made of?"
"It's moving by itself, fascinating!"
With growing alarm, Mayuri took in their speculative expressions and eyes gleaming with curiosity, arms folded across white lab coats. He was something new that had captured their attention and interest. He should announce who he was at once, but an innate fear of being defenseless and vulnerable held him back, making him weigh the pros and cons of divulging his trump card.
Before he could decide, Rin Tsubokura charged forward with something bulky in her arms.
"Everyone, stand back!" she cried and dropped to her knees.
With rising horror, Mayuri saw she was carrying one of their powerful vacuum cleaners. His panicked shriek of "Wait!" went unheard as Rin flicked the switch on and pushed the mouth of the nozzle into him.
- o -
Mayuri Kurotsuchi was never, ever going to use his trump card again.
If only he hadn't left Nemu behind. If only he had healed her when she asked him to. She would have brought him back safely and made sure he could regenerate in peace.
He sloshed around in his prison, still mixed with the debris he had picked up along the way. For the past two hours, he had screamed curses nonstop, but to no avail. He was trapped in the soundproof, tempered glass canister of the vacuum cleaner which was now stashed inside one the store rooms. His captors had retired to their living quarters, tired after their own day's work.
Mayuri supposed he should be thankful they hadn't just flushed him down the toilet, but he was in no mood to be grateful for anything. After another hour of sloshing around, making dire threats and sulking in turn, he finally discovered a hairline crack near the top of the canister. He immediately started squeezing himself through the crack, forcing a drop through.
It worked! Freedom was within reach - one drop at a time. He weighed fifty four kilograms and assuming he was still that same weight in liquid form... oh, Kami.
It would take him hours to escape his prison!
Grumbling and cursing, Mayuri continued his arduous task. Drop by drop, a puddle of green liquid slowly spread on the floor. As soon as he was freed, he would retire to his private lab and stay there until he was fully regenerated.
Then he would start to exact revenge on everyone who had wronged him. Starting with that Quincy boy, of course, assuming he was still alive.
- Story End -
A/N: Thank you for reading! It was fun to imagine what might have happened to Mayuri in that episode. Please leave a review :)