Hello everybody. Gmsephiroth here, with a new fic after a (very) long absence, from the writing world. For those who are curious, let's just say I had a huge case of writer's block and leave it at that. But, at last, I'm back and with a new fic for my new favorite manga/anime, Bleach!
As you've probably guessed, this is an IchiHime fic (with a little OgichiHime, heh heh), but there will be other pairings present throughout the story as well (maybe).
Anyway, disclaimer: I do not own Bleach, etc. You know the rest.
This fic is rated M for strong violence, blood and gore, explicit sexual content in later chapters, etc.
'I lost again...'
'I'm so pathetic. I'm a failure.'
Ichigo could do nothing as he lay on the cold marble floor of Las Noches. He had failed again, after so much hard work and progress, he still failed. He had failed to keep his promise to protect Inoue. And he hated Aizen, the arrancar, and more than anyone, himself. It was because he wasn't strong enough. He wasn't strong enough to protect anyone. Not even himself.
"Yeah, you really are pathetic, aren't you, your Majesty?"
'Shut up. I'm not in the mood for your crap right now.'
"No need to be so angry, my liege. After all, you're the one who got your ass handed to you on a silver platter."
"I'm afraid I can't do that. Have you already forgotten what I told you? You've lost Ichigo. So now, I get to be the new king, and you get to be my steed. So giddy up horsy, it's time to go for a little spin. Ha ha ha ha ha!"
Ichigo could hear the crazed laughter echo in his mind before he lost consciousness.
Orihime began to feel uneasy as Grimmjow led her through the hallways of Las Noches, closer and closer to where she had last felt Kurosaki-kun's reiatsu before it disappeared. She wondered briefly what Grimmjow could possibly be thinking leading her there, but she decided not to question it lest he change his mind. She would not pass up the opportunity to see Kurosaki-kun again.
'Please be alright, Kurosaki-kun. Hold on till I get there.'
Grimmjow was thinking much the same thing, but for a completely different reason.
'You'd better not die, Shinigami. I'm the one who's gonna have the pleasure of killing you, not that bastard Ulquiorra.'
Grimmjow was tempted to make a mad dash for the hallway where he last sensed the Shinigami and Ulquiorra, but decided not knowing the girl wouldn't be able to keep up. The damn wench couldn't do much of anything, other than her strange healing trick. But he wouldn't complain. After all, she had gotten him his arm back, and that was reason enough to put up with her...deficiencies.
Ulquiorra had made his way to the inner chambers of Las Noches, ready to report the latest happenings within the castle walls to Aizen-sama. Though he was sure Aizen-sama already knew everything that had happened thus far, he still felt it was his duty to inform him regardless. He felt something was slightly off, but he could not quite place his finger on it. He disregarded the thought, and made it his priority to present his latest report. If anything was truly not as it should be, then surely he would have sensed it earlier.
He finally made his way to the inner chamber and opened the large double doors that led to Aizen-sama's throne room. He announced his entrance and bowed respectfully before the elevated throne, kneeling as he did so.
"Ulquiorra. Rise, my friend. What news do you bring with you?"
Ulquiorra stood slowly and looked up at Aizen from where he stood. He quickly cleared his throat and began his report.
"As I'm sure you are aware, Aizen-sama, the intruders have begun to battle miscellaneous arrancar, as well as select members of the Espada. The five intruders are Kurosaki Ichigo, Ishida Uryu, Sado Yasutora, as you had mentioned earlier, and two new intruders, Abarai Renji, and Kuchika Rukia."
Aizen nodded in understanding, and gestured for Ulquiorra to continue.
"Currently, three of the intruders are either dead, or in a near-death state, rendering them harmless to us, or anyone else. Those three are Kurosaki Ichigo, Sado Yasutora, and Kuchiki Rukia. Kurosaki I dealt with personally, and Kuchiki was defeated in battle with the Noveno Espada, who also lost his life in that same battle. Sado was defeated by Noitora."
Again, a nod from Aizen told Ulquiorra to continue.
"Currently, we have only lost one Espada, specifically, the Novena Espada. The status of the remaining two intruders is currently unknown, but judging by their reiatsu signatures, they are still alive and well."
Aizen paused to look at Ulquiorra for a brief moment while gathering his thoughts. He could sense movement all around the castle, but he felt one reiatsu that was not where it should be.
"Ulquiorra. Tell me, where is Inoue-san at this moment?"
Ulquiorra's eyes widened ever so slightly, showing to those who paid enough attention his surprise. He knew something was off, and now he was sure. Inoue Orihime had left her room, and was traveling about Las Noches. But how? How had she gotten out of her room? He had been sure he locked it.
"It would seem that Grimmjow broke her out of her room, and is now leading her toward the location of Kurosaki Ichigo. Interesting."
Ulquiorra bowed his head in shame, unable to look his master in the eyes.
"Please forgive my foolishness, Aizen-sama. I will retrieve her at once."
Aizen gave him a warm look and a smile, as if to reassure Ulquiorra that all was well and there was no need to worry.
"There is no need for you to be sorry. As a matter of fact, this might make the game a little more interesting. Ulquiorra, follow Grimmjow and Inoue, and observe what happens. Perhaps they will surprise me."
Ulquiorra was slightly confused at Aizen's request, but thought it best to push such thoughts aside and do as he was told. He had already committed one folly too many. With another bow of his head, he turned on his heel and sped off in the direction that he had come from.
Uryu and Renji sat on the ground, assessing their situation. They were surrounded with the bodies of Grantz' Fraccion. Despite the fact that they had almost defeated one of the Espada, neither of them could find a reason to celebrate, or at least impart some words of encouragement, for in truth, the situation appeared more and more grim the further they analyzed it. Already three of them had lost. Kurosaki, Chad, and Rukia had all been taken out, whereas only one of the ten Espada had been defeated. So, essentially, they were already cut down to only forty percent of their fighting strength, whereas the enemy still had ninety percent of its strength. And that was only counting the Espada.
They also had to calculate the numerous other arrancar, as well as Aizen, Ichimaru, and Tousen into the equation. Even though their mission was only to rescue Inoue and be on their way, they had no idea who they would run into. They had to come up with a solution fast, or they too, would certainly meet their doom in Hueco Mundo. Ishida was the first to speak up.
"Abarai-kun, we should get moving. We'll be much easier targets if we rest any longer. I don't want to disappoint Grantz, but we have a mission to complete, and that doesn't involve fighting Espada. Needless to say, even if we beat Grantz, there are seven more powerful Espada above him, meaning that we don't have a chance of success if we take them head on. We should concentrate on finding Inoue."
Renji looked up at him briefly, showing his deep sorrow for only a split second before it passed. The look was replaced with one of indifference, a veil through which no emotion could be discerned.
"Yeah, you're right. Let's get moving. We should try to find Inoue-san as quickly as possible and get her out of here. Can you sense her anywhere?"
Ishida glanced at him for a moment, and began to concentrate. He tried his best to sift through the many reiatsu signatures in the area, and looked specifically for one that was not an arrancar, or related to hollows in any way. After a minute or so, he finally found it, moving to where he had last sensed…Kurosaki?
"I think I've found her. Follow me!"
Ishida shot an arrow at a nearby wall, blowing a hole through five more through it. He jumped into it, and gestured for Renji to follow. Renji nodded without a word, and jumped to follow. If they could get Inoue to safety, then maybe Rukia's death wouldn't have been for nothing. Maybe then, he would be able to at the very least, look Kuchiki-taichou in the eyes and ask for his forgiveness.
Ichigo, with his inner hollow now firmly in control, got up slowly, adjusting itself to it's surroundings while the hollow's regenerative powers took effect and began healing his wounds faster every second. Within a minute, all the wounds were fully healed, and something strange began to happen. The hollow mask that would normally cover Ichigo's face did not appear, but instead, his skin, hair, and even shihakusho began to turn white, and Ichigo's eyes turned black with amber pupils.
"Well, this is new. But at least now I don't completely look like that fool Ichigo. But I wonder, Ichigo, just how much you've grown. Why don't we take your body for a test drive, eh?"
"You bastard. As soon as I get the chance, I'm taking my body back."
"All the more reason to have some fun while I can, wouldn't you say?"
"Just shut up and watch. You're starting to annoy me."
With that said, he began to charge up his reiatsu. It was building up to such incredible levels that the columns supporting the roof began to shake, and the remainder of the wall that Ulquiorra had blasted Ichigo through crumbled away. As he powered down, Ichigo's hollow laughed to himself, content with the power he now had at his fingertips.
"Now let's see if anybody noticed. Ah, here's one now."
He looked over with a smug expression on his face, as the figures of Grimmjow and Orihime appeared from a small hallway opening.
"Hee hee hee! Welcome…"
He lifted Zangetsu from the ground it held it in front of him, pointing the tip towards Grimmjow.
"…to your grave!"
The tremor caused by Ichigo's sudden spike in reiatsu was felt throughout Las Noches, and it brought a look of mild surprise to Aizen's face. Already he could feel the presence of several arrancar fleeing Las Noches, no doubt out of fear. Fear because, unlike before, this new reiatsu, while he was sure belonged to Kurosaki Ichigo, was that of a hollow. Had it been the reiatsu of a shinigami or something else, they might not have fled. How he had not seen it earlier, he was not sure, but now he was certain that Kurosaki had discovered the power of the hollows. Interesting, that he had been able to achieve that level without the aid of a device like the Hougyoku, was nothing short of amazing. But then again, it probably had something to do with Urahara Kisuke. Of this he had little doubt.
"What are your thoughts on the matter, Gin?"
Surely enough, Ichimaru appeared from behind Aizen's throne and, with a smile plastered on his face. It was obvious to guess what he was talking about. Or maybe he just knew his captain well enough to figure it out from the get go.
"I was actually scared for a second there. The kid is definitely strong. Even more so than you, Aizen-taichou."
Aizen regarded him with a thoughtful look. He could not deny it. That raw power put even his own to shame. So the main question would then be, can Kurosaki properly utilize that power. He supposed he would find out soon enough. After all, there were still eight Espada left to test that theory on.
Orihime was speechless. She couldn't comprehend what she was seeing. Was that really Kurosaki-kun? It had to be. She knew his reiatsu like the back of her hand. But…how did this happen? She was quickly snapped out of her thoughts when Grimmjow spoke up.
"Who the hell are you? Where is that dumbass shinigami?"
Ichigo's hollow looked at him with a smirk on his face. This only made Grimmjow become even angrier.
"I seem to get that question a lot. And by 'dumbass shinigami', I assume you mean Ichigo. Well, he's sleeping rather peacefully inside of me."
Grimmjow's face contorted in confusion, as if trying to decipher some hidden meaning to his words. Ichigo's hollow ignored this, however, and continued to speak.
"As for who I am? Well, I suppose you could call me Zangetsu. Nah, that wouldn't feel right. Ichigo wouldn't work either. I guess I need something original."
He began rubbing his chin, all the while trying to think of a name. Grimmjow was growing increasingly irritated, and was about to attack him when he decided to speak up.
"Aha! I've got it. I guess for the time being, you can call me Ogichi. It's not a very cool sounding name, but it's the best I could come up with on such short notice. Now, let me see. You are Grimmjow, correct?"
"Yeah, that's me. Sexta Espada, Grimmjow-…"
"I don't care for your fancy titles and all that nonsense. It's worthless on the battlefield."
Grimmjow couldn't take it anymore. He was fed up with this Ogi-whatever his name was. He was going to kill the guy right here and now.
"You bastard! I'll kill you!"
Grimmjow made a mad dash forward and pulled out his zanpakuto to slice Ogichi. Orihime, who was dazed throughout the entire exchange, was snapped out of her reverie by the dull thud she felt under her feet from the impact of Grimmjow's attack. Her voice caught in her throat as she feared for the worst. However, as the dust settled at last, she could not help but gasp at the sight before her. Ogichi had stabbed Grimmjow clean through his back. Grimmjow looked down with an expression of shock on his face, as he watched his own blood pour out of his wound onto the floor.
That was the only word he could force out of his mouth. Orihime let out a gasp as her expression turned into one of mute horror. Not because of Grimmjow's wound, but because of Kurosaki's actions. She had never seen Kurosaki-kun attack that way, without holding back, with such an obvious killing intent. Her eyes widened slightly as she watched Kurosaki pull his zanpakuto out of Grimmjow's back. Grimmjow fell to the ground and landed with a hard thud.
"Humph. For someone who thinks so highly of himself, you sure do suck at this. I thought you would make this battle a little interesting for me, but with the power you have now, you can't even entertain me. Too bad…"
Grimmjow, despite his condition, managed to push himself up and onto his back, so that he could at least look at his opponent.
"Shut up…I can still fight."
Ogichi's expression suddenly turned very serious, and he spoke, looking Grimmjow square in the eye.
"Give it up. You're not strong enough."
It amazed Grimmjow, how such simple words could hit him so hard. But he knew why. He could tell. They hit him so hard, because he knew, deep down, that it was the truth. This time, he had lost. All he could do was lie there and wait for the finishing blow. But it never came.
"Aren't you going to kill me?"
Ogichi's serious expression turned into a smile once again, and he turned around, not even bothering to face Grimmjow as he replied.
"Weren't you listening? You're not even worth killing. You're just not strong enough yet."
Ogichi then began walking towards Orihime, who still wore a shocked expression on her face. She finally gathered the sense to speak as Ogichi slowly approached her.
She asked hesitantly. Ogichi paused and merely looked at her for a moment.
"You're that broad, Inoue Orihime, right?"
Despite the situation, she became somewhat confused at being referred to as a 'broad' by Kurosaki-kun, but she did her best to hide it as she replied.
"What do you mean? Kurosaki-kun?"
Ogichi rolled his eyes in irritation. This girl sure was dense. Hadn't she been listening before?
"I already said this once. Ichigo isn't around. He's asleep, deep inside this soul we share. And because of this, I'm in control. I'm the new king of this body!"
She still didn't understand what he was talking about. For one thing, this wasn't exactly the way she had expected their reunion to be, assuming one such reunion would ever happen. And now that she's here with him, she finds out that it's not actually him, but someone else? She was about to ask him another question, when he simply continued to walk past her without another word.
"Shut up, girl. I don't have time to chit-chat with you. If you can't figure out, it's not my problem. I've got more important things to do then explain things to you like a kindergartener. See ya…"
She didn't really know what was going on, but she sure wasn't going to lose track of Kurosaki-kun. Not after everything that had happened thus far. She took a moment to glance at Grimmjow. No doubt he would die soon if he wasn't attended to. But she had more important things to worry about than healing her enemy. And so, without a second thought, she turned and followed Ogichi out of the now half destroyed edifice.
Uryu and Renji emerged in the room where they had just sensed Orihime. From the looks of things, a huge battle had taken place there. As then paused and looked around for any bodies, they finally caught sight of something in the corner of the room, near the huge hole in the wall which led outside. As they approached the body, they noticed it was an arrancar, and judging by his appearance, he was most likely an Espada. He appeared to be dead, but both Uryu and Renji knew better. They could still sense his reiatsu, and while it was slowly fading, it was still quite strong.
"What should we do with him?"
Uryu looked at Renji, thinking the same thing himself. Not being the type to strike an enemy who can't defend himself, he decided it would be best to just leave him and follow Orihime's reiatsu, which, oddly enough, was following the huge hollow reiatsu they had sensed earlier.
"I think we should leave him be. He doesn't pose any threat to us now, and we have much more important things to worry about."
Renji nodded in agreement, and they silently continued to follow Orihime's reiatsu, which was now moving to the center of Las Noches, where the arrancar reiatsu was strongest.
Ulquiorra, who had silently observed the latter half of the short exchange between Ogichi and Grimmjow, decided to make his appearance. Even though he could have easily wiped out the Quincy and the Shinigami with him, Aizen-sama had given him explicit orders to observe, meaning he was to avoid combat as long as possible. Satisfied that everything was clear, he used sonido to appear beside Grimmjow. Kneeling down to observe the damage, he realized the Grimmjow was still conscious, meaning he had opted to feign death so that the Quincy and Shinigami would ignore him and continue.
"Do you fear death that much, Grimmjow?"
Grimmjow then opened his eyes, and glared at Ulquiorra with the most menacing face he could muster. Which wasn't very menacing at all, considering the state he was in. Of course, again, he was faced only with a truth he didn't want to admit. After what Ogichi had told him, that he wasn't strong enough, he had become genuinely afraid of death. He wanted live, if only so that he could get his revenge.
"Are you well enough to move about?"
Ulquiorra knew it was a stupid question, but he felt he should ask just out of spite.
"What the fuck do you think?"
As he said that, he coughed up a large amount of blood. After his coughing fit had passed, he turned his head to stare at the dull sky of Hueco Mundo. The night was quickly descending on Las Noches, and soon the world would be shrouded in darkness, in the figurative sense. Aizen's dome made the physically impossible. He was taken from his thoughts by the sound of Ulquiorra's voice.
"I see. I will take you to receive medical attention. Since it is obvious Inoue-san will not be available, we will have to place you in intensive care until further notice."
Ulquiorra proceeded to lift Grimmjow up, and carried him to the nearest medical station. Neither of them said anything for the entire walk. There was no need for words. And besides, they didn't like each other much to begin with, so the silence bothered neither.
"Are you gonna follow me all day, girl?"
Ogichi was becoming increasingly irritated with Orihime. She asked so many stupid, not to mention obvious, questions, and then after she was done, she tried to engage in worthless small talk. She spoke to him as if he were that dumbass Ichigo.
"Actually, yes, I'm going to keep following you."
"Well, at least make yourself useful and tell me where we're going. All these corridors and passages are starting to piss the crap outta me."
"Well, it depends on where you're headed. Do you know?"
'Great, another stupid question. What the heck is wrong with this girl? Hasn't she figured out that I ain't Ichigo yet?'
"I'm looking for the strongest guy around here so I can kick his ass. Based on what I remember, it's probably that weirdo Aizen. So I guess I'm headed to wherever he's at."
Orihime suddenly became worried. Does he really want to fight Aizen? Despite the fact that he said it as if it were a joke, she could tell he was serious. And the only way to stop him would be to take him in the wrong direction, but he would probably realize pretty quickly they're not going the right way. Seeing no way out of this situation, she decided to tell him…on one condition.
"I'll tell how to reach him, on one condition. I want you to take me with you."
"Che. Should have seen that coming I guess. Fine, whatever. It's you're funeral. Lead on, girly."
She was somewhat surprised. She hadn't expected him to comply so easily. Regardless, as long she could stay with him, it was fine. At least until she was safe and had time to figure out how to bring Ichigo back. From what this Ogichi had told her, he was 'resting' after having taken a thorough beating from Ulquiorra. She still didn't quite understand how it worked, but now wasn't the time to dwell on that either. Now she had to think of how to face Aizen. Surely he already knew they were on the way.
She looked over her should at Ogichi. Judging from the expression on his face, he knew exactly how he was going to confront Aizen. He had an arrogant grin on his face, as if his victory was already firmly in his hand long before the battle. Not at all unlike Aizen.
Aizen waited patiently for the arrival of Kurosaki and Inoue. He briefly wondered, if this would be his last day on earth. A wave of foreboding engulfed him, and he felt a chill run down his spine. Was it fear that he felt just now? Impossible. He feared nothing. As he finished that thought, the large door into his throne room opened, revealing his two guests of honor. He had made sure to send the Espada away and instructed them to not disturb him no matter what. He would call for them if they were needed. The same went for Gin and Tousen. He wanted nothing to get in the way of his…experiment.
"Welcome, Kurosaki Ichigo. Inoue-san, thank you for escorting him here. That was most gracious of you."
His words were laced with false sweetness, as was usual whenever he spoke. Orihime glared at him apprehensively. Ogichi merely took at step forward and grinned.
"How many more times am I gonna have to say this? Ichigo ain't around. I'm here to take his place. And hopefully, permanently."
Aizen was somewhat surprised at his comment. A dual personality? No, he doubted it was that simple. Perhaps Kurosaki had somehow developed two separate sides to his soul when he obtained his hollow powers. That seemed like the most logical explanation. After all, Shinigami have a similar experience when they create the spirit of their zanpakuto. In either case, this would certainly turn out to be quite interesting. He wondered if there would be any more surprises.
"How rude of me. Please, how should I refer to you from now on. I wouldn't want to sound impolite."
"I guess you could call me Ogichi. Not that it matters, 'cause I'm gonna kill you right here and now!"
Orihime took a cautious step closer to Ogichi and whispered to him.
"Please be careful."
He didn't bother to look at her as he replied, his gaze fixed on Aizen.
"Worry about yourself. I'm not Ichigo, so don't go thinking I'm gonna try to protect you or any bullshit like that."
She was somewhat hurt by his comment, but cast the thought aside when Aizen spoke.
"I'm sorry to interrupt, but I am quite a busy man, and wouldn't want to stall this any longer. Shall we begin?"
Ogichi simply smiled and lifted Zangetsu off his back, pointing it at Aizen.
"Let's do this."
Throughout the castle, the Espada could feel the battle commencing. Even Stark, who was usually asleep, remained alert and on the lookout. Even though Aizen-sama had told them not to interfere, they were ready to jump in at a moment's notice.
Ogichi performed a downward slash with all his strength, which Aizen parried, causing the ground to shake slightly, and Aizen to stumble backward somewhat. Aizen wouldn't admit it, but this battle was proving to be difficult, even for him. It looked like he would have to resort to using Kyokatsuigetsu's ability to gain the upper hand.
"Hee ha ha ha! What's wrong Aizen? Aren't you supposed to be some kind of god or something?"
Aizen said nothing as they separated. Ogichi had a smug grin on his face, whereas Aizen wore a look void of any emotion.
"What a load of bullshit. Sure, you've got more power than most, but you're no god. And I'll prove it to everyone here who believes otherwise."
With that, he once again rushed forward. Aizen wanted to have some 'fun' as Gin had put it, but he realized he could not afford to play with play with Kurosaki any longer. The fight was short, but he would end it now. Aizen smiled.
"Bukudo number 67: Rikujou Kourou."
Six pillars of light surrounded Ogichi and kept him in place. Aizen used shunpo to appear in front of Ogichi, and raised his hand in a movement that Ogichi recognized from Ichigo's memories of Soul Society.
"Hadou number 91: Kurohit…"
Aizen was unable to finish his kidou spell, and jumped back in surprise as Ogichi activated Tensa Zangetsu. He has forgotten about Kurosaki's bankai, and mentally cursed himself for overlooking such a simple and obvious detail. As the smoke surrounding Ogichi dissipated, Aizen could make out the faint sound of a chain rattling.
"That was a close one. I must admit, you almost had me there. Too bad for you, I'm not as stupid as Ichigo."
"I see. I guess I'll have time for some fun after all. Try your best to keep this interesting, would you?"
Ogichi let out a short laugh. Aizen smiled. He had to admit, he would have really enjoyed the company of this 'Ogichi' had they met under different circumstances. A subordinate like him would have been a pleasure to have. Pushing the thought aside, he took advantage of the fact that Ogichi was distracted and began to draw his zanpakuto.
Again he was interrupted, as Ogichi instantaneously appeared in front of Aizen and pushed Kyokatsuigetsu back into its sheath. Once again, Aizen wore a surprised expression on his face. His entire battle strategy was falling apart.
"You thought that I was distracted huh? But it looks like you were the one who wasn't paying attention. A true warrior would never lose his focus on the battlefield."
Aizen regarded him coolly. He was being outmatched, and he knew it.
"You thought that you could just use that little illusion trick on then kill me while I wasn't paying attention, huh? Too bad. Looks like your plan backfired."
As he said this, Ogichi stabbed Aizen in the stomach, and laughed coldly as he watched Aizen fall to the floor. However, he had not let go of Kyokatsuigetsu, and so he pulled it along with its sheath off of Aizen's belt.
"Oh my. Looks like you won't be needing this anymore."
He tossed the zanpakuto into the air, and as it fell, he slashed it in two. Aizen hadn't even registered the action or his words. He was simply too stunned to do so. How could he, a god, have possibly lost? He could not believe it. In his mind, it was simply impossible. And at that moment, for the first time in centuries, he felt truly weak.
Orihime had carefully observed the battle without saying a word. She had nearly fainted of fright when Aizen had trapped Kurosaki-kun with the kidou spell, but sighed in silent relief when she saw the tables turn on Aizen. Honestly, she neither thought nor believed the battle would end that quickly. It seemed somewhat anticlimactic to her. But she thought it was better that way. And then something dawned upon her, and her eyes went wide. She was in Aizen's throne room. That meant that the Hougyoku was here. She turned and sprinted towards the cylinder where Aizen had shown her the Hougyoku before. The adrenaline began pumping through her veins as the thought of finally ending this madness rushed through her mind.
She looked at the cylinder in silent anxiety as she tried to remember how to open it. She placed her hand over it and poured some reiatsu into it, and watched silently as nothing happened. Her face contorted in frustration as she searched frantically through her memories of that specific conversation with Aizen for any clues that show her how to work the device. Then it dawned on her.
"…I need your power, Inoue-san…"
Summoning the Shun Shun Rikka, she focused them around the cylinder.
"Souten Kishun! I reject!"
At first, nothing happened, but eventually, the top of the cylinder began to move away from the rest of it, revealing the object she was after. The Hougyoku. She carefully removed it from atop the cylinder, and observed it momentarily.
"Everything that's happened. All the pain and sadness. All for this…"
She placed the Hougyoku on the ground and used Souten Kishun on it. All the damage and deterioration that been done to it as a result of repeated uses began to disappear. After a minute or so, it returned to its original state, when Urahara Kisuke had first created it. Orihime did not stop there, however. She continued to use Souten Kishun, despite the fact that it was draining her rather quickly. Ogichi walked over to her and observed her silently, although he remained focused on his surroundings. Surely the Espada would sense the defeat of their leader and come running to his rescue.
Surely enough, in less than a minute, he could already feel the approaching reiatsu of the Espada. He also sensed two other reiatsu signatures approaching. After a few moments of careful thought, he concluded them to be Ishida and Abarai. He thought it strange, however, that only two Espada had decided to move in on Aizen's throne room. Had the other ones abandoned their leader now that he was defeated? He could relate to that. He certainly wouldn't bow down to a weak king.
"There. It's done."
He looked down then, and noticed that the Hougyoku was gone. He didn't care though. All he wanted to do was kill strong opponents.
"Well then, it looks like we have guests."
Orihime turned to him and wondered briefly what he was talking about. And then she sensed the two reiatsu signatures of approaching Espada.
'How stupid of me! How could I forget them!'
Within a few seconds, the first of the two approaching Espada entered the throne room. Ogichi smiled. He was ready for another battle after that pathetic wannabe god.
"Welcome to the party. The invitation is free, so make yourself at home."
The Espada smiled. He looked over at Aizen's body. He was still alive, but in no condition to fight, or give him orders. Perfect, the thought, now he could do whatever he wanted. He then looked over at Orihime, and noticed the cylinder behind her was open, but it was lacking something.
"Oh my, you've been a naughty girl, Pet-sama. You need a spanking."
Noitora looked at her with a seductive glint in his eyes. Orihime cringed in disgust. She hated him. He was a despicable, sadistic bastard. That Noitora.
"Enough with the chit-chat. Are you gonna fight or can I just kill you?"
Ogichi smiled and glared at Noitora. Noitora returned the smile, and in that instant used sonido to appear behind Ogichi. He used his large scythe and slashed down, letting out a crazed roar as he did so. However, he hit nothing but air and stone. He was met with another crazed roar, and the tip of a white zanpukoto protruding from his chest. He looked down and watched as his own blood spilled out from the wound.
"You aren't that strong either, are you? You Espada sure are full of yourselves. Crawl back to whatever shithole you came from and die."
As soon as those words left his lips, he turned Tensa Zangetsu up and slashed right through Noitora's head. The blood gushed out and bathed Ogichi's white skin and clothing in a sickening crimson color. Orihime stared in utter shock.
"Ha! That felt good."
As he turned to her, she took in just how menacing he looked, bathed in the blood of his enemy. She thought she would be sick to her stomach. Was this really Kurosaki-kun? She couldn't fathom the kind-hearted Kurosaki ever doing something like this.
"Right on cue, here comes guest number two."
The large double doors of the throne room burst open, and there stood Ulquiorra. Ogichi grinned the broadest grin he could muster. This was perfect.
"Ah, just the guy I wanted to see. I really gotta thank you, ya know that. If it wasn't for you, I would've been stuck inside that weak king of mine forever."
Ulquiorra was barely registering what Ogichi was saying. For the first time in his short life as an Espada, he wore a face of pure and utter shock and disbelief. Aizen-sama was just laying there in a pool of his own blood. How could he have been defeated. Had he not told the Espada that as long as they stood with him and followed him, that no enemy could stand against them? And yet, there he lay, defeated by an enemy so very similar to the arrancar. He turned and glared at Ogichi, who simply stared at him with a grin on his face. It reminded him of Grimmjow's smile. Hidden behind them was always the desire to kill, the murderous intent of a pure bred killer.
"You…you did this to Aizen-sama?"
"Who gives a shit? That loser should be the least of your worries now. I have a personal debt to repay you. And I'm running short on time, I'm afraid. It feels like Ichigo is gonna come out to take control of his body soon, and I can't have that just yet."
Ulquiorra understood his words perfectly. He too, now had a 'personal debt' to repay this man. And so, without another word, he once again reverted to his emotionless poker face, and drew his zanpakuto. He dashed at Ogichi, who simply stood there smiling, zanpakuto rested on his shoulder. Ulquiorra saw his mouth move, and knew clearly what he was saying.
"You're too slow…"
He then held his zanpakuto in front of him as he parried Ulquiorra's blow, and then, holding his sword, he chanted the two words which sealed the Cuarto Espada's fate.
In that moment, Ulquiorra saw his entire life flash before his eyes. His days as a human, the first girl he loved, the day he died and became a hollow, when he met Aizen and was turned into an Espada, and finally, the white Getsuga Tenshou that was now destroying his body.
"That was way too easy. These Espada guys really are freakin' weak. I can't believe Ichigo couldn't beat these guys, even when he was using my power. Oh well, he wasn't using right anyway, which was why he got beat in the first place."
He walked up to Ulquiorra's bleeding body, and watched as he coughed up blood. It looked like luck was on his side. He could still have a little fun.
"Still alive, are you? Don't worry, I can fix that."
In that moment, Uryu and Renji burst into the room, and observed the scene before them in horror. They had not expected this. First they say Orihime staring at something in shock, then they looked over to see the bodies of Aizen and an arrancar, and finally they're eyes rested on what Orihime was staring at. And they froze in fear.
"Eeh hee hee hee!"
Ogichi sliced and diced Ulquiorra's corpse into as many pieces as he possibly could. Orihime, Uryu, and Renji watched in shock and could do nothing as the blood spattered across the room and all over Ogichi. After a few minutes of mindless slashing and sprays of blood, Ogichi impaled Ulquiorra's lifeless head with Zangetsu and lifted it up into the air. Quickly drawing back his sword, he sliced the head in two, and watched happily as the blood sprayed all over his face and chest.
Orihime looked stunned beyond belief. But what happened next would be the subject of nightmares for months to come. As he looked over at her, she could see the blood and gore dripping off his clothes and his zanpakuto. And his face, his blood covered face smiled and looked at her with eyes that clearly conveyed his bloodlust and desire to kill. It felt like his gaze was boring into her very soul, as if assuring her that she too, would die in a similar way, by the same hand, and the same sword. He was like a demon. A terribly evil beast who existed only to devour others. Ogichi then dropped Zangetsu onto the floor, and grabbed his head as if in pain, and let out the most chilling scream she had ever heard in her life.
And then he collapsed.
That's it for chapter 1. I'm also posting chapter 2 back to back with this one, so that one won't have any authors notes or anything. Anyway, big thanks to Lilith Rei, her support (as well as her current Bleach fic, Five Years) inspired me to get back to writing and write this fic up. I hope you like this chapter (and the next one). Please Read and Review. Later!