Aizen strode confidently down the great hall towards his ultimate destination. Tousen and Gin stood on his flanks, the surviving Espada followed in a double file, their feet tracking the blood of their enemies across the pristine floors. Aizen made a note to have someone clean it up - there would probably be a few prisoners from the Fourth Division left.

The last defiant opposition to him was gathered in front of the great doors. Shunsui, without his usual haori - Aizen had ordered that the body he had seen wrapped in the garment be collected and laid to rest later. Jyuushiro was there, but the bloody coughs that wracked him were clearly not the result of his long-standing sickness but of his many wounds.

And, of course, standing at the front, defiant as ever, Ichigo.

"The time has come," Aizen explained gently, "for you to recognise the inevitable. You have fought bravely. I salute you for it. You have made me pay dearly for my triumph but this is what it comes to. I have won. You cannot even seek to -"

Aizen was interupted as Ichigo hurled himself forwards, the ebon shape of his bankai moving faster than even the eyes of a veteran Shinigami Captain could track. It was a brief interuption, Aizen didn't even break step as three zanpakuto sliced through the brash ryoka, bringing him to the floor.

"In the end," Ulquiorra whispered as he stepped aside to watch Aizen step deliberately over the fallen swordsman, "You were merely trash."

Gin, unlike his leader, stepped on Ichigo, grinding him against the floor and the 'Substitute Shinigami' grit his teeth so as not to satisfy the other man's sadism. "Aizen gets the throne," the former captain of the Third Division whispered. "I get you, Ichi-kun."

"Please, my brothers," Aizen said gently to the two Captains. "Stand aside."

"You're no brother of mine," Shunsui growled, raising his zanpakuto.

"Ah, but am I not the prodigal son?" Aizen asked sweetly. "Come home for my portion -"

The rest of his argument was never to be voiced for as Jyuushiro slumped back against the doors, unable to even keep his arms under him, something happened that had not in the entire history of Seireitei taken place.

The great doors of the Hall of the Heavenly King swung open.

Halibel blinked and stepped forward to lead the Espada as they ranged themselves to guard their lord against whatever might lay within.

The man who walked out had presence. He wore black, not the robes of a shinigami but black leathers open to reveal a chiseled chest. His hair was ravenblack, scuplted with gel and he had sideburns.

"Oh you've got to be fucking kidding me," Ichigo choked.

"Don't be cruel," Elvis Presley admonished Aizen and caught Jyuushiro under the armpits, laying him gently on the floor. Then he stood and glared down at Aizen as everyone stared at him in bemusement. The silence drew out and then: "Look guys, if you're just going to stare at me, I'm going to bed!"

Aizen nodded and stepped forwards, reaching down to draw Kyōka Suigetsu. "King," he said evenly. "I have come here to ascend to your throne."

Elvis shook his head. "Son, when you let your head get too big it'll break your neck."

Another step closer. "I give you the same chance that I gave to them, King. Stand aside. Bow your knee as a new King ascends."

The King sighed and shifted in his place, reaching out to one side as if for a weapon. Aizen brought his zanpakutou down with deadly force only to find it parried at the last moment, only inches from Elvis' shoulder by the neck of a guitar. For a moment, they stood their, their weapons crossed between then and Shunsui stared at them, the one in black and the other in white, struck suddenly by how much Aizen's hair resembled that of the King that neither of them had before met.

"The image is one thing," Elvis advised Aizen in a soft voice, "and the human being is another. It's very hard to live up to an image." Then he struck a single chord on the guitar and the sound hammered Aizen backwards, sending him skidding across the smooth floor, barely missing Ichigo and the Espada as he fought to hold Kyōka Suigetsu in guard and protect himself from the full force of the King's attack.

Then the force let up and Aizen came to a halt, gasping for breath at the force of the reitatsu coming from the man he had sought to supplant. And then Elvis was upon the Espada and Aizen's Captains leapt forwards to continue the fight. They were too late to save Grimmjow, who found that a seemingly wild haymaker by their opponent homed in with earthshaking force upon his jaw. The Sixth Espada was shocked to find himself hurled backwards through a wall, his mask crumbling away as he saw the blazing shape of Seireitei falling upon him. No... he was falling upon it, he realised.

Back in the hall, Halibel's knees buckled as Elvis rocked his hips. The pressure of his spirit was too much for her as the music he wrought reached out and caressed her. Catching herself on her hands, she stared up at him as Tousen brought his own bankai into play, filling the hall with darkness. A moment later, the darkness broke and she whimpered as she saw Tousen dangling from the King's fist, kicking ineffectually.

"How?" the blind renegade gasped. "How did you know see me."

"Music," the king said simply. "It makes you gotta move, inside and outside. And you didn't move with it."

"Heh. Move with this," Gin smiled from behind the King and thrust with Shinso. The King complied and Tousen's masked eyes might have held something like betrayal as he choked his last, impaled on the shikai of his own brother in arms.

Aizen's eyes were wide. The Espada were scattered and half-beaten. Tousen was dead or dying. The King, the King was... where was the King!?

"Y'all having a good time?" came that same slightly nasal voice and Aizen hurled himself aside, turning to see Elvis placing Ichigo on one of the benches that lined the walls of the hall. "Watch the boy, are we clear?" Elvis asked Halibel, who nodded vigorously, her worshipful eyes not leaving the leatherclad man.

"Thank you." Elvis told her and then turned back towards Aizen. "Thank you very much."

"Retreat!" Aizen shrieked and then felt a sharp pain in his back.

"Oh no," Shunsui whispered into the ear of the traitor. "There will be no retreat for you."