Title: Illusions of Ice
Authoress: PockyLoveLove
Warning:Yaoi, language, violence, OOCness (hopefully not too bad), tiny spoilers (basically, for people who don't know what arrancars are. I'm actually kinda behind on the anime and SUPER far behind on the manga myself so yeah. I should be ashamed of myself which I am XD)

A/N:Despite being pretty busy with school work, my other story which hasn't been updated in a month, and well..life in general, I decided to write this story because the storyline kept invading my head since I watched one of the trailers for the new Bleach movie (the one where Hitsugaya is lying in Ichigo's room while Ichigo watches over him :333), which I wanna see so badly, there are no words to express just how much, annnd I've been meaning to write a Bleach fic for this pairing for a LOOOONNNG time XD

For those who have been keeping up, this is after the group first fights with Grimmjow and his little five arrancars flunkies and Rukia and Orihime go off to Soul Society, but before the second visit of Grimmjow, Yammy, Luppi, and Wonderweiss (and around that time). And in this one, Aizen doesn't want Orihime and her weird powers haha XD

Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach or any of its characters in anyway. I only write to entertain others and for my own strange, twisted, yet loveable amusement. (And, I only worship Kubo Tite for creating such an amazingly, godly awesome manga and giving us such amazing characters—like these two who are tied for first in my book :3)

Illusions of Ice

First Crystal

"The air…is too stuffy here," muttered the tenth division captain, leaning against the ledge overlooking Karakura. He draped an arm around the stone ledge behind him, tilting his head upwards to stare at the night sky. Faint stars winked before being obscured by wisps of dark clouds.

As he opened his mouth to let out a sigh, Hitsugaya frowned, feeling the disturbance in the air. The wrinkles deepened as teal eyes scanned the sky once more. There it was. A garganta was tearing the dimension, revealing two figures still hidden by the darkness.

"I don't see anyone."

"That's too bad! I was really looking forward to beating those damn shinigami too."


Hoping out of the portal, one of the arrancar stretched out his limbs, exclaiming, "Man! We better run into those shinigami! I've been wanting to kill a shinigami since Aizen-sama's told us about them."

The grave look upon the young captain was altered to one of mild surprise and alertness as his eyes widened. The bigger one wasn't just an arrancar. He was an espada. The same one that had attacked Kurosaki the first time before they were dispatched from Soul Society. Then, no doubt, the other arrancar with him was probably an espada as well.

"Shut up. Don't forget, we're here on a mission."

Popping a gikongan into his mouth, his soul was pushed out of the gigai. "Go alert the others. Find and alert Kurosaki of the situation first, preferably, considering that he won't be alerted of the espada's presence," he quietly ordered his gigai who nodded and immediately ran off. His communicator beeped, notifying him of the arrival of arrancar and the release of his limit.

"I smell a shinigami," cried Luppi gleefully, glancing down. He jumped for joy upon spotting Hitsugaya, out of his gigai and in his shinigami form. "Yammy! Look! A shinigami!"

The larger espada looked down and his lips split into a grin. "Well, well, what do we have here? One shinigami?"

"He's mine! I saw him first!" the raven haired arrancar claimed, dancing. Before Yammy could protest, which he was hell bent on doing, Luppi jumped down, lips curling into a smile which conveyed nothing but a joy for bloodlust. "I'm Arrancar Seis (six), Luppi," he introduced himself, hands falling behind his back.

Hand reaching behind, he grasped his hilt and drew his sword, the sheath dissolving just as he pointed the blade at the arrancar who merely covered a yawn. "Tenth Squad Taichou, Hitsugaya Toshiro."

Luppi smiled at the words, the excitement of carnage running through his veins. Swords clashed as he charged first, the young captain completely blocking the preemptive strike easily. "Hm…not bad," commented the espada, grin widening as he flicked a stray strand of hair out of his eyes. "But I guess that's a taichou-class for you."

He pressed forward, pushing away the arrancar who jumped away to avoid getting sliced. "Too bad for you," Hitsugaya stated, coldly.

"That's my line," pointed out Luppi, hopping into the air. He did enjoy battling in the air more so than on the ground. "Sorry, but I'm going to crush you."

Irritated at being taken so lightly, Hitsugaya leapt into the air, his sword raised high above his head as he called out, "Souten ni zase, Hyourinmaru!" Ice crystals in the shape of a dragon flew from the tip of the blade as he brought it down, fluidly heading straight for the overly joyful arrancar. Not giving the raven haired enemy a chance to flee, he pivoted his body to bring Hyourinmaru back over from the left, freezing the right half of the espada. Utilizing shunpo, the ten division captain appeared behind the startled Luppi and encased him in a solid block of jagged ice. He jumped a slight ways away, eyes alert and hands tightening their grip on his hilt. His reiatsu protectively flowed around him in the form of a crimson-eyed dragon.

The ice cracked, shattering into thousands of silvery shards.

"Whew! That was cold of you!" he pouted, brushing off a few stray shards of ice off of himself. "Now I'm all cold thanks to you."

"Stop playing around Luppi. We're here on a mission, remember what Ulquiorra told us?" grunted Yammy, disgruntled that all he could to do for fun was sit around and watch the other espada enjoy beating the captain. The captain shinigami that HE should have been beating up.

Eyes traveling upwards to the sulking arrancar, Luppi responded, "You don't even remember what Ulquiorra told us, do you, Yammy?" A nasty smile accompanied the question, stirring the other's rage.

"Shut up and hurry up and end this already!"

"Fine, fine. No need to get so angry. Well, then, I shall make this quick."

Hitsugaya glowered at the cocky arrancar, "Rather confident in your skills, aren't you?"

"I am a hundred times better than a shinigami such as yourself—even if you are a taichou-class."

"I'm going to make you regret those words," assured the white-haired shinigami, eyes narrowing.

Luppi merely giggled, his fingers wrapping around the hilt of his own zanpakutou, "Well, then, allow me to show you, my true form. Kubire, Trepadora." Clouds of dust and smoke momentarily blinded everyone. "Now it's eight-on-one."

Teal eyes widened in a light shock as he spotted eight tentacles waving from behind the espada who stood there, grinning. If he was going to beat this arrancar, he couldn't afford to waste any time in trying to defeat him when he was still only in his shikai. "Bankai!" He dove ahead, zanpakutou ready to strike. "Daiguren Hyourinmaru!"

The sixth espada moved a tentacle to block the head on attack, commanding another two to go behind the captain and capture him. Icy wings enclosed around him, protecting him against the excited tendrils.

"Is that all you got, espada?" inquired Hitsugaya coolly, staring past the giggling arrancar. He needed to pick up the pace of this fight.

"As expected of a taichou-class. What a perfect, complete defense. Hm, I guess you taichou-class shinigami are harder that I initially thought. But, that was only three. I believe I said that this was an eight-on-one battle," Luppi reminded the shinigami, lips splitting into a grin as the remaining five leapt forward, heading towards him.

Hitsugaya never faltered, using his tail to capture three of the squirming tentacles, he swung his sword to his right, cleanly slicing through the remaining two. The appendages hastily retreated as the arrancar beamed. A petal dissipated.

"I see. I suppose that I've been underestimating you until now. Well, then, what if…I did this?" questioned Luppi, hiding his smile behind his sleeve.

All eight tendrils headed straight for him.

His wings almost immediately enclosed around him once more just as the first tentacle hit. By the sixth and seventh, he was sent flying back, crashing into a nearby building. The icy wings had shattered from the force of the attack.

"Shit," hissed the young shinigami, panting faintly as a dull pain assaulted his left shoulder. The second petal broke away.

"Ma, that's not much taichou-san…is that all? A bit disappointing if I do say so myself," he sighed, hands thrown up in a shrugging motion.

Using his own reiatsu, the wings regrew, flapping a few times to reaffirm their strength. Unfortunately, a third petal withered. Hitsugaya picked himself up from the rubble and lunged for the arrancar once more using shunpo to appear behind him, water freezing over his tentacles as he let Hyourinmaru loose right through him. Reversing his grip on the blade, he brought it back up to slash the arrancar's shoulder.

"Wha-What is this?!" exclaimed a startled Luppi, feeling weight being added onto his whole body as blood spurted from his wound. His eight extra appendages were frozen solid and he was…bleeding?! "What is this wretched ice?!" he cried once more, trying to break free from it but being unable to unlike before. Brow twitching, Hitsugaya pushed away just as the espada remarked, "Just kidding."

Another tentacle shot out, crashing into the shinigami and knocking him down once more.

He had been careless, only freezing over seven instead of eight. The tendril freed the others from their icy prison. "You…How dare you make me spill blood…" spoke the effeminate arrancar, quietly, eyes flashing. "I'll skewer you. I'll make sure that it rains with your blood…"

"Get him," he commanded, the tentacles all flying towards his direction. Fending off two with his wing, the young boy parried the others quickly, teeth gritting at the shear force of each attack.

Hand gathering reiatsu, he released a ball of red energy. Cero. Evading the cero blast with shunpo, it was too late for Hitsugaya to realize that the tentacles were lunging at him. There was no way that he could completely block against all eight of them. He only had enough time to deflect the first tentacle, hand held against the blade as it came at him, hard. The second and third ones were frozen by Hyourinmaru's reiatsu. However, the fourth successfully managed to wrap itself around his body, constricting almost immediately. He was thrown, crashing through two buildings before stopping in a pile of rubble and dust. Blood trickled down his face, stinging his left eye. The fourth petal crumbled. Only eight more, huh. Consuming reiatsu only caused them to disappear faster. If he was going to beat this espada along with the other one, he would have to hurry. There wasn't much time left.

"Stop fooling around Luppi!" called out Yammy who was now lying down, head propped up by his hand. "Ulquiorra's gonna be pissed at us if you keep playing around."

Luppi paid no attention to the other arrancar, seething eyes still set on Hitsugaya who was getting back up from the ruins. He was going to make that shinigami pay.

"I'm going to make you suffer, shinigami," declared Luppi gleefully, taking no heed to the frostbite on his wounded shoulder which was delivering sharp jabs of pain. He hated the cold.

Glancing upward at the floating espada, he countered, "I'd like to see you try."

He waved his sword, sending Hyourinmaru to attack the annoying tentacles from each direction. The ice dragon complied, freezing over every last once before Luppi could even blink. The arrancar's eyes widened as he felt the familiar weight dragging him down. "What's – going on this time?!" he cried, thrashing. His fifth and sixth petals disintegrated.

Wings flapping once more to take flight, the tendo rose into the sky, high above the espada. "This is the end for you, espada," informed Hitsugaya, his hand ran along the side of his blade, covering it with another layer of his own frosty reiatsu. As he readied himself, about to plunge downward into a dive to strike the espada, a cero flew past his ear, barely missing him. Another one was thrown at him. The tenth squad captain quickly jumped back, eluding the attack as his wings flapped, droplets of water dripping as they did. His breaths were coming out in short breathy pants now, steam from the frozen air appearing as he continued to pant. He was down to five petals now, the seventh one having just faded.

"Luppi, you bastard. Can't even handle that kid shinigami on your own?" Yammy mocked, static still crackling around his hand from where the two cero had originated. "Even if he is a taichou-class, you're having too much trouble!" Behind the larger arrancar, a distorted garganta opened, a shadowed figure standing in its depths.

Struggling widely in an attempt to break free of the ice, Luppi screamed, absolutely livid, "Stay out of this, Yammy! I'm going to kill this kid!!"

"You will do no such thing."

Both arrancar halted, heads slowly turning to face the newcomer. Darkened sea-green eyes traveled to the same direction, widening upon seeing another arrancar joining the battle. The other arrancar from the reports?

"U-Ul-Ulquiorra!" cried Yammy, taking a step back.

Emerald green eyes pierced the heavy espada who took another step back. "As usual, you are incompetent, Yammy, Luppi," commented Ulquiorra, eyes turning over to the frozen Luppi. "The two of you cannot even handle a single shinigami."

Hitsugaya automatically tightened his grip on his zanpakutou. More?! Where were they all coming from? And why now of all times? Something seemed rather suspicious.

"Who are you?" he demanded from the newcomer, still breathing unevenly.

"Finish him, Luppi, Yammy. If you do not, I will finish off the both of you," ordered Ulquiorra, hands finding their way to his pockets as he gave the two arrancar deadpanned stares.

Yammy instantly jumped to it, firing another cero at Hitsugaya who deflected the blast. "How about this then?" he exclaimed, firing a barrage of bala. He dodged the blasts, trying to keep his focus. A tentacle caught him from behind, slamming him into another building.

Cursing, the tendo released Hyourinmaru who iced over the appendage. It splintered, freeing him. "Damn."

Another round of bala were shot at him as more tentacles appeared, striking him down. His eighth and ninth petals fragmented. Eyebrows knit together deeply, he sent the ice dragon forward once more, catching another four tendrils.

From above, Ulquiorra calmly watched the battle, analyzing every aspect of the tenth squad captain. Despite being at a clear disadvantage, he was fairing pretty well, fending off both espada.

The tenth petal melted just as Hitsugaya sliced Yammy's chest. In return, he received a cero, scorching the side of his stomach. He could feel the blood running down his flesh. A sharpened tendril grazed his left bicep as he leapt away.

"It's over, taichou-san!" cried Luppi in a mad glee, knocking him down with two tentacles. A third tendril bound him tightly, squeezing out the air in the smaller captain. He gritted his teeth. Another tendril appeared, spikes popping up. "I'm going to punch you full of holes as payment."

"That is enough."

Luppi paid no heed to the words, the appendage already coming down. A hand grabbed the tentacle, ripping it off and carelessly throwing it. The raven haired arrancar screamed. "Wh-What are you doing, Ulquiorra?!"

"Did you not hear me, Luppi? I said that is enough. Aizen-sama did not order for us to kill him," relayed the distant espada tonelessly.

'Ai-Aizen?! That bastard…!!'

Satisfied that the sixth espada would not act impulsively again, he turned, eyes boring holes into the ice-zanpakutou wielder. "You are the Tenth Squad Taichou, Hitsugaya Toshiro, correct?"

"So what?"

A hand was pulled out of his pocket, a tiny round object along with it. It was the size of a soul candy but blood red with hues of an icy blue swirling around it. The orb glinted maliciously.

"Be thankful, shinigami. You are the first and only one to try out Aizen-sama's new invention," Ulquiorra informed him. At the mention of the name, Hitsugaya let slip a growl.

"What the hell are you blabbering about?" asked the tendo, sea-green eyes narrowed as he intently kept an eye on the glowing sphere.

Pushing aside his tattered shihakushou to reveal a bloodied chest, he answered, "Aizen-sama created this orb for a sole purpose. You should be grateful to him, shinigami, for allowing you to be the one whom this orb was created for, for being that sole purpose."

"You bastard, what the hell is Aizen trying to do?" yelled Hitsugaya, fighting back against the binding. The tendril tightened, restricting his movements. He glowered at the seeming melancholic espada. Releasing his reiatsu, a wave of water and ice doused them as Hyourinmaru attacked the arrancar and the tentacle binding him. His eleventh petal shattered. Using his wings to break the frozen bindings, he swung his sword down at the collected espada with a yell.

Ulquiorra disappeared before reappearing behind him. Sonído. "To think that you could still move and conjure your zanpakutou in such a state, despite being wounded and nearly depleted of your reiatsu. It is no wonder that Aizen-sama has found an interest in your powers and abilities."

The anger in his eyes sharpening, he twisted his zanpakutou while rotating his body, aiming for the arrancar's chest. A hand grasped his neck before he could even finish moving, crushing his windpipe. The young captain winced, hands coming up in an attempt to pry the hand away. He refused to just sit still.

"Stay still or else it will be a pain for both of us."

The glowing orb in his hand once more, Ulquiorra pressed it up against his chest, pushing the sphere into his body which swallowed it whole. Teal eyes widened in surprise. Just what the hell was going on? What were they trying to do to him?

"Let go of Toshiro right now!!"

A crescent blade of black and red reiatsu rushed passed the green-eyed espada who still had the tenth division captain in his grasp.

Ichigo glared at him, the grip on his hilt tightening with each passing second. "Let go of Toshiro, right now, you bastard!!!" exclaimed the orange-haired shinigami, using shunpo to appear beside the captive captain. "Getsuga Tenshou!"

The espada disappeared as the attack ripped through the sky. Hitsugaya coughed, breathing heavily as he dropped to a knee.

"Luppi, Yammy, the mission has been completed," affirmed Ulquiorra, opening a garganta for the three espada.

"Wait you bastards! Where the hell do you think you're going!? Running away!?"

Turning around as the other two hopped in, the monotone espada answered simply, "Our mission has been completed. There is no longer a reason for us to stay here any longer."

"Wait!" shouted Hitsugaya, wincing. "What the hell did you do to me? What was that thing?"

Ichigo turned to stare at the captain, eyes wide in surprise. They did something to Toshiro?!

Ulquiorra did not answer and instead, stepped into the garganta. It closed up behind him, the last thing they saw were piercing emerald eyes set on the injured shinigami's form. He cursed, sealing his bankai.

"Toshiro! You alright?!"

Opening his mouth to correct the substitute shinigami, a sudden, unspeakable pain ripped through his body, jolting every limb in sharp electrical shocks. His vision blurred and he could vaguely hear the other teen speaking to him. Hitsugaya grit his teeth, wobbling in the air as an immense weight crushed his lungs. What was happening to him? Before he could stop himself, he blacked out, the pain far too unbearable.

Brown eyes spotting the falling captain, Ichigo immediately caught the boy in his arms, alarmed.

"Toshiro! Oi, Toshiro!! Oi, wake up! Say something!! Toshiro!!!" yelled the concerned boy as he lightly shook the body. Upon receiving no response, he immediately used shunpo to head over to Urahara-shoten, not even bothering to seal his zanpakutou figuring that it would be quicker this way.

"Urahara-san! Urahara-san!!" he hollered, kicking open the door as his hands were filled with an unconscious captain.

"What is it, Kurosaki-san?" asked the store owner calmly, hiding the lower half of his face behind his usual fan. His eyes narrowed a fraction upon seeing Hitsugaya and the state he was in. Along with that strange darkened circular bruise lying in the middle of his upper chest.

The orange-haired human missed the slight eye movement and instead continued, "It's Toshiro! He was fighting the arrancars by himself. After they left, he just suddenly collapsed. I think that…that arrancar that first attacked us did something weird to him."

"Something weird, you say?"

"I don't know. Can we heal Toshiro first? Then we can ask him what happened afterwards," suggested Ichigo, feeling more apprehensive by the second as he continued to hold the unmoving boy.

Waving his fan, he remarked, "Of course. Bring him over here, Kurosaki-san."

Within a few seconds, the shorter shinigami was laid upon a futon with Urahara and Ichigo by his side as Tessai prepared to heal him. Hands held out over a particularly nasty wound, he focused his reiatsu. Before it could even touch his body however, a sharp spark repelled the reiatsu almost immediately, delivering a shock to the large man.

"Wh-What the hell's going on, Urahara-san?" spoke up Ichigo, staring at the sleeping boy. He turned to the former twelfth division captain in confusion.

"It appears that Hitsugaya-taichou's body is repelling the reiatsu of others," Urahara commented calmly. "I suppose this is what you meant by the arrancars 'doing something weird' to him, Kurosaki-san."

He blinked. "Repelling…reiatsu?"

"In other words, should any of us try to heal him or do anything to him which requires the use of our own reiatsu, the reiatsu of Hitsugaya-taichou will repel ours. Which means that we cannot heal him; should we continue to try, it will only end up with our reiryoku being depleted and our reiatsu being destroyed after a long period of time. In short, Kurosaki-san, his body will not respond to the reiatsu of others," elucidated the shop keeper.

"Then how do we heal him?"

Snapping the fan open, he answered simply, "The old-fashioned way of course."

Minutes later, both Urahara and Tessai stepped out of the room, leaving the substitute shinigami with the bandaged Hitsugaya. Before sliding the door shut completely, Urahara recommended, "I advise that you alert Matsumoto-fukutaichou along with everyone else. I am sure that they are all worried. Oh yes, and it will probably be better if we discuss the issue of Hitsugaya-taichou's condition when he awakes and is able to relay to us what happened."

"Ah, thanks Urahara-san."

Sighing, the orange-haired teen gazed down at the short captain, brows furrowing together in deep concern. What the hell were they all doing? Leaving Toshiro to fight three arrancars on his own. Sure, he was a captain, but that did not mean that even he could handle three arrancars at once. What the hell were Renji, Rangiku-san, Ikkaku, Yumichika all doing? …What the hell was he doing? To have not noticed the arrival of those bastards until Hitsugaya's gigai informed him.

"Damnit," Ichigo cursed softly. Leaning against the sliding panels, he rested his head against them, sighing once more.

– x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x –

"Welcome back, Ulquiorra, Luppi, Yammy."

All three espada bowed before Luppi and Yammy returned to their respective places. He noted their ghastly wounds as opposed to the unscathed Ulquiorra and covered a smirk. The emerald-eyed arrancar stood still, waiting for him to speak first.

"So, was the mission a success, Ulquiorra?"

Head dipping into a short nod, he responded, "Yes, Aizen-sama. The mission was carried out successfully without any problems."

"Well done, Ulquiorra. Soon, we shall have another shinigami to play with in our hands," observed Aizen, smiling. "Another old friend shall be joining us soon."

A/N: Lemme first say, I'm not really used to writing fighting scenes, so if some of them are awkward, I'm very sorry! I'm trying to improve on that but man…it's pretty hard XD And it's kinda slow start, but that's cause Ichigo and Hitsugaya aren't in a relationship or close to developing one just quite yet! But it will come! Woot :smiles:

And now I shall leave :laughs:

Reviews would be greatly appreciated :3