Chapter 9: The King

I can't feel the way I did before
Don't turn your back on me
I won't be ignored
Time won't heal this damage anymore
Don't turn your back on me
I won't be ignored

Kuchiki Rukia had to stop and wonder for a moment. Was this really the best choice of action to free Ichigo? He had no friend in the living world nor in Seireitei so what made her believe that he had friends here within the world of the hollows? What truly made her come here? Was it hope?

If so it looked as if it was about to be smashed into millions of tiny pieces as her gaze traveled north. She saw broken throne of Aizen in the darkness of the room, a figure sitting there in his place. The shoes of the Arrancar and then the snowy hakama's, the bare chest with a prefect hole through a male's muscular abdomen. She did not have to look any higher to know whom she was dealing with. There was only one man within Hueco Mundo with a hole through his abdomen.

Grimmjow Jeagerjaquces.

The man that handled Pantera in such a way that it would even make Kurosaki Ichigo slightly bothered by simply viewing the dark blade. The man who had tasted Kurosaki's blood, and wanted more. The man whose fist had once embedded itself into Rukia's own chest. Now, here she was. She could not believe she was going to ask this of this man, but she had come all the way to Hueco Mundo. She was not about to turn back now.

But she could not take her eyes off his shoes, although she knew that he had moved, the sounds of his echoing steps told her this information. She knew he was now before her, slouched over with his hands in his pockets. Eyeing her carefully, debating on what she wanted and what he should do about her, she knew he was looking at her with a wide grin even though his brain was moving quickly to many conclusions. It seemed too perfect that he put a foot forward and leaned down slightly and asked in his rough voice, "What are you staring at, On'na?"

She remained sitting on her hands and knees like a dog, hands clenching into fist. She could do this she could speak to him. She could not let herself be intimidated by the Arrancar, the spiritual pressure within the room. She closed her eyes, she had to think about Ichigo.

To save Ichigo.

She felt a hand on her head, and, before she could react, it grabbed her hair tight, jerking her head up so that she was looking at Grimmjow's face full on. She could tell that, while he seemed to be curious as to why she was there, he was not happy about her wasting his time. The panther jaw was chipped and missing a few teeth from the past battle, but it still reflected the same contempt that Grimmjow's human face did.

As Rukia's gaze wondered away from that predatory face, she noticed that other parts of him were a battle-worn as the mask. Scars of war stood out against the skin of his chest and forearms. Someone had even got lucky enough, or perhaps unlucky, to leave a five by three inch scar on the side of his head just above his right ear. No hair grew from that spot.

"Well, On'na?"

Rukia's eyes returned to meet Grimmjow's, but she did not answer him. The Espada growled with irritation as he yanked on her hair, throwing her over hand into the floor behind him. "You demand to see me, and you don't have anything to say, Shinigami? I thought you nobles had more manners than that."

Rukia landed on her back with a loud and rather painful thud, even a cry erupted from her throat. Grimmjow wasted no time on turning his back on her, snapping his fingers at Yami. "Kill her." He was done; he was not going to wait for her to answer let alone question to why a shinigami was on his turf.

Yami chuckled, seeming to have forgotten he wanted to keep her. It seemed that breaking her into more then six pieces seemed to be a better idea, thus he moved towards her cracking his knuckles. It appeared this woke her up from her dazed state of mind. She did not know what to say, she really did not have a plan to address the Arrancar with, though unknowing how this event would go she screamed out the first thing that came into her mind.

"Ichigo!" Rukia cried out so loudly everyone stopped.

Grimmjow held up his hand and Yami stopped his advance. The blue haired Espada turned his head to look over his shoulder, hand still raised. "I beg your pardon?" Blue eyes stared dead on to Rukia. Realizing what she said she added to her sentence as fast as she could, almost in a complete and utter ramble.

"I am Kuchiki Rukia of the Thirteen Division of the Gotei 13. I came to request, beg, for your aid to help Kurosaki Ichigo!" She pushed herself up and sat on her hands and knees once again. Her head rose to stare at Grimmjow. "Ichigo will be…" However, her sentence was not finished, Grimmjow slapped his hand into the wind for silence.

Then he fully turned to regard Rukia. "You came here," he started slowly as if he was trying to understand the concept. "All the way here, by yourself, to ask me." He paused to point at himself, "To help Ichigo? A Shinigami? What the fuck is wrong with your head bitch? What the hell makes you think I will bend over and help a fucking shinigami? Especially a fucked up one that not even Seireitei will touch."

He raised a hand to point at his head, leaning forward as he spoke, "Are you mental, On'na? Or did Ichigo fuck up your sense of judgement?" He laughed now as Rukia glared at him as she stood. "He is not fucked up nor am I! I want your help to save him! Seireitei is going to kill him, this is no laughing matter!" She shouted with rage. "No one will help him! Everyone pretends this is for the best! That he should die as he is before he goes hollow and kills us all! But he won't kill us all! They won't even give him a chance! You have to help me! Help him!"

Grimmjow looked at her oddly as whispers echoed through the dark and ruined throne room. "Holy fucking hell, On'na, you are in Hueco Mundo! What the fuck makes you think any fucking Arrancar or hollow is stupid enough to put their ass on the line to save some poor ass fucked up shinigami?"

"You." Rukia said seriously, "You will cause if he dies who are you going to fight? Who is going to give you a challenge. Who the hell will let you live to fight again? Think about it you little fucktard!" Rukia declared as she suddenly marched towards a surprised Grimmjow. "I have had it up to here with people refusing to help him! I have had it, had it, had it! Everyone has dropped him like a sack of potatoes but me! And you, you, you pompus wind back laugh at me? You laugh and now I will laugh!"

With this she poked him in the chest laughing like a fruit cake. "If he dies you will never find out who is stronger. You will never see if you can defeat him at full strength you will never, ever, find someone like him again. He is slowly turning into a hollow and then he will turn Arrancar. Just think about it, just think of the battle you could have with him as he will be equal to your standings." She then reached up and tapped Grimmjow on the side of his head.

"Think really fucking hard, cat. Just think! Do you want to touch that? Do you want to hit it? Do you want to see what he can do as an Arrancar, what his release will be? And how damn long you two can fight, forever and ever."

No one said a word, Grimmjow looked down at the little shinigami and grabbed her by the wrist. Without much thought he tossed her to Yami. "Take her to a room and make sure she can't leave it…" He turned then and marched towards his broken throne. Rukia looked at him with rage. "You are refusing to help him too, aren't you? You are just like the rest!"

"I am a hollow, On'na. What matter is a shinigami's death to me? Even if it is Kurosaki Ichigo's funeral?"

Questions and Answers:

SakuraAlice: The scene with Aizen and Ichigo was a type of ghostly flashback on the past battle that took place in Hueco Mundo. Where Ichigo lost his resolve.

Tobi the good boy: That is possible, to have him bit by another hollow to stop the growth but with the way Ichigo is and with his hollow in the drivers seat, I believe that he might end up eating the hollow before it could bit him, or merely kill it. Though I did think of this possibility before and played with the idea off and on.

Neko.Writer: What can I say? I like to be different if I can. Yes, it is hard to swallow that Ichigo is weak in this and Rukia the heroine. But in the orginial text of the manga. Ichigo does go through periods of having no resolve, mostly during the early Arrancar parts. Such as the hollow taking over and his lose to Yami and Ulquorria. Ichigo usually takes personal blows badly and resorts to depression, lack of self confidence and broken resolves. Rukia is usually the one that helps him pick up the pieces and put them back together. Though I am happy that you still to read and enjoy the story to some extent.