Meh, I don't think Grimchigo is a very good name? How bout Jowichi? Any ideas anybody? Note: Credit for the scene between Halibel and Byakuya goes to JasoThe Artisan!

Quote of the day: "Puh-Lease! I'm just a lowly-but-handsome merchant. How could I possibly perform Bankai?"

--

Sloth

"Ow." Ow ow ow ow."With a dull groan, Shinji Hirako picked himself out of the rubble. "Man, that one really hurt." That cero nearly killed him, yet here he was. His head spun, and he could still feel the acrid tasted of blood on his tongue, in his mouth, and his leg was broken, but he was still alive, somehow.

He could feel it. Two massive reaitsu burdened the desert, but everyone else was too consumed in their own battles to actively notice it. One was definitely Aizen's but the other was, had to be, definitely was....

A pained smile traced his lips.

"Bout damn time, Ichigo-Nrgh!"

Blood passed his lips in vomit, as the sword pierced his stomach.

"Surely you don't intend to just stand there." Zommari landed a foot away from him, staring at the vizard impassively. "Or do you intend to die on your feet, nameless intruder?"There was silence, no response was given for a moment. "Heh." Shinji chuckled, his overly-gracious smile shining out from beneath straight blonde bangs. "Hehehe."

'This reaitsu...

"Sorry pal. I can't die just yet."

"Hmm?" Zommari arched an eyebrow as saffron light began to pour from the blond. "What is this?" Slowly, the former captain forced himself to rise, to ignore the terrible pain in his left calve. With trembling fingers, he held tightly the hilt of his sword.

Shinji's smile vanished as the arrancar stopped in his tracks, his white shoes planting themselves into the soil below. His upper lip arched back up slightly, his mouth now a cross between a snarl and a sneer as his eyes narrowed and darted down to the sword. His own left hand tightened on the sword that it was holding as he made eye contact with her once more.

"I got a lil' lady waiting for me back home." With a swift, practiced movement, the vizard donned his mask. "And I can't be lettin' her down, ya know?" His voice becoming distorted amongst the surge of hollowfied reaitsu, adding a blackish tinge to the saffron glow his body emitted.

Taking the hilt, he pointed it at the Septima, who started back a step, his eyes widening in surprise. "So lemme tell ya my name. Shinji Hirako, former fifth squad captain!" Perhaps out of fear, perhaps out of excitement, who knew why the espada lurched back? Regardless, there was no mistaking the hellish reaitsu that now rose from Shinji Hirako.

"Bankai."

Realizing the danger, Zommari drew his own sword.

"Suppress: Brujeria!"

--

"HaHA!"

A pscychotic smile tugged at Kenpachi Zaraki's lips, his sword spilling blood once more. This was great! He got the chance to fight so many powerful opponents and now another one just showed up! Sure, he sucked at sensing reiatsu, but he knew that was Ichigo, anyone could tell, could recognize that killer intent halfway across the battlefield.

"Heh. Nice reiatsu. Even better than last time!" He leered at Nnoitra Jiruga who had just released before him. "Now c'mere, espada!"

--

"Hey look!" Yachiru danced away from Barragan, then turned to point to the twin pillars of reaitsu rising into the air. "Ichi! That's gotta be Ichi!"

"What?" Nel turned to look at the sight. She could feel Ichigo's reaitsu somewhere out there, but at the same time, she felt Grimmjow's spiritual pressure as well. "Where?" She couldn't sense one without the other. It felt as if they were intertwined...

'Did they...

A bright smile spread to Yachiru's face, and the pinkette pumped one fist into the air."Go Ichi!" The segunda's Gran Caida swiped harmlessly over her head, but she didn't seem to care, instead vaulting over the massive axe to prepare her counter.

"Sorry, but I gotta go help Ichi!"

A think pink film formed in her palm and Barragan started in surprise as what appeared to be a cero formed in her hand.

"What?!"

"Now scram!"

--

"Hmph." Byakuya snorted, his slate colored eyes narrowing in distaste at Halibel's release. "You claim to be superior to us?"

Wordlessly did his wave of blades surge forward, the cascading wall of pink rushing towards the female Arrancar with a deadly force. Soon her form was completely eclipsed by the mass of blades, causing Byakuya to resort to sensing her reiatsu to replace his lack of visual aid. Fortunately, this split-second of blindness did not provide him with a hindrance; he had honed this technique of blind-targeting with immense training, almost crafting it into an art. He could easily carve a Hollow into ribbons without so much as opening an eye.

"Cero."

Byakuya leaped to the side, his body narrowly missing Halibel's unusually wide attack. His right hand swept out quickly, causing a scythe of floating blades to form and slice through the horde of its brethren. The pink cloud parted, allowing Byakuya to clearly see the woman he was attempting to kill, her body now directly in the path of his swift strike.

With a punching sound, she was suddenly behind him, her massive sword raised vertical above her head. A wall of pink rushed in and formed from surrounding the cloud, blocking her would-be fatal strike as it came crashing down towards Byakuya. The large blade sliced a perfect crescent down the middle of this barrier, revealing to Halibel that her Shinigami prey was gone. He gave her less than a second to ponder on his whereabouts as he whispered into existence behind her, both hands outstretched as a twin pair of horizontal minarets, each formed from the countless blades that surrounded the two of them, came barreling towards her. She quickly reacted pointing her sword at the incoming spires.

"La Gota."

A large bullet of water short forth from the tip of her blade, her attack causing Byakuya's to splinter and scatter into formlessness. He barely leaped away, the powerful attack punching a neat hole out of the corner of his white haori. With a short burst of shunpo, he removed himself from the massive ball of pink, the sphere dissipating and falling apart as he made his exit. He landed softly upon a nearby rooftop, his cold eyes regarding the calm Arrancar standing on the ground below.

"I see you prefer the use of your blade in combat, Hollow," Byakuya said calmly, finally breaking the conversational impasse that had held out between the two. Halibel said nothing, her eyes remaining fixed upon her Shinigami opponent.

"Fortunately," Byakuya continued, his hands making a single small gesture as he spoke, "I can also combat you with a blade.

"Senkei."

The swirling pink mass immediately spread out to encompass the entire courtyard in which they were standing, the randomly floating shards suddenly shaping themselves into a rectangular box of swords. Halibel flicked her eyes to the side in an attempt to understand the size of the prison in which she was currently encased in, her attention breaking from Byakuya for a single moment as she sized up her new – and possibly far more deadly – arena.

When her eyes moved forward again, Byakuya was reappearing from the nothingness of shunpo, his right arm raised and its hand equipped with a glowing pink blade. Halibel had no choice but to take the attack, the powerful sword opening a slice down her belly. The gash ran down along her flat stomach, the centermost of the row of white denticles now missing. Her hierro proved strong enough to render the wound non-fatal, but her blood still stained the ground beneath her feet as she continued her leap backwards.

"Impressive, Shinigami," Halibel said, touching a gloved finger to the blood that was now trickling down her stomach. "That strike was quite powerful. Would I be wrong in assuming that that blade of yours is comprised of densely concentrated reiatsu?"

"Not quite," Byakuya replied, pointing the sword at her. "The thousands of swirling blades you saw earlier have now condensed themselves into these few dozen katana. This action simply increases their destructive potential; one strike from this zanpakuto is equivalent to fifty slashes from a normal sword."

"I see," Halibel said slowly, her spiritual pressure rising within the pink prison. "Cascada."

A massive wall of water suddenly crashed through the back wall of the Senkei, causing Byakuya to take his attention off of Halibel and shunpo out of the way of her tsunami-like attack. As he appeared again, he found the Espada directly across from him, her sword pointed at his chest as she trapped him between the wall of water and her deadly weapon. Water began to swell along the edges of her zanpakuto and a small smirk crossed her face.

"La Gota."

The aquatic bullet launched forth, its piecing tip aimed directly for Byakuya's head.

--

"Starrk! Stop fooling around and get him already!"

He replied with a sigh.

"Fine."

"!!"

Blue eyes narrowed slightly, a trickle of blood running down his forehead, into his sandy blond hair. "That wasn't very nice...I do believe you killed my hat."Kisuke sighed, as he held up the ruined remains of his most favorite headgear. It was split entirely in half, down the middle, leaving very little to ever possibly be salvaged.

"Look, see? It's ruined."

"Oh, then I apologize." Starrk didn't seem too intetested in the shinigami's hat. "I was trying to kill you with that strike."

"Shall we get srious then?" Urahara asked with a sly smile, tapping the flat end of his cane against the ground. "After all, It'd be a shame if this had to... drag on for so long." Without another word, he pulled the sword free from its base..

"Awaken, Benihime."

"!!" Starrk lurched back in surprise as Urahara's shikai cleaved the air where he had been but a moment ago. "I'd rather not." Starrk yawned, a bored look in his eyes, lethargically blocking the next blow with the back of his hand. "You won't be much of a match for me once I release, and it's a pain in the ass to do that."

"Perhaps I know why." Kisuke peered at him intently.

"..."

"There is nothing but sloth reflected in your sword. When you dodge, you're too lazy to kill. When you attack, you're afraid of killing someone. Even when you try to protect someone, you're afraid of letting them die. Yes, your sword speaks to me only of absurd lazziness, that or fear. What's necessary in a fight isn't fear. Nothing can be born of that. When you dodge, "I won't let them cut me." If you protect someone, "I won't let them die." If you attack, "I will kill them."

That being said, he gave a small smile. "Well, can't you see the resolve to kill you in my sword, Espada-san?"

"Oh?' Starrk frowned. "Well, when you put it that way....

With a metallic clack, he sheathed his sword.

"Then I don't have much of a choice."

--

"You gonna stand there all day?"

"What are you?" Aizen Sosuke peered at the man over the steel with great curiosity. "Are you saying that the two of you have become one being?" For a shinigami and a hollow to become entire being was highly unlikely, especially considering the fact that thesr two hated each other so.

"That's right." The espada vizard hybrid propelled himself forward, grinning madly, even as Aizen prepared his counter. "Now lemme show ya!" Now, to Aizen's dismay, Kyouka Suigetsu passed through an afterimage, dense air as the being disappeared. "Where-

"You like it?" With a punch of sonido Grimchigo reappeared behind him, grinning like a deranged maniac, and with the fusion of two half hollows, insanity was very likely. "I call it Gemelos Sonido. It's a helluva lot better than Zommari's, ain't it?" Startled, the captain whirled, but again, the zanpaktou met empty air.

"Figured it out yet?" The dual wielder grinned, erupting out of another sonido to slash at Sosuke's face. Caught unawares, the hollowfied captain lurched back, but not before Pantera left a small divet in his chin. Lunging back, the hybrid again evaded the strike, laughing as his powerful leap carried him away. "Nah, didn't think so."

Ba-dump.

A hand seized his shoulder, and whirling about, he found himself facing a dark light, stemming from his fingertips, there was no mistaking the incoming technique. Thinking that he had won, Aizen allowed himself a small, confident smirk.

A smirk that soon became a scowl.

"Cero clario!" In retaliation to the dark zero, a blast of the purest, brightest white burst from the tip of Grimchigo's tongue, countering the incoming cero. With a loud thump, the two attacks collided, spraying spikes of heated reaitsu all about, throwing the two fighters apart.

Grimchigo didn't notice the blur behind him.

Suigetsu struck true, but bounced off, spraying sparks, numbed from the impact, his arm back and into the air. It was almost as if the soul cutter had struck steel. Grimchigo cackled as he turned round, for Tensa Zangetsu was already on a collision course with the traitor's shoulder.

"Nrgh!!"

Blood sprayed like a crimson fountain, staining the black blade red. His haori in tatters, the captain struggled to straighten himself up, only for the latter's foot to kick him into the nearby sand dune. Slowly, Grimchigo approached, his hand latching onto a nearby hollow and disintegrating it.

"All the espada, I have all their abilities. Every last skill belongs to me, after all." Struggling to rise, Aizen made a disbelieving face at this. "Impossible. For that to happen, you'd have to absorb their physcial beings. And yet you say you have not?"

"Oh I don't need to absorb them." A sly grin crept up Grimchigo's face. "Just watch."

Aizen didn't have time to react – the attack came from too quickly and from too short a distance. The red beam slammed against his chest and sent him spiraling backwards into the eastern wall of the piazza. His vision was dizzying slightly as he stopped moving and the heat of the cero dissipated from his body, but he was able to see the light blue sky above him as he struggled to get up.

Grimchigo was suddenly directly above him, his left arm outstretched and his index finger pointed directly at him.

"I may not be able to use my full power here, Mr. Captain," The hybrid said coolly as he squeezed his left eye shut. His left thumb suddenly stuck out and he tilted his hand so that it looked like a toy gun. "But that doesn't mean I can't use other's techniques."

"!!"

"Cero Metralleta."

A massive wave of cero erupted from his fingertip and rained downwards at Sosuke. With a blur, the shinigami dissapeared, but no sooner had he erupted from the shunpo, then a pulsating blue shadow, that of his enemy, fell over him...

"Desgarrón." His claws glowed and then he made a slashing motion creating giant "claws" of solidified energy, each about a kilometer long, from the end of each finger. The attack had been expected, but its speed wasn't.

Stabbing fiercely with his blade, Aizen shattered the azure claws, blurring away in a burst of shunpo. As his form became visible on the nearby pillar, a wall of thick, dense reaitsu swarmed over him.

"Cascada."

A massive wall of water suddenly crashed through the back wall of the pillar, causing Sosuke to take his attention off of Grimchigo and shunpo out of the way of their tsunami-like attack. As he appeared again, he found the Espada directly across from him, sword pointed at his chest as he trapped him between the wall of water and the deadly weapon. Water began to swell along the edges of both zanpaktou and a small smirk crossed his face.

"La Gota."

The aquatic bullet launched forth, its piecing tip aimed directly for Aizen's head. Again he dissapeared, but when he could be seen again, there was a small gash running horizontal from his forehead to the left ear.

"Not bad." Grimchigo clapped his hands as if to congratulate his efforts. "Yer a speedy little bugger, you know that? However...

Grimchigo said nothing more as he lifted his left hand up to the exposed side of his face. With a swift movement, the missing half of his Ichigo's vizard mask re-grew as he waved his palm over it, the white bone moving like milk as it molded itself into a ghastly skull.

His Vizard mask was on now, the red and white streaks lining the left side of his face, molding with jagged blue lines that ran down the middle"But there will be no avoiding this one, Aizen Sosuke!" Grimchigo yelled, his voice distorted by the surge of hollow reiatsu that erupted from his body. He rushed forward, a black and crimson sheet of energy wrapping itself around his blade as he closed the distance between the two of them.

Clenching one hand into a fist, he inhaled deeply, as if he were about to scream. The air filled his lungs, and a black, withering smoke began to shine from behind the hybrid's masked teeth, giving them a decayed, rotted appearance.

Too late, Aizen realized the danger but he could not leap away.

"Respira."

Well well, look's like Sosuke is effectively getting his ass handed to him, eh? Hope ya liked that little bit of ShinjixHiyori I slid in there! Next time: The fight continues and the tables turn!