Summary: Ichigo goes to Las Noches to save Orihime, only to trip into a trap prepared by Szayel. Now everyone's acting weird. Why is Urahara Kisuke in charge of Las Noches? Why is Grimmjow claiming to be his boyfriend? And why is Ulquiorra obsessed with him? Most importantly... Where is he?
Warning: Some language, yaoiness, blah, blah...
Disclaimer: No, I do not own bleach.
A.N: Yeah, so I'd really appreciate it if people reviewed. Tell me if you want Ichigo to be with Grimmjaw or Ulquiorra, and in which universe.
Also tell me if you want me to write both sides of the universe, or only the one our Ichigo fell into.
Grimmjow dodged another attack, grinning. This was almost too good. The red head was growing frustrated, and thus irrational. For once Szayel had come up with a good idea. Just a bit farther...
Grimmjow skidded to a stop. Szayel was quick to be in the Shinigami's path, tearing a hole in midair with a strange device. Ichigo stopped just in time to keep from falling in. So Grimmjow caught him unawares and gave him a shove. He waited for the portal to close before walking a way.
A sound akin to tearing paper echoed through the hall. He turned, watching in disbelief as the red-haired shinigami fell from the portal.
He looked dazed and confused. Searching brown eyes paused once locking on Grimmjow. A smile, albeit small, tugged at Ichigo's features. "That was weird. Urahara-sama must be testing anther experiment of his or something."
Grimmjow stared for a moment, trying to figure out what kind of trick this could be. Unable to come up with any answers, he tried a different method. Questions.
"What the hell kinda ploy are you up too?" The red head looked hurt at Grimmjow's question. When said Shinigami was suddenly before Grimmjow, he found himself unsure of what to do. It was when Ichigo placed his arms around his waist that he realized what was happening, pushing the red head away.
Ichigo groaned as his head hit the floor, rubbing the forming bump. A familiar laugh, just less predatory than usual, caught his attention. He pressed his hands against the cold floor, forcing himself to his feet.
"What could've made the great Shinigami to fall so hard?" The voice was cocky and taunting, and undoubtedly Grimmjow's. He prepared himself for an attack, eyeing the espada warily.
Grimmjow rolled his eyes. "You're too sensitive. You might as well hang out with Ulquiorra." Confusion had gained a knew definition for the substitute shinigami.
The walls were still the same plain white. He was wearing the same outfit. The air still smelled like stale fish.
So what's different? The question answered itself with surprising ease. The people. Or at least Grimmjow, he supposed.
"Right. If you want to pout all day, I'm not gonna stop you. But you'll have to sit by Ulquiorra then." The tone of voice revealed that Grimmjow expected something in response. Something in particular. But what? And what was he talking about? He couldn't see Grimmjow as the type to use mind games. Ulquiorra, yes, but even then it would be more subtle.
Jus' play along, King.
He would normally just ignore Hichigo, but his advice was the best Ichigo had. And Grimmjow was starting to look irritated. He quickly struggled for a response that wouldn't require too much knowledge of what was going on.
"Uh... Sorry. Think I hit my head a bit too hard."
Grimmjow seemed to accept this, walking off. He called over his shoulder, "So you comin' or not?"
Ichigo shunpo'd so he could catch up, unsure of what to do next. He wondered if he could risk a question. But he was just so out of the know, he had to ask. "Where are we going?"
"Throne room. You really did hit your head hard." Incredulity was obvious.
"Yeah, I guess so."
Many doors were passed, and Ichigo found the silence eerie as it dragged on. Grimmjow kept his gaze straight, giving no clue to the strangeness of the situation.
The espada abruptly stopped. It took Ichigo a few steps to realize this, having to backtrack. The world blurred for a second, as one moment he was standing in the middle of the hallway, and the next Grimmjow was pinning him to the wall. I'm such an idiot. Of course this is all a trick! That thought promptly fell from his mind when surprisingly soft lips pressed against his. Instead, he was thinking something more along the lines of, What the hell? and, Why aren't I struggling?
Grimmjow pulled away relatively soon, raising an eyebrow. "What's wrong?"
"What's wrong?" Ichigo repeated. Las Noches is one messed up place, if the arrancar just go around kissing people and considering it normal. He was too mind-blown to respond, ending up waving his arms around in an attempt to get something out.
"Is this for saying you should hang out with Ulquiorra? Damn, you are sensitive." Grimmjow rolled his eyes. "Whatever. Let's just get going."
A few more doors and they had entered the throne room. The long table was familiar, as were many of the arrancar. So were the three people at the head of the room.
"Urahara, Yoruichi, and Tessai are here?"
"Urahara-sama," a voice corrected.
Ichigo turned his head to find the source of the voice. It belonged to Ulquiorra. "Are you normal, then?"
Ulquiorra's blank stare gave Ichigo hope. Then Grimmjow decided to crumble the simple prospect of hope into tiny bits of powder, blending it in with the dirt on the floor.
"As normal as he gets. Ulquiorra, I've told you to stop flirting with my boyfriend."
"Boyfriend?" Ichigo repeated.
"I meant you," Grimmjow clarified, as if Ichigo had been asking him if he was with someone else.
"I'm not flirting with him. He needs to be respectful towards our leader." Ulquiorra's usual stoic voice was faltering, as if he was not only lying, but doing a bad job of it. His gaze averted to Ichigo for a second longer than necessary.
"Wait, so why don't we sit with Ulquiorra?"
"He's a wimp and wants to get in your pants. What else?"
"Szayel?" Indeed, it was not Grimmjow who had answered.
The scientist rolled his eyes. "Of course it's me. Now, I'll have you know I have-."
A voice yelled over everyone else. Urahara's voice. "Everyone! Take a seat. We're about to have our meeting."
Ichigo didn't know when it had happened, but he was soon sitting between Grimmjow and Ulquiorra, the latter of the two seeming to be unable to take his eyes off of Ichigo. It was creeping him out, as he felt a chill run down his back.
"Can you stop staring?" he hissed to the espada.
Well, at least Ichigo knew Ulquiorra wasn't staring for perverse reasons now, as Grimmjow had made him think. "Me? Everyone else is different."
"Have something you'd like to share with us, Ichigo-kun?"
His head shot up, eyes meeting with a familiar blue. Urahara really is here. Damn. How would I respond if I were an espada referring to Aizen?
Probably the same as he would if he wasn't an espada. "Can you not call me that?"
"Ichigo-kun. It should be Kurosaki-kun, at the very least."
A smile stretched across the straw-hat-wearing man. "And I thought Aizen had permanently broken you."
"Aizen?" If the man isn't head of Las Noches, what is he? Ichigo was fumbling for an answer to this, unable to find one. His mind kept on coming up with a blank.
"No worries. He's still stuck in comatose."
The world truly didn't make any sense. Ichigo was sure of it now.
The rest of the meeting commensed in a way Ichigo figured was normal. Ulquiorra glanced at him everyonce in a while, and Grimmjow shot said espada glares just as often.
When the pointless meeting ended, Ichigo turned to Grimmjow. He needed to know. "What did Aizen do to me?"
Grimmjow bared his teeth, sharp canines visible. "What did he do to you? If you don't remember, I'm not gonna remind you. That guy's sick."
"I'll tell you."
Ichigo turned to Ulquiorra, who now had his full attention. He ignored Grimmjow's warning growl, urging the black-haired espada to go on.
"Once your family was killed by soul society-."
"My family was killed by soul society?"
"Fine. Once your sisters were killed by soul society," Ulquiorra continued, "you went to Urahara-sama here in las Noches to ask for help to get revenge. However, you were captured by Aizen before you reached the castle. No one knows for sure what he did to you, but Grimmjow happened upon the hiding place and was in a bad mood, so he beat Aizen up."
"Grimmjow beat Aizen up?" One senseless thing after the other. "And I couldn't?" It felt like he was playing make-believe with a child, who was insisting weird things had happened. It was his job to play along, and try to figure out just how their pretend world worked.
"Aizen was asleep, and thus caught unawares. I managed to show up before he killed either of you and convinced him to bring you back to the castle. Aizen was locked up and is currently being kept in a permanent sleep state. You were kept asleep until you were healthy again."
"...okay. And that somehow made me submissive?"
Grimmjow had apparently had enough of being ignored. "Listen, Ichigo. I've got a mission on earth, and you're going with me."
Ichigo was taken aback by how much of a command it was. "Why?"
"I'm your surperior, and I said so."
The shinigami raised a brow. "My superior?"
"Yeah. Number six. You're number nine. Forget?"
"I'm not an espada." Ichigo was sure of this.
Grimmjow sighed, exasperated, before lifting up Ichigo's baggy black sleeve. "See, a nine... Where's the nine?"
Ichigo yanked his arm back. "I'm not numbered, because I'm not an espada."
"Right. Nifty shinigami kudou spells. You still have to go, even if you removed the number."
He decided to just give in. He was baffled, and the situation just kept getting stranger. "Fine, I'll go with you on your mission. What is it, anyways?"
"Thought you'd never ask. We're supposed to capture that girl who helped kill your sister."
Grimmjow stopped, staring him down as if asking if he was truly serious. After a few moments, he said, "I know this Rukia girl used to be your friend, but seriously, she admitted that she had helped kill your sister for a place in the Kuchiki family."
Ichigo decided to limit the number of questions he asks for now on.