Holy shite! What has come to be my most popular fic thus far has come to an end!
Now, just to warn you, you may be tempted to stop reading and send me hate mail before you get to the end... but refrain! I swear you'll like the ending!
Bleach is owned by Tite Kubo, meaning it does not belong to me. I am in no way, shape, and/or form claiming to be the owner/creator of these concepts, though I do claim any characters not apart of the original Bleach storyline (such as Aporro[in character, not name]) mine. As such, I would appreciate fellow authors and readers to give credit where credit is due and not steal any of my characters and/or concepts. Thank you, and have a pleasant day.
Had I known that that argument with my mother would be the last time I would have ever spoken to her as she was, I would have stopped myself. I would take it all back, I swear…
Mom lived to be two hundred and fourteen.
Almost two hundred years after she came to Hueco Mundo, her mind shut her body down of its own accord and she died.
There was nothing Dad could do…
Of course, he had been gradually replacing her organs and insides as they shut down or became insufficient, and by the time she died she was more Arrancar than human, but her mind had been one thing he could never replace.
Made drugs to help it last, of course.
But her biological clock caught up with her, and she died.
And the whole process of her dying wasn't pretty, either; one day she simply didn't wake up, so Dad put her on all sorts of machines to keep her going. I think he really, really wanted to save her.
It took five months for her to die, and when she finally went she was almost completely worn away, all skin and bones and no substance.
To make matters worse, she looked as young as she had the day I had been born, and I think that was what tore Dad up the most. It was like watching that Superhuman Drug, except the effects were physical rather than mental.
…The day Mom died was the first time I cried.
Dad had never left her side the whole five months it took her to waste away; he was always there for those times she would wake up and reach out for him.
A few times she would wake up, calling out for me. The times I actually made it before she passed out again and tried to talk to her, she never could hear me. Over and over, though, she would apologize. Apologize and beg me to forgive her.
And over and over I would tell her that she didn't need to apologize, that I did, that I was so sorry, that I loved her and the human that she had given me. But it was never heard.
…She'd still been alive the first time Grimmjow and I had had sex, but I'd never told her about it… After I told her I hated her, we never talked again…
I'm crying again now as I tell you this, believe it or not.
I swore to myself after that day she died, that day the flat, dull cry of the EKG filled our ears as her heart stopped, that I would never cry again. But talking about it is… hard…
Dad tried over and over to resuscitate her; he was still trying when her spiritual body broke apart. And when he was left trying to perform CPR on an empty pillow with a depression where her head had been (he'd long given up on the defibrillator), he just sort of… froze.
He froze and fell silent, staring down at her pillow and scarcely breathing.
Uncle Illforte led me out, and Dad was left alone. I don't know what he did during that time, but he didn't leave that room for almost two weeks.
Then, when he finally emerged again, he was back to his old self. A bit paler than usual, and gaunt from not having eaten for so long, but he was still the Szayel everyone knew.
His laugh changed, though; it was empty now, cold, none of that unidentifiable emotion that had always been present when it had been Mom making him laugh there in even the most minute trace.
Grimmjow said that that was what happened when a life-mate died; the other just sort of shut down.
Mom never lived to see the treaty between the Arrancar at the Seireitei go through; it happened, slowly and unsteadily, but she wasn't there when the final papers were signed; that happened two months after she died.
After the peace came, the shinigami all left Hueco Mundo. Still, save the few Fraccion Dad sent to retrieve his data from his old computers, no one went back to Las Noches. Mom had been right; it was just an empty shell full of bad memories, now.
Not that where we all were now was much better now that Mom had died…
Then, three and a half moths after she died, we had a visitor…
"Oh, don't tell me you're actually pining the loss of your human, Grantz." Mayuri rolled his eyes, scoffing, "How… unexpectedly delicate of you." He smirked at his own quote.
Szayel stiffened and snarled, turning on the captain with narrowed eyes, "What are you doing here, Kurotsuchi?!"
"The treaty allows me to come and go as I please, remember?" Mayuri grinned, walking around the lab and performing a quick but thorough scan, "Of course, I am not allowed to collect any data, but that does not mean I can't visit, now does it?"
"If you cannot collect data, then you have no reason to be here." Szayel hissed, "Leave."
"Hmph, very well, then." Mayuri sighed, turning to walk out. But not before he took a manila envelope out of his haori and held it up, waving it, "I suppose that means I'll just have to take this data with me…"
"Master Mayuri." Nemu began flatly, blinking, "You are under orders from the Captain-Comma—"
"I know, you stupid girl!" Mayuri snapped, a loud smack resounding as he struck his lieutenant across the face.
Szayel ignored all of this and stared at the envelope with interest, "What is it?"
Mayuri turned back to him, blinking. He then grinned and flicked his wrist, the folder jerking through the air, "Oh, this? Nothing special… Just some information on a recently spawned Hollow some down at intelligence thought you might be interested in."
Szayel quickly grabbed the envelope and opened it, scanning the pages as Mayuri narrated.
"It started off as a simple Menos but quickly developed into an Adjuchas." The captain said boredly, examining his fingernails as he did. "It has left Hueco Mundo and entered the human world several times, but never has it struck out against any humans, and its times in the human world are brief. It gates back into Hueco Mundo almost immediately after leaving, though it always reappears in different locations. Systematically, it has been working across the desert, and it will soon arrive here…" The captain looked up, "It passed over Las Noches without a second thought. Your little home here is its presumed target. But do you know what I love the most out of this report?"
Szayel didn't answer, eyes scanning the pages more rapidly than before. He knew these readings…
"This." Mayuri said suddenly in his ear, snickering when Szayel tensed as the captain's arm reached around his shoulders and pointed down at the page at one reading in particular, "Isn't this reiatsu signature here rather… familiar?"
Szayel was gone without another word.
Stiff… stiff… stiff… thick…
Thick and dry…
I was stiff, wrapped in something thick and dry. Mummified… I couldn't move a muscle… And I was pissed. I wanted to kill that son of a bitch who had put me here… My mask was pressed down uncomfortably against my face, smashing my nose and making it hard to breathe.
That son of a bitch…
"Do you really think this will work?" Someone muttered from outside my confinement.
I growled, struggling.
"For that matter, do you really think this is even her?"
"It is her… I know it. I would recognize her reiatsu anywhere, no matter how muddled." That's him! That's the son of a bitch who put me here… "This is going to hurt." He was addressing me now, standing somewhere nearby. "I'm sorry…"
Then the pain started. I felt my mask as it cracked, my body as it folded in on itself, my reiatsu as it was pounded at and honed.
SON OF A BITCH!!
STOP IT, YOU ASSHOLE, STOOOOP!!
YOU'RE RIPPING OFF MY FUCKING MASK!! YOU'RE SHATTERING ME!! YOU'RE BREAKING EVERY GODDAMNED BONE IN MY BODY, YOU SICK FUCK!! STOP IT!!
"SZAYEL, STOP IT!!"
Then, as soon as the pain came, it was over.
I slumped forward, now free of those stiff, thick, dry, hot bonds, and slumped to the ground painfully, choking on a whine.
Son of a bitch…
"…Can you hear me…?"
…This pissed me off, but something else caught my attention…
I knew that voice…
"Ugh…" I pushed myself onto my hands and knees, looking up into those amber eyes I knew so well.
Szayel stared back at me evenly, "What is your name?"
"…What, you don't remember?"
His eyes widened in shock; clearly, he hadn't expected me to remember my past life. Frankly, neither had I; it was my understanding that memories were erased when you died. Not like I was about to question it, though…
I grinned, purposely ignoring the fact that I was naked and in pain as I threw myself forward and knocked him flat on his back, straddling his waist and pinning his arms above his head, "Took you long enough to find me, idiot." I silenced anything else he might have said with a deep, long kiss.
Fuck, I'd missed this bastard so much…
"Alright, then, everyone, let's get the basics down, alright?!" I shouted, looking out over the crowd of Arrancar dressed in their best, most looking rather put-off about it. "It's been a year since the treaty was signed and no breaches have been made on either side. Some Einstein on the Seireitei side decided that this was cause for celebration, so we're all havin' a party. I want you on your best behavior, got it?! Anyone who does anything stupid gets their ass kicked by me, personally!"
No one was about to oppose. Apparently everyone thought I was scarier as an Arrancar than I had been as a human… And I didn't blame them. My Resurreccion kicked ass.
"And because they're so fuckin' jealous of the sweet setup we have here…" I paused to grin at this, and a ripple of chuckles and laughs spread through the crowd, "The party is gonna be here, in the grand hall. That means you all have to be good hosts on top of being on your best behavior! Again, anyone who fucks up gets an ass-full of Barracuda Bicuda!"
I'm a fuckin' barracuda, man!! That fucking rocks! I told you my Resurreccion kicks ass! I knew Vicenta had to get her sea fish-based zanpakuto from somewhere…
"…What the fuck are you waiting for?!" I snarled when no one moved, "GET TO WORK CLEANING THIS SHIT HOLE UP!!" I grinned as everyone dispersed.
"Glad to see you're still as lively as ever…"
I turned to Szayel and smirked, slinking towards him, "What, you mean after almost a year of me coming back you still have your doubts about my health?"
Szayel stared at me blankly, sighing, "You were in bad shape when you died, Aporro…"
I flinched. Szayel was still pretty torn up about me dying… I don't remember much about it, but he did. And he was still extra cautious… So far I'd only been allowed to release my Resurreccion once.
"C'mon, Szay, I'm fine." I sighed. "You're the one who doctored me, remember? There's no way anything is still wrong with me…"
"I suppose…" He sighed.
I stared at him, then changed the subject, stretching, "I gotta say, though, I'm glad that the Doppelganger changes stuck through even after I was reborn. Being in a body like my old one would have felt… odd."
Szayel smirked, "Seeing you in a different body would have been odd."
"Hmm…" I grinned, wrapping my arms around his waist and biting his neck, "Narcissistic bastard."
He chuckled sinisterly, "Well, you do bring out the best in me…"
"EWWWW!! THEY'RE AT IT AGAIN!!"
"Ugh, it's so fuckin' wrong… Grantz, I know your woman died on you, but it's been a year since she came back, man. Quit trying to bone her in the halls!"
I twitched, turning towards the group and grinning darkly, "Lilinette, Grimmjow, shut up."
Grimmjow scoffed, smirking and tightening his grip on Vicetna's waist, "And here you are screeching at all of us about behaving…"
"Can we help you with something?" Szayel hissed, twitching slightly.
Stark shrugged, scratching his jaw, "Aporro was the one who called us… Said she had some big announcement."
"Everything okay, Mom?" Vicenta asked, looking worried.
I smiled at her, nodding. We'd long since made up for that last little argument, even though there were still times when she hit a low point and was inconsolable… "Yeah, it's all good. Just had something I wanted to tell your father and I wanted you all here to see…"
Halibel twitched slightly, "If it's about how 'much more ass your Resurreccion kicks compared to Szayel's', we don't want to hear it."
"No." I twitched, "Not that…"
Illforte rolled his eyes, "If it's about how you let him dominate again the other night and how good he was, we don't want to hear that, either."
I twitched again, narrowing my eyes at the group, "Can I not fucking talk?!" When they all fell silent, I turned back to Szayel and smiled, "Szay…"
He waited, twitching slightly. He really hated it when I took dramatic pauses…
"…" I took a deep breath, "I'm pregnant!"
Szayel's eyes widened and he paled.
I smiled at him.
"…Just kidding, you dumbass."