Disclaimer:I do not own Bleach!


A/N: Thanks a lot for the amazing reviews. Trust me, I'm just as glad to still have you all reading my story as you apparently are to see me still in action. Enjoy the next chapter, I'm sure it'll hold some surprises for some of you.


Chapter 19: Sacrifice

"That's the way I like to see it, niño!" Dordonii spoke. "Now show me more! Show me your Bankai! And I will fight you with everything I've got too!"

Ikkaku narrowed his eyes. "Bankai? What makes you think a third Seat would be powerful enough to possess Bankai? Are you crazy, Arrancar!"

"Don't play games with me, Madarame Ikkaku! Were you not the one that almost killed Yammy, the Décima Espada?" Dordonii asked him.

Ikkaku's eyes narrowed even further. "Shut the hell up! If I had a Bankai I would've used it to crush you the moment you made my face hit the sands!" He shouted as he charged at the Arrancar.

Jabbing Houzukimaru at Dordonii's face the man was just in time to dodge and countered with a kick aimed at Ikkaku's chin which he dodged by throwing back his head. Smirking he disconnected one of the parts of Houzukimaru, which was still being retracted from next to Dordonii's head and gave a slight jolt with the weapon. Instantly, the spear-like end of his Zanpakutou headed straight for the unprotected backside of Dordonii's head, yet the man only grinned in return as he ducked. Houzukimaru passed straight over his head and Ikkaku was forced to reconnect its joints, lest he be hit by his own Zanpakutou.

Before he had a chance to resume his assault a foot connected with his head, sending him flying. He quickly regained his footing and skidded to a halt, still slightly disoriented he met Dordonii's determined gaze and charged at the Arrancar yet again. The moment he started to near the man he swung his Zanpakutou at him and disconnected all of Houzukimaru's joints, resulting in him swinging his weapon at Dordonii like a flail.

He did not appear surprised and dodged the weapon with ease, yet again. "I've seen all of this before, niño. If you want to beat me you'll have to show me your Bankai!"

"Seen it before!" Ikkaku shouted, enraged. "I've never met you before you idiot, you're talking shit! Bankai? Right now you're infuriating me so much that if I'd had it, I'd have destroyed you with it minutes ago!"

He continued his assault relentlessly, refusing to give up despite the fact that this Arrancar seemed able to predict his every move. Almost as if he hadseen him fight before. Another jab, but this time Dordonii countered by dodging and once again send him flying, this time with an upward kick to the jaw that did connect.

"In and outside Las Noches," Ikkaku heard Dordonii's voice speak up. "Everything that happens is recorded and kept in storage. You wonder why I can predict every single one of your moves? It's because I've studied your battle with Yammy over and over again, I've been waiting for the day to fight you ever since I found out that you defeated the Décima Espada!"

Ikkaku grunted slightly as he stood up, still disoriented from the kick to his jaw yet he had understood perfectly fine just what Dordonii had said. "Is that so?" Ikkaku asked with narrowed eyes. "What's it to you? You want to beat me because I could've killed that shithead Yammy had that other idiot not interrupted?"

Dordonii smiled. "Yes and no." He answered. "You have to understand, niño. What it's like to be at the top. Once you've stood there, you can never forget the view. I was an Espada once long before Aizen obtained the Hougyoku. I will prove my worth to him; I will make him notice me again. And I will do so by defeating you, the Shinigami that defeated Yammy and reclaim my position among the Espada. But for that to happen I have to defeat you at full strength. So show me your Bankai and show it to me now!" Dordonii shouted, enraged.

Before Ikkaku had time to respond to the previous Espada's words, Dordonii already charged at him and Ikkaku was forced to raise his guard and ready himself for battle.


Ichigo's attention wavered slightly as he dodged another torrent of fire. He could feel Nel's reiatsu signature decreasing rapidly until it almost seemed to vanish in its entirety. Worry took a hold of him for just a moment but he soon realized that while it was faint, it was still there.

Once more he was forced to resort to using Sonido, in order dodge a high powered fire-based attack that Ichigo had gotten to know as Taimatsu. More dangerous then most of Yamamoto's regular fire-attacks because the amount of control he had over the flames was far greater. Yamamoto could alter the intensity of the flames and where he wanted them to go with seemingly no more then a simple thought.

Reappearing behind the man he raised Atrevico high above his head and slashed downwards at the Captain-Commander's exposed back in a vertical motion. He merely looked at Ichigo with an unimpressed gaze as he turned around and grabbed Ichigo's hand mid-swing, causing a loud bang to indicate the force behind Ichigo's attack to resonate throughout the desert.

"You are a thousand years too young to wound me with such an obvious attack," The old man stated boldly.

Ichigo merely smirked. "Is that so, old man?" His obvious arrogance causing the aged Shinigami to narrow his eyes.

"Kuroi…" Ichigo started as he hooked his arm around the proud leader of Soul Society's shoulder.

Yamamoto, instantly realizing the dangerous he was in as he could clearly see black and red reiatsu forming at the edge of Ichigo's blade, made a jabbing motion with his Zanpakutou towards Ichigo's abdomen.

"…Getsuga!" Ichigo roared.

A large black crescent-moon shaped figure of reiatsu erupted at the tip of his Zanpakutou. Ichigo was forced to unhook his arm from around the Captain-Commander's shoulder in order to dodge the thrust he was aiming at his abdomen. As his Kuroi Getsuga made contact with the old man he could still feel a burning, stinging sensation at his side as Ryuujin Jakka slightly grazed his skin.

Once again meeting the gaze of Yamamoto he found that the man was stubbornly holding his ground against the phenomenal power put behind the attack. He had somehow managed to raise his hand up against the attack in order to avoid a direct hit but was slowly skidding across the ground due to the incredible amount of power Ichigo had invested in his attack.

Fire once more erupted from the tip of Ryuujin Jakka, obviously meant to help him fend off Ichigo's Getsugaand it was obvious that he was slowly gaining more and more control. Something Ichigo could not allow to happen.

Using his Sonido he disappeared and reappeared in a semi-circle around his powerful opponent, firing a significantly weaker Getsuga every single time he reappeared, at the Captain-Commander's chest. Each came from a slightly different angle making it much harder to defend against and it was obvious that Ichigo's assault was once more taking control as large beads of sweat started to dripple down Yamamoto's forehead. The inferno of fire that was almost completely blocking Yamamoto from view, increased in its intensity.

Appearing behind his struggling opponent Ichigo raised his Zanpakutou high above his head once more. Yamamoto turned his head, and locked eyes with Ichigo. The former's eyes widening significantly as he realized the precarious situation this 'youngster' had just put him in. The reiatsu on the tip of Ichigo's Zanpakutou was increasing with every passing second and with Yamamoto having no choice but to defend against the raging assault of several Getsuga's in front of him this could very well end up as a deciding factor in their battle.

It was then that Ichigo realized that, while he was shaping up his final attack to be of life-threatening proportions, the Captain-Commander had started a long chant, one that he easily recognized. This left him no choice but to finally release his attack.

The sky was covered in a cloud of black and red reiatsu as Ichigo was blinded by the power and force behind his own brutal assault against Yamamoto, one that could potentially end this battle. Never before had he fired a Kuroi Getsuga with such an absurd amount of power behind it, afraid of the consequences an attack of this magnitude would cause.

All sounds of battle around him seemed to cease instantly as Soul Society's Commander was swallowed up by Ichigo's brutal attacked that started out small but ended up as large as the highest tower of Las Noches and spreading out in it's width as far as requiring several other Captain-Class combatants to quickly Shunpo and Sonido far away from Ichigo.

He was sure, that this time he had finally wounded the old yet toughest opponent Ichigo had battled so far, significantly. He knew however that in the last second before his attack made contact, the Captain-Commander had cut his incantation short and created a shield at his back, using half the incantation required for Bakudou#81Danku. One that, while powerful would undoubtedly only absorb a slight amount of the damage he would receive.

Yet there was more to Ichigo's attack then met the eye. It was not simply an attack with nothing more then brutal force behind its power. Ichigo knew that, if he made it powerful enough, he would blast the Captain-Commander straight through not only the Getsuga's that he was trying to deflect in front of him, but also through the fire of his own Ryuujin Jakka. Sadly, that part of his plan failed as the Bakudou that Yamamoto created had left him just enough time to retract Ryuujin Jakka's inferno back into its Zanpakutou.

When Hueco Mundo's sky cleared again, and the smoke and desert sand caused by Ichigo's attack settled down, Ichigo himself had trouble to keep a neutral expression on his face. There was a giant ravine right in front of him, starting small at perhaps a single foot width at his feet which continued up to easily a hundred yards in length and its width increasing to several dozens of yards in. His attack had been far more devastating then even he could have imagined.

At the very end of the ravine, he could vaguely see the smoking figure of the Captain-Commander of Soul Society lying face down in the sand.


Rukia, Renji and Hisagi had been struggling the moment Grimmjow had released his resurreccion. Despite the fact that Renji had already unleashed his Bankai it appeared to be in vain. Grimmjow was a powerhouse unlike any other person she had ever met, save perhaps Zaraki Kenpachi.

Another kick to her side sent her flying yet again, resulting in both Renji and Hisagi retaliating at the vicious looking Arrancar.

After Grimmjow released his Zanpakutou, he became far more feline and predatory looking. His teeth became jagged and sharp, his hands turned into black claws and his feet became black clawed paws, similar to that of a cat, along with a slender whip-like tail. His hair became very long and flowing, and the markings around his eyes enlarged and extended to the tips of his ears, which became cat-like. He lost his distinctive jaw mask, which was replaced by a sort of headgear on his forehead. His clothing changed to become form-fitting white segmented armour. Lastly he got blades protruding from his forearms and his calves. All in all, it looked mightily intimidating.

Looking back up Rukia saw HihioZabimaru speeding at Grimmjow from behind, she saw Zabimaru open its mouth and a red ball of reiatsu that was charging inside of it. Hisagi meanwhile had thrown his Kazeshini towards Grimmjow from the front, an obvious attempt to keep Grimmjow focused on Hisagi while Renji attacked from behind.

Grimmjow merely smirked as Renji released his Hikotsu Taihou(Baboon Bone Cannon). When both Kazeshini and Zabimaru's Hikotsu Taihou, had almost reached Grimmjow, he vanished with the static sound of Sonido, forcing Hisagi to Shunpo himself to safety or be hit by Renji's attack.

Arriving approximately fifty yards to the left of his original location Hisagi's eyes widened to find Grimmjow's grinning face right next to him, his bladed forearm going right for Hisagi's chest.

"Hisagi!" Rukia shouted out as she finally hit the ground with a thud in what must have been the longest descent she ever experienced. She watched in horror as blood spurted from her Lieutenant's chest and his body collapsed to the ground, lifelessly.

Before she had a chance to retaliate the very sky of Hueco Mundo darkened even further and it became filled with a glowing eerie red light. Turning around, she saw what must have been the largest attack she had ever witnessed, before more black and red reiatsu obstructed everything and everyone from view.

Feeling imminent danger approaching her in the form of Ichigo's reiatsu signature she was sure she was only just in time to grab Hisagi's body and Shunpo several dozen yards away, to safety. She could clearly feel that the heat of Ichigo's brutal attack had scorched a few of her hairs despite the fact that she had gotten away in time.

Slowly but surely the sky became as bright as Hueco Mundo's night sky would ever be again. The sight that entered her vision, made her jaw drop. Ichigo's attack had created a massive ravine, starting small at first and ending up dozens of yards in width at the end. She could only just make out the small smoking figure of the Captain-Commander lying face down in the desert at the end of it.

She panicked. All around them she could hear cheers of joy and renewed determination coming from the Numerós. The lower ranked Shinigami on the other hand watched in horror to their broken leader while they were cut down by the dozens.

Rukia froze. Never in her wildest dreams had she imagined Ichigo to truly be capable of defeating their Commander, the one Shinigami that had led Soul Society for over a millennium. She had known of course that Yamamoto would have to take the fight serious, but their Captain-Commander had always taken every fight serious. She had just hoped that Ichigo would get out of it alive, that either Yamamoto would spare him, or deemed him wounded enough to no longer be a threat.

But this, not in a thousand years had she thought Ichigo capable of actually defeating the man. Panic took a hold over her once more as all around her the Captains were being pushed to their very limit, distracted by their leader's defeat which was quickly taken advantage of by their opponents.

Turning around she saw Grimmjow charging at her with the most maniacal grin on his face she had seen thus far. He too was obviously inspired by Ichigo's victory, ready to prove that he too would be victorious.


Kyouraku's eyes widened as he laid them upon the broken form of his mentor. When he noticed Ichigo nearing the unconscious Captain-Commander he instantly prepared to Shunpo to his aid. He was distracted however by a reiatsu signature nearby him growing higher and higher with each passing second. He had studied that particular reiatsu signature for a while now and knew exactly who it belonged to.

A bloodied Nel rose up from the desert sands and met Kyouraku's gaze with an unusually kind expression on her face. At least, unusual for the Nel he had gotten to know since she released her Zanpakutou.

"There's something about your Zanpakutou's Shikai that intrigues me, Kyouraku-san." Her voice was as unearthly as ever, yet it did sound somewhat more kind and compassionate then before. Perhaps the damage had reawakened a part of the original Nel.

Kyouraku realized that her reiatsu was still skyrocketing to levels even higher then they were before and he soon came to the conclusion that quickly taking her out to come to the old man's aid was not an option. Looking back over his shoulder, he saw that it might not be necessary after all anyway.

"Takaoni." Nel stated flatly. "The literal translation of that would be mountain demon. Mountain could refer to height since I clearly blocked your attack and yet at the same time I didn't. I clearly slashed you at the chest, yet at the same time it did not connect. Mountain demon, it has something to do with height and I'm this close to figuring out what it is."

"It's impressive to see just how much you've figured out about one of my Shikai's abilities after just seeing it once." Kyouraku answered. "But you aren't there yet."

"That's right, but you have figured out nothing so far about my resurreccion, while it has already caused damage that you are not aware of." Nel said, causing Kyouraku's eyes to gain a questioning look.

"Each and everyone of the Espada represent a certain aspect of Death." Nel explained. "Their aspect often compliment the way in which they fight and generally represents many of their abilities." Nel continued. "My aspect of Death is 'Sacrifice'"

"Sacrifice can be interpreted in a few different ways. One could sacrifice others to achieve their own goals or save their own lives yet that is not what I believe in. I believe in mutual respect and thus sacrifice for me represents sacrificing yourself or part of yourself in order to better the lives of either yourself, those closest to you or sometime even both."

Realization dawned upon Kyouraku as she told him about this new revelation. "I see," Kyouraku replied, with a sad smile. Perhaps some Arrancar were more humane then he had imagined they would be at first. This explained her change in personality; she had sacrificed part of herself, of who she was, when she released her Zanpakutou.

"I'm afraid this will be the last true conversation we will have in between now and the end of this fight, Kyouraku-san." Nel interrupted his thoughts. "It was an honour to meet you and may the best of us win." Nel finished, a determined expression returning upon her face.

Her reiatsu had slowly but surely been rising all throughout their conversation and right now it once again skyrocketed. Black reiatsu started to ooze out of the sockets on the skull on her left shoulder. Red markings were spreading across her armour in an intimidating looking pattern. Her Zanpakutou grew a spiked guard and the red stains on the edge of the Zanpakutou let loose taking the form of actual condensed and visual reiatsu that appeared bound to her weapon as it slowly twirled around it.

The ground began to shake once more as the Kanji for Compassion on her left shoulder disappeared and the green eye sockets dowsed until they were pitch black. Slowly but surely the storm of increasing reiatsu died down. Not like it had when Nel had first released, it was calm yet there was no question about the fact her power had yet again increased tremendously.

Kyouraku sighed as he got back in a battle stance. This Espada appeared to steadily become a far more dangerous opponent then he had guessed at first.


Reappearing next to the broken form of Yamamoto-Genryuusai Shigekuni Ichigo looked at the old man warily. He had struggled against this opponent for a long time, even after he had released his resurreccion. He had chosen however not to reveal a single one of his abilities until he found an opening that he could abuse so utterly and completely it would turn the tide of the battle in his favour. He found his opening, and the tide had been turned much farther then he could have ever hoped for.

Now he stood here, knowing he had to make the final blow. He had his doubts and he knew he truly did not want to strike down a defenceless opponent, yet there was no avoiding it. It would not be the first time this particular old man healed himself up to combat-ready state in no more then a minute after he was critically injured, Ichigo thought, thinking back to when he had stabbed the man after he dodged his Ennetsu Jigoku(Flames of Hell).

Raising his Zanpakutou high above his head, he slashed down with determination.

Yet the unexpected sound of metal hitting metal surprised him. Looking up he locked eyes with the figure Ukitake Jyuushirou, his face sporting a furious expression.

Ukitake slashed at him violenty requiring Ichigo to Sonido to a safer distance. His face remained stoic as he looked back to where he knew Ukitake had been battling Starrk. Surprisingly Ukitake had been able to bind Starrk in Bakudou#99 Part1Kin. This obviously happened only because of a simple adrenaline rush, a desperate need to save his mentor. Looking back at Ukitake, Ichigo realized it to be true as he was desperately clutching one of his arms and blood was seeping through his fingers.

"Just how long do you think that Bakudou will be able to keep Starrk in place, Ukitake-san?" Ichigo stated flatly.

"Long enough for me to keep you occupied while the Captain-Commander regains his strength." Ukitake answered fiercely.

"That won't be necessary, Ukitake." The surprisingly strong voice of the Captain-Commander spoke up as he got back up to his feet. "I was ready to counter the moment Kurosaki Ichigo's blade would've reached my back; your help is neither needed nor desired. Return to your own battle, you should've used the chance you created to finish off your opponent!" Yamamoto stated accusatively.

"Y-yes, sir!" Ukitake answered, slightly put down, before he vanished with the use of Shunpo.

The moment Ichigo and Yamamoto were alone again the former had to admit to himself that he grew slightly uneasy at having to resume his battle. It was obvious that the Captain-Commander had taken a tremendous amount of damage from his attack. His entire upper body was covered with large burn marks, many of which were going to leave scars for years. Large gashes could be seen on some other places on his torso and arms where Ichigo's Getsuga had seemingly penetrated the actual skin, most likely because of the force from behind him pushing forward with both immense speed and power. Ichigo had yet to closely study the man's back, but he knew that whatever he would find there would be even worse.

Nonetheless, the way in which this old man had stood up as if his wounds were non existent. It was unreal; it was unlike anything Ichigo had ever seen. He had personally experienced what it was like to be covered in burns from head to toe not too long ago, the pain had been excruciating. This Shinigami, Yamamoto-Genryuusai Shigekuni, he was not just an arrogant, powerful, high-ranked Shinigami. It became clear to Ichigo now that he truly was the Shinigami among Shinigami. Years of experience, years of combat, years of inflicting pain and death but above that perhaps centuries of receiving pain as well. This man had gotten so used to injuries that the pain itself was no longer an obstacle, it appeared.

Ichigo locked eyes with the man's narrowed gaze. He realized that, all of a sudden, he respected him.

Readying his battle stance once more, he prepared himself.


Rukia dodged another swipe at her midsection and attempted to retaliate only to be kicked in the stomach in return. Using his other arm, Rukia could clearly see Grimmjow attempting to slice at her, this time going for the throat. Her heart stopped for a second but before she had a chance to think of a plan, Grimmjow Sonido'd away. No more then a second later Renji's Zabimaru crashed into the ground in front of her; she was only just in time to jump backwards, avoiding any damage.

Rukia could see Grimmjow's face contorting in anger at Renji. Clearly pissed off at the fact he was robbed of the chance to take out a second opponent. Charging upwards Rukia knew it was her turn to take on the offensive now. They'd been playing this game of defence and offence for a while now and it was infuriating Grimmjow to the point he started fighting like a maniac.

Rukia pointed her blade in the direction Grimmjow was headed, hoping Renji would be smart enough to expect her attack, which was indirectly coming at him as well.

"Tsugino Mai.." Rukia started, concentrating her reiatsu at the tip of her Zanpakutou.

Before she got a chance to finish her attack however Grimmjow looked back down at her and smirked as he pointed his elbow at her and shot three projectiles at her. An Ability she had not yet seen before yet she was not eager to find out just how damaging it could be. Using Shunpo she disappeared no more but a second before the three green 'darts' which mostly resembled unevenly cut stones impacted with her.

The explosion that followed however was one that she had not expected and she was quickly caught in the middle of it. She was propelled back into the desert sand and hit the ground with a faint thud. Her body ached all over.

Lying there, she looked back up to find that Renji had Zabimaru wrapped around his entire body, hoping his Zanpakutou could resist Grimmjow's fury. She needed to get up and help him now. Slowly but surely, a foot moved, and then another, until she finally managed to regain a standing position, albeit shakily.

Grimmjow, apparently arrogant enough to believe she would remain down much longer had not even noticed her. So she pointed her hand at him and silently started chanting yet again.

It was then that Grimmjow finally noticed her. He could clearly see her hand pointed at him and deciding she was a more imminent threat he sped at her again.

It was too late.

Opening her eyes, she shouted out; "Bakudou #79 – Kuyou Shibari!"

("Binding Spell #79 – Nine Sunlight Traps!)

Nine black holes with purple outlining appeared and sped towards Grimmjow who instantly tried to dodge them. He succeeded except for the fact that a single one of them attached itself to his chest. Attempting to pull it off he quickly realized that this wasn't possible and before he got a chance to destroy the remaining ones they had him surrounded and he realized he couldn't move anymore.

When he looked up a feral roar escaped his mouth as he noticed HihioZabimaru was already circling around him.

"Now Renji, this is our chance!" Rukia shouted, still chanting yet another Kidou spell.

Renji grinned as he replied, "You bet! Take this!"

"Higa Zekkou!" Renji shouted.

Instantly Zabimaru's segments disconnected and fell to the ground. The red reiatsu that was keeping them together taking on a dagger like form and pointing itself at Grimmjow before finally slamming itself into his body.

"Hadou#63Raikouhou!" Rukia shouted as her Bakudou was dispelled by Renji's attack. Grimmjow bent over in pain, clutching his bleeding body as best as he could.

A giant ball of condensed yellow energy that was present in Rukia's hand was fired at Grimmjow as it turned into a giant beam of what most resembled thunder. Grimmjow's eyes widened when he saw the attack while still trying to recover from Renji's previous attack.

He stumbled once, twice, trying to get away. In the end, it was futile and he was consumed by Rukia's perfectly executed Kidou attack.

A large thud several yards away from her indicated Grimmjow had dropped to the ground. Looking over, she saw his smoking unconscious form lying there, covered in burns from head to toe. His entire body, bloodied and beaten, if she had to guess she was certain Renji's attack had easily caused the most damage. But in the end her final attack had been the last drop of water that made him lose consciousness. It was a very real possibility that he would not live to see another day, no mortal sustained these kind of injuries and lived to tell the tale without professional medical attention.

"Yo!"

Looking up she saw Renji standing right in front of her, his Bankai resealed and his Zanpakutou held over his shoulder in a true 'Renji pose'.

Dropping her stoic face she allowed herself to smirk at him. "I guess we make a pretty good team after all, don't we?"

Renji smirked back at her. "Nah, you just let me do all the work while you shout and scream. 'Help! Oh dear help me! Renji please! Help me now!'"

Her face twitched. Narrowing her gaze at Renji who was still imitating silly poses of a damsel in distress she spoke up. "What, did you just say?"

Her voice was so hateful Renji immediately dropped the act and looked back at her. Seeing her facial expression he immediately jumped back. "No, no I didn't mean it like that!" He shouted, swinging his arms and his Zanpakutou in front of his body as if to defend himself from the raven-haired midget that was slowly but surely approaching him. "Oh come on Rukia! You've known me longer then this, you know I was kidding!" He continued.

Rukia started chanting loudly.

"Okay okay! It's completely thanks to you that we won, I'm sorry Rukia please!"

She continued.

"Rukia! Come on, you know I suck at Kidou, let's be fair about this!"

Rukia was about to finish her chant when she noticed an immense amount of reiatsu right next to them. Instantly turning on her feet she came face to face with a furious looking Grimmjow, still as bloodied as ever, a bright blue ball of reiatsu was charging in the palm of his hand and was pointed right at the two of them.

"Are you done playing now, Shinigami!" Grimmjow roared. Take this, "GranReyCero!"

Her vision went completely blind, covered by only blue. She felt something being wrapped around her and soon after she violently hit the ground. Her back hit something hard and edgy but other then that she did not understand why there wasn't any more pain, nor could she clarify the sudden weight on top of her.

Seconds later, the inferno of blue passed away and she felt she could open her eyes again. Opening them, the sight that greeted her caused her heart to stop.

Renji was motionlessly lying on top of her body, his eyes closed. Rukia panicked and quickly pushed Renji off of her. Completely ignoring Grimmjow she started stomping on his chest.

"Renji!" She almost cried out. "Renji, wake up! You idiot, why did you do that, why?"

Tears started leaking from her eyes when she got no response. Desperately grabbing his Shihakusyou she shook his body up and down, hoping on at least some sort of response. She was startled even further when instead of shaking him up and down she tore off the upper part of his Shihakusyouentirely, indicating that there had been no fabric left at all on his back.

"Tch," Grimmjow's voice rang out. "Pathetic. You call yourself a Captain of the Gotei Thirteen? Tell me something little girl, are all Captains as soft and weak as you are?"

Anger filled her very being. This was the person responsible for Renji's state. Her eyes narrowed as she met his gaze. Gone was her pity for the man that had been so severely wounded minutes ago that he was still having trouble standing on his feet.

She rose and unsheathed her Zanpakutou.

"Weak?" Rukia asked him. "You took down my very best friend with a cheap shot. Call me weak if you want but the truth remains unchanged. The truth remains that I've been holding back this entire battle in order to push myself to my limits. I never wanted to use this against a mere number Seven." She stated causing Grimmjow's face to contort in fury once more, he wanted to shout something but Rukia cut him off.

"Yet considering your actions during the last few minutes, you leave me no choice. I will show you the true power of a Captain of the Gotei Thirteen." Rukia stated, looking Grimmjow in the eye. She felt no fear, not anymore, she was determined to go the extra mile and she knew full well now that she could completely pulverize her opponent.

Holding her blade vertically in front of her, she dropped it. When the tip reach the ground a square yard around the impact turned to ice and her Zanpakutou fell straight through it.

"Bankai…"

The moment these words were spoken Grimmjow was blinded by a flashing white light. The entire landscape around him froze to ice and small mountains rose up out of the ground. The very earth beneath him was shaking as the sky started weeping small shards of ice. His first instinct was to dodge them but he quickly realized that while they were annoying they were completely harmless. The light slowly died before it intensified one more time.

He could vaguely make out the figure of the Shinigami Captain that he knew was their former prisoner, Kuchiki Rukia. It was clear that her form, while still small, had changed somewhat.

"…Tennin no Shirayuki"[1]

When Grimmjow finally laid eyes upon Rukia's final form his eyes widened ever so slightly.


[1] Bankai, Tennin no Shirayuki:

Final Release, Heavenly Being of the White Snow.

A/N: Overall I'm fairly satisfied with this chapter. Pulled an allnighter last night to make it's release somewhat quicker. Expect the next one no sooner then a week from now and probably within three weeks as well. Chances are chapter length of the next one may also be significantly longer.