OK, so now... on with the chapter! It was supposed to be longer but I got lazy :/ Surprise ending you will never see coming! :D Or maybe you will... hm... are you a psychic?


Chapter 19: It Came Crashing Down

Soifon didn't notice that Yoruichi had left until her sparring with Rose ended (which was shorter than she thought it would be, considering she accidentally knocked him out with one hit). She sought Hugh for answers, but he simply shrugged and said, "I didn't see her leave either." He then attempted to get Mashiro off of him, but to no avail.

"Guess that's it for now," Shinji remarked and clapped his hands together to get everyone's attention. "Lunch!"

Soifon's eyebrow twitched. To her knowledge it wasn't even Breakfast yet, unless Time went must slower down here then up there. It was certainly faster in Las Noches STOP THINKING ABOUT LAS NOCHES YOU IDIOT! BARRAGAN WAS A PRICK AND GGIO IS NO LONGER YOUR PARTNER! EVERYONE'S IN THE PAST!

"You need to chill," Suzumebachi stated.

Shut up.

"It's true. Just focus on the Vizard."

That's it! I'm going crazy and I haven't even been here for an hour yet! Soifon unsheathed her Zanpakuto and stormed over away from the group, "I'm having a little conversation with my sword for a minute! No one is to bother me!" She didn't receive any complaints, figured no one even cared what she did, and she wedge her blade into the ground. She sat before it and began to meditate, her mind wandering off into her... Heart? Soul? She couldn't even tell anymore.

It was darker in her world than before, and the tree upon which she sat no longer had any leaves. It was snowing, gently, mere flurries, and she couldn't figure out why. Had it been from achieving her Hollow Powers? Was her Heart... cold? ...Dark?

"Suzumebachi?" Soifon said.

The little yellow light started to zip around and landed on her lap, "Don't worry, it's not cold. I think you're emotions are what're affecting us."

Soifon sighed, "Yeah... Hopefully it goes back to being the way it was. Listen, that's not why I'm here. I want to talk about something of dire importance." Her Zanpkuto spirit froze. "I... I feel this deep... this deep... I don't even know what it is... feeling, maybe?"

Suzumebachi giggled, "Oh, Soifon... I've been feeling that, too. See, since Aizen turned you into his little Vasto Lorde experiment I've noticed that your form is starting to push itself over the edge-you haven't used it, and if you don't you may not learn how to control your powers in that stage."

Soifon was shaken out of her trance and she cast a grim glare over her shoulder, "Did I just-?"

"You need to eat something," Lisa coerced, handing her a plate of burnt road-kill (well, that's the best way to describe it).

"Thanks," Soifon admonished, "but I don't like my food cremated..."

"Trust me, it's good." Soifon shrugged and accepted the plate. Lisa sat down beside her, fork in hand, "So what were you and...?"

"Suzumebachi."

"...Suzumebachi talking about?"

"Nothing," she bluffed, hoping to delude Lisa from the truth. "Just about some old things from Las Noches." I can't keep my big mouth shut, can I? Her golden orbs avoided Lisa's gaze. The Vizards joined them in a circle, Hugh still being clung to by Mashiro.

"Tell us about it," Shinji encouraged, waving his fork at her, "We're curious to know what it was like in there."

"Hueco Mundo..." Soifon uttered, thinking back to the rolling white sands that were, contrary to popular belief, quite beautiful. They reflected the moon's rays so perfectly the desert almost sparkled like diamonds. "Las Noches is huge; it's a lot harder to find an Arrancar in there then one might think. I met Hugh on a mission with my partner-"

"Partner?" Kensei echoed.

Soifon nodded, "An Arrancar named Ggio Vega. We were assigned to work together... and I accidentally became his friend. I figured I was so deep in my own grave it didn't matter who I trusted, so why not him?" She noticed they studying her impassively. "I did find myself tangled with Ichimaru and Kaname a lot, too."

"Tell us about a mission or two," Hiyori demanded with her mouth full, earning an elbow to the side from Hirako. She was tempted to slap him back.

"Well..." Soifon's lips pressed into a thin line, "I guess I could... Alright, I'll tell you about a mission I had with two Espada. Aizen tasked them with accompanying myself and Ggio to the real world, where we had to hunt down a Hollow living in the sands of the Mohave desert." For what seemed like hours, but really it only took one, Soifon explained about that mission, more missions before and after that; she shared stories of life in Las Noches, she told them about what Aizen told her to do and what he had done. Finally, she concluded about why she was here.

And then returned to training with them until night fell upon the town.


"Soifon, did you loose it?"

"Forgive me... It just disappeared!" Soifon glanced around as Yoruichi approached, "It was right here only a few moments ago..." The confuzzled assassin continued and crouched down to the edge of the cliff. Below the rapids swirled about and roared.

She stood and faced her mentor. Yoruichi only stared out at the forest on the opposite side of the canyon, "Hm... How strange. I didn't think it could've jumped that so quickly without-"

Soifon noticed the Hollow emerge from its hiding place; dropping down from the plateau above. "Watch out!" She sprang, shoving her mentor to the side. The Hollow, resembling a lizard, rammed into Soifon and sent them sailing off the edge into the raging waters below. Her world was engulfed in liquid darkness; her forehead smacked into the sharp rocks lying beneath the bottom of the river.

She instinctively kicked up towards the surface until she broke through, gasping for air. Her arms found a boulder, and she clung to it quickly. Chest tight, muscles tense, she screamed into the air over the howling waves, "YORUICHI-SAMA!"

The captain landed on the face of the rock, gripping a notch with one hand while her other arm extended. "Soifon! Reach for me!"

"I can't!" Soifon exclaimed, the bitter metallic taste of blood on her tongue, "I can't!"

"Trust me! Just reach!"

Soifon sat up with a start, her pale gray eyes scanning the room. Sweat trickled down her brow, and she glanced at Hugh to make sure he hadn't woken up. Pleased with the fact that he was still fast asleep, she slipped her vest over her shoulders and stalked out of her room.

Se passed down the hall silently, careful about not waking the snoozing Vizards. Hugh hadn't heard her leave, so she left him be, heading out the broken window on the farthest end of the building. She slipped out into the darkness, illuminated slightly by the street lights. The breeze chilled her skin, making her spine tingle.

She didn't know where she was going, but she just needed to clear her head. It had been to recite the entire Las Noches time line to the Vizards - it made her chest sting, not that she was sure why.

Finally, she wandered into the outskirts of town, right into the dense forest. Her instinct led her into the clearing where she had previously stabbed Yoruichi, assigned by Aizen to retrieve Ulquiorra and Yammy. She wandered to the rim of the crater, never filled (or explained) by the town.

"I'm glad I found you," A familiar voice rang out, "It's getting lonely in Las Noches without you."

Soifon scoffed, "Missing me already?" She faced him, meeting his distraught golden gaze, "Oh, Ggio... If you came to bring me back I'm afraid I'll have to resist. I'm still trying to-"

"Shut up," He said assertively, "You talk too much, especially for an assassin."

"Not anymore," She uttered.

"Soifon, you were born an assassin so you will always be an assassin, no matter what. Anyway, that's not why I came," he stepped up to her, "Soifon, the war's coming. And whether you like or not you're in this - we all are." He noticed she was unphased by his statement. "Don't you care? You can't run from this. You need to stay... you need to fight."

"I don't have to lift a finger," She hissed, "I'm trapped between my loyalties to Soul Society and my duties as a Vasto Lorde! I'm a Vizard, I'm the medium! I can't pick a side that easily!"

"You don't have a choice!" He shouted over her, bringing about a sudden silence.

Her fingers curled into a fist, "And what do you expect me to do? Soul Society won't accept me, but I won't accept being one of Aizen's pawns! I'm stuck, Ggio, I'm stuck. I'm alone. I can't fucking think straight and you're not helping!" She was raging now, her reiatsu flowing out of her with enough force to hitch Ggio's breathing.

"OK," He muttered gently, "OK, just calm down, Soifon."

"Don't tell me to calm down!" She snapped, energy boiling and shuddering violently like a volcano, "I'm so pissed I could kick a puppy! I can't deal with this, Ggio! I just can't! I've never felt so alone in my life! Not since Yoruichi left, not since I walked blindly into Aizen's trap, not even since I almost killed my own mentor twice! I'm so confused I can't-!"

His hands gripped both sides of her face and brought her forward, smashing their lips together. Ggio felt his chest lighten as the heavy energy dispersed like mist. Her shoulders relaxed, her tense muscles uncoiled. He broke off first, her now calm features washing relief over his body. "You're not alone, Soifon... I'll protect you; Hugh will protect you; Yoruichi will protect you..."

Soifon fisted his shirt, pulling him close, "Shut up and kiss me."

Without complaint he pressed his lips to hers again, aggressively forcing his tongue in her mouth. She melted into him like this was natural, and for a moment nothing seemed to matter anymore. Until, of course, she had a brilliant idea.

"Ggio," She droned, "I need your opinion on something..." He made a quizzical noise, moving his lips to her neck. She bit back a moan when he found her sensitive spot - hell, she didn't even remember ever having one to begin with. "I, ah... What if I return to Las Noches?" He didn't hesitate, but his fangs met her pulse point. Her back arched and she cried out, "G-Ggio! I, uh, I mean... What if I fake Yoruichi's death?"

"What are you getting at?" He asked.

"To return I have to kill Yoruichi... but what if I claim to have killed her?"

Ggio paused, lifting his head to meet her stare, "What's the point? Do you even want to return?"

"I don't know," She avowed, "I can't go back to Soul Society. Where do I go if not Las Noches?" There's no way in hell I'm staying with the Vizards. "Ggio, I can't betray you..."

"You won't betray me," He informed her, "Make your decisions, Soifon; I won't stop you." Behind him a Garganta split open, and he released her - backing into the darkness. "I'm here for you, Partner... Always have been, always will be." And then he was gone.

"I know, Ggio..." She admonished, "I know." Now, there was only thing left to do.

I need to see Yoruichi-sama.


End. Alright, next chapter is actually quite long... btw, the story's coming to an end soon. epic chapters await you!