Hello, this is the start of my new story. It will be Grimm/Shuu sometime in the near future. I will add more chapters, but I can't say how many because this story isn't at all planned out yet. Yay?
Disclaimer: don't own bleach
Basically, Shuuhei is in Hueco Mundo on a mission to get rid of the straggling arrancars left over after Aizen's defeat. He has a new captain (I made him up and as of yet he is unnamed since he is unimportant). He meets Grimmjow and you will have to see from there :)
After Aizen's defeat, life is far from being back to normal. Many Shinigami thought Aizen to be the ultimate challenge –the Final Boss—and that everything would be resolved with his death. Yet, in Shuuhei's experience, after you cut the head off a snake the rest of it still wiggles for a while after. Aizen is dead, but all of Central 64 is still vacant, Yamamoto cannot handle all the decisions, and two divisions are still missing captains. Seireitei is a mess.
Shuuhei had tried to prepare himself for life after the war so that he wouldn't be surprised with new rules and regulations. Nevertheless, he never expected this. His new captain is a tough man to get along with, in Shuuhei's opinion. After Tousen's betrayal, Shuuhei had some trouble testing another captain. His new captain is not a patient person and their initial lack of chemistry was disastrous for their working relationship. The entire division probably felt the effects of their lack of compatibility.
Also, even with the death of Aizen, the arrancar are still a problem. There are some stragglers left over that have to be dealt with. Add that with the fact that Shuuhei's new captain needs some space from his controlling lieutenant, Shuuhei is now in Hueco Mundo instead of helping to rebuild Soul Society.
He knows it isn't because his captain dislikes him or that he was being thrown away. He is capable and it is convenient for him to be in Hueco Mundo. He will return to Soul Society soon enough and hopefully by then he will be able to accept his new captain.
In Hueco Mundo everything is white, except after a fight. The sight of red splotched on white is still unsettling for Shuuhei. Even though he convinced himself that killing Tousen was for the man's own good, the explosion of blood that resulted from Shuuhei's own sword is a sight that would forever be etched in Shuuhei's mind. Whenever he closes his eyes, the image of his blood stained captain haunts him. His hand trembles whenever he holds Kazeshini.
The moon overhead does not help with keeping track of time. Even so, Shuuhei knows that he has to be close to nearing the cave the scouts spoke of. A few of them came back bloody and exhausted, speaking of an arrancar that is hiding in a cave about fifteen minutes north of the place they were resting. He didn't want to drag exhausted men back into a fight, so we went alone.
He nears the cave. He surveys the area, noticing the large rocks and unlevel plains that would make it a perfect place to hide. The cave's mouth rests on a hill, the raised position already putting Shuuhei at a disadvantage. He steps forward carefully as a blood splattered rock comes into view.
The rock is almost torn apart, with marks from a sword deep in its surface. He knows his men aren't strong enough to do so much damage. The arrancar is obviously extremely strong. Shuuhei wonders how his men made it back in one piece when the opponent has such strength. Maybe his men were just bait to lure in the stronger Shinigami. He slowly realizes with a pit of dread in his stomach that maybe it was a mistake to head into this fight alone. He considers going back and asking for reinforcements, but previously concealed reiatsu fills the area and Shuuhei almost stumbles from the force of it.
Shuuhei looks up, his body going cold. The arrancar is standing on a rock above him with a grin which shows how much the arrancar is anticipating a fight. The bone on his jaw is an extension of his wide, eerie grin. Hands are crossed in an arrogant manner. Shocking blue hair only confirms Shuuhei's worst fears. He curses himself for wandering off on his own, especially now that he's facing the former Sexta Espada.
After the other Espada had all been supposedly killed, the Shinigami went back to the battlefield where they had left the Sexta Espada so they could finish him off. However, he was gone by the time they remembered him, only leaving behind a blood stain. Everyone hoped he was dead and was picked apart by other hungry hollows. It seems as though their hopes were in vain.
"Guess the weaklings made it back," Jeagerjaques mutters, appraising Shuuhei. "Tch. I was hoping for someone stronger, though."
Shuuhei isn't sure whether to be offended or terrified. He remembers the three scars running down his face and he's sure that this time he's not going to get away with only scratches. Over the years he has learned how to embrace his fear and use it to his advantage in a fight, which was why he is normally able to face an opponent with a calm head. When he had fought Tousen, he had been so sure that was the right thing to do. He was not afraid because he had simply believed there were no other options. The man he admired was ruining himself, and Shuuhei had to do everything he could to save him. Fear wasn't part of the equation. However, facing Jeagerjaques, Shuuhei feels like his legs are going to turn to jelly. Kurosaki Ichigo, who is as strong as a captain, fought against this Espada and barely won. How can Shuuhei, a measly vice-captain, win? There is no loyalty, insane surges of bravery in this fight.
Shuuhei grips his zanpakuto, eyes narrowing. This is no time to be frozen by fear. There are visible wounds on Jeagerjaques, evidence that the Espada isn't completely healed from his last fight with Kurosaki. If Shuuhei just keeps a level head, he'd be able to do this. If he could just ignore the prickling on his palms and the urge to drop his weapon in fear and repugnance. He tries to still his trembling hands, but fails miserably.
"You are Grimmjow Jeagerjaques, Sexta Espada. Correct?" Shuuhei asks, making sure so that he can properly report this incident, if he makes it back alive.
"Who else can I be?" Jeagerjaques says, grinning. Shuuhei draws his sword, taking a deep breath. "You still challenge me, knowing who I am? Let's up your as strong as you think you are."
Jeagerjaques disappears and Shuuhei's heart clenches with fear. Any calm he once had is quickly dissolving. Jeagerjaques reappears in front of Shuuhei, his zanpakuto gleaming before Shuuhei blocks the attack, the force of the blow vibrating through his arms. He jumps back, a cold sweat running down his back.
Jeagerjaques stares at him, bloodlust clear in his eyes. Shuuhei knows that he cannot win without releasing Kazeshini. He hates the feeling of the double scythes in his hands, but if he hesitates or tries to prolong the fight in the sword's sealed form, he's going to die. Shuuhei grits his teeth, readying himself for the disgust and surge of power.
As Shuuhei stands with his released weapon, he tries to focus on Jeagerjaques. The Espada is amused by this development, eager to face whatever Shuuhei has to throw at him. Even with a released Kazeshini is his hands, Shuuhei doesn't feel any more powerful.
Shuuhei swings one end of Kazeshini over his head and lets it fly towards Jeagerjaques. Shuuhei never expects it to hit and he is right to assume that Jeagerjaques would reappear behind him. He easily blocks the attack aimed for his back, and pulls on the chain that brings the other scythe tearing towards Jeagerjaques's neck. Jeagerjaques barely dodges, and shoves Shuuhei as he jumps away. Shuuhei grits his teeth, frustrated at the smirk that never leaves the Espada's face. To this Espada, Shuuhei is nothing more than a toy.
Shuuhei doesn't have any time to settle his rapidly beating heart, as Jeagerjaques is already rushing in for the next attack. Another bone shattering blow is blocked by Shuuhei and he wonders how much of this he can take. The Espada hasn't even released his zanpakuto yet.
The next several minutes consists similar attack-and-parry combinations and Shuuhei's brain is reeling to figure out an attack that would disable Jeagerjaques before he releases. He tries a binding spell, but it is broken easily. He has to get creative with the projectile aspect of his weapon. However, he doesn't get any chances to fully use his weapon with Jeagerjaques's persistent attacks.
"If this all you got Shinigami?" Jeagerjaques chortles. "And here I was thinking of using you as a warm-up before I face Kurosaki again."
The familiar glow of cero erupts from Jeagerjaques and Shuuhei is barely able to dodge out of the way. Half his back is burned and he curses himself for forgetting that aspect of an Espada's power. He doesn't have enough time to properly get a hold of his new surroundings, since Jeagerjaques's sword is rushing towards him before the dust even clears. Shuuhei blocks the attack, but almost misses the glowing hand aimed at his head. He leaps away and tugs on Kazeshini's chain, bringing the other scythe in quick and close enough to clip a chunk of hair off Jeagerjaques's head before the arrancar is able to dodge.
The hammering in Shuuhei's chest and lungs reminded him of the fact he is quickly becoming exhausted. He doesn't have any trump cards and giving up now would earn him the same result as continuing to fight.
However, the smirk of Jeagerjaques's face is the type he hates the most. The one that shows how much the person revels in the fact that they are going to end a life and that they can do it with their eyes closed.
As Shuuhei stares at the grin, his hands tingle where he is holding his zanpakuto. The guilt and disgust he felt standing over Tousen's blob of a body and the burden that he took when he shouldered all of what Tousen once was still weighs on his mind. Recently he has been wondering what his power represents and who he is fighting for, but at that moment, all his thoughts focus on Jeagerjaques. Shuuhei wants to wipe that smirk off the Espada's face. He wants to beat into Jeagerjaques the strength he was taught and lost somewhere along the way. He wants to show Jeagerjaques, and maybe even himself, just how strong he is. If he can take a chunk of Jeagerjaques's hair, that is only a few inches until he reaches the head.
Shuuhei knows he is most likely going to die, but not before he teaches Jeagerjaques the lesson he loves the most; courage, intelligence, and knowledge of one's limits are the true might in a battle, not brute physical force. He cannot believe he forgot that after Tousen's death.
Shuuhei crouches, staring at Jeagerjaques with a new light. The Espada is obviously weakened and also tiring. Even so, that cocky smile isn't fading. Holding back isn't going to help him; he's going to have to show Jeagerjaques his full strength. He has to show what he's made of. All of him. Including the parts he threw away and the ones he had yet to discover.
He can hear Kazeshini howling with delight inside of him.
Jeagerjaques blinks, startled by the new development. He then readies his own sword, his grin reaching his ears.
"That's more like it."
When Grimmjow first sent those Shinigami scouts running, he hoped that they would send back a few stronger men. But when he sees one Shinigami with a barely impressive reiatsu, he is disappointed. However, that Shinigami walks around with an air of confidence, an expression mirroring Tousen's. That holier-than-thou attitude, calm appraisal of the situation, and dull eyes were what he hates the most. Just thinking of that bastard Tousen makes a foul taste rise in his mouth. He spits on the ground, wanting to kick that face into the ground.
"Guess the weaklings made it back. Tch. I was hoping for someone stronger, though," Grimmjow mutters, wondering how the Shinigami would react. The Shinigami looks offended, but Grimmjow can see underlining fear. He wants to laugh. Here he is, eagerly anticipating a good fight, and he gets this half-assed Tousen wannabe. If he cannot get a decent fight from this kid, at least he can get enough amusement from beating him into a pulp.
"You are Grimmjow Jeagerjaques, Sexta Espada. Correct?" the Shinigami asks, trying and failing to act like he was calm.
"Who else can I be?" Grimmjow laughs. The Shinigami draws his zanpakuto, watching him like a hawk. This kid is really annoying, attempting to keep a cool head when his hands are trembling. He wanted to see all the walls this Shinigami built crumble down. "You still challenge me, knowing who I am? Let's up your as strong as you think you are."
Grimmjow leaps at the Shinigami, not expecting anything spectacular. When the kid blocks his attack, Grimmjow can see how the force of his blow shakes the Shinigami to his core. The kid jumps back, his face pale.
Grimmjow lets the Shinigami have his distance. He usually hates fighting weak enemies, but playing with the reflection of the man he detested can be amusing. The Shinigami grits his teeth, as if he's going to do something horrible. Grimmjow is disappointed when the Shinigami merely releases his zanpakuto.
The shape of the weapon is scary enough and it flies at Grimmjow almost faster than he can sondio. However, the shape of the weapon doesn't reflect the Shinigami's soul at all from what Grimmjow can see. A weapon so fearsome is better suited for a Shinigami that can wield it with confidence and bloodlust. This Shinigami just looks like a kid who can't find his mommy. A strong zanpakuto paired with someone who can't fully use it is nothing better than a stick against an Espada.
Grimmjow attacks from the back and is moderately surprised when his blow is blocked. However, he doesn't expect the other end of the scythe to come tearing at him. He barely dodges and jumps back, feeling adrenaline course through his veins. It seems as though this Shinigami isn't all bark after all.
After several minutes of repetitive fighting, Grimmjow tires of what the Shinigami has to offer. This must be the extent of the Shinigami's power. Grimmjow still has a score to settle with Kurosaki. He cannot be wasting his time with a Shinigami that can't hold his own. The Shinigami even stopped mirroring Tousen; Tousen would never have been seen with such a frightened expression. This fight is no longer worth it.
Grimmjow fires a cero and goes in for the kill.
He underestimated the Shinigami's speed and the kid is able to dodge. It doesn't matter. Grimmjow leaps towards the Shinigami before the dust created from his cero settles and swings his sword at the head. He is slightly frustrated that the Shinigami is able to block his attack, so he aims another cero at point blank range. Even Kurosaki had trouble dodging this attack. Surely this Shinigami would be finished off by it.
Grimmjow's eyes widen as instead of his hand blowing off the Shinigami's head, his head is almost sliced off by the weapon he almost forgot about. He jumps back, realizing just how proficient this Shinigami is with that weapon. Just diving in for the kill isn't going to work.
He stares at the Shinigami, noticing the difference in the reiatsu and fighting stance from only a moment before. The hands stopped trembling, the eyes are narrowed to the point of slits, and the Shinigami is crouching in a feral stance. But what Grimmjow really notices is the grin that adorns the formerly frowning face. Grimmjow isn't sure what happened in that small space of time, but the almost angry and determined reiatsu that is suddenly pouring from the Shinigami is evidence enough that the real show is going to start now.
Grimmjow smiles wider, pleased at how the situation developed. There is no more fear, ignorant attitude, or anything remotely Tousen. This Shinigami finally reflects the sword he is swinging above his head. Grimmjow gets back into a fighting stance, hoping that his new expectation will be fulfilled.
"That's more like it," Grimmjow says joyfully. "Now that I think about it, you never told me your name." Now that this opponent was worth his time, he might as well learn his name.
"I am Hisagi Shuuhei, vice-captain of the 9th squad," the Shinigami replies coolly.
9th squad? No wonder Hisagi mirrors Tousen so much. But that no longer matters. He wants to beat Hisagi and show his superiority. It no longer has anything to do with dislike. Something about that new smile attracts Grimmjow like a moth to a flame. This new Hisagi he is facing makes his blood boil. Makes him want to dominate Hisagi in every way.