Chapter 16: Fates Entwined

Byakuya felt warm lips touch his, and the caress of Grimmjow's wandering hands on his flesh. He opened his eyes and gazed up at the recently restored shinigami, marveling at the affection in the man's usually icy blue eyes. Then, he remembered.

He said that he would marry me.

He couldn't help the smirk that the thought brought to his lips. Because, for all that he was dedicated to following the rules of the clan, that he had forced down and controlled the cocky, fiery person he had been, this man brought that part of him back to life. Yes, even in the drab dead desert of Hueco Mundo, he felt more alive than he had anytime in the last hundred years.

He bit his lip gently, remembering the information revealed about the Espadas, how each represented an aspect of death...and how the aspect of death that Grimmjow had represented had been destruction.

And certainly, he had fallen like a wrecking ball on the Kuchiki council's plans for their leader. Grimmjow wasn't a well-bred, cultured noble female, nor even a shinigami, at first. No, far from that, he had been a powerful, stubborn, willful, dangerous hollow, one who lived to break things apart.

But...as with the phoenix, Grimmjow had a flip side. Because even in the worst throes of destruction, there was also the potential for new creation. And through their interactions, the two of them had created the opportunity for Grimmjow to be a shinigami again, as well as for the two of them to bring to life the two little miracles that were their children. And with the bearing of their children, they had negated any right the council had to force him into an arranged marriage. He, in fact, was compelled by clan law to marry Grimmjow. He would, of course, have opposed that law, had Grimmjow not changed his mind and decided to accept his hand, but now, with his genuine offer (or demand, really, he thought, blushing) of marriage, he had destroyed the council's grip on him, and given him back control of his own life.

And for that, Kuchiki Byakuya would forever be grateful.

He smiled up at Grimmjow, enjoying the predatory shine of his blue eyes, the catlike movement of his body and the unusual tenderness in his touches, something he yielded only to those he truly cared about...Byakuya, their children, and the child form of Nel. He might be truly callous with the rest of the three worlds, but for these four beings, he had a heart, he loved, he fiercely protected. That, Byakuya decided, must have been what had brought him back...the resolution of the horrid factors that had burdened his heart upon losing his shinigami life. Love had stricken Grimmjow cleanly, like a shinigami's blade and cut through the darkness, revealing the brightness that even Grimmjow, himself, had believed lost. And now, he and Byakuya had everything to fight and live for.

"What are you thinking, mi corazon?" Grimmjow asked, licking Byakuya's lips, then gently assaulting a pretty, pale earlobe, "Whatever it is, it makes you look dangerously close to happy."

"I am thinking that the Kuchiki council is about to get the shock of its life. I think that you are going to make a very profound impression upon them."

Grimmjow smirked.

"And you like that?" he asked, narrowing his eyes, "It only confirms for me what I have thought for a long time, lover. You have an angel's face and you pretend to be like them, but inside you beats the heart of un gitano (a gypsy)."

"Ah," sighed the noble, reeling as the former Espada bit down on his throat and left a line of red markings as he made his way slowly downward, "I am afraid I am guilty as charged. But...I do not fear the consequences. I await them with open arms, my love..."

Byakuya quickly found himself made breathless as Grimmjow sucked hard on his throat, then nibbled his way down a finely carved clavicle, falling on his pale breast and tormenting his erect nipples until he moaned loudly and sank his fingers into the other man's blue hair, lowering his pride and softly pleading for him to move downward. Grimmjow laughed and attacked Byakuya's sensitive, white belly, making the noble quiver and clutch at the bedding, leaving red markings everywhere as he worked his way downward, then viciously stimulating the area with hard, sweeping licks and dizzying suction, that made Byakuya gasp and pant prettily as his body writhed sweetly under Grimmjow's fierce control. Grinning at his lusty, wanton behavior, the former Espada dragged him onto his hands and knees, entering him from behind and clenching his hips with sweating hands as he plunged into the noble's body, groaning with rising pleasure as he watched Byakuya shake and writhe in a way that he was sure would have shocked the very life out his clan's elders.

"Eres tan hermosa! (You are so beautiful!)" the former Espada gasped, pushing in hard and releasing in wicked, shuddering pulses, as Byakuya screamed in ecstasy, his release spilling out onto the bed and his upper body collapsing, but his hips held tightly in Grimmjow's strong hands.

Grimmjow fell down onto his back, pulling his hair back on one side, and laying more hard, biting kisses along the back of his neck while Byakuya laid still beneath him, his chest heaving as he worked to catch his breath.

"What are you thinking, mi corazon?" Grimmjow purred in his ear.

"Not surprisingly," said the noble, "I am not able to 'think' at all. But...I feel wonderful, Grimmjow."

"Good," the blue haired shinigami said, nibbling on his ear, "You need to have something to focus on when things get ugly. And they will get ugly, Byakuya. We are all poisoned, and no matter what Kirei says about that damned dragon being a zanpakutou, it's going to be a bitch to gain control of. We...have a lot to lose. Knowing that...perhaps you should, you know, hold back a bit...stay in the background and let me do the fighting."

Grimmjow read the instant flare of indignation in the noble's expression and did his best to head it off by quickly explaining.

"Look, I know you're a taichou," he argued, "You're powerful. I get that. But, with us having the babies and all, I don't want that our kids should have to grow up with just those old stuffed shirts at your manor, you understand? Our babies are going to be something special. But...they need one of us to be there...to guide them along."

"And..." Byakuya said, raising a fine eyebrow, "you would argue that I am the better choice?"

Are you going to fucking tell me that I would set a better example for them?" Grimmjow laughed sarcastically, "I was a goddamned hollow, for kami's sake! You, at least, have an education. You know a lot about shinigami history, how to act around kids...fuck, basic, common manners? All I know about is surviving. That's what I do."

Byakuya gave him an enigmatic smile.

"Well, our children will need to learn survival skills also. I am a survivor too. And we are both going to survive this endeavor," he said with finality, "So, I will hear no more about anyone 'holding back.' The Doragon Arashikaze is not the kind of creature that leaves one latitude to hold back. Although it is Kirei who must overcome him, we certainly will have to help put him in the best position to do so."

Grimmjow sighed in frustration.

"I should've known there'd be no convincing you. You may have been obedient as my servant, but there's no knocking down that obstinate will, now that I freed you."

Byakuya smiled.

"Are you sorry you did so?" he asked, giving the blue haired man a decidedly lusty glance.

Grimmjow pulled him close again and nibbled thoughtfully on his earlobe.

"Sometimes," he admitted, "You made one really sexy servant. I could've lived for just the sex alone. Not that that's all there is to you or anything."

Grimmjow made a soft growl of returning arousal at the sight of the blush that rose on Byakuya's face and throat at his words.

"Wish we had time for one more round, lover," he sighed, "but we need to clean up and get dressed now. The sooner we get this poison counteracted the better. Remember, our babies have been exposed too. We need to take care of this for them."

"We do," Byakuya agreed.

They left the bed and entered the bathing recess, where they stood under the waterfall, enjoying the last moments of peacefulness before what promised to be a harrowing mission. Grimmjow began to bathe himself, but made a sound of surprise as the soap was liberated from his hand. Byakuya smiled and stepped closer, his smoky eyes finding Grimmjow's and instantly freezing him in place.

"What are you doing, lover?" he asked, narrowing his eyes.

Byakuya gave him a smoldering look.

"You said that you missed having me as your servant," the noble said coyly, "I thought to indulge you while we bathe."

"Oh?" the blue haired man replied, his eyes taking on the predatory shine that always made Byakuya's heart beat faster and a soft tremor pass through him in anticipation, "Well...let me help you with that."

Byakuya gazed at him questioningly, then blinked insurprise as kido bonds wrapped around his wrists, ankles and slender waist, and a leather collar wrapped around his throat. Grimmjow stepped forward and curled his fingers around the collar, dragging the noble closer to him.

"This what you wanted to give me?" Grimmjow growled softly, "It's a good thing we had sex recently, because seeing you this way is enough to make me come without being touched at all. So...you wanna play servant? Go ahead. Bathe me."

Byakuya started to lift the soap, but caught his breath in surprise as Grimmjow touched the bonds on his wrists, locking them together in front of him. The beginnings of a smile on his lips, the noble moved closer, lathering the soap, rubbing it first onto the other man's shoulders, before sliding his graceful fingers up Grimmjow's throat, caressing the area slowly, then sliding down again to massage the strong shoulders and upper back. He pressed his body up against the former Espada's back, writhing erotically to lather the soap again and letting the fingers of his bound hands play over the other man's white bottom.

"Mmmmmm," Grimmjow growled warningly, "Watch those fingers, lover..."

Byakuya loosed a soft sound of amusement and ran his hands over one long, muscular arm, caressing the firm bicep, then slid down over elbow and forearm, before lifting the white fingers to his lips, kissing them one by one, then lathering each individually. He moved to the other arm and offered the same loving treatment, then returned to Grimmjow's powerful chest and layered it in kisses, lingering provocatively on the large, erect nipples, teasing with breath and light brushes of his lips, while Grimmjow watched the noble's lovely bowed head, dripping black hair, solemn lips and hints of a secretly wicked, pink tongue. He sank his fingers into Byakuya's hair, tightening warningly.

"Suck them!" he ordered, sharply nipping the noble's pale earlobe.

A lovely jolt assaulted his loins as Byakuya complied, extending that slick, pink tongue to tease, sucking in one nipple and rolling it around on his tongue, then releasing it and teasing it with his fingers while he mouthed the other.

"Ah...ah, fuck," snarled Grimmjow, as the noble pulled away and worked the lather into his chest, then slid his hands downward to rub the other man's tensed abdomen, letting his fingers catch in the navel.

Grimmjow glared down at him as Byakuya met his eyes questioningly.

"With your permission," he said sedately, glancing down at Grimmjow's aroused privates.

"Heh, go for it, mi amor esclavo (my love slave)!" he hissed, "Arrodillarse (kneel)!"

He grabbed Byakuya's bound wrists to steady him as the noble dropped onto his knees and slowly lathered each leg, working from the toes upward, then pausing to kiss his way up each soft, inner thigh.

"O-oh!" groaned Grimmjow, his erection swelling painfully as Byakuya's mouth explored him lingeringly, "Ah! Ah! Es bueno, mi amor esclavo! Ahora dame mas! (It's good, my love slave! Give me more, now!) Oh...oh, gods! L-la puso en su boca! (Put it in your mouth!)"

Byakuya teased Grimmjow's entrance with the fingers of his bound hands and let his breath tickle the other man's inflamed member. Grimmjow snarled and hissed dangerously and clenched his hair painfully.

"La dije puso en su boca ahora, mi amor esclavo! Hagalo ahora! (I said, put it in your mouth now, my love slave! Do it now!)"

"Lo voy a hacer ahora que mi senor," (I will do it now, my master) the noble whispered, looking up at him, submissively.

Grimmjow sucked in a hard breath, struggling not to climax as Byakuya's mouth wrapped around him, and still clutching the noble's hair, forcing his mouth up and down.

"Fuck! Fuck! F-feels so damned g-good!" panted the former Espada, moving his hips and glaring down at Byakuya's pretty face and wickedly pleasing mouth.

Sweat joined the lather and beads of water on his skin as he came dangerously close to climax, but not wanting to finish so quickly, he dragged Byakuya back onto his feet and plunged into the hot, wonderful mouth that had been pleasuring him. He thrust his tongue inside, pushing the noble back against the rock wall and taking him standing. He thrust hard and fast, all thoughts of waiting anymore abandoned as he buried himself in Byakuya's hot, tight bottom, capturing one slender leg and wrapping it around his waist, then lifting the other and binding the noble's legs around him.

Byakuya moaned feverishly into his ear, stoking his already flaming passions and making him force himself in deeper and harder...giving everything to loving the man who had once been an enemy, then his servant, but was now the one lover Grimmjow had ever had, whom he could not hold back anything from. He put everything, every bit of that emotion into his hard, open-mouthed kisses, into the hand that gripped Byakuya's bound wrists and into the heavily thrusting hips and rock hard erection that pleasured the beautiful shinigami he had taken as his lifemate.

He smiled as he heard Byakuya catch a small breath, then release it again in an enchanting sigh of surrender as the noble was overtaken and shaken with release. His seed spilled onto their still undulating bodies and leaked down as Grimmjow's pleasure peaked, and he released in scathing pulses into the noble's heated core.

Grimmjow gave a weak, satiated smile and released the kido bindings, only leaving the leather collar around Byakuya's throat so as to drag the noble into a barrage of warm, finishing kisses.

"Mi amante," (My lover) Grimmjow whispered, finally releasing Byakuya from the collar and wrapping his arms around the noble tightly, "Tu me has dado todo. Te quiero!" (You have given me everything. I love you!)

"It is you who has given me everything," Byakuya whispered back, "Yo ero un prisionero antes de liberarme." (I was a prisoner until you freed me.)

"It was a whim," chuckled Grimmjow, "I could just as easily have decided to leave you to the beast, you know."

Byakuya smiled and shook his head gently.

"It was a choice," he answered, "One that sets you apart, one that makes me love you in return."

Grimmjow held Byakuya tightly, his mind returning to the mission they were minutes away from beginning.

"Mi corazon," he said softly, his eyes growing serious, "Stay close to me. Be careful. I want us both to come back alive."

"Do not worry," Byakuya said calmly, "I did not come this far to fail my lover, our children, my sister, and our friends now. We will both be careful. And we will both come back alive."

They rinsed slowly under the water, then left the bathing area and dried each other off and dressed, then left the inner cave to join the others who waited in the outer cave. The group draped themselves in heavy cloaks to protect them from the windblown sands, then they left Grimmjow's cave behind and turned towards the lonely looking cliffs of the far northern range.