Enemy to Love
It was disturbing, to say the least.
To at long last feel your heart stopping after one hundred years of impending death without taking a single breath, only to suddenly gulp in the surrounding air the next moment like a nearly drowning man after piercing through the surface of a stormy ocean.
One hundred years.
One hundred years of motionless contemplating; of nothing else but thinking, since all other senses had been failing him miserably. Or was it the other way around? Because, in a way, his senses had even been enhanced. He had been able to see a brilliance in colours indescribable, to smell every fibre and even every emotion of those witnessing his death; he had heard grains of sand lifting in the air and the voice of the blinding mask of white and black of the Shinigami captain standing before him had been deafening in volume; and of course he had never felt a pain like that of the sword piercing oh so slowly through his hand on his unwavering way to his heart.
But there were only so many years his brain could try to grasp such incomprehensible pain and since the outside world had little changes to offer, all those senses became meaningless over the years, leaving him only with his overworking brain activities.
So he thought. He hurt, he feared, he contemplated vengeance and the most grotesque ways to kill his opponent, and after experiencing so many emotions unlabeled there was only one thing left: despair.
As a scientist of his imposing intellect he would never have dreamed of a time when he would pray for his brain to just stop working already and grant him the salvation of non-existence. But raging as he had done in his inner world, the muscles of his body never expressed any of his emotions in the outer world.
Hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry. Please, kill me already.
He had been on the verge of going irreversibly insane, when a new sensation finally took the mercy of providing him with the means to concentrate all his thoughts on:
The sword penetrating his heart and his body starting to disintegrate and merge with the endless plane of sand that covered and formed Hueco Mundo. It was thrilling, equally the most exhilarating and terrifying experience he had ever had and for the first time in years his mind was working at full speed again.
This was what he had been waiting for; this was all his thinking had been leading to over the years. And then, at last, after one hundred years of nothing else but thinking…
All thoughts came to a halt.
All sensations were gone.
And his body took his first breath after a century.
Of course, as soon as his senses were returning to him one after another and his synapses connected again at last, he instantly remembered, in reality these hundred years of torment had passed by in a flight of mere seconds; he had had enough time to figure that out, after all. But knowing was one thing, feeling another.
And it didn't help that he was shrouded in complete darkness right now.
So he took another gulp of air and then shakily stepped out of the pool of remaining fluids of the Fracción whose womb had given birth to his new body.
It felt so good to move his body again.
He was never so aware of his muscles moving under his skin and the wonder of his limbs obeying the commands of his brain. His mouth formed a smirk as his toes made contact with a console and a hand was raised to push a button. Lights started to illuminate the contracted room deep down the underground of Las Noches, for that was where the scientist had taken preparations for the extremely unlikely event of defeat.
Oh, how he would have loved to see the face of that freak of a Shinigami now.
Right now Grotesque-Mask probably thought he had killed his opponent for good. But the Shinigami captain had underestimated the implications of his 'perfect longevity'. Even if this had been his last resort.
As long as he left a seed of himself somewhere in a body, he could be reborn. So he had built a room that could only be accessed from within and had deposited a Fracción with his seed in it. This 'Ultimate Resurrection' had been a kept secret until now, not even Aizen was aware of it. He had not wanted to make use of it so early, but… oh, well, times changed.
And as it turned out –having thought it over 'for years'- it might even prove to be for the better.
Starting a program to download his most important researches from his computer, the Arrancar dragged his still weak legs to a cleansing unit in one corner of his secluded base to get rid of the remaining mucus of the Fracción sticking to his body.
He took his time under the spray of water to relax his muscles. There really was no urgency. Under normal circumstances he might have hurried to take his revenge on Kurotsuchi, before the freak could get out of Hueco Mundo, but some time in his hundred years of death he had lost his interest in that. Oh, he would kill him, rip him apart, make him regret ever crossing the Espada's path, but that could wait. Right now his interests had shifted. A century of just thinking could do that to you.
Strolling through the room, he found clothes he had laid down there and after getting dressed decently again he looked down at himself. Sneering at his attire he took the chip with his research data, gathered some important instruments and programmed a path to his quarters, before setting the computer on 'Self-destruct', making his way to the materializing corridor.
Szayel Aporro Granz would have to make a short stop to change his clothes, it seemed.
Grimmjow Jaegerjaques had no idea how long he had been lying there looking up at Aizen's false blue sky of Las Noches.
He would have loved nothing better than to get up and go in search for someone to plant his fists in, but frankly, there was no one left. At least, no one worthy.
After being felled by that fucker Nnoitra he had awoken to Kurosaki Ichigo looking down at him. Trying to get up right away so as to continue their battle he soon found himself barely able to even move an arm, only then realizing the shield from that girl hovering over him.
Naturally, Grimmjow had been furious, and only after several minutes of swearing so badly he had the woman nearly crying, had they given up their unwanted treatment. Of course, not before the Shinigami had given him an earful. Righteous bastard.
Ok, so he needed some tries to get onto his feet and all his wounds had reopened instantly from that, but he would have been damned if he was so foregone to need the help of a little weak girl and her delicate prince to live. O~K, so Kurosaki was in no way delicate, he had –nearly!- defeated him, after all, but the point was, Grimmjow hated pity more than anything and being in the Shinigami's debt just topped the fuck-up of the situation.
No. Stop. That had been the realization shortly after, that he was surrounded by enemies eying him with glares, condescending glances, blunt stares and one freak of a nature even seemed to dissect him with his eyes. Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place. Now, he was really screwed.
But before he could have contemplated who to attack first to at least go down fighting, the Sexta Espada had picked up something interesting. Apparently the Shinigami and their allies were stranded in Hueco Mundo. Grimmjow had to snort. This was hilarious.
"Ya came here without a way back? That's rich." Well, he couldn't have helped his roaring laughter. It was in his nature!
The next moment he had found himself grabbed by the lapels of his jacket by a Shinigami with bright red hair and most intriguing markings on his face.
"Shut up, you son of a bitch! Just because you helped Inoue and Ichigo a little doesn't mean I have to like and forgive you." Well, wasn't he a feisty one.
"Renji, let him go." Kurosaki had clapped a hand on the arm suspending Grimmjow in the air right then and had tried to stare his comrade down. But that Renji guy had not given any indication he would give, holding the Espada's ferocious look with his own blazing gaze.
"Kurosaki is right, Abarai. He might still be of use to us."
In an instant, all eyes had turned to the source of the words, Grimmjow not the only one with curiosity on his expression. Glinting glasses were all the teal-haired Espada could make out of the expression of the by far strangest member of the rescue team. The willow-boy dressed in white who had been one of the three intruders introduced by Aizen and who looked so weak, Grimmjow would have been able to crush him with one of his hands alone. What could pretty-boy possibly contribute to this group of fighters? But he must have had something going for him that warranted the superior posture in which he held himself, and to his big surprise, the pineapple-head had followed the glasses' order and with a "che-" Grimmjow had been released from his grip.
Curse his legs for betraying him then, bringing the Espada to a near crouch on the dust of Hueco Mundo. But since all eyes had been trained on the cape-guy, only a furtive glance of Kurosaki witnessed his moment of weakness and he had been quick to compose himself again. Not even looking at Grimmjow the next words of the willow had been directed at him.
"To my knowledge every Espada should be capable of opening a Garganta, am I right?" Not even waiting for a conformation he had continued.
"So, you could open one for us, couldn't you, Espada-san?"
Well, of course, Grimmjow had thought, but…
"Why the hell should I help my enemies?" he had asked incredulously, voicing out what everyone must have been thinking.
But instantly, the deep scowl on his orange-haired rival had lifted a little, and the boy had leapt at the idea with bright eyes.
"That's it, Grimmjow! You just open up a Garganta to Karakura in exchange for your life. And don't tell me you wouldn't love to barge in Aizen's plans. You hate his guts." The brat had smirked knowingly at him, all charged with energy, his reiatsu leaping out like crazy as always and it really had sounded convincing at that time, so before he knew what he was doing, Grimmjow had put on a feral grin himself and had conceded:
"Can't contradict ya in tha', Shinigami. But just so yya know. I don't give no shit about yer friends, I just don't like the idea of standing in yer debt. And believe me. When I'm back in action, I'm going after ya and settle our score."
"Like I said, I'll take you on anytime, Grimmjow."
The Sexta Espada had had nothing to say to that, so he had just reached out his arm and with a lot more concentration than he was used to, he had opened up a passage to the human world, the Shinigami wasting no time and rushing through the contorted rift of space, only the freaky captain with the paint mask hesitating. The first invaders and the woman were the last ones, Kurosaki's friends bowing to Grimmjow before rushing ahead of the carrot-haired brat.
Going after them, Kurosaki had looked over his shoulder once more and with warm brown eyes and a smile he said:
"Take care, Grimmjow."
The teal-haired Espada had only been watching his rival and saviour's back with widening eyes and then the Shinigami was gone.
The strange feeling in his guts must have been because of his fatigue, he reasoned, because the next moment, the Garganta had closed and Grimmjow's body had fallen backwards.
So here he was again, lying on the sand dunes of Hueco Mundo, thinking.
Needless to say, he wasn't very good at that. Especially when every thought led inevitably back to one Kurosaki Ichigo. There was something nagging him, and it wasn't just his desire to get stronger to beat his rival next time they met. But since he didn't want to reflect on this, his thoughts were just running in circles.
Frustration was growing by the minute as a shadow fell over him.
"What!" Grimmjow startled, looking up to see who dared to confront him in his current state.
Oh, for fuck's sake.
Of all the people it had to be the freakin' pink-haired scientist creep. He had thought the cross-dresser had been killed for sure. Just his lucky day.
"What do ya want?" he snarled, his muscles tensing should the Octava Espada try anything.
Szayel Aporro Granz only continued staring at him as if he was contemplating what to do with the teal-eyed man. The sudden smile wasn't reassuring at all.
"I'm going to the human realm and might be willing to take you with me."
To Grimmjow he might as well have said something along the line of "Aizen-sama is making you the king of Hueco Mundo". Surely he must have heard wrong.
"So, what do you say?" The effeminate Espada had stopped grinning and was now just scrutinizing him with half-lidded eyes. Since no joking addition was fore coming, Grimmjow started to take the proposition for real. But everything he could come up with was:
Well, that didn't even make sense to himself, so he did not expect any answer. But after a long sigh, Szayel deemed him with an explanation nonetheless.
"Let's just say a lot has happened in the last hour and I somehow find myself in the peculiar position of being thought of as dead, so I'm taking my opportunity to leave the ranks of Aizen and wait out his downfall in the human world. Having seen the recordings of your… interaction with those invaders, I thought you might want to come along. But if you want to lie here until Aizen will exterminate you once and for all because of your actions, be my guest… Or, you could go to the human world and work out your problems with that Kurosaki-boy."
Ahh, and he was back to thinking. He had no idea what the Octava Espada was indicating about his relationship to the carrot-head Shinigami. But he had to confess, he was thinking of taking him up on his offer. He had to confront Kurosaki sooner or later anyways. However, there was something really fishy here, so he had to voice it.
"Why would ya want me with ya. Ye could've gone on yer own, ya know."
There was something strange in the eyes of the pink-haired scientist, before he said:
"Maybe I want to have something of an ally in the other world, maybe I just see some similarity between us. Who knows? Just give me an answer or let me kill you already, so that you won't tattletale on me."
Well, what could you say to that? Maybe the bastard wasn't so bad after all.
"Just give me some time to rest and we are ready to go."
"Or maybe I can help with your recovery and we will make it in time, before Aizen returns", smirked the pink scientist.
So when they felt the Garganta opening sometime later indicating Aizen's return, Grimmjow was nearly healed and opening his own passage to the human realm. He was wearing a device to cover his reiatsu and upon arriving in the sky above Karakura, Szayel gave a last warning not to start any unnecessary fights before heading the other way.
"So what are you going to do here?" Grimmjow asked, before the Octava Espada could depart.
Szayel Aporro Granz took on a leering smirk over his shoulder.
"I also have someone I'm going after."
And so the unlikely allies vanished into thin air, their Sonido taking them to their respective destinations.
AN: Hi, everybody. This is my first solo fanfiction to post and my first go at Bleach. And as you may have noticed English is not my mother tongue. Just bare with me a little (and if anyone would like to beta for me I would be really grateful ^^).
If you haven't guessed from the summery already, this is a GrimmjowXIchigo, SzayelXIshida fanfiction (with all the yummy parts;), so all of you who don't like yaoi (man on man action), stop now before it's too late. Everyone else: Enjoy!^o^v
For those of you who think these are strange pairings, I have to say I'm mainly an IchiIshi shipper, however I generally enjoy every pairing that includes Ishida Uryuu, my favourite character of Bleach (and the perfect uke;p). So when a friend of mine (love you Slytherin-Pureblood^,^) introduced me to the pairing GrimmIchi I was surprised to find out that they would make a wonderful couple; I was also immediately fascinated by Szayel Aporro Granz and I loved his fight against Ishida and Renji (also I love creepy and sexy scientists harassing my ukes :p) so I wanted to try this unusual Pairing.
But for this to work (ok, and because I'm not so good at character development) the protagonists may turn out OOC. For that I apologize in advance. I'm trying very hard to keep them natural and won't mind criticism. I like feedback in any form, because I can't improve my skills otherwise, but above all I want other people to enjoy what I write as much as possible, so don't hold back;)
Oh, and since I'm prone to loose focus on stories of mine and know how frustrating it is to read a story that is being dropped along the way, rest assured. I only post stories here who are nearly completed already (only being refined here and there) or are forced out of me by a persistent friend^^, both applying to this story.
At last, I'd like to thank everyone who showed enough interest to read this chapter *bows deep* and hope you will tune in for the next instalment of "Enemy to Love"
Grimmjow: She called you creepy.;p
Szayel *overconfident*: I AM creepy. But she also called me sexy …. Anyway, I'm happy I'm back to life. Good luck with Kurosaki Ichigo.
Grimmjow: Yeah, good luck with… whoever yourself.
Ishida: Kurosaki, I've got a bad feeling…
Kurosaki: Just don't puke on me... Ouch! What did you do that for?