For briar black death rose for getting me addicted to this song and loving Florence and the Machines. I do this request in your honor. I don't even know how I could come up with a story for this song but I did. I feel so proud…
Title of this chapter is from a poem I read in 11th grade called Caged Bird by Maya Angelou. Even though it's been a couple of years since I read it, it's still fresh in my mind because it was so impacting. Go give it a read. It kinda sounds like I based my story off of it.
So this is the last request I had to do. Now this is going to be on hiatus while I finish the rest of my stories. I'll let you know when I'll be taking requests again. Till then, adieu!
War is upon them. The air is thick with the stench of death, suspicion and chaos. Lieutenant Ichigo Kurosaki has had enough. Until one day they catch an interesting victim and demand the most interesting request...
Song: Seven Devils by Florence and the Machines
'What is it now, Nnoitra?!'
'Spare me the suspense…'
'We caught ourselves a German sweetling.'
Ichigo stiffened, his hands tightening on the shirt he had been putting away.
No more, he thought desperately. No more bloodshed. I'm sick of this war. I don't want to see any more Germans killed for no reason. I just want to go home and escape this nightmare.
Exhaling slowly, he turned around to face the lanky soldier currently leaning against the door frame of his room, sporting the widest grin possible. The sight made Ichigo sick.
'Found 'im sneaking about our barracks,' Nnoitra continued gleefully. 'Imagine! A whelp of a German snooping about the barracks of the British. His enemies! Hey, maybe he's a spy! Hope he is! Last one was a hellava lot of fun to play with!'
'General wants all of his seven lieutenants in the main hall.' He smirked. 'Said this was going to be a special interrogation.'
As the one-eyed man sauntered off, Ichigo had a queasy feeling in the pit of his stomach.
It was a man. He should've been thankful. The German women that were caught were always treated so horribly. But the men…their punishment was worse. After all, men had a higher endurance level for pain. But this…Lieutenant Nnoitra said this was a special interrogation.
He shuddered. Those nights Ichigo always had nightmares, even though he sometimes chose not to witness the ill-treatment. But it was just the idea and the idea alone that something unpleasant was going to happen to those people always put him at unease.
They're our enemies, he told himself, clumsily folding up his shirt and setting it inside his bureau drawers. They deserve this treatment. It's the German's fault so many innocents are dying in this pointless war. There was no need to have a war. But it did. And it's all because the German's were greedy for power.
But is it really the fault of each and every German? he thought bitterly as he marched mechanically down the corridor to the main hall. Was it really their fault that they followed their leader even though he was stark raving mad? Was it their fault that they swore their loyalty to a maniac like Hitler? Was it their fault that the man was on a power strike, eager to conquer all or none?
It was Hitler killing innocents. Not the Germans. Even though they were physically carrying out the orders but who was the one pushing the buttons? Who was the one giving the orders for the deaths? Who, who, who?
Ichigo sighed heavily, pinching the bridge of his nose as his head throbbed. He was now standing before the giant doors of the General Hall. All he had to do was push those doors open and there would be those innocent eyes, just like before, just like always, staring at him in fear and plea in hopes of being spared any cruel torture awaiting them. But nothing was going to save the person. The only choice they had was to scream or to remain silent.
Just get this over with.
He shoved the doors open. And was greeted by a pair of very young, but very fierce blue eyes.
Ichigo blinked in surprise. This wasn't what he expected. He thought he would see a quivering mess of a blonde man, slightly pudgy, maybe balding. He hadn't expected a spritely youth with wild blue hair, even wilder cerulean eyes and a mean mouth pulled in a sneer. To say the least, the sight shocked him speechless.
'When you have found your tongue, Lieutenant Kurosaki,' General Aizen called out clearly. 'Please take your place among the other soldiers. You arrived in a timely manner. We are just about to begin verdict of our lovely…guest.'
The dark-haired General of the British Royal Army smiled demurely at the blue-haired German. The boy scowled back. Ichigo had to refrain from letting his jaw hit the ground as he took his place by Shinji, one soldier who he could tolerate on a healthy level.
'What happened?' he muttered to the blonde.
'Lots,' the soldier murmured back, eyes glued to the boy now standing in the middle of the giant room. 'Believe it or not but that kid happens to be the Blue Comet.'
Ichigo inhaled sharply. Blue Comet. Now didn't that name send a chill up his spine. Everyone in the bloody war knew about the Blue Comet and if you didn't you were probably living under a rock. The Blue Comet was the deadliest human being alive. Scratch that, deadliest human weapon alive. And worst of all, he was the German's weapon to command.
There were hundreds of rumors about the Blue Comet, each as astounding as the next. How he had killed 19 soldiers with only 9 bullets. How he had single-handedly maneuvered an army tank and taken out an entire French battalion before the German cavalry arrived. And, the best one yet, how he had seduced the Austrian prince into handing him his entire army and then slitting his throat in the middle of the night.
'Bet he had done it while they were fucking,' Nnoitra had muttered after hearing that one. 'No man can remember his wits when he's balls deep in a tight virgin.'
Ichigo stared hard at the stoic teen before him. The Blue Comet was nothing but a mere boy. Had he really accomplished all that the rumors boasted?
'Blue Comet,' General Aizen began slowly. 'It is my pleasure to welcome you to our humble abode. Allow me to introduce you to my fine Lieutenants of the British Army. Lieutenant Nnoitra of the Isle of Man….' Nnoitra grinned wickedly, '…Lieutenant Ulquiorra of Dublin…' the man just nodded obediently, '…Lieutenant Ichimaru of Glasgow…' a wide grin from the lanky officer, '…Lieutenant Tosen of Bristol…' the dark-skinned man just brooded in his corner, '…Lieutenant Stark of Leeds…' the lean man yawned in acknowledgement, '…Lieutenant Shinji of Birmingham…' Shinji did nothing but stare in silence, '…and finally, our most famed officer for bringing in our prisoners, Lieutenant Kurosaki of London.'
Ichigo winced. He did not need to be reminded of his…accomplishments against the other side. It horrified him that of the 500 German captives he had taken from a successful raid, only a few dozen were barely alive due to the enthusiastic torture sessions that happened in this very building.
It's my fault that they died a painful death, he thought miserably. He gazed up at the boy. And the boy knows it. I can see it in the way he's glaring at me.
'These are the best of the best from my Army,' General Aizen continued with a flourish. 'And I am-!'
'I don't care who you are!' the Blue Comet spat venomously, eyes trained with a burning hate on the General of the British Army. The chains binding his feet and hands jangled as he jerked them angrily. 'You're a fucking British and all I care about is skinning you alive and burying you six feet under for murdering my people!'
'Shit, that kid has balls,' Shinji breathed, impressed. But Ichigo wasn't so impressed. Sure, the German executed an excellent control over the English language but no one spoke like that to the General. And the way the General was smiling, well, that was never good.
'I've heard some interesting stories about you, Blue Comet,' General Aizen drawled, leaning back in his little armchair. 'Oh, I'm not talking about your accomplishments on the field. More of…how your voice is akin to those of the sweet angels of heaven.'
Ichigo blinked. What?
The Blue Comet himself had turned a dark red, whether from embarrassment or anger, no one could tell.
'What-What are you,' he sputtered, lowering his head to hide his face. 'What're you say-?!'
'Lovely tales, really. When I asked our prisoners about you, one of them, a woman, green hair, lovely to look at, said you sing like an angel. Pity she died before she could say anymore. So is it true?'
The boy saw red. His body jerked forward as if he wanted to attack but he refrained.
Smart boy, Ichigo realized. And he needed to be, since he was dancing on the fine line between life and death right now.
'I want to hear a song from the pretty blue bird,' General Aizen chuckled richly. Even Lieutenant Ichimaru was giggling in delight. The Blue Comet's face darkened. His name, his title of honor, the Blue Comet, was supposed to strike fear in men. Instead, the General had diminished and disparaged it to something as fragile as the blue bird. That was the highest insult anyone could pay to an officer.
'Over my dead body,' the blue-haired assassin hissed quietly. Ichigo clenched his hands into fists.
Don't say that, he chanted in his head. Don't say something stupid like that. You might just-
'Maybe not yours,' the General hummed, drumming his fingers on his chair. 'But perhaps the bodies of your comrades might be sufficient.'
-make it even worse.
The German's face went pale. He knew what was at stake. His life. Or the ones held in captive. Captives that Ichigo had brought. He felt his heart pound painfully against his chest.
After a moment's silence, the boy finally spoke him, although it was strained as he tried to be polite.
'What do you want?' he muttered. General Aizen smiled in satisfaction as he leaned back.
'A song, my pretty blue bird,' he answered lightly. The boy flinched at the nickname. Ichigo pitied him. German's most deadly weapon, forced to lower himself before an enemy. All for the sake of his brethren. It was depressing to just witness. 'I want a song to commemorate my Army and its victories.'
'Should we bring out the piano too, General Aizen?' Lieutenant Ichimaru piped in, almost bouncing on his feet. Ichigo had half a mind to glare at him. The wound to the boy's ego was bad enough. Was there really any reason to add more salt?
'I don't see why not?' General Aizen's smile almost touched his ears now. 'You play the piano, don't you, my pretty blue bird? The woman said you did that wonderfully too.'
Blue Comet flinched. His burning eyes were focused on the ground as he nodded stiffly. In a few minutes, a piano had been slid into the room. It was a Parlor Grand, the General's most prized possession, Ichigo noted. Some say that Beethoven himself had played his best sonatas on it.
'What about my chains?' the German said coldly, now standing before the antique.
'Keep them on,' General Aizen said silkily. 'As a reminder of who you are in this room.'
Again, those azure eyes seemed to burn with a hateful fire. It was a wonder they hadn't burned the General on his seat.
Inhaling deeply, the boy sat, lifting the cover to stare at the brightly polished keys before him. For a minute, Ichigo wondered if he would just smash them all to pieces. Then, suddenly, the German struck the sharpest and most mesmerizing tune he had ever heard. And that voice. It was truly the voice of an angel.
The boy's eyes fluttered closed as he continued to play.
Cannot help you now.
A thousand armies,
He suddenly stared at the General seated before him, brows pulled into a scowl.
Couldn't keep me out.
To Ichigo's surprise, the side of his mouth curled into a mocking smile.
I don't want your money.
I don't want your crown.
See I've come to burn,
Your kingdom down.
General Aizen's featured twitched.
Affected, General? Ichigo wondered.
The tempo slowed down a little.
Holy water…cannot help you now.
See I've come to burn…your kingdom down.
Blue Comet squeezed his eyes shut as he leaned his head back, belting out the next lines like he was pouring his soul into them.
And no riiiveeers and no lakes, can put the fire out.
He was slowly bringing his head forward again.
I'm gonna raise the stakes;
He was now staring at the General Aizen. The boy tilted his head to one side and smiled.
I'm gonna smoke you out.
The music paused for a second. Ichigo realized his heart had been pounding fast against his ribcage. He clutched his chest. Then, the music started again with more vigor and life.
Seven devils all around youuu,
Seven devils in my hooouse.
See they were there when I woke up this morning,
I'll be dead before the day is done.
Seven devils all around youuuu,
Seven devils in your hooouse.
See I was dead when I woke up this morning,
And I'll be dead before the day is done.
Before the day is doooneee
'General Aizen, I believe he is insulting you in your very presence,' Lieutenant Tosen murmured icily. 'Give me the word and I will slice his arms off for playing such a ghastly tune. Or better, his tongue.'
'Not yet, Lieutenant,' General Aizen whispered, eyes trained on the boy as he continued to play, those haunting blue eyes fixed on the General. 'Our blue bird is trying to mock us.'
'Does it not irk you, General?'
'No. It…amuses me.'
Bastard, Ichigo thought coldly. He felt shivers run up his spine as the piano melody seemed to echo to the very depths of his body. How on earth could a boy sing like that?
Blue Comet now bent low over the keys, pressing hard and with emphasis.
And now all your looove...will be exorciseddd.
And we will fiiind your sayingsss...to be paradox.
He lifted his eyes up slowly this time, body straightening out simultaneously.
And it's an eeeven suuum,
He was sitting up straight now, his eyes blue liquid fire.
It's a melodyyy,
He glanced down at the keys before looking back up, pressing hard as he sang the next line harshly.
It's a baaattle cryyy,
Your battle cry, Ichigo thought suddenly.
It's a symphonyyy.
Seven devils all around youuu,
Seven devils in my hooouse.
See, they were there when I woke up this morning,
And I'll be dead before the day is done.
He's just a boy, Ichigo realized. He's just a boy but he understands this war better than me. I pity it. I want nothing to do with it. But he…wants to end it. He wants to kill its demons and he will do it even if it kills him. He's more of a soldier than…than anyone in this room.
Ichigo stared down at his hands. They were stained. Not now. But they were stained. Stained with the blood of innocents he had brought to this camp, killed on battlefields, abandoned on minefields. He was a demon. He was one of the Seven Devils.
He clenched his hands into fists.
And I'll be dead before the day is done.
Before the day is dooone
Before the day is dooone
Before the day is dooone
The boy inhaled sharply. Then, suddenly, the energy and life that filled the piano music made Ichigo jump and stare. The German's eyes were focused on the General and only on the General. And the words he was singing…well, it wasn't like he was just singing. It was like he was making a promise. A promise to make him burn for his crimes.
They can keep me aliiive,
'Til I tear the waaalls,
'Til I slave your heaaarts,
And they take your sooouls,
And what have we dooone?
Can it be undooone?
In the evil's heaaart,
In the evil's soooul
Seven devils all around youuu
He was breathing hard now. He had just poured so much emotion into those lines that it had drained him. Ichigo could see his chest heaving and sweat beading his brow. For a moment, he forgot that this boy was a captive, the Blue Comet, hell, even the fact that he was just a boy. There was something special about this kid. After listening to him sing a song so worldly and powerful as that, how could one not think that?
Seven devils in your hooouse
See I was dead when I woke up this morning
I'll be dead before the day is done
Before the day is done
The music was winding down now. The German's hands flew glided over the keys, eyes lowered for a second before he lifted them once more as he whispered the last line.
Before the day is done.
With the last note, he dropped both his hands into his lap. Silence enveloped them. Then, General Aizen began to clap.
'Wonderful,' he mused, his eyes glittering oddly. 'That was impeccable. I guess the rumors were true, my pretty blue bird. You sing like an angel. And look like one, with that blue halo of yours.'
Blue Comet looked up quickly with a scowl.
'Stop insulting me,' he hissed. 'You had your request. Now, I want mine; release my comrades. Or I'll slit the throat of everyone in this room.'
General Aizen laughed luxuriously.
'Feisty little bird we have here!' he remarked, amused. 'Very well, very well, I shall release them. Lieutenant Kurosaki shall escort you to your chambers and I shall have Lieutenant Ichimaru release your friends.'
That seemed to satisfy the boy a little. His brow unfurled slightly. Yet he seemed skeptical and for good reason. Even Ichigo felt that something was off.
'Lieutenant Kurosaki, a word?'
Startled, Ichigo approached the General.
'Escort him to my chambers,' the dark-haired man whispered. Ichigo raised an eyebrow.
'Are you in need of speaking to him of more private matters, sir?' he asked as politely as he could. The smile that spread across his General's lips almost made him shudder.
'In a way,' the man replied lightly. His eyes flickered hungrily to the German now fidgeting in front of piano. 'I feel that my appetite for the blue bird has not yet been fulfilled.'
No, Ichigo thought desperately, even as he backed away impassively and ushered the boy out of the room. No, no, no, you can't do this. You can't. He's a BOY. He's just a young BOY. For God's sake, have some shame!
'Are you alright?'
'Huh?' Ichigo didn't realize he had led them to a dead end. Shit, he must be really out of it.
I want to do something right for once, he thought helplessly. I want to make a change. And I want to do it without hurting anyone for once. What the hell can I do?!
'Mister, is something the matter?' the boy asked, concerned. Ichigo wanted to laugh. An enemy was concerned for him. Now something was definitely wrong here.
He glanced at the boy. Maybe he couldn't do something. But…
'Do you know your way around this building?' he asked quietly. Blue Comet looked at him in surprise. 'Well, do you?'
'Ummm, yes, but what has that got to do with…'
'Then listen to me very carefully. There is an unguarded exit in the East Wing of this building. It leads you under an abandoned warehouse which is in the middle of a city two miles from here. You are safe there. Nobody knows about this exit because they think it leads to nowhere. Now, I want you to go wait there while I go free your friends who are a floor below us. I will escort them here and you are on your own from there. Are you with me so far?'
'Good. Then we don't have much time. You need to act quickly. The General will be in his chambers in another half an hour. You must act quickly and swiftly. Do you understand?'
'Good. Then hurry and don't stop for anything!'
He gaped at Ichigo as the soldier opened his chains.
I know what I'm doing, he told himself firmly. I know what I'm-
'Do you even know what you're doing, soldier?' the boy said quietly. Ichigo paused, his heart pounding again. He looked up and smiled helplessly, surprising the boy.
'Not really,' he answered truthfully. 'But I think you do.'
The boy stared at him for a bit.
'You know you're trusting your enemy,' he said slowly. 'You're freeing an enemy and going against your people. You'll get in trouble.'
'I guess,' Ichigo admitted. 'But sometimes, doing the right thing does that to you.'
That actually made the boy smile a little. It even lifted Ichigo's spirits.
'Now, hurry,' he coaxed. 'Time is of the essence.'
The boy scrambled off. But then, he paused and turned around.
'What's your name?' he asked, rather curiously. Ichigo raised an eyebrow. But he answered all the same.
'Ichigo,' he said quietly. 'Ichigo Kurosaki. Yours?'
'Grimmjow Jaeguerjacques.' He gave a salute. 'I'll remember you, Ichigo Kurosaki. Not as an enemy but as a friend.'
And with that, he was gone. Ichigo smiled.
Yep, he sighed. Definitely did the right thing.