May. 19, 2011
Hello everyone. To start, this is a rewrite to what was originally called "Heart Emphatic." I had written that story in March 2008. It's been a while since I last updated it, and frankly that's enough time to forget where I was going. So thus I decided to scrap the old and write a new one. The concept is still the same, but the execution is (hopefully) different. Improved, to boot.
Secondly, I should note that this has male pregnancy in it. No, Ichigo is not going to become a girl. No, he's not going to magically form a vagina. You have no idea who tired I am of seeing stories where people screw up his gender. No offense to the writers, but it's really not my cup of tea. So. This is probably not the mpreg you think it is. It's gonna be dark. Be prepared.
Thirdly, I actually dislike Aizen. There are certain aspects of him that make me think "WTF Tite Kubo." But luckily for you guys I'm not going to let my personal opinion distort his character. Hopefully, you guys will like my, er, interpretation of him for the story. I tried.
I should note, in case you missed it, that this story is rated M for Mature. Certain events that occur in the chapters are not suitable for immature minds. This story is dark, as previously stated. If you are psychologically sensitive, please step back now. I will not be responsible for any disturbances you experience.
This is pretty standard, and I will only mention it once. The series Bleach and all affiliates are not my rightful possessions. While I may have purchased some of the merchandise, I do not claim rights to any of its official productions. The only thing I own here is my twisted plot to get two unlikely people hooked up and romping in the sheets with each other. And if you think that's illegal then I'll gladly claim myself as guilty as charged. Cause damn, those hotties just need to get in on! :D
Also, I should note that the beginning chapters will be very similar to the original series. If you haven't read those chapters or seen the episodes that they come from, that's fine. But please be aware that I've built off existing scenes in the first couple chapters of this story. With that, I am done blabbering. This will be the longest author's note you'll ever see in this whole story. Enjoy!
Entre el Corazon y la Espada
"Between Heart and Sword"
War. The stories of war were always written by the victors. Yet victory could not be predetermined. Battles could end in any manner despite whatever odds were placed beforehand. The underdog could best the veteran just as easily as the veteran could squash the underdog beneath his foot. To fight was like to gamble, and often the price to be paid was one's life. Ichigo Kurosaki demonstrated this fact well when he infiltrated Seireitei with his human friends to save Rukia Kuchiki. No one believed he would succeed, but again and again he surprised everyone by walking away from his battles the victor. No matter how badly he was beaten, no matter how many bruises painted his skin a hideous purpose, he held on to the thread of life with pure determination and clawed his way out from the grasp of death and failure.
When Sousuke Aizen first learned of Ichigo's existence, he hadn't been the least bit interested in him. Ichigo was no better than a fluke, a mere distraction to turn all of Gotei 13's eyes away from him. Ichigo had been nothing but a pawn to stir up chaos in Soul Society. If anything, Aizen considered him good entertainment, something he might watch during his pastime, like a game of sport, or a theatrical act. Never did Aizen consider him seriously.
While Ichigo indeed possessed remarkable raw talent, he was years too young to fully tap into his powers. Aizen was certain that when Ichigo came into his full powers, he would be sitting in his rightful spot in the heavens, a god amongst gods, greater than even the Soul King himself. And at the point, fighting with Ichigo would still be no more than another game. Whatever threat he posed would be nothing to bat an eyelash at. Being scared of him would be like being scared of an overgrown puppy. The bite might hurt, but it wouldn't kill him.
So when Aizen left Sokyoku Hill, leaving the boy beaten but alive, he wasn't the least bit worried about the future. He knew that whatever the boy dared to throw his way he could counter. But… just in case, he kept an eye on him anyway. Ichigo had a knack for surprising the best of them, and Aizen was not one to be caught unawares. He made it his hobby to keep tabs on the boy and watch his progress.
It surprised him, in a delightful way, when he saw evidence of the boy's awakening Vizard powers. Hollowfication. He knew instantly that was what the boy had gone through. As he recalled, Ichigo was supposed to have lost his Shinigami powers on the day that Rukia had been apprehended from the Human World. Her brother, Byakuya Kuchiki, and his lieutenant, Renji Abarai, had both gone to investigate the matters of report that had been put in her name. There they had learned of her treacherous crime, and of Ichigo's existence. If only Ichigo had died that day. If only Kisuke Urahara hadn't appeared upon the scene, coincidentally residing in the same town as the boy. If only Ichigo wasn't related to Isshin Kurosaki. If only.
Well, it was too late to dwell and regret now. Besides, being a Vizard added flavor to Ichigo's character and made him all the more unpredictable and entertaining. Being a hybrid of both Shinigami and Hollow opened up a whole new plane of possibilities. While Hollows themselves were ever evolving creatures, approximately seventy to ninety percent still unexplored, Vizard were even more than that. They were a rare breed, and who knew where their true powers lied, or what they even were. Who knew what would become of a Vizard when pushed to the limit. Pushed beyond.
The scientist in Aizen trembled with excitement and anticipation. His old experiments, back when he was still a lieutenant, were called up in his memory. He remembered the formulas, the subjects, the titillating satisfaction when the first Vizard was born by his own means. It was such a shame when his beloved experiments had disappeared. Alas, what was he to do when events had progressed as they had? He couldn't possibly risk losing his spot on the squad simply because of his desire to continue his experiments. Such a game had to be put on hiatus until he was ready to pick it up again.
Now was such a time. Though his original experiments were nowhere to be found (in truth, he knew where they were, but simply had no interest in playing with them again), a new toy had been placed before him. And Aizen had full intentions of playing with it to the point of breaking it. Maybe then he would give in to the notion to get rid of it.
But that was for some time to come. At the moment, Aizen had plenty of plans for Ichigo, one of which he had hopes of executing post haste.
Standing in the middle of the room, Aizen gazed upon the small tower that housed the Hogyoku. He swiped his finger upon the corner of the top disk, causing the tower spiral open and reveal the small sphere inside. Tempted, he reached out to touch it, pausing just before his finger made contact. The product was still incomplete, but that did not deteriorate its power. It had so much potential. There were so many things that could be done, even with like this.
Drawing his hand back, Aizen closed the tower and placed his hand upon the top, merely resting it there. He remained like this for a few moments until the sound of footsteps called his attention. Glancing over his shoulder, he spied Kaname Tousen just as he entered the room. The blind man was a faithful subject. Literally blind to all but his will. It was his strong point, as well as his most fatal flaw. Aizen enjoyed that level of devotion from him.
Aizen's lips curled into a small, light smile. Despite being the leader of a bunch of Arrancar, with manners that were no better than common thugs and mafia syndicate, he never saw reason to lose that genial attitude of his. He enjoyed playing the role of a benevolent lord, though he was anything but. "Yes, what is it, Tousen? It's not often you see reason to visit me here."
The ex-Captain slowly shook his head. "That Szayel Aporro... ever since you have given him that task, he has shed needless blood. The stench of death is thick."
"Ah," Aizen murmured and turned his gaze back to the Hogyoku. Tousen was notorious for hating war. Many had wondered, especially Gotei 13's Seventh Division Captain: Sajin Komamura, why he would side with Aizen when he opposed needless fighting. A pacifist at heart, Tousen was a complicated man who pursued obscure paths to a simple goal. In his own way, Tousen was entertaining. "You will have to forgive him. He enjoys his experiments very much. He reminds you of someone we're both familiar with, doesn't he?"
Tousen's brows drew together. Aizen didn't have to turn to know the man had tensed at the memory of the Twelfth Division Captain, Mayuri Kurotsuchi. Though not quite as brilliant as his predecessor, he was a twisted man, cruel in his own experiments. His imagination was vast, and his pursuit for knowledge and understand was endless. No doubt his methods were often frowned upon by Tousen.
Stepping away from the tower, Aizen moved to the doors that stood just opposite of him. Catching the latch with his hand, he pushed it open and stepped out onto the balcony that curved out from the wall beneath his feet. The sky overhead was dark, as it always was. Las Noches. Night. Never did the sun shine here. Never did light permeate this dark and evil landscape. The joyous ray of hope had no place here.
He moved to stand at the edge of the balcony, resting his hand upon the railing. His eyes scanned the endless sea of sand that surrounded the white fortress, riddled with traps for any who might carelessly approach. "There is a method to the madness. Though his method may seem cruel, you must trust in his instincts."
Tousen stepped to the door of the balcony, keeping his distance. "I still do not understand why you have given him that task."
"I have my reasons."
"Yet why take such interest in that boy? What is so special about him?"
Aizen chuckled softly. "He's not special. I simply enjoy the idea of crushing him under my foot. Don't think too deeply into these matters, Tousen. I am a simple-minded man."
Tousen's brows knit together. He didn't look convinced, but he didn't offer a rebuttal. He knew better than to challenge Aizen, even when he lied so obviously.
Aizen continued to look up at the black sky that lay overhead. Clouds slowly drifted on by in a manner that was often viewed on lazy summer days. After a few long moments of silence, he spoke. "Tell Szayel I wish to see him later."
"Certainly." Tousen paused briefly before turning around to leave. He closed the door behind himself, leaving Aizen on his own, as he was before.
Aizen's lips slowly curled into a smile. He looked forward to seeing his plans set into motion. He could hardly wait to see how it unfolded. Would Ichigo surprise him? Would he throw a wrench in the gears, as he always did? Would he prove to be entertaining once again?
Aizen moved to enter the room again, closing the balcony door behind him. He crossed the room to stand by a table where several documents lay. These were the results that Syzael had offered him previously to peruse. He traced his finger down the edge of one page. Soon, he would be able to play. Soon, he would be able to have some real fun.
Szayel Aporro Grantz was in midst of watching a low-level Arrancar writhe and shriek in pain when a knock came to the door. Irritated, his brows drew together as he glanced over his shoulder. "What is it?"
The door opened and Medazeppi stepped into view. He grunted and pointed behind him, revealing Tousen who stood just beyond the entryway. Szayel sneered. Medazeppi was by far the stupidest of lab assistants. He followed his commands well enough, but he couldn't talk, and his tolerance to pain was practically nonexistent. If Szayel so much as slapped his hand, he didn't doubt the overgrown baffoon would start wailing like a babe. He hated him with all his heart.
Turning yellow ochre hued eyes toward the blind Shinigami, Szayel just barely refrained from scowling. He waited impatiently to learn whatever it was the man wanted.
Tousen didn't waste his time. "Aizen wants you to report to him."
Szayel made a sound of disdain. "I see. Fine then." His scorn was not directed at Aizen, however, but Tousen. Aside from Aizen, Szayel hated all Shinigami. In fact, he hated many Arrancar as well, but they were more tolerable to have around at least to some extent. But Shinigami were disgusting. Having to talk to one was beyond distasteful for him.
He turned his back on Tousen and returned his attention on the Arrancar who was now spitting blood. Poor soul, she had no chance of living, but Szayel held no compassion for her. She was annoying to begin with, which was more than enough reason to use her as a test subject. If she was lucky, she would prove useful; if not, then it was no skin off his back. He would just find someone else more capable.
Raising a brow, he watched as she curled in on herself, holding her midsection as if she feared her innards from spilling out onto the floor. What an absurd thought. She would no more likely spill her innards than grow a second head from her ears. But... she might produce another head from between her thighs.
Gesturing to two of his other assistants, Szayel mumured, "Restrain her." He lightly bit the corner of his lip, quite curious to see what she might produce. So far she was the most receptive of the drug. All others before her had rejected it in one fashion or another, and most had died almost immediately after administration. Very few could withstand its effects for very long. It took many trials to tweak the drug so that it didn't put too much strain on the body. While Szayel had little compassion for the subjects he was destroying, he knew that the final product could not be so harsh and unrefined. Aizen would not approve of his carelessness.
Granted, there was no way he could extract all the flaws from the drug in the short amount of time Aizen had given him to create and perfect it. There was still a chance that even if it harvested well in this most recent subject it could still damage the host Aizen originally meant it for. He hoped Aizen wouldn't fault him if there were any... complications. He couldn't help it if he was rushed. And actually, he hoped he got to see what happened if there were. It would be most interesting to run experiments on the test subject.
The female Arrancar cried and screamed herself hoarse, jerking against the chains that were slapped down on her wrists and ankles. Two pairs of hands held down her shoulders and hips, though that did litlte to persuade her from continuing her squirming. As her eyes rolled to the back of her head, she choked on a gasp as pain rippled through her body.
She seized, her body freezing. She remained like this for a long moment until suddenly she collapsed against the ground. Szayel's eyes widened slightly, almost certain she had died, just like the rest, but then his eyes caught movement within her lower abdomen. A spark of surprise and excitement woke in his chest. Could it be...?
Something pushed from within the Arrancar's stomach. It pushed and shoved, as if it wished to break free of its confines. The Arrancar made no move, seemingly unconscious. Szayel leaned forward from where he stood, hand gripping the railing that separated him from the scene before him. His eyes caught sight of blood pooling between the female's legs. He nearly jumped when she suddenly jerked and began screaming again.
She thrashed against the restraints forced down on her. By sheer strength alone, and an amazing force at that, she broke the chains that connected to the cuffs at her wrists and threw off the two assistants holding her down. They scrambled to their feet to resume their position, but Szayel held up a hand and bid them stay where they were.
He watched with eager, wide eyes, as the female clutched her stomach and bent forward onto her knees. She panted harshly, her voice too raw to scream anymore even though her mouth remained frozen in a wide gape. Even silent her screams reached Szayel's ears and made him shudder with joy. He bit into his lip a little harder, never daring to blink as the Arrancar continued to spill blood.
He moved to the side, following the line of the railing so he could stand at a position that would provide him a better angle. Almost directly behind her now, he saw two small hands push forth from between her legs. With remarkable strength, they seemed to push open the seams, making it gape wide like a lips of a bag. Pushing it open to a near impossible width, a head slowly pushed forth.
Slowly, slowly, a body emerged. When it came down to the waist, the small creature turned its head, taking in its surroundings. Eyes black and empty, with no sign of a pupil or iris, stared out at the world as rows of sharp teeth gaped open. A long, red tongue slipped out to lick at the blood that coated its face, its length long and forked like a snake's.
The creature, completely white from head to toe, gave another push until it fell onto the blood floor beneath it. The female Arrancar collapsed as soon as they were separated, her body weak and trembling. The little creature that came out of her scuttled on the floor, hands and feet slipping on the blood that coated the floor. It looked around again, hollow eyes seeming to suck everything into them.
When its gaze landed upon the female, it seemed to grin. Its lipless mouth pulled back as it bared its teeth at her. With a shriek, it pounced upon her and sank its teeth into her. The Arrancar, unable to scream, merely twisted in agony. Her face contorted into an expression of pure horror and pain as blood welled where she had been bitten. She tried to push the little creature away, but her efforts were for naught. Nothing could dislodge it from her body. Nothing could tear its teeth out of her skin as it ripped away at her piece by piece.
Szayel, shocked and delighted, gripped tightly at the railing. He gasped, drawing in a staggering breath before letting it out in a heartless laugh. It was such a cruel and elated sound, expressing his utmost joy at the scene before him.
How marvelous, how absolutely fascinating it was! Never had he seen anything like it. Never did he imagine the results to be this entertaining. Truly this was a new stepping stone in the field of science. Truly, this was a subject worth pursuing. He had to thank Aizen for giving him this project. It was by far the most engrossing of experiments he had committed himself to in a while.
Licking his lips, Szayel pushed away from the railing and barked at his two assistants to keep an eye on the little creature. He needed to keep it contained, lest there be unnecessary accidents. He also ordered them to keep an eye on the female, if she managed to survive after all that. Though it was a success, there was still much room for improvement.
He left the room, shutting the door behind himself as he swept past his lab. There were various experiments in place, each monitored by one of his assistants. Szayel had no current interest in them, too preoccupied by the one that Aizen had personally given him.
Speaking of the man, Szayel knew he had to speak with him. Now was a good time as any to make his report. He had no time to make an official paper report for Aizen to review this time, but he was certain that the Shinigami would forgive him this time around.
Leaving his lab, he followed the network of hallways that branched through all the main areas of Las Noches until he finally came to the room Aizen was notorious for being in. It wasn't hard to sense his presence, his reiatsu was as unique as the moon in the sky.
After a quick knock on the door, he entered and found Aizen sitting in one of his various chairs, reading what looked to be a document in his hand. Aizen lifted his head to look up at Szayel. "Just in time." He set the papers down next to him, lifting his brows slightly. "You look rather pleased."
Szayel smirked. "It was a success. The first subject to live through the incubation process and give birth. She lost a lot of blood, though. The little beast she gave birth to was vicious. I'm not certain if she'll live or not."
"You said 'she'?"
"Yes." Szayel nodded. "So far only female Arrancar have showed any substantial results. I haven't bothered with too many males. Who knows what would happen then."
Aizen shifted so that he leaned his elbow on the arm of the chair. Tilting his head, he rested his chin on the curve of his hand. "I want you to test it on males. I assume two weeks will be more than enough time?"
Szayel gave it some thought. "Yes. Though that still isn't a lot of time."
"I'm sure you can come up with some sort of solution."
The pink-haired Arrancar smirked. Of course he could. He could tweak and twist the drug in any fashion he pleased. Though frankly, he wasn't too sure what might come of the experiment if he used a male. The way he had designed the drug made it more receptive to females. To have to alter it in order to work for both sexes would be a challenge. Though, then again, it would be quite interesting to see what came out of it. And he had plenty of subjects he wanted to test it on. Low level Arrancar were so easily disposable...
"Two weeks, right?" At the curl of Aizen's mouth, Szayel knew his answer was yes. "I'll have good news for you then."
"I look forward to hearing about it."
Dismissed, Szayel turned and left the room. There was little more to say, and he didn't really have the patience to linger. He was much to eager too continue his experiment to continue this trivial conversation. With another smirk, he made his way back to the laboratory to pick up where he left off.