Chapter Ten: They're Alive!
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Letting out an uncharacteristic sigh, Sung-sun pondered if she should or even could go through with what she was about to do. Staring down the door with a hardened gaze as her mind drifted back to when she and Ichigo were in Soul Society.
Sung-sun's teeth clenched in annoyance when she remembered how kind Ichigo had been to that Shinigami woman. She took a deep breath as she tried to calm herself down, Ichigo was always kind, she couldn't fault him for that, but what bothered her was who it was toward, a Shinigami, a hollows greatest enemy!
Then it seemed that the auburn haired woman knew Ichigo well enough that she addressed him as Kurosaki-kun. Sung-sun brought her hand up to cover her mouth as she stared at the plain white door in front of her.
'What should I ask her, was she just a friend of Ichigo in a past life, or was it something much more terrifying, like something along the lines of being his lover?' she pondered.
"What are you doing here woman?" an emotionless voice demanded, which broke her train of thought.
Looking over Sung-sun was unsurprisingly met with the black face of Ulquiorra, who was talking over towards her. "I'm here to interrogate the Shinigami." she lied, hoping she wouldn't have to explain what she was actually here for.
Ulquiorra stared at her for a few seconds longer, "No one is allowed to come into contact with the Shinigami until Aizen-sama says so, that includes you." he countered.
Sung-sun then turned to him fully as she returned his emotionless gaze with one of her own, "I'm quite aware of that Ulquiorra, but it is at the request of Ichigo-sama that I do this as it seems that the prisoner somehow knows him." she lied again.
"If it pertains to Ichigo-sama, why isn't he doing this himself, or at least accompanying you?" Ulquiorra retorted.
Her eyes narrowed, she had said too much, "He's busy." she answered as her hand continued to cover the lower portion of her face.
The silence lasted longer then the last as the duo continued their staring contest. Ulquiorra then closed his eyes, "Very well." he answered as he moved to the door in front of Sung-sun.
Sung-sun's eyes widened for the briefest of seconds as she was completely caught off guard as Ulquiorra allowed her entry without that much of a fight. 'Ichigo's name must have carried more weight than I had originally thought.' she pondered as the emotionless man in front of her opened the door and stepped inside.
The olive haired Arrancar nodded to Ulquiorra in thanks, not that he saw or cared for anyways, and stepped inside as well. The soft click of the door settling back into place signaled to her that her companion had closed the door behind her.
As Sung-sun glanced around the room her impatience with Aizen and his so called infinite wisdom and leadership grew. First, there was forbidding Ichigo from protecting his fraccion from that pathetic excuse for an Arrancar, much less a man, named Nnoitra. Then came the order to capture a certain Shinigami and risked the life of the most powerful hollow that had ever lived.
Sung-sun took a deep breath as she remembered that day she and Ichigo infiltrated Soul Society. She had expected someone who could threaten them with strength, but the auburn haired woman that Sung-sun had been ordered to capture was nothing short of a big breasted weakling.
The woman in question had barely put up a fight save for the shrill screaming for help, to which Sung-sun silenced rather quickly. Which only left that the woman had vital information, but even that didn't make sense as Aizen already had someone on the inside to relay information.
Sung-sun's teeth gently latched onto the end of her thumb in thought as she tried to discern the true motive for bringing this Shinigami woman to Hueco Mundo. Though that thought process was quickly pushed aside as she continued to look around the room, if you could call it that.
Sweeping her vision back and forth she found the room to be something you would find in some royalty mansion of sorts. Over sized furniture with lots of wasted space and large windows looking out to the desert below.
"Eep!" cried out the occupant of said room, which Sung-sun's eye's instantly locked on to. The auburn haired woman had pushed herself into the far corner of the room, her hands desperately griping the chair next to her as if she was afraid it might disappear.
"What is your name?" Sung-sun demanded, refusing to waste anytime and risk getting caught by one of Aizen's henchmen or worse Aizen himself.
Though before a single second passed after she asked her question, Ulquiorra took a step in front of her, acting as a wall between the two women. Sung-sun looked up into his emotionless eyes matching with her own, "What ar-" She began but was cut off.
"Trash like yourself is lucky enough to be anywhere near this room, and you think you can ask the questions too?" he rhetorically asked, as he already knew the answer. Without missing a beat he turned back towards the Shinigami and repeated Sung-suns' question.
"...I-Inoue O-Orihime" the woman answered timidly as her nails dug deeper into the fabric of the chair. The silence continued as the two Arrancar stared her down, Orihime gave a very audible gulp as she downed the excess saliva that had accumulated in her mouth.
"Are you afraid?" Asked Ulquiorra.
Putting on her best fearless face she replied with a very unconvincing "N-No".
Sung-sun brought herself out from behind her companion with a set of narrowed eyebrows, which happened to be the only sign of her increased anger.
Ulquiorra gave her a quick glance before returning his attention to Orihime, "Does the name Kurosaki Ichigo mean anything to you?" He asked as his eyes searched for any signs that she might know of the boy.
The reaction was instant and obvious, the fear from her eyes and stature vanished and she relinquished the chair she had been gripping since their arrival. Orihime's hands curled into fists as she took a few confident steps towards her captors as her eyes took on an angry expression.
"Why is Kurosaki-kun with hollows, why did you have him bring me here, WHAT DID YOU DO TO HIM!?" She demanded as her voice levels and anger rose with each question.
Though Ulquiorra went unfazed by her onslaught of questions and yelling, and instead turned to Sung-sun, "There, you have your answer, now leave." he ordered.
"WHAT! You cannot be serious, I need more information than that!" She argued, but was met with a sharp glare that left no room for negotiation.
"Leave." he repeated.
Sung-sun held a glare of her own for a few seconds before giving up with a sigh. She gave one last glance at the shinigami woman, who still had an angry expression though to a lesser extent, before leaving the room.
Ulquiorra watched as the petite woman left the room and waited a few seconds after that to make sure she was out of hearing range. Turning to the auburn haired woman, Ulquiorra then began to close the distance between them causing Orihime's fierce expression to falter as she returned to her original position in the corner.
"W-What do you want?" she stuttered out, clearly the mention of Kurosaki only serving to be a temporary boost as fear worked its way back into her bones.
"I am in no mood for games woman, you will tell me everything I want to know, starting off with why would such a weak shinigami is so important to Aizen, is that understood?" He questioned.
Orihime nodded weakly, "O-Ok.".
Sung-sun wouldn't describe herself as an overly emotional person, or even one that got angry easily, but right now she was pissed. Her footsteps echoing loudly in the large hallways, narrowed eyes glaring at the floor as less than ladylike terms ran wild in her mind.
Suddenly she stopped, closed her eyes and then took a deep breath, 'There's no need for this kind of behavior.' she said to herself.
She then continued to make her way back to Ichigo's palace, and with the calmer mind, allowed her to think about her time with Ichigo instead. She smiled at the thought of her orange haired master, Ichigo was so kind, unlike the other savages that called themselves Arrancar.
Ichigo was everything she would look for in a mate, not that she had a whole lot of time before becoming his fraccion for that kind of thing anyways. Then she remember what Apacci had said about going after Ichigo, she frowned at the thought of someone else with him.
It was no secret most if not all of the females that were still alive were looking at her master with lust filled eyes. That alone made her angry and nervous at the same time, sure she had made the first move but there were much better candidates to bare his offspring, not that Ichigo would betray her in such a way but it still made her worry.
Sung-Sun was almost startled when she came upon the door to Ichigo's palace, as her mind had drifted afar her legs stayed right on course, something she felt thankful for as if she had found herself near Grimmjow or even worse Yammy would have put her in a sour mood. Grabbing the doorknob, Sung-Sun took a deep breath and headed inside. Upon entering she discovered the two pools of blood and shook her head, thinking Nnoitra had dropped by.
Looking around for Ichigo, she instead found Mila holding herself as she stared into the flames of their fireplace. Taking a quick glance to the blood and back to Mila she opened her mouth to ask what had happened, but was cut off when Mila turned her head towards her. the look of fear and sadness written on her face, emotions she had never see on the amazon, had left her speechless.
Her confusion must have shown through as Mila jumped from her seat before running up to Sung-Sun and grabbing her shoulders. "Sung-Sun, we need to leave now, we need to find another place to stay its not safe here." Mila shouted
"What are you talking about-" she began before she was cut off by Mila's rough shaking.
"Ichigo, he...he" Mila stammered out but couldn't seem to continue.
"What happened to Ichigo." Sung-Sun blurted out, as her worry sky rocketed and her eyes cut over to the pools of blood hoping it wasn't Ichigo's.
"He..." She began, before looking back to Sung-Sun with pleading eyes, as she couldn't bring herself to say it. Sung-Sun nodded encouragingly trying to get the information she needed to know without getting out of hand herself.
"Ichigo...somehow he found Harribel-sama out in Hueco Munro, she had survived Barraggans attack. He brought her back here, and while we were talking he just suddenly got up and stabbed her and Yoruichi, and I think they're both dead." she finally answered, to which Sung-sun's eyes widened in shock.
(…) Somewhere in Hueco Mundo
A pained groan alerted Ichigo to his now awake blond haired patient, as a shocked gasp informed him that Apacci too had seen Harribel showing signs of life.
Blond eyelashes fluttered open, revealing the piercing teal eyes beneath which began rapidly scanning the sky in an almost dumbfounded fashion.
Harribel began to get anxious as she felt the pain from her wound, a great weight as if a giant was sitting on her chest, her hands gripped the sand below her fingers. Try as she might her eyes couldn't see beyond the clear blue sky that lay above her, but her ears were picking up the slack as she heard the subtle movement of sand and the rapid breathing of an individual somewhere close.
The shark like hollow closed her eyes in an attempt to figure out just how she ended up in this situation. Though her memory failed to provide the answers she sought, the last thing she could remember was her orange haired saviour cutting her down for no apparent reason. Her jaw clenched in anger and her brows furrowed in confusion, why would he save and reunite her with her old comrades just to attack her? She shook her head to clear her thoughts, before she could get answers she needed to get out of this buffet she had been laid out as.
Ichigo looked at her with relief as her chest rose and fell signaling that she was breathing again, but soon found him staring for a different reason. His cheeks flushed red as he jerked his eyes away from the entrancing pair, bringing them to bare on the other woman in his care, Yoruichi.
Yoruichi's wound had begun to close though she had yet to show any signs of life, which made him worry, though he didn't have the chance to dwell on her for any longer as his blond haired patient jolted up suddenly.
Harribel pushed herself upwards catching the ones hovering over her in surprise, though before she had a chance to capitalize on it a sharp pain pierced through her chest. She cried out in pain and slammed back into the sand below, bringing her more pain. 'No, not today!' she told herself, and tried to push her self up again, but was gently pushed back down.
"Easy there Harribel, you're ok" assured a deep male voice, normally such a statement would have done nothing to calm her nerves but due to a familiar voice and that the person speaking to her knew her name did put her worries to rest.
Opening her eyes, Harribel was met with clear blue sky surrounding a head topped with orange hair and rounded off with two brown eyes brimming with warmth. She felt awkward, not in a bad way just...different.
"How you doing?" He asked
'Ichigo' the name resounded in her thoughts, and then the memories of what had happened flooded her mind. "I'm...fine?" Harribel said in disbelief, she was sure she had died, but the pain in her chest where she had been stabbed told a different outcome. Her eyebrows furrowed in thought, if Ichigo had attacked her why is he helping her now?
A gasp alerted her to a new presence, "You're alive!" shouted yet another familiar voice.
"Apacci?" Harribel questioned as her line of sight was quite limited, her inquiry was met with a very characteristic laugh.
"Haha, I knew you remembered me!" Apacci confirmed as her fist pumped into the air with excitement.
The blue haired tomboy shifted her gaze towards her new leader, her amazement written all over her face. Even though it was happening right before her very eyes Apacci could barely believe it, the one who had saved them from certain death in the pits, reunited them with Harribel and brought her back to life, though the last one was kind of his fault anyways. She shook her head, 'That wasn't him, he would never harm us.' she told herself.
Apacci's cheeks were dusted in red with embarrassment as Ichigo's eyes rose to meet her own, a small smile gracing his face from his usual demeanor. Then suddenly her mind filled with Mila's remarks about her sexual orientation, and experience to thoughts about what the others would say.
Looking back to the man that had occupied her thoughts since she met him she shrugged her shoulders and said "Ah to hell with it!".
Ichigo felt the weight lift from his shoulders as Harribel voiced that she was alive and indeed feeling fine, though a quick glance at the still unconscious Yoruichi laid that weight right back on to him. His eyes fluttered and with a quick shake of his head he attempted to stave off the oncoming wave of exhaustiveness that was plaguing his body.
Looking to Apacci, Ichigo found her staring back at him with a grin, such an addictive emotion that she loved to use that he too allowed it to come forth. Suddenly the blue haired Arrancar began to blush, something he had never seen on her before, and was reminded of his own staring, to which he lowered his gaze to the sand out of embarrassment.
"It seems you're back to your old self." Harribel commented.
Looking to the shark-like hollow, he furrowed his eyebrows in thought, "I dunno about that." he replied.
"The man who attacked me isn't the same man who is in front of me healing my wounds. Although your appearance hasn't changed, your soul has." she stated.
"..." Silence was his response.
"Tell me Kurosaki, what happened back there?" she asked
Ichigo's eyes averted from hers slightly, "Couldn't tell ya." he answered.
Harribel narrowed her eyes, she could tell he was holding something back but decided not to pry for the time being, "Ok then, how did you come into contact with my brethren."
"...I selected them to be my fraccion after they were thrown into a pit with other hollows." Ichigo replied.
"By who?" she demanded, but was answered with a shrug of the shoulders.
Harribel sighed, it seemed she was getting nowhere with her questions and proceeded to relax and allow Ichigo to finish healing her.
"Why are you doing this for me, you hardly know me." She asked, trying to get something out of him.
"Despite not knowing you personally, I have heard about you from Apacci and the others, they adored you and would probably...no definitely follow you to hell and back. I guess you could say that I admire that kind of leadership, and when I got the chance to leave Las Noches I just had to find you. It wasn't just for my curiosity, but to reunite you all together...I know the feeling of losing someone you love dearly and I wouldn't wish it on even my worst enemies." He replied
Harribel smiled inwardly as she eyed Ichigo, she could sense the sincerity of his words. Despite the sadness that was brought about when he mentioned it, she was glad that he could relate to her, "Thank you Kurosaki." she replied before laying back down.
As the blond woman allowed herself to relax, she quickly felt the effects of Ichigo's healing. Like waves lapping a beach, Harribel felt everything Ichigo had to offer; warmth, power, safety, energy, and it felt absolutely wonderful.
Swaying from side to side as his eyelids grew heavy, 'Why do I feel so tired?' he pondered.
Though he wouldn't have to ponder that question for much longer as the womanly voice inside his head let her presence be known once more. 'It takes an enormous amount of energy as I am essentially transferring their wounds to you, and allowing your bodies regenerative powers to take over and heal the damage. I am also repairing the Reiatsu that they had lost by giving them some of yours.' She answered
Ichigo nodded in understanding, 'Thanks again for doing this, it...means a lot.' he replied. Just then he could feel her mood lighten and what felt like a comforting warmth drape over his back, before he felt a slight smile form upon his lips.
Letting out a deep breath Ichigo watched as Yoruichi's wound finally seal and his work completed, all that was left was for the purple haired Arrancar to wake up, he hoped.
"Ok...that should...be it." Ichigo barely managed to get out, as the exhaustion was settling in quite heavily. Harribel groaned in annoyance as Ichigo's power left her body, taking the feeling of great power along with it.
Suddenly he heard Apacci say "Ah to hell with it!" which happened to be his only warning as he was then tackled to the ground by said woman before he blacked out.
Instantly after attacking Ichigo, Apacci quickly executed the next part of her plan as she pinned his arms above his head and locked her legs around his own, effectively straddling him. Shaking with excitement she instantly locked lips with Ichigo. With each passing second she claimed more of him, starting by allowing her lips to roam, planting themselves on his cheeks, chin, nose, and neck before going back to his mouth effectively marking him with her scent.
Harribel sat up with her teeth clenched, expecting the pain to flood her chest at anytime, but was pleasantly surprised when she didn't feel even the slightest bit of discomfort. Looking down towards where she had been stabbed, her eyes widened as the only remnant of that incident was the large rip in her jacket from his sword.
Her fingers roamed where the gash in her skin had been, her eyes wide with disbelief. Not even a scar was left behind, only smooth tanned skin remained as if nothing had happened before.
Looking over to Apacci she found her greedily indulging herself in Ichigo's mouth, "Apacci, he's unconscious leave him alone." Harribel called out, but her voice fell on deaf ears.
Harribel sighed as she rubbed her forehead in defeat, before moving over to Apacci and lifting her up off of the unconscious Ichigo. "Apacci, you knocked him out when you tackled him, leave him be." she said.
"Wha-?" Apacci began as she turned her attention to Ichigo, and discovered Harribel's observation to be true. "NOOO! You've got to be kidding me!" she cried out as she grabbed fist-fulls of his vest and began to shake him up and down. "Who the hell would pass out while making out with a beautiful girl like myself! Give me back my first kiss!" she pleaded.
"Apacci." Harribel called out, but was promptly ignored which caused her eyebrows to scrunch together, "Apacci! That's enough!" she yelled out. This time her callings were much more effective as the blue-haired tomboy bolted upright, "Sorry Harribel-sama." she replied.
Then from the corner of her eye she spotted an impression in the sand, right next to where she laid. As she stared at the dip in the sand her mind came up with nothing, and a quick scan of the horizon didn't help.
Pulling the distraught young woman off of Ichigo she commanded that they should return to his home and wait for him to wake up. Throwing the orange haired man across her shoulder Harribel made her way back with a somber Apacci in tow.
Now many of you are wondering just what the hell is going on and that you'd like some answers. That's where I come in, kinda, I assure you all that the next chapter will address most concerns or inquiries that you have, hopefully. Anyways there's the end of this chapter, I hope you all enjoyed reading and don't forget the poll is still going on. Remember if you liked/disliked the chapter please leave me a comment!
In other news I'm throwing away the whole "chapter on the twentieth of each month", it'll just be every month. I felt so nervous as the days whittled down as it drew closer to today and I've got too much to worry about as it is for dates so why pile another one on? Other then that I quite enjoy this smaller yet quicker chapters, what about you guys?