Where Pride and Bloodlust Meet
(A sometimes violent, rather vulgar and foul-mouthed warrior's love story that I blame totally on Walkure, because she laughingly joked after the most recent manga chapter that they would be funny together. And I guess you can be the judge. Thanks, Walkure, for sending my muse into giggle fits!)
Chapter 1: The Day We'll Never Speak of Again
Renji gave a soft, sarcastic chuckle as he, along with his captain and their fighting unit, approached the Hueco Mundo base and heard the distant sounds of battle. Immediately, a scowl rose on the usually calm face of the sixth division Captain and Renji felt his reiatsu swell warningly. He didn't need to ask why. Any time the sixth shared the battlefield with the eleventh, tempers were bound to erupt and a lot of blood would get spilled.
"Lovely…" Byakuya said under his breath, which Renji read as the equivalent of the man turning his elegant head and spitting on the ground (which he, of course, would never do).
He had to wonder why the head captain, who had to know of the ongoing mental war between the two, continued to repeatedly throw the two groups into battle together. And when the eleventh started to crumble under the losses brought on by too much brute force and not enough strategy, it was the sixth who was called, time and time again to dig their asses out and bring their sorry remains home. Renji wasn't sure how Byakuya still managed to claim the honors of Best Strategic Fighting Unit and Lowest Casualty Rate. He had to conclude that if not for having to cover for the eleventh, the sixth would have a zero casualty rate…
"You want me on the near ridge, Captain?" asked Renji.
"Yes," Byakuya said curtly, "Take Rikichi with you and have him connect with fourth seat, Shoji, on the far ridge. We'll need to get a shield up before any of us goes on the battlefield. I'm not about to lose half of my fighters because of that man's death wish!"
Renji nodded to Rikichi and flash stepped away as Byakuya turned to the rest of the fighting unit.
"Hold here at the first marker until the shield is up, then I want kido specialists to get set first on the slopes and behind the main force. Ground forces will wait for my signal to advance."
"Yes sir!" the fighters called out as he and Shoji flash stepped to the far ridge, overlooking the battle site.
Byakuya stifled an urge to groan as he looked down and to where the eleventh was involved in a raw, bloody exchange with a large force of hollows led by several Arrancars of varying strengths. He could just make out Yachiru's pink hair, where she perched on the back of the eleventh division captain, laughing as his body turned and thrust forward into the enemy forces, sending up sprays of blood, some hollow and quite a bit his own.
"Imbecile…" the noble breathed, his voice laced with hatred as he watched the forces clash and noted the heavy casualties on both sides.
It was always that way with Kenpachi Zaraki, and it made Byakuya sick with fury. Because all it would take was a few minutes of proper planning and implementation and numerous lives could be saved. Not that preserving the lives of his squad members made a damned bit of difference to the man. He aspired to dying in battle and he trained his men to want the same.
"I imagine anyone forced to spend more than a day with that man would want to die," the noble mused.
"Sir?" said Shoji, looking back from where he stood, preparing the shielding for the battle.
"N-nothing," Byakuya said, stepping forward and looking behind the main force.
He shook his head, taking in the careful positioning and deployment. It was as though the hollows had known the eleventh would be their opponent and had planned for it, teasing them with variant waves of fodder and actual fighters, then distracting their attention while menos were brought in to strike the center of the battlefield with heavy cero fire. It didn't matter one damned bit to the hollows that they were sacrificing their own. They were, Byakuya realized, trying to take out the entire unit. He felt sickness and anger merge again inside him as the eleventh happily took the bait and blood splattered down on the battlefield like rain.
"Shoji?" he queried sternly.
"It's in place, Captain!" the fourth seat said, nodding.
Byakuya drew Senbonzakura, lifted the blade, point down and released it.
"Ban kai, Senbonzakura Kageyoshi."
He looked back to where the menos grande were loosing their ceros and smiled smugly as the incoming fire hit the shield and was easily repelled. Kido fire rose off the slopes on either side of the battlefield, raking the approaching forces and distracting the enemies as the sixth division ground forces burst onto the battlefield. He saw a red glow on the slope opposite him as Renji's skeletal snake rose up and soared out behind the main forces, joining Byakuya's swirl of deadly petals in raking the menos and decimating their column before it could do any damage. The skeletal snake turned and pounded the Arrancars that waited and watched from behind the fighters, then Senbonzakura's pink petal blades swept over them. Within minutes, the menos grande were defeated, the fodder was extinguished and the ground forces were soundly trouncing the stronger hollows where the two clashed. The Arrancars finally sounded the retreat and Byakuya watched, shaking his head in annoyance as the eleventh shot after them, taunting them and continuing to kill them as they turned and fled.
The noble flash stepped down off of the ridge and onto the bloodied ground, motioning for the healers to begin to remove the wounded and the dead. He was unhappy to learn that the sixth had lost four fighters, but that paled in comparison to the nearly fifty of Zaraki's squad who had lost their lives. The anger rose up in him as he watched the fighters pick up and carry away the motionless bodies, many of them young…just out of the academy, led on by the tales of the 'glorious Kenpachi Zaraki,' who drank hollow blood for breakfast and snacked on menos grande, who played with Espadas and would trounce Aizen in a battle of reiatsu (and that was likely why the traitor kept him at a careful distance). Yes, the stories were so very grand, Byakuya mused, but those young men who fed on them had no idea of the realities of battle. It wasn't until they were out in this place that battle became all too real, and the raking of their flesh and spilling of their blood was anything but glorious.
"What a horrid waste," he whispered.
"C-captain?" said a soft voice from off to the side.
Byakuya turned his head and his eyes found a fallen youth from the eleventh, looking up at him with frightened green eyes. Byakuya knelt at the youth's side, his features calm as he waved for a healer and brought his own healing power to bear.
"Lie still," Byakuya told the youth.
He looked up as Zaraki approached and met the eleventh division captain's eyes icily for a moment.
"You are from the Shihoin clan, aren't you?" Byakuya asked quietly.
"Y-yes, Captain Kuchiki, I am Yuji Shihoin."
Byakuya nodded and lowered his eyes.
"You fought well, Yuji Shihoin," the noble said, leaning forward to address a deep chest wound.
The healer knelt down at his side and laid his hands over the wound.
"This fighter has lost a lot of blood," he commented, employing a quick pain block and continuing the youth's healing.
"You can consider that like losing your virginity," Zaraki said, coming abreast of them, "You live through this and you have earned the right to fight and die with us."
It took everything in Byakuya not to draw his weapon and attack the bastard then and there. Instead, he came to his feet and nodded a brief farewell to the noble youth, making a mental note to offer him a promotion into the sixth…if he survived. But before he had gone out of hearing range, the healer's voice sounded behind him.
"Raise the death count to fifty-one," he said, pulling a drape over the youth's face and body.
Byakuya heard Zaraki behind him and flash stepped away. He moved forward, onto the battlefront, studying the trail of bodies left behind and playing back the battle in his head. He groaned mentally as the eleventh division captain sent Yachiru scampering off and moved to join him.
"You sensing something?" Zaraki asked, following the path of his gaze out into the darkness.
"Would it matter to you if I was?" Byakuya said shortly.
"Not much, no," said Zaraki, giving him a crooked smile, "I just want to know whether or not to put my sword away."
"If you're asking if they will be back soon, then the answer is 'no.' But you might want to keep your blade close at hand. I sense someone powerful in the area."
"Hollow?" asked Zaraki, "Or one of them? I'd like to have a crack at them, you know."
"As if he would waste his time here engaging the likes of you. It would serve no purpose."
"I don't know," grinned the eleventh division captain, "Maybe he is bored and wants to play. People think that just because we grow up, we don't want to play anymore, but we all do. Just some off us like to play more rough."
"Shut up," Byakuya muttered, stepping forward and studying the area around them.
He frowned as he sensed a soft distortion in the air around them. He thought he heard a whisper and the soft brush of a breeze and looked around questioningly.
"Something wrong?" asked Zaraki, his hand going to his blade.
"This area needs to be thoroughly scanned," Byakuya said uneasily, "I…"
He broke off as something unseen shocked his body from end to end and he dropped to the ground in a senseless heap. He could still see and felt another sound shock as Zaraki was hit and taken down next to him. Kido chains shot at them from all directions and Byakuya had one disoriented moment wondering how their comrades could be standing so close and not see, hear or sense what was happening. A chill went through him as he realized…
"Ah," said Aizen's voice, "Lovely. Bring them along."
He wondered why the other captain hadn't resisted, then let out a distressed breath as he realized that Zaraki was unaware that he had even been taken down. The eleventh division captain held perfectly still, his mind locked away in Aizen's illusion and the two were hoisted and carried back to the bright area of the desert, where Aizen's false sunlight shined. They were carried inside the fortress and down to the prison level, where they were dropped on the floor and left to wait as the guards decided where to put them, then dragged them away to their cells.
Byakuya winced as he was dropped onto a hard surface and shocked again to make sure he could not move. Then, rough hands undressed him and dressed him again in a ragged yukata. His reiatsu was sealed away and then he was bound to the table he was on and left in the darkness. Slowly, sensation returned to his body and he tested the restraints. They had obviously been warned about him, in that the bindings were solid and unforgiving. He sighed softly, wondering if anyone knew they had been taken, or if Aizen had thought so far ahead as to send illusion forms back in their place. But it made little difference. Even if they had used illusion forms, Renji knew his captain well and would realize quickly that they had been fooled. And once they were known to be missing, there would be little doubt as to where they had been taken. It was just a matter of enduring and searching for the means to escape until rescue forces arrived. Byakuya rested quietly, saving his strength and listening carefully to the sounds around him…the clinks and groans coming from the other cells, the sound of footsteps and the soft sound of the guards' voices. But he learned nothing useful by doing so. And even keeping himself alert made no difference, as when finally someone approached his cell, sleeping gas filled the room and rendered him unconscious before the person entered.
He woke to find himself in a much larger room, on a larger bed, and restrained in a kido field. He felt the kido field release him and climbed to his feet, looking around.
"Greetings, Captain Kuchiki," said Aizen's smooth voice, "Welcome to Las Noches."
Byakuya looked up on the wall and found Aizen's image. He stared wordlessly at the traitor's smiling face as he went on.
"You may have wondered just how and why you were targeted for capture. I was planning to have you interrogated for information on the head captain's latest plans, but you handle torment so quietly, Gin complained that it would be no fun. I am allowing him to torment Captain Zaraki. Although he also wouldn't crack under pressure, he makes more noise, and Gin enjoys that. They have been having fun for several days while you lazed around and did a lovely imitation of sleeping beauty. In any case, it's your turn now. I tried to come up with something entertaining, but must admit that I drew a blank, but Gin came up with something that sounded quite enjoyable…for us, anyway."
"What are you going to do?" Byakuya asked, steeling himself.
Aizen's smile widened.
"We have decided that although we agree that we would enjoy seeing you sexually assaulted, we thought that, as a courtesy to you, we would offer you several choices."
Aizen's face disappeared and the screen split to show individual images of several of the Espadas…and one of Captain Zaraki.
"As you can see, all of these choices are lovely. We have a variety of Espadas available. I have leanings towards you taking on either Grimmjow or Harribel, myself. But Gin suggested that we offer you at least one shinigami alternative. And since we are seeing each other exclusively, neither of us could offer himself…so, we offered you the strongest, most virile shinigami we could find…so that you would have…an 'out' as it were. So…what do you think?"
Byakuya glared up at the monitor, his reiatsu throbbing fitfully beneath the seal.
"Let me make myself abundantly clear," he said in a low, cold tone, "I don't care if I get taken by every hollow in Hueco Mundo, but if you let that man near me, I will destroy him AND you."
Aizen's face reappeared, with Gin's next to it. Gin smiled widely.
"Well, Sousuke, it looks as though it is going to be one long night. Shall I let the first Espada in?"
"Wait," said Aizen in a chillingly playful voice, "let him have his powers."
"Oh, but that's not quite fair…"
"You heard me," said Aizen, "Give the man his powers. He needs to have some defenses, and I do like seeing a little bit of blood…some roughness, you know."
"Oh, very well," Gin sighed.
Byakuya felt the seal on his power fade and immediately began attacking the walls of the barren cell.
"I wouldn't waste power or time if I were you," Aizen warned him, "I would concern myself with what's coming in to join you."
"Oh, this is going to be good!" said Gin, "Now, Sousuke?"
"Go ahead," the leader of the hollows answered.
A door opened and Byakuya shot towards it as someone was shoved inside. He nearly made it past, but a hand took hold of his yukata, neatly ripping it from his body. Byakuya loosed a huge blast of kido and watched as the person was thrown back against the wall, then slid down and sat, leaned against it. The face registered and Byakuya's eyes went wide.
"What?" he breathed, noting the feral look in the man's eyes, "What have you done to him?" Byakuya demanded.
"Now Gin," Aizen said, "You've opened the wrong door! I very clearly heard Captain Kuchiki say he would rather get fucked by all of the hollows in Hueco Mundo. I know we can't allow him to be with all of them, but certainly the Espadas…"
"My apologies, Sousuke," said Gin, "I don't know quite what happened, but I'll get to work on that while Captain Zaraki has his way with Princess Kuchiki. He's already got him undressed."
As if that animal would even try. He's into blood, not sex. I am surprised they even…
He caught his breath in surprise as the eleventh division captain brought the noble's torn yukata to his face and breathed in deeply.
"Well, it's not often you get caught out of uniform, Kuchiki," said Zaraki, climbing to his feet and dangling Byakuya's yukata from an extended fingertip, "Or with your pants down…you being such a good planner. You sure you don't have backup clothing hidden with that pole that's up your ass?"
Byakuya frowned and tried to ignore the fact of his nakedness. He glared at Zaraki and raised a ball of energy around his hands.
"Ah, I wouldn't do that if I were you!" Gin warned him.
Zaraki shot forward and Byakuya released the kido blast, sending the man tumbling away.
"That was even more pathetic than usual," Byakuya said haughtily, "You should be embarrassed."
"Shit," panted Zaraki, climbing to his feet again, "I think you gave me a hard on, Kuchiki! Stop fucking with me and fight!"
Byakuya stared at him in wonder.
"What is wrong with you?" the noble asked, sidestepping as the eleventh division captain dove at him again and Byakuya loosed another kido blast.
"I said knock it off!" snarled the other man, "You wanna play between my legs, you're gonna have to pay for it in blood!"
"What are you talking about?" Byakuya asked, flash stepping away, "Have you taken leave of your senses?"
"You were right, Gin," Aizen said appreciatively, "This is better than letting the Espadas have at him."
"I still can't believe he hasn't figured it out yet," remarked Gin, shaking his head, "I thought he was smarter than that!"
"What are you doing?" Byakuya asked Zaraki in a low, murderous tone, "Why are you cooperating with them? Have you had enough pain that you gave in?"
"As if!" exclaimed his colleague, narrowing his eyes, "Actually, I was pretty damned satisfied with what that snake over there had to offer. It warmed me up. So, how about it, Kuchiki? I'm up for some fun. You wanna play?"
"Hmmm," said Aizen, "Why don't we make a side wager, Gin? If Zaraki takes him, I top tonight and if the Byakuya kills him first, you top."
"Oh, that's not fair at all! Even when that beast dies, he just keeps coming back," complained the silver-haired shinigami, "And what if they kill each other?"
The two looked at each other.
"We take turns," they said together.
"Come on, Kuchiki," said Zaraki, "Give me your best."
"You aren't worthy of my best," the noble growled, summoning his zanpakutou, "But I think I can satisfy your bloodlust with nothing more than my naked sword."
"You wanna stick that puny little thing in me?" grinned Zaraki, "Go ahead and try, Princess. I'll snap it in two and hand it back to you!"
"The only thing about to snap in two in here is your foul smelling body!" hissed Byakuya.
"He really isn't getting it, is he?" sighed Gin.
"No," smiled Aizen, "but I think that he will get it soon."
Byakuya moved into a scathing flash step and slashed at the other captain. He caught his breath as a bare hand took hold of his blade and he had to flash step again to avoid Zaraki's the man's grabbing hand. He tore his sword away, slicing into the other man's hand as he did. Zaraki frowned.
"What the fuck are you doing, Kuchiki? You trying to fight or just jacking me off? Now, quit coming on to me and fight!"
"Ooh, that just gave me chills!" laughed Gin, "Hold me, Sousuke, I think those two might just actually kill each other."
"So…we win either way, right?" said Aizen, "If they kill each other, then it's two less enemies and if they fuck each other, it will get us good and hard for tonight."
"I'm already hard," said Gin, "but I don't want to miss a minute of this."
Byakuya stepped back, already preparing as Zaraki flash stepped forward and reached for him again. Byakuya moved into a flurry of cuts and slashes, during which the noble was able to draw some of Zaraki's blood and also liberate his yukata. He flash stepped away and wrapped it around himself, as Zaraki watched.
"Think that's going to protect you?" he asked, smirking.
"Why are you doing this?" Byakuya asked, holding his blade ready and slowly circling the other man.
"For fun," said Zaraki.
"I thought 'fun' meant killing to you, yet you aren't even attacking with your sword," objected the noble, blocking as the other captain cornered him again.
"Ahem," said Gin, "This is getting painful. Captain Kuchiki, I can't believe you are being so clueless! Since it seems to have gone over that pretty noble head of yours, I'll just tell you. Captain Zaraki is suffering from the effects of a little switch in receptors. You see, when you cut him, he feels sexual stimulation. When you touch him sexually, he will feel pain. So you might want to reconsider your strategy…"
"Sick bastards!" hissed the noble.
Zaraki smiled and closed in again, sidestepping his blade and catching the wrist of the hand that held Senbonzakura. Byakuya twisted away and backed off again, holding his weapon ready.
"Now, don't play hard to get, Kuchiki," he complained, "That would be fucking boring."
"Well then, it's nicely suited to your personality," countered Byakuya, flash stepping free again.
He sidestepped again as Zaraki lunged at him, then stood calmly looking back at him.
"You should give up," he taunted the other man, "Even if you got lucky and did catch me, I don't think you have the skill or the equipment to complete the task."
"That wasn't very nice," observed Gin, frowning, "I think someone deserves a penalty for rudeness."
He fiddled with the buttons in front of him, then smiled at Zaraki.
"Try now," he said, nodding.
Zaraki lunged at the noble and Byakuya flash stepped again…or tried to. But as he moved, he felt his powers fade again and the other captain's hands took hold of him and dragged him down. Byakuya twisted and struck him with several heavy blows to the face and arms. Zaraki growled and forced him down onto his back, forcing his mouth down on the noble's and prompting a nasty exchange of blows that left both men bruised and bloodied.
"You look good with some blood on you," commented Zaraki, "Smell good too…blood and sweat, smells fucking beautiful, Kuchiki."
"Oh, is that your pitiful attempt at seducing me?" sneered the noble, punching the man on top of him and turning to try to scramble away.
He realized his mistake a moment too late as the other man's body came down on his, trapping him on his stomach.
"Oh that's terrible," said Gin, "I believe I'm about to lose. Can't have that."
Aizen's hand reached out and captured his as he tried to manipulate the buttons in front of him.
"No cheating now," he said, smirking.
Zaraki held Byakuya down and brought his lips to the noble's ear.
"Time for you to die, Kuchiki," he promised, "I promise I'll kill you fast, okay?"
"You stupid bastard!" cried Byakuya as the man on top of him tore away his yukata again, baring him, "You're not killing me, you're…"
He gasped as his legs were parted and braced himself for a shock of pain. But to his surprise, the other man's hands were surprisingly gentle as they carefully prepared him. It was so odd to be touched that way by that particular man that the noble froze. And in that moment of indecision, he lost the ability to fight off the other captain.
"Stop you fool!" Byakuya snapped, gasping again as Zaraki's thickened member found his entrance.
"Come on, princess," Zaraki purred in his ear, "I'm hitting as hard as I can. Give up a scream and I might let you live."
Byakuya clenched his jaw and refused to make a sound as the other man's hips moved.
I wish he would just kill me and get it over with…
He managed to hang onto his composure until Zaraki's body shifted and he thrust hard into the pleasure center deep inside Byakuya's body…Once, twice…three times. The noble sucked in a heavy breath and released it in an uncontrolled scream of passion as his body seized and shuddered heavily in release. The eleventh division captain groaned as his seed filled the collapsed noble. Byakuya let out a disgusted breath and fell still beneath the other man.
Aizen and Gin laughed hysterically as the fog in Zaraki's mind suddenly lifted and he found himself lying atop Byakuya with his sated member still buried in his fellow captain's pretty bottom.
"What the fuck?" he muttered, blinking, "I thought I killed you!"
Byakuya gave him a scathing glare.
"No such luck," he said darkly, "Now, get off of me before I kill you!"
The other captain lifted himself off of Byakuya and the two climbed to their feet and set their clothes back in place as Aizen and Gin smiled widely and applauded.
"Well done," Aizen complimented them, "I was thoroughly entertained. How about you, Gin?"
"Oh, I was just beside myself," gushed the silver-haired shinigami, "You two should make porn films. You are just…"
He broke off as an explosion shook the area and the wall of the cell holding the two captains disappeared into ash. Byakuya heard the scream of the skeletal snake and caught his breath in relief as he and Zaraki were captured in the beast's jaws and carried out of the fortress and across the sand to where the rescue force had gathered. Byakuya glared at Zaraki as they flew over the desert.
"Do not dare to ever speak of what happened in there!" he said furiously.
"Hey," said Zaraki, "Do I look like I want to admit to fucking you? I'd never live it down! I've got no problem keeping it quiet."
"And I will certainly never speak of it," swore the noble, "It will never cross our lips again!"
"Finally, something we can agree on!" laughed Zaraki, "Don't worry, Kuchiki. Your secret is safe with me! I'll be the only one in the three worlds who knows your ass isn't cherry…"
"Great," muttered the noble, shaking his head and rolling his eyes in disgust.