Sword Submission

A Bleach Oneshot



A/N: This oneshot was well over a month in the making, and it has the length to show for it, being over twice as long as my next longest oneshot, None Shall Mourn Thee. Also, I am basing this fic on the character designs used in the Zanpakutō Tales filler arc. In fact, until/unless Kubo contradicts the designs used there, I am going to treat the Zannie Spirit designs as canon, though not the plot of the arc itself. Also, this fic is set in Shunsui teenage (equivalent) years, so I suppose it could sorta kinda technically maybe be considered to contain minors in sexual situations, though defining any Soul Reaper (aside from Yachiru and maybe Hitsugaya) as a minor is a bit tricky and misleading, considering that they are all Really Seven Hundred Years Old (aside from Yama, whom I personally consider to be more along the lines of a Time Abyss).

Warning: This fic uses character designs introduced in a filler arc. Proceed at your own risk. (Joking)

But in all seriousness, this fic contains sexual actions, both implied and spelled out, involving characters who could maybe ostensibly be considered something like minors, and alsoelements of bondage, punishment, and humiliation play, as well as a minor pedobear!Kyōraku and some considerably less than pleasant treatment of one's sword.

... eventually.

... ... .. Okay, so the sexual content doesn't actually show up until the around the 7k, 8k word mark (slight exaggeration). That doesn't change the fact that it's still THERE.

(If it weren't for how long it takes to get to the lemony content in this fic, I'd call it PWP. As it is, the plot is still really just an excuse plot. Also, I apparently really like writing fight scenes, even if I'm not necessarily very good at them.)

tl;dr, Has porn, but plot delays it.

Shunsui Kyōraku, talented young soul reaper and one of the first graduates of the Shinō Academy, glared at his twin zanpakutō. He was seated in the lotus position with the sealed blades resting across his lap, as he had been taught by Old Man Yama.

Jinzen, as the old man had called it, was a high level training technique used to bond with one's zanpakutō. It involved entering a meditative trance in order to freely communicate with one's sword face to metaphorical face. It was an unorthodox method of swordsmanship training, perhaps, but necessary considering the unique nature of the spirit slaying swords employed by the shinigami, they who sowed and reaped the souls of mortals as part of the natural balance.

The zanpakutō, a supernatural blade born of its master's soul, was the heart of the Soul Reaper. It was the crucial tool which allowed them to do everything from slaying wicked spirits to ushering souls into the next world. Within the zanpakutō was the Power of the shinigami. It was the measure of one's worth and potential. Additionally, such swords were also exceedingly rare, and thus highly valued. After all, even among the high noble clans, only a select handful had the innate power of spirit, the raw potential and willpower needed to manifest one.

Because the ability to manifest and wield a zanpakutō was directly tied to one's spiritual pressure, one's reiatsu, and because there were so few souls with even the baseline amount of reiatsu needed to manifest a soul cutter, there were only a few dozen Soul Reapers at any given time. Once, in days long past, these numbers would have been considered sufficient. But not any more. Human populations continued to grow around the world. More people were being born every day, and more were dying than ever before. There were far too many souls in circulation for the few shinigami to handle, and had been for a very long time, now. There were simply too many souls for the harried, overworked death gods to ferry into the afterlife. Finding the souls was hard enough, but with the sheer volume of mortals in the system it was impossible to get to all of them in time.

And there was indeed a time limit, for the chain of fate which bound the mortal soul to the living world, once severed, would begin to corrode. Separated from all it had ever loved, all it had ever cared about, the departed soul slowly would begin losing itself to despair and bitterness – even souls with no regrets would eventually descend into madness if not properly exorcised.

And the chain of fate, which once bound the soul to its body, would slowly but surely be consumed by the grief and anger. It might take weeks or months or even years, but eventually the chain would degrade to the point where the soul became wholly detached from its former identity. And when that happened, when the chain of fate had completely corroded, the pain which consumed the chain–the pain which the soul had tried to deny–would then rend the Heart from the soul, baring the loathsome instincts of something less than a man but more than a beast. And to hide these instincts, to shield its naked id from the world, the fallen soul–what would be technically termed a "demi-hollow" at this stage of the hollowfication process–would take what was once its heart and don it as a mask.

Thus did human souls become "hollows", so-called for the fact that where the human's heart once was, there would only be an empty–hollow–hole.

And so, hollow was a human soul lost to the madness of isolation from the living world a monstrous spirit which devoured the souls of its once fellow humans and drained them of their reiryoku, their spiritual power, in the vain hopes of filling the emotional void. And to make matters worse, it was generally accepted among scholars of the field that any soul devoured by a hollow would itself become one, which meant that one hollow could–theoretically–quickly "breed" several more within just days of its "birth".

This was, of course, all a great concern for the Soul Reapers. For aside from the obvious threat of soul-eating monsters running loose in the human world, there was also the subtler–but potentially far, far greater–threat of the hollows evolving. For eventually, if left unchecked, a hollow will graduate from eating the souls of humans and the occasional unfortunate shinigami. When this happens, when hollows reach the point where even the strongest human souls can no longer provide panacea for their unending existential agony, they will begin to congregate with other hollows of similar nature and power. And, when their numbers grow great enough, the mutual feasting begins.

Menos, a hideous amalgamation of numerous weaker individual hollows born from a black, chaotic orgy of violent spiritual cannibalism, were among the most terrible monsters in existence. Even mere gillian, the weakest menos which were mindless drones with no individual identity, possessed strength sufficient to kill most shinigami. And surpassing them were the animalistic yet intelligent adjuchas, which oft took appearances mimicking those of wild beasts. But, of all menos, the most terrible and dreaded were the mythic "vasto lorde", menos where a single personality out of thousands has asserted itself and seized dominance, subjugating all of the other amalgamated hollows which share its form and taking their power for itself, attaining a level of evolution where it has once more become something like a human, only greater and more horrible.

At least, that was the theory. Thankfully, no one had ever seen such a hollow in real life – at least, no one who ever lived to tell the tale. But if the number of hollows continued to increase, eventually their populations would reach a critical mass. And once that happened, the formation of menos grande would not be far behind.

Needless to say, nobody in Soul Society wanted this to happen. So, in an attempt to head off this impending problem, Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto, one of the mightiest and most ancient Soul Reapers, had founded the Shinō Academy of Spiritual Arts, forever changing the way Soul Reapers were trained.

Now, instead of the noble clans personally training their young and hoarding secret arts and powerful artifacts for themselves, producing shinigami who excelled in those areas pertinent to their clan arts but were utterly mediocre in everything else, there was a single school and a single curriculum, which was taught not only to the youths of those fortunate few families which dwelt in the Seireitei, but to all souls with shinigami potential.

By appealing directly to the Soul King, Yamamoto had managed to force the four noble clans to share their arts, and combine them into the single, united art of "kidō". And by sending people into the Alley of Souls to scout out individuals with high reiatsu, he managed to tap into a long neglected resource. As a result, the ranks of the shinigami were expected–by even the most conservative estimates–to swell to at least ten-fold their current numbers in as little as a century.

All this aside, Shunsui Kyōraku–despite his best efforts with jinzen–was presently having zero luck with contacting the spirit of his zanpakutō. It had been a few days ago that he had finally learned the name of his swords, and he had initially been ecstatic, hoping that they would manifest an awesome power. A power like control over a primal element, a la Old Man Yama's Ryūjin Jakka. Or maybe even the ability to redirect attacks, like Uktitake's Sōgyo no Kotowari. That would have been far better than their actual ability.

Seriously, randomly making children's games into reality? What a gyp. He couldn't even control it, as he had learned the hard way earlier that day while sparring with Ukitake.


A shower of sparks erupted where the two sealed blades clashed – Kyōraku's wakizashi clashing up against Ukitake's katana as the latter deftly parried the former's swift, relentless assault. They were locked in a stalemate of sorts, neither one able to land a hit on the other.

Ukitake was fighting defensively, efficiently deflecting his friend's blows with the absolute minimum amount of movement. His style was methodical and borderline mechanical in its theory, but in action there was also a certain grace to it.

Kyōraku, in contrast with his partner, was attacking relentlessly with his wakizashi, hoping to find an opening for his tachi to swoop in and finish the fight. He was swift and ruthless, not once letting up in his assault. His blade was a blur as he swung it about, always attacking from a different direction than before.

The two of them fought with a grace and skill far above their technical stations in the Thirteen Court Guard Squads, sparring against one another with as much ferocity as they would fighting against a Hollow. They held nothing back, but at the same time they did not go all out from the start. No, they had to warm up, first.

First they started off with a simple exchange of unarmed attacks, punching and kicking and grappling and throwing. Then they moved on to basic swordplay, then kidō, then their released zanpakutō.

By doing things this way, they ensured that they would always be getting enough practice with the basics. Or, at least, that's how Old Man Yama had put it.

"Hiyah!" With a shout, Ukitake swung his katana at Kyōraku's incoming wakizashi, deflecting to the side.

Kyōraku smirked, seeing his opportunity. "Bad move~" he remarked pleasantly, even as he swung his tachi down from overhead.

Ukitake, his katana held out to one side and pressed down against Shunsui's wakizashi to lock down the smaller sword and keep it from moving, simply raised his free hand, pointed at his opponent, and said: "Hadō Number One: Shō," with a smile on his face. [1]

Kyōraku would have sworn, but the sudden impact of an invisible force against his chest forced the air from his lungs as well as tossing him a few feet away from his opponent, preventing him from scoring a hit and ending the spar. He then frowned as he saw his friend hold up his zanpakutō. 'Aw, geez... If he gets his shikai off first, it'll make it that much harder for me to catch him off guard with my own. ...So I'll just have to keep him from finishing the release phrase.'

"All Waves, Rise now..." Ukitake began, speaking with a strength that was rarely heard in the voice of this chronically ill man these days.

Taking his opportunity, Shunsui raised up the hand in which was clutched his tachi and extended his index and middle fingers to point at Ukitake. He then shouted in a clear tone, "Hadō Number Four: Byakurai!" [2]

A pale light danced upon his fingertips, lambent sparks converging at a single point. Then, with an eruption of raw spiritual power, the light burst forth, becoming a singular, focused bolt of lightning. It raced through the air, reaching Ukitake in a matter of seconds.

Shunsui grinned. The power of the kidō he had shot off, though greatly reduced from its full strength, would nonetheless be more than enough to knock Jūshirō down and take him out of the fight.

But then he noticed that Ukitake held not one blade, but two, and the grin was replaced with genuine shock. 'Eh? ... No way... There's no way he could have finished his release phrase so quickly... not unless...'

He chuckled. "Ah, so when did learn how to activate your shikai without the release phrase?" he asked, concealing his surprise beneath a genial demeanor, even as he dodged the redirected spell.

"Oh, only just recently," Ukitake replied modestly, the tips of his blades held up and splayed before him, their lengths still dancing with white sparks from Shunsui's kidō.

"...hrm, but still..." Kyōraku muttered under his breath, before he shook his head. "Haha, but I've gotta say that I'm a little jealous. I've only just learned the name of my zanpakutō, myself, but you're already on your way to unlocking bankai."

Ukitake shook his head, a slight smile adorning his lips. "I appreciate the compliment, but you are greatly overestimating my abilities if you think I'm anywhere near achieving bankai..."

His eyes then widened as the first part of what his dark-haired friend had said registered in his brain. "Eh?-! You know your zanpakutō's name?"

"Yep," Kyōraku said nonchalantly. "... Want to see it?" he asked, a mischievous twinkle in his eye.

His white-haired schoolyard chum cum soul reaper comrade nodded eagerly. "Certainly!" he responded.

"Okay, then~!" Shunsui said with halfwit grin. He set his two blades together in a cross. His voice now low and almost solemn, he chanted: "Flower Wind Rage and Flower God Roar, Heavenly Wind Rage and Heavenly Demon Sneer... Katen Kyōkotsu!"

In a flash of light, Kyōraku's two swords were replaced with two large, curved, Chinese scimitars of slightly differing size. The blades of the two swords were now black (save for the cutting edges, which were silver), and their pommels were now adorned with identical long red tassels.

"Ah," Ukitake murmured, eying his best friend's swords, "What an interesting shape... and such an intimidating appearance..." His eyes were shining as he mulled over the newly-discovered shikai form of his compatriot's zanpakutō. "By appearances, I'd say they look like a 'power-type' zanpakutō," he commented, "but from what I know of your personality and your fighting style..."

He narrowed his eyes and slid into a defensive stance, eyes flitting this way and that as he cautiously surveyed his surroundings for any possible traps or flanking attacks. "... they probably have some nasty tricks up their sleeves, no?"

"Haha..." Kyōraku chuckled good-naturedly, "You've got me pegged~ " he remarked cheerfully.

He then flash-stepped behind Ukitake, before jumping up into the air. "Takaoni!" he cried, readying to swing his dual swords on down as he descended upon his friend like hawk on a hare.

"Maah, maah, I don't feel like it... That game is too boring."

Shunsui's brow furrowed in confusion, but it was too late for him to pull back. So he simply followed through with his attack.


A shower of sparks erupted where the two unsealed zanpakutō clashed – Kyōraku's Katen Kyōkotsu bearing down upon Ukitake's Sōgyo no Kotowari as the latter easily blocked the former's reckless assault.

For a split second, as their zanpakutō struggled against each other, time seemed to freeze.

Kyōraku initially had a victorious look on his face when Ukitake first blocked his attack. 'Just like we practiced,' he thought smugly. But then, when he noticed that Sōgyo no Kotowari refused to give way and Ukitake received no injury, that look turned into one of surprise and confusion. 'Shit...' he swore under his breath, 'Why isn't it working...?'

Ukitake was perplexed as he watched the emotions running across his friend's face. Even while blocking this latest attack, he puzzled over his buddy's actions. ' Kyōraku was expecting something else to happen when he attacked...' he realized. '... but what? Surely it has something to do with his zanpakutō's power...'

Time (or at least their perception of it) returned to normal speed as Ukitake, with a mighty heave-ho, P-U-S-H-E-D against his opponent's swords and threw him backwards. He then returned to a defensive stance, holding his twin tethered swords out in preparation for Kyōraku's counterattack.

Shunsui, for his part, landed on his feet like a cat and quickly sprang back forwards, dashing back into the fray. Holding his swords to either side, he once again flash-stepped, intending to get behind Ukitake. 'If Takaoni won't work, then...'

Ukitake was ready for Kyōraku this time, however, and planted a well-timed kick square in the dark-haired soul reaper's gut, knocking him right out of his flash-step and flat on his ass. "What are you up to, Kyōraku...?" He asked calmly, pointing Sōgyo no Kotowari between his friend's eyes. "You know better than anyone that such a straightforward attack won't work on me twice."

"Haha... That I do," Shunsui replied in good humor, grabbing the handle of his wakizashi-cum-scimitar which was stabbed into the ground where Ukitake's shadow had fallen. "But this isn't the same attack~" He smirked. "Kageoni."

"No, that would be FAR too easy~"

Kyōraku frowned. 'That voice...' He definitely wasn't just hearing things. '...just like when my Takaoni failed...'

"Ohohohoho! 'YOUR' Takaoni? Don't make me laugh!"

Kyōraku's eyes widened. That voice... It sounded almost like... 'Katen Kyōkotsu...?-!'

"Who else would it be?" his zanpakutō responded, speaking directly into his mind.

Kyōraku growled, and Ukitake -uncertain what to make of this situation- leaped backwards, putting several feet between the two of them.

"You..." Shunsui muttered with a frown, "So that's why none of my attacks were working..."

"Tsk, tsk, tsk! So self-centered of you!" Katen Kyōkotsu psychically admonished, "They're 'OUR' attacks, not 'YOURS'. And WE say that you should use Bushōgoma!"

"Oy, what are you talking about? That attack... Bushōgoma... Of all my attacks—er, I mean OUR attacks," he quickly corrected when he 'heard' his zanpakutō preparing to berate him, "that one would be the absolute worst to use against Ukitake and his Sōgyo no Kotowari..."

"Hmph!" Katen Kyōkotsu harrumphed, "Is that how little you trust me? Do you think Sōgyo no Kotowari is a better zanpakutō? Is that it? Am I not GOOD enough for you!-?."

Shunsui blinked dumbly as his zanpakutō continued to rant. It was thoroughly unpleasant. He knew that she was just a fragment of his own soul manifested within a sword (or two, in his case), but she was also a lady. And damn it all, but he -Shunsui Kyōraku- was too much of a gentleman -even at this young age- to let a lady be so upset without doing something to help. ... it also really helped that his zanpakutō was not one, but TWO ladies: a buxom lush, and a kuudere lolita... [3]

Wiping a bit of drool from his cheek, Shunsui shrugged. "Fine," he said, making a show of acting completely nonchalant about the whole matter. Extricating the tip of Katen Kyōkotsu from the earth, he stood up and held the two blades out to either side. He then pivoted his upper body, swinging his arms around in an wide arc.

The wind whipped about him, forming a shape not unlike two crescent blades, their curvature tracing the trajectory of his wakizashi and tachi. The air moved as wind, spinning about these two crescents -these two halves of a circle- as they flew forth.


Ukitake smiled, even as he held up Sōgyo no Kotowari. "A wind attack..." he mused. "So it's an elemental zanpakutō, then...?" he muttered, more as a question than a statement. He was not entirely content with this conclusion, something in his gut telling him that there was more to his friend's zanpakutō than met the eye.

Nonetheless, whatever uncertainty he may have had as to the nature of his opponent's true abilities, Ukitake was more than sufficiently capable of dealing with this sort of attack.

With practiced ease, he held up the left-hand blade of Sōgyo no Kotowari, coordinating its position with the trajectory of the reiryoku-infused ring of wind in such a way as if intending to skewer it upon the tip of his blade. In an instant, the gaseous spiritual projectile was sucked up into his zanpakutō. He then held up the right-hand blade of Sōgyo no Kotowari, and pointed it at his friend slash rival.

Kyōraku winced, already knowing -more or less- what was going to happen. He knew the power of his best friend's spirit-slaying sword almost as well as Ukitake did. It was the power to take in reiatsu or reiryoku through one blade, send it through the rope and the attached tags to adjust its pressure or analyze it composition, then release it through the other blade – an ideal ability for countering many types of kidō as well as most elemental and energy attacks.

Like it was happening in slow motion, he saw the tags on the rope which linked the two halves of Sōgyo no Kotowari light up one by one, swaying slightly as they moved in reaction to the movements of the rope and the blades. He grimaced. 'I can't predict the timing until he fires it, so even without the incantation it's gonna be close... Oh boy.'

Fluidly, with grace and intent surpassing most of his seniors, Ukitake returned fire with the redirected, accelerated Bushōgoma. It ripped through the air, almost instantly covering the distance between the two junior shinigami only to end up breaking -as a wave upon the cliffs- against a hastily thrown up kidō shield in the form of a yellow, spinning disk of compressed reiatsu focused at the crossed tips of the twin blades of Katen Kyōkotsu.

"Bakudō Number Thirty-Nine: Enkōsen." [4]

Ukitake smiled brightly. "Impressive, Kyōraku! A kidō of that level executed without any incantation, yet still able to match an intensified and accelerated verison of your own zanpakutō's special attack... You've been holding out on me, haven't you?" he remarked pleasantly.

Kyōraku grinned that grin of his, that lazy, lackadaisical half-grin that, when flashed at most people, seemed to them to say 'I'm stronger than I look, sure, but I wouldn't even break a sweat against someone of your level, let alone need to go all out, so why bother fighting seriously?'. But Ukitake knew that the true meaning of that smile was closer to 'Life's too precious to waste time acting all grim and dour, so even if I have to fight against you, I'll do it with this smile on my face.'

"Maybe just a little~" Shunsui answered playfully, dispelling his shielding spell. "But you've been doing the same, I'm sure."

Ukitake chuckled at this. "Yes, that's true... Ah, I suppose you know me too well for me to hide anything from you."

Kyōraku waved dismissively, sword still in hand as he slowly walked up to his friend, that grin of his still on his face. "Give yourself some credit, now, Ukitake. With that big brain of yours, I'm sure you'd be able to come up with something if you really put your mind to it."

Ukitake smiled serenely, returning Sōgyo no Kotowari to its sealed state and holding up his free hand, index and middle finger pointing straight up. "Yes, well, this 'big brain' of mine is also able to see through your transparent ploy, Kyōraku."

The brunette's smile faltered.

"Bakudō Number One: Sai." [5]

Reflexively, Kyōraku flash-stepped out of the spell's range of effect, narrowly avoiding getting disarmed and disabled. "Ahahaha!" he laughed pleasantly, "That was a close one!" he said cheerfully. "Good move, Ukitake~"

"And the same to you, Kyōraku," the white-haired prodigy replied. "To get yourself out of range that quickly shows considerable ability with Shunpō, I'd say."

"Ehhh," the womanizing lad replied, "It's really not so impressive... But still, I must say..." He placed his two swords under the belt of his shikakushō and held out two hands in front of himself, as if preparing to shoot a hadoken. "Ye lord!"

Ukitake's eyes widened. 'Oh, dear...'

"Mask of blood and flesh, all creation, flutter of wings, ye who bears the name of Man!" Kyōraku continued as two streams of azure energy flowed into his hands, gathering at his palms.

'Crap! That incantation...!'

"On the wall of blue flame, inscribe a twin lotus—"

Frantically, Ukitake began hurriedly muttering the release command for his zanpakutō. "All Waves, Rise now and Become my Shield—"

"—In the abyss of conflagration, wait at the far heavens—"

"—Lightning, Strike now and Become my Blade—"

"Hadō Number Seventy-three: Sōren Sōkatsui!" [6]

"—Sōgyo no Kotowari!-!"

Kyōraku sighed as he remembered the events of that spar. "Man, oh man..." he grumbled, wincing at the pain of the burns on his hands and chest, as well as the shiner that was forming around his right eye.

Unohana-chan was a most certainly marvelous medic and a fair, vivacious lass, but it seemed that she did NOT take kindly to requests for "intimate healing".

"Ah, it's amazing how so violent a beast can lurk behind so fair a visage..." he sighed wistfully, mentally crossing Retsu Unohana off his list of 'Girls to Flirt With' with bright red ink with a shudder. "Never doing that again..." he decided, unwittingly blanking the black-haired girl from his memory banks. But it wasn't like he would ever need to remember her, right? She was just another trainee, after all...

Then, thinking of girls, he frowned. "Such a stubborn, hard-headed pair..." he griped. "I mean, I know they take after me, but can't they at least show a little respect...?"

He shook his head sighing wistfully. "Thanks to them and their 'games', I lost that fight... What is it that Old Man Yama always used to say about making your zanpakutō behave...?" he wondered idly, trying to drag up memories of his lessons in the academy.

He closed his eyes and stroked his chin as he thought, scanning through his recollections of his time spent learning the Spiritual Arts. He blushed and giggled as he remembered a particularly sultry bespectacled, black-haired assistant kidō instructor who had spent a week "privately tutoring" him to "help him improve his kidō". 'Best week of my life...' he thought nostalgically, drooling slightly as he thought about how she had insisted on bunking him with him.

It was, in his opinion, a pity that she had ended up being transferred after news of the "alleged" affair got out. But, on the other hand, he also had to admit that his scores in kidō did definitely shoot up after she was gone... According to Old Man Yama, it had something to do with "distractions being removed", but to this day he was not entirely sure what the man had meant by that. After all, he could not have possibly meant that women were a distraction. Such a thing was ridiculous!

Anyways, going back to the matter at hand, it took Shunsui a few tries, but after five or so minutes of thinking (and numerous tangents of a somewhat lecherous nature), he finally managed to find what he was looking for.

"Aha! 'Discipline is crucial for mutual respect,' THAT'S what it was!" he exclaimed victoriously.

Then he blinked as he realized something, drooping slightly as the initial sense of accomplishment faded into vexation. "But, wait... How am I supposed to discipline them...?" he wondered. "... I mean, they're swords, so what can I really do to them...?" He furrowed his brow as he pondered this dilemma. "... maybe I could... No, wait, I'm pretty sure that's illegal. ... but maybe... No, wait, it doesn't bend that way, so it wouldn't work. ... of course, I could always... eww, what am I thinking? That's disgusting, and physically impossible to boot, I'm pretty sure..."

Then his eyes widened as a proverbial light bulb lit up over his head. "Eureka!" he exclaimed, "That's it! I'll just go into my soul, like before, and discipline them there. Yes." He nodded proudly. "This idea is perfect!"

Settling back into jinzen, a toothy grin on his face, Shunsui carefully centered his consciousness, focusing on the core of his spiritual power as he groped about within his soul to find the familiar pull that would drag him into his inner world. He closed his eyes and stilled his breath.

When Shunsui reopened his eyes, it was to the sight of an open grove of fruit trees in blossom within a room that seemed at once stiflingly small and staggeringly vast. The walls were high and lined with bleached-white femurs like pillars, and wrapping around the individual bones were black, bloody ribs fashioned of rusted iron.

Aside from these macabre pillars, the walls themselves were unremarkable in make and appearance, save for how garishly they were painted. Pink and orange and blue and violet and so many other colors, all noisy, all clashing, comprised the murals decorating the walls. They depicted many things, from landscapes to still lifes to... ahem... "scenes of nature". The quality of the work seemed to shift with the angle of observation – from there looking like something a toddler doodled in crude dye with their hands and fingers, but from here looking like something lovingly planned out and painted by a true renaissance master using only the finest paints and brushes.

As for the floor, it was like a grassy meadow in the loveliest months of spring, and it was dotted with an assortment of flowers, trees, and upright weapons. The grass was green and springy, not dry, yet not wet to sit on, and leaving no stains on his robes no matter how long he chose to lie in it. The trees and flowers came in all shapes and sizes, representing every breed and species of flora he had ever come across.

And the weapons were similarly diverse, in both form and craftsmanship. Some were peerless masterpieces, too lovely to ever sully with blood and gore, while others were ugly and crude and orc-like, leaving no false impressions as to the sole purpose of their existence. Shunsui hated looking at those, because on some level he knew that they reflected his nature just as truly as everything else in here, and he was loth to accept that part of him – he was too young, far too young yet, to reconcile the lofty ideals of "duty" with the unpleasant realities of just what that "duty" so often entailed.

Not wanting to dwell any further on such depressing–if profound–thoughts, Shunsui turned his gaze upwards, to the canopy of delicately interwoven tree branches. With but a slight thought, he compelled the branches to untangle and part, exposing the sky beyond.

He grimaced slightly at the sight of skulls glittering in a blood-red sky like stars at night, and of squamous crawling things gnawing upon the bones of the multitudinous skeletons clad in armor and clutching weapons. They were, by all appearances, the remains of some long past battle fought upon the "sky" of his inner world – an endless, blood-stained wasteland hanging above his head and glowing with a pale, eerie corpse-light.

It was a ghastly spectacle, to be sure, and it had shocked Shunsui terribly when he had first beheld it, but not any more. Already, he had grown inured to the sight of that gruesome "sky", and, more importantly, it was still less disturbing than those hideously cruel and wicked swords and spears and axes and clubs...

Shaking his head, Kyōraku sighed and waved one of his hands, commanding the trees to once more cover the sky. They did as he ordered, and he smiled weakly. "If only I could do the same with those ugly weapons..." he murmured wistfully.

"I do hope that you are not talking about us, Shun-chan," came a low, sultry voice. It was the voice of a woman – a lovely, playful, bitch of a woman.

"Ah, just who I was looking for... Katen Kyōkotsu..." Shunsui began pleasantly. Then the pitch of his voice dropped and sharpened as he practically spat out the words: "We need to talk," a stern look on his face as he turned to face the manifestation of his spiritual power, standing up to his full height in an attempt to strike an intimidating figure. However, given his admittedly somewhat scrawny teenaged build and the fact that he was only taller than the wakizashi of his two zanpakutō, it was not very effective.

The taller, buxom one seemed amused. The shorter, younger-looking one was unamused.

Neither of them was impressed.

Shunsui, seeing the coy tilting of his tachi's lips and the blank, eerily unwavering stare of his wakizashi, deflated slightly. "... look," he said with a sigh, "I know you like games and all that, but what you did back there was utterly irresponsible! You, for instance...!" he said, pointing accusingly at the taller one. "And you, too...!" he added, pointing at the shorter one. "Both of you, Katen Kyōkotsu, have been completely... er... Well, you have... um... and you...!" he faltered slightly, frowning as he tried to straighten out which of the two spirits to address, and how to single them out.

The two sword spirits, for their part, simply stared at him as he muttered to himself and made several incomprehensible gestures.

After several minutes of this farce, Kyōraku stopped and shook his head, frowning. "Hrm... Well, now that I think about it, I suppose I should really have some way of differentiating between the two of you, shouldn't I...? ...Maybe nicknames would work...?"

The taller spirit shook her head, sitting back down and pouring herself a large, wok-sized saucer of sake. "Weren't you going on about punishing us just a few minute ago...?" she breathed in exasperation.

Shunsui then snapped his fingers, startling the more curvaceous spirit and causing her to spill the massive saucer of sake down the front of her kimono with a yelp. "I've got it!" he declared, his eyes sparkling with inspiration.

"Ah! Now look what you made me do!" his tachi snapped, gesturing towards her sizable bosom which was now drenched in rice wine. Her breasts were covered with a glossy sheen as droplets of sake dripped down her front, a good deal of it collecting in her cleavage.

Shunsui ignored her complaints as he ratiocinated mischievously, simply saying, "Yes, that's nice, Daiko."

The larger of the two spirits of Katen Kyōkotsu glared at her master. "Eh!-? What did you just call me...?" she hissed.

Shunsui looked at her, a big dopey smile on his face and sparkles in the air around him. "Why, Daiko, of course~ After all, I can't call both of you Katen Kyōkotsu, now, can I?"

"Well, no..." the newly dubbed Daiko conceded reluctantly, "But wouldn't make more sense to, say, call me Katen and my sister Kyōkotsu?"

Shunsui dismissed this with a wave of his hand, his expression unchanging. "No, no, that wouldn't work. It would be too unintuitive – I'd never be able to remember which of you is which. So I'll call you Daiko and your sister Shōko, 'kay?~ "

Daiko sweat-dropped. '"Unintutive", he says... Geez...' She sighed. 'And he calls US difficult...?' Speaking up, she said, "But... 'Daiko'? What kind of name is that?"

Kyōraku nodded, eager to share his reasoning."Okay," he began, "So, you know how I use you two as a pair, right? You two are my daishō – my tachi—" He pointed at Daiko. "—and my wakizashi." He pointed at Shōko. "In other words, my 'daitō' and my 'shōtō'. Soooo, your nicknames are Daiko and Shōko~" he explained cheerfully.

Daiko glowered. "I'd still rather be called by my proper name, you know... And besides, wouldn't 'Oko' sound better than 'Daiko'?"

"Maybe," Shunsui shrugged, the dopey expression still on his face, "But that would kind of ruin the whole 'daishō' thing, wouldn't it~?"

"Not really..." the well endowed violette muttered.

Shunsui laughed, waving a hand dismissively. "Well, let's just hear what Shōko-tan has to say," He turned to face the smaller, turquoise-eyed wakizashi. "Eh, Shōko-tan?" he asked genially, leaning in over the childlike sword spirit. He was close enough to smell her breath, stained as the scent was into the cloth covering her nose and mouth.

It smelled like freshly-blossomed flowers.

There was a sudden spike of killing intent in the air. Kyōraku immediately leaned back, narrowly avoiding getting his skull split in two by the blade swung down at him by a serene-looking-as-ever Shōko.

"Hey!" he yelped, slowly backing away from the apparently murderous sword-spirit. "What's the big idea?-!" he demanded nervously.

The lolita wakizashi was silent. She steadily advanced on her master, a black Chinese-style scimitar in hand. Her expression -what could be seen of it, at any rate- was completely blank.

Shunsui gulped. Was he going to die here...?

As thoughts of fear and regret danced through his head, something caught his eye. Backed up against the wall, his zanpakutō advancing on him and radiating a cold and almost palpable blood-lust, he noticed a length of fine silk rope spooled around an upright spear.

With a flash of inspiration to give him courage and renew his resolve, Kyōraku flash-stepped over to the spear. Shōko, seeing this sudden swift movement, followed suit, flash-stepping after him. Looking over his shoulder and seeing his sword gaining fast, the young shinigami apprentice hastily finished unwinding the rope from around the suspiciously phallic ornamentation. And not a moment too soon, either, as Shōko was right on top of him.

He ducked to the side, narrowly avoiding the sword-swipe. He spun around, side-stepping past another slash -though not completely avoiding it, this time, as the long, neat, diagonal cut across the back of his kosode could attest- as he cast the length of rope over his wakizashi's outstretched arm, deftly looping it around and tying it off as he passed.

Shōko's one visible eye widened at this. She struggled futilely against the rope, hoping to wrench it from Shunsui's grasp and free her sword arm, but her master held it fast and taut. Seeing this, and realizing that she would not escape with brute force, she desperately reached over to untie the rope with her free hand.

Shunsui grinned. 'Wide open.'

Moving faster than the eye could see, he danced around his sword, lashing the rope over one limb and under another; wrapping and looping and crissing and crossing, he tied up his impudent zanpakutō using picture-perfect shibari techniques, and swiped the sword from her hand to top it all off.

Releasing his hold on the rope and letting Shōko drop to the floor, helplessly struggling against the ropes that bound her, Kyōraku chuckled darkly. "Someone has been a naughty little sword~" he sang, kneeling over his wakizashi and teasing the small of her back with the tip of her blade.

"Ohohoho~!" Daiko laughed haughtily at this from the sidelines, covering her mouth with a paper fan as she did so. "And what do you intend to do with her, then?" she cheerfully asked her master.

"Why, punish her, of course~" her master answered, sparing the taller and more sensual of the two anthropomorphized representations of the power within his soul a meaningful sidelong glance. "... And you, too."

Daiko stopped laughing, a nervous look now on her face. "... hah?"

"Bakudō Number One: Sai."

Daiko's eyes widened. Feeling her arms move behind her back and lock up there against her will, she swore violently.

"My, my," Shunsui remarked pleasantly, "That's certainly not any way for a lady to talk~" He made another hand gesture, pointing his index an middle fingers at Daiko. The air around her rippled slightly, and she was thrown across the room by an invisible force, slamming against the far wall with a resounding THUMP. "But I'll deal with you later. After all..." he said, delicately moving the tip of the blade which he had wrested from the possession of his wakizashi in between the ropes digging into her pussy through the fabric of her clothes and ever so skillfully slicing through the thin cloth. Like solving a puzzle, he made cuts here and there through the ropes, slitting her clothing and peeling it out from under her bonds piece by piece until she was completely naked, save for the dark cloth face mask which covered her nose and mouth. "... it's never proper to keep a young lady waiting~"

Shōko whimpered at those words. What little there was that could be seen of the skin of her face was flushed a deep, dark red. She trembled in fearful anticipation as her master's young but calloused hands hovered over her, feinting a grope here and a stroke there – always feinting, never following through. It was a trick demonstrative of a surprising amount of cunning and subtlety.

It was a waiting game of sorts (it was, after all, always a game of some sort), with Kyōraku psyching Shōko out with his looming hands while his eyes thirstily drank in every inch of her deceptively childish form and figure. The slight curling of his lips suggested -nay, PROMISED- a rough molestation of the wakizashi's most intimate regions at the hands of her wielder and maker. The longer this game went on, the more vivid and gruesome became her imaginings of her eventual fate. And as Shōko's dread and anticipation continued to mount, her fear continued to become more apparent.

It finally reached a head when Shōko, unable to contain her emotions any longer, let out a squeal. Shunsui, hearing this, smiled and reached towards her small, petite breasts. Roughly pinching her bright pink nipples between his thumbs and index fingers, he sharply twisted and pulled, tweaking and stretching the sensitive nubs with no regard for their owner's discomfort. As he continued to abuse his wakizashi's nipples, he leaned over her, bringing his face close enough to hers for him to smell her breath on her mask.

It still smelled like freshly-blossomed flowers, but now there was also an underlying scent of something metallic. The scent tasted like copper on his tongue.

"Ah, Shōko-tan... You should be more careful. I can't have you biting your tongue off, now, can I?"

She whimpered again, and she tried to turn her face aside, to avoid having to look into those eyes, but he simply moved one of his hands up to cup her cheek, before reaching under and gripping her chin to force her to face him face to face.

"Now, now," he said, "Don't you know how rude it is to look away from someone when they're talking to you?" His eyes darkened, and with his other hand he released the lass's other nipple, circling the ill-treated nub with the tip of his index finger as he traced meaningless shapes and figures across her skin, meandering from one tiny, undeveloped breast to another before heading back down the middle. The finger traced its way down her chest and her abdomen, wandering here and there with an electric touch as it slowly but surely made its way down her front.

Tracing invisible burning promises of pain and pleasure and so much more into the skin of his zanpakutō's navel, Kyōraku smiled wickedly, his handsome boyish features betraying a hint of deeper, darker maturity. Stopping his finger just above Shōko's crotch (where, in keeping with her youthful appearance, there was no hair), he whispered: "Hadō Number One: Shō."

Shōko, all pretenses of stoicism shattered, howled in agony as the shockwave ripped through her womb. It was much weaker than the one that had sent her sister flying across the room -being more like just a punch to the gut than anything- but it was still much more energy than should ever be directed at her most sensitive regions. A second shot of the elementary kidō -angled a little higher this time- caused her pelvic bone to audibly CRACK.

A bit of blood trickled from the girl-shaped zanpakutō spirit's pussy as she whimpered.

"Well, well, well," Kyōraku mused idly, his tone disturbingly cold and cruel, "So you're not just a girl on the outside... How interesting~" he commented. He then flattened his hand against her abdomen, altering the flow of his spiritual energy as he envisioned a circle. Pushing some of his reiatsu into his zanpakutō, he whispered the incantation to an elementary healing spell.

Shōko resisted the urge to hiss as she felt her insides tingle and the pain dissipate. Her eyes were damp as she watched her master's face, examining his now serene expression.

Shunsui met her eyes, and he smiled ever so slightly. "You are my sword," he said, "And even if I must hammer you into proper shape and grind at your edges to hone your blade, I will not damage you needlessly. I am not a cruel man – you know this. I do not enjoy seeing others suffer. I hate fighting and shedding blood. I am loathe to kill." His eyes glinted darkly, and his velvety voice gained a hint of cold steel as he continued speaking. "But all the same, if I must be cruel–if I must kill–then I will not hesitate to do so. You know this," he said as he changed the flow of his reiatsu again, searing the skin beneath his hand with his spiritual power. "So tread lightly, my sweet child, and remember that even the kindest father must–at times–take the switch to his beloved children to teach them discipline."

Tears dripped down Shōko's cheeks. "..." She was silent, but her eyes were filled with the pale, cold light of reluctant repentance.

Shunsui smiled and let go of her. "Yare yare," he muttered meaninglessly as he inspected her abdomen, where there was a angry red mark in the shape of his hand print. "It looks like I did quite the number on you with that last one... But I think you've learned your lesson." His eyes flickered from her face to her crotch, where he noticed that she was once again wet, but not with blood this time. His smile morphed into a wicked grin, and his eyes flickered back up to her face, leering knowingly at her. "My, my, my... but what a naughty little girl you are, sweet Shōko-tan~ To be aroused by something like that... Are you sure you're really my zanpakutō?" he joked.

The child-formed soul fragment looked away, her cheeks bright crimson. Her eyes were filled with something akin to shame.

She moaned quietly as she felt his fingers brush against her nether lips, teasing her. "N-no..." she whimpered, unable to keep silent. Her voice was childish, high-pitched.

Kyōraku cocked an eyebrow. "Oh? You don't want that, then?"

She nodded slowly. It was difficult to do when he was toying with her in so sensual a manner, but she managed.

"Ahhh, well that's disappointing..." he said, "But I suppose, since you've been so cooperative..." He shrugged and bodily picked her up, still bound, throwing her over his shoulder so that her exposed bottom was right next to his face. He lightly stroked it once with his free hand, before heading over to where the other half of his zanpakutō was lying against the wall and straining against the elementary, single-digit level binding spell in which he had snared her. Once he reached the taller and more curvaceous of the two sword spirits, he let Shōko drop to the floor, cushioning her fall with a simple assist-type demon art.

Sparing a final glance for the younger-looking lass, he severed her ropes with a lazy swing of the scimitar he had "borrowed" from her.

Free to move as she wished again, Shōko gave her big sister one of her patented expressionless Looks. Then she quickly scarpered off, presumably to find a new set of clothes.

Daiko growled at this. "Traitor," she spat at the bare, retreating back of her little sister.

"Now, now, Daiko-chan, is that any way to talk to your dear, sweet little sister?" Shunsui said, leaning in closer to the lovely, oiran-looking spirit. "Especially when she is being so thoughtful as to leave to give us some alone time..." he added huskily, breathing into Daiko's ear, causing her to shiver.

"D-don't touch me," Daiko hissed, "you... you... you...!"

"'Pervert'?" Shunsui whispered. "'Bastard'? 'Sick, twisted motherfucker'? Or am I misreading your tone? Perhaps it not anger with which you speak, but rather..." he lightly nipped her ear, here, "desire?"

Daiko felt her knees quake as waves of agonizing warmth and longing crashed through her body at that slight, intimate action. "Damn you..." she moaned huskily, even as she felt his surprisingly deft hands begin undoing her kimono.

Shunsui simply grinned, snaking a hand down her robes. Once he finished untying her obi, he parted the front of her kimono like a veil, revealing her nakedness and her shame. "Ah, you're so wet down here~" he teased as he gently guided her left hand down to her crotch, where he then delicately probed the entrance of her sex with his fingers.

She moaned and whimpered, simultaneously urging him to go further and begging him to stop there. It was absurd, how he was arousing her lust so effortlessly! Was this his power as her master, her creator, her partner?

Shunsui nibbled on Daiko's ear, and clasped her hand, leading it to her womanhood, where, reason partially lost to desire, she desperately plunged her fingers in with a loud moan. In and out she moved them, thrusting into herself fast and hard with practiced ease.

"My, but you're surprisingly good at this, Daiko-chan," he observed.

"It's your fault," she groaned, not stopping even to talk. "Ever since you realized your spiritual power as a child, ever since you awoke your potential as a Soul Reaper... How many decades, or centuries, has it been since then...?" Here her breath hitched as a combination of tweaking a particularly sensitive bundle of nerves within her womanly folds and Shunsui slipping out to briefly caress her reddened earlobe caused her to reach a climax. She was mute for a moment, capable only of moaning as her world exploded in flash of heightened sensation, hips instinctively bucking against an invisible lover as her nectar flooded forth and coated her fingers.

"Ahh, that's enough for now, darling~" Shunsui whispered as he took her hand, and guided it, unresisting, up to his mouth. "I am sorry you had to wait so long..." Sensually, he licked the fluid from her fingers even as his nostrils flooded with the scent of her feminine musk. The smell and the taste, despite all the time he had spent buried up to his neck in prose and poem (in particular, the poetry of the Latin peoples of Rome in the world of the living [7]), defied description, and no amount of flowery, romantic language could ever do it justice, no matter if he lived to be two thousand or even two hundred thousand. "Had I known you were languishing like this, with no one to attend to your needs, I would have worked so much harder at unlocking you."

"N-no..." Daiko breathed, "... it's not that there was no one..."

Shunsui's eyebrows shot up at this. "Ohhh? You don't mean... You... With your cute baby sister...?"

Daiko blushed.

Shunsui's grin grew that much wider, and he waggled his eyebrows suggestively and made a ridiculous kissy-face. "My, my, my~" he cooed, "Who knew my lovely, lovely, Daiko-chan could be so kinky~?" He then returned his face to normal and took another lick of the nectar coating her slender, feminine fingers. "Sexy, sexy, Katen Kyōkotsu-chan..." he whispered darkly into her ear, eliciting another shiver from his zanpakutō spirit.

"You... my name..." the buxom blade whimpered, her face red. "...our name..."

"Well, yes," the young–but far from inexperienced–man said simply, "After all, Katen Kyōkotsu is the proper name for the two of you, is it not? So when I'm speaking of both of you, would it not only make sense to use that name?"

Daiko weakly shook her head, regaining some of her reason. "No... Not truly..." she whispered. "My sister and I... we are two, born from two, and thus we have two separate identities... and two separate names."

Shunsui frowned slightly at this. "Two? But Ukitake's zanpakutō..."

Daiko shook her head. "Yamamoto-sensei may have called Sōgyo no Kotowari a 'twin-sword zanpakutō', but he... they... are still born of a single sword, unlike my sister and I."

Hints of realization began to dawn on Kyōraku's face at her words, and she continued.

"Unsealed, he is two, but sealed they are one. Whereas Katen and I—"

"—are two swords, even when sealed..." Shunsui finished, nodding slowly.

"Yes. Katen, my sister, and Kyōkotsu, myself, are now, and always have been, two distinctly separate zanpakutō born from a single soul."

Shunsui frowned. "But, how...? Old Man Yama never said anything about that sort of thing... One soul having the power of two soul slaying swords..."

"Yes," Kyōkotsu said, "for such a thing is impossible."

Shunsui furrowed his brow. "What? But, what you were saying... How can it be impossible, if I...?"

Kyōkotsu sighed, softly. The sound of it was like wind whistling through a naked ribcage [8], and it chilled Shunsui. "It is impossible, yes, but you were not always one..."

"What are you saying...? What is that supposed to mean?" Shunsui inquired, all thoughts of further 'punishing' his impudent sword laid aside for the time being as curiosity overtook all other motivations.

She did not answer him right away, instead letting the question hang in the air for a few minutes as the sat there in a tense sort of silence. She felt the air move, brushing against her naked skin. Inhaling with the breeze, she found it smelled of flowers. 'Katen...' she thought, before softly shaking her head and finally responding to her master's question.

"Conceived as two, born as one..." she began cryptically. "Two natures within the same soul, ever in conflict, ever striving against one another... Light of sun and moon, bound in singular vessel. Heaven and earth are joined in the horizon, and north, beyond north, becomes south. Flowers in the sky, bones in the dust. Life begets death, and death is new life..."

"...Flowers in the dust..." Kyōraku whispered.

"...Bones in the sky." Kyōkotsu continued, turning around to embrace him.

"Death begets life—" he rumbled, returning the embrace and pressing further into it, feeling her bosom press against his own chest.

"—And life is as death..." she purred, mashing her lips against his.

"...Singular vessel, rent in twain,—" he moaned, snaking his tongue between her lips to probe her mouth and taste her taste.

"—United light is split again—" she continued, meeting his tongue with her own and moving her hands to unfasten the four hakama-himo of his black andon bakama.

"—And Yin and Yang blend and fade—" he said, relaxing the embrace to shrug off his flowery women's kimono and his spartan black kosode, baring a plain white sleeveless shitagi. His arms, though seemingly slender and willowy on his gangly, still-growing frame, held surprising strength and firmness in them as they wrapped back around her.

"—And sun and moon fall into shade..." she added, slipping off her master's hakama and going to work on his fundoshi as she nibbled his lower lip in protest at the lessened intensity of his kissing.

He smiled coyly, briefly leaning away from her kiss to slip off his undershirt, before once more pressing his lips against hers. "...Two souls with the same shared nature—"

"—Ne'er in conflict, each e'er supporting the other—" She slipped off the last of his clothes and moved her hands to caress his back.

"—So when all men laugh, all beasts roar—" In response, he moved one hand to the small of her back and one hand to the back of her neck.

"—And when all men roar, all beasts sneer..." she whispered as her fingertips idly traced meaningless words and figures across her master's chest.

"Now the wind rages—" He began rubbing her back and neck, paying special attention to the knots that had formed when she was trapped in his binding art.

"—Now, it is still—" She moaned as she felt her muscles melting into pure bliss at the touch of his hands.

"—And now heaven rages—" he murmured, stepping back from their embrace to behold the peerless loveliness of his partner – his sweet, lovely Kyōkotsu-chan.

"—Now, earth is still..." She whimpered involuntarily when he stepped back, but then she decided to take advantage of this momentary reprieve to appraise his naked body. Hungrily licking her lips as she took in the sight of his shame and his pride, she felt for the first time the stirrings of true respect for her master, her creator, her partner – for both his skills AND his looks.

"O, God in heaven; O, God of flowers—" Shunsui said as he laid down on the grass, beckoning Kyōkotsu to join him.

She did.

"—O, God of Creation, of life and of death— she continued, drawing in close to him and embracing him, reveling in the warmth of his presence.

"—Who sits on a throne forged, in madness, from bone—" He took her into his arms and began trailing kisses down her neck to her collarbone, lightly nipping and suckling here and there at her beautiful alabaster skin.

"—Gaze on your works, and the works of men—" she said, continuing their round-robin of poetry even as she was forced to stifled a moan as she felt him move down to her breasts, which he devoured with all the passion and lust of a man starved of love.

"—And despair, Ye Almighty, at what you see there—" he said once he had finished whetting his 'hunger' on her teat, moving his hands to rest on her hips as she drew nearer to their genders nearly joined in the intimacy of their embrace..

"—For all good is in ruin, and all evil is in bloom—" She pressed her bosom into his chest, all but rubbing herself against him in the heat of animal desire.

"—So roar, in Thy rage, at the sneers of fool men—" he continued, moving hands around back to almost worshipfully cup her buttocks, massaging and rubbing them with all the attentiveness and reverence and care of a priest handling a holy relic.

"—And teach them, though suffering, divinity to revere—" She took his manhood into her hands, eliciting a small, cute gasp.

"—And thus make right the wrongs that have been—" He whimpered at her touch as he felt her gently guiding him and drawing him in ever nearer.

" —For even demons must their own gods fear..." she said, her breath hitching as they became joined.

He smiled serenely through the haze of lust, and, fiercely panting, he said: "Flower wind, rage—"

She returned the smile and took the cue, bucking her hips into his as the pair of them formed a beast with two backs. "—And flower god, roar—"

"—Heavenly wind, rage—" he grunted as he joined in on the action, timing his thrusts to match the movement of her hips so that he moved out when she moved out, and moved in when she moved in.

"—and heavenly demon, sneer—" she gasped out as she felt herself envelop him completely, and as she felt the presence of her sister, Katen, nearby, watching them and... tending to her own needs.

"—Katen Kyōkotsu!" Shunsui cried out as he felt himself climax, coming in unto her.

"Master!" Kyōkotsu cried at the same time, feeling his climax and also feeling herself joining him at the same time.

And the rest, as they say, was history.

[1]: Lit., "Thrust"

[2]: Lit., "Pale Lightning"

[3]: I wasn't sure whether or not to include such a term as that, since this story is set over a thousand and a half years before the publication of Nabokov's (in)famous Lolita, and some less than an additional century or so more years before the advent of the "otaku" sub-culture which would popularize the use of such terms.

But then I realized that I was over-thinking things

[4]. Lit., "Round Lock Fan"

[5]: Lit., "Block"

[6]: Lit., "Twin Lotus Blue Fire, Crash Down"

[7]: Latin poetry, aside from classic epics and such, also included a large number of

"un-be-liev-ab-ly raunchy little ditties

burstin' from the seams with bitches 'n' titties,"

like so (the meter and format used in above example may not actually accurately reflect the style of Latin poetry, and the words used are used solely for convenience of rhyming and meter). And I can imagine quite easily a young Shunsui being enamored of such works, given his dual proclivity for poetry and perversion.

[8]: Kyōkotsu, translated, means something along the lines "madness bone" or "crazy-bone", hence the quite frankly bizarre simile. Katen means "flower heaven", hence the constant references to the one I decided to have be named Katen.

"Flower Heaven Crazy-Bone"... well, that's a name that gives a fairly distinctive, almost schizophrenic impression of contrasts and dichotomies and all that fancy psycho-babble mumbo-jumbo, hence the rather contrary nature of Shunsui's inner world.

A/N: Bleh. While going over this fic in Doc Manager, I made the discovery that hearts are not recognized or else accepted by the site's format, and are thus automatically purged from all uploaded text documents. Guh, I mean, I suppose it's not too big a deal, but it kinda messes up some of Kyōraku's dialogue, most notably, the line: "... it's never proper to keep a young lady waiting~". It originally had a heart at the end after the squiggly, but I suppose the squiggly will have to suffice.

Also, I apologize for the half-assed ending and the whole plot thread I left hanging about KK being not one, but two, zannies, and the implications of Shunsui being maybe more than he seems, but I seriously just wanted to finish this fucking thing already because good God, I've been working on it for well over a month, and it's over twice as long as the latest chapter of ONNHc! that I uploaded on Christmas Eve (speakin' o' which, I really should get around to proofing that for any errors I might have missed during the cursory check prior to uploading). So I finished it, and to hell with the consequences. Besides, maybe someone will be inspired by the whole KK zannie's nature plot thread and do something with the concept of KK being two separate swords with two separate names and two separate sets of powers.

As for why I decided why to use "Katen" to refer to the child half of KK? Well, in the Beast Swords/Sword Fiends/Toujuu/whatev' half of Zan Tales arc, during the episode devoted to the child half of KK, her one really humanizing trait was her almost single-minded love of flowers. And since I have not been able to find a single consensus as to naming conventions for the two spirits of KK, I decided to take that trait and dub her Katen (Flower Heaven).

As for Kyōkotsu? Well... her figure is like super ultra "va-va-VOOM", Jessica Rabbit grade 2-D T&A, and would prolly give guys "crazy boners". *Is shot for terrible pun*

TTFN and R&R!