Finally, the day of Rukia's wedding to Renji arrives. Everything is proceeding perfectly on that day. Except for one little problem with the gifts.
Disclaimer: I wish I was Tite Kubo. Of course, if I was, Bleach could only be watched on pay-per-view.
Warnings: Yaoi, language, Eventual threesome between Byakuya X Ichigo X Starrk, MPREG, Anal, fingering, rimming, NO Dub-con or Non-con
and since this is my story, I get to decide who lived through the final battle, Ichigo regains his power and is still a Visored when his powers return *PLBBRRTT*
reviews are always welcomed...and squealed over
"Get everyone outta here, NOW!" Ichigo hollered at the disorganized mass of Visoreds and Shinigami. "Only third seats and higher can stay in here, everyone else, leave. Get moving! Take the wounded to the 4th Division representatives." Ichigo grunted as he felt something sharp tear into his left shoulder, and swung Zangetsu up in reflex. Ichigo was rewarded when he felt his zanpakuto's blade slice through something heavy and saw blood spray from the nothing in front of him. Unfortunately, Ichigo felt the invisible Hollow release his shoulder and the blood that had been spraying ceased flowing far too quickly.
"Shit! I had it, but it got away! It moves too damn fast, heals too damn fast, is fucking invisible and it's reiatsu can't be sensed by anyone."
"That would be why Aizen labeled el criatura diablolical as his assassin class Hollow in the notes he made, mi amigo," Starrk tensely replied from his spot near the door, where he was attemping, with help from Renji, to close the door after the departing members of the Visored Division and 6th Division. The door wasn't cooperating with their efforts however, and kept trying to slide open and stay that way. It was taking all the strength the two men had to pull the door shut and hold it there. They were unable to spare a hand to throw the catch on the door and lock it.
"Suzuki-san, go assist with the door." Byakuya ordered his third seat, while looking around the room. "The creature must not be allowed to exit this chamber and engage the lower seats or wounded."
The 5'5", blond haired male ran over to the door and began to fumble with the catch, finally managing to slip it into place. Just as the 6th Division third seat finished that and was starting to flip the lock, Suzuki screamed and blood flowed in rivults from his outstretched arms. Dropping to the floor, the petite male pulled his arms into his chest and curled up around them. Starrk decided to take a chance on the catch holding and released his hold on the door, quickly fumbling the lock into position and thankfully succeeding in finally locking the door. Renji gave a gasp of relief and dropped to the floor to try and apply some first aid to the bleeding arms of Suzuki.
"Urahara-Taicho! We need your help or he's gonna bleed ta death!" Renji frantically tried to apply pressure to the wounds, but with both arms being clawed all the way up, it was impossible for him to halt all of the bleeding. Urahara hurried over to use his superior kido ability on the wounds.
"I completely open to suggestions at this point!" Ichigo yelled as he held Zangetsu in a defensive position. Starrk pulled out the notes that had been found on a previous expedition to Los Noches and quickly skimmed over them.
"The notes say that el criatura diablolical was bred to have a resistance to high levels of reiatsu. Resistance does not mean completely unaffected by: so, Ichigo and Kuchiki-Taicho, release your reiatsu and flood the room with it, I will join in as well. That should at least slow el criatura diablo down. Kuchiki-Taicho, send your little petals to dance around the room, Ichigo, when the blood flows from the many cuts, summon your speed and use Zangetsu to pin el criatura diablolical down. When it has been rendered immobile, I will release my wolves upon it and they will tear el criatura diablolical to minusculos pedazos."
Ichigo and Byakuya shot a brief glance at one another, before flooding the room with their reiatsu. Something that anyone who spent much time with Starrk found out, was that, as lazy as he was, he was also a brilliant stratagist. It was that ability, combined with his sheer power, that earned Starrk the third seat of the Visored Division after the ex-Espada's trial was over and he was in a guarded probation. Ichigo had played a major part at the trials of the Espada. Once he had regained his power, Ichigo returned to the Soul Society with the other Visoreds and was appalled at the treatment of the surviving Espada. So he interrupted Central-46 when it was in session, barging into the chamber and arguing in favor of probation, with eventual pardons for them all. Central-46 wasn't very keen on the idea, but all of the members knew that Soul Society owed a large debt to Ichigo for his part in the Winter War. As Ichigo passionately argued that the Espada were merely further victims of Aizen's manipulation like so many Taichos, Fuko-Taichos, and others who weren't being punished, his reiatsu flooded the chamber, pressing heavily down on the arguing members of Central-46 and causing the weaker members to pass out. Ichigo stood, panting and with eyes flashing at the end of his speech, promising that appropriate action would be taken if punishiment wasn't fairly spread across the board for everyone who was decieved by Aizen. Central-46 quickly came to the conclusion that supervised probation was the only option that Ichigo wouldn't destroy the Seireitei over.
Once Ichigo, Byakuya, and Starrk had flooded the room with their reiatsu, Byakuya released his bankai. As soon as the petals flowed around the room, the three men actively involved with the fight spotted blood pattering to the ground in a far corner. Ichigo summoned his mask and flashstepped over. Raising Zangetsu over his head, Ichigo thrust straight down through the center of the spurting, spraying blood, pinning the mass to the floor. Ichigo gritted his teeth and put more power into holding the bleeding creature down as it began to thrash violently, trying to throw its attacker off. Starrk quickly called his wolves, as he noticed the trouble the orange-haired Visored was having holding the Hollow down. Just as Starrk had proposed, the wolves tore into the creature and shredded it into tiny pieces. Once the weight was no longer supporting his zanpakuto, Ichigo sagged to the floor and ripped off his mask. Gasping for air, Ichigo ran his fingers through his hair, then grimaced at the feeling of the blood soaking his orange locks and Shihakusho.
"How is Suzuki-san, Urahara-Taicho?" Byakuya asked as he wandered over towards the door and the group clustered there.
"He'll be better once a 4th Division member sees to him," Urahara answered without removing his hands from the third seat. "I've got Suzuki-san stable, but if you want him to keep full range of motion and feelings for his arms, he has to get to a healer, now."
Byakuya rapidly moved over to the door, unlocked it, and flung open the catch, allowing the door to slide open under its own power. Poking his head through, Byakuya called down the hallway for stretcher bearers to come and carry the wounded third seat to the Senkaimon for immediate evacuation and hospitalization.
While the others were seeing to the wounded man, Starrk walked over to check on Ichigo, who had yet to arise from the floor.
"Mi companero, you are well?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. I think that I just pulled a muscle or something when that thing was thrashing with my Zanpakuto in it. It'll be fine by tomorrow." Ichigo looked up when Starrk asked his question, and noticed the ex-Espada had extended a hand to help him off the floor with. Ichigo took ahold of the proferred limb and grunted a bit when Starrk practically lifted him off the floor.
"You should have an amigo give you a massage. I would be pleased to give you a hand and remove the pain from the muscles. It would be a great help, I'm sure," Starrk said.
Ichigo blushed a bit at the thought of the tall, lanky Arrancar putting his hands on Ichigo's body and rubbing the strain out of his muscles. He didn't know why, but Ichigo found the company of Starrk to be thouroughly enjoyable. Whether it was talking to the man, or fighting along side of him, Ichigo found himself relaxing in Starrk's company, whenever it was available. Ichigo glanced over to the door where Byakuya was standing talking to the stretcher bearers and making sure they understood their orders. Ichigo paused in his walk to the door to admire Byakuya for a moment, then continued walking beside Starrk. Being near Byakuya, also, for some reason, calmed and relaxed him and Ichigo didn't know why.
'I'll tell ya when yer older, King.' Ichigo heard his inner Hollow, who he had taken to calling Shiro, say. 'Fer now, don't sweat it, and just enjoy tha sensations ya get near those two.'
Ichigo gave a mental shrug at the odd comments from Shiro. It had been a year and a half since the Winter War ended, and only a year since Ichigo re-gained his power, but Ichigo had found that Shiro was more trustworthy with his return and told him what he needed to know, but only when it was time to know. Ichigo trusted that Shiro would tell him more at the right time, whenever the Hollow decided it would be.
Starrk's sharp eyes hadn't missed the faint blush on Ichigo's face from his comments, or the way Ichigo paused at the sight of the 6th Division Taicho. Starrk made a mental note of these two items and filed them away with other incidents he had witnessed the lithe orangette having around both Starrk and Byakuya. Starrk needed to think about this later, and, possibly, have a talk with the raven-haired Taicho.
"Starrk-san. I wish to follow after my wounded third-seat, and as you were assigned as my responsibility until the probation period is over, you need to come with me now." Byakuya stated, then turned to follow after the stretcher bearers, confident that the tall brunette would be right behind.
"Ah Ichigo, mi amigo, I must make the apology to you. I will be unable to give your muscles the attention they need. Please go find someone else to give your muscles relief from the abuse el criatura diablolical gave them, or, possibly, a hot bath will do some good. I will look foward to spending time in the future with you, when mi guardia is no longer needed and has been released to other duties." Starrk bowed his head briefly toward Ichigo, and then his Taicho, Urahara, before heading out the door after the Kuchiki heir.
"Ichigo-chan, I think we have done enough here for one day and should be returning to Soul Society as well. We have cleared another three rooms in Los Noches today. Over all, the progress we are making in clearing the rooms and hallways of unpleasant surprises left behind is going well, but any more creatures like today, and our progress will be measured by one room a week. We need to get Los Noches completely cleared out as quickly and as safely as possible, so that the residents aren't in any more danger from Aizen's experiments and traps. After we took the strongest remaining residents, the Espada, back with us to the Soul Society to watch over, it's not right for the remaining Arrancars to have to stay here in danger, but there just wasn't enough room or qualified guardians to bring back the entire population of Los Noches. After all, if we are able to beat the strongest Arrancars we don't have to keep such a watch on the remaining. But to change the subject," Kisuke leered at Ichigo from under his hat, which he had held onto even after being cleared of the treason charges and reinstated as a Taicho. "What was Starrk saying about giving your muscles relief? I'd be more than happy to help with any...muscles...that need attention."
"Damn pervert!" Ichigo yelled as he punched Urahara, causing the man to land hard on the floor, and stalked out the door, heading to the Senkaimon and, hopefully, a hot bath.
Meanwhile, Starrk and Byakuya had already arrived back in the Soul Society from Los Noches and headed to the Sogo Kyugo Tsumesho and the healers within it. The 6th Division Taicho was in a hurry to check on his wounded third seat and didn't pause to acknowledge any greetings sent his way, beyond giving a brief nod of his head. Starrk, following closely behind the other man, was lost in his thoughts and wasn't paying attention to anything other than following the hurrying Taicho in front of him.
After arriving in the waiting room, Starrk was roused from his thoughts when he heard Byakuya inquiring about his wounded officer at the reception desk. He was informed that Suzuki Miroku was being treated by Unohana-Taicho at the moment, but that the initial prognoses was that Suzuki-san would have no impairment of his motor skills with medical care and therapy. Byakuya thanked the nurse behind the desk and then led the way from the room. As they exited the building, the two men bumped into Shunsui Kyoraku, Jushiro Ukitake, and Toshiro Hitsugaya.
"Just who we were looking for!" Shunsui called out, grinning at the two men. "We had heard about the new creature you guys found today and thought we could discuss it over drinks. Come on." Shunsui pulled on Byakuya's sleeve and the other man was forced to either follow, or have his sleeve torn off. Byakuya heaved a deep, heartfelt sigh and allowed the other Taichos to drag Starrk and himself off to Ukitake's home. He rationalized his attendance at the gathering by the knowledge that if there had been a fight against a new Hollow type, he, too, would wish to find out the details directly from those involved in the fight, rather than waiting for the official documents to be filled out and circulate amoungst the divisions.
When the group arrived at Ukitake's place, it was obvious that Shunsui had put some planning into the gathering. The kitchen counter was loaded with food and saki bottles. Shunsui grinned at everyone before grabbing a bottle of sake and a cup, and going out to sit on the back porch.
"Come out after you've grabbed what ever it is you want," Shunsui called after himself.
Byakuya looked over the selection of food and helped himself to some nigiri and some maki before grabbing a sake bottle. Looking over at Starrk, Byakuya asked,
"If you would not object, please bring out two cups with you. I have the sake already."
Starrk looked up from his contemplation of the food selection to nod at Byakuya, before turning his attention back to the many choices. Byakuya headed out to the back porch and found a place to sit where he could lean against a post for some comfort. It had been a long day and the last fight, with the worry over his third seat, really took a toll on him, leaving Byakuya hoping that this impromptu meeting wouldn't last that long into the night, allowing him a chance to leave earlier so he could relax in a hot bath and then crawl into his bed.
"So," Shunsui casually said, "how has guarding the former Primera Espada been for you? I know Kenpachi is being driven insane over watching Nelliel. He has Yachiru on one shoulder yelling directions and Nel on the other shoulder drooling and calling out different directions. It's the funniest thing I've ever seen. It gets even better when Lilinette is standing on one of his feet and clinging to his leg. What's been scaring me is watching Mayuri and Szayel running around together. It's extremely worrying to have the two of them looking at me. It feels like the second I blink, I'm going to be dissected."
Byakuya raised an elegant eyebrow at the other Taicho, surprised that he would be asking about someone who could walk out of the house at any moment, but gave a mental shrug. Shunsui was much smarter than most gave him credit for, and if this was something he felt should be discussed here and now, then so be it.
"Starrk-san has been an honor to guard. He has never done anything to make me question Ichigo's passionate defense of the Espada. Starrk had a surprising sense of humor, is incredibly intelligent and is quite an asset for reasons too numerous to name for the Visored Division in particular and Soul Society as a whole. I am looking foward to the guarded probation period being done and over with, simply because, after working with the man for the last year, I have found him to be an honorable man and wish for him to have the same freedoms that we posess. I also think that I would enjoy having the chance to befriend him, but as his guard that opportunity is currently denied to me."
Shunsui's eyes lit up at the speech from Byakuya and he smiled with pleasure at the other man. "Ichigo was right about so many things, it doesn't surprise me at all that he was right about the Espada as well."
Starrk paused in the doorway when he heard the question Shunsui had asked. He couldn't help it. Starrk needed to know what the Kuchiki heir thought about him and when he heard the answer, it settled the thoughts that had been running non-stop through his mind ever since the fight ended. Starrk would make sure he found time to talk to Byakuya tonight, either on the way home, or when they arrived at the noble's mansion. Byakuya needed to be informed of some things involving Ichigo that Starrk had observed. Starrk should also have a brief talk about Arrancar and Visored maturation and mating habits with Byakuya so he wouldn't be shocked in about ten years time.
Starrk gave himself a bit of a shake to clear his thoughts and stepped out onto the porch with his meal and two sake cups. Handing one to Byakuya, Starrk sat down, placed his cup on the porch and poured out the sake for them both, before eating. As the two remaining men came out, the discussion began with a group consensus about the Mayuri and Szayel pairing being all around dangerous and concluded with the fact that Yamamoto-So-Taicho was proving to be even more intimidating with Ulquiorra standing behind his shoulder at the Taicho meetings. The efficiency of the first division had increased, as well, with the addition of the emerald eyed Arrancar. And everyone agreed that they felt sorry for Grimmjow, no one deserved the horror of what he was going though. Once the discussion of the former Espadas and assigned guards was done, the talk turned to the exploration, cleansing, and maping of Los Noches. Everyone agreed it had to be done, and that the Visoreds and Arrancars were the best choice to work in the environment of Hueco Mundo, but the work was turning out to be extremely dangerous. More so than had been originally thought. It needed to be done though, the cleansing of Los Noches to pre-Aizen conditions. The balance of the worlds depended on there being a king of Huecho Mundo, as well as Soul Society, and right now it was too dangerous to live in Los Noches.
Starrk patiently sat, eating and listening, speaking if spoken too, or if he felt something spoken about Hueco Mundo needed clarification. Starrk was still thinking about Ichigo and what he had figured out about the orange haired teen, and how it would affect his and Byakuya's future. Starrk didn't mind though, Ichigo was extremely attractive and powerful; Byakuya was as well. Byakuya was also an honorable, intelligent man and Starrk felt that the two of them would be able to get along well together once his probation was up.
After the men had spent several hours talking, drinking, and eating, Byakuya was finally allowed to plead exhaustion and excuse Starrk and himself from further participation. Byakuya exited Ukitake's home with Starrk close behind him. Byakuya was planning to flashstep home when he felt Starrk place a hand on his shoulder. Byakuya looked up at the taller man with a puzzled expression on his face. Starrk looked down at him with a serious expression on his face and spoke,
"We need to speak about something. I thought that, as it is una agradable noche, we might have a leisurely stroll back to the mansion and discuss matters concerning a certain Fuko-Taicho of the Visored Division. It is algo importante, but I felt that you needed to be educated about some items involving Hollows, and, by extension, Visoreds."
Byakuya thought for a moment about what Starrk said and the serious expression on his face, then nodded his head before walking casually off in the direction of his mansion. If Starrk felt that there was something Byakuya needed educating on, then he would not argue with the other man. Byakuya had learned in the last year that when Starrk felt there was something a person needed to learn, he always turned out to be correct and it always seemed to be something the world would give a test on.
"So...where should I begin this conversacion?" Starrk asked himself quietly and strolled toward the mansion along side of Byakuya. "I think that, primero, I need to ask you a very personal question. And, por favor, answer it in seriousness and honesty. I will not speak to anyone, other than you, of what we discuss here tonight," Starrk paused for a moment, then turned his head to face the Kuchiki heir, before asking, "I need to know your feelings and thoughts about Ichigo. It is muy importante."
Byakuya froze slightly in shock at the question before continuing onward. Clearing his throat, Byakuya responded after several moments of heavy thinking.
"I feel that he is quite young; although, since choosing to give up his life in the living world and come to Soul Society to join with the other Visoreds, he has gained some maturity in his actions. However, watching him interact with others, it seems as though he has no awareness of the lengths some have been going to in order to attract his attention, which leaves me puzzled. I have also felt, since the time he confronted me on Sokyoku Hill, that he has a code he lives by that is filled with honor and determination to do what he feels is correct. He will protect any who are fortunate enough to call him friend. His abilities are amazing: not just his fighting abilities, but his talent for making allies and friends across many species and worlds. I have long felt that the one whom he allows to share his life will be truly fortunate."
"That is a fine answer. But...I need to know how you feel about him."
Byakuya blinked and mentally gathered his courage. He had already decided that Starrk wasn't one to pry into personal affairs needlessly and so he answered the other man.
"I...would like to be the one to share his life. He has brought so much warmth and passion back to my existence. Feelings I never thought to experience again after the death of my wife. Ichigo has opened my eyes to the people I already share my life with and given me the...courage?... to let them become closer. I put much thought into my actions now. I no longer just exist and follow the rules blindly, with no other purpose than to just be. It is," Byakkuya paused and re-grouped his thoughts before carrying on, "rather frightening to feel so much, when before there was nothing but the ice cold perfection of unthinkingly obeying the rules."
Starrk nodded his head at the answer. He had suspected some of it after hearing what Byakuya was like before Ichigo and his friends stormed the Seireitei to rescue Rukia.
"Gracias for the honesty of your answer. It aids me in my resolve to inform you of something I have noticed involving Ichigo. You are correct in when you mentioned Ichigo's...obliviousness, in the face of the many who wish to become...better acquainted, if you will. He is quite young, not just for humans, but also in terms of Hollows and as such, he will not experience attraction of the sort that the others are looking for from him. He will remain oblivious to the advances that are made to him until he matures. In a normal Hollow, that would be around 50 years of age; however, after having many discussions with Szayel and Shinji, it is thought that a Visored, being half Hollow and half Shinigami, will mature in half the time. Or at 25 years of age in this case. Ichigo is the only person who became a Visored at such a young age, the others were much older when Aizen changed them and were fully mature at the time of their turning. We will all know para ciertos when Ichigo celebrates his 25th year. He will either enter into a heat cycle, if he is a Beta, or a rut cycle, if he is an Alpha."
Starrk ceased walking when he finished speaking and Byakuya stopped along side of him. Peering into the grey eyes that seemed both lost in thought, and slightly troubled, Byakuya realized something.
"There is more that you wish to inform me of, is there not? You are uncertain of either how I will respond, or you have reached a conclusion that you are unsure of."
Starrk roused from his inner thought process and flashed a brief grin at the Shinigami beside him. "Si, to everything you just said," Starrk released a heavy sigh. "But I feel you need to be informed of these thoughts anyway. If I am corregir about my suspicions, you will need some time to prepare yourself mentally. Mi primera conclusion is that Ichigo will be a Beta. It is not something that I can pin down, just a collection of impressions and experiences with other Betas that leave me thinking that way. It is good for your future hopes though. Mi segunda conclusion is that Ichigo is going to break with the normal, again. In this case, normal means having one Alpha. However, in the past, it has occurred that a Beta will need two Alphas if one is not sufficient to see to the Beta's safety. This has happened because the Beta has equal power to, or has greater power than, the Primera Alpha."
"But," Byakuya spoke quickly, not wanting to interrupt but needing some more information, "why is having more power than the Beta important? And what do you mean "Primera Alpha"?"
"Beta's are extremely powerful. Just look at Szayel and Nelliel in her adult form, por ejemplo. Neither has found an Alpha who apeals to them yet, and it shows when they become set in their ways and cannot be swayed from what they wish to do. There is no one more powerful, who is bound to them, who can make them see sense, or calm them if they go on a rampage. I am more powerful then either, and it allows me to be of some help to them, but not much. I do have hope for Szayel now; he and Kurotsuchi-Taicho are getting along very well, and the Taicho has managed to change Szayel's mind about much."
Starrk paused for a moment before continuing with,
"An Alpha must also be able to defend his mate when cubs are being expected. A Beta is muy vunerable at such a time. The more powerful an expecting Beta is, the more other Hollows are drawn to it so they can try to kill and eat the cubs that will be born. Eating the cubs of high level Hollows is a quick and easy way of becoming more powerful, especially because the Beta is weakened by nourishing the cubs during the pregnacy and after the birth, with his or her own rierykou. Even with the help of the mate's rieryoku, supporting the cubs-to-be is mostly done by the Beta." Starrk paused for a moment, then gave a careless shrug of his shoulders, before answering Byakuya's last question. "The Primera Alpha refers to the Alpha in a trio who is entrusted with making the decisions for the group. There must be one with the authority to say 'This will be' and cut though the arguments that are bound to occur between such powerful beings."
"How is the Primera Alpha decided?"
Starrk cocked his head of to the side and thought for a moment, before answering, "It can be done however the Alphas wish to decide. The Beta has no input on this decision. I have heard of fights being used to decide, discussions and arguments being used, and sometimes, both Alphas just fall into the position that works out the best for them. Por ejemplo, one Alpha may be older and have more experience than the other, at which point, the other won't even challenge to be the Primera."
"Now for the important query. Why do you feel I should have this information? Granted, knowing that Kurosaki isn't asexual and I might someday have a chance at having my feelings returned is quite useful. I am quite patient and will wait for that chance."
"It is because of numerous occurances that I have noted," Starrk answered. "I have come to the conclusion that Ichigo does hold some interest in you based on several small actions that I have observed."
Byakuya's eyes lit up at that statement before a look of seriousness overtook his face, "You have observed him you say. Does that mean that you are also interested in the boy?"
"Si, you have given me your honesty. I can do no less. I have noticed Ichigo respond, slightly, to me as well. These responses of his, they warm my heart as well and it helps me feel complete in ways I never thought I would be. This is why I felt you needed to have this informacion as soon as posible. Hearing what you thought of me tonight gave me the aliento to approach you. If what I think is true, we will need to be able to exist together without difficulty. I feel that you are quite honorable and would like the chance to become better aquainted in the years hence. Working towards a tighter relationship, or, even better, becoming true amigos, would be best started sooner, rather than later."
"It would indeed," Byakuya stated with a small, controlled smile gracing his face. "and I thank you for this knowledge. And opportunity."
I appologize for the bad use of spanish. I thought of my college friend with almost 15 years of spanish under her belt when writing the Starrk conversation bits and remembered how having a conversation with her involved a lot random spanish words in the flow of speech. It was always interesting conversing with her, especially as I studied french for 5 years.
I also have to say that the idea of Mayuri and Szayel, together, fills my heart with all kinds of warm evilness. *kukukukuku*