That was probably the first thing I felt when I saw it. The gruesome show that bastard Aizen had set out for me. It froze me, made my eyes widen, my breath catch in my throat. In a way it was fascinating, almost beautiful. Orange clashed with the bright red and shards of silver, artfully designed and moved on the black and red background. It could have been a picture, something that a painter had dreamed up. But it wasn't, this was all too real.
Anger came next, and more pain then I ever wanted to feel again. The fucker had killed him, had brought him here and probably tortured him before finally giving him what then would have been a relief from the pain. I couldn't see any marks on the slender throat or the too familiar face, but that didn't really mean shit. Aizen wouldn't have wanted to mark his masterpiece after all.
My teeth ground together and I tried as best I could to wipe the hate and pain from my eyes before I glanced up at Aizen. I hadn't succeeded. I knew that even before he gave me a slight smirk, eyes condescending and alight with amusement.
"Like it, Grimmjow?"
His voice was clear of any emotion but amusement, I hid the subtle flinch. I forced my voice to sound somewhat normal, shoving all the emotions but the anger down. "Like it? I wanted to kill the brat myself. Guess I'll never get to now, will I?"
Aizen gave a slight laugh, resting his head on his palm. "You needn't lie, Grimmjow. I've been watching you both for months now. Tell me your honest response."
Let me clarify. It was Ichigo, the shinigami brat, lying on the cold floor of Las Noches. He was in his bankai form, head straight against the ground, eyes closed. His chest was split open between his pectoral muscles by a red gash about six inches long. Blood had dried against what exposed skin there was and had slipped down to pool in the hollow of his throat. His arms were lying limply by his sides, fingers slightly curled but not enough to give evidence of any kind of life. His skin was pale, near white, and it was stunning against the black and bright orange. His coat had been spread out and shards of silver metal glinted in the light. Zangetsu's broken hilt was lying in his right hand.
We'd been fucking for almost six months, and I'd been unwilling to call it anything more then that. It had started out pretty simple. We'd been in Las Noches, he'd just beaten Ulquiorra. I was healed and he wasn't, so I dragged him into a spare room and fucked him hard against the wall. It wasn't real good for him that first time. He'd been a virgin, he was much smaller then me, and I had only bothered with minimal preparation. I'd showed up in his room the next time, and that time I made sure to make him scream in pleasure. Brat had been lucky his family was gone. I'd gotten addicted to that tight heat clenched around my cock, the sounds he made, and there was something about the submission of the stronger teenager that made me painfully aroused. I kept showing up, and each time left feeling more then satisfied. He wasn't much for words either, but the fact that he never pulled Zangetsu and beat the fuck out of me was enough for me to know that he wasn't entirely unwilling.
For the first four months I never stayed. I showed up, fucked him, and left as soon as I was able to form coherent thought. The first time I did wasn't even my choice. I'd stood and made to leave when Ichigo, who happened to be in shinigami form, grabbed my arm and dragged me back to the bed. He'd pulled my face real close to his, his eyes had flashed a dangerous black and gold, and real low he'd said one simple word.
And fuck, I was the Sexta espada, and that scared me. Really scared me. Last time I'd seen his eyes like that was when he'd beat me into the ground a month or so before. That had hurt in the not-fun variety, and I wasn't really willing to risk his anger right then. Even if I had just teased him for an hour straight before actually fucking him. Suffice to say, I'd climbed back in that bed and wrapped him up in my arms. He'd given this contented little sigh and kissed the skin closest to his mouth, which happened to be my throat, before stilling. That was the first time I realized that we were a little more then just me fucking him. I had been completely unsettled and it had taken hours to fall asleep.
It had progressed from there, at least as far as two people like us could progress. We never acknowledged the connection that gathered, at least not until an event that had happened just two or three weeks before this. I'd showed up like usual, grin ready and already aroused. I hadn't expected to find him curled on the floor in front of his closet, face hidden by his hair and knees. Zangetsu was lying beside him, the edge was coated in blood. I didn't speak right away, just walked in and knelt beside him, putting a hand on his arm. He'd been trembling, and I'd automatically pulled his head up, surprised to find tears coursing down his cheeks. Silent, agonized. I'd just held him till he'd calmed down enough to tell me what happened. Turned out some hollow had killed that stupid little midget-bitch friend of his. He'd been pinned down by another hollow and was only able to watch as it devoured her. It was the first time I'd ever seen him undone and broken like that, and the first time that my visit didn't include sex.
As far as relationships went ours was pretty fucked up. After all, he was a vizard, I was an arrancar and we were fighting on opposite sides of the same war. We revolved mostly around the sex, wasn't like we had the time or ability to do much else. But we were both independent, and neither of us needed much more then just the contact. Ichigo had seemed satisfied, and I definitely was. It had seemed easy to keep our relationship hidden, at least from my perspective. There had been some close calls, and I was almost positive his family knew what was going on, but the shinigami seemed blissfully ignorant.
Looking back on it, of course Aizen had found out. We didn't release the reiatsu we would have if we'd been fighting, and the bite marks I came back with were nothing like wounds from a fight. I should have been more careful, checked for any following arrancar. Ulquiorra had undoubtedly trailed me, and reported directly back to his precious Aizen-sama.
I looked up, eyes narrowed, clenching one hand into a fist and fighting the urge to try to cero off Aizen's head. "What do you think, Aizen-sama?"
One brown eyebrow raised and Aizen leaned his head on one fist. "Judging by your look, I think you feel like killing me, though that's nothing new. So you have deeper feelings for the child, how interesting. Ulquiorra." Steel pressed against the back of my neck, and I stiffened at the wisp of reiatsu that came with it. Damn sneaky bastard. No, of course Ichigo hadn't managed to actually kill him, the big-breasted woman was too damn useful a tool. "Escort Grimmjow to a cell, would you? I'll deal with his disobedience later."
I gave a soft snarl, but allowed Ulquiorra to lead me away with only a token tug against the grip on my arm. I wasn't in any real hurry to have my head separated from my shoulders, and the lapdog would do it without a thought if I tried to struggle. Aizen's amused gaze followed us out, and only the threat of the steel against my skin kept me from attacking Ichimaru when he gave a mocking wave at our exit.
With the wannabe god out of sight my anger cooled and my thoughts returned to the brat, darkening with pain. There was no way he'd lasted any more than a few seconds against Aizen, not with how he'd been struggling against that grinning bastard Ichimaru in the last few battles. In fact if I hadn't purposely let the creepy shopkeeper drive me back into the way of Ichimaru's sword in their last fight Ichigo might have died. A tricky combination of binding kidou and extremely close combat had injured him badly enough to leave him unable to react in time to Ichimaru's thrust, which I'd stopped by letting the shopkeeper fling me in front of the brat. The bastard's sword had pinned me to the ground by the shoulder but left Ichigo untouched, if shocked. The shopkeeper had turned on Ichimaru after giving me a considering look, leaving me on the ground next to the brat.
Cocky shit that he was he'd grinned at me, blood smeared across his face and left hand pressed to a heavily bleeding wound in his side. "You look like shit." I'd laughed and returned the grin, ignoring the pain of the new hole in my shoulder. "So do you."
They'd managed to drive us back, again, and Stark had dragged me out of there, his white uniform completely untouched as usual. That had been just a few short days ago; the brat wouldn't even have been fully healed when Aizen went after him.
I shivered in renewed anger and Ulquiorra's grip on my arm tightened in response, leading me forward towards the prison door, black against the endless white walls. I aimed a savage grin at the lone arrancar on guard and almost laughed when he flinched and stepped back, golden eyes widening in fear. "Open it." Ulquiorra said quietly, his voice as blank and irritating as it always was.
The arrancar hastily yanked the door open, and Ulquiorra wasted no time in pushing me forward, leading me to the last cell on the right of the short corridor. Five cells on each side, all of them empty. Aizen wasn't much for prisoners. Ulquiorra released me, though his sword stayed at my throat, and there was a moment of rustling cloth before he clicked something metallic around my neck. I staggered at the sudden loss of power, wincing when Ulquiorra's sword nicked my skin as it withdrew. "You will not be able to break free of this cell without your reiatsu, nor should you prove any threat to any of your guards." I turned, sneering down at the little bastard, who looked up at me with his infuriatingly empty eyes. "Also Grimmjow, you should know that Aizen-sama gave me the honor of allowing me to watch him break Kurosaki. He-"
I was reaching for his throat before I realized it, a snarl on my lips and wanting nothing more than to rip Ulquiorra open for daring to brag that he'd watched. The little bastard backhanded me before I'd even brushed his skin and the force of it threw me against the wall, where I slid to the ground and struggled to catch my breath. "He accomplished it rather masterfully, Kurosaki knelt before Aizen-sama and begged him for the chance to prove his loyalty near the end." I hated the image his words put in my head, hated the thought of the brat kneeling for anyone but me, not that he would ever do that. He'd had too much pride to ever really submit to me, there was always that edge to him, like he'd take control if I gave him even the slightest chance. "It was an impressive show."
Ulquiorra turned to leave as I struggled to my feet, leaning against the wall to steady myself against the dizziness that swamped me. The cell door shut with a solid thump followed by the click of a lock, Ulquiorra looked in at me through the small barred window in the door. "Aizen-sama will be by later, he instructed me to inform you that if you cooperate, things will go much easier for you."
I felt a low growl start in my chest and fixed my snarl on Ulquiorra. "Well Aizen-sama can go fuck himself! I'll rip him into fucking pieces!" The slightest trace of annoyance slipped through the little bastard's eyes before he turned and left, leaving me alone in the cell.
I slumped against the wall, taking the chance to look around the small room. It was blindingly white of course, what in Aizen's toy world wasn't? The floor, ceiling, walls, door, even the small cot in one corner was white. The light, like in the rest of Las Noches, seemed to come directly from the ceiling without any visible source. The room was by all accounts, and definitely by mine, fucking boring.
The bastard left me there for what seemed like hours, though there was no actual way to tell time in Las Noches. No doubt time for me to 'think about my actions', like there was some chance I'd repent my ways and turn into an ass-kisser like Ulquiorra. No fucking way.
When Aizen did finally show up he was smirking, that little twist of his lips that made me want to tear into him until the bastard was nothing but a smear of blood on the wall. He walked into my cell like he owned the whole damn world, quietly shutting the door behind him while I fought the urge to just leap at him. "Grimmjow, like the accommodations?" I didn't bother speaking, but my hands curled to fists and I answered his damn smirk with a sneer. "They're not as pleasant as the rooms dear Ichigo spent his time in, but that was unavoidable. After all, I kept him in my personal chambers and I have the feeling you would be more trouble than the convenience is worth."
"Fucking bastard!" I trembled with anger, only the memory of Aizen's massive reiatsu pinning me to the ground held me back.
His smirk widened, eyes alight with amusement. "You'd be surprised how quiet Ichigo gets once you tie his hands behind his back and gag him. It's quite-" I took a single step forward, a cry of fury tearing itself from my throat as I swung for his face. Aizen ducked under the blow and casually swatted me in the ribs. With reiatsu it might have only staggered me, but since I had the fucking collar on it threw me hard against the wall. I didn't even have the chance to fall before the bastard had me by the throat, pinning me against the wall with thatfucking smile still on his face. "Now Grimmjow, that wasn't very intelligent was it? Both you and I know that I could tear you to shreds without even breaking a sweat."
Like that had ever stopped me fighting before, to hell with that. "Fuck you!" I swung at his side, and connected, but it was like hitting granite and had all of the same effect on him. Aizen sighed, his grip just barely tightening on my throat.
"That might get annoying eventually, better to just deal with it now I suppose." He released me, not that I actually had a chance to move before he backhanded me across the face. While Ulquiorra's strike had stunned and disoriented me, Aizen's actually blacked out my vision for a few seconds and very nearly made me believe he'd broken my jaw.
He knelt over where I was lying on the floor, straddling my lower back and taking both my wrists in his hands. By the time the spots of black had stopped he was tying off the ends of some kind of cloth that bound each of my hands to the opposite elbow. I bucked up against him and he very carelessly grabbed a fistful of my hair and slammed my head against the ground. Hard enough to stun, but not to knock me out.
"So, Grimmjow, let's talk. I don't think we've ever really had the chance to speak our minds to each other, so let's discuss some things. We'll start with the obvious topic, dear Ichigo." I gave a weak snarl and pulled against Aizen's grip, not that it did me any good. I didn't have near the strength to get him off me. "What was he to you exactly? I know the facts of your relationship, but I must admit I'm a bit vague on the details, Ulquiorra isn't good with emotion."
I forced out a laugh, grinning and twisting my head to look up at the bastard on top of me. "He was a good fuck! You really think I cared for the brat?"
Aizen made a soft noise of thought before he slid his free, right, hand under my jacket and dug fingers into my ribs. Blunt as his nails were they still managed to rip into my flesh, staining my skin and clothes red and drawing a groan of pain from me. "Yes, I do think that." He withdrew his hand, resting it on my waist. "Don't lie to me, Grimmjow. I won't tolerate it and you won't like the consequences. Now, I'll ask one more time, what was Ichigo to you?"
I snarled up at him, hating that I didn't have an actual answer to that. "No fucking clue!" I spat, and Aizen's smile faded, replaced with a look of intense scrutiny. I really didn't know, I'd never been much of a soul searcher. All I knew was that Ichigo, the damn brat, was a good fuck and that ever since I'd started screwing him I hadn't wanted anyone else. Not Halibel, not Stark, not any of the lower arrancar that threw themselves at me to try for some kind of 'favor'. None of them could compare, in my mind, to orange hair and tan skin and that edge of danger the teenager had.
"Fair enough, though I suppose it doesn't matter now anyway. Kurosaki is dead due to your little tryst. If you hadn't pulled him into this I might have let him live till he had the audacity to challenge me. His death certainly would have been less painful, and faster." He pushed off of me and to his feet, I rolled onto my back. He watched me stand, that fucking smirk resurfacing. "I suppose I should thank you for disobeying me, Grimmjow. If you hadn't I would never have had the pleasure of breaking him."
"Which brings me to our next topic, your continued disobedience." Aizen's eyes hardened and his smirk acquired a cruel edge that raised the hairs on the back of my neck. "You have continually and regularly ignored my orders since you first joined me, Grimmjow. And while I've watched your struggles with amusement up till now, they've reached a level I can no longer ignore. You must be disciplined, as a warning to the other arrancar and as an example."
I sneered at the shinigami bastard, hands clenching to fists behind my back. "So your example is to beat at me while my power's sealed? That's real fucking high and mighty of you."
Aizen laughed, a deep chuckle that made me take a step backwards out of wariness. As much as I hated to admit it the bastard was massively more powerful than me, I'd been smashed to the ground with reiatsu enough times to know that. "Always defiant, we'll see if I can't tame that a little. But, if you feel this is unfair then by all means…" His hand snapped out, catching the collar around my throat and yanking me closer. "Let's play fair, shall we?" His reiatsu burned against my skin and I jerked away, surprised when the collar came off in his hand.
My reiatsu returned in a rush, and I shredded the binds on my arms with a single pull, grinning. For a second I forgot that Aizen could kill me in under a second and without breaking a sweat, that he'd murdered someone that I might have cared for, it didn't matter. I was free, ready to fight and damn if I wasn't going to go down swinging. I swung at him and all that returned when his fist slammed into my stomach hard enough that I felt several of my ribs break under the assault. I staggered, gasping for breath, and his foot connected high on my chest, slamming me into the wall. I collapsed, clutching at my ribs, struggling to breathe, and he laughed at me.
"Come now Grimmjow, if you're going to challenge me you could at least give it an honest try. Or is that it?" I rose to his bait, of course, and dragged myself to my feet. "There, much better." Patronizing, arrogant, bastard! An animal roar of fury tore itself from me and I launched myself at him, all six feet and one hundred seventy six pounds of me.
I couldn't tell you how many times we repeated that. He would knock me to the ground and then goad me until I got back up and attacked him again, whereupon he'd then take me back down. By the time it ended I was lying on my stomach on the ground and my entire chest and back felt like one huge bruise. He'd hit me across the face once or twice, enough to give me a nosebleed that had smeared across most of the left side of my jaw, but he'd mostly centered on my torso. To add to that the wound in my side had spread blood all down my right side and had left me feeling distinctly lightheaded, blood loss at its finest.
"Not getting back up this time, Grimmjow?" Aizen sank to his knees beside my head, reaching out a hand to stroke over my forehead. I weakly snarled and bared my teeth at the bastard. "So now we know the truth of things, you could never beat me. You were deluding yourself if you ever thought any differently." I knew that, I'd always known that. Aizen was ridiculously powerful, the arrogant fucker could probably take on all the espada without even getting scratched. Still, he was insane if he thought I was going to kiss his ass like Ulquiorra did.
"Go to, hell…" I forced out, glaring up at him. Each breath I took felt a bit like someone had stabbed me in the chest, so I tried not to breathe too deeply.
Aizen smirked, curling his fingers into my hair and dragging my head up into the air. I gave a shout at the pain that dug fingers into my chest and refused to let go. "Come now, Grimmjow. Is that really how you feel?"
I spat at him and he just barely flinched in an automatic response, my blood spattered the right half of his face. I gave a bloodstained grin, watching Aizen's eyes harden in annoyance. "Fuck. You."
His hand tightened in my hair and I braced myself to have my head slammed into the ground. Instead Aizen visibly relaxed, his lips twisting in a pleasant smile that unsettled me. "Well, if you insist." His free hand moved forward, gripping my half-jacket and pulling it off my shoulder.
I jerked away, at least as much as my battered body was capable of, and snarled. "The fuck?"
Aizen shoved me down, pressing my head into the ground and moving to straddle my back. "You have continuously expressed your desire to fuck me, haven't you?" No way. My eyes widened and I froze for a long moment. "While I have no intention of allowing you to top me, I do intend to grant your wish in a wider scale."
No, there was no fucking way I was letting this happen. "Fucker! Don't you fucking touch me!" Sex was all about power for hollows, being able to overpower someone enough to take your pleasure from them. Power and humiliation. I'd never been forced to have sex with someone and I didn't intend to start now, especially not with Aizen the bastard. Halibel and Ichigo had been my choices and they'd submitted even though they were more powerful than me. The others I'd had were pathetic lower ranked arrancar, throwing themselves at me for favor.
"You know how this works, Grimmjow. Now give in and accept that I'm better then you."
If I hadn't been so ridiculously beaten I probably would have put up more of a struggle, but as it was the whole thing mostly just passed with me lying there and cursing at the bastard while he undressed me and pushed his hakama down. He shoved into me without preparation, prompting a suppressed groan from me and a laugh from him. To hell with the bastard, I wasn't going to give him anything. I did my very best to detach from reality, determined not to let Aizen drag any reaction from me.
It felt like forever before the arrogant bastard was finished and pulled out of me, leaving me feeling used and in need of a shower. My trick had worked though, I hadn't felt a damn thing except the pain and still didn't.
Aizen stood and I heard the rustling noise of him redressing himself. "Now, have we learned something, Grimmjow?" I twisted my head and glared up at him, granted not with the fire that I'd managed before. "It looks like we're getting there." The fucker pulled the single sheet off the cot in the opposite corner of the room and threw it over my lower half while I trembled in exhaustion, anger, and pain. "I'll have Orihime sent in to heal you and then we can get back to our… discussion."
So this was going to be a regular thing, huh? Fuck. "Go to hell, Aizen."
Aizen smiled and turned to leave, speaking over his shoulder. "Everyone has a breaking point, Grimmjow. Kurosaki-kun did, and so do you." Ichigo. "I will bring you to that point and you will kneel at my feet." The door closed behind him and he turned to look at me.
"Just like your dear lover."