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Chapter Fourteen: Rushed
Ichigo sat up in bed, he was chilled and sweaty at the same time; his face flushed and his strawberry locks stuck up even more than usual. Beside him, Stark groaned at the sudden loss of warmth beside him, but he rolled over and went back to sleep, letting out a loud snore.
The young half-demon shivered and slipped out of his bed, pulling on a gown over his pyjama bottoms; he tied it shut over his growing baby bump. He rubbed his stomach for a moment as he contemplated the life forms growing inside of him, before he slipped on a pair of warm slippers and crept from their bedroom.
The sound of his slippers brushing the floor was the only noise around, save for the crackling of the fire torches on the walls and the breathing of the laboured ginger.
He looked around as he came to a fork in the path and he hesitated before going left. He continued plodding along, relieved by the cooler air which stopped his crazy sweating and chilled his flushed appearance.
He came to a stop suddenly when he heard voices up ahead, although he wasn't one to eve's drop, he couldn't help himself when he heard his own name arrive in the conversation.
"It would probably be best to move Ichigo to a securer location so that no one can get to him any which way." That was the voice of the Clan Leader, Yamamoto.
The replying voice belonged to Urahara, "Do you really think he will simply back down and allow himself to be moved from pillar to post? I know Ichigo and he had a very strong nature, he won't allow himself to be coddled by anyone."
"It is for his own safety; if that message from Aizen is authentic then things are about to get a lot harder for us." The older man growled.
A sigh from Kisuke, "Look... I suggest we talk to Ichigo in the morning before we decide upon a course of action, he is likely to appreciate that more than being forced to leave."
"Fine. You can tell him then; I need to ensure that everyone is training hard for the battle which is sure to ensue before long. Just make sure he knows... Or I will tell him myself."
"Thank you, I will talk to him first thing in the morning."
Ichigo panicked as he heard footsteps approaching him and he dived out of the closest balcony doors and hid out of sight. Breathing a sigh of relief when Urahara Kisuke walked past without seeing him.
He turned and looked around, lifting a hand and shielding his eyes from the strong wind which was blowing dirt towards him. He glanced at the highly fortified walls and considered what he had overheard.
Aizen had been in touch? Why weren't they sure if the message was real? Why did it mean he had to be hidden? Would Stark be allowed to go with him or would he be separated from his lover?
He felt panic seize at his chest but he forced it back, knowing that stress wasn't good for the cubs any more than it was for his blood pressure. Letting out a long sigh, Ichigo turned his sights skyward and felt calmed as he observed the full moon overhead.
It made him giggle to consider that he was in the very lair of a bunch of werewolves, there was a full moon, and not one of them had transformed into scary dogs.
Shaking his head, Ichigo leaned against the small stone wall surrounding the balcony he was stood on and closed his eyes as he tried to remember what had woken him from his sleep.
It had been like a sharp stabbing in his heart, following by a gush of cold air and a loud crackling noise.
Shrugging it off as a random dream, Ichigo turned to go back into the building behind him; he paused however, when he felt a tug in his gut. A tug which was nothing to do with the cubs he was carrying.
The ginger turned around slowly and his eyes widened as he came face to face with Aizen Sousuke. His mouth we dry and he took a step back, faltering as he felt his back bump into the firm chest of a second person.
Casting a glance at this second person, he felt the wind leave his lungs as he saw another Aizen Sousuke. What the HELL was going on?!
"Ichigo." The first brunette smiled and walked forwards, cupping his cheek, "There is no need to be afraid, we are not here to hurt you."
"I... I'm seeing two of you... And I shouldn't be afraid?!" he half squeaked.
"Shh, calm yourself, we don't want you to stress the cubs." The brunette leaned down to his level and brushed some of his disobedient hair out of his eyes, "I can explain everything to you... if you come with me?"
"No." He said suddenly and tried to move away from them both again.
"Ichigo... listen to me," the man's voice was gentle, but Ichigo could taste deceit in the air, "Why won't you come with me? I am not going to hurt you, but should I not have the chance to spend some time with the carrier of my heir?"
"I-I'm not saying that but... I do not trust you and I... I don't want to go anywhere with you. Either of you." He replied, stammering a little.
Aizen reached down and took Ichigo's hand gently, "Very well. I understand that you cannot trust me, and that I hurt your friend Urahara. However, it is the Werewolf Clan which had declared war upon me, not I upon them. And I did not do that because I believed it would hurt you. Do your cubs not deserve to know both their parents?"
Ichigo faltered and looked at him as his hand was held onto, "I... I guess... They do but... You nearly killed Kisuke and... And I cannot trust you and... No one else does either..."
"Would you allow yourself to be swayed by the thoughts of others?"
"I... No." He sighed and looked down, "I don't know what to do..."
Glancing over the ginger's head at his own creator, Aizen sighed before looking down again, "Ichigo, I will leave you for now and allow you to think unpressured. But do not wait too long, it is my belief that Yamamoto intends to lock you away somewhere, separating you from Stark and hiding you away. Be careful of who you do decide to trust."
And just like that, they were both gone. Ichigo swallowed hard and looked around uncertainly, wondering if he had just imagined that whole conversation or not; looking at his hand, his eyes widened as he saw a silver chain in his hand. That had not been there before!
So that conversation had been true and Aizen had left him with this gift. Why? Why were there two Aizens? Why was Yamamoto going to lock him up? Why couldn't he trust people?
Confusion was rife within his mind and he sighed, deciding that now was a good time to go back to bed, sleep it off and consider it in the morning.
As he headed back inside, pocketing the chain he had been left with, he jumped as he saw a large brown wolf coming towards him from down the hallway. He stiffened at the sight and now wished that he hadn't mocked the thought of werewolves roaming around under the full moon. His thought train paused however, when he saw the smoky blue eyes that the brown wolf had. He blinked and raised an eyebrow, "S-Stark?"
The wolf nodded once, before transforming. Stark was stood before him, his pyjama bottoms ripped and shredded in several places to reveal tantalizing flashes of tanned flesh.
"I was worried when I woke up to an empty bed. Are you alright? You look incredibly pale..." the blue eyed wolf man walked towards him and put his arms around him.
"I..." he paused and considered his options before he smiled, "I just got restless legs and thought walking around would help."
"I see! Did it help? I can massage them for you if you want?"
"They are a lot better... And a massage will only lead to one place and you know it, you dirty boy." He grinned and put his arms around his lover, kissing him softly.
"I know, I know I can't help myself." The brunette smirked, lifting Ichigo off his feet and returning the kiss tenderly, "Shall we go back to bed now?"
"Alright, hold on tight."
Stark scooped him into his arms and walked with him like that, watching as his head rested on his bare chest, fingers splaying over his naked skin. He shivered slightly before smiling as his orange haired lover looked up at him.
They arrived swiftly, Stark set Ichigo back on the bed before clambering in beside him and yawning as he curled up and pulled his beloved back against him.
Ichigo sighed inwardly but relaxed in the arms of Stark, deciding that he would face whatever came in the morning, in the morning.
Dominis and his clone, Aizen, sat side by side on the rooftop of one of the Clan ruins together in silence. It was a little awkward but not so much that they wanted to leave.
Finally the silence was broken by Dominis, "So, did you know who he was when you mated with him? Aizen."
"No." He replied calmly, "I just liked the look of him; however upon discovering his bloodline I must admit that I am even more pleased that he carries our heir."
"Amusing." The original body chuckled, "He does seem strong, and he takes things in his stride. However, his current pairing with Coyote is an issue which will need resolving before long. I hope you understand what I mean."
Aizen glanced at him for a moment before he nodded, "Killing him will be difficult though; he is a match for my power and he would never give up if it mean he would stop protecting Ichigo."
"Well then, perhaps we should try something a little more... Stealthy?"
"What do you mean?"
He shrugged, "You are my clone, I am certain that you can think of something."
Aizen glared from the corner of his eyes and suddenly regretted releasing the man from his carbon chamber, "Very well."