Thank you for your continued support! I hope you continue to enjoy the story, it's moving on a bit now, we are getting towards the drama!

Chapter Eighteen: My Bloody Bump Is In The Way!

Ichigo crouched down as he followed Renji, Stark, and Byakuya down a dimly lit passage way which ran under an abandoned laboratory which Aizen had apparently been spotted. Although war had been decided by the council it was the desire of everyone that they try and end things as soon as possible and thus, the team of four were heading to attempt to assassinate Aizen Sousuke.

He would have been lying if he had said he wasn't afraid of facing Aizen again, this time determined to end his life, but at the same time he and refused point blank to simply sit back while his lover and his newly made friends did all the work. Thus he had argued with them until they allowed him to accompany them.

The tunnel in which they were travelling was dank and smelled of disposed of chemicals; the stone walls were wet with damp and had green mould slicked its way down to the slippery floor. The space was cramped and the ceiling above them was low, meaning that they had to crouch and half crawl through.

They were silent as they moved, not knowing whether they might be overheard or not by anyone who might have been listening in on their travels they were uncertain whether their presence was even known yet; their information on Aizen's plans was so insignificant that they had to be cautious of everything at every turn and corner.

Anxiety filled the atmosphere between them; Ichigo found himself nursing his growing bump tenderly as they scampered onwards. The line came to an abrupt halt suddenly and the strawberry saw Renji, who was leading them, stick his head out into a brighter; warmer a space that what they were currently in.

Fiery hair was illuminated as the Fuku-Taichou stepped out into the hallway beyond; he gestured for the rest of them to hurry out as well and when Ichigo finally emerged he found himself in a brilliant white hallway, it was white everywhere, almost to the extent of being blinding.

"What the fuck is this?!" Renji exclaimed, "It's like a... A- Well I don't know what it's like but it's creeping me out!"

Byakuya shot him a disapproving look, "And you're shouting about it?"

The redhead balked suddenly, "Ah... Sorry..."

Ichigo chuckled slightly and looked around at Stark, taking his hand before he looked around, "So where do we go now?" he asked.

"Well we have no map of the area to go by, but we need to get to the upper levels and I would guess we are somewhere near the basement at the moment. Thus, we should look for stairs or a slope ascent." Byakuya replied softly, his eyes glancing around nervously as though he predicted an attack coming from the shadows themselves, "They may already know of our presence, so be careful and stick close together, the last thing we want is to be-" he broke off as he heard a loud clanking from their left; his eyes slowly moved towards his pregnant redheaded lover and he stared momentarily as he saw him leaned against the wall, a pressure button right behind him, "R-Renji..." he slowly ground out, "When we get out of here... I am going to kill you."

The redhead, for the all the good it did him, was sheepishly looking at the pressure plate his back had applied pressure to when he had leaned back, "It's not my fault! I needed to rest my back! I blame your child for weighing a ton!"

"Don't blame our child! You can hardly tell there is anything there yet! Your bump is smaller than Ichigo's and you don't see him complaining of back ache yet do you?!" the raven haired demon cried wildly in response.

"Actually Byakuya-" Ichigo went to interrupt.

"How do you know?! I've put on a stone since getting up the duff!" Renji spoke over him and stood up straight again suddenly.

Their argument was halted by the sudden clanking again, this time it was louder and it didn't grind to a stop. The group of four looked around slowly as the ground began to shake and they watched as a black mass sped towards them around the corner of the hallway; it took them a moment to realise that it was actually the floor giving way and plunging into nothingness.

"Bollocks. RUN!" Stark exclaimed, grabbing his lover's hand again before he dragged him behind him in the effort to outrun the crumbling flooring, Byakuya and Renji were right beside them, argument forgotten in the wake of their survival instinct.

Both pregnant male's getting out of breath easily, they found themselves scooped up by their partners who sped up further as the floor gave away at their very heels. Ichigo let out a slightly girly shriek as Stark lost his balance and started falling backwards but was saved suddenly by Byakuya grabbing his wrist and hauling him down a corridor on the left. They all gasped in reprieve when the crumbling floor continued straight on and left them alone where they had hidden.

They shared a look and let out a group sigh of utter relief.

"That was close." Ichigo half whispered.

"Too close." Renji agreed, despite the disbelieving look his lover flashed him.

Stark panted gently, "Let's not do that again."

"Agreed." Byakuya was slightly out of breath too.

They shared a unanimous look, knowing that they were only able to go down the corridor Byakuya had steered them down. After a moment for recovery, they set off again.

"So as long as we don't touch the walls we should be safe." Byakuya reasoned five or ten minutes later when the corridor split into a T road, "Hmm... Which way should we go?"

"How about that way? It looks steeper?" Ichigo offered and pointed to the right.

"Alright, right it is." Byakuya walked forwards and stopped suddenly when his foot sank down onto a hidden pressure plate on the floor, he stared for a moment and sighed heavily, "Oh that is not good."

"Heh, see, you're no better than I am." Renji smirked.

"Don't start." The raven haired male snarled dangerously as they heard a loud, deafening rumbling coming from ahead.

"Byakuya... You know what that sound is don't you?" Ichigo said with a nervous laugh.

"I'm afraid to say that I do..." the other responded before they watched a large boulder rolling towards them.

"Fucking hell..." the temporary Leader of the Incubus Clan cursed loudly before they started running again.

As they descended a very steady and almost unnoticeable slope, the boulder began to gain on them as it spun faster and faster. Curses escaped their lips as they panted and sprinted in the opposite direction; panic began to grow as they realised there were no turn offs in the entire stretch of corridor.

"This... Is... Ridiculous!" Byakuya panted between long legged strides, "It's going... To over... Take us... Like this!"

"What can we do?!" Ichigo exclaimed as he fought to keep up through the laboured breathing.

"I have one idea!" the raven haired male called back, glancing back at the boulder before he gritted his teeth, "Scatter!"

As he spoke his final word there was an explosion of power from him and he momentarily disappeared behind a veil of pink light; he burst forth from it, his torso now bare and a pair of deep purple leathery wings on his back with a matching tail which sprouted from the base of his spine; his bottom half was concealed only by what appeared to be purple fur and while his hands and face remained clear two spectacular plum coloured horns had appeared from the crown of his head. He shot at the bolder like a bullet from a gun; his horns made contact with the boulder first and for a moment everything fell still, and then, surprising to everyone but Renji and Byakuya, the bolder lit up and cracks appeared and without warning, it shattered into millions of tiny fragments of rock and pebble.

They stopped running in the wake of the destruction of the boulder which had been chasing them and stared openly at Byakuya: Stark had never seen an Incubus in its demon form before and Ichigo had been unaware that demons could change their forms, except for the werewolves considering he had seen Stark in his wolf form once before. Renji however, was purring behind them like some kind of depraved cat; Ichigo gave him a peculiar look and watched the redhead prowl forwards with a feline grace and wrap his arms around his lover slowly, pressing against him.

Ichigo looked around as Stark squeezed his hand and smiled, "Fully bonded mates are drawn to each other naturally, but a demon in pregnancy will often be drawn stronger and made playful or aroused by the sight of their mate in their secondary form. This is the form Byakuya has entered. You've seen me in my secondary form, but you were not as strongly drawn because you are only a half-demon still." The brunet explained, putting an arm around his partner gently and pulling him closer, "Byakuya, as adorable it is too see Renji acting like a lovelorn teenager, we don't have time."

The raven haired male nearly pouted but nodded in agreement, giving his lover a long; sensual kiss before reverting to his primary form, "Let us continue." He said as he took Renji's hand and started walking back the way they had been chased from, easily able to notice the slope which they had previously missed.

They managed to get back to where they had started fairly easily and continued in the same direction, pleased when they didn't find any further traps waiting for them.

Upon reaching a door at the end of the hallway, Byakuya slowly opened it and went inside; following behind him the other three made their way into the room beyond.

Once inside, they each froze on the spot and stared straight ahead at the more than amused Aizen Sousuke.

"Well then... What have we got here?" he asked.