I've spent the past few days reading "The Real King" by Nova Alexandria, and the majority of my time reading chapter nineteen and onward was spent wishing to give Szayel a great, big, bear hug. Unfortunately, I am unable to do so, so writing this seemed like the best way to put my mind at ease. I am a very active GrimmIchi shipper, but...aw, come on, anyone would have wanted this to happen, regardless of what a creep Szayel usually is ^^

Anyone who hasn't read TRK would probably be really confused here but...all the more reason to read that fine piece of literature, no?

And sorry about any mistakes, I wrote this in record time while trying to expel whatever it is that made me write this in the first place.

So here, a fanfiction of...another fanfiction, I suppose. Enjoy!

And hey, Review and it may be YOU comforting our dear octava next time ;)


Grimmjow had left to hunt, stating that the egg would be safe enough in the protection of his alpha, and that he desperately needed to stretch his limbs, leaving Ichigo to study. As far as he knew, Szayel had been sleeping in his nest, as not a sound was heard through the curtains, not even the familiar sound of the pen scratching away in the hollow's beloved journal.

Sitting there with his book in his lap, the teen started to get a bit restless. He got up to find something to distract him from the never ending work that had to be done in far too short a time, stretching his back, hearing the quiet pop of joints and released a small sigh of contempt. For once his inner hollow was quiet, as was the rest of the room.

No sooner had the thought crossed Ichigo's mind when distinct whimpering reached his ears.

Ichigo froze and stood in a shocked silence as he attempted to come up with a possible suspect of what created the strange sound.

Another whimper, this one much louder and sounding suspiciously like a weak sob.

Ah. The arrancar.

It had been only four days since Ichigo had found, and rescued, Szayel. The wounds on his body were starting to heal, but his mind...so far, very few traces of the former narcissistic genius have been found. H'tsu's brutal torture, both mental and physical, though probably more so the first, combined with the despair of two miscarriages had left the hollow a submissive pile of fear and paranoia. Ichigo's rank, and his Beta's clear displeasure at having him here still had the scientist shaking in fear.

But the fear Szayel had of Grimmjow in no way compared to the sheer terror the espada had for Ichigo's hollow, for his own Alpha. His mind was never at peace, everything the hollow did could be displeasing his Sire, every step he took could lead to a brutal beating, or worse, another brutal mating. Another fading reiatsu, a third.

That terror and that albino were what haunted Szayel's dreams now, and were the reason for his pitiful sounds.

Ichigo walked slowly, carefully, as to not accidentally startle the former espada. He just wanted to investigate. Reaching the nest, the shinigami pulled the curtain open slowly and stared at the clearly distressed espada.

Szayel was curled up in something resembling the fetal position, one of the blankets' corners barely covering his midsection, with tears rolling down the side of his face. He was clearly still asleep, but his eyebrows were scrunched up in fear and distress, his hands clutching his abdomen. His mouth was parted slightly, and as Ichigo watched a few more gasps and whimpers escaped the former espada's lips, and then even a few mangled words.

"N-no...no..." Ichigo started to move. "S-sire...no..please" the last word came out a sob, and Ichigo had already reached the arrancar, attempting to gently wake him from his nightmare.

As soon as Ichigo's hand came in contact with Szayel's shoulder, the hollow screamed and jerked wildly under his touch, tears running more freely.

"Szayel, it's me, Ichigo." He gently pulsed his reiatsu, trying to make the other more aware of who exactly he was in the presence of and also in an attempt to wake the hollow.

The screams died down, though Szayel's choked, gasping breaths and quiet whines told the Shinigami that, while a bit more stable, his hollow's beta had not yet woken completely.

Ichigo tried a different approach. He lowered his hand to settle on Szayel's head, running his fingers over his hair with the outmost care and gentleness, as to not further startle the former espada, while repeating his name in a soft, quiet voice, a voice one would use when attempting to approach a scared animal.

"Szayel...Szayel, it's Ichigo, it's alright, you're safe, Szayel..."

Finally, the arrancar opened his fearful eyes in shock, still gasping as he registered Ichigo's comforting hand. In terror fueled daze, he hardly registered any coherent thought and pressed himself against his only form of comfort and safety, grabbing a hold of the Shinigami's midsection and releasing a soft sob.

Szayel suddenly realized what exactly he had just done, and sudden terror stabbed through him at the thought of what a severe punishment his actions towards his alpha would bring.

He let go of Ichigo like the teen had burned him, and scrambled clumsily to the wall only to press himself against it, baring his throat and stomach in a form of complete submission while he shuddered uncontrollably, eyes glazed over in fear.

Ichigo was shocked when the hollow suddenly pulled away, and was even more shocked at the display in front of him. That shock turned to anger at his realization of just how much physiological damage his hollow had inflicted, how deeply he must have scarred him to haunt the former espada even in his dreams.

When Szayel felt the waves of anger coming off of his alpha, he was unable to hold back a fearful sob, as he was sure he was going to be killed or severely punished for his actions. Preferably the first.

"What the hell has the bastard done to you.." The words were almost a growl, before Ichigo realized what terror his anger was causing the shaking frame still pressed against the wall, trying to appear as small as possible.

Suddenly Ichigo didn't care that Grimmjow would be displeased, didn't care what his beta would think, because all he knew at that moment was that Szayel desperately needed care, comfort, everything Ichigo's hollow had failed to give him.

The Shinigami took a small, shuffling step while staying crouched, afraid of giving Szayel any more reason to be afraid. H'tsu screamed at him in his mind, but was completely ignored by the teen for the time being.

Continuing to shuffle foreword, Ichigo slowly lifted his hand to gingerly brush the pink haired man's arm while continuing to speak in a quiet voice.

"I'm not going to hurt you, it's alright."

Szayel froze, both from the words and the gentle touch on his arm, to raise his eyes just a bit and glance in the general direction of the teen.

Ichigo's eyes were soft, and held none of Szayel's own alpha's sadistic fire, or any of his clear insanity, for that matter. The hand on his arm started to move, gently making its way over his bicep before lowering again.

The fear in Szayel's eyes turned to relief, along with a sadness and a sort of pleading look, and yet they still had that haunted glaze over them. Ichigo supposed that glaze would be there for a while.

Before Szayel could protest, and before Ichigo could change his mind, the Shinigami grasped one of the hollow's shoulders gently and while moving his free hand to the other, pulling Szayel to his chest and lowering himself to rest completely on the blankets, but not yet lowering his head to the tear soaked pillow.

The arrancar froze in shock at the movement, and struggled feebly when he was pulled down to the blankets in the grasp of the alpha. In his weak state, and with Ichigo's strong hold, his attempts at escape were fruitless, and he felt himself be pulled even closer to the Shinigami's chest when fully encased in his nest's blankets once more.

Szayel was once again terrified. This was unfamiliar behavior for his alpha, and surely part of his impending punishment.

Ichigo felt Szayel start to shiver again, releasing a quiet whimper when the arms around him tightened.

"I told you I won't hurt you. Just relax, sleep." He said as he started to stroke the arrancar's back, attempting to calm him. "Look at me."

Szayel didn't dare raise his gaze, certain that this was a test, and that failure would lead to more pain.

"Szayel, look at me. At my eyes. I promise I won't hurt you, I just want to prove it to you."

Ichigo's hollow was enraged at the teen for having suggested such a thing, but the hollow currently encased in the Shinigami's arms finally did as told. He fearfully lifted his gaze to Ichigo's soft, brown eyes and was surprised at what he found there.

Nothing but kindness and concern can be seen swimming in the mocha orbs, two things that Szayel was very unfamiliar with seeing directed at himself.

When brown met gold, Ichigo let a soft smile pass over his lips. A smile that finally convinced Szayel that, for the time being at least, he was safe.

As soon as Szayel realized this, he lost himself. Everything he went through with H'tsu, the rape, the abuse, the starvation, all those emotions that he had tried to carefully suppress in fear of displeasing his alpha came crashing over him. He pressed his body into the comforting form holding him, grabbing onto it desperately and rocked them both with his choking sobs.

Ichigo recovered from the shock of the former espada's actions quickly, tightening his hold even more until he was afraid he was going to crush the weak form huddling to his chest. He finally let his head drop to the pillow and closed his eyes, murmuring comforting words as he waited for the tears to stop.

They did, eventually. The sobs remained, few and far in between, until even they were quieted and, still pressing himself to the Shinigami's chest, the hollow fell into a deep sleep.