Title: Wild Hunt
The room was cavernous, high ceiling, long stalactites spearing down to meet the ground forming thick columns along its length. They shone in the dim lighting, always appearing wet as mineral deposits continued to roll down from the roof, increasing their girth and strength over eons. The floor was a smooth dark sheet of black granite pocked with these great megaliths of raw stone. The facet's inside the dark rock twinkled, adding a lustre to the cool white tinged green flames lit in the open brazier's that littered the room, mimicking the dancing fairy lights over head.
At the far end of that space that echoed sound back and forth until you didn't know where one sound began and the other ended, sat a raised platform. Nine deep cut white marble steps rose from the ink black granite, topped by a wide dais that held an ancient relic of the Unseelie court - the Throne of Thorns.
The throne was a monstrous thing warped and twisted a dark thing that emanated power and stood taller than any man or elf. It was wide at the base, spiralling into the sky and growing ever thinner, the top disappearing into the recess of the ceiling where no light reached. The relics of the past contained great power and as time had weathered them, experience flavoured them and life coloured them they often garnered a sentience of their own.
This ancient throne was bound with layer upon layer of ancient thorny undergrowth, the long sharp thorns protruding like sharpened bones ready to spear then unwary. You could not tell if there was a true chair beneath the vines and it had been known to poison Kings and Queens. There is a legend that tells of them in long sonnets and winding tales of glorious passing - but in truth the throne had no need of such frippery. A carefully positioned thorn, tipped with matured poison was all it took. Death ran on silent, but swift feet.
And the throne - had all the time in the world.
Nobody had really figured out its odd sense of whimsy, mimicking the fae's own capricious nature after millennia. So many rulers had come and gone at its deadly behest - but there seemed no rhyme or reason that any could decipher. And sat on that poisoned pedestal was the current King of Underhill, ruler of the Unseelie court, Aizen.
The man was shrewd, secretive, charismatic and unyielding. Not someone to be crossed.
In the shadow of the throne, connected to a thick chain of deadly iron curling down to the ground and then up to a clasp its age blackened collar carved with ancient symbols, was a human male. He was young, no more than twenty ages of man. His skin was marred by blue/black bruises, blood and dirt. Locks of thick, dirty strawberry blond hair hung in his face and over his collar. Those once strong shoulders had drooped under the weight of ancient iron and the embattlement of time and circumstance.
The boy shifted, the chain trembling and clinking in the silence sounding like a gun rapport to Grimmjow's sharp ears. The shock of sound and motion caused him to blink slowly, gaze swiftly shifting back to the fae that sat upon the throne, a small smile curling cruel lips.
Shit. He'd been caught staring again.
Grimmjow didn't care about the bastard that sat all regal and royal on the throne, Aizen was a bastard of a King - but he was still King. What set his teeth on edge, his long nails biting into scared palms, was the way he treated that rat of a human beside him - his so called pet. Filthy little thing shouldn't even be here, shouldn't be sat beside the King, shouldn't really matter to Grimmjow at all - he was human, worthless and short lived.
And yet, he had caught and held Grimmjow's attention.
The boy had been kept in the dark for a year, withering with every month that passed without daylight. He was tugged along by that chain, kept at Aizen's side like a dog, beaten bloody, and yet there was still defiance in him. Grimmjow didn't know why the brat was here, didn't much care, but the few times those seeking eyes had lifted from the floor they had caught and held him fast. They were the colour of warm honey, but there was darkness there, a will that had not yet been broken. And Aizen had tried, had punished the human for meeting another's eyes, for doing anything but being the obedient dog he was commanded to be.
But in truth that was Grimmjow's role here, and it was one he revelled in, the chase, the find and the kill was what he lived for. The Wild Hunt ran for Aizen, but they were Grimmjow's and Aizen knew it. Grimmjow knew that it was likely the only reason he still lived after Aizen's pet had been caught staring at him. Their King was a jealous fae; no one knew much of him. He had come one day, stole the throne from the old King and brought his lackeys with him. The blind one and the jester whose smile was as cold as ice.
Grimmjow didn't much care for them either - but when this boy had appeared one day he'd been ensnared and the fascination had yet to wane.
He was an anomaly in this place of dark deals and malicious tricks. He was out of place, a bright spot that held the seeds of darkness. What Aizen kept him for was a mystery and yet deep in Grimmjow's gut, where he felt things before they really formed thoughts in his mind was a feeling that had stirred, bitten down and never left.
The boy was his - his prey, his to beat black and blue, his to taste and take.
Grimmjow at turns thrilled at the prospect and then crashed deep into the well of hatred and despair - a human. Why of all beasts one of them? He glanced at the male curled with his face toward the ground, took in the curve of his jaw through the thick thatch of matted hair, the way his ribs showed under yellowing bruises and he felt his gut clench, cock stir and his mouth water with need.
Fuck - he was so damned screwed.
Grimmjow pulled his attention back from Ichigo once again. Not realising his head had turned and his gaze had been fixed on him once more.
Grimmjow sneered, "Yes." there was no show of respect, no affirmation of Aizen's station. Grimmjow hoped that blasted throne stabbed the bastard and he died in pain, his skin peeling from his muscle and bone and turning inside out.
A smile curled Grimmjow's lips at the screaming visage of Aizen in his mind, not paying enough attention to the obvious threat the man in that forsaken throne posed. But the boy knew, his head coming up quickly, eyes going wide and a rough, hoarse cry of denial slipped free drawing Grimmjow's attention like a moth to a flame, "No."
"Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez, 6th of my Arrancar, Master of the Wild Hunt - Grind Resurrection Pantera." That voice spoke those words and Grimmjow watched as a cold smile curled thin lips and then pain seared his body from the inside out.
His eyes widened as it ripped through him, bones breaking and remaking, skin rippling then bleeding a pale white film that coated and hardened and felt like acid on his flesh. His gaze flickered frantically through the room, trying not to roll back as agony bloomed and unfurled inside him. His gaze landed and fixed on Ichigo, he watched as the boy leant back, eyes wide with horror and Grimmjow's gut wrenched, body shifting with a bone deep grinding that echoed out across the cavern. His gaze wrenched free of horror struck brown to settle on his Lord and Master, anger, pain and revenge a visceral thing boiling inside his half broken and twisting form. He grunted, growled and forced a single word past his stretching lips, the sound guttural and raw barely decipherable around sharpening teeth. "Death..." the word slipped from him as the Master of the hunt became the prey.