The Sacrifice

By Spunky0ne

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Chapter 1: Abduction

"Did you bring him?" a lowered male voice asked as a cloaked and hooded shinigami crept into view in the dark clearing.

The other person nodded briefly and indicated a crumpled form on the ground near them.

"You made sure that he got the full dose? I don't want him coming back," the man said, "I have had to endure that trash parading about as though he was actually one of us...cozying up to our leader and insulting our honor by the very act of living and breathing."

He reached into his kimono and withdrew a parcel, then handed it to the other. The hooded shinigami bowed briefly and walked back into the trees, leaving the man with his collapsed captive. He waited for several minutes, watching in the direction that the hired kidnapper had gone. He closed his eyes, smirking as a large explosion somewhere in that direction, rumbled the ground.

"No witnesses," the man whispered, "I do not want a trail back to me."

He turned back to the unconscious man who still laid in a heap on the ground, and lifted him into his arms.

"Come, Cousin, I shall take you somewhere where you can rest...permanently, that is. And don't think that four-legged abomination will be any help to you. With your reiatsu sealed away and masking kido all around you, you will be a little hard to find."

He fell silent, moving quickly through the trees and emerging into a small clearing. He looked around and spotted a shadowy form ahead of him. He walked towards it, watching as it resolved itself into the shape of an odd hollow.

"Ah, Kuchiki-san," the hollow said, smirking, "You have brought him as promised."

"Hai," said the noble, "He is even dressed for the occasion, as you can see."

"And he is...still virginal?" the hollow asked, "He is only useful for our ceremony if he is a virgin."

"He is untouched. Check if you like. He was an inmate in Itamigiri through his childhood, marked to become one of their breeders, but rescued before he was old enough. He has been celibate ever since, as well."

The hollow slipped a hand beneath the unconscious man's clothes and focused a soft flare of red reiatsu on the area around his privates. He blinked slowly, then nodded in approval.

"A lovely specimen," he commented, gazing down at the man's comely face, "It is almost a shame to feed him to the beast, but if we do not offer him quality morsels, he will devour us...and we do not want that."

"Of course not," said the noble, glancing down at his unconscious cousin, "But he is just chaff...a half breed. Powerful, yes, but mongrel blooded. Our clan is glad to be rid of him."

"Hmmm," mused the hollow, "Well then, it works out for both of us."

"Yes," said the noble, setting the younger man in the hollow's waiting arms, "Just...be certain that he does not somehow survive and return. We are done with him and want him gone."

The hollow turned away and engaged his sonido, opening a garganta and passing back into Hueco Mundo. He angled towards a small mountainous area, skirting the edge of a small military encampment. He had nearly reached his destination when a large cougar-like hollow charged at him, growling and snarling.

"Get back, you foolish dog!" he hissed, holding the unconscious man more tightly as the hollow hound closed in.

In his arms, the young man stirred at the sounds of growling. His blue eyes opened slightly, and squinted at the hollow who carried him. He caught his breath in surprise and began to struggle, distracting the hollow for a moment. And in that moment, the hollow hound charged, grabbing the more humanoid hollow by the throat, and quickly dispatching him as the man he was holding crashed to the sandy ground. The young man crawled away on his hands and knees, moving carefully to avoid the attention of the hound as it enjoyed it's meal. He reached the cover of some rocks and staggered to his feet, looking around dizzily. He thought he could see light in the distance and turned towards it, pausing to pick up several large rocks to use as protection, as his powers seemed to have been sealed away.

He had stumbled about halfway to the distant, lighted area when he heard a soft sound behind him and realized that the hollow hound had finished devouring the other hollow, and was now tracking him.

"Kami!" he panted, breaking into a run.

He knew he had no chance of hiding, so he ran as fast as he could. But his vision faded in and out, and he quickly tired. Still, he had nearly reached the edges of the lighted area when the hound howled to note that he was closing in. His skin crawled as the sound of heavy, canine breathing, and the swish of the sand under the hound's paws warned him he was going to fall short.

"No!" he gasped, "Not so close to...!"

He was forced to turn, just as the light began to reveal the desert around him in more detail. Bereft of his and powers, he took the rocks in hand and hurled the first as the hound charged at him, striking it on the forehead and taking the beast off his feet. Unfortunately, the creature was on its feet again in a moment, and charging him again. Once again, his thrown rock struck the hound, this time in the ribs. The hound swayed unsteadily for a moment, and the young man took the opportunity to turn and run for the lighted area ahead of him.

All thoughts of escape disappeared as the hollow hound appeared in his path and the young man skidded to a halt, putting up his hands as he was tackled and the hound began snapping at him. The young man quickly grabbed the dog's sensitive ears and clenched hard, holding the snapping jaws just barely away from his face and throat. The hound twisted and jolted, at one point, loosing himself enough to bite down on the young man's shoulder. The man screamed and picked up one of the sharp rocks he had dropped when the hound struck him. He pounded at the hound's head and face as the beast snapped at him, sinking his teeth into the young man's arm and forcing another scream of pain from his tightened lips.

"Lookie what we have here," laughed a hollow guard, stepping out from the main building, "The little fool shinigami thinks he can beat a hollow hound to death with rocks and his bare hands."

"What should we do?" laughed a second hollow, "Should we just put the poor bastard out of his misery? He's getting all chewed up."

They moved closer as the shinigami continued to struggle and emitted hard cries of pain each time the hound bit into him. The shinigami grabbed the hound's ears again and brought his bleeding body down onto the hound's. One hand continued to hold onto the hound's ears, and the other reached for a rock that was just out of reach. One of the hollow guards struck out with his foot, kicking the shinigami's hand away from the rock as the hollow hound sank his teeth into the young man's uninjured arm. But somehow, even with no rocks left, only his bare, bleeding hands, the man held the hound's head just away from his body.

"This is boring," yawned one of the guards, "Just kill the fucker already."

"I'm having fun watching the dog play rough with his food," said the other.

The shinigami's arms weakened as the hound lunged and twisted. Finally, it broke free of his hands and lunged at his throat.

The young man's wide, sapphire eyes stared in surprise as a heavy swell of reiatsu forced the hollow hound away from him and made the guards freeze and come to attention.

"Aizen-sama!" they said, reverently.

"What is this?" Aizen asked, looking down at the bloodied, panting shinigami.

He moved closer, tilting his head and studying the shinigami's lovely face.

"Interesting," he commented, raising his reiatsu until the shinigami collapsed all of the way to the ground and could not move except to breathe, "Who are you? You are a Kuchiki, ne? You are either reckless or just desperate to fight such a beast with rocks and your bare hands. Have you no zanpakutou?"

The young man felt his head go into a spin and closed his eyes. Rough hands lifted him and carried him into the base as he lost consciousness and plunged into blackness and silence.

XXXXXXXXXX

"He is beginning to regain consciousness," Gin said, watching the young man as his eyelids fluttered and opened to reveal wide sapphire eyes.

The shinigami's eyes blinked and examined Gin's smirking face, then that of the tall, brown-haired, brown-eyed man beside him.

"Do you have a name, shinigami?" Aizen asked, looking into the young man's fetching eyes and stopping just short of a smile.

"I..." the young man began, trying to sit up, then noticing the restraints on his wrists and ankles, "What are you doing? Who are you? How did I get here? Why am I tied down?"

"You don't know us?" Aizen asked curiously, "I thought that we were known to every shinigami in existence. Gin, we shall have to make sure we remedy this situation at once."

"Whatever you say, Sousuke," Gin answered, chuckling, "But I think that it is not that he doesn't know us. I found signs of an unfamiliar drug in his system, one with a suppressive factor in it. It may account for his confusion. There was a second drug as well, a strong sedative. Someone was not very nice to this young man, knocking him out and throwing him to the hollow hounds like that!"

"Who would want to do such a thing to a pretty young noble like this one?" asked Aizen, shaking his head in disapproval, "That is just horrid..."

"Will you please tell me where I am?" asked the young man, his widened eyes scanning the room for anything familiar.

"You are in Hueco Mundo, Las Noches, to be precise," said Aizen, releasing his restraints and allowing him to sit up, "I am Aizen Sousuke. You will call me Aizen-sama. This is Gin. And you are?"

"I..." the young man stammered, "I am..."

"You are a Kuchiki?" Aizen prompted him, "You are a relative of Kuchiki Byakuya?"

"Did I say that?" the shinigami asked, looking mystified, "I don't remember. Everything is very fuzzy. I only remember waking in the desert and being chased by that...that..."

"It was a hollow hound," said Gin, "You really shouldn't enter their territory unprepared like that. That beast made an awful mess of you and that charming kimono you were wearing. You are lucky you won't have any scars."

"Yes," said Aizen, "Gin did a masterful job of healing you. You should be grateful. He isn't always so kind."

"I am grateful," said the young man, "Arigato."

Aizen smirked.

"You have very nice manners, noble," he commented.

He walked to a pile of bloodied clothing that Gin had removed while healing the young man and searched it carefully.

"Were there any identifiable markings on his body, Gin?" Aizen asked.

"Hmmm, he has a prison inscription on the back of his right shoulder...Itamigiri."

"Itamigiri?" repeated Aizen, frowning curiously, "I don't remember a prison by that name. I wonder if it is a noble prison. But why would anyone put a lovely creature like you in a cage?" Aizen asked, slipping his hand under the man's chin and raising his eyes, "What sort of criminal are you?"

"It also has the name 'Tetsuya' inscribed beneath it. It may be his name."

"Well, that is a beginning," said Aizen, "So then, Tetsuya, what shall we do with you? I don't think you want to risk returning to the desert, not powerless and weaponless. I doubt that you would survive for very long. And if you are an escaped prisoner, then you may not want to return to the Seireitei. You may be imprisoned again."

He thought for a moment.

"Perhaps I can find a use for you here," he suggested.

"Oh, I don't know about that," Gin said slyly, "I don't think a lovely, virginal young noble would last very long in Las Noches."

"Virginal?" queried Aizen, "You examined him that thoroughly?"

"I didn't have to," said Gin, "There is a kido seal on his body, probably from the days of his incarceration. They were used to protect important prisoners from being raped by guards or other prisoners. It suggests that he was not a criminal, but a political prisoner of some kind."

"My," said Aizen, studying the young man's face for any sign of deceit, "You become more interesting by the moment, Tetsuya. I shall have to look into your identity. But while I do, I should offer you a safe place to rest and heal from your injuries."

He extended a hand, which Tetsuya slowly accepted. Tetsuya stood and followed as Aizen led him through several hallways, and past the guards who had found him outside the fortress. They saw that Aizen was with him and made no comment, but Tetsuya felt a shiver inside at what he saw in their eyes. He remained close to Aizen as the man led him through several more hallways and to a sealed and guarded door. The guards parted and Aizen opened the door and led Tetsuya inside.

Tetsuya paused inside the room as Aizen closed the door and stepped away from him. He remained by the door, examining the room's comfortable furnishings and warm, earthen colors.

"I am to stay...here?" Tetsuya asked.

Aizen returned and handed him a cup of tea, then motioned for Tetsuya to get into the large, soft bed.

"You will stay with me, yes," Aizen answered, "At least until I figure out who you are and find a place to put you where you won't be mauled by any more dogs."

"Just you?" the young man queried softly.

"Why Tetsuya, you insult me," Aizen said reprovingly, "You think I am a rapist? Perish the thought."

He leaned closer to the young man and whispered in his ear.

"Seduction is much more enjoyable, for everyone involved."

"I thought that Gin-san said that I have a restrictive kido on me," Tetsuya reminded him.

"Yes," agreed Aizen, silkenly, "But then...if conquest is too easy, it isn't nearly so fulfilling."

A blush rose on Tetsuya's cheeks and he turned his head away.

"So...when you said that you might find a use for me...that is what you were talking about?" Tetsuya asked softly.

"Actually, no," Aizen answered, sipping at his tea, "Most shinigamis I capture are useful, either as sources of information or as hostages to exchange for something of value. You are an exception. You have no useful information...not that you can remember, at least. And although I postulate from your appearance that you must be a member of Byakuya's family, there is no saying that you are or are not a member of importance in the family. The signs of your incarceration would have indicated a usefulness for spy activities or other subversive things of that nature...but you were not a criminal. I am still thinking about how you may serve me."

"You wouldn't consider simply letting me go," Tetsuya suggested.

"But we have already discussed that," Aizen countered, "You cannot survive the desert, and if you were escaping that prison related to the inscriptions on your body, you would only be captured and incarcerated."

"So," concluded Tetsuya, "you are 'doing me a favor' by imprisoning me here and planning to seduce me?"

"I look at it that way, yes," affirmed Aizen, "This room really is the safest place for you right now."

Tetsuya sighed softly and set his tea on the nightstand, then slipped under the covers and laid down.

"No one enters this room but my attendants and me, so you will be perfectly safe. Rest. I will have food brought for you. We can talk about how you will serve me later, once you have healed completely from your injuries. The markings may be gone, but it will be a few days before your reiatsu is at full strength and the residual pain eases. If you need anything, the button beside the bed will summon the attendant I am assigning to you. I have some duties to attend to, but I will return later."

Tetsuya watched quietly as Aizen left the room, then slipped out of bed and took a more leisurely look around the room. He found the room carefully sealed so that entry by others was unlikely, but he noticed that the seals on the room were meant to keep others out, rather than to keep him in.

So...escape is not out of the question.

He searched the room carefully, but found no sharp implements save the green hilted zanpakutou that was locked into the sword stand near the bed.

It simply doesn't look probable.

He moved to the large bay window and climbed into the large window seat that was more like another small bed by the window. The tower they were in being at the edge of the lit area of the fortress, looked out into darkness, and had a lovely view of the nighttime sky. He laid down in the window seat, looking out the window as he drifted off. Once, he saw a dark shadow and heard an odd whisper inside his mind. But he decided that it must be his imagination and let it pass from his thoughts as he settled down to sleep.

Aizen returned several hours later to find the young man asleep in the window seat, with light from the moon shining down on him, making his body glow softly.

"Beautiful," he said, watching him sleep for several minutes before turning to prepare himself for bed.

He walked into the bathroom and slipped into his nightclothes, then returned to the bedroom and started to climb into the bed. He paused and picked up an extra blanket from the end of the bed, then draped it carefully over the sleeping shinigami's sleeping form. As he did, Tetusya's eyes opened and looked up at him questioningly.

"Good night, Tetsuya," he said, turning towards his bed.

Tetsuya's eyes followed him across the room. Aizen laid down and turned onto his side, then noticed the young man still watching him.

"What is it?" he asked sleepily, "Is something wrong?"

"No," said Tetsuya, "I just thought that..."

Aizen's smirk stopped him mid-sentence.

"I told you. Seduction is more amusing. Take your time getting comfortable with me. If you sleep better there than in my bed, you are welcome to sleep over there."

"I saw something outside before."

"Oh?"

"It looked like a horse."

"Perhaps it was one of the hollow horses. We see them here from time to time. Pay it no mind."

"Do the hollows here sometimes speak into your mind, Aizen-sama?"

"Did you hear a voice?" Aizen asked, sitting up and frowning.

"Maybe," answered Tetsuya, "I don't know. I did hear something though."

"Pay it no mind. You are perfectly safe here," Aizen said, lying down and closing his eyes.

"How can you sleep with a stranger in the room, Aizen-sama? Do you not concern yourself with what I might do while you are sleeping?"

Aizen laughed softly.

"I assure you that if you had any intention of harming me, you could not accomplish it. And if you want to crawl into my bed and molest me, I won't mind."

Tetsuya was glad for the darkness that hid the blush the man's words brought to his face.

"I think I will remain over here, for now."

"As you will, Tetsuya," Aizen said, his smirk deepening, "Good night."

"Good night, Aizen-sama."