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Chapter Eleven: Tying Up Loose Ends:
Grimmjow roared and used the nearest wall to propel himself towards Fornicarás, twisting in midair as he evaded the long wing like extensions of the Zanpakto's body; he swept his claws down towards him mercilessly and felt a wave of satisfaction as they gouged into the flesh of his torso before he used the Zanpakto's chest as a springboard and vaulted over the top of him, landing lithely behind him before he slashed out with the blades on his forearms and slashed across his back, leaving two deep diagonal slices in his skin.
The blue haired panther then skipped back several places and stalked his prey, eyes narrowed and face set in stone. This was not a battle that he would revel in as he had done in others, no, this was a battle for revenge and a battle to tie up loose ends; if he died as a result then he would be a step closer to seeing Szayel again, either way he was killing Fornicarás.
The purple haired cretin turned slowly, his eyes menacing and infuriated, "I feel your rage... But you are nothing but a big cat with claws too big to fit you." He snarled.
It was bait; Grimmjow knew that and he didn't give a damn. He shot towards him, building up speed as he leapt into Sonido and hurtled forwards, narrowly missing being caught in one of the wings before he was snatched out of the air by the second. He released a Hollowfied wail before he took his teeth, claws, and tail to the wing enveloping his body.
With a hiss, the wing loosened slightly and allowed Grimmjow to escape; the panther had vanished in a heartbeat and for the first time Fornicarás was just slightly concerned that he might lose this battle.
After his fight with his former Arrancar master, his reiatsu had yet to fully replenish; he would be hindered greatly in competition against the Sexta Espada.
Suddenly, the aura of the blue haired man appeared again, from directly above him; Fornicarás flung a wing out but met no resistance as Grimmjow had evaded him again. He let out a gasp of surprise as his left hip was suddenly impaled by a long and sharp blade as Grimmjow's forearm slammed into his back.
He hissed and arched, feeling a wet stickiness trickling down from the fresh wound. He twisted, removing himself from the blade before he kicked out and pushed Grimmjow back a few paces; he staggered back himself and cupped a hand over the wound in his hip.
"What do you hope to achieve my defeating me? Revenge? Peace? Death?" he spat venomously, "Nothing you do is going to bring him back!"
Grimmjow's head was lowered; his eyes shadowed by his hair as he slowly stalked forwards, his tail swished slightly from side to side as a gentle breeze wafted the waist length azure hair, "I know that..." he breathed quietly in baritone, "But it will make me feel a bit better."
"No it won't! Nothing will make you feel better unless you-"
"Die? Yes I know that... But I wouldn't feel better if I died without avenging him." He lifted his gaze slowly, eyes blazing with anger, "I won't hide that I am terrified of dying, but I am more terrified of living without him beside me; I saw what it did to Ichigo... I don't have a Hogyuku to make everything better... I can't bring him back... But I can join him wherever he is."
Fornicarás felt a tinge of fear at the overwhelming desire to kill in Grimmjow's eyes, he took an uncertain step back and licked his lips before he hurled both of his wings forwards at once and encased the Sexta tightly within his grasp, activating his power and eager to make a doll of him; as soon as he had it in his hands he was going to smash the bastard's heart and end this. He would not die today.
He faltered suddenly and his eyes widened as the scarlet droplets which hung from his wings began to glow a steadily darkening sapphire blue colour. Without warning, the droplets exploded outwards and spattered the area with purple liquid and remnants of red fleshy material.
Beyond, Grimmjow stood, his whole body emitting a brilliant cobalt light as his reiatsu materialised around him and revealed the reason for Fornicarás's attack being destroyed.
The Sexta Espada had, and always would be, two whole ranks above Szayel who had been the Octava. Fornicarás had been foolish to forget that for all his stupidity, Grimmjow was stronger than he was.
Grimmjow snapped his sharpened teeth together before he drew his paw like hands up to his face, pointing his claws at Fornicarás before a truly horrific and feral grin etched onto his face, "Desgarrón!" he roared, his reiatsu rocketing and decimating the walls either side of them as he slammed his hands downwards at the exact moment that ten thick; strong; reiatsu created blades appeared from each of his talons and stretched towards Fornicarás at speed greater than light.
Blood splashed the floor as the majority of the blades hit him; he was able to repel three using the tattered remains of his wings but the rest made perfect contact.
Grimmjow's fangs clenched tightly together and he let out an animalistic howl into the sky before he snapped his hands across his chest in an 'X' shape, instantly slicing through Fornicarás's body, mercilessly.
He turned away as he heard the thud of a corpse and dispersed his Desgarrón, followed by his Resurrection form.
The culprit was dead. He could now mourn in peace.
His ears pricked as he heard a clatter of metal behind him and he slowly looked around, frowning as he saw Fornicarás's katana form broken in half on the floor where his body had been moments before.
So, he had reverted back to that form even though it had not been his master who had defeated him. Interesting. Although he desired no part of that sword on his persons, perhaps it would help; he picked up the broken blade and headed towards Division Twelve to present it to Kurotsuchi Mayuri.
Across the dimensional plane, in Karakura, Ichigo had burst into Urahara's shop with an almost unconscious Byakuya in his arms. At the loud noise, Urahara himself appeared at the doorway to the living area behind the store and his cool grey eyes widened slightly at the sight before him.
"Kurosaki-san, bring him through." He instructed.
The pair hurried through the maze of corridors before Urahara pushed open a door and led Ichigo into a large room with four beds against the wall and a mass of medical and scientific equipment opposite.
"Lay him on one of the beds and undress him." The blonde man told him as he hastened over to the equipment for the things he would need.
Ichigo did as he was told, pulling back the covers of one of the beds and gently laying down an ever paling Kuchiki Byakuya; he hesitated for a moment before he removed the man's clothes, flushing slightly as his eyes roamed over the man's perfect body; boy could he see why Renji liked him so much aesthetically. He thought Stark was damn hot, but Byakuya had that smouldering; underlying sexiness.
Shaking his head and focusing on the fact that the man he was appraising was also currently bleeding to death, he pulled a sterile green sheet over the noble's privates and looked at Byakuya's glazed over eyes.
For once grateful that his Goat-Faced old man had obsessed over training his son and daughters the basics (and in Ichigo's case some of the more intricate) ways and means of medicine, Ichigo's doctor side kicked in as he washed his hands and pulled on a pair of latex gloves, grabbing several packs and several packets of antiseptic wipes.
He set down the items in a kidney dish and began wiping the area of the blade induced tear in Byakuya's side. It was a nasty wound; Koga had very nearly sliced Byakuya in half with the viciousness of his attack. But they could save him, they had to; they had already lost Szayel and Ichigo wasn't going to let someone else die as well.
The orange haired Shinigami jumped as Senbonzakura flickered into existence beside the bed before he crumpled on the floor, the abandoned Byakuya for a moment and dragged the unconscious samurai onto the bed beside the nobleman; checking him over for injuries and finding none.
He returned to the noble and continued cleaning the area of his injury, looking up as Urahara returned.
"How is he doing Kurosaki-san?"
"Not good, he lost a lot of blood at the scene and more as he carried him here; he's semi-delirious and is losing consciousness frequently." The other replied as he disposed of the wipes and set about packing the wound to slow the blood loss.
"Alright," the blonde thought for a moment, "I'm going to send a Hell Butterfly to Orihime-chan, if we call her in she might be able to reverse the injury."
"Good idea, can you ask her to bring Ishida and Chad too? And my Dad if he's free."
Together they set up several machines, inducing Byakuya into a medical coma so that they could work freely; attaching him to a heart monitor and a ventilator for safety.
They both ignored it as the door to the room opened again, revealing Renji and Stark. Ichigo wiped the back of Byakuya's hand before inserting a cannula into the back so he could administer pain relief.
Renji limped over, his injured leg wavering as he walked, "H-How is he? Urahara-san?"
"Ah, Abarai-san!" the blonde smiled comfortingly, "We have called for Orihime to assist in healing him, but he is stable at the moment. Try not to worry, sit up on one of the beds, I'll see to your leg."
He wasn't keen on leaving Byakuya's side but he allowed himself to be steered to a bed and he removed his hakama so that his leg could be examined.
It was an ugly wound; the talons of the small Hollow had penetrated several muscle layers and severed a couple of tendons and blood vessels. The skin around the gashes had turned a pale shade of purple which made Urahara suspect a slow acting poison was at work.
Chimpette and Snaky appeared behind the bed and both peered over at the wound in his leg before cringing, "Ne, Renji! You need to pay better attention in the battle field!" Chimpette announced, folding her arms under her buxom form.
"Thanks for that startling piece of information..." the redhead muttered and hissed as the wounds were cleared out and Urahara flourished a needle at him; Renji paled slightly but stayed still and allowed the shot to be administered.
"Sit still for ten minutes so that the anti-venom gets to work. Then we'll have Orihime-chan to heal your leg fully when she arrives.
Stark joined Ichigo at Byakuya's bedside as the strawberry changed the packs for new ones as blood soaked quickly through the previous ones, "How are you holding up, Ai?" he asked softly.
"I'm okay." Ichigo replied with a weak smile, "You?"
"I am... Sad for Grimmjow's loss and I hope he doesn't do something foolish as a result, but I am unharmed." The brunette replied, "How is he holding up?"
"He isn't great." He replied in a whisper, "But if Inoue gets here quickly he should make it."
"That is something to hope for then."
It took Inoue, Ishida, and Chad about half an hour to reach the shop, they hurried through to the occupied room, and Inoue instantly went to Byakuya's bedside and activated her Sôten Kishun over Byakuya's body.
It was a heart stopping moment as they watched her powers work their magic on the nobleman's body.
Hoping, wishing, half praying that it worked and Byakuya would be healed. A world without an obstinate, stubborn, effeminate, pretty noble was hardly a world at all.