Waking this time is less painful.

His eyes flick open and he stares up at the ceiling, breathing hard. As he moves to roll over, he catches sight of the King still sitting on the chair of energy, golden eyes trained on him. A glance around the room proves it's empty apart from him and the King.

"Where's Aizen?" he asks, pushing himself to his knees and wincing slightly.

The King makes a vague gesture, leaning back. "He still has some more of that life to live. The story doesn't just end with that Ichigo's death."

Ichigo straightens up, getting to his feet and finally remembering what he'd realized just before getting yanked into that second universe. "You're me." The King smirks, raises an eyebrow, and he rushes to clarify. "You said only the people that were meant to be the King can become it, and you don't seem like Aizen so… you must be me."

The King snorts and stands, his golden eyes bright with amusement. "Took you long enough. Aizen came to that conclusion almost instantaneously, but then we both know that he's more or less a genius." The light around the King dims, revealing his features.

He's older, taller, with long orange hair down his back and hard golden eyes. His clothes – an outfit quite similar to Aizen's Las Noches wear but without the overcoat – are plain and the top is tight against his chest, though the pants are loose. A closer look shows signs of the obvious experience this Ichigo has and the things he's been through. There's a thick scar across the right side of his throat, stretching a good three inches, another peeks out near the bottom of the v of his top, and even though this Ichigo practically radiates power, there's a certain exhaustion evident in the set of his shoulders.

"What happened to your Aizen?"

"You can't guess?" the King asks, eyes hardening. "I killed him, permanently. Cut his power out of him and erased his soul from my universe." He can't help flinching, eyes widening, and the King shrugs. "He deserved it. I fought him for the last time fifteen years after the start of the war, in the King's realm after he'd slaughtered Soul Society and turned Karakura into a gaping hole in the ground. He deserved to die, and more besides. It wasn't till after I'd killed him and taken the throne that I found out he was the other half of the King."

The King looks away, brow furrowed. "I missed the chance I had to save everyone in my world, but I can still reset it as if I hadn't, I can still create a universe where things go the right way."

He winces, but any reply he might have had is cut off by a swelling sense of power in the room. A moment later Aizen fades into existence on the ground beside them, completely still until his form completely solidifies, whereupon the traitor's eyes flick open. The brown eyes focus in on them almost instantaneously, and the older man stands, straightening up. There's a shadow in Aizen's eyes, but it's carefully shielded and almost unnoticeable.

"So what happened?" he asks, and Aizen gives a little smirk.

"He lived to a ripe old age and died peacefully in his sleep." The traitor's voice is heavy with sarcasm and Ichigo crosses his arms and scowls.

"Very fucking funny, Aizen."

Luckily the King intervenes before Aizen can respond. "He dies. Renji pretends to be sedated and puts a knife in his heart before being shipped off to prison. All the rebels, including Byakuya, are sentenced to death, which incites even more to their cause, and a civil war breaks out."

The stunned silence from both him and Aizen – and he never expected Aizen to ever be lost for words – is worthy of the thought. An entire state, country, or maybe even world thrown into civil war on the death of two people, the idea is insane. Are they really that important?

"Something similar happens in each world that either one or both of you die in."

He glances at Aizen and finds the older man looking back at him, brown eyes narrowed. After a moment Aizen looks over at the King, gaze intense and searching.

"That world didn't have – as far as we were shown – shinigami or anything resembling them. There's no way the two of us from that world would have become the King in any way."

"You're right. There were no supernatural creatures or beings in that world, only humans. There was no spot for a God or King."

"Then what? Any universe without such a spot is doomed to fail?"

The King shakes his head. "No. If that Ichigo agreed to give up his intent to kill, then that world would have achieved the equivalent of a King. That Aizen was more or less ruler of the country, even if they were supposedly democratic, and with Ichigo at his side – and make no mistake it would be at his side, not behind him – the slave trade was eventually abolished and only legal – paid – servants remained. The world goes an entirely different way if you'd survived."

"So in a world with a spot for a King or God, it's necessary we both ascend to it. But in a world without one, it is only required we work and be together?"

The King hesitates for a moment before nodding. "It's more complicated than that, but in essence, yes."

Aizen makes a soft sound of thought, remains silent for a moment, and then continues. "On a side note, your jab was incorrect."

Ichigo can't help making a noise of confusion, watching the older man. "What're you talking about?"

The brown eyes glance at him before returning to the King. "That universe was based on human standards, and that Kurosaki was older. In this universe he is still a child, and I would never take advantage of that fact in a sexual sense."

Child?! To hell with that!

"I'm seventeen, you bastard!"

Aizen turns to look at him, and he nearly flinches at the irritation in the older man's gaze. "Exactly! You aren't even considered an adult by human standards, let alone by shinigami ones! Whatever burdens the other shinigami have foisted upon your shoulders are irrelevant. You are an idealistic child trying to fight a war you have no business being in, and the fact that the other shinigami have allowed and even encouraged you to do so is sickening. The only reason I didn't kill you on Soukyoku hill was that I knew you had no idea what you were getting into, and I was not cruel enough nor did I have the sufficient lack of morals to kill someone as young as you. If you had been older, you would have died then and there, instead of living and growing enough to be a threat."

He stares wordlessly at the shinigami, anger mixing deep in his stomach along with the knowledge that Aizen is right.

He realized a while ago that the idea of him being Soul Society's great savior was a little ridiculous. He doesn't have much idea of the age range of the shinigami, but he remembers Rukia's initial statement that she was much older than he was, and she seems pretty young in terms of shinigami. Even Hitsugaya, who doesn't look more than maybe ten, is old enough to already be a captain, and seems to have been one for awhile. Aging doesn't seem to be consistent among them, so visual appearances are more or less irrelevant, and he can only guess at how old Yamamoto has to be.

"I think that's enough. Don't you, Aizen?" The King's voice is quiet, dark, and when Ichigo glances over, the King's golden eyes are fixed on Aizen, a tiny frown creasing his brow. "In the end age, skill, and potential are all separate matters. Whether a person is seventeen or two hundred and thirty three, they can be equal."

Aizen flinches a little at the number, and he feels his stomach drop. Two hundred? Aizen is that old? No wonder the older man considers him young, he definitely is in comparison.

"I don't think I believe that, King. Age brings experience and wisdom, which will best the rashness and impulsiveness of youth four out of five times."

The King's chin raises a little and his eyes flash in challenge. "I'll prove it with our next stop then. Let's go, Aizen."

Before he can protest, speak, or so much as blink, the world fades to black.


"Kurosaki-sama?"

He lowers his hand from where he'd pressed it to his head when the white flash had momentarily blinded and disorientated him, turning to face the espada who'd been following him down the white corridor before the strange attack.

"Yes, Grimmjow?"

The blue-haired arrancar watches him, something that he can easily identify as hunger in the other man's gaze. "Feeling alright?"

His mouth curves in a smirk almost automatically, head lowering slightly, even as he keeps his golden eyes trained on the espada. "Just fine," he answers smoothly and steps closer, carefully watching for any hint of threat in the espada's body language, "and why do you ask? See an opportunity?"

Grimmjow answers his smirk with a grin, blue eyes narrowing slightly as they brighten with excitement. "Maybe. You looked a little dizzy there, my King."

His left hand flashes out, catching Grimmjow by the throat before the espada can react, and he slams the larger man up against the wall. His reiatsu swirls around him, and he feels his eyes start to bleed black as his hollow slides a little closer to the surface of his mind. Grimmjow gives a choking gasp, but his hands remain at his sides as Ichigo moves closer and presses his body up against the espada's.

"I'm always up for a challenge, Grimmjow. Are you challenging me?"

Grimmjow grins down at him and presses forwards against his hand, the espada's reiatsu rising in response to his own. It's rough and hot where their powers push against each other, intoxicating.

"Always."

His hand tightens minutely as he leans forward and bites sharply into Grimmjow's exposed chest, once again thanking whatever personality quirk made the espada pick a half jacket that covers almost nothing. It makes things so much easier, and he gets to look whenever he wants, without demanding the taller man remove his shirt, though he's totally going to give that order someday. Some time when he doesn't have anything to do all day and he can just get Grimmjow to strip down so he can watch the espada do… anything. It doesn't matter.

To be honest, that will probably last all of five minutes before he jumps the taller man, especially if Grimmjow tries to entice him – which he will, arrogant, sexy, bastard. He can never resist the espada, it's a proven fact.

Grimmjow's hands latch onto his coat, tugging in impatient demand, and he gives a snarl and leaves a second bite beside the bleeding imprint of the first before looking up at the espada with a grin.

"My rules, Grimmjow. And I'm not a big fan of sex in the corridor, your exhibitionist tendencies aside."

He releases the espada and steps back, watching Grimmjow raise a hand to rub at his throat. The way back to his rooms after these moments is always interesting. Grimmjow knows his effect, and takes every pleasure in getting him to give in and just fuck the espada in the hallway where anyone can – and usually does – wander by.

It's a hollow thing. Grimmjow is his official consort as King of Las Noches, and the espada likes to remind people of that. How better than to show off in public? Though he will totally admit that the three or four times Grimmjow has convinced him to fuck in the throne room it has been absolutely fantastic. Especially that one time the espada rode him while he was sitting in the throne.

"You know you love it, King."

His hollow whispers a suggestion in the back of his mind, and he answers Grimmjow's statement by smirking, flicking his eyes over the espada's form.

"Strip, Grimmjow."

The espada obeys after an absolutely wicked look, shrugging out of the half jacket and letting it fall forgotten to the floor before making equally quick work of the rest of his clothes. Once naked, Grimmjow starts to step forward, but stops immediately at the shake of Ichigo's head.

"On your knees."

Grimmjow's eyes flash with that same hungry look and he slides to the floor, cock heavy against his thigh. Impressive, and bigger than he is, but it doesn't really matter in the scheme of things. He reaches forward and threads his left hand through the espada's blue hair, tugging lightly. Without prompting, the espada's hands come forward and undo his sash and then his hakama, letting them drop to the floor around his ankles.

His cock – since his hollow convinced him a long time ago that going commando was much easier – springs free and Grimmjow leans forward, long tongue coming forward and swiping along his flesh. He stays still despite the burst of pleasure – a certain control over himself came with being with Grimmjow – and the espada's hands press against his thighs as he gives a tiny snarl.

Grimmjow grins up at him and then leans forward and wraps lips around the head of his cock, coaxing a small groan from him at the wet heat. Terrible pun or not, Grimmjow being the sexta is far too fitting. He hisses in a breath through his teeth as the espada pulls him farther into his mouth and then swallows and slides all the way to the base of his cock. He knows Grimmjow can feel the faint tremble of his thighs at the incredible pleasure, that he knows exactly what he's doing. Grimmjow has been his consort for nearly three years, but it only took him about two weeks – once he'd stopped being bitchy about not being allowed to top – to memorize exactly how to please him.

He can't help the moan that leaves his throat as Grimmjow starts to move, withdrawing to suck at the tip of his cock before shoving it deep into his throat. The tongue that knows just where to press and stroke is heavenly and the occasional – totally purposeful – graze of the espada's teeth only adds in a small thrill of danger that just makes it all better.

Grimmjow would never bite him, he knows that, but the teeth are just enough to put the idea in his head, and heighten all his instincts at the potential threat.

The espada hums around him and he gives a sharp cry, hips giving an involuntary thrust forward into the tight suction of Grimmjow's mouth. He closes his eyes, since he knows that if he continues looking at the espada this will all be over far too quickly. He's been at the receiving end of this too many times to think that he can hold together watching Grimmjow work, especially once the espada starts looking up at him with that particular look that always makes him want to throw the espada against the floor, table, bed, or any other nearby and mostly flat surface.

His eyes closing only encourages Grimmjow, as always, and he feels his orgasm start to build as the espada hums again and then slides forward till his nose presses against his crotch. The espada swallows around him and he shudders, so Grimmjow does it again. Flicking his eyes open to look at the espada only worsens it, watching the espada withdraw and then sink – slowly now because Grimmjow knows he's looking – down onto his cock inch by torturous inch. His right hand comes forward without him thinking about it, curling into Grimmjow's hair on the other side of the espada's head, and he tugs at the blue strands in warning.

Grimmjow somehow manages to portray a smirk around his cock – seriously, sexta is too fitting – and then hums deep in his throat and swallows at the same time, tongue stroking along his skin, and sending way too much pleasure to his mind.

He cries out, tightening his grip and dragging Grimmjow forward to keep his cock deep in the espada's throat as he comes. The espada doesn't miss a beat, swallowing repeatedly around him, and he shudders, moaning and leaning forward as his orgasm extends with the movements. He finally loosens his grip on the espada and Grimmjow pulls off him, sending a burst of leftover heat through his body at the sight of his cock slipping out of the espada's mouth.

Grimmjow grins up at him, blue eyes dark with lust. "You want me to redress you, King? Or are you gonna fuck me?"

He recalls the rest of his hollow's suggestion and smirks, letting his nails scratch lightly at the espada's scalp and watching the resulting shiver. "Redress me, thanks."

Grimmjow's grin drops into a flat line in irritation, the lust in his blue eyes being overtaken by the same anger. "Yes, King," the espada growls, grabbing the hakama around his ankles and carelessly dragging it up, tying it haphazardly before repeating the process with his sash.

He releases the espada and steps back, watching Grimmjow angrily snatch up his clothes, but he intervenes as the taller man starts to put on his half-jacket. "Drop it, Grimmjow." The espada looks up at him, confusion warring with curiosity and irritation. "Stand up and hand me your sash."

Grimmjow hesitates for a second before obeying, dropping all the clothes but his sash and standing. He takes Grimmjow's wrist in his left hand as the espada offers the sash and then takes the piece of cloth with his right. Curiosity overtakes the irritation in Grimmjow's gaze and Ichigo smirks, reaching out and capturing the espada's other hand as well. With several simple movements he ties the black sash around Grimmjow's wrists with a secure knot and then steps back, watching the confusion turn back to lust.

"Let's go, Grimmjow. Like I said, I'm not a fan of sex in the hallways."

Grimmjow grins, sharp canines showing for a moment. "Sure you aren't."

He snorts, though his smirk doesn't fade, and turns his back on the espada, moving down the hallway with the end of the sash held in his right hand. Grimmjow might enjoy being put out for everyone to look at, but Ichigo prefers – even though he knows he's damn fine looking – to keep his body to himself and whoever he decides to sleep with. Usually Grimmjow, but he's dabbled with Szayel and Halibel as well. And of course there was Aizen before Ichigo had left Soul Society, and left the captain of the fifth staring after him with betrayal in his darker brown eyes.

That had been remarkably satisfying. Everyone had assumed that he was just some Rukongai brat with too much power and little to no control over it. Proving them all wrong, proving that he was more than the worthless brat they'd thought he was, was amazing. The day he'd murdered Hitsugaya, used the captain's death as distraction to execute his coup, and then escaped with Gin following him had been the sweetest moment he's ever had. Especially when Aizen had realized.

The shock and betrayal in brown eyes when Aizen had found him standing over Hinamori's corpse – their third seat – and then the realization when Gin had struck had been better than any love the captain had ever tried to show him. Gin had dragged the captain of the fifth's arms behind his back and held them there, safely away from Kyouka Suigetsu, as he approached. He hadn't killed Aizen, but he had left the captain a deep wound across his stomach to keep him down and out of the way. Unohana had healed him later, and Aizen is a thorn in his side even today, but it's worth it. He's more than powerful enough to match Aizen's skill, and he loves toying with the captain.

After all, Aizen had never considered him very capable. The captain had assumed that he was the typical Rukongai brat – powerful but not very intelligent, and certainly not capable of going any higher than a vice-captain's role – and had treated him like it. He'd had plans to turn against Soul Society for a long time, ever since he'd found out that the hougyoku – Urahara Kisuke's wayward invention – had been implanted in his soul, and he had a rather insistent and very illegal hollow side as a result of that, but Aizen had only solidified those plans. Especially after the captain had approached him for a relationship, though that word really belongs in quotation marks.

It couldn't be public, since relationships between high ranking shinigami were restricted, which meant it came down to Aizen asking to fuck him. And he agreed, because why not have some fun before he left? It was after that he realized that apparently he was good enough for Aizen to fuck, and to be trusted with the rank of vice-captain, but not good enough to be taught how to control his power. He wasn't good enough in his own captain and – supposedly – lover's eyes to be worth training, even though it was a well-known fact that he had a good amount of power. Aizen only ever saw him as one of the unfortunate Rukongai kids, and that was driven home with all the force of one of Zaraki'spunches when Aizen introduced him to Gin and expected them to be perfectly alright with the idea of a threesome.

For the sake of his image he'd agreed, and in doing so had met one of his most trusted lieutenants. In Gin he found a fellow Rukongai brat that had been more or less raised by Aizen, and had eventually – far past when he rightfully should have – become a captain completely on his own.

It had been Gin who taught him to control his power, taught him the finer aspects of kidou, taught him all the dirty tricks of fighting and sat with him and helped him control his hollow. Gin didn't – doesn't – have one, he isn't a vizard, but he knew enough to help.

By the time they'd escaped here he knew the basics of how to use the hougyoku hidden in his soul, and he used that knowledge – combined with his massive store of raw power – to fill in the ranks of the espada. Stark had already been here, though he wasn't officially a part of any kind of command structure, and Baraggan had reluctantly – read, at the point of his sword – stepped down as King and given him the throne.

In Las Noches both Gin and he had found a home. The arrancar didn't care where you were from or what you'd done in your past; they only cared about power and freedom. He's strongest, so he's King, and the espada bend to his rule. Grimmjow is the most loyal of his subjects, for obvious reasons, but Stark and Ulquiorra come in as second and third with only a narrow margin.

For the most part, the entirety of Las Noches is pretty damn loyal to him, if only for his practices. He knows what it's like to be discriminated against, as does Gin, so they treat the arrancar just like any other shinigami or human. It also probably helps that he's technically not much different than them.

"So, you in a bondage kinda mood then?"

He looks back at Grimmjow, who's walking after him with a giant grin and narrowed blue eyes.

"Haven't decided yet," he answers truthfully, returning the grin.

"Whatever you want, King. You know I'm good with anything." The espada pauses, grin drooping a little, and then corrects, "Almost anything."

He can't help snorting, recalling the night that Grimmjow is referencing. The espada is not fond of water, due to quirks of hollow instincts, and had not much appreciated that particular dominance game. Which Grimmjow had made clear by hissing and cursing and clawing some pretty big slices into Ichigo's arms.

"Yeah, yeah. No more hoses, I remember."

He turns his head and notes with pleasure that they're only two or three minutes away from his rooms. Which, as King of Las Noches, are pretty damn comfortable. Better than Grimmjow's, at any rate, even though the espada's quarters aren't bad either. Honestly though, Grimmjow practically lives in his rooms; the espada claims it makes things easier. True enough.

"Shouldn't have done it in the first place."

His hollow stirs at the irritated tone and he gives a small snarl as he glances back at Grimmjow, warning him not to push the issue. "Keep bitching and I'll make you pay for it, Grimmjow. You know I will."

The espada grins back at him. "That's half the fun, King."

He snorts again and pulls Grimmjow up with a harsh tug on the sash as they reach the doors to his room. The espada moves to open it without prompting, shoving it open with his hip once he's turned the knob, and beckons him with his bound hands as he backs into the room. He smirks and follows, letting the door fall closed behind them as he follows the espada into the room, letting the sash hang loose between them. Grimmjow has other ideas, taking the sash in his hands and reeling him closer. He goes along with it, letting the taller man pull him closer, and reaches up once he's close enough to wind his left hand around the back of Grimmjow's neck and tug him down.

He kisses the espada, though as usual with them it's more a clash of tongue and teeth then any kind of proper kiss, and gives a tiny shiver at tasting a faint trace of his own release. Earlier orgasm or not, he's ready to go again. In the scale of 'things that are arousing,' knowing that someone else has swallowed down his release is pretty high up there. Especially Grimmjow, since he knows the espada does it gladly and thoroughly enjoys making him lose control like that. In fact, Grimmjow has admitted to him that it's really a tossup whether he prefers swallowing Ichigo's cum or having him release it over his face and chest. That particular admission had gotten him jumped on in a fit of hair trigger arousal, and the fact can still make him hard just from thinking about it.

Grimmjow's bound hands drop and palm the front of his hakama, stroking his cock through the fabric, and he gives a low growl into the kiss to warn the other off. He's already had his orgasm, and both his hollow instincts and his own morals demand that he please Grimmjow in return. Dominant – in his mind – doesn't mean he gets to sit back and make Grimmjow do all the work, it means that he's responsible for making sure the espada is satisfied, even above his own satisfaction. Though he could probably be satisfied just jacking off after driving Grimmjow into exhaustion, it's that nice to watch the taller man lose his mind.

"On the bed," he snarls against Grimmjow's mouth as he reaches down and unties the knot holding the espada's hands together. The sash falls to the ground and Grimmjow grins, stepping back and giving him a final look of excited lust before turning to walk to the bedroom. He follows, watching Grimmjow's ass as the espada moves ahead of him.

Grimmjow moves to the bed – large, soft, and covered in black sheets – and slides onto it on his back. He moves to stand above the espada, eyes darting over the flesh on display, and smirks. He crawls over the taller man, shedding his overcoat with a shrug of his shoulders and throwing it to the ground next to the bed. He does the same with the skintight white shirt beneath it, pulling it over his head and then discarding it.

He's just leaning down, moving to set his teeth against Grimmjow's throat, when his senses go off in warning. He stiffens and feels Grimmjow do the same, closing his eyes so he can focus in on the tear in space that's just opened outside Las Noches and, specifically, the reiatsu signatures coming out of it.

Kuchiki, Tousen, and – of course – Aizen. There are two vice-captains with them that he identifies as Isane and Hisagi, but they barely register next to the three captains.

Grimmjow growls in irritation and he almost echoes the espada as he reopens his eyes and straightens up. "Fucking bastards. Worst fucking timing."

He grunts in agreement and shoves off the bed, moving to retrieve his clothes from the floor and slip them back on. While he does agree with Grimmjow, excitement is also bright in his chest. Aizen is always fun to mess with, and he can't help relishing each chance he gets to prove to the older man that he'd been vastly underestimated. When he looks up, he catches Grimmjow watching him with clear irritation in his gaze, lying on his side and making no move to stand.

"What?" he asks, and Grimmjow's eyes narrow a little further.

"Aizen," the espada says bluntly, "every time he shows up you run off to fight him. Stark could handle him just fine. Or you could just fucking kill him, you're strong enough to beat him into the ground if you really wanted to."

He doesn't immediately answer, the accusation hitting home, and Grimmjow slides to his feet with mouthwatering grace. "I get playing with a victim. Whatever, it's fun. But this is deeper than that, and it's fucking irritating! I'm your consort, not that bastard."

It clicks with stunning clarity. Grimmjow is jealous. Rightfully so, he supposes, he does keep dropping the espada whenever Aizen shows up. "It isn't like that, Grimmjow, it's just proving I'm more than he thought I was."

Grimmjow snorts and looks away, stalking to the closet and angrily yanking a spare set of his uniform out of it. "Whatever."

He watches the espada for a moment before an idea takes hold that makes his hollow laugh in amusement. "Grimmjow, do you want to fuck him?" The espada freezes for a moment and then looks back at him, eyes wide.

It actually works much better than it sounds. For humans – or shinigami – it would just be some kind of threesome, but it's different for hollows. Grimmjow had more or less accused him, as his consort, of preferring someone else to him. By offering the espada the chance to top the person Grimmjow is accusing him of liking better, he's reinforcing Grimmjow's position in his priorities. Plus he gets to watch the two men he's ever been most attracted to, which is just a giant bonus.

Grimmjow's mouth slowly curves into a grin. "You mean that, King?" He nods and Grimmjow laughs, eyes bright with amusement. "Then fuck yes."

He returns the grin and moves to the corner of the room where both Grimmjow's and his swords are leaning – they'd left them there for a meeting – and picks Zangetsu up, hooking it over his back. "Then go to Szayel, he's been making a power restraint powerful enough for Aizen, and then give it to Gin. We'll make sure to get him with it." He flashes a smirk at the espada as he approaches the door, enjoying the flex of muscle in the still mostly naked espada. "Meet you back here, Grimmjow."

He turns and leaves, Ulquiorra and Gin are waiting outside. The former is his normal silent self, but Gin is nearly vibrating with excitement, though the only visible effect of it is the way his fingers are flickering against the outside of his thighs. Ulquiorra bows and Gin gives a mocking little tilt of his head.

"Wha's the call, Ichi?" Gin is the only person who gets away with calling him that, ever.

He smirks and glances in the direction of the slowly approaching group of shinigami. "Gin. You, me and Stark go in first. I'll drive Aizen one direction, you drive Kuchiki the opposite, and Stark will occupy Tousen. Once we have them separated, Ulquiorra, I want you to take care of Kuchiki to free up Gin. Gin, if you can, try and kill off Tousen and then come join me. Grimmjow will find you and give you the power restraint Szayel's been making, if you haven't finished Tousen by then, leave him to Stark. We'll kill the other two and catch Aizen, sound good?"

Ulquiorra nods and Gin snickers, his ice blue eyes slitting open. "Still want t' play with dear Aizen, Ichi?"

He shrugs and grins. "Can't help it. Ulquiorra, get Noitora to take care of the vice-captains, and call Halibel if you need any help with Kuchiki. I don't want my espada dying for pride's sake, understand?"

"Yes, Kurosaki-sama."

"Good, let's go."

He sets off with shunpo, Gin at his heels, and feels Ulquiorra break off to track down and gather the espada he'd named. Distantly, he feels the shinigami pause, obviously sensing their movement, and has to grin. It's not the first time the shinigami have tried to invade Las Noches, though usually it's him conducting raids on Soul Society that has them fighting, but it's the first time that they haven't brought either Kyouraku or Ukitake. Now they're a challenge, especially together. The one time he'd fought them both at the same time was the closest he'd ever come to dying, and it was on the very first raid he'd ever pushed into Soul Society. They work together with amazing precision and synchronization, centuries of experience making them a team that is absolutely terrifying on the battlefield, and it had very nearly killed him before Gin had joined the fight and they'd beaten a hasty retreat back to Las Noches. He's probably powerful enough now to fight them, but he still won't ever do it without backup.

He skids to a stop, after four or five minutes travel, on the sands outside Las Noches, and Gin stops besides him. He can feel Stark traversing Las Noches to get to them, and Ulquiorra is just approaching Noitora and Halibel.

"So Ichi, what're ya gonna do with Aizen once ya got 'im?"

He gives a little shrug and looks over at the ex-captain. "Grimmjow's a little jealous, so I promised him the chance to fuck him. You want second go?"

Gin laughs and shakes his head a little. "Yer a cruel bastard, ya know tha'?"

The amusement that swells with the accusation is almost immediately tempered with sharp bitterness, memories rising of Aizen's casual invitation to a threesome and the way he'd just assumed that since they were Rukongai brats they'd have no issue with it.

"He deserves it, Gin. You know that as well as I do."

Gin's grin wavers and the older man gives a little snort, looking back out at the sands. "Yeah, 'e does. Sure, a'll take secon' go. Any rules?"

"Don't kill him," he answers as Stark blurs into sight at the edge of his vision, "when this is all over I want to be the one who kills him." Gin gives him a tiny salute and he turns to Stark, eyes passing over Lilinette, standing just behind the espada. "Understand what we're doing, Stark?"

The espada nods and stifles a yawn behind his hand as Lilinette bounces forwards, hands on her hips. "Yeah! We're going to kick that blind shinigami's ass!" She pauses and then bows her head a little, a flush covering her cheeks. "King."

He gives a small smirk and nods, lifting his gaze to Stark. "I don't have to tell you to protect her." The espada shakes his head, grey eyes serious, and they both ignore Lilinette's outraged shrieks as she protests that she doesn't need protecting. "Good. Kill him quickly, watch out for his bankai. Let's go."

He turns and takes off, his two lieutenants – and Lilinette – at his heels, and zeros in on the group of shinigami, drawing Zangetsu from across his back. They've stopped where they are, undoubtedly sensing them approaching, and with a careful sweep of his senses he notices that the shinigami are arranged just perfectly for their plan. Aizen to the left, Kuchiki to the right, and Tousen in the center with the vice-captains behind them. How nice of them.

He shares a quick glance with Gin as the ex-captain pulls up next to him and grins, one final step taking him into the center of the shinigami's group as he turns. Gin and Stark land almost simultaneously, and time seems to slow for a single instant as his legs bend against the sand and he twists to face Aizen. It slips back to normal as he leaps at the captain, Zangetsu flashing out to drive him backwards. He hears metal clash behind him and feels Gin push Kuchiki backwards, the ex-captain's fighting style far too close for the noble to cope.

He focuses in on Aizen, slipping around and inside his guard and relishing the icy anger in the captain of the fifth's brown eyes. Aizen tries to get around him, back to his fellow captains, but he easily blocks off the older man with a few well-placed ceros. He forces Aizen back across the sand, smirking in victory as he feels Ulquiorra and Halibel join Gin's fight. The noble falls almost instantaneously, reiatsu dropping to nothing, and Gin takes off towards Tousen.

Worry flashes in Aizen's eyes and the captain stills, sword at his side and staring across the six or seven feet separating them. He humors the captain, Zangetsu's tip touching the sand, and watches the older man. Aizen winces as Tousen runs and the feel of a gate being opened echoes across the sands.

"I don't suppose you'll allow me to leave, will you Kurosaki?"

He snorts, feeling Tousen enter the gate with the two vice-captains entering just after. A second after, he feels Grimmjow settle next to Gin, both them and Stark sitting in front of the opened gate. "You can try. But I gotta say, the chances of you getting past me, Gin, Stark, and Grimmjow before that gate closes are pretty much nonexistent."

"True enough," the captain murmurs, brown eyes narrowed. A fraction of a second later, Aizen launches forwards and he reacts automatically.

He leans to the right as he brings Zangetsu up, recognizing desperation in Aizen's tactic. Kyouka Suigetsu leaves a long scratch along the side of his throat as Zangetsu slides deep into Aizen's shoulder. He shoves forward and buries Zangetsu in the sand, pinning the captain against the ground on his back, immediately putting a foot on the captain's right wrist to keep it and the sword it's holding immobile.

The gate slams shut and Gin moves towards them as the espada head back to Las Noches. Aizen glares up at him, brown hair lying in his eyes. "So now what, Kurosaki?"

He smirks, glancing over at Gin as the ex-captain slips into view. There's a splash of blood across the cloth of his right sleeve but the lack of a tear declares that it isn't his. "We get to have some fun. Gin?"

The taller man's grin twitches upwards and Gin approaches, leaning over and obscuring his vision for a moment. There's a metallic click and then Aizen cries out in pain, his reiatsu abruptly vanishing. It's almost a shame, he's always enjoyed feeling the smooth silk of the captain's reiatsu against his own, but it's necessary. Grimmjow is powerful, but not enough to handle Aizen without a handicap. Kyouka Suigetsu vanishes, and as Gin straightens up he gets to see the black power restraint circling Aizen's throat. He yanks Zangetsu back out of the ground and Aizen's shoulder and the captain pales, muscles in his neck and jaw straining.

"Le' me know when yer done, Ichi." Gin all but purrs as he turns to leave, and then steps out of sight with shunpo.

He sheathes Zangetsu across his back and leans down, gripping the collar of Aizen's uniform and dragging the captain to his feet. "Let's go, Sousuke."

The captain glares at him, straightening and making no move to try and make him let go. "I would prefer you not use my first name," Aizen grinds out stiffly, and he smirks.

"I know; it's why I do."

He takes off with shunpo before the captain can respond, dragging Aizen behind him as he makes his way back to his rooms. He can feel Grimmjow waiting there, and arousal strikes him hard at the idea of what's about to happen. He skids to a stop in front of the door and it opens within a few seconds, Grimmjow standing there in his uniform.

The espada grins and steps back, allowing him to walk in with the collar of Aizen's uniform still clenched in his hand to pull the captain with him. The door clicks shut behind them and he releases the captain, turning to face both Aizen and Grimmjow. The captain is clearly wary, brown eyes narrowed and blood staining almost his entire right side where it's leaked from his wound. On the contrary, Grimmjow looks almost ecstatic, grin wide and blue eyes bright.

"He's all yours, Grimmjow."

Aizen's eyes widen for a moment, flashing to the espada, and Grimmjow's eyes narrow as he stares the captain down. "Please tell me you're gonna fight me, Aizen."

The captain hesitates, shooting him a glance. "I suppose that depends on what is going to occur."

Grimmjow lashes out, wrapping his left hand around Aizen's throat and his right taking a fistful of the captain's gi, forcing Aizen to his knees. Grimmjow leans down, hand tightening a fraction around the captain's neck and even from several feet away Ichigo can hear the hitch of breath.

"I'm gonna fuck you. Rough, repeatedly, until you fucking beg me to stop. You gonna fight me, captain?"

There's a moment of silence before Aizen relaxes, lips twisting in a tight smirk. "No. What chance would I have?"

Grimmjow laughs and releases the captain, stepping back. "You know," the espada comments, looking over at Ichigo, "I can't decide whether that's better or not." He looks back over at Aizen, who's watching him with a wary acceptance. "Bedroom's through that door," he nods at the door and Aizen's eyes flick towards it, "strip and get on your hands and knees on the bed."

He can't help the arousal that builds in his gut as Aizen obeys, shrugging carefully out of his captain's coat and gi before undoing the straps for and stepping out of his hakama, socks, and shoes. There's a moment where Aizen stands tall and Grimmjow sweeps his gaze over the captain's body – which is quite nice, no argument possible – before Aizen turns and strides towards the mentioned door. As the captain disappears Ichigo breathes out a shaky breath, the reality of this crashing down.

He looks over at Grimmjow, who returns his gaze. "When this is done, I'm fucking you into the ground. Just so you know."

Grimmjow laughs and moves towards the door, dropping his half jacket to the ground on the way. He pauses for a moment, collecting himself, before following. Aizen, as ordered, is on his hands and knees on the bed and Grimmjow is kneeling behind him, hands on the captain's hips. He has to freeze for a moment at the image before continuing across the room. He climbs onto the bed beside the two and stretches out, resting his head on one of the pillows at the head of the bed and looking down at the other two men. Aizen watches him, eyes holding some measure of acceptance mixed with a sharp anger.

Whatever, Aizen more than had his chance.

"Will you be joining us, Kurosaki?" the captain asks tightly, and he smirks.

"Why? Miss me, Sousuke?" He glances up at Grimmjow, who's watching him with narrowed eyes, and then shakes his head. "No, I won't. Not unless Grimmjow wants me to. I promised him this, I won't interfere."

Grimmjow grins over the captain's shoulder and his right hand slips off the captain's hip. He can't see, but he assumes by Aizen's sharply drawn in breath and the stiffening of the captain's muscles that Grimmjow has slipped fingers inside him. A few moments later there's a shuffle of fabric and he sees Grimmjow's hakama drop, the espada's hand returning to Aizen's hip.

Aizen gives a sharp cry of pain, head bowing, as Grimmjow snaps his hips forward. The espada groans and leans forwards over the brunette's back, biting hard into the top of his shoulder. He has to stop himself from pushing off the bed and putting a mirrored bite on the captain's other shoulder, claiming him in tandem with Grimmjow. He can't help hissing out a breath between his teeth though, left hand curling into the sheets to restrain himself.

Grimmjow looks up, blood staining his teeth and lips, and does something with his hips that makes Aizen shudder and slam his eyes shut, teeth baring in a grimace. Grimmjow straightens up and he watches the taller man set up a rhythm, withdrawing and then slamming deep inside the captain. True to the espada's word it's rough, rougher than Ichigo's ever taken Grimmjow, but Aizen is silent under the onslaught. Pain is clear in the furrow of his brow and the tenseness of his shoulders and neck, but no sound escapes the captain.

In spite of his desire to see Aizen pay, he can't help respecting the older man. He doesn't think he'd be able to maintain the same level of control that Aizen is exhibiting, especially not with the large wound through his shoulder. It's still bleeding, slowly, dripping the red fluid onto his sheets and mixing with the blood beading on the bite wound from Grimmjow and the blood – which he can just barely see from this angle – sliding down the captain's thighs.

Aizen's left hand curls into the sheets, head lowered, and Ichigo raises his gaze to Grimmjow. The espada's head is thrown back, fingers and sharp nails digging in hard enough to leave red crescents on the captain's hips. He swallows thickly, watching the muscles work and flex under Grimmjow's skin as the espada speeds his thrusts. Grimmjow finally shudders and gives a few irregular movements before pushing in deep and leaning back down over Aizen as he snarls out his release and bites into the back of the captain's neck.

Aizen flinches and hisses out a breath, a shudder wracking his frame. Grimmjow gives a deep groan and pushes himself up, releasing the captain and shoving him flat against the bed with a powerful push. Aizen breathes deeply next to him, eyes sliding open and head twisting to look back at Grimmjow. The captain is still wary, and obviously in pain, but not scared. Grimmjow flashes the captain a grin, crawling up the bed and plopping himself down between Aizen and Ichigo with his arms crossed under his head.

"How about you clean me up, captain?" he drawls, and Aizen stiffens a fraction. There's clear disgust in his eyes but he pushes himself up regardless, relocating himself between the espada's legs.

He has a brief moment of wondering if Grimmjow's lost his mind, since Aizen is most certainly not friendly, and it takes a certain amount of insanity to shove your dick in someone's mouth if there's a chance they'll bite it off. But just after that he relaxes again, watching Aizen put his left hand on Grimmjow's hip as he leans down, tongue sliding out to stroke along the mostly limp penis smeared with blood and traces of seed. Arrancar skin, but especially the espada's because of their power level, is exceedingly tough thanks to their hierro. Without his reiatsu, Aizen has about as much chance of biting through it or so much as scratching it as he does going toe to toe with Zaraki and coming out completely unscathed.

Grimmjow reaches down with his right hand and curls it through Aizen's brown hair, tugging at it. "Come on, bastard." Aizen shoots Grimmjow a nasty look but takes the espada's dick in his mouth, eyes closing as he sucks against it.

He swallows again, never having even imagined Aizen in a position like he is now, and catches Grimmjow watching him. The espada grins and then reaches over with his left hand, wrapping it around the back of his neck, and drags him closer. He kisses the espada, sliding his own left hand to press the espada's shoulder into the bed, and gives a quiet growl at the demanding hold on his neck. He breaks off the contact, nipping at Grimmjow's lower lip, and then lowers his head and bites sharply into the side of the espada's throat. Grimmjow moans and jerks a little, prompting a slightly choked noise from Aizen, and he pulls back, licking the slight traces of blood off his teeth.

Grimmjow releases him and moves that hand down to join his other one in Aizen's hair, giving a small grin before bucking his hips up into the captain's mouth. He moves away, back to his position against the bed, and watches Grimmjow fuck the captain's mouth. Aizen, to his credit, takes it without much complaint, only a firm press of his left hand against the espada's hip and the stiffness of his shoulders voicing his displeasure.

He watches with heat as Grimmjow arches his neck back – barely resisting the urge to lay another bite on the exposed flesh – and uses Aizen's lips and throat for his own satisfaction, sounds of pleasure slipping from the espada's mouth. It's an amazingly arousing spectacle seeing Aizen, who had never so much as hinted at letting him top at any point, being forced into a submissive role. He's almost saddened he hadn't brought Gin along, he's sure the ex-captain – one of Aizen's previous Rukongai toys – would have enjoyed the sight just as much.

Grimmjow eventually gives a breathless laugh and tightens his grip in Aizen's hair. "Swallow or choke, fucker." Aizen's eyes snap open, refusal clear in his gaze, but Grimmjow drags him down and forces his cock into the captain's mouth to the base, holding him there as he arches and gives a long drawn-out moan.

He shudders, watching Aizen's throat work as the captain obviously decides he'd rather breathe, and can't help the groan of denied pleasure that leaves his throat. Grimmjow looks over at the noise and grins at him, probably because he's pretty damn sure that the lust he's feeling is clear in his eyes. The espada releases Aizen and the captain backs off, irritation clear in his eyes though he wisely doesn't say anything.

Aizen wipes a hand over his mouth and Grimmjow laughs, returning his hands to beneath his head. "Enjoy the taste, captain?"

Aizen opens his mouth and then snaps it shut again, and Ichigo can't help but snort. "Finally learned to keep your speeches to yourself, huh? There's a change."

The captain glares at him, eyes narrowed. "What have I done to deserve your hatred, Kurosaki?"

He stiffens for a moment, aware of Grimmjow watching him with curiosity out of the corner of his eyes. He pushes up to sitting, moving to sit cross legged, and stares the captain down. "The fact you don't know is what makes it hatred rather than dislike, Sousuke. That you honestly can't understand the way you treated me," his hands clench and he feels Grimmjow shift closer and sit up, looking over his shoulder, "I decided I hated you when you introduced me to Gin and then expected the both of us, since we were both from Rukongai and naturally that meant we were loose and cheap, to be completely alright with a threesome. We knew each other for three fucking minutes before you asked and didn't even consider that we might not like the idea.

"Apparently I was good enough for you to fuck and good enough to apparently 'love,' but not enough for you to, I don't know, train me? You knew damn well I had more power than I knew what to do with and not enough control over it, but you just fucking left me to figure it out on my own! You assumed that I was too much of a Rukongai brat to ever want to be able to do anything but hack and slash at something until it died, that I wouldn't ever want to know control or kidou or any of those other useful things."

He moves away, ignoring the captain's wide eyes, and gets off the bed. "Whatever. I'm sick of it and you." He looks over at Grimmjow and shrugs, resentment eating at his heart. "Do whatever you want, then call Gin. I'm done with this."

He strides out of the room before either man can comment, shoving open the door to the corridor and then leaping into shunpo. He runs without direction for awhile, through corridors, under Las Noches' fake sky, and then out to Hueco Mundo's desert. It isn't until he's miles away from the white dome that he slows and stops on one of the many sand dunes, glancing back at the still quite prevalent form of Las Noches.

The resentment and bitterness is easier with Aizen out of sight, and he takes a few moments to silently mourn the loss of what would have been a truly great fuck with Grimmjow once the espada was done with Aizen. Not now, not when all trace of arousal has fled his mind and groin. He'll be lucky if he can even face the espada after that particular spew of words. In the end, Grimmjow doesn't know – and has never asked – about his past, and throwing that much of himself in front of the espada without warning or thought probably wasn't a good idea.

He sighs and scuffs a foot against the sand beneath him, Zangetsu heavy against his back. He doesn't particularly want to go back to Las Noches, not yet anyway. He needs time to recompose himself and pull back the front of King that the arrancar know. It's never a good idea to show any kind of weakness in front of even the regular arrancar, let alone the espada. They follow him because he's strong, and if that slips then he'll be dead meat. Or at least swamped under way too many challenges to get anything else done.

He fought for this spot once; he doesn't particularly want to do it again.

Eventually – after hours of wandering the sands and a bit of meditation that nearly puts him to sleep – he does head back to Las Noches. He moves cautiously back into his rooms, where he can feel Grimmjow, and finds the espada passed out on the couch – fully dressed – in the 'living room.' He closes the door softly behind him and passes by the espada to his bedroom and through that to the bathroom.

He catches sight of himself in the mirror that stretches across one wall, turning his head to see the leftover proof of the one cut that Aizen had managed to inflict on him. The left side of his neck is moderately covered in blood, part of his collar soaked with it, but he can tell with just the passing glance that the cut is practically already healed. Perks of being part hollow – or at least, perks of his specific hollow – he has increased healing speed. That's just a small part of the whole package deal, but for the most part it's all a good thing.

He steps towards the sink, turning it on – he's not sure he wants to know where Szayel gets the water for these – and cupping a handful of water. He splashes it on his neck, doing a lazy job of cleaning away the blood, and then switches the sink back off and steps away, turning towards one of the towels hanging on a rack on the wall. He swipes the rest of the blood away, leaving the towel stained red and pink where it's mixed with the water, and then drops the piece of cloth to the ground.

Where the people who clean his rooms come from or how exactly they get in he doesn't know, but at least they're efficient. By morning – or Hueco Mundo and Las Noches' version of it – the towel will be gone, without a trace he'd ever used it, and there will be a new one in its place.

"You alright?"

He twists his head to fix on Grimmjow, standing at the door. The espada still looks tired, mildly sleep fogged, but his blue eyes are soft and vaguely concerned.

"Yeah, I'm good. Better once I slit Aizen's throat."

While any human, or shinigami, would have gasped or lectured or something similar, Grimmjow only yawns. "Good. I'm headed back to sleep."

The espada turns and ambles out, stretching long arms over his blue hair, and he can't help giving a tiny smirk at the sight. There's something strangely pleasant about having a lover who doesn't bat an eye at his homicidal tendencies. He knows damn well that he could slaughter dozens or even hundreds of people in front of Grimmjow and the espada wouldn't care. Well, he might be pissed that he didn't get to help.

They're both a little psychotic now he thinks about it.

He straightens up as, on the edge of his awareness, Gin's reiatsu approaches his rooms. With a tiny sigh he heads out through the bedroom – Grimmjow already peacefully collapsed on the bed – and steps outside and into the white corridors just as Gin pops into view.

The ex-captain aims that never ending grin at him, only slits of his ice blue eyes visible. "Ya ready ta take yer revenge, Ichi?"

"More than," he agrees, and Gin turns to start down the corridor, pausing to allow him to step up to the taller man's side.

"So? Fas' or slow?"

At the moment he can't quite stomach the idea of drawing out Aizen's death. He just wants it over, done with. "Fast. I won't make any effort to make it painless, but it'll be fast."

Gin gives a small nod, maybe of approval, and leads the way right at the next intersection towards the throne room. "Goo'. Soul Society after?"

"Yeah. Pull together the espada, fraccion, and the ex-espada along with whatever arrancar you think could be useful. If we can, I'd like to try wiping them out while they're still grieving for their captains."

Gin laughs and pushes open one side of the massive double door with a single hand, stepping aside to let him past. "Yer still cruel, Ichi."

He snorts and walks in, hearing the door boom shut behind him as Gin releases it. "At least I'm efficient about it." His eyes fall to Aizen, kneeling in the center of the room – clothed once more though a little bloodier than he had been – with his arms bound behind his back. The captain's head is bowed forward, black restraint still clasped tightly around his throat.

He draws Zangetsu and steps around Aizen, stopping in front of him. The captain looks up at him, blood trailing from one corner of his mouth and eyes betraying a deep exhaustion mixed with heavy pain. "Anything to say, Sousuke?"

The captain huffs out a breath, voice strained and rough when he speaks. "I apologize for the way I treated you, Kurosaki. The reason I did not offer training was because I thought you would not accept help, not because I believed you did not wish to control your powers. I'm sorry."

He pauses, digesting the apology, and then gives a tight smile. "Too little, too late."

A flex of muscle, lifting Zangetsu into the air and sending it flying forwards, and just like that Aizen is dead. His head flies up a moment before hitting the ground with a wet splat, and a few seconds after that both the head and the body begin to dissolve into spirit particles with a soft blue light. He watches till no trace of the captain remains except the still closed black power restraint lying on the ground, then slings Zangetsu onto his back and heads past it towards Gin, standing at the door.

He doesn't feel better, necessarily, but he feels lighter, and that's good enough for him. "Gather the espada, Gin."

It's twenty minutes before Gin and Ulquiorra manage to collect all the arrancar and espada being brought along on their invasion, and ten more after that before they're actually ready to go. He stands outside Las Noches, holding open the gaping gargantua that they'll all be running through in a moment, and turns his eyes to Gin and Grimmjow, standing beside him.

"Are we ready?" he asks, and they both nod almost simultaneously. He grins and turns to the gathered arrancar, who look back at him with excitement and – in a very few cases – apathy. "LET'S GO!" he shouts and they surge forward into the gate within an instant. He follows, easily outdistancing the rest of them though he does his best not to get too far ahead of his troops, and is the first to exit out of the other side, high above Soul Society.

He pauses there, drawing Zangetsu, and waits for the rest of the arrancar to come through. They do, scattering to the four winds and announcing their arrival with explosions and battle cries. But something isn't right. The reactions are there, two or three captains diving into battle along with a host of smaller shinigami, but he can't feel the rest of them. He lets the gargantua fall shut behind them, Gin pausing at his side even as Grimmjow leaps down into the thick of things.

"It isn't just me, right Gin?" Gin shakes his head and looks around, drawing his small sword – Shinsou – from its sheath.

A moment later, as reiatsu swells thick and powerful and all around them, he understands. He jerks the gargantua open, screaming for a mass retreat, but he already knows it's too late. Before his arrancar can comprehend or he can so much as turn towards the portal, flames erupt around them in a circle and explode. Burning and devouring him and everyone else within their massive circle without mercy.

His shriek is soundless and the flames slide inside him and around him, wiping him from existence in a single moment.


A/N: Thank you all for reading, and please, let me know what you thought! (This story is going somewhere, I promise!) Won't be long till the next chapter.

Beta-ed by the wonderful, theultimatenerdgurl, here on FF! Thank you, you awesome person! XD