Here you go, the last chapter of 'Bleach Bait'. I didn't write all day, I was too busy crocheting =) I made the pieces to 3 Naruto dolls, most of them for a 4th, and a small backpack for my Kindle when I listen to the radio cleaning ;p I think that was pretty productive =D As for this update, this is the chapter Ichigo's been so eager about... making his lover look bad just seems to be his favorite passtime XD
Ichi: Damn right! I suffer enough of his arrogance, I deserve this! =D
Grimm: I didn't do anything! Well... lately.
Shiro: I'm sure we'll piss 'im off 'ventually... we're just lucky like that ;p
Grimm: ... Yeah, you have a point. =(
It's late at night that Ichigo is startled awake by a ruckus downstairs. Though he's reluctant to get out of bed, the orange head forces himself to his feet and trudges downstairs. He's wearing one of Grimmjow's shirts, as he was unable to sleep without the scent of the other man around him. With a large yawn and a stretch, the sleepy male steps into the main hall… and is shocked to full alert. Grimmjow's group is back and Grimmjow is lying on the cold floor unconscious.
"What happened?" Ichigo gasps.
"My queen, you should not be out of bed at this time," Hallibel comments. "Come, I'll return you to your room."
"No! I want to know what happened! What's wrong with my husband? Will he be okay?"
"It's… too early to tell," Yorouchi sighs. "He was hit by a nasty curse."
Ichigo's heart plummets, tears building in his eyes against his will. He moves toward the blue haired man, yet Hallibel keeps a firm hold on his upper arm. Ichigo's temper erupts, those teary amber pools hardening like ice. He rips his arm away from Hallibel, turning on those around him… all of which are at a loss for what to do.
"Mom, go get dad," he snaps. "Nnoitra, carry Grimmjow to the bedroom. Hallibel, take the girls and gather any herbs you can find within the kitchen, my father may need them. The rest of you, go get some sleep you look like shit."
"I should go with you, I need to keep track of Grimmjow's condition," Szayel states.
"You've done enough for tonight," Ichigo presses. "You'll be of no use at all without sleep. My father is more than capable of figuring this curse out. Thank you for the offer, though."
With that, everyone heads to complete the tasks given them. Ichigo follows Nnoitra to the room, fretting over Grimmjow's obviously bad health. A smog of black trails along his skin, the only indication that he suffers from a curse. Yorouchi drags Kisuke in just as they're setting Grimmjow on the bed. The alchemist was still mostly asleep as he stumbled along behind his wife, yet upon seeing Grimmjow's state and Ichigo's expression it's easy for him to wake fully.
"Dad," Ichigo says almost desperately. "Please, help him."
Kisuke steps closer, eyeing the warrior upon the bed. He hums to himself in thought, moving closer and checking vitals. The feel of the curse is familiar, but the power that created it is unforgettable… Kisuke knows the caster. Though one may not think it, knowing the caster helps a lot. There was a single curse this man loved to use, one that Kisuke is afraid he can't break… not without killing the man that casted it.
"Ichigo… I can't do anything more than make him comfortable," Kisuke sighs in regret. "There's only one way to stop this curse, but it involves the death of the caster. Jin Kariya loves this particular curse, as he's convinced he's immortal and no one can defeat him. I was his classmate when we were learning from our Alchemist master… he murdered our master with this very curse."
"I don't understand," Ichigo frowns. "There has to be another way…"
"No, Berry Pie," Yorouchi sighs. "I'm sorry, but if there was another way your father would've known it. Jin Kariya is an Alchemist many have sought to destroy and none have succeeded. We lost a lot of Shihoin to his spells. I would've taken the task upon my own shoulders, but the rest of the clan feared I wouldn't make it. They couldn't chance losing their leader."
"I'm truly sorry, Ichigo," Kisuke whispers.
"When Grimmjow passes… the kingdom will be yours to rule, my queen," Nnoitra murmurs sadly.
Ichigo is left standing alone beside Grimmjow's bedside as the others leave, the tears falling freely now that he's by himself. Slowly, the orange haired male crawls into bed beside his spouse. Gripping Grimmjow's shirt in one hand, Ichigo cries into his chest until he dozes off.
Ichigo wakes before sunrise, the feel of Grimmjow beneath his cheek almost soothing him… until he remembers the other's state. Ichigo sits up and runs his fingers through sweat soaked locks, the other cringing in pain as the curse wracks his body. Ichigo leans down and kisses Grimmjow's forehead.
"Don't worry, Grimm… I'm gonna save you," he whispers.
Determined to get his husband back, Ichigo sneaks up to the tower his parents stay in and steals some of Yorouchi's clothing. It's the uniform of a Shihoin assassin, designed much like the outfit of the ninjas of old. Ichigo pulls the face mask over his head and grabs a couple thin swords, racing out into the night without a second thought. With the power of the Hogyoku and his surprising shot up to Alchemy master, Ichigo will bring Jin Kariya down for good!
The kingdom Jin Kariya is helping isn't too far from Grimmjow's, which tells Ichigo this placement was done on purpose… they were looking to hurt his husband. Without a sound, Ichigo darts into the palace and keeps to the shadows. He may have left early in the morning, but when he arrived night had fallen once more. It's okay, though… he loves the dark.
"Have you heard news on my attackers?" a brunette wonders.
"I have. It would seem Grimmjow has fallen terribly ill and his recently acquired queen has gone missing," a white haired man grins arrogantly. "I should think it won't be long before he passes on and his kingdom is without a king. You can swoop in and claim his lands for your own."
"I'm surprised Aries took the bait so readily, Kariya. You would think he'd be more concerned with his strongest child."
"True, King Aizen. Unfortunately for him, I'm rather versed in manipulation."
"We make a wonderful team."
The two men laugh, sending chills along Ichigo's spine. It also serves to set his temper on high, however, and the orange head slips a couple knives from his pouch. With a quick snap of his wrist, the knife is sent sailing through the room. Ichigo is moving just after setting the blade loose, glancing only for a second as the knife embeds itself in the base of Aizen's skull. The brunette falls to the ground, life retreating from his eyes quickly. The shock on Kariya's face tells Ichigo even he can be surprised. The siege was obviously expected, but Ichigo's intervention is decidedly not.
"Come out here and face me," Kariya snaps. "Who are you?"
Before Ichigo can back further into the darkness, Kariya dispels it and reveals him. The white haired man immediately recognizes the outfit, nervousness flowing through his features even as he readies himself. Ichigo draws the thin swords, setting them at his sides as he relaxes his stance.
"So, the Shihoin clan has sent yet another assassin to take me out," he smirks viciously. "I'll kill you just like I did them."
A spell of lightening is sent dancing toward Ichigo, the orange head wordlessly smacking it aside with one of his swords. Without another second between, Ichigo rushes forward toward the Alchemist. Kariya throws up a shield; however Ichigo cuts through it easily. The power of the Hogyoku tingles along Ichigo's skin, shielding him without a command to do so. He is a being of magic now, one immune to all spells. With a smirk hidden by his mask, the infuriated queen sends a roundhouse into Kariya's stomach. The palace lights up with the casted spells, the Alchemist trying his hardest to take down this new threat. The other Shihoin weren't as powerful as this one.
"Who are you?" Kariya shouts in desperation. "Why are you so much better than the others of your clan?"
"My name is Ichigo Shihoin," the assassin states proudly. "The child of Kisuke Urahara and Yorouchi Shihoin! Wife of Grimmjow Jaegerjaques. You tried to steal my husband from me by taking his life… now I'm gonna take yours."
The air around Ichigo crackles and snaps with his fury, those amber eyes so cold and deadly even his own parents wouldn't recognize him. Finally, Ichigo crosses his arms and draws his double blades across the air. There's a gasp, a shower of blood, and then… the end of Kariya. Careful that the man won't be coming back, Ichigo conjures a black fire that consumes every last indication Kariya's body was there. Ichigo looks around the palace a moment, frowning when the guards rush in at the utter silence left in the wake of the attack. Kariya doesn't like people in the way during his casting; he cares little for the lives of others, so they don't come until he calls. Ichigo stares them down, holding his blades at the ready.
Grimmjow gasps as he jerks into a sitting position, looking around in a daze. The lack of movement unnerves the warrior, his mind still on the battlefield though he sees his bedroom around him. The last thing he can remember is a cloud of black blindsiding him, and then the searing pain before everything went dark.
"My king!" Sun-Sun gasps in shock. "Y-you're awake! I'll go get Szayel!"
"Stop," Grimmjow states gruffly. "What happened? Where's my wife?"
Sun-Sun stops at that, sadness flowing through her at the mention of the missing Ichigo. Yorouchi walks in from behind her, stilling at the sight of Grimmjow sitting up. The curse is broken, which can only mean one thing.
"Just as I thought," Yorouchi sighs. "Crazy little brat… so much like his mother."
A fond smile touches her lips, telling the warrior her thoughts are on Ichigo. He beckons her closer, waiting until she's standing at attention beside his bed. Sun-Sun runs to get him a glass of water from the bathroom, hoping to clear his throat a bit. Once it's given to him, she rushes out to alert the rest of the palace.
"You were hit by a horrible curse, my king," Yorouchi informs. "Kisuke looked you over when you were brought back. Ichigo took charge nicely in the face of such panic, as I taught him. The caster was Kisuke's classmate, one that killed their alchemy master with the same curse he used on you."
"Kisuke couldn't break the curse. It could only be broken with the death of the caster. The Shihoin clan has tried for years to kill Kariya, but with no success," Yorouchi remarks. "Ichigo was in this room when we went to bed… he was gone before sunrise."
"What! Where's my wife?" Grimmjow panics. "Where's Ichigo?"
Yorouchi holds up a hand to calm him, a smirk playing along her features. She's worried for Ichigo, yet Grimmjow's returned health indicates Ichigo succeeded. What happened afterward is what she's worried about.
"I fear he's in the kingdom you recently laid siege to," she informs. "He went to kill Kariya and save your life. Your returned health tells me he was successful… in killing the alchemist. Anything that happened after that, I can't say."
Grimmjow forces himself to his feet, the weakness he feels quickly draining away. Yorouchi helps him dress, following him out of the room and down to the main hall. Kisuke and the others are already there, surprised at the warrior's movement. Without a word, Grimmjow moves outside and saddles up his horse. Hallibel, Nnoitra and Ulquiorra follow suit. When Grimmjow swings himself into the saddle, Yorouchi hopes up to sit behind him. He says nothing, urging his horse forward with single-minded determinedness.
"Grimmjow, where are we going?" Ulquiorra asks.
"To get my wife."
"You know where Ichigo is?" Nnoitra wonders. "I thought the little bitch ran away. He freaked out when I told him he would have to rule the kingdom when you died."
"You only served to make the decision for him," Yorouchi chastises. "Ichigo wanted to save Grimmjow, so he went to face Kariya alone."
The dark haired man shuts up after that, guilt all over his face as he glances sidelong at Grimmjow. The blue haired man doesn't even seem like he heard Nnoitra's confession, too absorbed in getting Ichigo back. The rest of the trip there is quiet and uneventful, worry about facing Aizen to get Ichigo overwhelming them.
Guards are posted all over the place when the group gets there. They stop their horses at the entrance to the village, the guards rushing over and drawing weapons. Yorouchi palms the knife at her thigh, golden eyes sharp and calculating. Grimmjow, however, sets a leveling gaze upon those threatening them.
"I'm not here to fight," he admits. "I've come to speak with your king."
"… Just speak?"
"Yes. I only wish to talk."
The guards lower their spears, allowing the group to pass even as they escort them. The group is taken into the lavish palace, and then the large throne room. The throne is set so the king's back is to them, blood staining the ivory floor to give testament to Ichigo's battle.
"Great King," Grimmjow murmurs humbly. "I have come to make a request. I have reason to believe my wife is within the walls of your kingdom. I'll leave you to your conquests if only you'll return him to me."
"Hmm," a rough tone hums in thought. "I suppose I can allow such a request… under one condition."
"… Tell me what I have to do."
"Tell me… you love me!" Ichigo states as he peeks over the top of the throne with a grin. "Because I certainly love you."
The group is struck speechless, Grimmjow sputtering in shock at the sight. Yorouchi is laughing to the side, snorting her humor as she holds her stomach. Grimmjow finally gathers his wits, grinning as he holds out his arms to the orange headed queen. Ichigo flips over the back of the throne, diving into his husband's arms. Grimmjow's grip is tight and unwilling to let go, his lips showering Ichigo with kisses. He really does love his wife and he'll be certain to show that later tonight. To think that his wife could lay siege to a kingdom alone and come out triumphant. As much as he wishes he'll never underestimate Ichigo again, Grimmjow is positive that's impossible. The orange head is full of surprises, always growing in ability and never using the maximum. What's not to love?
The end! XD I hope you liked it. That's all for this one, so I'll be going back to random updates and such =D I have no clue what will be updated next, maybe 'Asylum of the Damned'. I'm glad I was able to remind some of you about Psych's 100th episode, it was an awesome episode! Sort of upset the butler did it though, that's so... overdone =( They should've had the manager do it! XD Or the guy from Harvard, he was sort of an annoying character. Anyway, I'm off to finish watching the NCIS marathon =) I'm on the episode where Tony is infected with the bubonic plague! =D
Shiro: ... *face turned in thought*
Ichi: *hits Shiro quickly* Don't even! I know what's running through your sadistic mind! DX
Shiro: ... But... but... ya don' really know what I'm thinkin'. *pouts*
Ichi: I know you far better than you think. *rolls eyes*
Shiro: I'll just have ta figure out my plans later ;p
Ichi: Not if I lock you up in my mindscape! A long time of boredom might do well to put you back in your place! DX
Shiro: NOOOOOO! ToT