Disclaimer: I don't own, or make money from, Bleach, or Harry Potter, or the Infernal Devices. Uber awesome Brownies to those that can identify the source for those items.
This chapter was started at my old house two weeks ago, and finally finished at 1:00 am the morning I plan to publish it. Bed...
Grimmjow snuggled in enthusiatically against his mate's flank as they rested together in the pile of cushions they had made in the recreation room. It had been a long last two months for his pregnancy, but, according to Szayel, he was ready to give birth any day now. And he couldn't wait. To finally be finished with the back pain, bad balance, ackward gait, and intense, overwhelming sexual desires...well maybe not those, but the rest could go and hang for all that Grimmjow wanted to continue on with them. Rocking his body slightly so that he could get a bit closer to his mate, Grimmjow was quickly reminded of another reason that Szayel thought that he would give birth in the next couple of days, and yet another reason that Grimmjow couldn't wait for this pregnancy to be over with, as a trickle of liquid leaked out of his extrememly loosened entrance as his body geared up and prepared itself to give birth.
Grimmjow was drawn from his inner contemplation by an irritated huff. Craning his neck around, Grimmjow smirked as he caught sight of an irritated Ichigo trying, and failing, to seat himself gracefully on the sofa nearest to where Grimmjow and Starrk were lounging in their nest. Grimmjow couldn't stop himself from snickering as Ichigo grabbed at his belly and scowled as he gave up and let himself drop down in an uncontrolled manner.
"Yeah, yeah," Ichigo said as he turned his scowl onto Grimmjow. "Laugh it up. Just because you have a slave willing to do all of your bidding."
Starrk raised a hand at this and lazily waved it in Ichigo's general direction before dropping it back down and wrapping it around Grimmjow's shoulders again.
"So where's Zangetsu? Haven't seen ya without him since he was finally found after Aizen was taken," Grimmjow asked once he had himself under control.
"I finally let Szayel have a chance to study Zangetsu like he's been whining at me for since he was found. Zangetsu and I have spent the last two months catching up and re-bonding to each other. Me actually melding fully with my inner hollow opened up several new attacks and since I didn't have Zangetsu at the beginning of the pregnancy when I could still physically train with him, he's been pulling me into my inner world and training me there, where he can make sure that I don't cause any injury to the cubs. According to him, we've gone as far in training that way as we can and now have to wait for me to give birth to finish up."
"Of course, I have no idea when that will be any more since my due date has been pushed back since the other supplier of reiatsu to my cubs has vanished and left me to support them fully by myself," Ichigo finished ruefully as he gently rubbed circles on his extended abdomin.
"The cubs are still fine though, are they not?" Starrk queried without opening his eyes.
"Yeah. Szayel says that everything is still going alright, just that it's all slowed down with only myself to offer the cubs support," Ichigo sighed. "It's just...I wish...Damnit, this sucks. I want the bastard back, but I don't, and I just don't know what to do?! Szayel says that if Aizen were dead, my instincts would kick in and make me seek out a new mate in support of the cubs I'm already carrying, but I don't want a new mate, I want Aizen. Which means that he's still alive, so why hasn't he come back yet!? And why hasn't Gin heard back from the Soul Society? He sent them a nice message along with the gift of that traitor Kaname Tosen. Well, he said that it was a nice message, but I-"
"Because the Soul Society was in a massive period of up-heavel as the new King laid down his rules and cleaned house."
The three men jumped and turned to look at door as it was slammed open to frame Kisuke Urahara as he spoke and interrupted Ichigo.
"It's just now that we were finally able to send a delegation to meet up with the survivors of Las Noches. The King does personally send his deepest apologies to you Ichigo, though. He is firmly in support of never allowing children to grow up without their parents and is working on getting Aizen back to you, but it's taking him a bit longer than he thought to clean out Aizen's mind from the influence of one of the Zanpakutos from the King's personal armory. Apparently, when the Central Council decided to pursue a policy of electing a King to the throne over the course of millenia, it weakened the seals around the armory and eventually allowed several swords that are referred to as Infernal Devices, to escape and form a soul bound with several future Shinigami. Muramasa and Koga Kuchiki were another confirmed pair. Apparently the Devices have to be an absolutely perfect match-up and are supposed to be decided upon, and bestowed by, the King," Urahara continued speaking as he leisurely made his way into the room and took a seat on the other end of the couch from Ichigo.
"Wow Ichigo, you've really let yourself go," Urahara said as he eyed the Visored, before snapping open his fan and covering his face. "Is the food really that great here?"
"Oh ha ha. You're a laugh riot," Ichigo sarcastically said as the comments jolted him out of his information overload. "So what are you doing here? If the new King, and you'll have to tell us about that, sent a delegation from the Soul Society, why would you be apart of it? Weren't you exiled?"
"Well," Urahara snapped his fan closed, "He's also very against people recieving a rushed and biased trial. Says he's known too many innocents who've been rail-roaded by the system to allow that to happen under his watch and so, when it came to light that the only evidence in my trial was the word of an unseated Shinigami and Aizen, he personally reveiwed the case then tore the newly re-formed Court apart for a "gross mis-carriage of justice". Completely ignoring that it was a different group of people who had done the sentencing back then; although, the current Court is made up of their relatives. Anyway, it was a truly beautiful thing to watch. And the new King's name is Harry Potter. It seems that Death itself had sent out into the world three objects that would be used to select the King and had everything set up to run just fine and dandy until they finally did their thing, which it was, until a bunch of greedy, power-hungry morons got involved. I swear, at the end of the world, there'll be an idiot standing there saying that he was appointed by a "select" commitee to press that red button."
"Oh yeah," Urahara leaned foward. "I also brought a few people, above and beyond those needed for the terribly exacting mission of making contact and verifying information, blah blah blah, etc. You had several people that were missing you rather severly and were rather desperate to find you, ever since you up and vanished."
That was the only warning Ichigo recieved before the doors were slammed opened again and he suddenly found himself blocking a foot to his head.
"MY SON! EXCELLENT REFLEXES AS ALWAYS!"
"What the hell Goat-Face! You could have injured the cubs!" Ichigo hollared back at his crazy father while he wrapped protective arms around his waistline, before realization set in that his father wasn't supposed to be in Las Noches.
"Seriously, what the hell? How are you even here? We're all souls, in some form or other."
"Well, heh...Funny thing that," Isshin said as he rubbed at the back of his head. Opening his mouth to continue speaking, Isshin was abruptly shoved to the floor and trampled by a rapidly moving blond blur that quickly attached itself to Ichigo's stomach. Looking down in shock at the unexpected touch, Ichigo was stunned to see Shinji caressing and kissing his stomach in between random mutterings.
Listening closely, Ichigo was able to make out a few bits about how thankful Shinji was to find Ichigo alive and healthy, and that Shinji would rather teach Renji to have perfect Kido technique then go back to being the liason, whatever that meant. Ichigo was positive that there was probably going to be quite the story there and couldn't wait to hear it from Shinji. And then hear it again in a lot more accuaracy from Hiyori.
Ichigo began to laugh. It started out as a small snicker, but quickly grew into almost overwhelming proportions as the door was flung open again and the room rapidly filled with a loud, chattering mix of current and former Shinigami, Espada and Numeros and Priverons as well as their Fraccion, along with several of Ichigo's friends from the living world including a bright and bubbly Orihime who was trailed by a silent Ulquiorra as had become normal for the Los Noches inhabitants to see.
Waving a hand in dismissal at the alarmed looks he was being given, Ichigo focussed on his breathing and gradually got himself back under control.
"I'm fine," Ichigo said with a small smile still pulling at his lips. "Maybe next time you all come to rescue me, it could be done with a few less people. Not that I'm not glad to see all of you, because I am. It's just a bit overwhelming is all. And that much shock probably isn't good for a pregnant person anyway. Thank Kami that I'm not due for a while now."
"Yeah, but I am," Grimmjow groaned as he used his hands to tightly hold his expanded waistline.
It was easy for anyone nearby to see the clothed flesh under his hands quiver and tighten. It was also easy to see the look of absolute panic on Starrk's face as his normally sleepy expression was completely wiped away. Suddenly, eveyone in the room began to bustle and scurry about. Several people coming foward and helping raise Grimmjow from his temporary nest while others assisted the seemingly panicking Starrk, who had frozen up in shock and did whatever his helpers demanded of him.
"Quick! Get him to the infirmary!"
"No! Take him to his nest!"
"Someone call Unohana-Taicho!"
"Damn it! I'm a doctor, I know what to do!"
"Everybody follow me! I'm his current healer."
And just like that, Ichigo found himself alone in the room as everyone rushed out as they followed Szayel's orders. Grumbling to himself and wishing that someone might have stayed behind to give him a helping hand, Ichigo began the troublesome process that was also known as rising from a seated position. Leaning back against the chair, Ichigo shimmied his hips and butt foward. He then leaned foward and took a secure grip on the only arm of the sofa near him. Hopefully it would be enough to lever himself up with.
Just as he was getting ready to make his first attempt, his vision was filled with a large, very familiar looking hand. Raising his head and looking up, Ichigo could feel his eyes burn as they filled with liquid upon meeting warm, dark-chocolate hued eyes looking down at him.
Well, there we are. I could have gone on to detail the birth of both Grimm and Ichi, but the story seemed to find a natural ending here. I just love the mental imagery of the two of them, together, alone, at last.
Thanks to all of those who've followed right along, both with the story and with the PITA that was moving. I'm so grateful to all of you, especially when you take a moment or two to drop me a line by reviewing. It always, always, inspires me to keep going, especially when the fun of a new story is gone and all that's left is the grind of filler chapters from A to Z.