Hollow Ichigo-Ichigo: Well let's get this official first chappie rolling! Oh, by the way Rainbow...we forgot something, didn't we? O.o

8DRainbowManVan8D: ! ! !... What? What did we forget? -rubs chin in thought- I-I seriously have no ide-….. Their names and who's who huh? –facepalm- DOH!

Righto! Demaratos- Ichigo and it means prayed for by the people. A little comical humor, ne?

Thrasius- Grimmjow and it means BOLD. Fitting, isn't it? YOU'RE TURN HICHI-ICHI! :D

Hollow Ichigo-Ichigo: Ok!

Acantha-Thorn, Rose and other things...she was also a nymph loved by Apollo!

Ambrosious- Means Immortal. Hah my own humor~!

Wells, shall we finally get this chappie underway? I think we should~!

Chapter 1

Loud snoring filled the silence as a young man tossed and turned in his sleep. A few moments later, eyes snapped open in the dark and the man sat up, panting and sweating. Another...nightmare... he thought and sighed, running a hand through his snowy white hair. Ugh...this can't be good for my health. The doctor said I need to sleep more... There was a paticularly loud snort and he turned golden eyes to the other man in the room. One arm and one leg was dangling from the bedside, the man's mouth wide open as he snored. "Fucking hell Grimm..." The young man smirked and slowly got up and walked around to the other side of the bed. "Time to get up!" He shouted and kicked his friend off the bed.

"OW! FUCK!" He heard the man shout as he turned the tabletop lamp on, revealing their decent sized dorm room. "The fuck Shirosaki? ! What if I'd broken my damned neck? !"

"Then I wouldn't ever have to put up with your fucking snoring ever again." Shiro said. "How else am I ever gonna sleep?"

"Ear plugs." Grimmjow shrugged, standing up and brushing himself off. Shiro chuckled and moved to his own bed.

"Yeah well maybe-" He was cut off as a bout of coughing interrupted him, making him fall to his knees and gasp for air. Grimmjow rushed into their small bathroom and rought out some pills and a cup full of water.

"Shit you haven't taken this yet have you?" He asked. Shiro simply shook his head and when he could catch his breath, he took the medicine and leaned against his friend, feeling a bit dizzy. "Hey...you sure you can't just stay at the dorm instead of going on this stupid field trip?" Shiro shook his head and Grimmjow sighed. "Ogichi..."

"I'm...ok..." He panted a bit. "Just...a little too much excitement this early in the morning." He sat up slowly and smiled at his friend. "You worry too much."

"Shiro your anemia is getting worse. You need to tell the doctor."

"What, so they can fucking tell me what I already know? I know my heart's failing Grimm. I ain't stupid." He sighed. "I just...wanna enjoy the trip ok? Like normal college students do."

"No, normal students would gripe, groan and bitch about going." Grimmjow muttered. Shiro chuckled as he got up and started undressing. His skin was pale white, but it was a sickly shade of white, not it's usual, bright snow white like his hair. He slid into his now oversized uniform and sighed.

"Grimm, ya ain't normal either." Shiro smirked as he watched his friend get undressed. "Still can't believe that teal hair's the real deal."

"Oh quit staring at my junk ok? I know I'm sexy, but seriously." He laughed. After he slid into his own uniform, he wrapped an arm across Shiro's shoulders. "Let's go eat eh? I hope it's banana nut muffins again. I fucking love that shit."

"Tsk, you're such a fucking primate, I'm beginning to think you're the missing link."

"If I'm the missing link, you're an alien from outer space."

"E.T phone home." Shiro laughed. As they walked to the dining hall, Shiro looked out the large, balcony window at the sun rising. I dunno...but I feel like something's about to happen...something good...

As soon as they entered the crowded room, Grimmjow shut down. His relaxed stance turned guarded, his muscles bunched up in tension, a dark scowl shading his face. Shiro spared a glance at his friend, and sighed. When he said that Grimmjow wasn't normal either, he meant it. He never did learn why his friend was so adverse to social interaction. He sighed again as they got breakfast, Grimm's plate piled high with the very muffins he claimed undying love to.

They sat down in the lobby, away from everyone else. They sat and ate in silence; one not sure what to say and the other refusing to speak in front of others. Finally, Shiro snorted with laughter. "Grimm, it's so funny. With how social you are, it's a wonder how you got that job as a –what was it again? A trainer?"

"… A personal exercise trainer." Grimmjow's voice was hard and devoid of emotion, his eyes dark and uninviting. Every longing glance thrown his way was returned with a snarl and a vicious stare. His eyes focused back onto Shiro. "… I got the job because I'm friggin' good at what I do; good enough even that my clients are willing to put up with my shit."

He shoveled another chunk of muffin into his mouth as Shiro nibbled thoughtfully on his toast. "Or it could just be they find your rock solid body hotter than hell."

Grimm shrugged over his food, uncaring as he swallowed. "Or that too." He got up and dumped his garbage, coming back with a menacing stride. "Either way, I don't give a fuck. It's only their money I want, the rest of it I couldn't care less about."

Shiro sighed as he threw his paper plate away, both walking down the corridor to their history class. "Jesus, Grimm! I've seen some 'o yer clients and I gotta say… some 'o 'em are hot. HOT. And with the dirty bed room eyes some keep flashin' ya, you'd have more than one willin' ta do nasty things to ya. But I ain't ever seen ya so much as look at 'em."

Grimmjow stopped and glared down at his friend. "I don't care about them. Not interested. EVER. They can fuck off and die for all I care. I'm not interested in anybody that way. I can't stand people. I don't fucking trust them. Not ever since-"

He cut himself off and glared heatedly at the wall. Shiro stared sadly, continuing for his taller friend. "… Since your accident, I know." He watched Grimmjow's eyes squint in pain as he clutched at his chest. Shiro sighed, "But Grimm, keepin' yerself away from would be lovers or even just one night stands ain't no way to live life. I've never seen you completely relaxed man."

Grimmjow turned to look at him and they stared in silence, other college students passing them by. Grimm shook his head, glaring at the ground. "I can't Shi… And you know it… I can't, it ain't right. It doesn't feel right. I lost all faith in love and humanity years ago… So just drop it."

He stormed into the room, Shiro left standing there staring at where he once was. He quietly whispered, "So you don't trust me?" With a sad shake of his head, he stepped into the classroom and sat down beside the glowering Grimmjow, waiting for their teacher to show up and figure out who had cars and could drive others.

Grimmjow parked his car, Shiro sitting shotgun, everyone inside the vehicle staring out the window at the giant building before them. Some unknown student popped open their trap, "It's freakin' huge, ain't it?"

Non-committal murmurs were his response as they all climbed out of the car and moved towards their group. With a quick roll call, the teacher told them to pick an area and a subject for their midterm paper and study hard, this would be the only day they would be getting interactive information. With groans unanimous, everyone split off into groups of two or three and went their separate ways. Grimm and Shiro walked around aimlessly, Grimm standing incredibly tense, the huge crowds making him anxious and irritated. Shiro sighed as he stumbled a couple times, irritation of his own at feeling dizzy. He stopped and pointed at a special exhibit. "Hey, Grimm. They got an ancient Greek exhibit here for this week only. Let's do our papers on that."

Grimmjow frowned. "And you think others wouldn't think that?"

Shiro huffed. "I don't give a fuck. I'm tired, I'm dizzy and it's close. Let's just go in there and figure our shit out." He shuffled towards the exhibit, Grimmjow taking in his grey skin, purple veins peeking out from the over exertion. With a grunt, he followed suit.

Shiro plopped down ungracefully onto a bench, head lolled to one side. As he sat there, a sports drink was held before his face. Looking up at his scowling friend, he took the bottle and took a long drink, gasping for air after. As his head continued to pound, he gazed about through the haze at the artifacts. A strange looking sarcophagi looking thing caught his attention. He pointed to it, "The fuck is that? Doesn't look a thing like any of the rest of this crap."

Grimmjow, turned to look at it, a deep frown in place. "… The hell would I know? C'mon, let's check it out." Holding out his hand, he hefted Shiro to his unsteady feet and they stepped over to the intricate piece of work. They looked up and down the bronze container, ancient words carved into the metal. Grimmjow pointed at the information stand. "Here, it says somethin'."

Shiro stepped over and looked at the snippet in interest, something catching at his mind. "'The Casket of Demaratos?' That's what this hunk a metal's called." They both glanced up at it then back down at the stand. "Says here there ain't much known about this artifact other than mostly vague myths and legends. A few detailed excerpts were found over the centuries but nothing explaining the origins of the casket."

Shiro stared at it until Grimmjow called him over, pointing. "There's more over here." He waited until Shiro was standing beside him. "Says here that a children's story/nursery rhyme was found in 1972 by some unknown author. They have it written down below.

"'The Casket of Demaratos.'

"The tale of Demaratos the Cold,

A story that is as important as it is old.

Someone so beautiful many do attest,

But Demaratos only had stone in his chest.

Brazen and glorious so full of life,

Warming bed sheets; filling poor maidens with strife.

And boast he did; much more to his friend,

But despite Thrasius' warnings it would bring about his end.

The foolish man Demaratos swore to him there,

"By this morn tomorrow; dear Acantha the fair!

Will have bedded with me; upon this I swear!"

And Thrasius couldn't help but in shock and horror stare.

"Are you daft or mad? That's a horrible thought!

You will anger the gods and that is more frightening than any foe I have fought!"

Demaratos brushed off his friend's warning, and stepped inside,

To the temple of Aphrodite; a plan he laid and by lies did he abide.

Poor Acantha hadn't a chance; her heart beat with speed,

For this man she loved; and bought his lies and sold her soul for the deed.

As the monster escaped by dawn's pure light,

Acantha cursed Demaratos and to escape her plight…

She jumped from the balcony taking not only her life,

But the life of her unborn; so beautiful and bright.

An innocent murdered by actions taken on a heartless heated night.

Demaratos the Cold, took to the servants' quarters; his friend he did find.

"Ambrosious, my friend I must give thanks for without you; the maiden so beautiful and kind…

Yes dear Acantha would not have been mine."

Ambrosious narrowed his eyes; "Foolish I say; fathers will scorn you."

"Pish posh, says I;" Demaratos cut in for Ambrosious to continue.

"And the gods shall curse you for the arrogance you hold so near."

"But I believe it not so I bid you good day, oh and Thrasius said good morn my dear."

And gone he was; leaving Ambrosious blushing,

Just missing the broken screams and the guards that came running.

Out in the fields he watched his slaves labor,

When Thrasius came running, bared teeth and saber.

"I'd warned you; I had. You cannot claim I did not,

And yet still you went and all is lost to naught!

Demaratos you fool! Can't you listen for once, idiotic man? !

Acantha is gone; her life she took and not only the guards are mad!"

And as the blood drained from his face,

Demaratos realized too late…

For Thrasius' sword was pierced his chest,

And the light blackened from his eyes; a great giant mess.

For guards stood around; swathing Thrasius in chains,

Ambrosious stood watching as Thrasius declared his feelings and dragged away to execution; to be slain.

Ambrosious was called at once by hier mother; one final task,

With tears staining his face; he must guard Demaratos' accursed soul and dared not ask…

Immortality a gift or perhaps a hex?

Forever alone watching the automaton that created this mess.

As centuries passed, Ambrosious continued to wait,

For all to recycle; though he felt them terribly late.

All the while Demaratos stayed frozen in his metal tomb,

Screaming and cursing in its black mechanical womb…

So if you should think of being cruel and angering the gods then watch your undying soul,

For there is no punishment more terrifying than that of what happened to Demaratos the Cold."

Grimmjow glared at the piece of literature, fucking long thing that it was. Something about it seemed familiar, his head aching with… something. Grasping at his skull he turned to his friend, words dying on his lips at the ashen pale look upon his face. Shiro looked stricken.

'Where the hell do I know this story?!' Shiro stared bewildered at the stand, something pushing fiercely at his memory. He looked at Grimmjow in surprise when a hand was placed upon his shoulder. "… That was a damn long children's story,huh?" He asked shakily.

Grimmjow nodded tersely, glaring back at the words. "… It's from 1972. They said it's more than likely someone writing bull shit and giving this unknown casket a BS back story but they kept it because it was the only history found pertaining to the casket itself. Doesn't help the author is a giant nobody, quite literally."

Shiro shrugged and stared intensely at the casket, an urge he didn't understand pulling at his skin. "Well, it's interesting enough. Not sure if there's enough information on the casket itself but we can try and see if we can find history on this Demaratos guy. Apparently he was important enough to have a casket named after him so there's gotta be something; somewhere."

Grimmjow nodded and began writing down the story in his journal for reference while Shiro continued to stare at the casket as if in a trance. Without thinking, his hand lifted out to it. It felt as if a voice was calling to him. As soon as his hand touched the surface, it felt as if an electric shock shot through him making his hair stand on end. Grimmjow jerked to, glaring at the casket, having felt it too.

And then Shiro felt it…. a heartbeat? ! He yanked his hand back in horror just in time to hear a soft voice demanding, "I would ask that you keep your hands off of my exhibit artifacts."

Shiro jerked around in surprise to stare at the pale man. "Oh uh –er –shit you scared me!" Placing his hand upon his racing heart, he stumbled into the seat, dizziness nearly felling him. The pale man glanced a look at Shiro before turning back to the blue haired man still facing away.

His heart began to race despite his attempts to keep it steady. 'You don't know that it's him… How long has it been? Don't get your hopes up now, you fool.'

But then the man turned around and blue eyes he hadn't seen in centuries scorched his broken soul, his eyes widening infinitesimally as he could no longer breathe. Grimmjow's glare slid from his face as he looked to the petite man, surprise and something else rocketing through him. Something else he thought he'd never feel again.

And it pissed him off.

Before anyone knew what happened, the glare was back tenfold a vicious snarl pulled over taunt lips. His stance hunched inward, ready to attack. With a voice reserved only for the greatest of enemies, he spat out, "Who the fuck are you?"

Green eyes widened at the animosity in the man's voice, but he brushed it aside. "My name is Ulquiorra Shiffer, I am the curator of this museum. That casket is very...valuable." He looked at Shiro, who was still breathing heavily. "Is he well?"

"He's fine." Grimmjow bit out. Grimmjow knelt next to him, but shiro brushed him off.

"I'm alright...jus' trying ta catch my breath a bit..." He panted. Ulquiorra handed him a small cup of water, which he took and drank greedily.

"I did not mean to startle you so. I just...keep a very watchful eye on this casket." He said, glancing again at Grimmjow. Mother did warn me that he would not be quite the same...it seems his past experiences were engraved into his very soul... He thought and frowned a bit. But what of this pale boy? He looks almost exactly like her...but he should be a she...what happened? "So...are you a part of the college group visiting here?"

"What's it to-"

"Grimm, stop ok?" Shiro sighed. "Yeah, and everyone was doing the same topic, so we decided to do this casket. The poem...is it real?"

"It is yes. Passed by word of mouth, I just had it engraved is all. My ancestor has told the poem years ago, and everyone in my family knows it.." He explained.

"So this shit's real...save fer the god shit..." Grimmjow huffed.

"Yes." Ulquiorra nodded. He then handed the boys small, plastic badges. "If you wish to continue your studies, then come here tonight, around 11:30. I will tell you more if you wish."

"Yeah su-"

"Fuck no." Grimmjow cut in Shiro's eager voice. "My Mommy told me not to accept things from strangers."

"Grimmjow quit being a prick for once!" Shiro snapped. "My grades are fine, but you need the notes."

"My grades aren't your issue."

"They are too! You're my friend!" Shiro snapped angrily and began coughing again. Grimmjow tried to stop him from standing, but he shoved him aside. "If you don't want my help, I don't need yours. Besides, you don't trust anyone do ya? Not even me, right? So fuck you." Shiro stormed out and Grimmjow sighed, running a hand through his hair. For a brief moment, Ulquiorra watched him deflate and he could see the upset look in his eyes before they became void again.

"My invitation is still open." He said quietly. He watched Grimmjow storm off and he stared at the casket. "Soon Demeratos, you can finally be freed from your maddened sleep." He ran a pale hand over his face. "Mother...why is...Acantha a male?"

"Her spirit wasn't strong enough after the curse to be reborn...so her unborn son's was used in its place." He could hear his mother's wise, calming voice from all around. "There is only so much even gods ourselves can do."

"I see...then I doubt Demeratos will ever be freed, for he would never lay with a man."

Shiro snuck into their shared bathroom at night, sneaking quietly so he wouldn't wake his snoring roommate. Fuck you, Grimmjow... He thought and sat on the closed toilet seat. So...I'm really alone then after all huh? I figured...but I still hoped... He sighed and reached behind thre toilet where a rusty blade was hidden. He stared at it for a long time, his wrists itching, as if waiting for him to give them what they wanted. I know this is stupid...I know this will only kill me quicker... He then took the blade and ran it harshly against his left wrist, hissing quietly as blood began to drip onto paper towels he kept in his lap. "But this...is the only proof I'm even alive at all..."

He wasn't sure how long he cut into his wrists, how long he allowed his precious life blood slip down sickly pale skin and onto the paper towels in his lap. He stared blankly for a bit until his small watch went off. 10:30..better clean up if I'm gonna get there in time... He thought. He stood on shaky legs, giving himself a moment before cleaning his wrists and wrapping them in bandages tightly, then flushing the evidence down the toilet. He hid the blade in its place and threw on an oversized hoodie that had once been Grimmjow's, and baggy blue jeans and his own worn sneakers. Grimmjow had lent him the hoodie the day he had found him, shivering on the roadside with nowhere to really go, or anyone who was bothering to even look.

"Yer gonna freeze yer fucking ass off. Take it damnit..." Shiro chuckled as the memory played in his head and he sighed.

"Ever since your accident, you've been moving further away from the people who care about ya Grimm." He sighed. He slowly wrote a note and left it on the nightstand. It simply said this;


I don't give a rat's ass what you say, I'm going even though I have to walk. If you gave even two shits about yorself, you'd go too. Right now, I know you've had it rough, but at least you're not the one dying. So get the hell over it and study ok? I'll be back in the morning, if you wake up before I do. Don't worry, I got extra paper so you won't ask for my notes...which you hardly ever do anymore. I guess we weren't really friends, if you don't even trust me, but I'll still do this for your sake. See ya.

Ogichi Shirosaki

PS Breakfast tomorrow is blueberry pancakes, so don't go all cannibal on your kin ok? :D

Shiro smirked and left the room, plastic badge in his pocket. As he left, he felt the wind bite at his thin frame and he coughed. "Goddamnit...I hate winter." He muttered and continued towards the museum. As he walked, he could hear christmas songs playing around him and could even smell gingerbread cooking. So...my last christmas hmm? He thought and chuckled. "Ah well...it's still nice to hear the music." He continued his lonely walk until he was finally at the entrance. He gripped the cold handle and shivered. "Ok...it's just for notes. How bad can that be?" He muttered as he opened the doors and walked inside.

Mesmerizing green eyes, screeching of tires, sound of screams and broken glass. Flashes of light; PAIN.


Grimmjow shot upwards, a terrified yelp choked in his throat, chest heaving. He swiped shakily at the sweat running down his brow. He buried his face in his hands. 'God damn fucking nightmare again.' He sat there, tangled in his sheets until his heart wasn't trying to break his ribcage. Struggling to free himself from the tangled mess, he stood up and drug himself to the sink, a glass of water in mind.

Sparing a quick glance at Shiro's bed, he stopped for a second upon seeing it empty. Shaking his head, Grimmjow continued to the sink. Snagging a glass, he filled it to the brim and chugged it down, repeating the process three times before filling it again and carrying the full glass to his bed. Eyeballing Shiro's bed again, he pulled himself back under the covers and was about to close his eyes when a scrap of white in the dark caught his attention. Staring at it confused and tired, he grumbled flipping the lamp on. Crawling towards his nightstand, he stared down at the note blearily reading it.

Slowly, all lethargy left him and only anger and fear remained. A glare settled and he snarled. "Fuckin' SHIRO! Damn it!"

He threw himself from the bed, grabbed his keys and that stupid fucking badge and took off outside still only in his pajama bottoms. Grimmjow raced to his car and turned the damn thing on. His tires squealed as he peeled out of the parking lot. His fingers were white and his face was red. "I'm gonna fucking murder him! Walking that far like this! That dumb fucking asshole!"

As soon as the museum came in sight, Grimmjow barely parked the car so much as flew over the curb and slammed on the brakes. He shot out of his car and ran into the still unlocked doors, car left idling and on. Grimmjow nearly broke the glass in his hurry to kick the door open. As soon as he was inside, he ran towards the ancient Greek exhibit, seeing red. When quiet voices reached his ear, he took off faster towards them, bare feet slapping against the ground.

" –you must be kidding me! You think Demaratos is really still alive?"

"I do not think so, I know so."

"Jesus! To think someone could have lived so long!"

"Doesn't matter to you, cuz I'm about ta fuckin' kill ya." Both Shiro and that Ulquiorra guy jerked to look at Grimmjow as he stomped through the room and blindsided Shiro's cheek with his fist.

"Fuck!" He cried out, as he stumbled to the ground, falling flat on his ass, hand held to his cheek angrily. "Grimm, ya fuckin' ass! What the hell? !"

Grimmjow pointed an angry finger at Shiro. "No, you shut the fuck up! You don't get ta say a word until I'm fuckin' done!" He paced like a wild cat caged in a car, stewing in his anger and riling himself up more. With a vicious snarl he swirled back to Shiro, Ulquiorra watching with wide eyes. "What the hell Shiro? ! What the hell were ya thinking? ! Walking all this way, ya coulda gotten sick and I wouldn't've been there ta help ya!"

Shiro glared back as he attempted to help himself up. "What the fuck do you care, Grimmjow? You obviously don't because you don't trus-"

"DON'T YOU FUCKING DARE FINISH THAT SENTENCE! Don't you fucking dare!" Grimmjow looked stricken as he stared at Shiro; his friend Shiro. His fire ebbed away and he slumped his shoulders, swiping his hand through his hair. "Jesus Shi… If I didn't care I wouldn't have anything to do with you. If I didn't care I wouldn't talk to you, spend time with you, eat breakfast with you. We wouldn't crack jokes or make fun of each other."

He slowly stopped pacing, standing in front of his friend, both their eyes tortured. "Shit Shi, if I didn't care, I wouldn't be out here before the ass crack of dawn chasing your dumb ass down to see if you were okay. Fuck, if I didn't care, I wouldn't have almost had a heart attack when I found out you left by yourself in the middle of the night."

Shiro stared silently, glare slowly sliding from his face as he watched Grimmjow's countenance lose all its bravado. He scratched at his head. "Man Grimm… But the way you shove me away, even when I try to help… Makes me think you don't trust me or think we're friends. It hurts ya know?"

Grimmjow glanced up from the floor, face caught in pain. They stared at each other as Ulquiorra stepped back from the shadows. He couldn't help but stare at the blue haired man, obviously as broken as the rest. His eyes travelled over his disheveled appearance, absence of shirt and shoes… Ulquiorra's eyes drunk in the sight of Grimmjow's uncovered chest. How many centuries had he waited to see Thrasius' chest once more? And what a sight to behold.

Though… Ulquiorra's eyes widened; that huge scar running down his abdomen was new. He stared at it, lost in wonder when the sound of coughing pulled back to reality. He jerked his eyes back over to Shiro to see him sitting on the bench once more, face in his hands. Grimmjow kept his distance, watching worriedly.

The pale young man sat up straight and sighed once the fit passed, he stared at his friend. "Ulquiorra here was in the middle of explaining what the casket was. Also, who Demaratos was too."

Grimmjow looked to Ulquiorra and he nodded. "Indeed I was. The casket is an imprisonment for the soul of Demaratos the Cold. That little excerpt on the stand is terribly accurate actually. Demaratos slept around a lot and had no qualms about spitting in others faces by doing so; including the gods. He ended up laying with Acantha the Fair and stole her maidenhood. Which at the time was promised to another man. She cursed him and took her own life. Demaratos' friend Thrasius…" His eyes slid to Grimmjow's face intently, "He'd warned Demaratos not to do it but unheeding of his word, Demaratos did so anyway. In order to save his friend from unimaginable cruelty, Thrasius slew Demaratos and then was sentenced to death himself. One of Acantha's servants, Ambrosious –the one who let Demaratos in –was called upon by his mother Athena."

Grimmjow shook his head and glared. "Wait wait wait. You expect me to believe that the Greek gods exist and that they had children with humans?"

Here Shiro butted in. "It actually makes sense. Ulquiorra here says that many of the people who stood out over the world's history or even great leaders were children between the gods and humans." Ulquiorra nodded. Grimmjow huffed and shrugged his shoulders but motioned for Ulquiorra to continue.

"As I was saying… Athena called Ambrosious to bring Demaratos' soul before the gods on Mt Olympus for punishment. And his soul was sealed away into a being made of metal and flesh. But, the others involved were also cursed. Ambrosious was doomed to immortality, to forever watch the casket that held the automaton, waiting until his loved one returned to him. Thrasius was doomed to rebirth but to have suffered greatly in many ways." Again, he stared at Grimmjow. Slowly, his eyes turned to Shiro. "And Acantha was doomed to rebirth only to be sickly and die young."

Shiro nodded excitedly. "He said that Demaratos is really in that casket, still alive!"

Grimmjow shook his head skeptically. "Oh please Shiro, you can't honestly believe that bull shit is real, can ya?"

Shiro leaned forwards, determined hand held out, glaring. "I touched it Grimm. I felt a heartbeat, man. There's something in there and whatever it is… It's alive enough to have a beating heart."

The blue haired man glanced between the two others bemused and unbelieving. "Yeah? So if I touch this hunk of metal, I'm gonna feel a pulse?" Shiro nodded, dead serious, Ulquiorra's eyes just the same. Grimmjow rolled his own and stepped over to the casket. "Well I don't believe you."

He pressed his palm to the casket, waiting for that pulse the two morons were expecting. Grimmjow shook his head. "See? Told ya, I didn't feel anything. "

Confused, Shiro stood up and walked over, hand outstretched. "That can't be right. I know I felt it pul-" As soon as his hand made contact with the cold metal, another pulse shot through his arm and everyone in the room shivered, having felt it too. Shiro stared wide eyed into a horrified Grimmjow's.

They both stepped away and stared at Ulquiorra, Grimmjow already yelling. "WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? !"

Ulquiorra attempted to speak, but every time he tried, Grimmjow yelled over him; steadily getting louder as his frantic nerves grew bigger. Shiro stood watching in shock as his friend yelled at the museum curator.

None of them heard the door to the casket slide open, dusty fingers gripping the edge tightly. Knuckles cracked and whirred with ancient gears finally being put to use. Dusty cobwebs fell to the ground , an overall cold feeling filling the room.

Everyone froze as heavy breathing filled the room. Ulquiorra's eyes shot wide open and stared in surprise at the man behind the two college students. As they turned to look at what had scared the curator, fists stronger than steel hefted them up by their throats.

As Grimmjow and Shiro gagged and fought for freedom, brown eyes filled with pure hate and loathing slithered to glare at Ulquiorra. In a language long since dead, he growled out…

"Ambrosious… How unpleasant to finally see you again." He glared at the two men dangling from his grasp and smirked something vile. "I seem to have captured dear Thrasius." His voice was filled with venom and hate; his fingers moved into a tighter asphyxiating grip. His eyes burned into Ambrosious'. "But tell me… Where is lovely Acantha the Fair? I have some words I'd like to speak to her and most namely with her blood running down my arm."

Never in his life had Shiro struggled so hard to breathe. His hands felt weak, arms like lead as he clawed at the cold hand around his neck. He could see the fury in the man's eyes, but he was more stunned that he could understand every word that he had hissed. "Ngh...gck!" He tried to say something, but the grip only got tighter and he was finding it harder to move. Acantha's name coming from the automaton's lips made his eyes widen and head pulse. Briefly, he saw a woman with long, flowing white hair and pale, fair skin, golden eyes shining like the sun. He wasn't sure what compelled him, but he started reaching for the man.

"Demeratos! You must release them! You are killing them both!"

"Good riddance then. Thrasius-" He was cut off when a shaky, cool hand landed on his cheek. His hard, brown eyes turned to the pale young man he held and he felt frozen. Those eyes...

"D...De...Deme...ratos..." Shiro blinked as he whispered the man's forgein name before slumping into unconsiousness. Seeing his friend fall limp gave Grimmjow an adreneline rush and he struggled more. Demeratos released them in shock and turned to lock eyes with the curator.

"What devilry is this Ambrosious? !" He snapped.

"It's your curse...our curse." Ulquiorra sighed. The ancient man watched as Grimmjow moved next to his friend, checking for a pulse and sighing when he felt one. He hefted Shiro into his lap and held him as he glared at the orange haired man. "The time has come Demeratos. Are you going to damn yourself for eternity, or redeem yourself?"

Chapter 1 end

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