*IMPORTANT NOTE: To anyone who hasn't read Chapter 4 "Auction", you may not have been informed of its publishment, so if "Auction" doesn't ring a bell, please go back and read that first. Thank you, and enjoy :)
Uryuu stirred. Through his hazy dreams his brain registered a familiar scent.
It was the incense his grandfather always had his servants use on bed linen and kimono. The sweet scent was one he'd always known and hated: sickly sweet. Now though, Uryuu couldn't be happier to smell it.
He pried his eyes open, puffy eyed and dry throat. He could feel the dried tears on his cheeks.
Soft morning light filtered in through the bamboo blinds. He rubbed his eyes wearily, brushing sleep from them as he peered around the room. It was his grandfather's bedroom.
A smile tugged at his mouth, a laugh bubbling from his lips as he shook his head in disbelief. It was a dream. It was all just a dream. He hadn't failed those children. They weren't dead.
...Had they ever even existed?
He recalled the little girl on the day of his clan's massacre. The dream had shaken him, but it had also given him reasons to stop being a coward. Who knew when he was going to die?
He let his laugh fade as he flopped back on the pillows, inhaling their scent deeply.
He was safe. It wasn't his home, but his Grandfather's home. Of course. He had been studying as his Grandfather's villa, walked through the maze, hidden from his teacher. This is where that terrifying nightmare had taken place. He shook the thoughts from his head. It had been the strangest dream he'd ever had, and he never wanted to experience it again. It had felt so... real.
And so long... He'd felt so old. Is that how he was going to be when he was older? Is that how he would look and act?
It had felt like years had passed by... as though he'd lived every day for years out in that abandoned den.
The hunger, cold, and pain. The villagers' hate for him. How had he even managed to dream that up?
His brow furrowed. It really had been all too real.
Slowly he sat up once more, taking everything in more carefully. No, he hadn't been mistaken. This was definitely his Grandfather's room, but something was off...
He looked closer, finally noticing the thick layers of dust that carpeted the furniture.
In any self-respecting clan, cleanliness was regarded above all else, at least in non-Warrior affairs that is.
The pain in his shoulder finally registered, and he surveyed his body, stiffening when he found he wore the same, hemp clothes from his dream.
He sported cuts and bruises, and a particularly tender spot on his forehead. He couldn't see it, but it had puffed up, and felt like an egg had grown from his skull.
Waves of nausea hit him when he noticed his hands. The large, calloused appendages were covered in dried blood, the black flakes brushing aside to reveal copper stained skin. They began to tremble. Images of the children as their throats were slit one by one assaulted his vision. Yachiru's corpse, speared with that glowing blue light held tight in his mind.
He felt his stomach try to heave its way out of his throat, and he swung his head over the side of the bed, vomiting everything in his stomach. Fresh tears slid down his face, and sobs mixed with the now dry retches.
He grit his teeth, ignoring the burn in his throat.
"It was real. God, I'm sorry." He whispered to the children, "I'm so sorry. I was supposed to protect you... but I let you-"
Another sob tore from his throat, cutting his apologies off. It had been him that woke but never bothered to find out who was at the door. It had been him that had failed to protect his wards as they were led to the slaughter. He had even been the one to killed Yachiru. It had been his spear that had pierced her body. It had been his responsibility, and he had failed them all.
Why was he still alive? Why did they die, but he live? Where was the justice in that?
He forced his sobs under control, though his body still silently convulsed, and the tears still ran down his face with abandon. The warm liquid burned trails down his cheeks. The guilt was overpowering.
Here he sat, mourning those children. He didn't deserve to mourn their deaths. He should be dead with them.
His head jerked up as the paper door slid open, his gaze falling on the pale, horned figure.
Uryuu's heart clenched with rage.
The tall figure grunted in surprise when Uryuu tore out of the bed, ramming into his stomach.
He pushed the boy away easily, eyes cold, but Uryuu took no notice. He didn't seem to realise that his attacks were doing nothing, that he could barely reach the beast, let alone harm him. That wasn't important. What mattered was that he was trying. He was fighting for those children. He was turning his rage against something, allowing the pent up anger to guide his actions.
"You... you killed them! All of you! You disgusting, pathetic Hollows," spat Uryuu. "You killed them!"
The tears came faster now, dripping from his nose and down his neck. Ichigo shoved Uryuu away and the boy stumbled. His head was light and he felt dizzy, but still he persisted, jumping up again and clawing at him.
"I didn't touch those children," Ichigo informed him coldly.
"It doesn't matter. Your kind killed them. They were so young... so good... so strong... and you killed them!"
His blows faltered as a new wave of tears assaulted his eyes. Was there no justice?
Ichigo said nothing. That logic was sound. He understood it well.
Uryuu fought past the grief as he flung his fists at the taller man, but Ichigo had tired of this.
He swiftly grabbed Uryuu's wrist, pulling on it harshly, in such a way that Uryuu's body swung around, back to him, and Ichigo could capture the other wrist also.
He pinned Uryuu to the bed, wrists held behind his back with one hand, as Ichigo tried to quiet the dark haired man. He had questions for him that he wanted answered. Uryuu's reiatsu had been so familiar; it had brought back not memories, but rather, a deep emotion. He had wanted to cry when he'd felt it. He had wanted to tear every human, demon and animal limb from limb from its body in a fit of rage. He had wanted to obliterate the grounds with a cero. And yet, he couldn't place where he had felt it before.
Now however, all he could think of was how similar Uryuu was to himself. A younger, happier self. Back before he had begun to hate the world for turning, the seasons for changing, and life for continuing on, as though nothing had happened.
An almost sentimental emotion rose in his chest. An emotion he doubted any human would believe possible in a demon.
The boy struggled beneath him, ignoring his orders for composure. He flung his head back in an attempt to head butt his captor, crying out when a sharp horn pierced his cheek, burying itself deeply in the flesh.
Ichigo pulled back. He hadn't intended to draw blood. He knew himself well enough to know its effect on him. Blood loosened his control, and brought out his true demonic mind. The results all depended on the emotions he had been feeling prior.
Crimson liquid poured from the gouge in Uryuu's face, below his left cheekbone. It seared with pain.
The coppery scent of blood filled the air.
His composure snapped.
A clawed hand pushed Uryuu's face into the sheets roughly, the other raking down his back, over the hemp shirt and trousers.
The human struggled wildly as the cloth slid from his body in tatters, revealing his naked flesh.
Uryuu cried out as those razor sharp claws sliced lightly down his back, shallow wounds opening beneath them.
He tore the tattered kimono from his own body, aligning himself with Uryuu's opening instantly.
His hands rested on either side of Uryuu's hips, digging into the flesh to keep Uryuu's struggles under control.
With one forceful shove, Ichigo buried himself within the boy, starting a gruesome pace without a moment's pause.
Uryuu's scream echoes throughout the room, bouncing off the walls. His hands gripped the bed sheets, and tears pricked his eyes as his flesh was stretched and torn.
His head pressed into the mattress and he grit his teeth as the tears began to fall, the sharp pain of each thrust accompanied with a constant dull throb.
Cracked sobs escaped his mouth past the screams as pain seared his back side.
Ichigo briefly noticed Uryuu's pain, but payed it no mind. The tight heat that wrapped around his arousal was intoxicating, and the scent of coppery blood filled the room spurring him on.
Sweat glistened over the pair, trailing down their sides and pasting their hair to their faces.
Uryuu jerked as a sensitive bundle of nerves was hit, crying out in a mixture of pleasure and pain. Waves of disgust rolled through his stomach. Was he really so weak that he could possibly enjoy this? His stomach heaved at the thought, but his stomach was empty. Instead it clenched and heaved, but produced nothing.
His prostate was hit again, and this time he felt himself become half hard. Sobs of shame tore at his throat as the demon continued its ministrations. Uryuu had never felt such self-hate as he did right now. Thoughts of the children flittered to his mind. They were dead, but he was here allowing one of their murderer's kind to take him.
Ichigo picked up his pace, shoving harder into the boy. His vision was clouded with a haze of red, and nothing but the scent of blood and the need to quench his overwhelming arousal entered his mind. He was close. He could feel his climax building in his abdomen. The sounds of Uryuu's pain and pleasure assaulted his ears, and with a final snap of his hips he released inside the broken human, an inhuman roar tearing from his mouth as he flung his head back, horns rearing into the air.
As he came down from his high, his vision cleared, and he finally surveyed the scene that had just played out. Uryuu lay naked on his stomach before him, blood and semen dripped from his now empty anus. He ran his eyes over the bruises and cuts with a scowl. He knew this was going to happen. It always did when blood was involved.
Suddenly he was pulled from his thoughts as he noticed the feathered stubs protruding from between Uryuu's shoulder blades. He had been too overpowered by the scent of blood to notice them before, but now that he had, everything made sense.
That reiatsu, the feeling it had given him of anger, hate, and the darkest pain all made sense now. That Godforsaken clan that bore wing of such beauty, but held such hate in their hearts had dies out years ago in the wake of the Angel Massacre. Yet here one was, lying before him, so innocent and stubborn. So like himself in his younger years.
His fist clenched as those unwelcome emotions flooded his body, face crumpling into a mask of pain and misery. Swiftly he left the room, and the unmoving boy, arriving in another wing of the house with seconds to spare before he lost control.
A bright red cero formed beneath his horns, and within a moment he had burnt most of one wall completely away.
As his rage subsided, the tears finally escaped beneath the mask, ragged sobs shaking his body as he slumped to the ground. Memories flashed across his mind; memories of youth and innocence, an undoubted happiness, hate and violence, an inescapable fear, a profound love, and a ruthless loss. Memories he had buried long ago. Memories he had prayed he would never see again.
Memories of a happier time.
A time that he would never see again.
Uryuu lay covered in sweat. He could feel liquids seeping from his rear, and the wounds over his back and hips stung.
Slowly he pulled himself from the bed, untangling himself from the damp covers. His limbs felt weak, and his mind was groggy. All he could feel through the pain and exhaustion was an overwhelming sense of disgust.
He slid from the bed, wobbling on unsteady legs as he searched the house. Quickly he found the bathroom, finding an indoor Onsen. Memories of his childhood assaulted him as he recalled never being allowed into this particular Onsen by his father, but his grandfather snaking him in anyway. The bittersweet memories stung at his eyes as he stumbled into the hot water, not bothering to wash properly first. His wounds stung harshly beneath the hot water, but ignored them. He dunked his head beneath the water, allowing the soothing liquid to encompass his entire body, before pushing to the surface for air.
Quickly he began to scrub as himself clean, rubbing his hands over every inch of his body, ignoring the pain as he fought to rid himself of the demon's touch. Blood and semen floated in the water as he worked, and he pushed the away with a scowl.
Carefully he worked his fingers into his tender scalp, the wounds from the auction only reminding him of the children's' deaths. Images of that awful day flooded to the surface, but he made no effort to forget them. He didn't deserve that peace. They were dead because of him. He should be dead too.
Briefly he considered how easy it would be to end his own life, but that traitorous voice within him called him a coward. His death could never atone for their deaths. To end it now would be running away.
He soaked in the water until his skin became soft and wrinkled. Slowly he stepped out of the Onsen, the cold air sending goose bumps over his skin, and stinging his wounds.
He stood their dripping for a moment in a daze, but pulled himself back to reality.
With a much clearer head he made his way back to his Grandfather's bedroom, wincing as each step jostled his tender opening.
Without a glance at the sullied bed, Uryuu went straight to a chest of draw, pulling two Kimono out. He dried himself with one carefully and systematically, not thinking about anything. Once he was dry, pulled the other one around himself, tying the Obi clumsily. It had been many years since he has last worn one. It was disconcerting; everything felt so familiar, yet everything had changed. Life could never go back to how it was.
The paper door sliding open startled him from his reverie, and his head shot up to face his captor. This was it. This was how he would die, and Uryuu was determined to go out with the last remnants of his pride still intact. He was dressed, and cleaned of the Hollow's touch. He would die like a man.
He took a deep breath and closed his eyes, waiting for the final blow.
He opened his eyes when none came, surprised to find the demon hadn't moved.
Anger flared in his eyes and he clenched his fist. "Hurry up and kill me."
Ichigo didn't reply. True, at the auction he'd had every intention of killing the human once he'd learnt about his reiatsu, but now he didn't wish for him to die. It made no sense to him. This human was a Quincy, and Ichigo had never found it in his heart to be merciful to their kind before.
"I said kill me," repeated Uryuu from between grit teeth.
"What is your name, Quincy?" asked Ichigo.
Uryuu's jaw dropped. How had he...?
Right. Of course he had seen his wings.
The voice was strange to Uryuu's ears. He had never heard this demon speak before. Where the blue haired Hollow had sounded like a human, this Hollow sounded as though he had a human voice that was being distorted as he spoke.
"I refuse." He answered. He didn't want his life prolonged by idle conversation, "now kill me."
Ichigo ignored him. "My name is Ichigo Kurosaki. Tell me your name."
"Why do you care?"
Ichigo paused. He had to think about the answer to this.
Finally he spoke. "Because I want to know the name of my new living companion."
Uryuu's eyes widened as he stared at the demon in disbelief. "I-" he cut off around the lump forming in his throat, "I won't live with you, Hollow."
"Call me Ichigo." Ordered the demon, taking a step toward Uryuu.
Uryuu ignored him and held his ground.
"Tell me your name, human."
Uryuu couldn't see past the garish mask that covered his captor's face to see how his refusal had affected him, but the annoyed sigh that came from him answered his question.
The horned man turned and began to walk away, but stopped short at Uryuu's voice.
"Why aren't you going to kill me?" he asked.
Ichigo turned around to look him in the eye, considering his words before speaking. "Because you remind me of my younger self. We are very alike, you and I."
What had he just said? "Alike? You think we're alike?" demanded Uryuu, "We have nothing in common" he spat venomously.
"You are wrong." Answered Ichigo, "We were almost the same at one point. I know your pain better than anyone else, and I am the only one who can understand you."
Uryuu hesitated. He had always been a thinker. "Then that makes me the only one who can understand you."
Ichigo faltered. He hadn't made that connection yet. Without a word he turned on his heel and walked away.
Perhaps the human was right. Perhaps he had finally found somebody who understood his pain.
I am SOOOO sorry this took so long to come out :( I've been really busy as of late, and haven't had much time for it. In fact, I'm supposed to be studying right now, but felt so guilty that it wasn't finished yet that I wrote this instead.
I hope you all enjoyed it and that it was worth the wait :)
Please let me know if I was right in my assumption that you hadn't been notified at the update of chapter 4. The reason I think you might not have been told, is that when I uploaded it, was having some issue with notifications, I wasn't receiving Emails for PMs or anything.
Then, when I finally uploaded chapter 4, I was waiting for "Oh my God!" sort of shit storm reviews, and I didn't really get much of a response for a while... that could just have been you guys being lazy though. (Not that I can judge, I'm probably lazier than the lot of you.)
the same goes for "Sorry Doesn't Cut It", "Rescue", "Cereal", and "Strength and Weakness", so if you're following me or those stories, and did't get updates for new chapters, or in the last two cases, new stories, please go back and check you haven't missed them. :)
Anyway thanks for reading, and please review!