A/N: So welcome to my first chaptered story here on FFN, and also my first threesome fanfic. Looking back over this it's really not my best work (in fact it's one of the worst) so I'm frankly very astounded as to why it has the amount of favourites and views that it has. But I thank all of those who like this silly thing regardless - it means a lot to me :)
Warnings are as follows: Major OOCness (especially where Szayel and Grimmjow are concerned), a change to the main Hueco Mundo storyline, excessive coarse language (mainly courtesy of Grimmjow), violence and character death, as well as excessive romance and detailed sex scenes.
Please don't leave any flames despite how amateur this story is - it's not constructive criticism and it's hurtful. Thank you.
Disclaimer (for all 12 chapters): I don't own Bleach or the characters... Kubo Tite does. That lucky duck.
Chapter 1: The Promise Has Been Made
Like the scented leaves of summer trees falling during the onslaught of the changing seasons.
Like the bright rays of the sun reflected in the golden clouds adorning the ocean's bronzed sunset.
Like the shimmering wisps of the autumn festival's fireworks spreading messages of hope and joy across the land.
In his centuries old lifetime, he had seen many things which spoke of the warm colour representing adventure, freedom and strength.
Yet never before, in Soul Society or anywhere else for that matter, had Aizen Sousuke been truly fascinated with the deep hue. Not until a certain brash, intrepid and downright infuriating young teenager had been so bold as to storm Seireitei to rescue Kuchiki Rukia of the Gotei 13's 13th Division, the adopted sister to the 28th head of the noble Kuchiki house, Kuchiki Byakuya.
From that moment on, Aizen had found he had taken a certain interest in the colour.
Not for what the colour represented – but for the boy whose hair was a vibrant shock of the hue. The boy… and his abilities.
Yes, he had known all about this wonder child born eighteen years ago – indeed, he knew a great deal of things which should have never been known to shinigami. He was, after all, the being who had transcended the very essence of spirit life to that of the Otherworld. Hollows.
And this boy… was definitely of interest to him.
Bringing his hand to his forehead, resting his cheek against the splayed fingers caressing his face underneath his locks of brown hair, Aizen allowed a smile to grace his features as he gazed at the monitor in front of him. Feedback of a number of the Kurosaki boy's fights were unravelling before his eyes – not for the first time these past few months. The boy was intriguing; having developed Hollow powers at the age of fifteen (all according to Aizen's plans, of course), and learning how to control the beast within himself over such a relatively small timeframe was astounding, the immense reiatsu the youth possessing only making his value to the scheming shinigami traitor much more profound.
He would be a useful tool in the upcoming war.
By having Kurosaki on his side, Aizen could mould the boy into the ideal soldier, to fight for him, kill for him. To serve him as loyally as the Espada.
He would be the perfect weapon to destroy Soul Society.
And the Gotei 13 knew this, too.
After all, they had refrained from making any attempt to capture the traitorous Division 3, 5 and 9 captains when they ascended to the land of the Hollows – Hueco Mundo. They merely stated that they needed time to regroup and assess the current situation – to not make any decisions until they had all of the facts.
They told the boy to simply "lie and wait until he was further made aware of the predicament".
In reality, they were afraid to admit that they knew of Aizen's plans all along – to enter Hueco Mundo and gather an army, to destroy Karakura Town and create the King's Key. They avoided passing this knowledge along to the hot-headed teen, perceiving him to jump fool heartedly into the fray and inevitably pounce into the waiting arms of the man who was aiming for him to make that very move.
Aizen would have the boy in an instant.
It would all be over.
The shinigami traitor chuckled, his deep voice rumbling in his throat as he laughed at the stupidity of those in Soul Society.
They had only made gaining the boy much, much easier for him.
By shutting Kurosaki off from their knowledge and insight, he was being repressed from what he had come to believe his duties as substitute shinigami and protector of Karakura Town were to be. He had fallen slowly into a tumultuous pit of despair inside his mind – no one would help him. No one would come.
Yes, Aizen thought as he reclined in his chair, switching the monitors off and gazing pensively into the black nothingness of the empty screens before him, you have made him easier to claim as my soldier. I thank you, Yamamoto Genryuusai. Without you and the Gotei 13, none of this would have been possible. You have paved the way for greatness for me and the new addition to my 'family'.
It will not be long now.
I will have the boy's powers, and your world will crumble.
Of that, I assure you.
"Somethin' wrong, Aizen-taichou? Yer lookin' much too serious fer yer own good. It'll make ya look all old."
Watching the brown haired man from where he was seated in his chair, all silent and unmoving in the darkened room save for the occasional rustle of cloth as the man shifted in his seat every so often, the silver haired form of Ichimaru Gin waited at the door for a response to his quip. All he received was a vague murmur of acknowledgment that his presence was noted.
The corners of his sly, split-faced smile drew tighter and Gin strode forwards silently.
"Yer thinkin' 'bout that Kurosaki kid again, ain't ya?"
"Yes… I am." Came the reply.
Now standing so he was next to the reclining elder male, Gin tilted his head to gaze slightly under the lids of his ever-closed eyes towards the other shinigami traitor. He noted that by the look on his face, Aizen had finally come to a decision on what was to be done about the teenager.
"So what 'ave ya decided?"
Aizen's lips formed into a slight smile.
"Ever observant as always, Gin."
"O' course." The silver haired man replied breezily.
Aizen pressed his fingertips slightly together as he leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees; his gaze redirected back to the black television monitors.
"The time has come. I have been observing the boy and I deem that we should begin to make our move presently. The Gotei 13 are growing restless with the threat of the Winter War, though they will be in shock when they learn that their battle will occur sooner than expected. This will weaken them, which is good. It shall also bide enough time to obtain Kurosaki and bring him to our side. Gin," the elder male suddenly spoke up in a louder tone, turning his head to gaze at his grinning companion, "call the Espada. Arrange a meeting. Their acceptance of the boy is crucial to our plan."
Gin inclined his head in a slight nod of confirmation at this and turned around to sweep out of the room, his Arrancar shihakushou billowing gently behind him as he did so.
As soon as he sensed the other's presence fade away, Aizen returned his gaze back to the screens.
"Thank you all for assembling at such short notice. I am aware that this may be somewhat inconvenient to most of you." Aizen's voice rang out across the meeting hall, his brown eyed gaze sweeping over the ten people gathered at the elongated ovular centre table.
Ten pairs of eyes gazed back at him, their expressions unreadable.
This was the only time in which every elite member of the Espada had sat at full attention during these sessions. They were given the report that war would soon be upon them, and that their lord had obtained a weapon which would enable them to ensure complete victory over the threat of Soul Society.
A couple of heads turned to inspect this way and that, evidently searching the otherwise empty room to catch some glimpse of this concealed weapon.
"As Gin has already informed you, the time is finally upon us to exact our long awaited punishment on Soul Society, my friends. If you will focus your attention on the projector, I will now reveal to you that which I have been seeking for many months now. Our new ally, which will turn our fortunes in this war."
As Aizen spoke, a translucent spherical object immediately began spinning and whirring a few centimetres from the white-washed wood of the table, emitting a faint static sound before blaring forth a hologram image of a young man, barely out of his teens, with vibrant orange locks of hair.
A few eyes widened.
This? This was what had held Aizen-sama in fascination for these past months? A human?
Scattered mumblings erupted forth from the gathered group; whispers of disbelief, some of approval, and others of uncertainty.
Two of the ten gathered remained silent, however.
Trailing his gaze over the holographic visual, cyan eyes locked intently upon the image of the boy's form. A wild blue haired male - handsome in features with a slight feral air to his smile, his right cheek adorned with a skeletal-like mask and his black and white clothing loose fitting, his open jacket revealing an expanse of toned, muscled flesh and his corded arms equally muscular as they grasped in a resting position on the tabletop – considered the sight before him.
"What's his name?" He spoke out, not intending his rough voice to carry throughout the now-silent room as it did upon his question being voiced.
Aizen looked at him.
"I'm glad you asked, Grimmjow. His name is Kurosaki Ichigo."
Sexta Espada Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez nodded faintly, returning his cyan eyed gaze back to the visual.
"But Aizen-sama, this young 'Kurosaki Ichigo' is a human! Getting him involved with this war would be too dangerous… for both sides…" A lighter, smoother voice blurted out.
Everyone gathered turned their gaze to look at the pink haired male who had interjected.
His face delicate yet carrying an air of strength, his figure slight and lean and his golden eyes glinting underneath narrow white rimmed glasses – the remainder of his Hollow mask – the male ran a hand through his hair for a moment, his eyes not once leaving the hologram.
Grimmjow looked at his fellow Espada member, the Octava Espada, Szayelaporro Granz. He could tell just by looking at the younger man that he was as deeply concerned about this matter as he was. Trying to recruit this boy, a teenager and a human no less, would lead to nothing but death for the youth. Though not open about it with the others for obvious reasons, Grimmjow and Szayel had long since reserved doubts about Aizen's so-called 'leadership' within Hueco Mundo and its palace, Las Noches.
Though by no means merciful beings, the pair still regained a sense of honour. And dragging in those who would lose themselves to a pointless cause did not bode well with either of them.
Seeing his pink haired friend's glance at first the projected image of the orange haired boy, then those golden eyes flicking up briefly to lock into cyan blue, Grimmjow knew that he was not the only one who was currently experiencing conflicted emotions over this young man.
Aizen would lead him to his death. And if he didn't, the teen would end up begging for his end long before his time.
"Be that as it may, Szayelaporro, this boy possesses a rather unique set of abilities, as well as an exceptional pronounced reiatsu. He has overwhelming power. I have seen him with my very eyes, and believe me, I know his worth. Therefore, the substitute shinigami Kurosaki Ichigo shall be taken to Hueco Mundo."
Whilst he continued, Grimmjow and Szayel falling silent after his explanation, Aizen could not help the smile which formed as he concluded. The time to act, was now.
My Espada are expendable. You however, Kurosaki Ichigo, are not. It is imperative that you make your way to me. But of course… I already know you will.
At the same time, deep below in the World of the Living, the sun began to climb over the rooftops of Karakura Town, the warmth of the light highlighting the trees and streets with a lazy glow. One such person was among those beginning their preparations for the new day, his orange hair ruffling in the cool breeze as it caressed his face and neck.
Warm brown eyes gazing thoughtfully up at the blue sky, Kurosaki Ichigo took in a deep breath and held it for a minute of silence.
Something was going to happen today.
He could feel it.
A/N: There's a prologue to this story called Our Beginnings which ventures lightly into Grimmjow's and Szayel's pasts for anyone interested in that kind of background info - thanks again to the people who voted for that in my poll!