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Summary: “Grimmjow, you asshole! Put me down! I’m not letting you kidnap me like this!” “’Che. I’d like to see you stop me.” Rukia and Ichigo watched, astonished as the garganta snapped shut behind the Arrancar carrying Xander away

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anime > BleachLightningSkiesFR18734,3952010521,20210 Jan 1020 Feb 11No

Not All Fairy Tales End Happily

Reirse, Hiena!


Spoilers/Disclaimer/Pairing – See first chapter

Wow, I'm on a roll. I thought briefly of moving on to update one of my other stories, but I couldn't do that to you.

Timeline Note - (I figure I may not be the only one who needs to see this written down)

~Spring 2003 (Apr) - "7.18 Dirty Girls" aired - Caleb kills Xander, he haunts the Scoobies, but sometime before the finale in May he was hollowified and escaped to Hueco Mundo

~Late Fall 2004 - Roughly 1.5 years have passed and X is resurrected

~Mid 2006 (Aug) - "Volume 23: Mala Suerte!" released in Japan - Grimmjow goes to Karakura [We are here]

They knew each other for over a year and haven't seen each other for about 2

Assuming he was 18 at graduation, X is 25 (or 24 if you want to deduct points for being dead)

=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=Chapter 7 - Not All Fairy Tales End Happily=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

"It's not pretty." Grimmjow admitted, staring into deep, chocolate eyes that swam with miserable apprehension, trying to soothe the fear without giving meaningless platitudes about how everything was okay and Xander was gonna be alright. It wasn't okay, and he had no fucking idea if Xander's soul was alright. He was the Sexta Espada because he killed things, and he was good at it. What he wasn't good at was all this science and bordering-on-religious shit about souls. Even without any expertise on the subject he could tell it didn't look good.

"I've probably seen worse." Xander sniffled a bit, his eyes looking huge and terrified. He blinked back his tears and smiled shakily at his worried panther. His weak attempt at reassurance didn't do much to comfort either of them.

"Idiot. This is different." Grimmjow's thumb ran over Xander's cheek, catching a tear that had managed to escape. He kept his voice low and even, only one of them could afford to panic at a time and Xander needed him to be the level-headed one right now. It was all he could do to keep his wildly churning reiatsu restrained. He would be the calm and steady one now, but as soon as Xander was properly comforted someone was going to die for this. No one hurt his hyena this badly and just walked away from it. He would see the pain returned ten-fold plus some; it couldn't be entirely about punishment after all, he had to get in some revenge too.

"I know." Xander sighed and pressed his face into Grimmjow's chest like a child hiding from the world. The arrancar wrapped his arms around his frail little human, enclosing him on all sides in a protective bubble of homicidal feline. He let his reiatsu leak out into the human, making Xander's skin heat and tingle with the power running through him like a mild electrical current. "I can't run from it though. I need to know."

"Che. Fine." Grimmjow lifted the smaller male into his arms, turning him around so he could sit on the table with Xander in his lap. He wasn't going to give up any chance at close physical contact if he could help it. Xander didn't move his face from where it was pressed into Grimmjow's chest. His eyes were screwed so tightly shut that sparkles of light were going off behind his eyelids. Grimmjow waited patiently for him to work up the courage to look, knowing that his usual rough manner was out of place here.

Finally, the human took a long, deep breath and let it out slowly. He pushed away from Grimmjow's comforting embrace with determination written across his features and resolve shining in his eyes. He took strength from the rare expression of comfort on Grimmjow's face once more before his gaze was drawn to look at something he already knew he didn't want to see. His eyes caught on the glint of metal and a bright motionless lump of white and black.

Xander stared at his soul form blindly, hardly able to take it in. It was bizarre looking at himself remotely, like some strange out of body experience, which it technically was. He wasn't particularly shocked to see his soul still took the form of a hyena adjuchas, but he took the time to fully examine his animal shape for the first time. It was both incredibly familiar and the most foreign thing he had ever seen. This had been him for over a year, those were his black claw-tipped paws, his strong bone-crushing jaws, his large pointed ears and his chest with a hole drilled through it where his heart should have been. How was that possible? He had regained his emotions and heart hadn't he? Was that why he felt such a sense of disconnection with the girls and his old life? Was it just that he was incapable of caring about them anymore? He didn't think he'd been heartless or inhumane since coming back, but that might be a result of habit rather than any sense of compassion. No wonder they were worried about him if he was doing exactly what Buffy had done, just 'going through the motions.'

He shifted in Grimmjow's warm embrace and the jangling of metal brought his attention back to the chains he had been trying not to see. Here was the proof of how unnatural and cruel Willow's powers could be. There was nothing healing or good about the resurrection spell, they had known that when it ripped Buffy out of Heaven. It wasn't some beneficial charm that corrected ill-deserved fates and set the universe to right. No spell that was light and pure would have done that, and only the darkest and most corrupt black magics could have caused this. Bringing people back to life was selfish and damaging and had been widely forbidden for a reason. Simply put, it was evil.

His spiritual body was bound and hobbled in chains. They wrapped tightly around his legs and head, crushing one of his ears and preventing any sort of movement at all. There were even links looped around his muzzle and laced through his hollow hole. The restraints were so tight that cracks had formed around the edges of the sensitive void. His strong teeth had been forced to grind together so hard they had fractured and several of the plates on his neck ruff were broken or missing. The most horrible part was the sharp spear tips on the chains. His body had been pierced through by half a dozen large two-foot long poles tipped with deep barbed prongs that would do incredible damage if they were pulled out. There was one for each limb, garishly skewering through muscle and bone, another stabbed though his lower back that was guaranteed to have paralyzed him and the last was a killing blow, pierced through the top of his spine, in the soft spot right under the skull, that exited through his throat. Blood, some dried and more sluggishly oozing from the various wounds, caked the chains and dripped down the sharp edges of the spear blades.

Each of the six harpoons had a chain trailing off of the end that wrapped several times around his bound body, crisscrossing over and under each other tightly, before trailing to connect to corresponding points on Xander's physical limbs and spine. He had been pinned like a butterfly and trussed up like the vulgar parody of a puppet. Blind, dead eyes, gone white and milky seemed to stare straight through him. If it were some random animal looking at him that way Xander would have said that it had a completely defeated and betrayed expression. It reminded him of cases of extreme animal cruelty that he had seen reported on the news, where the animals had been so battered, starved and abused that they had lost any trace of sanity. He froze inside at the broken look in those glazed eyes. This wasn't some random animal.

His gut twisted at the thought that this was the innermost representation of himself. This was him. This was everything Xander, distilled to its most honest form. Those were his dead, betrayed eyes. His best friend had done this to him. A choked scream bubbled up in his chest at the thought. It was abhorrent and evil. He felt nauseous and the tears were back full force. If it hadn't been magic-based this much damage would have been enough to kill him several times over and he'd been walking around with his soul in this condition for two years. Willow had been smiling at him and talking about how good it was to have him back. She had to know what her spell had done to him. How could she not know? She was always so careful with magic since Warren. Did she know how much her spell had destroyed his soul? Was the condition of his soul a sacrifice she was willing to make in order to have him back?

"No. Nonononono-" Xander cried, grabbing at the ethereal chain that trailed out of his throat and trying to wrench it out of him. He wanted it off. He wanted it gone. The cold metal seemed to scorch his fingers with it's evil. He couldn't deal with this. This couldn't be happening. He gagged in pain as his airway closed off but refused to stop pulling, even as he choked for air. His neck and lungs were on fire with pain. He doubled over in agony, fighting the suffocating pressure dragging at his neck, but ignored it as best he could and focused all of his determination on removing that cursed noose, yanking with all of his waning strength.

"Stop! Xander, stop it! You're hurting yourself!" He dimly heard Grimmjow's alarmed voice over the ringing that had overtaken his hearing as he slowly smothered himself, but he refused to listen and pulled even harder on the chain, tugging sharply on it. Jagged, choked sobs escaped him between harsh yanks and his eyes burned with the salt of the tears that streamed down his face. Powerful arms wrapped around him, but he couldn't handle any more restraints and he thrashed and fought as hard as he could. Those goddamn unyielding arms wouldn't budge any more than that forsaken shackle around his neck. Strong hands closed around his and stilled his frantic movement while a solid body behind him and chin that came down to rest in his hair prevented him from jerking his head back and straining against his bonds that way. He gasped for air as it flooded his lungs without further obstruction.

He struggled and writhed, but Grimmjow wouldn't let him go. The half heard pleas and commands twisted in his mind, combining with memories and becoming something sinister. -Stop! Xander, stop it! I'm not letting you escape. Never again. Stay still so I can kill you. You. Are. Mine. Never forget that. Looks like I found a way to keep you from running. You're going to die hyena, and I'm going to enjoy tearing you apart.- The smooth, smokey voice he had loved this morning, so many ages ago, took on the cruel tones he remembered from their first meeting. What had been comforting before, was a perversely dire promise now. He could feel himself getting light headed as he panicked and went from inhaling too little air to taking in too much. His chest tightened and his heart pounded unevenly against his ribs, trying to tear it's way out of him. Not that he had a heart.

No, he was a hollow. He just thought he had a heart. He couldn't feel anything, he had no emotions, he was a shell. His soul had been removed and was laying dead right there on the table. Dissected and impaled like a voodoo doll sent to torment him, only he was already too broken to be harmed further. He couldn't even feel the pain of his soul, he had become so disconnected from it. It was no longer a part of him. He was no longer a part of it. He was a soulless, heartless monster.

He abandoned his loose grip on the chain, barely feeling the links slip out of his fingers as his thoughts were overwhelmed with blind, mindless panic. He needed to get away. He had to run- to escape it all. He scrabbled at the arms holding him, fingers bared like claws as he strained to find purchase. His legs kicked uselessly off the edge of the table. He shoved his head backwards as hard as he could until the point of Grimmjow's chin began to hurt. He dipped his head once and thrust back suddenly, cracking his skull against the arrancar's jaw, but he still wasn't released. As he hyperventilated, a black haze around his peripheral vision tunneled his focus and Xander found himself staring into those milky, accusing eyes. His soul was mutilated and dead and his body simply hadn't fallen down yet. He was a thing. As his adrenaline rush waned, fear faded slowly into an indescribably deep grief. Without the constriction on his throat, his sobbing grew even stronger.

He hung limply in Grimmjow's arms as he cried himself sick and his defiled soul watched it all callously with cold, knowing eyes. He had felt something was wrong with him ever since he'd come back and he'd been right. He was broken beyond repair. A tattered remnant of himself, a revenant. Buffy should have slain him the moment she lay eyes on him. The shinigami should have destroyed whatever it was that remained of him. Grimmjow should have torn him apart and left him to die. Tousen's kido spell should have been stronger and burnt him away with purifying fire. But, no. That wouldn't have worked. None of it would have worked. He was an immortal thing now, unnatural to the point that he couldn't even be put down.

He didn't bother fighting when long, elegant fingers slipped over his dulled brown eyes, blocking his view of the matching sickly opaque pair. It didn't matter. He would remember those eyes for the rest of his damned existence. He could still feel that gaze skittering over his skin, judging him. Those loathsome, inescapable arms gently turned his face away and pressed him against a strong chest that smelled of leather and black pepper. He was enfolded in that warm scent and strong limbs cradled him close, like he was precious. A hand found it's way into the hair at the base his skull and nimble fingers kneaded at the tense, abused muscles as it's pair stroked down his back again and again, leaving a trail of warmth that sank into his skin and eased the trembling slightly with each pass. Xander ignored it all.

It was just too much. He didn't know who or what he was anymore. He didn't know if he was living or dead or something else entirely. He should be dead. He shouldn't have been brought back. He should be alive. He shouldn't have died in the first place. He shouldn't have lost his heart and become a menos. He should have continued to evolve at Grimmjow's side, just the two of them against the world. He wasn't a hollow. He wasn't a human. He definitely wasn't a shinigami. He knew list upon list of things that he wasn't, but what did that leave him with. Was he even Xander anymore? Spike used to talk about waking up that first night as a demon. He hadn't been William anymore, but he had all the memories and feelings that William left when his soul moved on. Maybe Xander was like that. He was a demon that had taken over for the real Xander. But Xander's soul hadn't moved on, it was right there on the table. Maybe he was the monster that had absorbed Xander's soul, the hollow that ate him. He let his whirl of negative thoughts overwhelm him and the world faded away, hidden behind a grey veil of heavy fog. If he didn't care, if he didn't interact, then he couldn't hurt anymore.

It felt like an eternity that Xander stared blankly at his abused soul with an alarmingly clear expression. Grimmjow couldn't tell what he was thinking, but his face was totally devoid of any emotion, which was a fairly terrifying sight on someone who was usually as open and honest with his emotions as Xander was. He shifted in the Sexta's lap and it was surprisingly easy to ignore an action that would have shot his thoughts straight into the gutter just this morning. The tone of the situation didn't even allow the unapologetically lewd arrancar to entertain the thought of sex. Not when the mutilated body that represented the true face of his hyena was laying right there staring at them accusingly. It was a bit of a mood killer.

Grimmjow wanted to drop this false human body and go rip the chains off of his hyena, but he knew it wouldn't work. Something was holding Xander into his human form, so for now the adjuchas body was the fake and Xander was stuck in a mortal shell. Grimmjow had never heard of any demon arts that were capable of this. From what he knew, shinigami's bakudo could take the form of pillars or chains, but they were all non-invasive, temporary bindings made of light and reiatsu. These were physical chains that had been in place for years and damaged the soul quite brutally. The only spirit he could think of that would be cruel and powerful enough to cause this was Aizen, but he knew that the ex-shinigami didn't have anything to do with it. The Lord of Las Noches may have been building his arrancar army in Hueco Mundo at the time that Xander had been attacked, but he was too curious about it to have been the one to cast the spell in the first place.

"No. Nonononono-" Grimmjow was brought out of his thoughts when Xander spoke suddenly. He broke his staring contest with the dead adjuchas and looked down to see that the brunette had streams of tears running down his face and an unfocused look in his eyes as they darted around shakily. He looked like a cornered animal. Xander's hands tore at the chain that emerged from the soft, muscular depression between his collarbones. Blunt human fingernails raked across his neck and chest, drawing long jagged lines of blood. When his hands finally caught blindly on the chain, Grimmjow's eyes widened as Xander hauled on it with all of his strength, causing a phantom noose to tighten around his neck. The panther watched horrified as a thick line around the delicate throat depressed under the crushing weight of an invisible choke-collar. The punishing force Xander was exerting on himself pulled his head down and cut off his breathing, but the frantic man just pulled harder, his bloody hands slipping a little on the slick metal.

"Stop! Xander, stop it! You're hurting yourself!" Xander couldn't seem to hear Grimmjow and he tugged harshly on the chain almost rhythmically, choking down air in between heaves. Grimmjow couldn't just sit by and watch him break down and hurt himself like this. He wrapped his arms tightly around his human, trying to comfort him and stop his self-damaging actions. It didn't seem to help, he could hear Xander's heart rate speeding up in panic. He put his hands over Xander's to still the frantic pulling and rested his chin on the crown of Xander's head. He allowed his reiatsu to sweep through the struggling man, hoping to shock him out of it and help regain some sense of calm. The brunette didn't react or even seem to be aware of where he was as he thrashed mindlessly.

He scrabbled at Grimmjow's arms, clawing at him even though he had no chance of breaking through the arrancar's hierro. His body shook as his elbows battered uselessly against Grimmjow's chest and his hips jerked with the force of his kicking. His back arched as he tried to force his head back, but Grimmjow stayed firm, holding them both steady. He didn't even flinch as Xander attempted to break his skull on Grimmjow's chin. He was too worried that the human might have hurt himself.

Luckily, Xander seemed to be calming, his struggling became more and more feeble and finally the human relaxed into his hold. It wasn't the comfortable relaxation of that morning however, it was the lax, sagging posture of someone who had lost all will to continue fighting. Grimmjow had seen it before in his opponents, the moment when his prey realized that nothing they did mattered, that their life was already forfeit and it was up to him to decide when to end it all. The hope just drained out of them, killing them more surely than his claws or blade ever did.

Even without the obstruction on his throat, Xander's breathing was harsh and uneven. Tears flooded his face as he sobbed wildly, the pain and hopelessness radiating off of him and pulsing through his dismal reiatsu was almost palpable. Grimmjow let him vent, unsure how to fix things for Xander when they seemed so impossibly broken. Eventually, the heart-wrenching sobs died down and Xander began shivering, staring blankly at his damaged soul with a shattered expression in his eyes. He couldn't seem to tear his eyes away from the remains of his once vibrant soul. Grimmjow knew that continuing to obsess over the evidence of what had been done to him wasn't healthy, not when he was this close to breaking totally, so he slipped a hand over Xander's eyes, breaking the unnerving stare.

Grimmjow gently manipulated Xander's unresisting form, turning the tearstained face away and nestling the dark head against his shoulder. He carefully wiped away the tears and brushed long floppy bangs away from Xander's expressionless face. Grimmjow shivered as he looked down into that empty doll's face with flat eyes that hardly resembled the bright, active man he had sworn to protect. He had promised that nothing would take Xander away from him again, but none of his strength could help him now, because there was nothing to fight. He felt like he was losing Xander all over again, and there was nothing he could do to stop it.

He sighed and stroked Xander's hair, his hand trailing down to the brunette's abused neck. The memory of the invisible bindings digging into the flesh of the fragile column made Grimmjow's hand grip reflexively as he twitched for his sword. A low groan right under his ear and Xander shifting to press back into his hand made him realize that he had clamped down on Xander's nape. It was the only thing he had done so far that Xander had reacted positively to. He massaged at the tense and abused muscles, wondering at the fact that he could not feel the chain at all as he ran his hand over the back of Xander's neck. He didn't want to get the human worked up again, so he left the visible part of the chain alone.

Glancing at the bound hyena adjuchas on the other table, he noted that the placement of the chains roughly matched up on both bodies. He ran his free hand comfortingly down Xander's back to see if he could feel the other chain, the one that connected to his lower back. He ran his hand back and forth over the spot, but couldn't feel anything unusual. He did notice that Xander's shivering eased more the longer he stroked his back, so he abandoned his investigation and just held his precious hyena, running his hand soothingly back and forth.

"How are you still alive? How did this not destroy you?" Grimmjow questioned and was concerned but not particularly surprised when Xander didn't respond at all. It was like he didn't even know Grimmjow was still there. He blew out a frustrated breath and continued sending as much calming energy as he could tame from the mass of his wild reiatsu.

"That is a wonderful question." Aizen spoke up from behind the pair as he moved to examine the mangled soul form splayed limply across Szayel's workbench, flanked by Gin and the Octava. Grimmjow tensed immediately. He had been so wrapped up in Xander that he hadn't even noticed their approach. Aizen's measuring gaze flickered quickly over the bound adjuchas level menos and the catatonic human. "Szayel, you mentioned the fact that his consciousness remained in his body?"

Szayel adjusted his glasses and peered into Xander's desolate eyes. He snapped his fingers just inches from the brunette's face and snorted in distain at the lack of focus. "He was fine when I left them, my lord. Perhaps his mind was too weak to maintain sanity after seeing his soul in this separated state. It happens all too often with my test subjects that their mental fortitude cannot always keep up with their physical endurance. Humans are notoriously pathetic when it comes to their emotions. It is a weakness we hollows do not share."

"Fuck off!" Grimmjow growled deep in his throat, and snarled at the callous scientist. "I'd like to see you survive this and not be traumatized. He's stronger than you'll ever be, and it's his emotions that give him power."

"Grimmjow calm yourself." Aizen admonished absently as he continued, "It would be quite a pity if he were to be permanently incapacitated. I am sure that the Octava will do whatever he can to see that the human recovers." Aizen commented with his usual blandness. "Szayel, Tell me more about your tests and observations."

"As you can see, it's a very fascinating phenomena." Szayel was positively giddy with glee over the unusual specimen he had the pleasure of uncovering. It was so rare that a human could surprise or intrigue him, he had thought that he had dismantled all of their secrets. "His soul is firmly attached, but remains in a menos state and his consciousness remained with his flesh rather than his spirit. It must be the result of a highly sophisticated spell-working process and explains his lack of reiatsu."

Aizen seemed more interested in the facts than Szayel's enthusiasm, but Grimmjow could see a dangerous glint in the ex-shinigami's eyes. "How exactly does this state explain his soul's can appearance as an adjuchas and his possessesion of little to no reiatsu?"

"If you would be so kind as to cut one of the chains, Aizen-sama. I believe it will become self-evident." Szayel waved a hand at the helpless soul-form expectantly and stepped back for Aizen to approach.

Aizen unsheathed his zanpakuto, making Grimmjow flinch back, but there was nothing he could do as Gin stepped forward to stretch one of the chains in place on the table. Smoothly reversing his grip on his sword, Aizen stabbed Kyoka Suigetsu down between two links, shattering them cleanly. The remaining links hanging between Xander's left hand and the break-point dissolved and for a moment Grimmjow began to hope, but then the spear through the hyena soul's left forepaw began to glow and Xander threw his head back and screamed. His body went rigid in agony as the glow spread link by link down the remains of the chain and they began shifting, pulling impossibly tighter and dragging the barbed spear points back to bury themselves deep in the flesh of his paw. The abused limb was wrenched up to where the chains threaded their way through his hollow hole. When the paw caught on the too-small hole and couldn't move any farther, the pulling barbs strained against it, digging the points ever deeper through layers of hierro and muscle, until they bit deep into bone and caught fast.

The glowing links continued to pull, grinding against the sensitive edges of the hollow hole and crushing his jaws even tighter as the abused soul form reflexively choked up blood that could only seep through the broken clenched teeth. With a rattle the chains shifted and slid down his skull to run directly across one sightless eye, looping around his neck tighter than a noose. The glow spread towards the leading end in Gin's grasp where it wiggled and pulled, making the pale man frown and release it. The moment it was free the sickly glowing chain shot toward Xander and wrapped itself around his wrist, sinking into his skin. His screaming cut out abruptly to harsh panting as he lay bonelessly against Grimmjow's chest, completely sapped of energy and trembling with aftershocks of pain. There was a brief flare of brutal awareness in Xander's eyes, but as the chain settled it faded away again.

"As you can see, the chains are not part of the spell. They are the result of the spell." Szayel spoke excitedly, wrapped up in the excitement over this fascinating spiritual manipulation. "The chains are made out of his own reiatsu and compressed into the form you can see here. Destroying them damages the soul further. It is ingenious really. There is no way to remove the chains without destroying the soul in the process. His weak power levels are the direct result of his accelerated healing. The human body is not designed to be capable of such progressive regeneration. It is programed to shut down at a certain level of cell division, which is evidenced in the breakdown of old age. His reiatsu is being fed into his body to fuel the regeneration, but due to the fact that his soul is a hollow, rather than a plus soul, it subsists on spirit particles absorbed through devouring other hollows. While restrained within a human body, he has been starved and repeatedly drained of his reiatsu to heal his physical body without being able to replenish his spiritual power. At this rate, barring any serious injury, maintaining the homeostasis of his body will empty his soul of all traces of reiatsu in a matter of months at which point it will dissipate. Without the soul to power it, the human shell will decompose as any other deceased body."

Gin spoke up, cutting through any continued scientific babble Szayel may have come up with. "So, his body is feeden' on his soul and his soul is feeden' on his body and they're both runnen' out of energy."

"Can't you fix it?" Grimmjow demanded. "What's the use of all your goddamn experimenting if you can't even figure this shit out?"

"I have figured it out and I explained it all quite simply, Jeagerjaques. It isn't my fault if you are too simple to understand." Szayel retorted, his glasses glinting angrily. "The chains are a part of him, and removing them would only kill him faster."

"And you went ahead and had Aizen break one? You fucking fairy bastard!" Grimmjow snarled, but refused to let go of Xander while he was in such a delicate state. He would kill the pink bastard later, and as slowly as possible… with chains.

Aizen ran a hand down the hyena's shoulder thoughtfully, his hand barely fitting between loops of the chain. Grimmjow wanted to rip his arms off for touching something that wasn't his. "I would like you to be working on solutions, Szayel. If he has several months left before his reserves fail, then there is no reason my best scientist cannot come up with a plan for a more positive result before that happens." He pinned Szayel with an even look, but backed it up with an overwhelming flare of oppressive reiatsu.

"Y-Yes, Aizen-sama."

When they returned to the Grimmjow's rooms, Yllfordt opened his mouth to ask how everything had gone, but gaped soundlessly at the listless, blank looking Xander that had replaced their overactive and irrepressible hyena. Edorado elbowed him quickly in the ribs when Grimmjow followed, his malevolently pulsing reiatsu positively radiating frustration and anger. Yllfordt snapped his mouth shut just in time to cower under a murderous glare the Sexta aimed his way, daring him to say anything.

Xander walked straight past the shocked Fraccion, neatly sidestepping Shawlong, who happened to be standing in the middle of the room, without ever making eye contact. He ignored them all totally and made his way to Grimmjow's bedroom, where they could see him curl up silently on the sheetless bed with his back toward the open door. Grimmjow himself wasn't so lucky. Three pairs of questioning eyes pinned him in place and demanded answers.

Their silent demands wore out the last bit of Grimmjow's carefully constructed calm. With a roar he punched a sizable hole through the wall and hurled a cero at the nearest couch, which was hastily vacated by Edorado before he was immolated along with it. The cero blasted a large chunk of the floor away as well and powdered furniture and flooring billowed around like smoke.

"He's dying!" Grimmjow snarled kicking another couch through the wall. It exploded in a shower of splinters, shreds of cloth and stuffing. "He's stuck in his human body and it's fucking KILLING HIM!"

He began charging his signature Grand Rey Cero and whirled to throw it, but released the energy in a random burst of destruction around him as he realized he'd almost shot it at his bedroom, and Xander. The formless energy went off like a grenade, taking out every remaining piece of furniture and cracking the still standing walls. Yllfordt was thrown through the hole Grimmjow had punched next to the door and hit the opposite wall of the corridor outside, crunching deep into the plaster. Edorado was scorched by the power and slid back about a yard, but managed to stay on his feet and Shawlong carefully set off a precisely measured counter cero that protected him from most of the blast.

None of them dared to comment as Grimmjow stomped towards his bedroom and slammed the door, growling ferally the entire time.

"As bad as his personality became after losing Xander and not being there to protect him, I imagine it will be exponentially worse if he loses him again because he cannot protect him." Shawlong mused, staring at the abused door the Sexta had disappeared behind. "If we were incredibly lucky we might survive it, but I doubt Grimmjow-sama would."

"He doesn't deal very well with the emotions the kid brings up." Edorado agreed.

Grimmjow forcefully calmed himself. He couldn't take out his anger and frustration on Xander. The brunette wouldn't be able to handle it, not in the state he was in now. When he felt that he had a hold on his raging temper he carefully crawled into bed behind his human and gently gathered him into his arms, curling them together in the same position that had made everything seem perfect this morning. It was amazing how much things could change in the course of one day. The instant Grimmjow felt that things were finally going his way everything was torn from him yet again and he was powerless to stop it all from happening all over again.

He knew Xander wasn't asleep, but he didn't try to force a conversation. He wouldn't have known what to say. So, he offered what physical comfort he could and waited for Xander to come to him. His patience was rewarded when Xander slowly wiggled his way backwards a few inches to press his back firmly against Grimmjow's chest and intertwined their feet. He began purring low in his chest, knowing the vibrations and sound had soothed Xander before, and gently wrapped the human in his arms and reiatsu again. He was unsurprised to smell salt on the air, he could feel Xander's shoulders shaking with the effort to restrain the sobs.

He purred louder and bent his head to lave long soothing licks with his rough tongue against the back of Xander's neck, right where his fingers had worked their magic earlier. When the scent of salt finally faded, he buried his face in Xander's hair and inhaled slowly, savoring the scent. He was almost asleep when Xander finally spoke.

"So this is like the ultimate good news, bad news scenario. Good news, I can't die. Bad news, instead I'm going to fizzle out of existence. That's not too bad, I can handle this." Xander's dazed and childish tone belied his words. He wanted reassurances that Grimmjow couldn't give. He couldn't handle this, and no one could blame him for that. Hollows that were purified and shinigami who died were all recycled back into the cycle of reincarnation, loosing their memories and becoming plus souls once again. Xander never would be. His soul would be torn apart into formless energy that would dissipate into nothingness.

As he stared with tear blurred eyes at the far wall, Xander decided that his fate was almost poetic in it's cruelty. It was just like the original story of the little mermaid, back when fairy tales didn't always end with happily ever after. His body was twisted by a witch's black magic so that he could shed his animal features and walk among the unsuspecting human population, but in return, upon the coming of the dawn he would dissolve into sea foam and be blown away by the ocean winds.



-Sniffs- I've known this was coming since I started writing this fic, but still. -Cries-
I think I may be developing a Xander-Whump fetish… just sayin'… there may be some indicators
Also, I think this might be the last of the quick updates. I hope you liked them.

Fun fact - I googled wine scents for suggestions on what Xander and Grimmjow might smell like. Here's my free-association ideas for why I used each scent -

X - Lime - Zippy, zesty, fresh and in your face, citrus just kinda does it's own thing
Sun-warmed Grass - Warm, down to earth, uncomplicated, modest and natural, I think of it as a comforting/happy scent

G - Leather - Often associated with bad-boys, strong, warm, durable, sexy
Black pepper - Sharp, distinct, unforgiving, can be overwhelming, you can always tell when it's there (in a taste/scent), can make people sneeze (just like cats) I wasn't sure I could use pepper and still say Grimmjow smelled good, but I did some test sniffing of my pepper grinder and I really like the smell of pepper, besides people describe characters as smelling salty all the time. Pepper needs some love too.

Distribution: FFN (Lightning_Skies), Twisting the Hellmouth (LightningSkies)
Author has given no other permissions.
6,090 Words - 02/20/11

The End?

You have reached the end of "Reirse, Hiena!" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 20 Feb 11.

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