"Byakuya! Byakuya!"

The elder noble saw only black, a glaring pain in his shoulder letting him know that he had been struck by the sword. He slowly reached up towards the wound and touched the tender flesh. Wincing, Byakuya looked around and noticed that he was no longer stuck on the battlefield. Instead, he found himself stuck in a plane of black.

"Byakuya?"

At the sound of his voice, he finally realized that someone was touching his shoulder gently. He turned his head and was met with the worried gaze of his partner. "Ichigo?"

"You're hurt," Ichigo spoke softly, almost as if knowing that any sudden loud noises would irritate the pounding in Byakuya's head. Ichigo held up Byakuya's arm and bit his lip. "I'm glad I pulled you out when I did. Who knows what Yhwach would have done to you had we allowed him to continue."

"You saw that?" Byakuya asked.

"Just the bit before I pulled you out," Ichigo admitted. " Considering you were handicapped, I feel like you held yourself pretty well. And..." He held Byakuya's face in his hands. "I'm glad you stood up for me and our baby, that you had so much faith in us that you didn't believe the awful things that Juha was saying."

"Of course Ichigo," Byakuya stated immediately at the confession, shifting ever so slightly to bring his lips towards his husband's. "You're so loyal to your family that I knew that you would never say or do any of the things that man was making come out of your mouth."

They both stood in each other's presence for a few moments longer before the sound of clanking reached the air and a high pitched whine reached their ears. Byakuya immediately tensed and pulled away, falling into a hakuda stance by instinct and scanning the surrounding area. When his eyes landed on the creature just a few feet away from them, he moved in front of Ichigo in a protective stance.

Ichigo just chuckled and set his hands on Byakuya's shoulders, much to the noble's confusion. Slowly, Byakuya broke his stance, but he refused to take his eyes off of the creature who was crying tears of blood.

"It's a trapped soul that was bound to Juha," Ichigo explained to Byakuya and stepped forward, setting a hand on the shadow creature, much to Byakuya's surprise. "Juha forced him into my soul and bound him here using chains that you can hear, you just can't see." As if to demonstrate, he picked up one of the invisible chains and began to rattle it, allowing Byakuya to hear the familiar clanking.

"So this soul has been trapped here ever since the end of the war?" Byakuya asked in a surprised tone, taking a few steps forward. The soul whined again and seemed to be reaching our for the older noble. It didn't slip passed him. and Byakuya looked over at his spouse in question.

Ichigo went over and hugged Byakuya from behind and rested his head on the man's shoulder. "I've tried to free him already. He's told me that he doesn't want to be here, that Juha was forcing him to be in my mind and using his power to try and destroy it. When I tried, he told me that the only one that will be able to get him out was you. I'm not sure that I completely understand, but it was almost like he was telling me that you would know what to do when you got here."

"I am the only one that can pull him out?" Byakuya asked incredulously.

"Apparently so," Ichigo agreed.

Byakuya stepped forward and cautiously held our his hand to the creature. The whine was low, but Byakuya heard it and suddenly he was seeing pictures in his mind that was telling him what he needed to do. He needed to put his hands on Ichigo's chest and give him much of his spiritual energy. How much he wasn't certain, and it seemed that the creature didn't seem to know either. Byakuya blinked rapidly when the visuals began to leave. The creature looked up at him with a pleasing look, the blood dripping from its eyes like a waterfall. He nodded his head in understanding and the creature crowed in joy, wiggling its torso and rattling its chains.

He turned back to Ichigo and placed his hands on the boy's chest. Once he felt they were in the right spot, Byakuya began to transfer his energy into Ichigo. His own skin glowed like a pink fire, and soon Ichigo was glowing a familiar blue and white.

"What are you doing?" Ichigo asked as the warmth of his husband's spiritual pressure coursed through him steadily, clearing out his spirit pathways in slow motions.

"Cleaning your spiritual pathways," Byakuya responded lowly, humming. "I'm clearing our your spiritual pressure and using mine to replace it so that your soul stays clean while it repairs its own reiatsu chambers to create its own. It's a tedious process that takes a lot of spiritual pressure and concentration."

Ichigo furrowed his eyebrows and pursed his lips. "I thought we would be using Senbonzakura in order to break the chains or something."

"No," Byakuya stated. "The soul is bound to your spiritual pressure and that means that he is tainting it. Therefore, we must clear out all of your spiritual pressure and replace it with my own in order to save your soul."

'And with the amount of spiritual pressure you have, Ichigo,' Byakuya thought in his head as he softly bit his lip, 'I'm going to have to borrow some, if not all of Senbonzakura's spiritual pressure if he lets me. And, more than likely, I'll also have to use all of my own. Even then, I am unsure of whether or not it will be enough.'

.:*:.

Unohana was working as fast as she could to get both men as stable as possible, yet neither seemed to be responding to any of her treatment methods. She cursed underneath her breath and attempted to use her own spiritual pressure to cleanse theirs in hopes that she could fix the situation through that method. It only lasted a few seconds before both spiritual pressures attacked her own and forced her back. She stumbled and attempted to keep her balance, but the pressure was so strong that she fell to the floor. With a cough, she stood and widened her eyes at the boys.

Typically she used that as a last resort, knowing that the possibility of it working on a high ranking officer was slim because of the amount of her own she'd have to give away herself. A reaction like that, though, was not what she was expecting. The only time that had happened before was when she was training her lieutenant in the art. The young girl was so eager at the time that she attempted to try it herself at the same time that Unohana was working on the patient. The reaction was the same. Both women were pushed away from the patient, yet the patient's reiatsu was low enough that it only pushed them back a couple of feet.

This time, though, she had found herself on the other side of the room because of the captian level reiatsu that blasted her back.

She was the only other person in the building, for her fuku-taichou had taken herself and Takuma to the squad four barracks, which means that one of them was already performing the exercise on the other. And considering how well Ichigo was able to control his own reiatsu, she had a good guess that it was Byakuya performing the act on his husband.

Even though Byakuya knew the technique, she feared the outcome. At least she knew that Ichigo would be able to survive the transfer if it were him doing it for Byakuya, but the noble didn't have nearly as much reiatsu as the orange haired boy. She was unsure if Byakuya would be able to survive the transfer depending on how much of Ichigo's soul was tainted.

Looking around, Unohana knew that the taint was in almost every corner and paled. After a few moments of collecting her breath, she began to prepare the room with what little she had for an emergency energy transfer when the situation began to resolve itself. Once she was able to prepare with what she had, she began to test out the transfer at two minute intervals, no matter the fact that she was constantly being thrown around. She needed to begin the transfer as soon as she possibly could or else they could lose Byakuya.

.:*:.

Takuma woke slowly, but the energizing buzz he could feel running through his body almost made him want to jump up. He thought against it though, the scent of antiseptic a telltale sign that he was in the squad 4 barracks. Instead he sat up slowly and reached for his head instinctively in case he had a headache form the movement. There was only a small bout of dizziness, but he was otherwise fine.

The sound of the intruder alert, he noticed, had stopped, but the raised walls he could see from outside of his window proved that the situation still had yet to be resolved. He clicked his tongue and moved to stand from the bed, only to hear the sound of shunpo and feel a hand gently press at his shoulder. He looked up to see one of the squad members smile down softly at him.

"You have not been cleared to leave yet, Shiba-sama," the young man spoke pushing on his shoulder to try and coax Takuma back into a horizontal position. Takuma wouldn't budge though.

"I need to visit my cousin," Takuma responded, trying to stand. The hand on his shoulder began to dig in it and Takuma looked up to see a scarily similar smile to Captain Unohana's on the man's face.

"No until you're cleared, Shiba-sama."

Takuma went back down and allowed the young man to follow protocol, all the while sweating bullets out of his skin.

.:*:.

Unohana began to measure Byakuya's reiatsu in between on of her small breaks so she could catch her breath. After being thrown around she could feel bruises all over her body and her energy waning. She had no doubt she had dislocated her right shoulder at least three times by now and she shuddered as she felt the same sensation again. Each force seemed to get stronger and stronger, but she couldn't afford to give up when lives were at stake.

With a deep, heaving breath, Unohana pushed against her right shoulder and rolled it in circles slowly before hearing a loud pop in the air. She hissed initially before the relief fled through her system. She shrugged her shoulder to make sure she set it back correctly before moving mack towards Byakuya and pulling out a reiatsu reader from inside of her robe. Much to her dismay, this one had shattered in her pocket and she threw it out, looking for her backup.

The one that she pulled out seemed to be a little banged up, but in perfect working condition. She placed the end of it to the lower middle of Byakuya's back and waited a few seconds as it got an accurate reading of the man's spiritual pressure. The device beeped much sooner than Unohana had thought safe and she pulled back, reading the numbers. She cursed underneath her breath and set the device off to the side so that way she would still be able to measure out the reiatsu later.

She placed her hands on Byakuya's back and took a few deep breaths. His spiritual pressure was reaching towards dangerous levels and she could feel that he had already tapped into most of Senbonzakura's power in his aide. If the situation continues as it is, there was no doubt that if she missed the second that Byakuya stopped his own transfer, the noble would die. Steeling herself, Unohana began her attempt again, shouting at the strain on her body as she was thrown across the room. She coughed before getting right back up and attempting again. There was no time to waste anymore. She could no longer take any more breaks unless she needed to get a reading on his reiatsu again.

For now, though, all she could do was keep pushing so that she could save a life.

"Unohana-san!"

Retsu looked up after being thrown again to see Takuma leaning down to grab her arm and help her up. She noticed most of his woulds were healed, but he had definitely gained a few more on his track back to the manor.

"Takuma-san..." she breathed lowly, coughing as she accepted the help to stand. "What is happening outside?"

"It's... bad," Takuma told truthfully, biting his lips. "Shinigami are being pulled into the mist left and right and others are being torn at the joint from different parts of the mist fighting over who gets to take them. There's blood bathing the Seireitei and our own are pushing each other towards the threat in an attempt to save themselves. I got a few out of the way on my way here, and I was almost dragged in myself. We need to fix this as soon as we can."

Unohana moved on shaky legs towards the married couple and pressed her hands on Byakuya's back, attempting the procedure yet again. This time when she was thrown back, Takuma was there to catch her.

"Taichou..."

"It will be difficult to help them now, considering the only way to do so is already being performed between the two of them," Unohana admitted, coughing into her shoulder.

"The cleansing hasn't been working?" Takuma asked, recognizing the signs of the practice.

"No," Unohana spoke. "Byakuya is already performing the practice on Ichigo, so it is nigh impossible for me to do it at the same time, which is why I am being thrown about as I am."

"Then you need to take a break-"

"I can not do that," Unohana cut roughly, stepping forwards again. "If I don't start the transfer as soon as Byakuya is done, he will die. I can't afford to take a break when the conditions in doing so could lead to death."

She attempted again and was thrown back into Takuma's arms.

"I know how to perform the transfusion, Unohana-taichou," Takuma told her. "I may not have been reinstated as a noble clan at the time, but I still learned the practices alongside Byakuya. Let me help you while you regain your energy. At this rate, you won't have enough spiritual pressure to complete the transfusion."

Unohana fell limp in Takuma's arms and the boy gently lowered her to the ground. She coughed once more as her eyelids began to drop in her fight to stay awake. He finally took in how pale the woman is and decided that even if she tried to get up again to perform the procedure, he would not allow it.

"I trust you, Takuma-san," Unohana stated in a whisper. " Until I have regained my energy, do everything you can to make sure that your cousins continue to live." Unohana's eyes closed and it wasn't long before her breathing evened out to that of sleep.

"Don't worry, Unohana-san," Takuma responded to the sleeping woman and rolled up his sleeves, "I'm not giving up."

.:*:.

Aaaaaaaaaaaand I'm back with another update!

Summer is coming soon and it is so packed that I estimate literally only 2, maybe 3 weeks where I'll even be in my own house because I have:

1 week of Camp Eagle

1 week on a Mission trip to the Rio Grande Valley

1 week at Cheer Camp

a 1-2 week trip to Illinois

a 2 week trip to Brazil

and 3 weeks of Two-A-Days right before school starts for volleyball.

So that's 9-10 weeks of my 12-13 week Summer break, which is so crazy that it's kind of hard to believe. I've never had a summer so packed before. ^^;

Then, dear lord, I'm going to be a Senior in High School O.O

Anyways, the point is I'll try updating as much as I can, okay?

~Silver out!