Okay, second chapter! I'm still trying to figure out what's a good length for each one. So let me know if you think they need to be longer. *Disclaimer* I do not own any of the characters from Bleach, only my OC Sora :)
After school, I made my way to the outdoor track to meet my rival. He had no idea what he'd gotten himself into. He always was a reckless idiot. Reaching back, I tied my hair up into a messy ponytail and stretched my arms over my head. Yep, Strawberry was going to regret challenging me.
"Ready to get your ass handed to ya, Kurosaki?"
"Just don't go crying home when you lose, Yukimura!"
"I didn't know you told jokes. That one was pretty funny."
"Just shut up and let's do this!"
Losing my sarcastic smile, I sank down into position and waited for the idiot to make the first move. Sure enough, he came swinging at me right away. I dodged and sidestepped, getting behind him, and kicking him in the back. If he hadn't come at me fully loaded, he could have kept his balance, but my kick was all that was needed to send him face-first into the ground.
"Is that all you got? I'm disappointed." I yawned and pretended to check my nails. Riling Ichigo up was one of my favorite pastimes, and it never got old. "Come on now, I know you can do better than that."
"SHUT UP!" His next attack actually caught me off guard as he came shot up off the ground and went to tackle me. I was just barely able to dodge again, tripping him up as I jumped to the side and stuck my left leg out into his path. As he went diving for the ground again, he caught my foot on the way down, sending me toppling over with him. I grunted as I hit the ground, but managed to roll away from the hotheaded idiot before he could pin me. He actually got a few good hits in on me after we got back up. I wiped some blood from my lip and grinned before settling in for his inevitable beatdown. Sure enough, he got cocky and left himself wide open. I took full advantage and felt a rush of adrenaline shoot through me when I not only felt but heard the satisfying thwack as my foot landed in a roundhouse kick to his jaw and he fell. Straightening up from my fighting stance I grinned down at the knocked out Kurosaki.
"Remember this next time you think you're hot shit, ya stupid Strawberry." Turning to the crowd, I searched for my best friend, ready to go chill at her place. "Hey, Hime, you ready to -"
"Ichigo-kun!" My best friend ran past me and knelt beside my rival, her hands fluttering around his bruised jaw.
"Why did you do that, Sora?" The sweet brown eyes that had only ever looked at me with love and acceptance were hurt and angry. "Why do you have to be so mean to Ichigo-kun?" No words would come to me. First she'd ditched school and her friends for a whole week and now she and the stupid Strawberry are suddenly besties? My heart hurt at the accusatory glare on my best friend's face. I licked my lips nervously, tasting the disgusting flavor of my own blood.
"Why are you on his side, Hime? Why is he so important to you now?"
"He just is! I care about him, so stop being so mean to him!"
"But Hime -"
"Just leave." Her words were like another punch in the gut, echoing the same words Kurosaki had barked at me when we were kids. Things had started to change ever since that Rukia girl showed up a few months back. Everything was changing, and I felt like I was being left behind. I staggered back and silently grabbed my bag before running away.
Not even Tomo-chan wanted to talk to me today. In fact, most of my ghostly acquaintances had started disappearing lately. Another odd occurrence since the arrival of Kuchiki Rukia. Sighing, I sank into one of the swings and dropped my bag next to me. I really didn't know what to make of all this craziness. It just didn't make sense. Kurosaki had always been a loner until Rukia suddenly appeared. Then he and Sado started hanging out and then Orihime as well. Oh, and Uryu. What a weird group. It didn't seem likely that they all suddenly realized that they had oh so much in common. No, there was another factor at work in this equation. But what?
"Ugh, this is so frustrating!" Feeling all the anger and hurt welling up inside me, I gripped the swing tightly and just wished I were anywhere but here. I just wanted to get away from everything and be able to think clearly about the whole ridiculous situation. Before I realized what was happening, a large black hole formed in front of me. I shrieked and fell backwards off my swing. Peeking over at it from behind the swing, I studied it as it pulsed. Huh. Picking myself off the ground, I moved carefully over to the sudden tear in the universe. I was more curious than anything else. Where did it go? "Well, only one way to find out." Grinning my signature reckless grin, I jumped through the hole without a second thought.
"Pfft. Why do I feel like I just landed in the world's largest litter box?" I huffed as I spit out sand. "Did I teleport to the Sahara?" Finally looking up, I caught sight of a giant fortress type building about a mile away from where I landed. "Huh, nope. Not the Sahara." An inhuman screech came from behind me and I sighed, knowing this was not going to be a pleasant experience. "And that's probably not a tiger about to maul me to death either." Glancing back, I could see the glowing red eyes of a giant scorpion monster thing. It had what looked like a white mask over its eyes and it's tail was gleaming a bright green, with what I could only guess was poisonous venom, ready to course through my bloodstream. That is, if I lived long enough for it to do any coursing. It blinked once at me and that was my cue to run. "Great thinking, Sora." I growled at myself between pants, as I ran for my life. "Let's jump through the portal to god knows where. It'll be an adventure! It'll take you to Narnia! Fucking hell! That's where I am!" Looking around for something to use as a weapon, I didn't notice the figure standing a few feet from me and ended up colliding with it. "Shit!"
"What the fuck?!" Was the simultaneous reply from the person I'd run into. "Watch where you're going, ya fucking numero! Espada walking here!"
"Espa-what now?" I looked up at the man, who had somehow managed to stay on his feet. My eyes traveled up long legs and got stuck on the six-pack with the hole in the middle of it, then up to the angry yet attractive face of the man cussing me out colorfully. His eyes were the deepest blue I'd ever seen, highlighted by strange green markings, and complimented by wild cerulean hair. He looks so familiar. I thought before jolting back to reality when I saw the jawbone attached to his right cheek. Then I looked back down at the gaping hole in his stomach. That's impossible. "Hey, I'm not a doctor or anything, but have you gotten that giant hole in your stomach checked out?"
"The fuck are you talking about, woman?!" Before I can reply, he draws a sword I hadn't noticed until now and I flinch as he comes at me with it. Hearing a crunch behind me, I open my eyes and look to see that the scorpion monster had been impaled on the blue-haired man's sword.
"Uh, thanks. I was gonna take care of that. Ya know, once I found a weapon and all." I stood and dusted myself off, looking around and realizing we weren't too far from the fortress now. I must have run farther than I thought while being chased. "Do you know where we are?"
"Huh?" The look he gave me said he thought I was an idiot. And then he did something really weird. Almost as weird as there being a giant scorpion monster and a fucking hole in his stomach or a jawbone stuck to his face. He sniffed me. Like, leaned over, stuck his nose against my neck and fucking sniffed me. Without thinking, my hand came up and I smacked him soundly across the face.
"Excuse me, it's called personal space, you weirdo!"
"What are you?" He growled. "You smell human, but not really."
"Whatever. I'm just gonna go this way and try to find another portal thing back to Karakura. You can stay here and sniff yourself like the freak you are."
"It's called a garganta, idiot. Only Hollows and Arrancar are supposed to be able to create them. Well, there's a few exceptions."
"You keep throwing out words that I don't know and it's starting to piss me off! Who the hell are you anyway?"
"Fucking woman, shut up! The name's Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez, Sexta Espada."
"Again with the words I don't understand. Where the hell are we, Grimmjow?"
"This is Hueco Mundo, you little idiot. If you shut up for one second, I would have gotten to that. How did you get here?"
"I told you already. The portal thing appeared and I stepped through, got a mouth full of sand, got chased by that giant scorpion monster, and now I'm here arguing with some asshole." My strange acquaintance didn't seem amused by my colorful retelling of current events. "Look, it's obvious you want me gone as badly as I do. So, care to help a girl out?" Instead of answering my question, he leaned in close and poked at my slightly swollen lip.
"Who beat the shit outta you? You get into a catfight with some other chick?" He made a pawing motion at my face. He actually had the audacity to mock me! Huffing, I batted his hand away and glared at him. Oh, if looks could kill.
"For your information, I was the one beating the shit outta the other guy. His name is Kurosaki Ichigo aka stupid Strawberry, and I owned his ass!" Losing interest in my bloodied lip, he shrugged and gave me a measuring look.
"Give me one good reason why I shouldn't just kill you where you stand." Blinking up at him, I frowned and rubbed the back of my head. Well that wasn't what I was expecting. Note to self, don't ask for help from crazy assholes with swords.
"You know what? I'm just gonna go find that - garganta, was it? I'm just gonna go find it myself. Thanks for saving my life. Enjoy the rest of your day!" With that, I set off back in the direction I came. Hopefully I wouldn't run into any of those creepy crawly monsters on my way back. Huh, maybe I should have asked Grimmjow if he had a spare sword. Thinking back on his final words to me, I shook my head. Nah better off without it. I had almost made it back to the spot where I'd bumped into tall, malicious and hungry when I felt something grab me from behind. "EEK! Stranger danger!" I stomped on his instep and elbowed my attacker in the chest before spinning around to face him. "Oh, it's you."
"YOU -" His face was livid, his jaw clenched so tightly I was surprised his teeth didn't crack under the pressure. "The hell do you think you're doing, woman?!"
"Hn, you yell a lot. And my name isn't 'woman.' It's Yukimura Sora."
"I'll call you whatever the hell I feel like, human scum."
"You're contradicting yourself. You said I smelled almost human, which means I'm technically not human, right?"
"Just shut up." He ran a large, scarred hand down his face before looking down at me again. I hadn't realized just how tall he was. Then again, there's a reason I hadn't tried out for the basketball team. Actually two. One, I was just shy of 5'2". Two, I just sucked at basketball. Zero skills on the court. As I went to comment on his giant frame, his hand came out and quickly clamped over my mouth.
"I really should just kill you now." He contemplated, not bothered at all as I tried to pry his rough hand from my mouth. "However, despite how infuriating you are, you're pretty entertaining. Weak little thing like you thinks she can take me on. Kind of makes my day. So, I guess you get to live….for now." I glared up at his stupid smirk, pointing from the hand inhibiting me from speech and then down to the ground. With a roll of his eyes, he pulled his hand away. Gasping dramatically for air, I made it a point to shoot him one final glare before attempting to walk away again. Again, I was stopped by this insufferable asshole. "Oi, I don't know where you're trying to get off to but you don't want to go that way."
"Oh really? And why's that smartass?" His only response was a knowing smirk as he shoved his hands into his pockets. "Really? That's how you wanna play this? Fine. If you're so smart, tell me how the fuck to get back home!"
"Well you're not going to get there by wandering around Hueco Mundo and becoming Hollow food, that's for sure. You have to create another garganta."
"..." Create one of those black hole portals? The hell is this guy talking about?
"Don't tell me - you serious? You don't know how to make one. Then how the fuck did you get here?"
"I DON'T KNOW! That's what I've been trying to tell you, moron. I thought I was jumping into a portal to Narnia or some shit. I didn't think I'd be wandering around some scary ass desert filled with assholes and the Scorpion King's bride!"
"Hn, now you're using words I don't understand." He mocked. "Come on. You said Karakura, right?" He turned on his heel and took a few steps away, lifting his hand and looking back to me for confirmation. His sudden cooperative behavior was disorienting.
"Um, yeah. Karakura Town."
"Lucky you. Aizen just gave all the Espadas the coordinates for that place. I'll create a garganta for you. Next time you end up in Hueco Mundo though, don't expect me to save your sorry ass. This is a one time deal. Got it?"
"Yep." I popped my 'p', using all the self control I had not to say something insulting, which would probably result in me being dead or lost in this hellhole forever instead of back in Karakura. With a satisfied nod, Grimmjow opened a garganta and waited for me to step through.
"Heh, maybe I'll look you up when I make my own visit to the Living World. You can entertain me if I get bored." At this, I looked over my shoulder and gave him my most deadpan look.
"Please don't." I had a split-second to enjoy the annoyed look on Grimmjow's stupidly handsome face before I stepped through and ended up back in the park. "Ah, home sweet home." Stretching my arms above my head, I looked around to check if my school bag was still by the swingset.
"Well, you don't see that every day." Turning on my heel, I saw a sketchy looking older man with blond hair, a bucket hat, and creepy 'I know everything about everything' grey-blue eyes. This guy was probably an 8 on my creep factor scale. I took a step back and then another, never taking my eyes off of him. "No need to be shy. In fact, I'd prefer if you were completely open with me about what you were doing stepping out of a garganta." Before I knew what was happening, I found myself pinned to a nearby tree.
"Ah!" My head bounced off the trunk painfully. "SERIOUSLY? This is not happening." Gathering my wits together, I tried to knee him in the groin, but he'd accounted for that and had my legs strategically pinned as well. "What do you want, you creepy old man? I'm not interested in a sugar daddy, if that's what you're after!"
"Cute." He gave me a dangerous, close-eyed smile. "But that's not what I'm after. Now tell me, where did you just come from? Did Aizen send you? Are you an arrancar?"
"What is with people and using words I don't understand today? Is it fuck with Sora day? Because I didn't get the memo." I squirmed in his grip to no avail. Shrieking my frustration, I let my head fall back against the tree. "Look, I don't know who the hell this Aizen guy is. I don't know what the fuck an arrancar is and I'm beyond regretting ever exploring that weird fucking portal earlier! Now, LET ME GO!"
"You don't seem to be lying, but I find it hard that you just stumbled upon a garganta. They don't stay open unless someone is coming or going. Did someone come through the one you went through to get to Hueco Mundo?"
"No. I was having a shitty day and was minding my own business when it just popped out of nowhere and scared the living bejeezus out of me!" I had never felt so angry and helpless in my life. As my anger grew, I could feel myself getting lightheaded, as if I were floating.
"Interesting. You're radiating an intense amount of reiatsu right now. Definitely not human, are you?" He poked and prodded me, violating all sense of personal space.
"GET YOUR HANDS OFF OF ME!"
"Hm, you don't seem to be an arrancar. No obvious holes or protruding bones. Clearly not a Hollow, yet you don't recognize Aizen's name, which means you can't be associated with him or his schemes." He was now way too close for comfort, his eyes boring into mine as if he could look into my very soul. "What are you?"
"I'm pissed off! Let me go now, and I won't report you to the police for assaulting me, you prick!" Surprisingly, he obeyed. He stepped back, releasing her and holding out his hand.
"I'm Urahara Kisuke. Pleasure to meet you -"
"None of your business!" I rubbed at my wrists and stared him down, unwilling to turn my back on him.
"Aren't you curious about what's going on? The garganta? Aizen? What you are? I can help you get the answers, you know."
"Yeah? At what price?"
"My, aren't you the distrusting sort? I'm only trying to help."
"You SLAMMED me into a TREE!"
"Tch, you could hardly blame me if you knew what I know." This Urahara guy was seriously number one on my shit list now. He had just stolen the number one spot that Kurosaki usually occupied. However, he did make a good point. I DID want to know what was going on because somehow, I just knew that stupid Strawberry and Kuchiki Rukia were caught up in the middle of this shitstorm I'd jumped into, quite literally.
"Fine. I'll let you try to explain things, but we do this on my terms. We meet at a public place tomorrow at noon."
"Sounds reasonable." There was a flash of what looked like respect in his eyes, but it was gone just as quickly, making me question if it had ever been there in the first place. "Let's say the cafe across from Karakura station at noon."
"Fine. Now leave." He chuckled before disappearing into the night. "Fuck. This just isn't my day." Grabbing my school bag, I started the long trek back to my apartment, praying to Kami not to let me run into anymore stalkers or freaks of nature before I made it back to my sanctuary. I was almost home free when I noticed my bag was currently moving. Stopping dead in front of my apartment door, I looked down at the flap of my messenger bag flopping around as if something was trying to get out. What now?! I swear if it's something supernatural that wants to eat my face, I am done. Cautiously, I reached out and flipped the top flap up, catching a glimpse of white before whatever it was jumped at my face. "Oh Kami, it's happening!" I fell backwards in an awkward pile of flailing limbs, letting out an unholy shriek that my neighbors would probably report me for. I squeezed my eyes shut and prayed for a swift death. But all that came was a sharp pain originating from the end of my nose. Opening my eyes, I broke out into hysterical giggles at the sight. A tiny white cat had his little fangs fastened tightly into me. What I'd assumed was a creature from hell was just a fluffy bundle of white and gray fur with angry blue eyes. He reminds me of that asshole I met in Hueco Mundo, except fluffier. Grabbing him by the scruff of his neck, I pried him off my face and held him at a distance to get a good look at him. It was indeed a him. He seemed offended that I was manhandling him, letting out an outraged yowl. Keeping hold on him, I unlocked my door and smiled. "I think I'll call you Grimmjow."
There you have it, folks. Please let me know what you think of the new chapter. Thanks for reading! xxoo