A/N: I was stuck on this chapter for a while, then I realized that the end of the last chapter was what was giving me trouble.

Admittedly, it was a pretty dumb ending, especially with the events that happened in Chapter Seven, so I changed it. Please reread the end of Chapter Eight before reading this one.

Chapter Nine:

Dominion of the Soul

Grimmjow stared after his Fracción, then rolled his eyes. If she was still upset at him for walking in on her in the shower, then that was her problem. He, on the other hand, did not regret it one bit.

He handed his towel to Amara, avoiding her gaze in the hopes that she would take the hint and leave him alone.

"Mi amado," she purred, lacing her fingers with his. "Are you sure you will not stay? Even for a moment more?"

He tore his hand away. "Amara, I already fuckin' told ya no."

Her smile faded, and her gaze flicked over to Miyuki. A heavy, telling silence hung over them.

Grimmjow took a step away from her in disgust. "It ain't like that."

"I think it is exactly like that." Her glare dug into his skin like a dull blade. "You claim to remember her from before this, correct?"

He ran a hand over his mouth, scowling. "I shouldn'ta fuckin' told ya 'f yer gonna be like this about it."

Her amused chitter echoed in the large room. "Even you are not so callous as to ignore the lure of your past, Grimmjow."

There was a softness to her voice that held…pity? Sadness? Jealousy? Whatever it was, it pissed him off. Who the hell did she think she was talking down to?

"Stop talkin' like ya fuckin' know me. Ya don't know jack shit about me."

She reeled back like he had slapped her.

"I can't ignore my past? The hell do ya think you are? You don't even know what the hell was in my past! Yer just a jealous, horny bitch who can't hold a damn conversation without tryin'a get me in bed. Ya know how fuckin' annoyin' that is?"

He whirled around, clenching his hand into a fist. "Just 'cause I slept with ya a few times don't mean ya own me, Amara."

Miyuki stared as he approached her. Questions swum in her eyes, but one fierce glance from him told her that now was not the time to ask them.

He jerked his chin to the exit, stuffing his hand in his pocket before shuffling out.

She took one last look back at Amara, then followed after him.

For once, Miyuki stayed quiet. Even without taking his agitated reiatsu into account, she sensed a dangerous aura around him. One misunderstood phrase, and whatever fragile shell of peace they had would shatter. He might whirl and slap her, or yell, or maybe even all three. Whatever the outcome, she was much too exhausted to deal with it, and so, she wouldn't.

"Hey," Grimmjow said all of a sudden, making her flinch in surprise.


He stopped walking.

Rather than attack her as an outlet for his anger, as she had expected him to, he merely asked, "When ya got out of the shower, did Amara…say anythin' to ya?"

Miyuki struggled to reorient herself before answering him, "She…She did. A-And she talked to me when she gave me my clothes as well."

"…What'd she say?" There was a guarded edge to his voice, one that she never thought she would hear from Grimmjow Jeagerjaques.

"U-Um, well, she was angry with me for not acting like she believes a proper Fracción should. And she seemed to believe that you…care for me." She hid a chuckle behind a hand. "Which is utterly ridiculous. I know you do not…." She trailed off when she saw his shoulders stiffen and the dangerous aura seemed to return.

After a minute of silence, Miyuki dared to take a step forward. "Grimmjow? Are…you—"

He began walking again. "Am I what?" he snapped.

He sounded more tired than angry, but she didn't want to risk saying the wrong thing now. Not when she still had to thank him.

"Are you…alright?"

He furrowed his eyebrows and looked back at her. "Huh? The hell do you care?"

She averted her gaze, flushing a little. "I-It's just…I was just…wondering."

He snorted. When he gave no other semblance of a reply, she pouted and decided that that was the last time she show any sort of concern for him. If he was going to always be this difficult, even when he wasn't in any particular sort of mood, then she wasn't going to put up with it anymore than she had to.

They reached the outside of her room soon enough, but, instead of passing by it to get to his room, Grimmjow shoved her door open and went in.

She stared at him, her eyes wide. "Um, Grimmjow? This is my room."

"Yeah, I know."

A sense of dread overcame her as she stood in the doorway.

He looked over at the couch and, after a short mental debate, plopped himself down and made himself welcome in her room. His eyes slid over to her, making her flinch.

"What're ya doin'? Ya gonna come in 'r what?" he asked.

"'What am I doing'?" she repeated, closing her door behind her. "What do you think you're doing?"

He tucked his arm behind his head and replied, "Tryin' ta sleep."

"In here? Why?"

"Someone might try ta take ya otherwise. And if they do, I'll kill 'm."

The knot in her stomach settled a little. Her master had already made up his mind about the matter, it seemed, so she decided to just go to sleep too. Normally, she might have put up a fuss about this, but she was much too tired for that after the day they had. Besides, it did comfort her to know that that Grimmjow was keeping an eye out for her.

"I'm surprised you did not go after that Espada yourself after I told you what happened," she said as she shut her eyes.

"He woulda just sent another Fracción ta hold ya hostage 'r somethin' while I was fightin' him. Then it all goes to shit. I'm fuckin' stuck in this goddamn box until ya get stronger. All I can do right now is train ya. And ya still gotta square things with that Hollow side 'a yers." He turned over on the couch, deeming the conversation over.

She took a deep breath before blurting out, "Grimmjow, before we sleep, I need to tell you something."

He shifted again. "What?"

Clenching her hands into fists, she whispered, "…Thank you."

The following silence weighed on her chest like a boulder. She didn't move—refused to, even, until he said something. Anxiety prickled along her back, making her stiffen.

"The hell 'r ya thankin' me for?" he said finally. Miyuki let out a strangled gasp of relief. "I thought ya hated me."

She pushed herself up and stared at the back of his head. "I don't hate you." The statement surprised even herself, but she found it to be true all the same.

Another silence. Then, "Bullshit."

"I don't," she insisted. "Well, maybe, at first. And I often think you are infuriating, but I don't hate you, Grimmjow."

"…Why the fuck not?"

"Why do you think I should?"

It was quiet for such a long time, Miyuki wondered if he went to sleep. She had turned to lie on her side when he said, "I never said ya should. I just thought ya did."

"Well, I don't. Not anymore, at least." Thinking of something, she asked, "Do you hate me?"

"…No." The couch gave a bloated creak, so she knew he had shifted on the couch once more. "Ya irritate the crap outta me, though."

She chuckled as she shut her eyes again. "So mutual tolerance, then?" Her voice started to slur with exhaustion.

"Tch, whatever." He let out a yawn.

"Good night, Grimmjow."

He hummed in response, and soon, the two drifted off.

Miyuki stood in a clearing enclosed by ominous pines that tilted inward, like they were eavesdropping on someone's spilled secrets. Snow clung to her hair and eyelashes as they tumbled down.

Her Hollow form rested on top of a smooth slab of rock, wagging its tail in time with her heartbeat.

Its ears pricked up as she approached. "So, you are here," it said. It stood up and shook the snow from its body.

Miyuki rose her head in defiance as it trotted over to her. She refused to show her Hollow any fear, even as it began circling hungrily around her.

"I am," she said. "I have come to make peace with you. We cannot be at odds anymore. Not with an Espada and his Fracciones after me…us."

"Us…" it repeated as if the word was foreign to her. A low rumble erupted from its throat in what she could only assume was a laugh.

"Yes, us. We share the same soul. Essentially, this makes us the same being."

Her Hollow stopped right in front of her. "The same? Do you really believe we are the same?"

She steeled herself. "I do."

It narrowed its glowing yellow eyes at her. "Then you are an even bigger fool than I thought."

Miyuki noticed its shoulders tensing, as if it was going to strike, and she leaped back before it had a chance to bite her. Her forehead beaded with sweat despite the freezing temperature.

It rolled its shoulders as it straightened up, an air of victory around it. "If we are the same, then why do you fear me so?" it taunted.

She clenched her jaw. Her Hollow was testing her and she had failed miserably.

"You do not see me as an equal. To you, I am merely a means of power that you want, but do not fully understand." It took a step toward her. "And that is what you fear. You fear your own power. You fear that it will consume you. That I will consume you."

Miyuki tensed. "You are not my power. You are what I once was. What I am no longer. But you are still a part of me."

A low growl rumbled through the clearing and she looked around, trying to find the source. Her Hollow took advantage of this distraction and bolted toward her.

As if on impulse, Miyuki raised her hand and sent a wave of ice hurtling toward her Hollow.

It bowed its head and the wave shattered, leaving only a parting in the snow where it had once been.

"Pathetic," her Hollow snarled. "Have you forgotten that domain over ice is my power? Everything you can do is thanks to my power. You could not wield ice if I could not do so. You would not heal so fast if I did not have regenerative powers. You would not even be able to sense others around you if not for my ability to do just that! You think you came here, to my realm, because you wanted to?"

Its pacing quickened. "I brought you here to finish you, once and for all. Once I have taken control, I will finish off all those fools you were too cowardly not to destroy, starting with that insufferable master of yours."

Miyuki scowled, raising both hands to send two separate waves of ice at her Hollow. It dodged one and easily shattered the other with its paw.

"You care for him," it growled in disgust. "Despite all he has put you through, you care for him."

"I owe him," she corrected, narrowing her eyes. "Which is more than I can say for you."

Her Hollow snarled then ran straight at her, teeth bared and mouth foaming.

Miyuki swept her hands up with a defiant cry just as her Hollow reached to tear her apart.

Grimmjow woke up with a headache and a pained scowl.

This couch fuckin' sucks. I don't even feel like I slept.

He forced himself to sit up with a grunt, rubbing a sore point on his lower back.

A soft snore drew his attention to the bed. Miyuki was curled on her side, drooling all over her pillow as she slept. He snorted.

"Dumbass," he muttered to himself as he went over to wake her up. "Sleepin' like ya ain't got nothin' ta worry about."

She frowned as if she had heard him, but only rolled onto her back with a long exhale. Her hair fell in front of her face then. For some reason he couldn't fathom, his hand itched to brush it out of the way.

He found himself reaching to do just that, and stopped just short of her pale face.

Amara's confident smirk popped into his mind then, her voice teasing, "Even you are not so callous as to ignore the lure of your past, Grimmjow."

He scowled and moved his hand down to roughly shake her shoulder instead.

When she still did not stir, he growled, "Goddammit, Miyuki—"

Her eyes flew open and she grabbed his arm. A deep cold began to seep into him, and he wrenched his arm away. Tiny ice crystals clung to his skin where she had grabbed him, though these melted as soon as he had pulled away from her.

The harsh light in her eyes faded from a blinding white to her normal lavender as they began to lid. She blinked slowly, collecting her thoughts before rubbing the sand from her eyes with a groan.

"Grimmjow?" she called out, her voice slurred.

"Who else would it fuckin' be, dumb shit. Ya don't needa freeze my goddamn arm off."

She swung her legs over the side of the bed and mumbled, "'m sorry. I was fighting my Hollow."

"In yer sleep?" he scoffed.

She only shrugged in response.

He scratched the back of his head, scowling. "Tch. Shoulda figured yer Hollow would be just as stubborn as you."

Miyuki threw him a wry smile but said nothing to this.

After a few seconds of thoughtful silence, he finally said, "Yer gonna have to kick its ass."

Her eyes widened. "What?"

"'f yer Hollow's gonna keep bein' such a pain in the ass, ya gotta fight it. Better sooner instead'a later," he explained.

Her heart pulsed faster at the thought. "But…what will happen when I win?"

"It'll submit to ya and become yer Resurrección."

"And…if I do not?"

She could have sworn she saw pain flash in his eyes for an instant but it faded too quickly for her to tell. "Then I gotta kill ya."

Her heart crawled up to her throat. She found it difficult to speak for a while, but she managed to croak, "But what about your punishment?"

Grimmjow looked more taken aback than she had ever seen him, then, much to her surprise, he let out a harsh laugh. "What the hell? Yer worried fer me at a time like this? The fuck is wrong with ya, girl?"


"Aizen has a rule," he cut in. "'f an Arrancar in his army loses against their Hollow and don't form a Resurrección, then they hafta be executed. My stupid punishment don't matter as much. He'll know I had to."

She wrapped her arms around herself, though this did little to untangle the knot she felt squirming in her stomach. "Why does he kill them?" she whispered, so low she wasn't sure he had heard her.

"An Arrancar who gets devoured by their own Hollow goes insane. The Hollow thinks it can function without the original soul, but it don't work that way. Once yer gone, the Hollow feels even emptier, and it eats anythin' ta try and fill the void it made. A Hollow like that don't stop either. So that's why we gotta kill it."

He shrugged, oblivious to her rising horror. "Aizen'd rather have soldiers he can control."

She swallowed, hard. "Have…Have you…seen this happen?"

Grimmjow looked away, his eyes dulling. "…Once 'r twice, yeah."

Sensing her dread at last, he added, "But it don't happen a lot. Even the weak ass Arrancars here managed to beat their Hollows 'n get a Resurrección."

Miyuki sucked in several deep breaths, but her voice still came out shaky when she spoke. "If…If I decide to fight my Hollow right now…would you think I am ready?"

Her eyes glimmered with shattered bits of hope. She wanted him to say she was ready, but also looked as if she would accept his refusal on the matter. She put far too much stock in his opinion. He had no idea how to feel about that.

"Yer too scared to fight it right now," he replied honestly.

She stared down at the floor. "So no, then."

Grimmjow scowled and clapped his hand on her shoulder, making her jump. "I didn't fuckin' train ya ta be a coward in battle. You fuckin' tellin' me I wasted my time with ya? That ya can't even face off with some stupid ass Hollow without wantin' ta shit yerself? Fuck that!" He shook her roughly.

Her eyes were wide when she looked up at him again.

"Ya know the basics of fightin'. Ya know Sonído. Ya even have that fuckin' ice power, 'n yer scared? After all I put ya through, yer gonna fuckin' give up when it actually matters?"

She mumbled something he didn't catch.

He narrowed his eyes. "What? I can't fuckin' hear ya, girl."

"I never said I was giving up," she growled, the venom in her voice tangible, "I will earn my Resurrección, just you watch, Grimmjow."

His grin was feral, proud even. "Then ya better fuckin' win."

Miyuki expected him to take her to one of the training rooms, but he insisted she stay in her room. The only way to fight it, according to him, was to go into her inner world herself.

So here she was, sitting cross-legged on the floor, awaiting his guidance.

"Take yer zanpakuto out of its sheath, then lie it across yer lap."

She did as he instructed. "Then?"

"Close yer eyes. Concentrate on yer Hollow side. Think about how the inside 'f yer soul looks. How yer Hollow looks."

Miyuki took a deep breath then shut her eyes. She pictured the clearing in her mind's eye, the snow falling down, the dark pines leaning in. A sense of vertigo washed over her, like she was hovering above a precipice and about to plunge down.

She gave in to the feeling, and soon, she felt as if she was falling. She dared to look down, even as wind whipped past her face, and saw a pinprick of light below her growing steadily as she approached the bottom.

Soon enough, her descent slowed and she fluttered down into the clearing once again. Her Hollow stood some distance away, eyes narrowed into slits.

She drew her sword with a slow breath. "Let us begin," she said, raising her reiatsu.

The same low growl she heard in her dream earlier echoed around her, then her Hollow ran at her with a harsh bark.

Miyuki dodged left with Sonído, whirling her body around to slice at her Hollow's flank. Black blood streamed out of its wound, but it did not seem affected by it.

It reared back, snapping and clawing at her with such ferocity, it startled her. Her dodge was messy, and, as a result, she caught a claw to the face. She didn't even have time to wince before she forced herself to Sonído away.

Grimmjow's eyes widened as three similar marks slashed their way across her face on the outside. She didn't flinch, even as her blood dripped onto her zanpakuto.

Miyuki had put too much speed into the Sonído and pitched forward. She tucked her body in, rolling to her feet just in time to dodge her Hollow's fangs from sinking into her.

There was a fraction of a second where everything around her seemed to slow down. It was in that second she realized two things: one, that her Hollow had left itself open after its attack, and two, that if she reached out now, she could stab her Hollow straight through its skull.

Right when it mattered, right when she could end it all, she froze. Her arm refused to budge.

The split second was over. Her Hollow snapped at her, and she stumbled back, only able to land a thin nick to its face. She skidded back, panting hard.

Her Hollow snarled as it turned to face her. "You are weak," it spat. "You had the perfect opportunity to be rid of me, and you could not do it."

Miyuki scowled and hefted her sword up again.

"How can you call yourself a Hollow when you lack the very aspect that makes us what we are? It's disgraceful."

"What is it that you think I lack?"

Her Hollow's wounds stitched themselves together until it looked like it hadn't been hurt at all.

"Instinct. The desirethe will—to kill your enemies. In that instant that you could have killed me, you hesitated."

It stepped forward, and ice slowly trailed towards her. "You could have won and you hesitated. Hesitation in battle gets you killed! Using reason gets you killed! Insolent fools like you who so blindly follow reason and suppress their instincts are weaklings who do not deserve to live! I refuse to let some weak girl's mistakes kill me! I will not be destroyed!"

Its bark resounded throughout the entire clearing. The ice path split off into two jagged sheets and curved in toward her to slice her to pieces.

Her muscles tensed. Then, without warning, her mind went blank and she leaped into the air, spinning over the spike-covered sheets with an unearthly grace. A few spikes scraped at her shoulder as she landed just in front of the ice sheets.

Before her Hollow could react, she swept her sword out with a wild scream.

A massive wall of ice sprouted from the ground and shot forward. She brought her sword down, and the wall cracked, raining shards of ice down on her Hollow. It gave a pained yelp that was soon drowned in the deafening rumble of debris falling onto it.

Miyuki tilted her head back and gasped for air, her arms limp at her side.

I did itshe thought. She felt her heart burst with pride.

I won.

A pitiful whine snapped her back to attention. Her Hollow was on its side, multiple shards of ice sticking out of it. Its breaths were labored and it pawed feebly at the blackening snow around it.

Its eyes rolled over to her as she approached cautiously. It coughed up more blood and, much to her surprise, it smiled at her.

"That look in your eyes…. That is a good look to have," it spat out.

Miyuki said nothing, only continued to stare down at her Hollow with mild disdain.

"Hmph," it huffed, shutting its eyes in resignation. "Perhaps…you have not lostyour instincts after all."

Her Hollow's body glowed then broke off into pieces and swirled around her zanpakuto.

Something like a sigh whispered through the clearing, and suddenly, a name came to her mind.

Miyuki tightened her grip on the hilt and smiled. "Thank you," she said, bowing her head.

Grimmjow sensed a change to Miyuki's reiatsu. The claw mark on her face began to close, and he leaned forward in anticipation.

The temperature fell so suddenly, so sharply, he couldn't help but take a few steps back in surprise. Her eyes flew open and he cursed under his breath. They were the same blazing white as before, when her Hollow had taken her over.

"Shit, how the hell did ya lose?" he said, unsheathing his sword.

The air shifted then, and the room faded back to its usual temperature. The brightness in her eyes softened and, when she blinked, they became their normal color once more. She picked her zanpakuto up from her lap and stood up slowly.

When she looked at him, she was beaming.

"I did it," she said simply.

He blinked a few times in surprise then snorted. "Fuckin' had me for a second there, girl. I thought ya lost."

Her smile only grew. "I told you I would earn my Resurrección, and I have."

"Tch, don't needa be so damn cocky about it." He looked away. "…What's yer Resurrección's name?"

Miyuki glanced down at her zanpakuto, thumbing the guard.

"Weep, Hielo."

A burst of wind engulfed her and Grimmjow brought his arm up to shield himself from the blast. Once it dissipated, he found himself gaping at her new form.

Her uniform changed with her Resurrección's release into sleeveless plates of white armor that were generous to her curves and clung snugly to her. Thick black lines ran down the middle of the armor on both sides and split off to continue down the multi-plated bone-armor that surrounded her legs. Her stomach was exposed to show her Hollow hole, and her feet ended with small, white paws.

She flexed her fingers experimentally, and noticed that her new claws had tiny shards of ice flecked on them.

Her mask had become a giant wolf's skull that rested like a crown on top of her head. She lifted to get a better look at her master.

"Holy shit," Grimmjow swore.

A/N: You know, I haven't written an actual battle scene in so long, so this was fun to write.

Hielo means "ice" in Spanish. Not really the most creative of names, but then again, none of the Arrancars' Resurreccións are. Gotta keep up that theme somehow.