A/N: Fromerly known as King of Storms, this is my first fanfiction effort. Hope you enjoy, and, if you are so compelled, I'd love it if you'd review, to tell me, among other things, how I'm doing, what's working, how is my OC as a character, etc. Thats's it from me...merry reading!

Disclaimer; I do not own Bleach, or any other copyrighted material I may mention throughout the story.


Chapter 1

The Past


My soul screams violence,

For my cries fall upon deaf ears

-Outline in Color


100 Years Before Bleach Storyline


XXX


Soul Society


Seireitei was peaceful. All the medieval Japanese abodes were quiet, and even the people wandering its stone streets seemed afraid to break the peace. The clouds themselves crawled lazily across the sky, sluggishly dotting Seireitei's abundant skyline. They moved at a deliberately slow, easy pace, not in a hurry to go anywhere. The shinigami also were victims of the subtle lull of peace their surroundings wrought. They chatted idly, some about the weather, others (namely those of Squad 11) of how much they had improved their skills. Almost no one noticed the silver figure in the sky. Almost.

A lone shinigami rushed through the streets, brushing aside looks of confusion and everything in his path, including a very disgruntled member of Squad 11. The barbarian quickly caught up with the shinigami and grabbed his shoulder. With a vicious shove he sent the smaller man to the ground, scattering the papers he'd been carrying.

"Yo! You wanna start something, punk?" the tall man leered down at the other shinigami. Scrambling to his feet, the latter straightened his lab coat, revealing he was from squad 12, the Research and Development Bureau, and continued running. Another man came up to his assailant scratching his head in confusion.

"What's eating Rin? Normally he wouldn't hesitate to fight you," the man said, his head tilted to the side in consideration.

"Yeah," the Squad 11 member responded. "and he forgot his papers."


Soul Society: Squad 1 Barracks


"So why are we here again?" yawned a very annoyed Yoruichi Shihoin.

The purple haired woman had been napping at her division barracks, a habit of hers. She was called out of her blissful state when an alarm began to blare in her room, and a very flustered Soi-Fon had shaken her awake saying 'T-there's a meeting Y-Yoruichi-sama' which lead to the current situation.

"Dunno," came the lazy response from Shunsui Kyoraku. His pink flowery kimono was a little off center, the only indication he had hurried to the meeting. Everyone else was noticeably distressed, and worried.

'So many years of peace has made us soft', Yoruichi thought bitterly. With another yawn the bronze goddess stretched, straining her toned arms to the ceiling. Still yawning she looked around. Although her glances had seemed very casual and nonchalant, Yoruichi had looked around thoroughly, her golden eyes slinking to each captain present. Currently only 11 of the captains were present; the Head Captain Genryiusai Yamamoto of the 1st, herself of the 2nd, Rojuro Otoribashi of the 3rd, Retsu Unohana of the 4th, Shinji Hirako of the 5th, Ginrei Kuchiki of the 6th, Love Aikawa of the 9th, Shunsui Kyoraku of the 8th, and Kenpachi Kiganjo of the 11th.

Jushiro Ukitake, Captain of the 13th division, was sick, that much they all knew. His sickness was in an active period, and he was confined to the 4th until Captain Unohana deemed him fit to go about his duties. That left Kisuke Urahara as the only captain not present.

Though all the captains were worried about the emergency meeting, they all had different ways of showing it. Unohana hummed softly. The Head Captain opened his eyes. Yoruichi rocked from her heels to her toes endlessly. Kinsei Muguruma didn't say anything but glared and snapped at anyone that got to close. Kenpachi Kiganjo put on a similar routine, with the addition of violent death threats. Love Aikawa nervously ran a hand through his afro. Rose drummed his fingers lightly against his thigh. Shinji Hirako loudly complained to anyone who would listen. Ginrei Kuchiki seemed even stiffer than usual.

The Captain of the 8th had his own way of dealing with anxiety as well.

"So, Yoruichi-san," Captain Shunsui Kyoraku said airily, striding over to the head of the execution squad, "Wanna go drinking after all the commotion dies down?" Yoruichi raised her head, her eyes widening in surprise, then in amusement.

"You really need to be taught some gravity, Shunsui," Yoruichi responded a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth.

"Aww, don't be such a meanie, Yoruichi-san," Shunsui shot back. Yoruichi opened her mouth to respond but the door of the meeting hall was nearly ripped off its hinges, a blonde figure standing in the doorway.

"Kisuke!" Yoruichi exclaimed, relived to see her friend. But something was amiss. Gone was his bubbly personality and carefree smile. Yoruichi's insides went cold when his gaze met hers. This was serious. The entire room now strained towards him, as if the pressure of their gaze would enlighten them as to his purpose.

"We have no time to waste," Kisuke said, striding into the room, commanding as much authority as the Captain Commander. "For the past few days there have been reports of a figure in the sky. Although they seemed trivial, we decided to take a look at it. We detected a faint hollow spiritual pressure."

The entire room, which had been quiet during his brief address, now burst into commotion. Cries of 'impossible' rang out; along with the occasional 'You're crazy Urahara'.

"Silence!" The Head Captain roared, slamming his cane clad zanpakuto onto the floor. "Continue, Captain Urahara." the blonde captain nodded before continuing.

"Normally this wouldn't be of any concern and we were prepared to send a squad to eliminate it. However early this morning its spiritual pressure began to rise," Kisuke said pausing and taking the time to stare down anyone who didn't believe him. "It was at a captain's level as of an hour ago."

"Preposterous." Ginrei Kuchki stated simply, coldly. "If what you say is true, why can't my senses," he paused to look around, "or those of any of my fellow Captains, detect it?"

"Because," Kisuke deadpanned, "not even someone of the Head Captain's level can extend their senses beyond the Seireitei barrier from the ground. But its spiritual pressure will be so massive, soon we'll all have a hard time not sensing it," here he turned his gaze to the Captain Commander. "I suggest we send three captains out to engage, and three more to prevent its escape."

"Surely you jest, Urahara," Ginrei interrupted yet again, "even if this hollow has as much spiritual pressure as you say, it is still merely a hollow."

"I wouldn't kid around in such a serious predicament," Kisuke said, "if you'll hear out the rest of my story then I believe it would answer your questions. Now, normally the barriers around the Soul Society as a dimension can't be breached by a hollow. However with enough raw spiritual pressure, there is one type of hollow that could potentially break it down."

His gaze went from Captain to Captain, daring one of them to say what they were all thinking. His eyes settled on Yoruichi.

Yoruichi's eyes widened and her hushed voice came out; "A Vasto Lorde."

"Yes," Kisuke regarded her for a second before continuing, "A Vasto Lorde, the most powerful hunters in existence. The hollow most likely spent most of its spiritual pressure breaking into Seireitei, and its beginning to recover its power. It'll be at full strength by nightfall."


Soul Society: Sokyoku Hill


Seireitei was quiet. If one included the sunset the scene was almost beautiful. Its medieval Japanese abodes refused to move, each one caught up in the male-storm of anxiety that swept through the streets. Everyone had been confined to their homes, but no one would've dared to venture out anyway.

All could feel the cataclysmic spiritual pressure beginning to descend upon the city.

This creature was truly fearsome. Its very reiatsu was causing structural collapses all over Seireitei and it had yet to even make contact.

Shunsui, Yoruichi, Ginrei, Kisuke and Unohana had all gathered on Sokyoku hill, all pushing the spiritual pressure out to dampen the effects of the Vasto Lorde's spiritual pressure. Of all them, Kisuke was the only one sitting, on a flat rock. Of them all, he was the most worried.

"My, my," Shunsui said, "what a monster." Although his tone was light and joking, all present couldn't help but agree with the sentiment. 'Monster indeed,' Yoruichi thought, 'it's reiatsu nearly crushing. Even at such distances, I feel smothered.'

"Urahara," Ginrei began, his voice impatient. "Did you not say it would be ready to attack upon night fall?"

"I did, but why it isn't happening is anyone's guess." Kisuke responded. The blonde man still lacked his discerning bubbly personality. His mouth was a grim line. Yoruichi noticed this change more so than the others, and reached out to comfort her friend. Just before her hand could clasp Kisuke's shoulder, he stiffened.

The air began to shift.

The captains' eyes were now trained on the silvery figure now floating over Seireitei. A corona of icy blue light blossomed from it, and from so far away it resembled a miniature sun.

Much to their surprise it began to change. Like any Vasto Lorde should, it resembled a human, but as they watched it two bone structures began to form that simply floated around each of its shoulder blades. They resembled the basic form of wings. A long tail began to grow out of its rear. Even from that far away they could see the axe like blade on its end. It looked over its form, flexing its claws, and swishing its tail. Once it seemed satisfied it spoke.

"Shinigami!" its voice was surprisingly clear, and spoke greatly of its vast intelligence. Despite the distance, the sound of its voice seemed to distort the gap in space and to the Captains; it felt as though the voice was right next to them.

"Return my comrade." the Vasto Lorde said simply. Its voice was imperial and commanding. The shinigami captains looked at each other in confusion. Unohana kept her eyes trained on the Vasto Lorde, as if assessing its strength. After a moment the other Captains' confused eyes fell to Kisuke. After a minute of contemplation Kisuke responded.

"I'm sure that since you're speaking with us now you aren't beyond diplomacy," Kisuke shouted, attempting to reach the Vasto Lorde, "And since you have decided to talk first, I know you aren't beyond reason. We don't have your-"

"Your eloquence is rather admirable, shinigami. But we are beyond the point of negotiations!" the Vasto Lorde boomed, the distorting quality of his voice making it sound as though it was shouting in each of their ears.

"You're only option is to relinquish the hollow you abducted from Hueco Mundo." the Vasto Lorde continued, still no anger discernible in its voice.

"We don-"

"I see." The Vasto Lorde interrupted Kisuke. For a second the captains believed they had averted a crisis.

"You will pay, not for defying me, but for attacking those who cannot fight back." with that the hollow began to dive towards the city.

The Captains began to draw their blades but Kisuke held out a hand.

"Don't worry; he won't be able to get past the wall. I reinforced it with a variety of spells," Kisuke assured his fellow captains while watching the hollow's descent.

Once it was within a couple hundred feet, the wall glowed crimson, and dark designs began to carve themselves into the wall of light. 'So this is what you've done' Yoruichi thought, thoroughly impressed. Her admiration of her friend didn't last very long.

As it began to near the barrier, the hollow began to spin. The corona of light surrounding the creature increased in intensity, changing from beams of light to dancing blue flames. Its spiritual pressure began to skyrocket. Its rotations increased in pace and with a final flourish the creature flapped its wings, sending a spray of small dart like blasts of energy at the crimson wall. They spread out like rain. Kisuke's eyes widened.

"Unohana-san!" he roared. She got the message.

"Bakudo #88, Splitting Void!" she exclaimed. Instantly a wall of transparent light appeared in front of Sokyoku Hill. It wasn't a moment too soon. As soon as the beads of light came in contact with the crimson hemisphere a myriad of blue explosions began to tear massive holes in the supposedly impenetrable wall. Wind and shards of energy slammed into Seireitei, rocking the entire foundation of the city. The explosions spawned many small tornadoes that tore through Seireitei. Once the smoke cleared, the hollow was once again preparing to dive.

"I will handle this," Ginrei stated, drawing his zanpakuto.

"BANKAI!" he roared, and with a dramatic upward swing, his sword became a storm of pink blades that resembled cherry blossoms. He and his personal tornado of blades jumped up, defying gravity's hold, and went to meet the hollow.

Taking no heed of the incoming danger the hollow plunged downwards. For three seconds they approached each other.

"Why isn't it veering off?" Yoruichi asked more to herself because her fellow captains were devoting their attention to the inevitable clash of the two beings, "doesn't it see him?"


Oh, the blood that would be spilled, the silver hollow thought to himself, relishing the wind blowing through his claws, and pseudo wings. Flight was perhaps the best things about his existence. Definitely not being a machine for war.

Angling his body downwards he once again began to dive. A shot of pink caught his vision. A swirling cloud of pink with a tiny white and black dot in its center was flying towards him. His advanced eyes had no trouble picking out the individual blades. A smirk began to form behind his mask. Not at the thought of killing the shinigami. At the thought of the challenge of having to dodge those miniscule pink blades.

With a tiny push he flapped his wings and he accelerated to sonido speeds.

He was afraid this would turn into a massacre.


The Captains' eyes widened as the hollow disappeared. After a second it appeared less than a mile from then the ground. Their surprise increased when Ginrei's bankai was rent apart by a dozen icy blue explosions. The cloud of petals now looked as though someone had raked their hand through it, dispelling the illusion that they were a cohesive mass. Ginrei's smoking form soon fell from the debris generated by the explosion, a gentle rain of pink petals following shortly after. Seeing no more value in waiting the hollow once again disappeared.

The Captains now once again scanned the sky, looking for any trace of the hollow. A loud buzz sounded a few feet behind them, making them spin around. There was the hollow. Yoruichi's eyes widened.

Up close, the Vasto Lorde was quite breathtaking. It took the form of a tall man, clad in intricate, high sheen, sliver colored armor. Its feet were strangely humanoid, and ended in five clawed toes. Upon closer inspection, its arms had small squared off uprisings that resembled blades. Its hands each had holes in the palms. Its hands ended in long claws that sliced back after they reached a point. Its torso was also covered in armor, but it seemed to be thicker, covered in intricate shapes and designs. Its chest featured a massive hole, dominating its appearance.

Its head was perhaps the most curious aspect of it. Its mask had three wickedly curved crests that faced backwards. The mask itself resembled a knights helmet, except its mouth was flat and featureless, its cheeks complimented by angular spines that also faced backwards. Its eyes, which were an electric blue that was pale and intense simultaneously, were shadowed by a forehead plate that featured the same angular designs inscribed on the rest of its body. Its tail was thick, but still proportionately so to its body, and ended in a curved blade like extension.

There was no question about it, this was a Vasto Lorde.

"I will maintain my previous offer," The Vasto Lorde said, his (for there was no doubt it was a male) tail flicking back and forth, seemingly eager for something to happen, "return my comrade to me, and I won't raze this place."

At this he flexed his spiritual pressure out, demonstrating his ability to do just that. Kisuke, more so then the other captains, was intrigued by its ability to speak without a mouth.

"Your comrade?" Yoruichi asked curiously, her hand going to the hilt of her zanpakuto all the same.

The other captains mirrored her actions. The Vasto Lorde turned his icy blue eyes to her. Yoruichi met his gaze, but soon regretted it; his gaze seemed to take in everything, pierce her thoughts and turn her inside out. It was a most uncomfortable experience. Everything she felt as though every secret she had was now out in the open. All of the sudden she felt a hand on her shoulder. She looked over to Kisuke, the owner of the hand, and snapped out of her reverie.

"Careful," Kisuke muttered, still facing the hollow. Yoruichi nodded faintly.

"Yes, my comrade…of sorts. Though I doubt you thought hollows capable of comradeship of any sort," the hollow said, allowing a thick pause to enter his speech, "But I digress and, subsequently, I am behind schedule. I said I would have her back by First Wane (1)."

There was the briefest of pauses then when the Vasto Lorde desperately hoped that they'd surrender, and he could return to the endless sands of Hueco Mundo without any trouble.

They didn't surrender.

"Well, I'm afraid we can't let you any further," Shunsui said, drawing both of his blades.

"I see," The hollow said, his voice deathly calm. His tone of voice was disappointed, and the sheer humanity of it seemed strange coming from a hollow, "then I'm afraid I'll have to fight you."

He almost seemed sorry. But not sorry enough to cave in. No, the Vasto Lorde didn't like to fight, but after having to do so to survive for over two centuries, he wasn't about to abandon his duty because of a fight.

He was sorry, not weak.

The Vasto Lorde began to take a step forward, but right before his foot touched the ground his form disappeared, causing the ground to crinkle and crack where he just was. In that very instant Shunsui was flying backwards, both his katana crossed as defended from an onslaught of clawed slashes being delivered from the Vasto Lorde.

Everyone watched in awe as the fighters' forms faded in and out of existence. Every so often a crater would pop into existence, followed an instant later by Shunsui, holding off a particularly vicious blow from the Vasto Lorde.

The other Captains were tempted to interfere, but they feared that they would distract Shunsui, rather than aid him.

Kisuke and Yoruichi had been blown away by the raw speed the Vasto Lorde displayed. Unohana hadn't said a word, but her eyes twitched and rotated, taking in the fight that only she and the two combatants could see.

Her eyes widened. Kisuke and Yoruichi noticed her distress immediately, and looked at her expectantly.

"Get ready," she whispered, "as soon as Shunsui releases, we all attack."

"Awaken, Benihime," Kisuke said, his blade becoming shorter, its tip now resembling a scalpel.

"Slit their throats, Ketsueki Ojo (Blood Queen)," Yoruichi muttered, her sword changing briefly into a black liquid, then reforming into a short black knife with a serrated edge. It sealed itself around her hand with a guard that resembled brass knuckles. They both held their blades at the ready.

Shunsui's reiatsu spiked.

"Now!" Unohana yelled, "Hado No86 Hiryu Gekizoku Shinten Raiho!"

The massive arcing blast of electrical spirit energy was aimed toward the very edge of Sokyoku Hill and, as logic would dictate, the Vasto Lorde and Shunsui appeared there, his twin blades in their shikai form. Following her lead, Kisuke and Yoruichi began charging up their own attacks.

"Sing, Benihime!" Kisuke roared, and as he slashed his blade downwards, a shot of crimson energy flowed from his blade, screeching as it neared its intended target.

Yoruichi punched her blade forward and a massive shockwave of purple reiatsu sped towards the two combatants.

Seeing the oncoming attacks, Shunsui delivered a final blow before using shunpo to escape. The hollow was about to give chase but in an instant the three massive attacks were upon him. Icy blue eyes widened in surprise.

For a second their energies mingled and bled together into a kaleidoscope of power, before they detonated. The pure heat and kinetic energy of the resulting explosion forced the shinigami to retreat into the air. It had turned the once magnificent hill into a ragged battlefield, its dominating feature now an enormous crater with a cloud of dust and smoke swirling around it.

The four shinigami stood on air a short ways away from the crater, breathing heavily from the exertion. All were covered in soot, but Shunsui had numerous wounds, the largest of which was a set of four parallel gashes in his abdomen. Kisuke and Yoruichi's eyes widened at the extent of his injuries, and Unohana offered a small gasp before going over to heal him. In a second, Shunsui was enveloped in a prism of green light.

"We should report back," Yoruichi said calmly and slightly relieved. Kisuke nodded, looking to Unohana and her progress on Shunsui.

"I'll go get Ginrei," Kisuke offered. However before he could go, the prism of light stirred and Shunsui emerged, the worst of his injuries gone, but he still appeared hurt. He looked distressed.

"It wouldn't have gone down that easy," Shunsui said his eyes scanning the dust. The three other captains looked at him expectantly, urging him to elaborate.

"The thing is a monster," he said grimly still scouring the cloud of dust, "Its power is nothing short of enormous. An attack like that would only slow it down."

Kisuke, Yoruichi and Unohana took in the information with the calm of those who knew they would soon have to fight for their lives. As if brought about by their newfound knowledge, the dust cloud began to stir. It fluctuated, then when it seemed it could swell no more, a massive blade of wind sliced through it scattering the dust, revealing the Vasto Lorde, his claws spread out.

The concentrated burst of air tore towards the shinigami. It slammed into them, knocking them aside like birds in a hurricane. With an earth shaking roar the hollow rose up from the crater, a single flap of his wings sending him hurtling towards the sky. As he got closer the Captains realized only his wings bore marks from the previous attack.

"I have wasted too much time here," the hollow boomed, and with another flap of his wings, shot down towards Seireitei. The Captains couldn't gain their bearings in time to threaten the Vasto Lorde as he streaked towards the 5th squad barracks.

"Yoruichi!" Kisuke started, "Give chase!" Yoruichi's golden eyes widened.

"Why me?"

"Isn't your shunpo the greatest in all of the Soul Society? Aren't you the Flash Goddess?" Yoruichi nodded reluctantly, and vanished with a whisper.


Soul Society: Squad 5 Barracks


The Vasto Lorde touched down right outside the gates to the 5th Squad. He could clearly feel his target's reiatsu now, despite its vastly weakened state. He extended a single claw, and tapped the gate. A burst of wind crushed the gate and ripped it aside like paper. Striding into the courtyard, the Vasto Lorde further focused on his target. Three shinigami were positioned around it. Not in the mood for another fight, the Vasto Lorde unleashed a massive torrent of his reiatsu. Anyone watching would've seen space begin to distort around the Vasto Lorde, as if they were looking into a heat wave.

Chunks of stone began to rip themselves out of the ground. The Vasto Lorde could still sense the Shinigami. He could sense their discomfort, but, with a morbid fascination he realized one of them wasn't afraid of him. The Vasto Lorde felt a strange smile begin to curl behind its mask. Raising an entire clawed hand, he began to amass its reiatsu. Wind began to swirl around his hand, until it was holding a miniature tornado. He swiped his hand forward and across his body, sending the vortex spinning at the building complex. As it got closer, it began to bleed light blue reiatsu and grew till it was a full-fledged natural disaster.

It slammed into the building with a righteous fury, ripping it off its foundation with ease and the Vasto Lorde used the reiatsu in the attack to spin it in reverse, neutralizing the attack.

He surveyed the wreckage, and as it expected the shinigami had fled. A part of him was disappointed. Even those captains on the hill had been afraid of him. Someone who wasn't would either be unnaturally stupid, or incredibly powerful. Either way, they'd be interesting to meet.

Coming towards him, at a reasonable speed was a shinigami, who the Vasto Lorde recognized as one of those who had opposed him on the hill. Why couldn't they just stay down?

"I can sense your fear," he said, his voice preceding the arrival of the purple haired captain. She started, pointing her shikai blade at the silver hollow, "Fear will only dull your blade, and make your reactions wild and unfocused. You cannot defeat me if you're afraid."

Assuming to have defeated her with his tongue, he began to stride toward the wreckage.

"Yes, I'm afraid," The Vasto Lorde paused mid-stride. Her voice was shaky, "But isn't true courage the ability to surpass one's fears?"

Although she couldn't see it, the hollow's electric eyes widened for an instant.

"You are most," the Vasto Lorde disappeared from view, and a buzz resounded behind Yoruichi.

"Interesting," the Vasto Lorde whispered in her ear.

Yoruichi's eyes widened for the fraction of a second it took her to whip her blade around to attempt slash the Vasto Lorde. Another buzz. The silvery hollow now stood in front of her. He extended a single clawed finger and tapped her forehead before she could mount any defense. The purple haired captain fell to the ground immediately.

"I'm getting soft," the Vasto Lorde said to himself as he gazed upon the sleeping goddess.

Turning away and shaking its armored head, the Vasto Lorde blew aside the wreckage with another blade of wind, revealing a hidden steel door fitted into what was the floor. With a buzz the Vasto Lorde appeared above the trap door, his right hand drawn back. He stabbed the clawed digit into the door, ripping of the right side, and kicking away the left. He stood in midair above the entrance for a second before falling into the opening. He hit the ground with a quiet clink of his armor. Straightening, the Vasto Lorde's bright blue eyes scanned the room.

The room he was in was dark, and covered from wall to wall with bookshelves. A sickly green light fixture on the ceiling bathed the room in an ominous light. Papers were spread out onto the floor in what was probably an organized fashion before the destruction overhead. He could see some of the books had been knocked off by its earlier attack. One particular book caught its attention.

"'An assembly of the Fusion Capabilities of Hollows, Shinigami and Humans'," The Vasto Lorde read, looking at the drawing on the cover.

It was of two men and a woman, unlike anything the Vasto Lorde had beheld before. One of the men had the uniform of a shinigami, but its face was covered by hollow's mask. The woman was stark naked, showing a hollow in her abdomen and a zanpakuto lay across her chest. Other than the hole she looked like any shinigami or human.

The other man was perhaps the most curious. His body seemed a combination of bestial and human. Spikes ran along his back, and a hollow hole was located in his chest. The Vasto Lorde was about to open the thick book, but his advanced hearing picked up a slight whimper. He took one last book, memorizing the author's name.

Ningen Geretsuna. The name was evil, and burnt into the Vasto Lorde's eyes from its innocent position on the black leather cover.

Setting the book down where he found it, Vasto Lorde looked over to the center of the room. Suspended in midair by blue circle of light on the floor and ceiling, which he presumed to be a shinigami spell, was a lion like hollow. Its body was brown, but its mane and head were a golden color. The silvery hollow reached out and as soon as his hand breached the cylinder, the spell dissipated, and the lion hollow fell to the ground.

It turned a pair of startlingly green eyes toward the Vasto Lorde. Fear was prominent in them. But not, the Vasto Lorde realized, of his presence. The sliver hollow felt disgust well up inside himself. What the hell did the shinigami do to her?

"Mila Rose, I presume," the Vasto Lorde said with a hint of pity in his voice. The lion hollow nodded, a short, pained movement of her head. "Your master sent me," he continued, "to retrieve you." the lion hollow's eyes widened in surprise, then closed in relief.

"You will heal better in Hueco Mundo." the Vasto Lorde said extending a hand, and with a gust of wind lifted the larger hollow onto his shoulder.

"Hold on," the silver hollow said.

He felt the lion hollow's body contract around his. His icy blue eyes met her green ones once more before the Vasto Lorde extended a finger to the ceiling. He gathered up and sharpened the air in the room, then shot it at the ceiling.

The blast forged a massive hole in the ceiling, and amidst the raining debris, the hollow pushed off from the ground, supporting the weight of the lion hollow with ease. With a generous flap of his wings he accelerated past the sound barrier

The resulting sonic boom further shook Seireitei. At their current speed the two reached the remains of the barrier within seconds. Pointing its unoccupied hand upwards, he began to marshal thick bands of icy blue reiatsu into a ball.

With a dull roar the cero detonated, painting night the sky with shades of eerie blue. However it didn't go very far. The sky seemed to absorb the attack and with a horrid tearing sound the cero's energy ripped the sky open, revealing a black void in the shape of a circle. The two hollows sped into it, and when they were gone from sight, the massive tear sewed itself shut. One could hardly tell if they were ever there.

Not including, of course, the fact that most Seireitei was in ruins.


Hueco Mundo: Desert Floor


The crescent Moon of Hueco Mundo shone down on the sandy hills. Yet despite the vast expanses of sand Hueco Mundo wasn't a desert. In a desert the sun always takes it upon itself to make the lives of all who live there miserable by means of radiating heat. Here, the Moon doesn't radiate heat, but more importantly it doesn't seek to interfere with lives of those who live in its light. Its ever changing light shone with a cold indifference, not caring or even considering the ever present cycle of bloodshed that occurred under it. It simply shone, shifting phases without a care.

It was to this Moon that the two hollows emerged. The forced garganta slammed closed as its occupants were dumped out of the sky. The silver hollow slowed to a hovering descent, and touched down without a sound. Setting Mila Rose down, he sat down opposite her. She too sat back on her haunches.

She watched in fascination as his form shifted his wings and tail shrinking down until they were unnoticeable. His crests shrunk till they were short and spiky. Long ragged black hair now grew from the back of his helmet. The transformed Vasto Lorde regarded her appraisingly. She shied away under his intense gaze, but he extended a hand that was now clawless. Light began to collect around his fingertips. After a few minutes Mila Rose's form was surrounded in beads of the same light. She started in alarm, but a meaningful look from the silver hollow across from her stopped her.

"You should stay still while I heal you," he said, his icy blue eyes and voice detached. She sat down heavily, the strain of what had happened to her in soul society catching up to her. Once she was still the beads of light began to sink into her skin. The process took a while, and while his reiatsu was healing her, he talked, simply to put something in the air between them.

"You know how this works? It stimulates your own healing capabilities and amps them up with my own power…"

"…the last time I was in Seireitei was actually only half a century ago, I needed to steal some books on spiritual medicine….

"…So never go to any areas in the Human World that have a large amount of spiritual pressure, chances are a shinigami is waiting to pounce on you."

He simply spoke, because he knew she needed nothing more than a distraction. He knew where her mind would go if he didn't. He knew a lot, that Vasto Lorde.

For the rest of the time, the Vasto Lorde would fill up the air with various tales of his life, until Mila Rose was able to speak. The beads of light were starting to fade now, their job close to being done. He looked at her, and said nothing, allowing the air to clear of his light-hearted tales for a moment. He needed to make room for something heavier.

"You want to tell me what happened?" The Vasto Lorde still didn't look at her.

But she could see the way his body tensed, and his hands clenched in his lap. He was angry on her behalf. For a minute they sat in silence. Light blue energy continued to surround Mila Rose, and slowly her wounds faded. The Vasto Lorde was about to recline, unsurprised at not receiving an answer to his question, but the lion hollow's head lowered.

"I went out on my own," she said, her voice low, "Mistress Halibel is always telling us not to but I was mad at Sun-Sun. All of the sudden I felt a shinigami's reiatsu, and I couldn't see anything. When I could see again, I was in a room with a bunch of bookshelves. These two shinigami...experimented on me," here she shuddered, and the ghost of past pain making itself known.

"Don't," the Vasto Lorde said blankly, "I will see for myself."

Mila Rose looked confused at his declaration. Slowly, the Vasto Lorde shut his eyes. When he reopened them, his icy blue orbs had glowing white runes, like those on his armor, crawling upwards on them, as if he was looking at computer feed. Mila Rose was startled by the small transformation, but was even further disturbed when she felt as though someone was intruding in her mind. Suddenly his blue eyes widened and he looked away from her again.

The Vasto Lorde's eyes were unreadable as he reached out and stroked her mane comfortingly. Mila Rose gave a very cat like purr at his ministrations.

"Let's get you back to your pride, Cub," She blinked at the nickname but stood all the same. She was surprised when she felt no resistance from her limbs. She turned in circles, trying to examine every inch of herself.

"Surprised you're healed?" the Vasto Lorde asked dryly, rolling its electric eyes.

"N-no," Mila Rose stuttered out, "I jus-"

"Let's go," The Vasto Lorde said, its usual uncaring voice back in place. He threw Mila Rose a glance, then jumped easily to his feet and began striding north. Mila Rose followed hesitantly.

"This is the way to my home?" she asked as she fell into step behind the Vasto Lorde.

"Indeed," the Vasto Lorde responded.

They walked for hours, but to they, who measured time by the phases of the Moon, no significant time had passed. Eventually they reached a stone uprising in the desert. It had a single entry point at the south side. Even though the tunnel stretched into darkness, the Vasto Lorde knew inside was a labyrinth not even he could find his way out of. Mila Rose too seemed to know he couldn't find the path to the center and looked at him inquiringly.

The Vasto Lorde raised a hand at her stare, "Wait and watch."

The Vasto Lorde raised its spiritual pressure once then flashed it in a higher but briefer fashion. He repeated this cycle four times. Minutes passed.

"What now?" Mila Rose asked a hint of her former pride returning. For an instant she'd thought she angered him.

He was only mildly annoyed.

The silver Vasto Lorde rolled a single icy blue eye to face her. When eye contact was made, Mila Rose's world turned dark, and the Moon was replaced with a massive image of the Vasto Lorde's eye. The air pressure increased dramatically around her in this new world and storm clouds whipped around her as far as she could see. It only lasted for an instant, but the illusion made Mila Rose shake with fear even after she was back in her own mind on the silky sand.

"Be patient," the Vasto Lorde said. It wasn't an apology, but Mila Rose detected something in his voice, something almost tender. It was most likely the closest to an apology that would ever come from him.

"Okay," she said, laying down in the sand to catch up on some much needed rest.

"Sleep well, Cub."


When she awoke she was in a familiar cavern. Three raised platforms made of stone rose to the far right of the spacious cavern. She looked around and found that Sun-Sun, Apacci and Halibel were at the center of the cavern, all sitting in a circle discussing something. She could hear the violent protests from Apacci as Halibel attempted to explain something. Sun-Sun, she noticed, was quiet and was looking at her. Sun-Sun said something to Halibel and Apacci and the two female hollows whirled around. Halibel ran towards her and, despite the awkwardness of their sizes, embraced her. Seemingly regaining herself she let go of Mila Rose and stood back.

"Don't ever get yourself into a situation like that again," Halibel said sternly. Mila Rose wondered if all Vasto Lorde were like this; keeping their true power and personalities contained behind a mask.

"Yes, Mistress Halibel," She responded. She took one more look around.

"Um, where is," she paused, realizing she hadn't even gotten a name from her savior, "the hollow that saved me?"

She thought she saw a smug glint in Apacci and Sun-Sun's eyes. Now, she wondered what they had been discussing before she had come to.

"Oh, Kodoku?" Halibel said in an offhand fashion, "he went back to his home."

"So that's his name," Mila Rose said, surprised, then as an afterthought, "He never said anything about himself."

Halibel snorted. "That's just like him."

"So you've known him for a long time?"

"'Known'? No being in existence can claim to know Kodoku, except one. We have met one a few occasions and I would consider us acquaintances. But if there's one thing I've learned about him, its that he doesn't let anyone get close to him. Not having a name, he thinks, makes him easy to forget, and therefore not apt to be anything more than a stranger."

Now Mila Rose looked confused.

"Didn't you just say there was someone who knows him? Didn't they get close to him?" she asked, confused at the seemingly conflicting statements. Halibel's green eyes danced with amusement.

"Yes she did," Halibel said, her mirth threatening to spill over into a laugh, "But he didn't let her."


The silver Vasto Lorde gave the stone uprising one last look before turning and disappearing. A few miles away a buzz signaled his arrival. Now within walking distance, he began to stride towards his home, his body taking the path instinctually. As he was striding, a buzz sounded behind him. He looked up at the moon. A thin crescent had begun to show. Damn it. He sighed.

"I said I'd be back by First Wane."

"But its First Wane now. Home is twenty miles south of here." the newcomer, another Vasto Lorde, had a voice that was high, but intelligent; both young and mature simultaneously. Had he been that far off? The temporal lag between dimensions must be catching up with him.

"Goddamn it."

He didn't need to turn around to know the newcomer's eyes would be twinkling with triumph. In fact he didn't need to turn around to know what the newcomer looked like; he knew her appearance by heart. An almost overly woman-esque figure covered in white medieval armor that hugged her features. Where there were gaps in the armor, an under skin of brown scales resided. A ram's skull formed the upper portion of her mask, and the teeth formed the lower portion, cut out to expose a pair of hazel eyes.

"Sorry," The silver hollow said, still not bothering to turn around, "I went a little overboard hunting."

The other Vasto Lorde laughed, a high, feminine sound.

"You can't lie to me, Kodoku," she said teasingly, "I could sense the moment you left Hueco Mundo."

The silver hollow snorted; unsurprised she'd caught onto his rouse.

"So what? I'm back now."

"So I know what you did," she said, her voice now becoming serious. "You actually reached out for someone else's sake. I think it's good for you."

At this electricity crackled around the silver hollow, and in an instant an arc of blue power shot out towards the other Vasto Lorde. The blast displaced a large column of sand and said substance began to rain down on him.

He heard a buzz, and the other Vasto Lorde was now at his left side, leaning onto his shoulder.

"Hm," she said, her arms resting on his shoulder, "If I didn't know any better, I'd think you were actually trying to hit me."

"Nel," The silver Vasto Lorde said, his voice weary, "Let's go home, it's been a hell of a First Moon."

For a second all was still, and the Vasto Lorde could envision a peaceful journey back to their home.

"Sure you know the way?"

"Shut up."


A/N: Basically the more advanced hollows in Hueco Mundo measure time by the moon, which in my story goes through a similar cycle to the human world. There are six phases to the moon and 12 moons in a year.

a) First Wane (first quarter)

b) Second Wane (second quarter)

c) First Wax (third quarter)

d) Last Moon (fourth quarter/full moon)

e) Black Moon (no moon)

[Edit 5/9/12]; Corrected spelling, corrected grammar. (Many) Added sentences. Change to portrayal of Kodoku's character. Redone spacing of paragraphs.]