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Masks We Hide Behind

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The setting sun lit the white quartz stone to gold. Silken tapestry hung from the walls and ceiling depicting scenes of great mythological conquests. Encircling the room was a low seated table laden heavy with food: sugared dates, baklava, doner kabab, Börek, pilaf, Hünkar beğendi, and even more amidst the wines and sherbet. Tompak drums beat out the rhythm as qanun strings laid out a melody, a barbat lute accompanying the piece with soft thrumming and ney flutes whistling through the air like singing birds playing a song before the circle of Warlords before their Emperor. The rich scent of kyphi drifted through the air, burning incense trailing smoke around the room soaking its inhabitants.

 

Despite the decadence, the joyful trill of song, and energetic step of the dancers, Grimmjow Jeagerjaques sat unmoved, blue eyes sharp while surveying the room, body tense for a fight.

 

Though the desert sun was setting, the air still sat hot and uncomfortable over his skin. In his right hand, the goblet of ice had long since grown warm, water threatening to slosh over the edge, his left arm propped on a raised knee, index finger twitching. Though surrounded by supposed comrades, he trusted none of them.

 

He was surprised to see those he knew by name: Harribel with her Cretian fleet, Starrk from the Rus’ tribes of the far north, even Szayel Aporro of the Eastern Isles was in present. Banquets hosted by the Emperor rarely saw to their presence, their movements generally unknown until they came back with conquests. Those he recognized in regular attendance of the Emperor were either deliberately casual or apathetic towards the socio-political backdrop that Grimmjow had to face.

 

It was illegal within the palace to gossip about the war front and the maneuverings of the Emperor’s Warlords, but loose tongues and even looser mouths always seem to find a way to spread information to willing ears.

 

“Amicis,” called out the Emperor of the Hueco Mundo White Desert, Sousuke Aizen. The music and dancers stopped, bowing to their ruler and shuffling out of eye sight. Even if Latin wasn’t the native tongue of Hueco Mundo, by right Aizen bent the people to his will. 

 

The many golden rings upon his fingers encrusted with rubies, turquoise, pearls and emeralds of pillaging origins glittered obnoxiously. His royal purple kaftan richly embroidered with silver thread, an outer green robe with peacock feather detailing, and heavy collar of solid gold looked nothing less than magnificent on the man, conqueror of many cultures, ruler of great wealth.

 

In the emptiness of silence did he say; “Tonight, glad tidings have been brought to us. I’ve brought you all here together at the start of the next campaign. Spies have returned with news of the Eastern Empires and bring back treasure and certain victory. So eat the fruits of your labor,” young servants came out with their heads and backs bent over, shuffling softly and presenting more food before them, “drink for your fortuitous efforts,” the servants behind them reaching around to pour new wine into newly chilled goblets, “And behold my greatest treasure of them all-”

 

The drumming musician beat out a quick three note tune, another who had a long thick horn from some unknown animal began a low tremulous sound that stretched on and on in introduction. A servant pulled back the silken curtains and out stepped-

 

“-The Jewel of the East!”

 

A young man, tall, with lithe muscles, wearing a kabuki mask over his face with red ink flaring like sun rays across the white porcelain and teeth of a vicious beast. The dancer was bare chested, wearing only black silk trousers that billowed around his legs and black ribbons that wrapped around his hands and forearms, his feet bare as he walked to the middle of the banquet, catching every stray eye upon his form, his baring, his hair.

 

His glorious hair.

 

In the light of the fading sun and candle, the dancer’s long hair was lit ablaze a bright copper color, highlighted by gold, lowlighted by dark auburn, his hair was the richest treasure Aizen had ever presented before them. He turned his back to the Emperor, hair fanning beautifully behind him for a brief glimpse of his bare back and the swell of his ass.

 

Hands began to beat out a rhythm on tompak drums, claves clacking together to clap out invigorating trills and the shake of a rattler keeping it all in time. And his hips moved.

 

Arms raising in the air, the dancer’s hips popped and shook to the beat of the drums. His shoulders and turn of his hands danced to the rhythm of the wooden claves as if he himself were clapping, his body a vessel for the music to move him with.

 

Spinning on his heel, the dancer, the Jewel of the East, turned to his audience and began to dance .

 

Arms moving around him with the smoothness of water in a stream, feet kicking out to stamp along the ground as hips beat to the drums. The trousers sitting low on his hips did well to emphasize the tantalizing cut of his hip bones, the ribbons around his arms were flags waving in the wind as he twisted and spun around, hair flaring out behind him at every turn.

 

The dancer was exceedingly beautiful and -as Grimmjow discreetly glanced around- enthralling. Most of the more wild Warlords and their entourage gazed with lust upon the man, distracted by the twitch of his hips and toss of his head. Even the more mature, standoffish Warlords couldn’t look away.

 

As if Grimmjow couldn’t be even more tempted, the music ebbed and faded. The drums calming and slowing the beat, the rattlers timing it softly and the claves going silent as the dancer stood once again in the middle and bloomed.

 

Like a magic trick, the dancer revealed twin daggers that were hidden along the ribbons of his forearms, the bright metal glinting in the rising moonlight.

 

At the reveal of the weapons, Grimmjow couldn’t help but sit up taller, suddenly seeing how well adept the dancer’s fingers twirled the daggers loosely in his hand but with complete control. One dagger was carved from ivory, the other ebony, and he moved them both in his hands as if dual wielding two swords was ingrained within him.

 

The music picked up again, and this time the Jewel of the East danced faster, making the flash of his weapons as eye catching as his hair. But it wasn’t his dance that had Grimmjow so bewitched. Now that he could see it, he couldn’t stop looking.

 

Muscles held taunt, held strong by more than just dancing .

 

A clean, if faded white scar curling over his hip.

 

Feet that circled around the room, falling into the grace of learned katas.

 

Arms sweeping around with daggers in hand, if he had a sword the move would slice his enemy wide open.

 

The dancer was trained, beautiful and deadly, Grimmjow watched him with bated breath, counting on the controlled grace of skilled movement, the evidence of violence on his skin, the hands that rendered weapons into art form. Why someone of such skill would be a dancer wasn’t his business, he didn’t care, but how the two differences could mesh together so well was... tempting.

 

He spun around at a certain pitch and their eyes met.

 

Across the expanse of the banquet, Grimmjow’s bright blue eyes caught the flash of gold behind the mask and their gaze locked.

 

Bright, shining gold.

 

Wide eyes that glowed from behind the mask, a burning passion. A scalding fire.

 

A fire that no mere dancer would have.

 

Grimmjow didn’t feel the smile stretching across his face, one of utter pleasure and desire that surged through his blood as their gaze fell away from each other and the dancer continued his choreography.

 

His hips moved, arms waved, hands flashing their daggers, but he was no longer interested in the dancer.

 

Whoever was underneath the mask was so much more interesting.

 

The music slowed. The dancer, having moved around the room to finally come to a close in the middle once again, also slowed and raised his arms to the rising moon, completing his dance just as the music stopped, posing before the Emperor and his Warlords.

 

Grimmjow could finally breathe.

 

There was an applause that the dancer took graciously, bowing before Aizen and falling to his knees. The Emperor raised a hand, quieting the short applause, smiling with a closed mouth and addressing his guests,

 

“My Jewel of the East. Warlord Ciffer Ulquiorra tells of no greater dancer then he and how he came from Karakura.” The name of the Kingdom that laid directly between Hueco Mundo and Seireitei queried an interest in those in the know. “They’ve lost a valuable piece of treasure.”

 

Ciffer had gone scouting and brought back a prize. The cold hearted Warlord was a callous bastard, but no doubt because of his absolute loyalty and perfect record of conquered lands and incomparable rarity around the world he’s brought back as tribute would he have found favor from the Emperor himself. Kidnapping a high profile entertainer from the very border of Seireitei was daring, no more so than what Grimmjow had done, but Aizen was prone to favoritism. His cold smile widened as he beckoned the dancer forward, “Come and sit at my side. You’ve more than earned my grace, my Jewel.

 

The dancer rose to his feet, and came around to sit on the proffered cushion that sat at the Emperor’s left hand. Aizen, being seated on a pile of plush cushions and a raised dais, stroked the top of the dancer’s beautiful hair, letting the silken locks fall carelessly from his fingers when he grew bored of offering attention to his new toy.

 

“They’ve grown careless,” Aizen said, the enjoyment of the banquet quickly falling away into anticipation, “News has reached them but they underestimate us. Good. They will be unprepared for our strength and numbers. Their kingdoms lay unguarded, unprepared for the war we will bring to their doorsteps.

 

“The prince of the Shiba line-,” this Aizen smirked, “-is still missing. The nobles run themselves ragged looking for a singular child while their kingdoms lay ripe for the taking. Warlord Jeagerjaques made the first move.”

 

Everyone’s focus turned to him. All in judgement, scrutiny, Warlords scenting blood in the water and deciding whether the chase was worth the reward or not. Grimmjow sat as still as possible, letting the words and their attention wash over him, never flinching.

 

“An ambush on the enemy,” Aizen mused, idly swirling the wine from his cup, “And you defeated them?”

 

“Aye,” Grimmjow said, raising his own cup in salute, “For the glory of the Emperor.”

 

When he had heard reports of a patrol in his territory, he didn’t need permission of the Emperor to lead his men in an attack. Hueco Mundo is not yet in war with Seireitei just yet, though the tension between the two empires was palpable. Grimmjow attacked the patrol, consequently a patrol led by a Captain of the opposing army, was as near a declaration of war the two states can get without legal documentation.

 

And he did it, without the Emperor’s orders.

 

No doubt the man was displeased.

 

No doubt the entire congress of Aizen’s army was here to watch the Emperor punish a Warlord.

 

But Grimmjow had won . The opposing party was unprepared for an assault, especially one from Far Western origin. If he had lost, Aizen would more then likely cut off his arm and leave him to bleed out across the cold stone floor. But he won.

 

Which meant Grimmjow didn’t know how the Emperor would take it.

 

“‘ For the glory of the Emperor’ ,” Aizen repeated in amusement, “Yes, for your overzealous display of loyalty to my empire today, Seireitei will begin to prepare for war. We must remain vigilant of spies and assassins, for if they now know of the Warlord Jeagerjaques involvement in the army of Hueco Mundo then they will search for who else was brought into my fold.” With a sinking feeling in his gut, Grimmjow realized that Aizen was beyond pissed. Yes, he did kickstart a war that the Emperor more than had his sights on, but in doing so had revealed a card he had wanted to keep close to the chest. “I’ll have to reward you.”

 

He wasn’t so stupid as to believe the reward as anything but a test, a trap, or even a punishment in and of itself. Grimmjow’s face betrayed nothing of his unease, Aizen musing terrible thoughts before a cold, cruel smile graced his face.

 

“Jewel,” Aizen called, handing off his goblet to one of his favorite serving girls to reach his now free hand out to the beautiful dancer, “Come to me.”

 

Grimmjow couldn’t stop the widening of his eyes, the dread that lurched within the pit of his stomach as his eyes flickered to the dancer at the Emperor’s side. The dancer shuffled on his knees closer to the Emperor’s side, keeping his head bowed and below the Emperor’s shoulder line in servitude. Aizen pet his hand across the fire-kissed head of long hair, running his fingers through the strands at his nape to grab hold of the young man, jerking his head up to look at the Emperor.

 

“My Warlord Jaegerjaques couldn’t take his eyes off you as you danced,” he said, loud enough for everyone to hear, but with a purr on his tongue as if speaking some intimate secret, “His lust for you is quite flattering, don’t you agree?”

 

The dancer, Jewel, remained silent behind his mask, only managing the slightest of nods. Aizen, looking at the dancer’s covered face kept his hand locked tight in his hair before growing bored, jerking the dancer away from him and carelessly tossing him aside to which the dancer gracefully stood to his feet and shuffled backwards.

 

“I’ll let you have him, Grimmjow,” Aizen said, now turning his attention to the Warlord who stared in barely leashed rage, “I want him back when you’re done. Don’t break my things.”

 

The teasing timbre of his voice was permission enough for the tinkling of muffled snickers to echo around the room. Grimmjow stood to his feet, turning his back to the Emperor and the watching peanut gallery, and striding out of the dining hall with the expression of unsuppressed hatred.

 

Humiliated.

 

Grimmjow won Aizen a war and the first encounter and the man rewarded him with humiliation. And with something so cheap as a whore . He wasn’t so stupid as to question why specifically a whore because it was this specific one. The Jewel of the East, Aizen’s new favorite treasure, undeniably his and now allowing Grimmjow to have the dancer.

 

Grimmjow had desired him. Desired him at the first suspicion that the other was more than just a pretty thing, but now it all fell so cheaply into his hands.

 

The man who he saw behind the mask, the one who earned his scars, his skills, his strength, would be long gone because Aizen has given him the whore instead. Turning his own want and desire to ash.

 

Making it to his quarters, he slammed his palms against the ornate door, half wishing for the wood to shatter underneath his hands, the other half wishing for the doors to shut in the dancer’s face, keeping him out against further humiliation.

 

No such luck, Grimmjow had crossed the room, angrily tearing off the gauntlets around his forearms, unbuckling the clasp of his baldric and sitting on a chair, one hand clasping his knee, nails digging into his skin, the other hand grabbing the bottle of mead that sat untouched on the table.

 

Out of the corner of his eye, he caught a flash of fiery orange and without taking his eyes off his fingers uncorking the bottle he said, “I’m not fuckin’ you.”

 

The cork finally popped off and he took a heady swig, letting the alcohol burn down his throat and yet still he gulped three times. Finally looking at the dancer, standing there in the middle of the room, he could still admit that the other man was beautiful, but it only made him hate himself further.

 

“Can’t even fuckin’ understand me,” he growled, turning a sharp glare at the dancer to catch his meaning, “I’m not fucking you.”

 

By necessity did Grimmjow learn Latin, his own mother tongue a foreign sound to the other Warlords who spoke their own. Aizen being Roman by both blood and heritage made Latin the official language of his empire, no matter if Persia had its own culture before the madman took the throne. Grimmjow only spoke Latin when needed, slipping to his mother tongue the moment it wasn’t. He had spoken to the dancer in the language of the Urnfield tribes, knowing full and well that Jewel was from the Far East, probably only hearing his language for the first time.

 

The dancer’s head tilted only slightly, glittering topaz eyes regarding him before speaking in a quiet but deep voice, “Was it the drink or the Emperor that spoiled you?”

 

His accent was heavy, latin twisting his tongue uncomfortably but the syllables falling from his lips weren’t... unattractive.

 

“Can you understand me?” Grimmjow asked in Celtic, or some form of celtic too old to have a proper name, keeping his tone and facial expression blank just so that the dancer couldn’t pick up any hints.

 

“Some,” the dancer shook his head, “Not all. Do you not want me?”

 

By the sweep of the other’s hand, gesturing to his half naked body, Grimmjow understood what he meant and he scowled, bearing his teeth aggressively before taking another swig of his drink, replying in Latin, “What's the worth in something freely given? Allowed to be taken?”

 

Something more than alcohol tasted bitter on his tongue.

 

“Then it is his fault,” the dancer surmised, “You wanted me for yourself.”

 

Having had been focusing on the neck of the bottle in his hand, he sharply looked to the dancer, “I did not want you.”

 

Lies. He knew it but if his words could drive away the whore any faster, he’d be willing to claim three cocks underneath his kilt.

 

“No?” Jewel said, his tilted head straightening before both hands came up to take hold of his mask. Grimmjow’s breath caught between his teeth, watching as the other peeled back his mask to reveal his face to the world and moonlight.

 

A handsome face. Beautiful golden eyes of a predator staring back at him as Grimmjow followed the line of his jaw, ridge of his nose and furrow of his brow. Strong and handsome, not at all feminine or delicate as many other brothel would advertise their male prostitutes, his wild theory of the other man’s other skills was gaining more and more ground.

 

The other smiled as his weight shifted from one foot to the other, hip cocking and his hands reaching up to untie the silk ribbons from around his forearms, “You do not still want me?”

 

Carefully, meters of delicate silk fell to the floor as he unwound the ribbons, and though the dancer wore next to nothing besides his billowing silk trousers, the slow exposure of skin not previously seen made Grimmjow hungry .

 

“No,” he said despite the ember of desire simmering low in his gut. Bottle now forgotten on the table, he tilted himself back into the chair, legs spread and feet firmly on the floor as the dancer approached, but stopped right in front of him.

 

“Because I’m an easy meal?” The dancer Jewel said and even if his tongue was unfamiliar with Latin, a certain roll of his voice made the language sinful, “Because you did not earn my attention? Because you did not win me for yourself?”

 

The ribbons unbound themselves from his wrists, freeing the dancer’s forearms for the Warlord’s eyes to greedily drink the sight of naked, strong forearms. The little nicks and hints of scars from past wounds made him look over the other again, his appetite whet and wanting.

 

“I don’t pay whores,” Grimmjow said.

 

“I’m a dancer,” he said, stepping closer, bare feet quiet against the cool stone floors, “Despite what your Emperor Aizen may think, I do not give away what I don’t want to give.”

 

Their voices low and intimate, the closeness between them, their eyes that stayed locked together, never straying away from the draw or approach. Grimmjow believed the other man, looking into his eyes and finding a fire never quelled.

 

“Then why are you still here?”

 

Jewel, his true name still unknown to the Celtic Warlord, bent at the waist to take Grimmjow's wrists. He allowed it, the other guiding his hands to hold his hips as he climbed into his lap, their heads tilted to breath the same air, magnetic touch headier than any drug.

 

“You wanted me,” he whispered, shifting his knees to spread wider, hips lowering to sit snugly over his thighs. His hands took Grimmjow by the wrists once again to guide them lower. Instinctively, his hands reached around to grab the other by the ass, palms filled with bountiful muscle, and the dancer moaned. “I could feel your eyes on me when I danced.”

 

“Everyone’s eyes were on you,” he growled, leaning forward to smell the heady scent of saffron sitting on his throat, kissing the soft skin to taste the salt there. “Everyone wanted you.”

 

“Everyone wanted the dancer,” Jewel scoffed, leaning back some just to catch his eyes, “No one has ever looked and seen beneath the mask.”

 

So the dancer had felt it too, this attraction. Their eyes met and Grimmjow couldn’t help being drawn closer, wanting more and more to see the one beneath the mask. It landed them here, Jewel in his lap, more than willing to take this all into climax together.

 

“What’s your name?” He asked. Grimmjow couldn’t keep thinking of the other man as ‘Jewel’. Let Aizen have his ‘Jewel’ and let Grimmjow have someone else. Someone much more fulfilling than a stolen dancer. A slave.

 

Out of the other’s throat came this low hum, almost purring sound, of a man delighted before whispering, “Ichigo,” and he ducked down to kiss him.

 

Ichigo , the exotic name echoing around his head as he added a face and taste to the meaning. Ichigo tasted like sugared dates and fruity wine, his warmth heady and lips so soft, easily falling open when Grimmjow licked into his mouth. The other rolled his hips closer, pressing them chest to chest, his arms wrapped around his shoulders, a spare hand threading through his blonde hair.

 

His own hands weren’t immobile, sweeping over the other’s hips, one hand pressing steadily into the small of his back, the other tracing the line of his spine up to grip lustrous ginger hair before giving a sharp tug.

 

Ichigo pulled his mouth back, groaning at the treatment -rough- and easily panting as Grimmjow trailed his mouth against his jawline, his pulse point, scraping teeth and tongue across the edge. The dancer above him shivered in his arms when his mouth teased a particular spot, gasping out the words, “My lord, my lord how do you want me?”

 

Growling, Grimmjow wrenched himself away from his feast, snarling and glaring like a feral animal to say, “I’ll have you moaning my name, chreach .”

 

Again, that amused smile, coy and gratified before saying, “Grimmjow,” the name falling off his tongue with a sensual rasp, the ‘r’ rolling like fine wine on his tongue. “Grimmjow,” warmth sinking into his skin, his bones, the man in question didn’t want Ichigo to just moan his name, but to scream it.

 

Strong hips swiveled over his groin and both he and the dancer groaned in union, friction finding their members longing. Grimmjow’s hand at the small of the other’s back reached down once again to grab his ass, fingers searching for the crease and momentarily surprised to find Ichigo still clothed in his silk trousers.

 

“Clothes off,” he ordered, drawing his hand out of the ginger locks to pick at the silk ribbons that held the other’s pants up. Even if the garment looked to only just hang off his hips by sheer luck, he quickly realized that it would be harder than it would seem to undress him further.

 

Ichigo once again took him by the wrists to stop his frantic fingers from tugging uselessly, meeting his eyes once again and saying, “Can I dance for you?”

 

It took a second for Grimmjow to hear and understand. A second longer to answer, “You’ve danced for me enough.”

 

“For Aizen, for others, yes,” Ichigo said before pulling himself up and sliding off of his lap, letting go of his wrists yet still looking him in the eye. It was unbearable to turn away. “But not for you. Will you let me?”

 

“There’s no music,” the words slipped from him without thought, it was permission enough for Ichigo to smile again and take a step back.

 

“Then let’s make some.”

 

It was the sexiest thing Grimmjow was ever gifted, watching the other man cocking his hip, feet shifting underneath him, Ichigo started to dance. A low but deep humm vibrated through his chest, mouth falling open to draw out the sound, eyes falling closed as if he were enthralled by the music in his head.

 

A slow pitch, a deeper sound, the other man’s hips swinging out in a wide but slow circle. The motion repeated, his lithe body mocking music as the heels of his feet hit the ground at certain beats. His hands placed themselves on his hips before sliding forward to clasp over his lower belly, hands then sweeping over his abs when his body fell into a wave, coming up the man’s chest for his head to fall back, exposing his throat for just a moment before his hands crossed over to grip his neck.

 

He was still humming, hips now swerving in reverse, now catching the rhythm and beat of his music to really get into it. One foot swung around and smoothly turned, hips still moving, heels still beating against the ground, other foot following the other until Ichigo had his back completely towards the quivering Warlord, whose hands were gripping the arm rests of his chair to not pounce on the dancer in the middle of his routine.

 

This was his gift from Ichigo, no fucking way was he gonna ruin it.

 

Hands swept back over his throat to his nape, and Ichigo drew the long ginger locks up over his back, exposing the erotic view of bare skin that nearly glowed in the moon and candlelight, miles of taunt muscle, speckled in freckles and the rare scar or two, his hips changing motion now to swing his ass out in a slow turn.

 

The ribbon tied around his waist was undone.

 

Grimmjow watched in rapt attention as the silk tie began to unwind from the dancer’s hips the longer his hips swerved to the music. The fabric pooling at the other’s feet, not a single hitch in his dance as the ribbon slid further and further off.

 

Suddenly, Ichigo spun, leaning forward to place his open palms down onto the floor, and lifting his legs up and over his head to swing around, landing perfectly into Grimmjow’s lap once again, arms coming around to rest on his shoulders, the most satisfied grin on his face telling just how pleased he was of the move.

 

Grimmjow’s own hands grabbed the other’s hips, surprised at the feel of burning hot skin under his palms, looking down to catch sight of the other’s full nakedness. Long legs, strong thighs spread wide over his own, and a pretty cock hard and curving up towards the man’s belly. Irresistibly, he took hold of his member, gave it one firm long stroke and was rewarded by a shivering cry out of Ichigo, who hunched over to rest his brow against his shoulder.

 

“Gancanagh, ” Grimmjow hissed, pressing kisses along the line of his neck and shoulders, his thumb rubbing over the steadily weeping member, his other hand fluttering over the sudden expanse of skin, fingers touching every available piece for moving on. He couldn’t get enough, Si’lat. What seducing spirit are you to come so far? To enthrall me for your prize?”

 

Ichigo hitched a short chuckle, hips twitching forward into his grip, panting in his ear, “Flattering. But I don’t think you want to know the answer.”

 

“Then you are an incubus,” Grimmjow said, now moving his lips to kiss the other’s jaw and ear lobe, drawing the soft skin into his mouth for a suckle, “A qarȊnah.”

 

“Would you still fuck me, knowing that I’ll will take from you your life while giving you this pleasure?” Ichigo grinded down filthily into his lap, drawing attention to the hard and yearning member still hidden beneath his kilt. Grimmjow groaned, his hand leaving the other’s weeping cock to wrap his hand underneath the meat of his thigh, the other coming down to do the same.

 

“Yes.”

 

Grimmjow lifted to his feet, holding Ichigo’s weight in his arms as the other man fell forward, wrapping his legs around his waist and arms around his neck. He padded over to the bed, fingers squeezing his thighs to signal wordlessly to Ichigo who released him to be thrown onto the bed.

 

By the gods, Ichigo was beautiful. Ginger hair long and by the light of the candles, on fire, the golden tan of his skin and dotted freckles on gorgeous display, spread out before him. His eyes, a golden hue that reminded Grimmjow of wolves and dangerous creatures burned with want and hunger.

 

"Taing don aon dhia as aithne dhomh,” Grimmjow said, his hands undoing the ties of his kilt to stand naked before him, “Tha an fheòil agus an fhuil seo nam làmhan.”

 

( I give thanks to the only god I know that this flesh and blood beneath my hands is mine. )

 

Ichigo rose up on his elbows, cocking his head to the side listening to unfamiliar words, “I don’t understand what you’re saying.”

 

Grimmjow shook his head, falling forward to crawl up Ichigo's body until they breathed the same air, eyes locked and never leaving each other, “Don’t listen to me.”

 

Leaning down to press lips to lips, he laid himself between the dancers legs, both moaning in unison as their members rubbed together. Lazily, Grimmjow began to rut, the heady spike of pleasure curling at the base of his spine as his main focus was to chase the taste of Ichigo’s mouth, tongues sliding sensually, breath shared in this moment and the next.

 

Ichigo’s hands were on him, grasping his shoulders, trailing over to hold his back and drag him closer, skin pressing closer attempting to meld together into one.

 

“Mo dhia tha thu brèagha. Cha b ’urrainn dhomh mo shùilean a thoirt bhuat, a’ dannsa air mo shon,” Grimmjow growled. Lips leaving Ichigo’s to rasp his breath across his cheek, one hand coming up to take hold of the other’s face, the other bearing his weight into the bed sheets, “A ’faireachdainn math. Càite an robh thu fad mo bheatha?”

 

( My god, you are beautiful. I couldn’t take my eyes off you, dancing for me. Feels so good. Where have you been all my life? )

 

Unable to hold himself back, Grimmjow opened his mouth to bite down on the sensitive junction between neck and shoulder, Ichigo gasping from the pain but moaning just as prettily.

 

Tha do ghearan a ’faireachdainn milis, ” he asked, tongue swiping over the bite, having not broken the skin but bruised it beautifully, “Mo chreach. Mhèinn a bhith agam agus a chumail. Bhithinn air do chumail nam bithinn air do lorg an toiseach.”

 

( Your moans sound sweet. My prey. Mine to have and hold. I would have kept you if I had found you first. )

 

Ichigo did not understand the guttural words falling from his lips, yet as if in answer one leg raised to wrap around Grimmjow’s waist, urging him forward, faster, throwing his head back and moaning to the stars, baring his neck, chest heaving and heart racing in time with his.

 

“Gu ifrinn leis” Grimmjow moaned before descending, biting down on the offered flesh, nipping at his clavicle.

 

(To hell with it.)

 

Hands ran through his blonde hair, taking hold of the tresses to pull his head up, Ichigo leaning his head to press desperate kisses against his mouth, his cheeks. His body, thoroughly wrapped around him, shifted, pushing, until Grimmjow could guess that the other wanted to turn them both.

 

His hand on the bed came down to grab twisting hips, the other holding up his weight by Ichigo’s head as he lifted off, but glared down at the other.

 

“Impatient,” he hissed, sneaking a kiss when his lips desired to do so, “I’m leading this dance.”

 

“You’re a slow dancer,” Ichigo said, his body stilling but hands coming up to bring their members together, dirty friction causing them both to moan and Grimmjow to thrust into his tight grip, but smacking away those hands and leaning over the side of the bed.

 

“If sex always ends so quickly, then that shows more on you than I.”

 

Ichigo glared, eyes sparking with more fight than what Grimmjow expected in the other and he was delighted. He had already grabbed one of the bottles of warming oil, something kept restocked in every room of the Emperor’s palace, uncorking the bottle to dribble the liquid onto their cocks. The dancer hissed at the temperature but he continued pouring the oil onto spread thighs.

 

“You’re making a mess,” Ichigo complained but did nothing. Grimmjow threw the bottle away, uncaring to the clatter of glass against stone or the contents spilling everywhere, instead running his hands on the dancer’s raised knees, sliding over his thighs until his palms met the mess of oil slathered onto his skin.

 

One hand slipped over the dancer’s straining cock, generously coating the aching member, the other hand sliding down to fondle his balls. Ichigo’s thighs begin to tremble, an unfettered moan singing past his lips as his eyes fell shut, panting his pleasure and writhing under the Warlord’s ministrations.

 

Grimmjow was quick to change his focus, stroking a few fingers over the other’s taint which provoked a few jolts of pleasure. Moving his thumb to replace his fingers in tormenting such a fragile tender spot, his fingers grazed down lower, following the crease of his ass to trail over  the furl of his tight pucker.

 

Running his fingers over the other’s entrance, Ichigo’s entire body fell into a wave, pressing his ass back into Grimmjow’s hands while muttering , “Anata wa hokanohito to wa kotonarimasu. Anata wa watashi ni motto yoku furemasu.”

 

( You are different from the others. You touch me better. )

 

The dancer’s language was unlike anything Grimmjow’s ever heard. Different syllables, pronunciation, but no less beautiful. Uttered with such breathless lust made him burn hotter.

 

His fingers soaked in oil, he slid one in and slowly speared the other, feeling molten walls close around the intrusion but Ichigo was singing . “Hai, motto!”

 

(Yes, more!)

 

He didn’t know what the other kept saying over and over, but he could easily guess by Ichigo’s arms reaching up to tug him down, smothering his face in kisses and burying his face into his shoulder to softly keen when he began to softly thrust forward into that tight heat.

 

A second finger was introduced, oil quelching loudly between them and slipping easily into the dancer’s body. Ichigo began moving his hips, following the rhythm of Grimmjow’s thrusts easily, whining at every brush of fingers against that lovely bundle of nerves within.

 

Removing his own hands from the dancer’s steadily leaking cock, now twitching in his palm and threatening to reach completion, he reached down to touch his own neglected member, moaning at the suckerpunch of painful pleasure with how sensitive he’s become.

 

Slipping a third finger was slightly more difficult, Ichigo wincing in discomfort but still encouraged by the baring down of his hips against questing fingers , “Anata wa watashi o kizutsukenai.”

 

( You won’t hurt me. Give me more. )

 

Finally, Ichigo’s golden eyes fell open, glaring at Grimmjow and snarling in a heavy tongue, “If you do not get on with it, I will take you.”

 

Grinning, removing his fingers from the well lubed entrance, falling onto his elbows to press kisses onto the other’s lips and baring his weight down for the dancer to still. “Such teeth on a pretty little bitch. Don’t you know you’re threatening a Warlord?”

 

“If the Warlord doesn’t stick his skinny little cock in me, I’m gonna-” his threat fell short as Grimmjow pressed in, the head of his member splitting him open and never stopping the assault as he moaned.

 

“Gonna what?” Grimmjow asked, amused, stopping himself from sheathing to the hilt to draw back and thrust forward, “I want to hear what else you’ll threaten me with.”

 

He pulled back to thrust hard, Ichigo’s tight entrance swallowing around him and squeezing in a vice. Grimmjow shuddered, eyes falling shut as his mind turned nearly delirious from the pleasure. Perfect. Could he be any more perfect? He’s an idiot to believe it, but Ichigo felt perfectly made for him, their bodies crafted to match each other and may it be fate or destiny, they were tied irrevocably.

 

“Koko de mitsuketa,” Ichigo was speaking, gasping, his words unveiling the cloaked dagger and though Grimmjow didn’t understand a single word, his heart and blood quickened by imagining the awful promises of violence his dancer whispered, Naze anata wa koko ni iru nodesu ka? Watashitachiha rekishi no saiaku no bubun ni imasu .”

 

(I found you here. Why are you here? We’re in the worst part of history.)

 

He began a steady rhythm, finding a comfortable position and angle to thrust into the other. A pleasured groan told him he found the exact spot he wanted and he aimed to please. Each thrust forcing a panting breath out of the dancer, words falling out of his lips thoughtlessly as his eyes slipped shut, head thrown back to enjoy.

 

Watashi wa anata ga anata ga shinda to omotta ōjidesu ,” A moan, Grimmjow leaving down to nip and bite the expanse of sweaty skin. “Watashitachiha yoriyoi basho de otagai o mitsuketara anata no monodeshita. Anata dake ga kono himitsu o shitte imasu. Ashita no asamade ni zen sekai ga kawaru. Shikashi, watashi wa anata to isshode wa arimasen.”

 

( I am the prince you thought dead. I would have been yours if we found each other in a better place. Only you will know this secret. By tomorrow morning, your whole world will change but I will not be there with you. )

 

Ichigo choked out a sob, malice leaving him as his hips joined the meshing of their bodies, the rapid beat of flesh against flesh making its own kind of music. Grimmjow reacted to the sound by grasping his member and beating it off cruelly, forcing a wail to ring out into the air between them.

 

“Can still talk,” he gasped, thrusting particularly hard to make a point, “Still think.”

 

Before he could finish the thought, Ichigo grasped his face with both hands, forcing sapphire and topaz eyes to meet in the middle, lust and pleasure blowing out their pupils until the color was mere glints.

 

“Then fuck me harder.”

 

Permission fucking granted. Grimmjow gave a grunt before swinging his chest up until he was sitting on his heels, cock still sheathed deep inside, the dancer sprawled out and over his legs in debauched pleasure. His eyes strayed to the other’s chest that was covered in a splattering of marks and bruises from his lips and teeth.

 

“Hold on.”

 

Ichigo’s hands scrambled to find an anchor, finding pillows, silks, and willowy curtains to grasp, giving a short yell when Grimmjow started to really fuck him.

 

Hard thrusts, cock driving deep and aimed true, sparking fire, the meat of ass and thighs slapping together as Ichigo was pulled and tugged back and forth across the sheets, the dancer’s mouth falling open to mewl lewdly and never close again.

 

He fucked into the tight channel, grunting and groaning at each pass and squeeze, the heat searing memory into his flesh and bones. Grimmjow couldn’t take his eyes off the dancer, watching sweaty skin flush red in pleasure, member jolting at each thrust, dribbling cum across the other’s belly. He had grabbed Ichigo’s hips tight, no doubt bruising and leaving fingerprints for anyone to witness, savagely ramming into him like one would a cock sleeve.

 

Unbearable lightning raced up his spine, foretelling his orgasm, but he growled as if to threaten his own pleasure to hold off until he was ready for it.

 

He reached down to jack off Ichigo’s cock, thumbing ruthlessly at the slit until the other started screaming.

 

“Come on,” he panted, feeling Ichigo’s quivering hole tighten around him in impending pleasure, “Call my name.”

 

“Grimmjow,” Ichigo whimpered, his arms having thrown themselves over his eyes to hide the utter devastation of pleasure about his face.

 

“Again.”

 

“Grimmjow.” Slightly stronger, he raked over his own ginger tresses and pulled, looking up at him with teary eyes. Beautiful.

 

“Again!” He shouted, driving his hips forward to beat against the bundle of nerves, hand around the other’s member giving a mean stroke and squeezed tight around the head.

 

“Grimmjow!” Ichigo screamed. Shattered. Orgasming right in his hands, his whole body convulsing in the pleasure rising up to pull him under, his head thrown back, mouth opening in that delicious o-face expression and moaning for the whole palace to hear him.

 

The vice grip around Grimmjow’s member tore him over the edge and he leaned down to take a vicious bite out of his shoulder, cumming with the taste of blood in his mouth and Ichigo’s wails. Fuck, fuck, fuck he felt so good, so ridiculously good. His cock pulsed in time to his racing heart, emptying load after load of hot cum into the dancer who laid there still twitching but now mewling from over sensitivity.

 

He was shaking when he managed to heave himself to the side, pulling out his softening cock with twin groans of postcoital pain and pleasure. A wave of exhaustion hit him; the drink and athletic sex not doing him any favors in staying awake to check his new lover. His arms reached to take Ichigo by the shoulders, drawing him close, tucking him under his chin to nose at the sweaty but still fragrant hair.

 

"Du bist mein,” he said, his mother tongue slurring his words, intention slipping away as well a his consciousness, “Versprich, dass egal wie weit du zu mir gehörst und ich zu dir gehören werde.”

 

(You are mine. Promise that no matter how far you belong to me and I will belong to you.)

 

“Gomen'nasai Grimmjow.” He hears in a foreign tongue. The words felt nice so he took it as confirmation. “Sayōnara.

 

(I’m so sorry, Grimmjow. Goodbye.)

 

With the last word echoing like a lullaby, Grimmjow fell asleep, the scent of saffron in his nose, taste on his tongue, and memory of the beautiful sprite-like dancer to chase in his dreams.





“Where is he?!”

 

Grimmjow awoke to the sound of heavy wooden doors slamming open, startling himself to flinch and scramble into wakefulness.

 

Standing in his rooms was Luppi, sneering in disgust at him and glancing around. He shouted, “Where the fuck is the whore?!”

 

It was then that Grimmjow noticed that his bed laid empty and cold. Another look around to see that Ichigo’s costume was also gone. In fact, nothing but the scent of sex and spilled bottle of oil spoke that the dancer was ever there.

 

Casually, Grimmjow sat up, letting the sheets cover his nakedness, tucking his early-morning panic beneath the cool veneer of a Warlord displeased with being woken so early.

 

“Where else would the whore be?” he asked, his voice deepening to a growl, “He left when I was finished with him.”

 

Luppi tossed him a disgusted look, “Well then find him! The venomous snake couldn’t have gotten far!”

 

“Don’t give orders to me, beiskaldi, ” he spat.

 

“There’s no one to give orders,” Luppi said, already striving off with a last word, “Be useful for once and find Aizen’s killer!”

 

Grimmjow quickly grabbed his kilt, tying it around his waist and foregoing his usual adornments of armor, looking around the room to confirm the sinking feeling in his gut.

 

Yes. Ichigo was gone.

 

Most likely never to return, taking with him one incredible night.

 

But Grimmjow didn’t have the time to feel the heartbreak of his loss, already striding out his quarters to march to the Emperor Aizen’s bedroom where he could see Nelliel drive away a few curious servants to enter the room herself.

 

From within he could hear Lolia pitifully wailing in grief, he paid her no mind in surveying the room and coming to a shocked stop.

 

Aizen laid on his bed, still in his sleeping robe, arms spread, but from his gut up to his throat was a gruesome slash, blood and organs in grotesque display.

 

Just by the position of the body, Aizen had been standing, having fallen back when struck by the blow. His mouth was gaping open, an expression of pure surprise carved into his dead features. Whoever killed him, he wasn’t expecting them.

 

There was a second wound, a grisly gash across his neck as if the assailant tried his best to cut off the Emperor’s head with a single swing.

 

And there, glittering with blood, set in beautifully carved ebony and deadly sharpness, laid the weapon most reverently upon the Emperor's pillow.

 

He knew that weapon.

 

Anyone with a brain and who had been at the banquet could figure it out.

 

It was the ornamental weapon used by the Jewel of the East.

 

Ichigo assassinated Aizen.

 

“Nelliel.”

 

Grimmjow’s head jerked up at Harribel’s words, not having noticed her presence upon entry. She was standing at Aizen’s desk, the sun not having yet risen but the early morning blue light still streamed in to alight upon the loose leafed papers across the desk. Harribel had taken ahold of one, and with cold eyes said, “Shiba. It was them.”

 

She picked up a small item from the desk, holding it up with her thumb and forefinger.

 

A silver coin, etched with the unmistakable symbol of the Shiba Kingdom, was the only signature left behind.

 

Grimmjow turned on his heel and left, having seen everything he needed to see yet still searching for more. The palace was in an uproar of pandemonium, servants shouting orders and guards patrolling the halls for the Jewel of the East.

 

He made it to his quarters, looking at the untouched room before making a beeline to the bed. Pulling out the messy bedsheets, ignoring the smell of sex, sweat, and cum, he threw every blanket and pillow onto the floor. Finding nothing, he stalked around the room, looking for a clue -anything- to grasp.

 

He was about to declare his bedroom untouched when his eye caught something.

 

He could have sworn the chair he had used last night was pulled out.

 

Now it was pushed back in.

 

Grimmjow approached the now suspicious chair, ripping it out only for the chair’s contents to fall to the floor. He bent down to take hold of the bundle, recognizing the silk ribbons Ichigo must have foregone being wrapped around an object of light weight but filling both his hands.

 

He unwound the ribbons, tugging the rest of it off to unveil his prize.

 

A familiar bone white mask. Blood red stripes eerily blooming brighter just as the sun rose above the horizon. Simplicity in design, the sharp jagged teeth and slitted eyes being the only hint of the true animal the dancer had hidden before the entire court of Aizen’s empire.

 

Feeling the weight of it in his hands, seeing the teeth bared for all to see, Grimmjow couldn’t help but grin back.

 

He had a dancer to find.