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Monday, May 18th, 2009 11:07 am
Title: The Stealing of Souls
Summary:
Fandom: Harry Potter/Bleach
Word Count: 4242
Rating/Warnings: PG13 for Heavy cussing from one specific character
Pairing: None

Disclaimer: I don’t own D.Gray-man or Bleach. This was simply an off the wall idea that popped into my head the other day.

It was just outside of Antequera, Spain, that the incident began. Many of those living during this time were not ones to go out wandering by themselves often, stories having spread of monsters that roamed the land, reaching even the smallest of towns. But this elderly Japanese woman wasn’t one of the many, oh, no. Years after she made her way over to the European continent, she was still physically healthy enough to go for long walks by herself and often wandered away from the large city when no one was looking. The woman stumbled, falling and scraping one of her hands lightly on a branch as she did. Tears welled up in her eyes as she sat down the jar she was carrying in her other hand to look mournfully at her injured hand. After a few seconds of sniffing and trying to hold it in, the elderly woman broke out sobbing.

“Grandpa!” she cried out, for, though she was as physically fit as ever, her mind had deteriorated, leaving her mental level roughly at that of an eight year old. At that stage in her life, she’d had only one person she could look up to and trust, her Grandpa Jun, who had taken her in after her parents had died. He wasn’t really her grandfather, simply an older man who had spared a bit of sympathy for a young girl down on her luck. He had died almost sixty years before, when she had turned fifteen, but she didn’t know that anymore. It was his ashes that the old Japanese woman carried with her at all times.

Unfortunately for her, someone heard her heartfelt sobs for her deceased relative. Usually, one would think this was a good thing, but the person who found her wasn’t coming to comfort, but to hurt, a man some called the Earl of the Millennium. He was a gentlemanly sort, but his major claim to fame was his use of souls in machines that ran on despair which he used in his quest to take over the world. With his big grin stretched across his face he made his way up to the still sitting woman, making his way easily through the branches of the sparse forest she was kneeling in. Making his way towards her he greeted her politely.

“Hi! Good evening, Miss.” Scared, the mentally eight-year-old woman turned quickly, almost knocking over the jar that she had set down not to long before. She nearly pounced on it, trying to keep the ash from spilling or the urn from breaking and gave a hiccup-laced sigh when nothing happened to her possession. His eyes glinted as he recognized the object for what it was and, taking note of the woman’s tear streaked face, his grin only got wider.

“What,” a sniff interrupted her sentence as she tried to pull herself back together. “What do you want?” Fear tinged sadness could be heard in her soft, watery voice. The strangely shaped gentleman patted her on the head with his gloved hand and raised a mechanical looking figure from the ground behind him. The elderly woman gasped, grasping her heart and trying to hide behind the stranger as she looked at the tall, metal humanoid cut out that had risen so suddenly from the earth. It was more than slightly horrifying. Her eyes watered up again as she asked “What is that?”

“This is a magical body I created; put in a soul and it comes alive! It can get your loved one back from that horrible God! However to do this, I need your assistance. I need your voice as someone who shared a bond with...” he paused, eagerly waiting for the name of the soul that would be called back.

The seventy-four year-old’s eyes became watery as hope sprang forth, her eight-year-old mind not seeing any danger in this situation, and she answered happily, “Grandpa Jun!” As the heartfelt cry did its work, the Earl’s eyes widened. He had never before called forth a soul that had been dead for so long, but the grief the woman had been showing had seemed so fresh that he hadn’t thought to watch or inquire further. After a moment, he shrugged mentally at the situation. Maybe older souls meant more powerful ones.

In a way, the Earl was right. The older the soul was when it was called back, the stronger it must have been to live on in either Soul Society or Hueco Mundo. It was unfortunate though that the Earl had attempted this, for the soul that he called had worked its way up the ranks and had made a name for itself. By consuming the souls of other menos and the like, this soul didn’t need to feed on the souls of the living to become a level two or three Akuma, being an arrancar simply made up for any power that was lost from his summoning to the human realm.

As the concentrated reiatsu molded the pliable metal of the soul’s new container, the Earl was ecstatic at this new finding and ordered his newest servant, as he had many times before, “I order you to kill this woman and wear her!” His smirk widened as the surprisingly humanoid figure attempted to move its neck, as many other more powerful souls had done in the beginning, thinking his newest soul was trying to resist him. The Earl did not notice the fact that neither the name that was called nor his signature pentagram was painted on the oddly shaped figure’s forehead.

After stretching his neck, blue eyes blinked down at the woman kneeling before him, glazed green looking back up. “Grandpa Jun?” The spindly figure jerked at the old and disused name and recalled that only one person had ever used it.

“Sakura-chan?” Looking back up at the smug yet increasingly more confused man behind her, the newest arrival realized what must have happened. “I’m an Akuma?” Every dead spirit was informed of what could happen to it if it were unlucky enough to be called by the Earl, but most thought it was a horror story for children, not a reality.

Barely registering that the Earl had repeated his order, which, incidentally, was the first time that had ever happened, the shaggy haired man knelt in front of his foster grand-daughter, who was acting very strangely for a woman her age. In fact, she seemed more like the first time he met her than she did when he died. As she eyed his hollow hole and then hugged him, he realized what had happened to her mind. He patted her on the head with a black, clawed hand, much like the other man had done not long before, showing the first bit of kindness since the night he died, before raising his other arm high.

“Good-bye, Sakura-chan. I hope the Shinigami find you soon.” With that, his arm swiped down, beheading the unprepared woman in one swift motion. Her death wasn’t exactly painless, but he felt no guilt as he let her body fall to the ground.

A ‘tsk’ing noise made him look back up at the umbrella wielding man who was shaking his head at the arrancar’s methods. “Ah, what a mess. How ever will you wear her now?” The white armor clad man raised one brow at the other’s comments, his entire expression screaming, ‘you have got to be kidding me!’ but the other continued without a care. “I guess we shall just have to make due,” the Earl made motions to the quickly cooling body when he finished, fully expecting the strange Akuma to obey his every wish.

“Fuck no!”

For the first time ever, the Earl was taken aback by what one of his own creations said. This seemed to be a night of firsts. It also seemed to be going down hill rather quickly, even as he stood there. After thinking this, he wasn’t given much warning before he had to dodge a swiftly moving sword. Left, then right then up and up and up he dodged, using his sarcastic umbrella to fly high into the air and away with the currents as he contemplated what to do about his newest and most disobedient creation.

Watching him float away angrily, the man with long, sky-blue hair scowled. Holding out his released zanpakutō, he allowed it to return to normal, taking his transformed body with it, before stowing it in a newly appeared sheath at his hip. He looked moodily around as his appearance switched back to what could be considered normal for him, wondering what he could possibly do with this newest opportunity. Sure, he could cut this chain like a hot knife through butter, but why go back to the same old grind right away? Flaring his energy slightly, he grinned, though it was slightly hidden behind the jaw piece that had never removed itself from his face, before heading off speedily in the direction that held the most reiatsu.

Grimmjow Jeagerjaques was always spoiling for a good fight.

---

Almost three days later, the sexta Espada could be found sitting boredly on the side of a large, toppled building near northern France. For the past two days he had been hunting down the strongest he could find, only to find relatively weak Akuma. At first, he would take them down just to see how much of a fight they could put up, later, it was to see how well he could control his attacks or increase their power, now, though, he was just watching two or three of them destroy this small town as they looked for something or someone. He was too bored to even bother to stop them, but with nothing better to do, as their strange energy messed with his readings of reiatsu in the general area, he couldn’t do anything else.

Suddenly, out of seemingly no where, two more significantly sized energy signals entered his range. He perked up before realizing that they were heading for the Akuma. Slumping, in slight disappointment, he watched interestedly as the two new contenders, who looked and felt human, ran up and engaged their opponents, one with a hammer, and the other with his… Grimmjow sat up and tried to see the second male better, wondering if his eyes were deceiving him. No, that boy really was fighting with an elongated metal arm. Not only that, but the red haired boy’s weapon seemed to shrink and grow, not only the reach but the size of the actual hammer would increase as he brought it down.

Curious for the first time in the past day, the arrancar easily hopped his way closer to the fight, his open, black trimmed, white jacket flared out behind him as he did so and caught the eye of the patch-wearing red head. A green eye blinked at him, “Ara? What is this?” His question went unanswered as the Akuma he was fighting tried to take advantage of the opening. Blue eyebrows raised as an enlarged, silvery hand came out of nowhere to bash the offending monsters head in, effectively severing the chain that tied the soul there. As the other two went to work on the last Akuma, the Espada simply stood and watched the plus float up and into a gate that lead to Soul Society, staring down at the Hollow in horror the entire time. Giving it a merry and sadistic grin, Grimmjow waved to it before turning to the other two fighters who had just finished up.

“Ano,” started the white-haired, scarred one, it was obvious they couldn’t see what exactly his hollow hole was in the darkness of the night or else they would have been freaking out or, at least, more on guard. Rudely ignoring this prelude to conversation, the blue haired hollow demanded an answer to his newest question. “What the Hell are those things?”

The smaller one cocked his head to the side slightly, bringing his now almost-normal hand to his face in thought. “The monsters?” he guessed. “Those were Akuma. They are made when--”

“Yeah, yeah. I know what those fuckers were. What are they?” the blue eyed man corrected with a sneer, pointing to first the younger ones arm and then the red head’s hammer. At this, the red armed boy seemed to go a little tense, but the other seemed to become more boisterous in response.

“Ah, ha, ha! You mean our Innocence? This is the only thing that can fight Akuma,” the eye-patched boy explained. Both of the mortals were shocked as, suddenly, Grimmjow had the hammer in his hand, the original wielder looked back and forth from his empty hand to the curious stranger in front of them before shouting, “Hey, give it back!” Watching the other ignore him and give the hammer a few experimental swings, the boy went on, walking closer, “They only work for specifi--!” He cut off and both similarly dressed boys, and the wrapped man that jogged up behind them, stood in shock as the stranger got the hammer to change not only in size, but in material, even getting it to set itself on fire once as he put it through unknown paces. He tossed it back.

“Nice, not as good as a sword, though.” He was then right next to the white haired boy, examining his hand in the same way.

“Allen-san, Lavi-san, who is this man?”

The arrancar introduced himself with a smirk as he continued to mess with the strange boy’s arm, “Grimmjow Jeagerjaques, Sexta Espada.” He picked at the small green spot on Allen’s red hand; the boy pulled it away with an ignored, ‘Hey!’ The aqua haired man looked up at the Finder, “Though, I suspect that means shit to you now.” He shrugged, bored with these weaklings and flared his energy again and looking off northward. “You might understand when you die, I guess, ya?” As he crouched, the three others tensed, thinking that this last comment was a threat, but he simply jumped off in the direction of the next biggest reiatsu, hoping it wasn’t just going to be another boring Akuma or embarrassingly weak Hollow. Though, on second thought, he could go for a snack right about now.

Behind him, the green-eyed man turned to his companions, looking a little confused. “Was it just me, or did he have a whole that went straight through his stomach?” At the others’ shocked looks, Lavi began to doubt his Bookman skills.

---

Grimmjow stared down at the scared boy in front of him who clutched a small, metal, toy soldier as he looked back up at the scowling swordsman. Not two days after he had found out about these innocence things and here he had found another one and an orphaned kid to boot. It was a closely kept secret, but the sexta Espada had a soft spot for kids, especially the young and innocent ones. He sighed as he glared down, debating what to do in his head. One option was to leave the kid here, free to be picked up by the local orphanages and to live out what might be a semi-average life. But, before he had killed the Akuma that had been threatening the kid, he’d heard the monstrosity say that that’s what it was here for, the innocence that ‘only you can use’, which meant that the kid was going to be hunted whether he liked it or not.

That only left option two; take the kid with him as he traveled to that huge energy source off the side of this island. He wasn’t too sure that was a good idea, but it was better than leaving him here, unprotected save for that tiny pike and shield the doll turned into earlier. Another aggravated sigh was ripped from the usually fierce arrancar. Being back in the real world was making him into a softie. He decided then and there that, after he saw this energy source, he was going home, well, if you could call Las Noches a home.

After placing his sword back in its sheath, the tall man bent down and grabbed the kid by the back of his clothing and tossed him over one shoulder, fireman-style. The child made a squeak of surprise and hold his toy tighter before Grimmjow ordered, “Shut up and hang on がき(brat) , this is going to be fast.”

“Wha--?” was all the kid managed to get out before the man Sonído-ed out of the house and off to the blazing beacon of reiatsu that he had been feeling for some time now.

---

Looking much like a certain pink-haired vice captain, though neither Robert nor his ‘noble steed’ knew it at this time, the boy clung to his savior’s back, peeking curiously over one of his shoulders as the other man deftly hopped from outcropping to outcropping on the steep side of a very tall island. Soon enough, they made it to the top of the island and stood before a very large gate. Robert was glad to have finished the stop-and-go climb that had gotten them up there, while Grimmjow was just glad that he had gotten the entire way here without that toy sticking him in the back again. Damn thing.

Suddenly, a voice came out from somewhere near the entrance. “State your name and purpose.”

Grimmjow snorted, he didn’t think that was going to happen anytime soon, but Robert spoke up from his shoulder, “Robert Kinanne and umm…” he trailed off and looked at the arrancar, who gave him a flat look, after a moment, the boy tried to continue, “and guardian. We’re here to...actually I have no idea why.” This last was said in the blunt fashion that only children can pull off, but the blue-haired man ignored it in favor of observing the doors in front of him, looking for a weak spot to get in.

“Take the Gatekeeper’s examination,” the voice replied and the gate before the duo opened its eyes, scaring the six-year-old badly and making the arrancar’s eyes discreetly roll at both the gate and his temporary companion’s actions. The face leaned down until it was roughly a foot away from where Grimmjow stood, unflinching, when its eyes bugged out and it announced, “X-ray examination!” Its eyes lit up and started scanning the two of them.

Everything went fine until the scan reached the Hollow’s abdomen, where it found that it could look straight through. “G-g-gh-ghost!!” It wailed, somehow crying as it did so. Ticked at the name-calling and the volume at which the gate was yelling, the white robed man quickly lost his temper.

“Shut the fuck up!” His fist met the gatekeeper’s chin with a resounding smash, leaving quite a dent in its wake. There was blessed silence for a moment before Robert piped up, “That was so cool!” As if it were a trigger, the face’s wails and tears grew two fold and Grimmjow let out a small yell himself, only his was out of aggravation. Fed up with this tedious scene, he fired a low powered Cero at the one of the doors and walked in confidently through the hole it had made.

Flaring his reiatsu every once in a while, he ran through the building at a good speed, passing many shocked faces along the way, and made it to the center very easily. Looking down a very deep pit that many levels were centered around, the Espada shrugged and started his way down the levels in a circular fashion, taking it two levels at a time with ease. Almost all of the way down, he caught up with a floating platform that a man and a woman were standing on and hoped on to it just as the levels finished and a great dark expanse started.

The two riders looked over at the newcomers, startled, the woman more than the man, before the male reacted violently, drawing his katana. “Who are you?” the deep-blue-haired man asked the other male and his passenger. Grimmjow just grinned maniacally at the sight of the glowing sword and the practiced stance the other man took, ready for another confrontation.

“Another sword user, eh? Well, shit. I thought I’d never find a good challenge in this place!” Tossing the kid carelessly to the girl, who screamed a bit before catching Robert, he drew his own sword with a smirk. “Well, come on, blue. Don’t just stand there wasting my damn time!”

The other’s blue eyes narrowed before he sprinted across the small platform to his competitor, but his downward slash was easily blocked. Taking advantage of the darkly dressed man’s shocked pause, Grimmjow pushed him back and made a cut on his chest, an unfortunately shallow one as the other’s reflexes kept him from getting too hurt, before kicking the other man away. The long haired man was caught on the railing on the other side, bending the only thing keeping him from the darkness below with the force of it. As he went to get up, the arrancar growled. “Is this the fuckin’ best that the real world has to offer these days? Shit! No wonder it’s so damn hard to become an arrancar lately.”

Any further attacks between the two were cut off as the platform reached its destination and a large white creature popped up out of the darkness behind the aqua-haired man, causing Robert to give another squeak of shock. Grimmjow turned to see what that reaction was for, only to stop in confusion, “What the fu--?!” He was cut off as arms and tendrils coming from the thing started to wrap around him. Finding himself unable to make a Cero or even harm the being with his swings, the man with an extra jawbone moved his sword up under one of his own arms so he could reach the end of the blade nearest the pommel and, scrapping his nails down the side of it, ordered, “Grind Pantera!”

Those watching had to look away and the being holding the dead man captive let out a loud, almost feminine scream before letting him fall back to the platform as it burned from the release of reiatsu. When everyone was able to look again, they found a feral looking beast standing where the well-muscled man used to be, covered in white plating and complete with a tail, the now long-haired animal stood up straight to look at his ‘attacker.’

“A-akuma.” The two people behind him stiffened as Robert tried to stifle a gasp at the great beings identification. One of the Hollow’s elongated ears twitched as he heard the girl whisper, ‘Innocence, Activate’ but he didn’t turn around. Instead he corrected the strange being in front of him.

“Arrancar, Bitch. Get it right! Those things are shit compared to me, the sexta Espada; an insult to all of the dead!”

“The.. dead?” the girl sounded cautious and curious at the same time.

He snorted, “Being fucking beaten by a simple human with a fancy weapon; Hollows from simple menos all the way up to Espada are killed every damn day for less.” He half-turned to face her, keeping the large white thing in his sights as he did and said, “Though one has to wonder where the fuck the Shinigami are that they can’t even tell this shit is happening. I mean, damn, it’s their pluses that are being stolen.”

“The dead do not belong in the realm of the living,” the large thing said from the black expanse. Glaring over at it for a moment, Grimmjow shrugged. He’d done what he’d come there to do and he didn’t even get a half decent fight anyway. Shrugging, he easily snapped the chain that attempted to bind him to the ‘Akuma’ metal and stepped out of it, leaving the metal corpse behind. Those who could see him still, which was only the girl and the white thing, saw him return to his unreleased form and open a rip to Hueco Mundo. Realizing that his place as sexta was probably being challenged, he stepped through the garganta with a grin, hoping that the fight there would be more far more interesting than those he’d experienced at this boring place.

As the portal slid shut, no less than four Shinigami made their way down to the platform, took one look around and turned to the girl who was staring at them in shock. The one standing near the front, who had a white robe over what seemed to be the customary black, stepped towards her. “Explain.”

And thus, the Earl of Millennium’s fight took a drastic turn for the worse as a multitude of his Akuma fell that very night all over the world, as nobody messes with Soul Society.

Nobody.

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