The Black Phoenix
Chapter 9: A heart awakened & The dream mirror
"Owwy, that hurt." Kage's brilliant emerald eyes found Stark's deep blue. "Who are you?" The Arrancar was astounded by the kindness he found in her eyes. "I am Stark."She nodded before looking around slightly panicked. "Where is Shirorei?" Stark's eyebrow raised as Grimmjow walked over to the bedside and allowed the woman to wrap her arms around his neck. "I thought that blind idiot was going to kill you." A tear dripped onto Grimmjow's armor and he was shocked yet again by this human woman, She cared what happened to him and had injured Kaname on his behalf.
Kage was laying in white sand, blood beginning to stain the pristine ivory surrounding her. Her crimson hair was spread around her like a cloak of blooded fire. "Shirorei, Help me..." Her voice was raspy as the mass of hollows began to descend around her, before she realized someone was shaking her. "Kage please wake up! Just hold on until Ulquiorra brings Orihime." That voice, it was Stark. Stark had been really nice to her, gentle yet firm kinda like Kuchiki-Sensei, it brought tears to her eyes thinking of her sword-master. Stark picked her up, finally noticing the amount of blood she had lost. "Shit!" He said as he darted towards las noches hell bent on saving this girl, she had kept her word and not runaway since he had let her and the other human go outside the fortress. He saw Ulquiorra change course to run beside him carrying the orange haired girl. "Time is running out, why isn't the other one awake?" The fourth Espada growled in contempt. "damned Adjuchas, a swarm attacked her because she was using her powers to heal me, She lost a lot of blood." Stark growled, and both Vasto Lorde's were nearly shocked when Kage's raspy voice mumbled a question, he knew she was losing blood to quickly. "Do you have a first name Stark?" The first Espada kicked his pace up and started leaving Ulquiorra behind.
Kage had been told that every day from tomorrow she would be trained between breakfast and lunch, while between lunch and dinner she would be educated. "Who will my teachers be?" Stark smiled at the woman before continuing. "I will be teaching you. Lord Aizen has ordered it so." She smiled slightly over Grimmjow's shoulder as she hugged him. "At least its not that poor excuse of a soul reaper." Stark laughed and she turned to look at him, her fingers unknowingly to her began to stroke the panther's neck and shoulders. "Ichimaru, yeah I know what you mean."Stark dissolved into laughter again. This girl was uncommonly sweet except to Gin or Momo, it was only from him or master Aizen would she take orders from though. It was a little while latter after lunch that Kage had finally asked Stark for a favor. "Can we go outside please? I promise not to run I just want to be outside these walls." Coyote thought about it before speaking. " Let me ask Master Aizen then we will see what he says." Kage waited while Stark left them and went to Aizen. He returned shortly with a grim look on his face. "He said no huh?" she asked. Stark smiled before speaking. "He said you and Orihime may go outside as long as you wear this.. and you leave the Zanpaktou." He held out a silver bracelet with a crimson gem on it. "If you feel threatened,want to come back or get lost, push the gem and Ulquiorra or I will come get you."
She held out her left arm, the new clothes she was wearing and her clean scent told him of the fresh shower she'd had this morning. The shirt tied around her neck leaving the beautiful tattoos on her back exposed, it was a pitch black color while her pants were a silvery gray. The pants billowed loosely flowing like liquid silk over her skin. Her feet weren't covered by anything. Grimmjow was walking beside her with a dark look in his eyes, he knew it was a bad Idea letting two humans wander Huceo Mundo alone but what the hell could he do. " Ok I'll do it Stark. I want to go outside." Stark held out a jacket for her it was a bone white with black edging. "This jacket used to belong to an Espada named Grimmjow Jaggerjack. He's not among us at this time so in his absence this jacket is yours." She gently, slid into the jacket but left it open since it hung down around her hips. " I'll have to thank him if I meet him, its warm." Grimmjow's eyes widened as the doors were opened and Kage darted out them his jacket dancing behind her, the short cape making her crimson hair look like fresh blood. The three of them walked for a couple hours until Grimmjow smelt something wrong in the wind. ' we're being followed' Kage had turned and screamed the hollow leading the charge down the dune towards them was her families murderer.
"Shiro Help me!" Grimmjow roared and ran towards them, his rage making his fluidity even deadlier. The two looked at one another knowing the panther couldn't hold them all off. " We need to get back to the castle and get help!" The two ran but Kage turned around after about a hundred yards. "I can't leave him to die like a dog in the street!" She ran back towards him when she was scooped up and telaported away from them. "Shiro!" She screamed and pressed the gem on her bracelet. Then he began to squeeze her,she tried to wiggle and get away but he was beginning to crush her bones. Kage thought she was going to die until a bright light set her free. A new voice appeared in her head, "I'm Pantera; Lord of all Panthers,hear me roar!" Kage was dropped to 50 feet to the ground. she could feel the blood running from the scratches, she knew she was dying all she could think was "I'm sorry Kisuke, Father, Jushiro." And she passed out.
He looked down and smiled slightly. "My name is Coyote, if you be a good woman and stay awake I will allow you to call me by name." She smiled and nodded. "Ok, I stay awake." she mumbled and he heard her heart rate slow and begin its final beats. "She's dying!" Coyote yelled as he burst into the throne room. Aizen was on his feet and beside them in the blink of an eye. "the other human is too weak to heal her. We were attacked by several hollow dens at once, the hollow who murdered her family did this before I could get to her." Coyote looked down as Aizen walked over to Orihime while pulling something from his robes. It was the Hogyoku. He held it over her chest but nothing happened. "Strange apparently the Hogyoku has refused Orihime to be its maiden."He turned and walked to Kage but before he could put the Hogyoku back into his robes it ripped its self from his hand and hovered over Kage's collar bone as a chain of platinum formed to keep it in place. A burst of darkness tainted by silver light burst from her body. A moment later her eyes opened and she sat up. "Coyote? What happened?" Kage looked at Orihime and reached out for her, the light returned and her wounds vanished. "How did I do that?" Aizen came over to her and helped her to her feet. "You are my maiden, the Hogyoku's chosen woman."Kage looked down at the black jewel now chained around her throat and whined sorrowfully.
"What's that mean?" Aizen led her out of the room while Ulquiorra helped Orihime to her feet. "You will remain with me, but I will give you a gift. Anything you desire, name it and it will be yours." Kage thought for a moment. "Let Orihime go back home. I'll be good, I just want her to be safe and happy."Aizen nodded and told Kage Orihime would leave within the hour. "I will also get you some more painting supplies, don't think I have missed the beautifully done drawings of your guardians on your bedroom walls." She nodded and asked to go talk to Orihime and explain what was going to happen. "Yes my dear go, say your goodbyes." Kage ran from the room and Grimmjow saw her bolting towards the orange haired girl's room. She opened the door to see Orihime sitting there. "I've made arrangements with Aizen. Your going home 'hime-chan. I want you to carry a message for me to my Grandfather, father and brothers." Orihime nodded tears streaming down her face at the redhead's obvious distress and mournful gaze. "Tell them that I love them and not to forget me, I love and miss my captains and want to go home. Renji...Tell Renji I'm so sorry."Kage broke down crying before taking something from her neck and putting it in Orihime's out reaching hand. "Take this to prove the words I said are mine." Orihime looked down to see Kage's golden locket in her hand. Orihime dropped to her knees and the women embraced one another crying. Ulquiorra came in about five minutes later to see Kage sitting on the floor in tears and Orihime waiting for him. "I'm ready to go." She said, he looked at Kage and asked where she wanted the woman taken. "Back to the precipice world between the human world and Soul Society. "He nodded and scooped Orihime up and was gone in a heart beat. Kage screamed like a wounded panthress and Grimmjow appeared to try and ease her pain. She wrapped him in her arms and cried on his shoulder. A few minutes later Ichimaru walked into Orihime's room and found Kage resting between the panther's front legs. "What do you want." She growled. "Master Aizen wants you to be bathed and join the Arrancar for dinner. There is a dress in your room he wishes you to wear." "Fine. Now leave me!"She replied. As he departed her with a bow, his reply sent shivers down her spine. "Yes my queen." Kage simply wanted to scream but she was happy that Orihime got to go home at least.
Orihime held on to Ulquiorra as he sped through the fortress and out into the sand before vanishing into a portal. As he ran Orihime cried clutching the locket in her hand to the point the chain was indented in her skin. "She cares for you above herself. Aizen would have left you there forever if she had wished it." He stopped in a passage very familiar to her, setting her down he pressed something into her hand. "Take it. It will protect you." It was a small bone-handled dagger carved with the same pattern as her hair clips. "Thank you." she said as he turned. He looked over his shoulder before he vanished and said something that shocked her to the bone. "I would have taken good care of you, Goodbye princess."He pointed to the direction away from him. "Soul Society is that way." Then he was gone Orihime turned and darted off using every ounce of speed and energy in her body. She had to deliver Kage's message to the head captain. She realized a light was beginning to shine ahead so someone must knew she was here, the next thing she knew she was in the arms of a captain and was being rushed to Yamamoto-sama.
-Soul Society (5 min ago)-
Mayuri was watching the monitor when someone told him that a human was in the precipice world and was headed for Seireitei at neck-break speeds. He switched the monitor to see who it was and his eyes widened, Orihime Inoue had been taken hostage by the Arrancar awhile ago. Mayuri zoomed in on her left hand to see a familiar locket clutched there. He bolted from the lab, he had to know what was happening to Kage. That girl meant a lot to everyone in Seireitei, including him, for she understood his need to know. He had the World gate opened as he flash stepped through it, scooping up the woman who grabbed his jacket in her free hand. "Captain Yamamoto please." He pushed his body and burst through the door into the meeting hall startling the captains there. "ORIHIME!" Ichigo roared as the woman was taken from his arms in to the substitute's. " Ichigo...I have to talk to the captains, Kage..Message." He held her tightly for a moment. "Talk we are listening child." Yamamoto-sama said gently. Orihime repeated Kage's message and what had happened before a single howl of pain silenced her. "She addressed me as Father." Zuraki howled. Yamamoto-sama bowed his head silently before speaking. "My granddaughter, you honor me with your bravery and valor." Jushiro and Shunsui were shaking with rage. "Our sister needs to be brought home." Orihime wailed surprising them all. "Its all Kisuke's fault for making that stupid Hogyoku! He might have let her go if not for that stupid jewel!" The head-captain looked up eyes aflame. "you speak the truth child, But there is naught we can do about that now."
-Later that night, Seireitei.-
Toshiro Hitsugaya lay in his bed thinking about Kage, her laughter at the party. The present he was never without. He realized then that he loved her. "Damn." As he drifted off to sleep,he hadn't slept in the week she had been taken. Now he drifted off he felt Hyorinmaru pulse comfortingly as he drifted off he missed the black and silver light that joined the icy-blue. He appeared in a dream-scape filled with lunar flowers and lit by a full moon, its shimmering light told him that there was water nearby. Hyorinmaru appeared and left a trail of ice dust as she took off towards something with break neck speed. The garden was split with a large river filled with koi. There was someone perched on the bridge that merged the two halves. Hyorinmaru hovered before this figure who reached out to stroke the dragon with tenderness. As he came closer, the figure, he realized was a woman, sat on the railing looking into the moonlight. When he stepped closer the figure became clear and stopped him cold.
Dinner had been a quiet affair with no laughter or fun to make the transition easy on her so she had only eaten her fill and returned to her room to find Shirorei and Coyote inside. "Come my queen its time for you to move."Aizen had had a tower constructed within the dome for Kage so she could seem to go outside if she wished. The noticed as she was shown around the tower that there were extra rooms at the base. "Who are they for?" Coyote smiled at her as they went up stairs. "They are for my lieutenant and I to make sure no one bothers you." she nodded and gasped when she saw the room Aizen intended to be her's. The shelves were stocked with all the painting supplies she could need for sometime, a massive king sized bed covered with white fur and piled high with pillows. Kage simple but honest reaction made Ulquiorra aware of the lack of the second lighter redhead. "Ok can I go to bed now?" Kage said as she looked at the floor her clothing still bloody from this afternoon. "of course." he departed the room as Kage noticed that all of her things from her other room had been moved here including the new outfit on her bed. She went and took a bath before changing into a clean night outfit and climbing onto her new bed. Grimmjow jumped on too her bed and she hugged him before surprising him by kissing his nose. "thank you for being there Shiro." she crawled under the covers and curled up. Within the span of ten minutes she was asleep. 'Strange girl, always hugging me. But she seems to actually care what happens to me. I can't explain why I felt the urge to protect her when she was attacked.' Grimmjow's mind was spinning before a new voice joined in the wonderment. :Master, the child could return you to your former glory. Maybe, even bring us to the top of the pride.:
He saw in his minds eye a mirror image of his current form, save the fact the second was black as the night and had silver eyes. :Pantera, how do you know of this woman-child?: He asked his fellow feline. :I know of her because I have spoken to her. She called out for help and I answered first. She is an asset, a treasure beyond what that soul reaper reject would use her for. I sense an incredible darkness that lingers beneath that kind exterior. She is more then a weapon master, we Zanpaktou know this.: Grimmjow's eyes widened as the voice faded from his mind and he fell into a sleep, he didn't notice the silvery-black glow coming from Kage's sword. -Kage's dream scape- To Kage it was like a gate had been opened she realized she was in a lunar garden where she was sitting on the railing. All of a sudden there was a icy-blue dragon floating before her, its wings gently stirring the breeze to make her hair dance. She raised her head and stroked the dragon's head before she felt a presence watching her, turning her head she gasped at who was standing there. "Kage?" Toshiro whispered before the girl threw herself at him, her arms wrapping around his neck and his arms finding her waist. " Captain Hitsugaya! Are you really here or is this a dream?" Toshiro lowered his head before a new voice joined them. "My darkness this is your world, a place all your own that you brought him to. This is outside of time" Kage looked over to see a massive winged wolf the color of stardust and moonbeams walking towards them. "Mirzam!" The male wolf nodded as he folded his great eagle wings back against his sides. "Hyorinmaru its been some time since I have seen you." the Zanpaktou spirit said as the dragon flew over to him, landing gently the dragon curled up next to him. "It has, Mirzam our masters must be reunited." Kage pulled something from her pocket and showed it to Toshiro. It was a mirror with a hand-carved crystal dragon as the boarder. "You have the mirror I gave you?" She nodded. "I wanted to find a twin for it to give to you, so we could both have one." He nodded caressing the dragons head on the mirror before looking at her. "We got the message from Orihime. The head-captain is infuriated." Kage gave him a shocked look. "I meant something to him? I'm not just a weapon?"Toshiro shook his head harshly. "You were never just a weapon Kage, Never."
She hugged him again, they spent the rest of the night walking the garden and catching up on all that happened to her in the time since she had been abducted. They wound up laying on the grass, with her head on his chest over his heart as she listened to the steady beating. Her fingers twined with his. "I don't wanna go back. But I have to, or he'll try something. Since I have the Hogyoku now. I am his most prized possession and it drives me batty, I'm not a thing to be owned. I want to go home! I want to see my grandfather, my father and my brothers. But most of all I want to be back with my captains, where I feel loved and a part of something."she started to cry and Toshiro realized she was beginning to fade. "Kage please stop crying your fading." She couldn't stop and it wasn't long before she was gone and he sat up howling out her name. "KAGE!" He departed immediately for the throne room and told the others what happened. "She is reaching for us sir, she wants to come home she was pleading." Toshiro said as he held his Zanpaktou in his hand. Yamamoto was shocked to hear of the power that Toshiro spoke of, It hadn't been heard of since before the creation of the Sokyoku. So she was finally coming into her power. "Kage needs to be brought home. The plan begins at dawn tomorrow so prepare wisely for we are going to Hueco Mundo." The captains split up and Ichigo wouldn't seem to let Orihime out of his sight. His inner hollow was disgusted, it wanted to know more about the girl locked away by his enemy, a new power that only the old man knew of intrigued him. The king might not know what it was like to want power but he did, and the hollow wanted to taste that exquisite power. A darkness unlike anything before felt was in Hueco Mundo and Kuro-Ichigo wanted to tame it.
Here we go the die has been cast and they are ready to invade hueco mundo...review and I'll post the next chapter...plz!