The first time Yylfordt Granz realizes that his younger brother is among the Espada is shortly after Grimmjow’s arrival in Hueco Mundo. There is blood in the hall, on the floor, and laughter in the air. He pauses, lifting his head and tasting the reiatsu in the air, and knows.
(Yylfordt has always been a little…strange, among the others. They do not remember their human lives, or the world that was theirs before, but Yylfordt does. He remembers a cold home, a hard father, a younger brother who was so incredibly smart that it terrified everyone else. He remembers loneliness on his brother’s pretty face, an angry sort of emptiness, and a promise to himself that he would do everything in his power to banish that look.
A touch, a kiss on the forehead, a smile, a word of praise—he had entranced his brother, ensnared him without meaning to. Even now Yylfordt wonders how it all went wrong, how a bare bit of kindness could have ended on his bed in the dark, his brother above him whispering, “If you love me, you’ll let me—”
Yylfordt is a fool, and loves too easily. He had closed his eyes, let his little brother’s hands pull his legs apart, and thought, Anything you need, otouto.
He remembers that laugh from when it was over, his body empty, aching, smeared and dripping with seed, and his brother had sat by his head, one hand twined possessively in his hair, with that deranged sound spilling from his lips.)
Yylfordt remembers, knows, and hesitates, feeling torn. Grimmjow is his King, his master, but this—
This is his brother.
Szayel Aporro Granz does not like surprises, has built his whole existence around eliminating them. Surprises are the outliers in a field of data, unsightly and enraging. He hates them, loathes them, and when his older brother steps around the corner it is no different.
Szayel pauses, blood dripping from his fingers, and turns with a sharp-cold smile that is entirely a mask. “Yylfordt,” he purrs, even though his long-still heart feels as though it is racing at triple time. He takes a step forward and Yylfordt holds his ground, smiling tentatively in return. Foolish, but sweet—just as he has always been.
It is what got him killed, after all. That temperament of his, and Szayel.
“Otouto,” Yylfordt murmurs, looking at him and giving him the faintest suggestion of a smile.
It is no surprise he remembers. They are souls that exist to know one another, to be bound and twisted together, tangled in a way that is not entirely sane. Szayel grins, sly and cunning, and steps right up to his brother. Yylfordt is as beautiful as he ever was, long golden hair and calm red eyes and sun-kissed skin. He reaches up, trails his fingers through the golden strands, and Yylfordt turns into the touch, tilts his head and submits.
It’s what he’s always done, and even now it makes something stir within Szayel, makes his blood rush and thrum through his veins, because he is a mad, greedy creature and Yylfordt is the first thing he ever fully possessed.
The first thing that was ever taken from him.
(It was night, he remembers. Not yet late, but he had had Yylfordt anyways, hurled him down to that thin, lumpy mattress on the ground and rutted into his pretty body, so very similar to Szayel’s own. Yylfordt had gasped his name, cried and begged and come on his cock, so very wanton and lewd, and Szayel had marked him a hundred times, filled him with seed and bitten marks into his tanned skin that no one else would ever see.
But then something had happened. Their father had come home, had come into the room looking for an easy outlet and found them like that, sated and spent. He had flown into a rage, and Szayel can recall only blinding pain before a knife flashed at his face and—
And Yylfordt had stepped in front of the blade, taken that filthy knife to the gut without a second thought, all for his mad, greedy monster of a little brother. He had stumbled back, fallen against Szayel’s chest with a tiny, breathless gasp, and Szayel had not been able to catch him before he collapsed to the dirt floor.
After that, Szayel only remembers blood, their father’s blood so bright and wet over everything, and then the blood sliding like an unrelenting river down Yylfordt’s abdomen. Szayel had crouched at his side, fisted a hand in the sweaty, bloody, silken hair and commanded, ordered, begged him not to leave. And Yylfordt had tried, and clenched weakening hands around Szayel’s skinny arm and gasped soundlessly, mouthed words that Szayel couldn’t understand but wanted to desperately.
“If you love me,” he had said, so very horrifyingly close to desperate. “If you love me, Yylfordt, you’ll—”
His brother had smiled at him even as he bled out, looked up through dimming eyes and managed to whisper, “Otouto,” as though that were the answer to everything. As though that were a good enough reason to leave him.
Perhaps that’s when the madness came.
Perhaps it was there all along.
When Yylfordt’s eyes had finally emptied, when there was nothing left of his brother in the doll-like thing crumpled against the wall, Szayel had picked up the knife from where it lay in the dirt and turned it over in his fingers. It was an ugly weapon, so crude.
He had raised it to his throat, pressed the edge into his skin, and wrenched it sideways.
Anything to keep what was his.)
Now, with Yylfordt in front of him, Szayel knows satisfaction. He wraps his fingers in that long hair, pulls Yylfordt closer, closer. They are exactly the same height, almost exactly the same build—fraternal twins, born on the same day just two hours apart. Even in the womb, Yylfordt was his, and his brother knows it. He has never tried to fight Szayel in this, never protested. The sharp edge of his tongue is entirely absent with his little brother, though it can be a fearsome thing when turned against others.
“Yylfordt,” he purrs, and this is a battle he won the moment they were born. “You’re here at last.”
And Yylfordt smiles at him, faint and quick, and whispers back, “I have a king, have followed him for years, but you are my otouto.” He says it the way other speak of their gods, and even the confession that he has given his allegiance to some other piece of filth does not matter, because Szayel has always, always known that he is first in his brother’s soul. Yylfordt would die for him, would sin for him, would do anything to make him happy, and Szayel will never let such blind devotion go to waste.
“Come,” he orders, stepping away, silken hair slipping like water through his fingers. He strides down the hall, confident he will be followed, and he is. There is an echo to his steps, a new fullness to his shadow. Yylfordt obeys him as though it is as natural to him as breathing, and Szayel has forgotten just what avarice tasted like, all these years.
The bed Aizen has provided is large and soft, so very different from the one they shared before. Yylfordt doesn’t resist as Szayel shoves him down, more eager than rough, and tears at his uniform with covetous hands. He allows it, gives in and helps Szayel strip off the long coat and loose pants. Then there are hands on him, tracing the Hollow-hole in the center of his chest, scraping nails down his torso and making him arch and cry out, closing cruelly around his still-soft cock.
He twists and pants beneath the devouring touches, tries to breathe through the want and relief and there is still this no matter what has changed he still wants you there is still this much connection. Because Szayel has always been so incredibly brilliant, for all his madness—or perhaps because of it. He is a genius and powerful and cunning and ruthless, and Yylfordt has nothing to his name except a failed attempt to protect him when they were children.
“Otouto,” he murmurs, and those long, slim hands clench into his hair, tiny bright-sharp sparks of pain through his scalp. Szayel bites at his lips, takes his mouth as though it’s a fight to be won. Yylfordt doesn’t resist, because someday Szayel will leave him behind, cease to care, and that will be the day that his existence becomes nothing.
For now, he will savor what he is given.
Szayel is hot and hard against him, skin a smooth-slick slide, and Yylfordt cries out as their cocks brush together. He’s hardening, blood flowing south as sharp teeth bite down his neck, as fingers dig into his hips and drag him up, press them together. Another kiss and Szayel is intoxicating, so demanding, consuming, his lips and tongue and teeth sparking arousal down Yylfordt’s spine. There is a knee between his thighs, a hand on his waist, and Yylfordt parts his legs as soon as his little brother indicates that’s what he wants. Szayel settles against his body like he belongs there, and very likely he does. There has never been anyone else to invoke these feelings, after all.
Hands on his hips flip him over without ceremony, and a firm pressure on his lower back pins him to the mattress. Yylfordt grunts, but widens his legs obligingly as teeth skim over his ass, pausing to bite down. Each scrape makes him cry out, and hot breath over his hole has his panting and whining helplessly. It’s been so long. Others have had his body—because what his king demands he has no reason to withhold—but none of them were his twin, his little brother.
“Szayel,” he gasps, “otouto, please, anything you want.”
Szayel takes him at his word, slides up his back and forces his way into his body, pain and blood and madness in equal measure. Yylfordt screams for him until he’s hoarse, pain and joy and connection more than anything, and he’s never thought they would be like this, but they are.
Anything for his brother. Anything at all.
Szayel is greedy just as much as he is mad. He takes and takes until Yylfordt is trembling and shaking apart below him, until the room reeks of sex and cum and blood and sin, and still he wants.
One more time he leans over his brother, sinks his teeth into that golden skin beneath the corn-silk hair, and marks him undeniably.
“Brother,” he whispers, and Yylfordt shakes and cries and comes on his cock, so pretty and broken, all for him. Yylfordt died for him, once upon a time. Szayel closes his eyes, tips his head back, and pulls out. His cock separates from Yylfordt’s body with a wet sound that makes him shiver and Yylfordt whimper. But his brother is already moving, understanding what he wants, and Szayel welcomes him as he all but collapses over Szayel’s lap.
“Good boy,” he tells him, once again wrapping golden hair around his fist as Yylfordt moans and sinks down on his cock. He has no strength, tumbles against Szayel’s chest the same way he fell limply against that wall so long ago, but this time there’s only as much blood as Szayel has put on him. Pleasure and pain, but all Szayel’s doing, so that’s fine. He grips Yylfordt’s hips and helps him ride his dick, slams him down to the sound of a breathless, wailing cry and then does it again, again, again. Yylfordt’s arms are loose and clinging desperately around his neck, hair falling everywhere in a curtain of gold, and Szayel cannot remember the last time he truly felt fulfilled in his desires.
He wants, and he has.
“Brother,” he says again, and Yylfordt’s body tightens almost unbearably around him as he shakes apart yet again. Szayel thrusts up, buries himself to the root, and comes with a cry through gritted teeth, his brother shaking and weeping in his arms. The seed is hot and slick within him, and Szayel refuses to pull out, wants to keep as much of himself inside of Yylfordt as possible forever.
Carefully, deliberately, he lays a hand over Yylfordt’s stomach, where blood once ran. There is no scar, of course, but Szayel doesn’t need one to remember.
Yylfordt’s arms tighten around him, clutch him closer and don’t let go.
(“I'm not so childish as to get mad over having one of my containers broken,” Szayel tells the shinigami, whose hair is as red as blood.
He wonders if the filth will hear his words. Yylfordt Granz is my brother.
He sleeps, he waits, but Szayel has his body, and with his genius that’s enough.
Yylfordt Granz is my brother.