Characters: Aizen Sousuke, Hinamori Momo with some Ichimaru Gin, Hitsugaya Toushirou
A/N: Aizen fascinates me for some reason, so I have messed around with canon for my own twisted purposes. This takes place in the future, when Aizen is about to get whatever the hell it is that he wants. Something about sitting in heaven.
Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I've enjoyed writing it.
She was his from the beginning.
He has lived a long life but if he wishes, he can close his eyes and relive every minute with a clarity unmarred by the passage of time. On this, the long awaited day of his ascension, he indulges and allows himself to drift into the past.
He feels the calm, spring breeze about his captain's robes as he stands in front of the Shinigami Academy.
The Captain Commander has singled him out as perfect for these tasks, citing him as a veritable poster boy for the Gotei 13 - popular, respected, skilled. He remembers shaking his head at these compliments, laughing ruefully and saying that, if anything, it would be a nice ego boost.
"Well-deserved," Yamamoto had answered with an encouraging pat on the back. He remembers nodding gratefully, smiling through his dislike for the old man.
His act is impeccable. The truth is that he neither needs nor welcomes the lavish receptions and laudatory remarks. They are tiresome, but functions like these present a unparalleled opportunity to scout for talent.
He is not one to pass up opportunity.
A poorly muffled curse reminds him that Gin is standing close by, no doubt with that unbearably cheerful expression firmly in place. The young man has not yet comprehended the true value of this exercise, and has made it clear that he considers the whole endeavour a waste of his captain's time.
He does not feel it necessary to correct Gin's thinking. The vice-captain is bright and will catch on soon enough.
"Aizen Sousuke, Captain of the 5th Division in the Gotei 13," annouces the headmaster proudly to the large crowd of students standing on either side of the walkway. He bows politely in acknowledgement to the headmaster.
"Ichimaru Gin, Vice-Captain of the 5th Division in the Gotei 13," continues the headmaster in a booming voice. His vice-captain bows as well, but he can see Gin roll his eyes when the headmaster is not looking. Gin's mask is usually impeccable, and he makes a note to caution his vice-captain later.
As they make their way down the path he catches snippets of whispered, awestruck conversations. He is a charismatic presence, and his image has long since been perfected. He wears glasses to give himself an air of harmless intellect, the long-sleeved captain's vest to give an air of time-honored authority. His hair is unthreateningly parted in the middle, his zanpakutou hidden by his uniform, and his countenance carefully schooled into a gentle, unassuming smile.
It is the smile that will bring the world to its feet.
A small commotion and a clearly audible gasp catches his attention as someone is unceremoniously shoved up to the front of the crowd. He glances over with mild curiousity and sees a diminuitive girl staring up at him, her large, liquid eyes full of undisguised admiration. He slows his pace markedly and smiles warmly at her, watching with interest as she visibly melts before him. It is hardly a novel reaction, but for some reason he is particularly pleased with hers. He hears Gin clear his throat from somewhere behind him, and they walk on.
His intuition tells him that she is his for the taking.
It is nighttime when he is hastily summoned by a slightly overweight school administrator. "Unexpected hollow attack, Aizen-taichou," the man blurts out with barely contained panic.
He rushes towards the training area with Gin in tow and is surprised to see a skillfully aimed fireball strike the hollow. His first thought is that another Shinigami has been dispatched without his knowledge. He realizes his mistake as he draws closer and sees a small figure in a school uniform proudly standing up to the gigantic monster. He leaps in between the two, effortlessly splits the hollow in half and turns around to see the girl from that morning. She stares up at him with heartfelt gratitude, her hands still frozen in spell-casting position and her body still shivering from fear. He smiles at her and she instantly begins to relax. He tears his eyes away from her as two male students, a blonde and a redhead, sheath their swords and run towards them. They are clearly protective of the girl, rushing to her side and thanking him sincerely for saving their lives. The girl stays silent, but her eyes speak enough for all of them combined.
He is genuinely impressed by the skill and initiative shown by all three students. He has an eye for talent and knows that all three have great potential. While Gin hangs in the background smirking at nothing in particular, he praises in turn the strength of the redhead and the finesse of the blonde boy. Their egos suitably satisfied, he turns to the girl and places a gentle hand on her head, fully aware that she hasn't taken her eyes off of him since his dramatic entrance. He asks solicitously if she is hurt, and compliments her skills with kidou. She blushes prettily and shyly thanks him for his concern and kindness. Her first words to him are words of gratitude. Her voice haunts his dreams and he takes it as a hint.
Her name is Hinamori, and he discovers the next morning that she is at the top of her class. "A budding master of the demon arts, Aizen-taichou," gushes the headmaster. Fortune continues to smile upon him, and he follows her progress with interest.
He decides that she will be his.
She graduates five years later with offers of seated positions in several divisions. Gin, recently promoted to Captain under his personal recommendation, asks permission to offer Hinamori a position in the 3rd division. He is adamant. Hinamori is his. An unspoken threat hangs in the air, and Gin knows better than to argue any further.
He manufactures a chance meeting near her old home in Rukongai, treats her to lunch and makes his offer in person over the course of the meal. It does not occur to him that she will refuse, nor does not occur to her to do so. She is speechless and once she finds her voice, accepts without hesitation. He has not even told her what seat he is offering her. An exhilarating feeling rushes over him as he drinks in the unadulterated joy of her expression.
He walks her home, the picture of a true gentleman, and tells her how happy he is that she has accepted his offer in spite of having received so many others. Eyes downcast demurely, she tells him that since their first meeting, she has been driven only by her desire to join the 5th division. He is surprised, not by her words, but by the force of sincerity with which she speaks them. He rewards her naivete with a smile and a kind pat on the head.
He sees a pair of piercing green eyes staring balefully at him from the window of the dilapidated house, but thinks nothing of it until several years later.
The pace of her spiritual growth is astounding. He has a high opinion of his destiny, but remains amazed by how Fortune has seen fit to grace him with such an innocent, loyal and talented subordinate. He encourages her during every step of her development, and soon he morphs from her reason for training into her reason for being. He rewards her phenomenal performance with kind words and gentle praise. He takes her on extra training missions, makes an effort to bond with her on a personal level, and dotes on her in all possible ways. His attention is all the incentive she needs, and she pushes herself harder in order to please him.
To Hinamori he is the perfect man. To him, she is the perfect pawn.
His special attentiveness to her is marked by all in the Gotei 13, as is the intense loyalty with which she reciprocates. No one in the 5th division dares speak out against her, but it is as much because she is popular among her teammates as because he clearly favors her. Even the other captains feel an instinctive need to protect her; he overhears Ukitake poking fun at Kyoraku for holding his tongue around the innocent-minded Hinamori, to which the 8th division captain responds that it is more for fear of upsetting her than out of deference to Aizen.
It is five years later when he makes her his vice-captain. He makes a point of telling her in person before the official announcement is made. He expects her to be overjoyed, but is surprised when she fixes her eyes on the ground and starts to cry. He is about to ask for an explanation when she drops to her knees before him and pledges her undying loyalty with a rawness of emotion that he cannot begin to fathom. She is not usually prone to such dramatics, and it is the first time in centuries that he has been rendered speechless. When he recovers he holds out his hand and begs her to rise. She looks up through her tears, and her hesitation is tangible as she slowly places her hand in his, as if afraid to touch him. He gently pulls her up and, keeping hold of her hand, tells her that he has made her his vice-captain not only because of her skill, but because she has earned his complete trust. Her eyes are shining with unrestrained joy and gratitude, and he is intoxicated by the amount of power brought by such a simple lie.
She is his.
She adapts admirably to the pressures and demands of her new position, carrying out her duties with the grace and efficiency that he has come to expect from her. She is utterly incapable of subterfuge and her love for him is obvious to anyone who cares to look. He remains unsure about whether or not she is actually IN love with him, but is acutely aware that it is well within his power to make it so. The green-eyed child prodigy clearly realizes it as well, and it is only Hitsugaya's respect for him that keeps the matter from escalating into a full-blown conflict. Hinamori continues onwards oblivious to the developing drama with her long-time childhood friend. She sees and thinks of her captain only, as he has trained her to do. He does not like Hitsugaya, and takes a perverse pleasure in being particularly nice to the boy. The conflict in the young captain's eyes is always delicious to behold. Hinamori is Hitsugaya's weakness.
She is his trump card.
It is summer, and a difficult mission keeps them together late into the night. She is so tired that she can barely stand, but despite his entreaties for her to rest, she walks him back to his room like the dutiful vice-captain that she is. It is raining steadily and, as is her habit in inclement weather, she gingerly steps into his room and kneels just inside his door. She keeps one shoulder against the doorframe and fixes a watchful eye on the hallway outside as she waits for him to give her permission to leave. He watches her settle into position, and decides that it is a good time to test one of his theories. Standing no more than five meters away from his vice-captain, he shrugs out of the top part of his robes and towels off, revealing a perfectly sculpted upper body. He observes her response out of the corner of his eye.
She continues to stand watch, wholly dedicated to the task at hand and completely unaffected by his actions.
He is a realist, immune to the self-deprecation and false modesty of lesser beings, and is fully aware that he is a handsome man. Her obvious admiration for him makes it difficult to understand her apparent lack of sexual interest. As a man who has never done anything without incentive, he does not comprehend why his vice-captain is so willing to give him all of herself.
Her mind. Her talent. Her loyalty. Her devotion. Her life. They are all his.
All these things he gladly accepts with neither question nor hesitation. Tonight is the first night that he considers the viability of taking her body as well. He acknowledges that he finds her attractive, but decides that acting on the matter would be an unnecessary complication. Her loyalty is already secure. He is displeased by the possibility that he would want anything more.
He does not love her, but finds himself irked by the thought that there is a part of her that he does not control. As their relationship develops, it becomes increasingly clear that when the time comes she will not survive his rebellion. He is relieved when the thought does not bother him in the slightest.
She is his to sacrifice.
Centuries of planning are finally coming to a head with the impending execution of Kuchiki Rukia. He has made arrangements to meet Gin early in the morning, and thinks it fitting that his 'death' mark the beginning of his true life.
The night has taken a melodramatic turn as a raging thunder storm tears through Soul Society, and he knows that there is no chance that Hinamori will sleep through it. His vice-captain does not deal well with weather such as this, and has sought refuge in his room on many occasions. He has feigned ignorance all these years, but knows all about her routine on nights when it is too late for her to wake him. He knows that she bolts upright in her bed, shivering, frightened and apprehensive. That she walks outside without an umbrella and inevitably ends up outside his door. That she gently touches his doorframe, smiles shyly, bows and returns to her room to slumber peacefully for the remainder of the night. When she was little she ran to Hitsugaya for comfort. Now, proximity to him is enough to soothe her soul.
He finds it amusing that she is worried about lightning, when her death is just around the bend.
He is a patient man, but he does not wish to sleep and waits for dawn with an almost unbearable feeling of anticipation. He occupies himself by following her progress across the 5th division barracks, and can sense her approaching although she has carefully shielded her reiatsu. He stares balefully at a pile of paperwork on his desk and idly fingers the hilt of his blade. He is determined to use his resources to the fullest and ponders what he has yet to take from his most precious tool. After intense consideration he concludes that, given the timing, it is now an acceptable risk to complete the ownership of his vice-captain as he has dreamt about more nights than he would care to admit. There are five hours until dawn and he decides that, on his last night in the Gotei 13, he will finally claim what is his.
If he had the time, he would arrange for Hitsugaya to hear about it. He never did like that child with the ageless eyes.
He hears the soft padding of her sandals as she passes by the window and his fists clench briefly in anticipation. It has been a long time since he has lain with a woman, as he could not risk tarnishing his carefully cultivated reputation for honor and chivalry. She pauses outside the door with her hand barely touching the frame, and he chooses that moment to open the door as if to step outside for a breath of fresh air. She gasps and draws back, blushing furiously and stammering out an awkward apology. He pretends to be surprised by her presence, and feigns a moment of recovery before gently placing a hand on top of her head. Her eyes flicker upwards to meet his and he smiles sympathetically. She returns his smile gratefully and wipes away a stray tear that has escaped her wide, innocent eyes. She thinks about how lucky she is to have such an understanding captain. He thinks about what he wants her say when she's writhing in pleasure beneath him.
He solicitiously drapes his cloak over her dripping figure and makes a soothing comment about the rain, guiding her inside his room and closing the door behind them. She is shivering and he is doing everything he can to restrain himself. Even now he keeps up the act. He wonders why he bothers around her - he is fairly certain that she would do anything he asked anyway - but he is shrewd enough to realize the risks involved if he is wrong.
He offers her a spare robe and tells her to get changed, making a light-hearted joke about the difference in their sizes. She smiles and obediently complies. She reenters the room a few minutes later, hair down and wearing his robe with the collar open just enough to tease at her pale, flawless skin. She is a kidou master, and her body is unmarred by the scars borne by physical fighters. He reaches for her robe and she watches, transfixed, as he tugs the two sides of the collar closer together so that the exposed skin is covered up properly. He chides her about the dangers of catching cold. "Aizen-taichou," she whispers, sending an involuntary shudder to run up his spine. He smiles, turns away and strides towards his desk with a calm that he does not actually feel. An internal fire is raging and he doesn't know how much longer he can hold it in. He stays the course.
He has allowed himself this reward on the condition that it is done correctly.
He knows her well, and as he expects she timidly asks to stay and protect him. He gives her a gentle smile and nods understandingly. "Do as you like," he says. "Stay as long as you wish." She watches him as he pretends to finish writing a letter. An hour later he stands up, extinguishes the candles and walks towards her. She says his name again, a question this time and he tells her that he needs to rest. In the blink of an eye she is up on her feet and murmuring a panicked apology for intruding on his personal space. She heads for the door and he stops her in her tracks with a simple question.
"Hinamori-kun," he begins slowly, allowing a touch of humor to seep into his tone, "Am I so scary, for you to run away as if pursued by a hollow?"
The look on her face is lovely to behold as she mutters an incoherent reply. He cuts her off with a gentle shake of the head, and tells her that he was just kidding.
"When I said stay as long as wish, I meant it," he assures her, smiling. "I don't mind."
She seems unsure of how to react, and he uses her hesitation to move in front of her. He puts his right hand on her head, and their gazes lock. "Good night, Hinamori-kun," he says slowly, allowing a slight hint of desire to seep into his voice. Her breathing speeds up slightly as her eyes grow even wider, and a world of silence passes between them. The balance is delicate. When he judges the time is right, he moves his hand gently to the back of her head, leans forward slowly and just barely brushes his lips against hers. She shivers and it takes every ounce of self-control in his body to restrain himself.
He counts to five and jumps back quickly as though just realizing that he has betrayed some code of conduct that a principled gentleman like Aizen Sousuke would naturally impose upon himself. In keeping with his crafted image he apologizes hastily to Hinamori, who, he observes with secret satisfaction, has been struck speechless. He assures her that he did not mean to make her uncomfortable, and that he understands if she is disgusted by his behavior and leaves. He closes his eyes as if pained by the thought, allows his hands to hang limply by his side and schools his voice to sincerity and regret as he apologizes once more for disappointing her.
He monitors her hesitation through fluctuations in her reiatsu.
'Aizen-taichou,' she says finally, and he feels a small hand slip into his. His eyes open, and her gaze holds so much emotion that he almost wants to look away.
He is not so much taking her as she is giving herself to him.
Hand in hand he leads her to his bed, lightly touching the small of her back with his free hand. He asks a question with a look and she nods shyly, bringing his hands to her shoulders and nervously running her tongue over her lips. He pushes the robe over her shoulders and has to bite down on his tongue to stop himself from being too rough. He is sick of the play-acting and ready to claim his prize, but his frustration is forgotten when Hinamori deftly steps out of the borrowed robe and stands before him, exposed and even more vulnerable than usual. She allows her hair to settle freely around her shoulders, and the paleness of her skin is highlighted silver by the moonlight filtering through the windows. She is nervous and eager to please, and he finds himself fascinated both by her innocence and the power he has to destroy it.
He gently draws her towards him with one hand and undoes his own robe with the other. Timidly she reaches out for him and he encourages her to touch him, enjoying the look of muted desire that crosses her face. He pulls her in for a deep kiss, and she gasps into his mouth as he lowers her onto his mattress. She has obviously never done anything like this before, and he is that much more aroused because of it. She has never belonged to anyone before, and never will again.
As in his dreams, she writhes beneath him as his hands travel the length of her body, across her taut stomach and down her slender legs. He is dying to take her and she is more than ready. He spreads her legs with a free hand and a knee and enters her with as much gentleness as he can muster in himself. She cries out in a mixture of pain and pleasure as he slides himself fully into her small body.
'Aizen-taichou,' she gasps, tears forming in her eyes as she wraps her arms around his neck. Her head is thrown back and, as he takes in the graceful lines of her delicate figure presented before him, he finally decides what he wants her to say.
'Sousuke,' he whispers into her ear. 'Call me Sousuke.'
He feels her hesitation and is amused by how she thinks nothing of allowing him the most intimate of contact, but is taken aback by the prospect of calling him by his first name. He thrusts experimentally and she cries out in surprise.
"Sousuke...sama," she moans softly when she recovers from her shock, still unable to withhold the honofic.
He smiles in spite of himself. She is one of a kind.
He takes his glasses off, the first time he has shown his face to anyone since entering the Gotei 13, and is pleased when her eyes widen ever so slightly in admiration. His eyes bore into hers and she stares, transfixed. He moves in for the kill. 'Please, Hinamori-kun,' he murmurs pleadingly. 'It would mean so much to me."
She nods wordlessly and gasps as he rewards her compliance accordingly. Her deft, small hands explore his body and even he is finding it difficult to concentrate. He wants to let himself go, but is unwilling to let such a rare moment pass by so quickly.
He steels himself and quickens his pace, and she wraps her legs around his waist to allow him deeper access. Her head crashes against his pillow, and he buries his head against the delicate curve of her neck. He feels her muscles tighten around him and he grits his teeth as the pressure builds up to an unbearable level.
'Sousuke!' she cries out without restraint as she unwinds around him, her body arching and clenching as her hands clutch his shoulders in desperation. He continues to thrust, bringing her to climax twice more as she repeats his name aloud, her new personal mantra. In a rush of feeling he spends himself inside her and collapses, his head buried in the crook between her neck and her shoulder. Her hands trace dreamy circles over his muscular physique and she sighs in perfect contentment. He groans quietly and finds himself oddly satisfied.
For several hours, he forgets that he has any ambition at all.
It is almost dawn when he leaves the room. He is keeping Gin waiting but cannot bring himself to care. It is immaterial - his true vice-captain is much too afraid of death to ask where he's been. He takes one last look at Hinamori's sleeping figure, memorizes the gentle sound of her breathing for future reference and drapes his cloak protectively over her. He leaves without another backward glance, and is annoyed when a voice in the back of his head considers the viability of taking her with him. He reached the decision long ago and is not about to jeopardize his success for something so fickle.
The next time they meet she will die by his sword.
Her bone-chilling scream resonates through the crisp, cool air. The sound is more thrilling, her expression more satisfying than he imagined. He expects her to be devastated, but it seems that he has once again underestimated the depth of her devotion. For the time-being he chooses to recall the previous night in vague and blurry terms only, and is pleased that he has the power to be both the source of her absolute pleasure and absolute despair.
He continues to watch with something approaching amusement as she fights with Kira. She is no match for Gin's vice-captain when it comes to swordplay, and she is much too distraught to manipulate the magic. Her zanpakutou spits with frustration, and her tears blur her vision as Kira moves in for the kill. He is not surprised when Hitsugaya interferes. He has already calculated for that possibility, and the next stage of his plan will address that point.
The boy captain's weakness is common knowledge and he is not surprised when Gin aims his shikai directly for the fallen Hinamori. He finds his eyes narrowing in displeasure when Matsumoto stops Gin's blade and Gin immediately backs off.
Hinamori is Hitsugaya's weakness. Matsumoto is Gin's.
He turns away and makes a note to caution Gin later.
She sits alone in her cell and prays to him from the depths of her sorrow. Considering his ultimate goal, he finds it a most fitting tribute. Beyond even Gin himself, she is loyal without bounds and truly one of a kind. If it were possible for him to keep her to himself without jeopardizing his success, he would. It is a bigger concession than he would make for any other person, but he thinks nothing of it because of its utter irrelevance.
He gives Hitsugaya credit for being able to deal with the accusations of murder aimed at him by his lovely pawn. He is beginning to believe that Hinamori deserves more than to die at the hands of a second-rate Shinigami. She is his, and her life is his and his alone to take. He reaches his decision.
He considers it only fair that he show his Hinamori this final act of kindness.
Gin doesn't ask and he doesn't offer, and he stands in the shadows as Gin brings Hinamori to him. He does not have long to wait, and is soon greeted by the sight of his two vice-captains approaching. She is pale and apprehensive, inspecting her surroundings with a mixture of fright, curiousity and awe clearly visible on her face. He lifts his hand as if to touch her as she passes by and is greeted with a hint of her delicate fragrance. Tobiume, he thinks, and is pleased by how aptly her zanpakutou is named.
It is time and he steps into the doorway. She turns around and stands there, motionless and in shock, as she registers his presence. He smiles and greets her, and she walks towards him as if in a trance. Her entire being is focused on the image of the man she loves, and she is drawn to him with no purpose other than to confirm what her eyes are telling her. She clutches at his robes and instantly dissolves into tears. He once again is surprised by the strength of her weakness, by how deeply she cares about a man she knows nothing about.
He is pleased by her reaction. He always is.
He places his arms around her and holds her as she continues to sob. He notes that she has lost weight and apologizes for having worried her. She absolves him with a shake of the head and continues to cry, unable to hold in her happiness at his appearance. He starts to explain, but she cuts him off and insists that all she cares is that he is alive and well. He thanks her, and when he expresses his gratitude it is maybe the most honest he has ever been with her.
When she feels the blade passing through her body, he is all she sees.
He observes her coldly as she falls, her blood pooling on the floor beneath his feet. The emotion in her eyes shifts from shock to something he cannot identify before fading to nothingness. There is no regret. No blame. No sadness. He attributes it to her having died too quickly to register the true events, and considers himself merciful for having delivered her from that knowledge. Gin is waiting and, sheathing his sword, he beckons for his true vice-captain to follow.
He knows that she is not yet dead. Even as he mocks Hitsugaya for his concern and enjoys every ounce of anger and emotion that crosses the young captain's face, he knows that Hinamori is not yet dead.
He also knows that she might as well be.
He makes a spectacular exit, one fit for the powerful Shinigami that he is and for the powerful God that he will be. Gin's apology to Matsumoto does not go unnoticed. He knows all about their history and considers it potential leverage should he ever need to remind Gin of his duties. As such, he deems it acceptable to show his true vice-captain leniency in this one regard.
He feels nothing but derision for his former colleagues and nothing pleases him more than to finally be rid of the masses that purport to be his peers. Ukitake yells something about honor and he is amused by the sickly man's sudden show of spirit. One day he'll create a soldier in the image of Shiba Kaien and send it after his old friend Jyuushirou. One day soon.
Hinamori is alive yet, but he doubts that Unohana or Hitsugaya will be able to bring her back to anything more than a shadow of the brilliant Shinigami that he made her. As he enters his new realm and consolidates his power over the universe, he keeps a picture of his little vice-captain tucked in the back of his mind for safekeeping. He does not regret his actions. He considers Hinamori's suffering to be Unohana's fault.
He does not forget her because Fortune has always seen fit to throw them together, and somehow he knows that he will see her again.
He senses her the instant she materializes into Hueco Mondo. He is true to his own sense of fairness and still considers it unseemly for a mere creature to kill someone he hand-picked to stand at his side. Unconcerned, he offhandedly commands a passing arrancar to apprehend and imprison her until he sees fit. It comes as no surprise that she has tried to find him. He has always known that she would follow him to the ends of the universe if she could.
The arrancar returns wearing a confused expression, disappointed that the Shinigami offered no resistance. The creature licks its lips in a disturbing manner and explains that her zanpakutou does not speak to her, she will not fight and she has come here only to see her former captain. He nods in acknowledgement and dismisses his underling with a wave, pondering her words while watching the arrancar beat a hasty retreat.
Her actions are patently stupid but he cannot fault her for them. The years would have been cruel. She would have cried herself to sleep at night, only to dream of him in her fitful slumber. She would have shut out her friends, second-guessed her memories, tried and failed to separate the truths from the lies. She would have been plagued by self-doubt and haunted by whispers of questions that only he could answer.
He smiles coldly. Apparently a sword through the gut was not answer enough.
The arrangements for his ascension have long since been completed so he sits in his quarters contemplating the past, the present, and how interesting it is that the two have chosen to meet at the beginning of his new future. He wonders what Fortune has planned for him now. He is a patient man, but he does not wish to sleep and waits for night with an almost unbearable feeling of anticipation. He decides that he will honor her with his attention one last time and personally tie up this final loose end, dispatching two soldiers to bring her to him and idly fingering the hilt of his sword as he waits. The promise of amusement is tantalizing and he finds himself looking forward to her arrival.
She stands at the door now, a vision from the past that he rose from decades ago. He waves the soldiers away and beckons imperiously for her to approach.
He watches silently as she walks towards him, her long dark hair flows gently behind her. She has lost the childish features that spoke of her innocence, but she is as ever a delicate beauty. She slowly closes the distance between them, cautious in her mannerisms and graceful in her movements. He notes with some interest that she has forgone the Shinigami uniform in favor of a simple purple kimono. She holds her zanpakutou with one hand and a carefully folded, tearstained piece of paper with the other. He recognizes the writing on the paper as his.
"Hinamori-kun," he says, rising but not bothering to smile for her. The need for such pretense has long since passed. He does not restrict his spiritual energy, but feels neither threat nor menace from her presence. After all, he is Aizen Sousuke, and this is the Hinamori Momo who once belonged, heart, soul and body, to him and him alone.
"Aizen-taichou," she answers softly, in the same voice that thanked him for saving her life, joyfully accepted his offer to join the fifth division, and whispered his name in gratitude, passion, despair, relief...
"I am no longer a member of the Gotei 13, Hinamori-kun," he says coldly. "Call me Sousuke." He smiles insincerely. "It would mean so much to me."
He is amused to see her face drain of color. He has power over her yet.
"I likewise am no longer a member of Gotei 13, Aizen-taichou," she answers after a moment. This answer is unexpected, and his interest is piqued because of it.
"Why have you come, Hinamori?" he asks, now genuinely curious.
She murmurs an apology to her zanpakutou and places it on the ground along with the letter. Her movements betray how tired she truly is as she straightens up and walks to him, stopping no more than an arms length away.
She looks him in the eye and speaks. "Kill me."
With each passing moment he becomes increasingly pleased. "Hinamori-kun?" he says impassively. "What a strange request."
An unidentifiable emotion flickers across her delicate features. "You failed the first time." Her voice chokes up as she continues, "You wouldn't believe the things I've done to gain entry to this realm. The damage I've left behind. The people I've hurt. Kira-kun...Renji-kun...Matsumoto-san...Shirou-chan..."
He swears he sees her zanpakutou quiver on the floor as she continues.
"I lived my life only to serve, and to serve only you. I have sought you for decades, Aizen-taichou. It was not your fault that I loved you, but at very least, reward me for my service."
She lifts her head proudly to look him in the eye, and out of the past he is reminded of her small figure, quivering in fear but steadfastingly standing up to a massive hollow. He finds the image strangely applicable.
"Please, Aizen-taichou," she pleads softly, interrupting his thoughts. "Please. Kill me by own your hand."
He shrugs. He has killed more than his share of people over the centuries, but she is defenseless, surrounded by enemies, and there is nothing to stop him from getting someone else to take care of it. Just the same, he has stabbed her once before and there is nothing to stop him from doing it again. He can hardly believe that she has come all this way just to die by his sword, but he does not think to refuse her. He is true to his sense of fairness, and her zanpakutou watches accusatorily from the floor as he makes his decision and leans forward to kiss her forehead.
"Goodbye, Hinamori-kun," he says with finality, as he plunges his sword upwards into her ribcage.
He memorizes every change in expression as her eyes widen with pain and fill up with tears. "Arigato, Aizen-taichou," he hears her sigh as he withdraws his sword from her body and she crumples to the floor. He turns her over onto her back with one foot, and watches her eyes close and her body relax as her reiatsu gradually fades to nothing.
He sheathes his sword and kneels down beside her still figure. "Silly girl," he murmurs, placing a hand on her head with his mouth a fraction of a distance away from hers.
He starts to straighten up and is taken aback when he finds himself paralyzed from the waist down. His eyes dart towards her hands and in a second it becomes clear that she has surprised him one last time.
Her reiatsu flares.
He wonders if she is indeed capable of such deceit. He wonders if she is indeed capable of casting such a powerful spell. He wonders if she is doing this because she does not wish to live without him, or because she is not willing betray her friends to be with him.
One thing he knows. With her dying breath, she will destroy them both.
Her hands move fluidly and her voice is surprisingly steady for someone on the brink of death. "Parity in all things. Death begets death. From blood to air, dark to light. Watcher's Seat 98: Soul Sacrifice."
He is caught. It is a spell that cannot be countered, a destructive burst of energy that comes with the death of the caster. She is bleeding profusely and in his inability to save her life, he has guaranteed his own death. He curses her for betraying him. He curses himself for letting down his guard.
She opens her large, guileless eyes and their gazes lock with the power of all their shared memories hanging between them.
"Sousuke," she whispers brokenly.
His eyes bore into hers, and when she draws her last breath he is kissing her fiercely. His final thought is that, even after everything, she is still his.
He is grateful.