Well, looks as if little Shirou-chan came all the way out here to greet me himself. What an honour.

Toushirou looks up at the man descending from heaven, from the hollow world; the man who is king of heaven and hell and all that is in between.

For the third time in his life, he is scared.

The first time was when Aizen had faked his death.

The second time was when Hinamori was killed.

The third time is now, realizing that he will not live through this.

His fellow captains and co-workers lie in a bloody heap all around him, completely unrecognizeable. He thinks he sees Mastumoto's ridiculous pink scarf somewhere in the mass of flesh and innards but he pushes it back for later (what later there will be no later).

Amazingly and ironically, he is the only one left.

On the sixth day, on the sixth month, 6:06pm Aizen had descended upon the world and brought with him heaven and hell.

This was not how it was supposed to be.

Shut up, Aizen.

Now, that's not a very nice thing to say to your fellow captain.

And he feels the anger and horror that these past four years have weighed down, and he can't say anything, it pulls and rips and tears and

Oh my, Shirou-chan, don't get so worked up. What would Hinamori-chan say?

Oh god Aizen I'm going to fucking kill you you'll wish you'd never been born I'll fucking kill you you bastard I'll kill you kill you kill you killyoukillyoukillyoufuckingkillyou

So unoriginal.

Go to hell.

He is surprise when Aizen laughs, a real, geniune, human laugh. Coming out of the man who crushed the world, to hear such a human laugh scared him. Aizen wasn't God and he was at the same time. He wasn't some ethereal being; Toushirou could reach out and touch him and make him blled, if he wanted, if he tried, if he could remember how. Aizen was every bit of a human as he was. Nearly doubled over with laughter, he continues to descend the stairs from the hollow world.

Hell? Why, I've been there and back, captain! It's nothing special, I wouldn't mind another trip there

a scream of nothing chokes Toushirou and he makes a noise in his throat and he's scared


Of course I did. It's too bad, really, looking back on it, she could've been so much more useful


Oh, no, that must've been one of the Arrankars. I'm sure I would remember the pleasure of killing her


Friends? I've never had any friends. Only tools


I love no one.

He has nothing to say to this so he just screams. Screams and screams and screams until shards of ice seem to climb up his throat which was already raw and he chokes on his own blood and doesn't care. Aizen simply watches, expressionless. Hitsugaya realizes there's nothing he can say anymore, nothing he can do to make anything change and he wonders

What was it all for?

He's not ready for the answer he gets:

I don't know.

He says something, but he can't hear it because Aizen is suddenly right there and it hurts it hurts oh god momo I know now. I know. It's real and it's there and it's warm and beating and it burns his hand but he has it.

He looks up into Aizen's eyes. He doesn't look back. This is real.

I'm sorry, he says to no one and everyone, watching his own blood mingle with everyone else's on his robes.

What are you apologizing for? asks Aizen, weak-voiced and ever so human with blood slipping from his lips and from the wound from Histugaya's own hand. He finds himself wondering if the bastard had planned it.

For you. For you.

They stagger, Aizen's hand shaking on the hilt of the sword planted firmly in Toushirou's heart while he has a grip on the other's in his own hand, having lost his sword some fifteen minutes ago. He can feel the beat of the heart lose it's rythmn, it's strength. They're close and they both feel the human warmth that's fading from each other's bodies. They overestimated themselves and each other.

I see. I understand, says Aizen, I'm sorry.

For what? he responds and doesn't give him a chance to answer. He draw his arm back violently, the momentum taking him off of the other's sword and staggering backwards.

The heart is still and warm in his hand. The hole it left behind in Aizen's chest reminds him far too much of the hole of a Hollow where the heart would've been.

He's not human anymore as he falls to the ground, completely out of place in white amongst the black. Toushirou follows him shortly after, still human. Still human.

I'm sorry.