Character/Pairing/s: Kira (lightly GinxKira), Ikkaku in spirit?
Warnings/Spoilers: spoilers for the soul society arc.
Word Count: 1,989
Summary: Kira says goodbye to the past.
Dedication: for yukisuzu's LATE birthday fic request! Also for para, because I haven't heard from you in forever+ and hope you're doing well.
A/N: Whiny? Maybe. But I'm out of practice writing Gin and Kira, so you know. XD
Disclaimer: Not mine, though I wish constantly.
Distribution: Just lemme know.
They were to have it clean by Monday.
Because Madarame-taichou was going to be moving in on Monday, and so this space needed to be cleared for him, made new again. This was a captain's office, after all.
Kira swallowed when he heard the announcement and nodded, took on the task of overseeing the packing and boxing of all remaining affects in the office personally, because he knew this office and knew all of the things inside of it, even if he hadn't really known the person who had used it like he thought he had.
This was the office where he first learned how to be a shinigami vice-captain.
On Friday he began by packing up the mission reports, all ordered by date on the far back wall of Ichimaru Gin's former office. And as he looked at them he remembered the first time he went over these with his captain, the silver-haired shinigami instructing him with a wry little smile, on how he was just no good at organization, and so would leave it up to his fukutaichou from then on.
Kira had flushed in pride at the responsibility, had taken it upon himself from that day on to meticulously order and catalogue each report as it came in and then to update the master index he'd created—a little extra he'd made to give his disorganized captain easier and quicker access to the files he needed.
He remembered how pleased taichou had been when Kira presented the master index to him—handmade and neatly labeled.
"A vice-captain's supposed ta find his leader's weaknesses'n compensate for 'em. 's what makes a good team, ne, Izuru-chan?" he'd said, turning the book around in his hands in admiration.
Kira had beamed. "Yes sir!"
"Naa… now I know all yer strengths it seems, but what're some of your weaknesses, fukutaichou?"
He remembered how, when he'd heard that, he'd hesitated for a moment, biting his lip before taking a breath and telling himself that as a vice-captain, he needed to trust his leader—no matter what. And so he'd confessed his own weaknesses right then and there as asked, right in front of this wall of meticulously organized reports. He'd feared that his captain would think him a coward when he heard the blond's confession, would realize how unsuitable Kira was for a leadership role of this magnitude. But instead, Ichimaru-taichou had simply laughed and pet Izuru's head, told him that his weaknesses were perfect, because they were exactly the things Gin could help him compensate for.
"We're gonna be great partners, Izuru-chan, you just wait'n see, ne?"
Kira had been so sure of that himself as well, at the time.
Now, now Kira could only sigh at the memory of that time, the blond vice-captain running his fingers over the archive he'd worked so hard to maintain for Ichimaru over the years.
On Friday afternoon he pulled the whole shelf full of reports from the bookcase and put the contents into boxes instead, got them ready to be sent to the third division underground storage archive just as soon as possible. Because on Monday a new captain was coming, and Kira didn't know his strengths or weaknesses yet, didn't know if Madarame-taichou would need a comprehensive index and file system in chronological order or if all he'd need was an empty cabinet and some label makers.
When all the reports were boxed up and ready to go come evening, Kira looked them over one last time, before pausing to write across the top of each crate: "final third division reports under the command of Ichimaru Gin." And as he did, he couldn't help but wonder what kind of reports he would be looking at when the week started anew and the era of "third division reports under the command of Madarame Ikkaku" began.
Looking at the reports he'd packed away, Kira remembered learning how to be a team in those boxes, and found himself hoping that everything about the time he'd spent with Ichimaru Gin hadn't been a complete lie, though it probably was.
With a quiet sigh, he tore his eyes from the boxes and called in his aides to have them moved to the archive.
On Saturday morning he cleared out Ichimaru-taichou's desk.
Through the course of their partnership as captain and vice-captain he'd found Ichimaru dozing more times than working here, and recalled how the silver-haired shinigami looked when Izuru first roused him from slumber, the other man blinking sleepily or yawning, and for a moment thereafter, completely unguarded. Then it would be gone and Gin would smile at the blond, would laugh and say, "Ain't as glamorous a job as it's cracked out to be, na?" while Kira poured him hot tea and offered to stay through the night with him to help him finish.
They'd spent many nights working through until morning at this desk together, and Kira's most vivid memory amongst all those quiet moments was the one time he'd fallen asleep before taichou had, his head sinking onto the desk like a lead weight as they'd worked furiously into the late hours trying to finish the last of their paperwork regarding the mysterious deaths of several third division members the week before.
When he'd woken up he remembered how he'd blinked owlishly at the morning light coming in through the window—not knowing where he was or what he'd been doing— before realizing that there was a head pillowed beside his on his captain's desk. Then there was silver hair catching the sunlight to alert him to who he was with exactly, and disbelieving, Kira Izuru woke up to find Ichimaru-taichou sleeping right beside him, for who knew how long. There had been a blanket draped across both of their shoulders too, and Kira remembered to this day, how taichou had had ink smudged on his face from falling asleep on his report before it had gotten a chance to properly dry.
But the most striking thing about that morning had been his own heart as he'd come fully awake, the blond jolting upwards with his heartbeat inexplicably thundering a thousand beats per minute in his chest once he realized where he was and who he was with. He'd felt himself unconsciously coloring too, and it had been at that very moment when Kira Izuru had realized that something new was blossoming inside of himself, growing larger and stronger every moment he spent at his captain's side. He remembered smiling a little breathlessly at the new, unfamiliar feeling— all at once nervous, scared, and embarrassed—and wondered to himself if this was what had driven so many of the vice-captains before him, the ones he'd read about in his academy history class.
Men and women who had been willing to die for the person they'd served.
When he'd been in school he hadn't been able to fathom it—had just listened and taken notes on it because he knew it would be on the final exam. But at that moment, sitting there sharing a blanket with Ichimaru after a long night's work, he remembered realizing that he was beginning to understand maybe, what it was those vice-captains of before had been sacrificing themselves for.
It had been at this very desk that Kira Izuru learned what it was to serve completely—heart, mind, soul.
When Ichimaru had stirred to wakefulness a scant few moments later, Kira remembered turning bright red and scrambling away hastily, apologizing profusely for letting the both of them fall asleep before the work was all done. Still sleepy—or perhaps, just wily— Ichimaru had smiled lopsidedly at him and told him how cute he was when he panicked, before promptly closing his eyes again and going back to sleep.
Kira remembered sitting there, watching him for a little while longer, as the sun rose higher in the sky and their reports became more and more overdue.
It was at this desk that Kira Izuru learned that his heart belonged to his captain.
He cleaned it off on this quiet Saturday morning without a word, packing up the little toys and interesting knickknacks Ichimaru Gin had collected during his tenure as captain here, before he had it sent to storage.
Because a new captain was coming on Monday, and Kira had made sure to order a brand new desk for this office as well. There were too many memories—happy and sad—attached to the one here now.
He folded the blanket Gin had wrapped them in that night on top of the faded wood and ordered his aides in to help him move it outside before he had too much time to linger over times forever gone.
There was still a lot of work to do before Monday came.
On Sunday Kira cleaned out the cabinets and took the decorations off of the walls.
He found all sorts of memories inside of those things too, and tried to ignore them as best he could, to remember the Ichimaru who betrayed seireitei instead of the beloved captain he saw when he closed his eyes.
All day Sunday, Kira Izuru tried to ignore his memories of a man who liked pressing flowers between his books simply because he thought they were lovely and needed to be kept that way forever, for all to see. And as he emptied those old, dried petals out of the pages they'd been pressed into before boxing all the tomes up, Izuru attempted to picture instead, the person who had tormented poor Hinamori-chan without remorse and who had fought so heartlessly with Hitsugaya-taichou at the height of soul society's biggest crisis.
It was hard, but necessary. He had to have this place like new on Monday morning.
And so he bit his lip and made sure not to think about the captain who had told him not to cut his hair because he thought it was getting cuter the longer it got, and did his best to picture the man who had looked down on all of them as the menos had taken him home with them, as one of their own. He cleaned the office and told himself his memories meant nothing.
Like this, little by little, Ichimaru Gin's office was eventually tidied up and emptied out, stripped of every last vestige of the place that had made it his and no one else's.
Everything except for one.
Kira looked down at his own, dirty, dusty hands when he was done cleaning and wondered if this would still be okay come Monday morning—if he would be okay— or if Madarame-taichou would want everything to be new when he arrived after all. A fresh start.
He didn't know.
And all he had to fall back on was something he'd learned from Ichimaru Gin a long, long time ago, as false a lesson as it may have been.
There was nothing left to do but wait. Come Monday morning he and his new captain would both discover whether or not Kira's weaknesses were the right kind of weaknesses for Ikkaku, and if Ikkaku's strengths were the right kind of strengths that would help Izuru get through this.
Because come tomorrow morning, they would see if they could become a team—vice-captain and captain. And if they could, from that moment on, Kira Izuru would be forced to leave Ichimaru Gin behind forever, boxed up and stored away as a relic of the past and nothing more.
Come Monday, this place would be made brand new.
On Sunday night, after he was done cleaning up, Kira Izuru sat by himself in Ichimaru Gin's old office—empty, quiet, sad— and waited, both terrified and excited, for tomorrow to come.
And like this place with all its faded memories, the blond vice-captain wondered if, when Monday morning finally arrived, he could be made new again as well.