Hi people! This fic will be a series of oneshots depicting the problems faced by the trio in Hueco Mundo. And you thought it was easy being the villain.
There are no pairings here. None that I intended at least.
Disclaimer: Bleach does not belong to me. And I adapted part of Winston Churchill's speech. It belongs to him, not me.
Problems in Hueco Mundo: What has that got to do with me?
When Inoue Orihime had been invited… no, ordered into Hueco Mundo, the thing that had occupied her mind most was how on earth she was going to explain things to Kurosaki Ichigo and his friends. Then of course, she had been told that she couldn't really speak to Kurosaki Ichigo, so that worry became a little redundant. Nonetheless, she continued to worry about what she would say to Kurosaki Ichigo when they next met.
That was, until her attention waned, and she could no longer focus on that particular worry.
Inoue Orihime being Inoue Orihime then turned her hyperactive mind to the next worry, which was how to spend the twelve hours the nice arrancar had granted her. She really couldn't quite decide how to spend it, so she had ended up wandering around aimlessly. Innate optimism led her to decide that taking a nice, twelve hour walk was a pretty decent way to spend the time before a scary arrancar came and carried you off to the lands where all the evil witches and wizards (in Inoue Orihime's mind) lived.
In hindsight, her rational mind (or rather, what passed for a rational mind in her head) told her that floating around aimlessly was one hell of a lousy way to spend the last twelve hours of her time in the world that she belonged to. Optimism fought back hard, of course, and Optimism was pretty much the Ares of Orihime's mind, but given the situation she had found herself in at that moment, Optimism didn't count for nuts.
Grimacing, trying not to show too many signs of discomfort, Inoue Orihime squirmed.
Twelve hours! She had been granted twelve hours! Yet, never once had she thought of packing some supplies to support her during her imprisonment in Hueco Mundo!
But no! Now was not the time to be depressed about it! It was so terrible to be depressed! Depression would make her look like Kurosaki Ichigo, and while that was all right if you were male, buff and really hot, it really didn't fit the face of a sweet, young girl like Inoue Orihime!
Yet, the problem was not going away. It probably wouldn't go away for another seven days or so, and how on earth was she supposed to last till then?
With a loud grunt of encouragement, Inoue Orihime shot to her feet, her face set with pure determination. Well, even though she had been ordered to stay in her room, she wasn't going to. Rather, she really didn't have much of a choice. Her teenage female's pride was at risk, and so was her school skirt, and there was no way she was going to let either be stained.
And if she didn't want either to be stained, she would have to hurry and start looking for a way to solve her dilemma.
Cautiously, and with a little flutter of excitement, Inoue Orihime sidled up to the door to her room and pushed it open gently. Much to her amazement, there wasn't anyone guarding her room. It would seem Aizen Sousuke (the Wicked Wizard of Oz) trusted her enough to let her alone. This was very much to the advantage of the great Heroine Inoue Orihime, who would now save the day!
Biting her lower lip and giggling a little, the great Heroine slipped out into the corridor, looking up and down said corridor with a sense of trepidation in her heart. In all honesty, she really had no idea where she was going to go now, but she would venture into the wilderness of Hueco Mundo for no reason but a dim shimmer of hope visible just beyond the horizon!
Slowly, she started creeping to the left, pressing her back to the wall like she had seen in all those spy movies. A turn round the corridor revealed nothing but more rooms with locked doors. Another turn led to a dead end, and what looked like a janitor's closet (well, she supposed even arrancar need someone to clean their toilets). Backing out, she continued along her way, turning right this time and carrying on.
Suddenly, a sense of danger invaded her mind, and Inoue Orihime froze in place, staring down into the dark corridors. Something was approaching! Something evil the great Heroine much fight in order to complete her Quest! It would be a dark minion of the Wicked Wizard of Oz, a follower who would do everything in his power to stop the great Heroine! It was time to fight! It was time!
"What are you doing out here, woman?"
Inoue Orihime yelped in shock and spun around to find herself looking into the dead eyes of the dark minion, Ulquiorra. "U… Ulquiorra-san!" she screeched, clapping her hands over her pounding heart in an effort to still it.
The arrancar looked slightly taken back by her overly enthusiastic greeting, but he did little more than take an eighth of a step back. "I asked," he repeated, just in case this human was so weak she couldn't even hear properly. "What are you doing out here?"
Inoue Orihime breathed out in relief. "Oh nothing!" she cried earnestly, waving her arms about frantically. "I just needed to use the toilet! Well not really… but I most certainly thought that using the toilet would be a wonderful idea!"
The great Ulguiorra took another quick eighth of a step backwards in an effort to avoid the swinging human arms. "There is an urn provided for you in your room," he said coldly. "There is no need to search for what is commonly known as the toilet, the bathroom, the john, the gents or the ladies, for indeed, there are none."
At that Inoue Orihime lost the urge to wave her arms about. Instead, she clutched her skirt and leaned forward curiously. "Really?" she asked, beaming enthusiastically. "There are really no toilets in Aizen-san's palace?"
"Of course. Why would I lie to you?" Ulquiorra considered taking another eighth of a step back, but decided that it was too much of a concession to give to a mere human.
"Oh!" Inoue Orihime squealed. "That is so interesting! So everyone in Hueco Mundo pee-pee and poo-poo into urns? That is so cute!"
Regardless of how much of a concession that is, Ulquiorra found himself judging the dire threat to his general well-being a far greater concern than any sacrifices made on the basis of his pride, and took a full quarter of a step backwards. "Yes," he said coldly. "And thus, as I have demonstrated, there is no need for you to search for a toilet for there is none to be found. Return to your room immediately."
"Oh!" Inoue yelped. "But that wouldn't do!"
"You are in no position to negotiate with me. All you can do is say, "yes" and proceed back to your room like an obedient little dog."
"Oh no, you shouldn't say that, Ulquiorra-san," Inoue said earnestly. "Why, you would never find a girlfriend at this rate! What would Aizen-san say if he knew you weren't producing any cute little arrancar babies for him to breed into new fighting machines to destroy the whole of Seireitei?"
Ulquiorra froze, his mind working fast to locate the trick in her words. "But…" he hesitated. "Arrancar are created by Hogyoku…" He trailed off, trying to fathom the depths of her words.
"Only?" Inoue cried. "Oh, but that's so boring! You mean there aren't any adorable arrancar babies around? No toddlers? No Sweet Sixteen celebrations? No eighteenth year celebrations? No happy arrancar families?"
Another eighth of a step back. "N… none at all."
Inoue Orihime shook her head, the air of tragedy hanging like a pall around her. "That is so sad," she whimpered. "Oh my… no sweet sixteen? Tragic! Oh tragic!"
"Arrancar have no need for Sweet Sixteen celebrations or babies."
"Rubbish!" Inoue thundered. "Everyone has to celebrate sweet sixteen! It's a must! Oh, we must do something about it… but wait, my quest!"
Ulquiorra managed to stop his face from breaking into a scowl. "What quest?" he asked coldly.
Inoue Orihime took a full step back and looked the arrancar up and down critically. He really had been so sweet to her! Even though he must be so busy trying to destroy Seireitei and the whole of the world, he had stopped to have a nice conversation with her. All the facts he had told her about Hueco Mundo were so interesting! Surely, the Heroine could trust this dark minion!
"It's like this, you see," she said earnestly. "There is something I need to… survive."
"We have been feeding you."
"Oh, not food! It's something else quite entirely!" Inoue paused and tried to think of the best way to explain it to him. "You see… there are a lot of things I forgot to bring to Hueco Mundo."
"I gave you twelve hours."
"I know, but…"
"Silence. You will speak no longer. Return to your room immediately."
And, that was when the great Heroine Inoue Orihime used Tsubaki (the Magical Fairy) to knock the arrancar unconscious before running off to complete her quest.
"Because," she mumbled to herself a little guiltily much later. "He was blocking my path to the least bloodshed, like Tousen-san says. I really was in a hurry. It isn't so bad now, but later, it will be like a flash flood. And it will be very painful and all, but I suppose I can't do anything about that. Still, I have to find something… to stop…"
A pause. Then Inoue Orihime squealed in despair. In between her inattentive wanderings and her various bouts of mumbling and depression, she had gotten herself lost.
"Oh dear! Oh dear!" Inoue wailed. "See? This is what happens when you get depressed! It is so bad to get depressed! Oh dear, what should I do now? No! No more depression! Be strong!" She clenched her fists and marched forward determinedly.
The great Heroine would not be deterred from her quest so easily! It was crucial, vital for World Peace that she completed her quest! So what if she was lost now? She couldn't give up, couldn't afford to lose courage anymore.
Inoue Orihime knew she was weak. She had nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. She had before her an ordeal of the most grievous kind. It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all her might and with all the strength that God can give her: to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. Her aim in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, thereis no survival.
"This!" she declared into the empty corridor. "Shall be my finest hour!"
"What shall be your finest hour?"
Another squeal erupted this time, and Inoue Orihime spun around, trying to locate the owner of the voice.
Cautiously, she approached the partially opened door and peered in. Much to her amazement, she was greeted by the sight of one Ichimaru Gin standing half-naked before a basin of water, a wet towel in one hand and a dry one in the other.
"Oh!" she cried.
"Sorry, Orihime-chan," Ichimaru Gin drawled, grinning widely. "I was just finishing my bath."
"So there really are no toilets in Hueco Mundo!" she finished, pointing a finger at him in her excitement.
Ichimaru Gin paused, contemplated the happily grinning face before him, decided he was the only one who was aware she was supposed to be feeling awkward about seeing him half-naked (and dripping wet), and pulled the top of his kimono over his shoulders. "Actually, there aren't any," he admitted, rubbing his wet hair with the dry towel. "We couldn't find a way to establish an efficient plumbing system."
"So everyone really pee-pee and poo-poo into urns!" Inoue exclaimed ecstatically. "That is so cute! I have to tell Kurosaki-kun about this!"
"Somehow, I don't think he really cares how the arrancar defecate or where they defecate to," Ichimaru replied, his voice brimming with amusement. "But yes again, we all pee-pee and poo-poo into urns."
"Defecate!" Inoue shrieked.
This time, even Ichimaru Gin couldn't keep up with her. "Yes?" he questioned tentatively.
"That's such a wonderful word!" she cried. "Oh you are so smart, Ichimaru-san!" She bounced forward and grasped his hands in hers.
"Of course! I couldn't find a word that could be a really good euphemism for the four letter word that starts with a 's', you know? The best I could think of was poo-poo! But defecate! That's such a… a proper word to use!" Inoue Orihime beamed. "Now I needn't be afraid every time I need to use the toilet when I'm with Byakuya-san! The last time, I didn't even dare move because I couldn't figure out how to explain I needed to defecate without offending him!"
"Ah…" Ichimaru Gin stopped to regain his composure. Then he sent his most poisonous grin in her direction. "But where are my manners, please have a seat." He gestured towards the couch that occupied his lavishly decorated room.
"Thank you!" she beamed back happily, totally immune to the poison in his smile. Then her smile dropped. "Actually," she mumbled awkwardly. "I don't think I should."
"Why not?" Ichimaru questioned curiously, draping himself over one end of the couch.
"I… well, if you really want me to sit, you may have to put a towel over the couch… one that you wouldn't mind throwing away afterwards…"
An eyebrow shot up above his ever-present smile. "Is my couch too filthy for you, Orihime-chan?"
"Oh! Not at all!" Inoue protested frantically. "It's a very nice couch! I mean, the stitches are really very well-done and all! And the fabric is very pretty, though I do think black is such a dreary colour! Which isn't an insult to your kimono at all, Ichimaru-san! And it is so shiny! I always liked shiny hues. It adds such a lovely touch to dull colours! Oh, and it's a very nice shape. Very… rectangular… It's well…" She breathed a sigh of relief when without a word, he produced a towel from nowhere and placed it neatly over the other end of the couch. "Thank you, Ichimaru-san! Ah, I needed this! I'm so tired!" With a smile, she sank into the couch with a sigh.
Ichimaru Gin watched her critically as he continued towel-dry his hair. "So Orihime-chan," he purred. "What brings you here? I believe I was given to understand Aizen-sama told you to stay in your room and not wander about?"
"Oh!" Inoue bubbled. "I was lost!" She grinned.
"And how did you get lost?" Ichimaru questioned, tossing the towel aside and letting his fingers wander over the table in search of a comb.
"It was terrible!" Inoue gushed enthusiastically. "I was on my way to completing my quest for the least bloodshed, in Tousen-san's words of course, but I was stopped by the Wicked Wizard of Oz's dark minion! He tried to stop me from fulfilling my quest but no! I have to climb every mountain and hill, and swim through every sea and river, and trudge through the darkest of trenches! I have to shed sweat, tears, blood and rain to succeed!"
There was another pause. "You have to do all that?"
Inoue responded with a solemn nod.
"For what purpose?" Ichimaru asked, highly amused.
"To complete my quest!" Orihime cried. "And to reach my finest hour!"
"And what is your quest, Orihime-chan?" Ichimaru asked absent-mindedly, running the comb through his hair.
Inoue Orihime was silent was a while. Ichimaru-san really felt different from all the other dark minions, she thought wistfully. He had been so pleasant so far to her, and he had been so curious about her well-being, and he hadn't tried to make her go back to her room. Besides, he had to be a friendly person because he was always smiling, and people who always smile are, of course, friendly. Besides, he has such a nice hair colour! It reminded her of the cute little Toshirou-chan! And he was Rangiku-san's friend, wasn't he? Rangiku-san had said something to that effect before. Oh, and he was wearing a white coat over his black kimono. So, in her Quest, he had to be the Knight in the White Armor!
Inoue Orihime giggled excitedly and squirmed in her seat.
"What?" She snapped up, staring blankly at the Knight in the White Armor.
Ichimaru Gin continued smiling, if a little bemusedly. "You were zoning out," he told her, tossing the comb back onto the table. "Not a good habit, that."
"Sorry!" Inoue cried, bouncing up and down. "It's just that I was thinking of something really exciting!"
"What would that be?"
"That you have a lance," she declared loudly. "A lance and a pretty white pony with a frilly saddle. Oh, and you are in white armor of course. Then the signal comes… and off you go! Pon-chan is charging forward, and you raise your lance and…" she broke off as a dramatic scream erupted from her.
Ichimaru Gin's face had gone straightly blank. Well, not entirely. He was still smiling, but there was a certain blankness to his expression that Inoue Orihime noted. "Ichimaru-san?" she questioned.
"With lace," Orihime confirmed. "White and pink lace."
"Like the dress Ishida-kun made for me once!"
"Well… that's… lovely…"
"I think so too!"
"But my quest!"
Ichimaru Gin blinked as he tried to adjust to the sudden change in topic. "Oh yes, your quest," he replied. "What was it?" He blinked again, as Inoue Orihime suddenly invaded his comfort zone by closing the gap between the two of them.
"You must promise you wouldn't laugh," she implored coyly.
"Sure," Ichimaru replied hurriedly. To disagree was unthinkable in this dangerous situation.
"Great!" Inoue beamed. "I always knew you were such a wonderful person!"
With his mind's ear, Ichimaru Gin heard Hitsugaya Toshirou screaming in pain as he got a heart attack from hearing such blasphemy. "Why thank you, Orihime-chan."
She continued to stare at him and Ichimaru Gin had to suppress the urge to squirm uncomfortably in his seat. "Orihime-chan?" he mumbled apprehensively then jerked back when a pinky was thrust in his face.
"The pinky promise!" Inoue announced and looked expectantly at him. When he failed to respond in any way to her gesture, she frowned and tilted her head. "Don't you know the pinky promise?"
Tears brimmed in Inoue Orihime's eyes as she pondered over how tragic his life must have been being born from Hogyoku and made to wear nothing but black and white the whole day long, and how terrible it must be to not be able to celebrate his sweet sixteen and grown-up eighteen (conveniently forgetting that Ichimaru Gin was not an arrancar but a shinigami).
"It doesn't matter!" she told him earnestly. "Come, I'll teach you!"
"Come on! It's not sweet sixteen, but it's fun!"
"Like pancakes. But enough of sweet sixteen. Lock your pinky around mine… the other pinky would require less unnatural twists and bends of the joint, Ichimaru-san…"
"Yes… thank you…"
"And now, say the chant with me! Hello, hello, best friend of mine! Shake on this promise, shake-a-doo-da-doo."
"I have to say that?"
"Eh… hello, hello, best friend of mine. Shake on this promise, shake-a-what?"
"If we break this promise, may we all be beamed to death by a three million volt death laser and run over by a million ton truck."
"If we break this promise, may we all be beamed to death by a three million volt death laser and run over by a million ton truck."
"And now we kiss!"
"Press your thumb to mine… no, the same hand… yes… and muuuuax! There, the promise is sealed!"
Ichimaru Gin stared at his hand and wondered what happened to the simple 'cross my heart and hope to die'.
"Wasn't that fun?"
Ichimaru Gin's gaze turned from his hand to the beaming girl before him. She reminded him very strongly of Kusajishi Yachiru in that if he failed to agree fully with her idea of fun, he would end up regretting it for the rest of his very short life.
"Definitely," he reassured her. "Very fun. Love the death laser."
"Really?" and now she was perking up even more. "I like it too! I invented that part myself! Because getting stabbed in the eye is just so boring, so I changed it!"
Ichimaru Gin seriously wondered what happened to the very simple and not-embarrassing 'cross my heart and hope to die.' And then he remembered exactly what he had gone through that torture for. "So what is your quest?" he asked.
"You see," Inoue said, her voice dropping to a loud whisper. "My you-know has come…"
The blankness returned with a vengeance. "Your… period?" Ichimaru Gin asked hesitantly.
"Yes, my period… you know, my menses?" Inoue explained.
"Yes, yes, I know," Ichimaru said hurriedly. "But… what has that got to do with you wandering around like that?"
"Oh, don't be silly," Inoue said, giggling. "Of course I was looking for a sanitary pad. Or a tampon, though I've never really tried one of those. They sound painful to me... and really messy."
Ichimaru Gin's mind reeled with the overload of information. "So… your quest was to find a sanitary pad," he stated.
Inoue nodded solemnly. "As fast as possible," she informed him. "Right now it's still okay, but it's going to be a flash flood soon. Mine's the heavy from second day till fourth day kind, you know?"
Ichimaru Gin wanted to inform her that he didn't know, but he didn't know just how to go about doing that. "Heavy?" he asked.
"Like a flash flood," Inoue confirmed. "I… oh! That felt like a lot… I'm glad you put the towel there before I sat on your couch."
Ichimaru Gin's jaw made a migration from his chin to the floor. Swiftly, he snapped it back and pasted his usual smile back on. "Well… perhaps you could ask around," he said quickly, prepared to usher her out of the door. "Maybe some of the female arrancar…"
"Ichimaru-san…" she whispered loudly. "I can't."
"Would know more… what? Why not?"
"I don't know my way around." Inoue frowned deeply. "Besides, according to Ulquiorra-san, it seems the arrancar can't have babies. So perhaps the female arrancar don't have their period."
Thinking about it, Ichimaru Gin was forced to concede that she was probably right (but if they can't have babies then why the hell did Aizen Sousuke make two different sexes in the first place?). He continued to smile at nothing as his mind jumped from possibility to possibility. A shadow moving outside his room gave him the opportunity.
"Grimmjaw!" he called, hurrying to the door to his room. "Grimmjaw! Wait a moment!"
"What?" the gruff voice answered with a large dose of irritation. "What is it?"
Normally, Ichimaru Gin would have stopped to mess around with the arrancar's head, but today, he discovered he had not the time and patience to do so. His couch and towel were at stake. "Grimmjaw," he said hurriedly. "I need to ask you a question of vital importance."
"Yeah? What is it?"
"Do arrancar get their period?"
"You know… their monthly thing?"
"What monthly thing?"
"Never mind." With a smile just the shadow of his creepiest smile, Ichimaru Gin waved off the confused arrancar and closed the door quickly. With mild anxiety, he turned back to the girl sitting on his couch. "No luck," he said mournfully.
"You mean other then toilets, there are no sanitary pads in the whole of Hueco Mundo as well?" Inoue asked in despair.
"It would seem so," Ichimaru Gin informed her regretfully.
There was a long, drawn-out silence as both parties stared at the floor in dismay. Then Inoue brightened up significantly. "Ichimaru-san!" she whispered earnestly. "Couldn't we go to the real world to get some?"
Ichimaru looked at her slowly then his smiled widened suddenly. "We would have to ask Aizen-sama," he said ponderingly.
"Oh yes, we would have to."
"I'll ask for you," Ichimaru offered.
"Really?" Inoue brightened up again.
"He's room is just down the corridor," Ichimaru said, his voice suddenly dripping with kindness. "Only Kaname and I have full access to it. We could just pop down and get his permission, informal-like, so no one would have to find out about your quest."
"Oh, that's great!" Inoue cried cheerfully.
"But he wouldn't laugh?"
"Nonsense! Aizen-sama is our great leader who will lead us on the path to the least bloodshed! Besides, you could make him do the pinky-promise now, couldn't you?"
"Of course! You really are so smart, Ichimaru-san! Let's go now!"
As they hurried out, something that looked like malicious delight fluttered over Ichimaru Gin's face. But Inoue Orihime was sure she had been mistaken. Ichimaru Gin was such a nice, helpful Knight in White Armor. Surely he wouldn't wear the expression of one plotting an evil and devious prank. Inoue Orihime was positive she had misread the expression on Ichimaru Gin's face.
Well… mostly positive at least.
Aizen Sousuke was lounging on his couch (designed to look a little like a throne), rolling Hogyoku in his hand just around the time Ichimaru Gin was pondering the lack of 'cross my heart and hope to die's. Even though he would never really admit it, Aizen Sousuke was fairly fond of the physical appearance of Hogyoku. It was so small despite the huge amounts of power it had, so small and adorable. And it was shiny. If he held it in the light at a certain angle, Aizen Sousuke was positive he could see his very handsome face in the tiny orb.
It was pretty, like a reflection of his true self within the orb, pretty and philosophical.
A sudden shiver ran through him and he sneezed, surprising himself due to his incapability to stop that physical reaction. Fortunately, there had been no one to witness that sudden show of weakness. When one runs an army comprising of creatures far more powerful and less morally-tied than Shinigami captains, one has to be careful not to give them any… ideas.
Lazily, he stuck a hand into his coat and dragged out a handkerchief.
At first, he did little but dab delicately at his nose. Then he remembered that there was no one to observe him and blew his nose violently into the handkerchief.
The Shinigami in Seireitei just didn't know what Aizen Sousuke had sacrificed to attain the position he had now. Little things like blowing his nose in public or even farting in public were a huge no-no for the lord of Hueco Mundo. Could they even comprehend the amount of training he had endured to be able to control such involuntary reactions without any outward display of discomfort?
Vindictively, Aizen Sousuke took a huge breath and blew his nose as hard as possible into his handkerchief.
Coughing, almost choking, Aizen Sousuke flicked the handkerchief away hurriedly and sat up straight, glaring at the pair before him. He knew he should have done something about Ichimaru Gin's tendencies to sidle about the place and sneaking up on people. And now, said bastard was smirking very happily in his direction.
Glowering, Aizen scowled down at his subordinate. "What is it, Gin?" he demanded coldly.
The smirk widened. "That was quite a display, Aizen-sama," Ichimaru Gin replied cheerfully. "Too bad we don't have much of a Fourth Division here. Can't have you getting a cold just before the Shinigami invade, hmm?"
Aizen Sousuke glowered even more. "What are you doing in my room, Gin?" he snarled.
Ichimaru Gin just grinned. "You have a little… eh…"
"Booger," the small figure next to him provided helpfully.
"Booger there… no… a little lower. Yep. Got it."
Rubbing the back of his hand on his coat, Aizen Sousuke glared at the two of them, both grinning happily at him. "Well?" he demanded. "What is it, and why is our guest here as well?"
Suspicion and anxiety merged as the two figures before him exchanged swift knowing glances. He wondered when those two had become such good friends.
"Uh… Aizen-san…?" the woman mumbled shyly. "It's to do with well… I need supplies… from the real world."
"Whatever for? We have everything here you could possibly need."
"Not precisely," Ichimaru Gin interrupted cheerfully. Too cheerfully.
"Very well," Aizen said suspiciously. "What is it that you need, Inoue Orihime?"
A look of extreme anxiety crossed her face. She even turned around to look at Ichimaru Gin for comfort and encouragement, a thing unheard of in the long histories of Soul Society and Hueco Mundo. "Well… it's…"
"Yes?" Aizen demanded impatiently.
"You have to promise not to laugh," she said anxiously. "The pinky-promise?" A pinky was held up hopefully.
"I don't do pinky-promises," Aizen snapped. "My promise not to laugh is enough."
"Not really," Ichimaru Gin drawled lazily. "Remember that time when I was still your vice-captain? You promised me I could have a day off if I could convince Unohana-taichou that I really had a terrible stomachache? I pulled it off alright, but you still didn't grant me a day off. Instead, you told on me. Unohana-taichou's revenge was not very pleasant. I still have the scars from it." He smiled maliciously, and Aizen Sousuke suddenly got the feeling that Ichimaru Gin held a lot of things against him, and was taking the opportunity to wage a vengeance on him.
"Oh, that wouldn't do!" Inoue Orihime cried. "Promises have to be kept, Aizen-san! Pinky-promise!" Now she was invading his comfort zone, and that was not to be tolerated.
"Inoue Orihime!" he barked, but was rudely interrupted by his most cursed subordinate.
"Aizen-sama! Tsk tsk!" Ichimaru Gin chided gently, wagging a finger in front of the great Aizen-sama's face. "Yelling at a young lady like that! Where's your manners now? Dear Orhime-chan is coming to you for help. She isn't here to harm you." The words 'unlike someone else' hung dramatically in the room even though Ichimaru Gin didn't say anything to that effect.
"Fine, the pinky-promise," Aizen growled, gripping the little pinky in front of him brutally.
"Now, recite after me!"
Ichimaru Gin smirked evilly the whole time.
"Alright," Aizen said brusquely. "Now that I have done the pinky-promise, tell me what your request is."
"It's like this," she said earnestly. "I have my period."
Ichimaru Gin suppressed a giggle at the sight of Aizen's face.
"Your period," Aizen said dully. "And what has that got to do with me?"
That, Ichimaru Gin decided, had to be a very standard male response to that particular feminine problem.
"I need sanitary pads," Inoue Orihime was explaining patiently (in her mind, the Wicked Wizard of Oz obviously was not as quick at grasping things as compared to the Knight in White Armor).
"So go get some."
"There aren't any sanitary pads in Hueco Mundo," Inoue went on, just as patiently.
Aizen Sousuke's brain felt like it was going to explode out of his ears. "I see," he muttered, resisting the urge to rub his temples. "Very well then. Some shall be fetched for you." Vindictiveness reared its ugly head. "Gin. You shall put on a reiatsu-hiding gigai and proceed to the real world to buy sanitary pads for Inoue Orihime." He smiled cruelly at the surprised look on his subordinate's face.
"That's great!" Inoue Orihime cried suddenly. "Oh, thank you, Aizen-san! You really aren't much of a Wicked Wizard of Oz after all!"
"Me?" Ichimaru Gin asked mildly. "Wouldn't it be better to sent Ulquiorra or Grimmjaw to get some?"
"Oh no!" Inoue Orihime cried. "It has to be you, Ichimaru-san! Sure, you are a little on the boyish side, but I can talk to you about all my girl stuff, like when I've got my period and when I have a crush and stuff like that. It's like being with Tatsuki again! We could be really good sisters! So, it would seem so odd to get a boy like Ulquiorra-san to fetch girl stuff for me!"
Aizen Sousuke suppressed a smirk.
"Very well," Ichimaru Gin said docilely. "I see what you mean. Yes, we could be really good sisters."
Aizen Sousuke's smirk froze as he tried to make sense of Ichimaru Gin's lack of resistance.
"Oh, you think so too? I'm so glad!"
"When I return," Ichimaru Gin continued, his cruel smirk pasted right on. "We could do our nails together… and our hair. I have been dying for a hair-cut lately. My bangs are getting into my eyes. Surely you could help me."
"Definitely! I do Tatsuki-chan's hair sometimes! And we can paint our nails pink!"
"Pink is a lovely colour."
Aizen Sousuke stared wide-eyed as his vice-captain agreed to French braids, pink nails, flower-patterned skirts and maximisers. An image was called to his mind, of a huge army of arrancar advancing on Seireitei. Just as they were about to obliterate the Shinigami, everyone suddenly looks up in awe.
"It's a bird…"
"It's a plane…"
"No! It's… Ichimaru Gin…why the hell is he wearing a dress? Wait… those things bouncing about behind him… they are braids!"
"Is he wearing shimmer eye-shadow?"
"Is he wearing a bra?"
"Oh my… what fetishes that weirdo has."
"You kidding me? It has to be Aizen who made him wear that. I mean, Ichimaru Gin was never of that persuasion. He's eh… known Matsumoto fukutaichou for a long time, remember?"
"Oh, so it's Aizen who has those weird fetishes."
"Shit, what a fucking weirdo."
"Yeah. Always knew he was gay."
"Doesn't think a genius to figure that out. Think. He tried to kill his female fukutaichou, and left with his male fukutaichou. That shows which way he swings sure enough."
With a suppressed grasp of horror, Aizen Sousuke snapped back to reality, pressing a hand to his forehead. What were the Shinigami going to think of a king who had a cross-dresser as his right-hand (or left-hand, depending on which side of the throne Ichimaru Gin chose to sit at) man? Hell, what were the arrancar going to think of that? What was to happen to his reputation?
He had to stop this. He had to stop this immediately.
Oh god, his vice-captain was talking about bras.
He had to stop them.
"Gin!" he snapped. "To the real world, now!"
"Oh yes!" Inoue Orihime cried. "You've got to hurry, Gin-chan! It's going to be a huge hurricane soon!"
"Absolutely," Ichimaru Gin replied benignly. "I'll be off now, Orihime-chan. We can continue to talk about under-wires when I return."
"And strawberry milkshake."
"And cute guys! Like Kurosaki-kun!"
"Well… you can talk about cute guys. I can listen."
"Gin! Real world! Now!"
Ichimaru Gin dropped a graceful bow. "Absolutely, Aizen-sama," he said politely. "I shall be off now…"
"Gin-chan!" Inoue Orihime called. "Wait! Get the Happy-Dry brand, extra-long, ultra-thin and perfumed one, okay?"
"… Repeat that again?"
"Happy-Dry brand! Extra-long, ultra-thin and perfumed! It's the best kind. Oh, and make sure it's the one that says 'clean and dry' not 'soft on skin' because the 'soft on skin' one just doesn't absorb as well."
Aizen Sousuke tried to draw comfort from the shocked look on Ichimaru Gin's face, but the image of Ichimaru Gin in a dress refused to go away. It didn't help when at the doorway, Ichimaru Gin had turned around and dropped an almost perfect curtsy in his direction (the long white coats of the arrancar were not designed so they could be held like that).
"And now I'll be off!" Inoue Orihime chirped, interrupting Aizen Sousuke's fatalistic thoughts. "I've got to go get ready!"
"Ready for what?" Aizen Sousuke asked weakly.
"Gin-chan's hair cut of course! I'm sure I can borrow someone's zanpakuto… ah, Gin-chan's Shinsou would be just the perfect length! But Shinsou-san is with him now, so I'll have to wait till he comes back. Still, I'll need mirrors! And a drape so his clothes wouldn't get dirty! Ooh! This is going to be so fun!"
As the girl walked out, Aizen Sousuke allowed himself another moment of weakness. With a loud groan, he sank into his couch until he was practically lying rather than sitting on it, his legs stretched out in front of him. With a loud howl, he swiped the cushion from out under him and flung it viciously at a wall, cursing loudly.
Aizen Sousuke's eyes shot open and took in the sight of Tousen Kaname standing at the doorway with a cushion lying on top of his head.
"Damn it all!"
"You're looking a little pale…"
"Yes. As soon as you looked in the mirror, you turned pale."
"Oh did I?"
"Yes. Don't you like your new hair cut?"
"Isn't it? I modeled it after Kenpachi-san's hair!"
"I wonder if this was worth it."
"What did you say, Gin-chan?"
Author's Notes: The end! I hope you enjoyed that! I hope to come up with more oneshots soon. Please do remember to leave a review!