The first thing Ichimaru Gin remembered was dirt, sand, parching thirst – a hunger that stabbed at him like knives. He came into existence with bruises already forming on his arms, blood on his face – perhaps they were remnants of his last life, perhaps were given to him in Death but escaped memory.
As he stood, the little boy with hair white as doves and a body lean from starvation, he was greeted by the sight of people, seething masses of unwashed humanity that frothed around him like sludge. They didn't look twice at the hungry boy, for they were all as ravenous as he – they gave him no glance as they passed by.
He quickly grew comfortable in that place, able to steal and lie and charm his way into a house or a meal. They all trusted him, and that was fascinating.
But once, as he wandered, eating a stolen meal, he was met by a wall – pure, clean, white. Perfect. He was gripped by a sudden and irrational hatred, even before he knew what the structure was – the souls around him told him that it was the wall around Seireitei. The Court of Pure Souls – he wondered what, then, made a soul pure enough for entry.
He watched souls, these Shinigami, wander in and out of the gate, and none of them were lean or hungry.
He hated them for it.
He hated them for their white walls and their shoes and their clean streets, their laughter and their frivolity. Hated them because they could afford to be frivolous and thoughtless. Hated the perfection.
He identified this feeling clinically, thoughtlessly, in the detached way he had mastered, and decided that the most logical course of action would be to ruin that which he hated. Destroy the perfection.
And so, nighttime found him slowly and methodically slathering mud on the wall, a boy of remarkable smallness with a determined, obsessive look in eye as he smiled incessantly. In his child's mind he believed that he was destroying it, that he had won.
He never stopped smiling after that.
It wasn't long afterward when he found another child, a girl like him, eyes open unseeingly as she tried to survive on the cold ground near Rukongai. She lay there, stomach caved in painfully hard and cheeks hollow, and he offered her his hand.
He never wondered why he saved her, that Matsumoto Rangiku. Perhaps that was his version of frivolity, doing things randomly, on a whim.
Before a month had passed, he had begun to hate her too. She also was too perfect, too forgiving, everything he was not. He considered ruining her, destroying her like he had the wall. But instead, he left. He had not yet discovered the exquisite delight that hurting people could bring. He wandered again to the white city that he hated so much, and he hated himself for his jealousy.
But she also drew him back, like a moth to a flame. The perfection simultaneously drew and repulsed him, perhaps – and he hated himself for his weakness.
And it came to him, one night as he lay awake, watching the wood of their meager fire burn to ash. The wall wasn't enough. She wasn't enough. He would destroy it all. He was better than them, with their frivolity and their laughter.
He started collecting stones the next day, as he made his way back to the Gate. He found that he liked presenting them to random standers-by, if only to watch them react. He found very quickly that he liked to watch people react, liked to predict or shape their actions. He liked the control.
The girl followed him, and he wouldn't stop her.
He met Aizen Sousuke first in the Academy, teaching philosophy. Gin was attracted precisely because it was completely useless.
As soon as the first words left Aizen's mouth, Gin felt the loathing build up in his stomach, like the first time he had seen the wall, driving him to do something, anything, to mar that perfection. Destroy it.
He sought out Rangiku that night, and they fucked for the first time, his nails digging into her perfect skin and teeth into her flesh in a fervor that was disturbingly unlike passion. She knew that he didn't want her, and she didn't mind. But she never saw his anger for what it was, and for that he laughed and called her a fool. But he kept coming back.
Maybe he was fascinated because he could never hurt her. He rationalized it to himself, thinking I have to keep trying, just once more. But it was a lie, and he knew it.
By the third day, Aizen had begun to seek him out. The man mentioned how Gin had a reputation for troublemaking, to which Gin replied that he just liked to shake it up a little. Keep them on their toes. He had no respect for authority, and had no qualms about saying so.
But to Gin's great confusion and consternation, Aizen smiled. For the first time perhaps ever, he had failed to get a reaction.
Aizen invited Gin to the fifth division offices that evening, for private lessons. The boy had a feeling that maybe, maybe, that man wasn't to be trusted. He liked that.
He was soon to discover that the great Captain Aizen hated Seireitei just as much as he himself did. And Aizen's methods of torture were so much more interesting.
Rangiku became distant as the years went by, and he didn't mind. It was better that way, after all. And he had found someone new.
The boy went by the name Kira, though Ichimaru liked calling him Izuru just to make him blush. He was perfect, gorgeous, a hard worker, organized. Ichimaru made the kid his vice-captain when he assumed the Third Division's captaincy. The kid did all the work while Gin got to laze around, and he never once complained.
Every so often, he would take it upon himself to take Izuru-chan's perfectly organized files and reports and papers and scatter them across the perfectly clean floor. He liked to pretend he was asleep as his fukutaichou cleaned up. It never seemed to bother the boy. He liked that. He had decided a long while ago that this boy would be perfect – no matter what Gin did to him, he kept coming back.
The first time they fucked, Gin found himself with an expanse of perfect skin, and the urge to mar, to destroy welled up in his gut again. With a smile, a perfectly malicious smile, he cut, bruised, tore that ivory skin, and watched as the flush spread down the boy's neck and chest.
He loved the taste of the blood, but even more, he loved the taste of submission.
Ten, twenty, maybe thirty years later, he hurt them both in the best way he knew how.
He didn't say a word to the boy as he left, knowing that this proof he didn't care would tear at the boy's heart for years, decades afterwards.
He did tell her goodbye, leaving her with the tantalizing yet disquieting thought that, if she had only tried harder, maybe she could have saved him from himself.
But she had been too late for that, even from the beginning.