Chapter 13: Trapped

Author: Alexis Sacrifar

Disclaimer: Don't own Bleach. Ha.

Summary: Out of the frying pan into the fire.

A.N: I'm so sorry it discontinued for a while! D: Now, fast forwards! I looked back to what I wrote to review, and I was like... What the hell is that?! D:

Initially, he thought that he was too tired, and were seeing things that weren't there – bruises and cuts on his captain, shadows under his eyes, and a general paleness to him, if Gin could get any paler, that is. It was only when he got thinner did Kira start paying any close attention to him to see what the matter was.

It started out with small signs, the faint bruises and cuts that, Kira would learn later, Ichimaru had disguised with the help of make-up, the spacing outs while he seemed to be deep in thought, then the apparent lack of sleep, the wanderings at night, and the consumption of alcohol. To his knowledge, Gin seldom consumed alcohol, because as they say, alcohol loosens up the tongue, and it wasn't a secret that Gin was always planning something in the dark unknown to everyone else, and thus Kira knew that something was terribly wrong when Gin indulged himself in it, and vowed to get to the bottom of this strangeness, both because he couldn't have a lax superior, and out of concern for him, as a lover.

Ichimaru, on the other hand, seemed to not notice. Of course he would have, Kira knew, but he was merely pretending not to know, or he just didn't care. He went about on his routines as per normal, or as normal as he could, drifting through the days much like a ghost. Even the characteristic smile that he often wore was gone, only showing briefly, sometimes, when he seemed to remember it when talking to others, or Kira himself. Kira knew that he slipped out in the nights, more frequently nowadays, when he thought his vice captain was sound asleep, only to return before daybreak, exhausted and weary, to rest for a few hours, and wake for work again. Once or twice, the blonde had wanted to tail him, to see what his captain was up to, but never did do it, knowing that he would always be found, and not wanting to invade on his captain's privacy. If Gin chose to slip out without telling him, he probably wouldn't want Kira to know what it was. He never approached Gin directly about it, but the silver fox seemed to know what Kira was driving at, and danced out of reach, much to Kira's concern and worry.

Needless to say, all of his suspicions turned onto Aizen immediately, the number one candidate responsible for all of Gin's strange actions. Although he did not try to confront the fifth squad captain about it, Kira paid close attention to the brown haired man whenever he could, but try as he could, he could not find any clues from him. Both Gin and Aizen ignored each other whenever they chanced upon each other without so much as a word between them. Even though that was the case, it didn't stop Kira from guessing and being wary around him.

Day after day passed, without finding any more clues, Kira feeling like he had been a failure both to himself and his captain. Along with it, he started to notice that Gin was beginning to touch him less and less. It was as though he was trying to distance himself from him, often coming up with excuses and vague reasons as to why. Kira, on the other hand, did not want to pressurise his captain further, and took it as it is. After all, he wasn't exactly a touchy feely person to begin with. But although Gin refrained from touching him, he was still kind to Kira, and didn't stop talking to him whenever he could.

After a while when he was still unable to weasel any information from Gin, Kira decided to, for once, ask his friends for help. They were more social than him, after all, and were in nature born nosier, and more talkative. Seeing how worried the blonde was, the others did not object, and promised to tell him when they got new information. For the good of the third squad, they said. To a better, more hardworking third captain. It put his mind slightly at ease now that he had help, even though it might not necessarily gain him any new information, but help was help.

As it goes, Gin and Aizen both covered up their tracks well, and no one was able to find out anything from them. It was once when Kira chanced upon Gin changing in his room did he learn of anything new.

He had been passing by the door and hearing rustling noises in it, and had peered through the crack in the door. The room was dark, but there was still sufficient light to see by, even though it took Kira a while to adjust to the dimness. Movement drew his eyes to his pale captain, who was changing then, half naked in the room, folding up his clothes, his skin so pale it looked as though it was glowing. But what really caught his attention was the dark bruise that stood out starkly upon that pale canvas that spread across Gin's lower back. Even as he watched, Gin was applying some salve to it. At that, Kira slid the door open, and stepped in without permission.

"Ichimaru taichou! What happened? Were you attacked?"

"Hm?" Gin didn't look surprised that Kira had seen, merely trying to apply the salve onto himself with some difficulty. "This? I fell."

No lie could have been more obvious than that.

"Taichou, no fall could have caused this." Kira knelt down, pushing Gin's hands away, taking over, rubbing the salve into the bruise in soothing circles. The scent of herbs reached his nose, calming him.

"Hm. I was sittin' in this chair, ya see," Ichimaru said. "When it broke I fell along wiv it. That's how. Shameful, ah?"

Kira was silent, rubbing Gin's back, letting the silence speak for him – that he did not believe what Ichimaru had just fed him. Gin, too, seemed content to just let the silence stretch, or Kira just suspected that he liked being touched, like a cat, always craving for attention.

"Ya hav' gentle hands, Izuru," Gin said after a while. "Just like you."

"I'll take that as a compliment," Kira replied, letting the skin absorb the salve.

"Izuru, Izuru..." The man turned then, to cup Kira's face in his hands, long fingers stroking Kira's cheek. "I know ya care fer me an' all, an' ya a nice soul, but... no longer, okay? Ya don't need ta do it anymore."

Kira was surprised, although he didn't show it. His captain's expression was unreadable, neutral.

"I know. Ya friends have bin followin' me. Don't, okay? Its troublesome. And there's nothin' wrong, too," the long fingers traced Kira's features, over his eyes, his nose, his lips. "Nothin' good will come out of this, an' i'm tired of this game."

"Is it Aizen taichou?" Kira asked softly.

"No." Gin's large pale hand ruffled his hair. "Just pretend nothin' ever happened, Izuru. It's over, you, me and him. That's all there is ta it."

The silver fox bent down then, to brush his lips just lightly against Kira's, before he pulled back and turned away, pulling on his uniform once more. Kira stood and bowed, exiting the room and sliding the door close at the silent dismissal. So that was it. A clean break off. Although it was never put into words, what Gin wanted to say was clear : He wanted to break up with Kira. The blonde sighed, moving to the window to look outside and to think. He couldn't possibly concentrate on work today after that. It wasn't as though Kira could forget so easily after everything they had shared and went through together. The bond between them wasn't so easily severed just because of a sentence. It was too deep, too strong, even if none realised it. But he let Gin believe what he wanted to believe, for as long as they were both still captain and vice captain, once Gin sorted out his Aizen problem, he was sure Gin would give him a chance again. But for now, he would be nothing but a nuisance and a weakness to his captain.

From then onwards, Kira acted no different than before, merely as how a vice captain should, executing his duties, assisting Gin if he needed it, nothing more and nothing less. His friends stopped snooping, at his request, but though curious as to why, they did not ask him. Meanwhile, he trained, whenever he could, wanting to be stronger, to not be a target for Aizen anymore, or to be his captain's handicap. Unknown to him, Gin watched his every move, knowing everything the blonde wanted to do, with a heavy unspeakable sadness, only from a distance, no closer.

If only his vice captain could forget everything, Ichimaru thought. It would be so much easier for the both of them.

After all, no good would come out of it.

It would just hurt more at the betrayal.

Time flew, things continuing on about the same. It all ended then, finally, one fnd day, when Aizen had finally gotten what he wanted and left Seireitei for good with Tousen and Gin. Kira had been present, then, to watch Gin follow Aizen, helpless to change the situation. Gin didn't show any signs of emotion, then, too, avoiding looking at him, somehow. It had all been planned along, this show. Everything was just a fluke, was it not? Aizen was triumph, and he wasn't humble about it, showing it all to them, flaunting their failure in their faces, that he had won, and was also conveying the message that the difference between him and Seireitei was just too great for them to ever be able to cover. Kira could never hope to challenge that, and get his captain back. The only time Gin looked at him was before the crack closed, just a glance, and that was all.

His captain and lover was out of his reach forever.

It occurred so fast, no one had the time to react, and he was numb, the whole incident a cold sudden shock to him. Unable to sort out his feelings, he concentrated on the division, keeping them quiet and consoling them. The loss of three captains at once was no small matter, and it took a long time for the people to settle down once more.

After, when things were put into order once more, he thought, long and hard. Even though Aizen had taken Gin and left Seireitei, somehow, he was sure that their paths would cross again. Nothing ended as easily as that, for the spider had spun it web too tight around his prey, and could not be untangled, and till then, Kira was content to be prey, to keep chasing Gin, as he had his shadow since young, till perhaps the day he died.

A cup of sake shoved into his face roused his from his thoughts, and accepted it as Rangiku chided him to drink his sorrows away. Obediently, he lifted the cup to his lips.

He would train, to prepare himself, until he was capable of finding Gin again, he vowed to the moon.

Till then, wait for me, Gin.


A.N: Omg. Long story cut short. DDDD: