Disclaimer: I don't own the fantastic fandom that is Bleach.
It's a Wonderful World
She put her heart and soul into everything she did.
She always had. Work was done with the utmost effort, decisions weren't made half-heartedly and relationships were cherished till the very end.
Relationships... Every friendship had a special place in her heart. She loved unconditionally and with depth. A bond with someone was not to be neglected. She nurtured every positive relationship she had - tended to them and gave them love so they would grow into something beautiful. Something that would make both parties the stronger for it, from foundations built on trust, support, love and laughter. This was what she believed, what she had always thought. Perhaps since her youth the strength of this belief had waned slightly, but even when she grew older she did not forget it. When she was sad, or weary, the very essence of this fact helped her to keep going. The people that she loved experienced the good times with her and supported her through the bad.
Then she met someone who would change her forever. At first, she merely saw him as a respected, important Captain. However, it soon became clear that he was more than that. Gobantai-taichou, Aizen Sousuke.
He shifted her perspective – she loved her friends but this, he was... special.
He was the light, the sight of light at that end of the rock-strewn tunnel she'd been stumbling through – as she'd been choking on clouds of ash from the air, the light had shone on her. Angelic in quality, making her smile with relief and her heart swell with hope. He had been the embodiment of all that was beautiful in the world – happiness, hope, kindness and trust. All the things she admired. The world had been full of these things when she was little; she had seen them everywhere and marvelled at them with child-like wonder. On a sunny day, flowers swaying in the gentle breeze, attracting fluttering butterflies and buzzing bees. Fields full of healthy grass and the sounds of birds singing melodious songs. Aizen-taichou illuminated her world.
Aizen Sousuke became her world.
She put her heart and soul into becoming a Shinigami, she worked and worked and worked until she became his fukutaichou. It was all worth it. She was proud to be the second seat under Aizen-taichou. She was proud to serve him and fightunder his command with everything she had. He was, in her eyes, perfect. Almost too perfect, sometimes, but he was real, wasn't he? The way he patted her on the head, she felt it. The way he smiled warmly at her, she saw it. The way he spoke to her with respect and kindness... she heard it. He was real... Aizen-taichou.
Then came the time when it all changed.
What do you do when the world is ending?
Hinamori Momo screamed. She gave a scream that didn't adequately convey the horror of that moment, the feeling of all her world shattering and crashing down around her. Aizen-taichou... the sight in front of her... dead. Dead. No, no no no...! It couldn't be true, it just couldn't-- but there it was, his impaled body, his blood staining the wall... it was imprinted onto her mind forever.
She was moving forwards, step by step, even speaking... she didn't notice. The sight in front of her.. it wasn't going away. Why wasn't it going away?! She screamed again, falling to her knees as the sorrow became too much for her to stand.
Aizen-taichou was dead... Gone. How, how could it have happened?! Of all the people, Aizen Sousuke did not deserve it. He was good and kind and trustworthy and how did he deserve this?! The world had been turned completely upside down, or perhaps... had ended entirely. She felt so empty. Like the light had been snuffed out of her life and she was lost, stumbling around in the dark with no direction. What could she do? How... how could she go on?
The wind murmured, mimicking the impossible sound of Aizen-taichou's warm, friendly voice. Flowers were mere splashes of colour that she found hard to see... the world had gone strangely black. The butterflies that were attracted to the flowers reminded her of hell butterflies, death and the sickening fact that Aizen-taichou was gone. Forever. The birdsong became a lament, constant in the background. She was so blank. Lacking meaning...
Not quite. She could make sure that Aizen Sousuke's death was not in vain. She would avenge the person who had dared to rob her world of significance and cast it to the winds. They would regret it, and feel Hinamori Momo's full wrath.
She threw everything into accomplishing this task. Even if it meant to turn on Ichimaru-taichou and attack a dear friend if he stood in her way. She would succeed and stop at nothing to bring the perpetrator to justice. The world was dim, but her beloved Aizen-taichou had given one last direction and order from beyond the grave. Hitsugaya Toushirou – Shirou-chan...! However, was he even dear Shirou-chan anymore? He had killed Aizen-taichou. A part of her heart had broken at the betrayal but it was nothing compared to how Aizen Sousuke's death had affected her. She had been his fukutaichou and she hadn't been able to stop his murder... She had to be strong and not fail him this time. The darkness of night had suddenly lost it's beauty, gaining a muffling quality, bearing down upon her like everything else. It was so hard, so hard to cope... but she had to be strong.
Again, her emotions were to be thrown into turmoil. Her determined search had lead her here, following Ichimaru-taichou to... another unbelievable sight.
There, standing in front of her... Aizen-taichou! The one person who's death had thrown her world into disarray, standing there, his presence as illuminating as the light shining from behind him. Aizen-taichou. Very much alive. Alive!
Was it really him – was it some sort of dream, an hallucination that her grief-stricken mind had gifted her with? No. It couldn't be... She saw him, smiling at her.
"I'm alive, as you can see." She heard his voice, as softly-spoken as ever.
She reached out, grabbed his Captain's haori. She could feel it. It was real! He was real...
"Aizen-taichou..." She was actually saying his name, speaking to him, looking up at him again... Aizen-taichou was alive.
"I'm sorry. I must have worried you." Then he patted her head. Real... this was real, this was really happening! His hand was as warm, as big as she remembered it. It eased her heart and washed everything away... Her grief, the darkness, the misery and confusion of her mind... Gone. The light was back in her life again, lifting her spirits, granting her warmth and hope. Her world was piecing itself back together because he was back; had never been dead at all...
He was her world and he wasn't gone. Everything was okay again, it soothed her as she looked at him, taking in his familiar appearance, never wanting to be parted from him again... She was mending. She was healing...
Even his smell, yes, yes, she was more convinced by the minute that this really was him. Aizen-taichou. Tears started streaming down her face as the relief, the happiness set in. She didn't have to continue on without him. He was here. His death had been a lie – the truth was this, she could see feel, smell and hear... him. Alive! Now it seemed so simple. Of course Aizen-taichou couldn't have died, he could never leave her, it was impossible for him pass away. Not without her! Never.. It was not an option... this light was eternal, it lasted, that brief darkness had been a lie. An insult to Aizen Sousuke, death could not claim him yet, he was here and so very very real. It was a balm to her wounded heart.
Aizen Sousuke was alive.
The world was wonderful again.
He spoke, his gentle tone as welcome as a soft breeze against her face on a sunny day. Ever kind, he even apologised.
"I'm really sorry... that I ended up hurting you this much." It wasn't needed. It was never needed. It was okay, whatever he had done had been forgotten, because he was here... standing here right now. He was alive – that was all she needed. Just the fact that he was alive (this fact was her current favourite among all else)... nothing else mattered. Their bond was important, he was important, her Captain... he held a special place in her heart. If he died a part of her died with him too. Perhaps more than a part...
"Thank you, Hinamori-kun. I'm so glad to have you in my squad. ...Thank you, Hinamori-kun. Truly, thank you." She should be the one thanking him. He was an honour to serve. The perfect Captain. She was so glad to be a part of--
The world exploded; smashed, shattered and shot into the void of nothingness, never to return. She registered something, but not the pain. That would come later... her brain had frozen into a state of shock, disbelief. She looked down... Aizen-taichou's zanpakutou, covered in blood. What was this? It seemed to be sticking right into her. Was that her blood? She reached a shaky hand out... if she could see and feel it then perhaps it was real? Or... what was this? What was happening? She looked up, uncomprehending.
Was that... Aizen-taichou? He had changed, he was frowning at her... He was different. What...
He pulled his zanpakutou out, spraying blood everywhere. Hinamori Momo fell to the ground – the light was fading... She was plunged into darkness.
What do you do when the world has ended? When the world has shattered, taking a great portion of your heart with it? Hinamori Momo put everything into maintaining the important relationships that she had forged. What happened when you put too much into the wrong person?
She still could not accept it. Denial was the only thing she currently could wield, the only way she could dredge up any sense of happiness and hope that everything remained okay. She heard what everyone said, about Aizen Sousuke's betrayal, but she could not believe it. Not yet. The person that had stabbed her could not have been Aizen-taichou, he was different. He had changed. Aizen-taichou was the embodiment of the ideal person. He was kind, trustworthy... He needed to be saved. He needed to be helped, so he would be back to his normal, wonderful self.
She continued to believe this, immersed in denial and the memory of something that had never even existed. Her fellow Shinigami hoped for her to take the first step to recovery and face the truth; they currently could do little else. If it did happen it would take time. Broken vases could be repaired, buildings rebuilt – could hearts be healed and new worlds be reborn? Even if Hinamori Momo accomplished this, lighting up her life again and finding the strength to carry on... she would never really be the same. What part of her that had revolved around Aizen was now dead. She would never be the same; she was changed forever.
Hinamori Momo, perhaps, was proof of Aizen Sousuke's greatest sin.
A/N: Well, that's it. My first time writing Hinamori, and I wrote it when I wasn't feeling at my best, so I would appreciate some constructive feedback on this. :) Anyway, thanks for reading!