A/N: Just fluff. Too much implied darkness lately in 'Touched' and 'First Contact', so time for some airy fluffy brainlessness. Apologies in advance for one of the funnest lines I've written in a long, long while.

(And man, I do self-promotion like a superhero!) (If there was a superhero who self-promotes :)


Usually Gin would be at the door the second Aizen stepped into their shared division apartment. The brown-haired captain removed his sandals and called out, "Gin?"

To his surprise no one turned up.

With a small shrug Aizen picked up his briefcase – an early birthday gift from Kurosawa, tenth division captain – and plodded on to the bedroom. He could use a good, long soak.

Suddenly he took an experimental sniff. Then he smiled and shook his head.


It was a sorry sight. Dirty pans and bowls and utensils scattered across the usually neat counter, a tall pile of washing in the sink, and a dejected Ichimaru Gin seated on the ground. Dark brown smears were brushed over his pale cheeks and Aizen felt a tug of sympathetic amusement.

"Gin?" Aizen crossed into the kitchen. On the floor, where he had not been able to see earlier were more plates than he was aware they owned. At least, if he pieced the fragments together properly they would make more plates than they had owned. "Oh, Gin..."

Gin remained moping, oblivious to his captain's return.

Aizen hunkered down. "So... you still angry at the kitchen or are you going to take the rest of your fury out on the living room?"

Gin didn't even respond. His normally confident smirk, the hidden gleam of his eyes... all were now buried under moroseness and gloominess. His silver hair hung over his eyes and Aizen moved them away tenderly. This would usually get his lieutenant to smile again, but this time Gin leaned away from the touch.

Hmm. Wrong approach.

Sitting beside his lover, Aizen pulled Gin into his embrace. "Hey. Come here. What's wrong?"

"I'm stupid." His silver-haired lieutenant was actually pouting. Aizen traces the tempting lower lip with his finger. Gin didn't even attempt to bite, which meant he was in a serious snit. "This sucks."

"What does, hmm?" The captain nuzzled Gin's ear. "Tell me."

"It's your birthday tomorrow."

Aizen paused, then said slowly, "All right. Next year I'll change my birth date to one that sucks less, how about that?"

Gin sniffed. "No, it's not that your birthday suck. It's the cake I wanted to bake for you. It keeps falling in the center. And..." Now he sounded helpless. "I've tried and tried and tried, followed the recipes to the letter, changed my equipment, rechecked the ingredients, even reinstalled the oven... But nothing. I just... I'm stupid."

Peering into the mess that was still residing defiantly in the oven, the captain merely smiled. "You're not stupid. I appreciate the thought, Gin. We can buy a cake if you want."

"But I wanted to make something for you!" Gin almost wailed. For the competent lieutenant, the idea of being beaten by a batch of butter-based batter baffled and bothered him.

Aizen chuckles and plants a kiss on the chocolate-scented cheek. "You," he whispered into Gin's ear, "can always make something to me instead."