Escape the Storms - Chpt. 1

Disclaimer: Me no own Bleach. XP

A/N: The notion for this story is kind of a confusing one. I was talking to one of my friends on a forum when she suddenly produced the idea that Gin might have the widest range of emotions of the three traitors.

It started making sense after a while, when I suddenly remembered when Renji got his ass handed to him by Ichigo and how Byakuya basically went 'screw you' and abandoned him. Who's to know, lo and behold, Gin to the rescue! And then I realized the guy never did anything actually evil. Sure, he was suspected of it more than half of the time, but he never actually did anything.

Not to mention, when all three of them were floating on those rocks, Aizen and Tousen were all 'we shall become justice!' while Gin's last words were actually of apology to Rangiku.

So basically that's the theory that sprouted this story, and if you're still reading this I wish you enjoyment! Please drop a review after and let me know what you think!


Escape the Storm

Ichimaru Gin has never had a very active conscience. It was the very reason why he had never had much regret about his decisions. Whatever he did he blamed on survival instinct alone and that was simply enough to knock out his conscience cold.

On some dark nights, Gin can even convince himself that he simply wanted to survive, that he did what he did to survive.

Because if there's one thing Ichimaru Gin is absolutely terrified of, no matter if he's afraid of nothing else, it was death.

He still remembers bits and pieces of his previous life. No, not really life, just his death.

Something blurry and sharp that came sailing at him, sending pretty stars and vivid red into his eyes,

before he woke up,

sweaty and bruised on the barren land of Rukongai.

Even those few memories terrify him, because they symbolize the past that he's forgotten. A life that he can no longer recall. What he would give to escape death now, to resist the icy fingers that crush his neck and whisper that his time is up.

He knows better than most that life was as fleeting as scattered dandelion seeds. It sailed away before anyone could realize and if one reached out to grab it, it would only get crushed. Gin knows, he has seen. In fact, he has been the cause of it.

Only when the sword was poised at the throat and the fear blossoming in the prey's eyes did he remember that he had the power. He had the power to take away a life.

Gin's terrified that he'll lose this knowledge one day, that he'll lose this power.

On dark nights, he tells himself that he's only afraid of forgetting that one thing. Nothing else was ever included. He goes so far believing this that he dives into a plan of conspiracy and sin guiltlessly. He goes so far that he agrees to leave the only home he's ever known and giving up everything he has fought tooth and nail for.

He goes so far that he almost succeeds in lying to himself.

Until suddenly she pops into his mind and refuses to leave thereafter.

His conscience finally wakes up again after years and years.


The clouds of dark purple gathered in clumps at the horizon as thunder rumbled in the distance, like a tiger warning for everyone to stay back. Gin catches the occasional flashes of blinding light among the purple, the patches of white lightening that were immediately consumed by the darkness.

Gin doesn't particularly like storms. They were so unnecessarily loud and had so much unnecessary power that it almost seemed to Gin like the storms were flaunting it at him. Telling him that no matter how strong he got, there will always be others that are stronger.

'A stupid thought really, to feel inferior to a lil' storm,' he thinks and makes sure to mentally smack himself hard.

"Gin, if I had known you enjoyed storms so much, I would have postponed our meeting until tomorrow." A voice, soft, gentle and in every way ten times more dangerous than anything else Gin has ever heard.

Gin smiled, though it didn't really show since he's always smiling. He shifted in his seat to meet the mud-brown eyes of his captain. .

"I wouldn't really say I enjoy 'em, Aizen-taichou." He drawls back, saying out loud what he had just been thinking.

"Oh, well then, if you don't enjoy storms then what are you doing sitting at the open window?" Aizen sounds curious, but Gin knows he could care less. It's what intrigued Gin about the older man. No matter what words Aizen used, in the end they only served the purpose of probing further into souls, of discovering the many places in a human to manipulate, or the many weaknesses to destroy.

He only smiles wider and turns back toward the window, a slight breeze rippling through the opening and filling his nose with the scent of sand, mud, and approaching smoke. "You jus' have such pretty scenery around 'ere, Taichou."

It was the truth actually; Fifth Division was right by a lake with cherry blossoms trees hanging off the frame. During bursts of wind, the pink petals would even start pouring down on the division buildings. It was located in the prettiest place of all the other divisions.

A deep chuckle filled the air, "I thank you Gin, at this time of year there tend to be some rather lovely rain showers around here as well."

"It's very pretty." Gin said again, lying in the calm of the storm.

"It is."

"We're not pretty are we, taichou?" Gin asked, smiling lazily out at the swishing of the fragile blossoms.

Aizen smiles too, the warmly cruel one, the cruelly warm one.

"No Gin, we're not." The silence stretches its silver lines until Gin can almost feel its tangible presence in his hand.

"We are beautiful."

Gin almost lets the derisive snort escape him. "Thought you were gonna say that."

Knock. Knock. Knock.

The dull sound slices through the tense yet familiar air around the two like knife in butter. Aizen glances at the door with a feigned good-natured exasperation, "There's no need to knock. How many times must I tell you this? We'll recognize your spirit pressure in an instant," he said toward the shogi screen, "Please come in, Kaname."

The fusuma door quietly slides open and the dark Ninth Division Captain steps into the room. The man gives a deep respectful bow to Aizen, so deep that his nose looks only a few feet from the very floor. "Aizen-sama, I sincerely apologize for being late. Hisagi had some paperwork that I had needed to sign and--"

Aizen held up his hand, still smiling benevolently. "It's quite alright, Kaname. In fact, I would prefer that you and Gin not come at the same time ever to my division. It would reduce the suspicion cast upon you two."

The man turns and starts walking to the right corner of the room, where a kotetsu was settled. "Please come sit, Kaname."

Tousen gave his ridiculous bow again. "Thank you, Aizen-sama." Tousen walks over to the table, passing by Gin without so much as a single word.

"What now, no kowtowing fo' me too?" he asked in a sing-song voice, he knew he wasn't suppose to provoke the man, but he couldn't help finding it irresistibly fun.

A small twitch appears for a second under Tousen's left eye, before he promptly ignores him and sits down stiffly on one of the pillows, his back rim-rod straight. Aizen follows, sitting across from him. He then turns toward Gin, "You too, Gin. Please come over here so we may start the meeting."

Gin shrugs, reluctantly leaving the window for his new seat next to Tousen. If possible, Tousen's back becomes even straighter. He grins, seeing a very obvious opportunity to annoy.

"Whoa, Tousen-san, if ya sit any straighter you're gonna break in half!"

The twitch becomes more prominent and Gin allows himself a mental pat on the back. Aizen sighs quietly from across them, doing his part of silent amusement. That was another thing that attracted Gin to Aizen was Aizen's curious tolerance and almost acceptance of his incompetent behavior. The first week that he had came under the man, Gin had went all out.

He pulled every trick out of the book, did every mischief that wouldn't get him resigned, annoyed the hell out of every person that he saw. Pretty soon, Gin had won the title of the 'Most Hated Person in Fifth Division.' And yet, the man did nothing to stop him. It almost frustrated him to some extent, because he wanted the swelling of anger in his veins, not a methodical compliance.

"Let us move on." Aizen cuts in before Tousen could take the chance to say something that would only increase Gin's ammunition against him, "It is time we decide what exactly we shall do once our dear young ryoka get here."

Gin could taste the cold amusement in Aizen's tone. In a surprising abruptness, the taste twisted from sweet to sour and almost makes him nauseous. A small frown starts rippling at the corner of his lip and his hand softly clenches around his stomach as he feels it roil.

"Impure beings should be erased without hesitation." Tousen spoke, blind eyes empty.

"That would make all this planning for naught, Kaname," Aizen gently injected, "We must leave them alive so they can keep everything preoccupied."

"I understand that Aizen-sama," Tousen answers quickly, "However they will, as you already know, come as a group. Surely, we can help cleanse the world of at least one of them. It might be rather unnecessary for all of the ryoka to remain wandering around Sereitei. They might even cause problems for you Aizen-sama."

Aizen prompts himself up on his elbows at the table, locking his fingers, Aizen stares hard into Tousen's milky eyes. Tousen stares back, empty, face calm, and probably only a little blinder than Aizen himself.

Gin watches the two, almost hearing the silent reasons, questions, and cryptic answers. Gin swallowed a humongous and half-dramatic sigh, as the familiar scene unfolds again before him. He can't help wondering what he was doing here in the first place, if all Aizen and Tousen were planning to do was sit around, stare at each other, and be boring.

Be boring…

Yes, that was it. He shouldn't be here, because it was boring. Gin never played third-wheel, especially not to some half-off their hangers, 'purify the world of evil' duo. He shouldn't...he shouldn't be here...

He shouldn't be here, because it was boring.

The lie threads its web in his mind, digging into the crevices, and softening the edges of reality. Gin couldn't help but cling desperately to it. He shouldn't be here...

Unfortunately, the voice in his head is doing overtime today at its office in his brain. He can only lament as it bursts through his fragile prevarication like a fireball, and consumes his mind with rotten truth and unanswerable questions.

What am I doing here? What am I doing here with these men? Why am I here with these cruel, blind men?

Gin resists the urge to flop backwards and simply fold into himself on the floor. Slowly, without even really noticing, his finger raised to trace around his temple. The pounding was echoing in his ears, the words of the voice still forming on every pulsation.

Why...

It was pathetically painful; he couldn't help but try to avoid its sound.

Am...

The words showered on him like tiny little needles.

I...

Tiny enough that they slid through the very pores of his skin.

Here?

The needles flew inside his body, smashing open the forgotten doors of forgotten emotions. The emotions poured out, sending the feelings that he'd thought he left behind in that little shed in Rukongai, along with the maple-haired girl.

Rangiku wouldn't like them, she wouldn't like these men, she would never like these cruel, blind men…

Headaches had never been so common to him before. He only had the slight memory that his academy teacher use to have them all the time. She'd slouch down on her desk unnoticeably as the students did their work, her hands rubbing her temples, her forehead wrinkled with lines, and she kept staring at the table like she was hoping no one would ever see her again. To think he actually made fun of his teacher once or twice, because of that reason!

If the woman had still been alive, Gin would've been the most sympathetic person within the Court walls. He's never noticed a voice inside. He couldn't remember his head ever being so obnoxious, so loud and noisy.

I'm here, because I belong here. He says simply to shut it up, though a small part of him believes it to be true anyway.

And Rangiku doesn't. He added in, for no reason that he could understand.

"Alright then," Aizen suddenly said, his voice making Gin jerk sharply in surprise, "I suppose your logic seems adequate enough, Kaname."

Tousen bows again at his seat, "I am most grateful, Aizen-sama."

Gin's frown grows a little wider.

"Judging by the amount of assistance and guidance, Urahara Kisuke will provide them with, I suspect they'll be a group of six or seven. We shall dispose of three of them."

Gin ignores the flip-flop of his stomach, the screech of the voice and pulls on a pout before he can even properly think of what he was doing.

"Aww, they haven't even got 'ere yet, and we're already gonna kill 'em?" he asked, in the most disappointed voice he could make.

Both older men looked his way, one with a mildly curious expression, and the other with just barely concealed rage.

"What do you mean Gin?" Aizen asked serenely, "Is this plan not satisfactory to you?"

Gin shrugs, silently saying the appearance he wanted to himself.

Slight jut of the lip, about an inch show of the pupils, a neutral expression with a bit of disappointment from the eyes…

"It's jus' that, if we kill 'em right after they get 'ere it'll be kinda rude, y'know?"

"And since when have you understood politeness so well?" Tousen mumbles a bit too loudly.

Gin ignored him, more pressed on winning Aizen's favor, "You should know that better than anyone, right Aizen-taichou?"

Aizen gazed at him steadily and Gin refused to break eye contact. Even with his eyes hidden, Gin still felt like the man could see into his soul. Another silence stretched inside the room.

"Gin, I'm rather surprised," Aizen said, finally breaking it, "I didn't know you valued their lives so highly."

Immediately, Gin felt a chill run down his spine. Forcing his face to keep calm, he replied airily, "Not really, it just won't be as much fun, is all."

He did a little celebration dance inside when he saw Aizen take the bait, an amused smile on Aizen's lips. The fifth division captain almost enjoyed playing with people as much as Gin himself did.

Tousen opened his mouth ready to say anything that came to mind to stop the ridiculousness he was being forced to watch. However, Aizen beat him to it.

"Ah, but Gin, enjoyable or otherwise, like Kaname has said, they could cause problems for the plan." Aizen said, face as smooth as a mirror, "We can't allow them to all be running around Sereitei."

Aizen gave him a benevolent look, just barely painted over the lethal suspicion underneath.

"Does that upset you?"

Gin cursed inwardly as Aizen revealed his own hand. He usually never underestimated people, but he found himself repeatedly making that error over Aizen. The man had never fallen for the bait to begin with.

He smiled wider, hoping against hope the strain of his muscles wasn't showing through, "It really doesn't bother me any. I was just sayin' it would be more fun with more people. You know that weird saying, 'The more the happier' or somethin' like that."

"The more the merrier." Tousen grumbled from the side.

Gin nodded, "Right."

Aizen nodded as well, "I understand that, but like I have already stated, we can't afford for them all to be scattered across Sereitei."

"That doesn't mean you have to kill them!"

Too late, he realizes what he's done wrong and for the first time since his first word into the argument, Gin wondered why exactly he was risking his ass for a bunch of stupid children he's never even met before.

He blamed the voice, which was suddenly traitorously quiet after his last sentence. The room was abruptly choked with tension, silence, and the invisible drips of reiatsu leaking from Tousen's angry form.

"You," Tousen finally says, fury reducing his voice to a quivering whisper, "Are you intending to betray us?"

There was no mercy in his filmed over glare.

For the first time in his life, the words die in Gin's throat. He was left speechless, and admittedly on the inside, shaking like a flimsy leaf.

Millions of emotions suddenly sped through Gin's mind, tangling within each other until they were all reduced to I'm going to die, I'm going to die, I'm going to die.

Gin's zero reply only fed fuel to the fire for Tousen, and the man was already getting up, his hand crawling towards the hilt of his sword.

"ANSWER ME, YOU—"

"Kaname."

The name was spoken softly, far below Tousen's bellow, and yet seemed to boom across the very walls. In some morbid part of his brain, that wasn't repeating the twisted mantra, wondered if Tousen would be killed along with him tonight.

Sluggishly, like his neck muscles were rusty hinges, Tousen turns around. A second later, Gin, not in the least bit prepared, dared to follow.

But Aizen wasn't looking at them.

He was instead, gazing outward at the open window that Gin had been leaning against before.

"I believe it is time for you to be on your way, Kaname. The storm is almost here." Aizen says calmly, not even close to asking. As if to assist his words, another blinding lightening flash and crackling thunder brushed the compound.

Gin forgets himself for an instant, and whirls toward the window. He had forgotten about the storm. But now that he remembered he just wanted to be on his own merry way even more.

Tousen gives Aizen an incredulous look and foolishly started, "Aizen-sama! Please allow me to dispose of this traitor first—"

"Kaname, it is best not to be caught in the middle of a storm," Aizen continued, voice dangerously thin.

Like time was suddenly in slow motion, Aizen turns around, his glasses glinted heavily in the moonlight that was still barely shining in the sky.

"You could get injured." He said, spreading every word like poison, before looking up and staring right into Gin's eyes.

Gin felt his heart clenching vigorously in disgust-overridden fear. It wasn't often that Aizen let his mask fall off, seeing as he was suppose to play the priestly pious man that everyone went to with their problems.

Gin could tell right here, he could tell even long before, that Aizen didn't give a flying fuck about him, Tousen, or anyone else for that matter. Hell, if he hadn't managed to kill that third seat long before, he probably wouldn't even be alive right now.

The man really was, as cruel as a god.

Tousen, to his credit, wisely gets the message, and purses his lips, said feature now a thin white line. He does his bow, short and blunt, not nearly as extravagant as before.

"Then I shall excuse myself."

Gin swore it took all his will power not to fling himself at the man and wail 'TAKE ME WITH YOU!' at the top of his lungs.

Aizen doesn't acknowledge it, eyes only for Gin, and doesn't even notice when Tousen sends him another narrowed glare, before turning sharply and exiting through the door. The keen slide of the door was the only thing that filled the room following the man's departure.

For the longest of times, Aizen doesn't say anything, doesn't even move, and Gin has to wonder if he's even breathing.

Every muscle in his body is coiled and ready to strike out like snakes. His hand is itching for Shinsou's hilt, which lies closely next to his left leg. Gin wasn't one to think so arrogantly of himself, acting like that would've gotten his head lopped off within seconds in Rukongai, so he knew it would all be in wasted effort.

The man had already reached the limit of all fighting styles of shinigami and to top it off, had far more experience. It was almost common sense he wouldn't stand a chance against Aizen. But somewhere in his frantic brain, he was still thinking if he could only get in the first move, if he could only take the first attack…

Why so silent now, huh? He asks the voice darkly.

"Gin."

He's yanked from his mind so fast, his eyes snap open for the slice of a second. Crimson eyes collide with muddy ones in an enormous crash of the powerful and the powerless.

Then Gin closes his eyes, and it ends as soon as it begins.

Gin sends Aizen the fakest smile he has in his possession. "Yes? Gobantaichou-san?"

Aizen ignores the sudden formality, "You are beginning to have second thoughts of the plan." He didn't speak it like a question, more of a statement that he dared Gin to prove wrong.

Gin paused, the game suddenly being turned around to his disadvantage. And to think none of this would've even happened if he hadn't given in to an obsessive voice in his head. It did nothing to his opinion of doing what's easy instead of doing what's right.

Aizen, sensing Gin's hesitation, eased his lips into a deceptively trusting smile.

"It's alright to speak out, if you're starting to have some doubts. It's just me here after all."

That's what I'm afraid of. Gin thinks quietly to himself.

"They're just some stupid kids." he blurts out, his mouth ten times faster than his brain, "They probably don't even know how to walk without tripping."

His words are jumbling and he's still confused as to why he doesn't just shut up and go along with it already. Especially since the voice has finally clamped down and gave his mind some peace.

Something about killing the obnoxiously innocent children just felt so wrong. It was a strange discomfort that worked its way from his toes to map his body. It was mild, but in the annoying, can't-possibly-be-ignored kind of way.

"Regardless, they will be obstacles."

"Isn't that a bit ruthless?"

Aizen gives Gin a cold look, "I am not bound by such things."

"They don't even know what's really going on."

"Gin," Aizen says, disbelief tipped in his tone, "No one knows what's really going on."

Whether it's by stupidity, annoyance, or both, he still edges in the last word.

"You still don't have to kill them."

Now Aizen looks mildly affronted, and Gin can't even figure out what has made him so idiotically suicidal tonight.

"What has gotten into you Gin?" Aizen asked, one eyebrow slightly higher than the other, "You never gave the appearance of a highly moralistic person."

Gin bites his tongue to prevent a naturally sarcastic reply from coming out.

"What could've happened to cause such a thing?" Aizen continued, savage glee suddenly arising from under Aizen's irises.

"Or should I say, who?"

Gin's body goes cold. A sharp smile forms on his face, "Now, what are ya talkin' about Gobantaichou-san?"

Aizen's eyes glitter menacingly, "Oh, I believe you know exactly what I'm talking about, Sanbantaichou-san."

Unexplainably fast, Aizen is suddenly at his feet and it took everything Gin had not to grab wildly for his sword. Giving the impression that he was going to attack was pretty much suicidal right about now.

Aizen makes several steady steps toward him, the cloth of his black hakama brushing the wooden boards softly.

"Who could it be I wonder?"

A step closer…

"Kira-kun maybe?"

Another step…

"Or is it perhaps…"

His white captain hoari is practically touching Gin's hair…

"…a certain Tenth division lieutenant?"

Aizen stops barely two inches away from him. Gin has to try hard to keep his hands from clenching into fists.

"They've got nothing to do with this, Aizen-taichou." He whispers, staring straight ahead at the wall, though an edge is there that goes unmissed.

Aizen nods, "Yes, I agree with that." Then smiles, "But they have everything to do with you don't they?"

"Don't go near them." He says again, the anger burning over the icy fear from before. Gin didn't want this man near Rangiku or Kira.

Aizen chuckles, the barest hints of mockery concealed with the rich sound.

"I thought you were afraid of me."

He feels an eerie calm enveloping his body. It was a rather peculiar feeling like when he found himself scorching from the inside out and having a bucket of cool water dumped on you. The calm eased over his nerves and softened his fear enough that he's able to look up at his captain, two bloody pools opening silently.

"I will neverbe afraid of you."

"Of course not," the man agrees, and bends down to meet his stare head-on, "But, you are afraid of what I'm capable of."

The threat is as plain as day. I can kill you if I wanted to.

This time the tension only stretches for a few seconds before Aizen abruptly pulls away. Gin eyes Aizen suspiciously for a moment, before letting his own eyes close.

"How about a deal, Gin?" Aizen suddenly asks with an unusual disinterest.

The question bounces off his head for a moment before actually sinking through. He pauses in his answer for a moment, wondering if it was some kind of trap, before realizing there was no real danger in the mere question.

His brain is suddenly screaming with his own questions, but he hastily pushes them aside.

"That really depends on what I get for doing it." He says ambiguously, because that was a typical Gin answer, not like he was being a very typical Gin lately.

But apparently, he had said something right because Aizen suddenly turned towards him and sent him a kind smile.

"I promise you, you will get a lot."

"Oh really?" he couldn't keep the sarcasm from slipping in.

Thankfully, Aizen ignored it, "I'm offering…" he takes his sweet time, and from Gin's point of view, might actually be pausing for dramatic effect.

"…freedom from the plan."

The new light air Gin had just adopted, immediately shattered as a heavy seriousness crushed him. Gin studied Aizen for a minute, silently daring for him to be joking. But Aizen never joked.

He really meant it.

"The rules?" he asks after a moment.

"You just need that woman to hold one," Aizen replies, complete sincerity in his tone, "All she has to do is hold on and I shall order the Menos to call off the Negación over you."

Gin smirked harshly, "Now come on, Aizen-taichou, they'll only throw me into jail ta be executed fo' assisting ya anyway."

"You can tell them everything that has transpired between you and I." Aizen answered smoothly.

Gin's eyes widen, and he wonders again if Aizen really means it.

"You can even make up a story if you wished, tell them my goals, my reasons, everything. You can tell them anything if you wanted."

The idea was entirely seducing. Anything. He could tell them of anything this man before him has done.

And all that had to happen, all that had to be done to win, was for Rangiku to…

"And what if…" he takes a moment, a huge lump in his throat that won't go down, "I lose?"

Aizen's face twists horridly as the mask falls completely off.

"Then your fate will be in my hands alone."

"Well then," Gin says, his tone thin and edged sharply, "Why in all nine circles of Hell would I wanna risk my ass just fo' them then?

Aizen sighs, like a parent trying to teach a child how to behave, "I do wish you would stop with the horrible act, Gin."

Gin gives him a blank look.

"It's as plain as day, though I'm not sure when it started," Aizen smiles in entirely unreal understanding, "You've grown to love them."

The room is suddenly too small for Gin to breathe properly in.

"No," he stutters, trying to regain himself, "Taichou, I don't…"

"It's such a shame really," Aizen interrupts, padding over again, "I thought if anybody, you would never fall into love."

"I don't love them." Gin whispers, and it sounds like a lie even to himself.

"Yes, I actually agree," Aizen nodded, and Gin feels a big solid hand land on his head, "It's not just them. It's everything." His fingers start weaving through Gin's silver hair.

Gin wants more than anything to rip those fingers away from him, look him in the eye, and say that he was wrong. But he can't even twitch his fingers and Aizen's hand suddenly feels like the heaviest anchor that's ever existed.

"No…" he manages to choke out, his throat suddenly burning and frozen all at once.

"You've come to love the city, you've come to love your position, you've come to love the people," a smile warms slightly on Aizen's face as he disentangles his slender fingers from Gin's hair, "You no longer want to hurt it."

He can't answer.

He doesn't answer.

He can't think of any answer.

He's wrong.

He's wrong.

He's wrong.

He's wrong.

But he's right.

The familiar voice pops out again.

Aizen smiles at the empty expression on his ex-lieutenant's face. He kneels down slightly, bending so his mouth is next to Gin's left ear.

"Remember Gin, I am offering you it all back." He whispers gently, his fingers now playing with the cloth at Gin's frozen neck.

"I'm giving you refuge from the storm."

Another loud crash of thunder shakes the very roots of the house, as if to put more emphasis on his words. Gin stared hard at a spot on the table, his hands too drained of their strength to even clench.

"I'll do it." He whispered, and doesn't even try to decipher the flutter in his stomach that goes along with it.

Aizen does nothing but smile.

"Excellent."

Without another word, Gin heaves to his feet, not even able to feel his legs as he does so. The smile is wiped clean from his face and his eyes are still open. Slowly, he turns toward the door, though Gin really wanted to just run far away and never come back.

Aizen watches him with a docile look, that seems every bit a part of him, and yet something completely foreign.

"Oh, and Gin," he called out again, just as his ex-lieutenant has reached the door, "Feel free to do what you'd like to the ryoka children."

Gin doesn't reply, and slides the door open without a second glance.

The soft pitter-patter of rain is finally heard as the door closes, but Gin never looked back.

With only maple hair and cerulean eyes in mind, he steps into the storm, pelted by the sky's tears.


"Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices."

Alfred A. Montapert