NOTEZES: This was a commission from Ayame and Ayano for the birthday of their delightful friend and hardcore yaoi fanboy Gareth. This fic is the reason I gained my love for the Kira x Hisagi and why I have written so many fics about them recently. There is a fair bit of time jumping in this fic, but it is essentially between the academy years, the early shinigami years and what could be regarded as 'present day' – I hope that clears up any confusion that could have arisen. Enjoy…

"Senpai… what are we doing?"

. . .

"Izuru."

The blonde Vice Captain jerked awake with a start. Long cold fingers closed around him and that familiar serpentine voice whispered into his ear.

"Izuru, dreamin' again are ya?"

The younger man shivered and tried to curl down into the bed, away from his 'lover'.

"No, Captain… I wasn't…"

He faltered, the dull ache of last night spread slowly across his chest and down his legs. The dried blood smeared over his thighs made his movements stiff and painful.

Ichimaru lazily reclined on the couch watching his young Vice Captain writhe and whine. He always looked so vulnerable and frightened first thing in the morning. He never knew where he was, he would whine and lie there for ages, trying to forget all the atrocious things his Captain had done to him the night before.

The blond shinigami rolled onto his back, wincing as the welts on the backs of his legs brushed the cool cotton. He felt naked and open, lying on his back under the watchful eyes of his Captain. Kira sat up, casting his eyes down for his discarded uniform. He knew he wouldn't find it though; this was Ichimaru's favourite game of the morning, to move his clothes and make him beg for them.

He could feel those red eyes burning into him as he rose to his feet with any semblance of grace he could muster. He flushed dark red and naked as he lay prostrate in front of the older man, silently begging for his dignity back.

The usual fox faced grin broadened as it always did when allowed his position of power. He demurely pooled the black fabric at his subordinate's feet and got up with a small chuckle.

"Good boy, Izuru…"

As the door closed silently Kira allowed himself a quiet sob, his joints cracking, his fingers scrabbling at the ties of his creased uniform.

'How had he let this get so far gone? …'

o o o o o

"This is so exciting isn't it? I'm so pleased for Hisagi senpai aren't you two? It was lovely of him to invite us."

Renji grunted in reply, spending his entire afternoon at the upper class graduation didn't strike him as an afternoon well spent. Kira only managed a nod. He was too deep in thought to manage any sort of engagement in Hinamori's conversation.

It was true that Kira was pleased for Hisagi senpai. He had worked so hard to get where he was and had even been accepted into the officer's class of 9th squad… but that niggling voice at the back of Kira's mind just wouldn't go away.

'You know you'll never see him again now. He won't bother with the likes of you,' it said. 'You wait and see, you think you and he are friends now, you think he could love you one day? He won't look at you twice again once he's out of here…'

Izuru couldn't help but let out a tiny gasp. The thought of losing his senpai for good was nothing short of horrifying. If they never spoke again, he'd never get to tell him how he felt…

"Senpai… what are we doing?"

"Come on Izuru. Renji's had you like this before hasn't he?"

"I'm not sure we should be doing this Hisagi senpai… what if somebody sees?"

"They won't, come on…"

The three friends were early entering the hall and it was still only half full of awkward students, teachers and officers mingling and exchanging pleasantries. Kira felt the lithe hand of his new girlfriend slip from his own.

"Is that Aizen Taicho?" she craned her neck around Renji's wide figure. "Do you think he remembers us?"

"I hope not…"

"He's coming over. I think it's you he wants Hinamori."

"Me?! Do you think? Oh… yes! Oh my! Should I go and speak to him?"

"Just go."

The boys watched her frolic off to converse shyly with the benevolent Captain.

'She worships him far too much,' thought Kira, moodily watching Renji go and casually chat with some upperclass girls. The lone boy was hoping he could find somewhere to sit and hide and not have to face his fears until…

"Izuru kun!"

Kira felt his body stiffen. No! No, no, no, no! He couldn't speak to Hisagi senpai, not now, not when his emotions were in such a fragile state of overdrive. He tried to force a smile.

"H…hi Hisagi senpai… are you alright? Big day, ne? … "

That familiar lazy grin, those piercing dark eyes. Kira knew he was in love with him the very day they'd first met. He wanted to believe it was nothing but a silly schoolboy crush, that Shuuhei could never love him back, but there was something about the way the older boy smiled at him that gave him hope.

But it was those memories that encouraged him more. Memories of things Hisagi had done, things he never seemed to remember but that were emblazoned onto young Izuru's mind…

o o o o o

Kira sat with his back to the wall, the late afternoon shadows spreading out across the courtyard. The blood and tears of his afternoon's work stained his face. He couldn't take this. The voice of the usually placid 4th squad Vice Captain still echoed in his ears.

'Taicho? Impossible…'

It was like a knife to the chest. Ichimaru was a traitor to the whole of Soul Society, but that somehow paled into insignificance compared to the betrayal Kira felt at that point. Wabisuke lay sleeping by his side. Would suicide be too extreme? The broken young man sobbed into his bleeding hands.

This couldn't be happening. He had defended Ichimaru though everything. When they accused him of murder, Kira had refuted all claims. When he was attacked by Hinamori, his own dear sweet Hinamori, Kira had stood firm and defended him, even stuck out against her.

He had given everything to that man.

Kira shivered, still remembered that last night together, the pain in his Captain's eyes. It wasn't expected, the tenderness. Ichimaru had been distant with his pet ever since freeing him from prison, not letting him sleep in his bed, and taking greater delight in his pain than usual.

But last night had been different; Kira had never felt closer to the older man as he had done that night. His thin arms shook as he pulled the trembling subordinate into his lap, brushing that blonde fringe out of his eyes. That night he kissed sweeter than he had ever kissed before…

It was late in the afternoon and Kira knew it wouldn't be long before they came for him. They may well have already captured his Captain and Aizen. The lone shinigami felt a twinge of guilt. His first thought had been of his Captain and not of his former girlfriend. He hoped she was alright.

It was perhaps the betrayal of Tousen that Kira found the hardest to swallow. He tried not to think about Shuuhei, but he knew how his senpai admired the blind Captain. The thought of how Hisagi might be taking this was shattering. Would he be arrested too? Of course not, had he attacked another Vice Captain. Kira could still see the strain and loss in Matsumoto's eyes as he left her there. Her Haineko was strong, but no match for him.

He would have died for Ichimaru.

'I would have died for him over and over again, if he had only asked.'

Though it was the tears that were the most exhausting. Kira could feel his emotions draining away as the blood and the sweat and the tears soaking into the shadowy earth beneath him.

It was too late to be sorry now.

o o o o o

Kira sat there at the side of the room, the perfect wallflower. Hinamori was here somewhere, he now wondered if her cat costume had been such a good idea. There were so many other small women here in cat costumes that he founds it quite impossible to tell one from the other. He felt a tiny twinge of guilt. He supposed that he probably should be able to tell which girl was his girlfriend. He didn't really care. She was much better at parties than him.

Even if it was his best friend's birthday he didn't feel much in the party mood. He curled up on his seat and draped the white folds of fabric over his feet. The number of 11th squadders at, what was effectively a costume party, surprised him. They were all there, turned out at samurai and cavemen and soldiers all comparing their various out of era weaponry.

Renji's costume took home the gold though, draped in a massive grey fur with silver claws and thick heavy boots. Whose idea had it been for Renji to dress as a wolf. Kira couldn't help but smile. He really did look the part.

'Better than me anyway,' Kira couldn't help but think. 'Why did he ever have to drag me here? I mean look at me! I'm in a dress...'

Almost as if he read his thoughts, Renji left his 11th squad friends and came over to sit with Kira. He smelled faintly of sake and smoke.

"Ah Kira I think ya' make an adorable angel," he grinned, so infectiously that his blonde friend couldn't help but smile too, and look at his feet.

"C'mon," said Renji, pulling Kira to his feet. "Let's get you a drink."

Kira would have protested, but Renji was never one to be put off an idea. The whole room was so hot and humid, and he had a lot on his mind, so Kira didn't seem to notice the birthday boy pour drink after drink down his throat until he was quite dizzy.

"Abarai kun... I want to go outside for a bit... it that ok?"

"Yeah sure! Just don't get lost!"

Kira stumbled towards the door, narrowly avoiding a lot of aggressive 11th squadders, gunning for a fight and seeing four girls that could well have been Hinamori, before finally stepping out into the cool night air. His bare feet felt very tender on the sharp stones but he didn't mind. It was good to be out of the madness.

A few gasps of fresh air in his lungs did well to sober him up as he held up his hem out of the dust. He did not turn as he heard the crunch of earth behind him, people came and went out of the door without paying him any attention. Until he heard the familiar voice,

"Izuru? That you?"

Hisagi. It was all the younger man could do to not spin around in surprise. He turned demurely, grasping at the folds of his costume. His former senpai stood awkwardly in a blue greatcoat, with dark braces and a dark blue hat. Kira couldn't resist a shy smile.

"What are you supposed to be?"

Hisagi feigned outrage.

"Genuine period military uniform from the 'Second World War', a classic look."

Kira stole a soulful look at the man who had once been such a good friend. He couldn't recognise him like this; taller, leaner, stronger, bolder… He knew Hisagi was judging him now, the child in the white robe and silver wings - still so young and naïve. Neither of them found themselves able to say anything. Hisagi scuffed a boot on the doorstep and the younger man shivered in the chill air. This is what their relationship had come to. Kira couldn't take it, seeing Shuuhei like this again, out of the blue. They hadn't spoken since his graduation and the gulf between them showed, until Hisagi managed to break the silence, looking at his old friend like he had something important to say,

"Listen, Izuru…"

"Hey, what are you guys doing out here?"

Kira exhaled audibly as the lithe arms of his girlfriend wrapped around his arm.

"Hi Hisagi kun! How have you been I haven't seen you in ages…"

The poor strained Kira couldn't handle this situation any more, he had so many emotions to deal with that his body refused to cope with. He could only manage a few words of apologies before stumbling blindly back inside, praying that Hinamori wouldn't follow, that she'd stay outside with Hisagi or just go home.

'Why did he have to come? Why did she have to come out then? I know he's Renji's friend too, but… why does he always have to be there, in my life. Why can't they both just leave me alone?'

But Kira knew he didn't want that, he would never want that, but for the first time in his life he found himself resenting his own girlfriend… but was that all Hisagi's fault?

'Is it all my fault?'

o o o o o

He felt Hisagi approach before he saw him, Kira knew he would come. If anyone could find the exhausted younger man, it was him. His footfalls were barely audible in the dusky twilight. When he opened his eyes, his shaken comrade stood over him, an imposing silhouette in the setting sun. It was the first time Kira had looked, properly looked, at Hisagi in months. He was tired. The strain of the day showed in his scars and his dark soulful eyes.

He didn't speak, he just held out a hand to his former friend. A gesture Kira could have never expected. The younger man hesitated, before accepting the warm hand and being hauled to his feet. A strong arm was slipped around his shoulder and they left that place. They left, for the time being, the memories and heartaches of the day and were able to bond again as they had once been able to, so well.

"C'mon," Kira vaguely heard those dulcet tones. "Let's go get a drink."

o o o o o

"Whoa! Careful there Izuru," Hisagi grabbed the drunken student around the waist, stopping him from crashing headfirst into the solid wooden floor. He rolled his eyes. "I knew it. Total lightweight."

Kira giggled, the dizziness from the sake was overcome by the warmth he could feel pressing against his back as his senpai held him close.

"Hisagi senpai!" he protested, turning to snuggle into his strong shoulder, starting to snooze.

"Hey hey hey! No sleeping on me! C'mon, let's get you to bed."

Kira giggled again, the strong party atmosphere adding to the intense frivolity of his mood. The subtle implications of what Shuuhei might be suggested were lost on him. He wanted to stay close to his senpai no matter what.

Hisagi helped Kira up the stairs back to the upperclass dorms.

"My room is closer, you can crash here for the night," the older boy muttered, holding Kira as he slid open the door.

It wasn't until the door was shut that Hisagi noticed just how close he had been to Kira, the way the younger boy snuggled against him, his gentle unspoiled smile.

'Damnit, he's pretty,' thought Hisagi, not able to resist the urge to reach down and sweep the tousled golden locks out of his junior's eyes. Kira blinked sleepily up at him.

'Why is senpai touching me like this? His hand feels nice. Where am I going to sleep. It's nice in here, I feel much better now I'm away from all that noise.'

It was very quiet in that tiny dorm room. Hisagi made every effort to keep his breathing measured and calm, but every second he was stood so close to such a beautiful creature, he could feel himself losing control. Hisagi had tried so hard to be a good friend for Kira and not take advantage of him. He rationalised that Renji had probably got there first. Those two were such close friends anyway, and everyone knew what an appetite Renji had…

Their first kiss was soft and slow, Kira was almost completely caught off guard, he blushed and resisted for an instant before completely melting into the moment, letting the older boy take complete control

Shuuhei reached down to tug at the ties of Izuru's uniform, his actions were clumsy and awkward in the dark stillness. He slipped a hand into the white folds stroking deftly at the exposed skin, eliciting those delicious moans that he would never forget. This was something Hisagi had wanted for so long, his infatuation with the slight young man in his arms had driven him to distraction and made it impossible for him to focus on any other relationship.

What harm could it do? They were both drunk, alone, neither of them need ever speak of it again. It seemed the perfect plan, but Kira's conscience broke first.

"Senpai… what are we doing?" he pulled away from him hesitantly, choosing not to look into Hisagi's eyes.

"Come on Izuru. Renji's had you like this before hasn't he?" the pleading, almost desperate tone in Hisagi's voice tugged at Kira's heart. He adored his senpai and he wanted to make him happy but…

"I'm not sure we should be doing this Hisagi senpai… what if somebody sees?"

"They won't, come on…" Hisagi was gently tugging at the uniform again, exposing Izuru's sublime figure to the warm air. Kira faltered again.

"But…"

He was kissed once more, this time more urgently, a rough hand snaking across his hips. Shuuhei tilted his head from the kiss, biting down gently on his lover's perfect shoulder. He didn't want to manipulate his friend, but at this point, after so long Hisagi didn't think he had enough restraint left to prevent the inevitable.

"I want you Izuru," he whispered, his breath sending delicious shivers down the younger man's spine. How could he refuse that?

He couldn't…

The night that followed was a slow and lazy haze, it might not have been perfect, but for the two young students in love, it was all the perfection they could have asked for.

Izuru cried out again, pushing back into his senpai's slow, powerful thrusts.

"Senpai!"

His hair fell into his eyes as he felt a warm hand rest on his head, an anchor or a comforting gesture, neither of them knew or cared.

Hisagi had never seen anything more arousing in his entire life; Kira on his knees, his flawless skin exposed, his breathless excitement visible on his flushed face. The older man knew he couldn't last much longer, it felt so good. This had to be the most intense experience of his life, something he could never forget. Not in all his life.

'But you'll have to, won't you!'

His brain was right, whatever happened tonight could never happen again. He had to let Kira forget everything and live his own life. He was only able to push these thoughts from his mind at the sight of his lover coming beneath him.

His delicate, innocent cries were more than enough to push the older boy over the edge, holding Izuru close in his arms and coming hard inside him.

Kira knew he would pass out soon. He was exhausted, from the long day, from the party and from his senpai's ministrations. He thought of how glad he was that Hisagi senpai had been his first as he drifted into a blissful sleep.

Hisagi planted a gentle kiss on his forehead and pulled him back into his uniform to go and sleep on the couch.

"Sleep well Izuru," he whispered, taking a moment to look back at the sleeping angel in his bed.

o o o o o

The world was a haze. Kira clutched at the table, the room was spinning and falling. He was aware of the groaning figure of Hisagi rolled next to him. The room smelled of tears and sake.

"Izuru, are you mad at Ichimaru?"

"…No. I don't think I could be. I just feel lost."

"Like he's abandoned you? Like this was a total bombshell that none of us expected."

"Yeah… something like that. I don't miss him, I just… need him. Now that he's gone I just don't know what I can do."

"There's always Hinamori, isn't there?"

"We broke up years ago… she had more important priorities."

"Oh… I didn't know. You two didn't act any differently."

"It was a bit of a sham really. I probably went further with you than I did with her………"

Kira felt sick. He had never been this drunk before. His stomach churned, his head throbbed and banged heavily, it was almost worse than being stabbed. He felt a comforting hand on his.

"Hi… Hisai san…" he choked to his protective senpai. "It hurts…"

Shuuhei grinned and clutched at his drinking companions thin pale fingers.

"It's alright Izuru, 4th are on their way. You just sit tight and you'll be fine. I always knew you were a total lightweight. I remember… I remember when we were in the academy… that time we got drunk… you and me…"

Hisagi blushed, thankful that Kira was too drunk to notice. It was a memory he had always striven to forget. Not because it was painful or he was ashamed, but because he worried that by giving in to his feelings for Kira he would be

condemning him to a life without options. A life without the chance to explore new things, lots of kids experimented with homosexuality at the academy; most of them gave it up as soon at they gained a squad place.

Hisagi had made his decision, but he didn't want to be responsible for making Kira's too. He took his relationship with Hinamori as proof of the younger man's decision and left it at that.

'He's straight, idiot! What would he want with you?'

Shuuhei never knew about Kira's than orthodox relationship with Ichimaru. No one ever really supposed the silver haired Captain would ever go so far.

'Ichimaru has hurt him,' thought Hisagi as he clutched his wailing comrade. 'Izuru would never admit to it, but he's lost without his Captain. I can't let this get to him any more than it has. I have to look after him, and somehow reverse this influence Ichimaru has on him. Somehow…'

o o o o o

"Izuru."

It wasn't a question. The fresh young shinigami blinked at his new Captain.

"Yes, Ichimaru Taicho?"

"How long ya been here at 3rd for?"

"About a week sir."

The smiling Captain paused for a second, taking in the sight of his delicious, fragile subordinate.

"Are ya happy bein' my Vice Captain, Izuru chan?"

"Sir?"

The question was an odd one. Aizen had given Kira the choice of remaining a 4th seat at 5th, or joining Ichimaru Gin in his new position. The young man had always had a sort of respect and awe for Ichimaru that he was unable to explain. He was afraid of him, yes, but at the same time he found his fear almost exciting. The idea of being with this strong and dangerous man all the time gave Kira a new and unprecedented thrill.

"I said. Are ya happy bein' my Vice Captain… Izuru chan."

He stressed the last word, taking and drawn out step towards his wide eyed little pet to be.

Kira bowed his head respectfully.

"Of course I am happy being here at 3rd Ichimaru Taicho…"

The smile broadened.

"Ah. Now that's not what I asked is it?"

He extended those long icy fingers down to ghost along his subordinate's exposed collar bone. He had always found Kira's innocence adorable and arousing but serving under Aizen he wasn't allowed anyone else. But now he had a pet of his own…

This glint in his Captain's eyes made the young Vice Captain uncomfortable. Had he done something wrong? Was he angry? Or was there something else, something hidden in that snake-like smile?

It was hypnotic; the way Ichimaru was able to draw him in like this. Kira had not been with another man in years, but when his Captain touched him it was unreal. It was like he was there and yet not there, he was fire and ice and pain and pleasure all in one.

He knew no one would understand how he trusted his Captain, he was sadistic and could sulk for days about the slightest thing. But Kira knew that through all the violence. His Captain loved him. It was the love he would never have received from Hisagi, no matter how long he held a candle for him…

'I am happy now,' Kira would repeatedly tell himself. 'No matter what happens, I will always have my Captain's love.'

To be truly loved and needed, it was something Kira so sorely wanted. The only thing he had ever really wanted. Hisagi had never needed him, Hinamori had never needed him, Renji had never needed him, and now Kira didn't need them.

He didn't need any of them.

o o o o o

When Kira woke from his drunken stupor it took him a good minute to realise his existence in the small wooden room he found himself in. It took him another full minute to realise that he was semi-naked! He tried to jump up, but the griping pain in his head took over. He sat on the edge of the bed, his head in his hands.

What happened last night?

"You're awake then."

Kira froze.

Hisgai? In the same room as him…No! Not again! Not after all those years of waiting and working and eventually moving on from his first love and his first heartbreak. How had he done it again? He was back at the beginning, living his life in some ghastly cycle of drunken sexual encounters and self loathing.

"Don't worry, we didn't have sex. 4th were here, I thought you were going to puke up your kidneys."

The shaken blonde shinigami fought tears as his looked at Hisagi, casually reclined in a chair by the window.

"I loved you," was all he could manage to say in a shaky whisper. "I loved you more than anything. All you had to do was ask."

Hisagi looked at him quizzically almost not hearing what he was being told. Izuru wanted to stop, part of him knew that saying all this couldn't make anything any better, but it was like a drug, once he started saying these things he just couldn't stop. It all came out in a torrent of one man's life of pain and heartache.

"I swore I could never love anyone else. Ichimaru Taicho changed that but… somehow I could never stop thinking about you. Not even last night. After Hinamori left I'd cry myself to sleep thinking about you, and that night. You remember that night, that party when you took me back to your dorm and we…"

It was not the first time Kira had been kissed by surprise, but even now he found himself reeling and sat there dumbly staring into space. Hisagi seemed almost as stunned by his actions. It was as if he were channelling a part of himself he though he had lost long ago. He knelt before his once close friend, kissing him again.

"I'm sorry Kira. I'm sorry I hurt you, I'm sorry I left you to the mercies of that creature. I never wanted to make you cry, I never wanted to let you go. Can you forgive me, can we try and work this out?"

Kira looked at him. Really looked at him. He had tried to control his emotions all his life in a desperate attempt to stop the madness that was his mind. But for once he felt a calmness come over him he had not experienced in a long while. He knew what he had to do.

He slowly rose and reached for his neatly folded uniform, his hands trembling as he dressed himself in silence, letting Hisagi watch him form his spot on the floor.

"I'm sorry Senpai," Izuru stilled his quiet voice, making what had to be the hardest decision of his life.

He stooped to rest his forehead against that of his lover.

He understood now. He understood that after all these years, all these years of moping and loneliness he had no one else to blame but himself. He loved Shuuhei and he loved Ichimaru but now he knew he could never have either, not after all this time.

But finally, Kira Izuru smiled. It was his first genuine smile in so long, he wanted to laugh but knew if he did he might cry again.

"Thank you…" his voice was barely more than a whisper.

Shuuhei looked up into those blue eyes, shining with emotion. Izuru kissed his forehead and left the room, closing the door with one last, definite snap.

Obligatory post script: This fic was bound together in a smart little book for a present and Ayano did some accompanying (yaoi) artwork. She promises me she will post them once I have posted this fic. So go to the page of - arakida-ayano – on deviantart and see if she has yet. Please R&R, I have grown very fond of this pairing and want to know if I do it justice!