If one were to look at the state of my affairs from a distance, Aizen reasoned as he waited for his Espada to assemble for a general meeting, they'd probably be thinking that my plans were proceeding along superbly.
But, like many things involving Aizen Sousuke, one had to look a bit closer to see the truth.
In truth, things were not as bad as he might claim, and definitely not as horrific as Tousen claimed.
All in all, the plan had gone wonderfully up until this point.
Discover where that insane fool Urahara had hidden the Hougyoku? Check.
Slaughter the Central Forty-Six Chambers and masquerade as them? Check.
Fake death? Check.
Leave Soul Society in chaos as a result? Check, and check.
Kill Hinamori (really, he couldn't just leave the poor girl, could he? That'd just be cruel)? Not quite, but she was having a nice, restful coma at least.
Acquire the Hougyoku? Check.
Escape the clutches of all of Soul Society? Check.
Create new, stronger Arrancar, to prepare for all-out war against Soul Society? Check.
But in this stage of the plan, there was a minor problem. Newer, stronger Arrancar they may be, but his new soldiers had a few... quirks.
When Aizen had imagined his Espada, the characteristics he envisioned didn't seem to be too much to ask; obedient, committed to his needs and goals, and above all, quiet.
"Oi! Get the fuck out of my way, scarecrow!" Grimmjaw spat, loudly stomping his feet and gesturing.
Noitora leered back, purposefully taking up more of the hallway with his lengthy frame. "No can do, number six. Why don't you get out of mine?"
Instead, he felt like he was back in Soul Society, attending a Captain's meeting, every time he tried to hold an Espada meeting. Everything he had tried to get away from seemed to follow him to Hueco Mundo- the senseless bickering, the endless debates, the individual personality quirks that drove him insane and made him want to abandon Soul Society in the first place were all still with him.
It didn't help that Grimmjaw and Noitora, two of his strongest, happened to act, to his chagrin, like one Zaraki Kenpachi.
Grimmjaw acted like Zaraki the most, so loud and boisterous and violent, like a bratty child wanting the attention of a parent. Aizen was an evil mastermind, not a doting father.
Noitora, on the other hand, had that obsession with proving himself the strongest. While self-advancement was good and Aizen always appreciated strength, the constant attempts to kill other Arrancar to prove that strength was a bit of a problem when trying to create a cohesive army.
"Must you two always bicker like children?" the light rasp of his only female Espada cut through Grimmjaw and Noitora's argument, and both stopped to look at her. In a way, she impressed him the most, having to hold her own in an organization that was largely male dominated.
"Don't call me a child woman!" Grimmjaw snarled, advancing towards her menacingly.
Aizen noted amusedly that she showed no fear, only staring back coolly.
After a moment, Grimmjaw broke his stare and stomped off.
"She has a good point..." another voice added in, although it sounded like two.
"I don't need your addition, Aaroniero," she spat, and backhanded him in the chest with enough force that it would killed a normal human.
Incidents like these made Aizen think of her as bigger, potentially more violent Soifon. If Aizen was a different person, he probably would have been a bit afraid of her.
Aaroniero only chuckled. "As you wish, milady," he replied mockingly, moving along to take his seat.
Aaroniero... now there was an interesting fellow. When Aizen had created Metastacia, he had no idea that ability, seemingly wasted on a failed experiment, would be passed on to a more worthy receptacle.
Now if only he didn't regularly consume the stores of souls that Aizen kept to feed all of Las Noches, Aaroniero would have been another of Aizen's favorites.
"Can I just say that you shutting those idiots up is really hot?" Noitora murmured sensually, leering at her again.
If Aizen had been another person, he would slapped himself in the forehead.
"Breathe on me again, Noitora," the female Espada snarled, "And I'll tear your dick off and kill you with it." A hint of a smirk played on her lips. "Tiny as it may be, I think I could manage."
"Come on now," Noitora moved closer, face inches from her face now. "Think of what you'd be missing if you took that away."
She slapped him.
A few of the other Espada chuckled.
Grimmjaw fell out of his chair laughing.
Noitora's face was twisted in hateful fury, and he loomed over her menancingly. "You little bitch!" he spat, glaring, his face an inch from hers.
"Aw, young love. Ain't that sweet?" Gin chuckled, sidling up next to him with his usual snake grin.
Aizen refused to give Gin the pleasure of an incredulous look. He was used to seeing violent relationships, romantic or otherwise- he had seen the comradery Zaraki's men exhibited, not to mention the way Zaraki himself treated his subordinates- but this absolutely could not be.
This was pure loathing, plain and simple.
"They should leave their flirting to a more personal setting," Tousen stated flatly, moving to stand on his other side. "It is highly inappropriate before a meeting."
"It would seem more like they despise each other," Aizen said slowly, measuredly, keeping his confusion out of his voice.
"They do!" Gin chimed cheerfully, smiling even wider.
"Then your statements make no sense," Aizen raised an eyebrow, staring Gin down. Unfortunately for Aizen, however, he had taken the two people who he could not defeat in a staring match.
Tousen was blind, and Gin was just plain creepy if he stared at you the right way. Even Aizen couldn't stand long against it without feeling the need to lock himself someplace where Ichimaru Gin would never find him.
"What Ichimaru means, Aizen-sama, is that their hatred makes their relationship more interesting." Tousen explained, his voice level and calm. When Aizen did not say anything, he continued, "They have hate-sex."
Aizen was very glad he decided not to have taken some tea with him to the meeting, because he would spat it all out at this point.
His Arrancar were having sex now?
"'pparently they like it rough," Gin's voice oozed his pleasure at seeing Aizen's reaction to the revelation. "Ya made some funny soldiers, didn'tcha, Aizen-sama?"
Aizen refused to dignify Gin's question with an answer.
Noitora was being slammed into a wall after being manhandled by the female Espada, sending disturbing mental images through Aizen's imagination.
This time, he really did slap his forehead.
Because evil genius mastermind Aizen Sousuke or not, one could only tolerate so much.
I should have stayed in Soul Society, Aizen thought, rubbing his forehead.