Disclaimer: Bleach and all its characters are not mine. I am borrowing the characters and, when I'm done, clean them up lovingly and return them to their proper places.

A/N: Time for more Gin and Aizen – but from our dear Kira's perspective. It's a new story, picking up from Chapter 62 of Touched and First Contact. My OTP is still Aizen/Gin, but let's see how Gin/Kira plays out from Kira's point of view.

Just a short prologue to kick-start the tale!




Kira followed Abarai and Hisagi, Hinamori lagging behind him. All the first-year trio could talk about was the appearance of the two Fifth Division leaders. Hinamori was practically sparkling with admiration: her idol had turned into her hero, so neither the redhead nor the blond resented how everything she said began with "Aizen-taichou".

Hisagi was quiet – he was already posted to the Ninth as a seated officer, pending his graduation, and this was probably not the first time he had met Ichimaru-fukutaichou and Aizen-taichou. But there had been stunned amazement when he realized who had saved them, nevertheless, and Kira recalled how his sempai had been unusually docile while Ichimaru-fukutaichou bandaged the terrible wounds. And there was that little exchange the two had while Aizen-taichou spoke to the three first year students.

Kira wondered what that was about.

"Hey, Kira," said Abarai later that night, while they settled into their hospital beds. They had been assigned a room together at the Fourth Division "to check for shock", but no one else was with them. Hisagi was warded somewhere else since his wounds were far deeper and, besides, his future captain wanted to hear the incident in its entirety. Kira sat on his bed, gingerly testing the firmness of the mattress. He was quite particular about his sleeping arrangements.

Abarai tugged on his ear, his red hair spilled over his broad shoulders. "Ya really think we can be like them? I mean, Aizen-taichou din't even go into shikai to purify those huge hollows."

"Why would he need to?" asked Kira as he brushed his pale blond hair flat. "His reiatsu felt dense enough. I doubt I can even reach I-Ichimaru-fukutaichou's standard... I don't even dare to think how pathetic I was, screaming that I didn't want to die... I can't imagine him doing that."

"Hey, fear is an acceptable reaction, 'kay? I a'most pissed myself, that's how scared I was. Yeah. Wonder when I can attain his level of reiatsu though," mused Abarai as he settled into bed. "Musta bin tough, fighting from bottom to top..."

Kira tuned out his friend's rambling, long aware of Abarai's monologues disguised as conversation. He was just repeating the event, trying to dissect the key factor in their rescue that he could use to improve himself.

In the darkness behind his eyes Kira wasn't replaying the scene as much as he was focusing on that one figure in black. The one who had shot a blade through a monstrous hollow; the one who had called out a cheerful greeting; the one who had turned back to face them all with a little, mocking smile. His mind's eye locked on the one with silver hair and skin so pale it was practically white; the one with thin and elegant hands; the one who spoke with a cool and melodious voice; the one who smiled as he slew the hollows.

Kira buried his face into his pillow, suddenly too aware of his thumping heart. He knew he'd be dreaming of silver hair and apple-blossom-pale skin tonight.