Four Steps Behind

By

Godell

Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach.

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From the very beginning, Gin was always four steps behind Aizen Sousuke.

He was four steps behind Aizen during their first Hollow experimentation together, a smiling and capable young boy, ready to make his mark.

He was four steps behind him when they left Central 46, knowing that the "inconvenience" Kisuke Urahara, was no more—banished from Soul Society.

He was four steps behind when Aizen introduced him to Byakuya Kuchiki, a Noble who was only just entering his 2nd year at the Soul Reaper Academy. Aizen had looked on fondly while Gin made small talk with the kid, and led him away with the knowledge that the boy was not going to play a role in their plan. At least not yet.

He was four steps behind when Gin received the position of lieutenant years later, and smiled up at Aizen as he tied the Lieutenant badge around Gin's arm.

And that evening, he was four steps behind when Aizen declared that his new status as lieutenant gave him new privileges—privileges that also came with being a young adult.

He was four steps behind when they first inspected the Soul Reaper Academy, when Momo first set her eyes on Aizen—and her fate, as well as Izuru's and Renji's—was sealed.

He was four steps behind when they "rescued" Momo, Izuru, and Renji from those scary Hollows on that fateful night—how tragic poor Izuru had sounded!—and their plan began to align quite nicely.

He was four steps behind Aizen when, many years after becoming a Captain of his own Division, he and Aizen discussed in whispers where Aizen's "dead body" was to be placed.

Gin was still four steps or more behindwhen he led Momo down into the catacombs of Central 46, where her oh so tragic demise would occur.

When they had left a bloodied Soul Society in their wake, Gin was four steps behind Aizen as they stalked the halls of Las Noches.

And Aizen, friend, father, lover, extended his hand, smiled, and said "After you, Gin."

Gin ran forward, thin gangly arms outstretched.

And so it was that Aizen, for once, was four steps behind him.

His loyalty had paid off.