A/N: As I don't belong to any lj community and I don't really wish to join, I'm hijacking the theme sets. Thanks to the people who thought them up, I apologize for using them without contributing to any lj community. (PS: If you wish to post it elsewhere, just indicate the source i.e. peppermint quartz at ffdotnet and let me know.)
Theme Set: Alpha
Gin's life – GinRan in the beginning, GinAizen later on.
Living in the fringes of the community, Gin learned early that he would need to forgo his scruples if he and Ran wanted to survive.
The odd sensation of lips pressing against skin wasn't as bad as he had initially believed, but he desperately wished it had been anyone but the grotesquely obese woman who paid him for service.
Ran never knew when he left or when he would return, but she always made sure he had a warm meal and a comfortable corner to curl up in to sleep.
He had heard the tales from the other boys and thus resolutely refused all men, to the point of threatening them with the suicide of their top earner - him.
When he finally came back a week later with the tubers, Ran and he were this close to starvation.
As they devoured the potatoes while huddling together for warmth, Gin resolved never to let them go hungry again.
The first sight of the brown-haired lieutenant with the deep brown eyes had transfixed the slender and young Gin.
Now that they had regular meals, Gin and Ran were as contented as they had ever known.
They wished they could stay in the same dormitory so that they could talk into the wee hours of the morning like they used to, but the dorm wardens were strict about letting boys into girls' rooms.
He realized that he heard many rumors about Ran that he never wanted to hear repeated again.
"Aizen Sousuke," Gin repeated, feeling the syllables slide over his tongue.
Gin and Ran's first time together in bed wouldn't have been a challenge for Gin except he had to pretend to be clumsy and inexperienced.
When he saw the lieutenant idly tearing off a solitary bloom and crushing it beneath his heel, Gin knew Aizen was not who he seemed to be.
It made Gin feel better about what he was going to do whenever Ran clung to him after her climax, silently weeping.
After he had waylaid the lieutenant, Gin could have sworn he could still feel the warm hand pressed around his neck and sliding to his abdomen.
Gin wished could find a flaw in that carefully constructed facade, but Aizen had been doing this for far too long.
He had been surprised to find himself crying after the first night with Aizen, because he honestly hadn't expected the lieutenant to be that careful with him.
While Gin normally liked to take things slow, he realized it took him only a few months to find his way into Aizen's bed.
The cold breeze that swept through the corridors of the fifth reminded Gin the importance of warm arms about him.
Somehow he never asked what Aizen thought of his involvement with Ran and the others.
When he finally wedded Ran, he knew better than to promise her anything related to the future.
By the time Gin saw what Aizen could and would do when he was jealous, it was far too late.
Every now and then, Gin would remember what it was like feeling satin-soft skin and thick strawberry-blond hair, but he would never let Aizen know.
However, the first time Aizen prepared a feast for Gin, the silver-haired shinigami realized he had made the right gastronomic choice in following the captain.
After a while Gin stopped questioning whether his decision was right and just followed Aizen with all his heart, mind, soul and strength.
Although Gin was sent to Fegefeuer for ten years he knew he would return, whatever or whoever he met over there.
The red trailing down his arm reminded the dark red sheets of Aizen's bed in his private rooms, and there would be the sweet pain of homesickness inside.
Even though Bauer nursed him well through the seasonal flu, all Gin could think of were the warm hands, the soothing kisses and the delicious soups Aizen would make.
Sometimes, when he knew no one was in hearing range, Gin would hum Moonlight Sonata to himself.
The fact that he was welcomed and well-liked by the Fegefeuer Reapers made no difference to his desire to return home to adore his captain again.
The old key was on a chain around his neck before he stepped into the portal, and he bet himself that Aizen wouldn't even know until Gin found him.
For a decade he hadn't seen her, but the surprise and shock in Ran's eyes remained the same the next day when they met in the mess hall.
It had been too long since he took a blade to another soul's throat, and his hands shook for hours afterwards.
He couldn't hear Aizen's words over the din of the storm, but eventually he stopped screaming about the blood and death and ended up sobbing into a warm embrace.
They had outgrown the toys for each other, but since the items were still around Gin thought they shouldn't be wasted.
Gin thanked the gods he hadn't been bought and sold like these few youths were, and he prided himself on finding the best out of the range.
It never ceased to amaze him what humans could come up with to prolong the pleasure of sex.
Gin would save up strenuously for each of Aizen's birthdays, but as always the captain's presents would be more thoughtful and more special.
As the grin became more pronounced Aizen told Gin to stop scaring the new recruits with his inscrutable expression.
Gin would then protest that there was nothing evil behind that smile.
Once the workday was ended, Aizen and Gin would spend half an hour just sitting together, in a loose embrace, and not talking at all.
Aizen would watch the skies for shapes and patterns, and Gin would watch the play of light across Aizen's features.
When they finally claimed Las Noches, Gin complained that it was too dull and dark with the perpetual night.
The central hall was thus given a facelift and both Aizen and Gin loved the faux sunny day.
For some of their arrancar minions, the brilliant light was a hated and desired reminder of how much they had lost.
Gin was given the task of placing the light source, and he took weeks before deciding on the center "to give noonlight".
What Gin couldn't figure out was why the real sky outside always featured a sickle.
When the three shinigami removed themselves to Las Noches, Gin decided that the repercussions of their actions would last centuries more.
Aizen kissed him on the top of his head the next morning, before complaining that Gin hadn't yet shampooed.
Gin had to look away and shield when Aizen released the final form of Kyoka Suigetsu, relishing the fact that while he was not yet ready for that surge of power, he belonged to the man who wielded all of it.