The first time I saw Aizen Sosuke was on the day that I graduated from the shinigami academy at the top of my class. He looked kind enough, a bit of a pushover but then again he was a captain so maybe I was wrong. He was in the fifth division. He had taught a few of the art classes such as calligraphy that I hadn't felt the need to take. Voluntarily, as befitted such a nice looking person. Nice was the only way to describe the way he looked. Kind eyes, soft brown hair, smooth skin and a smile that just screamed "confide in me".
He didn't really make an impression on me except for the fact that he was my future captain. Forgettable features are the poor man's curse. Not that he looked poor of course, the fact was that he hadn't come from a noble family-instead from a pair of merchants who lived somewhere in the outskirts of Seireitei's non-shinigami districts.
I'd been placed in his division for a decade long internship. Many of my peers thought that I was the luckiest person in our year. I had a guaranteed place that would get the higher ups noticing me and I had a chance to ingratiate myself with one of the nicest-there was that word again-captains in the gotei thirteen. I didn't care, though. The position I wanted had been refused on the grounds that it was wasting my talent. Mizuki sighed, I had so wanted to work my way up from the bottom of the eleventh division. Fighting to make people recognise me but no, I was being favoured because I'm the daughter of an ex-captain. Nobody had ever told me who.
Don't be so negative. It's not like the vice isn't decent enough eye candy for you to get through the next ten years. I laughed at my zanpakuto's comment. So she thought he was nice too.
Quiet, Surudoi Kyujo. I'm trying to concentrate on the boring speeches. I heard the woman inside my sword laugh. I could even see where Kyujo was in her own little realm-extreme black or extreme white, I was never quiet sure which my zanpakuto's habitat was but I knew that it was deadly. The only thing that mattered when I was there were my senses-excluding my sight. I didn't know why, yet. Shikai was as of yet out of my reach. Funny, since every other graduate had long since fought their swords and gained their first release yet I was top of the grade. At least I could speak to her. We were close enough to reach that at least.
"And now the shinigami who scored highest on the exiting exams will address the assembly." I froze. They hadn't told me about making a speech. Sure maybe Kyoraku-san had mentioned it when he congratulated me but…oh, oops.
Now you're screwed. Guess they didn't think to inform you that you'd need to do this, huh? Surudoi Kyujo grinned. I was always getting into situations like this. Guess that's what comes from being a forgetful genius.
Shut it, idiot. I need to write a speech in the half a minute it takes for me to get from here to the stage. Normally I didn't snap at my sword-today was just a bad day-the first of a decade's worth as I saw it.
"Please welcome Watanabe Mizuki."
Crap. There was polite applause as I stepped to the podium. Nice, really. Most of them only knew me by reputation so I thought that I could keep this short and sweet.
"First of all, I would like to say that it is an honour to be your representative on the most important day of our lives so far." Ok, ingratiate my self by making it seem like I'm one of them. Then let them feel above me. Done. Not in the right order, though. Oops.
"Today marks an important date in Soul Society," Get them interested in what I'm saying. Oh look, some of the captains want to know what this "important date is".
"because today is the day that the finest shinigami ever trained in this extraordinary academy." Sucking up to Yamamoto-done and done. Sucking up to the students in front of me-easy as pie.
"We are the strongest, the fastest, the smartest and the most courageous warriors that the Shinigami Academy has ever produced. Present company excluded of course." A dutiful chuckle rippled through the crowd as I bowed towards the captains present. Great, I even got a joke in there. Brownie points for getting in the captain's good graces.
"Speaking of whom, take a good look at them, my friends. These are the captain's of the gotei thirteen and are the best shinigami in their respective areas. We can still learn a lot from them even if we have graduated from the academy. These people are many years our senior and have enough experience and knowledge to put us to shame yet enough common sense and kindness to share it with us so that we can become the best that we can be." I paused, letting the words sink in. A few of the captains were unobtrusively preening themselves. Kyoraku Shunsui of the 8th division being the most obvious. Now I have to leave a few sage words and get the hell out of here.
"Do not let yourselves get cocky because you are now full-fledged shinigami. Remember that anyone you meet who wears the sign of the gotei thirteen is older and more experienced than you. Learn from them, teach those younger than you and respect those who teach you. Never stop learning. Even when you become the most glorious generation of shinigami Soul Society had ever seen remember these days when you were still but a child in the eyes of much older and more experienced shinigami such as those sitting before you." I smiled and inwardly cheered at the awe-filled faces that stared up at me. I was now officially a god in their eyes.
Finish it before you get into deep trouble Mizuki. I don't want you to use my first release the day that "is the most important in our lives so far." I frowned inwardly. I had to get off this lecturn and soon. Words were welling up inside me that I was pretty sure none present would like to hear.
"To those who say we are young and incapable I say that it is not age that proves us but ability. To those who say we are untested I say test us yourselves and see what we can do and to those of you who stand in the assembly in front of me and have proven themselves in our own battles for the past six years I say let's show Soul Society what we've got!" I ended on a high note, letting the imaginations of my audience carry themselves away with fantasies of becoming the youngest captain of the gotei thirteen and proving themselves to all of Soul Society.
Best impromptu speech I've ever heard. Mediocre for a speech that was meant to have been written over the past few weeks. Kyujo stated.
Shut it, it didn't have to be ground-breaking. It just had to make everyone here feel good about themselves. Personally I thought it had gone quite well for a graduation speech. Captain Aizen obviously thought so as he took the stage.
"I'm not quite sure how I can follow such an inspiring speech with what I've written here." He smiled, making most of the female population in the hall squeal. He had a large fanbase in the academy and he was obviously embarrassed by it.
"But I know that you'll forgive me, kind as you all are." Another smile made all but three females in the hall sigh. Unohana Retsu, Soifon and myself remained impartial to the man's charms, good-looking as he may be. The first two because they worked with him and the third because I wasn't watching-and because sighing over the man I would be interning for was just plain silly in my book. He had a nice smile though. I'd give him that. Aizen continued in this fashion, complimenting the students and occasionally giving them some advice before relinquishing the stand so that Yamamoto Genryusai could finish the ceremony. I dutifully threw up my graduation hat with the rest of them, making sure to not throw it too high-that would be embarrassing.
The insides of the fifth division barracks were remarkably well kept. I'd heard horror stories from my friends in the eleventh division about both sexes sharing one bathroom for the whole division and broken down walls but I supposed that was to be expected in a place where approximately 5% of the people who lived there knew how to wash dishes and even less could be bothered to. The inside of the place was clean and homely. It was nice. I was getting tired of the niceness surrounding Aizen already. Why couldn't there at least be some sort of interesting thing about the man? He was just too ordinary. Too boring. Too nice.
I plastered a smile on face as I pushed open the doors to his office. Such a shame no-one was in there to see it. I frowned when I saw the quiet state of the place. Neither the captain nor his lieutenant were present and I had been told to report to at least one of them here at six-thirty sharp. My lip curled into a sneer. I had no respect for people who didn't do what they expected their subordinates to do. Forget being a pushover-Aizen was worse, he was a slacker. I hated slackers.
After waiting by the door for five minutes I sat on the ground and started to meditate. Since kidou and hand to hand combat had been my favourite lessons in the academy I decided to do warm ups for them first. I chose kidou to start then closed my eyes and reached for my reiatsu. I focused on my palm, pushing my power against it before it broke through the shell of my body and covered it. Instead of the usual exercises I went through I opted for something different and covered my entire body with glowing purple reaitsu-the colour matched my unusual eyes. I had been told it was a result of my parents' unique natures. The colourful energy covered my light brown skin and black hair, continuing on until I was sitting in a semi-sphere of power. Stretching, I pushed myself up until I was in the middle of a full on sphere, floating about half a metre off the ground in the lotus position.
I had just reached this state when my captain walked in. I had felt some powerful reiatsu approaching but I'd ignored it, hoping the owners would walk straight past. I looked at the clock on the wall. Seven-fifteen. He was incredibly late. Quietly I let myself down to my full height of 5 feet and four inches, landing on both feet with what most people described as cat-like grace. I think they called me a cat behind my back. It was annoying.
"Good morning Captain Aizen. My name is Watanabe Mizuki and I'll be interning for your division. Please excuse my rudeness for using kidou in your office without your permission." I bowed my head, sneaking a look at the man in front of me as I did. He didn't seem annoyed, simply surprised.
"Good morning Watanabe-san. Please forgive me for being late-I thought I had told Kyoraku to tell you to meet me at seven thirty but obviously it slipped my mind. Don't worry about using the kidou-I would have done the same in your position. Feel free to do so again if I'm late." I laughed silently at the captain's reason for being late. It sounded like something I would do.
"As you can probably tell, I'm incredibly forgetful." I held down a snicker at his sheepish face. "So I need someone to make sure I do everything I needs to do. Kind of like a secretary. Your job is to make sure that I get my paperwork in on time as well as escort me to meetings so that I don't' forget them." The job sounded easy enough but looking at his dreamy expression I realised that this was a man who would most likely fall asleep standing up if he wasn't reminded not to. I sighed, it looked like it was going to be a long decade.
"Okay. What do I need to do today then, captain?" The smiling man shook his head.
"Call me Aizen. Using captain makes me feel old." He changed his mind at the horrified look on my face. "Or Aizen-sama if it makes you feel any better. No, that still makes me feel old." I smiled, trying to feel as relaxed as he looked.
"What about Aizen-dono?" he compromised.
"I'll try, Aizen-dono." I thanked the lords that he didn't ask me to call him something inappropriate like Sousuke. I would have died.
"I'll give you my schedule for the next few weeks so that you can get used to how much I do and then we'll leave at eight to go and give in our reports to the ninth division." I looked up from trying to figure out whether the desk next to his was mine or his lieutenants when to ask a question.
"Our reports, sir?" I put emphasis on the our.
"Oh yes, you'll need to report on the hell butterflies." He continued after a blank look from me. "Which ones are here, which ones are gone. Who's been overusing them, which caterpillars are nearly ready to hatch, whether or not there's enough for frivolous messages this week or only small ones, when-" I cut him off with a small wave of my hand. I got the picture.
"When do you need this report by?" I shook my head, trying to get the information straight.
"Oh, didn't I tell you? You need to have it done by eight." I stared. This man was insane. He couldn't even remember important things like this but he could take enough time out of his schedule-which I still had to look over in the next half an hour-to give calligraphy classes. I would have glared if he hadn't been so clueless.
"Okay, may I please have your schedule now? Also, how do I get to the hell butterflies?" I smiled my best smile. No use in getting mad at the man. He wouldn't understand.
"I seem to have misplaced it…I'll find it for you later, I'm sure. As for the butterflies, you'll have to call them to you. They'll each give you a report on their work and the caterpillars in their area. It shouldn't take long." I repressed the urge to repeatedly hit my head against the desk. I will not throttle him, I will not throttle him. He can't help it.
"I'll see what I can do, captain." I turned on my heel and walked over to the temporary desk that had been set up for me. Strange, there didn't seem to be one.
"May I use the vice-captain's desk?" I asked. He nodded and then I looked at the desk more closely. It was definitely temporary.
"How long has your vice-captain worked for you, Aizen-dono?" He thought for a moment then answered.
"Nearly ten years, why?" I almost fell over.
"Then why doesn't he have a proper desk." I slapped myself mentally. That was rude of me to ask. Maybe it was to do with budget issues.
"I always seem to forget." Aizen said as he drifted past. I groaned, sat in a corner and called the hell butterflies to me. They sat on my arms and told me what I needed to know. I filled in the necessary paperwork and was just about to sign off when a diary dropped down beside me. I looked up into Aizen-dono's face and smiled when I realised it was Aizen's schedule. I stopped smiling when I read it.
"Is this schedule accurate captain?" I groaned when he nodded. "You were meant to be in a meeting ten minutes ago. Here, give me your paperwork and I'll drop it off at the ninth division. The meeting is at the eighth division so I'll walk you there." He looked up, blinking. Then seemed to remember the meeting and stood up, passing me his paperwork in the process. I signed mine, then walked behind him, making a face at the third seat's snickering. Obviously it had been him who had thought up this position.
I dropped him off at the meeting, making apologies to the captains there. They smiled knowingly-Soifon and Mayuri scowled-as I made up an excuse for him. It was pretty good if you take into account I'd only had two minutes as we'd shunpoed there to think it up. When I arrived at the ninth division and got weird looks as I told Vice-captain Hisagi why I was there I mentally decapitated my superior. The bastard got the times mixed up! I'm not meant to be here for an hour yet.
Third seat Hisagi looked at the papers I'd given him. The ones that I'd filled out were fine but the ones that Aizen had given me were the wrong ones. I stifled a curse before taking back the papers, saying goodbye and then shunpoing myself back to the division. I found the right papers but surprise surprise they hadn't been filled in so I spent the best part of fifty minutes filling in paperwork that my captain should have done over an hour ago. When I got back to the ninth division I was offered coffee that I gratefully took. Hisagi gave his apologies to me.
"Why?" it hadn't been his fault that I'd been forced into working for the most annoying captain in the gotei thirteen.
"Because now I need you to go and get the papers you had before and give them to Kuchiki Byakuya. Actually, you were due there five minutes ago." Horror was written on my face. The most uptight vice-captain in the gotei thirteen was expecting me and I was late? Not to mention that I would be at least another ten minutes to get to the office and then to his division. I was screwed.
It was only as I passed the eighth division that I remembered I'd left my captain there. I picked him up and then dropped him off at our office, getting the forms I needed on the way. Because of picking up Aizen I was now twenty minutes late. Needless to say a very pissed off vice-captain was awaiting me when I arrived.
"You're late." I cringed. His voice was even more emotionless then usual.
"I'm very sorry vice-captain Kuchiki. It will not happen again." I crossed my fingers as I passed him the forms.
"You're right-it won't. You are dismissed." I scuttled off, cheeks burning.
When I reached my division again it was time for lunch. I was sent out to collect lunch for me and Aizen-dono. I'd already looked in the past records to find out that my captain had a thing for tofu. I grabbed an egg and lettuce sandwich-an old favourite of mine. I was rewarded with a smile as he got his favourite meals and an unexpected disgusted look at my sandwich from Aizen when he saw the boiled egg. My reaction had been the same when I'd bought the tofu-horrible stuff.
We stayed on opposite sides of the room as we ate then I checked his schedule again.
"Excuse me Aizen-dono." He looked up at me from putting his rubbish in the bin. I made a note to empty it later before continuing with what I had been saying.
"Captain Kuchiki has a meeting with you in twenty minutes in this office. It says here it's about the paperwork given to his vice-captain today." Aizen suddenly had a panicked look on his face. I reassured him immediately.
"Don't worry, sir. I delivered the paperwork just before I got lunch." I explained when I got a blank look.
"Ah, it seems my trust in you was well-placed Watanabe-san." I smiled, at least he knew how much trouble he was.
"Call me Mizuki, please. If we're going to work this closely it's easier to leave off the honorific and Watanabe is just too much of a mouthful." Aizen smiled at me gratefully-he'd been having trouble saying my full name all the time.
"Anyway, I was told by Hisagi-san that captains and vice-captains drink all sorts of things when they have meetings. As well as eat the weirdest biscuits. What do you prefer, sir?" he looked at me weirdly, obviously not having expected me to know that.
"I drink white tea as does Captain Kuchiki. I have two sugars with mine but he doesn't. Or at least I think he doesn't…maybe he doesn't even like tea." I rolled my eyes at his forgetfulness. Inwardly of course-no way would I roll me eyes at a captain, even one as nice as him.
"And to eat?"
"Muffins are fine with me. What about you, Mizuki?" I started, not expecting the question.
"I didn't know I was to participate in the meeting." He smiled and nodded his head.
"I need you to take notes for me. Kuchiki's handwriting is terrible." I snorted at this. Compared to his practiced strokes anyone's handwriting would suffer. "And I take too long to write." Of course he would. Calligraphy takes a long time.
"Fine, then I'll grab a hot chocolate-if that's not too unprofessional." He smiled again.
"I've taken meetings with Zaraki in which his lieutenant sat on my knee and played with my glasses while being thrown candy. I think hot chocolate will be fine." He laughed at the memory and I giggled at the image of the little pink girl catching candies in her mouth while her father figure tried to hold a serious meeting.
"Okay, anything else? What does Captain Kuchiki like to eat?" A warm voice cut in before Aizen-dono could reply with something vague like 'you know, I'm not quite sure'.
"Are muffins available?" I turned around and saw an older version of Kuchiki Byakuya.
"I was just about to get us some, sir. Do you prefer any particular flavour?" The man shook his head before greeting my superior.
"How goes it, Aizen?" Obviously they were on good terms.
"Well, well. What would you like to drink, Kuchiki?" at least he remembered to ask.
"I'll have a black coffee with three sugars." Nothing like what Aizen-dono had told me but then again, nothing really was like he told me. I smiled then walked out to get the refreshments. I could hear them talking as I walked back in.
"So how's the newbie holding up? She seemed to be everywhere this morning." Kuchiki's voice was curious, obviously most of Seireitei was curious about me.
"Better than I could have hoped for. I made it to the meeting this morning and all my paperwork was put in on time. She'll do well. Thank god for interns is all I can say." They both chuckled and smiled. I saw the last part when I walked in with the food and drinks balanced on a tray in one hand and copies of the paperwork for Aizen-dono in the other.
"She's good, I'll give her that." I blushed, compliments always do that to me.
"The tea with the sugar is in this cup, without in this one and I got two types of muffins-blueberry and vanilla swirl." Kuchiki took the blueberry, and Aizen-dono took the vanilla. I grabbed the smallest blueberry muffin that I could see and took it over to my corner. It was then that I noticed there wasn't a spare chair for the visiting captain or a table for them to put their drinks on. None of them seemed phased but I'd be damned if I let a visiting captain think bad of my division.
"Please do not start the meeting yet, Captain Aizen. I'll be back in a minute with a chair for Captain Kuchiki and a table for the drinks." They fixed me with an amused expression-they had been talking amiably so far and weren't looking like they'd start it anytime soon but I wanted to be sure.
I disappeared into the corridor then reappeared with the most comfortable chair I'd been able to find in storage and an unranked shinigami who was carrying a serviceable coffee table. We put them down then the other shinigami left, sneaking a glance at the higher ups as he did so. Satisfied with the furniture I sat back into the corner, not enjoying the stifled laughter of the two captains.
"What about yourself, Mizuki? Do you want a chair?" I shook my head, even as he stood up and went into his study, returning with an incredibly comfortable armchair. It was big and looked perfect for curling up in. He placed it in the corner where I'd been sitting and placed a notebook on top of it.
"I was going to say that I'm fine but thank you for bringing it in here." Then something clicked.
"Captain Aizen…" he turned to me, indicating that I should continue.
"You don't by any chance have another chair and a table in there do you?" sheepishly he nodded his head. I sighed. My forgetful captain was annoying without realising it. "Don't worry, let's start the meeting. You have a lesson at the academy at two so you have an hour and a half to finish up here and then get to the academy. Sound good, or would you like me to cancel it?" He looked surprised that I knew this and Kuchiki was nodding his head approvingly.
"No no, we'll finish this soon. Now let's get started. How are you going to get people to stop using our hell butterflies for unimportant messages that they could deliver themselves?" the meeting-a very long and boring one that basically came down to the fact that we didn't have enough butterflies to be used for stupid messages that lazy shinigami couldn't be bothered to send themselves. Kuchiki was the captain of the division that disciplined the shinigami and he didn't have an answer other then to stop the unranked shinigami from using them, which went against the code. They spoke for nearly two hours without coming up with an answer.
"Why don't you limit the amount of use that they're allowed? If they can only use the butterflies twice or three times a day then even if they do use them for silly things then they'll need to get up after the first few times so that they get the message across otherwise they won't be delivered." They gaped at me then looked at each other and agreed on the course of action. Just before Captain Kuchiki left I passed him the last blueberry muffin and gave him a copy of the notes I'd taken down for Aizen.
"Thank you, Mizuki." I'd asked him to call me by my first name after the first half an hour. It was too much trouble otherwise. He turned to Aizen, a smile on his face. "She's a keeper, Aizen. Smart, beautiful and best of all willing to give up the last muffin." They laughed as I blushed again.
"Out, shameless captain. I have to get my captain to a lesson for which he is late." I'd learnt in the last two hours that he was a kind man, happy to take cheek from anyone who was smart enough to not take it too far. I liked him well enough to risk it, knowing that the awe accorded to the captains was annoying to most of them after a while. They were people too and as long as I kept respect in my countenance I was free to act friendly towards them. He laughed and kept on walking out the door. Aizen turned to me and sighed as I picked up some files and then ushered him out the door.
We arrived at five to three. Just before we walked into the classroom he looked around, eyes narrowing.
"What time did you say the lesson started?" I put on my most innocent look before answering.
"At quarter to three." He raised his eyebrows.
"I could have sworn you said two." So maybe he wasn't a pushover. He was scary when he was angry, even if he hid it well under a smile.
"Must have misheard me. I mumble sometimes…oh come on, you know you wouldn't have gotten here on time if I hadn't told you it was at two." He nodded grudgingly, walking in to surprised students.
"Good afternoon, my students. Today we'll be working on…uh…" he'd obviously forgotten the lesson material. Good thing I was prepared enough to grab them from under a pile of old notes and take them with me. I passed them to him and he smiled, causing hearts around the world to thump wildly.
"Thank you, Mizuki. By the way everyone, this is Watanabe Mizuki. She's my new assistant." The class looked at me curiously. They'd obviously heard about me from the students allowed to go to the graduation ceremony a few days ago.
"So she's the reason that you're on time today." A cheeky voice rang out from the back. It belonged to a small girl with pink hair. Some kids have the weirdest ideas. Then I realised it was vice-captain Kusajishi. She took the classes after finding out that candy was handed out to people whose work Aizen deemed legible.
"Is it so hard to believe that I can get here on my own?" Nod's all round made him sigh. He moved to the lecturn as he started to teach the lesson. I sat down, the next two hours I could go over his schedule and write one of my own.
"Mizuki, please pay attention. I wish for you to learn this skill." I glared. So that was the way he would play it. I put on my biggest smile as I walked past him into a seat.
"Of course, Captain." The next part I whispered. "I'm sure that once I've got calligraphy down I can do all your paperwork for you like I did this morning." He frowned at me, just enough that I could see but no-one else seemed to notice it.
Oh yes, the next decade was going to be fun.
So, what do you guys think? This is a light start to what I'm pretty sure is going to turn into a horribly dark story. Yes, Aizen isn't too forgetful in the manga but this is more than two hundred years or so ago and I reckon it's something he would do to make himself more likeable. If want to know what's going to happen look down. Tell me if it's worth continuing.
Spoiler here-Mizuki will find out about Aizen's true nature, eventually fall in love with who he really is and when he finds out he's going to use her in exchange for keeping her by his side. She knows this and will do increasingly horrible things for him-killing, blackmailing etc.-so that she can be with him. He will slowly realize her true worth-she's smart, strong and completely devoted-and start to feel something for her. It won't be love since he's twisted but it will be close to it. She'll gain unexpected allies and make enemies but mostly this story is going to be about her changing herself-and her struggle as she does-for the person that she loves. She will become quite dark and ruthless but the story will retain a little bit of innocence.