Phantoms Of the Dead

Matsumoto-fuiteicho was there when she woke up screaming from the nightmare. Normally she would be happy to see the other vice-captain there with her, but not now, not when it was so close on everything else. Hinamori hugged her knees as she sat up a little, holding onto the letter Aizen-teicho had given her yet as tightly as she could, the way that she would until Shiro-chan turned it over for evidence.

Shiro-chan. That was the one person she did not want to see her like this right now. She did not know how she felt about her best friend right now. Not after nearly killing him for what he had done to Aizen-teicho. If he had. Which he had to have according to the note, but nothing with any of what had happened in the past few days was anything like either Hitsugaya-kun or Aizen-teicho would have ever dreamed of doing either.

In her dream Aizen had been alive yet, humming softly as he worked at writing while he talked to her, reassuring her in the way he had the night before he died. Writing the letter that she still clutched to her, wrinkled from how many times that she had read it out loud. She could still hear his voice speaking to her when she read the words out loud to herself. Then suddenly, it was a nightmare, and she was seeing his face not as the beautiful kind captain she knew, but a corpse pinned to a wall, bloodied beyond recognition.

Matsumoto hugged her and she clung to the other woman singing softly as she began to sing the song before dissolving into tears. She turned back for moment at the sound of Hitsugaya opening the door to the room to check in on her before turning back to Matsumoto. She didn't have to turn again to know that he had nodded to Matsumoto before he left or to feel her nod back.

After all, she was his vice-captain's the way she had been Aizen-teicho's. The way that they both still were in their own way. And Matsumoto was willing to die in order to protect her captain. That she had no doubt of.

She knew then that she would do it, that she would follow her captain's last request and find his murderer, whether it really was Shiro-chan or not.

Resolved, she finally cried herself to sleep, welcoming the darkness. The cold light of day and her search would come too soon.

A/N: My apologies if this fic seems weird. This is what happens when you think and drive. For some reason, when I was listening to the song Phantom of the Opera, I just saw it fitting Hinamori and Aizen so perfectly lyricwise that I couldn't resist. So I guess this is a quasi song fic. I obviously own either Bleach or Phantom of The Opera, but I did include the lyrics below so that this story makes more sense. Lyrics are from a search of umpteen million online search engines to double check lyrics between movie and musical and back and making sure that I didn't accidentally mangle it.

In sleep he sang to me
In dreams he came
That voice that calls to me and speaks my name
And do I dream again for now I find
The Phantom of the Opera is there
Inside my mind
Sing once again with me
Our strange duet
My power over you grows stronger yet
And though you turn from me to glance behind
The Phantom of the Opera is there
Inside your mind
Those who have seen your face
Draw back in fear
I am the mask you wear
It's me they hear...
Your spirit and my voice in one combined
The Phantom of the Opera is there
Inside my mind
He's there, the phantom of the opera!
He's there, the phantom of the opera
Sing, my Angel of Music
Sing, my Angel
Sing for me
Sing, my Angel!
Sing for me!