Hello again, guys! I've been doing a ton of Bleach work lately, and I can definitely see more on the way. I'm really getting into Gin's character, trying to work it out and figure out all the nuances. So please let me know what you think!

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Warnings: Anal, violence.

"The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."

"The Second Coming", William Butler Yeats.

"Well, ain't that just terrible!"

Izuru Kira stood at attention, reserving his questions for his captain's explanation. Gin finished with the document presently delivered by the blond, and laid it flat against his desk.

"Apparently there's some kinda hollow hangin' around Rukongai, eatin' folks up."

"What district, Ichimaru-taichou?" the blond raised his eyebrows and leaned slightly toward his captain, immediately assuming full interest in the mission.

Gin scanned the paper again.

"Seventy-six," he answered, "not a real classy place. Ain't where I'd wanna eat if I were a hollow."

A brief silence followed during which Gin again inspected the document, acquainting himself with every detail.

"Guess we'd better get movin' then."

He slid from around his desk with an inhuman grace, brushing past Kira with a friendly nonchalance, perhaps humming under his breath. The blond spun on his heels and stumbled after him, his fingers catching the doorway as he peered after Ichimaru, already halfway down the corridor.

"N-now, Ichimaru-taichou?"

He turned to regard him.

"Now's as good a time as any, Izuru."

The blond paused and gaped, searching for words that would express his apprehension without suggesting a contradiction.

"But, but, shouldn't we - take along back-up?"

Gin cocked his head to the side and considered the idea; clearly it had not come to him intuitively. It was that ingrained confidence - fully earned and entirely justifiable - that drew the blond to him in a way he could not fully explain.

"If ya feel like you're gonna need it, go ahead and see if ya can round any of 'em up. But let's move on out now."

Kira whipped his head from side to side, peering into the offices scattered throughout the hall as he sprinted behind his captain. As per usual, the members of the third division were scarce - they would rather spend their time drinking and shirking paperwork than even creating an illusion of working.

Gulping, Kira caught up with Gin, speeding his walk to move a pace behind him. The captain glanced over his shoulder and appraised Kira as though he had not known he was being followed, and then a small frown turned his lips.

"Nobody wants to come along?"

"They aren't in their offices, Ichimaru-taichou."

"Ah, how terrible! Some friends ya got, Izuru!"

They moved into the light of the late afternoon, the large doors of their office complex slowly sliding shut behind them. He strode down the central thoroughfare, heading towards one of the central routes to Rukongai. Kira was certain he heard light humming as he followed behind. As they passed by the numerous buildings of sereitei, he caught up a bit closer to inquire over Gin's transportation of choice.

"Ichimaru-taichou, should we not try to arrive sooner?"

"Figured I'd take the scenic route, Izuru. Whatcha in a hurry for?"

"It's only that - well, if it's attacking people -"

"Well, we'll just hafta make it real sorry."

Kira imagined there was no one in sereitei who would be a better choice to make someone - or some thing - sorry for existing. Ichimaru Gin was graceless in his fighting, though Kira had come to find a certain aesthetic in it. When he undertook destruction, there was no reason to it, only a senseless and sudden thrashing, flash of blade, wild grin, sometimes laughing. It was as if for a brief moment, whatever that smile kept hidden was entirely unleashed, and then concealed just as promptly.

As they reached the mouth of the peripheral route to Rukongai, Gin suddenly halted, and for a moment Kira could not peer over his shoulder. When he moved alongside him, the object of his stop became clear: Sosuke Aizen.

"Ah, good evening, Ichimaru-taichou," he smiled politely and regarded Kira as well, "and to you as well, Kira-fukutaichoi."

"Evenin' already?" Gin glanced upward as though appraising the sky.

"I suppose I was hasty," Aizen agreed, "So then. Good afternoon."

"Afternoon, huh? You think that's it?"

Aizen chuckled good-naturedly at what Kira could only assume was friendly ribbing.

"I'm sure of it. Well then. Where are the two of you off to?"

"Rukongai seventy-six. Some kinda hollow muchin' on people."

"Ah, most upsetting. I wish you two the best of luck."

"Luck's for gamblin'," Gin grinned, "we got talent here."

Again the soft laughter followed, and Aizen glanced down their chosen road.

"Do let us know how it goes." A gentle reminder, Kira supposed, to put the mission report in. In reality Gin only ever signed and stamped them; he himself was responsible for their composition.

"Gotcha," Gin agreed, "so I'll see you later!"

"Of course," Aizen offered a broad wave, "until we meet again!"

"Good-bye, Aizen-taichou!"

And again Kira was sprinting behind Gin, struggling to catch up with his walking pace due to those impossibly long legs, and a certain jerky energy in the man that had a tendency to make all his actions speedy and erratic.

Kira began to think Aizen's idea of the time had been more appropriate. The sun was richer in color and moved dangerously close to the horizon; the last thing he wanted was to be fighting at night.

"Ichimaru-Taichou - not to be repetitive, but - it is getting rather late."

"Naa, Izuru, you're just dyin' to flash step. What's the hurry? Besides, you ain't in the condition to make it that far just yet. You'd be real winded! Don't want you bent over pantin' by the time we get there."

Kira blushed darkly and found his throat too tight to speak at the mere thought of being bent over and panting in the presence of Ichimaru Gin - an idea he had admittedly given a good deal of thought to. When he regained his composure, he explained his concern.

"I just - I'm a little less sure of myself on night-time missions," he said weakly.

"Well, dontcha worry. I'm gonna be there, so I figure it'll turn out alright. You just get my back and we'll see where that puts us."

Something about his statement reassured Kira enough to assuage his worry, and he followed all the closer.

But of course his estimations had been correct. By the time they arrived on the borders of the seventy-sixth district, Kira was terribly unsettled by the deepening blackness of the evening and the general setting of the slums. The trees that had lined the majority of their walk had been far more appealing.

On the main street of the district, Gin began to deliberately seek the hollow, peeking down alleyways and listening for screams or disturbances in the night. Aside from the boisterous shouting and murmuring leaking from the pubs and taverns, Kira heard nothing unusual - but suddenly, Gin stilled.

"Ichimaru-taichou?" Kira whispered moving to stand beside him.

"Hear breathin'."


"Ain't a person."

And then, as though materializing upon introduction, the hollow emerged from a darkened alley, bloodstained and furious, panting with the thrill of his murder. The creature was grotesque, somewhere between a scaled boar and a bulbous lizard, its eyes stationed bizarrely on either side of its head, its mouth gaping and lined with jagged and sharp teeth.

"Hey, Izuru, I'd suggest you give me a pretty good gap," Gin suggested, drawing out his sword.

The blond stumbled back, afraid to turn, and continued to retreat until he had provided enough of a distance to lose the sound of Gin's voice. He watched, however, grasping his own weapon between slightly sweating palms. His breath came in harsh, quick gasps, catching now and again in his throat as he kept close watch on the combat.

It began normally enough - Gin managed to dodge claw and tooth as he easily eliminated one of the creatures limbs, avoiding the bloody thing as it fell. Just as Kira began to wonder how such a bumbling, lumbering beast had managed such a death toll, he saw Gin avoid a drop of the hollow's blood, and purposefully leap over the detached limb. Something about the blood - Gin flashed behind the creature, seeking a sudden strike, but it turned on him surprisingly quickly, and vomited a span of acidic poison that spilled so far down the street that it flooded the gutters.

Kira nearly screamed. Nowhere in his field of vision could he find his captain; he wondered briefly if any acid could simply dissolve a person - he thought it might have, and he stumbled back again, almost losing his footing as the hollow rapidly advanced on him.

Oh, he wanted to call out for him, if not for defense then for reassurance, he thought if he could hear one note of that light and facetious tone he could make it, he could find the fortitude.

But there was no sound. His blood pounded in his ears and he raised his sword and mustered all the reiatsu he could control and direct. Glancing wildly about for any hint of Gin, he prepared to fend the thing off, whimpering deep in his throat as it drew close enough to spill its blood nearby. He managed to doge the splashes of acid, releasing his zanpakuto and catching another strange limb in the crook of it, jerking backward as it fell.

Yet he had not sensed the well-directed talon that had come dangerously close to him; the second swipe tore across his chest, slicing the skin from shoulder to rib. A scream tore from him and he swung again, despite the desperate ache spreading through him. A cold terror spread through his body and he wondered if an artery had been severed, the tear so close to his heart.

It moved closer.

He panted and raised his sword again, weaker this time, losing strength quickly.

But then there was a flash like lightning in the night, a strange and angled brightness that impaled the beast through the skull, again through its neck, again and again like needles through a doll, effortless, startlingly rapid in succession.

Gin must have - and he glanced up just enough to see him - taken the rooftops, and they were uneven and jagged, and Kira thought perhaps much less time had passed than he had estimated...

Then there was blackness.

Maybe it had been hours, and maybe it had been days. Kira found he had lost all sense of time in his muddled mind; the only thing that was clear or apparent to him was the bone-deep ache spreading from his shoulder and into his chest and abdomen, threatening every breath, straining every heartbeat. After a few impossibly long moments, he managed to open his eyes ever so slightly, finding his location pleasantly dark and cool.

There were pale lines of moonlight stretching across hardwood floor, wan and thin. In their illumination, Kira made out a blurry figure; as his vision came into focus, there was Gin, seated on the floor, knees drawn up, elbow balanced on one of them as he gazed silently ahead. There was no smile, only a flat and contemplative expression.

Of course, when he turned to regard his vice-captain, the grin returned.

"How you doin', Izuru?"

Kira couldn't be sure, but he thought the man had softened his tone somewhat, taken the edge off. When he began to speak he firstly coughed, and when he brought up his hand to cover his mouth, pain coursed through him thickly, and he gasped, dropping his arm alongside him again.

"Drink up," Gin suggested, sliding a hand beneath his neck to lift him just enough to press his lips to the rim of a cool glass. He accepted a couple of sips before he sagged again, and Gin settled him down on the pillow.

But god, that touch - the fingers had cradled the top knot of his spine and the nape of his neck, brushed against the soft pale hair -

"Thing sure did a number on you," Gin commented, indicating the dressing of the wound, "I'd hate to wake all them fourth division kids up, but if you're hurtin' just too bad, guess I'll hafta."

"I think I'll make it," Kira murmured weakly.

"All things considered, I think it went pretty well."

"It just took so long -"

"Took about fifteen minutes."

Kira fell silent again and contemplated the fact.

"How did I get - here? And - where am I?" even squinting, he could not identify a single feature of the room.

"Flash-steppin', you woulda loved it. And you're in my place."

So this was Gin's home. It was a spare room to be sure, paneled walls and a high ceiling, the floor a polished dark wood with faded exposures of bare wood here and there. Kira felt a soft mat beneath him and supposed it must have been the captain's own bed; the thought brought on a slow shiver. For some time, he had imagined himself on his back in Gin's bed, though a gaping wound had never been the object of his fantasies.

Gin wondered vaguely if things would have turned out differently if the mission had not contained that damned addendum from Aizen: meet at Rukongai road. It was frustrating to be constantly under his thumb; he had assumed he would have a bit more length of rein when he achieved his own captainhood, but then that plan had begun to form in Aizen's head, and he was right back to where he had been, with the elder man sneaking his influence into all his quiet moments.

It wasn't anything he hadn't brought on himself. He knew, he knew, he knew the night he killed that fifth seat that to know Aizen was to be on one side or the other, and the wrong side was the dead side or the hollow side. Maybe he shouldn't have been expected to contend with it. Maybe Aizen was a force of nature. Maybe luck was a multi-faceted thing, or otherwise fate.

Kira groaned softly and drew him out of his contemplation.

"Think I got something that might give you a better run of it," he mused, rising to seek out a squat chest nestled into the far corner of the room, "didn't want to guess at it 'til I knew how bad off you were."

He returned with a shallow enamel jar and a roll of gauze.

"We can go flash-steppin' tomorrow if you sit up," he promised.

Kira managed a weak laugh though he winced as it shook his chest. Still he struggled to sit up, succeeding finally with the aid of his good arm and Gin's admittedly tender assistance. It wasn't something the blond had suspected he would be capable of; needless to say, he was pleasantly surprised.

But he noticed for the first time that he was naked. Immediately he snatched the sheet up over himself, tucking it as best he could around his waist.

"Sorry about that, but you were all soaked with blood. How was I sp'osed to know where it got you? Coulda been anywhere for all I knew. So."

Still he was sure his captain noticed the blush that spread over his cheeks, though he had the decency - something he wouldn't associate with Gin off the top of his head - not to comment.

"Let's get you undressed," he said lightly, reaching behind Kira to peel back the securing of the bandage. He carefully unwound the gauze, removing layer after layer of white cloth until the blood-soaked strips were exposed. It was as those last thin ribbons of gauze were peeled away that Kira began to sense Gin's knuckles brushing over his shoulder blades, his sides, his nipples. A shiver ran through him and he allowed his eyes to drift shut, pressing his lips tightly together.

He supposed - hoped, maybe, in his modesty - that Gin would take his reaction for pain.

All the gauze fallen away, Gin discarded it nearby, and allowed Kira to lie back down. The wound had been expertly cleaned; no blood caked around the jagged edges, no hanging pieces of flesh. All things considered, the cut had been shallow enough, clearly having avoided any arterial tearing. It was just high enough in the layers of skin to be exceedingly painful.

"Pretty good stuff here," Gin explained, twisting the top off of the jar, "Should help you heal on up and numb you too. Gotten me outta some tight spots."

He briefly wondered what had incited him to provide such a personal admission; Ichimaru Gin was never in tight spots, never wounded, untouchable. Yet there was something about Kira's utter vulunerability, not to mention his refusal to judge others, that tempted something in Gin.

And he was a person completely untouched by Aizen. The man had no designs on him. He was part of no plan.

He could be entirely Gin's.

Kira sucked in a deep breath in anticipation of the salve and clenched the fingers of his good hand.

"Ain't gonna hurt," Gin assured him, gathering a good amount of the clear, creamy substance onto his fingers.

It was cool when he spread it over the wound, carefully starting at the top, rubbing slowly and lightly with the pads of his long, thin fingers. The numbing came on slowly, and Kira could feel those touches stray periodically around the cut, tracing the ridges of his ribs, even slipping over a peaked nipple.

The blond squeezed his eyes shut and immediately knew that his body - however damaged - would doubtlessly react. He felt the stirring in his belly and the sudden rush of blood, and suddenly he was too sensitive, fighting the urge to squirm. It would be, he knew, desperately obvious under the thin sheet...

Gin's covert massage had ended. The silence of the room became oppressive and Kira was sure he heard the man return the jar to the chest, and then return just the same. Those incredibly blue eyes remained screwed shut; even as his injury numbed completely his body ached inexplicably.

Maybe it will go away. I'll say, it's just that it stopped hurting, these things happen.

Then he felt it: sure fingers, those same gentle ones that had tended him moments before, fondling him teasingly through the sheet. At once, Kira's sex stiffened, Gin palming the hypersensitive head through that soft sheet, tracing the shaft between two fingers.

Kira uttered a broken cry, his nails digging into his palms, teeth grinding together.

"Izuru..." Gin murmured, his fingers slipping through pale blond hair, sending a maddening tingling over his scalp and down his spine.

He could not find words.

"Izuru, open up your eyes. This ain't no wet dream."

And the blond gasped, a hoarse cry welling in his throat. Gin - speaking of wet dreams - oh, and the image of him that formed in his mind, even in sleep so overtly sexual, those angular hips, perhaps bucking, and, god, the idea of him having an orgasm, his pleasure -

"Ichimaru-taichou, w-why, oh -!"

Gin was laying beside him then, the length of his body pressing against Kira's side, and at his hip the blond could feel a distinct hardness, and he shuddered.

"Dontcha want it, Izuru?" those fingers were softly clearing away his bangs.

Kira nodded quickly, and something like a sob escaped his lips. It was too much, even then, the careful stroking through the cloth, Gin's sex against him.

"If you ain't interested, Izuru, we can drop it," he murmured into the delicate shell of the blond's ear.

"No, no - please!" And he did not know exactly what he was asking for, but his body was strung so tightly he could not find a smooth or controlled movement with himself, he breathed excessively hard and his hips tensed and flexed.

The elegant delicacy of Kira's body was enough to excite Gin to action: he wanted to absolutely ravish him, suck those pink nipples between his lips, tease his leaking sex until he begged for release, spread his thighs wide and spill his seed deep inside him. But there was something he wanted more even than that: the assurance that Kira would bond with him, would return to his bed, would want him as exclusively as he was wanted. The idea of something so strongly satisfying completely outside of Aizen's radar practically had him salivating.

With a gentle finger he turned Kira's face toward him and stroked the curve of his cheek.

"Open 'em, Izuru."

The blond trembled intensely and brought his heels up, opening his legs.

"Your eyes," Gin whispered, a hint of a chuckle in his voice. Kira blushed darkly and let his knees fall against one another as he hesitantly opened his clear blue eyes, gazing ahead.

The sight was breathtaking. Gin hadn't asked anything of him he wasn't willing to provide himself: his slate gray eyes were open, narrow and elegant in shape, severe as his other features. Kira gasped and suddenly felt an incredible warmth spreading through his chest, flowing around the numbness, sinking deep into his belly.

"I-Ichimaru-taichou..." Kira whimpered, fighting the urge to touch him somehow.

"How about Gin," the captain suggested, cupping the blond's cheek as he leaned forward to lock their lips in a deep, intimate kiss. Kira felt the long tongue slip between his lips, exploring along the contours of his mouth, engaging his own tongue in a delicate caress.

They broke breathlessly. Gin's lips remained close, electrifyingly close; the sensation sent jolts of need directly to Kira's sex.

"I'll be real gentle," he promised, and the blond lost his breath. Was it care, that Gin had an interest in his comfort? Was it intimacy, that he so quietly made his promise?

Kira presently wanted nothing more than to feel those hands on him, everywhere on him. It was impossible to speak; he quivered and began to shift the sheet downward as best he could, revealing the smooth plane of his stomach and the suggestive peaks of his hips. Gin caught his wrist and kissed him again, this time sucking Kira's bottom lip between his own as he rose up, moving over the blond, carefully nudging his knees open and positioning his own between them.

Gin did away with the sheet and reached up to draw something along the wooden floor - a little glass vial, shining like a gem in the moonlight. He spread his hands over Kira's body then, indulging in the curves and angles, the softness of his pale skin. Those skeletal fingers passed adoringly over his sensitive nipples, palms stroked his narrow ribs, thumbs caressed the slender abdomen as Gin teasingly urged the small of his back into a soft arch.

He let the blond lie flat again and slipped those wandering hands beneath his thighs, his fingers dipping into the hidden crease before trailing up underneath the silken skin of his thighs. Kira's toes curled at the tickling, teasing sensation; his sex strained and he moaned, fingers clutching, hips jolting. Without so much as a push he opened his thighs, finding himself suddenly desperately in need of what Gin was going to give him.

"Oh - oh - oh, please, please - Gin!" he panted, every word panted in a sharp, shallow breath.

Gin kneaded his hips for a spare moment before wrapping his long, insistent fingers around Kira's neglected sex. At once his hips jerked upward and he could not control his thrusting, abdominal muscles clenching and flexing as he curled -

"Don't tear that open, Izuru." Gin's palm flattened across his chest and gently eased him down, and though he moaned and whimpered for the frustration, he obeyed. The raspy, choked tone of his captain's voice was enough to fairly intoxicate him; the thought of giving Gin pleasure caused him to spread open wider for him, gaze up to watch his impassioned gestures, all of those flickering lustful expressions, biting his lip, narrowing his eyes.

Slick, glistening, a slender finger pressed inside him. Kira whined deep in his throat and tossed his head back.

"Gin, god - please, oh -"

"Not so fast," Gin breathed, pushing in a second finger; Kira could feel those hard knuckles against his inner walls, and his lover's palm against him. A third entered him and the pain was ecstasy.

He had wanted and expected Gin to lean down over him, take to his knees and allow him to hold his shoulders, wrap his legs around those hard, narrow hips.

Instead, Gin folded his legs and gently lifted Kira's hips, settling the blond's thighs over his own. Already, Kira could feel the wet tip of Gin's sex against his entrance, and those careful hands stilled his shaking hips expertly.

But god, he wanted to hold him. He needed it in the most intense way, at the core of his being. It was humiliating and pitiful, but the necessity welled up inside him and expressed itself in a sob, complete with a few tears trailing down into his hair.

"Can't be cryin' yet, Izuru," Gin murmured, uttering a guttural moan as the head of his arousal slid up against Kira's now pliant entrance.

"I - I - I want to, to touch you, Gin, mm - oh!" his body practically convulsed as Gin pressed inside of him, and just as he assumed he had been denied that singular need, he felt the other man's fingers entangling with his own, lacing with them, bringing their palms together, holding tight.

Gin's head tilted back and his ridged throat was beautiful in the moonlight, all tendons and cords, his sharp shoulders flexing, chest heaving.

"Oh, oh god, Izuru!"

It was the first time he had heard anything near a scream from Gin, and Kira supposed suddenly with an involuntary buck of hips that his captain was in the midst of pleasure, his pleasure, his most intimate offering. That was enough to soothe his pain, to make every burst of burning and stretching worthwhile, acceptable, desired.

Gin began thrusting smoothly, rolling his hips with a restrained strength, plunging all the way in before retracting almost to the tip, savoring the tight grasp of first penetration over and over again. Somehow he could not think, he was too deeply entranced in his own ecstasy; Izuru was his, this was his, there was no mark of Aizen, none of his decay, this was pure and it felt so splendid; it may have been the first time that his mind was the last faculty involved in sex - he was guided only by his body and what was left of his heart.

He brought his head down to lock eyes with Kira and what he found caused him to thrust that much harder: the lust, the need in his eyes, the haze there, an almost distant expression, lost in it -

The head of his cock brushed plainly over that little nub of pleasure deep in Kira's channel, and Gin could not discern which of them derived more satisfaction from it. The blond's thighs came up to trap his hips, pull him deeper and harder and then he was tightening, pulsing, breathing Gin's name with every shallow breath.

"Izuru - I'm - I'm -"

The blond lost all control. It wasn't enough, anymore, just to urge him inside, he needed Gin's orgasm as desperately as he needed his own, and he forced him in to the hilt, his body jerking and convulsing tightly as his seed spilled out over his stomach, he screamed once for his own climax and again for Gin's, for that heat spreading deep and completing him entirely.

It was only when he sagged limply against the mat that he realized Gin was still moaning softly, his hips still flexing, riding out the final pulses of a long and intense orgasm.

He carefully pulled away from him, only to cover him and nestle close, again at his side, lips against Kira's jaw. Both of them were drenched in sweat, breathing in shallow gasps.

"Next time," he promised hoarsely, fingers still entwined with Kira's, "next time we'll do it, y'know, how you wanted..." His fingers traced the edges of the wound. "Could've rubbed it open or stretched it, didn't want too much action up here."

Kira had relaxed completely, and was entirely satisfied - relieved, even - with Gin's explanation.

The captain was terribly pleased that the blond did not object to the suggestion of a next time. He felt that bone-deep satisfaction he had so desperately wanted: something untainted, free of all traces of Aizen, something of his own.

In another lifetime he could have called it love.

"Aizen can't know about this," he whispered at length.

"W-why?" Kira was beyond etiquette.

"'Cause he just can't. He's got a way of ruinin' good things."

"What about us could he want to ruin?"

Gin tucked a strand of blond hair behind an ear.

"You," he admited quietly, "So in public an' all, Ichimaru-taichou, you know. Act natural. Don't give us away."

And he had never wanted anything more than that.

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