A/N: Companion piece to 'Temptation Waits'. Same disclaimers apply.
Waiting in the Wings
"He's not very strong, is he?"
"No, he's not." The fukutaichou smiles kindly.
I know I pleased him somehow.
He ain't like the rest o' them shinigami. I knew it the second I set eyes on him.
He is so fucking strong and incredibly controlled. So controlled that I almost shat my pants when I first saw him. This be the guy, I told mysel', this be the guy who's gonna get alla way t'the top.
An' when he does, I wanna be right there beside him.
I ain't going back to human existence again.
And now the blood of that useless third seat stains my face, my shirt, my sword. Eurgh. Disgustin', that.
"Worthless," I mutter. I know I'm smiling. I always smile when I don't know what I'm supposed do.
He steps into the moonlight. "What is your name?"
I look into his honest eyes and met a trustworthy gaze. This is the man I will follow, right t' the top. "Ichimaru Gin," I say, and beamed.
He likes me, in a detached way. He teaches me lots, from reading and writing to how the powers-that-be Soul Society be politically aligned t' each other. The stuff they don't teach in th' Academy.
I feel like a pet. Like a stray puppy he picked up and is watchin' to see what this stray is gonna do. If it be housetrained, if it knows tricks. If it knows how t' beg, maybe.
I know tricks. I ain't gonna beg.
He seems to like that I killed that third seat guy. Okay then, let's entertain him one more time.
There's this guy who's been eying me. Dirty scumbag; I know he been watching me in the bath the night before. I could smell him after that.
I ain't gonna endure some pervert getting off on watchin' me.
I don't like them trying to get friendly. They always start off that way. And then they'd ask if I wanna go out with them someplace quiet, if I'd wanna go t' their room, check out something interestin', if I'd like to feel good.
I'm a street rat. I know what they're up to, these slimeballs. Fool me once, shame on ya; fool me twice?
It never will happen again, I promised myself that time, and I intend t' keep that promise.
I smile as I'm supposed t' do. He won't like me causing a disturbance, I guess, and I brush the bastards off as best as I can.
When it gets too much for me, I run.
He has a nice place, and I have permission t' go in anytime I like. I hide there now. Maybe I can stay long enough for the rest to go back to their dorms, and then I can slip away to my own bed.
I shoulda known he'll notice my escape. He comes in and stands reassuringly far from me.
I like that he respects my personal space. He doesn't try to touch me, unlike them.
He stands there, just watching me, until I look at him.
"What's wrong?" he asks. He sounds as if he's genuinely concerned.
I ain't gonna tell him. No reason to give him any control over me. "Nothing."
He grins in an amused manner. "If there was nothing wrong, why are you alone in the dark, looking like you're about to cry?" He sits.
It's his place, he has the right. I just wish he can't read my expression. All I do is smile. How come he knows what I'm feeling?
"I do not." I look out the window again. I know I'm lying, but he shouldn't.
"Yes you do."
"No I don't." I nibble my lower lip. "I just miss my favorite food."
I do, I really do. I miss the dusky sweetness, the soft chewy delight of it.
"What is your favorite food then?"
I sigh. "Dried persimmons. I used to have them once a week. I make them myself, y'know."
He smiles, very kindly. I like that smile, though I know it's about as real as my own. "No, I didn't."
He goes to his bed without ever coming one step closer to me.
I like that.
HE GAVE ME PERSIMMONS!
I dried the persimmons and gave five of them to him. The rest I ate myself. And I found a nice spot, untended by any gardener, and I planted my seeds.
I can't wait for them to grow and I'll have more. Then I can make dried persimmons by the cartload.
He ate up the five I gave him. I can't tell if he ate them to be polite, or if he likes them.
He ate them.
I have to kill that one. He's mouthy. I don't like mouthy people who shit through the hole in their face.
I heard 'im say that he's a lousy lieutenant. That he's always bullied by the captain, whatsisname, and that he got his place because the captain lost a bet with summat.
I'm not happy about this.
I don't like the tone. I don't like the words.
I will kill him.
He tells me that it's not wise to keep killin' people. I guess he's right.
If there are less and less people in the division, someone might notice. And that's not good at all.
Thunder. Lightning and thunder. And bitter, bitter cold.
I sit and shiver in my bed, feeling the chill etch into my bones. I used to have Ran with me, but now I am alone.
It's cold. It's really, really cold. The rain is pelting heavily on the windows, the wind is howling and I know the night will only get colder. But I ain't got no one now to keep warm with me.
Wait a minute.
I shrug the thin blanket about my shoulders and run to his room.
He lets me into his bed but he doesn't try nothin' funny.
I like that. I close my eyes and enjoys the heat of his body. He is sleeping already, his breathing slow and steady.
I like it.
I think I can trust him.
One day I will give him more.