Even a god can grow jaded and bored. Restless, Aizen Sousuke walks in the rain, unknowingly changing the notes of a song forever.

Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach. If I did, I would be the happiest person alive. I also don't own Nightwish's lyrics, because I'm not Tuomas Holopainen. Or any lyrics I use in this story. There'll be a lot of lyrics.


First Movement:

Enter the Ivory Tower

Chapter 1


The end.

The songwriter's dead.

The blade fell upon him

Taking him to the white lands

Of Empathica.

-The Poet and the Pendulum, Nightwish

She pushed the door, just closed it, as if someone might hear her doing it. Then she shook herself for being silly. Of course the apartment is empty. It always is, on Thursdays. Her parents are at work, as always, and Thursday is her tutor's day off. She is expected to spend the day studying, but this is Rei's one day of freedom, and she intended to take advantage of it.

She turned the key in the lock, let herself listen to the loud clicking of it. Then she walked down the stairs, down from the apartment into the street below.

Rei wondered what she would do today. She has money to spend, of course she does. Her father's account balance is easy to tinker with, ever since he was foolish enough to type the password in front of her on one of the rare days where he got home before late.

She could do countless normal-people things. She could get ice cream, sit near the Karakura High School kids in their uniforms and pretend they were her friends. She could go to a bookstore, she could sit on a swing in the park down the street. If she was feeling brave, she could even go to a karate class. They let you have a trial lesson for free, and she could always pretend to sign up.

No, it felt like too much energy. Rei decided to go further into town. She waited at a bus stop, waved her arm out to signal. She paid her fare and got on.

She still hadn't yet gotten over the novelty of public transport. While she was on a bus, she was one of the normal people, at least on the outside.

Rei glanced at her reflection in the window. Apart from the pale skin, which lots of people had, there was nothing to indicate how rarely she left her parents' apartment. She had long dark hair, actually black unlike so many other girls whose hair was merely dark brown. Rei tied it back with the ribbon in her pocket. The reflection was too dim to truly show the colour of her eyes. They were the one facial feature Rei actually liked, a nondescript silver-grey like the overcast sky outside. They blended in, fit with the surroundings, something she herself had always wanted to do. The rest of her face was sharp, too knowing somehow, as if the hours of studying on her own or with her tutor were eroding her away until only bones were left.

The bus stopped, and Rei decided to see a movie. She went into the cinema, pointed at something at random, and paid for her ticket.

The darkness of the theatre, the silent warmth of other people and their breathing, was always comforting. Rei breathed in and then out slowly, not paying much attention to the screen.

When it was over she checked her watch. She had plenty of time until her parents got home, until seven or eight at the very least. Rei left the cinema, straightening her skirt. A group of girls in grey Karakura High School uniforms walked past, giggling and talking loudly about something. Rei watched them for a while. They made her feel old. Their skirts were hitched up above their knees, whereas Rei's own was only a short distance from her ankles.

To distract herself she played the airport game, trying to figure out the girls' stories. The girl with the reddish hair and glasses knits in her spare time, Rei thought, picking the ideas out of nowhere. The girl with the short black hair does karate and likes sushi.

She followed the girls for about half an hour. People never noticed it when she followed them. Rei was invisible out here, no, immaterial. The outside world didn't notice her because she wasn't part of it.

The thought was depressing. That surprised her. Thinking things that were true didn't normally make her sad.

Rei's stomach growled. She used it as an excuse to go and buy sushi. It was something to do. Some weeks Rei looked forward to her one day of being outside, doing whatever she wished without interruption. Other weeks Karakura Town felt more empty and lonely than the inside of her apartment.

This wasn't one of those weeks, but she felt none of the golden air of excitement of the good weeks.

Outside, the concrete of the footpath began to speckle with dark circles of grey, raindrops falling lightly at first and then heavy and fast.

Rei decided to head towards the bus stop. The anime she liked would be on TV soon. She could watch it in the apartment, maybe while eating mi goreng. Mi goreng was comforting, and so was One Piece.

She left the interior of the sushi bar, trying to remember where the bus stop was from here. Rei drew a map in her head and worked it out. She turned left, and as she turned she glimpsed him out of the corner of her eye.

At first glance, there was nothing special about him. He was tall, taller than her, but then Rei wasn't particularly tall for a girl of sixteen. He was walking in the same direction as her. The rain was coming down heavily now. Rei was beginning to regret not bringing her umbrella. The downpour didn't seem to faze this man in the slightest. He kept walking forward, completely unperturbed. Occasionally he glanced around him, as if restless, searching for something. Rei recognised that feeling.

He was only about three metres away from her now, and Rei blushed. He was good-looking, and not much older than her. She guessed he was in his early twenties at the most. A curl of hair hung down between his eyes, dark with rain. Rei guessed its original colour had been brown. He was wearing a suit, the white collared shirt underneath it open at the throat. Rei wondered briefly if the hair hanging in his face irritated him, then revised the thought. He seemed impervious to his surroundings, just as she was.

Someone bumped into Rei from behind. Startled, she stumbled forward, losing her balance on the slick footpath. Her knee hit the ground, she gasped in pain, and felt a hand on her arm, helping her up.

So this one time I pictured Aizen in a suit while it was raining. Nuff said. I think I'm going to have to draw Aizen in this chapter and post it on DeviantArt or something, so I can share the smexiness of that mental image with everyone.

First ever Bleach fic, please review!