The Challenge - Chap. 1

by Sariniste

A/N: What were Aizen's thoughts behind that smirk in the last panel of manga chapter 249? What are his hidden plans for Orihime, and how will his scheme affect Soul Society and the human world? Dark AiHime fic. Completed August 2012.

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Note (June 2012): This story has been edited to make sure it remains within FFnet's content guidelines. Let me know if you wish to read the original unedited content, which will be posted on another site.

Thanks to the talented Child of the Ashes for allowing me to use the beautiful AiHime fanart she drew for me as the cover for this story. To view the full version, please go to child-of-the-ashes. deviantart dot com/gallery/#/d4zu0h6 (please remove the spaces for the link).

Warnings: Dark. Violence; coercion; deceit; suggestive content. Trying to get inside Aizen's mind can be a bit scary.

Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach. All characters in this story are 18 years old or older.

The Lord of Las Noches relaxed upon his throne, gazing out at the endless deserts of the night. With satisfaction, he contemplated his conversation with the girl, how he had held her eyes with his own. He had restrained his spiritual pressure, but approached closely enough so that he knew she could smell him, near enough that his physical presence would almost, but not quite, overwhelm her.

He had seen fear in her eyes, trembling, loneliness, confusion… and something else. Something that perhaps even she didn't yet realize. She was drawn to him against her will. He knew she found him, somehow, attractive. It didn't matter that she loved another; he was not here, and Aizen was.

He knew, of course, of the effect his beauty and personal magnetism had on others. Although he had hidden it behind thick glasses for a hundred years, he had constantly been aware of it, had noticed (although he had pretended not to) the sidelong glimpses, the sighs from lovestruck students, the not-so-innocuous touches and disingenuous pleas. But it had become tiresome, after a while, to always have to pretend to be so clueless, so innocent, so nice.

Now, at last, he was free of the rules and strictures of Soul Society and liberated from the requirements of the image of his own creation. It had been amusing to indulge in his power and beauty upon arrival in Las Noches. Here, he was the center of all things, and with that position came the opportunity to take advantage of the many beings, both male and female, who were more than willing to compete for his attention and beg to give him whatever pleasure he desired. It had been… heady… to finally be able to sample freely from those who appealed to him, on a moment's notice, on a whim. He had been able to indulge in some delicious experimentation as well, unfettered by the need of having to even appear to conform to laws or morality.

But after a while it became boring. It was too repetitive, too easy. Some of his toys became clingy and demanding, like that foolish girl Loly Avirrne. He had considered idly that it might be an entertaining experiment to destroy her as she climaxed during sex; he had never done that with a partner and wondered if it might add spice to his sexual experience. But it would be a waste of good material; each of the Arrancar represented a substantial amount of his time and energy, and he hated to waste his own work. Instead he found he had to put up with the annoyance of her constant stalking.

He sighed. Absolute power wasn't all it was cracked up to be. The mindless pursuit of pleasure had never held that much appeal for him anyway; he preferred more complex diversions, and had always chosen intellectual challenges over physical ones.

The human girl intrigued him because of her powers. Her innocence and youth were delightful, of course, but those alone would not have been enough to pique his interest. He had always found experience far more entertaining than innocence. But he had never encountered someone of her ability before. A power that trespassed on that of the gods? How fitting in a companion for one who would become a god. And the complexities of training a new talent were far more engrossing than the mere aesthetic appeal of physical features.

Kidnapping her had been an appealing prospect; he had never kidnapped anyone before, and the idea held the thrill of novelty. Plus, there were all the convoluted effects her presence in Hueco Mundo would set in motion. He had considered the plan from many angles. Her captivity would serve many useful purposes in his war against Soul Society as well as achieving several other goals of his. It had the benefit of being a fruitful branch of his strategy tree, as well as an interesting personal challenge.

Yes. Seducing her to his will, turning her mind against her friends, against her own ethics, weaving her deep within his spell, without even the use of his zanpakutou… bringing a beautiful girl with astonishing power under his control, making her willingly choose to belong to him body and soul, making her… love him… now that was a challenge worthy of a god.

Aizen smiled.