Pairing Aizen top - no surprise there and Ichi bottom. No rapes, no violence, no hate. Just a normal - well normalish - relationship.
Warnings - none yet other than English spelling and some grammer errors that I will have missed I won't recheck after posting.
This was posted under eeepeep and now moved here to my primary profile. SO this was and is my story not copied - except from myself!
Aizen Sosuke stood in the doorway of the hospital room, he'd been there a couple of minutes but he was yet to enter. He had sculptured his entire life to his suiting and had absolute control over everything humanly possibly in that sphere. But this...this was out of his control and haunted his waking moments.
"Sosuke? Are you there?" The call was unsure, worried about being humiliated and guessing wrongly; the figure sitting upright in the bed looked just as uncomfortable. The tall man swept a hand through his defiant chestnut hair that just flopped back over his eyes. He smiled.
"I am." He stepped inside and nodded at the nurse who was redressing the angry wounds that criss crossed the once beautiful face and rendered the once glistening golden brown eyes bland and milky. Aizen was not sorry to see the scarring once again covered in bandages.
Ichigo smiled slightly as the bed moved and his boyfriends hand slid into his outstretched one, careful enough to avoid the wounded palm and fingers where there was little sense left. He had learnt to hold his wrist where Ichigo still had his sense of feeling.
"There you go all done." The nurse said packing away her equipment on the metal tray. "Doctors rounds are on their way and I'm sure they'll clear you ready to go home. That'll be good yeah?" Aizen watched as Ichigo's face filled with nerves and he struggled to find the right words to agree with her. "You'll be just fine, you'll see." She made no comment at her faux par as she tapped his shoulder and carried her wares away with her.
Aizen rubbed his thumb softly over the back of Ichigo's wrist. "I thought you always wanted to live with me." The mirth in his voice reached Ichigo and he tutted.
"What in your football pitch of a home. I'll get lost and you'll find me in the broom cupboard, which ironically is the size of my apartment." The attempt at humour didn't quite reach its full potential and felt rather limp like the fake cheer on his face.
"Would you rather go home to yours?" The sigh was enough of an answer without the shake of his head too.
"Sosuke..." Ichigo stole himself to convey his real thoughts. He grasped the hand that held his with both of his own. "You know...If..." Was this the moment Ichigo was going to voice the thoughts that he'd not been able to so far. All those worries he'd hidden inside himself – what if he wasn't wanted any more?
"Ah Kurosaki Ichigo." The doctors voice broke into the space with an abrupt knock at the door. The moment was gone and the older man felt frustrated that the words that Ichigo had been trying to say for days now were yet again not said. he'd waited like that several times over the past weeks hoping that Ichigo could just find the courage to voice what he wanted to. But he hadn't. It seemed that their almost new relationship had been fated. They'd never reached the stage to feel that comfortable with each other and it was noticably harder on the younger man, even more so now. Aizen stopped mulling his morbid thoughts and pulled his hand free to moved to the window.
He let the doctor run through his 'things' with Ichigo, whilst he looked out at the scene below this fourth floor. A passing tanker took him back to the event that led them here and Aizen rued the day that the accident happened. His budding relationship with the twenty year old had still been in its early phase. They hadn't so much as done anything more than date like a normal couple and meet the family thing. Until Ichigo had been hospitalised, only twelve days ago, he hadn't even seen him bare chested. But their three months had been good till now, till this.
Aizen closed his eyes and saw the vivid memory of Ichigo sitting on his new motor bike outside Las Noches Corporation helmet in his arms and smiling proudly at his purchase. Aizen had stepped down the marble steps as the first sounds of trouble began. A screeching of breaks, honking of horns and gasps of terror from passers by. A crane unsettled from its mournings on a flat bed lorry, sliced a gaping wound in a tanker carrying acid chemicals. There were three serious injuries that resulted from the spray of acid but none were more fearful to Aizen than the screams of the young man he was slowly falling in love with. No sight more terrible than a once beautiful boy, rolling on the floor with his face peeling away, his eyes burned and his hands tearing at the skin damaging themselves in the process.
"So?" The doctors voice sounded happy behind him and he turned to watch the interaction between patient and specialist. "A little rest from this place might do you good." The doctor thought that his suggestion would go down well, he didn't expect the dropped head and defeatist sigh. "You don't want to go?"
"No." The quiet voice answered.
"Is twelve days really enough?" Aizen drew the attention to himself. "He has not healed."
"He's free of infection, that's all we were waiting for at this stage." The doctor sat on the edge of the bed and crossed his arms. "You know that we have examined him carefully and assessed the likelihood of his sight returning as improbable. The damage was drastic. Weekly visits for a while would be advisable, to oversee how its all healing and the plastic surgeon will want to see him when the swelling goes down before making any suggestions on skin grafts. Time at home will let him began to adapt and put those therapy classes to good use."
"And if he wants to stay?"
"Your paying. But your paying for a very expensive hotel. Family and familiar surroundings really are the next step in his recovery."
"Ichigo?" If the boy wanted it, he would let him stay. It was a huge jump in their relationship and it was being forced upon him rather rudely.
"I live by myself." Ichigo didn't want to return to his one room bachelor pad to rot away, but then he didn't want to go it Aizen's either, it wasn't home or even homely. His own family lived hours away and going there meant a huge step backwards. Loneliness was as terrifying as the thoughts of coping now he was so disabled. Life didn't look worth living, but death was an endless batch of loneliness in its own right. He didn't know what to do.
"I'm more than happy to have you Ichigo." Aizen's hands took his wrist again above the bandages and Ichigo felt a different kind of fear.
"I'll screw everything up, get in your way..." You're not the kind of man who needs someone as helpless as me! Ichigo thought to himself.
"Then I'll hire help." Aizen's had no sense of his partners worries. The man had no clue he had just dealt out an insult to Ichigo's pride, but Ichigo took it on the chin like always. The man simply chose the most straight forward argument and didn't spare any thoughts for softening the blows. Aizen was what you got. No sugar coating. "When can I take him?"
"When he signs the forms." The doctor stood smiling. "I'll prepare you a prescription and an appointment in my outpatients clinic for a weeks time Ichigo." The man slapped the ginger headed youth on the knee as he left. "Get dressed before you go hey?" He chuckled.
Moving from sitting to standing was not as simple as you would expect. Balance had required his visual input up till now to know where upright was and just how much to compensate for his bodies various tilts that movement created. Aizen had learned to be close, but not crowd the boy when he rose. He needed to be close to catch him if he began to fall, but no so close that Ichigo growled in frustration at his lack of independence. Ichigo had no choice but to suffer the humiliation of needing to be dressed, with his hands so damaged he was unable to do even the simplest of things alone now and smacked in the face of him being ready to leave. Still it gave him chance to watch the lithe body underneath for a little longer. Ichigo was otherwise in perfect condition and very appealing to Aizen's libido. Aizen's fingers fastened over the top button, the tips of his fingers deliberately glancing over the soft skin beneath. Ichigo's face pinked and slapped his hand lightly away.
"I can do it." He said. Aizen watched him, flustering and blushing. It was very endearing. Yet depressing too as his numb fingers could not even grasp the button.
"You are beautiful when you blush." His whispered leaning down on the shorter man to kiss his lips lightly and force his hands over the boys fumbling ones. Ichigo gave in trying to dress and tipped his head allowing the kiss and leaning into the body heat he could feel so close. Two arms wrapped around him and Ichigo pulled from the kiss to rest his head under Aizen's chin. He hissed as the blemished skin on his temple stung at the pressure applied to it. He jerked his head up and Aizen watched disappointed as a frown replaced the blush.
"Does it hurt a lot?" Ichigo sensed the concern in the older man and nodded.
"Not as much as it did before though."
"So brave." Aizen whispered kissing the frowning ridged along his brow mindful of the delicate covered skin any lower. "I want to whisk you away to a land of wonder, steal away your pain and smother you with happiness." Ichigo's brow furrowed more. "You don't want to be my princess locked in an ivory tower? I always said, you were my princess didn't I?"
Ichigo let the man lead him back into an embrace and the shower of puckered lips bless each inch of his uncovered face. Truth was, he needed this comfort to chase away his fears. Until he'd been hurt, even in the face of his families rejection for the relationship & of his lifestyle in general, he hadn't spared a moment to think about how much he really cared about Aizen Sosuke. This man had come into his life and swept him off his feet and wooed him to submission and nothing scared Ichigo more than Aizen leaving him. But he hadn't been such a blind, incapacitated burden before.
"Ichigo?" The dominant man lifted his chin.
"I love you." Ichigo whispered barely loud enough even when this close for the powerful CEO to hear. It was a shame he was unable to see the smile that curved Aizen's lips and get immediate relief from that small gesture. Aizen stepped back instead to look at the wonderful expression of hope and worry and confusion and gave a light laugh.
"My princess you are." The tone in his voice sounded happy and Ichigo could hear the smile then. "But it is my duty then indeed to whisk you to my castle. Let me prepare you." He felt the fingers on his belt tugging to together. "Please." He added as Ichigo's bandaged and battered fingers covered them. "You said you love me. Trust me to?" Ichigo's hands fell away and although he felt awkward and vulnerable, Aizen deftly finished dressing him and prepared for home.
"Ahh, good timing good timing." The doctors voice echoed up the corridor as they stepped out of the room that had been Ichigo's hideaway. "Release forms, prescription and fresh dressings." Aizen looked at the packaging and the form and raised his hand to sign but the doctor shook his head. "Ah ah ah. The patient must sign." Ichigo could only guess what had happened, and he noted the slight irritation in his partners voice as his hand was grasped and a pen placed in his fingers. He could barely feel his hand moved to hold around the pen with the bandaging without his damaged nerve endings refusing to allow him any grip.
"Sign your name there." Aizen's hand kept around his and guided him towards the correct dotted line.
"The support services will be in contact after a few days and get you enlisted in classes Ichigo." Ichigo nodded as the doctor gingerly shook his hand. "I'll catch up with you next week. All right?" Again Ichigo nodded. "Good good take care won't you."
"He'll have everything he needs. Thank you doctor." Aizen slid an arm to Ichigo's lower back own and guided him with a hold on his elbow. The doors closed with a gentle ping, but it was enough to make Ichigo jump. He'd never appreciated all the noises he'd taken for granted before. "What about my things?"
"All taken care of."
"Taken care of."
"Taken care of."
"And what would they do Ichigo? They'd insist you went with them. I thought you said..."
"I know I know. I didn't want them to know...They didn't care enough when I said I was gay." There was a pause before Ichigo felt the hold around him change and worshipped the security of the hug.
"I'll be everything you need." Ichigo felt Aizen's fringe fall to his face as the tall man leant in to kiss him. "All you have to do is get better."
It didn't need saying that he was never really going to get better, because that implied that he could return to the life he once had and it simply wasn't possible now. The genius motor bike racer, winner of all local competitions was all washed out. His chances at the nationals now snatched from him. His day job, a cushy paper pushing exercise in Aizen's company probably impossible too now. All he had left was his friends wild social life and right now he didn't think he'd ever be able to face going out in public feeling so vulnerable. Aizen really was his only lifeline, the only one he wanted to cherish and not loose. But...
"AHH." Ichigo cursed the salt in tears as they stung his eyes and he pressed the back of his hands onto the bandaging pressing as hard as he dare in a vain attempt to ease the pain.
"What is it?" Aizen sounded very anxious and pried his hands away.
"Nothing." Ichigo shook his head dipping towards his feet and leaning into the strong presence beside him. "Nothing important." His hand wrapped around his partners middle and held him tightly. The hold was reciprocated with small circles on his back.
"Your shaking." He knew, but he couldn't seem to stop himself. This whole saga was overwhelming him. "Sush... I'm here for you Ichigo." The hold around Aizen tightened and the man smiled pleased he was able to enjoy this needy side of his boyfriend. It felt good to be the one Ichigo needed so much. Ichigo bit his lip as the tears welled again and stung more, but they were more bearable now with the comforting hold round him.
Aizen now held his arm firmly as they finally entered the spacious apartment. "This floor is wooden. Mind your step." Aizen told him gently, having learnt in their short journey that changes underfoot could cause the younger man to stumble at the smallest of things. Hospital floors were not the best to get used to a change of texture or slight height difference. "Now we are finally here, is there anything you need?" He asked as he guided Ichigo through the hallway to the lounge. "A drink possibly?"
Ichigo let himself lower onto the plush sofa he remembered as a russet velvet and nodded.
"What ever your having." He said as his fingers ran up and down trying to gain any sensation of the soft silky fabric beneath his fingers. As Sosuke left him to get the drink, it was abundantly clear to Ichigo that his life had taken a huge dive. This place wasn't home, it was daunting without eyes and hands, now... He really had nothing to fall back on. This place was like the hospital, full of different sounds and smells. But that was the word wasn't it, different. He felt even more like a fish out of water, not that he'd ever sat in his own flat pretending to be blind. But still. Comfort here meant luxury, comfort at home meant familiar. So it was a shitty one bed flat above the local deli, but he'd decorated and furnished to his own tastes; it was full of smells and things he loved. Things that he had gathered that meant something to his life, empty of family, empty of history and previously empty of love too. From the three four times he'd been here, the place might well have had the wow factor, but it was clinical and almost unloved. Ichigo guessed that's what a workaholics house should look like. Or more to the point, looked like before this..Before losing it all.
Just what would he do here? He couldn't imagine living here fully able never mind compromised like this. All the things he did at home were now unaccessable, like his books, his painting, his computer games... His bike.
"Ichigo?" Aizen's voice sounded close and Ichigo turned his head toward the direction he assumed the man was standing. "You were lost in thought."
"Nothing to be sorry about. Your tea, is beside you on the table."
"Right." Ichigo sounded unsure.
"What were you thinking?" The chair not only dipped with Aizen sitting, but let out a poof of air from the overstuffed cushion. A hand settled gently on his wrist again and it was gently rubbed.
"Nothing." The younger man tried a smile, but it looked like a very strained action to the man watching him intently.
"That's an all too common phrase from you at the moment."
"Is it?" The ginger man sighed and shrugged.
"Tired?" Ichigo felt his arm being lifted and he allowed it, reassured by the soft press of lips on his wrists pulse point.
"Erm." Ichigo nodded. More tired than he thought he was. Being depressed and worried seemed to take a lot from him. Over using his other senses and the mental drain of trying to guess what was happening around him just seemed to zap away any energy he could muster. Yet it was a kind of tiredness anyone thrown into the middle of a war zone in a strange country would feel if they'd been told to survive with no rations or basic equipment. That's just what he felt now. He was swimming against the tide in a strange world and speaking a different language to everyone around him. It was daunting to the point of terror. Demanding, wearing, and degrading. He sighed again rubbing the back of his free hand over his brow. His head ached with all this and his eyes were beginning to sting again.
"Then I'll escort you to my bedroom. Our bedroom."
"Am I sharing with you?" Aizen rose an eyebrow at the hint of anxiety displayed.
"I wish to be on hand should you need anything."
"I know but..." Ichigo couldn't express quite what he felt about that, it wasn't something he could put into words. Past experiences with men, just made him so cautious around Sosuke. He never expected that he would have to depend on him in such a devastating way.
"I know its a bridge we haven't crossed yet but its nothing to fear you know."
"When its with a man like you, its all the other implications that go with it. Office gossip and back stabbing is just something I can do without."
"As I understood already." Aizen sipped his tea, they'd had this conversation only days into their relationship. "Do you still fear them knowing about us?"
"Not in the slightest."
"Its not as if I'm your first is it?" Ichigo mumbled with his fingers nervously fumbling in his lap. The tales of Aizen's conquests were common staff room gossip that Ichigo had always tried to stay back from. When he'd been asked out the first time, he had refused. The second time too. But the man was so charismatic and powerful it was like being moth dragged towards a light and there was little he could do about it. The glow of confidence, his almost arrogant yet not repulsively so manner and then the looks of a comic superhero, were all a lethal combination. The third time, he'd found himself sitting in a posh restaurant before his mind had even began to formulate the words to turn him down again. Yet for the six months it had taken to get him seated there, Ichigo had fallen desperately in love and didn't have the heart to ask about whether the rumours were true. Now he needed to know.
"You think they buy the story that I have merely been your sponsor for the motor sport?"
"I haven't heard otherwise."
"And they'd say that to your face?" They boys features dropped with a dramatic frown again and Aizen wished he wasn't always quite so honest. "I am sorry."
"But right." Ichigo's voice sounded defeated. "You think everyone knows?"
"Drink your tea." Which was a code for yes. At least he'd never have to look them all in the eyes hey?
Ichigo turned slightly towards the arm rest to his left and reached tentatively for the hot cup he guessed must be around that area somewhere. He knew he would need both his hands to hold the cup safely but the hospital staff always placed it directly before him. Instead of capturing the handle, with clumsy hands he knocked it over with his knuckles and leapt up in alarm for his mistake. Nothing in this place was cheap and Ichigo was far too worried about damaging something worth his whole pay packet.
Aizen was on his feet immediately, as Ichigo's balance toppled him with an ungainly side step to the left and without Aizen's corrective hold on his waist, he would have fallen and damaged far more than just a table top.
"Are you hurt?" Aizen sat the younger man down with speed and lifted his hands to check for scold burns to his barely exposed fingers, but Ichigo tried to frantically pull away.
"The tea! It'll spoil your table!" His heart was ready to break free from the bonds of his chest.
"I am not concerned about the table."
"I am!" The boy argued back. "I can't see dammit. You can't assume I know where the cup was! You can't assume I know the floor is going to change or that I don't care about ruining your stuff. What if I ruined it? I can only guess now much it cost!"
"Ichigo." The voice of authority reprimanded him. "I do not give a damn about an object I can replace!" That seemed to shock him into silence and Aizen took up his hands again folding them over checking for signs of burns. "Thankfully you seem unscathed." Lips pressed onto Ichigo's forehead.
"Sosuke." Ichigo spoke quietly. "This isn't going to work like this is it?" Ichigo sounded defeated already, broken even. There was so much wrapped up in that question and it hurt to see him look so pitiful. The vibrancy was gone, the zest for life. Ichigo Kurosaki had turned into a meek creature, waiting to be put of his misery and that meant it was a sad day for mankind. Another kiss was pressed onto his held wrists.
"You are tired. Things are always worse then." The man stood and dragged the young adult to his feet. "I'll show you around the bedroom and then you can get some rest." Ichigo felt soft lips on his peck gently. "This is a learning curve for the pair of us. That's all it is. Everything will be absolutely fine leave it to me."
After being 'shown' the bedroom, and marvelling at how prepared for his arrival Aizen had been, Ichigo fell easier into the bed and dreamt of drawers and drawers of clothes all arranged by colour and type. The man had seen to his entire wardrobe being moved. His favourite thick jumper had been a wonderful simple thing to pull over his head and just feel a little calmer in the sea of despair he knew he was swimming up stream to avoid. Aizen watched him for a little while curled up in a foetal position, his fingers tucked into the long sleeves and the collar pulled up to his ears. It was rather akin to a child and their comforter. Watching Ichigo feel his way around the room and seemed to soak in all the information about the locations of all the objects was marvellous. It had been the quality that had made him an asset to the division he worked in at the office. That attention to detail, concentration level and hot headed drive to push himself further and harder than anyone else. Although he seemed to tire to the end, he tried to stay on focus, the discovery of the woollen jumper and the forty questions to ascertain it was the correct jumper had been fascinating. Aizen wasn't one to hold onto sentimentality and he found the idea that an item of clothing could be quite so reassuring bemusing. But the moment the jumper went over his head, another Ichigo appeared through the neck hole, calmer, quieter and ready to submit to his rest.
The sage green suited his colouring and Aizen couldn't help but be thrilled that the person he'd been patiently waiting to get into his bed was finally sleeping there. Although he would have preferred to woo him than be a part of this sad turn of events, but there was a always some good to be found hidden in the depths of troubled waters. With carefully controlled actions, he tucked the Egyptian cotton sheets tighter around the sleeping figure and pulled his phone from his pocket as he moved out of the room careful to leave the door open to hear for when Ichigo woke.
The conference call would not completely make up for the fact he was not personally in the meeting, but linked to his computer he could see all the board members. He still controlled the place with his quite but demanding authority and they buckled to his requests the same. It ended a couple of hours in, all matters dealt with and his intention to have a few days at home notified - even if the reason wasn't. Now all that was left of the members were Gin and Tosen after the others had filed out. These two were his biggest confidants and the closest thing he had to friends. They had know about the budding feelings for the young man way before he had even been approached. It was due to their diligent work, that he had found out about the motorbike interest and the need for a sponsor, it had been an easy task to get to know the boy from there.
"We have a matter to discuss regarding a certain employee?" Gin smirked at Tosen's tone, it was no secret that he hated the Abarai and felt him useless at the task assigned to him.
Ichigo stirred, he felt rested and woke slowly. His mind calmed by the smell of his partner and the soft echo of his voice that drifted through the open doorway. Although he couldn't pick up on individual words, the discussion was not a friendly exchange of words.
With care, Ichigo slid his naked feet from under the covers and holding the side unit he stood waiting until his balance reset. If he remembered it correctly, the door lay in a straight line from the edge of the bed, some twenty or so footsteps ahead. So using the slight contact with the mattress as a guide and physical prompt for his struggling senses, he made his way to the end of the vast bed and gripped the wrought metal footplate. He aligned his feet and took a ginger step away into the abyss of nothing and righted his stance to take another step. Several later and many more than twenty plus his outstretched hands connected with the wall and he side stepped left to get back in the direction of the door, very relieved at finding the unmistakable wooden feel of the carving and a cool handle. Thank heavens his little finger held some sense still, it was a small mercy he was grateful for. This was the second of the double doors, the one that remained shut, left a little more again, was the gap from the open door.
Aizen's voice drifted clearer through to his ears now and he was somewhere to the right of his position now. There must be another room some metres in that direction.
"...I propose that if he he fails to comply with your wishes, he be disposed of." Tosen spoke his mind easily through the computer link.
"Ya always so quick to write people off Tosen." Gin's voice joined the group. "Aizen likes his playthings to be a little trouble. That way he can play a little before he can dispose of them."
Ichigo's hand settled on the wall, holding him upright, his mind spinning with the words he could hear now.
"Gin, people are not toys." Aizen's voice seemed to joke.
"Nah Sosuke, they're just objects." Gin laughed. "Ya never gonna mellow out and give this guy a break are ya? After all, this trouble of late hardly seems worth the effort ya putting in to him."
"You know me, if I see value, I will continue. However, if he fails me again, I shall have no option but to get rid of him. I will not tolerate the lack of compliance not from him or anyone. Tosen, start to look for a replacement should I decide I have wasted enough of my time." Waste of time? Ichigo baulked at that. I...I don't want to be replaced!
"Right, well gentlemen I think that concludes our business for today."
Ichigo panicked. He turned to go back where he had just come from, but in his haste, his footing slipped on the shiny flooring and his balance over compensated sending him crashing to the floor instead.
"Ichigo." Aizen's hands arrived within moments guiding the fallen man back to his feet and smoothing down his clothing.
"What ever for? It is an accomplishment you got this far alone." The older man did a visual check for injuries, but with the lack of anything to bump himself on he was nothing more than a little shaky. "You must be hungry, would you like something to eat?"
"I don't want to be a bother." Ichigo tried to hide the shake in his voice and was aware that he didn't do a good job - I do not give a damn about an object I can replace! - Aizen's voice echoed in his mind.
"My housekeeper had prepared a light lunch, it is no bother to me."
"Okay." Ichigo nodded as his mind flashed again - However, if he fails me again, I shall have no option but to get rid of him. I will not tolerate the lack of compliance not from him or anyone. Tosen, start to look for a replacement should I decide I have wasted enough of my time. To have lost everything and risk losing the one thing he wanted and needed most, scared him right to his core. Blind or not losing Aizen would have brought that same rush of pain to his chest.
"You sure, you are fine?"
"Yeah." Ichigo made himself smile. "Just a ploy to keep you holding me."