notes: I used to dislike Hinamori, but recently I found her character very fascinating. Consider this a character piece.

this is a curse you'll never be free of.


He's a traitor, you hear them say.

He betrayed Seireitei, he killed the members of Chamber 46, and he threw Soul Society into chaos.

Hearing this is like darkness to you, and you stay in bed for days to recover, because when you wake up, this will be—

(reality, the truth,
your living hell)

—just another bad dream. So you close your eyes every time you awake, and you dream of memories, of important events, of little things that have happened in the past. It always fades into nothing before you get to the happy part, though, and it drives you crazy, how real they seem to be but not, so you sleep and you sleep and you sleep.

For days, you don't wake up.



"Unohana-taichou, has Hinamori woken up yet?"

"No, not yet."

"But she's getting better?"

"She's doing the best that she can. You just have to trust her, Kira-kun."

"Can't she have visitors?"

A gentle, attentive smile.

"That she can."



One day, as you're lying on your hospital bed and no one is there to—

(hide, save,

—distract you from your thoughts, you ask:

What if?

A simple question.

What if he knows better? What if he knows something the rest of the world doesn't know? What if he's trying to make a better world for all of us?

He has always been such a dreamer. So sincere. So kind. He's too warm, too good to be a traitor. You were by his side for decades and never once has he failed to show compassion. He was generous—merciful—when others weren't. He put himself in danger to save others.

He put himself in danger to save you.

It can't be right, you think. You must be missing some vital piece of information, the key, the answer, the solution. He's the genius here, so of course he must know more than you—

(the idiot, the plain little girl under his care,
the false believer)

—his second-in-command, do.

What if he knows best?



"Save him. Save him! He doesn't mean anything bad! I know him, I swear, I know he's not like that!"


"Please, Shirou-chan, please!"



The line gets blurred, and you're the right one, you think.

But they don't believe you.

Instead, they worry about you. They stop you in the middle of hallways, when you're watering your flowers, when you're making two cups of tea in case he comes back today, tonight, soon. They ask the same question, each and everyone of them, how are you doing, Hinamori-kun, and they look at you—

(nervously, concern shadowed in their eyes,
anxious because they care about you)

—like you're a traitor, like you're the one at fault, like they know him more than you do.

So you smile and tell them you're fine, because you know more than they do.

And they're wrong.



"I tried."

"I know."

"I tried, Matsumoto, but—"

His voice is choked low with emotion, fractured by many shades of misery.

"—but how do you save one who does not want to be saved?"

A heartbeat.

"You can't, taichou."



Wake up, Hinamori, everyone whispers to your ear, wake up. He's evil.

But deep inside your heart, you already know that, don't you?

Somewhere down the road, they forgot who you were. Even you forgot who you were—

(the best kidou-user in your graduating class, lieutenant of the fifth division,
Hinamori Momo)

—the chosen one. You were closer to him than anyone else. You understand him better than anyone else. You've stood by his side for decades, serving him tea on the longest, busiest of nights and helping him complete mission after mission after mission.

You've watched him since day one, and you know what he wants. You know it better than anyone else.

You also know that you're the sacrificial lamb in his grand scheme of things.

But you're not stupid. Far from it. You're—

(useless, a believer,
hopelessly in love)

—right, though that seems to make everything worse for you.



"He's here."


"You know what that means, don't you?"

"Yes. It's time to fight."


"Where's Hinamori?"



You step into the clearing without waiting for anyone else.

His eyes are brown like always, the gleam in his eyes foreign but not unkind, and when he says "ah, Hinamori-kun", your name on his lips feels—

(bitter like you've never known happiness, cold like ghosts from your past,
like sin)

—like music to your ears, so you take another tentative step forward, reaching out your hands, because you're free, because your arms aren't fettered by iron chains, because you want to help him however you can, and it feels right. It's the only thing that feels right.

"Move away, Hinamori!" someone screams behind you, the cold wind smelling like ice, but you ignore it.

His fingers move to the hilt of his sword and he unsheathes it gracefully, eyes looking over your shoulder.

"You came back," you choke, tears spilling from your eyes, "for me?"

He smiles.

"I did."

He stabs.



"Oh God, Hitsugaya-taichou! What happened to him?"

"Aizen—" she chokes, "Aizen attacked him. And… and Hinamori, too."




When his blade pierces through—

(your skin, your bones,
your heart)

—you, you smile and welcome death with open arms.

Maybe now you can be of use to him.



Here lies Hinamori Momo,
Sister, Friend, Soldier

And scribbled under it, in faint, messy handwriting, as if carved by a blade:





notes: I was listening to Vienna Teng's My Medea the whole time, and there's these two lines that intrigue me so: for I have made her prison be her every step away from me, and this child I would destroy if you tried to set her free. Aizen/Hinamori to the very core, huh?