Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach. All rights and reserves belong to Tite Kubo. All instances, places, and people, are fictional if any bear any resemblance to actual people, places, or instances then they are used fictitiously.
Warnings: AU, a tiny little bit OOC but that kinda goes along with the territory of AU, Some...Adult Refrences and Imagery, Yaoi, etc.
A.N. ~So yeah...I watched an episode of 'River Monsters' that was set in the Amazon and I just fell in love with the setting. Not to mention I've been meaning to make a Ichi/Aizen fic for a LONG time. So yeah...you know where to put your complaints 'Reviews'. And yep, know i havent posted in a long long while, and I really promise i'll update He Will Be Loved, Naughty Strawberry Maid and all that, but...yeah.
The sounds of the jungle washed over them, and the lukewarm murky brown water lapped at the sides of their boat, making soft slapping noises every time it did so. Sosuke Aizen stared at the back of the villager that rowed the boat, steadily gently through the water as if he was born doing it. He was grateful that the man seemed so sure of himself, he knew what would happen to him if the boat was to capsize. His thick leather armor, heavy black breeches, and knee high boots would surely drag him under the water, so swiftly that the other people around them would be none the wiser. Water was the only thing in this world that awoke fear in Sosuke's heart. It seemed a sentient thing, the way it was so calm on the surface and yet underneath it was laced with raging riptides, animals that could swallow a fully grown man in one gulp, and other horrors he dared not imagine. It wasn't very befitting that a captain of a ship should have a fear of water. None of his crew knew it, none except his first mate Gin Ichimaru. But he fox eyed man had said on more than one occasion that if he didn't know it, he wouldn't believe it.
He'd only told it to him so that the man would back him up if ever the crew decided to do…exactly what they were doing now. His own ship was tall, and regal, one could barely feel the rocking of the ship. But here, nestled in this tiny little boat, the edges so low that the water might leap over at any time, he felt his fear like a clawing at the back of his neck. But he didn't let it show, his features were settled into an indifferent smirk as he appeared to settle into the slow steady pace they were going at. He'd heard in stories of this place, the Amazon river, and the people who lived there, most were so terrifying that he believed them to be fabrications. Not to mention that if he himself were to ever meet a fifty foot long snake that it would surely kiss the end of his sword. Ah, but alas, he thought, glancing over at the young scientist for which they traveled, he probably would be bared from killing any of the local wildlife. They were here so that the young man could collect data on the wildlife, and bring back some samples to the king. Sosuke Aizen had never held a fondness for the Spanish people nor their king, but he did want his name to be written in all of the legends, and conquering such a notorious land would surely put his name up their with the greats.
"Ah, and what is that one called?" The young man asked, in his usual, grating manner. The villager in front of him looked back and made a motion with his hand that Sosuke was sure was an insult. He didn't blame him, Mayuri Kurotsuchi was a strange man, one that normal people tended to shy away from. Even if the man knew English, Sosuke was sure he would not reply. Mayuri used a pair of tongs to pull the passing flower off of the surface of the water and set it next to the rest of the specimens he'd collected so far. "I think these two may be from the same genus. What say you Captain Aizen?" He called across the water, earning him a few nervous glances from the villagers.
Sosuke looked down at the flowers that he'd indicated, his eyes tracing their fragile patterns and subtle color differences and shrugged, "I'm no scientist, Kurotsuchi." He replied simply, though he felt as if the two were the same. Gin Ichimaru chuckled from the tiny little boat behind him and murmured something that made the villager laugh loudly. Sosuke felt he was the only one who barely considered these people to be human. Their loud squawks and garbled growls made them seem more to be wild animals than men. The only thing they really shared was an upright way of walking. Well, all except their translator, a villager who had learned English from the settlers who came here long ago. That was where they were headed now.
"Beautiful day for a swim," Gin commented, his boat pulling up alongside Sosuke's. His overbearing grin made Sosuke want to knock him from his little boat, but he daren't lean too far over.
Instead, Sosuke kept his indifferent look on his face and commented, "Let's try you going under and counting to a thousand, eh?" Gin's smile only grew bigger.
"Come now Aizen, you don't need to be all uppity about this," He gestured above them, where the dense tree coverage was beginning to get sparser and through their foliage he could see a perfect, baby blue sky. He was going to continue, but very suddenly, it began to rain. And yet, looking overhead he could see no signs of clouds or any type of warning that came along with rain. The villagers shouted to each over, banking the boat quickly and efficiently. Sosuke grabbed the empty sack at his side and jumped out of the boat onto the muddy, slippery bank, resisting the urge to kiss the ground. Everyone else began disembarking, their confused faces turning his way. Neliel and her brother Grimmjow seemed suspicious of the villagers, their hands on their swords, looking at him for the go ahead.
"Why are we getting off here?" He demanded their translator, ready to give the order at the slightest show of hostility.
Their translator, and old, hunched over villager with skin the same color as the bark of the trees gestured at the rain that was steadily growing louder with each passing moment. "For my people," He began, in his slow, rich voice, "This type of weather forebodes very bad luck. Not to mention the fact that our boats would be flooded in a moment." One of the taller villagers, and the one that the rest looked to squawked something to the translator, while his cold black eyes looked directly at Sosuke. "Half of the villagers will stay here with the boats and your cargo, our chief recommends you leave some of your warriors as well. The rest of us will continue into the jungle and stay at the Village of Ajabu, until the bad luck time ends."
Sosuke considered the information quietly, and finally ordered eight of his men to stay. This did not include Gin, Grimmjow, Neliel, Mayuri, Coyote Starrk, Ulquiorra, or Nnoitora. He left Kaname in charge of those who remained. And then, he followed the villagers into the jungle, listening to the pitter patter of rain overhead.
After what felt like an hour of steady marching through the dense undergrowth they reached a tiny little village that sat in the middle of what seemed to be a swamp. Their tiny little ramshackle houses were built on stilts, and each one had a pier that jutted out into the murky water. Every once in awhile a long, silvery fish would leap out of the water and snatch a bird out of the air. So far, the legends were proving to be true. Children ran from house to house, either alone or with women who carried huge baskets on their heads, their skirts were long and colorful. Most of the women wore sashes across their breasts, but some, the noticeably older ones did not. He couldn't see any men around, and mentioned it to their translator.
The old man chuckled, "The men are out hunting now, they'll be back in no time. We wait here at the edge until they do." He nodded, and relayed the information to his crew who seemed all seemed to have possessed a sort of calm while they marched. All except Mayuri who seemed to be tasting the mold on a tree. He watched with a sort of eerie fascination while they waited for the men to return.
Ulquiorra calmly held all of the things that Mayuri thrust back at him, dried leaves pressed between thin pieces of parchment, an insect or two that he'd managed to stuff into a tiny little glass jar, and the occasional newt from the jungle floor, which Ulquiorra had no choice but to hold between two slender fingers. The pale man didn't even look up when a loud howl erupted suddenly from the woods. Sosuke watched as the male villagers returned, almost every one of them carrying some sort of creature back to their little houses. The children greeted them happily, some taking the burdens and running them back to the house. The women poked their heads out, calling to their men. He realized very suddenly that they spoke very rough English. Mayuri started violently when he heard it, and he almost rushed over to them, Sosuke wondered what his next course of action might have been.
But their translator called out loudly, a noise that was somewhere between a bloodcurdling cry and the growl of a grizzly bear. All of the villagers looked their way, and very slowly, the women and children withdrew into the houses, the men looking over at them, their facial expressions unreadable. Finally, a man came over, he was just as tall as Sosuke, and just as muscular as Yammy. He wore white breeches only, his feet rough and calloused, and his chest covered with scars. His short black hair and strong brown gaze immediately captured their attention. His eyes scanned over all of the people who stood there, before finally resting on Sosuke.
"What do you want?" He asked gruffly, trying to stare him down. Sosuke smirked in return.
He cleared his throat, "I am Sosuke Aizen, and this is my crew, we're on a quest to learn everything there is to know about the animals that live here. We would be grateful if you allowed us to stay in your village awhile." The man pulled his dark eyebrows together before calling back to one of the men. This man was even larger than he was, his long black hair ended in spikes that he'd decorated with bells, a pink haired little girl clung to his back.
They spoke quietly for a moment and finally the first man said, "You can stay and gather your animals. There is a few houses that are abandoned farther off you may stay in, as long as you don't mind a few spirits." Their translator stepped forward and bowed lowly.
"It would be our honor." He replied, and then looking at the first man he asked, "How are your daughters doing, Isshin?" Isshin smiled gently, the fierceness immediately melting from his gaze.
"They look more and more like their mother everyday." Isshin replied, "And how are your son's?"
"Strong and healthy. My oldest is not too far away from here, he's turning into a fine leader." Their translator replied, a slight smile touching his lips. "And how are you doing, Yachiru?" He addressed the tiny, pink haired girl on the more muscular man's shoulder.
She replied in a voice that reminded one of the tinkling of bells, "Me and Kenny caught an alligator today." She said proudly, and Mayuri shivered with delight beside him.
"Might I see the creature?" He asked, a hungry look in his eyes. Yachiru agreed and started telling the young scientist all about it. Sosuke didn't have time to worry about the young man, as he found himself suddenly being herded to a huge pool of murky brown water surrounded by three decrepit looking houses. The man, Isshin told them to make themselves comfortable, and that they would have to ask the villagers for food later on if they wanted dinner. Sosuke found himself on one of the piers, staring down at the seemingly innocent little lake of later, he wondered what sorts of horrors it contained. So far, nothing in the village had managed to impress him, and he wondered for how long they'd be staying. He couldn't imagine that Mayuri would find very much here to be interested in, but so far, all expectations had gone out of the window on this little expedition.
Grimmjow and Neliel joined him a short while later, bickering as always. As they approached he heard the end of the young green haired woman's sentiments, "…like them if I want to." She said, forcefully, plopping down beside Sosuke. Grimmjow glared down at both of them, his eyes almost comically wide.
"Those savages don't even wear proper shirts, Nel." Grimmjow replied. Sosuke smirked, the bluenette certainly had some nerve, since he himself walked around without a shirt on half the time. He decided to leave them to their bickering and go inside.
The interior was dim, and dusty, but the floorboards were in tact and the roof had barely any holes. Which was why Sosuke had chosen it for his own. Gin sat in a corner, participating his most favorite hobby, people watching. His head turned as he watched Sosuke cross the tiny room, but he couldn't actually see his eyes tracing him. Over the years he'd gotten used to it, but he still felt it strange that no one would ever truly be able to tell if he were sleeping or not.
"Wake me up in two hours, Ichimaru." Sosuke said, and laid down without watching for a reply. Truthfully, he was bone tired from the day's exertions, but he wasn't about to go advertising that information. He really wanted to sleep until noon the next day, but he needed to eat something, and the only way to do that, was to beg the villagers. He didn't like the thought very much, but it seemed that he had very little choice in the matter.
When he awoke, Gin was standing, and presumably looking down at him, not having uttered a single word. Gin grinned widely, and Sosuke was secretly glad of it. Seeing him without a smile seemed like…well rain on a perfectly sunny day. And yet, that had already happened today as well.
He stood, and dusted himself off, wondering when or if they would be able to sleep on beds again. His annoyance was slight, and getting worse by the moment, as they left to go and find some willing patron to supply them a meal. Gin parted ways with him as they reached the middle of the village, following some busty blonde haired, blue eyed woman into her house. Sosuke chose another home at random, though it was seemingly the most well taken care of home out of all the others. He knocked on the arch of the doorway, wondering, not for the first time how one could have a society that had no doors, nor locks to keep intruders out. They placed a lot of faith in their neighbors. A young woman, with black hair and an angry expression came to the arch, she wore breeches instead of a skirt and a sash across her tiny little chest.
"What do you want?" She asked in a loud, authoritative voice. Another girl about her height with light brown hair stood next to her, her expression softer and more welcoming. This girl wore a brightly colored skirt and a sash across her chest as well.
She looked empathetically at Sosuke, "You must be hungry, come on in." She said, not even noticing the other girls scowl. This house was warm, the floor boards were smooth from generations of feet, and clean as if it were newly polished. On two of the walls were shelves that had jars of herbs and dried meats. In a corner there were several fur blankets folded up neatly, a tiny little fire in the opposite corner, it was encircled by rocks, and the wood flooring skirted it just enough to not catch on fire itself. Six or seven fish were lying on a stone in the middle of the fire, filling the house with a warm, salty scent. The two girls led him to the pit, and the one with light brown hair introduced herself as Yuzu, and told him that the other girl, now scowling at the fire, was Karin, her twin sister. She asked him how he was settling in, and if he needed anything to just come to them. She also gave him a thick silky black fur to sleep on that night.
After awhile she pulled off the fish. Less than a minute later, a young man stalked through the arch of the doorway, soaking wet, his black breeches clinging to his peach colored skin. His hair was bright orange, and stuck up in spikes, his full lips were scowling, his eyebrows pulled together over his nose. His eyes were chocolate brown, and very expressive. You could tell he'd had a long day, and that all he wanted to do was curl up and go to sleep. Sosuke thought he was adorable until those eyes turned to him and the scowl deepened.
"Who is this?" He asked Karin, gentle touching a knife he had strapped to his side. Much good that'd do against Sosuke's sword, he thought, smirking. Something about the petulant look he was giving him made him angry beyond words. It was an unfounded anger, but so pure and sudden in its delivery that he didn't question it. All he knew was that he wanted to piss him off just as much.
Karin scowled at Sosuke, and very suddenly, he could see where she got it from. "Some person begging for food. Yuzu let him in." She said, grabbing on of the fish. Her body wasn't nearly as tense as it was before, which told Sosuke that she had reason to relax now. He looked the boy up and down again, slowly, knowing it was making the orange haired man uncomfortable. He was thin, but muscles ripped under the surface of his peach colored skin, he had lithe little hips and long legs. He didn't seem like much of a fighter, but the fact that the girls felt safer spoke otherwise. The young man sat down between Yuzu and Sosuke, seemingly this put him in a better defensive position. But if Sosuke really wanted to kill these people, he could in a matter of seconds, the boy would be unable to so much as draw that pathetic little knife.
The young man took a fish and handed it to Yuzu, who put it on a large leaf on her lap. She pulled off the skin and began picking at the meat inside. The orange haired boy handed Sosuke one of the leaves and grabbed a fish for himself, eating without another glance at Sosuke. Sosuke frowned, he wouldn't be ignored so easily.
"What kind of leaf is this?" He asked, grabbing one of the fish off of the still hot rock and placed it on the leathery green leaf. The young man didn't so much as glance his way, and Karin took her que to do the same. But Yuzu, dear sweet little Yuzu looked at him sympathetically.
"It's a banana leaf," She replied, giving him an encouraging smile as she pulled the spine out from the middle of the fish. It seemed like she wanted him to say more and so, he continued on, speaking more now than he'd felt was necessary in a very long time.
He pulled off the skin, surprised at the ease with which it parted from the white, flaky meat underneath. "What kind of fish is this?" He asked, taking a little hunk and eating it slowly, methodically. It was warm, and buttery, it didn't taste fishy in the slightest. He looked to Yuzu, about to compliment her cooking, but she was looking at the orange haired young man.
"It's a kind of catfish." The young man replied, not even looking up from his food. Sosuke felt a corner of his mouth tilt up in response, small victories. He looked for another question to ask, but the young man finished his food, he got up and went outside with the leaf in his hand. Yuzu made a little noise.
She smiled gently at Sosuke, "He's not normally like this, he's just had a very hard day." She said, before getting up too. She held out her hand for Karin's, who had left nothing but some of the skin and the spine. Sosuke took his leisure eating the rest, he wasn't about to be rushed out without finishing his meal. It was his first meal of the day after all. He really wanted to just rip into it, but he restrained himself.
The young man came back in, looking at the sleek black fur in Sosuke's lap. The young orange haired man grabbed a thicker, brown fur and exchanged it for the black one in Sosuke's lap, his long slender fingers just barely brushing the front of Sosuke's breeches, but the boy didn't seem to notice, he was just glaring at the sleek black fur, like he wanted to set it on fire with his eyes. The brown fur the young man had given him was thicker, but coarser, and he scowled at the boy, wanting to take it back, and then punish him fiercely. If one of his crew members had behaved this way he already would've received some lashings. He imagined the orange haired boy bent over the side of Sosuke's bed, his breeches pooled on the floor while Sosuke gave him lashings, he imagined his orange haired head thrown back as he cried out in both pleasure and pain, he imagined blood running down his long lean legs, his lithe little hips poking out a little more every time, begging for more. Sosuke could practically taste the thin layer of sweat that would cover the boys lean body as he thrust into him. He pulled the fur up over his lap and finished eating quickly.
He excused himself, taking the leaf with him. The air outside was thick and heavy with moisture, it had gotten hotter as night fell, he discarded the leaf behind someone else's home, and began walking back to their camp. He felt his arousal rubbing against the thick fur the boy had given him through his breeches, it was both painful and pleasurable. Sosuke had thought this little scientific exploration would be boring, that his days would be filled with nothing but collecting, and analyzing. Luckily, this trip seemed full of surprises, most unpleasant, but some…very promising. The corners of his mouth turned up at that thought, while he stalked back to camp, the stars glaring down angrily at him for thinking such thoughts towards such a young boy. Sosuke began to wonder if he was allowed to bring human specimens home.
Sosuke awoke to the sound of heavy breathing, his face was buried in fur, thick brown fur that seemed to strangle him. He slowly rose, bright light filtered in through the windows, which were more like holes in the walls, he still heard the gentle pitter patter of rain outside, but there wasn't a cloud in the sky. There was a surprising array of noises, ranging from the squawks of the birds flying overhead, to the buzz of insects, the calls of the villagers in the distance, the heavy breathing of Grimmjow, who lay sprawled on the hard wooden floor. Gin Ichimaru was sitting on a thick brown fur much like his own, his sword across his knees. His head turned Sosuke's way and he grinned, nodding towards Grimmjow. Sosuke grabbed a piece of fallen wood, smiling mischievously at Gin, and chucked it at the bluenette. He snorted and rolled into a crouch, sword drawn towards the door. He looked around wildly, and both Gin and Sosuke began to chuckle. Grimmjow's eyebrows pulled together and he sheathed his sword standing up, he was about to say something, something that would no doubt get him into trouble, but he was interrupted by a loud call from outside.
They all headed out, and saw their companions doing the same from the other two huts. Isshin and the orange haired boy from the night before stood on the pier of the second house. Isshin grinned at Mayuri, who grinned back, equally wide. The young scientist had all of his gear on, and ready, he looked as if he'd been awake for hours. Sosuke entertained a passing thought that perhaps the young scientist did not sleep at all, but entered some sort of hibernation state. After a few minutes of banter between the two, Isshin left and the orange haired boy started leading Mayuri and Ulquiorra out into the denser part of the jungle. Sosuke sent Grimmjow after them, having already made plans to go back and fetch the rest of their equipment off of the tiny little boats. Mayuri had expressed his excitement the night before, telling them that he knew this place was filled with all sorts of things he could bring home, and study. The villagers here seemed to tolerate him, and most actually seemed fascinated with the young scientist. He had told Sosuke that he would stay here for three weeks minimum, with or without Sosuke's crew. He knew that withdrawing, and leaving Mayuri behind was out of the question, since his whole task (the reason he was being paid) was to protect the young scientist, and help him collect as many creatures as possible to bring back to the king.
As much as Sosuke wanted to follow after them and torture the sweet little orange haired teen, he knew he would be needed for negotiations back at the boats. So, he restrained himself, and ordered Grimmjow, to order Ulquiorra to tell him everything that had happened while he was gone. Gin cocked his head to the side while he watched Sosuke fold the fur. "You're going to be in a foul mood today aren't you?" Sosuke considered this for a long moment, and finally, he grinned cruelly.
"Most likely, yes." Gin, made a low noise in his throat.
He silver haired man said, "Please take it out on Kaname, not me." He replied, knowing already how things would develop when they returned to the boats. He would need to talk to Isshin before they left to make sure it was okay for them to bring back the rest of the crew. He stalked back out into the daylight, the warm sprinkling of rain felt as if some disgruntled god were spitting on him.
A.N. ~ So know how the village is called 'Ajabu' it means wonder in swahili...google translate. I wanted something cooler but hey, it sounded juuuuust foreign enough. So yeah, drop me a comment, praise, or complaint...and yeah. I let Aizen get a little...y'know ish, just to spice things up a little. I know, like...aizen...afraid of water? Yeah right.
But really think about it. He never encounters water in Bleach right? He makes his fucking base in the middle of a desert...i think he might be a hydrophobe. Well...see you next time ^_^