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The Ladder of Perfection

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There is a hesitation. A drop of ink is perilously close to falling on the paper and staining it inelegantly. The writer doesn't notice.

Instead of seeing what's right in front of him, he pictures a girl who will spend her entire life between four walls. One of those walls will be shared with the church – she will be able to look into the sanctuary through a small window. There will be another window, also, towards the outside. When she will enter, the bishop will read the service for the dead because from then on she will be dead to the world.

What can he write her?... What can he say to her?... He feels claustrophobic just thinking about it, but he has been instructed to write to her, to make her pledge herself to Jesus with all her heart. He must encourage her to be righteous and devoted. He must show her the way to fill her heart with love and humbleness. But how can he, such an insignificant man, begin to write to such a girl – no, such a woman – who is brave enough to put herself soul and body in the service of Christ, giving away all joy in life, all freedom to walk, to run, to leap and swim and feel the rain on her face?...

No. He must not deceive himself, not now when nobody can hear his real thoughts, not now when there's nobody to read his mind. He knows what to say. He's been thinking and rethinking ideas for the longest time now, putting them together in a compelling, beautiful, honorable, pious whole. The moment has come to finally say them. The one problem he still has is how to begin. He should address her somehow, make himself her friend. His brilliant mind searches and searches and stumbles upon the perfect words. “Ghostly sister in Christ Jesus”, he writes. Hinamori will be glad to be called his sister in devotion. Aizen will be amused.



~*~



It was the year of our Lord 1365. A young man was half-lying, half-sitting on his bed, surrounded by shadows, leaning against the wall, wasting a perfectly good candle by staring into space. His father had already retired, while the sole maid was probably cleaning up the kitchen. His mother had died in 1348, the year of the plague, when the curse of God had spread across the land and had taken down nobles and servants alike. His two sisters, like himself, had survived and were the ripe age for marriage. As for him, he would study law and make a life for himself. His father had decided that track in life, but he didn't mind. He wanted it as well.

...So why did things feel just a bit empty and lifeless?

The young man's name was Walter Hilton, but it wasn't a name he felt particularly connected with. If he were to be truthful - which he wasn't - he would have to admit that he didn't feel particularly connected with anything at all. He suffered, but he didn't know why and he couldn't stop it – so he hid it behind a smile and let the pain spread at the back of his soul, taking over everything he wasn't paying attention to, gaining territory every day. On his face a smile, in his mind a smile. Nobody could tell that he was choking on his own metaphorical blood. Maybe it would kill him in the end, but he didn't know how to fix it.

But tonight, as the wind blew softly outside and became draft inside, he couldn't ignore it and pretend as well as he would have liked. He'd met an older man on his way to becoming a hermit that very day, spoken with him and found out that...

Well. That would remain a secret. He had better things to do than to become a hermit. And besides, he was cursed with Saint Augustin's own curse. Sweet Saint Augustin, of the well put words and pain and love and high thoughts.

To love then, and to be beloved, was sweet to me; but more, when I obtained to enjoy the person I loved. I defiled, therefore, the spring of friendship with the filth of concupiscence, and I beclouded its brightness with the hell of lustfulness.

Walter felt that, the sweet burn of desire in his entire body. Some days, alone in his room, he would say the word over and over again, sweet because it represented everything that was sinful and wicked and delightful: concupiscence. It plagued him during the day, when he would speak in polite society while picturing his audience half-naked, with lust in their eyes and their bodies in the mad embrace of physical love. It burned him in the evening when his hand wandered down in the forbidden regions of his body where another's hand should go. It hurt him in the early hours when he woke from pure need and did things that no man should ever do to himself. He would marry soon for the sake of quenching that lust, of sinking himself deep inside a woman, and, please, God, make her a whore in bed, make her sinful and lustful, an insatiable succubus who'd grasp his hair and pull him beneath her like Lilith did to Adam to get herself thrown out of Paradise.

Forbidden thoughts again, and a lust that couldn't be quenched. The housemaid would have him, if he let himself go to her, but would she keep quiet?... His father mustn't know that he was this wretched, sinful monster.

He pushed himself up in an energetic, youthful, resigned way from his half-lying position. He went smoothly into a crouch, but his momentum carried him forward and he rolled almost acrobatically, his legs rising from the bed to travel through the air and to finally come down at the end of the bed, his toes touching the floor. He intentionally let them slip from below him and he landed on his knees, flushed, with his hands in a praying motion. He was young and athletic and he could afford twisting his body this way and that around the room until he could do strange motions with ease and comfort.

"God," he said, half-smiling with some embarrassment which he covered with cockiness. "I've been bad again. I'll confess later to the priest, but I thought You might want to hear about it from me. In private. I feel too embarrassed to say it to the good Father the way I'd want to."

He gave a small cough to clear his throat. Honesty it was, then. Who would hear, except he and God? And God already knew him.

"I met a hermit today, by the way. I'd love to serve You like that. I'd love to have that sort of life which would be dedicated to You. But You see, I have this thing between my legs, God, that won't let me. I've seduced one of the peasant girls in a village not far from here yesterday and it was so good, You wouldn't believe. I loved the way she panted, and begged for more and rubbed herself against me, all over. If I were a woman, God, I'd do the same as she did and whore myself to all men who asked it of me.” There was a pause as he realized what he was saying. “I repent for my lack of repentance. You know I would do it again, Lord. Again and again and never feel the sorrow that I should. God, I dived into her as if I were starved and thirsty for her flesh, and I was. I had her, not once, but thrice. I couldn't get enough. I want more, my Lord, always more. I burn within, there's a flame inside of me that no water can quench. If the marriage between You and my soul were a physical one, with what gladness I'd give myself to you entirely. I'd be your bride and you should be my bridegroom – I don't care. It's not a sin as Sodom's, if it's You, is it? I wouldn't care, I wouldn't mind. My lust is for anyone who walks, but my love is just for You. Aid me, Lord. And now, if You don't mind, I'll get back on my bed and disgrace myself entirely, wishing it were to Your pleasure. Even if I know it's not. “

'Debauch.'

It wasn't as if he actually heard the word, but he felt it deep in his mind, as if some unknown part of him was correcting his speech. But he was entirely sure he hadn't meant to say 'debauch', although that was indeed what he had in mind.

"Eh?" he thought, trying to trace that.

'Debauch is the word you're looking for,' said the thought that he had heard, growing in intensity the more he thought of it.

"I will, eh, debauch, myself for You.... which is something I did not just say to You and for which I apologize profusely." And then he ranted on. “Actually, forget I said anything. I will go and take care of my matter in private and I will beg You for forgiveness and confess all this horrible sin to the good Father.”

'Yet I have accepted your offering. Do it. Debauch yourself for me.'

The young man decided that looking further into the matter was a bad idea. He gave a nervous smile in the general direction of everything – since God was everywhere – and climbed back on the bed, where he pulled his clothes apart. This was ridiculous. It was a madman's lunacy, a heretic's voice-hearing. He was maddened by lust and it was clouding his judgment. He wouldn't be able to apologize enough to God later, but he could swear that He had sounded amused, if it was really He.

However, the moment he took his problem into hand, so to speak, he found that his earlier thought wasn't letting him go, sticking to him lustfully, bringing to mind the idea of God watching him, God being there and demanding to be served that way. God appearing so that he would debauch himself at the thought of his one love, as he had just confessed it. "I'll go to hell for this," he muttered, sliding his hand up and down slowly, trying to think of women and being unable to. “I will definitely go to hell for this. The peasant girl was nothing. I'm going to hell.”

And the thought, as well as the strangeness of thinking of being watched by God as he sinned, made it all too strange. Eventually, after a few more caresses, he gave up. There was a limit to his sin, a limit to his desire and his lust. He couldn't do this and fool himself that it was God who wanted it. God was watching. God was always watching, but he didn't want God to watch while he sinned at the thought of God.

He closed his eyes and leaned his head against the wall. Well, that was a way to stop giving in to his lust, he supposed. It wasn't a pleasant one. “God, I thank You for ridding me of my lust,” he said, trying to sound appreciative. “Your great wisdom and outrageous proposal may have saved my soul. Which is good. You've defeated my unwillingness to be saved. It was so easy for You.” He tried to get himself to believe that. He would probably be all the better off without touching himself, but sometimes sin was so sweet that you still wanted it even if you knew better. He hoped that God would go away now and allow him to sin some more, without feeling like the worst sinner in the world.

But what if he wouldn't ever be rid of God? What if He would throw His graceful presence at him whenever he was in danger of giving in to his desires?... He supposed he should really, really want that, but he found himself resenting it so much that he almost prayed not to be cured.

He opened his eyes to become more anchored in the world. But there, at the foot of his bed, stood a tall man, brown haired, brown eyed, handsome, radiating peace. It didn't help much.

"What the-?" Walter asked. "Who are..."

But as soon as he spoke, he realized that this was an apparition. The man couldn't be human. He glowed, he seemed to be surrounded by a light too strong to come from the candle. That was, if his readings were of any value, the radiance of a being of the otherworld, altogether part the human ability to describe.

"Don't you recognize me, my Gin?"

The name that rolled off the man's tongue made the younger one jump in surprise. It wasn't only that it was far from 'Walter', his given name, but it was what he had always called himself in his mind, the name he had never shared with anybody else. No witch could ever work her magic on him through a name, since his real one was his own delicious secret.

He studied this stranger – the man shone in the darkness like a ghost, but there was something ineffable, wonderful, full of light and pleasure that surrounded him, an intoxicating flagrance, a miraculous perfume that the nostrils couldn't smell, but that climbed into the heart and made it warmer. Whatever he was, he was no devil, but rather an angel. An angel – Gin couldn't believe it. Gabriel? Michael? Or maybe one of the smaller ranks, those whom the Bible never named? Or maybe, Gin thought with a very, very hidden hope, he was more than an angel. After all, Gin had prayed. He hadn't prayed to an angel, no, but to God – and he had spoken to Him as if they were close and friends, and he had confessed everything and had asked for so much... He didn't dare hope it was God, but his heart beat fast in recognition, saying that this presence, this very sweet, delightful, intoxicating scentless scent, this soundless music, was what he felt in answer to his prayers. It wasn't – it couldn't be. But maybe it was. He had to hope, he had to dream, because maybe it was God. He hoped beyond all hope now that it was and the desire and hope pushed him over the brink and he nearly choked over the words as he spoke them, preparing himself to have his heart broken to tiny pieces.

"My Lord?" he asked.

The man nodded. Gin's heart skipped a beat, his eyes widened larger than they'd ever been. The world stood still for a second.

"I have a hidden name too, my poor Gin," He said. “My poor, lost child.”

"The Jews were right, then? About Your name?”

The Lord's eyes narrowed slightly. "No. I have many names, not just one. But I have a secret name for you to share with Me. One under which I shall show Myself to you. It is only fair, since I know yours."

Gin's head spun. He still almost didn't dare to believe that this was really happening to him.

"Aizen," He said. “You will call Me Aizen, but only in the secrecy of your heart and in the quietness of your prayers to Me when you're alone. No other man shall hear this name without My approval, not one other person will you tell – or I shall never return to you.”

"What does Aizen mean?" the young man asked, shivering, but unable to tell that he was doing so. His fingers trembled against his sheets and it was only the dryness of his tongue that made him realize he was breathing through an open mouth.

God walked slowly towards him. Gin trembled even more and he wondered if he was going to die from the sheer emotion of the closeness, but he was blessed enough to hang on to his sinful flesh. Aizen leaned down, putting one hand on either side of his body, bending towards his ear.

"Indigo dye," he murmured.

The young man blinked and felt some reality come back to him. Confusion grounded him now. "Pardon?"

Aizen chuckled and pulled back, his eyes looking deeply into Gin's from just a palm's distance away. "Well, it's one of the meanings. Get a grip on yourself now, my Gin."

"Aizen..." Gin repeated, tasting it. "Am I deluding?" Might as well get that out of the way.

"Something akin to it. You may call it a revelation.” Aizen smiled at him. “There are other meanings, meanings which explain why you shall call Me this way – why you and only you will call me that. Aizen means being caught by desire, or attachment.” God's fingers caressed his cheek, slowly, carefully. It made Gin float. “In your case, it is lust. I am the name you must put to the torture pulsing through your veins. I am the cause of it and its deliverer." Aizen's fingers caught Gin's chin and lifted his face. Gin felt a jolt in his entire body, not a very pleasant one, but a strong one, a second's pain and shock.

"Are You testing me by this lust, my Lord?"

"Yes. I want you to reign in your passion. I want you to never touch another one in lust, unless I give My approval. I want you to submit to Me, even if the path is hard.”

Gin trembled. “If all my nights were like this night, my Lord, I could. If You stood by me, I could, my Lord. But my flesh is weak and I...”

“The third meaning of my name is complete love,” God told him. “The love of everything. I forgive you your weaknesses and trespassing, for it was I who placed them within you, who desired them, who wishes to see you in the full glory of a sin committed in My name."

Gin felt his throat dry and his lips parch. His limbs felt weak, his heart was beating hard against his chest, rising in his throat. He wondered if he really understood what He was saying.

“My Lord?” he asked, shyly.

“Did nothing in My book tell you that I am not kind, except to those unworthy? To the worthy ones I am harsh and cruel, because I wish to test their love. Those who are weak will follow Me and will be saved. Those who are strong I shall make My own and their sacrifices and hardships, their martyrdoms, I will reward in Heaven. Your every pain will be a jewel in the crown I will give you. Your every prayer, a drop of dew to step on in the Gardens, your cries of pain will turn to hymns of joy. I am unkind so that later I may be kinder. Will you, then, be My servant, or will you stand with the crowds at the end of the world, saved, but not in the full joy of the best of savings?”

Gin nodded, slowly. He didn't know why he was nodding. Maybe he was nodding in understanding, or maybe he was nodding to show that he wanted to be one of the chosen. It was much to take in and there was something in his mind that protested, but he couldn't tell what that was. He was dazed and he wanted things, and he was nearly choking with emotion again. His mind wouldn't function right.

"Touch yourself for Me."

He understood the order, but his mind refused to accept this, battling against his ingrained teachings, his morals.

"Gin, a soul that wishes to know spiritual things needs first to have the knowledge of itself," Aizen murmured. "You cannot know what is above yourself unless you first know your own self. And I wish you to know Me. Now. Touch yourself."

The young man reached forward through his open clothing and took his length in his hand, but didn't go further than that. Know Him? Biblically? Or just as a metaphor? But if God was saying it, wouldn't it be Biblical, anyway? Or divine?...

"Do it, Gin."

He barely dared to move his hand, but once he did, the sensation threatened to overwhelm him. His fingers ran all over his length, as they had done again and again, but this time every caress felt so full of light and love and tenderness that he threatened to spill with each instant of every moment that passed. His entire body tensed as he ordered himself to last, having some awareness that he should, knowing he would hate himself should this end too soon. His back arched against the wall and he bucked into his palm.

"I... can't..." he panted.

"Sweet Gin. Just a little longer?"

The words were nectar, filling him with bliss as they touched his ears, rolling like honey from Aizen's lips to his own. He sucked in a breath as if he were drinking air that tasted of the Word and forced himself to last.

"Virtuous Gin," Aizen chuckled, His hand placing itself above the young man's own. "I'll tell you what I want. I want you to cry out My name, My name that I have given you, as you rise in bliss."

"My father, my sisters..."

"What?... At this time, you think of them? Fear not. They won't hear you. I will not let them hear you."

Gin barely had time to look down at Aizen's hand before it moved and touched the right spots in the right way, bringing him over the edge fast, embarrassingly fast, impossibly hard. His entire body tensed with pleasure and he arched off the bed, crying out the name of his God louder that he had ever dared to cry in pleasure before. His hand reached out blindly and he grabbed Aizen to him as waves of delight turned into a sea of bliss that nearly made him pass out from sheer intensity.

When he recalled himself, Aizen was chuckling, His head leaning against Gin's shoulder.

"That was..." Gin began.

"Not all that will happen to you tonight. Listen, dearest. The first state a soul seeking Me can be in is knowledge – you knew that God, that I, existed. And you had faith. It is enough for salvation. The second state is that of feeling, and it's there that you are now. Feeling, in which all is love and pleasure. And there is a third state."

Gin couldn't focus on the words, but he tried, he tried to read them off those blessed lips, to get his mind to follow even if his body tried to drag him down. "A... third state?"

"These tears of joy you cry for me," Aizen said, touching Gin's cheeks. They were damp, Gin realized. He hadn't been aware that he was crying, but he was – and just like at other times, he didn't know why. "The burning desire, which is not sin, for it is in My name... I command you to have this lust and your body obeys. I give it to you and cleanse you of all sin through it...”

“Lord, why am I crying?” Gin asked. He let his hand disentangle from Aizen's clothes, he tried to find a better way to put it, but couldn't. “Why am I always in pain?”

“You are crying because you are impure,” God told him. “These tears are good. They purify your flesh, which cannot bear receiving Me yet. They are the reward for obedience. They are the ones that will take away your pain. You suffer because I have called you to Me and you haven't been able to come yet. But now I call again. I am asking you to come, to serve Me. You are one of My favorites, but it remains for you to decide: are you willing to offer Me more, Gin, more than others do? To receive more than others dream of receiving? Your entire body and soul, are you able to give them to Me? Then there will be no tears and no panting, just bliss, because your flesh and your soul will be purified."

Gin tried to catch his breath. It was fast, so fast that he didn't even know what to say. He feared saying 'no', because he hated losing it all. He feared saying 'yes', because he didn't know if he could really serve God as He asked. This was God, his God, and he loved Him and he would do anything, but there was always his flesh, and there was his lust and he couldn't rise above that. He might have expected God to come one day, but not like this – he had expected to be punished for the weakness of his flesh, he had expected a glance at the merciless God before he fell into hell. He wanted this. He wanted God, but he was afraid that he would fail and disappoint Him.

"I am unworthy," he heard himself say and he loathed every syllable, every tiny bit of that admission of truth.

"Good Gin," Aizen said, smiling. "But don't you know? Not because you are worthy, but because you are unworthy should you love Me. And if you have My love, then that is because I have deemed you worthy of it."

Gin tried to find his words. It was hard talking to God, he realized. He was overwhelmed and he didn't know what to say, so the truth came to him over and over. He didn't like the truth. "I had expected something else for my sins, my Lord. Pain, perhaps. Hardship. I expected you to hurt me again and again so that I would be cleansed."

He caught a shine in Aizen's eye as he said that, a sort of thrill or joy, the shadow of a an amusement that couldn't be wicked, because this was God. "Later, My love. We shall do that, too." He smiled and it was deep and warm and, to Gin's mind, sounded like he enjoyed the thought of punishment. If he thought about it, maybe so did he. He felt himself begin to harden again, thinking of the pain that his God had promised. Delivered from the hand of God, it would be... "Eager, aren't you?" Aizen asked.

"The third step you mentioned, my Lord. What is it?"

He felt bathed in God, bathed in light. Maybe he was still shaking, he didn't know. "Both knowledge and love, My Gin. Naturally. Do not be fooled – the two together are stronger than their individual strengths put together.”

“What does that mean?”

“To put it in the terms you'd favor, you will be ravished and taken from all bodily senses.” Gin cleared his throat. “You will be unable to have any affections for those who are not I.”

“After God, who else is there to be seen?” Gin asked. Aizen smiled at him.

“You will see the Truth.”

“Which is You.”

“Which is I,” Aizen approved. “And you will feel soft, sweet, burning love when I ravish you.” Gin almost wanted to duck his head with embarrassment, because that went precisely to his most intimate parts. “You will become one with Me, for a time. And all of this will be nothing but a taste of what you will feel in heaven, where you and I will truly become One. And nothing shall ever take us apart."

Gin swallowed and he found his throat constricting. "My Lord, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux... mentioned in his sermons that... kissing... was the..."

Aizen's lips were suddenly on his, hot and demanding. Gin was pressed back forcefully against the bed while He climbed on top of him, pinning him down. "Are you certain you want this, My sweet, sweet Gin?"

Gin knew he was lost in need and lust and desire and love. But there was nobody better to be lost to. "Yes."

"You will submit to Me and My will on all occasions? If you refuse now, at the end of days you will be judged like any other mortal. But you cannot be Mine and yet betray Me... then you will fall into hell."

"I swear." Gin's usual impertinence, conspicuously absent until then, rose up suddenly, catching him unaware. "I already said I would. Why do You keep asking?" The moment his mind caught up, though, he felt a sudden lump in his throat, but Aizen only laughed.

"It's customary," He dismissed it.

"And You can't ravish me. It implies force. I'm willing."

"That rebel silver tongue of yours will only get you in trouble in the world, My sweet. Temper it, but..."

"I am sorry, my Lord."

"...not around Me. You must hide nothing from Me."

Gin shivered. Aizen lowered His head to nibble on his neck, teeth scraping against the unblemished skin lightly before biting hard, but not hard enough to break the skin, sending mixed pain and pleasure coursing through the young man's body. Gin cried out, trying to arch up from the bed, but he was held down. The pain of Aizen's teeth became nearly a memory as a warm, wet tongue lapped at the newly forming bruise; he found himself mewing without any dignity, squirming helplessly, unable to help himself. Not that he wanted to.

A hand brushed against his groin and Gin realized, in some distant part of his mind that was still capable of thought, that he was much too sensitive, buckling like that under such a light caress. But this was Aizen. His Aizen. Whom he had adored in some shape or another since he had been conscious of himself and of Him. It was like a fantasy come true, but one he had never been aware of having. One his mind had never dared to conceive, forbidden, dark, sinful, horrible, terrifying... But it wasn't only allowed. It was happening.

"Naked, Gin," Aizen purred. "You have to be naked."

"Will You..." he couldn't finish the though, but He knew what he meant. In response, He threw his own white garments on the floor before nearly ripping Gin's off and leaving him entirely bare on top of the rough covers.

"Do you love Me, Gin?"

The young man found himself pressed against the bed again, looking up into intoxicating brown eyes and a smile kinder than any creature in creation could ever possibly have had. He could see lust in its purest form, in its divine form, sinless and wonderful, controlled and mastered, all there for Gin to adore in the humanity that his Aizen manifested.

He moaned his affirmation to Him again and again as His fingers breeched him in the most intimate of places, opening him to receive Aizen within. Gin was ignited with arousal, burning with desire. He was desperate for more, aching deep inside for another release, for unity with his divine lover. Between pants, he said something of the sort, bucking against fingers, trying to shove himself deeper on them. Aizen seemed both amused and, if it were possible, aroused at the display.

"Very well, then," He purred, replacing His fingers with His length.

Aizen filled him completely, so much so that it was almost painful. They were still for a few seconds while Gin caught his breath. Then Aizen started moving, at first slowly, almost tentatively, as if verifying if Gin was alright, but how could Gin not be? He was safe and in the seventh heaven, in Aizen's arms, pinned down by a delicious, warm weight. But seeing the willingness of the young man, He picked up the pace, sinking deep, hard, fast, but before Gin could get used to it, he changed the pacing again, light, easy, fast, then deep, profound, slow, switching whenever Gin seemed to get used to the feeling, driving the younger man up the walls with lust, getting him to beg by retreating nearly entirely at all the right moments.

Gin lost himself, crying out with pleasure and encouragement, or disappointment and desire whenever Aizen wanted him to. His body was nearly unable to stand it, his eyes were opened wide, but they could barely see anything but his God. He was surrounded by Aizen, wrapped in His essence. He gave himself willingly, writhing in pleasure. His fingers grabbed onto His back, his nails digging into the skin.

"Please!" he cried for what seemed to be the millionth time, weeping freely as Aizen switched to a light, teasing pace when he had been about to reach his peak. "Please..."

"Please what, my Gin?" the voice seemed to come from everywhere, echoing in his soul.

"Please."

Aizen pulled out entirely and Gin cried out in a disappointment so great it threatened to break him in half. He arched up, his fingers digging into Him, his head hitting against His shoulder, his voice quivering, his body trembling.

"Please let me come..."

Aizen kissed him deeply, drinking his tears from his lips. He then drove hard into the young man, no longer teasing, hitting hard in the best of spots. Gin felt his soul rise and float with joy as the pleasure increased. He sobbed, simply overwhelmed, and tangled his fingers in His hair. The pure delight suddenly grew like a river when the dam is broken, sweeping everything away with it. He pulled Aizen down towards him, clasping to Him as if He were a lifeline, crying himself hoarse with his release. And he felt Aizen giving in as well, spilling His seed, he heard the soft gasp as He put His head down on Gin's shoulder.

"I love You."

"Yes. I love you, too."

Aizen lay down on His back and Gin sprawled all over Him, gasping and shivering. Aizen caressed his head tenderly, then placed a kiss on his forehead.

"You must rest now, My love."

"I don't want to. I want to stay awake, to be with You as much as I can."

"I will return, dearest, do not worry. Now that you are Mine, I will keep coming. Mind you, you must never touch any other but Me again for this to happen."

Gin smiled with a profound joy. "I don't want anybody else but You."



~*~



Words are covering page after page quickly, as Walter Gin Hilton writes his advice to the small woman who will be trapped between four walls for the rest of her life. He has to turn her towards Aizen, he has to make her understand what she must do. “Taste and see how sweet our Lord is,” he tells her and recalls the skin under his lips, the light sweat that he knows to expect now but that he always cherishes as he had that first time .

Hinamori will have nobody else to entertain her but God, but that should leave her well entertained . He writes, “with a soft, sweet, burning love in God, so perfectly that he becometh ravished with His love, and so the soul for the time is become one with God, and conformed to the image of the Trinity.”

Gin remembers each sensation of that first night as he writes, he recalls each and every thing that Aizen said and tries to put it in words for Hinamori . “The foresaid second sort of Contemplation may be termed a burning love in Devotion, and is the lower; this third a burning love in Contemplation, and is the higher. That is sweeter to the bodily feeling, this to the spiritual feeling inwardly, and is more worthy, more spiritual, more wonderful.” Oh, yes, that wonderful night of passion, so sweet to the bodily feeling, that had left him exhausted in the sheets... And thoroughly pleased and sated in his soul. He wonders if Aizen will seduce Hinamori in the same way.



~*~



Sometime later, Aizen rose from the bed. He dressed, then picked up his glasses out of his pocket and put them on. He looked back at the sleeping form of the young man. Gin was delicious, a true find. Innocent in his own way, naïve and beautiful and eager. He was perfect for what Aizen had in mind. If he remained as willing and as enthusiastic, he would be the best of followers.

Aizen removed the wards he had placed around the room, hoping for Gin's sake that his family wouldn't stumble across him in this debauched state. Then he looked up towards the sky and he grinned.

"What are You going to do about it?" he asked, smiling his usual smile. Nothing answered. He hadn't expected it to. The field was ripe for the taking, so many fools ready to be deceived in the name of a God who wouldn't protect them...

When Aizen was God, he would make certain that this changed.

Now, he had to see what to do about that Dame Julian, who liked Christ so much. He wouldn't touch her with a six-foot pole. The woman was well-nigh insane in her obsessions and nowhere near as tasty as Gin. Maybe he could appear to her as the Father?... Or make that better yet, the Mother. That would be devilishly beautiful, if he could convince her to worship him as the Mother, despite seeing him as male. Oh, the possibilities... One day he would have Gin recruit young, impressionable women for his cause.

It was astonishing what invisibility and a bit of reiatsu could do. Soon enough, he would introduce himself to Soul Society and Seireitei and earn a status there. But until then, he could use some more followers. They wouldn't remember him as such after they died – they'd know nothing about thinking he was literally God - but they would remember their feelings for him, which was precisely what he wanted.

He would still have seductive Gin worshiping him with his body and Julian not touching him. Yes. Perfection.



~*~



Gin 's writing revolves around what Aizen wants from Hinamori. Aizen wants her entirely devoted, he wants her on her knees, guilty, humble, innocent, entirely his. So Gin writes precisely that, under the guise of piety. She must know that all men are her betters and that she should ignore most of the world.

If it be another man that cometh to give thee his alms, or else for to hear thee speak, or to be taught by thee, speak gently and humbly to them all, reprove no man for his faults, for that belongeth not to thee.”

Aizen wants her guilty. He knows what to tell her for that, because he felt guilty for very long times and sometimes he still does. He thinks of debauchery and pride and lust and everything that makes him Gin. He also thinks of the Deadly Sins and wraps it all up in a nice, coherent, insidious whole.

He tells her that there's an evil shadowy image of her in her soul. He tells her that inside herself lurks a monster, even if she doesn't know it. “This then is an ugly image to look upon; whose head is pride.” He will put all the Deadly Sins in her. “The back and hinder part of it is covetousness,” he writes. Why not? They need to be somewhere. “The breast (in which is the heart) is Envy.” What else is there? “The arms of it are wrath, inasmuch as a man wreaketh or revengeth himself by his arms, contrary to Christ's bidding in the Gospel”. And where to put gluttony?... In the belly. “The members of it are lechery, of the which St Paul saith thus: Yield not your members to be instruments of iniquity unto sin; especially to this sin of lechery. The feet of it are sloth.”

Gin reads it again. He is pleased by his work and he feels wonderfully evil for twisting her each and every way for Aizen. He is especially amused by the passage where he said: “A soul that would know spiritual things needs first to have the knowledge of itself; for she cannot have the knowledge of a thing that is above herself, unless she have first the knowledge of herself." She'll read that very innocently, he knows. But to him, putting that in is just the hight of depravity and self-indulgence, considering the context in which it was said to him.



~*~



Gin woke up the next morning to a bed smelling of sex and sin. He loved it. He'd had this wonderful dream the night before, that God had come and...

He felt his legs too sticky for it to have been a dream. He reached down to touch himself and noticed that he was sore in places he had no job being sore in. And he was naked.

Opening his eyes, he saw that his room was a mess and his clothes were scattered all about. Just as he and Aizen had left it. The soreness bothered him, as did the bruises he noticed on his hips and arms. These weren't the signs of God, they were the signs of a real person.

But not a normal person. One strong enough to radiate love and charm, one who could deceive even Gin into sinning in the worst of ways. A wonderful lover, excruciatingly talented. But not God, not if the signs on his skin were to be trusted.

He got up and got dressed. He didn't know what it all meant, but he didn't like the difference between his thoughts and emotions last night and the clearness of his head this morning. He felt as if he had woken up from a snare, an entangling, darkly seductive web.

If there was one place where Aizen had miscalculated, it was in thinking that Gin wouldn't catch on. But who was Aizen? And what had this been all about?...

Sitting gingerly on his bed, remembering the very real physical sensations of the previous night, the young man considered. Maybe Aizen wasn't evil. Or maybe he was an incubus come to prey on his lust, which wouldn't surprise him. Aizen was definitely strong, so he would be hard to defeat if he needed to be defeated. On a more worrying note, he had somehow found out Gin's name and he had read Gin's thoughts, which wasn't very good. He'd have to be very, very careful and discipline his mind to make sure he didn't allow Aizen reason for suspicion. He would pretend not to suspect a thing, he would play along until things cleared up and he found out who he was dealing with and how to fight the creature. Until then...

Until then, he had never felt so deliciously sated in his entire life. Which made the entire affair one that he could live with right now. He would indulge himself and enjoy whatever Aizen did to him and give himself up, because he could do it without losing himself entirely.

It was horrible and he could feel his devotion towards God slipping away as his evil side thought about mischief. But somehow he couldn't be bothered.

Gin smiled. He liked that, the smile. He would keep smiling, no matter what.



~*~



Gin lets himself go wild in his letter. His best lines aren't at the beginning or at the end, but in between, where he softly pours Aizen's poison in. He has no love for Hinamori, not after he's met her – and now that he's seen Aizen more often and that he's started to hate him even as he sleeps with him and serves him and adores his body and his sexual prowess, Gin wants him to have more than he's ever asked for.

 

Gin has long since abandoned God and he's given his soul to Aizen, whatever that would imply. It's another sort of game now. He'll bend the rules a bit and mock-innocently ruin whatever he can of Aizen's plans, as much as he can understand them.

 

He writes to Hinamori and he makes certain the text will get to others whom Aizen is trying to corrupt, so he'll have an army of slaves who will need his perfection and won't accept him as God once he shows his true face. There are layers and layers in what he writes and just as much as he encourages devotion, he makes certain that they will consider the real Aizen a demon. Aizen, on the other hand, will only see what he wants to see.

 

Covet this gift of love principally, as I have said; for if He please out of His grace to give it thee on that manner, it shall open and enlighten the reason of thy soul, to see verity, that is God, and spiritual things. And it shall stir up thy affections wholly and fully for to love Him. And it shall work in thy soul only as He will, and thou shalt behold Jesus reverently, with softness of love, and see how He worketh.”

 

Elsewhere, he says: “Trust not every spirit, but essay first whether it be of God or no. Wherefore by one trial that I shall tell thee, methinketh thou shalt know the good from the evil.”

 

Gin smiles to himself. He is subversive and he will always land on his feet. Yes. Perfection.