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13 Komamura and Tousen Drabbles

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#1 - First Time- "Gigai"

Komamura and Tousen had been assigned to patrol Kyoto together. Komamura was pleased; Yamamoto trusted in their combined strength enough to assign them to such a large city, alone. Yamamoto had also given Komamura a new gigai. It was relatively short and weak and looked absolutely, wonderfully, perfectly human. The only thing fox-like about it was the orange-red hair. (Tousen looked just like he always did, of course; standard-issue gigai adapted to the shape of the wearer's soul.)

Komamura looked down at his strange, small, pale hands, and half-wished that his soul's shape could change to match the gigai, instead.

#2 - Difference- "Feel"

"Feel." Komamura guided Tousen's hand up to his muzzle, trying not to shiver. Tousen was the only person who had never judged him based on his appearance; perhaps revealing it was a bad idea. Too late; Tousen's fingers brushed over his soft fur, his cold nose, his pointed ears.

"Komamura...?" Tousen asked, his fingers exploring. "This is you?"

"It is," Komamura replied, willing his voice to not shake.

Tousen lowered his hand. "So that's why..." he murmured. "Thank you for trusting me."

"You don't mind?"

"Why would I? You're still the same Komamura you were before."

Komamura smiled wolfishly.

#3 - Similarity- "Not a Cloud in the Sky"

They were stargazing. Well, technically, Komamura was stargazing; Tousen was sitting next to him on the hilltop, fingers dancing over Suzumushi's hilt lightly.

"Komamura?"

"Hmm?"

"What do the stars look like?"

Komamura shifted; his clothes rustled. "They're small and bright in the sky, like someone with a strong reiatsu that's far away," he started to explain.

Tousen nodded, thoughtful. It had been seventy-nine years and three hundred sixty days since he obtained Suzumushi; eighty years since she died.

"And are there clouds?"

"There are no clouds tonight, Tousen. It's beautiful."

Tousen thought that she would have liked Komamura.

#4 - Eyes- "Flawed Metaphor"

They swore on the grave of a woman that neither of them had even known that they would open Tousen's eyes and teach him the truth. They would show him that his "path of justice" was but a fraud, and that he had been as misled by Aizen as much as anyone had been.

What neither Komamura nor Shuuhei realized until it was too late was this: even if they had succeeded in opening Tousen's eyes, it would have done no good. Tousen saw as well with his eyes open as he did with them closed. He was truly blind.

#5 - Health- "Taboo"

A Shinigami's zanpaktou was more than a sword; it was an extention of the soul and heart of the one who wielded it. Hence, one of the great taboos was to touch the hilt of another Shinigami's zanpaktou without permission; it was like touching the soul.

Tousen had never spoken of Enma Kourogi's weakness to anyone but Komamura. Hence, Komamura quickly realized what must have happened when Tousen's bankai shattered, and jumped in to protect him. Although Tousen would never admit it, it was obvious to Komamura how shaken he was by the contact, how sick it made him feel.

#6 - Food/Drink- "The More Things Change..."

Lieutenant Iba had, for the past few decades, been trying to tell his former squad-mates about the importance of balance. That included a balanced diet, as most of the division subsisted on stacks of steak and gallons of sake. (The exception was Yumichika, who only ate beautifully-arranged salads.)

Iba had expected his new division to be different, but that illusion shattered when he saw Captain Komamura carrying enough steak to feed a quarter of the 11th division, and Komamura's friend, Captain Tousen, carrying a salad. At least neither of them had sake.

"Nanaochan, where's our picnic basket?"

...Scratch that.

#7 - Memory- "Loyalty"

The Shinigami say that you never forget your loyalty to your first captain. In Tousen's case, the saying wasn't true at all. He had always respected Captain Arai, but his loyalty fell to the first lieutenant that he served under.

Not even Komamura (who had started out under Yamamoto in the First) suspected anything, even after Arai died at the hands of a relatively weak Hollow, even after Tousen started disappearing to long meetings with the new captain of the Fifth and his smirking shadow of a lieutenant. What reason did he have to doubt his friend's justice and loyalty?

#8 - The Past- "Secrets"

"I spoke to him, Lieutenant Aizen."

A rustle; Aizen had put his paperwork down. "Good. Do you think that he would be useful to us"
Kaname Tousen (fifth division, fourteenth seat) sighed. "Komamura is completely loyal to the captain-commander. He wouldn't join us, Lieutenant."

Aizen was silent for a few moments, then: "Can you keep a secret, Kaname?"

"I can."

"Good. If he finds out, I might have to have him put down." Aizen's voice was as warm and comforting as always. The effect was haunting.

"I understand completely, Lieutenant Aizen. He will know nothing," Tousen replied softly.

#9 - The Future- "Un Mundo sin Estrellas"

There was, at long last, justice in the world: Aizen's justice. It was infinitely better than the old world, which had only what little justice he and those like him had forced into it.

"Komamura, what do you think of it?"

Silence.

"This is a better world, right? There's true justice now."

Silence.

(Tousen tried to remember when his friend had last spoken and failed.)

"Komamura?"

Silence.

(Tousen hadn't yet realized that Komamura would never speak again.)

"I never meant to hurt you. Please, talk to me, Komamura..."

The words sounded as hollow as Tousen himself had become.

#10 - The Present- "Handmade"

"I made it myself," Komamura said proudly.

"Thank you," Tousen- now Captain Tousen- said. His fingers ran over the fabric. "What is it?"

"It's a scarf," Komamura explained. "You wrap it around your neck. Captain Kuchiki wears one."

Tousen tried to put it on. "Perhaps," he observed, after the seventh wrap, "it's a little long?"

"I'll fix it." It took Komamura a few tries to twist it right, so it only went around Tousen's neck once. Tousen never figured out how to twist it that way himself; in Hueco Mundo, years later, he had to drape it loosely, instead.

#11 - Dreams/Nightmares- "Potential"

Komamura used to dream of what he and Tousen could become. First he dreamed of them as seated officers, then lieutenants, then- finally- captains. Once they attained that goal, together they dreamed of a just world.

Komamura hadn't realized how different Tousen's idea of a "just world" was from his own, nor had he known how Tousen would abandon everything to chase that false dream.

Now, instead, Komamura has nightmares about Tousen's path and where it might lead them. The nightmares always begin with Komamura raising his zanpaktou against a man who wears a white mask with no eye holes.

#12 - Something/Someone Missing- "Sacrifice"

Sometimes Tousen wondered what was happening in Soul Society. At other times, he just wondered about Komamura, whose friendship he had sacrificed for the sake of justice. Ichimaru sometimes mocked him for it, usually after he ran out of failed Arrancar to play with. Tousen tried to ignore him.

"What do you know about friendship?" Tousen finally asked, when Ichimaru's constant needling finally drove him over the edge.

"Hmmm?" Even Ichimaru's voice sounded slimy, somehow. "Ain't I your friend, Kaname?"

Tousen shook his head. "No, you're not."

Ichimaru may have been Tousen's ally, but he would never be Tousen's friend.

# 13 - Unexpected- "Uncle Koma"

Tousen was stripped of his Shinigami abilities as soon as he was brought back to Soul Society. Komamura had expected that. But he didn't expect that Tousen wouldn't come back alone. Aizen's machinations had changed everything; blurred the line between Shinigami and Hollow until Soul Society could no longer deny the hybrids sanctuary there. After all, Kurosaki had become a hybrid, somehow, and no few hybrids had fought on their side.

But who would have thought that Tousen would adopt a little Arrancar as his son, and teach it- him- everything important, like justice, and honor, and mercy? Komamura hadn't.