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Illusion of Love

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Illusion of Love

 

Being a captain meant sacrifices.

 

It meant sacrificing the feelings of your subordinates for the welfare of your entire squad. It meant sacrificing your own feelings for the Soul Society as a whole. Most of all it meant sacrificing a part of yourself, a part of your soul, that human aspect of you that could feel love, affection, pain and betrayal as no other mortal alive could. For – to be a Shinigami – one had to relinquish such emotions, such human aspects, because if they didn’t they’d be driven mad by death.

 

Of course everything dies: loved ones, Hollows, fellow comrades . . . but to let yourself feel for these people meant to be effected by their loss, and with so much loss in one’s life it was only a matter of time before it consumed you, made you question your own existence and your purpose for being. A Shinigami who questions themselves, who questions their purpose and job, who questions the very fabric of death – that one thing that they could not avoid, that they must continuously work with and against – well . . . they could no longer be a Shinigami. They may be driven mad and kept safe in the clutches of Squad Four, they may be stolen in the dead of night and said to have ‘resigned’ or they may simply die on the job, but long story short, they could no longer be a Shinigami.

 

Yes, if there was one thing being a Shinigami meant it was sacrifice, and no one knew this better than Shinji Hirako. He’d been a captain now for a long time, long enough to be considered ‘old-school’ but not long enough to be considered ‘long-term’, it wasn’t something that made much sense to him but it wasn’t something he cared much about either. When he made that hundred-year-mark he knew he’d be considered a ‘long-term’ captain, one that would be considered a permanent fixture of the Thirteen Court Guard Squad, and when that moment came he’d probably feel more old than he would respected. To most people a hundred years wouldn’t mean much, but to Shinji is meant an eternity. There were rules to follow, reports to write, no time for romance or friendships (or at least none that weren’t superficial) and no time to be free, to be himself! He had friends of course, Hiyori was one, but he was a captain and she was a lieutenant, it wouldn’t be proper for them to be too close, and so he sacrificed any possibly closeness with her for his job. Sacrifice. That was the word of the day it seemed . . .    

 

He rolled his eyes half in boredom and half in frustration and gazed up to the night’s sky. The stars were glittering above, the moon casting a silvery light on all below and the inky, black darkness of the sky itself seemed to pale into a ocean blue with all the natural light shed upon it. The temperature tonight seemed reasonably warm too, warm enough so that the heat permeated his hakama and eased his skin, but cool enough so that he didn’t feel stifled or confined. All in all it was a nice night to be out.

 

Shinji leant against the wooden railing and looked out into the garden. It was a tranquil sight indeed but deep in it’s midst something was wrong, a figure was there – hiding – out of sight and purposely concealing itself. The figure was always there. It was always hiding. It seemed no conversation was ever safe from its ears and this simple act only served to build further distrust in Shinji’s mind, he never trusted that hidden figure from the start, why would he trust him now? It wasn’t a one-time thing; the blasted guy was always eavesdropping and lurking about, always hunting for information and gossip. To Shinji he was like a bug in a pool, something ugly yet ultimately harmless, something that couldn’t survive in a fluid environment and drowned without support of bigger and better beings, and something that would pollute all the beauty it touched. In time he’d squash that bug, be free of him, but for the moment he’d bask in the beauty of the pool and pretend like such insects didn’t infest its surface.

 

“So you’re here.” He muttered to himself.

 

He kept a straight impassive face and gazed ahead with dark eyes. He couldn’t see his little stalker but he knew the other was out there, he could sense him, his kido was good but it wasn’t that good and it was just an insult to him that someone could think him fooled by that. Such childish antics, was it any wonder he kept the brat at arm’s length? He’d always been suspicious of the other man, always, even as a baby there was probably menace in his eyes and a double meaning in his motives. The sooner he figured out his little eavesdropper’s game the better. Until then let him hide in the garden, let him conceal his presence, it made no difference in the end.

 

“Y-yes! Sorry I’m late Captain Hirako! My apologies!”

 

“Huh?”

 

Shinji snapped out of his daydream and turned away from the garden to face his friend and colleague standing beside him. The other man was currently in a deep bow with his face twisted into an embarrassed grimace, his blonde hair had fallen oddly so that there was no way that his colleague could see straight, and yet he was so deep in his apologies he refused to let up his bow and fix that weird style of his. Why the heck did Yoruichi recommend this greenhorn as a captain? He had only just been recently appointed, so Shinji had to cut him some slack really, but come on -! What was with the formalities? They were off duty, weren’t they? They were friends weren’t they? Boy, this man had a lot to learn!

 

“Ah, cut it out Kisuke! We’re both captains now, you don’t have to be so formal with me, I ain’t going to bite ya. Now Hiyori on the other hand just might.” He looked up to Urahara who was biting his lip anxiously, scratching at his neck in nervousness. Oh God, how’d this man ever make it to the top as captain? He was pathetic at keeping secrets! “You mean she actually bit ya?”

 

“Just – just a little.”

 

“Aw man, come and sit down.” He said kicking a spot beside him: Urahara’s usual spot. “You have to be the worst newbie ever, and that’s saying something, but it could be worse, at least you have some style and you ain’t wearing some weird, female kimono thing that Shunsui thinks is so great.”

 

Urahara let out a nervous laugh and sat carefully down on the wooden walkway, his long legs dangling through the railings, his geta gently touching the reeds below, the moment his light eyes touched upon the garden his face became passive and serene.

 

Urahara smiled, this time sincerely, and looked around with the wonder and amazement of a child, and just for a second there shone an awareness, confidence and intelligence in him that truly belonged to a captain. All the potential was there for him to be great, he just had to grab it, run with it and make it his own. Rumour had it he was great at his old position and that was probably as he was comfortable with it, well now he was outside his comfort zone, now he had real responsibilities, and Shinji wasn’t going to let him fail, nor would he give up on him. He’d show him one way or another what it meant to be a captain and just how great he could really be. It was tough though – Urahara was oddly independent, always wanting to try his own methods, follow his own path and learn things at his own pace – it’d be so much easier if he just listened to Shinji! He didn’t want to sound big headed but he was pretty damn awesome and a great captain! If Urahara followed his lead he’d be one of the best in no time flat!

 

“You know it’s only Hiyori,” Shinji said calmly, looking down at Urahara with an empty expression that could have been either disinterest or a blasé attitude, “It’s about time someone taught that kid her place, she’s only a lieutenant after all, why not just beat some sense into her?” He yawned and scratched inside his ear nonchalantly, “Always telling me what to do . . . She’s only a lieutenant, you’re her captain, just make her respect you.”

 

Urahara smiled warmly and swung his legs in time to music only he could hear. His eyes gazed up at the bright sky above and took in the sight of the stars, his dark blonde hair swayed in a slight breeze and his face tugged in memory of something only he was privy to. He didn’t seem to mind the sudden quiet or airy chill, and he couldn’t sense their watcher in the gardens either, he just seemed lost in his own world, dazed and star struck by his own mind. It was a look Shinji had came to recognise as the beginnings of a plan, and of endless hope and optimism, it made him wonder if anything would make this man slightly more realistic in life – just a slight bit of cynicism in the newbie would do a world of good.

 

Urahara was definitely one of a kind; too soft in training, too lackadaisical in everyday life and too concerned by the opinions of his subordinates. He’d have to change one day though. He just had to!

 

“Shinji,” Urahara said with his trademark smile, “You can’t demand respect you can only command it. I want to earn Hiyori’s respect and trust, I want her to realise I’m on her side and have her best interests at heart, to do something like that takes time and effort. I can’t just demand she respect me, because then it’s not respect only fear and contempt, and that’s not what makes a good leader.” He glanced up at Shinji, closed his eyes and beamed. “I think I’ll try taking her into the Maggot’s Nest. The only way to respect someone is to understand someone, if she sees what I used to do and what I’m capable off then I might finally win a friend and a good lieutenant. She has the makings of a fine lieutenant, I know she does, I just need her to believe I can be a good captain too.”

 

Shinji snorted. “I still prefer my plan.”

 

“Which is why Hiyori-chan hits you ever time she sees you! You’re far too cruel with her,” Urahara laughed, “I think she’s like the sakura trees . . .”

 

“Huh?”

 

Shinji looked down at his friend and gave him a rather blunt look, one that spoke volumes about his current lack of patience and understanding. Urahara never really spoke what he meant, always talking in riddles or offhand comments that meant more than what they seemed, sometimes of course he was just random and dreamy and his comments were just that, random comments. When he spoke in such a light-hearted manner though it was one of the times where it seemed there was more than what met the eye, it meant there was something philosophical and deep, a nugget of wisdom buried under a sea of nonchalance. It piqued Shinji’s curiosity, but he knew Urahara’s type, if he showed any interest Urahara would lord it over him for all eternity, whereas if he played dumb the other captain would feel compelled to explain to show off his ‘superiority’.

 

“Well,” Urahara explained, “In the human world the sakura trees only bloom for a short time each year, they only exist in certain countries too, so many humans never even see one, let alone one in bloom. They are so rare they are considered beautiful, majestic, a symbol of all that is good.”

 

He paused and looked out across the garden to where a large sakura tree stood, behind it where their eavesdropper lurked, sensed by Shinji but unknown to Urahara.

 

“Here in Soul Society they bloom all year long.” He continued, “We grow so used to their presence we fail to realise that they are in bloom, that they are beautiful, that they have good qualities. We take for take them for granted; we may even pick faults with them and consider ourselves of far more importance. We never realise just how beautiful the trees really are.” He sighed and closed his eyes in thought, an ethereal beauty on his face. “I think for you Hiyori is like that. You’ve grown so used to her that you take her for granted, you don’t see her for what she really is.”

 

Shinji laughed at that.

 

His smile beamed to wide proportions, his white teeth showing in a fierce grin and his head shook so his long, blonde locks fell about his face and framed his features. He couldn’t seem to remember what it was like when he first met Hiyori, when he first became captain, or even when he last had that level of hope and love for the world around him. Hiyori was nothing but a violent, arrogant brat – whatever good Urahara saw in her he didn’t know, but he’d soon see the truth eventually. Still, it was a nice joke though, there wasn’t anything good about Hiyori to take for granted, after all she was like an annoying little sister, you loved her but it didn’t stop you wanting to kill her every day.

 

Besides, Urahara was completely wrong about that whole not seeing what’s right in front of you thing. Just look at Aizen, he didn’t trust that guy at all but as long as he had him as lieutenant, as long as he saw him daily, he knew exactly what he was up to and what he was doing. Shinji wasn’t an idiot, as far as he was concerned the closer someone was the better you knew them, the more you saw them the more obvious their motives were, that’s why he’d kept Aizen around him, kept his nerdy little face in view at all times. Like right now, he knew the guy was eavesdropping so what was there to take for granted? If he knew what the other man was up to then he didn’t pose a threat, he was just an old-school man who didn’t know what jazz was and was so un-hip that he thought he could get one over on Shinji.

 

Yeah, Urahara’s advice was the last he’d take. The man might have good motives but he was ultimately a pushover, too laidback for his own good, he needed to take a leaf out of Shinji’s book and be a man! Speaking of which . . .

 

“Do you mind if I leave you to it, Kisuke? Just there’s a small bug I have to take care of, it’s been buzzing in my ear for a while now and it’s about time I got rid of it.” He caught Urahara’s look and smiled his usual large-teethed grin, “I wouldn’t want to make his death public now, would I? It may be a fly but he’s got feelings, ain’t he?”

 

Urahara sighed and nodded, “Okay. I’ll see you later, Captain Hirako.”

 

Shinji rolled his eyes and walked away.

 

Damn that man, would he ever learn? They were equals now, friends and colleagues, he wasn’t above Urahara and he certainly wasn’t owed that level of high respect. He sighed and shook his head, one of these days the newbie captain would learn, and he’d finally address people appropriately and with the correct honorifics. Smirking Shinji climbed the railing and jumped down into the garden to seek out his little ‘bug’, he could feel Urahara’s eyes on him, boring into his back, and so – with a loud cry – he yelled out a final a parting:

 

“For the last time call me freaking Shinji!”

 

* * *

 

It took him a while to hunt down the one he was looking for.

 

In the Seireitei some of the gardens were small, merely trifling things that served to separate one building from another, but likewise some were huge expanses of land that stretched on for what seemed like infinity, perhaps even longer should you ever get lost in them. This particular garden was one that was attached to one of the common buildings, usually used for meetings amongst the captains, and the garden itself was rumoured to originally be the responsibility of Squad Eleven. That responsibility of course became shifted onto Squad Four, who were too overrun to deal with petty gardening issues, and so the place was left to nature. Personally Shinji thought it looked better for it.

 

The grass was so green and full of life that it seemed almost a sin to cut it, wild flowers scattered through every edge of land so that they filled the area with colour and fragrant scents, and every now and again one came across a small stream of water so clear and clean it was probably safe to drink from. He wasn’t there to admire the scenery though and so instead he focused all his energy onto his little ‘bug’ flittering about. It seemed the other man had noticed he’d been spotted, and he had began walking through the gardens at a pace that matched Shinji’s own. It wasn’t long before Shinji had him cornered though.

 

After five minutes he caught the other man underneath the long, flowing arms of a sakura tree. He was standing behind the thick trunk and out of sight of Urahara, but close enough that the captain would hear any loud noise, and so Shinji changed his position so that – although he could face his nuisance head on – any passing officers in the distance wouldn’t be able to see him. It wasn’t that he was planning on causing trouble, but being accused of harassing a lieutenant or being suspected of conspiratorially whisperings wouldn’t look good on him, and if he was going to reveal this man’s true face to the world then he had to make sure he wasn’t a suspicious character himself. More than that, Shinji had a reputation to maintain and he didn’t want Hiyori laughing at him from the background because he’d managed to get into trouble somehow. If anything he ought to be the one laughing at her!

 

With a large, bright smile that made sure to show off all his teeth Shinji took a few careful steps towards his prey. His companion merely stood there, silent and unmoving, and despite being rather unsettling Shinji took it as a sign of fear.

 

“Well, look what we have here,” Shinji said calmly and carefully, “It looks like the maggot’s finally crawled out of its nest.”

 

“Are you aware of the implication of those words, Captain Hirako?”

 

“Maybe I am, maybe I’m not, what matters is this is the fifth time this month I’ve caught you eavesdropping. I believe disciplinary measures are in order, don’t you, Aizen?”

 

He said the other man’s name with such contempt and disgust that Aizen was forced to smile. The very gesture infuriated Shinji all the more, it wasn’t after all a smile of sincerity, humour or nervousness, it was something more than that. It was as if the brown-haired man was silently laughing at the situation itself.

 

When he turned to face his captain only his upper body moved, almost as if he was able to keep his guard lowered, as if he didn’t truly believe Shinji posed a threat. His brown eyes stared at him from behind those glasses with a glassy appearance of their own, kind of like he was analysing Shinji or taking great humour from him, like how Shinji often took humour from those new films that had appeared in the human world. Everything about him – his every gesture, facial movement, spoken word – seemed to echo in the air with traces of deceit and lies. It was as if he were an actor playing a part, an emperor above all those around him, perhaps even a god who wondered why he’d dared to stoop to socialise with mortals. Someone had to put this man in his place, this untrustworthy little cockroach, no matter what Shinji would either figure out this nerd’s game or force him into the role given to him. Something wasn’t right with Aizen Sosuke; he wasn’t a man to be trusted, not at all . . .

 

“I do not understand why you feel unable to trust me, Captain.” Aizen said softly with that ever-pleasant smile.

 

Seriously, Shinji thought, what man could be blatantly insulted and disliked and still smile despite it? Just what was he hiding in that black heart of his? He was obviously up to something, obviously hiding something, and the moment Shinji worked out what he’d have Aizen standing before Central Forty-Six before he could batter an eyelid.

 

Slowly Aizen turned around to fully face his captain. His black hakama fluttered in the low breeze, his messy brown hair blowing about so as to almost frame his features, and for some strange reason a faint, pink blush dusted his cheeks. Shinji was aware that any other man or woman in the whole of Soul Society would be melting at the sight of Aizen at that moment. He stood so tall and confident, but hunched just enough so as to seem modest and aware of his place, his brown eyes glowed in that way they usually did of hidden meanings and depths, so it felt like one was staring into the waves of a deep ocean. His smile was always so picturesque and perfect too, like something on the cover of a magazine, but as far as Shinji was concerned he could shove it.

 

Sure he looked kind of hot in that bookworm, geeky way and even Shinji had to admit to a slight physical reaction, but if Aizen expected him to turn into a pile of drooling, goo and fawn all over him he was very much mistaken. The way Shinji saw it the man only acted like Mr Perfect to win people over, to gain their trust, and beneath that happy-go-lucky façade was a heart of ice waiting to screw them over. Bah, it was always the quiet ones . . .

 

Aizen stepped forward close to Shinji so that he was only a foot or so apart from his superior. The sudden close proximity didn’t even make Shinji flinch; instead he just placed his hands on his hips and looked at Aizen lazily. His expression was one of complete disinterest and distrust, however the knowledge that he was captain prevented him from acting on this sudden situation. He had no reason to push Aizen away as he knew he was the superior one there, he could kick his lieutenant’s ass easily if need be, and likewise he couldn’t kick his ass for being defiant as he’d lose his own position as captain. It was best to simply stand there and let Aizen know that he wasn’t the one in charge: Shinji was.

 

“Why must you assume the worst of me, Captain?” Aizen said in his slickly smooth voice that made Shinji want to vomit every time he heard it, “Is it so hard for you to believe that the one time I eavesdropped I made a mistake? It was not a malicious act or one with intent; it was simply a mistake, which I regret. I promised you it would not happen again, did I not, Captain?”

 

“Yeah, yeah, why should I trust someone like you? Just cause you eavesdrop once it ain’t like you can’t do it again, and besides you ain’t gave me a reason to trust you, have you, Aizen? If you want to give me a reason to trust you, then tell me why you’ve been listening in on Kisuke and me.”

 

Aizen smiled warmly. “You wouldn’t believe me, I’m afraid.”

 

“Try me.”

 

There came a soft sigh from his lieutenant’s lips that it took all his energy not to smack off then and there, it was no doubt supposed to be an innocent sign of frustration but instead it sounded like an act, like something constructed to win sympathy. Then came a look in his eyes unlike any other. It was almost soft, his eyes narrowing but with the pupils dilating, his lips even parted along with it, something akin to lust but closer to love. It was a damn good act, Shinji had to admit even he was nearly fooled by it for a second or two.

 

“Perhaps,” Aizen said quietly, almost breathlessly, “I just like to hear your voice.”

 

Shinji floundered at this. It wasn’t like he was flustered because he secretly loved Aizen, or kept him close for some secret desire for him, if anything it was the complete opposite reason to that. However when he heard that voice uttering such a confession – faked at that and a blatant lie – then it got his goat and made him take a step back, after all did Aizen really think he was going to fall for that? What kind of idiot would trust an obviously psychopathic, Machiavellian personality simply because he implied a love of all things? Sure the very idea was flattering and kind of cute, but Shinji wasn’t an idiot and he knew Aizen was hoping to simply manipulate him and use him, fool him into thinking something that wasn’t true for his own gain.

 

If it came right down to it then he’d be more than willing to use Aizen back, make him believe that he fell for his lies and his plans, that way it’d be easier to keep the man under thumb, but still – it was an insult to his very personality!

 

Then again Shinji didn’t have to compromise his reputation by letting Aizen believe what he wanted, or even by leading him on, after all lots of captains dated or slept with subordinates, and he was single too. Sure it may have been hypocritical to lead Aizen on in the same way that Aizen hoped to lead him on, but goddamn it he didn’t trust this man at all! Any way he could think of to keep him in check, to learn more about him, he’d by god take it! He wouldn’t feel guilty either, it was only Aizen and it wasn’t as if he didn’t have needs of his own either, and he wasn’t going to instigate anything, just go along with things if and when it came to that.

 

The thought of it made his skin crawl, just the very thought of that slimy Aizen touching him made him want to throw himself into the nearest Hollow’s path, but it was for the greater good! It meant keeping a closer eye on Aizen and learning more about his plans, and it meant that he might finally get a physical release of his own, the last time he laid was -. Well, long enough.

 

“Well . . . I still ain’t going to trust you.” Shinji said adamantly.

 

“For this,” Aizen replied with his usual smile and seemingly warm words, “No trust is needed. I would have hoped my feelings for you would have been clear by now, it hurts me beyond words that you do not see me the way that I would have hoped.”

 

“I’m never going to believe what you want me to, Aizen, I have a mind of my own and I’m smart enough to be on to you, you’re just trying to throw me but I won’t fall for it. You’re not the only one who can lie.”

 

Shinji’s grin faltered at this and his expression turned deadly serious, he might be tempted to use Aizen for what he had but if he was even going to do that much he was going do to it on his terms and no one else’s. Sure, he wasn’t adverse to some fun with his lieutenant but only if the other man knew what it meant, and that was that Shinji was no fool. There was no way in hell he’d ever believe Aizen loved him, and no way he’d let the bookworm think he’d got one over on him too, so if Aizen wanted to play his little mind games then fine, but he’d be playing to Shinji’s tune and not his own. It was only fair; after all he was the captain.

 

“I want you to know,” He said with his usual deadpan expression, “That you’re my first love. They’ll never be anyone else.”

 

If he didn’t know what a worm Aizen was he might have felt guilty for the expression on his lieutenant’s face. The brunet seemed to be taken aback, his head actually lifted and his eyes widened and shimmered as if with a sheen of tears, his lips trembled and his skin even paled. Shinji knew mocking people like this was obviously not a good idea but in this case it kind of was, he’d never imagined that Aizen was such a good actor, able to manipulate even the tiniest creases in his expression in order to perfectly portray the image he wanted. It was a subtle look too. It wasn’t an obvious one of tears or tantrums that an amateur actor might go for, and seconds later he even reigned himself in and resumed his usual smile and calm demeanour. His eyes closed behind his glasses and he swallowed, as if forced to hold back his emotions, but despite his apparent happy exterior there was a hint of great pain hidden in his features.

 

Shinji knew that he was being played, that Aizen wasn’t actually heartbroken, but damn it the man was a good actor! He actually felt a spark of guilt, he really did! It looked like he’d have to be on his toes if he didn’t want to be taken in by Aizen’s web of lies and deceit.

 

His lieutenant was the first to break the silence between them.

 

“I’m sorry that you don’t feel the same way as me, Captain Hirako. I do ask however that you please disregard my feelings, I do not wish for my inappropriate love for you to make for an unpleasant work environment, and – as you say – the feelings of those below should not be considered by those on top.”

 

Shinji rolled his eyes and then gazed up at the sky. He didn’t feel like making eye contact with Aizen, if he did then he’d see the obvious sorrow that the man was trying to project, but he’d also see those hidden depths. He’d see that deep look inside those eyes, that look of contempt and superiority, that look that always somehow lurked and remained no matter what expression or emotion Aizen wanted to project.

 

It was like no matter how much Aizen wanted to fool the world around him he couldn’t quite fully allow himself to do it, he couldn’t hide that part of him that found the human race as a whole contemptible and revolting. It made Shinji wonder if his lieutenant was even fully human himself, or if the Soul Society would ever one day recognise him as the malevolent piece of work he really was. Still, the closer he kept Aizen the less likely he was to cause trouble, and if Aizen wanted to play games that brought them closer together he wouldn’t complain, it would mean getting to make sure Aizen stayed out of trouble but it would also mean some fun for himself too.

 

“Well,” Shinji said slyly, “I can’t help but reject you, I have no reason to trust you, but if you could prove to me that you have feelings for me then I’d believe you, and maybe we could even be an item.”

 

“Oh?” Aizen beamed at this and tilted his head slightly, he previous eagerness coming back, “I think I would be able to convince you of my love, Captain Hirako. All I want is for you to trust me.”

 

“Then show me.”

 

“As you wish . . .”

 

Aizen gently leant forward into Shinji so that he was so close his very breath warmed his captain’s skin, yet he stopped short of a kiss, short of a touch. His very eyes pierced into Shinji’s lighter coloured ones leaving the captain breathless.

 

He was aware of the game they were playing, aware even that the other didn’t love him and anything that occurred would be only physical, Shinji in it for pleasure and Aizen for manipulation, but that didn’t stop his heart from fluttering nervously in his chest. Those eyes staring into him were just so intense and diluted, as if they were staring into Shinji’s very soul and all he could do in return was swallow nervously and step backwards. He banged awkwardly into the bark of a tree behind him and mentally cursed at his stupidity; meanwhile Aizen stepped forward with an almost predatory smirk and licked his lips. The gesture looked so innocent, so spontaneous, but no doubt it was planned, the way his plump lips now shimmered wet made them seem so damn tempting, it was impossible for it to have been anything but a planned out move on Aizen’s part.

 

With a gentle gesture Aizen raised his long fingers to Shinji’s face and stroked lightly at his pale skin. Shinji couldn’t help but flinch at first, after all he was being touched by a man he despised, but after a second or two he couldn’t deny that it felt nice and that was exactly what he wanted, to feel good. The way those sinfully soft fingertips traced his cheek and jawbone was electrifying, he could feel jolts of interest with each intimate touch, feel his breath escape him at the unexpected skin-on-skin contact. Then those fingers brushed into his long, blonde locks and smoothed back his hair, making him gasp at the touch and lean into the waiting hand. It really had been too long, already he felt relaxed and at ease, eager for him and excited for what was too come, and all that from one simple touch!

 

Then that soft touch became a hard one. Suddenly Aizen’s hand had twisted a long lock around his fingers and had turned in into some sort of reign, he pulled hard and Shinji gasped at the pain, finding his head yanked backwards and his throat fully exposed to Aizen. So his lieutenant liked to play rough, did he? Well Shinji wasn’t going to complain, not that he’d have wanted to anyway.

 

Instead he reached out and grabbed Aizen by his neck, his fingernails digging painfully into the sensitive skin by his spine, making the other man wince and draw in a pained, hissed breath. He smirked at the fact he’d caused the other pain and pulled him forward for a kiss, but Aizen regained control in an instant and moved his head to the side as he was pulled down, instead attacking Shinji’s neck with his mouth. This time it was Shinji’s turn to react . . .

 

He could feel those moist, full lips trailing soft kisses on his skin, opening and closing so subtly that at first it was barely noticeable, then slowly his tongue came into play to massage Shinji’s skin and send waves of pleasure coursing through his neck down to his groin. The previous softness was leaving now and occasionally Aizen nipped at the pale column with his teeth, each time he did so made Shinji shudder and gasp, until finally he bit hard enough to bruise. Shinji had to groan and jump, throwing his legs around Aizen’s waist as the other Shinigami forced him hard against the tree behind them, grinding their arousals together. Every time Shinji felt those sadistic kisses on his neck he dug his nails hard into Aizen’s back, sure he was bruising and even cutting his lieutenant, and each time he hurt Aizen he in turn was hurt back so that he was left gulping for air.

 

Shinji moaned loudly.

 

He’d become aroused in record time, the very touch of Aizen seemed to set him alight and he’d far from expected it, in fact Aizen’s right hand was clutching hard onto his buttock to hold him up against the tree, massaging his round globe firmly so that Shinji was left with no doubts about what was to come. His other hand had loosened the fastenings of his captain’s hakama, and sneaked its way into the top, smoothing long digits over a hardened, chiselled chest so that Shinji could only groan louder and thrust against his captor. When those fingers managed to find out his nipple, flicking and rubbing the stiff nub as if punishing it for a sin it could not remember, he nearly screamed. When Aizen actually twisted and pulled he let out a pleasure-induced scream of enjoyment, writhing under Aizen’s touch like putty in his hands.

 

He hadn’t expected this to be so good, so damn fantastic, even if he hated Aizen he was tempted to do this again in future just for the sheer pleasure of it all. His whole body felt so damned hot like a burning inferno, a thick sweat coated his skin and his hakama suddenly seemed ounces heavier than it should. He was suddenly so much more aware of the noises he was making, the expressions he was showing, and felt nervous – terrified even – like he was showing a part of his soul to Aizen that he should never see, something he’d only ever shared with his past lovers, and never dreamed of sharing with his hated lieutenant.

 

His member throbbed and ached inside the confines of his hakama, he could feel the moisture pooling against his crotch and the sharp pain of his aching shaft forced uncomfortably beneath his trousers. Each time Aizen thrust back he felt the other’s equally large arousal, and each time the two collided he was forced to throw his head back and moan his desire to the world. He could no longer see straight and his awareness of his surroundings was leaving him, his body felt electrified and his every nerve felt sensitive to the touch and ready to explode, and when Aizen’s hands ripped open his hakama and left his chest exposed and naked to the cold air he barely noticed. He didn’t even notice when he was lifted slightly away, a spare hand awkwardly pulling his lower hakama further down his thighs, so that his legs were now uncomfortable as they were wrapped around Aizen but kept close together at the thighs for their makeshift bondage.

 

He felt naked now that his buttocks and crotch were exposed and desperately wanted to remove Aizen’s clothing too, to feel that needed skin contact and to make the other feel as vulnerable as he did, but judging from the movements and sounds all Aizen was prepared to do was to free his own member through the opening of his hakama trousers and leave his clothes on. Suddenly Shinji realised what this was about to be, not the ‘love making’ Aizen had implied it would be but ‘fucking’, hard and fast fucking. However Shinji wasn’t going to complain, he wanted this after all and by God his cock wasn’t going to complain either, in fact the large fellow was standing to attention and looking straight up at him. The tip was angry and red, leaking copious amounts of pre-come and the long, thick shaft seemed to throb and pulsate with every second. He wanted to reach it, to bring pleasure to it and stroke it into that blissful nirvana, but his hakama had trapped his arms. He was at Aizen’s mercy, and oddly he liked the thought.

 

He thought he was going to be driven insane with lust and pleasure, but as soon as he was at the point of no return he was pulled back to earth by the feeling of a digit pressing hard against his entrance. Shinji gasped. He’d never had sex standing before and never outdoors – was Aizen really going to -? Would he really -? Oh God, he was really going to, Shinji could sense it, the man was going to -!

 

Fuck!

 

That unprepared finger slid slowly into him inch by inch. It burnt but it felt so good! He could feel the hard length working his insides, feeling him in a place so private and intimate it made him almost come at the thought, and as it slowly pumped in and out he dug his own nails into Aizen and bit his lip, throwing his head back. He wanted to kiss Aizen, to muffle his moans into the other man’s mouth, but he’d be fucking damned if he gave into that level of intimacy! Shinji wasn’t much of a kisser at the best of times, but no way was he giving his mouth to Aizen regardless, it was just too -!

 

“Shit, Aizen!”

 

The bastard had crooked his finger and scraped it along his inner walls, pressing that spongy spot inside him that had him seeing stars and choking on his own breath. He arched his back and clawed his hands down Aizen’s, ripping the other man’s hakama and leaving red rails down his skin. Aizen hissed at this and shoved a second finger into Shinji unceremoniously, scissoring both digits to stretch him and prepare him, when Shinji groaned loudly his soon-to-be lover moved a spare hand to his hair and yanked hard, making him gasp in both pain and pleasure.

 

“I believe you need to be quiet, Captain.” Aizen said breathlessly, removing his fingers from Shinji’s portal in order to position his own member to that winking entrance, “Should you keep up these delicious noises Captain Urahara might here you, and I would hate to cause you such humiliation.”

 

“F-Fuck you, Aizen.”

 

“As you wish, Captain.

 

Before Shinji could issue another retort Aizen had slammed into him. He couldn’t lie – it hurt like hell, partly because Aizen was so goddamn huge but partly because there was barely any preparation and certainly no lubrication! Yet as much as it burned and ripped it felt good. He’d always had a slightly masochistic side, but it felt so right, he felt so full with the sudden girth inside him, he could feel the friction as his partner moved within him, and each time he clenched his inner muscles he could feel Aizen inside him, filling him, claiming him. It was a feeling like no other, so perfect and so spectacular! God, if this wasn’t Aizen fucking him into oblivion he might have actually started to fall in love with the guy!

 

He made sure to keep his eyes locked on his lover’s. He could feel Aizen’s hot, gasping breath exploding on his lips, hear the choked back moans of desire and lust, feel the man’s hands bruising his hips as he held so hard onto him.

 

Aizen wasted no time in getting to work. It wasn’t a slow, steady pace he wanted but a hard, fast fuck, and so instantly he was pounding into Shinji with incredible stamina and expertise. Each time he moved out he scraped that spot inside him, each time he moved in he pushed his prostate with such force Shinji was screaming with everything he had. They were each flushed red and out of breath. The sound of balls slapping against buttocks was almost deafening in the silent night, and there was a sort of squelching noise that came with it, Shinji knew he was moaning like a two-dollar whore at this point but he didn’t care. His body was on fire, pleasure coursed through his veins, his skin was electric – he was going crazy with how good it felt, he was on the edge and about to fall, so close, so very close . . .

 

The moment Aizen touched his cock it was all over.

 

Shinji screamed so loud his voice was sore and broken, his body tensed so tight that he was certain he’d pulled muscles in his limbs, and his back arched so wildly that the upper part not covered with hakama was covered in splinters. It was like a white veil had covered his eyes, his heart pounded so wildly in his ears he was truly scared it might burst or stop, and suddenly it was silence all around him. His mouth opened so wide he nearly locked it and his stomach seemed to flutter continuously. Suddenly he could feel those hot, ropey shots of come over his skin, burning him despite his already hot temperature, and as much as a relief as ice on a summer’s day. His body was in ecstasy, in heaven, and as he came down from his high he felt a sudden hot moisture in his sore anus, and then Aizen slipped free from him.

 

He was still dazed and distant when he felt Aizen free himself and it wasn’t until he felt his feet hit the floor he awoke slightly, realising that it was now up to him to stand, but unable to as his balance completely left him. He lay back against the tree for support, his trousers now fallen to his knees and his top part of his hakama fallen at his elbows exposing chest and upper back. His captain’s jacket trailed on the floor, caught with his hakama so it was half-on and half-off, it’s lower end getting dirty as if the symbol of captain meant nothing.

 

Still smiling Aizen took a few seconds to regain his breath and tucked himself away, licking his lips one last time as his diluted eyes refocused on his surroundings, he leant forward and gave Shinji a peck on the cheek. His smile never left him, not even when Shinji punched him hard on the arm in return.

 

“Thank you, Captain Hirako. I hope now you see what you mean to me,” Aizen said, with that deceptive smirk back on his face.

 

Shinji huffed loudly, he knew what he meant to Aizen, and that was nothing more than a play-toy and a good fuck, it didn’t matter how Aizen smiled and wanted to spin the events, he’d never believe that bastard loved him, never.

 

“I hope we can do this again soon.” Aizen turned to leave as Shinji tidied himself up, before he did though he turned and smiled, “I should warn you that you were very loud, chances are we have been heard by Captain Kisuke Urahara, I suggest you avoid him should you not wish to explain these events.”

 

With that final word he walked away, disappearing through the gardens as the sakura petals began to softly fall from their branches, falling over Sosuke Aizen as if purifying his way, marking him as a greater being. For some reason Urahara’s earlier words kept echoing in Shinji’s head, but he ignored them. He might not truly know his lieutenant but he knew enough, he knew not to trust him and so he knew to keep him at arm’s length, and one day he’d show that man for what he really was, a creature so evil that even the Hollows wouldn’t want him.

 

But – for now – let Aizen play his games, it didn’t make any difference in the long run . . .

 

* * *

 

“The betrayal you see is trivial. What is truly fearsome, is the betrayal you don’t see.” – Aizen Sosuke.