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evil ☛ lucas lee ( nazi? well see )

whomever in 13drabbles

"Creatures of Habit" [Bleach][Aizen/Hinamori]

Fandom: Bleach
Pairing: Sousuke Aizen/Momo Hinamori (SousuMomo)
Theme Set: Gamma
Rating: PG - Mentions of adult situations, some Poe.
Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach.
Author's Note: So, yes, I'm an avid fan of SousuMomo. I'm not afraid to admit it. I haven't much to say, other than these were fun despite not being my best set. Mentions of adult situations (SEX), with prominent GinAmori (yes, I named it that) undertones. Nothing mentioned in this story has come to fruition in the anime or manga... yet. I don't really  have any favorites in this batch.

I. Glow

            Gin did many things in his idle hours, and one of them was recounting odd human sayings to Aizen. Aizen neither liked nor disliked Gin’s aimless banter, but resigned himself to only lending him half an ear. Gin knew this, but found some odd amusement in continuing on anyway.

            “I heard that women don’t sweat, and instead they ‘glisten’,” Aizen heard Gin say in one of the instances he bothered paying mind.

            “Really?” he asked, slightly amused. “What fanciful creatures humans are.”

             “Would you say that about Hinamori-chan, I wonder?” Gin ventured, feigning an innocent tone even as his devil’s grin was brightly lit. “I’m sure you’ve made her sweat.”

            “As her captain,” Aizen told him, debunking the innuendo, “I’ve watched and helped her train many times.”

            “And?”

            “She sweats,” he said plainly. “All women do. It isn’t beautiful or romanticized. It’s sticky and vaguely masculine. Hinamori sweats.”

            Gin pouted, or at least mustered the closest thing to a pout as he could. “So anti-climactic.”

            “There are moments, though,” Aizen continued, taking on a new tone, “when she does glisten.”

            “Really?” wondered Gin. “Do tell.”

            “It is when she cries.” Aizen turned to him and smiled in his usual odious way. “When she cries, Hinamori-kun positively glows.”

II. Fear

            Aizen couldn’t lie: he thought Hinamori was a little cute. Of course he was only human – only a man – and he knew when a woman was worth looking at. And though plenty of women were cute (or even cuter) than Hinamori, none were sexier.

            That woman, Orihime Inoue, who resided in his citadel, was cute. She had long orange hair and big doe eyes that widened with every new day. She had an indomitable spirit that just begged to be broken, but even more adorable than that was her vain belief that friendship and love could cure all the world’s evils. Yes, Orihime Inoue was rather cute.

            Even Rangiku Matsumoto, vice-captain of Tenth Division, was admittedly a little cute. She had flowing blonde locks and a brash, fiery attitude. Though fierce and incredibly lazy, she had amazing resolve and an undying devotion to her friends and colleagues. Yes, Rangiku Matsumoto was quite cute.

            But reflecting on all the women he’d known, both in Soul Society and beyond, only one was sexy: his former vice-captain. Momo Hinamori was so full of innocence and naïveté that anyone would find her the very definition of cute. However, it was her devotion, her complete willingness to so totally sacrifice herself for him, her unquestioning admiration and hopeless lack of personal ambition that made her what she was.

But above all that it was her consuming fear, that which drove her every other attribute, which made Hinamori the absolute quintessential embodiment of sexiness.

To Aizen, at least.

III. Heartbeat

            Hinamori occasionally indulged in walks about Las Noches, wandering back and forth through the long halls with no real direction. She often did it just to wake herself up, since the only thing more disturbing than the empty silence in her room was the overwhelming clatter in the corridors.

This wasn’t because they were especially populated (she rarely passed by any Arrancar), nor was it because much was going on behind closed doors. It was the all-encompassing eeriness the seeped from the marble floors into the walls, stretching to the ceiling and snapping shut, sewn together by fear and unrest. The citadel itself seemed to compensate for the absence of Arrancar’s hearts; she could practically hear the rhythmic, ghostly beating inside the walls. She swore she could feel the incessant, morose pulse pounding away beneath her feet. When she looked overhead, her eyes would trick her and she would see remnants of faces: mouths split opens in screams, eyes that begged to be free and see the world beyond their masks.

After each venture, Hinamori would return to her room with a strong case of the shivers and finally be able to take comfort in the sterile white walls.

IV. Quirky

            Aizen had heard many different interpretations of Momo Hinamori’s personality (and had muttered more than a few himself). As he had known her, Aizen could think of several words to describe the petite vice-captain: incredibly naïve, strongly devoted, easily manipulated, hopelessly innocent, and the list went on. It was only when Gin was recounting his latest interaction with Hinamori that Aizen realized the one thing she was not.

            “That Hinamori-chan is such a fickle woman. I’ll enter a room and she’ll be biting back tears, then she’s moaning and screaming like a wild animal, and then she’ll wake me up in the middle of the night with her weeping again. Such a quirky girl, no?”

            Quirky? Aizen thought. That was a queer thing to say, especially about Hinamori. Though, in truth, he could understand why she was perceived that way.

            Hinamori didn’t like violence, and yet she joined the shinigami academy.

            Hinamori was fiercely protective of her friends, and yet she couldn’t save a single one.

            Hinamori had climbed her way to vice-captain of Fifth Division, and yet she was powerless against her own mentor.

            Yes, it would make sense for Gin to find Hinamori “quirky”.

            But Aizen knew better.

            Hinamori had idiosyncrasies like anyone. She had faults and flaws that ran through every vein, straight into that infallible heart of hers. She had odd habits and a strange way of seeing the world. That he knew. That everyone knew.

            But despite her unusual nature, Hinamori had no quirks – and Aizen knew exactly why: Hinamori was so worried she’d disappoint him that she hid all her quirks beneath the surface, where no one (especially not him) could see them.

            When Aizen realized that, he found himself a little quirky in comparison.

V. Down

            Hinamori lay in bed, dragging her hands over the silky pillowcases and tucking the blanket closer around her nude body. She could hear only the faintest whispers of breath, tiny ghosts of respirations that announced the specter behind her was asleep. Afraid to look but more frightened not to, she rolled her nimble body over and stole the tiniest of glances at him.

            Silver hair. Striking silver hair and a splitting grin that, even in slumber, told her he was not her Aizen. He was here to torture her, to break her with sweet words and gestures that were only painful because they came from him. He did not beat her or slap her, but trailed kisses from pale fingertips over her body, dragging suspiciously soft lips against her own. And still she felt ill, because this man was not her captain – he was not the man she loved.

            And the worst of all this melancholy was that the man she loved knew and did nothing. And far worse still was that she continued to trust him.

            Frustrated and able to hate no one but herself, Hinamori tightened her body into a ball and stifled her tears in swan down.

VI. Avarice

            Aizen never considered himself a saint. A contributing factor of this was that he liked to recline with a good cup of tea and muse about which of the Seven Deadly Sins he’d committed thus far.

            Of course he was guilty of Vanity. His exploits in Soul Society dictated as much, with all the years he spent there weaving intricate fantasies for others to worship. Naturally he was a little prideful, but he kept that sin in check. Vanity became him, but it did not overcome him.

            Next he went to Envy, which he had undoubtedly committed. Despite envying no one else, Aizen was overwhelmed with jealousy of God: He who sat on Heaven’s throne and who could change all of humanity in the blink of an eye, but did nothing. Yes, he was positively green with Envy.

            Following Envy was Wrath, which he teetered precariously on the edge of. Though Aizen kept his emotions and outbursts far laden beneath layers of skin and discipline, anger did smolder within him. This sin, he found, went hand in hand with Envy – and in their twisted relationship, Wrath was most definitely the submissive.

            Lust, of course, was one of his most prominent sins. Though he hated to admit it, the sin overcame his senses and ran through his veins, decaying his heart with time. Lust drove his ambitions, beseeching him to seek everything bigger and better. Lust told him he would never be happy.

            The next sin denied that accusation: Avarice. Hinamori had been an act of both Avarice and of Vanity at first. But now that he had taken her – had so utterly enthralled her with the very notion of him that she came to Hueco Mundo without a second thought – he was overwrought with greed. Indeed, Avarice had afflicted and conquered him in the form of a young woman.

            His final sin (for Gluttony he absolutely refused to commit), was relatively new to him. Aizen had never been lazy. In fact, he hated the very notion of doing nothing when the entire universe was ripe and waiting. Yet, on some days, he found himself lying in bed, staring up at the ceiling and… smiling. When he unglued his eyes from their perch, they traveled to Hinamori: huddled in a cocoon of blankets, shoulder length hair tangled and spread over the pillows, her lips tipped in a small smile as her tiny hands rested on his bare chest. On those days, Aizen could lay in bed for hours.

            Thinking on it now, Sloth had suddenly become Aizen’s very favorite sin.

            Or, more correctly, Hinamori had.

VII. Tell

            It was Thursday. The only reason Hinamori knew this because it was one of Gin’s favorite days: the day where he got to tell her a story.

            “What shall we read today, Momo-chan?” he asked.

            She shivered, detesting his newest nickname. “It doesn’t matter.”

            This was the answer she always gave, and it seemed to be the one Gin liked best. Taking a seat, he pulled her into his lap and purred, “Then how about ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’?”

            Hinamori said nothing as he began his fable, not bothering to shift uncomfortably in his embrace.

            “True! – nervous – very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?” Gin began, and despite her best efforts not to, Hinamori found herself listening.

            This happened each and every Thursday. Gin would arrive – with a book nowhere in sight – and recount a story. Some days it was a bittersweet romance, others a happy fairytale, and yet others a terrifying horror. No matter what the subject matter, they all shared one common factor: their themes haunted her long after their conclusions. In truth, she was a little relieved when Gin came to spin a new tale, if only to erase the lingering presence of the old one.

            “Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded – with what caution – with what foresight – with what dissimulation I went to work!”

            Hinamori could tell Gin had put deliberate thought into this evening’s account. The irony only mounted with his conviction, the words sliding effortlessly off his tongue. He had such charisma, such enthusiasm, and yet beneath it all lay his traditionally wicked intent. That, too, was a common factor in these sessions of torture disguised as fancy.

            “He was still sitting up in the bed listening; – just as I have done, night after night, hearkening to the death watches in the wall.”

            Still, she had to admit that she preferred Gin over Tousen. Tousen, though she hadn’t seen him since her arrival, would be much more frank about his disciplining and would take no satisfaction in it. The pleasure Gin took in torturing her actually worked in reverse of his intent: it comforted her, even if only a little.

            “If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs.”

            Gin wasn’t insane, Hinamori knew, but he was indeed mad. In fact, everyone in that citadel was mad. Gin was mad, Tousen was mad, Ulquiorra was mad, Grimmjow was mad, and the Arrancar that was once Orihime – despite her cheer and her alacrity – was also mad. Hinamori hated to admit it, be she knew that even Aizen was quite mad. She suspected that after so many nights there, she too was a little mad. Just mad enough to belong.

            “I bade them search – search well. I led them, at length, to his chamber. I showed them his treasures, secure, undisturbed. In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim.”

            Gin rested his head on Hinamori’s shoulder, a signal that the tale was nearing its end. She listened more intently than ever, both anticipating and fearing the story’s conclusion.

            “Almighty God! – no, no! They heard! – they suspected! – they knew! – they were making a mockery of my horror!– this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now – again! – hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!”

            Though he did it each time he wove a tale, Hinamori was mesmerized by the tone in which he spoke the final words of the story.

            “‘Villains!’ I shrieked, ‘dissemble no more! I admit the deed! – tear up the planks! here, here! – It is the beating of his hideous heart!’”

            Hinamori said nothing in the wake of the tale, and Gin didn’t so much as mutter a goodbye as he patted her head and left.

            Eyes wandering nervously over the floor, Hinamori knew she was not terrified by the story, but by her own thoughts. She didn’t worry about what bodies lay beneath the floorboards (though she was sure some rested in the cement walls), but rather what monsters lurked in the minds of the citadel’s occupants.

Shaking her head and sliding into bed, Hinamori did what she did every Thursday: she lay awake with her eyes open, clutching at her covers in fear of the skeletons in Las Noches’ closets and, more prominently, the corpses in its floors.

VIII. Follow Me

            “Follow me,” he spoke, voice low and laced with worry and cautious paternity.

            Hinamori bobbed her head, all too relieved to distance herself from the gruesome scene where so many of her classmates and friends had become fodder for the Hollows. She walked solemnly behind this man, head hung and shoulders slumped, tears ebbing on the precipice of her eyelashes, and placed her trust in him.

            “Follow me,” he instructed, tone tender and guiding.

            Hinamori swung her zanpakutou as he directed, overwhelmed with glee when she perfectly mimicked the motion. He placed a reassuring pat on her shoulder, bathing her in praise that she willingly drank in. Filled with pride, admiration and only the slightest cluster of butterflies, she continued their morning exercises with excitement and fervor.

            “Follow me,” he whispered, the palm of his hand warm and comforting on the top of her head.

            Hinamori dipped her chin to her chest, afraid and ashamed that even now she placed all her trust in this man. Her eyes wandered the room, roaming the white plaster walls and the beings that clung to their sides like hungry bats: the Arrancar. She watched her feet as they mindlessly imitated his footsteps, marching further into the room. She saw the Hogyouku clasped loosely between his fingers, and only for the slightest moment did she feel a tinge of fear.

            “I trust you,” she mumbled as he readied the device, prepared to kill her and reincarnate her as a child of his own. “I will follow.”

IX. Time

            During her life, Hinamori had had a great many fears.

When she was three, she feared her parents would leave each other. They did.

When she was five, she feared her mother would die of illness. She did.

When she was seven, she feared she would develop spiritual energy. She did.

When she was nine, she feared she would be taken from the street and placed in an orphanage. She was.

When she was eleven, she feared other children would pick on her because of her height. They did.

When she was thirteen, she feared she wouldn’t grow large and lovely breasts like her friend, Rangiku Matsumoto. She didn’t.

When she was fifteen, she feared she wouldn’t be accepted into the shinigami academy. She was.

When she was seventeen, she feared she wouldn’t graduate with a very high mark. She did.

When she was twenty, she feared she wouldn’t be allowed into Fifth Division. She was.

When she was twenty-three, she feared she wouldn’t make vice-captain. She did.

When she was thirty-three, she feared her captain would die. He did.

When she was still thirty-three, she feared her captain was guilty of treason. He was.

When she became an Arrancar, she feared fear itself – and suddenly, it stopped bothering her.

X. Ocean

            Staring out her window at the wide expanse of sand and rock, Hinamori reflected on how she’d come to be in Hueco Mundo. It wasn’t especially traumatizing or romantic, but she had to wonder about the life she left behind at least once before it drove her mad.

            “Momo Hinamori,” a cold, smooth voice sounded from the corner of her room.

            Stunned motionless, Hinamori snapped herself out of her temporary shock and unsheathed her zanpakutou. “Who’s there?”

            “I am a messenger of Aizen-sama,” the voice informed her.

            Spinning around, her eyes were met with an odd sight. He was entirely white, from his clothes to his skin, with dark hair, solemn eyes and a broken hollow mask that acted somewhat like a helmet. “Who are you?”

            “My name is unimportant,” he said, hands tucked inside his pockets. “What matters is the reason for my presence.”

            Hinamori kept her sword poised, fingers clenching the hilt. “Which is?”

            “Aizen-sama requests your presence,” the stranger took a purposeful pause before punctuating the statement with, “in Hueco Mundo.”

            Hinamori’s breath caught in her throat, her grip on the weapon wavering slightly. “Who are you?”

            “A messenger of Aizen-sama,” he replied cryptically. “An envoy of your former captain.”

            “You’re lying,” she seethed, knuckles turning white. “You’re a hollow!”

            The figure shook his head. “I am an Arrancar, a creation of Aizen-sama.”

            “He would never…!”

            Ulquiorra cut her off. “I don’t have time to argue psychology with you, woman. Whether you agree to return to Hueco Mundo with me or not is your choice. However, should you refuse, Aizen-sama will be most disappointed.”

            “How do I know you’re telling the truth?” Hinamori asked, though her resolve was already crumbling.

            Seeming to have anticipated this, the stranger reached back into the shadows for a moment. He approached her then, placing an item of clothing in her hand.

            Hinamori didn’t need to unfold it to know what it was. “This is… this is Captain Aizen’s Gotei Thirteen robe! Where did you…?”

            “Aizen-sama sent it with me,” he told her flatly. “Whether you accompany me or not, he has allowed you to keep it.”

            Hinamori’s eyes watered, glued to the Fifth Division haori. She lowered and sheathed her zanpakutou, hugging the fabric to her body. “Take me to him,” she whispered.

            The intruder nodded. “As you wish.”

            Fingers lightly skimming what remained of her Hollow mask and eyes staring blankly at the ocean of sand before her, Hinamori hugged her captain’s robe around her and smiled.

XI. Dance

            It had been two weeks since Hinamori had become an Arrancar, and though Gin’s visits were less frequent, he still made them. After months of being trapped in Las Noches, however, Hinamori learned to never be surprised.

            That was until the most unusual thing happened: Gin asked her to dinner.

            Taking a seat at the large table (traditionally reserved for Espada meetings, she noted), she cleared her throat awkwardly as a plate was set before her.

            “Good evening, Hinamori-chan,” Gin greeted her, taking a seat. Thankfully, his twisted smile didn’t bother her as much now. Of course, she still shivered whenever he looked at her from behind those slit eyes, but at least the upward spin of his lips no longer made her ill.

            “I don’t eat anymore, Gin-sama,” Hinamori told him politely.

            “Nonsense,” Gin insisted.

            Sighing, she knew any argument with Gin was impossible to win, and so began eating.

            “What do you think of Aizen-sama?” Gin broke the incredibly long silence when they were halfway through dessert.

            Hinamori looked at him curiously, setting the empty bowl aside and glancing at her hands. “He is a devoted leader.”

            “And?” Gin insisted from the opposite end of the table.

            Hinamori searched for words.

            “Never mind,” Gin said, interrupting her thoughts and flippantly waving a hand. “Would you like to dance?”

            Hinamori’s eyes widened as she gave him an incredulous stare. “Excuse me?”

            A sliver of a smirk crept into his usual grin as he rose from the table, quickly approaching her. “You heard.”

            Glancing around nervously, Hinamori gulped, but stood and accepted his outstretched hand. “I didn’t know you danced.”

            “I don’t,” he admitted, even as they took to the floor.

            For some reason, this dance (currently an elegant waltz) disturbed her more than Gin’s late night tarries. Some level of romance was required for dancing, some mutual understanding and appreciation between partners. Hinamori knew she understood him less than he understood her, and there was certainly no appreciation in that wicked mind of his. Watching her feet, Hinamori struggled to keep up with him, following his lead and stepping when he instructed her to do so.

            “What do you think of Aizen-sama?” Gin asked again, spinning her out and gently winding her back into his arms.

            Hinamori followed his feet awkwardly. “He is a gracious man.”

            Gin made a playful “tsk” sound beneath his breath, and the dance suddenly changed from a polite waltz to a more unabashed tango. Hinamori reluctantly found her fingers intertwined in his, the distance between them closing ever so slightly. Silence resumed as she spun by his direction, a little amazed that she could even keep his pace. Nonetheless, she found herself sweating a bit.

            “What do you think of Aizen-sama?” Gin’s voice pestered once more, warm breath whisking past her ear.

            Hinamori kept her eyes trained intensely on his movements. “He will be a benevolent ruler.”

            Sighing, Gin wrapped an arm around her waist, pressing her body against his. The tango melted seamlessly into a samba, the tempo of their steps increasing. While he kept one hand perched at the small of her back, he trained his other around her hip, instructing her swift sway. Hinamori swallowed hard, feeling Gin’s lips lingering near her ear, breath hot against her neck.

            The quiet between them resumed, the only sounds in the room being the tap and shuffles of their footsteps and the sound of Hinamori’s labored breathing. Her legs fought to follow his own as she tried desperately not to lose whatever game this had turned into. She should have known better, though, reflecting on how Gin never lost at his own games. Her knees gave way and she began to slide to the floor, breath coming in short, heavy bursts. Gin transitioned her into a dip, lowering her to the ground and cuing the end of their dance.

            “What do you think of Aizen-sama?” he asked once more, looming over her.

            Hinamori’s lungs burned, her feet bled, and her eyes stung with tears as she rasped, “I love him.”

            Pleased, Gin left her to catch her breath and exited the room. He was excited to report and confirm Aizen’s suspicions: Hinamori was experienced with the waltz and decent with the tango, but she couldn’t samba to save her soul.

XII. Power

            Aizen hates Hinamori. He hates her with every breath of air that has ever escaped his lungs, with every drop of blood that he has ever spilt, and with every beat of his black, barely-there heart. Aizen hates Hinamori simply because she is so simple.

            Hinamori tries. Hinamori tries and works and strives to become better in his eyes. She sweats and she freezes, she sprints and she crawls. Aizen loves how hard Hinamori tries.

            Hinamori screams. Hinamori screams and cries and mewls beneath him, and beneath his subordinates. She weeps and she moans, she scratches and she strokes. Aizen loves how softly Hinamori screams.

            Hinamori sacrifices. Hinamori sacrifices and gives and renounces her mind, her body, her soul to him. She surrenders and she overcomes, she endures and she wavers. Aizen loves how much Hinamori sacrifices.

            But what Aizen does not love, what Aizen hates with every fiber of his being and with every fiber of the beings he has created, is Hinamori’s power.

            Hinamori does not have the power to stand against him.

            Hinamori does not have the power to believe in herself.

            But Hinamori has so much power that he has to stop himself from stripping away her skin, just so he can find it and claim it. But stop himself he does, always abandoning that quest for power. What is this power that he so utterly abhors every moment of every day?

            It is the power only she doesn’t know she has; it is her power over him.

XIII. Desserts

After their first horrible dance, Gin made a habit of inviting Hinamori (who was helpless to refuse) for dinner and dancing every week. On each occasion, he’d strain her mind as much as her body, forcing her into mental cages when she couldn’t meet his steps. Eventually, she learned from her mistakes and became so in synch with Gin that she only cried once every two months.

No longer needing an invitation, Hinamori slipped into the war chamber (made their dancing room on those nights) at the usual time. Taking a seat, she took note of the type of dessert it was to be that night. (After Hinamori had successfully danced the tango five times, Gin stopped forcing her to eat food she didn’t need.)

“Shall we begin?” Hinamori asked. She talked more amicably with Gin now and, in some twisted way, considered him a friend.

The chair at the other end swiveled and Aizen was seated in it instead of Gin. “Gladly.”

Hinamori was in shock but held her tongue, painfully enduring the silence. His presence unnerved and excited her, so much so that the sumptuous dessert tasted like chalk and burned as she swallowed it.

When they had finished, Aizen asked her to dance.

Practically euphoric but just as suspicious, Hinamori nodded and took his hand. He led her to the center of the room, taking her by surprise when he held her closely against him, and began with a samba.

Unaccustomed to this reversal of routine, it took Hinamori a few moments to catch up with him. His stare was understanding as she quickly followed suit, and some of the condescending tones evaporated. He stepped forward and back, moving his hips remarkably well, and Hinamori prided herself in being able to match his motions. He spun her out and back in, her back to his chest, trailing a hand up her waist. Hinamori gasped, her skin burning and tingling sensually where his fingers had touched.

Their pace suddenly slowed, the vivacious samba flowing into a slower tango. She enjoyed this more, allowing her legs time to recuperate after their former dance. Together, she and Aizen seemed to wind around each others steps, Hinamori savoring the few brief moments when their bodies would brush. His hands glided over her body, lifting and lowering her delicately. Hinamori reveled in the touch, but was glad Gin never got this intimate in their sessions.

Hinamori was not surprised when their tango faded into a waltz and they moved more gracefully than ever. She took the minutes of formality to drink in his presence, still confused by it but overcome with rapture. Aizen put as much thought into the manipulation of his feet as he put into the manipulation of his subordinates, calculating and executing each step for a pristine finish. She had to wonder where he’d learned to dance like this, and absentmindedly thought about who else he may have danced with.

Finally their waltz slowed and he leaned her into a deep dip, letting her body linger before bringing her back to her feet.

“You’ve improved immensely,” he told her, and she was puzzled as to his basis of comparison.

Hinamori dipped her head, unsure of what to say. She feared he might turn and go when he took her hand, pressing her body closer to his than they had in the samba. They rocked back and forth, a gentle sway that reminded her of awkward teenage dances in her academy days.

“C-Captain?” she asked.

She felt him smile, his lips brushing her neck. “This is your favorite, isn’t it?”

Ears burning and blushing madly, Hinamori nodded and hugged closer to him. They stayed like this for some time, stepping lightly back and forth and indulging in the subtle romance.

He moved away from her suddenly, and she was about to protest when he returned, lips gazing softly over her own.

Hinamori’s eyes widened. In her days there (and even some of her days back in Soul Society), she and Aizen weren’t entirely chaste. In fact, they had had sex several times, on several occasions, for several different reasons. He would stroke her, touch her, whisper to her. But never, in the entirety of their relationship, had he kissed her on her lips.

She snapped out of her reverie when his tongue begged entrance, and her eyes drifted shut as she granted it. Despite the kiss deepening, he remained gentle, purposeful, and slightly meticulous. Her tongue met his own as his hands wove through her hair, her arms wrapping around his neck and pulling him closer.

They broke for air soon, Hinamori blushing feverishly and Aizen smiling with a mixture of sincerity and ambiguity.

“What do you think of me?” he asked her, caressing her cheek in the palm of his hand.

She leaned into him, nestling comfortably in his embrace and basking in his scent as she whispered, “I love you.”

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January 2008

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