Matsumoto thinks of Gin and of where she would be if she had, in fact, held on a little longer.
It was naÃ¯ve, she knew, to believe that he loved her-at least not in the way that she had thought love should be. Gin's love wasn't something that could transform him, make him play the role of a dutiful husband or passionate lover. There was a darker element to it that came from a deep, empty place she had never and would never be able to reach.
Aizen, she was sure, would never be able to reach it either. That man had the confidence of a king, but confidence was worth nothing when it came to understanding Gin. But the thought wasn't as satisfying as it should have been. It just meant that Gin was as alone as he had always been, alone with his own schemes and twisted smiles. Matsumoto was frightened of what Gin would become when surrounded only by his own mind and by the company of a man with a mind as devious as his own.
Those nights in the past when she had been able to hold Gin to herself, she had believed that the tighter she clung to him, the better she could prevent his humanity from slipping away. He had always indulged her in that, never minding when her fingernails left deep scratches down his arms and back. He had let her hold on to the pretense that he was containable, and she almost hated him for it.
It made everything so much painful now.
In a way, she knew that she should have been more prepared, more guarded against the hurt she felt now. Ever since the night when she had been forced to defend Momo from his searching sword, she should have realized that all of her desperate embraces and searching kisses had done nothing.
So now, when she ran around doing errands for her captain and did her part helping train new shinigami at the university, she was left to wonder what would have happened if she had, in fact, held on a little longer. Would she have been happier? Would getting up to another painful morning of rebuilding Soul Society be less of burden?
She didn't know the answer to either of those questions, traitorous as they were. What she did know-what made it all so much worse-was that even then, he would never have been able to love her.