Duties and paperwork remain a constant in one's life but what happens when the one thing worth living for is taken away and your whole life changes? GinKira, March 27th birthday fic for Kira
Warnings: Angst, sadness, depression, very 'emo', for those of you who know what it means, one-shot. Self deprecating behaviour ahead. Possible spoilers for those watching the English dub only.
Pairing(s): Hints of GinKira but mostly one sided Kira.
Notes: This came about after watching the episodes spanning Aizen's betrayal and subsequent flight to Hueco Mundo, accompanied by Ichimaru and Tousen. Add the fact that I spent a few hours brooding over just how sad it would be to lose your whole life in an instant and voila. -laughs- Instant mind fuckage. Written for Kira Izuru's birthday, the 27th of March. Happy Birthday, Kira-kun! Ginyanote loves you!
He became so much like a beaten dog when it finally sunk in.
The fact that his captain, the deviously sweet Ichimaru Gin, had truly left him behind. Kira supposed that it was for the best.
After all, what man would take him along? He was useless. Just a toy to be cast aside once the need for him waned. He had told himself countless times that his captain only needed him for some grand purpose and the day the silver haired shinigami left, didn't that personal mantra ring true enough to break the blond inside.
His friends, though few in number, were vigilant. They watched him for any signs of breakage during the first few weeks and once they had decided he was better adjusted to the sudden change, they let him be, choosing to continue on with their own lives.
Even Renji, who had been a great source of strength for the lithesome blond, chose to devote his time back to his own captain, a man who burned stone with his glare and turned hearts to ice with his formal attitude. Again, Izuru thought that it was for the best. Why should his friends be brought down by a weak boy who had nothing left to live for? The simplest of conversations even, had become tedious to the young fukutaichou.
Yes, he was fine. No, he didn't need any help with the division's remaining paperwork. He could handle it on his own. Yes, the office had been cleaned and prepared for the new captain's arrival. No, he wasn't exactly sure what had happened to the spare captain's haori Ichimaru had kept on hand in case he spilled his tea on himself. It must be around somewhere. Yes, he'd look hard for it when he ventured into the squad house's underground storage rooms.
What he didn't tell the vigilant Soutaichou, was that Gin's spare haori sat underneath the pillow on Kira's bed, folded neatly and ready to be worn again when the blond ventured home at the end of the day. As pajamas they were useless, but as a security blanket, Izuru had found no better replacement since his childhood. The seamstress for the Gotei 13 could make another set for all he cared. He refused to give up one of the few things that truly reminded him of his ever grinning taichou.
If Kira had a coin for every time he heard someone mention something bad about his captain when they thought he wasn't listening, he was sure he could retire from the division as a somewhat happy man. Somewhat in the way that he would be rich, though unhappy mentally, as the reason for his wealth remained out of his short reach.
The squad members kept their mouths shut when he walked past but as soon as they thought he was out of range, they began their secret taunts and whispers, always hinting at the relationship the two high ranking officers shared and why he had been left behind.
Unanimously, they had decided that he was too weak and would eventually have become a burden to their deceptive captain. It pained Izuru more to admit that what they were saying was true. The pain of being spoken of behind his back hardly even fazed him.
“He wasn't good enough for Taichou to bother with.”
“Yeah, he wouldn't have left him if he was worth anything. What kinda leader's he gonna be now if he can't even keep his captain happy?”
The uprising seemed imminent and all Kira could do was tune it out while doing his duties and then wallow in the mens' words once he got home. Though home it hardly was. He had given up his own quarters in the barracks in return for Ichimaru's private chambers within the squad house, refusing to give them up even when confronted by the Soutaichou. Genryuusai had snorted disapprovingly but because of how much the separation seemed to bother the blond, he allowed it, at least until the new captain arrived. As a result, the furniture and all of Ichimaru's personal belongings remained, even the few things that Kira wanted to throw away but couldn't bring himself to part with.
From a close friend's point of view, Kira seemed distant with everyone, usually choosing to eat his meals alone and since he stayed in the office's private rooms, he could be away from the division barracks and avoid the rest of the men more easily. One man he couldn't shake was the one he most wanted to avoid but due to Abarai Renji's inquisitive and demanding nature, Izuru found it increasingly hard to ignore his constant approaches.
“Really, Abarai-kun. I'll be fine. Go home.” Was a common phrase he caught himself speaking nearly every night. “No, there haven't been any nightmares lately.” Was usually the lie that followed.
In truth, he had been suffering through nearly intolerable nightmares, usually forcing himself to stay awake most of the night to prevent them entirely. Waking at regular intervals saved him from falling into sleep deep enough to warrant dreams and drinking a lot of water worked as a better alarm clock than his own inner workings ever had. He had been chided by his beloved captain in the beginning of their relationship, because he could sleep all night and wake at the exact same time each morning without fail. Now, what did he have to even wake up for anymore?
Drinking with Matsumoto helped to a point but his drunken stupors usually enhanced his sadness and he casually cried himself to sleep, deep in the blankets his taichou had so cherished on cool nights, the freshly washed and re-hidden haori tucked under his chin while he draped it over a pillow to mimic Ichimaru's torso and chest. He only needed something comforting to lie against while he forced sleeplessness upon himself.
Hinamori, still recovering in the fourth division's infirmary, gave him few words to go by, her dementia nearly matching his as she worried over her captain's health, his general well being and whether or not he had someone close to do his casual bidding. Poor mindless Momo. Though behind his back, and the back of the ninth squad's fukutaichou, the rest of Seireitei whispered, grouping the three misfits in together as broken spirits without a guiding light to bring them peace.
Shuuhei had taken it far better than the others but he was still a broken man, choosing to throw himself into his division work to avoid brooding alone. It was what Tousen would have wanted, had the man remained in Soul Society. The squad moved with a sluggish nature but they too were frayed by their captain's desertion, less than their brave vice captain and wholly less than the third and fifth divisions put together. They were a valiant fighting squad, bested only by Zaraki's eleventh, and fighting, drinking and braving the odds were each man's desire to overcome the pain that had been brought down upon them.
Kira wondered sometimes, almost always while bathing in Gin's private bathroom so he was entirely alone, if he had been too hard on himself since realizing that he was alone again. Sure, he had cried when his parents died and left him to work through the shinigami academy by himself. He had shed a few tears during the ryoka attack, when he stayed in the cold holding cell with his arms bound. They had dried the moment he had seen Ichimaru walking in through the open door, the man's smile and gentle nature speaking more volumes than his cold words.
“Ahh, ain't ya a sight? I can't stand to look.”
“You're just wastin' away, aren't ya? Poor thin'. Want me to save ya?” He asked with apparent concern. “Naa, Izuru?”
It just wouldn't do to cry in front of the man who was both his saviour and his burden. How many long nights had Kira spent with his head in his hands, Gin's haori draped over his shoulders as if he were the new captain, snuggling into it in the confines of the dark quarters, his body cradled by the oodles of pillows the silver haired shinigami had so cherished. They all smelled of his light soap and though they had been soaked through by both sweat and tears from the small blond, the scent still lingered just enough to calm him while he sobbed.
“Are ya still sittin' here, Izuru?” He heard a warm, familiar voice call to him from over his left shoulder.
He whirled and saw nothing but darkness, the rooms beyond the door empty except for his own belongings. Blue eyes remained wide as he looked around frantically, his fingers gripping the pillow before him in a tight grasp, nearly squeezing the feathers from it as his knees began to shake violently.
He had heard Gin's voice. He was sure of it. That accent was so rare and as far as the young vice captain knew, no one else in Seireitei spoke in Kansai-ben. He licked his lips and rolled onto his side, sliding a pillow up to cover his ears as line after line of comforting words echoed to him from some distant source.
In an instant, his world had become something of a vortex. He remained at the center, watching everything around him spin wildly, sucked down into an endless void. Why he never fell in and joined the others, he wasn't sure.
The faked smiles he received from his fellow vice captains, with the exception of Renji and Hisagi, started to wear on his nerves, his returned smile being replaced with a frown that never faded. He barked orders at his subordinates and became a generalized bastard, refusing to listen to order unless it was from a captain or the Soutaichou himself.
Even Shuuhei, who craved friendship while not working hard in his own squad, avoided him. Hinamori had politely asked Unohana if she could refuse Kira admittance to visit her on the days he normally came. His long face and broken mask both irritated and upset her. In her condition, she didn't need to deal with it and all things considered, she had enough of a challenge ahead of herself. The entirety of her own situation had barely begun to etch its way into her mind.
“Ya think too hard on the little thin's, Izuru. Ya need to relax sometimes and let your mind rest, ne? You're gonna wear yourself out before ya even get to enjoy yourself.”
He allowed the conversation to run in his mind while he watched his food arrive for the night, the servant who brought it barely staying long enough to place the tray down on the blond's desk. The deep bowl filled with plain white rice wobbled before clinking against the other dishes and coming to rest upright, its little fluffy passengers relaxing as their ride had finally ended. His hashi clicked loudly in the silent room and he ignored it in favour of shoving the flavoured but seemingly useless food into his mouth, eating it only out of necessity.
“Why the long face when I say that?”
“You're making fun of me, Taichou. I'm always worn out from all the work I do in a day. Why should today be any different?”
“It's the twenty seventh, ne?” He asked innocently.
The blond had stared for a moment and then blinked slowly, trying to think hard on whether or not it really was.
“Hai, Taichou. It's March the twenty seventh, What's that got to do with-”
And then it hit him as the elder shinigami took a small package out from behind his back, the box topped with delicate ribbon and tied into an elaborate bow. It was handed over and Kira was almost too embarrassed to take it from him, gingerly holding his hands out and clutching the gift tightly enough to dent the bow.
“Careful now. Ya don't wanna crush the surprise, do ya?”
“N...no. Gomen ne.”
He answered softly, peering at the flouncy ribbon and tugging it just enough to pull it free. The box top popped open slightly and he slid his thumb underneath, prying it open the rest of the way and staring into the tissue papered depths, coming face to face with quail shaped yamagashi and sakuramochi made out of season.
“Ahh...arigato, Taichou. I didn't know you knew which sweets I liked.”
The snake-like captain slid closer and wound an arm around the boy's waist, just holding him close enough to speak without having to lift his voice any higher than a whisper.
“I didn't. I had to ask Rangiku. She said ya used to get these from your parents in the spring 'cause they weren't in season for your birthday.”
“But I never told anyone that!”
“Ya told her when ya were drinkin'. She mighta been drunk too, but she's got a good memory. Sometimes too good, but the important stuff never got forgotten.”
He wondered if he'd ever get a treat like that again for his birthday. It wasn't even Autumn yet and already he pined for the sweet snacks. The sakuramochi Gin had bought for him were sticky and too sweet, just like those his mother had prepared so many years before. The yamagashi were firm and almost like the crystallized sugar candies Matsumoto brought back from the living world. They lasted for years if they were kept cool and dry. He felt his eyes fill with tears at the memory and he buried his head in the pillows, clutching the fluffy items to his chest and wailing into their suffocating depths.
In the top drawer of Gin's desk, in the right hand corner where the elder man used to keep his absolutely private papers, there was a stain Izuru had been unable to clean completely. If he had one of the small treats in his hand now, he could rest it atop the mark and would notice the outline surrounding it. There were five yamagashi in his treat box that day and as far as he knew, they were sold in batches of a half dozen or a dozen. Where the sixth one had disappeared to had only been revealed the day he was ordered to clean out his captain's desk.
The item was melted right into the wood and only the strongest of cleansers had gotten the decayed sugar off for the most part, leaving the outlined stain behind. It had obviously not been kept cool and dry, as the weather in Soul Society remained warm for the most part and the sneaky taichou was constantly spilling his drinks onto and into his drawers. Giving up at the end of the day, the blond had taken the drawer from the desk and had replaced it with the top drawer of the bedside table in Gin's bedroom, giving the desk its former brilliance back and saving the ruined drawer for himself.
With Ichimaru's spare haori draped over his shoulders and the drawer open enough so that the stain was seen by the low candlelight in the room, Kira rested back against the wall, his knees curled up to his chest and a half filled sake cup held tightly in his small hands.
If he was left with a life hardly worth living for himself, wouldn't it make more sense to live for the memory of his beloved captain instead? Even if it meant suffering through a personal hell and holding onto that faint, glimmering hope that maybe, hopefully, one day in the future he'd be able to see the silver haired shinigami again?
Hope had never been one of Izuru's strong points but according to Gin, devotion had been the anchor that had kept the young fukutaichou at his side.
Devotion, according to Genryuusai and Unohana, was a synonym for allegiance and piety, for certainly in Kira's eyes, his captain was a god. But devotion also bred the bad side of devotion; apathy, lassitude and indifference. Hardly qualities wanted within the Gotei 13.
The vicious spiral came full circle for the brave fukutaichou at every pass of judgment. He may have been blind to life in general, but not even the most broken of souls forgets where it's not wanted.