“Alright, troops! Can I count on you this time?” Rukia demanded, raking her gaze over her gathered soldiers. All of whom displayed varying levels of shame and boredom.
Matsumoto rolled her eyes and fanned her face with her hand. “It’s not my fault that they slipped out while I was flirting with that guy at the bar. You would have too if you saw him.”
“What can I say?” Yumichika frowned as he slid the file over the edge of his nails and smoothed them to perfection. “Taichou stuck me on Yachiru-duty. And there’s no way I can slip out of that.”
Rukia sniffed, unimpressed by their excuses. Her eyes shifted to Shuuhei, the only one of the three who seemed sufficiently cowed.
“And what’s your excuse?”
He shrank away from her accusing stare. “Look, I tried to stop them. They wouldn’t listen! Do you know how hard it is to tell four drunk men they can’t have free food?” Shuuhei nearly cried. “It’s impossible!”
Huffing, Rukia rubbed fingers over her brow, trying to stem an oncoming headache. She waved off Shuuhei’s explanation.
“Okay, fine. You tried your best. But this time, we absolutely cannot fail. Hinamori Momo must be stopped!”
“Right!” Yumichika and Matsumoto declared in unison.
Shuuhei followed with a much less enthusiastic, “Whatever…”
“We’ll stop her!” Yumichika and Matsumoto continued, only to pause and look at each other. “Wait? What?”
Rukia sighed and shook her head. “Last time, she almost ruined everything!” She said in exasperation, her hands forming fists of aggravation. “If I hadn’t tackled her, Ichigo never would have been kissed! It was his first you know,” she added in an aside. “He’ll die a virgin at this rate. Completely untouched. Never knowing the feel of anyone else but himself.”
Matsumoto and Yumichika all but gasped in horror. Shuuhei just slapped his palm across his face and tried his best to sink through the floor. That was far more about Kurosaki-kun than he ever wanted to know.
“And,” Rukia continued as though she didn’t notice, “if Hinamori has her way, that will be exactly what happens.”
Matsumoto shook her head, strawberry blonde tresses fluttering through the air. “That’s the most horrible thing I’ve ever heard! It’s almost like going to a bar without sake, without any alcohol… A life without sex?” She shuddered.
“Such a tragedy,” Yumichika agreed with an equal look of revulsion. “Though perhaps Kira-kun could help him along. He seemed to have well in hand the last time.”
Shuuhei shivered at the memory. Face reddening at the image of his kouhai with his hands down Kurosaki-kun’s hakama. Then, he groaned in remembered embarrassment.
But like always, he was ignored.
“That’s the back-up plan,” Rukia was quick to assure him. “I have it on good authority that Aizen is… how shall I put this? Experienced with other men. He’ll make Ichigo’s first time extra special. Which is nothing less than he deserves.” She pumped her fist into the air.
“Hai!” Yumichika and Matsumoto all but yelled together.
Shuuhei smartly remained silent.
“Now,” Rukia inserted once everyone had quieted, “I’m not sure when Aizen will plan the next date, so we have to keep a careful eye out. Right men?”
“And women?” Matsumoto insisted.
“And women,” Rukia conceded with an all-too-frightening smile. “Hinamori will never know what hit her.”
‘Neither will Kurosaki-kun,’ Shuuhei thought to himself with an internal groan. He wondered if the boy was even aware of the plans his dear friend had for him. If he even knew how very manipulative she could be.
But it would be a cold day in Hell before Shuuhei would think to warn him either. Kuchiki was insane, and now, she had involved Matsumoto and Ayasegawa in her madness? Shuuhei would have to be suicidal to interfere.
And not for the first time he wished he had never been dragged into their scheme. But better Kurosaki-kun than he.
– – –
Sitting on his throne, Aizen Sousuke was remembering. His fingers drummed the flat arms as he stared at nothing, mind locked on the past. A small smile decorated his lips, a cute little ditty threatening to hum in the back of his throat.
Ichigo-kun was a very interesting date. He was glad he had taken Kuchiki-san up on her invitation. Very glad indeed. It had been a long time since he’d even had a casual outing. There was only so much time in the day after all. And much of his was spent planning his world domination and ascension to godhood. It didn’t exactly leave him much time for socializing outside of his minions and lieutenant.
Still, every king needed a queen, and Gin was already his prince, the heir to his kingdom. Sousuke lacked an integral part to his scheme, another second-in-command who was more companion than servant. A firm and unyielding presence at his side to serve as both support and distraction. Someone tough and fierce but well-beloved by the populace. Intelligent but not arrogant. Beautiful and graceful. Powerful. Radiant. And it didn’t hurt that they boy already had his own Hollow abilities. They complimented Sousuke’s side rather well.
Yes, Ichigo-kun would do very nicely.
“Er… Aizen-taichou?” Gin’s voice wasn’t quite tentative. More concerned than anything since he didn’t often catch his lord daydreaming.
“I’m fine, Gin,” Sousuke assured him as he slid down from his throne and landed with an elegant flutter of his robes. “Merely contemplating.” He allowed his hand to brush his lieutenant’s shoulder as he walked by.
Gin was quick to trail after him. “Where ya going, taichou?”
“To take Ichigo-kun up on his offer, of course,” Sousuke said, throwing the answer over his shoulder. A jaunty extra bounce to his step.
He could tell from the following flicker of reiatsu that poor Gin was a tad confused.
“But… We have an invasion scheduled for tonight.”
Sousuke gave him a dismissive wave. “Oh, that can wait another day or two. We’ll catch the Shinigami unaware regardless.”
Never let it be forgotten that the Shinigami were masters of standing around with their thumbs up their asses before it became too late. It was a truth that Sousuke had capitalized on plenty of times. It still amused him.
He left his confused second in the throne room. Gin would understand in due time, quick and clever as he was. There was a reason he was Sousuke’s chosen successor after all, his true and only heir. Still, he had hinted that he’d been lonely as of late without his usual companions, Kira-san and Matsumoto, and a new friend would be just the thing to bring out that smile. Besides, he had been asking for a mother for quite some time. Sousuke had just never found one up to standards before now.
With that thought, the overlord headed to his own chambers, setting in for a quick shower and change of clothes. Sousuke contemplated date options, finally settling for a walk through a park. He knew of a rather nice one in the middle of Karakura with a walking path and – if he recalled correctly – many vendors worked that route.
Ice cream in summer. How could he resist?
A smile pulled at his lips as Sousuke opened a Garganta and stepped into a sunny afternoon. He expanded his senses and searched for Shinigami who might think to attack without considering the ability of success. But none were anywhere near enough to detect him. Perfect.
It was easy enough to find Ichigo-kun’s house the second time around, and he hoped that the teen was home, especially considering that he was visiting unexpectedly. Still, as evil incarnate, it would be a bad idea for him to announce his intentions ahead of time. Best to keep everyone on their toes after all.
He arrived at the Kurosaki household and was relieved to sense Ichigo inside. Sousuke would hate to have come here for nothing. Resisting the urge to hum to himself, the former captain strode up the walk towards the door. Before he even came within ten feet, however, it slammed open. Ichigo-kun came striding out, expression stormy.
“Stupid Goat-Face,” he muttered with a violent scuff of his shoes across the pavement. Only to come to a complete halt at the sight of Aizen Sousuke, blinking in surprise.
Sousuke smiled. His queen certainly looked lovely when riled. He wondered if that red flush was the same as when the teen was aroused.
“Good afternoon, Ichigo-kun,” he greeted with a lifted hand. “I hope that my arrival isn’t too presumptuous?”
He watched as Ichigo-kun’s jaw worked several times without a sound emerging. Then, the Vizard lifted his shoulders.
“Actually, it works out perfectly,” he commented with a peculiar tone.
The sound seemed to emerge from the house behind the young man, and Sousuke blinked in surprise as he grimaced. Ichigo-kun darted forward then, grabbing Sousuke’s hand and dragging the evil overlord along with him.
“In fact, let’s get started right now,” Ichigo-kun said in all a rush, forcing Sousuke to jog to keep up.
“Is this a bad time?” he posed in response.
Ichigo-kun shook his head, a light smile touching his lips. “Just my old man being an idiot as usual.”
He really had a nice smile, Sousuke decided then. He wondered what other expressions he might be able to garner from the Vizard. If they would be every bit as intriguing.
What a wonderful day it was turning out to be.
“There’s a park a few blocks from here–”
“I know,” Ichigo-kun interrupted. “Karin plays soccer there all the time. It’s supposed to be the largest in the city.”
Sousuke inclined his head. “Precisely. It’s a nice day. We should take advantage of it.”
As his house vanished in the distance, Ichigo-kun’s frantic push for escape eased. He slowed their pace to a walk, allowing Sousuke to draw up beside him.
“Sounds good to me,” the teen said in an even more pleasant voice before falling silent.
They walked in quiet contemplation for several minutes, enjoying the scenery and clear weather. Children frolicked happily in the park. Parents watched them indulgently as dogs played fetch with their owners. An old man and his wife handed out balloons to the passersby free of charge, and young couples curled together on the benches.
It was very peaceful. Very picturesque. Sousuke still preferred white sands and black sky.
“So…” Ichigo-kun began slowly, raking a hand through his orange hair. “How’s the… uh…” He made a vague gesture.
“Bid to become God?” Sousuke supplied smoothly and with a definite quirk to his mouth. He wondered if the boy even noticed how close together they walked.
“Yeah, that.” Ichigo winced but still nodded. “Everything going good for you, I take it?”
“Swimmingly. I’m right on schedule with all proceeding as planned.” Sousuke hummed under his breath, feeling his skin tingle every time their arms brushed.
“That’s… good. I guess.”
Ichigo-kun shrugged before unceremoniously shoving his hands into his pockets, which only made his arm come further into contact with the man beside him. He didn’t seem to notice as he tilted his head back, watching a cloud idly float by.
“And you?” Sousuke continued, making no secret of the fact he was openly admiring his companion in that ridiculously short shirt of his. Honestly, every time the boy so much as lifted his shoulder, several inches of bare but flat abdomen was revealed. “How is your training?”
Ichigo-kun shrugged, as Sousuke suspected he would. The overlord leered at the span of tanned skin revealed. Mmm, quite nice. And was that a hint of bellybutton?
He turned his head to catch a better glimpse. Dark eyes drifting from the hem of Ichigo-kun’s skirt across the bared plains of his stomach to the top of his pants.
So it was.
“The same as usual,” the teen answered with a hedge around any details. They were still technically enemies after all; it was to be expected. “I don’t have much else better to do than besides that and school.”
Sousuke inclined his head. “Ah, the life of the young. It is to be envied.”
His gaze traced the clean, muscular lines of his companion’s abdomen. Apparently, substitute Shinigami work was very good for the body. The regular Gotei 13 certainly didn’t make them like this. Those men were either too effeminate and ineffectual or overly muscled morons.
“Whatever you say,” Ichigo-kun dismissed with a wave of his hand. “And the uh… minions, I guess. They’re all… ehhh, healthy?”
Except for the ones Ichigo-kun had defeated, yes. But the overlord wasn’t going to say that. He admired his queen for his strength. Sousuke wouldn’t have him any other way.
He smiled then and watched as Ichigo-kun turned to look at something. Effectively baring his neck and revealing the tanned and supple flesh there.
“Awaiting our victory,” Sousuke answered, admiring the way Ichigo-kun’s jeans clung to every inch of his legs. “Oh, and the arrival of my queen of course.”
Ichigo-kun came to a sudden halt. “What? Queen?”
Realizing that he had let that slip, Sousuke cast about for a distraction. “Is that ice cream?” He titled his head to a vendor with a cart, who was ringing a rather charming bell. “I love ice cream. Would you like some, Ichigo-kun?”
He was off before the boy could protest, able to feel the confusion in Ichigo-kun’s reiatsu. Ah, but his queen was so delectable when confused. His brow furrowed deeply; that scowl twisted his lips. Sousuke imagined that it melted quite nicely when he was kissed. Or licked. Or groped. Devoured. Aroused.
He prudently filed that thought away as he pondered the selection available. Chocolate. Vanilla. Swirl. Strawberry?
Sousuke’s lips curled into a smirk. Oh, the irony.
“Ichigo-kun, which would you like?”
His queen sauntered up to his side and glanced over the selection. “Vanilla,” he grumbled, still looking at Sousuke suspiciously.
Well, that would have to be solved quickly.
Ice cream retrieved and paid for, the two started back down the path. They headed towards a quieter, trail-like part of the park. More for adults than children as there were no playgrounds nearby, just carefully landscaped gardens and the occasional sculpture or bench.
Words were abandoned for more important pursuits, the consumption of ice cream. And Sousuke amused himself by admiring the scenery, trying not to openly leer at Ichigo-kun and deepen his suspicions. But temptation got the better of him.
Sousuke glanced at Ichigo-kun and felt every drop of blood in his body rush southwards. Buying ice cream had seemed like a good idea at the time, but looking at the teen now, it seemed terribly wrong of him. A drop had missed Ichigo-kun’s mouth, and his tongue slid between his lips to catch it. Only the vanilla dollop was just out of reach.
Instinct took over. A hand gently grasped Ichigo-kun’s chin, and dark eyes focused on that small hint of vanilla.
“You missed a bit,” Sousuke murmured, leaning in to lick the drop. It tasted sweet on his tongue but no more so than the flavor of Ichigo-kun’s skin.
Tongue flicking over his lips, Sousuke pulled back and swallowed deeply. Ichigo-kun stared at him, and Sousuke returned the gaze, unable to resist the pull of those brown eyes. His breath puffed gently against Ichigo-kun’s mouth where his tongue emerged to drag over them once more.
Honestly, Ichigo-kun had to be tempting him. It had to be on purpose. This was the only explanation.
“Sweet,” Sousuke commented with a surreptitious glance around him.
The area was deserted. No children. No nosy parents. No one to lay eyes on what he was going to do next. As Ichigo-kun hadn’t seemed too angry with the first kiss, Sousuke reasoned he wouldn’t be angry with another. And he grabbed a slender wrist and brought it up to his lips, and as he held the teen’s gaze, he licked off the line of ice cream that had melted from its cone. Sousuke was treated to the sight of brown eyes dilating with interest and the sound of breath hitching.
“Spilled a little here, too,” Sousuke murmured, the sweet taste of vanilla and Ichigo-kun dancing on his tongue.
“I never realized I was such a messy eater,” the teen returned thoughtlessly. His fingers twitched, but he didn’t pull away.
A good sign.
“It’s rather cute,” Sousuke said, and with the way Ichigo-kun kept looking at him, he couldn’t resist anymore. His ice cream hit the ground with a messy pink splatter.
He lowered his head and kissed Ichigo-kun again, drawing him in until they were pressed together. This time, the teen participated, tongue pushing into Sousuke’s mouth without hesitation. He tasted a lot like sin, especially to Aizen Sousuke who knew good and well he was seducing his enemy. Or soon-to-be queen rather. His consort.
Ichigo-kun pressed against him, all warmth and lithe limbs. The strength in his sinewy frame was something to be admired. Reiatsu vibrating beneath the surface and twining with his own in a way that only those truly compatible would ever be able to manage. Intimate with a hint of spice and sunlight. Radiant in his simple elegance.
Ah, Sousuke had made a superb choice indeed.
But… but in the back of his mind, there was an unusual buzz of reiatsu. Familiar. Somewhat strong. Tasting vaguely of Shinigami. Sousuke wanted to ignore it, but it was an annoying blip in his thoughts. He couldn’t focus.
Then, he heard giggling. Stifled. But giggling nonetheless.
And that pretty much proved it. Someone was watching them. And not very stealthily Sousuke might add.
Ichigo ended the kiss, a little dazed, his lips reddened. His eyes were glassy but clearing as he cocked his head to the side.
“You hear something?” he asked, expression too cute for Sousuke to ignore.
The overlord contemplated using some kind of illusion to slip away, but it was unnecessary. He could always save that for later. And for more pleasurable activities.
“The wind,” Sousuke assured him as he attempt not to glare at a rustling bush, the source of the noise and reiatsu. He turned Ichigo-kun back towards the path. “But it is getting late, my dear.”
Brown eyes drifted to the sky. “Yeah, I guess it is,” Ichigo-kun agreed, though he didn’t sound all that thrilled about returning home.
Ichigo-kun’s tongue flicked over his lips before he seemed to remember the ice cream cone. It found a trash can as they passed, a hopelessly melted vanilla puddle. Sousuke watched avidly as that pink tongue removed a drop that had slid down the boy’s hand.
Did Ichigo-kun even realize how irresistible he was?
Just as Sousuke was contemplating this conundrum, there was a sudden flash. Another giggle. A streak of movement. A rising buzz of reiatsu. A second flash followed by several clicks.
“I got it!” someone shouted excitedly. “I got– Ulp!”
“Get ’em, team!”
“I got her!”
When the flashes faded and Sousuke was done blinking the spots from his eyes, he was left gaping at… well, nothing. Despite the voices, nothing and no one was there.
Ichigo-kun blinked. And blinked again.
“What the hell was that?”
“I don’t know,” Sousuke said, blinking himself. “I honestly don’t know.” He took the opportunity to slip his arm in Ichigo-kun’s and swiftly lead him away.
To be perfectly honest, he was a twinge… disturbed. That might have been Urahara Kisuke’s voice in there. And possibly Shihouin Yoruichi. But there were several different tones mixed also, and by kami, he might have thought he heard Hinamori-kun, too.
The evil overlord of Hueco Mundo fought off a shudder of revulsion. He redirected his attention to both his companion and the sudden need to get the hell out of there. And at a pace that was certainly not the same leisurely stroll as before, he took them back through the park proper. Passing benches and children and parents in a near blur. Not slowing until he felt the buzz of reiatsu die away on the sidewalk just outside the entrance.
From there, they could turn right and held back to Ichigo-kun’s home or go left into the city. But Sousuke was not quite ready for this to be over. He didn’t want the day to end so quickly since it seemed to have only just begun. Yet truly, this choice belonged to his dear queen. He needed Ichigo-kun to choose him as well. And actively so. Even if he didn’t yet realize what Sousuke was offering.
The overlord turned to the teen beside him. “I have greatly enjoyed your company today,” he said in a soft tone, eyes fighting not to stray to the edge of Ichigo-kun’s shirt. “But I don’t want it just yet. After all, what is desert without dinner to accompany it?” he questioned rather rhetorically and offered his arm once more.
Ichigo-kun just blinked at him. And Sousuke could practically see the decision weighing in his mind. An invitation from a perceived enemy versus returning to his crazed father. A nice meal versus insanity and random attacks. Aizen Sousuke versus Kurosaki Isshin.
Really, it was a very easy choice to make.
“What exactly did you have in mind?” Ichigo-kun asked as he slowly inched closer.
Sousuke just smiled.