For several weeks, it was nothing but inquisitions and trials and questioning and counseling. The last more for Tousen than anyone else, though there were a few times that Unohana-taichou dragged Aizen and Ichimaru in as well. After all, they had – all three – attempted to destroy Soul Society and somehow become king, so there had to be something wrong with them.
Immediately following were copious amounts of public apologies not to mention personally written letters of regret. And they had to be sincere, or they didn’t count. Yamamoto ensured that. Aizen and Ichimaru were quick to agree, no more willing to return to Hueco Mundo and their prior aspirations then they were to agree that letting Tousen wander around ungagged was a good idea.
Luckily, after hearing the man’s continuous chant about justice, the rest of Soul Society was inclined to believe them.
Of course, by the time all was said and done, the Shinigami of Seireitei were left in quite the quandary. They still had three open positions for captaincy, and they weren’t willing to trust the former traitors just yet. Not to mention they had all been geared up for a big, destructive war that now wasn’t going to take place. Talk about deflated balloons.
Kurosaki Ichigo, for his part, was rather relieved that death and destruction wasn’t going to rain down anymore. Not only because that saved him a rather nasty battle. But also because it meant he wouldn’t have to face his boyfriend across the battlefield anymore. That was one thing he had hoped to avoid.
Aizen Sousuke, said boyfriend, was inclined to agree.
“You know,” Sousuke said as he stretched an arm up and curled it behind himself. “This is rather nice.”
Ichigo snorted. “You mean, aside from black nights, white sand, and your second-in-command listening outside our door?” he retorted from where he lay curled up at Sousuke’s side. Head propped on the former evil overlord’s chest.
In fact, Ichigo wasn’t sure what to call Sousuke now since Sousuke was neither Shinigami nor overlord nor traitorous bastard. Instead, he was reformed and living the quiet life in Seireitei. Meanwhile, the rest of Soul Society tried to adapt to the fact that not only was there going to be no war but that it had ended quietly and without fuss.
Unless one wanted to count the incident with Hinamori Momo. But it was all rather hush-hush at the moment. And not even Ichigo was free to comment.
“Aside from that,” Sousuke agreed, and with the hand he had curled around Ichigo, stroked fingers down the Vizard’s bare back. “I could get used to this, I suppose. It’s not the same as having the universe at my beck and call, but it’ll do.”
Ichigo growled lowly. A sound that rumbled in his chest as he traced fingers over Sousuke’s abdomen.
“So sorry that we lowly mortals are nothing in the face of the ultimate power you could have had but didn’t get.”
Sousuke blinked. As though taking several moments to decipher the statement that in retrospect, was a tad confusing.
“Gave up,” he corrected since he refused to count this as a failure. “I decided that being king wasn’t in my best interests after all.”
“And your minions were driving you crazy.”
Sousuke tilted his head to the side. “That, too,” he conceded, and yes, Ichigo was always far more intelligent and insightful than he appeared at first meeting. “Not to mention having you and godhood at the same time might’ve been a bit of an impossibility, and I’m loathe to lose my greatest prize at this point.”
Ichigo’s face contorted into a variety of expressions. In one case, he was rather pleased that Sousuke had all but said that Ichigo was his greatest and dearest possession. On the other hand, Sousuke had also called Ichigo a prize of some sort. As though obtaining his affection was somehow the ex-captain’s due or that he had won some sort of contest. With Ichigo as the trophy.
Bullshit. Ichigo belonged to no one. Save himself and whoever he deemed worthy of his affections.
And Ichigo had no doubt just whom Sousuke thought himself to have outsmarted. The battle of wits between Sousuke and Urahara Kisuke were no secret to Ichigo. In fact, he could still clearly recall the look on his master’s face when Ichigo had revealed just whom his secret lover was. Not that Ichigo had been given a choice in the matter. It wasn’t his fault Urahara-san never learned to knock before entering. Or that Sousuke had made a special trip to the living world to spend time with him on the same exact day that Urahara-san planned to stop by for a training session.
Ichigo, still stuck between being offended and pleased, finally settled for something in between. Irritation.
“And just who is your possession?” he demanded, sitting up and fixing his lover with a firm glare that killed lesser men at first glance. “I’m not some prize. Not something to be won!”
“I didn’t say you were,” Sousuke appeased, using the same tone of voice a parent would use on a misbehaving child or an owner would use on a frightened pet.
He reached for Ichigo. Likely intending to smooth the way with some kind of embrace or kiss that would turn Ichigo into a puddle of mush and make him harder than a rock in less than three seconds. Consequently making him forget about whatever had made him angry or annoyed in the first place.
It was a tactic Sousuke had used several times in the past. Most notably not long after they’d met and Ichigo was still sore about the whole shoving an arm through Rukia and trying to kill her business. And then, there was the time Sousuke had engaged Urahara-san in a juvenile battle of one-up-manship and in the process revealing all manner of personal things that Ichigo had never wanted his master to know.
Revealing that not only did Ichigo give great blow jobs. But also that he enjoyed doing so was not something that the Vizard wanted all of the Urahara Shouten to know.
Ichigo shifted back to avoid the reaching arm but forgot about the one already curled around his back. It suddenly became a clamp of iron that kept him pinned against Sousuke’s chest. And Ichigo spat and hissed like a trapped snake, eyes narrowing in displeasure.
“Let me go.”
“No,” Sousuke responded in return, stubborn and soft-voiced, eyes a beautiful dark brown without those glasses to hide behind. He reached out, second hand cupping Ichigo’s chin and forcing his lover to look at him. “I rather like you where you are.”
“Of course you do, bastard,” Ichigo growled with another token wriggle against the arm across his back, refusing to admit that he was being swayed by the husky note Sousuke’s voice had taken. “Since I’m just a prize and not anyone important.”
Sousuke sighed, the sort of resigned sound a person gave when they thought someone was being difficult for no reason at all. It was a sigh that tolerated, half-filled with amusement, but didn’t exactly invoke feelings of affection.
“A prize is not necessarily a bad thing since people generally are competing to obtain it,” Sousuke said gently, his finger-stroking rather nice and relaxing even as Ichigo fought to not lean into the familiar touch. “And you know good and well what I meant.”
Ichigo sniffed. “Hard to say. What with you sulking about the fact you’re not king every chance you get.”
His resolve to be pissed cracked and faltered. Crumbling in the wake of Sousuke’s palm stroking down his back and the fingers gently teasing at the nape of his neck. An amused smile pulled at Sousuke’s lips, a grin that Ichigo couldn’t deny made his insides flip-flop with desire.
“I do not sulk,” Sousuke denied with a haughty lift of his chin.
“You do so. Just like a little girl,” Ichigo retorted, though it lacked heat and sounded more like a tease.
“Now who’s the one acting like a child?” Sousuke murmured.
And his hand skated down Ichigo’s back. His finger stroked Ichigo’s skin as his tongue dragged slowly over a pair of lips. Ichigo leaned forward, closing the space between them. An action the iron bar across his back seemed willing to allow.
“Certainly not me,” Ichigo returned and closed his mouth over another, tongue eagerly slipping inside to savor the interesting mix of some dark-sweet spice and black tea.
Their tongues tangled, engaging in a brief battle that Ichigo was always quick to lose. Damn Sousuke and his greater experience! Not that Ichigo minded too terribly. Not when Sousuke could do that with his tongue and made desire shoot from Ichigo’s head to much lower regions.
Ichigo pressed his body against Sousuke’s and felt a stirring against his hip, where an arousal slowly came to life. A hand was stroking down his back, encouraging Ichigo’s own desire. Another hand cupped his face. The touch firm but soothing, helping to guide and deepen the kiss.
A moan rumbling in his throat, Ichigo ground down. Rolling his hips against Sousuke’s groin in a delightful stirring of friction. He nipped at a pair of lips, feeling his own breathing quicken. Sousuke groaned, and his hand skated over Ichigo’s backside, finger tracing the crease and dipping down.
Then, the door to their bedroom suddenly rattled. Someone stood on the other side, banging with all their might. As though the fate of the world depended on reaching them in time.
Ichigo startled and accidentally bit down, teeth clamping on Sousuke’s bottom lip and drawing blood. The brunet hissed, jerked back and hit his head on the floor. Causing another curse as Ichigo rolled over and glared at the door as if burning lasers could shoot through his eyes and impale the soon-to-be dead man on the other side.
“This had better be important,” Sousuke growled as he sat up, gingerly touching his mouth where impressions of Ichigo’s teeth remained.
There was a moment of tense silence where Ichigo grabbed a robe and tossed it over his shoulders before throwing one his lover’s direction, too.
“I’ve a message from Yamamoto-soutaichou,” a nervous, shaking voice answered timidly. “He said it was urgent and I wasn’t to leave until I received a response.”
Ichigo and Sousuke exchanged a glance.
“Concerning what?” the younger man demanded, throwing himself to his feet and wincing when his erection took longer than was comfortable to fade.
“Aizen Sousuke’s possible return to captaincy.”
Ichigo blinked. Sousuke blinked. Even Sousuke must have thought it a foolish move for the captain-commander to make. Were they that damn desperate?
Sousuke gestured. “Go ahead and open the door, Ichigo.”
They were decent. Mostly. The room probably smelled like sex and the rumpled bed gave clear indication of their prior activities. But that was okay. It wouldn’t be the first time someone had gotten an eyeful. And knowing their luck, it wouldn’t be the last either
The door opened to admit a messenger who kept his eyes averted as he shifted nervously in the doorway. He thrust a pile of papers in Ichigo’s direction and Ichigo took them, glancing briefly at the captain-commander’s seal.
“Seems official,” he said and tossed the scroll of papers in his lover’s direction.
Ichigo watched as the documents were unrolled, briefly scanned, and then abruptly dropped as Sousuke burst into laughter. Not just an amused chuckling like he often let free but full on laughter. Enough that he curled an arm around his stomach and shook with amusement.
“What’s it say?” Ichigo demanded and could only gape as his older, more mature and refine lover all but rolled over the floor laughing. “Sousuke!”
Clearing his throat, the brunet shook his head and gestured to the paperwork. “The soutaichou sincerely requests that I retake my position as head of the fifth division. And as soon as possible.” He paused to get a hold of himself, idly wiping a tear from his eye. “Apparently, I’m far better than the alternative.”
This sent him into chuckles once more. And Ichigo, annoyed and insanely curious, crouched to look at the documents himself. At that point, his eyebrows started to crawl into his hairline as embarrassment fought with indignation fought with amusement.
The alternative was Kurosaki Isshin, formerly known as Kyouraku Isshin.
Ichigo, for his part, broke into laughter as well. How sad was that? Soul Society would rather take back a former traitor than allow Goat-Face back in command of one of their divisions? Ichigo couldn’t be sure if he should be offended by this or utterly vindicated.
“Are you going to take it?” Ichigo asked once the mirth died down. He noticed that the messenger continued to shift in the doorway, refusing to leave until he had an answer.
Sousuke tapped his chin with a finger. “How can I resist such an impassioned plea?” He gave a rakish grin. “Besides, I don’t think Soul Society could handle another Kurosaki.”
Ichigo growled in mock-annoyance and tackled his lover to the floor, partially intent on finishing what had been started and interrupted. The messenger vanished seconds later, seemingly content with the answer he’d overheard. And Sousuke’s tongue was doing wicked things in Ichigo’s mouth, things that made him extremely glad his boyfriend had decided to give up the whole evil overlord and self-destructive bid for god business.
After all, Ichigo wasn’t really into evil. Aizen Sousuke, on the other hand, Ichigo found he liked very much.