[Bleach] Oh, How the Mighty Have Fallen

It was an ordinary day really. Murder, mayhem, and the like. Only a little less murder and mayhem and a lot more aimless wandering around Las Noches, looking for something to do. All in all, it was a typical day for Gin as he secretly delighted in unnerving the weaker Arrancar by grinning at every single one he passed.

It never got old.

He was in the midst of his rounds, half-considering a stroll through the kitchens to unsettle whoever was supposed to be cooking for the day, when he heard it.

A very large thump. And it had come from the direction of Aizen-taichou’s throne room.

Gin was intrigued. He decided to investigate.

It was his favorite pastime. He could spend hours just lying there on his comfortable bed, in a state between half-dozing and half-awake. Really, there was nothing better than sleeping. At least, not to Stark,

If he wanted, he could even sleep through Lilinette’s attempts to wake him up. Usually, he just humored her. It was rather fun to watch her get all excited.

But today, it seemed, a nap was not to be.

A very large thump shoved him into consciousness, and Stark blinked sleepily as he rose from reclining. It was an odd enough noise that he felt he ought to check since his room was nowhere near the training grounds where Grimmjow was known to randomly destroy things. Otherwise, Las Noches wasn’t a place to arbitrarily “thump.”

Stark decided to investigate.

He liked the library with its masses of books and distinct lack of any other Espada. Szayel appeared from time to time. But he stayed in his section, muttering under his breath, and left Ulquiorra alone. Few others ventured to here; it was like a secret haven for him. Far, far away from Grimmjow.

Ulquiorra would never tell anyone, but it was his favorite place in Las Noches. Aside from being at Aizen-sama’s side, of course.

Pale fingers traced elegant spines, some lightly coated in dust, and wondered what he was going to read next. History of the living world fascinated him, especially books that detailed great wars and battles. He felt the knowledge would be of great use to Aizen-sama.

He was neatly distracted from selecting a book on an ancient culture called “Sparta” when the sound of a large thud graced his ears. Ulquiorra frowned inwardly, concerned by the noise. If that idiot was breaking down walls again…

Ulquiorra decided it was in his best interest to investigate.

The three concerned parties met each other out of Aizen’s throne room, having all deduced that the noise had come from within. Stark and Ulquiorra lingered, but Gin barged right in, unconcerned. The Espada trailed along after him.

At first, nothing seemed amiss. There was no destruction, no smoke and flame. No evidence of what might have caused such a large noise.

But there was Aizen, sitting on the floor beneath his throne in a nearly sprawled fashion. He had one hand covering his face, and Gin could just barely make out a few murmurs. They dared move closer.

Ulquiorra first to break the silence. “Aizen-sama?” he asked tentatively, never one to upset his lord.

There was silence, until they drew closer. Gin could make out the future king’s mutters.

“By Kami, I just fucking fell out of my throne,” Aizen was mumbling under his breath, his voice clearly holding disbelief.

Ulquiorra blinked slowly. “Aizen-sama?”

The hand dropped. And Aizen looked… well, it was the sort of expression someone had when they squashed embarrassment, indignation, and fury into a ball and threw it at irritation.

“That’s it,” Aizen stated with a slight wince. “I am building some goddamn stairs.”

The pieces began to fall into place. Gin couldn’t help but chide the other man, feeling justified since he had warned the arrogant traitor.

“I told ya so!” he chirped, grin widening on his face as he looked down at Aizen. “One day, ya were going ta miss!”

Behind them, the door to the throne room swung open. Tousen walked sedately inside.

“What’s going on?” he demanded, having apparently also heard the dreaded thud. “I can’t see.”

“Aizen-taichou had a little accident,” Gin responded, wondering how much longer he would be able to hold in his chuckles.

Tousen was interested, tipping his head to the side. “Oh? Did he finally fall off his throne?”

The lord and master of Las Noches glared at his subordinates… from the floor. “When has it become proper to mock your king?”

“Don’t look like much o’ a king from the ground,” Gin countered with a smirk. “Why don’t ya get up, Aizen-taichou?”

He was rewarded by the sight of Aizen burying his face back in the safety of his palm. “I do not think I can,” he admitted grudgingly. He shifted as if testing the validity, winced, and then settled back with a grunt.

Getting up was not an option.

The muffled sound behind Gin had to have been Stark concealing his laughter. It wasn’t proper to chuckle at your lord’s expense, after all. But Gin held no such qualms.

Ulquiorra, completely missing the humor in the situation, crossed the floor and appeared at the fallen king’s side. “Aizen-sama, might I be of service?”

Gin coughed into his hand, trying to cover up his burst of laughter. “If only Soul Society could see ya now,” he taunted.

“Oh, do shut up, Gin.”

The smirk on Gin’s face was purely wicked. “Come over here an’ make me.”

Aizen dropped his hand, glaring evilly at his subordinate. However, it lost some of its potential effect when it was given from what was effectively waist-level. Really, it was like watching Hitsugaya getting all indignant and attempting to be tough and angry. More like a cute pout.

A covered mix of coughing and chuckles slipped from Stark’s mouth. “I have to go,” he choked out, obviously trying to restrain himself. “Um… something important just happened.”

And then, he was gone in a burst of sonido, right out the door. The moment it slammed shut behind him, however, Gin could have sworn he heard very loud cackles of amusement echoing down the hall.

Aizen buried his face in his palm. It somehow seemed less mortifying that way.

He groaned. “Oh Kami, it hurts.”

“Do you require a healer, Aizen-sama?” Ulquiorra inquired, ever ready to leap to his master’s demands.

“A healer fer his pride,” Gin inserted with a snigger, feeling his stomach cramp from the effort of holding it all in.

Tousen was no better, a smirk twisting his lips and a grimace on his face, barely concealing his own enjoyment. His attempts at stoicism only made it that much worse.

“Just go,” Aizen ordered impatiently, having had enough of their amusement at his expense. “Go.”

They knew better than to argue, Gin immediately turning to leave and Tousen heading towards the door with him.

“No, no, I won’t fall,” Gin mocked as entered the hall. “I’m the god o’ the universe. I wouldn’t do anythin’ as pedestrian, as plebian as fall from my throne. I-”

The door slammed shut on whatever he planned on adding.

Left behind, Ulquiorra turned to leave.

“But not you,” Aizen inserted testily, peering up at his subordinate. “How good is your healing kidoh?”

Ulquiorra shook his head. “Not good enough.”

The former Shinigami sighed. “I thought so.”

Very grudgingly, he held up a hand, glad that the Espada was smart enough to figure out his request without him explicitly stating it. Ulquiorra slowly pulled him to his feet, bearing the weight of his master on one shoulder.

Wincing, Aizen turned to look at his landing spot and groaned louder. “There’s a dent in my floor,” he gritted out through his teeth, swearing he could hear Gin’s laughter on the edge of his mind. “There’s a goddamn dent in my floor.”

“I will get someone to fix it, Aizen-sama,” Ulquiorra hastily interjected.

Brown eyes closed in surrender. “Ulquiorra?”

“Yes, Aizen-sama?”

“Shut up.” His ass chose that moment to twinge, reminding him of its utter pain and agony. “And get me that healer.”


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