I do not own Bleach … :) and I do not earn any kind of money from this snippet.
Enjoy the read, along with my mistakes.
To break is all I know
Chapter 23: Unexpected birthday gift
Two brown deep orbs scanned the round object which shined in the dark room with an unnatural reverberation. The tall man played with the ring, feeling the smooth edge as it caressed the palm of his hand. Then he moved it on his other hand.
"Where should I hide you, little treasure?" he whispered.
The ring seemed to have an answer of it's own as it rolled over the deepest wrinkle engraved in his palm and stopped inside the cavity created by his fingers. The stay didn't last long as Aizen titled his palm at a different angle, forcing the object into tipping over the edge and into the dark abyss. Then he watched as the ring collided with the table, creating the soft noise of a bell's ringing. Nobody could ever guess what was hiding inside that little thing resting silently on the lean surface of an antique table. Maybe it was a magical ring which could turn stone into gold, but then again Aizen wouldn't have kept in a million years such useless piece of junk near him. What he had there was far more precious.
"What should I do …" he repeated, playing with a rebel stand of hair hanging loosely from his, for the first time, ruffled, brownish locks.
On the inside part of the ring, the name Aizen was engraved in the golden layer.
He smiled a little when the name erased itself from the golden surface being replaced by four big letters, completing the puzzle he had intended to end a long time ago. After a thorough inspection directed at the ring, Aizen stuffed it deep into his jacket's pocket.
It was Karin's 17-th birthday so it would have been rude on his part not to give her a proper gift. And he had just the perfect present for such an event.
For the first time in his long life, Aizen was nervous, because his next scheme was probably a dangerous and bilateral one, but he did like to live on the edge, so it didn't bother him as much it should have. The beginning of a smirk flowered at the corner of his lips. He was really curious to see Karin's reaction at his next dramatic act.
'Let the charade begin…Plus this will dazzle poor Gin and the other Shinigami even more.'
Karin felt the hot blood of her being shaking her whole body into a translucent state of anger. She wavered when remembering Urahara's harsh words regarding her reiatsu controlling skills, or more like, lack of these skills.
He had been a royal asshole as he explained with his usual nonchalant attitude towards life about her weaknesses in taming her absolutely and unearthly quantity of reiatsu and if she wanted to be safe from different creatures like Hollows, Espada and so on, she needed to put more "energy" and "power" into it. He just had to portrait it as dark as possible to scare even the birds flying above their heads. Judging that birds really couldn't understand shit from their conversation told a lot about how Urahara's attitude spread over the mute part of nature.
Of course Jinta had grinned like an idiot at her inability to form a proper comeback at his owner's comments and in the end she gave up and left the shop without looking back even once. It wasn't like she was doing it for pleasure of anything, because being stuck in a room with an old man, an even older man, an emotionless girl, Ururu, and an annoying brat aka Jinta was far from her top 10 favorite activities, but because she didn't want to get killed, or worse get her sister killed because she couldn't control herself before an enemy. She also didn't have any desire to hurt Samaki, who was a simple human who had the misfortune of being her … lover.
She sighed when the pleasant memories of the winter they had spent together invaded her mind. Some parts were far from excellent, like being stuck in the bathroom for an hour, just because a stupid man decided blocking the bathroom's door was a proper punishment for two lazy teenagers, but usually adored with some catchy facts, like making out all over the place.
There were times when Karin felt like their relationship was getting too conventional, but then Aizen would come and throw these stupid theories out the window with his simple, unothdox attitude. That's why sometimes Karin felt like he was the one keeping the spark alive and not her, as she had expected when deciding her future at his side. Little did she know that Aizen had had the same thoughts a thousand times before her.
Thinking more about her Samaki, Karin felt her phone vibrate somewhere into her handbag. She slowly took it off her shoulder, avoiding the dark bruise forming there from a fight she had with Jinta, and checked the number. To her surprise it was the subject of her thoughts: Samaki.
Not being into her best of moods, her temper resurfaced, this time being aimed at her defenseless boyfriend.
"What do you want?" she yelled into the phone's speaker like it was her mortal enemy.
"I want to talk to you about something important" answered the man, calmly like he always did when talking with an enraged Kurosaki.
"I'm not in the mood right now" she barked through her clenched teeth.
She knew Aizen did not deserve this kind of treatment from an annoying brat like her, but she was too angry to distinguish between who were her allies in this metaphoric fight with herself.
"Come into the park at our usual spot in one hour and a half. We need to discuss something" stated Aizen from the other line, almost like nothing could have disturbed him, not even a tornado "Don't be late" he added before closing the phone.
Something from his tone rubbed Karin the wrong way, because ever since she had known Aizen, he had never used that cold harsh tone. He had been a creep, an asshole, a bastard and many things, but never had he been that indifferent towards her, at least not after they've become closer than friends.
Karin's legs buckled under her a little, but sooner than expected she regained her footage.
'Why am I acting like this?' she asked her inner-self 'And if he dares to dump me, I'll just castrate him with a blunt knife and throw him in a river. Problem solved.' However her reassurances sounded somehow faded due to the loud banging of her heart pulsating against the ribcage, probably trying to break it apart and fly away from a chest which could no longer sustain its power.
Her whole body began to shake and only then did she realize the true meaning of the emotions tearing her heart apart like it was a useless piece of paper. It was complicated and it hurt like hell, but it was also delicious, from a masochist perspective at least. Therefore Karin could remember feeling the same things half a decade ago after Toshiro left her ... The same painful nightmare revolving around her fragile conscience begging for comfort and love ... Love ... How it hurt care for someone so much.
Her hand moved forward touching the rough surface of a tree's trunk. She was half way to the park, but with all the logic standing behind her actions, Karin just didn't seem to be able to move even an inch forward. Her whole body had stopped working a long time ago, leaving space for the argumentative fight.
After what seemed like an eternal debate with her inner feelings, the girl realized she had arrived at their meeting place ... One hour earlier than planned.
To say she was scared like shit was an understatement, but what she felt in that second standing before an old oak and praying to god for something she didn't even know, outturned every possible and impossible emotion anyone dreamed of experiencing. It was like a void sucking away her sanity, her energy... Her whole being.
Suddenly, a strong sensation of deja vu hit Karin straight in the face like a hammer plunging into a wall. 5 years prior to these events she had waited for Toshiro to come at the soccer field and he hadn't come. It was almost the same pattern. The same play, played by different actors, but with a slightly different context.
It didn't take long for darker thoughts to invade her mind and take over the little sanity she had left.
A puffing-like noise attracted Karin's attention and after following it, she found its source: a tall male with brown eyes and reddish hair leaning nonchalantly against a tree-branch.
"Why didn't you tell me you were here? I've been waiting for you 10 meters away, so you could have bothered yourself with searching for me, unless your fat ass was too heavy to perform such a complicated task" sneered Karin at the man.
The other's eyes remained emotionless, much to her dismay and disappointment. Not getting any reaction to her bittersweet sarcasm made Karin fell uneasy and she could almost say that it worried her. Not more than the sweet voice whispering bullshits into her ear about how much she'll suffer once Aizen breaks her in pieces by leaving her behind.
"Cat ate tour tongue Samaki?" she reinforced her previous statement with a new wave of irony "or maybe you ability to speak properly dropped in the last few days. Last time I've checked you were an A student at Japanese."
"Your attitude is getting worse by every passing minute" finally answered Aizen, not even bothering himself to look at his partner.
Karin's eye widened, but decided to ignore the knife digging into her heart deeper and deeper.
"Are you trying to be ridiculous? Because my god you are succeeding."
"Do I look ridiculous to you?"
"Do you need an answer?" snarled Karin.
Aizen seemed to struggle with his answer, at least that was the impression given to the outside world. What he was thinking remained a secret only he could know.
"I think we should end it" suddenly said the man.
Like the last time, but with the force of a typhoon, the brutality and directness hit Karin in the face almost knocking her off her feet. More or less literal. Blood drained from her veins instantaneously, leaving the girl with an awful sensation of emptiness and pain.
So the impression she had prior to the meeting was proving to be correct. He had decided to end their somehow strange, yet entertaining relationship.
"What!" she asked, fooling herself that it was just a pun Aizen thought would be funny to use, but the world clashed on her shoulders when he turned around and looked her straight in the eye.
"I'm dumping you"
For the first 30 seconds Karin didn't move an inch, then her body shook abruptly like wind would have blown her away and in the end she began to laugh.
When being put face to face with a nightmare the best way to ignore it, is by laughing in its face. It was kind of childish and very dangerous, but effective, especially in cases like this.
Aizen didn't understand her outburst one tiny bit. Still, coming from an eccentric creature like Karin it was expected to be at least ten times stranger than the always boring normality. Just seeing her there, acting all insane and abnormal made Aizen even more reticent at going along with his initial plan. He seemed to falter for a couple of unbearably painful seconds, but then a decision was made.
"You're boring ... I think I just got bored" he stated not breaking their eye contact. Nor could he do such a thing, because Karin's glare burned with so much passion that Aizen had a really hard time controlling his body into submission after being on step away from taking her into his arms and kissing her senseless "You're also too weak to fight on par with me. I was not expecting us to be equals, but enough to be able to keep me entertained you should have been."
"Weak you say ... Hmm?" repeated Karin, unintentionally throwing a smirk of superiority at Aizen.
"Yes" he reinforced.
"Very" replied dryly the man.
Karin felt good as all the blood witch had previously abandoned her veins came back like a lava, burning everything in its path. And its final destination, target was Aizen.
She lunched at him in one hell of an anger display, with her hands forward and lacking a strategy. Being overly pissed seemed to cloud her judgment, so she hadn't felt Aizen's fist digging into her abdomen, until she was projected in a tree by its inhuman force. Dizziness took over her already tangled senses, but even into that dizzy state she was able to turn around and slam her foot in what she thought to be Aizen's crotch, but was actually his knee.
A small smiled flowered at the corner of his lips, being replaced instantaneously by an evil smirk. If he was toying with the little sanity she had left or was sincerely impressed by her vicious attitude, Karin could not know. However she was quite sure he was boiling an evil plan involving her person.
Respecting her predictions, the man grabbed her ankle, since she didn't have enough of a reflex to retract her leg in time, and twisted it at an awkward angle, which made the unprotected girl release an unpleasant hiss of pain.
"Are you calmer?" asked Aizen studying her contorted expression.
"If having the undying desire to kill you with a blunt knife falls into the calmer category then yes ... I'm calmer."
She didn't need to see his face in order to guess the feline smile widening and stretching over his face. After so much time, she knew when he felt the need to take a piss, vulgarly said.
"No. It's not what I would categorize as calm. It's probably worse than angry"
"What the hell do you want from me!" snapped Karin at him "if you wanted to end our relationship, you could have just sent one of those classic messages with it's not you it's me and spare me of this unnecessary drama"
"I'm not the one who's acting all dramatic Karin" stated Aizen plainly, like he was not even remotely affected by the situation and maybe, at some degree, he wasn't.
Karin released her ankle from the tight hold, by jerking and spinning on her heels facing the source of her distress. The bitter sarcasm which was about to spill from her mouth a moment ago, was forced down her throat.
"I'm disappointed Karin" whispered Aizen moving closer and closer "I am really disappointed"
"Yeah. You've already told me. I'm boring I'm weak and I do not deserve your godly attention" grumbled Karin begrudgingly.
"No. Actually I'm disappointed that you've believed me" Karin's eyes became large as onions "If you had ever been remotely boring I wouldn't have spent my time with you ... at all. If you had been weak I wouldn't have begun training you" he came even closer while Karin was struck in place by a nonexistent lighting "you loose your temper too fast for my taste, but" he let his long fingers play with a rebel strand of black hair hanging over Karin's barely ajar eyes "I guess it's part of your charm"
As many times before, Aizen shifted his hand behind her neck, titling her head at a desired angle and then molded his lips with her rosy ones, nibbling softly at her bottom lip at the same time. As any respected villain Aizen was the perfect multitask. His hands encircled her waist, squeezing her against his chest until her every muscle was breathing alongside his synchronously.
She didn't struggle or make any sound which might have been an indication of brain activity, being too stunned to form a coherent thought, therefore her body resembled a broken doll, hanging in a man's arms.
"Karin?" asked Aizen when light didn't seem to turn on behind her eyes "Are you ok?"
Suddenly a flash of light sparkled from somewhere under her pupil, spreading rapidly over her iris and lighting up her dark blue eyes. Aizen was about to inquire her on what the hell happened when a heavy palm twisted his body back a couple of meters.
"You …" barked Karin exposing her teeth ferociously "FUCKING ASSHOLE!" she literally jumped on him, straddling his waist like a wild beast which was about to corner its prey and kill it slowly "I'm going to cut your fucking throat with a blunt knife and then stick it in your ass!"
Aizen barely had enough time to dodge a punch directed at his face, when her other hand slammed into his unprotected chest.
"I think you're becoming better" he coughed as the pain began to emerge from inside his gigai.
As expected from a native choleric, she ignored him completely, not bothering herself with understanding his rational explanations, and continued her erratic assault on his physical person. After a couple of tries, which failed in a disastrous way, she managed to corner him between two thick tree trunks. He didn't seem scared and when she raised her hand to show him that messing with a Kurosaki was unacceptable and deserved the capital punishment a bright object attracted her attention.
The first thought which crossed her mind was 'How in the name of Valhalla had this thing appeared on my god damn finger' but soon noticed Aizen's cryptic stare and the path of his stare, both being directed at her hand. She checked her vision for blurry spots, not being sure if her eyes were playing pranks on her, or she had acquired a ring by magic.
"It's a birthday gift. Today is your 17-th birthday, isn't it?" stated Aizen nonchalantly.
Just saying that little number made Aizen realize exactly how young she really was. Maybe she was not acting as her age was dictating, but still, it was exponentially less than any Shinigami he had known. It was far less than his real age which was having too many zeros to count. Compared to that huge number, 17 years were like the period he had spent creating Grand Fisher.
"Why are you looking at me like I'm an infant?" snapped Karin at her companion "I know you are two years older, but it's not a big difference."
Aizen shrugged. She was being better and better at reading him.
"Who is the poor sap who had the bad luck of being the ex-possessor of this ring?" the sarcasm dripping like a cascade from her tone as she took it off and read the letters embedded on the inside of the strange object resting on her palm.
Aizen sighed at Karin's harsh comment, the exasperation being reflected in his body-language
"Do you really think I would give you stolen goods?"
The subtle curve of her lips gave him the answer.
"That's just ridiculous."
"Then why is it written ALYK instead of something related to us or our names?"
Studying Aizen's not so subtle smirk of superiority, Karin decided not to check into it too much, because once Aizen knew she had a curiosity to satisfy, he made everything possible for that curiosity not be satisfied, by him or any other breathing creature.
"I guess I should thank you" mumbled Karin defensively.
"Then thank you for bringing me a stolen ring and being nice enough towards your unsatisfying lover to share part of your treasure with the undeserving her" acted Karin dramatically. Another thing she had learned from Isshin.
"You're welcome Karin" answered Aizen as he embraced her waist in a tight hold.
He lowered his head and placed a soft kiss just bellow her earlobe, much to her absolute disappointment, but took her by surprise with his next words, whispered sensually against the shell of her ear.
"This ring makes you mine" she tried to argue, but was cut off when he added "And makes me, yours" and then as it was expected he kissed her in one of the most possessive make out session they ever had.
With the last drop of strength Karin responded eagerly, not forgetting to bite his lip as punishment for daring to make fun of her with that little prank about dumping her. Still it was the first time Aizen felt something he had never felt from Karin … that no matter how possessive he was being in their kiss, she was beating him at it. For the first time Karin was kissing him with desperation and much more than that. A mixture of need, happiness and desire.
If he didn't know better, he could have sworn she was happy they were still together.
Gin stood before his co-workers, enjoying the dark looks he received from Yumichika and his best buddy, Ikakku, but being somehow disappointed by Matsumoto's lack of interest in the subject at hand. On the other hand, Hinamori was too interested by his report to actually listen to its much deeper meaning. At least she was being attentive enough for all of them.
"And so Mayuri said he ain't goin' to be able to give a report until cockroaches are removed from his laboratory" finished Gin the task of informing his teammates of Mayuri's on going investigation.
"Very interesting" mumbled Ikkaku "Dr. Frankenstein might make new friends and create a new species of Shinigami: shiniroches"
"Stop talking non-sense" snapped Yumichika at him "just thinking about something as ugly as that makes me wanna puke."
Gin stopped himself from giving the gay looking man a healthy slap over the back, when Ikkaku happened to grant his wish, multiplying it by two.
"What the hell" swore the man, after Ikkaku had finished assaulting him.
Gin tried to step in, but a cold sensation of fear mixed with adrenalin invaded his whole body, conquering piece by piece his previously lost hope.
His always present grin melted when a familiar reiatsu enveloped his senses, leaving the dark trail of a long lost memory behind it as a reminder of a distant past. He knew, albeit instinctively what was happening, but couldn't distinguish between reality and dream. However a new wave of energy attacked him. There was no way he could have kept his mouth shut.
"He's here" he said slowly, attracting Toshiro's attention, who happened to be listening.
"What? Who's here?"
"Aizen is here. He's in this town. Right now. Right at this moment" stated Gin, his voice raspy and yet somehow excited.
All the Shinigami present in the room froze on the spot and from all of them, only Himanori had the strength and maybe curiosity to ask:
"How can you be so sure? We've been looking for him like rabid dogs and you didn't say anything, until now. What's with this sudden change of heart?"
"I've just felt a short spike of power" he confessed, doing anything that was humanly possible not to jump from his seat and run like a madman around Karakura "it was unmistakably a Shinigami's power. Subtle but impossible to miss"
"Do you mean that Aizen could really be in this town" babbled Hinamori.
"It's not about wherever he can be or not. He IS here and I could put my life on the line to prove it"
Matsumoto stared at Gin like it was her first time seeing him. Maybe it was, judging how restless his expression was, how big and shiny his blue eyes were, how his being seemed to be on fire, more or less literal. In that second, the silver haired Shinigami looked more alive than he ever did in over 100 years of existence.
"What is it that you have felt?" interrupted Toshiro the uncomfortable silence "his spiritual energy or something else?"
"Partially his energy, but it was very weak and channeled through something ..."
"Something ... What?" asked Hinamori from a standing position.
This additional information created a huge fuss between the present Shinigami, forcing them to admit it was possible for the traitor to live between Karakura's citizens.
"Are you 100% sure it was Aizen that you felt?" asked Toshiro, just to be sure it was not a simple misunderstanding. Still Gin's features betrayed too many emotions to be faked.
"I'm more than sure. What I felt was that thing. And where the Hōgyoku is there is precisely where Aizen squirms"
After a heated make out session, Karin decided to make fun of the man's unusual calm predisposition and pushed him in the lake, leaving him there to cool off the steam. At least that was her excuse. She would have never confessed she just love the sight of a surprised –and wet to the bone- Aizen Samaki.
On her way back from the park, she spotted an erratic Toshiro. Thinking that he was just having a bad day, even though he seemed to have a bad day twice a day, Karin approached him from behind, literally stepping on her toes. With the help of divinity, her steps didn't encounter any obstacle in their path, so when he was one centimeter away from him, she jumped on the boy's back, making him snap back at her.
"What the hell!"
"Chill Toshiro" she raised her arms up, trying to excuse herself, but not sounding in the least convincing in the boy's ears.
"That was not funny" he frowned, clearly being unpleasantly startled.
Karin grinned like a cat and poked his cheek.
"Actually that was kind of funny. Only once can one see the Captain of the 10-th Squad be taken by surprised by a mere human being, who doesn't have enough power to crush a low level Hollow"
Toshiro tried to ignore the annoying girl, but something attracted his attention back at her. If it was the absolutely gorgeous smile or the soft light, which seemed to be emanated from her being like the sweet flavor of spring, he couldn't decide.
"Toshiro. Let's have a soccer game" interjected the girl, clapping her hands together.
"Sorry Karin. I have something to do. I'll see you tomorrow" he excused himself.
"Come on. It will be fun and we'll have popcorn" insisted Karin.
Then he left, not waiting for Karin to finish her statement. She stood there, in the middle of the road, resembling a lost puppy waiting for the master he had lost a while back.
"Tomorrow morning I leave for Paris" she mumbled, being somehow upset at her inability to cope with this minor change of plans, but being even angrier at this unfortunate turn of events "But then again why would you care"
Every single time she thought she could have a chance, Toshiro would just flip the page, miming that annoying indifference and abandoning everything he had started. He was a pro at disappointing her and it seemed that over the years he had become even better at this bad habit of his.
'At least Samaki does not treat me like that' a soft whisper flew though her mind earning a response from the negative part of her brain 'No. He treats you worse'
First Aizen gave her a promise ring. Even if he had never actually told her it was an engagement ring or anything to be taken seriously, there was no way she could miss the real connotation hiding behind the "you're mine and I'm yours" thingy. And if that wasn't enough, the ALYK engraved in the golden layer didn't leave space for imagination.
"Well ... Who cares for this shit anyways" she grabbed the handbag from the park's bench and ran home where she and Yuzu had to prepare their luggage for a long, longs trip.
Thinking about adapting to Europe's time zone made Karin dizzy. And it was an 8 hour difference between Paris and Karakura.
Sorry, sorry, sorry … don't kill me!
This chapter had been written from my mobile phone ... What was Codry doing during courses?
I'm going to say sorry for prolonging your wait … I really am sorry. Truth to be told … I kinda began to draw and I plan to draw a picture with these two very amazing characters. It may take a while, but I really wanna make fanart for them. Ummm … life has been rather busy and the next three weeks will be a nightmare, but hopefully I'll be able to write another chapter after I finish my exam session.
If it hadn't been for KureaRinyu37furansu I would have procrastinated this chapter for at least another month or so.
About this chapter and the ring. As many have realized I plan to take their relationship to another level, but I don't think Karin would be the type to hop into bed with a guy, unless she has some guaranties that he won't flee afterwards. As for the actual lemon, I might be tempted to write one, but not the first time. Usually the "first times" are the lamest and most unrealistic lemons ever and I don't wanna get into this predicament. Safety reasons.
Why was Gin the only one able to sense Aizen? Well he knows him, and his energy, the best.
Next chapter: Our heroes arrive in Paris. I really want to make this chapter funny as hell.