quiet_curiosity: (Lie)
quiet_curiosity ([personal profile] quiet_curiosity) wrote2007-06-24 07:30 pm

Missed Communication

Title: Missed Communication
Fandom: Bleach
Characters: Aizen/Hinamori
Words: 1152
Warnings: No real spoilers but I think it’s always important to keep Soul Society Arc spoilers in mind when reading Aizen/Hinamori.
Disclaimer: Bleach is the brainchild of Kubo Tite and is distributed by Shueisha in Japan and Viz Media in the US. I receive no monetary benefit from this work.
Summary: Youthful self esteem crashes as Hinamori questions why Aizen chose her as his own.

* * *


He was a terrible flirt.

Hinamori hadn’t always known this. Before she became intimate with her Captain, she hadn’t paid much attention to his interactions with others. Sure, she recognized when he was being playful with her. She would blush when he complimented her kidou technique or mentioned how nice her hair looked. She carefully compiled those moments and tucked them away in the treasure chest of her mind. Although she had been praised during her Academy years, no one had centered their attention solely on her. But in those days, she believed that the world revolved around the two of them. In time, she realized that she had been terribly young and terribly naïve. But she stayed in that state of mind for her first few years in the 5th division.

However, her new responsibilities as Vice Captain and her new relationship made her more aware of the world. Her perception of those around her improved and she began to notice the ways in which others reacted to Aizen. Nearly everyone was respectful of the elder captain and treated him well. She would perk up as the others would bow or nod to him as he walked past. But other reactions bothered her. Mostly, this was because she couldn’t help but see a little of herself in these people – young and old, male and female – as they crowded around Aizen during his noon walk. Eyes wide and mouths agape, they would come to him and beg him for bits of worldly knowledge. And he would give it to them, sometimes with a little something extra.

“Don’t let Captain Kuchiki feed you such myths. He is underestimating you because of your beauty.”

“Captain Zaraki tends to accept people into his squad who are a bit more care worn. Someone like you must be really impressive on the battlefield. Ayasegawa Yumichika will be envious.”

“Don’t let her demeanor bother you. You certainly remind Captain Soifon of an old friend. She was quite amazing.”

The object of his words would blush and give him their murmured thanks before running off. Aizen would turn to Hinamori and softly say, “At certain moments, you must be able to tell someone what they need to hear. Once you shore up a person’s esteem, they will be able to make the correct decisions on their own. Do you understand?”

“Yes, Captain.”

She understood. She just didn’t like it. I wasn’t special after all she mused when she was alone. It was merely fate that he had chosen me.

Upon coming to this conclusion, Hinamori found that she was withdrawing into herself. Her natural exuberance vanished and she kept nearly everyone at a distance. None of her adjuncts could recognize a difference, but her friends had noticed that she was acting a bit less gregarious. They all marveled at her newfound sense of leadership and sternness as she and a few friends from the Academy went on a day trip to a town just inside the Rukongai. “You’re taking yourself very seriously now,” said Renji, his eyes suddenly attracted to someone’s cart.

“Yeah, we normally wouldn’t be able to tear you away from that trinket cart,” said Matsumoto.

“Maybe I’ve outgrown them.”

“Really? Well, that’s quite a change in attitude. You’ll be more serious than your friend Hitsugaya before the month is out,” joked Kira.

“Laugh all you want,” she told them, “but there is no shame in viewing things through their correct lenses. It’s best to not make a fool of yourself.”

The others had stared so strangely at her after she had spoken and had cast awkward glances at her throughout the rest of the outing. As they returned to their divisions, everyone made sure to say something nice to her. Had she known them better, Hinamori would have sworn that they were worried about her.

And yet, a few hours after she returned home – tuckered out and ready for repose – a knock at her door signaled that had underestimated them. She dragged herself up from her mat and wandered to the door. Carefully, she slid the door open and, with a sudden start, announced, “Captain Aizen! I didn’t expect you to be here at this time of night.”

“This is fine isn’t it?” he asked, his face instantly apologetic.

“Of course!” She motioned him indoors and soon they both sat facing each other on her plain but dusty floor. For a few moments, Hinamori found herself staring silently into her hands. Having him here now in her spartan yet childish room made her feel even less special. She had been to his quarters. Could her small glass trinkets and wilting plushies compare to his lifetime of books and classic art and furniture pieces. I have nothing to offer she thought.

“Hinamori?”

“Yes, Captain! I am fine,” she said, her voice slightly cracking.

“You’re not. You are on the verge of tears. Now tell me,” he said softly, “what’s wrong? Your friends have only confirmed to me what I have recognized for a number of days. You’re obviously troubled.”

“I…I…swear I’m…I…I just feel so petty. And it’s all my fault. I put too much worth into what you would tell me. I didn’t realize that you had told pretty much the same things to everyone. Especially after you chose me, I thought your words had made me a bit special.”

He frowned and reached out to grab your hand. “You are special to me. Yes, I try to treat everyone equally, but that does not mean that I don’t appreciate you.”

“Part of me recognizes that,” she said with a sniffle. “At times I want to tell you to be careful with my heart and, at the same time, I don’t want you to change. That would be unfair of me.”

“Well the, I’m sure that we can work something out.”

And so they did. For a month or so, he fought is natural inclinations while around her. At the same time, Hinamori made to conscious effort to be more friendly and joked freely with her adjuncts. In due time, his behaviors began to feel natural to her. She had, in fact, adopted those behaviors as her own.

“Are you okay now?” he asked her months later.

“I think I am. It felt so good to branch away from you but, at the same time, I felt so comfortable modifying your behavior to fit my own. Do you always feel so good when you help other people?

Aizen smiled. “Sometimes people don’t realize that they’re on the wrong path,” he explained. “Sometimes you need to show them the way.” He cast a furtive glance toward the darkening sky and said, “We have a meeting to attend. We can’t keep them waiting.”

Aizen held out his hand. Without a hint of hesitation, she grabbed it and the two of them walked back toward the center of the city.