He was soaked in blood, but didnt know why. None
of it was his own. Yet it made him feel uneasy, anxious almost.
'I have to make it stop'
That was the only sentence running through Sousuke's mind, again and again and again.
Make what stop?
Sousuke felt his stomach drop and twist.
He didnt want to hear that.
Can I sleep? I want to sleep for a bit...
No. Nonono, dont.
Dont fall sleep.
He reached forward, not sure what he was hoping to, find but he found something.
He held onto it, he didn't know why, but it made him feel better. There was no way in hell he
would let go now.
His eyes shot open with a shaking breath and Sousuke realized he just woke up from a dream. As he blinked a few times so his eyes would adjust to the dim light of an early morning, he recognized the figure leaning over him.
"Gin", he mumbled and sighed, more relieved than he would ever confess. Letting go of Gin's shoulder, which he held onto surprisingly tight, Sousuke moved his hand to let it rest against Gin's cheek.
Nothing more than a feather-light touch, barely there, as if the silver-haired man could shatter under his fingers if he put any pressure behind it.
Seemingly enjoying it, Gin leaned into the hand, then turned his head to place a gentle kiss into Sousuke's palm.
"What's wrong?", Gin asked, taking Aizen's hand into his own, circling his thumb over the back of the hand,
"A bad dream?"
A nightmare. Again.
There was nothing he had to fear.
However, when Sousuke sat up and let his eyes trail over Gin's figure, the light yukata he wore to sleep was opened wide enough to expose the reminder of an incident that let his blood run cold whenever it made it's way back into his mind...
This whole mission assigned to their Team was a disaster to say the least.
Not only were they completely outnumbered by Hollows, but they also managed to seperate the Shinigami into smaller groups. Most of them quickly rejoined, but there was still a small group missing, along with the majority of the Hollows.
Aizen and Captain Hirako left the rejoined group to look for them seperately, and now the brunett Lieutenant was rushing through the narrow streets, unsettled by the lack of an obvious fight.
"Help! Please, somebody help!"
Aizen stopped in his tracks as he heard the call, and turned to run towards it. The yelling continued, and while Aizen couldnt tell who the voice belonged to, the owner was obviously more than horrified.
When he arrived at the scene, it was obvious why.
The small group of still missing Shinigami was slaughtered, having been led right into the Hollows nest. However, no Hollow was in sight. Instead, two figures were kneeling on the ground. One of them, apparently the owner of the voice, still calling for help, holding onto the other survivor next to him.
That one was smaller and frail, slumped over, leaning onto the short sword that was stabbed into the ground, his reiatsu barely more than a flicker.
The sound of Aizens voice made the other Shinigami turn around, and a wave of relief washed over his face.
"Lieutenant Aizen! Please, help him!"
It only took another Flash step to reach them, and he immediately dropped down next to Gin. The boy, who only now seemed to realize someone had joined them, looked up to him and smiled, only the small trails of blood from his mouth and nose obscuring the peaceful expression.
As if he only waited for his Superior to arrive, Gin's grip onto Shinso loosened until his arm dropped to his side, the sword falling to the ground, and he let himself fall against Aizen with a small sigh.
Only now it caught his eye that blood was pooling on the ground, and the source of it.
A hole, about the size of a fist, just below his sternum was steadily oozing blood into Gin's clothes. The fabric was already soaked, causing the blood to drip onto the ground.
"Can you walk?", Aizen asked the other Shinigami after a quick look up and down. His left arm seemed to be damaged, dislocated, his wrist twisted in a way it shouldnt be.
But still he nodded and jumped to his feet.
"Get back to the meeting point as fast as you can. Get someone from the fourth here. And tell them to call for Captain Unohana, dont settle with anyone else"
The man nodded, and kneeled down again for a moment, putting his Hand on Gin's head.
"I'll be back soon, Ichimaru-Kun. Dont worry, you'll be just fine again, Lieutenant Aizen is with you now. Hang in there!"
Holding his damaged arm close to himself he took off and disappeared.
After a moment of heavy silence, Gin hummed quietly.
"I'm glad I could at least save him... Ishihara-San's a nice person. He's always been so kind t' me..."
Instead of giving a proper answer, Aizen just nodded and began stroking through Gin's hair.
"You did well, Gin"
Seemingly happy with the praise, Gin leaned his head against Aizen's shoulder and got more comfortable in the older man's arms.
"Aizen-San... I'm so tired. I want to sleep"
If Gin fell asleep now, chances were high he wouldnt wake up again... He had to make sure he stayed awake.
"Please, just a little nap..."
"Gin, you have to stay awake for me. Dont sleep now. Dont fall asleep"
When even did he get so attached to that boy?
People were so awfully easy to replace. But somehow, Gin wasnt.
When no answer came, Aizen spoke up again.
"Gin. Tell me what happened"
Gin gave a little noise, then shuffled a bit and looked at the massacre they were sitting among.
"After we got seperated from you, the Hollows began circlin' us. Suddenly there were so many, I couldnt take 'em all out at once. The others tried fightin' back, but they were all killed. 'm sorry. I couldnt help 'em, now they're dead"
Aizen shook his head.
"It's not your fault, you did good. But Gin, how did you get injured?"
Gin seemed confused for a moment, then he looked down at himself.
"Ah... Yeah... I was so busy with the Hollows before me I didn' notice one slippin' behind me. When I turned 'round, he had me on his horn. But I killed him, 'ts fine"
"I... I see" , Aizen sighed. So they were lured into an ambush. There was nothing that could be done about that now, it was obvious that everyone put up a fight, but if they all died despite Gin backing them up, there wasnt any hope for them to begin with.
Silence fell over them again, but since Gin gave the ocassional hint that he was still awake, that was fine too. There was nothing they could do but sit in the dark, waiting for help to arrive.
Aizen didnt know how long they have been sitting there, corpses slowly cooling out, blood soaking the ground and darkening as it dried, but Gin moved again. With a displeased grunt he turned his body more towards Aizen's, pulling his legs a bit closer and putting his cold hands between their bodies.
"Aizen-San... I'm cold...", Gin mumbled, his voice barely more than a whisper.
He wouldnt make it much longer.
Surpressing a defeated sigh, Aizen settled down in a more comfortable position, not bothering that his clothes would be even more soaked with Gin's blood, and pulled the younger Shinigami closer, hugging him tightly to himself.
"I know. We'll go back soon, I'll try to keep you warm until then, yes?"
Gin nodded, his eyes already closing again.
"Are you still tired?"
Beginning to stroke through Gin's hair again, Aizen closed his eyes.
"You can sleep now, Gin. I'll wake you up when its time"
The slender boy beamed up at him, then laid his head on Aizen's shoulder and sighed comfortably. Aizen felt him relax more and more in his arms, breath slowing down with every passing minute.
It would be over soon.
Gin would be dead soon.
And for some reason, it bothered Aizen more than anything else. Because all he could do now was holding Gin close so he wouldnt feel cold, and wait, either for the other's passing, or for members of the fourth Division to arrive.
Just when Aizen had given up on Gin's survival, carefully laying him on the floor, he felt a great amount
of reiatsu rapidly approaching.
Aizen turned his head, and saw a group of Shinigami approach. That Ishihara-Guy, followed closely by Cap‐ tain Hirako and the Squad of fourth Division-Shinigami that accompanied them on their Mission.
Noticing Sousuke's melancholic gaze lingering on his torso, Gin quickly closed his Yukata.
"Hey, dont tell me you're still upset over this thing?"
The older man huffed quietly, running a hand through his hair.
"'This thing' had you in Unohana's care for a month, Gin"
Smiling softly, Gin reached for his lover and gently caressed his cheek.
"But I'm still here. What's a scar or two?"
After enjoying the touch quietly for a moment, Sousuke moved closer to place a soft kiss onto the corner of Gin's mouth.
"It's a lot. I cant stand it when you're hurt. I get sick at the mere thought of you dying out there"
Putting his arms around the older Shinigami, Gin pulled him down when he laid back onto the matress, then placed Sousuke's head onto his chest.
"Hear that? Its beating, good 'n healthy"
Instead of answering, Sousuke hummed quietly, taking a moment to listen to the steady, calm beating.
When his hand traced up to touch the scar again, Gin took him by the wrist before his fingers could part the thin fabric, putting Sousuke's arm around his body instead.
He wouldnt let Sousuke get his mind stuck on the past now when there were still some more hours they could spend cuddled up in bed sleeping. Chuckling at Gin's forwardness, Sousuke closed his eyes, allowing himself to be comforted by the steady heartbeat and the warm arms holding him. He would do whatever necessary to make sure this heartbeat wouldnt stop before his own.
As if Gin noticed his mind drifting off again, his fingers began threading into the brown strands,
stroking through them.
"Y'know, I can hear ya gettin' gloomy again. Try to sleep a bit more, Sousuke" , he whispered, though he did sound amused.
"Of course, my apologies…"
After stealing a quick kiss from his lover, Sousuke ma‐ de himself comfortable again and gave sleep another try, convinced that the strong, well-known heartbeat wouldnt allow any nightmare to get through again.