Characters: Aizen-centric. Also Momo, Byakuya, and about two seconds of Rukia.
Genre: Introspective; character study. Gen.
Summary: Aizen owns the dawn. Someday, he knows, he will own the sky itself.
A/N: Set sometime pre-Soul Society arc.
Aizen does not wake early; he doesn’t wake at all. He hasn’t slept. The sky turns gray, then gold; a beetle scuttles back and forth across the windowsill, having crawled in earlier when the window was open and now finding itself trapped. Aizen looks up from the documents he has spent the night rereading, and regards the beetle with mild interest, then leans forward and peers out the window. A cleaning boy from the morning staff from Fourth is already sweeping the leaves from a path in the gardens outside, and morning birds are chirping in the oak tree. It’s nearly time for that meeting with Kuchiki Byakuya, he thinks, and then he puts away the scroll he was reading from neatly and stands.
—Just like that. He stands. He hasn’t slept for two nights in a row now, but he doesn’t need to splash his face with water, shake himself, find something to eat; he merely stands, and the day stands with him. Dawn rises, and he too shakes off the night.
Someday, even if it takes another hundred years, he will shake it off for good. He has been working on this for long enough.
One day when Aizen was quite young still, living with a family in Rukongai, he woke up early the way children sometimes do and wandered out into an abandoned lot near the house, and sitting in a patch of weeds he watched the sun rise. And he found that if he cupped his hands just the right way, it looked like he was holding the sun, and the light poured out from around his hands and the cracks between his fingers. That was when he knew it: someday, he would be everything there was to be. The most important person in the world. From that day forward his mind was set, and from that day forward he has always been tireless in pursuit of that one goal, which is why he barely needs to sleep.
Not that Aizen is so unbearably naïve as to think that something will happen simply because a child believes it. It’s the hard work and the sleepless nights that will make a vision a reality, and that’s why most peoples’ visions never become anything at all. Anyway, he was only a child back then, and when he imagined himself having all the power in the world, he saw only greedy little things: himself in a great mansion, with everyone as his servant.
Embarrassing as it was to admit, he had seen himself as someone like Kuchiki. Truthfully, Aizen is looking forward to this morning’s meeting; he always finds Kuchiki interesting to observe. Now that he is not a child, Aizen sees people like him for what they are. Kuchiki thinks himself proud because his family has such status in Soul Society. Aizen thinks that Kuchiki does not even know what real pride is.
Someday, when it is Aizen, not the sun, who stands in the sky, he will look up and realize that the pride of wealth is nothing compared to the pride of divinity....
It’s Hinamori, of course; she will be attending the meeting as well, although it’s obvious that she isn’t usually up at this hour. She is trying her best to look professional, but when she thinks he isn’t looking she rubs sleep from her eyes. Little, foolish thing. But Aizen is fond of her, pitiful as she is. And, if she should live long enough— and he hasn’t made up his mind yet as to whether she will— even her foolish, sleepy eyes will someday see. What he truly is. Even the seeing is more than she could accomplish on her own, but she does try.
“Yes, I suppose we really must get going, mustn’t we?” he muses, more for Hinamori’s sake than his own.
She nods and adds, “I already saw Komamura-taichou heading for Sixth.”
Aizen looks out the window again; the sky has already lost most of its gold and become a brilliant, almost translucent blue. He doesn’t see Komamura, but there are already some shinigami mingling in the streets.
—And as he sees them, he cannot help pitying them, in the same way someone might pity small, weak animals when they know that winter is coming.
The sky really is nearly translucent in its paleness, and yet not a one of them has ever wondered what is behind it— have they? And when they finally do see, what will happen to them then?
As he and Hinamori leave for their meeting, he picks up the beetle in the windowsill gently and deposits it into the lush leaves of a plant in Fifth’s gardens. He hands Hinamori his notes for the morning; he says a courteous, bright Good morning to Kuchiki’s sister when they pass her on the street.
For some reason, I seem to be obsessed with comparing Aizen to the sun. No, honestly, I have no idea.