Sunset in Heaven
He kept running and running until the pursuers were gone, bumping into unknown people and receiving glares and curses in the process. But no one even stopped and asked why he was running, seemingly so afraid and so lost. No one even bothered to look at him and question the way his tears continued to fall down his eyes without his permission. No one cared… He didn know why those people were chasing him and what for. All he knew was the fact that they all had this predatory gleam in their eyes as they tried to catch the orange-haired little boy with fearful and teary chocolate eyes as he ran for his life, or supposedly, his afterlife.
It had been three days since then… Three days of wanderings around this cold village with strangers who neither cared nor look at him with warmth. And he was scared… so scared that he simply wished to die all over again…
”Kaa-san… ” He pleaded silently with hoarse and exhausted voice as he slid down the wall of a deserted alleyway. He choked as he sobbed in silence, trying his best to call for his mother who was nowhere to be found. He wished he could call his father too. But his father wouldn hear him now. His father was in the world of the living, probably mourning his lost too. He was such an ungrateful son… he wished he could at least see his father again. But that wouldn do. Wanting to see his father meant that he wished his father dead, and he couldn even think of such selfish thoughts. His mother died because of him and he couldn have his father die because of him too. He wouldn be able to stand it… His father was annoying sometimes, but he loved that man. And so the person he needed to find now was his mother. He needed to find her… ”Kaa-san… Kaa-san… Where are you..? ”
He couldn remember his mothers face anymore, not even her beautiful smile. Though he would never forget her name… Masaki. His death stole too much memory from him. He was lucky he still had some of them intact, mostly about his family. Though most of their faces were blurred… He couldn even remember the faces of his younger sisters, nor remember their names. And he couldn remember any of his friends or the life that he had as a school boy. At best, his memories were fragmented and blurred, only making sense when hes asleep. All he could remember clearly was his fathers anguished, crying face, because his father was the last person he saw before his death. And that broke his heart a little more…
He didn know how much time passed since he let himself cry for the first time. He didn know how many hours it took to calm himself down in case the pursuers heard him and decided to torture him in this abandoned place full of dead people with dead hearts.
When he finally calmed down, he decided that it was better to find somewhere place safe to sleep for the night. The moon hung at the sky, oblivious to the pain of the innocent child anguished by the lost of his mothers life more than his own.
He walked some deserted alleyway and hoped against all odds that those manic teenagers who looked like demented souls already stopped trying to pull a prank on him. He ended up walking and walking until he found out that he was already at the outskirt of the village. And yet he still didn know where he was… All he knew was the fact that he was dead, never to be seen by anyone again, and never to see his mother again.
A lone road lay across him, and about four meters on the other side of the road was a shallow slope filled small grasses. On the far side of the grasses was a small river with sparkling water, caused by the moons dim light, which flows silently. The air was refreshing, so free and relaxing, so different from the stifling and suffocating air of the crowded and poor-looking village. He found himself inhaling the air greedily as he ran towards the grassy slope and headed straight to the river. He hadn felt relaxed these past two days and he knew that this silent peace would only last for hours, at least until before the break of dawn when people would start to awaken and he would be scared again.
He played with the water for a while like the child that he was, trying his hardest to forget about the awful guilt that ate away at his soul. He immediately turned around when he heard some footsteps coming near. He hid on the other side of the river, behind some thick bushes and waited for the footsteps to come.
A tall man in his early thirties walked with elegance together with another man who looked much younger than him. The two of them both had black hakama and kimono, and one of them had a white haori on top. He had brunette curly locks and cold brown eyes while the other had black hair and eyes. The brunette, the young boy noticed, had cold eyes despite it appearing warm and caring at first. It was even colder than the eyes of those people in the village. It was scary…
And the choking feeling that he started feeling ever since the two men arrived was bewildering and utterly painful. It felt like all the air was being squeezed out of his lungs with a strong grip. It was a feeling that he had never felt before and he surely did not want to feel it again. He knew it was some kind of pressure coming from the man with white haori, and he wanted to just leave and run away from his hiding place. But he was afraid, so afraid, that if the two men found him out, they would also do some pranks on him like the teenagers did the day before.
He knew better than to approach strangers now and ask where he was. He knew better than to believe in their crafty smiles that were filled with ulterior motives. Two days of horrible experience in this place was enough to make him forget about some of his childhood innocence, the innocence that would make him trust an adults words easily. His head jerked up when the younger man spoke silently over the other side of the river, despite the fact that he wanted nothing but to succumb to the oblivion created by the utter pain in his entire being.
”A-Aizen-taichou, I-I don think this is a good idea… ” The younger man stuttered as he tried to catch up to the older males longer strides. ”S-Surely, they would… ” He trailed off when Aizens cold gaze settled on his. ”I mean, if they found out… I would definitely be fired… or worse, executed… ”
”Didn I tell you that I will take care of it? ” Aizen asked coolly, too cool and cold for the little boys liking. And he found himself shuddering from the voice. Apparently, the younger man also did and that made Aizen look at the other in amusement. ”Theres no need to worry, Ive already looked into it and you already did the job. No one needs to know. ”
e investigating! I mean, if they found out that I was there… ” The younger man looked frantic and Aizen looked even more amused.
”Like I said, no one needs to know. ” Aizens cold brown eyes somehow turned darker and his smile turned sadistic despite it appearing so calm. ”Hado No. 90, ” the younger mans eyes widened with fear and the little orange-haired boy couldn help but whimper too. ”Kurohitsugi. ” And in an instant, a huge black box screaming of power in vast magnitude appeared out of nowhere, engulfing the young man inside who didn even had the time to scream. The little boy, though he didn know what it was, felt that it was dangerous to stay near the scene. His eyes were wide and his whole body was trembling from unshed tears and utter fear. The man was powerful, and the boys instinct told him that the younger man wasn comfortable inside that thing. Far from it actually. Huge black cross-like things appeared from nowhere and stabbed the box-like black distortion and the little boy covered his mouth with both his trembling hands to prevent himself from screaming.
The black box vanished just as quickly and the younger man was nowhere to be found. Run, run, run!!! His head screamed for him to just leave the place as quietly as possible and run for it, but his body wouldn listen. Instead, he remained rooted in his spot, trembling and on the verge of breaking.
Two weeks ago he saw his mother die in front of him, murdered ruthlessly. And now, in this deserted place, another murder occurred, also ruthlessly. The older man seemed to have sensed him and immediately turned to his direction. The little boy stilled his breath and tensed, totally afraid that he would meet the same fate as the other man. Cold brown eyes gazed into his own chocolate ones and he was overcame with suffocation, one that had nothing to do with his fatigue or the reiatsu that tried to eat his soul alive. This suffocation was different, in an entirely higher level than he could comprehend. His young mind couldn keep up with the trauma, and he immediately blacked out.
The older male named Aizen narrowed his eyes when he noticed a small spark of reiatsu from the bushes. He didn know how he didn feel it before, but it was definitely there, quiet and full of raw fear. A rat was hiding… He took a step forward but halted when he saw another male wearing the same clothing but with long white hair and kind eyes.
”Aizen-taichou! ” The other man waved enthusiastically. ”What are you doing, staring off into space like that? ”
”Ukitake-taichou. ” Aizen put on his flawless mask. The mask he was so proud of that not even the stoic captain of sixth squad could imitate, though that cold captain had a different reason for wearing a mask. That he was sure of. And of course, not even the soutaichou could see through his flawlessness. He was sure he could fool everyone for a little while more, if he had managed to fool them for at least a hundred years now. Now, if he could make the other captain leave so he could take care of the little rat…
”Come on now, Aizen-taichou, its too dangerous to be alone right now. ” The man named Ukitake didn take the hint that he wanted to be alone. ”I heard that someone hacked the server of the twelfth division and all the data were erased. Its being investigated as of now. ”
”Really? Thats terrible. Kurotsuchi-taichou must be in full killing mode as we speak. ” He feigned innocence. He was so good at it. Ukitake shook his head at the memory that he had when he arrived at the scene before he quietly agreed with Aizen.
”Shall we head to the 12th Barracks and help? ” Ukitake asked and he looked into Aizens eyes directly, which the Captain of the 5th Squad returned with equal intensity. He was not the kind of person who wouldn be able to look at another person in the eyes just because he just killed one of that persons unseated officers.
Aizen turned to the direction where the reiatsu leaked earlier but he couldn feel it now. He was not worried though. Not in the slightest. Even if some Rukongai wandering soul happened to witness the crime, that souls word would surely held nothing against the word of one of the most well-known and well-liked Captains of Seireitei. And so he willed himself to follow the other Captain named Juushirou Ukitake who was too oblivious just like everybody else.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Ichigos eyes slowly opened as he heard the noise coming from the river just beside the bushes where he lay on his side. Everything was bright, and he was confused at first as to why and how he got there in the first place. It seemed he slept quite soundly considering he didn even stir when there were so many kids of his age playing in the river. The events of last night momentarily forgotten, he watched in fascination as he saw a kid with fierce red hair that stuck on all sides of his head playing with some other kids.
”Pineapple… ” he whispered and he giggled silently at the sight. But as his eyes darted towards the road he crossed last night, its like everything just re-winded and he suddenly remembered why he was lying there unconscious. He could feel his chest constrict and he fought back the whimper that was threatening to escape his small trembling lips. He tried to bring his hands to his mouth again and the movement caught the redheads attention. His eyes suddenly grew sharper as he shouted.
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