Different anon than the one who asked about Iruka and Urahara, but your response got me thinking of just who else in Naruto-verse, besides Oro, has pulled enough shit to deserve the creepy courting rituals of one Mister Hat-and-Clogs, and my evil, broken brain spat (T)Obito at me, so now I'm sharing the pain. Just imagine them though: two overly-strategic, manipulative bastards with a penchant for trolling everybody by masquerading as happy ditzes. (1/4?!)
The cat-and-mouse game between them would be epic and utterly obnoxious to everyone forced to witness it, but Obito without a mask must have a critically weak pokerface and it’d probably take Kisuke no time to tease out that all he needs to break it with a blush is lay the innuendo on thick. That pale Uchiha skin. The rest of the challenge for Urahara is entirely based on managing to contrive excuses to get in Obito’s personal space without him using Kamui to slip away, because I’m of the opinion that every Obi-pairing ever, in any universe, should include touch-starved!Obito eventually getting scooped up and overwhelmed with cuddles. For a side of angst, they’d have to work through Kisuke’s tenuous grasp of scientific ethics when presented with someone with such a fascinating hodgepodge of ridiculous powers, colliding with Obito’s probable PTSD and body-horror from cave time with Madara and Zetsu. :(
But since my real OTP is Obito/ANYbody-big-enough-to-cuddle-him, in any universe, eventually Kisuke’s gotta sneak some snuggles. Maybe right after Obito genjutsus the fuck out of Aizen for being another wannabe-god, and it’s the sexiest thing Urahara’s ever seen. Just. If any Naruto character is enough of a karmic mixed-bag to deserve being affably harrassed and poked at and force-fed sweets by goddamn Urahara Kisuke, isn’t it Obito?
For the record, I hate you muchly and this is now a thing I ship. Whyyyyy.
Gin knows he’s going to die.
It’s not as if this was ever in question; betraying Aizen isn’t something survivable, and Gin’s been aware of that from the very first. That doesn’t mean he’s going to stop, though.
Rangiku is worth more than that, and so is getting revenge for what was taken from her.
The Hōgyoku pulses in his grip like a heart torn free, and Gin doesn’t think he’s ever hated anything except Aizen himself more.
In the rubble left behind by Kamishini no Yari, something stirs. Gin glances up, muscles winding tight, because of course it wasn’t going to be as easy as snatching the damned thing from Aizen’s chest and beating a retreat; he’s bought himself some breathing room, a calm like the moment before a hurricane hits, and—
The Hōgyoku trembles like it’s going to wink out, and in the same instant a scarred hand closes over Gin’s, all five fingertips glowing incandescent violet.
Gin jerks, startled into flight, but another hand grabs his wrist as his head snaps up. Not Aizen, because he would be dead if it was, but a complete stranger, scarred and grim with eyes like red-and-black pinwheels.
“Seal,” the stranger commands, not so much as looking at Gin, and Gin yelps as a burning heat races across the skin of his abdomen. The Hōgyoku shivers like struck crystal, then winks out of existence, and simultaneously Gin feels it. There’s a rush of heat through his whole body, a tingling awareness that it’s there just beneath the surface, and he collapses to his knees with a gasp.
In the same moment, there’s a scream of pure fury from Aizen, out of sight beyond the rubble, and Gin realizes that the overwhelming pressure of the Hōgyoku on the town around them is entirely gone.
“Sorry,” the stranger says, releasing Gin’s wrist, though he doesn’t sound all that apologetic. “That was the thing all of this is about, right? The perverted bastard’s pet project?”
Well. Gin’s more used to hearing that phrase used to describe him, but in this context he’s going to assume the man means Urahara. “What did ya do?”
“Sealed it,” he says precisely, as if this answers everything. “If the Kyuubi no Kitsune can’t break an Eight Trigrams Seal, neither can that thing. I’m sorry it had to be you I sealed it into, but I was kind of short on options.”
On the list of things Gin truly Does Not Want, having the Hōgyoku sealed inside of him probably ranks up there with kissing Aizen full on the mouth. Still, it’s definitely better than the alternative, and he gets his feet under him with an effort and pushes upright. His shihakusho is already tattered, and he tugs it aside to find dark, heavy lines written across his stomach, a spiral of black ink surrounded by neat characters.
“I don’ think I want ta be a butterfly,” Gin says, a little faintly.
The stranger blinks, clearly startled, and then snorts. “You’re not going to transform. It’s sealed. You can’t use its power, and neither can anyone else.” Apparently dismissing the matter, he turns away, just as a familiar figure staggers around a broken street corner with seething fury in his face.
“You,” Aizen spits, bringing Kyōka Suigetsu up like a threat. “What have you done?”
Despite himself, Gin almost takes a step back. He’s never seen Aizen truly angry, even at the moment of his betrayal, never seen raw shock on his face like this before. It’s…terrifying.
But the stranger just snorts, facing him squarely. His eyes flicker past Aizen’s figure, to where Urahara Kisuke is just stepping down onto the street with narrowed eyes and an unreadable expression, and he smiles.
It’s not a nice expression.
“You’re not the first would-be god I’ve dealt with,” he says flatly. “And compared to the actual god I’ve faced, you don’t even begin to match up.” A step, and the air warps around him like a vortex. He vanishes, winking out of existence, and Gin shifts forward before he can help himself, not entirely sure what he means to do beyond help, and—
Aizen spins, sword slashing through the air, but it passes right through the stranger ass he reappears. Then he’s abruptly solid again, just in time to whirl and kick Aizen in the gut.
A flicker of flash-step and Urahara appears next to Gin, one hand holding his hat in place and a small, quirked smile on his lips. “My, my,” he says, and the tone is light but his eyes are sharp. “It seems our visitor from another dimension has lots of tricks up his sleeve.”
Gin glances at the stranger just in time to see him slam a hand against Aizen’s chest, fingertips glowing again, and Aizen cries out as every last trace of his reiatsu vanishes from the air. “You were keepin’ the kid in reserve?” he asks, because this is definitely not something Aizen knew Urahara had.
It’s hard to tell whether he’s getting more satisfaction from that thought or from watching Aizen get his ass kicked by a man who doesn’t even seem to be trying.
Well. Both, probably. Scratch that, both definitely.
Urahara chuckles, tipping his hat down over his eyes a little more, though his gaze doesn’t leave the rather one-sided fight. Gin had known that Aizen had never excelled at hand-to-hand the way he did at kido, because he’s spent decades learning the bastard’s weaknesses, but even knowing that it’s easy to see the stranger is good, on top of his ability to turn intangible. “No, no. Our cute little visitor didn’t even know about Aizen until a few minutes ago. He must have felt the two of you appearing in the real Karakura and come to find me. Such an adorable tsundere, don’t you think?”
Gin watches the adorable tsundere deliver an uppercut to Aizen’s jaw that audible cracks bone, and refrains from commenting.
There’s no need, anyway; without the Hōgyoku, without his reiatsu, the blow knocks Aizen back on his heels, and a final roundhouse kick catches him in the side of the head. He crumples like a puppet without strings, collapsing into a heap on the ground, and the stranger pulls back, breath still even as if he hadn’t just gone up against a man who practically laid the Gotei 13 to waste.
“Oi, pervert,” he calls, without looking away from Aizen. “You want him gift-wrapped or something?”
Urahara laughs merrily, flash-stepping to the strangers side. “My, my, Obito, you’re certainly thorough.”
Obito turns a dark look on him, though it holds more aggravation than true anger. “I just watched him kick your ass. And Yoruichi’s. Was I supposed to go easy on him?”
“Revenge? For our sakes?” Urahara asks cheerfully, and before Obito can dodge he catches him around the waist and pulls him into what’s either a hug or an octopus’s stranglehold—Gin can’t quite tell. “How sweet of you!”
With a squawk, Obito tries to pry him off, but doesn’t get far. “Let go, you damned creep! Hey! Where do you think you’re putting your hands—hey!”
“Ouch,” Urahara says in mild protest, though his wince isn’t entirely faked. “I’ve already been abused once today, you know.”
Tellingly, Obito stops struggling instantly, practically sinking back into Urahara’s hold. “Idiot,” he says, and there’s more relief than anything in his tone. “You know I would have helped if you had just asked.”
“How was I supposed to know out new freeloader had experience taking out gods?” Urahara protests with something that’s probably supposed to be a pout. “How rude, keeping these things from your lover, Obito.”
“Who’s my lover?” Obito retorts without hesitation. “Stop saying when it’s not even true!”
“But it could be—ow.”
“I changed my mind. Go die,” Obito snarls, shoving Urahara back by the face. “Let me go, you can deal with the butterfly bastard—”
Gin turns quickly, catching a flash of color out of the corner of his eye, and just has time to open his arms before Rangiku plows into him. He huffs, staggering back a step, and feels her hug him impossibly tight for three full seconds. Then she pulls back, expression shading towards fury, and slaps him full across the face.
“You bastard, you knocked me out,” she hisses, though her eyes are distressingly damp. “You can’t just apologize and then disappear, I thought you were going to die!”
Rangiku has always been able to read him far too well.
Somehow it’s that thought above all others that makes Gin suddenly realize that—they’re done. Aizen has been beaten, and while Gin won’t relax until the bastard is nothing but ashes, he’s certain Central 46 will take care of that soon enough. The man looks small and pathetic inn defeat, and Gin can’t help but laugh, slumping forward as every muscle goes weak with relief.
Rangiku catches him.
Of course she does.
“It’s over,” he tells her, just in case she missed it.
There’s a long pause, and then a careful kissed pressed to his hair. “It is,” Rangiku agrees. Amusement shades into her tone as she asks, “Their doing?”
Gin doesn’t look to where Urahara and Obito are still bickering, just hums quietly in agreement.
Then, without any warning, a truly massive beacon of reiatsu practically explodes into existence. Gin wrenches around on instinct, shoving Rangiku behind him as he grabs for his zanpakuto, and a figure in black with daylily hair seems to spontaneously appear before them.
There’s a long moment of silence as Kurosaki Ichigo blinks at Gin and Rangiku, at Obito still shoving at Urahara as the exile clings to him, at Aizen unconscious in the dirt. Then, in a tone of utter bewilderment, he says, “What?”
A laugh cracks out of somewhere deep in Gin’s chest. He staggers with the force of his mirth, hanging onto Rangiku to stay upright, and doesn’t stop laughing for a very long time.
It feels better than anything has in almost a hundred years.