Post by Wishes on Nov 24, 2013 17:45:35 GMT -5
I don’t quite like that; it’s a little too stuffy. I’m no genie, sprung from a magical lamp, nor any kind of God you’d find between Earth and Heaven. Instead I suppose you could call me a “Royal”--that’s straight from Tova’s mouth, ever the dramatic--though I’m not sure it’s quite right either. I don’t rule much of anything anymore, besides I suppose this garden I’m fond of. Although I prefer to think of me as belonging to it, if that makes sense.
“Glory be to Him who changes others and remains Himself unchanged!”
―The Arabian Nights
You’ll have to forgive my tendency to ramble, I’m afraid. It’s the hallmark of any old man, immortal body or not. Being born in the human realm has given me a certain inescapable perspective, so two hundred-some years seems like quite a bit to me. Only my hair agrees, though. I think the rest of me is playing catch-up.
I suppose it’s only fair to give you a description of me should we ever glimpse each other in passing, though “form” doesn’t quite mean as much as it used to. Once there was a very tangible difference between “alive” and “dead” to me but I’ve since chalked that up to life’s little inconsistencies. It’s not so much a wall as a door, you see, and--
Rambling, right. Where was I?
I’ll go ahead and describe Mitsutaka, since I’m him and he’s me as far as you could tell. In truth it’s a little more complicated than that but his skin is without a doubt my favorite. You’re unlikely to catch me wearing anything else.
Name: Mitsutaka Karahashi
Height & Weight: 6' 3", 130lbs
Hair & Eye Color: White, Brown
He--I, rather--is very tall. I suppose you could say that’s his most noticeable trait, or at least a solid competitor with his messy white hair. An old knife wound, see… no, history will have to wait for later. It’s best not to get sidetracked. Thin. He’s very thin, partially due to a number of health problems with his body. I won’t bore you with the details.
A very long time ago he had vision problems, too. Sometimes he wears glasses, but that’s more out of habit than anything. I think I just like the feeling of them on my face. It’s comforting, like a warm bath on a rainy evening.
The clothes he wears are a little out of date, but then he’s never fully left his past behind. Try not to give him a hard time about it; no one’s life is easy. He thinks he looks a little bit like a dapper gentleman, but you’ll have to decide that one for yourself. All I can say is that in black slacks, white undershirt and black vest he certainly does take after James. Which isn’t in itself too surprising; see, he is me and I are we and we are all together.
He used to treat those clothes like gold but now they’re more like copper or tin, I guess you could say. I do a lot of gardening and it’s hard not to get a little dirty sometimes. You’ll have to forgive me if I come off a little unkempt, but I don’t think I’ve been out of these woods for… well, for quite some time now. Maybe even longer than that.
What else, what else… oh, gardening, right. I’d like to say it’s made my posture go to hell but in truth I’ve had poor posture since far before that. Maybe I look a little tired, but there’s always a smile on my face. I’m happy. What’s not to smile about?
That’s what I believe, anyway, and experience hasn’t made any sort of effort to prove me wrong. Not in the last ten thousand years has this code been false and I have no intention of letting it twist in the next ten thousand. Oh, people deceive themselves--always have, always will--but they’re true to themselves as well. I can see it. I love it. People are my bread and wine, and I’ll never take my fill.
“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”
- Sun Tzu
I described myself as something far from a genie, and I’ll hold tight to that definition. A genie grants the first 3 wishes that spring from a person’s mouth but I grant the one hiding in their heart. That’s right: I grant wishes. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing more perfect. A few people have found me already, have used my services. Some profited, some yet stand to profit. So it goes.
And I could grant you your wish too, if you only believed in what you wanted just a little bit more.
Royal Form: Wings sprout from Mitsutaka's back, 2 on each side. They spread to a maximum of five feet and allow for flexible and coordinated flight. His hair grows long, touching his chest in front and his legs in back. His gaze becomes more piercing, more aware.
Aside from this, nothing changes physically. Supernaturally, however, is a different case entirely. Waves of power, barely restrained, cascade from him in concealed torrents. Anyone able to see this awesome force surely knows his strength.
Royal Domain: A small garden, located somewhere in the Rukongai. Surrounded by stone walls, through a rusty iron gate lies dozens of rose bushes and flowers of all kinds. Moss grows happily on stones and several squirrels nest in a solitary cherry tree, which leans over a pool full of koi fish. A single swing hangs from a limb, now old and creaky. Rows have been set up and dug, but have yet to be planted. There's more work to do yet.
Flowers seem to come and go without regard for season or time of day. Colors seem impermanent here, too. A red rosebush might not be so red the next day, or in the next glance. Plants act oddly, growing faster or slower than they should. And the cherry tree is always in blossom.
There are four graves in one corner of the garden, lovingly maintained and marked:
Hiiro--the girl that saved me. From her mound an apple tree grows.
Kasumi--the girl that needed me. From her mound a Snowball tree grows.
Hikari--the girl that trusted me. From her mound a Dagwood tree grows.
Cho Ah--the girl that loved me. From her mound a lilac tree grows.
Royal Power: The WISH, highest form of desire. Everyone has something they strive for, something they want to attain. Mitsutaka can tell an individual's wishes just by looking at them, and can grant them with a thought. This is not an action he undertakes lightly, however: he believes everyone should achieve what they can on their own terms. To this end he acts as a guide, never a shortcut.
Manifested weapon: When Mitsutaka chooses to employ a weapon, he chooses a replica of Kowareta. Shining blade, black hilt, black handle. This form offers no special powers but is vaguely nostalgic, like an old home or an old friend. The blade is about 3 feet long and is extremely sharp. Though Mitsutaka displays no desire to cause violence, his swordsmanship is nearly unparalleled. A sword in his hands becomes an instrument of deadly art.
James didn't have what you'd call an easy childhood, but then I guess we all have our crosses to bear. The story started out well enough: loving parents, only child, big house full of books. But just like in all the best fairy tales the mother dies; this sent the father deep into depression, where he stayed for a very long time. And he might have stayed there forever, if it wasn't for her. What do you think brings a man out of his own sorrow? What but someone else's?
Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please...
Richard saw her standing there in the rain, makeup smudging, expression broken. He couldn't help but think of an old china doll when he looked at her--skin flaking, face nearly worn off, cracks running through it all. He thought she was the most wretched thing he'd ever seen, and it touched him profoundly. He didn't speak to her that night or the next, but on the third night she joined him in his house. She ate like a starving woman would--and indeed, perhaps she was. He replaced her tattered and seductive clothes, gave her a bath but was careful not to look. He thought he'd never felt so warm. He helped her get back on his feet and when her lips met his it was like nothing had been more natural. He was determined to fix this broken bird's wings. He swore it on his own life--and it was no great sacrifice, for he'd found something to live for.
James hated her from the start: a pale imitation of his real mother. A whore from the waterfront that had no business in his father's house. He wasn't surprised when she grew to depend on him, wasn't shocked or saddened when she began to bleed his poor father dry. He saw it all coming, saw the beatings before her hands laid themselves into him, saw the drinking and the money and the men behind his father's back. He saw his father's nervous acceptance and self-hatred before any of it came to pass. So when it did, he was not surprised--only angry and very afraid. He would stay home from school to hide the bruises, hide in the library and read for hours and hours. He would fly away into magical lands where nothing hurt and everything was so, so beautiful, and all little boys had parents who loved them. He liked those stories.
She saw him darting his eyes from side to side, saw him pull up a stool and stand on his tip-toes to reach the burnished key on top of the painting. She took joy in the way he jumped when she called out to him, took a kind of perverse pride in the way he looked guiltily back at her. There was almost enough fear in his eyes. "It's fine," she heard herself say. "The Library is unlocked. You can go in any time." He looked doubtful, but she could see a glimmer of hope growing in his eyes. He tried to walk casually to the big, double doors of his father's library but he was practically skipping by the time he reached them. He opened them, froze, fell to his knees.
"We were running a bit low this month, so I had to sell a couple. Your father didn't mind." Gone, all gone. She'd sold the last book herself. Maybe they'd been running out, maybe not. They would eventually, so this much was just preparation.
He didn't cry, too much of a man already. Just nine years old and so strong. She would make him cry sooner or later, no matter what it took.
Things got worse. Much worse. As if the trauma at home hadn't been enough, his peers began to grow into their own brash and adolescent personalities. Absent from school half the week, he was immediately singled out and chosen for all sorts of childish tortures. He had nowhere to escape to. His ship had sunk. He was breaking, little by little. And there was a knife.
There was a knife in her hand that plunged into his father's chest and out again, in and out, and there was blood everywhere. There was a dropped bag by his side that alerted her. There was a mad dash, and there were the streets outside, and there was a burning pain on his scalp. His hair was split, cut dragged. She hadn't killed him. She toppled on the slick stones, struck her head.
And there was a knife in his hand, and a woman below him that he hated more than the world.
After venting his anger on the unconscious body of his "mother," James ran to his father. The light was already leaving his eyes, but there was time for a few last words. He had to lean close to hear them.
"Sorry... don't blame her, she just..."
And if there was more to say, it was gone. It was just nothing at all.
James stared at his father for a long time, until the police broke in and took him away, before they clothed and inspected and removed the bodies of his father and stepmother.
How could he not blame her? Surely women were all insidious snakes that stole what was most precious. Surely everyone was tortured like this.
He hated them.
This warped view could only degrade further with time--and so it did, until one night found him near the waterfront with a knife in his hand a pair of gloves to wear. The first was tender under his ministrations, cut and diced and slaughtered almost beyond recognition. He felt like he was saving his father, just a little bit. He felt a little better, a little better with every speck of poison he wiped from the mouth of the world. He had a purpose. He had a reason to live.
The killing felt sweet.
But a human heart is not meant to endure so much pain, not without fracturing.
It was a long way down, long enough to make it certain the end wouldn't hurt for long. That was the way he wanted it: short, quick, clean. A one-paragraph mention in the paper: man falls from local school building, killed upon impact. Suicide likely, investigation pending. No sign of Jack the Ripper these last weeks; are our streets safe?
She caught his hand just before he toppled and he looked back at her with shock and betrayal. There was pain in her crying eyes, maybe more pain than his. There was a plea from her and begging and a grip like iron.
He thought he'd never heard a name so beautiful.
She changed him little by little, until he was really becoming the normal student he claimed to be. His late-night proclivities didn't go wholly unnoticed, however, so he crafted himself as the hero of the story: he was tracking down the murderer known as Jack the Ripper and would not stop until he was caught and killed. She kissed him, made him promise that he would not give in to vengeance or fury--the man belonged in an institution. Her kindness was what he most loved about her. She was his knight in shining armor.
James ground his teeth, tears filling his eyes as he watched the girl he loved talking so closely to another man. Had he been blind for so long? He felt as if the scales were finally coming free from his eyes, were unveiling his "lady love" as the horrible creature she truly was. There was only anger, like there had always been. There was only suffering that refused to end.
He caught her in an alley, the first victim in more than two months. She knew him but not the danger he posed, so it was easy. Too easy. She was easy.
He took her then as a man takes a woman--but forcefully, hatefully. He destroyed her from within and then from without.
It was there, beside her body that he began to awake from his rage. His hands were red, the world was red, and there was absolutely nothing left for him to live for. He'd crushed the only thing he ever loved; jail, for him? Scotland Yard never held such a wretch. Far better to end it all.
And so he betrayed his love's dearest wish. He killed Jack the Ripper, and he made sure of it. He slit his wrists and lay there on the building where once she'd saved him.
No hands grabbed his this time. Perhaps he'd used up his second chances.
James woke in the Rukongai as Mitsutaka, a new man whose personality had been fractured in three by the trauma of death. Subconsciously he grew to hate himself, and hid away the impulsive and prideful parts of his own personality. His emotions he denied so fully they hid for years, but his soul was quicker to resurface. In the Academy he learned his Zanpakuto's name: Kowareta, a blood-thirsty and self-assured individual who taught him a great deal. Always there was a segregation: mind over matter, over soul, over body. The mind was all and all served it. This was how it had to be so Jack would never resurface.
"So, what can you do?" The man, a boy really, asked his sword. The sword could only chuckle.
"I can do all sorts of things. I can turn your pain elsewhere, turn it to pleasure, turn it off. I can make you see your own memories as if they were really happening in front of you."
"Can you show me what my human life was like? I can't remember it at all."
There was silence, for a time. Then: "never ask me to do that."
The boy was curious, but apologized anyway.
"Don't worry too much about it. I can tell you all about your last life, if you want. That much I can do."
Mitsutaka was secure in his history as the man who chased down Jack the Ripper. He had chased the man far and long from the killing of his parents to the killing of his only love. Captivated by rage he had slain the man, ignoring Elizabeth's most earnest wish. In horror he slit his own wrists and embraced the end, knowing fully well that he could never live without her. He was a hero, but a flawed one. He was a Good Person.
This he knew.
"I see you reading in here all the time. Don't have any friends?"
Mitsutaka looked up, surprised to see a tall, kind-looking man leaning over him.
"I guess you could say that. I just like reading."
"Oh, nothing wrong with that. I love a good book myself. In fact, do you mind...?"
"No, no, go ahead. I wouldn't mind the company."
They read together every day after the Academy let out, neither saying a word besides "hello" and "till next time." They read there until the end of the semester, until the day before graduation.
"Mitsutaka, have you given any thought to which Division you'd like to join?"
The boy pondered the question. "I suppose the Fourth, Second or First. I can't really decide."
The man smiled. "Do you want to fix people, Mitsutaka?"
"More than anything." He'd been seen right through.
"Then the Fourth it is. Trust me on that."
"You've been in the Fourth?"
"I used to be its Captain. A long time ago, that is." He rose, dusted himself off. "We won't be seeing much of each other inside the Soul Society, but I have something I'd like you to see before you go. A garden I'd like you to inherit..."
The Fourth didn't fit him perfectly--inventions never had been his strong suit--but it gave him the freedom he needed to focus on his own designs. He already had a lofty goal: the eradication of all the hurt and suffering in the world. It would take a lot of effort, but he was prepared. He didn't mind hard work, as long as it was for a purpose.
Here in the Fourth he met Kyousuke Tsukimiya, a man he instantly idolized. Kyousuke was the very image of the cool, collected man Mitsutaka wanted to become. He left too early, but even consciously Mitsutaka knew it was that assassin he molded himself to match.
There were field explorations too, such as the journey that brought him before a hollowfying Kasumi Suzumei...
"There is a demon inside of you. And you know full well what it can do without your restraint. That power is all that is keeping it in line for the moment, and you are frightened of losing that battle. You are losing the strength to fight it, Captain-sama. You must let us help you so we can suppress the demon. You must calm yourself. Remember your true strength, Captain-sama! Remember your kindness and hope! They are the most important things in this world!"
These were the words he told her, ones he felt sure would bring her back to peacefulness. He didn't know what was happening but fancied he had a good idea, and perhaps it would have worked for her unique problem.
Then there were others, clamoring for attention and attacking her. Then the moment was over. Then his Captain and peer interfered.
There was nothing he could do, and there was a deep simmering hatred that began to grow.
Mitsutaka meets a young man by the name of Akimoto Nakamura, whom he tortures cruelly with memories from the past. His emotions all muddled, he requests a friendship. Akimoto agrees, perhaps to stay on Mitsutaka's good side. The two begin to grow closer together, until a girl named Hikari Miyazaki steals Akimoto away. Their relationship deepens and Mitsutaka is left alone--more lonely when Akimoto suddenly disappears.
"I'm sorry I had to be the bearer of such terrible news, Hikari. I know what he meant to you." The sadness on Mitsutaka's face was a simple deception, the same he always used to mirror the natural emotions of an individual with feelings.
She said nothing. He could see on her face that something inside of her had broken, just a little bit. There wasn't much else to say.
"Life's tough, huh?" Kowareta's voice was quieter, more subdued than usual.
"That it is. Something happen? You sound tired."
"Oh, I... had to do something that took a lot of effort. Didn't sleep so well last night."
"Really? I slept fine. Like a log, in fact, though I did have a very strange dream." Mitsutaka paused as if trying to catch something at the tip of his tongue, but waved it away when it wouldn't come. It was irritating not being able to understand it from the very start.
"Is that so?"
Mitsutaka sacrifices his hand for a chance at promotion, and rises to the rank of Lieutenant. Women begin to notice him, something that is confusing and strange: compelled by unknown forces he kisses one Junko Aizawa, a healer and a wife; stays his hand for the favor of Cho Ah Amai, a lower-ranking officer in another Division; and welcomes into the Division Hiiro Takenishi, a fiery-haired girl who's somehow nostalgic. He only has eyes for one, however: his Captain, Megumi Sumeragi, who inspires him and drives him to higher and higher feats of brilliance. He still regrets failing Kasumi, however, so when Hikari shows similar tendencies he investigates her. The confrontation takes place in an abandoned warehouse on Earth, where he comes close to death more times than one.
"I humbly believe that both of you are wrong. You, Miyazaki-sama, believe this woman is nothing but a cast-off Hollow that has attached herself to you. She is so much more.
"And to you, Mistress, you are wrong as well. She is not something for you to possess, nor is she unworthy. You must understand at least that much."
Mitsutaka believed the words, believed them more than almost any other sentence he'd ever spoken. He was just so, so glad to have a chance at fixing another beautiful anomaly.
How could he have known what she would become?
Megumi, inspirational Captain, was struck down soon afterwards. In a blaze of fire and a horrific murder scene that carved itself into Mitsutaka's brain. Yes, that was right: this was loss, this was anger. He was furious. He would avenge her.
Late nights he spent staring at the monitors in the Fourth, trying to track the killer down. It was here he noticed the invasion task force led by Tova Diablo, and it wasn't far from the Fourth where they clashed in battle. One fell, a Hollow fell, and the battle raged on. Lancelot Aizawa's appearance seemed to tip the scales in the Shinigami's favor, but then Tova himself arrived and swept the board. Mitsutaka awoke his captive, a tool to be tested upon. Irony.
That was it, no more hestiation. With a burst of speed provided by his Sonido the Arrancar stepped forward, grabbing the Shinigami by his right shoulder and pulling him forward as the blade of his own Zanpakutou lined itself up with the Saketsu.
And it was glorious, this new freedom he felt. Something had been unleashed, something that screamed at the sky and felt. Felt! FELT!
It felt so good. So damn good. But it was scary all the same.
The battle was long but futile; Tova is simply worlds above Mitsutaka's level, even as a Vaizard. After being nearly blown to bits he's sent off home to heal, where his subordinate Hiiro tends to him. He sees something in her face and is lost to a night of fever dreams that leave him in cold, terrified sweats. Something is pushing to the surface that has been long buried.
Mitsutaka is confronted by Megumi's killer, who apologizes for her death--an unintended mistake--and bequeaths the Captain's Seat to him. He takes the position and begins his duties, first meeting with Cho Ah who recently joined the Fourth. He misses her infatuation but welcomes her warmly in any case, going as far as to show her his secret garden and ask for a replacement hand to be made.
Junko returns and pleads for his help, only to receive a very frustrated response from Kowareta, who has tired of her neediness. He helps her all the same, after the shock has passed. She holds him, and he weeps.
As if to test his heart further, Kasumi Suzumei reappears. Mitsutaka goes to her and tries to help, ending up with a kiss in return. He is too confused by his own emotions to reciprocate, but follows her to Siberia where he confesses his love but flees before consummating it.
Everything began to fall apart. He was poised, ready to devour the delicious morsel in front of him- make her cry, scream and moan his name- and he was ready
and he was void of reason or the ability to stop
and a mere movement would have begun his work
and it was all beginning again. It was all returning to the origin; his past was here to haunt him once more and this time it would not quit.
Mitsutaka froze above his love, eyes wide and wild. Only one word came to his lips. "No," he whispered. "No, no, no, I can't." Staring down at her, he could imagine what would happen next. She would be butchered slowly, taken apart by a maddeningly methodical process, all using a single knife. Her life would be taken from her at a high price, but not before she had been violated and tortured in every manner possible. "All my fault! all my fault!" that was what was bound to happen if he went through with the deed and truly took her. That was what awaited the one he slept with. That was the irrepressible future if he continued.
And so he fled, like a coward. A window was no obstruction. He fled without more than a word, without an apology or explanation.
Kasumi resolved to give him time. He would come back.
But he didn't.
Eon, a fellow Captain, becomes infected by the same Vaizard virus that took over Kasumi and Hikari. Mitsutaka tries to aid him but finds himself powerless. Eon escapes to Hueco Mundo and Mitsutaka is left behind.
Lessa Kachekiwa, recently a Vaizard as well, is approached by him and interrogated. When he decides she is entirely unthreatening the two talk and enjoy some ice cream together. He does not help, but merely listens.
Hikari teleports him to her personal realm, possessed of strange powers that Mitsutaka does not understand. He is frightened and disgusted by the change in her--the change he was responsible for--and refuses to assist in her plan to overthrow the Soul Society. The two fight and Mitsutaka is easily defeated, left for dead. He escapes and warns the Seireitei, but unbeknownst to him there are traitors in the ranks: Kenshou Ine, secretly a Vaizard, calls Mitsutaka out but is deflected by the same accusation from Mitsutaka. Tova catches on and Kenshou is chased right out. The battle approaches.
"They never had a chance, not really. With Mitsutaka and Tova locked in combat with Hikari the rest were quick to fall."
"And Kasumi?" Mitsutaka's back was turned, face hidden.
"First to die. I don't know who slew her, but I'm sure a quick search--"
"That won't be necessary. Thank you for the information."
Then there was silence in the Fourth's Captain's room. Only silence.
Mitsutaka and Cho Ah grow closer. As promised, when she creates for him a mechanical hand he takes her to a carnival and shows her a good time. On a Ferris Wheel he nearly kisses her but pulls back at the last second.
An explosion he fails to prevent catches Cho Ah and wounds her badly. He tries to help but freezes, prompting more dislike from her already-disapproving brother, Amai Jemukatashi. She's taken away for treatment and Mitsutaka goes a little bit to pieces.
The word was as resounding as a thunderclap, as final as death. Simple. No more needed to be said.
”You have done quite enough.”
Yes, he certainly had. Too much. Far too much, far too little and far too late. Far too weak.
He ruminated on nothing else as he cleaned her laboratory, cleaned it spotless and far more carefully than she ever had.
He had done everything, absolutely everything.
So why wasn’t she back?
He mouthed this question to himself several times before leaping to his feet, standing straight as a bolt. ”Beryl Hydrogenate.” Of course! How had he been so stupid?! Of course she needed it, of course! He rushed from the building, puzzling over where he might find this elusive substance and indeed, whether the Fourth even stocked it. No matter, he decided: if she had it then his Division must have it, somewhere. Somewhere.
He searched for a long time, that Captain. All he knew is that he had to find it, had to get Cho Ah’s laboratory in perfect order so she would come back. She would come back. She would.
He just had to find out what was missing so she’d come back to him.
In the midst of this emotional turmoil, Lancelot Aizawa pays Mitsutaka and his two Lieutenants--Hiiro and Cho Ah--a visit. He pulls Mitsutaka away for an important chat and reveals his true nature: the Golden King Gilgamesh. The King reveals to him his past, and everything falls together.
NO! NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
He was Jack the Ripper!
There was no killer but himself! He had been the monster all along and anything he'd pretended to be was a LIE!
The scream that rent his lungs was nothing human; it was a noise filled with despair and with unbounded suffering, the cry of a wounded animal that sees it has no way to continue.
The man that walked from the building was a monster. Kowareta took him over completely--not Kowareta, rather, but Jack--and Mitsutaka let himself be locked away in a deep oblivion. He swears himself to Gilgamesh with the last bits of his sanity, aware that no one else can stop the murderer he's become. Jack himself only pays fealty out of fear of destruction. Under Gilgamesh he acts as the King's right-hand man, recruiting old Vaizard Artix Von Creg and bringing him into the fold. His first real assignment is to defeat Hikari, which he does with no remorse, revealing as he does that he killed Akimoto long ago. He tears out one of her eyes and, cowed, she joins the King. To celebrate Gilgamesh declares Mitsutaka the next Captain Commander.
The invasion begins with the Captain Commander Ai Miyazawa, who is cornered by the King's lackeys. Jack shows his first signs of vacillation; Ai is the very image of a pure woman, something Jack can't fight against. But with the knowledge she's a lesbian, that barrier snaps. His cruelty to her is interrupted by Hiiro's sudden entrance; Hikari tries to play with her but Jack snaps and drags Hiiro into the depths of the Fourth, from which she never returns.
Jack sighed, running his hand through his hair. It left streaks of red against white.
Not strong enough. She hadn't been strong enough. Honestly, what could he expect?
She'd always betrayed him, from the start. She was just a little traitor and he was sorry he hand't noticed it in the beginning. Just a lying, filthy, traitor.
He'd even tried to give her a bit of power, to let her prove herself. But the Vaizardification had just killed her instead.
He decided it was for the better. After all, there was no guarantee she'd not try to betray him again.
Better dead than a traitor, even if he'd loved her once. Even if he'd saved her once.
His eyes were wet, and he didn't know why.
Jack severs one of his hands and heads off to the garden, where he intends to leave the sword Cho Ah dropped upon Jack's awakening. Instead he finds her there, and is caught by conflicting emotions. Finally he brings her down to the Fourth's bowels and convinces her to become a Vaizard, which succeeds and causes him yet more confusion. She brings a tiny piece of Mitsutaka out but not for long; he locks her down there for good.
”Mitsutaka’s the one who gets hard off experiments and data. I only care about results.” He ignored the rest of her words and merely stepped outside the room, taking one last look at his captive before closing the door. Only a thickly barred window showed a view into Cho Ah Amai’s world, now. ”I’ll be back soon enough. Loose ends indeed—that’s where I’m headed now. Be a good girl, now.”
”And don’t even try to break free. While my heart still beats, you’ll never open that door.”
Without a word more he walked from the room, stepping freely down long and twisting corridors.
He had other things on his mind; Cho Ah Amai and all her complexities could wait.
Jack meets with Salzabor Vasquez, a scientist who tells him a great deal about Tova--including his recent Royalification and his interactions with a certain Kasumi Suzumei. Jack fixates on this: if Tova weakened Kasumi by separating her from her Hollow, then it's his fault she died in the invasion. With this in mind, he sets up a plan and kidnaps Tori Saio, Tova's bride-to-be. On their wedding day he drops her mutilated and violated body to Tova, offering him a challenge.
The two fight on Sokyuku hill, where Jack reveals that Tori is still alive but won't be for long. The two battle to the death but Tova in a fit of power levels half the Soul Society with a Cero. He spares Jack's wretched life and leaves him to bleed. Mitsutaka, meanwhile, makes an attempt to regain control.
Mitsutaka tested the waters, slipped a small phrase into Jack’s words and as chance would have it, echoed him.
The feeling was mpossible to describe but it took his breath away. He felt… whole, perhaps, giddy. Joyous. And as quickly as it had come, the feeling was gone, leaving only a sweet taste in his mouth. Slowly, trying to comprehend, he rethought the words. Cho Ah meant the same thing to them both: something infinitely precious, something to be protected. ”My angel.” they had agreed. For Mitsutaka she was the last chance for him to prove he did not destroy every girl he developed feelings for. His lover Elizabeth, his friends Hikori and Junko, the same Kasumi he’d cared for—each he had irrevocably damaged by his attempts to help them. And Cho, he… he…
God help him, he loved her. He’d loved her ever since that day in the garden, and that feeling had only ever grown. He’d gone mad for her when her experiment had gone awry, and in the carnival she’d very nearly driven him crazy once more. Nowadays it was all he could do to control himself around her.
And in some respects it was the same by Jack’s view. He saw her as a real Angel come down to earth, something infinitely pure and magical. That was one of the reasons he had to hate Mitsutaka: with Kasumi he had nearly stolen her purity and with Cho Ah there was the constant danger of awakening something deep inside her. That was half the reason for this drastic seizing of power, the researcher began to realize. Jack wanted to cut that part out of his perfect little Cho Ah, but Mitsutaka understood the need for it, for every seamy bit.
It was really more of a chance, a lucky fluke, a miracle than anything else that the two of them had seen eye to eye. It had only been for a second’s time, but now he knew it was possible. And Jack was weak from pinning all his hopes on this moment; with a wrench he took control, if only for an eyeblink before Jack snatched part of it back.
Cho Ah is the one who finds him and nurses him back to health, but it's not the Lieutenant he knew. Instead she is colder, more violent, more explosive. She's crueler and more seductive, and Mitsutaka is endlessly repentant to her.
His recovery is one filled with Cho Ah. The two grow closer and closer, prompting Gilgamesh to take notice and use their relationship to manipulate them. They go to the Human world and on adventures, sometimes clashing and sometimes acting jealously. Mitsutaka speaks to Jemukatashi about Cho Ah's hand, but is firmly rebuffed: the noble can't even imagine any sort of relationship existing between them.
In the end it's war that pulls them apart; to Hueco Mundo Mitsutaka goes, now working somewhat in concert with head heart and soul.
They walked together to his door, and each step felt like a small torture. They paused at the portal and again Mitsutaka pulled her to him, betrayed by his body. He pressed a furious kiss to her lips, shuddering, then pulled away almost as quick. His eyes had fire in them, but were more soft than hard. He stood to his full height and stroked her hair gently, like a man perplexed by something. Finally he simply nodded at her goodbye, squeezing her hand in answer.
“I’ll win this war and find my way back to you, my Lieutenant. Don’t you doubt it.”
And without a glance back--for if he saw her standing there, crumbling, how could he leave--Mitsutaka left the Fourth Division and his past far behind.
And his thoughts were of the girl he loved.
The battle goes well for the Shinigami: the Arrancar find themselves solidly outclassed though Jemukatashi--turned traitor--and Tova Diablo put up a good fight. Mitsutaka takes on three enemies himself: Tori, Salzabor and one Titus Arkhan. He envelopes them in his Bankai and they begin to panic, though Salzabor pushes Mitsutaka to the end of his endurance. Kyousuke's timely intervention saves Tori, kills Salzabor and offers Mitsutaka a chance to kill Titus. Instead the Arrancar opens a portal to the center of the Earth, incinerating himself and searing Mitsutaka's entire body. His eyes, unprotected by the mask, melt. His mask and sword shatter.
Wounded, he is helped to the Fourth by Kyousuke and is tended to by Cho Ah. She discovers that he's taken the opportunity to throw away his Soul and Heart, rendering him a weak and overly-emotional, needy wimp.
"What happened to you...?" her voice was quiet, horrified.
"What do you mean? The heat hurt me, but I'm better now. You made me better. And with sword and mask gone, things can finally get back on track."
She looked about ready to cry, though Mitsutaka had no eyes to see it with.
"You've changed... I fell in love with the man you became, not this..."
Mitsutaka practically fell over himself trying to apologize, but she just stood and moved away. He reached for her but couldn't find her.
"I'm so sorry, so sorry! Please forgive me my darling Cho Ah, I can't live without you!"
She yelled at him, and he cowered. He was so afraid of her, it made him shiver.
Her voice was quiet and sorrowful. "Goodbye, Karahashi-sama. I'm sorry."
She left then, and he waited for her to come back. He would have cried if he had the eyes for it. She would come back, he knew it. He just had to wait.
She never did.
Life went on without the Captain Commander. A month passed with him in the Third's hospitals. People visited at first, tried to engage him, tried to get him back on his feet or cajole him, but all left in disgust before long. He stayed there for a very long time, until a chance encounter set him face to face with a false Tova Diablo.
Then Mitsutaka died, and I was born. Or we switched places. It's not really important which.
Since then, I've spent the last 3 months tending my garden. It looks very beautiful, but there's a lot more work to be done yet.
Please, come by and give it a look. I'm always glad to have visitors.