goat_dono: (AKON)
[personal profile] goat_dono
Title: Unspeakably Kinky
Chapter: IV. Insight
Author: [personal profile] goat_dono
Fiction rating: MA 18+
Chapter rating: T (mild eye squick, emotional manipulation)
Chapter word count: 1832
Summary: Akon is a very bad influence on Shūhei, in more ways than one.

Disclaimer: Bleach is the property of Tite Kubo. I do not use its characters, settings and/or events for any profitable purpose.


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There is some fiction in your truth,
and some truth in your fiction.
To know the truth, you must risk everything.


—Neo, The Animatrix

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“F-forget it,” Shūhei's voice quavered. “I'm not into this shit, Akon.”

Akon, who had brushed purposely past him, turned and eyed him curiously.

“Look, I understand that you consider this to be a great privilege and you're risking a lot having me here—”

“Actually, Hisagi-kun, I'm not risking anything. The Central 46 believes that I am capable of deciphering the secrets of gigai technology. From that standpoint, I am more valuable to Soul Society than Kurotsuchi-taichō." Akon spoke matter-of-factly, his bland voice marked by an ominous undertone. “You, on the other hand, are an inconvenient party to classified information, and no longer shielded by the jurisdiction of the Shinō Academy. Furthermore, if the powers that be find out you have past-life recall, they won't even bother to put you on trial.”

Shūhei's left hand clenched at his waist, as if bracing the sword he wasn't wearing. “I know that. I've always known that. That's why I never told anybody! That's why I can't do this, Akon! What the fuck are you trying to do to me? I thought you were my friend!”

“I am your friend, Hisagi-kun. In fact, as things currently stand, I am your only friend. You think you understand the consequences of your condition, but you do not. I assure you, that if you had not been disqualified by your visual impairment, and had in fact stood for evaluation before the review board, they would almost certainly have discovered you still have Human memories, and would have had you summarily executed on the spot. That's part of their job.”

Shūhei froze, the blood draining from his face, his breathing becoming short. He fought the wave of panic and pressed a hand to the wall as vertigo sent the ground falling away from under him.

“For a Shinigami to have memory is a grave risk. You could never be trusted to carry out your duties with unquestionable impartiality. Your memories might cause you to harbor resentment or practice favoritism, or abuse your authority over the lives and souls of Men. Unlike the emotional tie indicated by a Chain of Fate, residual memory has no outward visual indicator and no means of control. Normally, the only way to get rid of it is to completely destroy the soul.

“So, Hisagi-kun, you have a rather serious problem, but I think I can help you solve it. I need more information, however. I may have to subject you to significant discomfort in order to get to the bottom of this. But, of course, you are perfectly free to decline my assistance. You're welcome to carry on trying to keep your rather tenuous secret— and your head.”

Akon stared at Shūhei intently, watching his mind work. “So, what is your answer, Hisagi-kun? Shall we continue? Or shall I escort you out?

Shūhei mumbled in reply, his eyes downcast.

“Speak up,” Akon prompted.

“I said, 'continue!'”

The corners of Akon's mouth rose ever so slightly. “No need to get testy, Hisagi-kun. Follow me.”

Akon led the way through a short service corridor and into another research area, similar but much smaller than the first.

“What is this place?”

“This is the Andrology and Male Neurophysiology Section.”

They were passing a row of identical prototype gigai, featureless except for male genitalia. Each one was standing upright, secured by the neck inside a glass fronted case.

“No, Akon,” Shūhei hissed.

“No? No, what?”

“No, I am not going to have sex with one of those things.”

Akon shot him a look of grim amusement. “Don't jump to conclusions, Hisagi-kun. I think it's safe to say that play time is over for you for the evening. I brought you in here because I want to test your response to certain stimuli.”

“I'm not homosexual.”

“There is no such thing.”

“What?”

“In all our research, we have yet to encounter a shinigami whose sexual responsiveness was wholly or even primarily limited to one gender. It's possible that such a fixation occurs in humans, but not among us. What you perceive as your sexual orientation is just social conditioning and psycho-physiological residue from your human life.”

Akon opened a door into a large, softly-lit room, dominated by an enormous data center and a broad examination table. He gestured for Shūhei to sit in a nearby straight chair, then lit a cigarette and began to fiddle with equipment.

“These flashbacks of yours. Intense sexual arousal triggers them?”

Shūhei was startled by the directness of the question. “S-sometimes,” he stammered.

“When was the last time you had intercourse with a sentient being?”

Shūhei didn't answer.

“Well?”

“I dunno. I don't remember.”

“Why not? What happened? Did you blank out during the encounter?”

“I don't know.”

“How did your partner react to you?”

“Akon, stop it.” Shūhei slumped forward, his face in his hands.

“All right, all right.” Akon opened a cabinet and withdrew a bottle. “Here. Have a drink.” He poured a teacup half-full of sake, which Shūhei emptied in one swallow.

Akon filled the cup twice more before stepping to the side and cupping his hand under Shūhei's chin. Gently, he placed his other hand on Shūhei's brow and tilted his head back.

“I want to take a look at this eye.”

Shūhei flinched. “Ata! No, stop it!” he cried, halfheartedly trying to squirm away.

“Settle down. I'm not going to hurt you.” He brushed his thumb across the scars that had erased Shūhei's right eyebrow, and traced the line of his rigid jaw. His hands were pleasantly cool against Shūhei's skin.

“Nobody touches you anymore, do they, Hisagi-kun.”

The dull ache arising in Shūhei's scars was somehow not unpleasant. He closed his good eye and sighed. “No,” he breathed.

“That's a shame. I never saw what you looked like before the incident. But even with all this damage, you're still a very attractive man. I don't think the girls are snubbing you because of your face.”

Akon's thumb ghosted across Shūhei's lower lip, effectively distracting him while he gently lifted his right eyelid. He felt tiny muscles twitch protectively as he examined the shrunken, greyish sclera of Shūhei's sightless eye.

“Well, it seems the surgeons performed a very skillful evisceration, Hisagi-kun, but why didn't they try a graft? As I recall, you had a rather straightforward corneal laceration. Why did they take such a radical approach?”

“Because I was cut by a hollow, Akon!” Shūhei flared, becoming agitated again. “They said there was no chance of it healing properly, and they were afraid that thing's reishi would migrate to my brain if they didn't remove all the contamination. And no, I don't want to hear about what the Fourth Division could have done differently!”

“Well, presumably their over-aggressive solution was successful, as I don't sense any hollow reiatsu.”

“Yeah, they got it all, but they told me the scars will never fade.”

“Can you move it?”

“Yes.” The blank eyeball rotated smoothly to the side.

“Do you have any phantom eye symptoms?” Akon asked.

Shūhei fell silent for several seconds before answering, his voice barely audible.

“Headaches.”

“Any hallucinations? Strange dreams?”

Again, Shūhei was silent.

“Hisagi-kun—”

“No. No hallucinations.” He felt a brief stinging sensation under his eyelid and jerked his face away from Akon's hands.

“All right. I'm done.”

“It feels strange now.”

“It's fine. I want to show you something, Hisagi-kun. But I'm going to show it to you in a special way.” He took Shūhei's hand and carefully brushed it against one of the smooth, horn-like structures protruding from his forehead.

“Do you know what these are?”

“They're horns, aren't they?” Shūhei stroked one idly. For some reason, it was extremely pleasant to touch. “I thought—

“No. They are prototypical cerebral implants that re-enact sensations from accumulated reishi. They enable me to test the accuracy of the neurological impulses generated by the sensory stimuli imposed upon a gigai.

“These two,” Akon pointed to the horns over each eyebrow, “are directly embedded into my orbitalfrontal cortices, while this one,” he touched the third protrusion, and ran his finger past it along the wide zigzagging part in his coarse, black hair, “connects subcutaneously to my left parietal and occipital lobes. I'm capable of picking up a range of bodily sensations, and monocular vision. Unfortunately, I suffered a slight brain injury from the installation, which is why I may seem a little odd at times, but that is neither here nor there.”

Shūhei resisted an inappropriate urge to laugh.

“The clitoral tissue of the gigai you had intercourse with was neurally live, so, when it was activated by my reiratsu, these implants enabled my brain to experience the sensations generated by that tissue as if it were part of my own body.”

Shūhei winced, all amusement instantly faded.

“Oh, come on now, Hisagi-kun. Obviously, your body would not have responded objectively if you'd known what was really happening. It didn't hurt you any, and surely you must be able to see the potential benefit in this technology. Someday you might go to the Human world and have to use a gigai during your time there. Don't you like the idea of being able to interact intimately with Humans, without them ever knowing you aren't one of them?”

“How did you know I had a flashback?” Shūhei demanded, pointedly ignoring the question.

“We don't have the ability to read thoughts or emotions,” Akon offered reassuringly, “and likely never will. But residual memories are a different matter, because they are inextricably linked to the Human world via the senses. When you remembered whatever it was that you remembered, I sensed an anomaly in your reiatsu. For a brief moment, you felt just like a Human.

“Death is a very efficient means for dividing Humans into their mind, body and soul components. I don't know enough about Human death to determine why your mind and soul were not completely separated, and so, I can't destroy your memories without destroying you. But if I can determine what triggers the anomaly that I sensed, I may be able to cloak the remnants of your human mind with an absolute retrograde amnesia, minimizing your risk of involuntarily giving yourself away.

“As I've said, death is typically the most definitive means of eliminating memory, although, as in your case, it is not certain. But there is something else that is also quite effective. Do you know what it is?

“No.”

Akon leaned against the table and watched wisps of cigarette smoke curl lazily upward. He smiled, almost imperceptibly.

“The only non-lethal cure for residual memory,” he murmured, “is trauma.”


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A/N: Akon seems a little odd at times.

“Destruction of the orbitalfrontal cortex through acquired brain injury typically leads to a pattern of disinhibited behaviour. Examples include swearing excessively, hypersexuality, poor social interaction, compulsive gambling, drug use (including alcohol and tobacco,) and poor empathizing ability.”

—from some medical journal I saw somewhere


Oh dear.

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Chapter I. Gifted
Chapter II. Eden
Chapter III. Siege
Chapter IV. Insight
Chapter V. Sanguine
Chapter VI. Rejoinder
Chapter VII. Epilogue

Date: 2011-11-14 08:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lightechos.livejournal.com
So glad you updated. I really like where it is going. Your characterization is so good. I love your work and this is fantastic as always! Thanks for posting! I can't wait for the next chapter.

Date: 2011-11-15 04:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] goat-dono.livejournal.com
Yay! Thank you! I'm sorry for letting this go for so long. I really need to learn to finish what I start. X]

Next chapter coming ASAP!

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February 2012

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