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24 June 2007 @ 12:59 am
Who: A and Z and nothing in between!
Where: Dojo 5
When: May 30th, 9 PM
What: Aizen's birthday present to himself-- I mean, an unofficial match
Warnings: Aizen pwning Z.  There is violence, and lots of it.  Also, the tiniest peep of illicit drug use.

To borrow the boy's words, Aizen looked forward to this meeting with quite a lot of excitement. Zaeruapollo Grantz had agreed to fight him, and quite aside from the considerable craving for the fight itself, Aizen was dying to face off with this boy. He would demonstrate his immense skill and earn the boy's respect, or die trying. Or not. He would, at the very least, throw his hands up in despair if this last resort of human bonding failed.

But for now, he stood in his ring, awaiting the boy with quite a lot of excitement.

Zaeruapollo was punctual, as per the norm, arriving a few moments before nine. This wasn't a show of respect, or a show at all, for that matter; simply a habit. Punctuality was just one variety of accuracy, something he valued highly as a scientist.

He slid the door open, and stepped through confidently. Aizen was already in the ring, it seemed, and itching to begin. The man was impossibly easy to read... granted, he had hidden that one bit of himself rather well, but the true impetus behind this match had been obvious since the beginning: respect. He wanted Zae's respect.

Well, it would take some doing to get it.

Zae nodded to Aizen, as he removed his shoes. "Eager to begin, are we?"

Aizen beamed upon his guest; some might think such a warm gesture would throw him off, break his concentration on the aggression that would win him the match. For Aizen, however, that will to win was always there, beneath the surface. It was all a matter of peeling back and returning layers, something he was quite experienced in. Under that smile, he was still ready to kick the kid's arse.

"As I said, the faculty matches have run dry. To tell you the truth, I'm rather excited to end this period of abstinence with a new fighter. Thank you for coming, Zaeruaporro-kun."

If it was the last thing he did, Aizen was going to learn how to pronounce L's to get the dear boy's name right.

Ugh. Ignorant twit. Then again... such was the problem with the majority of Japanese natives: no imagination when it came to pronunciation. He really couldn't expect any better of a useless fool like Aizen, now could he?

"And I, as well, have had little opportunity for sanctioned violence... though it seems I shall have the opportunity to crush a certain mascot in the near future. In the meantime, though..." He strode forward, onto the mat. The unspoken finish to that sentence was 'you will have to do'. He hardly enjoyed being defeated, and that was what he foresaw; Zaeruapollo may have been egotistical, but he was also fairly realistic. Aizen was an instructor, so he had DAMN well be better than the students.

If he wasn't... if Zae defeated him...

Well, dumping the body in the hot springs would likely remove most traces of skin oils, including fingerprints, from his clothing. And Zae had all night to dust the dojo...

Aizen laughed softly. "So... her. Of course. That would be your first challenge, outside this sad little sensei's. May there be enough... data gathered from this match to pair you with a suitable mentor, to hold your interests against Zaraki-sensei." And to give him pointers on fighting someone half his height, although Aizen himself might be eager to share such tips if Yachiru was the source of another disruption in his class this coming Friday.

He nodded in acknowledgement of Z's entrance to the ring's boundaries. "Are you ready, then? I've already warmed up, but if you haven't done..."

"The first official match, at least... the first actual match was against Ise Nanao, the night I moved in. Her style was odd, but ultimately innefectual..." A worthless speck of meat, nothing more. "I am curious about this... Kusajishi girl. There MUST be something more to her than meets the eye. Yet at every turn, my prejudices are confirmed... ah, well. I suppose I need not worry about her until my match with her." A confident shrug accompanied this last statement, indicating that Zaeruapollo had little to no stress regarding that eventual match-up.

"I am ready when you are, sensei...," he said, slipping slowly into a ready position: facing Aizen, feet shoulder-width apart, one hand at his waist, one in front of him, wrist up, fist clenched. It appeared rigid, but it was actually a very adaptable and fluid stance, made more so by the aforementioned preconception.

"To my knowledge, Yachiru-chan's height is her best advantage. She is too low to effectively punch, can slide beneath grabs, and can quickly bring an opponent down simply by virtue of her easy access to the legs he stands on-- to say nothing of the family jewels, which is of course illegal in an official match, but... 'accidents happen', after all." Aizen smiled again; he was already getting to stand in as this boy's mentor figure, although the reality of the situation would probably never be. "Spare some of your highly developed logic on that caveat before the match, and you really won't have anything to worry about."

Aizen slid into his own ready stance: feet shoulder width apart, one pulled back to put him at a diagnal to Z and thus better guarding his front. The front foot curled up a little, ready to shift quickly and fluidly. He raised his fists, then pulled one closer to his chest and opened it; armblocks were as much a feature in juijutsu as the infamous grappling holds.

"I am ready, Zaeruaporro-kun." But he did not make the first move; if what he wanted was a fight, launching forward and taking the boy down in one throw was not what he had in mind.

"Hm... I will keep that in mind..." No point thanking him; he wasn't actually thankful, after all. It was unlikely Zae would even use any information beyond the obvious, which he could have (and had) deduced on his own.

Nodding at the indication of readiness, Zaeruapollo slowly, evenly strode forward, holding his stance as still as possible. When he was only 3 feet away, he leaned forward, striking out with his right hand, ready to change the punch into whatever more-effective strike he deemed appropriate. He just had to wait for Aizen's counter...

Aizen's own fist darted out, but not in a mirrored punch as part of his deceptive mimicry of his opponent's moves. He was hooking his whole arm, around to snag Z's extended arm in his elbow. He reached with the previously locked hand at his chest; if he could snag the arm in his elbow and hold the boy's wrist to prevent him from striking out of the lockhold, it would force some creativity.

Just because he had to win didn't mean he didn't want a good fight first.

Zaeruapollo's eyes moved far faster than his arm; he saw the grab coming, but couldn't avoid it. Aizen was a bit too fast... but, that was fine. It wouldn't be a challenge if he was the faster fighter.

The arm was lost, for the moment; he needed to force a reaction immediately. Keep Aizen on his toes. Before the grab even finished, Zaeruapollo struck with his right knee at Aizen's stomach, hoping to cause the grab to be left half-completed.

Oh, good show! Aizen hadn't been expecting anything as down and dirty as an abdominal hit this early. He gasped as the blow interrupted him on inhalation-- he was bringing both the trapped arm and the air to his chest in an involuntary display of harmony. To give himself those precious seconds to catch his breath, he abandoned the wrist hold and drove his open palm into Z's face.

Screw harmony, it was time to do damage.

Zae lowered his head, thinking of mitigating the damage; a possible concussion versus an almost-definite cracked jaw was no choice at all. When the blow fell, it hurt rather terribly, but didn't do any permanent damage. Zae had already initiated his next move, though, bringing the knee at Aizen's stomach up further, and thrusting with his foot.

He knew there would be a counter; there was always a counter. Hopefully, it would be a punch of some sort; now that he was ready for it, a Cutting Fist strike ought to be quite simple.

There was a counter, but it wasn't coming from where Z expected. Aizen could feel the kick coming as the boy's leg slid up his chest, but to stop it without turning loose of the arm he'd captured so early-- that was impossible. The other hand could come back around even with his shoulder, and then out to grab the extended leg Z was apparently offering to lose, as well-- but it wasn't enough to stop the kick when the foot was already there. He grunted and brought his arm around to hook the leg, anyway. If he could immobilise half the boy's body, he'd have at least fifteen seconds to breathe out the repeated assault on his stomach.

Zaeruapollo considered the situation for a brief moment; tricky. Aizen had control... mostly. It was the word 'mostly' that offered hope, though, as he likely thought he had total control. Time to shake that belief...

Z leaned forward, launching a straight punch right at the center of Aizen's chest. Just before impact, though, he bent his trapped leg at the hip and knee, leaning forward much further, and channelling some of the force upwards, to create an impromptu uppercut.

POW! Aizen saw stars, but that didn't mean he was out. Instinct told him to roll with the punch as it connected, and his strategising mind told him to roll even beyond where the punch would carry him. With a growl of exertion, he threw his shoulders back (shifting the weight of his opponent's limbs with him was making this harder than merely taking a fall) and pitched himself backwards. Whatever mysteries Wing Chun held for him, Aizen was reasonably sure it was not a grappling art, and so he would have the advantage on the mat.

Aizen was correct: Wing Chun was not a grappling art. It had several techniques for breaking grapples, of course; however, those were rather useless when one was not on one's feet. Ah, well... that just meant he had to improvise.

He planted his free foot on Aizen's shoulder, and pushed hard, trying to dislodge the arm that trapped his leg.

Aizen was ready to let go of the leg; down here, the boy hardly needed them anyhow, and there were better holds to enact with the freedom from his own upright balance. He let his arm unfold to the ground beneath him. The entire appendage had to be relaxed for what he would do next, lest he hurt himself more than he hurt Zaeruapollo.

He turned loose his remaining hold and pushed off with his foot to propel himself to roll onto the straightened arm. He had rolled in the hay with women heavier than Z, so it should be nothing to buck him off and make for a new hold before the boy recovered.

As soon as his leg was free, Z's thoughts were not of recovering a standing position, as Aizen would be on him again before that was possible; rather, they were on a stunning blow, which might buy him the time needed to rise from the mat. To this end, the foot nearer Aizen's torso rose into the air, before quickly crashing down where Z thought Aizen was; from his vantage point, actual aim was basically impossible. His goal was to strike Aizen in the stomach or ribs (ideally the former) with enough force to give the larger man pause. With the ribs, a forceful enough blow could have greater effect, but... well, it was easier to achieve significant effect with the stomach.

The fact that Zaeruapollo's Hail Mary pass had connected at all was lucky for him. What wasn't so lucky was, the blow connected with the wrong side of Aizen entirely, as he was already coming over the roll; the foot came crashing down on his back, breaking the arch of his back and abdominals that supported his body coming around on one hand and one knee. That hand and knee slid out from under him, so instead of crawling over his opponent and grabbing him in a new hold... he bellyflopped on him.

Z was forced to the mat by the sudden weight on his back; it didn't take a sociopathic genius to deduce what had just happened. Rather than flail in irritation of his previous move's failure, he calmly resolved to deal with this new situation. And, so, he promptly thrust his elbow back into the area where he was fairly certain Aizen's head was located, hoping for a concussion; he would be satisfied with simply a respite, that he might rise from the mat. It really wasn't optimal for the practice of Wing Chun, after all.

Aizen, however, had promptly recovered himself from his undignified fall, and was already bringing his hands and knees under him again-- thus, his head suddenly wasn't where it should have been. The elbow grazed his ear, and he reacted quickly. It was highly improbable Zaeruapollo was offering to fight with one hand tied behind his back, but it was a risk nonetheless when facing (or turning your back to) a juijutsu master.

Aizen threw himself back onto his knees and reached with one hand for the retreating elbow, and the other hand for the boy's neck, to keep him down.

A bad situation, very bad indeed... Zaeruapollo held little hope of pulling a win out of this, though he had a few ideas left. The first was a near-repeat of his previous attack, though this time with his left elbow, and aimed at the arm Aizen had used to secure Z's neck. If he could collapse that arm, it shouldn't be TOO hard to roll out from under Aizen... in theory. IF he could collapse the arm.

It was worth a shot, at least. And so, he executed said attack, as calmly and precisely as he knew how.

Aizen was momentarily overconfident. This was supposed to be his coup de grace, the decisive and inescapable hold that would make Zaeruapollo tap the mat and concede his defeat. He should have known it had come too easily to him.

Z's elbow connected with his, and as Z was using the hard, pointy side against the fleshy, vein-baring crook of his own, it was Aizen's arm that gave, as intended. Not wanting to give up the advantage of having Z flat on his stomach-- because if the boy could get up and start fighting again, it would reduce the awe-worthy impression he could make by dominating him now-- he threw his body across Zaeruapollo's to hold him down, with little heed for the arm he still had hold of.

It was an intermediary move; that elbow had hurt like a bitch, and it would be a moment before he could comfortably move the arm.

The move ended up costing Z; the previously-captured arm was now wrenched into a very poor position, straining at muscles, and generating an odd scraping noise in his shoulder. And then, a wave of pain washed over Zaeruapollo, the likes of which he had not experienced before; still, he kept his cool, gritting his teeth against a scream that tempted to burst out. A few moments of thought, and he came to a conclusion: the shoulder had been dislocated. Nothing even LIKE optimal... hn. Well, he could at least do a bit more damage before the match ended.

With that thought in mind, Z performed a sublimely inelegant maneuver: he shifted both his legs to the left, raised them at the knee, and did his best to kick/shift Aizen off, not expecting for much success.

Aizen could not feel the pain, but he did hear the crack from the boy's wrenched joint, and chose to let go of it, to prevent damaging him further than he needed to win the match. He did like the boy, after all.

Sliding his own arm out from between their bodies, he threw his leg over Z to shift the brunt of his weight off Z's arm. Now sitting rather than lying on the boy's back, he reached backwards to hold down the writhing legs; the remaining arm wasn't a threat if Z remained on his stomach.

And all the while, he couldn't help taunting Z; apologies and fussing could come later, to soothe the boy's ego. Right now they were fighting, and Aizen was very much into it. "Come on, if you're going for the mechanical bull effect, you're barely rating a carousel pony! If you want up, all you have to do is tap the mat..."

"Perhaps when this is over... but not quite yet," he replied. He still had another idea... a bit better than the last, actually, though still unlikely to succeed. Although, it might... Zaeruapollo had fairly strong legs, and the motion he was going to attempt was easier than the one Aizen would have to make to resist it.

He forced his legs wide apart, until he was nearly doing a split. It hurt quite badly, since he wasn't really flexible enough to do it; in the end, though, it was simply an instance of forcing one's mind into completely dominating one's body, a talent Zaeruapollo had. Willpower was what it took... and willpower he had, in spades.

The maneuver was designed to force Aizen's hands apart as well, weakening his base to the point where a strong buck from Zae might send him rolling off backwards. And a strong buck was what came next, caused by a push up from the ground with his left arm.

Already struggling to maintain his perch when the counterbalance of his hands was forced outward, Aizen tumbled backwards when Zaeruapollo pushed up on his hand. Still trying despite the ugly crack that had come from his dominant arm! This kid was great!

So there was a little bit more fight to take out of him, yet. He couldn't let Z get back up; there was no fault to exploit with Wing Chun, other than to keep him down. Yet, if he took the time to get up and reassert his dominance-- Z would also be back on his feet. In a move born of instinct rather than any juijutsu technique, Aizen straightened the knees he'd been resting on a moment before, and brought his legs down as straight as he could manage, in order to reach Z's shoulders with his feet.

Z didn't collapse immediately; however, the fatigue and pain were beginning to take their toll. Eventually, despite his mind's protests, despite his continued efforts to overcome the limitations of the flesh... he collapsed. It had been a hard-fought match, and he had never truly considered the possibility of winning... though, he had come closer than he really should have.

Mind made up, Zaeruapollo tapped the mat once with his left hand, and waited for Aizen to let him up.

Victory was sweet. The boy had put up more of a fight than he expected, but since Aizen craved the fight itself, it was only a pleasant surprise. Still, there was no greater rush than proving the dominance he held over his opponent by finally setting him free. He rolled to the side, with an almost acrobatic twist to keep his feet from kicking Z in the head.

"Good match, Zaeruaporro-kun. Thank you for fighting me." He rose to his knees to make a brief bow, then bobbed down again to examine the boy's right arm. "Where did it crack?"

Zaeruapollo rose to his feet quickly, unused to spending long periods of time on his stomach. He didn't return Aizen's bow, of course, nor did he submit to the inquisitive eye. "Of course... it has been quite some time since I fought one who could defeat me." Of course, most of the time he was just beating up weak people on purpose, but... well, that was peripheral information that Aizen didn't need to know. "As for my arm... the bone seems intact. It seems to be simply a partial dislocation... nothing of significance." An injury he could heal himself, of course... he just had to find a solid wall.

Aizen shrugged gracefully. It was time for soothing words, while the boy was vulnerable. "It was almost a foregone conclusion, though you did give me some moments of doubt. You held yourself admirably against a black-belt juijutsu master, and that is something to pride yourself on, private though this match was. Congratulations."

He grimaced sympathetically now, secretly relieved he had not in fact landed the kid in a cast for the end-of-year tournaments. "Would you let me pop it back? I can walk you to the infirmary, but I still wanted to show you something. Even talking on the way is a risk, if there's anyone out to overhear."

"Of course, sensei. To come to an instructor expecting victory... well, that would be sheer madness. And... I can handle my own arm, thank you." With that, Z strode over to the nearest wall, and slammed his shoulder into it, forcing the joint back together roughly, and generating another harsh grinding noise.

He turned back to face Aizen once more, his smiling visage revealing none of his thoughts. "Now... what was it you wished to show me, Aizen-sensei?"

Outside the transcendent excitement of a fight, the cracking and grinding of bones was slightly sickening. Aizen turned away to kneel by his gym bag, to disguise his abhorrent weakness. Of course, it would be a transparent coping mechanism if he did not actually need something from his bag.

"I've told you before I am not a man of science. That is true, but I have dabbled. Here," he turned on his knees back toward his student, proferring a vial of cloudy liquid on his palm. "A sip should help you forget the pain in your shoulder, but only if you weren't going to bed directly from here; it's a stimulant.

"I'm twenty-nine, you see, and already I have reached the peak of achievement in my art," he continued softly. "Experience, spiritual growth-- I think you, too, understand that these mean nothing, that they are trite concepts used to mollify fools who cannot grow in reality. And so-- proud though I was to be awarded my black belt at twenty-eight, years ahead of the crowd... it also made me feel empty. I could fight, but there was nothing more to gain.

"I might have begun again in another style, but I could not face being a novice again. No, I wanted to transcend-- to find a peak above the
peak, that no human had achieved before. And so-- I dabbled, to test the natural limits.

"Superhuman strength, superhuman stamina: they are not so far out of reach, and yet they are worthy of awe. I have been experimenting with stimulants and steroids, and this is my final result." He indicated the vial. "This is the batch of superhumanity that made it past the... clinical trials on mice, for myself to sample. In fact-- it was the night I challenged you to this match."

Aizen smiled on Zaeruapollo. "Now you see, why I knew you would be the first person I shared this with. I knew you, more than anyone else, could appreciate it."

Zaeruapollo listened carefully to Aizen, his standard smile plastered across his face; yet, rather than quietly bemused, he found himself intrigued. Had this moron actually done something useful? Hmmm...

He might yet be meaningful.

"You call it a stimulant... mention steroids... tell me, sensei. What precisely is this concoction of yours?"

Aizen smiled. He had the boy hooked, without even a sip of the stuff. "Essentially, I have cut a diluted steroid solution with an amphetamine. Essentially my work was to correct the doses and proportions, although I found cutting in aspirin may have proved useful for the heart-- and any pain the fighter might incur." He nodded at Z's shoulder.

"Amphetamines, as well? Why, sensei... aren't we just the ambitious little chemist." Theoretically, the solution could be effective... amphetamines were extremely effective as performance-enhancing drugs, but they caused a rather signficant strain on the system. Aspirin could alleviate the immediate cardiac stress, and steroids would help repair any long-term damage done...

If he had gotten the proportions right. The thought of an amateur doing so was... well, simply laughable. This man, who admitted he only 'dabbled', thought he could create a formula for godhood? Off-puttingly arrogant, even by Z's standards.

Still... the chance wasn't 0%. As long as there was any... the inquisitive scientist in Zaeruapollo wouldn't let him leave it lie. And, so... he uncorked the vial, and took a small sip.

"Indeed." Aizen waved a hand. "Why shoot low, if I was seeking to reach a new peak altogether. I admit I've killed more mice than a grade school class could in a century, but... I do believe I finally have the proportions right." He watched Z closely. Immediate and violent symptoms were unlikely when he himself had taken a dose without incident, but-- among other scientific factors, Zaeruapollo was an adolescent with a potentially more susceptible body, and already had an elevated heartrate from the fight, whereas Aizen had taken his dose in the comfort of his home before testing his physical limits. "I would welcome a second, scientific opinion, Zaeruaporro-san."

Z felt the effects almost immediately; elevated heart rate, delusions scratching at the back of his mind... and a feeling, like the world around him was slowing down. Time, itself, had relinquished its deathgrip on him, if only for a moment, that he might move about unhindered by traditional notions of speed.

It felt good.

"I shall have to examine it, of course... and give it a try in a proper fight. Initial results, though... are promising." Which was putting it a bit mildly.

Aizen beamed on the boy. "I'm glad to hear it, Zaeruaporro-san. Do as you like with it, and if you need more, you need only ask. I trust you'll be testing it before the upcoming tournaments?" Even blind old Yamamoto would notice if a student came out all of a sudden like a cheetah on crack.

"Of course... the very next opponent I find, be it the mascot, or someone else. It matters little..." He could crush any of the students already... this would merely make it overkill.

Beautiful, beautiful overkill... not true waste, of course. The excess force could be used to test the limits of stress the body can take. Overkill was supremely satisfying... to destroy, to obliterate an opponent so absolutely, was simply suberb.

Zae would likely be enjoying himself, in the weeks to come.

"Excellent, excellent," Aizen murmured, now trying to smooth away his satisfied smile with a hand on his chin. He couldn't be sure who he'd meet outside, even at this late hour. "Do let me know how it goes, then. A filtered bulletin on the school intranet, or just an email. I await the true comparative results with bated breath." The smile escaped his hand again, cold and knowing now. "As you doubtless took away from our fight, I hardly need the formula to crush any opponent. I'm hoping for a moment to make a display of the overkill, that, again, is not the school-wide tournament. Perhaps an outside tournament this summer..."

Zae half-nodded, half-bowed, a false demonstration of respect. Z could care less what Aizen intended with this formula, or what he wanted from Z... it was irrelevant. He would supply Z with it, or he wouldn't: it was as simple as that. Aizen would earn no commendation... feedback, of course, as that was the supposed price for the supposed superhumanity...

Zaeruapollo would never respect this idiot, though. It was simply impossible.

"Then... I shall contact you when I have results, sensei...," he said, as he started towards the door. Z had wasted enough time with Aizen for one night... perhaps for an entire month.

Whether he was acting out of... acting habit, or because he truly respected Zaeruapollo more than the boy respected him, Aizen made his own small bow. "Goodnight, Zaeruaporro-kun, and thank you."

As elated as if he himself had sipped the formula just a few moments ago, he collected his gym bag and made to follow Zaeruapollo. Trust was the foundation of friendship, just as etiquette was the foundation of good company. Aizen had the boy's trust, and for him to have drank meant it was a good, solid foundation.