Chapter 1: Week One; Birthdays
Tanabata; a week-long holiday, and birthdays also occur.
Today was my birthday! Taichou got me this lovely -- journal? Diary? I don't really care about the distinction because it's so lovely. It's bound in reddish leather and the pages within feel expensive and it's just? Really nice???
I may have had too much to drink, but if I cannot drink on my birthday, when can I?
Anyway. Ukitake-taichou got me the beautiful pen set that I'm writing this with; I guess he and Kyouraku-taichou collaborated on this. Rangiku continued her tradition of a bottle of fruity alcohol and a stolen kiss.
Wish that she'd picked a slightly more secluded location to kiss me, but everyone was particularly rambunctious this evening. At least no one saw? I think?
Hinamori gave me a lovely boxed set of Lord of the Rings that she must have picked up in the Living World, and the rest of the SWA must have bought out all the tea suppliers in Seireitei, but I'm not complaining!
Hopefully the weather cools down tomorrow - today? It's what, 2 now? Bed now.
It's disgustingly hot. Even for July. And I'm hungover. Knew the soju was a bad idea, but it was tasty. SWA had planned to go on an eating tour, but I want to cancel.
...if I don't show up, they'll come and drag me out of my room. Ugh.
Ibuprofen and paracetamol, save me.
Ate too much, and I'm sunburnt. Was fun! Yachiru caught a goldfish, and dropped it down Sui Feng's top. A small scuffle ensued. Paid three stallowners for destruction of their stalls; will check for invoices when Tanabata's over.
Wonder why the Soutaichou's so annoyed. This weather isn't like him.
Taichou brought yoghurt and berries as a peace offering for breakfast; very tactfully did not say anything about my Abarai-level red face. Unsure why he needed to bring a peace offering. I think he wanted to sit in my cooler rooms.
If he wants chilling spells embedded in his floors, all he has to do is ask.
Asked him about the hot weather in a circumspect way, said he had "no idea why sensei is angry". I guess he's known me long enough to decipher the meaning.
He also offered to hunt down some aloe gel for me, to which I replied I already had some. He left not too long ago. Think I'll stay in today. Start reading my birthday presents.
Went out for dinner last night; had kaarage chicken on a stick and two plates of gyoza. Had planned to investigate the shaved ice place for dessert.
Matsumoto intervened. Had a lovely evening with her instead.
In other news, it's now officially a heatwave. My sunburn has faded a little. Fingers crossed that it won't peel. Went and made sure the Eighth is being sensible. Heatstroke and alcohol is a bad combination.
Nahaka-san made watermelon slushies for the seated officers, I made sure to thank her profusely. A sensible sixth seat.
Had to break up two scuffles in the barracks; am considering casting chilling spells in one of the meeting halls. Will mention it to Taichou in the morning if he's back. ...perhaps I should offer to cast them for Ukitake-taichou first.
Taichou's party is later tonight. Have wrapped his present - it's a lovely watercolour set and brushes. Predictably, he hasn't shown up yet, and it's past noon. Enquired with my seated officers about cooling down a meeting hall.
They were loudly in favour, so I went ahead and did it. Morale is already significantly better. Will be teaching my advanced kidou group how when holiday is over.
Party is being held on the Kyouraku estate just after sundown, so I'll have to start getting ready soon. My face isn't peeling, thank god, so I'm going to try and heal it a little.
Update: mild kaidou on a face slathered with aloe works quite well! I'm now only slightly flushed instead of resembling a tomato.
Wearing living world clothing instead of a yukata. I have a cute pink dress and some lacy stockings that I think look nice together. Forgoing a jacket because it's still absurdly hot. Looking back, I somehow forgot to mention that my Division presented me with a selection of hairpieces for my birthday? I'm wearing the bird of paradise one tonight. I'm also taking an ibuprofen as a precautionary measure. There's going to be an excess of alcohol.
Party was a riot, and I mean that figuratively - but only just. Zaraki showed up, thankfully after presents had been given. Fighting narrowly avoided by liberal application of alcohol. To everyone.
I'm writing this at 4pm. I got back to my room after midday. I'm fairly certain that I'm still drunk, actually. Very glad that today is Saturday.
Taichou loved the paints? Apparently he used to do ink paintings. Some are hanging in the division. Will look for them later.
I'm going to eat and then sleep it off. Still murderously hot. Considering asking Hitsugaya-taichou to go and freeze the Soutaichou.
I'm going to kill Matsumoto. Fuck.
Addendum: Kissed Kyouraku. Forgot because I was incredibly drunk. 98% sure Matsumoto was behind it. Never should have told her about my feelings for him.
Not going to mention it. Pretend it never happened, and he'll believe me to not remember.
I'm going to set her on fire. If she doesn't spontaneously combust first.
Chapter 2: Week Two; Heatwave
Things start out alright, then proceed rapidly downhill.
Monday after a holiday week is always a shambles. Four regular members AWOL - probably slumming it somewhere in the Rukon. Trying to schedule training sessions was a nightmare.
Astonishingly, Taichou was in the office by midday. Probably trying to escape the heat. Didn't help with the general kerfuffle. He did point out his ink paintings during the afternoon break. They're quite nice; one has a sparrow perching on bamboo, and the other is a mountain landscape with a black pine.
Invoices from two of the stallholders showed up by the afternoon, but the third is still missing. It's annoying, because I can't be reimbursed by the SWA until I get all three back. Mess hall is still a refuge from the heat, and dinner was subdued. Many division members nursing hangovers and/or sunburns.
Taichou left the mess hall when I did. The one disadvantage of having quarters directly underneath his. He didn't mention anything about the party, or the kiss. Just asked me about casting chilling spells for Ukitake-taichou, and when I said I'd do it, wished me a good night.
He can't have forgotten. No way. Ugh, thinking about it won't help. Bed.
Sixth day of the heatwave, have sent a polite note to Sasakibe-fukutaichou. This is getting ridiculous. Managed to schedule hand-to-hand sessions for the next two weeks; division members may not be pleased about the sessions being early in the morning, but it will cut down on the potential incidences of heatstroke.
Takanaka Shishiou showed up after being AWOL for a day, apologised profusely to me for not being back on time. Apology was accepted, but he's on kitchen duty for the next two weeks. Still three missing. Concerning. Enjouji-san is going to check the drunk tanks tomorrow.
Did make a trip to the Thirteenth in the evening, Ukitake-taichou was very appreciative. Asked if I wanted to stay for tea. Politely declined, and left.
Why are my superiors all so attractive?!
First hand-to-hand sessions had slightly reduced attendance, but division members have been informed of the mandatory nature of the sessions. Scheduled kidou and swordsmanship sessions for alternating evenings. Only minor grumbling.
Final invoice came in, filled out the reimbursment papers. Will present them during next SWA meeting.
Enjouji-san found two of the remaining three AWOL members in other Division's drunk tanks. They have been reprimanded, and assigned to kitchen duty for the next two weeks. One still missing. I'll check the Fourth myself tomorrow.
Heatwave continues, but it's a muggy heat. Hopefully we'll get a storm tomorrow and the heat will break. No reply to my note (yet).
Hisagi-fukutaichou sent a message asking for draft of my column ASAP. Had completely forgotten. Will look through my stack of letters for suitable questions before bed tonight.
Attended my own hand-to-hand session this morning. I think I lost half my weight in sweat, and all my muscles ache. Still no sign of rain.
Went to Fourth to look for Hashimoto Kuruma, but there's no sign of him there. Concerning. Had Nahaka-san submit a missing person report. Apparently she's had one prepared since Monday. Shame we don't have a higher position open, she's very good at her job.
Asked office for stocktake of items for end-of-month restock, some things always go missing after a holiday. Received provisions request from kitchens; approved it. The three ex-AWOL members are attending as instructed.
Taught the theory behind chilling spells. Some attendees are not ready for it, but a few of last year's academy graduates were there taking notes. Promising. On Saturday we'll attempt the basics of the actual cooling spell itself. Embedding the spell will take more control that I'm not sure all of them can manage.
No reply to my note to the First yet. First draft of column done, wrote answers to four questions. Hisagi-san's editors can pick the one they like the most. I'll drop it in to the Ninth tomorrow.
It's Friday! And the weather today was hideous. Cloudy, hot, and humid. Found a reply to my note in my in-tray - apparently this is just a weather system, and not the result of our Soutaichou's mood. Sasakibe-fukutaichou is apparently also displeased by this weather.
Also someone has taken all the sticks of ink from the office storeroom. Why, I don't know. We don't usually use that ink except for when it's audit week or we've run out of our liquid supplies. A note has been placed on the general noticeboard by the mess hall, offering amnesty if they are returned before the weekend is over.
Finished the rota for duties next week, posted those as well. Went around to the Ninth to drop off my column drafts, ending up being drawn into a lengthy conversion about providing sources to facts stated in the Seireitei Times. Defended the Nishi system of referencing, but apparently they're all very fond of the Bungaku method.
Each to their own, I suppose. I can't help it if they're wrong.
I had planned to spend the first half of the day reading, but Hashimoto was found.
Death is something we're meant to be almost inured to but it's awful. Awful, awful. I can still smell him.
Captain attended with me. Said I didn't need to be there, but it's in the procedures that you need two seated officers to verify a deceased division member. I wasn't going to make someone else be there simply because it's unpleasant.
Still taught the kidou session. My attention wasn't completely there, but no one got hurt. Morale down.
I think I'm going to go stand in my shower for a few hours and try to forget the smell.
Iba, Hisagi, and Matsumoto showed up at my door this evening. Took me drinking. Losing someone is rough. Hashimoto was a good man, and an excellent teacher. I think he's been a part of the Eighth almost as long as I have.
We need a new Tenth seat now.
Service is on Tuesday.
Chapter 3: Week Three; Immortality is Conditional
Mourning is a part of life, tea and cats can help.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Everyone's quiet today. Caught Nahaka-san crying in the bathroom. Apparently she and Hashimoto were involved. I feel all of three inches tall. Captain showed up on time. Paperwork was done by three. Service plan completed.
I didn't cry in front of the division, but as soon as my door was closed...
Wake last night was very quiet, but there was lots of alcohol. Too much. Apparently I fell asleep on Kyouraku-taichou, which is very embarrassing. What's more embarrassing is that I woke up in his room? In his bed?? With him???
I hope he was still asleep. At least it's early enough that no one else is awake yet. Think I'm going to head to the practise range and burn off some of this nervous energy.
Rest of the day was quiet. Nahaka-san took the day off for personal reasons. Received selected column back from the Ninth, will work on polishing that this evening. Think kidou session this afternoon will be lighter content.
Finally. Heatwave has broken, with a thunderclap that had me jumping out of my seat. It's been pouring down ever since, and it's now 8pm. Captain Kyouraku isn't in. I presume he's spending the evening with Ukitake-taichou. Could explain some of the lightning displays.
Enjoying a pot of French Earl Grey and a book in the Seated Officer's lounge. There's absolutely a waterfight occuring somewhere in the Division, and Nahaka-san is sitting at the other end of the couch, patting our division cat.
I don't think I've mentioned her before. Her name is Bones, and she's got tiny stumpy legs and a blotchy grey and white coat. She's no one's, and therefore, everyone's. She's the seventh division pet since I've been here.
Our previous division pet was a dog called Kagerin, and he'd find a way past every closed door in his way. He was a good boy.
Still raining, and the temperature's dropped down to a reasonable level. There's a new watercolour picture in the office today. A single bird of paradise and a spray of white lilies surrounding it. It's beautiful.
I wasn't meant to be in the office today, but I had paperwork to fill out regarding Hashimoto-san. Autopsy was relatively inconclusive due to the state of the body, but there were cut-marks on his ribcage, and it did occur in the Forty-Third district of the Rukon. Murder, then. No chance of finding the perpetrator, but the Second's agents will keep an eye out for his zanpakutou in Rukon pawn shops.
Nahaka-san asked for leave to attend the Fourth for medical reasons last night, and I granted it immediately. Children are rare, but if she is pregnant, then arrangements will need to be made.
Kidou session tonight will be covering the basics of embedding spells, which is a variation on bakudo taught by the Academy. Hopefully no one attempts to use this knowledge to try and prank someone. It's happened before.
Three people were able to embed a basic lighting spell last night. Three, out of a group of thirty-eight. It's worse than I was anticipating, for sure. The three who managed it are all individuals who have been part of the advanced kidou group for at least the past decade.
At least they're all willing to continue learning how to embed spells. The attitude is commendable. Was asked by a few of the attendees if I would consider writing down the process to do so; didn't mention that I already had but said I would consider it.
I suppose my reluctance to share some of my more specialised kidou is the fact that I don't have a zanpakutou to fall back on. Even Yachiru-san has achieved shikai, and yet I continue to have a silent sword. If I share all my secrets, then counters can be found to them.
And that is an unpleasant feeling, to know that someone could be able to get one up on me because of something I taught them.
Enough of that. Being maudlin helps no one.
look I've been d e e p in the bleach fandom since 2010 and sometimes you just gotta write your own darn ship fic??? be the change you want to see in the world, kids.
Chapter 4: Week 4 and a bit; sleep issues and general shenanigans
even spirit cats can be buttholes
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
SWA meeting on Thursday. That's going to be interesting. I'm not going to say I had forgotten, because I hadn't, but it was certainly lower down my priorities list. Can't say I'm not concerned over the possibility of it turning into a 'let's tease Nanao about Kyouraku' fest but I am, regrettably, the Vice President. Wondering if I can blackmail Rangiku into keeping quiet.
Looks like we're going to get some sun today! Which is good, because the laundry system was running behind. We only have so much space to dry hakama indoors.
Bones got stuck in a drain pipe, right as it started to storm again. It's not quite how I planned to spend my evening, but I now do have a very affectionate - and dry - cat in my lap. No sign of Captain in the office today, but his reishi is behaving itself, so he's fine.
Bones woke me up by sitting on my face and yelling. Which means I'm now up watching the sunrise as she meanders around the courtyard investigating things. It's too early.
Apparently a yelling cat was a harbinger of things to come; I have spent most of the day and the evening sheltering the division from a rampaging Zaraki-taichou. Even he gets bored if he can't break through a Kyoumon barrier. It also helps if you use Kyoukko to disguise the fact that the wall he's attacking doesn't belong to us. Ugh, now I'm tired.
You know, sometimes it's a real boon having my quarters so close to Kyouraku-taichou's. And sometimes all the noise-cancelling kidou in the world can't mute out the sound of extremely enthusiastic sex.
I just want a good night's sleep, is that too much to ask for?
I found a neatly wrapped box of ink sticks on my desk this morning. No label, no sign of who it's from. It's also not the same brand that went missing. I'll do some investigating later, but I'm just glad to have our back-up stock back in place.
In more pleasant news, Nahaka-san put forward an application to take the Tenth Seat position. I've already forwarded it to Kyouraku with my hearty recommendation. I already have a shortlist for the Eighteenth Seat. Something to look forward to.
It would be easier to herd cats on speed than to try and get through an SWA meeting that no one really wants to be at. Good news: I was reimbursed for the stall destruction! Bad news: Nemu brought snacks. Worse news: everyone apparently thought it would be a good idea to sample them. These are seated officers, lieutenants, and Captains. They aren't stupid. And yet...!
Well, given that the damage was mostly constrained to the Fifth, it's Aizen-taichou's problem to deal with. Maybe I can finally get a decent night's sleep.
It's also quite hot today, and everyone's getting excited about Obon. Personally I think it's a bit overkill to have a week off in July for Tanabata and then three days for Obon in August. Predictably, I'm already getting leave requests for the 13th and 14th. No, you don't get an extra two days off, not when it starts on a Saturday.
It's also quite annoying that today is the first of the month, because whilst I might allow an earlier finishing time on Fridays, taking the whole day off is a) not allowed and b) exceedingly annoying. I think I'm going to hunt down Rangiku tonight. She owes me a drink for the disaster that was yesterday.
Is it a walk of shame if you're not ashamed? Hitsugaya-taichou did give me the evil eye as I left the Tenth this morning. It's a Saturday, you'd think he could relax a little. Polished up the rest of my advice column and handed that in. Also stripped back the instructions for embedding kidou and copied those into hand outs for tonight's class. Fingers crossed for no explosions!
I cursed myself. However, I still have all my body parts. The same cannot be said for Enjouji's eyebrows. To be fair, the idea of embedding a warming kidou is a solid one. It's just more fiddly than embedding a lightning spell.
...embedding spells is quite fiddly in general. No one died, so I suppose that's a plus. A shame that we'll now have to close that training room until we can get that wall replaced, I quite liked the space.
I'd like to thank Silver and Heather for kicking my muse back into gear by being awesome people.