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Shisui stopped in front of a dango stall and wondered if he should buy a couple from the stall keeper. He might be dead, but for some reason, being dead didn’t mean he wasn’t hungry. Go figure. This place was boring, just wooden buildings, crowds, and hunger. If he thought the place after death was going to be a paradise, Shisui stood corrected. They could at least have given him his eye back.

Maybe someone would kill Danzo soon, and Shisui would be able to hunt him down and steal his eye. That could be something to look forward to. Maybe he’d get lucky, and Itachi would tell Fugaku what had happened.

“Two, please,” he said. That should be enough.

“Twenty kan.”

Shit. Money was apparently a thing in this place, too. “Uhh…” He scratched the back of his head and tried for charm. He plastered his face with his biggest smile- the one that always made his friends check their wallets. “Oh, sorry, I’m pretty new here. Maybe… you have a new customer discount?”

This, at least, got the shopkeep to look up. “You might be new to the Rukon District, but that doesn’t mean you get food for free here, buddy. Move the fuck on.”

“Uh… yeah, of course. Sorry.” He frowned. “Do you have any idea where a ninja could get a job around here?”

“A ninja! AHAHAHAAAA. Hey, guys, check it out, THIS guy thinks he’s a NINJA!”

The shopkeep winced and ducked his head as guffaws erupted from the street. Shisui turned on his toes. His hand twitched, but like he kept forgetting, there was no pouch of ninja tools behind his back. He straightened and aimed a smile at the thugs in uniform. “On my good days,” he shrugged.

The man who’d mocked him planted his thumb in his chest and puffed up like a carrier pigeon. His big mouth flapped open and Shisui suddenly just wanted to shut it. “Well, I’m the sixteenth seat of Squad Three, and I say you’re just a liar and a fool!”

Shisui scratched the back of his head. “Well, I haven’t really had the chance to see if any jutsu actually carry over after death, I suppose…” He grinned again, sharp. “But I bet you twenty kan I can kick your ass right out of that cute little dress you’re wearing.”

That got a reaction. The sixteenth seat of Squad Three’s eyeballs bulged and his neck turned red. “How dare you insult a Shinigami, you one-eyed little cretin!” The man lunged, his pig-sausage fingers aiming for Shisui’s good eye. Shisui dodged easily.

“Challenge accepted, then?” He asked brightly. “Okay!” Then he hooked the man in the gut with a knee and kicked him back into his friends. “Let’s not get in the way of this nice shopkeep’s business, though, friend.”

“Yuuto! Hey, you okay, man?” The other Shinigami helped their friend to his feet.

Shisui tilted his head. “Yuuto, huh? You seem kinda slow for an elite- uh, Shinigami, Yuuto.”

Yuuto wiped the spit off his chin. “Lucky hit, asshole.”

Shisui shoved his hands in his pockets. He'd picked up bad habits from Captain Hatake, but it unnerved an opponent. “Heyyy, no need to be rude. My name’s not ‘asshole,’ it’s Shisui. Shisui Uchiha.”

Yuuto squared himself into a fighter’s stance. “You’ve got a lot of nerve, Uchiha,” he said. “Uchiha must be the idiot clan where you’re from, huh? Takes a lot of stupid to lose an eye.

Shisui’s shoulders settled and his lackadaisical smile crystallized. He took his hands out of his pockets. “The Uchiha are a noble clan,” he growled. He knew his remaining sharingan had activated when the other three shinigami went a shade paler. “And my eye was stolen .”

“Well, let’s see if we can get rid of the oth-!” Yuuto’s face met a sandaled foot and went down. The newcomer stood glaring out from under tattoos and a truly impressive red ponytail. The badge on his left arm probably denoted a high rank. Two steps behind him stood a man with such an impassive expression on his face he could only be noble. Shisui cocked an eyebrow.

“Shinigami roughing up civilians at the market. Phah! Get moving before I kick your ass!”

The pack of idiots scrambled. “Sorry, Lieutenant Abarai! Captain Kukichi! Never happen again!”

“Hey!” Shisui shouted after their dust cloud. “Does this mean I win the bet?”

The lieutenant gave him the evil eye. “Cheh. Picking a fight with ranked Shinigami is stupid , new guy.”

Shisui shrugged. “Just a friendly wager, Lieutenant.” He blinked, and the sharingan went inactive. “A little bit of banter makes it fun.”

The lieutenant turned to study Shisui’s face. He knew he wouldn’t be much to look at- simple clothes that were nothing like the uniform he was so used to wearing, a leather eyepatch, no weapons to speak of. A wicked, happy toothed grin.

“Renji,” the Captain said. He still handn’t so much as glanced at Shisui. “Let’s go.”

The lieutenant caught Shisui’s expression and his lip quirked. “Hey, shopkeep,” he said, “I bet if you feed this guy, he’ll keep the rats away.” Then both Shinigami blurred and vanished.

Shisui squawked. They were fast, but not fast enough. He tugged on his chakra reserves and picked up his feet.

The shinigami halted with their hands on their swords when he popped up in a tree in front of him. “Hey,” he called with his hands out, “do you know how I can become a Shinigami?”

The Captain looked nonplussed for a brief instant. The redhead sputtered at him, “st-stay out of the way of ranked officers and you’ll live longer, idiot!

All right, having the full attention of the Shinigami Captain was like staring down Kakashi. Shisui swallowed. “Sure,” he said. “Sorry.”

The Captain kept looking at him. “Where did you learn flash step?”

Shisui blinked. “The body flicker technique is my specialty. I learned it when I was a kid.”

Lieutenant Abarai’s eyes narrowed at him. “How much reiatsu do you have? And what’s up with your eye?”

“It’s my clan’s dojutsu. What’s reiatsu? Is that like chakra?”

The captain blinked at him. “What is your name?”

“Shisui Uchiha.” He scratched the back of his head. “I’m really new here. I’m sorry if I’ve said something stupid.” Was he blushing. Fuck.

“Enroll at the Academy, Shisui Uchiha.” He turned back to where they’d been headed. “And don’t get in my way again, or I’ll kill you myself.”

Renji wiggled his fingers at him before he stepped and blurred after his captain. Shisui plopped down on the limb he’d landed on and heaved a sigh.

Something hard pegged him in the side of the head and nearly knocked him out of the tree. He caught the coin purse on reflex and glared at the redheaded shinigami on the ground a dozen yards away.

“Hey! Eat something before you starve, new guy!” Renji shouted before he blurred and took off again.

Shisui leaned back against the tree trunk and laughed like he hadn’t in years.

Maybe this place wasn’t going to be so bad after all.