Author: VividBlues PM
A noble marriage can be a dangerous game. That becomes very clear when the Shihouin House chooses a spouse for its princess.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Suì-Fēng & Yoruichi S. - Chapters: 8 - Words: 18,740 - Reviews: 87 - Favs: 59 - Follows: 115 - Updated: 02-10-12 - Published: 04-26-10 - id: 5925497
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A.N.: Hello! I bring you my new multi-chaptered fic, and I hope I'm improving my writing skills. This one came as a result of a superficial look into the matter of marriages. And Kanika supposedly is an Egyptian feminine name meanining "dark". Leave me your review!
Chapter 1 - Conspirations and Marriages (Enters Urahara Nakodo)
Mansion's halls are apparently made for conspirational whispers. When the princess of the Tenshi Heisouban left for the world of the living abandoning family, titles and responsibilities, there weren't as much whispers as there were screams, some in outrage, some in despair. The noble house almost fell into ruin, prey of the general confusion and hopelessness that followed her escape. But just as weak whispers started to rise in Shihouin halls, one of the elders took the reins of the situation and held the family together in a firm grip.
Not even Shihouin Itsuki could control the whispering fit that came over the house with the princess return, though. As the Winter War came to a close and everything got explained and forgiven - with Shihouin Yoruichi herself being deemed a hero for her decisive role in the war -, there came a time to rebuild the Sereitei, and to make new plans for the future. Most of the eyes of the family turned to the Onmitsukido at this time. Now that the heir was back, what would become of the command of that organisation? Surely the Head of the House of Fon would be wise enough to return it to Shihouin hands, some said. It was not right to leave the Onmitsukido in the hands of the Gotei Thirteen, even if the second division captain had once been head of the guards in the Keigun, others would add. And she was only a Fon; she wouldn't dare go against Shihouin wishes - everyone agreed, if not in words, at least in their minds.
It didn't take much time for those whispers to reach the ears of the very people involved. A restless feeling spread through the second division as a whole as the rumors about Soifon-taicho being forced to give up the command of the onmitsukido became the hottest topic of discussion. The general disposition was that the current gundanchou was a strong and loyal leader, and while they admitted Shihouin "Shunshin" Yoruichi would probably make a good commander as well, they didn't feel it was right to accept that change. When the tense situation got to the point of some people talking about an organised resistance force, Fon Shaolin, ninth head of the Fon clan, decided it was time to do something about it. Of course that meant getting advice from her trusted master, and that was how Yoruichi got to know of those things, occupied as she had been with bureaucratic matters.
"Hm... Yoruichi-sama?", the captain, better known by her codename "Soifon", asked tentatively as the woman stayed silent for several seconds after she finished sharing her worries.
"I should have expected that. I wished so much it wouldn't happen... I'm so sorry, Soifon..."
"What are you apologising for, Yoruichi-sama? This is not your fault at all! Actually, it probably is in your right to take back the command of the onmitsukido, since you didn't have a choice...", Soifon said quickly, but Yoruichi didn't miss the way her eyes looked down with regret as she said those last words.
"No, Soifon, you're wrong. I did have a choice, and I chose to leave. That I felt it was for the best doesn't change the fact that I left of my own free will. You are the commander now, your men look to you for guidance. If you relinquished your command, they would feel betrayed again, and their honour would be hurt again, maybe without repair this time. I won't allow this."
"So, what am I supposed to do? If the Shihouin elders make a formal requisition for me to leave my post, I don't know how the men will react. They are talking about taking arms!"
"And I always heard about how strict the captain of the second is with her division. I'm sure you can control them; it's not against you they are rising. I'll try to discuss this matter in a family council; I'm ashamed to say this is the first I hear of it. For now, reassure your men all of this talk are still just rumours, and that you won't tolerate mutinous behaviour."
And so a couple more tense days passed, until arrived the day of the next family council. Every male fistborn adult of the house attended, as well as Yoruichi's mother, who was there representing Yoruichi's late father, the previous head of the house. And it was she who unexpectedly spoke the first words in the reunion.
"I know many of you might wish to discuss matters unrelated to what I'll now propose", said Shihouin Kanika, after her call for attention was heard and respected, being the princess' mother as she was, "But I see it as my duty, as a Shihouin and as a mother, to make this house stop discussing nonsense while there are pressing matters still unsolved. While the men engage in their little power games, it falls to the women to worry about the family harmony and stability. And that's why I feel like what we should be discussing today is the marriage of Yoruichi-hime."
For a few seconds the people in the room remained in absolute silence, until breaking in predictable furious whispers.
"This certainly is a grave matter, worthy of being discussed at this time, as we are working for the re-establishment of the power of our family in the Sereitei", the still strong voice of the elder Itsuki was heard, demanding attention "However, it's probably pointless to discuss this without the aid of a proper matchmaker, in which case we can leave this matter to our next reunion. I think it is appropriate, then, to discuss the situation of the onmitsukido at this time, instead."
"If I may have the word once more", said again the dark skinned woman, a mischievous glint appearing in her honey brown eyes "This house has always relied on the services of allied clans on several matters. And I felt it was in our best interest to call one of our traditional allies to help us now. May I bring in our matchmaker?"
Through all of this, Yoruichi had stayed shocked in her seat. She had had many expectations out of this reunion, but that certainly wasn't one of them. She had taken part in some arranged meetings before, but somehow she knew this time would be different; the family was serious about claiming a strong political position again, and she probably wouldn't be able to get out of this marriage if they thought it would be beneficial to the Shihouin House. Everything was so sudden! She didn't feel ready be thrown in a marriage at the time, she hadn't even considered the possibility yet. She had been so troubled by her thoughts, she only noticed the new presence in the room when their amiable voice was heard.
"Good morning, ladies and gentleman"
Yoruichi's head shot up instantly. It couldn't be. But it was. The one addressing them was the one and only Urahara Kisuke!
After the war, Urahara, Tsukabishi and all the Vaisards had been allowed back into the Sereitei, though all of them preferred to stay in the world of the living. Urahara didn't cut his ties to the Gotei Thirteen in spite of that; he became responsible for the "Advanced Research Unit" of the Research and Development Institute, and stayed in Karakura Town, in his Urahara Shoten. He often reported back to the authorities of the Sereitei, and although the onmitsukido had heavy suspicions of his activities - for example, that he might be using twelfth division resources to keep himself well-informed of Soul Society's matters, or that he might be involved in shady dealings of some products - nothing was ever proved, and he continued peacefully with his experiments. So, Yoruichi had more than one reason to be surprised by his sudden appearance during her already troubled family council.
"It's a great honour to be remembered in such important circumstances, and it's my greatest intention to be of use to this noble house as my ancestors were before me" - Yoruichi noted the bastard seemed to be amused a lot by the situation - "I pride myself on being a fairly well-informed man, and on having sufficient information as it is to propose a good match for my dear friend, Shihouin Yoruichi. I came here today to inform Shihouin Kanika-dono of the best candidates, and ended up collecting the last pieces I needed to present you the answer to all of your problems. I believe you will feel a little surprised by the person I will now suggest, but once I do, I'll make you see just how perfect this match would be. So, I think your choice for the princess hand should be..."
Just as the more impatient ones were almost telling the man to just get out with it already, a single name fell from his lips stunning everyone into silence once again.
"Soifon-taicho, commander of the onmitsukido"
"What??" Yoruichi, her mother, and some of the younger people present shouted simutaneously.
"That's what you came here to say? After all the trust I put in you?", said Yoruichi's furious mother, while the heir herself started laughing histerically.
"I assure you all of my seriousness on this matter. So, to make that clear, I'll start a little exposition of what I think are your objections to the match I just proposed. First, I think all of you are considering the fact that the commander is a woman. While that certainly never happened inside the Shihouin family before, I can show you a couple of instances when such marriages were carried out in other equally prestigious houses. In the past, it wasn't uncommon for these relationships to occur, and sometimes they even got officialised into something close to our customs. Some were born out of necessity, since for a clan with no male heirs, having the only daughter marry a man sometimes meant having the family name die in the process. And you don't have to go much back on the history of the very Fon clan to find one of those marriages."
"Kisuke, you're mad", Yoruichi said, interrupting her laughter as she realised the man was actually serious.
Urahara's only answer was a large smile as he went on. "Also, you might object that a Fon wouldn't be a good match for a Shihouin. I'll remind you now of two things: first, there are not many high noble candidates at this time; the best option would be a Kuchiki, but the current Head of the Kuchiki house do not have siblings by blood. And I think you'd agree that there would be grave political repercussions if the two houses merged, which I also think wouldn't be in your interests. Second: this particular Fon is at the moment the commander of the onmitsukido as well as of the second division, making her a worthy candidate by itself. And even if the Shihouin House managed to get the control of the onmitsukido back without a bloody war - which is highly improbable, at the rate things are going - but even if you could, most of its higher ranks are composed of second division officers, loyal men under the command of Soifon-taicho as well. So, you see, if you want the onmitsukido back, that might be the only diplomatic option. And you even get your influence on the Gotei Thirteen back as a bonus. And one last thing: as all of the Fon, Soifon is highly loyal to the Shihouin house, and would probably accept this arrangement completely."
As Urahara finished his exposition, most of the audience was still stunned into silence. There were a few whispers and some snickers here and there, but even those stopped as Shihouin Itsuki made himself heard once again.
"We should consult the fortune-tellers. If they confirm the good fortune of such marriage, it is my opinion that the marriage should happen" - his words sounded final, and none of the other elders could find a reason to go against them; if such marriage could be blessed by the heavens, how could they not bless it themselves?
Shihouin Kanika visibly wasn't pleased.
Shihouin Yoruichi pinched herself; maybe she was only sleeping.