They had all gathered upon her request. Mainly because of the promise of free sake, part curiosity. Now they sat staring expectantly at the busty blonde who had summoned them there.
Blatantly ignoring them, she merely poured the sake into the waiting cups, explanation for the impromptu meeting not forthcoming. Izuru, not one to have patience with the woman's eccentricities, shifted in his seat while the others took to the now brimming cups. His irritation grew listening to the slurping of his comrades provoking his question to come a bit curt.
"Okay, we're all here. Now, what's this oh-so-serious and important matter you needed to discuss with us?"
There was no real interest evident in his query due to the fact the that he already knew from experience that whatever the squad ten lieutenant had to say was trivial at best. One may ask why he had even come at all, his opinion of the woman less than complimentary. The answer, to keep his sickeningly besotted friend from being suckered into something of great consequence and little reward.
Rangiku straightened, face falling into serious lines.
"Boys, I'm going to start a petition."
Izuru's brow climbed a fraction.
'This one is going to be good.' He thought to himself before glancing across the table to Shuuhei. The damn idiot sat there staring, enraptured with the curvaceous woman next to him. She could have been explaining the difference between lavender and periwinkle and the brunette would wear that ridiculous expression of adoration.
"Elaborate." Ikkaku mumbled into his second cup of sake. She was buying, he felt the least he could do was feign interest. Besides, the longer she spent talking the more time he had to drink.
Having been given the go ahead to continue, a smile bright enough to make the sun jealous dominated her pretty face.
"Well, I believe that we subordinates are overworked." She paused to down her cup in one shot, a slight grimace twisting her features, then she continued.
"I feel we need to join forces and ban all the tedium induced by a surplus of unnecessary paperwork."
At this, Yumichika, who had no involvement prior, finally brought his steely gaze up from his nails.
"Pretty it up with as many long, important sounding words as you like. It still comes down to you wanting to be lazier than you already are." Having said his piece, he took a sip from his cup.
One blue eye twitched in irritation under her fair brow.
"I'm serious!" She exclaimed.
She poured another round before continuing.
"There is way too much work burdening our already overworked bodies and overwhelmed minds. And three times as many rules." Her upper lip curled, distaste displayed for all to see.
"You wouldn't be overworked or overwhelmed if you kept up with your tasks and completed them on a daily basis." Izuru reasoned.
"It wouldn't hurt for ya' to geddup off yer lazy ass and do something either. You wouldn't get so winded walking the five feet to the filing cabinet." Ikkaku added with a flash of teeth just before dodging the salt shaker an extremely peeved Rangiku had lobbed at his reflective cranium.
"I do not get winded from filing paperwork." She huffed.
It was too easy, left wide open. He couldn't help the words that came out next.
"Nope, you're right. I'm sorry. You have to actually do your paperwork in order to file it." He teased.
Rangiku simply reached out and plucked the half full cup from his hands, tossing the contents back with a smirk.
"Jack asses don't get free liquor."
She then turned to Shuuhei, eyes shiny.
"You don't think I'm out of shape do you Shu?"
Izuru could see the man's IQ drop.
"Leave it to Rangiku to go for the weak spot." He muttered, earning him a soul stealing glare.
Turning back to her victim, she took one of his hands in hers.
"Do you think a woman should have to work so hard?" Woman was accentuated with a thrust of chest and the question, a pouting bottom lip.
Shuuhei's adam's apple bobbed harshly as he tried to swallow the over abundance of saliva pooling in his mouth.
"I think that's cheating." Yumichika drawled.
"You don't understand!" Rangiku collapsed into Shuuhei's arms which were now positioned about her awkwardly, mind short circuiting so bad they should been seeing smoke. She then clutched him to her chest.
"My captain can be so rigid sometimes. He doesn't like when I have fun." Rangiku pouted, face flush from the fourth cup of sake she downed in twice as many minutes. Her upper body was crushed into Shuuhei's face, bottom wiggling back and forth in the booth. The poor man was trying to no avail to push the busty and whiny woman away and retrieve his desperately needed oxygen.
"I don't think it's so much he doesn't like when you have fun. It is far more likely when and where you decide to have it. Like, for example, when you're supposed to be doing your paper work. But, being preoccupied, you don't. Which, in turn, leaves him with extra paperwork." Izuru explained looking sidelong around his own cup at the strawberry blonde smothering his dark haired friend.
"Or, the fact that your kind of fun often has you drinking in the middle of the day in the office. Not classy in the least." Yumichika added condescendingly. The borderline feminine soul reaper was perched on the edge of the bench, legs crossed at the knee, hand mirror clutched in thin perfectly manicured fingers.
"Nah dewin yaw papawok." Shuuhei finished as best he could, face still pressed in between the two heaving mounds. She clenched harder effectively stifling his words and air flow. His arms and legs went to flailing nearly up ending the drink covered table.
"I sense a pattern here." Rangiku said, sitting back to face her companions across the table, finally releasing her oxygen deprived captive. She tapped a pale pink finger nail on her chin, thinking visibly difficult given her state.
"So, what you're saying is that there's too much paperwork." Rangiku beamed.
"Yeah, sure. Let's go with that." Izuru muttered, eyes nearly rolling out the back of his skull. He couldn't believe how oblivious she could be sometimes. Or, how her captain could keep her around. He wouldn't have kept her. No one would have. Well, there was one. He glanced across the table to the guilty man sporting a bright pink tinge under his signature facial tattoo, a pink due to the ever flirtatious blonde that now had her legs swung over his. The poor, defenseless bastard.
"I just wish he'd loosen up a bit. Try letting things go for once. I bet you any money he'd finally see things my way." Rangiku insisted gesturing wildly with her cup in hand, contents sloshing onto Shuuhei's chest and lap. He jumped at the liquid hitting bare skin sending her toppling backwards into the other side of the booth. In her struggle to return upright, a dainty foot made a solid connection to his unguarded nose, crimson spouted unchecked before he brought two hands up to his aching face.
"From the bottom of a bottle or the floor on his back?" Yumichika retorted, a smug look plastered to his pretty face. She prickled at the insult, slamming her fist into the table.
"Don't be so smart!" Rangiku yelled half standing, fingers wrapped tight in the smart ass's robes. She was ready to drag him across the table then, remembering herself a lady, she smoothed her own robes, sitting down gracefully.
"You have to understand where he's coming from too, ya know. Being so much younger-" Shuuhei began, having finally gotten the bleed under control.
"-and shorter." Ikkaku rudely interjected pointing his chopsticks in Shuuhei's face to accentuate his point. They were slapped aside in one swift motion, sending them flying to the dirty pub floor. A sharp glare and the tattooed man continued.
"He has to prove things more often. Like being competent and strong enough, and-"
"-that because he's pint sized-" Ikkaku once more interrupted. Shuuhei kicked the rude soul reaper under the table in the shin causing him to cuss and threaten as the offender hoped that finally, since the big mouth was preoccupied, he would be able to finish his own sentence.
"-that he's not a child." Shuuhei spoke in hastened words as to not be interrupted again. He let a small smile touch his lips in victory.
"I guess so, but it's not as easy as you'd think being his lieutenant either. He stifles my carefree nature and spontaneity. I'm a social butterfly and I feel like he's pinned me with that damn icy sword of his." Rangiku slouched over the table, chin in hands, eyes fixed on some seemingly interesting knot in the wood table.
"Shuuhei's right, Rangiku. Try to be a little more understanding." Izuru looked at her with pleading eyes. She rolled hers and turned away from the blonde traitor. She tapped her foot in irritation trying to avoid eye contact with all those that waited for her to give in. She turned back abruptly with a huff.
"Fine! I get what you're saying, but you can't sit there and tell me he isn't wound tighter than a toy car." Not a one would meet her eyes or contradict her words. She was right and they all knew it. She poured another cup of sake and settled back against Shuuhei once more. The man looked like he would explode, excitement and embarrassment warring on his features. It was an absolute wonder he could be as competent and strong as he was on the battle field.
"That may be, but you could improve on your work ethic and level of responsibility." Izuru said, leveling his serious blue gaze on her. She squirmed under that gaze. It was almost as bad as that damn sword of his, weighty and chiding.
"I can do that!" She countered, rising out of her seat, elbow meeting Shuuhei's nose again. "I just don't want to is all." She continued quietly as she slowly lowered herself back into the seat, Shuuhei flinching to ward off another blow.
"I will buy you all the sake you can drink for a month if you can pull it off for one week." Yumichika offered. He was looking down his nose, a mischievous glint in his eye. She looked ready to agree but he raised a pale hand silencing her. "If you lose, you will have to do all our paperwork and random chores for a month."
Rangiku looked like she swallowed a bug. That was the paperwork and errands of five people, for a month. Could she do it? Her brows furrowed as she seriously considered her odds. A month's worth of sake for free though. That feather wearing bastard really did know how to reel her in.
"Okay." Her face set in serious, resolute lines. "I'll do it."