When the war against Aizen was over the Vizord had known that the Gotie Thirteen would take some kind of action. After all they wouldn't just leave eight people who were supposed to be dead alone to roam around in the Land of the living. However inviting them back to the Gotie thirteen had not been an action that thought the old man would take. The invitation had extended to all the vizord but only Kensei, Rose, and Shinji were offered their old positions back. Kensei was surprised at how quickly he accepted the offer to return. He figured he was a Soldier through and through. Shinji and Rose had also agreed rather fast. They had all suspected Shinji had missed being a taichou more then he let on. Hiyori refused the offer on the grounds that she would rather have died on the battlefield then work for Mayuri. Lisa also turned down the offer saying she wouldn't want to put Nanao in a position where she felt she'd have to give up her seat for Lisa. Hachi said there was really no place for him in the Gotie thirteen and Love agreed, choosing to stay behind to watch over Hiyori instead. Mashiro decided that the only place she belonged was beside Kensei's side.
Kensei had been expecting some resistance, some push back. On the day they were to be reinstated Yamamoto pulled them aside before hand, informing them that their new fukutaichou's would be a challenge. He talked about the third division fukutaichou, a kid named Kira Izuru. Apparently the kid was from a lesser noble clan. His parents died long before he became a shinigami and he was one of the top in his class from the Shino Academy AP class. The kid had started out in the fifth division before moving to the fourth where he gained knowledge of medical kido, then was promoted to be the fukutaichou in the third. Izuru had been completely loyal to Ichimaru, to the point he was willing to attack and kill his friends on Ichimaru's orders. After Ichimaru left, Izuru became a lot more bitter. It got to the point anyone aside from the tenth division fukutaichou mentioning Ichimaru would set him off in a rage. During the war against Aizen, Izuru had defended a pillar, taking down a powerful arrancar before spending the rest of the battle providing emergency first aid to the other fukutaichous, saving their lives. Then there was the fifth fukutaichou Hinamori Momo. She was a student from the AP class in the Shino academy who excelled in kido. She was smart and talented officer who was devoted to Aizen. Aizen had trained her to depend on him, to be only loyal to him. Because of this his deception hurt her to the point she tried to kill her closest friends and made her break down completely. She was out of commission for a few months recovering from the physical and mental effects of Aizen's betrayal. During the war Momo had broken out of the medical bay and came to assist fighting Aizen. She backed up another fukutaichou in a battle before being critically injured. She was later used as a shield by Aizen, putting her right back into the hospital.
The one Kensei paid the most attention to was his own new fukutaichou. The kids name was Hisagi Shuhei. Apparently he failed the entrance exam for the academy twice before he finally got in. The kid wasn't easily discouraged though, and he worked so hard that he became the first student to be accepted in the Gotie thirteen before graduation as well as being given missions while still in school. Kensei was a little surprised to hear that while Shuhei could have joined any division he wanted, the only one he submitted an application to was the ninth. In the kids sixth year he and two students lead an exercise in the World of the Living. Some hollows got in and killed one of the two while severely wounding Shuhei and his other companion. After graduation Shuhei was made a seated officer and rose through the ranks to fukutaichou. Shuhei had been very loyal to Tosen, even crediting him with being the reason he could fight. Yet when Tosen betrayed the Gotie thirteen Shuhei had not only accepted the report without question, but left the medics who were treating him to help in Tosen's arrest. After Tosen and the others escaped Shuhei held the division together. When the war rolled around Shuhei defended one of the pillars, defeating an arrancar. He then distracted the monster Ayon to help save two fukutaichous before being critically injured. After he got back up and mortally wounded Tosen in battle along with another taichou.
Kensei had to admit he was impressed, but he also felt something was already off about the kid. The third and fifth fukutaichou's reaction were rather normal, and it allowed them to work through the feelings they had toward the incident. Shuhei on the other hand seemed to bury it all inside. Yamamoto had cautioned them that the three fukutaichous were rather shaken up by what happened and it would take a lot of patience and nurturing to reach them. Unfortunately Kensei was neither. Yamamoto had also cautioned them that there was other issues to work through as well, but since he looked at Kensei when he said that, all three had figured there was more to the situation with Shuhei then he lead on.
When the ceremony started and they finally saw their new fukutaichous, Kensei could see that this would be much more difficult then he initially thought. Earning the trust of people who have been betrayed is one thing. Earning the trust of a person who had been betrayed and that you had apparently already let down once was another. Kensei had no idea what the kid's connection to him could have been, but with that tattoo there was no mistaking the fact that the kid had somehow had some connection to him. The look of absolute shock on the boys face when he saw him also helped confirm that.
As the vizord had been expecting there was a lot of resistance to their return. The second division fukutaichou, Marshino's son Marechiyo, had called them outsiders and said they were not welcome there the moment he saw them. The taichou's and fukutaichou's also gave some push back. Soifon didn't like them, but she didn't raise a fuss. Unohana, Byakuya, Shunsui, Mayuri, and Jushiro seemed neither surprised or concerned by their arrival. The seventh, tenth, and eleventh taichou's had no idea who they were, but seemed to be tolerant of them. Almost none of the fukutaichous knew who they were, and Kensei was getting the feeling that Nanao seemed to be the only one genuinely glad to see them.
Rose became fond of both Izuru and the seventh fukutaichou Tetsuzeamon, who turned out to be Chikane's brat, instantly. Rose wanted Izuru to like him, but Izuru was very outspoken about his dislike of Rose. Kensei wasn't surprised in the least. Rose had a personality that most found it hard to get along with. He was very flamboyant and extravagant, and his fukutaichou was gloomy and dark. If Kensei had to give a single word to describe the kid, he'd go with the third division motto, despair. Yet as time wen on it seemed like the two hammered out their issues. It seemed Izuru had grown to trust Rose to be there for him, and Rose had learned how to turn down many of his mannerisms to make Izuru more comfortable around him.
Momo had also resisted Shinji, but she was much more subtle about it. Kensei wasn't surprised by that either. Not only did the girl have so many issues to work through after what her previous taichou had done to her, but Shinji was also rather extravagant in his own right. Unlike Rose, who had nothing against Ichimaru personally, Shinji despised Aizen with every fiber of his being. Shinji had never once trusted Aizen and had only made him his fukutaichou in order to keep a closer watch on him. Shinji had never before trusted his fukutaichou, and Momo had no reason to trust her taichou. In most cases this could be a set up for disaster. However Shinji could be very patient when he needed to be. Kensei watched them both learn how to trust each other and learn how to rely on each other. They resolved their issues much quicker then Rose and Izuru had, which surprised Kensei to be honest.
Then there was Kensei and his new kid. Kensei had expected something along the lines that Rose had with Izuru. At the very least he expected Shuhei to be like Momo and be polite about his distrust of him. Instead Shuhei seemed to accept Kensei instantly. The division was extremely loyal to Shuhei, more than any division should be especially after a superior had betrayed them. It seemed the division had realized Shuhei's loyalties were to them and the ninth as a whole over any particular person. When Shuhei made it clear to them he trusted Kensei, they followed his lead. Rose and Shinji both expressed jealousy for Kensei's fukutaichou and division accepting him from the start, but Kensei was actually highly concerned by that. Shuhei's behavior didn't fit his experiences. Even if he knew Kensei before that should have made him more leery around Kensei then the others.
It took Kensei a few weeks to realize that Shuhei actually didn't trust him at all. It also took him that long to realize Shuhei didn't realize that. Shuhei said he trusted him, told others that Kensei was a great taichou and someone that he admired, but his actions said the very opposite. He never opened up to Kensei, all his conversations were work related and that was all. He would slip at times and do work that was Kensei's responsibility as if in his mind Kensei wasn't around. He would be on guard around Kensei and Mashiro all the time, and over time it only seemed to be getting worse. It was like three different kids reacting to a parent that disappeared from their lives and returned a decade later. One was completely resistant at first, and one was more passive. Yet those two children got all their issues out from the start, allowing them to work through them. Shuhei was the third child. The child that seemed to think it was their responsibility to show that they accepted the parent to promote harmony in the home. The child that felt they had to pretend everything was fine for the younger kids and bury the fact that things really weren't fine deep into their souls. The child that when everything has gone smoothly and they feel they can finally address the issues they can't now because they waited too long and if they were going to bring those issues up they had to be at the very beginning and not all that time later.
When Kensei and the others had first seen Kazeshini he had heard some of the other officers express how that zanpakuto surprised them because it was nothing like Shuhei. Kensei found himself disagreeing. The more he learned about Shuhei, the more that blade suited him. Shuhei was the type of man who buried everything deep within himself because it was his duty. He was a Soldier, a leader. He couldn't fall apart, he couldn't appear weak in anyway. So he hid it all deep within himself. However all that pain and darkness had no outlet, no way to escape. So it created an entity of it's own, Shuhei's zanpakuto. Kazeshini was Shuhei's true desire to be free as the wind, to bring death to those who harm those he cares about. Yet Shuhei hated Kazeshini. Kensei supposed that came from Tosen's teaching, the teachings that Shuhei had to suppress who he truly was to fit into the world Tosen constructed.
Shuhei was a mess. It was the best way Kensei could describe him. The kid had tried to morph himself into what others told him was the proper way, causing him to restrain himself even more. When Kensei talked to the others about his discovery, Shinji and Rose both expressed that maybe Kensei was not the person to help Shuhei through all the issues they had. They were too deep, too hidden in the boys soul. Kensei knew the easiest way to deal with the kid would be demote him to third seat, reinstate Mashiro as the fukutaichou, and move on. However he'd never do that either. Too many people had let Shuhei down, and that's why the kid was the way he was. To make matters even more frustrating was like Shinji, Kensei had every reason in the world to hate the man he was replacing. Tosen had been the one to betray him, to stab him in the back literally and turn him into a monster. Shuhei also didn't hide the fact that after everything Tosen had put him through, he still admired him. Yet he also admired Kensei and looked up to him.
Kensei realized he may just be the perfect man to get through to his new fukutaichou. Tosen and Kensei were polar opposites, and for Kensei the best way through a problem was to beat it down until it ceased to be a problem. If Shuhei's main problem was the teaches Tosen instilled in him, then Kensei would just have to beat Tosen's teaching out of him. So that's exactly what Kensei did. The other taichou's actually had major issues with how Kensei did things at first. However when Shuhei showed signs of opening up many of them backed down. Shuhei began using his zanpakuto more, evenacheiving bankai, and he began opening up to Kensei more. It took Kensei a few years before he could say that the kids words and actions were starting to match up.
Shuhei was a good kid, one Kensei was glad to have around. Unlike Mashiro, who was lazy, argumentative, and loud; Shuhei was hard working, easy to get along with, and mined his own business. When Kensei had Mashiro as his fukutaichou the trick was getting her to work. With Shuhei the trick was getting him to stop. With both of them as his co-fukutaichous they had actually balanced each other out. Shuhei could keep Mashiro focused and on task, and Mashiro forced Shuhei to take breaks when needed. Kensei began dividing up the work between them. Mashiro was in charge of missions, training, and security details. Shuhei was in charge of personnel, reports, the magazine, and culture activities like clubs.
Looking back Kensei was glad things ended up the way they were. Shuhei had been a real project for sure, and it took a lot of work to get him to be his own person again, but Kensei found him worth it. Kensei was sure none of the three fukutaichou's would ever be the people they were again, and while he would hold a grudge for that against Aizen and the others until his dying days, he was proud of how far they had come. Especially Shuhei. Kensei knew one day he would not be able to remain the taichou of the ninth anymore. When that day came he knew Mashiro, despite how much she loved Shuhei, would follow him. That meant Shuhei would be the next taichou of the ninth. Kensei didn't doubt that Shuhei would make one hell of a taichou. However right now he wasn't ready to be the taichou. That just meant Kensei's work wasn't yet done. A superior officer's main job after all is to make sure their subordinates could carry on without them. Until the day Shuhei was ready to, Kensei would continue to be there for him in his own unique way.
So just a few thoughts on how this all went. To be honest I got a lot of the ideas from Bleach media. Like in the finale ending where Izuru is drinking with the other officers and makes it clear he doesn't care for Rose's personality with Rose in his speech bubble and a big X over it. Also in the data book Gotie 13 there's an interview question and when talking about Shuhei Kensei is told he saved Shuhei's life and Kensei was surprised by that, implying he had never been told. Anyway, what do you think?