Foreword: No theme music for this one.


Truth


In the Gotei Thirteen, there are hundreds of thousands of truths; some real, some imagined, many acknowledged, many more unknown. This is especially true among the Shinigami Captains and Vice Captains.

Captain-Commander Genryuusai Yamamato and Vice Captain Sasakibe Choutarou of the First Division are, by all accounts, the only gays in the Gotei Thirteen's top tier. This is partly because they date back to an era where homosexuality was considered not only normal, but quite healthy. Though times have changed, they have not. This is the main reason why the Eleventh Division's Ayasegawa Yumichika and Madarame Ikkaku are the only men willing to share a bathhouse with them.

Captain Soi Fong, of the Second Division, is the exact opposite; though most people take her to be an angry, violent lesbian, she's really nothing more than a teenager whose emotional, mental, and possibly even physical growth was permanently stunted by the death of most of her family and the subsequent abandonment of a woman she was already conflicted on. To this day, she regards Yoruichi with a confused, disturbing kind of love; part of it is sexual, yes, but part of it is just a girl crying out for a mother or sister to take care of her.

Yoruichi, after all, was the closest thing that Soi Fong ever had to either; her real mother was nothing more than an emotionally stunted courtesan and her remaining siblings and instructors--all of whom were men--were hardly the kind of people you could talk to about period cramps throwing off your ability to leap around like a rabid grasshopper.

The primary reason that Soi Fong joined the Shinigami Women's Association was to have female friends and learn how to be a woman without Yoruichi being there to hold her hand every step of the way. To date, the other women generally regard her as what she is: A confused, emotionally stunted teenager with abandonment issues and problems regarding anger management.

Coincidentally, none of them will mention her closet crush on Kuchiki Byakuya or her equally closeted infatuation with Hisagi Shuuhei's tattoo. Neither of them hold her interest like Yoruichi did, but one or two hundred years is a long time and it's a girl's perogative to change her mind.

Another little known fact about Soi Fong's nonexistent lovelife is that she once tried to date her Vice Captain's youngest sister, Mareyo. Marechiyo almost had a heart attack.

In the Third Division, secrets are kept in a more efficient sort of way. Unfortunately, this is more due to former Captain Ichimaru Gin's sadism than any measure of trust and confidence between members. Kira Izuru, for instance, was--and still is--rather madly in love with Hinamori Momo, despite his occasionally wandering eye. It's something that goes all the way past the brink of obsession, to the point that he keeps several pictures of her on his person at all times and routinely checked on her twice daily while she was comatose.

Coincidentally, Kira Izuru is also considered the most likely member of the Gotei Thirteen to commit suicide within the coming years. The only reason he hasn't been forced onto medical leave is because Matsumoto recommended he be given the combined paperwork of the Third, Fifth and Ninth Divisions to keep him busy. Kira sincerely thanked her in the only way he could; he walked into the Tenth Division one night and did her paperwork as well.

The truth about the Fourth Division's Captain is that Unohana Retsu is the single most misjudged woman in the entire Gotei Thirteen. While she is, outwardly at least, a kind and gentle healer, she's also a ruthless, coldblooded killer harboring a centuries-long grudge against the Eleventh Division. She is actually a former member of that same Division, and left only after killing the Vice Captain of the day in a duel over who was the better prankster. Since then, she's channeled her creativity into more constructive things.

Coincidentally, Unohana Retsu, prior to her entry into the Gotei Thirteen, was the only person--the only woman--to see even a glimpse of the true Aizen Sousuke prior to his betrayal. At one point in time, the two were actually lovers. Retsu still mourns for his betrayal, for the simple reason that she no longer has any true intellectual equal in the Gotei Thirteen. She doesn't count Mayuri, as he makes a mockery of everything she does or believes in.

Kotetsu Isane is another woman with issues, but she holds a considerable edge over most of the others in that she actually acknowledges them without trouble. She's had violently recurring nightmares since she was a little girl, when her parents were slaughtered by a Hollow and she was left raising a petulent Kiyone on her own. Her height has also been a recurring source of ire for her; women's clothes have to be tailored specially to fit her, and most men are utterly intimidated by her unless she exposes how meek she is, something that just leaves her feeling even more insecure.

Because of this, Isane has been in a number of abusive relationships. It lead her to swear off of them for the foreseeable future.

Also because of this, Isane has the dubious distinction of being the only woman in the entire Gotei Thirteen to have a crush on Kenpachi Zaraki. This is her only real secret, and the only ones who know of it are Kiyone, Nanao and Yachiru. Kiyone and Nanoa think she's gone insane. Isane agrees.

That didn't stop Yachiru from locking the two of them up in a broom closet. Isane's never been so terrified in her life, not just because of the proximity to a sadomasochistic serial killer with a blood fetish, but because of how much she enjoyed it.

In the Fifth Division, secrets are kept hidden behind smiles. The only secret left is that most of the Division thinks Vice Captain Hinamori Momo has gone off the deep end and needs to be put into mandatory retirement and institutionalized. Most of the Captains privately agree, but keep their mouths shut out of respect for Momo's past record and the hope that she might recover. Sadly, Hitsugaya Toushirou is among their number.

In the Sixth Division, truth and secrecy dwell side-by-side, each protected from the other by a mixture of apathy and tunnel vision. Kuchiki Byakuya's secrets have become well known, as have Abarai Renji's. This is chiefly because Renji talked to Ikkaku, who talked to Zaraki, who promptly went to the Sixth Division's headquarters and, in full view of a good three hundred people, called him a nancy-assed bitch before reading off a seven page list of reasons why he's a nancy-assed bitch.

The resulting battle left sixty-two people hospitalized, but at least Renji got a laugh out of it: Not only did Byakuya lose, he ended up having Ikkaku, Yumichika and Zaraki as hospital roommates. Complete with Yachiru smuggling them booze.

The Seventh Division is a place of second chances, above all else. Komamura Sajin went out of his way to make sure of it. The reason for this was because, prior to Yamamato's mercies, no-one had ever given him a second chance. Because of this leniency, the Seventh is made up almost entirely of rejects and refugees from the other Divisions, right up to its Vice Captain. Its members are the most loyal of any Division, including the Eleventh and Thirteenth. If Sajin told them to slit their stomachs open with butter knives, most of them would ask him how much blood he wanted splattered on the floor--and they'd make sure to bleed only as much as he allowed them to.

Coincidentally, Iba Tetsuzaemon has acquired a love of stray animals. To date, he's saved fifty-seven dogs, a hundred-and-two cats and at least seventeen birds from abuse, neglect and even Mayuri's testing labs. His most frequent accomplice in these little raids is Sajin himself, followed by Nemu. If Tetsuzaemon wasn't a Shinigami, he likely would've opened up an animal shelter.

Of note is that Tetsuzaemon recently saved a black cat during the Ryoka Incident. For the better part of two days, he fed and tended to it, and he actually thought he might make a pet out of it. Unfortunately, the cat vanished and he hasn't seen it since. The fact that he misses it is something that, inexplicably, has drawn him to become reasonably acquaintanced with Soi Fong. At present, he's her only true male friend.

Of the Eighth Division, one thing can be said above all: Its members are good at what they do, and what they do is generally quite nice. Among the Gotei Thirteen, they are the dreamers, philosophers, poets and songwriters; the ones who lay in the fields and let others make history while they are content to simply put pen to paper as it comes along.

At least, that's what Kyouraku Shunsui says when asked. Then Nanoa-chan belts him upside the head and explains that they're mainly a reserve Division for the others, and that they usually just get saddled with everyone else's paperwork.

Nanao herself is well known for being stingy and by-the-book. She's also well known for the fact that she owns more thongs than any other woman in Soul Society. This fact came to light--much to Shunsui's joy--during a drinking game between he and Rangiku. He was so enthused that he just had to tell the world!

... Coincidentally, it took Shunsui approximately two years to recover any feeling in his groin. He still claims that his pubic hair has yet to grow back, but nobody is willing to take him up on his offers to prove it.

Hisagi Shuuhei is a man who has a lot of free time on his hands nowadays. With Kira Izuri now insistantly doing all of Shuuhei's paperwork, the Ninth Division's Vice Captain has little to do but train, drink, train some more and beat the flaming crap out of Renji for beating him in the race to Bankai. Previously comfortable with just being a Vice Captain, he's now determined that all he can really do in life is to replace Kaname and show him how you run a Division and follow the right path properly.

He has never taken into account that Kaname is blind. Even if he did, he probably wouldn't care that much.

Besides that, Shuuhei recently had a very odd adventure in dating. It came about because Sajin, ever the helpful redeemer that he is, quite literally knocked Shuuhei unconscious on several occasions, then left him to wake up on the front doorsteps of various women's houses.

By the time it was all said and done, Kiyone had outright ripped his clothes off, Shunsui tried to kill him for hitting on Nanao, Nanao tried to kill him for hitting on Nanao, Isane tried seducing him, Rukia stuck bunny ears on him and had a leather whip handy, Nemu unwittingly left him to be experimented on by Mayuri, Rangiku left him drunk and sans pants in a back alley and Soi Fong licked his face.

Shuuhei has since sworn off dating. Period.

Like Hisagi Shuuhei, Hitsugaya Toushirou is a guy who gets no respect. Not only does he do twice the paperwork of normal Captains--owing to his lazy Vice Captain--he's the shortest and youngest Captain there is. He's also the target of numerous pranks, secret admirers and rookies looking to make names for themselves. To make matters worse, most of the other Captains have only recently acknowledged him as a true equal, a fact which only came about because he had to beat all of them in some way.

With Soi Fong, it came down to a game of tag-with-razors. While it was technically more of a draw than anything else, both of them count it as a win for Toushirou since he managed to walk away with all of his clothes intact. Soi Fong, however, had her kimono shredded when Hitsugaya 'tagged' her. Because of this, the Shinigami Women's Association put out a hit on his head that almost got him assassinated five times in one week before Rangiku and Soi Fong called the attack dogs off.

With Unohana Retsu, it was far more invasive. All that happened was Hitsugaya getting his first proctology exam. Not only did he endure it, he did so without blushing and without one word of complaint. Retsu not only respected him for it, she also casually mentioned how Byakuya had chewed one of his fingers to the bone in a frantic bid to keep from moaning during it.

Coincidentally, Hitsugaya then went on to blackmail Byakuya into showing him some god damn respect.

Sajin wasn't an issue. This was because Hitsugaya had, at one point, been in the running to become Sajin's Vice Captain. Though Iba was selected, Sajin was one of five Captains who recommended that Toushirou take over the Tenth.

Shunsui was another matter entirely, because Hitsugaya had to bludgeon him repeatedly. He doesn't know whether or not Shunsui actually respects him now, but Nanao holding up a card saying 10.0 was good enough for him.

With Kenpachi, things were--and still are--just damn weird. Not only did the Eleventh Division Captain mock him over being short, but Yachiru kept making freaky eyes at him and giggling in a very scary sort of way whenever Hitsugaya walked by. For whatever reason, Kenpachi has never sought Toushirou out for a fight, and Hitsugaya hopes he never will.

When it came to Mayuri, things got weirder still. First, the Twelfth Division Captain was friendly and welcoming. Then he pulled out a buzzsaw and spoke of experimentation. Twenty-two collapsed buildings and a few months later, Mayuri sent Nemu over with orders to do a striptease and give Toushirou a letter. Toushirou turned down the striptease, but the letter was little more than insane gibberish about how he was going to die a virgin and that not even a brainless slavegirl would sleep with him.

Toushirou froze Mayuri into a block of ice that took three months to fully melt. Nemu bunked with Matsumoto and has been his most stout defender in any other Division ever since.

With Jyuushiro, Yamamato, Gin, Aizen and Kaname, things have always--and always will--be rather odd.

Jyuushiro treats Toushirou like a cross between a little brother and a son. He was one of the men pulling for Hitsugaya's Captaincy. Yamamato treats Hitsugaya like a grandchild, and counts as one of the only Captains to trust his decisions completely. Hitsugaya even suspects that Yamamato is grooming him to take over the First Division someday, though he's not willing to get his hopes up too high.

With Gin, Aizen and Kaname--the other three who pulled for Toushirou's Captaincy--things are nothing short of pure hatred now. For their parts, Gin liked mocking him, Aizen respected him enough to try and murder him as quickly as possible and Kaname was generally avoidant of him outright. In their own ways, each one acknowledged him; Gin briefly nicknamed him little ice demon, Aizen included him in his plans and Kaname once mentioned that Hitsugaya had a more chilling presence than anyone in Soul Society.

It's not what Toushirou wanted, but it'll do.

Matsumoto Rangiku is also a woman of secrets and truths. Among the Gotei Thirteen, she is the closest thing that Kusajiki Yachiru has ever had to a mother, to the point that Kenpachi--in a moment of blinding clarity after the Ryoka Incident--once asked her to assume custody of the girl if anything should happen to him. Rangiku, in a moment of equally blinding clarity, turned him down on the basis that she would make for a terrible mother.

Zaraki then gave her a black eye and told her to give herself more credit. She showed back up the next day, gave him a black eye and said yes.

Coincidentally, Rangiku is also the closest thing that any of the Seireitei Thug Association--Renji, Ikkaku, Tetsuzaemon and Shuuhei--have to a girlfriend. The relationships she has cultivated with the four are all strictly platonic, but most of them have openly admitted to fantasizing about her, and all of them would give their life for her if necessary. She was the first person outside of the Ryoka or the Sixth to learn of Renji's Bankai, the only one other than Renji and Yumichika to know of Ikkaku's, the first person to know about Tetsuzaemon's motivations for becoming a Shinigami and the first person--period--to know why Shuuhei has a 69 tattooed across his face.

Besides that, Rangiku is also the only woman alive who's gone through the Eleventh Division and come out for the better. She was actually the Third Seat back when Zaraki took over, then moved to become Vice Captain of the Thirteenth after Shiba Kaien's demise, then became Vice Captain of the Tenth when Hitsugaya mentioned a little detail from her past: Back when she was newly minted from the Academy, she routinely visited the human world and drank saki offered by a boy who could see and talk with spirits.

Jyuushirou is the only one who knows about this. He's never spoken a word of it to anyone.

The Eleventh Division is a place of many secrets, but only because nobody ever thinks to stop fighting and start asking questions. Perhaps the most unusual of these secrets is that Kenpachi Zaraki has ulterior motives for spiking his hair up and trying to look as menacing and criminally insane as he does: The one time he let his hair down, cleaned up and wore a proper Captain's haori, every woman in Seireitei kept gawking at him like he was some sort of God.

Coincidentally, Byakuya made his first snide insult at Zaraki that day. The two have been at each other's throats ever since.

Another little secret is that Yachiru has had Bankai for a little over eight and a half years now. The only reason nobody knows is because nobody--Zaraki included--has ever stretched out a battle long enough for her to have to use it. Not only that, but nobody has ever actually thought to ask her the name of her sword.

In the Twelfth Division, things are as dysfunctional, ultraviolent and just plain cruel as its current Captain. Mayuri is, in effect, the single most evil, sadistic man that has ever worn the white robe of a Shinigami. He just lets Aizen take that distinction because it's easier to work when nobody actually knows you're evil.

Coincidentally, Mayuri might be evil and sadistic, but he's also got a sincere desire to be a parent and an equally sincere hatred for anyone who is a parent. This is why he knows how much torture it takes to make a Quincy set his own son on fire.

Kurotsuchi Nemu is, in many ways, the only shining bright spot in the Twelfth Division's existence. She is also, in many ways, the single most victimized woman in Soul Society. She hasn't been a virgin since the day she was 'born' out of a vat, nor has she gone more than a few months without losing a limb or internal organ, only to grow it back within a few days. Mayuri himself shaped her into his ideal woman, and he programmed her to be a lot of things, and because of that, Nemu is messed up. She thinks about sex more frequently and more brutally than any normal woman, she thinks of Mayuri with a sense of religious faithfulness, and she's not supposed to hesitate or defy his orders in any way, shape or form.

Above all, she is supposed to be unquestioningly loyal, submissive and obedient to her 'father.'

So why, she wonders, does she feel compelled to help Tetsuzaemon rescue Mayuri's test subjects? And why does she feel a deep, painful tug in her chest whenever she thinks about the Quincy named Uryuu?

When it comes to the Thirteenth Division of the Gotei Thirteen, it's considered a mark of good work to know as much about others as you can, be they your friends or your enemies.

Jyuushiro is the best there is at this. More so than combat, he specializes in gathering information. He knows everything there is to know about the other Captains and their Divisions. He knows how Yamamato got each and every one of his scars. He knows how Soi Fong spent three days digging through dictionaries trying to figure out what 69 meant. He knows how Retsu replaces Hanatarou's stimulants with sleeping pills, and he knows how Byakuya has recently tried to make amends with all the members of the Sixth Division. He knew what Sajin looked like decades before the helmet came off and he's known of Shunsui's alcohol problem since they were Academy students.

Jyuushiro knows that Hitsugaya wishes he were taller and he knows that Zaraki considers Yachiru to be his one and only child. He knows about Mayuri's wish to be a father and he knew where Yoruichi and Urahara were going a year before they vanished. He even knew about Ichigo's inner Hollow before the boy ever got stabbed through the chest with a Zanpakutou.

Jyuushiro knows everything, but his illness means that he can do nothing.

Because of this, he routinely pays Shiba Kaien's gravesite a visit every few years, and privately, solemnly asks the man to forgive him for knowing the truth.


Author's Note: Well, that was odd. Mostly, I was just trying to take some fandom notions and turn them sideways, but it kinda took on a life of its own XD

And Sasakibe Choutarou is the name of Yama-ji's Vice Captain according to Bleach7. I've no idea if that's his actual name or not. The notion that he and Yama-ji are gay for each other was mostly caused by one page in the manga and the Yamamato-centered ending to an episode of Bleach, wherein he and Choutarou were in a bathhouse while Kira, Renji and someone else were visibly scared of going near them. Besides, everyone makes Soi Fong gay. Why not turn the little lolicon fruitbitch into a troubled, messed up teen and make the crusty old guys gay for once? . ;

Besides that, Retsu as a violent, coldblooded murderer is something hinted at in the manga when she terrorizes the Eleventh guys into shutting up. Her name(Retsu) also means violent. I think. I also gave Isane some love because she usually gets completely ignored in favor of Saint Retsu-x-Demon Zaraki.

Likewise, I came up with Matsumoto's history in the Eleventh on a fluke. Among other things. Like Shuuhei's Misadventures in Dating.

That's all. Hope you enjoyed, and I might write another to get rid of my other random backstory ideas. Later folks o.o