Title: Dangerous enemies

Rating: G

Pairing / Characters: Kurotsuchi Mayuri, Ukitake Jyuushirou, Kyouraku Shunsui, gotei thirteen captains and lieutenants

Word Count: 1, 140 words

Warnings: Nothing too spoilery

Summary: Why one simply should not mess with Jyuushirou and Shunsui

A/N: First off I should probably mention that I deliberately did not describe the way I see their zanpakutou's, or their unique fighting skills the way I see it. To do that would be a major spoiler for another tale concerning the two of them. I've tried to make this as cohesive as possible, but meh, it was difficult…

FOR WANDERINGLOSTSOUL AND SAM 

'Hold it right there. You're saying you decided to take it upon yourself to use two lieutenants from two separate divisions to use in your hollow training?'

Jyuushirou glared at the not so innocent Mayuri.

'Since when were you given the power to decide that you could use just anyone in your…experiments?'

Shunsui's own expression was dangerous. 'According to Nanao, she was under the impression that Yama-jii himself had given the go ahead for this disaster.'

Yamamoto bristled. 'You forged my name for something like this?'

Every captain present took a step backwards as the air hummed with tension. Although both Shunsui and Jyuushirou managed to keep a tight reign on their tempers, their reiatsu rose sharply enough that it even made Yamamoto nervous.

Mayuri shrugged. 'Can you blame me? Two lieutenants in the same division as the legendary wielders of twin zanpakutous… I admit; I was curious to see what those two were capable of.'

A clap of thunder outside made Soi Fon jump. When Jyuushirou spoke, his voice was calm enough save for the edge to it that was sharp enough to cut.

'You're pushing your luck, Mayuri,' he said softly.

Shunsui grinned suddenly, a vicious sort of grin that made Mayuri back away hastily.

'Tell you what, Mayuri. Let's make a wager, shall we?'

Jyuushirou's eyebrow quirked upward. 'A wager, Shun?'

'Why not? If Mayuri is that interested in our skills, let him fight with us. The winner can decide what will happen with his experiment.'

Mayuri frowned. 'Both of you? At the same time?'

'We can afford to be generous, ne, Shirou? We'll fight you – and one of your gikon hollows.'

'Two.'

Jyuushirou laughed softly. 'Afraid?'

Mayuri glared at him. 'Of course not.'

'That's what I thought you'd say.'

Every captain and lieutenant was present that same afternoon to witness the match between the three captains.

'This is lunacy,' Soi Fon muttered, and Byakuya had to agree.

'What are they thinking? Even if they could defeat Mayuri alone, he has two gikon hollows they still need to deal with.'

Kaien and Nanao exchanged glances as Yamamoto chuckled.

'Don't be foolish,' he admonished. 'The only lunacy here is Mayuri actually agreeing to fight them. They are the oldest and strongest captains, on or off the battlefield.'

'Now that you mention it, I don't think I've ever seen them fight,' Unohana murmured.

Yamamoto smiled. 'Keep watching.'

Below, in the arena, Shunsui and Jyuushirou were standing together, zanpakutou's drawn. Soi Fon frowned at their unusual fighting stance – Shunsui was standing behind Jyuushirou, his expression placid. Mayuri, on the opposite end of the field, was flanked by his gikon hollows.

'Ready when you are,' Jyuushirou called to Mayuri, who nodded grimly, taking a firmer grip on his zanpakutou.

As one, three voices shouted 'bankai!'

Nanao caught her breath as the full power of her captain's reiatsu nearly overwhelmed her. A glance around the pavilion confirmed that she was not the only one who had succumbed to the spiritual pressure – Matsumoto was on her knees at the railing, and Renji was slowly but surely losing the battle to stand.

Only then did Nanao notice that although Kurotsuchi-taichou's bankai had already made itself manifest, neither Ukitake-taichou nor Kyouraku-taichou's had.

That's when she smelt the flowers.

'Flowers?' Komamura asked uncertainly. 'All I can smell is the sea –'

Yamamoto nodded. 'Watch carefully, Komamura. You're about to find out why they're the most powerful of the captains.' He sniggered. 'Mayuri doesn't stand a chance.'

A gust of wind blew through the pavilion, carrying with it the scent of the ocean. Neither Shunsui or Jyuushirou moved, not even when the first wave, dotted with scarlet flowers, crested the wall of the arena. Mayuri, however, jumped as several jagged streaks of lightning sundered the sky.

Yamamoto frowned then. Clearly, both his captains were still furious. He almost felt sorry for Mayuri. Almost.

It was fighting such as no one had ever seen before. Using shunpo to their advantage, Shunsui and Jyuushirou moved faster than Byakuya could have done, striking first the two gikon hollows. Using a combination of shunpo, reiatsu, and the wind abilities of his zanpakutou, Shunsui lifted himself into the air until he was face to face with the gikon hollow. Changing grip, he slashed through the hollow mask, cracking it as easily as though it were glass. Jyuushirou, meanwhile, disappeared briefly from sight, reappearing balanced lightly on the gikon hollow's outstretched arm. The slender gold cord between his zanpakutou's was wrapped around the hollow's wrist, one blade embedded in the massive hand, the other, in the gikon's face. Lightning flashed briefly, and Jyuushirou pulled his blades free and jumped clear.

As he twisted through the air, the gikon hollows exploded abruptly – but not a single piece of shrapnel touched either captain. When the smoke faded away, Kaien couldn't stifle his gasp.

Shunsui was mid air, wrapped in what appeared to be a sphere of wind, while Jyuushirou beneath him was cocooned in water.

At that point, the outcome of the match was obvious, although neither Shunsui or Jyuushirou let down their guard.

'I'll take care of his bankai, Shirou. You can deal with him.'

Jyuushirou laughed. 'With pleasure.'

Sadly enough, the match was over before it had even begun. With a flick of his zanpakutou, Shunsui sent a stream of scarlet flowers towards Mayuri's bankai, and every where they touched, the flowers simply exploded.

'A manifestation of his reiatsu,' Yamamoto explained blandly.

Mayuri never stood a chance against Jyuushirou. For a moment, a wave obscured the captain's view of the arena; thunder booming ominously above them. When the water settled around Jyuushirou's knees, Hitsugaya's eyes went wide with shock.

Jyuushirou was standing over Mayuri's prone form, one blade at his throat, the other pointed upward. A bolt of lightning was wreathed around its blue tinted surface.

'Oi… he isn't going to kill him, is he?' Zaraki asked nervously.

Yamamoto shook his head, although he didn't look certain. 'I don't think so, no.'

Abruptly, Jyuushirou released bankai, sealing his zanpakutou. 'You lose,' he informed Mayuri calmly.

Shunsui walked over. 'We're calling off your experiment. Use someone from your own division, Mayuri. Our lieutenants are just that – ours. Try something like this again and we will kill you.'

It was not an idle threat. Mayuri nodded feebly and left the arena as fast as his shunpo could carry him.

'Feh, that idiot,' Jyuushirou said disgustedly. 'That was fun, though.'

'And that, people, is why one does not mess with those two,' Yamamoto concluded triumphantly.

'That was terrifying, if you ask me,' Aizen muttered.

Gin sighed. 'Yare, yare, what a spectacle.'

Nanao and Kaien exchanged smiles. 'At least we know where we stand.'

'As far away from our captains as possible,' Kaien agreed.

Jyuushirou's laughter echoed around the pavilion in response to his fukutaichou's comment.