There is a ghost wearing the uniform that sits in the captain's closet of the Second Division.


Soifon is supposed to be wearing it.

Once, she wanted to.

But she doesn't anymore. Instead, she sits in the empty hollows of the Shihouin house and wonders if, sitting in one place, she can stop feeling all together.

It is on the sixth day that someone finds her.

"Eh, so this is where you've been hiding, hm Soi?" the casual shortening of her name should be considered disrespectful, but everyone, even herself, tends to forgive Ukitake for this mannerism.

"Have you come to reprimand me for abandoning my duties?" a part of her should feel ashamed for doing so- unfortunately, that part has departed for the human world with an exiled genius.

"Nope!" his response is cheerful and completely out of place in this hollowed house.

"... why are you here, then?" quite frankly, this sort of disrespect is unbecoming of her. But she's a captain now, same as him, so maybe it doesn't matter.

Ukitake doesn't answer, and instead plops down, unceremoniously, right next to her. He smiles and stares ahead, and is, despite Soifon's intense gaze that is fixated itself upon him, absently admiring the Shihouin horticulture.

Soifon doesn't really know what to do.

She knows what she wants to do, of course, and that is to grab the white-haired loon by the shoulders and shake an answer out of him as violently as possible.

She stops, blinking once, then twice.

She knows what she wants to do, right as this moment.

Even if its to inflict bodily harm on a fellow member of the Gotei Thirteen, she does have something she wants to do.

Ukitake turns to look at her at last, and grins. "I can see why you've stayed here. It really is a nice view."

Soifon snorts, despite herself. "Not really." And its true- Yoruichi was more liable to run amuck through the gardens than to care for them.

"Ah." Ukitake pats her head affectionately. "Well, then I guess there's no reason to stay here, is there?" he places his hands against the rich wood to stand, glancing at her with the corners of his eyes.

"Wait." Soifon pauses, looking down into the ground. "... I did enjoy the sunsets here. I will stay and watch it one more time." It is not a lie, in a way. The sunsets are beautiful, shining with bright orange and red and purple, blinding you with beauty.

He smiles in understanding. For once, Soifon does not disapprove of his indulgent nature. "Would you mind if I stayed and watched it then?"

Soifon pauses. Six days alone is a long time, even for a Shinigami.

"No, no I wouldn't." She admits, hard as it is to do.

They stay long after the sunset has faded, not a word spoken.

The next day, Soifon lets the ghost fade as well, putting on the uniform with only the slightest hint of hesitation.

When she presents herself at the captain's meeting, she meets Ukitake's eyes and thinks it might be alright in the end.