Shakespeare Bleached - The Taming of the Shrew

Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach or The Taming of the Shrew

Rated: T - mostly for the langauge in later chapters

Act 1.1

"Yamaji says I need a Vice Captain."

The old friends had been at the monthly Captains meeting. General Yamamoto-Genryūsai had indeed instructed Kyōraku as well as the other 'vice captainless' captains to find themselves a second in command. It was through neglect and thoughtlessness that 4 out of the 13 Gotei squads didn't have Vice Captains.

"You aren't the only one," his friend pointed out as they turned down another alley.

Of course he wasn't the only one. But he had been the only one who had attempted – in a half assed way – to recruit someone. But no one suited him or could hack his eccentric behaviour.

"…And so I must obey." After all, he had been pushing his luck with Yamamoto and luck had the bad habit of running out.

They arrived at the bar which was close to Division 1 headquarters. They took a table in the corner by the window where Shunsui could gaze out on the lovely figures of the female shinigamis who strolled by. One of the waitresses walked up to the table to serve them their usual order; sake for the 8th squad Captain and tea for the 13th squad Captain. After filling their cups she turned to leave but her hand was caught by charismatic hand of the darker haired captain who placed a kiss on her hand. She scurried away with a growing blush. His companion however rolled his eyes and shook his head.

"Well I feel sorry for whoever you choose," he stated as he took a sip of his tea.

"How so friend?" he asked amusedly as he leaned on the table with the cup of sake hovering in front of his mouth.

"You're lazy. You drink too much and so far those who've had to…" pausing for a moment to think of the right phrase to use, "'take care' of you, couldn't do it any longer than a month."

"Jūshirō!" Shunsui exclaimed, leaning back from the table. "That's only because I haven't found the one person who can handle my burning passion for all things," illustrating his meaning by flamboyantly waving his cup and spilling half the contents down the front of his shihakusho.

"Yes, well, I'm not sure there is anyone who would fit that description. Apparently, the other captains are fighting to have Rangiku Matsumoto as their Vice Captain."

"Ah! Rangiku. I know her well. She'll be a great drinking partner," he drank what was left of the cup's contents in homage before continuing. "But as for vice captain duties… well she's like me… 'lazy'. But never the less she has spirit," he stated refilling his cup.

"I suppose that's one way to describe her."

"So no one has recruited her yet?" he raised one eyebrow, intrigued with the direction his friend was heading.

"No. It seems she has made an agreement with her friend. She says she refuses to become an officer before her friend."

"So where's the problem?"

"No one wants to recruit her friend," he stated plainly taking another sip of tea.

"Her friend isn't officer material?" he asked.

"Oh no! She is! If I had a position for her I would offer it straight away. She could probably become a captain within a few years. She's a master of kidō but that is considered one of the problems of making her an officer as she isn't so efficient with the zanpakutō."

"Ah! I see. And the fashion is to wear a zanpakutō. 'Brawn over Brains' it would seem," he finished of another cup, refilled it and signalled to the waitress for another bottle.

"Exactly! Also she is described as being quite… 'cold', very attached to regulations. Some see her as a proud, disdainful woman. A bit of a prude in fact."

"Oh! I see," finishing of the last drop of sake.

The waitress came back with another bottle and placed in front of Shunsui who gave her a devilish smile. This brought a fresh blush to her cheeks as she left with his thanks.

"So everyone is after the young voluptuous Rangiku?" he stated as he poured a fresh cup. "Well! I'll have to recruit her friend," he proclaimed raising his cup in salute to his decision and finished the contents.

"What? But you've had enough trouble when you had Hitomi, Nabatame and Ohtsuka as vice captains. And they we're easy going in comparison."

"They weren't right for the job. I need a vice captain and I should assist my fellow Captains to find the vice captain they want," he mused at the ideas which came to mind in favour of his decision, as he poured another cup.

"She'll refuse," Jūshirō stated plainly.

"Yare, yare! My friend. How can she refuse? It's my choice. I will charm her into my division," with another flamboyant wave sending more sake down his front to freshen the already damp patch.

"She can't be charmed," Jūshirō warned.

"The 'charmers' who've tried are not in the same league of expertise as I."

"True. Since there is no stopping you, you should at least know her name. Nanao Ise."

"Lovely Nanao. I like her already. When I can I meet her?"

As Shunsui said this, the other captains arrived taking a table on the other side of the bar. They were in full discussion of the meeting and didn't notice the current occupants of the room. The waitress went to serve their table as their voices carried across the room as they spoke fervently of their own choice of vice captain.

"No, no! I think I should have her. I've been in need of a vice captain longer than any of you," stated the white haired, bull faced Ushijirō Tatsumi, captain of 2nd squad.

"Hahaha! Come on. That's only because you are a stubborn ox. You didn't want to have a vice captain," protested the oldest of the Captains.

"Yeah! I think I deserve her more. I lost my last vice captain through exceptional circumstances," said the very old and scarred Torao Senba.

"Lost!" exclaimed Ushijirō. "That's a laugh. He was promoted to captain of the 6th."

"Still lost a bloody good 2nd," Torao protested indignantly.

"Well, I'm not giving any stupid excuse. I need a vice captain and I just want Matsumoto," said the taller and oldest of the three, Yūzō Uzuki.

"Well, we're not going to have her at all if no one is willing to take Nanao the prude. You should take her Torao," said Ushijirō

"Ha! I'm not taking her. You take her."

As they argued over who would take Matsumoto's friend, Shunsui rose from the table, taking with him his cup and now empty bottle. Passing through the room he was followed by the eyes of his friend and the waitress who received a wink as he swapped his empty for a full bottle of sake; until he stopped short of the other table unnoticed by its occupants.

"Come on. One of us has to take her," stated Yūzō.

"Gentlemen, gentlemen!" exclaimed Shunsui as he leaned over his comrades. "The lady you are passing around so freely is taken. You may think of the other now."

"By who?"

"By me," taking another drink and refilling as he continued. "You are not the only Captains in need of officers," he said sipping his drink as he sat amongst the others.

"She's agreed to be officer in your squad," Yūzō asked incredulously.

"Not yet. But she will."

A burst of a laughter rippled across the table.

"There's no way she'll be an officer in your squad," exclaimed Ushijirō through bouts of laughter.

"You think she'll say no," asked Shunsui in mock shock as sipped his drink.

"As if she would say 'yes'. She wouldn't be able to stand five minutes under your command."

"Oh! I think she will. I don't think she would be a mere seated officer. She will be my Vice Captain. A very loyal and obedient Vice Captain who'll obey my every command," he smirked at the thought.

"Have you even met her?" asked Torao.

"No. I've only just been told about her by Jūshirō," he nodded towards his friend who had approached with his tea and sat on the opposite side of the table.

"I've told him about her. But he is determined so I'm not going to dissuade him any further." He contentedly took a sip of tea and watched in amusement as the captains turned to stare at the obviously crazy 8th squad captain.

"As we all want Matsumoto's friend out the way, I will not laugh any more. Good luck friend," said Yūzō leaning over the table to shake hands with the very happy Shunsui.

It was settled. Shunsui Kyōraku, Captain of 8th Division will charm the disdainful Nanao Ise into being his Vice Captain. Whilst the other three would continue to argue who would employ the beautiful Rangiku Matsumoto.