For the Sake of Sake
Disclaimer: Not mine!
"It has come to my notice that not all of our squads have been functioning as they should," a glare was sent toward the twelve captains standing in front of Yamamoto-taichou. "I have surmised that the reason behind this is sake! I know that most nights several of our captains and most of our lieutenants go out drinking. It may be enjoyable for our squads, but it affects them too much to ignore. Paperwork goes undone in the eighth, tenth, and eleventh squads more often than not, despite the best efforts by some of their members," Yamamoto sighed and looked up at his captains. "That is why I have decided to ban alcohol from the seireitei."
Shunsui instantly sobered.
Kenpachi tensed and turned to glare at Yamamoto, "What do you mean 'no sake'!"
"From this moment on, all alcohol is prohibited indefinitely. Squad four is currently searching and destroying all remaining sake. You are dismissed."
Horror crossed the faces of the two captains and they shared a look. Jyuushirou Ukitake threw a worried glance at his long time friend and calmly walked over to him.
"Shun, please tell me you aren't going to start anything."
"I would never!" Shunsui's look of innocence rivaled that of an old man caught ogling a young girl.
"I know this has to be hard for you, but they are Yamamoto's orders and we can't disobey them."
"Of course not," Shunsui agreed, pulling his hat down over his eyes. Knowing Shunsui as long as he has, Jyuushirou knew a lie when he saw one.
"We'll talk about it later," the white haired captain sighed in resignation, turning away from his comrade. "Meet me back at my quarters."
"I'll do that!" Shunsui was thrilled at the prospect of Ukitake's help in this matter. Oh the joys of friendship! More importantly, Shunsui decided, he needed to turn to one most important matter. He opened his mouth and let out a hoarse "Zaraki!" before he rubbed his throat, already beginning to feel the need to wet it.
The huge captain lumbered over to Shunsui, already knowing they were going to become good friends throughout this horrifying experience. The two death gods regarded each other solemnly. Shunsui let out a quiet, "Ukitake's" and Kenpachi gave a curt nod in reply, "I'll bring my men."
They parted silently and went on their separate ways.
Word passed quickly of the prohibition taking affect and a large portion of shinigami was devastated by the news. Included in this portion was the vice-captain of squad ten, Matsumoto Rangiku.
The moment Hitsugaya-taichou's words hit her; she was wide awake and gaping at him in surprise. "You're making this up, aren't you?"
"Fortunately, no," the young captain was almost smiling. Perhaps the lack of sleep inducing alcohol would keep his lieutenant in check.
"Oh," Rangiku blinked unsure of whether or not to believe him, she nodded and stood up, "Well, I guess I should go get some of that paperwork I was supposed to pick up yesterday."
"Good," Hitsugaya waited until she was out of the room before he sat down at his desk and propped his legs up on the top of it. Life was going to be so much better from now on.
"Where is that grimy old man? I'm going to rip his innards from his body and hang them around my neck like a trophy!"
"That image is not very beautiful, Ikkaku," Yumichika's features were twisted in disgust. Surely Ikkaku wasn't serious. Sake wasn't that important, was it?
"Ken-chan says this is a very serious matter," Yachiru's face was strangely grim as she spoke to the few men that were gathered in front of her. "Sake is the vital point of our core. He says that our squad cannot function without the nourishment that alcohol provides them with."
"Are you sure it was our captain saying this?" Ikkaku wondered, scratching behind his ear. "Those are some pretty big words."
"Well, not everyone has such a limited vocabulary as you," Yumichika said so pleasantly that Ikkaku almost missed the insult in his words. He glowered at his friend, but couldn't retort before the only other person in the room spoke up.
"Lieutenant, may I ask what Captain Zaraki is planning to do?"
"Sure you can, uh…"
"Sure you can, Maki Maki," Yachiru grinned, a cute smile plastering her beaming face. "Ken-chan is going to meet with Scraggly-face and Pretty-hair!"
Ikkaku and Maki Maki looked dumbfounded.
"Captains Kyoraku and Ukitake," Yumichika provided with a sigh, a little miffed that he wasn't the one with 'pretty' in his name. He covered it up well, flipping his hair back. "Shall we join our captain?"
"I wasn't expecting this many people, Shunsui." Jyuushirou said, looking at the now-filled room. "I mean, I knew you were going to recruit, but this is ridiculous."
"Come on, Jyuu, they're all loyal followers."
"You mean 'alcoholics' don't you?"
"I'll ignore that comment," Shunsui grinned good-naturedly. "Besides, isn't it good to have such a young, inspired group to help us?"
"That's another thing I wanted to bring up," the white-haired captain frowned at his friend. "What exactly are you planning to do? The last time I helped you out with something, it took me months to get the dye out of my hair."
"I thought green was a very charming color on you, Jyuu," Shunsui said cheekily.
"Excuse me, Captains," Nanao Ise's voice interrupted the two shinigami.
"Yes, Vice Captain Ise?" Ukitake lifted a brow, surprised she had come to support it. He spared a glance at Shunsui. "You did tell her what this is about, right?"
"She wouldn't have come if I did!"
"Didn't tell me what?" Nanao looked at her captain and sighed. "Don't tell me he's actually dragged me here to do something idiotic."
"I need your brain, your innate sense of order, and your precision!"
"Get to the point," Nanao's eyes narrowed at her captain.
"I need you to help me sneak sake into the Soul Society."
"You want to become a bootlegger?"
"Well, in not so many words, yes!"
"No, I'm not helping you."
"But Nanao-chan, I'm your captain and you must do as I say!"
"Not it if involves breaking the command of the head captain, whom you are not."
"But, Nanao," Shunsui was already out of witty banter and was resorting to beggary. "Please?"
"No, Captain Kyoraku, I refuse."
"Fine," Shunsui pouted, ignoring the amused look Jyuushirou was giving him. "Attention, dear comrades, Yamamoto has banned sake. I have devised a brilliant plan in order to regain our privileges. All we have to do is form a mob and storm the first division!"
There was an awkward pause.
"Why?" asked Iba, staring at the eighth squad captain with the rest of the room.
"Uh," Shunsui looked to Jyuushirou for help, "'Cause that's where the fourth division hid it!"
"Wouldn't it be in the fourth?" Sentarou asked.
"Let's kidnap their lieutenant!" cheered Maki Maki.
"That's my sister!" Kiyone gasped.
"Hanatarou. It worked for the ryoka," Maki Maki suggested.
"Sorry I'm late!" Kira rushed in, clutching a note in his hand. The scent of perfume filled the air. He paused, looking at the room's occupants. "I must have been given the wrong location," Kira said, looking down at the paper. "I wonder if she meant the third squad's meeting room instead?" he muttered under his breath.
"Ya got my note!" Renji said, catching his arm and dragging him into the chair beside him.
"It's signed 'Momo.'" Kira looked at Renji questioningly.
"Yeah, Rangiku thought that'd be funny," Renji shrugged. "She even sprayed some perfume on it for ya."
Kira quickly folded the note and stuffed it into his shirt, embarrassed. "So, why am I here?"
"For the sake of sake!" Shunsui shouted from the front of the room, quickly walking to Izuru and shaking his shoulders with vigor. "That is why you are here."
"Yes, sir. Of course, sir."
"Back to the plan!" Shunsui bellowed, heading to the front of the room. "Aizen saw this coming! Obviously, that is why he left!"
"Uh, sir," Renji gave the eighth squad captain a doubtful look. "I don't think that's why he left. Do they even have sake in Hueco Mundo?"
Kenpachi, fed up with the small talk, turned to Jyuushirou, "So, what's the plan?"