AUTHOR'S NOTE: Complete speculation on my part, seeing as past histories of the characters haven't really been revealed in detail. This particular bunny wouldn't leave me alone. Thank you to ZabJade for beta work and the use of her spellcheck.
Matsumoto Rangiku stared blankly at the piece of paper all but jammed into her face. It was far too close to read, causing her eyes to cross. Even if she wanted to read it to begin with, it was an official document and didn't seem interesting beyond the fact that it had her name on it. She made out a few words, 'scandalous misconduct' seeming to be the most commonly used pairing in the document. She blinked then peered around the paper and shrugged. "What is it?" she asked.
"It's a request from Sixth Division Captain, Kuchiki Byakuya," General Yamamoto said gruffly, his voice edging the closest to anger that she'd ever heard it. "He's requesting- no, rather demanding- that you be reassigned as Assistant Captain elsewhere."
"Oh... how sad. I really thought we'd made a connection," she pouted. She hugged her arms across her stomach, hefting her breasts so that they strained further from her uniform.
"He's citing manner unbefitting an assistant, gross and scandalous misconduct-," she smiled, pleased that she'd been right about those words being used, "-insubordinate behavior, complete disregard for regulations, refusal of direct orders and being an unnecessary distraction to the male members in his division."
Rangiku shrugged, fingers idly toying with the chain dangling down the front of her cleavage. "I really am quite shocked by the charges, General."
"This is the fourth transfer request in less than two years, Matsumoto," the general barked. He wasn't quite yelling, but he was definitely not pleased. Rangiku flipped her hair back, undaunted. "I'm tempted to unseat you completely for this."
"I'd just make my way back to the top. It's what I'm good at, right?" she grinned, winking to show that she was only joking.
The elderly general didn't take it as a joke. Yamamoto's back stiffened angrily as he slammed the paper to the desk top. She flinched at the harsh sound of his hand connecting with the wood, her smile fading from her face when he leveled a hard glare in her direction. "This is not a laughing matter, Matsumoto! If you can't work with a captain accordingly, then what use are you?"
That... stung. Actually, it flat out hurt. Rangiku's lips curled downward, her eyes hardening to the point where they resembled ice. "I'm plenty of use, sir, and you know it! If I wasn't, I wouldn't still be standing here, now would I? Was Captain Kuchiki kind enough to provide examples of my supposed misconduct?" She was guessing he had. The frigid man was positively anal for details, and there was still a small stack of papers sitting on the general's desk.
Yamamoto's glare seemed to suck the breath right out of her as a tiny shiver ran down her spine. r"As a matter of fact, he did. For unbefitting manners, he's stating you showed up for several training sessions drunk-,"
"-Hung over. There's a difference. Drunk implies I was completely out of my wits, and I would never be caught training like that," she interupted. Key words there: Being caught. She had shown up mildly tipsy to training in Twelfth Division, but that had been completely on purpose. Mayuri was a stickler for precision, and her being off kilter was definitely not that. She'd wanted away from that man as quickly as possible. Her wish had been granted in the form of a transfer only two weeks into her tenure there.
"Flashing the entire Sixth Division was what then, an act of fate?" the old man questioned sharply.
"More like an accident," she explained. "See, the boys thought it would be funny if-,"
"Spare the details, they are irrelevant. Talking back to your captain, which isn't, I might add, the first time this has been mentioned?"
"He said that if he told me the sky was green, then it was green and I was to like it. I told him the sky would never be green, and that he was, respectfully, wrong. Oh, and he asked me to stop seducing his men, to which I said there was no seduction to it. We're all adults here, and therefore accountable for our own actions. Seduction implies purposely tempting a man to my bed for my own selfish gain. That doesn't apply to me, sir, as the men in question really didn't have much to offer me besides their company and maybe a good jug of sake." She shrugged and smiled as innocently as could be. It was all true, too. If she really wanted to seduce someone, it would have been Captain Kuchiki himself. A rich man who looked as yummy as chocolate cake and sake? It was a shame the man was colder than ice.
"This next covers the last three complaints. He states that he has, upon numerous occasions, ordered you to wear you uniform correctly. You have refused, and he feels that as a direct result of that several of his Division have been too distracted to focus on their tasks."
Rangiku shook her head, setting her waves to bouncing and breasts to shaking as well. She carefully kept the smirk off her face as even the elderly general fought to keep his eyes from dropping. "First of all, he never once said, point blank, that my breasts were a problem. No one else seemed to mind, so I was left to assume that the captain didn't either. Secondly, to take such a blatantly sizist attitude toward my breasts is not only prejudice but uncalled for. I mean, can I help it if my bounty is ample? Is it my fault the men are soooo easily distracted by a little extra flesh? Third of all, it is stated, and has been mentioned to the captain before, that modification to the standard uniforms is exclusive to ranked shinigami only. As assistant captain, I am a ranked member of the Division and may therefore, sir, modify my uniform for optimum comfort." She paused, huffing as she twirled her chain through her fingers. "Honestly, you men have it sooo much easier than we women! Do you think it's a treat carrying around all this extra weight? I mean, I know they're nice to look at, but they are so heavy! Really, they should be seen as a disadvantage or a handicap during a fight, not as something lascivious. Not to mention the sweat factor! No offence, sir, but you don't have cleavage and therefore don't know how badly the sweat gets captured there. Exposing them is only for my own benefit, sir, not because-,"
Her mouth snapped shut with an audible click, her instincts for fight or flight taking over as she watched the man across from her cautiously. Yamamoto was silently seething where he sat, eyes burning hotly as his chest rose and fell slightly faster. Uh-oh... maybe she'd pushed just a little too far this time. It took a great deal of effort not to draw her zanpaku-to as the old man stood up, grabbing his staff in the process. She did back up a step, however, swallowing hard as his aura filled the large room and swarmed all over her. It felt like a million tiny needles jabbing all along her skin, burning hot and terribly uncomfortable. "As it so happens, Matsumoto Rangiku, I have a captain available looking for an assistant. I think the two of you will be a perfect fit, and if not..."
The way he let the threat trail of was enough for her. Rangiku gulped again and nodded her understanding. She'd be unseated and forced to work her way up. Again. Granted, it hadn't been incredibly hard, but she'd rather not have to go through that kind of demoralization. Her eyes widened as the old man leaned forward, her breath locking tight in her chest. She watched mutely as Yamamoto scribbled something across a blank document, jumping when he slammed an official seal onto it hard enough to set the ink wells jumping. Rangiku stared once again as yet another piece of paper was thrust in front of her face. "Take this and get out of my sight, Matsumoto Rangiku. Believe me when I say you'll regret entering my presence under a transfer request again."
Rangiku took the paper between shaking fingers and hurried out of the irritated general's office. She didn't pause nor look at the paper until she was completely out of sight of the enormous palace, stopping to lean against the high wall to let out a deep, relieved sigh. "I swear, he gets more and more grumpy the older he gets," she exclaimed to no one in particular. Only the wind carrying a few cherry blossoms answered her as she finally glanced at the paper he'd handed her. She pushed her curls back with fingers that were still a little damp and frowned as she read the words over again. "Hmm... Captain Hitsugaya Toushiro of Tenth Division. Never heard of him before... shouldn't be a problem though." She smiled as she tucked the transfer order into her sash.
There was a more logical reason for wearing her front so open. It was for exactly the reason Captain Kuchiki had her removed from his company; a distraction. The more the boys looked down, the less likely they were to see what was going on above. It was a large reason, no pun intended, to why she had moved so quickly up the ranks. Not even women could help but take a peek! She'd also found it extremely useful with certain captains, such as Kyouraku Shunsui. He was actually the one who put her name in for the assistant captain position under Kuchiki Byakuya, and it was all due to a little sake and a lot of breast. Was she shameless? Absolutely! But if shamelessness was what it took, she was good with that.
And there was no doubt that she could win over this Hitsugaya Toushiro the same way, too. There was no one more frigid than Kuchiki Byakuya in all of the Soul Society. By the end of the week, she'd have the Tenth Division captain eating out of her hand!
It took only one glance for Rangiku to pause and reconsider her position. She was now standing outside the Tenth Division captain's office, all smiles and bouncing breasts, ready to blow him away... and she found what looked to be a kid sitting behind the desk. What the... She paused, taking in the cool gaze that met her eyes unerringly, before deciding the boy had to be an under secretary or something. There was no way he was the captain. He couldn't be, he was far too young and didn't look anything like the other captains. "Hi!" she called brightly. "I'm looking for Captain Hitsugaya?"
"What business do you have with the captain?" he asked, folding his hands neatly on the desk top. She could see the captain's coat hanging on a nearby wall hook and frowned at the size. Yamamoto had said this Hitsugaya was a 'he'... right? And there wasn't another desk in here, though there was a door in the back wall... maybe this was the outer office? Captain Mayuri had one that she hadn't made much use of, much to his annoyance. Paper work... ugh!
"I'm the new assistant captain, just transferred from Sixth Division," she continued, still cheerful despite her confidence slipping a notch. She handed the order over to the small hand waiting for it, taking a seat and ignoring the surprised arch of brows as the young man read it over thoroughly. His pale silver eyebrows shifted into a furrowed look as he read the missive over once again. Rangiku sighed, crossing one leg over her knee so that she flashed quite a bit of leg as well. The more the captain had to look at, the better. "So... is the captain a looker?"
"I beg your pardon?" The boy's eyes widened a little, but it wasn't so much shock as confusion that she saw there.
She rolled her eyes and waved her hand airily, as if the gesture could explain more clearly what she had just asked. "A looker. You know, someone pleasing to the eye?" The expression he gave her now was one that clearly said she had lost him completely. Pale blue eyes met hers firmly, sending a small shiver down her spine at the intensity. She shifted a little and frowned, arching a brow in demand for an answer.
Slowly, the boy's lips curved into a tight smile. It was more of a grimace, really, and it set off a warning bell in her head that she promptly ignored. "That's for others to decide," he answered. "I don't normally make it a habit of looking at the captain."
Ignoring the odd emphasis on the superior officer's title, Rangiku laughed lightly and shrugged, shaking her hair out. "Of course you wouldn't! Sorry I asked, nothing intended about it. So, is he a good captain?"
"I think so. A little stern, but fair."
"Hmm... tight-laced. That could be a problem."
"And why is that?"
Rangiku wrinkled her nose and shrugged. "Tight-laced and I don't tend to get along very well. I mean, it's nothing intentional or anything. I don't want you getting the wrong idea about me, seeing as I'm going to be here as the assistant. It's just... well..."
"You're a bit of a loose cannon," he finished, sitting back in the chair comfortably as he tossed the paper onto the desk with a careless ease that didn't seem very natural for an under secretary.
"I prefer free spirit," she corrected, holding up one finger to emphasize the point. "I'm loyal to whoever I'm working with, but I do like a bit of a free range." She hesitated, wrinkling her nose again when she remembered part of Captain Kuchiki's reason for transferirng her. "He's not going to be all uptight about my uniform, is he?"
"I don't see how your uniform has anything to do with your performance here. So, no, I don't think the captain will really care."
Rangiku wiped a dramatic hand across her brow, grinning as she caught the boy's tight lipped smile. "Well, that's a relief! I tried once, tucking these things into a uniform. It didn't work so well."
The boy arched an eyebrow and steepled his fingers under his chin, regarding her intently for several seconds. "Is that why you're transferring into Tenth Company then, Assistant Captain Matsumoto? Someone was trying to change you?"
She nodded slowly, running his words over in her head a few times before a slow grin broke out across her face. "Yes... yes, that's it! I like that. They were all trying to change me. They didn't need me, they needed me to be someone else. Hey, you're good at this!"
He shrugged before standing up, tapping his finger on the transfer papers as he pushed the chair into the desk. "From what I can tell, you'll be fine here. And I can understand now why the General would transfer you to Tenth Company. You might have been too much for the other captains... but not for this one."
Rangiku smiled despite feeling quite a bit puzzled by his odd word choices. She stood as well, nodding her head toward the paper he was still touching. "So, when can you get that to the captain?"
The boy smiled, a genuine one this time and full of amusement. "There's no need. The captain already saw and accepted it."
"Eh?" No... way... She blinked, jaw dropping open as everything began to slide neatly into place. "Wait, the captain... already..."
The boy took down the coat hanging on its hook and swung it into place. His small hands adjusted the belt tying his zanpaku-to to his waist before turning those winter pale eyes back to her own. "You never asked my name, did you? Well then... you may call me Hitsugaya Toushiro. Captain Hitsugaya Toushiro of Tenth Division." With one last smile that failed to warm him completely, he added, "And the uniform... no affect here, but no objections to the modifications. If anyone is stupid enough to fall for such an obvious distraction, they deserve to be cut down. Oh, and I'll send someone up to show you to your quarters. Be ready for training in an hour."
Spluttering out an annoyed, "Hey!" Rangiku took a step after the captain, mind still reeling from the whole interview. Huffing irritably, she slouched down into the chair and glared at the transfer papers. That old man knew very well what he was doing, assigning her to a captain too young to care about women. It finally sank in just how permanent this situation was going to be for her. She let out a deep groan and let her arms flop bonelessly over the side of the chair. Men... they were devious creatures, that was for sure!