Behind the Scenes
What goes on in the world of Bleach when off-screen?
Summary of chapter: Urahara and Yoruichi decide to play a prank on the shiginami of Seireitei.
All characters © Kubo Tite
VII: Final Chapter
Valentine's Day for the Gotei
2:30 am, Soul Society time
"Yoruichi-san, please be sure to dampen your reiatsu at this time," Urahara Kisuke said quietly as he and Shihouin Yoruichi stepped through the Senkai Gate. Her long black hair whipped softly behind her as she stepped onto the grass of Seireitei.
"I know, Kisuke," she replied. "Now let's do this."
Kisuke grinned, his jade coat flapping out behind him in the darkness of the early morning hours. "As you wish," he whispered.
The two shinigami slinked silently into the Gotei thirteen divisions like old tomcats in the night. Being more familiar with the shinigami dwellings than Yoruichi despite his time away from Seireitei, Kisuke led his partner to a small building to the side of the first division headquarters. By reading the kanji on the door Yoruichi identified the hut to be the mailroom for the Gotei thirteen.
"Are you sure this is going to work?" she hissed, entering the edifice. Luckily the two had encountered no shinigami on their way over here, and she relaxed her shoulders slightly.
"Don't worry so much, Yoruichi-san," Kisuke answered with a jovial tone. He tipped his hat up and surveyed her with humored green-gray eyes.
"I used to do this all the time when I was a captain, don't you remember?"
Yoruichi snorted, too proud to admit that she did not. "It was a long time ago, Kisuke. I only remember that Yamamoto Soutaichou put a barrier around the mailroom a century or so ago."
The former captain nodded, if a bit sadly. "Makes sense for you not to remember. You were always training with the Special Forces." He grinned mischievously.
"Now that the barrier's broken Yoruichi-san gets to experience the true delights of Seireitei."
"Ah. Why do I get the feeling that we are about to do something illegal?"
2:50 am, Soul Society time
Her golden eyes were bright against the dimness of the mailroom. "Kisuke, you are a genius," she told him.
"Me? A genius?" the store owner flapped his green fan in front of his face with false humbleness. "Don't be silly!"
Yoruichi knocked him on the head playfully. "We'd better do this now before we are discovered," she said, approaching the boxes that hung from the mailroom wall.
Kisuke nodded. "You're right." He followed her and stopped at the large deposit boxes. There were thirteen of them, one for each squad.
"Valentine's day has always been a big event in Soul Society," Kisuke murmured. "Way back, Yamamoto Soutaichou instituted the Valentine System in order to establish good relations and inter-squad communication," he added.
"How did that work out?" Yoruichi asked, genuinely curious.
"Every February 14th the squad members leave little notes and valentines for each other in the appropriate mailbox, but recently it has been a combination of valentines, reminders, and hate-mail," he answered amusedly.
Kisuke opened a random squad's deposit box, which happened to be the one belonging to the sixth division. Peering inside, Urahara grinned. It was full. Perfect.
"Ne Kisuke, you never said how we're going to do this," Yoruichi complained softly.
"No need to fret, my dear Yoruichi-san. I told you I did this all the time."
"Typical. Was this on your list of reasons for being exiled?"
He snorted. "I wouldn't be surprised." A smile played around the corners of his lips.
"Now let's see…I don't have a captain's cloak but this will do." He shrugged off his dark jade overcloak, laying it flat on the mailroom floor. "Normally I would have used one of my inventions to help me, but if I had brought any of them here tonight they would have given us away. No matter."
"I have you to help me now, so we should get this done twice as quickly," Urahara stated. "Yoruichi-san, you know what to do."
"Ah." With that said, she used her Shunpo to empty out the mailboxes at an impossible speed, dumping the hoards of letters out onto Kisuke's cloak.
"Perfect," he said once she was finished, compiling the letters into a somewhat organized pile and tying them up in his cloak. He stood up, picking the green sack of letters.
"Huaah, heavy load this year!" The shinigami turned to Yoruichi. "Now comes the fun part. Are you ready, Yoruichi-san?"
"Of course," she replied with a devious toothy grin. "I can't imagine why I didn't think of this before."
He chuckled, taking her arm and stealthily creeping out of the dark mailroom with his overcloak acting as a voluminous sack of letters. Once out of the division building area and closer to the forest and training grounds, Kisuke and Yoruichi rose high into the air.
"You know one of Benihime's special abilities is her bloodmist shield," Urahara began to the other shinigami. She nodded.
"But did you know her shield can be used for more than just blocking?"
"Where are you going with this, Kisuke?"
He smiled darkly. "We'll use the shield to suspend the letters over Seireitei. If I combine Benihime's natural abilities with a special kidou the bloodmist shield will not only turn invisible but will also allow me to keep track of the binding spell from the real world."
Yoruichi whistled softly from the air. "Nice. So that way all of the letters will be invisible in the sky until the binding breaks. I like the way you think, Kisuke."
The shop owner tipped his hat and began the incantation for the binding shield, untying his cloak so the letters could scatter into the shield.
3:10 am, Soul Society time
"I wish that we could stay and see their faces tomorrow morning," Yoruichi said when they had arrived in front of the Senkai Gate.
"Well technically you mean later this morning," Kisuke remarked dryly. "If we did that we would most likely be caught." He gave a laugh. "Next year I may devise some sort of camera that would work in Seireitei," he said jestingly.
The two shinigami watched as the Gate opened, and together, they stepped through.
"Oh, Kisuke," Yoruichi commented as they ran between worlds. She fumbled in her pocket and produced a small envelope. "Missed one," she said jokingly, holding it out to him as they ran.
"Happy Valentine's Day. I thought you'd like it."
"Kisuke blushed as he took the letter. "Why thank you, Yoruichi-san. Why don't you stop by my shop when we arrive, I may have made something for you too." He grinned happily.
"Sure," she replied comfortably, her bouncing hair hiding the flush on her cheeks. "I'm looking forward to it." And she was.
Without further conversation, the two ran faster in the limbo between the two worlds, disappearing into the darkness.
7:00 am, Real-World and Soul Society time
"Ah." Kisuke looked up from his coffee. "The shield is starting to break."
"Eh? You say something, Tencho?" The red haired boy sitting across from him at the breakfast table was giving him an odd stare.
"No, nothing, Jinta," Urahara said lightly, raising the mug to his lips. He suppressed a smile. The Gotei thirteen was going to be in for a lovely surprise shortly.
After downing his coffee, the shop owner bid his assistants ado and withdrew into the quiet rooms of the shop. He headed out the back door, where Shihouin Yoruichi was leaning against the shop's rear wall.
Kisuke's grin lit up his eyes and stretched to his ears. "The shield has broken," he told the feline shinigami. They playfully slapped each other high-fives.
"Kisuke you sly dog," she scolded jokingly with an approving tone. "You just love wreaking havoc in Soul Society, don't you?"
Urahara shrugged. "It's my nature," he replied nonchalantly. Yoruichi slinked closer to him.
"Thanks for the Valentine's gift, Kisuke," she murmured, tresses of her dark hair swinging forward. "I…enjoyed it very much." She smiled.
The former twelfth-division captain smirked and leaned forward. "I knew you would," he replied.
7:10 am, Soul Society time
Hitsugaya Toushiro rubbed the last vestiges of sleep from his eyes as he walked down the wooden Gotei decks toward his office, preparing himself for the immense amount of paperwork that awaited him. He was aware that today was Valentine's Day, but holiday or no holiday there was work to be done. The small tenth squad captain didn't even bother checking his mailbox for silly valentines and whatnot. Besides, Toushiro had little time to care about such inconsequential matters.
Hitsugaya opened his eyes as something landed softly in his white hair. He reached up and pulled the object out, which appeared to have came out of nowhere.
To: Shiro-chan, the small envelope said (yes, he just happens to get one addressed to him).
Vaguely curious, Toushiro undid the seal to the envelope and extracted the letter, reading what was inside.
Dear Shiro-chan, it read. Happy Valentine's Day! I know you never think much of Yamamoto Soutaichou's Valentine System, but in case you get this I wanted to wish you a happy holiday! If you finish your paperwork early today, how about dinner?
Toushiro's eyes reached the bottom of the letter.
Love, Hinamori. P.S. I still feel bad about sending you roses last year, I didn't know you were allergic. Sorry. This time I had Matsumoto put chocolates in your office from me (assuming she didn't eat them). See you later!
The taichou's aquatic eyes widened and he turned bright red. He hurriedly stuffed the valentine into his captain's robes and walked over cautiously to the railing of the wooden deck, not entirely displeased with the letter. Momo or someone must have been up on the roof and had tossed the letter down from there. Toushiro leaned out from under the canopy of the deck and tilted his neck, angling his face upwards into the light of the morning day.
For a moment Hitsugaya Toushiro thought that it was snowing. Snow was not entirely uncommon in Soul Society, especially giving the time of year. Wait a minute…Toushiro squinted harder.
Some of the things floating down from the sky were pink and red, as well as white. After a closer look the shinigami deduced the "snow" to in fact be hundreds of envelopes and cards raining down on Seireitei.
"W-what is this?" The white-haired captain broke into a run, heading for his office. At the door he almost collided chest-first with his vice-captain. She had a bundle of cards in her hand and was beaming gaily.
"Matsumoto!" Hitsugaya addressed her, slightly out of breath. He saw the letters in her arms. "Explain what's going on now."
"Oh, isn't it great, taichou?" It's raining valentines!" The woman flipped her fiery hair behind her shoulder. "I've already found a bunch for me. Find any for you yet?"
"That's not important now, is it?" Hitsugaya spluttered irascibly, trying to ignore the heat radiating from his face. "Where are all these letters coming from?"
Matsumoto smirked. "Beats me. They all just started raining down from the sky a few minutes ago. I know they're from the mailroom because when I checked all of the divisions' boxes were empty." Her captain nodded, frowning.
"I will be in my room until this nonsense is over with," Hitsugaya said shortly, entering his office and slamming the door.
Matsumoto hid a grin behind her hand. She suspected that her captain had received a very special valentine already. Just wait until he saw the chocolates.
7:45 am, Soul Society time
"Nemu, here's one for you!"
"Wow, I didn't expect you to have this many, Renji."
"I'm going to kill something."
Soul Society on the morning of February 14th was little less than utter mayhem. Upon waking, everyone soon discovered the valentines falling from the sky. The thirteen divisions had exploded into a scramble to collect all of them. Even Kuchiki-taichou joined in. Valentines, hate mail, and others drifted down for everyone to see.
Dear Hisagi, Is there a reason you have the number 69 tattooed on your face? If not, I'd be happy to make a reason for you xD.
Red is the shade of roses,
Red is the blood you cough up too.
Red is my beating heart,
And the color of my face whenever I see you.
Stop using my men for your freak-ass experiments. I know some of 'em may not be the brightest, But if ya send Yumichika home one more time with hair in places I don't even want to fuckin' say, I'll kill you.
Happy Valentine's Day dickcheese,
I want the candiessss now, give me ter munchies and I won't much your heads off, kaythanksbyebye.
My dearest Nanao-chan,
Where hath my little flower vanished off to? I was planning on a romantic moonlit night on the roof, but you never showed up. Are you scared love? No matter, we will have more chances to be alone, know why?
When I'm with you, every day is Valentine's Day.
With more love than you can imagine,
Happy V-day, Rangiku! How 'bout we go out later tonight? This time, I'll tell ya where I'm goin'.
Do your jiggly-wigglies taste as good as they look?
Dear Uhohana-taichou of the fourth division,
I bid you an auspicious day of the Valentines. Good day.
To Abarai Renji,
Hello, I am a thief. I am here to steal your heart, and there's nothing you can do about it, my spiky little fireball. I want you to touch me so I can tell everyone I was touched by an angel. Actually, I just want you to touch me.
-your #1 fan.
That damn sake we had gave me diarrhea. Again. Next time try to find one that doesn't taste like vinegar, hmm?
I couldn't sleep again last night. I can't get you off my mind, I don't know why. Want to go out for lunch? My treat.
-Kotetsu Isane fukutaichou
Kiyone, Come to the back of the thirteenth division training grounds at three today.
You know who.
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
You're such a jerk;
No wonder you have no one to screw.
12:15 pm, Soul Society time
Yamamoto-Genryusai Soutaichou had finally managed to call a captain's meeting (with great difficulty) and calm things down despite all of the mayhem, screaming, kissing, crying, and ass-kicking that was currently going on.
Division members were running to and fro, trying to collect any valentines that were still falling from the sky. The fourth division was almost full, due in part to the number of squabbles that had broken out but even more so due to the fact the fourth division captain and vice-captain's whereabouts were unknown.
"There is only one person who can be responsible for this," Yamamoto Sou-taichou rumbled, leaning on his cane and surveying the disarrayed Seireitei through his window. Only a few of the captains had shown up for the urgent meeting.
"I now regret taking the barrier off the mailroom."
"Y-you don't mean…" Ukitake came to a sudden realization, being one of the oldest captains in the Gotei thirteen. Shunsui's brown eyes widened a moment later, as well as some of the other older captains present.
Somewhere in the real-world, a blonde shop owner and a golden-eyed woman were laughing rather loudly.