Written for the March round of Bleach flashfic on LJ. This gave me cavities.
Nanao is a person ruled by logic. In her world, everything has a viable reason for working the way it does, everything has an explanation. Everything makes sense.
Nanao is a creature born of reasoning and above all else she values order, consideration, discipline. She values sound judgment and sense.
The mind has always been her best weapon and tool, and she has never believed in the advice 'follow your heart'. The heart is too fickle and careless, too apt to change its mind, too susceptible to faltering, and too eager to surrender to its own desires without thought of consequence.
Shunsui is a man ruled by his heart. He is impractical, indulgent, lazy, and careless. He does whatever interests him at a certain moment of time, only to stop in the middle of it because something else has caught his fancy. He ignores his orders, neglects his responsibilities, and has no regard for consequences.
He smiles at her, tipsy off of sake as well as avoiding his duties, and across her notebook Nanao writes.
He has a beautiful smile.
Whenever Nanao has an illogical thought, she will immediately write it down and look at it until it is burned firmly into her mind so she will never forget it. It is her own way of cataloging her mistakes to make certain she never makes them again.
The captain's eyes are lovely, she writes. His voice helps me sleep at night. I like the way he says my name. He has such large, wonderful hands. His hair shines so well in the sun.
Across the white sheets, Nanao writes down her mistakes and slams the cover shut with a blush.
He is one of the most frustrating people Nanao has ever met and the most illogical choice for a partner.
If she if ever did desire, much less need, a male companion, and she didn't, there were much better candidates to choose from. Someone with ambition. Someone orderly and responsible. Someone who didn't spend most of the day sleeping and most of the night drinking.
It was a given Shunsui was indeed talented, even she recognized that. He was one of the oldest captains and one of the most respected. But his talent was completely natural and thus he had made no effort for it. Nanao doubted he had ever worked hard for anything in his life.
And once Shunsui had become a captain, he hadn't tried to advance at all. He was completely content being stagnant in his position.
"Why don't you ever try to join the Royal Guard?" she asks one night, adjusting her glasses over her nose as he sips sake and draws flowers all over his important documents.
"Because," he says, "why would I want to go all the way back down to the bottom when I'm already at the top?"
He turns and smiles at her then, and Nanao pushes her glasses further up with a snort.
No ambition at all.
When Nanao had first become a lieutenant, she had left her book at home buried underneath various things where no one could find it. Once a day, at the end of the night before bed, she had written in it.
But as time passed and she was around Shunsui's company more and more, her writing became more frequent and the illogical thoughts more dangerous, and so she began to carry the book around with her everywhere she went. More and more she found herself needing to open it and read over everything, remind herself. Nanao can't allow herself to make the same mistakes over again.
Against her chest, across her heart, Nanao clasps her illogical thoughts, the exact place where they came from.
She hadn't made the decision to help Rukia because she felt sorry for her. She agreed to assist in stopping the execution because the Committee was being illogical and the only way to make sure they saw that was to put a stop to it themselves. That was the logic behind her decision.
On the day of Rukia's execution, she sits on the edge of the roof with Shunsui beside her and together they watch the preparations.
Shifting her book to the side, Nanao turns to her captain and voices the question that has been residing in her thoughts since he too had announced his decision to go along with it, "Why are you helping to stop the execution? I can understand Ukitake but not you. You barely know her."
"Because my heart tells me to, Nanao-chan."
Nanao stares at him. "What?"
He turns to look at her directly. "The heart," he says and he raises a hand up to lie against his chest, "tells us what is right and wrong. The heart knows the best justice. My heart knows this execution is wrong and that is why I am going to help stop it."
"The heart," she murmurs.
"The heart knows best."
Nanao doesn't think Shunsui's logic is very logical at all.
But she wishes she did.
She writes that down in her notebook as well.
Nanao never writes down He needs me. This is because she knows that wasn't illogical at all. He needed her there to keep him in line, to remind him of his obligations, to make sure he did what he was supposed to. She was the backbone of everything he did.
I want him to need me, she writes instead.
She holds her book closer to herself than ever.
Nanao has been a lieutenant for a very long time, longer than most. When the three Captain spots open up, she waits with bated breath for the offer to come her way.
It would be, she knows, the most logical choice to accept the position. She had ambition and the only place to go with ambition is up. But on the other hand…she didn't want the position. It was a strange thing in her world; to find something logical but not desire that logical choice.
I want to stay as Captain Shunsui's lieutenant, she writes and burns it into her mind so she won't forget her mistake.
But that only makes her want it all the more.
"The Captain's position wasn't offered to you, was it?"
He is actually sitting rather than lounging in his usual laidback position when she walks in. She can see he is eager, like a puppy, and…concerned perhaps.
It's all very foolish but Nanao has to look away anyway to hide her expression.
"No. It wasn't."
Shunsui sighs with relief. "Good. I was afraid they wouldn't listen to me."
She turns to look at him, eyes narrowing. "What?"
"Well I asked them not to move your position," Shunsui explains and on his face he has that put-upon look, as if the world is trying to be very unfair to him. "They didn't tell you that?"
It takes Nanao a long moment to respond. "You asked them to…"
He pouts up his lips in that way of his whenever he is being cute with her. "Because whatever would I do without my Nanao-chan?" he coos.
"Whatever indeed." She pushes her glasses more firmly onto her nose, a frown creasing her brow.
"You're not angry with me, are you?" Shunsui suddenly asks and for the first time she can remember he actually sounds worried. "I did go above your head but, I mean, without you I'm nothing really. What sort of Captain can't even remember his own paper work? I don't even know what the date is! So if you're not my lieutenant anymore I'd be lost. I'd like for you to stay, I don't want anyone else."
Nanao became very still and his words tumbled down into her heart.
Trust in Shunsui to turn a bad action into one of the sweetest compliment. And he'd like for her to stay, not he needed her to.
"I mean if you really want," he begins to babble to her silence, "I can probably get them to change their minds. That is, if you really want-"
"No," Nanao interrupts. "That won't be necessary. I will stay here."
The look on his face is enough to make her look away again. It is the happiest he has ever looked, which is saying a lot because Shunsui is generally always happy.
Nanao doesn't write down in her book that deciding to stay was illogical either. Shunsui obviously needed her and if he needed her that bad, than the most logical idea was to stay, even if it was only to yell at him about his duties.
I love him.
She knows maybe one day she will write it. And she also knows that when that time comes all her logic, her entire world, will shatter and she will have to build an entirely new one.
And yet, very strangely, that is okay with her because she knows Shunsui will be there every step of the way. He will always be there in her world and maybe, just maybe, he will be able to teach her what the heart has to teach and show her if it really does know best.
It is a very illogical thought but it is the only one that seems to make sense to her.
And maybe when that day comes, maybe she will be able to cast her book into the fire all last and let all her illogical thoughts become no more, and finally will she be able to make every beautiful mistake she's ever wanted to over and over again.