The Dead Captains Society
Disclaimer: I do not own Walt Whitman, his writings, Bleach, or The Dead Poet's Society.
AN: Not placed in any time line. Mostly AU, but set in Soul Society. Also, I totally messed with the lieutenants' lives.
Oh Captain! My Captain!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
"What is it that you wanted, Captain Soifon?" Yamamoto's gruff voice broke the silence of his already stifling office.
"I am here to inform you of a treasonous act I have witnessed tonight."
"Treason?" Yamamoto repeated, leaning back in his chair. "Go on."
"Tonight, I followed Captain Kyoraku into the woods just outside of the Rukongai. Several of your captains—"
"Are you certain of what you have seen?" Yamamoto stated gravely, looking down at her, obviously disapproving of what she had to say.
"Sir, I am completely certain that Captain Uki—"
"Are you certain?" The Captain Commander's hands tightened on his zanpakuto and the spiritual pressure in the room thickened.
"Sir?" Soifon hesitated, unsure of what to make of him. "There were six captains present and they were pledging allegiance to Captain Ukitake."
"Captain Soifon, if you continue making false accusations about any of the captains of the Thirteen Protections Squads I will be forced to take serious measures. Wrongly claiming that one of the most valuable and loyal shinigami to ever grace the Soul Society is committing treasonous acts could be considered treasonous in itself. Now," Yamamoto looked at her seriously, "Are you certain?"
"I am certain."
"Very well," Yamamoto slowly stood, gripping the staff in his hands. "I have warned you of the consequences."
"I'm not lying, Captain Commander!"
"Captain..." Soifon whispered.
Yamamoto looked over at the door and immediately loosened his hold on his zanpakuto.
"Captain Kuchiki!" Soifon said in surprise.
"What are you doing here?" Yamamoto grunted.
Byakuya brushed past Soifon, putting himself in between the two shinigami. He looked the Captain Commander in the eye and performed a short bow. "Sir, please disregard anything that Captain Soifon has to say."
"Why is that?"
"I can not say," Byakuya looked resolute. "As a personal favor to me, please."
Yamamoto seemed to consider this for a second before nodding slowly, "Very well, Captain Kuchiki. As a personal favor to you she will live. I expect to hear no more from either of you."
"Thank you, Sir." Byakuya turned, leaving Soifon alone with the Commander. She quickly went after him.
"Captain Kuchiki," Soifon caught up with him. "Tha—"
"That was foolish. You would have been killed," Byakuya glared at her.
"How is that any different that what you were trying to do?"
"I am your protector. I will not allow anyone to harm you. I am the only one who will kill you."
"You have saved me just to die?" Soifon stopped in her tracks.
"The difference between us," Byakuya said, continuing his trek. "Is that I am willing to give you a second chance."
"That's enough," Byakuya glanced at her. "We must report this immediately."
"Yumichika!" Ikkaku smacked his friend's shoulder just a little too hard. "You haven't even touched your drink. Is something wrong?"
"It amazes me how much more perceptive you are when you're drunk, Ikkaku," Yumichika muttered. "I'm fine."
"Okay, whatever," Ikkaku nodded, returning to the rest of the group.
Yumichika sat quietly, tapping the edge of his cup as Ukitake attempted to be oblivious of his stare. "There were more than two sets of footprints, Captain Ukitake."
"Well, Shunsui and I did walk around quite a bit."
"I have followed behind my captain long enough to be able to recognize his footprints, Sir. What were you actually doing in the woods?"
"We were just walking," Ukitake gave a little shrug. "Can I help it if your Captain has walked there, too?"
"Well, if that's all you have to say, I suppose I can just go see to where those footprints lead. After all, it is my duty to follow my captain."
"What do you want to know?" Ukitake said slowly, glancing at the shinigami.
"I've come to find that my captain seems to be missing late at night for no reason at all. He's done it a few times in the past month that I've noticed. And tonight...he's missing tonight, too. The funny thing is this seems to happen a lot whenever we get a new captain."
"Yes, that's quite strange," Ukitake managed.
"And snow this time of year isn't odd," Yumichika glanced at the captain. "Just like the rain wasn't in the summer and spring and the fog wasn't in the fall. Except that perhaps, only during this weather, was my captain gone."
"You're quite perceptive," Ukitake complimented.
"See to it that nothing happens to my captain," Yumichika finally took a sip of his drink. "It seems like he's always getting himself into trouble."
"You're back early tonight, Gin."
"Yeah, well," Gin shrugged. "There wasn't much to do."
"That's too bad," Aizen removed his glasses. "I wonder if you might help me with something."
"Captain!" Kira and Renji both shouted as Byakuya walked into the bar. Kira paused realizing his mistake and quickly sat down.
"Hello, Lieutenant Kira," Byakuya nodded to the boy and walked past, Soifon following closely.
"What was that?" Renji turned to look at Kira. "He didn't even notice I was there."
"He doesn't know who you are, Renji." Kira frowned. "You've never even met the man."
"Captain Ukitake," Byakuya intoned. "Could I have a word?"
"Of course, Byakuya," Ukitake smiled, looking around him at Soifon. "Hello!"
Soifon reluctantly nodded.
"Alone?" Byakuya threw a glance at Yumichika.
"Ah, yes," Ukitake nodded, leaving the barstool. "Nice talking to you, Yumichika."
"Let's go outside," Byakuya didn't wait for an answer. Soifon threw a worried look at Ukitake and darted after him. Ukitake met Shunsui's eyes from across the room and both of them headed out the door.
"What is it, Byakuya?" Shunsui waved at Soifon.
"I believe the Captain Commander knows."
"What do you mean?" Ukitake's eyes narrowed.
"He knows about the Society, or at least, I believe he does."
"What has happened?"
"I told him...or I tried to. He wouldn't let me finish. He was going to..." Soifon fell silent.
"That's unimportant at the moment, Soifon," Byakuya frowned. "I won't let him harm you."
"But I don't understand," Soifon shook her head.
"Don't be afraid, little Soifon," Shunsui laid a hand on her head. "It's the same for Jyuushirou and I. One day you will understand." Shunsui smiled warmly. "Byakuya, my boy, take good care our little girl."
"That's enough play, Shunsui," Ukitake reprimanded gently.
"Fine, fine," Shunsui noticed a few patrons walk out of the bar. "Why don't we head over to my division to talk? Maybe even have a little drink?"
"I don't understand it!" Matsumoto slammed her cup on the table. "What in the world is a tangerine!"
"It's kind of like a small orange," Ikkaku muttered, his head resting on his folded arms.
"Oh," Matsumoto nodded. "That's understandable."
"How do you know that?" Renji wondered.
"It's a lovely color," Yumichika chimed.
"Oh," Renji chuckled. "That's why."
"Also, can someone explain this to me? If we wear sandals, why do so many stores sell shoe-polish?" Masumoto wanted to know.
"It's a human-world trend," Yumichika answered.
"For old people," Ikkaku sniggered.
"Why do you know that?" Kenpachi rumbled from behind them.
"Captain!" Yumichika smiled pleasantly. "Did you enjoy your walk?"
"Nanao, my love!" Shunsui pranced into the office. "We've returned from our meeting!"
"Hello, Nanao," Ukitake greeted.
"Oh, you've brought guests." Nanao eyed Byakuya and Soifon in confusion. "Is this—"
"That's right," Shunsui nodded, withdrawing a book from his robes. "I trust you'll keep this safe as always?"
"Of course, my Captain," Nanao nodded.
"Isn't that the book you're always carrying around?" Soifon wondered.
"Why do you have it?" Byakuya wondered.
"Nanao is one of our most trusted associates," Ukitake explained. "She keeps it safe for us when we are not using it."
"We can't leave such things just lying around, can we?" Shunsui laughed.
"I thought only captains were supposed to know about this?"
"There are very few rare exceptions and she is one of them. We like to keep such things secret." Shunsui promptly sat on the floor, expecting everyone else to do the same.
"I'll make some tea, Captain?" Nanao asked as Ukitake settled himself comfortably on the floor.
"Yes, that's be wonderful, Nanao," Ukitake smiled.
"Why are you taking orders from him instead of me, my dear, lovely Nanao?" Shunsui whimpered.
"Because you are an idiot, Sir."
"NANAO!" Shunsui gasped.
Ukitake chuckled, watching as Nanao left the room. He frowned slightly. "Soifon, why are you sitting all the way over there? Come over here, why don't you?"
Soifon hesitated, crawling to a spot close to Byakuya.
Ukitake hmmed, "What are you trembling for, Soifon? Why are you so afraid of me?"
"Why shouldn't she be?" Byakuya looked at the captain. "It was your command that I kill her. You are the only one I will not protect her against."
"All so serious! Now, now. No need to be scared." Shunsui chuckled, glancing at Jyuushirou as he spoke. "It was the same for us...in the beginning."
End part 7.