Jyuushiro did not really understand what you were supposed to do at wakes. Shunsui was dead, goddamn it. Why the fuck was everyone sitting around, moping and tearing and listening to some crack ass shit who hadn't really known Shunsui talk about how great and honorable and wonderful he was? He hated that. He really did. He did not see the point. What the heck was everyone doing? Did no one even remotely remember who the person they were commemorating was? Was he the only one who had?

Because then why?! Why was the place decked out in goddamn white and black? The streamers were white and black, the pavements, the chairs, the tentageā€¦ Everything was in a shade of white, black or grey. He did not understand, and it irked him. It really, really irked him. He hated the thought of it, he hated that it was this way, and he hated the fact that he had not been informed. Why in hell had no one thought to ask him about it? He was Shunsui's best friend ever since the Academy.

And that was a very long time ago. A very, very long time ago. If anyone knew the man, it was him. Why then, had no one approached him, had no one asked him what should have been done, how the decorations should have been put up, what fucking color the decorations should have been? Good god. At least Matsumoto had some sense, dressed in a red yukata, her pink scarf wrapped around her as usual.

And he was dressed colorfully as well. It was his most flamboyantly colored set of clothing. He had worn it because he knew that Shunsui would have appreciated it, would have appreciated the splash of color at this otherwise drab occasion. It was odd, to have something in honor of Shunsui without the color, the flamboyantly pink haori still flapping merrily in the breeze in his memories, or the sake, Shunsui's all time favorite drink, and his number two love.

And speaking of sake, whose brilliant idea had it been to have the drinks be non-alcoholic? Were the people nuts? Were they absolutely, completely off their rockers? Had they really, truly, already forgotten who they were commemorating?

It was Shunsui, for god's sake.

The man was as flamboyant as an elephant in a pink tutu, and drank sake like Jyuushiro drank tea. He was constantly drunk, or at least for the most part of the day, the most part being just slightly less than for the whole day, had probably done less than the average eighth seat's paperwork in his entire life, and was the slackest, most fun person Jyuushiro had ever, ever met.

This was the person who laughed and joked at about nearly everything, the person who had grabbed him by the shoulder and launched the both of them off a damn cliff. The same person who truly cared for his subordinates, for his peers, for his friends. He could not remember more than ten occasions when he had seen Shunsui in either white or black, and having known the man for centuries, this meant a lot.

So why then? Why was the damn place decked out in black and white? He did not understand it. A scowl on his face as he looked around him, he noticed that most of the others were decked out in black and white as well. Black and white was for boring people. It was for people who could not quite decide what fit them the best, and for people who did not quite know the person. It disgusted him, really.

Nanao was conspicuously absent, but he had not expected her to turn up. It was too difficult for her really, so soon after the incident. Matsumoto, as noted earlier, was in red. Hitsugaya, bless the little kid's soul, was in a teal outfit that brought out his scowling eyes. Surprisingly, Kurotsuchi was in a light purple suit, Nemu at his side in a darker purple. Kuchiki was decked out in dark blue, with Rukia standing near Ichigo, the former in a light greenish grey, the latter in brown. Retsu was in a tasteful beige, and even Zaraki was in dark maroon.

But the rest, and most of the others, they were in black. And not shinigami outfits, which he would have understood and not commented upon, but just black. Why? Why specially wear black? Yes, it was a funeral, but it was not just anyone's funeral. It was Shunsui, goddamn it. He did not understand, he could not understand, and he would not understand why it was that they did not get it. They should have known. They all should have known.

And why was it that everyone was sobbing their eyes out? Yes, it was sad that Shunsui was not with them, but if you thought about it, and if they had already cried in private which they should have already done, and he had, then they would have realized that this was Shunsui. It was more appropriate, nay, much more appropriate to be laughing at his funeral. To laugh, to joke, to have fun. To get completely and utterly stoned, to have someone do a stupid dance on the long table, wreck the ugly white flower display and completely embarrass themselves.

And he would not have wanted a funeral in the first damn place. He would have wanted a little commemoration, where everyone sat down and got completely, utterly wasted. And he would be laughing down at them right now, or probably whining about how long this was taking and how damn boring it was and how could they light the damn fire already, he wanted to drink the sake because really, the dead were dead and all this stupid talking and whatever was not going to bring them back and goddamn it, he was thirsty and could they hurry up?

He laughed out loud, interrupting the service with a deep throated chuckle, his laughter not stopping even when they turned to look at him, that queer look of pity and sympathy in their eyes. And he laughed even harder at that. He could just imagine Shunsui somewhere up there, wherever he was, laughing his ass off at the sheer hilarity of it all.

Why on earth would they pity him? He was the one who had been best friends with the man, but that was precisely it! He had known Shunsui, but the others had not. Given time, they might have had the chance to get to know him, but now that he was no longer with them, they would not have the chance. Why should they pity him? Jyuushiro was not the one losing out. They were.

Still chuckling, he made his way up to the podium, completely interrupting all the proceedings. And then another laugh sprang up from the back, a half-choked laugh, but still a laugh. His eyes widened slightly as he met hers, seeing the saddened look, but the look of a person determined to go on.

Dressed in a pink outfit, Ise Nanao looked prim as usual, but anyone could see that she had been devastated, quite devastated by the death. Her eyes no longer had the same sharp piercing quality to them, and somehow, her posture was not quite so perfect. He had not expected her to turn up in the first place. However, they both knew that Shunsui would have wanted them to move on, no matter how hard it was.

They laughed and laughed and laughed, laughing even harder when the others shot them queer looks. Matsumoto seemed to get it, and started laughing together with them, tears of laughter leaking from her eyes as she leant on her little taicho for support. Said little taicho looked a lot less grumpy now, a smile coming to his face. A chuckle or two came from his direction.

And when their laughter finally died down, when he swiped the last tears of laughter from his eyes, another bout rose up again, when she asked, holding up a bottle which he recognized as being the half finished one on his desk just before he had left.

"Sake anybody?"

This time, they were not alone in laughing.