For the Love of Aizen
A "continuation" of Part 4
"He doesn't want that. It's not on the list," Momo said primly, pulling the object out of Renji's hand and setting it back on the shelf.
"Well, I was just thinking about options," Renji muttered in reply. "Ikkaku's a weird guy; he probably doesn't even know what half of this stuff is. I know I don't."
"That's because you're ridiculous."
"It's true," Momo sighed. "You couldn't even figure out a way to take care of Iba. You wanted to see Madarame about it."
"You were the one who suggested it!"
"Quit blaming others, Renji." Momo chastised him as she set a jar of mayonnaise into their cart. "Madarame is a wonderful man."
"He is, is he?" Renji frowned, not liking the dreamy look that was spreading across Momo's face. "He's not that great."
"Renji! He's your friend!"
"Yeah, but he's—"
"You shouldn't bad talk people who are close to you." Momo huffed, looking at the list of 'top secret sandwich supplies' they were supposed to buy for Ikkaku. "That's just like you, Renji. I can't believe I'm even hanging out with you. You probably talk bad about me behind my back, too!"
Who doesn't? Renji wondered absently as Momo took off with the shopping cart, prepared to find the rest of the items on Ikkaku's list. He'd just wait for her up front. She wouldn't get very far. He was the one with the money.
"It's really a shame, isn't it?" Szayel sipped at his non-fat latte and stared at his magazine. "You'd make a much better daddy than he would."
"Eh, I don't know," Grimmjow scratched his jaw as he leaned back in one of the cushy chairs in the break room. "I don't really think I have a lot of good qualities like that."
"Of course you do!" Szayel shook his head of pink hair artfully. "You're fairly well-groomed, you're not completely stupid, and you only destroy something maybe once a week now. I think you've matured a lot in your time here, Grimmjow."
"I guess you're right, but compared to a guy like Tousen, I'm no where in his league."
"You shouldn't compare yourself to him," Szayel sniffed, setting his latte down. "You are two completely different people."
"You have no idea how much that means to me, Szayel." Grimmjow smiled. "Thank you."
The two Espada turned to look at the ex-shinigami standing in the doorway.
"What?" Grimmjow replied snarkily, then paused remembering his new-found maturity. "What do you want, Sir?"
"Wonderwice is missing," Tousen frowned. "Did you take him?"
"Of course not!"
"This is getting good!" Kenpachi whispered to Byakuya from their hiding place in an air duct.
"Do be quiet," Byakuya murmured, hand clamped tightly around Wonderwice's mouth. He grimaced as the boy drooled on it. "We don't want to be found out."
"What'cha planning on doing with him then?"
"We'll release him into the wilds of Hueco Mundo. I'm sure he'll be able to find a way back eventually."
"That's your best plan? The wilds of Hueco Mundo? He doesn't seem particularly smart, to be honest. How do you know he won't trip on a rock and knock himself out cold?"
"Then it's one less arrancar for us to worry about."
"I swear, I can almost hear him laughing," Tousen sighed sadly.
"Don't worry; we'll help you find him!" Szayel closed his magazine and set it on the table.
"We will?" Grimmjow muttered.
"Yes, we will!" Szayel smiled. "Tousen-san, we are at your immediate disposal. We will help you find our dear Wonderwice!"
"Yumichika?" Iba blinked at the sudden appearance of the eleventh division shinigami. "Did you need something?"
"No," Yumichika brushed his hair back.
"Oh, okay," Iba stared at him. "Why are you dressed so strange?"
"Do you think I look strange?" Yumichika stared down at his black suit. "I always wear black."
"You look like some kind of mobster..."
"I do? Oh well," Yumichika shrugged, pulling his fedora over his eyes a little more. "Iba Tetsuzaemon, I am under orders from a higher power to relieve you of your Batman coloring book or to kill you in the process. I will not fail in my mission, even if it means death to you. Please, consider my words carefully. Will you give it to me willingly or will I have to take it from you?"
"Are you serious?" Iba frowned. "It's just a coloring book."
"It's very important to certain individuals," Yumichika said, drawing his sword. "Final time, Iba. Give it up or die."
"Yumichika," Iba gasped. "It's in my room. I'll go get it!"
"Do hurry," Yumichika made no move to put his sword away. "And don't try to run."
"Sure." Iba immediately flashstepped away.
Yumichika sighed and took chase.
He just had to run, didn't he?
"Are you lost?"
"Did you loose your mummy?"
"Aww, look at those big eyes!"
"Are you hungry?"
"He looks a little dazed."
"Maybe he tripped over a rock."
"GUYS!" Suigetsu growled, finally getting their attention. "He is an arrancar. You shouldn't get too close to them." The zanpakuto stepped forward and took the little arrancar's hand. "Come on, Wonderwice. I'll take you home."
"I want to come," Ukitake frowned, patting the little boy's blond hair fondly. "A small child is a handful for one person."
"Definitely," Shunsui took the boy's other hand and grinned. "We'll get you home in no time, small child!"
"You aren't Captain Kyoraku..."
"Why are you here?"
"That Nanao lady said I had to do some work around here so I wouldn't be completely useless. So I ran off."
"Aren't you an arrancar?"
"Why are you in Soul Society?"
"I'm on a mission," Stark frowned. "Can I sit down? It's tiring to stand."
"Yeah, I guess..." Kiyone motioned to the couch by the wall. "Over there's fine."
"Great," Stark sank down into the cushions. "So what are you doing here?"
"I'm running my captain's division while he's away on a mission. I want to make sure everything looks and runs perfectly when he gets back," Kiyone sighed dreamily. "No matter how long I have to wait for his return, it will be worth it."
"You seem pretty dedicated."
"You think so?" Kiyone turned to look at him, eyes wide with awe. "No one's ever told me that before."
"I'm serious, Isane! He's so cool!"
"Where did you meet him anyway? He sounds a little sketchy from what you've said."
"He just walked into the office."
"You said he's not a shinigami," Hisagi frowned at the smaller girl. "How'd he get into the Soul Society?"
"He said that he was doing some work for Nanao."
"Kiyone, I really must protest," Isane frowned. "He might be dangerous..."
"He's not! " Kiyone said assuredly. "I'm going to the eighth division to see him today."
"He seems like he's in a better mood," Kira said slowly, inwardly wondering why the four of them were hiding in a broom closet. "I don't think it's really necessary any more. Besides, he was throwing me some pretty mean looks last night."
"That's why we need to!" Rangiku said obviously, being the one who suggested the broom closet wasn't wondering about anything, and pointed a finger at the other girl in the closet. "You think we should, too, don't you, Soifon-taichou?"
"If it keeps me from hearing another tall tale I'll dress up for your little costume party," Soifon looked a little pale. "That story about him sinking Atlantis with a golf ball was frightening beyond words."
"I understand your grief," Saskibe said solemnly, having been privy to most of the old man's stories and present for more than half of them. "But please, we're doing this for the good of Seireitei. We all need to try our best to keep him sane. With Kyoraku and Ukitake-taichou gone for an indeterminable amount of time, Yamamoto-soutaichou is a little...stressed."
"I don't think stress has anything to do with it," Kira muttered, crossing his arms and leaning back against a shelf. "Why don't we just throw him the party and get it over with. I don't want him glaring at me any more."
"Awesome, we're all settled then. The party committee is complete, Cho-jo." Matsumoto smiled. "Now, it's a costume party. What are we going to dress up as?" She glanced at Chojiro with large eyes and a pout. "I want to do matching costumes."
"I don't," Soifon muttered and Kira found himself nodding in agreement.
"Why don't we take some time to discuss this later?" Saskibe asked carefully, not wanting to dress up at all. "Let's talk about the guest list instead?"
Lilinette was seething. How dare that short little twit bring Stark treats! She'd show her! No, no, she'd show Stark! He was the one actually eating the treats. They could be poisoned for all he knew!
She crossed her arms and scowled. Stark was going to pay. Lilinette did not get replaced to easily. If he tried to, then she'd just replace him instead!
She'd find the most attractive man in Soul Society to replace him.
"Please," Iba panted, trying to wish his way through a wall as Yumichika's sword drew closer to his throat. "I'll get it for you, just don't kill me!"
"It's too late to beg, Iba-san," Yumichika smiled darkly. "I gave you your chance and you decided not to take it. I'll have to get that book myself. It's probably less of a hassle this way. No one will miss you, I'm sure."
"Yumichika," Iba gasped. "There's an arrancar behind you."
"Like I'd believe your petty lies," Yumichika frowned. "I would have thought even the likes of you would be above such things."
"Like I'd even consider wasting pity on you.
"Yumichika! I do—"
"Excuse me," a small girl dressed in white interrupted, punching Iba and effectively silencing him. "That guy was annoying."
"I did not need you getting in my way." Yumichika frowned, narrowing his eyes at her. "What is it that you want?"
"You're the prettiest man in Soul Society, aren't you?"
"I asked around and everyone gave me your name. Of course they also laughed when I asked, but we'll just ignore that," Lilinette squared her shoulders. "I, Lilinette, am now your fraccion!"
"My fraccion? Is that like a retainer?"
"Kind of, I guess," Lilinette shrugged. "It doesn't matter."
"Well, all right," Yumichika looked curious. "Why are you in Soul Society, how did you get in, and why has no one reported an infiltration?"
"None of that's important!" Lilinette kicked Iba in the knee once for good measure and smiled. "Where are we heading to?"
"I'm going to this idiot's home to retrieve something."
"I'll do it!"
"I doubt you could help."
"I can and will!" Lilinette took off in a burst of sonido.
Yumichika debated letting her get hopelessly lost since she had no idea where she was going, but decided against it, following her. He couldn't let his only retainer get killed by some hapless shinigami, could he?
"I don't think it's as important as your making it out to be," Gin scratched his head as he reclined comfortably in Aizen's throne, watching as said king paced the large throne room.
"You don't understand. I sent Stark to watch her and then possibly kidnap her, but he's wooing her instead! I knew I should have sent Noitora."
"He would have killed her," Gin pointed out.
"He would have killed her," Gin's smile drooped a bit. "And there's something off about him."
"Fine," Aizen sighed sadly. "I just didn't expect Stark to betray my trust so easily. He was such a good espada with a decent sense of justice. I just wanted to—" Aizen stopped as his pacing led him to the large double door that was the entrance to the throne room.
The door creaked open and four faces appeared in the doorway.
There was an awkward silence and Suigetsu coughed.
"So, we heard someone talking about justice and thought that maybe Tousen was in here. Just go on talking, Sosuke," Suigetsu waved and quickly shut the door.
"Gin?" Aizen asked slowly, still staring at the door he was standing a few feet away from.
"Don't call me crazy or anything, but was that Jyuushirou and Shunsui dressed as arrancar hanging out with Suigetsu and Wonderwice?"
"Okay, cool." Aizen ran his fingers through his hair. "Should I call an alert?"
"Yeah," Gin yawned dramatically. "It's been a tad bit boring around here lately."
"But it's Jyuushirou and Shunsui..."
"The Espada will have more fun that way."