"So..." Yamamato's one open eye was like looking into the fires of Hades. "Do any of you have an adequate explanation for the events of last evening?" he turned his cycloptic gaze onto the Captain of the Twelfth. "And Urahara-taicho, where are your pants?"
Kisuke had the decency to look slightly abashed. "I... I'm not quite sure, actually."
Yamamato closed his eyes in long suffering silence. "... Ukitake-taicho? Brigade Commander Shihouin? Kyoraku-taicho? Do any of you have a halfway decent reason why I shouldn't have you all put under tribunal for this?"
He opened his eye to stare at the man likely responsible for all of this. "Or you, Isshin-taicho? It was your birthday they were celebrating, was it not?"
Isshin looked up at the Captain-Commander with bleary, hungover eyes, shaking his head. "... Yamamato-soutaicho... erm... I really, really don't know how to explain. Especially the incident with setting off the fireworks in the Central 46 Chambers... or why we decided that having a barbeque out on the Soukyoku Hill was a good idea."
Not for the first time, and certainly not the last, Yamamato was very sure that these five would be the death of him one day.
"Tell me everything. From the beginning."
Another year of existence.
A cause for the celebration of life in all its glory and wonder.
A cause for a deep, meaningful reflection about the true meaning of that existence.
A cause for having a totally sweet party, and getting absolutely stone drunk.
Beneath his straw hat, Shunsui looked over with lidded, sleepy eyes. "Already?"
"Come on, come on!" Kisuke urged, waving his hands frantically. "I'll go get him, and you go get Jyuu-chan and Yoruichi... and whoever else is up for it. Alright?"
Shunsui looked over at his paperwork. His mountain of paperwork that, if not completed, would lead Nanao-chan to do very unpleasant things to him when she found it on the morrow.
But that was later, and Shunsui was a man who lived in the now.
"You got it Kisuke," he replied, grinning.
"ISSHIN! OH, ISSHIN!"
The loud, high-pitched cheerfulness of the Twelfth Division's eccentric captain rang out through the halls of the Tenth Division, causing a number of lower seated officers to flee in absolute terror.
"In here, Kisuke!" he called out, kicking up his feet on the desk, crossing his arms behind his head, looking for all the world like a normal man slacking off from work.
And he was.
Save for the fact that a normal man did not wear the signature white haori of a Captain in the Gotei-13. To be a captain, one had to be a number of things- smart, capable, strong and such were all the official requirements. The unofficial one was a signature personality quirk.
Shunsui was a borderline lush. Ukitake had this habit of giving candy to children (for purely benevolent reasons). Kisuke was out of his goddamn mind. Gin was just plain friggin creepy. Even Unohana wasn't exempt, because of her ability to sound as gentle as a mother's lullaby and scary as Hell itself- at the same time.
Out of all of them, Aizen was the only normal captain.
And Isshin privately thought that made him the weirdest of them all. And that quite possibly Aizen was some sort of closet maniac or evil overlord.
Kisuke slammed open the sliding doors, a wide, devilishly pleased grin on his face. "You ready for your special day?"
"What, you get me a present?" Isshin questioned, arching an eyebrow, before his dubious look changed into an equally wide grin. "Is it a stripper in a cake like the one we got for Yama-jii last year? Hoo boy, I still have the third degree burns from when he realized that was Gin-chan..."
"No, no, I didn't bring your present with me, sorry," Kisuke apologized- with a completely unapologetic tone, but that was Kisuke for you. A contradiction inside a conundrum. "But I am here to take you to some old friends, so we can have some real fun." He peered out over the mounds of paperwork sprawled across the desk like heavy snowfall. "Unless you're too busy..."
Silently, with an unreadable look, Isshin looked at the paperwork piled across his desk like a mini mountain range of white.
Then he looked at Kisuke, who met his eyes with an equally unreadable look.
Simultaneously, they burst out laughing.
"Yeah, I thought it was funny too," the Captain of the Twelfth muttered, shaking his head, running his hand through pale blonde locks. "So, you comin' or what?"
Isshin grinned. "Do you have to ask?"
A copious amount of alcohol (not to mention some attempts at stripping by Yoruichi and Shunsui) later...
"You know what we should do?" Isshin slurred, glancing blearily at his gathered friends. "We should totally have a barbeque."
"Oooh!" Yoruichi waved frantically, grinning widely, pleased as a Cheshire cat. "I want some chicken! Can we get some chicken?"
Shunsui looked up from his drink. "I could go for some chicken."
"Oh right. That's why we went to go get chickens from the Rukongai..." Isshin scratched his beard thoughtfully.
"But didn't we first think that maybe the Kuchiki's had chickens?" Shunsui offered, looking puzzled, glancing at his fellows.
The five miscreants stopped, and went silent for a moment.
"... Byakuya-bo is going to be pissed with us when he finds his garden..." Yoruichi muttered, rubbing the back of her neck almost sheepishly. "Or what's left of it, anyway."
Yamamato felt an aneurysm coming on. "I may regret this, but... continue."
"My memory gets a little fuzzy after that. I think I remember somethin' about going skinny dipping in the Thirteenth Division lake..."
Ukitake blanched, obviously having been too drunk to remember authorizing a swim in his division's signature lake.
Kisuke cocked his head to the side, scratching his stubble. "I think I remember where I left my pants."
"Kaien-fukutaicho... whose pants are those?"
"... I don't wanna know, Kiyone. I just hope to God they're not taicho's."
"And if they are?"
"Then I've got whole new perspective on Ukitake-taicho that I really didn't need."
"Yeah, yeah..." Shunsui chimed in, rubbing his forehead in a vain attempt to rid himself of his headache. "And didn't we try to find some bells to make a collar for Yoruichi?"
"WHERE THE FUCK ARE MY BELLS?"
"Aw shit. Zaraki's probably gonna try to kill a couple of us, huh?" Isshin muttered, glancing at his fellows.
"Please tell me that was the extent of it. Please." Yamamato didn't even care that his tone was pleading. He had already lost a couple centuries of his life to this incident already- now he was just hoping to try and keep to the dignity of the Gotei-13 intact. Something he doubted he could accomplish at this point.
"Then I think we had some sort of... contest?" Kisuke offered. "You know, because Shunsui said that mortals had this new sport where they hit a bunch of tiny white balls far away with metal sticks... golf, right?"
That didn't sound too bad in Yamamato's eyes.
"Only we used our Zanpakuto... and some buildings."
The aneurysm was coming in faster.
"Shiro-chan? What is that?"
"What do you think, you moron? It's a friggin' building!"
"What's it doing upside down... and on top of our house?"
"Yes, Shiro-chan- OW! Quit hitting me with that branch, Shiro-chan!"
"And then I think we-"
"ENOUGH." Yamamato banged his staff once against the floor. "I've heard enough of this... debauchery!" Despite themselves, they all flinched somewhat from the Captain-Commander's enraged tone. "You've all said quite enough, thank you. I'm placing all of you on probation until a time that I see fit. Now get out of my sight."
As they were escorted out of the room, Isshin glanced over at the others.
"So... should we tell him about the surprise we left him in his private bathhouse?"
Kisuke, Shunsui, Ukitake, and Yoruichi looked at each other, then at Isshin.
As one, they spoke.
"No way in Hell."
Isshin paused, tilting his head to one side.
"Why did we tell the Execution Brigade to wait for Yoruichi- naked- in there again?"
"You know, I have no idea."