trust me

Hinamori was still twitching when she heard the knock on her door. She nervously put down the copy of 101 Ways To Organise Your Captain's Desk which she'd picked up to calm her nerves, and went to see who was there.

She twitched even more when she saw Kyouraku-taichou standing there. He was as dishevelled as usual, but in a slightly different way; it gave the impression that he'd actually thrown his clothing on in a hurry, rather than spending half an hour or so deciding how far to leave his jacket open.

"Um," she said, and looked at his toes.

"May I come in, Momo-chan?" he asked.

"Um," she said again, and backed into the room, muttering something about not having any wine on the premises, let alone tea, and maybe she should go and fetch some?

He patted her on the shoulder as he insinuated himself into the room behind her, and shut the door behind him. "Now, Momo-chan. I know you must be a little concerned about what you walked in on --"

"Oh!" she gasped. "I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to intrude! But Nanao-chan had said that I could bring the book back to talk about and I just walked in and I didn't mean to interrupt your . . . your . . ." She could feel her cheeks blushing a new and hitherto unmatched shade of scarlet.

". . . advanced kidou training session," he smoothly finished her sentence.

Hinamori blinked. "Advanced kidou training session?"

Kyouraku-taichou nodded seriously. "My Nanao-chan gets very embarrassed about training in public. I don't mean to criticise her, but she's one of those people who likes to have everything perfect before she does something, and that includes her kidou."

Hinamori could feel her heartbeat slowing down as her cheeks began to cool. Of course! That would make so much sense. But . . . "Um, Kyouraku-taichou," she said hesitantly. "I've read about a lot of kidou training techniques, but I'm honestly not sure I remember any of them involving gags . . ."

"Ah." He nodded seriously. "That's in order to prevent subconscious vocalising. A very useful step in training for non-spoken kidou performed without the chant."

"Oh!" she exclaimed. "Then the wrist bindings were to stop her making the gestures as well! Of course!"

Kyouraku-taichou nodded again. "But my Nanao-chan wanted to practice in private."

"But I don't see why she had to have her ankles tied too," Hinamori objected.

"Ah." Kyouraku-taichou paused. She could have almost thought he was trying to work something out. "Well, you noticed that she was kneeling down? So obviously it wasn't to stop her walking round and subconsciously making foot gestures that would assist the kidou."

"Can you do kidou with foot gestures?" Hinamori asked, fascinated.

"I'm sure it can be done," Kyouraku-taichou said, a little distractedly. "But in any case, the ankle bindings were to help her assume the proper focus of concentration. The whole principle of advanced kidou training is to help the subject reach a higher state of focus, to cut out other possibilities of sense and movement, to let them reach an, um --"

"An altered state of concentration!" Hinamori broke in, then blushed again. But it made so much sense. "You're so kind to help her like that, Kyouraku-taichou!"

He nodded, eyes deep and kind. "I wouldn't want her to get into trouble trying this sort of thing without supervision. But I didn't want you getting the wrong impression."

Hinamori looked at his toes again. "I'm so sorry," she mumbled. "But I just walked in and saw, um, and I did sort of squeak a bit, and then I closed the door really fast!"

He patted her shoulder. "But now you don't need to worry about it any more. Nanao-chan would have come round to tell you herself, but I convinced her to let me handle it. I'm sure that I'm better at explaining this sort of thing."

Hinamori nodded again, and shyly raised her eyes. "Kyouraku-taichou . . ."

"Yes, Momo-chan?" he asked.

"Would you give me some advanced kidou training as well?" she asked nervously.

He paused to adjust his hat. "Ah. Well, Momo-chan, I appreciate your interest, and personally I would be delighted, but I'm afraid that if I did, my beautiful Nanao-chan might remove some of my vital organs. It's just a little advanced for you at the moment."

Hinamori nodded dejectedly. She'd been afraid of that. "Thank you so much anyhow," she said dutifully. "And thank you for coming round to explain it to me. I'm sorry to have got, um, any sort of wrong impression!"

"You're going to make some advanced kidou practitioner very happy some day, Momo-chan," Kyouraku-taichou said, and vanished while she was still blushing at the glow from the compliment.

OMAKE ENDING:

Hinamori nodded dejectedly. She'd been afraid of that. "Thank you so much anyhow," she said dutifully. "And thank you for coming round to explain it to me. I'd thought you were having a BDSM session like Aizen-taichou and me . . . Kyouraku-taichou? Kyouraku-taichou, should you be choking like that? Shouldn't you be breathing? Should I call Fourth Division . . ."

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