Rangiku dreaded going into the office that morning. She knew full well that her captain was still pissed off about yesterday and just about everything else that occurred within the past few days. Ok, so he wasn't quite right in the head, but so what? It wasn't like everyone saw him. Only a small handful, and even less than that actually knew what was going on. There was no reason to hold a grudge. And besides, why was he so mad at her? She was the one who took care of him. Ok, so maybe she did turn him into a butler, but no harm was done. And it was only for one afternoon. He went back to normal. It wasn't as big a deal as he made it out to be.
She stood outside the office door, staring at it. She really didn't want to go in. He was bound to still be mad at her. She had known him long enough to know that he could hold a grudge for days. And with something this big, he was likely to hold onto it for weeks!
For crying out loud, I did all that paperwork! Doesn't that count for anything? Maybe he won't be so mad once I bring him his tea… or even some watermelon! He likes that! He'll forgive me. And besides, he's had a whole night to sleep on it. Maybe he's cooled down by now.
Taking a deep breath, she slowly opened the door and walked in.
The moment she entered the room, she was bombarded by a barking Ikkaku. He ran over to her on all fours and tried to leap into her arms. He reared up on his hind legs, placed his hands on her shoulders and tried to lick her face.
She pushed him away, groaning in disgust. "Ugh! Ew! What was that?"
Ikkaku sat on the floor and panted with his tongue lolling out of his mouth.
Looking up, Rangiku could see another person in the room from Squad 11. Yumichika was crouched in the corner licking his sleeve and purring softly. He was acting like a cat and Ikkaku was acting like a dog! But that only meant…
"Captain, what is going on here?"
Hitsugaya looked up from his desk and smiled. "Like it?" He gestured to the two in the room. "It's a little childish, I know… But, hey. I acted like a cat… Let's see how he likes it. And as for Ikkaku." His smile widened. "Well, I think it speaks for itself."
Rangiku stared at him. Then she looked down at Ikkaku slobbering all over the floor. "But… Cats hate dogs."
"I know." He continued to fill out the paperwork. "That's why I did it."
Rangiku gaped at him. "C- Captain..! You didn't…"
"But I…" She never expected this from her captain. Ok, maybe she did, considering how mad he was. "So this is your revenge? Embarrassment for embarrassment?"
He grinned. "Pretty much. Let's see how they like being made fun of."
"But sir… They weren't the only ones who knew about this."
"I'm aware of that." He continued to write. "However, not all of them made fun of me. Unohana only wanted to help. She did nothing to further embarrass me. Ukitake didn't purposely try to embarrass me. If anything, he tried to help protect me. He treated me pretty well. Besides, I don't feel right doing this to him. Yumichika and Ikkaku, on the other hand, had me run into walls."
"And what about Hisagi and Byakuya?"
He smirked. "Oh, they got theirs."
"Really? What did you have them do?"
His smirk grew a little.
"Captain Hitsugaya, sir!" Hisagi came running into the room carrying a large tray in his hands. "I've brought you your tea! Be careful when you drink it; it's still very hot. I've also brought you some snacks to munch on while you work."
Hitsugaya took the teacup off the tray and took a small sip. "Thank you."
"Is there anything else you'll be needing, sir?"
Rangiku's jaw dropped. "You- you turned him into your personal butler?"
Hitsugaya gave a one armed shrugged. "Maybe. You did it, too."
"Then… But then, what did you do to Byakuya?" This she had to know.
He took another sip. "I made it so every time he hears the word 'captain' he'll cluck like a chicken."
Her jaw all but hit the floor. He was evil! She honestly had no idea he could be that cruel. "Sir… He is a captain!"
"Then he'll be doing that a lot." He took another sip of his hot tea. "Just be thankful I didn't make him act like a ballerina. That was my second choice."
"Captain, I didn't know you had this in you. You can be very cruel when you want to be, huh?" Now she knew what to expect in the future if ever this was to happen again. She just had to make sure that she was around when Byakuya started to act like a chicken. She couldn't miss that for the world. Although, a dancing Byakuya ballerina would have been very funny, too.
Ikkaku sniffed around the floor, still on all fours. His nose picked up a strange scent and he looked up. There, right in front of him, was Yumichika grooming himself. He let out a low growl. Yumichika looked up and froze like a deer caught in headlights. Ikkaku's growl grew louder until…
Yumichika let out a screech and bolted.
Ikkaku chased after him growling and barking.
"Ahh!" Rangiku gasped and tried to get out of their way as they came running by her. Yumichika was screeching his head off and yowling. Ikkaku kept snapping at him and barking as loud as he could. Yumichika jumped over the back of the couch and attempted to scramble up the wall, trying to get to safety. Ikkaku was hot on his heels and tried to corner him. Yumichika screeched and tried to climb up the side of the bookcase.
"No, don't do that, Yumichika! It'll fall over!" Rangiku tried to stop him, but it was no use. There was no reasoning with a terrified and hypnotized Yumichika-cat. "Captain, do something! They're going to wreck the place!"
Ikkaku lowered himself to the ground and got ready to run. Yumichika jumped through the air and ran by Hitsugaya's desk. Ikkaku did the same. Just as he was about to pass the front of the desk, Hitsugaya did his job.
He screeched to a halt and sat on the floor, panting. He was a well-trained dog.
Hitsugaya returned to his work. "There. Problem solved."
Yumichika, however, was still freaked out. He hadn't let go of the potted plant in the corner.
Hitsugaya sighed. "Hisagi, yarn, please."
"Sir, yes, sir!" He rolled a ball of yarn across the floor.
"Meow!" Yumichika mewed happily and chased after the yarn ball. He batted it from hand to hand and rolled it across the floor. He pushed it around with his nose and purred playfully. He rolled over onto his back and tossed it into the air.
Rangiku smiled. "Wow. That was easy." She turned to her captain. "By the way, how in the world did you get them to go along with this?"
"Through hypnosis, of course."
"I know that. I mean how did you get them all to get put under like this? What trick did you use?"
Hitsugaya put down his pen. "Well… First of all, I lured them all into the same room. I won't bore you with the details, but after that, I had the hypnotist come out and do her thing. By the way, did you know that people with high intelligence are more easily hypnotized?"
"Well, needless to say, Byakuya was the first one out. Then the others went… Oh, by they way, did you know that Byakuya drools in his sleep?"
"He does?" She bounced with joy. She just learned something new today! "How'd you find that out?"
"While they were in their trances. They all do something different."
"What did the others do? What about Ikkaku? What's he do?"
Hitsugaya thought. "Let's see… He sleeps with his mouth wide open and snores louder than a freight train. It's a wonder he even heard his command with all the noise coming out of his mouth. Hisagi sucks his thumb-"
"Really?" she all but screamed.
"Yeah. He slid off the chair and onto the floor. While he was laying there, he started to suck his thumb. And Yumichika hugs the nearest object or person he's sleeping by."
"Yeah. He latched onto Ikkaku's arm and didn't let go. Even I have to say that it looked rather cute."
"Did you get pictures?"
Rangiku looked down and saw Yumichika rubbing against her leg affectionately and purring. "What's going to happen to them? I mean, when they wake up? Will they remember this? How'd you work that out?"
"Needless to say, I was a little smarter about it than you were." He took another sip of tea and leaned back in his chair. "The effects of the spell will only last for the day. When they wake up tomorrow, they won't remember any of this. That's what I made sure of. Plus, they don't remember being hypnotized. I made sure she was blocked from their memory so they wouldn't suspect anything, just in case."
Rangiku blinked. Why didn't she ever think of that? Hitsugaya was good at this. He never did anything like this before, did he? It was a brilliant plan.
"By the way, Matsumoto." He snapped his fingers. "Hisagi, now."
"Yes, sir!" He grabbed something from behind Hitsugaya's desk and handed it to Rangiku. "This is for you." He gave her a bag.
She opened it and took a look inside. Her eyes widened in surprise and took out a sake bottle. She gaped at her captain. "I… I don't understand…"
Still writing, he said, "My whole experience while under that spell is a blur, but I do remember certain things. It's a little fuzzy, but I remember you trying to help me out."
She stared at him.
"You didn't exploit me like the others did and you tried to keep what happened a secret. You helped me out and I appreciate that. I'm thankful for what you did. That's a small token of my thanks for taking care of me."
This was quite a shock. He hardly ever thanked her; but then again, she never really did anything to receive thanks. But sake? He hated that stuff! He was against her even drinking it. He didn't even allow it in the office. And yet, now he gives it to her?
"Are you feeling alright, sir?"
He put down his pen. "I'm fine, Matsumoto. It's just my way of thanking you for all your help. Thanks to you, I have less work to do today. I never thought I'd see the day when you actually do paperwork without needing to be strapped down. Thank you."
She smiled and gripped the bottle tightly. How thoughtful of him. So her good deed didn't go unrewarded. "Thank you, Captain. And here I thought you'd still be mad about me turning you into a sake-servant." She chuckled nervously.
Hitsugaya's usual glare shadowed his eyes. "I wasn't going to bring that up…" he said through his teeth.
"Oh… Heh heh, yeah… Sorry…" She rubbed the back of her head with her free hand. "I didn't mean to… I'm sorry about that."
He looked back down. "It's fine. Not a big deal."
She blinked. "But… yesterday you seemed pretty upset about it. I mean, you called me sneaky and underhanded. I would have thought you'd be much angrier with me rather than giving me gifts. Yesterday, you didn't think it was 'not a big deal'. What am I to think?" An idea popped into her mind and she suddenly held the bottle at arm's length. "It's not poisoned, is it?"
He rolled his eyes with a soft chuckle. "No. There's no sense killing you over something like this. Don't get the wrong idea. It's a gift and that's all. You took care of me and helped me out. I wanted to thank you. How much clearer can I be?"
She coiled her arm around the bottle again. "Oh. Never mind, then."
"If you don't want it then…"
"No! No, I'll take it!" She hugged the bottle close as if he were about to follow through on that suggestion. "Thank you, Captain. I'm glad that you don't hold a grudge against what I did. I mean, you were a bit of a handful and kind of troublesome. I just wanted a little fun. Sorry. Thank you for the gift!"
"Matsumoto, you're rambling."
"Sorry, sir. Thank you."
Hitsugaya snapped his fingers again. "Hisagi, crick in my neck."
"Allow me, sir!" He ran over behind him and started to massage Hitsugaya's shoulders and neck. "Better, sir?"
He let out a satisfied moan. "Mmm… Yes, much better. Keep that up until I tell you to stop."
"Of course, Captain Hitsugaya, sir!" Hisagi kept rubbing Hitsugaya's shoulders, working out all the kinks.
Rangiku smiled and started to back out of the office. "I'll leave you to your work, Captain. I'm off. With any luck, I might catch Byakuya's chicken act on my way out. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy my little gift. Thank you."
Hitsugaya waved at her. "I hope you enjoy. It's everything you deserve."
She thanked him again and left. Once in the hall, she began uncorking the bottle to take a swing.
Hisagi looked from the door to Hitsugaya. "Captain, did you forget to tell her that you loaded that bottle with laxatives?"
He smirked, picking up his pen again. "Let her find out on her own."
Byakuya was feeling a little strange. He was missing a big chunk of his memory when Hitsugaya asked to speak with him earlier that day. He remembered sitting in a chair next to three other Soul Reapers and Hitsugaya standing in front of them. But then, it was as if he had blacked out. He couldn't remember what he had wanted. No sooner did he sit down did Hitsugaya tell them that he was finished with them. So what happened between calling them in and ordering them out? How odd…
A female Soul Reaper entered the room with a pile of papers. "These are for you to fill out, sir."
He grunted a 'sure' and lifted his pen.
"The top forms in blue are due by noon, Captain Kuchiki."
She jumped and spun around. "What was that?"
"What was what?"
She stared at him. He appeared normal. He wore the same expression he always did and seemed… fine. The ever serious captain was his usual self. "I just… I thought I heard…" She trailed off.
"I… It's nothing." She turned around and started out the door again. "Forget I said anything, Captain."
Once again, with a gasp, she whirled about to look at him. He was starting to file out the papers as if nothing was wrong. "Did- did you just say something, sir?"
He looked up. "No. Why?"
"I… Nothing." She left without another word.
With a raised brow, he turned back to his work. Weird… What was her problem?
Outside in the hall, he could hear a couple of Soul Reapers having a conversation.
"Man! Can you believe what the Captain is making us do?"
"Yeah, he's such a slave driver! He needs to lay back sometime, you know?"
"I guess captains can't do that."
"Captains are such a pain."
"Hey, did you heard something just now?"
"It… It almost sounded like a chicken…"
"A chicken? Don't be ridiculous."
"I'm serious. It really did sound like one."
"Well, I didn't hear anything. Come on. Let's go back before the captain yells at us again."
"There it was again."
"Give it a rest!"
They walked off.
Byakuya sighed. A chicken? Where would they get an idea like that? There are no chickens around here… Not unless they're cooked, anyway… He went back to work.
A few minutes later Renji came in with a huge groan. "Morning, Captain."
He did a double-take. "Huh?"
"Did I what?"
"Did… N- never mind…" He sat down on a couch by the window. "Did you hear the news? Turns out Hitsugaya, Kira and Hanataro were all in some kind of trance for the past few days. That's explains a lot!"
"Oh? Is that what you heard? How is everyone doing now?"
Renji let out a huge sigh. "Well, where to start?" He scratched his head as he spread out on the couch. "Well, Hanataro spent the whole morning apologizing to just about every woman he's come in contact with the past few days. Some won't let him anywhere near them, so he had to apologize through one of those bullhorn things."
"You mean a megaphone?"
"Whatever they're called. I think a few of these women put up restraining orders on him. It's funny actually." He started to laugh just thinking about it.
"Other than that, is he himself again?"
"Seems like it. Unohana tested him to see if he was his old self again."
"Yeah. She said that she had an important task for him to do. I think she said something along the lines of… There's a man bleeding profusely and needs immediate attention. There's another man who's missing a chunk of his side after getting it bitten off by a Hollow and needs a replacement torso. There's a woman losing blood fast and he has to do a full-body search to find the wound in order to close it. And there's another guy who got an eye injury and needs to stick a needle into his eyes ball to treat him. And he needs to tend to all these patients in under a half hour or they'll die and there aren't enough people to help him out."
Byakuya stopped writing. "So how did he take it?"
"He passed out."
"He fainted under pressure?"
"Yup. Again. But Unohana said that he's doing much better than before. He usually passed out at the sight of blood and it would take him a full hour to come around. This time he came around rather quickly but he's still a little woozy."
"What about those people?"
"Oh, she made all that up to test him. It worked."
"Hm. She can be a very cruel woman when she wants to be."
"That's the Captain for you."
Renji sat up. "What was that?"
"What was what?"
"I didn't say anything."
Renji continued to stare at him waiting for something to happen. When nothing occurred, he laid back down on the couch. "I'll tell you one thing. I'm so glad we're finished with all this. I couldn't take listening to Kira's insane rubbish another minute. He was a nut job, telling people to fight him and all that crap. If I had to hear him do that one more time, I'd-"
"GAH!" Renji tumbled off the couch and stared at the Soul Reaper hiding behind the couch. "K -Kira? What the hell were you doing back there? How long have you been hiding back there?"
Kira climbed out from behind the couch still laughing his head off. "I got you! Hahahaha! You should have seen your face!"
"Ok, ok! I wasn't back there for long. I just wanted to scare you a little. That's all. Sorry about that."
"I wasn't scared!"
"You startled me! There's a difference! Tell him, Captain!"
Renji gave him a quizzical look. "Why do you keep doing that?"
"Doing what?" Byakuya kept filling out the papers. "Honestly, everyone's acting so odd lately. Am I the only sane one left?"
YAY! It's finally done! Thanks for all the nice reviews and I hope you liked the story!
Please review one last time and I'll be sure to write more Bleach fanfics! I'm open for ideas, too!