Captains' Book Club
A/N: Everything is book themed because I wrote a book! It's a supernatural romance, and you can find a link to get the eBook on my profile here. I also put up a link to my author site, which has a picture of me on it, for those of you who have asked or wondered about my gender/nationality/age.
Ps. You don't need to know about these book or to have read them to understand why they've been picked (but it might provide a few more chuckles).
We have long, boring summers here in the Seireitei. I mean, it's hot and beautiful, but unless you're clever enough, you can hardly ever just leave for months at a time. We had one of those seminars where a guy comes by and yells at us to be happy and to love each other. TEAMWORK. I remember him yelling TEAMWORK at me only once really. I mean, after that first night he was decidedly subdued.
I wasn't even the only one who had done anything. I think it had started with me, Byakuya showed up in the middle to not talk to him but still managed to get his point across, and the two of us left once Kenpachi showed up to show the poor TEAMWORK-seminar guy what being on Kenpachi's team meant (hint: I don't think the guy was really cut out of the same cloth as Squad 11).
Anyways, since we…did whatever it was we did to the guy (he was quiet the second day and not there at all on the third), the Head Captain had grumpled something or other and us and we had all nodded because we didn't want to be in trouble.
As far as I remember, the conversation went like:
Head Captain: "Mmmghmgmgm rrraaarrrmgmgmg!"
We all nodded solemnly.
Head Captain: "Muhhaha."
Wait, that almost sound like a laugh. Crap, I should have been listening. Anyways, we weren't on fire, so there's that. However, we all were now in a book club. Each captain would give a book at a meeting and we'd read it and then talk about it at the next meeting.
Squad 1 – Head Captain Yamamoto
Book: Inferno (part one of Divine Comedy) by Dante
So, we're starting right off the bat with hell. I don't think I was the only one that was wondering if the old man was threatening us with his book pick or not. I mean, I'm reading through ALL nine circles of hell and none of it sounds all that fun. By the way, the ninth circle of hell? It's for traitors. Also, in this hell, everything is cold and frozen and not on fire. I was feeling a little, er, tight around the collar at this point. There's like one guy gnawing on another guy's head, people being buried in ice, then more people buried in ice.
Well, there has to be water for ice, right? I think I'm ok.
We all tried to talk about this book, and aside from Kaname being way into the different ways people were punished ("justice" he called it), it wasn't too bad.
Squad 2 – Captain Soifon
Book: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
I think that Soifon picked this book because she knew that it had a badass female character, or at least I hope that's why she picked it, because it was a…hard read.
"What did you think?" she asked me.
I was just next to her and the first to be asked. I was hoping that someone else would have had that place.
"Well, there was a lot of rape, and murder, and murder-rape, and rape-murder, and incest-rape and incest-murder…so…yeah," I said.
"Rangiku wouldn't let me read it," Captain Hitsugaya admitted. "She read it instead though, and really liked it. Something about misogynistic bastards…"
Well I mean, not me, of course. Right? I should talk to her.
THE BEST SQUAD – Me
Book: Sense & Sensibility, Jane Austen
"I wasn't really expecting this type of book from you," Captain Ukitake told me.
"It was ok, but there was no sex," Shunsui pointed out.
"Why would there be?" Byakuya asked. "It was a perfectly acceptable love story."
"So did all of the things with the numbers and how much money every man made being a major plot point ring a bell?" I asked him.
Byakuya didn't say anything, but I know he has to have every available noblewoman throwing themselves on him.
"It doesn't make sense as a pick from Gin because the title itself is practically against his worldview," Kaname said.
"I've already stated that I like happy endings, and all Austen books have one," I mentioned.
"So the real question is do you all think Marianne should have ended up with Willoughby instead of Colonel Brandon?" Shunsui questioned.
"Somehow I thought you'd wind up on his side," I admitted.
"I…didn't understand almost any of it," Komamura told us.
"You didn't miss anything," Toshiro replied.
"Don't listen to him, he's just a kid," I said.
"Pride and Prejudice on the other hand…" Toshiro started.
From that moment I made myself I promise to get Rangiku to convince Toshiro to come as Mr. Darcy to our Halloween party. He'd be so adorable. Rangiku seems surprisingly into this idea and I didn't have to twist her arm like I do a lot of times with my pranks against our youngest captain.
Squad 4 – Captain Unohana
Book: The Most Dangerous Game, by Richard Connell
"I liked this one," Kenpachi started off the book review portion of our meeting.
"Do you…do you even read the books?" I asked.
"I read this one," he insisted.
"Well, it was about a man hunting down other men like they were beasts of some sort. It's right up your alley," Mayuri said.
"If the people have to live three days and then they are free, it seems like they'd just hide for three days and be clear," Soifon mentioned.
"Not everyone is as good at hiding as you are, not when there are hunting dogs in the mix," I said.
"You'd hide though," she stated.
"I don't know; the whole hiding in the man's bedroom and killing him instead of being hunted by him sounds like a decent idea to me," I mused.
"The book was acceptable," Captain Unohana spoke up.
"I was just mad that they were originally hunting snow leopards," Komamura said.
"If nothing else, this book did make me have to look up what snow leopards looked like, so that was nice," Soifon agreed.
I hadn't noticed that she had added another chibi-kitten to her keychain. Now that I have though, I'm betting it's a snow leopard. At least it's not another black cat. She has about six of those.
Squad 5 – Captain Aizen
Book: The Making of the Atomic Bomb, by Richard Rhodes
"This book was as depressing as hell," Shunsui said.
"I have to agree with you," Jushiro stated.
"It was beautiful," Mayuri jumped in. "I am become death, the destroyer of worlds?" You don't find that quote fascinating?"
"Not when it's about blowing up the…actually, never," Shunsui corrected himself.
"Did the humans actually do this?" Toshiro asked.
"Oh yes," Sosuke confirmed.
"What about the quote, 'For the scientist, at exactly the moment of discovery—that most unstable existential moment—the external world, nature itself, deeply confirms his innermost fantastic convictions. Anchored abruptly in the world, Leviathan gasping on his hook, he is saved from extreme mental disorder by the most profound affirmation of the real'?" I asked him.
"Which part are you having problems with?" Mayuri asked, in a tone insinuating that maybe I wasn't quite capable of understanding what I was reading.
"Would you agree that being obsessed by science is an extreme mental disorder?" I questioned him.
"Odd idea," Aizen replied for him.
"I do not have the ability to make you unstupid enough to understand what I want to say, so I won't say it," Mayuri told me.
"Oh for goodness sakes, can one of the other captain's pick The Thesaurus as our weekly read so that Mayuri's can learn new words to insult me with?" I complained.
"I was trying to use words that made sense to you, you nimrod," Mayuri said with a sneer.
"I gave it to Yachiru," Kenpachi admitted.
"That sounds like a bad idea," Toshiro looked concerned.
"She goes around using it to smack Ikkaku's head saying, 'I am the destroyer of hair!'" Kenpachi laughed.
"Ikkaku doesn't have any hair," Soifon pointed out.
"That's the joke," I smiled.
Squad 6 – Captain Kuchiki
Book: Teh Littr Boks Set: A LOLcat Colleckshun, by Professor Happycat
Chojiro handed out the books at the end of our meeting.
"What…language is this?" Mayuri asked.
"Lolcats," Byakuya told him. "Can you not understand it?" he asked archly.
"I'm decoding it right now," Mayuri snapped, still frowning as he flipped through the book.
Most of the other captains seemed rather enthralled. Captain Aizen looked vaguely amused (he always seems to have some sort of smile on his face), but I know him well enough to know that he's annoyed. Actually, now I wish that I had thought of this. Aizen isn't one to have his heartstrings pulled by adorable kitten pictures, and not just because he doesn't have heartstrings (wait, no one does…I'm rethinking that analogy). He also hates terrible grammar. I mean, he teaches classes on how to write words better, as if writing them at all wasn't good enough; they have to be pretty and perfect and uniform too.
In other words: boring.
I make sure that all of my letters to him have slight variations in sizes and widths, and I make sure to slowly drift off the side of the page, making sure to not go in straight lines and adding stupid little notes instead of rewriting my sentences to be better. I also include things like happy faces or little doodles of flowers or fish or something.
Captain Ukitake is practically glowing and has a wide smile on his face as he's flipping through the pictures. Captain Hitsugaya discretely bent a page to mark something, and Captain Soifon just sat down to look through the selection in greater detail.
"How did you even know what this was?" I asked Byakuya.
"Rukia got me one of these books for my birthday," he replied.
Squad 7 – Captain Komamura
Book: The Call of the Wild, Jack London
I suppose this one was a no brainer, once I actually read the book.
"So, does this mean that if Captain Yamamoto dies you will avenge his death by killing lots of people and then come back once a year as some sort of ghost-wolf?"I asked.
"One can only hope," Komamura said.
Here I thought that he'd be mad that I'm straight up comparing him to a wolf. Huh.
"I'm not a fan of the idea that returning to primitivism is somehow more morally healthy than trying to fit into society," Byakuya mentioned.
I kind of like the idea of air dropping Byakuya into the Yukon, leaving him bundled up in warm furs and leading a solitary life with his half wild sled dogs. Honestly, he'd probably prefer it to his life now, although I don't know that I could ever con him into saying that. I mean, I'd rather face arctic winters and starvation rather than the Kuchiki Elder Council any day.
Squad 8 – Captain Kyoraku
Book: Fifty Shades of Grey, by E L James
"Of course," I had sighed when I picked up the book.
However, I was interested in what the other captains would say, so I eagerly waited for our next meeting.
"Well, little one," I said to Toshiro. "Did Rangiku not let you read this either?"
"She's not my babysitter," Toshiro replied in annoyance. "Also, never call me that again."
"It's not like she didn't let me read it, she just "borrowed" it and never gave it back. She took it to her Shinigami Women's Association meeting," Captain Hitsugaya told me.
Byakuya held up two copies of the book.
"Loved it enough that you bought another?" I joked.
"If they are going to be stupid enough to keep sneaking into my private estate, then I should at least have some sort of say as to what happens in those meetings," he told me.
"Oh, you took it! They must have been pissed!" I laughed.
"It was amateur anyways," Mayuri spoke up.
"Stop stop stop, I don't want to…" I started.
"I mean, the best way to tie someone up if you're going to…" he continued.
"NOT LISTENING!" I had my hands over my ears.
"Please just kill him already," Shunsui said.
"Wait, you're the one that suggested…" Mayuri began.
Shunsui just shuddered. "Whatever happens in your…dungeons…stays there. Also, you can't say that your experiments and torturing is the same as BDSM."
"I don't know some of them seem to like it. For instance…"
"PLEASE JUST SENBONZAKURA HIM OR SOMETHING!" I said to Byakuya.
"That's not how you use that word," Byakuya was frowning.
"Are you arguing semantics with me while Mayuri is just dying to spill his weird fetishes to all of us?" I laughed.
"He's right though," Captain Unohana spoke up. "The author obviously has no idea was really BDSM entails."
"Uh…" Shunsui looked confused.
I think that there's part of him, always there, that kind of wanted to be turned on by the implication that Retsu might be into the Lifestyle, but he was equally as horrified. I'm still not 100% why so many of these older folks are terrified of the head of the 4th squad, but if even Kenpachi gives her respect then I'm definitely not going to step on her toes.
"This book…also confused me," Komamura admitted.
"Er, actually count me on that one," I said. "I stalk people all the time and they usually don't seem to be so into it."
"That's because you're creepy," Kaname told me.
"Creepy is as creepy does," I replied.
"So…you're creepy because you're creepy?" Toshiro tried to suss that one out.
"Well, that too," I had to confess.
Squad 9 – Captain Tosen
Book: Code of Hammurabi
"Only you would make us read Babylonian laws in our free time," I moaned as we started our book review part of our weekly captains' meeting.
"It was…informative," Byakuya said.
"You actually read it?" I wondered.
Kaname was frowning at me, but that's nothing new.
"Please tell me you that you didn't get this one either," I asked Komamura.
"It seemed pretty cut and dried to me," he told me with a shrug.
I was about to say "small shrug" but applying modifier "small" to anything he does doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
"It was a little too black and white for my tastes," Mayuri stated.
I can't believe that I agree with him on something. I mean, I know that Aizen had to agree to, but I imagine if he spoke up then Kaname would get all sad. Fine Kaname, we get it, murder is bad, unless you do it, in which case it's somehow ok.
At least he can't see me rolling my eyes.
Aizen can though, and he's glaring at me. Not really glaring at me so that other people can tell, but I can tell because the hairs on the back of my neck rise up and I feel like someone has walked over my grave.
Actually, that's not that bad of a thing, is it? That at least implies that somebody is visiting your grave.
"I enjoyed it," Soifon said.
"Oh yes, we should all follow laws like, If any one "point the finger" at a sister of a god or the wife of any one, and can not prove it, this man shall be taken before the judges and his brow shall be marked," I complained.
"You remembered all of that?" Kaname seemed shocked.
"I said I hated it and that it was boring, not that I was stupid," I replied. "So, if someone can show me a sister of a god, I'll point my finger at them and we can see what happens."
"It does seem a bit harsh at times," Yamamoto said, rarely joining into the conversations we have although it's on his orders that we're doing this whole thing.
"Well, I admit that I don't know how a god feels when his sister is being point at," I said.
"All of the slavery rules were depressing," Kenpachi stated.
"Definitely," I agreed.
Great, now I'm agreeing with Kenpachi. Kenpachi, Mayuri…who's next, Kaname?
Squad 10 – Captain Hitsugaya
Book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
We were all snickering. The poor kid still hadn't a clue.
"You guys all liked the book?" Toshiro asked us.
"Oh yes. Besides, it was very short," I told him.
"Short?" Toshiro looked confused. "Well anyways, I was going to pick the prequel, because it's standalone, but I really like the series more than The Hobbit."
"What are you talking about?" Mayuri wondered.
"The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," Toshiro said, still confused.
"I liked the part about the caterpillar being hungry," Shunsui stated.
"I liked the part where the caterpillar was very hungry," I added.
"W-what?" Toshiro asked.
Finally, most of us broke out laughing. A couple still hadn't figured it out.
Toshiro peeked over at the book Byakuya was holding and finally got a look at its cover.
"What is that!" he yelled, at me.
"Why is this my fault?" I asked.
Well, it was, but still.
Captain Hitsugaya hadn't been there for the last meeting, something I had been made aware of by Rangiku, because she and her captain were taking a small group out into a farther district and wouldn't be back in time. So he had handed his stack of books over to Chojiro. Or at least he thought he had. Obviously I intercepted it at some point.
Even Chojiro had seemed wary as he handed the colorful children's book out to us, but he didn't say anything, considering some of the other captain's eclectic tastes. Most of us captains just laughed though. I think they assumed that maybe Rangiku had snuck in the picture book, but she would never do something like that to Toshiro in front of the other captains. I knew better than to even ask for her help when I got the idea. Besides, it would (hopefully) help her when her captain was yelling at her later today.
Squad 11 – Captain Zaraki
Book: My Little Pony: The Elements of Harmony: Friendship is Magic: The Official Guidebook, by Brandon T Snider
When we got the books, we started laughing. Kenpachi just glared at us and we quieted down. Ok, so obviously not a switch-a-roo like last time but…
"So, uh, Yachiru is into this stuff?" I asked him.
"Yeah," he grunted.
"But…not you?" Shunsui prodded him.
He grunted again, but I certainly could read it. I looked over at Shunsui, who just shrugged.
"It's based off of the tv series?" Yamamoto asked.
"Yeah," Kenpachi answered in another monosyllable.
Wait, why does the Head Captain even know about this stuff? I'm a just going to die if Yamamoto secretly has sparkly pony stickers on his coffee mug…er, tea mug.
Squad 12 – Captain Kurotsuchi
Book: It, by Stephen King
"I never found clowns creepy before," Shunsui was saying, before the meeting started. "I mean, I know that some people have problems with them, but I never did."
"The book made an impression on you?" I asked.
"Definitely," Shunsui replied.
Mayuri walked in, looking a little different. I'm not ashamed to admit that I was one of six captains to make quick darting motions to the side of the room.
"This was all just a set up?" Byakuya said lowly.
He hadn't jumped like I had, but he actually seemed pretty upset. That's fairly impressive on its own.
"Don't worry, I figured out that he was going to dress like the clown from It, so I poisoned his makeup," Soifon said matter-of-factly.
"You did not," Mayuri stated, but took out some sort of scanner anyways.
"It starts as just a little tickling at the scalp," she insisted.
"Damn you, woman," Mayuri said over his shoulder as he left.
"Why did Captain Kurotsuchi not stay for the meeting?" Yamamoto wanted to know as he walked in.
Soifon was actually laughing, a rare sight. Suddenly, I got it, and I laughed too.
"Brilliantly played," I told her.
"The part about the poison was a lie?" Jushiro asked.
"The itch was probably just the wig," Toshiro noted.
"Is he gone?" Komamura asked as he peeked out of the corner he had hidden in.
Note to self: Komamura and clowns.
Squad 13 – Captain Ukitake
Book: The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair
"This was the most depressing book ever," Shunsui said.
"Well, it wasn't a happy read," I had to agree.
"Humans," Kaname said with a shrug.
"There are people that live like that here too, you know," Kenpachi pointed out.
"Oh, wouldn't that be funny if people are falling into vats and we're getting served human-meat instead of fish or pork?" I wondered.
"Funny would not be the word I'd use," Toshiro said, looking a little pale.
"You need that protein to get tall, don't go all vegetarian on us," I warned him. "I mean, does it really matter if it's human or a beast?"
"What the hell? Of course it matters!" Toshiro replied.
I was already internally listing ways to gross him out when Shunsui interrupted me.
"So, crippling poverty, accidentally eating humans, and all of those people dying of tuberculosis; it's like a bingo list of things that make me want to drink myself to death," Shunsui complained.
Oh yeah, I had forgotten about the tuberculosis.
"Er, why did you have us read this book again?" I asked Jushiro.
"It's supposed to be about exploitation of the poor and an expose on the corruption in government and business," he stated.
"Yeah, but the tuberculosis meat…" Shunsui groaned, taking a swig of sake.
Well, that's kind of a downer for our last book, but at least it's over. I have to admit that I…
A book flew into the doorway, landing facedown.
I stuck my head out.
"Ichigo?" I asked.
"Uh," he noticed that his book had gone into the meeting room. "Let me just get that."
I picked it up first.
"Why did you throw it?" I asked him.
"Because people keep dying and it's just…hey, I'm not telling you," Ichigo replied, grabbing the book back.
"No spoilers," he said, starting to walk away.
"What book is that?" Captain Ukitake asked. "We have a book club."
"You wouldn't like it," he said. "There's sex and murder and zombie-things and dragons, and I swear everyone dies."
"I'm interested," Shunsui admitted.
"That's because he listed sex first," Byakuya noted (and he was probably right).
"The Series is called A Song of Ice and Fire," Ichigo told us. "The first book is called Game of Thrones."
Orihimi: Well, I guess we don't have a lot to do. We could read some of those books.
Ulquiorra: I got you one.
He hands her The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Orihimi: I was hoping for the My Little Pony one.
Ulquiorra: I had it, but Szayelaporro borrowed it.
Orihime: Oh, yay! Do you think he's going to make little tiny ponies?
Ulquiorra: Well, he has tried before.