Disclaimer: The characters aren't mine, but this idea could only have come from my deranged mind.
Also, this story contains drug use. It's about Woodstock, what do you expect?
Listening to: A plethora of old school rock.
Nanao Ise, with considerable trepidation, entered the Eighth Division bright, early and ready to begin the first day of her new role as lieutenant. Carefully straightening her glasses and checking for her fan, she sighed and crossed the threshold, resigning herself to the fact that she was definitely the first in for the day. The Eighth followed the example set by their captain, and arrived just in time to begin the day or, occasionally, several hours late.
It was said captain that was shaping up to be the bane of Nanao's existence.
Yes, Shunsui Kyouraku was spiritually gifted, an intelligent strategist, an able swordsman and, she had to reluctantly admit, easy on the eyes. He was, however, also a drunk, a skirt-chaser and a man who seemed to firmly believe in the benefits of avoiding hard work. In her job interview for this position he had not only announced that he "loved the naughty secretary look", but he had also tried twice to sneak a peek down her shirt and had ended proceedings with an attempt to grab her behind. That attempt had been thwarted firstly by Nanao's stinging kido and secondly by the fact that the captain was three sheets to the wind and had ended up falling off his chair instead.
Needless to say, none of it had left her with a good impression. However, she wanted the promotion and this was the only one available. The Thirteenth may have had a vacancy, but they were all still reeling from the loss of their Lieutenant and Third Seat and Nanao hardly liked to put herself forward. On the other hand, Captain Ukitake was at least a gentleman, even if he was friends with her new boss.
It had actually been that fact that clinched it for Nanao. She was a woman who didn't take crap, not even from the Eleventh. She was a Kido Master, the youngest in quite a few centuries, and she had been told she had the forbearance, if not the patience, of a saint. She could put up with a man who drank, seduced and lazed his way through life if she had to and, if he was Jyuushiro Ukitake's best friend, he could hardly be that bad.
Settling herself at her new desk, she waited patiently for the captain of the Eighth Division to arrive and formally induct her to her new position.
Three hours later she was silent but fuming. He wasn't there. He hadn't even deigned to send a hell butterfly, let alone a squad member, all of whom were now actually present and occasionally walking past her door in thinly disguised attempts to catch a glimpse of the new lieutenant. Her temper was frayed, outside of composing rants to greet her captain with she was bored and, worst of all, her seat was uncomfortable.
It was time to go hunting.
The first thing she did was enter his office. It may have gone against every ethical code instilled at the academy, but if she didn't enter her captain's private office, she reasoned to herself, how would she know if he'd been injured or too unwell to seek help? And, she reasoned further, at this point these were the only excuses she would accept for his non-appearance. Peering past the door, however, she could safely ascertain that he was not lying in a diseased lump on the floor.
She wasn't sure whether to be relieved or annoyed.
The office was like something out of Nanao's worst nightmares. Towers of paperwork threatened to collapse at a strong exhalation, what spaces were free of papers were covered in sake bottles and there was an odour that suggested, while the captain hadn't died in here, something had.
With a delicate shudder, Nanao turned to leave, only to catch a glimpse of a note taped to the back of the door. Nanao was hardly the sort of shinigami to go through a person's papers – unless, of course, they were illiterate and needed her aid which, with this captain, she wouldn't rule out just yet – but this particular document had her name written in large kanji at the top. Plucking it from its home, she read –
To my lovely and feisty (and therefore even lovelier) lieutenant,
Fear not! Not harm has befallen me. I was instead so impressed by your competence that I have elected to take a brief sojourn into the world of the living to attend what I believe will be an important historic event – a momentous occasion known as Woodstock. I'm sure you will be able to recognise the cultural significance and potential research benefits of such an excursion. Anyway, I have left you in charge and am sure you will do an excellent job.
Your devoted admirer,
Nanao counted to three. She then tried counting to ten. And taking several deep breaths. Finally, she returned her gaze to the letter in her hand, her eyes narrowing. The letter was dated today. He couldn't be too far ahead, and she knew for a fact that he wasn't supposed to be on leave any time in the near future. That meant only one thing.
Nanao didn't have a clue what this 'Woodstock' was, but one thing was clear. She was going to retrieve her captain and make him rue the day he'd ever decided to go AWOL on her watch.
As the two captains stared over the field, full of young men and women in varying states of mind, mud, musical equipment and general good times, they shared a quick grin.
"This", Shunsui Kyouraku uttered in a state of bliss, "was the best idea I ever had."
"It's not bad", Jyuushiro Ukitake admitted. "There's an awful lot of mud about, though."
"Eh, calm down. Have another of those brownies that girl gave us. They're tasty." He giggled. "Tasty's a funny word, dontcha think Jyuu-kun?"
His companion frowned as he ate. "There's something funny about these, but dammit, I'm too hungry to care. What else have we got to eat?"
Shunsui giggled again. "That's 'cause they're the special brownies, remember? The normal ones you bought for sustenance are in the bag."
"Huh." Jyuushiro inspected them once more, a grin crossing his features. "In that case, I think I'll have another. Who's on next?"
Shunsui shrugged as he sat up. "Hell if I know. Heard rumours of Jefferson Airplane, which should make you happy."
"Ah", Jyuushiro replied with a grin, "You know me well. I can't believe we both managed to get three days off! They never do that."
"Uh, yeah…" Shunsui muttered, not meeting Jyuushiro's eyes. Fortunately, Jyuushiro's eye had been caught by a female figure in a long-sleeved purple mini-dress with a heavily embroidered neckline. The young woman was familiar somehow, he decided, as she picked her way through the bodies and mud, disgust warring with annoyance on her face. "Hey Shun?"
Laying back down and staring blissfully at the sky, Shunsui murmured some sort of acknowledgement.
"There's someone headed our way. I think she knows you; she's certainly glaring at you."
Shunsui snorted. "That hardly narrows it down."
Jyuushiro chuckled. "That's true enough, but… well, she looks an awful lot like your new lieutenant."
That had his eyes widening, as he sat bolt upright. "Wha – oh shit! Jyuu-kun, hide me!"
"I have the sneaking suspicion it's a little late for that", Jyuushiro pointed out shrewdly, as Nanao came to a stop in front of them.
Nanao was enraged, to put it lightly. She'd threatened Mayuri Kurotsuchi until he'd told her where they were (the man was on thin ice and couldn't afford an official complaint on his file right now), and was stuck in the living world with an embroidered dress that felt too short, but was supposedly the fashion, and a whole lot of mud, trying to return a lazy, duty-shirking, lying drunkard with appalling fashion sense to the damn office he was supposed to be in.
"Uh, Nanao-chan?" Shunsui raised a hand tentatively.
"Don't call me that!" She snapped, pushing her glasses further up her nose where they belonged. "And what?"
"You said all of that out loud."
Well, that was awkward. She'd just insulted her new boss. In front of his best friend and fellow captain.
This day got better and better.
"If it's any consolation", Shunsui continued, "I'm not drunk now." He grinned lopsidedly as he giggled.
"You're clearly something", Nanao muttered, watching as he tried and failed to pick himself up. "And why does everything smell strange here?"
"Uh, no reason", Shunsui replied evasively, as Jyuushiro came to a realisation.
"Hang on", the white-haired captain muttered, "You told me it was your day off."
Suddenly, Shunsui was faced with two disapproving shinigami.
"It… could be my day off. You never know."
Groaning, Jyuushiro rolled his eyes. "Why did I not suspect this earlier. Lieutenant…"
"Right. Well, Lieutenant Ise, if I'd known what this one was up to, I would have left him with Kurotsuchi to be an experiment."
It was hard to stay mad when the gentleman captain of the Gotei 13 was backing you up and apologising. Sighing, Nanao shook her head. "What do we do now?"
"If you give us a moment to discuss things", Jyuushiro replied, "I can help you escort him home."
"Of course, Captain." Nanao nodded and made to draw off a little.
Inspired, Shunsui grabbed a package from the bag.
"Here, you can have some brownies while you wait."
Her look softened slightly at the peace offering, as she selected one and took a bite. "Mmm, they're good." Her eyes narrowed. "You're still not forgiven."
"Didn't expect to be", he called after her as she stalked off.
"I", Jyuushiro called out, "Have a bone to pick with you."
Shunsui winced. "Jyuu-kun, it's Woodstock! The music, the girls, the atmosphere! How could I miss it? You needed someone to squire you around."
Jyuushiro closed his eyes, a long-suffering expression on his face. "What were you supposed to be doing?"
"Uh… Nanao's induction."
"Oh for - " Jyuushiro broke off, and glared at him.
"All right, I'm sorry", Shunsui held up his hands. "I just wanted to have fun. I'll go quietly, I promise."
Jyuushiro snorted. "I'm going to miss Jefferson Airplane while I haul your arse back to a Senkaimon, I just know it."
"I'll make it up to you", he replied blithely. "Here, have a brownie. You're becoming somewhat less than mellow."
"Bugger it", Jyuushiro muttered, picking up the treat and taking a bite. "Mmmm… That's it! They've added cinnamon! That's why they taste funny." He chewed away happily, not noticing the dawning look of horror on Shunsui's face.
"So… these are the normal brownies, Jyuu-kun? Cinnamon's the only extra ingredient?"
"Yep. We're probably just getting a bit of a contact high, what with the smoke in the air and all. The other ones must just be in the bag." It was then that Jyuushiro realised all was not well.
"They are in the bag, right Shun?"
Taking several deep breaths, Shunsui replied, "They were. I gave them to Nanao as a peace offering."
Both men paused as the full implications of this hit them.
Jyuushiro was the first to break the silence. "So, you've just drugged your lieutenant against her will?"
"I didn't mean to!"
"I don't know if that argument will sway her", Jyuushiro pointed out.
Shunsui exhaled. "Look, Nanao's a big girl. I'm sure she can handle it."
It was then that the crisp tones of Nanao Ise were heard, doing what could only be described as giggling.
Shunsui and Jyuushiro stared at each other in horror.
"We are in so much trouble."
Getting Nanao back to the Seireitei was easier said than done.
She didn't want to move, for a start, and spent most of the time laughing almost hysterically at things that weren't really funny or demanding food. She was also friendly. Very friendly. He'd had to pry her off Jyuushiro earlier because she'd wanted to play with his hair. By the time they got her through a Senkaimon, Shunsui was carrying her while she played with his hair instead and giggled quietly to herself. He'd considered recording this in some way but, as Jyuushiro had pointed out, the situation was bad enough without him using it to gain blackmail material.
Checking that the coast was clear, Shunsui and Jyuushiro slipped through the streets and in through the window, until they reached the one place no one would ever look for Shunsui – his office.
After carefully depositing Nanao on a chair, Shunsui turned to his best friend. "What the hell do we do now?"
Holding both hands up, Jyuushiro exclaimed, "This one's all on you. She's you lieutenant, and you got her into this. I suggest you keep an eye on her. It should wear off in a bit. I'll go make sure no one's noticed anything unusual."
"Jenga!" A paperwork stack fell to the floor and scattered, as Nanao clutched one sheet, a look of confusion on her face. Turning to them, she explained, "It works when Rangiku-san and I do it", before dissolving into giggles.
Panicked, Shunsui turned to his best friend. "Did you understand a word of that?"
With a helpless shrug Jyuushiro called out, "Have fun", before flash stepping out of the office.
Sighing, Shunsui started to clear up the dropped paperwork, only to stop as a paper plane hit him in the side of the head. Looking up at the culprit, he noticed some of the clarity had returned to Nanao's eyes. "Uh…" he began eloquently.
"I'm mad at you." She looked thoughtful. "Can't quite remember why, but I'm sure it was important. I feel funny too. I keep laughing too much."
"Well", Shunsui began, firm in the belief that honesty was the best policy, "I accidentally gave you something you shouldn't have had and – hey! That hurt!"
"It was a mild stinging kido, you big baby", she muttered, her eyes looking clearer all the time. "Great, so this is your fault. Figures. I get stuck with a good-looking, brainless jerk for a captain."
"That's a little har – hey, you think I'm good-looking?"
Kido glowed in her hands again as she glared at him. "Not the part you were supposed to focus on."
"Ok, ok. I'll be good."
Sighing, she let the kido fade. "I just wanted a promotion. I didn't ask to be your babysitter, and I certainly didn't want to have you baby-sit me."
"I know", he replied quietly, feeling a little guilty. Since Lisa had left, his lieutenants had been either useless bimbos, who were quickly demoted, or men with a work ethic that reflected his. He doubted any of them would have bothered to hunt him down and return him to the office.
He also doubted any of them would have much cared where he was.
As he considered this, she straightened her glasses and rose, coming to seat herself on the office couch next to him. "You know, if I report this, you'd be in serious trouble. Going AWOL, ingesting illicit substances, drugging a subordinate. It wouldn't be pretty."
Shunsui paled. He'd hoped it wouldn't come to this. "That has crossed my mind, but I honestly never meant for this - "
He was silenced as she held up one hand, her violet eyes boring into his. It wasn't fair. How was he supposed to concentrate when she looked at him like that? Who gave a woman violet eyes, for Kami's sake? "However, I have a better idea. I am not so foolish as to believe I can change all of your annoying behaviours, but I think we should devise a contract that allows for compromise."
He blinked. This could either be better than he expected or worse. Much worse. "O…k. Uh, example?"
Nanao looked around the office. "How is this for a start? If you help me clear the paperwork backlog, once we are up to date I will deal with everything and bring you what needs to be signed once every day."
That didn't sound so bad. He let out a sigh of relief.
"I can live with that. What else?"
Clearing her throat, Nanao continued. "This means you have to be in the office every day. From at least midday until we close up shop for the night. And", she added as he opened his mouth, "if you claim that it is too stifling to be so confined, you may roam – but confine yourself to a one kilometre radius from the office unless you're visiting the Thirteenth."
It could have been worse, he told himself.
"If I ever find you drunk at work, you're dealing with the paperwork on your own for the next week. Any sake stashes in the office that I find, I will destroy."
Well, Shunsui decided, that was all right by him. She'd never find his cunning hiding sp –
"I intend to start with the bottles you have hidden in those hollow books on your shelf, before moving onto the ones you have hidden under the cushions of this couch. You'll need a little more imagination to get around me."
Damn. She was good. And, as far as Shunsui was concerned, had just issued a challenge.
He liked challenges.
"Nanao-chan is a harsh negotiator", he murmured, unable to hide his grin.
Her eyes narrowed. "Finally, you may call me what you wish but, in turn, I have a right to do the same. And if you keep calling me that, it will not be flattering. Similarly, any grabs for any parts of my anatomy are to be kept to a minimum, if they happen at all, and will be greeted with a very painful fan if they do. Are we clear?"
"Crystal." Shunsui had to admit; he was impressed. Clearly his lieutenant was a beauty with brains. And thought he was good-looking. His day was improving. "Anything else, Nanao-chan?"
Her fingers drumming on the arm of her couch, she considered him. "Yes. Go buy me lunch, seeing as it was your damn drugs that made me so hungry in the first place. When we get back we can start on the paperwork. You've got five minutes or I'm locking you in with it and not helping."
As Shunsui scurried off, he looked back to see a slight smile on her face. He couldn't help grinning to himself, as he called out, "Nanao-chan, I believe this is the start to a beautiful friendship!"
He dodged the kido spell that followed, his grin unabated.
I like this one. This is going to be fun.
Let me know what you think – R an R, y'all.