Men Among Women
Ise Nanao was ever so slightly perplexed. After all, this was supposed to be the Shinigami Women's association. So why was she the only woman here? Her gaze scanned the several men whom were gathered in the seats usually occupied by her fellow SWA members. Sure a couple of them such as Byakuya and Mayuri had been in on occasion to fill in for sister and lieutenant respectively, but never both at the same time. And never with a number of the other men seemingly filling in either. Nanao scanned the room once again.
"What is the meaning of this?" she demanded, causing a few of the men to quiver in their seats.
Few men had attended these meetings before, and none had lasted the first five minutes alive due to the threatening demeanour of the association's vice president.
"My lieutenant is 'studying' in the human world," explained Hitsugaya, sitting back in his seat and looking utterly bored. "She insisted I come along and participate for her. Since my schedule is empty for the day, I couldn't find any excuse to object."
"We're filling in for the Kotetsu sisters," Hanatarou stated, fidgeting nervously.
"They've gone to visit relatives in Rukongai," added Sentarou.
"My captain forced me to come," said Omaeda, as he munched on his rice crackers. "Said something about visiting Yoruichi."
"Nemu has gone to collect some samples for me," said Mayuri, grinning in his own deranged way.
"Rukia's on a mission," said Byakuya.
"I have received no notice of this," stated Nanao. "And in a few moments, president Yachiru will be here. I do not entertain the thoughts of what she may have in stall for you."
A shudder spread throughout the room and some looked as though they were considering making a run for the door. But the door was already creaking open…
However, it was not the pink-haired lieutenant they were expecting. It was…
"Captain?" Ikkaku questioned, looking mildly surprised.
"Sorry ladies," Kenpachi said as he crossed the room. "Yachiru left crappy directions on how to get here."
There was a long, awkward pause as Kenpachi stood at the front of the room, beside Nanao.
"I don't believe this," was all Nanao said, shaking her head as she left the room.
There was another awkward pause, as the stand-in women's association—made up entirely of men—sat in silence.
"So…" began Kenpachi. "What do we do?"
"Well you're the president," remarked Hitsugaya. "You tell us."
"There should be some sort of run sheet or schedule for the meeting somewhere…" supplied Hanatarou.
There was another pause, before-
"Everyone, look for the run sheet," Kenpachi demanded.
The other men obediently began searching under their chairs, in draws and under tables.
"We can't find it," Sentarou said. "What should we do?"
"Maybe we should just go home," Omaeda offered.
The other men murmured. It wasn't such a bad idea.
The door to the meeting room suddenly slid open once more and Nanao reappeared, this time with Shunsui in tow. "Get in there," she said, shoving her surprised captain inside. "If the others are taking the day off, then so am I. I'm sure you all will act responsibly while you are holding the meeting," she said, firmly addressing all the men. "Oh, and by the way. The run sheet is sitting there on the desk, in plain sight of you all."
And with a snap, the door was closed and she was gone.
"Hey, she's right," said Mayuri, who was now hovering over the desk. "The run sheet really is here!"
The men began swarming around the table in order to catch a glimpse of what exactly the heck they needed to do in one of these meetings.
"Out of the way pansies," said Kenpachi coming through. "I am president after all. Its my job to read these things out." He ploughed his way through the other men, before picking up the informative piece of paper. "It says that we first need to drink tea and take it in turns talking about our week."
Some of the other men made sounds of content surprise. It didn't sound too hard at all.
About five minutes later, all men were gathered around a table, sipping from dainty teacups.
"Well then," began Shunsui, looking down on the piece of paper. "It is Nanao's—I mean my—job to get this discussion under way. So lets begin with Kuchiki-taicho. How was your week?"
"The same as any other week," Byakuya responded, as he sipped from his teacup.
"Any exciting plans?" Shunsui asked, reading questions from the paper.
"I have none," replied Byakuya.
"Arranged any interesting flowers recently?"
"Yes, with Unohana-taicho the other day."
"Met any intriguing men?"
"Are you pregnant?"
"Kyouraku-taicho, you are making these questions up."
"What gave you a clue?"
"On to our next SWA member," Kenpachi interrupted, before sipping from his pastel pink teacup.
"That would be me, I guess," Hitsugaya observed. "My week wasn't any different from normal either. Mostly paperwork and getting Rangiku to do paperwork."
"How has her week been?" asked Shunsui.
Hitsugaya shrugged. "All she's done is lay around, drink sake and run off when he's needed. Nothing out of the ordinary."
"My week's been pretty normal as well," began Hanatarou, before being cut off by Kenpachi.
"Has anyone actually done anything interesting or unusual in that past week?" the captain questioned.
There was silence.
"I went to the hairdressers," contributed Ikkaku.
"Well then lets just move on to the next thing…" said Kenpachi, glancing back down at the paper. "Which is fundraising! We need to come up with fun ways to come through with funds for the organisation."
There was a pause before-
The simple utterance had come from none other than Byakuya
"What do you mean by that?" Sentarou asked.
"I mean precisely what I say," Byakuya said, his electric gaze flashing across the table. "Baking is the simplest and most popular way for gaining profits and funds. It is clearly the best way to go about it."
"And what do you suggest we bake?" Kenpachi questioned.
"These," Byakuya replied, reaching deep into his shihakusho and withdrawing a crudely designed cookie, before placing it in the middle of the table.
There was a long pause as the men silently examined the strange looking specimen before them.
"It looks like a turd with arms and legs," Ikkaku observed, breaking the silence. "I don't think many people would buy it."
At once, Sebonzakura was unsheathed and pointed directly at the 11th division's third seat.
"It would be wise," spoke Byakuya, his voice a low monotone. "To not scrutinize the Seaweed Ambassador in such a way."
"Captain Kuchiki," said Shunsui, addressing Byakuya by his formal title, yet sounding like a primary school teacher telling of a student in tone. "A women's association meeting is no place for a Zanpakto."
"Yeah," said Kenpachi. "You're supposed to be a lady, so act like one."
Byakuya's stoic expression did not falter, but anyone who knew him well enough could tell he was fuming beneath the skin.
"But Kuchiki-taicho's foremost suggestion is quite plausible," said Hanatarou. "Cookies and baked things are very popular."
"They are; I buy them all the time," Omaeda added.
"Write that down then, Hitsugaya," Kenpachi ordered.
"Why am I the scribe?"
"I figured you'd be best at it."
The young looking captain grumbled as he scrawled the word 'baking' onto a piece of paper.
"Maybe we can have fighting matches as well," Ikkaku suggested.
"Wait a second…" said Hitsugaya, looking up from the paper and narrowing his eyes as he looked at Ikkaku. "Who are you filling in for?"
All attention in the room was suddenly concentrated on the bald Shinigami.
"I-well…" Ikkaku sighed. "I guess I'll just leave then."
He was almost at the door, when Kenpachi spoke up.
"So what if you have no woman to fill in for! If attending these women's meetings is something you want to do, then you should do it."
Ikkaku turned around. "You mean it, taicho?"
"I'm not gonna care either way, but if you wanna stay here, then do."
Ikkaku's face lightened up and he returned to his seat.
The meeting continued for what really didn't feel like a long time. They discussed many things beyond just fundraising, and before anyone knew it everyone was getting to know eachother far better than before.
However, all good things must come to an end.
"Look at the time!" Hanatarou exclaimed. "Its getting late."
It was true. As it was, the women's meeting had been running over two hours overtime.
"You know...the SWA is kinda fun."
"So much better than that lame thing Iba runs."
"There's only one thing for it."
"And what's that?"
"We need our own women's association."
And so, the SMWA (Shinigami Men's Women's Association) was established.
Kris: The scary thing is, I can actually see this happening in one of those Shinigami Cup segments…Oh, and I just realised that this is my first Bleach fanfic Aizen doesn't feature in. Hooray for me. Please review your thoughts :) Happy New Year!