Captain Yamamoto set the paperwork aside with a heavy sigh. Between all the fighting, and all out war that had taken place in the Soul Society, the population had depleted heavily. Numbers were the lowest they had been in ages, and recruiting was being done left and right to build up the Thirteen Court Guard Squads to what they once were. It was slow going though.
Worse, no one of any real substance was being born. No one with enough strive to become great one day. All in all, the Soul Society itself was on the fast track to becoming nothing but a memory. Who would protect the people once they were gone?
Sure, they lived long lives, and many people had thousands of years to go before their end might come about. But. . .
That was the problem. Too many 'buts' factored into everything. Followed by 'What if's?'.
The solutions were a bunch of 'What if's?' as well. What could they really do to stop this destruction from continuing? The possibilities were few and the rewards seemed even fewer.
Captain Yamamoto rubbed his brow tiredly and glanced over at his lieutenant Chojiro Sasakibe. The man was still young, still in his prime, even for the white hair that he now carried. Captain Yamamoto tilted his head slightly, keeping his gaze on his lieutenant. Still young enough to marry even. . .have children. . .
"Chojiro. . ." Yamamoto broke the silence.
"Yes sir?" Chojiro asked, placing his brush down, bringing an end to his paperwork.
They stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity. "I have a solution to our population problem. . .I fear no one will like it though. Tomorrow, I want a meeting called with all the captains. The day after, I will meet with all the Lieutenants. Pass the word along, please."
"Yes sir!" Chojiro disappeared to do as he was told.
Captain Yamamoto sighed and rested his chin on his hand while thinking over what the next few days would bring. No doubt, no one would be thrilled with his decision. Rules would have to put down to ensure that these marriages took place too.
Yamamoto picked up his brush and dipped it in ink before staring at the blank piece of paper set out in front of him. Moments later, he began to write.
All the Captains stood on the respective sides of the meeting hall before Yamamoto. He cleared his throat and opened his eyes to stare at the Captain's, getting their attention faster than any yell or whistle could ever accomplish.
"Our numbers have never been so low. Our Squad's numbers have been cut down by half, or more, and there aren't enough up and coming recruits in the academy to replenish these numbers any time soon. Worse, anyone that had a chance at becoming a Shinigami, is no longer interested, or dead now, thanks to all the wars we've had to go through." Yamamoto began. "Births are low, and even with a spike, I know that it will be years before any real progress is made. However, waiting those years is the only real option we have. Therefore, all captains have within a year to marry."
Outrage poured out of the room as half of the Captain's tried to talk over one another and yelled at him. Only a few remained silent and waiting.
"Silence!" Yamamoto barked, slamming down his staff. "There is no other solution. And this situation does not have to be permanent! Find someone to marry. Have two children. When the second child is at least three years of age, you have the option of dissolving your marriage and pretending that it never happened. The children will remain with the Captain who parented them however. We need them protected, and they need to get used to being in such a setting. Your Lieutenants will also be required to marry, with the exception of Lieutenant Kusajishi of Squad 11, who we feel is not mature enough to begin treatments to help her age at this point."
"Treatments?" Captain Hitsugaya broke in.
"Something that Captain Kurotsuchi has been working on for some time. A way to speed up the body's aging process. You will be taking these treatments soon." Yamamoto said, meeting the younger Captain's gaze. "I would also like to say, that I will allow marriage between Captain's and Lieutenant's, as long as it is brought before me first, and approved. Not everyone can do this however. We want to increase our number as quickly as possible."
"Do we not have any choice in this?" Soi Fon asked, angrily. "Some of our sexual preferences do not run along the opposite sex."
"I am sorry, I cannot make exceptions for anyone." Yamamoto sighed. "Otherwise, I'd have to make exceptions for everyone. That wouldn't help our cause any."
"Of course, you won't be marrying." Captain Kurotsuchi snapped. "I have no doubt about that."
"Even if the Captain Yamamoto did marry, there would be no children. He has never been able to produce a child." Captain Unohana cut in before Yamamoto could respond. "Feel free to look at his medical files if you don't believe me, Captain Kurotsuchi."
"What happens if we don't marry within the year time slot?" Captain Ukitake asked, changing the subject.
"We will choose a husband or bride for you." Yamamoto answered.
"I trust that we'll be given leeway to go out and search for our brides or husbands?" Captain Zaraki asked. "Cuz I ain't marrying some pansy ass soft woman."
"Yes." Yamamoto answered softly. "Keep in mind though, that your Lieutenants also need to go out and search as well. So don't stay gone for too long of periods at a time."
The room was quiet and everyone seemed to accept what was about to happen, but no one seemed to be doing so happily.
"We will meet again the day after tomorrow. After I've met with the Lieutenants. There, you will tell me if you are going to search for your bride, or husband. If you decide you would like to look through some of our pre-chosen brides and grooms, they will be here. You can take them with you and get to know them. But if you take one of them, you have to marry them within a month. So think hard. See you in two days. Dismissed."
Each Captain left quickly leaving Yamamoto alone to his thoughts. In some ways, he regretted having to do this.
What poor woman would be tied down to Captain Kurotsuchi? And would Captain Komamura have any luck in the search? Soi Fon? He feared for the man that had to be with that woman.
He rubbed his eyebrow tiredly, and began to plot for the Lieutenants. Virtually, he'd tell them the same thing. Only, he wouldn't care so much if they married within themselves. Well, not all of them.
The Lieutenants all set out before him, all with curious eyes. All were aware that something big was going down. Why else would all the Captains be in such solemn moods.
"With the recent wars, the population of the Soul Society has dropped drastically. More so, there aren't enough recruits coming in to help us replenish those numbers. So, with the exception of Lieutenant Yachiru Kusajishi, you all will be finding yourself husbands or wives. You have a year to do so. If you fail to do so, we will pick one for you. You are allowed to marry your Captain, with prior permission, of course. You may marry amongst yourselves, with prior permission, as well. If you would rather not spend a year searching for someone, we have a few brides and grooms here for you to choose from. You have two days to think this over. Then we will meet again. You can tell us your choice, and either leave to search for your spouse, or stay and pick from what we have." Yamamoto told them.
Outrage sounded as soon as Captain Yamamoto finished his speech.
"You can't be serious!" Rangiku snarled. "You expect me to marry? Especially right after. . .right after I lost Gin?"
"You lost Gin a long time ago. It's your own fault you couldn't let him go." Yamamoto replied.
A shocked look came over most of the Lieutenants, and several went over to Rangiku and helped her stand.
"I haven't dismissed you." Yamamoto reminded them.
"I think we've heard enough." Shuhei stated. "We understand the rules, and now we are taking our friend home."
Most of the Lieutenants began to stand and leave.
Yamamoto stamped his cane down hard. "I did not dismiss you!"
"You lost the right to dismiss us when you took away our own freedom to love and live as we choose. Time limits, orders. . .These things never go hand and hand with love." Nanao stated, also standing. "We will see you in two days, sir."
Yamamoto was left alone in the room, shocked. The Lieutenants never acted out this way, ever. He sighed and rubbed his eyes wearily again.
He hoped the second meeting with the Captains went a lot smoother than the one with the Lieutenants was going to go.
The Captains all set in front of Yamamoto. Some wore expressions of hate toward him, some were calm as always, some looked nervous, and some seemed just bored.
Behind the Head Captain, several men and women set, all just waiting to see if they had a chance of being groom or bride to a Captain or Lieutenant.
"Have you made your choices?" Yamamoto asked. "Tell me your choices, in order, if you please."
"I will be searching through your. . .grooms to find a suitable and strong husband. He'll have to understand that I'll be divorcing him as soon as our. . .children are old enough." Captain Soi Fon said, a sneer on her face.
"I believe I will try and find myself a suitable husband." Captain Unohana said softly.
"I will be finding my own bride." Captain Byakuya Kuchiki stated.
"I will search as well." Komamura responded.
"I just have to try and convince my Nanao-chan to put up with me outside the office." Captain Shunsui said with a shrug, getting chuckles out of a few of the Captains.
"I will find myself a suitable bride." Captain Hitsugaya murmured.
"You should know my answer." Captain Kenpachi said with a smirk.
"I will look. No doubt the women you picked are all idiots." Captain Kurotsuchi stated.
From behind Yamamoto, a few of the woman spat curses and death threats. It took a few minutes to calm them down.
"I will. . ." Captain Ukitake cut off as he began coughing up blood. In a heart beat, Captain Unohana and an unknown girl were out his side.
"Take this." The girl said, putting a small pill in Ukitake's hand as well as getting a canteen of water. "It will ease the pain, and put a quick stop to the bleeding."
"What is that?" Captain Unohana said, keeping Ukitake from taking the pill.
"It's a remedy from my village, outside of the Seireitei. We strive to learn healing ways, and find most of our cures through herbs, roots, flowers, water, and even insects. Occasionally, animal blood has played an important part in many cures." The girl slid her eyes to Ukitake's. "Fear not, no blood or bugs in your pills."
Ukitake took it before Unohana could keep him again and took a long swallow of water.
Everyone waited for a while, before Ukitake said, "I'm sorry. I feel much better now."
Unohana returned to her place, and the girl made to stand, but Ukitake grabbed her wrist. "I might sound selfish, but I am need of help, constantly. I would like to marry this girl. I'm sure she, and Captain Unohana could learn much from each other."
The girl bowed her head to Ukitake, and with a slightly unsure look, took a seat next to him.
Yamamoto gave a brief nod of the head before turning back to the rest of the Captain's. "For those of you who are searching, I want you to know, that these people behind me, willing be staying within the Soul Society. You can meet them and talk to them, and not hold the obligation of marrying them within the month. I will extend a small offer to those of you who are picking from them now. You can have two weeks free to get to know them and pick which you want to marry before the month in which you have to get to know them."
The room was quiet.
"I would also like to announce that there is a special case amongst the Lieutenants. We all know that Lieutenant of Squad Five, Momo Hinamori, has not been well since the betrayal of Former Squad Five Captain, Sousuke Aizen. Through review of her mental profile with Captain Unohana, we have picked a husband for her. I know that it seems cruel, but we feel this is best. Without a man that can handle and help her, she's always going to cling to the image of what Sousuke Aizen pretended to be." Yamamoto said softly. "This man," A large man stepped up beside Yamamoto in the standard Shinigami uniform with a Captain's haori on. "-will be taking over Squad Five as Captain. His name is Takeshi Maki. He comes from outside the Seireitei."
"He hasn't been given tests!" Soi Fon barked!
"Yes, he has." Yamamoto replied. "I gave him a test. He performed a Bankai, and was tested by others who will remained nameless. The Central Forty-Six has passed their seal on him as well. It is done."
"And what test did he gave you?" Soi Fon barked at the new Captain.
With a deep voice, he replied, "I had to touch you ten times without your notice."
"Impossible." Soi Fon snapped.
"Have you checked your back? Captain Unohana could look at it for you." Takeshi said with a smirk.
Soi Fon shrugged out of her haori and turned so Unohana could look at her back. "Well?" She asked, impatiently.
"He has touched you ten times." Unohana responded. "You have ten small scratches on your back. . .it says 'TAG'."
Soi Fon leapt at the new Captain, and he easily blocked her attack with his forearm before grabbing her leg and throwing her back into her place.
"Enough! I will not have fighting in this room!" Yamamoto boomed as Soi Fon got up for another attack. "He passed his test Soi Fon. If you were informed about it, then you would be on guard all the time, and be even more upset when he still succeeded."
"He wouldn't have succeeded if I had known." Soi Fon hissed.
"The point of his test was to do it without your knowledge. He passed. It's done." Yamamoto barked.
Soi Fon set down, pissed beyond belief, and glaring at the new Captain.
"If no one else has any questions, or anything to ask, you are dismissed. Good luck to you all." Yamamoto sighed.
"Before I ask what you have decided, I have an announcement to make. I am sure plenty of you will be upset with this, but know that this decision did not come easily, and Captain Unohana had a hand in making this important decision. Lieutenant of Squad Five, Momo Hinamori, your husband has been chose for you. We feel that with your current state of mind, and the history you had with the prior Captain of Squad Five, Sousuke Aizen, that this was in your best interest." Yamamoto spoke.
Momo set there with a shocked look on her face. "What?" She whispered. "That's not fair! I should have a right to choose who I marry!"
"He didn't ask your opinion. Think of this as an order, Momo-san." A man walked from the back of the room wearing the haori of Squad Five.
"Meet the new Captain of Squad Five, Takeshi Maki." Yamamoto introduced as the Captain took a seat beside Momo.
"Now, file off, in order of Squad, to tell me what your choice is. Momo, you will not have to."
"I will search for a bride for myself, sir." Lieutenant Chojiro Sasakibe of Squad One replied.
"I will find myself a bride." Marehiyo Omaeda of Squad Two murmured.
"I will look through the brides you have assembled. I don't have the luxury of seeking one out while I do the work of both a Captain and Lieutenant." Izuru Kira of Squad Three sighed.
"I. . .I guess I'll look through the men you have assembled." Isane Kotetsu of Squad Four, murmured. "I'm not good at the whole dating thing."
"I will find a bride for myself." Renji Abarai of Squad Six, said, grinning.
"I will find myself a bride too." Tetsuzaemon Iba all but shouted.
"I will find myself a suitable husband, I'm sure." Nanao Ise of Squad Eight sighed.
"I'll look through the women you have here too. Like Izuru, I don't have time to just go out looking. Too many duties." Shuhei Hisagi murmured, of Squad Nine.
"I'll find one myself. Thank you." Rangiku Matsumoto of Squad Ten bit out.
"I will find someone suitable for my own compatibility." Nemu Kurotsuchi of Squad Twelve said softly.
Yamamoto nodded at all the choices the Lieutenants had made. "Those of you who decided to look through the brides of grooms we have here, you have the choice of taking one home now, which you have to marry within a month. Or you can leave today, meet all of them within the next two weeks, as they'll be staying here within the Seireitei, and then at the end of those two weeks, pick one. You then have the month to get to know them, and marry immediately. I will cut slack on paper work, because as Lieutenant Ise pointed out last time, love isn't something you can really force. Getting to know these people will be important. You'll be with them for several years after this. Hopefully, much longer."
"Am I correct in assuming that these women know they are brood mares, and these men know they are sperm donors, if the Lieutenant or Captain decides to divorce them after a few years?" Nanao asked, pushing her glasses up.
"Yes." Yamamoto answered. "Dismissed."
Author's Note: Whew! How crazy is that! Each chapter after this will be about a Captain or Lieutenant and their romance. Some will be involved with each other though. Each Chapter will be titled by the Bleach Character they involve, rather it be one or two. Be looking for an update. First is Byakuya!
And what do you guys think of Captain Takeshi Maki?
P.S.- I have purposely left out the looks of the few OC's that have been introduced, so they will be revealed in their chapters.