Uhm. Yeah. Whoops. School happened. Happy holidays?

Chapter Three: Omaeda and Ggio Walk Into A Bar


Sake was amazing.

Sake was a gift from the gods. Or the Spirit King. Or the bartender. Or the guy down the bar...

Sake was also the only thing everyone in Seireitei could agree on – except Yachiru, who thought it tasted like yucky, despite the best efforts of the entirety of the eleventh.

And so it was that, after a long night of screaming for mercy, Marechiyo Omaeda and Ggio Vega went stumbling into Kyoraku's, the largest bar in Seireitei, located at the foot of the Sokyoku (that is, as close as one could come to the center of Seireitei without volunteering for a beheading). Established shortly after the founding of the city, the bar had earned its bartender and namesake a place among the lesser nobility for "service rendered for the good of society." The Kyoraku family had been serving the good 24/7 ever since.

"Most people stumble out of bars, not into them," Yumichika remarked while he supported a blacked out Ikkaku and simultaneously held the door for Omaeda and Ggio. Or, at least, he tried to hold the door for them. There wasn't enough room for him to hold the door and hold Ikkaku and for Omaeda's robustness to still fit through, so Yumichika gave up and stepped aside.

Still standing out in the chilly night, Ggio snarled. "Most women wear less makeup when they go out. I guess they just have less ugly to cover up." His golden eyes narrowed. After... experiencing... Mayuri's depravity, he was in a foul mood and whoever this pompous feathered idiot was would suffer for existing.

Yumichika sniffed. "Funny you don't know what ugly is, since you see it every time you look in a mirror." He shifted how he was carrying Ikkaku so he could look as stunning as possible.

Observing, Omaeda winced. Oh snap.

Lacking a comeback, Ggio resorted to the staple of any verbal battle: name-calling. "Poof!"

Yumichika dropped Ikkaku on the ground and reached for his sword and drew... thin air. Ruri'iro Kujaku was at home, probably sulking (what else did he ever do? He did it almost as much as Wabisuke). At Captain Unohana's insistence, zanpakutou were banned from every bar in Seireitei.

Seeing Yumichika's mistake, Ggio grinned. "What's wrong, you-" Ggio shut up abruptly as Captain Kyoraku draped himself over the short arrancar. "Ah! Get your hands off me!"

Kyoraku did not oblige. "Ahhh, you're so small and skinny, just like my Nanao-chan. You should eat more."

Finally, Ggio succeeded in worming his way out of Kyoraku's embrace. Brushing himself off, he said, "I'm five foot four and a hundred six pounds, I'm perfectly healthy!"

And to that, no one had a response for a good five seconds. And then they all started laughing.

Ggio glared. He turned on Omaeda first. "You're so fat you can't see your toes. And so's your mom!"

Omaeda drew himself up and tried to look as imposing as possible. "Of course! It's a sign of great wealth, prosperity, and beauty! My mother is fatter than I am!"

Ggio rolled his eyes. "It's not a sign of beauty, it's a sign you're both fat, ugly, lazy bums."

Omaeda balled up his fists. Suddenly the honor of his family was on the line. "How dare you insult my mother!"

Kyoraku sighed. "Ehhh, boys and girls, calm down, calm down."

"We're all boys here," Ggio pointed out. At least, he thought so. He wasn't entirely sure about Feathers.

Unfazed, Kyoraku continued, "It would be tragic to be thrown out before you've even started drinking."

Yumichika shrugged and picked Ikkaku up off the ground. "I'm leaving. I would hate to be here for when stupid and ugly gets stupider and uglier." With that, he began the long, arduous, task of dragging Ikkaku back to the eleventh division barracks.

Omaeda started to lumber farther into the crowded bar. "What he said."

"Hey, what's that supposed to mean?" Ggio demanded. "Where are you going?"

"I'm going upstairs. Where important people go," Omaeda said.

"Yeah, well, I'm going there too," said Ggio. There wars no way Omaeda was just ditching him to drink with 'important' people.

"No you're not," said Omaeda. "It's the officer's bar. It's only for officers. Seated officers above sixth seat. People who matter. People you hear about. You're not an officer."

Ggio crossed his arms over his chest. "Would I be an officer if I smashed your face in? Because I could do that right here, it'd take two seconds."

"That won't happen-" Omaeda began.

Kyoraku interrupted. "No, it won't, because Ggio is coming upstairs with me." Saying this, he draped an arm around Ggio's shoulders.

"Get. Off. Me," Ggio muttered. Before he could wiggle away though, Kyoraku was pushing him upstairs. Rather put-off, Omaeda followed.

The officer's bar was not so much a bar as it was a lounge. Tastefully decorated, it had several low tables around the room, as well as an actual bar surrounded by high stools.

"Jushiro, look what I found," Kyoraku called.

Captain Ukitake looked up from his coffee and newspaper. "Ah, an arrancar!" He tilted his head to one side thoughtfully. Seemingly magically, he produced a handful of candy, which he held out to Ggio. "You're so scrawny... I was going to give these to Toshiro-chan, but I think you need them more."

Ggio finally succeeded in shoving himself away from Kyoraku's clutches. "I told you not to touch me you dirty old man!" Then he rounded on Ukitake. "And I don't want your damn candy. You're an old man giving out candy. Do you know how creepy that is?"

Kyoraku's lower lip wobbled. He was dirty? Oh, if only dear, sweet, Nanao-chan would stop refusing to give him a sponge bath...

Ukitake blinked in surprise. The young former arrancar had called him creepy? Kids these days. Well, he thought, at least he wasn't old like the Captain Commander – why, just last week Yamamoto had had to chase some young hooligans out of his garden with Ryujin Jakka (the garden, sadly, had not survived the incident).

Bored of Ggio's eternally terrible bad attitude, Omaeda looked around while picking his nose. Matsumoto, Kira, and Hisagi were all sharing a bottle of sake at one of the tables. While it appeared as though the three had been having some kind of conversation prior to Ggio's entrance, they were now all staring at the commotion. The same was also true for Kiyone and Sentaro, and Yoruichi and-

Suddenly Sui-feng was looming over Omaeda. "Omaeda," she said, "What is the arrancar doing here?"

"I tried to stop him," Omaeda said. "I said this was for officers only, but Captain Kyoraku..."

"You haven't made your former arrancar recruit an officer?" Ukitake asked conversationally. "I made Starkk my fourth seat."

Omaeda paled a little. Arrancar as seated officers. For some reason, one he couldn't quite put his pudgy finger on, he didn't like that idea. "W-what about your old fourth seat?"

Ukitake rubbed the back of his neck. "I don't even know the name of my old fourth seat. So either he or she didn't exist, or he or she wasn't important."

While a wiser man would have known to just leave well enough alone, Ggio couldn't stop himself from chiming in, "Or you're an old, sick, geezer and forgot."

"Ggio Vega." Metaphorical venom dripped from Sui-feng's words. "As long as you are a part of the Gotei Thirteen, you will respect your superiors."

Ggio glared. "This is all the respect I do. Got a problem?"

It never ceased to amaze Omaeda how Sui-feng had the atmospheric power of creating indoor storm clouds whenever she was particularly furious. Sometimes he thought he could even see lightning flashing down from the sudden storm fronts.

"Oi, Sui!" Yoruichi called from the other side of the bar.

Omaeda watched in awe as the clouds dispersed as quickly as they'd come. And was that a blush on his captain's face? Huh. He didn't realize she drank...

Sui-feng turned around so fast her twin braids trailed through the air behind her. "Yes Yoruichi-sama?"

Yoruichi was leaning over with her elbow on the table so she could prop her head up with her hand. "Deal with this later, we were enjoying ourselves."

Kyoraku sighed. "Don't worry Sui-feng, I brought him up here, I'll keep an eye on him." He ended his statement with a wink. Ggio shuddered.

"Yes, Yoruichi-sama!" Sui gave Ggio a parting glare. "You will clean every floor in the offices of the second division tomorrow."

"Hah!" Omaeda exclaimed.

"And you will help him," Sui finished. That said, she returned to Yoruichi.

Ggio looked at Omaeda. "Is she always a bitch?"

Omaeda just groaned.

When Sui-feng walked into the barracks the next morning, she almost slipped on the floor.

Standing at the other end of the hallway with his hands on his hips, Ggio snickered.

Sui looked from the floor to Ggio, then back to the floor, then back to Ggio. Her first thought was that she had slipped because the former arrancar had left a puddle of water or some other substance out for unsuspecting passerby. But no, there was nothing on the floor. Nothing at all. She had slipped because the floor, worn smooth by hundreds of feet tramping over it day after day, was clean. The normal layer of grime that gave the wood traction was gone.

"You cleaned the floor," Sui said.

"Way to state the obvious," replied Ggio.

Sui's eyes narrowed ever so slightly. "Omaeda!" she called. Seconds passed, then half a minute, but there were no lumbering footsteps heralding her lieutenant. Turning her focus back to Ggio, she said, "You cleaned the floor by yourself. Omaeda isn't even here yet."

The smirk on Ggio's face went almost ear to ear. "No shit, Sherlock."

"Hm," said Sui. Slowly, she resumed the walk to her office. "Omaeda's office is across the hall from mine. If you do paperwork as efficiently as you clean floors, you can have his job. When he gets here, have him explain procedures."

Ggio lost his smirk. "What? Are you making me lieutenant? Or are you just telling me to do his work for him?"

Before she slid the shoji door of her office shut, Sui-feng replied, "I don't promote people to give them work, I promote people who do work."

A/N: Does anyone else want to reach through their monitor and strangle Ggio? I might have to completely recharacterize him or something, because my tolerance for his attitude is rapidly approaching negative zero. *sweatdrop*

Uhm. So yeah. School happened. Oh boy did school happen. I've had, like, no time between classes and practice (four days a week, three hours a day, plus two days a week of three hour club, plus two days a week of one hour weights, plus travel on weekends...). But then I was just sitting here suffering through a headache from finally getting contacts (yay!) and being bored of Civ IV, and I was like, "Hm, I feel like I was writing a fic or something before school happened." So I sat down at midnight and just randomly typed all this up. Hopefully it doesn't read too much like it was written at midnight during a contacts induced headache.
And, unfortunately, I didn't really have the patience to just wait for the day to start and find a beta reader. Because I sort of felt like if I did that, then I would *never* get around to posting this (because, yeah, I've been fanfiction free for, like, the entire semester). I might edit this later if I ever figure out how to make the phrase "stupid and ugly gets stupider and uglier" more ambiguous as to whether the "stupid and ugly" is a singular or plural. It really all hinges on the verb, and I just couldn't think of an English verb that wouldn't give away the singular/plural aspect and leave it ambiguous... *sigh*

Anyway, as always, the dear Aurea Cupiditas is in my thoughts whenever I do anything Bleach-related. Also as always, reviews are nice.