Master Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach, the manga and anime series written by Tite Kubo and published by Shueisha and Viz Media.
Story Note: The title of this story is subject to change, because I really haven't thought of a good overall title yet...
Author's Note: This is the first chapter of the story where I plan to put into words, on "paper," all of my random thoughts on Bleach. I delayed putting this up for months, because I wanted one of my other ideas to be the first chapter, but I think I might never get around to editing that one to be publishable. Sadly, I am unable to insert the symbol of the Gotei 13 wherever there is a scene change...
I also had plans to... Well, I guess you really don't care, do you? On to the story!
Characters: Toshiro Hitsugaya, Rangiku Matsumoto, Hanataro Yamada
10th division barracks, Seireitei, Soul Society
It was almost a normal day for the 10th division. The only thing out of the ordinary was the lack of shouting from the captain's office. Of course, the silence had been welcome for the first week or two, but, as the month progressed, it became more and more unnerving.
The reason behind the silence was that Lieutenant Matsumoto was on an extended patrol in the living world. Without her constant attempts to slack off on her paperwork, Captain Hitsugaya had no reason to shout, and the silence could hold.
One might think that the silence would be relaxing, but even Captain Hitsugaya could not escape the maddening effects of Matsumoto's absence. For a time, the silence had been relaxing, easing the young captain's frayed nerves. But, as the weeks of quiet passed, he was driven closer and closer to the edge. Every few minutes, hearing nothing, he would look up from his paperwork, prepared to hunt down and scold Matsumoto, before remembering where she was and returning to his work.
This day was particularly maddening. Hitsugaya kept making mistakes in his paperwork because he was so distracted. He had already had to redo seven reports, and he had a number of highly important documents that he had to finish by evening, unless he wanted a uniform shortage or some similarly inconvenient issue in his division.
When it was about noon, he heard the sound of someone running outside his office. Surprised and annoyed, he stood up and began to walk towards the door. Before he had gone more than a meter, the door was flung open and he saw something tan rushing towards him.
Senkaimon, Seireitei, Soul Society
Twelve Minutes Earlier
All of the Kido Corps agreed that guarding the senkaimon was boring duty. Any of them assigned to said post would have gladly traded their pay for the week for a more exciting, and secret, assignment, such as those that were normal for their organization.
Hideki Tamura particularly hated senkaimon guard duty, because none of his friends were ever assigned to it with him. He spent most of his time there agonizing over how his friends would tease him afterwards, bragging about the exciting things they had done during the day.
This day seemed even worse for Hideki. The gate to the living world had to be opened only once, giving him far less of a chance to try to collect interesting stories from shinigami returning from missions.
Shortly before noon, he and his fellow guard prepared to open the senkaimon. When it was ready, the great gate opened, and the guards stood at attention for whoever was about to pass through.
A moment later, Hideki heard rapid footsteps from beyond the senkaimon.
Odd, people usually aren't hurried to get thr– BOOM!
Hideki's thoughts were cut short by a small sonic boom as a black blur flashed through the open gate into Soul Society, leaving behind only a large cloud of dust and an echo.
"What was that?" Hideki mumbled as he tried to unscramble his thoughts. This could make a perfect story for my friends, if I can make this place look a bit more damaged…
"Hey," Hideki called to the other guard, "What would you say to making this place look a bit more burnt by that explosion just now?"
Near the 10th division barracks, Seireitei, Soul Society
Rangiku Matsumoto did not usually hurry. As a matter of fact, she usually was very, very lax about being places on time. Thus, anyone who knew her would have been surprised to see her running across Soul Society at top speed. Of course, at that speed, only a few people in Soul Society would have been able to see her, so she reached her destination without being stopped.
When she reached the tenth division barracks, she slowed considerably, so she was only running as fast as a cheetah. She continued to slow as she ran toward her target, but she was still moving rather quickly when she flung open the door to her captain's office.
No sooner had she done so than she collided with her captain, chest first. She came to a rapid stop as her captain flew through the air comically, blood streaming from his nose, until he hit the wall and fell to the ground.
Matsumoto stood still for a moment, confused, before her brain started working overtime.
If I just… And then he… Most guys… Which means…
"Aha!" Matsumoto exclaimed, sure of what was going on, "Shiro-chan has finally hit puberty!"
But… why is he still bleeding?
Her first instinct regarding the continuous flow of blood from her unconscious captain's nose was to stop the crimson flow. Acting on that instinct, she grabbed the first thing she saw – some papers on Hitsugaya's desk – and pressed them against his face. When the bleeding continued, she jogged outside to find someone more capable of treating injury.
Outside, Matsumoto grabbed the first member of the fourth division she could find, Hanataro Yamada, and dragged him back to her captain's office.
"Hanataro, Shiro-chan is unconscious, and he's bleeding, and it won't stop, and–"
"Wh-what?" Hanataro squeaked nervously.
"Well, you see, I was running to his office, and I ran into him, and he got a nosebleed, and it won't stop," the lieutenant explained.
"Oh, umm… I think I can take care of a nosebleed…" Hanataro said, somewhat more confidently.
Hanataro knelt next to the motionless captain and reached into his medical supply bag. After a minute or two, he had stopped the bleeding and put a bandage on his patient's nose.
Noticing that the healer had done his job, Matsumoto spoke up again, "Well, why was he bleeding so much? I mean, I know he's hit puberty, so that explains why it started, but most guys don't bleed so long, so why didn't it stop quickly? Really, why didn't it stop?"
"Oh, umm…" Hanataro began.
"Well, why did he bleed so much?"
"Actually, he –"
Irritated, Hanataro raised his voice a bit, "Well, if you'd just listen a bit, you'd have heard me saying that Captain Hitsugaya has not, in fact, hit puberty, and that you managed to break his nose in enough places that my healing kido would probably heal it crooked!"
"Oh," Matsumoto said.
"Now that the bleeding is stopped, would you care to tell me what caused you to hit him with enough force to send him across the room?"
"Oh, okay," Matsumoto said, "I was on my way to get my paycheck for my month-long mission."
"Even so, you don't usually hurry…"
"I needed to get some sake, and fast," Matsumoto stated, before remembering, "I still need to get some!"
"Well, you have plenty of time to wait before he wakes up to give you your pay, so you might as well answer this one, too. Why did you need your paycheck so quickly? Don't you usually just get others to pay?" Hanataro asked, still unusually talkative after his moment of anger.
"Well, I had no time to find any of my drinking buddies. After all, I just got back from a month of hell," Matsumoto explained.
"He sent me to another country… It was all desert, sand as far as I could see, and they had NO ALCOHOL!" Matsumoto wailed, falling to her knees with tears in her eyes.
"Oh… umm…" noticing something, Hanataro had one more question: "Is that the paper you used to try to stop the bleeding?"
"Uhh… Yes, it is," Matsumoto mumbled, still in tears.
Picking up the reddened paper, Hanataro spoke again.
" Umm… I don't mean to make your mood worse, but I think this is a piece of particularly important paperwork…"
Matsumoto took a moment to process that before freezing with shock.
"Important paperwork that Toshiro needs?"
"I do believe so."
Matsumoto started shaking.
"Toshiro is going to kill me when he wakes up…"
"Probably, yes." Hanataro stated neutrally, looking at the shaking vice-captain. "Oh, umm… I have somewhere important to be now, good-bye Vice-captain."
Watching Hanataro leave, some small part of Matsumoto's mind wondered, maybe I can redo those papers before he wakes up.
Another part laughed at the first part, while the majority slowly thawed from the shock of imminent doom.
Senkaimon, Seireitei, Soul Society
10 seconds later
Standing on the recently blackened and smoking ground in front of the senkaimon, Hideki Tamura heard a terrible wail of pain, fear, and sorrow coming from the general direction of the tenth division's barracks.
I wonder what that was, he wondered, but whatever it was, it wouldn't make a better story for my friends than this crater will.