From time to time random "crack" thoughts will slowly grow to become a story or a one-shot. I've done several for NARUTO. Now I guess, it's time for BLEACH.
I make no apologies and own no characters ...
Head Captain Yamamoto of the Gotei 13 hadn't felt this stunned since he'd been a teenager. And that had been over 1,000 years ago.
"If you would repeat that?"
The representative from the re-formed Central 46 blinked, eyes hidden by lowered lashes. A fan hid his mouth. "My dear Head Captain, this order did not come from us ...but through us ...to you. It is your duty to obey. To the letter." With that, he tapped one manicured fingernail on the list of names.
The leader of the Gotei 13 felt the small muscles around his left eye twitch with irritation. He peered down at the unrolled parchment, reluctant to touch it further. The names there had him scowling for a second before he deliberately schooled his features back into something more neutral.
"Why?" Asked Head Captain Yamamoto.
The other man finally looked up, piercing blue eyes over the edge of the ornate and highly expensive fan that he held. "Why isn't a question to be asked of nobility. And this comes from higher even than that. This is a royal decree."
"I can see that!" Snapped the Head Captain. And indeed, he could. The royal seal that he himself had broken open had been the genuine article.
"Between you and me?" The representative leaned forward slightly. "I hear that there was a bet placed on the outcome of this ...order."
The Gotei 13 leader sighed heavily.
The other man nodded slowly. "They await the outcome."
Head Captain Yamamoto shook his head slightly. "We are shinigami. Not toys."
The Central 46 representative raised his eyebrows at that. "And what is being required of you is it not ...interesting? Could it not be seen as an excellent training tool? This isn't some nonsense order. This could actually be useful to you and all of your captains."
"They won't like it." Yamamoto muttered. Hell, he didn't like it. Not one bit.
The other man leaned in further and blinked slowly. "Royalty doesn't care about your feelings, or theirs. Just do it."
"SILENCE!" Head Captain Yamamoto banged his heavy walking cane down on the ground, drawing every eye to him.
"But sir ...we ..."
"This is an order from higher than any of us can count." The Head Captain sighed. "And I have been ... reminded ...that it could end up being a useful training tool."
"Bullshit." This from the tall, spiky-haired leader of the 11th Division. Though several other captains nodded.
The diminutive leader of the 2nd Division was next. "Is this permanent?"
Their head captain shook his head. "I have been assured it is temporary. Three months is what was spelled out in the written order."
The head of the medical squad spoke up. "My division needs those specially trained ..."
"There are NO exceptions." Head Captain Yamamoto cut her off. "And no, you can not simply side-line the individual assigned to your squads. They must participate."
"Simply impossible." Muttered the mysterious head of the research division.
"What part of no choice do you not understand?" Their leader snapped. "Now, bring in the lieutenants."
The door to the captain's meeting opened and the confused lieutenants from every squad of the Gotei 13 filed in quietly.
"No interrupting. There will be no discussion." The Head Captain said, opening up his parchment and unrolling it before them all.
The lieutenant of the 1st Division looked unsure. His captain had not seen fit to share with him the meaning behind this unscheduled meeting.
Head Captain Yamamoto sighed, and looked at those standing there. The confused vice-captains and the tense captains, smoldering in their anger. "There will be some temporary transfers of personnel. You will treat them with all respect and do as you are told. You will train with your new assignments and carry them out to the best of your abilities. These ...tests ...are being judged."
Nervous weight shifting.
"Chojiro Sasakibe." The Head Captain looked at his own lieutenant and took a deep breath. "You are to take over as the vice-captain for Division Three."
Izuru Kira sucked in a shocked breath, his eyes widening. "Has my performance dropped ..."
A sharp wave of the Head Captain's hand made the young man still his words. He blushed hotly.
"Izuru. You will take over as the lieutenant for Captain Komamura. This is not a punishment, and no lieutenant has been lacking. Just follow the assignment as ordered."
The fox-headed captain growled, but nodded. His own vice-captain looked stunned. Yamamoto addressed him next.
"Tetsuzaemon Iba. I'm sure you will do just fine as the new lieutenant for Division Five. And before you react, Momo Hinamori? You will be going to Division Six with Captain Kuchiki."
Momo looked beyond stunned, her face going ashen pale as she swayed a bit before catching herself. Captain Kuchiki? But he intimidated the hell out of her!
"Renji Abarai?" The red-head stiffened, but nodded. This couldn't be that bad, could it? "You will be working with Captain Kurotsuchi."
Silence fell over the group.
Captain Kuchiki looked bored, not even bothering to glance around as he spoke. "Kurotsuchi? I expect my vice-captain back in one piece. Unaltered in any way."
The leader of Division 12 sighed. "Boring."
Renji started breathing again, but feeling as if ants were running up and down his body. Temporary. He held onto that one word. Temporary.
"Nemu Kurotsuchi." The Head Captain continued as if he'd not been interrupted. "You will be with Division Ten."
Rangiku shook her head, blonde hair shining under the lights. "I expect my captain back in one piece and unaltered as well."
Captain Hitsugaya closed his eyes in irritation. "Shut up!"
Nemu blinked, looked at her 'father' and bowed when he gave a twitch of a nod.
"Rangiku Matsumoto." The Head Captain sighed.
"Me!" Shunsui Kyoraku held up his hand, only to be elbowed by his current lieutenant.
"Rangiku will be with Division Thirteen."
Jushiro Ukitake bowed, going so far as to place a comforting hand on his current vice-captain's shoulder. "And Rukia?" He asked gently.
Head Captain Yamamoto nodded. "Rukia will be taking over at Division Nine."
Rukia's eyes flew over to meet those of Shuhei. The other man nodded resolutely at her. "It's a good squad." Was all he said of his division.
"I have no doubt." Rukia returned his bow with one of her own.
"Shuhei Hisagi will be working with Captain Kyoraku." The Head Captain continued, ignoring Shunsui's roll of his eyes.
"Nanao Ise will be heading toward Division ... Eleven."
"Oh hell no!" Captain Zaraki scowled, his spiritual pressure growing alarmingly. "Fuck this shit!"
"Perhaps someone else?" Captain Kyoraku smiled ingratiatingly.
"SHUT UP!" Head Captain Yamamoto held up the parchment. "Do you see the royal seal on this thing? These doings are not from my office!"
Captain Zaraki snarled and put his hand on his zanpakuto, making over half those present to do the same.
"It's okay Kenny." Yachiru piped up from his shoulder. "Nanao is nice. Though she'll get you lost. No sense of direction."
Nanao winced but smiled, taking the hit as the spiritual pressure in the room dampened slightly.
"And Yachiru?" Growled the still irate warrior.
The Head Captain sighed and held up his orders. "She will be with me. Squad One."
Captain Kyoraku laughed outright, drawing irritated looks from those around him.
Sui-Feng stepped forward, scowling deeply. "There are only two lieutenants left. Mine and Captain Unohana's. You don't seriously expect us to swap, do you? Healing and assassination. This is impossible."
Captain Unohana nodded her agreement.
"Marechiyo and Isane Kotetsu will indeed switch divisions." The Head Captain said with great weariness. "And yes, they will need to fill the roles of your lieutenants."
"FUCK!" Kenpachi Zaraki punched a wall, sending dust flying everywhere as it completely disintegrated.
Head Captain Yamamoto took a deep breath. "This assignment starts now. Go gather what you need."
Renji looked around Nemu's quarters, finding them stark and utilitarian. He sighed and dropped his duffel on the cot.
Captain Kurotsuchi smiled at him from the doorway. "Make yourself at home."
The new vice-captain eyed the other man carefully. "One piece and unaltered, remember?"
The strange looking captain shrugged, looking unrepentant. "That leaves sooo much wiggle room. Don't you agree?"
Renji shuddered, watching the captain leave. "Well, shit."
Nanao Ise looked at the tiny cot and then up at the large warrior staring daggers at her. "It's too small, I won't fit ..."
"Deal." The captain growled, turning and leaving.
Nanao looked over at the curious Ikkaku and Yumichika and smiled weakly at them.
Captain Unohana held out a clipboard to Marechiyo. "Take notes."
"Yes, yes captain!" The much bigger man snapped to attention. Notes! He could handle this! He swallowed his nerves as he followed the healer down the line of beds.
"Vasodialation medication working, need to taper to 1.5 mg within the next week. Artery repair successful, and regranulation of cells underway. Temperature normal and tissue viable."
"Next patient. Sores measuring 2 cm to .5 cm of unknown etiology, possible dermatological or poisonous in nature. Blood cultures pending. Check on the results. Do you know where the lab is Marechiyo?" She turned and saw that the big man was still at the first bed, staring at her.
"Captain? How do you spell vasodialation?"
The head healer sighed deeply.
Head Captain Yamamoto looked down at his desk. Rather, at the empty plate with the crumbs of what had been his nightly snack.
He looked over at the couch on the other side of the room. A certain pink-haired lieutenant was snoring lightly.
"Chojiro!" He called, then winced. His vice-captain was, of course, not there.
"Where is vice-captain Hisagi?" The muscular young shinigami asked politely, looking behind Rukia.
Rukia Kuchiki smiled weakly. "I've been assigned as your new vice-captain. Temporarily."
Three men looked at each other, then back at her. One went so far as to look behind her again. "Is it April 1st?"
Rukia made a small distressed noise. "No."
The first shinigami gave a small bow. "No offense, Miss Rukia. But how temporary is temporary?"
She only wished she knew. Lieutenant to a different division who didn't know her very well? And without a captain to answer to directly? She was in it deep!
Just a starting point. Hope you enjoyed! REVIEWS are always welcome, as are suggestions. :P