I'm pretty sure this had to happen eventually. I couldn't get this idea out of my head, so here it is. Might do a series based off of what happens when three former criminals- who are still technically breaking the law- become captains again.
-I am a line break, beginning the story-
Sui Feng had heard that the traitors' positions were being filled. She'd heard the people filling in were capable, captain-class fighters who knew how to give orders. Each one had achieved Bankai.
What she hadn't heard is exactly who those people were.
All the captains and lieutenants are assembled, three gaps that have not grown any less conspicuous visible in their ranks. The meeting should've started five minutes ago, but the Captain-Commander looks as if he's waiting for someone. Sui Feng has begun to wonder if she should start checking to see if the old man's gone senile.
And then the double doors swing open, all heads turning to see who's entering.
Sui Feng nearly has a heart attack, and it takes a lot to startle anyone who's Onmitsukido. The excitable Omaeda nearly faints, though that's because he notices the reaction of his captain in the split second before she can hide it.
Three men walk in, one of them still pulling on his haori. Another brushes wavy blond hair away from his face, sighing as he scans the faces of those present. The apparent leader is just smiling as if absolutely nothing is wrong.
"We-ell, I don't feel so overdressed anymore. You shoulda seen the looks we kept gettin' on the way here." Hirako Shinji drawls, lazy grin displaying every last one of his teeth. It's a very unnerving effect, and Sui Feng makes a mental note to learn how he does it. "Real good to be wearin' a haori again, though, even if rememberin' the right way to put on a shihakusho's kind of a pain."
Hitsugaya's the first one to start talking. Unsurprising, since he doesn't actually know them beyond the brief glimpse he got during the battle in the fake Karakura Town.
"Who the hell are you guys? Why're you wearing captains' haoris?" The white-haired boy captain demands. Sui Feng winces mentally. That's a can of worms she really doesn't want to open.
Shinji frowns at him. "Who are- Oh, right, you're the one Hiyori kept shoutin' at. I think she likes you, y'know. Kept going on about some midget with white hair who needed help takin' out Harribel."
Hitsugaya turns bright red. "I'm not a midget! Besides, you didn't answer my questions."
Yamamoto intervenes, eager to head off conflict with the desperately needed replacements. Sui Feng is still completely unable to speak. How did they get Central 46 to make exceptions for these hybrids?
"Third Squad Captain Otoribashi Rojuro, Fifth Squad Captain Hirako Shinji, and Ninth Squad Captain Muguruma Kensei." His scarred head nods to each one in turn, prompting a startled gasp from Hinamori when her new captain's identity is announced.
"Yo." Kensei grumbles when his name is announced. "Good to see we get names again. How much pleading did you have to give the Central 46 before they allowed that?"
"Now, Kensei, that's rather bitter of you." Rose tells him. "I thought we went through this. No bringing up the whole execution incident. It's bad form."
That jolts Sui Feng out of her speechless state, cutting off Hitsugaya and Kyouraku in the process.
"No offense, Captain-Commander, but are you sure these...people are safe to have in Soul Society?" Steamrolling over any sort of social conventions, the Second Division's captain continues, "The last time they were here, the Central 46 was ordering us to execute them as Hollow hybrids!"
All three visibly stiffen as the eyes of pretty much anyone who wasn't actively serving as a captain or lieutenant at the time widen, save for Kenpachi, who begins to grin broadly.
"Water under the bridge." Aizen's former captain says. "As it is, I didn't hear any complaints when we showed up to help out at Karakura." He smirks. "Sorry for makin' everybody wait, but can we get the meeting started now? Better things to do with our time than argue about trivial things."
"Second Division Captain Sui Feng raises an excellent point." Kuchiki Byakuya speaks up. "I would argue that this sort of law-breakers is not a safe kind to have in Soul Society, let alone in positions of power. Hardly trivial."
Shinji's smile dims. "What sort of law-breakers would you be talking about, Kuchiki-san?" He asks with a quietness that would make anyone less preoccupied with the letter of the law take pause.
"The kind that was exiled in the past for choosing to acquire Hollow powers-"
The Sixth Division's Captain doesn't get to say anything more before he finds himself on the receiving end of a death glare from the blond, who is no longer smiling. Rose and Kensei are doing the exact same thing.
"If we're gonna be workin' together, Kuchiki, I suggest you retract your statement. Now. Because unless you were there that night, unless you watched Aizen and his pals cut me and mine down and turn us into monsters and get fuckin' promoted for it, you can shut the hell up." He spits. "We all had a century to deal. I keep forgettin' that not everybody's so ready to move on." Shinji pauses, clearly restraining himself and calming down. "Hey- you like Kurosaki Ichigo, right? Hero of the Winter War and all? Before he went and lost his powers, he had a Hollow in his thick skull too. No way he would've been able to take Aizen out otherwise. So either you get over the past that you were barely a part of, or you can condemn him too."
The Visoreds' de facto leader shrugs, catlike smile flickering back into place, and ambles to his spot among the captains. After a second or two, his companions follow suit.
Sui Feng doesn't like Hirako Shinji or the other Hollow hybrids. She doesn't like that they have monsters just beneath the skin, and doesn't trust the former exiles at all.
But somehow, the captains' meeting hall feels complete when they take their places.