Chapter 30: My True Love
Recommended Song: "Your Guardian Angel" by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Mari wrinkled her nose, still asleep, though she was slowly coming to. She shivered a bit, furrowing her brows in annoyance, although the crease disappeared in feeling warmth engulf her. Smiling, she snuggled closer into the warmth. However, when she heard a chuckle, her eyes slowly opened, and when they met smiling brown eyes, she gasped.
"Well, g'mornin', beautiful," Shinji greeted, grinning widely.
"WAH!" Mari cried, detaching herself from his arms. As she got up, however, the sheet fell from her body, and she nearly screamed in realizing that she was naked, and that Shinji was openly staring at her, appreciating her figure. "Shinji!" she whined in embarrassment, taking the sheet back to cover herself. "Wh-what happened
?" she sputtered, as though the memory of last night had been washed away from her mind.
Shinji sat up, resting his head on his hand and rolled his eyes. "We made love
that's what happened," he said simply.
A blush spread across Mari's cheeks as the memory came back to her, as did the slight burning between her legs, a clear reminder of what they had done. She blinked, unbelieving that it had happened.
"How could ya forget?" he asked, slightly annoyed.
Her blush deepened and her eyes grew hazy in remembering what happened. "I-I guess my heart and body was so filled with Shinji, that I
I couldn't remember
Shinji nearly fell off the bed, blown away by her cuteness. He jumped on her, trying to hug her. "How can ya not expect me ta screw ya seneless when ya say these cute things, heh?"
stop!" Mari whimpered, trying to push him off. "We have to be serious!" she scolded, wagging a finger at him, with her other hand still tightly holding the sheet to her chest, which annoyed Shinji. "I have to leave
Urahara is probably really mad at me for missing the Senkaimon
" Her heart raced with worry as she began to panic. "Wh-what if I get caught
? They could throw me in jail
Shinji rubbed the back of his neck. "Yeah
guess ya better head back," he muttered, even though that was the last thing he wanted her to do.
Mari scrunched her nose. "But I
I want to shower first!"
"Great, I'll go with ya!"
Mari threw a glare at him and scooted to the edge of the futon, the sheet still covering her. "I don't need you to come with me," she huffed, blushing.
Shinji laid down on his back, his hands behind his head. "Ya probably shouldn't get up," he told her, clucking his tongue against his teeth knowingly.
"Don't tell me what to do, Mr. Bossy Pants! I'm not a child!" She pushed herself onto her legs, and gasped in feeling her legs buckle beneath her. "Wah!" she cried, about to fall face-flat on the ground. However, Shinji caught her just in time, and she blushed when he picked her up.
"I told ya not ta get up," he said softly, nuzzling her cheek.
"I-It was because you were so rough that I can barely move!" she cried indignantly. "And waking me up so many times afterward, what is wrong with you?"
Shinji grinned. "I can't help it! I just look at ya and I get turned on! Look below, I'm already aroused!"
"I am not going to do that!" she screeched. He carried her to the bathroom and kicked the door closed behind him. "I can take it from here, Shinji, just put me down!" she cried.
"We'll waste less water if we shower together," he told her. "Don't 'cha wanna save tha earth and all that jazz?"
Meanwhile, the rest of Seireitei was beginning to wake up and start their daily routine, with Shinigami bustling around and entering the training grounds for the usual spar practice.
Hinamori Momo entered the Fifth Division office, and looked around for her taichō, though he was nowhere to be found. She furrowed her brow in slight confusion. Although he was lazy, he was usually always in the office before her, and it made sense that he would be, considering he lived in the floor above. She looked upward and felt his Reiatsu, and came to the conclusion that he must have just woken up.
She heard the stream of water, and took a seat at her desk, shaking her head. What could have kept him up all night? She bit the nail of her thumb in slight worry, hoping he hadn't gone out drinking last night
he hadn't done so in a long time, not since the Asami incident, though no one knew about that except those in the bar that night. She hoped he wouldn't come in with a terrible hangover
her taichō wasn't the most pleasant to be around when he was in one of his foul moods, rare as they were
She chuckled and began to straighten the papers for the day. As she pulled out a few feather pens and a jar of ink from a drawer, she froze, her brows drawing together in slight confusion. There was another trace of spiritual pressure in her taichō's room
one that was unfamiliar
someone was up there with him? In the shower? She shook her head, her cheeks tainted pink. It's none of your business, Momo! She scolded herself. She tried to focus on her work, but just the thought of her taichō being serious enough about someone to bring her to his room
sure, he flirted with every girl, but she had noticed that when he did, he never showed an actual interest in anyone
Actually, every time he would see a cute girl and refer to her as his "first love," Momo saw emptiness in his eyes, as though he didn't believe the words he said. Time and time again she would try to hint at certain topics to get him to open up to her, but every time, he would smoothly change the topic to something less serious. This disappointed Momo slightly
she was worried that her captain didn't trust her enough to tell her what was on his mind. It was true that in the beginning of their relationship, Momo had been slightly cold to him and oftentimes refused to even sit with him, but as the days went on and she saw how trustworthy he actually was, she opened up to him
she even cried in front of him when she let out all she had felt about her former taichō
And Shinji didn't try to give any words of comfort, because he was smart enough to know that words couldn't heal her
she was so tired of everyone saying, "Sorry" or "It'll be okay," or her least favorite
"I understand how you feel." No one knew what she felt
and Shinji didn't try to say he did, even though he would probably be the only person that could know how she felt
Aizen had betrayed him as well.
Momo once again looked up at the ceiling, her eyes filled with hope mixed with sadness. She wished for nothing but happiness for her taichō, and hoped that the person up there wouldn't be there to fill the void for just one night. But Shinji wasn't careless. He was smart, and he wouldn't just give his heart to anyone.
So who could the girl be
Inside of the Twelfth Division, seated officers of the squad were walking around, cups of coffee, not tea, in their hands, as their job usually required their full attention, resulting in losing countless hours of sleep. Monitors were everywhere in the dark room, the only light being what was coming from the screens
reports of what went through the Senkaimon, information on what Kuroksaki Ichigo was up to, updates from the Shino Academy
Akon rested his chin in his palm, sighing heavily as his eyes scanned the reports. He was unfortunately stuck with the job of trying to find anything out of the ordinary, but it was mundane and blank as usual
"Come on," he groaned, whirling around in his seat. "Someone take my spot for an hour
" He rubbed his eyes, yawning. "I feel like I'm about to pass out or go blind
whichever comes first."
He heard a beep from behind and turned around. A red light flashed on the screen and Akon narrowed his eyes, wondering what the discrepancy could be. On the screen was a file of a Shino Academy student that had visited yesterday, Itsuka Kyoko
What's so off about that? He wondered. His fingers went to work on the keyboard as he typed the name into the Shino Academy database, and his eyes widened when it came up blank.
"She doesn't exist
" he murmured. His eyes widened again when he heard from his left: "Hey
news coming in
there was a breach yesterday morning in an unauthorized Senkaimon!"
"What?" he barked, turning around. "How could we just realize that? Where did it come from?"
Karakura Town," the subordinate replied, fear in his eyes.
There's an intruder in Seireitei. Not wanting to alarm everybody, Akon whispered the message into a Hell Butterfly and sent it outside to the First Division. He was taking a risk by not letting is own taichō know of this, but he figured he should first get the sotaichō's opinion on the situation.
Soi Fon, ironically enough, was in the First Division office, speaking to the sotaichō. She had arrived early to try and convince him to deliver some form of punishment to Hirako Shinji for the damage he caused to Nest of Maggots and her division.
"Some of my men were wounded by his carelessness!" she barked, furious. "This was all because he was unable to reign in his emotions and only cared about seeking his own revenge
it was an act of selfishness and utter disregard for the safety of my squad members!" She folded her arms over her chest, her eyes darkening as she said bitterly, "He didn't even spend a night in prison!"
"I understand that you are feeling very frustrated right now, Soi Fon-taichō," Yamamoto replied apologetically. Secretly, however, he was hoping for an interruption
dealing with Captains' complaints in itself was not an enjoyable task, but taking one from the Second Division Captain
well, it was quite torturous for him.
Yamamoto was a very experienced man, though even he had a little difficulty in concealing the relief in his eyes when Sasakibe-fukutaichō opened the door to allow a Hell Butterfly into the room.
Soi Fon tapped her foot on the ground, thoroughly annoyed. Yamamoto held out his finger and the black butterfly landed on it, and the message rang through the room:
"There is currently an intruder in the Seireitei, who had come in disguised as a student from Shino Academy under the name Itsuka Kyoko. The name is not in the database and reports are coming in that there was a breach yesterday morning from Karakura Town. We have traced the foreign spiritual pressure to the private quarters of Fifth Division taichō, Hirako Shinji. None others have been notified of the situation so as not to cause any unnecessary alarm. Please do what you feel is necessary, sotaichō."
After the message had ended, Soi Fon nearly shook with rage. "That
that traitor!" she seethed. "I'll see that this is taken care of, sotaichō." She turned around, her haori flying behind her as she stormed out of the office.
The sotaichō let out a sigh that was barely audible. He hadn't even given her the command. However, he would let her go and investigate
at least she was finally gone.
Mari blushed wildly as she came out of Shinji's bathroom; steam pouring out and dissipating into the room. She was incredibly embarrassed, but her lover was happily grinning.
"I feel refreshed!" he exclaimed. She looked at him and was shocked to find that he actually looked fresher than a daisy.
"I don't!" she pouted, her entire body sore. "Now I'm even more tired than before!"
"Let's do it again," he said eagerly, trying to grab Mari.
"I HATE YOU!" she cried, fleeing from him.
"Tch, ya were sayin' tha complete opposite when we were in there," he muttered. "Ha!" he shouted when he dodged the pillow she threw at him.
Mari sat on the bed, clad only in a small towel, and looked over at the pile of her red uniform that was still on the floor. "I don't want to wear that!" she said, scrunching her nose up in disgust. Her face fell, however, in realizing that she hadn't brought an extra set of clothes
Because I hadn't planned on staying the night! She thought hotly. She blushed when she looked at Shinji, who only had a towel loosely hanging around his waist, his body glistening with droplets of water.
He ran a hand roughly through his hair to dry it and went to his closet, pulling out one of his uniforms. "Here," he said, throwing it onto the futon.
"That is way too big!" she whined.
"Then just wear tha top part."
" she mumbled, blushing. "Turn around!" she cried, glaring at Shinji.
"Are ya fuckin' serious?" Shinji retorted. "I've seen ya naked plenty of times already, Mari, it ain't a big deal."
"Yes, it is, it is!" she insisted. She twisted her lips into a pout. "Please?" she asked sweetly.
Shinji groaned inwardly, unable to refuse her when she did that. (And the little minx used the technique quite often.) "Fine," he sighed heavily, turning around.
Mari let out a small sigh of relief and was about to remove her towel. "Eh
I don't have new undergarments!"
I guess ya can borrow the ones I stole from ya. They're in that drawer. Just return 'em later." She shook with anger as she could feel his grin when he said, "And ya don't even have ta wash 'em, ain't I the sweetest lover ya ever had?"
"You are the absolute worst, Shinji!" she screeched. "I should take all of these back. They're mine!"
"Do that and I'll turn around," he threatened with a lecherous grin. Mari whirled around, eyes wide with fear, though his back was still facing her.
She put on a light pink bra and matching panties before pulling Shinji's kosode over her body. She then tied the white sash around her waist, and slipped on some socks and sandals. He was so much taller than her that his kosode ended just above her knees. She touched her hair, which was still slightly damp, but put it up into a messy bun, using the pair of chopsticks from her geisha wig. She blew on a strand of hair that escaped, falling in front of her face, though it remained there, and she gave up on it.
"Can I turn around now?" he asked impatiently.
"Yes, I guess so
SHINJI!" she screeched, when he threw off his towel. It hit her in the face, which was what he had aimed for. She removed it, ready to bark at him, though covered her eyes again in seeing him naked. "Hurry up and change!" she whimpered.
"Why? It feels nice like this. I'm thinkin' I was a nudist when I was a Human. Whaddya think?"
"I think Shinji should stop talking and put clothes on!" she snapped, her hands still over her eyes.
He chuckled, "Alright, ya can look, Goldie." She did so and pouted when he said, "I know ya wanted ta peep. Ya can't resist this sexy body."
"Hmph," she huffed. "I'm not a pervert like you!" She looked at her wig on the floor and shook her head. "I'm not going to put on that awful disguise again," she told him. "Can you sneak me out?" She blushed when he came over and kneeled in front of her, placing his hands on her knees. Her heart thudded in her chest when he looked at up at her, his brown eyes pleading.
"I don't wanna sneak ya out," he admitted. "I don't wanna let ya outta my sight again, darlin'."
Her cheeks grew hot, moved by his words. She began running her fingers through his damp hair. "You know I can't stay," she said softly. "What will you do? Keep me locked up in here forever?"
"My Goldilocks can turn into Rapunzel. I'll even chain ya ta tha wall and have my way with ya every night. It sounds like a good idea ta me," he joked, a sad smile on his face, though it quickly faded.
She smiled and pinched his cheeks, lifting his frown into a wide smile that was much creepier than his Cheshire grin, though it made her laugh. "Maybe Urahara can find a way for me to visit more often?" she suggested. She then averted her eyes, embarrassed, as she asked, "Does
does this mean we're together again, Shinji?"
He grasped her chin between his fingers, forcing her to look at him, and answered her with another question. "Were we ever not?"
He grew surprised when she jumped down into his lap, wrapping her arms around his neck. "I love you!"
Shinji smiled and held her tightly, burying his face in her neck. Damn it
His emotions were beginning to take over, love over sensibility, as he didn't want her to go
he didn't ever want to let her go. "I wish ya could stay with me," he whispered. He kissed her neck, slipping his fingers through her hair, and Mari's breath hitched in her throat. However, he pulled away, looking at her queerly.
"What?" she asked, her fingers going to her cheek. "Is there something on my face?'
Shinji shook his head, and pursing his lips, reached over and pulled out a pink bow from his drawer. He put it in her hair and grinned. "There," he said. "Without it, ya just ain't you."
She laughed and tugged on his white tie. "It's like Shinji without a tie!"
"More like me without you," he whispered huskily. She blushed and leaned in to kiss him, though the moment was ruined when they heard shouting coming from downstairs.
"Soi Fon-taichō, please!" they heard Momo shout. "I'm sure this is just a big misunder"
Both Mari and Shinji were startled when the Second Division captain kicked the door open. Momo gasped in surprise, a hand flying to her mouth in seeing her taichō holding a blonde woman in his arms
and from the feel of her spiritual pressure
she was Human.
Mari's face went bright red in both fear and embarrassment when she saw the Shininigami.
A Ryoka!" Soi Fon exclaimed in surprise. Her anger then rose and she glared at Shinji. "What are you doing, Hirako? Did you allow her into Soul Society?"
"Now wait a minute, Soi Fon
" Shinji began, though Soi Fon already stormed over. Mari let out a cry when the slim woman grabbed her by the wrist, and pulled her up.
"You will be taken to the sotaichō!" she barked. Shinji sprang up, though Soi Fon had seen this coming and wrapped an arm around the blonde girl's waist, and flash stepped out of the office.
"Goddamn it!" Shinji barked, pounding his fist against the wall. He knew his shunpo wasn't as fast as Soi Fon's. Damn it
! He growled inwardly. She was probably already at the First Division.
Momo trembled slightly, both frightened and concerned as she watched her taichō. She had never seen him so upset before
the girl he loved?
Mari grew dizzy as she was taken away, and wondered how such a petite woman could have so much strength and speed
Mari wanted to protest, to kick and scream, though from the look in the woman's gray eyes, she figured that would be a very bad idea.
Soi Fon arrived at the Captain's hall, and puts Mari down not so gently.
Marise looked in front of her to see an elderly man wearing a white robe like Soi Fon and Shinji did
his beard was long, nearly reaching the floor, and his eyebrows were so burly and heavy it weighed down on his eyelids, preventing her from seeing his eyes. He held a cane in front of him, both hands rested on it. Mari gulped, standing in fear in front of the sotaichō of the Gotei 13.
"Did you come do cause harm?" he asked.
Mari trembled in response, too shaken and afraid to answer. Her throat was dry and her heart pounded through her chest
"Speak, girl!" the sotaichō barked, banging his cane on the ground.
no sir," she answered, her voice coming out raspy and hoarse. "I
I only wanted to see Shinji
I was just about to leave, but then, she
" Mari winced, looking at Soi Fon, who glared at her.
this is the same girl in those pictures
the ones Yoruichi-sama took!
"Sasakibe," Yamamoto began.
"Yes, sotaichō?" A man appeared from the wall. He had orange eyes, neatly combed gray hair and a mustache of the same color. Mari thought he appeared very regal, like a loyal knight.
"Call forth all of the Captains and Lieutenants for a meeting. Because the Fifth Division taichō Hirako Shinji is involved in this, all should be aware of the situation."
Sasakibe nodded and wasted no time in sending out the message. A few moments later, Mari turned to see the large gates open with more men and women in haoris and badges filing into the hall. They all took their designated spots and Soi Fon stepped back, though kept a watchful eye on the Ryoka.
Mari looked down at her feet, afraid to make eye contact with any of them. They look down on me
She thought forlornly. I'm an intruder to them
a despicable person.
Shinji was the last to come in, bursting into the hall. He stood behind Mari, and Yamamoto looked at him disdainfully.
"Take your place, Hirako-taichō," he ordered.
"No," he responded firmly, placing a hand on Mari's shoulder. "I'm stayin' right here."
Yamamoto released some of his spiritual pressure in response to Shinji's insubordination, and Mari, just being a Human, began to falter. She gasped, feeling as though the wind was knocked right out of her, and fell to her knees from the weight of his Reiatsu.
"C'mon, Yama-sotaichō, she didn't do anythin'," Shinji sighed. He shielded Mari from the sotaichō's pressure by covering her with his own. Mari let out a shaky breath, finally able to breathe easy. She took Shinji's hand and he helped her up.
"Do you understand the severity of this situation, Hirako Shinji?" the elderly Shinigami asked gravely.
Shinji shrugged, his face impassive and brown eyes dull. "Yer makin' it out ta be more dramatic than it needs to be."
"You're been fraternizing with a Human girl!" Soi Fon declared, stepping forward. Disgust was clear on her face. "You don't think this is serious? And judging from Hinamori's pleading for my not to interrupt you, it would seem like you've done more than just simply court her."
Mari's eyes widened and she turned bright red, burying her face in Shinji's chest.
"What I do is none of yer goddamn business," Shinji said darkly, tightening his arm around Mari's shoulders.
Yamamoto shook his head knowingly. "This must be Asahina Marise. Did you know your father was a Shinigami long ago?"
Marise slightly turned her head around to meet the sotaichō's eyes and nodded her head slightly. "Y-yes
" she said meekly. "He told me he worked under the Second Division."
Soi Fon's eyes widened in shock. Asahina
"Asahina Soichiro?" she said aloud softly. Impossible! He was a legend
Yoruichi had told her so much about him
only he had fled Soul Society when he
fell in love with a Human woman.
" Yamamoto began gruffly. "What will you do if the girl becomes pregnant? From the information Kurotsuchi gathered about her, she carries genes from a Shinigami and is a Fullbringer. You are a Visored. What kind of hybrid are you trying to create?"
Shinji clenched his teeth in frustration. Why did it have to come to this? He looked down to see Mari trembling, her fingers curling into his kosode. When her eyes met his, she quickly look away, not wanting him to see just how afraid she was
He thought, wincing. I'll protect ya, love.
Kurotsuchi Mayuri stood idle from the beginning of the meeting, however, his interest was suddenly perked when he heard the word "hybrid." "Allow it!" he interrupted. "Then for the duration of her pregnancy, allow her to stay in my lab
to monitor her for safety reasons, of course."
Shinji turned and glared at the scientist. "Shut it, before I break off that nail of yers and shove it up yer"
"Enough!" Yamaoto barked, banging his cane on the ground. "Let go of the girl, Hirako."
Shinji reluctantly complied, removing his arm from her. Mari took a few hesitant steps forward and raises her head, looking at Yamamoto.
"A Human entering Soul Society is an egregious crime, punishable by imprisonment and even execution. Do you understand this?"
Mari, though frightened beyond belief, nodded.
"You say you came up here to see Hirako Shinji, because you care for him. If you truly cared for his well being, wouldn't the most sensible thing for you to do is let him be and perform his duties as taichō of the Fifth Division? Do you not think you are hindering him from doing this by coming up here and causing such a disturbance?"
"That ain't fair, sotaichō
" Shinji growled, but Yamamoto raised a hand to silence him.
"Your father was a great man and an accomplished warrior. However, his whole life crumbled because of the decision he made. Think wisely before you make yours."
Mari turned to look at Shinji, doubt in her eyes and heart. Was he right
? Was she really holding Shinji back, being a burden to him? Her face fell, thinking about yesterday. She spent the whole day with him, and grew insecure once again. She chased after him like a lovesick girl
they were warriors
an organization created to keep the balance between two worlds
what role did Mari play in all of this? She was just an insignificant speck in it all
a girl who was hopelessly in love.
She looked around at the people around her, unable to read their faces. What
was she doing here?
Shinji, seeing her will waver, looked up at Yamamoto, his brown eyes hard. "Alright. If ya think she'll affect my duties as a Captain
" Everyone in the room watched in surprise as he took off his haori and dropped it on the floor. "Then I quit."
Even Yamamoto's eyebrows went up in surprise, revealing his eyes, which were rarely seen. "You would throw your life away for a mere Human girl?"
Shinji simply said, "This 'mere Human girl' is my life."
"No!" Marise then shouted, startling everyone. She ran over and picked up the haori, handing it back to Shinji. "Don't do this," she pleaded, her eyes swimming with tears. "They need you," she whispered softly. She turned around and said firmly to Yamamoto, "You
you can throw me in jail or do whatever
but Shinji had nothing to do with this! I came here on my own, because I wanted to see him
he had no idea
" She looked down at the ground and whispered, "I thought if I saw him one last time, this aching would stop." She held her fisted hands against her rapidly beating heart. She shook her head; her eyes squeezed shut. "H-he's not just the man I love
he's my protector
my best friend! No one has ever cared for me as much as Shinji did
I'm just as selfish as always," she ended sadly, opening her watery eyes. The tears cascaded down her round cheeks. "I couldn't let go."
Shinji's heart ached, and all he wanted to do was take her into his arms and tell her that she never had to be scared
he wanted to take all of her pain away, show her in every way just how much he loved her
After a long silence, Yamamoto finally said, "I first thought you were just a frivolous girl. However, I now see that you are just like your father." He pinched the bridge of his nose, sighing heavily, "We will take a vote among the captains on whether Hirako Shinji should be permitted to continue to see Asahina Marise. Starting with Soi Fon-taichō."
While Soi Fon had initially been disgusted with the girl for breaking into Soul Society, after listening to her heart-felt speech, Soi Fon felt her own heart aching with sad memories. This girl
she was so loyal to Hirako that she would do something like this. She would risk her life just to see him
Yoruichi had been loyal enough to Urahara that she broke the law and helped him take the Visored to the World of the Living.
Soi Fon had been loyal to Yoruichi
yet she never went after her because of her own uptight attitude about rules and following tradition. Because of this
she lost her mentor and hero.
" she began softly, shaking her head. "I don't know why she would care so deeply for someone like Hirako, but
her devotion to him is admirable. I vote for allowing them to see each other."
Mari broke out into a smile and Shinji's eyebrows went up, thoroughly surprised by her vote.
Rose stepped forward to announce his decision. "Marise makes my friend very happy
I could never deny him the happiness he deserves. So I vote yes."
Next came Unohana Retsu. "You can use kidō and remedies to heal the physical wounds," she said gracefully, "but only one needs an actual person to begin the healing process of a wounded heart. I also vote yes."
Yamamoto wanted to roll his eyes when it came to Shinji, who grinned wildly. "I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say fuck yes."
Next came Kuchiki Byakuya, who refused to meet anyone's eyes. His gray ones were full of thoughtfulness, his mind filled with recollections of his time with his wife, Hisana. "Yes," he simply said, surprising everybody. He was even stricter with Soi Fon in following rules.
Mari's eyes widened at the Seventh Division taichō, who was an anthropomorphic dog, standing at seven feet. He looked down at her and smiled, eyes filled with kindness. "She doesn't seem like a person who would let Hirako-san down." She smiled shyly back at him, feeling less afraid.
Nanao scrunched her nose, shocked by the decisions the captains were making. She leaned forward and whispered, "Allowing this relationship to take place would be a direct violation of the eighteenth clause under the second subsection, taichō!"
"Yare, yare, Nanao-chan
can't you see two people in love?" He grabbed her hand, startling her, and said boisterously, "Nanao-chan and I both agree that these two lovebirds should remain together forever!" Nanao's cheeks were tainted slight red in a mixture of anger and embarrassment, but she stood by her taichō's decision.
Mari laughed softly behind her hand at the man's flamboyant appearance. She thought the pink haori was a nice touch to the otherwise bland uniform the Captains all seemed to wear.
When it came to Kensei's turn, he simply smirked, arms folded across his chest. "Shinji would kick my ass if I said no. Well, he'd try to anyway."
"Shaddap," Shinji said, rolling his eyes.
Mari looked curiously at a short boy with spiky white hair and bright turquoise eyes. He couldn't possibly be a taichō
! The boy, named Hitsugaya Tōshirō, said, "The situation doesn't affect me either way, nor do I care much for it. However, in order to stop Matsumoto from giggling in my ear, "SAY YES!", I must concur with my fellow captains." Rangiku grinned behind her taichō and does a small cheer behind him, and he rolled his eyes.
Yachiru, who jumped onto Zaraki's shoulder, pointed to Mari and squealed, "Ooh, Ken-chan, say yes! Look at her pink bow, it makes her look like that Hello Kitty! She'll come back and I can feed her kitty snacks!" Zaraki shrugged. "Yeah, whatever, I don't care."
Mayuri said, "I'll say yes so long as it's guaranteed she carries a child that I can later examine. Or her, I've never experimented on a Fullbringer before."
"That's it, ya lil' bastard," Shinji growled, pulling his Zanpakutō partially from its guard. However, Mari stood in front of him to prevent any bloodshed.
"Don't get mad, Shinji!" she pleaded. However, Shinji saw the fear in her eyes and her slight trembling over what the mad scientist said.
"Or you, Hirako," Mayuri then smirked. "I wouldn't mind having a Visored either."
Yamamoto refrained from rolling his eyes. "I'll take that as a
yes. Ukitake Jūshirō, your decision."
The man with long white haired and soft brown eyes smiled. "When life is so short
" he murmured. "You can't take your loved ones for granted. I vote yes."
"It has been settled then," Yamamoto declared, banging his cane on the ground lightly. "Hirako Shinji will be permitted to visit Asahina Marise in the World of the Living once a week. In order to keep the peace, however, Marise is not allowed to return to Soul Society without advance notice."
"What? Once a week?" Shinji asked, flabbergasted. "I need ta see her everyday, damn it!"
Yamamoto narrowed his beady eyes at him. "You must still perform your duties as a taichō of the Gotei 13!" he retorted. "Be thankful that I am even allowing this, instead of sending the case to the Central 46."
Mari tugged on Shinji's sleeve, and said soothingly, "It's okay, Shinji." He turned to her and his heart melted in seeing her face brighten with glee. "This is more than I could have hoped for
He took her into his arms, hugging her tightly.
"Aww," Kyōraku said loudly.
Zaraki, however, rolled his eyes. "Tch. This is gonna make me puke." And he left the room.
His pink-haired fukutaichō turned around and waved goodbye. "Bye, kitty!" she squeaked.
Mari pulled away from Shinji's chest, furrowing her brow. "She wasn't referring to me, was she?" she pouted.
Shinji grinned and tugged on her bow. "Of course not, Goldie."
While those two had exited, the rest of the officers stayed behind to meet the girl who captured Hirako Shinji's affection.
"C'mon and meet everyone," he told her gently, placing a hand on the small of her back. "They made this possible."
She nodded her head shyly, though her eyes widened when she stood in front of Soi Fon. The woman was the same height as her, although she appeared much more intimidating. Her arms were folded over her small chest and her gray eyes were narrowed at Mari. "What is your relationship with Yoruichi-sama?" she immediately asked.
Mari blinked in surprise. "Oh, um
I'm not sure
she is really helpful
Soi Fon sighed in relief in realizing that this was the extent to their relationship.
"Soi Fon-chan!" Shinji exclaimed. "Ya said yes, I don't believe it! C'mere!" He opened his arms to give her a hug, though Soi Fon swiftly lifted her leg, kicking him in the gut. He was sent flying into the wall across the room.
Mari's eyes bugged out as she saw her lover appear from under the rubble, and she smiled in seeing no serious damage was done
to him anyway.
my second Hiyori," he coughed, an arm over his abdomen.
"Don't ever attempt to touch me again," she hissed, walking away.
After Mari picked Shinji up from the ground, she squealed in seeing Rose and gave him a big hug. Shinji watched her closely and was relieved to see that since he no longer wore his glasses, she didn't call him by "Juro-chan" affectionately or blush.
"This is Izuru Kira, my fukutaichō," Rose introduced, pointing his hand at a frail-looking man with disheveled blonde hair and small blue eyes.
"Nice to meet you
" Mari said, shaking his hand. He nodded at her, a nervous smile on his face.
"This is Unohana Retsu," Shinji said, when they reached the Fourth Division Captain and Lieutenant. "She's the one that healed Hiyori."
Mari was entranced by the woman's beauty. She smiled warmly at them. "Ah, but you were the one who finished what I started, Hirako-san," she said. "Sarugaki-san might not have made it if you weren't by her side."
"Yeah, yeah," he muttered sheepishly.
"And now I think it's Marise-san's turn to help your healing process."
Mari blushed and Shinji squeezed her hand. "She's doin' a helluva a job so far," he murmured.
Mari's eyes widened in fear as they finally get to Momo, the girl whom Mari envied all day yesterday. She gulped, incredibly nervous, but became startled when the cute girl vigorously shook her hand, taking it into both of hers.
"I can't believe taichō could have a girl as beautiful as you!" she exclaimed, her eyes filled with delight.
"What?" Shinji cried. "What are ya talkin' 'bout, Momo-chan, ain't 'cha gonna say I'm too good lookin' for her?"
Mari blinked in surprise, thinking that Momo was the adorable one. A blush spread across her cheeks. "D-do you really think so?"
Momo smiled and nodded her head. "Of course! I wouldn't lie to you, Mari-chan! Can I call you that?"
"Hmph. Don't flirt with my muffin, she's mine," Shinji said, pulling Mari away from his subordinate.
Momo rolled his eyes. "You're impossible, taichō!"
They moved on to meet Byakuya. The nobleman simply nodded in greeting at her, and her eyebrows rose up, impressed by his poise and elegance. However, she scrunched her nose in seeing the man with long red hair behind him. "Yo, I'm Renji," he greeted, grinning. "So you're the reformed geisha, eh?"
Who is this Yankī? She thought, frowning. Oh, like he's one to talk about appearances! Those tattoos and that hair! "D-don't tease me!" she whined. "It was a good idea in my head!"
Renji laughed good-naturedly and ruffled her hair, though pulled away with a nervous laugh when Shinji glared at him. The redhead put his hands up defensively. "I wouldn't dream of trying to pry her out of your hands, Hirako-taichō!"
"Good," Shinji said. "Let's meet Komamura."
Mari looked up at the tallest person she'd ever seen
well, she wasn't entirely sure if she could even call him a person
she was slightly intimidated, but realized that he was actually very kind. "Can you lean down?" she asked.
Kommaura, though a little confused, does so and his eyes widen in surprise when she began scratching behind his ear.
"How cute!" she giggled. Just like a doggie!
"Stop flirtin' with everyone!" Shinji whined, pulling her away.
"Yare, Shinji, I'm so jealous!" Kyōraku exclaimed, engulfing the small girl in a bear hug. She blushed, though nearly suffocating from his grip.
" she coughed.
" Nanao began. She slammed her book against his back, causing him to yelp in pain, letting go of Mari. He rubbed his back, pouting at his fukutaichō, but the pout was short-lived, immediately replaced with a carefree grin. He pinched Mari's cheek, cooing, "She is such a sweetheart! Don't you agree, Nanao-chan?"
"She is a beautiful girl, sir," she said simply, adjusting her glasses.
"Ah, but my Nanao-chan will always be most beautiful in my eyes." He looked down at Mari, his brown eyes warm. "Your speech was lovely, Mari-chan. It's inspired me to write a poem!"
This man is so weird
! "Aha, I'm glad," she said with a nervous smile. She waved goodbye to them as Shinji took her to Kensei, who grinned down at her.
"How's everyone else doing?" he asked gruffly, referring to the Visored.
Mari twirled a curl around her finger. "Oh, okay
I don't see them very often," she admitted. She was about to go on, but paused when she spotted the man behind Kensei. Her jaw nearly dropped, as she was appalled by his appearance. "Of course a Yankī taichō would have an equally delinquent-looking fukutaichō!" she blurted, before she could even think. Her hands flew to her mouth. "Oops!" she squeaked.
Hisagi Shūhei merely blinked at her in surprise, and then chuckled. "I suppose I do look like a Yankī, don't I?"
Mari inwardly sighed in relief that he didn't snap at her, as he looked pretty scary
she went up to the tall man and poked his cheek, specifically at the '69' tattoo that was on it. "What is this number's symbolic meaning?" she asked innocently. "And how come both you and Kensei have it?"
" Hisagi stuttered, his cheeks tainted red. He wasn't sure how to explain it
or if he even should.
Shinji took her hand and led her away, saying, "I'll teach ya what it means, love. Ah, meet the shorty. This is tha guy I told ya would kill me if I looked at Momo weirdly."
When Mari laid her eyes on Tōshirō, she asked, "This little one is a taichō? Wow, you must be very talented!" She patted his head affectionately. "You keep working hard!" Mari used this praising technique on her dance kids, and oddly enough, the white-haired boy was looking at her the same way her students did
like she was an idiot.
His eyebrow twitched in annoyance. "Did you just call me 'little one'?" he asked darkly. He growled when his busty Lieutenant rested her breasts on his head.
"Aww, c'mon taichō, she's just teasing!"
"Yeah," Shinji agreed, chuckling, "How do ya know she's talkin' about yer height?"
"Very funny, Hirako," Tōshirō snapped, sending him an icy cold glare.
Mari blinked. "I don't get it."
"Oh, she is too cute, Hirako-taichō!" Rangiku squealed. "I could just eat her up!"
Marise wrinkled her nose in slight jealousy in seeing the woman's large breasts. She poked her tongue through her cheek in a pout. Hmph! Why can't I be so beautiful? She then grew slightly worried. What if Shinji would be wooed by this kind of woman? He was perverted enough
Mari glanced at Shinji to see if he was staring at the busty blonde, but she blushed in seeing that he was looking down at her, smiling.
don't stare at me," she mumbled, her cheeks growing hot.
He grinned and took her hand again. "C'mon, only a few more divisions ta go." Zaraki and Yachiru had already left, but Shinji was planning on skipping Kurotsuchi to go straight to the Thirteenth Division.
"What kind of barn were you raised in, Hirako?" the scientist snapped, when he saw the blonde Visored walk past him.
Shinji rolled his eyes up to the ceiling and sighed heavily. He went over to the Twelfth Division captain, though kept an arm securely around Mari's waist. "Mari, this is who I refer ta as 'really-fucked-up-dude.' 'Really-fucked-up-dude,' meet Mari. Ya touch her and I kill ya 'till yer dead." Kurotsuchi merely snorted at Shinji.
The woman behind him who had long dark hair in a braid and unique green eyes bowed at the waist. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Mari-san." Her voice was soft and pretty, though it held no emotions to it. Mari was curious about this, but was afraid to say anything aloud, as she felt pretty uncomfortable with Kurotsuchi scrutinizing her. It was different from Shinji staring at her, as he was usually undressing her with his eyes, though this was just as creepy!
"You remember to see me if you are pregnant, girl," he said, causing Mari to tremble slightly.
"Fuck you," Shinji responded simply, taking her to Ukitake.
"Well, well," Rukia said with a grin, placing her hands on her hips. "It's been so long, Marise. I never would have guessed that Hirako-taichō would be interested in a girl like you."
"'Girl like me?'" Mari asked, pouting. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"O-oh no, I didn't mean it offensively!" the raven-haired girl said quickly, waving her hands in front of her. "It's just that you two are so different, I
forgive me for saying that!"
Ukitake chuckled. "I'm very glad that Shinji-san found someone special," he said warmly to her.
Mari blushed and looked down, poking her fingers together. "I-I'm happy too
"Gah, isn't she tha fuckin' cutest?" Shinji cried, hugging her tightly. Mari squeaked when he lifted her into his arms. He ran out of the captain's hall, singing loudly for everyone to hear, "I'll teach ya what '69' means right now!"
"Sh-Shinji! Put me down!" she cried. "This is embarrassing, everyone is staring!"
He reluctantly did so and she scuffed her foot on the ground awkwardly. "Well
" she began, looking up at him from under her long lashes. "I think I've overstayed my welcome."
He shrugged, trying to control his emotions. "I wouldn't mind if ya stayed," he muttered.
" She reached up to place her hand on his cheek, and he held it there, looking down into her deep blue eyes. "I have a life down there
" she whispered. "My job, school, my family
but we'll still see each other! Isn't that great?"
" Shinji admitted. "But tha old man limited us ta havin' sex once a week," he ended bitterly.
Mari laughed and grabbed Shinji's tie, pulling his face close to hers. "My Yankī is such a perverted goofball!"
"And my Goldie is such a dramatic crybaby," he said against her lips before kissing her deeply.
Mari found herself melting against his lips and touch, as she always did, and dug her fingers into the sleeve of his haori. She pulled away reluctantly, smiling sadly at him. "It's time for me to go," she said softly.
Shinji sighed and pulled out his Zanpakutō, and opened a Senkaimon for her. She stepped past the gate and turned around, waving goodbye to him. She quickly cupped her hands around her mouth and shouted, "I LOVE YOU!" and then blew a kiss at him.
He chuckled and pretended to catch it, pressing it against the cheek. The gate closed.
His smile immediately faded, and he ran a hand through his hair. When he turned he found Momo standing next to him. Noticing his fallen expression, she placed a comforting hand on his arm.
"You'll see her again, taichō."
" he agreed, and walked back with her to their office.
Even though Mari had left only a few moments ago
he already missed her.
To Be Continued