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There was a certain comfortable spot on a certain hill in the Seireitei which afforded an excellent view of the night sky; Ise Nanao sat at the crest of it, staring down at three pages of advanced kidou, and saving the stars thoughtfully up as a reward.

Her best friend (quite unfathomably) Matsumoto Rangiku lay stretched out beside her making lazy comments on the beauty of their surroundings. It was, after all, Gin's turn to do their homework. There was a peaceful sound of crickets and a luminous new moon, which Nanao permitted herself a glimpse of after every question answered.

"It's as if someone took an enormous brush full of bleach and splattered it over a huge square of ink," Rangiku said, poetically.

"Hmm," Nanao said. She opened her notes to one particular, rather recent page, and displayed the carnage to her in a pointed manner. "Very apt, Rangiku."

Rangiku made a small happy sound and ignored her. Nanao's mental notes ran along the lines of permanent ink and Rangiku's Academy uniform, though in the mildest and most theoretical fashion. Things continued, for the moment, peacefully.

They were roused by a spiritual pressure so intense that Nanao felt pinned to the ground like a butterfly. She lifted herself from the ground with difficulty, breathed in and out, thinking must be a captain, not enough masking, why how where? until she saw the rather dashing pink haori and knew exactly who it was.

(Nanao, obviously, had memorised the names and appearances of the highest-ranked shinigami in Soul Society. It had only been expedient.)

She caught the features for only a moment - an air of slow liquefaction, really, drooping eyes and hair and mouth over a surprisingly broad chest which certainly wasn't meant to be so exposed and muscular, not for the solemn guardians of Seireitai she was meant to revere - before her ears were battered by a terrible, supersonic wail.

The explanation for this was twofold:

(a) Women, apparently, tended to be more sensitive to spiritrons, their movement, and their concentration than men, which helped a great deal with kidou, but which was also a vulnerability for large disruptions or outpourings of spiritual force. Though this had never been tested, despite frequent pleas from Twelfth Division, and was influenced both by stereotype and by the kidou expertise and high female quotient of Fourth, Nanao had to admit that, in certain cases, it held unfortunately true.

(b) Rangiku's response to being surprised or discomforted mostly involved "eep!" whether the occasion involved waking up, having her sake snatched suddenly from her, Gin's hands in bad places, Gin's hands in good places in the middle of an exam, people sneaking up on her, or the one time Nanao took off her glasses (really, it didn't make her that stunning).

Nanao, finally, removed her hands from her ears, and heard a faint, desolate, "-p". Rangiku was staring down at her chest in anguish and wonder.

"They've fallen out," Rangiku said melancholily, a victim of the convergence of facts.

Captain Kyouraku - for it was he, rather more jaunty in bearing than she'd expected - kindly offered to put them back in.

His hand moved. Nanao's hand, without any conscious thought involved at all, moved also.

The slap could probably be heard all the way to Rukongai. Nanao was weighing up the likelihood of being run through, mercifully, here and now, or the Soukyoku, which /might/ give Rangiku a chance to hatch a daring escape plan and overpower several guards through bosom alone, but, on the other hand, might result in being delicately fricasseed by an enormous bird.

The Captain raised his eyebrows. Rangiku made goldfish noises; Nanao said something along the lines of "guck".

"Protecting the honour of your friend," he said. "is a very honourable impulse, though I doubt you needed to hit that hard. Excellent reflexes, though."

"Practice," Nanao said slowly. "Sir."

"Ah, well, I can see that," the Captain said, giving Rangiku, who was currently engaged in stretching the fabric of her uniform in ways it was never, before her very specific growth spurt, meant to be stretched, an appraising look. "I'm sure she's lucky to have you around."

"Thank you," Nanao said.

"I do apologise for not masking my reiatsu more thoroughly; I didn't realise other people enjoyed this spot."

"My friend has no sense of direction when she's drunk, and..." Nanao paused. "This is strictly legal, sir?"

"Oh, quite," he said amicably. "Unless Yama-ji plans out joint and immediate arrest."

There was a sharp intake of breath. Nanao wasn't sure she could process someone talking about 'Yama-ji'. "You're very kind."

"Anyway, I should leave you to savour the leisurely days of youth, now, alas, forever gone, peacefully and undisturbed," Captain Kyouraku said, carrying a suspiciously leisurely sake-bowl and rubbing his arm thoughtfully. "Could I ask for your name?"

"Nanao," Nanao said. "Ise Nanao." She supposed he thought she'd know his name already, and wasn't sure whether to be insulted or not that he was right.

"A beautiful name," he said wistfully. "The Academy is to be congratulated for such pupils. Enjoy the stars."

He disappeared in a swirl of pink. Rangiku looked absolutely stunned, and Nanao suspected a bad influence in the making. They looked at one another for a long moment.

"Gosh," Rangiku said, finally. "And you didn't even need to apologise."


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 17th, 2006 10:46 pm (UTC)
(snickers a lot)

Thank you very much indeed! That was a delight to read. ;)
Sep. 17th, 2006 10:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the thank you, if that makes any sense!

Making incandescens snicker is /so/ on my list of life goals.
Sep. 17th, 2006 10:54 pm (UTC)
Aww. Very flattering.
Sep. 17th, 2006 10:48 pm (UTC)

Very, very funny. I enjoyed this one a lot.
Sep. 17th, 2006 10:56 pm (UTC)
Ah, thank you so very much! Receiving a snorfle is the nicest thing possible. Also italics. I'm greatly happy. ^^
Sep. 18th, 2006 02:03 am (UTC)
hee, I love this.
Sep. 23rd, 2006 05:10 pm (UTC)
Aaah *does the ohmygoodness ULTIMATE HIT OF AWESOME BLEACH PEOPLE DANCE* thank you, thank you very much.

I'll just go and take a cold shower now. Wow. And LJ forgetting to email this to me was like a beautiful delayed bonus.
Sep. 18th, 2006 04:08 pm (UTC)
Hee hee, that was funny!!! I like it!
Sep. 23rd, 2006 05:12 pm (UTC)

Lj was being idiotic with the comments, btw ^^
Sep. 20th, 2006 12:16 am (UTC)

Sep. 23rd, 2006 05:12 pm (UTC)
Aaah, thank you so very much! I just sort of thought "hey, notifications online and not in inbox" and then all these comments tumbled on me as if out of a wardrobe of LOVE, and I am thusly overjoyed.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 23rd, 2006 05:15 pm (UTC)

either that or you're a clone of me in another lifetime.

No, um. Nice to meet you ^^
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 25th, 2006 08:54 pm (UTC)
No, it's fine! I'm glad you cleared that up, though, because I was beginning to suspect UFOs et cetera.

Sooo - you into touching people's hair and revolution!, then :D

Apr. 23rd, 2007 10:00 am (UTC)
Wow, this was possibly the best Shunsui/Nanao interactionfic I've ever read! Humourous in just the right places and with a lovely tongue-in-cheek tone, I absolutely adored this. Nice to see Matsumoto included as well!

Going into the mems - excellent work. :)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )



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