18 Talk with Shunsui

The night takes longer when you can't sleep. Shunsui and Toji are currently still up and walking through the Seireitei. They talk about random things to keep their minds occupied and not think about the problems that their Lieutenants might face. 

Although Toji cares very little about these things. He should remember the plot of the story if he went and used that mind palace of his, but he has long not done that anymore. 

He found friends here and people that he sees as the family he never had. Shunsui and Jushiro are like his brothers. Yamamoto is like a father figure for him and Unohana ... well we don't talk about Unohana. 

Rose, his Lieutenant has also gotten quite close to him, but not so much that he would run off after him and hold his hands. He was a grown man and 'apparently' he was Captain material. 

Toji begged to differ. He agreed that Rose had the qualifications of being a Captain, but not to the degree of actually deserving it in the sense of being strong enough. Toji came from a different time, when the Captains were all murderous pricks ... at least most of them.

Toji himself killed two of them himself. And one of those was during his 4th year in the Shinigami Academy. No one knew about that incident though. It was kept a secret by Yamamoto because he feared that the Central 46 would deem Toji as a threat to their rule and either sentence him to death or send him to the maggot's nest.

And he was correct in doing that. There were of course rumours, but it was treated as such. Just rumours, that could never be true about a Captain like Toji Fushiguro. Just look at him, always late and never taking things seriously.

There were tons of rumours like that, but Toji didn't care. He had his brothers Shunsui and Jushiro as well as Yamamoto sensei and even Unohana if she would get her finger out of her ass and go back to the old days. 



"That was quite the evil look you got there during the Captain's meeting.", Shunsui said.

"Evil? Who looked at me evilly?", Toji answered.

"You know ... Captain Shihoin."

"Ah, the cat. Yeah, she looked at me with contempt. Hehe, quite funny if you think about it."

"I don't see how that is funny. But it's you so I guess you find that funny."

"Why don't you think it's funny? It was hilarious. Although it was a bit annoying. She was shooting daggers out of her eyes. I mean what can I do about the fact that my Lieutenant is as strong as some Captains? It just goes to show how incompetent some Captains are."

"Yare yare. You and your high expectations. I might think you think about me as well."

"You know I'm not thinking about you. Katen Kyokotsu is a marvellous blade and I really like her. She keeps you on your toes and makes sure that you don't slack off. Although you have been doing that recently.

But others like Kensei Muguruma or Love Aikawa, those aren't Captain materials ... or at least they didn't used to be.", Toji explains.

"Yeah. But times change. You know that. We must be thankful that times are peaceful now. At least partially."

"And that is what I'm worried about. Just look at tonight. There have been missing people in the Soul Society and they sent Muguruma to investigate. And what happens? He along with his Lieutenant goes missing as well ...

I can still remember what happened when Nobutsuna Shigyō was told to deal with the 'fake Rebellion' incident. Remember that?"

"Oh yeah. The couple of Shinigami that thought they could free some of their friends and other inmates from the maggot's nest and replace the Captains of their positions."

"Yeah. Yama-ji told Captain Nobutsuna to deal with it and he did. He went there and came back a day later leaving behind a pile of corpses. I'm not saying I wish to go back to those days.

I'm just saying that we have become soft. And it will come to bite us in the ass sooner or later."

"I think you're worrying too much Toji. If everything else fails ... we still have Yama-ji ... and you.", Shunsui tells him with a smile. 

"Haha, there is no way that you just put me on the same level as Yama-ji. I don't think he would agree."

"Haha, come now. We both know that's a lie. You are without a doubt the strongest Captain in the Gotei except for Yama-ji. Although with the amount of training you do, I admit I don't know how strong you are."

"How do you come to the conclusion that I train?", Toji asked him surprised. He trains in secret and in his inner world/universe/reality, so no one should know about it. 

"Katen told me.", Shunsui says with a big smile.

"Katen Kyokotsu told you that I train? And how would she-"

"Yes, it seems you remember.", Shunsui laughs.

"You traitor!", Toji yells at the swords hanging from Shunsui's hips. 



What happened was that Toji got to meet Katen Kyokotsu when he demonstrated to Shunsui and Jushiro that he could get their Zanpakuto spirits to materialise in the real world. 

They didn't believe him and he bet them a bottle of sake for it. He then appeared in each of their inner worlds to ask their Zanpakuto spirits whether they would like to come out to play and they both (three) agreed.

That was when Katen and Toji seemingly got quite close and Katen liked to play with Toji. He would never say no to her and she would enjoy their games. 

He liked the high stakes in the deadly games and also the low risks when they played some card games or something. 

But it was at one of their get-togethers that Toji showed Katen his inner world and told her that he trained in his inner world almost every day.

So she must have told Shunsui about that and he was teasing Toji now. 



The two pass two security guards and get greeted. Shunsui thanks them for their work.

"Hey! Thank you for your rounds."

"C-Captain Kyoraku and Captain Fushiguro! What's the matter? Why are you out at this hour?"

"Well, we had a bit of trouble falling asleep.", Shunsui says. 

Out of the corner of his eyes, he can see Lieutenant Aizen carrying a stack of papers and walking somewhere. Aizen stops, looks at Shunsui and Toji and nods his head in silent greeting. 

Shunsui nods as well.

"Maybe I'm thinking too much?", Shunsui asks himself.

"It seems like Lieutenant Aizen had trouble falling asleep too.", he says.

"Huh? What are you talking about?", Toji asks him.

"What do you mean 'what am I talking about'? Lieutenant Aizen was obviously just there and carrying a stack of papers. So he also couldn't sleep. Must be worried about his Captain or something."

"I don't know what you're talking about but that wasn't Aizen, Shunsui. Did you drink again? I told you to tone it down a bit.", Toji tells him.

"What? I don't drink too much. And it should be you who is drinking. That was clearly Lieutenant Aizen."

"Haha, if you say so.", Toji smiles.



Toji and Shunsui walk back together and the two guards are still standing there. They look at each other.

"It seems the rumours about 3rd Division Captain Fushiguro were true. He is not right in the head.", one says.

"Shhhh, are you crazy? Someone could hear you and then you might be executed for saying that."

"Ay ay ay. But you saw it too. He's obviously either drunk or really stupid."

"Well, I'm just thankful that he's not my Captain."



Toji and Shunsui walk to the 8th Division. Once there they can see a small girl waiting at the entrance of the 8th Division barracks holding a book. 


"Um... Nanao Ise ... right?", Shunsui asks.

"Huh?! Y-Yes, sir! I'm honoured that you remembered me!", Nanao Ise says.

"Yes. Hahaha. Well, you are the youngest child we have here now. You see, I remember the names of every young girl here.", Shunsui says.

"Oh god, don't say it like that Shunsui. That sounds like you're a predator or something.", Toji says from the side.

Kyoraku notices his mistake and stops. The young girl, Nanao gets a very red face. 

"Ah, it's nothing like that. Captain Fushiguro is just making a joke.", Shunsui tries to save himself. 

"No, I'm actually very serious. You should not say such things to a young girl. It could give others the wrong impression.", Toji nods sagely. 

"No one but YOU would ever get to that conclusion!", Shunsui says with a slightly higher voice.

"What? Are you calling me a pervert?", Toji asks him.

This causes the two to almost get into an argument but they stop when they see Nanao's face. She is utterly confused. So they stop.

"Besides, you came to see me every month.", Shunsui tells Nanao again.

Then he suddenly remembers something. 

"That's right. Today's the first of the month."

"Yes. That is why I thought I'd like to read with Lieutenant Yadomaru again this month.", Nanao says.

"I see. But I'm sorry ... Lisa isn't here tonight."


"She's on an important mission. But don't worry. She'll be back in the morning. I'm sure of it.", Shunsui tells her.

"In the meantime, I can read with you if you want.", Toji tells her. 

Toji actually loves kids. He truly enjoys kids and likes their company. That was also why he looked after the two orphans he found in the Rukongai for a while. He was greatly surprised when they showed up in the Seireitei attending the Shin'o Academy as it was now called. 

Neither of them told him about it, but they might have thought to surprise him with it. He was very surprised and also happy about it. Well, he was happy for one of them. The other ... had ulterior motives.

So reading to little Nanao was no problem for Toji and he would like to do it. 

"Oh, n-no I don't want to i-impose on your time, Captain Fushiguro.", the little girl said.

"Oh my. It seems my reputation has reached far and wide. But don't worry I am not as bad as the rumours claim. I am a really nice guy once you get to know him. 

Oh and just so you know ... I'm a great reader, so I can read that book for you no problem.", Toji told her.

Nanao was sceptical and looked at Shunsui for confirmation. Shunsui just nodded his head and smiled. 

"He's right. He is a really nice guy and none of the rumours about him are true. Toji here just likes to have fun and not show everyone his power. So he spends a lot of time in his barracks to read. So you can be sure that he can read with you.", Shunsui tries to calm the girl down. 

He doesn't like the rumours about his friend. All those rumours that either claim he is a bad guy or only got his position due to Yama-ji or other crap, he hated it and was happy that at least Nanao, who was important to him, would see him for who he truly was.



A chapter with less fighting or something funny but some insight. There were two hints dropped as well that should be very easy to spot.

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