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Title: The Trials of Nanao Ise
Genre: Romance/Drama
Pairing: Shunsui/Nanao
Spoilers: Through manga chapter 423
Status: Ongoing
Rating: R
Summary: Nanao will face the consequences of her decisions during and after the Arrancar War. Can she overcome these trials, or will they divide her from Captain Kyōraku forever? Canon compliant through manga chapter 423.

Back to Chapter 25.
Chapter 1.

It was nearly noon before she heard the cheerful greetings and giggles from the outer office that signaled the arrival of her captain.  He entered their shared office and closed the door behind him.  Nanao continued to work on the paper in front of her, even when he leaned over her chair from behind and began to nuzzle her neck.
 
“You’re later than usual,” she said, stamping the page with his seal.
 
“I know.  Some sexy woman kept me up late.”  He slipped her uniform to the side just enough to nip at her collarbone.
 
“Personal affairs should not affect division business.  And stop that.”  She brandished the hand with the seal at his face.
 
He captured her hand and tugged the seal away.  “Yare, yare.  Naughty Nanao-chan is using her captain’s seal.  I think that violates regulations, Nanao-chan,” he murmured next to her ear.
 
She shivered.  “If you have developed a sudden desire to personally approve our members’ receipt of bonus money, please allow me to give you the necessary paperwork.  Otherwise, you might recall that you gave me permission to use your seal for this purpose within the first year of my tenure as vice captain.”  Her voice was crisp, but one of his hands was massaging the back of her neck and melting her body into honey.
 
“I’m pretty sure that I gave you the hanko and told you to do whatever you wanted to with it, actually.”  He’d snuck back to kissing her neck.
 
“Doing something like that was very inappropriate.  You are very lucky I wasn’t interested in embezzling division funds.  It would have been extremely easy.”  She pushed his lips off her neck with one hand, a bit reluctantly.
 
“But my Nanao-chan’s high professional standards would have never have permitted something like that.”  She hadn’t pushed off the hand he had massaging her neck, so he brought up his other hand and began to rub her shoulders.
 
Her eyelids fluttered as she relaxed into his delicious massage.  “My professional standards are slipping by the minute,” she said.
 
He laughed and leaned down to kiss her head.  “I’m pleased to hear that.”  After a few minutes he added, “Nanao-chan’s hair looks even more lovely than usual.”
 
“Thank you for the hairclip.  It’s really very beautiful.”  Her lips turned up at the corners.  He took advantage of Nanao’s relaxation, shifting to press his lips to her smiling mouth.  Nanao pushed him off after a few moments, laughing a little against his lips.
 
He pulled back, watching her laugh.  “What is it, Nanao-chan?”
 
“I was just thinking your taste in gifts makes the most baffling jumps.  The book, the hairclip, the flowers, those are well-chosen gifts in good taste.  But then there are some of the things you got me in the past—that corset, those underwear with the rhinestones—and I use the term underwear loosely—and that black riding crop.  What on earth did you intend with things like that?”
 
He smiled.  “When I pick presents for you, first I try to find things that can be used, because my Nanao-chan is such a practical woman.  Things that you can use are the things you value most, like the book and the hairclip.  But sometimes gifts should be things that have beauty as a purpose, like flowers.  And sometimes I choose things that I think could be useful for specific occasions, or that will add fun to my Nanao-chan’s life, like those delightful little glittery underwear.”
 
“What possible occasion could those be appropriate for?”  Nanao drew her brows together.
 
His smile widened.  “Oh Nanao-chan, there are so many!  Why don’t you put them on later and I’ll show you—”
 
Her hand clamped over his mouth.  “Enough.  You really—” She could feel her cheeks pinking as she looked at him.  “But that riding crop.  That doesn’t have any utility.  I do not have a horse or a boar.  I do not ride.  And it would hardly be the first item I would need if I were going to take an interest in riding.”  She lifted her hand cautiously off his mouth.
 
Almost immediately she regretted her question.  His eyes glittered with amusement and warmth.  “Something like that isn’t only useful with horses, Nanao-chan,” he said, and she immediately understood.
 
Her cheeks flushed scarlet.  “I require no further explanation.”
 
“But I really, really want to make sure your curiosity is fulfilled.  Do you want to try it on me?  Or perhaps I should spank Nanao-chan.”  He advanced, leaning in close to her face.
 
Nanao leaned away from him over the opposite side of the chair.  “Don’t you dare,” she hissed, and flipped a fan out of her sleeve to tap against his lips.
 
“But Nanao-chan, I only want to help!”  He loomed closer.
 
“Um, excuse me, captain, vice captain—no one answered the door, so—” The Eleventh Seat Nanao had gotten tea from earlier hovered in the doorway.
 
“Yes?”  Nanao added a hand to her effort to push Shunsui away, though he went easily now that they weren’t alone.
 
“A new memo from the First Division has arrived.”  The girl continued to hesitate at the door.
 
“Bring it here, please.”  Nanao accepted the papers from the girl.  “Also, please inform any members who need assistance that the captain and I will be at the Fourth Division this afternoon and that they may refer to Third Seat Enjōji.”  She spoke crisply, as if the girl had not walked in on a compromising situation.  It was no worse than many awkward positions Shunsui had put her into over the years.
 
Shunsui smiled.  “Is that today?”
 
“Yes.  I would have reminded you if you’d come in earlier.”  Nanao flipped through the papers from the First.
 
The Eleventh Seat left the office, visibly eased from the way she’d looked when she stood in the doorway.  Nothing so unusual had happened, after all; the vice captain had beaten back the captain’s advances.
 
“Do you think they all know about us?” Nanao asked.
 
He tilted his head at her.  “If they don’t yet, they will soon.  Does that bother you?”
 
She frowned, considering.  “I think that as long as a professional standard is maintained, our members will respect our leadership.”
 
“I’ll leave the professional standard to you, as usual.”  He grinned.  “Shall we go?”
 
Nanao stood, stretching.  “Captain Yamamoto wants to see you tomorrow morning.”
 
“Yama-jii?  Why?”
 
“It’s likely he will see many people tomorrow, probably for some kind of debriefing.  He also wishes to see me.”  Nanao marched through the Eighth Division halls and courtyard and jumped into shunpo there, Shunsui following her closely.
 
He didn’t say anything about the summons, even when they’d landed outside the Fourth Division, and Nanao was grateful.  She didn’t want to discuss the complaint any further, not when they’d come to such a serious impasse before.
 
Captain Unohana waited for them in a white exam room.  She greeted Nanao and Shunsui politely and made small talk while she began her examination of Shunsui’s injuries from the Arrancar War.
 
“I am hoping we can have a private SWA dinner this week, as an opportunity for our members to relax and reconnect,” Nanao said.  She stood by the window a polite distance away from the exam table, but she watched Captain Unohana’s work out of the corner of her eyes.
 
“That would be very pleasant.  Unfortunately, I am unavailable on Friday evening, so if the dinner could be scheduled for Wednesday or Thursday, I would appreciate it.”  Unohana’s voice was very mild.
 
“Of course, Captain Unohana.  It would be nice to have as much attendance as possible, although we will be lacking some members for certain.  Rukia-san is in the Living World with Ichigo Kurosaki, Nemu-san is going back and forth between Soul Society and Hueco Mundo on errands for Captain Kurotsuchi, and Hinamori-san is—” Nanao stopped.
 
“Hinamori-san’s organ treatment is going well.  I check in with the Twelfth Division regularly.  But she has not yet regained consciousness.  Still, please send messages about the dinner to the others.  Even if they can’t attend, they may enjoy being remembered.”
 
Nanao nodded.  “I’ll send invitations to everyone.”
 
“These wounds have healed well.  This is very fine work, Ise-san.”  Unohana let the light of her diagnostic kidō fade out.  “If I may make one recommendation, it might be a good idea to have some scar reduction done.  These wounds, particularly the cero, have covered a substantial area, and it might be beneficial to minimize scar tissue in case of future injuries to the same areas.  A build-up of scar tissue on your back is not a desirable occurrence.  I’m sure Ise-san is familiar with the kidō?”
 
“Yes I am, Captain Unohana.”
 
“Thank you, Retsu-san.”  Shunsui smiled at Unohana.  She made her goodbyes to him and to Nanao and left.
 
Alone in the exam room, Nanao stared at Shunsui’s chest and then looked away.  “You never say anything suggestive to Captain Unohana,” she said, although those weren’t the words she’d intended to say.
 
“To my sempai?  Yare, yare, Nanao-chan.  I know you’ve called me an idiot before, but I didn’t think you believed I’d be that stupid.”  He leaned back on his hands and raised an eyebrow at her.
 
Nanao shook her head.  “Actually I don’t know that I’ve ever seen anyone disrespect her, when I think of it.”
 
“Who would dare?”
 
Nanao considered.  “Perhaps Captain Zaraki.  He seems reckless enough.”
 
“Reckless, maybe, but he’s lived this long—he can’t be an absolute idiot, and that’s what it would take to disrespect her.”  He held out a hand towards her.
 
“I wonder how old Captain Unohana is, to be called sempai by someone like you.”  She glanced at his hand and then his face.  Finally she moved towards him.
 
“You mean to be the elder of someone ‘older than most of the buildings in Seireitei’?”  He grinned at her, and she blushed pink.  She had said that to him, but she would never say something like that about Captain Unohana.  “I never question the age of a woman past a certain point, Nanao-chan.  Retsu-san’s exact age can remain shrouded in mystery forever.  It’s safer that way.”
 
Nanao’s lips turned up at the corners.  “You may be right.”
 
He brought her hand to his lips and kissed her knuckles.  “What is it, Nanao-chan?”
 
She shook her head.  “Nothing.”
 
He dropped a heavy hand to her waist to pull her between his legs.  She could feel the warmth radiating off of his chest and smell his familiar scent.  It had a hint of pine today, and she wondered what tree he’d stopped in before he came to the office.  “Sweet Nanao-chan, you’re biting your lips and you have a crease right here that tells me something is bothering you.”  He touched the frown between her eyebrows with one finger.
 
“I have to move out,” she blurted, and then tried to cover the outburst with a flurry of professional language.  “That is, my temporary residence in your house, which was necessitated by your medical condition, is logically at an end, as you no longer need the kind of care I provided.”  She stared at his chest.
 
“I see.  But I want you to stay with me, and I think that’s what you want, so there’s no reason to leave.”  He lifted her chin gently, but she swept her eyelids down and glanced away.
 
“It’s not appropriate.”
 
He cupped her face in his hands.  “It’s appropriate for us, if it’s what we both want.”
 
She shook her head.
 
“Look at me, Nanao-chan.”  She flicked her eyes up to his reluctantly.  “We’re still in our trial courtship for another week, remember?  So even if you were to move out, you wouldn’t be rid of me.  I would just follow you to your quarters.  The time you’ve offered is very brief, and I have to secure my Nanao-chan’s affections, so I can’t let any opportunity slip away.  I’ll just come to your quarters, and you’ll be tripping over me at every turn.  Or you could just stay at my house, where we’re both comfortable.”
 
It was very tempting, and she considered the possibility for a long moment.  But her boundaries were too tightly drawn and she’d pressed them beyond the edges for him already.  Nanao wasn’t sure if she could go any farther without any cover at all.  Moving in with him temporarily for medical reasons was very different from moving in with him for an unknown length of time for a love affair.  How could he be so casual about something so serious?  He’d never, to her knowledge, lived with one of his love interests for any length of time.  Yet here he was, presenting it to her as a simple matter.  She shook her head.
 
“But Nanao-chan, Retsu-san said I should have that scar reduction kidō.  Surely it would be to the benefit of my health to have it done twice a day.  And if I need that kidō, it would be easiest for you to stay with me, wouldn’t it?”  His voice was warm and persuasive.
 
It was a weak reason, barely an excuse, really, but she was grateful to him for the effort.  She thought she could stay with him for at least a week on this pretext without worrying too much about the impropriety.  Nanao suspected that Shunsui would produce a new reason for her presence in his house every single week, even every single day if she required one, and that thought broke down her resistance.  She didn’t speak, but instead leaned towards him.  His hands slid off her face to hold her to him as she pressed her face into his chest.  She inhaled deeply and let her tension out as she exhaled.  She still couldn’t say it, but he must have read her surrender in the easing of her body.
 
“I’m glad, Nanao-chan,” he murmured near her ear.
 
She smiled against his skin.
 
*************************************
 
“You fools!”
 
Nanao took a sip from her teacup.  “The captain commander seems to be doing well.”
 
Sasakibe lifted his teacup.  “Indeed, Ise-san, his recovery has been very rapid.”
 
More shouts drifted through the walls of the First Division, but the words were indistinct.  Nanao and Sasakibe discussed agendas for the upcoming meeting of vice captains, the repair work being done to the building the Eleventh Division destroyed during their victory celebration, and the status of wounded comrades.  He was really a very pleasant man to converse with, something she hadn’t really noticed before, since most of their contact was within the structure of meetings and memos.
 
The shouting stopped.  Sasakibe stirred from his chair.  “He’ll be seeing Captain Ukitake now, and then he’ll be ready for you.”
 
Nanao followed him out of his office and to the hallway where Ukitake’s Third Seats were crouched.  “Oh, Nanao-san!  I got your message about the SWA meeting.  Should I wear Living World clothes?  We did pass that resolution, after all,” Kiyone asked.
 
“I think most of our members will probably wear them, since it’s in the evening and it’s an informal gathering.”  Nanao smiled slightly.
 
Kiyone’s face brightened.  “It’s exciting, isn’t it?  It’ll be good to see everyone together again.”
 
“Yes, it really will be,” Nanao said, and meant it.  The SWA was an organization that had provided her with an outlet for her extra time and energy and the opportunity to socialize with people with at least a few things in common with her.  She would always be grateful for that.
 
Captain Ukitake emerged from his meeting with Yamamoto and Sasakibe stepped into the room, returning a moment later.  “The captain will see you now, Ise-san.”
 
Nanao exchanged a friendly greeting with Ukitake and entered the long room where Yamamoto sat at the back, the smile falling off her face.  Sasakibe left the room and closed the door behind him.  She moved into a seiza posture near the door, but Captain Yamamoto gestured for her to come closer.  He flipped through some papers on a side table.
 
“Vice Captain Ise, there are a few matters I wish to discuss with you.  I have read your report on the events at the command post and your response to the Kidō Corps vice captain’s complaint.  Your accounts match with other eyewitness accounts and with the less heated sections of the complaint.  Do you have anything you would like to add?”
 
His head turned from his papers to look at her.  Even when his intentions were benign, the weight of his gaze was like the crushing pressure of a deep sea.  “No, sir.  My reports were accurate.”
 
“The Central 46 will be taking up consideration of your case within the next several days.  A decision should be reached quickly, since the matter is not complicated by differing accounts.  After that, I will consider the question of the complaint.  My vice captain has discussed probable outcomes with you?”
 
“Yes, sir.”
 
“So you are entirely aware of the severity of your crimes?”
 
Nanao fought the urge to step back and clasped her hands behind her back.  “Yes, sir.”
 
“What is interesting in this case is that while your captain made a few overtures earlier regarding the complaint of Vice Captain Takahashi, he didn’t say a word about the larger charge against you.  I can only conclude that you have not told him about the extent of your crimes.”
 
“I have not broken confidentiality, sir.”  Nanao’s spine straightened further.
 
“Good.  Since you have not violated the confidentiality order, I must presume your new personal involvement with Shunsui is not an effort to obtain his protection against the judgment for your crimes.”
 
Her eyes widened with surprise.  The captain commander was aware of their relationship?  He didn’t seem like the type to sit around in a bar exchanging the latest gossip.  Her eyes narrowed again at the implicit insult in his comment.  He thought she might have used Shunsui to avoid paying for her crimes?  “With all appropriate respect, my personal relationships are a private matter, sir.”
 
He threw that aside with a grunt.  “The relationship is within the purview of the Gotei 13, as it clearly could affect the functionality of Eighth Division.  If you are not seeking leniency, why have you begun an inappropriate relationship with your captain?”
 
Nanao’s nails bit into her palms.  “Sir?  The reasons for my personal relationship with Captain Kyōraku are—that is—they are personal.”  A few beads of sweat slipped down her back.
 
His eyes pinned her where she stood.  “Humph.  Very well.  It is no matter if you answer now or not, you will need to explain on the form in any case.”
 
“Sir?”
 
He flipped through his pile of papers until he found a specific one.  “Take this.”
 
She walked forward slowly and took the paper.  It was a short form at one page, with only a few questions.  “This is an Application for Special Dispensation of Anti-fraternization Regulations?”
 
“It must be filled out and stamped by you and by Shunsui, and then returned here.  I will approve the application at that time.”  One of his brows lifted very slightly.
 
“I’ve never seen this form before, sir.”
 
“It is not commonly necessary or used.”
 
The skin between her brows creased.  “Yet given my captain’s previous activities, it seems perhaps I might have encountered this form before, sir.”
 
He grunted.  “If we required this form for every instance of Shunsui’s inappropriate interactions with women, my division would drown in the paperwork.  In any case, his fraternization with you is of more significance than previous incidents.  The form is entirely necessary in this case.  Although your time as the vice captain of the Eighth will likely end soon, it is still important to maintain at least a semblance of order.”
 
Nanao nodded.  “Yes, sir.”
 
“That will be all, Vice Captain Ise.”  Yamamoto sank back in his chair.  If Nanao couldn’t sense reiatsu, she might have mistaken him for a harmless elder.  But she’d witnessed his power.  He’d nearly killed her without the slightest effort.  It was impossible for her to stand in his presence without an oily thread of fear winding around her throat.
 
“Yes, sir.  Thank you, sir.”  Nanao bowed and left the room.  Sasakibe walked her to the gates of First Division.
 
She moved to jump into shunpo, but turned back.  “Sasakibe-san?  Are you familiar with this form?”  She handed him the application Yamamoto had given her.
 
“I’ve seen it occasionally.  It’s rare, but it has been used several times during my tenure here.  You might recall Kaien Shiba; he filed one while he was a vice captain.”
 
“Yes.”  She glanced away for a moment.  “There truly is a form for everything,” she said, and took the page from Sasakibe’s hand.
 
“If you are interested in information about rare forms, I can send you a copy of The Complete Collection of Gotei 13 Applications and Dispensations.”
 
“That seems as if it would be most useful, Sasakibe-san.”  Actually it sounded like something she would use to break Shunsui’s nose, and not like something she would use to learn about new paperwork, but it would be impolite to say so.
 
“I shall send it with a courier later today.”
 
“Thank you, Sasakibe-san.”  Nanao stepped into shunpo.  At the Eighth Division she hesitated, then headed away from the offices to the barracks.  In her quarters she studied the small volume of her possessions.  It would make the transition easier for the next occupant of her position if she packed up these items now.  If she couldn’t bring them with her, if her punishment was exile or worse, at least it would be simple for someone to remove them.
 
She packed a crate of books, her fingers strolling over the titles as she worked.  Some of her best memories involved books.  She smiled at her newest book-related memory, when she’d read in the park with Shunsui under a tree.  She made a note to pick up more crates from the division supplies and went to the closet, carefully depositing clothes into a bag.
 
“Nanao-chan!  Lovely, lovely Nanao-chan!  I haven’t seen you all afternoon.”
 
Nanao froze at Shunsui’s voice inside her quarters.  She hadn’t felt him approaching—he must have been moving at a very high speed shunpo.  Her eyes darted to him.  Panic ran through her, making her body hot and cold by turns.  He was so clever, so damnably clever.  What if he saw her packing and associated it with her meeting with the captain commander?  “I was just—that is—”
 
He glanced around the room, taking in the crate of books, the bag, the garment in Nanao’s hand and the expression on her face.  He stepped towards her until he could touch her cheek.  “Sweet Nanao-chan,” he murmured.
 
She swallowed hard.
 
Forgive me, Nanao-chan.”  Her heart jumped inside her chest, but his eyes were warm and soft on hers.   “I should have realized you’d want your things with you at the house.  We can have a few boys from the division pack up the rest and bring it over later.”
 
Nanao shook her head, nearly trembling with relief.  He didn’t know about her crimes; he assumed her nerves were about moving more of her things to his house.  She cleared her throat.  “No, don’t do that.  Not only is it inappropriate to use division members for such personal tasks, as I have reminded you many times, but I would also prefer to handle my possessions myself.”
 
 “Then let me help you.”  He leaned past her to look with unabashed interest at the open chest containing her undergarments.
 
“Absolutely not,” she snapped.  “I want to make some progress this afternoon.”
 
Shunsui grinned widely at that.  “Do I distract you, Nanao-chan?” he asked in her ear.  His silky lips pressed against the curve of her jaw, the column of her neck.
 
“Stop that, we’re at the division.  And you know that you spend at least half of your waking hours trying to distract me deliberately.”
 
“Hmm.  But what I want to know is: am I succeeding?”  He lifted his head from her neck to smile at her.
 
She huffed and he smiled wider.  “If you wanted to help, there is something you can do.”
 
“Anything for my Nanao-chan.”
 
“There’s some paperwork.”
 
“Perhaps something else for my Nanao-chan?”
 
She pushed him away and tugged the form from the captain commander out of her uniform.  “Here is the form.  Please take it to the office and leave it on my desk when you’re done, so I can also stamp it.  This is probably the only time I will ever say this to you, but if you could avoid being completely clear or thorough in your answers, I would appreciate that.”
 
Shunsui took the form from her outstretched hand at her last words.  “What in the world would make those words come from my Nanao-chan’s mouth?  Application for Special Dispensation of Anti-fraternization Regulations?  This is—Nanao-chan, these questions are fantastic.  Can you imagine them in Yama-jii’s voice?  It gives me shivers just thinking about it.”
 
Nanao glowered at him.  “Be vague in your answers.  Use language as flowery or metaphorical as you desire.  And do not, under any circumstances, expand your answers onto another sheet of paper.”
 
“But I want Yama-jii to understand the beauty and depth of our love, Nanao-chan.”  His eyes nearly glowed with enjoyment and mischief.
 
“He doesn’t want to hear about something like that,” she snapped.  “Just answer the questions as barely as possible.”
 
“But a question like ‘When did you begin your inappropriate fraternization?’ has so many possible answers, Nanao-chan.”
 
“It does not.  Last Monday is the correct answer.”  She turned back to the closet to shift clothes into her bag.
 
“Was that really when it started for you, Nanao-chan?”  His voice dipped low and reverberated in her belly.
 
She swallowed hard, but kept her back to him and her hands busy with her clothes.  His arms slipped around her waist, pulling her gently against his front.
 
“Make sure you check the form over before you stamp it, lovely Nanao-chan.  The information we give Yama-jii should be as accurate as possible, after all,” he murmured next to her ear.
 
Her head tipped in the barest of nods.  She felt the shadow of a kiss on her cheek, and then he was gone.
 
She spent another hour and a half packing up her quarters, making trips to the supply room for crates and stacking the full ones in neat piles.  She imagined Shunsui filling out that invasive form, drawing little hearts and flowers around his answers, and it made her smile.  It would have been very difficult for Nanao to complete that form, with its incredibly personal questions, but he would have no problems with it.  He might even enjoy it.
 
The office was empty when she entered.  Considering that Shunsui’s meeting with Yamamoto had been in the morning, she thought the chances were very good that he was now napping under a tree.
 
The completed request form sat in the center of her desk.  She approached it cautiously.  He could have written anything, really—hadn’t he composed an entire series of poems on her glasses, and another on her thighs?  She’d hit him very hard with The Unabridged Encyclopedia of Kidō Incantations for the latter.  There were no hearts or flowers on the form, which was a surprise.
 
She lifted the paper as if it might turn into a dangerous explosive, but after several seconds of reading she sat heavily in her chair, pressing the page to her chest.  Her eyes stung and she took deep breaths.
 
What is the nature of your fraternization?
 
-Love.
 
What long-term plans, if any, do you have for your fraternization?
 
-I intend to love Nanao as much and as closely as she will allow, for the rest of our time in Soul Society.
 
She’d been monstrously unfair to him.  Had she spared any thoughts for what he might feel if she was exiled or worse?  She’d wondered what he would think of her after he knew about her crimes, if he would be disappointed, or angry, or betrayed, but had she thought at all of what he might feel in her absence if his love was genuine?
 
The urge to confess her crimes rose up so strongly she could feel the words climbing her throat.  She pushed them down.  Even if she wanted to confess to him, she couldn’t.  Hadn’t Sasakibe laid it out clearly?  If Shunsui knew about the judgment that would come down on her head, he might try to stop the flow of events.  Others might help him, and it could become a war between shinigami, the way the Rukia Kuchiki matter very nearly had.
 
No, she couldn’t tell him.
 
But perhaps after he knew, after the judgment, if she wasn’t exiled or dead, if he still wanted—if she could have—they could have—
 
She shook her head.  Speculation like that was not only pointless, it was painful.  It was impossible to predict the extent of the punishment she might receive, and to predict how Shunsui would react, and what might be between them at that time.  She could only think about the rest of the time she knew she had with him.  Perhaps there was a week at most?  There was so much she wanted to experience with him before it was over.
 
She flattened the paper on the desk, running her hand over the characters.  Her stamp hovered over the page for a moment.  It trembled very slightly in her hand.  She brought it down on the page, leaving a crisp imprint of her approval.

On to Chapter 27.

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
darkmystcompel
Sep. 12th, 2011 07:53 am (UTC)
Typical that she'd believe his words only on an official document rather than when spoken!

And what a lucky (?) misunderstanding over Nanao's packing.

Yama-jii! So rude. Really doesn't trust or respect people, does he?
r_dahlia
Sep. 13th, 2011 01:08 am (UTC)
I think you'd mentioned in a comment many chapters ago that Nanao didn't seem to think about what Shunsui would feel if she was exiled--and it's true, because it wouldn't occur to her to think about that until she really begins to believe that he loves her.

The misunderstanding about the packing--lucky for Nanao at the time, but how unfortunate it is overall--Shunsui think she's nervous about moving in with him, and she's nervous he'll realize she's losing her position.

Yama-jii is an awkward person to write. I feel like he doesn't have large reserves of patience, and that he probably does a huge amount of work to keep the Gotei 13 working smoothly. I've also read interesting speculation that suggests that he was made more rigid and rule-enforcing by the incident with the Vizard one hundred years ago, and that would make sense--to be "betrayed" by a large number of trusted captains and vice captains could have had an impact on his trust in his own judgment and possibly increased the interference of Central 46 in Gotei 13 business.

I think that living as long as he has probably has an effect on his personality; it's not that he dislikes Nanao--I think he was honest in the fight where he told her he didn't have the patience to teach her to breathe--that is, she is not someone of particular interest to him at that time, and he doesn't want to deal with her. I also think he asks about her relationship with Shunsui in this chapter out of his affection for Shunsui rather than any actual need to have Nanao fill out a form.

I don't know, I'm curious if people will think he's OOC at various points in this story. Truly we don't see enough of him to have any idea what he's like personally, except in a few omakes he appears in for humorous moments, because we almost always see him acting as a leader and in an official capacity enforcing the law.

Wow, I really rambled about Yama-jii for a while here. ^_^;
akai_miko
Sep. 12th, 2011 01:06 pm (UTC)

Action is starting to get thick...I hope you won't kill or exile Nanao. It would be really disappointing. Also I'm quite waiting for this so called 'experience' xd she still has one week, one week it's quite long time :P

r_dahlia
Sep. 13th, 2011 01:15 am (UTC)
Well, there has to be some suspense to the storyline, or the plot wouldn't be interesting, right? ^_^; I won't kill Nanao. It's a romance, not an angst. I would be so sad if I read a 140k word story advertised as a romance and it ended with the death of one of the members of the couple, so I wouldn't write that.

Nanao will have several more experiences before the story ends! Unfortunately this last third of the story is the part that needs the most editing and pruning, so there's still a lot of work before it's done! ;D
akai_miko
Sep. 13th, 2011 01:14 pm (UTC)
Yes :D Uff. Thank you. It would be so sad :( Thank you again <3

Wee~~ I can imagine that *cough cough* Don't rush it :D Take our time we will wait patiently :P
Btw have I told you that I love your story already? better, how many times I have already told you that xd
r_dahlia
Sep. 14th, 2011 12:20 am (UTC)
Thanks! It's always nice to hear that people enjoy this story. ^_^
meroko26
Sep. 13th, 2011 05:22 pm (UTC)
I'm loving this. Please don't kill Nanao. I read another story that did and it was SO sad. I like your userpic higher up. Is that from a doujin? If so which one? Also in what of your chaps gotta applaud you for addressing a thought that I've always had about Shun. He sits around all day drinking yet has a sixpack!? :) Can't wait for more!
r_dahlia
Sep. 14th, 2011 12:27 am (UTC)
Thanks! I won't kill Nanao in a romance story, that would be unfair.

I'm not sure which userpic you mean, but the one of Shunsui at the top of this post is from the Colorful Bleach book, which you can find scans of online/get at bookstores, the icon itself is made by draiol; the Nanao icon that's my default is from a fanart, but I don't know what fanart--the icon is made by crescent_fall at icon_fall, so you may be able to find the post there with more information. The icon of Shunsui in a frame is made by stharridan at shoujo_s. The icon of Shunsui with a heart is also made by draiol.

There are many unanswered questions about the shinigami, among them, how are they all in great shape, except Omaeda? Especially Shunsui. :P

Edited at 2011-09-14 12:28 am (UTC)
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