Chapter 5: The Decision
Characters: Urahara/Yoruichi, with a fair amount of Shibas, Soifon ( and slight implied Yoru/Soi ), Mayuri, and Shinji.
Genre: Drama, with a dash of mystery
Warnings: Spoilers, some language, and there will eventually be bloodiness.
Summary: There are reasons why the relationship between Urahara and Yoruichi is... strained.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, except for a few minor ocs and my own bizarre interpretations of the plot.
A/N: Maybe I'll change my update day to Monday...? Ah, it probably doesn't matter anyway; I'm terrible at sticking to a day.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
– Robert Frost
5. The Decision
The sun set out beyond the river. Light faded in every quadrant of Soul Society; the road to the east was dwindling into the darkness; the badlands to the north were as deathly still as ever; the desert in the south hummed with the skeletal nighttime insects that buzzed ominously among the sands. People in Rukongai checked their doors three times before finally succumbing to sleep; there was a feeling in the air that something was not quite right here. The two children who had just come back from their strange mission in the world of the living scrambled through the senkaimon gate into East Rukongai; the boy was so beside himself with tiredness that the only reason he kept going was for fear of his sister ahead of him and the shadows that closed in behind. The night was dark with intentions, and all those with even the faintest inkling of reiatsu felt
uneasy. Somewhere, three people were sitting in a circle, two men with blond hair and a young woman with glasses. Yes, there were only three of them. But not for long.
Inside the Seireitei, it was different, as it always was. Perhaps it was due to the sekki-seki that its high gates were fashioned out of, but Soul Society’s forbidden city was always as still and calm as the eye of a storm. A light breeze scented the night air, and a few maple leaves fluttered down into a broad parkway. A couple of the Squads from Eleventh were engaged in a street fight, but even this sound did not carry very far without melting into the background.
The other Divisions had closed up for the night. Fifth’s investigations were over for the day; even the taichou Aizen, who as of yet had no inkling of the importance of the Hougyoku his Division had been assigned to find, was settling down to sleep. Even if the night was calm, it was somehow not a night for people other than the brazen Eleventh to be out; somewhere beneath its tranquil lullaby, it was hiding razor-sharp teeth.
Even Twelfth, perhaps the most strangely industrious of all, was done for the day. The
third and fourth seats left together, looking strangely drawn but still forcing a laugh and promising to get together in an hour for a drink. Kurotsuchi Mayuri left last of all, locking up all his private rooms as he went. He was smiling, and he looked strangely handsome under the blue-white lights of Twelfth.
Many years later, Mayuri would undergo so many bizarre modifications as to become entirely unrecognizable, but in this frozen moment, he was one of the more attractive officers in Soul Society. His eyes were still brown at this point, his hair so dark as to be almost blue. As he locked up the doors, he stopped at one for a long time, speaking to it strange words. An hour or so later, a fly landed on the door; with a small popping noise, it exploded.
In the dormitories of Second, things were quieter still. The fukutaichou, Soifon, usually the last one up, had fallen asleep early that night. She was much envied by the other officers in Second and the Force, because so personal was her connection with the taichou that their rooms were adjacent, separated only by a small screen. A cup of white tea, her favorite, sat on the floor next to her bed. The taichou had made it for her; as much as she appreciated the gift, she had only been able to take a few sips before she was overcome with an uncanny tiredness. Just over a minute after taking the first sip, she was so deeply asleep that the sound of Yoruichi moving around in the room next door failed to register even in her deepest dreams.
For her part, Yoruichi had reached a decision. She took a final guilty glance at the unconscious form of Soifon– she didn’t know just how final it was– and slid open her window. To distract herself from what she was intending to do, she thought, Isn’t this silly? I’m sneaking out just like a guilty teenager.
She told herself that she was not, absolutely not, going to rescue Kisuke. She was simply going to see how he was, that was all. He had already gotten her in serious trouble with Yamamoto once; she had no desire to get herself in any more trouble for his sake.
The previous incidence had been relatively minor, too; the two of them had broken into
First’s most secret private library and stolen a book of dark kidou from the early days of Soul Society. Yamamoto himself had caught them at it, and despite their protests that they hadn’t actually memorized any of the spells ( Yoruichi suspected this to be a lie, as she had later seen Kisuke scribbling something down on little scraps of paper he refused to show to anyone ), he had them both thrown in jail for three months.
The point was, she didn’t want to repeat the experience, and if she actually helped Kisuke escape... She didn’t want to live the rest of her life with a price on her head. Even if the they got out of Soul Society alive, they would surely be exiled forever, possibly even hunted down.
No, all things considered, she wanted to avoid that if at all possible.
Still, she had to check. That little flickering fish of doubt that went rippling through the back of her mind demanded it; it whispered to her, You’re not gonna like what you see, Yoruichi.
She shook her head, trying to dislodge the thought, trying to convince herself that all was still normal. Leaping shadow-like through the trees, she flew through the night, not knowing just what awaited her.