In a park somewhere in Seireitei, two silhouettes could be seen, where one was talking animatedly and the other listening on while nodding occasionally. The sun was drowning over the horizon as it carpeted the figures, elongating their shadows. As the day was nearing its end, there was no one but the two in the park but that changed when two more figures arrived,
"…and that was how Yuroe got suspended yesterday" Rangiku stifled a laughter as a scream was heard behind her.
"Rangiku-san!!!" Yuroe was their blushing hard as she looked unbelievingly at her friend's betrayal. She was carrying a basket presumably filled with food.
"You said you won't tell Itsuki and Gin"
"Well, they could've found out if they wanted to and Gin isn't here so, technically, I haven't told them, only Itsuki" rationalised Rangiku as she looked back at Yuroe.
Everyone laughed at her while Itsuki just smiled
"Ma, ma. Who would've expected the most sensible student to get suspended" laughed Ketaro as he sat beside them.
"If it wasn't because of me covering for you, how else would I have gotten suspended" Yuroe retorted. As Yuroe spent more time with them, she slowly started to come out of her shell. She held more confidence, no longer as timid as before. With this confidence her talents also came out. She was taking the graduation exam this year and would be the second to pass it in two years.
Itsuki realised that this was another butterfly effect, he changed the way Rangiku interacted with others as in the original, she only had Gin as her friend. Maybe his presence changed the small interactions she had with her classmates, but he didn't know. Not much was known of their time in the academy. There was a chance that in the original, Yuroe's talents never shone due to her timidly personality. All that, though, never mattered. What mattered was that right now they were his friends.
"So Yuroe, what division are you thinking of joining?" Rangiku suddenly said as she bought Itsuki out his thoughts.
"4th division" Yuroe gave a smug smile as she replied. Yuroe was quite confident with her choice and she had her reasons. She had shown exceptional talent in healing and had already been given the olive branch from the 4th division.
A tick appeared on Rangiku's forehead as she looked at Yuroe's smug face. Suddenly shooting up, she grabbed Yuroe in a headlock and clenched her other hand's fist as she started poking her head.
"Hoo, feeling quite smug, huh?"
Looking at Rangiku's evil face, both Itsuki and Ketaro tacitly moved back.
"Uwawawa, it hurts, Rangiku-san"
After punishing her Rangiku sat back down still fuming. Secretly, inside, she was happy for her friend although the smug face did tick her off. Everyone there did know that but chose to stay quite as a small smile was plastered on their lips.
Suddenly a loud growl was heard as Ketaro started laughing.
"It seems I can take it any longer. Yuroe, quickly, bring out the food"
Yuroe brought food out of her basket as they went on to dinner. Time flew by while they were laughing and eating. In the middle of their meal, a voice rung out
"It seems Gin is not coming"
This instantly turned their jovial atmosphere into a depressing one. Rangiku stopped talking and Yuroe looked down, you couldn't see her expression. Although Ketaro was the one who brought it up he also stopped talking. Gin had become the third seat of the 5th division and he hasn't met his friends ever since he left the academy. Itsuki knew why but he wouldn't tell them, so he also kept quiet.
They quietly finished their dinner and went their separate ways. Ketaro and Yuroe had left ahead meanwhile Itsuki walked Rangiku back to her dorm. It was a silent walk back as Itsuki never spoke and Rangiku wasn't in the mood. Their shoulders were touching, and a hesitant look was plastered on Rangiku's face. It seemed that she wanted to say something but didn't know how to say it. As Itsuki dropped her off, he suddenly called out,
"It will be fine, trust me"
Rangiku looked back and gave off a smile. Not her usual cheerful one, but one with relief. Itsuki saw her off and returned to training, he wanted to achieve Bankai as soon as possible.
- The next day -
Itsuki was currently in his office going over the happenings of the year. Looking through the reports, he found out that no changes had happened in the nest of maggots and there had been a drastic decrease in the attempts to escape prison. Many plans were destroyed before they even started.
Plans were strictly confidential where one person didn't know something out of their jurisdiction. For example, a lookout would only know of the place he is surveying and that outside of the areas should be another one. Each lookout had different areas and different shifts. There was never a constant shift. There could be lookout 1 who just started while the second lookout could only be halfway through his shift. The time for an individual's lookout varied as well, one time it could small while others it could be big.
Only Itsuki had the whole routine and plan thoroughly known, not even Yoruichi. Even for her, it would take a considerable amount of time to get some understanding of how the lookouts of the prisons worked.
It would have been a normal day, if not for someone currently standing in front of him. It was a member of the Inner court troop. These members were only mobilised to transport information, when there was an urgent mission or a mission that had to be done in secrecy. He wore a red kimono over his uniform with a bamboo hat and was carrying a backpack.
"I carry orders from the captain"
Saying this he handed Itsuki a scroll before leaving the room.
Looking through the scroll Itsuki memorised its contents and grabbed his zanpakutos as he left towards the meeting point.
The meeting point was on top of a cliff and Yoruichi was already there. Flanking her was two of her personal guard alongside Soi Fon and another man. It was a rather large man that wore the standard Shinigami uniform while also having a purple collar. He had curly brown hair and a face that screamed yakuza. Noticing the lieutenant arm band, Itsuki realised that it was the current 2nd division lieutenant. Itsuki hadn't met him since his promotion and he finally met him. He was also the corps commander of patrol corps.