|May. 22nd, 2006 @ 09:48 pm Site Unseen (Bleach/XXXholic, drabble)|
~ A Bleach/XXXholic Crossover ~
Note: Thanks to sache for being a great beta on this, and sophiap for egging me on. This is set in the "Butterfly's Web" universe, to be co-written with Sophia Prester, but serves as a stand alone drabble.
Ukitake has the luxury of appointing his own vice captain; it is why Kaien has had no successor.
There are tests for vice captain to make sure a captain doesn't chose someone incapable of performing the work, but first the captain must elect to let that person test for it. Without the captain's approval, the highest a shinigami can aspire is third seat – unless they disagree so fervently with the captain that they try to overtake him. It's a system of checks and balances, one Ukitake finds elegant and subtle. Both Kiyone and Sentaro have volunteered to take the test, but Ukitake will not approve of either candidate. He knows them better than they know themselves.
It only takes a trip to Tokyo to confirm what kind of character someone has. He has likely looking officers escort him to the city to shop at a store whose location he's not quite sure of. He claims to recall going to the nicest little niche store that looks like it's really a traditional Japanese house. They'll know the place by a fence with plenty of spirit power in it.
They meander for a while before Ukitake takes a turn down a certain street. He sees an empty lot, and proceeds to walk on, but with only one exception, all his candidates have suggested this might be the shop he's looking for.
And then he knows that this person is another who will not suit him.
Kaien was the only one who hadn't paused. Curious, Ukitake had asked if he could see. "There's nothing there but weeds, captain," Kaien snorted. "Maybe we should be getting you back."
The next day, Kaien received the armband of 13th's lieutenant.
Someday, Ukitake hopes he finds another man who won't see a quaint little shop, someone strong enough to work through problems on his own. Someone strong enough to make his own solutions, even if the problem doesn't have any.
Someone like Kaien.