Although I was new to the squad, I got a warm welcome. I had yet to meet the captain, but the lieutenant seemed eager to greet me or more like she just wanted an excuse to drink. Rangeku Matsumoto was at the head of the table, with me to her right. The rest of the squad seemed used to her drinking while I, being the new member, was still unsure of how to act with a normal drunk, let alone my superior. After the festivities and helping people who had had far too much to drink, including the lieutenant, back to their rooms, I made it to my freshly furnished room. There was not much to look at except a few gadgets I had been working on. Some in the academy said I should have been assigned to the twelfth squad, but I admired captain Hitsugaya more than any other captain, and leapt at the chance to work as his subordinate. Pulling over the covers I tried to memorize the names and faces of all I had met tonight with little success. I was assigned to this squad because of my Zanpakto, who has a fire coated Shikai form. Having made it I just need time to adjust to my new position.
The next morning I was awoken by a call from the captain:
“training time!” he yelled.
I smiled a rye smile to myself. He had planned the training session for today, posting the notice later last night, as people wouldn’t check before the welcome party. Luckily, I wasn’t affected too badly by the drink, either last night or this morning. I could only imagine how the lieutenant was faring this morning. Climbing out of bed with a minor headache, the only downfall from last night, I dressed ready for practice. I made my way to the training grounds. Being slightly late I slipped into the lineup as quietly as possible just in time to see the captain enter through the main gate. Toshiro Hitsugaya, silver hair glinting in the sun, crossed the grounds and called out:
“Juntaro Akiyama. You will be sparring with me today. The rest of you will be with Rangeku today.”
His motives were clear he needed to know my skills to best use me in combat. But to think that I would get to fight him right after joining… I thought he wouldn’t do the deed personally. I bowed out of the line and followed the captain in a manner that suited one of my rank. When we reached the captains choice area he said:
“I’m sure you know why I took you aside today I want to see how you fight. I will go easy on you though,” he turned to face me, his eyes became colder, a light blue like ice. I nodded, and then bowed into the ring.
After an exhausting battle, I conceded to the captain and collapsed panting, while he was left with only slightly heavier breathing than normal.
“Very good at defending, aren’t you? I barely landed a hit.” He looked down and offered me a hand up which I gratefully accepted.
“Thank-you captain,” I panted. I had just been complemented by my most idolised superior.
“Obviously you can’t show me now, but I hear you can release an impressive fire based Shikai... Could you show me next training session?”
“Of course captain,.” I snapped to a shaky attention. I had lost so much energy I could barely stand.
“Here,” he said, holding out some bread.
“It is nearly lunch but this should help re-energise you enough to get there.”
“Thank-you captain,” I replied, in the most stable voice I could muster. Over lunch multiple squad members questioned me over the match, the most common ones where how many bruises I had and if he broke any of my bones. Which when I told them I only had two bruises, then insisted on me showing them my arms, apparently one of the more bruised areas, which only had one of my two. The other was on the back of my head from when he got carried away. I had defended the blow but hadn’t stopped it entirely, leaving the bruise. I suspect he was really holding back and I got lucky enough to defend it even partially when he tried ramping up past my abilities. All in all I am lucky to be alive.