Merry Christmas

“Mai. Mai! MAI!”

“Whu...?” Mai rolled her head on her pillow and looked straight into the face of her disaster twin, Akiko... who was way too close. She jumped up suddenly and put the wall behind herself with a startled “what the he-” The curse word was suddenly cut off then the brunette slumped against the wall and groaned.

“Mai? What happened?” Akiko put a hand on her friend’s back when she fell forward and curled up. “Are you okay?”

“Low blood pressure,” came the muffled response from somewhere within the human ball.

“Oh.” Akiko grabbed Mai’s shoulders and flipped her over, then hopped up on the bed and began to jump around. “Do you know what day is it today?”

“Uh, Sunday?” Mai asked, staring blankly at the ceiling and not bothering to move her limbs out of the way, which had flown outwards when she’d been flipped.

Akiko puffed out her cheeks and stopped jumping, flipping into a sitting position with the feet dangling off the side of the bed. “Well yeah, that, too.” Her tone turned hyper again. “But Mai! Today’s Christmas!”

“Really?” Mai demanded, jumping up.

“There’s so much to do!” Akiko said fretfully, at the door in a second. She turned when she didn’t feel a presence behind her. “Mai, are you com-oh.” She stared down at the girl who seemed to be making friends with the floorboards. “Low blood pressure again?”

“Just gimme a minute,” Mai replied.

Akiko waited all of five seconds before hauling her up by her collar and dragging her out the door. “I’m impatient!” she explained.

“Kik!” Mai cried suddenly, struggling to stand while being quickly pulled away. “Clothes!”

Akiko look down at herself, finding nothing wrong with her shinigami robes. Did she expect them to be red and green today or something?

“I don’t see what you-”

My clothes,” Mai hissed, wrapping the shitagi tighter around herself and checking for people.

“Oh.” Akiko took in her friend’s appearance. “...OH.” She quickly shoved the other girl back into her room. Mai was still covered, but... it wasn’t exactly the longest of robes. The slid close with a barely audible clack.

“What are you doing?” a voice asked from being Akiko. The girl spun around to face her captain.


“Why are the two of you making such a racket first thing in the morning?” Captain Hitsugaya demanded in a tone that suggested that he was already getting a headache.

“Oh! Um...” Akiko thought for a moment. Her face brightening suddenly, she said, “Mai found a mouse in her room! And she’s trying to catch it, right now.”

“A mouse?” he asked doubtfully.


“Akiko! I can’t find the-”

“The mousetraps? Do you think you’ll need some?”

“The what?” Mai asked, bewildered. Akiko prayed that she’d tune into the telepathic frequency on which she was screaming at her to play along. Captain was looking quite dubious.

“For the mouse?” Akiko called.

There was a pause, then some scuffling and cussing. Finally, Mai called through the door, “no, never mind, I got it!” There was the sound of footsteps approaching the door, but the door remained closed. “Anyone else in the hallway? I’m not totally dressed,” Mai explained.

Before Akiko could answer, Captain said irately, “good morning, Mai.”

Mai opened the door and hid behind it, only exposed her head, neck, right shoulder and arm. In her hand she held what seemed to be a mouse but upon closer inspection, one would find it to be a jumble of cord used to tie up hair, with a single pin one hanging out, as though it were a tail.

“Good morning, Captain,” she replied, retreating further behind her door. She was wearing her shitagi still, as well as the white obi sash and black hakama. “Morning rounds?”

“Captain, quit peeking in on girls when they’re getting dressed!” Akiko chastised, “It’s indecent!”

“I wasn’t...” Captain Hitsugaya began, and then blushed a little. He turned on his heel and left, calling over his shoulder, “let that mouse out somewhere where it won’t return and please keep it down.” Then he disappeared around the corner.

“Whew, I thought he’d never leave,” Mai said, opening the door fully and standing akimbo. She was totally covered, to be honest. She extracted a cord from the jumble and tied up her hair, then slipped into her kosode and waragi. “Nice quick thinking, twinnie.”

“We need food!” Akiko exclaimed, never one to remain on the same subject for long when she was occupied with something else. “Oh, thanks,” she added, in response to the compliment.

“We need someone to cook the food,” Mai added, bending down to tie the sandals. She stood and grabbed her katana and tied it to her obi sash. “Where are we going to get the food, who is going to cook to food, where will we gather, who will we invite, and we need to put up decorations, too...” She trailed off, staring blankly at the wall in front of her. Akiko looked a little shocked. Mai turned and closed the door to her room, carefully sliding a stack of books out of the way with her toe. She winced when the stack fell over.

“Well, we should start with invitations, but what if we can’t get food? Or we could start with food, but what if no one comes?”

“Let’s see about food, first,” Mai suggested.

“Kay,” Akiko affirmed, trotting after the brunette. “Who do you have in mind?”

“Captain Unohana?” Mai replied, setting a determined pace.

“Captain Mom?” Akiko asked. Mai stopped, causing the other girl to run into her.


“Captain Mom?” Akiko repeated. Mai grinned.

“That’s kind of funny.”

Around them, squad ten was waking up. Mai’s underlings were busily getting ready for their day, and in the next section of the barracks, Akiko’s subordinates were coming to, stretching, and getting dressed. Beyond that, the sixth seat was opening the door to her room and stepping out into the hallway, where she’d wait for her underlings to file out. Feeling bright blue eyes catch sight of her retreating form, Mai found that moment to be an appropriate time to shunpo away, a thought clearly shared with the slightly shorter blond by her side. Being a more responsible person, the sixth seat was likely to stop them and ask them what they were plotting, and they didn’t have the time for that this particular morning.