“Rangiku, please, leave it alone,” Hisagi sighed, as he, Matsumoto, Kira and Katrina were spending their night hanging out at their usual tavern.
“But imagine the money that one picture....one scandalous picture can bring!” Matsumoto argued, already tipsy from the Sake.
“They won’t let you inside 12th Company’s Barracks,” Kira said. “They know you’re the paparazzi of Soul Society. Everyone does.”
“Well, then if I can’t go in, then perhaps I can ask...” she stopped as she turned to Katrina, the latter of whom was looking at the tea leaves at the bottom of her cup. “Katrina-chan.”
“Wha...wha?” Katrina exclaimed, knocking over her teacup. “What now?”
“Oh come on,” Matsumoto smiled. “You’ve been in there before, and you’ve spoken to that girl..Mimsy? Mimoo?”
“Mimura,” Katrina corrected. “Yuri Mimura.”
“Okay, so all you need to do is just take one picture of her and Captain Kurotsuchi together. Oh don’t worry, I’ll give you a portion of the revenue.”
Katrina’s face reddened. “I...don’t....”
“Izuru-kun,” Matsumoto said, switching targets. “I know you’ve sometimes had to go to Akon for reports and I’ve seen you take Katrina there last time...”
“Uh..” Kira replied hesitantly, “I don’t think that this is a good idea. And besides to which, I’m not going to have you involve Kat in your schemes.”
“Pssh”, Matsumoto dismissed. “Katrina, how about I get you sushi for lunch for a week and that limited edition Prince of Darkness photo book?”
“Oh no,” Hisagi and Kira said simultaneously. Both knew how easily Katrina could be bribed.
“Kat, I can get you both easily,” Kira said quickly, hoping to dissuade her from even considering.
“Sushi and that photo book?” Katrina asked, feeling giddy at the prospect. “I guess...”
“No,” Kira said over Katrina’s soft voice, but was a second too late.
“Good!” Matsumoto clapped, before getting her camera out from her cleavage, causing both Hisagi and Kira to fall backwards to the floor, Hisagi with a nosebleed and Kira blue with shock. “Here you go, Katrina. Just one picture, okay? Shouldn’t be hard once you get in there.”
Katrina nodded, forgetting completely that the one and only time she was in 12th Company’s barracks with Kira, Captain Kurotsuchi scared her to death by following her around and trying to lure her into being one of his test subjects.
“Kat,” Kira said as he got back up from the ground. “You’re not going to do this.”
Katrina turned to him with twinkling eyes, “Prince of Darkness limited edition photo book for just one picture. That’s doable!”
Kira dropped his head onto the table with a loud thud. He would have to go with her to provide the alibi and make sure Katrina didn’t get stuck in 12th Company as their test subject.
Hisagi sighed. Matsumoto had that gregarious one tracked mind and now she knew how to get Katrina to be her lackey.
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“Are you sure you’re still wanting to do this, Kat?” Kira asked her as they walked over toward 12th Company’s Barracks. Katrina had Matsumoto’s camera hidden in her sleeve.
She nodded. “I don’t make nearly as much as an Assistant Captain and well... I would love to have that photo book.”
“But I’m an Assistant Captain,” Kira frowned. “I can get you that photo book, the sushi...and more,” he added with a sly grin.
“No, but you’re still hurting from that auction,” she argued, referring to the Shinigami Women’s Association fundraiser auction where Kira had to spend more than he made in a month to make sure no one else got a date with Katrina.
“True, but I don’t like this,” Kira said.
“I’ll be fine,” she said. “Just picture of Mimura and Kurotsuchi and that’s it.”
A dark cloud formed in Kira’s mind. No good will come from this, but there was no dissuading Katrina when lured with anything about that damned music group. “If you get caught, make sure you try to get behind me or straight out the door. Whichever is closest.”
Kira led Katrina inside and went over to Akon, making up some need for a report, like the previous time. From the corner of his eye, he saw Katrina wander around, eventually heading toward where the 12th Company members had their barracks. He sighed.
Katrina walked carefully down the hallway, into unknown territory and possibly really, really deep trouble. But... that photo book.
She had the camera in her hand as she turned the corner, where she stopped and gasped, seeing Captain Kurotsuchi holding Yuri in his arms, talking quietly with each other.
“Yes?” Kurotsuchi asked, as he saw Katrina standing there. His sharp eye saw the camera despite it being half hidden in her sleeve.
“I..I..was looking for...the bathroom,” Katrina stammered. “I um.. am very sorry,” she said, snapping a quick picture and bowed, before turning tail and running for her life, nearly tripping on the pant legs of her hakama several times, grabbing Kira as she shot out the door of the barracks, leaving a bewildered Akon with the half printed data report that Kira asked him for.
Katrina wouldn’t stop running until they were clear well away from 12th Company’s Barracks.
“Idiot girl,” Kurotsuchi sneered, as he let Yuri go. He already had a plan to enact retribution. Invasion of his privacy, indeed. “Mimura, I’ll need you to assist me with something,” he said, turning toward his office.
Yuri was still a bit dumbfounded as to what just happened. Even though she only met Katrina twice, this was definitely out of character for her. “Yes, Mayuri-san,” she said, following him into his office.
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Huffing and puffing while on the ground, Katrina finally was able to sit up and give Kira a thumbs up.
“Were you caught?” Kira asked, straightening out his shihakusho.
Katrina frowned and nodded slightly. “But I got the picture, so, let me give this to Matsumoto. She better keep her word.”
“Shuhei and I will make sure of that,” Kira said, taking her hand as they went over to 10th Company’s Barracks.
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The next morning Katrina woke up and stretched, stopping suddenly when she felt something furry touch her. “The heck?” She looked down and screamed. She was covered in fur and had a tail.
“Katrina!” Assistant Captain Kuchiki called out as she ran into Katrina’s barracks. “What... what happened to you?”
“I...I don’t know,” Katrina answered, looking at her oversized furry paws. “I just woke up and saw this... I don’t want anyone to see me like this!”
“Let me go talk to Captain Ukitake, okay?” Kuchiki said. “Just stay here.”
‘Like I’m going anywhere,’ Katrina thought to herself. She ran over to where a mirror was hanging on the wall to look at herself and immediately passed out. She had been turned into an anthropomorphic cat with tiger stripes
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Katrina regained consciousness, still in her barracks and still...furry. Unfortunately she was not alone. Kira had came in and sat next to her on her bed until she woke up. “Don’t look at me while I’m like this,” she whined, as she tried to pull the blankets over her head, unsuccessful with the large paws she had.
“Why don’t you open your eyes, Kat,” Kira sighed.
When she did, she saw that Kira had been turned into an anthropomorphic beagle, two floppy ears now covering the sides of his head. “I supposed you’ll be compelled to chase me up a tree now?”
Kira smiled. “Not really, maybe something else though.”
“Uh huh,” she sighed. “This is obviously Captain Kurotsuchi’s revenge for yesterday.
“If it is, we got off pretty lightly. Knowing his reputation, we are lucky to still have all of our limbs.”
“I wonder if it’s just us,” Katrina said, sitting up. “I don’t think he would’ve known that Rangiku pretty much put me up to this.”
“Don’t know. Haven’t seen her today, but you’ve gotta stop falling for these things. You’re going to be used by people this way. I don’t want to see that happen again.”
“You’re right, Izuru, I just...well, yeah.”
They turned toward the door to Katrina’s barracks when they heard Matsumoto sobbing, but instead of seeing her, they saw Hisagi carrying a large chicken. A chicken with blonde hair and a pink scarf.
“This is terrible!, Terrible!” Matsumoto cried, as she flapped her wings, making it harder for Hisagi to hold her.
“Calm down, Rangiku,” Hisagi said, gritting his teeth as he struggled with her.
Kira and Katrina stared at them then turned and looked at each other. Yeah, they got off lightly.
Captain Ukitake came into the room behind Hisagi, his usual smile on his face. “I spoke with Captain Kurotsuchi. These changes will last only a day, except for you, Rangiku. Because everyone knows you and your penchant for taking paparazzi photos, you’ll be stuck in this form for a week.”
“What??” she exclaimed, clucking and waving her wings even more, forcing Hisagi to drop her. “I... I can’t... Captain Hitsugaya needs me!”
“Matsumoto,” Hitsugaya said, as he stepped around Ukitake. “It’s not like you did work anyway.”
Matsumoto stumbled around, still flapping her wings and causing feathers to fly everywhere.
Katrina sighed, looking at her big furry paw hands. She was unconsciously waving her tail, hitting Kira on the back of his head several times
Ukitake and Hitsugaya left, leaving Kira, Katrina, Matsumoto and Hisagi alone in Katrina’s barracks.
“Well,” Hisagi sighed. “I hate to say this Rangiku, but you kinda deserved it.
Matsumoto paced around, scattering even more feathers around when the sound and sight of a camera flash caught them off guard.
Katrina and Kira looked toward the doorway and saw Yuri with a camera. She giggled a bit, waved at Katrina before running away.
“Should I run after her?” Hisagi asked, rubbing the back of his head.
Katrina sighed. “No. We did deserve that. As much as I hate the attention and possible ridicule, it was my fault for being suckered into your plan, Rangiku. So, I guess we’ll just see what happens later.”
Kira smiled and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. His large paws covered her chest easily.
“Hey!” Katrina pouted. “No groping!”
“I’m not groping you if you’re not smacking me in the back of the head with your tail.”
“I don’t know how to work that thing!” Katrina exclaimed. “It’s moving on its own. What’s your excuse?”
Hisagi sighed again. Perhaps it was a bad idea to let Ukitake talk him into bringing Matsumoto over to Katrina’s Barracks. Seeing all three of his friends in animal-like states confused and amused him. Even though he was the Editor of the Seireitei Bulletin, there was no way he was going to take advantage of his friends’ current states. But this was definitely a moment they wouldn’t forget.
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Katrina Lau (c) Tygerlander
Yuri Mimura (c) Matutolypea
Bleach (c) Tite Kubo
100 Theme Challenge 49. Stripes