Holla!...Here I am and ready for my punishment. Hel it really had been a long time since I updated...but HEY!: I didn't abonden it..!


kotetsu - those low japanese tables (god they ar so cool! I wish I had one!)

"Nani?!" - "What?!" or "Oh my god!"

Sugo Kyogo Tsumesho - a part of the 4th division, where Shinigami are treated a longer time span

Before anyone could protest in any kind of way, I decided to give Kaori the wink for our list.

"Then here are my conditions." Unohana nearly dropped out of her seat. I´m sure of it. „Kaori, give Ukitake-dono the list. - On it you will find a list everything we will need. Under it stands my monthly fee." I put one hand on Kaori´s shoulder. "You can chose, do you want Kaori as your permanent nurse or not. We are fine either way, but if you decline I´d like her to work at the Sugo Kyogo Tsumesho."

Unohana's stony face nearly cracked. I could see out of the corner of my eyes, that Kyoraku tried to surpress his smirk. Well, it didn't seem to me like actual trying and more like a boy who just saw the pink pattern of a girls panties in class.

"I think we should discuss this matter tomorrow.", said Kyoraku as he took a qick look at Ukitake. "Surely you are tired from your long trip." He smiled lightly. "I'm sure Yamada-kun would love to bring you to your temporary shelter."

Shelter. Shelter. Shelter. - That word swirled quite a while in my head. A shelter. I wasn't homeless! I had my own surgery and a roof over my head. It might be my surrogate mother's roof, but still: Shelter sounded in my ears to much like charity.

"Arigatou gozaimasu." Kaori and I bowed. Just as I wanted to straighten myself, something escaped Kaori's mouth. "Please take care of us!"

Startled I shot up and looked down at her. She didn't say that really, did she? You don't mention these sayings around patients! But instead of an angry tirade, laughder filled the room. Kyoraku laughed whole heartedly, showed even his teeth, while Ukitake chuckled lightly. It was a nice chuckle. It sounded warm, gentle...

Kaori looked up, confused and blushing.

"Have a good rest.", said Unohana finally, stepping forward to bow courtly. The conversaition had officially ended.

When we finally reached the room, where Kaori and I would be staying, and the shoji door was shut by Yamada with greatest care, I couldn't resist any longer and let myself fall down on the terribly soft futon.

Although Kaori did protest and pestered me in her timid kind of way to wash myself. I only managd to splash some water into my face, before I craweld only in my underwear under the fluffy blanket.

One of the perks of having an internship at a big and prominent hospital was the sleeping quality. The first two years, every intern is constantly tired, but in the middle of your third year sleep became more 'effective'. I could survive an 48 hour shift with only six hours of sleep, I even met a nurse who worked 36 hours straight, slept two hours and then worked for another 10 hours.

So thanks to that, I slept through the whole night, until the sun rose and shone faintly through the thin paper walls. Another perk: I didn't need much time to wake up. Once my eyes were open, they stayed open.

I raised my upper body from the futon and pushed the thick blancket away. The previous day came back to my mind, as I studied these foreign walls. Today it would begin...

Somehow everything seemed to be a bad idea again. What if Ukitake dies? No, when will Ukitake die? Would I be responsible? Do I want to be responsible?

Sighing I stood up and walked to the small bathroom. Suddenly everything came so ridiculous to me. I was doing exactly that, what I despised during my living times: An attempt to cure someone with 'alternative methods'. A knot formed itself inside my guts. Oh, how I hated this! There are meds that worked a thousand times faster than cabbage!

Angry I splashed water in my face. Alternative methods! In the name of all kami! What happened to me? What happened to the professional doctor I once was? I am prescribing teas and herbs I don't really know...trying 'alternative methods' on lost cases!

Confused I massaged my temples. I had to go through this. For my mother, for Kaori, for the experience. For the money! I know how that sounds. Like a complete corrupted doctor, but what should I do? The occupation 'doctor' isn't as romantic as everybody thinks... I have to live off something. There is no room for sentimentals...isn't it like that?

Frustrated I puffed my cheeks. It needed to stop. Right now! I had a job to do...but maybe I could wash my hair first.

Not soon after we got presentable, Yamada Hanataro came to pick us up. Ofcourse Kaori fluttered her eyelahes at him what made him stutter even more. Inwardly I sighed. I should have talked with her about boundaries. Naturally I could understand Kaori. Finallly she saw new faces, met men, who did not earn their money with criminal acttivities. She was beautifull, young and talented. But unfortunetly she had high 'standards'. Finding a suitable man was always difficult, even with low standards.

Yamada guided us through the divisions quartes, out of the building, through hundreds of nameless streets and alleyways. We crossed trainingfields, where other shinigami – men and women – trained their sword skilles and strange magic. It ws facinating. Their moves, their calls, the light, their energy. I couldn't believe my eyes as I saw how a young woman moved gracefully her arms, shouted one of her spells and a neat, purple lightning bolt shot out of her fingertips. What a strange world this Seiritei was...

I don't know how long we needed to reach the barracks of the Jusanbantai,

but as we arrived there, m heart beat increased. Was I nervous? Yes. Did I feel unconfortable? Yes. Was I afraid? It would be reasonable. All around me were strange Samurai – Reapers that wieled dangerous weapons nonchalantly around their faces.

But I kept a cool facade. It was like facing a huge tumor. When I was a resident at the hospital, an older man came in with stomich pains. At first everyone thought it might be his appendix, but as soon as we ordered an ultrasound it was clear as glass: It was a tumor the size of a tennisball around his intestine. Ofcourse I couldn't start screaming. I kept an emotionless face, said that I needed a counsel of the next senior physician and panicked later.

So when we passed the sandy training grounds and the barracks I ignored every stare, every whisper and kept my head straight until we reached the Taicho's office.

"Shitsureishimasu!" Yamada waited a moment, before he pushed the paper doors open.

The office was big. And when I mean big, it mean big! Every manager could only dream of this. Fine tatami mats instead of wood, like they were found in the hallways, covered the entire floor.

To my surprise there, in the middle of the room stood a western style desk loaded with documents and scrolls.

"Ohayou gozaimasu!" Yamada bowed to Ukitake and Kyoraku as they were standing beside the desk looking concerened. Where they talking about Ukitake's tuberculosis? Or something different?

"Ohayou, Hanataro-kun...", chirped Kyoraku. His face change instantly to a friendly and carefree expression. "As reliable as always."

"Arigatou gozaimasu." Bow. „Arigatou gozaimasu." Bow. "Arigatou gozaimasu." Bow. "Arigatou gozaimasu. You are too kind!" Yamda litteraly tippytoed backwards out of the room...stil bowing.

I inwardly sighed. This boy could be really exhausting.

"Ohayou to you, too, Sato-san, Kaori-chan." Kyoraku twinkled. I twitched. Couldn't anyone of this stupid Shinigami connect a doctor with his/her appropiate suffix?! "I hoped you rested well?!"

"Hai.", I answered shortly.

„Well...then we should discuss further matters..." Kyoraku winked us to a Kotatsu in one of the corners, which was already laid with a teapot with fresh brewed green tea.

As we set down, I finally studied Ukitake again. He looked pretty good for a tuberculosis patient at the end of stadium two. He might have been pale and undernourished, but his eyes were focused an clear. For an untrained eye, he might just seem a little sick.

„We discussed matters with Unohana-taicho and decided, that it won't be necessary to have Kaori-chan always around. She is definetly welcomed at Sugo Kyogo Tsumesho."

I nodded affirmative. Although I preferred having Kaori by my side, maybe some space would do me good. And I was sure I could borrow her back for one or two days a week.

"Your payment will be divided into three, so that you are able to pay for your supplies and-"

"One moment..." I raised my hand cautiously. "This is just my personal wage. You have to buy the supplies by yourself..."

Kyoraku's eyebrows went almost high enough to touch his hairline. "This is a lot of money, Sato-san. Even a more experienced-"

"Nani?!" Kaori shrieked and clapped her hands above her mouth. Ofcourse Kyoraku's eyes shifted instanty to her, so I could make my most outragous face. But as soon as that expression took over my face, it disappeared. Switched places with the professional docter's.

"Kyoraku-dono, you know to be doctor takes a lot of effort. And you might be right: I am not one of these doctor's who has seen everything. Bit I can assure you: I have seen enough. Enough to demand exact this sum." Kyoraku looked over to Ukitake. He just nodded. Did this man ever talk freely?

"Good...then, I'm sure Hanataro-kun will be delighted to accompany Kaori-chan to the Sugo Kyogo Tsumesho." Unsure Kaori shifted her gaze to me. She didn't expected to leave my side. Well, she never even once left more than one or two hours after I took her hin. I smiled reassuring to her and squeezed her hand gently. "Don't worry.", I whispered. Kaori smiled faintly back at me and rose from her seat. She bowed to Kyoraku and Ukitake and left. I could hear Yamada fumbling and stuttering, before he and Kaori walked down the corridor.

I sipped at my tea. It was already cold...how strange. "So...Where will I be staying?"

Well...'till next time...