The first one to notice something was strange was Chifuyu.
Being the vice-captain of the first division and having to help Takemichi settle in his new position of power, Chifuyu spent lots of time with Takemichi, they were really close, one would call them best friends .
So when, after one of Toman’s meetings, Takemichi disappeared, Chifuyu began to search for him, having all the intentions of scowling his new captain until he apologised for worrying him.
But he certainly wasn’t expecting this when he found Takemichi.
“-the best place to find masks is in Harakuju. I remember a good shop, we should visit it sometimes.” Takemichi was talking with another Toman member enthusiastically, his eyes shining brightly as he moved his hands in time with what he was saying.
The other party nodded and murmured a few words, but it was Takemichi who was talking most of the time, leading the conversation on his own almost one-sidedly.
Chifuyu got closer, his hands itching to hit the back of Takemichi’s head for leaving so suddenly, he found himself stopping dead in his tracks.
The person Takemichi was talking to wasn’t just a common member, no, it would be too easy, it was Haruchiyo Sanzu, the fifth division vice-captain, aka the worst division ever to become buddy-buddy with. Not that Takemichi knew any of that of course, he seemed rather content if that blinding smile was anything to go by.
Though Chifuyu counted as a win that Sanzu didn’t seem bothered by Takemichi’s presence, even if he hadn’t spoken a word since Chifuyu laid his eyes on them.
“Oh, you have a leaf in your hair!”
Chifuyu watched in horror as Takemichi took no problem in invading Sanzu’s space and grabbed the yellowish leaf that got stuck in his hair. Chifuyu had seen Sanzu maiming people for less.
But, surprisingly, Sanzu didn’t even flinch at the contact. He just stood there, waiting for Takemichi to finish discarding the leaf while staring at him without blinking.
Chifuyu couldn’t take it anymore.
“Takemichi!” Chifuyu flinched when Sanzu’s expressionless eyes landed on him and he focused on his captain instead. “What are you doing? There’s the captain's meeting!”
“Ah.” Takemichi smiled embarrassed and scratched his neck. “I forgot, I was talking with Sanzu-kun.”
Chifuyu didn’t like how Sanzu’s name dropped so easily from Takemichi’s lips. “Come on, Mikey will get angry with you if you’re late.”
Takemichi nodded at Chifuyu and turned towards Sanzu again. “So, 10 am tomorrow? The usual spot?”
Sanzu nodded, his eyes taking a gentle crease as he looked at Takemichi. Chifuyu absolutely hated it.
“Go, Hanagaki, we can’t have Mikey angry.” It was the most Sanzu had ever spoken during the entire conversation, but his voice was so cold Chifuyu felt a chill running down his spine.
Takemichi, bless his soul, was unaware of it and enthusiastically waved Sanzu goodbye.
Chifuyu grabbed Takemichi’s sleeve as they walked and looked incredulous at his friend.
“What was that?”
“What?” Takemichi tilted his head to the side, blinking his ocean eyes. “What are you talking about?”
Chifuyu really wanted to scream. “You-”
“Takemitchy… you’re late!” Mikey’s playful voice broke the two apart. Takemichi gave him a small apology and ran to join the other captains while Chifuyu stayed behind, watching his friend with worried eyes.
Takemichi really only attracted trouble.
Chifuyu had almost forgotten about Sanzu and Takemichi strange friendship when, two weeks later, while Chifuyu was out with Draken and the other captains and vice-captains - Sanzu and Takemichi where strangely absent and Mikey always did as he liked - Draken said something that made Chifuyu straighten his back.
"Man yesterday I was out and saw the oddest sight." Draken played with the can of beer in his hands, his expression clouded by the alcohol he had already drunk. "Sanzu and Takemitchy going around town arm in arm like they were on a fucking date. Thank god Mikey wasn’t there or blood would have been spilled.”
Everyone shuddered at the thought, but Chifuyu couldn’t lose such a golden opportunity.
“Takemichi and Sanzu have been oddly close lately. Takemichi touched him but Sanzu didn’t cut his hand… since when have they become friends?”
All eyes landed on Mucho, who merely lifted an eyebrow like the conversation didn’t touch him at all.
“Hanagaki sometimes comes and talks with Sanzu… Sanzu doesn’t look like he wants to mruder him, so I never cared. I don’t see the problem in them hanging out.”
Chifuyu had never wanted to punch Mucho’s face more badly than now.
“Do you think Sanzu is drugging Takemitchy?” Peh-ya asked aloud and every head turned towards him. “What? We all know Sanzu is in some weird shit!”
“It’s… a possibility.” Mitsuya mumbled seriously, placing his chin under his hands, his eyes trailing on every person in the room. “But we have no proof.”
“And we can’t exactly forbid them from seeing each other… I don’t want to see Takemichi cry or be at the end of Sanzu’s katana.” Chifuyu said and the others nodded in approval. Takemichi’s tears were a great weapon, but Sanzu’s blade wasn't any less dangerous.
“We should keep an eye on them, just in case.” Draken sighed, massaging his temples to shoote the headache that had been growing in his head since the start of the conversation. “And this better not reach Mikey, you know how he is with Takemichi.”
Yes, they all knew how attached their commander was with their first division captain. They didn’t need a reminder.
Everything went to hell when Sanzu-kun became Haruchiyo .
Toman was hanging out around the shrine, they were chatting like usual waiting for Mikey to start talking when Chifuyu decided it was a good idea to step closer to his captain and start conversation.
“Takemichi, do you want to hang out later? Hakkai and I are going to the arcade.” Chifuyu smiled at Takemichi, poking his captain’s sides to make him giggle.
“Ah, sorry, but I’ve already made plans with Haruchiyo , maybe next time?” Takemichi laughed and said the name of the fifth division vice-captain in such a natural way it took Chifuyu a few seconds to catch it.
“H-Haruchiyo…?” Chifuyu blinked, sweat dripping down his back. First name basis already? Oh my god, had Chifuyu read it wrong all this time? Maybe it wasn’t just friendship ?
His romantic mind was already forming various scenarios about Takemichi and Sanzu’s scandalous love affair that he almost missed Takemichi’s answer.
“Yeah, he is going to hang out at my place and stay the night, sorry ‘Fuyu!” This was worse. Like, hundred times worse than what Chifuyu thought. Spending the night at Takemichi's place? That was something that even Chifuyu himself hadn’t done yet! Was Sanzu planning to steal Takemichi? Oh god, what if Sanzu did unspeakable things to him since they were alone-
A chill ran down his back.
Chifuyu hadn’t noticed how silent the place had become until he lifted his eyes. Everyone was staring at them with various shades of concern, but when Chifuyu met Mikey’s eyes - when had the commander shown up? And why he did in the worst possible time? - he suddenly wanted to run and hide himself in his room and never come out again.
Mikey looked murderous .
He was smiling, but his eyes looked even darker than usual and whatever food he had in hand got crushed but his tremendous strength. Chifuyu choked back a whimper when Mikey’s eyes fell on him, like it was Chifuyu’s fault Takemichi made friends with Sanzu.
Chifuyu sent a prayer and hoped his death would be quick and painless.
“A sleepover? That’s nice, Takemitchy .” Everyone collectively gulped at the totally fake saccharine tone Mikey was using. Forget the meeting, no member wanted to stay there a minute longer with Mikey like that.
In all this chaos, Chifuyu still hadn’t seen Sanzu. The man who created this mess was missing from the scene. He had probably escaped while everyone was panicking over Mikey’s murderous aura. Chifuyu was a little envious of Sanzu’s quick thinking.
Takemichi didn’t seem to notice how Mikey was one step close to murder everyone present - Chifuyu had no idea how his partner could be so clueless, it was honestly worrying - turned to look at Mikey with one of his brightest smiles.
(Chifuyu ignored how his heart skipped a beat at that.)
“Oh, do you want to come Mikey-kun? Haruchiyo was planning to ask you after the meeting. So I can braid both of your hair!”
Takemichi really aimed at Mikey and shot him in the chest.
Chifuyu watched with unbelieving eyes how the murderous wolf Mikey had turned into quickly became an harmless kitty at Takemichi’s words. Everyone’s sweat dropped when Mikey took a few steps forward and wrapped an arm around Takemichi’s shoulders like he wasn’t on the verge of disbanding Toman a few moments before. He looked at Takemichi like he had hung the moon and stars, he was so smitten it was honestly embarrassing.
“He did? Takemitchy, you should tell me these things before!” Mikey laughed, patting Takemichi’s shoulder gently. Then his eyes moved to the side. “Sanzu too!”
Chifuyu almost had a heart-attack when he noticed Sanzu beside him. He let out a small scream and jumped to the side. He hadn’t even felt Sanzu walking beside him, what the hell? Was he a vampire? Chifuyu had read enough manga to figure out if someone was a supernatural creature.
Sanzu spared Chifuyu a cold, but amused gaze before he nodded to Mikey like nothing was wrong. Not that anyone could see Sanzu’s expression, that annoying mask was always in the way.
“I only serve a king and a queen.” Sanzu whispered, spooking Chifuyu again. He was so quiet, his words weren’t even reaching Mikey and Takemichi. “So don’t be in the way. Or I’ll kill you.”
Chifuyu gaped at the utter look of adoration Sanzu had while looking at Mikey and Takemichi.
Is this guy for real?!
Chifuyu shared a glance with the other captains, but they were all on the verge of a mental breakdown, showing signs of various degrees of shock. Especially Draken who was so pale Chifuyu was going to call an ambulance soon.
Not that Chifuyu felt better.
A trio like the one that had just formed would only bring chaos and destruction.
Maybe Chifuyu should just take his cat and leave for good.