01/02/05: Oh my gosh, YAY! I can't believe I finished a fic, after like…six months? A whole year? My first finished Bleach fic. Still dedicated to Melpomene Melancholica! Hurrah for the Eleventh Division!
Yachiru the Ripper
Bleach Fanfiction by Midnight Crow
Running as fast as the wind, maybe even faster, he enjoyed it thoroughly, yet not as much as fighting which he craved for with his blood, but still--
The load on his back grew noticeably lighter. It had totally disappeared, even.
"Owww!" A shrill voice cried out in pain.
Zaraki Kenpachi stopped dead in his tracks and looked over his shoulder. Ten meters away, a little girl sat on her bottom, clutching a piece of cloth. Which looked hauntingly familiar, as it had the number 11 on it.
"What are you doing there?" He grumbled. Moments later, he was ten meters from where he was, and knelt down beside her.
"KEN-CHAN!" His little vice-captain wailed. She waved her arms violently, the faded piece of white cloth looking like a flag. Wait a minute - wasn't that--
A hand flew to his back. Where there should have been another material covering it, he could feel a large tear where the cloth had been ripped out.
"KEN-CHAN!" She howled. "You DROPPED me!"
"I did not," he retorted, indignant.
She glowered at him, tears in the corner of her eyes. "You did!"
"I did NOT. You fell by yourself." He examined her critically. "The cloth ripped. You must be getting heavier."
"WHAT?" Her voice turned shriller. "KEN-CHAN! You are so mean today!"
"Well, what do you think happened? And I didn't drop you. How can I drop you when I'm not holding you?"
She sniffed, her nose wrinkling in an adorable fashion. "You're right. Then I must be getting stronger. I pulled at the cloth too hard." She looked up at him apologetically. The little girl could certainly change moods in the blink of an eye. "I'm sorry, Ken-chan. For ruining your uniform."
He grunted in reply, and took the piece of cloth from her hands. "What do we do now, then?"
They sat there thinking. Then Yachiru's face broke into a huge grin.
"Run that by me again - I have to do WHAT?" Madarame Ikkaku stared incredulously at his captain's white uniform layer, and the piece of cloth that had been torn from it.
Ayasegawa Yumichika was busy in front of the mirror, but he answered his co-division member. "You have to sew that on, yes - ow!" He rubbed at his eyebrow. "Plucked the wrong one…hm, but it doesn't look too bad…"
"What the hell? And would you stop that? I don't know anything about sewing!"
"It's an explicit order from the vice-captain herself."
Ikkaku growled and gripped the cloth harder. "That shorty must have ripped this off from the captain's back and now she wants me to--"
"I HEARD THAT, BALDY!"
He slapped a hand to his face, grimacing. "Oh, shit."
Yumichika clucked his tongue, and continued his ministrations to his eyebrows.
The small frame of Yachiru appeared on the doorway, hands on her hips. She pointed a steady finger on the third-seater. "You take that back!"
"No," he muttered to himself.
"YOU TAKE THAT BACK!"
Suddenly, there were a pair of hands lunging for Ikkaku. "What the--AAAAAH!" he screamed and shook himself. "Get off me!"
Utter chaos ensued.
"TAKE THAT BACK!" Yachiru shook him as hard as she could - which was very hard. They tumbled across the room.
"I AM NOT A SHORTY!"
Sighing, Yumichika looked away from the vanity. "Fukutaichou, Ikkaku will take it back if you get off--" And a small foot hit him squarely on the face.
"Aiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeee! My eyebrows!"
"Hm?" A curious Yachiru was distracted by the fifth-seater's screeching, and Ikkaku took this opportunity to escape.
But she was still too quick for him.
"OH NO YOU DON'T!"
Dazed, Ikkaku tried to stand up from the cold floor after being tripped, and cold air rushed on his back. "What the--" He clutched his back.
Nothing but skin as smooth as his hairless head. He stared at the little girl wildly.
"Oops," was all she said, waving a piece of black cloth.
"What kind of people are you?! And you call yourselves members of the Eleventh Division?!"
The shinigami, growing irritated and bored, grumbled at the sermon and looked rebelliously at the platform, where their Third Seat Officer stood with his hands raised to the skies, screaming his head off.
Yumichika, whose face was kept hidden by a fan, stood by the sidelines and whispered to him. "It's no use, Ikkaku. No one here--"
"But we're the Eleventh Division!" Ikkaku hollered back.
The vain shinigami finally lost his patience. He slapped his fan closed and brandished it towards his bald friend. "Damn it, that's what I'm trying to tell you! No one here would know how to SEW, because we're the ELEVENTH DIVISION! Ask someone who would really know, like the FOURTH DIVISION, for heaven's sake!"
Ikkaku paused. "You think? But the Fourth Division…" His eyes widened in horror. "No way! I will not stoop to asking from others, especially THAT division."
"You're already asking for their help," Yumichika argued, gesturing towards the crowd composed of their division. "Anyway, it's your head."
Ikkaku groaned. "Yumichika, help me."
Yumichika huffed, covering his face with the fan again. "Just don't go insulting the vice-captain again, or you may find yourself in BIGGER trouble."
"This is all her fault…that little…"
Then Ikkaku could no longer say anything else, for Yumichika's hand was clamped around his mouth. "Mmmm-mmmph-mmm!!"
"What was that? Did Baldy say something?" Right there, on the podium, sat the vice-captain, looking suspicious in her own lovable way.
"Noooo, it's not what you think, fukutaichou…" Yumichika hastily lied, "Ikkaku was just telling me that he already knew how to repair the uniforms."
"Hm…" Yachiru put a finger on her lip, pretending to think that over.
A breath of relief escaped from Yumichika, and he started to remove his hand from Ikkaku's face.
"I told Ken-chan it will be ready tomorrow."
"WHAT! You lit--mmph!"
"What did he say!" Yachiru accused.
"Why, that you--you LOVE us, fukutaichou! So much! Thank you for taking care of us!" Yumichika tried his best to straighten the matter while holding the still-enraged Ikkaku down. Tiring of the dance, he elbowed the third-seater in the ribs.
"Oof!" His breath knocked out of him, Ikkaku fainted.
"Oh! Ikkaku must be tired." The vain shinigami hoisted his friend on one shoulder. "I'll take him to his room. The uniform will be ready tomorrow, fukutaichou. Well," The two were suddenly a considerable distance away from her, "see you!"
"Hmph," Yachiru folded her arms against her chest as she sat cross-legged on the podium. She then noticed the audience of shinigami gaping at her. She didn't know any of their real names, but she knew them to be all from her division. "What do you guys want?"
"Ah…ah…t-thank you for taking care of us too!" The whole audience vanished in a tumult of running feet, and Yachiru was left alone, blinking innocently.
Yamada Hanatarou swallowed and tried not to sweat too much as two of the higher seated members of the Eleventh Division cornered him on his way to the sewers. Oh, why did he have to pick today of all days to amble on the streets, brooding about his pitiful existence?
But surprisingly, while their faces were threatening (at least, the bald one looked like he really wanted to stab someone with his Soul Cutter), their "request" was something he knew very well.
"I see…" He spoke as he fingered the uniforms gingerly, "you don't have to worry about anything. We get a lot of these orders, especially when there's a mass Soul Burial somewhere and Hollows break out."
"You sure?" The bald one asked gruffly. Hanatarou swallowed and nodded.
"That solves your problem then, doesn't it, friend Ikkaku?" For all his life, Hanatarou could not guess why the other one covered his face with a fan, but the holder spoke with an affected voice and patted the bald one (Ikkaku, was it?) on the back.
"Um…usually though, they send for new uniforms. Is that what you want?"
The two looked at each other.
"Taichou would like that, wouldn't he?" murmured his fan-toting apprehender.
"Yeah…" The bald one scratched his chin. "They would be ready by tomorrow, wouldn't they?"
"Um…it depends on your payment."
"PAYMENT?" They gawked at him.
Hanatarou flinched. "Yes, new uniforms cost…" He told them the amount.
"There, there, Ikkaku," The bald one was being comforted by his friend. Hanatarou really, really wanted to get out of there, but he was also beginning to feel sorry for the bald one, who was weeping openly.
"Um…if it's just a repair, I think we could do it for free…?"
The tears stopped. "What?"
The other one almost dropped his fan. "Really?"
Hanatarou nodded, glad to be able to help someone, even though they were from the Eleventh Division. "And they'll be ready by tomorrow."
The two suddenly yelled, making him flinch away again. But they seemed to be in good spirits this time, cheering and…doing a rather unusual dance, with their right arms locked together…
"Um…I'll be off…then…" He tried to sneak away, but before he could take a step, his back was to the wall. The bald one held him on one shoulder, his face just inches away. He could perceive every line on that creased forehead. Hanatarou gulped.
"DON'T tell anyone about this," he said in a ominous voice.
"Ye-yes, of course."
"And leave them in the Eleventh Division office before sunrise tomorrow."
Hanatarou nodded, too scared to speak.
Then the hand that pinned him to the wall was gone, and he slid down to the floor, the uniforms rolled into a ball in his arms.
"Why…why did I ever become a shinigami…"
The next morning, Zaraki entered his office (the only one in the whole complex which did not make much use of desks) and found the third seater of his division on his knees before him.
Ikkaku extended his arms, keeping his head bowed. On his hands was the white layer of Zaraki's uniform. "I bring you…your uniform, taichou." He said in a voice full of solemnity.
A pink head popped from behind his shoulder. "Finally!" Yachiru exclaimed, and Ikkaku visibly grimaced. "I told you I can get it fixed, Ken-chan!"
He accepted Ikkaku's offer, and patted the little girl on his back. "Good work, Yachiru."
Ikkaku stood up. He was shaking and squirming and definitely looked like he had issues.
Yachiru hopped down from his back while he put on the newly-fixed layer. She walked around Ikkaku, examining him. "Oh! You fixed yours too, Baldy?"
Ikkaku was muttering something. "Five…Six…SEVEN…"
"Hm…let's see now…"
Yachiru jumped up, and grabbed hold of the third-seater's back.
"Oops," The little girl beamed next to a stunned Ikkaku lying flat on his back. She held a piece of black cloth in her hand. "See, I told you, Ken-chan? I better be careful now. I knew I was getting stronger."
(Oh wait, there's still the Epilogue.)
The butler solemnly opened the door for her, and she entered cautiously. When he closed the door, the room was shrouded in darkness save for the candle in the far corner of the room.
She spoke to the darkness. "I'm sorry to be asking this of you again…"
"It's no bother." The single occupant in the room other than her cut her off. "Bring it here."
She walked towards the candle light and handed the small package over. "We're really grateful you do this for us," she said earnestly.
The person she was visiting chose not to listen to her, but instead, studied the package. "Hm…isn't this the one you sent me the last time?"
"I'm afraid so."
"They never learn, do they?" The person reached for a drawer and pulled it open. A little chest was withdrawn, and the person tapped the latch. It opened with a click, revealing tiny spools of thread and gleaming needles.
Unohana Retsu looked at his concentrating figure quietly. "Well, you could always teach them, couldn't you?"
"Shush," he said, picking out the spool of black thread. "You may leave now. The master is at work."
And Kuchiki Byakuya hummed to himself while he threaded the needle.
Note: Got the idea of Byakuya sewing from one of the fics at Kurosaki Clinic. XD