Theme/Topic: Parallel piece to "Meet the Captain"
Pairing: IkkakuxKira, Kenpachi
Warning/s: Spoilers for the whole Soul Society Arc. Plus stupidity and OOCness and big WOOBIE THUGS.
Word Count: 2,924
Time: 47 mins (no edits)
Summary: Sequel to "Switching Tactics"- Kira Izuru visits Zaraki Kenpachi.
Dedication: swinku for drawing the only (as far as I know) IkkakuxKira fanarts in the universe. I love you for that.
A/N: I am so nervous because I have my filming project rehearsal tonight and I thought that writing would you know, get my mind off of it and help me relax a little. Except the writing just came out really goddamn nervous too, you can totally tell. Not to mention hasty because I think me being nervous just translates to me working in a more frenzied way without really thinking about what the hell I'm doing. So um. This is kind of really very stupid and OOC. But uhm… hopefully the next one will be better? I dunno. I'm too nervous… argh.
Disclaimer: Not mine, though I wish constantly.
Distribution: Just lemme know.
It was a little dark in the eleventh division captain's office, but Kira supposed that that was because Zaraki wasn't in right now, as his various assistants had told the blonde when he'd entered an hour early for their scheduled meeting.
Ikkaku would have come with him undoubtedly, save for the fact that there had been certain duties he'd been unable to get out of today, and Kira had assured him that he would be fine on his own, even half-believing himself as he'd said it.
Because despite what Ikkaku insisted, Zaraki Kenpachi was still a rather formidable figure in seireitei.
And so Kira sat with his knees tucked under him, well-practiced in seiza from his very first memories and ready to greet his fellow captain the moment he entered the room, hoping that things would go well and that Zaraki-taichou would like him, would consider him a leader fit to steal Ikkaku away from the eleventh division.
Kira had brought presents.
Fancy little cakes he'd made himself for Kusajika-fukutaichou and some expensive sake for Zaraki, though last night while he'd been cooking and wrapping, Ikkaku had told him these sorts of things weren't necessary and that Kira should just worry about getting a good night's rest and not always think about having to please everyone else.
Kira had smiled sheepishly at his vice-captain and said very softly that he "just likes making other people happy." Ikkaku had promptly slapped his hand to his forehead and stormed out of the room with a red-face, grumbling to himself about how he could never win around here.
Kira wasn't sure he understood what Madarame had meant by that, but he supposed it was okay in the long run, because he'd finished making his cakes and wrapping his gifts and they gave him a certain feeling of security there on the ground beside him, because his mother and father had always insisted that good manners were well accepted no matter where you were.
And that's what he told himself when he suddenly felt an immense wave of furious reiatsu sweep into the room, thick and angry and surrounding him before he could even breathe properly, prickling like the sting of many small needles all over his body.
"I don't care what that dickless bastard says, I don't need a damned communicator if everyone can hear me when I yell loud enough, ya hear me? Tell the tech-institute to stop sendin' those damn things! We don't want 'em! I can't even figure out how ta use those stupid pieces a shit. And make sure he knows I called him a dickless bastard, got it?"
"Yes sir, boss, sir!"
The door slammed shut and there stood Zaraki Kenpachi, swathed in shadow and reiatsu thick as the red bean paste Kira had used to make his desserts the night before.
"Ah…h-hello, Zaraki-taichou!" Kira greeted quickly to make his presence known, shaking slightly under the intense spiritual pressure. "I came a little early. I hope that isn't…"
Zaraki squinted. "That you, Kira?"
Kenpachi blinked and some of his reiatsu dissipated. "The hell're you sittin' in the dark like that for?" he muttered, heading over to his desk and lighting some candles. Turning his back to Kira as he went about lighting the room, Zaraki snorted and said, "Che, hope the third division ain't all creepy like that…lurkin' 'round other people's offices when they aren't there'n… wait…never mind."
Kira, with sinking heart, realized at that moment that maybe Zaraki knew more about the third division than Ikkaku had led on.
"Um…we're um, different now?" the blonde offered, his voice unintentionally small and shaky.
Kenpachi sneering, turned around…
… and saw Kira Izuru sitting seiza on the mats of his office, a brightly decorated gift box and a wrapped package of alcohol beside him as he looked up at the eleventh division leader with big, sad eyes full of hope and anxiety.
Zaraki blinked, the previously nasty words on his tongue dissipating inexplicably. "Er… so you're um… really Ikkaku's captain huh?" the eleventh division captain asked instead, looking slightly incredulous.
Kira blushed slightly and looked down at the ground. "I uh… yes, I guess I am now, aren't I?" he asked, chuckling a bit self-deprecatingly.
Kenpachi stared at him a little bit, and his fearsome aura faltered just a little bit more without his knowing it. "Uh. Well, I didn't mean it like that," he started awkwardly. "Never mind. Sorry. Want somethin' to drink?"
"Um, no, that's okay! But I uh…I brought you and Kusajika-fukutaichou some gifts! They're uh, nothing much but I would like you to h-have them anyway? Some um…cakes, and some sake," the new captain murmured a bit nervously as he pushed the boxes and the bottle forward, eyes trained on the ground as he moistened his bottom lip nervously.
Kenpachi felt like an asshole and he wasn't even quite sure why.
So he said, "Well um. Thanks. I'm sure Yachiru'll really 'ppreciate that."
Kira offered a small smile at Kenpachi's easy acceptance. "Okay."
The eleventh division captain breathed an internal sigh of relief at that genuinely glad look on Izuru's face. Seriously. This was worse than making Yachiru cry or something. Not that he'd ever done that before or anything, but he was sure that if he did, it still wouldn't be quite as bad.
Kenpachi suddenly wished Kira was more of an upitty-upstart like Hisagi had been. At least then he'd been able to make all the necessary threats and whatnot before letting Yumichika go. But as of right how it felt like…
Zaraki eyed Kira surreptitiously.
The eleventh division captain sighed and sat down on the floor across from Kira, taking the sake and popping it open with very little ceremony.
It looked like he wasn't going to get any fun out of this one.
"So uh…Kira. How's bein' a captain treatin' ya?" he asked after a long pull of alcohol.
Given Kenpachi's notorious reputation for hating small talk, Izuru blinked at first, not having expected this sort of thing. But after a second, he beamed at the unanticipated question, happy that things were going well enough that Ikkaku's old captain seemed to like him.
On that look, Kenpachi nearly spit his next mouthful of wine all over the room.
"It's wonderful, Zaraki-taichou! I'm very glad to have Madarame with me," the blonde answered honestly, some light coming into his eyes that looked just… well, right… as he did.
Kenpachi put a hand to his face and wondered if the alcohol was what was making him a bit red.
"It's quite a bit more work than I thought it was, but um…I think…I think I'm getting used to it? And uh…Ikkkaku…he tells me… I'm um…" Kira looked down, turning a little pink again, "he says I'm getting really good at it."
Zaraki snorted sake. Right up his nose. And then he started coughing in a rather… not-scary way.
Kira's big eyes got even bigger and he moved forward quickly, putting a hand on the eleventh division leader's back. "Zaraki-taichou? Are you alright?" he asked, genuinely concerned as he patted the other captain's shoulder like it was the world's most natural thing to do.
Holy fuckin' shit.
A few deep breaths later and Kenpachi had himself back under control, eyeing Kira warily as the other captain fretted and apologized for not warning him about how strong the alcohol must have been and it was all his fault etc. etc.
Kenpachi felt like the biggest asshole in the world and he hadn't even really done anything.
"Er…'s fine. Not your fault. I uh…wrong pipe?" Zaraki posed when the blonde sniffled a little. Were those tears?
This was a real fucking delicate situation, wasn't it?
Zaraki tentatively reached out and rested his hand on Izuru's shoulder. "The uh…the sake's real good, Kira. Thanks."
The blonde looked up hopefully with his bottom lip all quivery and with the biggest saddest eyes ever. "Really?" he asked, all quiet like.
Kenpachi swallowed. "Uh. Yeah. Yeah, don't worry about it. Really."
A sigh of relief. "Oh, I'm so glad."
Kenpachi felt immensely relieved himself. He still wasn't quite sure why.
But really. This was all pretty damned delicate.
Thoughtful, the eleventh division commander scowled to himself and wondered if maybe Ikkaku going to the third hadn't been a good idea after all.
Because well…Kira was… Zaraki spared him another look, but then quickly averted his gaze again when he caught those nervous, pretty eyes and the sort of reserved embarrassment Kira sat with, his hands folded in his lap so that he could wring them occasionally.
Kira was…not the type of person an idiot like Ikkaku oughta be dealing with, in Kenpachi's opinion.
Too fuckin' delicate.
And Ikkaku was a real raging moron and he probably made Kira cry all the time if Kenpachi'd nearly done it a couple of times already today.
The thought somehow, didn't sit right with Zaraki.
Suddenly curious, the larger man leaned forward a little, and making his voice as, well, not-evil-sounding as possible, he asked a bit awkwardly, "Um…Ikkaku…he uh…how's he treatin' you so far?"
Kira blinked a little at the unexpected question, pale hands starting to fiddle delicately in his lap again. After a moment, he offered a small smile. "Ikkaku's been…very kind," Kira started softly. "I think… he's very… lively. Loud."
Kenpachi's eye narrowed. Was that idiot bastard scarin' poor Kira with that ridiculous yelling of his? God, what a useless moron, rattling a cute little…
"It's a good sound, to hear his voice, I think. A voice like that."
Kenpachi blinked. "Mur?"
"Well… it was always…so quiet…I guess," Kira began cheeks pinking a little bit again. "B-before, with I-ichimaru-taichou… I um…."
Zaraki frowned. So it all started from Ichimaru huh?
The blonde pressed past his obvious dislike of mentioning his former captain and said, "Ikkaku I think…makes everything feel alive again. His voice is always so confident. Honest."
Kenpachi wasn't quite sure what to make of that, but said, "Well…good," anyway, since Kira seemed okay with everything he was saying. Then he asked, "But uh, what I meant was… he uh, hasn't done anythin' really stupid yet, has he?"
Kira blinked, all innocence and ignorant and, eyes naively asking, "why, whatever do you mean, Zaraki-sama?" God. Kenpachi didn't know if he was feeling frustrated or suddenly overprotective or both.
"Um… stupid?" Kira questioned timidly, sounding a little lost.
"Ya know. He do anything idiotic and… um…" make you cry was what Zaraki wanted to say, but instead, "stupid," came out again. Rather lamely at that.
Kira, sensing that Kenpachi was rather adamant about this topic for some unknown reason, furrowed his brow thoughtfully. "Well there was this one incident last week…"
The other captain leaned forward anticipatorily. So there was something that moron had…
"Ikkaku tried to…he tried to make me dinner quickly because I was too busy to go and eat myself and so he…" Kira let himself chuckle a little, and the sound was so nice Kenpachi almost forgot to listen to the rest of the story.
"He tried to use a black-fire kidoh to cook the eggs and ended up…blowing out the wall between our offices…"
Kira laughed at the memory, hand going up to cover his mouth and face pleasantly flushed as he recalled what must have been an absolutely Madarame-class idiotic achievement.
Kenpachi might've laughed himself, except he was staring right now.
He sat back and scratched the side of his cheek with his index figure a little, watching Kira chuckle prettily as he talked rather animatedly about how one minute he'd been working and the next he'd looked up to see Ikkaku's singed, incredulous face staring at him through a smoldering hole that hadn't been there five seconds before.
It sounded like one of those strange memories that inexplicably, made Izuru happy.
He was glowing a little.
Kenpachi felt his defenses crumble hopelessly around him.
No helping it then, huh?
It seemed Madarame was an unexpectedly good match for soft-spoken Kira-kun.
Sighing, Zaraki took another pull of sake and hoped that idiot knew how to properly appreciate a good thing when he had one.
"Na, Kira…" the eleventh division captain posed after a particularly long drink.
"Ya like parties?"
Eventually he'd gotten fed up and shoved all his paperwork into his assistant's mailbox with the instructions to finish it for him because he had more important things to do, given that Kira's meeting with Kenpachi was scheduled to start in another…fifteen minutes.
Sprinting towards the old, familiar eleventh division headquarters, Ikkaku grinned, glad that he was going to be able to make it for the customary inter-captain meeting. At least that way, he could make sure Kenpachi didn't try anything despicable, like make Kira cry.
Not that he thought Zaraki would or anything (well, not on purpose), given his penchant for being soft of the cute-types, but it was best to be safe and all that, especially after what he heard had happened during the eleventh division captain's meeting with Hisagi.
A few minutes later, the new third division vice-captain burst through the gates of his old home, and nodding absent greetings to some of his former teammates who were loitering in the wings, jogged down the hall towards Zaraki's office.
Once there, he paused outside of the doors to catch his breath, straightening his clothes a little bit and wiping the sweat from the back of his neck with his sleeve.
Then he knocked.
Not waiting a second, Ikkaku pushed through the great big doors, only to stumble slightly at finding it unexpectedly dark.
"Er…Zaraki-taichou? Kira-taichou? You in here?"
The sound of a chair turning alerted him to someone's presence, and squinting, he looked up to see Zaraki Kenpachi's one eye staring at him from across the room, his former captain at his desk, the light from a single candle casting the large man's face in a rather frightening orange-yellow glow.
"Yo, idiot. Been waitin' for ya," Kenpachi greeted. Ikkaku stared, thinking that this maybe wasn't looking good. It never did with Zaraki at his chair like that, waiting alone in the dark for someone.
Madarame swallowed. "Where's…"
"Left," Zaraki interrupted, eye narrowing on his former third-chair rather seriously.
"But…but you guys weren't scheduled…I'm five minutes early and where's Kira? What'd you do to him, taichou? I mean it, this isn't funny…"
"It look like I'm laughin', asshole?"
Ikkaku swallowed at Zaraki's tone, a familiar, sinister reiatsu weaving itself around him and making it hard to breathe. "Uh… what happened?"
"Stuff happened. You'n me? We need to talk, Madarame."
Ikkaku blinked nervously at Zaraki's uncharacteristically somber attitude. Had it not gone well? Was Kenpachi going to demand Ikkaku's return to the eleventh? Where was Kira? Was he okay?
The bald-headed shinigami tensed his muscles, preparing himself for a stand-off with his former captain, whom he'd never really refused outright before.
Clenching his fist, he supposed there was a first time for everything.
"Ikkaku," Kenpachi started, glowering down at the former third chair with surprising seriousness. "I'm gonna tell ya somethin' real important, ya hear me? And don't you say a goddamned word 'til I'm done."
Ikkaku swallowed. This definitely wasn't going to be good. For whatever reason, Zaraki didn't approve of Kira and now there was going to be blood or guts or possibly both and…
"You make that sweet kid cry ever and I swear I'll kill you myself, on account of you bein' a rotten, heartless bastard, got me?"
Madarame blinked. "Meh?"
"You heard me," Kenpachi growled. "Ain't right. You better play nice with Kira. Kid like that… oughta always be happy, I mean it. I told him… if you ever do 'im wrong, to come to me and I'd come set you straight right away. Just figured I should warn you to be fair first, got it?"
Ikkaku blinked a few more times. "Wait…so…"
Kenpachi crossed his arms. "What, you hard of hearin' now? I said, you better be the goddamn most perfect vice-captain in the world from here on out or I'll…"
Madarame felt himself grinning inexplicably. "So… you mean, I can stay?"
Zaraki blinked. "Well yeah. 'Course. Long as Kira wants you, I suppose, ya great idiot. And uh… you better not fuck this up," the captain added, though it sounded more awkward than intimidating.
Madarame looked thoughtful. "Pardon for askin' Zaraki-taichou but um… you didn't happen to uh… make him… well…cry didja?" he asked.
Zaraki's face darkened several degrees at the memory. "I didn't mean to. Che. Damn most heartbreakin' sight in the world."
Ikkaku nodded in agreement. "Ain't it?"
They looked at each other for a moment longer.
"Well uh, 'nuff about that, I suppose," Kenpachi muttered, sounding gruff as he scratched at the back of his head with one hand. "We uh, we better hurry up to the party so's the boys don't do anything untoward to your captain, eh?"
"Yeah. Yeah. That's a good idea sir."
They shared one last look before Kenpachi stood and they started to walk.
When they got to the party, they both noted with no small amount of surprise, that Kira already had most of the eleventh division at his unwitting beck and call.
Even Yachiru wasn't pulling his hair or anything.
Kenpachi grunted incredulously at the sight and took his seat, grumbling to himself that he was going to kill Ichimaru Gin good and bloody one day.