Ayasekawa Yumichika blinked.
Instead of wrecking her room with some inappropriate game for children her age, Kusajishi-fukutaichou was simply sprawled on the floor, propped up on her elbows.
The first thought that ran though Yumichika's mind was that –
"Ikkaku, fukutaichou's been kidnapped!"
The bald third seat rushed in, a surprising feat given that he was two divisions away buying bells. "What the- shit, who the heck are you and what have you done with fukutaichou!" he shook a fist at the small pink-haired child looking at them with big eyes filled with wonder.
She stuck her tongue out. "Baka. It's me, Baldie, Feather-Brow."
In a flash, the fifth and third seat were at their fukutaichou's side, feeling her forehead. "Are you feeling alright, fukutaichou? Shall we take you to the fourth division?"
She bit Ikkaku's hand, resulting him in yanking away his hand and regretting any feelings of concern he had harboured at all. "No! I'm not sick!"
Yumichika looked at Ikkaku, who shrugged. "You're the favourite babysitter."
"You're her favourite food."
Ikkaku's brow twitched.
"Saa, fukutaichou. You seem a bit down today, is anything the matter?" Yumichika gave a sparkly grin and ruffled her head.
"Maybe it's puberty," Ikkaku grumbled.
"I want a mommy."
"Okay honey, that's fine, let's go- WHAT?"
Yachiru pursed her lips threateningly. "I want a mommy."
Yumichika looked up to share a look of despair with the third-seat officer – and found him gone.
Eyebrow twitching, he smiled benevolently at his vice-captain. Oh well, not as if that idiot could be of any help anyway. "But why do you want a mommy? You have taichou!"
"Ken-chan's not a mommy! He said so himself!"
Yumichika tried not to sigh in despair. "He didn't mean that."
"No he did. He said he ain't a mommy, and I don't need one."
"Well, taichou's right, why do you need a mommy for? You have me and Baldie and Makimaki, we're all your mommies."
"No, you're all daddies! I want a mommy!"
"Fukutaichou, you don't need a mommy-"
"I WANT a mommy!" Suddenly the scowl was replaced by a sweet smile. "And Feather-brow is going to help me find one!"
"I'm afraid I can't do that, fukutaichou. You can't just find a mommy."
"Because…." Yumichika racked his intellect, "if you have a mommy, Taichou must like your mommy, then she can be your mommy."
The little girl blinked. And grinned. "Okay." She jumped up, taking Yumichika's hand in hers. "Let's go!"
Yumichika sighed in despair. At least Zaraki-taichou wasn't coming back until the day after tomorrow. Yachiru had the attention span of a grasshopper. They could spend the day looking for mommies, never find one, and no doubt the little fukutaichou would give up.
"Ne ne there's Pretty!"
Now why couldn't fukutaichou give me a nickname like that, Yumichika wondered huffily for a moment, but only a moment as he sought out the 'pretty' that the little girl was pointing at. "Nemu?"
"Un, un! I think I want Pretty to be my mommy!"
"Hooooooold on a second, fukutaichou," Yumichika held her taichou by the back of her shinigami uniform before she could dash towards the expressionless 12th division lieutenant. "You can't just have anybody as your mommy. They have to want to be your mommy. What if Pretty doesn't want to be your mommy?"
Yachiru wrinkled her nose, then grinned. "Ken-chan says that if I don't get what I want, beat them 'till they say yes!"
"Ah, but if you beat them, they'll be your mommy, but they won't be nice mommies. They won't give you candy and they'll only make you miserable." I should demand a pay raise, Yumichika thought wearily.
"So I can't ask Pretty?"
"Yep! Also, fukutaichou, Pretty has a Daddy already, scary ol' Kurotsuchi-taichou. Maybe Pretty is looking for a mommy as well. She won't be a very good mommy." Yumichika knew his explanation was warped, but hell, it was Kusajishi-fukutaichou.
Yumichika raised an eyebrow. That had been easy…
"Then, I want Shirou-chan!"
"Fukutaichou, are you sure want a mommy your age-" Yumichika trailed off as he realized that his fukutaichou was not talking about Shirou-chan as most of them knew it, but Ukitake-taichou.
Yumichika opened his mouth to protest, but his few seconds of dithering had cost him greatly, for the little pink ball was off like a shot and headed for the direction of the one Ukitake-taichou.
Yumichika shrugged before serenely following his fukutaichou. Oh well, it could have been worse.
Could have been the general commander.
Yumichika shuddered at the thought. He was only lucky that at least, Ukitake-taichou loved kids.
Wonder why he never got married. Oh yeah, he probably didn't want to burden his wife with his illness, or something equally heroic.
As he drew closer, Yumichika could gradually catch bits and pieces of the conversation between his lieutenant and the thirteenth division captain. He only hoped Ukitake-taichou wouldn't take offense at being asked to be a mommy instead of a daddy. Although Yumichika couldn't really blame Kusajishi-fukutaichou for that little error.
Ukitake had bent level to look at the tiny pink-haired lieutenant, his eyes twinkling. "I'm flattered that you'd like me to be your mommy, Kusajishi-fukutaichou. But if I were to become your mommy, what would Zaraki-taichou say? Did you ask him first?"
"Yeah I did!" The pink-haired captain was all smiles.
"Oh? What did he say?"
Yumichika had swiftly picked up his vice-captain and covered her little mouth. Kusajishi-fukutaichou had probably offended the thirteenth division captain enough without adding fuel to the fire by quoting the less-than-polite reply Zaraki-taichou had probably grunted. "Ah, sumimasen, Ukitake-taichou! You know how it is with little girls, so restless nowadays. It's just, you know, with Zaraki-taichou not around for her to spend time with, she gets bored and has the wildest ideas-" He suppressed an urge to yowl as his fukutaichou bit his hand – "we'll be off then, so sorry!"
And they were gone.
Ukitake-taichou blinked, and chuckled. Kids. Now, if only little Shirou-chan would be as cheerful as that wonderful little Kusajishi-taichou. The responsibilities of a captain must be making him age faster.
Ah, right, that reminded him to pick up some candy for Hitsugaya-taichou later. He hadn't taken too kindly to the Santa stocking, maybe he would prefer the Gundam-mobile-suit shaped one.
Dear Kami-sama, Yumichika prayed fervently as he hastened after his still-energetic fukutaichou, please let me escape this ordeal with my rank and job intact.
It was almost lunch time, and so far, Yumichika had survived. They had run across Isane-fukutaichou, which had been alright, because just as Isane had fumbled around for an excuse to decline politely, a whole new batch of patients had suddenly been registered into the fourth division for treatment.
They had also run into Abarai Renji, horror of all horrors. When Yumichika and Renji had started bickering about some lost sake and borrowed money, Kusajishi-fukutaichou had calmly walked away, bored.
The last person they had run into was Kira Izuru, which hadn't been so bad, but Yumichika had had to send a message on a death butterfly to request Hisagi to take him out drinking later that night. Kira had always had that over-sensitive side to him, and it couldn't have been easy to be told to his face that he was mommy-material.
Luckily Kusajishi-fukutaichou hadn't taken a liking to Komamura-taichou, Iba, Matsumoto or the black kitty that had been prowling the streets of the Seireitei.
The streets seemed to be deserted as they walked around. Either everyone felt like an early lunch, or had heard that the eleventh division lieutenant was searching for a mommy.
It was likely to be the latter, what with Isane's ability and all.
Yumichika was about to thank God when he was startled by a sudden happy cheer from his fukutaichou. "I've found her, found her!"
There, leaving the sixth division quarters in front of them, was Kuchiki Byakuya.
Yumichika would have screamed out of frustration had he not seen his life flashing before his eyes.
Kuchiki Byakuya stepped out of his division, finding lunch a welcome relief from the unbelievable rubbish that his dear lieutenant had called a 'report'. He had a lunch appointment with the head of another of the noble families, something he normally did not look forward to, but anything was better than the days on which his subordinates' reports were submitted to him for checking.
Looking forward to a peaceful afternoon of a good lunch and some tea, he promptly turned and caught sight of a pink blur hurtling towards him.
He barely had time to draw his sword when said pink blur flung itself around his knees.
That rogue captain of the eleventh division needed better parenting skills, Kuchiki thought drily. Luckily Rukia had been much older when he had found her. Maybe it was a good thing that he and Hisana had never had kids.
He spotted the fifth-seat of the eleventh division walking towards him as though in a daze. He wondered if he was ailing.
"Ah, Ayasekawa," he said regally as the man approached him, still looking as if he had swallowed a frog live. "Is there anything that you and your lieutenant need?"
The man opened his mouth, but the voice that answered him came from down below. "You're gonna be a mommy!"
Kuchiki Byakuya blinked.
"You stupid shit, you're nearly pissing your pants. Go empty your bladder before I have to get someone to clean this shit up," Ikkaku grumbled as Iba and Renji roared with laughter.
Yumichika twitched. Hisagi was snorting.
Kira was grinning
Bastards couldn't spell empathy even if it was written on their foreheads with their own blood.
At least Ikkaku had the decency not to laugh. Although that was probably because Kusajishi-fukutaichou had just chewed on his head as an after-dinner snack.
"So…" Iba gasped in between laughing his ass off, while Renji next to him only managed to breathe out "taichou" in between spasms of laughter, "what happened?"
"He didn't say anything," Yumichika grumbled. "He just stood there."
"I think he was too shocked," Hisagi supplied helpfully.
"What'd you say?" Iba gasped out.
Yumichika scowled. "…nothing."
"I didn't know what the hell to say! Fukutaichou already dug my grave. Couldn't save myself. Hell, it was Kuchiki-taichou."
"So fukutaichou spoke up."
Iba and Renji had started laughing again, and Kira drank.
"What'd she say?"
"She said –"
"I want a mommy and Feather-brow says it has to be someone Ken-chan likes and Ken-chan will like you 'cos you're pretty like Backwards-Braid but Ken-chan's afraid of her but he's not afraid of you he says you're a sissy and you have nice hair and can I play with it? What's that you got on your head?"
Yumichika tried not to die.
"Kuchiki-taichou, a thousand apologies, she's really hyperactive and she's at that age and Kuchiki-taichou, this is a really bad dream," Yumichika bowed as low as he could, believing in his words fervently and grabbing his little fukutaichou by the waist.
"Iiya da! I found my mommy!"
"I'm so sorry Kuchiki-taichou – get your hands of his knees now, Kusajishi Yachiru-fukutaichou!"
Yumichika peeked up.
Kuchiki Byakuya held a bag of candy towards the child wrapped around his knees.
"Waaai!" Eagerly she reached up for it.
"He held it just outta her reach, and told her that if she wanted it, she had to go to Backwards-Braid and tell her that her Ken-chan wanted her hand in marriage."
The room fell silent.
Renji was the first to speak up. "She fell for it?"
Yumichika shrugged. "On the way to the fourth division, I lucked out. She got hungry."
They all groaned. "Dammit, Yumichika, that was such an anticlimax!"
"I'll give ya anticlimax!"
"Ow, stop pulling my hair!"
"Kuchiki-taichou really said that? Called Unohana-taichou Backwards Braid?"
"And Zaraki-taichou Ken-chan?"
Ikkaku prayed fervently that Zaraki-taichou would come back early the next day. It was his turn to babysit, after all.
A/N: I was inspired by LovelettersFib's "To Have A Mother", actually. I was just wondering what would happen if Yachiru took it to her head to get herself a mommy, and this came out. Well, it was a lotta fun to write.
I don't own Bleach, nor do I owe the nicknames that Yachiru gave to everybody. I took them from the nice fics that I've read because well, they're really cute nicknames.