Disclaimer- I don't own Bleach.
Pairing: Zaraki Kenpachi/Unohana Retsu
Theme Set: Espilon
Unohana paused as she looked out the window, sipping tea; did she really just see that orange haired Ryoka boy run by, and was that Captain Zaraki's voice she was hearing, shouting something about "FIGHT ME DAMN YOU!"?
"Lieutenant Ikkaku did his 'cool' dance for you again, I see." Unohana murmured, watching as Yumichika carried the unconscious third seat officer into the hospital; Zaraki merely grunted in affirmation.
Unohana Retsu did not have a thing for younger men, especially not ones that ran amuck and left a trail of battered and bloody patients for her to work with; at least, that's what she keeps trying to tell herself.
As always, the eleventh division captain was the last to arrive for a medical checkup, having to be forcibly taken by a smiling fourth division captain, all the while grumbling and shouting "Damn it woman! I'm perfectly fine!", with every member of the supply division trying their hardest not to laugh, lest Zaraki go mad and slaughter them all.
"And where, Captain Zaraki, are you headed off to?" Unohana's voice was nothing but polite and calm, but Zaraki froze like a child caught with their hand in the cookie jar anyway- damn it, and he'd been so close to those damn hospital doors too!
Zaraki blinked as he watched his men stop picking on the member of the fourth division and suddenly scatter as the fourth's captain arrived on the scene, cowering and shaking in ways that even he hadn't been able to make them do yet; suddenly, the boring, gentle captain of the fourth Division seemed much more interesting.
He might be able to overwhelm his fellow captains in combat, choke and paralyze those weaker than himself with just the aura of his might, but all it took was one touch, just one from her healing hands, and he was in her power.
"You know," she said, a light tone of reprimand in her voice, "Just because they say you can withstand a thousand strikes and not go down doesn't mean you have to prove it."
"Someone defeated the king of the battlefield?" Unohana said, sounding vaguely amused as Yachiru's call came in; at the same time, however, she felt the tiniest bit of alarm- how could one Ryoka defeat him?
"You never learn, do you?" Unohana murmured, letting Minazuki spit out his healed body a little more forcefully than normal, just to let him know how displeased she was about having to heal him again.
"God damn it woman!" he snarled, stamping his foot and jabbing his head toward the pink blur that was whipping its way around the office of the fourth division's captain, "I told you not to give the brat candy!"
When Captain Zaraki of the Eleventh came to call at Fourth Division headquarters, he never waited; whether due to the fact that no one besides the captain would dare oppose him, or the fact that the captain herself was always there to greet him, no matter the circumstance, was under debate.
Unohana blinked as she entered the room, just as Zaraki was fitting Yachiru's shihakusho on and tying it tightly, warning his vice captain in gravelly tones, "And don't get it dirty today, ya hear me!"
The day Zaraki heard some of his men wondering exactly what the fourth division's captain was hiding underneath that shihakusho of her's, was the day that would live on in memory as the day that left even Ikkaku Madarame drained completely after a surprise round of brutal drills.
The firm grip on the back of his captain's uniform told him that he wasn't leaving the hospital any time soon; he sighed, "God damn it, I'm perfectly healthy woman!"
He didn't need Unohana, he affirmed, not like he needed battle or war, not in the way he kind-of-sort-of-maybe needed Yachiru's tiny body clinging to his back and her voice at his step, but he wanted her nonetheless.
Unohana blinked as she watched this massive, scarred man stagger into her division headquarters, barking, "Tch... General Yamamoto said somethin' bout a checkup... who the fuck's the doctor in here?"
"Why's Unohana always going to get Ken-chan herself?" Yachiru asked, idly nibbling on a piece of candy the fourth division's captain had handed her; Ikkaku scowled, looking vaguely uncomfortable; "I'll tell you when you're older, brat. And no more candy. I ain't puttin' up with you runnin' around all the time."
Looking at Zaraki, sometimes Unohana wondered exactly what kind of man he must have been in the human world, for his soul to be so utterly unique.
Unohana always found Zaraki's office a bit too Spartan for her taste, lacking in aesthetic; Zaraki, on the other hand, was always a bit uncomfortable when he saw Unohana's office, complete with dozens of pictures with her subordinates, with other captains, but not him.
They thought him a fool, a madman; but Unohana was quite certain that, if he wasn't so focused on enjoying the battle, Zaraki Kenpachi was a genius on par with any seasoned general.
If there was one thing, besides a glorious battle, that Zaraki wanted, it was to see Unohana's legendary calm broken, just once; after all, he thought, if she was that damn beautiful just smiling all the time, what would she look like in a righteous fury, zanpakuto in hand?
Zaraki Kenpachi knew that it was going to be a bad day from the moment Yachiru asked "Where do babies come from, Ken-chan?"; Unohana blinked as suddenly, without warning, the eleventh division captain barged into her office, sat his vice-captain on her desk, and said gruffly, "She wants ta know where babies come from."
Zaraki Kenpachi lived in the here, the now, and that was damn fine with him, because right now, he was with Unohana and that was all that really mattered.
There was a darkness hanging over them all in Aizen's wake a subtle gloom, and even the calm, placid Unohana Retsu was affected- yet as soon as Zaraki Kenpachi passed by, and gruffly muttered, "Tch. Don't be so depressed woman. If Aizen tries anything, I'll crush him myself.", she smiled.
"Saying a farewell to your subordinates?" she queried, glancing at the massive form of the eleventh's captain as he watched his third and fifth seat depart for the human world, "You'll miss them, won't you?"; "Hardly, woman. Months without that damn fruity Yumichika or Ikkaku's retarded dance? I'm happy as Yachiru with a box of candy."
Unohana stepped into the courtyard, blinking as she witnessed the destruction and devastation her subordinates had reported to her earlier, and then glanced at the pink haired culprit and her massive accomplice; "And all this for a game of hide and seek?"
Captain Tousen was vocal about his opposition to Zaraki's entry into captaincy, and others, such as Captain Komamura tended to agree that this bloodthirsty demon of the battlefield was not fit to wear the captain's uniform, even the uniform of the eleventh division; Unohana, however, privately thought it was a stroke of good luck that they had someone so uniquely suited for the eleventh division, just as she herself was perfectly suited for the fourth's captaincy.
It was odd, she reasoned; he had killed (massacred, really) so many, both Hollow, Ryoka, and even Shinigami spirit alike, but she felt so completely secure when she stood next to him.
"I don't get the point of ya healin' people is. We're all dead, aren't we?"; "That's a matter of perspective, Captain Zaraki. For us, death means living in the human world, apart from the people we've come to know as friends in this world."
It was the sweetest, most utterly adorable sight she'd ever seen; "And the little engine thought, 'I think I can, I think I can'," the fearsome captain of the eleventh division read slowly, struggling to read the words as he idly glanced at Yachiru's happy, smiling face.
"You know, that eye of yours may one day be damaged if you keep that eyepatch," she warned softly, during one of their yearly checkups; "Tch. It keeps things interesting, woman. And watch where you're sticking that hand of yours!"
It was utterly unbelievable; "I'd never thought I'd see you doing this sort of thing," she chuckled; "Shut it woman. Yachiru likes the stupid thing, but I'm the one that has to walk the damn mutt."
Zaraki Kenpachi did not sing, nor did he have an ear for it (on occasion, he'd hum a tune for Yachiru to sleep, but that was it); however, listening to Unohana sing wasn't that bad- not that he'd ever admit it, of course.
It was not a sudden attraction, but neither did it seem a slow, gradual process; in the end, Unohana realized that it simply felt as though Zaraki Kenpachi had been there since the beginning.
"You'll never cease this foolishness, will you?" Unohana asked lightly, gazing around the destruction the eleventh division's captain created in his quest to battle the Ryoka boy once again.
Everything felt so calm to her, going so utterly placid and mundane for so long; and then one day a mountain of a man with a tiny girl on his shoulder came in, killed the captain of the eleventh division, and suddenly it felt like everything was moving forward again.
"And if you would please, Captain Zaraki, tell your men that the hygiene rules enforced by the fourth division are to be strictly enforced?"
The difference in their appearance, her captain's shihakusho being clean, pressed, and whole, while his being ragged and torn in multiple places, made it all the more implausible that they could be even remotely attracted to one another- but they were, appearances be damned.
Zaraki Kenpachi didn't give a flying rat's ass about how much seniority a captain had or any of that bullshit (Yamamoto was an exception- the old fart was someone even he wasn't sure he'd pick a fight with), which made one more reason that Unohana found his brash nature that much more endearing.
One thing about Zaraki Kenpachi, Unohana thought to herself, was that while he wanted the power to become stronger, he never coveted it and never boasted about it; in a way, it was very modest.
Despite the fact that he was most definitely annoyed (and showed it quite vocally) by the annual medical inspections, many had begun to notice that the fierce eleventh division's captain never really tried to oppose the gentle captain of the fourth when she took him personally from his headquarters.
"What shit was that bastard Aizen talkin' about, sitting on the top of the world," Zaraki mumbled, sitting idly in his hospital bed; "Perhaps he thought he should be God," Unohana replied softly- to that, Zaraki gave a single, derisive snort, and Unohana decided that Aizen was quite foolish indeed.
Zaraki blinked as he looked at the missive from the fourth division's captain, containing a bill for the... disturbances he caused on the way out of the hospital; the simple, handwritten note read, Next time, Captain Zaraki, please use the door when escaping my facilities.
Beneath those heavy, modest robes, Zaraki realized belatedly, as he walked into the bathhouse without thinking, Unohana was pretty damn hot.
Unohana always found it privately amusing when she passed the eleventh division's training grounds and heard its captain barking in an angry, annoyed tone, "You lazy bastards! That ain't how you kill shit!"
Zaraki was almost certain that the needle Unohana jabbed in his arm was stabbed in just a little too hard, in exchange for his rather destructive escape from the hospital after Aizen's escape- but not that he could prove it, what with her damnably placid smile still fixed on her face.
"I am very glad you didn't die, Captain Zaraki." Unohana stated quietly, standing next to his hospital bed after his fight with Ichigo Kurosaki; "Tch. I'm not gonna die from somethin' like this, woman," he replied gruffly, but all the same, he allowed her hand to brush his ever so gently.
"Tch... Your tests take forever, woman. You want to go get something to eat?"; Unohana blinked, uncharacteristically giggling with mirth (though she raised her hand to hide it), as she asked merrily, "Is that a date, Captain Zaraki?"
"Will we win?" she asked softly, in the aftermath of the captain's meeting; he glanced at her, looking at her as though she had gone mad, saying in his usual gravelly tones, "Of course we will. I'll kill 'em all and you'll help any of us who's stupid enough to get hurt"; and looking at him, gazing at her with unshaken determination, she smiled, and believed.