Title: Monogamous BFF- 20 Secrets and Stories Just Between Ikkaku and
Pairing/Character/s: Ikkaku, Yumichika, Kenpachi, Yachiru, (with some light ShuuheixYumichika and not-really-but-kind-of IkkakuxYumi moments)
Word Count: 3,293
Time: 2 something. I kept ADDing. XD
Warning/s: Spoilers through like, 208 of the manga? I think? Also, OOC and fluff and sap and waff and etc. etc. etc.
Summary: Ikkaku and Yumichika will always be best friends.
Dedication: Shirong, Kelly, Ann, Nicole, Lisa, and Jen! Welcome back from your overseas adventures!
A/N: Haha I just want my eleventh division. No real purpose otherwise behind this, I guess. I'm just having fun after my final now. Basically I don't want to think. So. Fluff. And stupidity. And just stuff I was kind of craving even if it's wildly OOC. XD;;
Disclaimer: Not mine- I'm not that creative.
Distribution: Just lemme know.
The popular theory was that they'd met in a Rukongai whorehouse (where else could two such unlikely companions meet, after all?)—Ikkaku as a customer and Yumichika as an escort.
Yumichika laughs when inquiring minds ask about this and he tells them about how dashing Ikkaku had been that dark and fateful night, drunk and ranting and completely incapable of realizing in the midst of his alcoholic haze, that Yumichika was indeed a man.
"Luckily, he couldn't afford me."
His audience is always at the edges of its seats when he gets to that part. "What happened next?"
"Well, he broke me out of there, of course. He was quite adamant about having the prettiest one of the lot, after all." Yumichika sparkles and winks then-- for effect-- and everyone's cheeks get a little pink, because maybe—just maybe—they can understand Ikkaku's feelings from that fateful night if Yumi even looked half as good as he does now.
Ikkaku spits and sputters when Yumichika tells him about his forays into the storytelling world at the end of the day, because it's always at his expense. He wants to strangle his friend those nights more than any others. Which says a lot.
"God fucking dammit," he mutters, and can't believe this shit. "The hell is so hard to believe that we just played together when we were kids?"
He blames Yumichika of course—the bastard always did prefer flashy things to something so mundane that it was—gasp and horrors-- normal. It was like back when they were five and Yumi scraped his knee in the middle of one of their games of "I dare you." It was a better story to say they'd been scrapping with one another instead of telling his parents he'd just been climbing a tree, sure, but if he'd told the tree story (i.e. the truth), Ikkaku wouldn't have been whupped by his pa for bullying Ayasegawa-sama's heir afterwards.
Ikkaku cringes whenever someone asks if he and Yumichika have ever slept together, because in the loosest sense of the word, sure, they've slept together lots.
The first time was as kids at Yumichika's house. They'd told ghost stories to one another and Yumi—the bastard—had made him so afraid to go to sleep that night that he'd abandoned his own sleeping roll and joined his friend under the covers of his while Yumichika had laughed and called him a baby and told him he better not wet the bed or anything, because it would be positively hideous.
They slept together after their parents were killed too, in the wreckage of their homes because it was cold and they were hungry. Yumi always was smaller than him-- and skinny too—and Ikkaku remembers how he'd turned blue pretty fast. Ikkaku also remembers wrapping an arm around his friend and rubbing his back right up 'til the moment he'd stopped shivering altogether.
But just because Yumi was smaller didn't mean he was weaker too, and when they both woke together in the middle of Rukongai, Ikkaku supposed he hadn't lasted that much longer after Yumi'd gone on.
They slept together those nights too— curled up in the cold-- and they wondered to one another why the afterlife seemed so much like regular life.
Yumi's ma had always said "Good things come to those who wait," but it seemed like they'd been waiting all their lives for something—anything—now.
"We'll just have to make something to look forward to ourselves," Yumi declared one night some years later, and decided right then and there that the two of them would never suffer sitting down ever again.
That was last time they slept together, because it was time to be tough now. They were gonna make this death thing work for them—no more cowering and shivering in corners. Time to get big and strong.
Round about the same time—they started hearing voices.
Hozukimaru and Fujikujaku berated them both when they materialized for the first time, and asked the two of them why the hell it took so long for them to stop being such ugly (Fujikujaku's word) wusses (Hozukimaru's).
Kenpachi gets asked all the time, how he managed to pick up his two ragtag officers given that they all seem like a rather odd mix of people to have traveled around together as extensively as they had.
Kenpachi doesn't really like talking about it, just because it still hurts his head when he thinks about it too much. To be honest, he doesn't really know they'd come to be together himself.
When they'd first met him, Ikkaku had challenged him to a fight—simple as that. When Ikkaku lost, the two of them followed him on instinct, and Kenpachi didn't say anything to either of them for a long time because what they did was up to them, and really, he didn't care so long as they didn't bother him too much.
A night or two and a shared campfire later though (still doesn't know how that happened, though he suspected it was a result of Yumichika's planning), Zaraki recalls sitting around the flames eating his roasted meat and eying the both of them very, very carefully. Yachiru had been tugging on his hair.
"So," he started, without preamble. "You guys gay or something?"
"NO!" Ikkaku insisted, and nearly choked on his supper.
"Yes!" Yumichika countered, and ate so neat it didn't seem like he was using his hands at all.
Ikkaku had turned to stare at Yumichika when he heard the news. "What, really?"
Yumi smiled enigmatically. "Does it bother you?"
Ikkaku thought about it for a second. And then sighed. "I guess I'm not surprised."
Yumi beamed. "Thank you."
Kenpachi remembers blinking and staring at both of them some more. Yachiru kept tugging on his hair. "The hell is wrong with you two?"
That unfortunately, didn't have as simple an answer as the previous question.
Now, years and years later, he's pretty much given up on any hope of ever figuring it out, really.
Somewhere along the way, the rest of Soul Society figured that Yumichika and Ikkaku told each other everything. All the time. No matter what.
Ikkaku gets constant questions as to how Shuuhei and Yumichika's love life is going ("Is the sex good?" "Oh my god, who tops?"), and he never, ever wants to respond.
"Just leave me alone! ARGH I don't need those mental images!"
In the meantime, Yumichika gets all sorts of inquiries as to Ikkaku's personal habits ("Is he really bald or does he just shave?" "Where did he learn that dance from?" "Why eye shadow?"), all of which he's very happy to answer, of course.
"A traveling minstrel in the seventeenth district of Rukongai who he had a whirlwind romance with before we moved on."
"Because he pokes himself in the eye when he tries to put on Mascara."
The best question they get though, has to be, "How are you two even friends?"
Ikkaku never deigns to answer because it's none of their goddamned business. And hell, he's pretty certain Yumi—the talkative bastard-- has already answered it enough for the both of them anyway.
Yumichika, as expected, is especially happy to answer that one whenever it pops up.
"Because we understand each other."
That's good, everyone supposes. Because really… no one else does.
When people find out about it, Ikkaku always gets praised for having the foresight to carry medicine around inside of Hozukimaru, though the general speculation of the appreciative crowd seems to swing towards the fact that the balm was most likely Yumichika's idea because he was worried that his bald-idiot would do something stupid and get himself killed.
It was a joint effort actually, though Ikkaku can admit that his part might have been a bit smaller than Yumi's.
He remembers a time when Hozukimaru—the fuckin' bastard—wouldn't shut up, would laugh at him and mock him and piss him off all the time when he was trying to train, trying to figure the nature of his zanpakutou out.
"Ahahahaha! I can't believe you're supposed to wield me. You'll hit yourself more than your opponents will!"
"Goddamned hollow bastard, shut the fuck up!"
"Shove it up your ass, newbie, I call 'em like I see 'em."
"Shove it up yours!" he'd responded, oh-so intelligently.
Yumichika floated by in the background with the evening's firewood just at that moment. "If you're going to shove something up Hozukimaru-kun's ass I hope it will be something that's at least a little bit useful," he said breezily, and sparkled like he did whenever he was silently commending himself on whatever brilliant idea he'd just imparted.
Ikkaku had stopped momentarily when he heard the suggestion. Thought about it a bit. Grinned. "Yeah… useful."
Hozukimaru still hasn't quite forgiven Yumichika for that.
He'll never tell anyone about it ever, because it's a damned wimpy ass thing to think about, but Ikkaku knows that there are exactly three people in this world he wouldn't mind dying for, if it came to that.
Yumi's not allowed to know that he's on that list. Or which number he falls under. Ever.
Just the thought of his friend finding out makes Ikkaku squirm.
There are exactly four people in the world Yumichika thinks he'd be willing to die for (as distasteful as the thought is). And as much as that little list bothers Shuuhei ("Just don't die then, idiot!"), Yumichika hopes his lover understands that Ikkaku will always have the number one spot no matter how much he loves Shuuhei.
They've always been each other's number one, after all. Not even love can change that.
The first time Yumi found himself a lover—Ikkaku hadn't liked the idiot, to be honest—he made Ikkaku do something very, very embarrassing.
Well, maybe not made, but it was practically the same thing.
Ikkaku remembers slamming some slobbering shit of a playboy up against a wall and near choking the life out of him.
"The hell did I just see?" he'd hissed, and lodged his elbow firm enough into the bastard's throat that he gagged and did this really funny thing with his eyes.
"I…" he'd sputtered, and Ikkaku hadn't even minded the drool on his arm, he was so pissed off.
He hadn't killed the asshole, but all the same, that night he'd made it pretty damn clear that cheating on Yumi was a bad, bad thing.
For the moment, Hisagi is on Ikkaku's shit list too, and will remain there until there's a ring on his best friend's finger and Shuuhei never looks at Rangiku's boobs ever again (even if they're really, really nice).
He has the best poker face in the world—Ikkaku's lost to it a hundred thousand times after all, as have countless others.
And he's glad that his face—even when expressionless—is also so beautiful that it immediately draws everyone's attention when they look at him. Because if it wasn't, then someone might have noticed the blood seeping out of his tightly clenched fist during Ikkaku's fight with Edorad.
It was literally a lifetime long gone, but sometimes Ikkaku remembers how it had been once, to not know what fighting meant.
Distant voices showing him how to till the earth speak to him in his dreams every once in a while, and he can almost still taste late summer cherries pilfered from the trees on stolen afternoons, when the two of them were supposed to be at their lessons and very clearly weren't.
Once a year, right smack dab in the middle of summer, Yumichika buys a big bowl of dark red cherries just like they used to have, and the two of them sit on the floor of his office and eat them slowly-- one by one. They don't say anything to one another about it because they don't regret anything.
And the "what ifs" only last as long as the last piece of fruit.
He's the only one who knows—and will ever know, god willing—what Ikkaku had looked like with hair.
All Yumichika can say on the matter is that he was actually the one who suggested Ikkaku try going bald in the first place.
And not just because he'd wanted a handy-dandy mirror with him wherever he went either.
It's not that he actually thinks Ikkaku would hate him if he knew about Fujikujaku's true nature. But he knows how his friend thinks, how they'd grown to think in their times scraping around Rukongai, and so he keeps the secret just the same. It's the only one between them, really.
Living on the streets the two of them learned very quickly that the strong survive and the weak perish. Fighters are strong. They survive. They eat. They have a place to sleep. They aren't killed.
Everyone else dies, whether it's from starvation, cold, sickness, or at the hands of the strong. At the hands of the ones who can fight.
Yumichika keeps the secret because he would hate it if Ikkaku felt obligated to protect him.
His mother used to apologize to him, smiling in that frail, painfully beautiful way she did as she touched his hair. "I'm sorry, my love," she'd murmur, "for not being able to give you any brothers or sisters to play with, ne?"
She'd always worried about him being lonely.
He supposed that he'd been too young for her to really know how resourceful he could be when he wanted to.
But she figured it out soon enough, learned that even though her child was small and frail-looking like she was, that he was smart and strong and determined just like his father.
He came back one day with a farmer's son just about his same age in tow, and told her quite matter-of-factly, "he's a bit of a crybaby, but I think he'll do. Don't worry about me anymore, ne, mama?"
Ikkaku remembers her smile too, that first time he'd seen her, and can still recall exactly how she'd helped clean him up and wipe away his tears while Yumi explained how he'd very gallantly saved the "crybaby" from a bunch of bullies in the background. He remembers being invited to dinner at the magistrate's home for the first time after that, and getting to eat sweet bean cakes and drink plum juice and not be afraid of the big house with the large gates at the outskirts of their little village anymore.
Yumi remembers never being lonely again.
Don't get him wrong—he doesn't do stuff like this because he's worried, but more because he's interested in maintaining some semblance of peace in the eleventh division headquarters.
Well, that and because he really thinks Hisagi can be an idiot sometimes. Which means a lot, coming from him.
"Birthday?" Ikkaku says, and eyes the vice-captain warily.
Shuuhei blinks. "Er…September… nineteenth?"
Ikkaku sighs. "Yeah."
Hisagi scowls. "We've only been going out for a short time," he says in his own defense.
Ikkaku looks at him. "Then ya at least know a pansy excuse like that won't cut it if you forget these things."
Shuuhei thinks about that for a second. "Yeah, I guess you're right."
Ikkaku pushes on. "Height? Weight? Favorite color? Favorite season? Favorite food?"
Shuuhei looks vaguely panicked.
Ikkaku rubs his temples and thinks they're gonna be here for a while.
The first time they saw a shinigami fight, they hadn't been very impressed.
"I could do that," Ikkaku had speculated, and Yumi laughed.
"You could probably do better than that."
And that had gotten him to thinking. "Ya think?"
Yumi'd nodded. "And of course, I could do better than both of you."
"Hm," Ikkaku had muttered, and thought that maybe being some random hired muscle and a hired accountant for a two-bit Rukongai yakuza wasn't gonna get either of them anywhere. "Wanna try it?" he'd asked, and the both of them knew what a yes to that would mean.
Yumi lifted an eyebrow. "Do you?"
Ikkaku remembers grinning. "The hell not?"
"We might die."
"Wouldn't be the first time."
They'd smiled at each other then, and that very same day, learned that the two of them could beat the hell out of some panty-waist yakuza when they really wanted to.
The first and only time Ikkaku told Yumichika that he loved him was when he was drunk.
To be fair, he'd run out of booze.
And Yumichika had brought him more booze.
Hence, the love.
Yumichika of course, tells a much more romanticized version of the whole incident to whoever will listen to him.
The first and only time Yumichika told Ikkaku that he loved him was when he was eight.
To be fair, Ikkaku had been sick.
And everyone thought he wasn't going to make it through 'til morning.
Hence, the love (and maybe a beat or two against the idiot's chest demanding consciousness now).
Ikkaku of course, doesn't know or remember a damned thing about those stressful couple of weeks.
When Yumichika really fell in love, Ikkaku remembers taking Hisagi aside and very plainly outlining every possible way in which the vice-captain could die if he didn't do right by the bald shinigami's best friend.
The talk took over two hours and got to the point where Ikkaku promised—though he wasn't sure how—that he'd find a way to kill Shuuhei with an olive pit if he saw one—just one—tear fall from the fruity bastard's fruity eyes.
Shuuhei bore the whole ordeal with great decorum because he knew that this was some sort of strange rite of passage between the two of them, or something.
And—though he wouldn't admit it to Ikkaku ever—it really kind of comforted Shuuhei to know that there was someone out there who cared about Yumi almost as much as he did.
When Ikkaku falls in love Yumichika has a detailed outline of everything he's going to tell the lucky woman (or man) who manages to catch his friend, including all the things Ikkaku will probably do to piss them off (burn down the house, for example) and all of the things he really means to do when he does those things ("Happy birthday, I made you breakfast in bed.")
He'll also tell them that Ikkaku has problems communicating when it comes to certain things ("Che" "I'm sorry," "What the fuck did you do!" "Are you alright!" etc., etc, etc.), and instruct them to please have patience with his friend until they better understand him.
Last but not least, he'll let that very special person know that if they ever hurt Ikkaku, Yumichika actually knows how to kill a person with an olive pit, and will do so as he sees fit.
He hopes also, that that person—whoever he or she may be-- will know to take Yumichika's threats as a sign that Ikkaku is the type of person who commands great love and loyalty from those who know (and understand) him.
Sure, he's scared off many a potential date saying as such, but Yumi considers those to be the throwaways anyway, and of no consequence.
Even when Ikkaku cries to him about what a nice rack that last one had.
When Hisagi does end up putting a ring on Yumichika's finger Kenpachi's only reaction to the fruitcake is, "So now you got two of 'em."
Yumichika laughs and insists that really, he doesn't know what taichou could ever mean by that.
Ikkaku in the meantime, is still busy trying to figure out that whole olive pit thing.
Just in case.