Characters: Kenpachi Zaraki and Yachiru Kusajishi

Warning: Fluff and some OOC.

Bleach universe (c) Kubo Tite


It was a rare peaceful night in 11th Division. Yachiru was busy practising her hiragana and making little pictures with them. Outside the rain poured down in sheets and Kenpachi finished some quite overdue paperwork.

"Ne, Ken-chan." Yachiru said quietly, not looking up from her work.

"What?" Kenpachi responded.

"Do you remember your mother?" She asked, her brush pausing in midair. Kenpachi leant back and scratched his chin.

"Which one? I had two." He said.

"Your real mother."

"Ah, not much. I died before I got to remember what she looked like." He shrugged.

"What can you remember?"

"She was warm I think…and soft. I can't really remember much more than that. Why are you askin'?"

"I…I just wanted to know," She replied, some colour flushing into her face, "And your other mother?"

"Ah, Chihiro-San. She took me in after I died, she fed me, clothed me for a short while. I called her mother, she called me 'Boy', but she was killed when I was younger than you. I was on my own from there. Why are ya asking so many questions Yachiru?"

"No reason, Ken-chan." She said brightly and went back to her hiragana which quickly became childish drawings of dogs, swords and clouds. Kenpachi thought nothing of it and went back to his reports. Yachiru took up a new sheet of paper and slowly new pictures formed: A mother held a baby while a child gave her flowers, a father played with the dog and the little boy. Yachiru placed her brush down and stared at the scene in front of her. The previous day, she and Kenpachi had a long awaited day off and they went out to shop in Rukongai.

They had stop outside a food stall and were eating udon soup together when she espied a group of children playing nearby; one of the boys tripped over and grazed his knee badly, he tried very hard to keep the tears in, but they leaked out anyway. Yachiru was beginning to think he was some sort of wimp, when this pretty woman came up to him, called his name and asked him what was wrong. He then showed her his badly grazed knee and she picked him up and comforted him, telling him to be a brave boy. She then led him back to her home, promising him that she'll make it better and a treat for later. The boy then smiled through his tears and said 'I love you, mummy,' and she said 'I love you too, darling."

That struck a chord in Yachiru. She suddenly realised that she had no mother and Ken-chan was far from one. She left her udon and told Ken-chan that she was bored and wanted to go home.

Since then she'd been trying very hard to remember anything about her real mother. It was hard as her first real memory was of Kenpachi, but every now and again she thought she remembered something: the smell of jasmine; a soft cheek; blue cloth and a deep soothing sound. Maybe it was real, maybe it was imagined, but they were the closest things she could get to 'mother'.

She looked at her Ken-chan: his spikes losing their height in the late evening; no eyepatch so the whole place was flooded with his riatsu; his brow knotted with frustration and the fact that he seemed too big for the room. She smiled and admitted to herself the Ken-chan was mother, father, big brother and best friend rolled into one. She plucked a new sheet from the pile and started drawing her own family.

A tall daddy with spikes for hair carried a little pink-haired girl on his shoulders killing what was presumably a hollow (there was too much red ink to be sure), a big sister with feathers stuck to her eyebrows was brushing her hair while the bald big brother grinned, waving his staff about. Little brothers Iba, Renji and Toushirou featured as well. There was Grandfather Yamamoto and also uncles Shunsui, Utitake and Byakuya; all her aunties from the woman's association and her special aunty Unohana (she can make 11th division scared, she is very special). She giggled at her work as the mural spread across several more sheets. She prepared to put her brush down when she decided that her work wasn't complete. On a separate piece of paper she drew a woman in blue, smiling at everyone. She sighed in satisfaction and closed her eyes, thinking of her non-conventional family.

Later, when Kenpachi gave up on his reports, he checked the time and decided it was late. He heaved himself out if his chair and searched for Yachiru and found her sleeping in her inky glory. He shuffled around the pages and picked her up gently, taking off her sandals. He then tiptoed back to her room and tucked her into bed. He then went back into the office and started to pick up the drawings, chuckling at each page as he did so. He studied the unfamiliar blue woman with some interest; he noticed the hiragana in the corner: 'mama'.

"Ah," He realised, placing the picture with the rest of the pile. He slid open a drawer in his desk and placed the pictures in a thick folder named 'Yachiru'. On his way back to his room, he stopped by her door and looked at her sleeping form.

"Goodnight Yachiru, I may not be yer mother or ever will, but I'm as proud of yer as any mother can be." He muttered before closing the door.