A/N: No comment. Yup. Just Yachiru.
Warning: Vague hints of pairings…Here and there. Post Soul Society arc. Pre Arrancar arc.
Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach.
Yamamoto Genryuusai would have laughed if it wasn't for protocol and the fact that he had an image as the Commander General to maintain.
Even so, he wasn't able to stamp out the small smile of amusement that flickered on his face briefly. He knew he should be furious but the thought of being angry towards Kusajishi Yachiru was absurd - an absolute waste of energy! Admittedly, he can't stay angry at the child-like shinigami no matter how much he wanted to so it would be a lost cause.
He stared at the thirteen – no ten – portraits that lined up the hallway. Ten portraits that he commissioned of the ten remaining captains in Seireitei used to easily remind the shinigami who the captains are, and silently, who had left them.
"What is the meaning of this?" screeched Kurotsuchi Mayuri. He flicked his finger towards his portrait and glared, seething.
The ten captains present kept a straight face (protocol and all) and examined the canvas that was supposed to hold the twelfth captain's portrait.
All they saw was black since...that was the only colour that covered the entire portrait.
"You're dead!" Suddenly, a pink head flashed up from above Kenpachi's shoulder, and the little voice cried out joyously, "Ken-chan hates your guts and if it's his business then it's my business too."
Everyone sighed and waited for the explosion.
"Having a little girl protect you, Zaraki?"
"Protect me?" Kenpachi snorted, "Yachiru'll kick yer ass but o' course not before I do."
Kyouraku Shunsui exclaimed loudly while pointing at his portrait, effectively stopping the argument from escalating, "Well, it's not that bad actually. There's sake and I can even see Nanao-chan in the background!"
Kurotsuchi threw a glare at Kyouraku for interrupting him and stormed out of the hall.
Yachiru landed beside Kyouraku and pointed excitedly at the drawings in the eighth captain's portrait. "See! See! Nana-chan loves her book and loves to hit you with the book cause she says you never do work and only drink and-!"
"Oh Nanao-chan!" He heaved a fake sob. "Such is the sorrows of unrequited love from my beautiful, delicate Na-"
A heavy book smacked his head and Ise Nanao pushed her glasses up, unperturbed. "If you didn't drink so much sake, Captain, and did more work, then maybe I wouldn't hit you as often."
"Nanao-chan! So refined and silent-"
"I was right behind you since the beginning of this gathering."
Renji snickered quietly at the display before glancing at his captain's portrait. "So, Captain, what do ya make of all this?"
Before Byakuya had a chance to comment though, Yachiru pulled at his sleeve and spewed out a tirade of words, "Byakushi! I love your shiny. Can I touch the shiny on your head? Is it edible? It kinda looks like candy! Can I-? Pleeeeassseeee?"
Yachiru looked up at Byakuya hopefully. Without batting an eyelash, he took action by shoving candy into her mouth; he turned around and left the room.
Vice-Captain Abarai Renji examined the portrait one last time, noting the pink menace drawn sitting on his captain's head and seemingly chewing on the kenseikan headpiece, before shaking his head and followed after Byakuya.
This is definitely a topic not to be brought up with his captain ever again.
A voice called out. "Hmmm…Vice-Captain Kusajishi-"
"-Yachiru-chan," corrected Unohana. "Why the pink hearts?"
Her vice-captain smiled, awaiting the strange logic that was about to come out from Yachiru's mouth.
She did not disappoint. The young shinigami seemed to almost nod sagely, as if about to divulge in a wondrous secret and whispered conspiratorially, "Well you gotta have hearts around your head, cos otherwise, why'd you heal Ken-chan and be so nice even after all of 'em stabbities?"
"You say 'stabbities'?"
"Yup. Super-baldy says that the Fourth has a bunch o' pansies," states Yachiru rather nonchalantly. "And it's our duty to pick on them, but that it's a wonder they still heal us."
Both Unohana and Isane nodded. That was definitely nothing new to them.
"So you gotta have hearts around your head!"
The healer spoke kindly, "If you say so." Isane covered her mouth, giggling.
"I know so!" squealed the child-like shinigami as she seemed to magically materialize a paper heart and handed it to Unohana. Unohana smiled serenely and carefully held the heart while Yachiru skipped away and approached a scowling Soi Fong.
"Ehh…Grumpy-ninja…You don't like…?"
Cross at the usage of the nickname, she muttered out, "No. I don't."
"But-But…" Yachiru pouted adorably. "You're always grumpy! I think you need to smile more." She then pointed to her cheeks and pulled them up. "Like this! Seeeee?"
Soi Fong merely scoffed and folded her arms together before asking uneasily. "But the cat?"
"Ehehe…" Yachiru laughed nervously. "I once saw you with this pretty black cat and you were petting it and you were smiling - with your pretty smile too!"
If anything, the vice-captain didn't expect Soi Fong's cheeks to colour significantly; she thought she would have thrown a 'hissy fit' as one Feather-brow puts it.
As sudden as the blush, the deadly second captain quickly snapped quietly at the shinigami, "Not a word to anyone, got that Vice-Captain Kusajishi?"
Yachiru nodded fervently and asked, "Does that mean you'll smile more? Can I have some candy Gr-?"
Soi Fong used shunpo to escape.
Slightly disappointed with the lack of success, she bounced over to the other short member of Gotei 13. "Captain Hitsu-Shirou!"
Hitsugaya turned towards Yachiru, crossed his arms, and demanded curtly, "Black hair?"
The pink-haired vice captain nodded her head and smiled doggedly, "That way Captain Hitsu-Shirou would be Captain Hitsu and won't be mistaken as a little old man!"
"How…considerate." He muttered in undertone, "Better than the dog biscuits." He glanced at the portrait of Komamura Sajin and noted the floating dog treats around his head. Yes. Definitely not as degrading.
And Komamura? He was no where to be found.
Matsumoto choked back her laughter when Hitsugaya turned a piercing glare her way. The vice-captain smiled, and waved her hand dismissively. "Oh, the black is very becoming on you, Captain."
A wistful voice interrupted them. "I actually wouldn't mind black hair. Perhaps, it would fit me more than the pink ribbons."
Matsumoto glanced at Ukitake Jyuushirou's portrait and grinned, "What a nice touch Yachiru-chan left on your hair, Captain Ukitake."
"Neeeeh! Do you like? Do you like?" Yachiru bounced up and down on the balls of her feet. "No one in the Eleventh Division has the pretty long hair like yours, Young-grampy!"
Nanao took that moment to comment. "That is quite true, considering that the Eleventh Division consists of br – I mean - is a combat unit." She was going to say brutes and barbarians but decided against it with Zaraki looming close by; that would have lacked tact and Nanao prided herself with tact.
"But this is improper, inappropriate, and unsuitable for someone as great as Captain Ukitake!" pouted Kiyone. "And Youn – I mean - Pink ribbons, Yachiru-chan?"
"Yup," Yachiru nodded. "Pink ribbons are so pretty in white hair! I wanna braid Young-grampy's hair. Can I braid your hair? Can I? Can I?"
Kiyone twitched again after hearing Captain Ukitake's nickname.
"Oi, Yachiru!" Zaraki called out to the little girl, effectively cutting her off. "Don't do somethin' as pansy as braidin' hair-"
"But Ken-chan…" she whined.
"How 'bout you tell me what you drew?" He waved towards his portrait.
Yachiru squealed when she spotted Zaraki's grin. "Look at the lovely blood I drew, Ken-chan!"
Really, the only 'parent' that would love this kind of painting would be Zaraki if said painting consisted of drenches of red and decapitated body parts.
…And not to mention, in an almost inconspicuous corner, one could make out a detailed drawing of Kurosaki Ichigo being gutted by Zaraki's nameless sword.
Zaraki Kenpachi grinned in approval, happy that he raised his little girl right.
Oh my. Yachiru. I forgot about nicknames until I went deep into the story.
EDIT: I just realized that the last sentence of this story sounds way too familiar...Perhaps I got this sentence from somewhere (?) but I just can't remember where! Arg. If the wording of this sentence appears in an older fiction by another author, I apologize. It was definitely unintentional. Maybe it'd just be smarter to rephrase it...neh?
Sept. 24, 07: After Note (I totally forgot about Yamamoto, as Viashino wizard pointed out. Oops. And it nearly took me a year to write this part haha.)
Yamamoto paced down the hallway away from the gathering chamber the other captains were currently occupying. His vice captain followed him at the heels like a shadow after they both discretely escaped the room, feeling mildly triumphant.
No one noticed that only his portrait was unmarked.
He smiled to himself - as if he would leave his portrait hanging off a wall in an unguarded chamber before a public showing, especially once he caught wind from one of his informants that Kusajishi Yachiru was going to make a midnight visit to 'examine' the portraits.
Right. He may be old, but he isn't senile.