Well, just to make sure that no one else whines about a continuation, putting me even more behind on my other projects, here's a sequel to "After Life". It's short, it's funny, and it's twisted. Enjoy!
A Bleach Fanfiction by Andrew J. Talon
Disclaimer: Bleach is not, and never will be, mine, nor am I writing this for profit. Thanks.
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Captain Zaraki Kenpachi had been hearing rumors pertaining to him ever since he'd first entered Seireitei. Some of the more amusing ones (to him at least) suggested that he'd originally picked up Yachiru as an emergency food source, or was keeping her until she matured and married her.
Division 11 laughed nearly four days straight at that one and Division 4 had quarantined their barracks in case it was contagious.
So, when he heard about a church being founded with him in mind, Zaraki was understandably willing to just ignore it and consider it another foolish rumor. His men were snickering about it and a few of the braver ones had nicknamed him "Saint Kenpachi".
Yachiru, however, had found it quite fascinating, and had pestered him until he'd finally relented and taken her to the 35th District. She could have gone by herself-She was more than capable of it-but she'd had to drag him there.
And now, here he stood, an old man in brown robes and glasses staring at him in the entrance. Kenpachi stared back. Yachiru had rushed off to play with some of the other kids frolicking about, as her attention span was not suited to awkward staring matches.
The old man smiled.
Kenpachi blinked. Okay… Wasn't expecting that…
"Yo," the Eleventh Division Captain responded simply. The old man grinned. Not a vacant sort of grin, like he was seeing an object of worship (a few shinigami, male and female, had taken to him in such a way and it always made him uncomfortable). Nor a strained grin, when one is scared out of their mind. It was rather confusing to Zaraki.
"Ladies made a nice breakfast. Eggs, fish, rice-Want some?"
Kenpachi blinked again. He opened his mouth.
"Got any sake?"
"Yup." Kenpachi shrugged.
Who was he to turn down free booze?
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"Look Ken-chan! Look! It's you! Only this time, I drew you fightin' that one Hollow, remember, with the beak and stuff?" Yachiru cheered, holding up a piece of paper. Zaraki nodded and grinned in his shark-like way, before throwing back another cup of warm sake.
"Add more blood. There was a lot more blood."
"I would, but Uke-kun needed it for a rainbow!" Zaraki snorted.
"Feh. Then take it from that little pansy. Blood's always more important than some sissy rainbow."
"Hai, Ken-chan!" Yachiru bounded away, and Zaraki shook his head. He turned to the old man across the plain wooden table, who was slowly eating his meal in between sips of alchohol. The two were under a tarp strung up in the field behind the church. The sounds and smells of a working kitchen floated out of the back door, and Zaraki indulged in more fried fish, licking his lips.
"Nice kid," the pastor commented. Zaraki smirked.
"She took down that Hollow herself. Ripped it's beak off first, then stabbed it through the face. Shoulda seen its expression." The old man chortled. Zaraki frowned, but shrugged and continued.
"It turns out it was this… Orni-whatever-the-hell… Bird watcher, who'd died losing the chance to capture this rare piece of shit bird. So he stuck around and became one himself." Zaraki shook his head. "Can you believe that shit?"
"You think that's bad," the old man returned. "One of my congregation used to be a Hollow, because he'd died choking on a chicken bone." Zaraki shook his head, grin appearing, as the pastor continued.
"He swore to get revenge on chicken farmers everywhere, so he tried haunting them. Haunting chicken farmers because he choked on a chicken bone!" Zaraki laughed, shaking his head.
"Just for that, I'm going to need more sake."
"Tell me about it," the pastor sighed. He poured from the large jug in the center of the table, refilling their bowls. Zaraki downed his in a single gulp, and grinned as the pastor just sipped.
"So… Heard you started this church after you saw me. Put the fear of God in you, did I?" The pastor shrugged, and sipped his sake again before replying.
"Sort of… I could tell you the whole thing, but something tells me you're not into those kinds of tales."
"Mushy self-discovery crap? Hell no."
"Yeah. So, let's just say you inspired me to get out of my hole, and really look around." The pastor grinned. "Average life span around here is two thousand years. I'm not about to waste it feeling sorry for myself."
"You're preaching," Zaraki sniffed.
"It's my job," the pastor replied. "More sake?"
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Yachiru waved happily back at the kids, who all waved and shouted goodbye some hours later. Zaraki continued walking, the sun only a little lower than it was before.
"So Ken-chan, what'd you do?" Yachiru asked happily, bouncing up and down on his back.
"Talked to the pastor, had some grub and booze," Zaraki grunted. Yachiru tilted her head thoughtfully.
"They have lots more kids on Sundays! Can we go back then, Ken-chan?" Yachiru asked, smiling sweetly. Zaraki shrugged.
"Sure, why the hell not?"
Obviously, when Zaraki Kenpachi started going to church, the rumor mill went into overdrive. Some said he was corrupting it from the inside, some said it was a dark, demonic cult devoted to him. When more Eleventh Division members (and a few Division Four members they dragged along) began going, the image of Zaraki Kenpachi, the Demon of Seireitei, singing hymns in Rusted Sword church with the rest of the congregation circulated through word and photograph.
Nobody knew what the hell to make of it, which suited Zaraki just fine. Because none of the rumors could ever get it right.
Zaraki went for four simple reasons. The first was that Yachiru wanted to, and who was he to deny her? She toughened the kids in the Christian community up and she got playmates for those things in her life she liked that didn't involve bloodshed (which were still something of a mystery to Kenpachi for that very lack).
Second, the food and booze were always good. They had a congregational lunch after every service, and the kitchen staff loved their jobs. The huge feasts that started appearing after more shinigami began to show up was proof.
Third, Zaraki of course, would never admit this to anyone, but having a place besides the Eleventh Division where nobody treated him or his subordinates any different was kind of nice. Not that Kenpachi was some sort of Division 4 pussy who couldn't go on if nobody liked him-It was simply a good kind of different. The lack of good fights was soon remedied when more shinigami joined up and began training out back after services and lunch. Of course, with audiences of cheering congregation members these matches were a little more interesting. Though unlike matches in Eleventh Division there was little chance of riots developing. Too bad.
Fourth, and finally… Zaraki was not a scumbag manipulator like Aizen, Ichimaru, or any of those other traitors. But he did enjoy causing the gossips to flap their lips. It was funny as hell in his opinion what crap they came up with, and stunning them speechless when those photos entered circulation was even better.
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There, happy now?