Title: The Hazards of Being the Boss's Girl
Universe: Bleach
Theme/Topic: N/A
Rating: PG-13
Character/Pairing/s: GanjyuxHanatarou, Isane, Unohana (appearances by Ganjyu's gang)
Warnings/Spoilers: Er, vaguely for the SS arc. Also warnings for the usual OOC and stupidity.
Word Count: 2,831
Summary: There's a price that comes with being the big dog in town.
Dedication: Uh, shinigamikender- thanks for the names! LOL And for emlan, because I know she likes this pairing too. I think. XD
A/N:
Why yes, I am out of practice with this pairing, as this story plainly shows. But you gotta start (and re-start) from somewhere, right? So apologies for the butchering and I hope I'll do better next time. XD
Disclaimer: Not mine, though I wish constantly.
Distribution: Just lemme know.


It all started off as a sort of territory war—the Shiba house kept moving after all—and while Ganjyu and his group were clearly the trespassers in this case, Ganjyu gave fuck all if that put him in the wrong because like hell he was going to bow down to a group of monkeys like this when he knew very well he could take them all out on his own without so much as batting a single, thick eyelash.

Demanding payment from Ganjyu for use of Rukongai turf that belonged to everyone? Hell, a condition like that was good enough reason for the youngest Shiba to crack his knuckles and punch the group's arrogant bastard of a leader right in the face without even trying to strike a deal. End of negotiations, no more pleasantries.

This was officially a hostile takeover.

From there the fight degenerated into the lowest kind of brawl, and Ganjyu couldn't abide by that either, ordered his boys not to back him up and instead, proceeded to show these two-bit Ruongai jerk-offs how real men fought, even if he was unarmed and alone.

He got a black eye and cut the inside of his mouth against his teeth in the process (bastard with the brass knuckles sucker punched him), but he never had any doubts about coming out of something like this the sole victor. Hell, he'd stood up to fucking Senbonzakura and lived to tell the tale, and as far as he was concerned, if you could survive a steel storm like that a girly little punch to the jaw meant absolutely nothing at all.

And he was right, just like he knew he'd be, because he won that fight all on his own with time to spare before neesan expected them to have dinner ready, got to stand and watch those weak bastards cower and run off shouting obscenities over their shoulders as they slouched into the safety of darkness.

"You haven't seen the last of us!" they promised, and how many times had Ganjyu heard that little gem in his years as the self-proclaimed number one toughest guy in Rukongai?

Too many times for it to be a blip on the radar as far as he was concerned, and he simply wiped his hands free of dust as he watched them run. "Che," Ganjyu scoffed, and spat some of the blood in his mouth out onto the dirt at his feet. "That's that, I guess. Let's go get neesan's oden set, boys. Remember she likes the ones with the mochi filling best."

"Right!" his four friends agreed, all feeling the rush of victory (even if it was only by proxy) as they strutted around their new turf and went to the market to buy ingredients for Kuukaku's dinner.

Ganjyu didn't think another thought on the incident after that because as far as he was concerned, now that he was boss of this territory things were only gonna get better for everyone involved, and besides, he was the kind of fella who always looked forward, not backwards.

When he told Hanatarou about it a day or two later, the small shinigami simply shook his head and took Ganjyu's face in-between both of his small hands, half-exasperated and half something else altogether while he healed the remnants of the bruises that were still showing a little bit—greenish-yellow now— on Ganjyu's face. "Be careful, Ganjyu," he murmured quietly, looking up at the larger man through his bangs, "there are dangerous people in Rukongai."

Ganjyu turned a little bit pink at that and averted his eyes, played it cool even if every part of him was thrilled that Hana worried about him (even if it was clearly unnecessary since he was the strongest guy out there right now). "Yeah well, I don't think we got anything to worry about from those losers," he assured Yamada, and even reached out to ruffle the tiny shinigami's hair fondly.

Hanatarou still looked somewhat doubtful—because someone had to worry about Ganjyu if he wasn't going to do it for himself—and the look on his face made that initial burst of happiness inside of Ganjyu from just now grow so big he couldn't take it any more. So he didn't bother holding it back after that, promptly pulling the smaller man right into his lap and wrapping his arms around him and refusing let go until Hanatarou laughed and smacked at him and told him he had to be back at work because his lunch break had long ended.

After that Ganjyu headed back home with a joyful heart, and told himself—with a goofy smile— that he'd better be careful from here on out, because there was someone out there who worried about him and it was possibly one of the best feelings in the whole wide world, even if Hana really had nothing to worry about at all in the first place.

When he made it back to the Shiba house Hawk was waiting out front for him, apron and all and looking pretty damn pale in the face, like he had some really bad diarrhea or something.

But even that wasn't enough to douse any of Ganjyu's good mood, and so he waved at his friend and asked, "What the hell's wrong with you? Looks like you swallowed a bug." It was right about then that he looked around and suddenly noticed that all the other boars were gone from their posts in the yard.

Apparently that was the cue Hawk was waiting for, because whatever it was he'd been mibbling about suddenly exploded in one big, tear-filled wail. "We've been looking all over for you, aniki!"

Ganjyu blinked. "What, really?"

The other man nodded and quickly fumbled for something inside his front apron pocket, eventually finding it and then quickly thrusting what turned out to be a crumpled up piece of paper at Ganjyu. "Read that!"

Ganjyu gave the poor guy a weird look but did as he was told, even if the handwriting on the paper was probably worse than his and was kind of hard to make out from all the crumpling and blotching it had obviously been through.

What he could make out were the words: tonight, capture, girlfriend, ha, give up, ha, if you want to keep her safe, and once again, ha. Then there were some more scribbly bits at the bottom he was too lazy to try and decipher because squinting at the stupid thing was starting to give him a headache.

Puzzled, he looked back at Hawk, holding the letter. "Er, I don't think I get it, to be honest."

The other man groaned before grabbing him by the shoulders and shaking him. "Aniki they're going to kidnap your girlfriend and make you fight them in front of everyone for the area! The whole town is buzzing with the news!" he clarified. "Everyone else went out looking for you to tell you! You have to get back to Yamada-aniki quickly!"

Ganjyu blinked.

And then it all made sense. Perfect sense.

"Right! Shit, this is bad," he muttered, and went to grab Bonnie-chan from her post. "I'm goin' back!" he called over his shoulder.

"We'll be right behind you once everyone gets back, aniki!" Hawk assured him, and Ganjyu sort of wondered if that was really necessary.

But whatever, it couldn't hurt to have some back-up, because if Ganjyu didn't get back to the fourth division headquarters before Hana heard the news, there was going to be hell to pay.

The kind of pouty-lipped, sad-eyed, kicked-puppy hell that made Ganjyu feel about thisbig and not an inch taller.

And so rode hard and fast and merciless, made it back to the court in record time. He patted a sweating, irate Bonnie-chan in apology as he tied her to the gate and then promptly raced inside, Hanatarou's name loud on his lips.

Everyone in the fourth division was pretty used to him hanging around all the time so he made his way down the halls pretty much unhindered (save for the occasional, "Shiba-san, be QUIET!"), frantically searching for Hanatarou, who hadn't been in his office.

"Ganjyu-san, is something the matter?" a familiar voice asked suddenly, and he whirled to find himself looking (very slightly) up at the tall fourth division vice-captain, who stared back at him worriedly.

"Is Hana around?" Ganjyu asked, a bit out of breath as he waited for Isane's answer.

"I saw him outside just now, hanging up some of the laundry to dry," she offered, helpfully.

"Great, thanks!" he grunted, and barreled past her before she could even askto why he was here in the first place.

She sighed and watched after him as he stalked away, and thought that today must just be one of those bizarre days they sometimes got, after a line of otherwise normal ones.

Really, first that attempted break-in earlier and now Shiba-san shouting bloody murder in the hallways?

Well, she supposed that at the very least, she and Unohana-taichou could have a good laugh about everything later over tea, after the fourth division captain eventually let the would-be burglars she'd caught go.

Hanatarou in the meantime, was doing exactly as stated, carefully hanging up all the freshly laundered bed sheets on the clothing line to dry in the sunlight because today was a very nice day and everyone knew that patients always appreciated clean sheets that smelled of sunlight and fresh air rather than bleach and chemicals and the other sharp, musty things hospitals often tended to smell like.

Just when he was finishing up a familiar shriek of "HANA!!!" split the afternoon peace and quiet, and something approximately six feet tall and two-hundred and thirty-three pounds plowed right into him, blindsiding him.

Which, upon description, might have hurt, but before it could he was scooped up quickly, wrapped around protectively, and coming to a skidding halt with his feet dangling twelve inches off the ground.

"G-ganjyu?" he managed, and blinked at the dust covered, sweat covered, panting Shiba that held him aloft. "Did uh…did you forget something?"

Ganjyu stared at him for a moment. And then slumped, apparently relieved at something. "Oh good, you didn't hear yet, then."

Hanatarou blinked. "Hear what?" he asked, carefully. "Are you feeling alright?"

Ganjyu set him down then, breathing heavily. "Whatever rumors you hear, they ain't true, okay? From me to you, promise, swear on it, they ain't true."

"What's not true?" Hanatarou questioned, as was beginning to feel a little worried for the other man. He quickly put his hand on Ganjyu's forehead by rote, checking for some sort of fever.

But Ganjyu caught his hand before he could get an accurate reading, squeezed it in one of his big, clumsy ones. "I don't gotta girlfriend. So don't you worry, okay? No girlfriend for me."

Silence.

Hanatarou stared.

And then, "What?"

Ganjyu slumped backwards then—apparently exhausted—right onto his ass on the ground.

"There was this letter, see?" the larger man began, "from those assholes I was tellin' you 'bout earlier. They said they was gonna kidnap my girlfriend less I uh, I gave 'em back their territory or somethin', and it was a big deal and now everyone's rarin' for a fight," he explained, all in a big rush. "And it's not that I'm worried or nothing, but I just came back here fast as I could 'cuz I wanted to be the one to tell ya before you heard from somewhere else. No girlfriend. I don't have one, and they're liars, and so um…so… don't uh, I mean, not that you'd… but you know… it's not true," he finished, lamely.

Hanatarou was a little wide-eyed by the time Ganjyu had to pause to breathe again, and didn't really know what to say. "You don't…have a girlfriend?"

"Swear to god," Ganjyu vowed, solemn and pink-cheeked all at once.

Hanatarou tried to pick apart the other man's words, because he had a feeling that that was the only way any of this is going to start making sense. "Those men you beat up a few days ago want revenge," he started, slowly. That much he'd been able to pick up.

Ganjyu nodded.

"And…. they sent you a letter today, saying you'd better fight them for the territory again, and that they were going to kidnap your girlfriend for insurance."

Another nod.

"But you don't…have a girlfriend."

Nod.

"And you came back here to um, to make sure I knew that?"

"Yes."

"Because…"

Ganjyu blinked. Turned from slightly pink to very red. "Because uh…because you'n I… you know… and I didn't want you to think I was just um, playin' around or somethin' and that there was actually a girl or all along or anything, you know? I mean… you know?" And then he frowned and got all riled up again, punched his fist into his hand angrily. "Those damn bastards… that's pretty low, trying to get me all demoralized by making you hate me before we fought. I'll kill 'em twice over."

Oh. Oh.

Hanatarou laughed a bit helplessly to himself and crouched down next to the other man, feeling pleasantly warm despite all the unnecessary ruckus. He reached out and patted Ganjyu's shoulder reassuringly. "I don't think that's what they meant," he told Ganjyu, voice gentle.

Ganjyu stared. "Well then what the hell did they mean when they said they were gonna kidnap my girlfriend?"

Hanatarou was really very flattered that Ganjyu apparently thought him a pillar of manliness who could never be mistaken for a girl despite his being just a squeak over five feet tall and barely a hundred pounds. With a sigh, he settled down on the ground next to Ganjyu, taking one of the other man's large hands into his much, much smaller one.

"Ne, Ganjyu," he began, with infinite patience, "you don't have a girlfriend, but you have a…er… a boyfriend, right?"

A beat.

"Well…yeah, I mean… yeah. I do."

"Okay." Hanatarou smiled to himself and let that sink in for a bit as the two of them sat there, hand-in-hand.

And then, after a very long while, realization finally hit. "FUCKING SHIT!"

Hanatarou chuckled and let his head rest against Ganjyu's shoulder as he let the larger man ride out the waves of his epiphany. "Thank you though, for the warning," he added, once he was pretty sure Ganjyu was done.

"But wait! This is bad! This means they're gonna try'n kidnap you!"

"Well then, you'll um, you'll just have to stay here and protect me, right?"

Ganjyu stopped to think about that. Then settled again, back next to Hanatarou, apparently satisfied with that sole security precaution. "Yeah, I guess I will. Buncha kidnapping, note-sending pansies anyway."

"I feel very safe," Hana assured him, before standing and tugging Ganjyu to his feet. "Let's go have some tea while we wait, ne?"

"Yeah, sure. I mean, that sounds good."

And as they headed back inside, Hanatarou couldn't help but think that it was a little bit weird for the kidnappers to have given Ganjyu the note and then given him plenty of time to get here before they attempted any sort of abduction, but in the end, he supposed he shouldn't question their good luck on the matter either.

In the meantime, Unohana-taichou continued to sternly—but kindly— reprimand a bunch of break-ins who'd had the bad luck of trying to climb into her open office window while she'd been catching up on her reading earlier today.

The presumed thieves were sentenced—very sweetly—to inventory duty in the basement under her very watchful eye for the rest of the afternoon before being let go with a stern warning not to try anything so foolish ever again.

"Really," Unohana-taichou chastised as she saw them to the door, "if you'd snuck into the eleventh division office by mistake you would have been disemboweled!"

The scoundrels grumbled another set of mechanical apologies and headed out the door as quickly as their legs would take them, thinking that it might have been preferable to be disemboweled by the eleventh division rather than lectured all day by the fourth.

At least that was over. And they still had plans. Sort of.

However, on their way out of the front gate, they encountered a very familiar bunch of wild boars carrying a very familiar bunch of riders.

"Shit," the group's leader muttered, and as they were set upon by an irate looking Top, Hawk, Dumbbell, and Fever (who all were screaming something incoherent about leaving Yamada-aniki alone), he decided that Shiba Ganjyu could go ahead and keep the damned territory.

And his stupid little, impossible-to-kidnap girlfriend too, because this had long since ceased to be worth the effort.

On the other side of the compound, Hanatarou made Ganjyu tea and snacks and all in all, the two spent a very pleasant, kidnapping-free afternoon together, just the two of them.

END