A/N: Hello all! It's me, CC, again! Alas, I have written another oneshot! It's another crack pairing so maybe you people will read it just to try something not…canon…Whatever. Anyway, It's in the SS Arc so if you haven't got there yet, don't read or major spoilers will befall your innocent spoiler free minds. Read, review, and enjoy!
Dedication: To VulcranDune…cuz she requested a Nanao x Kaien crack fic…I hope you will enjoy this!
GROW by ccpopstar
Ise Nanao smiled proudly for herself for the first time in weeks. She had just been appointed vice-captain of 8th company. After completing numerous challenging tasks and a meeting with the captain's counsel, she had been appointed this high position that she had dreamed of getting since graduating with high honors from the Shinigami School.
"I've finally done it! I've actually done it!" Nanao hugged her hands to her chest, as she couldn't believe the wonderful news! After receiving congratulations from her friends who had also tried for the position she walked as quickly as she could to her room. After sliding shut the screen door she looked about the room and screamed while doing a happy dance! Once she fell from her high she looked about the room and pondered.
"I wonder who my captain is?" Of course, Nanao knew all the captain's names by heart as well as the vice-captains', but she didn't know the faces of these people with such prestigious reputations. She looked about herself and decided to ponder it tomorrow; because that was the day she was to start her day as a vice-captain of one of the Gotei 13! Promptly, she plopped down onto her futon and hugged her body pillow to her with a large smile on her face, waiting for tomorrow to come.
The next morning, Nanao hurriedly walked past several other shinigami on her way to 8th company. Today was to be the best day ever! At least that was what was on Nanao's mind before she got to 8th companies' headquarters'. As she entered the large office belonging to her captain she searched for him but he was not there.
As if on cue, a large horrendous sounding snore cut through the peaceful silence of the morning. Nanao fixated her glasses as they slipped down her nose when the noise was heard.
"Um…hello?" She called unsure of herself. Another loud snore answered her call and she was growing impatient. She marched over to the desk and looked behind it to see a huge, hairy man sleeping on the floor! She gasped at the man's uncouthness and tapped him on the shoulder as to wake him from his slumber. He coughed a bit and moaned as he rubbed his eyes like a child waking from naptime. Nanao rolled her eyes and looked back down at the man.
'Who is he and why is he here in the captain's office, sleeping?'
"Huh? Who're you?" The man's low rugged voice muttered up to her with a monotone sound. She looked back down to see the man staring at her rudely like she was an intruder.
"I am the new vice-captain of 8th company, and I'm waiting to see my new captain." She spoke abruptly. This man was annoying enough as it was with his loud snores.
"New vice-captain? You mean…Eiji-kun left me?" He looked up with tears in his eyes and Nanao looked shocked. No. This had to be a joke. This man couldn't possibly be…could he?' She looked him over again and gasped as he wiped his eyes with his captains' coats sleeve and pulled a bright pink haori over top of it.
'He's the captain?' He looked back over at her and stood up, towering over her small lithe figure. He looked surprised and soon put his face very close to hers in a rude manner.
"You're pretty cute, though. What's your name new little miss vice-captain?" He smiled as he cupped her face with his large and probably filthy hands. Nanao gritted her teeth and pulled his hands away with the fastest moves anyone had ever seen.
"My name is Ise Nanao." She spoke with a cooler tone and bowed her head politely. She looked up to see her captain taking a swig from a small jug he had in his left hand.
'Is that…sake?' She sniffed the air and indeed it was. She glared back up at her captain. He finished his drink and topped the jug as he looked back down at her.
"Well, my name is…"
"Kyouraku Shunsui, captain of 8th company." Nanao finished for him, trying to prove she had more worth than to not even know her captain's name. He looked surprised for a moment, which secretly made her glad but then he smiled too.
"My new little Nanao-chan is so cute!" He spoke loudly as he pulled her into a great big bear hug! After slapping him silly he released her without even bothering to say sorry.
Nanao was more unnerved than ever and soon feared the position she had just been granted.
After a week's worth of trying to get used to being around her new captain, Nanao finally figured how things worked around the office and was becoming better organized with her captain's slackness in anything organizational whatsoever. As she entered the office to start the paperwork that was overdue from the last vice-captain's post, Nanao heard her captain approaching her desk.
"Sweet, sweet Nanao-chan!" Shunsui called out happily as he ran into her private room. He tried to hug her but she, after numerous attempts, had grown an instinct to swat him with her fan or book whenever he tried to do so. As he rubbed his sore chin, still recovering from previous battles, he looked down at her still writing in the paperwork as if he hadn't even entered the room.
"Nanao-chan! Listen to me! We're going out today!" She looked up with an uninterested look.
"Captain, if we go out, who will finish the paperwork?" She said in a monotone voice.
"We can finish it when we come back! Come now, Nanao-chan! You need a day off once in a while!" He grabbed her hands in a surprisingly strong grip and dragged her out of the office with all the other shinigami staring at her attempts to get away.
After unsuccessfully trying to escape she wound up following him to the 13th division. She stared at the serene look of things and wished that this were her division because of its calm looks and the fact that she would not be near this maniac of a captain of hers.
As Shunsui searched for someone she looked at a crystal clear pool of water in a small garden and sighed. Perhaps her captain was right and she did need a break from all the constant paperwork assigned to her everyday.
"Nanao-chan! Here's the someone I wanted you to meet!" She looked behind her toward her captain and two unknown men behind him.
"Jyuushiro! This is my sweet little vice-captain I told you so much about!" Shunsui shouted happily as he dragged her by the hand toward the two. The older looking white haired man gave off an aura of complete kindness and he smiled down at her with a serene look.
"Hello, Nanao." He spoke friendly towards her. She bowed towards him respectfully and when she arose she was face to face with the other strange man.
"Hiya!" He held out a hand to her. She jumped and stared at him like he was an alien or something. His eyebrows rose and then he just laughed.
"Sorry about that! I didn't mean to scare ya! I'm vice-captain of 13th company, Shiba Kaien!" He held his hand out to her more slowly this time. She accepted it and bowed slightly less towards him.
"Now that introductions are over, let's talk about good times, Ukitake!" Shunsui swung a large arm around his friend and the two walked a bit away from their vice-captains. Kaien stared at the two, as did Nanao until Kaien coughed abruptly, trying to get her attention.
"Yes?" She asked questioningly.
"So, you're the new vice-captain of Captain Kyouraku? Good luck! The last guy filed to be put into another division even accepting the fact to lose his vice-captain rank!" Nanao looked back at her captain in wonder. Was he really that bad? Sure he was annoying like a little brother but he didn't seem too dangerous if locked in a cage at all times.
"I think I can handle my own captain, but thanks for the warning." She smiled back at him. He looked dumbfounded but also smiled.
"Man, you need to smile more, you're really pretty when you smile." Nanao looked back at Kaien in shock and tried to cover the blush that was spreading up her body. No one had really commented her features that outspokenly before.
"-and isn't she just the cutest thing you've ever seen, Jyuu-chan!? I just want to eat her all up and hug her all day! She's my sweet, sweet Nanao-chan!"
Scratch that, Kaien was the second person to say that so abruptly. Both of the vice-captains sweat dropped as they watched their captains laugh.
The next day, Nanao tried to get her captain's and Kaien's comments off her mind as she proceeded to complete the paperwork leftover from yesterday. As she was about to start, Shunsui entered her office, again.
"Nanao-chan!" Shunsui yelled as he stormed into her office. SLAP. He rubbed his sore cheek and backed away to gaze at his sweet and young subordinate. She glared up at him while readjusting her cute glasses to push up against the bridge of her nose.
"Yes, captain?" She smiled bitter sweetly. Shunsui shook in fear and backed away to the door.
"You…you have a guest, sweet Nanao-chan." He squeaked out. She stopped her death glare and looked up at the door to see Kaien Shiba at the door looking at her. She blushed and stood from her seated position.
"Hello, vice-captain Shiba!" She bowed to her senior officer. He bowed back with an awkward look on his face like he never bowed before.
"So, um…" Kaien droned off as he looked at Shunsui.
"Oh, yes! Nanao-chan! Kaien wants to take you out on a dat-!" Kaien immediately smacked the back of her captain's head with an angry look in his eyes. She was beginning to like Kaien Shiba better already. Shunsui looked back up and smiled with hesitance, looking for the right words to avoid being hit again.
"Nanao, Kaien wants to take you on a tour of all the companies'" He smiled while he rubbed his hands together nervously. He looked back to Kaien who nodded and he let out a relieved sigh.
"Well, I would but I have a mountain of work to do since someone cant' do his own paperwork." Nanao seethed out through her teeth. Shunsui cowered behind Kaien.
"Nonsense, Nanao-chan! I will gladly take over your duties for today! I'll finish all of it!" Shunsui smiled brightly, hoping she would leave so he could drink his sake without her yelling at him for putting off work.
"ALL of it?" She muttered darkly.
"Of course! Now go frolick and be free for the day Nanao-chan!" Shunsui pushed her and Kaien out the door and closed his behind them.
Kaien looked down at her distressed face.
"Geez, you've got him whipped." He laughed and she joined in too.
After touring most of the companies' quarters' Kaien decided to take her on a walk through Rukongai. She agreed and they entered the huge konpaku area.
As they walked closely along a dirt path, Kaien cleared his throat to speak.
"So…where do you come from, Nanao?" He glanced down at her to see her ponder his question.
"Well, I was put in the 21st district of Rukongai, so it wasn't all that bad really, just a lot of kids pick pocketing and whatnot. I had a surrogate family, like most people, and one day I showed promise of becoming a shinigami so I was sent off to the academy and I succeeded to what I have become today." She explained honestly. She never really did tell many people about herself so even she was surprised.
"Wow, you're like an open book, but that's not a bad thing, really!" He shook his hands and she blushed shyly. They continued walking until he looked up and smiled.
"Ah, here it is."
Nanao looked up and what she saw was the most horrendous and most outrageous thing she had ever seen. Two gigantic flowers were on either side of a large house and strung a banner with the name SHIBA in bold letters across it. She let her mouth hang open at the sight. Kaien laughed at her reaction.
"That was my sister's idea. She likes to make a different one every time for when I come home. You should've seen the last one, it was a pair of gigantic feet."
Nanao stared at Kaien and could only think one thing.
'Just what kind of family does he have anyway?'
She would soon find out as she followed Kaien onto the grounds of the huge house. She spotted two people playing with a ball outside the house. One was an older girl with a curvy body and the other was a smaller younger boy who looked to be in his early teens.
"Nanao, this is my younger sister Kukaku and my little brother Ganju. Guys, this is my new friend Nanao. I came to show her around."
The girl, who looked only slightly younger than Nanao, smiled discreetly and whispered something into the little boys' ear, and he began to blush red hot.
"So has our older brother finally grown into a man and brought his first girlfriend home to us to see if we approve?" Kukaku laughed as Kaien blushed and rubbed his fist on her little skull. Nanao blushed and tried to hide it with a small hand.
"No, she's not! Geez, you two get more annoying every time I come back to see you. Maybe I just won't come back at all!"
The two siblings looked at him with shock and the little boy looked ready to burst into tears. Nanao stared at Kaien who held a scowl upon his face. Finally he looked back at his siblings and burst out laughing.
"You guys ALWAYS fall for that one! You're so gullible!" The two siblings stared at him and proceeded to tackle him and pummel him to a pulp. Nanao watched with a secret smile. Kaien's family seemed very happy and was very sweet.
After saying goodbye, with promises to return, Kaien and Nanao ventured off in the setting sun back to Seireitei. As Nanao reflected on her day with Kaien she felt a blow swipe past her.
"Nanao get down!" She turned to see Kaien unsheathe his sword and run at her. She ducked and he jumped over her head as a clanging noise was heard between two swords clashing.
"Hello shinigami. I just wanted a taste of the girl with ya is all, no need to get your panties in a bunch." The older man said as he pushed back on Kaien with his own sword. He had a bunch of muscle that Kaien lacked and Kaien tried to hold his stance. Nanao watched in shock as the man kicked Kaien's feet out from under him and pushed him hard onto the ground. Nanao's instincts kicked in as she summoned her kidou powers and blasted the old man into unconsciousness. She turned to see Kaien knocked out upon the ground and she panicked.
She beat his chest with her hands to get him to wake but he lay silent with no movement. Her lips pouted as tears welled in her eyes. She had never been held responsible for someone's life, but she felt guiltier than ever before. She had let Kaien down without lifting a finger to help him fight off the man until it was too late. As she bawled on his chest a hand grabbed her head from behind and her lips felt a smooth contact. She shook slightly and looked down at the satisfied face of a perfectly fine Kaien Shiba. She looked shocked. Shock soon turned to anger as she hit his head with her fists and he ran away from her laughing. He didn't see the happy smile that Nanao wore too.
As night had already fallen, Kaien volunteered to walk her to her room and she let him. They reached the quiet room and she opened the door as she stepped inside she felt his hand envelop hers with his warm one. She turned her head to see his face beaming with the moonlight reflecting off it. He smiled secretly.
"Nanao-chan…won't you give me a kiss good night?" He asked with a flirtatious smile. She blushed heatedly and then smiled too. She made her eyes look filled with want, as she knew how to use her face to get what she wanted. She slowly pulled her head near his and his heart started to beat faster in his chest. She was almost at the finish line when she stopped and he anticipated her next action.
The door slid shut in his face, as he stood dumbfounded outside her door. He heard her giggling inside her room and he laughed too as he walked back to his own room.
A week later, Nanao saw him again with Ukitake and Shunsui. They were attending the annual fireworks festival held every year. This year, Shunsui invited them all to watch it from his favorite drinking spot, the roof of 8th company. As Shunsui slept, knocked out from drinking too much, and so did Ukitake, from drinking so little, Nanao and Kaien watched the beautiful lights dance through the sky in patterns.
She felt a hand place itself atop of hers and she turned to see his smiling face. She smiled in return and knew that she was ready. He moved towards her slowly and she leaned in to meet him as the two kissed under red and orange sparks sparkling in the moonless sky.
As they parted Nanao blushed and dug her head into Kaien's shoulder as he wrapped a strong arm around her to support her. Truly, Nanao had never felt so happy in all her life.
Two long months passed and the relationship had grown with time. Kaien paused to remember all the happiness they had shared as he opened the letter he received that morning at breakfast. He skimmed the letter and frowned abruptly. He quickly reread it carefully and tried to comprehend the whole letter fully.
"Ukitake! Ukitake! Captain Ukitake!" The captain in question raised his head from his desk as he had been taking a secret nap. Kaien entered without asking and slammed the letter down upon his desk with an angry look in his eyes. Ukitake glanced at him and then at the letter that lay before him. He tenderly picked it up and skimmed the letter and also reread it after his initial shock took over.
"You are to be married to another one of the noble families Kaien. Congratulations." Ukitake smiled sadly. Kaien looked at him with disbelief.
"I refuse! I won't do it!" Kaien yelled angrily at Ukitake like he was the one who had sent the letter. Ukitake looked back up at him and shook his head.
"Kaien, no…you have to accept this."
Kaien looked betrayed with anguish in his eyes. Why would Ukitake choose their side over his? Why couldn't he choose the one he wanted to marry?
"Why? You know I'm with Nanao! I'm perfectly happy with her! In fact I'm more than fine with her I want to be with her! I don't care if some other noble house wants me to marry their daughter, I'll just refuse!" Kaien shouted angrily.
"You cant' Kaien."
"Think of your family, your only siblings that are left. If you refuse, they might very well banish you from Seireitei for defying a higher noble house than yours, Kaien." Ukitake explained morbidly.
"If you were banished, Nanao's life would be over…she could never see you without risking her position as well…you must accept this proposal…and end this affair with Nanao."
Kaien scowled with hatred at the words Ukitake spoke so calmly about. He glared at the man, but saw the sadness within his eyes. He pondered over the words he had just said and realized there really was no way to back out of this without losing something important to him.
"Fine." Kaien looked at Ukitake and swallowed hardly. Warm tears sprang to his eyes as he collapsed on the floor and held his head in his hands.
"I just…I just don't know how to tell her! I can't put her through this, captain! It'll break her heart! It's already breaking mine!"
Ukitake stood from his desk, walked around it and clasped both hands down on the younger man's shoulders. His intense eyes looked into Kaien's desperate ones.
"You must Kaien."
Kaien did break it off with Nanao. She was devastated. He told her the absolute truth and why he had to break up with her. As tears streamed down her graceful cheeks he stared emotionless at her, unable to cry when tears had long been gone since then.
"Kaien…I'll go with you…just please…don't do this…I lo-"
"I could never make you quit for something that you've worked so hard for to achieve."
"Kaien! Please!" She grabbed the front of his robes and bawled openly into his chest, soaking the black robes that felt like his heart at that moment. He took a breath to steady himself.
"I'm sorry, Nanao-chan." He spoke solemnly. With those words he tore his small fragile fingers from his robe and he left her at her doorway. She fell to the ground like a lifeless doll and shut the door with the last of her strength before crying her heart and soul out to the devil.
The next day at work, Nanao did her paperwork like it was any other ordinary day. Shunsui walked into her office and noticed the gloom that hung in the room like a rain cloud over her head. She looked upset and also very angry as she scribbled her signature over and over furiously into the parchment.
"Nanao-chan…want to go see Ukitake and-"
"No." Shunsui looks heartbroken and leaves her to herself. He hears a sob escape her mouth and the muffled sounds of someone trying to hide their sorrows with a handkerchief.
Shunsui walked over to his friends company and entered the lonely office, vacant of Kaien. Ukitake smiled sadly up at him.
"Has something happened between your Kaien and my Nanao-chan, Ukitake?" Shunsui asks quietly.
"Unfortunately, Kaien Shiba is to be married in a month's time to the head of one of the more noble headed households of Seireitei."
Shunsui looks shocked.
"There was nothing he could do? There was nothing you could do?"
Ukitake shook his head sadly. "I'm afraid not, Shunsui."
Shunsui looked down at the floor and looked back in the direction of his company.
"My poor little Nanao-chan…"
Nanao endured through the heartbreak. She molded herself into the perfect shinigami she had strived to be before Kaien had come into her life. She did all her work, along with Shunsui's and perfected her kidou as well as try to gain a better hand with her zanpakuto. She still hurt over that horrible break up. After all, she would not admit, but Kaien had been her first love. After the month of not seeing him, she accompanied the captain to see the wedding. She saw his new wife. She was gorgeous. She saw the love that twinkled in that woman's eyes as it used to twinkle in her own. She saw those lips that would smile at her all day and at night, now smiling at that other woman. They were in love. Nanao could tell and anyone else could tell as well. She felt like a used doll. She cursed the new wife of Kaien Shiba for taking her first love away from her…She fell asleep and soon forgot Kaien and his wife as the years went by uneventful except for some chance sightings of each other that usually left her feeling nauseous and him feeling guilty.
Nanao stared at the messenger kneeling at her doorway with tears already in her eyes.
"Kaien…Shiba…is dead?" She whispered the words out. She hoped she had heard wrong. She prayed she had heard wrong.
The messenger nodded, confirming her fears.
"Leave this place, now." The messenger disappeared as fast as he had come.
Nanao collapsed on her futon like the day she had when Kaien had left her for that other woman.
Shunsui stood at her doorway with a melancholy smile and his eyes looked more regretful than any time before. He had never heard his Nanao-chan cry in such a way. He swore to himself to never let her cry in such a way again.
He kept pushing against her barriers and broke through them after the death of Kaien Shiba and his wife. He wanted to get her mind off Kaien, but he never truly succeeded.
As Nanao found her captain sleeping on another roof at noon on another companies building she sighed. She gazed down at his happy and drunk face as he slept in the warm shining sun that he bathed in daily.
He reminded her of the time he had fallen asleep drunk during a fireworks festival while she and Kaien-
'No…don't think about that.'
She shook her head to rid herself of the terrible memories that had broken her heart long ago. She knew that she could never be rid of his memory. She would always love him.
Her thoughts were jumbled together as two strong arms pulled themselves tightly around her body. A head rested on her shoulder and the scent of earth, sakura blossoms, and sake drifted to her nose. She blushed without him noticing.
Promptly, she smacked him in the face with her large book that she carried around at all times these days.
"My sweet dear Nanao-chan! How your punches seem bittersweet as they are meant only for me!" He cried out to her with his warm eyes gazing up at her.
Nanao smiled. Even if she could never forget her happiness with Kaien, she was sure she could move on without him.
A/N: I hope you all enjoyed this crack fic of Nanao x Kaien! I tried to make it a fun fic but with Kaien's imminent death I had to end it with Shunsui and Nanao! Forgive me! Well all that's left is to review! So please do! Thanks!