A/N: Yes. Derogatory word.
Note: Pre-Bleach storyline. Mild KaienRukia.
Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach.
"You're such a noisy derogatory word!" blasted a very angry female voice.
An equally annoyed, except male, voice answered, "Am I? Well you're a derogatory word!!!"
Kuchiki Rukia paused at the entrance of the training grounds, curiosity peaked when she spotted a gaggle of shinigami huddled together watching and encouraging a spectacle. Leisurely as she walked towards the group, she could distinguish the loud bantering from the cheers. Wasn't that Sentarou's voice? She halted at the edge of the crowd and listened.
Kotetsu Kiyone yelled at the top of her lungs, "Derogatory word! DEROGATORY WORD!"
Rukia blinked, mildly perplexed, when the female fraction of the crowd cheered with good will just as Kotsubaki Sentarou retorted, "You one trick derogatory word! Always shadowing me like an annoying little-"
"Who says I'm following you, you derogatory word. Don't think so highly of yourself."
"At least I'm not a deroga-derogatory word-tory word!"
Rukia, even from her terrible vantage point at the back, could spot the hot red gracing Kiyone's cheeks as she growled and pinched Sentarou on the arm. "You're so derogatory word derogatory word you ape-like derogatory word!"
"Let go of me you crazy derogatory word!" roared the male shinigami. "At least I have more dignity than to fight dirty!"
"What was that you derogatory word"
"Kuchiki, you shouldn't waste your time watching those two go at it." An unexpected voice laced with humour addressed her from behind. "Don't you have other plans like training to preoccupy your time with?"
Rukia twirled around, eyes wide in embarrassed shock, "K-Ka-Kaien-dono!"
"Trust me, they've been at it for two and a half hours now." Shiba Kaien smiled and drew Rukia into a headlock, laughing, "I actually can't believe they're still arguing!"
"I was attracted by their noise," mumbled the Kuchiki as she tried to pry the hands off her shoulders. "You were here when they started…this?"
Kaien relaxed his grip and grinned, "Yeah, I told them to 'censor' themselves."
Rukia sidled out of his embrace, a tad timid and embarrassed, and asked, "So that's why they're-?"
He crossed his arms. "Kind of scary, huh?" Kaien snorted, evidently amused by the antics performed by Kiyone and Sentarou. "I only told them that Captain Ukitake doesn't appreciate long strings of cutthroat remarks and suggested they censor themselves unless they want to disturb him." He blinked thoughtfully. "I really didn't think they would listen to me."
The raven-haired shinigami gave him a flat look. "You're our Vice Captain, Kaien-dono. Of course we would listen to you."
"Oh don't get me wrong. I don't doubt any of you when it comes to following orders and such." Kaien paused with a smirk, contemplating something for his ears only, but Rukia swore she heard him say, "Probably even if I tell you all to jump off a cliff…"
Shaking his head, the vice captain continued, "…I guess I'm just surprised that Kotetsu and Kotsubaki would last this long censoring their argument by yelling 'derogatory word' in place of every insult."
Rukia gave him a small smile. "That's true. 'Derogatory word' has so many syllables that a normal person wouldn't use it in an argument continuously."
"So you were trying to deter them from disagreeing!" summed up Rukia firmly.
"Actually…" Kaien rubbed the back of his head, laughing nervously. "I was only teasing them, paying no mind to their little verbal war." He smiled blithely as he glanced into the direction of Kiyone and Sentarou and joked, "They're so reverent towards Captain that they're making me look inadequate."
Rukia immediately admonished without thinking, "Don't say that, Kaien-dono!"
He glimpsed at her curiously. "Why's that, Kuchiki-chan?"
Violet eyes softened as they turned towards the ground. Her cheeks were dusted by the palest of pinks. "I-that is-you-" Embarrassed, she twisted the material of her shinigami outfit, mentally berating herself for the previous outburst.
"Well?" Kaien waited patiently as the shorter shinigami fidgeted. "I appreciate my subordinates' opinions, Kuchiki."
The female shinigami took in a deep breath to calm her nerves before speaking. "No matter what happens, we'll always look up to Captain Ukitake as our guiding role model and I'm sure you're the same way too…But we also look up to you for guidance as well, Kaien-dono," murmured Rukia with a certain conviction.
She looked up then, eyes reflecting adoration, "You're an excellent vice captain – you're our excellent vice captain – so please don't say that you're inadequate! You-"
"You son of a derogatory word!"
Kiyone's sharp voice effectively interrupted Rukia and the mood broke. Deep amethyst eyes looked away bashfully waiting for the Shiba clan member to say something – anything – to break the nervous tension.
And he did. Kaien rested a gentle hand on top of her head, smiling softly when she gazed up at him, and said, "Thank you Rukia."
Err. Yea. This bunny hopped into my head and derogatory word! And oops, I guess I got a bit carried away with the KaienRukia…Didn't mean for it to get fluffy like that!