Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach or any of its characters.
AN: Yeah, Byakuya x Yachiru. You gotta love them (or hate them, I could care less what you think).
Most shinigami on meeting the cute, vivacious pink-headed child known as Yachiru immediately find her to be absolutely adorable.
Byakuya Kuchiki is not one of these.
The first meeting the sixth division captain had with the small vice-captain was actually during the battle between the now-deceased eleventh squad captain and Kenpachi Zaraki.
Things were going well enough; everyone was watching the battle from afar and Kuchiki-taichou was studying the intruder carefully. He'd been watching the fight for maybe five minutes when a small hand reached up to tug on his white captain's robe. Slightly irritated, he looked down to meet the overly large red eyes of a small child. He wasn't aware that there were children in the surrounding area let alone in the Gotei 13.
"What is it?" he asked her, hiding his aggravation behind a carefully stoic mask.
"Ken-chan's going to win," the small girl said with a firm nod.
Byakuya wasn't sure who this 'Ken-chan' was, but he didn't have to ask as she pointed at the large, scarred man fighting the somewhat smaller captain.
"Why do you say that?" the Kuchiki heir asked his eyes still on her.
"Well, isn't it obvious?" Yachiru gave him a look and Byakuya was convinced she had just silently called him an idiot in her head. Her head suddenly whipped to the side, bringing the dark-haired man's attention to the battle, just in time to see 'Ken-chan's' sword rip upwards through his opponent's chest, severing the entire arm and a good part of the man's torso from his body.
The blood spray was fabulous.
Or so the little pink-haired girl seemed to think.
Byakuya didn't grimace at the sight of two separate pieces of body hit the ground simultaneously like most of the other shinigami. His eyes widened slightly as the girl's child-like laughter bubbled forth from her mouth.
The strong reiatsu had faded by now and the little girl's laughter stopped momentarily. "Oops, Ken-chan's looking for me! I have to go," she gave an awkward pause as she looked up at him. She seemed to contemplate something before bowing clumsily to Byakuya. "My name is Yachiru Kusajishi. I'm going to be the new vice-captain of the eleventh squad. I hope to see you again."
Byakuya watched as she shot off at a disconcerting speed and was climbing up the heavily bleeding shoulder of the new eleventh squad captain. That child thought she was going to be a vice-captain?
On their second meeting, in which Kenpachi Zaraki (for that was the man's name) was being officially titled captain of the eleventh division—Byakuya being forced to attend out of the sake of politeness—she decided that he was the only one worthy of her presence and had to sit by him the entire convention and asked him every unanswerable question possible.
On the third meeting, she finally asked him his name, despite the fact she already had learned it from a rather frazzled-looking member of the sixth division. He told her humanely that is was Captain Byakuya Kuchiki.
Apparently to a child her age it sounded like "Byakushi" which he wisely decided to ignore.
He gave her some sweets and she left happily enough.
This started something akin to a treaty.
He was pretty sure he didn't want to break it.
Especially since he heard about what the girl put members of her squad through.
Making her mad seemed to only end in pain.
On their forty-seventh meeting—Byakuya kept count, not for any particular reason—she smiled prettily as him and asked if he'd like to play a game of tag. The 'or else' in her eyes didn't leave much room to decline. With an audible sigh, Byakuya told her yes, he'd play a game of tag with her.
"Okay, you're it, Byakushi!" and shot off like a rocket.
It took the captain a moment to recover before he flash-stepped after her.
Yachiru couldn't help but let out a bit of a giggle as she soared through the streets of seireitei, doing her best to avoid the innocent shinigami walking them.
Byakuya was faster. He'd been flash-stepping since he was a fledgling shinigami and all of those decades paid off with his grace and speed. He had more speed than her, but even he barely had time to dodge the mountain of muscle that called itself Kenpachi Zaraki.
The glare he received from his almost target told Byakuya he should avoid this man if at all possible.
Which Byakuya wisely did.
For a day.
On their forty-ninth meeting—there had been a small skirmish between them a few hours ago—Byakuya found himself being hassled in his own office by the pink haired cretin. She wanted to know if Kenny killed him yet.
He told her no, Captain Zaraki hadn't killed him yet and why didn't she go bother Captain Ichimaru for a few hours.
She left and Byakuya begrudgingly got back to his paperwork.
On their four hundred and thirty-seventh meeting, Yachiru gave him a crayon portrait of himself.
He thought he looked a bit stiff, but Yachiru assured him that it was completely accurate.
Meeting nine hundred sixty-two didn't go so well. The five minute get-together resulted in Yachiru crying and Byakuya with a ripped pair of hakama.
Captain Zaraki was not happy with him.
Yachiru's yearly birthday party
Byakuya almost got her a stuffed toy, but thinking that she wasn't exactly a child anymore he got her a pretty black hairpiece with pink sakura blossoms painted on it. Yachiru seemed to think the world of it. She waited until she found him alone to hug and thank him just as he turned to leave.
Every time he saw her after that, the clip was always in her hair and he noted with some satisfaction that she looked more lady-like with her hair so meticulously done.
Their meetings were almost on a daily basis by now. He asked her over for lunch and was completely surprised when she showed up to the Kuchiki mansion in a light blue kimono neater and cleaner than he had ever seen her. She accepted his compliment to her appearance with a smile and asked him what they were having for lunch.
Byakuya couldn't help but look at her over his cup as he casually tried to drink his tea. At this age she was very distracting, he thought.
He made sure he at least saw her once a day. They ate lunch together at least twice a week and he almost found himself smiling at the stories she would tell him.
So, one night, when he went out of his way to walk past the eleventh division offices because he hadn't seen her yet that day, Zaraki's third seat threatened him loudly enough about his intentions toward Yachiru that said girl came outside to see what the noise was. She smiled at Byakuya and he asked her to dinner.
The noise of distrust Ikkaku made as Yachiru dismissed herself to change was absolutely worth smirking at.
Maybe Yachiru was beginning to rub off on him.
Eating dinner at the Eleventh division was like he was being sized up for a fight. He wasn't alone with Yachiru. She "wanted him to eat with the family" and he warily accepted.
As Yumichika opened the door to let Byakuya inside, the fifth seat heedlessly asked what the colors for the wedding were going to be because he thought pink was overrated and that they both would look good in periwinkle. He seemed to ignore Byakuya's perplexed expression as he led him to the table.
Madarame and Zaraki both gave him dirty looks until Yachiru arrived. After she smiled at everyone, they managed kinder looks for the rest of the night.
However, Byakuya soon found himself capable of pinpointing every time Zaraki's eyes would settle on him during their captains' meetings and found it highly unsettling.
Byakuya took her to the living world where he asked her to marry him by mistake. He was intending to do it anyway, just not quite yet. But when she looked up at him in the restaurant, the lit candles reflecting in her eyes, he had just couldn't hold it in.
He saw her blush for the first time that night and she quietly said that he needed to ask Kenny if it was okay.
"Asking Kenny" translated to "Fighting Captain Zaraki" apparently. Byakuya found himself locked in battle with the large, hulking captain. Both were heavily bleeding and Byakuya found himself wondering if he'd ever been so cut up and certain he was done for in his entire life.
It was only a quick use of multiple binding spells that allowed Byakuya the victory. Kenpachi grunted at him from where he sat on the ground, bound tightly by invisible and some not-so-invisible forces, calling his attack "a sissy method of winning" and that he wouldn't be caught dead allowing any of his men to use something as underhanded as that.
It took Byakuya a few moments to realize that Yachiru was hugging tightly him in all of his bloody muck and that mad grin Zaraki was wearing was his approval. Byakuya nodded and managed to look almost refined as he lowered himself to the ground, Yachiru still attached to him waist. He stroked her hair and she kissed him in return.
For once Byakuya was glad for the blood and dirt on his face; it covered the pink tinge that had spread across it.
Byakuya found that Yachiru was the most beautiful creature alive the moment he saw her arrive in the creamy-white wedding kimono. The two managed to go through the ceremony with no slip ups and as soon as the ritual was over, Yachiru whooped and dragged him over to her family. His family.
Yumichika was beaming as he wiped at nonexistent tears. Ikkaku threatened him again. And Kenpachi…
Kenpachi was nowhere to be seen.
Yachiru told him not to worry, that Ken-chan was just talking to his sword.
Byakuya just gave her a careful smile as he pulled her into a dance, "Well, I hope he doesn't miss his last chance to dance with you tonight."
Yachiru gave him a questioning look, but Byakuya stayed silent. He pulled his wife to the side as Kenpachi came back, looking as if nothing had changed. He stopped in front of his father-in-law and placed Yachiru's hand in his. The man took the hint and led his daughter to the dance floor. If it had been anyone else, the height difference between them would have been ridiculous, but somehow Byakuya couldn't help but think Kenpachi deserved a daughter like Yachiru.
Ikkaku frowned as he looked at Byakuya, "Why'd you do that?"
"Because," Yumichika looked at his friend as he answered for Byakuya. "Fathers and daughters deserve their last moments together to be beautiful. When tonight is over she won't be his daughter anymore."
"What, she's still his daughter," Ikkaku frown and Yumichika sighed, ready to explain again.
Byakuya looked at Ikkaku and answered instead, "After tonight, she is my wife. She won't be around nearly as often and Zaraki will miss her, as will Ayasegawa and you, Madarame. The daughter aspect in her life is over. From now on he will remember the amount of times they meet for the rest of their lives." Byakuya turned to watch Yachiru and Zaraki finished their dance, both looking happy. "And from now on…I will not."