Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach. This one-shot is not affiliated with "Shelter from the Storm".

Yachiru sat on a broken slab of paving stone, watching. Behind her, Nel snored, her reversion to her former self and back having sapped her strength. Ten feet behind Nel, Orihime bent to the task of healing Ichigo, who had passed out from blood loss not long after Yachiru and Zaraki had arrived on the scene. Grimmjow lay even further back, unattended.

Zaraki and Nnoitra were fighting, having exchanged pleasantries. Yachiru watched, the familiar elation running through her as she watched her best friend do what he did best. He was so happy! She could tell, by Ken-chan's feral grin, his monstrous reiatsu, and his reckless abandon that the 11th Division captain was having the time of his life. He hadn't even taken off the eyepatch yet. Then again, neither had his foe.

The espada with the odd collar - Yachiru, ever the giver of embarrassing nicknames, had decided that Ken-chan's opponent would bear the moniker of Spoony-head - was giving as good as he got. Yachiru was particularly pleased with this, as it always made Ken-chan so happy when his opponent could be taken seriously. She swung her legs idly, and clapped her hands in delight as Ken-chan managed to slice a chunk off of Spoony-head's right shoulder.

"Ith it a party?" Yachiru looked down: Nel, having awoken, had popped her head up over the back of the slab, looking curiously between Yachiru and the battle.

"For Ken-chan it is!" Yachiru said happily, beaming at the other girl. "I guess it's a party for me 'cause I get to watch, too," she said thoughtfully, as Nel clambered up to sit beside her.

"Oh," said Nel, and wiggled around until she was comfortable. There was a boom and the paving stone shivered: Zaraki and Nnoitra had clashed weapons. "What'th your name?" The green-haired arrancar asked her pink-haired counterpart.

"Kusajishi Yachiru, Vice-Captain of the Eleventh Division!" Yachiru said proudly, pointing to her armband. "Who're you?"

"Uwaaaaa!" Nel yelped, scrambling back and falling over the back of the paving slab again. "Y-y-y-y-you're a thinigami?!"

"Mm-hm!" Yachiru chirped, completely unperturbed by Nel's reaction. "This is my zanpakuto!" she said, hoisting it up so the other girl could see it.

"D-d-doeth that mean you're going to fight Nel?" Nel quavered, testing out the territory.

"No, silly," Yachiru frowned. "Who's Nel?"

"That'th me..." Nel cowered.

"Oh," Yachiru said. "Of course, if you're a bad guy, I'll have to fight you. Is Greeny-chan a bad guy?" She asked.

"No!" Nel said hastily, "Nel ith very helpful to thinigami, ethpecially Itthigo!" She scrambled to her feet and pointed at the prostrate shinigami representative.

"Then you're a good guy," Yachiru said decisively. "Ichigo is a good guy. He's friends with Ken-chan."

"Ken-chan?" Nel asked, hoisting herself up on to the paving slab again.

Yachiru pointed. "That's Ken-chan. He's my best friend in the world."

Nel observed as Zaraki threw himself, howling with laughter, at Nnoitra, not bothering as the tip of one of the crescents of Nnoitra's spear sliced through his cheek.

"He...theemth nithe." Said Nel. "Nither than that other guy anywayth. He tried to hurt Itthigo." She glared venomously at Nnoitra, but this was hard, as the espada was busy trying to outmaneuver Zaraki's sword thrusts.

"Then he's the bad guy, not you." Said Yachiru. She watched the fight for a few seconds, then brightened and asked, "Do you have a sword?"

Nel frowned. Something nagged at her memory, but she couldn't grasp it. "Nel doethn't think tho. Itth probably gotten lotht."

They sat in silence for a few minutes, Yachiru swinging her legs idly, Nel glancing back over at Ichigo and Orihime every once in a while.

"Why's your mask all broke?" Yachiru asked presently.

"Dunno," said Nel. "Itth pretty cool though, huh? I'll bet it got broke when I wath fighting a monthter or thomething...that'th probably where I lotht my thword," she speculated, and Yachiru nodded sympathetically.

They continued to watch the fight. Nnoitra called out his sword. Zaraki ripped off his eyepatch. The resulting shockwave of their clash blasted the slab of pavement backwards: Nel shrieked as the two girls went flying, but Yachiru calmly grabbed hold of the arrancar's wrist and shunpo'd behind Orihime, who had put up her Shun Shun Rikka force field just in time.

"Good job, Yachiru-chan," Orihime said, and, the blast-wave having passed, focused her energy on healing Ichigo once again.

"Thank you, Big-Booby-san," Yachiru said winningly, depositing the slightly-shorter Nel on her feet. The green-haired girl looked slightly dazed for a second, then, without warning, launched herself at Yachiru in a full-body hug.

"Aaaaaaa! Thank you Kuthajithi-thaaaaaan! Nel wath going to DIE!" She cried, as Yachiru hugged her back enthusiastically.

"Greeny-chan should train with us in Soul Society," Yachiru declared. "The Eleventh Division turns out the strongest shinigami ever! I'll bet just a week there and you could be fast like me!"

"Really?" Nel stood back and gaped at Yachiru. "I could come and play with Itthigo and Yachiru-chan and Orihime-than and everyone?!"

"Of course!" Said Yachiru giddily. "You can meet Ken-chan and Pachinko-head and Weird-Eyebrows!"

"You can meet Bawabawa and Pesche and Dondochakka!"

Orihime, finished with Ichigo, looked down at the two miniscule girls, who were busy drawing pictures of their friends in the sand and jumping up and down in excitement. Oh dear, she thought, and smiled. This war just gets more complicated by the minute. She gave a small sigh, got up, and went over to begin healing Grimmjow.