Yo! After much deliberation, I have decided to start posting the Renji story I've have in my mind forever. I've been working on it for a while, and have somewhere between three and four chapters already written for it, so I figured now was as good a time as any. This is an OC fic, in case you didn't catch that in the intro. I love Renji, and while I believe he does love Rukia (or did), I am a very staunch IchiRuki supporter-- which will probably be evident in this story. I have worked hard on developing this story, as well as the OC in it, so if you don't like her or OC stories in general, please keep negative comments to yourself. I would love constructive criticism, though!!!
Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach. If I did, Grimmjow would have beaten Nnoitra in .2 seconds flat.
And I will slip into you room and I would make sweet love to you
And you'd let me, too
'Cause it's what you wanna do
And yet I bet you will forget me, darlin'
And yet I bet you will regret me, darlin'
But you're my one and only love, darlin'
My one, true love, darlin'
And I'm gonna give you every little bit of my love, darlin'
My love sweet love, darlin'
-Darlin' (One True Love), The Limns
His head was pounding, and he hadn't even opened his eyes yet. Flashes of the previous night's activities flashed through his mind and he smiled rather lazily.
Images of a drunken Matsumoto Rangiku, with her pink sash tied around her head, arm wrestling and equally drunken Ikkaku. The faces of shinigami he knew and had never met before in his life flitted across his mind. Rukia had been there, as had Ichigo. He thought he remembered Rukia drawing miniature Chappy's on Ichigo's faced after he'd collapsed onto the table—he'd make a mental note to remember that the human had a low tolerance. He vaguely recalled a drinking game involving playing cards that they had picked up in the real world, and an incident involving Kyoraku taicho drinking some poor fourth division healer under the table, a karaoke battle between Hisagi Shuuhei and Kira Izuru—one which Hisagi won by a landslide. He grinned at memories of the raucous party…
The party celebrating his promotion. His promotion to taicho of the fifth division.
He had to admit, he'd been a little more than surprised. He'd thought he'd stay under Kuchiki taicho for a bit longer before he was even thought of for an position as a captain, but apparently the need to fill the holes in the Gotei 13's ranks were more pressing that anyone liked to admit. Part of him reasoned that the only reason he'd received the position so quickly, before any of the other open captain's positions were filled was because he could successfully unleash, maintain, and control his bankai, but he liked to think he'd proved his worth before and that he had other desirable qualities as well.
Renji had been sitting at his desk in the 6th division they day before when a hell butterfly had fluttered lazily in, perching on the end of his pen. Renji looked at the delicate creature, and then held out a single, long finger to accept the message, wondering what sort of message would possibly be for him and not his captain.
The summons the butterfly gave was short and to the point; he'd been summoned by Commander General Yamamoto to his office, effective immediately after he had received said summons. Renji stood, grabbing his adjutant armband and sliding it over his kimono as he walked through the door, the hell butterfly following him with quick strokes of its dark wings.
Renji entered the 1st division office to find it filled with the ten captains of the Gotei 13.
"Abarai-san," Genryusai's old, gravelly voice called the stunned Renji forward and, with a hesitant look towards his captain Kuchiki Byakuya, he continued walking until he stood before the supreme commander.
"No doubt you are confused as to why you have been brought here, Abarai-san," Genryusai began, his hands folded neatly in front of him on his desk.
"Aa," Renji responded, still not at all sure what to make of this bizarre meeting.
"As I am sure you are aware," the old shinigami continued, steepling his fingers, "there are two positions in our ranks that need to be filled: taicho of the third and fifth divisions."
Renji nodded, rocking back and forth on his heels. Since the war, the positions vacated by Aizen Sousuke and Ichimaru Gin had not been re-assigned. Hisagi Shuuhei had taken over Kaname Tosen's spot soon after the three men had left Soul Society, taking the burdens of running the division almost immediately. Hisagi offered Renji a slight smile as he glanced at him, nodding him head as the general commander continued.
"It is my opinion, as well as the opinion of the rest of the taicho in the Gotei 13, that you would do well in one of those positions."
Renji had blanched. He wasn't able to find words for what seemed like hours. He stared, his mouth open, and blinked at the old man before him. Yamamoto-Genryusai had opened his eyes now and was watching him with steely gray orbs.
"I'm honored, Yamamoto soutaicho," Renji finally said, bowing slightly at the waist.
"Then you accept?" the commander asked.
Renji straightened, a million different things rushing through his head—but all of them added up to a single, one word answer: "Hai."
"Good," Genryusai nodded to Renji, then waved a hand and his lieutenant, Chojiro Sasakibe, came forward with a thick folder. "You may move into your new quarters following this meeting. Your promotional ceremony will be in three weeks time, Abarai-san. Please go through this material and learn all of what is expected of you."
Renji took the folder that Chojiro offered him and looked down at it. It was a regular, manila colored folder but it was marked with thick, black strokes: the number five.
"The fifth division?" he asked, looking back at the commander.
Genryusai tilted his head back and looked at Renji in a manner he could only describe as critical. "I recall you were a member of the fifth under Aizen taicho, yes?"
"I was," Renji nodded. His stint with the former captain had been rather short lived, but he had been a part of the fifth and knew how they were used to operating.
"We think," Genryusai said, and he motioned to the other captains arranged around the room, "that you would suit best in the fifth division."
Renji stood, rooted to the spot as the realization of what was happening—what had happened—hit him. Then, slowly, a wide smile broke across his face and he bowed at the hip. "Arigatou, Yamamoto-sama," Renji said as he straightened, now unable to keep the smile off his face.
"You have earned it," the old Shinigami said as he rose. With three thuds of his gnarled cane on the floor, the meeting was dismissed and Renji was showered with words of congratulations, a tackling-embrace from Hisagi and a large bottle of sake from Kyoraku taicho.
He left the chamber with the rest of the captains, still being jostled with congratulations and kind words. Ukitake and Unohana both welcomed him to their ranks with firm handshakes and smiles. Hisagi was already calling for a celebration, with Kyoraku Shunsui right behind him. Kenpachi told Renji they would have a battle sometime after he had been officially promoted to celebrate his captaincy, and Renji hid his feeling of foreboding with a smile. Renji accepted all the well wishes gratefully and watched the group of captains disappear around a corner and back to their own respective divisions.
Renji smiled again to himself then turned, facing the man he knew was still behind him.
"I suppose you think you have surpassed me now," Kuchiki Byakuya said lazily in his customary monotone, not bothering to look at his former lieutenant.
Renji contemplated Byakuya's words, tilting his head slightly to one side as he thought.
That had always been his dream, surpassing Byakuya—ever since Rukia had entered the Kuchiki clan all those years ago, when they were both still students at the Central Spirit Institute.
He had been weak then, he thought, he had been weak when Ichigo and his friends had come to Soul Society to save Rukia—he had lost, quite badly to his then-captain. Even now, after he had mastered his bankai and increased his skill immensely after the battle with Aizen, he knew he still had a ways to go before he was on equal footing with Byakuya—and after that, the only place he had to go was up.
"Not quite, Kuchiki taicho," Renji answered truthfully, offering his own customary lopsided grin.
Byakuya glanced at Renji, no hint of emotion on his face. "Just because you have been promoted does not mean you can stop training, either, Renji," he said, but before Renji could protest he continued, "I expect to see you at dawn in two days time for sparring."
Renji blinked, then grinned. It was Byakuya's own backwards way of saying he cared about Renji and wanted him to keep his skills sharp, and for him to sharpen them by training with him.
"Aa, two days—" Renji paused. "Two days? Not tomorrow?"
"I have a feeling you will be a bit worse for wear tomorrow morning," he said as he began walking away. "Your celebration is about to begin," he added, and jerked his head back, motioning for Renji to look behind him.
Sure enough, Matsumoto Rangiku, Madarame Ikkaku, Kira Izuru, Hinamori Momo, and Byakuya's own sister, Rukia, were rushing towards him, all smiles.
"I knew it'd be you, Abarai-kun!" Hinamori exclaimed as she hugged the much larger man after he had been properly mauled by Ikkaku and Kira, and then hugged by Matsumoto and Rukia.
"I'm your captain now, eh, Hinamori-chan?" Renji said with a smile. "You'll have to be the kido half of the division, you know."
Hinamori smiled slightly, "Un! I'll do my best, Abarai taicho!"
"Well," Matsumoto said happily, clapping her hands together in front of her, oblivious to the manner is which her chest bounced up and down, "Now we can start the party! I've got just the place, Abarai-kun!"
Renji had then been lead through the streets of Soul Society to a well-to-do bar, where it seemed like half the inhabitants of the spirit world were waiting for him. Rukia had disappeared for some time and then returned with Ichigo, who was more than happy to assure Renji he'd never let his head get too big now that he was a captain, and offered to personally beat him down whenever he needed it.
And that was the last thing Renji could remember clearly. He had opened the bottle of sake he'd received from Kyoraku taicho, taken a hearty swig for himself, and then all hell had broken loose.
He smiled as he thought about it, burrowing himself deeper into the mattress and sheets of his futon. The after effects of too much alcohol were beginning to dawn on him, and he figured he'd better get up and get himself some water before his head really started to pound.
Slowly, Renji opened his eyes, adjusting to the light that filled his room. An unfamiliar room…his eyes quickly scanned the walls around him—and it took him a moment to realize he was in the fifth division compound, in his new personal quarters.
He allowed himself another smile, vaguely wondering how he had arrive at the fifth division compound while he'd been incredibly drunk. With a mental shrug, Renji rolled over onto his side, brushing his long hair off of his face and stretching his arms, laying one across his chest and the other across the mattress, tangling his hand in the soft hair of the body next to him, closing his eyes once more and enjoying the sensation of complete peace.
Renji's eyes shot open and he quickly sat up pushing himself away from what was—quite obviously—a very naked woman. In a classic double take, Renji realized he was naked as well, and his eyes quickly darted from himself to the still sleeping figure at his side.
Her back was turned towards him as she lay curled on her side, and Renji immediately noticed the fact that her lower back was covered with inked flowers, delicate black lines that were so unlike the thick black tattoos that covered his own body. She was curled up, covered by the sheets only up to her waist. Long, dark hair was swirled out around her body, the color of which Renji couldn't place—somewhere between black and brown. Her skin was pale, creamy in color, and it looked soft.
Renji's mind was suddenly assaulted with images of his previous nights exploits and he knew her skin was soft. He quickly turned his head away from her, his cheeks burning.
He had no idea what he should do. Should he wake her? Let her sleep? Pretend like he was still asleep?
He glanced at the appealing figure beside him and then quickly rose from the futon, doing his best not to disturb her. He would get his water first, something—anything—to clear his head. Glancing around the room, he spotted a pile of black robes and tiptoed over to them. He drew his out from the pile, intrigued that the second set obviously belonged to the woman asleep in the bed—his bed—and he pulled on his hakama.
He moved around the futon and peeked over, trying to get a look at the woman's face. What attracted his attention was not her face, or even her naked torso, but the same lace-like markings she had on her hips wrapped around her lower stomach. Renji couldn't help his smile—he'd always liked tattoos, which was not at all surprising, considering his vast collection.
As his eyes traveled up her arms and rested on her face, Renji was finding himself more and more intrigued by this woman.
Her mouth was not large or small, but seemed to be in between, with lips that, courtesy of his latest flashback of the previous night Renji knew were soft to the touch. Though she was asleep, her mouth was set in a manner than made him sure she was stubborn. He blanched slightly at a series of red marks on her neck—marks he was sure he had given her. He quickly moved his eyes from her neck to her face.
She had an elegant jaw line and a rather aristocratic nose. Long, choppy bangs obscured the rest of her face, shielding her closed eyes from his view. With a shake of his head, Renji padded out of his room and down the unfamiliar hallway.
He eventually found the kitchen, sparsely furnished but freshly cleaned, and searched for a glass or a cup or even bowl—anything he could pour water into and drink from. Not really surprised at the lack of glassware, Renji took a flower-laden vase and removed said flowers, setting them down on the counter along with their card ('Congratulations, Abarai-san!'), and then filled the vase with water.
...Well? I know it's not much right now, but hopefully you are intrigued :3 I started writing this first part on a whim one day, thinking that a one night stand with Renji would be awkward (...wonderful?), and it turned into a lot more.
Also, if anyone is interested in the song snippet at the beginning, look The Limns up!!!! They are a band from my hometown who are making a name for themselves right now! They are all great guys (I know half of them, no joke-- Zac, the lead singer, came over to my house one night for a good bye party and played his guitar and sang, then ate dinner with my family : )
I will be posting the second part in a few days, probably over the weekend, once I have more written. I want to have a surplus of two chapters or so when I post.