I own nothing! And now to do what I always do…kill off my favorite character. I'm new to writing Bleach but for those that read my yu yu hakusho stories know my favorite thing to do is kill off/torture my favorite characters. And in Bleach I have so many favorites...like the whole 11th squad and little Hanatarou…but tying for number one with Hanatarou is Ikkaku, and today I'm just in the mood to write some angst. Please enjoy.
It was a strong belief of the 11th squad that they shouldn't cry when one of their own died, at least not in front of one another. Shedding tears in the privacy of one's own home, well...that was okay. But letting another see you cry was just damn shameful. Besides it was almost like a game to not cry when you lost a teammate or even a sibling during battle for the 11th squad. In their own little way, the loud jokes and excessive drinking was how the members of the 11th squad mourned the loss of their brother (or sister) in arms. And whoever told the loudest jokes and got the most drunk whenever a fellow 11th squad member died, was obviously the one who was mourning the death of a friend or sibling the most.
No one had ever shed a tear in front of each other, not in a long time…there had been desperate moments in the past where the others had cried-but those had been during the academy days and not a proud member of the 11th squad.
In fact, everyone was convinced Captain Zaraki would beat them within an inch of their life-no scratch that. He'd kill them right where they stood if they dare shed a tear in front of them because some fool got himself killed. "What good do tears do 'sept dry out your eyes?" Zaraki would growl, fully annoyed that someone would even consider crying over him if he ever died.
But one day Ayasegawa Yumichika broke that rule of 'no tears,' and shocked the whole of the 11th squad, hell...he probably shocked the whole of Seireitei with the two tears he shed that faithful day. But then again the incident that led up to those tears had probably shocked the whole of Seireitei to.
It had been many years since the whole business with Aizen, and now that the man had been defeated it seemed like Seireitei could finally relax and look back at those years as, "History." Zaraki Kenpachi looked back on those days fondly missing the action, and the fun he had in those battles. Yachiru would often pat her, "Ken-chan's," shoulder and promise him a trip to see Ichigo to put him in high spirits.
But now Aizen was history as was that man's past deeds and well plotted plans, and fighting a group of hollows led by two up and coming arrancar beings was, "the first exciting thing since Aizen," as Zaraki had put it.
And it was during that battle, Madarame Ikkaku died.
Yumichika never would say why he cried, but everyone who knew the pretty young man was sure that Yumichika wouldn't have cried that day if Ikkaku hadn't been stabbed in the back. Hell, if Ikkaku had been killed by a hollow or one of the arrancar's everyone is positive Yumichika wouldn't have shed those two tears, and would have made cool casual jokes about Ikkaku's death, just like anyone else would have done that day.
During the battle, amongst the bloodshed, Ikkaku had slain many of the annoying beasts, and whooped and shouted and even did his luck-luck dance. Ikkaku had whooped and tossed over his shoulder to some new members of the 11th squad that this was an easy and fun mission, and they better not be shaking in their robes and making a fool out of the 11th squad or there would be Hell would pay. Most men nodded but one who trembled while he held his sword, but Ikkaku had rolled his eyes at him and told the little idiot to shape up.
And soon, the mission was done, and the 11th squad was laughing hard at their victory and smirking with pride about what an amazing task they had done. They were also going around and poking fun at their injured, and trying to see who was dead, or just "pretending to be dead because they were a pussy." Ikkaku had been approaching his captain, who was swatting away at Yachiru who was gloating about how she had gotten the most kills in, that day. Zaraki called her a, "Stupid teenaged bitch," but there was a certain pride in his voice that couldn't be mistaken. Yumichika had turned to smile at Ikkaku and called, "Ah so you lived? Did your ugliness frighten the poor creatures to death?"
"Don't sound so surprised your fucking fruitcake!" Ikkaku had snapped back as he headed for the small group. Ikkaku held out his hand in a wave, and grinned smugly, "Oi! Yumi! Y-" And then it happened.
The timid shinigami from before, who Ikkaku had rolled his eyes at, as quick as you please had taken his sword and shoved it through the back of Ikkaku's neck and out the other side. Many recall how surprised Ikkaku's face had looked. How surprised, and absolutely disappointed that third chair of 11th squad looked. Being stabbed from behind, and by your own teammate no less; that was no way for anyone to die.
Especially not for someone like Madarame Ikkaku…
Ikkaku choked, and his eyes dimmed. His hand that had been waving at his best friend dropped to his side, and his eyes rolled into the back of his head as he died. Being stabbed like that…there was just no chance left for Ikkaku to survive. Everyone had been surprised, and the most frightening of roars came from Zaraki and Yachiru as Yumichika approached the body of his dead friend.
The timid Shinigami left his sword in Ikkaku's neck and stared back carelessly at what he'd done, unaware that he had just robbed Ikkaku or something important. He had made Ikkaku break a promise to his sword Hozukimaru. A promise that he would go down fighting, and if possible die by Zaraki's blade if he couldn't get stronger. And the meek, cowardly, treacherous little bastard had robbed Ikkaku of that.
No one cared for the reason why he did it, nor did they demand a reason. They just wanted this shinigami's blood for the sin he had caused.
Zaraki had seized the shinigami ready to end the life of the little runt right there when he caught a sound Zaraki couldn't recognize. A foreign sound of choking, that Zaraki could remember distantly in the back of his head. He turned, and looked over at Yumichika, who Yachiru was standing by her hands clasped to her mouth in shock, and horror. All eyes fell on Yumichika who stood still, two clean tears dripping down his pale face. The scene was absolutely shocking for the 11th squad, and the weight of loss seemed instantly heavier.
It was so hard to believe that Madarame Ikkaku was really dead, but if Yumichika who teased other crying people at funerals the most was indeed crying himself…then it must have been so.
And then Yumichika had let out such an enraged scream, and his normally placid and beautiful face had become so twisted and ugly that Zaraki all but handed the traitor to him so that Yumichika could exact his revenge on the lowlife.
"HOW DARE YOU!?" Yumichika's voice had sounded through all of Seireitei. "HOW DARE YOU TOUCH IKKAKU…WITH YOUR UGLY, UGLY HANDS! HOW DARE YOU, YOU FILTHY LITTLE FUCK!?" Yumichika tortured the shinigami to death, and Zaraki made sure no one interrupted Yumichika in this act. Yumichika turned ugly that day, the first time and last time Yumichika would let himself become such.
In the end of it all Zaraki wound up having to knock out Yumichika to stop the man from going on a killing spree.
Normally Zaraki would have laughed at such a show of foolish mourning, but Zaraki looked back at Ikkaku as Yumichika crumpled knocked out cold at his feet. Zaraki looked back at the man who after getting the living shit beat out of him by Zaraki, got back up and followed the man all the way to Seireitei. Followed him to becoming a Shinigami, and pledged his louylty to the beast of the man. Zaraki had found Yachiru first, and he'd found Ikkaku and Yumichika soon after...and the four had been together a long time. Not even Zaraki could believe Ikkaku had died such a weak death. Zaraki had sighed and looked old quite suddenly saying, "It would have been better if a hollow killed your worthless self," Zaraki said rubbing his neck with a sigh, leering down at the dead bald man. "You must be fucking pissed wherever you are now…but when you get your ass back here you'll find yourself six-feet under again cue-ball, you God Damn idiot…especially for this fuckin' scene you caused. Dying in this way...pff. You're God Damn lucky you're dead now for letting yourself get killed by that worthless son of bitch Yumi had to kill for yer worthless ass!"
Even those who did not knew Zaraki very well, knew that there had been some sort of deep hidden message tucked away in the back of Zaraki's voice.
There had been no jokes that day.
Or at the funeral.
It wasn't until Yumichika showed back up at 11th squad after being absent for a week, plopped himself in Ikkaku's old seat and said with a very pretty face, "If anyone thinks they can take the third seat away from me this time they'll find out death is indeed a form of mercy!" that any jokes were made about Ikkaku's death. And even then, there were still hardly any jokes to be passed around.
But even though a normal shinigami member of the 11th squad would face a good deal of razzing from the others, Yumichika would receivednone…his tears were...acceptable...tears.
Because in the end, yes Yumichika had lost his best friend, yes Yumichika never was quite the same after that, yes Yachiru and Zaraki both seemed a little quieter, and yes the whole 11th squad was not quite the same after that day…but those two tear drops were not because of that sadness. Yumichika had shed tears because Ikkaku hadn't gotten the death of an honorable man. Ikkaku had been stabbed in the back, by his own teammate, and had died without a chance to turn around and take the bastard with him.
Yumichika had cried because his best friend didn't get the honor he had fully deserved.
And the 11th squad just couldn't find anything shameful for crying for those reasons.