Disclaimer: Bleach is not mine.
AN: Prompt of title "Oh" and nothing else. AU
Characters: Yachiru, Ukitake, Shunsui
Dog biscuits. That was the only item he purchased. A simple box of SHEP dog biscuits. The cardboard flaps were open as he put it on the counter.
"Have yourself a little snack?" Yachiru asked as she scanned the box, shutting the top.
"You can have one if you'd like."
"Hmm?" Ukitake turned away from the window to look at her. "I'm sorry, what was that?"
"This one's open," Yachiru tapped the box. "Did you want a new one?"
"Oh, no. That's fine," Jyuushirou laughed in embarrassment. "I'm sorry; I find the rain a little distracting."
"Uhuh," Yachiru put the box in the bag. "That's 3.47, Sir."
Jyuushirou pulled his wallet out of his pocket and handed her a ten. Yachiru took it and opened the register to retrieve his change.
He walked out the door, leaving his bag on the counter and his change in Yachiru's hand.
"Mister?" Yachiru called as the door dinged close. She grabbed the receipt and bag as she followed him out the door. "Mister?"
He was standing in the rain, looking up at the sky.
"Hey, Mister," Yachiru called from under the awning. "You forgot your bag."
He didn't turn. Yachiru walked up next to him and tapped his shoulder.
"It's raining," he said, pointing at the sky.
"It's pouring," Yachiru grumbled. "Here's your bag, I put your change inside."
"Oh," he said, looking in surprise at the bag. "Thank you!"
Yachiru turned and went back inside, ringing her hair out the best she could. She went back behind the counter. A few minutes later a customer came in.
"Do you still carry those little heart-shaped snack cakes?"
"Uh, no," Yachiru shook her head. "Those were seasonal. We only carry them around Valentine's day."
"Oh, okay," the customer frowned a little and shouldered her purse. "Well, by the way, there's this man just standing outside. Normally I wouldn't say anything, but it's raining after all and he's carrying a bag to your store. Maybe you should call the police. He looks suspicious. I'd hate to see you guys get robbed."
"I'll take care of it," Yachiru assured her. "Thank you."
The woman shuffled out of the store, glaring at the man as she walked to her car. Ukitake was sitting on the bench on the sidewalk, still looking up at the rain.
Yachiru stood in the doorway and called out to him, "Mister, you should go home. It's starting to get pretty bad out here."
Ukitake looked over at her and smiled.
"Do you need me to call someone to pick you up?" She didn't really want to call the police on him.
"Do you want to wait inside?" Yachiru asked finally.
"Okay!" He stood up, leaving the bag on the bench.
"Your bag, Mister." Yachiru reminded him.
"Oh," he mumbled, grabbing the plastic handles and walking to the door. Yachiru sidestepped so he could come in.
"Um, is there someone I can call for you or something?"
"I tried to call her, but she wouldn't come."
"Do you have her phone number? I can call her for you."
"She doesn't have a phone," Ukitake giggled. "She's a dog."
"You're looking for your dog?"
"That's why I bought dog biscuits."
"Do you need someone to come pick you up or something?" Yachiru tried again. "Can I see your wallet?"
Ukitake fished his wallet from his pocket and laid it on the counter. "Can I keep these?" He held up the dog biscuits.
"Yeah, you paid for them..." Yachiru stared at him.
"Oh, good," he smiled and walked towards the door.
"Hey, where are you going?" Yachiru called out. "Come back here!"
"It's raining outside," Ukitake pointed out the window.
"You can watch the rain from inside the store."
"Okay," he stopped by the window. Yachiru flipped open his wallet and started looking for a phone number to call. There wasn't much in there except some money and a non-driver's license.
"Mr. Ukitake, I'm going to get a phonebook. Don't leave," Yachiru called, walking into the office. She found the phonebook and carried it back to the front. "Okay, I don't see your name anywhere, do you—" She stopped as she saw a man at the counter, holding the wallet.
"Where is he?"
"Right there," Yachiru pointed at the window, but Ukitake was no longer there. They both moved towards the door and ran outside. It was still pouring, but there was no sign of the white-haired man.
"I only left him for a second to get the phonebook," Yachiru said. "I told him to wait right there."
"He might still be in the store," Shunsui let out a sigh and headed back inside.
Yachiru followed and began to go down the aisles for him. Shunsui started at the other side, quickly glancing down the rows for any sign of Ukitake. They met in the middle, no sign of the man.
They walked back up to the front counter, Ukitake giggled. "You didn't find me."
"Jyuushirou," Shunsui frowned. "I've been looking for you everywhere. Why did you run off?"
Ukitake was quiet, he looked at the ground.
"He was looking for his dog," Yachiru helped.
"Oh," Shunsui frowned and covered Ukitake's ears. "His dog died three years ago." He dropped his hands and looked at Jyuushirou. "You need to stop running off like that. Next time you want to go look for Molly, tell me and I'll go with you, okay?" The brown haired man turned to Yachiru. "Sorry for any trouble he caused you."
"It's okay," Yachiru handed over the wallet.
"She said I could keep these, Shunsui!" Ukitake held up the bag. Shunsui peered inside.
"Dog biscuits, huh?" Shunsui patted his head. "I'm sure Molly will love those."
"Oh," Jyuushirou turned to Yachiru and reached into the bag. He pulled out a dog biscuit. "You wanted one didn't you?"
Shunsui started to intervene, but Yachiru smiled.
"Yeah, I did. Thank you, Mr. Ukitake." She looked at Shunsui. "Maybe you could bring him in again sometime?"
"I will, but I can't guarantee he'll be the same."
"What do you mean?"
"Jyuushirou used to be brilliant, but he has a brain tumor and it's changed him. Sometimes he's almost like a child, sometimes he's normal. Sometimes better, sometimes worse. He doesn't really remember much, but if you don't mind him not knowing who you are, he'll be happy to meet you again."
Yachiru glanced at Ukitake, who was playing with the quarter machines. "Can they do anything for him?"
"They tried, but..." Shunsui didn't finish. Ukitake walked up, holding his prize.
"Look, Shunsui!" Ukitake popped the plastic container open. "It's a pretty ring!"
"It's very pretty," Shunsui agreed.
Ukitake nodded, and then held it out to Yachiru. "It's for you."
"Oh," Yachiru took it and slid it on her finger. "Thank you very much. I'll always wear it."
Jyuushirou beamed happily, "She likes it!"
"It's time to go, Jyuu," Shunsui laughed, taking Ukitake's bag from him. "Say goodbye to the nice lady."
"Bye," Ukitake called out and he and Shunsui exited into the rain. "Look, it's raining!"
"I see that."
Yachiru smiled and looked at her ring. She's be wearing it the next time he came in.