Jazz It Up

Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach or Transformers. I should think that rather obvious with my college-induced poverty and all.

Warnings: Slight spoilers for the '07 Transformers movie and the Soul Society Arc.

AN: Sequel to All that Jazz. Dedicated to ZangetsuGirl over on LiveJournal.

"It has a what?"

Yamamoto Genryuusai Shigekuni gaped. His temples twinged, a sure sign that another headache was forthcoming, and he set down his teacup lest he break it in his shock.

His subordinate merely smiled.


"Excuse me?"

The old man blinked. An unpleasant tingle went up his spine.

"He," Ukitake Jyuushiro corrected with a ready laugh. "His name is Jazz. Or at least, that is the closest human equivalent." The captain pursed his lips in consideration. "And he has a zanpakutou, sensei." His grin widened.

The old man's head twinged again, pain shooting through his eyes to the back of his brain. It throbbed with increasing intensity. And each heartbeat only seemed to make it that much worse. Yamamoto gritted his teeth at the sheer agony now jolting through him, while Jyuushiro just continued to smile.

"A zanpakutou," the captain-commander repeated, voice vaguely high-pitched. "An actual zanpakutou?"

His student nodded excitedly. "Oh, yes. It's very lovely. If a bit… large."

Another jab of sharp pain entered Yamamoto's skull. "And what exactly do you want to do about this?" He had a sudden sinking sensation in his belly as he caught sight of Jyuushiro's gleaming eyes. "You want to train him."

It was a statement, not a question.

"Yes, Genryuusai-sensei. I believe that he would make an excellent Shinigami," his student cheerfully replied. "Very excellent. Wonderful even. He's already well on his way," the younger man continued to happily blather on. "But I don't believe that the Academy is… well, equipped to handle him to be frank. Size issues aside, there is nothing they can teach him. Already-"

Yamamoto resisted the urge to bang his head on the floor. That might probably make him feel better. Or at least, forget about his migraine. And possibly even knock him unconscious.

Jyuushiro, however, didn't seem to notice.

"He's absorbed knowledge of Hollows and souls at an astonishing rate." The other captain barely even paused to suck in a breath. "Done in weeks what it takes others years to learn. Not to mention how powerful he is. Lieutenant-level at least. I think-"

The old man tuned him out, too focused on his aching head to really care. He ran a very tired hand over his equally tired face as Jyuushiro kept talking. The younger man's voice washed over him, but it did little to drown out the sounds of the thirteenth division in the background. Such as the angry shouts of two bellowing third-seats or the distant clang of swords and metal from the nearby practice yard. Things continued in the same vein for some time. Yamamoto just gazed absentmindedly at the wall, eyes glazed over. However, he eventually came back to himself as his subordinate's voice drifted into to nothingness.

Jyuushiro was looking at him with something that might have been concern were it not for the goofy and slightly frightening smile on his face. His brown eyes sparkled in a way that was rather disturbing. Reminding the old man of Shunsui or his own son, Isshin, or even Urahara before they did something completely crazy. Or dangerous. Or both.

And right as Yamamoto was becoming distinctly uncomfortable, Jyuushiro dropped a proverbial bombshell.

"I would be honored to take Jazz into my squad." He cleared his throat, but that did little to hide his obvious excitement. "As my apprentice."

The captain-commander felt his heart stop. Only to have it jump and begin again several seconds later. His old eyes practically popped out of his face as he goggled at his companion, headache completely forgotten.

An apprenticeship?

Shiba Kaien had been Jyuushiro's apprentice. And Jyuushiro and Shunsui had been and still very much were Yamamoto's. An apprenticeship might end, but they would always be his students.

But an actual apprenticeship! Such things were rare nowadays with the academy but not unheard of. And the prestige involved! Especially in being the apprentice of a captain as experienced as Ukitake Jyuushiro. The blasted robot would be getting what was tantamount to personal lessons from a ranking Shinigami. The Kurosaki boy wasn't even an apprentice yet, though Jyuushiro very much wanted to ask him in the near future. But to be usurped by a veritable walking bucket of bolts… to actually accept him as a Shinigami!

Unheard of! Unlikely! Improbable! Impossible! Insane!

And his face must have shown what he was thinking because in the next moment Jyuushiro rose to his feet.

"Please, sensei. Just give him a chance." His student looked at him hopefully. "Here, I'll show you."

He walked to the far window and made a gesture for his master to come there as well. The old man did so rather reluctantly. His temples jabbed faintly as he moved to stand next to the other captain, gazing outside.

In the nearby practice yard, the self-same robot and the Kurosaki boy were facing one another, weapons at the ready. The Kuchiki girl was some distance away, watching with interest as they circled one another. Kurosaki suddenly darted forward then in a blur of shunpo, but the robot met his strike evenly and pushed back. It… he whirled as the boy flashed away to his other side, managing to catch that hit as well. His free hand served to swat the annoying substitute Shinigami back several feet.

And then, a very eerie grin slid across his metallic face. The robot, Jazz, twisted his arm, and it morphed into a gun. Faster than anyone could blink, he fired a bolt of energy at his opponent. The boy dove out of the way, dirt spraying into the air from where the shot had struck the ground. Ichigo's normal scowl deepened as his face became a very fascinating shade of red. He sprang back to his feet, pointing Zangetsu in a threatening manner.

A shout of "That's cheating!" wafted to Yamamoto's ears.

The old man turned back to his companion. "And you want him to be your apprentice?"

Jyuushiro continued to grin. Rather smugly in all actuality. Yamamoto had the urge to wipe that smirk off his face. But somehow, he held himself back.

"Yes, sensei," Jyuushiro replied with a tilt of his head. "He's intelligent. Incredibly so. And very personable, charming even. A good fighter as well."

That was all certainly true enough. Urahara and Kurotsuchi were in ecstasy. And not just because Jazz was a highly advanced robot.

The younger captain squared his jaw. "He'd make a wonderful addition to our ranks. And we do need all the help we can get. Besides, if we refuse to train him, there are others who will." He lapsed into silence.

Just exactly who those others were went unspoken. However, Yamamoto knew without having to be told. Aizen would just jump at the chance to have such a soldier.

The old man grunted and bit his lip in indecision. He narrowed his eyes. And thought. And considered. And thought some more.

Several minutes went by until the captain-commander finally sighed. Quite handedly defeated.

"And what position will he take?" Yamamoto questioned, frowning when his companion beamed. His head throbbed once and then twice. And then a few more times.

Jyuushiro shifted from one foot to the other, still watching his students out the window. But he moved to look at his teacher then, lips twitching in a very odd manner.

"Well, there is one opening."

Ever Hopeful,