Title: Dealing with Loss (Poorly)
Universe: Bleach
Theme/Topic: A concerning decrease in productivity
Rating: PG-13 for mentions of violence
Character/Pairing/s: Kenpachi, Byakuya (appearances by Renji and Yumichika)
Warnings/Spoilers: Stupid and OOC and pointlessness.
Word Count: 1,360
Summary: With reference to "On Forming Diplomatic Relations with the Eleventh Division"- Byakuya pays dearly.
Dedication: cheloya's holiday request! Also, special thanks to kotszok for her piece of GOLDEN INSPIRATION.
A/N: Holy god I still don't know what I'm doing. BUT HEY, FIRST HOLIDAY REQUEST DONE! UM…SIX TO GO? *fail*
Disclaimer: No harm is meant by this!

Kuchiki Byakuya affects an officious air and looks down at this week's mountain of paperwork. It is due in five hours.

Said paperwork does not seem impressed with his officious manner, as it does not shrink back upon facing his wrath or deign to do itself for fear of possible reprisal.

A moment later, he catches himself on the edge of a sigh, and deeply disturbed by the mere concept of letting such a distasteful act be borne from within himself, Byakuya forcibly drags it back into his chest and swallows it whole.

He has work to do.

He reaches forward and picks up the first report.

When he does, his sleeve slides backwards on his wrist just a little, causing the material of his uniform to brush against the newly formed scab there. It itches.

His brow furrows; he may or may not glare.

The scab, unmoved by his hostility—much like the paperwork— continues to bother him, rather unapologetically.

Kuchiki Byakuya bites the inside of his cheek and continues to draw the report forward despite the discomfort, ignoring the scab because it is—to him—as comparatively distasteful as the sigh had been. One of his station does not itch.

That decided, he grabs his pen, sits up a little straighter in his chair and…

…cringes when the muscles in his back complain.


He surmises that the tumble he took yesterday afternoon in this week's mandatory run-in with Zaraki has something to do with it; his nose automatically wrinkles in annoyance when he thinks about the things he has been reduced to as Yamamoto-soutaichou's current hand-picked liaison to the eleventh division.

The sixth division captain stops that line of thought when he realizes that he has let himself get distracted again; to combat the situation he sits up as straight as physically possible in his chair and tells himself that his back is not screaming a string or rather malicious obscenities him.

He has reports to do. Today is report day. He will get his reports done and in on time at all costs.

Which means he will ignore the itchy scabs on his wrist (and the ones on his chest and his elbows and his knees); he will pay no mind to the ache in his back either, or the sprain in his ankle, or the cut on his lip that throbs every now and again, whenever he frowns (which is more often than not). Report day means that he will make do with the broken fingers on his right hand, the bandages wound tight around his ribs, and the burns on his neck and shoulders. Most important of all, he will pay no mind to the migraine he gets, whenever he grits his teeth and thinks that yesterday, if he had been just one step quicker and one swing faster, he would have won sobriety screenings for eleventh division members who are called to action on inter-group covert operations missions.

But to stay on topic, all of that means nothing right now.

Because today is report day. He will think of nothing but reports. Because a captain turning in his reports late is as distasteful to him as a Kuchiki scratching himself in a semi-public place or sighing in the face of important work to be done.

That decided, he positions his pen over the report (with his good hand), and takes a deep breath. No more procrastinating. No more hesitation because of pain, and definitely, definitely no more planning for petty (absolute) vengeance come six days from today.

Reports. He will not be late.

He determinedly sets the tip of his pen to the paper.

At which time Renji decides to barge into the room suddenly, slamming the door behind him and huffing in frustration as he unknowingly shatters the quiet Zen of the office's atmosphere, the one that his captain had been so painstakingly working up over the past few hours.

"Taichou!" the redhead shouts obliviously, bustling by with a huge stack of papers in hand, "these got sent back from last week; apparently the records department says you used the wrong forms and if you want the requests submitted in time for the month's review you gotta get 'em in by this afternoon or go drop by the office and pick up an official extension request and fill that out by this afternoon instead since I can't do it for you since it's official captain's stuff and stuff. Oh, and here's Yamamoto-soutaichou's next list of motions for Zaraki-taichou and…"

Renji suddenly falls over.

Or rather, is knocked over, as Byakuya realizes belatedly that it was probably because of his sudden and unexpected surge in angry reiatsu.

In the meantime, the redhead blinks. From the floor. Where all the previously stacked and ordered files are now all over the floor as well, clearly no longer stacked or in order. "T-taichou? Are you alright?" Renji asks, very carefully.

Byakuya's headache is back.

A beat later, the sixth division captain wordlessly drops his pen onto the report he had been about to start (where there is now a big, unsightly black circle starting to spread out from the center) and stands abruptly. As he does, he manages to ignore the burning, twitching pain in his body. In lieu of his burning, twitching annoyance.

He leaves the room.

Renji stares after him.

Fifteen minutes and five division headquarters later, Kuchiki Byakuya storms into the eleventh division offices seething pink reiatsu. Some of the eleventh division members in his way find it oddly pretty, until it starts to unintentionally open up shallow cuts along their arms and faces.

Then they realize that even though it is pretty, it is in reality, something a lot like Zaraki-taichou in nature. They scramble for cover.

Meanwhile, in his office, Zaraki stretches languidly in his chair and sips beer as Yumichika changes the bandages on his wounds from yesterday for him and explains that he's done all of his captain's paperwork for this week already and wasn't it nice of taichou to let him approve his own raise like that?

"More beer," is all Zaraki has to say on the matter, and Yumichika smiles beatifically as he obliges him.

Just as he is cracking open his second can, Kuchiki Byakuya makes it to the office. By forcibly blowing the doors wide open.

Zaraki blinks. Looks at the date. "You already back for mo…" he starts, but gets cut off because Byakuya is in no mood to hear him talk.

"You," the sixth division captain starts accusatorily, feeling a dark heat creeping up under his scarf whenever he looks at Kenpachi's slack posture and stupid, indifferent face (and more importantly, his desk that is clean of all paperwork), "are making me late."

Ayasegawa turns to look at Zaraki when he hears the accusation, clearly scandalized at this new (and exciting) development in his taichou's life.

Zaraki stares.

A moment.

And then, "I did not," he responds, "get you pregnant." Pause. Grin. "Did you ask Abarai?"

Without knowing he is doing it, Kuchiki Byakuya makes a completely undignified, slightly high-pitched sound of annoyance in the back of his throat. Far worse than any sigh could ever be.

He is promptly horrified at himself. And the fact that Zaraki Kenpachi may actually be laughing at him from where he has his feet up on his desk and is drinking beer makes it that much worse, because clearly the larger captain does not have any reports due in by five o'clock today like he does.

Byakuya glowers; he wordlessly turns around and storms off towards the records department.

In search of extension forms.

The entire way there, he tells himself that next week, he will be one step faster and one swing quicker, and that he will feel just a little bit better about the whole thing after that, when he is the one who gets to break that stupid, gloating smile off of Zaraki Kenpachi's stupid, gloating face.

That day is the first time in his entire career that Kuchiki Byakuya turns in a late report.

It is, however, not the last time either.