Written for BleachAsylum's Holloween contest.
Un-betaed, but there shouldn't be any horrible mistakes - hopefully.
Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach.
All of them.
Even the adult ones.
Especially the adult ones.
At times like these, Zaraki Kenpachi almost pities the Soutaichou. Is that what it is like to have to deal with generations after generations of captains? Poor guy... How Yamamoto has, so far, restrained himself from killing a few of those captains is beyond Zaraki's comprehension: in just a century, he, Kenpachi of Zaraki, has felt more than a few homicidal urges towards some of his colleagues, and it is only the knowledge that this would piss the Old Man off big time that has restrained him (though in the case of Aizen and Ichimaru, maybe it would have been better if he had given in to his instincts...)
Yumichika's screeches break - again - through his thoughts.
"I swear I will quit the Division if I am forced to... to... that!"
"Oi, don'tcha think you're over-reacting a bit? It's not that bad."
"NOT THAT BAD!"
Ikkaku barely has time to duck before Yumichika's zanpakutou swings right where his neck used to be. Zaraki sighs; Pretty-Boy is really pissed off, this will not end well...
"Yo, Yachiru! Just give it up, will ya?"
"I said give it up. Find something else."
The brat is not happy, but between the stern look in her Captain's eyes, and the demented one in Yumichika's, she does not really have a choice. Half-heartedly, she shuffles through her book again, before settling on another illustration.
"Okay, Feathers, you can be a vampire instead."
Zaraki holds his breath while his fifth seat inspects the new proposal. The captain is not quite sure what a vampire is supposed to be, but surely it cannot be as bad as a crooked-nosed, yellow-toothed, hairy-warted witch, right?
The room itself seems to release a sigh of relief as Yumichika begrudgingly agrees to the new solution, and soon enough, he is sitting at the mirror, carefully applying the white paint onto his own face. Ikkaku, in the meantime, will help Yachiru change into her pretty princess dress. The third seat himself is already all done, dressed and made-up as a pumpkin-headed scarecrow - Yachiru's choice of course.
They are all taking turns dousing each other (and Zaraki) with generous amounts of fake blood, when their companions for the evening show up - and the three adult males promptly proceed to choke on their own tongues. Surely, that... outfit, if it can be called that, is not supposed to be worn outside of a bedroom, is it?
Yumichika is the first one to recover his ability to talk.
"Yes?" The blonde is smiling, apparently unaware of the commotion going on within her colleagues' minds and bodies.
"... What the HELL is that!"
Hmm, seems like Pretty-Boy has been shocked more than Zaraki had thought; it takes a lot to make his speech pattern regress to the level of Ikkaku's.
"My disguise, of course. Why?"
"Your...? What in Soul Society are you supposed to be? A magical hooker!"
Zaraki is not happy: shocked he may be, but that does not mean his subordinate is allowed to forget the (very) few child-rearing rules in place around here. One of them is that nobody is ever to mention...
"What's a hooker, Feathers?"
"Yachiru, later. Ayasegawa, practice grounds, tomorrow, 0900."
Funnily enough, it is Ikkaku who gulps as he hears the verdict. Yumichika is still too busy staring at Matsumoto, who explains airily:
"No, silly, I'm a fairy of course."
"Yes! I have a magic wand, a pair of wings, and even a tiara, see?"
She bends to bring the flimsy crown sitting haphazardly on her hair closer to Yumichika's eye level - and right behind her, her captain turns an even darker shade of red. Not that Zaraki would have believed that this was even possible: the kid looks like his face might burn off in flames any time now...
"Yes, Feathers, can't you see, she's a fairy! And Grumpy-pants is her kitty!"
And off Yachiru saunters to hop on to "Grumpy-pants" ' shoulders and play with his cat ears and whiskers, all the while squealing about how cute he is - which predictably enough, does not do anything to better the midget captain's mood.
"So!" Zaraki stands up. "Everyone here? Can we go now?"
Yachiru hollers excitedly, Matsumoto claps her hands, and Ikkaku and Yumichika grab the giant bags that have been prepared for the occasion. Somewhere under all this noise, Hitsugaya's voice can vaguely be heard, muttering something about not being a kid, not wanting any candy, refusing to be seen by any more people dressed like that, and somebody please kill him already - Zaraki is almost tempted to take him on his word on that last point.
The First Division has no candy - something about refusing to be coerced into participating in nonsensical celebrations. Their bad. The line says "trick or treat" after all, so Zaraki gives Yachiru five minutes to do her tricking.
As they are leaving the grounds, Hitsugaya's mouth is hanging open and his eyes are bulging out, Matsumoto seems unsure of what happened, Yachiru is still a bit angry, Ikkaku and Yumichika are grinning like proud maniacs, and Zaraki is feeling a whole new layer of headache coming on as he thinks of the sheer load of paperwork trickery he is going to have to do in order to avoid having to pay for the repairs to the First Division's headquarters - he had not imagined that Yachiru would go as far as punching whole new doors and windows in the walls... Or redesigning half the furniture... The giant blood-red frescoes depicting the 11th Division's Hollow hunting expeditions are a nice touch, though.
Soi Fon-taichou is a smart and cautious woman. The trick-or-treating in her Division is over before it even has a chance to begin: she just sends half-a-dozen Special Ops agents, each loaded with a heavy bag of candy, to intercept the small group as soon as they enter the grounds.
In. Load. Out. Efficient, fast, and to everyone's satisfaction. If only the whole evening could go that way...
Funny: for someone whose, according to the rumours, trademark method of finishing an enemy is decapitation, you would think that Kira-fukutaichou would not be so easily spooked by the sight of a little bit of fake blood.
Unless it was Matsumoto's disguise which did it? Che, you can never tell with that kid, what with those giant bangs of his hiding half his face, and his habit of always looking down at his own feet.
Though come to think of it, Zaraki is pretty sure that he can feel a definite smell of sake coming up from the body he is carrying on his shoulder. If Kira was already half-gone from drinking, that would explain his weird reaction at being jumped upon by a pretty pink princess dripping in false blood and demanding "trick or treat" at the top of her voice and with a demented gleam in her eyes... Yes, it must be the alcohol...
Fortunately, the 4th is right next door, so Zaraki does not have to carry Kira very far - not that he minds, it is just that he is a bit worried the blond might puke all over him any time soon.
Speaking of puking: is that what Kotetsu-fukutaichou is doing in the bushes? Oh come on, this is getting ridiculous! First a warrior, and now a healer! What is it with all those wimps losing their heads at the sight of the slightest smudge of blood? Fake blood even!
And what is the deal with sugar-free candy? Seriously? Oh well, at least this way Midget Captain is sure to bring some home. Yes, yes, we all heard you the first time, you are not a kid, you do not want any candy, yadda yadda yadda. Just take the damn stuff, will ya?
Oh, so it seems like Hitsugaya-taichou can get his lieutenant to obey him, when he really, really wants her to.
Though why the midget is so intent on not visiting the 5th Division is beyond Zaraki. Hinamori-fukutaichou is a delightful girl, who neither passes out nor freaks out when she sees them, and hands them a more than reasonable amount of candy. So really, he cannot fathom the kid captain's reaction. Oh well. More candy for Yachiru.
Kuchiki-hime can be so predictable. And stubborn. After all that time, you would think he would have learned that he just cannot win against Yachiru, right?
Gates locked, guards standing every ten feet with orders to stop them at any price, kidou barriers in place: Kuchiki went out of his way to foil Yachiru's plan.
Unfortunately for him, she knows the place like the back of her hand, Zaraki cannot feel pain, and the boys have excess energy to expend seeing as how they spent the afternoon disguising each other and their lieutenant instead of training.
It takes barely half-an-hour of increasing fun before Kuchiki gives in and sends Abarai with a giant basket of candy.
Kuchiki: 0 - Yachiru: 1 756 432.
Victory for Matsumoto too, if the fact that Renji is currently getting to know the koi face to face means anything.
Zaraki suspects that Komamura has a soft spot for Yachiru - and he knows that Iba does. Thus he is not in the least surprised to see that the alley to the 7th Division's headquarters is lined up with lanterns and carved-up pumpkins, and that both the wolf captain and his lieutenant are patiently waiting for them, sitting on the gallery, with a huge emptied-out pumpkin filled to the brim with candy between the two of them.
As they turn around to leave, Iba starts to cough and splutter, and Komamura pats his back indulgently. So Zaraki was right: he did hear Iba swallow his tongue five minutes ago. Good: he had been starting to worry that spending so much time with the tame wolf had somehow completely emasculated his former subordinate.
Yachiru giggles. "Ken-chan is talking to himself again! What's emusca- amascu-that thing you said, Ken-chan?"
Ikkaku and Yumichika are snorting. "Madarame, wanna join Ayasegawa in his practice session tomorrow?"
Ikkaku stops snickering, but Yumichika only laughs even more.
Kids. Headaches. Kill. All of them!
"Those aren't the candy I ordered."
"Because alcohol-filled chocolate balls are not appropriate for the occasion, Taichou."
So Kyouraku will take any opportunity to turn anyone, even Yachiru and Hitsugaya, into alcoholics like him, and Ise disapproves.
What else is new?
Zaraki cannot quite figure out why the boys are taking special measures for Hisagi-fukutaichou when they did not bother for Kira, Abarai and Iba.
"Stone beats scissors, I win!"
"Oh, all right. Rangiku-san?"
"Your hair looks even more stunning than usually tonight. What did you do to it?"
"Aw, surely you're joking. Come here, closer to the light, you'll see."
"But, but... Shuuhei..."
"Hum, no, that's not my name. Come on, come here!"
Matsumoto may be one stubborn little thing, but Yumichika can be even worse when he wants to be. The blonde fairy looks utterly bemused as she is being dragged away by the pretty vampire, and Ikkaku takes that opportunity to usher everyone else within the grounds of the 9th Division.
Hisagi himself seems disappointed not to see Matsumoto, and upon noticing Yumichika's absence, quickly turns an icy glare to Ikkaku, who just shrugs and mutters something along the lines of "you'll thank me tomorrow".
"NO! No, Yachiru, we are NOT going trick-or-treating at the 12th Division! Just forget about it, all right?"
Oh great, now she is pouting. And are those tears in her eyes? Breathe, Kenpachi, breathe...
Matsumoto flinches but does not look away. She has got guts that one.
"Nemu will be very disappointed if we don't show up."
Zaraki does not miss a beat.
"I'm not stopping you from going... And collecting Kurotsuchi's candy..."
Everyone except Yachiru pales.
"I'll... excuse myself to her tomorrow?"
"You do that."
Ukitake does not need any special opportunity to shower Yachiru and Hitsugaya with candy.
But obviously he is not going to complain if you actually give him one anyway.
Yachiru promptly forgets about missing on Freaky-clown's candy when she lays her eyes on the life-size sculpture of herself waiting for them in the 13th Division's gardens - a sculpture entirely made of hard boiled sugar and stuffed with candy...
There is also one of Hitsugaya, but the kid captain's reaction is closer to horror than enthusiasm.
Standing besides the statues are Ukitake's third seats.
"Ukitake-taichou is sick."
"He's asked us to please excuse him..."
"And to present you with his offering for this special evening. He hopes you will find it to your liking."
"Hey, we had agreed that this was my line!"
"Oh shut up, you..."
Kids. Headaches. No wonder Ukitake is always sick...
Three hours later...
Yachiru is whizzing around Zaraki's office, so high on sugar that her speech has become unintelligible and the eye can hardly follow her moves.
Matsumoto and Ikkaku are steadily getting each other drunk, which would not be so bad if for some reason, they had not decided to start singing... If one can call it singing.
Yumichika is drying his hair while humming a completely different song and tapping his foot to yet another completely different rhythm.
And Hitsugaya apparently found some alcohol-filled chocolates in his bag after all, because he is now sleeping all rolled up like the cat he is still disguised as... in Zaraki's lap. Zaraki himself does not quite remember how this happened, though he does thank his lucky star that at least the boy captain did not sob his heart out or anything like that first.
All of them.
Obnoxious, loud, disrespectful, nonsensical.
What ever attracts them to him?
xx The End xx