Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach.
AN: So I was writing this for Delmarch's birthday…but it's turning out to be more than just a one-shot. So, Del, happy birthday. Enjoy. Sorry, Yumichika is not the main character. This is just the first chapter. Expect more.
Warnings: AU, no Character death.
No one thought anything of it. The soft glances and secret smiles were either ignored or not noticed at all.
After all, who falls in love with their voice teacher?
Kusajishi Yachiru was the youngest student at the Dica-Effree Institute of Advanced Medial Arts and the only girl in her voice class. Her sweet, childish voice was a sharp contrast to the men in the class and her pretty, girlish looks got her plenty of attention, but nothing she was interested in.
It all happened the day their teacher died of a heart attack. The school called in a substitute.
Yachiru recognized the voice before he was even in the room. Ayasegawa Yumichika was a former student at Dica-Effree and a very prominent voice actor in the anime industry. It was a known fact that he was picky, judgmental, and downright rude, but Yachiru lost all thought of that the moment he stepped into the room.
He was very lean and wore a light out-of-season yukata, geta, and a very expensive looking comb in his long, dark hair. Deep lavender eyes framed with thick lashes surveyed the room as the dean shared the news of their former instructor's demise to the students. Fifteen men, ages ranging from eighteen to probably thirty-five or so and one slight teenage girl.
"Thank you, Yamamoto-san," Yumichika interrupted once he'd grown bored of the old man's speech, dragging long, thin fingers through his hair. "I'll take over from here."
"I'll leave you then," the old man nodded firmly, obviously undaunted by the young man's interruption. Yumichika walked him to the door and firmly shut it behind him. Turning once more, he studied the class for all of one second before sitting down at the teacher's desk and crossing his legs, discreetly revealing a flash of a slim calf and ankle.
"What a slut," one of the men beside her whispered to a classmate and Yachiru felt obliged to agree.
Yumichika knew exactly what he was doing and Yachiru knew he was the most beautiful man she had ever seen.
"Kusajishi, you have the ideal voice for a child or side character, but you'll never be worth anything as a lead."
Yachiru stared at him numbly for a few seconds after giving her monologue, wondering half-heartedly if that's what he meant to say.
"Why are you still standing there? Get back to your seat."
It had been two weeks since Yumichika had taken over her class and she found herself to be enjoying it less and less. She was the last one to class and the first one out of her seat. It always seemed like he was harsher on her than the others.
It was disheartening. The others assured her she did fine and said he was just being a jerk, but Yachiru knew it was more than that and she was determined to show him that she wouldn't quit, no matter what he did.
It was raining the day she decided to stay late, coming up with the reasonable excuse of copying some notes from a classmate, despite the fact she already had them. It was a little after six when she finally stepped out the door, masking her joy at the downpour outside.
A few minutes later, Yumichika showed up in the doorway behind her, giving a slight sigh at the weather and opened his umbrella. He almost walked by her, but reconsidered.
"Didn't you bring an umbrella?"
Yachiru shook her head, "No."
"Or a coat?"
"Idiot," Yumichika muttered and to her surprise took a step closer to her. "I'll take you home. It won't do for one of my students to become ill for such a stupid reason."
This was the chance she had been waiting for. She gratiously thanked him for his kindness as he walked her to his car. He surprised her by opening the door for her, but she didn't say anything. It wouldn't do to ruin his fairly good mood just yet. He slid into the driver's side and started the vehicle. Yachiru waited until they pulled into traffic to start.
"Ayasegawa-san?" she asked slowly, taking her time. She saw his head tilt slightly in her direction, her only sign than she had his attention. Swallowing she continued, "Do you think I should pursue a different career? According to you, I'm pretty worthless."
"Did I say that?" Yumichika didn't show any emotion as he continued driving.
"Just a few days ago."
"Oh, must have slipped my mind," Yumichika gave a slight shrug. "Well, you were born with the voice you have. It is very suiting on you, however, not so much for many characters that we cast in anime. I honestly think that you would make a very good voice actress, but only for side characters, children, lolitas, certain Moe characters, and so on. As you know, those are rarely lead parts."
"Oh," Yachiru looked down. "Well, do you think I should continue?"
"I think you should do whatever you want."
"Are you serious?"
"Yes," he frowned slightly. "You do have talent. If you want to use it, I say go ahead."
"Why are you so different outside of class?" Yachiru wondered, growing slightly annoyed that she couldn't get mad at him.
"I'm not any different," Yumichika glanced at her, actually surprised she'd said that.
"Yes, you are. You're always so mean to me in class. I don't get it."
"The voice acting industry is harder on women than it is on men. People will treat you badly. I didn't want you to start out without a small taste of that."
"A small taste?" Yachiru stared out of the window, watching the rain droplets splatter against the pane. "Why don't you treat anyone else like that?"
"Because they're men."
"I don't get it."
"It's easier for them," Yumichika said slowly. "It's always harder for people who are different. I had a lot of trouble when I started out, as well."
This surprised her. He always seemed so proud and full of himself. He never let off anything other than he how much better he was than anyone else. "I don't believe that."
"It was a little different for me, but it's true," Yumichika laughed, not an unpleasant sound Yachiru vaguely noted. "Did you know I started out as an actor? Well, I tried to act. I was quite good, but the only roles they were willing to give me were those of gay men. Do you know why?" At Yachiru slow headshake Yumichika continued, looking slightly amused. "Because of my looks."
"But you're so pretty, why would that have—" Yachiru stopped herself and glanced out the window again in embarrassment. "Oh," she said dumbly. "So you tried the voice acting industry instead because they wouldn't judge your appearance, just your voice."
"And my talent," Yumichika reminded her gently, turning a corner. "Voice acting is much harder than normal acting. You don't—"
"Where are we going?" Yachiru asked, suddenly a little panicked.
"Well, you never told me where you lived, so I thought I'd take you somewhere else."
"Let me out right now," Yachiru didn't recognize anything. They weren't in a bad part of town, but she still had no idea where she was.
"Calm down," Yumichika resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "We'll be there in just a minute. I'm not going to do anything bad to you."
Yachiru found this slightly reassuring; despite the fact he was little more than a stranger to her. She settled herself so she could stare out of the window more comfortably and studied her surroundings. They were downtown, out of the factory area and closer to where the business section started. She never had much reason to visit this area, so she'd never been there. At least she could reassure herself with the fact there was very little housing in that part of town, so he couldn't be taking her to his apartment.
She was lulled out of her building watching as they pulled to a stop in front of a large building probably fifteen stories high. They'd parked around back, so there were no signs telling her anything.
"Where are we?" Yachiru wondered, but Yumichika was already out of the car and coming around her side to open the door.
"Ready, Kusajishi-san?" Yumichika had a smile of his face. He held the umbrella out so she wouldn't get rained on.
"I guess," Yachiru stepped out of the car, trying very carefully no to notice how close he was beside her, carefully touching her arm to guide her around large puddles and towards the door. He pulled out some kind of badge and scanned it on the lock on the door. With a slight beep the door unlocked, letting them both inside.
The hallway they found themselves in was dark, but Yachiru found herself being steered down various hallways until they reached the actual lobby of the building in a very confusing route. Yumichika stopped at the secretary's desk and gave her a lovely smile.
"Onita-san, would you please give my friend a visitor's badge? Her name is Kusajishi Yachiru. Please indicate that I am her guide incase she gets lost."
"Of course, Ayasegawa-san," Onita looked a little flushed and began typing into her computer for a few moments. She handed him a vague looking badge with "Visitor" on it and some information written on the back. "Is there anything else you need?"
"That's it, thank you," Yumichika clipped the badge to Yachiru's jacket and immediately dragged her towards the nearest elevator, hitting the button for the twelfth floor. That was when he began talking. "Floors ten through fifteen belong to the Tikoma Production League. We're starting on the twelfth floor because I thought you'd be more interested in the actual voice acting part of the industry than anything else."
Yachiru was speechless. She'd always wanted to visit here, but they didn't give tours. Now, she was going to be shown around by Ayasegawa Yumichika a prominent voice actor and a very attractive man. She sighed, "I feel so stupid."
"Don't," Yumichika chuckled at the door popped open. "You aren't the first woman who has thought my intentions were anything but pure," he winked. "But we'll leave my mother out of this."
It took Yachiru a moment to realize it was a joke. He was actually joking with her! Where was this rude, stuck-up man everyone always claimed him to be? She was about to say something when Yumichika suddenly chuckled and waved at someone from across the room.
"Ikkaku! Do you have dinner plans tonight?"
Yachiru turned her head towards where Yumichika had called to. Madarame Ikkaku? That was too much to wish for, wasn't it?
A bald man looked up from across the room and grinned. "Yumichika, what's that with you? She's too pretty to be standing with someone as uppity as you."
"Uppity?" Yumichika looked insulted. "I am not uppity."
"Whatever you want to call it," Ikkaku smirked at Yachiru. "I've never seen him bring anyone in here before. He must like you a lot."
"Ikkaku," Yumichika seethed, completely ignoring the blush that spread unwillingly across Yachiru's face. "She's one of my students."
"Oh, I see," Ikkaku's smile just widened. "She's going out to dinner with us tonight, too, isn't she?"
"Well, yes, that was my intention."
"Do you want to invite some of the other guys?"
Yachiru noted the distinct lack of anything to do with women in his words and wondered how correct Yumichika had been, but just at that moment, there was a loud crack and a howl of pain.
"So he's at it again," Yumichika chuckled, exchanging a knowing glance with Ikkaku just as a beautiful woman stormed out of the nearest doorway, rolled up script in hand. A man wearing a ridiculous pink coat trailed after her like a starving puppy, pouting like he'd just gotten into trouble.
"Shunsui, stop giving her so much trouble," a white-haired man chided from behind them, coming out of the same room and shutting the door behind him. "You certainly deserved that one. You can't go around telling women things like that. It's astounding you aren't in jail."
"It was only one offense!"
"It was the third one today," the other man told him.
"Jyuu, you wound me more than my lovely Nanao-chan," Shunsui gripped his jacket as if he were in pain. "I think I'm going to die."
"No you aren't," the white-haired man, who Yachiru had now correctly identified as voice actor/director Ukitake Jyuushirou smiled at the group. "Yumichika, you aren't scheduled to be here today." His smile widened and he rushed to Yachiru. "Aren't you just adorable? Shunsui! Come look at this!"
"Um," Yachiru glanced at Yumichika who was snickering.
"This is Kusajishi Yachiru," Yumichika introduced without a second thought. "She's one of the more promising students in my voice class. Yachiru stared at him wide-eyed. Did he really mean that? Even after what'd he told her in class?
"She is really cute," Shunsui agreed, gazing at her hair in amazement. "I love the pink, Yachiru-chan. We're going to be great friends."
"I'm sure we will," Yachiru answered in a half-giggle, half-squeak that Jyuushirou just seemed delighted in.
"That was so cute. Can you do that again?" Ukitake walked around her, studying her for no apparent reason. "I might have a few lines that she'd be—"
"No," Yumichika shook his head. "We're going out for dinner and that's it."
"But Hinamori has the flu and I really need to get some lines done!"
"I didn't bring her down here to be cast as an extra, Ukitake. She's not here to be cast as anything at the moment."
"Fine," Ukitake sighed, rubbing the back of his head. "So just dinner then?"
End of Part 1. Hope you enjoyed Del. Happy Birthday.