'Do you think we should go and help, Shinji?' Lisa asked, one hand on her zanpakuto, ignoring her skirt flapping around her legs. Her eyes, Kensei noticed, were focused on her former captain, Kyouraku Shunsui, and his fight with the Primera Espada.
'Leave 'em. They're doing ok.' Hiyori snarled, wiggling one finger around in her ear. She wasn't even looking at the battles
'Depends on your definition of ok,' Shinji said, resting his sword over his shoulder. 'They look pretty hopeless to me.'
'Assholes can deal with it themselves,' Hiyori said, leaning back against a nearby wall.
'We are here to help, Hiyori,' Love said.
Hiyori spat. 'Like I said, leave 'em.'
Nobody said anything. Looked like they all preferred to watch the battles. Kyouraku was having a chat with the Espada he was fighting, Ukitake was swatting away an overenthusiastic fraccion that looked about six, the midget who was apparently the 10th Division captain was barely holding his own and it looked like Yamamoto was moving, too.
'Oi, Kensei, check it out,' Shinji nudged his fellow Vaizard with one bony finger, gesturing to one of the Shinigami fighting with a butt-ugly monster.
'What?' Kensei grunted, reluctant to take his eyes off the Captains fighting the Espada. The Espada were more interesting, stronger than any pathetic Shinigami. Anyway, it was probably just some Shinigami with enormous breasts who Shinji would decide was his most recent 'true love'.
'Dude, he's got a 69 tattooed on his cheek!' Shinji exclaimed gleefully. 'That takes serious guts.'
Kensei jerked his head around and saw the Shinigami Shinji was pointing at. From where they were standing, everyone could see the 69 tattooed on his cheek. He got swatted into a building effortlessly by the monster-thing. Pathetic.
'And I thought putting it on your stomach was hardcore.' Shinji's grin got a little wider as Kensei frowned.
'Hey, Kensei, he looks familiar, yeah?' Mashiro asked. 'I've seen him before, I know it!' She grabbed her head in her hands and started bouncing on the spot.
'Shut up and pay attention,' Kensei said, watching the Shinigami fall to the ground after Yamamoto saved his ass by distracting the thing. Yeah-the spiky hair looked familiar, but apart from that…Nope, he wasn't ringing any bells in Kensei's head. Must've been ages ago, or Mashiro was just making stuff up.
And when the Shinigami was pounded into the ground in front of the group of Vaizard, and the Shinigami looked up and saw them Kensei remembered. Those pathetic eyes were definitely familiar. A hundred years ago he'd rescued this brat from Hollows. And he still needed his ass saved.
The kid was struggling to get up, coughing up blood as if he'd been stabbed. 'Dumb kid. At least this time he's not snivelling,' Kensei said to Mashiro as he walked over to the kid.
'I knew it, I knew it!' Mashiro sang as she remembered, too, clapping her hands and jumping up and down.
'Oi, you're still alive and kicking, yeah?' Kensei walked over to the Shinigami kid, like he had a hundred years ago. Fuck, he couldn't remember his name, but now that he could see them, he remembered those eyes.
'What's he doing?' He heard Hiyori ask from behind him.
'Taichou?' The kid coughed, and struggled to stand up, falling back to the ground before he'd made it upright. The kid obviously remembered him, his face worked back into the stupid expression it'd had on it when Kensei had saved the brat in Rukongai, despite the scars and tattoo. Nothing like what it had looked like when he'd been battling the Arrancar's pet monster before.
'They've met before?' Rose asked the singing Mashiro. Kensei ignored the others standing behind him, knowing he was going to cop it from them later for getting soft.
'No time to be fucking around. On your feet,' Kensei commanded, yanking on the kid's arm to pull him upright.
'Yes sir.' And this time he stayed upright, and goddamnit if he wasn't as tall as Kensei now. Man, he'd grown. But had he grown up well?
'You come with a name, kid?' Kensei asked roughly as the Shinigami bent to pick up his re-sealed zanpakuto. It'd gone back to that from whatever its released state was on the fall down. Moron couldn't even hang onto it when he landed.
'Hisagi Shuuhei, fukutaichou of the Ninth Division. I…didn't forget, taichou, and…I tried to do as you said.' Hisagi Shuuhei said, eyes not on Kensei, but on the Arrancar he had been fighting before.
'Name's Muguruma Kensei, kid, and I'm not a taichou anymore. Now get going, soldier.'
'Hai, Muguruma-taichou. Karire, Kazeshini'
The kid leaped off, his injury seemingly forgotten, his reiatsu surprisingly strong for someone who'd been getting his ass kicked a little while ago, with his strange, but wicked-looking zanpakuto in his hands. Looked like he'd grown up to suit his name. Kensei smiled briefly.
'Who's the kid, Kensei?' Shinji asked when Kensei rejoined the group.
'Some brat. We going to help or not? Fucking boring otherwise,' Kensei asked.
'Dunno, looked like you were having fun a second ago, Kensei,' Shinji drawled.
'Fuck you, Shinji.'
Another building was destroyed and Haachi said, in his usual inoffensive way, that possibly it would be time to help out now?
'Yeah, yeah, let's go.'
It surprised none of the Vizards when, at the end of the battle, the kid ended up at Kensei's side.
'Good job, kid,' Kensei muttered, trying to ignore the stares he could feel on his back.
'Hisagi Shuuhei, Muguruma-taichou,' the kid insisted. The moron was probably oblivious to all the attention they were getting. Probably not as much as Kyouraku and Lisa, but, then again, they were just talking.
'Stoppit with that, I'm not a taichou,' Kensei snapped. 'Call me Kensei, for fuck's sake, kid.'
'I'm not a kid anymore, Muguruma-taichou.'
The kid met Kensei, stare for stare. He was bloody, and looked like he could probably fall over at any second, but the eyes told a different story. Kensei knew the kid wouldn't fall over, because his eyes said he wouldn't.
'No, you're not a kid. Good job today, soldier.' Kensei clapped the kid on the shoulder walked off, yelling that Shinji better get his ass out of there before Kensei could kick it for eavesdropping. The crash Kensei heard was quite satisfying.
'Thank you for-'
'Whatever. See ya round, Hisagi Shuuhei.'
A/N: Wrote this while attempting to get rid of writer's block for my King Arthur fic. I tried writing for a different fandom this time. Hope it worked. Thanks to my sneak-beta-you're awesome. Reviews are great; concrit or advice on characterization would be particularly loved.
This is a oneshot only-there will be no updates, no sequels, no more chapters, nada. So don't put it on alert, because it won't be happening.
Disclaimer: Bleach is not mine. I'm not smart enough to create anything near that great.