I don't own Bleach so don't ask! I'm just another crazy fan!
"Come in!" Rangiku called from her spot on the couch.
The door opened and in came Kira. He slinked slowly into the room with sad eyes pointed squarely at her. "Uh… Am I intruding?"
"Not at all. Come in."
He kept his eyes on the floor and dragged his feet over to her. He lifted his head slightly to look at her, but when their eyes met, he looked away again.
"What's the matter?" she asked.
"Well…" He trailed off after that.
"Go on," she encouraged.
He bit his lip. He seemed to be nervous about something. After several minutes, he finally answered her. "Uh… Rangiku… I, uh… I…"
"Well, spit it out."
"I… I need some help…"
"I… I'm… I…" He gulped and belted out the next words rather quickly. "I'm not happy with myself!"
She blinked. "Huh? What was that? You spoke too fast."
"I… I'm not happy with who I am…"
"Where's this coming from all of a sudden?"
"It's just that… that… I… I'm tired of everyone thinking I'm a big wimp!"
"Well, people look at me and say that even though I'm a lieutenant, I'm pretty weak when it comes to holding my own… B- by that I mean that I'm so shaky and nervous. I'm so indecisive and… I'm a strong fighter, but as a person, I'm not very good. I mean… I'm always so nervous. I stutter when I speak sometimes, I get scared easily, I'm cowardly… I… I just don't like it. I can't take being called a big baby anymore!"
"Who says that about you?"
"Well… you do."
Rangiku thought about it. "Oh, yeah! You're right. And you take that to heart?"
"Of course I do!"
"Well, you shouldn't. I didn't mean anything by it."
"You must have otherwise you wouldn't have said it." Kira looked at the ground. "I… I'm just so sick and tired of it. I don't want people to look at me and think of me as a big wimp. I know I'm a strong fighter, but I want the personality to back it up. I want a strong, brave mentality. I mean, look at the 11th division! They're monsters! I want to have that kind of reputation. I want to be strong in mind and body, too! I don't want to be this way anymore."
"Now, don't you think you're overreacting? I'm sure no one thinks that way about you."
"But you do!"
"I'm just teasing you!"
"Well, I know there are people out there who think that way and I want to prove them wrong. I don't want to be a big timid wimp! Or a crybaby, or whatever!"
Rangiku rolled her eyes. "Don't you think you're overreacting just a little bit? No one thinks that way. And I never knew it bothered you so much. Look, you're not as bad as you're making yourself out to be. I don't know what has you so depressed, but it needs to stop. You're not that bad."
Kira didn't answer. She saw his hands shaking. He was really upset.
"I want to be better… I want to be a better person… A stronger person… More reliable…"
Rangiku groaned. "Jeez, Kira… Stop this. You act as if can't do anything right. You're too sensitive…"
"That's exactly what I want to change!"
They heard a small yelp and dull thud in the hall. They looked up to see Hanataro slam face first into the door frame. He sat on his ankles and rubbed his forehead. "Ow..! That hurt..!"
He jumped at his name. "Oh! S- sorry, Lieutenant Matsumoto. I- I didn't mean to intrude! Excuse me!" He hastily bowed his head.
"That's fine. But what happened just now?"
"I- I tripped. S- sorry…"
Kira swiveled around in his seat to look at him. "Hanataro!"
He jumped and began to shake. "Y- y- yes?"
"What do you think of me?"
"What do you think of me? Do you think I'm strong willed? Brave?"
Hanataro looked from side to side. "Uh… Well, I… Uh… I… I'm not sure what you mean..."
Rangiku stood up from the couch. "He thinks he's a big wimp and a coward."
Hanataro looked at the floor. "Well…"
"See?! He thinks that way, too!"
"But I haven't said anything yet!"
Kira began to sob into his arm.
Rangiku put an arm around him. "Now, now… Don't take it to heart. You are sensitive, huh? I never realized just how sensitive you were…" To change the topic, she turned around. "But the way, Hanataro, why are you all the way out here?"
He flinched. "Oh! I was, uh… Just going to check on Squad 11's captain. He was injured today fighting off Hollows. Captain Unohana wanted me to check and see if he's ok. Last time a wound went unchecked, it got infected. She wants me to make sure it doesn't happen again."
"You realize of course that he'll never let you do that, right? He'll bite your head off, or something..."
Hanataro looked down, still shaking.
Rangiku turned back to Kira who had calmed somewhat. "Come on, Kira… You're not that big a wimp. Stop this. At least you're not as bad as Hanataro. Now he's bad."
He looked up.
"I mean, he's a huge wimp! He's always shaking and stuttering. He's so clumsy and gullible. You're nothing like this wuss."
"Wuss?" Hanataro repeated to himself.
Kira pushed her away. "Say what you want, but I know I'm right! I don't like myself! I want to change myself so that my brave and strong personality will back up my true strength. I want to be strong inside and out! That's why I came here asking for your help. I thought that maybe you could help me out. Maybe coach me a little. Maybe some possible therapy..? I figured that if you put the ideas into my head, perhaps you could get them out."
"I don't know what you expect me to do, Kira."
"I want… I wish I could just flip my personality upside-down or something…"
Hanataro's ears perked up at this.
"I keep telling you, you're overreacting! You're not as bad as you say you are, Kira."
"W- wait a minute!"
They all turned to Hanataro in surprise. Even he seemed surprised at himself.
"I- I mean… That is…"
"Well, spit it out."
He gulped. "Well… It's just that… I went on a mission not too long ago. My squad was sent to a village not too far away. They had been attacked and couldn't treat their wounds, so we-"
"Get to the point!"
He flinched. "Ah! R- right! Anyway, while we were there, this little kid kept pestering us. He took my medic pack and threw it up in a tree. It took me ages to get it down. But while I was climbing the tree I couldn't help but notice a woman call him into her home. By the time I got my pack down, he was outside again and he was like a completely different person. He was so nice and polite to everyone. I've never seen anything like it."
"For real?! What happened?"
"I'm not sure. But as we were leaving, I asked a couple of the villagers who she was and all they told me was that she was a miracle worker! It's as if she can change people's personalities for the better or something. It was amazing!"
Kira jumped over to Hanataro and held him by his shoulders, demanding attention. "Who is she?! Where can I find her?!"
"C- calm down! Calm down! I- I'm not sure… But I can find out. I can asked to go back to the village on personal business. I'm sure Captain Unohana will let me."
"Now wait just a minute!" Rangiku intervened. "What's all this about? You're just gonna go to this woman and ask her to change who you are?"
"No way! Don't do that! I keep telling you, you're fine the way you are."
"Ma… Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea…" said Hanataro quietly. "I mean, there are times when I wish I could be as strong and powerful as the members of squad 11. They're monsters! So strong and tough… No wonder they make fun of the people on squad 4... Compared to them, we're weaklings…"
"Don't tell me you've always felt this way," Rangiku said, disbelieving eyes resting on his head.
Hanataro looked away from her. "Well… Not always… Just sometimes… I mean, wouldn't you if you got picked on all the time?"
Kira clenched his fists. "It's settled, then. We'll get a hold of this woman and see what we can do!"
"We?" Rangiku and Hanataro said at once.
"Yes, we. You have to find her…" He put a hand to his chin, thinking. "Hmm… And it wouldn't be a bad idea to see if there was anything she could do for you, Hanataro."
"Eh?!" Said Soul Reaper's eyes went even wider than usual.
Rangiku stepped in front of him. "No way! Are you seriously thinking about having his personality changed as well as yours?!"
"I don't believe you! I can't believe you would take a little bit of teasing to heart! It was just that one time."
"You tell me that all the time! Remember last week at the bar?"
"Oh, please. I was drunk then!"
"What about all the times when you're sober? You always call me names and make fun of me."
"I do it to everyone. Haven't you noticed how I always draw attention to Ikkaku's bald head? I keep telling you that you're being way too sensitive about this whole thing. You're making a mountain out of a tiny, tiny little mole hill. You're making yourself out to be-"
"Actually, I wouldn't mind giving personality alteration a try," Hanataro piped up from the doorway. "It may be a whole new experience. You know, walk a mile in another's shoes? I could learn something from this… It may not be such a bad idea after all. I- I'd like to give it a try."
Kira gave him a thumbs-up.
Rangiku shook her head. "You too? How could you even think that?"
"I- I'm tired of being picked on by the members of the 11th division. Maybe if I have my personality changed into something more brave, they'll respect me more. Who knows? We may even get along much better. I'd like to try it out."
Rangiku slapped her forehead. Why did they feel so strongly about all this today? Why were they doing this? What brought it on so suddenly?
Hanataro jumped up and promised to get Kira the necessary information about the woman and try to arrange a meeting with her in the near future. If all went well, both he and Kira would have all new personalities in no time at all. Kira couldn't wait. But Rangiku? She just wondered why all this was happening to her today…
That, and how badly they would screw this up.
OK so there's the set-up...
I just couldn't wait to write this one. It gets pretty funny. I don't have it all worked out just yet, so we'll see where it goes from here.