A/N: I'm so sorry for the long waiting! If I would be able to choose what I would do I would write all the time but I'm not so lucky. So, I'm sorry, really sorry... But here it is, finally! The final chapter which became a quiet long... I tried to squeeze all things in this chapter so - I admit - it's a little bit confused, I noticed it also myself... I still hope you will like it. :)
Warnings: English is not my mother language! Grammar mistakes, wrong or missing word(s) are very possible, please try to understand, even I always do my best.
Dislaimer: I don't own anything at all! Bleach and the characters belongs to Tite Kubo. I get no money from doing this. This is just a pure fanfiction!
I hope you like! :)
Chapter 11 - The Decision
"Kenpachi!" Ichigo reached his arms and turned the man around, on his back. "Kenpachi, wake up!"
Kenpachi had not his eye patch. His eyes were closed and there were blood everywhere, coming out from one horrible deep wound on his chest. Other shinigamis had finally reached Ichigo and were now fighting with that hollow.
"Kenpachi! God dam with you!" Ichigo yelled, he shook the man. "Wake up! God damn!"
"Ken-chan!" Yachiru sprinted to Kenpachi, took his hand in hers. She cried: "Ken-chan! Ken-chan is dead!"
"No..." Ichigo's fingers trembled as his reached Kenpachi's neck: pulse, please let there be pulse... Yes! "He's alive - but - !" But just barely, Ichigo did not finish his sentence and tried to avoid Yachiru's teary eyes.
This was so his fault… Ichigo felt tears in his own eyes also and even sniffled quietly. The rest of that long, horrible day was foggy inside Ichigo's mind. He did remember how Unohana and Shunsui had come there and together they had lifted Kenpachi's unconscious, bleeding body up. After that they disappeared and Ichigo had seen deep worry in Unohana's eyes.
Yachiru went with Ikkaku and Yumichika. The hollow was dead and everything was now okay. Or that's at least what everyone hoped for. Ichigo had wanted just crawl under some rock and rot away: he felt so guilty and could not understand why no one blamed him! Not even those who had got hurt.
Rukia and Renji forced him to go to the 4th Divisions barracks because he seemed exhausted. They almost dragged him there. It was crowed with people but Unohana took him in anyway. Ironic, he was put in the same room with Kenpachi.
While Ichigo was sitting there, on his bed and Unohana examined him, he slowly looked Kenpachi. He seemed to be sleeping but Ichigo bet he was unconscious. He had bandages all over his body, some of them already coloured red by his blood...
"He will be okay", Unohana said.
Ichigo blinked and looked into her eyes. She just smiled.
"Uh… that's… good…"
"It's not your fault", Unohana said, tapped his shoulder as a sign that she had finished the examination. "You should rest. Stay here this night. It's been a long day and you need rest. There's a lot of people coming in but I'll make sure there is only you two in this room."
Ichigo just nodded. He was not sure what he supposed to say to her - or to anyone. It was not his fault? Yeah, right… However, Unohana just left them, closing the door behind her back. There was so deep silence. Ichigo stood up and walked closer to Kenpachi's bed. He somehow had to see that he really was alive…
Ichigo looked down at Kenpachi. The tall shinigami laid there, eyes closed. He had bandages all around his chest, both arms and forehead. He looked really - Ichigo could not find any other word - pathetic... Wounded.
Ichigo sighed. He sat down at the edge of Kenpachi's bed. He looked down, thinking...
He did not noticed how Kenpachi carefully opened his other eye. He grinned when he saw Ichigo. He was apparently thinking something.
Kenpachi slowly moved his fingers, making sure that Ichigo did not notice it. He could move his finger, that was good. Also his toes were moving. Only the wound on his chest were sore but he could handle it… Kenpachi closed his eyes again and waited that Ichigo would do something. He obviously was thinking, since he had a frown between his eyes and he sighed heavily more than ones…
When the minutes passes slowly also Kenpachi wanted to sigh together with Ichigo…
This was not working. Kenpachi looked at Ichigo again. He still had not noticed that he had woke up. Well, actually he had not woke up: he had been awake the whole time. But Ichigo did not have to know that... Kenpachi grinned.
Ichigo looked miserable indeed. Kenpachi decided he had to do something: God knows what that boy was thinking right now? Maybe - horrors! Maybe he was now considering joining the pansy 4th Division!
Kenpachi stood into a sitting position. He did it so fast and so normal way, not like a wounded person would do, that Ichigo jolted and dropped from his bed.
"Ke - kenpa -!"
"You're shithead, Ichigo", Kenpachi sighed as the boy stood up from the floor.
"You shouldn't move yet", Ichigo said. "You're wounded and tired. Just keep still and relax."
"I'm fine", Kenpachi waved his hand.
"I've been through far worse than some little cuts", Kenpachi sighed heavily, scratching his nose bridge there were the bandages went across his face: it tickled.
"Little cuts?" Ichigo said, staring at the tall shinigami. "You fucking retarded idiot jumped in front of me and that hollow almost sliced you apart! I saw those wounds of yours! They're not just some little cuts!"
Kenpachi snorted. Ichigo could not believe him.
"By the way..." Ichigo lowered his voice. "Why did you do that?"
"What? You mean saved you?"
"You was already down. It's so fucking stupid to hit someone who can't fight, I've always hated that: nothing fun in that kind of game..." Kenpachi growled. "Plus I thought you would feel little gratitude towards me now."
Kenpachi winced. He had spoke his thoughts aloud: "Oh shit..."
"You mean you..." Ichigo frowned. "You jumped front of me on purpose? Not to trying to save my life - but tried to make me pity you, feel gratitude and join you Division because of that?"
Kenpachi gritted his teeth and winced. Ichigo had obviously been right. The orange haired boy wanted to strangle him: he snapped.
"You bastard!" Ichigo roared. "You can't do things like that!"
"I did it because you're too fucking retarded to listen anything else!" Kenpachi yelled back. "My Division is the best one around here and you know it, you fucking orange shit!"
Ichigo opened his mouth but was not quick enough: door opened and familiar voice shrieked: "Ken-chan! You're up!"
Yachiru, Ikkaku and Yumichika had arrived together with Rukia and Unohana. Yachiru had flowers in her hands and her eye were full of tears. She sprinted and jumped straight to Kenpachi's arms.
"Ken-chan!" Yachiru totally forgot those flowers - they were now crushed in Yachiru's hand - and she hugged Kenpachi tightly and cried very loudly.
"Hey, hey, hey, kid", Kenpachi smiled gently. "What's with that reaction?"
Yachiru could not answer: she was crying too hard. Ikkaku sighed and smiled at Kenpachi.
Yumichika came closer: "We're so happy you're okay, captain. Those bandages really look good on you. We bought you this", Yumichika smiled and gave small chocolate box to Kenpachi.
"Oh, thanks", Kenpachi looked confused.
"How you are feeling, captain Zaraki?" Rukia bowed politely when she also came closer.
"Good", Kenpachi said - and grinned widely at Ichigo who sighed heavily.
"We managed to stop the bleeding almost immediately when he was brought here", Unohana spoke up, smiling like she always did. "If that bleeding would have not been healed the blood lost would have been severe. It's your lucky that we brought you here so quickly, captain Zaraki. Without help you would have been out of our reach within 10 minutes."
"See!" Ichigo raised his hand but did not dare to hit the man - even he wanted to. "I told you it was bad!"
"It's not anymore", Kenpachi whispered silkily, grinning.
Ikkaku had to grab Ichigo's arm and pull him away from the bed so he would not strangle Kenpachi. Talking with Kenpachi was almost like arguing with a little kid.
"How about that hollow?" Kenpachi changed the subject. "What happened to it?"
"You don't know?" Yumichika blinked.
"Unohana won't tell me..."
"You should not think about fighting now, captain Zaraki. I already told you we won. I really don't know what else I'm supposed to tell you?"
"Were the many deaths? Broken arms? Sliced limbs? Who injured most badly in that fight?"
"Well, no deaths, I think Soi Fon broke her left arm, no sliced limbs, only one finger, and I think you are the most badly injured."
Kenpachi looked very happy about that fact. Ichigo did not understand why and he did not even want to know...
Yachiru sniffled. She wiped her cheeks with her little hand, before hugging Kenpachi again. She did not cry anymore even there still was no smile on her face. She just hugged Kenpachi, eyes closed.
Kenpachi stroked the girl's hair and turned his head towards Unohana again: "When I can leave here?"
"I was planning keeping you here overnight", Unohana smiled. "But I know your tendency to run away."
"Hospitals are so boring..." Kenpachi winced. "And how about Yachiru? She can't be left alone."
"Well, she can stay here. I see no problem with that."
"Hear that, kid?" Kenpachi tried to cheer Yachiru up. "You're first night at hospital."
Yachiru mumbled something and hugged Kenpachi even tighter. She obviously had been more shocked about Kenpachi's injuries that everyone had thought.
"Hey, kid, I'm okay now..." Kenpachi whispered, stroking Yachiru's hair.
"Yes, but you scared me, Ken-chan..." Yachiru sniffled. "No more jumping! No more mister middle-on-the-line-of-fire things!"
"Promise! Ken-chan!" Yachiru looked up to Kenpachi, deep frown between her eyes.
"I promise kid", Kenpachi smiled. Ichigo could almost swear he saw something glittering in his eyes. "No more jumping or fire lines."
Yachiru wiped her eyes with her hands and stood up on her knees. She still not smiled: "Pinky promise?"
Ichigo knew this. Yuzu always forced him to do them for whatever god forsaken reasons...
"Pinky promise", Kenpachi laughed. He seemed to have little problem when he had to bend his rough pinky around Yachiru's very small one.
Yachiru still did not smile. She looked quite worried.
Kenpachi suddenly stood up. Yumichika, Ikkaku and Rukia gasped and looked at Unohana who just smiled and shrugged. She obviously knew she could not force Kenpachi to stay down even he would really be fatal injured.
"See?" Kenpachi turned around to see Yachiru. "I'm okay. I'm fine."
Yachiru still looked at Kenpachi. She did not smile, not even one bit. Kenpachi looked quite confused.
"Don't believe me, kid?" he asked.
Yachiru had suddenly this very sly look in her eyes. Ichigo blinked and looked at Kenpachi, who had small grin on his face.
"Let's just say, I will believe you are okay, Ken-chan", Yachiru could not held back that wide smile of hers, "if you dance with me!"
Kenpachi laughed. Everyone else looked confused, expect Ikkaku and Yumichika. Kenpachi came closer to Yachiru, who was now standing on his bed. Even then the tall shinigami was taller than the little girl with pink hair.
Yachiru giggled when Kenpachi lifted her up and placed her in his lap so her right hand was on his shoulder and left hand was in Kenpachi's right hand. The girl giggled. Her feet were far away from the ground.
"Again? I hate waltz... Something more modern would - "
"Okay, fine, whatever you say..."
Ichigo could not help but smile.
Ichigo had been thinking almost whole night. He sure could feel tired his body and were but could not fall asleep. It was because he had too much things to worry about. Tomorrow would be the day when they had to make the decision. It was supposed to be this day - or yesterday already - but because of certain circumstances Captain Commander had moved it on Saturday.
Ichigo had been sleeping about three hours when he woke up when he heard one loud bang. He opened his eyes but was too shocked to move.
"Yachiru, idiot..." Kenpachi's low voice murmured.
"Sorry, Ken-chan", Yachiru 's voice said also whispering. "It just dropped."
"Yeah. Did he woke up?"
Ichigo knew, he just knew Kenpachi and Yachiru were now both looking at him. He was sleeping on his right side so they could not see his eyes which were now open. Ichigo was so tired...
"I think he's still sleeping, Ken-chan. Should I kick him awake?"
Ichigo could feel how his skin went cold.
"No, let him sleep. He has to go at 9 to that decision meeting thing. I have to go there also. He can sleep one hour. Then you can kick him awake."
Yachiru happy scream was cut and Ichigo could almost see how Kenpachi had put a hand on her mouth. There were several muffled sounds. Ichigo closed his eyes: how in earth those two could be so noisy even then when they tried to be quit?
"Mhih mihvson Ihbigo mih beh ih?"
"H hed mhih mihvson Ihbigo mih beh ih?"
"Oh, thanks, Ken-chan!"
"Oh, okay, sorry... I just wanted to ask which Division Ichigo will be in?"
"I don't know."
"What? He hasn't make his decision yet? He will be in hurry."
"I don't know, maybe he has, maybe he hasn't... We'll see that at 9 o'clock."
"What if he doesn't pick up our Division, Ken-chan? What do we do then?"
"I think I can pull his heart out from his chest - if I really try…"
"Oh, wow, that's so cool, Ken-chan! Why you won't do that now?"
"Because he haven't made that decision yet…"
"Yeah, but you still could pull his heart out, couldn't you?"
"He would die if I would do that."
"Well, because - "
"Hell, with you two..." Ichigo could not stand it any longer: he was so tired but there was no way in hell he could sleep in this constant stream of noises.
"Yay! Ichi, you're awake!"
There was almost immediately this heavy feeling on Ichigo's back and arms around his neck. Once again Ichigo needed Kenpachi's help because Yachiru never learned that if you put arms around one's throat and squeeze that person will suffocate.
"Now, say you're sorry", Kenpachi told Yachiru.
"Sorry, Ichi", Yachiru looked very guilty indeed.
"Say why you're sorry."
"I'm sorry that I almost broke your neck when I hugged you."
"I... hate... both... of... you...", Ichigo whined rubbing his poor neck and gasping air: Yachiru had almost crushed his windpipe.
"What?" both Yachiru and Kenpachi blinked and looked at Ichigo. They looked so similar for a moment and Ichigo groaned and hid his faces behind his hands. He had to be in hell, there were no other possibilities, life could not be this cruel.
"Well, it's a good thing you woke up", Kenpachi grinned happily and his bells rang when he moved his head. He had already done his hair. "We have to be at 1st Divisions Barracks at 9 o'clock."
"Yeah, I heard that already…" Ichigo sighed and pulled his shirt on. Then when he started to look for his shoes he blinked.
"Wait... Did you say at 9 o'clock...?"
Kenpachi nodded. Ichigo blinked again and slowly turned his head towards the nearest clock around: 8:45.
"Shit!" Ichigo almost fainted and did not even say goodbye to Hanatarou as he sprinted.
"Ichigo!" Kenpachi yelled after him. "Wait, I wanted to sa -!"
"I'm not listening, Kenpachi!" Ichigo screamed and kept on running. "It's my decision! My life! I make my own decision and you can't do anything about it!"
"My Division is the best one!" Kenpachi also sprinted forward, Yachiru on his back. The little girl giggled happily when "Ken-chan" and "Ichi" were playing "tag". "Why you can't accept it?"
"Shut the hell up, Kenpachi!" Ichigo roared. "And stop following me!"
"We have the same destination, fucking retarded small brains imbecile!" Kenpachi yelled back. He was awfully fast and Ichigo had to run as fast as he just could so he would not catch him.
"So in other words you don't know where you have to go!" Ichigo really hated Kenpachi.
"Come back here!" Kenpachi roared. "I will pull that shitty tongue out of your mouth!"
"The truth hurts, doesn't it?"
"Ichigo!" Kenpachi yelled.
"Ichi, wait us!" Yachiru also joined their little shouting match.
"No way in hell!"
"How you are speaking to a little innocent girl, fucking asshole?"
"Oh, and you use so much better language than I do, huh?"
Everyone in the whole Seireitei knew where Ichigo and Kenpachi were. They also could easily tell where they were heading. They shouted insults at each other and they really run the whole way from 4th Division barracks to the 1st Division barracks.
Ichigo was so tired when they reached their destination that he had to crawl the stairs up on all fours. Panting. Heavily.
"Ichigo..." Kenpachi was still on his feet unlike Ichigo but was too tired to run any more. "Wait..."
"No..." Ichigo kept on crawling.
"I... wanted... just... to say... one thing to you..."
"I'm still... not listening..."
"There you guys are!"
Soi Fon had appeared. She was now standing on the highest step of those stairs which Ichigo was still crawling up.
"We have been waiting for you! Captain commander just told me to go search you - but since you're here now then... What's wrong? You're both sweaty and... out of breath?"
"Running!" Yachiru giggled happily, waving her legs. "Running competition! Ichi won! Ken-chan lost!"
"Shut the hell up!" Kenpachi snapped but Yachiru just giggled. "And stop freaking kicking me. Oh, my lungs..." Kenpachi whined and put hand on his chest.
They were not actually late but there was only 5 minutes before the choosing ceremony were about to start. Ichigo crawled too slow for Soi Fon's taste so she grabbed his hand and pulled him when she run.
"They're getting away, Ken-chan", Yachiru did not look happy as the two were really getting away. "Run, Ken-chan! Run! We cannot loose!"
"Shut up..." Kenpachi panted. "I can't r - "
"Oh, hell..." Kenpachi sprinted.
"It's about time you to show up!" Renji whispered sharply when Soi Fon abandoned the poor Ichigo and Rukia had to pull him on his feet. "Where were you? And why you're so sweaty...?"
Ichigo just shook his head and took his place in the shinigami students line. There were only about fifteen or twenty of them. They all looked quite nervous. There were much crowd even Ichigo had the idea that they would stay here. Captains were forming their lines on both sides of the students and those who were not captain level had to go outside.
"Okay, good luck, Ichigo", Rukia touched Ichigo's shoulder and smiled at him. "Whatever you decide remember to do it for yourself."
"Thanks", Ichigo also smiled even he had never been this nervous in his entire life.
Rukia saw fear in Ichigo's eyes but did not say anything. He walked out with Renji. They went outside exactly at the same time as Kenpachi came in. Yachiru had hopped away and she was now waving to Kenpachi's back. She looked also quite nervous.
"Good morning, vice-captain Kusajishi", Rukia smiled at her.
"Morning", Yachiru smiled. "Exciting day isn't it?"
The heavy doors which led to the hall closed. There was this very heavy sound which echoed. Ichigo and others were left behind that door. Now Rukia also felt nervous. There were many people outside the hall. Shingiamis from all Divisions. They all were chatting. Even they talk quietly they were so many of them that the ruckus was quite loud.
"Ichigo will make a good decision", Renji said. "I'm sure of it."
"Yes", Rukia nodded. "I just hope he knows what's the best option for him. He's so stubborn..."
"What you say? He will join 6th Division. I'm sure of it."
"Or 4th", familiar voice said. "He's so pansy."
"Ikkaku", Renji bowed politely as Ikkaku and Yumichika walked towards them. "I didn't know you were also here."
"Who could miss this beautiful ceremony?" Yumichika sighed. "Even that our captain was again late."
"Almost late", Ikkaku corrected.
"Well, oh, yes, maybe - but, yew, sweaty and out of breath..."
"I hope Ichi listened Ken-chan and joins our Division", Yachiru smiled. "He would be unhappy if he would not do that."
"You mean Ichigo would be unhappy?" Renji frowned.
"No, Ken-chan would", Yachiru corrected.
Renji had a funny thought inside his mind: imagination about Kenpachi hacking violently piñata Ichigo and laughing maliciously. He had no idea where that imagination had come from and shook his head.
"Late", Hitsugaya said when Kenpachi took his place at his left side.
"No, I'm not", Kenpachi spitted.
"I wonder if you have been trying to manipulate Kurosaki Ichigo's mind", Kurotsuchi said, grinning and showing those yellow teeth of his. "But, really, I think you're not smart enough to something like that, Zaraki."
"Shut - !"
Everyone shut their mouth and looked towards their Captain Commander. The old man was now sitting on his chair. He looked his normal self. There were no signs about yesterday's small war on his face. That made everyone - especially all those nervous students - respect him deeply. They could always depend on him.
Then, without any ceremony, the decisions started. Slowly, one by one, every student step forth and said which Division they had chosen. 10th and 6th seemed to be the most popular ones. Only one chose the 1st one, two wanted to join 4th Division and almost everyone else went to 13th, 10th or 6th. Of course there were those who picked up some other Division's - but no one said they would want to join 12th Division. That made Ichigo grin because he could clearly hear some growling from Kurotsuchi's direction…
The - finally - it was Ichigo's turn. He was the last one and he truly was nervous when he had to stand there all alone and every captain were looking at him. He gulped.
"Ichigo Kurosaki", Captain Commander said. "Speak out your decision."
Ichigo closed his eyes. Maybe he was making a wrong decision, but still... He had to do that which would be the best one to him not to someone else. Maybe he would regret this one day - but he wished he would choose wisely…
"I've decided", Ichigo said with a loud voice. "It will be the 11th Division."
"I knew it!"
"Captain Zaraki, please be quiet", Captain commander stated calmly. Ichigo had to bite his lower lip: Kenpachi had sounded so strange with such a happy tone in his voice.
"The ceremony is now finished", Captain Commander said loudly. "Thank you for all the students. I hope you all have chosen well. Now, you may leave."
There was immediately loud ruckus all around Ichigo. All the students started to talk with each other. Some of them went towards their new captains. Even captains started to talk and moved out from the lines.
When Ichigo turned around he saw how everyone had gone to Kenpachi. They were giving money to him and the big shinigami grinned, hands full of money.
Ichigo wanted to kill them. All of them. They had apparently been betting on this.
"Party!" Kenpachi roared and threw his fists towards the sky. "Parties tonight at my Divion's barracks, everyone!"
There were many cheers and clapping.
Ichigo sighed. He did not move when Kenpachi finally got all his moneys from other captains and run to Ichigo. He grinned widely and Ichigo shivered: maybe he just should jump out of window, screaming the whole way down how much he hated Kenpachi Zaraki...
"I knew this would happen", Kenpachi put his hand on Ichigo's shoulder. "Smart move, kid!"
"Ichi!" Yachiru stormed in when the doors were now open and everyone else could come in also. "I heard! Oh, I'm so happy, Ichi!"
Yachiru made a big jump and almost knocked Ichigo over when she hit his lap. He would have fallen if Kenpachi would not have pulled him back to balance.
"Hey, there's really parties tonight at 11th Division barracks, captain?" Renji asked immediately the most important question.
"Hell yeah!" Kenpachi grinned, his fist was full of money and so were his pockets.
Ichigo sighed again. Kenpachi's un-moneyed hand was still on his shoulder and Yachiru was still in his arms. Rukia smiled at him.
"I think you made the best decision, Ichigo", Rukia said. "I mean... I didn't say it aloud but I really think 11th Division would really be the best place for you."
"Yeah, I hope..."
Kenpachi did not hear what Ichigo and Rukia were talking about. He was talking with Ikkaku and Yumichika now. They too looked very happy but Ichigo did not know was it because of him joining them or the parties.
Ichigo sighed very heavily. He hope someone would listen to him. Up till now everyone had only said that he would be happy in the 11th Division. He seemed to be the only one who doubted that.
"Ichigo! There you are!"
Ichigo shivered and looked behind him. Kenpachi had found him even he had tried to find a place where he could not be found: on the roof of 11th Division's barracks. Actually, right on the top of Kenpachi's office. He had tried to me smart. Now, when he saw Kenpachi's spiky hair and one angry eye, he felt like an idiot.
He had been at 11th Division's Barracks about one hour already. He had wanted to have some air so he had gone for a walk. Then he had had to come back since there were this parties coming up… But suddenly he had not wanted to see anyone. So he had hided. He had heard how everyone had started to search for him but he had just been sitting there, minding his own business, watching clouds - and thinking.
"Why you're up here, idiot?" Kenpachi asked when he crawled towards him. All the bricks were rattling under him. Ichigo did not say anything and Kenpachi sat next to him, sighing heavily.
They did not say anything for a while. Kenpachi bells were ringing softly in a light breeze. There were beautiful clouds in the sky and Ichigo could swear he smelled spring…
"Captain?" Ikkaku's voice shouted somewhere close.
"Here!" Kenpachi shouted back - with so loud voice that Ichigo jolted. "I found him!"
"Oh, good! How about the parties?"
"Keep on preparing them!"
"Right away, captain!"
Ichigo felt guilty when Kenpachi looked at him. He looked a little bit angry - but Ichigo was not sure because he always had that frown between his eyes…
"Stop playing owl and come with us", Kenpachi growled. "These parties are for you."
"I was thinking..."
"No", Kenpachi groaned and put his hand on his head. "Not you too... Yumichika is always been thinking and he never has good ideas."
Ichigo laughed little bit. He remained silent.
"Oh, hell, well, what?" Kenpachi murmured.
"About this whole thing... I'm part of your division now. It means everything will change now. You can hack me up every time you want - don't smile so happily! I also have to train with you guys, go to missions with you, do paper works and call you captain... It all happened so fast."
Kenpachi looked at Ichigo. When he was not grinning or blankly staring at him he actually looked quite normal. It made Ichigo feel nervous. Words "Kenpachi" and "normal" in a same sentence made his brain go to error...
"Yeah, I think so", he shrugged. "But so what?"
"Oh come on, Ichigo! Cheer up!"
"What's so wrong with my division? Or me being your captain?"
"It just makes things so different. I can't... Okay, never mind."
"What? You can't what?"
"I... I can't be so free anymore..."
"Idiot. I'm not going to watch your every step. I'm not a guard-dog and I don't even have enough time to watch your every act", Kenpachi looked at Ichigo and grin appeared on his face. "Okay, give me some another statement so I can crush it too."
Ichigo laughed. He put hand on his mouth and laughed. Kenpachi grinned.
"Do I have to call you captain now, Kenpachi?"
"You don't want to?"
"It would sound... odd."
"Calling bastard like you captain would be odd because you're still that fucking annoying asshole as always."
Kenpachi throw fist towards Ichigo who ducked.
"I'm always tried to be friendly to you!"
"Oh? So trying to kill someone is friendly?"
"I offered you coffee. Twice."
"Now when you mentioned it maybe you should stop doing that..." Ichigo remembered how bad Kenpachi's coffee tasted. He obviously made it too strong.
"No way", Ichigo shook his head and laughed again: he was tired.
But he had strange idea in his head. Talking with Kenpachi had always made him thinking things, solving them. Yes, Kenpachi was totally asshole, nothing would change that fact. He was crazy and bloodlust but he had that one strange skill which not so many people had any more: he listened. Ichigo had never gained that sort of attention from anyone. He had friends, yes, but he could not just tell his problems to them...
Kenpachi was different and Ichigo did not know why. It was always so easy to talk with him. Well, maybe it was because Kenpachi was so simple... and if Ichigo would not tell him what was wrong he would never leave him alone. Curious as a child.
"Thanks", Ichigo whispered, hand still on his mouth.
"Huh?" Kenpachi blinked and looked back at Ichigo: he had been watching fireworks which had appeared suddenly; apparently either by an accident or then someone was just testing them. "Did you say something?"
Ichigo smiled and shook his head: "No."
Kenpachi saw something in Ichigo's eyes. He did not seem so worried anymore. He had that happy glint in his eyes again. It made Kenpachi grin.