Chapter 20: Bye

Kenpachi was dying. Dying sure sucked ass. It hurt like hell and there was nothing he could do, he couldn't even move. He could barely keep his eyes open, his muscles refused. Things were exploding all around him and though his sense of sight was failing, his ears heard it all.

Zanikko's scream, her anger burning in her voice. And another sound, sobs, Yachiru's sobs. Kenpachi wanted to comfort her so badly. Who knew, all this time and Yachiru was his zanpakuto spirit all along. He felt like hitting himself.

It was all his fault. If he hadn't insisted on visiting that damn zanpakuto graveyard every night and befriending that evil bitch Zanikko... If he hadn't been so obsessed with power, then maybe he could have stayed alive to keep his promise to Yachiru, to marry her like he said he would.

He didn't even care that she was his zanpakuto spirit, she was so much more than that, she was his reason for living. Her smile, her laugh, fuck! He never got the chance to see her naked. The real her, not the spirit in his head.

"Ken-chan, p-please don't die!" she cried, and he felt her small hands on either side of his face.

"Give it up you mutilated spirit! He's dead!" Zanikko was taking her anger out on Yachiru. Kenpachi wanted to rip her annoying pretty head off for snapping at his Yachiru that way. Oh, he was so angry, he started growling, his teeth clenched together, his fist clutching the shaft of his sword- but wait, that couldn't be right. He was dying, he couldn't move, how could he be raising his zanpakuto in battle like that?

"Now what do you think your doing little filthy zanpukuto spirit?" Zanikko said, half hysterical. "You are the most retarded thing i've ever seen. A zanpakuto spirit wielding herself? You should just die! Your master is dead, why aren't you!"

Cold fury felt like it was rushing through his bloodstream, but it wasn't like his own fury, it was Yachiru's fury. He could feel everything she felt. When he heard her reply to Zanikko, it was almost like it came out of his own mouth.

"I don't just belong to Ken-chan," she said slowly, gritting her teeth and pronouncing every word with an added drop of venom. "Ken-chan belongs to me too!"

Suddenly her anger reached a peak and she unleashed something awful on Zanikko, she hit the evil spirit with every once of spiritual pressure she had, Kenpachi could feel the way Zanikko cowered from her power, and it strengthened him. When she swung his blade, more strength seemed to flow into his weakened body. Every moment of the battle between Yachiru and Zanikko, Kenpachi felt like he was coming back to life, after a few sharp blows, he could open his eyes, and he watched as Zanikko dodged and dodged Yachiru's fierce, animalistic attacks that came one after the other, never ending.

But after the first huge attack, Yachiru's strength was diminishing with every blow, and Zanikko hadn't lied when she spoke about how strong of a spirit she was. She had no sword of her own but had her own powers- Kenpachi watched in horror as she placed her left hand on a gravestone and it turned to crumbs, then she grasped a small tree with her right hand, and it became solid steel which she used to defend against Yachiru's raging attacks.

Before long she had the upper hand and Kenpachi felt his heart skip beats every single time that left hand of hers came anywhere near Yachiru- he was terrified she would crumble to dust like those flowers Zanikko used in her descriptions of the way Zanpakuto spirits work. He should have realized that was part of her power when she did it the first time! He hadn't been thinking about fighting her then but it all seemed so stupid! What was he thinking? Now Yachiru might be disintegrated with just a touch and he couldn't do anything about it.

Zanikko was growing more confident the longer the fight went on. She laughed as Yachiru fell back on the ground, quickly spinning on her side to dodge another attack.

"You can't beat me you little worm! I have the power of a fully realized zanpakuto spirit. I could release my bankai if I wanted to and you would have no chance at all. You've no idea what your powers even are do you? He never once spoke your name with the intent to use your power. He failed you as a master and you failed equally as his weapon! You cannot defeat me as you are now! Stop fighting me now, little girl, before you get terribly hurt."

Yachiru bared her teeth and glared, and then for a moment Kenpachi thought she was going to stop fighting like Zanikko warned her to. Her shoulders slumped and she dropped his sword silently. Zanikko lowered her created weapon and laughed like the kind of wretched person who would laugh in another's face after having defeated them.

She barely noticed when Yachiru crawled back Kenpachi's side and knelt beside him, leaning her lips in close to his ear.

"Yachiru...?" he muttered, his strength was flowing out of him again. When she stopped fighting, he stopped feeling power. He didn't understand what she was doing. She seemed to be holding something that had been laying on the ground beside him but he couldn't tell what it was.

"Ken-chan..." she whispered, her voice was softer, she was drained of strength just like he was. "You always wanted to know what my zanpakuto's name was, didn't you?"

He stared at her bright pink hair in shock, then in one swift motion, she stood up as tall as she could and he saw her own weapon held tight in her hands, raised above his chest, and aimed at his heart.

"Wait, what are you doing?" he heard Zanikko yell in a panic. "Is he alive? What are you doing? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"

Yachiru, with tears in her eyes, plunged her own sword deep into Kenpachi's heart. He arched off the ground and roared in pain, though he couldn't hear himself scream. He couldn't hear anything but Yachiru's voice, clear as a bell as if she were yelling it from inside his mind scream,


The next moment, he landed hard back on the cold ground and felt the strangest sensation as Yachiru's sword was swallowed inside his chest until only the hilt was still visible. He didn't hurt anymore, and after only a second, he realized he could move.

He sat up and looked around blearily at Yachiru. Finally, it clicked. It all clicked.

"I really do belong to you, don't I?" he asked her.

She nodded.

"I get it now." he went on in amazement, wondering how he could've ever not understood it, it was so simple! "Zanpakuto aren't just weapons for fighting. They don't just make you stronger. They're... companions, aren't they?"

She nodded again, smiling.

"And I am your zanpakuto spirit, just like you are mine?"

Another nod. He stood up all the way, ignoring Zanikko, who was staring at him like he'd just risen from the dead, sputtering to herself in shock. He glanced down at the hilt of Yachiru's sword stuck inside his body, then down at her.

"Well, you gave me a command, didn't ya? I'm supposed to fight."

One final nod, and a hint of a smile. He smiled wide and cracked his knuckled, stretching his muscles as he prepared to follow through the command given to him by his precious master. Turning his smile towards her, he added one last statement,

"If you're here with me, I can't lose."

He caught one last glimpse of a true Yachiru smile before stepping towards Zanikko with uncontainable killing intent. He wasn't just fighting for the sake of fighting anymore. He was fighting because he was commanded to fight!

Once Zanikko realized her predicament, she fought back expertly. Her anger and confusion fueled her fighting spirit and the longer the battle went on, the more intense it became. They were evenly matched, except that Kenpachi didn't flinch from seriously harmful attacks. He didn't believe he would lose, he had no intention of losing. Not when Yachiru was right there watching him, depending on him to win. He would win. He had to if he wanted to make everything up to her.

Finally, after a lengthly battle in which Kenpachi didn't even bother to pick up his own sword, he pinned the evil Zanpakuto spirit against a tree, holding both of her dangerous hands away from anything. He was about to deliver the final blow, he didn't care if he had to deliver it with his teeth, when suddenly the strange creatures that had brought him, and the rest of the soul-reapers to the giant China graveyard in the first place, appeared out of anywhere and everywhere, crawling over both Kenpachi and Zanikko and hissing at them. They pushed Kenpachi away and took his place holding Zanikko to the tree.

Shocked, Kenpachi watched as more and more of the strange creatures appeared out of thin air, crawling and circling around Zanikko, who's fear was apparent on her panicked face. Finally there were so many of them she was obstructed from view.

"Kenpachi Zaraki!" Hearing his name called, Kenpachi turned around and saw all of the other Zanpakuto spirits lined up behind him. The female spirit with the long red dress and tight bun, who still reminded Kenpachi of a school-teacher, spoke to him softly.

"You have done well in assisting us, kenpachi Zaraki. Zanikko will soon be gone from here, and with her gone, we are free to move on as well. Free to join our masters in eternal peace."

"What are those things?" he asked, pointing to the small monsters still circling the tree Zanikko had been pinned to.

"We aren't quite sure." She replied thoughtfully. "We believe they were sent to bring balance back to this graveyard. Zanikko was disturbing that balance, you see. We shouldn't have been here. She shouldn't have been here. It was a foolish idea to try and bring her master back to life, but she was distraught. You can imagine how painful it must have been, can't you? Having to live without your other half?"

He nodded, beginning to understand why Zanikko did the things she did. Suddenly there was a commotion behind him. He turned around the saw that the creatures who had surrounded Zanikko completely were beginning to vanish just like they appeared. When they were finally all gone, only the tree was left, Zanikko was nowhere to be seen. He turned back to the other zanpakuto spirits just as they began to fade. A few of them waved at him before they disappeared completely.

For a moment, the entire graveyard was silent and dark.

Then, out of the darkness he heard Yachiru scream his name. A sharp pain pierced his chest and he fell on his knees as it burned into his heart. He looked down and saw the hilt of Yachiru's zanpakuto begin to un-lodge itself from his chest. The pain was so much he couldn't even open his eyes. Then he felt a tiny hand place itself on his chest, and the sword began to come out of his chest faster. He squinted his eyes open despite the pain and saw Yachiru pulling her sword from his chest with all of her strength. Finally, after a full minute, it was gone. He fell to the ground and gasped to regain his breath, then, when he felt brave enough, he gulped and reached up to touch the place on his body the sword had been plunged into.

He felt nothing. There was not even a single scratch.

"K-Ken-chan are you alright?" Yachiru asked breathlessly. Pulling the sword out of him had taken a lot of her strength as well.

"Yeah," he laughed, turning to look at her perfect face. "I'm alright Yachiru. I knew I couldn't lose."

"Ken-chan!" she cried, then flung her arms around his neck and pressed her lips against his in a perfect kiss. Of course, he figured any kiss she gave him would be perfect. She was perfect, after all. Perfect for him.

A few minutes later their friends found them and Kenpachi explained the whole thing with Yachiru interjecting little bits and pieces every now and then. They could barely believe what they were hearing, and when he was finished, Hitsugaya was first to ask,

"So those creatures that we were fighting should be gone now, according to your story?"

"Yeah. They're gone for good."

"Oooh! We can go home now!" Rangiku said happily.

They all began walking out of the great China Graveyard together, remarking about how extraordinary this mission was, especially for both Kenpachi and Zaraki.

When they reached the main entrance they were surprised to find all four of the guard brothers there to see them out.

"We hope to see you again." they said in unison, smiling those odd smiles of theirs. Rangiku couldn't shake the strange feeling she had whenever she saw them. It probably would have bothered her all the way home if Yachiru hadn't distracted her by saying something very surprising the next moment.

She was riding on Kenpachi's shoulder, her usual preferred spot, when she said lightly,

"I want to get home quick too."

"How come?" Orihime asked cheerfully.

Yachiru just smiled and replied flatly, "So I can marry Ken-chan like he promised we would!"

Nearly everyone stopped in their tracks and stared with wide eyes at Kenpachi who just tried to keep walking and ignored their shocked looks as he muttered quietly to Yachiru,

"Um, Yachiru, I think we still have to wait a few years to do something like that..."

"But Kenny promised!" she whined pouting her lips sadly.

No amount of awkward laughing could change the fact that everyone around was glaring at him with such intensity he thought he might spontaneously combust.

Fuck, he thought to himself as Yachiru kissed him innocently on the cheek. Just what have I gotten myself into?

The end!

So, I changed this story to T-rating. Because... yeah. no sex. Oh well.

Hope you liked this, and please review with final comments and stuff!