A/N: I got bored and decided to write a Bleach fic. Set 5+ years after the current Anime story line. As a general rule, I assume they are speaking in Japanese to each other so therefore do not need to add in any extraneous bits. The only time I use it, is when there is no English equivalent, such as honorifics.
Thanks for the reviews they always help the "process."
Disclaimer: I own nothing probably not even the idea.
Chapter 6: Adopt a Pet
"You did what!" was the first thing Captain Hitsugaya heard as he entered his office and was almost forced out by the sheer raging spiritual pressure that was bouncing around it. Matsumoto was smiling and giggling in a way that meant she knew she had screwed up but also knew she would mostly likely get away with it. Lieutenants Iba and Hisagi were trying to pin down a bucking Lieutenant Abarai, while Kira was holding all the edged weapons away from everyone.
"Would someone mind explaining to me what exactly is going on, in my office, I might add?" He stood as tall as he could. It was actually sort of pleasant that Abarai, that lanky bastard, had to look up to him for once.
"Oh, hello, Captain," Rangiku smiled and subtlety put him between herself and the angry redhead. "It's nothing to worry about, just a simple disagreement."
"Simple disagreement, my ass. When I get loose I'm going to flay your fucking lieutenant into pieces," Renji spat and nearly managed to dislodge Hisagi but Kira jumped in to help hold him face down.
"See, sir, nothing to worry about."
"Call me paranoid, but I still think I would like to know why Kuchiki's second wants you dead."
"I don't just want her dead, I want to tear her throat out with my teeth so I can taste her final pulse."
"Sometimes you are entirely too feral for your own good, Renji." She scoffed but moved even further away.
"Someone tell me what is going on or I am getting all of your captains!" Hitsugaya roared.
"She," Renji managed to shakily lift one hand and point menacingly at Matsumoto, "announced the entire Shinigami Women's Society that I needed a date."
"Well you do. You can't spend your entire life moping about a certain short Kuchiki. It isn't healthy." She defended herself and Toshiro pinched the bridge of his nose.
"You passed out a sign up sheet and told everyone I was a 'wounded, wittle, puppy that needed to be comforted'." He growled and Hitsugaya was starting to understand why Renji was so violent. Everyone knew he was a favored bachelor and add in a cute broken heart story and the poor guy wouldn't get a moments peace. "And that I could lick my own nose!"
"Well you can," she smiled at him, "and it was a big selling point besides, I limited the applicants to Lieutenant or higher and look," she produced a scroll from her sleeve and showed it to everyone, "I even scheduled all your dates so they wouldn't interfere with your annoying attention to duty and training." She handed the list to her Captain.
He read it aloud, "Tonight is Lieutenant Kotetsu," he began.
"She would be perfect for you since you are one of only like 5 people here taller than her," Rangiku threw in.
"Then Nanao, oh Kyouraku will have a field day with that." He continued to scan the list. "Nemu, huh, I wonder how her father will feel about it?"
"Nemu! I am not going out with that woman. There is no way in hell I am going anywhere near her or her creepy unit, so you can forget it." Renji managed to actually rock all three of the other lieutenants on his back, when he tried to move.
"At least I didn't put myself on there as a date for you, Renji," she pouted.
"Good, because if I wanted to get herpes I could go lick a hooker in the 78th for less trouble!" he shouted and Hitsugaya had to snort to hide his laugh. Renji did have a way of painting a colourful and vulgar picture.
He raised an eyebrow, "Momo is after her." He supposed he shouldn't be too surprised since they were good friends but the idea of them going on a date annoyed him a bit.
"Momo, seriously? I love her to death but I have no desire to fuck her." Toshiro was pretty sure a smile should not be the way he should respond to that last statement.
"Maybe she wants to fuck you, since she happily signed up. She was actually the first one in line." Matsumoto shot back, ignoring the sudden glare from her captain. "Besides, I was under the impression that you two had already," was as far as she made it before Kira interrupted.
"Not now, Rangiku, you are not helping."
"But she is his type, short, tiny, athletic, good at kido, no boobs." She continued.
"I don't have a type, you saggy heffer!" he yelled, and Hisagi almost went down again.
"I guess one girl doesn't technically make a type but Rukia is the only female I have ever seen you show an interest in." She tilted her head and tapped her chin, "wait is the reason you're taking this so badly because you're gay? If so, I know some very eligible men I can fix you up with." The captain shook his head and wondered what went on in that woman's head sometimes.
"Even though the sight of your stretch-mark scarred breasts and cavernous snatch nearly put me off of women, I assure you that not even 30 years of rooming with Ikkaku and Yumichika was able to get me turn that other cheek."
"Don't worry, Abarai, it gets better, she has you scheduled to go out with Soifon." He was pretty sure that if Renji had been any better at kido, he and his meddling lieutenant would both be flying through the wall right now.
"Soifon, Soifon! Are you insane, what the hell am I going to talk to her about, how much we both like the taste of pussy?" he raged than stopped cold, "wait a minute, why would she even sign up to go out with me anyway, she a dyke?"
"Yoruichi signed her up," Matsumoto mumbled and Renji actually managed to dislodge everyone except Tetsuzaemon.
"I will have to put up with a pissed off captain from the Stealth Force that doesn't even want to be there and is only showing up because her lesbian crush is making her?" His voice got louder and louder as the sentence went on and Kira and Hisagi jumped back on top of him.
"Look Renji, at least she didn't sign you up on a date with Lady Shihoin herself." Kira tried to placate the pissed off man and to be met with a sigh from Toshiro and a guilty smile from Rangiku. "Please tell me you didn't, Mats?"
Renji then quit struggling and became eerily calm. Iba smiled and relaxed but Hisagi and Kira exchanged worried glances with each other. "So you signed me up for a date with Lady Shihoin?"
"Well, I couldn't very well tell her no, now could I? And besides, it should be fun. Your boss seems to like hanging out with her so she must be entertaining."
The calmness continued but Hitsugaya recognized it as the lull before the storm and widened his stance. "My Captain? Do you have any idea what my captain will do to me when he finds out I am going on a date with the head of the Shihoin clan? Do you have any idea what my boss; the most uptight, traditionalist, and highest ranking noble; will do when he finds out that his Rukon trash Lieutenant has a date with the only other person in the entire Soul Society that is even close to of equal rank to him?" He started to raise his voice and his spiritual pressure until they were equally screeching by the end.
"Ooooh, you think he will get jealous? You think they have some sort of secret relationship?" she knelt in front of him and winked, "you can tell me, I promise not to tell anyone."
Before things could get any worse, Toshiro read the final name off the list, "Katen Kyokotsu?" he furrowed his brow in confusion, "isn't that Captain Kyouraku's zanpakato?"
"About that," she rubbed her hand across the back of her neck, "well he is a captain and does have bankai, though no one but the head captain and Ukitake have ever seen it, so he can materialize them into this world. Well apparently he lets them out sometimes when they're bored and I guess one of the things they like to do is," she moved back a bit from him, "watch you train, especially if you don't have your shirt on." She said in a rush. Toshiro could hear what sounded like a cross between a sword rattling in a sheath and a rattlesnake's tail and saw Zabimaru begin to glow red.
"WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!" He shouted, the strength of his spiritual pressure launching the three lieutenants off his back and across the room. Hitsugaya was impressed. Kira had the presence of mind to at least keep Zabimaru away from the irate man but that didn't stop him from flying at Matsumoto fast enough and hard enough to send them both straight through the wall.
In the court yard, he had her pinned down and she was desperately trying to talk her way out of a severe beating or death. One thing that could be said for Renji, he was equal opportunity in who he would kick the shit out of. While known for not attacking women, he had more than once commented that Lieutenants were not women, they were soldiers and therefore did not count. Toshiro watched as Kira and Hisagi both threw kido biding chains around him and Renji, with some struggle, managed to break them and reach her again. "It isn't like I could say no to them, they are a Captain's zanpakto after all and it's only the tall one that wants the date, the one with no face didn't say anything." She used the distraction to try and shoot a kido blast in his face, which only seemed to make him angrier.
"You could have kept your dick-sucking trap shut from the beginning!" He raged.
"I was only trying to help, Renji. You have been in love with her for the last 50 years and now you need to get over her and move on, she obviously has."
"Just like you got over Gin?" Renji threw at her and Toshiro could see her eyes shine with tears. It was a decidedly low blow, though he supposed no worse than what she had just said.
"Abarai, please release my lieutenant," Hitsugaya yelled and Renji reluctantly let her go.
"Thank you, Captain." She gasped and crawled over and knelt behind him, trying to regain her dignity, though Renji hadn't actually hurt her.
"Before you defend her, sir, I want you to think about one thing. If she is willing to do this to me, what is she going to do to you, when you are old enough to date?" Renji asked, pointing an accusing finger behind him.
Captain Hitsugaya thought for a moment then stepped aside, "carry on but please don't kill her." He then turned his back and walked through the hole in his office wall. He knew Renji fairly well and was certain that no matter how angry he got, unless Rukia or his Captain were threatened, he was unlikely to really hurt her. Besides, she totally deserved it.
Renji grumbled to himself as he tried to fix his unruly hair in a small mirror on his desk. Eventually, Kira managed to talk him out actually killing Matsumoto, though it was a near thing and was frankly more because he felt guilty about bringing Gin into it. He may not have ever been in love with Matsumoto but they had been lovers for 22 years and besides, he couldn't stand to see women cry. He had agreed to go out on the dates, only because Kira, again, pointed out how rude it would seem for him not to. Sometimes he really despised how Izuru could talk him into to doing things. If he didn't love the guy so much, he might really hate him.
So there he sat, trying to make himself look presentable for a date he didn't want, with a woman he barely knew, on a night he would rather be hanging out with Rukia. He tried to braid the top half, like Rukia always did for him, but failed miserably. Just when he was about to give up and grab his sword to lop the whole mess off, he felt delicate fingers begin to neatly plait it for him. He let Rukia's scent and aura wash around him and for the first time all day, he felt his shoulders relax.
When she finished, she seemed to sense his tension and began to knead his back. "What's wrong, big guy? You normally don't worry about your hair and aren't this tense." She ran her deft hands up his stiff neck and he closed his eyes, leaning into the touch. "Are you hurt?" She questioned as he rested his head against her and shook it 'no.' "Then what's with the tight shoulders and the hair do?" she teased.
"I have a date," he mumbled, wanting nothing more than to turn around and cuddle her.
"I didn't think Kira cared how you wear your hair?" she teased him and unconsciously kissed the top of his head. Renji was the only person she ever tended to be openly tactile around.
"It's not with Izuru. I'm going out with Lt. Kotetsu." Renji corrected.
"Isane, why are you going out with her?" but before he could answer, she figured it out. "Oh my god is this because of that ridiculous signup sheet Rangiku was passing around?" Renji shook his head 'yes' and listened to her heart beat. "People actually signed up to go out with you?" she snorted.
"Yes, why wouldn't they?"
"How desperate do they have to be to sign up to go out with you?" she laughed.
"Hey, what's wrong with me?"
She wiped at a tear that was rolling from her eye as she laughed. "Seriously, you need to tell her you can't go."
"Why can't I go?"
"Because you can't." she told him. It really was simple. Rangiku made him look like a complete loser by asking for volunteers and any woman that signed up was obviously just doing it because they wanted him as a notch on their belt or they felt sorry for him. Renji together with pity was a recipe for disaster. Besides, none of those women were good enough for her Renji.
"Why not?" He stubbornly demanded.
"Renji, none of those women really want to go out with you, they just feel sorry for you." She smiled at him as if she was explaining something to a very slow child.
"So you don't think a single one of them might actually like me?" She could tell he was starting to get angry.
"Well I'm sure they like certain things about you, mostly from the neck down, but honestly, what are you and Nanao going to talk about? She likes reading, not fighting and you're barely literate." She scoffed.
"That's not fair. Irregardless, I can still go if I want to."
"Irregardless isn't a word, dumbass, and, no, you can't."
"You can't tell me what to do." He stood up and towered over her, which immediately pissed her off.
"Someone needs to." She yelled back. All the shouting alerted her brother that something was amiss and he glided into the front part of the office. She turned to him and pointed back at Renji, "Nii-sama, tell him he can't go on a date with Isane, or any of the others for that matter."
"What! That's bullshit. I can go out on a date if I want." He bellowed then turned to his captain. "Sir, tell her she can't run my life and I have a right to go out with women if I want."
"You aren't allowed to go out whoring yourself all around the Soul Society!" she yelled.
"Whoring myself?" he shrieked, a blush creeping along his cheeks and she immediately felt guilty for calling him that. She didn't know for sure but always suspected he had had to resort to such actions once or twice to feed them back in Hanging Dog. He would never hear of her doing it though, which would have been the more logical choice. However, anger over road guilt. Didn't he understand she was trying to protect him? All those women would talk and make fun of him. He would become a laughing stock and he deserved better than that. He should have a woman that stuck up for him and wouldn't kiss and tell, not a gossip that would call him pretty but dumb or brag because they won a date with the powerful lieutenant. She was about to explain when he opened his big, stupid mouth and continued. "Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black? I'm only going on dates, not sucking face with Shigeru all over the place while accepting expensive gifts from him." He pointed at the delicate pearl necklace she wore, which was a gift from Shigeru.
"That's one guy, not every female of rank?" She sneered and they faced off at each other.
Then both turned back to her brother and said in unison. "Captain, tell her she can't run my life," and "Nii-sama, tell him he can't go."
Byakuya took one look between them and walked back into his office without saying a thing.
She later stormed out, after an aggressive glaring contest, and nearly ran into the 3rd seat, as he stood smoking on the porch. "Whatever is the matter, Kuchiki-dono, a lover's quarrel?" he drowned, his wrist resting comfortably on his daisho, a zanpakto named Ookami no Kiba.
"Oh fuck off, Saito, you squinty eyed bastard!" she roared and stomped off, as he continued to smoke, with an odd little smirk on his face.
Two weeks later, Rukia walked towards where the river first entered the Seireitei. She could hear the Kotetsu sisters discussing Isane's date and Kiyone lamenting the unfairness that she was not allowed a date as well. Rukia was tired of hearing gossip about Renji everywhere she went. She had nearly physically assaulted Nanao and Rangiku for talking about him. Of course, it didn't help that she only had hearsay to go by, since her and Renji hadn't talked to each other since their fight two weeks ago. But still, those bitches had no right to talk about her Renji like he was a piece of meat to be passed around. She supposed she was now ready to admit that she missed him horribly. She never noticed how often she sent him notes, stopped by to talk to him, had supper with him, ect during the week until she stopped. It was like trying to function without her left arm. She really wasn't sure how she had done it for 40 years, then remembered she had been freakin' miserable the entire time. But now, she was ready to apologize. She guessed maybe she had slightly overreacted about his dates and maybe said some things that she hadn't meant. Ok, she had been a hypocritical bitch to him and she would grovel for his forgiveness or better yet, bribe him into forgiving her.
She reached her destination and scaled up to the roof. It was not the highest but the angle offered the best view of the river. She knew it was one of Renji's favorite places. From this vantage point, you could follow the river through the winding, white streets of the Seireitei as they gave way to the wilds of the Rukongai, and if you squinted, you could see the spot by the river where she and Renji played as children with their family. She knew he always came here, when he was sad or lonely and if he felt half as lousy about their fight as she did, then he should be here.
She peeked her head above the roof line and saw him soaking up the last rays of sun, staring into the distance. She stood away from him for a moment, admiring the way the ochre light played against his blood red hair. "Are you just going to stand there and stare because it's a little rude and a Kuchiki should know better?" he asked, taking a sip from a bottle of sake.
"Am I welcome to stay?" she asked, trying to gage his mood.
"So you're talking to me again?" he questioned, still not turning to look at her.
"I don't know, are you talking to me?"
"What's in the bag?" he changed tactics, and she knew he had forgiven her. Her Renji, he never could stay mad for long.
"A peace offering, ice cream," she held the sack up, "guess what flavor."
He tilted his head towards her and closed his eyes, inhaling deeply through his nose and mouth. "Cherry vanilla?" she nodded yes, "you can stay." She felt the heavy lump she had had in her stomach for the last two weeks seemed to lighten a bit.
She plopped down beside him and handed him the jar of ice cream and he handed her his bottle of sake. They sat picking at their food and drink for a few minutes before she couldn't take it anymore. "Renji, I'm sorry. I didn't mean anything I said to you."
He cut her off before she could continue, "yeah, me too."
She looked up at him, "friends?"
"Always," he gave her a special smile, only she ever saw and she answered with her own. She now felt like all was right with the world and she took a drink of his sake and he licked melted ice cream off his fingers.
They shared the ice cream and sake, while watching the sunset. In between spoonfuls and draughts, she ran her hands along his arms, legs, chest, and back to make sure he was whole and healthy. She knew him and knew he hid his hurts. He sniffed her, taking in her scent to make sure nothing had changed. It was a ritual with them, whenever they had been parted for too long. She had to touch him and feel the warmth of his skin, to know that he was real and safe. He had to smell her for the same reason. Rukia knew it was incredibly strange but she did it anyway.
She was leaning against his arm and he was playing with her hair, when she again broke the silence, "so are you going to tell me how they went? Were there any romantic sparks?" She wiggled her eyebrows at him and he smiled down at her.
"Hardly, more like blazing infernos." He winked at her and her eyes widened comically until he threw his head back and laughed. "Sucker! They were all around general disasters."
The lump seemed to lose a bit more mass and she teased him, "you mean just like I tried to warn you they would?"
"Bite me!" he threw back at her and she jumped up, taking a lock of his pony tail in her mouth and shaking it violently like an over excited puppy. The action made him chuckle and she giggled in return. Only with Renji would she ever be so goofy and unconcerned with her reputation. He had seen her at her lowest, starving, dirty, and alone. He had seen her too exhausted to lift her head and too weak to draw her zanpakato. He had seen her humiliated when he had made it into the advanced class when she had not and crying when she had thought Nii-sama dead. Through all of it, he had never looked at her with disgust or hatred, only love. She knew she looked at him the same way, after all, they were family. Renji was the one and only person in the entire universe she felt she never needed to put on airs for and it was refreshing.
She moved to plunk back down beside him but he grabbed her and flipped her over his shoulder so she sat nestled between his legs, with his arms wrapped around her. She smiled and shook her head. He was such a closeted cuddler. She rested the ice cream on her lap and continued to eat. "You seriously want to know how my dates went?" he asked her She shook her head 'yes' and snuggled a little more comfortably against him, holding the ice cream in an easier place for him to reach and he began to spin his story.
Next chapter, the dates!