Hello, my friends!
I'm back, unfortunately not with another entry for The Beach and Other Things...
This is a little oneshot I've been working on for awhile. One day, I was sitting, thinking, "What would happen if Yachiru had 'Monster'?" I guess this is what would happen. I hope you agree or at least enjoy.
Note: First: I do not own 'Monster'. I'm not sure it's necessary to say that, but better say something I don't need to say than not say something I need to say. Second, apparently, wishing on the first star you see at night doesn't work either because I still don't own Bleach
Please review. Reviews make my heart dance with joy. As for Flames, I'll read them, but I'll then proceed to dump a bucket of water on them.
Also, there were some stupid mistakes and omissions that may have made this story harder to understand. I'm sorry, I fixed those as soon as I saw them.
Byakuya came home that evening from his office to find a very anxious cluster of maids waiting for him at the door. "Lord Byakuya," one of them quavered as she bowed. "We're afraid something has happened to Miss Rukia. She isn't…herself."
Immediately, he became concerned for his beloved little sister. She'd recently returned from the World of the Living and he could imagine that any number of things had happened to her there. For one thing, he was sure there were any number of sicknesses she could have caught, there were surely men just waiting for an innocent young girl to wander cluelessly into their grasp, and there was also that Kurosaki brat. He had better not have done anything to her, Byakuya thought grimly as he quickly made his way to her room. The maids had said she was in there.
The scene that greeted him was not what he had expected. Rukia wasn't sitting huddled in a corner crying, nor was she languidly lying on her futon in the throes of illness. In fact, she looked quite well, if her appearance could be called that. She was sitting in the center of her room and looking quite energetic at that. But he could tell that something was off about her.
She was holding something; it looked like a black metal can with three green streaks on it. The housekeeper, Chieko, was trying to coax it from her grasp, much like he did to his lieutenant Renji Abarai when Renji stayed out drinking too late. But Byakuya didn't think Rukia was drunk. First of all, she knew his disposition towards drinking and she obeyed him well enough that she never touched sake, and he also could not smell any alcohol in the air. For another thing, Rukia did not look sluggish the way he noted the lieutenants did when they drank. She actually looked extremely alert. Her eyes were wide, she sitting up straight, and she was smiling. In fact, she looked somewhat possessed.
Chieko turned to her master with a distraught look on her face. "Lord Byakuya, forgive me, I don't know what to do. One of the maids notified me that she seemed…off about an hour ago. When I found her, she was drinking from a container like this – I think this one is her second - and I haven't been able to convince her to put it down. She said she got it from the World of the Living," she sighed.
Byakuya motioned for the housekeeper to leave, and with a little bow, she scuttled from the room. After she had left, he motioned toward the container in her small hands. "Rukia, what is that?" he asked. When she only looked at him blankly with her wide eyes, he asked her again. "Rukia, what is that you're drinking?"
For a moment, Rukia looked at him absently before her eyes focused a bit and she said, "It's called a caffeinated beverage. Orihime gave it to me while I was there and it was really good. I think she said it was called "Monster" or something like that. Anyway, this one doesn't taste really sweet, but I have some that taste really sweet. I think she called those ones "Soda". Would you like some Nii-sama?" She let out a little giggle upon saying this.
Byakuya shook his head, declining Rukia's offer. He couldn't help but feel steadily more anxious over her fast, somewhat slurred speech and the mildly manic look in her eyes. He highly doubted that Orihime Inoue would poison his sister, but he wanted to be sure that Rukia was not going to drop dead from whatever was in this drink. He picked her up and shunpo'd to the 4th Division.
"She says she feels jittery, energetic, and rather happy, but she doesn't feel sick at all," Captain Retsu Unohana told Byakuya. When examined her, I couldn't find any traces of poison in her body or anything else that was wrong with her. Her heart rate is a bit fast, but there was nothing other than that. I'm afraid there isn't much I can do with her. Do you have a sample of what she was drinking?"
Mutely, Byakuya handed her the black can Chieko had found her with. Captain Unohana examined it closely, looking for anything that could give her a clue as to what was wrong with the younger Kuchiki. She had never seen something like it before, and she did not recognize the writing on it. She shook her head apologetically at the anxious 6th Division captain. "We can hold her over night and run some tests. I can also have the Department of Research and Development examine whatever it is that Rukia was drinking," she offered. Byakuya shuddered. He didn't want that lunatic Mayuri Kurotsuchi finding anything out about Rukia's current affliction, but he couldn't think of any other way than what Unohana had suggested to make Rukia well.
Captain Unohana's lieutenant, Isane Kotetsu, emerged from the room with a worried look on her face. "Captain Unohana," she said, "Rukia is complaining of feeling very tired, and she looks like she's going to pass out." Both captains could barely mask the look of alarm on their faces, and Unohana rushed in to tend to Rukia, leaving Byakuya to sit outside and worry.
What could be wrong with his younger sister? Unohana had not been able to find any poison in her system and at first Rukia had insisted she was feeling fine. However, now she was ready to pass out. He had never heard of anything like it before, and in all her years as a medical expert, Unohana had not either. It was all extremely disheartening. Unohana returned saying, "She's sleeping. Her heart rate has slowed down to a normal pace, she's breathing fine, and everything else seems to be in order. I don't know, Captain Kuchiki." She twisted her fingers together, a sign that she was upset.
"Umm, Captain Unohana, where should I take him?" a very familiar voice asked. The voice belonged to Byakuya's lieutenant Renji Abarai. He was supporting Rikichi, another member of the 6th Division. The boy was bleeding from a somewhat deep cut to his shoulder. "One of the other division members beat up on him a little hard during training exercises," the red hairded lieutenant explained. Unohana motioned for her lieutenant to attend to the injured shinigami, and Isane rushed off to do her captain's bidding.
"So what are you doing here captain?" Renji asked the downcast Byakuya. When Byakuya looked at him, he immediately became worried because he could see the anxiety in his captain's face, and Byakuya Kuchiki never let his emotions show. "Is something wrong?" Renji asked uneasily.
"Rukia is ill with some affliction and we do not know what it is," Unohana answered. "Captain Kuchiki said she was jittery earlier and when she arrived here, she said she was feeling fine, and she was very alert. However, a few minutes ago, she said she was feeling very tired and she fell asleep. I have to admit I'm at a complete loss as to what is wrong with her."
Renji looked at her with uneasy confusion before turning to his captain. He noticed the can Byakuya was holding right away. "I'm guessing she was drinking that, or something?" he asked as he reached for it.
Byakuya nodded. "The maids said she was drinking a similar drink when they noticed something wasn't right, and she was drinking this when I got home." Instantly, upon looking the can over and hearing his captain's words, Renji relaxed. He couldn't stop a wide grin from spreading over his face. "What about this situation warrants a grin from you?" Byakuya asked testily.
"Rukia will be fine," Renji assured the two captains. "Apparently she just has a low tolerance for caffeine." Upon seeing their confused faces, he explained. "Caffeine is something humans use. It helps them to stay awake and alert for extended amounts of time depending on how much they take. Ichigo showed it to me while I was in the World of the Living. It gets put in stuff like soda, which is a drink that's really sweet and has a lot of sugar in it as well as caffeine. What Rukia was drinking, is 'Monster' which is a drink that is full of caffeine. I'm guessing Rukia was on a caffeine high. That's where you have so much caffeine in your system that you get really energetic and alert…kind of like the opposite of being drunk, but to the same extreme. And as opposed to a hangover, when you come off a caffeine high, you're just really tired." Both captains were silent as they took this all in.
A caffeine high? Of course my lieutenant would know about this. Byakuya thought.
Byakuya snarled inwardly. He'd snapped another brush just thinking about the previous two days. Zaraki Kenpachi, captain of the 11th Division and Ikkaku Madarame,3rd Seat of the 11th Division, and Yumichika Ayasegawa, 5th Seat of the 11th Division had dared to infuriate the 6th Division captain.
Ever since their fight in Hueco Mundo, Kenpachi Zaraki had been craving another fight with Byakuya. But Byakuya wasn't interested in obliging him and sidestepped every challenge the 11th Division captain presented. When Zaraki flat out demanded that he fight, Byakuya had replied with a terse "I'm busy." Well, apparently, the 11th Division captain had had enough and decided to get what he wanted through less polite methods. And these methods were what cause Byakuya to snap yet another brush in ire.
Byakuya was sitting at his desk working on a stack of paperwork he had just received from the 4th Division. He'd recently given Renji charge of training exercises for the 6th Division recruits, and believe it or not, his lieutenant ran the recruits harder than he himself did. That, of course, resulted in more injuries, which were also more severe, and this resulted in more paperwork from the 4th Division. In addition to the 4th Division paperwork, he also had the bi-monthly report that had to be handed in to the Captain Commander to complete. In addition to those tasks, in exchange for training the recruits (he loathedtraining recruits as did Renji) he had offered to take on half of Renji's paperwork, which his lieutenant had happily agreed to. So now, his desk was covered in paperwork.
He was finished with the work from the 4th Division and halfway through Renji's work when he heard a knock on the office door. "Come in," he droned without even bothering to look up from the report he was reading.
The next several moments were completely unexpected. "Oi, Captain, he actually let us in!" Ikkaku Madarame yelled as he swept up an armful or two of paperwork.
"Must you be so loud," Yumichika Ayasegawa sighed as he did the same. Both of them then took off down the halls of the 6th Division at break-neck speed.
Byakuya rose from his desk and following them. I will not make a big production of this. They are not worth my time. If I can get the paperwork back, I will, but if not, I will not waste my time over it, he thought in irritation. He followed them as they ran through the Seireitei, Ikkaku laughing maniacally and Yumichika silent. Byakuya was silent as he chased them all the way to the Spirit-Sealing Pit. The two men stopped at the edge of the pit, and waited the split second it took Byakuya to catch up. When he arrived, he immediately realized what they intended to do, and he stared daggers at them, daring them to do it. However, the threat was lost on them. Smiling widely, Ikkaku opened his arms and dropped his armful of paperwork into the pit, and with an antagonistic smirk, Yumichika did the same.
"I do not allow myself to be provoked by rabble like you," Byakuya said coolly and he turned to walk away. I will just have to explain the antics of the 11th Division officers and procure new paperwork, he sighed inwardly.
He was startled by Ikkaku's plotting face popping up in front of his. "We're not done with you yet!" he yelled.
"I'll be taking that!" Yumichika said as he expertly snaked the kenseikan from Byakuya's hair. He tossed to Ikkaku, who, to Byakuya's horror, smashed the hair adornments between his fingers.
"Well, ya ain't busy, 'cause ya ain't got no paperwork," a grating and familiar voice roared. "And I bet you're mad enough, so are ya gonna fight me now?"
Slowly, fighting the urge to unleash his bankai on the man, Byakuya turned and hissed, "I said I do not allow myself to be provoked by rabble. Like. You. Kenpachi Zaraki." He turned and shunpo'd off before he did something undignified that he'd regret.
End of Flashback
Despite his words, Byakuya Kuchiki was certainly provoked, and he was looking for a suitable method of revenge. It had to be something the rabble would not forget for the rest of their detestable lives he decided. But he wasn't base enough to sink to the level of doing something like they had done, and something like that would probably only amuse them anyway. He was at a loss as to what to do, really.
As he reached for yet another brush, he felt an odd and dreaded spiritual power. It was another member of the 11th Division, one who he disliked just as much as her captain. He watched as the pink haired lieutenant hoisted herself through his window. Automatically, he reached for the desk drawer containing the candy he kept on hand especially for her. "Bya-kun, do you have any candy for me?" she asked. Wordlessly, he handed her a bag of candy, hoping it would be enough to convince her to leave. Thankfully, it was. Yachiru clambered back out the window with wave, "Bye, Bya-kun, I'll be back tomorrow!" she called as she ran off.
And I will sit here and dread that, he thought as he watched her go. He was returning to his work when he was suddenly struck with an idea... He got up to go find his lieutenant.
Upon finding him, he said, "Lieutenant Abarai, I want you to tell me the full details of a caffeine high."
Rukia looked at her brother quizzically and repeated the question he had just asked her. "Do I still have some soda and some Monster left? May I ask why?"
"I wanted to experience this 'high' that you and Renji praise so much. If it is really that good at keeping a person alert, as opposed to just manic, I may want to utilize it for my squad," he replied. Rukia swallowed the lie, apparently, because she went to retrieve the requested drinks. To her brother's surprise, she easily lifted up one of the floorboards. And slipped beneath it.
"I hide it all in the tunnels Yachiru and Nemu built under the house," she said in response to his surprised look. "I thought you knew about those…" She handed her brother the requested items. "It'll probably take a bit more for you to be on a caffeine high. Renji says it takes him at least four cans before he gets jittery."
Byakuya sat at his desk waiting for the part of his day, that he usually dreaded. Today, however, he was rather looking forward to it. He pretended to be signing papers when he heard the telltale scrabbling below his window. Before long he could hear Yachiru climbing over the sill. "Byakushi! I'm here; do you have anything for me today?" she trilled.
"Yes, I do, but it's not candy," he said. He watched as the little lieutenant's face fell, "You might think it's better, but first you have to drink these." He placed four cans of Monster on his desk. Eager to get to whatever Byakuya had waiting for her, Yachiru grabbed a can. She wasn't quite sure how to open it, so Byakuya opened it for her. She took a gulp and wrinkled her face.
"Bya-kun, this is nasty," she complained.
"You don't have to drink it. But if you want the other things I have, you have to drink all four cans," he told her with a condescending smile.
Yachiru cocked her head to the side, thinking. She really didn't want to drink the rest of the can, let alone the other three. But Bya-kun had an established reputation in her mind for having good treats. He was second only to Ukki, and that was only because Ukki had so many treats to share. That was probably because everyone sent him cookies and things as get-well presents. Yachiru decided that finishing the nasty drink was worth it, drained the can, and reached for the second. A few minutes later, filled with much groaning and wrinkling of her face, Yachiru had finished all four cans of Monster. "So what's the other treat, Bya-kun?" she asked excitedly.
"It's something my sister, Rukia, brought back from the world of the living," he replied. He lifted two bottles of a soda called Mountain Dew from a desk drawer. "She says they taste very sweet."
Yachiru perked up even more at the mention of the word 'sweet'. Immediately, she snatched a bottle from him, wrestled off the cap, and began to guzzle it. "It's sweet and bubbly," she exclaimed as she downed the second bottle. "Is there anymore?"
To Yachiru's disappointment, Byakuya shook his head. However, he did say, "I'll bring more if you promise to go to the 11th Division and stay with your captain, or 3rd Seat Madarame and 5th Seat Ayasegawa." He knew that simply speaking a promise wouldn't hold much with her, so he extended his pinky. Yachiru linked her much smaller one with it, shook it, and then began to climb out the window. She stood there for a second before mumbling, "Whoa, everything is jumpy," and then she took off.
Shortly after she left, Renji walked in. Byakuya looked up, and with a foreboding smile he snickered, "Lieutenant Abarai, you should be very glad you transferred to the 6th Division."
Renji couldn't help but feel slightly scared by his captain's tone and the look on his face.
Yachiru took off at a break-neck speed toward the 11th Division. She had promised him she would stay there for the rest of the day. Normally, that wouldn't hold much weight with her, but she had made a pinky swear and she really wanted more of that drink he called soda. It had been the sweetest drink she ever tasted and it was bubbly, too. She didn't know why Bya-kun was being so nice; usually he snapped at her to get out of her gave her her candy and then practically threw her out the window, but today he had been rather pleasant. Yachiru didn't care as long as she got more soda, though.
She could feel a strange sensation coursing through her as she ran along the streets of Seireitei. It was like a buzzing sensation in her veins and a spinning sensation in her mind. Everything around her looked bright and jumpy, and she felt very happy. Well, she always felt happy, but now she felt happy in a way that not even having to eat vegetables could ruin. She rushed along, eager to tell Ken-chan how nice Bya-kun had been and about the soda she had been promised. Maybe Ken-chan would be nicer to Bya-kun if he knew he had been nice to her.
"EVERYONE, I'M BACK!" Yachiru shouted as soon as she made it back to the 11th Division buildings. The sudden pall of fear and awe that fell over her male subordinates went completely unnoticed by her. She practically skipped to Ken-chan's office and hurled the door open upon entering. "I'mbackKen-chan!" she squealed as she launched herself across the room. The 11th Division captain looked up from the paperwork he was shuffling through and was promptly hit in the face by his lieutenant's body. He let out a grunt as he reeled backwards from the force of the blow.
"Yachiru, wha-?" he started to ask, but he stopped as his lieutenant began to dance on his desk, scattering the papers he was actually working on for once. She then sat down and began to rapidly fold the reports into paper airplanes, which she launched around the room making loud whooshing noises. "Yachiru," Kenpachi sighed, "Could ya go bother someone else? Ikkaku, maybe?" as he tried to gently push her off the desk. The glare he received from the pink haired child was enough to make him leave her alone. He groaned inwardly, and returned to signing the reports that hadn't been folded up yet.
~Twenty Minutes later~
"…. . Ihithimwithmyzanpakutoforthat. ButIleftbecausethenDoggy- andIwenttogoseeBya-kun. Bya-kunwasreallynicetoday. 'Monster' butitwasn'tasnastyasvegetables. Butthen, becauseIdrankalltheMonster, hegavemesoda, anditwasreallygood. Haveyoueverhadsoda, Kenny?"
Kenpachi Zaraki shook his head wearily. No, he had not ever had soda. He'd since given up trying to actually sign the reports; he was too distracted by Yachiru. He'd tried to ask her to go away for a while, but she had refused, which was rare. She usually left with a good-natured goodbye. Getting desperate, he had gone so far as to deposit her outside his office and closed the door on her, but she had gone outside and clambered in through the window, which he had also closed. And now, she was sitting chattering away, and not even candy would make her shut up. Kenpachi was reaching the end of an extremely long tether, and it was a testament as to how bothersome Yachiru was being, because he never became annoyed with his lieutenant.
He was going to break something if she didn't shut up or go away, he was sure. "Ikkaku! Yumichika!" he bellowed. The 3rd and 5th Seat came running, recognizing the rare, but dangerous tone in their captain's voice.
"Yes sir, is there something you need?" Yumichika asked as he eyed his lieutenant. Both her and Ikkaku could guess what their orders were going to be, and they dreaded their captain's next words.
"Take the brat and keep her occupied, will ya?" he growled. The look on his face dared them to question him.
Ikkaku hazarded just one question, though. "Is something wrong with Lieutenant Kusajishi? She seems a bit highstrung. More so than usual, I mean," he ventured. Indeed, Yachiru's eyes were wider than usual, almost bugged out, and she had a slightly insane smile plastered on her face as she chattered and fidgeted frenetically on her captain's desk. If he looked at her closely enough, Ikkaku could swear she was trembling. With a heavy heart, he reached out and picked up the little girl.
"WherearewegoingBaldy?" Yachiru asked, staring at the 3rd Seat with overlarge eyes.
"I'm not bald; stop calling me that!" Ikkaku snapped. As soon as he had left the captain's office, he had shifted Yachiru so he was carrying her under one arm like a sack of flour. He figured it would be harder for her to get to his head that way. He could feel her fidgeting in his grasp, frenziedly trying to get free, and he knew he didn't have much time left before she broke loose.
"Baldy," Yachiru said lightly, with emphasis on the hated nickname, "Please. Put. Me. Down." In fear of what would happen if he disobeyed, Ikkaku placed her on the ground before backing away as if she were some wild beast. "Yay!" she cried. "Nowwecanplayagame!" She jumped up and down rapidly, her eyes alight with some horrible idea of mischief. She looked her half-cowering subordinates whose images were blurring and trembling before her very eyes. Whatever was in the soda Bya-kun had given her was great; it made everything look more interesting.
"Wh-what are we going to play, Lieutenant?" Yumichika asked cautiously, "Hide and seek, leap frog, something relatively humane?"
Yachiru shook her head almost with the speed of an insect. "Unh, unh," she giggled. ", silly. It'llbemore fun thatway!" She barely gave the horrified shinigami a chance to react before squealing, "Play with me! Chotto Neko!" Her zanpakuto stretched and went limp until she held a pink whip in her hands. "I'm it," she cried, "And if I tag you, it's gonna hurt a lot!"
~Two Hours Later~
Ikkaku and Yumichika were both absolutely exhausted. Their lieutenant had chased them at absolutely demonic speeds, the terrifyingly manic look embedded in her eyes the entire time. Both men sported painful welts from Yachiru's released shikai. Both had known her shunpo was fast, but today it was abnormally so, as if she was on something. And the way she had laughed insanely the entire time as they had run as if in fear of death from her whip and other division members dived out of her path …was disturbing to say the least.
"What is wrong with her?" Ikkaku wailed as he rubbed a particularly painful welt on the back of his head. "I know she's usually hyper, but this is ridiculous!"
Yumichika was bent over as he tried to catch his breath. He was not without his share of welts, but he certainly had less than Ikkaku. He looked on as his lieutenant continued to chase other members of the division since she was bored with him and Ikkaku, thankfully. The damage to the division buildings was nothing short of appalling. None of the men of the 11th Division had raised a zanpakuto in defense against their crazed lieutenant; they all knew that if their captain found that they had, there would be doom. That meant only one things; all the damage had been cause by Yachiru and her shikai.
"How are we going to explain this to Captain Zaraki?" Yumichika wondered out loud. Ikkaku only moaned piteously in response.
Kenpachi, Ikkaku, and Yumichika stared hopelessly at the little girl who was still terrorizing the battle-hardened men of the Eleventh. She'd been abnormally hyper for nearly for nearly five hours and showed no signs of calming down. Kenpachi's paperwork had been sacrificed as confetti and more paper airplanes for Yachiru, Ikkaku was sporting more bite marks on his head than he could even fathom, and Yumichka was currently being used as a horse. "Fasterhorsey! Faster!" Yachiru shrieked as she smacked the fifth seat over the head mercilessly. With a huge effort, Yumichika forced himself to crawl faster to appease the petulant little lady on his back.
"FAS-TER!" Yachiru screamed.
"Lieutenant Kusajishi, I can't – pant – gofaster. I played tag with you for two hours and I'm tired. Can you get off now?" Yumichika pleaded.
The violence which next took place was unmentionable.
However, now Yumichika truly could not go any faster, and Yachiru was forced to find something else to amuse herself. She hopped off the 5th Seat and took a few running steps towards the door –
And promptly collapsed. The pink little terror was out cold.
"W-what's wrong with her?" Ikkaku asked in confusion. All he received for an answer was a 'How-should-I-know?' look from his captain.
"I guess we should take her to see Captain Unohana," Kenpachi muttered as he lifted his sleeping little girl onto his shoulder.
Ikkaku and Kenpachi could not help but be extremely confused when Captain Unohana began to laugh after examining Yachiru and hearing Kenpachi tell her that his lieutenant had had some drinks called 'Monster' and 'soda'.
"I think," she said after she had finally stopped laughing, "that we can take it for granted that caffeine is not good for Yachiru."
The next day, after the Captain's Meeting, Byakuya approached Kenpachi with a smirk on his face. "I trust you had a decent day yesterday, Captain Zaraki?" He knew it was childish to taunt the man about yesterday's incident, but he simply could not resist.
The 11th Division Captain glared down at him. "I guess ya heard about how Yachiru went crazy yesterday. There's no need ta tease me about it, so buzz off," he snapped.
Byakuya allowed a smirk to creep onto his lips. "Yes, I did hear about that 'incident'." He paused before saying, "Next time, leave my paperwork and my kenseikan alone." Without another word, he turned and shunpo'd from the hall, leaving a wide-eyed 11th Division Captain to stare at his departure.
Just one more jump and she'd be inside, Yachiru was sure. She backed away and then ran toward the window, leaping forward without breaking her flow of motion. This time, she managed to grab hold of the windowsill and haul herself inside. There, with his back to the window, was Bya-kun, just as she expected. He seemed to be working on a stack of paperwork as usual, but that didn't deter Yachiru. She'd interrupt him just as she always did. "Bya-kun, I'm here!" she announced as she leapt onto the floor.
"Yes, you are," he replied stoically without looking at her.
"I did what you said!" Yachiru squealed hopefully. I stayed with Baldy and Yun-Yun for the rest of the day, so where's my treat?" Bya-kun waved his hand at the top drawer of his desk and Yachiru eagerly yanked it open. There, waiting for her, were the promised bottles of sweet, fizzy drink. She scooped them up into her arms before preparing to leap back out the window.
"Lieutenant Kusajishi?" Bya-kun said just before she left, "Did you know that if you shake the bottles and then open them, they will explode?"
Yachiru's eyes widened at this new information. She would have to try this out….
Just before she launched herself off the sill, she swore she heard Bya-kun actually chuckle.