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karakura thugs

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Things just hadn't been the same since that dreadful run in with one Kurosaki Ichigo.

It just wasn't right, how the most feared delinquent in Karakura wasn't even, you know, a real delinquent. Kurosaki Ichigo didn't smash vending machines or squat around street corners bumming cigarettes off his underlings. He didn't even have underlings - he was a goddamn honors student, a pretty-boy, and a pansy, someone who took way too many bathroom breaks and spontaneously passed out at odd moments. It was a mark of shame upon each and every true thug in Karakura that this imposter stayed seated on the throne.

In true honorable delinquent fashion, they followed the old golden rule: if you can't beat him up, then you should beat his friends up.

Inoue Orihime was off limits, of course. She was cute. You don't hit cute girls. Of course, the fact that her other friend Tatsuki Arisawa had handed them their asses on a platter had absolutely nothing to do with anything whatsoever.

Yasutora Sado was not a cute girl. He was, however, six-and-a-half feet tall and punched like a wrecking ball. They took one look at him and kept on looking.

Keigo Asano was worthless on his own. Unfortunately, his sister scared the shit out of all of them, and no one was particularly willing to risk Mizuho Asano's wrath. Besides, there was such a thing as being too pathetic, and beating down a weakling like Keigo wasn't anything to write home about. They weren't even sure Kurosaki was friends with Keigo, given how the former acted towards the latter.

That left Mizuiro Kojima, who looked like an ideal victim: a play-boy, girly-faced, skinny, and clearly without any fighting skills whatsoever. Nothing threatening whatsoever. So they were understandingly shocked and confused when their ambush was met with a smile. A smile, backed up by stun guns and pepper spray and holy shit, did he just throw a Molotov cocktail at them?

After that ordeal, they were noticeably more cautious when approaching Ishida Uryuu. One of them tailed him for an entire day and another searched his bag during gym to make sure they wouldn't have a repeat of the Mizuiro fiasco. Besides, anyone who ranked number one clearly spent all of their free time studying; it's not like he would have had time to practice a martial art or anything, right? They caught him afterschool in an empty parking lot.

Ten minutes later, Ishida Uryuu walked out of the parking lot slightly annoyed, but also entirely unscathed.

Sadly, the same could not be said of everyone else who had been in the parking lot with him.

Demoralized, damaged, but still determined, the delinquents of Karakura had called an emergency strategy meeting underneath the Karakura Bridge to reassess their method of attack. They had morosely agreed that perhaps their original targets were too well defended for head on attacks, and that unless they found new ways of making Kurosaki Ichigo suffer, they would have to stoop to playing ding-dong-ditch on the Kurosaki clinic or tacking gum onto his seat at school. It only went downhill from there.

Salvation, however, came in the form of a spontaneous new gaggle of friends that transferred to Karakura High a few months later, just as they were giving up hope.

A red-haired, tattooed hippy, a flaming homosexual fruitcake, a bald yakuza-wannabe, an elementary school student with a bad dye job, and a smoking hot blond with the largest rack in living memory.

Compared to the monsters in Kurosaki's inner circle, this would be a cakewalk.

They went after the hippy first, since he seemed the closest to Kurosaki. In hindsight, they should have noticed the warning signs, because nobody could have that many tattoos while being a complete wuss, but at the same time, how could anyone remotely dangerous possibly wear a lime green vest with purple khakis at the same time? It boggled the mind. The red-haired hippy presented such an easy mark, camped outside a shady snack shop every night – probably in a tree-hugging protest of some sort – that it went against the thug honor code to just leave him alone.

They swaggered up to him and started talking trash. He took one look at them and, disconcertingly, started laughing his ass off.

He was still laughing his ass off as he walked off after he mopped the floor with them.

Clearly, their strategy needed some reworking.

It was now obvious that attacking the heavily-tattooed badass had not been the wisest first move. The bald yakuza-wannabe and the fag with ridiculous eyelashes were obviously better targets. After all, they hung out with Keigo and birds of a feather flock together, right?

As it turned out, opposites also happened to attract. Evidently, calling a wooden sword a 'cheap piece of overcompensation that went out of fashion decades ago' was a quick ticket to blissful unconsciousness. And calling those ridiculous eyelashes 'ugly peacock butt feathers' was a quick way to make yourself wish you were unconscious, as opposed to suffering through the serenely savage curbstomp battle that had followed.

What a truly epic and thorough ass-kicking it was.

It took weeks for them to regain any feeling in their backsides.

By then, the Karakura thugs had decided that it was time to abandon all semblance of pride. They would take no chances. Though their pride wanted to curl up in a corner and die, they decided that desperate times called for desperate measures, and if it took ganging upon on an elementary school brat to regain their honor, then dammit, that's what they would do. Not that they needed the numbers, of course - the white haired brat probably weighed less than a hundred pounds sopping wet - but it couldn't hurt to be too careful. With Kurosaki's friends, you never knew.

They had caught him on the bridge over the river. It was a nice, secluded location with nowhere to run. Unlike the others, the kid didn't seem remotely threatening, at least, not until they had taken his expensive-looking cellphone away from him and taunted him with it. Theft was a tried and true intimidation tactic, after all.

That was when the brat went very, very quiet as he glared at them. All of them took an involuntary step back. It wasn't the kiddy 'give-me-back-my-stuff-you-big-meanies' look. It was the 'I-have-had-an-absolutely-shitty-day-and-am-THIS-close-to-snapping' look. At that point, uneasiness had started setting in, but if word got out that they had been scared off by a twelve-year-old kid's stink eye, then they would never be able to show their faces around town again.

The sudden darkening of the skies and rumble of ominous thunder were pure coincidence, surely.

They unwisely decided to throw the cellphone into the river as a threat.

Half an hour later, they were still asking themselves 'what the FUCK just happened' as they struggled to free themselves from the ice that had frozen them to railing of the bridge.

It was time to concede defeat. In the end, as they watched the peaceful sunset over the river, an epiphany struck, as epiphanies tend to when you have nothing better to do but wait for the fire department to come around and pry you off a frozen railing. It was an epiphany born from suffering and enlightenment, breath-taking in its simplicity and beautiful in its elegance. It was the solution to all of their problems.

"Guys, I think we should leave Kurosaki alone."

Every thug eagerly agreed, and swore to never speak of the matter again.

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Set during the Arrancar arc, in homage to those underappreciated one-shot characters that serve no purpose but to get comically beaten up by our beloved cast. Also, written purely out of boredom and in a futile effort to stave off writer's block.