Disclaimer: Don't own it…
The eleventh division was where all of the brutes gathered to beat the crap out of one another. It was filled with large sweaty men and women, but mostly men, who spent their time trying to pummel each other into the dirt beneath them. Shinigamis long ago stopped being surprised when someone from the eleventh would end up in the fourth division's care. Unohana-taichou had made it a sport, of sorts, to see how many "tough" eleventh barbarian shinigami she could make shake under her smile in a day.
The eleventh weren't the only shinigami that frequented the fourth's barracks; a young man, with obnoxious orange hair and an ever present scowl, who went by the name of Kurosaki Ichigo. Even though he was only a substitute shinigami he was in the Soul Society more than he was in the human world as of late.
With everything seemingly settling down for a while people started to take more of an interest in the substitute shinigami—which was a bad thing for said shinigami. Currently Ichigo was sparing with Renji in the eleventh's training grounds with Ikkaku, Yumichika, and other seated officers from squad eleven standing to the side watching the fight. Captains Ukitake and Kyoraku were sitting on top of a hill nearby watching with avid curiosity as the two shinigami attacked one another. Hitsugaya-taichou was perched on a roof top a couple of buildings over with Kuchiki-taichou standing a little further away. The two captains were as pokerfaced as ever—neither giving any indication to what they were truly thinking.
"Come on, Strawberry," a voice yelled, he had bright red hair and multiple tattoos which seemed to run throughout his body. "Is that all you got? Aren't you supposed to get stronger with practice?" Renji taunted, "Where's all of that power I know you've got?"
Ichigo growled, insulted by the red headed fukutaichou, "Right here, Pineapple!" He held his arm holding his sword out in front of him. "Bankai!" Many of the lower ranking shinigami fled the area, unable to handle the tremendous spiritual pressure that Ichigo released. "Tensa Zangetsu."
A malicious grin spread across Renji's face, "Now we're talking! Bankai, Hihio Zabimaru!" Renji sprung up and ran at Ichigo. "Get ready to lose, Ichigo!"
"Keep on dreaming, Renji." Ichigo yelled raising his sword above his head. "Getsuga Tensho!"
Red on black reiatsu raced across the sky, heading for the red-head with the giant snake. Before it hit however the large snake wrapped itself protectively around its master and deflected the blow in a giant billow of dust. Immediately Renji rebutted, aiming his snake at Ichigo. The red burst of energy flew through the air towards the young substitute shinigami. The two fiery red-heads exchanged blows for a few hours before calling it quits and heading over towards the fourth squad's barracks.
The two were taken to separate rooms with a disapproving smile from Unohana as she asked them to remove their outer clothing so she could better heal them.
Ichigo slowly walked into the room which, thankfully, didn't have any other inhabitants in it. He began to remove his shikaso then stopped when his sleeves fell past his shoulders. There was a large bruise on his left shoulder where he distinctly remembered his father grabbing on to him with a force he never realized the old man had when he came home late last week. The bruise was too old to play it off as something he got while sparing with Renji but it was too new to say it was something he got last time he visited and everyone knew Inoue would heal any wound Ichigo would receive without a moment's hesitation. He carefully pulled his shikaso back up and retied his obi. He tried to be quiet as he grabbed his zanpaktou and opened the door, wincing when it squeaked.
He was halfway down the hall before a voice startled him out of his haphazard thoughts, "Where do you think you're going, Ichigo-kun?" Unohana-taichou's voice was soft but firm, making the substitute stop in his tracks. "I have not healed you yet therefore you are not permitted to leave. Please go back to your bed and finish getting undressed."
He gives her a guilty smile, "You know, I'm not really that injured—I'll be fine. I'm sure you have more important people to heal Unohana-taichou." He gives her another smile trying to convince her to let him leave with his eyes.
"Absolutely not." She gives him that smile and puts a firm hand on his shoulder. "I always have time to heal you Ichigo-kun. Now, come back to the room and let's get you back to full health, alright?"
The boy shivered as he despondently walked back to the room with Unohana's unyielding hand as guidance. Once they were back in the room Ichigo turned to face the fourth squad's captain again. "I'm honestly fine, Unohana-taichou, there's no reason for you to waste your energy on my minor wounds. They'll heal without any help in a few days."
She shakes her head and pushes Ichigo into a sitting position on the bed. "Nonsense. I am going to heal you whether you want to be or not. Now take off your shikaso."
He sighs heavily and begins to undo his obi, pausing for a fraction of a second when his sleeves fall past his shoulder before continuing on until his top half was completely bare. Unohana-taichou frowned, "That bruise doesn't look like it came from today's spar." She said, gently prodding the large mutated handprint on his shoulder. "Where on earth did you get that?"
Ichigo blushed and looked down, secretly trying to come up with a plausible explanation. "A hollow attack last week, it snuck up behind and grabbed me before I killed it."
Her smile lessened in intensity as her hands began to glow blue with healing kido. "Don't you have Inoue-san to heal the wounds you sustain in the World of the Living, though? Why do you still have a bruise?"
He looked down; silently cursing the situation he had just put himself in. "Well, it was, uh, late. And I didn't want to wake Inoue up… and in the morning I guess I just… forgot."
Unohana pursed her lips and brought her hands over to the bruise—erasing all trace of its existence. She continued to ask questions when she came upon a bruise or cut that didn't belong from his spar with Renji as she continued to heal his body. Ichigo was able to come up with an excuse for most of them, using hollows as more than one explanation and using Urahara as the other. Some of the really old scars that she came across he tried to convince her that he was a wild child and liked to get into trouble which she didn't have a hard time believing. She nodded to every excuse he came up with and took it with a smile, knowing that he was covering up for a reason.
When she was finished, she allowed the boy to leave with the promise that he wouldn't let his injuries get that bad before he went to someone to heal them for him. He quickly agreed, knowing that it would never happen but wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible. He found Renji sitting in one of the cushy chairs that lined the side of the hallways chaotically.
He stood up and rubbed the back of his neck in shame, "Sorry, man. I didn't think I beat you up that badly."
The young substitute gave the red head a weird look, "What the hell are you talking about?"
"You were in there for over an hour, Ichigo, that means ya' must've had a lot of injuries."
Unohana-taichou walked out behind Ichigo and laid a gentle hand on his shoulder. "Do not worry Abarai-fukutaichou, Ichigo-kun was barely hurt by your spar at all, he just seems to have a problem with asking for healing when he is hurt."
Ichigo felt the need to look down at his sandals in embarrassment. Renji snorted, "I swear, you're like a peach with the way you get bruised."
Unohana's eyes widened slightly. "This has happened before?"
Renji nodded, "Yeah, Ichigo is always getting hurt when he fights."
Ichigo cut in, "Thank you for healing us Unohana-taichou, we'll be leaving now." Ichigo grabbed Renji by the wrist, made a quick bow, and sped off, dragging a confused Renji behind him.
Unohana pursed her lips before making her way to the first division's barracks where she knew a captains' meeting was about to begin.
AN: Please tell me what you thought because otherwise I won't continue with this story.