This is a response one-shot to BLEACH manga 523. It is most likely not canon at all, I can *almost* guarantee that. The action is all in the medical barracks. Don't be confused, it switches between a private room and at the main medical station.
I don't own BLEACH.
The tall medical shinigami looked up from her desk, smiling to see the pink haired girl who was smiling at her.
A second later, Isane drew back, sucking in a harsh breath. Her expressive eyes widened. "What are YOU doing here?" She hissed in a whisper.
Yachiru cocked her head to one side, then pointed over toward her left.
Isane looked, groaning to see a heavily bandaged Captain Zaraki pushing his way in through one of the ward's private rooms. She stood quickly, only to draw up short as Ikkaku moved to intercept her. "He can't go in there!"
Ikkaku shrugged and ran a hand over the smooth bald dome of his head. "Well now, there's not much I or you could do to tell Captain Zaraki where he can and can not go."
Captain Unohana stood at the window, her haori no where in sight. She was in a simple black robe that hid none of her curves. Or the scar on her chest. She turned to stare at the other criminal in the room. "What the hell do you want?"
The lieutenant for Division Four shook her head, defiantly. "Captain Unohana told him that he was not welcome!"
Yachiru jumped up and sat herself on Isane's desk, ignoring the scattered paperwork. "Uhm, no. Re-chan didn't tell Kenny anything. She sent back all of his requests unopened." The smaller girl frowned as she spoke.
Isane held out her hands helplessly. "That is in itself a message."
Yachiru didn't look convinced as she poked out her bottom lip. "Re-chan is just being a stubborn stick."
"He nearly killed her!" Isane's voice rose alarmingly, and several heads turned their way. She lowered her voice as her face flushed pinkly. "She was near death for nearly a week!"
"So was Kenny." Yachiru pointed out reasonably.
Isane just shook her head, her brow snapping together in a sign of rising temper. "Your captain healed within a day or two."
Kenpachi stared at his long-time foe. She was looking pale. "Maybe I'm here to finish you off."
The dangerous looking woman turned toward him, as she stared at him, completely unconcerned.
"He let her live." Ikkaku murmured softly, almost gently. "And from the reactions of the higher ups? I don't think that was meant to happen."
The medical shinigami caught her lip between her teeth. The bald fighter had a valid point. She too had noted how shocked some of their leaders were in the fact that Captain Unohana had survived the fight with Kenpachi Zaraki. It hurt her heart to think of anyone considering her own captain as expendable.
"Why did he let her live?" Isane asked, her eyes moving back and forth between the two Division Eleven fighters.
Ikkaku shrugged, obviously unsure. Yachiru just looked troubled. After thinking it over for a long moment she shook her head. "Can scar tissue make you do things?"
Isane shook her head. "No. Well, there are mental and emotional scars, of course. But not physical scars."
Now Ikkaku looked over at his own lieutenant. "Scars?"
Yachiru gave them each a wide-eyed look, then sighed. "Re-chan gave Kenny that scar on his face years ago." She admitted reluctantly.
Isane sucked in a shocked breath. She remembered how her captain had been carried in to the medical barracks about a month ago. Her hair unbound, cut off jaggedly on one side. Her eyes wild and unseeing from the pain. And an old scar on her chest. A thick one. A scar that had been hidden for years, even from her own lieutenant, by her forward braid.
Ikkaku seemed intrigued. "Captain Unohana did that?" He whistled, impressed.
"No." Isane backed away from the mental image Yachiru's words produced.
The little pink-haired lieutenant nodded slowly. "Kenny named me for her."
Ikkaku's eyes widened in surprise. "But, Yachiru ...that was a name he took from a famous criminal back in the day. Right? One that couldn't be beaten and ...oh shit." He looked over at an equally shocked Isane.
"That was a wicked fight." Kenpachi growled.
Unohana scowled at him. "You were supposed to kill me, asshole."
The scarred man shrugged negligently. "I've never been good at doing what I'm told."
The former criminal shrugged, the shoulder on her robe slipping down a bit. But no skin showed due to the bandages around her torso. "I noticed. That's why I cut you all those years ago. Worthless then, worthless now."
"And I cut you back, you bitch. Then was a draw. Now? I won." Kenpachi sneered.
"So what do you want? A damned medal?" Snapped the irate female.
The medical shinigami looked down at her hands. "They both have scars then. Physical ones at the very least."
"They have history." Ikkaku nodded, setting the pieces together in his mind.
"They hate each other." Yachiru said slowly. "But the old Head-Captain forbade them from fighting each other after that first time. But he's gone now."
Ikkaku nodded sadly, old-man Yamamoto had been one of a kind.
"Hate?" Isane gave a choking laugh. "More like adhered."
Yachiru looked puzzled at the word.
The medical female waved one hand as if trying to make a point. "They have been cold to each other for years, but since they couldn't fight ...they were stuck with each other as co-captains here in the Seireitei."
"Adhered?" Yachiru asked pointedly.
Isane shrugged. "Do you know what scar tissue even is?"
Yachiru and Ikkaku both nodded.
Isane frowned. "I doubt that."
Ikkaku scowled. "It heals you."
The tall female shook her head. "Not even slightly. It just covers you."
Yachiru looked intrigued. "Huh?"
"There is one more thing I've always wanted from you." Kenpachi snapped.
"You have my title, you gave my name to someone else. You could have taken my life." Unohana sneered. "What else is there?"
"You gave up your title. The name was a sign of respect. Sure I hate you, but damn ...I always respected how ruthless you were. And I didn't want your life. Well, yeah I did." He grinned and shrugged. "But I beat you, how is that fun if you're dead and don't get to acknowledge the fact that I won."
Kenpachi smiled and nodded.
Isane nodded. "Injured skin or tissue cannot simply regenerate, we as shinigami can't do that. So nothing ever 'grows back'. Instead the damaged tissue is taken over, filled in ...replaced."
"Scar tissue." Ikkaku nodded. "How is that NOT healing?" He asked, thinking about the long, obvious scar running vertically down the face of his division captain.
"Because that skin or tissue is replaced by something fibrous." Isane continued, falling into lecture mode. "Collagen is used by the body to fix damaged areas of the body. This material is very dense and is connective tissue. Skin can grow over it, but it is not skin at all. And it's weaker."
Yachiru straightened up, as if on alert. "Weaker?" She didn't like that word connected to Kenny. "Ken-chan is not weaker because of that scar!"
Isane thought of the thick scar on Captain Unohana's chest. "The material making up the scar tissue can only achieve about 70% of the strength of normal skin."
The pink-haired lieutenant frowned, then made a face. "You still haven't explained how Kenny and Re-chan are 'adhered'."
"You were something special. Completely amoral, a killer, a criminal, the worst of the worst." Kenpachi smiled, showing teeth. "Sure it pissed me off having you cut me."
She stared at him, not speaking.
"But you made it worse. You quit. You bitch, you quit! Joined the Soul Society and vowed to only heal. HEAL!" Kenpachi snarled. "I itched to fucking fight you. And you let old-man Yama stop you from being you!"
"This is stupid." Ikkaku stared over at the door where Kenpachi had disappeared. No sounds of fighting, just the occasional raised voice though he couldn't make out what was being said. He frowned.
The tall female sighed and took a deep breath. "Look. Think of our captains as a joint. A simple joint is where two bones meet and rotate around each other."
Yachiru moved her elbow open and closed, making a chicken noise as she mimicked a wing.
Isane nodded. "But those bones don't actually touch. They are held together with tendons and ligaments that cause the motion. We can't move our bones without them. Rupture one, and movement is lost."
The bald fighter tuned back into the conversation. Injuries were something he knew a bit about. "I've seen fighters lose mobility before." He admitted.
"Get an injury?" Isane continued, nodding. "Scar tissue fills in what is damaged, binding it together. But scars? They're stupid."
"Stupid?" Laughed Yachiru. "You said they were necessary."
Isane smiled weakly. "No. I mean scar tissue reforms and takes the place of damage tissue, growing there. But it's stupid. It doesn't know when to stop or what to fill in. A lot of times, it just keeps growing. Making hard ridges."
Ikkaku nodded, he'd seen keloid scarring before.
"You always were stupid." Unohana commented dryly, making the warrior stiffen at the insult. "Change is part of life. And you're stuck."
"Fuck you." Kenpachi growled, his visible eye narrowing menacingly.
The medical division leader shrugged, making her newly cut hair swing down at her jawline.
Kenpachi smiled at the reminder. "Can't hide behind that damned ugly braid anymore."
Unohana's fist clenched.
The large male smile turned feral in anticipation. "C'mon, attack me. Weak-ass bitch." He tried to provoke her.
"What the hell do you want?" She hissed at him, moving closer but not attacking.
Kenpachi grinned. "All these damned years. All this damned time. I finally get to kill you and it's a GRAND fucking fight! But the whole time? The whole damned time? There was really only one thing I wanted to do to you."
Unohana eyed him cautiously, but she'd miscalculated his reach. One long arm snagged the belt of her robe and jerked her in closer.
The large warrior smiled down into her face.
"And when scar tissue keeps growing? There's only so much it can bind together, so it adheres to the tendons and ligaments and even other bones. It binds it tight like barely stretchable cement. Limited mobility."
"Oh." Yachiru's mouth opened in a small circle. "So the joint is stuck."
"Adhered." Isane gave a weak smile. "The captains are stuck together in the Gotei 13, unable to move or act freely as they'd want. Fight like they want. Whatever, they aren't able to fully be themselves with each other. Not a healthy joint at all."
Ikkaku nodded as the three fell silent, each sending anxious looks over to the closed door to a certain private room. Finally the bald man shook his head. "Is there no way to get rid of the scar tissue?"
Isane bit her lip, but shook her head negatively. "You can cut through it surgically, but that often doesn't have a good success in regaining full mobility. The only other option is to manipulate the scar tissue manually, break it."
"Break?" Yachiru pursed her lips together in a stubborn line. "That doesn't sound good."
The medic nodded. "You push and stretch and push and stretch until you hear a loud POP. And the joint sometimes can move freely again. But it takes a lot of stress to break through an adhesion. And you have to be careful."
"Of what?" The pink-haired girl asked quietly.
Isane looked sad. "Sometimes, it's not the adhesion that gives. Sometimes it is a tendon or something else. Causing even more damage. And the sound of the explosion? Is exactly the same. You can't tell if you broke the person or healed them until they begin to move."
A feminine scream came from the closed door behind them, freezing all three in place for a second. All of them raced for the door and threw it open.
Yachiru laughed as Isane stumbled. Ikkaku quickly shut the door. All three turned and told everyone running toward them to go away.
Ikkaku whistled, looking at the ceiling. "I think the joint looked pretty healthy, myself."
"Moving freely." Yachiru commented, ignoring Isane's face as it turned redder than a beet. "If a bit ...roughly."
Ikkaku choked as his lieutenant smiled happily.
"I think we've been seen." Unohana smiled grimly down at the man currently under her. And inside her.
"Shut up and don't fucking stop!" Kenpachi arched his back, slapping her bare hip rather hard as she rode him.
Unohana laughed wickedly, running her hands over his bared abdomen, reveling in the musculature even as she rocked forward, meeting his thrusts with wondrous abandon.
"I want to fight you again." The woman, closed her eyes as she squeezed him deep inside her body.
"I want to fuck you again." Kenpachi ground his teeth together, trying not to end this too soon. "And fucking fight you."
"Deal." She murmured, then yelped as he slapped her hip once more. "Damn you!" She laughed, her pleasure spiraling ever higher.
They really were a pair. Criminals. Fighters. Killers. It only surprised her that it had taken this long for them to admit to their mutual attraction. It seemed almost criminally negligent.
A/N - Okay, I'll admit that I look at scars a bit differently than a lot of people. I'm a therapist, it's part of my job. And if anyone is surprised that I ship Ken/Uno, then you've not been paying attention. :P
REVIEWS would be most welcome!