The sun had risen, and dawn approached the massive building, full of windows and doors. Seemingly out of nowhere, sunlight shone and engulfed everything with its immanent rays. At the peak of the training grounds stood a figure in a black kimono. She had been there the whole night, training mercilessly. The feeling of guilt was coiling up in her stomach, becoming more real and harder to handle by the second. A flashback formed in her head – what had happened two weeks ago.
"Yamamoto-sama is moving you to the Eleventh Division," Byakuya Kuchiki's cold voice resounded trough the air, piercing its way to her ears, "You are no longer my concern. I don't know what was Yamamoto-sama thinking, sending you off to one of the top divisions of the Gotei 13. What would a weakling like you do there?"
Ashamed, the black-haired girl looked away, biting her lip, as her big, orange eyes got watery.
"Do learn your place, and try to get out of the way of those more powerful than you...Masaki Nagano."
With that said, he turned around and walked away, his long dark hair dancing on the wind, leaving the female torn in tears.
The memory faded away.
The figure fell to the ground, quickly losing her consciousness and panting loudly.
"Damn…It…" the night-haired girl murmured under her breath, as she collapsed.
Masaki opened her eyes, and a small, pink-haired girl caught her glance right away.
"Y-Yachiru-san…" she mumbled, trying to sit up, but the moment she did, pain throbbed her ankles and chest.
"Kenny says it's foolish to train at night!" Yachiru's ever cheerful voice exclaimed. Masaki flinched.
"Zaraki-taichou knows that I've been training the whole night?" she questioned with a sense of fear in her voice.
"Of course!" Yachiru approved. Masaki gulped.
"Just great…" she sighed deeply, gazing up at the sky. It's been so hard and she felt uneasy ever since she joined the dreadful Eleventh Division. Its members were all rather weird and she was one of the only girls. But what scared her the most was the Captain. She'd heard all sorts of rumors about his enormous power and unusual history. She did her best to avoid him as much as possible. And maybe she could cope with all of that if it wasn't for the influence of her previous Captain's opinions of her. She trained like her life depends on it ever since she joined them, trying hard to get stronger and compete with the rest of the division.
The orange-eyed female looked back at the little girl, who was cheerfully smiling at her worn-out face.
"Yachiru…She spends so much time with taichou, and cares about him a lot. And he cares for her as well. I must admit that I admire her bravery a lot. I could never be too close to such a…Monster."
Masaki shivered and closed her eyes for a few moments.
"Aren't you gonna come join Kenny and I for breakfast?" Yachiru broke the silence. Masaki's eyes were wide open again.
"W-With Zaraki-taichou? N-No t-thanks, m-m-maybe some other t-time!" she tried to sound polite, but trepidation in her voice was rather obvious.
"Aww, come on, don't be shy, Masaki-chan! It'll be fun!" the little girl grabbed Masaki's hand and pulled her with unexpected strength.
"n-No, please, don't-!" Masaki yelled like mad, trying to get rid of Yachiru's strong grip, but to no avail. She was forced to keep going through hallways until they finally reached the Captain's office. Yachiru stomped in without knocking.
"Look who'll be joining us for breakfast, Kenny!" she announced. Kenpachi was sitting at a small table, surrounded by dolls and with a little red ribbon tied in his hair. Clearly not expecting to witness such a sight, Masaki was struggling not to burst out laughing at her superior.
"Great" the muscled man muttered dryly. The table he was sitting at seemed even smaller than it really was because of his gigantic body proportion.
"Come sit and have some cookies and tea, Masaki-chan!" Yachiru pointed at a seat next to kenpachi's. Without a choice, the black-haired girl obeyed and sat. She slurped some warm tea out of a small cup in front of her, peeking at Kenpachi, still trying not to choke herself with laughter.
Yachiru sat as well and started rambling on and on about her dolls, their dresses, make-up, and 'personalities', making them munch a cookie or two at times. Masaki pretended to listen and nodded every now and then. She wondered how could a fierce and powerful warrior such as Zaraki-taichou put up with this little menace every day. Knowing him, he'd kill her on the spot. But they seemed to have some kind of a daughter-father bond. She heard stories about that too.
"Oh, I just remembered, I have to go help Yumichika-kun style his hair, I promised I'd brush it for him!" Yachiru said. Masaki tried to hide a sign of relief.
"Alright then. And if that gay prick starts bothering you or something, call me, okay?" Kenpachi replied.
"Alright, Kenny! See you later, Masaki-chan!" the pink-haired youngster squeaked as she left the room. Masaki waved a silent goodbye. And then she realized her Captain was right beside her. And the fact that they were alone. She gulped.
"Er…T-That ribbon looks g-good on you, Z-Zaraki-t-taichou" Masaki tried to make small talk, but the moment she spoke out she regretted it. Good Lord, he's a male, and a manly one with that. Not like Yumichika.
Kenpachi smirked in response.
"She enjoys putting those things on me. She once asked me to replace bells with those" he said. Masaki immediately pictured him with a bunch of red ribbons in his hair, with a happy Yachiru peeking over his shoulder.
It was too much for her indeed, and she started laughing hopelessly. Soon, tears leaked out of her eyes, and she could barely catch her breath from laughing.
"May I know what's so funny?"
The man's voice had become cold and ruthless and it silenced Masaki right away. He took off the ribbon and his old appearance that tended to scare Masaki so much was back. And so was his death glare.
"I…I…I apologize!" the orange-eyed female stood up and bowed. She felt quite embarrassed and could feel the heat in her cheeks rise.
"Forget it" Kenpachi almost whispered. He was up as well and went to the door. It seemed he was going to leave.
"Tell me…" he stopped, and Masaki looked up at him, "Are you afraid of me?"
The girl flinched. She felt her throat tighten, preventing her from speaking.
"Are you scared of me? Do you feel fear or guilt every time you come across me?" he repeated, hearing no answer. Masaki looked down at her feet. What did he expect her to say?
"No, of course not, Zaraki-taichou."
"You lie!" He suddenly turned back at her, making her even more frightened than she really was.
"I…I…" Masaki's voice cracked.
"There's no need for you to be afraid, nor feel guilty for anything. You're one of the strongest in the Division, I assure you. You've been spending every bit of your free time training ever since you came, convinced that you're weak and unworthy of your position by that moron Kuchiki, who thinks he's such a smartass and that he can boss people around as much as he feels like it. But trust me, stop putting yourself through stuff like that, or you'll get yourself killed for real!" Each word of Kenpachi's speech carved itself into Masaki's brain. She felt as though her eyes have been closed shut up to this point. She looked at the massive Captain; his impaling gaze pierced her with great pressure. As always.
He had his wild grin strangled on his face again.
"You know, I admire strong people. Just use your potential some more, will you?" He added with a tone of encouragement. At that moment, Masaki felt glad for being moved to this Division. She nodded in indulgence. She then heard a few steps. Kenpachi left, she thought.
On the contrary, the Captain was still there, as he pinned to the wall, breathing quickly and burying his nose into Masaki's hair.
The night-haired girl was in shock. She'd expect anything but this.
"What's the matter," he asked playfully, "Didn't I just say I like you?"
She felt his hot breath on her forehead, and his grasp got stronger. He was much taller than her and his upper chest was in the level of her nose. She could catch glimpses of his chin, as she felt really tiny in front of all his muscles and development.
Needless to say, Masaki stood stunned. She wasn't sure whether to feel pleasure or fear. Her knees were shaking and her heart was pounding, attempting to jump straight out of her chest.
Before Masaki could recollect herself, Kenpachi leaned down to her face and kissed her. Beastly, dominantly, in a brute, savage manner. She kissed him back, hanging her hands up on his neck. She fought to maintain her consciousness, wondering what was coming next.
Still kissing her roughly, Kenpachi grabbed her black garments.
Masaki slowly paced down the corridor, panting and holding her backside, using her arms as a support, for it hurt her very much. She had to borrow one of the Captain's robes, otherwise she'd have to go naked.
She caught a glimpse of Ikkaku Madarame around the corner, who glanced at her strangely.
"Oi, Masaki-chan, you okay?" He asked somewhat worriedly. The black-haired female stopped to face him.
"Hi, Ikkaku-san. I've been training, and I overdid it a bit" she chose to lie instantly. There was no way in hell she'd afford to tell the 3rd seat of the Division about what really happened.
The bald man glared at her silently for a second, and then he spoke again.
"But the training grounds are in the opposite way, where I just came from. You're not truthful, Masaki-chan" he implied.
Well, this one's a handful, Masaki rolled her orange eyes.
"It doesn't matter, okay? I seriously have to hurry now!" She almost groaned in response, trying to pass Ikkaku by. But instead of letting her, he made a barricade with his body.
"I'll keep you here until you tell me!" he yelled competitively.
"Ugh, fine. But promise it'll stay our secret?" She finally agreed, doing a weak facepalm. The bald man smirked satisfied.
"Okay, so Yachiru-san invited me to have breakfast with her and taichou, and I simply couldn't decline," Madaramre snickered a bit, "So she took me there, blabbed about dolls for three hours, and then left to style Yumichika's hair. And, Zaraki-taichou and I were, y'know, talking, and…We…"
Her voice cracked yet again. Ikkaku's eyes widened.
"No…Don't tell me…?" He stuttered in pure disbelief, and his stare was blunt and confused. Masaki looked away, blushing, confirming his thoughts. She heard Ikaku gasp. And then…
"YUMICHIKAAAA! I HAVE TO TELL YOU SOMETHING!"
"No! Wait! You promised! Stop! He'll kill me! He'll kill us all! Stop! STOOOP!"
By the evening, the entire Soul Society was aware of what had happened between Kenpachi Zaraki, the Captain of the Eleventh Division, and his 6th Seat, Masaki Nagano.
"Say, Masaki, what's he like?" Many females teased her with the said question. But she decided to ignore them all and keep whatever she could to herself. She gazed at her old Captain, Byakuya Kuchiki, but he didn't bother to look back. He never did. To him, she was a weakling and would always be a weakling. And he always repeated to her that she should know her place.
But it was a different story with her current Captain. He thought she was strong. Despite his immense blood-thirst and highly aggressive and unpredictable attitude, they shared a few beautiful moments that would last forever.
Masaki wasn't aware of it yet, but Kenpachi Zaraki had already won her heart.