“Is that it?” I laughed to the squad members who where thrown about the training room floor, “And here I thought you guys had more fight in you because of how big you talked.”
“I’ll take you on then, Shiai!” I looked over to the doors to see Ikkaku pulling out a bamboo sword.
Yumichika was behind him with an amused smile on his face.
“You can’t control yourself, can you Shiai-chan?” Yumichika asked.
“Like father like daughter.” I said with a shrug as I gripped my swords in each hand, “Come.” I told Ikkaku.
He laughed as he jumped towards me.
I laughed and blocked his attack with one sword. I giggled and went to attack with my other sword. Ikkaku dodged and jumped back so we were a few feet away now.
I couldn’t stop laughing, as I ran at Ikkaku this time, letting out a barrage of attacks. I didn’t give him anytime to recover or think about what he was doing. When he went to take a step back I confused him with one sword in my left hand and used the one in my right hand to hook behind his knee and knock him off balance, that sent to him the floor with a loud thud. I then brought down my sword in my left hand right beside his head, effectively pinning him.
I giggled as him as I offered him a hand up, “I win again.”
“I was going easy on you.” He explained dismissing my hand, “You know as well as I do how captain would respond if I actually hurt you.”
“Excuses.” I teased, “If not by you then I’ll just go out and look for someone else who’ll spar with me and not hold back.”
Ikkaku let out a ‘tsk’ sound before retorting, “I value my life thank you.”
I rolled my blood red eyes and put the training swords back in the barrel, “Whatever helps you sleep at night, Ikkaku.”
“Where’re you goin’?” Ikkaku demanded as I grabbed my zonpakutos.
“Captain’s office.” I told him shortly, “Paperwork has to get done.”
Before he, or any of the other squad 11 members could say anything I was out of the training room and walking towards the office.
It had been about 3 months since I joined the gotei 13 as the 4th seat on the 11th division, under my father, Zaraki Kenpachi. Over that time I had become very fast friends with Ikkaku and Yumichika. Yachiru looked up to me almost like an older sister, and my father was happy to have me here after so long. I took over doing the paperwork for our squad, so the other captain and lieutenants were fond of me.
I was born in the world of the living, my parents, specifically my mother didn’t want me to grow up in this world having to fight and be held to such a high expectation. Aside from that, she had come from a noble family, so her having a child with barbaric maniac like Kenpachi, she and I would have been put to death. But my parent’s hadn’t asked permission to leave the soul society, so, soon after I was born my parents were hunted down and brought back to the soul society.
I was two when they left. I hadn’t known where they had went, or what had happened. The man I grew up to know as my grandfather, he was nothing more than an old family friend who owed my mother a favor, told me that my parents had died a long. For the longest time the only thing I had was; a silver heart shaped locket with a hot pink front and silver stitches on it with a picture of both of them to remind me of them.
I had grown up with Ichigo, he was my best friend, he had my back no matter what and I had his. I found my father when I came to soul society with Ichigo to save Rukia a couple of years ago. There he revealed to me that my mother had died when I was young, after they had been brought back to soul society. But she had died of a broken heart, leaving me was too much for her. But at the very least I knew that she loved me.
I went through the training academy and graduated in a year and a half. I was already proficient in swordsmanship, shunpo and hakuda. The only thing I needed to worry about was my Kido.
I opened the doors to the office and stepped in, there was a neat stack of paper on the left side of the desk. I walked towards the desk and picked up the first piece of paper on the pile. This work was from squad 9. I sighed a little knowing who delivered it.
Hisagi Shuuhei and I were good friends, he helped me a lot during my time in the academy fine tune my Kido. Lately I noticed I had been seeing less and less of the lieutenant.
I sighed to myself and plopped down in the chair.
He was always busy now, and because I didn’t drink I wouldn’t go to the bar with him, Rangiku, Izuru, Yumichka and Ikkaku even when they all asked.
“Maybe I’ll go next time.” I said to myself as I picked up a pen in my left hand and started spinning it as I read over the pages.
“Kensei-tiacho.” I said as I walked into the 9th squad captains office with a stack of paper in my hands.
“Yo, Shiai.” He said not looking up from his paper work.
“Hi, Shuuhei.” I said and nodded to the lieutenant.
“Nice to see you, Shiai-san.” Shuuhei said to me, he looked up from his work and smiled.
I smiled back.
“I hope you weren’t waiting too long for this.” I said to Kensei as I placed the papers on his desk.
“The fact it got done, when I sent it to the 11th squad is amazing.” He told me, He pushed back from his work and looked at me, “Thank you.”
I smiled and bowed Before turning and heading towards the door.
I stopped right in front of Shuuhei’s desk.
“Someone’s been busy.” I said and crossed my arms looking at the raven haired boy, “I’ve missed hanging out with you.”
“You never want to come to the bar.” Shuuhei countered.
“I don’t drink.” I told him, “By soul society law, I’m not old enough to drink. And we all know Rangiku will lose her shit and try and get me drunk.”
Shuuhei sighed in agreement.
“Maybe when you have day off, we can hang out.” I suggested.
He smiled and nodded.
“It’s good to see you.” He told me.
I smiled at him, bearing my teeth, letting out a little giggle before I left.
“Shiai-chan~” Rangiku sang as she wrapped an arm around my neck.
“Hi, Rangiku.” I said to her, not looking up from the onion I was cutting.
“Shiai, are you coming tomorrow?”
“Coming where?” I asked.
“To my party tomorrow night.” She told me, “I thought everybody knew about it.”
“I’m not everybody.” I told her.
Rangiku sighed before explaining to me, “It’s my birthday tomorrow, Shiai-chan. So I’m having a party and inviting a bunch of people. I want you to be there too.”
“What time?” I asked her dumping the onions into the pot.
“6.” She told me.
“I guess I’ll be there then.” I told her, “Ikkaku and Yumichika would probably drag me anyway, so I better go of my own accord.”
“Yay!” She cheered and jumped as I pulled out the steak and began to cut that.
“I’ll see you then Shiai-chan!” Rangiku called to me, “And wear something cute! I’m tired of seeing you in that uniform.”
I sighed as she slammed the door to the kitchen on me.
“I’m going to regret this aren’t I?” I asked myself as I added in the steak and curry ru.
“This is stupid.” I said to myself as I pulled on my dark wash denim jacket.
“Shiai-chan! Hurry up or we’re going to be late!” Yumichika yelled to me through my door to my room.
I sighed again, and stole one glance in the mirror.
I was wearing black short-shorts with a studded belt, a cropped, light blue t-shirt that showed off a little of my stomach, it exposed my navel, and it was a little more fitted than I was used to. I had a dark washed denim jacket that only reached halfway down my ribs with the sleeves reaching just below my elbows. I had my locket on around my neck. My short silver hair was pulled back into a messy ponytail with a black ribbon holding it in place.
Yumichika had taken me out shopping earlier today to get something for tonight. And while I objected a lot, I was forced to get it, and wear it. I was never comfortable showing off this much skin, I always thought I was far too pale, being albino, only to be made paler by the dark colours I was wearing.
I sighed again and opened the door to my room.
“Shi-chan, you look soooooooo cute!” Yachiru cried as I stepped out.
“Thanks.”I said softly.
“I knew this would look good on you!” Yumichika swooned and started to admire his work.
“Can we go now?” Ikkaku asked annoyed.
“Yes.” Yumichika said straightening up, “When you look this cute, Shiai-chan we need to show you off.”
I paused and looked to my father who was standing in the court yard with his zompakto on his shoulder.
“Oto-san?” I asked gaining his attention.
“Huh?” He asked turning to look at me.
“How do I look?” I asked him. I wasn’t comfortable in this at all, and I was hoping he would yell at me and get me to change.
A smirk appeared on his face, “You look like your mother.” He told me, “I like it.”
“Even Captain likes the style I picked out for you!” Yumichika sang, “I’m so happy!”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, let’s go!” Ikkaku yelled at us pushing us towards the exit.
“We’ll have her back in one piece, captain, don’t worry about it.” Ikkaku called back to my dad.
He didn’t reply as we left.
Ikkaku pushed Yumichika and I out the door, we both managed to grab our black sandles before leaving.
The walk there was silent, at least for me. Yumichika kept complimenting me and his taste in clothing. Ikkaku kept saying how he was going to drink Rangiku under the table this time. And all too soon we arrived to the place the party was to be held.
Ikkaku didn’t even bother to knock as he threw open the door gaining everyone’s attention as he did so.
“Party’s here everybody!” He yelled, “Damn it, Shiai! You made us late!” Ikkaku then yelled at me seeing as everyone has started drinking already.
“You’ll have to forgive us,” Yumichika said calming down Ikkaku, “Perfection takes time.” He said looking at me.
I then realized all eyes were on me, not on the men who were talking.
I then became hyper aware of what I was wearing and where everyone was staring. I felt my face heat up as a lot of jaws dropped, I just wanted to run and put on something that covered everything.
I wasn’t ashamed of my body, per say, I stood at 5’7″ and had an athletic build, a lot of muscle, a well toned body from fighting and training. But because of that I wasn’t very feminine in figure, very small in the chest, and hips. But more than anything, it was because I was pale. Almost sickly so.
“Shiai-chan!” Rangiku exclaimed as she ran over and pulled me into a tight hug, “You look so cute in that! See I told you, you would look better in something other than that uniform!”
“Rangiku.” I growled lowly.
She laughed nervously and let me go, “Sorry!”
“Come on, let’s have some fun!” She then grabbed my hand and pulled to the middle of the crowd of people, my face heated up even more.
She then turned around without warning almost causing me to run into her chest. She then handed me a glass with clear liquid in it.
I took it from her, but glared at it accusingly.
“Drink!” She encouraged, “We’re here to have fun!” She slapped my shoulder and turned to everyone else there.
“Let’s party!” She screamed.
Everyone else cheered in agreement. I took a sniff of the liquid in my glass, I wasn’t going to drink it. It was sake.
It’s going to be a long night. I thought to myself with a sigh.
“You know something, *hic* Shiai-chan *hic*.” Iba slurred to me as he wobbled from one foot to the other, “You’re cute, and I won-*hic* wonder how you haven’t found yourself a boyfriend yet?”
“Have you met my dad?” I asked the clearly intoxicated man in front of me.
“I can take him on!” Iba yelled, “You’re dad isn’t so tough!”
“Then go fight him.” I encouraged.
“I will!” He exclaimed, “And when I get back *hic*, you have to kiss me!”
I rolled my eyes as he stumbled off.
I had been at this party for almost 1 hour, I was the only sober person here and I was bored.
I had long since abandoned the glass first handed to me.
I looked at the crowd, they were all laughing, dancing, fighting, arguing and playing drinking games. No one would notice if I slipped out for some air.
I slowly made my way to the door and slipped my shoes on, I slowly opened the door and slipped out. The cool air hit me like a ton of bricks. It had been so hot and stuffy in there, and I had barely noticed.
As the wind washed over me, I remembered what I was wearing and my modesty kicked in. I put my fore arms over the exposed part of my stomach and started off towards the 11 squad barracks.
“Are you not feeling well, Shiai-san?” I head a voice behind me when I was not but a few feet from the door the party was taking place in.
I turned around and saw Shuuhei standing there looking at me, concern filled his face.
I was not the only one to change from the regular uniform today, but Shuuhei’s outfit caught my attention.
He was wearing fitted dark wash jeans with a plain black belt, and a dark purple silky looking button down with the top half of the buttons undone showing off his toned chest. He had a small gold chain around his neck as well as his explosive choker.
I shook my head in response to his question.
“I don’t drink.” I told him, “And everyone else is drunk so I got bored really fast, I figured no one would notice if I left.”
“Then why are you covering your stomach like that?” Shuuhei asked as he advanced towards me.
I looked down.
“It’s called modesty.” I told him, “I don’t like having this much of me exposed.”
He nodded understandably.
“Would you at least mind if I escorted you back to your barracks?” He asked.
I shook my head, “That’d be nice, we could catch up.”
And so we walked on talking about this and that. And before I knew it we came to the entrance of the 11th squad barracks.
We both stood there awkwardly for a few minutes.
“Do you have somewhere you need to be?” I asked suddenly.
Shuuhei looked at me in surprise for a second before shaking his head.
I smiled a little, “Do you want to come in for some tea, so we can keep talking?”
Shuuhei smiled and nodded.
I lead him into the barracks and to the kitchen. I put the kettle on and reached up to grab the tea pot and two cups from the top cupboard.
“I’m sorry to take you away from the party.” I said quietly, “I know you like Rangiku, and she’ll probably be mad that you didn’t stay.”
“It’s fine Shiai.” Shuuhei told me, “And where did you get the idea that I liked Rangiku?”
I turned around with the box of tea leaves in my hands.
“The way you look at her.” I started, “How if she asks you for anything you do it. Her assets.”
Shuuhei laughed at what I had to say.
“Rangiku and I are friends.” He started, composing himself, “And the reason I always do what she asks is because it’s usually asked of her by her captain, and if i don’t do it for her, her captain will be pissed at her.”
I rolled my eyes as I turned around to take the kettle off the stove and pour the water into pot.
“Doesn’t that make you more of her slave than her friend?” I asked as I put the tea pot and cups on the kitchen table.
Shuuhei just glared at me, I giggled at him.
“What about you and Iba tonight?” He asked as I poured him and myself a cup of tea.
“What about Iba and me?” I asked unsure of what he was referring to.
“You two were talking for a good while there.” He said and took a sip of his tea.
I shrugged, “He was drunk, he just kept talking about work, and woman’s society’s lack of respect for the men’s society, then he asked why I didn’t have a boyfriend. Which reminds me, I hope he got lost on his way here, if he talked to Oto-san in his current state, he might be killed.”
“What?” Shuuhei almost demanded.
“Iba asked why I didn’t have a boyfriend, I told him it was probably because of my father, to which he said he could take him on. I told him sarcastically to go for it, which he accepted as a challenge and then ran off to, what I assume, find Oto-san and challenge him.” I explained, “I really hope he got lost.”
“Why is Iba of all people asking you that?” Shuuhei muttered.
“He was drunk.” I told him, “That’s why.”
Shuuhei paused for a moment before looking at me deeply.
“Why don’t you have a boyfriend yet?” He asked, “I know your dad would probably kill anyone who tried anything, but I know you could persuade him not too if you wanted to.”
I shrugged and took a sip of tea before replying, “I got hurt before.” I admitted, surprising even myself with what I just disclosed, “Because of that I’m very careful around people unless they have gone through shit to earn my trust. Now I’m thinking if anyone who really did want to be with me would first have to go through Oto-san to get to me, making them want to be with me for who I actually am.”
“I guess that’s fair.” Shuuhei said.
“Why haven’t you gotten yourself a girlfriend yet?” I countered.
Shuuhei choked on his tea for a second before looking at me like I was insane. I grinned at him, letting him know I was serious.
“I’ve been too busy for one.” He said staring at the table, “Between lieutenant work, the magazine and the fact I finally got good at guitar, I don’t have much time.”
“Yet you made time to help train me in Kido.” I accused.
“That was once a week.” He told me scratching his cheek, “I could make room for that easily.”
I rolled my eyes and went to take another sip from my tea when the doors to kitchen flew in with Tetsuzaemon Iba unconscious on top of them. My gaze flew towards where the doors once stood to see my father seething and huffing in anger.
“Oto-san.” I said tensively as I got up from my seat and put myself between Iba and him, “It’s okay.”
“It’s not okay, Shiai!” He barked at me, “Do you know what that bastard just said about you?!”
“No, but, let’s also keep in account the fact that he’s drunk. He’s not in his right state of mind.” I assured, “If Iba ever tried anything, Oto-san, I would kick his ass myself. You don’t need to worry about me.”
“It’s not you I worry about.” He said, calm now. He had passed his rage and now was addressing his daughter, “I just don’t wanna lose you again.”
I smiled, “You wont.” I told him and put my hands behind my back, “I love you, Oto-san.”
He just smirked and turned around, “I’ll get one of the squad to bring him back to his barracks.” Oto-san told me, “Hisagi, I suggest you don’t speak of this.”
“I wasn’t planning on, Zaraki-tiacho.” Shuuhei said nervously.
“Good.” Oto-san snarled, “Now I suggest you leave. Shiai, it’s late, you should be in bed.”
“I’m not a child, Oto-san.” I reminded him.
“Do you want to stay up then?” He asked boring his eyes into me.
“No.” I said, “I’ll see Shuuhei out and then go to bed.”
“I’ll see you in the morning then.” He said and left.
I heard Shuuhei let out a breath he had been holding.
“I really wish you got lost.” I said to Iba’s unconscious form before sighing, “Come on.” I said addressing Shuuhei.
“I’m coming.” He said and stood up.
We walked side by side in silence to the door.
“I’m sorry about that.” I told him when we got there, “I wasn’t expecting-
“It’s fine.” He cut me off, “I understand your father’s frustration. But can you answer something for me before I leave?”
I nodded, letting him know to proceed.
“You don’t have to answer, but why don’t you like showing off your body?”
I was taken aback by what he said for a moment.
“Long story.” I said, “Best kept for another day.”
Shuuhei nodded, “I’ll see you soon, hopefully, then.”
I smiled and nodded.
Shuuhei left and I closed the door after him before making my way to my room.
I closed the door and realized I still hadn’t changed form the party outfit. My face instantly went red.
I went through all of that with this much exposed. I sighed and started undressing as I pulled out pajamas, a black t-shirt and baggy, dark blue guys pajama pants.
I put that on and fell on my futon with a sigh.
“At least I got to see him again.” I said to myself, “Even for a short time, it was nice.”