Characters: Yachiru, Kenpachi, Ikkaku, Yumichika
Word count: 760
Summary: Stubborn Yachiru's the only person who knows exactly why Kenpachi's still in recovery, and the reason has everything to do with candy.
A/N: Written for Table #9, prompt #3: you can't make me! of 5_prompts.
Also, some shameless pimping: Round 2 at bleachbigbang is now on! Author sign-ups last from June 1st to June 30th.
"Lieutena-" Before Ikkaku can lay his hands on her, the child launches herself at his face and sinks her teeth into his head while the heels of her feet dig into his collar bones. Despite his being a formidable warrior of the Eleventh, the high-pitched scream that he emits is inevitable as he tries to pry his superior off him.
Yumichika, instead of coming to his aid, vouches on standing on the sidelines and watching, arms folded across his chest as he steals nervous glances every now and then at the door at the end of the hallway.
"Lieu-lieutenant, please don't!" Finally, Yumichika has to intervene, clasping a hand over his friend's mouth to muffle his yelp when Yachiru begins pulling his ears. She gives him a few angry slaps to his face before kicking off his chest, somersaulting, and landing on her agile feet.
"I'm not gonna leave Ken-chan alone! You can't make me, Baldy!" She sticks out her tongue, pulls the loose skin under her right eye down. "And if you try, I'll bite your head off and feed it to hollows!" The wild sparking of her spiritual pressure is enough proof that she isn't playing around this time, that Ikkaku and Yumichika and the rest of the squad members should stay out of her way before someone really dies.
"Okay, okay," Ikkaku holds up his hands, palms towards her in a submissive gesture, "go on and do whatever you want. Just…just don't do this." He points at his own head, at the red teeth marks and a pair of tiny, bloody holes, trying his best to hide his scowl.
Yachiru presses a finger to her nose, showing them her nostrils, and with that, rushes down to the end of the hallway and disappears behind the door. She tries her best to close the door as silently as she can behind her. The room seems so big, so dark and, for the first time since their first night here way back when, scary.
Ignoring the fierce thumping of her heart against her chest, the harsh beating in her ears, the panic, Yachiru tiptoes to the side of the bed. For once, her height is just right, as she doesn't need to kneel or climb onto a chair to be at eye-level with the bed's occupant.
Kenpachi lies with his eyes closed, chest rising and falling steadily with each deep breath he takes. His eye patch is nowhere to be seen, having being ripped apart in the previous fight, but his spiritual pressure isn't as oppressive as usual. His body's still fresh out from the battle, still drained, still recovering.
Yachiru rests her chin on the edge of the bed, eyes fixated upon his face. She wants to see him open his eyes, see those grey irises that hold the first colour she'd ever seen amidst her blood-drenched world. She wants him to smile at her, let her know that he's all right, give her a sign that he's still there with her. But she knows better than to wake him. He needs his rest, and she knows it.
And all she can do is stay by his side, waiting for the moment when he'll rise and grasp his zanpakuto again. She has to control her tears, her fear, because she knows that he doesn't like it when she cries. He never really says it, but she can tell from the way he snaps at her to buckle it up and "stop being such a big baby."
She smiles at the memory, sighing as she closes her eyes and mentally prays for his wellbeing. But then again, she doesn't need prayer.
Carefully, so as not to wake him, Yachiru slips under the covers and snuggles up to his side. The familiar warmth his body emits engulfs her. She presses her nose to his bare shoulder, inhaling his unique, earthly scent, ignoring the bandages wrapped around his torso.
"I know you're okay, Ken-chan," she murmurs against his flesh, voice slightly muffled. "You just don't wanna bring me out to buy candy."
That squeezes a laugh out of him and, despite the pain that shoots through his abdomen, he wraps an arm around her small figure and brings her to his chest. Her head fits snugly in the crook of his neck. She curls herself up, little fingers fisting the quilts, as his large hand absently pats her back.
"I'll bring ye out later, 'kay?" he murmurs, nose buried in her hair. "When I don't feel so much like fuckin' shit. Promise."