Word count: 960
Summary: Zaraki doesn't care for fancy clothes, but with Yachiru being absorbed in her own past, he eventually gets an idea of what he's got to do to find a better life for the both of them. Kenpachi/first!Yachiru. Pre-series.
A/N: Finally done with my claim. Written for prompt #1: uniform of 7snogs.
"Y'know what, Zaraki?"
And he turned to look at her after a moment of silence, thought she had forgotten about her calling out to him. Yachiru's eyes were closed, her face tilted slightly upwards. The wind whipped her dark hair back, and she seemed to be enjoying the heat of the sun on her face, sporting a content little smile on her lips that stirred something within him. The urge to lean over and brush his own lips over hers, but he refrained himself.
"What?" he repeated, frowning in confusion when she opened her eyes to fix her gaze on his haori. Ragged and torn, it was stuck to a tree branch, held in place by a small, sharpened piece of rock, the result of a day out hunting for food in the river.
"Have you ever seen what the captains of the Gotei 13 wear? The heads of the military in the Seireitei?"
"No." He shook his head, grimacing at such a question. She should have known that he wasn't able to see the Seireitei when he was all the way down the district food chain. While she shook her head, laughing at her own idiocy and apologizing, he rolled his eyes and lay down on his back.
"They have all these fancy clothes to wear, y'know?" she said, almost dreamily as she closed her eyes once again. "They've got long, big haori, a black uniform under that called 'shihakusho'…or something, white obi and proper sandals. Not to mention socks, too."
"Yeah, so?" His curt, indifferent reply only squeezed out a frustrated sigh from her, one that made him roll his eyes again. "What's with all that?"
"I'm just telling you, Zaraki," she muttered, bitter in tone. "I'd really appreciate it if you'd listen to me once in a while."
"But I am listenin' to ye."
"It would be nice if you weren't so…uninterested in what I have to say."
"So what if I'm uninterested? I can't hide it, right? What d'ye want me t'do, kiss yer ass an' say that I'm so fuckin' interested in what those bastards in the Seireitei wear?" he snapped, quickly reaching his boiling point. "Why can't they take a trip down the Rukon an' see what we're wearin' an' do somethin' t'fix it? Since they've got all the fuckin' money in Soul Society t'buy all those fancy clothes, ye'd think they'd give a shit 'bout us down here."
And with that, he rolled over to lie on his side, his back facing her. Yachiru was silent for a moment, and then she rose to her feet and quietly made her way into the room.
"T'hell with that!" he barked, loudly so that she'd hear him. It was her fault to begin with anyway, being fussy about who living in where wearing what – he just couldn't stand all that bullshit. He was never one for luxuries, content with walking around in just a fundoshi if there was nothing left. This was the 80th-fucking-district, not the almighty Seireitei, and she should have known better than to bring up said topic.
He didn't care, didn't give a rat's goddamned ass. Yachiru could fuss about whatever she wanted and he'd just leave her to her own devices. Getting involved was just another way to ask for trouble, and he preferred to find trouble in a bloody street brawl than find fault with her.
But the sudden silence was getting to him and, just to pacify his rising concerns, called out to her. There was no answer, even after the second try.
Fuck. With his decision made almost instantaneously, he crawled over to sit by the sliding screen door. "Oi, Yachiru?"
"What?" came her strained voice, one that he wasn't accustomed to, and immediately he slid the door open. She sat there right before him, having been leaning against the other side. When he saw her red, puffy eyes, he breathed a curse and grabbed her wrist, pulling her to his chest. Inevitably, she tried to fight him, tried to wrench herself away, but he was much stronger, and he held her tightly till she finally calmed down.
"I'm sorry," she said, voice slightly muffled by his bare flesh, but he automatically shushed her with a hiss.
"Shut up, dumbass." He carefully shifted their positions, setting her in between his legs, holding her as she sobbed quietly on his shoulder. His large hand stroked her between the shoulder blades, trying its best to soothe her, while the other rested lightly on the back of her head. "Should've known ye still missed the place," he murmured, lips pressed to her ear. She nodded, roughly wiping the tears away, and wrapped her arms around his waist.
They stayed like that for a while, sharing a companionable, understanding silence. His hold never faltered; even when she wanted to pull away, he tugged her right back.
"We'll get there someday," he said, absently brushing the hair out of her eyes, and cupped her cheek. "An' when we do, I'll get that big haori for ye an' ye can show it off."
Yachiru couldn't help but laugh in disbelief at that. "Don't be ridiculous, Zaraki."
"I ain't." He grinned at her and, taking her hand in his own, hooked their little fingers together, a gesture that she had taught him quite some time ago. "I'll get ye those fancy ass clothes. Promise."
She sniffed, staring at their hooked fingers, and forced a smile. Unable to hold himself back any longer, he lifted her chin and claimed her lips. Though she knew that it was next to impossible to achieve such a feat, she tightened her finger around his, felt the eagerness within his response, and allowed herself a content sigh.
An impossible endeavour, but still, it was worth a shot. For the fancy clothes and of course, a better life.