Categories > Anime/Manga > Bleach > Tales from the Soul Society

The Ransoming of Yachiru

by Virgo 3 reviews

There is one thing Zaraki holds more precious than anything else. And it just got stolen.

Category: Bleach - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Humor - Published: 2005-05-08 - Updated: 2005-05-08 - 2841 words

Tales from the Soul Society
The Ransoming of Yachiru

Zaraki is a big guy. He's known for being a big guy. With lots of muscle. And sado-masochistic tendencies. He liked a good fight. Preferably one with him in it. And lots of people to beat, strong people, not the whimpy little chicken-armed Shinigami that make up most of the Soul Society. That's just the kind of guy Zaraki is. And people respect that because if they didn't, they'd be able to smell the inside of the back of their skull.

So, to no surprise, he was named a captain. Also to no surprise, he was named captain of the infantry division. After all, there were few things that made Zaraki as happy as he was when he was fighting a strong opponent.

One of those things, though, was a little girl recently appointed to the 11th Division that went by the name of Kusajishi Yachiru. She was cute, she was adorable and she even had a tiny Zanpakutou that was proportionate to her tiny size. She looked like she was a living plushie.

People wondered about his favoritism towards the girl, it was something people would naturally be curious about. Though no one would even dare to ask Zaraki-taichou what time it was, everyone loved talking to Yachiru because she was more than happy to talk right back. She said Ken-chan (Zaraki-taichou, they said when they'd relate the story to each other because they weren't Yachiru and they didn't have a death wish) found her when she was a baby and took care of her. The rest of the division couldn't help but think that that was so incredibly adorable, no matter how hard assed they tried to be.(1)

With all the time Zaraki had spent with Yachiru- strapping her to his back when he traveled, keeping her warm against his chest when they slept, one arm always wrapped protectively around her in a fight -it was only natural that he came to be accustomed to her presence. And it was only natural that he couldn't help but be a little worried about her when she went into the academy, even though he knew she was capable of taking care of herself.

Though it may have been only a little not natural that he could no longer sleep without her being next to him. And so, with great embarrassment, he found himself at a loss. Until, of course, he came across a group of his Shinigami teasing one of their fellow 11th.

Because he slept with a doll.

When Zaraki heard that, he could do nothing but stare blankly at the accused Shinigami. Said Shinigami blushed and stammered and muttered some excuse about missing his dog whom he loved dearly and who died before he entered the academy and couldn't sleep without him near.

And yet, Zaraki just sat there, still staring blankly. Then a question managed to get out of his mouth:

"Where did you get that?"

"Er....." he flushed even worse, fidgeting and trying not to at the same time. "I um, I made it....."


Zaraki thought. And he paced. And he came close to the young, sweating man. Coming to a decision, he told the Shinigami what exactly was expected of him. And if he so much as breathed a word of it to anyone, Zaraki was personally going to make sure the only way he'd be able to walk was on his elbows.

And, a week later, Zaraki got life-sized Yachiru doll.

Even if he didn't need to sleep with it often these recent days, he still held the doll as one of his few treasured possessions. He never let anyone else know of its existence and he kept it carefully hidden but within easy reach should he ever need it.

And then, little Yachiru graduated and Zaraki swindled and threatened until he got her into his division. And then the doll saw much less use because he felt comfort in the single fact that he could keep watch over her.

So, it was to much surprise that he found a note under his door one day. Curious, he unfolded it and read it carefully. In messy writing was a crude letter stating that Yachiru had been taken. And if he wanted her back......

He blinked.

This coming Thursday, place three unmarked sweet bean buns on an uncovered
plate behind the silk screen in the foyer?(2)

He blinked again, not sure what he should be thinking at that moment.

Then, at the bottom of the note, it said:

Do not tell the authorities, we're serious. If you do not comply with our
directions, Yachiru-chan here will come back as stuffing.(3)

Zaraki mulled over that last line for a moment. And then it hit him.

Scrambling, he searched for that doll only to find that it was missing.

Emotions ran through him like a crystalline waterfall. Mortification and fury were among the top of the list. Then just mindless, murderous anger at the insult that someone thought they could just dig around in his room- the great and feared Zaraki! -and take his stuff!

By the end of this ordeal- he swore to his missing Yachiru doll -someone would die!


He racked his brain for all he was worth, trying to figure out who would've taken the doll. No one knew of it, no one had ever been in his quarters before, so who would know he had it? And even if they did know of its existence, who would've known it was important to him?

Figuring they took the doll as a lucky fluke, Zaraki then began to think of any possible enemies that would want to ransom him. True, he wasn't incredibly well liked, but he was also the most feared captain in the ranks. So that narrowed it down to those that not only didn't like him, but held some sort of personal vendetta and a set of brass balls. The only ones he could think that would do something of the sort would have to be another captain. After all, they were the only ones that had hopes of surviving a prank like this.

The first one that came to mind was Mayuri. If there were any captains that couldn't stand each other it was the two of them. But, the more Zaraki mulled over it, the least likely he realized Kurotsuchi was to be as courteous as to give him a ransom note.

Byakuya, he thought, wasn't entirely fond of him, but this wasn't the sort of thing he'd pull, either. In fact he didn't think he'd seen any sort of reaction out of the boy in his life. None of the other captains had much of a problem with him. Or at least more than they had with anyone else.

Perhaps it wasn't a threat, then. Judging from the payment, it must just be a joke. But who could be just that dumb?

Gin. Gin would just be stupid enough to do something like that just because he got bored. Zaraki hung his head. If that was true, though, he wouldn't hear the end of it at /all/. If he were lucky, though, Gin wouldn't tell anyone and it would just be an inside joke to be tortured with for the rest of eternity. If Gin was feeling particularly sadistic, the day after he gave up the sweet bean buns absolutely EVERYONE in the place would hear about the doll.

Growling to himself, Zaraki stood up, arms crossed under his haori angrily. It was about time he talked with this captain of the 3rd.....


It was midday when Gin was finally located, going out for a nice walk after managing to- once again -shirk all his paperwork on to his poor and newly appointed vice-captain. And Izuru, being that he was newly appointed and rather lapdogish to begin with, wouldn't say a word of complaint. At least not so his captain would hear of it.

"Ichimaru-taichou." Zaraki grumbled out, his face was dark with scowling and shadowed under the roof. However, his menacing features had no effect on the ever smiling Gin.

"How can I help you, Zaraki-taichou?"

"I know you have it."

That smile could've been frozen on his face, or it could've been the same damn smile he always had. Man did he irritate the hell out of Zaraki. "Have what?" He asked innocently- or was that too innocently?

Narrowing his thin eyes further he said, "You know what."

"No, I'm afraid I don't, Zaraki-taichou."

So, playing dumb was he? The bells on his hair jingled when he tossed his head. "The ransom note? The property that was taken?"

"Sorry. Doesn't ring any bells." Gin's smile grew all the foxier with his little pun. Zaraki's bells jingled again as he scowled.

"Don't even try to weasel your way out of this one, /captain/. I know you're responsible."

For once Gin's smile fell. "I really must insist that you're wrongly accusing me, Zaraki-taichou. But I will admit that if what ever this is has got you so worked up, I wish I did have something to do with it."

For a long moment the two faced each other and Zaraki couldn't help but think... Maybe he's actually telling the truth. As off the wall as that sounded to him, it just didn't seem like Gin was lying. But then, with sincerity being such a rare expression on his face, he wasn't exactly certain if this was Gin being sincere.

Argh, FINE! "Whatever." Zaraki scowled, confusing himself more than anything else. Pivoting he stalked back to his own section.

"Yare yare." Gin scratched his head. Now he really wanted to know what Zaraki was talking about. Shrugging he wondered if anyone else knew.


After the failed accusing of Gin, Zaraki went down the list of other captains that had a habit of pulling annoying pranks. Shunsui was clean, he found. Not only did he admit he would also liked to have been in on whatever it was that annoyed the 11th's captain so much but also he vehemently pleaded his innocence once Nanao heard what he was being accused of. And no one could get a straighter or more honest answer out of Shunsui than Nanao could. That lady could even frighten the honesty out of Zaraki.

Also with a history of pulling random pranks (though there was no evidence he actually did it) was Hitsugaya. He never needed a reason to pull something stupid on anyone and this thing was properly stupid and out-of-the-blue as anything else Hitsugaya's done. However, once questioned, Zaraki got that same 'you're taking up my time with something this idiotic' look that no one was spared and was told that if he were behind it he would've planted it on someone else to take the fall. But if he was indeed stupid enough to send a ransom note that could potentially be traced back to him, he'd ask for more than a mere three sweat bean buns to be placed somewhere other than in the heart of the 11th Division's barracks.

Back in his office Zaraki forewent the paperwork occupying his desk and made a mental list of the captains. Kurotsuchi, Kuchiki, Ichimaru, Kyouraku and Hitsugaya. Those five couldn't have done it. Zaraki himself obviously didn't so that left seven potential others. Yama-jii couldn't have done it, the old man was far too old. All the others were either too sweet (Unohana), too bedridden to even think it (Ukitake) or just thought such activities were beneath them (everyone else).

Now that everyone that could've possibly done something like this had been eliminated, Zaraki STILL had no idea who could've taken it. In desperation he turned to the vice-captains. And immediately decided that while there were guys like Hisagi and Kaien around, they weren't that dumb. Not unless he seriously overestimated their survival instincts.

Putting his large hands over his face, Zaraki resisted the urge to scream and then go out and bloody someone up just to get his frustrations out. Instead, he tapped a foot in irritation and growled. If he couldn't guess who these perpetrators were before hand, he could just wait until they excepted their payment. And then he would REALLY make them pay.....(4)


The deadline came and went and Zaraki was this /friggin' /CLOSE to tearing down the entire barracks in frustration! He had set up the ransom just as was expected of him and he laid in wait for the culprit.

And then a runner came and told him that Yama-jii was calling the captains together for a meeting and you did not say no to Yama-jii. Sitting in on the meeting he remembered that the last Thursday of the month was the day everyone got together and discussed how each division was doing and the state of affairs in the Soul Society all together. Zaraki cursed to himself the thoroughness of the thief and fidgeted and made a general nuisance to his neighbors the entire meeting. Not like he cared. Any day he did something to annoy Kurotsuchi was a good day and Kaien- sitting in once again for Ukitake -was smart enough not to make an issue of the event.

When, finally, the meeting was over, Zaraki practically ran to his barracks and (as if he expected differently) found the sweet bean buns were gone and no doll had taken their place.

Whoever did this, Zaraki swore, would wish they'd never been born- er, died. Born so they could die. Whatever.

"Ken-chan~!" A cute, adorable, unmistakable voice crowed from his door. Still grumbling to himself, Zaraki went to the door and opened it and saw Yachiru.

Holding Yachiru.

.......Zaraki blinked and wondered if he somehow found his way into a black hole.

"Aw, it's so cute!" One of the Yachirus said, hugging the other tightly. It was then he noticed she was slightly bigger and less filled with stuffing than the one she was holding.

The large man tried to work his jaw but couldn't form the noise into words. And when his mouth finally opened he couldn't work any sounds out.

"It does look kinda like me, doesn't it?" Yachiru asked, giving the same sunny smile that was stitched into the doll's face. Apparently she'd been practicing.

Finally he was able to speak. "YOU stole it?"

"I was bored one day and you were away somewhere." The little girl said, swaying to some unheard beat, the hakama on the doll swaying with her. "So I came in here to wait, got bored and looked around. Then I found this and thought it would be fun to play a little joke." Her grin nearly split her face in two. "Wasn't it fun?"

Zaraki put a hand to his face, trying to think of something to say in response.

Yachiru's cute little face turn somewhat anxious. "It wasn't fun?" Her lip trembled slightly. "You didn't like it?"

That hand slid from his forehead to cup his mouth, wondering what the hell he could say.

"I'm sorry." She gave a little sniffle and Zaraki's insides wobbled. Yachiru had the power to turn anyone into a puddle of goo. "I didn't mean to make you upset."

"I'm not..... 'upset'." Zaraki said at length. "It's just not a good idea to go into people's things and take stuff like that."

Surprised, Yachiru looked up and blinked. "It's not?"

With a snort he replied, "Well, not anymore. You don't have to so there's no point. Understand?"

"Sure thing, Ken-chan!" She beamed. He knew she didn't get it, but she wouldn't do it again and he supposed that was enough.

"Now." Zaraki frowned though the flush on his cheeks was destroying any hope of intimidation. "About that doll...."

"Here!" She held it up to him. "You made the payment so it's all yours again!"

"Thank you." Zaraki scowled to himself. But he tucked the Yachiru-doll securely in his armpit. He'd be damned if he lost sight of either little girls again.


(1) Honestly. Who does not find that adorable?
(2) This, being based off a true story, was actually three unmarked pennies in a blank envelop for me :P
(3) They threatened to put my figurine in the microwave and return him as a pile of melted plastic
(4) Through great deductive and observational skills (the letter had red fingerprints on it and someone at work had red on their hands from paint work) I figured the thief out before the deadline, otherwise I would've done the same^^
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