When all of the girls at Ichigo’s school had come up to him, cooing about how cute he was and was it true? And awww, couldn’t they meet him? Well, Renji had been confused and a bit flustered, but he had preened under the attention. Especially when that pretty one who’s name he could never remember offered to make lunch the next day for him and his “bundle of joy.”
Whatever the hell that was.
It wasn’t until he had casually mentioned it to Ichigo that the damned substitute Shinigami had explained what it meant.
Ichigo looked as if he were planning on smacking Renji across the forehead. “You got a kid we don’t know about?”
Predictably, the vice captain was flustered. “No!” he spluttered.
“Well, they think you do.”
“Why’d they think that?” He was practically shouting.
Ichigo scowled and turned on his heels, lest he give in to his urge to hurt his sort-of friend. “How the hell should I know?” he demanded, turning on his heels and walking away, leaving Renji gaping at him.
“Perhaps it has something to do with Jinta.”
Renji whirled to find that Quincy brat standing right behind him, calmly pushing up his glasses with one finger to make himself look more threatening. Which didn’t actually work since it only made his eyes shiny and forced Renji to tell himself he shouldn’t smack the kid’s glasses off his face just for the hell of it.
“What ’bout Jinta?” Renji asked suspiciously, thinking none-too-fondly of the loud brat, who may or may not have been Urahara-san’s son. Renji still couldn’t figure out if he was.
That Quincy pushed up his glasses again, attempting to look smug and righteous. Renji just thought he looked stupid.
“Why don’t you ask them?” he said, pointing behind the Shinigami.
Renji whirled yet again and was met with dozens of items of unknown origins thrust into his face. Toys, more than he could count, and stacks of comics, as well as bundles of candy and all sorts of nameless objects dumped themselves into his grasp.
He blinked. “Blugah?” was his intelligent query to the hordes of smiling females in front of him.
One rather pretty girl smiled at him and patted his cheek. “Give them to Jinta-kun,” she said sweetly, ignoring the fact that she had been pointedly ignoring his existence just yesterday. “I’m sure he’ll like them since his daddy probably doesn’t have time to buy them for him.”
The brunette to her right giggled, and Renji switched his attention to her. “It’s so sweet,” she cooed, sounding strangely like Rangiku-san and causing a scared shiver to race down Renji’s back.
He recognized that tone.
“And to think, we thought him a loss,” the brunette continued. “Right girls?”
Behind her, most of the female population of Ichigo’s school nodded enthusiastically.
Renji was confounded. “What’re ya talkin’ about?” he asked, having finally found his tongue.
They blinked up at him.
“You, silly,” one of them giggled, Chiz-something or other. He couldn’t remember her name. “And your son, Jinta-kun.”
Renji’s eyes tried to leap from his skull before he could catch them and shove them back in. He flailed in shock, throwing gifts and candies in all directions.
“What the hell?” he declared, shaking his hands in front of his body. “No!”
The brunette pouted. “You mean, Jinta-kun isn’t the product of an illicit love affair between you and the woman you couldn’t have because your parents were at odds with one another and refused to grant permission for marriage, which is why you moved here and stay with your uncle, who helps you take care of him?” she asked, managing to say it all in one breath. “I mean, we can see the resemblance.”
“No!” Renji denied again, shooting her a very strange look and backing away from the madness with one thought in mind.
He was going to kill Rukia. Maim her. Fillet her. Choke her until she turned blue.
It had to have been her. It was the sort of thing that would amuse her greatly, especially since it was at his expense. Never mind that it was a cruel, cruel thing to do to someone.
Before any more stuffed animals or candies or food – well, he would keep that freshly made takoyaki – Renji turned and fled out the door ignoring their cries of dismay.
Screw friendship. Rukia was going to die.