WARNING: AU, OOCness, foul language, foul play, mentions of drugs and other nefarious things. And sex. Lots of male/male sex. Hopefully. Gangster!Kenpachi and Shopkeeper!Urahara. Let the games begin…

Tipping The Scales

Chapter 1: Like Chum in the Water

"Ya might wanna give up the names ta me," Gin crooned, staring at the thirty-something year-old man zip-tied to an iron chair. The room was cold and, more importantly, in a building on the dockside.

The man could scream for hours and hours and not even the seagulls would hear him.

"Cuz the boss, my buchou*, ain't nearly as nice as me," Gin continued, setting the blunted blade on the cart beside him. He was about ready to move onto the sharp objects.

He liked to start with the least sensitive nerves and work his way up. Or, well, down, as usually his playthings gave in and begged for death before he ever made it to the ears or bottoms of the feet.

He had to give the man credit: he hadn't screamed yet, which was Gin's area of expertise. If there was anything Gin could claim to be a genius in, it was interrogation and torture.

The man stared at him with dark eyes, ragged breaths swimming in his chest.

Gin smirked, revealing his crimson eyes. The man seemed to shiver upon finally gazing into his interrogator's eyes, but he said nothing.

"Ya've fallen inta' a viper pit, Kariya. S'not tha' hard, ya know? Whether we're the same family 'er not, we're yakuza. Yer lil' coupe got five a' our boys dead."

Kariya's dark eyes narrowed, his pre-maturely graying hair dotted in places with crimson blood. He spit on Gin's shirt, Gin's smile never wavering, "We should've killed much more then that, but somehow one of your lil' bitches got a tip-off. How's your little fuck toy's neck, by the way? At least my men have enough brains ta watch for knives. Yer family will take in any piece of shit off the street, won't they? Your group is nothing like us."

Gin's facial features didn't even twitch, his grin in place. Always in control, even when his insides raged and begged for blood. Before they'd managed to take Kariya down (his other cronies already dead or drowning in their own blood) Renji had decided to play savior and tackled Kariya like a brick wall football player, bent on bringing down one of the top dogs of The Bounts.

The idiot had nearly gotten his throat completely sliced open. There had been blood everywhere, Renji gargling and shaking.

They'd gotten him to a hospital in time, stitched him up, but the wound had still been severe and Renji could barely speak, and when he did, it was raspy. It would be a long recovery.

If he had died…

Gin's smile was sickly sweet as he flicked his lighter back and forth, back and forth, "Goodness gracious gosh golly gee, Yaya, dun' sound so down. I know 'ya got enough brains ta'gether ta' stick a mole in our midst and leak some very private information. I wanna know who ya sold the info to. Simple, yeah? If 'ya help me out, I'll help ya out and not accidentally burn yer whole fuckin' face off."

Kariya flinched as Gin flicked the flame before Kariya's eyes, his instincts stopping him from a moment of masculine bravado.

"Do 'ya have any idea how many nerve endings are on a human body? Ya got any idea what a fourth degree burn feels like?" Gin continued, lifting his shirt to expose part of his left hip, the skin flawed and slightly puckered, "Like yer skin is screamin' an' screamin' and it's never gonna stop. Ya can't think, ya can't breathe, ya can't do anythin' but hope somebody knocks 'ya the fuck out before 'ya scream yerself bloody."

Gin's smile just got bigger, his eyes opening again, "I hope 'ya don't talk, Yaya. I hope I get 'ta slice yer lips and eyelids off and make jewelry outta' yer cute lil' pedicure'd toes…"

The door to the room groaned open, rusting heavy metal of the old packing warehouse sliding open to reveal what would become Kariya's worst nightmare.

Gin smiled with all his teeth, "Mah, heyya, buchou!"

The man, Zaraki Kenpachi, was in no teasing, joking mood. Here it was, nearly three o'clock in the morning, and he'd had to drag himself out of a bed he had literally just fallen into after a day of chasing and beating idiots who thought they could outsmart a black market money shark.

Sometimes, and only sometimes, he wished he'd taken the promotion a little higher up the food chain, but he was good at what he did, and he didn't want to be stuck shitting away time like the Old Man and being in charge of even more people then he already was.

Many whispered that he would succeed the Old Man anyways, considering he had no children and seemed to have no inheriting prospects. Most knew the story, or if they didn't, they embellished it and made other things up.

It was true Zaraki had nearly lost his eye protecting the Old Man back when he was a teenager, fresh off the street (quite literally). He hadn't even been formerly inducted into the family yet as a running errand boy, but it had been instinctual.

Then he'd killed the fucker with his own knife, watching as he choked on his own blade. The Old Man had had his eye on Zaraki ever since.

So word was Zaraki would become the next Old Man. Zaraki sure as hell hoped not. He wasn't cut out for that kind of shit. The hunting…now that was where he belonged. The threatening, the physical, yes THAT was his domain, why the old man had him in charge of one of the main branches.

He was still not at the top of the totem pole, but only the Old Man could summon him like a dog. The Old Man gave him and the other under dons control of their own branches.

Zaraki dolled out punishment when needed. He recruited when needed. He scouted when needed. He did his work, crunched his numbers, found value where there was none. More often then not, he spent his time signing contracts, covered in more ink than blood.

But sometimes…well, Kenpachi could always count on human beings to get cocky or extra stupid.

Like now, but right now he was just tired and frustrated, and had hoped to get at least one night's decent sleep in this past hectic week.

Guess it wasn't meant to be, because Gin almost never called him on his own time (which at this time of the morning was risking anybody's life, much less his younger subordinate's).

So Kenpachi had gotten up and hadn't even bothered to change out of his favorite black pajama pants covered in dynamite sticks proclaiming KABOOM! and a grey wife beater, his black hair down and trailing past his shoulders.

He could have thrown on a jacket to cover the intricate yakuza tag tattoos across his shoulders and trailing down his arms all the way to his rough knuckles, but a bit of intimidation was in order even if his pants were a little humorous.

This fucker in front of him needed to know that he wasn't low-level and under-paid muscle. The white lotuses* adorning both of his hands were testament to his importance.

Kariya's eyes trailed them now as Kenpachi stepped forward, staring down at Kariya, his face impassive.

"Name's Zaraki Kenpachi," Kenpachi grumbled, taking a cigarette from the pack sitting on the rack covered in torture instruments, some of them crusted with blood. He tugged one cigarette out with his teeth and raised his scarred eyebrow at Gin who smirked before offering over his lighter.

Kenpachi lit it, breathing the dangerous chemicals into his lungs before spewing them out like a death-eating demon.

Gin couldn't help but smile so wide his face hurt: the low-lighting of the room sure gave Kenpachi a "don't fuck with me" profile. Helped that buchou was apparently irritated and possibly furious. Gin knew he hadn't been getting much sleep and hadn't seen his kid in over a month.

"More of you 11 Division fucks," Kariya said, tilting his chin up. Gin wanted to rip his vocal chords out with his bare hands for the lack of respect, "Zaraki…they sent you to scare me? A loan shark? What do you take me for? A fool?"

"Must be. I only deal with the biggest fools," Zaraki said, leaning against the wall. Gin didn't know why he had distanced himself so much from Kariya: wasn't he supposed to make the man talk? How was he going to do that without even eye contact?

"I'll never tell. I don't squeal. Bounts don't squeal."

"Course they do. With the right amount of pressure, anybody can break."

Kariya chuckled darkly, "That's what you're gonna do, huh? Break me? Don't make me laugh. What're you going to do? Count money in front of me until I pass out?"

"No," Zaraki said, taking a small photo out of his pajama pants pocket and staring at it, turned away from Kariya.

Gin could see it was driving Kariya crazy to know what it was, but Kenpachi paid him no mind.

"What is that?" Kariya finally said, face guarded.

"Were you a blonde when you were a kid?"

Gin was beginning to get an inkling of where this was going.

"What?" Kariya finally growled, not understanding, "No, you giant ogre."

"Ah. What about your parents?"

"What the fuck does that have to do with anything?"

Zaraki shrugged, tucking the photo back into his pocket, "Jus' wonderin' how your sister's so blonde. Pretty, too. Way too good lookin' 'ta be related 'ta a piece of shit like you."

The silence was deafening, and then…

"You son of a bitch! You son of a BITCH! How did you-"

"You shipped her off to America for college. Arizona, right? At least 'ya were smart enough to get her the fuck out of here before your dumb ass family decided ta fuck itself 'ta hell. Did you honestly think you could take out 11th Division on our home turf?"

"Your Old Man's pushing into our territory! What'd you think was gonna happen, scar shit?"

"You're no threat to us. Never have been. We've been taking over your territory street by street, block by block, for almost a year, and now, just now, you're tellin' me your balls are finally dropping?"

"You took one of our main drug routes. You're pushing on our corners. The kids are comin' for your diluted smack instead of –"

"You're an idiot. It's not about the drugs, although I can imagine with how incompetent your family is that it's your only real source of revenue."

At this point, Gin didn't know if the man was more mentally bled or more physically bled.

His buchou really WAS scary, especially with words. Just one reprimand from him and Gin felt like committing seppuku.

"Take yer head outta yer ass for five minutes and you'd realize the property your shit neighborhoods stand on is worth twenty times more than your petty smack and coke deals. Old Man wants to expand, so why the fuck not? You're too weak, too stupid, to know how to manage your own territory, and so far, we've been playing nice. Even bought out Arrancar Boulevard: every shop on that street is mine and answers to me."

Kariya started laughing hysterically, "You're not Yakuza! You're a fuckin' glorified real-estate agent. Don't make me fucking laugh-"

The sound of Kenpachi's fist against Kariya's face was like the archangels sweetest song to Gin. The hit was so hard the iron chair flipped back, knocking the wind out of Kariya as he breathed and groaned.

"Son of a bitch! My fuckin' nose!"

Kenpachi stood over him, his foot descending over where Kariya's more-than-likely-nonexistent dick should be, making Kariya cry out.

"You don't know what the word Yakuza even means. You're just a spoiled little rich kid with an uncle who pulls some muscle in our world. You play gangster because you got your nose in the drug game early: you haven't earned your mark, your place. You haven't spilled your own blood in the name of your family: you haven't done SHIT, so listen up, you impotent fuck. I want the name of the man you sold that private account information to, and I want it now, or I'll rip your dick off, fly to Arizona, and fuck your sister with it before putting a bullet between her big baby blues."

Gin shivered, his hands actually shaking as he listened to his boss's hushed, gravelly voice.

This is why Gin would follow his buchou straight into the jaws of hell if the man simply asked.

"Go to hell!" Kariya seethed.

Kenpachi just stood over him, shaking his head slightly before taking his cell out and typing in a number, holding it up to his ear and waiting.

It took a while to connect, but when it did, Kenpachi spoke, "Heyya, kid. I'm about to kill your piece of shit big brother, so I thought I'd be nice and let you say a few final words."

Kariya was shaking with rage and started thrashing as Gin just smirked in the corner, arms crossed over his chest, enjoying the show.

"Ah, come on, sweetheart, don't cry," Kenpachi continued as Kariya screamed profanities at him in the background about not touching his baby sister, "It's not like that at all. All we need him to do is give us a name, that's all I'm asking. He's just being stubborn. You think you can talk to him a minute? Come on, I'll let you talk to him right now."

Kenpachi got down on his haunches and held the phone to Kariya's ear, the girl's voice absolutely frantic as she talked to Kariya. Kariya was doing his best to reassure her and calm her down, but it was obvious from his eyes that he was terrified.

Then Kenpachi took the phone back, "So, you see the situation, sweetie?"

"Don't talk to her! Don't fuckin' talk to her!" Kariya was screaming, nearly gagging himself he was breathing so hard.

"You look nothing like your brother. You're too smart and pretty to die, don't you think?"

"AIZEN!" Kariya bellowed, thrashing again, "His name was AIZEN, I don't know anything else! Hang up! Fuckin' hang up right now!"

Kenpachi looked down at him, flipping the phone shut even though the girl was still clearly distressed, "See? That wasn't so hard, was it?"

"Don't you DARE touch her, or I swear to god-"

"Swear to him all you want," Kenpachi grumbled, putting his hands in his pockets as Gin righted the man in his chair, "I'd like to see him try and stop me."

"I gave you what you wanted! I told you what I know!"

Kenpachi just glared at him, his dark whiskey eyes shutting Kariya up, "And you call yourself Yakuza."

Gin smirked.

Kenpachi continued, "Lie to me, I take a finger. Steal from me, I take your hand. Simple logic, then, what happens when you take one of my boys' lives. And you took five of them."

Kariya was shaking uncontrollably as Gin giggled into his ear, his eyes the size of dinner plates.

Kenpachi watched as Gin yanked a thick wire around his neck, gagging him instantly, just enough to cut off his breathing but not damage his windpipe.

"So I'll leave it to Gin here to kill ya five times."

Kenpachi left the room, Kariya's screams echoing off the walls of the warehouse before he'd even made it to his car.

Urahara Kisuke sighed before smacking his closed fan against his forehead.

He was bored, bored, bored.

It was the middle of the day in the middle of the week, so of course a small shop that specialized in candies, chocolates, and little toy trinkets wouldn't have much business.

Urahara wouldn't admit that business had been bad for months, but he refused to let the shop go down without a strong fight.

It had been his old man's, and now that he was gone, it was all that was left of his family.

He'd grown up in the shop, back in the days where this area of town was much busier and people took the time to slow down and treat themselves once in a while or took candy home to their kids or sweethearts.

Not so much anymore.

He didn't have anybody but his nephew left, a nephew he had raised himself since the age of four. His younger sister had been shot in a parking lot, leaving a screaming little crimson-haired devil behind to fend for himself.

It definitely hadn't been easy. Thankfully Urahara had been so bright he'd completed a doctorate by the age of twenty, so he'd dropped out of his second doctorate program to give all his time and energy to his adoptive son. After all, it was his sister's blood, so it was his blood, too.

Now, almost twelve years later, Urahara knew he couldn't lose this shop.

The rest of the world didn't have to give a shit about family, but he did. And this is all that was left: him and Jinta, Jinta and him.

And this store, Urahara thought, resting his head on his hand at the front counter.


Urahara looked over at the window he had opened, a sleek, black cat hopping through gracefully before scurrying over and hopping up on the countertop, swishing its tail back and forth in a curious manner, it's wide, yellow eyes set on Urahara's face.

"Ah, well hello there, Yoruichi-san," he said with a smirk, offering the cat a few strokes across its back. The cat mewed happily, curving its back against Urahara's palm to enjoy the attention that much more.

"Not really a stray anymore, then," Urahara thought aloud, proud that the riley and quite notorious demon cat of the block seemed to be tamed (or at least humored) by Urahara's strange ways.

He'd even talk to the cat in front of customers, but nobody seemed to mind.

He was "crazy", after all. Weird, eccentric, strange: apparently he covered the gamut. He'd been "weird" since he was small. Urahara wasn't a bragger, but his IQ was through the roof: it was hard to keep a genius occupied and most of the time he had to rely on his own imagination for friends or entertainment, puzzles and pictures, books, astrology. Science.

"Can't help how I am now, can I?" Urahara asked as Yoruichi purred and settled down for a nap at her favorite spot on the counter.

Maybe he was a little crazy. After all, his mother and father were both killed in a hideous fire when he was fifteen years old, leaving him and his younger sister in the hands of an only older uncle that had been obsessed with perfection and order.

Mental abuse is still abuse, Urahara mused. But, to be fair, he didn't hit me often.

Urahara's brains had given him enough scholarships to support his sister on his own, allowing them to move out. Then it hadn't been long until his sister had gotten pregnant.

Then, when Jinta had just turned four, she had gotten mugged. Urahara still couldn't go to that supermarket for fear he would see the blood on the parking lot pavement, remember the sight, the smell.

Everybody he loved, gone.

Urahara grinned as he watched Jinta come through the front door, the little bell jingling as he came behind the counter with his backpack, a scowl on his face, "Hey, dad."

Urahara couldn't believe how tall he had gotten over the summer, his skin darker from days in the sun, his incredible natural red hair starting to get a little long compared to the classic Caesar he had sported most of his life. Urahara smirked as he noticed the black lip ring. Well, that was certainly new, but how could Urahara complain? He himself had a nipple ring, a tongue bar, and several tattoos flowering out on his hipbones.

"Hm? You look upset. What's wrong?" Urahara mused, staring at his son with his head cocked. Jinta scowled a lot, but Urahara knew that certain scowls conveyed different emotions.

"Nothing, just tired," Jinta admitted, rubbing his hands over his eyes before putting the backpack on the shelf under the counter, "You need me to do inventory?"

He really did look tired. The purple marks under his eyes were testament to how hard he had been working and pushing himself lately. Not only was he captain of his high school soccer team, he was taking extra night classes to get into an elite college program.

Urahara smiled.

He might not be my biological son, but he got our side of the family's brains.

"Nah, how about you head home? We've been so slow today I already did it," Urahara said, digging in his green cargo pants pocket and pulling out a few yen bills, "Grab some take-out on the way home."

Jinta raised a pierced eyebrow, "You sure? I don't like you locking up alone."

"Aw, come on, Jin, I'm not an old man. I can handle myself," Urahara pouted playfully, sticking the bills in Jinta's hand.

Jinta grinned, "Could've fooled me. How old did you turn this year again?"

"You brat! Thirty-four is the new twenty-one!"

Jinta snorted, "Arite, old man. I'll see you in a few hours, I guess."

Urahara tried not to squeal as Jinta gave him a hug before leaving. Jinta had always looked like a punk, but he was such a good-hearted and smart kid it belied his ass hole-ish appearance. Sure, he had a temper, but so did Urahara. A rather serious temper when he was frustrated enough.

Not many people got to see the scary Kisuke.

"I am not old. I'm a young, hot, extremely sexy dad with a comfortable and profitable store!" Urahara said to the now-empty store, unwrapping a large lollipop as he did so.

Yoruichi twitched her tail, "Mow."

"Shut up, you."

The sun was beginning to set. Urahara went about the usual closing duties, whistling Bad Romance to himself as he swept the aisles before heading to the register to cash out for the day.

"800 yen. Not bad, not bad at all."

He stuffed it into his pocket, not wanting to bother with fiddling with the small safe in the back when he knew the bills were just piling up on the desk back there. He hated looking at them.

"Time to teach again," he mused to himself. He didn't particularly like assistant-teaching at the local university, but he had to pay his rent somehow, not to mention the rent on the tiny-ass apartment he shared with Jinta.


"How 'bout some milk before I kick you out?"


Urahara grinned before heading to the refrigerated section of the store and pulling out a small bottle of milk and grabbing one of the plastic candy dishes that were constantly on clearance. He'd been using them for the cat since no one would buy them.

He poured a bit of milk into the bowl and crouched down next to the cat, balancing on his clogs as he watched her drink up her special treat.

He rubbed her ears, smiling at the green and white striped ribbon he had tied on her last week. It was starting to get a little ratty, but he was amazed the cat hadn't wrestled out of it yet.

"You're so pretty, you deserve something nice, right?" he cooed, continuing to scratch her head.

"Mow mow."

The front door bell jingled.

"Ah, sorry, but we're closed-" Urahara began, looking up at an expensive-looking suit. He traveled a little higher to stare at the face of a familiar bald man.

"Ah, Ikakku-san, you are as shiny as ever this fine day!"

"Cut the crap, Cloggy!" Ikkaku fumed, folding his arms over his chest as he glared down at the shopkeeper, "You know what day it is and you know why I'm here!"

"Oh, yeah, that's right," Urahara said, scratching at his chin. He knew his pretend obliviousness was driving Ikkaku crazy. It was so easy to fool kids these days, "Collection day, is it?"

Ikkaku looked like he was going to blow a blood vessel in his shiny forehead, "Look, Cloggy, this isn't just any collection day: you're almost three months behind, and you're not even scratching the interest –"

"Ikkaku, go wait in the car."

Both men turned to look at the man that had silently made his way into the store. How the hell had he not set off the tinkling bells? Even Urahara was wary staring at the tall, broad Yakuza now standing in his store. His black suit was fitted to his intimidating six foot four frame: no doubt this was the top shark if he could afford tailoring like that. The suit jacket was unbuttoned, showing the fitted white button down shirt beneath that had a few buttons undone, showing the tops of a very scarred chest. His black hair was sleek and down around his face and Urahara couldn't stare at the scar down his face for long because he was too busy trying not to drown in the dark warm whiskey eyes that were cutting through him like katana blades.

"Eh? But buchou, I-"

"What'd I just say?"

Urahara gulped. With that tone, Urahara would've already been out the door.

Ikkaku simply nodded and passed his boss, heading out the door that tinkled merrily behind him.

Urahara stood up fully, facing the intimidating man that was now standing near him with his hands in his pockets, staring at the shopkeeper like he was sifting for answers.

Sizing me up, seeing what there is to see. Analyzing, calculating, and keeping a short distance, close enough to strike if necessary, but still far enough to make him not feel like he's being pressured: a very smart Yakuza.

"Ikkaku's one of my best chasers," the man began. Urahara thought that if rocks could be sexy, he imagined that's what the man's voice was like. Smooth on the edges, but there was something commanding, almost like a growl deep in the chest, that made his words feel stronger, louder, than they actually were, "so I give him a lot of give on the leash, but three months? The kid must really like you. Unfortunately, the moments the kid decides 'ta have a heart of gold is bad for my business."


He wandered a little farther, his predatory eyes caressing the shelves and walls, taking it all in, no doubt calculating in his brain what the store probably brought in for profit.

"Ikkaku's slack on this place got me curious, so I took a peak at your accounts. You should've been bankrupt months ago."

"Ah, but I'm not."

"Thanks to me," the man continued, leaning against the counter and for a second, Urahara couldn't help but think what a powerful image the man made even when he seemed at ease, like he was talking to a neighbor about the weather, "I'm not runnin' a charity: your tiny piss-ass payments you've been giving Ikkaku aren't gonna cut it anymore. Hell, the property is worth more than the store itself, and that isn't saying much."

Urahara drew his brows together, an uncomfortable feeling growing in the pit of his stomach, "I'm sorry, Mr. Scary Scar-san, but I will not give up."

The man cocked his head. Yoruichi wrapped herself around one of Urahara's legs before disappearing out the window, grateful for her personal milk provider.

The man finally smiled, his incisors sharp, "The name's Zaraki Kenpachi. And why'd your cat just jump out the window?"

"Ah, well Yoruichi-san isn't really mine, per se. I just feed her sometimes."

"Generous, considering you can barely feed yourself…"

Urahara stared at him, the bad feeling continuing to grow in his stomach.

"…or your son."

Urahara had to grab the side of the counter to steady himself, his heart somewhere in his intestinal tract.

This is not going well.

"Don't bring him into this, please."

Zaraki shrugged, "Had to dig, didn't I? Like I said, this isn't a charity. Even loan sharks need insurance, Urahara. Turns sixteen this week, doesn't he?"

"I said…to not bring him into this," Urahara said lowly, his carefree attitude quickly being replaced by the protectiveness of a man pushed too far, "You will not speak of him, nor will you threaten him. Not now, not ever."

"That's not how this works. You've forced my hand here. It's not like I want 'ta hurt a kid, but if you think this place is going to survive another six months, you're gonna be selling that red-headed pretty punk boy to the highest bidder…"

Urahara struck out with a speed that surprised even the seasoned Kenpachi, striking him across the face so fast it reminded him of his hot-blooded ex-wife.

Kenpachi cracked his neck side-to-side, hands still in his pockets as he said, "So you have a death wish too?"

"My son is the only good thing in my life, and you will not threaten that. Not you, not anyone. I can get other jobs, I can start working harder, I can –"

"Your current debt stands at seven million yen, with 14% interest every fifteen days. Even if I seized the property right now, I'd be lucky to make a quarter of that on the open market. You're already dead and buried and don't even know it."

Urahara was practically shaking, his legs numb as his mind turned over and over, "You don't understand, this is all I have-"

Zaraki was closer to him now, steadying him with a piercing gaze, "If you don't want us to take the kid, you'd have to sell this place, leave your shit-hole of an apartment…"

Urahara's eyes welled up with tears at the cold hard facts, "I – I can't, I can't do that to Jinta. I can't…"

"Then what can you do?"

Urahara stiffened as Zaraki grabbed his chin, tilting his head up.

Urahara held tears at bay: there was no way he'd cry in front of this man who was taking his entire world away from him.

"How far you willing to go to save your kid? Save your store?" he continued, his other hand sliding teasingly along Urahara's left hip. Despite his anger and fear, Urahara shivered at the warmth, his spine tingling, the scent of this man something metallic and earthy.

Urahara turned his head away, conscious of the hands that were now running along his lower back, caressing his spine.

He was too smart to play innocent or naïve.


The touching stopped as suddenly as it had started, "Then I think you know what I want. Go home to your kid for a while. A car will come for you at eleven."

Urahara nodded numbly as the man slid his business card into one of Urahara's front pants pockets.

Zaraki started walking towards the door, the sky finally dark.

"Promise me you won't take him."

Zaraki turned halfway, "Hm?"

"Promise me!" Urahara shouted, his entire body trembling from rage.

Zaraki tilted his head, those whiskey eyes still calculating, "You have my word. I own you now. Don't forget it."

Urahara watched the loan shark leave without another glance, the bells sounding happily behind him.

The tinkling of bells would never be a soothing sound again.

Urahara managed to flip the CLOSED sign and lock the front door and drop the blinds over Yoruichi's window before sliding down the wall, head in his hands.

A/N: Ah, that was nice. I really love writing these two, even though I'm being really mean to Urahara right now, things won't be angst-y forever. I have plans for these two ;)

*White lotus: I don't know if this is a gang symbol, but I'm using it as the symbol for the 11th Division, their trademark that defines them from other gangs and Yakuza families. Obviously I don't know very much about that life, so I'm winging it in terms of structure and execution: I have no idea how loan sharks function, so I'm making shit up and trying to approach it in a way I would, heh heh.

*buchou: I think everybody knows this if they read manga or watch anime, but I'll put it here anyway – it means boss.