It is Ukitake Jyuushirou's fault that Kyuraku Shunsui is a morbid drunk, and so it is his job to change that.
He tells himself that this isn't the real Shunsui, certainly not the ladies' man, not the boisterious yet lazy man who likes falling asleep in sunshine with flower petals.
But Jyuushiro knows, deep, deep down in his heart, that what he is seeing is not some different Shunsui, but the real one.
This one sits and muses over death, jokes about suicide, and looks at him, deep down into his soul, and /pleads/.
He avoids thinking about it. He reminds himself that Kyouraku Shunsui hardly ever gets really truely drunk. He reminds himself that Shunsui isn't really like that, and that he really is fine.
Because if Shunsui isn't alright, who can be?
But all his lies come to a halt one evening, when Shunsui comes into his room in the dorms, staggering into the wall, looks at him, breathes the poisonious fumes onto his face, and runs his hands through his pale hair.
"I've always wanted to, yanno?" he mumbles by way of explination. He is an unsually articulate drunk.
"Cause your hair is beautiful, like a bunch of stars all captured and woven into silk. And, I think I'm going to kiss you."
If Ukitake was expecting something (which he was), this certainly wasn't it.
And with a slow, aching zanpackuto to the stomach, he realized that it was his fault that his precious Shunsui, his best friend in all the world, his former roommate, his schoolmate, was a morbid drunk.
Because Shunsui apologized like he never did with the girls when he pulled away, more than a little wobbly and slouched. And he touched his lips with a few fingers, and smiled a little ruefully, and his eyes were sad, sad, sad.
Ukitake Jyuushiro liked to think that he knew himself rather well. Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes, and pulled at the feeling wriggling out of his stomach, and looked at Shunsui.
It only took a few movements to shut the door and catch Shunsui's hand.
And surely, definitely, Jyuushiro was drunk too.