'Shunsui was the best at seeing the truth.' In which Shunsui looks at Jyuushirou, and wishes that he's as blind as he is. Kyouraku/Ukitake.
Jyuushirou, Shunsui knew, had always wanted children.
It was a secret dream of his; one that Shunsui had seen manifest many, many times in his Jyuushirou's interaction with those in his Division, Hitsugaya and Byakuya. But it was a secret dream that Jyuushirou and Shunsui both knew would never come to pass.
It was not so much that they were lovers that could be considered an obstacle to fulfilling Jyuushirou's dream (although Kyouraku knew he could never give Jyuushirou up, not even for a hundred children), but Jyuushirou's own weakness, the illness that plagued him every day.
Kyouraku never knew a day when he didn't curse the world in general for plaguing his beautiful, kind, sweet Jyuushirou with that illness that no one had a name of, that illness that had Jyuushirou coughing and coughing non-stop, eye squeezed shut in pain and breath coming in short, insufficient gasps. However, he cursed the world the most when he saw Jyuushirou look after his subordinates or give sweets to Hitsugaya, his brilliant brown eyes dimmed slightly by longing and sorrow.
Jyuushirou would never have children, for he would never risk infecting another with the same illness that he was cursed with. Once, Shunsui remembered, after Kaien's death when Jyuushirou was filled with nothing but sorrow and grief, he had remarked that it was a miracle that Shunsui hadn't gotten his disease yet. Shunsui had reassured him then, brows creasing in worry because Ukitake had rarely, if never, spoken that way before.
Jyuushirou had loved Kaien like his own son, and Kaien's death had affected him greatly, more than even Shunsui had realized. Jyuushirou had blamed himself for causing Kaien's death, even though it was Kaien's own request to fight the Hollow alone. He blamed himself because if he had been stronger, Kuchiki Rukia wouldn't have to kill Kaien. The fact that Byakuya blamed him for both Kaien's death and Rukia's sorrow also hurt Jyuushirou more than a sword to the heart would.
Shunsui had thought that to be complete bullshit, but of course, he hadn't told Jyuushirou that.
'A man is responsible for his own actions.' Shunsui had quoted to Ukitake once, almost desperate to draw him out of the depression after Kaien's death. Jyuushirou had replied cryptically that he was responsible then, for who was it who taught Kaien everything he knew of pride and honour? All Shunsui could do then was to shake his head and mutter inconsequential denials, feeling utterly useless because he couldn't make the one he cared for (loved?) most happy.
But Jyuushirou soon shook himself out of his depression soon enough, facing his Division's hopes and expectations and Byakuya's cold glares and Rukia's sorrow and guilt with his customary smile, even though it was rather strained at the ends. Shunsui watched him at the sides, as always, raising sake dish towards the world, and a relieved but no less bitter smile to himself.
He watched, as he always did, as Jyuushirou threw himself fully into his duties as Captain of his Division, being a leader and father to his subordinates who adored and worshipped him. He watched, helpless for this was Ukitake's battle and not his own, as Jyuushirou tried to draw Byakuya back from the shell he had retreated in, failing in every effort but never stopped trying. He watched, almost amused and almost sad, as Jyuushirou piled Hitsugaya-taichou with sweets and snacks, simply on the basis that, if things were different, Hitsugaya could be his son. Shunsui watched, love in his eyes and sorrow on his lips, as Jyuushirou tried replace the children he could have and the son he had lost.
Yama-jii had once said that Shunsui was the best at seeing the truth, but sometimes, Shunsui wanted to see the lies that Jyuushirou told himself.