IsshinRyuuken. Kissing under blossoms. The circles of nature.
Isshin's fingertips just touched Ryuuken's cheek and from his other hand hung forgotten glasses. Ryuuken's palm pressed open against the creases of Isshin's loose-fronted hakama.
It was a moment they both remembered vividly, decades on.
How perfect and easy had been their love. How perpetual, how self-continuing.
Just the two of them under a cherry tree.
Then, wives. Children. Urahara leaving Soul Society, the death of the eldest Ishida. Both wives, gone. Both children, struggling to find each other through the faults of their fathers.
Time, Ishida Souken had liked to say, was a wheel, not a stream as some might say.
Now, when they met underneath a cherry tree, everything was different, and yet the same.
"I told my son not to fraternize with shinigami and in return I'd unlock his powers once again."
"I never tell my son to do anything."
Funny how now, with old age, these words replace the so meaningful motions that had persisted between you in those days. Then, it had seemed like fate, but taken now that meant that all that had happened thus far must also have been fate.
"He found a way around his pride to go with your son anyways."
"My son would never have asked him to go."
They are at an impasse. They both know what is being said below the surface, and neither is willing to say it first. Oh, for the bravery and senseless courage of youth.
In a long moment during which a breeze rustled the branches of the moon-lit tree and cast petals into the air, Ryuuken took off his glasses and cleaned them slowly with a cloth from his suit pocket. Isshin stepped forward and Ryuuken looked up.
They kissed, slow and tender in the falling blossoms, looking silver in the moonlight.
It ached like a black hole, a crushing expanse of chaos.
Ryuuken's hand shook a little as he fisted it in the front of Isshin's hakama and his other hand held the glasses loosely, barely keeping them from dropping. Isshin's palm encompassed Ryuuken's perfectly shaven cheek and fingers slid into prematurely grey hair.
Circles, Ryuuken thought as the back of his fingers pressed against Isshin's warm chest and felt the beat of his heart.
Circles, Isshin agreed as his fingertips found the pulse on Ryuuken's neck and rested there, hungry and waiting.