The thirteenth division has alot of secrets in the present, but what if they also had secrets in their past?
Warnings: Mansecks, yaoi, language, slight violence, oneshot, sadness of the Ukitake variety.
Pairing(s): KaienUkitake, possible mention of others, though nothing too terribly important.
Notes: This story was requested by a reviewer of mine on aff.net. I've been meaning to write a KaienUkitake fic but I always ended up working on my ongoing stories instead, and never got around to it. Now that I've got inspiration, here it is! -laughs-
There had been bloodshed in Shiba Kaien's life from the moment he became the thirteenth division's fukutaichou and every day from there on in, he tolerated it with a smile and a helping hand. Even when it came to blood lost on the battlefield and not coughed from his captain's frail body, he smiled at his stricken comrades and made their last few moments a little brighter before they closed their eyes.
The raven haired shinigami's devotion never wavered though, even after long nights of holding his captain's hair back as he coughed gout after gout of the crimson liquid, a seemingly never ending river that threatened the sick man's life. Though he doubted that he could ever truly die of the illness, Ukitake feared for himself and was forever thankful of the younger shinigami's help.
After a particularly bad night, more then thirty years into Kaien's service under his brave captain, the pair sat in the sitting room of the thirteenth division's squad house, both of them sitting on the wide divan with half finished cups of tea on the low table before them. Dutiful as he was, the eldest Shiba sat with his back against the upper portion of the couch with his captain's head resting in his lap, one hand gently brushing his hair back as the other curled over the elder man's chest. It was comforting for them both, the companionship and closeness they could share as taichou and fukutaichou, and also as best friends.
“Naa, Taichou? Ya think this's gonna go on forever? I mean, are we gonna have to have nights like this all the time?”
The elder man, though sleepy and on the verge of falling asleep for the night, gave a light sigh and opened his eyes, looking up through the pale wisps of hair that still clung to his forehead.
“I certainly hope not. It's been getting better over the years but sometimes it just takes over.” He gave a tiny cough and felt the boy stiffen behind him, calming quickly so he didn't worry him too much more. “Thank you for staying tonight. I'm sure if Shunsui could have stayed, he would have.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know. Kyouraku-taichou's always gotta have his nose in your business, ne?”
Ukitake shifted and turned to look at his fukutaichou, slightly annoyed by his attitude but certain that he didn't truly mean to sound so indignant.
“Now, Kaien, he's not that bad. He cares for me, that's all.”
The brilliant smile that lit upon the younger man's face caused Jyuushirou to return a small one, always cheered by the beautiful vice captain when he was in a good mood.
“That's good to know.” He stretched and yawned through it, giving a little shudder as a shiver ran up his back. “Listen, ya mind if I stay here for the night, Taichou? I don't feel like stalkin' back into the barracks this late, 'specially when the guys'd be up waitin' to see me stumble in drunk or somethin'.”
“Of course. You're welcome any time, you know that.”
He smiled broadly enough that his eyes had to close to accommodate it and Ukitake felt his heart skip a beat, something he had never honestly experienced before and thought to be rather cliché. After countless centuries of failed romances and unresolved crushes, he was happy with the relationship he shared with his fukutaichou, even if it was just that and so little else.
“Get your fuckin' asses movin', huh! Ya wanna soil our Taichou's good name with your lazy ass, half ass bullshit? Move it!”
The ranks below Kaien, third seat to the very last officer in the division, hurried into position, having been goofing off during their morning calisthenics. Each person stared ahead and watched the lithe fukutaichou as he stretched, ordering them to follow along.
“A hundred times, ya weaklings! I want all of ya to finish in a half hour so ya can all make it to breakfast on time today! Make our captain proud!”
Ukitake watched from the sidelines, pleased with how well his subordinate ran the squad in his stead. He enjoyed the small umbrella Kaien had set up for him due to the bright sunshine and how easily the pale captain's skin burned, resting comfortably with his legs crossed. Most days he felt bad for making the younger shinigami do his strenuous work but after being somewhat convinced over spiked tea, during the early years of Kaien's service, he simply sat back and allowed it regardless.
Dropping his head to pick a piece of grass from his hakama, Jyuushirou lifted his gaze again suddenly as footsteps tromped up to him, following the sleek black line of his fukutaichou's uniform and staring into a face silhouetted by the sun. The young shinigami flopped down beside him and gave his left thigh a little smack, a friendly gesture that few objected to now that they knew, and were used to, the sort of person the young Shiba was.
“Oi, Taichou! They're lookin' good, ne? Better'n they did yesterday even.”
“They're very disciplined, Kaien. Should I thank your sense of hollering at them until they respond properly for the lovely effect?”
“Maa, you're bein' mean, Taichou. Gimme a break, huh?”
Ukitake laughed out loud, a sound neither the vice captain nor the other men had heard in a very long time, all of them constantly worried for the elder man's physical health as well as his mental health due to the deteriorating nature of his disease.
“If I give you any more breaks, you're going to be the captain and I'm going to be just another pretty face for you to remember.”
Kaien's face lit up with the barest hint of a light blush and he moved to stand back up, giving a little salute and running back to his troops, his movements punctuated by heavy footfalls and swishing fabric. He hollered back as he ran, catching the attention of more than just a few of his division mates, more than likely embarrassing both himself and his captain and not caring in the slightest.
“I don't need to remember your face to know it's pretty, Taichou! Ya got the best looks in the whole squad!”
Time eventually lost meaning to the eldest of the noble Shiba.
Kaien spent most of his days working hard for the man he felt severely devoted to and the man whom he had grown to love on a more personal level, something he would never admit to anyone, but that was obvious to the person looking for it. Never a man to completely decide on whether he cared more for men or for women, the best course of action was to take what he could get when he could get it, because a life in the Gotei 13 never seemed to last long enough, even if entire decades had already passed.
That desire for someone to have as his own had brought the firebrand fukutaichou to his captain's private home on a rather balmy August evening, well before true nighttime had set in but beyond the sunset. He bowed politely when he was led inside by a smallish woman, having seen her before and knowing that she was the housekeeper. The inability to be on one's feet and doing strenuous exercise had kept the home from being tidied on a regular basis and thankfully, she was also a friend of the family.
The home wasn't as large as his own, nor was it as large as the Kuchiki estate, but it boasted some of the most ornate wood carvings in the most inconspicuous of places. Kaien delighted in trying to find new ones and as he walked the corridor that led to his captain's private quarters, he chirruped happily and stopped to examine a window frame.
It was hand carved, as was everything else in the old home, but there was a scene depicted on the dark wood, of a hunting party. Ukitake's father, an avid hunter, had commissioned thousands of the woodcarvings in the home and each one had a personal story etched into its surface.
Gingerly, he ran his fingertips over the delicate markings and smiled broadly, stopping in his admiration only after a light cough caught his attention. He turned his head and grinned at the pale form in the far doorway, Jyuushirou's slim body buried in thick layers of wine coloured indoor yukata. He was smiling but he also looked immensely fatigued and immediately Kaien went to his side and wrapped a warm arm around his waist, giving him some support as he closed the screen behind them and led the white haired shinigami back to his plush divan.
“Ya gotta stop workin' yourself so hard, Taichou. You're gonna make it worse.”
Ukitake refused to comment and sat back against the soft pillows, carefully lifting his legs up and tucking them beside himself, the yukata long enough to cover his lower legs and even his feet, if he tugged it down a little bit. He was a tall man and he prided himself on the fact, even though he had been berated as a child for being far too willowy and delicate to ever amount to anything worthwhile. Kaien meanwhile, constantly told him how he loved the man's height and how his hands, though long fingered and slim boned, were so strong.
The dark haired Shiba busied himself with fixing tea, casually glancing over to the other as he poured the steeped brew and added honey as Jyuushirou preferred it to plain sugar, stirring the mix absentmindedly as he was captured by the other man's warm, chocolate eyes.
“Kaien, is everything all right?”
The younger man snapped back to attention and smiled brightly, stepping over and sitting down, handing Ukitake his tea and holding it until a suddenly brought on cough went away.
“Nah, nothin's wrong, Taichou.”
“You were staring.”
Kaien sipped his tea and set it aside, turning to look more closely at the long haired captain with one leg hiked up onto the divan, the other steadying himself on the floor.
“Can't help it, Taichou. You're too pretty to not stare at.”
Ukitake blinked. “Excuse me?” Had he heard that right? He was used to being told that he was good looking, but never so openly by his subordinate, no matter now close the man might be to him. “I'm that pretty? And I believe the word is handsome, Kaien. Men aren't pretty.”
The teacup was taken from the elder man's hands and left beside the other so Kaien could get closer to him without worrying about a spill, carefully pushing the taller but slimmer man back against the upright of the couch and settling himself over him, not so firmly that Ukitake would be uncomfortable and not so loosely that he could easily get away.
“You're pretty, Taichou. I mean pretty, not handsome. Everythin's so soft on ya and ya got all this gorgeous hair...”
Warm hands buried themselves in the white locks and Jyuushirou stiffened a little, uncertain as to what he should do, though fleeing was hardly an option as he found the attention most wanted, regardless of how improper it seemed. He dared a look at the young Shiba and was rewarded with a kiss, a firm but not demanding one that suggested the fukutaichou had other plans for them, his tongue lapping at Ukitake's bottom lip as a soft but wanton groan issued from between them.
Kaien backed off a bit and allowed the taller man to get to his feet, taking the hand that was offered and following him into his bedroom, quickly trying to adjust himself within his hakama as the mere idea of what they were certain to engage in aroused him immensely. Sure, the easy going vice captain had been with a few men before, boys really, but no one that even came close to his captain in beauty and intelligence.
At the foot of the bed Ukitake began to undress, the heavy yukata lined with a softer, fleecy material because the evening chills were usually too much for him, the light fundoshi unwrapped as he turned to face away from the other man, embarrassed beyond measure but too interested in the possibility of intimacy to truly care too much. As the cloth fell from his lithe form he jumped as Kaien wrapped his arms around his waist, one hand curling around his belly while the other immediately took his arousal into it, not stroking or moving at all, but simply holding on, as if its owner was unsure of how real the moment was.
“Ya look even prettier without any clothes on.”
He had expected a reaction to his words and when he received none, his entire body stiffened and Kaien peered around the other's side, curious and worried.
“Oi, Taichou. Y'ok? I didn't hurt ya, did I?”
Ukitake swallowed and shook his head, his cock twitching in the firm hold and giving a great jump when the younger shinigami's thumb brushed over the head with a purpose, his loud gasp echoed by Kaien's chuckle of amusement. He turned an irritated look upon him and only got a loving smile in return, his frown fading into a wide mouthed sigh as the gripping hand began to stroke gently, the other hand casually dancing over the definition on his belly. He could feel the muscles jumping with excitement and he felt like doing the same, having spent so long without actual sexual contact.
“Can ya get on the bed? I wanna get naked and get up there with ya sometime soon, Taichou.”
The warm arms disappeared from his body and Ukitake climbed onto the high pallet obediently, laying back against the pillows and blushing as he covered himself with both hands. The younger man chuckled as he too undressed, crawling much more slowly along the soft sheets and finding a comfortable place between the captain's legs, kneeling there and taking a moment to appreciate the other's beauty. Gently, he reached out and cupped Jyuushirou's chin, forcing him to meet his gaze and leaning in quickly to kiss him, earning himself a gasp and a low purr.
Ukitake's hands fell from his lap and he lifted them to curl around the fukutaichou's neck, absolutely unable to deny himself the younger shinigami's love. The arms around him urged Kaien on and he balanced himself on one hand so he could use the other to tickle down his captain's side, smiling at the quivering muscles and the slight jerk he gave as he was touched in a particularly ticklish spot. Directly below his questing hand, Ukitake's arousal twitched, betraying his shyness and telling the other that he was more than interested in the situation.
Growling deeply, the dark haired swordsman sat back again, scooped both arms under the other's legs and bent them back at the knees, opening him up wide and shifting close enough to firmly nudge at his entrance. Ukitake fisted his hands in the pillows behind his head, wrinkling the dainty material and leveling his chocolate gaze on the other shinigami's smiling face.
“Oi, ya got any oil, Taichou? I don't wanna hurt ya if I can help it.”
Suddenly slightly irritated by Kaien's constant mention of hurting him as if he were a breakable china doll, Ukitake reached over to the side table and pulled a drawer open, finding only salves for various injuries he had sustained over the years. The younger shinigami chose one and sniffed it, deciding that the smell didn't matter as much as how well it would work, carefully scooping out a dollop and palming it over himself as he set the jar aside and stroked his cock at the same time.
While accustomed to being taken during his past sexual exploits, Ukitake still watched the other man carefully, unconsciously licking his lips and bringing his knees to his chest as Kaien leaned over him, steadying himself with a hand beside his captain's head and positioning with the other. They locked eyes as he slid inside, excruciatingly slowly to make sure he didn't hurt the elder man, gritting his teeth against the exquisite tightness and heat. Below him, Ukitake remained silent, his eyes closed and mouth open in a silent cry.
Quickly Kaien covered his mouth with his own, licking at his teeth before moaning deeply, coaxing the slimmer shinigami's tongue to get working, absentmindedly slipping his hand between them and curling it around the other's arousal, instantly groaning as Jyuushirou clamped down around him and then relaxed right afterwards. He pulled his mouth away and arched his back, shoving himself the rest of the way inside, earning a shiver and a firm twitch against his stroking hand.
Breathless but able to nod, Ukitake did so and then lifted his head a bit to see just what his vice captain was doing to him, tossing his hair to the side and moaning out loud. It was an interesting position, regardless of how common it was, usually choosing to be taken from behind while on his hands and knees because it lessened the exertion on his body. The form they shared now put pressure on his chest as his knees were pushed back and he started to cough lightly, nothing too severe, and though Kaien slowed for a brief second, he once again picked up the pace as he shifted his hips and gained even more gasps from the elder man.
Pleased with himself, the young Shiba thrust fiercely while still offering his captain the stimulation he needed, lowering his head again and keeping an eye on the white haired shinigami, forever drifting to the small spot of blood that had trickled from the corner of his mouth after he had finished coughing. Oddly aroused by it, Kaien grunted deeply and thrust less than a half dozen times further before he stiffened and choked back what would have undoubtedly been loud cries, busily emptying himself within the panting captain.
He pulled out gingerly and knelt away from the other's body, allowing him to lower his legs and then taking his cock back into his hand, lowering his head and taking it into his mouth, despite Ukitake's negative grunt and the push against his shoulders as the captain tried to refuse him. He had never enjoyed doing the act himself and he tried to keep his lovers from doing it to him because it seemed genuinely distasteful, but as Kaien licked at the underside and suckled firmly around the head, he found it hard to do anything except enjoy himself.
The vice captain's smile widened as Ukitake suddenly stopped trying to keep him away and after inserting three of his fingers into the still lubricated and well abused hole, he managed to break the elder man's resolve, swallowing quickly as his mouth filled with warm seed. The sickly form relaxed and breathed heavily as the young vice captain moved to his side and sat against the headboard, cuddling Ukitake into his lap and carding his hands through the nobleman's hair.
“Was that all right, Taichou? I mean, was it allowed?”
Ukitake sighed and nodded, curling onto his side but remaining on Kaien's lap, his head resting against the other's chest where he could hear his heart.
“It was wonderful, Kaien. I don't regret it at all, if that's what you're worried about. If I hadn't wanted it, I wouldn't have allowed it to happen.”
The boy chuckled. “Ya mean ya could've turned me away that easily? I actually don't think ya could've.”
“Is that so?”
“'Course. I'm irresistible. S'common sense, Taichou.”
The thirteenth captain smiled then, giving a light yawn as Kaien tugged the sheets up to cover him, ignorant of how damp and sticky his backside and thighs felt as the other swordsman's fluid seeped from him.
Years later, after countless loving assurances and nights spent in each other's embrace, Ukitake hugged his fukutaichou tightly, stepping back to admire his lithe form dressed in the finest ceremonial garb, his hair even styled nicely due to the importance of the day. The extremely happy Shiba fidgeted with his obi to square it around his waist and turned to look into the crowd they had walked away from.
“She's beautiful, Kaien. I'm so happy for the both of you. She'll make a truly devoted wife.”
The dark haired vice captain couldn't help but notice the sadness that crept into his captain's voice as he spoke the all important words, turning back to look at him seriously for a change.
“Ya shoulda ended that sentence with a 'but', Taichou. Ya sound like ya got somethin' important to say but can't say it.”
Always the optimist in public, the sickly shinigami sighed softly and looked away from his subordinate's piercing gaze, embarrassed with himself and worried about his seemingly single future.
“I'm going to miss you in my bed, Kaien. I'm afraid to admit it, but you've got a family life now, with a beautiful woman who will no doubt make you happier than you ever have been-”
“I'm ecstatic, Taichou, but I still love ya.” He interrupted. “Maybe we can't sleep together anymore, but that doesn't mean we can't still love each other, right?”
The elder man gave him a pointed look and tried to seem dignified as he stared.
“I'm not allowing you to cheat on your wife, Kaien.”
“And I'm not askin' ya to. Just lettin' me run the division and helpin' ya with whatever ya need'll be fine.”
Bearing a second hug, the age old fighter slipped in a light kiss to the younger man's cheek and walked away, his hair flowing off to one side to show the division crest emblazoned onto his haori, the white material, as well as the black of his hakama, floating too, the wind picking up as he headed back into the crowd.
Kaien couldn't help but remember the and of a conversation they had had the morning his engagement was announced, the news filling all of Seireitei with happiness as the Shiba clan heir had finally chosen a bride.
“Why did you choose a woman to marry, Kaien?”
Ukitake had asked quietly, systematically folding sheets of paper and stuffing them into a folder he used for scraps, always needing something to scribble on when he was hard pressed for the right words in his reports. At the smaller desk before him, the cheerful vice captain chuckled and shrugged, waving his hand nonchalantly as if that answered before he did.
“I dunno. I'm thinkin' that it was more Nee-san's idea. She's been wantin' me to get married ever since Kaa-san died.”
“Is that the only reason?”
“What're ya askin' me, Taichou? Did I ask Miyako-chan to marry me 'cause I don't wanna be with a man anymore?”
Ukitake blushed and turned his head slightly, caught with the words he had been trying to avoid.
“'Cause that's not the reason at all.”
“Do you love me, Kaien?”
He was cuddled into a firm hug as the boy got to his feet and held him, suddenly worried that maybe his captain was actually hurt by what had transpired.
“'Course I love ya, Taichou. But this is just duty. I can't expect Ganjyu to do it. He's never gonna find a woman to love him. It kinda hurts to say it, but that's the truth.” He sighed this time, worrying Ukitake instantly. “I've got somethin' else to say that's gonna be just as hard.”
“What is it?”
“This means we can't be...intimate anymore. I feel like I'm gonna break your fuckin' heart though.”
The formal captain ignored the swear, which he would normally mention, and simply closed his eyes, enjoying the time he'd have left with the boy, knowing that less than a month from that night, he'd be a married man with a family to care for.
“I'll still be right by your side, Taichou. Nothin's gonna change the fact that I'm your fukutaichou and I'm happy where I am.”
Tackled by his loving wife, Kaien's smiled turned from Ukitake to her shining face, kissing her thoroughly and lifting her up into his arms, swinging her around until she complained of being dizzy. In the crowd, Ukitake blended in, greeting his friends and comrades with as agreeable a face as he could muster, being told that he seemed more pale than usual.
He told them that he blamed it on the bright sunshine and the stifling midsummer heat.
He told himself that it was one of the side effects of a broken heart