Author Notes: Hello again, everyone! This is a one shot of two of my favourite Shinigami Captains. Bromance if you squint... or even if you don't. If only this had happened in canon. Oh well, enjoy :)
Warnings: Fluff and possible OOC-ness.
Disclaimer: Bleach belongs to Tite Kubo.
- Story Start -
Being ill sucked.
Being ill for many centuries really sucked.
Being ill for many centuries with no cure in sight really, really…
Juushiro Ukitake exhaled sharply in a rare moment of exasperation and then grimaced as his throat seized up. He tried to hold back his cough, succeeded for maybe five seconds with his chest heaving, and then he failed.
The resultant coughing was loud and rough, sounding almost as painful as it felt. He slumped forward, one hand flat on the low table before him for support, the other clamped over his mouth as he tried to control himself.
"Captain Ukitake! Are you alright?" That was Kiyone.
"Captain! Do you need anything?" That was Sentaro.
Juushiro shook his head, unable to talk through his latest coughing fit.
"I-I'm fine," he rasped as soon as he could. "You two should-"
Another bout of coughing overcame him and he cursed silently.
"Don't you worry, Captain. We're right outside your door if you need us!"
"We ain't going anywhere. That's a promise!"
Juushiro muffled a groan behind his hand. That was exactly what he didn't want. His own servants were used to his long illness and had learned that the best way of serving him was to simply attend to their work unless he called for them.
His two co-Third Seats, on the other hand…
Letting out a soft mirthless chuckle, Juushiro dipped his head forward and drew breath after careful breath. It was just his luck that his illness reared up while they were here to deliver their weekly report. Which meant they had nothing else to do for the next couple of hours at least.
Something brushed over Juushiro's expanded senses, soft as a butterfly wing. He straightened up, a faint smile appearing on his pale lips. Beyond the hovering and agitated reiatsu of Sentaro and Kiyone just outside his door, and the further and calmer reiatsu of his servants going about their work, was one that was as comforting and familiar as his own.
That person had just entered his grounds and would take a couple of minutes to arrive, judging from his unhurried stroll.
Juushiro's smile widened. He shifted to sit cross legged on the mat and reached for the teapot, only for his throat to seize up again. He coughed and his fingers slipped-
Two warm hands closed around the teapot, brushing against Juushiro's fingers and setting the teapot back on its stand. The soft sound of a door closing was followed by a breeze that fluttered the papers on the table.
Juushiro leaned back against the legs of his oldest and dearest friend, tilting his head back to smile up at him.
"That was fast, even for you."
"I'd have been even faster if you were holding a bottle of sake."
Smiling, Shuunsui patted Juushiro's shoulder and moved around to sit cross legged opposite him, setting his hat on the table.
"You have two very devoted subordinates outside your door."
"Ah. Don't I know it."
- o -
Outside the room...
Said two devoted subordinates weren't too happy right now.
"Captain Kyoraku needn't have come," Sentaro grumbled. "We're perfectly capable of serving our Captain."
"I'm perfectly capable of serving our Captain," Kiyone said at once. "You on the other hand-"
"What? Who dropped the Captain's brand new teapot last week, eh?"
Kiyone turned red.
"He was coughing badly! I was trying to reach him in case he collapsed!"
"Hah! You just saw an opportunity to grab his arm!"
"Why, you - you were the one who dropped his previous teapot!"
"Well, that was because you filled it with too much water!"
- o -
Inside the room...
Juushiro sighed at the bickering as he lifted the teapot again and poured the tea.
"They have good hearts, but they... don't follow orders very well."
Shuunsui picked up his teacup, eyes crinkling at the corners with good humour.
"You mean you weren't firm enough with them."
Juushiro just smiled and raised his own teacup to his lips. Shuunsui's eyes narrowed at the faint tremor in his friend's pale hand and the feverish flush in his cheeks.
- o -
Outside the room...
"Anyway, I just meant that Captain Kyoraku needn't have troubled himself-"
"You ignoramus!" Kiyone interrupted him. "Who are you to challenge what Captain Kyoraku does?"
"You idiot! I'm not challenging him. I'm just saying he needn't have come all the way-"
"Captain Kyoraku is Captain Ukitake's oldest friend. They're closerthanthis."
"I know! They both fight with two swords each."
"And they were the Captain Commander's first students."
"I know! At the school he started."
"And I know that Captain Kyoraku is worried about Captain Ukitake's health."
Sentaro glared at his co-Third Seat.
"Are you saying our Captain is weak?" he challenged.
Kiyone tossed her head.
"Don't put words in my mouth! I just meant that Captain Kyoraku cares deeply for our Captain!"
"Tell me something I don't know!"
"Fine! Do you know Captain Kyoraku presses his forehead against Captain Ukitake's whenever he wants to check for fever?"
Sentaro's mouth fell open.
"Who told you that? You - you're lying!"
"I'm not! He also holds Captain Ukitake's wrist to take his pulse."
Sentaro's eyes almost bugged out.
"Now I know you're lying. I've never seen that!"
"Then you're blind."
"I'm not! Since you're so observant and all, tell me what he does next!"
"Well, well, who's curious now?" Kiyone smirked. "The next thing he does is reach out to tuck... urk… glurk..."
"What the - why is your nose bleeding?!"
- o -
Inside the room...
"I thought as much," Shuunsui said, eyes closed and forehead pressed against Juushiro's. "You are running a fever."
"I know and I've already taken my medicine," Juushiro murmured, eyes also closed. "What of my pulse?"
Shuunsui released the back of his friend's head and sat back, glancing at the slender wrist in his grasp.
"It's fast. You shouldn't exert yourself when you're ill."
Juushiro leaned back as well and shrugged, running a hand through his hair.
"Writing ten reports is hardly exerting oneself."
"It is when you insist on going into such detail all the time," Shuunsui countered, reaching out to tuck a lock of hair behind Juushiro's ear.
"While you prefer not to go into any detail at all?" Juushiro asked wyly.
"No, I prefer to leave it up to the lovely and capable Nanao-chan."
Juushiro chuckled before glancing at the door, eyebrows briefly drawing together.
"They've picked up quite a bit, haven't they?"
Shuunsui got up and went to sit beside his friend.
"Then they should know what comes next," he said, tugging at Juushiro's arm until the latter was stretched out on the tatami mat with his head in Shuunsui's lap, long white hair spilling over the pink kimono and white haori underneath.
Juushiro just smiled and closed his eyes, enjoying the caress of gentle fingers combing through his hair.
Outside, the two co-Third Seats continued to argue, a red faced Sentaro insisting that Kiyone tell him what would happen next, and a flustered Kiyone with handkerchief pressed to her nose trying to drag him away.
Inside the room, it was quiet and peaceful. The two Captains had been close friends for far too long to let something so trivial bother them.
- Chapter End -
A/N: Thank you for reading! Please leave a review if you enjoyed it :)