Author Notes: Hello again, everyone! This is another one shot of my favourite Shinigami Captains. Bromance or friendship, you decide. Enjoy :)
Requested By: dude4anime1
Warnings: Fluff and possible OOC-ness.
Disclaimer: Bleach belongs to Tite Kubo.
- Story Start -
"I could hear Toushiro-kun's voice from thirty feet away," Shuunsui continued with a straight face. "He was shouting."
"So of course you had to see what was going on," Juushiro said with an equally straight face.
"Indeed. I used flash step to reach his office window and was just in time to see him step in a puddle of sake, fall onto his back and slide, arms flailing, right across his office floor."
The punchline, as it were, delivered in Shuunsui's deadpan voice, made Juushiro chuckle.
"... along with Shuhei-kun and Izuru-kun, whom he'd managed to crash into, trapped between his legs."
Oh, double punchline.
Juushiro's mind helpfully provided a mental image to go with that, causing him to laugh outright. The look of mild surprise on Shuunsui's face, betrayed only by the crinkling of his eyes made him laugh even harder.
"P-poor Shiro-kun," he finally gasped out, palming away tears of mirth from his eyes. "I guess he shouted even more after that."
"Yes, he did." Shuunsui chuckled, leaning forward to top up their mugs.
It was late afternoon and the second last day of the month. While most of the Captains and their Lieutenants were buried under paperwork, rushing to complete their monthly report, Juushiro Ukitake and Shuunsui Kyoraku were enjoying a pot of tea in the latter's office.
Juushiro had finished his report after lunch and informed Sentarou and Kiyone to deliver it to the First Squad's barracks before dinner. An easy enough task that either of them - or even one of the lower seated officers - could carry out, but he had learned that it was better to just assign the task to those two.
Shuunsui was just as relaxed, having delegated the onerous task of report writing to his lieutenant decades ago. He had just finished recounting the sake drinking contest at the Tenth Squad barracks which he had come across last night.
A brief knock sounded at the door before Nanao bustled in with an inch thick bound document in her hands.
"Captain, I have completed this month's report," she said briskly. "Please go through it now. If there are any changes to be made, I will attend to them right away. Otherwise, please sign on the last page. I will be back in an hour."
"Maa maa, must we go through this every month, Nanao-chan?" Shuunsui asked with an indulgent smile, not even glancing at the document held out to him. "I'm sure all the pertinent information is there in your beautiful script. Let me sign it now so we'll be rid of this tedious chore for the next thirty days."
He reached for a pen on the coffee table, but Nanao grabbed it.
"Yes, we do go through this every month, Captain. Please read anything and everything before setting your name on it."
"Wise words indeed," Shuunsui agreed, wincing a bit when a sharp corner of the hard plastic cover poked him none too gently in the chest. "But seeing as it's you, I'm sure it's fine. Now just hand me that pen - ouch."
Chuckling to himself, Juushiro raised his full mug of tea to his lips just as his throat seized up. The mug wobbled and, at a violent coughing fit, tipped over and poured its contents all down his front, soaking his captain's haori and shihakushou with hot green tea.
The now empty mug was taken from him, but the damage was already done.
"Ah, my bad," Shuunsui apologised. "I should've saved that story for another time."
Juushiro shook his head, one hand clapped to his mouth, unable to reply and equally unable to stop two hands from removing his haori and the shirt of his shihakushou. Even the hand at his mouth was pulled down, sleeves pulled free and then placed back in the blink of an eye.
"It's just... tea," he wheezed as soon as he could only to find himself dressed in his hakama, socks and sandals. "You didn't have to strip me and in record time, I might add."
"Sitting in your wet clothes is just asking for a fever," Shuunsui said cheerfully and held them out to Nanao.
"Could you please see that they're dried, Nanao-chan?"
"Yes, captain," Nanao replied, eyes politely averted from the other half naked captain. She placed the report on the table. "I'll be back for that in an hour."
"Take your time." Shuunsui waved her off and turned to Juushiro as soon as the door closed.
"And what am I supposed to wear in the meantime?" Juushiro asked, eyebrows raised.
"This, of course." Shuunsui pulled the pink kimono from his shoulders and draped it around his friend. He then grabbed the nearest pen, flipped to the last page of the report and signed it with a flourish.
"You never read them, do you?" Juushiro asked.
Shuunsui shook his head, eyes twinkling with good humour.
"I hope you haven't forgotten about tomorrow morning's meeting with Genryusai-sensei?"
Shuunsui gave him a reproachful look before opening the report and leafing through it. Juushiro smiled and slipped his arms through the kimono sleeves and then he yawned.
"I should get back," he said reluctantly. "I'll let Sentarou and Kiyone know I'll be napping in my room so they don't start looking for me."
"Nap here. You have to wait for your clothes anyway."
A large hand cupped the side of Juushiro's head and pulled it towards a broad shoulder. He rested his cheek against it and rubbed his eyes as gentle fingers started combing through his hair. The silk kimono he was wearing was comfortable and smelled of his oldest and dearest friend. An occasional flip of paper and that familiar low voice murmuring a few sentences aloud were the only sounds in the room.
Smiling, Juushiro closed his eyes.
- o -
When he next opened them, he was lying on his back. He sat up, eyes widening as they caught sight of the setting sun framed by the open window.
Sentarou and Kiyone must be panicking by now, likely turning Seireitei upside down to find their missing captain.
Juushiro jumped to his feet. He glanced at the door, entertaining a brief thought of leaving Squad Eight barracks the proper way, but no, that would take too long. He escaped through the window instead, flash stepping across the grounds and heading for Squad Thirteenth, using every shortcut he knew.
He stopped when he reached the entrance hall, blinking in the bright light and wondering at the silence and lack of officers milling about. Then his ears picked up the sounds of voices coming from the dining hall, and his nose the delicious aroma of stew.
It was dinnertime. Looking down at himself, he decided to get to his office before someone came along and spotted him wearing Shuunsui's-
"Captain Ukitake! Where have you been? I was so worried!"
"Captain Ukitake! I was even more worried than he was!"
As his two co Third Seats rushed up him, Juushiro closed his eyes in resignation.
He opened them and offered a conciliatory smile.
"Sentarou, Kiyone," he greeted calmly. "As you can see, I'm fine. I was at Squad Eight earlier and stayed longer than expected."
They just stared at him, eyes getting bigger and bigger until it looked like they would pop right out.
"C-Captain," Sentarou stuttered, voice squeaky. "What's that?"
"You blind bat!" Kiyone said at once although she was smiling so big it could have been an endearment. "It's Captain Kyoraku's kimono, of course! May I just say, Captain, that you look absolutely ravis-"
"No, it's not!" Sentarou shouted, looking rather wild eyed. "Where's your haori, captain? And your shirt?"
"Baka! Isn't it obvious?" Kiyone was still beaming from ear to ear, cheeks bright pink and eyes glued to the rectangle of pale chest revealed by the untied kimono. "They must still be at Squad Eight!"
Juushiro wasn't sure whether to laugh or face palm. An explanation was probably the better option.
"Yes, this is Captain Kyoraku's," he confirmed. "I was having tea with him when-"
"There you are, Juushiro."
All three of them turned to see Shuunsui walking up the path, hat tipped back and smiling, holding something by his side.
"Why did you run off like that?" he asked. "I'd just stepped out to get our dinner since you were sleeping so soundly-" he broke off, eyebrows going up when Juushiro shook his head frantically, tilting his head toward his two Third Seats whose eyes had grown even bigger than saucers.
"Ah." Shuunsui scratched his chin.
"Captain Kyoraku, Captain Ukitake was sleeping in your office?" Kiyone squeaked.
"Captain Kyoraku, are those Captain Ukitake's clothes?" Sentarou demanded.
"Yes and yes," Shuunsui replied. "Juushiro had gotten them soiled earlier - totally my fault - so Nanao-chan took them to be cleaned and pressed."
Ignoring his gaping Third Seats, Juushiro took a step forward and held out his hand.
"Please convey my grateful thanks to Nanao-chan. I'll take them now."
Instead of passing them over, Shuunsui stepped behind Juushiro and draped the coat around him before resting his hands on his shoulders. "Better?"
The haori was warm and dry and smelled of laundry soap. Juushiro turned to smile over his shoulder.
"Much. Thank you."
"You're welcome," Shuunsui replied, one eye closing in a swift wink. "Let me get your hair."
Juushiro pressed his lips together as his hair was lifted out from under the haori with utmost tenderness. Trust his wily friend to milk the moment for all it was worth.
Sentarou and Kiyone promptly slid to the floor and lay there twitching. Sentarou looked mildly horrified, but Kiyone had a beatific smile on her face and a thin line of drool escaping her mouth.
"Your Third Seats are highly excitable," Shuunsui remarked as he combed gentle fingers through the long white hair, smoothing out a tangle or two.
"Ah. Don't I know it. And you're not helping matters."
"Well, they're such fun to tease."
Deft fingers started plaiting his hair and Juushiro glanced down at his co Third Seats, still twitching on the floor. Then he heard the sound of footsteps coming from the dining hall and looked up.
"We're about to get more witnesses," he warned.
Shuunsui removed one of the hairpins from his plait and used it to secure the end of Juushiro's. Then he clasped Juushiro's hand.
"Your office then?"
The two captains vanished from that spot an instant later. They were well known for being very close friends, but Sentarou and Kiyone were more than capable of spreading gossip without any help from the others.
- Story End -
A/N: Thank you for reading! Please leave a review if you enjoyed it :)