Title: Vow

Author: Jasmine Starlight

Word Count: 530

Universe: Bleach

Theme: Ukitake still mourns his fallen vice-captain

Disclaimer: …evil laugh

Warnings: yaoi. Post Soul-Society arc.

Pairing (s): Byakuya x Ukitake. Infinitesimal Ichigo+Rukia

Rating: M

Featuring: Angsty! Ukitake…Absent! Byakuya

Time Completed: 03:45 PM 10/23/05

A/N: This is all Muse-Calliope's fault, who made me write several B/U fics that I can never finish.

Dedication: Muse-Calliope who makes such funny faces during yoga… mwhahahah!

Ukitake Jyuushirou liked to think that he is an intelligent person, Kyouraku Shunsui liked to say that they haven't invented a law in Soul Society that his Jyuu-chan can find a loophole in.

But if he is so intelligent, why can't he let go? Why can't he let the past stay in the past? Why does he hold onto memories that serve no purpose but to further aggravate his proneness to disease. There's a nasty strain of the avian flu circulating through Rukongai.

Even so, Kaien's memory lingers on, enduring the mental war his captain wages to maintain his shreds of sanity. Jyuushirou doesn't like to think that he may be a masochist.

Yet, the facts seem to point in that direction, Jyuushirou often allows Shunsui to annoy him into drinking alcohol that most likely will interfere will all the medication he takes everyday.

He has yet to pick another vice-captain even though there are two qualified candidates clamoring for the position.

And most of all he's become attached to the one person in Soul Society who'd almost certainly reject him if he made his affections known. But following the Aizen catastrophe and the subsequent rebuilding of the Gotei-13 after that, Jyuushirou felt that maybe if he could say something.

Perhaps in part due to the arrival of Kurosaki Ichigo, who fought two captains, one vice-captain, and a third seat just to see Kuchiki Rukia, Ukitake thought that maybe saying three words should pale in comparison.

But confessing to the brother of your former subordinate that you'd like to do him in a dark alley somewhere is hard when your past conversations together have consisted of "Good morning Senpai." And "How many seats have you lost this month?"

Luckily, or unluckily—however you feel like looking at it, Shunsui came to the rescue with alcohol and a haggard looking Nanao in tow. Ukitake was sketchy on most of the details, being highly inebriated at the time, but somehow he'd ended up outside Kuchiki Byakuya's window.

How he'd located said window drunk was one of life's great mysteries; after throwing several small pebbles (and one of his shoes) he finally got the attention of the prestigious heir.

His memory failed him when he tried to recall what he'd said exactly, but he was sure he probably came off as bitter and angry. Not some of the best facets of his personality.

Fortunately that's exactly what Byakuya seems to have wanted because lo and behold the next morning Ukitake was naked in his bed with Byakuya, who was also, deliciously so, naked.

From there on Jyuushirou's life was much less complicated.

Because he learned to let go of his past and embrace his future.