While Renji sat and watched in a studius silence, he bound his hair up in studious movements. They were slow, formal, and precise. Not a motion was lost or wasted; time existed to be spent. Clothing had preceeded this, with the same slow, practiced, flowing movements. It had taken a good hour for the injured captain to dress himself completely, slightly hampered by bandages covering healing wounds that were bound to scar pale skin. The wounds caused sudden jerks of awkwardness that marred the perfect dance, and in the near-perfect silence that pervaded the hospital room Renji could hear the catches in breath that accompagnied them.

Renji's eyes wavered when they were met, not for the first time awed by the prescence facing him and hating himself for the weakness. The silence between them was an unbreakable fortress wall that neither of them could break down. Renji left the room second, a half-step behind and to the left of his captain's traditional white coat as it bellowed and swayed with every movement.

There would be no flash step used here for a while, the medical teams had made sure. Renji had started training again already in secret, but who knew what he would do? Renji certainly didn't.


He carried silence around him like a shield, like the fierce energy that had flowed out of him upon their first meeting and knocked Renji down by the wayside.

When he arrived at the packed bar he silenced the room with the slightest motion of his hand, the long sleeve falling back from his wrist as he motioned to the barkeeper, even though he had Renji in his eye already. Renji heard the bar's silence as he passed through the doors behind his captain obediantly, and heard the roar resume once they were a few paces away.

Nothing had been said between them, and nothing needed to be. Renji had known, and had come. There could be no argument with this figure.

It was a festival day and everyone was out in bright colors, all of soul society celebrating the Harvest Moon. Renji followed in the swath that his captain cut, like his sword both soft as a sakura petal and refined as a blade.

The thin, steady form in front of Renji was dressed in the most descreete and fine patterned kimono: a tree in full bloom trailing up from the twisted brown roots around the trim to loose a fluttering rain of silk pink petals down the shoulders.

If you didn't look closely, it seemed only chaos in color.


The silence continued until the rains came, unseasonly and heavy; heavy on the ground, on the plants, on the soul.

There was never a silence with the rains. The rain's white noise, forever hissing, dropping, howling in the brackground, brought to the fore all the noises that were previously kept hidden. Noises that would not usually be made were heard.

When Renji sat and managed to look busy as he waited for his captain to decide that he was unable to continue on the day's paperwork, he heard a sigh. It had come to signify the loss of his captain's patience and usually preluded a series of formal bows and goodbyes for sleep.

In this case, it did not.

When Renji dared look up from his paper, there was another sigh, and his dark eyes were looking straight at him. He challenged himself to hold that gaze, but lost quickly when rain blew in the window and he broke the searching look to close the window's shutters.

When the latch slid into place with a solid click, he heard the rustle of the formal clothing over the river of water crashing down onto the stone training area and smelt the scent of sakura in the spring time behind him.

Not a word needed to be said.


The way that Renji dressed in the morning involved very little planning and very little time. Every moment was snatched for sleep, every muscle-pulling, joint-popping stretch savored. Uniform was the same every day, and Renji's hair took a long time only when he ran out of ties.

He never got up before the dawn because he didn't need to in order to get done efficiently what must be done.


The undressing of Abarai Renji did not start or end.

One moment, he was dressed, and the next he was not.

The first time Renji felt the fingers of his captain on his flesh he shivered, and then realised that they were not cold. He stood before his captain, naked, eyes squeezed shut as thin, boney hands slid over his entire body. His arousal only sharpened his senses; while he stood with his back to the dark office, shivering despite trying not to, eyes squeezed shut despite wanting to see, he heard the familiar rusle of clothing and felt the slight breeze around his ankles when the heavy layers of fabric were dropped to the ground.

In silence, he didn't believe it was happening.


But with that one whisper the silence was shattered.


The lightning rocked the sky, crashing around mountains and echoing into the distance as Renji screamed up to it all of his heart's fustrations.

There wasn't a silence between them any more. The rain had chipped away at it, rotting the foundation and turning the mortar to weak mud so that the captain could slide his sword into it easily and cause it to fall and crash into the ground like it had never had happened with a boom.

Renji could hear his captain's voice between the thunder-claps and above the enraged rush of the water against the ground. It made him hard and turned him on, washing him clean and leaving him empty, desiring.

Only waiting to be filled.

He wanted to push back, now that the wall was gone, but the silence, his own imposed silence, kept him on his back. He was being taken, stolen, posessed, and layed there and let it happen, without a single word.

Until words were torn from him, his captain leading the way and soothing the wounds that were caused as he choked up the benedictions and prayers to an unknowable god.

He lost himself in the noise that filled his body for the first time since that incident, and could feel the silence of that body above him envelop him like a blanket.

And then they fell into the blessed black-white silence of sleep.