Anime/Manga: Bleach

Title: Stay

Rating: PG-13

Word Count: 1,019

Pairings/characters: Ichimaru x Kira, implied Aizen x Hinamori

Disclaimer: Bleach is the property of KT and Sony Music, and this fan fiction is for non-profit purposes. You may not reproduce this fiction in part or whole for sale or profit.

Notes: Thanks to lj user"kshi" 's cute GinIzu doujinshi, which sparked the idea for a cute fluffy GinIzu drabble. Ichimaru is sick, and Kira takes care of things.

By the time Kira had looked up from his stack of paperwork, the sun had already begun to sink beneath the horizon. A gnawing sensation in his stomach alerted the blond vice-captain that dinnertime had passed not long ago. With a sigh, Kira set aside a stack of paper that he had finished, filed them away, then placed the remainder of the stack into the backlog bin. This was the second day he had been working overtime since the captain of the third division, Ichimaru Gin, had fallen sick. Not that his captain helped out much with the paperwork, but with Ichimaru's absence, certain official documents requiring a thorough background check in the absence of the captain's signature held up the rest of the queue.

Kira did not mind the peace and quiet of the office when his captain was absent; in fact, it was oddly liberating. He didn't have to worry about his captain sneaking up on him and choosing the right moment to jump out in his face, scattering hundreds of papers in his wake; he didn't have to search all of Seireitei for his captain when Ichimaru decided to play truant at the meetings; nor did he have to placate angry captains storming into the third division office whenever i somebody /i had played a prank on their troops.

As Kira stood up from the desk, a soft rapping came from the door. He blinked in surprise.

"Come in."

The door slid open, and Hinamori Momo, the vice-captain from the fifth division, waited at the entrance.

"Kira-kun?" She started hesitantly, "I was passing by and noticed the light was still on. Have you eaten yet? Everybody has taken dinner already."

"Hinamori-san," Kira answered apologetically, "I lost track of time. Don't worry about me, I'll get something to eat on my way back."

"Are you going to see him?"

Kira nodded, and extinguished the lamps. He stepped outside and locked up the office for the night.

"Ichimaru-taichou is very…" Hinamori paused, and cast her eyes downward, "…important to you, right?"

Kira had not expected such a statement and a blush colored his cheeks.


A shy smile began to form on Hinamori's face.

"It's okay. I understand." Her smile broadened, and she turned to leave. "I need to return to somebody who needs me too. Good night, Kira-kun."

Kira nodded back in response.

"Good night, Hinamori-san."

Kira knocked softly on the door to Ichimaru's chamber.

"Taichou, I'm coming in." Kira announced, before sliding the door open.

He stepped inside, slid the door shut behind him, and set a tray of food and warm tea down on a low table near the bed. As he straightened, he noticed the bed was empty.


A figure emerged from the shadows and launched itself at Kira.

"I-zu-ru! ♥"

"Kyaaaa!" Kira screeched indignantly, as the figure locked his arms around Kira's waist and caused the blond shinigami to stumble backwards.

"T-Taichou?" Kira inquired, as he tried to pry off the hands that encircled him.

"I missed you, Izuru!"

Ichimaru's silver hair nestled deeper into Kira's chest, making it very difficult for Kira to breathe. With an audible sigh, Kira gave up trying to release the iron grip around his waist, and half-dragged, half-carried the silver-haired captain back to his bed.

"Taichou, why aren't you in bed? You need to rest so you can get well s and finish up the backlog of paperwork waiting for you /s ."

"I don't want to be in bed…" Ichimaru slurred out, and Kira noticed that the captain's fever had subsided though he was still slightly delirious, "…if Izuru isn't with me."

"Taichou, we'll have to wait until you're well again."

Kira tucked the blankets over Ichimaru's thin shivering form, and stood up to retrieve the food tray but slender arms suddenly reached up and locked around his neck.

"Ack! T-taichou! Let go! You're contagious!"

For a sick person, Ichimaru was quite strong. The arms did not loosen their steel grip.

"Don't leave. Stay."

Kira blinked.

"I wasn't going to leave yet."

"Izuru," Ichimaru's eyelids fluttered, and his breath rasped lightly. "I've been confined in here all day. I'm going to go crazy. Except for Unohana-taichou, nobody else has come in to see me. Don't…go."

Kira felt the resistance drain from him. He did not know why—but the sight of his captain rumpled, sulky, without his wits collected about him—drained Kira of any resolve to leave. He plucked away the arms that encircled his neck, which gave way without resistance this time, and pulled a chair over beside the bed.

Ichimaru obediently drank his tea and ate the food without protest while Kira watched him silently. Despite all the harassment, all the pranks that Ichimaru played upon Kira for the captain's personal amusement, Kira could not bring himself to abandon Ichimaru. His life would be a lot easier (and a lot more boring) had he pushed for a transfer, but it never occurred to Kira that he could leave. How he put up with Ichimaru's mercurial antics was a marvel to his peers. Many of them would shake their heads and express sympathy for Kira whenever they exchanged stories at a social gathering. It was beyond Kira's grasp to explain to them that Ichimaru was misunderstood. His captain was not a bad man—he was unpredictable, for lack of a better descriptor.

Kira took the empty bowls and cups from his captain when Ichimaru finished his meal, and he stacked them neatly back on the tray.

"Izuru," Ichimaru breathed with effort, and ice-blue eyes at half-mast stared back at Kira, "Are you leaving already?"

"No," Kira replied, and folded his hands onto his lap. "I'll stay here. Now get some sleep, taichou."

The silver-haired figure shifted in the bed, and settled into a more comfortable position. Kira listened wordlessly to the soft rasping of Ichimaru's breath until it evened out into the smoother sounds of slumber.

"Izuru," Ichimaru's voice came, just barely above a whisper, "Thank you, for everything."

A smile formed on Kira's face. He knew why he would stay by Ichimaru's side; his captain needed him.

The End