Title: Playtime with Shirou
Pairings: Hints of Shunsui/Ukitake
Characters: Shunsui, Matsumoto, Hitsugaya, Ukitake
Rating: K
Words: 799
Description: Ukitake wants to play a game. Not as dirty as it sounds.
A/N: Big thanks to everyone who read and reviewed the last one! Especially to the people who's alert list I'm on. Thanks for the support!


Hitsugaya's right eyebrow twitched. He was certain it was his right eyebrow because his left eyebrow had just twitched five seconds ago. Not that he was counting.

Across from him, in an equally hard chair as his own, sat the reason for the twitching. The man was smiling pleasantly, dark eyes gleaming happily. For once, he didn't appear sick at all. Hitsugaya wondered if it would have been cruel for him to wish for one tiny cough. Just one. Not a lot. Just enough to save his sanity since he didn't know if he could handle anymore of finding the lost King of Candyland.

Blue eyes glared frostily at the abomination from Karakura that was the board game in front of him, a gift courtesy of Orihime via Ukitake. And the first words out of the other captain's mouth?

"Let's play together!"

"Gum Drop Mountain, Shirou-chan! What great luck!" the older shinigami declared, humming as he lifted his blue playing piece with elegant and thin fingers, depositing it several spaces ahead of his current position, which was terribly behind Hitsugaya's own on the board.

Hitsugaya's scowl deepened as he stared at his own. He had wanted to be blue, but Ukitake had argued that green went much better with his complexion.

The younger captain groaned and sunk further down in his seat, wondering when he had pissed off Kami-sama enough to be reduced to playing a game of Candyland. He was not a child, no matter how much Ukitake kept shoving candy at him, and really, the board game was meant for kids ages three to six. Three to six! It was simply too much for his pride to bear.

From the doorway, he could hear the sounds of both Matsumoto and Shunsui twittering in amusement at his predicament. His vice-captain cooed at the cuteness, wiggling her fingers at him, while the lazy eighth division captain kept mumbling something along the lines of "my sweet little Jyuu-chan just loves his Shirou-chan!"

"Good luck, taichou!" Matsumoto sang, flopping her hand at him uselessly. She ignored his pleading looks to be saved. "I know you can win."

Shunsui tapped his hat, droopy eyes beaming with love and adoration. "Yare, yare, that look of determination. Be careful, Jyuu-chan! He might beat you!"

Hitsugaya shot them glares of pure frost, but neither seemed particularly perturbed. He vaguely realized that he was pouting like a child, his lower lip jutting out far further than the other. Oh, the indignity.

"Your turn!" Ukitake chirped.

Hitsugaya sighed, reaching forward with a lazy movement and grabbing the next card in the stack, trying his best not to look at the brightly colored board, which made his eyes and head ache. Literally.

He snuck a peek at his card. "You were stuck in the Chocolate Swamp! You must go back to green!"

He groaned, resisting the urge to bang his head on the table. He didn't know how Ukitake was doing it, but he was certain that it was somehow the thirteenth division captain's fault. They had been playing the game for three damn hours, and neither had won yet. There weren't that many spaces. Somehow, Ukitake hadn't managed to move past the first obstacle.

And dammit, Hitsugaya did not need a hug from Mama Ginger Tree.

"Oh, too bad, Shirou-chan," Ukitake commented dramatically. "And just when you were getting close, too."

His eyes widened in barely restrained horror as he watched his play piece slide backwards on the board, the plastic scratching against the brightly painted cardboard and sounding vaguely like his last rites. He was certain if this continued, he would be stuck in Candyland until the day he died, war or no war.

He really should have been wary when Ukitake approached him earlier, all sweet smiles and random gifts. He should have known that beneath that kind facade was the heart of a devious manipulator. Honestly, the man was just like Aizen but with different hair and minus the glasses.

Hitsugaya really should have said no when the older shinigami asked him to play a game. But sparkling, dark eyes had been his undoing, and like many others who had fallen under the kindly man's spell, he had grudgingly given in without a fight, grumbling the entire way. Still, he had trailed after an elated Ukitake nonetheless.

The older shinigami's face brightened. "My turn!"

Hitsugaya groaned, eyes darting towards the wall clock. "Don't we have a meeting in… twenty minutes?" he ventured, hoping that a sense of duty would have save him.

Ukitake merely winked. "I'm sick, and you're keeping me company," he pointed out good-naturedly before reaching for another card. "Look! I get to skip straight to Lollipop Woods. Aren't I lucky, Shirou-chan? Hmm?"

There was no escape.


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