A Little Tenderness

by antilogicgirl

Inspired by a friend's comment, "Hanatarou is the pimp-daddy."

A/N: I decided to test that theory. How do you turn Hanatarou into a pimp? Oh, I don't think it would be too hard. You see: he's little. Little cute. And there's nothing more seductive than lust and perversion disguised by cuteness. But cuteness that doesn't try to be cute is even worse, I think. I'd probably fall for it. You can about imagine, since the guy knows all that medical stuff, that he could give great backrubs and massages. And what woman—or man, for that matter—doesn't like a good massage? So, let's work this out mathematically.

Little Cute
Cute + Perverted Devious
Devious + Massage Relaxation
Relaxation Open to Suggestion

And if you're open to suggestion, it is just a short ride to seduction. Here's my way of doing that with my little Hanatarou.




Legal Stuffiness: I do not own Bleach or any of the characters therein. Kubo Tite, sole proprietor.
"Everyone likes to be pampered every now and then, Renji." Rangiku had said that once. Renji thought that it was just because she was a woman. A big-breasted, very attractive, very dangerous woman. He had not thought that even once it would apply to him.
One dark, tattooed eyebrow rose. "You're kidding me, right?"

The small dark-haired woman shook her head. Hinamori was dressed in an informal kimono, her hair loose. Renji had taken the day to be with her and Kira. It had been some time since they'd been able to do this. Kira's pale eyes were wide with shock, as were his own. There was a blush on Hinamori's cheeks, and she couldn't meet their eyes. In that low, nearly depressed voice, Kira asked, "I hope that you don't find it rude of me, Hinamori-chan…but…how drunk were you?"

Her fingers grasped at the sleeves of her kimono, gripping tightly, and her voice became defensive when she finally got the courage to respond. "I wasn't that drunk, Kira-kun! It just felt so nice…"

Renji watched Kira's face falter. It was almost painful, the way the blonde man looked at her. She never really seemed to notice, though. It was too bad. The deep blue of Kira's kimono seemed to match the man's mood. Renji, on the other hand, was still completely aghast. "But…Yamada Hanatarou?"

Kira leaned back against the tree they sat under. "Apparently, Hanatarou is quite…adept with women."

Renji did not understand what anyone could see in the Fourth Division's smallest member. Women liked a man, didn't they? Hanatarou was a boy, if anything. He didn't care if his confusion was showing. It was just too much. Renji hadn't—to put it crudely—gotten laid in near to six months, and yet Yamada Hanatarou somehow managed to get around enough to charm Hinamori Momo into his bed? Or was there even a bed involved? They had been in the park. Or at least that's the way Renji understood it. His mind just shut down.

Hanatarou? Little Hanatarou? What's he got that I don't? Or Kira, for that matter?

It wasn't that Renji wanted to sleep with Hinamori. She was more like a sister to him. The issue was precisely this: it was an affront to his masculinity to be turned down by women while someone who he could break in half was getting laid nearly every night. Just the thought was enough to send him into a spiral of rage that threatened to drive him mad. A man had his needs, and there was only so much that he could do alone.

Renji watched as Kira's comment brought a brighter blush to Hinamori's face, and a deeper frown to the man who had made the remark. "So…" Renji ventured, but he didn't get any further than that, because he forgot what he was going to ask. "Shit. I can't sit here and listen to this…" He stood, dusting off the back of his kimono, making certain that if he ran into his Captain, Kuchiki Byakuya wouldn't make a comment on how he'd gone and disgraced the Sixth Division by dirtying the nice pale blue silk of his kimono.

"Renji! Watch out!" Hisagi Shuuhei yelled, but it was too late. One of the Hollows had slithered out of the shadows, and as he batted away one tentacle, six others came from all directions, one skewering him like a shish-kabob, right through his stomach. "Shit! Kira, get that medic over here now!" Hisagi dodged and ducked, rolling to one side and kicking Renji out of the way. It was one very strange feeling, flying while bleeding out. The pain was only slight, since he felt sort of weightless for a moment while he was in mid-air. Though, when the impact came, there was no bracing for the pain that seemed to spike through his entire body. Still attempting to hold Zabimaru in front of him, just in case, Renji coughed up more blood than he'd thought possible.

There was a sudden, deafening boom, which Renji smiled at in spite of himself. It looked like Ichigo had arrived. The screams of dying Hollows were heard all around as Kira, Rangiku, Hisagi, and Ichigo got down to business. Damn him, but he felt useless. Renji struggled into a sitting position, then stabbed Zabimaru into the ground to force himself to his feet. "What do you think you're doing?" His head lolled toward the voice. In his hunched posture, he stood eye-to-eye with Yamada Hanatarou. The small shinigami looked…cross. "You're bleeding to death, Abarai-san." The little man used one finger, placed in the middle of his forehead, and pushed gently. Renji fell onto his rear end, gaping at the face that was now not far away, telling him to relax, but to stay awake. "You are very brave, Abarai-san. But you need to rest."

Pack now off of his shoulder and open, Hanatarou's dark head was bent, his hands rummaging through its contents. Not long after, Renji's ears caught the snap of latex, and his dimming vision saw the long gloves that encased slender arms. The slight man's small hands gripped his haori, yanking at it with surprising strength to expose the wound. Pale blue eyes narrowed, and it took Renji a moment to realize that his wound was being prodded. "What're you doing, Hanatarou?"

"I think it's poisoned." To check his theory, the medic dipped his left index finger into the gaping hole. Now stained crimson, Hanatarou brought that digit to his mouth, tasting the blood. A sour expression came over his face, and he spat the blood out. "This is more serious than I thought. Whatever you do, Abarai-san…don't fall asleep." That was a little disheartening.

It was with a vaguely detached curiosity that he watched as Hanatarou forced several types of anti-venom into the wound, and he barely even winced when he was injected with a couple more. The medic explained that it was unclear just what kind of poison he'd been dosed with, and they needed to cover all their bases. What was clear, however, was that it was slowly paralyzing him. Ten minutes later, there was a large amount of gauze and ointment in and around the wound, and Hanatarou had him propped against a rusty metal building to wrap his torso. The bleeding had stopped, at least, but he couldn't move. It was even becoming a chore to breathe. "Abarai-san? Abarai…oh, no."

Renji had never heard Hanatarou raise his voice. But just then, when the medic got shakily to his feet, gloves stained up to the elbows with Renji's blood, he yelled. It was more like a scream, really, but it certainly was surprising how commanding Hanatarou could be when it came to his patients. "Kira-san! Get over here! Now! " Wabisuke had just rendered one of the Hollows too heavy to move its own bodyweight, and Hisagi dispatched the thing. Kira's normally composed face was full of shock, but he obeyed.

When he arrived before Hanatarou, Kira panted, "What is it, Yamada-san?"

Drawing himself up to his full height—all five feet, one inch of him—Hanatarou said, "Abarai-san must be taken back immediately. The Hollow poisoned him. He is slowly being paralyzed, and I cannot identify the poison. He needs Captain Unohana."

"But, Yamada-san, we cannot leave right n—"

"He will be returning, Kira-san. I will be taking him back. Right now. There are two other capable medics here, and they will be able to attend any of your injuries. The gate will let you through. You have Hell Moths." Renji would have gaped, had he been in control of his body. As it was, he merely wheezed. Kira stood aside as Hanatarou shoved Zabimaru into his sash, the end of its sheath only ten inches from the pavement. After he slung his pack over his shoulder, he popped an energy pill, and gritted his teeth. Renji's world tipped, and he found himself staring at Hanatarou's backside. How had someone that was barely over half his weight suddenly become able to carry him? "Good luck, Kira-san," Hanatarou called over his shoulder, and Renji's bottom.

As the short medic strode forward into the gate that had just appeared, Renji figured that it had to be the energy pills.

It had been strange, seeing that alarmed look in Unohana-taicho's eyes. The paralysis was one thing, but when Renji's body had begun cramping up, curling up as tightly as it could, re-opening the wounds, there was no muscle-relaxant in existence that was strong enough. Hanatarou sat next to him, taking the tattooed man's pulse for the tenth time that morning. It was unsteady, erratic. Renji lay on his side, eyes screwed shut, and every now and again, a grunt escaped him, voicing the pain he must feel.

The Captain always seemed so serene, so calm, but when she walked into the room where Renji was being kept, Hanatarou had seen how she nearly reached for the doorway to steady herself. He could understand. This was the worst case of poisoning he had ever seen. He hadn't slept since they brought Renji back, refusing to let anyone else care for him. Shinigami were stubborn people, and Hanatarou was no different. He had been quite surprised not to receive a set-down for his insubordination with a Vice-Captain, having ordered Kira-san as if he were a Captain, himself. Instead, Kuchiki-taicho had come to see Renji, then spoken to Kira-san, and Unohana-taicho. Hanatarou was surprised beyond measure when he brought another bag of liquid to hang on the IV stand for Renji, and found the dark-haired noble waiting for him.

Kuchiki-taicho nodded graciously at him, and said, "Your Captain has told me that you have been caring for my subordinate. Unohana speaks very highly of your abilities, Yamada-san." Hanatarou couldn't speak. He knew that he was receiving a great honor, but it was difficult to know how to react. In the end, he had only bowed and stammered that it was his job, and no thanks were necessary.

Now it was time to change Renji's dressings for the wound, and Hanatarou sighed. It was a real chore. He first had to get the larger, more powerful man to lay flat on his back. That took some very strong restraints. "Abarai…Renji?" With an effort, one red eye cracked open, looking at him. "I'm going to have to lay you out again. Don't freak out like you did last time." It was easy enough to say that, but Hanatarou knew that it wasn't just the cramping. Every inch of Renji's skin was hypersensitive. Whatever poison was in his system, it seemed that there were different symptoms for each stage of its release from his body.

Hanatarou hoped that no one came in. He was sure that this looked very strange. Climbing up onto the bed, he positioned the restraints, then straddled Renji's chest. "I'm really sorry about this, Abarai-san…" It took all of his strength, but he somehow got both wrists buckled in. Hanatarou turned, facing Renji's feet. Placing one of his forearms on Renji's knees, and hooking the other under the man's calves, he pushed forward, using his bodyweight as leverage. "Come on, Renji…" Hanatarou huffed, "You can help me a little, can't you?" He thought he felt the muscles in Renji's thighs relax a little. That was a start. Maybe the poison would get worked out soon? Nearly five minutes later, Hanatarou was exhausted. Renji's ankles were now strapped down.

It was easier to do all of his daily maintenance when Renji was in this position. Cleaning, dressing wounds, and other things were necessary for his recovery, and Hanatarou sighed. He was getting tired again. On his way to the closet, he popped another of those evil little pills. It gave him a rush of energy that lasted close to an hour, and after that, small bursts would come once every ten to fifteen minutes for about twelve hours. It was just enough for him to be productive. Though the effectiveness was wearing out, since he seemed to be taking them more often now.

Bringing a basin, fresh gauze, healing ointment, and several other medical implements, he placed them on the table next to Renji's head. Hanatarou took the basin to the bathroom, filling it with warm water. "Renji…it's time to clean your wounds…" Hanatarou set down the large bowl, and took up the scissors. He cut away the old bandages, surveying the damage. "Well, I suppose that it's a good sign that the hole didn't open again." There was no dried blood, and the skin looked to be mending, finally. He sighed. Hanatarou untied the loose white cloth that was the only type of clothing Renji could stand to wear, and let it fall away from his hips before covering private areas with a white towel. After dipping a cloth into the water and squeezing out the excess, he began wiping at the old ointment. A hiss left Renji's lips as the rough cloth brushed over his ribs. "Ah…sorry."

Good Lord, this was awkward. Renji glared at him every time he touched an area that could even possibly be considered an erogenous zone, and he was having trouble maintaining his professionalism. That fact was probably due to his lack of sleep. He'd intentionally left the worst for last. Sensitivity in skin meant that there was also heightened feeling in Renji's genitals. And those had to be cleaned, too. If only he could have put the man onto a draining table, he could have simply doused him with water. But there was no use crying over spilt…well, you know.

Renji thought he would die of embarrassment, or arousal. The stupid poison had caused every nerve attached to his skin to flare with some sensation or another. Around his wound, it was pain. Other areas felt textures in high relief, were easily tickled, or itched incessantly. When Hanatarou washed him, though…it was pure, unadulterated Hell. He was in Hell because it felt like Heaven. The rough cloth would scrape wetly over his skin, slipping every now and again, and he would feel the warmth of slender, nimble fingers instead. If he had really believed in any gods, he would have prayed for it to end quickly. Today, his bath terminated in the same way it had the day before, when the sensitivity had started. Hanatarou injected him with a muscle relaxant, causing him to fall asleep, and his erection to dissipate.

Now having awakened to a barely audible flapping sound, he cracked an eyelid. From his fetal position (Hanatarou said it would be bad to keep him restrained for too long), he saw the little medic fanning himself. The green and white fan blew dark hair around his face (which was flushed slightly pink), and blue eyes closed in relief. Renji did not find it hot in the room. Perhaps Hanatarou was getting sick?

How was he supposed to look Renji in the face now? That was two days in a row. He was very glad for Unohana-taicho's muscle relaxants. Were it not for that, he'd have died of his blush. Hanatarou was going to need to get a bigger towel the next time he bathed Renji. He'd had every kind of odd circumstance when performing his duties as a medic. He'd even had Ukitake-taicho faint during a routine medical examination. Of course, for some, there were situations that were more difficult than others. Respiratory tests were hard for Ukitake-taicho. Hisagi-san didn't like people to know that he found it problematic to have his reflexes tested: he was ticklish on his kneecaps. That had made him giggle a bit. But when it came to sexual issues, Hanatarou had always displayed the highest amount of professionalism.

Until he'd come to deal with Abarai Renji. Maybe he should let someone else take care of his patient? No, that wouldn't do. He'd started Renji's treatment, so he would finish it. Perhaps it was because he'd been cooped up with the man for too long. It could also be that it had been a week since his little affair with Hinamori. That thought made him smile a little. She had been very sweet. Though, he thought that she ought to have waited. There were a couple of men that were much better for her than he was. In particular, Hanatarou knew that Kira-san thought the world of her, and that gave him just a twinge of guilt. It wasn't that he needed to repeat that incident. Hinamori was a good girl. He knew that wasn't going to happen again as soon as he had covered her with her kimono that night.

No, it was probably just the fact that he was used to being so active (no less than four times in every seven days), and he'd been idle for nearly a week. That was the only explanation for this. His thoughts were interrupted by a kind of croaking from Renji. Jumping to his feet, he rushed over to the bed. "Water…" Renji's voice was raspy, but it was encouraging that he spoke at all.

Once he'd poured a glass, he helped the larger man to sit up. Though his knees were still drawn up to his chest, and Hanatarou had to hold the glass to his mouth, it was a marked improvement from an hour earlier. Could the poison be getting to its final stages? He certainly hoped so. Refilling the glass, he asked, "How are you feeling?" A snort came from Renji. "Okay…maybe I should ask in another way. Can you move your arms?" Slowly, very slowly, Renji forced his left arm to straighten, only to have it fold up again. He made an annoyed sound. "That's actually an improvement, you know."

"Yeah…better if I could lay out…" The look in Renji's eyes when Hanatarou put the cup of water to his lips seemed almost desperate.

Smiling gently, he said, "That will come in time. Your wound is healing very quickly, though, and you should be thankful for that for now." Renji gave a tense nod. Hanatarou took the cup from him, and scooted him back into his laying position. "Do you need anything, Renji?" If he didn't, Hanatarou was going to slip into the bathroom and shower. He smelled terrible. Battle and treatment had been his two main concerns, not his own hygiene. Now that Renji seemed to be improving, he could leave the man alone for a few minutes.

"No. I'm fine."

Hanatarou gently ran his hand over the bright hair that spilled over the pillow. "I'll be right back."

The sound of the shower starting up brought Renji out of his nearly-asleep state. Hanatarou was taking a shower? That made images rise in his mind that he didn't need. He closed his eyes, bringing his fisted hands up to cover his ears. It didn't really block out the noise of rushing water, which was the cause of his current discomfort. The pale man had touched his hair, so gently, making his scalp tingle in a way that Renji could not remember feeling before.

Was that what Hinamori meant? It had been a good feeling, that was sure. But why had Hanatarou touched him that way?

Thinking back, he knew that of all the shinigami, he was sure that Hanatarou was the kindest, and the most gentle. He didn't have a mean bone in his body. And he was very protective of his patients. So wouldn't it follow that he would try to soothe Renji's mental state as well as his physical hurts?

In the bathroom, Hanatarou leaned against the tiles of the shower. It wasn't passing. Why? He'd washed, then put the water on as cold as it could possibly go. Why did he still feel like he was going to explode? There really was nothing for it. Once he'd turned the water back to a bearably warm temperature, he set about relieving that awful tension that had built up. He thought of his time with Hinamori, but that was too tender to inspire the kind of reaction he needed his body to have. Then came Rangiku. A small sigh escaped him at that thought. Now that woman wasn't tender. She was one that liked to be catered to in all respects. If one did not do something precisely the way she wanted, there would be retribution. Not that Hanatarou minded that, either. Though he'd had to steal bruise ointment a couple of times…

But even that didn't allow him the release he craved. He lay his forehead on the cool tiles, trying to find, through all of the many feminine faces and bodies, something that would allow him to fly apart at the seams. Finally, he let his mind wander into the territory he'd strictly kept it out of. He saw red eyes and a wolfish grin, black tattoos and hard muscle…and very large hands. For the love of all that was holy…his body suddenly flared to life, his hand's grip tightening, and he bit his lips to keep from crying out.

As his brain spiraled into the depths of fantasy, his face burned in shame, but that shame only seemed to intensify the phantom sensation of those large hands gliding over his skin, the feeling of that grin on the back of his neck just before sharp teeth bit into his shoulder…Breathing was difficult. The air was thick with steam, and it seemed as if he should have had gills. Gasping as quietly as he could, he slid to his knees. There had been very few times when pleasure turned to pain simply because of its intensity, but the pain came now. It was a kind of ache, spreading into his entire body, making him curl down and forward. The elbow of his unoccupied arm hit the floor, and he leaned on it heavily, finally letting out a quiet cry as he spilled himself onto the tiles.

His body slumped to the floor, spent in more ways than one. How long had it been since he had done that? Not so long, he thought, that it should cause him to feel such pleasure at the touch of his own hand. But then, why?


Hanatarou's eyelids fluttered open at a completely horrifying realization. He had just masturbated while thinking of a man. Not just any man. He had touched himself with spectacular effect because of Abarai Renji, a man that lay nearly naked in the next room. An involuntary groan escaped his lips at the thought, and then another revelation hit him: he had to touch Renji. Every day until he got better, he had to touch him.

Professionalism had gone out of the window the moment he'd stepped into the shower. So how did he get his job done and not blush himself to death? Several possibilities rose in his mind, but none of them were very appealing. For one, he certainly was not going to tell Renji what he'd just done. It was not only unprofessional, but that was just downright kinky. Hanatarou kept a strict 'don't ask, don't tell' policy about such things. And honestly, he didn't want anyone knowing that he had done that.

At the same time, he was sure that he couldn't act the same way with the other man. He cursed his hormones, and pushed himself to his feet, finishing the job he'd actually gotten into the shower for.

Now clean of new sweat and semen, he dried himself, and pulled an extra set of clothes from his pack. Once he was dressed, he felt a bit better.

Hanatarou had been in the shower for a very long time. Renji drifted in and out of consciousness, always waking to the sound of rushing water. How long did it take to shower, especially when you were so small?

Small. That was the perfect word to describe Yamada Hanatarou. He had small hands, small feet, small everything. Small, and sad. He always looked sad. Not in that depressed way that Kira seemed sad. With Hanatarou, it was as if he longed for something. His eyes held a pleading sadness, rather than one that was resigned. Renji was reminded suddenly of soft fingers slipping over his wet skin. His eyes closed, and he listened to the water run in the bathroom while imagining those hands.

They would trail over his ribs, goose bumps rising, and then move to his shoulders and into his hair. Renji was certain that if Hanatarou did that, and gave his hair even the slightest tug, he would lose himself. But that wouldn't happen. He had nothing to worry about in that respect. Hanatarou's hands moved with professional, efficient grace, or in a solitary gesture of comfort.

"Damn it, Hanatarou, let me walk!" Renji was trying to push himself out of the wheelchair. Shinigami were stubborn, but this was ridiculous. It was like a showdown. Renji glared up at Hanatarou, who was leaning down into his face with a look promising utter destruction if he so much as thought of walking. One slim hand planted itself in the middle of his chest, and he quieted. His skin was still excessively sensitive, and that hand felt much nicer than it should, just sitting there. Fighting to keep his breath normal, Renji made a sour face. Though the cramping and tightness was gone from his muscles, he was now weak as if he had never used his limbs. Hanatarou was insistent that he would not be allowed to…how did he put it? Oh, yes.

"Renji, don't be an ass. You'll fall flat on your face, and then I'll have to drag you back to the bed again."

"Renji…if you need to use the restroom, then you have two options: you can use the urinal tankard, or you can let me help you." Hanatarou sounded tired. It had been a week and a half since the battle. Had the slight shinigami not…but then, Renji saw the way the small man's shoulders were hunched more so than usual. There were dark rings under his eyes.

"When was the last time you slept, Hanatarou?"

The medic blinked in confusion. Apparently, the jump in conversation from Renji's bladder activity and Hanatarou's sleep patterns was difficult for him to comprehend. "What?"

A weak, shaky hand reached out and took hold of Hanatarou's wrist, pulling him closer. "You look tired. Have you slept?"

"I am fine, Renji." Somehow, the grip on his wrist was shaken off, and Renji wanted to scream at the smaller man. No. Hanatarou was not fine. It didn't take a medic to see that. He was getting even thinner than he was before, as well. Renji sat back in the wheelchair and allowed himself to be pushed to the bathroom, thinking about finding a way to make Hanatarou stop being an idiot. It was embarrassing to have someone a foot shorter than he was holding him up while he relieved himself, but it was done with such gentleness that in a way, he didn't mind.

After the usual embarrassments associated with this chore, Renji asked if he could eat. Hanatarou rang for his food, and when the female shinigami came to ask what was required, Renji asked the girl to provide a plate for the medic, as well. That surprised the man. When asked why he did that, Renji shrugged. "I just haven't seen you eat anything other than those creepy little pills for a while. Best not to rely on those, right?" And there it was. Hanatarou smiled. Renji hadn't seen him smile in a long time, either. It was a good smile, though.

When they ate, Renji watched Hanatarou picking at his food. "Eat, Hanatarou," Renji said as he put down his chopsticks. His coordination still left a lot to be desired, and he'd gotten rice on his chest again. Blue eyes rose, lighted momentarily on his face, and then fixed on the rice that Renji was attempting to pick off of himself.

"Maybe a spoon would be better?" Hanatarou asked, and Renji started to get annoyed.

"Don't change the subject, Hanatarou."

A small crease developed between dark eyebrows. "I am not changing the subject."

"Really?" Renji grumped, "I tell you that you need to eat, and you not only stop eating, but you go fussing over me again."

A deep, rolling sigh came from the back of Hanatarou's throat, and he picked up his chopsticks, slowly beginning to eat. He didn't look at Renji the entire time he consumed his rice and vegetables. "Hanatarou…I'm sorry…" Renji wondered if he should tell him why he'd been cross with him. If he wanted to see him any other way than like he was at the moment, though, he had to. "I'm a little worried about you."

Blue eyes shot up to his face, wide with surprise. "What? You're worried?" Surprise turned to anger. "You should be more worried about yourself! I'm not the one who's been poisoned!"

"No," Renji said slowly, "But I know you aren't sleeping. You barely eat anything but the pills in your bag, and you aren't acting like yourself." Now, Renji was getting to be a little uncomfortable. He shifted against the pillows propping him up. Hanatarou looked away. "Don't you ever think of yourself?"

In a hoarse whisper, Hanatarou said, "No."


"This is my job. My job is my life. I care for my patients lives in place of my own." Renji almost choked. How could such a selfless being exist? But if Hanatarou didn't take care of himself, then there would be no one to offer any such support, care and tenderness to those who found themselves in the situation Renji was in now. When he said as much, Hanatarou just shrugged. "My life doesn't really matter. You and the others, like Rukia-san and Hinamori-chan…you're the ones that matter. That's why I'm here, and that's why I do what I do."

Renji had made up his mind. Hanatarou was going to sleep tonight, even if he had to force-feed him one of those nasty sleeping pills himself.

Hanatarou went about the nightly ritual of getting Renji ready for bed mechanically. Their discussion that afternoon had left him drained. For the rest of the daylight hours, he'd busied himself with paperwork. Renji's condition was unique, and he had to fill out all of the proper forms, so that when he was completely healed, blood samples might be taken and tests done, to see if an anti-venom could be developed for the Hollow's poison.

Now, he came to the dreaded task of helping Renji to bathe. There were some things that he could do for himself now, but he was still weak. He needed help. And there was nothing that Hanatarou could do but provide it.

"How are you feeling?" Hanatarou was checking the extension of his muscles. Bend at the knee, straighten. Bend at the hip, straighten. Renji winced. It hurt when he did that. He saw a crease form on the smaller man's forehead. "It hurts?" A nod from Renji. "Well, I was hoping that you wouldn't have this stiffness, but it seems that I may have restricted your movements too long." With a wry smile, Hanatarou crossed his arms. "Feel free to say 'I told you so' at any time."

"Not necessary." He winced as his shoulder gave a painful twinge. "Can you do anything about the pain?"

Hanatarou placed his arm at his side. "I can't give you any more painkillers, Renji." Then, the medic seemed to think for a long moment. He glanced at the door, then back to Renji. "If you promise not to tell anyone, there is one thing that I can do." Wondering what it was that Hanatarou was offering, he hesitantly agreed. Renji didn't know what he was getting himself into, but if it got rid of the pain, he'd do just about anything. Of course, when Hanatarou moved to lock the door, little alarm bells started going off in the back of his mind.

As he moved around the room, the shorter man was efficiency personified. No movement was wasted as he gathered a large stack of towels, a bottle filled with an amber liquid, and took some incense from his pack. Briefly, Renji wondered if there was that Hanatarou did not keep in that bag. That musing was interrupted when he found himself looking up into an earnest face. "You promise you won't tell anyone? I'm not supposed to do this."

"Not a word."

Relief washed over pale features, and then Renji could do absolutely nothing but watch. Hanatarou took towels and covered each of his legs, then one for his hips. After placing the towel over his hips, the medic reached underneath it to remove the draping cloth he wore. Another towel covered his torso, and finally, his arms were covered. "To keep you warm," he mumbled as he lit the incense, placing four long sticks of it in small holders at each corner of the bed. It smelled of jasmine, and somehow seemed to soothe and stimulate Renji's body at the same time.

Just like when he was cramping up a few days earlier, Hanatarou climbed onto the bed. This time, though, he sat on his knees at Renji's left, pulling the towel off of his now heated arm. Dexterous fingers uncapped the bottle he'd brought out, and poured some of the liquid into his left hand. Rubbing his hands together, Hanatarou took up his arm, laying his forearm across his shoulder. His fingers pressed firmly, sliding over the muscles of Renji's shoulder, producing the most wonderful aching heat there, and drawing out the stiffness. His eyes closed, and Renji just let sensation take him.

Firm pressure, the sliding hands, and heat filled his arm, then his hand as Hanatarou massaged away the pain, replacing it with something even more dangerous: a fiery pleasure that threaded through his every nerve. Then he was re-covered, and Hanatarou moved to his other arm. The sensations began anew, and there was no way that Renji could control the groans that left him. That was his sword arm, and it always seemed to be tense. Once that arm was finished, Hanatarou moved to his neck and chest.

Sensitivity seemed heightened by the oil that was being spread over his skin and worked in like muscle ointment, and this only meant that when Hanatarou's fingers went gliding over his jugular, his collarbone, and down to his chest, it felt better than it should, perhaps better than it ever had before. There was something evil in that touch…something so undeniably sensual, that Renji could understand now. He understood how Hinamori had been seduced. Hell, he felt like he was being seduced.

Renji opened his eyes just a little, if only to learn how to do what was being done to him. Hanatarou was paying close attention to his efforts. So close, in fact, that he did not notice Renji's face gaping at him. Intense sensations worked his body through small, pale, glistening hands, and his usually placid face was etched in some unnamable expression. His eyes were half closed, and a minute smile curled at the edges of his mouth. Did Hanatarou know he looked like that? It was unlikely. One hand rose to hook long bangs behind one ear, leaving a shiny spot of oil on Hanatarou's cheek. Girls said, at times, that Hanatarou was cute. That was inaccurate. A few of the cruder men called him pretty. No, that wasn't right, either. Hanatarou was beautiful.

He watched him, entranced, as soft, small hands ran over his torso, careful of his wounds, but still pressing firmly enough to work the knots out of the muscles at his sides. When Hanatarou moved to his legs, he placed Renji's left foot on his shoulder after making that appendage feel as if it were loose enough to simply drop off. Fingers slid, kneading, up his calf, then to his thigh. Renji bit his lips. Was it just him, or was Hanatarou smiling wider? He felt those hands lingering longer than they had on his arms or torso, heat pressing hard into his muscles until it shot pleasure straight to his groin. He had to bite harder on his lips to keep from making any sound.

Blue eyes were completely closed now, even as his left leg was covered, abandoned in favor of his right. It took every ounce of self control he had not to squirm when skilled hands made their way up to his thigh muscles, causing his small problem to become quite large. Soon enough, his leg was re-covered, and there was no amount of lip biting that could hold in the little whimper that he made as Hanatarou reached beneath the towel to massage his lower abdominal muscles, and his eyes closed. Then it was gone. He could feel himself being turned gently onto his stomach.

Hanatarou sat on the backs of his thighs. This position was used to greatest advantage when his back got the same treatment that his front received. As the smaller man leaned his weight into Renji's back to work out the enormously tight muscles, he bent low, and said in Renji's ear, "You're tensing, Renji. Relax." If Hanatarou really had wanted him to relax, he wouldn't have said his name in that breathy way. Past the point of caring, Renji gave a small moan. It was as if he was being taunted.

One particularly tight place between his shoulder blades let go, and Renji sighed. When Hanatarou shifted, he felt something firm pressing into the back of one of his thighs. It was actually very firm…on the verge of being hard. Not really understanding why, Renji groaned. "Gods…what are you doing to me?"

Again, Hanatarou leaned down to his ear. "I'm making the pain go away." His breath was hot, and becoming more rapid. Scratchy cotton came into contact with the skin of his back, and the smaller man's weight settled onto him. Lips grazed his ear. "Is it gone, Renji?" The emphasis on his name, the feeling of lips on his skin, it was almost too much. "How do you feel, Renji?" When did Hanatarou learn to say a person's name that way? He felt himself burning. Heat and almost blinding need coursed through his body at the way his name brushed over his skin, softer than silk, yet dark, like some kind of secret seduction that only this man knew. Renji's hips twitched, and he gasped when his bare erection rubbed at the sheets.

The hands that had been resting on his shoulders slid down, over his ribs. "Tell me to stop," Hanatarou whispered, his nails scraping lightly at the skin over his hips. "Please, Renji. Make me stop…" Had he not been thoroughly weakened by a Hollow's poison, Renji's muscles would have turned to absolute jelly. He heard himself speak.

"I can't…"

He could feel shuddering breaths from Hanatarou. "Renji," that dark, secret voice said in his ear as hands slid over places no hands had in a very long time, "I…" The voice trailed off, and Renji felt lips close on his earlobe. Body spiraling out of control, one hand escaped the confines of the towels, and gripped a handful of dark hair, pulling.

Hanatarou's eyes locked on his, an acute fear warring with desire in their blue depths. Gently, Renji pressed his lips to smaller ones, and felt Hanatarou tense. Pressing more firmly, he parted his lips. His tongue darted out, feeling the smooth textures of Hanatarou's lips, urging them to part. Rapid breathing against his back told him that he wasn't the only one that wanted this. As Hanatarou's mouth opened, Renji let out a growl of accomplishment. He kissed him slowly, savoring the heat of him, the smooth way their tongues moved as one…and the way one small hand drifted back up to his neck, then into his hair.

One tug. One was all it took for Renji to lose himself. Hanatarou's fingers tangled in bright red, silky strands, now slightly damp with oil and sweat, and he pulled. The kiss broke. "Renji…" Small, hot lips grazed his, and a tongue lapped at his mouth. "…Oh, God…please," A slender leg moved, wedging itself between Renji's knees. "…stop me, Renji…"

Towels started falling to the floor.

Renji couldn't move. He didn't want to. Not when he could feel all that he felt. He didn't want to stop the furious rush of sensation, emotion, and everything. Hanatarou spoke again, sending shivers through him.

"I can't stop…" His breathing was fast. Cloth rustled. The light was fading with the onset of night, and Renji couldn't see very well. While his vision was impaired, his sense of touch was heightened, and that was more than enough to know that when Hanatarou leaned down to him again, he wasn't wearing his haori, or the underkimono. Heated skin slid over Renji's back, and he felt wiry muscles beneath. "Renji," Hanatarou breathed, "please?"

Gods, he was going to explode. He was going to come all over himself and the hospital bed, just because Hanatarou was shirtless, and breathing in his ear. And he wanted to. He'd been denied release for close to eight days now, but it was much more intense because of who was making him need that release. Hanatarou's breath on his neck, the hands that found their way to every part of him, and the feeling of that weight pressed into his back sent him into a place he'd never been.

"No…" Renji said lowly, "…don't stop."

Hanatarou moaned in his ear. "Renji…I want…"

"Yes." He hardly knew what he was saying. The desire and need that clouded his mind made him uncaring of anything but the pleasure he now felt at having a warm body pressed against his own, one small hand wriggling down between the bed and his body. Hanatarou's mouth latched onto his neck, just below his ear, teeth grazing skin, and his hand found its way around Renji's straining erection. "Ahhh…" he whispered, "Ha…Hana…t…aaaaa…" Unable to complete a four-syllable name, Renji stuck with the first. "H-Hana…oh, Gods…that's amazing…"

Whatever fantasies he'd had in the shower…they could not compare to this. Renji wanted this. Wanted it just as much as Hanatarou did. His unoccupied hand untied the sash of his hakama, letting them slide down to pool at his knees. He had not expected this to feel so good. Quiet sounds of ecstasy escaped Renji from below, and he altered his grip slightly, dragging one thumb over the moistened slit of the man's erection. Renji hissed, tensing. "Try to relax, Renji…" He couldn't say the name enough. He loved the feeling of it on his tongue.

Hips twitched beneath him. "Faster, Hana…faster."

Lips curling into a smile that was as wicked as his voice sounded, Hanatarou breathed, "Patience, Renji…" before licking at the man's neck.

A growl of impatience sounded in the larger man's throat. "Evil little—" Hanatarou cut him off by biting down sharply at the top of Renji's trapezius muscle, where it joined his neck. "Ahhhhhh…" He would have stopped to tease the man, but it felt too good to make him this way. If Renji got too angry, then it would end. And pleasure should last. "Hana…"

"Renji…" Hanatarou's free hand reached to one side, taking up the neglected bottle of oil. It was still open, so all he did was grip it by the top and turn it over, spilling slick liquid into his hand. Spreading it over his own erection, he stroked at it, trying to relieve the tension in his own body. It only served to make it worse. He momentarily stopped touching Renji, though he didn't want to. He breathed heavily as he leaned over to trace one of the dark tattoos on a broad shoulder with his tongue. "Renji…"he said against the skin of his shoulder, "I want…you…please, Renji…" His erection rubbed at the back of the other man's thigh, and he heard Renji moan. "God…please…" pleasure spiked through him, and he breathed in sharply when one of those large hands reached back, weakly grasping his leg, pulling him closer.

Without his hand moving over his erection, it appeared that Renji could speak a bit better. "Hanatarou, don't stop." Renji's grip started to shake, and he choked out one more word. "Please." With that, he stroked soothingly at the hard muscle of Renji's back, his thighs, smoothing fingers over his buttocks. A low moan escaped parted lips, and Hanatarou burned the image of Renji's face into his mind as he ran one slicked finger down, down and finally over the tight ring of muscle that caused red eyes to slide shut.

His right hand took up its former task, and Renji groaned. One finger slid forward, pressing into tight heat, and he heard a sharp intake of breath. That finger slid deeper, pushing down until he felt Renji's body go rigid. "Hanatarou…" he moaned breathily, and weakly tried to raise his hips up to meet the intrusion that somehow made him writhe. Another finger followed, joining the first. Both of these slid against the same spot inside Renji, and Hanatarou smiled gently when he saw Renji's eyes widen. He stroked that spot at the same pace and rhythm as he did the other man's erection, watching his face and the way he moved.

After some time, he removed his fingers, and coated his own length with oil. It was almost too much just to spread it over himself.

Renji had long since melted into the bed. The multitude of stimuli assaulted him, dragging sounds from him that he had never made. Hanatarou's fingers left him, and he felt something else slide inside him. His mouth worked open and shut, unable to produce even the slightest sound. It wasn't overly large, but it was enough. When Hanatarou leaned down over him, he heard that dark, secret, somehow evil voice say, "Don't scream."

Scream? Renji had never screamed in his—

Hanatarou's weight fell fully onto his hips, pressing in harder, and a short cry escaped him before a small hand covered his mouth. It was a strange sensation. He felt…full. And as Hanatarou moved, sending fire burning through his entire body. "Renji…" He heard his name gasped repeatedly, feeling that stabbing pleasure over and over again until finally, he did scream. Right into Hanatarou's hand. As his orgasm took him, he felt his face released, and Hanatarou kissed him again, his own climax not far behind, breathing Renji's name into the darkness.

It was not long before the rough cloth of a towel was cleaning him of his own mess, and Hanatarou's. The way the man's hands touched him was so tender that it was nearly painful. Another towel was placed on the bed, and he felt himself being rolled over onto it. Before Hanatarou could reach for his clothing, Renji took hold of his wrist. Pulling him into the bed, he draped the smaller body over his own. "Sleep now, Hanatarou." The blankets pulled up, and they lay just as they were until the sun rose, Renji drifting in and out of sleep while Hanatarou slept like the dead.

Six weeks later…

Renji sat beneath a maple tree, watching the way the red leaves blew in the breeze. Footsteps approached, but he did not look to see who it was. He already knew. "Good afternoon, Kuchiki-taicho."

"I've come to see how you are feeling, Renji." When Renji's red eyes looked up into the face of his Captain, he smiled. Byakuya's eyebrow rose no more than a millimeter. "Yamada-san has reported marked improvement in your strength and coordination. According to him, you should be back to full strength in no more than four more weeks."

With a nod, Renji looked back up into the brilliant red of the tree's canopy. "If Hanatarou says so, then I will believe him." Byakuya bid him farewell, wishing him a more speedy recovery than was predicted. Renji leaned back again, his back feeling the bite of the tree's bark through the heavy silk of his kimono. A presence approached silently. He smiled secretively. "Hana…you should know better than to sneak up on me."

The small man walked up from behind the tree. His dark blue kimono swayed in the breeze. "How are you, Renji?" He knelt next to the taller man, then sat on his heels. Blue eyes scrutinized Renji's face. One pale, slender hand rose, brushing over his cheek, a tender, loving gesture.

"Better. I was lonely." Renji pulled Hanatarou into his lap, his arms enfolding a smaller body, not allowing him to get away with excuses of propriety and public displays. "Shh…stay with me, Hana. We'll listen to the trees, and you can tell me another of your stories."

There was a deep, rolling sigh, and Hanatarou settled against his chest, resting his head. It wasn't long before the trees had lulled both men to sleep.