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Our Crazy Life Together
Now that they'd confirmed the fact that Nanao liked him even though he was an idiot Shunsui came to the conclusion that he'd better beat a hasty retreat before Nanao dropped any more ticking time bombs on him. He just didn't have the strength to deal with them any more, at least while he was the sober one. Finding out she loved him, seeing her in her underwear, both of them on a bed together without her freaking out...this was just a night for the books. Since in a drunken state she could probably kill him without remorse Shunsui rose to leave, that being wiser than risking her turning on him for thinking he intended to take advantage of her drunken state which was a conclusion she could come to at any moment. She just knew him too damn well. He'd better be getting brownie points for this, Shunsui thought darkly. "Well, sleep tight, Nanao chan. I'll see you in the morning." And then, the shit was going to hit the fan.
"Aren't you going to tuck me in?"
Oh God. Looking into her upturned, expecting face, Shunsui honestly couldn't imagine what he could have done to deserve this. Why oh why couldn't she be sober already? Then he could just tuck the both of them in and then...no, he couldn't think about that right now or he wouldn't be leaving this room any time soon. Well at least not under his own steam anyway. But what a way to go. "You...you want me to tuck you in?" He finally choked out, praying he'd somehow misunderstood her request. This was his Nanao chan after all. No way she'd ask him to do such a thing, right? Oh please God right.
"Uh huh. Please?"
It was the please that did it. Sighing deeply the poor captain reached for the covers and quickly brought them up to her chin, praying to God for the strength to survive this. Sheesh, the things he was willing to do for her. If it wasn't her style to be frank and upfront he'd think she was doing this to him as some sort of punishment. But no, mind games just weren't her style. "There you go. All tucked in and ready for sleep." Please God be ready for sleep.
"That's not how you tuck someone in. You're supposed to tuck the blankets in at my sides too and than you have to kiss my forehead and tell me to have sweet dreams. Do I have to do everything in this relationship?" Looking thoroughly disgruntled Nanao crossed her arms above the blankets, very much the pouty child. "It's a good thing you don't love me. What kind of father would you be, if you don't even know how to tuck someone in properly."
"That's right, not that anyone will ever call you that, you womanizing pig."
"God I need a drink."
Sending her captain a dark look Nanao was definitely not amused by his declaration. "And how irresponsible is that, when you're supposed to be taking care of me? You're the most irresponsible man I know. God, I really am going to have to wait for Captain Hitsugaya to grow up, aren't I? Dammit, that's going to take centuries." Heaving a sigh of her own Nanao pictures two more centuries of single hood. It was gonna suck wide.
"Captain...Captain Hitsugaya? The shrimp? What about him?"
"Now he's my ideal guy...only I don't want to be a cradle robber and he's still too young for me. Plus, I love you, but hey, in two centuries, I'm sure I can figure out a way to get over that. I'm a very focused and driven individual after all. Oh don't look so upset, I'll still be your vice captain, I won't leave you. If Matsumoto and I were to switch places the eighth division would never turn in another piece of paperwork again. Besides, even if I wanted to transfer the Commander General would never let me. He knows I'm the only one he can count on to keep you in line. You spoiled baby."
Needing to sit down again Shunsui took a seat beside her again, fighting the urge to just put his face in his hands and give himself over to the extreme depression that threatened to take him over and drive him to drink and worse. Could things get any worse?
"You look so sad. Did I hurt your feelings?"
"Among other things." Was his darkly amused reply as he turned his head to face her. "It's not every day that a man hears that the love of his life intends to throw him over for a younger, much shorter friend who he'll now have to kill in order to insure he doesn't lose his woman to the little pip-squeak. You're determined to get Matsumoto and now I have to go after Shorty...guess we're declaring war on the tenth division. Could be fun, don't you think? "
Eyes going wide Nanao gapped at him like he'd just lost his mind. "You wouldn't really hurt him, would you? Would you be able to beat him? He's a lot tougher than he looks."
Oh would the insults never end! "Of course I could beat him! Where the hell is your faith in my abilities? Haven't I always kept you safe? Have you ever seen me lose to anyone before? I even went toe to toe with the Old man and I'm still here. And you call me an idiot!" Thoroughly worked up now that what little was left of his ego was gone Shunsui leapt to his feet, his very rarely seen temper sparking. "Since when did I become a weakling as well as a rat bastard womanizing bastard? Why don't you just transfer to Hitsugaya's division so that he can do all your damn paperwork and whatever else I don't do that's so important to you. It's a wonder you put up with me, but I guess the Old Man makes it worth your while. Well fine, I'll do you a favor. I'll tell him I'll do my share of the paperwork if he lets you go work for your precious, perfect captain. That should make you just giddy with glee." Too angry to say anymore, still rational enough to know he'd said some really stupid things that he was really going to regret, Shunsui turned his back to her and walked out of the room in long, measured strides. Knowing he would never sleep now he flashed himself up onto the roof. Maybe that would cool his head.
Hours later, Shunsui finally got to his feet, knowing he had to get at least a couple hours sleep if he was going to survive the coming work day. Ugh. He could stretch out on the roof but he was going to have problems sleeping as it was, without adding potentially painful roof tiles into the mix. Flashing himself into his hallway Shunsui wearily rub his hands over his eyes, as if he could just erase the fatigue and heartache from his body. Fat chance. Sliding open his door he stepped in, surprised to see that the lamp beside his bed was lit. It made sense though when his head turned to see the person curled up on the bed's blue comforter, like a little lost kitten waiting for its master to return. Laying on her side in the middle of his bed Nanao's knees were drawn up against her chest and she wore no covers other than his pink haori, which was spread over her like a blanket, one of the edges clutched tightly in her small fist. Walking over to the side of the bed he saw her glasses laying on the covers beside her, carelessly left there to be broken or lost without a care. Her face was paler than before and there were signs of her having cried in the slight puffiness around her eyes and the dried tracks of tears apparent against her nearly colorless cheeks. And here he hadn't been able to imagine feeling any worse. Famous last words. Reaching out a hand Shunsui tenderly smoothed her bangs back, lingering over it as he brushed the back of his hand against her abused skin. "I'm so sorry, Nanao chan. I never wanted to make you cry."
As if she could hear him her free hand came up to lay her hand over his, holding his hand against her cool cheek. Sighing her face turned so that she could place a light kiss on his palm, a silent request for him not to pull away from her again. Too tired and worn to think about what was right or wrong Shunsui carefully withdrew from her grasp, straightening back to his full height. Picking up her glasses he put them on his night stand than removed his outer layers until he was wearing only his pants. Undoing the thong holding his hair back he slid down onto his bed covers, carefully stretching out beside her. Making a sigh of thanks when she shifted over to cuddle against his side, Shunsui relaxed as her head shifted to rest against his shoulder. Reaching out a hand he drew her a little closer, wrapping the arm around her tiny waist as he turned his head to look at her. She would be the last thing he saw when he did finally fall asleep and the first thing when he opened his eyes. Hopefully, when he opened them, she'd be looking at him too, and not away from him.
Opening her eyes slightly the next morning Nanao was aware of a low throbbing in the back of her head, one that had her wincing more in annoyance than in pain. What a way to start the day. Closing her eyes again Nanao's forehead puckered as she realized she was sleeping on her side and that the pillow beneath her head definitely wasn't hers. What the hell? Opening her eyes again Nanao's breath caught in her throat as she stared into a familiar, sleeping face. Oh My God! What the hell was her captain doing sleeping beside her? And what was she doing in his bed? How had she gotten here? What had happened? The last thing she remembered...oh. Memories bombarding her with the horror that had been the night before Nanao remembered exactly how she'd gotten into her present situation. Her eyes moving back to fasten onto his face she studied it, noting how tired it was even though he was currently fast asleep. He'd gone away and she had searched the house for him without any luck. She'd laid down here, hoping that he'd come back so that she could talk to him. She must have passed out and sometime during the night he'd come back and stretched out beside her. He'd been so angry with her, not that she could really blame him since anyone would be angry, having her on their hands while in that state. But her captain never got angry, it was one of the things that she'd always admired about him. His coolness under any situation. What had she said, to make him so angry though? That was a little vague but she could remember just enough to think it had had something to do with her question about his ability to beat Captain Hitsugaya in a fight. But that made no sense, people underestimated his abilities all the time. A snippet of the conversation running through her mind her eyes widened as she remembered him saying something to the effect that she was the love of his life. Why would he say such a thing? Cheeks pinking Nanao tried to convince herself she'd imagined it, without any real success. No, he'd definitely said that, and things along those lines throughout the night to her. And she'd dismissed them every time, even though now she could clearly remember the sincerity and seriousness on his face. Oh God...what had she done? Had she truly been wrong all these years, thinking she was just one of many he said those things to? Oh God...had she really told him she loved him too?
Her mind reeling it took all of Nanao's self control not to get her butt off the bed and as far away from her captain as she could possibly get. She had vacation time coming up, it really was about time she used it, wasn't it? But no, that was the coward's way out and despite her many faults being a coward had never been one of them. Besides, it wasn't like he'd let her get away even if she tried. He'd stated several times the night before that he intended to have a talk with her once she was sober and she was definitely that now. Unfortunately. No, better to face the piper now than worry about it constantly until he hunted her down like a dog. He was probably in a pretty bad mood anyway, without the added annoyance of having to find her to yell at her. To tell her that he definitely didn't love her anymore, if he ever really had. Oh damn...that would hurt even more than a hundred lectures and recriminations. Bracing herself for that possibility Nanao reached out a shaking hand and gently cupped his tanned cheek, her fingers stroking the skin beneath her hand.
Shunsui was a light sleeper, a defense mechanism he'd developed given Nanao chan's habit of hitting him in the head with something if he didn't wake up right away from one of his frequent naps. Eyes opening slowly his met hers and held. She looked so much younger without her glasses, he thought to himself, which wasn't important but was the first thing that came to his mind as sleep left him to be replaced by awareness. There was worry in her eyes but her hand was light and tender against his cheek, a comforting gesture he hadn't expected. Hadn't thought he'd deserve.
When the silence dragged on Nanao forced herself to give him a small smile, weak as it was. "Good morning, Captain."
"Good morning, my Nanao chan." Wincing slightly as he remembered an earlier conversation Shunsui cleared his throat. "I mean, good morning...Lieutenant Ise."
"I like being called your Nanao better."
Blinking Shunsui stared at her, sure that he must have heard her wrong. Lieutenant Ise was something he'd never called her after their first meeting but he'd always gotten the distinct impression it was what she'd prefer if he'd given her the choice. "But you don't like me calling you my Nanao chan. You always get mad when I do."
"I don't like being called chan like I'm a little girl." It was very unprofessional for him to call her by her first name at work too but he'd never stop doing that. He called everyone by their first name after all. Besides, she didn't ever want to be the only one he didn't speak to like she was someone important and close to him.
"But you don't mind being called mine?"
"No...I don't mind that part."
Awkward silence reigned once more as they stared at each other, not sure what to say now. Not that they'd known what to say before but the last two comments had killed whatever they'd been thinking or hoping to say eventually. Now they could only watch the other hopelessly, hoping that the other would have the courage to move the conversation forward, to get to what else needed to be said.
"I'm sorry I yelled at you last night." Shunsui finally got out, still reeling from the idea that all hope might not be lost. That they might not have blown it last night. That they might still have a chance.
"I'm sorry I gave you a reason to yell. You could kick Captain Hitsugaya's ass if you wanted to."
Instinctively smiling at his lieutenant's choice of words Shunsui laid a hand over hers, as he'd done the night before. They hadn't missed their chance. He could feel it in his bones. Thank God. "Well he'd certainly give me a run for my money. He's not the type to go down easy."
"Neither are you."
"You can remember everything that happened last night?" A lot hinged on her answer, Shunsui thought, as he waited for her answer.
"Most of it. I'm sorry I was such a bother to you. I promise it will never happen again. And thank you..for taking such good care of me when I didn't deserve it." Eyes lowering to half mast Nanao could feel her cheeks going pink again as she remembered all the out of character things she'd done. Dear God, she'd even undressed in front of him! And he, who was the biggest skirt chaser she knew, hadn't made a single pass, Nanao realized, the shock hitting her upside the head like a two by four.
"I made you cry."
"I did much worse." Forcing herself to look up at him Nanao met his gaze once more. "I must have hurt you so much in the past, dismissing your...your feelings towards me. I honestly never thought...never let myself believe they were genuinely meant."
"And did you mean it, Nanao chan? When you said you loved me?"
"I make it a policy not to say things I don't mean."
"Does this mean that I don't have to wait for you to get drunk to hear you say it from now on?"
Leaning forward Nanao moved close enough so that her lips were almost against his when she replied, "I love you, my crazy captain."
"I never doubted it for a minute."