Ukitake Jyuushiro and his two third-seat officers were greeted with a most interesting sight upon opening the door to the administrative office of the Sixth Division.

Unless of course, you don't find seeing the captain of said division apparently trying to eat the face of his very surprised-looking vice-captain interesting. Which in some divisions wasn't.

But nonetheless, interesting or not, this was what they found.

After alerted to presence of others when the door opened, Byakuya calmly released his vice-captain's face, straightened his clothes a little and asked "May I help you?" in a level voice.

Renji just blinked.

For a moment, no one said anything.

Byakuya seemed to sense the confusion, and tried to clear the silence. "Ah, if you're wondering about what you just saw, I can explain the rather compromising appearances of the situation,"

Renji seemed to have recovered from the stun enough to speak. "That makes one of us,"

Byakuya hardly glanced at him, "...And I can assure you there's a perfectly reasonable explanation."

Renji was staring at him with something akin to incredulity. "I certainly fuckin' hope so!"

There was another pause, before Ukitake decided that he really did want to know despite common courtesy dictating it wasn't his business. "And that explanation would be...?"

Hardly a beat was skipped. "I was administering CPR."

Renji looked at him dumbly "CPR?"

"While Abarai was standing?"

"Yes. He's very steady on his feet. And it happened rather quickly."

"What happened?"

"I needed CPR?"

"...He was choking."


"I was? On what?"

"On his own blood. He had started coughing, so I administered resuscitative measures."

"Wait a minute, what kind of 'resuscitative measures' involve your tongue?! I wasn't coughing and I don't even taste blood!"

"As you can see, he even blacked out. That kind of memory loss isn't unknown with that type of injury."

"And what type of injury might he have?"

"Yeah, why would I be choking on my blood all of the sudden?"

"A lung injury sustained a while ago. It wasn't properly treated, and the repercussions are catching up to him."

"How did he injure his lung?"

"Wouldn't I remember that?"

"I do not know, I wasn't present. I assume from his last excursion to the living world."


"From there? ...I think I do remember getting hit in the chest in that fight..."

"Precisely. And there you go."

"Should he be taken to the Fourth Division for medical attention?"

"Yeah, shouldn't I get this checked out if I really get blackouts and cough on my blood?"

"That shouldn't be necessary. The injury will heal itself provided he doesn't strain himself."

"Really now?"

"Are you sure I shouldn't get this checked out?"

"Positive. You'll be fine."

"Are you just making all this up?"

"If you have another explanation, Renji, we'd love to hear it."

"...Right. I was choking, then. Okay."

"That's what I thought you'd say. Now, Ukitake-taichou, I trust you have a reason for being here?"

"Ah, I had wanted to discuss the possibility of a promotion for Rukia, but perhaps that can wait..."

"That would be appreciated. We're quite busy here at the moment, there's been a backup in paperwork since one of our file cabinets was set on fire and we need to get back to work."

"...That wasn't my fault, by the way. Aren't those things supposed to be metal, anyway?"

"Right. I'll be seeing you, then, Kuchiki-taichou." And with that, Ukitake and his subordinates left, leaving Byakuya and Renji alone in the awkward atmosphere.

For a good while, neither said anything. Renji fidgeted.

"Permission to take my lunch break, Taichou?"

"Denied, Fukaitaichou. We should continue where we left off, should we not?"

Renji twitched.