Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach or any of its characters.

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The light in the room was blinding his senses, and it didn't help the fact that Renji was incessantly ranting loudly about every little thing. His voice was cutting through his brain like a knife.

"I don' understand, Taichou. I mean why are dumped with so much 'F-ing' paperwork, when I see Hitsugaya Taichou lounging around meditating, and Zaraki Kenpachi just walking around with the pink little midget. And then we're always here... in the office... hunched over our desk... pen in hand... doing goddamn stupid good-for-nothing PAPERWORK!!!" Renji kicked his desk making a loud bang, which made Byakuya flinch inwardly.

Shut up Renji, before I make you.

Renji was now leaning his chair up against the wall with his hands behind his head and started to drift off while looking at the ceiling.

"Hey, Taichou."

"Yes, Renji?" Byakuya replaced his brush in the inkwell and looked up with his passive expression, his only expression.

"Never mind." And with that Renji resumed his ceiling observations. Byakuya was annoyed and yet relieved that he had nothing else to say. The pain in his head was beginning to trickle down through his neck and creep up against his temples. It seemed as if this was going to be another full blown migraine. Resting his elbow upon his desk, he ran his hand over his forehead. He had never gotten a migraine this early on in the day. It usually popped up when he was home after a long days work. It was always triggered once he stepped forth into the Kuchiki home.

Without his captain noticing, Renji stopped his ceiling vigil, and came up to him concern written all over his tattooed brow.

"Taichou? You alright?"

Byakuya sort of jumped from his lack of knowing Renji had come so close. He glanced up at Renji, and then straightened himself. "It's nothing Renji, just a migraine. If you would, please get back to your papers. We need to get through it all before tomorrow afternoon."

Renji sighed while heading back towards his desk. Even though the captain had blocked out his feelings again, Renji couldn't help but feel surprised that Kuchiki-taichou had shown a weakness around him at all. The pain must be extreme if he would let his guard down for it.

"Hey Kuchiki-Taichou. Why don't you go and get some rest or see Unohana-san for that headache. I can take it from here," Renji leaned against his desk, apprehensively looking at his captain to see what he'd say. Maybe he was human. Maybe he would accept this time because he wasn't well. Maybe this time he'd break his own rule. Maybe he can be differ-

"No. I'm fine."

"No I'm fine." Byakuya's hollow voice came abruptly. He could see Renji's face fall into a dark look that suggested he disagreed with his decision. He was not going to leave his work schedule just for a minor headache.

Byakuya went back to marking the papers accordingly, and so did Renji. The rest of the morning and a bit after noon, they both worked diligently in silence. Byakuya was so surprised at his vice-captain's obedience, that he wanted to ask if Renji was feeling alright, when his head began spin. Byakuya lightly shook his head to clear it up, but a few seconds later the room started tilting, and Byakuya could feel his stomach lurch. Struggling to gain some control he stood up from his desk as well as he could and walked to the bathroom. He closed its door with a "thud".

"Thud," came the sound of the bathroom door being closed. Renji sat working on more paperwork, oblivious of Byakuya's condition. It was normal for either of them to take a restroom break. Hey, a guy's gotta piss, right?

After five minutes had passed, Renji began to feel concerned. Maybe he's been having problems being regular The thought made Renji chuckle immaturely, but he soon had his smile turned into a full blown frown, when five minutes turned into ten minutes.

Renji stood and came up to the bathroom. Knocking a few times he said, "Taichou, you okay in there?" ... long pause, no answer, "Taichou? Are you in there?" Renji hesitated in opening the door, maybe Captain just wanted to be left alone. He had had a headache this morning. But then again what if he was feeling worse... or even-

"Taichou!! I'm coming in, alright?" Renji flung open the screen and found Byakuya---

Renji flung open the screen and found Byakuya--- unconscious on the tiled floor. "Oh God, Taichou!? Taichou!?" Yelling his name as Renji tried to shake his shoulder. He turned on the faucet and cupped some water in his hands to splash on Byakuya's face. He let the water fall onto Byakuya's face, making some go into his mouth that hung ajar. Byakuya flinched but was not awakened by the water.

A coldness began creeping into the pit of Renji's stomach. It felt like a mound of ice had lodged itself in his core, and he was unable to do anything. He frantically looked around, trying to figure out what to do. Unohana-san!!! He had to get Unohana-san, or at least one of her squad. He ran out of the office room and found the building where Unohana would be. Once he found her, he explained the situation in hurried spurts.

"Slow down Renji. What happened?" Unohana calmly stated from her desk.

"Byakuya had a headache this morning, but he wouldn't come to see you! Then he went to the restroom, and he was there a long time. So I finally opened the door and found him unconscious! You must hurry, he could be seriously ill," Renji had already flung himself out of her office to run back to see if Byakuya was worse. He noticed that Unohana was fast behind him. She had a solemn look on her face. This must be her work face.

Renji turned back and looked ahead. They reached the 6th squad's office, and skidded their way to Byakuya's bathroom.

They were relieved to find that his eyes were slightly open, but he was not able to get up. Unohana sighed, "It is not major. He is dehydrated and over-exhausted. It is one of the most common consequences of being a Captain or Vice-captain. We'll take him to the infirmary, and he should be alright in about a day or two." Then out of nowhere came several of Unohana's squad with a Gurnee that picked Byakuya up and whisked him away to the hospital.

Renji leaned against the bathroom wall, his eyes unfocused on the ground.

"Don't worry, Renji-san. Kuchiki-san will be just fine," and at that she walked away and left him alone in the pale light of the bathroom