A/N: it was difficult as hell but here it is….chapter 4…I really gotta get me a new computer……

Cherry blossoms, mint and green tea: a combination of smells that Renji could catch from miles away and for good reason. It was completely Byakuya and he had made it a point to memorize the smell from the first moment he had caught the scent. He could remember the first time that he had been entranced by the scent of his captain. It was the first time they had really trained together. After going through some basic counter-attack and defense techniques, Renji had found himself near passing out from exhaustion.

"Taichou…. I'm exhausted. I think I might die from lack of oxygen," Renji panted out to his captain.

"Abarai-fukutaichou…in case you have forgotten, you are already dead. And it's really a shame that you get this exhausted by such light exercises," Byakuya replied in his usual emotionless voice.

Renji said nothing, instead resorting to grumbling something to himself to the effect of the captain being less harsh. Despite wanting to prove his new captain wrong about his stamina in training, Renji decided that it would be best to rest before performing that feat. In all honesty, Byakuya had been relentless in his attacks, expecting Renji to defend and counter each one. It was almost more than the redhead could handle. He knew from that first session of training with the captain that he would be lucky if, after training for the remainder of his life as a shinigami, he could be half as amazing as Kuchiki Byakuya.

"Maybe I should have chosen someone else as my vice-captain," Byakuya murmured to himself, watching as the redhead rested against a shady tree and shut his eyes when he had gotten comfortable. Byakuya turned away from his sleeping vice-captain, readying himself for the short trip back to the 6th division when a soft sound caught his ear. Ignoring the inner voice that was telling him to keep walking, Byakuya turned his head just enough to see the young vice-captain stir in his sleep and release a soft mewl from slightly parted lips. He turned fully and walked quietly to where Renji was resting. After taking a minute to decide his next course of action, the noble captain knelt down in front of the redhead. Before he could stop himself, a pale, graceful hand came up to rest on Renji's lightly flushed cheek. Byakuya ran his fingers and palm gently against the surprisingly soft skin for a few moments before thin fingers began to trail the vice-captain's parted lips. He ran his fingertips along the smooth skin there until another mewl from Renji halted his actions.

Byakuya briefly closed his eyes, withdrawing his hand after regaining his composure and common sense. The slightly flustered captain was close to leaving when his ebony eyes caught sight of the fiery red tresses that were forced up into a tight and unsightly ponytail. The bolder side of him began to control his actions as his hand snaked up to the black elastic holding the ponytail together. With a flick of his wrist, the elastic snapped, releasing the ruby strands in glorious shower of red around the vice-captain's beautifully sleeping face.

Byakuya gave a murmur of appreciation as he attempted to memorize how beautiful Renji looked with his hair down. He closed his eyes briefly to test his memory of the young redhead. The image in his head was nice, but when looking at the real thing, it significantly paled in comparison. Byakuya could not deny his feelings for Renji. It had originally been innocent, just a captain looking after his new vice-captain. But the more time he spent with the hot-headed redhead, the more he was captivated by him. What he was doing now, caressing him, feeling the soft skin of his lips, running his fingers through the silky red tresses, it had all been a fantasy of his. Thinking back, Byakuya could remember times when he had tried to imagine what it would be like. The real thing was nothing like his fantasies.


The vice-captain didn't stir much from his sleep except murmuring inaudibly. Byakuya leaned in and placed a chaste kiss on Renji's still parted lips. Still no response and for that, Byakuya was glad. How embarrassing would it be if he were to wake up just at that moment?

"Renji. You are mine," he murmured. With one last glance at the peaceful face of his love, Byakuya lifted Renji into his arms and made his way back to the 6th division. He thought it best not to leave him out there to travel back alone as he had originally planned, mostly because he didn't want anyone else to stumble upon the redhead while he was asleep and discover the beauty that Byakuya considered to be for his eyes only.

When Byakuya finally arrived at 6th division, he made a beeline for his office, Renji still fast asleep in his arms. He hadn't run into anyone else at the 6th division headquarters which he considered purely luck. Just in case, the captain had planned out an excuse to tell anyone he might run into to explain why he was carrying around his passed out vice-captain bridal style. Renji had passed out on the way back to 6th division from training, therefore forcing the captain to carry him the rest f the way. It was a very disappointing and lucid excuse, especially for the great Kuchiki Byakuya, but it was the best he could come up with while constantly being sidetracked by the soft sounds the redhead was making.

The captain breathed a mental sigh of relief when he approached the door to his office. For his own benefit, he would allow the redhead to sleep on the futon that he had set up for himself on the night when he was stuck doing paperwork until late at night. That usually only happened when Renji decided that a few more hours of training wouldn't hurt his chances of finishing his paperwork on time, leaving Byakuya to pick up the slack.

Just as he reached a hand out to open his office, he was greeted by the last person he wanted to run into at that moment.


"Rukia," Byakuya replied, trying his hardest not to sound too annoyed. He had grown accustomed to her occasional visits but her timing was extremely off at the moment. Why now? Byakuya found himself thinking.

"Well I just came to check in on you. I dropped by earlier but everyone I asked said you hadn't been in all day." Rukia's voice faltered when she noticed the lump in her brother's arms. "D-did I come at a bad time?"

"I have been training with my new vice-captain all day. I have not been in," Byakuya replied, not bothering to use too much detail. Rukia stared curiously at her redheaded friend.


"Goodnight Rukia," Byakuya replied. He opened the door to his office, no longer acknowledging the girl's presence, though the thought of the awkwardness of his next encounter with his sister continued to plague him. Once inside of his office, Byakuya let out a breath that he hadn't known he was holding in. After taking a glance at Renji to refresh his image of the sleeping beauty, he set him down gently on the futon and returned to his door to lock it.

His hand lingered on the smooth metal handle of the door and a silent breath was released as his eyes slid shut. Was all this really happening? Was the only man he'd ever wanted really lying on his futon, in his office, alone with him where no one would bother them? He sighed again, turning around and walking over to where the sleeping shinigami lay, his eyes still closed. When he felt the edge of the futon at his feet, he opened his eyes, smiling gently at Renji's new sleeping position. The redhead was laid on his stomach, although most of his bottom half didn't touch the mattress since it was positioned high in the air. Byakuya felt his smile widen a bit at the ridiculous display in front of him.

He's too cute for his own good sometimes.

Without another thought, the captain position himself against the corner wall that the futon was set against and pulled the peacefully sleeping man between his legs, holding him close. The younger shinigami pressed into Byakuya's chest, snuggling closer into the warmth that his captain provided. His head tilted back some and his eyes opened slightly. Byakuya stiffened slightly, thinking that the redhead had awoken. What exactly would he use as an excuse for why he was currently cuddling with the once sleeping vice-captain? Would he even need one? If what happened in the training field was any indication, then no. he could only hope.

Thankfully, he didn't need to worry over that for very long. Renji's eyes hadn't opened fully and had slid closed again after a few seconds.

"Renji. What would you do if you knew? Whether you accept me or not, I will always protect and watch over you. You will always be mine," Byakuya muttered, mostly to himself. He continued to stare at the sleeping shinigami in silence, trying not to think about what ifs.


He wasn't sure if he was dreaming. No. He knew he had to be dreaming. The scent of his captain, his favorite smell, the smell he had to savor when he could since he never really got a chance to bask in it for very long, was completely enveloping him. The scent was so strong and omnipresent, if it were perfume, he'd be swimming in it. He was in absolute heaven. Either he was dead or he was having the most spectacular dream in the world. For the scent to be that strong, he would have to have been within inches of the captain. That alone confirmed his suspicions that it was all in his head. He could never get that close to Kuchiki Byakuya, not even during their training. He inhaled deeply, almost opening his eyes to check if the beautiful captain was really there or not. No. If I open my eyes and it is a dream... He closed his eyes the small distance that they had opened and settled into his blissful dream world. Who knew when he'd have another dream like this again?

A/N: after decades of waiting, i hope you enjoy. so you might understand the last bit more in the next chapter. takin advantage of school computers. yay school!!!