This is a collaboration/RP I did with my friend Liralen. Hisagi is played by me and she plays Ukitake. It was SO much fun! I hope you guys enjoy it as much as we enjoyed writing it! xD

Chapter 1

There were only the blazing dregs of a beautiful day left, when the Captains and Vice-Captains filed out of an all-day meeting with Yamamoto-sama on the status of the Gotei 13. Kyouraku Shunsui mutters about how Yama-ji's gotten even more long-winded with old age and Ukitake shushes him as they leave.

"Well, at least we're out of there now," Jyuushiro said laughing. "Leaves you free for your evening nap."

Shunsui tipped the brim of his hat. "A great idea, Jyuushiro, will you join me in some sake under the trees?"

Jyuushiro looked around at the people around them. "Not today, I think. But thank you for the invitation."

Hisagi Shuuhei sighs under his breath as he descends the steps from the meeting hall. He folds his hands behind his head and stretches his back. He has nothing to do for the rest of the evening and he wonders absently what Abarai and Kira have planned.

Jyuushiro's eyes are caught by that fluid motion, that arch of muscle and bone and his eyes narrow just a bit.

Shunsui follows Jyuushiro's look and smiles, "Different fish to fry today?"

Jyuushiro starts, "What?" Then he shrugs, "Well... I haven't even cast my hook, yet, too soon to talk about frying, friend. But... I think I want to try. Don't wait up for me." He gives a nod to Shunsui, who laughs and nods back, and Jyuushiro walks towards the vice Captain of the Ninth.

Shuuhei lowers his hands when he feels a powerful reiatsu coming his way. He turns his head to see Jyuushiro Ukitake walking towards him with pleasant smile on his face.

The Ninth Division vice Captain turns and bows respectfully. "Good evening, Ukitake-taichou. May I help you with something?"

Jyuushiro's smile quirks up at the corner. He bows as a Captain to a vice-Captain, and then he says, "I hope so, Hisagi-fukutaichou. To some folks, the fact that you're wearing a collar signals certain things. I was wondering if you could enlighten me as to why you are wearing it?"

"My choker?" Shuuhei asks confused. "Um… nothing really. I just like how it looks." The younger man suddenly tenses. "Does it offend you Ukitake-taichou? If it does, I won't wear it to meetings anymore."

Jyuushiro puts his hands up, "No, no... no offense taken whatsoever." He looks just a little rueful, though. "Hmm... a choker, is it? I take it that you don't know the significance. I am, however, assuming you do know the meaning of that number on your cheek?"

Shuuhei loses some of the tension in his shoulders and his smile begins to match that of the Captain. "Yes, Ukitake-taichou, I know what most people think this tattoo symbolizes. Most would be incorrect in their assumptions." The vice Captain blinks suddenly and shifts his feet, cocking his head to the side. "Wait, significance?" he asks. "What do you mean by that?"

Jyuushiro sees the shift in stance and head angle. His smile remains just as it was, but he shifts his left foot back just a bit at the question and bows his head just an inch forward. "Some folks would see it as a symbol of someone who either has given their will to another or would receive such a gift with gladness."

Shuuhei frowns. The Captain wasn't making any sense. 'Given their will to another'? 'A gift'? He slowly raises his hand to his neck and runs his fingers over the light leather.

"I am sorry, Taichou, I'm not following. I bought this myself."

Jyuushiro's lips part just a bit at Shuuhei's motion. "Uhm," Jyuushiro shakes his head a little at his own reaction. "To put more bluntly, it's a symbol, in the bondage community, of someone who plays with some level of either bondage, sado-masochism, or slave relationships. It doesn't indicate level or direction of interest, but... your wearing one intrigued me enough to ask."

Shuuhei's mind reels and he sways physically. Ukitake-taichou took time out of his day to come and ask him if he was a masochist?! Ukitake-taichou!? He thought his necklace was a collar!?

The young vice Captain really knows nothing about masochism or bondage or anything of the sort. Not that he has never thought about it, the opportunity has just never come up. Now he has a Gotei 13 Captain asking him if… Oh gods how embarrassing…

Shuuhei opens his mouth to apologize profusely, but then a thought strikes his brain and he utters words he can't believe slip past his lips when he has said them.

"Intrigued you, Ukitake-taichou?" he says softly. "Why?"

Jyuushiro sees the sway and almost puts a hand out, but he doesn't want to touch the young man without some indication it would be received well, especially with what he just said. He watches the young man's mouth open and at the words he lets out the breath he'd been holding. Directness has its rewards.

Jyuushiro meets Shuuhei's eyes and answers, "Because I'm a part of that community."

Shuuhei blinks slowly, staring carefully into brown eyes. Everything he had ever thought about Ukitake Jyuushiro was being ripped apart and reassembled into a completely different structure right before his eyes. Standing before him now, instead of the sweet, charming, and sometimes fragile-seeming Taichou of Division Thirteen, was a man surrounded in mystery and a little terror. Shuuhei admitted somewhat reluctantly to himself that it was a very fascinating change.

"I never would have thought that about you, Ukitake-taichou…" Shuuhei says.

Jyuushiro laughs and gives his usual, open smile, "I'm happy to know you wouldn't. It's not that big a part of my life, all in all, as it's a taste very few I would trust have. I am content, with gardening, writing kids' books, and my duties as a Captain for the most part."

Shuuhei chuckles and folds his arms across his chest. He's becoming more and more comfortable around the Captain, even with the out of the ordinary conversation topic.

"Children's books by day, whips and chains by night, Ukitake-taichou? That's… an interesting combination."

Jyuushiro cocks an eyebrow at the stance and the words, and his smile curves into something a bit more amused than before. "You're ... hm... interested in writing children's books?"

The vice Captain stifles his laughter. The older man had a sense of humor on top of being slightly pretty. "I enjoy writing in general, Ukitake-taichou. I've indulged in several different styles but I have yet to try writing anything for children. Maybe you have some tips?"

Jyuushiro chokes just a little, trying to keep the laughter back. Oh, thank all the gods, this one has a sense of humor. "Certainly. It's very useful having a few great-grand nephews and nieces who are great storytellers, but whom can't quite hold together a plot line. They often make great illustrators, too."

Shuuhei tilts his head again. Why had he never approached this man before? Ukitake was intelligent and funny, something he was missing with friends like Abarai and Kira… Well, Shuuhei thinks to himself. I guess if you combined those two…

"Alas, Ukitake-taichou, I have no living relatives. Another reason I've never tried my hand at children's writing. I know no children that could benefit from my stories."

Jyuushiro's smile fades at Shuuhei's words and he nods in sympathy, "I'm sorry. My family... even in its tenth generation has been a real source of stability for me. Then I shall ask the other question as well, since I was the one that deflected this off even my original course. Are you interested in, at least, having a detailed conversation about my other tastes?"

Unable to stop the grin that pulls at the corners of his mouth, Shuuhei moves in closer to the Captain. "It's all right, Taichou. It seems we've had a slight misunderstanding, I never deflected of the original conversation course." He lowers his voice as he bends ever so slightly to speak into Ukitake's ear. "And yes, I would love to go into more detail with you about your… tastes…"

Jyuushiro fights not to sway as Shuuhei moves in so close, but he can't help catching his breath at the content of the words nearly caressing his ear. "Good then," he says evenly and is pleased it comes out so. "Then I wish to invite you out to dinner. Do you have a preference as to where to go or what kind of food?"

"I know a place," Shuuhei says as he takes a step back. "It's on the east side and kind of back out of the way. It's not really known so it's private. Oh, and of course the food is superb. They're the only place that serves my favorite tea."

Jyuushiro takes a breath as Shuuhei steps back, and then brightens at the last, "Oh good, tea." He smiles at the specifics of Shuuhei's choice, "I'm glad you know where you want to go. This should be fun."

Shuuhei nods. "Yes, I believe it will."

X x X x X

Shuuhei leads Ukitake to a small restaurant built back from the road almost hidden from view. The inside is tastefully decorated in greens and golds. The place is almost empty save for a few low ranking officers and an older couple sitting by the window. A young woman with flowing black hair meets them at the door.

"Irasshaimase," she says, and leads them to a table.

Ukitake takes a long, slow breath as he walks into the place, and as he sees other people there, he pulls his reiatsu about himself. Clean, they are well-greeted, and the air is mildly scented with what should be excellent food. "An excellent choice, I think, fukutaichou, thank you for showing me this place."

"You're very welcome, Taichou," Shuuhei says noticing the sudden absence of the Captain's reiatsu. "It's my favorite."

As they sit, Shuuhei hands the Captain a menu without looking at one himself. He's been here enough that he knows what he wants. "That was very polite of you, Ukitake-taichou. Some of the Gotei Thirteen wouldn't think to shield their reiatsu like you've just done."

Ukitake takes the menu and he looks at the other people in the restaurant at Shuuhei's words, "It would be a shame to upset their meals. You have a very fine attention to detail. Do you find that a tendency within yourself?" He opens the menu and his eyes widen in pleasure at what he finds there.

Shuuhei chuckles. "I have an obsession with detail. I count stacks of documents as I sign and file them away. I stop lower-ranking officers that are not even in my division and straighten their uniforms… It gets a little tiring after a while… but I can't stop it.

Jyuushiro looks up from the menu at that. "That's... intriguing, given why we're here." He looks back at the menu and frowns, "So much to pick from... I think I need to figure out what to order before I can concentrate on our other conversation. I think I want the tonkatsudon, but is there a dish you'd also recommend?"

"Definitely the donburi, the beef is incredible. But the tonkatsudon is good. If you're really hungry, get the sukiyaki with egg dip, that's Abarai's favorite because there's a lot and he can take leftovers home."

The long-haired woman brings a tea tray and fills Shuuhei and Ukitake's cups.

"Are you ready to order, Hisagi-kun?" The woman smiles back with a slight blush.

Shuuhei looks at Ukitake and put his chin in his palm. "Are we?"

Jyuushiro smiles and nods, "I am."

"I'll have the domburi please, Aya-chan." Shuuhei says smoothly.

Jyuushiro awaits eye contact with the waitress before smiling and saying, "I think I'd really like to have the sukiyaki with the egg dip and a chiwanmushi for afterward, please."

Aya writes there orders on a small pad and scurries back to the kitchen. Shuuhei watches her go before he takes his cup and brings it to his mouth. The instant the aroma registers in his head he feels an excited tremor start in his lower back. He parts his lips and tilts the hot liquid into his mouth. The flavor is exquisite and Shuuhei rolls it on his tongue before he swallows and groans in appreciation.

Jyuushiro watches, eyes widening. His left hand closes just a little harder on the edge of the table at the groan, but he hopes that isn't too noticeable, not with the Fukutaichou attention on the tea like that. With his right, he cradles the cup gently, and brings it to his own nose.

Green grasses and sunshine and an unexpected sweetness. Jyuushiro takes his own sip, eyes closing quietly at the liquor rolling down his tongue. He smiles. "Very nice, indeed."

"I'm glad you like it," Shuuhei smiles. "It's a rare variety."

"Mmmm... what makes it rare?" Jyuushiro asks. "There's... a depth to this I don't usually find."

"It's grown for a longer period of time than a regular Matcha," Shuuhei explained. "It's also grown under a thin canvas. The direct sunlight causes bitterness."

Jyuushiro takes another sip, eyes closing again as he breathes the perfume of spring and the sweetness of slow shade growth. He contemplates the care that goes into the making of it and smiles. "Thank you for the explanation, Hisagi-fukutaichou." He sighs quietly, "That is quite an experience."

Shuuhei takes the opportunity while Ukitake's eyes are closed to watch the older man. The white of his hair matches his Captain's haori perfectly. The color intrigues the vice Captain and he starts to wonder what it would feel like sliding through his fingers. He sighs inaudibly and lifts his own cup to his lips while sitting in comfortable silence.

Jyuushiro opens his eyes and smiles his open smile. "Now... where were we? Were there things you wished to ask me about my tastes?"

Shuuhei clears his throat and shifts in his seat. Not from embarrassment, but more a tickling excitement trailing down his spine.

"It's strange how open you are about this. Aren't you worried the wrong person is going to find out and… I don't know… start something?"

Jyuushiro listens to the question and thinks about it. "Hm. I think I'm more worried about hiding secrets than I am about someone starting something with me. I rarely have problems with someone trying to coerce me. And secrets are so... draining, really."

Shuuhei looks down thoughtfully at the table. "Yeah… I think I get what you're saying. But being a Fukutaichou in a Taichou's position is like wearing a sign all the time that says 'fuck with me, I like it'." Shuuhei's head snaps up and his eyes widen. "Excuse me, Ukitake-taichou… Just slipped out."

Jyuushiro does blink at the phrasing, his eyes hooding just a little for the moment before Shuuhei's head snaps up. He meets Shuuhei's gaze, and shakes his head a little at the apology. "No need to apologize. I appreciate your candor as well." He frowns a little, "I'm... hm." He takes a deep breath and gives a wry grin, "I'll admit that I am attracted, but if our relative positions is oppressive.. then I'd actually be happier if you told me to uhm... 'fuck off'."

Shuuhei alternates between laughing and choking on his tea. He takes a napkin and wipes the corners of his mouth before he tries to speak. "There's no way I could tell you to fuck off right now. You've perked my interest and I won't be able to get you out of my head until you at least explain yourself."

Jyuushiro's eyes lighten and he smiles at the words. "Ah. Good then. Also... if you need support against any of the other Captains, regardless of how... this... works out, I'd be happy to back you up."

Shuuhei lowers his head out of respect. "You don't have to bother yourself with me, Ukitake-taichou. But I appreciate it… immensely."

Jyuushiro sighs, "Oh, but I do have to 'bother myself'. It's my job. And I have been a little concerned about all you left fukutaichou, not your performance at all, but at the possible vulnerabilities." He quirks a wry grin. "And, as usual, work takes priority over play. But I've done my work, in a way. Still... it might be safer if in our play my position

cannot be used wrongly."

"I still have yet to learn about this... 'play'," Shuuhei grins over the rim of his cup.

Jyuushiro smiles back and nods. "Fair enough." He studies his tea as he gathers his thoughts. "For me, what I term 'play' is something that uses the human powers of communication, curiosity, and consent to explore taboo, forbidden, or feared parts of human interaction in order to get great sexual relationships."

Shuuhei sits his cup down and rests his elbows on the table. "Curiosity and consent? I thought it was all about tying someone up, or getting beaten."

Jyuushiro nods at the last, "That's the common misconception of it all. But why would someone like getting tied up and beaten? How do you do it without doing damage beyond what they want? Why would someone like doing that to someone else? Those delve deeper into the human sexual triggers of dominance or submission, of how pain can bring pleasure to some, or pain can even bring courage to others.

"Pain can bring courage?" Shuuhei's eyes narrow.

"Why do you go on a battlefield even if you know there's a possibility for pain?" Jyuushiro asks.

"It's my duty," Shuuhei responds immediately. But then his eyes shift and he gets a far off look. "But I guess... it's also the thrill... the adrenalin rush."

Jyuushiro nods, "And when you get cut or hit, say a slash across the arm or whatever happened to give you those scars over your eye. How do you react to the pain? Is it 'I have to get away from this?' or do you just know you can deal with it and do what you really need to do?"

Shuuhei places his chin in his hands and his eyes drift back to study the older man. "I don't... I don't know if I even notice until it's over. Pain is just a part of the battle to me... it belongs there. It... wouldn't seem real if it wasn't."

"So your experiences with the battlefield allow you to choose your path, regardless of what pain might be involved. Some would call that courage." Jyuushiro said. "It's a type of consent we give every time we choose to fight."

Looking down at his cup, Shuuhei frowns. "A battlefield I can understand. You train, you spar with friends, you get scraped, cut up... you're conditioned to deal with pain when you fight to make you a better soldier." The younger man starts shaking his head slowly. "But in... in a bedroom... I don't know."

Jyuushiro takes a deep breath, "How many lovers have you had that you'd trust enough to bind you? How many know you well enough to be able to give you that adrenaline rush, that... clarity and burn after you've been hit and can still go on? For me that's the lure. That someone would know me, my needs, my desires well enough for me to have the courage to trust them with all that I am."

Shuuhei leans forward and looks at Ukitake from underneath dark lashes. "I've never been bound. I've never even been blindfolded. It's gotten rough a few times, but I've never hit anyone or been hit. It's not that I don't trust anyone though… I just never considered the possibility."

Jyuushiro smiles as Shuuhei leans forward, "Hm. And how do you feel when you do consider it?"

Shuuhei smiles at that and lowers his voice. "Like I do before a battle."