Title: Falling Away

Pairings: Shuuhei/Kenpachi/Shuuhei

Rating: M

Warning: Oral, Male/Maleness, Language, Sexual stuff in here. YOU ARE WARNED

Words: 3611

Placement: Last in the Daring to Breathe series. Comes after The Deep End. Read the prequels or it won't make any sense.

Description: Oneshot. Just like a tide. Swept away in the deluge. Shuuhei had no control over himself whenever he was in this man's presence.

Disclaimer: I own not Bleach. Tite Kubo has that esteemed privilege. I just borrow his stuff without asking.

It was a familiar scene for the two of them, the sound of swords clanging together and the cloud of dust that invariably rose when two strong wills clashed. Kenpachi laughed as he easily wiped Shuuhei from one end of the broad but empty grassland to the other. Every time, Shuuhei picked himself back up, wrapped his fingers around Amaterasu and charged again.

He was so close to bankai that he could taste it, like steel and blood on the tip of his tongue, the flavor of power. Pushing himself to the edge, facing the fear of an insurmountable reiatsu, coming to terms with his attraction to Zaraki Kenpachi. All of that was putting him closer and closer to that larger power. For the first time in years, Amaterasu responded eagerly to him. She sang with the same rhythm as his own pulse, finally finding the draw towards battle. She wanted to fight as much as he did.

With a growl, Shuuhei darted forward, slipping in under Kenpachi's guard. Certain that this time, he might actually get to land a hit. Amaterasu flashed out, blade catching the sunlight and sending a shimmer of reflection across the two Shinigami.

And then, he was suddenly staring up at the blue of the clear sky, looking for clouds that weren't present as pain flashed across his upper shoulders. His head spun and he registered empty fingers and the sound of Amaterasu skittering far out of reach, sliding against a nearby rock and coming to an abrupt stop.

"Damn," Shuuhei cursed, completely breathless. He lay sprawled on his back, arms akimbo, having lost for the hundredth time or more.

Kenpachi loomed over him with his zanpakutou balanced on one shoulder as he toed Shuuhei in the side with his waraji. "That all ya got?"

"Enough," Shuuhei gasped, half-heartedly flopping a hand at the probing foot and pushing it away. "Dammit, you always get me on my back."

He paused, running his words over in his mind again, and promptly flushed. A flare of red that had nothing to do with the exertion of the spar.

Laughing, Kenpachi crouched, one hand scratching at his chin. "Pervert," he accused, single eye glinting. "What'd your worshipers say if they knew?"

Shuuhei groaned and slapped a hand over his face, covering his eyes. "I don't have any worshipers," he shot back.

There was a sound as Kenpachi's zanpakutou found its sheath, quickly followed by a clatter as it was set on the ground. "Oh?" Kenpachi asked.

Shuuhei recognized that tone. It made his stomach clench in anticipation. There was a creak followed by a shift of cloth and crunch of rock within grass.

"Not those fluttery idiots that follow you around, blushin' and gigglin' like damn twittering birds?"

"Is that jealousy I sense?" Shuuhei countered and cracked open his eyes to peer from beneath his arm. His heart picked up a beat, sensing the predator in the air.

The captain was leering down at him, mischief gleaming in that one eye. "Che. Like I'd be worried 'bout a buncha idiots like them. Leave that for fools like Ikkaku and Renji."

And then, Kenpachi was kissing him, just the way Shuuhei liked it after one of their sparring sessions. Tongue sweeping inside of his mouth, exploratory and firm. Kenpachi kissed like he did everything else, hungrily and designed to reduce his enemies to nothing. Shuuhei groaned within seconds, hand grasping onto Kenpachi's neck to hold him in place.

He felt a hand paw at him, and the lingering arousal from their sparring sprang to full life. His free hand grasped for Kenpachi, dragging him nearer as the kiss deepened. He could smell it, the bitter scent of their sweat and the muted flavor of dirt. There was that mysterious sandalwood scent of Kenpachi's and whatever crap it was he put in his hair for spikes. There was hard muscle beneath his fingers and a tongue invading his mouth. Shuuhei could only moan and hungrily seek more, not caring about the rocks and grass beneath him or their current location. He had gotten used to it, after all.

Just like a tide. Swept away in the deluge. Shuuhei had no control over himself whenever he was in this man's presence. Just like the others, caught up in Kenpachi, couldn't swim to save his life. He was just drowning.

Shuuhei had quickly learned that the easiest way to get Kenpachi aroused was to battle him. By the time he got wiped from one end of the training grounds to the other and staggered to his feet, his lover was on him. Kissing him fiercely and melting him into a manly but very uke-like puddle that left him breathless. Zaraki certainly knew how to overwhelm a guy. Shuuhei was sort of forced to get used to it.

Not that he minded too terribly.

Calloused fingers fumbled around his length, stroking him. He had already learned that it was pointless to wear fundoshi during a sparring session. It only left more to take off. Shuuhei's hips jerked upwards into the warm touch, and his own hand started exploring. He dove into Kenpachi's hakama, finding a lack of fundoshi there as well, his fingers encountering the captain's shaft. The other man grunted and deepened the kiss, his free hand the only thing keeping his weight from crushing the vice-captain.

It was messy, and it was clumsy, warm, calloused hands gripping and stroking. Their clothes were in the way, and the ground was hard beneath him, but Shuuhei hardly noticed. Not as fire burst in peppered staccato through his veins and his heart tried to break through his rib cage. Kenpachi's teeth and tongue were all over his throat, nipping but not leaving any marks. He usually saved those for the shoulders and Shuuhei's upper back.

Shuuhei grunted as his hips jerked into Kenpachi's fingers, body straining for that quick release. He was on fire from their spar, his own hand working his lover with familiar efficiency. Here in the open, with the sun beating down and the chance of Yachiru showing up any moment, there was no time for anything long and drawn. Only the sharp heat of release, of pleasure sparking through their bodies.

Kenpachi's weight was familiar above him, the captain surprisingly light considering his height. The captain's haori made him seem so much larger and imposing. But beneath the billowing fabric, he was only broader than Shuuhei in the shoulders. The rest of him was slim, taut lines and muscles, firm beneath the probing of Shuuhei's fingers.

His head fell back against the grass as Kenpachi's mouth licked at his throat, lapping up traces of sweat that had gathered. Above him, Shuuhei could hear those damned annoying bells tinkling from Kenpachi's movements, but it was only a light noise in the back of his mind. The rest of him was too busy concentrating on the fingers stroking his length. On the feel of the ground beneath him and the warm, sweaty mass pressing into him.

He tightened his grip around Kenpachi, swiping a thumb over the head to match each stroke that the captain dealt to him. Kenpachi growled, a sound that shot straight to Shuuhei's groin. He groaned, free hand rising to grapple with annoying spikes and drag Kenpachi's mouth towards his. Tongues and warm breath clashed hotly, the faint taste of copper from bit and swollen lips coloring the kiss.

It was like their matches, Kenpachi swooping in and overwhelming him. It was Shuuhei fighting back with determination, giving as good as he got. And even though he always lost to Kenpachi's irresistible presence and strength, he never considered himself the loser.

Grappling arms and sharp breaths and the heavy tang of sweat. Shuuhei's face was warm from the force of his sweat, not that he hardly noticed. His hips bucked upwards urgently, losing his rhythm as Kenpachi stroked him towards oblivion.

From curiosity to friendship to lust to this. And yet, he wouldn't have it any other way.

Hot and desperate, urgent and wanting. Shuuhei devoured the mouth connected to his, nothing registering but need and want and more. He thought he might have heard a faint chuckle somewhere, Kenpachi smirking against his lips, but it was driven away by heat and blinding pleasure. Lights that flashed against the back of his eyelids and every muscle in his body seizing. His pulse pounded behind his ears. For a moment, he didn't bother to breathe, just bathed in the pleasure of his release.

Sticky heat splashed onto Kenpachi's fingers as Shuuhei gasped, collapsing tiredly against the ground beneath him. Kenpachi's hand gradually extracted from his hakama, fingers wiping on the grass nearby with casual movements. Sucking in heavy breaths, Shuuhei forced energy into his sagging limbs and surged upwards, surprising his lover with his motion as he broke apart the hungry kiss.

A salacious grin broke Kenpachi's lips as he looked at the hungry, dark eyes of the vice-captain. Shuuhei's hand fumbled in Kenpachi's hakama, losing his hold on the captain as he pushed Kenpachi onto his back. He struck ground with a grunt but without complaint, though he dragged Shuuhei along with him.

Awkward and fumbling, it was several long seconds before Shuuhei managed the position he had originally been intending. Fingers lacking strength from the mind-blowing orgasm groped at the ties to Kenpachi's hakama, tearing them open. Before Kenpachi could even move, though his mouth was opening to make some comment Shuuhei was sure, he swooped down and licked a wet line from base to tip of the captain's arousal.

Kenpachi swore hotly, one hand clamping down on Shuuhei's head but not pushing. He had learned that the vice-captain wasn't too fond of being directed. His lips instinctively pushed towards the moist heat, Shuuhei smirking as he drew back.

"No time for teasin'," Kenpachi growled, a sound that never ceased to tingle hotly through Shuuhei's veins. "Unless ya want Yachiru to see ya."

"Wouldn't be the first time," Shuuhei muttered, cheeks blazing as he thought of the time Yachiru had burst into the room wondering what was wrong with her Ken-chan.

Mortification was not even strong enough to describe his feelings at that time. And though Kenpachi had laughed it off, telling his daughter to start knocking, Shuuhei had been too embarrassed to continue. It was weeks before he was willing to do anything remotely sexual near Kenpachi's living quarters or the eleventh division.

He ignored Kenpachi's strained chuckle and wrapped his lips around the head of his lover's arousal. Tongue flicking against the weeping slit, he tightened his lips and smirked inwardly at the sharp curse that his actions produced. He could feel the restraint in Kenpachi's muscles where his hand sat balanced on a cloth-covered thigh. His other fingers wrapped around the base, stroking slowly up and down to the bobbing of his head. He could feel the pulsing of Kenpachi's veins against his tongue, the bitter and salty tang flooding Shuuhei's mouth. His lover was already close, rock-hard and desperate. A good fight aroused Kenpachi as much as it did Shuuhei, and the vice-captain knew it wouldn't take long.

The wet sounds of his lips and tongue on Kenpachi joined the soft groans that dropped from the captain's lips. He panted, throwing his head back against the ground as his hips restlessly rolled upwards, rhythm matching Shuuhei's tongue. Sweat trickled down the vice-captain's back, fingers clenching around Kenpachi's thigh. Tension wound through Kenpachi's body, and he sucked in a sharp breath, letting out in a hiss that carried a curse with it.

Shuuhei stroked his tongue along Kenpachi's shaft, applying the perfect amount of pressure with his lips. He felt fingers curl against his scalp, pulling unconsciously. Hips rocked against him with increasing urgency. Knowing that he was close, Shuuhei sucked deeply, adding a gentle scrape of his teeth. A guttural noise echoed in Kenpachi's throat as he suddenly spilled into Shuuhei's mouth, a hot rush of bitter liquid.

He rode out the last of his lover's tremors and waited until Kenpachi collapsed against the ground before casually turning his head and spitting. He had never liked swallowing and wasn't about to start now. No matter how fond he was proving to be of Zaraki Kenpachi. He wiped at his mouth with the back of his hand, waiting for Kenpachi to catch his breath. The captain surprised him by reaching down, tangling fingers in the front of his shihakusho and dragging him upwards for another steamy kiss.

Blood still boiling, Shuuhei felt himself twitch within his hakama. He groaned and suddenly longed for a place much, much more private.

Breaking off the kiss, Kenpachi gave him a look. "The hell's the matter with you?"

Shuuhei knocked his head against Kenpachi's shoulder. "I'm never going to win," he lamented, though that hadn't been his original line of thought. It was the first thing that came to him.

There was a stunned pause before Kenpachi suddenly burst into laughter, loud and echoing around the mostly deserted area.

"Only you," he commented with a full-bodied snicker. "Only you would say something like that, Hisagi."

Shooting the captain a look that was a mixture of annoyance and amusement, Shuuhei flopped to the side, landing on the green grass and staring up at the sky. A familiar pose for him, if he dared think of it.

One hand flopped lazily to his forehead, feeling the sticky sweat and dust that had gathered there. "I need a bath," he announced with a grimace.

An elbow prodded him in the side as Kenpachi grunted, his other hand situating his hakama. "You ain't the only one."

Shuuhei turned his head to the side, catching sight of Kenpachi tying his obi one-handed and ending up with something rather lop-sided that was destined to unravel soon enough. His captain's haori was dusted with dirt. But considering its tattered nature, it couldn't possibly get much worse.

"Bet I can--"


The blur of pink and black and happy, cute things that never ceased to amaze Shuuhei was not entirely unexpected. She barreled their direction, jumping first on Kenpachi's belly and then bouncing over to plop down on Shuuhei's. His air whooshed out of him in a whuff as she curled her legs as if he had become her own personal chair when he wasn't looking.

"Damn brat," Kenpachi grunted, barely reacting to her sudden presence. "Ya always ruin the moment."

She pouted, pressing a finger to her lip and using her other hand to reach down and pat Shuuhei's chest. "But Ken-chan and Shuu-chan always leave me behind. It's not fair. I want to fight, too."

Shuuhei paled, a sudden fear striking him. Fighting Kenpachi was one thing. Yachiru was a whole other story. Even Kenpachi was afraid of her, and that really said something. He could barely survive the captain. There was no way he was taking on the pink ball of energy. He would never survive.

He opened his mouth to protest, hoping he wouldn't sound like a coward, but Kenpachi beat him to it.

"Ya finish yer readin?" Kenpachi demanded.

Yachiru looked shame-faced and fidgeted, wiggling around on Shuuhei's belly and driving the breath out of him again. "No," she said slowly, drawing out the syllables and looking everywhere but at her adopted father. One hand shot into the air, waving frantically. "But I helped Freaky-brow clean!"

Shuuhei had an idea of what Yachiru meant by cleaning, and it was nowhere close to the true definition. He had a feeling that they would be returning to the sight of an irate Yumichika.

Jerking upwards and into a sitting position, Kenpachi tugged at one of his spikes. "That's why ya can't come," he said with a grin, poking her in the shoulder. "Ya don't finish your work. Helping the fruitcake doesn't count."

"Awww." Pouting again, Yachiru turned sparkling pink eyes on Shuuhei.

He froze, like prey caught in a predator's cross-hairs.

"Shuu-chan, Ken-chan's being mean."

Grasping her by the waist as he sat up himself, that way he didn't dislodge her, Shuuhei shared a look with Kenpachi. "Err," he began quite intelligibly as he always did when faced with Yachiru. "I don't think I can help you with that."

She peered up at him, not convinced in the slightest.

Kenpachi guffawed as he rose to his feet, one hand swiping up his zanpakutou and sliding the sheath into his obi. "Come on, brat. Shuuhei and I need a bath 'for dinner."

"Okay!" she chirped and did a massive leap to her father's shoulder, giggling happily and kicking her feet in a motion that was way too cute for Shuuhei's sanity.

Shaking his head, the vice-captain of the ninth division stood and brushed off his clothes, eyes scanning the ground. He spotted Amaterasu a few feet away and quickly reclaimed his zanpakutou, giving her a silent apology for what might have seemed like an abandonment.

He listened to Kenpachi and Yachiru interact and smiled.

This was his life now. Working for his bankai before Yamamoto assigned someone to be captain of the ninth division. Spending every other night in the eleventh, eating with Kenpachi's division and trading sword tips with Ikkaku. Avoiding Yumichika's insinuations and enduring Yachiru's weight on his shoulder. Sloppy, sweaty, and warm nights in Kenpachi's bed. Or sometimes they shared his own.

A war was still on the horizon, the threat of Aizen and his minions looming in Hueco Mundo. Kurosaki-san and his friends were training in the living world; the Shinigami in Soul Society were making their own preparations. Hollows were becoming more frequent, the menace of Arrancar a heavy weight on the back of every Shinigami's mind.

None of that bothered Shuuhei anymore because he finally understood; he finally found what he wanted for himself. He had learned to separate Tousen's teachings from his own feelings, had learned to stand on his own two feet. And he was determined to never go down without fighting again.

He would have Kenpachi to thank for that, but the captain wouldn't accept his gratitude. He would grunt, pour more sake, and say something along the lines of "Ya found it for yourself." And then Yachiru would appear out of nowhere, glomp his head and chirp excitedly in his ear.

In the end, Shuuhei stopped trying to say thank you. And all was well.

And now, the two of them were together, a fact that hadn't taken very long to be announced between their friends. Though it wasn't entirely because Shuuhei had told them but more like an accidental discovery.

The look on Renji's face when he caught them kissing for the first time was one that Shuuhei would never forget. It was a mixture of surprise, horror, fear, and then some more surprise all rolled up into a large blushing package that stammered, swore under his breath, and promptly flitted away in a burst of shunpo. Shuuhei had squirmed; Kenpachi had kept kissing him. All in all, the vice-captain hadn't minded too much. Kenpachi could do amazing things with his tongue.

Renji eventually learned to announce himself before coming into Kenpachi's office or Shuuhei's, for that matter. In fact, all of their friends had learned that little tidbit for their mind's own sake.

Shuuhei wasn't sure how it happened, but the rest of Seireitei had found out rather quickly. He suspected Yumichika had much to do with it. And Ikkaku still hadn't learned the benefits of tact. Regardless, within a month's time, the whole of Soul Society had discovered the relationship between them. Which succeeded in baffling damn near everyone.

In the end, however, no one seemed to care. And those who actually had something to say, didn't rank high enough on Shuuhei and Kenpachi's scale for them to even notice. After all, it was Zaraki Kenpachi they were talking about. The most fearsome demon in Soul Society.

Shuuhei snorted at that.

The most fearsome demon who still played dolls with his daughter, endured Yumichika's attempts to brighten up the division with flowers, and taught Ikkaku that it was better to live and fight again than die in battle. The same man who Shuuhei was falling into something with, and he didn't mind it one bit.

"Shuu-chan! We're going!" Yachiru called out to him, waving wildly from her place on Kenpachi's shoulder.

Shuuhei stirred and blinked as he realized he had been staring into space. Amaterasu slid into his obi as he jogged towards where they were waiting, pink eyes and a single dark one watching him closely.

"Dreaming again, Shuuhei?" Kenpachi grunted as he drew close.

The tattooed man shook his head. "Something like that," he replied. "Let's go."

"Okay!" Yachiru chirped, bouncing excitedly. "To the baths. And then, dinner! Yumi-pon's cooking!"

Both men shared a concerned groan at that. Yumichika's abilities in the kitchen were nothing to brag about. And he had, on more than one occasion, nearly poisoned the entire eleventh division. Despite his fluttery personality and feminine ways, Yumichika was in no way the perfect housewife. His cooking was utter proof.

Despite his reaction, however, Shuuhei was smiling on the inside.


AN: At last, I have reached the end of the series. Seriously, there will be no more. At least, that is the plan. I hope you enjoyed!