Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach.
AN: Slightly Au...written for Rozella aka PutsFootinMouth for her birthday on Sept. 10th...it's day earlier, but hopefully she'll live. She wanted the Ukitake x Il Forte pairing...because I refused Il Forte x Szayel...dirty minded girl. Anyway, happy b-day, Roz!
"You will be my executioner," the ragged voice breathed softly in his ear, cuffed hands gripping his haori, "And then the beautiful can die together."
Ukitake's breath seized in his throat as the condemned was ripped away from him. Two shinigami held tightly to the restraints attached to the sekki-lined collar around the arrancar's throat. The younger of the two looked a little panicked and bowed hastily to the captain.
"My apologies, Captain Ukitake. You aren't hurt, are you?" the dark brown eyes of the boy were overly concerned, almost to the point of tears. "I wasn't expecting him to still be so strong. I'll keep a better hold on him from now on!" Ukitake held back a grimace. These children weren't prepared for jobs like this. It wasn't fair to expect so much of them.
"I'm quite all right," Jyuushirou assured him, giving a soft smile to back up his words. "No harm done. Please continue taking the prisoner to the repentance cell."
The boy gave a final bow and they started moving forward again. Ukitake didn't miss the gleam in the convict's eye. He'd meant every word he'd said.
Il Forte Grantz.
Arrancar serving under Sosuke Aizen.
Convict condemned to death by rule of the soutaichou for the acts of sedition, terrorism, and intent to kill. His execution would be exacted in six days.
"What did he say to you?" Byakuya's deep voice intoned from beside the older captain, slate eyes looking bored as ever, but Ukitake knew that even the younger man was concerned by the arrancar's sudden deviation.
"It was nothing," Jyuushirou gave a slight shrug and a hasty wave of his hand. "Just an empty threat, nothing to worry about. I'd probably say something similar if I were in his place."
That seemed to quell Byakuya for the time being, but Jyuushirou couldn't help but glance back towards the retreating figures. What had he meant by those words?
It was very quiet. If Il Forte could imagine what living would be like in a world with no senses, it would be very similar to what he was experiencing right now. There was no source of light other than what moonlight managed to shine from the window beside him, casting the cell in a hypnotic glow. He couldn't feel anything; not even the traces of lingering reiatsu or the warm breeze from outside. It seemed as though the thick seki sekki walls blocked nearly everything from inhabiting the space inside.
He lifted a hand to caress the collar firmly placed against his neck and smiled to himself. It wasn't so bad being here. In all honesty, he could be dead, killed by that red-haired bastard in the world of the living. Living a few extra days wouldn't hurt him, not when there were such interesting things to see in the seireitei.
His dark eyes widened a little and the smile grew as he saw a figure cross the long bridge in the darkness. Such beautifully interesting things.
He could hear the soft sounds of sleep coming from the two guards outside the door, but they couldn't block out the soft gasps of the new arrival. He absently wondered if they had already been asleep or if his visitor had implemented some kind of spell to render them that way. A gentle thud was heard against the wood and Il Forte lifted a hand to eye level and pressed it gently against the door.
"You didn't tire yourself out for my sake, did you, Captain?" His hand slid down a few inches and the arrancar pressed his body tightly against the door. "I'll be honored if you did."
Ukitake's eyes widened and he pulled his forehead away from the door. He hadn't realized he'd been so obvious in coming. His reiatsu was clamped down tightly and he'd been silent, what had alerted the arrancar to his presence?
"I saw you coming across the bridge," Il Forte informed him, as if picking out his every thought. "You looked dazzling, but I guess you didn't come to hear that. You want to know what I meant earlier, yes?"
"Yes," Ukitake agreed softly. "That's exactly what I want to know."
"It's a shame I can't see your face, I bet the moonlight's lighting up your porcelain skin in many delightful ways."
"Please," Ukitake didn't want meaningless compliments. "What did you mean?"
"Fine," Il Forte sighed, tracing absently against the wood with a finger. "It's exactly as I said. You'll be my executioner and we will die together. The beautiful must destroy each other."
"I refuse to entertain any such thought," Jyuushirou murmured, stepping away from the door. "I will not die for you."
Il Forte listened until the footsteps faded, his smile still in place. Surely that man couldn't doubt his words. Death was such a beautiful thing when it was created by the hands of a fallen angel.
"Jyuu, what's up with you today?" Shunsui whispered as they were leaving a particularly boring meeting. "You seem tired and overworked; you didn't have another attack, did you?"
"Shunsui, I'm fine, I promise you," Jyuushirou hated lying to Shunsui, but he knew he couldn't say he'd been mulling over the prisoner all night, could he? No, that would be a disgrace.
"Yeah, okay," Shunsui's pale eyes narrowed a little and Jyuu hated the look in them. It wasn't pity, Shunsui was past that, but unease was something he could never hide. He lifted a hand and gently squeezed his shoulder. "Just take it easy, my little Jyuu."
Did he really look bad enough to cause concern? He'd noticed Unohana and Byakuya watching him, and even Kenpachi next to him stayed a little quieter than usual. Maybe he didn't look his best, but what was to be expected? He couldn't sleep well when there were things on his mind. As long as he didn't suffer another attack, he could go on pretending nothing was wrong.
Il Forte was a little surprised and more than a little pleased by the fact he'd had a visitor. He really hadn't expected anyone other than the guards and that white-haired captain to come. To be visited by such an interesting man, though?
"To what do I owe the honor of someone as exquisite as you visiting the likes of me?" Il Forte couldn't bother himself with hiding the smirk on his face. "Am I in trouble for something?"
"Silence," Byakuya faced the man, "I want to know what you said to Captain Ukitake. I do not believe you meant nothing by what you said."
"I meant every word,' Il Forte grinned, white teeth flashing. "Of course, this doesn't involve you at all, so perhaps you should leave."
Byakuya resisted the urge to draw his zanpakuto and end the arrancar's life immediately, but the afterthought of having to explain his actions would be wearisome. He straightened his back and turned, stepping out of the tower. The two guards lowered the door as quickly as possible.
Il Forte grimaced at the grinding the rock made and leaned against the doorway.
"You might as well leave that open, boys. I'm going to have another visitor tonight."
The two shinigami guards looked a little confused, but a few seconds later a flash of light and the waft of kido put them to sleep again.
"That's a handy little trick, Captain," Il Forte put a hand on his hip and grinned. "Maybe someone should teach the arrancar how to use kido."
"Not likely," Ukitake said grimly.
"Don't be so closed off," the blond gave a slight frown. "You can say whatever you want to me."
"I don't have anything to say."
"Then why did you come?" Il Forte surged forward a bit slowly since he was without reiatsu and grabbed Ukitake's hand.
The captain's eyes narrowed at the tan hands cupped around his own held close together by the cuffs. Il Forte moved closer and in panic Ukitake backed into the wall.
"You're so flighty," Il Forte laughed, taking another step to close the space between them. "You have nothing to fear."
"I'm not afraid," Ukitake frowned, pulling his hand out of the grip. Il Forte grabbed his haori with his now-empty hands. Ukitake stiffened as Il Forte's mouth came close to his face again.
"Why do you keep backing away, my fearless lion?" Il Forte snickered, cupping the older man's chin in his hands. "You aren't as brave as you think."
Ukitake was too startled to move. Il Forte's lips pressed against his temple and then the ticklish spot just below his jaw line.
"Stop," Ukitake commanded hoarsely.
"No," Il Forte seemed very amused. "You'll have to make me." The arrancar ran his hands down the front of the shinigami's chest.
Jyuushirou pulled in a deep breath, half-panicked. The familiar tickling in the back of throat was getting worse with each breath. He leaned over, pushing the arrancar away as he tried to pull fresh air into his aching lungs. In the middle of the first painful set of coughing, Il Forte pinned him back against the wall, watching curiously.
The shinigami captain didn't even resist the hands pressing him to the cold stone wall. The cough's subsided, leaving the pale-haired man gasping for air. A thoughtful look cross the arrancar's face.
"You can't breathe, can you?" He didn't wait for an answer, instead he leaned forward, placing his mouth over the older man's and forcing his way in with his tongue. The taste of stale blood assaulted him and he pulled away long enough to draw in some air and force it into the man.
He supposed he could just leave the man to fate and make his escape now, but he was anchored to the spot, slowly repeating the action in order to ease the man's sharp gasps. He felt the man's body tense and pulled away as another fit of coughing burst forth. Blood splattered on the ground between them and Ukitake gently eased himself to the ground.
Il Forte watched the rise and fall of the man's chest for a moment. The shinigami's eyes were closed and he held his sleeve in front of his mouth to catch any stray splatters of blood. He was still breathing heavily, but he managed to gasp out a few words.
Il Forte blinked in surprise. Ukitake reached out a trembling hand and with some effort, released the arrancar from the cuffs. Il Forte slowly lifted a free hand to wipe the other man's blood from his lips.
"Will you be all right?"
"I'll live," Ukitake's throaty reply had the arrancar grinning.
"You'll remember what I said earlier, won't you?"Il Forte looked surprisingly stern. "You will die my executioner, not any time before."
Ukitake glared up at the man from his position on the floor.
Il Forte merely smiled as he stepped out of the cell and breathed in the fresh air. A hand lifted and the sky ripped open to darkness. Il Forte glanced back at the captain one more time and licked his lips.
It had been worth it just to see the older man blush.
End. Hope you have a happy one, Roz. Now what are you going to write for my upcoming birthday?