Disclaimer: Do not own Bleach or any of the characters.
I scribble aimlessly on my paper, my mind distracted.
Looking over my shoulder, Shunsui chuckles. "I don't think that'll get you a passing grade from Old Man Yama, but I'll give you perfect marks for slacking."
"I'm sorry. I don't know what's wrong with me."
"Something on your mind, Jyuu-chan?
I lean back against him. "That's the thing. There is, but I don't quite know what's bothering me.
Shunsui wraps a strong arm around my shoulders, pulling me against his chest in a one-armed hug. I smile and lean into the embrace, but suddenly I become aware of my pounding heart and push Shunsui's arm away playfully.
"Get off me, Kyouraku. I won't ever get my homework done and neither will you if you keep goofing off."
Shunsui frowns. "Jyuushiro, I've already completed the assignment."
My pen stops. Have I been that distracted that Shunsui could complete an assignment before me? "What? When?"
"Thirty minutes ago. I made a big fuss about it. Do you not remember?"
I sigh and shake my head.
"Jyuushiro, are you feeling alright? This isn't like you at all."
"I know. I'm sorry, Shunsui."
"You know, now that I think about it, you didn't start acting like this until the new girl showed up. Jyuu-chan, do you have a crush?"
The new girl. That's it. That's my problem. The way she giggled and swatted at Shunsui's arm, batting her eyelashes the entire time. The harlot! Then….then…then she kissed him under our tree. That tree was special to me and Shunsui. Why did she have to come and-
The sound of wood cracking brings my attention crashing back to reality. I throw the broken brush down.
"I'm going to bed, Kyouraku." I get up and walk towards my futon, trying to ignore the pained look on Shunsui's face at my harsh tone. I stare at the wall until I heard Shunsui snoring lightly. I get up and sit down to the assignment.
"Jyuu-chan?" I jump at hearing Shunsui's voice in my ear. I didn't even hear him get up.
"Must you be so harsh?" He sits behind me, unnervingly close behind me. As he snakes his arms around my waist, he whispers, "Did I do something to upset you, Jyuu-chann?"
"Kyouraku!" I gasp.
"Jyuushiro, I love you." He kisses me on the neck and I jump.
I open my eyes and look around. It's light outside. Then I look down at my unfinished assignment. Damn it. Smudges. I decide I better wash my face. Shunsui loves to tease me when I fall asleep working and wind up getting ink on my face. It's different this time. He looks at me concerned.
"Jyuushiro, should I tell Old Man Yama that you're not feeling well?"
"No, I'll accept my punishment properly."
He scratches his head. "I feel like I did something to upset you."
You did! "Of course not, Kyouraku."
"Then why the impersonal approach?"
"I don't know. Now, I need to get this ink off before it dries anymore." I walk to the bathroom once again ignoring the pained look on Shunsui's face.
I ignore him most of the day. I know it's wrong, but when I look at him, I see-There she goes! She's sitting by him in class, taking my seat. He looks at me apologetically, but I return the look with a blank stare.
The bell rings for lunch and I head towards our tree. He's already there, so I head back towards the room. I'll just tell Captain Yamamoto that I'm sick. It's the truth, partially. I feel sick every time I think about him and that new girl. I sit on my bed and enjoy my bento in the quiet. I vaguely register the opening and closing of the door.
"It's not nice to skip out on lunch dates, Jyuushiro."
I look up to see Shunsui standing by my bed with his arms crossed. My heart breaks at the look of pain and annoyance etched on his face.
"You look well enough and even if you had been feeling ill, you would have told me instead of just turning around. Yes, I saw that you looked at me and then made a conscious decision to walk the other way. So, spill it, Jyuushiro Ukitake. What have I done?"
My heart clenches in my chest. What do I tell him? My brow furrows in thought, trying to conceive some lie to tell him. It's better than telling him the truth. He might be mad at me for a little for lying, but if I tell him the truth I will lose a friend. He kneels by my bed and takes my hands in his large, calloused hands.
"Tell me the truth, Jyuu-chan. You're a horrible liar."
"Come on, Jyuu-chan. There's nothing that you can tell me that would upset me."
"Shunsui, I'm jealous of the new girl."
"She's invading our spot, our tree, and she kissed you." That was a horrible excuse.
He just smiles at me. "Jyuu-chan." He cups my cheek in his hand and my breath hitches. The intensity in eyes is nothing I've ever seen from him except when he's determined to win a battle. What battle is he intent on winning right now looking at me? "No one can ever take away our tree. It will always be our special place." He leans up and touches his cheek to my other cheek, breathing lightly on my neck.
Shunsui, please, realize I how feel about you. I mentally tell my heart to shut up. Shunsui doesn't need to know that, doesn't need to realize how much I love him.
He pulls back a little. His face is still very close to mine. My lips tremble, but I meet his gaze steadily. He smiles, not a typical Shunsui smile, but an honest smile. I wish I could read his mind right now. Why is he smiling?
"Jyuu-chan, you should have told me sooner. I wouldn't have had to wait this long."
What is he talking about? My eyes widen at the feel of his lips against mine. "Kyou-Shun." I close my eyes and wrap my arms around his neck. It's ok. He can play with me. He can break my heart. At least, I'll have him for a while. I'll be content with a few weeks. I don't even have to hear him say that he loves me, because I know he can never feel the way that I do. We fall backwards, still kissing. He catches himself so he's not putting his full weight on me.
"Jyuushiro, why didn't you tell me how you felt?"
"I didn't want to lose you as a friend, because you could never feel the same-"
"Don't say what you don't know for certain. Jyuushiro Ukitake, I love you. I've always loved you. I will always love you."
"Shunsui, do you expect me to believe that? How many girls have you said that to?"
"None. I've never said those words to anyone. They're yours and yours alone."
I see the truth in his eyes and I have to smile. "Shunsui Kyouraku, I love you too."
"I know, now." He presses his lips against mine again and we both allow ourselves to get lost in the kiss. We will regret skipping class tomorrow when Captain Yamamoto uses us in his demonstration as punishment, but none of that matters right now.
It's morning and I turn over to snuggle against Shunsui. I place my hand against his chest, feeling him jump slightly at the cold metal of my ring. He smiles and rubs my neck, causing me to jump as well when his ring touches the back of my neck.
"Captain Kyouraku! It's time to get up!"
Shunsui sighs and I pout.
"We should tell Nanao, Shun."
"We should, but-"
"But nothing, Shunsui. Lisa was understanding and let you sleep an extra hour, so why won't Nanao?"
"Alright, alright. I'll talk to her." He pulls back the privacy door to his bed.
"Shun, no. We're not dressed." I bury my head in his arm, hiding my face and the blush I feel burning on it.
I hear Lieutenant Ise's light footsteps. "Yes, Captian?"
"Do you mind?" Shunsui wraps his arms around my shoulders and pull me close to him. "I'd like an extra hour of sleep if you don't mind. You see, I was up late last night."
I groan. Shunsui, you didn't just tell her that.
"Sir, what did I tell you about bringing your women back to the division? If you're going to do those kinds of activities, please keep it outside."
Shunsui nuzzles my hair. "Did you hear that? We have to sleep outside now." He chuckles.
"I heard," I grumble.
I sigh and lift up my head. "Good morning, Nanao."
"What are…What's going-"
Shunsui hugs me tighter. "Nanao, I've never brought home a woman. I guess Jyuushiro can get a little high-pitched when he's being pleasured, though, so I can see where you might think that."
Both Nanao and I blush.
"Damn it, Shun, just tell her."
"Alright. Nanao, Jyuushiro and I are secretly married."
Her face softens in a dreamy sigh and then she drops her record book on Shunsui's stomach. I listen as the breath's knocked out of him.
"That's something you should have already told me, sir." She scoops up her book and huffily walks off.
"Does this mean I get my extra hour?"
She throws up a hand. "Like I could convince you otherwise."
He chuckles as he pulls the privacy door shut again.
I shake my head. "Shun."
"Hey, I got our extra hour, so what do want to do with it?"
"I actually better get up if I want to get done with work early, so I can spend extra time with you tonight."
He groans, but reaches beside the bed where our chains lay. He gives me mine and I take off my ring, putting it on the chain. We exchange chains and I put his around his neck, kissing him briefly.
"Good morning, Shunsui."
"Good morning, Jyuushiro." He puts my chain around my neck and kisses me softly. "Happy Anniversary."
"Happy Anniversay, Shun."
"I'll see you later, my love."
I wait under our tree and watch as the 'new girl' passes.
"Good afternoon, Jyuushiro. Waiting on Shunsui?"
"Good afternoon, Retsu. Yes, I'm waiting on him."
"Happy Anniversary, Jyuushiro, and tell Shunsui I said that as well."
"I will. Thank you."
As Retsu walks away, arms wrap around me from behind. I gasp slightly. "I remember when you used to be jealous of her."
"Well." I turn around to face Shunsui. "I thought she was taking you away from me."
"Never, Jyuu-chan. No one can do that." He kisses me and takes off my chain. I didn't notice before, but he isn't wearing his. I frown.
He pulls his chain out of his pocket and holds both of the chains up. Then he tosses them into the koi pond.
"Shunsui!" I start for the pond, but he catches me.
"You'll get sick and Retsu will kill both of us."
"Shunsui, what are you doing? Those are our wedding bands."
"No, they're not. They're cheap imitations that show how much of an imitation our 'marriage' was."
"Shunsui, are you-"
"I have replacements that are much better." He pulls out two platinum wedding bands. I gasp and reach for the smaller one, but he hides them back in his haori.
"You don't get those unless you agree to marry me for real."
I look down, tears stinging the corner of my eyes. "Shunsui, we can't-" He pushes a piece of paper in my hands that has the seal of the new Central 46.
"Read it, Jyuu-chan."
I open it and begin to read.
"We, the Central 46, in light of the threat of losing two of the finest captains of the 13 Court Guard, hereby declare…declare same sex marriages legal, effective immediately." The tears start flowing down my cheeks. When I look up, Shunsui is on one knee with a small, silver band with a small diamond.
"Jyuushiro Ukitake, will you marry for real?"
I nod and he slips the ring on my finger. He stands and kisses me passionately.
"I love you, Jyuushiro."
"I love you, too, Shunsui."
"I know." He smiles. "Happy Anniversary."
"And may we have two thousand more years together."