"Flowers."

"Yes."

"...Flowers?"

"Mhmm." Yumichika nodded. He couldn't remember ever before being quite as anxious as he was at that moment. He'd slipped up, and this would be it. He fucked up and Ikkaku had seen it, seen his shame and now he was gonna hate him forever. Yumichika knew his friend well, and knew that he wouldn't tell the rest of Soul Society about his zanpakuto, but that was it for their friendship.

He'd been so stupid. He wasn't expecting Ikkaku to come looking for him after having taken care of the Arrancar he'd been fighting and had used his true shikai on his enemy. It wasn't until after he'd dispatched his opponent that Yumichika had seen his best friend standing there, watching him as if he were looking at a stranger.

So fucking stupid.

Ikkaku had followed Yumichika back to his rooms after they'd returned to Seireitei. Yumichika had felt the weight of what was to come as heavily as the blade that was a part of his soul. While many times he'd wished his zanpakuto to have a different form, never before has he so desperately resented that aspect of himself.

Curious how prior to joining the Gotei 13 and Division 11 his effortless deceptiveness was one of his most treasured attributes along with his physical attractiveness. Indeed, many a time, especially before meeting Ikkaku, they had worked hand in hand. Being sly had kept him alive, and now, because if his very nature, he was going to lose the most important person in his life.

Funny how that works.

Ikkaku stood in Yumichika's quarters staring at him with an expression the leaner shinigami couldn't read making him begin to fidget.

"Flowers," Ikkaku said again, then made the last sound Yumichika expected to here. Ikkaku laughed. Not a mocking laugh, no, this was an honest "Well ain't that amusing" laugh.

"Figures. It fits you."

Yumichika was struck dumb. Anger, betrayal, severe disappointment, that's what Yumichika expected. Not amusement.

"But wait," Ikkaku said, thoughtful, "what's that thing you do when yer sparrin' with me?"

Yumichika gaped at his friend for before answering "I get my zanpaktu to partially release."

"So, yer sayin' you've been sparring me with a zanpaktu in partial shika when I've been fighting in full shikai?"

"Yes."

"Holy crap." Ikkaku looked... well, there was no other word for it, impressed, and looked over his friend with appraisal before his face twisted with confusion.

"But why'd you hide it? More, why from me?"

At this Yumichika looked away for a minute, considering his answer. So much shame he fellt for lying to his friend, so much shame he still felt for the aspect of himself he'd worked so hard to hide...

"Why shouldn't I have?"

Ikkaku just stared at him. "Are you shitting me?"

Yumichika looked up. "What?"

"Are you seriously the guy who walks around with fucking feathers on his eyelids? I mean, shit! When the fuck did you care so much?"

Yumichika looked at his friend for a long minute. "When you agreed," he said quietly, watching for Ikkaku's reaction.

Ikkaku looked at him for a moment then smirked. "When the fuck have you ever given a shit what I say?"

Yumichika smirked back. "When I was able to use your head as a mirror."

Ikkaku then did something he only did behind closed doors or when drunk; he moved forward ad quickly caught his friend in a tight hug.

"Never stop being you, you're perfect the way you are," Ikkaku said into Yumichika's ear.

"Fucking sap," Yumichika replied, but he hugged his friend back and smiled warmly. Yep, this was good.

After a moment Yumichika could hear, and feel, Ikkaku chuckle.

"What?"

"Death by Flowers."

With that, Yumichika thwacked his friend, and all was good.