Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach.

[chapter 4]

Byakuya heard the chatter of the birds even before he opened his eyes. He stayed still listening to the sounds of nature before facing the monotonous work for the day. Nowadays, waking up in the mornings somehow seemed as a chore for Byakuya. The same old routine he would have to face every day. Before, when Hisana was alive, he used to love waking up to the sight of his wife's smiling face. But after her death, he closed up. Not letting anyone read his emotions and most important of all, not letting anyone inside his heart.

But Renji, unlike others, didn't keep his distance from him. Instead he liked to be heard and cared about the ones he loved. Byakuya didn't know in which category he fitted in, but he knew that Renji cared for him to some extent, or so he liked to believe. And now with his loud obnoxious ways, Renji managed to light a spark in his frozen heart again.

Getting up, Byakuya got ready at a leisurely pace, and walked to the 6th division just as any other day. There weren't many Shinigami around considering it still wasn't the official time for the division to start functioning. Opening the sliding door, Byakuya slipped in without being detected by Renji, which was unusual considering how distracted Renji is.

Walking closer, he realized Renji was fully absorbed in his work. Now Byakuya was close enough to smell the red head's scent, it was a unique smell of fresh grass, cinnamon and a scent that was purely his alone. He was sitting so that his entire torso was resting on the desk, causing his hakama to be stretched over his back and biceps. Byakuya could see the red head's firm muscles moving under the black cloth. It wasn't a bad sight, no not at all. But won't it be even better without the clothes?

Byakuya's eyes widened at that thought; his mind was having its own fantasies again. He mentally slapped himself and diverted his attention to what the red head was writing. He frowned when there was a period missing. He pointed it out to Renji, who only noticed Byakuya standing behind him then, and proceeded to have a heart attack.

Renji looked exceptionally cute when he was surprised. He squeaked out, "When the hell did you come in?"

Byakuya didn't particularly like others disrespecting him, but since it was Renji, he let it slide with only a warning considering that was his usual attitude.

Byakuya walked towards his cherry wood table, and began his routine work. However, after an hour of steady writing, a knock interrupted his rhythm. It was a messenger bearing a message from Ukitake – taicho. Ordering the messenger to come in, he put down his pen and gave his full attention to the upcoming news. "Ukitake-taicho has just received news of Kuchiki Rukia coming back to Soul Society, as her mission has finished in the living world. She said that she would be back by this evening."

'Already', Byakuya thought, 'but she had only gone on that mission for a month.' He had personally made sure that Rukia would stay with that orange-head for around three months, by talking to Ukitake - taicho. He even made sure to come up with a believable lie saying Rukia was a bit emotionally distraught and it would help if she were to be with her friends, after all that happened in Heuco Mondo. Needless to say, Rukia knew nothing about all this. Ukitake – taicho accepted his request gladly and made no mention about it to Rukia, which Byakuya was extremely grateful for.

The black haired Kuchiki may be aloof, but he was no simpleton. He knew Renji was infatuated with Rukia, and he also knew that Renji would never give up on Rukia until Rukia herself told him to move on. Thus the only way for Byakuya to ever get Renji to notice him was to make Rukia unavailable.

This is where that brat would come into the picture. For some odd reason Rukia was attracted to the orange-head, so it all worked out perfectly. Sending off Rukia to that mission was to simply make her fall in love with Ichigo, which consequently gave Byakuya enough time to make Renji notice him and allow Renji to be in some form of relationship with him, other than taicho and fukutaicho relationship. But her coming back sooner than expected was going to be a problem considering his plans.

However, he couldn't place the blame entirely on Rukia coming back because he didn't even sort out his own feelings yet. Byakuya sighed and tried to finish his paper work before Rukia's arrival. "It's been a long time since she left, hasn't it? It would be good to see her again," Renji interrupted with a dreamy tone.

'Of course, you would love that wouldn't you?' Byakuya thought angrily, 'Why can't you get over her? It's crystal clear that she won't ever look at you the way you want her to.' His thoughts ended there, but his subconscious whispered darkly, 'Even if she did, I won't let you go. No, not in this lifetime Abarai Renji.'

Byakuya's anger rose steadily when Renji added, "I have to finish all this work quickly to go see her when she arrives. I wonder if I should get her a present. Or maybe I could throw her a welcome back party."

Renji's words only further enraged him. He knew that his anger was only a result of his jealousy. But which sane man wouldn't be jealous at having his crush talk about another with such a dreamy expression. 'If only you would look at my like that. I would bring the entire world in my palm if only you would look at my with love filled eyes.' Byakuya said to himself inside his head.

Without thinking, Byakuya stood up gracefully and picked up all his paper work. Walking over to his fukutaicho's table, he dropped it with a loud thud, and walked away without a back ward glance and only an order, "Finish these by tonight, Abarai."

The expression on Renji's face before his departure slightly calmed his anger, but the jealousy still remained. That ought to teach him to talk about Rukia like that in his presence. 'But if he doesn't know then how would he learn?' his mind replied. Byakuya simply sighed.

* * *

Renji rubbed his eyes sleepily, and continued writing. It was near 11, and he was on the verge of finishing. Writing the last character, Renji closed the report and filed it with the rest of the reports that needed to be sent out. The red couch situated across the room had been seducing him for the past hour, and Renji gladly gave into the temptation.

[end Chapter 4]

A/N: Thank you for all your lovely reviews. Hope to get more as well. I'm actually supposed to be finishing my homework but posted another chapter instead :) I can see how many people actually read the story, but very few actually leave reviews. So just tell me if you like it or not, it doesn't have to be long, just a few words. It can even be, "i like this story." So please? - .9

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