Ukitake sat in his bed with the covers over his legs and his legs layed out in front of him. He slouched over and his eyes were closed. He groaned a bit "Ok… this really sucks…"

"Whoa there bud, you don't look so hot." A friendly voice said to Ukitake.

Ukitake smiled a bit then opened his eyes to see Kyoraku sliding the door shut and walk over to him. "Hi Shunsui…" he said weakly.

Kyoraku sat on his bed side and looked at the other "Another coughing attack thing?" he asked. Ukitake nodded. "That sucks."

"Yeah, tell me about it." Ukitake chuckled a bit but then stopped when a wave of coughs came crashing down on him. Blood poured out of the younger captain's mouth and he squeezed his eyes closed.

Kyoraku frowned and gently rubbed his hand on the other's back. "Damn, you can't even chuckle. I know I would go insane if that was going on with me." He said gently as his friend finished his coughing.

Ukitake smiled up at him "Yeah, but hopefully it will pass soon."

Kyoraku grabbed a tissue from Ukitake's bed side and whipped his friend's mouth off. "It's not nice to talk with your mouth all blood." He said in a teasing voice like a parent would say to their child.

Ukitake gave him a look but still smiled "Sorry mom, I'll try not to cough so much next time."

Kyoraku chuckled "Alright smart ass…"

Ukitake leaned his back angst the wall "You know you like me."

Kyoraku sighed but then smiled "Sometimes I wonder why…"

Ukitake chuckled again but then quickly sat up and coughed up more blood. He cupped his hands over his mouth but the blood still oozed in between his fingers.

"Aw Jyuu…" Kyoraku said softly as he rubbed his friend's back.

Ukitake put his hand on the other's arm and smiled up at him after he was done coughing. Blood dripped from the corners of his mouth "I'm alright Shunsui. There's no need to worry about little old me." he reassured his friend.

Kyoraku whipped away the blood again "Yeah, but ya know. I just can't help it. You just look so… terrible I just want to help…" but then his eyes lit up "Oh I have an idea!"

Ukitake's eyes widened slightly "Oh no…"

"No, no, it's not an 'Oh no' idea, it's a 'Yay, Shunsui is awesome!' Idea." He explained. "Just trust me."

Ukitake watched him but then sighed "Alright…"

"Sweet!" Kyoraku pushed his friend forward a bit then sat behind him. He crossed his legs then pulled Ukitake into his lap. He wrapped his arms around the sick man's waist and put his chin on his shoulder. "Comfy?" he couldn't help but ask.

Ukitake blushed slightly at the sudden contact but then he nodded.

"Ok good. You see, someone told me once that if you sit up when you're sick, then you'll get better faster. He's a great friend of mine; the little white haired sick man." Kyoraku said with a smirk then winked at him

Ukitake glared at him playfully "Alright Mr. Smart Ass."

"Hey, like you're not one?!" Kyoraku shot ack.

Ukitake just smiled innocently at the other.

"Yeah, you and your damn innocently smile…" Kyoraku mumbled.

Ukitake chuckled again and Kyoraku's eyes widened. He quickly grabbed the other's hair and pulled it back. Ukitake tilted his head but then started coughing again. He put his hands over his mouth again as blood went everywhere. Kyoraku watched in pain as his friend gagged and choked a bit on his own blood. Then when Ukitake finally stopped, he gasped and leaned back on the other as he began to breathe heavy. Kyoraku's grip on the other's hair loosened as he frowned. Then he let go and pulled out the hair tie that he had in his hair and started to put the other's hair up with it. Ukitake turned his head a bit and looked at the other "Sh…Shunsui…?" he asked weakly "Wh…what are you…?"

"You can have this. We don't want that pretty snow white hair of yours to get all reddish and nasty." Kyoraku explained then put his arms back around the other's waist. He smiled softly at his friend.

Ukitake stared at him but then smiled and shifted his weight a bit "Thank you. That's nice of you."

"Nah, it's no problem. I got another one at home." Kyoraku told him then shook out his hair a bit, making some of it dance over his shoulder. Ukitake smiled and reached up to the other's hair. He gently entwined his fingers in the long soft brown hair. "I haven't seen your hair down in a while. It's pretty down."

Kyoraku chuckled "Thanks. I haven't seen yours up sense Shinji left." Ukitake smiled, trying not to laugh. Then he sighed softly and closed his eyes. "I'm tired…" the younger one mumbled.

"I bet you are. All that coughing because of that stupid Tuberculosis would make any strong man tired." Kyoraku said as he watched his friend.

"What strong man?" Ukitake asked as he opened his eyes a bit and looked at the other.



"Yes you. You're always happy and joyous all the time and you always do what you can for anybody who asks. To me that right there is the strongest man. It doesn't matter if a man as all the strength in the world. It takes a strong heart to make someone powerful and beautiful. Though you may have Tuberculosis, that doesn't stop you from all the things that you do for all of the people here." Kyoraku explained as he put his arms back around the other's waist.

Ukitake stared at him for a bit then smiled "You know, I think that's the wisest thing you ever said."

"I'm just full of wise things say. I just think that I have so many that it would make everyone go crazy with envy." Kyoraku said with a smirk.

"Oh yeah Shunsui. Everyone is REAL envious of that wisdom of yours." Ukitake said sarcastically.

"You damn right they are!"

Ukitake just smiled and closed his eyes again. "If I fell asleep on you, would you be mad?" he asked quietly as he started to work his way off toward the land of sleep.

"Yes my Shiro-chan, I would be furious." Kyoraku said in a joking tone as he watched his friend.

Ukitake opened his eyes and looked up at the other "Really?"

Kyoraku shook his head "No. Come you know I wouldn't be!"

"Well I just thought that I would ask instead of bring the liberty of just doing it on my own. To me that would be just rude." Ukitake explained.

"You think too much. Life's too short to-…"

"Take it too seriously. I know. I've heard you say that a million times. That's like your famous saying or something."

Kyoraku chuckled "Well then you have learned something over the 2,000 years that we have been friends. I'm proud of you my young Shiro-chan."

"Do I get a gold star and a pat on the head?"

Kyoraku laughed a bit this time "Yes Shiro-chan, you get a big gold star on your paper and a little pat on the head with a bit of good words like my teachers used to do to me when I was only a child. Those bastards. They made me feel like I was smart for writing the word 'cow' down in a huge box even if it wasn't the right answer. They made me think that a cow made a barking sound for years!! Bastards I tell you, bastards!"

Ukitake's eyes widened as he smiled "Are you serious? You thought a cow made a barking sound?"

"Yes! Because when they read the question, 'Which animal in the animal kingdom that is black and white makes a bark bark sound', I was thinking, 'Alright, black and white… black and white… COW!!!'' I even shouted my answer before I wrote it down and they smiled at me when I did too!! I can't believe them…" Kyoraku explained.

"Wow Shunsui… didn't you have a dog or a puppy or something of the sort when you were a child?"

"Uh… I think my dad killed him for food and told me that the dog when on vacation to some place called Hawaii… He told me that the dog would be living with his friends… And you know what else isn't cool? I sat outside every freakin day for HOURS waiting for that dog to come home. HOURS!! I hated it when the adults lied to me…"

Ukitake stared at his friend for a long moment then shook his head. "You weren't a very bring child were you Shunsui?"

"Oh I was to tell you the truth. I always got gold stars and A's on my papers. The A's made me feel special. Did you know that the Kido teacher gave gold stars on some of his students' papers?"

"He did?"

"Yes he did. I got a couple from him. I think he might of thought that I was stupid or mental or something…"

"Hmm, I wonder why he would think that. With all the, girl chasing and class skipping you did. Not to mention that you thought a cow made a bark sound. I really have no idea why he would think that you, of all people Shunsui, was stupid. Nope, not the slightest idea."

Kyoraku narrowed his eyes at the other "You're saying I am stupid… aren't you…?"

"I never said you were." Ukitake said innocently.

"But you were implying it!!"

"But that's not saying that I was saying that you were stupid."

Kyoraku opened his mouth to shoot a comment back at his friend but closed it again. Ukitake tilted his head, still smiling. Then Kyoraku looked away "Shut up man!!"

Ukitake bit his lip to try not to laugh. "I'm sorry Shunsui but it's so funny!"

"No, no don't you go saying sorry now! The deed has been done! The chicken is out of the cage! Elvis has left the building! The-…!"

"The cow has barked." Ukitake cut in.

Kyoraku narrowed his eyes at him more "If you weren't sick right now you'd be in trouble boy…"

Ukitake just smiled innocently.

"No, no! Don't you give me that innocent shit! It's not going to work on me this time! No way! I have seen that TOO many times now and I have built a wall to not be able to be effected by it!"

"You mean an immune?"

"WHATEVER!! I was never really good in science."

"What grade did you get on the animal mechanics and species test?"

Kyoraku was quiet for a moment "… C…"

Ukitake's eyes widened "A C? How did you get a C? That was the easiest test that we ever took! What questions did you miss?"

He was quiet for a longer period then hide part of his face in the other's hair. "Number 8…"

Ukitake thought back to the test and thought about the 8th question on that test. Then his eyes widened and he looked at the other. "You missed that joking question that our science teacher put on there!?"

"Well I didn't understand the question!"

"What's so hard about it?! 'What mammal makes a quacking sound'', Shunsui you should know that!!"

"Well your test paper was different from mine! On my paper it question was changed many times! First it said a quacking sound, then that was scribbled out and the word barking was put. Then THAT was scribbled out and the work Astrofinaical was put!! I don't even know what the hell an Astrofinaical is!! I think that teacher did that to me on purpose…"

"Astrofinaical? Shunsui that's the word tha that science teacher used to say a cow."

Kyoraku's mouth dropped out and he stared at his friend with wide eyes. Ukitake nodded. "That bastard!!" Shunsui shouted.

"Well if you didn't skip his class so much then maybe you would have been there when he told us that on the test the word, 'Astrofinaical' would be on the test and that to him meant cow."

"I hate that bastard…"

Ukitake just shook his head as he smiled. "You're an idiot Shunsui…"

"Well I didn't have the brains like you. I had the muscle."

"That's no excuse."

"You sound like my mother…"

"And I'm sure your mother was a wonderful woman."

"Yeah wonderful… Aren't you supposed to be going to sleep instead of making fun of me?"

Ukitake blinked a couple times then looked forward. He was quiet for a bit then looked back up at the other "You know what? I'm not tired any more. I'm pretty happy to tell you the truth."

"Oh well that's nice. Making fun of me makes you happy! That's just wonderful! Thanks for making feel like I have a true friend." Kyoraku said sarcastically.

Ukitake chuckled gently, just gently enough to where it won't trigger an attack. He gently started to braid the other's hair with his fingers and hummed lightly. Kyoraku watched him and softly smiled. Then he leaned over slightly and gently kissed the other on the cheek. Ukitake's eyes widened and he blushed. He stopped braiding the other's hair and looked at him.

"Sh-Shunsui…" he said quietly.

Kyoraku smiled at him "You're so cute Jyuushirou… Have I told you that?" he asked.

Ukitake still stared at him and shook his head.

Kyoraku shifted his weight and leaned back against the wall. He closed his eyes and sighed deeply. "Yep… just that smile of yours was the only think that kept me going. The way it can light up a room like the morning sun and the midnight moon… it was like no matter what kind of a mood I was in, if you smiled at me I would only smile too. Everything would stop and all the bad and pain would be washed right out of my soul."

Ukitake watched his friend then smiled "Do you mean that?" he asked.

Kyoraku nodded "Yep, every last word." He opened his eyes slightly and smiled back at the other. "I'm glad I met you Jyuushirou. I probably wouldn't be where I am today without you."

Jyuushirou blushed slightly then smiled with his eyes closed and made a slight giggle sound. "You want to know why I always smile, Shunsui?"


"Because I knew that you were always there. It was the warmth that you gave off that it seemed only I felt when I was with you. The warmth made me feel save and happy, so to return such a wonderful feeling, I tried to give you something special from me. I'm glad that I could make you happy." Ukitake explained.

Kyoraku stared at the other then smiled. He chuckled some "Well at least we both know that we can make each other feel good with the gently gifts that we have."

"Yes it seems so." Ukitake agreed. He layed back on the other then gently pecked him on the cheek. "Thank you, Shunsui. And I'm sorry that I made fun of you."

Kyoraku wrapped his arms tighter around the other so that the younger one would be closer to him "Thank you, Jyuushirou. And it's alright. I couldn't stay mad at such a cute face."

Ukitake gently snuggled more into the older one's arms and into the warmth that he loved so much. "Can you make me a promise?"

Kyoraku nodded "Of course."

"Promise me that you wouldn't ever leave my side."

The 8th captain captained at the other for a bit then smiled. "Of course. Anything you want, you shall have."

"So if I asked you to dance around in a dress for me again you would?"

"Hey, I was drunk that night. The only thing I remember was you saying that I was the cutest princess of all the lands. I don't even know how I got the dress on!"

"But of course!"

The two both chuckled then Ukitake looked at his long loved friend. "Shunsui, can I ask you something?"

"Of course."

"Aren't you scared that… all the contact that you have with me… that you might get my sickness?" he asked quietly.

Kyoraku stared at the other with slightly wide eyes "Jyuushirou…" then he smiled and kissed him on the forehead. "You're silly, you know that? Why would you think that I, Shunsui Kyoraku, captain of the 8th division and wielder of one of the only two twin Zanpakutous would be scared of a little sick bug? Even if I got cancer from touching you, I would do it any ways. You are special Jyuushirou and if I got to get just one brush of your skin, then I would die a very, very happy man."

Ukitake stared at him with wide eyes. This goofy ball cared so much about him and he never really noticed how much it was. He smiled and gently placed his lips on the other's as he closed his eyes.

Kyoraku's eyes widened at the sudden contact and he blushed. But then he smiled too and kissed him back as he close his eyes. He could taste a bit of iron on the other's lips from the coughing that he had done but he didn't care. Just the fact that those soft, warm lips had touched his without any remorse made him happy. He knew that this was probably as close as he was going to get to the one he loved, but he put that sadness to the back of his mind and just thought the happy things. The happy things that made him smile.

Jyuushirou slowly pulled away from him and opened his eyes. A slightly blush played across his cheeks as he waited to see the other's reaction.

Kyoraku opened his eyes slightly and smiled. "I never thought you were the kind of person who would randomly kiss someone like that." He said softly.

Ukitake now smiled "Well… I just thought that I would just show how much I care for you and how much I appreciate you being here with me. You know, when I'm in this stupid pity state."

Kyoraku chuckled lightly "Pity state… heh…"

The younger one closed his eyes and sighed deeply as he shifted his weight. "Thank you… Shunsui…"

Kyoraku gently kissed him on the head "You're welcome."

Nanao raised her fist to knock on the 13th captain's door but Kotsubaki and Kiyone jumped in front of it.

"Nanao-san, please do not do that!" Kiyone whispered "The captain is resting!"

Nanao stared at them "I respect the fact that you want your captain to get better and by all means I do too but I need my captain out of there and to come back with me to our division to sign the papers I have finished." she explained.

"Well I don't think he'll be able to go back with you right at this time." Kotsubaki told her.

Nanao crossed her arms "And why not?"

The two 3rd seats looked at each other "Uh…" they said together.

Nanao rolled her eyes "Out of my way." She ordered as she pushed thru the two and slid the twin doors open. Her eyes widened at the sight she saw before her. She saw both the 8th captain and the 13th captain laying down close to each other; both fast asleep and gently holding hands. Kyoraku had his pink kimono lying on top of them, it acting as a blanket and their faces layed close.

Nanao stared at the sight then slowly closed the doors. She turned around and started walking back down the hall without a word.

Kotsubaki and Kiyone looked at each other then both laughed quietly.