Disclaimer - I do not own Bleach

A/N- Just like all of the Shunsui/Nanao fics that I write (not that there are that many of them) this one is dedicated to my best friend lieutenant-taijiya. You're the best Ticia and I hope that you know it.

Falling For You

I can't quite remember the moment when I first realized that I had feelings for Shunsui Kyouraku, feelings other than the normal ones that a vice-captain feels towards their captain. It wasn't loyalty or friendship. No, this was something completely different and much more intense. Since the first moment that I met the man, that day in the Squad Eight office when I was officially made his vice-captain, I've been trying, and failing, to maintain my distance. After all, I knew even then that his complete lack of discipline was destined to get both of us into trouble, and of course I was right.

The trouble that I got just wasn't the trouble that I was expecting.

As I stand in a small room in the Squad One barracks, preparing for the moment when Shunsui and I will be bound together forever as husband and wife, I cannot help but reflect on how our relationship has grown over the years and blossomed like the flowers that he loves so much. I have watched as the love he holds for me has unfolded like the petals of a rose and it is these memories that I chose to dwell upon on the day of my wedding.

I must admit, although I hate to now, that my first impression of Shunsui was not a good one. He came into the office late, dressed in a haori that was in blatant disregard of the dress code, was constantly drinking, and often failed to do his paperwork until the absolute last possible moment. And yet despite all of this I soon came to realize that he was an extremely considerate captain. He cared enough to listen to what his subordinates had to say and always, always took their opinions into consideration when making a decision that would affect them. Not many commanding officers would do such a thing and it's certainly not a requirement.

Never one for conflict Shunsui always made every attempt to end disputes peacefully. It seemed that he hated to draw the dual zanpaktou that he was legendary with, always seeking a peaceful end to any problem. But he wasn't weak by any means. When he was forced to fight, when a peaceful solution could not be found, he wielded his twin blades with amazing skill and a grace that made it all appear as though it were a dance. A scary and yet at the same time beautiful dance of power.

Every time that a conflict escalated to a full scale battle Shunsui would make sure that I was out of harm's way before he would begin the fight and I must admit that his over protectiveness angered me. He never allowed me to fight, even though as a vice-captain I was more than capable of it. I may not look like much but I am perfectly capable of holding my own in a battle and yet he never allowed me to fight.

He simply kept telling me that he would never be able to forgive himself if something happened to me.

He only broke this unspoken rule one time and he has regretted that decision ever since. He's never said anything about it but I can tell. Everytime that the incident is brought up his normally laughing eyes darken and he becomes uncharacteristically serious. He tries to hide how much it affects him but I can see it in his eyes, they darken a small degree which is a dead giveaway.

From the first moment that I met him, that day in the office, he began hitting on me. And he made absolutely no attempt to be subtle about his interest. Calling me his Nanao-chan, which in the beginning I loathed. His complete lack of formality was annoying at best and I strived to maintain my professional composure.

And I failed spectacularly.

No matter how hard I tried he would not be denied. He took every slap of my fan with humor on his face and love in his eyes. Nothing that I said to him, no matter how harsh the words, seemed to phase him. He merely shrugged it off and tried again. And as time progressed I found that I no longer minded the nickname, although I still pretended that I did. I chastised him in the same manner that I always had, used the same harsh words, however I couldn't stop my heart from skipping a beat every time that he used that endearment.

Every time that he called me his.

The first time that I was able to whisper those three special words to him is permanently burned into my brain and is a moment that I will remember until the day that I breathe my last breath. It was such a happy moment and will always hold a very special place in my heart. I was injured during the battle with the Espada, having been allowed to participate in the fight for Soul Society and the world of the living, and he felt guilty over that. Guilty that he allowed me to fight and guilty that I was injured as a result. I could tell this fact the moment that I regained consciousness in the Squad Four barracks.

Shunsui was sitting by my side and I could tell by the look in his eyes that he blamed himself for what happened. There was a tormented expression within their depths. As soon as he saw that my eyes were open he leaned over my bed, a smile on his face and guilt in his eyes. "I'm so glad that you're okay," he told me, his voice low and throaty as he gazed down at me. "I don't know what I'd do if I lost my precious little Nanao-chan."

I know what he was expecting, he was expecting for me to yell at him for calling me his little Nanao-chan, but I simply couldn't do it. Not in the face of his obvious love for and devotion to me. "I love you," I whispered, my emotions threatening to overwhelm me.

That was the first time that I had ever been able to say those words to him.

His eyes widened, surprised by my words, and I could tell that he was trying to figure out if he'd heard my words correctly.

"You weren't hallucinating,"

He smiled down at me as he heard those words and then leaned forward to give me a tender kiss. He attempted to pull away, meaning the kiss to be short and sweet, however I halted his retreat with a strategically placed hand on the back of his head.

His tender kiss turned to pure passion as once we finally broke apart he was actually out of breath. "Wow, Nanao-chan that was. . ."

"Wonderful," I supplied.

And that was the beginning of our romance, a romance that had led us both here. As though empowered by my open return of his affection it wasn't long before Shunsui asked me to be his bride. And of course I accepted his proposal.

That's what led us here, to this day.

My thoughts are interrupted at this point as I hear the sounds of the door opening. Blinking my eyes I gaze up and watch as my best friend, Rangiku Matsumoto, comes to stand in the doorway. "Are you ready Nanao-san?" Her eyes are smiling as she asks me this question and I keep waiting for her to say I told you so. She had been trying to push us together for years, sometimes not so subtly, and it would be just like her to rub in the fact that she'd been saying we were perfect for each other for years.

She refrained from making such a comment so I nod my head. "I'm ready."

I'm more than ready for this. I have made my decision and I look forward to the future, a future shared with the man I have came to love with all of my heart and soul. I'm not sure when exactly I fell for Shunsui Kyouraku, all I know is that I fell hard and this is the type of fall that you never recover from.

And to be completely honest I don't want to.

Fully prepared to face my destiny I walk toward the door. A broad smile on her face Matsumoto falls into step beside me and together we make our way to the conference room, where Shunsui and I will vow to love no one else until we are separated by death.

A/N - this fic goes along with I Just Knew and is Nanao's thoughts before her wedding to Shunsui. Once again this was written for and is dedicated to my best friend. Hope everyone enjoyed, please review and tell me what you thought.