warm heart, cold feet

Shunsui came twitching and gasping out of a nightmare of freezing tentacles sliding slowly up his legs.

He looked up at the ceiling blankly, trying to collect himself. The room was peaceful. To one side of him Jyuushirou was snoring gently, broad chest rising and falling, an arm flung half over Shunsui in unconscious possession.

No. Couldn't have been the arm. Jyuushirou didn't grope in his sleep. (Unlike Shunsui, as Jyuushirou frequently informed him.)

To the other side lay his Nanao-chan, shifted from where she'd last been lying, hands smelling faintly of the soap from the bathroom. She must have woken and left the bed for a few minutes, then managed to slide back in again without waking him.

She wriggled a little in her sleep, as if conscious of his eyes on her pleasing naked form, and her dainty little foot brushed against his leg.

Icy cold. That explained it.

It was a Captain's duty to look after his subordinates. He slid out from under Jyuushirou's arm and down in the bed till he was next to her feet, cupping them in his hands and breathing warmly on them.

He honestly didn't expect her to wake up with a scream that the Hollows were eating her toes.

Jyuushirou sat up, blinking wildly, hair adorably tousled and chest heaving. "What? Which? Where?"

"It's just me," Shunsui said from the bottom of the bed, restraining the urge to crawl backwards out through the door and claim he'd never been there.

Nanao wrenched her feet out of his grasp and pulled them up under her beautifully sculpted buttocks. "Kyouraku-taichou," she hissed, her shock and anger imparting an absolutely stunning bounce to her breasts, "what were you doing to my feet? And why?"

"Your poor little feet were cold, Nanao-chan," he informed her, propping his chin on one hand and admiring the view. "I was just trying to warm them up."

"Oh, that," Jyuushirou said in tones of enlightenment. "Shunsui, you really need to be more sensible about this. The number of times you've complained that my feet are cold --"

"They are."

"No they're not."

"Yes they are. You wouldn't know. They're your feet and you're asleep."

"And how do you know your feet don't get cold?"

"I'm too hot-blooded for that," Shunsui said smugly.

"They do so," Nanao said snippily. "They're like big solid lumps of ice."

Shunsui shook his head solemnly. "It always depresses me when I catch my Nanao-chan out in a tiny little falsehood," he informed Jyuushirou.

"What?" Nanao demanded.

Shunsui was up the bed in a moment, clasping Nanao to his chest so that his head was level with hers. "Look!" he demanded, ignoring her squeaks and wriggling. "Compare the height! My feet are nowhere near hers."

Jyuushirou turned and looked, as requested. "True," he said with a yawn, "but statistics suggest that there are at least some points in the night, given movement up and down in the bed, when your feet are somewhere near hers. Now can I please go back to sleep?"

"I don't feel that tired," Shunsui said hopefully.

Nanao pried off one hand, finger by finger. "No, sir," she said patiently. "That is because you were asleep all day."

"But we had a Captain's meeting!" Shunsui protested.

"Sir, that is including the Captain's meeting. Your facade of deep awareness from behind a tilted hat would have been more convincing if you weren't snoring."

"Oh," Shunsui said.

"Be fair, Nanao," Jyuushirou said. "Komamura was snoring too, and Kurotsuchi spent the whole meeting making a scale model of his new plasma extraction drill."

"It's a matter of the honour of the Eighth Division," Nanao said stubbornly. "My Captain should not snore mid-meeting."

"I promise to work on it," Shunsui said, kissing her fingers.

"Mmm." She cuddled up against him, which was inspiring yet tragically unfulfilling. On the other side, Jyuushirou was settling back down under the covers, with the clear intention of going back to sleep rather than anything more interesting.

Shunsui sighed, and tucked Nanao neatly into the curve of his body so that she could warm her feet on his knees. Some things a Captain owed his subordinates.

(And he was still sure that he never had cold feet in bed.)