Just a sweet oneshot for a couple I really enjoy. I hope you guys like it! As always, please review!

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Warnings: Anal, oral.

The first few breaths of the autumn breeze sang in the cat-tails and reeds lining the ancestral home of Jyuushirou Ukitake. Evening was approaching the estate quickly, painting traces of rose and gold across the placid surfaces of the numerous ponds and streams situated alongside the chambers of the house. Shunsui Kyoraku was content to breathe in the rapidly cooling air in deep, calm breaths as he approached Jyuushirou's residence, noting that the evening was particularly fragrant, perhaps, he supposed, with the last blossoms of summer. As he passed over the boardwalk leading to his lover's door, he found that a few peach blossoms were already scattered on the water, their petals partially translucent and wilted.

"Jyuushirou?" he called, leaning forward to tap lightly on his lover's door.

There was a distinct shuffling inside that brought a familiar smile to Shunsui's lips.

"Coming," came the soft reply; presently, the door slid open, revealing the other captain. He immediately moved aside, opening his arm in invitation. Shunsui entered the tidy room, and turned to inspect it: the usual pot of tea sat, half-consumed, near Jyuushirou's writing desk; small tea-light candles glittered in their white holders; papers were stacked hap-hazardly here and there.

"Have you eaten?" Shunsui inquired, noting the distinct lack of piled plates.

"Quite so," Jyuushirou laughed, gesturing to the relatively clean floor, "Kiyone-kun brought by quite a bit earlier, and was kind enough to do away with the dishes."

"Ah, I nearly forgot that it's ohagi season," the taller man glanced up to find his lover standing quite still, as if listening. He raised an eyebrow in inquiry, but allowed the other his silence.

"Crickets," Jyuushirou explained at length. "I don't hear any crickets."

"The season has changed, Jyuushirou. Surely you've noticed..."

But he had not, or rather, he had not wanted to. The understanding hung in the air even as the light beyond the windows faded into the mellow blue of early evening. Shunsui gazed out over the water, and then glanced back to Jyuushirou, who had since busied himself with arranging the candles on his windowsill. Shunsui gently grasped his wrist and brought the smaller man closer to him, capturing his lips in a chaste kiss before peering down into his dark eyes.

"Are you feeling alright, Jyuushirou?"

The smaller captain sighed, pressing his cheek against his lover's broad chest. Somehow the easy rhythm of Shunsui's heart always managed to soothe him, even if only for a moment. He ran his fingers idly over the man's skin as he spoke.

"I...I've just been nervous," he admitted slowly. Strong arms came to encircle his back as the two stood.

"Everyone has," Shunsui assured him, stroking the length of his silky hair.

"I know, and I realize that - that worrying doesn't accomplish anything. But."

He stepped back and gazed up into soft cocoa eyes, bringing his elegant fingers up to lace behind Shunsui's neck.

"I understand," came the low murmur, and then Shunsui was kissing him again, this time with a careful tenderness that melted Jyuushirou in his arms. Their lips met and parted, tongues brushing and tangling in a well-practiced rhythm. When they broke for air, Jyuushirou was careful to breathe deeply and slowly, feeling as though he might faint.

"Jyuushirou?" Shunsui had apparently felt the man sag in his embrace.

"A bit tired, is all," he explained, nuzzling close again. "I was going to call it an early night," he added weakly.

"Do you mind if I join you?"

Those long fingers were running through his hair again, and Jyuushirou was finding it rather difficult to articulate his thoughts. Instead he hummed a light 'of course not' into his lover's chest and leaned heavily into him, savoring his few brief moments of total relaxation.

When he realized he was presently prone, his head cradled in his pillow and his blankets layered over his body, he could not recall precisely how he had come to be laying down. With tired eyes he glanced about his room, finding Shunsui engaged in the task of putting out his candles. A brief yawn closed his eyes again, and when he opened them, Shunsui was beside him, gently freeing them both of their clothes.

"Just rest, Jyuushirou," Shunsui chuckled, pressing his body against the other's once he had finished disrobing them. The warmth and familiarity of the contact was enough to dissolve every last bit of Jyuushirou's resistance, and he sighed contentedly only once before drifting off into a placid sleep.

Yet sometime in the night, Jyuushirou found himself becoming impossibly cold. His nose ached with the absolute arid frigidity, and his fingers and toes had long gone numb from it. He shifted, shivered, and finally cracked his aching eyes open to seek out the source of the sudden frost.

He found he was no longer laying down. The world around him was awash with white; he could barely identify where he was, only that it was a valley of some sort, filled with falling and settled snow. He turned his shoulder into the driving snow and squinted to seek out some landmark, some clue of his location - ahead, he saw something colorful against the bleakness, a hint of orange-red that stood out brightly. As he approached, practically wading through the rising snow, he found the color to be spreading, seeping, it seemed into the snow around it - and there were wisps of black, too, slowly disappearing...

When he reached the aberration and knelt to investigate, he found only the cold and lifeless body of the boy, of Ichigo, draining swiftly of blood, split nose to navel -

Jyuushirou awoke in a cold sweat, his heart pounding. The exertion of sitting bolt-upright sent jolts of pain streaking through his chest, and he coughed, immediately spilling blood onto his fingertips. His shoulders shook with the violence of his illness; all color drained from his face. By the time the fit had subsided, leaving him panting and wheezing for air, there was a sturdy hand rubbing circles into his back.

"Drink," a cup of cold tea was pressed to his lips, and he willingly sucked down the contents. Seconds later Shunsui handed him his handkerchief, and he went about the business of blotting up the blood from his lips and fingers. When his gasping had subsided to shallow breathing, the taller captain helped him recline back into a prone position, especially mindful of his aching chest.

"Jyuushirou..." fingers trailed through the slightly damp white strands, smoothing them back from his forehead. Jyuushirou turned slightly to regard his lover, reaching up to capture his hand and bring it down for a light kiss.

"Just a bad dream," he assured.

"You're worrying yourself sick," came the concerned response, and Jyuushirou clearly saw the sympathy in those deep brown eyes.

"I...know," and then his gaze fluttered down, "and I...well. I'm sorry."

"No apologies."

Outside, there was perfect silence. The crickets had retired for the cold, and the night-flying birds had settled down into their roosts. Even the moonlight seemed frostier than usual, a shade or two more pale in the blackness of the night.

Shunsui traced the gentle curve of his lover's cheek, watching him succumb again to worry at the coming of winter.

"Jyuushirou, the winter will come. There isn't any sense waiting for it, because it's on its way -"

"They're not ready," Jyuushirou murmured, that image of a slain boy locked in his mind.

"Perhaps not. We'll train, Jyuushirou, we'll train them until they're sick of it and then we'll train them more. But until then, all we can do is...wait."

"Wait," the smaller captain breathed, hardly satisfied with the solution.

"That's right," Shunsui replied softly, "we must wait."

"And in the meantime?"

"In the meantime, the kids train, and we prepare otherwise."


Jyuushirou rose up on his elbow to gaze into Shunsui's face, knitting his brows together as he searched for meaning in his suggestion.

"All the training that is ever going to benefit us has been done, Jyuushirou. We're at our peak. All we can do is get ready for the reality of this thing, and that's...something that can only be done in time."

Jyuushirou sighed and nodded, grateful once again for his lover's clarity of mind. It had always been a saving grace in their academy days, and had kept him coming back to the man even in his most drunken of frenzies. With a thankful smile he carefully reclined again, and Shunsui followed him, delicately sliding his arm beneath the smaller captain's shoulders.

The two laid still for a moment, listening to the quiet of the autumn outside. Under different conditions the two had loved the season, relished the gradual crispness of the days, the slowly expanding length of the nights, the rich colors and the warm scent of spices as the season fully blossomed...

"You're not sleeping, Jyuushirou."

The smaller captain sighed and nodded, nestling into the broad shoulder pressed against him. Shunsui's scent was incredibly comforting, a familiar musk that lingered on every uniform, every pillow, every sheet that Jyuushirou owned.

"I'm awake now," he admitted in a half-resigned sigh.

"Shall I...help you back to sleep?" Those rough, sword-worn hands were working their way up his back, kneading sensual patterns into the smooth flesh. Jyuushirou practically purred, pressing his body even closer to his lover's.

"I...oh, yes, Shunsui," Jyuushirou gasped, spreading his fingers over the other's thickly muscled chest, "yes, let's."

It had been some time since the two of them had set aside the time to make love, as was the cycle of their affection: their academy days had been saturated with intimate exploration, sex in their room, sex on the roof, sex at night in the communal showers - and then they had lost time, for a while, dealing with the anxiety and pressure of shinigamihood - but they had found one another again in excess in their maturity, as captains. Perhaps, Jyuushirou reflected, it was the absence of the intimacy that had caused him such nervousness...

Shunsui's lips found Jyuushirou's and slid against them in a familiar kiss. When their tongues met, it was electric - the smaller captain gasped and allowed his eyes to drift closed as his lips worked against his lover's.

The kiss was everything that had been missing from Jyuushirou's consciousness: comfort, warmth, reassurance. Shunsui easily cradled his back as his tongue slid over the delicate contours of Jyuushirou's mouth. The two broke for a moment, breathing heavily, and Shunsui traced the curve of his lover's body, starting at the narrow chest and sliding down the flat plane of his stomach before alighting - ever so gently - on the man's tumescent sex. Jyuushirou let out a shuddering sigh and tangled his fingers in locks of careless brown hair, pulling his lover down over him as he settled onto his back.

"Ah, I've - needed this, Shunsui..." long, slim fingers slid teasingly up and down broad shoulder blades, and the larger man near shivered at the soft touch.

"Why didn't you send for me, 'Shirou?" As he spoke, Shunsui pressed tantalizingly wet kisses to his lover's elegant neck and collar bones, moving ever lower.

"I - I just...didn't want to...b-bother -"

A robust chuckle swelled up in Shunsui's throat and he made no effort at hiding it.

"This is hardly what I'd call an imposition, Jyuushirou," he murmured playfully, teasing the tip of a perfect pink nipple with his tongue. The man beneath him arched up into the sensation, offering the pale expanse of his chest.

"Ah, Shunsui..."

He held those slender hips in his broad hands as he scattered kisses over his lover's flat stomach, wrenching a few giggles from the man at the feel of his coarse whiskers. When he reached Jyuushirou's sex he spread a warm breath over it, savoring the shiver that followed. With well practiced finesse, he ran his tongue up the shaft and slid the tip against all his lover's most sensitive spots; by the time he had wrapped his fingers around the base, Jyuushirou was already dripping.

With a deep breath he took Jyuushirou's sex into his mouth, massaging him with his tongue as he sucked softly, moving lower and lower. He was vaguely aware of the smaller captain moving, and then there was a soft thud as he dropped the small bottle of lubrication beside him. Hands free to roam, Jyuushirou tangled them in his lover's wild hair as he rocked his hips into the warmth of his mouth, eyes closed in ecstasy.

Jyuushirou only realized he had been holding his breath when a tentative finger pressed inside of him, well coated with lubricant and seeking after that one spot that would ease the discomfort. When he found it - brushed it lightly, teased around it - Jyuushirou cried out weakly, thighs jerking open on their own accord. Shunsui gave a low moan merely at the sight, removing himself from his lover's sex to add a second finger, and then a third. When Jyuushirou came to rock his hips onto the intruding digits, he removed them, and positioned himself against his lover in a familiar fit that never failed to right both their worlds.


"I love you, Shunsui," those fingers in his hair danced tenderly against his scalp, and Shunsui caught his lover's lips as he pressed inside him.

Jyuushirou arched his back at the intrusion, uttering a low cry as every inch of his lover was pushed inside, filling him, completing him fundamentally. He brought his hands down to grasp those broad shoulders and panted erratically as Shunsui began his rhythm, an easy, deep pace that was perfected years ago.

"Ah, 'Shirou, ah - you're - so - perfect -"

A thin sheen of sweat spread across his richly tanned skin, brightening them both in the thin moonlight. Sometime during his thrusting, Jyuushirou brought his thighs up to press firmly into his hips, angling himself just so -

"Oh, oh - Shunsui, I'm - I'm -"

He clutched Shunsui's shoulders desperately and let out a deep moan that crescendoed into a wail as he came, spilling his seed across the plane of his stomach as the larger man hilted hard into him, following him into blissful climax.

For a moment, the two laid limply in the moonlight, collecting their breath. Jyuushirou hadn't realized he had been drifting off until those rough fingers smoothed his hair away from his forehead. Shunsui brought the blankets up over them, gathered his lover into his arms, and tenderly kissed his temple.

"I love you too, 'Shirou," he whispered.

Many days away, the winter prepared to descend, edging autumn closer to its grave with an icy determination that could not be resisted. But then, there, in that embrace - there was peace.

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