AN: This is the last chapter, people! Enjoy and read, and review!!!

Warnings: Probably OOC, maybe a bit shallow characterization (I was bored), but I still think it's more or less good. ^^' I hope it is!

A Vibrant Display of a Thousand Kisses

Chapter 8: Soul Society Unites! A New Movie Star

Needless to say that Renji had been teased by Ichigo a lot.

"Oh, Byakuya dumped you, you poor thing!" the teen had said. Renji didn't even shoot him a glare. Rukia elbowed him, instead.

"Shut it, Ichigo!" she had defended her childhood friend. "And let him stay till the end of the month!"

"No fuckin' way!" Ichigo had retorted. "Why does my house, my room always turn into a storage, or asylum for stray dogs?" Rukia flicked her tongue in annoyance. Ichigo had never had a dog, to begin with. And if he was implying that the shinigami, including herself and Renji, were dogs to him, then...

"So that means you have a zoophilia, then, Ichigo, since you're having sex with one of those dogs." she'd muttered through her gritted teeth. "Thank you very much!" she snorted, crossing her arms over her chest. Not that she'd been really angry. She just wanted to point out Ichigo's stupidity and inability to choose correct words.

Ichigo had just stared at her, defeated, stuttering, trying to justify himself.

"W-well that's not what I meant...It was meant to be a joke, Rukia!"

"Well, that's your personal problem...I mean, your sexual preference. But you didn't have to insult your friend....Or is he your friend?"

And the quarrel had gone on and on and on, and Renji didn't have a clue as to where this all would've ended, if Ichigo's father hadn't burst in to finish Ichigo's and his fight from that morning.

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Either way, he had been welcomed into Kurosaki family as a freeloader for a month (the atmosphere around Karin and Yuzu was completely different than around Ururu and that little 'asshole' Jinta, who, in fact, liked Renji, but didn't know how to express such complex feelings. The reader may freely presume that he considered him an older brother or a role-model.), and he was pretty sure that they wouldn't call him 'Freeloader-san' every time during the meals. And he could freely ask for seconds, too. His stomach would always kind of purr happily.

It had been several days since he moved in. Ichigo still teased him, but he knew that his intentions were far from bad. In his odd way, he wanted to cheer him up. And yeah, perhaps Ichigo had been right yesterday when he'd said: "You are a man, act like one! He's dumped you, so what? You gonna act like chick or something? Don't give me that shit, Renji!" Renji didn't feel obliged to explain that he was the one who had dumped Byakuya, hoping that it would hurt less and be less of an obstacle when working together. So he'd kept his mouth shut and tried his best the entire previous day to 'act' like a man, to practice with Ichigo, to tell jokes, and help Yuzu with the dishes, and play some soccer with Karin...

And indeed, yesterday his thoughts had been totally on a different side, far away from Byakuya. He'd been welcomed into Kurosaki family, and sort of befriended Ichigo's siblings and even his dad. At first, Yuzu had been shy and Karin a bit suspicious of him, especially because he had shot at Isshin some time ago...Anyway, that was another story. But things seemed to be functioning now, and he was glad. For the first time he was treated with such a hospitality that it nearly broke his heart. And then he remembered that his heart couldn't be broken because it already had been...And that made him think about Byakuya and the fact that the breakup would hurt anyway and that it was inevitable. And everything was Yama-jii's fault, Renji mused, for allowing such things...And Byakuya! Why hadn't he read the contract?!...Renji realized that so many musings could really hurt his brain. He had always acted according to his instincts, and because of that, he decided to drop all of it and think of nothing.

But no matter how hard he tried to think about other things, the fact that something unpleasant was squeezing his lungs and heart was there, and he couldn't deny it. No matter how much he laughed every single morning, watching in amusement how Ichigo and Isshin fought, how Ichigo and Rukia quarreled, something was devouring his organs, often leaving him breathless, fighting with his own tears. No...he was not going to break...A sad Renji was never a good thing. Sadness and Renji...equaled...the ultimate defeat.

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The redhead followed Byakuya as they entered Seireitei. His head was lifted high, he was as proud as ever. He pretended that everything was in perfect order. He would keep his mouth shut and keep the good image of Byakuya for the public to see. Byakuya was an example of a good captain, and Renji would, by all means, do his best to preserve that image. So he went on, following him, walking the long way to their division, in complete silence. It was meant to be like that, and nothing shouldn't have destroyed that harmony.

His, so called friends, were stationed here and there, throwing quick glances of guilt. It should have never happened, and they had been at fault as well, for laughing at Renji and then recording his sex with Byakuya, and distributing it, and absolutely envied him, and...Well, that led to Renji's utter sadness, and they had never seen Renji so depressed before, not even after the battle. Maybe he had last been like this when Byakuya had taken Rukia into his clan, though, but that was a totally different story now.

Unknown to both captain and lieutenant of 6th Division, they had been followed through the gate, and that someone had already gathered the culprits, reprimanding him, and ordering him to fix their mistake.

"But that's Captain Kuchiki's fault! He didn't dump him because of us!"

"Are you implying that this isn't even partially your fault?! If you, Matsumoto-san, hadn't come up with such a plan and tricked them into signing such an...immoral contract, they wouldn't have been in such a situation now! And all of you, too! Not once did you think about Renji's feelings!"

Matsumoto sighed. "Ok, Kuchiki-san, what do you want us to do?" And thus, the devious plan of getting them back together had begun.

Rukia didn't have second thoughts on this. Truth be told, she didn't know what had actually happened and if Byakuya liked Renji at all, but it was better to give it a try. It was better than seeing how hard the redhead was trying to look like his old self. She, at least, knew how to recognize his childhood friend's moods.

"Ok! I know!" Matsumoto said. "Hisagi-san, Kira-san..."

Rukia had heard so many stupid plans, such as:

Plan 1: Hisagi and Kira would go and make out under the office window of the 6th Division, and Byakuya and Renji would witness their passion and wish to do the same.

"That would definitely fail! Next!"

Plan 2: Matsumoto would drop something near Renji and Renji would pick it up for her. Byakuya would be passing by, and he'd see Renji's butt and nail him the same evening.

"Absolutely no!!!"

Plan 3: ...

" Why can't you be more tactful?!! I'll show you!" Rukia yelled in frustration. "You need something subtle, something romantic, something that doesn't involve just sex! And I'll show you guys what I meant!" she looked at Ichigo. "I'm gonna need you!!!"

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He'd finally managed to find some time alone, so he decided to take a short walk. He had been working hard these past few days, taking care of the Division, giving orders, doing paperwork...His absence had taken the toll; the 6th was so disorganized and needed to be taken care of. At this rate, he didn't have much time to drown in self-pity, but whenever he finished his duties and went home, or for a walk, he would sigh a one heavy, painful sigh. And that'd be it, his reaction to so much suppressed suffer. For he really knew that he and Byakuya could get along even here. But no. Byakuya's ways had always been awkward and stupid, and frustrating, and..and...Renji needed sex, and tenderness...And all those things he didn't quite understand, and couldn't look for in other people.

Just as he was about to lean against one of the white walls and keep on feeling miserable, abandoned like a real dog, he heard a voice.

"Oi! Renji!" Ichigo was running towards him, and stopped right before him. His face looked funny, as if he was in some kind of trouble. "I kinda need your help!" he scratched the back of his head.

"Yeah, since when do you need any help?" he asked ironically, snorting. "Ok, what is it?" he asked, rolling his eyes. He could read uneasiness on Ichigo's face. The boy hesitated, blushing a bit. He was looking somewhere past Renji, fishing something out of his sleeve.

"Here." he gave a small book to Renji. The redhead took it and looked at the title. " 'Ugetsu Monogatari'?(1) What about it?"

"Well, that's Rukia's favorite book and all, and she practically ordered me to read it, but I was kinda bored after the very first page... so, if you could read it and retell it to me...?" he still wasn't looking at Renji and looked kind of bored and looked as if he'd been really, really forced into reading it. "And...um...if it is ok with you...?"

"Leave it to me. I'll read at least half of it." 'For my own amusement...And because it's Rukia's favorite book....'

"Ok then! I'm leaving it to you!" Ichigo nodded and ran in some random direction. The redhead looked at the book again. "Hmmm..."

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But some people in the group didn't agree that Rukia's measures would be enough. So they asked Matsumoto to do something in addition. So She called Ichigo and gave him some extra instructions.

"You're gonna follow Abarai-san. And when he's close enough to some sakura trees, run to him and give him the book."

Seeing no one in sight, Renji decided to sit on the dusty ground, leaned against the wall, and read a few pages. When he was about to finish the second story in the book, full of homo eroticism , by the way, and Bushido, too, he heard someone shouting.

"Fire, fire!!!!" and when looked to his right, he saw that one sakura tree was caught in that fire. He dropped the book and hurried to help the three unseated shinigami of...his division? When he thought better, he was near the 6th.

He sighed, and then rushed to take some water, and ordered Zabimaru to materialize and help, as well. After a short time, they managed to put out the fire, but the sakura tree was so damaged, that you could never say that it was sakura at all.

Kuchiki Byakuya, drawn by the noises from the outside, had decided to check what all that yelling and smoke were about. And when he got out, he saw incinerated sakura tree. That particular tree wasn't his favorite one, but still, it didn't please him to see it in such a state. Sakura tree was the epitome of his strength and wisdom. For instance, the tiny blades of his shikai. And his bankai, as well.

He threw a disdainful, or at least it appeared to be, glance at the shinigami gathered there, and then looked at Renji, who was giving orders to his subordinates. When he saw his captain standing there, he ran straight to him, bowing.

"My sincerest apologies, Captain Kuchiki. We were unable to save that tree." Byakuya only slightly nodded, his attention shifted from Renji to the book lying on the ground.

"Is this book yours, Renji?" he leaned down and picked it up. " 'Ugetsu Monogatari', I see." Both men were unaware that they'd been observed from the rooftop of the Division from the beginning of this little incident with the tree.

"You guys didn't need to set the damn fire! The book was enough! Do you have any idea how hard it was to sneak into Nii-sama's library and steal his favorite book?!" she hissed through gritted teeth, but Ichigo's hand stopped her from further talking. She bit it, and continued. "Now he's lost one of his favorite trees, no less! And what if he decides to investigate the fire?!"

"Calm down, Rukia-san!" Matsumoto tried to cheer her up. "The plan with the tree failed, but if they talk about the book, that would be a wonderful first step to..."

"Shhh! I wanna hear!" Rukia interrupted her.

"Nah!" Renji replied lazily, retrieving the book. "Ichigo asked me to read it and retell it to him cuz he's bored, and Rukia made him read it."

Rukia shook her head. "You fuckin' idiot!" she hissed and wanted to go to Renji and literally strangle him. But, of course, she didn't want to make a scene in front of her older brother.

"I see." Byakuya said and went past the redhead.

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So Byakuya was absolutely positive that it was the failed matchmaking. You didn't need to be the genius to figure it out, anyway. He could only presume who was behind it, all of those who had helped the movie to be filmed behind their backs and all of that. And, despite himself, he wanted to laugh hard, so hard that he could die laughing. For, unknown to them all, he had seen Rukia stealing his book, had seen through the window the shinigami setting the fire (they could've waited for the moment when he hadn't been in his office. Which meant that they were bad tacticians and that Renji wasn't involved in all of that, which meant he hadn't done a damn thing, which meant that he probably didn't want to make up, which...oh well, Byakuya's thoughts had become frantic, and so he decided to stop thinking in that direction, because he would lose the first and only chance to laugh in his lifetime.), he had seen Rukia pissed at Renji's answer...He had seen through all their moves and was...kind of touched by the way the culprits wanted to redeem themselves.

But what about Renji? Was it possible that he wasn't hurting, that he looked at their relationship as just a temporary thing, something they'd been in obligation to do because of several characters written on the white paper? It certainly hadn't looked like that in the real world, but had Renji already found a new partner for himself? Since Byakuya was too self-confident and self-conscious to actually believe that he, as well as the rest of the people, was easily forgettable, he couldn't help but wonder.

He himseld had already thought about everything, since the day Renji left the house. And he knew that the firm principles were worthless in this case, since there was nothing to stop them from being together. There wasn't anything they hadn't already done on the screen, and all the damn people knew about it, and saw it with their lustful eyes. And there was really nothing to hide or to be ashamed of, for he had done it, and it wasn't a taboo anymore. And...oh well...he hadn't read the contract...and he was glad. For, in the deepest corner of his subconsciousness, he wanted to be with Renji, to crawl under his skin and drive him insane both physically and emotionally...and in some way...he wanted to be acknowledged by the redhead. He himself didn't understand the reasons and the illogical thoughts he had, but he had decided then to give in, to give it a try...Only to discard Renji...And Renji had done it first...And his pride was hurt...And...And...Oh well...

He sighed, turning around to look at still standing Renji, with that book in his hands, looking so desolate. He'd let his guard down probably because he thought he was left alone. Byakuya sighed again. He had changed with all of this and felt more alive than ever before. And he managed a smile, a small, barely visible smile.

"Renji." he said. "Come to the office."

The redhead looked up in his direction, bowing.

"Yes, Captain."

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"I pierced my ears." Byakuya said once they were in the office. He put the hair behind his ears. Two small sliver earrings were throwing small sparks. He had done it the same day when the redhead left. They had a special meaning. Renji had wanted to buy something nice for the dark haired man, but on his way back, he was caught in the storm and got the fever...

Renji smiled, but still looked perplexed. He wanted to ask why. But he knew that his question would be silly and pointless, and Byakuya's actions were probably nothing of romantic sort. Nor did the lieutenant hope for such a miracle. Byakuya said no more, but approached, kissing the redhead almost apologetically. One sweet peck on the lips, applied so skillfully, so tenderly.

The redhead hesitated, but in the end rubbed the sensitive earlobe with his long fingers. "I'm glad it looks good on you." But he didn't feel relief in his chest. Something was wrong. He felt like fleeing. Was this for real? He looked at Byakuya in question, and the older just nodded in response. Yes, they could try it here. There was nothing in their way.

"I have two tickets for the open air cinema." Byakuya said barely audibly. Renji's lips and teeth were already playing with the beautiful earlobe of his superior, while the hands were working on his obi.

"Who's starring?"

"Hisagi Shuuhei" Byakuya sighed, trying to suppress a moan, Renji was already on his knees. "

"Oh really?" Renji stopped sucking on the Kuchiki heir's cock. "What's the movie named?"

"I believe it is Hisagi's Solo(2), if I am not wrong." There was that devious smirk on Renji's face.

"Told ya Matsumoto-san would find a new porn star and leave us alone.".

:"Yes..." Byakuya threw his head back, enjoying Renji's ministrations. He knew that it would take some time before the things start to be good again. But he knew that both of them were willing to try. At least he hoped so, as he pulled the redhead's head closer to his cock, groaning and moaning, and sweating. "Yes...Renji..."

He believed not only during this fellatio, when even flying to Mars seemed possible. Renji hoped, as well, with every following day, he knew. For he had stepped over his pride just to try again. And Byakuya knew how much pride could be a hindrance.

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THE END

(1) Tales of Moon and Rain- a collection of nine independent stories by Ueda Akinari. The book is pretty good, but you need to know at least some of Japanese history in order to understand what the book is about.

(2) Now imagine that!!!

AN: Well, this is it. I think it's a bit rushed and all, but I still think it's nice... Oh well. This is no time to think about such things. I hope you liked it! Please review!