Howl of the Red Wolf
(Here's the next one as promised! Thanks to everyone who keeps telling me to continue writing these. You are the best! Enjoy, and don't forget to review. I love it when you share your thoughts and ideas with me. Arigato, Spunky)
Chapter 1: Healing
"Why, good morning Takeshi, how are you?" asked Mika Kuchiki, moving aside to let the red haired youth into her house.
"I am well, thank you," the twelve-year-old shinigami replied, stepping into the entryway, "I had some time before meeting my father and I thought I'd come to visit my cousins."
Mika nodded and gestured for the boy to continue on through the house.
"And when you come back, I want to hear all about the latest," Mika smiled, "I heard that you and Chisaki have been made officers!"
The boy nodded.
"Well, off you go. They're waiting for you out in the back."
Takeshi made his way down the hallway and out the back door. The back of the house gave way to a large expanse of land consisting of rolling meadows, forested hillsides and a few rocky ravines. It was the perfect place for three young soul reapers to have fun and to train.
As he stepped away from the house, he spotted his cousins standing near a grove of pines talking. He jogged over to join them. He was noticed by the cousins when about halfway across the distance and they turned to greet him.
"Takeshi, how is everything?" Shoichi asked.
Fourteen-year-old Shoichi Kuchiki was tall and slender with the dark hair and eyes, and pale skin that most of the Kuchikis seemed to share. His twelve-year-old brother Shoji looked much the same, the main difference between the two being more a matter of age then appearance. And indeed, the younger made the most of his resemblance to his brother. The two were very close, and both shared a deep affection for Byakuya and Renji's red haired son.
He approached them smiling and carrying two roses, one pink and one white.
"Everything's fine," he answered as they reached him, "Sorry I'm late, but I stopped to see my father at the Squad Six office on the way here. He just got back from an assignment in the living world."
"I heard about that," said Shoichi, looking serious, "That was some battle he and his division got themselves into. But Captain Kuchiki was more than up to it I heard."
"You heard right," Takeshi laughed, "I think those Espada and Arrancar didn't know who they were dealing with. But they learned very quickly. You don't mess with Byakuya Kuchiki and think you'll walk away in one piece. His squad really hammered them!"
"So why didn't you and Chisaki go to Squad Six then?" Shoji asked.
"Oh," said Takeshi, "it's because we tested out at third and fourth seat, and the sixth already has Takeo as a third seat. Chisaki could have taken fourth in Squad Six, but there wasn't a spot for me. There was room in Squad Five. They wanted to keep us together because of the special ability of our zanpakuto."
"Cool," said Shoichi, "Captain Abarai's squad, "It must be neat having two captains for fathers, Takeshi."
"Usually, yeah," Takeshi agreed, "but sometimes they both have to be away on assignment. And today, Byakuya and Takeo came back just in time for Renji, Chisaki and I to leave."
"But for us, it's nice that we'll all be going on our first field mission together," Shoichi said, smiling, "and we get to go to the Hueco Mundo base. Of course, you and Chisaki went there before."
Takeshi's smile faded slightly. He felt the uncomfortable ache he always felt when he remembered Byakuya's abduction and captivity in Sosuke Aizen's fortress.
"Yeah," he said softly, remembering the dark skies and dead expanses of sand, "We've been there. The base is kind of cool, but the rest is really pretty boring…just lots of sand. Still, there will be a lot to do there. Head Captain Yamamoto wants us to investigate the disappearance of a recon group that went missing near there. I think I might be allowed to join the search party."
"Really?" asked Shoichi, "How did you manage to convince Captain Abarai to do that?"
Takeshi rolled his eyes.
"Don't ask. If you think Byakuya is demanding, just remember that Renji was his vice captain for years. He learned everything from Byakuya. They are still considered the strongest Captain and Vice Captain team in the Seireitei's history."
"No argument there!" laughed Shoichi.
The three talked for a few minutes longer, then turned toward a grassy hillside and climbed to the top. Their faces turned solemn as they approached the family graveyard. They walked through the rows of headstones until they reached two that were newer. There they knelt and Takeshi laid a rose on each grave.
"I can't believe they've been gone for three years," Takeshi said softly, "I really miss them."
"Yeah," agreed Shoichi, his voice soft and choked, "We all miss them."
"Aika was such a little princess," Shoji said softly, "but she was going to be a strong soul reaper. And Ryo was so strong! He was really powerful…better than both of us. Damn! I just can't believe what the Queen's guard did. I mean, why did they have to hurt little kids? Why did they have to hurt our family at all? Our family has always served the royal family. I still don't understand why."
Takeshi said nothing, but his heart was burning inside his chest. He knew the whole story…but even knowing gave him no comfort. He understood the events, but he could never accept it.
Byakuya sat quietly at his desk, filling out the report on the Squad Six mission his group had just finished. His body ached fiercely from the intense battle and he was beginning to wonder if he shouldn't have accepted Hanatarou's offer to heal him. It was just another example of how his pride punished itself. He sighed softly. Rikichi looked up at him from across the room.
"Is everything all right, Captain?" he asked, "You look uncomfortable."
"It's nothing, Vice Captain," Byakuya assured Rikichi, "I am fine."
Rikichi smiled to himself, knowing full well what the problem was…and also how that problem would end up being solved.
"Rikichi," Byakuya said, lifting his eyes from his work, "I need to ask you something. I've actually wanted to speak to Hotaru about it for some time, but I do not want to make her feel uncomfortable."
"It is about your wedding. I know it is a personal matter, but I wonder that it has been so long and you haven't rescheduled it. Hotaru seemed very happy when you asked her."
"We do want to move things forward. We have for a long time. But Hotaru had a really hard time with her mother's death and her sister, Eri, has been a great concern to her. Also, both of us have been away so much on assignments with our squads, we haven't been able to plan."
Byakuya inclined his head slightly.
"Well, if you wish it, you may have time now. We've finished our mission in the living world and Takeo is quite up to the task of acting as vice captain for a time. If you wish, I can also speak to Shunsui about letting Hotaru have a break in her schedule as well."
Rikichi looked confused.
"Sir, it's very kind of you, of course, but why would you go to the trouble?" he asked.
Byakuya blinked slowly.
"Because my vice captain and my sister have had their lives put on hold for too long," he answered softly, "I hate the thought of time being wasted."
"Thank you, Captain. I will talk to Hotaru tonight."
"No," said Byakuya, "Go now. You've finished all you really need to do."
Rikichi's smile widened.
"Arigato, Captain Kuchiki!" he said, sliding his chair away from his desk.
He flash stepped to the door and was gone in an instant. Byakuya allowed himself a small smile and turned back to his work, wincing slightly.
A few minutes passed in silence, then the door opened and Renji Abarai stepped inside.
"It figures you'd be here filing paperwork instead of coming home to tell me you're back!" Renji said smiling.
Byakuya looked up at him calmly.
"Work before play, Renji. If I don't complete my work, I would hardly be able to give you the attention you deserve. I'm nearly done. Just give me a few minutes."
The red haired captain's eyes narrowed and he stepped toward Byakuya's desk with mischief in his eyes. Byakuya appeared to ignore him, but as he closed in, the brush paused in its motion. Byakuya looked up at his life partner, his expression curious. Renji stood gazing down into the captain's dark eyes for a moment longer, then leaned forward, turning his chair and placing a hand on each armrest as he brought his face close to Byakuya's.
"Byakuya," he said with feigned seriousness, "Are you playing hard to get?"
The dark haired captain turned his head so that his lips were tantalizingly close to his lover's.
"I am working, Abarai," he said quietly.
"You were working," Renji corrected him, then he closed the distance, capturing Byakuya's mouth in a hard, passionate kiss.
He raised his lips to his lover's ear.
"Now, you're not."
Byakuya breathed in deeply, enjoying the brush of hair that touched his cheek. He reached up and pulled the hair tie free so the red hair fell loose around Renji's shoulders. Turning his head slightly, he buried his face in the red hair and nuzzled the tanned skin of his lover's throat.
"I locked the door as I came in," Renji added.
"You wouldn't rather move to the Captain's Quarters?" Byakuya asked softly.
"Oh," breathed Renji hotly in his ear, "We'll get there eventually."
Renji took the brush from Byakuya's hand and reached around to push back the papers on the desk behind him. He sat on the edge of the desk, pulling the dark haired captain to his feet. Byakuya stood between his lover's parted thighs, his dark eyes locked on Renji's. Slowly, he removed his haori and let it fall onto the chair behind him. Renji's hands rose and unwound the scarf, then he lowered his mouth to begin a gentle assault of the pale skin of Byakuya's throat. Byakuya took the scarf from his hand and dropped it onto the chair as well. Moving forward, he took Renji's face in his hands and brought their mouths together. Renji wrapped his arms tightly around Byakuya, then quickly released him when Byakuya winced sharply.
The noble broke away from the kiss for a moment, taking a breath.
"You're hurt?" Renji asked, "Why didn't you have Hanatarou heal you?"
Byakuya released his breath in a sigh.
"I sought to return quickly, so that I could be back with you all of the sooner."
"Bullshit!" Renji countered, "You just hate to show any kind of weakness if you don't have to. You wanted me to do the healing."
Byakuya gave him the trace of a smile.
"Guilty as charged," he admitted, "So will you?"
"Will I heal you?"
"Will you heal me?" Byakuya whispered.
"Just show me where it hurts…and I'll heal it," he answered softly.
He caught hold of the tie at Byakuya's waist and pulled it free, then slipped the shihakushou down off of his shoulders. It dropped to the ground at their feet with a soft swish, baring Byakuya to the top of his hakama. Renji studied the cuts and bruises that marred the pale flesh of the noble's shoulders, chest and abdomen.
"Must have been one hell of a fight," he observed, leaning forward.
Warm healing light flared and Renji's fingers traced the angry red streaks, followed by touches of heated lips.
"There were two Espada and several Arrancar. Rikichi and I each handled an Espada. The others took out the Arrancar and some regular hollow."
Renji hovered over a deep bruise, intensifying the healing power.
"You use ban kai?" he asked.
Byakuya shook his head.
"Just metal, kido and shikai," he replied, closing his eyes and leaning into Renji's touch.
"That's why you got banged up, you know."
"Hah, the Espada was not worthy of dying by my ban kai…not even close."
"Idiot…you and your stubborn pride," Renji chastised him jokingly.
"Well, Renji, some of us don't believe it necessary to whip out our ban kai to solve every problem. Why waste power unnecessarily?"
Renji turned Byakuya to address the injuries to his back.
"He really raked you with his claws back here. It's deep. Take a breath and relax…this might be uncomfortable."
Byakuya nodded, took a cleansing breath and released it, willing his muscles to relax.
"You know, Byakuya, maybe I was wrong about it being a matter of pride. Maybe you just enjoy pain," Renji smiled.
"Sometimes," Byakuya whispered, catching his breath as a flash of pain shot through him.
"Sorry, couldn't help that. I told you it was deep. I got all of your upper body. Anything on the lower body?"
Byakuya turned and pressed forward, planting a warm kiss on Renji's lips.
"I am not sure. Why don't you find out?"
Renji tugged on the barely attached hakama and it dropped to the floor. His eyes studied the exposed flesh carefully.
"No injuries, but there is something that requires a healing touch," Renji said, standing, "Switch places with me."
The noble sat on the edge of the desk and pulled Renji in between his parted thighs. He wrapped his legs around the red haired captain and pulled him in for a deep, open mouthed kiss…then another…and another. Renji pulled back, panting softly.
"Let me get out of this…"
"Allow me," Byakuya whispered.
Renji sensed a flash of movement and suddenly realized his haori and shihakushou had been removed and dropped onto the chair.
"That's one you haven't shown me before," he commented, smiling widely, "How'd you do that?"
"Variation on the flash step," Byakuya explained, "It's good when you're in a hurry."
"Are you in a hurry, then?" Renji grinned.
"Just to get you undressed."
Renji chuckled softly.
"Now where were we?"
Renji stepped closer and leaned forward, capturing the noble's lips in a long slow kiss, before pushing him back and treating his throat, chest and abdomen to a torrent of light wet kisses that left a trail of cooling skin as he worked his way down the noble's torso. Byakuya leaned back on his palms and let his head roll back, his breathing becoming faster and progressively more shallow as the red haired captain neared the one part of his body still requiring Renji's attention.
He moaned softly with pleasure as Renji's mouth closed around his aching member caressing teasingly until the noble's hips rose off the desk and he gasped sharply.
"Renji!" Byakuya hissed, pushing against his chest.
He drew back slightly, studying the glazed eyes and blissful face of his lover questioningly.
"It has…been a while. I don't want to…"
Renji nodded and planted a series of tender kisses on the noble's face and throat as Byakuya took a few deep breaths and tried to regain control. Finally, he gave a small sigh and pulled Renji toward him again. This time, Renji pushed the noble back on the desk and climbed on top of him with his legs spread. Byakuya fell back, panting lightly and watching his lover's face closely as Renji lowered himself slowly onto the noble's swollen member. He paused for a moment, meeting Byakuya's eyes warmly, then he started to move, slowly at first, then faster. He lowered his head and his hair gently tickled the noble's sensitive skin, making him shiver softly with delight and thrust his hips upward, more and more deeply into Renji's until the redhead's body shuddered and his eyes flared as he released between them. The sudden tightness around him Byakuya moan and thrust upward, releasing deep inside Renji. Panting heavily, he dropped all of the way onto his back, pulling Renji with him and treating the redhead's mouth to a flurry of gentle kisses.
"All healed now?" Renji whispered.
Byakuya nodded, still too breathless to speak.
"Welcome home, Byakuya."
Byakuya looked up into the warm brown eyes and graced his lover with a genuine smile. Renji traced the noble's smiling lips gently with his fingertips.
"Byakuya," he said softly, "I hate to have to tell you this, but my squad's leaving for Hueco Mundo."
The smile faded.
"When?" he asked quietly.
"Tomorrow. The twins will be going with me."
There was a flash of uncertainty in the noble's eyes.
"But Takeshi was here earlier. He didn't say anything about it."
"I wanted to tell you myself. I was worried you might have some issues about the twins going and I didn't want to talk about it in front of them without talking to you first."
"What issues? They are officers...they go where they are sent, just as we do. And they will be with you, Renji."
"I'll watch out for them. Everything will be fine."
"I know it will. Well then, I imagine we should get dressed and go home."
Renji shook his head.
"Not yet. We have some time left before dinner. Why don't we move this to the Captain's Quarters. We can take a hot shower and…enjoy each other's company a bit longer."
"How long will you be gone?"
"We're relieving another squad and investigating the disappearance of a recon group. I expect we'll be gone a couple of weeks at most."
"Well then, Renji, let's make the most of the time we have before you leave."