Rating: K

Disclaimer: Tite Kubo-sensei owns Bleach and all it's characters; I solely us them for writing funtimes.

Author's Note: I'm always a sucker for these types of pairings; temptation is my habitual indulgence. Feedback is always appreciated~.

Byakuya Kuchiki had always been the type of man whom acted upon regal and censored thoughts of logic, as far as most of Soul Society was concerned. Decorum was a virtue whose importance rivaled that of patience for the nobleman. Matters such as predisposition to sinful inhibitions or wanton desires weighed little on the Shinigami's conscience. He simply had to continue restraining his estranged will and wear the impartial façade he knew so well to wield years prior.

His role in the afterlife was solely and inexorably to feign godliness.

Such was the prompt the Kuchiki heir applied as justification for the lack of optimism in his dull life. His duty was a burden he shouldered alone; once in which expected him to sustain himself bereft of joy or possible sanctuary (even in the depths of his mind). It was an inheritance of such loneliness, that he simply lived like the dead.

Byakuya could not — would not — reminisce of a time when innocence was mistaken as turpitude.

Fighting off the urge to sigh, briefly, the Sixth Squad Captain completed his work for the day as he finished signing one final document. Pale fingers curled diligently around his plume, scripting his name exceedingly fluently (as he had learned to), before situating everything to where it belonged. Reclining into the contours of his seat, he slid tired lids closed over onyx eyes; he suddenly noted how heavy the sleeves of his robes clung to lithe arms. Or was it possibly the strain of constant red tape? Inhaling deeply, albeit silently, the scent that wafted inside his barracks managed to stir a part of him.

The setting evening was redolent of pregnant florae and stagnant festivities.

His nose twitched suddenly, as the faint hints of copper marred the tiding epoch of renewal. All too reluctantly did the Kuchiki noble unveil impassive irises to the previous setting of his vacant, moribund office. Left brow marginally quirking, he prepared a statement in mind before a knock on the diaphanous door to his isolation disrupted. Just as abruptly, before he could answer with a sound, it was slid open.

The remainder of his left brow rose, spawned of curiosity; of perturbation, as an ivory-haired male presented him the gift of a gentle smile and warm, soothing chuckle.

"Ah, Byakuya-kun, you're the only one left?" He inquired, but it held no condescension or intention of mockery.

Momentarily contemplating his following words, the Sixth Squad Captain slipped his veil back on.

"If it's my fukutaicho you sought, Abarai made it his aspiration to conclude his formalities and abscond for his excursions with the ryoka boy." He commented flatly, but had not meant for the dryness to transpire so… hurt.

Placing his inkwell into a nearby drawer, the other male closed the door before taking a seat facing him, smile yet to falter.

"Actually, it was Renji who told me where I could find you." Another soft chuckle spilled forth from pale lips.

Byakuya stiffened uncomfortably, as the previous cloud of cynicism lifted from him, a belated realization dawning: they were gifts meant solely for him to experience, at that moment.

"Is… that so?" He finally replied after recollecting himself, before pinning the elder Captain with his gaze. "How may I be of assistance, Ukitake-taicho?"

Part of the novel noble became irritated whence the Eleventh Division Captain didn't even flinch under the cryptic scrutiny.

"Would you mind accompanying me, once you've finished your work, for a walk?" Jushiro asked, tentative but determined.

Much to their mutual surprise, the Kuchiki was rendered speechless.

Sensing that perhaps his request had been far too forward — Ukitake knew for a fact exactly how socially exempt and extroverted Byakuya had always been — he waved a dismissive hand. Oddly enough, it's what the latter took as a sign to breathe again.

"Of course, if you've already made other plans, I'll just —"

Chocolate orbs widened significantly, as they witnessed the sporadic sight of a flustered Byakuya. Even if it was only miniscule and evanescent.

"My tasks for this evening have all been completed; therefore, I am inclined to accept your invitation." The rave-haired taicho managed, as his blush slowly crept away.

Smile growing and expression visibly brightening, Ukitake simply nod his head as they walked out of the vacant barracks. He didn't even mind how little the noble said in response to his near endless conversations. He could tell Byakuya was just as elated, even without the need to hear it spoken.

Jushiro simply hoped the Kuchiki heir could comprehend it himself, relatively soon.