Disclaimer: If I owned Bleach, I'd be Tite Kubo. And if I were Tite Kubo, I probably wouldn't be writing stuff as mad as Urahara/Byakuya.

AN: If you're reading this as a stand alone, then you should know that my version of Kisuke has an incredibly soft spot for people who are miserable and Byakuya isn't very happy at the moment. If you know my "Humble Shopkeeper", then this fits somewhere around chapter 15 or after chapter 15 or so (which hasn't been published yet – I'm anachronistic like that). Why Byakuya isn't very happy will be revealed then, but I felt that this little scene didn't belong in the mad, mad fic that is "Humble Shopkeeper" without complicating matters even more. So it's not really in there. Erm. Same universe, but take it or leave it as you like.

Musings of a Perverse Shopkeeper

Kisuke studied Byakuya openly. They were alone in the younger man's tea house. It was a small house, as they go. Only two rooms: the main room, where they were now, and the mizuya. The tokonoma was graced by a scroll depicting a crane and a very small flower arrangement. All tasteful.

They were sitting on the floor (there was no furniture in the tea house; there wasn't meant to be) and Kisuke thought that the host was more beautiful than the setting, no matter how neatly arranged the path to the tea house had been, or the flowers, or the crane.

His beauty was that of bred nobles, who were taught so young how to behave that their grace never failed them. You could never catch Byakuya slumping, or dragging his feet. He walked lightly, with assurance, head held high, piercing grey eyes cold, speaking of his superiority more than anything else might have. His hair seemed naturally never to tangle, never to lose its shape. It was as dark as the feathers of a raven, it looked as soft as the fur of a kitten, as shiny as the dark water of the koi pond at night. His fingers were long and contrasted beautifully with the darkness of his hakama. His pain was beautiful, too. Kisuke could feel its depth: to the very heart; its intensity: like fire; its subtlety: like the perfume of lilies in a far away chamber at night.

The blond's weak points were beauty and pain. There was something in him that irresistibly drew him to comfort that which was beautiful and hurt. He would turn into a willing slave until he was no longer needed. He would be what was demanded of him. He would do all in his power to help.

"Your input is not necessary," Byakuya said, coldly. "You are not needed here."

"And yet, like the impolite guest that I am, I fear I'll have to stay," Kisuke replied with a light chuckle. He wasn't elegant, or noble, but he did not find that to be an issue.

"Impolite indeed." But the Kuchiki head of clan made no move to use his authority or strength to remove the guest from his vicinity. Instead, he closed his eyes, seeming to meditate, ignoring the shopkeeper entirely.

"Whatever happens here remains between us. Nobody will know. Not even Yoruichi."

Byakuya opened his eyes slowly. "Nothing will happen, Urahara-san."

"I'm just saying. I offer you complete silence and whatever you want of me, within rational limits of course."

"There is nothing that I want."

But the noble didn't close his eyes again. His gaze remained pinned, impassively, on Kisuke.

"This goes no further than this room, no further than this night. Tomorrow, we shall say it never happened. Now, I am yours to do with as you like."

There was another silence in which neither of them stirred.

"Give me your hat," Byakuya said.

Carefully, so as not to disturb the man, never looking unsurprised, Kisuke took his hat off his head and handed it out to Byakuya. The noble took it, removed his kenseikan and placed the hat on his own head. Kisuke wondered what the man was thinking, but he didn't ask.

"Your fan?"

Kisuke handed him that, too and found himself looking at a pair of eyes that barely showed between the rim of the hat and the edge of his fan. Nothing happened for a long while before Byakuya put the fan down, removed the hat, got up and walked the few paces that separated them, sitting down in front of the blond.

"What is the rational limit?" he asked, extending his hand to capture a few of Kisuke's strands of hair with his fingers.

"Anything you wouldn't do to another human being, regardless the role, enemies excluded. I do not agree to being murdered or tortured, in other words." How strange that he said that so automatically...

Byakuya considered him for a long few minutes, not moving closer, but not removing his hand. Finally, he leaned forward and pressed his lips to Kisuke, who opened them automatically. He felt the noble's tongue flutter lightly against them before demanding an entrance which was easily granted.

Kisuke wondered how Byakuya would like him to be. Definitely not vocal or demonstrative. A man as subtle as him needed the same sort of subtlety from a partner. Or maybe by contrast... The blond gave a small hum, testing the waters, but the noble seemed put out rather than excited. No, he would refrain. It would be quiet and delicate and elegant and strong, in perfect accordance to the surroundings and their positions. No transgressions, no stepping outside, but working within.

Yes, Kisuke could do that. There were times when he felt he could do anything.

Perhaps catching some courage, or getting into the game, Byakuya tugged lightly at the other man's clothing, not enough to actually undress him, but enough to express his intent. Obediently, Kisuke undressed. He didn't hurry, nor did he try to take it slowly. He didn't play coy or comment. Instead, he tried to recall the feeling that tea ceremonies or calligraphy lessons gave him and to remove his clothing in that spirit. Simple gestures, conscious, graceful, direct. A hand removed from the sleeve in the same way in which the brush drew a daring, oblique stroke. His other hand in a more intricate gesture. When any piece of clothing was removed, it was folded in a fluid gesture, drawing from the undressing itself until you weren't sure where the strip ended and the folding began.

Entirely naked, Kisuke resumed his sitting position and waited. Byakuya had been watching him intently, but calmly. They waited for a few seconds after the blond had been done, the naked man relaxed and awaiting, the noble appreciating the art.

The raven-haired man did not put up a show. His own clothing was removed with no less gracefulness, but with less care. It was not folded: it was thrown off smoothly, landing lightly on the floor.

Then Byakuya's lips returned on his, light, delicate, but his strength palpable behind them. Kisuke's tongue traced them softly, tasting, exploring, asking silently what he was allowed or supposed to do. The noble's hand in his hair, pulling him closer, explained that they were faux-lovers, but the way the shopkeeper was pushed back, so that he finally lay on the floor, also said that he was to continue to be submissive, a servant of Byakuya's. Kisuke didn't mind; he was most willing to oblige. No, there was a need in him to oblige.

Byakuya's skin was soft and silky, smooth and scarless. Kisuke caressed it, moving his hands up the noble's body, barely touching, and was rewarded with a shiver. Encouraged, he ran his fingers through the dark hair, feeling it part effortlessly to allow his hand through the strands. Soon, he felt kisses on his neck, his shoulders, his chest, then back to his lips for a deeper one than they had shared before, their tongues dancing against each other with more heat and some urgency. Byakuya's hand held him down by one shoulder as the man conquered him with body and spirit, his reiatsu drizzling down as if to get the point across better. Kisuke entangled their legs and reached for his well-folded clothes to remove a bottle which he placed within Byakuya's reach, then let go to sink himself deeper into the feeling of the man, to smell and taste his skin, to adore him.

Byakuya had a cold perfection, that of a god, of the spirit of a star. Feeling daring, Kisuke reached out towards a white shoulder and nuzzled on it, trying to leave his mark, probably succeeding. Byakuya let out a small 'hmm' that may have been a restrained moan and took the bottle, applying the contents freely on his hand.

The first finger went in easily, but Kisuke clenched the other's hand anyway. It was more pleasant than expected – he pulled the noble down towards him and kissed him with restrained passion, knowing that full letting go was neither allowed, nor appreciated here. Not in a house for the tea ceremony, with an aristocrat. A second finger followed, careful, attentive. It scissored twice before a third was added and Kisuke gasped. He moved instinctively against the hand in him, then reached out for the bottle and coated Byakuya with the contents, caressing him slowly. For the first time that the shopkeeper could remember, the man smiled and looked almost mischievous as he slid in with agonizing slowness.

Kisuke trembled under him and, despite himself, let out a small sound of pleasure. Dark hair enveloped him as he was kissed again, all further sounds drunk before they could ever reach his lips. Byakuya moved in long, careful strokes, trailing his fingers all over the blond's body, at one point scratching gently, at another fondling. Kisuke broke the kiss, took one of the hands and nibbled on it, then sucked on the middle finger, his tongue swirling against it. The noble closed his eyes and sighed, his head resting on the shopkeeper's shoulder, but his movement never stopping.

It was like a dream between half-sleep and half-awake. Kisuke's body felt as if it were melting, turning into liquid light enveloped in silk. It was like a trance, as if sexuality were turned into art, as if art were turned into conscience, as if conscience were turned into bliss. Waves of pleasure went over him like the tides of the sea, no peaks, but always steadily increasing. Both he and Byakuya were losing some of the physical composure, their hearts beating faster, their breaths more ragged, their movements more determined. The noble's body was fluid, every movement had an edge. His strokes were faster, pushing into Kisuke deep and hard, compressing their bodies together where they joined. They kissed again, this time entirely eager, the blond holding down the dark head against him, pressing him harder, wanting him more and more intensely. When he let go, the movements picked up again, nearly vicious, but still a controlled viciousness, the same drive behind them as that which Byakuya had during battle, exact, strong, wild in its graceful beauty. Long fingers encircled the blond and caressed expertly. Kisuke nearly felt sparks shooting up from the base of his spine and up to the chest, the shoulders, the neck. He let out a ragged moan as his entire body exploded with pleasure.

Byakuya followed him while he was still on top of the world, still floating, still nearly catatonic from the intensity. It seemed like minutes before they regained their breaths. The noble rolled off of him and graced him with yet another enigmatic smile.

"Sometimes I wonder what it feels like to be you," Byakuya said from where he was sitting not far away and fluttering Kisuke's fan in pretty much the same manner the blond had.

"What goes through my mind, that sort of thing?" Kisuke asked, his voice warm and pleasant, no hint of irony or sing-song-ness in it. His mind had wandered while he had been waiting for Byakuya to do anything other from just sitting and pondering, but his face was just as much a mask as his hat and fan were and had not betrayed him. Set in stone while his inner self had been busy with fire.


Kisuke didn't offer him an answer, because the noble really did not wish to know now. He studied the dark-haired man leisurely, knowing that the man would never ask Kisuke to sleep with him just because he offered. That he had asked for the hat and the fan was already more than had been expected.

Kisuke bowed slightly. "It's a question that can't be answered."

"Indeed. Thank you for your aid and privacy, Urahara-san."

Byakuya folded the fan and took off the hat, returning them to the shopkeeper with a small bow. No, Kisuke decided, it was best that he didn't know just how distracted the blond could be.

The shopkeeper bowed down nearly to the floor, recognizing the words for what they were: 'regardless of how nothing really happened, you shan't speak of it'. He would respect that, of course. He placed the hat on his head, opened the fan and exited the tea house, heading to his own room and leaving Byakuya alone with his thoughts.

AN: There we go. That was short. And finished. Please, please review? *puppy eyes*