Renji turned on his back, staring at the ceiling. Almost an entire month had passed since he woke up from his coma, and somehow things were really weird between him and Byakuya.
The coma had put some distance between them. Well maybe not so much the coma itself as what had actually caused the coma. Their son's death.
Their link had been narrowing in such a way that he could no longer hear the others thoughts and he could barely feel what the other was feeling.
It creeped him out.
And broke his heart.
He laid his arm over his eyes and let out a sob, trying his best not to wake up his lover that laying next to him, but failing at doing so.
"Renji?" Byakuya leaned up on his elbow, watching his sobbing lover. "Renji what's wrong?"
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."
"Renji." Within a second of time Byakuya had pulled his redheaded lover close to him, holding him tightly in his arms. "Shhh. Renji. I'm here. And I'm not holding anything against you."
"Then why is our link being blocked. I can feel it. I don't want our link to dissapear."
"It's not gonna dissapear love. I'll make sure of it."
"But then why?"
"I don't know. I just... you want me to be completely honest?"
The lieutenant nodded with an incredulous look on his face. "Of course I want you to be. Why wouldn't I want you to be?" Where lies have brought us such misery. He added silently in his mind
"I felt you shutting me out in the first week after you woke up, like you didn't want me to know what's going on in your head. And I decided to give you that, to give you time until you wanted to talk about it yourself. I've prodded the link every few days, trying to read what was going on in your head, but every time I looked it just closed down a little more so I figured you just weren't ready yet."
"I am. I want to talk about it. I...I thought you might not want to know." Renji mumbled as he cuddled even closer to his husband. "Can I tell you about it? You won't be mad?"
"I won't be mad. I promise."
"what about hurt?"
"I'm not gonna lie. It will probably hurt, but it should. The moment the death of our son doesn't hurt at least a little bit, ..." He didn't need to end that sentence for Renji to know what he meant, so the redhead nodded, taking a deep breath.
"When I collapsed, panicked, I started closing myself off, started pushing him away. And he reached out to me. Begged me... Begged me not to do it. " Only a few words in he started sobbing again. "He begged me to stop what I was doing and by the time I actually realised that I was killing him by pushing him away it was already too late. He even told me his name. He said he already had a name but had waited to let us know. His name was Mamoru. It means protector. And before he faded he told me he'd stick around to protect us and his little brothers and sisters."
"brothers and sisters? Multiple?"
The redhead nodded. "He didn't say how many. But he talked about multiple brothers and sistes. And that's what you get from all of that? Really?" Byakuya's reaction pulled a small chuckle from Renji, surprising the both of them.
"Yes, that's what I get from that." Byakuya said smiling softly, glad the mood had lightened at least a little bit. "Because the past is in the past. And I'm really glad you told me, because now I can tell you that I'm not the only one who forgives you. Our son does so as well." He kissed his husbands head gently. "And just to get this out, I'm very much looking forward to those brothers and sisters he was talking about."
"yes, I bet you are." Renji chuckled softly, a soft content feeling settling in him now that the mood was lightening, before snuggling closer to his husband and drifting back to sleep.
When Renji woke up the next morning he could already feel the effects of their talk. The link between them had lightened again, but in a good way. It was like the fog clouding it was starting to clear, and it made him smile like he used to way before they went to Hueco Mundo that first time.
The smile widened as he snuggled closer to his still sleeping husband. But that didn't really last all that long because only a few minutes later a servant knocked on the door, telling them that the doctor was here to see them.
Well not really so much a doctor as a psychiatrist who was helping them in getting over their son's death.
"Byakuya." The redhead whispered gently. "Byakuya, Koga-san is here."
The noble's eyes blinked open as he gazed at his redheaded lover. "You tell him where we're going to meet. " He mumbled with a smile. He actually mumbled.
"The koi pond then." Renji said, loud enough for the servant to hear before sitting up and searching his clothes, not noticing Byakuya's soft smile.
A smile that was there because Renji only ever chose the koi pond when things were getting better, when he felt like things were actually going in the right direction.
Half an hour later they were sitting underneath the sakura tree closest to the koi pond, Koga-san already sititng in front of them with a little smile on her face.
She seemed to have noticed Renji's choice of location as well.
"So Renji. Judging by where we're meating, I'm guessing things are looking up. Why don't you tell me more about it?"
A bright blush immediatly covered Renji's face and he looked at Byakuya for help.
"He told me more about what happened to him." The nobleman says gently. "About what happened to Mamoru."
"Our son." Renji stated with a soft but sad smile playing on his lips.
"So you decided on a name then? That's a great thing. It'll help with the grieving."
"Oh no. We didn't decide on the name." Byakuya says quickly. "Mamuro told Renji that night, right before it was too late." He pulled his lover closer and laid his chin on top of the redheads head. "I'm going to ask the artist who made our stone to put his name on it."
Koga smiled gently and nodded. "That's a wonderful idea. But now I would like to talk a little bit more about how it's going between the two of you. How is the link?"
"It's getting better. After he told me it started opening up again. "
"It's like a fog dissapearing." Renji added soflty, cuddling closer to the clanleader.
"Glad to see it is looking up for the both of you. Now for the embarassing part you both now is coming. How is is going with the both of you sexually? Last week, Renji, you still had trouble being touched. I see that that is going better already. But how is it going apart from that?"
Silence fell immediatly. Renji hated this question. He always felt like she didn't really have any bussiness with that part of his relationship. It was private. He didn't really want to talk about this. But he knew she only asks these questions to help them. To make sure that he doesn't completely shy away from Byakuya's touch. Because if he did that it could completely ruin what they had. It could ruin everything that stupid pink arrancar had given them. It may have been a game for the arrancar, a trap, but it brought him so much happiness, even for that short period of time. He had been so happy.
And then his stupid mistake had ruined it all.
He noticed too late that he had started crying again, gaining him a knowing look from both Koga-san and Byakuya before the latter gave him a tight hug, shushing him like you would a child.
"It's alright Renji. You don't have to feel guilty about what happened. I'll answer the question alright?"
The only answer Renji was really able to give him was a gentle, barely there nod, but it was all he really needed.
He turned to Koga-san who by now was staring at them with this sad look. This happened almost every time she asked that question but it was a nessecary one in the road to their recovery.
"We haven't really gotten any further than just hugs and cuddling. But I don't really need any more than that right now. I'm more than happy to wait for him."
"I'm pretty sure you are Byakuya-san. But I'm going to help you along for a bit. I've been waiting until you reached this point to give you both a little push in the right direction. I know from previous appointments that trust isn't really an issue anymore. It's more the fear of what could possibly happen if you have sex again. Even thought you both know that, without the help of the elders, it isn't even possible to get pregnant. So, I want you to work on kissing this week."
"Because your progress is slow and there is actually nothing keeping you back except for the both of you, so I'm hoping that this will make you see that you don't need to 'fear' the sexual contact."
"alright. I guess I can understand that. Anything else?"
"Just do it in your own pace. I'm not expecting the both of you to be fully making out by the next appointment. Just some progress will do. Even the littlest bit of it."
She stood up and bowed. "I'll see you next week then."
The ravenhaired man nodded, watching as she walked away while still shushing Renji.
AN: I'm sorry it's so short. But I've had so little time to write and then when I actually had time I got stuck. So yeah.
Well. Meanwhile I also have an AOW-account. Same name. Rauwrtsch
I'll be reviewing some of my 'better' stories, take out plotmistakes, add some details, etc, and then add them there