This story is set after "Till Death Do Us Part" but before "Pride". In fact, I actually briefly hinted at it in Chapter 1 of "Pride". ;)

Cheers to all my fellow ShuuRen fans out there! xD

"God, just how many bandanas do you have?" Shuuhei held up a thin, slightly-yellowish piece of cloth between his thumb and forefinger. He pinched his nose with his free hand and made a dramatic gagging face at the redhead standing a few feet away from him. "And just how old are they?"

Renji rolled his eyes. "Oh, come on, they're clean." His voice came out muffled behind a makeshift facemask made out of a torn piece of cloth. Feather duster in hand, the redhead looked absolutely ridiculous.

"Suuure…" came Shuuhei's reply, followed by sounds of rustling fabric as the raven-haired man continued to dig through his partner's drawers. "Eh? What's this? Ooohhh...this is interesting!" Shuuhei continued to talk to himself as he played archeologist on Renji's belongings.

"What now?" Renji exclaimed in exasperation. "Say, instead of having so much fun over there, why don't you come here and help me clean up behind the bed?"

It was a cheery Sunday morning, the two Gotei 13 vice captains were off duty for once—they were usually on call even on the weekends. Renji had been looking forward to this day for weeks, thinking that he would finally be able to sleep in. Unfortunately for him, the little bottle of lube that they used last night fell from the bed and rolled under it. After concluding their "strenuous activities", Shuuhei peeked under the bed to search for the bottle, only to discover—much to his horror—a huge collection of dust bunnies under the bed. The clean freak in him flipped out, and that led to what they were doing now: cleaning Renji's quarters.

On a Sunday! Renji grumbled for the umpteenth time that morning. He poked unhappily at the layer of dust around his bed frame, which refused to be picked up by the duster. "Next time we go visit Ichigo we need to get ourselves one of those awesome sucking machines that they have there," he said, pursing his lips.

"It's called the 'vacuum cleaner', stupid," Shuuhei said with a snicker.

"Yeah, whatever," Renji muttered irritably. He stabbed the floor several more times and was finally able to get the dust to budge. Coughing, he shook out the duster in a bag. Then, with a loud sigh, he flopped down on the bed. "There, it's clean now!"

Shuuhei looked up from the heap of clothes he'd been looking through. "Good, now come re-arrange your closet," he said, then burst out laughing when Renji shot him a murderous look. "I kid, I kid!"

"C'mon, can we go get food now or what?" Renji pleaded, his stomach growling.

"Alright, alright, let's go."

"Ahhhh…" Eyes closed, Renji let out a contented sigh as he leaned back in the tub. It had been a good day after all. After lunch, they'd gone over to the 10th squad barracks to hang out at Matsumoto's. The curvy vice captain had "acquired" a few bottles of surprisingly good sake, and had invited her usual drinking buddies, namely Shuuhei, Renji, Kira, Ikkaku and Yumichika, over. When Kira asked how she was able to afford them—vice captains are grossly underpaid by the way—she simply gave him a sultry smile and crushed his face into her expansive chest.

The water temperature was just right, not quite hot enough to burn, but enough to make Renji's skin flush. He lazily rubbed soap on himself, humming as he did so. The sake he'd had earlier was still in his system, making him a little buzzed and giddy, especially when he thought of the warm body waiting for him on the bed.

When he finally walked out from the bathroom, he gulped at the sight that greeted him. Lying on the bed was the lean, tan body of Shuuhei, which was currently bare except for a towel draped over his lap, covering his precious asset. He was flipping through the latest copy of the Monthly Seireitei magazine. His hair was messy and still damp from his shower earlier, making him look completely different. If not for the prominent tattoos on his face, people probably wouldn't recognize him, what with the hair, the lack of the choker around his neck, and the missing armbands around his biceps.

Standing there, Renji looked at his lover appreciatively, taking in the lithe yet sculpted chest, well toned abs…and a cocked eyebrow.

"Never seen me naked?" Shuuhei asked with a smirk. The truth was, he couldn't feel happier to see the redhead gape at him like this. It made him feel desirable, sexy, and it didn't hurt that it did wonders to his ego.

Renji wrapped a towel around his waist. "You look so good," he said sincerely as he sat down on the bed. He reached out a hand to caress Shuuhei's thigh, sighing happily as he felt the warmth under his palm.

"Damnit!" Shuuhei suddenly exclaimed.

Confused and surprised, Renji pulled his hand back.

"I knew I missed something in this section! Oh god now there's a grammar mistake in there, gah!" The raven-haired man didn't even notice his lover's bewildered expression as he jabbed his finger at a page in the magazine.

Renji rolled his eyes. On top of his vice captain duties, Shuuhei was also the editor of the magazine, and to say that he took it seriously was an understatement. Sometimes he would stay up half the night just to get the magazine done before the deadline, and poor Renji had to stay up too because he felt bad going to sleep while Shuuhei was working.

"Come on, you're ruining the mood here," Renji protested.

Suddenly realizing his behavior, Shuuhei grinned sheepishly and put down the magazine. "Sorry," he said, scooting over to Renji. "Here, let me make it up to you with a free massage."

Five minutes of kneading and painful groans later, Renji slumped forward with a happy sigh, the knots in his muscles almost entirely gone. "So…sleepy…" Renji moaned as he closed his eyes and stretched. First the hot bath, now Shuuhei's magical touch, he was so comfortable that he could fall asleep right then.

Suddenly, his vision went dark. He gave a surprised yelp as he felt something being pulled tight over his eyes. "What the hell?"

Shuuhei tugged at the bandana a few more times to make sure that the fabric was stretched taut, then he tied a knot at the back of Renji's head. The redhead was squirming, trying to get away, but Shuuhei's grip on his head was too tight.

"What are you doing?" Renji sounded bewildered. Was this some kind of joke? Oooh…or better yet, was this one of Shuuhei's little surprises? That thought sent a jolt of pleasure to his groin and he stopped struggling.

Outwardly quiet and stern, Shuuhei was actually a very creative lover behind closed doors. Their lovemaking had always been great, but Shuuhei liked to make extra efforts to go beyond that. Every so often he would surprise Renji with a new position, or some new technique that he read somewhere.

Now that Renji stopped moving around, Shuuhei slowly guided him down to his back on the bed. Stooping down so that his mouth was right next to Renji's, Shuuhei whispered, "I need your help with this one. Can you promise me that you'll cooperate?"

Already tingling with anticipation, Renji nodded eagerly.

Heh. Let's see how long you can hold out, Shuuhei thought with a wicked grin on his face. If Renji had seen that he would've cringed, but oh well; now the redhead was blissfully unaware of what was waiting for him.

Without his sight, Renji felt his other senses heighten. Still, he had no idea what Shuuhei was doing. He strained to listen, but so far all he could make out was soft rustling of fabric—the sound was very low, though, so he didn't think it was Shuuhei disrobing. Then, he felt the bed dip, followed by something warm and wet on his lips. He allowed Shuuhei to dominate the kiss, loving how the man nibbled on his lower lip and sucked gently on his tongue. He felt another rush of pleasure in his groin and couldn't help but let out a moan. Needing more, he held up his hand to pull Shuuhei closer but immediately felt his hand pinned down.

"Uh uh," Shuuhei said. "No moving for you tonight." He nudged Renji's thighs, and the redhead spread his legs to allow Shuuhei to kneel in between. The raven-haired man held a long piece of cloth in his hands—something he had found in Renji's closet that morning. He had no idea where Renji could've gotten such an exquisite piece of fabric—it was pale green, soft as silk, and felt so good against skin—it was perfect for his plan.

Lifting Renji's right knee slightly, Shuuhei slid part of the cloth under the muscled thighs and pulled it up so that he had Renji's thigh almost in a sling. Then, holding both ends of the fabric, he slowly moved the cloth to and fro, letting the soft fabric brush against Renji's skin.

"Mmmmph…" Renji moaned at the sensation. The friction from the smooth fabric was minimal, but the movements were so sensual, and it was getting so close to his throbbing length…he groaned in protest when it stopped right before it reached his heat. He thrust his hips towards the cloth, wanting to rub himself on the softness. In response, Shuuhei gave him a slap on his thigh.

"I told you, I need you to cooperate," Shuuhei scolded. He then removed the cloth from Renji's right leg and slid it under the left leg. He repeated the same action, dragging the fabric ever so softly along Renji's skin, and again stopping right before it touched Renji's throbbing member.

Right, left, right, left…Shuuhei alternated the same agonizingly slow movements of the cloth between Renji's legs, each time stopping short right at the edge of Renji's length, which was now rock hard and weeping.

Renji groaned in frustration. Teasing was his forte! Now he was getting a taste of his own medicine, and he didn't like it one bit. "P-please…" he whispered, his voice pleading. He turned his head side to side, he needed to move… move… move… anything…

"Okay, okay," Shuuhei said, and lightly brushed the fabric on Renji's erection. The redhead arched his back and moaned at the sensation, but it just wasn't enough. The fabric was so soft that it just glided past. There wasn't enough friction!

"Tsk tsk," Shuuhei teased. His lowered the cloth to brush softly against Renji again, who immediately hissed and bucked his hips. He placed his palm on Renji's hip to hold him still. "Now, now, you promised to cooperate. Now, don't move…keep still…"

"Easy for you to say!" Renji roared. Without his eyes, he didn't know where the cloth was, and had no idea when it would touch him again. When the cool fabric suddenly brushed against his hot flesh once more, he had to grip the sheets to refrain from thrusting up. The muscles in his arms and legs protested as he forced them to keep still.

Shuuhei purposely used irregular intervals between each touch so that Renji would not be able to guess when he would be touched next. With Renji's nerves strung tight with anticipation, Shuuhei knew that to Renji, each touch—even if it's just the slightest brush—would send a jolt through the redhead's body.

"Shuuhei! I can't take this anymore, please!" Renji was in agony. God, he needed more friction! The goddamn cloth, or whatever it was, was too smooth and soft. It only served to get him aroused, but could not get him anywhere near satisfaction.

Shuuhei looked at Renji's now-purplish manhood and grinned. Okay, this is getting too cruel. Without touching Renji, he lowered his head and abruptly wrapped his mouth around Renji's tip.

The reaction was immediate; with a growl Renji arched his back and pushed himself further into Shuuhei's mouth. Having had nothing but light touches since he was blindfolded, this sudden, unexpected warmth and wetness was so intense that Renji's mind began to feel hazy.

"Shuuhei! Oh God!" Renji screamed, his fists clenching the sheets so hard that Shuuhei was actually worried that the sheets would rip.

Gently sucking on the flesh, Shuuhei took in the whole length until he felt it hit the back of his throat. Almost immediately, Renji's body jerked and he released into Shuuhei's mouth, muttering curses as he did so.

Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, Shuuhei grinned at the sight of his lover heaving and panting on the bed with the back of an arm draped over his forehead, limbs literally shaking because of the sudden release of tension in the muscles.

Shuuhei scooted up to Renji's face to remove the blindfold. When it was removed, Renji tried to glare at his lover fiercely, only to end up snorting in laughter when he saw Shuuhei's mischievous smile.

"God, I hate you," Renji whispered before pulling Shuuhei down for a kiss. His hand snaked into Shuuhei's pants and he smiled into the kiss. "Looks like we need to take care of something else…"

"What was it that you used last night anyway? It was so soft," Renji asked, stifling a yawn. It was the next morning, and he was still under the covers, unwilling to get up from the warmth and comfort of his bed even though he was going to be late for work.

Shuuhei blinked in surprise. "Huh? I found it in your closet," he said.

"Eh? I'm pretty sure I'd remember it if I own something like that," Renji muttered, finally getting up. As he did, his eyes fell upon a long piece of pale green fabric on the ground next to the bed. He eyes widened in recognition. "Oh my fucking god!"

"What?" Alarmed, Shuuhei sat up and stared as Renji picked up the cloth gingerly. In daylight, the cloth looked even more delicate. The color was a subtle hue of light green, like…like…

"Oh fuck," Shuuhei said, as he, too, realized what it was.

By then Renji had doubled over with laughter. "K-Kuchiki….hah…Kuchiki-taicho…" he gasped between laughs. The sudden mental image of Byakuya finding out what they had used his scarf for was too much to bear.

Said to be made from silver-white, windflower light silk, and handmade by the master weaver, Tsujushiro Kuroemon III, this scarf was a Kuchiki family heirloom. It was so ridiculously expensive that just one of it was worth forty-five houses in Soul Society. It was part of Kuchiki Byakuya's daily attire, along with his kenseikan and fingerless tekkou.

The only reason one was now in Renji's possession was because his captain had draped it over his battered body at the end of a fight—that fight which he would never forget, where he had challenged his captain in order to save Rukia. Even though Renji eventually lost the battle, Byakuya had been so impressed by the redhead's determination and strength that he left his scarf as a token of recognition before walking away. Ever since then, Renji had kept the scarf with him as a reminder of one thing, and one thing only—his goal of one day surpassing his captain.

Well, that was before Shuuhei got his hands on it…


Short but sweet, I hope. ;) I only wish I could put into better words that look on Renji's face when he was being tortured by Shuuhei! I have it all in my head but my vocab is just...sigh. More practice, more practice!

Reviews/comments are welcome and much appreciated, as always!