My favorite couple in Soul Society is back! It's going to be a mid-length story, nothing too dramatic here. I have an angtsy one coming up so I decided to write one that's a little more light-hearted to balance it out. Shakirie, if you're reading this...I'll be writing that with you in mind!

Before moving on, I want to say a big thank you to everyone who had read my previous stories, especially liqiu03, Cuzosu, fallowell, Love U Ulquiorra, BarbaritaS, and Shakirie...your reviews and messages give me the motivation to continue writing! :)

Chapter 1

Renji hummed as he strode down the hallway towards his office. The redhead was in a good mood; he had received a message just a few minutes ago from Shirogane Ginjiro, the charismatic owner of the eyewear store Gin Tonbo, that a new batch of sunglasses had arrived that morning. Renji had been looking forward to this for a while, having finally saved up enough for a pair of new sunglasses. He would skip lunch, he decided. That would give him more than enough time to pick out a pair.

As he turned a corner, he was nearly mowed over by a small figure. Jumping aside just in time to avoid a head-on collision, Renji let out a yelp of surprise.

"I'm so sorry, R-Renji-san!" A small voice stammered in apology.

Renji smiled warmly as he recognized the short young man bowing repeatedly in front of him. "Hanatarou!" he said, clapping the little medic on the shoulder. "Good to see you! Didn't know you were back from your mission!"

Yamada Hanatarou, the perpetually nervous-looking 7th seat officer of the 4th division, continued to bow in apology until Renji stopped him with a firm grip on the arms. "I'm just back to report in, I'll be going back to Karakura in a few hours," Hanatarou said, scratching the back of his head, looking sheepish.

"I see. Well, say hi to Ichigo and Rukia for me, will you?" Renji said. He was about to turn around and continue on his way when Hanatarou stopped him.

"Ururu-san gave me these candies, would you like some?" Hanatarou held out his hand.

Renji looked at the colorful candies in the young man's palm and, after pondering for a moment, picked out a few. "Thanks!" he said, and immediately popped the candies into his mouth.

Giving Hanatarou a wave, the redhead continued to make his way to his office. Yuck, he thought with a grimace as he sucked on the candies, I think I'll stick to the candies here.

Renji shifted in his chair again as the 12th division scientist droned on about some new hollow monitoring system they're introducing. The Vice Captains' meeting was in full swing, and he was growing restless with each passing moment. The room sure needed some more ventilation, he thought, tugging at the collar of his uniform. A trickle of sweat ran down the side of his face, and he wiped it away in annoyance.

Across the room, Shuuhei glanced at the redhead with a raised eyebrow. He had noticed Renji's odd fidgeting since fifteen minutes ago and was puzzled at the man's flustered appearance. Sure, it was a warm day, but it wasn't that hot.

Renji almost sighed out loud in relief when speaker finally wrapped up his speech and people began to stand up to leave the room. As he fanned himself with his hand, he noticed Shuuhei walking towards him, and he beamed. The sight of his lover always made him feel better, no matter the circumstances.

"What's the matter?" Shuuhei asked, his brow knitted with concern.

"It's so fucking hot in here," Renji grumbled as he pulled his collar further apart. It didn't help, though. His exposed skin was coated in a sheen of sweat, and he felt sticky and uncomfortable. To make matters worse, heat was beginning to radiate up his neck, and he could feel his face begin to flush. Maybe he's getting sick, he thought miserably. What great timing. Looks like the sunglasses will have to wait.

Shuuhei reached out to feel Renji's forehead. His hand recoiled from the unusually hot skin. "You're burning up!" he said with a frown. "Come on, let's get you to the 4th squad."

Renji balked. "Naw, I'm not going to the infirmary just for a tiny fever," he said indignantly. "I'll talk to Kuchiki-taicho, then head back for a quick nap." Although he was disappointed that he couldn't get his sunglasses today, he was feeling uncomfortable enough that he was willing to wait. The sunglasses at the store were so expensive anyway, it's not like they would be sold out in a day.

Shuuhei looked at the redhead skeptically for a moment, then he finally relented. Yeah, rushing to the 4th division for a fever was probably an overreaction. If every shinigami were to go in for such minor aches and pains, the 4th squad would have to recruit half the graduates from the academy.

"At least let me walk you back," Shuuhei said, taking Renji's arm. "I'll let Kuchiki-taicho know, let's just go straight to your quarters."

The redhead didn't argue; he was really beginning to feel quite ill. He leaned on Shuuhei as the older man wrapped his arm around Renji to guide him home.

By the time Shuuhei lowered Renji onto his bed, the redhead's temperature was so high that Shuuhei began to feel alarmed.

Renji groaned when his head touched the pillow. His head was spinning and he felt as if his body was on fire. At the same time, he felt restless and agitated, as if he had had too much of that nasty concoction that Ichigo had given him last time—what was it called again…right, coffee…or something like that. He could feel his heart thumping erratically against his chest.

Shuuhei looked at Renji with worry. The man's face was so flushed that it would have been comical had the circumstances been different.

"Are you sure you don't want to go to the 4th division?" he asked, contemplating if he should just drag the redhead over there anyway.

Renji shook his head. "I'm fine," he said, his voice a little hoarse. "I'll sleep it off." He draped an arm over his eyes and took a deep breath. He tried to calm himself down but his head continued to throb. Despite what he told Shuuhei, he knew that he wouldn't be able to sleep like this. His heart continued to race and his cheeks burned.

"We should at least lower your fever," Shuuhei said. With that, he went off to find a towel which he could use to cool down Renji's temperature. When he finally found one, he soaked it in cold water and placed it on the redhead's forehead.

Renji flinched when he felt the sudden coldness against his skin. It actually felt good, and he sighed in relief. Shuuhei dabbed the towel on Renji's face, wiping off his sweat.

As he felt the gentle touches on his skin, Renji suddenly felt a twitch between his legs. Confused, he frowned and shifted on the bed.

"What's wrong?" Shuuhei immediately sensed Renji's discomfort and paused.

"N-nothing," Renji said. Even as he said so, he felt himself twitch again. What the hell? He clamped his thighs together to ease the unexpected but familiar tingling sensation in his nether regions.

Shuuhei lifted the towel off Renji's face. "Don't 'nothing' me, mister," he said sternly, glaring at the redhead.

"I swear, I'm alright," Renji managed a weak smile. In actual fact, he was feeling quite concerned about his body's odd reaction. He tried hard to ignore what's going on down south but it was beginning to get rather distracting. His heart thumped in his chest and he could feel his breath becoming shallower and faster. Shit. Shuuhei's not an idiot, Renji was certain that the raven-haired man would guess what was going on soon. His face burned in embarrassment when he thought of how Shuuhei would react—he would probably think that Renji was making up his illness and was just trying to trick him into a quickie session during work hours.

As the throbbing between his legs increased, Renji struggled to bring his breathing into control. He could not imagine why he was getting aroused right now, but he could no longer deny that it was exactly what he was feeling. It took all of his self control to refrain from reaching his hand down to relief himself. That's it, he needed to get rid of Shuuhei from the room...right now, before he did anything stupid.

I don't know if you remember, but Hanatarou worked as a clerk in a convenience store in Karakura town. I don't remember it ever being explained why he was sent there though!

So what do you think is going happen next? xD