Chapter One

"Taichou…I've always…"

"Renji, me too."

"Taichou!"

Renji gasped awake. He sat on his hard bed, covers askew, his long red hair crinkled in awkward directions. Realizing what he'd just heard had been part of a dream, he sighed heavily, lowering his head and resting his elbows on his knees.

Nights could get lonely in the vice captain's quarters. He imagined the same was true for all the others who ranked above vice captain, since they all had private rooms. Since he could remember, Renji had never slept alone until he became a vice captain under Kuchiki Taichou. Ironic, that the one time in his life when he couldn't have night-time company was when he wanted it the most.

Knowing sleep was impossible after waking up that way, he groaned and stretched, then rose, ungallantly scratching his rear end. He always slept naked, and usually did his morning routine that way too. But the sun was not yet up, and gooseflesh appeared on his arms, so he threw on a lounge kimono before heading into the bathroom to get cleaned up.

Strange thoughts had been racing through his head these days. It was why he was no longer shocked to have dreams like that, or to wake suddenly from them ether. Something about his relationship with his captain had changed in the past few months, but he was nowhere near finding out what it was. The one thing he had decided was that whatever it was, it was not mutual. Even without knowing Kuchiki Taichou as he did, anyone could see that he only had eyes for his departed wife, and now a brotherly affection for Rukia. Renji had never thought of them as real siblings - how could he, when he'd known Rukia twice as long? - and often wondered about how much Rukia and her elder sister resembled each other. He'd seen a painting of Hisana once in a shrine at the Kuchiki house. But when he looked at Hisana, he only saw Rukia there. Maybe Kuchiki Taichou was the opposite.

He sighed deeply again and splashed his face with water to banish depressing thoughts. It was all right. As long as nothing changed, he'd be able to handle it. It was probably just misappropriated feelings of admiration anyway; after all, his goal for so long had been to surpass his captain. Maybe a lack of women in his life lately was making him go a little strange.

He laughed in self-deprecation. What was he thinking? Feelings for his own captain? And a man? It was stupid to even think about. He quickly got dressed, and headed out to train and kill time.

He returned to his quarters, drenched in sweat but feeling invigorated. For a man like Renji, the answer to problems of the heart was always exhausting the body. He felt healthy and rejuvenated, so after a shower, he went to see Ikkaku and Yumichika. However, as they complained they were too sleepy, they refused.

He briefly thought of asking their captain to spar, but he wasn't interested in dying today, so Zaraki Taichou was out of the question. There was Matsumoto or Hitsugaya Taichou, but last he heard she was still in the dog house for neglecting a mountain of paperwork, and she and her captain were working constantly to get through it. He'd normally go and see Rukia, but he was afraid if he saw her he might start to feel confused. And he didn't want to think about him any more than he had to. So he went instead to the 3rd division to see Kira. Unfortunately, they seemed to keep missing each other, and in the end, Renji returned to his barracks for a scheduled meeting with his captain.

Renji had been standing and listening to Kuchiki Taichou, during the meeting, for about five minutes before something utterly inexplicable happened.

"Taichou…I…love you."

They just slipped out. But as soon as he said them, he knew they were true, and he could neither retract them than he could deny his own self. So the cat was out of the bag.

Barely a flicker of surprise. Kuchiki Byakuya's expression was, as always, on the edge of being lifeless. Only someone who'd known him as long as Renji could see the subtle raising of his eyebrows that indicated significant surprise. "Oh?"

"I…probably always have." Renji could feel himself blushing and could almost have died from embarrassment, but he had come this far. He had to go on. "Always wanting to surpass you, but not really knowing why. I think it was because I wanted to be worthy of you. I wanted to be someone you could respect and rely on. And…trying to be that man has given me joy. So…what I want to know is, Taichou…if you…if you, could possibly…feel the same way…about me."

Renji waited, for perhaps the longest ten seconds of his life, unable to look up at his captain or look away from his feet. His body was frozen with anticipation, knowing that what happened next could either send him to the peak of happiness or the depths of despair. He had never longed so much to hear another person's voice as he longed to hear Kuchiki Taichou's voice at that moment.

The captain took in a pensive breath. "To be honest, I've never thought about it."

Renji almost laughed as he started to spiral into depression. Of course he hadn't. He really should have expected an answer like that before any other. "I see. And…could you?"

"That's impossible."

Renji felt the light of hope in his chest dissipate and sink. He lowered his gaze.

Worst of all, when Kuchiki Taichou replied it was in his disapproving parent voice. "Renji, disregarding for a moment the fact that I have never felt attracted to another man in that way, a relationship between a captain and vice captain is…unseemly." Renji barely managed a nod, still unable to move in any other way. "It's tantamount to a perversion of the purpose of the 13 divisions. Therefore, even if such feelings do exist, there is no way they can be accepted. Do you understand, Renji?"

Though he knew exactly why these things had to be said, the captain's exact choice of words did strike Renji as being unnecessarily cruel. He nodded again, and this time he was able to close his eyes for a moment in thought. When he opened them, he was able to look Kuchiki in the face. As long as he pretended he wasn't really there. "Yes…Taichou. Please forget what I said. Excuse me."

He tried to remain calm as he left his captain's office, but the blood was rushing so fast through his veins, he felt as if he was burning. All he could think of was his pain, embarrassment and horrible sadness. After what seemed like an eternity, he reached the edge of the 6th division barracks, and sank against the outer wall. He lowered his head to rest between his knees. What had he been thinking? Knowing as much about his captain as he did, could he ever have expected a different reply than that? He'd been stupid to even hope. Now he'd embarrassed himself, and worse, lost the respect of the one he loved, who was nevertheless his captain.

He sat there for what might have been hours, or might have been just minutes. Eventually, he noticed a shadow above him. "Abarai?"

Slowly, he lifted his head. There was Kira. The man he'd been looking for all day. "Ah…Kira…" he murmured, laughing through a hoarse voice. "You don't know what I've been through today."

The other vice captain looked down at Renji in sadness. "I do."

"Hm?" Renji muttered, glancing up at him again.

Kira sighed, and he extended a hand to Renji. Reluctantly, Renji allowed himself to be helped up, though once he was there he felt somehow too weak to stand. He leaned back against the wall, his head still lowered.

"Abarai…" Kira said, his hands steadying Renji on either arm. Hesitantly, Renji looked up and met his friend's eyes. "You may not believe me, but, I do understand. I really do. And I'm sorry."

Renji at first looked at Kira with humor, as if he was joking. "What? What are you sorry for…" but even before he could finish, the pain in Renji's chest tightened. His face became twisted with sadness, his eyes starting to sting. Shaking with emotions that he could no longer hide, he let his head fall onto Kira's shoulder. Without criticism or comment, the other man held him and allowed him to let out his emotions onto him until he was satisfied.

When Renji's shaking subsided, Kira drew his face up and looked him in the eyes. "Abarai, I want to talk to you more. Will you come to my room?"

At some level, Renji realized exactly what Kira meant by that. Though he was not in a state to be surprised by finding out something like that about a close friend, he felt doubts about accepting his offer. There was only one person Renji loved, he knew that now. Could he really betray that love? But then, he reminded himself, he wasn't betraying anyone. If anything, Kuchiki Taichou had made his feelings clear. He would much rather Renji turned his attention elsewhere. Was that really the case? Or would he hate him just as much for choosing another member of the 13 divisions? Renji wondered, dazedly. Eventually, he decided that nothing really mattered to him anymore. He nodded, and followed Kira to his room.

When they entered the room, the two men stood by the door in silence for a time. It was Kira who finally spoke.

"When I told you I understood what you're feeling now…I was talking about Ichimaru Taichou."

Despite his sadness, Renji looked up in confusion at that. "You and Ichimaru Gin?"

Kira glanced away, smiling through his embarrassment. "It was one-sided on my part. But…he found me amusing for a while and so he…let me be with him."

Renji felt himself blushing again. Partly because the image of the scene came to his mind, and partly just at the thought of Kuchiki Taichou letting him do that. "Oh…"

Kira sighed. He took a few steps inside his room and loosened the top of his kimono to relax. "I only realized after what happened what a fool I'd been. How easily he manipulated me. But then again, maybe it was partly his brilliance at using people that I found so attractive."

Renji looked at the ground, wondering what it was he found so attractive about Kuchiki Byakuya. Eventually, he came to the conclusion that there was no one single thing that attracted him. Everything about his captain was irresistible. How would he ever overcome this feeling?

He looked up to see Kira watching him. "I can more or less imagine what Kuchiki Taichou said to you," he said, slowly moving back toward Renji. "Those relationships are forbidden. A disgrace to the 13 divisions. Am I right?"

Renji's face darkened again.

Kira hesitantly touched him on the arm to reassure him. "I'm sorry. I really am. But I'm glad you found out this way, rather than the way I did. Sex with the person you love is most painful when you know your love isn't returned."

Renji closed his eyes, knowing instinctively that this was true, yet still unable to shake his intense desire. He burned for his captain, both body and heart. He still felt at a loss. Then a soft hand fell on his cheek. His face was held gently and drawn up to the level of his friend's. Kira's eyes held pity and kindness, things that he yearned for at that moment. He felt his resistance slipping even as Kira drew closer.

Soft lips met his own. Just a brushing kiss, as if Kira himself were hesitant to take another step further. Their eyes met again. Kira kissed him again, deeper this time. Renji wasn't sure how to react at first, never having kissed another man. But once again a thought of his captain entered his mind, and without thinking, he began to sink into the kiss.

Kira's lips left his again for a moment. The two men breathed heavily for a few moments, both unsure but both driven by desire. Kira kissed him again, and this time Renji felt the other man's passion through the touch of his skin. Renji was pressed up against the door, Kira's hands squeezing his arms at the elbows. Suddenly their clothing seemed like a hindrance. While Renji was still unsure, Kira undressed them both. Then he took Renji's hand, and wordlessly guided him to the bed.

Renji began to feel the heat building in his body. It had been so long since he'd felt the heat of another naked body against his own. His head began to swim with confusion, but through it all he felt the heat of Kira's touch, and his body gave over to the feeling.

Kira kissed Renji's cheek, neck, and stuck his tongue inside his ear. Renji made a small noise, for none of his previous partners had ever done that before. He felt his body melt with the gentle wet hotness there. Kira's teeth nipped the earlobe once before he continued down the rest of Renji's hard body.

Renji found himself shifting around, unable to stay still under Kira's careful ministrations. His voice started to sound strange even to himself, and he began to forget why he was here. His body was so hot, and Kira knew how to remedy it.

After several tantalizing kisses down his chest and stomach, Renji felt a hot tongue against the inside of his thigh. His erection poked up, growing harder at the new sensation. Then he gasped as teeth bit into the sensitive flesh, and his cock twitched in pleasure. His chest rose and fell heavily. He couldn't ask, but he wanted more from Kira. He wanted to come hard into Kira's hand or mouth, cover both their bodies in semen. His head fell back against the pillows, and he moaned as Kira continued to touch him.

Before he'd even been touched directly with fingers yet, Renji felt a wet hot sensation on the tip of his cock. He spasmed at the sudden touch, looking down at Kira's face. The other man was blushing and clearly just as hot as Renji was, but he moved with control, and again flicked his tongue against the sensitive part of Renji's penis. Renji's back arched. His voice became harsh with gasping.

"Abarai," Kira said, and idly his hands stroked Renji's erection.

"Y-yeah?" Renji asked.

"How would you feel if Kuchiki Taichou was doing this to you?"

Renji's eyes widened. His cheeks became hot, but he was too enveloped in heat now to stop the feeling. Without replying, his head fell back and he murmured, "Tai…chou…"

Kira, apparently having desired this reaction, clasped Renji's cock between his lips and sucked down his length several times, from base to tip. Renji convulsed with feeling, unable to speak through Kira's movements.

Finally he murmured, "Ah…Taichou…!"

So Kira sucked him harder.

"Ah! Ah…ah…oh, that's too much…wait, Kira…!"

With an audible popping sound, Kira yanked his mouth away from Renji's cock. The red-haired man cried out, and then returned to panting. He was splayed upon the bed, his chest rising and falling with every labored breath, his body clearly aching with lust. Kira swallowed.

After wetting it liberally in his mouth, Kira reached a finger down to Renji's hole. The other man suddenly appeared lucid. "Kira?" he murmured.

"No…" Kira said, leaning down over him. His lips hovered over Renji's, and despite the other man's surprise, there was still lust in his eyes. "It's not me, but Kuchiki Taichou doing this to you…Renji," he said, placing a soft kiss on his cheek.

Renji nearly jumped, his heart flying into his throat. Only a few people called him by his first name, and Kuchiki Taichou was one of them.

With that, Kira began making small circles around the tight opening. Renji still panted, but became unsure how he should feel. Kira took the opportunity to take his ear into his mouth again.

"Ah…" Renji sighed, his eyes fluttering shut. "Kira…wait…"

"Not Kira."

Renji glanced up at his friend, and whether it was a trick of the light or his mind leaving sanity, he really didn't see Kira.

"Kuchiki Byakuya," Kira repeated.

Renji panted harder. His captain was looking down at him, his lips achingly close, his deep voice rumbling against Renji's chest. Renji's lips parted and his tongue lolled forward with desire. Even if it was an illusion, he didn't care. He tried to bridge the gap between their mouths, unable to wait any longer.

Kira kissed him hard, banishing away all thoughts of resistance. He could tell from the hazy look in Renji's eyes that he wasn't really seeing Kira anymore, but his captain. Kira didn't care. He wished he'd been able to even imagine real love with Ichimaru Taichou.

In the middle of this intense kiss, Kira slipped a finger inside of Renji's loosening hole. The other man gasped.

"Ah…ah…Taichou?"

"Yes, Renji. He's the one doing this to you. His fingers…deeeep inside of you…"

Kira flexed and stretched the finger, causing Renji to gasp. "Ah…wait…it's…"

"Does it hurt?"

"No, it's…strange…I feel strange…"

Kira's brought his mouth so close to Renji's that their lips brushed as he whispered to him. "You want Kuchiki Byakuya's cock inside you?"

Renji moaned, and his hips began to buck with each movement of Kira's finger. When Kira was satisfied with his reaction, he inserted another.

Renji seemed to be losing it. He covered his eyes with his hands. "Taichou…it's so strange…I want to come so bad…"

"Wait till I'm inside you," Kira whispered to him.

The red-haired man almost whimpered, his sensitive body writhing under Kira's skillful touch. Then, suddenly, his large hands grasped Kira by the shoulders. He trembled for a moment, before saying in a hot whisper, "Taichou. Please…"

Kira could have come from those words alone, even if they weren't meant for him. Unable to wait any longer, he shoved Renji back against the bed with a hand over his eyes, and mauled his lips with abandon. The other man's moaning only encouraged him, and he positioned himself outside Renji's entrance.

"Ahhhh…" Kira moaned. The tip slipped inside without much resistance, but then Renji seemed to tense up, and Kira was stuck. He panted through his desire, checking the urge to shove it deep inside, and leaned down to Renji again. He placed gentle kisses against his face, nuzzling his wild red locks out of his face. "Relax, Renji. Does it hurt?"

The red-head's face tensed up every few breaths, but between those looks of pain was confused pleasure. "Of course it does…stupid…" Both men chuckled slightly, and Kira kissed him again. "Taichou…" Renji muttered.

"Relax, Renji," Kira said, kissing his jaw. "If I get in a little deeper, it'll start to feel so much better."

Hesitantly, Renji swallowed and tried to relax his entrance to allow Kira deeper inside. Kira sighed with pleasure, and eased himself deeper. They both panted for a moment once he was fully in.

"Renji…" he said, into the other man's ear. "You feel so good. It's so hot inside you."

"Tai…chou…." Renji replied, helplessly.

Slowly, Kira began to move. He shifted his weight slightly, and impaled Renji to the point that felt best. Both men let out a gasp, and Renji grasped Kira's shoulders, trembling with pleasure. Kira kissed him deeply, and then began to thrust inside of him.

"Ahhh, Taichou!" Renji panted. "Taichou…Taichou…what is this? It feels…so good!"

"My cock is inside you, Renji," Kira growled, and gave him a possessive bite on the neck. "I'm thrusting deep inside you. You belong to me now. Say you're mine."

"Taichou…!"

"How does my cock feel inside you? Is it driving you crazy with pleasure? Tell me to make you come."

"Ah…Taichou…please…more!"

"I'm reaching the deepest part of you, can you feel me? You're being raped by your captain. Doesn't it feel good?"

"It's…so good…Taichou! More, please! Ah…ah…ahh!"

"I'm going to make you come, Renji. I'm going to fill your insides with my cum, and it's going to feel so good you're going to faint. Now, come for me, Renji. Come from my cock inside you."

"Ahhh…ahh…oh, Taichou…yes, yes! There, that feels so good! Ahh…ahhh…ah!"

Kira grunted, reaching the peak of his ecstasy. "I'm going to come, Renji."

"Yes…ahh…ahh!"

"Ah…coming!"

"Taichou!"

Kira thrust hard inside him, white hot come spewing into Renji's gut. Renji shook with pleasure, and a moment later his cock sprayed white semen all over his own chest. Kira ached as he felt Renji squeezing him tighter during his orgasm, and both men moaned their pleasure loudly. Kira's slender body fell, exhausted, onto Renji's larger one. They lay, unable to move, for a long time, Kira's cock still deep inside him. Eventually, Kira shifted himself out of Renji, and they both sighed and the sensation. Then Kira collapsed on top of him, and they both fell into a deep sleep.

During the night, Renji found himself waking softly while sleeping in Kira's bed. Thoughts of what they had done made him blush. It had felt good, but…was this what he really wanted? Elsewhere in Soul Society, a certain captain had his thoughts caught up by something his subordinate had said. Much more than he expected to.