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~ The Last Words ~
Naive? Me? I hardly think that naive is the way I would like to be described, especially not by Shunsui who is just as naive as a five year old child concerning the meaning of Christmas. Yes I ignored the beginning of my cough, that doesn't make my naive, it makes me an optimist! I thought it would clear up on its own... I don't enjoy being ill, and I don't enjoy being a burden to my loved ones but they never complain. Shunsui never complains.
I was surprised when I discovered that he was writing down our life story, and even more surprised when I read it through myself; when I confronted him about it, and about how he had so blatantly included his less than friendly behaviour and reminded him that I didn't blame him for being a total... Fool when we were intimate for the first time and I didn't hold a grudge for him being so dense to his feelings. I had been dense about it too once upon a time.
He doesn't know that I'm making my own entry in this... Memoir of his, and I am certain it will make a nice surprise for him when he reads it back. Maybe my words on paper will make him realise that it is time he forgot the past and moved on, and stopped blaming himself for silly things.
~ The Last Words ~
Under the invitation given to them the previous night, Jushiro and Shunsui made their way to the site where the Kuchiki Estate was to be constructed; when they arrived they were surprised by the speed at which the builders worked for there was already a complete structure of a mansion before them and it appeared as though the decorators and the designers were already in and conspiring.
Sharing a look, the two students made their way down the white gravel pathway towards the large front doors; the pair stopped outside when the door opened to reveal a young man with shoulder length raven locks of hair and steel grey eyes exactly the same as Kuchiki Ginrei's. His silken locks were held in place by pale silver Kensaikan and he wore a welcoming; warming smile on his god-like face.
"Good morning," he greeted, his voice surprisingly deep for one so gentile, "My father told me that you would both be coming to visit us, you are Ukitake Jushiro and Kyoraku Shunsui, correct?"
"Yes we are." The white haired young man found the other's smile infectious and was son returning it, "It is a pleasure to meet you, may I ask your name?"
"Of course, please forgive my rudeness, I am Kuchiki Sojun, Ginrei is my father." He replied with another smile.
"It's nice to meet you." Shunsui finally spoke and nodded at the young nobleman.
Sojun chuckled once before he smiled and stepped aside, "Please come in, I will take you to Father's office to meet with him."
The two best friends shared a look before hastening after Sojun as they were shown into the mansion. They were deeply surprised by the completion level of the inside of the building, although Ginrei had told them that the mansion as still under construct it looked almost totally finished.
They were escorted down a myriad of corridors until they reached an elegant mahogany door; Sojun knocked gently and waited until he heard the aged voice of his father before he pushed it open and gestured for them to go inside.
"Ah, I wondered what time you would be coming by. It seems you are both rather eager." The older Kuchiki offered a very small smile before looking at his son, "Run along Sojun, I am certain that Byakuya is waiting for you to return to him."
"My thanks, Father. Shall I send him your regards?"
"Of course, and you might tell him that I will join him for some tea when I visit later today." Ginrei replied.
Sojun smiled warmly again, "I am sure he will be extremely happy to see you."
"Indeed, he is ever so energetic, make sure you do not allow him to wear you out." There was amusement in his tone, but also tender concern.
"Yes, Father." He laughed before looking at the two students, "It was a pleasure to meet you both. Once everything is completed I will be serving as Division Six's Fuku-Taichou; I understand the two of you will be Taichou's yourselves; I look forward to working alongside you both. Please excuse me, good day."
Jushiro and Shunsui murmured their farewells to the man, both captured by his infectious smile yet again as they turned back to Ginrei and sat down opposite his desk.
"Sojun, my only son, he is a kind man with much to offer as a Shinigami." Ginrei elucidated with pride rippling in his voice.
"He is a very nice man; he certainly has a most contagious smile. Simply being in his presence warms the soul." Jushiro replied.
"Ah, you sum his personality up perfectly." The older man nodded in agreement, "His son, my grandson, Byakuya shares much in common with him when he allows it to show. Byakuya will one day take over as the head of this family after Sojun does, so he spends a lot of his time training and trying to act older and wiser than he is; his temper however, is something to truly witness, he comes across as a sleeping volcano, slumbering but forever bubbling under the surface until one day he simply explodes." He chuckled, "But he is a good lad, like his father."
They looked around as a meek looking young woman brought in some tea for them and left again, assuming that she was a servant, the two younger males thanked her and sipped the hot beverages.
"So, you wanted me to offer you some wisdom I believe." Ginrei began, taking a deep mouthful of tea before he interlocked his fingers and rested his hands on the desktop.
"Yes," Jushiro smiled slightly, "We're still quite young and despite our accomplishments we aren't overly confident about running a Division, even with Yamamoto-Sensei's lessons. Can you, I don't know, give us some tips to point us in the right direction?"
"Hmm..." the older man paused and considered it for a moment, "I would honestly say that no one is ever completely ready for a position of command, being thrusted into such a position shows the true potential of a person; whether they sink or swim is entirely up to them. In all honestly I would say... Trust your instincts and your heart; those two things will always know what to do when your brain is at a loss."
Shunsui chuckled, "Sounds about right."
"This is going to be so new for everyone though..." Jushiro murmured, "How do we know if we are doing it right or not?"
"You will know once you begin the reaction of your subordinates and your peers will guide you just as much as your instincts. You just have to listen." Ginrei told him honestly, "Listening is the most important thing a person in power can do."
He smiled slightly before coughing slightly and taking a sip of his drink to moisten his throat, "Thank you, we'll most definitely take your words to heart and use them."
"You are welcome." The Kuchiki nobleman said with a wave of his hand.
"So, how many other noble families are going to arrive?" Shunsui asked curiously.
"There are five families; today I believe the Shihouen Clan arrived; they will be taking command of Division Two when it is formed." He responded, "The Shihouen's are good friends to the Kuchiki Family; they have a young daughter called Yoruichi; she is a few years older than Byakuya and a lot more relaxed in her actions."
"She sounds like Shunsui's kind of lady." He teased, elbowing his friend in the ribs.
The brunet laughed but held his hands up, "No way, I wouldn't dare try it on with a noble... It'd be disrespectful!"
"I'm sure she would be flattered," Ginrei almost seemed to smirk slightly, "But she is a few years younger than yourself."
After drinking their tea, the pair departed with Ginrei's wisdom firmly sewn into their hearts and minds; they felt somewhat more light hearted and comfortable about the whole thing.
As they walked, Jushiro had another small coughing fit, but waved off Shunsui's insistence that he went and got it checked with the Academy nurse. He simply laughed it off as he finished and regained his breath.
"I'm worried about you Ju," the brunet complained quietly, "You've had this cough for a few days now, and it isn't getting any better... You need to get it checked out. Please."
"Honestly I am fine Shu; it's just a silly little tickle is all." He smiled at his friend, "Don't get so worked up."
"I can't help being worried about you, you're my friend." He pouted.
The white haired young man smiled at him again, "I know and I appreciate it."
With a sigh Shunsui gave up and looked up as they reached their room, "So what should we do with the rest of our day off? If you say studying I may tie you up and tickle you."
"Well that doesn't sound too bad." Jushiro bluffed.
"Ridiculous, you can't stand being tickled; it makes you scream!" the other smirked at him, "No good bluffing with me, I know all your secrets!"
"You're mean to me." He pouted and folded his arms as he sat on his bed.
Grinning slightly, Shunsui sat down as well and yawned, "So, what shall we do?"
"Hmm..." Jushiro laid back on his bed and picked up a book, looking it over before he sighed and put it back down, "I wanna go and buy some new books, you can come if you want? I might grab a bit of lunch too."
"Book are more your thing but lunch is appetizing. Alright, I'll come with you. It might be fun."
Rolling his eyes, Jushiro yawned and stretched, "Come on then," He smiled and stood up, running a brush through his ever growing hair before he tied it into a tail and let it fall onto his shoulder, "Let's go before the shops get too busy."
Shaking his head at his friend's enthusiasm, Shunsui got to his feet again with a groan and followed him back out of their room, "What sort of books are you looking for?"
"I fancy a fictional adventure and maybe something a tiny bit scandalous."
"Oh Ju I didn't have you down for an erotic reader!" the brown haired male smirked wickedly, winding his friend up.
To his utter surprise, Jushiro winked at him, "Well I have to have something to keep my bed warm on cold nights."
"Whoa... Are you being serious?" he asked quietly, "Where the hell have you been hiding them?!"
"That would be telling..." he sniffed, "I don't think they'd be to your tastes anyway..."
"Oh? Why do you think that?" He asked curiously as they walked towards Rukongai together.
"Because Shunsui... I am in no way attracted to the female body so think about it... What sort of erotic books do you imagine me to have?" he asked quietly.
He flushed slightly as he realised what he was getting at, "Gay ones?"
"Yes." He said without shame.
Shunsui walked a little slower after that admission and watched Jushiro continue down the street with his head held high. He smiled slightly as he watched him, glad that his friend wasn't ashamed of who and what he was. If only he could be that way too...
Jogging to catch up with him, Shunsui couldn't help the small sly thought of: 'I try and find those books tonight while he's asleep and see what they're all about...'
He chuckled to himself at the thought and put his arm around his friend's shoulder and grinned as they spoke animatedly about anything which came to mind.
~ The Last Words ~
Heh, that was very funny when I told Shunsui about those books, his face was a picture; he tried to hide the fact that he had looked for them the very same night but considering I know exactly where I put them and in the morning they were in a slightly different place... Well it was slightly obvious.
I wonder if he enjoyed them or not...