Jūshirō sighed as he made his way over to the booth Shunsui was sitting at in the café near his apartment. The brunet had specifically asked for Jūshirō to meet him here at this exact time, which was why Jūshirō was now apparently two seconds late as Kyōraku held up two fingers and tapped at his wristwatch.
"It's only a few seconds…" Jūshirō mumbled as he sat down across from Shunsui.
"Maa maa, Jūshirō, those two seconds could have cost you your life had it been something serious." Shunsui smiled, knowing he was annoying the younger male.
"I don't doubt you are going to be the death of me, but not for something this ridiculous. What did you want, Shunsui? I'm busy today."
Shunsui pouted. "So grumpy, Jū-chan!"
Ukitake sighed. "I'm sorry, Shun… I was just up most of the night with those damn nightmares again…"
"You should try sleeping tablets."
Jūshirō tensed at an unexpected voice from behind him. He turned and found Byakuya standing there, a look of annoyance on his own face.
"I have sleeping tablets that I take when the nightmares don't go away." Byakuya's dark grey eyes left Jūshirō and instead fixed an annoyed glare at Shunsui. "Did you have to be so exact with the time? Four minutes and twenty-three seconds past twelve-o'clock?"
"You actually waited for that exact time?" Jūshirō raised an eyebrow at his friend.
"Of course I did. I was asked to."
Jūshirō raised his hands in a defensive manner as Byakuya slid into the booth beside him.
"I'm glad you're both here." Shunsui smiled. "I wanted to talk to you about something important. Have you decided an answer on my request, Jūshirō?"
Jūshirō fiddled at his hands as he nodded hesitantly. "…I-I want… to say yes, but… I'm worried about what Tōshirō will think…"
"All he'll think is that his big brother finally has someone who will love him and treat him right," Shunsui said gently.
Byakuya's eyes darted from Jūshirō to Shunsui and back again. A crestfallen expression crossed his face. "…You're… trying to get him a date…?"
"I am." Shunsui confirmed.
"…Then why am I here…?"
Shunsui reached over and grabbed Jūshirō's hand before he took the Kuchiki's. He joined the two younger males' hands together as he smiled at them both.
"Because you're the one I want Jūshirō to date, Byakuya-kun," Shunsui explained.
Byakuya's mouth opened as he nodded, still surprised about this; how did Shunsui know…?
"Well…" Shunsui stood up, a pleased expression on his face. "My work here is done. You two have to love and take care of each other, okay?"
Byakuya nodded, his dark eyes looking down at the hand holding his. He looked back up at Jūshirō, smiling softly at the fierce blush coating the older man's cheeks.
"…Are you… happy… to be like this with me…?" Byakuya asked.
Jūshirō bit his lip. "…I am… but I… Tōshirō…"
"Kyor - … Shunsui was right," Byakuya comforted. "He'll be happy; I'm sure of it."
Jūshirō nodded, smiling at Byakuya. "I'm sure you both are right. Let's get some lunch, Byakuya. I'll pay for it, okay?"
"Nonsense; you have to support yourself and Tōshirō on payments," Byakuya refused. "Allow me."
Jūshirō smiled softly and nodded. He followed his new boyfriend up to the counter of the café, standing behind him quietly as the raven-haired male ordered their lunch. He was excited about having taken his next step, but he still couldn't help but fear that Tōshirō wouldn't accept him for wanting to date another man.
"You what...?" Nanao raised her eyebrow at Shunsui's words.
"I said, 'I pushed Byakuya and Jūshirō into dating each other'." Shunsui took a sip of his sake, his smile bright.
"I didn't know they were gay..." Nanao stated.
Shunsui shrugged. "I don't think Jūshirō knew what he liked until I asked him to join our threesome. I've always had a feeling he likes males. And Byakuya's bi. He came out during high school. Dated a few males that didn't treat him right and then met Hisana."
"If you forced them, and they're not happy to be with each other..." Nanao started, about to hit Shunsui over the head with her book.
"Byakuya wanted this," Shunsui explained. "He's masturbated and called out our names several times. And Jūshirō needs someone to take care of him."
Nanao sighed before she nodded. "Fine. But if something happens to them..."
"They'll be fine, Nanao-chan," Shunsui reassured. "Trust me."
"It's your fault if something goes wrong," Nanao muttered as she opened her book, ready to get her daily dose of man-on-man porn.
"I don't believe anything will," Shunsui said. "I'm confident in that. Why don't you put that book down and let me arouse you? Hmm, lovely Nanao-chan?"
Nanao narrowed her eyes and raised her book, bringing it down heavily upon her boyfriend's head. She ignored the small whimper Shunsui made and instead continued reading as if nothing had happened.
Two days had passed before Jūshirō finally got the courage to tell Tōshirō that he had a boyfriend. The two were sitting down in the living room, playing Monopoly together, both calm and collected.
Jūshirō rolled the dice, holding a small conversation with his brother before he worked his way into telling Tōshirō about Byakuya.
"How are things with you and Rangiku-chan?" Jūshirō asked, moving his shoe three spaces ahead.
"Good." Tōshirō smiled up at his brother as he picked up a card from the deck. "You owe me two-hundred dollars, Juu. Rangiku says she's going to take me swimming tomorrow. Is that alright?"
Jūshirō handed over the money without question and nodded. "Of course it's okay. But make sure you stay with her, okay? There are a lot of bad people at places like the pool."
Jūshirō smiled. "I was actually wondering, Tōshirō; I've never heard your opinion on this before, but what do you think about homosexuals?"
Tōshirō raised an eyebrow. Well, this was random... "Why are you asking?"
"I was curious, I guess." Jūshirō's heart started to race. He had a feeling Tōshirō wasn't going to accept him... "I-I just... have never heard your opinion on them..."
Hitsugaya shrugged. "Why does my opinion matter on them at all? Haven't we been abused by enough men in our lives?"
"I-I..." Jūshirō felt a panic attack coming on; he should have known Tōshirō wouldn't accept him...
Tōshirō frowned and reached out, putting his hand on his brother's shoulder. "Are you okay? Calm down..."
A single tear slipped down Jūshirō's cheek before he forced himself to speak again. "...I... I just wanted to know if you'd ever accept me if I told you I have a boyfriend..."
"O-oh..." Tōshirō bit his lip, not knowing what to do. He glanced down at the floor, concerned that he had just broken his brother. He whispered softly, "...If you ever wanted a boyfriend, Juu, that's your business... You shouldn't need my approval on who you want to love..."
Jūshirō nodded, willing his harsh breathing to settle down before his Tuberculosis attacked him again. He wiped at his wet eyes, tensing his body as his gaze remained fixed on his lap. Neither he nor Tōshirō spoke again until his breathing was calm, if a little rattled due to his damaged lungs.
Tōshirō moved to sit next to Jūshirō and wrapped his arms around the older male's shoulders, trying to understand what Jūshirō was telling him. Was Jūshirō... gay?
"Do you mean to tell me that you have a boyfriend, Juu-nii?" Tōshirō spoke in a gentle tone.
Jūshirō flinched and nodded, closing his eyes in what Tōshirō could only guess was fear – but fear of what? Fear of Tōshirō hating him or something? Hitsugaya frowned; no matter what Jūshirō chose as his partner, he would always love Ukitake.
"That's great." Tōshirō smiled, surprising the pale man. "Who is he?"
"...B-byakuya..." Jūshirō whispered, a small uncertain smile on his own face.
"I'm so happy for you, Juu." Tōshirō hugged his brother again. "I bet you're going to be very happy with him."
The last of Jūshirō's tears slid down his cheeks at these words. He nodded. "I-I think so, too."
They continued their game happily, just talking every now and then, content with being in the other's presence. Jūshirō was just happy to know that his brother still loved him.