I couldn't resist xD Here's an epilogue with Gin and Tōshirō in it :) Personally, I think it's a rather sweet chapter.

The week had gone by slowly for Jūshirō, but he was feeling a little better now that he and Shunsui were staying with Gin and his family for the next week. He had just gotten out of the shower and dressed himself before he walked to the bedroom now belonging to Shunsui and himself.

"Shunsui?" Jūshirō pushed the door open and stepped in. He frowned when he saw Shunsui sitting on the bed, crying into his hands. "Shunsui, what happened?"

Shunsui lowered his hands from his face and smiled weakly up at Jūshirō. He opened his arms, inviting the younger male to sit down on his lap. He held the white-haired man, resting his chin on the other's shoulder.

"I'm okay, Juu," Shunsui reassured. "I just need to let go and have a bit of a cry."

Jūshirō wrapped his arms back around the brunet. "Why? You never cry, Shunsui."

"I do. Everyone cries sometimes, Juu, but it's okay because it only makes us human. I just miss Nanao and I'm still really upset about losing her belongings in the fire. That's all. There's no need to worry, Juu. I'll be okay."

Jūshirō nodded. He curled in close to the other, resting his head beneath Shunsui's chin. His long, slender fingers gripped the blue shirt Shunsui was wearing as he focused on the brunet's breathing. He closed his eyes and slipped off to sleep, content with being in his partner's arms.


When Shunsui and Jūshirō left their bedroom a few hours later after having had a sleep, they stepped into the living room and found Tōshirō sitting on the floor, playing happily with Komamura. Gin was sitting on a chair, tapping away at his laptop.

The Ichimaru's left arm had been burned badly in the fire, and the entire limb was scarred right down to the fingers in a third-degree burn. There were also burns on his legs and torso, though they were not as bad, and a few small burns on his face and neck.

Tōshirō had been lucky; his burns were on his torso, and had only been second-degree; much less serious than they should have been given the circumstances.

"Jūshirō!" Tōshirō got to his feet and ran to Jūshirō when he saw the skinny man enter the room. He wrapped his arms around Jūshirō's middle and buried his face into the other's stomach. "Jūshirō, I missed you!"

Jūshirō smiled softly and ran his fingers through the spiky hair. "Where were you? Y-you weren't here... when we arrived this morning..."

"I was at school." Tōshirō looked up and smiled brightly, his bright green eyes shining.

Shunsui moved over and pulled Tōshirō into a hug. "You're going back to school? Gin said you were staying home from school, but it's great to hear that you're going back."

"He's strong," Gin said, turning to face them. "A psychol'gist came in ta talk ta him while we were in hospital an' helped relieve some o' the guilt he felt, an' we let him stay home from school with the option o' him decidin' when he's ready ta go back. He chose ta go back himself last night, an' we haven't even been out o' the hospital for a' week. I'm so proud o' him."

"I bet you are, Gin-kun." Shunsui smiled. "Are you going back to work, too?"

Gin shook his head. "Can't. Not with this arm. I need a' new job."

"I see." Shunsui moved to sit with Gin. "I went back to my job once Jūshirō got settled in at Byakuya's."

"How is he doin'?" Gin asked.

"He's good." Shunsui glanced over to see Jūshirō holding Tōshirō's hand as the child lead the Ukitake over to the adults.

"Jūshirō and I are going to visit Momo, Gin." Tōshirō smiled at his foster father, and in that moment, Shunsui would swear that nothing had happened to Tōshirō; he still had that air of childish innocence about him, and his smile was still enough to melt even the coldest of hearts. "I told Momo I would come over today and Jūshirō wants to come with me."

"I see." Gin reached out and ruffled his child's hair. "Have fun, 'kay? Take Komamura with ya so that Jūshirō-san will feel a' bit more at ease."

"We will." Tōshirō reached out, wrapping his arms carefully around Gin so that he didn't agitate any of the man's burns, and then engulfed Shunsui in a tight hug next. "Bye, Gin; bye, Shunsui."

"Bye, Shiro-chan." Gin smiled and watched as Jūshirō left with Tōshirō and Komamura. He then turned back to Shunsui. "See? Shiro-chan is doin' great. He doesn't have many scars from the trauma, thankf'lly."

"What about you, Gin-kun?" Shunsui asked. "You never told me how your scars are."

Gin shrugged. "Shiro-chan is safe. Jūshirō-san is safe. I know ya lost yer home and Nanao's belongin's, but we still have our lives. It's just 'nother bump in the road we have ta work tagether ta get 'round. I'll never forget what it was like thinkin' I'd never see Shiro-chan 'gain, but he's here with me, an' he's happy. It's all that matters ta me."

Shunsui smiled. "I'm so glad to hear that. What about Rangiku-chan?"

"She's fine, too." Gin smiled. "She's been workin' a lot, but she always comes home and makes sure we know how much she loves us. She doesn't ever wanna go through somethin' like that again."

"I know. I'm just glad that Jūshirō is doing better."

Gin nodded. "Me, too."


Jūshirō was nervous as he entered another unfamiliar house, but he trusted Tōshirō not to lead him into any danger. Besides; this house was just next door from Gin's, so if anything happened it wouldn't take him long to run back to Shunsui.

The Ukitake watched as Tōshirō hugged a black-haired female who was taller than him, and he smiled warily at her when she made eye contact with him.

"This is Hinamori Momo, Jūshirō," Tōshirō introduced. "Momo, this is Jūshirō. He's my friend I was telling you about."

"Nice to meet you, Jūshirō-san." Momo bowed politely to Jūshirō, already accepting of him. "Is this your dog?"

Jūshirō nodded. He reached down and instinctively put his hand on Komamura's head.

"What his name?" Momo smiled, knowing that Jūshirō was recovering from abuse; Tōshirō had told her all about Jūshirō.

"..." Jūshirō bit his lip before he took a deep breath, wanting to be strong like Shunsui and Gin were. "...K... Komamura..."

"Cute." Momo leant down and patted the dog's head. "He's gorgeous. Jūshirō-san, Shiro-chan and I are going swimming in the pool in the backyard. Would you like to join us?"

Jūshirō fiddled with his hands, not knowing what to say. Yes, it was very hot, but... He didn't feel ready to show his body to anyone other than Shunsui. ...But Tōshirō... He trusted Tōshirō, and... This seemed like a nice girl...

"...Can..." Jūshirō trembled slightly, knowing that he was going out of his comfort zone but knowing it would be another step to him getting better. "...Can I leave my clothes on...?"

Momo smiled and nodded. "Of course you can."

Jūshirō smiled weakly and followed the two teens out to the backyard. He was wary at first and, because he couldn't swim, he spent his time in the shallow end, but he eventually found himself trusting Tōshirō and Momo to touch him so that he could learn how to swim.

It didn't occur to Jūshirō until he got out of the pool hours later, but he had never had as much fun as he did just before with someone other than Shunsui. He beamed as he thought about how much he had smiled; how much he had laughed, and he found himself unable to wait to tell Shunsui all about his little break.