One Christmas Eve

(This story has been edited to fit site rules for 'M' rated content. To all readers...if, for any reason, you feel that a story of mine inadvertently violates the rules, have the courtesy to contact me and let me know so that I can fix the problem, rather than just immediately reporting. I am quite willing to conform to the site rules, but as you know, the rules for 'M' rating vs 'MA' are not very clear and are subject to interpretation. I have made every effort to keep this story within the rules.)

"What a load of horse shit," Kenpachi growled under his breath as he followed Byakuya into the central senkaimon and started through the precipice world, "The old man's gone batty, I tell ya."

"Stop complaining," Byakuya replied in an annoyed tone, "It's your fault, saying that your haori was a 'pain in the ass' like that, right in front of Soutaichou."

"Like it was so much brainier saying the fuckin' thing was 'cheap,' like you did," the eleventh division taichou shot back.

"Ridiculous," observed the noble, "My comment was completely truthful and answered the question. Yours was crass and..."

"And just as true," finished Zaraki, "The thing is a pain in the ass. What stupid son of a bitch decided it was a good idea to give us more shit to weigh us down when we fight? I don't know the one of us taichous who doesn't throw the damned thing off, first thing whenever we fight."

"I suppose you would rather fight naked, if you had your choice," snipped Byakuya, "That sounds like something you would do."

"Nah," chuckled the bigger man, "It'd leave a few important things too vulnerable, you know what I mean?"

"Oh?" said Byakuya, "Well, with the fact of those parts likely sharing the size of your intellect, I wouldn't worry. You haven't so much to lose. By all means, fight naked, if you wish."

"You'd like that, wouldn't you, sweetheart. But, you really wanna go there, Kuchiki?" Zaraki said, placing a hand on his sword hilt, "Because I'll be glad to whip my sword out and show you how wrong you are. You wanna pull yours out right now and see how it compares?"

"Shut up. You are disgusting."

"Although, admittedly, I'm sure yours is definitely prettier than mine."

"I said shut up," Byakuya snapped.

"And with those prettyboy servants of yours washing and oiling it up every day, it smells like cherry blossoms, and shines like the rest of you, ne?"

"I am not even going to dignify that with an answer."

"You'd rather leave it to a guy's imagination and torture him good, right?"

Byakuya let out a puff of breath and said nothing. Zaraki went silent as they dropped down into a snow covered park and turned towards the Kurosaki home.

"I'm not so pissed about missing the Christmas party," he said as they walked along the side of the river, the soft snow crunching under their feet, "But there is always good sake. And I don't know about you, but there's something real soothing about some smooth eggnog and some good hearty sex afterwards. Oh wait, it's been fifty-five years since your last. You probably couldn't relate."

"I could never 'relate' to a barbarian, such as yourself," Byakuya muttered dryly as they left the park and walked up the steps to the door of Ichigo's home.

"Why don't we just go in his window?" asked Zaraki.

"Polite company does not invade," Byakuya said primly, "It knocks first."

He raised a slender hand and knocked on the door. Footsteps sounded inside and then the door opened and a sleepy looking Ichigo glared out at them.

"Kenpachi? Byakuya? What the hell are you two doing here? On Christmas eve? And coming to the front door?"

"Told ya," sighed Zaraki.

"We are here on orders from Soutaichou. There was, as you know, a threat on your life. And with your family out of town for the evening, he thought to send us to stand watch until their return."

"Huh," Ichigo chuckled, crossing his arms, "Well, first of all, I'm pretty sure that, threat or no threat, I can take care of myself for a few hours. And second, it sounds kinda suspicious, the old man sending a couple of taichous to babysit me. Sounds more to me like somebody got in trouble. What did you do?"

"Nothing that needs concern you," Byakuya said icily, "We have orders to remain here and guard you, and that is what we will do."

"And we're more than willing to beat the shit outta you and tie you down if you give us any trouble, got it?" Kenpachi added.

"Right," said the annoyed looking shinigami substitute, "Well, I guess there's no choice. I won't keep you two from your jobs. Have fun."

Ichigo closed the door, leaving Byakuya and Kenpachi staring.

"Son of a bitch," breathed Zaraki, his breath misting, "That was cold."

"Well, what do you expect?" said Byakuya, "You were rather rude."

"Well, you weren't exactly Miss Manners yourself, Kuchiki-hime!"

Byakuya frowned.

"I have had just about enough of your stupid comments. Call me 'princess' one more time and..."

"And what, you'll whip out your pretty pink petals and make them dance for me? Give me a break. That won't even give me an itch. And it only proves my point."

"You didn't learn your lesson from the last time, did you?" Byakuya hissed softly, his reiatsu rising until it glowed pink around him.

"We got interrupted by the end of the war," said Kenpachi, his eyes feasting on his lovely colleague, "So we really didn't get to hash it all out. And we were both pretty trashed. But I'd be happy to give you a rematch, Kuchiki. I can always dish out a good ass kicking. And red is a Christmas color, ne? So your blood will look good splattered all over the snow, here!"

He drew his weapon and let his reiatsu flare a brilliant gold around him. Byakuya glared at him, trying to ignore the way the disturbance of air around the man opened the front of his uniform even more and several snowflakes fell down onto the warm skin and began to melt. Zaraki stepped forward and Byakuya's weapon was in his hand and released in a heartbeat. A swirl of pink petal blades curled around Zaraki, making him disappear from sight.

Byakuya flinched in annoyance as the other taichou's laughter sounded from inside the petal storm, and an explosion of reiatsu made them spin away and dissipate. Zaraki's sword crashed down against the surprised noble's, then slashed his arm, leaving a warm trail of blood down its length.

"There you go, Kuchiki," he laughed, "Not so cold now?"

"Bastard!" hissed the clan leader, flash stepping and slashing, leaving several cuts on Zaraki's skin.

Their reiatsu swelled around them, making the ground rumble. The two squared off, preparing to attack again, but paused as the door to the Kurosaki house opened and Ichigo's head peeked out.

"Hey! You assholes want to keep it down out there? My neighbors are gonna call the cops!"

"He started it," chuckled Kenpachi, "And besides, it fuckin' freezing out here. A guy's gotta stay warm, you know?"

"Augh," groaned the younger man, rolling his eyes, "Fine! Come inside. But no weapons and no fighting! You mess up my house and I'll kick the living daylights out of both of you!"

"Heh," Kenpachi laughed, "Hey Kuchiki, looks like we got us an invitation. After you, princess."

Byakuya glared at him icily, but followed Ichigo into the house. He breathed in the warm scent of spiced apple cider and sighed at the return of warmth to his chilled skin. Zaraki sighed and dropped into a chair, looking bored, but somewhat relieved at the more comfortable environment.

"Thank you for inviting us in," the noble said, prompting a disdainful huff from the substitute shinigami.

"Like I had a choice with you two out there yowling at each other like a couple of fighting cats," he complained.

His eyes softened slightly as he realized that although he was trying to hide it, Byakuya was shivering.

"Anyway, you guys want some hot cider? I made some for the others to take to the party and they didn't need it all."

"Sure, why not," said Zaraki, looking bored, "But how about you put a shot of sake in that for some extra warmth? You're an adult now. You can have Kuchiki show you how he doctors up the stuff. It usually gives me a pretty good spin."

"Yes, and he usually ends up sleeping it off for some time afterwards, which in our current situation would be a good thing," Byakuya noted.

"I don't usually end up sleeping alone though, right, princess?" Zaraki quipped, "I usually find myself a real hot..."

"Shut up," Byakuya said, glaring at him, "Ichigo, I will show you how to prepare the drinks."

"Okay," Ichigo said uncertainly, "But are you sure you guys should be drinking when the old man sent you to guard me?"

"Why? You gonna wait until we're drunk, then try to escape?" asked Zaraki.

"Wait a second!" exclaimed the youth, "I'm not a prisoner! I can come or go as I want and you are supposed to just follow me around and make sure I don't get hurt."

"Is that right?" said Kenpachi, getting up as Ichigo started towards the kitchen, "Then, we'd better make sure you don't get lost on the way to the kitchen."

"I agree," said Byakuya, "If indeed, we are at the whim of this boy, then we must make sure that we do not lose track of him."

"Idiots," sighed Ichigo, "First of all, I'm an adult now. And second, I'm not gonna leave. I was just saying that I could if I wanted to!"

"I don't know," Zaraki said suspiciously, "It sounded like a threat to me. And I don't know about you, Kuchiki, but I don't think I want to get into any more trouble with Soutaichou, ne?"

"Ah," Ichigo said, his eyes narrowing, "So that's it! You guys weren't just sent to guard me. You got in trouble and you're being punished!"

Byakuya cleared his throat suddenly and shot Zaraki a nasty look.

"We are not going to discuss the details of our mission beyond what we have already said," he said, following the young man to the sink and watching as Ichigo poured the cider into large mugs.

"Well," said Ichigo, "Can you tell me what you got in trouble for? I mean, it's none of my business, I guess, but..."

"We misplaced our haoris in Hueco Mundo," Byakuya said, carefully measuring out and adding sake to the cups from a bottle he withdrew from his uniform.

"What?" laughed Ichigo, "He got pissed at your for losing your haoris? Really?"

"Yes," Byakuya said in a perfectly serious tone.

"Bunch of shit, if you ask me," complained Zaraki.

"No one asked you," Byakuya muttered, frowning, "I believe that Soutaichou was looking at the haori in a more figurative fashion."

"Yeah, completely forgetting what a pain in the ass it is to fight with that thing flapping around you, getting in the way."

"Well," said the shinigami substitute, smiling and taking a sip of the cider, "I guess you guys could have it worse than just guarding me, although it is Christmas eve. And I suppose being here alone with me kinda sucks when you could be at a party somewhere."

Byakuya considered his words for a moment, frowning.

"And why is it that you are not with your family at the gathering they went to?" he asked.

"Eh," said the shinigami substitute, looking away, "I wasn't feeling so well. Not enough to want to be in a throng of noisy people, you know?"

He looked down into his mug and sipped at it again.

"Hey, Byakuya, this is really good. Thanks."

Byakuya looked up at him for a moment, then looked away.

"You are welcome."

He paused and glanced at Kenpachi.

"And you are mistaken in thinking that being in your company would be a punishment."

"What?" Ichigo said, looking surprised, "But then, why...?"

"I think that the 'punishment' is for the squad eleven taichou and I to spend Christmas eve, not at the taichou's Christmas party, but working. And not only that, but working with one who was certain to ruin the mood of the evening."

"Aw, don't get all moody, Kuchiki," Zaraki said, shaking his head, "We've got us a private party. A warm house, good cider and a host who will probably offer us a place to sleep it off, once we're all good and drunk."

"Whoa," laughed Ichigo, taking another long swallow of the spiked cider, "You guys? Sleeping together? That is funny!"

"We are not sleeping together," Byakuya said primly, "I have not shared a bed with anyone since Hisana, except perhaps in that man's lewd dreams!"

"Huh?" said Kenpachi, "Well, it is Christmas, ne? Time for gift giving and wishes coming true?"

"Really," sighed Byakuya, "Do you need to fluster me by being so public in your attempts to seduce me? I am not interested in you!"

"Sure you are," laughed Zaraki, "You just don't want to admit it."

Ichigo looked from one to the other and burst into a fit of sake induced giggles.

"Haha! Soutaichou's really mean, making you spend Christmas eve like this! Hehe, but you know, I can leave the room and you can 'have at' all you want. Just clean the place up when you're done and don't break anything."

"Don't be ridiculous," said Byakuya, "I am not having sex with that barbarian, and least of all am I committing that foul act in your home. That would be rude."

"Well," said Zaraki, smirking and looking at Ichigo, "We could just have him join us, right? Then, it wouldn't be like we were intruding or imposing, ne?"

"What the...! No way!" objected Ichigo, "I'm not sleeping with you two! Forget it!"

"Eh?" sighed Zaraki, "Well then, I guess I'll go watch some TV. You two make nice while I'm gone okay?"

Ichigo watched as Zaraki left the room, then sat down at the table with Byakuya. He studied the noble as he sipped quietly at the doctored cider, his long eyelashes teasing Ichigo as he slowly blinked.

"S-so," he said awkwardly, "He's interested in you, ne?"

"Perhaps," said the noble, looking down into his cup, "But he is only in it for the conquest. You know Zaraki Kenpachi. He loves a good challenge, in bed, like on the battlefield. But as soon as he has what he wants from me, he will likely become bored quickly and forget me as he pursues the next great conquest."

"Huh," mused Ichigo, his head spinning and his body feeling strangely warm from the sake, You really think he's that shallow?"

Byakuya sighed.

"I think it is not so much being shallow as it is that his life in the lowest part of the Rukon left him somewhat jaded. I do not think he believes in love, or anything else that will last. So, it is something he would enjoy for the time being, but he won't go so far as to wholly commit to it."

"You really think that?" asked the shinigami substitute, "I mean, I agree the guy always looks for a challenge, and he always seeks the best possible fight. So, he's probably just looking for the best in love too. And from what you say, I think he likes you."

Byakuya took a long swallow, then put his mug down and sighed again.

"I do not deny that Kenpachi has said that he honestly desires me. And despite that fact that we argue constantly and half the time I want to kill the man, I am attracted to him also. However...I am...uncertain that I could please him well enough to keep his interest."

"What?" Ichigo queried, blinking and staring at the cute flush that rose on the noble's cheeks, "Why are you worried about that? You're really beautiful, Byakuya. And you had a wife. She was female, but you and she had sex, right?"

"Well, yes, but Hisana was a gentle person. Kenpachi is not just a man. He is the farthest thing from gentle. I do not mind some rough play, but I don't wish to embarrass myself and have him poke fun at me. I might actually have to kill him if he did that. We are quite competitive. So before I would enjoy relations with him, I must be certain that I gain some ability."

"Ah, so you want to 'practice,' huh?" Ichigo said, grinning cutely, "Well, I'm not busy tonight and I promise I wouldn't tease you."

"Hmmm," said the now inebriated noble, "You are a friend and I believe I can trust you to be tactful. But are you experienced? I mean, I need to be sure that I practice correctly."

"Eh, I have enough experience, I think, to be a good practice partner. But, have you ever been with a man before?"

"Actually, no," the noble admitted, "And I do not want to be taken just yet. But I suppose we could practice...if you have no objections."

Ichigo gazed dizzily at Byakuya's comely visage and grinned.

"Oh," he chuckled, leaning forward and capturing the noble's lips in a short, sake and cider flavored kiss, "I guess I could agree to that. You wanna do that here or up in my room?"

"I think your room would be a better place," Byakuya suggested, "I would rather keep it private while we practice."

"Sure thing," Ichigo said, exchanging several more warm, sweet kisses, then slipping a hand into the other man's and leading him out of the kitchen.

Kenpachi sat on the sofa in front of the TV, not appearing to notice as the two slipped out of the kitchen and up the stairs. Ichigo led Byakuya into his bedroom, then closed the door and turned to face him.

"First, we should undress slowly," Ichigo said, pulling at the tie at Byakuya's waist, "to get more into the mood.

Byakuya pulled the tie at Ichigo's waist free, then watched with softly smoldering eyes as the younger man's yukata opened, revealing a slender, powerfully built body, and a sea of soft looking, tanned skin.

"Ah," he sighed, as Ichigo opened the noble's clothing, piece by piece, letting each bit fall to the floor as he uncovered Byakuya's pale, beautifully crafted body.

He paused, breathing in the lovely sakura scent and admiring the smoky gray eyes, perfectly formed features, and pale skin. Then, he moved forward, wrapping his arms around the noble and sinking into several long kisses. He paused again, reeling slightly from the impact and blushing cutely.

"You're a good kisser," he laughed, "You do that to Kenpachi and I think you won't have any trouble getting his attention."

"You think so?" Byakuya asked, his eyelids fluttering.

"Oh yeah..." Ichigo sighed, coaxing the noble onto the bed.

They knelt, facing each other, and Ichigo offered him a welcoming smile. He slipped his arms around Byakuya again, meeting him for several more long kisses, before beginning to pleasure him. Byakuya made a deep, sweet sound of intensifying arousal and returned the contact enthusiastically.

"Does that feel good to you?" the noble asked.

"Oh, yes!" Ichigo panted, "That feels great!"

He pushed Byakuya back against the pillows and continued kissing him, watching the dark eyes haze over, then flare as he closed in to continue the interaction, soon leaving Byakuya was left a pretty, panting mess. He pulled back for a moment, studying the noble's flushed face and flustered expression.

"You all right?" he asked, "You're wife did this for you before, ne?"

"Ah..." Byakuya panted, brushing the sweat from his brow, "Sadly, no. We...were not very...adventurous. She was a gentle, frail woman. I did not feel comfortable asking for something so...Ah!"

His words disappeared into heavier moans as Ichigo continued the stimulation.

"It'll be your turn to do this to me next," he said, grinning at how his words flustered the noble even more, "So, watch.

"Oh!" gasped Byakuya as Ichigo stopped talking and continued.

Byakuya sighed, his eyelids fluttering contentedly, but then froze, staring as he realized that Kenpachi stood just inside the room, watching them. Zaraki smirked at the sight of the noble's flustered expression.

"Something wrong?" he asked, "I was just enjoying the show."

"Kenpachi!" Ichigo exclaimed, "What the hell?"

"Oh, don't let me disturb the two of you," Zaraki chuckled, "This is way better than TV."

Byakuya looked away and bit his lips gently. Ichigo saw the worried look on his face and hastened to explain.

"Ah, look, Kenpachi, I was just helping your buddy here get a little experience."

"Ichigo!" Byakuya objected.

"It's okay," Ichigo assured him, "You should just tell him the truth."

He turned to look at the big shinigami.

"He likes you, but he's kinda inexperienced and he was worried that he..."

"I get it," said Kenpachi, still smirking, "And it's fine by me, but you guys don't mind if I join in the fun, ne?"

"Eh..." Ichigo said, looking somewhat nervous, "Well..."

"I have no objection," Byakuya said, meeting Kenpachi's eyes briefly, "if you do not."

"Uh, guys?" Ichigo said, swallowing hard as Byakuya turned and pushed him down onto the pillows.

"Relax," the noble said, "I am just going to continue practicing on you."

"Ah," said Ichigo, smiling, "That's okay by me."

He kissed Ichigo again, as Zaraki disrobed and joined them

"Oh!" Ichigo moaned, sinking his fingers into Byakuya's silken hair to encourage him, "Oh, that feels good! Ah!"

Byakuya made a sound of surprise as Zaraki fingers touched him. He gasped and turned to face the other man, his eyes blazing. Then, his eyes widened at the hungry look in Zaraki's eyes and he froze for a moment.

"It's okay. I know you haven't been taken by a guy before," he said, smirking, "I'll take it easy on you."

Byakuya stiffened.

"I'm no frail flower," he said tersely, "I don't need you to be gentle."

"Shut up, Kuchiki," the bigger man said, stealing a kiss, "Just keep doing what you're doing and let me do my thing, ne?"

Byakuya bristled and considered stopping, but Ichigo captured his hand and kissed it lightly, making his head turn.

"He's right," Ichigo said, "It'll be good if you're relaxed. And you said that you were interested in him, right?"

"Well, yes," Byakuya said, blushing, "But..."

He went quiet, inhaling sharply as Zaraki pressed up against his back and embraced him from behind.

"Stop thinking so much," he chided the noble, "Just go with it. It will be fun."

Byakuya closed his eyes and took a steadying breath, then returned to pleasuring Ichigo. He closed his eyes as Zaraki's fingers touched him again. He felt Ichigo flinch as Zaraki's attentions made his jaw clench. Ichigo groaned and panted harshly, his fingers tightening in the noble's hair as Zaraki continued his pleasant touches.

"Not so little as you thought, ne?" Zaraki laughed.

"Shut up!" Byakuya hissed, biting at his lips and bracing himself.

He inhaled in surprise at how unexpectedly gentle Zaraki was as they joined.

"Oh!" he gasped, as Zaraki paused for a moment, to let him adjust. The big man smiled, admiring the noble's tumbled hair and the way it spilled down over his shoulders and back, and the light flush on his skin. He wrapped his arms around Byakuya and held on tightly as he continued.

"Hey, why do you guys get to have all of the fun?" Ichigo laughed.

"Oh?" said Zaraki, pausing and making Byakuya utter a surprisingly nasty curse, "You feeling left out? Hey Kuchiki, our little friend is feeling left out. You wanna let him join in?"

Byakuya groaned and swore again, then he sat up and pulled Ichigo close. He busied the younger man with kisses as the three joined together.

"What the...?"

"Well," said Zaraki, "you wanted to be included. Isn't that what he said, Kuchiki?"

"That is what I heard," Byakuya agreed, quieting the youth with more kisses.

"Ow!" Ichigo complained.

"Eh, be quiet," Zaraki said, swatting him playfully, "We're being careful."

Byakuya distracted Ichigo with more warm kisses and gentle stimulation. He rested his head against the noble's shoulder, closing his eyes. "You okay?" Zaraki laughed, "You're not gonna break in half, right."

"Shut up!" panted Ichigo, scowling, "Don't you have something to do?"

Zaraki's eyes met Byakuya's, and the two men exchanged a long, warm kiss over Ichigo's shoulder.

"Merry Christmas, Kuchiki," Zaraki said, grinning widely, "You like your present?"

"Very much, thank you," the noble said, his eyelids fluttering, "You were right. This is much better than the Christmas party. I'm almost glad we angered Soutaichou and got sent here."

"Almost?" Zaraki queried.

"Well," said Byakuya, "We haven't finished yet."

"Ah, well then, by all means, let's finish. You still with us, Ichigo?"

Ichigo gave a moan of contentment as the three moved together, bringing their enjoyment to a lovely peak. Their reiatsu exploded around them, lighting up the room.

"Kami," he sighed, "that was...unbelievable."

"I agree," sighed Byakuya, finding Zaraki's hand and lacing their fingers together, then capturing Ichigo's hand with his other one, "I can't imagine a more enjoyable Christmas eve."

"Same here," said Zaraki, settling against the other two and closing his eyes.

A moment later, they opened again.

"Oh, Ichigo," he said in a lazy drawl, "You might wanna go downstairs."

"Huh? Why?" asked the younger man.

"You'll want to check and make sure that your dad and sisters are still conscious."

"WHAT?" Ichigo howled, sitting bolt upright in shock.

"That's what I came up here to tell you. They got back a while ago. They said to wish you a Merry Christmas."