The next day found Jyuushiro taking the morning off work so that he could attend his childrens' career day and make them happy. He sighed as he walked through the cold corridors of the school towards where he knew his twins had their class.
The white-haired male shivered, coughing lightly as he wrapped his white coat around him tighter, trying to fight off the chill. He stepped into the classroom five minutes later, closing the door quietly behind him, trying not to draw attention to himself; the other parents knew that he wasn't straight, and it had always drawn negative attention to him.
"How good of you to join us, Jyuushiro."
Ukitake flinched at Aizen's voice. He should have known something like this would happen; now that he was here, the brunet would take any and every chance he had to direct attention to the timid male. Aizen was never happy unless he was making someone's life miserable.
"...Yeah..." Jyuushiro muttered, keeping his head down low as he leant against the blackboard, his arms wrapped around him, making him appear smaller than he really was. "...Had a... bad morning..."
Aizen's eyes shone in delight. "Well, next time don't keep us waiting. You missed the first parent."
"Sorry, Aizen-sama..." Jyuushiro's eyes widened as he realised he had addressed his ex-boyfriend by the title that had been beaten into him. He trembled slightly as he heard the mutters around the room, discussing his previous relationship, knowing that every word was spoken in malice.
Aizen just laughed and told the next parent to go up. His eyes were fixated on Jyuushiro and, once the third parent had gone up to discuss their career, he turned his attention to his assistant teacher whom was sitting at one of the desks, his white-haired student perched on his lap.
"Gin, would you mind taking over for a few minutes?" Aizen's voice was soft and calm, as gentle as most people were used to hearing him. "I would like to discuss things with Jyuushiro outside."
Gin gave a knowing smirk as he stood up, holding the boy against him. "My pleasure, Aizen-sensei."
Aizen nodded politely to the younger male before he turned his attention to the ill male. He smiled as he gestured for Jyuushiro to follow him outside, his gentle demeanour leaving no room for the other parents to guess that he was as vicious as a rabid wolf toward Ukitake.
Jyuushiro kept his head hanging low, staring down at the ground beneath him. He flinched when a heavy hand grabbed his shoulder, knowing what was coming. He yelped out, squeezing his eyes shut tightly as he was slammed into the metal lockers behind him, ripping a harsh cough from his throat.
"A-aizen-sama..." Jyuushiro all but pleaded as he wiped a droplet of blood from his lips. He lifted his gaze, his green orbs shining with fear. "...Aizen-sama, please..."
A calloused hand wrapped around the white-haired man's throat, cutting off his air. He whimpered and trembled, bracing himself for the impact that came only seconds later. A large hand connected with his face, knuckles meeting the frail bone that made up Jyuushiro's eye socket.
"Gin told me your reply," Aizen hissed as he leant in close. "When am I expecting you?"
"...In a few days..." Jyuushiro whispered, his voice wavering with fright. He whimpered and tried to pull away, only to push harder against the lockers behind him, as Aizen pressed against him, the full weight of his body feeling as if it were going to crush him.
Aizen had never been one for gentleness, and he had proven to still not have changed as his lips pressed against Ukitake's with fierce force, his hips rubbing against the delicate ones. He smirked as Jyuushiro's hands pushed weakly at him, but he didn't relent, taking exactly what he wanted. His hand connected with the frail man's cheek as Ukitake tried to pull away, knowing exactly how to keep him in place.
The brunet pulled away as Gin's sing-song voice addressed him. He sent a smirk that he knew only Gin would see before he placed it quickly with his gentle smile, placing his hands in the folds of his black kosode.
"Yes, Gin?" Sosuke spoke as if he hadn't just been caught abusing another male outside of a classroom. "May I help you?"
"I believe it is Ukitake-san's turn~" Gin's ever-present mocking made it clear that the silver-haired male had found amusement from this – just like every other time. "Will ya send him back in?"
Aizen nodded. He shoved Jyuushiro harshly towards the classroom before he followed the taller male back inside, his cruel personality disguised once again by one of kindness.
Sogyo and Koto perked up when their dad walked into the middle of the room, but they knew something was wrong when Jyuushiro's voice quivered, his long white bangs hanging down his face, hiding his green eyes.
"...I-I am..." Jyuushiro's shoulder's quivered and he raised a hand to swipe at his face before he spoke again. "...I'm Sogyo and Koto's f-father..."
The other parents were in the background muttering once again at Jyuushiro's frightened and upset exterior. They weren't surprised when the pale man excused himself just a minute later, the tear stains running down the man's cheeks only making room for further discussion. None of them had seen the mark on his face from where he had been hit, but none of them would have cared even if someone did.
Aizen just smirked. All according to plan.
~~Kyōraku Liquor Store~~
Shunsui had just finished sweeping around the store by the time Jyuushiro walked in, the man's white coat wrapped tightly around him as the younger's body trembled. He bit his lip and hurried to his partner's side, reaching out and placing his hand on a pale forehead.
"Are you feeling ill, Jyuu-chan?" Shunsui asked. He frowned when he didn't feel the usual temperature associated with his best friend's attacks. His frown only grew when Ukitake shook his head and silently pressed against him, hugging him as if his life depended on it while he buried his face into the brunet's chest.
"Did something happen at the school?" Shunsui asked, knowing that it was more likely than any other scenario; Aizen was a nasty piece of work, and he wouldn't put it behind the brunet to have done something to his precious Ukitake.
Jyuushiro nodded, only pressing harder against the older male as tears leaked down his cheeks. "..."
"Do you want to talk about it?" Shunsui offered, leading Jyuushiro behind the registers so that he could sit the white-haired male on one of the boxes of liquor. "I'm here to listen to you if you need me."
"...I can't..." Jyuushiro whispered in a defeated voice, muffled by the shirt he was resting against. "...I... can't..."
Shunsui was certain that this event wasn't isolated; it had to have something to do with whatever happened last night. Something to do with Aizen, surely. Jyuushiro was a strong person, and Sosuke Aizen was usually the only person who could do so much damage to the ill male.
"Is it something to do with Aizen?" Shunsui offered, knowing that sometimes Jyuu just needed a push before he would talk. The addressed male nodded, but he still didn't speak. Shunsui sighed; sometimes it was hard to take care of the younger. "Did he do something to you again?"
Jyuushiro nodded again in silence.
"...Did he hurt you...?" Shunsui felt anger boiling in his chest at the mere thought of what Sosuke could have done to Jyuushiro. He loved his partner so much, and he wanted the smaller man to be as happy as he could. He clenched his fists when he felt, yet again, another nod, this time hesitant. "What did he do?"
Jyuushiro reluctantly raised his head before he brushed away the white strands hiding his right eye. He flinched when Shunsui gasped, and he couldn't help but pull away when a rough hand reached out, a thumb rubbing against the bruise that was forming.
"...I'm so sorry, Jyuu..." Shunsui whispered, feeling as if it were his fault that Jyuushiro had gotten hurt. He should have gone with the skinnier male to make sure that Aizen didn't do anything, but he was thinking about how the other parents would react and treat Ukitake if he had done such a thing. He knew it would only alienate the white-haired male further amongst his fellow parents, and he didn't want to do that. But was that such a bad cost after what Aizen had done due to his absence?
"It's not your fault..." Jyuushiro mumbled. "...You didn't know..."
"I should have known he would do something like that..." Shunsui held Jyuushiro tighter within his one-armed embrace, his thumb still rubbing against the damaged flesh.
Ukitake shook his head and pulled away, moving his hair so that it once again cascaded down his face, obscuring his injury. "...Is it noticeable...?"
Shunsui nodded, his heart breaking as he did so. "...Yes... I have some cream for it at home. It might help."
"T-thanks..." Jyuushiro mumbled, his hands twisting in uneasiness.
"You can go home, okay?" Shunsui said. "Take the day off and relax."
Jyuushiro shook his head. "...I-I took yesterday off..."
"I'm your supervisor, Jyuu," Shunsui said, his stern tone once again making an appearance. "I'm telling you to go home." His voice then softened as he reached out and placed his hand on his partner's shoulder. "I know you're upset and scared, and you don't want people to see your eye. I want what's best for you, Jyuu-chan. I don't want to watch you work yourself to death or have to put up with this kind of stress. Go home and rest. You need it."
Jyuushiro opened his mouth to argue, but he was quickly cut off by a loud choking cough. Once his breathing was under control, he sighed and nodded. "...Alright..."
Shunsui smiled and leant down, kissing the slightly sweaty forehead. "Thank you. I love you~"
"I love you, too..." Jyuushiro turned and left the store, trying to hold back tears of pain. It had hurt him to say that to his partner while knowing what he was about to do to the brunet, but he couldn't stop himself in time; it was the truth and they both knew it.
~~Later that night~~
Jyuushiro lay in Shunsui's bed, panting heavily as he wiped at his eyes. He and Shunsui had made love for the first time together, and it had only made things harder for Ukitake. He had planned to give himself to the brunet in order to make it easier for them to part, but it just made things harder for them both. Looking at this, Ukitake honestly didn't know what he had expected by doing this.
"Did you enjoy that?" Shunsui murmured into his partner's ear as he pulled the younger against him. His eyes were closed and his voice was soft, slowly slipping into the confines of sleep.
Jyuushiro curled around his partner's body, his head resting on the strong chest. His hands clenched by his chin as he prepared himself for what he was about to do. He didn't want to do this, but he knew he had to break their bond now before he became so in love, he couldn't do it.
"...No..." Jyuushiro whispered, fighting back the tears in his eyes. He couldn't let Shunsui know what he was doing, or the brunet would get hurt – worse than anything the ill male could ever do to him. He winced mentally when Shunsui sat up slowly, turning hurt eyes onto him. "...It was horrible..."
Shunsui bit his lip. He didn't know what to say – what could he say...? "...Jyuu-chan, I know it has been a long time for me, but..."
Jyuushiro closed his eyes, willing his emotions to die in that moment. "...You're worse than anyone I've ever had... And I've had a lot of people..."
Shunsui didn't understand. This was not his beautiful Jyuushro... "...What are you saying...?"
"...That I never loved you..." Jyuushiro whispered again, trying to keep his voice emotionless. "...I just thought you could be someone to satisfy me... But I've had better from a virgin prostitute who didn't even know how to find my special spot..."
Shunsui reached up with shaking hands and grabbed at his brunet hair. His breathing was unsteady as he struggled to contain his emotions. "...So you just used me...?"
Jyuushiro nodded. "...Yes... I never loved you..."
"..." Shunsui's face scrunched up in pain as a strangled sob made its way past his lips. "...Go..."
Jyuushiro didn't need to be told twice. He climbed out of bed and grabbed his clothing, wincing as his rear throbbed with a familiar feeling. He redressed himself and turned to look at the partner he was betraying unwillingly.
Shunsui glanced at the smaller male, angered to still see Ukitake in his bedroom. "Get the fuck out! Don't come back! I fucking hate you!"
Jyuushiro flinched when a lamp was thrown at him, hitting the wall behind him. He left without a word, heading to his boys' separate bedrooms. He gathered them in his arms, holding them close, explaining that they had to leave.
The twins were tired, groggy with sleep, and they didn't question why they were being taken out of the house when they were supposed to be sleeping.
Jyuushiro was silent as he carried his boys down to the car. He put them on the back seat, strapping them in before he got into the driver's seat and drove away, tears running down his cheeks as he stared at Shunsui's home in heartbreak through the rear view mirror.
Ukitake had to be honest; he had been falling for Shunsui – fast.
~~Thirty minutes later~~
Jyuushiro cried harder as he held his precious children to his body, waiting for someone to answer the door of the Kuchiki Manor. His boys were still asleep, and he didn't have the heart to wake them and tell them that they would probably never see him again.
The door opened soon after, Byakuya standing in the doorway. He looked tired, as if he had been sleeping before Jyuushiro got here. In actuality, he probably had been; it was nearing midnight.
"May I help you." Byakuya was emotionless, his eyes staring at the children.
Jyuushiro nodded. He tensed as he struggled to hold back a loud sob, stepping closer to the younger male. "...I... I can't take care of them anymore... Please... Let them be with their mother..."
Byakuya was silent for a few seconds before he reached out, taking the kids into his arms. He looked curiously at them for a few seconds before his attention focused back on Jyuushiro.
"T-thank you..." Jyuushiro's knees were weak, almost collapsing to the ground as he struggled to keep his emotions in check. "...Please... L-look after them..."
Byakuya nodded. He turned around without another word and kicked the door shut behind him, leaving Ukitake all alone out on the doorstep.
Jyuushiro forced himself back into his car where he cried his heart out for what felt like hours before he drove himself across towns to Karakura and to his friend's home.
The white-haired man once again found himself waiting on a doorstep for the front door to be answered and, when light blond hair poked out of the paper rice doors, grey eyes widened in surprise. A tall, lean male opened the door the entire way, a white sleeping yukata wrapped around his body.
"Ukitake-san, what a surprise," a calm voice spoke, a fan appearing in front of the blond's face. "I haven't seen you in quite a while. Where have you been hiding?"
"Kisuke-kun..." Jyuushiro bit his lip as his arms wrapped around himself, hoping that his friend would help him out. "...Kisuke-kun... I-I need help..."