A/N This fic takes place after the Winter War, so it's in the time-skip period where Ichigo has lost his powers but still has not entered the x-cution arc. You'll see why I'm doing this later on.
If Jyuushiro had ever actually noticed the way Tōshirō's interactions with him had changed, he would never have put it down to Shunsui's influence. Tonight, however, everything was going to fall into place for him.
"Captain, you look very nice today."
Jyuushiro looked behind him, putting the hairbrush he had just been using down on the bedside table. He smiled at one of his two third-seats, wondering where the other one was.
"Thank you, Kiyone." Jyuushiro gestured the girl closer to him, holding out the hair tie he had grabbed. "Would you mind tying my hair back for me? I slept the wrong way and my arm is a bit stiff."
Kotetsu blushed as she took the hair tie like it was a fragile item worth thousands of dollars. She ever so gently parted the long white strands with shaking hands before she grabbed the abandoned brush and gave it a once over.
Jyuushiro sat patiently on the bed, humming softly as he enjoyed the feeling of hands playing with his hair. He thanked his seated officer and stood up once his request had been fulfilled, admiring himself in the mirror. His Captain's duties had been finished for the day, giving him time to celebrate one of their late-one-thousandth anniversaries. He wore a golden kimono with fish imprints on both sides and his hair was tied in a high ponytail with his usual fringe falling over one eye.
"Captain Kyōraku will think very highly of you tonight, Captain Ukitake," Kotetsu said, a small blush tinting her cheeks. "You have outdone yourself this year with your clothing of choice."
Jyuushiro smiled brightly. "I think so, too. Where is Sentaro?"
"I think he's talking to the other squad members and making sure you get your privacy."
"Very good. Kiyone, will you please tidy up my bedroom for me and make sure everything is spotless while I finish preparing our dinner?"
Kotetsu nodded. She knew that her Captain was immaculately clean in his habits and things were rarely out of place, but this was his most important night so it was only natural for him to want to make sure things were perfect.
The white-haired male made his way into the kitchen his small living quarters housed. He was still in the Thirteenth Division Barracks, so both the kitchen and the bedroom he rarely used here were tiny, designed only to be of use if the Captain could not return back to their own home for whatever reason.
Jyuushiro finished cooking his meal with the utmost care, doing his best to make sure that the teriyaki chicken was cooked to perfection. When he was satisfied with his efforts, he served the meal up on separate dishes and left them to cool, knowing that Shunsui should be here any minute.
With a large smile on his face, Jyuushiro moved back to his bedroom and dismissed Kotetsu, thanking her for all of her help with the occasion. He glanced at the clock on the bedside table, seeing the bright letters flash two-to-nine; just two minutes away from the predetermined meeting time.
Two minutes soon turned to twenty and Shunsui still had not shown up. Jyuushiro was frowning, not knowing what to think; Shunsui had never been late for anything like this before in all of their many centuries together.
"I'll wait just a little bit longer..." Jyuushiro nodded to himself at this thought. "Lieutenant Ise may have asked him to wait until he finished a certain amount of paperwork before he left. Yes, that must be it."
The longer Jyuushiro waited, the more apparent it was that Shunsui was never going to show up. It must have been obvious even to the other members of his division as Kotetsu and Kotsubaki knocked politely before they poked their heads into the room, a look of sympathy on their faces as they took in the crestfallen expression presented on Ukitake's face.
"...Captain, Lieutenant Kuchiki has arrived back to the barracks but reports that Captain Kyōraku had already left Eighth Division before she arrived there for her duties. Lieutenant Ise told her that he had already left and was making his way here."
"..." Jyuushiro hung his head; if Shunsui had told his Lieutenant that he was coming here... he couldn't have forgotten and he should not have been distracted by any means... This was their special day together, and Shunsui always looked forward to it. There was no way he could have gotten injured coming here, either; there had been nothing to indicate danger and he had sensed nothing. ...So what had happened...? "...He's not coming, is he...?"
Kotsubaki and Kotetsu frowned, neither one of them starting an argument; they could see just how upset this had made their beloved Captain, and neither of them could bear hurting him more. They instead stepped closer and knelt on the ground before Ukitake, hoping that their presence would be enough to give the pale Shinigami the strength needed to get through this.
"No, sir..." Kotsubaki said softly.
Jyuushiro closed his green eyes and nodded. "...Alright. Thank you for letting me know. Please dispose of the dinner I had prepared in any way you see fit but please don't tell any other members of our Division..."
The two third-seats nodded as they stood back up. "Yes, sir. Will you be okay?"
Jyuushiro sighed and got off the bed he had been waiting foolishly on. He made his way over to the closet and shrugged his kimono off before he placed it carefully back on its hanger and stored it. He redressed in his Captain's uniform and turned to smile at the younger Reapers. "I will. Thank you for your concern. Please, feel free to eat what I had prepared. I am going for a walk."
Both Kotetsu and Kotsubaki could see just how much this was affecting their Captain, but they knew there wasn't much they could do other than what had been asked of them. They bowed respectfully before they left to give their Captain privacy.
Jyuushiro left his barracks slowly and walked through the near-empty streets by his lonesome. He wasn't used to not having Shunsui by his side, especially on their anniversary, but that couldn't be helped. He was hoping that he could find someone who would be able to tell him where his partner had disappeared to.
The frail Captain's wish was granted not long later as a rather tipsy Matsumoto staggered out of one of the bars with two other intoxicated Lieutenants behind her. She and the two males waved cheerfully when they saw the white-haired man make his way towards them.
"Captain Ukitake." Matsumoto and her two companions, Kira and Hisagi, smiled brightly at the revered Captain.
"Good evening, Lieutenants." Jyuushiro smiled softly at the three, seeing the way they staggered and swayed whilst standing still. "May I help you all to your Divisions? I don't like the idea of leaving you three out here by yourselves."
"Nonsense." Matsumoto waved a dismissive hand. "W-we're fine. We're taking K-kira back to the Third and then going back to our own Divisions. He's a little drunk."
Jyuushiro couldn't help but chuckle at the pathetic whine Kira made in protest. He nodded. "Alright, then. Have any of you seen Shunsui around tonight?"
While Kira and Hisagi shook their heads, Matsumoto's hand shot up into the air as if she were eagerly answering a question a teacher had asked the class. "I have! H-he was with my Captain when I left!"
Jyuushiro raised an eyebrow. "When did you leave Tenth Division, Lieutenant?"
"About an hour or two ago."
Jyuushiro didn't want to think too much on what this meant; he knew deep down that Shunsui didn't care today; he seemed to have left his office after telling Ise that he was going to see Ukitake, but had instead gone to Tōshirō's Division...
"May I escort you back to your Division?" Jyuushiro offered, wanting a good excuse to show up at the Tenth Division just in case Shunsui had already left ages ago.
"Why not?" Matsumoto shrugged before she turned to face Kira and Hisagi. "Hisagi, look after Kira and m-make sure he gets sleep tonight."
The raven-haired male nodded before he pulled his blond friend along in the direction of the Third Division. Matsumoto followed the Captain back to her own Division, talking happily to the older male. Ukitake was always pleasant company, his gentle nature making it easy to talk to him about anything.
The two spoke softly about what had happened just a few months ago during the Winter War, Matsumoto confiding in Jyuushiro her heartbreak about her childhood friend having died, receiving comfort and soothing words in return until they arrived at the woman's barracks.
"Allow me to escort you to Captain Hitsugaya," Jyuushiro said softly. "I have business with him."
Matsumoto nodded, leaning heavily against the thin Captain in her drunken state as they walked. When they arrived at the smaller Captain's office, Jyuushiro's worry peaked at discovering that Toshiro wasn't around.
"He must be in the living quarters," Matsumoto slurred as she lead Jyuushiro to the sliding doors that lead to the back of the office. "Let's see."
Jyuushiro didn't feel right about intruding upon someone else's personal property like this, but what choice did he have? Matsumoto wouldn't take no for an answer.
"Captain?" Matsumoto called as she staggered towards another door off to the side. She knocked on it once before she pushed it open, pulling Ukitake in behind her. Just one look around the room told Jyuushiro that this was the sleeping quarters. "Captain, you have a... oh..."
Jyuushiro couldn't believe what he was seeing. There was his partner, in bed with another Captain, clearly not finished with their act of... intimacy... Tears welled up in his eyes and he struggled to contain them.
Shunsui looked up from where his back had rested against the headboard of the bed, the tiny Captain sitting in his lap – his very naked lap. He looked at Jyuushiro, and the white-haired man knew him well enough to know that the look in the brunet's eyes weren't one of shame, guilt or even fear; they were the look of amusement Shunsui only got when he had been caught doing something he knew was wrong but found it too fun to not do.
"Hello, Jyuu-chan." Shunsui pulled the now-struggling Tenth Captain against his chest, holding the boy tightly. He kissed the younger's forehead before he smiled innocently up at his partner. "It seems I missed our date."
Jyuushiro ignored the look of concern Matsumoto was directing at him and instead turned around, leaving the room as fast as he could as tears welled up in his eyes. Shunsui... How could Shunsui... Shunsui had never acted like this to him ever. He was always so concerned when he thought he had upset Jyuushiro and even though he was the flirt of the two, he was always careful to never go too far lest he hurt his lover.
But this... Shunsui had seemed happy that he had been caught. This... This wasn't the Shunsui that Jyuushiro loved.
The reason I have these pairings is that we had our Year Twelve school photos the other day, and my good friend called me Tōshirō seeing as I was the second smallest female in my year level, which lead to her calling me the love child of Tōshirō and Shunsui because I'm lazy, love to drink and a pervert as well as tiny, while she was Ukitake and Kurotsuchi's love child as she is small but taller than I am and is studying Sciences. This eventually led to me saying I had to use those pairings for a fic, so this is it.