By the time the Quincy arrived in the Soul Society for the war, Jyuushiro, Mayuri, Shunsui and Toshiro had already split up and were dealing with the intruders in their own areas. The Quincy had stolen Hitsugaya's Bankai and the four had received many injuries. The invaders had retreated for the time being, leaving several of the Captains to gather together, mourning the loss of the Captain-Commander.
Jyuushiro was standing quietly behind his fellow Shinigami while Rose, Soi-Fon, Komamura, Shinji, Toshiro and Kensei were a bit further ahead. Hitsugaya was silent while the others argued amongst themselves.
Jyuushiro struggled to hold back tears. Things were just too hard for him. He had lost his best friend, hated by the one person he thought would love him forever, then he lost the person he saw as his own son, and now the man he thought of as his father was dead. He didn't know how he could get past this; it was too much for one person.
However, when Shunsui walked into the room, trying to diffuse the situation, the frail Captain tensed; what if the brunet took everything out of him? They had both been Yamamoto's pupils, both had been sons to the man who had never had any, and both shared the fatherly love towards the one who had taught them what they knew today.
Ukitake's fears were not in vain.
"Why the fuck are you almost in tears?"
Jyuushiro turned away from Shunsui's voice, his back towards the older male. He shook his head, his voice coming out in a weak mumble. "I-I'm not, Shun... I... have something in my eye..."
"You're so weak and pathetic," Shunsui hissed, malice in his voice. "I can't believe Yama-jii even wanted you in the first place."
Those words hurt Jyuushiro, but he didn't want to let it show – not in front of his fellow Captains. However, what Shunsui was about to say next would knock Ukitake's self-esteem lower than it had ever been.
"You are the most disgusting thing on the face of this earth and I can't believe I could have ever loved you, let alone touch you."
There was silence in the room. The other Captains knew that Shunsui was hurting over his loss, but weren't they all? What had Jyuushiro done to deserve this kind of treatment? Why couldn't the brunet understand what he was doing – or more importantly, care about how he was hurting the younger.
"...Okay, Kyōraku..." Jyuushiro whispered, the use of the older male's last name surprising everyone; the frail man had never been so formal with Shunsui. They were even more surprised when the white-haired Captain turned to leave. "...I understand... I only want your happiness, and it's clear I can't give that to you anymore... I won't bother you any longer..."
Shunsui just glared at the insignia on the back of Ukitake's haori as said male walked out of the room. He turned to find the other captains staring at him, looks of pity, disbelief and even hatred on their faces.
"Why are you acting like this towards him?" Komamura barked, a glint of anger in his eyes. "Can't you see you're not the only one in pain?!"
"Shut up..." Shunsui mumbled.
"Ya know, he really loves you, Captain Kyōraku..." Shinji muttered. "He couldn't have done anything to make you hate him so much."
"I don't give a shit!" Shunsui shouted at them. He wanted so much to let go of his emotions and just cry, but he couldn't do that – not in front of others. He had to keep his emotions to himself. He couldn't let anyone see just how much he was truly suffering.
"Can't you just apologise and then leave things be?" Toshiro growled. "I'm really sick of this. He's a good person, Shunsui."
Shunsui shot his lover a filthy glare before he stalked off to the corner of the room. Toshiro shrugged and left, intending on finding Jyuushiro and apologising on the brunet's behalf.
It wasn't surprising to find Ukitake nowhere in sight, and Hitsugaya knew his senior would have retired back to Ugendo. Walking down the path he knew would eventually get him to the tiny room built on the lake, Toshiro tried to go over what he would say in his mind, but no apology felt as if it would be enough to right all the wrongs Shunsui had done.
By the time the young Captain arrived at Ugendo, he wondered if he should just walk in or call out politely. He nodded, deciding politeness would be the way to go after everything that had happened.
"Ukitake?" Toshiro called, expecting an answer. There was a small cough from inside, letting him know that Jyuushiro was there, but there was no other reply. The shaggy-haired boy sighed in frustration, calling out again. However, once again, there was only silence. "Ukitake, I'm coming in."
Toshiro walked into the room, and he was unprepared for what he found; Ukitake was on his bed, his Zanpakutō by his side, covered in blood. Jyuushiro was enclosed in sweat as blood pooled on the mattress beneath him.
Without conscious thought, Toshiro run forwards, grabbing the pillow that was propping the Thirteenth Captain upright. He laid the material over the wound, wincing as it became saturated with blood in seconds.
"Why would you do this?" Toshiro hissed, staring into green orbs with his own angry ones.
Jyuushiro flinched from pain before he spoke, his voice weak. "...Because... I don't want to live without Shunsui... It was... our first promise... To always be with each other... I honestly doubt he even remembers it..."
Toshiro shook his head, his shout surprising even him. "You're wrong! Look, I... I don't know what happened to Kyōraku. I really don't. But... I know that something happened enough to scare him during the Winter War! He thought he had lost you when that Arrancar had impaled you. He told me he was considering letting his opponent kill him after that. I'll... I'll talk to him. Let me take you to Fourth, Ukitake."
Ukitake couldn't resist as Toshiro moved him out of the bed, supporting him and getting him to the Fourth Division.
Toshiro was just glad that Ukitake, naturally, was strong enough to survive even a self-inflicted wound such as this; as long as they made haste, Jyuushiro wouldn't bleed out.
Shunsui had cleaned himself up, wiping away all traces of tears, before Toshiro was due to arrive. The younger boy had sent a butterfly, explaining that they needed to talk.
When Toshiro walked into Kyōraku's home not long later, the Tenth Captain wore a very stern expression. Shunsui sighed, wondering what he was going to be lectured on this time.
"Are you aware that Ukitake is suicidal?" Toshiro's voice was cold, much colder than it had been in a long time.
Shunsui frowned, confused by these words. What? Jyuushiro and suicidal didn't belong in the same sentence! "What are you talking about? He'd never do something like that."
"Then explain to me why I walked in on him attempting to end his own life." Toshiro glared. "I don't know about you, but I've really had enough of all this shit. I want out of it, Kyōraku, and if I have to leave you to get that, than I will."
Shunsui had stopped listening to what Toshiro was saying after hearing that the frail Captain tried to kill himself. He bit his lip and stood up. "Is he at the Fourth?"
"Yes. I took him there. Sort things out between you two because I can't stand this, Kyōraku. Stop it."
Shunsui didn't reply; he instead took off running to the Fourth Division, thoughts running through his mind; what if he did lose Jyuushiro? Was this what he had wanted? Of course not! Jyuushiro was his best friend, his lover, his everything! They had promised to always be together, for one to never die without the other.
Did Jyuushiro not remember that promise they had made back in the Academy? That was their very first promise; to love each other until the end.