It wasn't everyday Jyuushiro Ukitake got kicked out of his own house so that members of his Division (namely his two Third-Seats) could turn the immaculately tidy place upside down in a wild effort to be the one to pack the majority of their Captain's belongings.
Jyuushiro sighed and rubbed his forehead, coughing as he felt a bit dizzy. At the sound, Kiyone Kotetsu and Sentaro Kotsubaki came rushing out, arguing about who would be the one to help their beloved Captain through yet another attack.
The white-haired male sighed as he sat down on the ground. "Please, I am okay. Really. Just a little lightheaded."
"Captain, this is exactly why the Captain-Commander thinks it will be better to suspend you until your health improves," Kiyone attempted to soothe.
"You can return to duties once you're better, Captain," Sentaro agreed. "You should just take it easy."
Jyuushiro frowned as he observed his two subordinates. He hated when people made a big deal about his illness; it made him feel so weak! ...But that last attack had been a pretty severe one, he had to admit. Even a few weeks later, he still hadn't recovered completely from it. It had just been lucky his best friend had been with him when the attack struck and got him to the Fourth Division for help.
"Captain, just rest in the shade; I'll handle things in here." Kiyone smiled before Sentaro started another argument about who would be taking care of what.
Jyuushiro moved himself back under the tree he had been resting against minutes before, thinking. He was livid for the first time in centuries. How could Yamamoto just suspend him on the spot because of an illness? After all the battles he had fought against it...
What felt like forever had passed before a large shadow fell over the ill Shinigami. He looked up into his best friend's eyes, seeing the soft smile upon the gentle man's face. He took the hand that was extended towards him, grateful for his appearance; he had been devastated about the suspension and wanted someone to talk to.
"I'm sure this will work out better for you in the end, Jyuushiro," Shunsui Kyōraku said softly as he patted the younger male's back. "That last attack... You really worried me. I never want to see you like that again."
"I really..." Jyuushiro sighed. He knew that Shunsui only wanted the best for him and, after having to watch the smaller male collapse in a puddle of blood while fighting a Hollow... "...Alright..."
Shunsui smiled and wrapped his arm around Jyuushiro's shoulder as they walked away from Ukitake's home slowly. He was the one escorting Jyuushiro to his new residence, knowing that the journey may be too much for him, worsening the attack he was trying to recover from.
As they walked through the senkaimon together, Shunsui talked, trying to make the suspension seem not as bad as Ukitake clearly thought it was.
"Just think," Shunsui started, "once you come back, you won't be sick anymore. Everything will be so much better for you and you'll never have a suspension again."
Jyuushiro nodded. He knew that Shunsui was right, but still... his duty as a Captain was all he had known for close to two-thousand years; he just couldn't suddenly no longer be allowed to perform what he was so used to doing.
"And you'll meet new people," Shunsui continued on. "Ichigo-kun will look after you and you can meet his friends. It'll be so good for you."
Jyuushiro couldn't help but smile at the prospect of meeting new people; he was such an outgoing person, it was hard for him to not be around others.
"Well..." Jyuushiro's smile grew as he turned to look his best friend in the face, "...I have been wanting to get to know Ichigo-kun and his friends a little better."
"See?" Shunsui beamed back. "You'll have so much fun here."
Jyuushiro nodded, thinking about the possibilities already.
~~At Ichigo's home~~
It had already been organised with Ichigo and his family a few days prior to look after Jyuushiro and, after Kurosaki showed him and his friend around the house, they sat down to discuss a few more things before Shunsui left. Jyuushiro's belongings would show up at the house the next day, courtesy of the two Third-Seats.
"Ichigo-kun, may I talk to you for a few minutes?" Shunsui tilted his head towards Jyuushiro, his gentle smile replaced by one that didn't reach his eyes.
Ichigo nodded and stood up. Jyuushiro tried to follow them, but Shunsui gently asked him to remain behind. Ukitake frowned but didn't question, sitting back down on the hardwood floor as he watched the other two males leave the room curiously.
Once the two stood outside Ichigo's bedroom door, Shunsui's demeanour changed into one of a protective best friend.
"You'd better keep your eye on him and make sure he doesn't hurt himself," Shunsui growled in a stern manner. "If something happens to him, you'd better hope it wasn't your fault."
Ichigo raised his hands in a defensive manner, taking a step backwards; he knew that Shunsui had always been protective of the younger male, but he didn't realise that he was scary when doing so. "Hey, hey, relax, will you?! I'll look after him!"
Shunsui nodded, but distrust still wafted from him. "Good."
Ichigo sighed, hoping that the incident had been settled, and he turned back around to open his bedroom door. Just as he and the brunet poked their heads in, they were just in time to see Jyuushiro picking up a book from Ichigo's desk, flicking it open.
Ichigo's eyes widened, but before he could say anything, Jyuushiro turned back to them with wide eyes, his face red from embarrassment. He closed the book and placed it back down on the desk with a slightly shaking hand.
"I-ichigo-kun..." Jyuushiro's voice stuttered as he blushed furiously, avoiding eye contact. "...I, uh... didn't know you liked... men..."
Ichigo raised a hand to his face, hiding his eyes as Shunsui rushed forward and grabbed the book. He knew that Shunsui wouldn't be happy to see that Jyuushiro had just picked up one of his yaoi mangas. When he felt frustration wafting from Kyōraku, he knew for sure.
Yup. Shunsui definitely wasn't happy with what Jyuushiro had discovered.