Making Rain While I Cry
(The return of Walkure's (the great mind behind such amazing storylines as Learning to Love Without Sake, Unscattered, Bearers of the New King, and Who I Am Inside) much missed influence and a very angsty, stormy romance that will really bring Byakuya and Tetsuya to the breaking point! Walkure, you are so evil! *hugs Tetsuya* But I promise, this will be an excellentstory! Enjoy! Love, Spunky)
Chapter 1: Secret Love
"Good evening, Byakuya-sama," Kuchiki Torio said, entering the clan leader's bedroom and hastening into the dressing area, where he quickly removed Byakuya's uniform and slipped a towel around his body.
"Good evening, Torio," Byakuya answered quietly, standing still as he was undressed, then nodding briefly in gratitude before starting towards the garden doors.
"Will you be wanting my assistance with your bathing?" Torio asked, smiling because he already knew the answer.
"No...thank you," Byakuya said solemnly, "Please see that my evening tea and Tetsuya's are prepared and waiting."
"Of course, sir," answered the attendant, his smile remaining as he watched the clan leader leave the room.
Byakuya walked quietly to the end of the main wing of the manor, then stepped off of the walkway and made his way to the bathing house. He stepped inside, breathing a sigh of contentment that his long day was over and the time for winding down and seeing to more enjoyable things had come.
He paused for a moment, to breathe in the scent of the flowers that grew about the room, basking in the feel of that place being like part of the gardens. His bare feet embraced the feel of the grass as he walked to the edge of the pool that dominated the room, and let his towel fall away. Looking up through the skylight, he admired the full moon, loving how the glass domed ceiling let in the softer light, making the environment serene for evening bathing...and...other pleasant pursuits.
He stepped into the water, wading slowly out to where several warm waterfalls made natural showers to stand beneath. He settled under one, closing his eyes as he tilted his head back, letting the water spill down into his raven hair and wet it. Lines of water ran down his naked body, following the fine, pale curves and becoming part of the pool he stood in.
As much as he tried, he couldn't pinpoint the moment when the water around him seemed to come to life. Watery arms wrapped around him from behind and wet lips trailed kisses along the side of his throat. The water behind him darkened and solidified slowly, revealing a slighter, more delicate noble, one also with lovely, pale skin, and eyes like bright sapphires.
"Tetsuya," Byakuya whispered in greeting, loosing a shivering breath as Tetsuya's body shimmered and turned to water again, then slid down and around his cousin's body, running tender kisses all of the way down.
Tetsuya re-formed in front of the Kuchiki heir, lowered onto his knees, his head dutifully bowed and his mouth providing unspeakable pleasure as it explored Byakuya's nether region. Byakuya's eyes closed and his fingers threaded into the wet, wavy strands of Tetsuya's riled hair, encouraging his unhurried, and deeply enthralling attentions. And although he was, for the most part, quiet and reserved, under his younger cousin's ministrations, he became more like the teen he had been when Tetsuya had first come to the manor, years before...high tempered and passionate, responding to Tetsuya's warm affections with deep, longing moans and tremulous sighs.
Tetsuya's hands clenched at his inner thighs, and he treasured his elder cousin's flesh reverently, reveling in the sweet taste of his skin and bringing him gradually to his wits end. Tetsuya waited until he felt the warning tremor in his cousin's muscular legs, then watched the clan leader's blissful face as he climaxed, devouring his warm essence as though starved for it, then turning his body to water again, and sliding up Byakuya's shuddering torso, sinking into his mouth and sharing the delectable blending of their flavors.
Neither of the two spoke a word as Tetsuya's hands caressed the soap onto the weary clan leader's skin. And under the healing touch of his cousin's hands and reiatsu, Byakuya was slowly revived. His dark eyes were calm and sleepy as the two emerged from the water and Tetsuya dried Byakuya's damp body first, then started to dry his own. He smiled and blushed slightly as the warmed towel was taken from his hands, and Byakuya saw to the task, finishing with a long, grateful kiss to show his genuine appreciation.
They donned sleeping yukatas and walked back to Byakuya's bedroom, careful not to show any outward signs of their intimate relationship. But as soon as they were inside Byakuya's room and the doors to the outside world closed, Tetsuya turned and brought the surprised clan leader down on the bed on his back. He mounted Byakuya's powerful body, groaning blissfully as he was penetrated, then writhing wantonly atop his cousin's wildly thrusting body. letting his head fall back as his hands held on and gasps of intense pleasure escaped him. He felt Byakuya's hand begin to pleasure him and sensed the tightening of the hot coil in his belly. Hard, panting moans escaped him as the erotic tension between them rose. Tetsuya was nearly blinded with pleasure, when Byakuya turned suddenly, making him groan unhappily as they separated for a moment and the clan leader threw his cousin roughly onto his belly, entering him again from behind and watching with blazing eyes as Tetsuya clawed at the bedding and loosed more feral sounds of delight. Tetsuya's hips rose to meet each powerful, grinding thrust as the two continued their wonderfully heated joining. Tetsuya's passionate moans rose into hard cries of completion as Byakuya's member found that most sensitive place, deep inside him and struck repeatedly. Byakuya's gasp of pleasure followed, and delicious warmth flooded Tetsuya inside, making him collapse beneath his cousin. They laid for a long time after, exchanging slower, more indulgent kisses, before curling into each others arms and drifting towards sleep.
"Aishiteru yo, Tetsuya," Byakuya whispered, "I love you with all of my heart."
"I live and breathe to love you," Tetsuya replied softly, "I am yours alone."
They went quiet then, succumbing to sleep as the bright moon crawled across the sky and the night sounds lulled them. Tetsuya was careful to wake well before dawn, and he offered his cousin a final, affectionate kiss on the cheek as he exited the bed and left for his own room. His sleepy-eyed attendant appeared with tea, then waited as he showered briefly in the bathroom at the back of his bedroom, then dressed him in the dark blue uniform of the home security staff.
"Will that be all, Tetsuya-san?" his attendant asked, looking him over to make sure everything was as it should be.
"Yes, thank you, Koji-san."
Koji bowed and yawned a brief farewell as Tetsuya left the room and began making the rounds of the manor security checkpoints. Byakuya was up, dressed and waiting with Rukia at the garden table when he returned to join them for breakfast. He sat quietly across the table from the clan leader as they ate, his eyes respectfully lowered and showing no overt signs of the easy familiarity he had before.
"Was all well on your rounds, Cousin?" Byakuya asked, meeting his blue eyes for a moment.
"Everything is as it should be, Byakuya-sama," Tetsuya replied, nodding briefly, then looking away again.
"Tetsuya-san," said Rukia, "Would you and Arashi like to join Ichigo, Renji and me in Karakura Town today? You said that you would come and join us for a picnic when we went next time. I think Rikichi-san will be going. He seems to really like your company."
"Ah, regretfully, I must attend a meeting of the elders with Byakuya-sama that will take up most of the middle of the day," he replied, avoiding Byakuya's gaze, "Perhaps next time, Rukia-chan."
"Why don't you go with Rukia?" Byakuya asked, carefully controlling his voice and facial expression, "I do not remember the last time you took a day of relaxation."
Tetsuya's eyes registered only a brief moment of hurt reaction, but he quickly recovered himself.
"Byakuya-sama knows that I am completely committed to his well-being," he answered cryptically, "I am content to remain here and attend the meeting with you."
"All right," said Rukia, "but you really have to come next time."
She leaned closer, grinning.
"I think Rikichi-san has a crush on you."
Tetsuya only smiled briefly and sipped at his tea, carefully avoiding locking eyes with Byakuya again.
When the three finished their meal, Byakuya rose and turned back towards his bedroom.
"Tetsuya, will you join me for a moment?"
Tetsuya's lips stiffened, but he climbed wordlessly to his feet and followed his cousin back inside. Byakuya closed the garden doors and pushed him up against them, burying his mouth in his younger cousin's and weakening Tetsuya's legs beneath him. They remained that way, with Tetsuya pressed up against the closed doors and kissing hungrily, before Byakuya pulled away and looked calmly into the younger man's blue eyes.
"You know that it would be all right, Tetsuya...both for you to go, and for you to allow your friendship with Rikichi to change."
Tetsuya's eyes registered that hurt look again and he paused to find the right words.
"I am aware that what is between us must always remain private," he said finally, "And that there is no hope of it ever being made an official union. But my heart belongs to you. It knows no other love, and never will. As much as I do care for Rikichi-san, I do not love him. And I could never pretend to...not even to spare your feelings of guilt. Do not worry about me, Cousin. I am all right the way I am. This is all you can offer me, and I am deeply grateful."
"But I don't want you to end up alone, Tetsuya," Byakuya insisted, "You know that the council has been working at finding me a suitable mate, and the day will come that they find someone."
"And Byakuya-sama will take that person's hand, as he promised his late parents in the wake of losing Hisana-sama, I understand," Tetsuya said solemnly.
"I would fight this if I could..."
"But your promise to your parents is important to you. So, you must obey the dictates of the council."
"Yes," Byakuya affirmed, lowering his eyes, "But I would feel better knowing that you would not be alone, Tetsuya. I feel horrid at having stolen the beauty of your love for myself, when that gift should have gone to someone more deserving of your affections. And now the damage cannot be undone. I love you so much, Tetsuya. But I cannot express that love properly. Please, Cousin, do not shut your heart away because of me. It would torment me to see you in pain because of our love."
Tetsuya managed a small smile and kissed him very gently on the frowning mouth.
"Come, Byakuya-sama, the council awaits us."
Byakuya pressed up against Tetsuya's body again, spending several more minutes plundering his sweet mouth and letting his hands explore beneath his uniform. Tetsuya yielded quietly, hoping as always that this meeting of their lips wouldn't be the last, yet knowing inwardly that the time was coming. He straightened and set his uniform back in order as Byakuya released him, then followed him back into the gardens, where Tetsuya's tall black stallion awaited them.
"Good morning, Arashi," Byakuya greeted the horse, waiting as Tetsuya mounted, then accepting his cousin's hand as Tetsuya helped him mount and slide in behind him. Tetsuya sighed contentedly at the feel of his cousin's arms embracing him as Arashi broke into a trot, carrying them out of the gardens, through the manor gates and out onto the road.
"Good morning Taichou!" Renji called as the two passed him.
"Renji," Byakuya replied, nodding briefly in passing.
The two aboard the stallion exchanged no more words until they reached the stately Kuchiki Council Hall and dismounted. Tetsuya slid down first and offered Byakuya his hand, helping him down, then sending the stallion trotting away with an affectionate pat. The two looked up in surprise at seeing a group of elders from a neighboring clan entering the building in front of them.
"Aren't they from the Aomori clan?" Tetsuya queried.
"Yes," Byakuya confirmed, his voice tensing, "They have an eligible son who has come of age and is descended of the Breeders. Usually, the Breeders are looked down on, but Aomori Minori is of exceptional bloodline, so he has the highest status among the suitors the elders have been considering. Tetsuya..."
"Byakuya-sama doesn't need to remind me of what we already know," Tetsuya said, carefully evading the hand that sought his.
Byakuya's eyes reflected sadness for a moment, but he gave a resigned sigh and turned away. Tetsuya fell in behind him, a silent shadow that followed him up the stone steps and inside. They separated as they entered the meeting hall, Byakuya to move to the head of the meeting table and Tetsuya to sit in a quiet alcove to watch over his leader throughout the gathering.
"Greetings," said Head Councilor, Kuchiki Nori, "And welcome to our brothers from the Aomori clan. We are pleased to have you with us this morning. And I understand that you have considered our offer?"
"We have," the leader of the Aomori clan said, rising.
He indicated briefly, a young man sitting at his side, who wore a less than comfortable look on his comely face.
"My son, Minori, graciously accepts your proposal for Byakuya's hand in marriage. Our elders feel that their strong bloodlines will produce fine heirs for the Kuchiki clan and their union will bring harmony between us for the first time in nearly five-hundred years."
Byakuya was careful to give no outward sign of reaction to the declaration, and he and Tetsuya avoided any amount of eye contact.
"This is wonderful news," Nori said approvingly, "We shall make the announcement tomorrow, and begin the ceremonies of courtship immediately!"
Tetsuya barely heard the rest of what was said, and exited swiftly as soon as the meeting was adjourned. He started out of the building, but paused as a mocking voice reached his ears.
"Are you all right, Tetsuya? You look pale. Were you actually surprised? You knew that they would end things for you, sooner or later, ne?"
Tetsuya ignored his black-eyed cousin and looked about for Arashi.
"What is this? No answer? You must be lost for words," the other man said, touching his shoulder.
Tetsuya turned swiftly, his eyes glaring at the gesture, and bringing a predatory smile to his cousin's lips.
"Do not dare to put your hands on me, Orochi," he said warningly, "I no longer have to tolerate your cruelty!"
"Poor, poor Tetsuya," Orochi said mockingly, "Did you really think that if you went to bed with him enough times and gave him enough pleasure, he would defy everyone for you? You are a fool!"
"Get away from me!" Tetsuya hissed furiously, leaping onto Arashi's back and turning his mount.
He scanned the area for Byakuya and his breath caught at seeing him leaving the council hall on foot with Minori and his father.
"Face the facts, Tetsuya," Orochi said in a calmer, more solemn voice, "No matter how far you leave Itamigiri behind, you will not change the way things are. You are a half-blood, who will never be good enough for him. You may have soiled him a bit, but he will brush you off and leave you behind easily. You should never have been so stupid as to give your heart to him...your body...all of your desire. You asked for the pain he is handing you. Will you never learn?"
Tetsuya spurred Arashi into a gallop, sweeping by the group walking to the manor and leaving them behind. He blazed through the streets of the Seireitei at flash step speed, glad that no one could see the tears that had started to leak onto his handsome face. He passed through the manor gates without slowing and barreled across the gardens, sending Arashi over the back gate and onto the forest trail beyond. They continued at that breakneck pace until they reached the waterfall that had been the place of many of their clandestine joinings. He slid down off of Arashi's back, burying his face in the stallion's mane as hard, silent sobs gripped his body.
Master! Arashi's voice pleaded with him, Master, please do not cry!
But Tetsuya was beyond hearing. He slid slowly to the ground at Arashi's feet, the weight of what was happening bringing sickness inside and more silent, heaving sobs.
"Wh-why?" he whispered brokenly, "Why did I have to be born a half-blood? Why, Arashi? Why was I even born at all! It doesn't matter what I do or how strong I become. I will never be good enough! I will never be anything but a servant!"
He descended into hopeless tears that persisted until some time later, when he was startled out of them by a sound on the trail, behind him. He and Arashi disappeared into the trees, watching as Byakuya appeared with Minori and the Aomori son's attendant. They walked to the sakura tree under which Tetsuya had been standing and looked quietly out over the lake and meadow in front of them.
"I hope that you will be happy, here at Kuchiki Manor," Byakuya said kindly.
The younger man's lips trembled slightly as he answered.
"You have certainly made me feel welcome, Byakuya."
Byakuya took the younger man's hand and pressed his lips to the back for a moment, then nodded. The two continued to gaze silently out across the meadow as Tetsuya, still raining tears, slipped further into the trees and disappeared. He fled, then, to his room at the manor and let the grief pour silently out of him until he dropped off into an uneasy sleep. He didn't wake, even when Byakuya came to his room, later that night.
"I am sorry, sir," Koji said respectfully, "But Tetsuya-san seems ill and is already asleep. He asked not to be disturbed."
"I see," Byakuya said, swallowing hard and turning away, "Please take care of him, Koji."
Koji's lips stiffened and he had to pause a moment before answering.
"I will, Byakuya-sama."
But he couldn't stem the flow of his emotions as the Kuchiki heir disappeared down the hallway.
"How could you do this?" he whispered, looking in at Tetsuya's tormented expression, "How could you hurt him like this? Just because he was born a half-blood..."
"Koji, mind your tongue," Tetsuya's voice said softly, startling his attendant, "I will not have you blaming Byakuya-sama for something I allowed to happen."
Even if this was all of the time we had, I will not be sorry. I will take this pain on my heart because I never had a choice about loving him. I only wonder.
Is my heart truly strong enough for this?
Can I really stand at his side and watch him leave me behind?
The questions continued in Tetsuya's tortured mind and followed him into sleep.