[Bleach] The Million Yen Question

Kyouraku Shunsui had noticed a thing or two in his life. People tended to think that since he slept and drank a lot he didn’t really notice anything, but they were wrong. Oh so wrong. His grey-green eyes had definitely caught a few peculiarities.

Shunsui tilted his head to the side and considered, his musing thoughts flitting past his lips as he posed them to his ever-faithful companion. “Jyuu-chan,” he began conversationally as their shoulders bumped together, “do you ever wonder why everyone thinks we’re gay?”

His best buddy blinked, nearly stopping mid-stride. “Well, that came out of nowhere,” the white-haired man responded.

He surreptitiously glanced around at their fellow Shinigami lingering nearby. Having just come from a meeting, everyone was flooding out of the first division, ready to get far from Yamamoto’s droning voice.

Behind them, Nanao snorted. “Perhaps it’s your fashion sense,” she commented, reaching up to adjust her glasses with one finger. “Or lack thereof.”

“Not so, Nanao-chan!” Shunsui declared, automatically assuming she was speaking of his haori. After all, he had heard her complain about it on numerous occasions. “Pink’s in this year!”

Her stare was steady. “But not pinwheel hair-ties,” she countered.

“And not flowery underwear either,” Ukitake added in musingly. When all eyes turned his direction, he waved a hand and nervously smiled. “Not that I would know.” An uncertain chuckle followed.

No one was convinced.

Footsteps on the roofs above them had Shunsui tilting his head to the sky as he spotted Soi-fon. “Not to mention Ukitake isn’t the epitome of manliness,” she commented with a sniff before speeding away in a flit of shunpo.

Jyuushiro was affronted, idly patting down his flyaway, long, white strands.

To their other side, Unohana offered them a gentle smile, her eyes sparkling. “Perhaps it is because for the past two-thousand years you have taken Ukitake-taichou to every Shinigami function,” she added pleasantly before finishing, “as your ‘stag’ date. Remember, Kyouraku-taichou?”

The eighth division captain was aghast. “But what about all the women I’ve dated?” he protested.

“Cover,” chimed in about five voices that he couldn’t distinguish from the one another. Still, one suspiciously sounded like Byakuya-kun, but he couldn’t be sure.

“Denial,” Kenpachi boomed from their right, grinning ferally down at both men. He always knew there was something fruity about the two of them.

Shunsui pouted. He searched his mind for another bit of proof to throw at them because it was obvious that a man as manly as he could not possibly be gay. His eyes luckily fell on his good friend Aizen Sousuke. Shunsui grinned.

“Sousuke-kun?” he called out in a sing-song voice.

Aizen paused in his walk and half-turned towards him, arching a brow.

“Do you think I’m gay?”

There was a moment of silence. Sousuke looked torn. He hemmed and hawed before finally smiling and waving as if he hadn’t heard Shunsui’s question.

“Oh, look,” he declared, managing to sound completely innocent. “Hinamori-kun is calling me. I must be off.”

In a dash, he was gone.

Matsumoto was a grand witness to the entire debacle and laughed, flipping her hair over one shoulder. Her captain was amused in an entirely different way.

Hitsugaya rolled his eyes. “Shunsui, you’re as gay as feathers on Ayasegawa’s face,” he mumbled under his breath, much to the amusement of his vice-captain.

“Really?” Shunsui was surprised.

Jyuushiro tilted his head to the side, also baffled. “How so?”

Matsumoto tittered, barely controlling her giggles. “Well… ya fell out of the gay tree, hitting every gay branch on the way down and ya landed on Ukitake-taichou…” She paused for dramatic effect before pointing directly at Shunsui and winking. “And ya did him.”

Spotting their shocked and twin expressions, Kiyone laughed and waved a hand at them. “No seriously,” she chirped. “Your gayness can be seen from Hueco Mundo.” She hesitated and paled before adding a tentative, “…Sir?”

For once, Sentarou was not arguing with her.

The two captains blinked in tandem, exchanging glances.

Nanao sighed and moved her book, tucking it under her other arm. “Or it could be that you’re holding Ukitake-taichou’s hand right now and have been for the past ten minutes.” She shrugged. “But that’s just me, taichou.”

Shunsui looked down, and to his surprise, yes, their fingers were intertwined. Almost as if by magic. He blinked again, though didn’t relinquish his hold. His fingers seemed pretty comfortable where they were, after all. Green eyes lifted to his best friend, who was smiling as always.

“Well,” the eighth division captain commented, “I’ll be.” He squeezed Jyuushiro’s hand and grinned when received an answering press in return.

The two bumped shoulders once more, lingering even closer together than before.

Nanao rolled her eyes and adjusted her glasses yet again. “Anymore curiosities, taichou?” she asked, if only to stop them from making their usual sparkly, googly eyes at one another.

But they ignored her, off in their own little world. Again, no surprise.

“Let’s go have some sake, Jyuu-chan,” Shunsui was saying, tipping his hat backwards and leering suggestively at his once-best-friend-now-probably-boy-friend-cute-little-Jyuushiro.

The thirteenth division captain chuckled, shooting Nanao an apologetic look as he prepared to accept his companion’s invitation. “Whatever you say, Shunsui.”

In the background, Kenpachi rolled his eyes and grunted, “I told ’em there was something fruity goin’ on.

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