Shunsui watches them together, and he thinks he’s never seen anything cuter. He’s never seen his friend look so young. He’s never seen him so alive. He thinks it’s a good thing that Ichigo has come into Jyuu-chan’s life, even if his time with his best friend has dwindled a bit.
He doesn’t believe any of those rumors that Jyuushiro is only replacing Kaien because Shunsui knows it’s not like that. They don’t know his buddy like Shunsui does. They can’t see the happy gleam in his eyes, a pure kind of joy that could only be found in new love, not old love rekindled in a similar face. Besides, Shunsui knows that Jyuushiro never felt like that for his vice-captain.
They were friends, and they were close, but they weren’t like that. Jyuushiro simply trusts easily and loves hard; he needed someone like Kaien to be there for him. It wasn’t ever about romance or sex with Kaien. Shunsui knows this because it’s the same way with them, and there’s never been anything between him and his Jyuu-chan but the closest friendship. Like brothers really. Or long lost twins, who happen to look absolutely nothing alike. They are inseparable, peas in a pod. And in spite of what some people think, that is all there has ever been between them.
Now, Shunsui looks at Ichigo and thinks that this must be what true love looks like, the kind of love where marriage or commitment is a distinct possibility. He believes it’s wonderful that he has someone else now to help watch over his best friend, and he doesn’t care what the rest of Seireitei thinks. He supports them because he’s never seen Jyuushiro younger or happier, even when they were in academy together. And before this, before Ichigo, his friend was never so alive, so free.
He thinks it’s cute how they surreptitiously touch each other in public: small, flitting touches that wouldn’t be noticed by anyone other than a perceptive guy like himself. He sees the small smiles that slip through Kurosaki’s usual scowl. And don’t think he doesn’t notice how little Jyuushiro coughs now.
Oh, he’s still sick. But he’s fighting harder. He has more of a motivation to stick around.
Shunsui looks at them, and he smiles to himself. He doesn’t mind that he has to share his best friend now, not in the slightest. After all, he promised himself long ago that he would do anything if only to see Jyuushiro smile like this. Maybe there’s a little jealousy that he couldn’t do it himself, but he likes the Kurosaki boy. He thinks they are a perfect match.
He watches them over the rim of his sake cup, and they don’t know he’s observing from a distance. He sees a murmured exchange and the light sparkle in his friend’s eyes. He sees a man finally forgiving himself for choices he made long ago, and Shunsui grins.
Green eyes follow their movements as they share a brief kiss, hands and fingers intertwining.
It’s the cutest thing he’s ever seen.