Kisuke brushes away long strands of dark hair and leans over, pressing a kiss to a bared shoulder. Byakuya murmurs something in his sleep, briefly shifting before settling again. Amused, Kisuke drags his lips further across pale skin until his lips tease against a sensitive throat and he breathes hotly into Byakuya’s ear. His hand skates down the other man’s bare side and briefly smooths over old, barely present scars.
Byakuya stirs, dragging his hand out from under a pillow. “Have you no need for sleep?” he murmurs and wrinkles his nose in a vaguely annoyed fashion.
Kisuke can’t help but find it unbearably cute. “On a Saturday morning, there are more interesting things one could be doing with his lover who he hasn’t seen for several weeks.”
He presses against Byakuya, drawn to all that bare skin like a magnet to metal, sliding together. Byakuya is warm in his arms, a tempting creature that was successfully marked by the blond several times the night before.
“A war has just ended, Kisuke,” the captain reminds him, and they are close enough that he can feel the rumble of his words. “To say that it is busy in Seireitei right now would be an understatement.”
Kisuke lifts a brow, though Byakuya can’t see it at the moment. “Are you trying to tell me that you are too tired to have relations with me?” he teases, nibbling on a flash of exposed neck within mouthing distance.
“I thought you would be the type to appreciate a morning sleeping in, doing nothing more than cuddling with your lover,” Byakuya retorts in return, though he shifts ever-so-slightly into the blond’s embrace.
“I think you’re confusing me for a woman.” Kisuke chuckles and nibbles on a bare shoulder, right over a rather cute freckle that he can’t help but greet every time. “Would you do it for a peppermint?”
Byakuya emits a low sound of annoyance. “Now you’re confusing me for a child.”
And that is the last thing that Kisuke wishes to think of this man as. Byakuya is very much an adult now, and Kisuke rather enjoys the grown-up him.
“Byakuya, I am far from thinking of you as anything like a child. I am not that sort of pervert.” He grins then, and it is a lecherous thing.
“At least, you’re admitting you are one in some capacity,” the other man returns easily.
It is this Byakuya who Kisuke loves. One who is unafraid to reveal his humor and can take as well as he gives. When he drops the hard edge of the Kuchiki glamour and is only Byakuya, Kisuke’s lover. It is a blast to the past, when Byakuya had been a loud-mouthed, arrogant brat who Kisuke remembers so fondly.
The blond chuckles lecherously and skates his fingers up Byakuya’s bare belly, heading for more perverted territories. “Only for you, my dear Byakuya-bo.”
His lover shifts, unintentionally pressing a well-shaped backside against Kisuke’s groin. “And here, I thought you had forgotten that ridiculous nickname.”
“Never.” Kisuke curls his lips around Byakuya’s ear, still hoping to encourage his younger lover to fully waken and join him for a morning romp.
The sun is brightly shining, and birds are chirping, and there’s no one to interfere. The moment couldn’t be any more perfect, and he hasn’t had enough yet. It’s been weeks since he’s been able to hold Byakuya like this, to speak with him, to share embraces. Last night is only the beginning, and sometimes, Kisuke hardly ever knows how long this break will last for his much busier lover.
“I missed you,” Kisuke murmurs with a plaintive tone to his voice as he snuggles against Byakuya, luxuriating in the man’s warmth.
“You wouldn’t miss me if you returned to Soul Society.”
It seems like a casual statement, but Kisuke recognizes it for what it is. An argument – ahem, discussion – that they’ve had before. And he wisely backtracks from his seduction.
“I’ve told you this before, I like my shop here,” he says and casually brushes a piece of blond hair from his face.
From his position, he can just barely see Byakuya’s eyelids flutter before he closes them. “You could have one in Seireitei. No one says you have to be a Shinigami again.”
“And where would I live? The Kuchiki manor?” Kisuke can’t conceal his disgusted snort, having had his fill of the upper class. “I’m sure Kuchiki Midoriko-sama would love that one.”
Byakuya’s response is softly quiet, a bare breath in the morning stillness. “There is no rule that states I must reside in the Kuchiki manor.”
Stunned by the silent offer, Kisuke could only retort a pale shade of an excuse. “It is not that simple.”
“No, you prefer to make it complicated,” Byakuya returns, sounding an edge frustrated. “I offer answers; you give excuses.”
Kisuke can say nothing in return because he knows that his lover is indeed correct. He isn’t even sure himself why he fights Byakuya on this matter. His exile has been lifted – Byakuya has made sure of that. And yet, the blond is reluctant to stride back into his former home. He wonders if a part of him might fear that it could so easily be ripped away a second time.
“Why will you not just return?” Byakuya asks, his voice filling the silence. It is a question he has asked several times before.
Kisuke resists the urge to pull away, to distance himself from a discussion that has become more and more common. “I told you.”
“No, you played at answering me.” Byakuya shifts then to look at him more evenly.
But Kisuke knows better than to enter a verbal spar with Kuchiki Byakuya, who manages to say so much with few words. Every statement an implication of something more, perfectly worded to the full effect.
He drags his gaze away, to somewhere safer than the alluring picture his lover makes in the sunlight and caught in his arms.
“Do you fear losing your freedom?” Byakuya poses.
To that, Kisuke can only scoff internally. He doesn’t answer because the statement doesn’t necessitate one.
Byakuya, of course, is undaunted by his lack of participation.
“Tsukabishi-san, Jinta-kun, and Ururu-chan have already left, Kisuke. What are you waiting for?” The question is a new one but in much the same vein.
“I like it here,” Kisuke insists, a hint of affront in his voice. It is true, partially at any rate. The ex-captain has at least adapted to his life in the Living World.
“With the humans,” Byakuya states flatly, as though he doesn’t believe that and sees the answer for the excuse it really is. “You’re that enamored of them? Or is it that you still want to protect your student?”
How kindly Byakuya has given him that ready-made answer. “I can’t leave Ichigo here by himself,” Kisuke agrees, latching onto the defense as though he had thought of it in the first place. “He hasn’t even finished his schooling yet.”
“From what I hear, Kurosaki Ichigo is making his own plans to relocate.”
Byakuya hints to a truth that not even Kisuke has learned for himself, proving that he has been a little out of touch with others. It is true that things have been rather busy lately. Some excuse that is, if he doesn’t even know that his precious student has acquired a romantic interest. And in a Shinigami no less.
“Oh?” Kisuke leans forward eagerly, palm flat against Byakuya’s chest and feeling the calm beat of his heart beneath. “Do tell. Is it Rukia-chan?”
Byakuya snorts in a very inelegant, non-Kuchiki like fashion. “Rukia has better taste. She is my sister, after all.”
“Ah, then it must be Abarai-kun she’s set her eyes on,” Kisuke teases.
He knows full well that Byakuya respects both of the aforementioned males but probably considers no one worthy of his sister’s attention. The benefits of being an older brother, he supposes. Ichigo-kun is much like that with his own siblings.
“Kisuke, you’re changing the subject,” Byakuya interrupts his thoughts then.
The blond doesn’t know if he’ll ever quite get used to hearing his name falling from Byakuya’s lips. Kisuke snuggles closer, forehead lying against the back of Byakuya’s shoulder as he curls his arms around the slimmer man. Entirely unable to express his reservations in words.
“It’s a boring subject.” It almost comes out a pout.
“I just don’t think returning there is a good idea right now,” he mumbles, fingers stroking Byakuya’s skin in what he hopes to be a soothing manner. Though it really isn’t doing much to help Kisuke himself.
Byakuya’s voice softens. “It wasn’t a good idea several months ago either,” he reminds Kisuke with a hint of the impatience he had managed to weed out of himself over the passing years. “And if I left it up to you, it wouldn’t be a good idea a year from now either.”
“Then maybe it’s not a good idea after all,” the older man attempts.
“You like it like this then?” Byakuya demands, letting out a noise of frustration that rattles through his entire body. “Waiting until I can collect enough time off to schedule a trip to the living world? What do you want from this, Kisuke? From me?”
It is crossing into pretty serious territory now, a harsh edge to Byakuya’s tone that usually doesn’t enter their discussions. By now, he has usually realized that Kisuke is quite stubborn and doesn’t ask anything more. There is something more determined in his posture now, however. As though he won’t be leaving this time without an answer of one sort or another, that not even he can keep waiting forever. And Kisuke reminds himself that he has forced Byakuya to wait before. It would be cruel of him to do so again.
His fingers twitch, arms tightening. “I would prefer a bit more of your time,” he admits. Unwilling to say aloud how nice it would be to wake up with Byakuya every day, rather than the few stolen moments their conflicting schedules allow. “Though I am sure the Kuchiki won’t be too thrilled. They won’t like you bringing in another Rukongai whore.”
It is his bitterness seeping out that causes the last comment, as it is the nobles who fought the most against his exile being lifted. It was a Chamber 46 full of nobles who helped to exile him in the first place. And it was the nobles who cast him aside as a child, as though his mixed blood were Kisuke’s own fault.
“Neither she nor you are a whore,” Byakuya returns with a very firm voice.
“Trash then.” It comes off as flippant, but Kisuke hardly feels that way.
“Not that either. Your father-”
“-was a noble and a bastard through and through,” Kisuke finishes cynically. “And tossed out my mother as soon as he was done with her. Bastard children of a servant have no place in a noble’s household. Even if they were fathered by the head of the family.” The blond snorts, stomach twisting into knots just remembering his past. “My father was not a Kuchiki, but I know their type. They will not make things easy.”
“And they have nothing to do with it,” Byakuya says sharply, and there is a tint of anger to his words. “I am not ashamed of you. Of us. I have given the Kuchiki more than enough of myself. Do you fault me for seeking something of my own?”
Kisuke shakes his head, face buried in black hair that smells faintly of peppermints and cherry blossoms. He thinks of the bag of minty candies just waiting for his lover out in the kitchen, something he always keeps in stock.
“Never,” he retorts, eyes narrowing. “And I dare them to try.”
It is enough that Kisuke has suffered. He will not allow them to bring anything to his lover. Benihime agrees, and Kisuke’s reiatsu flickers briefly, flashing through the room. Byakuya’s own washes over him, warm like a blanket and conveying tender feelings that his words cannot quite express.
“You’re not very intimidating when you threaten from the boundaries of the living world,” he comments idly.
The blond shrugs. “You’d be surprised what I can manage from here.”
“I think I would rather see what you are capable of in Soul Society,” Byakuya continues, and there is a hint of longing in his voice.
An emotion that Kisuke is hard-pressed to ignore. He can already feel himself swaying, understands that Byakuya is right. He is the only one remaining in the living world now. Even Yoruichi-san is long gone. There is no reason for him to stay. No reason but his pride and his bitterness, both of which make for very lonely nights.
Besides, if he were to sit and think about it, this is the only thing that Byakuya has asked of him since their relationship began. Not for the blond to change. For him to be calmer or more proper or to tone down the zaniness.
“It is a difficult decision.” Kisuke exhales, and even so, he knows his mind has been made up.
“Only because you want it to be.” Byakuya stirs and abruptly rolls over, startling Kisuke with the sudden change in position.
He pins Kisuke with his body, hair a dark curtain around his face. Arms to either side as grey eyes meet the older man’s directly, unable to hide the emotion that gleams behind them. His voice drops low, husky, body pressed up against Kisuke’s in all the right places.
“Come back with me,” Byakuya says, and there is pleading in his gaze.
Kisuke doesn’t say anything, not just yet. But he reaches up with a free hand, fingers tangling in dark hair. He gently pulls Byakuya towards him, their lips meeting in a gentle kiss. Even this early, the Kuchiki heir tastes faintly of peppermints, his tongue carefully coaxing Kisuke’s out to play.
“I’ll even help you pack up the shop,” Byakuya murmurs against his lips, as though he planned this careful seduction. “I managed an entire week.”
And kami help him, but Kisuke is weak to this kind of persuasion. How can he decline when Byakuya is so willing to fight for him? To meddle behind the scenes and arrange everything so beautifully?
“You must have worked overtime to do it,” Kisuke comments, sliding his arms around Byakuya and hoping to rekindle his earlier ardor. “We’ll just take the whole damn shouten. I can think of better things to do with a week’s free time.”
And he is rewarded by the pleased look in Byakuya’s eyes and another pleased response that Byakuya gives him. His body enjoys it very much indeed.