Warnings: Implied man on man sex (okay... sword on sword sex). Spoils through the Hueco Mundo Arc.
Word count: 1,195
Summary: Katen Kyoukotsu gets bored during Yamamoto's logistics meeting.
A/N: I tried this six different ways and kept stalling until zangetsugirl made a chance comment off of a very thorough description of both Katen Kyoukotsu and Sougyo no Kotowari. All the inner world and spirit descriptions are out of my head, though sparked by zangetsugirl's ideas; and I'm sure the war will show me to be wrong, but... for now I'll dream of Kyouraku's inner world. For springkink prompt: "sword porn - the edge is a dangerous place to be"
Disclaimer: I don't own or make money off of Bleach. Depicted sex is between... uhm... consenting swords that are more then 2000 years old so.. yeah, not minors. It's all fictional. Nuts.
It was a Captains' meeting, and old man Yama droned on and on about the logistics of moving Karakura Town into Soul Society. Shunsui wasn't paying that much attention as he'd already heard what he needed to hear: both he and Jyuushiro would be fighting and Nanao-chan would stay here. Safe. Directing Soul Society logistics as she was entirely capable of doing.
Of course, that was when Katen Kyoukotsu started doing what he usually did when he was bored.
Shunsui looked over at Jyuushiro and saw the long-haired man shift in his seat. Ah.
Shunsui tipped his hat to hide his smirk, and without even closing his eyes he let himself sink quietly into his inner world. No one would notice.
He walked amid flowering trees, sakura, of course, but also weeping golden bell flowers, lavender, osmanthus, jacaranda, coral trees, blazing royal poinsettia, huge white candida, and silk floss. Mixed amid them were jasmines, both day and night blooming, in starbursts of white, purple, and pink. Huge birds of paradise, ginger blossoms, fountain clerodendrum, purple china hat, hoya, and pure white gardenias as big as both his fists put together all lent their perfumes, colors, and soft petals to the thick air. Everything bloomed.
Water ran through it all. The sound and smell of it a sharp, cool contrast to the heavy perfume of the flowers. The spring of his name, he sometimes thought. Here it was always the new heat of spring; all was rampant life and growth.
Shunsui went up the hill to the cemetery, the bone yard, where his dead rested under the oldest, most gnarled tree of this inner landscape. He remembered when the sakura had once been a sapling and how it grew and grew. There were also the sharp memories of how the winds of change and pain had sheared off limbs, once broken the top third off the trunk, and denuded it of all its flowers and leaves. Now the tree was old, as thick around as three men could clasp their hands and stand around; and greedy, deep roots ran all through the white bones and rocks that showed through the dark earth all around them. The leaves and flowers rustled, dense, rich with perfume, thick and healthy.
He found them under the tree, entwined about each other: white bone against dusky dark jade scales scattered with flecks of gold, pale belly flesh against smooth dark mahogany, and the spilling of silver hair against the reaching roots of the old sakura.
Shunsui just sat and watched, knowing that Katen Kyoukotsu knew he was here, so both zanpakutou knew he was here. He might as well enjoy the view.
The doubled images of their zanpakutou had never disturbed Shunsui. Each spirit was two now, the result of long practice with two separate swords that could act independently from a single will. Katen Kyoukotsu's form was two forms, one all night-blacks and bone-whites, the other all the colors of the flowers spread in the garden about them. For now both parts of the zanpakutou spirit moved together, but there were always small differences, delays from one to the other.
Sougyo no Kotowari was twinned as well, but one had gold-touched dark jade scales over thunderhead dragon colors and lightning, the other fish belly white and abyssal darks. Both forms were half piscine when in the sea of their shared inner world; but here on land he was a man with a scaled back, light belly, and eyes the cold color of stormy seas. His lightning colored hair, almost identical to Jyuushiro's in weight and length, was the same in that odd duality of coloring, of form on form. He, however, moved as one while he was bound. It was only in release that Shunsui had seen the two parts of Sougyo no Kotowari split and act on their own.
Eventually, as expected, Jyuushiro came walking down the strip of beach that connected their inner worlds. He was clad in silver scales and deep sea-colored silks. He walked up the hill and sat down beside Shunsui. Shunsui slid off the root, shedding more petals from the flowing flowers over his own shoulders. He moved to sit between Jyuushiro's legs and leaned back against the hard, slender strength of his long-time friend.
Jyuushiro removed Shunsui's hat and hair tie, both of which he carefully placed to the side. He stroked lightly through Shunsui's curling hair. Shunsui sighed and turned, caught a slender, cool hand and pressed a kiss against its calluses.
"More interesting than the meeting, eh, old friend?" Jyuushiro asked, mouth a little wry, as the intent motions before them grew more powerful and swift.
Shunsui said quietly, "Much better. There's much I'd like to do before we have to leave for the planned place of attack."
"For the front line of the war," Jyuushiro said quietly.
"To the edge," Shunsui said.
The two spirits of the edge, of blades, of pure battle climaxed as the two men's emotions spiked at the acknowledgement of what was to come.
Shunsui waited until cries softened to moans and murmurs. He then produced sake bottle and cups with practiced ease. He placed the cups on the varied surfaces of root and earth and stone and deftly poured. He filled four cups with the cloudy white homebrewed sake, warmed to his body heat. He got up and picked up two of the cups in his long-fingered hands. He saw Jyuushiro pick up two as well as he followed.
They went over to their zanpakutou, who were now still, now just wrapped around each other, murmuring soft words to each other.
Shunsui sat to one side, Jyuushiro to the other. Katen Kyoukotsu looked up, still flushed with lust, a lazy satisfaction threaded through his powerful body. The spirit reached for his cup, even as Sougyo no Kotowari reached for his from Jyuushiro.
Shunsui saw the three other heads bend over the sake, and he wondered what they all saw in those white depths. Then quietly he said, "We go to battle. To be the edge that destroys evil and protects all that we hold dear. Let us pledge the old pledge, the promise we've made each other time and again."
All four of them chanted:
"We are about to head to the battlefield
Believe, our blades will not shatter
Believe, our souls will not be cut
Even if our steps separate,
Our iron will remains solid
Promise! Even if the ground may split,
We will come back alive to this place!" *
All four cups were raised, all four throats swallowed the libation, the promise. Then the cups were smashed against the trunk of the old tree.
Then dark lips met pale ones, dark hair flowed against silver and white; and the four linked souls, close-tied spirits attended to each other, strengthened each other against what lay ahead.
* This is the battle chant that Ichigo's nakama chant on Renji's remembrance as they're about to go after the arrancar in the arrancar arc. Renji said it was an old tradition within the Gotei 13, so I took it as such.