Genre: Romance (yeesh).
Warnings: Very much man on man, Yaoi implications, nothing explicit other than the flowers, which are just out there.
Summary: Jyuushiro feels the summer heat, and finds some flowers for Shunsui.
Disclaimer: I don't own or make money off of Bleach. This is all fictional.
A/N: For chuchacz in exchange for a lovely little bit of not quite worksafe fanart she did for me. Her prompts were "Summer", Jyuushiro's offices/quarters on the pond, and "a flowery coat".
Jyuushiro worked in his quarters at Ubandou. He knelt before his desk and stroked quick characters down his paperwork, writing a report on the conduct of Kuchiki Rukia while training Kurosaki Ichigo in the first encounter with the Arrancar. He needed the time away from the daily routines at the offices in the Court of Pure Souls in order to concentrate on making the report thorough and complete.
He'd left the shading screens to his rooms open to the outside. The summer heat pressed gently upon him, like Shunsui's sleeping weight at night, warm and close and comforting. The sound of the water soothed him as it sloshed and rippled against the pilings of the building that contained his office and working quarters.
Kiyone and Sentarou had already taken his orders to the rest of his Division, changing practice times to later in the day, adding evening practices and routines, and taking away scheduled activities after lunch that were more suitable for the coolness of winter. He knew the implied orders would be taken as well, and most sane people would be napping now in the deep heat of mid-day.
He should be napping too, if he was going to keep up with what duties he could. Instead, the latest medications Unohana-sempai had given him were making him restless. They'd helped with his breathing, but he could feel the dead weight, the tightness in his lungs at the bottom of every breath. The long-time familiar reminder added to his restlessness. He should be out doing things.
Jyuushiro could taste the tantalizing edge of Shunsui's resting reiatsu out on the edges of the pond. The deep heat, the sounds of water against the shore and stones, the incessant drowsing thrum of cicadas, and the relaxed deep-throated sound of snoring over the water all teased gently at Jyuushiro's sense of duty. Summer... Jyuushiro found himself snorting softly. This time of warmth, of heat, of abundance overflowing, of unrestrained vigorous growth and life were as much like his friend as they were unlike him.
Yet Jyuushiro still loved being warmed by their heat.
Finally he finished the report. He washed out his brush carefully, reshaped the tip, and hung it in the rack. He got up, stretched, long and hard, and then untied his sleeves before hanging his Captain's haori by the door. Off-duty. He picked up his gardener's hat and a pair of sharp shears.
He went out onto the walkway over the pond and looked out to the shore. He smiled on seeing Shunsui sprawled in the shade of the bamboo by the pond. The Captain of the Eighth had also hung his haori up, along with his shinigami's gi, on the yielding branches of the bamboo. They danced in the lightest of winds and Shunsui's hat shaded his face. The pink kosode was spread on the ground beneath the big man, an appealing contrast to the dark-haired skin over neat slabs of muscle. Jyuushiro concentrated on looking more at the structure of Shunsui's bones, his muscles, the color differences between dark hair and pink silk rather than the man himself. Even tens of feet away, Shunsui's sensitivity to reiatsu and intent would probably wake the big man up, and Jyuushiro had other plans.
He picked up his gardening basket and went across the bridge to the land. He began collecting the flowers spread throughout the garden. The picking of the flowers would only help the plants produce more. And they all needed a little pruning back. Centuries of careful landscaping made the place seem all the more wild, and each blossom was more precious for being a surprise.
The peonies were closest and the deep heat caused them to fill the air with their honeyed sweetness. He pruned off the ones that were opened to their fullest extent and then he stripped all the blossoms off the heads, and the weight of the heads took them to the bottom of the basket. The petals were all colors, white, pink, or red, with big, yellow stamens. Some were frilly, dusted with pollen on the inside and the large guard petals were silky and smooth. Others were rose-like, petal upon petal upon petal.
Next gardenias creamy white and intense, nearly rivaling the jasmine near-by with their scent. He simply cut off as many of the mature flowers he could, leaving the buds of the clustering plants for later. A few were single blooms, white and delicate and huge. These wouldn't bloom any better for the taking, but next year they would do well. Jasmine climbed and tangled and strove for sunlight, the blooms all the headier in their scent. Jyuushiro snapped off entire arms of sprays filled with star-shaped flowers.
Wisteria climbed and tangled with the trees, already done with their blossoming, nothing but tangled vines. The cherry trees were full of just glossy green leaves. In their shade the hydrangea were coming into their own in the summer heat. Pink, blue, and white, huge clusters of flowers opened. The big blossoms filled the rest of his basket easily.
He made his way over to the bamboo grove, which was secluded from all views other than from his quarters. He hung up his hat, shears, and gi.
Jyuushiro then did a small trick he'd learned early in their Academy days. No one could completely hide their reiatsu, but there were ways of thinning it, masking it with other things. With any luck Shunsui would think Jyuushiro was still intent on his report. He put all his attention on the flowers in his basket, not the man lying half-naked in the swaying shadows of the bamboo grove.
Jyuushiro knelt, and with his bare hands he began placing all the lighter petals and smaller flowers. He started with the strong shoulders, gently laying peony petals in red, white, and pink handfuls. He layered creamy white petals along the sculpted arms, careful not to brush against the fine, dark hairs. Then he covered that wide chest with blue hydrangea. He ended with the sprays of jasmine across that washboard belly, taut even in repose. Jyuushiro covered the darker man with a coat of flowers more gaudy and colorful than the one he wore to hide his abilities from other eyes. He breathed quietly and kept his concentration, his intent on the silky petals, on the creamy fragrances, on the dusting of gold pollens on brown skin.
It is easier to not think of an elephant by thinking of sex.
Hmm. Shunsui stirred.
Perhaps Jyuushiro should have been thinking about elephants...
The hat moved to reveal one dark eye. "Hey, handsome." Shunsui's big hand ran through the silken, sliding mound of petals, stamens, and scents. "Is this one of your hints?"
"A bit too heavy-handed for that, I think," Jyuushiro said, knowing he was flushing.
Shunsui shouted in laughter. "As direct as you are, Shiro-san." Shunsui added with a note of wonder, "You've given me a coat of flowers." He lifted petals to his nose and then, with a side-long glance at Jyuushiro, to his lips. The contrast of white against the darkness of his lips made Jyuushiro's breath quickened.
"But one that reveals you instead of hides you," Jyuushiro said. He leaned forward to touch those flower-kissed lips with his own, tasting the perfume of peonies against Shunsui's sake-flavored mouth.
Shunsui's hand moved up into Jyuushiro's hair, his arm and the muscles of his chest causing the blooms to slide and uncover more of him. When his hand tightened, Jyuushiro moaned against Shunsui's lips. They kissed fiercely, and he could feel Shunsui's intent against his senses as hard and hot as that which pressed against his thigh through his hakama.
"And here all I'd wanted was a nap. Look what you've gotten yourself into..." Shunsui said, with that smile on his lip. More flowers slid along his warm, brown skin, as he reached down to undo the ties to his hakama.
"Looks as if I found myself a taste of summer," Jyuushiro said softly.
Shunsui laughed again. His knowing hands stroked Jyuushiro's coolness to fire, and those smiling lips lit Jyuushiro's world with summer sunlight. Jyuushiro surrendered to the heat, and let Shunsui melt him away.