A quiet, beautiful day. Just outside the window, the trees rustled as a light breeze blew by them. Bright leaves danced in the cool air, the limbs they were attached to swaying only a little, as though they had some wisdom in stillness.
Inside the room itself, the smell of tea and incense permeated about. The dappled light that streamed through the trees was the only source of illumination, but in a room like this one, that was enough. Candles where only lit after sundown, saving wax for when natural light failed.
It was truly a beautiful day...and not one that he wanted to spend like this. Shivering, the 13th Division captain pulled his the white garment of his status more tightly around his shoulders. Today was one of his off days. He'd awoken that morning to a rather violent coughing fit, and had since been told by no less than 10 people to go back to bed. And even now, that same piece of furniture beckoned from the corner of his vision.
But, he was a captain, and he had work to do. Pressing a handkerchief to his mouth to stifle a cough, he leaned over his papers once more, trembling hand moving to pick up his brush. Gritting his teeth in annoyance, he clenched his fist, trying to steady his hand. He hated this weakness, the overpowering sickness that threatened to consume him entirely.
While no one would say it, and he himself hated to admit it, it was only getting worse with time. When he was young, it had been just enough to slow him down. If he got too active, he'd feel shaky and ill for a few days. During his academy days, a more prominent problem began to make itself known. Coughing spasms, inexplicable bouts of weakness, and the like.
And now...now, for no reason, he had days that getting out of bed was almost too much for him. Perhaps he'd see if there was anything more he could do to lessen his problems...and stave off the inevitable. He'd long ago come to terms with the fact that he would never be an old man...He just hadn't realized he might not completely live through being a middle aged one, either.
Pushing his work aside, the white haired head bowed slightly, pale hands pulling his haori snug once more. Once more, his mind wandered. Who would miss him, really, once he was gone? His obsessive pseudo-lieutenants, no doubt, but partially because they would lose their status once he was replaced, as a new Lieutenant would finally be put into place. Hitstugia…He hoped Hitsugia would miss him. He’d always adored the boy, and admired his strength and tenacity, despite his young age. Rukia probably would, but she was horribly sentimental anyway…then there was…
Kyouraku Shunsui…his dear old friend. They’d been through hell and back with one another, one always doing his best to watch the other’s back. Ukitake always felt like such a burden on the smiling man, but bless him, he’d never said a word. All the times he’d carried Ukitake back from a battle or simply anything that had forced him to over tax himself, the offerings of his beautiful haori when he saw even the faintest shiver in those pale limbs. Truth be known? Ukitake would venture as far as to say he loved Kyouraku, though never out loud. What good was the love of a doomed man?
Sighing, he slowly stood and moved to the window, sinking onto his bed and looking out side, at the trees and their timeless strength. Whatever happened, and however long or short a time it took...He wanted to be remembered. He never wanted people to look at the name “Ukitake Jyoushiro” on a weathered headstone and say “Who was he?” He wanted to make a difference, however small it might have been. He just hoped that unlike his body, his influence would be like the trees...beautiful and enduring.