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This is a fic/art exchange with one of my good friends on http://yaoi.y-gallery.net/ , Chuchacz. She cheered me up with some Kaien doodles so this is her fluff in return. Bleach universe minor spoilers if you don't know who Hisana is, and the incident I've had happen is my creation. Byakuya/Renji pairing, mostly implied. Not looking for any real crit with this since it was for fun and a thank you. Please enjoy! I do not own Bleach or it's characters I am just borrowing them. No profit is made from this work.
On the whole, Shinigami did not routinely get sick.
That wasn't to say they couldn't,
Hisana Kuchiki and Jushiro Ukitake were testaments to that in spades.
But colds and flues didn't usually afflict them.
It just wasn't something that was a rampant problem in the seiretei, usually.
One winter it seemed that everyone was coming down with "something" left and right. Some of the higher officers had first been convinced it was some elaborate scheme for people to take turns playing hooky until it was reported Lieutenant Ise was actually taking a sick day.
Then it was hard to keep people from fearing it was the plague.
The latest victim of what was really just some fluke cold that someone had probably brought back from the world of the living, some how, was Lieutenant Renji Abarai. Despite the fact that he would have very much preferred to use this as an excuse out of pointless paperwork he'd been trying to show he could be as good as his captain in all things. Unfortunately that meant lots of boring ass hours sitting at his desk in silence. It was paying off, however, since it had earned him the more private smiles from Byakuya during the day and not just at night in the dark of the Kuchiki manor.
So Renji did his best to work through what was becoming the worst part of his illness, even if his hands were freezing in the warm of the room and shook as he wrote on the page. Besides, staying home meant staying in his home, alone and that just sucked.
About mid-day Captain Kuchiki returned from a rather lengthy captains meeting. He greeted Renji with a bare nod and headed for his desk then stopped. His vice captain was curled up in his chair in what looked like an effort to stay warm. He had a small shake to him that seemed misplaced since it was almost eighty in the room as the sun had been filling it all morning. Those cinnamon eyes looked almost fogged and the red head's reiatsu was wavering.
Byakuya walked over, "Renji... are you unwell?"
"No, sir," Renji didn't realize he stuttered from chattering teeth. Apparently his fever was kicking his ass as he sat there.
The sixth's captain walked over and looked Renji in the eyes. To his credit, Lieutenant Abarai tried to meet his gaze; only his dizziness forced his eyes closed.
Byakuya sighed, "Stand up."
Renji got his eyes open as he set his brush down. With shaky legs he stood as commanded.
"Come here," Captain Kuchiki commanded softly.
It took him a minute, but Renji obeyed that too with a small, "sir?"
The next thing he knew Byakuya had grabbed him around the middle and was flash stepping them out of the office. Renji was forced to close his eyes so he didn't pass out. He actually half did and was a little confused as to what all happened after they left because the next thing he knew he was half undressed and on a really comfy, and now rather familiar futon, with a cold, wet cloth being put on his head.
The red head tried to protest, but Byakuya ordered him silent. Renji complied, although still confused.
For the first hour, Renji was able to follow what was going on. Byakuya would occasionally refresh the cloth on his head and he'd feel too cold for a few minutes then what he thought was okay. During this time, he noticed his captain kept getting up to tend to things. By the end of the hour, Captain Kuchiki was changed out of his uniform, kenseiken and scarf and into things he wore around the house, still a lot finer than most of the things Renji had even ever seen until he started being here so much.
After that, he couldn't tell what happened the rest of the day and well into the next.
What was a blur to him was a vivid, slow crawl through time for Byakuya.
Before mid-afternoon Renji's fever spiked. He was dizzy, coughing and incoherent. His body tried to burn the infection out while Byakuya fought to keep his lieutenant's body from becoming so over heated it failed. Not once did he call for a servant to help or for a member of four. He kept Renji cool and hydrated. He spoke to the red head when he was in the mist of a fever induced haze and trying to have a conversation with his zanpakto, even though Zabimaru was on the other side of the room with Senbonzakura. And then during the middle of the night, when Renji was almost lucid and feeling so bad he was frightened of what was happening the normally so silent captain spoke more. He knelt by Renji and whispered things to calm him, things that were true but that admitting in the light of day he still could not do.
When Renji passed out somewhere near dawn fear had gripped Byakuya's heart, as that moment seemed too close to a moment fifty years ago. But Renji's chest was still moving. The captain reflected on how this was why he'd not let anyone else into his heart and he could almost hear Renji arguing over what kind of life was that? With the barest of whispers he admitted to the unconscious lieutenant that Hisana probably would have agreed.
Finally, sometime in the early afternoon of the next day, Renji's fever broke. He blinked and sat up, confused as all hell, but feeling a crap load better. "Captain?" he called out but then noticed the dozing form on the futon beside him. Byakuya looked exhausted, yet still held Renji's hand tight.
The lieutenant tried to piece together what happened. The last thing he remembered was trying to stand up back at the office and vague bits of conversations that didn't make sense. He looked around more and saw the bowl of water with the cloth hanging on its side next to him along with a pitcher with more water and a cup. He was also not wearing what he thought he should have. At some point it seemed Byakuya had changed his clothes since the others were so soaked in sweat. On closer inspection, the tips of his captain's fingers were wrinkled from being so wet for so long from refreshing the cloth.
Renji was realizing that Byakuya had cared for him alone and how that must have been a stress on him. It also sort of cemented to the red head how the man must really feel about him, even if he'd never say it.
"Damn," Renji whispered softly. He reached down to lay Byakuya out better since he looked half fallen over before lying back down with him. The exhausted sixth's captain barely made a sound. It seems at least part of him knew Renji was out of danger and so wasn't waking up. He instinctively snuggled to Abarai once the other was against him.
Renji chuckled softly at that before kissing the back of Byakuya's head. Before letting himself go back into a much more restful sleep he whispered, "thank you and I love you too." Even if those words weren't actually said and Renji didn't remember what exactly is said, that's what he remembered feeling from the other.
Byakuya made a near silent sound and then both were out completely.
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