shoji doors

SLBP Fic: Keep Me Warm Until I Wake (1/1)

A/N: Is it still the 20th in some other time zone? Maybe? I hope so …

Also, I’m not really 100% sure what Nobuyuki’s and Yukimura’s childhood names are? I mean I did some research but. Lol. And I can’t read Japanese reference sources to save my life so like, if anyone out there wants to help a bitch out that’d be great.

Pairing: Nobuyuki/MC
Word count: 1,370
Summary: Five times Nobuyuki gets sort of rudely woken up, and one time he doesn’t.



I.

(Things were uncomplicated, once.)

He wakes up to the sound of his baby brother crying, followed by the sound of his mother’s lilting voice whispering hushed nonsense to calm him.

It’s warm.

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The Girl Who Waited

Summary:Somewhere along the line while she was on his team, learning to become a shinobi alongside him, Sasuke stopped being just a good-looking, smart boy to her. Sakura got to know him – the darkness he wore like armour, and the light he only revealed in his rarest, most unguarded moments. [SasuSaku Festival 2017 – Day 1 – Prompt: “Valentine’s Day”]

Disclaimer: This story utilizes characters, situations and premises that are copyright Masashi Kishimoto, Shueisha, Shonen Jump and Viz Media. No infringement on their respective copyrights pertaining to episodes, novelizations, comics or short stories is intended by the author in any way, shape or form. This fan oriented story is written solely for the author’s own amusement and the entertainment of the readers. It is not for profit. Any resemblance to real organizations, institutions, products or persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. All fiction, plot and Original Characters with the exception of those introduced in the books, manga, video games, novelizations and anime, are the sole creation of KuriQuinn and using them without permission is considered rude, in bad-taste and will reflect seriously on your credibility as a writer. A gaggle of pre-teen girls will taunt you a second time should you be found plagiarizing.

Warning: Spoilers for pretty much everything up to Chapter 699.

Canon-Compliance: As close to canon as fanfiction can possibly be. With a few personal additions :P Takes place during Part I, Part II and the Blank Period.

Fanon-Compliance: Takes place several years before An Inch of Gold and Unplanned.

AN: OC alert! There is an OC in this story! Ohmygosh!

Beta Reader: Sakura’s Unicorn

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Nine-year-old Sakura Haruno hides behind the shoji door of the classroom, clutching an immaculately wrapped package to her chest. Her heart beats a frantic rhythm against her ribs so loud that she thinks even he can hear it inside the room.

After all, Sasuke Uchiha is a prodigy who can already do so much more than the other students at the Academy. Super-hearing would not be that unbelievable.

Her stomach flip-flops a little, and she would tighten her fingers around the large box if she didn’t fear tearing the paper; the lady at the sweets stall did such a nice job wrapping it. Sakura didn’t even consider doing it herself because she’s all thumbs these days, and this gift has to be perfect. After all, she saved her pocket money from a year’s worth of chores so she could afford the finest box of chocolates they had.

It’s still not as nice as the one she saw last year in the fancy gourmet chocolate shop. Her mother wouldn’t let her buy it; Mama said it was a waste, and they don’t have a lot of money to begin with. That’s why Sakura had to save up this year.  She wanted it to be extra special because she knows Sasuke’s all alone now.

About nine months ago, he lost his entire family.

She doesn’t know what actually happened to the Uchiha clan, just what Iruka-sensei has mentioned and the whispers she hears from her parents when they think she’s not listening. And, of course, the rumours the other kids spread – some benign, others ridiculous, still others far too terrible to contemplate.

Sakura doesn’t care how it happened. All she knows is that Sasuke is on his own – he has no mother or father anymore, or even his big brother – and he must be lonely. And so, she has decided that even though she isn’t brave enough to tell him she likes him, if she gives him a nice enough gift for Valentine’s Day, he’ll understand that he’s not alone and that people are thinking about him all the time.

And by people, she means herself.  

If only she could muster the nerve to walk over there and hand him the package.

Just do it! There’s no one around, so no one will see if I mess up – shannaro!

“What’ve you got there, Sa-ku-ra,” someone drawls behind her, making her wince with every syllable of her name.

Oh, no! Too slow!

She turns around and finds herself facing Ino and at least three other girls from their class, all of whom are holding their own closely guarded packages.

“You’re not actually thinking of giving that to Sasuke, are you?” her former-friend derides, the curl of her lip suggesting Sakura has something decayed in her hands.

She squares her shoulder and juts her chin out defiantly. “So what if I am? I don’t think it’s any of your business.”

“It is our business if you’re going to dishonour him with something as flashy as that,” another girl interjects.

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Encore (1/5)

He doesn’t even feel the impact. There’s a shriek of metal-on-metal, a scream, a car suddenly jumping the curb in front of him.

Then there’s only darkness.


Blue.

The sky is still blue.

Ichigo blinks, and wonders why that surprises him. Surely, a blue sky exists everywhere, even—

Even here.

Which is not where he had been before.

It’s somewhere different.

Carefully, Ichigo sits up and takes in the sight of a familiar field, with trees in the distance. He’s been here once, right after the first trip to Soul Society, when Inoue had come to tell him that Rukia was missing, and he had known where to look. The house that’s just as odd as he remembers still stands in the distance—and, squatting a few feet from him in the grass, is a familiar face that he hasn’t seen since that day.

Shiba Kukaku stares at him for a long moment, an unreadable expression on her face. Ichigo stares back, wondering why the fireworks expert—who he remembers as being loud, violent, and having a strong enough left hook to put Yammy to shame—looks almost… unsettled. He doesn’t say anything, though, keeping his peace as she surveys him. For some reason, he’s tired, more than he’s ever been, and can’t help but suspect that being in Soul Society like this—when he had been in his human form, without using a Senkaimon, and knowing without a doubt that the car accident had killed him—is the cause.

And then Kukaku sighs and straightens, rising to her feet and offering him a hand up. “From the lack of company I take it this isn’t another one of Yoruichi’s harebrained schemes. Did something happen?”

Ichigo hesitates for a moment before accepting the proffered hand. “I…died.” It feels odd to say it out loud, but he knows it’s true. Unlike what the majority of the Gotei 13 seems to think, he isn’t stupid. He can certainly be reckless sometimes, when someone he cares about is in danger, but he isn’t dumb. Drawing connections is simple enough. The only surprise is that now, here, he feels the stirrings of power around him that he’s missed for so long, and the comforting weight of Zangetsu on his back. Dying, it seems, had been enough to return his powers. Even the Hollow is back, simmering in his mind just below the surface. And for the life—or death—of him, Ichigo can’t bring himself to find it anything but comforting.

Kukaku sighs again, pulling him to his feet, and nods. “I thought it was something like that.” Then she pauses again and scrutinizes his face for a moment, something in her expression turning wistful. “You…really do look like him.”

Ichigo blinks at that, not understanding, and shoots her a look. He had noticed a similar reaction in others, particularly Ukitake and Byakuya, when he faced them, but he’s never pressed them for an answer. But Kukaku notices, and gives him a small, weary smile. “My older brother, Kaien. The one the Kuchiki girl killed.”

There’s no malice in her voice, no bitterness, and Ichigo wonders at how strong she is to push all of that aside. He had never managed it, and even now, he blames himself for his mother’s death.

Maybe someday, he thinks a touch ironically, he can be as strong as her.

“Is there a relation?” he asks after a second, half dryly and half curiously. His father’s death at Aizen’s hand meant that the old man had never had gotten around to explaining his connection to Soul Society, so for all Ichigo knows, Kukaku could be his aunt. He just barely holds back a shudder. As if there aren’t enough violent women around him already.

Seeming to guess his thoughts, Kukaku grins at him, squeezing his hand just a little tighter than she needs to. “Heh. That scares you, little boy? Shouldn’t, though. We Shibas are a good bunch—mostly. And widespread! Or we used to be.” She turns, not letting go of his hand, and drags him back towards her crazy house. “You might be a cousin, for all I know. Never did keep a good enough track of the branch families, while they existed. Oh, well.” Throwing open the door, she yanks him down the stairs, calling, “Oi, Ganju! We’ve got a guest!”

Her brother leans around a door, and his eyes widened at the sight of Ichigo there, dressed not in shinigami robes, but a simple autumn-brown yukata, Zangetsu across his back. He takes one step forward, looking confused. “Kurosaki? What are you…?” Then he pauses, frowns, and opens his mouth again—

—Only to be cut off by his sister’s foot slamming into his face.

Despite himself, Ichigo winces. Yeah, he can see the family resemblance there, if she and his father are related.

“Move it, dumbass!” Kukaku bellows, hauling Ichigo past the sprawled form of her sibling and into the room he’d just left. “He’s a guest, and he just died! He needs comforting! Now get your ass to the kitchen and make some food! I’m hungry!” With that, she slides the shoji door shut, tosses Ichigo in front of the table, and drops on the other side to face him. Planting her left arm on the table, she glares at him and demands, “Well? What happened? If you’re gonna cry, do it now, while I’m feeling charitable!”

Pushing himself upright, Ichigo casts her a half-wary, half-bemused look, and then settles himself correctly. “Cry? What the h—why would I cry?”

She raises an eyebrow at him. “You just died.”

He raises one in return, wondering what it is she wants him to say. “I know. I’m not an idiot. But it’s not like everything ended, right? I’m here. My family’s already here, too. And…”

And what? He suddenly can’t think of anything. Isn’t he supposed to be fighting someone? Rescuing someone? Doing something? But instead of a driving urge to move, he feels relaxed. Peaceful. At ease, even, without the fate of Soul Society and the world of the living riding on his back, without the grief that’s been tearing at him for over two years now. And, as much as he loves combat, and fighting, he doesn’t want to go back to that pressure. Even with his powers back, he doesn’t want to immediately plunge back into conflict. And somehow, he can guess that conflict is what would occur, if he walked up to the gates of the Seireitei and informed them that he was no longer a resident of the living world.

He has to bite back a groan, because it’s just occurring to him that it had not been the insane, power-obsessed, would-be god who had taken him out. It had been a car. Renji is going to laugh his ass off.

Yet another reason not to immediately present himself in Seireitei.

Kukaku, with a perceptiveness that belies her usual loud personality, seems to guess what he’s thinking again. She leans over and flicks him on the forehead, then brings her fist down hard on the top of his head. While he tries to clear the ringing from his ears, she snorts and comments, “You know, there’s nothing holding you back now, boy. You’re dead. That means no more responsibilities. Sure, you have the power to be a shinigami, and you want to protect people—”

Ichigo doesn’t question how, again, she knows exactly what he’s thinking. It’s more than likely he’ll regret knowing, should he ask.

“—but you don’t have to march right up the Gotei 13 and let them take you in. You’re different than you were before the war; they probably wouldn’t even know what to do with you. So why don’t you stay here for a bit? Ground yourself, think about your options? I’ll even help you get that pig-sticker down to a normal sealed-size.” She nods towards Zangetsu, which is settled awkwardly across Ichigo’s shoulders and nearly digging into the bamboo floor. “You don’t have to be yourself, either, if you don’t want to. There are enough bastard sons floating around, and you look enough like a Shiba that I can claim you as a cousin and adopt you into the family. Might make for a nice change of pace, huh?”

Ichigo looks at her in surprise for a second, then shifts his gaze past her left shoulder as he considers. Go to Seireitei, and back to being a hero of a war he had never wanted to fight? Or stay here amidst the peaceful insanity that is the Shiba house, as a Shiba himself, and take his time learning something, not for the sake of saving the world, but for himself?

It isn’t much of a choice, really.

“Thank you,” he tells Kukaku with a quick bow. “I’d be honored.”

And Kukaku smiles, satisfied, and bellows at Ganju to hurry up with the food.

Ichigo quickly comes to the realization that training with Kukaku is akin to throwing oneself headfirst at a jet engine and hoping to come out on the other side with the ability to fly.

Not that it isn’t effective—within the first two weeks of lessons, he’s able to suppress and contain his reiatsu enough to seal Zangetsu into a normal shikai state (though it fails if he loses his temper), and to hide a few feet from a shinigami patrol without being detected (so long as he’s careful and almost completely focused on hiding his power, which is inconvenient, as it leaves him struggling in a real fight).

It is even, at times, enjoyable. Ichigo has always been the older brother in his family, and Kukaku is like the older sister he’s never had, gruffly affectionate, tauntingly supportive, and with a core—somewhere deep, deep, deep inside—of kindness and caring that’s unlike anything he’s experienced before. She pushes him hard, harder than even Urahara or old man Zangetsu, but for no other reason than because she can do it and he can survive it. There’s no world to save, no friend to rescue, and Ichigo can focus solely on becoming strong for himself, instead of someone else.

Ganju, too, quickly becomes like family—although Ichigo is certain he’s more the idiot cousin kept locked in the attic than anyone really close. They spar together when Kukaku is busy with whatever it is she really does (another thing Ichigo is certain he’ll regret knowing), and as he had when Ichigo was struggling with the spirit orb on his first trip to the Seireitei, the boar-rider often steps in to help Ichigo with some of the finer points of control and reiatsu manipulation. Ganju even helps him master the beginning steps towards kido, much more quickly than Kukaku had expected.

For the first time in a very long while, Ichigo is learning, and training, and advancing just because he can, and he can’t remember being so content at any time since his mother’s death. He pushes aside everything that he had been before—all the anger, all the surliness, all thoughts of weakness and strength and power and death—and Shiba Kei becomes the newly accepted youngest son of the Shiba Clan. And it’s a change that he welcomes, shedding his old being like a set of worn clothes, and donning a new personal to go with his new life. Kei—the name chosen by Kukaku, who had wistfully remarked that it was what Kaien had been planning to name his son, and left Ichigo with the distinct feeling that he had been played—is polite, and respectful, and likes to play jokes. He smiles and laughs, and does not worry about worlds or gods or anything but surviving his sister’s training.

And Ichigo is, for the first time in years, really, truly happy.


It’s seven months to the day since he first came to live with them when Kukaku storms through the doorway of the dojo, interrupting Ichigo and Ganju’s sparring session. They both turn to look at her—

—Only to be smacked in the head with the bottle and scrub brush, respectively, that she hurls at them.

This is hardly the first time that kind of thing has happened. Indeed, it’s almost a daily occurrence, so Ichigo grabs the bottled before it can hit the floor and Ganju peels the brush off his face, and they only grumble a little bit as they glare at her with all the wounded male pride they can muster.

Kukaku just smirks at them—and, specifically, at Ichigo. “There ya go, carrot-top! One dousing with that and your hair will look all-natural again! You’ll fit right in with the rest of us!”

Ichigo transfers his glare from her to the bottle of black hair dye he holds, and then scowls at her even more deeply.

“What the hell! Why the hell would I want to dye my hair?”

The woman looks supremely unimpressed. “‘Cause you’re going to enroll in the Spiritual Arts Academy. I’ve got nothing left to teach you, since you’ve got all the basics down, and the teachers at the school can help you go further than I ever could. I’m not a shinigami, halfwit! And with your hair dyed, you’ll look just like Kaien. No one will doubt you’re a Shiba. I’ll get the paperwork out of the way, and you’ll be free to go through the Academy just like every other shinigami admitted to the Gotei 13. No special favors, no war hero, just you.” She grins. “So get dyeing.”

It would take a much stronger—or less sane—man to argue with Shiba Kukaku. So, with the obligatory grumbling and cursing, Ichigo gets dyeing, and realizes about halfway through that the whole idea doesn’t really sound so bad.


“You’ve got your sword?”

“Yes, nee-san.”

“And your uniforms?”

“Yes, nee-san.”

“And your kido books?”

“Yes, nee-san.”

“And enough yukatas? I can always bring you more if—”

Yes, nee-san.”

The one armed woman smacks the dark-haired boy who stands with her in the head. “Shut up, brat! If this is what I get for worrying, I’ll make sure not to in the future!”

Several of the families standing with them before the Academy gates stifle snorts. Ichigo narrows his eyes at the vicious female monster posing as his sister and rubs the back of his much-abused head. She’s been “worrying,” as she calls it—though, in truth, it’s far closer to nagging—ever since they left the house that morning. Ichigo still isn’t certain why he couldn’t just go alone—after all, he isn’t a kid, and he’s already passed the entrance exam with ease. But Kukaku had said that family seeing him off was expected, especially since he was coming from a noble house—even if it is fallen, which she never seems to give a damn about.

Seeing the near-scowl that crosses his face, Kukaku leans in with frightening good cheer, her grin one hair shy of terrifying. “Come on, Kei-chan, smile! You’ll do the Shiba Clan proud, won’t you? Hmm? Kei-chan?”

Under the circumstances, Ichigo feels that it is quite acceptable to stage a tactical retreat. Taking several steps away from the madwoman to whom he’s claiming blood ties—and oh, how he’s starting to wish that he had just enrolled as a nameless spirit from Rukongai—he moves safely out of reach. That had been Kukaku’s way of subtly reminding him not to scowl in order to keep from being recognized, which is something they’ve been working on for weeks now—mostly her leaping on him whenever he lets his expression slip into something Ichigo would have worn, instead of what Kei would wear, and stretching his cheeks or doing some equally demeaning and emasculating thing until he can force a neutral expression.

He’s become nearly as good at neutral as Byakuya, he suspects—though with Kukaku’s form of motivation, he expects that anyone would.

“Damn it, you crazy woman! Don’t call me that!” he snaps, though he does rearrange his face into something that doesn’t resemble a glower quite so much.

Kukaku just grins at him, as she often does. “Oh, the little one’s all grown up, eh? Well, Kei, I hope you’re ready to leave the nest and all that. Got any last words before I push you out and let you fly?”

“More like push me out and drop a stone around my neck,” Ichigo mutters, but straightens his shoulders and offers her a brief, challenging smile. “Why bother? You’ll be back in a year to see me graduate anyway, and I’ll come visit once in a while, to make sure you haven’t drowned Ganju in the bath.”

She waves her hand at that, wrinkling her nose. “Hell no! It’d be too smelly.” Then her expression softens, and she reaches out and drags Ichigo into a gruff, one-armed hug. “Take care, otouto,” she murmurs in his ear. “Even if you aren’t a Shiba, you’re still my little brother. Make us proud, got that?” Releasing him, she takes a step back, then waves and turns away. “And make sure you come back home once in a while! You’re already a twig, and cafeteria food won’t help! We’ll have to stuff you every chance we get, so you don’t blow away in the wind!”

Ichigo rolls his eyes at her retreating back, but it’s fond. Kukaku may just be posing as his sibling, but in reality, she’s his sister in every way that matters. And now he has three sisters to look out for, even if the newest one would kick his ass for thinking that she needs “looking after.”


It feels good, feels right to don the shinigami black once more, after a year and some-odd weeks in a student’s white and blue. Ichigo spends a long moment staring into the mirror in his dormitory room, wondering at the changes. He’s gotten used to seeing black hair in place of orange, a calm expression where a scowl used to be, but sometimes it still jars him to remember that he’s not Kurosaki Ichigo anymore, not in the ways that count. He’s Shiba Kei, branch member adopted into the main Shiba family by virtue of Kukaku’s kindness to an orphaned bastard child.

Ichigo never used to lie, even to himself. Now the lies have become his entire life, quite literally.

He slings Zangetsu across his back, a normal long sword rather than a huge cleaver—if nothing else, this whole charade has taught him the control he never managed while he was alive—because old habits die hard, and he’s more comfortable with the blade there than in the more normal position at his side. Enough shinigami wear their zanpakuto the same way that it shouldn’t raise too many eyebrows, even in a formal situation like this.

Which, of course, brings his thoughts right back to what he’s been trying to avoid thinking about. This is going to be a circus, regardless of the assurances he’s gotten from his instructors and—

“You like you’re about face your execution, Kei. Lighten up, or the audience might get the wrong impression.”

Kuchiki Eiji, part-time therapist and full-time Jiminy Cricket. Of course.

Ichigo bites back the sharp comment he wants to make and instead growls, “I don’t understand why they have to have the captains choose their recruits right then in front of a damned crowd. It’s—”

“An acknowledgement of the skills and capabilities of the new graduates to have captains present their bids for service before the graduation audience, even before the entrance test for the Gotei 13 proper. Also for the most part a complete formality, because such decisions are generally made between the captain and the recruit well ahead of time, and only the very lowest-ranking students—which you are not, Mr. Prodigy—leave it up to chance. Now calm down before I start getting nervous by proxy, okay?” The young noble rolls over on his futon to give Ichigo a long, assessing stare that reminds Ichigo just who his cousin is, Eiji’s usual demeanor aside.

Nevertheless, Ichigo—never one to be cowed, and certainly not after living with Shiba Kukaku for more than two years—grouches softly, “Why? It’s not like you’re going to be doing anything except sitting there.”

Eiji gives him a cheeky grin. “Yeah, because I’m smart and graduating normally, next winter, with a large class. You’re the supernaturally talented and powerful idiot who had to go and beat even your older brother’s record. Of course people are going to be interested, Kei. What did you think would happen?”

Not this, Ichigo wants to say, but he keeps it to himself and carefully pulls his black hair back into a tail. He’s kept it long, if only to keep his instructors from having a heart attack when he walks into their classes looking exactly like Shiba Kaien.

Clever fingers steal the ribbon before he can attempt to tie it up, and Eiji mutters, “Oh, give it here, you’re hopeless.”

After a year and change of dealing with Eiji’s hovering, Ichigo knows this fight is already a lost cause, so he surrenders gracefully and lets Eiji fiddle. As he does, the young noble asks carefully, “You accepted Byakuya-sama’s offer, didn’t you? Lieutenant of the Sixth?”

Ah, yes. That crowning moment of stupidity. Ichigo fights back a grimace and makes a sound that’s vaguely affirmative. Byakuya is probably the only person in the Gotei 13 who knows both who Ichigo is and who he was. Kukaku and Ganju know, by virtue of finding him when he first arrived after his death and then providing him with a cover story, but the Sixth’s captain guessed.

And if Byakuya, who never actually knew Ichigo all that well except as an opponent, was able to see through his façade as Shiba Kei with a glance, Ichigo doesn’t even want to contemplate what will happen with people like Rukia, Renji, and his damned father.

A hand closing over his shoulder brings his attention back to the boy behind him, and Ichigo glances up to meet his gaze in the mirror. Eiji’s eyes are a green-grey, rather than Byakuya’s steel-grey, but there’s a resolve and a certainty in them that makes their relation all the more obvious.

“Kei?” Eiji asks, and it’s soft, but there’s a world’s worth of meaning in that single word.

It’s a single, lonely syllable, a name that Ichigo was never born to wear, but a name he’s chosen nevertheless. To Ichigo, it’s a symbol of the choice he made in that green field with Kukaku standing over him. He’d turned his back on the past, left it behind in favor of an unknown future without the taint of grief and failure that had dragged Kurosaki Ichigo down for so long before his death. Shiba Kei was born in that moment, even though he remained nameless for several months afterwards. It’s with Kei’s soul, Kei’s eyes that Ichigo looks at himself in the pane of silvered glass.

It’s Shiba Kei who meets Eiji’s gaze and, with a resolve forged from grief and pain and loss, tempered with the happiness of this new life as a new man, it’s Shiba Kei who says “Yes. I accepted.”

And really, that’s all there is to say.


Renji was a lieutenant for a long time, and he knows that each of the eleven other sub-commanders has their own style of fighting. Kira holds back and lets the enemy hang themselves. Matsumoto pouts and flounces and then goes in for the kill while her opponent is distracted. Hisagi bides his time, using psychological attacks just as much as his ruthless physical ones. Yachiru, Omeada, Sasakibe, Nanao—they’ve all got their own way of fighting and winning.

But with all of them, every single one, he’s at least seen their shikai. Even Hisagi, who hates to use his, still brings it out sometimes in practice or in battle. Only the newest lieutenant, one Shiba Kei, who so easily took Renji’s former position in the Sixth, has never even drawn his damned sword.

It’s taken this long for Renji to even get the man to agree to a spar, and that was by sheer chance alone—Renji managed to corner Shiba while Captain Kuchiki was within hearing distance, and Byakuya had encouraged his new lieutenant to try his hand against his old one. Renji had felt fairly secure in his ability to wipe the training ground with Shiba’s face, given that Shiba was a green graduate and only a lieutenant, whereas Renji was the new captain of the Ninth.

Technically, it’s his own fault for forgetting that Shiba Kei managed to graduate the Academy in a year and five weeks, breaking his older brother’s record in the process. And granted, Shiba went from Academy student straight to lieutenant without a single step in between, handpicked by Kuchiki Byakuya himself for his abilities. Still, Renji had expected to face an inexperienced boy without many actual combat skills and an excess of book learning.

What he’s gotten is something quite different.

The arena is filled with choking red smoke, thick and obscuring, and although the day’s brisk breeze is already dispersing it, it’s enough to throw Renji off. He’s the type to dive right in to a fight, to strike the first blow and keep on hitting before his opponent can do more than block, but with this, he’s been effectively stymied. It’s incredibly difficult to hit what he can’t see, and he’s not good enough at kido to disperse the smoke without entirely diverting his attention from his opponent.

Then the soft scuff of a footstep, nearly inaudible, comes from behind him, and a low, calm voice intones, “Carriage of thunder. Bridge of a spinning wheel. With light, divide into six. Bakudo 61: Rikujōkōrō.”

Long experience in dueling Rukia, who’s absolutely infatuated with kido in all its forms, is the only thing that lets Renji avoid the bolts of golden light. He whirls to the other side of the ring, as fast as he’s capable of moving, and sends Zabimaru streaking towards the source of the spell. It’s instinct to expect the clash of metal on metal, because that’s how fights generally go with kido-focused opponents—opening kido, physical attack, hand to hand combat until someone gains an edge.

Instead, that same calm voice commands, “Bakudo 39: Enkosen.” There’s an arc of bright reiatsu from the midst of the fading smoke, and Zabimaru rebounds with a clang.

Renji’s beginning to understand just why Shiba went from graduate right to lieutenant. Calling up a kido is mental as much as it’s physical; that’s one of the reasons preforming it without an incantation takes more strength and skill. The chant gives time for the mind to build up the necessary reiatsu, to prepare. It makes consecutive kido attacks far harder, as the user has to mentally switch tracks and start all over again.

To be able to fire off two kido in the upper range, even if they are of the same type, one after another—and one without an incantation—means that Shiba Kei has a rather frightening grasp of the subject.

A sudden breeze sweeps away the last of the smoke even as Shiba’s barrier fades. He’s still entirely at ease, his expression in the same politely attentive lines that it has been since Renji met him, and he hasn’t so much as reached for the zanpakuto strapped across his back yet. Renji grits his teeth and sets his feet. He’s a captain now; no way in hell is he going to let a rookie lieutenant—his replacement rookie lieutenant—beat him.

A flicker of shunpo, too fast to track, and Shiba is gone. But Renji’s fought Kurosaki Ichigo in his bankai, knows what to expect when an opponent’s faster, and spins halfway to catch a sandaled foot against Zabimaru’s flat side. Shiba uses the zanpakuto like a springboard, even as Renji tries to knock him off balance, and tumbles neatly over in the air to land in a crouch. He’s up again in a second, foot lashing out, and Renji can see the barest hint of the basic academy hoho forms within each movement, but Shiba has streamlined them, tweaked them, turned them into something far closer to Shihoin Yoruichi’s deadly style. They’re not at quite that level yet, but there’s potential.

Shiba has potential, in just about everything Renji’s seen him do so far, and it really fucking grates. Shiba’s the perfect lieutenant, quiet and calm and forever composed, staying two steps behind his captain at all times, paperwork done and squads seen to and tea prepared, and it makes Renji feel like the brash, coarse Rukongai brat he’s tried so hard to leave behind.

Damn it, Renji snarls to himself, just barely blocking a kick to the knee because Shiba’s just too damned fast for him to hit. Like fighting freaking Ichigo all over again.

Except that Ichigo is gone, dead and lost somewhere in the vastness of Soul Society, very likely without any of his memories, and the last spar Renji had with him before the war ended was the last spar anyone ever had with him. And now some noble brat comes swaggering in, just as fast as Seireitei’s vanished hero, better at kido and entirely subservient where Ichigo never was, and Renji can’t figure out whether he’s more outraged for himself and his former position or for his lost friend.

He grits his teeth, turns as Shiba lands again, and lets Zabimaru strike. The force behind it is very close to deadly, hardly something to be used in a friendly spar, but Shiba dodges it nevertheless. He ducks the second strike, leaps over the third, and then darts is as Zabimaru withdraws, taking advantage of the opening it affords.

But Renji learned long ago not to leave himself open in such a stupid way, and if Kurosaki Ichigo couldn’t manage to hit him like this, there’s no possibility of a green recruit managing it. Renji whirls around, Zabimaru flying again, and catches Shiba right across the chest in what would be a killing blow, were this not a practice match. Shiba cries out as he goes down, tumbling through the dust and then smoothly back to his feet, skidding slightly as he comes to a full stop. He stays half-crouched for a moment, breathing hard, and then pushes himself upright once more.

“Match, I believe,” he says, entirely unruffled by the loss. Yet another glaring difference from Kurosaki Ichigo. “Thank you, Captain Abarai.” With a quick bow, he steps away, then turns and strides back to his waiting captain. Byakuya walks away without waiting for Shiba to catch up, and the lieutenant falls into step behind him. They disappear into the winding streets, silent as ghosts, and leave Renji in the middle of the training ground.

There’s a long moment of thoughtful silence from the peanut gallery, and then Kira offers, “He’s good, for a new recruit.”

Renji gives a non-committal grunt in answer.

“Of course,” Hisagi chips in, entirely too amused, “you knew that before you challenged him. All of Seireitei knew that before you challenged him. We saw his record. What was this really about?”

“Hmm.” Kira hums softly, propping his chin up on his fist where he’s seated on top of the wall. “Shiba Kei does look remarkably like—”

“Shiba Kaien, the first to steal Rukia’s heart?”

“I was going to say Kurosaki Ichigo, the one to save her life, but I think they both fit here.”

“Coincidence?”

“It must be.”

“Of course.”

Renji glares at the two men. “I hate you both,” he mutters petulantly, sliding Zabimaru away, and pretends he can’t hear it when Kira and Shuuhei both chuckle.


It took a very, very long time—and a great many practice sessions with Kukaku—before Kurosaki Ichigo was able to fight as Shiba Kei, and not like Ichigo pretending to be a different person. They’re exact opposites on the battlefield, or at least as opposite as Ichigo can make them. Rather than rushing in headlong, sword drawn and massive spiritual power brought to bear, Kei hangs back and uses kido, focuses on conserving strength wherever possible, and tries his best not to engage directly. Few people outside of his swordsmanship classes have ever even seen him draw his sword. And if they did, “Kurotsuki” would be far different from the Zangetsu they recall Ichigo wielding.

Ichigo leans his zanpakuto against the corner of his desk, tracing lightly over the white-wrapped hilt that’s all that remains to link this sealed state with the massive cleaver it can become. Zangetsu accepts the nickname well enough, even chose it himself, but it’s not his name. Nevertheless, for Ichigo’s sake, he’s willing to pretend. When Ichigo calls on him for shikai, he’s able to choke off enough of his massive reiatsu to leave Zangetsu a long, slim, black nodachi, similar to its bankai form. Even that Ichigo uses sparingly. It’s one of the reasons he’s forced himself to study kido tirelessly, memorizing spells and chants and theories.

Shiba Kei fights at a distance, or not at all.

There’s a stack of personnel reviews that Renji’s challenge dragged him away from, and they still need to be looked over, initialed, stamped, and sent on to Byakuya if they’re either outstanding or reporting a problem. Ichigo looks at them and strangles a sigh, rubbing his hands over his face. Sometimes, he really wonders why he didn’t stay some nameless Rukongai spirit for the rest of his afterlife. There sure as hell wouldn’t have been as much paperwork.

Then Byakuya steps through the door from the main building into Ichigo’s office, sliding the door shut behind him. Ichigo glances up, ready to offer a quick smile as his captain strides past into his own office, but instead, Byakuya pauses beside him.

“Your spar was…enlightening, Lieutenant Shiba,” he offers after a moment, coolly, but still more than he’s usually inclined to give up. “It is far different than what you were before.”

Ichigo gives in and really does sigh, raking a hand through the shoulder-length black hair, just a touch longer than Byakuya’s, that he hasn’t quite gotten around to putting back in a ponytail after his tumble through the dirt. “Yeah,” he says, a little wryly. “That’s the whole point of fighting that way.”

Byakuya accepts that with a faint incline of his head, grey eyes thoughtful. “You have become well-versed in kido. I had believed you had no talent for it.”

That’s the problem with being thought of as a rash, hotheaded idiot, Ichigo reflects, and that’s wry too. He knows himself, knows how he was even before Shiba Kei came into the picture, but he also knows that a lot of time people blew his character flaws way out of proportion, just because he acted oddly and had weird hair. “No one ever taught me before,” is all he says, though. “Rukia had to focus on the most basic stuff, like what a Hollow was, and then Urahara-san and Yoruichi-san both had specific things they were training me in. Learning under Kukaku and then going to the Academy was probably the best thing for me.”

There’s a long pause, careful and considering, and then Byakuya murmurs, “You have raw talent. It has always been so. Now…perhaps it can be refined.”

Without another word, he sweeps into his office and closes the door, signaling that he doesn’t wish to be disturbed. But Ichigo is frozen in shock, far too startled to do anything, because that…

That was a compliment, and not even a backhanded one, from Kuchiki Byakuya, the one captain Ichigo always thought would despise him unconditionally.

The Choices We Make - Part Three

The Choices We Make
MadaSaku

Part one
Part Two

Part three

A deep ache throbbed in the pit of Sakura’s stomach, causing her grip on the edge of the sink to tighten and her knuckles to bleed white. She slipped her eyes closed against the pain and focused solely on inhaling and exhaling until it slowly dwindled and dulled into a more manageable pang. It wasn’t the first time she had experienced light cramping since she had discovered her pregnancy and just like before, she pressed a chakra-laced hand to her abdomen to ease the muscle pain until she was left with just her usual, hindering morning sickness.

Days like these made Sakura take a second look at her life and question just what the hell she had been thinking when she slipped into bed - or rather onto the counter - with Madara. However, she didn’t allow herself to dwell on the matter this time. She had agreed to meet him this morning for tea before she headed to the hospital for her shift, and she needed to leave shortly to make it on time.

Swallowing back the bile rising in her throat, Sakura raised a hand from where they had been braced against the counter to turn the faucet on. She splashed some cool water on her overheated skin and took a moment to collect herself before she exited the tiny bathroom connected to her bedroom to gathered her paperwork for the hospital. Once she was certain she had everything she needed for the day, she swiped her keys from the counter and headed out into the awakening village.

With the early hour, there were few venders and even fewer citizens out and about, leaving a hushed sense of tranquility over the village. A cool, dawn breeze was blowing through the streets and stirring the dust upon the sun-dried road. It powdered the toes of her boots and swirled around her ankles, but Sakura didn’t pay it any mind as she read through the patient file in her hand, her gaze only drawing up to smile in greeting at the occasional shinobi as they passed.

Her journey to the teahouse was otherwise uninterrupted. Sakura had frequented it with the Uchiha Head on a number of previous occasions and her feet followed the familiar path without her having to stop and recall the way.

Sakura was less than a block away when nausea threatened to overcome her again and she paused under the shade of a shop’s awning to press a hand to her mouth as she tucked the chart safely under her other arm. The bile was thick and hot in her throat but she pursed her lips together, refusing to give into her body’s demands.

‘Mind over body, mind over body,’ she repeated mentally. The last thing she wanted was for Madara to learn of her pregnancy by puking all over him. 'Although it would be fitting,’ she realized with a soft snort.

Her sudden amusement chased the worst of her sickness away and she swallowed thickly as she distracted herself by entertaining the comical image. It would certainly be a story worth-telling, that much was certain.

Sakura was still smiling softly when she finally arrived at the small teahouse. The doors were wide open in hospitality and she stepped inside before she scanned the dining room in search of Madara. She quickly realized he wasn’t present in the empty room, and she turned expectantly when an employee approached her.

“Welcome, Haruno-san,” the young woman greeted respectfully. “Uchiha-sama has reserved the private room for you this morning.”

Sakura bit back a snort. Of course he did.

The hostess silently gestured for Sakura to follow her before she led them down a small hallway and away from the rest of the mainroom. They stopped before a traditional shoji and the young woman made their presence known before she slid the door opened and entered. “Uchiha-sama, Haruno-san has arrived,” she bowed.

Sakura followed after the other woman but paused just inside the room as her gaze finally settled upon Madara. He had dressed up for the occasion in a dark grey robe made of the richest silks with the Uchiha fan stitched into each side over his breast bone. The color matched the smokiness of his eyes and complimented his handsome face. He was kneeling before a low-sitting table with his arms folded eloquently across his chest, his normally wild mane of hair pulled back into a simple ponytail that emphasized his strong jawline and broad shoulders.

Sakura swallowed hard as her mouth went dry. Next to him, she likely resembled someone who had just crawled out of bed, and she suddenly regretted her decision not to wipe the dust from her boots before entering the establishment. It felt as if she were in the presence of royalty.

Oh yes, she decided. It would be a very bad idea for her to puke on him.

Keep reading

Personal Injuries

CHAPTER 4
SLBP FIC
Tokugawa Ieyasu/MC
Romance/Angst/Fluff
LINKS to CHAPTER 1 | CHAPTER 2 | CHAPTER 3



WOHOOOOOO the overdue Chapter 4 is heereeeeeeeee! Warning for meanie, bully Ieyasu and his mind games. I’m sorry not sorry, he will grow, I promise!




“Say, kitchen wench, why do you think you are here now in my chamber?”

“… You, you requested me, Milord…?”

“Obviously. But why do you think?”

Only you and the God of Tanuki knows. “I… don’t know.”

“Now that’s a lie. You don’t act like you don’t know.”

Damn that smirk of his.

“Well?”

“To… to serve you…,” in bed, her mind finished her sentence.

“Hmm, that’s not wrong,” he said, seemingly thinking of something.

The chirps of the crickets outside sounded loud in the silence that followed. Oh, how she wished she were one of them.

“Bed.”

“…Milord?”

He indicated the direction of the bedding with a shrug. “Bed. Now.”

It was told in fairy tales, many times, that when a woman in dire situations prays hard enough, a kindly god would save her from her peril by turning her into something – a tree, a seafoam, a fish. She called for help from whatever gods were listening.

But apparently, there were none that night.

“Don’t,” she could hear the ire rising in his voice, “make me repeat myself.”

She chewed her bottom lip. What could she do, what should she do? Bits of conversations she had heard from castle maids came back to her – how it was better to go along, to let it pass quickly, to let men do what they want to do, that it wasn’t that bad, that you would get over it, that they would protect us – we should show gratitude, that resisting them would have consequences…

“I-,” the word escaped her mouth.

Ieyasu lifted his eyes from the floor, daring her to speak.

“I-I-I am… I am inexperienced, M-Milord,” she stammered, hoping that the fact would dissuade him.

But it was met with a chuckle. “You don’t say…”

“I-,”

“Go.”

“But-”

“Do you prefer to be dragged by your hair?”



Keep reading

yamazaki

I told myself I was done writing reader fics but bang yongguk’s mv got me feeling some kind of way and I wrote this

and it’s unfinished, never to be finished and I just wanted to share my frustrations I’m sorry

maybe I'll finish it some day but hey have some almost yongguk smut that had the potential to get kinky as fuck :)))))


Originally posted by yamazakibang

The doors of the estate slide open to reveal a tall, dark Bang Yongguk, his kimono styled jacket open, displaying the art that decorates his torso, from the intricate swirls and patterns from the two eyes with a glare enough to haunt any sane man. Bang Yongguk is nothing but poised grace as he saunters, his eyes cast straightforward, not looking at the men loitering around nor at the two women who follow him like shadows in the night. Yongguk nods in silent greeting to an older man standing outside, he, too was shirtless to display the ink on his skin that marks them as what they are, and the elder bows back in a sign of respect, looking away from Yongguk as he enters the building.

There’s another man standing in the doorway leading towards the meeting, clad in black attire but Yongguk sees the body ink that marks this man as one of their own, and dips his head again as another sign of greeting, smirking when the figure in black slides open the shoji doors to let the leader inside.

Fingers fiddling with the hem of his sleeve; he doesn’t need to look around the room to know that all eyes fall upon him, the men carry on laughing, smoking and drinking but each of their eyes land on Yongguk and the corner of his lip quirks up once again before he lets it falls and takes a seat at the head of the table, flicking his robe out from behind him so it falls like a curtain just as he sits. Yongguk stays quiet as the girls all situate themselves around them, most wear their kimono’s open to show their tattooed shoulders or wear the dress low enough to show the swell of their breasts to entice the men, but not for Yongguk, not tonight, not when he lazily looks to his side and spots you amongst the girls. The leader pats his knee twice, his eyes beckoning but you knew better, the gesture was a demand and you flush under his gaze and the glares of the girls as you slowly rise, adjusting your own attire as you walk over to where Yongguk lounged, and you don’t sit on his knee exactly but you place yourself directly behind him where the man leans back against your shoulder in response and places a large hand on the bare skin of your thigh.

Keep reading

5

Cherry wardrobe with Shoji Screen doors. Cherry and Tasmanian Oak dovetailed drawers with carved walnut handles and brass inserts

This is the piece that I have spent the past 6 months working on.

Much time was spent on the design and how I envisioned this to be. I wanted this to be modular and able to change configurations, yet still be beautiful as a collective.

There are 3 separate pieces to this unit. A large one for hanging clothes with 3 accessories drawers. A mid sized one consisting of 12 drawers, and a small unit for additional storage.

Hand planing each board and joining them together by hand took a considerable amount of time. But I had to make sure they all look pleasing as well as are stable before moving on to the joinery.

The shoji screen doors too some time to get right. It was a tedious affair of tiny tenons and mortises. They needed to fit snuggly yet have just enough space for expansion and timber movement.

The rest of the time was spent on cutting the countless number of dovetails, carving the handles and eventually fitting the drawers. 

This is the largest piece I have ever built and I am so proud of it. I amaze myself at what I can make from this tiny space I have and this pushes me ahead to greater achievements to come.

Stray Dog (Extras)

(Have two extra bits from the next few chapters that never got finished, to complete the set.)


“If you’re doing this,” Shuuhei says, crouched at the lip of the pit and watching the Kurosaki boy struggle, “I want backup.”

At his side, Urahara blinks at him from underneath the shadow of his hat. “Oh?” he says after a moment, his tone as close to bewilderment as it ever comes. “Kurosaki—”

“Is untrained, unfamiliar with the Seireitei, emotionally invested in this matter but unused to separating himself from his feelings, and fifteen. Even if you and Yoruichi are right, and those friends of his finish their training, I’m not storming Soul Society with a couple of teenagers as my only allies.”

Urahara flicks his fan reprovingly at him. “So pessimistic, Shuuhei-kun! If things go according to plan—”

Shuuhei cuts him off with a snort, because honestly. And the shopkeeper accuses him of being naïve. “When has anything regarding Aizen ever gone according to plan? I’d rather go in there loaded for bear than putting all my faith in our ability to stay under the radar. You were there for the disaster with the Menos, weren’t you? If Kurosaki wasn’t on Aizen’s radar before that, he sure as hell is now.”

Just for a moment, the ever-present humor and cheer fade away, and leave behind a tired, worn man. Urahara frowns deeply, staring into the pit where Ichigo is still fighting, still so far from giving up, and Shuuhei can see the indecision weighing on him. Shuuhei’s talked to Shinji, to Urahara, to Yoruichi—together and separately—and he’s well aware that they all blame themselves. For not seeing Aizen, for not being able to stop him in time, for the end results where there was honestly no other choice. As an outsider looking in, Shuuhei knows he has it easy, the benefit of hindsight with the emotional distance of not having been a victim himself, and he’s more than prepared to play that card if Urahara forces him to.

Somehow, looking at the man’s worn, weary face, Shuuhei doesn’t think he will.

“It’s been a hundred years,” he says softly, though he doesn’t soften his words at all. It’s never been his way. “You know that better than I do. But this whole setup will work in our favor. Send Kurosaki and his friends, that’s fine. But let me go, too. Use them as a distraction while I clean up whatever crawls out from under its rock.”

For the first time in several hours, the shopkeeper pulls the entirety of his attention from the orange-haired boy below, and looks at Shuuhei squarely. He studies the former lieutenant, carefully, closely, and settles back on his heels without saying a word.

Shuuhei meets his gaze, holds it. His confidence isn’t all bravado, either. Maybe Aizen has had a hundred years to plot and plan, but Shuuhei has managed to throw him for a loop once already. Shiba Kaien’s continued survival was in no way a part of Aizen’s schemes, but it happened regardless, and Shuuhei emerged from the incident without being identified and compromised, regardless of how close it was. He’s not the same green soldier who ran from Soul Society and disappeared into the darkness of the human world, seeking answers with only his convictions to guide him. He’s a fighter, just like he’s always been. A survivor. He and Kazeshini have had fifty years to work things out between them, and it shows.

“Not alone,” Urahara says at length, still unnervingly serious, but there’s a spark of something satisfied and entirely too amused beneath the solemnity. “I have to stay here to maintain the Senkaimon, and Tessai is required to help me. Yoruichi will be with Kurosaki’s group. I see few choices, Shuuhei-kun.”

He’s clearly fishing. Shuuhei snorts softly, dropping his gaze back to the pit. “Yeah, yeah. Laugh it up,” he mutters. “Desperate times and all that. You’re still wrong, by the way.”

Urahara chuckles and flutters his fan in front of his face. It’s not quite I told you so, but it sure as hell feels like it.

Shuuhei resists the urge to shove him into the pit. It likely won’t end well for him, with how wily a bastard the shopkeeper is. A good four decades have taught Shuuhei that much at least.


“Come. This is the door to Soul Society, the Senkaimon.”

Ichigo isn’t a fool, no matter what people seem to think. He’s just about had it with the stupid creepy shopkeeper not explaining anything, shoving him—all of them, now—into dangerous and likely deadly situations with little to no warning. Urahara is suspicious. This whole freaking situation is suspicious.

But there’s no other choice if they’re going to save Rukia, so Ichigo listens to the explanations, accepts the risk of getting caught forever in the Dangai. Not that much of a risk. All they have to do is avoid getting caught. And they will.

But then, a moment before Yoruichi escorts them into the Senkaimon, Urahara steps forward again, fluttering that maddening, ridiculous fan in front of his face.

“A moment, if you would, Yoruichi,” he calls lightly. “We’re still waiting for one more.”

Even Yoruichi looks slightly taken aback by that, pausing to blink at the man. “Kisuke?” comes the warning growl.

The shopkeeper just laughs. “Oh, no, no, it’s nothing bad! Just a…stray dog to help you sniff out the right path. He’s given me his word he’ll get you into the Seireitei safely, so do have a bit of faith in him.”

“Stray dog?” Yoruichi repeats, ears going back and lips curling just slightly. “Kisuke, that brat—”

“Oi. I can hear you.”

Ichigo turns at the sound of the unfamiliar voice, eyes narrowing as he takes in the dark figure crossing the rocky ground. He’s Ichigo’s height and of a similar build, lean and muscular, dressed in dark jeans and a coat with the sleeves ripped off, leaving his arms bare except for a pair of black bands. A deep hood obscures his face, the dark green cloth casting shadows impossible to see through, but there’s a katana with an eight-sided tsuba slung diagonally across his back.

Dangerous, Ichigo thinks, watching him move, steady and surefooted over the rocks. There’s no hesitation in his movements, everything precise and calculated—almost the way Ishida moves, only…more so.

“So?” Yoruichi retorts, fur bristling ever so slightly. “Who exactly thought it would be a good idea to bring you along, brat? I don’t need a revenge-obsessed—”

“What I want is justice, Shihoin, and nothing less than that. Revenge is for the weak-minded who are unable to let go. I am not one of them.”

The cat’s tail lashes angrily. “Last time you were in Soul Society, you almost blew our cover.”

The man snorts, making a dismissive gesture. The four silver rings on his left hand catch the light almost menacingly. “And saved a man’s life in the process. Are you going to complain about that, too?”

“Enough, enough, you two,” Urahara cuts in, looking like he’s enjoying himself far too much for Ichigo’s tastes. “My, listening to that, one might think you really were a stray dog and an alley cat about to have at it. How…barbaric~.”

Alley cat, Kisuke?” Yoruichi growls.

“I’ve told you not to call me a dog,” the stranger adds sharply. With a huff, he looks around the ragtag group of humans, and Ichigo can feel it when that unseen gaze settles on him. There’s a long pause, and the man inclines his head just slightly. “I am Hisagi. It’s good to see you looking better, Kurosaki-san.”

Ichigo stiffens. There’s only one incident the man could be talking about, after all. “You were watching?”

“I saw you afterward,” Hisagi corrects. “I was the one who carried you back to the shop.”

Upon further reflection, that makes perfect sense, as Urahara is hardly the type to lug someone around when there’s conveniently free labor to do it for him. Ichigo nods in understanding, and Hisagi inclines his head in return before glancing over towards the gate. There’s a long moment, and then the man sighs in clear frustration.

“Urahara,” he growls.

The shopkeeper flutters his fan innocently. “Yes, Shuuhei-kun?”

Another noise of exasperation and the man reaches up into the confines of his hood, one lean, tanned hand emerging with a black monarch butterfly perched on it. Ichigo recognizes it, after a moment, as the same type that followed Rukia, Rukia’s brother, and the hot-tempered redhead into the shoji doors when they left that night. Clearly making a point, Hisagi waves it under Urahara’s nose.

“Oh, poo,” Urahara huffs, reaching out to snag Hisagi’s wrist and push it—and the butterfly—back towards him. “Don’t be a spoilsport, Shuuhei-kun. This is much more fun, don’t you think? And besides, this way there’s no risk that that creepy little friend of yours in the Twelfth will pick up on any unauthorized Senkaimon activity.”

That earns him a snort, but the butterfly goes back in the man’s hood. “You say that like you have any right at all to be calling other people creepy,” Hisagi retorts, but heads for the Senkaimon regardless.

Ichigo doesn’t hesitate to follow, fighting a grin. He has a feeling he and Hisagi are going to get along swimmingly.

Wedding Night Blues

The Little cabin was already glowing with the golden light of the fire when the newlyweds arrived. Sango and Rin had been kind enough to get everything ready for them, they had put flowers around the house, especially the bedroom, and set the fire on the hearth so they would find it warm and cozy when Kagome and InuInuyasha a arrived. They had also carried all the present the couple had received from the party, as most of it was edible, they would be glad to have it stocked up for later.

The feast had dragged on for too long for InuInuyasha´s  liking. He had wanted to leave early but to his surprise, some of the villagers had wanted to congratulate them and many had given them small gifts, like vegetables, fruits, buckets, baskets, bowls and even pieces of cloth.

He had not expected these people to be so welcoming of a hanyo, much less accepting his wedding to their future miko. It was a pleasant surprise, especially for his bride.

Kagome   had been radiant with joy throughout the ceremony and the celebrations that took place afterwards. He, on the other hand, had been too nervous to fully enjoy their special day. He had been dreading it for a while, imagining that some of their neighbors would oppose to their union, or that they might even try to sabotage it, or worse, that he and Kagome would be chased out of the village. It turned out he needn´t have worried about any of these happening, probably thanks to his lovely wife. She had tended and cared for many of these people thus earning their trust and love.

It was true, everybody loved Kagome, and she had chosen him over any other man here and in her own time. How could he ever return such devotion? He wasn´t sure, but he had vowed to make her happy and so far, he thought he had succeeded. He had gotten everything she had mentioned she wanted in a wedding: the dress, the ring, the feast. And now after all had ended and they were standing at their front door, he stopped her before she could open it. He wanted to carry her bridal style, as he had seen once on T.V. while he was at her time, apparently, it was a tradition in modern day weddings.

Inuyasha grabbed her elbow and turned her to face him. Kagome looked at him with big eyes, confusion written in her face. She had been floating on a cloud during the last couple of hours and now that she finally was alone with her husband he was stalling her right in their front door. She had noticed he had been nervous in the temple, but felt him relax later, so why didn´t he want to enter the house now? Was he having second thoughts? Or he would still insist on sleeping outside?

No, she wouldn´t let him. He said he had wanted to save her honor by marrying her, now there was no reason to leave her during their wedding night, was it? She would not allow him to walk out on her. Not with all they had been through, after overcoming time itself. They were married now, for Kami´s sake, she would put her foot down, no more separations.

She was so deep in her musing that she didn´t notice when her husband’s arms slid around her shoulders and knees until she was literally swept off her feet. She was still frowning when she looked into the intense golden glare of his eyes, their lips only inches away as Inuyasha very slowly closed the distance between them. She sighed into his mouth when their lips made contact, her hands clutching at his strong shoulders.

Kagome surrendered to the kiss opening her mouth to grant his tongue access while one of her hands cupped the back of his head and the other gently rubbed one of his furry ears. The taste of sake still lingered in his mouth and Kagome found the flavor even more intoxicating than the liquor itself. She felt his fangs grazing her lips and his tongue leaving her mouth before she felt the cool air if the night against her heated face.

“Slide the door” Inuyasha spoke in a husky low voice, very close to her ear.

Kagome   looked at him trying to make sense of his words.

“What?” Her voice shaky and insecure.

“I have my hands full right now, I can´t open the door”

“Oh” She couldn´t form a complete sentence, still subdued by the spell of their kiss.

She turned her head towards the door and use one hand to slide it open.

The soft fragrance of flowers floated around them when Inuyasha crossed the threshold of their home with his bride in his arms. He had asked Sango to set the flowers around the house. He had picked them with special care so that he wouldn´t spend the night sneezing due to some strong smell. Kagome seemed to be delighted by the way she closed her eyes and inhaled deeply to take in the sweet fragrance.

He turned them around so she could close the door, but he didn´t let her down after that. He started trailing small kisses on her face and neck as he made his way to the bedroom. Kagome giggled happily and returned his kisses one by one.

“One more time” Inuyasha whispered as he stopped in front of the shoji door to their bedroom.

Kagome gladly obliged and they crossed one more threshold.

He finally set her on her feet by their bed, but he still didn´t let her go. His hands sliding over the softness of her silk kimono until they found their way to her waist.

Now that they were finally alone in the privacy of their bedroom, Kagome started to feel a little nervous. She wasn´t scared, she knew what to expect; in fact, she couldn´t wait to get there. But that didn´t mean she was an expert and that was the source of her anxiety.

Inuyasha felt her small frame tremble slightly against his body and decided to take things slowly.

“Are you happy?” he asked her and placed a soft kiss on her temple.

“Of course I am. Why?” She asked innocently

“It´s just that I looked at you during the ceremony and you looked like you were about to cry.” He stopped to think what to say next, afraid she was already regretting their union. “You didn´t like it?” he asked in an almost inaudible voice.

“I did! Kaede oba-chan did an excellent job, the ceremony was perfect, very touching… It´s just that…” she sighed and looked down for a few seconds as if looking for a way to tell him something before looking up again into her husband´s pleading eyes.

“I missed my family today” She felt Inuyasha hands rubbing gentle circles in her back encouraging her to go on.

The hurt in Inuyasha eyes was plain for Kagome to see. He knew how much she had left behind just to be with him and it made him feel miserable about the bargain, he had so little to give her and she deserved far more than he could ever offer.

“So, you wanna go back?” He didn’t even try to hide the anguish in his voice, all his former pride was gone. He was standing in front of her wearing his heart on his sleeve, the bright future he had dreamed for them suddenly turning to ashes as he waited for her answer.

“No, baka” she answered playfully trying to lighten the mood. “My life is here, with you. I just wished my family could have taken part in our joy.”

She felt his arms tighten around her waist as he crushed her to his chest while releasing a loud sigh.

“So, not everything you ever dreamed of?” he teased her, feeling his muscles relax after her candid statement.

“Almost everything.” She lifted her face from his chest to look him in the eyes. “You were there, and that was my dream, so that part was perfect.”

She looked down again feeling lightheaded and at a loss for words. Being so close to him always made her dizzy.

“There´s one more thing” she said looking up again. “Inuyasha, would you dance with me?”

Inuyasha looked puzzled. His handsome features telling her he didn´t have a clue of what she was talking about.

“Dance? As in Kagura´s Dance of the blades?”

Kagome couldn´t help but laugh when the image of them trying to dance to the rhythm of Kagura´s fan was conjured in her mind´s eye.

“No, it´s nothing like that.” She said smiling brightly at him. “It´s a tradition in modern day weddings, the bride and groom share their first dance as a married couple in front of their families and friends. I know we are all alone now, but still, would you like to dance with me?”

He felt his cheeks warm as a dark shade of pink stole across them.

“I don´t know how to dance.” He managed to speak even as embarrassed as he felt.

“I´ll show you, it´s not that difficult”

Kagome´s voice sounded hopeful and joyous. He knew how couldn´t deny her anything, but he tried anyway.

“I´ll feel awkward, I don´t like it” He looked away from her, avoiding the warmth of her eyes.

“Oh please, will you do it just for me?” she begged him. “Nobody can see us. Please??”

He looked her in the eyes again, scowl back in place before answering.

“Keh, just don´t complain if I step on you”

“Yey!!! Ok, now come to the center of the room. You need to put your left hand in front of you and the other hold it like these” She lift her own hand to show him what to do.

Inuyasha sighed, feeling very silly at the moment but happy to indulge his wife´s wishes, he did as he was told.

“Like this?” He asked her.

“Yes, that´s right, Now, look at me and try to do what I do”

Kagome turned around and copied his posture.

“Now, put your left foot forward a few inches and move your right foot to meet the left. Then you take your right foot back a few inches and the left foot follows. Got it?”

“Doesn´t sound difficult” He said.

After the deeds she had witnessed him doing it would be ridiculous to see the mighty hanyo defeated by the waltz.

She turned around again, smile spreading across her face.

“Now all we need is music.”

“Uh?” He frowned in confusion.

He was still trying to decipher her words when he felt her small hand grabbing his left one and position it in her lower back while the other took his right one and held to it.

“Ready?” She asked him still smiling

“Keh” Was all he answered, trying to hide his pleasure. Holding her close to him and making her smile had this effect on him.

“Now, let´s try it together. When I start counting you try to do what we just did. And 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3”

He tried to repeat the movements he did before, focusing in not crushing her dainty toes with his much bigger ones. Eyes looking down, ears trained on her counting, Inuyasha moved his feet to follow the pattern his wife traced on the floor.

“Yes!!! You´re doing great. Now it´s time for the music.”

He frowned again, thinking how she would produce music when he heard her humming a sweet melody.

Kagome kept on humming while she smiled and closed her eyes, enjoying the feeling of swaying in her husband´s arms. He wasn´t a bad dancer at all, a little stiff at the beginning, but he loosened up after a little while.   

Suddenly she opened her eyes and the stopped on her tracks. Inuyasha looked at her startled.

“What?” He said looking down to check her feet for injuries.

Kagome took a step back and let go of his hands to cover her mouth in an attempt to suppress the giggles escaping her lips.

“I told you I couldn´t dance wench, now you wanna make fun of me?”

“Oh, no. It´s not that. Actually, you did a pretty decent job.” She said with a huge grin plastered on her face.

“Then why do you look like you´re about to burst laughing?”

Kagome considered telling him, even though she was sure he wouldn´t find it funny.

“It´s the music I was humming” She started and hesitated again. “It´s from one of my favorites movies.” Should she go on and risk letting his bad mood ruin their wedding night?

She stepped forward and got both his hands in hers, placing one in her waist and the other in her shoulder for a closer embrace.

In that moment, surrounded by his strong arms and feeling his heart beating at the same rhythm as hers, she decided to keep it from him, it will be her little secret. After all, this was her happy ending and she would make everything in her power to have the best wedding night ever.

With that resolution in mind, she shuffled her feet and resumed the dance, this time singing:

“Tale as old as time…”

Letters to you [11] (Shigezane X MC x ???)

Pairing: Shigezane x MC (Aki)

GENRE: fluff, angst, comedy


One | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | eight . fivenine | ten | Eleven: Sometimes the way to ask for forgiveness are through erotic paintings and lovers guide


“Hm, let’s see. I think this color suits her, what do you think Umeko?

What did she do to deserve this?

This is such a pain.

She groaned. She has Umeko to help her get dressed. But it is still annoying. They had her put on some rouge on her lips, change her hakama and her hair done in a formal updo, with a number of kanzashi. Shigezane’s bride, Lady Ayame had insisted her to try on layers of kimono and some bridal robes. This is probably her seventh time trying on iro-uchikake and hiki furisode for the day. She was well aware of her duties: and that is to assist Lady Ayame and not to try things she asked her to wear.

“Lady Ayame, pardon me but you should try these things. Not me… I was only here to assist you in choosing– OUCH!” She felt Lady Ayame’s hands pinch her cheeks.l

“But look at you! You’re so beautiful, Aki!” She exclaimed, giving her a dreamy look. “Hah! Bet all the retainers or even Lord Masamune won’t be able to resist someone as beautiful as you!”

How did Masamune-chan’s name got into this? She raised a brow, unsure if she should take this as a compliment “This is not the time for this Lady Ayame, please cooperate and choose what you wanted.” Aki pleaded,

“Hm, alright! In one condition, as long as you wear those.” Lady Ayame winked,

She’s going to get along with Shigezane, they are the same in many ways, Aki thought, smiling faintly at Lady Ayame’s request. She felt at ease somehow, that Shigezane will be in good hands. For the past few days she"s been assisting the future Lady Date, preparing her for the Date’s wedding ceremony.

“Alright. But can I at least remove the accessories for now?”

Ayame briefly answered. “Nope!”

She felt the headache forming at the base of her skull. She is trying to be patient about this. She kept her cool, assisting Lady Ayame. The rows of kimono of the finest silks, and accessories in front of them. An expensive sight for her

“Milady Aki, it’s Matsuko. ” Matsuko announced herself outside Lady Ayame’s chambers. Aki asked for Ayame’s permission in which she agreed, before leaving she quickly removed a few of the heavy hair accessories, leaving only a cherry blossom hairpin. She hurriedly opened the shoji door, revealing a rather nervous Matsuko.

“What is it, Matsuko?”

“Lord Kojuro asked me to… make something for Lord Masamune but, I don’t think I can make it the same as yours so he asked me to ask you if you can take a break from–”

“I’ll do it.” Aki responded without letting Matsuko finish, forgetting that she’s wearing a furisode she walked towards the kitchen in a fast pace.

She can finally breathe. She starts to think of what she can make for Kojuro and Masamune. Then, her thoughts wandered on Shigezane, who is probably also preparing for the wedding.

She never had the chance to talk to him ever since they came back from the onsen. It’s been days and they never saw each other. What’s worse was that she never gave him an answer for his confession, and even agreed to something she knew he doesn’t want.

“…siiiigghh.” She’s making the green tea for them, when she heard a voice coming from the kitchen door.


“Uh, excuse me…” Aki turned around to see Lord Kojirou just outside the kitchen. “good afternoon lady. I just wanted to ask if you know Katakura Aki and have you seen her?” Lord Kojirou looked shyly at her, which kept her wondering why would he ask something like that when she is already in front of him.

She tilted her head, before walking towards Lord Kojirou, a smile in her face. “Lord Kojirou, it’s me. Aki nee-chan.” She ruffled his hair, chuckling at how adorable he is. He looks a lot like Lord Masamune, especially the innocent smiles.


“Aki… nee-chan? Woah… You look different today.” His eyes widened, she can’t help but giggle. “Well something happened today that’s why. But you can’t recognize me?” She asked

“It’s because you’re wearing a furisode and your hair…” he blushed lightly, she ruffled his hair once more.

“Ahaha, I see. It must be new to you since I always wear hakama and have my hair tied up.” She chuckled sheepishly, scratching ghe back of her neck. “Well then, shall we go and give these treats to your brother? You’re here to see him, right?”

Kojirou nodded, excitement in his eyes. It truly warms her heart, seeing how Kojirou adores his brother so much despite the fight for the leadership of the clan. She put the desserts in the plates and put them in the tray. A satisfied grin on their faces they went to Masamune’s office, chatting along the way like they always did.

They arrived at the office to see Masamune, Kojuro and… Shigezane. Their eyes widened at the sight of her and Kojirou.

Her eyes met Shigezane’s for a second, he gave her a small smile. This is the first time she saw him since his proposal, yet she can feel the coldness of his look. The pain still lingering in them. As much as she wanted to sulk about this, she can’t. She broke into a smile, trying to lighten the mood for Masamune’s younger brother.

“Good afternoon Milords! Kojirou and I brought you something to eat.” She greeted, setting the tray down. Good thing she made some Taiyaki along with their other favorites.

“Aki?” Masamune and Kojuro asked in Unison. Shigezane just fixed his gaze on her.

“Oh yeah. Why I look like this? I’ll do the explanation later.” She answered, smiling sheepishly.

“Aki nee, why are you dressed like that? Are you training to become someone’s bride?” Kojirou asked, his eyes fixed on her then to his brother. The question took the two by surprise, their eyes widened at Kojirou.

“Well, not really. I was just asked to wear this.” She munched on a dango,

“That’s a shame… I thought you would be Brother’s bride…”

The question finally got Shigezane’s attention.

You what?!” The three men asked in unison.

“What? Aki nee-chan would be great as brother’s wife!” Kojirou cheered after eating some zunda mochi Aki prepared for them. “She’s good at everything, and I do think she’d make a great wife and she’s like an older sister to me. What do you think brother?
She’s a perfect picture of beauty isn’t she?”

Masamune choked on the tea he’s drinking, blushing furiously at his brother’s suggestion. Earning a worried look from Kojuro and Aki, who tried to calm him by rubbing his back. Shigezane looked at Aki, searching for answers on her face.

Aki laughed, her eyes tearing up as if that was the greatest joke she heard in her entire life. “Lord Kojirou, it is an honor that you think that way.” She grinned.

“Was it a yes then? Are you agreeing to Kojirou’s suggestion?” Shigezane asked quietly, his brows knitted. A heavy silence took over the room. Aki was surprised to see him like this, he used to joke around like usual.

But in his eyes and his words are full of pain.

“Shigezane… did I make you mad?” Kojirou asked, worry was evident in his face as he tried to talk to his cousin

“Huh? No, kid ahaha. I was just messing around with your Aki nee.” Realizing what he had said, Shigezane laughed nervously. “Don’t worry about it. Sorry your cousin is just a mess today.” He tousled Kojirou’s hair. Kojirou grinned, while Kojuro and Masamune exchanged glances, worry in their faces. Aki looked down on her hands.

“I see, you should rest then! You must be really tired.”

“I should kid,” he tousled Kojirou’s hair one last time before excusing himself. Leaving them behind. The taiyaki left untouched, she felt like her heart had just been stabbed.

Her decision surely left them both in pain.

“Oh, brother… I should go too. Mother’s going to look for me. It’s getting dark.” Kojirou said, staring at the setting sun just outside the offi ce of his brother. “I’ll make sure to visit you soon again. Thank you for taking care of me today.” Kojirou bowed,

“Take care going home, Kojirou. Kojuro if you would?” Masamune asked him. Kojuro was quick on his feet to take Kojirou back to their chambers.

“Oh wait Lord Kojirou.” Aki stopped them,

“What is it, Aki nee-chan?”

“Can I embrace you?” She asked, smiling fondly at the boy. Kojirou nodded, happiness in his eyes.

Aki did not waste a minute to hug Kojirou. Tears at the corner of her eyes, and brushing his hair gently, she spoke

“Take care always, alright? Look after Lady Yoshihime and Lord Masamune. I know you’ll grow up to be a great man like your brother.” She held him tighter, “just remember Aki nee-chan always loves you. You’ll always be like my little brother.”

What she said surprised not just Kojirou, but Masamune and her Aniue as well.

“And I feel the same too, Aki nee-chan.”

Brushing his hair one last time, she finally let go. The warm smile finally back on her face.

She spoke like she’s going to be gone.

“Well! Lady Yoshihime was probably worried sick. Aniue, sorry for taking up your time. See you soon, Lord Kojirou!” She smiled, seeing off Kojuro and Kojirou.

She turned around to face Masamune, acting as if nothing had happened. She smiled at him.

“Masamune-chan, what do you want for dinner?” She asked.

“You can’t cook looking like that, can you?”

“I can’t. This is so heavy, dear. Lady Ayame is going to kill me by making me some sort of her doll.” She groaned, holding the hem of the furisode. Masamune chuckled lightly, his visible eye showing amusement at how she handles it.

“Hm, you think this is amusing don’t you?” She added

“Well, I’d like to know how her training goes. Have dinner with me Aki, but go and change first.” Masamune chuckled lightly.

She widened her eyes, “Woah, you serious?”

“Yes.” He answered, giving her a small smile. “Also, I would like to discuss something with you.”

She nodded, walking to her chambers to change to her hakama. Her thoughts still wandering on Shigezane’s behavior towards them. It worries her.

She made something for Masamune that night, tempura and some side dishes. She served him his dinner a little late than usual. They spent eating dinner together, chatting about the upcoming wedding.

“Aki, I have a matter to discuss with you. Aside from Shigezane’s wedding.”

And so, Masamune started talking. Her eyes widened at his suggestion, her body froze in place.

*
She decided to retire early for the night, exhaustion and confusion already making her want to go to sleepm she stretched her back, yawning while walking back to her chambers.

She saw a silhouette just outside her chambers, she narrowed her eyes to see.

“Taiyaki?” She called him, she can make out his features even when only the moonlight is illuminating his features.

“Matchaki…” he finally faced her, she sat closer to him. Good thing she had her peace offerings for him in hand, she can smell the sake coming from him. He’s drunk, and she had no idea why he is outside her chambers in the middle of the night.

“It’s cold out here, let’s go inside.”

“I hate you.” he mumbled, his face a few inches from hers. He’s pouting, his cheeks flushed red. Aki raised a brow, lightly flicking his forehead.

“You made Kojirou worry, you jealous taiyaki.” She munched the dango she brought for her midnight snack. He took the dango and brought it close to his lips, taking a piece and munching on it.

“I hate you, always choosing dango over me.” He said again. “What does the dango have that I don’t have?”

She can’t help but chuckle. “Are you even serious? Hah, so you are mad at me. Care to explain why?” She asked, taking the skewer from him.

“Maybe i can accept that you can’t love me the way I love you but, you to actually help in making the wedding happen?” He snorted, “unbeliiieevaaable Aki. I really hate you right now. you can at least help me in running away right?!”

“No you can’t run away. And, it is a direct order from Masamune. I can’t simply ignore it, no?”

“I hate you still.” He took a stick of dango from her plate.

“Are you sure you still hate me after I give these precious copies?” Aki waved the copies of the newest erotic novels and paintings from Shigezane’s favorite author and artist, and there’s also the last copy of the bestselling Lover’s Guide: Limited edition.

“…” shigezane stared in disbelief, for a short while. “How did you even get your hands on those?!”

“It’s a secret. So… do you want it or noooott?” She scanned the pages in front of him, teasing him. “Hm, these illustrations are really detailed! And I even heard there were only at least ten copies of the latest lover’s guide released.”

“Let me take a look before I accept your peace offering!” Shigezane said, snatching the copies swiftly from her hands. She chuckled, knowing he can’t resist those books.

“Still hate you.”

“Why are you acting like a woman now? Seriously…”

“I don’t want any of that if I can’t do it with yo–”

“I’ll kill you.”

“I was just kidding.”

Silence. Shigezane put the books and the paintings aside. He stared at her profile, he noticed that she had gotten thin. Her jaw more prominent than before and her complexion, pale.
He scooted closer to her, resting his head on her lap. Like he always did.

“You know… just tell me, Aki.” His hand reached for her face. “Just tell me, not to continue this wedding. Just tell me.”

She can’t tell him the conversation she had with Masamune earlier that night. She smiled, running her fingers through his hair.

“I can’t ask something like that, Shigezane.” She said quietly,

“I know that, and yet… I just…”

“Shh. Just go to sleep. Alright? You’re drunk.” She hummed his favorite tune once more, lulling him to sleep.

“Aki…” he called her, “Aki,”

“Mm?”

“But I can’t do this, this wedding” He whispered, I don’t see myself marrying anyone, except you, he wanted to say. He ran his thumb across her cheekbones, “I’ll never get tired of telling you how much I love you. I already decided, Aki. I won’t let you go that easily.” His voice hoarse, a look of pain in his eyes once more.

I love you.” He leaned close to her face, lightly kissing her at first, gentle as he can. She can only close her eyes. Before she knew it she was pinned down on the floor, the light kisses turned to passionate ones, she can feel her kimono sliding off her shoulders, his lips trailing down from her lips, to her neck.

“Mmn…!” He bit a sensitive flesh over and over again, leaving a mark that she won’t be able to hide the next morning. Her voice were like music to his ears, he wanted more.

She was weak under his touch. She clasped a hand over her mouth. Shigezane then removed the ribbon that ties her hair, she wanted him to stop yet at the same time she doesn’t want to. She was already drunk by his scent and his kisses. He held the back of her head, his kisses now deeper.

Then, she remembered his bride’s face, Ayame. How excited she is for the wedding, Inuchiyo and lastly, the reason why she can’t accept his confession. She gathered all her strength and resolve to push him away, to stop him.

“Shigezane… this is not… right.” She whispered.

Shigezane was clearly surprised of what she said, and what he did. They’re both sweating and he can see Aki catching her breath, he fixed her kimono and handed her the ribbon, regret in his eyes he apologized.

“I’m sorry…” He said, raking a hand through his hair. She kept quiet, touching the mark he left behind. “I’m really sorry, doll.” She looked down, unable to fully process what almost happened between them.

“It’s…” It’s fine, was what she wanted to say, but the words won’t come out.

“Please forget it.” Shigezane said.

An awkward silence.


“Why do you always have to kiss me when you’re drunk?” She chuckled.

“Because that’s the only time I get the courage to do so.”

“…” she kept quiet. They stared at each other, waiting.

“Aki, will you… l-let me hold you…?” he asked, looking bashfully at her. Aki looked down to her lap, conflict clear in her face.

“Shigezane…”

“Aki, why?” He asked, “Can you tell me why we can’t be together?”

She took a deep breath, answering his question in a whisper.

“I’ll tell you… when the fall comes. I’ll tell you how I feel. Until then, let’s just keep on doing what we must do.”


lithiel  asked:

Oh! Crazy idea. Imagine somehow ( maybe a fluxuation in the ether whatever) but an enemy follows them BACK through the flow of time into the citadel. It lurks in shadow, concealed until nightfall and attacks the Saniwa. A loud shriek allerts the Tachi and frightens the tantous (ok it's a girl this time) followed by sounds of struggle. From the open shoji door they can see her running and defending from a sneek assassination attempt! Reactions? Who is angry asf, defending, rescuing, ect?

Sorry it’s only a quick answer!

• Who comes to the rescue is all about who is still awake, who is close enough to see or hear.
• Anyone who hears can recognise it’s not a startled scream or something that would get triggered by one of Tsurumaru’s pranks. There really is danger.
• Many swords like Hasebe and Kashuu, etc are angry. They feel frustrated and blame themselves for not noticing the enemy even though it’s no individuals fault really.
• But there’s no doubt the enemy would be dealt with quickly. Everyone in the Citadel aside from the Saniwa is a troops in the war, depending on the enemy’s strength level whoever gets there first is likely the one who saves the day.

han-pan  asked:

oh my god Ieyasu #2 I literally can't get any further into the list because of this need

A request I was happy to fulfill for my beloved thirst lord Han. (Although, there is no smut in this particular piece) Hope you like!)

Ieyasu/MC

“After everything you did, you’re asking ME to apologize for snapping at you ONCE?”


It was one of those days, you thought, staring down the blonde hair of your beloved. Beloved, you mused,  being a loose term at the moment. It was one of those days where nothing went right, and everything seemed against you.

And now this.

Normally his harsh tone, his barbed insults, they rolled off of you like water. You were used to it, at times it was almost endearing, how he felt he had to hide everything behind that cruel shell. Endearing and a little sad, really.

But today was not the day.


From the moment you had woken up, an hour earlier than usual because your lord demanded you come hawking with him this morning. You knew the stars had not aligned for you. You had slipped in the early morning dew on your way to the horses and he had laughed, snickering about how you, the kitchen wench, couldn’t even walk outside of a kitchen.  Had stared at you, snickering, as you hoisted yourself up, feeling the formation of a bruise on your lower back.

Hawking had been interesting, you were clearly mostly there to observe. But once that brief respite was over.

So was your peace.

You had gone back to the kitchens, the only place you were worth anything apparently, only to find out that there were guests coming to the castle, something your lord had failed to mention although he had had all morning, and that you were expected to prepare a feast.

So you had spent the next over six hours on your feet, your sore back screaming for relief, as you tried to get all the food ready.

That is until Ieyasu decided to show his face, peeking in and looking you up and down with almost visible disdain. You were sweating, clearly frazzled and in disarray, and his only words to you  cemented your surety that the gods were out for your head today.

“You look like a demon, even less human than a kitchen wench should, I suggest you go clean yourself up, unless you plan on being absent from the feast.

Oh.

Oh no.

“I’ll be glad to milord.” You strode up to him, hands on your hips, glare on your face. “Just as soon as you go and clean up your horrible personality, although that might take a while, considering the years you have let it build up.”

Everyone in the kitchen had gone silent.

You two stared at each other, neither one willing to back down

“I see you want to meet the end of my blade tonight.” His hand was on his sword, aggravation clear on his face. “You need to be reminded of your ran-”

“Just shut up!” You huffed, storming past him. “I don’t need to be reminded of anything! I need you to stop being such an insufferable cad!”

And you had left him there, storming back to your room.


It wasn’t until several hours later, after your had bathed, after the feast you hadn’t attended, that the guilt began to eat at you.

Okay, yes. Maybe you had taken out your horrible day on him.

But…But who says that to a person!?

And it wasn’t like this was the first time he had acted this way, this was just your…last straw.

But…You knew you had overreacted, and you knew he just be feeling hurt, right?

You sighed, rising to your feet. You would need to make food for this.


With daifuku in your hands you walked down the dark hall, stopping at Ieyasu’s door. A flickering candlelight let you know he was still awake. You took a breath, reaching up to pull the shoji door open, when it flung itself back.

You hopped back, almost losing your balance, but steadying your feet in time to see Ieyasu’s molten copper eyes reflect surprise at your presence.

“Ieyasu.” You breathed out his name. He looked away from you, a soft blush on his face, like he had been caught doing something embarrassing.

Had he been about to come to you?

“What business do you have here, after your little performance earlier, I would think you’d be packing your bags to go back to your family.” He sneered, his words barbed.

Oh you’d really hurt his feelings huh?

“Let’s talk. Can I come in?” You kept your voice level, hoping he’d make this easy.

“You need to apologize, then maybe I’ll consider it.”

Oh no.

“After everything you did, everything you do, you’re asking ME to apologize for snapping at you ONCE?” You couldn’t hold it back, all the control you had prided yourself on, told yourself you would have, was out the window. He took a step back and you followed him, all but pushing him into his room, dragging the door closed behind you. You set the daifuku down with a slam.

You were not in the mood.

“If you are so mistreated here, you should go home.” His voice is cold, but you aren’t fooled. No, you know him too well. He is scared, scared you’ll leave him and as much as your heart cries to relent, apologize, pull him into your arms. You won’t.

“I am not leaving you Ieyasu, I am just trying to talk to you!” You jabbed a finger into his chest, glaring up at him. His eyes were colored with uncertainty. This obviously had never happened to him before. “You just don’t seem to understand!”

“What is there to understand? You’re the one who came in here intent to add insult to injury!” He huffed, looking away.

“Insult to injury…” You trailed off. “Ieyasu, You woke me up before the sun rose today, laughed at me when I fell down and then to actually add insult to injury you left me in the kitchens all day and had the gall….the  gall to tell me that I didn’t look good enough to go to your stupid banquet!” You fell silent after that, staring intently at him.

It was up to him, but you weren’t willing to let this go.

Nothing was said, and just as your shoulders began to sag, defeat flowing through you, he moved.

He reached out, tugging you into his arms, one of his hands holding you at the waist and the other buried in your hair. His head dropped down to your neck.

“….sorry” A mumble, you barely heard. You craned your neck a bit. Tokugawa Ieyasu had actually told you sorry. Your body relaxed. For him to apologize. You knew he understood.

“I’m sorry, what did you say milord?”

“I’m not saying it again.”

Oh, but you did love him, didn’t you?

manju-butt-deactivated20170103  asked:

How do you think Kojuro would react to walking in on MC while she was changing?

He wouldn’t announce his presence.

In an established romantic relationship, he would lean on the door and enjoy the view, and wait for that moment where MC realizes he was there and take pleasure in her flustering. Then, smiling, he would approach her and whisper filthy things his adoration to her ears. Then he will help her dress, or undress, depending on how busy he is that day. 

If they are not yet in a romantic relationship, his first reaction would be to avert his eyes, but he couldn’t because he’s secretly a dirty old man. He would admire the view for a few seconds before his gentlemanly conscience kicks in and he discreetly announces himself, by clearing his throat or sliding the gaping shoji door closed. Of course later he would make a casual remark about how cute her floral juban (kimono undergarment) is, because he is a goddamned tease just to see her blush. 

anonymous asked:

Hello there! :) can I request a fic where reader has a spontaneous sleepover at tadashis house and reader wears tadashi s shirt and it ends all fluffy? :D

Tadashi rubbed the back of his head as he knocked at the bathroom door with his left hand, “hey, I’m sorry i spilled soda on you. I didn’t mean too!” He could hear you mumble something passed the oak of the door, but he couldn’t figure out what it was. “At least it was just soda and it won’t stain right?” You hummed, sliding the familiar red shirt he’d let you borrow over your head before unlocking the door and swinging it open. Tadashi’s dark eyes dropped, lingering on your small body wearing his shirt as a tint of pink attacked the tips of his ears. “You’re swimming in that shirt.” He stifled a laugh.

Hitting his chest playfully, you laughed as well and said, “Yeah, I’d rather swim in your shirt than swim in a sticky soda shirt.” Wrapping your arms around your body, you cocked your hip against the wall, almost unamused, “I should learn to bring two sets of clothing any time I spend time with you.”

“If you’re referring to me spilling coffee on you the first time we met, that was an honest to god accident! I couldn’t just run into Hiro and he was being annoying and wouldn’t move!”

Smiling, you patted his shoulder, “So I maneuvered around him and ended up bumping into you.” You finished his story, “Yeah, yeah. Or maybe, you’re just a klutz and enjoy spilling things.” You teased, watching him stick his tongue out at you playfully.

Grinning much like a child, you walked back into the room he shared with his younger brother and rolled onto his messy bed. “Or maybe you spilled the soda intentionally because you wanted to see me in your clothes.” Smiling charmingly at your boyfriend, who was stammering in his place, you let a loud giggle sound through the room. “I’m only kidding! Oh my god, you look like a tomato!” You picked up your phone, eager to take a picture of him.

“Don’t you dare!” He shrilled, reaching for your phone as you snapped a picture. Dodging his large self, you rolled off the bed, standing on the opposite side from him.

“Too late!” Throwing your head back with a loud chuckle, Tadashi looked at you sternly, jumping over his bed and grasping your phone from his hands. “Hey!” You complained at him, tackling him onto his bed as your hands aimed for your cell. “Give that back, I have private stuff on there!”

“So private that you won’t let cute ol’ me see? C’mon, (Name), there’s a lot I’ve seen, and I doubt anything you have on here will surprise me. Hiro is my brother and you know what he searches when he’s al-”

“Woah! God, I thought we weren’t going to talk about that again!? Ew!” You collapsed on his broad chest, looking up at him with innocent eyes. 

“It was one time, and I really wanted to know what boobs looked like!” Hiro snapped from the other side of the Shoji door.

“Ew.” Tadashi told him.

“Y’wanna know what’s ew?” Hiro peeped his head in, looking smugly at his older brother. “Knowing you two do the do in here! THAT’S EW.”

Daily Monster 245: Mokumokuren

Region of origin: Japan

A staple of Japanese haunted houses, the Mokumokuren are dilapidated shoji doors that, as they fall apart with age and grow holes, become infested by pairs of ghostly, staring eyes. The eyes will act as spies for the other yokai denizens of the house but otherwise are considered largely harmless. However, some stories tell of those daring to sleep under the gaze of the Mokumokuren waking up to find their own eyes missing, possibly added to the door’s collection.

Today’s drabble: Bleach role reversal!AU

Beacsue RenIchi will always be my Bleach OTP, this bunny bit. I might actually do something with it, which is exciting. I’ve been wanting an excuse to get back into Bleach.


It’s raining, cold and dark. Renji lies in a quickly-spreading puddle of his own blood, barely able to breathe past the thick, copper-coated pain coiling in his chest and rising in his throat. The bastard in the haori is still standing over him, and he’s not sneering—that’s something Renji could deal with. No, he’s utterly blank-faced, expressionless, and that fucking grates. It’s like Renji isn’t worth his time, isn’t even worth the effort to work up some annoyance, and if there’s anything Renji can’t stand, it’s being seen as worthless.

“Please, nii-sama,” Rukia says, voice one hair shy of desperate. “Don’t—”

The man in the haori turns to look at her, but before he can say anything, waraji clack against the sidewalk, and another figure steps into view through the cascading rain. He’s not tall—not even as tall as Renji—and built on lean, slimly muscular lines, his hair a shock of startling orange under the pale yellow of the streetlight. No haori, but there’s a cleaver-shaped sword nearly as tall as he is strapped to his back, and a band with an insignia around one bicep. Rukia gasps at the sight of him, wavering and stepping back, and the man looks at her for a long moment, then drops his gaze to meet Renji’s angry eyes.

“Lieutenant Shiba,” Rukia whispers, as breathless as if she’d been punched in the gut.

The orange-haired man lifts his head again and nods once. “Kuchiki. We’re here to take you home.” Then he turns that faint frown on the other stranger. “Captain Kuchiki, was that truly necessary? Like this, he’s going to—”

“He will die,” the dark-haired man agrees, flat and uncaring. “It eliminates the loose ends. Let us return. Rukia. Come.”

She goes. Renji tries to stop her, tries to stand, but he aches and it’s physically impossible to move right now. And Rukia goes, even though it’s to some unknown punishment, even though she kicks his hand away from her brother’s robes with tears in her eyes.

She goes, and leaves Renji behind.

As the shoji doors slide open on a world of white light, black monarch butterflies fluttering through the rain like guides, the dark-haired man half-turns and says sharply, “Lieutenant Shiba. Our work here is done.”

But instead of following, the orange-haired man shakes his head and leans over Renji, blocking the rain even as Renji’s world darkens. “He doesn’t have long,” the redhead says softly, “and I won’t let him die alone. Send another Hell’s Butterfly through for me, Captain Kuchiki. I’ll be along shortly.”

The captain doesn’t answer, but he goes, Rukia a step behind him, and they leave Renji and the other man alone in the rain.

Renji stares up at the remaining shinigami as the rain increases, a freezing torrent now, and the other man just raises one orange brow at him before looking up. Renji’s sight is going fuzzy, and his ears are ringing, but he still hears it when the man says, “Ah, Urahara. I thought this had your greasy fingerprints all over it.”

Sandals clack against the street, and the last thing Renji sees before the darkness is complete is a strange silhouette through the rain.

“How rude, Lieutenant Shiba,” Urahara Kisuke says with mock hurt, even as he tips his hat down to hide his grin. “Or is it Captain Shiba yet? They sent you to retrieve Rukia-chan?”

“Lieutenant with the authority of Acting Captain, not actual Captain,” Ichigo corrects, stepping back to allow Urahara to inspect his new patient. “Yes. The Captain-Commander thought she might listen to her own lieutenant where she wouldn’t listen to her brother.”

Urahara shoots him a sly smile, crouching over the still form of the redheaded boy Rukia shared her powers with. “Her lieutenant, or the little brother of the man she admired so much?”

With a grimace, Ichigo turns his back on the exiled captain, fingers closing over the hilt of his huge sword. “One or the other,” he mutters, eyes distant. “Maybe both.” He tilts his head back towards the sky, letting the rain run over his face in cold streams. A long moment of silence, where Urahara watches him curiously, and then he says softly, “You might want to call them back. I think…something’s going to happen soon.”

They’re on their way up to the cannon when Kukaku catches Renji’s arm and wrenches him to a halt, then turns him around to face her. He blinks at her in surprise, because so far she’s done her level best to ignore and avoid him except for a few bouts of violence, usually aimed equally at him and Ganju. But her expression right now is more serious than he’s ever seen it, and her eyes are dark

“Yoruichi said two shinigami came to get the girl back,” Kukaku says. “One was her brother. Who was the second?”

Renji blinks at her for a moment, because surely that question doesn’t merit this level of concern. Still, he offers, “A…lieutenant, I think? Shorter ‘n me, big sword, orange hair. She called him…” Then he remembers this woman’s family name, remembers what Rukia had called the other man, and—

“Shiba,” Kukaku says with a weary sort of resignation. “Lieutenant Shiba, currently lieutenant of the Thirteenth Division. Kuchiki Rukia’s under his command.” She releases his arm, stepping back, but the dark look doesn’t fade from her face. “Abarai, if you meet him in the Seireitei, don’t even try to stand and fight. He’s a vicious, ruthless bastard, believe me. You’re trying to rescue that girl, and you won’t be able to if he cuts you down in cold blood.”

It would be more intimidating if Renji’s last memory of the man wasn’t him defying a captain’s orders to stand in the rain beside a dying teenager, of brown eyes filled with a weight of years that not even old men carried. That seems like a kind gesture to Renji, but before he can even open his mouth to ask the obvious question, Kukaku has moved on, bellowing for her brother.

thepjofanqueen  asked:

Sleeping with Tadashi for the first time ^\/^

idk what sorta sleeping we meant here but im going with the fluffy cute kind omg

“I swear to god,” You laughed softly and lifted your back enough to readjust your body. You felt your smooth, bare legs run along the side of his hairier legs and let out a small puff of a giggle. “If you kick my legs again, I’m going to rip yours off and throw them in a pot of soup.” You could hear your love laugh next to you as he rolled onto his side. Your eyes could barely trace the outline of his attractive features through the dim light you got from the streetlights outside, but you could imagine how smug Tadashi must have looked. 

“That’d be cannibalism, I believe.” He said in a deep voice that seemed to sink into the chilled night air. He licked his mouth and lifted one leg out of the blankets to cool down a bit. The unbearable thought of sleeping next to you for the first time sent a rush of heat down his entire being as his dark eyes tried to study as much as he could in the light he received. Most was just an outline of your face, but hey, even he wasn’t complaining. I get to fall asleep and wake up next to this, he smiled softly, fingers idly brushing through your hair.

“I wouldn’t eat it,” You digressed and laid back in the fluff of his pillows, his calloused fingers now working up and down your arm, in a droning attempt to lull himself to sleep. Tadashi shifted next to you and wrapped an arm around your body, casually pulling you closer with little to no effort. “It’d just be for effect to make sure you know I’m serious.”

“No more kicking,” He promised and pressed a wet kiss to your forehead. “Now, drooling while dreaming about my perfect girlfriend, that’s a different story.”

You tilted your head back in a small chuckle as the thought of Hiro waking up on the other side of the Shoji door rang through your mind. Tadashi’s chest rumbled with a low chuckle as you commented softly, “Can’t believe we wait until now to sleep in the same bed, drooly.”

“Ah, hey. It beats sleeping with Hiro. He squirms and moans weirdly in his sleep. I think I’ve heard him say your na-”

“IT WAS NOT (NAME), FOR THE LAST TIME! IT WAS JUST A WEIRD GRUNT THAT MAY HAVE SOUNDED LIKE HER NAME.”

Silence.

“Yeah, it was totally your name.” Tadashi finished with a loud cackle to taunt Hiro.