A pained sigh came from Shunsui's frowning lips as he stared up at his ceiling, brunette eyebrows furrowed. For it to be his birthday, the man wasn't all that happy.
Sure, he had gotten countless birthday wishes and gifts from his subordinates and friends; hell, even Nanao had been nicer to him than usual today. He had gone out after work with Jūshirō to have a good time, so he should be happy; of course, that could have gone better, too.
Shuriken should have been there with them.
Now, no one was quite sure where the navy haired woman had gone. She had apparently been in her division early in the day, but where was she now? It pained Shunsui to know that Shuriken hadn't so much as dropped by his office today to see him; he knew that she was probably busy, but it hurt him, nonetheless. Shuriken meant a lot to Shunsui, and celebrating his birthday without her just felt wrong.
His lack of Shuriken was the sole cause for his current 'depression.'
Shunsui flinched when he heard a knocking noise from downstairs; what was someone doing at his house at this time of night? The Eighth captain remained in bed, allowing his maids to tend to whoever had come by to see him so late. Surely, it wasn't anyone or anything important.
Moments like this were when Shunsui truly appreciated the help that his status had given him. He didn't have his entire home full of workers, but he did have enough of them around him to help keep things running smoothly.
A few moments later, things had seemed to grow quiet. Shunsui silently thanked his maids and rolled over on his side, closing his eyes; it would be better to go to sleep now, wouldn't it? To put an end to this depressing birthday?
Right as Shunsui had been about to drift off into sleep, another knock -now on his bedroom door- jolted him awake. Groggily, the man said, "Come on in."
As Shunsui sat up in his bed, tiredly rubbing his stubbled cheek, his door opened. Gray orbs widened in surprise at the sight he saw from the dim hallway light; was he hallucinating, or...?
When the figure flipped on his bedroom light, Shunsui instantly perked up at the sight he saw; yes, his beloved Shuriken had managed to come by and see him after all!
"I apologize about dropping by to see you so late, Shunsui. I didn't wake your ass up, did I?"
Shunsui chuckled and shook his head, grinning at his friend. He waved Shuriken over and patted his bed, signaling for her to sit down. "Of course not, Ri! Besides, you know I'm always happy to see you."
Shuriken gave a slight smile of her own as she walked over to Shunsui's bed, sitting on top of it and folding her legs. Shunsui moved a bit so that the two of them were facing each other directly.
"I would have been by earlier, but the old man sent me out on a mission right around noon; it was a pretty shitty thing for him to do, considering I'm certain he knows very well what today is." Shuriken commented with a slight eye roll, making Shunsui laugh. The navy haired woman respected and admired Yamamoto about as much as he himself did, but that didn't mean that she approved of everything he did.
"I'm sure Yama had his reasons for sending you out when he did." Shunsui patted Shuriken's head, keeping his trademark grin that she secretly loved so much.
"Yeah, but couldn't he have sent Chōjirō or someone else out on the mission? I realize that there were a lot of strong hollows out there to deal with, but hell, he could have even passed the mission on to another division." Shuriken sighed, crossing her arms over her chest. Shunsui just laughed even more.
"I never thought I'd live to see the day that Shuriken Natazaki complained about being sent on a mission. My, what is the world coming to?" Shunsui placed a hand over his heart in mock woe, something that resulted in Shuriken partially giggling and playfully smaking one of his muscular arms.
"Shut up, Shunsui. I would have much rather have spent the day with you, and you know that. After all, what kind of sorry-ass excuse for a friend would I be if I willingly left you on your birthday?"
It was at that moment that Shunsui's eyes softened, his lips forming a caring smile. This woman was everything that he had ever needed in life and he knew that without a doubt. They had known one another since their academy days, and ever since then, she had always been like this with him. To most, Shuriken's blunt nature would come off as rude or even uncaring; yet, Shunsui knew her better than anyone. He always knew what Shuriken meant, even if she herself couldn't find the right words to say.
"Aw, you're always so sweet, Ri! I'm flattered that feel that way. To think, you would rather have been with me today than out fighting and risking your life. Why, I must mean a lot to you for that to be the case." Shunsui chuckled, his grin returning. Shuriken rolled her eyes, pushing Shunsui's chest playfully with a smile.
"You're such a jerk, you know that?" She commented jokingly.
"How you hurt me, Ri!"
Shunsui and Shuriken shared a laugh before the female grew a bit more serious, starting at Shunsui in a way that he simply loved. There were emotions stirring on her beautiful face that only he could create. "All joking aside, I am sorry that I couldn't be here for you today. I tried every possible way to get out of the mission, but in the end, I couldn't say 'no' to the old geezer. I'm sorry about that."
Shunsui shook his head and placed a hand on Shuriken's, ruffling her hair. "Now, now, don't talk like that, Ri. You're his third seat, and I know how much making him happy means to you. I don't want you to disappoint him on my behalf."
"That may be the case, but I don't want to make you unhappy, either."
Shuriken's simple statement made Shunsui's eyes widen for a moment in surprise before blinking, staring back at the woman. A light blush had dusted her cheeks from his reaction, yet she held her matter-of-fact expression. Shunsui soon grinned, his heart leaping in joy. Shuriken never failed to make him love her even more.
"I'm glad you feel that way, my dear."
"You'd do the same for me, except you'd actually be able to get away from whatever was holding you back. You're more... evasive and strong willed than I am at things like that." Shuriken sighed and shrugged, looking away for a moment. Her eyes returned to Shunsui as he began to speak.
"I'm just thrilled to know that you care so much."
When it came to the two of them, there weren't many moments when Shunsui and Shuriken truly showed how much they care for one another. The friends had always spent a lot of time together, yes, but that time had rarely been spent on deep moments such as that.
It took a moment for Shuriken to reply, as the woman wasn't quite sure what to say. She had known for quite a while that she had harboured deeper feelings for Shunsui for countless years, yet she had never known how to properly bring the matter up. This stemmed mainly from Shuriken's fear of losing him; a life without Shunsui was not one that Shuriken ever wanted.
"I don't see why I wouldn't. You're one hell of a man, Shunsui."
Shunsui blinked once more in surprise, staring at the beautiful woman for a silent moment. She always amazed him in the rare occasions that she spoke like that; she truly made him feel like he was always appreciated. To Shunsui, that meant a lot.
"... I, uh..."
Shuriken raised an eyebrow, her ocean coloured orbs narrowing a bit in confusion. "What?"
"..." Shunsui hesitated a moment, remaining silent; then, he bursted into laughter at his own actions. Why was he being so reserved with her? This was Shuriken, after all! "Thank you, dear."
Shuriken laughed, too, before thumping Shunsui's head playfully. "You had me worried there for a minute, asshole! I thought something was wrong with you!"
"I'm sorry." Shunsui chuckled, getting an idea. Shuriken could tell that some sort of light had gone off in his head, making her a bit cautious. A smirk came to Shunsui's lips.
"... Shun? What's that look for?"
"It's obviously something." She commented, comically scooting back on the bed.
"Aw, what makes you think that~?" Shunsui smirked. Within the blink of an eye, the man had leaned across the bed and gathered Shuriken into his arms, pulling her back against his chest. She had instinctively tried to wiggle from him grasp, but Shunsui was far stronger than her; besides, he wasn't going to hurt her. He wouldn't ever consider doing such a thing.
"What the hell are you doing?!" Shurken questioned, staring up at the brunette. Shunsui smirked still, laying Shuriken onto the bed and propping himself up over her. "... Shunsui?"
Instead of actually replying to the woman, Shunsui began to tickle Shuriken ferociously, making her erupt into pure laughter. The navy haired Shinigami wiggled under Shunsui, telling him to stop. Shunsui just laughed and continued to tickle Shuriken until she managed to escape from his hold and jump away from him, landing beside of the bed.
"You asshole! What was that about?" Shuriken asked, laughing as she wiped the tears that had formed on the corner of her eyes. It had been at least a century since Shuriken had really been tickled by anyone, making her forget how ticklish she really was.
"I just thought I'd have a little fun with you, Ri! It's cute to see how flustered you get when someone tickles you." Shunsui stated innocently.
"Cute my ass." Shuriken sat back down on the bed, this time a bit further away from her friend. Shunsui chuckled and sat back down himself.
"Yeah, your ass is pretty cute." Shunsui winked playfully, resulting in a blush from Shuriken. The man had decided to see how far he could take things with Shuriken tonight, as far as flirting went. He had been waiting for years to win the affection of his dear friend, even if he had unknowingly captured her heart centuries ago.
"Shut up." Shuriken rolled her eyes and grabbed a nearby pillow, chucking it at Shunsui. The man laughed and caught the item, sitting it beside of him.
"What? It's true. You're actually a very beautiful woman, Ri." Shunsui smiled. His compliment made Shuriken's blush darken, a sight that he absolutely adored.
"..." Shuriken looked around, finding Shunsui's clock on the wall. She blinked as she realized how late it had gotten. "It's already after three in the morning."
Shunsui blinked as well, turning his attention to the clock. Shuriken was right; the time was currently ten minutes after three. "Damn. Time sure flies when you're around."
Shuriken chuckled and stood up, straightening out her shihakuso then stretching a bit. "I guess I'd better head back to my place now. Yamamoto won't be too happy if I oversleep in the morning."
The brunette captain nodded, watching as Shuriken walked over to his door. She stood in his doorframe, turning back to face him. "I guess I'll see you sometime later, Shunsui. Goodnight."
"... Wait, Ri." Shunsui exited his bed and walked over to the woman, much to her surprise. He smiled down at Shuriken and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Why don't you spend the night here? It's already very late, and your house isn't exactly close by. You can stay in one of my guest rooms if you'd like..." Shunsui wrapped his arms around the woman's waist, pulling her to his chest. "Or you could always stay in here with me."
Shuriken felt her cheeks heat up as she stood there in Shunsui's arms, her heart seeming to beat out of her chest. She didn't know what to say.
After weighing her options for a moment, Shuriken stepped back a bit and placed her hands on Shunsui's toned, hairy chest. She gave him a smirk. "I don't see why I shouldn't."
Shuriken's reply was exactly what Shunsui wanted to here. He grinned from ear to ear and lifted the woman into his arms once more, taking a couple of steps back and spinning her around the room. "Hooray!" He cheered before jumping onto his bed, holding Shuriken close. The woman laughed, shaking her head at Shunsui's childish behaviour.
"I'm glad you agreed to stay here with me tonight, Ri." Shunsui smiled as he and Shuriken got under the blankets, making themselves more comfortable. The two laid so that they faced one another. One of Shunsui's hands went to Shuriken's cheek, his thumb slowly moving across her soft skin.
"Like you said, it's better than me heading home at this time of night. Besides, I'm exhausted from my mission. I feel like I'm going to fall asleep just laying here." Shuriken smiled, placing one of her hands on Shunsui's. This side of Shuriken, the caring, sweet side, made Shunsui feel more alive than he had in years.
"Then go to sleep, my dear. I'll make sure that you are awake in time to get ready for work." Shunsui hesitated a moment before leaning over and placing a soft kiss on Shuriken's forehead. As he pulled back, Shuriken moved her hand over to his cheek, gently pulling him back. Their lips connected for a moment, briefly showing the passion for one another that the two had suppressed for so many years.
"Goodnight." Shuriken smiled as they parted, closing her eyes as she rolled over in bed. Shunsui wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her closer to him, pressing her back against his chest.
"Goodnight, my dear."
"Oh, and Shun?"
"Hmm?" Shunsui smiled as he soothingly stroked Shuriken's soft, dark blue hair.