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Bleach Fanfic: Heart of Summer, Chapter 3

Title: Heart of Summer
Pairing: Shunsui/Nanao
Genre: Romance
Rating: T
Status: Ongoing, Chapter 3 of 7
Contains: Spoilers for the Lost Substitute Shinigami Arc, minor adult themes and content.
Summary: In the heart of summer, Shunsui seeks a kiss.
Notes: This is my third entry for the Week of Love giveaway happening July 6th - July 12th at shunsui_nanao.  My pieces are written as chapters for this story, and I'll be posting one chapter each day this week.
Prompt: Beach

Back to Chapter 1.

"Why am I doing this?" Ukitake asked in a tone so bewildered it made Shunsui smile.

"I thought Retsu-san asked you." Shunsui stared openly at Nanao several feet away on the beach, in earnest conversation with Rangiku and Nemu. There was a large camera set up near them, pointed at Shunsui and Ukitake, and other Shinigami Women's Association members bustled around with various props.

"She did, with Kuchiki. It was a simple enough request, and I thought there would be some photos taken in uniform or maybe costumes," Ukitake said.

"There were costumes." Actually there'd been a number of them while they were shooting photos in Soul Society: Living World clothes, historical garments, sports uniforms. He'd enjoyed that thoroughly, as Nanao had helped him with the jackets and shirts of unfamiliar styles. Now they were in the Living World, wearing swimming trucks on a fine beach, large umbrellas providing some shade.

"Yes, but it should be obvious to you by now that the other photos were just sidelines. They are telling a story now that we're at the beach." Ukitake sounded worried.

"Sure." The SWA was telling a story, and even consulting storyboards between shots, but perhaps Ukitake hadn't noticed that bit yet.

"But the story they are telling is clearly a romance between the two of us." Ukitake waved a hand at the picnic blanket, set with wine, fruit, and chocolates. It was not typical beach food.

"Yes." Nanao was poking a finger at the storyboard in Rangiku's hand, shaking her head. He was deeply curious about what was in that panel.

"You knew? How long have you known?"

"Since they asked me to be in the photo shoot. Nanao-chan told me what it was right away. I think she was hoping I would say no, but instead I negotiated conditions for my participation." Shunsui smiled at Nanao, giving her a little wave.

"That's why Ise-san is posing you like a mannequin?" Ukitake asked.

"Yes. That's a condition of my participation." Nanao gave him a glare over the top of her glasses, but Rangiku resumed her spot behind the camera and Nanao walked toward him.

"And the swimsuits?"

Shunsui eyed Nanao in her pink bikini, a wash of pleasure rolling over him. "Yes. It is the beach, after all."

Nanao arrived, a delightful blush on her cheeks to match her delightful bikini. "Can you take your hair down, please?"

"You may do anything that you please with me, Nanao-chan. I am entirely at your service." He smiled at her.

She made an annoyed noise and bent over him where he sat on the blanket, her hands carefully removing his hairpins. Absently she tucked those in on the halter of her bikini top, just above her breast. She began to untie his hair.

With her arms reaching behind him, he was close to her stomach, and he savored the pleasure of smelling her scent, as he would have savored the taste of her skin. He'd run his tongue down the curve of her belly, stopping to circle her navel, and then he'd go further down, taking off those delicious little pink bottoms. She'd be sweet and salty on his tongue—

"You aren't even listening to me, Kyōraku," Ukitake's voice cut into his enjoyable fantasies.

"Sorry, what?" He couldn't draw his eyes away from Nanao's navel.

"I said that I can't believe that they offered you such concessions."

"That wasn't all, was it, Nanao-chan?" He considered whether he could get away with running his hand over the top of her foot, or maybe her delicate ankle, or her shapely calf—

"That was not all," she said grudgingly. "Captain Kyōraku and I will be socializing together for approximately two hours in the evening."

"We have a date," Shunsui said. "I'm very excited."

She'd finished untying his hair and was now spreading out the waves. Her hand tightened in his hair at his words and pulled a bit. He repressed a groan.

"A date? You're doing this photo shoot for a date?" Ukitake's voice was strained.

"Do you feel alright, Ukitake? Do you want to take a break?" Shunsui glanced at Ukitake with concern, but he seemed fine.

"It's so hot out," Ukitake said.

"It's a record heatwave, according to Nemu-san," Nanao replied. "Would you like some water, Captain Ukitake?"

"No, thank you, Ise-san. I'm fine. I just can't believe that you consented to this, Kyōraku. Wait, I can believe that, given the incentives. I can't believe that I agreed to this. Retsu-san and Kuchiki assured me it would be entirely appropriate."

"This is entirely appropriate. Can't two friends casually picnic together with wine and chocolate?" Shunsui asked.

"It's a very romantic setting," Nanao said, her small hands adjusting the position of his shoulders so that he was leaned in toward Ukitake.

"Do you like romantic beach picnics, Nanao-chan? I'll have to remember that." Shunsui smiled at her.

"You see? Ise-san agrees with me, and you just admitted the setting was romantic. But it's not appropriate for Captains to be involved in a romantic photo shoot. It's unprofessional, isn't it, Ise-san?" Ukitake asked.

"It's quite unprofessional," Nanao said.

"Where are Retsu-san and Kuchiki, anyway? Shouldn't they be here?" Ukitake turned his head a few times, clearly looking for the missing members.

"Captain Unohana is very busy, and Rukia-san needed to go to Karakura. We felt we could carry out the task at hand with these members, so we moved forward with the photo shoot." Nanao brushed one lock of hair over Shunsui's shoulder.

"Ise-san, I can't believe you're a willing party to this, when you admit how unprofessional it is." Ukitake's brow was furrowed.

"The SWA is very important to me, Captain Ukitake, and the projected revenue from this project will raise the caliber of the events we can hold in the coming months. This opportunity must be taken, regardless of my personal discomfort." Nanao stepped back, examining Shunsui and then nodding. "Captain Ukitake, can you move closer to Captain Kyōraku?"

"I'm sorry, Ukitake, but you won't be able to change Nanao-chan's mind about this. Her dedication is legendary." Shunsui smiled, and Nanao made a disdainful sound, but she liked it. He could tell by the way her lips tipped up.

"Kiyone," Ukitake implored. His Third Seat was changing out the fruit for candles.

"I'm so sorry, Captain Ukitake." She couldn't stop grinning long enough to make it convincing.

"Ise-san, how many copies of these photos will there be? Please tell me it's only for your members." Ukitake smiled hopefully.

"We'll do an initial print run of one thousand copies, but it's almost certain we'll go into reprints. The demand from pre-orders alone has been very strong. I have a chart of projected sales, if you're interested, Captain Ukitake." Nanao tilted her head at him.

"No, thank you, Ise-san." Ukitake sank back on his hands.

"Think about it like this, Ukitake, at least all of the young girls will be interested enough in you to buy photo books." Shunsui winked at Nanao as she walked out of the shot, and her lips twitched again. She was enjoying this more than he'd expected, and that pleased him, since she'd spent most of the day touching him.

"No, they'll be interested in us, which is an entirely different thing, not that I particularly wish to be chased by young girls anyway. That's rather inappropriate, given my position of authority." Ukitake said.

"Young girls have always been interested in us as a pair. There's still a market among the Academy students and some others for artwork and stories about us."

"Captain Kyōraku, can you please look at Captain Ukitake instead of Nanao?" Rangiku called from behind the camera.

"Sorry, Rangiku-san, it's difficult to take my eyes off cute Nanao-chan." He smiled, and some of the SWA members giggled.

"There's still a market? It's been so long since I heard about that," Ukitake said.

Rangiku sent Nanao to stand behind Ukitake, just out of the frame of the photo. "Thank you, Rangiku-san," Shunsui said, grinning.

Nanao raised her eyebrows. "Really? This is rather unnecessary."

"Really? A market?" Ukitake asked.

"I think they still have meetings sometimes. If you're interested in the material, Nanao-chan has a fine collection." The camera snapped in the background.

"Ise-san has a collection? Why?" Ukitake sounded genuinely surprised.

"Yes, she does," Shunsui said.

"Don't tell him that," Nanao snapped.

He wagged his eyebrows at Nanao. "I think it's because she wants to admire me in the nude—"

"Ridiculous," Nanao interrupted. "I maintain that collection at your request."

"—But it could be because Lisa used to collect it," Shunsui said.

"It's a tradition of the Eighth Division, albeit one of questionable merit." Nanao adjusted her glasses.

"In the nude?" Ukitake asked. He wiped his forehead with his hand.

Shunsui glanced back at Ukitake. "Are you sure that you're alright? You look pale."

"I'm fine. It's very hot out here, isn't it?" He swayed a bit.

"Ukitake?" Shunsui just caught his friend before he flopped face-first into the wine and candles.

Shunsui was pleased to see Ukitake stirring and opening his eyes. "Retsu?" Ukitake glanced around, appeared to recollect the setting and added a belated, "—san? Retsu-san?"

It was easy to see why Ukitake had forgotten momentarily about the photo shoot and the SWA and imagined himself somewhere more private—from his position on Retsu's lap, she was the first thing Ukitake saw, in a surprisingly risqué swimsuit.

"I'm glad you're awake. Don't worry, Ukitake-san. We've just made some modifications to the photo shoot," Retsu said.

"Modifications?" Ukitake asked.

"We've made some alterations to the original storyboard to better accommodate your health." Retsu nodded at Kiyone, Isane, and Nemu, fanning Ukitake with large woven fans.

Nanao wielded a similar fan next to Shunsui, which he would have enjoyed more if she was smiling. A bead of sweat ran down her neck and between her breasts. "Nanao-chan, let me fan you instead." He reached for the fan, but she resisted.

"Stop, you'll ruin the shot. Rangiku-san, get into position, please," Nanao said.

Rangiku trotted over from the camera, which she'd been explaining to Soi-Fon. The Captain of the Second Division did not want to participate in the modified photo shoot, and no one had argued with her. Hinamori studied some hastily drawn up storyboards.

Rangiku knelt next to Shunsui, across from Nanao, smiling for the camera with the fan dangling from her fingertips.

"Is it a problem for you to change your photo shoot? I don't want to hold you back with my health—I'm fine now, really," Ukitake said.

"Actually, I think the modification will increase the number of demographics we can market the photo book to successfully." Nanao tipped her head at Rangiku.

"And this would make a great recruitment poster for the Gotei 13." Rangiku grinned.

"But that would give recruits the false impression that there would be beach parties for them to attend," Nanao protested.

"Well, we're having a beach party right now, so it's not really false, is it?" Rangiku flipped her hair.

Nanao sighed.

"Let's go swimming after this, Nanao-chan. The water should be cool enough to be refreshing." Shunsui leaned towards her.

She glanced at the rolling blue ocean. "Would that be a part of our negotiated socializing time?"

"Swimming would just be something fun to do this afternoon. Our date is dinner tonight." He smiled.

"I don't want to swim." She wiped at her forehead after Soi Fon took the photo.

"Let's do some with just Captain Ukitake," Rangiku said, moving over to fan Ukitake where he lay in Retsu's lap, surrounded by women.

Nanao did not move. Shunsui plucked the fan out of Nanao's hand and fanned her with it. "Lovely Nanao-chan, I know you want to go swimming. You've been staring at the water all day."

"It would be inappropriate," she murmured.

"Everything that's happened today has been inappropriate on some level. Frankly, I think it'd be easiest to write the whole day off and pick back up on your appropriateness monitoring tomorrow."

Her lips twitched upward. She looked over at Ukitake, who leaned against Retsu's thighs like an unassuming king with a harem. "You do have a point. This is all a bit—unusual." She selected the last word with care. "We can swim, I suppose."

"Are we done yet? I want an ice cream," Yachiru said from her perch by the camera.

"These shots should be adequate," Retsu said.

"But we have another costume change for Captain Ukitake!" Kiyone held up a small leaf.

"These shots should be adequate," Retsu said, smiling. Kiyone cowered back, smiling and nodding.

"Absolutely, there are plenty of photos." Nanao stood, stretching.

Shunsui rose, brushing his hand against hers. "Shall we?"

She watched her friends from the SWA for a moment—Nemu had found a kite in the props that she and Yachiru were trying to fly. Rangiku had a pitcher of something pink and cold that Shunsui would have been happy to drink if he didn't have plans already. Ukitake still lay in Retsu's lap, her hand stroking his face. "Let's go," Nanao said, smiling.

On to Chapter 4.