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Bleach Fanfic: Parting Ways

Title: Parting Ways
Pairing: Shunsui/Nanao
Genre: Romance/Drama
Rating: G
Status: One-shot
Contains: Spoilers through Bleach manga chapter 520.
Summary: When the time came to part ways, Nanao refused. Missing scene ficlet for Bleach manga chapter 520.

Note: I really wanted to write this small story after chapter 520. It fits directly after the scene with Shunsui and Nanao that we saw and the scene with Shunsui and the Central 46. I'm sure I'll do more with this scene in other stories in the future, but I needed to write a little something right away. It might be a bit rough, but I hope people enjoy it!

"They've made you the Captain Commander." There was no surprise in Nanao's voice.

"Yes." Shunsui did not turn away from the window, even when her footsteps crossed the floor. The message in his hand was far heavier than the thin paper should be.

"I'm coming with you," she said, much closer.

That was not what the Central 46 would decide was best, he knew. "The First Division handles a lot of specialized work, documentation and orders that aren't done in any other division."

"I'll learn."

"You'd have to leave the Eighth Division for the First. This is your home, and you know every member personally. You've lived here nearly your entire life. It's too much to ask you to give that up."

"I'll move."

He sighed. It hurt to do this to her, to them. It was an aching bruise on top of the crushing blow of Yama-jii's death; he felt it everywhere. But Yama-jii would have expected him to make sacrifices, to lead Soul Society to peace, no matter the cost. Losing Nanao was only one step on an ugly path.

"What about you? The Central 46 is asking you to give up your home, your subordinates, and leave me behind. Isn't that too much to ask?" Her tone was gentle, understanding, and that was worse to him than anger.

"Nanao-chan, they're going to appoint the Third Seat of the First Division as my Vice Captain. There has to be some continuity for things to run smoothly. It's the logical choice, and I'm certain that they've already made the decision."

"I know." Two steps closer; she was at his back now. "Please look at me, Captain."

He turned, reluctant to see pain on her face. But her features were calm, only her eyes burning with fierce determination. "Nanao-chan."

"I'm coming with you."

Why would she force him to refuse her this way? "Please, Nanao-chan—"

She interrupted him. "The Third Seat of the First Division is a very competent worker. He completes all of his duties neatly and on time. And he has no hope of managing you at all."


"Right now, we're at war, and you're fully focused on doing what's necessary. That's important. But when this war is won, when things are normal again, what will you do?" She gave him a level look.

Her certainty that Soul Society would be normal again—that he would lead them back to peace—stole his breath. What had he done to warrant such faith? He swallowed twice, uncertain what to say to her.

She narrowed her eyes. "I'll tell you what you'll do. For a while you'll work hard, but then the cherry blossoms will sweep by on the breeze and you'll slack off. Poor Third Seat Okikiba doesn't know your tricks. He doesn't know your hiding places and how to find your reiatsu when it's disguised. He doesn't know you."

But she did, better than he'd realized. There was a quaver in her voice when she spoke that told him she was deeply afraid behind her front of determination.

She knew him.

When he went to the First to sit in Yama-jii's chair, there was no danger of him running away anymore. He couldn't do that, couldn't sit out under the trees or sing tipsy love songs to the moon, not when everyone in Soul Society needed him to lead, to make hard decisions that would keep them safe.

He would be submerged in duty and buried by his unspoken promises to Yama-jii. The parts of him that read poetry and admired beauty and could laugh would wither until they blew away as ash. He would grow old and serious and weary, bound in the chains of his responsibility. Nanao knew that, and she feared for him.

"You need me," she said, vulnerability showing in her hand fluttering at the base of her throat.

If he had Nanao with him he could still run away, because she would be sure to pull him back when necessary. If he had Nanao with him he could still recite poetry about the curves of her thighs and smile at the following sting of her fan. She would make sure that he had time and space to laugh and drink and sing. She would lighten the crushing weight of his responsibility. She would keep him from losing himself, even when he sat in Yama-jii's chair.

"I need you," he said, his voice dipping low.

She exhaled a shaky breath, dropping her eyes, her relief palpable.

He leaned down to murmur in her ear, his hand tracing the curve of her neck very softly. "A Captain has the right to choose his Vice Captains. Third Seat Okikiba will handle the paperwork, and you will handle me. After all, I'm not Yama-jii. It's best for the Central 46 to understand that from the start."

She nodded. "Yes. You'll have two Vice Captains with specific work. It's the best solution." She moved back from his touch, blushing faintly.

She'd demanded to stay with him, had looked him squarely in the eye and told him that he needed her, but blushed when he'd barely touched her. Nanao was a fascinating, beautiful contradiction. He loved that about her.

"You need to go or you'll be late. The Central 46 will be expecting you." She adjusted the neckline of her uniform near where he'd touched her, although he hadn't moved her clothes.

"I'm going." He smiled at her. "Nanao-chan."

"Yes?" Her tongue darted across her lower lip.

His smile widened. He closed the distance between them with a deliberate step. "You're never going to get rid of me now."

She looked startled. "Get rid of you?"

"I'm going to stay with my Nanao-chan." He bent toward her, making a kissy face.

His lips collided with the stern edge of her fan. ""Who's your Nanao-chan?" she asked coolly.

He pulled back, touching his stinging lips. "Nanao-chan is so cruel and so beautiful."

"Go." She gestured at the door.

He walked toward the door, glancing over his shoulder at her back. She was relieved, verging on happy. He could read that in the set of her shoulders, the tilt of her head, a hundred tiny details that he'd learned to see in her. She'd fought for him, for them, and won.

She gasped when his arms closed around her from behind. He held her against him for a long moment, her back to his chest. She was holding her breath, a detail that filled him with delight. "Thank you, Nanao-chan." He pressed a kiss to the tender skin of her nape.

He was nearly out the door when he heard her whisper. "You're welcome, Captain."


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 14th, 2012 05:40 am (UTC)
DELIGHTFUL. And I think this is a particularly good example of how you write this pairing so well -- because they're all about the difference between what is said and what is intended, and the beautiful tension that arises from that. Great ficlet. Thank you for putting it up so quickly!
Dec. 16th, 2012 05:02 am (UTC)
Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it! The space between their words and their meanings is where a lot of their relationship happens, isn't it? ^_^
Dec. 14th, 2012 05:59 pm (UTC)
Really nice work!
Dec. 16th, 2012 05:02 am (UTC)
Thanks very much!
Dec. 15th, 2012 11:33 am (UTC)
Absolutely beautiful, exactly what I longed for after reading the new chapter. =) I will save this to my favourites!
Dec. 16th, 2012 05:04 am (UTC)
Thanks! I really wanted something that fit into the space in that chapter, so I wrote this right away.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )