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Fumbling Towards Ecstasy

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It was only six in the evening but it was already dark. There was only one streetlight between his house and his destination, the large manor at the end of the dead end road, backed up against the large hill that divided their small town into “Hilltop” and “Old Town”. Hilltop was where the college was, and all the fancy, newer stores. Old Town though… Old Town still had cobbled streets in places, the buildings well-cared-for but appearing much the same as they had when they’d been built, nearly a hundred years previously. The Kuchiki family was still one of the most prominent in their community, owning much of the land in the area, and their manor reflected that old wealth - like walking into the past.

Renji had moved here several years ago for college but had become enchanted enough with the area to stay. He’d rented an old house with a few friends just down the street from the well-known Kuchiki manor, eventually buying the place after he’d graduated and got settled into his career. The house wasn’t anything special - it was its proximity to the manor that made him determined to buy it, to make sure he could continue to live there. 

Because that meant he’d remain near Byakuya Kuchiki.

Byakuya did most of his business from the comfort of his home. He rarely ventured out and was a bit of a recluse. But he was so stunningly beautiful, Renji decided immediately that he had to get to know him after catching sight of him one day on his way out of the house. It had taken a fair bit of time and determination but Renji was a bit hard-headed when it came to getting his way. Eventually the two formed a close friendship, Renji inviting himself over at least once a week, the day depending upon their schedules.

Byakuya never refused him, unless he had a direct conflict, but he never extended the invitation himself. That suited Renji fine, after so long he’d learned that it was simply the other man’s nature to not impose himself onto others. Luckily for their friendship, Renji didn’t have the same concern.

But Byakuya had been more distant recently… Had been becoming more so over the last few months, if Renji were honest. At first he thought he was overthinking things - the man was always rather reserved. But the last time he’d visited, Byakuya didn’t contribute a bit to their strained conversation, only responding when Renji asked a direct question, and even then the answers were as short and impersonal as were possible without seeming entirely rude.

Renji’s feet crunched in the snow and he pulled his coat more tightly around him to keep out the harsh January cold. Past the streetlight now, he glanced up at the inky black sky. There was no moon… But Orion hunted overhead, Sirius trailing behind and the familiarity of the sight convinced him. Tonight, he’d get Byakuya to open up to him about whatever it was that was bothering him. He refused to lose his friendship after so many years, after putting in so much time and effort into getting Byakuya to allow him to share some small portion of his life.

The stars were always reliable, always there, and Renji wanted to be that way for him. To be a constant. To be someone he could talk to, confide in, and never feel judged or rejected. Because as beautiful as Byakuya was, he was also incredibly lonely. This is what he did - he pushed people away when he felt like he was becoming a burden to them. 

Renji wouldn’t allow him to though - not with him.

Byakuya sat in the dark, not even having bothered turning on a light, though the sun had set at least an hour ago. His knees were pulled up to his chest, his eyes fighting to stay open although the hour was quite early. He sank into the corner of the couch with a sigh. Renji had been asking more brazen questions lately. Soon, he knew the stubborn redhead would start to actually delve into what was bothering him. Vague answers wouldn’t be enough for long, and he knew it was overtly obvious to his best friend that he wasn’t okay. 

How could he possibly tell him the truth? He certainly didn’t want to relive all of that. But the pain followed him every day anyway. Why not get it out? Still, just thinking about it made his eyes well with tears. It was his fault. Why did it bother him so much? If he could’ve just… but he growled subconsciously before he even finished the thought. It didn’t matter now. 

Renji would keep prodding, and sooner or later he would give in. And then his best friend would likely leave. Just like everyone else in his life. And he wouldn’t stop him. No one else needed to suffer with him. 

Suddenly, the sound of the doorbell rang through the enormous house, and Byakuya’s heart pounded beneath his ribs. He wasn’t expecting Renji. Well, he never really was. The man just seemed to appear at random times with only a vague sense of a pattern. With a heavy sigh, he rose, his legs stiff from sitting in the same position all day. He stretched his legs as he walked from the sitting room, through the anteroom, to the door. He hesitated a bit, hand shaking as he reached for the doorknob. Not wanting to cause even more concern, he shook his head to clear his mind and yanked the door open.

“Hey Byakuya, alright if I visit? You’re not busy tonight, right?” Of course it was Renji - only he would be brazen enough to come over at this time of day unannounced. Really, he was the only person that would come over at any time of day unannounced but that was beside the point. He looked good - he always did, really - his long red hair held away from his face in a french braid, a warm headband covering his ears and forehead, hiding most of the tattoos there. He was dressed warmly, never one to enjoy the cold. And yet he had still walked through the snow in the freezing dark.

Just to see him.

Byakuya shook his head in response to Renji’s question of whether he was busy - he never was anymore, what was the use in asking? - and waved him inside, leading him to their usual place in the sitting room. Knowing Renji wouldn’t approve of the conditions, he flicked on a light on the way, squinting a bit as his eyes adjusted. 

He had no idea why this man continued to bother with him. It made no sense. Still, the smile on his face when he plopped down on the couch revealed a bit. He just wanted to. And that was something Byakuya wasn’t accustomed to. He pushed his smooth obsidian hair back from his face as he sat on the opposite end of the couch, having no desire to be close to anyone at the moment. Or, really at all. 

“How are you, Renji?” he asked, trying desperately to keep the focus off of himself. He stared at the tapestry rug as he waited for a response, cold steel-colored eyes completely unfeeling. 

Renji’s smile faultered a bit, seeing how closed-off the other was really becoming. “Oh, nothing’s changed on my end, just putting in my time at work and trying to keep warm. How are you, Byakuya?”

Just that simple question caused Byakuya’s heart to leap into his throat. It was no mystery, especially not to Renji. He was breaking. Whether he was ready to admit it was a different issue altogether. But it seemed completely involuntary when tears spilled over onto his cheeks before he even spoke a word. “I’m fine, Renji,” he whispered. 

“Come on Byakuya,” Renji said, his voice firm but gentle. He knew the other didn’t want to have this conversation but he also clearly needed to have it. He was a shell of himself, becoming more broken, more empty with each passing day. He wouldn’t sit back and watch this anymore. He’d always been a person of action anyway. “We both know that’s bullshit.”

Byakuya’s eyes darted up to him at the blatant statement. His expression was familiar. Determination was clear in his stern gaze and hard jawline. Perhaps it was time.

“I… that man I was dating… he left me,” was all he said. It was all he could force past the lump of emotion in his throat. 

Renji frowned. He’d seen Byakuya in and out of several relationships over the years. He’d never been happy, of course, by the end. And he was almost always the one broken up with - he usually just shut down until the other person gave up and left. But he’d never seen him like this. 

Something had been different about this time.

“What happened?”

Byakuya took a shuddering breath and shook his head. He was fighting back the flood of tears that threatened to fill his eyes. “I’m not sure that you want to know the details. It was all… quite intimate. Everything was fine for a while. He was nice enough. You know he was over a lot, and we’d go out every Sunday. It was good. But when we started getting intimate, there were… little things he didn’t like,” he began, hoping that would be enough explanation. He hoped beyond everything in the world that Renji wouldn’t delve into those kinds of details.

Renji’s frown increased. He had a bad feeling about this… As well as a slight intuition. He could admit to himself that, if he was right, he was more than a bit intrigued. But his main focus was helping Byakuya. Because, honestly, this sounded like the beginning of a story he’d heard far too many times before. A story not many wanted to admit to. A story that made the speaker feel like they were to blame. But it was a story that needed to be told to be able to heal, to find the help and acceptance that was needed. 

And it had to be heard by the right person.

Luckily for Byakuya, Renji was one of the few people in his life - perhaps one of the only people in his life - that would be able to listen and actually help him. And he was a determined enough person to press until Byakuya was completely honest with him. If he was right, of course…

But Renji hadn’t been wrong about this before… 

“Byakuya,” he said, waiting an uncomfortably long time for the both of them until wet steel eyes finally met his own. “Tell me. Everything.”

The older man ran his hands through his hair, holding it back from his face as he continued to take what were meant to be deep, steadying breaths. But they only brought more tears. At this rate, he didn’t even know if he would be able to speak. Renji was patient, though. He would sit there all night if that was what it took, and Byakuya knew that. So, he took his time to calm down. He closed his eyes and wiped his cheeks with the sleeve of his sweater. When he opened them again, he looked everywhere but to his friend as he continued the story.

“He wanted things a certain way, and I guess I didn’t do everything right. When he wanted me to top, I didn’t know what to do. When he topped, I wasn’t attentive enough to him. It was so confusing, and I had no idea what I was doing wrong. And there were other strange things that seemed off-putting to him…” he trailed off, emotion taking over again as memories flashed before his mind’s eye. He rested his elbows on his knees, burying his face in his hands as he lost control again. 

He didn’t know if he could get to the heart of the issue. The last thing that made him leave. It was just too much. Renji had no idea what he was asking, making him drag those horrid memories from where he had tried to push them down. Eventually, he would have just forgotten. Why couldn’t he just forget?

Renji shifted closer so that he could reach out and touch Byakuya’s shoulder. The other man flinched terribly at the touch but kept his face buried. “Byakuya, look at me.”

It took a long minute, Byakuya trying to get himself under control, trying to stop the tears from collecting and falling from his eyes. Renji’s hand on his shoulder didn’t move and he found himself concentrating on the warmth. Renji rarely touched him, the other knowing how reserved Byakuya was, how he shied away from contact with others. But he felt… grounded by the feeling, able to put some distance between the present and his memories. 

Eventually he was able to look into those dark brown eyes of his friend and Renji continued, “Keep going. All of it. You can do this Byakuya, I’m here. I’m not going anywhere.”

Byakuya nodded. He had made it this far. But the worst was yet to come. He wasn’t sure that Renji was fully prepared for it, but he kept insisting, so he had no choice but to oblige. It was either that or keep drowning in his own suffering, and, if he was honest, he was so tired of being alone. 

“Whenever he would even breathe too close to my skin, I had such a hard time holding back. You’d think he’d want to take advantage of that, knowing a way to make me feel good. But he avoided it. He always… finished first. That was just how it was. He would actually do nothing for me at all until he got his. And then he would rush me. I pretended it didn’t bother me. Just something to adjust to. I mean, outside of the bedroom, he was pleasant. Perhaps a bit distant, but he wasn’t a difficult person. So, I tolerated it. After all, sex isn’t everything, right?” 

He paused. Surprisingly, he had kept his tone level. He had half a mind to credit it to Renji’s hand on his shoulder. It brought him comfort, somehow. Still, there was more. The one thing that had ended it all in one fell swoop. He had to collect himself even more thoroughly to even think of speaking of it. Hoping it would help, he brought a hand up to place it on top of Renji’s, still unwilling to keep eye contact.

Renji felt a slight thrill flow through him when Byakuya voluntarily placed his hand above his own but he didn’t dare move. Byakuya needed him to be steady, to be calm, to not react to what he was saying and doing because almost any reaction could be taken negatively while he was going through this and he’d shut down again. He needed him to finish his story, to admit to everything that had happened between the two of them that was tearing him apart inside. Because if he didn’t know, he wouldn’t be able to help him effectively - he may even do more damage. Renji refused to risk that.

“There’s more,” Renji stated, his tone certain. “You’re doing so well, Byakuya. But you’re still avoiding what’s distressing you the most. Tell me Bya, you know you can trust me.”

Byakuya gathered his thoughts for what felt like an hour. He had to get through this last part all at once. If he even so much as paused, he would never complete it. The gentle, assuring tone of Renji’s voice helped. So far, there had been no backlash. No judgment. No telling him what he should have done. That was what he had expected, and when it didn’t come, he began to wonder what he had been missing out on for all these months. He did know he could trust him, beyond the shadow of a doubt. But nothing this personal had ever been spoken of before. After how Renji had reacted so far, Byakuya supposed, if there was one person he could trust with this, it was the man next to him. 

“The last thing that happened was… I zoned out a bit while we were in bed together. He put his hand down on my shoulder and his thumb put pressure on my neck. Something just snapped in me and I felt like the world just disappeared. It felt fantastic , but suddenly he was pushing me away. It wasn’t until he had already slammed the bathroom door that I even realized what made him so angry. In that moment that I lost myself, I had… finished without really realizing it. I knew he hadn’t yet. I laid there, crying, for hours. He left at some point, after I heard him… pleasuring himself in the bathroom. I couldn’t even get up. I felt numb. Empty. Like I had committed some unforgivable crime. I waited. I didn’t even get out of bed for at least twenty-four hours. He never came back.”

By the time he had finished speaking, Byakuya’s heart was clenched in his chest with held-back emotion and he was almost panting. Speaking that to anyone made him want to sink into the floor and disappear. He didn’t dare look at Renji. Didn’t want to know what he would see. 

Renji was carefully noting each thing Byakuya had mentioned, trying to connect triggers to what he was almost certain had happened. He was also making sure to keep calm, even though he was severely angered about what this other man had done to his friend. No one deserved that, to be left without a word, especially in that state… But it would do Byakuya no good to attack the other’s reaction. If Byakuya still cared about him, even remotely, he wouldn’t be receptive to anything else he had to say. 

Besides, the other man literally didn’t matter - not anymore. What mattered was the fallout, Byakuya’s new perception of himself that had resulted from the other’s actions. Byakuya didn’t understand why he’d reacted the way he had, didn’t understand what had happened at all, didn’t understand that it wasn’t his fault - that his reaction was completely natural, even desired in the right circumstances. And words wouldn’t be enough to convince him, not after something like that.

He’d need to be shown. 

“Byakuya, listen to me,” Renji said, his voice calm and yet utterly commanding. “You don’t need to say anything more, not right now, I just need you to listen. Squeeze my hand at the end of each of my sentences so that I know you’re listening. Only do so when you’ve accepted what I’ve said and you’re ready for me to go on.”

Byakuya heard every word, still amazed at the calm Renji was maintaining. He had no idea what he planned to tell him to fix this, but it had to be better than hating himself. After a long moment of hesitation, he looked up from where he had been staring a hole in the floor. Finding the seriousness in Renji’s eyes was unexpected. This had struck something in his friend, and he was actually eager to hear what he had to say. He wanted to muster a smile, but finding that he couldn’t, he simply squeezed Renji’s hand, which was still resting on his shoulder.

“I’m pretty sure I know what happened to you after he pressed on your throat.”

Gray eyes widened, and Byakuya had to fight the urge to speak - demand that Renji tell him what the hell was wrong with him. Instead, he forcefully squeezed his hand again.

“Him pressing on your throat, it would have made it more difficult for you to breathe - combining that with him also holding your shoulder, you probably felt restrained.”

Byakuya nodded, begrudgingly thinking back to that night. He had felt restrained. Utterly helpless. Still, that didn’t explain his reaction, so he squeezed Renji’s hand, urging him to continue. 

“Feeling restrained, feeling your breathing restricted, these things can make someone feel helpless, powerless, like they don’t have any control - vulnerable.”

It was like Renji was in his head. Somehow, he knew exactly how this had all felt to him. But he felt like he was getting to the point much too slowly, so he gave him a pointed look as he squeezed his hand this time, knowing he would just get a retort if he tried to speak. 

Renji’s lips twitched up a bit at the look. At least he was certain Byakuya was really listening to what he was saying. “In some people, those feelings can trigger the mind to slip into something called ‘subspace,’ a frame of mind where you release all control and you feel completely at peace, trusting your partner to take care of you.”

At that, Byakuya’s gaze fell again. So… it was his fault. He had placed his trust in the wrong person, and he had paid for it dearly. Unheeding tears again invaded his face, and he leaned back to sink into the corner of the couch. He let his hand fall from where it rested on Renji’s and pulled his knees to his chest, turning away from the redhead and letting the torrent of emotion consume him. 

Renji remained still, keeping his hand firmly upon Byakuya’s shoulder even as he turned away from him and lost himself to emotion. This wasn’t going to be easy, there was a lot of pain and self-loathing in each of his reactions. This clearly wasn’t a recent wound. Renji didn’t know exactly how long his friend had been keeping this to himself, allowing it to wear at him, but he would give him all the time he needed.

“I will tell you when I’m done saying everything I want you to hear,” Renji said firmly. “When you’re ready to hear more, squeeze my hand again. I’m not going anywhere. I would never leave you like this. But there is far more you need to know and I need to make sure you're listening and that you are accepting what I’m telling you. Take all the time you need Bya, I’ll wait, I’m right here.” He gave the lightest squeeze of his own hand on his shoulder to emphasize the point before relaxing it back to that same firm, constant pressure.

Byakuya felt his hand, felt the light squeeze on his shoulder, but still he was unwilling to reply. There was more Renji wanted to say, but what if it didn’t help? What if it was just information? He didn’t need information. If he wasn’t so proud, he would admit that he needed help. 

He sat there, feeling like he was becoming one with the furniture, for what felt like hours. But Renji was still there. It didn’t matter how much he cried. Surely, he looked awful. At least he had showered that day, but by now his hair was soaked with tears, plastered to his face, his eyes bloodshot and swollen. 

But none of that mattered to Renji. 

With a shaky breath, he brought his hand back up to the one on his shoulder. He didn’t turn, but he felt Renji’s grip tighten the slightest bit at the contact. Finally, he closed his eyes, braced himself mentally, and gave it a light squeeze. 

Renji was smiling even though Byakuya couldn’t see it. He was so damn proud of him, that he was facing this, allowing himself to hear what Renji needed to tell him. He needed him to believe him and he was willing to go as slow as Byakuya needed in order for that to happen. He had a feeling he may be waiting a while for Byakuya to accept what he said next, but he clearly needed to hear it.

“A person that slips into subspace has no control over doing so - we don’t choose who we trust enough to affect us that way - and it’s a completely natural reaction; slipping into subspace is never that person’s fault.”

Byakuya tensed at his words. It truly was like he knew every one of his thoughts. How did he know that he had been blaming himself for what happened? Was it that obvious? Or was Renji more perceptive than he had been giving him credit for? 

Whatever the case was, it was such a great relief. At least, it was a momentary flicker of hope. But what felt like the truth crashed in to remind him that it was he who had lost control. Renji’s words didn’t change what had happened. He sighed heavily, squeezing Renji’s hand despite the doubt that clouded what he had been told. 

Renji narrowed his eyes a bit - that had been far too fast. He considered his next words carefully, going back over in his mind everything Byakuya had told him. “You told me, when you topped, you didn’t know what to do - this is because being in control over another person intimately doesn’t come naturally to you - the people that are most receptive to falling into subspace, they do so because they are able to do the opposite, they’re able to entirely give up control; this may sound bad to you but it’s actually the most difficult thing a person can do, and no one chooses which comes more naturally to them - nor can they change it.”

That certainly made sense. At least while listening, the tears had stopped. Byakuya straightened his posture a bit, keeping his hand on Renji’s as he did so. He looked over his shoulder to his friend. Through all of this, his expression had been so constant. Maybe… this information was the help he could provide. Obviously, it was meant to assure him that there was nothing wrong with him. There were other people that had the same experiences he did. 

But how was something like that supposed to end? Giving up control had only brought him pain. Honestly, he was unsure if he could ever surrender again. Insistent that Renji at least finish what he felt he needed to say, he squeezed his hand. 

Renji was relieved to see Byakuya seemed far more calm, that he looked like he was actively listening. He would need more than words, that was obvious, but Renji had to think about how to approach such a thing carefully. He was likely unwilling to attempt such a thing again, especially after such a terrible experience. He had essentially played with fire and been terribly burned. 

Byakuya was a cautious person already, and he tended to take life lessons to heart the first time he received negative consequences. But doing so, denying this part of himself would only cause him misery. And ignoring it would only cause something like this to inevitably happen again unless he remained alone. Renji didn’t want that - he wanted him happy. And that meant getting him to accept this part of himself.

“Just like there are people that are able to give up control, there are others that naturally assume it with a partner - they enjoy taking care of them while their partner is in subspace and are able to gently bring them out again; without that care, a person in subspace can drop - feel neglected, abandoned, worthless - but with that care, a person in subspace feels entirely light, free, and completely at peace.”

So, that was how it was supposed to work? Had he truly been stupid enough to miss the fact that the man he had been dating wasn’t fit to care for him? Or, perhaps he didn’t think he was worth it. 

Both possibilities tugged at Byakuya’s heart equally, and both caused that familiar emptiness to take over again. He was past crying. The hurt he felt now was so deep it just gnawed at him until he was numb again. Were there really people out there who would care about him like that? Enough to tolerate this ridiculous reflex? If there were, they certainly wouldn’t have him now. 

Not with how far he had fallen.

It was fairly evident that Renji still wasn’t finished. So, though at this point he was just listening, not truly taking much of it to heart, he squeezed his friend’s hand.

Renji could tell he was losing him a bit. That was alright - for now - after all he knew words alone weren’t going to be enough to reach him. At least he was still telling him to continue by squeezing his hand, still willing to listen. 

“These aren’t things many people talk about - or even know about, even though most people naturally fall into one of these ways of being with a partner; most of the time, the partner of a person that falls into subspace has no idea it happened, how to handle it if they do realize something happened, or the pain they cause by not responding and caring for them correctly - and that’s neither person’s fault.”

Byakuya took in the words, but it all just seemed so involuntary. He was rather disgusted by himself and the fact that he couldn’t control something as seemingly impactful as falling into subspace. And, he supposed, he had a bit of hidden resentment toward his former partner… 

He wanted to think the best of him, but how could he? The man had left him sobbing into his pillow. What decent human being did that? He didn’t even ask what was wrong. That was something his former partner could control. Regardless of the reason, he should have addressed the consequences. Abandoning him in the throes of sudden depression was inexcusable. 

He glanced back to Renji again, hoping the anger in his heart hadn’t shown in his eyes. This man, his best friend, was the one that was here. Picking up the pieces that man had left broken. Perhaps falling into subspace wasn’t Byakuya’s fault. And perhaps wanting all the control wasn’t his former partner’s fault. But leaving him in a heap on the bed had been something he chose to do. Knowing Renji didn’t want him to speak, he only squeezed his hand again.

Renji noticed the tightness around his hard, steel eyes and he had a feeling he knew why Byakuya was angered, though the other was trying to hide it from him. He understood that anger, Byakuya had every right - he was angry himself. 

But none of that would help them. 

He needed to move past that anger, not dwell on it. “Everyone reacts differently to their partner falling into subspace, for different reasons, none of which excuse the pain they cause and very few people react correctly - to do so requires a very attentive type of person and more than a little luck, which doesn’t happen very often; some people live their whole lives with a partner that has no idea how they are affecting them and usually they need to be told how to correct that, by someone other than their partner because their partner isn’t able to explain, not understanding either.”

Byakuya wondered if he would ever actually meet these seemingly mythological creatures. People who cared so deeply for their partners. He had been in too many relationships that didn’t last, and the most recent heartbreak… made him tempted to never try again. 

All of this explaining Renji was doing only made him all the more doubtful that he would ever be with the right person. There would always be compromise. He would never truly be able to relinquish control without some amount of backlash. 

There was no way anyone had that much patience, that much pure love in their heart… 

…to deal with someone like him. 

He squeezed Renji’s hand again, if only to just get to the end of this seemingly endless barrage of information.

“I know that’s a lot, that some of this was probably difficult to hear or believe, but I needed you to hear all that for you to really understand me when I say this: I do know how to take care of a partner in subspace and, if you’d allow me to, I’d like to take care of you, Byakuya, I want to - to show you how it should feel. I know that’s what would help you the most... 

"Would you be willing to trust me, to allow me to show you? You can reply verbally now, you did such a good job before, I’m proud of you for listening and hearing what I had to say.”

Byakuya took a moment to fully absorb what Renji was suggesting. In fact, he had a hard time actually believing it. He turned fully, sitting in his seat properly and taking his hand from on top of Renji’s. He folded his hands before him, unsure and a bit frightened of what was being implied. He cleared his throat, sure his voice would sound horrid after so much crying.

“I don’t… I don’t really understand,” he admitted. “I don’t want to have sex with you.” It seemed ridiculous that this would be Renji’s intention, but that was all he could assume. He felt his cheeks burning with embarrassment, both at the possibility that he was grossly misreading Renji’s meaning and the small chance that he was right.

Renji smiled softly, "There's actually no need for that to trigger subspace. You wouldn't need to do anything physically intimate with me. Remember, all that's required is someone you trust to cause you to feel a sense of powerlessness. Restraint should be more than enough. 

"I would only bind your arms, and if you tell me to stop at any point, I will, immediately, without question. I could never hurt you Byakuya and the last thing I want to do right now is make you uncomfortable. But I desperately want you to feel what falling into subspace should feel like, to help you accept this part of yourself. It's a beautiful thing to be able to do and you mean too much to me to see you deny something from yourself that will make you feel… Whole."

Byakuya mulled over the possibility. The worst that could happen… well, he didn’t want to think about that. But he truly didn’t believe Renji would leave him, no matter what happened. It was a simple thing, and if nothing at all happened, that was better than disappointment and pain. Considering all the possibilities just made Byakuya shake his head. The only way to really know would be to do it. 

“I suppose… I’ll let you. I trust you, Renji,” he replied, finally able to lift the corner of his mouth a bit in the tiniest smile. 

Renji grinned, elated at the other's acceptance. He reached over and grabbed his coat from where he'd laid it over the arm of the couch and retrieved a long, soft, silken ribbon from one of the zippered pockets. Byakuya raised his eyebrows and Renji chuckled, saying, "You'd be surprised how common enjoying being bound is for someone who's like you. And using the wrong material can cause a bit of pain or even slight injury. So I started to keep this with me. Don't worry, I know what I'm doing. I'll take good care of you, Bya."

Byakuya was only put more at ease by his knowledge, but it was still a bit odd for him to carry around such things. That was a conversation for another time, though. For now, he stared at the ribbon in Renji’s hand, admittedly apprehensive of what was to come. Comforted by the fact that Renji had said they could stop at any time, he steeled his determination. 

“So, how does this work? What do you need me to do?” he asked, bringing his gaze up to study Renji’s face. It was a bit amusing that he seemed absolutely ecstatic to be tying him up, and he let his smile widen, infected by Renji’s constant confidence. 

"The only thing I want you to do is make yourself as comfortable on this couch as possible. If that means laying down, go ahead. If that means sitting a certain way, then do so. After you're settled, let me know and I'll begin. I may need to tell you to move a bit or place your arms a certain way but those instructions will be few and only to make sure you continue to be comfortable." 

Byakuya followed the directions, tucking his legs up onto the seat and leaning into the arm of the couch. It was how he usually sat, and somehow he doubted he would be comfortable lying down while Renji did anything meant to channel his propensity to give up control. The combined sensations would likely be disastrous, as he was well aware of the depression that was hiding not far from the surface of his countenance. He wanted to remain calm, and the only way he was going to do that was to avoid things that reminded him of that night. 

“Alright, go ahead.” Just saying it made his heart race. He trusted Renji, yes, but he was still uncertain whether he trusted himself. 

Renji slid off the couch to his knees on the floor, shuffling to be beside Byakuya and gently took his hand. He lightly ran his fingers across the back before pressing down, firm yet gentle, rubbing and feeling the delicate bones beneath as he massaged out the tension the other was holding onto. He slowly transitioned to his wrist, still gently holding his hand in place and asked quietly, "May I roll up the sleeves of your sweater? It would make this easier but if that would make you uncomfortable I can work around them."

Byakuya heard the question, but he was quite sidetracked just watching Renji as he began his process. On a normal day, the man was all energy, completely off the walls with fire and enthusiasm. But now… he was like a completely different person. Byakuya saw the glint in his eyes. He was still Renji, just… gentle . Careful. Considerate. Everything he knew he could be, but wasn’t shown often. 

He said he knew how to take care of a partner. Was this how he treated everyone he’d ever been with? Was this how people should be treated? Because Byakuya had never been touched so softly. 

“Oh, yes, you can roll up my sleeves,” he replied, finally tearing his eyes away from Renji’s hands. 

Renji smiled at him, pleased by the curious fascination in Byakuya's slate gray eyes. He was doing well so far, allowing Renji to touch him and relaxing into his touch rather than tensing up - a sure sign Byakuya really did trust him. He felt unbelievably honored by that, especially after what had happened to him, after what he'd been keeping inside for what was probably a period of several months. 

He slid his hand that had been carefully massaging his wrist up to stroke his arm over his sweater, his touch light as he moved up and then firmer as he moved down so as not to bunch up the material. After a minute and he was certain Byakuya was accustomed to feeling him touching his arm through the cloth, he used both hands to roll up the sleeve, all the way to his shoulder. 

Renji swallowed at the sight of Byakuya's beautifully toned arm - he'd actually never really seen this much of his friend's skin before and certainly never this close. And he was allowed to touch him. Renji kept his body's reactions well in check, however. This wasn't about him, this was about making Byakuya comfortable, about taking care of him and his needs. Renji's crush on his gorgeous friend had gone unrequited for years, his happiness and comfort meaning far more to him than wanting to fulfill any physical desire. He was fine being whatever Byakuya allowed him to be. If that forever remained his best friend, that was more than enough. He just wanted him to finally be happy. 

With the sleeve in place and out of the way, Renji worked on massaging the lithe muscles of his arms, loving the feel of his smooth skin beneath his gentle, firm fingers. He heard Byakuya sigh, dark brown eyes flickering to his face and smiling at seeing the other's relaxed expression. Byakuya had his own eyes gently closed and he was relaxed completely against the arm of the couch. 

Renji deftly yet slowly repeated the process on his other hand, wrist, and arm, his smile never wavering on his face as Byakuya remained utterly relaxed, allowing him to gently move his arms as needed to roll up his other sleeve and massage out the tension in his other arm without the slightest resistance or hesitation. 

Byakuya had no idea where Renji had learned such things, but it truly didn’t matter. What mattered was that, for the first time in his life, he felt cared for. Every move Renji made was calm, confident, and gentle, and it made Byakuya have no choice but to completely fold under his touch. And he didn’t mind at all. Where he expected to have some reservations, perhaps a bit of tense hesitation, he found only comfort and trust. 

Renji was his best friend. He had never given him reason not to trust him. He had been there through the fallout of every failed relationship. Usually, all it took was a drink and some venting, so he hadn’t been sure what to expect in the aftermath of something so utterly different. No one had ever made him feel worthless. He had always been able to bounce back from the failures. He didn’t know whether Renji would be able to handle something like this. 

But he could. 

And he was making Byakuya finally feel like he mattered again. Renji was doing this for him, not to him, and the difference was tangible in the way he touched him. He snuck a glance at the man before him, and what he found in Renji’s eyes almost caused tears to well in his own. There was such overt admiration in those dark brown depths as he worked his way down his arm, firmly massaging out the knots. He looked at him as though he was the only person in the world. And even if it was a temporary feeling that came with his task, Byakuya would revel in the attention for as long as he could. 

Renji stroked down Byakuya's arms for a minute after he completed his massage, making sure the other was fully used to his touch and completely relaxed. He then picked up the roll of ribbon, allowing it to unravel. There were actually two separate strands, wound together, and he divided them and set them so that one laid over each of Byakuya's wrists, carefully noting his reaction at the feel of the fabric against his skin. 

Byakuya swallowed a gasp at the contact of the satin to his skin. Not because it was unpleasant. Exactly the opposite. It was pulling him further into relaxation, and closer to the state Renji had described. 

He sat up a bit, not much, and looked down to Renji, who was meeting his stare intently. Without a word, he stared at the ribbons on his wrists, taking a deep breath to remind himself that Renji didn’t mean him harm. This was to help him. So, he gave his friend a small nod and leaned his head back against the back of the couch, steadying his breathing as an attempt to calm his racing heart. 

Renji found himself smiling warmly at his reaction. Byakuya was such a natural submissive - no wonder he had such awful luck in relationships. He wasn't with people who knew what he needed, that could adequately meet this core need in his sexuality, in his demeanor. Had Renji been remotely aware before, he may have tried to educate him about himself, before he had such a terrible experience. But there was no use in what ifs - Renji had always looked resolutely forward and he was determined that Byakuya's future experiences with a partner would be positive ones. 

Even if that partner wasn't him. 

Renji looped each ribbon so that they were wrapped centered upon each wrist before gently pulling his wrists to lay one on top of the other. He secured them together, making sure the ribbon remained smooth and flat against his skin, his fingers checking to make sure it was tight, restraining, but still allowing for proper circulation. 

He then wound each ribbon up his arms, crisscrossing the fabric so that it firmly wrapped him, the pressure giving the feeling of being securely held in place. He tied the ends together when he reached the material on the rolled sleeve, making sure the tie was tight without being too tight. He then lightly pet down Byakuya's bound arms, whispering reassurances he wasn't certain the other could really hear anymore. He had fallen into subspace some time ago, Renji had felt him go completely boneless while he'd been wrapping the first arm. 

Still he spoke to him, his words as close to a confession of the feelings he had buried for this man as he would allow himself to utter. "You're doing so well Bya, you're amazing, allowing me to take care of you. Your submission is breathtaking, beautiful. You're beautiful, so beautiful wrapped in silk and allowing yourself to be guided by my voice, by my hands. I'm so honored to have your trust, that I'm allowed to be here, by your side through this, to see you this way. Thank you Bya, so much. You have no idea how much you mean to me, how much this means to me, how much I want to take care of you…"

Byakuya hardly knew whether he was even breathing anymore. But he was alive, so he figured he had to be. He didn’t feel anything except Renji’s hands on his arms, lightly moving up and down the satin fabric. The room didn’t exist. The couch he sat on wasn’t there. It was just him and Renji, deep in his subconscious mind. And, really, he never wanted the peace to end. If he ever woke up from this, reality would surely come crashing back in, reminding him of everything he had been through. This was an escape, but he feared its durability. When his eyes opened, would everything go back to the way it was? When the ribbons were unwrapped, would Renji leave?

Then he heard his voice. The conviction in his words was astonishing. Did he really mean all of that? That he thought he was beautiful? That doing this really meant that much to him? It had to all be true. Renji had never lied to him. 

The undeniable emotion and truth in what he said caused tears to drop from Byakuya’s eyes, though he didn’t have the presence of mind to care. 

Because they weren’t tears of sadness. 

Not anymore. 

Even if they weren’t together, he had someone who cared, and that was something he had only wished for before. Maybe… maybe when he opened his eyes… 

…Renji would still be there. 

Renji kept speaking to him softly, kept gently running his hands along his arms. At the sight of fresh tears he brought a hand up to carefully wipe them away, eyes widening slightly at the automatic motion as he hadn't explicitly asked to touch Byakuya's face. He relaxed however and had to resist touching him further as Byakuya leaned into his hand upon his cheek. He ached to taste his lips, to kiss away his silent tears, for this beautiful man to truly belong to him. 

But Byakuya was far from ready, and he treasured his friendship. Byakuya was within his subspace, placing his complete trust in him. Renji had no idea if he was even attracted to him. As much as his reactions towards him pulled at his heart and made him want to pull him into his arms, he couldn't be sure that's what Byakuya really wanted, and he was far from a frame of mind where he could make such a decision. Byakuya was comforted by his presence, his touch. That's what he knew for certain, that's what he had to focus on. 

He just had to convince his heart of that. 

Byakuya was glad that Renji hadn’t moved his hand from his cheek. The warmth was comforting, and the fact that he was still paying such close attention, seeing his tears and acting, just caused his mind to drift even further from reality. 

Nothing mattered. He was beginning to forget what he had even been so depressed about before. Whatever it was, Renji had chased it away, and that was fine. He could keep his arms tied forever for all he cared. 

As long as he was there when he had to come back. 

Still, that one thing kept sneaking into his ocean of peace, reminding him of the possibilities. But, was it even really a possibility? Was there even a small part of him that thought Renji would leave? After everything they had talked about, the vast acceptance and willingness to help, would he really leave? Surely not. 

Not Renji.

He would be there.

Renji let him remain bound like that, allowed him to continue his unconscious nuzzling into hand, until his tears completely receded and his breathing evened to the point that - except for the other still pressing into his hand - he would have been convinced he'd fallen asleep. 

Renji's hand on his cheek softly caressed him before raising a bit to brush the soft ebony hair from his face, momentarily amazed at how silky it felt. He shook his head, forcing himself to focus and forcing his hand to withdraw from those silky strands. 

"I'm going to release you now Bya. You're doing so well. I want you to keep breathing for me, nice and steady. I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere, not unless you tell me to and I'm certain you'll be alright. Don't move unless you feel me move you, then move with me. You're doing so amazing, so beautiful Bya…"

Byakuya did his best to follow Renji’s instructions. As soon as the ribbons even began to loosen as he untied them, he wanted to pull out of them, if only to fall into his best friend’s arms and thank him. But he held his ground, waiting until he was free to move. Far be it from him to interrupt the tender, loving process Renji was treating him to.

Renji grinned a bit, sensing Byakuya's want to move but proud of him for following his instructions. Renji made quick work of untying him, though he remained diligent in massaging each inch of exposed skin, making sure the muscles had remained relaxed and that Byakuya had good circulation. 

When he finally finished freeing him, he allowed the ribbon to fall to the floor beside him - he'd wrap it later. For now he reclaimed Byakuya's hand with one of his own, the other returning to his hair, his fingers carding through the silken black strands in a comforting manner. He desperately wanted to hold him, to shower him with butterfly kisses as he praised him… He defty fought the impulse to act but the praise fell from his lips all the same. 

"So good Bya, you did so well. I'm so happy you allowed me to do that - to take care of you. Thank you, so so much. I've got you, I'm here. I won't leave you Bya. I could never leave you…" 

Byakuya felt himself slowly coming back. His body was a bit less numb, and his surroundings were returning. Finally, he opened his eyes, and when he saw Renji kneeling before him, such pride in his eyes, he smiled. He flexed his fingers around Renji’s hand, and, deciding that he had ample strength to do so, he slid off the couch and loosely strung his arms around Renji’s neck, sinking into him and burying his face into the side of his neck. 

“I should be thanking you, Renji. Please, please, don’t leave,” he begged, his words still a bit slurred.

Renji was stunned, to say the least, but he took Byakuya's embrace in stride, carefully not tensing up and slowly wrapping his arms around him. It was difficult to control his breathing with Byakuya's breath against his neck, and he was only partially successful in controlling a shiver the sensation sent throughout his body. "Never," Renji murmured, resting his cheek against soft black hair while resisting the urge to kiss it as well. "I'll stay as long as you want me to, forever and a day."

At his reassuring words, Byakuya took in a deep, shuddering breath. Renji was serious. And, in that moment, Byakuya wouldn’t care if he did stay forever. Suddenly, an unexpected yawn surfaced, and he tried to hide it in the shoulder of Renji’s shirt. 

“For starters, will you just stay the night? I don’t think I could wake up alone again,” he requested quietly.

Renji smiled, allowing himself to feel a small thrill at the request before saying, "Of course. Let's get you to bed." Renji deftly lifted him into his arms, grinning widely at Byakuya's slightly widened eyes, pleased that his arms remained lightly wrapped around his neck. "Did you really expect me to allow you to ruin such a thorough massage by walking to bed?" 

He didn't wait for an answer - neither did he expect one - and carried him to his room, thankful that the door was open, before gently depositing him upon the bed. He quickly retrieved Byakuya's usual sleep clothes - this wasn't the first time he'd helped him to bed although it was the first time Byakuya had been sober for this process. 

He then turned around, resolutely staring at the wall. "I'm not going to leave you but I'm sure you don't want me to watch you change. So I won't look away from this wall until you tell me to."

Byakuya was grateful for the courtesy. Both courtesies, actually. He could still see Renji as he changed, but he also wasn’t being exposed to the man. It was ridiculous, really, that he had never seen that such a perfect human being had been his best friend all this time. This was just another instance on the long list of times Renji had been there for him. 

“Alright, I’m decent,” Byakuya muttered before settling in bed. 

Renji turned and gifted him a warm smile, seeing he was indeed decent and settled. He closed the door, knowing Byakuya preferred it that way, and flicked off the lights before approaching the bed. He paused before joining him, however, unwilling to step over any boundaries his long-time friend wanted to preserve. 

"Do you want me to sleep beneath the sheet with you? Otherwise I'm fine with just the blanket… And do you mind if I slip out of this shirt at least, if not these pants as well? They're just not very comfortable to sleep in but I'll keep them on if you want me to. This is your house and your room Bya, you should never be made to feel uncomfortable here."

Byakuya couldn’t help but chuckle a bit at all the questions. Renji certainly hadn’t been so insistent in the past about such things. Not that he had ever done anything that did make Byakuya uncomfortable, but it wouldn’t be the first time he had seen the man shirtless. 

“Renji, make yourself comfortable. And if you’re going to take off your shirt and pants, I would have to insist that you sleep under every piece of cover that you can. It is January, and I know I have heating in this mansion, but it’s much too cold for you to be passing up on extra warmth.” Just as an extra dose of reassurance, he threw Renji a smile in the dim light. 

Renji grinned, quickly ridding himself of his shirt, jeans, and socks for good measure, not really caring where they fell to the floor, wanting nothing more than to slide into bed beside this gorgeous man. He shivered a bit at the chilled air but sighed as the heavy blankets settled over him and laid as close as he dared to Byakuya, feeling the other's body heat next to him and feeling ridiculously pleased that he could. He reached out to him, his fingers finding Byakuya's nearest arm beneath the sheet and following it down to clasp his hand, giving him a gentle squeeze, ensuring the other that he was there - that he wouldn't leave him - that he'd still be there when he woke. 

“You know… it’s like you read my mind. I thought it was going to be childish to ask you to hold my hand. I just can’t help but think… this must be a dream. But I guess, as long as I can feel your hand, I’ll know it’s not,” Byakuya whispered, already falling asleep through his unsteady words. 

"If this is a dream, I'll be very disappointed to wake from it," Renji admitted quietly. He squeezed his hand again before breathing out, "I never thought I could be here for you like this - I really am so grateful Bya. I meant every word. I'm not going anywhere, and I'll be here with you still when you open your eyes in the morning." 

He turned towards him, allowing his head to shift closer so that he was able press his nose against his soft hair, breathing in his scent and smiling in contentment. "Good night, Bya,” he whispered, his breath shifting the soft raven hair as he spoke. Love you remained unspoken on the tip of his tongue, swallowed down, and he couldn't help but give his hand another gentle squeeze. 

Byakuya barely heard Renji’s voice, but he made out his words. The fact that he was still expressing gratitude to him was unbelievable. He wasn’t owed any thanks. Still, he turned onto his side and curled into the curve of Renji’s body, feeling his warm breath on his forehead. 

“Good night, Renji. Thank you. For everything.”

Renji tentatively brought his other arm up to hold Byakuya as he curled into him, his lips brushing against his forehead in the ghost of a kiss as he breathed with their position, and he felt… 

He felt like he belonged here, and that Byakuya fit perfectly - belonged - in his arms. He felt completely at peace, for the first time in a long time, finally able to care for the man he felt so deeply for. 

He nearly laughed at the thought… Byakuya had been worried he was only dreaming… 

If either of them were dreaming, surely it was him. 

But he wasn't; Byakuya really was here, he really was holding him, and the other really had allowed him to bind him, slip him deep into subspace, and gently pull him back to himself. 

Their relationship would be forever altered by this but Renji refused to regret any action, any comment tonight. Byakuya had needed him - he still needed him. And he'd be there for him. In whatever capacity the other needed him to be. 

Because he loved him. 

He couldn't deny it anymore - Byakuya was utterly perfect to him. 

Whatever he needed, whatever he chose, Renji would be there. 

He smiled against his forehead, feeling Byakuya's breathing even out and his body relax into sleep, his expression both happy and melancholy in the dim light of the room, fading from his face as he too let sleep claim his mind. 

He'd meant every word he'd said. 

He'd be here for him… 

He'd stay with him as long as he wanted him to… 

…forever and a day… 

Chapter Text

Byakuya woke early the next morning, as was usual for him. But, before he even opened his eyes, he realized something was different. An involuntary twitch of his hand told him that someone else was holding it, and he was abnormally warm, heat radiating from a body next to his. In the hazy, half asleep state, he was almost alarmed. But then he remembered. 

Renji was there…

…and he hadn’t let go. 

Determined to confirm the memory, he forced his eyes to open to the still dark room. It was just as he thought. Renji was still sleeping, his deep breathing and lax expression giving it away instantly. Byakuya was glad he had awakened first, though. It gave him time to gather his thoughts. He had fallen asleep still in a bit of a daze. Everything had happened so quickly between Renji untying his arms and the two of them going to bed. 

He tried to recount the evening, still somewhat in a state of disbelief that it had happened at all. Renji had come over unannounced, big surprise there, and all but demanded to know what had been bothering him. But, when the story spilled, he had only been more determined to stay. It was the exact opposite of what Byakuya had expected. It seemed that anyone else would have been angry with him for not getting over such an obviously toxic relationship, or at least pitied him and his weakness. Anyone else certainly wouldn’t have stayed silent, let him speak, and then actually helped him.

But Renji… Renji had done everything he didn’t expect. He listened. He stayed. He helped in a way Byakuya didn’t even know he needed. Renji had made him feel things he had never expected were possible, and he had barely touched him, really. It was odd, what Renji had said. Well, so many things he said had seemed odd, but one thing stood out to him.

You wouldn’t need to do anything physically intimate with me.

While Byakuya knew what he meant, that he didn’t have to do anything sexual with him, what he had experienced had felt extremely intimate. He truly hated to admit it, but it made him want to keep Renji with him every moment of the day. Anyone who could make him feel like that should never be able to leave his sight. It was childish, and he knew it. The other man would have to go to work, run errands, go back to his own home at some point. 

Such an attachment also caused other red flags to flash in Byakuya’s mind. After what had happened so many times before, and especially after this most recent fallout, he didn’t want to be romantic with anyone anytime soon. Still, even without the romantic implications, it seemed that Renji was content just being there for him for now, and for that Byakuya was infinitely grateful. 

The sun was beginning to light the room, and Byakuya smiled at the hair that had escaped from Renji’s braid in the night and fallen over his face. He wanted to push it back, but he didn’t want to wake him. The longer he could look at him, the better. His eyes traced the tattoos on his neck, and when his gaze began to wander downward he was abruptly reminded that Renji had discarded his shirt before getting into bed. He vaguely looked over the jagged tribal patterns on his chest. He had always found Renji’s tattoos interesting, but in the early morning light, they were all the more intriguing. He was incredibly tempted to touch them, but he knew better. He didn’t want to lead Renji on, and there was no way his heart was ready for that yet. Maybe, given some time, but not yet.

He hoped Renji would wait for him.

The alarm sounding from Renji's phone woke him, as it did every morning, programmed to go off an hour before he had to head in for work. Renji groaned, turning over to silence his phone on the nightstand. But it wasn’t there. He blinked for a minute, events from last night slowly coming back to him - he really wasn’t a morning person and thinking before coffee was a bit of a challenge - but he found himself fully awake the moment he recognized the room his was in - the bed he was in - and exactly whose hand it had to be that was still clasped within his own.

He turned back to see Byakuya watching him, a warm smile immediately appearing on his face as he took in the calm expression of his friend. It had been so long since he’d seen him this relaxed, and he was infinitely grateful that - at least it didn’t seem like - Byakuya had regretted anything said or done between them last night.

“Hey,” Renji said softly, squeezing his hand, “I’ll need to let you go for a moment to silence that… Probably on the floor in my pocket.”

Byakuya had to fight back a chuckle at how disoriented Renji seemed to be when he first woke up. His immediate change in demeanor when he looked at him, though, was actually not so unexpected after the previous night. It was a comfort, though also a bit puzzling. He had no idea exactly why Renji looked at him like that. With all the softness in the world. 

“Of course. I’ll be fine,” Byakuya assured him, returning his smile.

Renji squeezed his hand once more before letting go, already lamenting the loss of contact with the beautiful man next to him. The connection was meant to be a comfort to Byakuya, to ground him in the present and to reassure him he wasn’t going anywhere, but Renji was amazed how much the simple gesture was comforting him as well. 

He could still barely believe Byakuya had allowed him to help him last night, and to stay with him afterwards. Him wanting and needing him there wasn’t unexpected - what was unexpected was that the stubborn man had finally allowed himself to accept the help and comfort Renji so desperately wanted to offer him. He had a bad habit of not doing things for himself, especially if he thought he was inconveniencing anyone else. Like his own happiness and well-being mattered less than those around him. 

Renji hoped, over time, he could convince him that those things did matter. They were important. Especially to him. 

Renji stretched as he sat up, the covers falling towards his hips, completely exposing his upper body to the chilled morning air and he couldn’t help but shiver. He leaned over the side of the bed, grabbed the leg of his pants and pulled it over to retrieve and silence the insistent alarm. He checked the time, mostly out of habit. 6:03 a.m. He glanced back at Byakuya, not remotely wanting to leave him, but he still needed to return home, shower, and change before needing to be at work by 7:30, which he would need to start heading off to do if he wanted to be on time.

Or… He could call in… Seeing Byakuya laying beside him was more than tempting. But… Byakuya could also be wanting some space right now. He seemed like he was fine, that he’d be alright if Renji left. He looked entirely awake, present. He was still concerned though of the possibility of the other dropping when he left. Having to leave without being fully confident in his friend’s mental state was creating a conflict within him. If him leaving right now caused Byakuya to revisit those feelings of abandonment, he’d never forgive himself.

He decided he’d just ask him, although he was already fairly certain of the answer. If he told him to go off to work, he decided he’d just text to check in with him as frequently as he could get away with, as well as call so he could judge from the other’s tone of voice if he was really okay. After so many years, Renji could usually tell when he tried to hide how he was really feeling. 

“I need to leave soon if I’m going to make it to work on time, but if you want me to I’ll call in.” Renji grinned, trying to add a bit of reassurance and levity as he said, “I’d definitely rather be here with you than at work today. It’s up to you. I told you I wouldn’t leave you if you didn’t want me to,” he added, his smile becoming soft, “And I meant it.”

Byakuya was taken aback by the offer, and he immediately shook his head.

“Renji, you’re not missing work on my account. If you need to go, then go. Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. You’re not wasting the day here,” he insisted. Though, he actually wanted him to. The thought of Renji leaving made his heart beat a little faster. But it was ridiculous to think that Renji should do something as drastic as call in to work. 

Looking up at him, though, he knew he was serious. He would drop everything if Byakuya wanted him to. Despite his smile, which tried to hide the concern he knew was embedded in every word he spoke, Byakuya saw what he really meant. Nothing in the world would keep him from taking care of him. No one had ever been that way for him. Still, he wasn’t letting Renji put his life on hold for it. 

“Go to work, Renji. But… I’d like for you to come back here when you get off. If you don’t have anything else to do, of course,” he requested, turning his gaze to the pillow beneath his head.

Renji’s eyes widened slightly at the words. Byakuya had never asked him to return, to visit him - Renji was always the one that had to impose himself on his reclusive friend. Byakuya asking for him to come back… and so soon… clearly he needed him. Renji would still respect his decision but he wasn’t going to just go about his day without checking up on him. 

“Of course I’ll come back, as soon as I’m off today. Nothing is more important to me right now than making sure you’re alright. I’ll also be periodically texting and calling you today, which I’m expecting you to answer. Will you do that for me? It’d make me feel a lot better. You might think it’s silly but I know you need support right now, and it’s okay to accept it, Bya. I want to help you.”

Byakuya couldn’t help it when his eyes wandered back to his friend as he spoke. Why on earth this man was so concerned for him was still a mystery. Yes, they had been friends for years, but he had never been like this. Devoted was the only word he could find to describe it. It seemed a bit sudden. More than a bit sudden. Very sudden. After one night, Renji acted like he was the only person on earth that mattered. Texting and calling in the middle of the day to check on him? It all seemed extreme to him. He would only be gone for the work day.

But, if he was honest with himself, it felt fantastic to have someone so worried about him. He was deeply touched that Renji would inconvenience himself to be this concerned with his well-being. Byakuya didn’t even concern himself with his own problems that much. Obviously, Renji knew that. Perhaps this latest bout of depression was the last straw for him. So, Byakuya decided it was best to just let Renji take care of him. Surely once he was back on his feet, things would go back to normal. After all, he wasn’t really worth all of this fuss anyway.

“I’ll answer your calls and texts, as unnecessary as they are. I’ll be fine for a few hours, I promise,” he finally replied. He sat up next to Renji to look him in the eyes and give him a reassuring smile.

Renji nodded, glad Byakuya wasn’t going to be at all stubborn about this. He knew the other probably felt fine now, but that could easily decline throughout the day, especially alone in this massive house. Renji slid out of bed, quickly redressing himself, and then paused, looking back at Byakuya’s form still sitting upon the bed. The urge to hug - or even kiss - him goodbye struck him powerfully but he managed to control himself. 

That wasn’t his place. It may never be. And that was alright. If he could see Byakuya on the other side of this, happy, that’s all that mattered. 

So instead he just grinned, waving slightly, “I know my way out, you relax a bit longer - I wish I could. And don’t forget to answer your phone or I’m going to come right back here,” he finished with a playful wink. Byakuya probably didn’t understand just how serious he was though. He was more fragile right now than he realized and Renji would not allow him to drop on his own again.

Byakuya shook his head as Renji turned to leave. When he heard the door close, he sighed. It was nearly 6:30 now. Renji had wasted far too much time, but he didn’t regret letting him go. He could handle himself. He wasn’t a child. He considered lying back down, but the thought of being in bed alone was even worse than wandering the house alone, so he pushed the blankets off of himself and got up. He changed into jeans and a sweater. Just that made him feel a bit of accomplishment. Most days in the past few months, he didn’t even get out of his pajamas. He made it a point to shove his phone into his pocket before leaving the room. It was clear that Renji wasn’t kidding about coming back if he didn’t reply.

As he walked to the kitchen, he tried to plan his day, carefully filling every hour with something until Renji returned. He certainly had enough work to catch up on after doing the bare minimum for three months. But none of that would take nine hours. So, he carved out time for other things. Eating. Laundry. Perhaps some light cleaning. Anything to distract himself from just how lonely he already was.

He jumped a bit at the sound of his phone ringing and he answered, seeing it was from Renji.

“Hey, I made it home, about to head into work. Still alright? You can change your mind Bya, be honest.”

Byakuya smiled and rolled his eyes. It had been all of ten minutes. 

“I’m fine, Renji. I haven’t even had a chance to make breakfast yet,” he replied with a light laugh. If this was how the day was going to be, he supposed he wasn’t going to have the chance to feel lonely for long.

“Alright. Remember to keep your phone on you.” With that Renji hung up and Byakuya shook his head again. Perhaps… Today would be better.

Byakuya actually felt lighter as he went about his day. Nothing seemed quite so arduous, and he actually opened the blinds despite the cold that tried to invade through the old windows. Someday, he would find it worth it to spend the money to replace them. Such things didn’t really matter to him. He was the only one who lived there. It had been that way for years since his sister moved out to fill a position at their headquarters location in the Cities. So, his own discomfort didn’t concern him, and the cold had never been his least favorite thing anyway.

He had just sat down in his office after eating breakfast when his phone chimed at him, showing a text message from Renji.

Just made it to work. What are you up to?

Byakuya couldn’t stop himself from smiling. 

About to do some work myself. I’ve got a lot to catch up on.

He didn’t even put his phone down before he was getting another message.

You’re still doing alright?

Yes, I’m good. Thank you.

Byakuya knew Renji couldn’t hear the sincerity in his thanks, but he hoped it came across anyway.

You’re welcome. I’ll check on you again soon.

Finally, Byakuya put his phone down next to his laptop and set himself to work. 

It was already afternoon when he finally sat back from his desk. Renji had been texting him every thirty minutes or so inquiring about his condition, and they’d had a brief conversation while he was on his lunch break. He was actually surprised when he was able to honestly tell his friend that he was doing well. The brightness of the sun reflecting off of the snow outside lifted his spirits, and having something to occupy him kept his mind from wandering too much to the fact that he was by himself. 

But, with his work finished, his heart unexpectedly skipped. He quickly took a deep breath.

“Don’t do this, Byakuya. Renji’s going to be back in three hours. You’re fine,” he whispered to himself. Determined to keep his mind occupied, he snatched his phone up from the desk and went to complete the other tasks he had planned for the day. He was going to do this. He was not going to make Renji leave work early. He could survive three hours.

By the time four o’clock arrived, Byakuya was in the sitting room, staring out at the snow, focusing on how the sun made it look like crystals on the ground. Thirty minutes. In thirty minutes, Renji’s shift would end. He hated that he was teetering on the edge, despite Renji’s insistent, overly kind messages throughout the day. He didn’t want Renji to come back and find him like this. He didn’t want him to think that what he was doing for him wasn’t enough. It was. It was more than enough. 

It was more than anyone else had ever done… 

He didn’t even realize he had been sitting there for so long fighting with himself until he heard the door open. 

“Bya! I’m back! You didn’t answer that last text I sent…” Renji called as he opened the door. He would usually never let himself in but he was beyond worried. Byakuya had been doing good all day, sounded fine at lunch, but when he’d messaged that he was on his way there he hadn’t responded. He quickly pushed off his shoes, tossed his coat on a nearby chair, and called out again, “Bya? Where are you?”

Byakuya’s heart was racing. He tried to breathe deeply, but his inhales were still forced and unsteady. His hands were shaking. He was absolutely mortified that he couldn’t seem to make it one day without someone else. No, not just without someone else…  

…Without Renji. 

“I’m in the sitting room,” he called in reply, scolding himself for not keeping his voice level. 

Renji sighed in relief when Byakuya answered him - he hadn’t been looking forward to searching the immense house, but he would have - although he was still concerned over the tone of his voice. He quickly walked to the sitting room, careful not to run - no matter how much he wanted to - because he needed to remain steady and calm for Byakuya’s sake. He needed to be his strength right now, and he was determined to do so.

Dark eyes immediately found Byakuya sitting in the same position he had been yesterday, seemingly entranced by the snow outside the large window. He smiled at the sight, relieved to see him dressed and looking more put together than he had been the last few times he’d been over. Byakuya had been letting himself go, as far as his appearance was concerned; it was a comfort to see his long obsidian hair neatly brushed and in warm, fresh clothes. But the look in those slate gray eyes concerned him. He didn’t seem to be completely present, and Renji dreaded where his mind may have taken him. 

He walked over to him, sitting beside him on the couch and placing his hand between them, his palm facing upwards and open in silent invitation for the other to take. “I’m here Bya,” Renji said softly, “I’m back.”

Byakuya glanced down to Renji’s hand and tried not to seem hurried as he took it, wrapping his fingers around it tightly as he held back tears.

“I’m glad you’re back, Renji,” he said. But when he blinked, the wetness fell anyway. He immediately wiped it away. “I’m fine now, really. I’m better now that you’re here,” he assured his friend, still stubbornly keeping his eyes to the snow outside. He took a deep breath, this time successfully, and squeezed Renji’s hand. For a moment, he just reveled in the warmth that flooded his heart. Somehow, Renji made him feel complete, and he never wanted to let go of that.

“I’m glad,” Renji said quietly, a soft smile on his face. “I’m really proud of you, actually. You did well, answering me all day - barely kept me waiting. Thank you for that - it helped put my mind at ease. I really hated leaving you this morning. I hope you didn’t feel annoyed at all…” 

“Not even slightly,” Byakuya replied honestly. Finally, he let his eyes wander to Renji’s face. Just seeing him again made the whole day seem like nothing. The isolation that had threatened to creep in half an hour ago vanished just with Renji’s presence. “I do wish you’d stop thanking me, though. I’ve done nothing compared to what you’ve done for me. Thank you, Renji. You’ve done more for me in the last twenty-four hours than anyone else has done in my entire life,” he admitted. 

Renji’s smile grew slightly. Byakuya had no idea what being able to take care of him meant to him - and he may never fully understand. That was fine, he didn’t need him to. He made a mental note though to try and rein in such statements. He didn’t want to make the other uncomfortable at all - no matter how true his gratitude was, if Byakuya didn’t understand it he may start to think his words were condescending which was the last thing Renji wanted.

“I’m just doing what any decent person should do for someone they care about,” Renji said simply. “I told you before, Bya, I like taking care of you. It’s that difference in temperament I was talking about before. Just like there are other people like you, people that are able to give up their control and completely place themselves in another person’s care, there are people that enjoy assuming that control and being there for them. You allowing me to be here for you, it comforts me, the same way what I did for you yesterday comforted you. It’s also part of the reason I keep thanking you, I really do appreciate that you're allowing me to do this, to be here with you.”

Byakuya absorbed the words, understanding them a bit better with a clearer mind. Last night, he swore he forgot half of what Renji said in the haze of depression that was still consuming him. It still didn’t make all the sense in the world, but he figured he would have to accept it. Renji was one of those mythological creatures. One of those people who wanted to take care of others. And Byakuya was more than grateful that he had someone like him for a best friend. If he didn’t, he had no idea where he would be.

“I guess I’ve never known many decent people, then,” he muttered. He shifted his hand in Renji’s just enough to twine their fingers together, still holding tightly and completely unwilling to let go.

“You know,” Renji said softly, feeling warm inside from Byakuya’s hold on his hand, “there are other people, both like you and like me. Decent people. I could introduce you, if you wanted. I’ve been worried about you for some time, in this house on your own. You only seem to meet people through your work, and they never seem to be good for you. I just… I really want you to be happy Bya. Really happy. And to understand yourself a bit better, concerning this. It’s completely up to you, of course.” Renji grinned at him, squeezing his hand, “No matter what, you’ll always have me though, Bya. After so many years, I can’t imagine you not being a part of my life, not visiting you like this. It’s the highlight of my week,” he finished with a light laugh.

There were just more and more unbelievable things spilling from Renji’s lips. Byakuya had no idea Renji felt this strongly for him. Being this cared for was completely foreign to him. He did nothing to deserve it, and he was under the impression that Renji expected nothing in return. He hadn’t asked for anything yet. 

Suddenly, a haunting, but completely unrealistic fear crawled to the front of Byakuya’s mind. What if… Renji was doing this to wiggle his way in until he had an opportunity to ask for something? Something Byakuya didn’t want to give? It wouldn’t be the first time someone had done that to him. Being as wealthy and attractive as he was, he had been a target for such tasteless things before. Usually, it was much more obvious, though. It would start with innocent touches that got more brazen, eventually ending with Byakuya feeling a bit coerced into bed. He regretted it, certainly, but he never did have the confidence to refuse.

He stared intently at his best friend, trying desperately to read his intentions. Renji was kind. He always had been. But Byakuya didn’t know much about his romantic relationships. Surely a change in context didn’t change who Renji was. But, he had thought the same thing about his ex-boyfriend. The kindness that man had treated him to was highly temporary. With a shaky sigh, he began to methodically run his thumb over Renji’s hand, if anything to keep himself from crying again.

“Before I answer that… I need to know. What do you want from me, Renji?” he asked. He felt guilty even asking such a thing. Renji had earned his trust time and time again. But the looming possibility that he was wrong about him was torturous. He didn’t dare meet Renji’s eyes. He was ashamed, but there was no way to take it back now. The words had been spoken, and he hoped they weren’t as hurtful as he knew they sounded.

“What do you want from me, Renji?” The question echoed in Renji’s mind and he was honestly torn in his answer. Byakuya needed nothing but the truth - if he were to continue to help him, he needed his complete trust. More than that, he wanted to keep his trust. He also couldn’t think through his answer very long, Byakuya would think it was scripted. Well… Renji wasn’t one for thought-through, calculated words anyway. He’d just be as honest as he could and hope he wouldn’t send his best friend running.

“Right now… I just want you to keep letting me help you. More than anything, that’s what I want - your trust. I’m not willing to do anything to harm that, Bya. Beyond that, I want you to do whatever you need to do in order to become happy, to feel whole. Whatever it takes for you to become that, for me to see you accept yourself, I’ll do my best to help - and I’m asking you to let me do that - to share my knowledge, my time, my concern, whatever you need me to give. 

“I want you to be willing to take from me, without feeling guilty, without worrying if you're causing me any discomfort or bothering me - you know me Bya, I’ll tell you if you’re going too far. Trust that I will. And never be afraid to ask me - for anything you need. I mean it. I won’t judge you, or think less of you - at all. I couldn't, not of you, Bya. If it’s something I’m not willing to do, I’ll simply tell you. Although… I honestly doubt there’s much you’d ask of me that I wouldn't do for you…” He smiled, laughing lightly again and squeezing Byakuya’s hand, “You almost never ask for things for yourself. I wish you would though, at least from me…”

The tears had started about halfway through Renji’s response. Byakuya diligently wiped them away with his sleeve. Despite the confidence in Renji’s words, he was almost sure he had hurt him. He had to have. It was a ridiculous, thoughtless question to ask, and nothing Renji had said was new. He knew Renji didn’t mean him any harm, but his past hurt had taken over again, causing him to doubt someone who had been so constant. 

“I’m so sorry,” he whispered, giving up on clearing his cheeks of wetness. “I shouldn’t have thought you would do anything to hurt me. I’m such an idiot …” he trailed off as actual sobs broke through his control. But this was what he did. He let his own insecurities push people away. Maybe, by some miracle, Renji would still be there at the end of the day. But no one, especially not someone as caring as Renji, should have to tolerate this instability. 

Renji tightened his grip on their joined hands, his thumb pressing firm circles against Byakuya’s wrist, reminiscent from the night before. He wanted to pull him into his arms but was hesitant to initiate such a thing. He was still a bit uncertain of the level of physical contact Byakuya was alright with. Sure he’d hugged him on the floor last night, but he’d barely been coming out of subspace. It was usual for a submissive to want more physical contact after such a thing. 

He really needed to have a conversation with him about what this all meant, talk about boundaries and consent so he knew exactly what he was and wasn’t allowed to do with him. Byakuya didn’t need a romantic relationship right now, that would only confuse things - as thrilled as that would make Renji. The plainness of a contract would help a lot here - for both of them, if Renji were honest. Because one wrong reaction from him could really hurt Byakuya in this state - emotionally and mentally - and that was the last thing Renji wanted to do. 

“Bya,” Renji murmured, the motion of his thumb continuing as he spoke, attempting through that small contact to steady him in the present, “you have every reason to guard yourself right now. I understand. I’d be concerned if you weren’t concerned about being hurt again. You are the furthest person from an idiot I’ve ever met. It’s okay - your question was more than fair. And I would have wanted to make that clear to you anyway. There’s honestly so much I need to tell you, talk to you about, but we’ll go slow and take all the time you need.” He paused, smiling at the fact that his sobs were coming a bit back under control. “You’re not pushing me away Bya,” Renji stated with conviction, his tone clear yet fond, “I’m not going anywhere.”

Byakuya attempted to steady himself, closing his eyes and focusing on the firm pressure of Renji’s thumb on his hand. Gradually, he started to consider his response. He wasn’t hurt at all. He completely understood and accepted what was happening in Byakuya’s mind. 

And he was staying. 

Byakuya considered his next move very carefully. He didn’t want Renji to misread his actions. So, despite how much he didn’t trust his voice, he decided to begin with words.

“Renji… you told me that you wish I would ask things of you. So, I’m going to make a request. I enjoyed the way you touched me last night. I’m not saying I want you to do all of it again. I just… I need to know that someone can touch me without the intent to go further. So… I just want you to hold me. Please,” he said, his voice barely above a whisper. He looked to Renji, hoping he hadn’t crossed any boundaries.

Renji nodded, immediately but gently pulling him to lean against his chest, wrapping his arms around him in a close, firm embrace, his arms crossed over Byakuya’s chest and firmly clasping both of his arms, just below his shoulders, applying a constant, gentle pressure. He knew it would feel restraining to him - that was the point - he’d wanted a similar experience to last night. To be sure it wasn’t a fluke, that he could experience such a thing without going further, physically - and Renji couldn’t blame him. 

Like the natural submissive he was, Byakuya relaxed against him, his head falling onto his shoulder, and Renji allowed his own cheek to rest against his soft raven hair. He concentrated on his own breathing, keeping himself utterly calm. He didn’t even try to keep the content smile off his face - Byakuya couldn’t see it anyway. He just felt so perfect in his arms. “Like this?” Renji whispered next to his ear. 

“Yes, that’s perfect. Thank you,” Byakuya replied. He felt like he was melting into Renji’s body, and, just like the night before, he couldn’t care less. Finally, he felt like he could breathe easier. He brought his hands up to lightly hold onto Renji’s arms, and he turned his head to nuzzle into Renji’s neck. It was just so comfortable, and he found himself again considering the fact that Renji was everything positive in his life. 

He always knew what to say and how to act. He had brought Byakuya out of more than just this, and he had never properly expressed his gratitude for any of it. 

“Renji… I know it’s not enough to just say this, but thank you. For everything you’ve done for me all these years. I haven’t made it easy,” he spoke quietly, not wanting to ruin the stillness in the room. He shifted only a bit, settling himself even more thoroughly against the warm body beside him.

Renji suppressed a shiver at Byakuya nuzzling into his neck - he’d always been a bit sensitive there - and continued concentrating on his breathing. He knew if he focused too much on the feeling of Byakuya against him that he’d definitely become aroused and Byakuya did not need to deal with that. He’d said he could do this, that he wouldn’t pressure him into anything more physically intimate, and he wouldn’t. He could control himself - he’d had enough practice by now. Byakuya wasn’t the first submissive he’d helped, though he certainly was the most challenging, what with his own feelings for him involved.

Renji hummed at his words before responding, “Not always easy, but never really difficult either. You just don’t ask for the help you need; I simply needed to become good at reading you, is all. At least you’re letting me help you. That’s more than some would allow. I’m proud of you for that, by the way. I know you’re still hurting - trusting anyone, even a long-time friend can’t be easy. Besides, I already told you Bya, I want to help you, I enjoy it. You don’t need to thank me for doing something I want to do… But I understand the need to express how much that means to you, after all, I feel the same way about you allowing me to be here for you.”

Byakuya was only put more at ease by the feeling of Renji’s voice against his back. He had never been this close to someone. At least, not this way. Not with absolutely no expectations. 

Now, his question of what Renji wanted from him seemed only more ridiculous. He wanted to apologize again, but he knew Renji would never allow him to. It was finally becoming clearer to him. Renji really did just want to help in any way possible. He didn’t want anything from him except his trust and honesty, and if anyone already had both of those things… 

…it was Renji. 

He sat there, completely relaxed in Renji’s arms, until the sun began to set. He didn’t want to give up the security and comfort, but it was getting rather dark. With a heavy sigh, he ran his hand along Renji’s arm for a moment before patting it gently as a nonverbal cue for Renji to release him.

Renji loosened his arms but otherwise didn’t move, allowing Byakuya to decide whether or not he wanted to remain leaned against him. “Hey Bya,” he asked quietly, “are you hungry at all? If you want, I can order us something,” he laughed a bit, “I could even make us something if you trusted me in your kitchen. I’m a decent cook - kinda had to learn, living on my own these past couple years after Shu moved out…”

Byakuya sat up, tempted to turn back around and hug Renji himself. He fought against that, though, still not wanting to blur the lines between them, and stood to turn on a light.

“I wouldn’t put you through the trouble. We can order something, and I’ll pay. And you’re not refusing,” he insisted, leaving the room to get his wallet from where he had left it in his office. When he returned, he tossed a credit card at Renji, who caught it just by sheer reflex.

Renji laughed, “Alright, alright, but if you’re putting me in charge of ordering, you’re getting Marco’s Pizza. And all the crust toppers.”

Byakuya smiled. “I wouldn’t expect anything different from you. We have known each other for a while,” he reminded him. He sat back down on the couch as Renji pulled out his phone, and he was much too aware that he was leaning into Renji’s shoulder as he watched him. It was a bit concerning to him that he was getting so comfortable being close to him, touching him even. But he knew - at least he hoped - Renji would never read into his actions and make assumptions. He did know, with absolutely no reservations, that Renji would never do anything in response without discussing it first.

So, he kept his position. It wasn’t provocative at all anyway. It was just something he never would have done before. He supposed he had never trusted someone the way he trusted Renji, though.

Renji passed back the card when he was through, putting his phone back in his pocket, and just sat in the stillness for a minute, allowing himself to feel the slight pressure of Byakuya leaning against his shoulder. He was happy that the other was comfortable enough with him to do so. But… As good as Byakuya seemed right now, he knew that a great portion of that peace was contingent upon his presence, upon knowing - through the undeniable proof of Renji being literally, physically present - that he wasn’t abandoned. As well as Byakuya had done earlier, asking him to hold him - something he had clearly needed - Renji didn’t think he’d ask him to spend another night. He’d probably think it was excessive, that he shouldn’t need him to stay.

But Renji knew better, at least when it came to this. 

“Hey, Bya,” Renji said, breaking the calm silence between them. “I… I really don’t think you should be alone right now, as much as possible. I’ll go to work tomorrow, as long as you keep responding to my texts and calls like you did today, but… I’d like to stay here again, tonight, if that’s alright… I can take a spare bedroom if you want but I want you to be able to come to me… If… If you wake up and need someone there…” He really would rather be next to Byakuya when he woke up, so that he could immediately see that he was still there, but he didn’t want to pressure him. 

Byakuya barely hesitated before nodding.

“Yes, I’d like for you to stay. I’m realizing that I…” his heart threatened to close off his words, but he swallowed the apprehension forcefully before continuing, “...I need you, Renji. I do need you to be here if I’m going to get better. You can sleep in my room with me. That didn’t bother me,” he forced himself to say the thing that frightened him the most - his dependence on Renji. He didn’t want to be dependent on anyone. But Renji just had a way of making his problems cease to exist, and… 

…he never wanted to lose that.

Renji's hand found Byakuya's again as he said, "I'm glad… And I'm proud of you, for admitting to needing help right now. I know that's not easy for you - that you're incredibly independent."

Byakuya chuckled a bit and slotted his fingers through Renji’s. The connection had brought him comfort earlier, and he knew Renji didn’t mind how he held his hand. “You know me better than I know myself sometimes.” As they waited for their dinner, he relaxed against Renji’s side and leaned his head on his shoulder. “Is this okay?” he asked quietly. As much as Renji had been trying to make him comfortable, he didn’t want to be overstepping any boundaries Renji had.

Renji smiled, "Yeah, it is. You reminded me though, if you're up to it, there's some things we should really discuss… I feel like we're both trying to navigate boundaries we're not sure of… That we should clear them up a bit, that we'd both feel more confident in how our actions will be received and this would go more smoothly. I don't want you second guessing yourself and I want to be clear about what I should and shouldn't do."

“You’re right. We should have clear boundaries. But…” Byakuya sighed, his mind running wild with what exactly he would offer Renji as boundaries anyway, “... what if I’m not sure? I don’t really know what I need right now. All I know is that I’m not ready for anything romantic. Past that… it’s all so blurry. How could I have ever known that what you did last night would be beneficial to me? I’m not sure that I’m making any sense. It just seems like you know what I need better than I do right now,” he admitted. He tightened his grip on Renji’s hand, his eyes to where their joined hands rested on Renji’s knee.

"Well… How about I begin? You can hold my hand, whenever, however, and as long as you want, even if we're not alone, I won't mind at all," Renji said with a grin. "Your turn. Hand-holding - and be honest as you can with yourself."

“I believe I’d agree with that, with one condition. You can hold my hand whenever you want if we’re alone. If we’re not alone, would you wait for me to initiate?” Byakuya requested.

Renji nodded. He thought Byakuya would want something like the last stipulation anyway. Actually, he was a bit thrilled he'd hold his hand in anyone else's presence at all. "Yes, I'll wait for you to initiate if we're not alone. Now… Touching other than holding my hand. I don't mind you touching any part of my body, really, just understand that doing so may be arousing to me - especially my neck, thighs, and if you play with my hair. I don't want to make you uncomfortable so if that possibility does make you uncomfortable I'd ask you not to touch me in those places. I have pretty good control over my responses but I'm only human here," he ended with a chuckle. 

"Also, if I ever do become aroused, I'd ask that you just give me a bit of space for a few minutes and allow me to calm down… I'd rather we don't make a big deal out of it. I don't expect you to do anything, Bya. I mean that. But you're also incredibly beautiful and I'm not blind. I just hope you don't hold that against me…" Renji didn't like admitting this but it needed to be done - rather now than in the moment. 

If Byakuya continued getting physically closer to him, especially while they slept, it was practically bound to happen. He'd honestly been surprised to not wake up hard that morning, but then he'd been hyper concerned about his friend then as well and not remotely in the mood. 

Byakuya mulled over everything Renji had said, and he was glad that his eyes were down when he made the comment about him being beautiful. Surely, he was blushing furiously. He still wasn’t sure that the color had faded from his cheeks when he looked up, but he felt incredibly guilty knowing that he had pressed into Renji’s neck more than once. But Renji had just said he didn’t want to make a big deal of it, so he only shook his head, now conscious to be careful in the future. 

“Thank you, both for telling me all of that and for giving me something to base my own response on. I suppose… I wouldn’t be uncomfortable with any touching above the waist. I haven’t really…” he paused again, yet another difficult subject coming to light, “... had a relationship last long enough for me to know what specifically would be arousing for me. If anything you do ever is, I’ll tell you,” he said quietly. “Oh, and if I ever have a bit of a relapse again, an emotional low, if you will, I wouldn’t be opposed if you held me again, like you did today,” he added. It was one of the most grounding things, other than the binding of his arms, that he had ever experienced. There would be no reason for him to make Renji wait to do something like that.

Renji nodded, "Good, I hoped that would be alright. And, just to be clear, since I know you being able to cuddle into my neck has been really comforting to you, I don't want you to feel like you can't do so. I really don't mind, Bya. I meant it when I said you can touch me wherever, just… If I do become hard at all by it, I'd like us to ignore it. If it made me uncomfortable before, I would have said something. It doesn't. I just don't want my natural reaction to such a thing to make you uncomfortable… Do you understand what I'm trying to say? I don't know if I'm explaining this well…"

Byakuya laughed and reached over with his free hand to pat Renji’s knee. “You’re explaining just fine. We’re both human, Renji. I understand,” he assured him. Just then, the doorbell rang, and Byakuya sat up. “I am going to let go of your hand for a moment,” he said as he stood up. He threw Renji a smile over his shoulder as he exited the room.

Renji was momentarily stunned by the beauty of that smile. Because it was real. He hadn't seen Byakuya smile in a way that wasn't also strained or forced somehow for so long. He shook his head and grinned, jumping up and heading to the dining room, knowing Byakuya would insist at eating off a proper surface. Renji chuckled to himself a bit at the other's perfect manners. Sometimes he wondered how Byakuya put up with his oblivious faux pas, especially at the start of their friendship. How was he supposed to know which fork was only for salads? 

He hoped he'd been clear enough to him, that he had understood what he was trying to say. The truth was, he had loved the feeling of Byakuya nuzzling into his neck, but he knew he wouldn't be able to control his body's reaction to such a thing forever and that it was better to be completely open and honest about it to him. He'd miss it though, if Byakuya refrained from doing it in the future… If that's what he decided though, if the possibility of arousing Renji was more off-putting than the comfort the action clearly brought him, Renji would accept that. And if that was the case, clearly this admittance was for the best… 

“Renji, I truly have no idea how you’ve gotten me to eat such greasy, unhealthy junk,” Byakuya complained as he entered the dining room with their food. He retrieved plates from the cabinet that was offset from the table, setting one in front of Renji, thus interrupting him in simply pulling the box over to himself. “Seriously, I have plates for a reason,” he scolded him lightly. Still, he found himself smiling as he sat next to him. He swore he hadn’t smiled this much in more than three months. When was the last time he had been so happy?

"You realize pizza is finger food… Using plates just causes unnecessary dishes," Renji shot back with a grin but placed a couple slices on the plate anyway. "At least I've managed to convince you to stop using a knife and fork…" 

Byakuya shook his head. “It’s a wonder you’ve gotten me to eat pizza at all. You’ve gotten me to do a lot of things I never thought I’d do,” he admitted, his tone lowering a bit at the end of his sentence. He avoided Renji’s eyes as he began to eat. What he said wasn’t untrue, but it was a bit embarrassing. Byakuya was likely the least social person in the entire town.

Renji had pulled him out of his shell more than he ever expected a single person could. And he had never suffered for it. Renji had never done anything to hurt him. It was difficult to believe, but the longer he thought back on his friendship with the redhead, the more he was convinced of it. They hadn’t always agreed, but Renji had never intentionally hurt him, physically, emotionally, or any other way. He still hoped his lack of exposure to others wasn’t painting Renji in a light he didn’t deserve, but it was beginning to look like a far-reaching possibility that his best friend wanted anything but the best for him.

"Well, it's probably a good thing you've done the same for me. I mean, you've got me eating pizza off a plate," Renji said with a grin, holding up a piece of pizza. "I don't know how you put up with my… definite lack of manners, especially before you managed to train some into me," he concluded with a laugh. He finished the piece he was holding before saying with a warm smile, "I like to think we've been good for each other."

“We have been. And I think we’ll continue to be,” Byakuya replied. He saw Renji staring at him out of the corner of his eye, the same way he always did when he ate anything that didn’t require silverware. He had no idea what the man’s obsession was. Renji would always tell him he thought it was amusing that Byakuya only tended to touch food with the tips of his fingers, keeping his hands as clean as possible. He figured after so many years of seeing him eat, the novelty would have worn off. Still, there he was, watching intently as though he would miss something if he looked away.

Renji had finished all of his pizza and Byakuya still had at least half of his left - if he even ate it all. He usually ate far smaller portions. And with the way Byakuya ate, slowly, methodically, and as clean as possible, it was no real shock that Renji was always done eating before him. He didn't mind, however, as it gave him the opportunity to just watch him. 

He was beyond adorable with how he avoided as much grease and mess as he could, far preferring to be clean than quickly consume his food. Even with proper utensils though, Byakuya would always eat more slowly, as if he were savoring each bite. Renji didn't know why it fascinated him so much, other than it being so entirely Byakuya and completely endearing to him. Renji could watch Byakuya do most things though, if he were honest, and be entirely entertained and enthralled. 

When Byakuya was finally done, pushing his plate to the side, Renji managed to stop him before he got up, "Oh no, let me at least clean. I'll join you back on the couch in a few minutes. We still need to talk about some things. Also, I should probably run home real quick at some point and grab some clothes so I'm not so rushed in the morning."

Byakuya watched, still only half risen from his chair, as Renji took the plates and the remaining pizza to the kitchen. He was a bit apprehensive about what he thought they still needed to talk about. Most discussions lately had ended with tears and emotional intervention. It was actually a bit humiliating, if he was honest. But he knew it was probably something Renji felt was necessary, so he accepted that it would happen regardless. So, he stepped back from the table, neatly pushing his chair in, and Renji’s, which was still sitting a good three feet from the table. At least he was honest about not having manners.

He sat, waiting patiently, though a bit tensely, on the couch. Knowing Renji was staying the night again was a relief, at least. If he did end up a wreck by the end of the pending conversation, he wouldn’t have to go to bed alone afterward.

Renji came back quickly - barely remembering to use a towel to dry his hands instead of just wiping them on his pants - to find Byakuya waiting for him on the couch, clearly trying to hide a bit of apprehension. He grinned, plopping down close to him and taking his hand. "Our conversation got interrupted earlier, no need to be nervous."

Byakuya had to actually replay the evening in his mind to remember what Renji was referencing. All he really recalled was his completely irrational breakdown. “Oh, you were saying something about knowing other people like us. And me possibly meeting them,” he exclaimed when it finally returned to him. “Not that the possibility of a social outing really makes me less nervous, but go on,” he invited him, throwing him a small grin.

"Well, that too… Before that though… I have to tell you Bya - I suppose it's related. Sorry," Renji shook his head, "This is the first time I've had to explain some of this to someone who didn't find me and already know some of it - I'm having a hard time deciding where to start." Renji took a deep breath, trying to collect his thoughts. 

"Let me start over. You already know that there are people that feel comfortable giving up their control and people that feel comfortable assuming it. These roles actually have names and there's a community that helps support people like this. The first category of people are called submissive and the second are called dominant - this only applies to giving up or assuming control within this context, not in their day-to-day lives. 

"In fact, most submissives tend to have extremely demanding careers and a lot of responsibility. It likely makes releasing that control to someone they trust for a short period of time all the more freeing." Renji paused to gauge whether or not Byakuya was following along and to take in his reaction. He didn't mean for any of this to cause an emotional relapse for him but he was hyper aware of the possibility. 

“I suppose I understand. They seem to be fairly intuitive titles. But, it is a bit odd to identify myself as submissive. It’s certainly not something I’d want to advertise. People may assume that means I’m weak-willed,” he said honestly. With everything that had been discussed in the past day and a half, he figured it was best to be as truthful as he could be. 

Renji nodded, "And you wouldn't be alone. Confidentiality is one of the most important things in the community - after the first three tenets: safe, sane, and consensual. Anyone I would ever introduce you to, if you were open to that, would never admit to knowing this about you. And they'd expect the same in return."

“Of course. Not only do I not have anyone close enough to me to spread such gossip to,” Byakuya threw a smile to Renji as he paused, “but I would certainly think this kind of thing would be kept within the group. I do have to admit, though, this is already a bit overwhelming. I’m assuming this means I would be openly talking about sexual things with relative strangers. That’s not exactly my idea of a good time,” he admitted, trying and failing to keep the good humor in his tone. 

"You wouldn't need to talk about anything you didn't want to. What I've done with you - has any of that made you uncomfortable? Has it felt overtly sexual? I have a good friend that adores being bound but actually can't stand to be with someone in any traditional, sexual way. He's ace, you see… Ah, that means just what I said, he doesn't enjoy actual sex. It's actually too intense for him, almost painful… Anyway, what I'm trying to explain is this stuff isn't necessarily sexual, though for most people it's true that they go together…"

Byakuya was still trying to absorb it all. His lack of social contact was definitely a handicap here. But he was at least comforted by the fact that he had learned first-hand that these experiences didn’t have to be sexual. “You’re right. Nothing you’ve done has been sexual at all. Though, it has been rather intimate. Isn’t it a bit strange to enjoy being tied up just for the relaxing side effects?” 

"Nothing is 'strange' or 'normal' when it comes to kinks… People enjoy what they enjoy, and no one in the community would ever shame them for that. Non-sexual binding is fairly common between a non-contracted dominant and submissive… Ah, you can think of a contract like a relationship, except what's expected from each partner is very clear and literally written down. We don't need to go into any of that right now. What I needed to tell you, and why I needed you to know a bit more about this, is for you to understand what I mean when I tell you about myself.  

"I've been in the community since I turned 21 so… 5 years now. In that time, I've only had one contracted submissive - which was dissolved a couple years ago - but I've helped several non-contracted submissives since then. Obviously I can't tell you who they are but I'm very well trained in being able to administer several kinks. 

"Earlier, we were talking about boundaries, and this needs to be a part of that. I want to give you a list Bya, of everything I'm willing to do with a submissive, so you understand my limits. None of the things on the list should you take as suggestions - they are only skills that I can do. You can ask me any clarifying questions you want if you don't understand any - I'm expecting you to. I want you to think about it, really consider it, and make your own list of anything you want to try. If that remains only bondage, that's fine, that's all we'll do. I have a feeling though that sensory deprivation and breath play may even be stronger triggers for you… And neither of those requires sexual contact.

"I don't want you to feel apprehensive at all about exploring this side of yourself. The best thing I can do to help you heal from… What happened… Is to help you accept this part of yourself and embrace it. I'd never hurt you Bya - I'd never allow you to drop like you did before. 

"Eventually, I would like you to meet at least a couple of my close friends in the community and be able to ask them questions, so you have more connections than just me, but like I said, that's entirely your decision. I understand if you don't feel comfortable about that and it's alright if you never do. I'm just trying to support you the best way I know how and provide you with all the resources I'm able to."

The longer Renji spoke, the more Byakuya felt completely detached from everything he was saying. What did he think this was? A job? Was pulling him out of this depression just something he felt obligated to do? He supposed he was right, though. Renji treated everyone the same way he was treating him. His eyes flicked to their joined hands. 

“Renji, I… don’t know what to say to all of that,” he whispered. He was tempted to pull his hand away, but he knew he couldn’t handle that. There was no way he could actually ask Renji every question that was flying through his head, because very little of it actually pertained to what he had said, and the vast majority had to do with their relationship. He knew Renji was a good friend, but was this caretaker role just that - a role? From the way he spoke, Byakuya was one of many he had done these things for. So, did it even mean anything anymore? Becoming a bit overwhelmed with all of the doubt this newest development caused, he propped his elbow on the arm of the couch and rested his forehead in his palm, still just trying to process what he had heard.

Renji looked concernedly towards Byakuya at his reaction. He hadn't pulled away but… "Something I said made you upset Bya… Please, tell me what's wrong."

Byakuya knew he would never get away with being evasive, but he also knew that Renji definitely wasn’t prepared for what he had to say. If he did say it, he was sure to insult him. But there was no way around it.

“What am I to you, Renji? Just someone else to fix? Did what we did last night mean anything to you? All those things you said… were they just things you say to everyone, every submissive you have in your hands at the moment?” he demanded. He didn’t look up, because he knew he had just ruined everything. If nothing else was going to chase Renji away, surely this would. And he couldn’t stand to watch.

"Bya…" Renji whispered, too emotionally hit by his friend's words to mind his own the way he should, "...Last night meant everything to me…"

Renji's eyes widened at his own words but he couldn't take them back now. So he clung to Byakuya's hand, willing him not to pull away, not to shut him out… "Bya," he whispered again, "You really don't realize what you mean to me? How much I care about you? I've never done everything I've done for you with anyone before… I've never stayed over like this, for a completely indeterminate amount of time because the thought of leaving them alone tore at my own heart, never continually checked on their well-being throughout the day because they're never out of my thoughts and I'm constantly worried, never wanted more in my life than to be able to help someone… 

"Yes, I've helped other submissives safely experience subspace, and I'm proud to have been able to help them. But I've never lied to you Bya, especially not last night, and I've never said all those things I said to you to anyone else before during a scene… Perhaps small parts and pieces, general praise, but - it's not remotely the same. You're my best friend Bya… You mean the world to me…" 

Byakuya listened, silent tears yet again escaping his eyes. Why did everything end with him crying lately? 

“I’m sorry. It’s just… a lot to take in. You’re suddenly telling me that you’ve done these things to other people. Offering your skills like this is some kind of job interview. I’m… still not sure how to take it. But I believe you. You really haven’t ever lied to me. I suppose I’m just terribly insecure. Knowing you’ve done this for others… for a moment, it made me feel like just another project,” he muttered, still intently keeping his gaze to the floor. 

"Bya," Renji said firmly, trying to keep his voice steady but Byakuya's words were really tearing him up inside. This was the last thing he wanted Byakuya to think and it couldn't be further from the truth. How had he come across so poorly, been this misunderstood? "I've never thought of a single person as a project or helping someone as a job, least of all you." 

He swallowed back the emotion that welled up inside him at that statement, willing himself to remain as steady as possible, "I understand why you took it that way though… Perhaps I'm moving a bit too fast… I've never tried to introduce someone to this stuff before and I'm probably not doing it very well… I just, it's been drilled into me, the importance of being completely honest, upfront, and gaining real consent after the other person has all relevant information."

He took a moment to breathe again, trying his best to explain why he'd felt it necessary for Byakuya to know all that about him, to say the things he'd said, why he hadn't considered this reaction a possibility although - with Byakuya's rather fragile state - he should have and he felt terrible for not anticipating this… 

"You needed to know I've done things for others to know that I know what I'm doing - that I would never hurt you with anything we choose to do. I never expected you to take that this way… You've had several partners as well, people I'm sure you've felt strongly for with differing degrees of fervor but I've never thought any of that somehow diminished our relationship… Just like no one I've been with or helped before has ever changed how I feel about you, Bya. This… entire situation hasn't changed those feelings, it just made clear to me that I could help you in this way."

Byakuya’s eyes widened. He was right. Though they had never gone into specifics of his previous relationships, the presence of those relationships had never affected Renji at all. And Byakuya didn’t know these people Renji had helped before. Perhaps he never would. And it didn’t really matter. Renji was here, with him, completely by choice. 

“As I said… I’m terribly insecure. And I don’t make things easy for you. I would keep apologizing for it, but I know you wouldn’t hear a word,” he teased, his lips twitching up a bit in a smile. Finally, he lifted his face from where it rested in his hand and turned to Renji, who was actually looking rather distressed. He had been so calm all this time, and seeing the tension in his eyes told Byakuya that he truly had hurt him this time. Feeling immensely guilty, he leaned into him, resting his head on his shoulder. “I want you to do something for me, Renji,” he began, glancing up to wait for his response. 

"Anything…" Renji whispered, relief flooding through him at the weight of Byakuya's body against him, his thumb pressing and massaging circles into Byakuya's wrist to calm himself more than anything else, assuring himself that Byakuya was still with him, still opening himself up to him, still allowing him to care for him. 

“I want you to tell me all the things you haven’t told others you’ve helped,” Byakuya requested, sinking a bit further into the comfort of Renji’s warmth. He slouched into the couch and turned his head to press his forehead to Renji’s neck, closing his eyes and just feeling his heartbeat. 

He needed to hear it again. He needed to know that Renji truly did feel differently for him. He wanted Renji to feel differently for him, because he certainly felt differently for Renji. It made his heart clench in his chest to even think such things, but it was becoming difficult to deny.

Renji shuddered at the feeling of Byakuya pressing into his neck, nearly tearing up himself at the welcome sensation he had been sure he may never feel again. His breathing became a bit shaky at Byakuya's request, not entirely sure his voice would be even close to steady - he was far too emotional right now to speak in his usual, commanding, soothing way. But of course he would do this for him… 

…he'd do anything for him. 

The words came out in a whisper near Byakuya's ear - the closest to an even tone he could produce. 

"Your submission is breathtaking, beautiful. You're beautiful, so beautiful…  I'm so honored to have your trust, that I'm allowed to be here, by your side through this, to see you this way. Thank you Bya, so much. You have no idea how much you mean to me, how much this means to me, how much I want to take care of you…

"I won't leave you Bya. I could never leave you…" 

With each sentence, Renji felt Byakuya melt even further into him and he couldn't resist bringing his arms around him, holding him gently, assuring himself that Byakuya was really here, that he wasn't trying to distance himself - rather, he was allowing Renji closer. His heart ached at the thought, desperately wishing Byakuya would allow him to remain with him, would allow him to continue to help him. 

"If this is a dream, I'll be very disappointed to wake from it… I never thought I could be here for you like this - I really am so grateful Bya. I meant every word. I'm not going anywhere, and I'll be here with you still when you open your eyes in the morning."

Feeling Byakuya tilt his head further and fully nuzzle into his neck caused him to gasp shakily, a tear slipping from his own eye that he stubbornly blinked away and he tightened his hold on him slightly, determined to complete what Byakuya had asked him to do, willing him to believe him. Because every word was terrifyingly honest and he didn't know what he'd do if Byakuya continued to think he could say such things to anyone other than him… 

"I'll stay as long as you want me to, forever and a day."

Love you… 

Byakuya felt a chill spark down his spine at every sentence. Every word was meant for him. He tried to keep more tears from falling, but it seemed so involuntary lately. Soon, Renji’s shirt was soaked and he knew neither of them really cared. Renji had never lied to him. 

Everything he just repeated… was the truth. He really felt that way. And, the longer he stayed, and the more heartfelt things he said, the more Byakuya felt an alarming sensation welling in his heart. 

He was falling in love with his best friend.

Chapter Text

It had been two weeks, and Byakuya was slowly recovering from his crippling depression. Renji had stayed every night, and though he was unsure whether it was completely necessary, Byakuya wasn’t going to start refusing now. After all, he’d had a few lapses even with Renji present, and he knew neither of them wanted him to fall into despair again. He swore he had given a hundred apologies in the time his best friend had been staying with him, but Renji always waved them off, assuring him thoroughly that he understood. 

That afternoon, Byakuya had finished his work early and decided to take a walk. It had been happening often in the past week, and Renji hadn’t been able to comprehend why someone would want to be outdoors when it was still cold enough for snow to be stubbornly covering every surface. Byakuya had laughed when he asked what he was wearing - he had called on his lunch break to check on him - and he had insisted that he wear at least three layers if he was going to stay out for more than a few minutes. Byakuya had only shaken his head and assured him that he was fine in a sweater and coat.

The winter was beautiful to him, and he couldn’t get over the feeling of the snow sinking under his fur-lined boots. There were a few inches of fresh, delicate powder over what had been accumulating already, and Byakuya stopped on the sidewalk just to look out into an open area between two widely spaced houses, smiling at how pristine it still was. His contented sigh was visible in a frozen mist before his lips, and he decided it was likely time to go back home. A glance at his watch told him Renji would be off work in less than an hour.

He hadn’t wandered far, but he made his way back slowly, still considering everything Renji had done for him - continued to do for him regardless of how unstable he had been lately. Both of them had become increasingly comfortable with initiating physical contact, and it was never tense or uncomfortable. Renji had kept his word on all accounts, including the rare occurrences when he would unintentionally become aroused by Byakuya’s actions. It never was a big deal, just as he had promised. Because of that, Byakuya found himself thinking over everything Renji had told him. 

With a clearer mind, he realized that Renji was only trying to help him by telling him about his past. Everything Renji had done was to help him. He huffed a bit thinking of how intensely he had kicked himself for that meltdown. The next morning had been a never-ending apology. He didn’t think he was ever going to be able to truly express just how sorry he was for hurting Renji. 

It still haunted him, even two weeks later, but he was determined to put it behind him. Renji certainly had. Nothing ever rattled that man for more than a few minutes. It was a quality Byakuya was admittedly jealous of, but he simply let himself relax in Renji’s confident shadow, feeding off of his certainty as much as he could. Living as a recluse for so many years had obviously worn on his ability to actually face life with any amount of courage. The only thing he had any sureness in was his job, and that was mainly because he never had to face anyone to complete it. 

When he arrived home, he pulled off his boots and hung his coat on the rack by the door, going to his usual seat on the couch to wait. As his eyes wandered the room, though, they found the neatly wrapped silk ribbons on the side table. They had become a bit of a fixture there, as Byakuya had requested that Renji bind his arms a few times in the past two weeks. After the first backlash, though, he hadn’t mentioned his other suggestions again. Byakuya had a hard time bringing them to mind himself, as the conversation was quite overshadowed by the outcome. But… 

Perhaps today he would ask again. 

It was time to move past his petty insecurities and move forward.

Renji was thankful for his tiny, private office that allowed him to multitask throughout his day without being concerned about being told off. Especially his texts to Byakuya, which he had continued even though his friend was doing far better now. He honestly just liked getting a response from him - a silly smile overtook his face whenever he read his responses, no matter how repetitive - Yes, I’m fine. - may have seemed to anyone else. It meant Byakuya was there, communicating with him in that moment, and that made him far too pleased.

He had it bad.

His crush had blossomed into a deep, devoted sort of longing for his best friend. His goals hadn’t changed at all - he still just wanted to help him, to be there for him. He had told himself at the beginning of this, if that meant Byakuya eventually becoming well enough to date again and watching him do so with other men, he’d be alright with that. And… he still wouldn’t prevent him from doing so or begrudge him at all.

But he knew he wouldn’t be alright with that - not anymore.

Even thinking of Byakuya turning to someone else now for what he needed made his heart clench and his stomach flip painfully. He wanted to be the one Byakuya could rely upon, turn to, love. Byakuya was healing - slowly, steadily, he was getting better. And Byakuya, as gorgeous as he was, never needed to remain alone for long. He just had terrible judgement and luck when it came to allowing his past suitors to become close to him - people that only saw Byakuya for what he could do for them. Be that wealth or sex… 

Renji honestly didn’t care if Byakuya never wanted him that way, because those things weren't his goal in being with him. Well, he’d be lying if becoming physically intimate with him wasn’t something he was certain he’d greatly enjoy and cherish, but he knew he didn’t need that from him. Really, all he needed to be happy was to be able to continue taking care of him, in whatever capacity he was allowed. That was enough to satisfy his heart and this endless longing. 

But if Byakuya started seeing someone else… Likely they would take offense to his close relationship with his best friend. Most wouldn’t be comfortable seeing their partner cuddle up with and hold the hand of another man - let alone Renji binding him and helping him slip in and out of subspace. Well… most vanilla people anyway. 

If, when Byakuya became ready for a more intimate, physical relationship… If he wasn’t comfortable with Renji filling that hole… The next best option for both of them would be another dominant from the community. Because then Renji could be certain that Byakuya was being treated well, with proper support and aftercare when he wasn’t there. And because a fellow dominant would respect Renji’s relationship with Byakuya and still allow him to remain close. 

Renji had always been honest with himself and… Losing what he’d found with Byakuya - this closeness - it would hurt him terribly. He had set out to help Byakuya but he’d allowed his heart to become completely wrapped up in the other man as well - something he’d never done before. 

Not even with Shuhei… 

They’d been good friends, had been through a lot together, including discovering the community and their personal kinks together. But when it came time to let him go - he did. It wasn’t even difficult. They knew from the start they were meant for other people. And when Shu finally met the person that matched him perfectly, it was easy to wish him all the happiness in the world. 

And Renji hadn’t been lonely. He’d attended a few play parties, did private scenes with submissives that needed someone knowledgeable that they could trust without expectations… He even helped a 24/7 TPE submissive find and negotiate with someone that could be his master… 

He smiled, thinking back to those few weeks the other had stayed in his house with him while he’d helped him navigate potential masters that would be willing to contract with him and negotiating on his behalf until he managed to find the perfect fit. He'd become rather fond of him but Renji knew he just wasn't cut out to be the master for someone that never truly left their submissive role. 

Renji needed a break from time to time, needed a partner that could otherwise lead their own life. He was very happy to help him though and glad he'd actually been able to. It’d been a while since he’d seen the pair, both now good friends of his - since he’d started spending all his time with Byakuya, actually. He would usually visit their home at least once a month, which was coming up. 

He really thought Byakuya would like them. Especially the master of the pair - he reminded him of Byakuya, honestly, other than their opposite dynamics. He was also the CEO of his own company, incredibly wealthy, devastatingly handsome, brilliant, and didn’t allow many people to become close to him. He was also entirely devoted to his submissive and seeing them together was almost sickeningly sweet but Renji couldn’t be happier for them, or more proud for helping them find each other. He also missed their company, if he were honest, and selfishly wanted Byakuya to get along with them so that he wouldn’t mind them coming over to visit. 

But he hadn’t brought up introducing Byakuya to anyone else or going over other kinks since his breakdown over their last conversation about those things, two weeks ago now. His number one priority was still Byakuya and what was best for his emotional and mental well-being. As much as he missed seeing his other friends, as much as he felt Byakuya should learn more about his personal kinks and become more comfortable with his submissive role, Byakuya’s current well-being and comfort simply took priority. 

Renji was certain, after Byakuya allowed him to bind him that first night, allowed him to take care of him afterwards, allowed him to stay… Likely, it always would. He was far more careful now about bringing up anything that may trigger his insecurities - he had hated seeing the other in so much pain and self-loathing. Renji’s heart seemed set at placing Byakuya at the center of it and Renji wasn’t really complaining. Byakuya was everything he’d ever wanted in a partner. 

He just didn’t know if Byakuya felt the same way about him.

He decided, when the time eventually came that Byakuya was ready for another romantic relationship, he’d confess how he felt about that. How being cut off from being with him the way that they had fallen into would hurt him and that, if Byakuya didn’t want to be with him, if he’d at least be willing to meet others in the community and look for a partner there. He just desperately hoped he’d still be willing to allow Renji to be there for him, the way he currently was. 

He sighed, shaking his head and looking at the time. Just five minutes and he could clock out and head home. Well, back to Byakuya’s manor… It was surprising to him though, how much that large, mostly empty house already felt more like home to him than his house even had.

Man, he really did have it bad.

He responded to one last email, shut everything down, and left for the day with an excited grin on his face. He couldn’t help it, just the thought of Byakuya waiting on him, expecting him made him feel incredibly warm inside. Each day he had to go into work had become just passing the hours until he could return to him. He sent his usual text to Byakuya on his way out, letting him know he was on his way.

He couldn’t help but wonder what Byakuya would ask him to do today. He was becoming far better at asking Renji to do things for him, and Renji was thrilled. He smiled as he got to his car as he received Byakuya’s answering text.

Drive safe, I’ll be here waiting.

He grinned, putting his phone away and driving as safely yet quickly as he could, wanting nothing more than to see him again, smiling as he welcomed him home. 

There was that word again… 

Renji decided to just accept it at his point. Home had ceased to be a place to him a while ago, if he were honest. Even before this had all happened, the entire reason he felt so at peace living on that street… The entire reason he’d made certain to actually purchase his house… He wasn’t sure when it had happened, at what time during their long relationship, but at some point…  

…Byakuya had become home to him. 

And he loved being able to truly go home now - every day.

Byakuya actually felt his face light up when the door opened. Renji had long since stopped bothering to knock. He spent more time there than he did at his own house anyway. The man had practically moved in - he even had a small collection of clothing in Byakuya’s closet. Of course, Byakuya didn’t mind. Renji had actually been hesitant to move any of his things in. Byakuya could only assume he figured it would be too presumptuous, and make implications he wasn’t ready for. But, if he was honest, those things didn’t make him uncomfortable. In fact, he was more comfortable with Renji there as much as possible, and if that meant reducing unnecessary trips to his house down the street, so be it.

But his fixation on Renji’s presence was starting to have a lot less to do with his emotional turmoil, and a lot more to do with the fact that Byakuya was almost certain he couldn’t live without his best friend. And not because he would fall back into irreparable depression. But because he simply didn’t want to. 

“Hello, Renji,” he greeted him with a smile when he entered the room. It was a brighter smile than he’d probably ever mustered in his life, and he had this man to thank for it. 

“Hey, Bya,” Renji greeted, matching the other’s bright smile and feeling thoroughly warm inside at the sight of it. Byakuya really was doing so much better. He plopped down in his usual spot next to him on the couch, holding his arms open for Byakuya to lean into him so he could hold him against his chest. He always felt immediately at peace when Byakuya was in his arms, like he was able to protect him from anything.

Byakuya accepted the invitation, as he always did, humming contentedly when he pressed his nose into Renji’s neck. It was simply the most comfortable way for him to sit, though he was guiltily aware of how it affected Renji. 

“So, Renji… I wanted to ask you about something today,” he whispered, still trying to convince himself to go through with what he wanted to discuss. He didn’t want to open his own old wounds, but that was less of a concern. The distance from the situation had dulled its sting, and he knew the same was true for Renji.

“Go ahead, Bya. You know you can ask me anything,” Renji encouraged with a smile. He honestly couldn’t keep the smile off his face, especially at the feeling of Byakuya nuzzling into his neck as he had - much to Renji’s relief - continued to do. Not only was the action extremely intimate to him, making him feel connected and closer, but it also meant that Byakuya wasn’t overly concerned if Renji became hard while he was with him, because he knew what effect such an action would eventually have on him. It was a huge relief, that at least his friend wasn’t disgusted by Renji’s attraction to him. He had made it clear that he didn’t expect anything from him and, thankfully, Byakuya had taken that to heart and didn’t make a big deal out of the handful of times it had happened.

“A couple of weeks ago, you mentioned… other things that might be triggers for me to fall into subspace. I think… I might be ready to try something new,” Byakuya replied. He kept his eyes closed, focusing on the feeling of being in Renji’s arms. Even when he wasn’t being restrained in any way, it was comforting, grounding, and just all-around pleasant to be held by him.

Renji was certainly surprised at his words but far from displeased. He squeezed him a bit, his arms fully wrapped around him now as he grinned and said quietly into his ear, “I’m really proud of you Bya, that you’re willing to learn about yourself more and try something new. If you really believe you're ready, of course I’d be willing to do so with you.”

Byakuya smiled, though he knew Renji couldn’t see. “Yes, as long as it’s with you, I think I’m ready.” He truly hoped Renji didn’t read too much into his brazen words. It was becoming a bit annoying that he couldn’t seem to stop the truth from spilling out without his consent lately. His guard had been completely shattered. He supposed… he didn’t feel like he had to defend himself against anything when he was alone with Renji. Protecting him had become Renji’s job.

Renji couldn’t resist nuzzling his own nose into the soft obsidian locks, barely restraining himself from kissing him there because he still didn’t have that permission. He hadn’t had the nerve to ask for it, too worried about overstepping Byakuya’s current allowance for anything remotely sexual. And kissing, no matter how innocent, was a far leap from simply holding him. 

“Well, do you have any idea what you’d like to try?” He was a bit curious if Byakuya had looked into any of this on his own or if he had been content to just go with whatever Renji suggested. Renji knew him well enough to feel confident about a couple suggestions at least, so he wasn’t overly concerned if it was the latter.

Byakuya sat up a bit and looked Renji in the eyes, a teasing smile curving his lips. “Renji, do you really think I know anything about these things? I’m trusting your judgment. I know you mentioned a few specific things, but I can’t remember what they were. And even if I did, I would probably only have a vague idea what they were,” he pointed out.

Renji chuckled, figuring as much. "Well, I think breath play is a safe bet for being a trigger for you, after what you told me about before." Renji remained warmly smiling at him but carefully watched his reaction. If bringing this up caused him distress by just talking about it, likely actually going through with it would distress him as well. And, effective trigger or not, the last thing Renji wanted to do was cause him to slip backwards through all the forward progress he'd made. 

“Alright, what would that entail? It sounds rather self-explanatory, but I’d rather not make assumptions,” Byakuya admitted, leaning back from Renji only for the sake of returning to a comfortable position sitting next to him on the couch, intentionally keeping their shoulders in contact with one another. He had learned not to completely withdraw. Renji likely thought he was the only one learning nonverbal cues, but Byakuya was well aware of how subtly anxious Renji became when he lost contact with him.

"I think I kinda explained this before, that breath play involves making it difficult for you to breathe - restricting the amount of air you take in… This can actually be done a few ways but the most common and effective is applying pressure to the neck. It's not really choking - that's too forceful, restricts airflow completely and can cause bruising, something I'm definitely not willing to do to you." Renji paused, gauging Byakuya's reaction and comfort at the suggestion. 

For a moment, Byakuya’s mind returned to the night he had been left. That was what had happened. But he fought against that memory with such force that he found himself leaning into Renji again just for comfort. Renji was not that man. He would never hurt him like that. That had been proven more than once in the past weeks. Every time he entered subspace, Renji was there to bring him back out with kind words and gentle touches. This would be no different. 

“I understand. I trust you enough to let you do that,” he whispered, barely able to bring his voice from where it threatened to hide in his throat.

Renji turned to him, facing him completely. Byakuya's voice may have been soft but those steel gray eyes were determined. Renji gave him a proud smile before taking both of his hands in his own, pulling him up from leaning against the back of the couch. The look in Byakuya's eyes changed to a playful curiosity and Renji grinned as he allowed him to reposition him, not resisting in the slightest as Renji pushed him to lay completely with his back against the couch. 

He raised Byakuya's arms above his head, leaning over him and Byakuya had to spread his long legs around him from where Renji knelt upon the couch cushion. He grasped both slim wrists to hold in one hand, slowly bringing the other to pet down his soft raven hair, stopping at the center of his throat. He gently caressed the skin above Byakuya's windpipe before applying firm, gentle pressure with two fingers, watching his friend carefully as he did so. 

Byakuya was a bit unnerved by the entire situation, but not because it made him uncomfortable. Because it made him too comfortable. For the past two weeks, he had been fighting with his feelings for Renji, and now he was hovering over him, unintentionally provocative as he did so. As much as his mind tried to tell him that he wasn’t ready for a romantic relationship, his heart, and another not so inconspicuous part of his body, wanted to pull Renji down onto him and kiss the life out of him. Of course, Renji was holding his wrists quite firmly, so there was absolutely no way for him to do that. 

And then Renji pressed on his neck. And he was absolutely powerless to control the sensual moan that surfaced in response.

Renji had to bite his own lip - hard - to not respond to the ridiculously arousing sound Byakuya made as he pressed against his throat. Obviously this was effective. Renji altered the position of his hand, wrapping it completely over Byakuya's neck and squeezing, evening out the pressure to constrict but not hard enough to completely cut off his air. He lowered himself slightly to place most of his body weight on his forearm instead of his wrist, still keeping Byakuya pinned in place and made himself comfortable, his side partially pressing against the side of Byakuya's chest. 

By this time, Byakuya knew he was drifting into subspace. The sensation had become familiar. But this time was a bit different. Instead of just peace, weightlessness, and comfort, there was also a sharp longing. He was completely comfortable where he was. There was no denying that. But feeling Renji’s body touching his, he could barely think. All he wanted was to have him. The shift of Renji’s hand only solidified that feeling, and it was almost overwhelming. 

He hadn’t been aroused - hadn’t even remotely considered such things except as passing thoughts - for months. With his depression clearing and his trust in Renji only growing, those thoughts had become more frequent. He knew better than to even attempt to act on them. But with Renji’s hand around his throat and his body so close he could feel it against him, that urge to act was stronger than it had been before.

“Renji, I… d-don’t know if I can do this,” he stuttered, trying and very much failing to keep his mind clear enough to speak. He didn’t even know if his words had been audible.

Renji immediately released the pressure against his neck and his hold on his wrists. He brought his body weight off of him completely and reached to take both his hands again, gently tugging Byakuya into a seated position leaned against the back of the couch. His legs were still spread around him - Renji hadn't moved from where he'd been kneeling - and he was shaking slightly. Renji kept both his hands in his own, murmuring, "It's alright Bya, you did so well… You're fine, I'm here. I'm not going anywhere. It's okay, just breathe, come back to me Bya…" 

He had a feeling he knew what the problem was… This was likely too intimate - too sexually stimulating for him and he hadn't been ready for those feelings. Strong triggers could be like that, even in the most innocent of contexts with Renji otherwise still and not trying to cause those feelings within him. He just kept murmuring his praise to him, reminding him how proud he was of him, that he was there with him and that what had happened was more than fine. 

As his mind cleared, Byakuya removed his legs from around Renji, because that certainly wasn’t helping, and pulled them to his chest, honestly just trying to hide his arousal. He heard what Renji was saying, and he knew it didn’t bother him. But it bothered Byakuya because he knew the reason for it. It wasn’t only the pressure on his throat, though that was definitely a large part of it. Between that, Renji’s position over him, and the light contact their bodies had maintained, he thought he was going to lose his mind completely, and that lack of self control frightened him.

Renji smiled at him, seeing his eyes clear, thankful he wasn't pulling away. Renji shifted to sit against the couch again in his usual position, entwining his fingers with the closer of Byakuya's hands and releasing the other, lightly allowing their shoulders to touch but not pressing further into him. He'd let Byakuya make that final move - when he was ready. "I'm sorry Bya," he said quietly, "I was fairly certain that would be a strong trigger for you… It was probably too intense and I should have taken that into consideration…"

Byakuya shook his head, finally comfortable lowering his feet to the floor. The pressure was subsiding, as long as he stared at something other than the man next to him. 

“It’s fine. Neither of us could have known until we tried,” he insisted. He certainly wasn’t going to let Renji take the blame for his own desires. Byakuya had never even expressed any interest in him, other than as a close friend. How could he have possibly known that he had been fighting with himself about his growing feelings?

"It's my place to consider these things though, Bya," Renji insisted. "I know you don't want anything sexual right now, least of all from me… I really am sorry, I didn't mean to put you in that position, to feel that way… The last thing I want is for you to feel pressured Bya, or to be uncomfortable with me."

Byakuya’s hand involuntarily tightened on Renji’s as his heart leaped into his throat. Renji was wrong. Completely wrong. Thinking he was the last person Byakuya wanted to be with in a sexual way. But how on earth was he going to tell him that? The silence between them was growing longer, and while he knew Renji wasn’t unnerved by it, he knew he needed to speak soon or his friend would begin to get worried that he had actually done something wrong. 

“Renji, I… have something to tell you, if you’re willing to listen for a while,” he said softly, not taking his eyes from the blinds that covered the windows across the room.

"You know you can tell me anything, Bya," Renji said, his voice equally soft. He swallowed past the lump in his throat, inwardly terrified Byakuya would ask to distance himself, to stop their scenes entirely… 

Renji had no idea how he'd hold himself together if he asked such a thing. But he'd try. Whatever Byakuya needed him to be - he'd decided long ago that that's all he'd be. If that meant space, as difficult as that would be, Renji would give that to him. 

He'd already given him everything else…

Byakuya took a deep breath to steady himself. He had to if he was going to get through this without breaking down again. It wasn’t even upsetting, but it was certainly stressful to admit. So, he took his time gathering his thoughts, willing his hands to stop shaking, and took one more breath.

“We’ve been friends for a long time. You’ve done so much for me that I can’t even begin to name everything. A lot of times, you’ve been my only friend, and no matter how difficult I’ve been, you’ve been there for me. I think… the first time you came to my door after we had just introduced ourselves in a driveway the day before, I thought you were crazy. Really, I thought you were just like every other man who tried to force himself on me. We were both young, and it seemed like that was all anyone ever thought about, especially with me. But then we started talking, and I got to know you a little better.

“You were actually kind to me, and not in a way that suggested that you’d want anything from me at the end of the night. It was a while before I saw you again, and I figured since I hadn’t called or texted, even though you insisted on giving me your number, you had given up, realized I wasn’t really worth the effort. And then you showed up again, and I had no idea what to do. Surely, this time, you wanted something, or you’d at least ask me out. But none of that happened. And, several years later, here we are. You’ve never asked anything of me, and that completely escaped my notice until recently.

“When my ex-boyfriend left me months ago, I was sure that even you wouldn’t want to handle me like that. That’s why I didn’t tell you as soon as it happened. I didn’t want you to leave. But, when it all came out, you didn’t leave. You haven’t taken advantage of my vulnerability. Haven’t even tried, even when you’ve had all the opportunity in the world.” Byakuya paused, finally feeling the true reason for his spiel coming to the surface. He knew his voice was shaking. His entire body was trembling slightly. His heart felt like it would explode from his ribs.

“Renji… these last two weeks have made me realize… that I think I’m in love with you.”

"Bya…" Renji whispered, frozen in shock, tears welling in his dark eyes and he didn't even try to stop them. He had never imagined he'd ever have his feelings returned and he was having a difficult time believing it, completely overwhelmed after convincing himself for so long that Byakuya would only ever see him as a friend. 

"Bya, please look at me…"

Byakuya heard the strain in Renji’s voice, and when he obeyed his request, he had to swallow a gasp when he saw tears clouding his eyes. He opened his mouth to speak, but immediately closed it again. He had already said everything he could possibly think of. He would just make a fool of himself if he tried to talk now.

"Please Bya," Renji said, his voice trembling, clutching at Byakuya's hand even tighter and bringing his other hand up to cup his cheek, half surprised it didn't pass through him. Surely this was a figment of his imagination. Surely… Had Byakuya really just said… "Please tell me again, tell me I'm not dreaming right now…"

Byakuya smiled, hardly able to hold back a nervous laugh at Renji’s frantic actions. He reached up to place his hand over Renji’s on his cheek, wishing he had the chance to really enjoy the contact. But he was sure, when Renji calmed down, there would be plenty of that. 

“I’m in love with you, Renji,” he repeated, this time with a bit more confidence. 

Renji closed his eyes, a couple tears falling as he did so, trying to memorize exactly how Byakuya had looked, had sounded… "You love me…" Renji whispered, trying to get his mind to wrap around Byakuya's words. Byakuya is in love with me… He said to himself before opening his eyes again and his face breaking into a silly, utterly relieved smile. 

"Bya, I honestly don't remember not loving you… I, I just convinced myself you'd never feel the same - you never seemed remotely interested in me. And that was fine, I was fine, as long as I could still at least be your friend… But… You love me…" Renji trailed off, laughing lightly and a bit hysterical, still completely overwhelmed. "I literally don't think I've ever felt this happy - and I," he laughed a bit more, wiping his tears away quickly, "I'm so sorry - I must look like such a mess, I - I can't stop crying."

Byakuya was stunned by Renji’s reaction. He knew he found him attractive, which implied some depth of feeling, but he had no idea just how deep those feelings were. But it only made him admire Renji more. Knowing that he had completely put himself aside to help him was more than he would have ever asked of anyone. Renji was perfect, and nothing could ever convince Byakuya otherwise. Not after everything they’d been through together. 

Byakuya coaxed Renji’s hand down from where it rested on his cheek and placed it on his own knee before cupping both of Renji’s cheeks in his hands, forcing him to look at him. 

“You don’t look like half the mess I was two weeks ago. I’m sorry I didn’t ever realize how much I meant to you. Relationships with me seem to be bound to fail, but you have never left me. All this time, and you’re still here. I’m sorry I kept you waiting.”

"I would have waited forever Bya… I just want you to be happy… I still can't believe…" Renji stopped to take a deep breath, closing his eyes, trying to calm himself, to feel less overwhelmed. But he'd wanted this so desperately for so long… He opened his eyes again, realizing Byakuya's position, his hold on his face, and he wanted nothing more than for the other man to kiss him - he practically needed to feel him, so his mind wouldn't be able to deny his words after so many years of telling himself otherwise… 

"Bya… I need to update my boundaries -" he said, his voice trembling as he forced out the words he'd been too apprehensive to admit before. "You can kiss me, whenever, however, and as long as you want, even if we're not alone," Renji whispered out, his voice still trembling, hoping Byakuya would understand what he wanted. He smiled as he whispered, "I won't mind at all."

Byakuya’s eyes widened, and he felt heat gathering in his cheeks. His hand shook as he slid it around to the back of Renji’s neck, still a bit hesitant to close the distance. But he knew Renji would wait. It was ridiculous to think, but he knew if he dropped his hands and backed away, Renji wouldn’t fault him. It was because of that, the complete lack of pressure, that Byakuya did lean in to press his lips to Renji’s. As soon as contact was made, he closed his eyes and tears began pouring in torrents down his face.

Renji was shaking, his entire body trembling as he carefully brought his arms to wrap around Byakuya's shoulders, whimpering against his lips and putting pressure to urge him into his embrace. Byakuya's lips felt like water to him after several years of thirst and he wanted to feel him in his arms, feel his perfect weight against his chest. As much as he wanted that though, he needed it to be Byakuya's decision, to know that's what he wanted… So light pressure was all he applied to Byakuya's shoulders before relaxing his arms around him and making a sound far too close to a whine, his hands clutching to the fabric of his sweater to keep them from wandering further - or from tugging him forwards. 

Byakuya understood Renji’s request, but he wasn’t sure how to respond. He was so accustomed to others just acting. So, he pulled away from Renji’s lips for only a moment, speaking immediately so he understood that this wasn’t a permanent separation.

“Renji, hold me. However you need to. Please. I trust you more than anyone in the world,” he begged, his voice garbled with emotion. He didn’t wait for Renji to reply before he reconnected their lips and wrapped his arms around Renji’s neck.

Renji acted immediately upon Byakuya's words, whimpering again as Byakuya reclaimed his lips and wrapped his arms around his neck. One of Renji’s arms deftly slipped below Byakuya's legs, his other arm still around his shoulder, as he lifted him into his lap and relaxed back against the couch. He then quickly moved both arms to wrap around Byakuya's lower back, pressing him to lean against him as he lost himself between the feel of Byakuya pressing his lips against his and Byakuya's weight against and upon him. 

Feeling entirely at peace and euphoric, he slumped even further into the couch, his hands tracing nonsensical patterns upon Byakuya's back through the fabric of his sweater. He was getting hard, and placing Byakuya upon his lap probably hadn't been the best idea, but he honestly hadn't been able to think past the overwhelming desire to feel his weight on him, to know without a doubt that he actually was here, kissing him. 

Byakuya relaxed into Renji’s touch, reveling in every detail of this moment. Just as he always was, Renji was gentle and considerate, nothing like anyone else he had ever been with. Still vigilant of being more vulnerable than usual, he refused to let his mind slip. He was enjoying Renji’s lips against his, probably more than he had enjoyed anything in his life. Renji was a breath of fresh air compared to the scum he had let this close to him before. Still, his past hurt kept him from fully letting go. Not yet. 

And he was sure Renji would understand. 

He felt Renji’s arousal beneath him, but wasn’t at all surprised. If just a brush of his nose to the man’s neck could arouse him, this was more than enough reason. He tried to not let it bother him, but in such a context, it was a bit different. So he pulled away again, hoping the action didn’t cause Renji any distress. The last thing he wanted was to upset him right now.

“Renji, we don’t have to move further, right?” he asked gently. He didn’t want there to be even the slightest chance that Renji would misread his concern for mistrust, because he knew the answer. He just needed to hear it.

"No… We'll move exactly as far as you want Bya, and not a bit further… You've already given me more than I ever thought I would have the honor to have… I love you Bya, so much - I never want you to feel pressured with me, I just want you to feel safe, to feel wanted, to feel loved."  

Renji closed his eyes then, still slumped bonelessly into the couch, completely emotionally drained but happier than he ever remembered being. He brought one of his hands to hold Byakuya's, bringing it to his lips and kissing the back of it before nuzzling against it, humming in contentment before pressing their joined hands to rest over his heart. 

Byakuya leaned in to rest his forehead on Renji’s, the closeness causing his heart to stop momentarily. He thought he might faint from all of the emotional highs he was experiencing. It had been so long since he had even been happy, but this was completely overshadowing every pleasant experience he had ever had. The feeling of Renji’s breath on his lips was comforting, intoxicating, everything at once, and he never wanted it to end. 

“I’m here, Renji. I’m never going anywhere. I’ll stay with you for as long as you want. Forever and a day.”

Renji smiled, releasing an exhausted chuckle, "Forever and a day… Sounds perfect…" He never thought he'd feel this pleased to hear Byakuya say his own words back to him… 

And Renji loved him for it. 

Just as Byakuya loved him. 

Byakuya loved him. 

He took in a shuddering breath as he was suddenly overwhelmed with emotion again, his free hand coming up to tightly grab Byakuya's shoulder, trying to ground himself. It was his own words… How did they affect him this much? But he could tell, Byakuya meant them - as much as he himself had. He really wanted to stay… 

With him. 

"Bya…" Renji whispered, barely able to speak past the emotions drowning his usually calm state, "Can I ask you to do something for me?" 

Byakuya leaned back only a small bit, enough for him to nod, not willing to put much space between them for long. He brought his free hand up to rest it on Renji’s shoulder.

“Anything, Renji,” he replied.

"Can… I… I'd like to lay down… With my head in your lap - I'm still completely overwhelmed… Could you… Would you mind…" He breathed shakily. He'd never asked Byakuya to do this but he knew it would help him calm down and he desperately needed to. He swallowed, forcing out the words even as he felt an intense blush overtake his face at what he felt was a bit childish to request, "Please Bya, I'd like you to brush my hair…" 

Byakuya chuckled a bit at just how nervous Renji was to ask anything of him, but he had to admit the blush on his cheeks was adorable. 

“That’s all fine, Renji. It’s the least I could do, really,” he assured him, shifting a bit to kiss his cheek before standing from his lap. “I’m just going to get a brush. I’ll be right back,” he said, bringing their joined hands to his lips and kissing Renji’s before releasing it. But a passing thought made him stop and look back. “Unless… you’d like to lie down in bed. It wouldn’t make me uncomfortable at all, so don’t even think it. I told you, I trust you more than anyone else in the world, and I meant it. If you’d be more comfortable lying in bed, that’s fine with me,” he offered.

Renji just nodded, whispering out, "Bed sounds good, Bya…"

Byakuya smiled and went back to him, taking his hands and doing what he could to help him stand. He kept an arm around his waist as they walked to the bedroom, and he made sure Renji was lying down and settled before he leaned into the bathroom to retrieve a brush. He was absolutely astounded at how his confession had affected Renji, but he supposed he truly didn’t have any idea how long Renji had been convinced that he would never earn his affections. After everything he had been through, suppressing these feelings for so many years, how could he possibly refuse something as simple as brushing his hair?

He slid onto the bed with Renji, crossing his legs and gently pulling his head into his lap. He placed the brush next to him, first taking the tie from the end of Renji’s braid. Slowly, methodically, he unraveled the sections of hair, pulling his fingers through it at intervals to be sure it wouldn’t become tangled. When he reached the hair that was tightly braided flat on his head, he had to put a bit of pressure behind his actions to pull it apart, but it didn’t seem that Renji minded. Finally, with all of Renji’s hair loose, Byakuya picked up the brush and began slowly pulling it from the roots to the ends, occasionally pulling his hand through behind it.

“I love you, Renji. I’m here with you and I’m not leaving. You’re amazing, and everything you do for me is more than I could ever imagine I deserved,” he whispered, hoping his words had the same calming effect that Renji’s did when he was deep in subspace. This wasn’t the same, and he knew it, and he also knew he didn’t have the experience or eloquence Renji did, but he hoped it was doing something to help him calm down.

Renji was a bit amazed he was this exhausted, expecting to feel the familiar rush of pleasure from Byakuya gently tugging at his hair to unravel the braid. But all he felt was comfort, and he let himself drown in the soothing feeling of the brush passing through his hair, in the gentle words spilling from Byakuya's sweet lips, and let himself simply live in this moment, fully accepting it. 

Slowly, his breathing calmed, his heart finally slowed, and he felt like putty in Byakuya's hands, relishing the other's attention to his hair. Byakuya really did love him, was here with him, wouldn't leave him… Forever and a day, he'd said… Renji smiled and nuzzled into Byakuya's lower stomach, his head still resting in his lap, his body turning onto his side and curling into him, finally feeling calmed and at peace but far too exhausted and drained to move. 

Byakuya felt Renji relax, and he smiled softly. When Renji curled into him, he had half a thought that he planned to sleep that way. The idea made him laugh quietly. Still, he wasn’t tired, and he would let Renji rest that way for as long as he wanted to. 

“I love you, Renji. I just want to keep reminding you. You’ve waited so long to hear it, and I want to keep telling you. I want you to know that you’re not dreaming. This is real. I really do love you so much,” he said quietly, continuing the soothing motion of running his fingers and the brush through Renji’s hair. He honestly didn’t care if he had to sit there all night. It was more than worth it to see Renji this way, completely relaxed. 

He had to hold back a choked gasp when the realization hit him. That was how Renji felt about him. All this time, every time he held him, every time he bound his arms, every time the repetitive, calming praise told him things he didn’t truly understand, this was what he meant. He never knew why Renji thanked him for allowing him to be there, and see him completely lost in subspace, but now… he understood. It really was breathtaking to see someone trust this way. He quickly brought his hand up to wipe away the stray tears that had fallen from his eyes, not wanting anything in the world to interrupt Renji’s calm.

"Bya?" Renji murmured at the abrupt lapse in the steady motion through his hair, dark eyes opening slightly and tilting his face up to catch Byakuya wiping away tears from his eyes. Renji immediately found within himself the will to sit up, his hand coming up to cup Byakuya's cheek, his thumb wiping away the rest of his tears. "Alright?" he murmured, his eyes mixed with love and concern as he wasn't sure why Byakuya had begun to cry again…

“Renji, please, it’s nothing. Just lay back down,” Byakuya insisted, but he knew the look in Renji’s eyes. He wasn’t relenting until he admitted what was wrong. “I am alright, really. I just… I was thinking. While I was watching you, completely relaxed and letting me take care of you…” he held back another sharp inhale at the words, realizing just how many times Renji had said that exact thing to him - how he held so dear the opportunity to care for him. “I realized why it’s so important to you to see me that way. It really is amazing, and I understand that now.” 

Renji smiled, leaning forward and kissing his forehead gently before laying back down and nuzzling back into his lower stomach. He was glad, really, for Byakuya's insight. And he more than appreciated him taking care of him like this. 

It felt amazing, knowing Byakuya cared enough to want to do this for him. Renji had never had another person help him through becoming overwhelmed by emotions - not that such a thing happened often. He grinned at the thought… Byakuya could be his strength too, when he needed… He really was the perfect partner for him. 

And now… Now he really believed he could be his. 

He brought his hand up to trace nonsense into Byakuya's lower back again. He wondered how long Byakuya would be alright simply allowing him to cuddle into him like this. If he was waiting on Renji to move, it was going to be a while, as he was entirely unwilling to leave this moment… Although… even if he wasn't hungry, he'd feel terrible if he forced Byakuya to miss a meal - the man barely ate as it was… 

Byakuya felt the slight tension in Renji’s touch on his back, and he knew what was going on in his mind. He rolled his eyes, not stopping anything he was doing. 

“Renji, I can feel you worrying about me. I’m fine. Just relax. I know it’s hard for you, but I’d like for you to stop trying to take care of me. Just for the rest of the evening. I know you’re exhausted, and I don’t want you wasting energy on me,” he scolded lightly. He knew that’s what it would take, otherwise Renji would be asking questions soon, getting up, trying to satisfy Byakuya’s needs instead of his own. 

Renji chuckled, "I'll try, but I honestly think telling my heart to stop beating would be easier than for me to stop trying to take care of you… I'm much better now, you helped me immensely. And energy spent on you is never wasted, Bya. But I'll let you take care of me tonight… Just promise me you won't starve yourself for my sake - I'll be perfectly fine here while you eat… Although I honestly can't promise I'll still be awake, I really am exhausted. I've never been so thankful that tomorrow is Saturday," Renji concluded, his voice trailing off as he closed his eyes. 

Byakuya expected every word Renji said. He truly couldn’t abandon what seemed to be his sole purpose in life - taking care of him. So, Byakuya set the brush down on the bedside table and then shifted carefully, moving Renji’s head from his lap to lie down next to him, their faces only inches apart. 

“How about a compromise? I’ll stay here until you fall asleep, then I promise I’ll go eat. And then I’m coming right back, because there’s no way I’m staying in any part of this house alone when I can be with you, even if you are asleep,” he suggested, bringing his hand up to rest it on Renji’s cheek. 

"Deal," Renji whispered, a sleepy smile on his face. His eyes fluttered open though and he frowned a bit at the thought of sleeping in his clothes from work… "I should probably change though - if I fall asleep now, I'll probably sleep till morning like this…" 

Byakuya jumped up immediately, going to the closet and pulling out Renji’s usual sleep clothes. He tossed them on the bed and then turned toward the door. 

“You change. Get settled. I’m going to go heat up leftovers and come back in here. Don’t fall asleep until I get back,” he instructed. 

Renji grinned, sitting up and pulling the clothes towards him. "Yes sir," he responded, winking at Byakuya as the other shot him a look that was both exasperated and incredibly fond. 

Byakuya shook his head as he exited the room. What had Renji done to him? He was actually going to eat in his bedroom - just because that’s where Renji would be? It seemed absolutely ridiculous, but he had to admit it was exactly what he wanted to do. 

When he returned, he found Renji under the covers, his back to the door. Byakuya went to what had become his side of the bed and placed his plate on the bedside table before sitting down. He was glad to see that Renji’s eyes were still open, though he clearly saw how heavy his eyelids were. 

“I just wanted you to stay awake long enough for me to tell you I love you one more time,” Byakuya told him, leaning down to kiss Renji’s forehead. 

Renji reached out so that his fingers were lightly resting against Byakuya, relieved at the other's returned presence and that simple, undeniable contact assuring him he really was here. Completely at ease, his eyes fluttered shut as he whispered, "Whatever I did to deserve you Bya, I'm so grateful. 

"Love you…"

Byakuya smiled, running his fingers through Renji’s hair one last time as his breathing evened out and he finally fell asleep. 

He turned to pick up his plate, still amazed at himself that he had brought food into the bedroom. As he ate, though, he watched Renji as he slept, and he realized that it wasn’t such a bad thing to want to be close to him. Byakuya had never been happier, and if that made him have to carry a plate from his bedroom to the kitchen in the morning, it was a small price to pay. 

Really, he did understand Renji a bit better now. He’d do anything for that man, just as Renji would for him. And now that he wasn’t hiding his feelings, he could freely do so. 

Byakuya was never one to leave a debt unpaid, and even though he was absolutely certain Renji didn’t think he was owed anything for his actions, he didn’t ever want Renji to think he was ungrateful. 

Because he was. More grateful to the man next to him than he had ever been to anyone in his life. 

Renji was everything to him, and he had been for years. It had just taken Byakuya’s stubborn heart that long to realize it. He had been his friend, his confidant, his therapist, his drinking buddy, the one he could vent to, yell at, cry in front of, and all manner of things. 

Now, he was even more. Renji knew him better than anyone else ever could in ways Byakuya had never even known himself. He’d seen him in every possible condition, and he never thought less of him. 

And Byakuya loved him for it. 

Just as Renji had always loved him. 

Renji loved him. 

When he finished eating, Byakuya rose and changed clothes before slipping under the covers with Renji. Still, he was content just to look at him for a while, relishing every moment of his relaxed expression. When he felt himself dozing off, he scooted a bit closer. He kissed Renji’s unresponsive lips and found his hand under the sheet, taking it in his. 

“I really do love you, Renji. I’m glad I finally realized it,” Byakuya breathed, careful not to wake him. He gave his hand a light squeeze before closing his eyes. 

For the first time, he looked forward to waking up in the morning. Because every day with Renji was sure to become the new favorite day of his life. 

Chapter Text

The following week, Byakuya didn’t think he could get enough of Renji. If they were together, they were touching in some fashion, frequently sitting on the couch with Byakuya’s legs over Renji’s lap, Renji taking hours sometimes just kissing every bit of exposed skin he could respectfully reach. Byakuya was absolutely delighted at the attention, but he was even more put at ease knowing that Renji would never ask him to go further. Their pace was completely his decision. 

Byakuya had updated his boundaries, just as Renji had. He allowed Renji to kiss any part of him that was exposed, which generally meant his face, neck, and hands, anytime he wanted to when they were alone. It was a conservative decision, not allowing Renji to go any further, but he knew without a doubt that Renji wasn’t at all put off by his gradual approach. But Byakuya was finding that he was frequently becoming aroused when Renji paid such loving attention to him. Renji never did mention it, as had been their pact from the beginning, but Byakuya was wondering if he should mention it. 

He had been pent up for months, and it was beginning to be a bit frustrating. He never had been one to really enjoy relieving himself. He’d much rather do that with a partner. And he knew Renji would be thrilled to help him. Thrilled may not have even been a strong enough word for the amount of enthusiasm such a suggestion would likely cause. 

It was Saturday again - one week after Byakuya had admitted his love to Renji. At the moment, they were sitting together on the couch, but Renji was simply stroking Byakuya’s hair, occasionally leaning over to kiss the side of his head. Byakuya was lost in thought, running his thumb over Renji’s hand that was clasped with his own. He wondered just how to approach this, and he really only saw one option that wasn’t an incredibly blunt, vulgar-sounding request.

“Renji.... I think I may want to try the breath play again,” he muttered, not wanting to harshly pierce the silence of the room. 

Renji didn't immediately react to the softly murmured statement. He took in Byakuya's relaxed state beside him, the slight strain in his gray eyes, the timid want that he'd seen slowly building throughout the course of the week. Renji was very in tune with the person he'd already come to see as his submissive - contract or not. 

Of course he had noticed the tension building within Byakuya. He was becoming more quickly - and more often - aroused when Renji was giving him attention, whimpering and groaning with shuddered breath as Renji kissed every available inch of skin he was allowed to. Renji could honestly do that for hours and never tire, loving the feel of Byakuya's smooth skin against his lips. 

He couldn't help but wonder what that brilliant mind was getting at, suggesting such a thing. Byakuya was heavily affected by breath play - that was completely obvious to both of them. Even Renji putting pressure against his throat as he kissed him was enough to cause Byakuya to keen and arch into him, Renji having to hold him down to keep him from writhing against him. That had just happened yesterday. He'd retreated from him a bit, allowing Byakuya to compose himself before returning to his gentle exploration, careful of putting any pressure against his throat. 

And here Byakuya was asking for him to do so… 

Either he had enjoyed it so much he no longer cared about how it otherwise affected him - now comfortable with becoming aroused in Renji's presence - or he was using this as an excuse to initiate something more sexual between them, trying to signal without outright saying the words… Because of course such a thing would be embarrassing to his reserved, well-mannered love. 

Renji carefully looked him over, noting the slight blush on his cheeks… He may actually be right about it being the latter… But, embarrassing or not, Renji had to be far more certain than a small blush on his otherwise determinedly composed face. Luckily Renji could never be embarrassed discussing such things. 

"Bya," he responded just as softy, "We both know how that affects you… Are you asking me to do it anyway and ignore that? Or are you asking me to do it and not ignore that? Either way Bya, of course I'll do so with you," he grinned, "but you should know by now that I like to be certain about what you actually want from me. I refuse to pressure you into anything you don't want or aren't ready for."

Byakuya sighed and glanced up to Renji. He knew him far too well at this point. Though, he had to admit it was likely painfully obvious that he’d had a hard time holding back as of late. Still, it was unduly embarrassing for him to actually ask for such things. 

“I want to do that… and not ignore how it affects me. I need to not ignore it, or I may actually embarrass myself soon. But, more than that, I want to move a bit further with you,” he admitted. He knew the color on his cheeks had deepened in shade, but he didn’t care. If he was going to be with Renji, he knew these kinds of plainly-worded conversations were going to become commonplace.

"How about we use the color system then?" Renji suggested, knowing that Byakuya would never be completely comfortable stating exactly what he wanted. He was becoming confident with reading him but he would feel far more confident with a safety net. And really, they would have had to establish safe words soon anyway. 

"The way it works is, I'll occasionally ask for you to tell me a color - it'll be a command, just that word, color. And you need to respond immediately and honestly, not how you think I want you to or how you believe you should - how you honestly feel. At that moment. 

"Green means everything is good and you want to continue. Yellow means you need a moment, that you need me to stop but could continue after being allowed to calm down. Red means you need to stop completely for the day, that something has affected you to the point that you need to be released from all expectations and allowed to get completely out of that frame of mind, to reset. 

"It's a common system for scenes and I would have insisted on it anyway if we ever try anything more… heavy. If we use this so I can easily check in with your mental state and you trust me to read you and decide what to do, I'll be more than willing to pay complete attention to your needs, Bya." Renji concluded, the last part of his statement coming out in a velvet tone as he gently carded his fingers through Byakuya's soft raven hair, leaning forward to kiss his forehead before retreating again to see the other's expression as he responded, delighted by the deepening blush upon his cheeks. Byakuya was beyond beautiful and completely endearing to him - he was quickly realizing that would likely always be the case as he only became more enchanted by him every day. 

Byakuya nodded, actually highly relieved that there was an easy way for him to express how he felt without actually saying it. Because if anyone knew how evasive he was about sensitive subjects, it was Renji. “Yes, that sounds good,” he accepted, smiling and leaning in to kiss Renji’s cheek. 

It was becoming easier, even after only a week, for him to initiate any physical contact. Still, it was a bit frightening to him that, if he was honest, he wanted to go more than just one step further. He knew there was no rush, and Renji certainly wouldn’t be the one to ask, but he felt that it would be sooner rather than later when he mustered the courage to at least discuss it with him. For now, whatever was about to unfold was more than enough.

Renji's smile was warm but his eyes held a degree of desire that hadn't truly been there before, at least, not nearly as clear. It was obvious that Renji really had been restraining himself, muting his own lust when with him, but it was now fully exposed in his gaze and Byakuya found his heart already beating faster just from the shift in his expression. 

Just like a week previously, Renji urged him to lay down on his back on the couch but this time… This time, as he brought his wrists up and held them in one hand, the other petting his hair, fingers threading through and playing with the soft ebony locks… This time Renji allowed his body to completely settle on top of him, his abs pressed against his own - his hips flush with his - rather than shifting to the side. 

"Color," Renji asked, his voice a deeper, huskier tone Byakuya hadn't heard before, and it caused a small shudder to run through the man beneath him. Renji remained still, allowing Byakuya to fully take in their position, not willing to do more than have him feel his weight settled on top of him, making sure he really was alright with this before continuing. Renji desperately hoped he was because Byakuya felt perfect against him… 

“Green,” Byakuya replied as soon as Renji had made the request. He didn’t even try to hide the breathy moan that had overtaken his voice. Renji’s body was exquisite, and feeling it completely covering his own was… everything he never knew he wanted. The weight, distributed over his entire frame, was grounding in a way that was similar to when Renji bound his arms. Being held down by his warm, flawless body made his mind effortlessly escape him. It was completely subconscious when he closed his eyes and tilted his chin back, completely exposing his neck and inviting Renji to continue.

Dark eyes took in Byakuya's reaction, smiling as he completely relaxed beneath his weight. He had wanted to have him pinned beneath him like this for what felt like forever, knowing it'd most likely help trigger his subspace, but he was also certain how feeling his body against him would affect him. He was already becoming hard and he'd barely moved but he couldn't help it. Byakuya meant more to him than anyone ever had, was more beautiful to him than any person he'd ever seen, and he was exposing his throat to him so sweetly, was so completely responsive to him - of course it just made him want him more. 

And Byakuya was allowing him to have him. Was placing his trust in Renji to know how far to take this. Renji groaned at the sight and the thought, his lips descending to Byakuya's exposed neck, pressing firmly as he kissed along his throat. 

Byakuya was unable to suppress the audible gasp when Renji pressed his lips to his neck. He was far past trying to hold back as he arched into Renji’s body, a broken groan accompanying the action. The friction as he did so was blinding, leaving him lightheaded and breathless. It had been far too long since he had felt this way - if he had ever actually felt this way before at all. The pleasure was overwhelming in the best possible way. The world melted away, and all that mattered was that he was in Renji’s hands. 

Byakuya was utterly amazing to him - every breathy moan, every sigh, every arch into Renji was sending heat through him, settling within his core and trying the firm grip he had on his control. Renji was beginning to feel overly warm - he honestly should have known he would be - but he wasn't remotely willing to ease off of Byakuya just to remove his sweater. 

Byakuya was already within his subspace, by now Renji could tell just from the way he reacted, the way he sounded as he continued to press kisses firmly against his throat. Renji shifted slightly, groaning deeply as his hard length slid against Byakuya's beneath him. Byakuya cried out, his body beginning to shake, the tension inside him becoming impossible to contain. Renji replaced his lips with his hand, still applying firm, even pressure as he leaned back to see Byakuya's expression properly. He shifted against him again - this time on purpose - swallowing back his own groan at the amazing feeling to clearly demand, "Color."

“Green, please, Renji, don’t stop,” Byakuya begged. The shift from Renji’s mouth to his hand on his throat was almost unbearable, but he didn’t want Renji to back away. 

Renji groaned at the desperate answer, moving his hips against him, grinding his hard length against the one trapped below him, setting a steady, insistent rhythm. "Bya," he groaned out, his voice impossibly deep with need, "Bya you feel so good, you're so beautiful, love. That's it Bya, just let go, I've got you…"

Byakuya was all but writhing under the pressure of Renji’s body, his hips constantly tensed to keep from losing the mind-numbing friction. He felt sweat breaking out on the back of his neck as a familiar - but lately all too foreign - sensation began to build in his groin. “Renji… I think I’m going to… can I…” he couldn’t even finish his sentence, and he hoped Renji understood what he meant, because whether he approved or not, it wouldn’t be long before he had no choice but to bend to the demands of his body.

"Please Bya," Renji gasped out, understanding his broken words all too well with how close he was himself. "I want to see you… Ngh - I want you to come for me Bya, please… I need to see you let go, because of me," Renji ended with a groan, unable to be anything other than desperately honest about his desire for this man. 

Byakuya had very little time to prepare as his climax crashed into him, more intense than he ever remembered having in his life. He tried to smother the scream that surfaced from his throat, but he was at the mercy of the immense, indescribable pleasure that wrapped his entire body in waves of warmth. He felt every muscle tense, pressing against every inch of Renji that he could. He was panting, unable to catch his breath from the unexpected rush. This was nothing like anything he had felt before, and it seemed like the shockwaves took hours to subside, leaving him weightless in bliss as he completely let go, his body numb from sheer satisfaction.

Renji completely lost it as Byakuya released under the desperate rocking of his hips, gasping as his own climax rushed through him. But his dark eyes never left Byakuya's face, trying to memorize his completely wrecked expression as he came undone. Panting, Renji slowed his motion and gently eased the pressure from his neck but didn't remove himself further, allowing Byakuya to still fully feel his weight, to still know he was with him. 

"You’re so damn beautiful Bya," Renji praised, his voice still husky but he was at least regaining his breath. "So good - you have no idea how seeing you like this affects me, how much it means," Renji groaned, bending down and kissing the side of Byakuya's neck, shaking as pleasant shocks raced through him, still feeling the effects of his own powerful release. "Thank you, Bya," he whispered into his neck, allowing his weight to settle on him further while being careful to make sure he could easily catch his breath. "Love you… I love you so much… My Bya - you did so well…"

Byakuya was completely lax on the couch, content to feel Renji’s weight upon him as he let his voice guide him back to reality. He knew he was so far gone, likely further than he had ever been before, so he didn’t even try to speak. Didn’t move. Didn’t even open his eyes for a moment. He just listened to Renji’s constant praise, an involuntary smile coming to his lips at his words. He felt the light, tender contact to his neck, just another thing to slowly, steadily bring him back. Gradually, he felt his breathing calm and his racing heart slow, but he still didn’t want this moment to end. 

“Love you, too, Renji,” he whispered, willing his eyes to open. The overt admiration in Renji’s gaze as he looked down to him caused his heart to clench in his chest. All these years, he had been missing out on this. All the care, respect, and love Renji had to give. He pulled his hand from Renji’s grip on his wrists, and it was willingly released. He brought it to Renji’s cheek, his fingertips tracing from there, down his jawbone to his chin. “My Renji,” he breathed, relieved tears escaping his eyes.

Renji gently kissed him, glad to see Byakuya returning to himself, only a warm calm present in his soft gray eyes. He slowly moved to sit up, pulling Byakuya up with him and into his arms, holding him against his chest. "You did so well, love," Renji whispered, pressing another kiss against his hair before leaning back, smiling as Byakuya nuzzled into his neck again. He literally couldn't be more content than he was in this moment. "Bya, still green?" he asked, certain of the answer but needing to hear it all the same, to hear directly from Byakuya that he was still completely fine with what Renji had led him through. 

“Yes, still green. I know it’s not really my place, but what about you?” Byakuya couldn’t help but ask. Renji was always so concerned for him, and it often made him want to return the insistent attention he paid to his condition. He sighed as he relaxed into Renji’s arms, more thankful than ever that he had gotten the courage to realize how he felt about him.

Renji grinned at the question. This was exactly why he was so certain Byakuya was perfect for him. He was such a natural, responsive submissive, but outside of a scene he was a completely equal partner, worrying over his mental state as well. It was a completely unnecessary worry on Renji's end - he was perfectly happy doing anything with this man - but he loved Byakuya all the more for asking the question. 

"Green, always when you're with me Bya. Every time I'm with you, I feel like I've been given a gift I'm not sure how I could have possibly deserved but I'm not letting you go now that I have you," he whispered against his soft raven hair. 

Byakuya chuckled at the statement, both flattered and a bit amused.

“You know, Renji… people aren’t usually given gifts because they deserve them. I think, if you had to do something particular to earn it, it would be called payment. You don’t have to do anything to earn my love. You, as you are, are already enough. Don’t think as though you’ll ever have to deserve me. Because, even if you don’t think you do, even if you make a mistake, I’ll be here,” he said, great certainty echoing in the confidence in his voice.

Renji hummed, considering Byakuya's words, "I feel that way - towards you, Bya. But, honestly, you're the first person I've just given my heart to. I didn't even really have a choice, didn't realize when it had happened… My other relationships, I never regretted or faulted them, but they were definitely for mutual benefit and a bit… transactional, I guess. 

"It suited me, at the time - I didn't want to be that attached to anyone anyway… But with you - I've never wanted anything more… I love being so in love with you… And to know you love me…" Renji shook his head slightly. "To be honest Bya, I've not received many gifts in my life - none actually come to mind - I don't think I really know how to recognize them. But I know I could have never done enough to earn you, so you must be a gift…" 

Byakuya was still smiling, the expression never dropping through Renji’s speech. He completely understood the sentiment of transactional relationships, though his had almost always been extremely one-sided. No one had ever actually cared about him enough to put aside their own desires and ask what he wanted. 

And every time Byakuya was reminded of how miserably his previous relationships failed, his mind went back to Renji, who was everything everyone else wasn’t. 

“You are a gift to me, too, Renji. As much as I put you through, I know I don’t deserve you, either,” he whispered. He shifted a bit to wrap his arms around Renji, pulling himself only more flush against the other man’s body. He closed his eyes, just letting himself feel how perfectly they fit together. He had never been more satisfied in anyone else’s arms, and he truly never wanted to let go. 

Renji pressed a kiss and smiled against his forehead, tightening his hold, just letting himself feel how perfectly they fit together. He had never felt more complete with anyone else in his arms, and he truly never wanted to let go. 

Another three weeks passed, making nearly a month since Byakuya had confessed. He was very much more confident as a result, and he knew Renji was well aware of it. He would frequently voice exactly what he wanted, and he had begun to roll his eyes at Renji’s insistent pride in him. After all, he’d had to expect that it would happen eventually. 

Weekends were passing more slowly, though, despite all of the things they had agreed were acceptable in their stated boundaries. Not that Byakuya was growing bored of any of it. Just the opposite. He was absolutely ecstatic with the progress they’d made, and Renji never ceased to affect him in fantastic, mind-numbing ways. 

“What else can we do that’s near the level of what we’re doing now? I know you had made more than one suggestion before,” Byakuya pointed out. They were still lying in bed on a Sunday morning, lazily wasting away the day in each other’s arms. Byakuya was lying on his back, completely relaxed next to Renji, who had one arm around his waist, the other hand tracing patterns on his chest over the fabric of his shirt. 

"Hmmmm…" Renji murmured, the question registering slowly as he'd almost been dozing off. "Yeah… sensory deprivation - I'm pretty sure that was it. It's a common one, so it's a safe bet for a trigger and relatively harmless if it isn't. The name explains what it is - deprivation of the senses. Can be sight, hearing, touch, or a combination of the three."

Byakuya nodded, not taking much time to consider it. After all, he trusted Renji to know by now what would likely affect him. “How would you go about trying it on me?” he asked, really just for clarification and because he knew Renji would always explain everything in detail before it was done anyway. 

Renji forced himself to wake up more, turning his head to gaze at his partner next to him. "Just one sense to start - probably sight. That's the simplest one. Really it's no different than a blindfold."

Byakuya nodded again, not seeing any harm in something as innocent as a blindfold. “Based on previous experience, I’d say you have one of those on you, or at least stashed around here somewhere, don’t you?” he teased, turning to Renji with a light laugh. 

Renji chuckled, "Actually, I don't - usually a scarf works fine and people normally have one of those. It's a lot less intricate than binding. As long as you can't see through the material, you don't mind how it feels, and it's easy to tie, it'll work."

Now eager to try something new, Byakuya rose from the bed and went to his closet, pulling out a soft cashmere scarf. The black fabric was relatively thin, but still opaque, and it was probably one of the most luxurious things he owned, so he knew he wouldn’t mind how it felt over his eyes. He took it to Renji, sitting on the edge of the bed and holding it out to him. “Will this be okay?”

Renji sat up, taking the scarf from him and grinning over the feel of the soft fabric. "Yes, this will definitely work. You seem a bit excited about the idea, do you want to try this now?" 

“Yes, I do,” Byakuya replied, not a bit of hesitation or a trace of a blush in sight. It had taken a bit of time, but he was finally confident in telling Renji what he wanted. At least, most of the time. He had been hesitant the second time he had requested another breath play scene, but he was getting better. More trusting. More sure that Renji wanted to know what he wanted, because he was actually eager to meet his needs.

Renji gave Byakuya a proud, pleased smile before gesturing to him to lay down on the bed, much in the same position he had been in previously. He folded the scarf neatly and brought it up to his own eyes to make sure it was effectively blocking out the light of the room. Satisfied, he coaxed Byakuya into lifting his head for him enough to place the fabric over his eyes, tying the scarf securely on the side of his head so he wasn’t lying with his head pressed against the knot.

“How’s that,” Renji asked, caressing his cheek below the soft fabric, “Can you see? Is it too tight at all?”

Byakuya took a deep breath, settling into the experience for a moment. He focused on the feel of Renji’s hand on his cheek, otherwise definitely cut off from the rest of the room. 

“It’s fine. It’s comfortable, and I can’t see,” he replied. He was already finding other ways to ground himself other than his sight. He felt Renji’s hand, along with the blanket under him. Both familiar things that reminded him that he was safe.

“Good,” Renji whispered. He settled himself between Byakuya’s long legs, the other parting them for him at his light touch. He didn’t actually press his weight into him, limiting the amount of full-body touch that he usually allowed himself when Byakuya was beneath him like this. Instead, he allowed only the tips of his fingers to touch him, randomly caressing what little exposed skin the other had in unexpected patterns and with varied amounts of pressure, from firm to the barest whisper of a touch. 

“Color,” Renji whispered, watching him intently.

“Green,” Byakuya replied. Every touch of Renji’s hand was a surprise, and he shuddered each time he felt it in a different place. The quiet intimacy of the action had his mind slipping in minutes as he relaxed into it. He had no idea how long he was laying there, blind to his surroundings and just feeling the fingers that were touching him.

Eventually, all of reality began to fade away, but with that realization came a bit of panic. He couldn’t feel Renji over him as he usually could, and the soft touches didn’t seem to be enough to convince him of where he was… 

… or who he was with. 

He clenched his hands around the blanket under him. He was in his bed. That he was sure of. But he and Renji had never done anything intimate in bed.

Even when his eyes flew open, he couldn’t see. He couldn’t confirm any of what he knew should have been true. And the images his mind provided were horrific. The last person he had been in bed with, in this way, was… the man who had left him. Suddenly, his heart was racing and his breath was coming in sporadic, desperate inhales and exhales. Pulling himself out of this state without Renji seemed an impossible feat.

... Without Renji

He wanted to bring his hands up to find him, but they seemed locked onto the blanket, unwilling to relent their grip. Tears were flooding his eyes, soaking the scarf over his face. He was completely unconscious of it, but he was whimpering, nonsensical sounds exiting his lips without his consent. 

Renji had been entirely focused on Byakuya, watching him as he slipped into subspace as usual, content to give him some time like this before beginning to pull him back out. Byakuya began to whimper though, something he’d only done when Renji was pleasuring him more directly in some way, and this was far too platonic to cause such a reaction. 

And the tone was wrong. Like he was distressed.

It happened so quickly - Renji had only just taken note of the difference before Byakuya gasped out… As if - as if he were crying. It had been several weeks since he’d heard that sound - he’d hoped he’d never hear it again, never wanting his love to experience anything close to the distress he had before. 

Renji didn’t need to ask for a color, something was clearly very wrong. He immediately pushed the scarf up and off, growing more concerned at the dampness of the fabric - so he had begun to cry. He leaned over him, allowing his weight to be felt by Byakuya beneath him, knowing that usually helped to comfort him, as he brought both hands up to cup his face. 

Byakuya had his eyes clenched shut and was beginning to hyperventilate as he gasped in breaths, taking in far too much air as he tried not to sob. “Bya,” Renji said clearly, his voice steady even though he was more than a little shaken by Byakuya’s reaction himself. “Bya, you’re alright, I’m right here. Open your eyes for me Bya, I’ve got you. You’re safe, and you’re so loved Bya. Please love, please open your eyes for me…”

Byakuya tried to follow Renji’s voice. He really did, but his body still wouldn’t obey. His muscles were tight, his arms tingling from holding so tightly to the blanket under him. The only thing that even made him slow his breathing was the frightening feeling of lightheadedness that resulted from gasping in air for so long. He felt Renji’s weight on him, heard his voice, but he still felt so far away. 

He felt trapped. And not trapped by Renji’s body on top of his. Trapped by his own haunting thoughts and traumatic memories. He wanted so badly to wrap his arms around Renji, hold him against him, and let everything be right. But his mind wouldn’t release his body to respond. And when rough, painful sobs began to rack his body, all he could do was fold to them and let them take over.

It took a great deal of focus for Renji not to panic, to try to think of ways he could actually pull his partner out of this… drop. He was clearly dropping and Renji wasn’t certain why he was. His mind raced, trying to discern the reason because he desperately didn’t want to make this worse than it already was. The only thing new had been the blindfold… Causing Byakuya to not be able to see…

Which meant he hadn’t been able to see him…  

They also rarely did anything close to a scene on the bed - the couch still being where he’d bind him or press against his throat. Renji had actually avoided doing either of those things in the bed the past few weeks, not wanting to be overly tempted into being more physical with Byakuya than the other was ready for. He had felt perfectly confident about something as platonic as blindfolding taking place here but he should have considered the location… The last time Byakuya had fallen into subspace here…

He’d been abandoned.

And he’d dropped.

And he’d had no way of seeing Renji this time, to assure himself that this was different, that Renji was with him. 

Renji immediately moved off of him to bring him into his arms, one arm under his knees and the other supporting his back in a bridal carry, lifting him off of the bed. He’d had to massage his wrists a bit to get Byakuya to release his firm grip on the blankets and as soon as he did so, Renji got up, carrying him out to their familiar couch. The entire time he continued to use his steady voice to attempt to help ground him, to pull him out of this drop, to assure him that he was there and that he’d never leave him. 

He settled them in their usual cuddled position on the couch, one hand coming up to direct Byakuya so that his nose was nuzzled into his neck, the other wrapped around him securely and petting down his side and back as he continued to talk, only pausing to press firm kisses to his soft raven-black hair. 

“Bya, please Bya, I’m right here. It’s your Renji, Bya - I’ve got you, and I’m never letting you go. Forever and a day, remember? I’m so sorry Bya, I should have realized…” He shook his head. As angry as he was at himself for not considering this possibility, especially the first time Byakuya fell into subspace in that room after the trauma he’d gone through before, that wouldn’t help either one of them. And he knew Byakuya wouldn't blame him or fault him for this. 

Byakuya would be more likely to blame himself, thinking he should be stronger than to have this affect him this way. But his reaction was completely understandable to Renji - just as him not being perfect and not always being able to predict exactly how Byakuya would react to things was completely understandable to Byakuya. He tried to hold onto that thought, not allowing himself to wallow in his failure - only allowing himself to focus on making it right.

“I love you Bya. I’m right here. Please come back to me, love. I need you to focus on what you feel, what you’re hearing right now. It’s me, your Renji, you know I’m here with you. You know I’d never leave you, never allow you to be alone through this. Please hear me Bya - feel my arms around you - smell my scent - open your eyes for me, please…”

Byakuya barely perceived the move from the bedroom, not until he was settled in Renji’s arms. He was weak from the rush of emotion, and the exhaustion seemed to force the tension from his body. Still, he wasn’t entirely on the surface of his consciousness. He listened, willing his mind to take to heart every single word Renji said. It was Renji’s voice. He was here. 

He would never leave.

Never allow him to be alone.

Renji’s arms were safe. His scent, all the more prominent to Byakuya’s hazy mind with his nose pressed into his neck, was familiar and comforting. 

Finally, finally , he felt his heart calming. He relaxed into Renji’s grasp as well as he was able. Tears still formed steady streams down his cheeks, but that was well beyond his control. Even when he attempted to take a deep breath, his hands began to shake again, threatening another breakdown. He surprised himself when he held back from falling into another episode of sobbing. Not wanting to test the limits of his stability, he didn’t try to speak. He only opened his eyes, and from where he was nuzzled into Renji’s neck, all he saw was the black tattoo there. But that was enough. All the proof he needed that Renji was really there, holding him, bringing him back, loving him through this.

Finding that he was able, he lifted his arms minutely, wrapping them around Renji’s waist and holding tightly to the fabric of his shirt. He didn’t dare close his eyes again. He only focused on Renji’s tattoo, trying to control his breathing, and clutching desperately at Renji’s shirt as though he would disappear if he even loosened his grip.

“That’s right Bya, good,” Renji said, feeling him wrap his arms around his waist. “You’re alright - I’m right here.” He tilted Byakuya’s head up, immensely relieved to see his beautiful gray eyes open and looking into his own. He gently kissed his lips, pressing their foreheads together, allowing his calm breathing to be exchanged with Byakuya’s still strained breaths as he held him against himself.

Byakuya hated that he still couldn’t seem to stop crying. Relief was slowly coursing through him, and Renji’s lips on his, even if only for a moment, felt so good to him. He couldn’t stop the words before they were spilling from his mouth.

“Please don’t ever leave me, Renji. I don’t know what I would do without you. I need you, so much. I love you, Renji…” his voice was beginning to tremble, and he felt his control slipping again. “I love you so much.” He didn’t feel that he had much choice when he slumped back into Renji’s arms, his head resting on Renji’s shoulder and light, not nearly as intense as before, sobs caused his body to tense every so often. 

Renji held him like that, continuing to reassure him that he was there, that of course he’d never leave him, that he didn’t even think he could anymore. Byakuya had quickly become the reason behind each bit of his happiness and he could no more abandon him than abandon his own heart. 

Because Byakuya was his heart.

And he was never letting him go.

Byakuya spent hours , he knew because the room had already begun to darken with the sunset, in Renji’s gentle, but still firm and reassuring, grasp. He honestly didn’t know if he was ever going to be able to leave. Renji truly was everything to him. 

They had fallen silent some time ago, and Byakuya had recovered enough that he was well aware of the stiffness in his body from the tension that had crept up on him so suddenly. Still, he was unwilling to stand and lose the warmth of Renji’s body against him. He kept having to fight back the memories that had triggered his downfall, and he knew he couldn’t do that without feeling Renji in contact with him. 

“Renji… I don’t know if you’re aware of what happened. I know you’re good at reading me, but… what happened earlier surprised even me,” he murmured, his voice hoarse from the onslaught of emotion.

“I can guess… I think we may have been fine, out here on our couch… But you haven’t experienced full subspace in that room since… before… and I’m sure not being able to see me didn’t help your mind being able to tell the difference. You got trapped in those old memories, didn’t you? I’m so sorry Bya, I really should be considered that… You may have even been fine except for the blindfold preventing you from seeing me… But that together with the room…” Renji tightened his hold a bit, kissing him before whispering, “I really am sorry Bya…”

Byakuya shook his head, smiling a bit at just how perceptive Renji was. “It wasn’t your fault. I realize… it was neither of our fault. It was that man who left me. He made me like this. But… I don’t hate that it happened anymore, because if he hadn’t left me like that, I would have likely never realized just how perfect you are. And we wouldn’t be where we are now,” he said, bringing his eyes to Renji’s face. He pressed a light kiss to his cheek before settling back with his nose nuzzled into his neck. Nothing in the world could compare to how comfortable he was in Renji’s arms.

Renji didn’t say anything to that. He was glad to have Byakuya now, of course he was, but he never wanted him to have gone through that. Even if it did bring them together. Renji would have accepted the way they were before - would have been fine with staying his friend - if it meant Byakuya never lived through that. But nothing could be done about it now. And Renji was thankful that Byakuya had realized his feelings for him - that they were together now, that he was able to hold him, to take care of him, to love him like he’d always wanted…  

Like he’d never thought he’d be able to.

Renji eventually insisted on ordering food, the day having slipped by and he didn’t like Byakuya missing meals. 

“Do you have a preference at all? Otherwise you know I’m just going to order us pizza,” Renji said with a chuckle. He was still holding him tightly, still lazily petting down his back, arms, and hair every so often. “And you need to eat at least a little,” Renji said, kissing his forehead, “Or I’ll just be more worried about you. You need to eat, Bya. I know you forget all the time when I’m at work. You’re not skipping meals when I’m here.”

Byakuya sighed, not being able to stop the smile from coming to his face. Renji’s concern for every facet of his life never ceased to amaze him. No one had ever insisted that he do something as simple as eating . In fact, he was unsure whether anyone had been around enough to realize he frequently neglected to. Most visits from his former partners occurred in the evening, and none of them had ever bothered to ask if he had eaten enough that day. Byakuya did have to admit that it was a fairly ridiculous concern. Adults shouldn’t have to worry about whether their adult friends, partners, or whatever relationship they held, were doing something as basic as eating.

But, as had been proven time and time again, Renji knew him. And every little thing Byakuya did to neglect himself didn’t pass his notice. As much as he hated the badgering, he knew Renji was just trying to take care of him, just as he always did. 

“I don’t care, Renji. You order whatever you want. I love you,” he replied. He moved only a bit to wrap his arms around Renji’s neck, hugging him tightly and pressing a light kiss to the tattoo on his neck.

Renji smiled before managing to retrieve his phone from his pocket without having to move Byakuya much, placing the order. “You alright to eat at the table, love? Or would you rather remain out here. You know I don’t care. Although, if we eat out here,” he said with a grin, “I’m not going to bother with a plate.”

Byakuya chuckled, and his heart skipped when his honest response crossed his mind, tumbling out of his mouth before he even had a chance to think. “I really don’t care right now. I just don’t want you to move, as much as you can manage to stay here.” It was a truth he was a bit wary to admit, even after a month. He would throw away everything else - common decency, preference, anything - if it meant staying with Renji.

Renji kissed him gently. He really must still be shaken to allow them to eat on the couch - without plates on top of it. Renji held him until the doorbell rang, saying softly, “I’m going to bring you with me, alright? I’d rather hold your hand but if you don’t want to with a stranger out there, I’ll let go when I open the door, but I don’t want you to not be able to see me right now - and I don’t want you out of my sight either, if I’m honest.”

Renji’s attention to every detail of his condition was almost overwhelming for Byakuya. The fact that he would even think to do such a thing was beyond anything even he would have considered asking for. “You can hold my hand the whole time. I won’t mind,” he replied.

Renji grinned, standing with him still in his arms before setting him down and taking his hand. Answering the door, accepting the pizza box, exchanging quick words with the delivery person - all while still holding Byakuya’s hand like it was the most natural thing in the world - he felt almost giddy. The feeling was definitely tempered by why Byakuya was allowing all this but he hoped, even after he’d settled and overcome this latest drop, that he’d still allow Renji to show his affection towards him in front of others. Renji was a very affectionate person, really, and he was beyond happy and proud that Byakuya was his. If it wouldn’t utterly embarrass his reserved partner, he’d literally tell every person he met that he belonged to this beautiful man, and that Byakuya belonged to him.  

Or, at least, that’s how he felt. They still didn’t have a contract between them - Renji hadn’t really had the opportunity to bring it up. And with Byakuya still healing and them not being fully physically intimate, it wasn’t important right now. But someday Renji knew he’d need to explain such things, what it would mean to him if Byakuya agreed to contract with him - to have a physical paper he could look at, see both their signatures on, and know for certain that this man really was his. His gorgeous submissive - his partner. As symbolic as it was, what with there not really being anything legal tied to such things, it would mean a lot to him. 

He hoped Byakuya would understand.

But right now, what mattered was making sure he ate.

When they returned to the couch, Renji pulled Byakuya to sit on his lap, after placing the box next to him on the couch. Byakuya looked at him a bit questioningly but Renji just grinned, flipping open the lid to the box and grabbing a piece, saying, “I know you hate getting your fingers all greasy. So let's compromise. I want you to relax against me and let me feed you - and don’t feel silly or childish or like you're inconveniencing me because I’m going to thoroughly enjoy this. I guess you could consider it a slight kink, but I just really love taking care of you Bya. So, will you let me do this?”

Byakuya was completely shocked by the offer. Although, it didn’t feel much like an offer. Renji really wanted to do this, and as ridiculous as it seemed to Byakuya, he found he didn’t have the heart to refuse and disappoint him. “Just so we’re clear, you’re not going to get turned on by feeding me pizza, are you? Because I’m going to be very honest and say I don’t think I could handle that,” he addressed his main concern first.

Renji chuckled, “No, this isn’t a sexual thing at all, it just makes me ridiculously happy and feel good about being able to take care of your basic needs. You don’t need much Bya, you take care of yourself exceedingly well with most things. But I like to do what I can, if you’ll let me. At least, every once in a while, but especially after the morning we’ve had.”

“I hope you don’t find my questions offensive, really. I’m just still not sure how to take being this thoroughly taken care of. Honestly, I’m pretty sure sex was in the back of the mind of every man I’ve been with before, so… it’s still difficult for me to separate caring from wanting something in return. I know, you’ve said a thousand times that you’ll never ask anything of me, but, as you said, after the day we’ve had… my mind went back to that for a while,” Byakuya admitted. 

“It’s fine Bya, really,” Renji assured him, quickly kissing his cheek before holding up the piece of pizza to hover in front of his mouth, “Now eat before this gets cold.”

Renji smiled as Byakuya leaned forward slightly, taking a bite. “Good, Bya. Also, I understand that. Sex just… It was never that important to me. I feel good taking care of my partner, whatever that means - you more so than anyone else I’ve been with because I’ve never been in love with anyone else before you. 

“And taking care of you means taking things at your pace, so that’s what I want to do. It’s that simple, really. You being happy, and being part of the reason you are - that’s what makes me happy. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying I wouldn’t want to eventually have sex with you - sometimes you’re nearly irresistible to me Bya. But I want to take care of you more than that. So doing things like this, as odd as that may seem, makes me more happy than pushing you to do more physical things with me ever would. In fact, it would more likely cause me distress to do so.”

Byakuya continued to eat as Renji spoke, and even after hearing many of the things he said multiple times, it was still unbelievable how lucky he was to have Renji in his life. When he finished eating, he melted into Renji’s chest, sighing contentedly and listening to his heartbeat under his ear. He tried to hide the fact that Renji’s comment about sex had caused chills to break out on his arms. He didn’t have the courage to admit that he had considered it, mainly because he wasn’t sure that he was quite ready. He was content with what they had been doing, bondage and breath play, but he was beginning to realize that eventually he would want to move forward. Someday, he knew that thought wouldn’t frighten him so much. 

Because Renji had a way of making his fears disappear.

He glanced up to Renji, who was just finishing up eating, and found himself unable to look away. Byakuya was trying to be more honest with himself lately… and the thoughts that ran rampant in his mind utterly took him by surprise. He did want to go further. Perhaps that morning had been a complete failure, but that just meant Renji was only more aware of what affected him. Byakuya was beginning to realize that everything he did just seemed to feed into some invisible bank of information in Renji’s mind, and he used it to learn how to take care of Byakuya only more effectively. Nothing ever slipped by his notice, and that made Byakuya only trust him more, as if that were even possible. 

“Renji, I’m not really sure how to phrase this, but… I’d like to do something with you. In the bedroom. I’d like to give myself something else to think about, so that intimacy there doesn’t scare me so much,” he confessed. His heart was pounding, and he knew he was blushing again. It had been a while since he was so unnerved to ask Renji for anything, but this was different. He wasn’t just asking him to bind his arms or hold him, or even help him relieve himself through breath play. 

Renji didn’t immediately react to Byakuya’s words, sucking the grease from his fingers after holding the pizza before reaching for the napkins and cleaning off the rest. Byakuya’s request made sense, he supposed. If he had other memories in that room, more recent ones, it would probably help to not fall into the bad ones while falling into subspace. He was also certain though that Byakuya wasn’t ready to actually have sex with him. But there was quite a bit of ground in between what they’d done so far and that.

“Bya,” Renji said, looking into his eyes, carefully trying to read him, “You know I’d do anything you ask me to but I need to be certain of what you’re asking. I know speaking of such things, actually asking for them, makes you feel a bit embarrassed. So how about I say the words and you tell me if you think you’re ready for what I say?”

Byakuya was more than relieved that Renji understood him so well, because there was no way he was going to blurt out what he was thinking. Just thinking it was making his stomach turn flips anyway. He wasn’t even sure if he would be able to get the words out. “That would be good, yes. I’ll tell you if I’m ready for what you suggest,” he agreed. His voice was shaking and his heart was surely going to break his rib cage if it beat any faster. He ran his hand through his hair, holding it back from his face for a moment while he took a deep breath. He was ready for this, but admitting it was another task entirely.

Renji kissed him gently, smiling into his lips. Byakuya was adorable to him, his embarrassment over anything remotely improper was completely endearing, but it also made it a bit difficult to be certain what he did and did not want. And Renji refused to do anything with him that he didn’t want to do. He grinned a bit - Byakuya wasn’t going to necessarily enjoy this conversation, as necessary as it was, but his reactions were bound to be absolutely adorable. Renji watched him carefully, ready to catch every response for both practical and personal reasons.

“We’ll start off with clothing… Are you comfortable with me removing your shirt?”

Byakuya hid a gasp as a small cough, knowing exactly where this line of questioning was headed. “Yes, you can remove my shirt,” he replied, clearing his throat. He wasn’t sure he would survive such blunt inquiries, but he supposed he should have expected it.

Renji gave him a quick kiss before saying, “That’s perfect Bya, but you don’t have to repeat what I say if you don’t want to. Yes, no, or unsure is fine. Understand?”

“Yes, but…” did he really want to admit that repeating what Renji was saying helped him really absorb what he was agreeing to? “I might repeat what you say sometimes anyway,” was all he said, glancing at Renji in expectation for him to continue.

Renji nodded, kissing him quickly again before saying, “Of course - I just didn’t want you to feel like you had to. Next question: are you comfortable with me removing your…” Renji paused for dramatic effect - perhaps he was having a bit of fun here but he was also trying to get Byakuya into a more playful headspace after the long, overly-emotional day. “...socks?”

Byakuya let out a spluttering laugh, not at all expecting such a thing. He had to work to contain his laughter, but after a moment, he replied. “Yes, Renji.” Still, his smile remained as he kept eye contact with his partner, waiting for the next question.

“Well, I have to tell you that that’s a huge relief right there. I’ve been dying to be able to remove your socks,” Renji said grinning. “Can I also remove your pants?”

Byakuya’s heart skipped a bit at that, but he was expecting it. Just the thought of being so exposed to Renji actually made a thrill run through him, though, so he nodded. “Yes.”

Renji’s eyes flashed a bit - just imagining getting to see that much skin on this beautiful man was going to get him heated. So he resolutely focused on his next question, although if the answer to this was yes he didn’t think any amount of focus was going to prevent him from starting to become aroused. “Am I allowed to remove your…” He frowned, faltering for a second before laughing, “Actually, I don’t even know what you wear under your pants. Whatever it is, am I allowed to remove them?”

Byakuya felt heat gather in his face again. This was getting quite detailed. He turned away from Renji, a shy smile on his lips as he considered his answer. “I would be unsure of that, honestly. It would depend on what exactly we were doing, whether it was necessary or not. I just… I do want to maintain some boundaries,” he said, hoping he hadn’t hurt or disappointed Renji at all. But he still couldn’t get himself to look at him to read his expression.

Renji smiled gently, raising his hand to Byakuya’s chin and moving his face to look at him before softly kissing his lips. He sat back, still smiling, “Bya, you can say no, or that you're unsure - that’s the entire point to me asking. I want you to be completely honest with me. So, just to be clear, I’m allowed to remove most of your clothing, but it will depend on the situation if you’re comfortable with me removing all of your clothing, and I just need to ask you at the moment for that.”

“Yes.” Byakuya was only growing more attached to Renji with every word he said. He was beginning to doubt he would be able to refuse, no matter what he wanted to do with him, and it was all because he trusted him. He knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that Renji would never hurt him or disobey his wishes.

Renji gave him another quick kiss before continuing, “Now that you’re sorted, what about me? I know you don’t mind me mostly undressed, but would you be comfortable if I removed all of my clothing?”

Byakuya actually had to summon some self-control at that inquiry. If Renji undressed entirely, he was uncertain that he would be in any mindset to stop himself from wanting to go all the way, and though he trusted Renji to keep himself within the bounds of what they discussed, he didn’t want to cause him any distress having to deny Byakuya from breaking his own boundaries. “No, I wouldn’t be comfortable with that,” he said definitively.

Renji nodded, accepting that with another quick kiss. Honestly, that was likely a good call. “We’ve already discussed where I’m allowed to touch and kiss you, but I think we should revisit that, considering. Am I still allowed to touch you anywhere above the waist, even without your shirt on?”

“Yes,” Byakuya had to bite his tongue to keep from adding please to his response. He was becoming a bit flustered, as every question just caused his imagination to run wild wondering what it was all going to feel like.

Renji grinned, asking huskily, “What about below the waist? Am I allowed to touch your…” Renji paused again before saying, “...feet?”

“Seriously, Renji? Yes,” Byakuya huffed out, a mix between a laugh and an exasperated sigh surfacing from his throat, which was tight from his heart feeling like it was going to choke him.

“Well, not everyone is alright with their feet being touched,” Renji commented with a grin. “What about the rest of your legs? Can I touch them?”

“Yes,” Byakuya replied, still not losing the tension in his voice. He wanted to drag Renji into the bedroom just to make him stop talking, but he knew that would only cause problems. If there was anything he knew Renji was, it was thorough when it came to anything new they did together.

Renji kissed him again, before returning his careful watch to his reactions as he asked him, “Can I touch your hips?”

“Yes,” Byakuya breathed, truly trying and likely failing to keep his composure. The sooner this was over, the sooner he could stop trying to pretend he wasn’t getting hard just from talking about it.

Renji’s dark eyes darkened a bit more as he asked, “Am I allowed to touch your ass?”

At this point, Byakuya didn’t trust his voice at all, but he knew Renji would need verbal consent, so he forced out, “Yes.”

Renji gave him another quick kiss, grinning as Byakuya leaned after him a bit this time as he withdrew. “You’re doing so well Bya. I need you to keep answering me though. Take all the time you need to answer honestly. Next question: Am I allowed to touch your cock?”

Byakuya bit his lip and closed his eyes, surprised when he was able to contain a moan as a small hum. He did take Renji’s words to heart, though, and truly did consider it for a moment. As much as he wanted it, he needed to think about whether he was ready for it. But, no matter what, he knew Renji would never go any further than what they agreed to. “Yes.”

Renji’s own breath hitched a bit at his answer but he otherwise kept his expression calm, smiling encouragingly. “Am I allowed to touch you beneath your clothing, even if you don’t actually want to remove it?”

That made Byakuya’s eyes fly open again, and he had to seriously consider his answer. Touching under clothing opened up the opportunity for several other things, none of which Byakuya thought Renji would do without asking. He knew that the specificity of the request didn’t escape his partner. He knew that Renji was well aware that this consent was limited to only touching. “Yes.”

Renji kissed him quickly again, holding back his own groan at his answer. He almost wanted to end this here and drag him to the bedroom but they were far from done - he wanted to avoid asking Byakuya such things in the moment because he knew how much more difficult it would be for him to say no if he truly wasn’t ready.

“Am I allowed to use my hand to pleasure you, Bya, to wrap around your cock and pump you, to bring you to release that way?”

Byakuya let out a shuddering breath, clasping his hands together to keep from grabbing Renji on the spot. Actually, what he described was very much what he had in mind when he had first requested that they do something in the bedroom. “Yes.”

Renji kissed him again, having to force himself to keep it chaste and quick. “You’re doing so well Bya. Next question: Am I allowed to touch your entrance with my fingers?”

“No,” Byakuya replied, instantly and emphatically. That type of contact was what he was trying to ease into, and he doubted he was ready for such a thing now, before they’d had any sexual contact that involved so little clothing.

Renji nodded, kissing him again quickly, “Just making sure, Bya. I’m proud of you for saying no. Now, you said before I’m allowed to kiss any part of you that is visible - is that still allowed? After all, you would be wearing far less.”

“Yes, that’s fine,” Byakuya allowed, somewhat sobered by the previous question and how much even the idea of Renji touching him there was still a bit unnerving.

Renji wasn’t certain Byakuya really understood the implications of that and so he asked very specifically, “You said that I could remove all of your clothing, depending upon the situation. If I do, am I allowed to kiss your cock?”

Byakuya tightened his hands together and tried to take a deep breath to calm himself. Of course, at this point, he had given up on not being aroused. But he did still need to be able to speak and understand Renji’s questions. “Yes, you can,” he replied. It was still only touching… with his mouth… to a very private area. He had to hold back another moan at the thought.

“What about licking? Am I allowed to use my tongue on any part of you that’s visible?” Renji asked - this time the husk in his voice was entirely genuine and he couldn’t remove it if he tried.

“Yes,” Byakuya said. He heard the honest lust in Renji’s voice and it only fed the desire running through his blood. 

“Am I allowed to suck on any part of you that’s visible? Am I allowed to leave marks on your skin? I can avoid leaving them on your neck, where your clothing won’t cover, if you want.”

“Yes, you can leave marks as long as my clothing will cover them,” Byakuya allowed. Honestly, the thought of this man leaving marks on him was unexpectedly arousing. Almost as though he was privately claiming him, in a way.

“And, if it’s visible, am I allowed to do the same to your cock? Am I allowed to use my mouth to pleasure you, Bya, to make you come in my mouth?”

A tangible shiver ran through Byakuya at that, and he nodded before he had even opened his mouth to answer. “Yes,” he whispered, now highly tempted to forget the bedroom and do this on the couch. Stil, he stayed put, waiting for Renji to finish his questions.

“If that happens,” Renji said, his voice smooth and deep, “am I still allowed to kiss you afterwards, with your taste in my mouth?”

“Yes, I’m alright with that,” Byakuya replied. He still couldn’t get himself to actually look at Renji for long, just small glances, because if he looked at him for too long, he would certainly stop hearing his words entirely.

Renji grinned, kissing him quickly before scooping him into his arms and lifting him up. “You did wonderfully Bya. Now, you look like you could use a bit of relief. May I take you back to your bedroom?”

“Yes, please,” Byakuya couldn’t stop the word from coming out that time, and when he looked up to Renji, he almost thought to pull him into a kiss that would likely last much too long. But he decided to let Renji take the lead, as he was meant to, and besides, he was so good at it.

Renji quickly made his way back to the bedroom with the most gorgeous man in the world in his arms. He was finally allowed to see, touch, taste that amazing body and he was thoroughly excited and painfully aroused at this point. Byakuya had been as adorable through that as he knew he would be and Renji was so proud of him for answering each question he asked him, no matter how blunt or crude. 

He gently set Byakuya on the bed before grinning and removing his own shirt and tugging off his socks. He’d leave his pants on for now. Byakuya may be comfortable with him being that undressed while sleeping but he didn’t want to push it that far while they were actively together… at least not yet. If Byakuya wanted him to remove his pants as well, he was sure he’d say so - he hadn’t been shy about Renji’s clothing before.

He lightly touched Byakuya’s legs, which he opened for him at the barest touch, allowing him to settle where he had earlier that morning. But this time, Byakuya’s heated gray eyes were intently watching him, his body already quivering with need, the outline of his cock straining against his pants. He was not going to last long and truthfully - neither was Renji. He wasn’t worried though.

They had several hours left of the night after all.

Chapter Text

He lightly touched Byakuya’s legs, which he opened for him at the barest touch, allowing him to settle where he had earlier that morning. But this time, Byakuya’s heated gray eyes were intently watching him, his body already quivering with need, the outline of his cock straining against his pants. He was not going to last long and truthfully - neither was Renji. He wasn’t worried though.

They had several hours left of the night after all.

Byakuya’s eyes were wide as he took in the sight of Renji hovering over him, this time with clear lustful intent. His hand trembled as he reached out to him, but he stopped short of touching him. He was absolutely sure Renji wouldn’t mind, but they had only explicitly discussed Byakuya’s consents, and he was beginning to understand how important verbal consent was to Renji. 

“Can I… can I touch you?” he asked timidly, his hand still frozen barely an inch from Renji’s chest. 

Renji grinned, his eyes becoming impossibly darker at the question, "Please Bya, I'd love you to touch me. Every one of my boundaries remain the same - with or without clothing on. You can touch me however you want to, just realize that you doing so is going to excite me… Then again, maybe now that's the goal?" he concluded with a chuckle, reaching out to push up the fabric of Byakuya's sweater, exposing his toned abs. Renji groaned at the sight, lightly touching the smooth skin and tracing the lines of his muscles. 

Byakuya shuddered at Renji’s touch, his eyes closing for a moment as just that simple action drove his desire to new heights. But he didn’t want to miss a single moment, so he opened them again and returned his attention to the man above him, now confident in pressing his hand to the well-muscled chest and tracing the lines of his tattoos back up to his shoulder with a firm touch. His eyes followed the path, admiring every inch of skin his fingers passed over. 

“I’m already rather hot. Would you… take off my sweater… please?” he requested with a smile. 

Renji didn't need to be asked twice. He quickly removed the sweater, careful to not pull Byakuya's long raven hair as he did so and tossed it carelessly to the floor. He just stared at Byakuya - for several moments - his eyes sweeping across his completely bare upper body. His muscles were well defined, though his ribs on the sides of his body were a bit more pronounced than Renji would have liked to see - a consequence of his tendency to forget to eat. 

He was so beautiful to him and he couldn't stop himself from whispering out, "You're so gorgeous Bya… If it were up to me, I don't think I'd let you cover this beautiful body again… I'm so lucky…" He leaned down, pressing a kiss just over his heart, allowing his hips to press firmly into Byakuya's and groaning at the feeling of their hard lengths shifting against each other. 

Byakuya didn’t even have time to process the compliment before Renji bore down on him, and he breathed out a moan at the pressure. He brought both hands up to Renji’s shoulders, holding tightly and already panting. Realizing Renji’s position, he smiled, easily shifting his hands to bury them in his loose hair - he hadn’t bothered to put it up that day - and pulling his fingers through the vibrant crimson locks.

Renji shuddered at the touch, his hips pressing desperately against Byakuya and a whine spilling from his lips as he gasped out, "Fuck Bya, you will make me come if you do that… I'm already on the edge."

Byakuya heeded the warning, moving his hands down to Renji’s shoulder blades. Really, he was thrilled to be able to affect him this way, but he wanted to relish it for a bit longer. He couldn’t stop his hands from wandering, though, feeling every defined muscle in Renji’s back and sides as they ventured further down his body, stopping only when they reached the obstacle of Renji’s pants.

Renji relaxed slightly as Byakuya's hands left his hair to explore other - less overwhelming but still stimulating - parts of his body. He immediately returned his lips to the bared chest beneath him, mouthing at every inch of skin he encountered, sucking gently. Byakuya gasped as he found a sensitive spot just over those too-pronounced ribs and Renji applied more pressure, sucking on the skin harder, and reveling in Byakuya's reaction as he placed his first real mark upon his otherwise unblemished body. 

Byakuya’s breaths were coming in a bit labored as Renji pressed into the previously unexplored area. He had no idea he was even sensitive there. He fought the urge to return his hands to Renji’s hair, truly the most natural place for them to be, anchoring them in place by hooking his thumbs under the waistline of Renji’s pants. “Renji…” he panted, “I want… I…” he trailed off a bit, his mind conflicted about whether or not to even ask. What Renji was doing to him was far more than enough. He was actually already having a hard time holding back his pending release. But he wanted this to last as long as he could possibly make it, and they hadn’t done half the things he had imagined Renji doing to him.

Renji released the skin he'd been laving attention on, kissing the bright red mark it left behind. His dark eyes sought Byakuya's, his gray the color of liquid steel and his pupils blown wide with lust. "What do you want Bya?" he asked, his voice velvet smooth and deep, falling into his domspace a bit with his submissive finally beneath him, being allowed to take control if he wanted, confident in what he was and wasn't allowed to do and loving each and every response he was able to pull from the other. "Tell me." He was too far settled into his dominant frame of mind now and it was impossible for him to keep the commanding tone from his clear, steady voice. 

At Renji’s tone, Byakuya couldn’t help but let out a small whine. His eyes slid shut, his mind threatening to leave him completely under such confident authority. He knew, just by the way Renji was speaking, that now was not the time for vagueness or embarrassment. He wanted to know exactly what Byakuya wanted. “Please, I want us both to take our pants off,” he requested quietly, opening his eyes again to take in Renji’s calm, steady expression, still filled with honest admiration and lust. He had never felt so willing to let go and let someone have their way with him.

Renji moved up his body again to capture Byakuya's lips, kissing him gently before whispering against his lips, "Good, Bya." He kissed him again, this time swiping his tongue against his lips and sweeping inside when Byakuya obediently parted them for him. He slid his hands down his sides, tracing along the lines of his lower abs and raising his body slightly so he had room enough between them to unbutton and unzip his pants. 

Once they were loose he pulled away from the kiss to trail a line of butterfly kisses down the center of his chest, backing down the bed as he did so and removing Byakuya's pants in the process. Once his lips reached fabric again he sat up, grinning at the black silk boxers. So that's one mystery solved. Chuckling lightly at the silliness of the thought, he finished removing Byakuya's pants before standing to remove his own, letting both pairs fall to the floor and crawling back to his place between Byakuya's gorgeous legs. 

He was determined though to explore this new spanse of exposed skin and so he trailed his fingers up his long legs and thighs, his lips pressing kisses against his left leg as he worked his way up his body. 

Byakuya watched with half-lidded eyes as Renji explored his body, his muscles tensing and a light gasp escaping as he trailed his hand up his leg, his thumb brushing along the inside of his thigh. He bit his lip and let his head fall back onto the pillow, much too hazy to pay attention to what he was seeing anymore. Instead, he was content to feel all of it, reveling in the attention. As much as he wanted to just as thoroughly examine Renji’s body, he didn’t have the will to stop him or have him change anything he was doing. 

Renji grinned at Byakuya's reaction to his thumbs caressing his inner thighs - he was sensitive there too and he knew how good it felt. He was half-tempted to tease him a bit but they were both very close to the edge. He decided he could do more if he had them both release a bit of that pressure. 

He placed a final kiss on the inside of Byakuya's left thigh, grinning at the shudder that caused from the other, before moving to hover over him again, his fingers tracing the upper edge of his boxers where the fabric met the smooth skin of his lower abs. He watched his expression carefully as he trailed his fingers lower, caressing the hard, prominent outline of his cock and stroking it through the silken fabric. 

"I want to keep exploring your body, Bya," Renji stated, making sure the half-lidded gray eyes were locked on his own as he spoke, his tone still dripping with that even command. "I want you to explore my body as well. But we're both too wound up right now to do that the way I want to." He let his fingers slip beneath the fabric, wrapping his hand around Byakuya's cock and just holding him, "I'd like to relieve a bit of this tension before we continue."

Byakuya moaned heavily when Renji’s hand wrapped around him, involuntarily arching into the contact. “Yes, I want to come for you, Renji, please,” he begged. His heart was racing, warmth already flooding his extremities and making his hands tingle with pleasure. He let his eyes slide shut again, completely surrendering himself into Renji’s hands.

"Good Bya," Renji praised, leaning down to kiss him softly before leaning down to his ear, whispering, "I just want you to do one thing for me…"

Byakuya shivered at the sound of Renji’s deep, confident voice in his ear. “Yes,” he replied before the request was even made. It didn’t truly matter what he wanted from him. Byakuya fully intended to do anything he asked of him.

"I want you to play with my hair, Bya," Renji whispered, "and just before you come, I want you to pull it."

“Yes, of course,” Byakuya repeated, bringing his hands up to again bury them in Renji’s hair, combing his fingers through it.

Renji didn't even bother to suppress the lust-filled moan at the sensation, beginning to move his hand deftly along Byakuya's cock. Byakuya gasped and began to move his hips with the motion, Renji steadily increasing the pace with the increase of Byakuya's labored breathing. He buried his own face against his neck, his tongue and teeth trailing along the skin and deeply breathing in his scent, his breath shaking as it escaped in strong exhalations. 

The sensations were quickly building to the point of unbearable, and Byakuya felt like his body was acting of its own accord, thrusting into Renji’s hand. And then his breath ghosted over his neck, the flesh wet from Renji’s tongue, and chills broke out on Byakuya’s neck. He shifted his hands in Renji’s hair, bracing them around handfuls at the roots. It took only a few more thrusts before he felt himself unable to contain his release.

And Byakuya pulled on his hair - hard. 

Renji groaned, shifting his mouth to gently bite at Byakuya's shoulder as an overwhelming mixture of pain-tinged pleasure washed over him. He was pulled into his release so forcefully, having gone so long without the feeling of his strongest kink, that only his domspace frame of mind kept the steady motion of his hand from faltering as he pumped Byakuya's leaking cock, his entire body shaking as the powerful orgasm ripped through him. 

Byakuya kept his firm grip on Renji’s hair as his climax rushed him with unbelievable pleasure, the hand working him never stopping as every last shock was skillfully pulled from his body. Reflexive spasms rocked his body, eventually milking all of the tension from his muscles, allowing him to collapse to the bed, his breathing still a bit labored as he tried to collect himself.

Renji collapsed next to him, curling around him, his hand still wrapped around his cock, keeping it warm but otherwise not moving. It had been a long time since he'd had such a powerful orgasm and quite frankly - he needed a moment to recover. He pressed loving kisses into Byakuya's shoulder as he murmured out, "That was amazing Bya… So, so good, you did perfect…"

Byakuya rolled onto his side to face Renji, wanting nothing more than to be as close to his partner as possible. He brought his hand up to Renji’s cheek, running his thumb over the smooth skin. He didn’t even have the words to tell him just how perfect he was to him. He envied Renji his eloquence and ease of speech, but he hoped that the admiration in his eyes was enough to express the sentiment for him.

Renji turned his face slightly to kiss the thumb before closing his eyes, just taking in the gentle feeling of Byakuya caressing him. He gave himself a few quiet minutes to completely steady his heart and breathing, the soft sweep of Byakuya's thumb against his cheek never leaving. Feeling recovered, he opened his eyes again and smiled at the clear admiration in Byakuya's. "So," he questioned with a grin, "you want to continue?" 

“This may be a little petty, but… can we get cleaned up first?” Byakuya requested, a bit uncomfortable with staying sticky if this was going to continue for any significant amount of time.

Renji chuckled, sitting up. He released his gentle hold on Byakuya's half-hard cock, looking at the substance coating his fingers. He grinned at Byakuya and, moving his fingers slightly, asked, "What, you don't want me touching you with your mess all over my fingers?" 

Byakuya chuckled and brought his hand up to bury his face in his palm. “Renji, please. If you want me to be honest, no. I don’t want you touching me with that,” he replied. He felt his face heating up under his hand, and he avoided Renji’s eyes as he turned to lie on his back again.

"Looks delicious though…" he commented, the grin never leaving his face as he slowly brought his fingers to his mouth and licked one, his eyes becoming half-lidded and moaning at the taste. He was right, Byakuya tasted amazing to him, and he couldn't help cleaning off his own hand. His eyes were on Byakuya, making sure this wasn't utterly revolting to the other man… But he wasn't exactly stopping him… 

Byakuya caught his action in the corner of his vision, and he couldn’t help but turn a bit to watch. His eyes widened and his stomach tightened as Renji licked every bit of his release off of his hand, seeming to thoroughly enjoy it. Byakuya swallowed forcefully, knowing by now his face was as crimson as Renji’s hair. He’d be lying if he tried to convince himself that the completely sensual action wasn’t sexy. But it was so vulgar… he was actually having a difficult time owning up to the fact that he loved watching it.

Renji saw the conflict in his eyes, knowing exactly what was going through that well-mannered brain… And he grinned, seeing that his interest was winning out. "You know…" Renji murmured, "I wouldn't be opposed to cleaning you off as well…"

Byakuya inhaled sharply at the suggestion. “W-What do you mean? You mean…” He knew exactly what Renji meant, and his eyes flicked down briefly. “I suppose I… wouldn’t be opposed to it,” he admitted, still absolutely mortified that he actually wanted this to happen.

Renji's grin became completely possessive at the admission - this man had no idea what he did to him. He quickly regained his position between Byakuya's long legs, his fingers gently resting on the waistband of the damp, silken boxers, whispering out, "May I remove these, Bya?" his dark eyes never leaving steel gray. 

Byakuya hesitated for only a moment. He had been prepared for this possibility, and he certainly figured this was a situation that necessitated it. And, really, all of his reservations and fears that were attached to his uncertainty regarding being completely exposed had vanished. He was completely convinced that, clothing or no, Renji would never do anything that went against the boundaries they discussed. “Yes,” he allowed, smiling down at his partner.

Smiling at the permission, Renji carefully did so, making sure the damp fabric touched Byakuya as little as possible, knowing that would feel uncomfortable to him. Then he settled on his knees, leaning down, and began licking at the mess coating his lower stomach, moving to clean his cock as well with smooth strokes, a feeling of heat rushing through him at Byakuya steadily becoming fully hard again at the attention. 

Byakuya masked a moan as he felt his blood rushing south again, only more intensely fueled by his insistence on watching as Renji gently licked his skin clean. This kind of treatment was something he had never experienced, at least not so carefully and lovingly. It was ridiculous how intentions could change how he felt about something like this. Not for the first time, he realized that Renji wasn’t just doing this to him for his own benefit, and that made all the difference to him.

Renji was a bit reluctant to pull away from that lovely responsive cock when Byakuya was clean but he also had wanted to explore his body a bit more - and allow Byakuya to do the same. "Bya," he questioned, looking up at him from between his legs, "Do you mind staying this way for a while? I want to have you come in my mouth… But I also want to explore your body more…" He looked appreciatively over Byakuya's gorgeous body, now fully on display and spread out before him. He groaned lightly, whispering, "You're so damn beautiful Bya…"

Byakuya didn’t think he would ever stop blushing at this point. Renji truly was different than anyone else he had ever been with. No one had ever looked at him like that. Like he was the only person in the world. Like nothing could ever compare to him. He had seen pure lust, desire, and sexual need, which turned him into an object to those people. Of course, he knew Renji wanted him, but he also loved him. “Of course, Renji. I’ll stay like this for you,” he replied softly.

Renji smiled at the soft response, saying just as quietly, "I want to let you explore my body as well… If you want to… After?" 

Byakuya hummed lightly at the words, his eyes tracing over every part of Renji’s body that he could see. “I’d very much like to do that,” he said, his voice overshadowed a bit by his growing desire.

Renji took hold of his hand, kissing his palm. He whispered, "Love you, Bya," his lips ghosting across the skin, before he kissed up his index finger, taking it into his mouth and playing with the digit, stroking it with his tongue. After a handful of moments he repeated the process on his middle finger, continuing until he ran out of fingers. Only then did he allow his lips to trail butterfly kisses mixed with gentle, open-mouth suction up his arm - taking careful note of Byakuya's responses, searching intently for any more sensitive areas. 

Byakuya relaxed into the attention, closing his eyes as Renji made his way up his arm, drinking in the affection in his actions. He was sure Renji could do this all night - lavish every inch of his skin with tender devotion - and Byakuya was prepared to let him. 

Renji took his time worshipping each inch of beautiful skin - even having Byakuya turn over for him at one point to thoroughly massage his back and upper ass. He was careful with the last bit, making sure his fingers never strayed too low to cause Byakuya any worry or discomfort. 

He'd noted several sensitive areas during his careful exploration. Byakuya's inner thighs were definitely sensitive, almost too much so. Gentle caresses or kissing would cause him to whimper and squirm a bit but at the touch of his tongue Byakuya had withdrawn his legs from his mouth, his expression strained in a way Renji recognized as over-sensitivity. He pressed a gentle kiss upon his knee, moving on. 

Byakuya was very much at Renji’s mercy, allowing him to do as he wished with him. His reactions to his touches were candid and honest, mainly because he had no desire to try to hide anything from him. But, really, the quiet intimacy of Renji’s process was causing his mind to fall, whether that was the intention or not. His actions were slow, methodical, and careful, all things that triggered Byakuya’s lack of need to truly be present. He trusted that Renji would take care of him, as he always did.

Renji could tell Byakuya was slowly slipping into subspace. He was highly vigilant, remembering all too clearly how quickly this had gone wrong this morning. He settled himself between Byakuya's legs, allowing his body weight to press against the gorgeous man beneath him. Keeping his hips still, he remained entirely focused on Byakuya in this moment, on guiding him through subspace - determined that he wouldn't drop again. 

He brought Byakuya's fingers back to his mouth and played with them, gently sucking and caressing with his tongue, murmuring praise to Byakuya every few seconds, "You're doing so well… So good Bya… You're so beautiful like this - I can't believe I'm allowed to be with you like this… Good Bya, you're doing so well. I'm here, right here. I'll always be here, Bya - I could never leave you. Love you Bya, so much…"

Byakuya took what felt like a completely involuntary deep breath, falling into familiar territory when Renji’s warm body covered him. Even in subspace, though, he was well aware of just how much of their skin was touching. He looked up to Renji, who was still intently playing with his fingers. “You feel so good against me, Renji,” he whispered, shifting only slightly to renew the feeling of their bodies melding together. This just might be his new favorite way for Renji to pin him down.

"You feel perfect Bya," Renji responded, his voice just as soft but sure, "You fit so perfectly against me, and to feel your skin against mine…" Renji groaned, his hips bucking against Byakuya, only the fabric of his own boxers separating them. 

"Bya," Renji whimpered, "Bya I want you to come back to me now… I want to taste you, but I need you to come back to me first, love." Renji leaned down, pressing butterfly kisses over his relaxed face. 

Byakuya heard the beckoning, not as far gone as he had been in the past, and he brought his gaze up to Renji again, not letting anything in the world distract him from his partner’s face. To bring his mind back to awareness, he leaned up to kiss Renji’s cheek, letting his lips rest there for a moment as he regained full control. When he pulled away, he smiled, falling back to the pillow. Still, he didn’t move his steel-colored eyes from Renji - the only person in the world that mattered to him.

The feeling of Byakuya's completely bare body fully against his own almost completely bare skin was causing Renji to lose it a bit, wanting desperately to grind down into him and to feel him tremble beneath him as he released against his hard stomach. But he desperately wanted to taste him more - to have that heavy cock fill his mouth, to swallow around him until he was shaking with need… He released a groan at seeing Byakuya come out of his subspace, kissing him hard before whispering, "Good, Bya," against his lips. He slipped back down his beautiful upper body to hover above his hard length, straining and begging for attention, his hot breath ghosting over the sensitive skin. 

Byakuya moaned loudly, now glad Renji had insisted he not be in subspace for this, or else he wouldn’t have been able to control the urge to arch into his partner, just his breath sending pleasure to rush his body. He held his hips down, watching Renji closely and clutching the sheets tightly, unsure where else to put his hands. As tempting as it was, he wasn’t sure that Renji would appreciate him burying them in his hair again.

Renji held Byakuya's hips down as he took the head of his cock into his mouth, his tongue stroking around it just as he'd done with his fingers before. He wet the soft, firm skin before taking in more, slowly taking Byakuya entirely into his mouth. He had to stop about half way down as Byakuya's length hit the back of his throat. He wasn't great at controlling his gag reflex but the sheer want to fully take him into his mouth gave him the will to ignore it, moaning around him when, after several minutes of determination, his nose pressed into the flat dip of his stomach above his cock. 

The vibrations of Renji’s voice surrounding him almost sent Byakuya off the edge. He bit his lip, clenching his eyes shut as he willed himself to be still. He was well aware of Renji’s hesitance when he was taking him in, and he wasn’t willing to do anything to cause him any discomfort. Still, just the warmth and slick wetness around him had cold sweat breaking out on the back of his neck. “Renji, I’m… I’m close,” he warned, trying to speak around the tightness in his throat.

Renji groaned again at the needy tone in Byakuya's voice. He withdrew along the cock in his mouth and then reversed to that point where it hit the back of his throat, bobbing his head several times while moaning at the feeling of Byakuya's hard length heavy in his mouth. After nearly establishing a rhythm he willed himself to take him deeper down his throat again, swallowing around him several times until lack of air demanded he retreat again. A couple tears leaked from his eyes at the effort but the way Byakuya was trembling beneath him, barely holding on, was more than worth it. And he tasted divine. 

Byakuya couldn’t control the shaking of his legs. He was heaving in labored breaths again, so close to release he could practically see the edge of the cliff he knew he was about to blissfully tumble over. “Renji, I’m going to come. I’ll wait for you to say it’s okay. Please, squeeze my hand if it’s okay,” he panted. He brought his hand from where it had a death grip on the blanket under him and put it on top of Renji’s on his hip, painfully holding onto the tension until he had Renji’s approval. 

Renji retreated until just the head was past his lips, grateful for the warning as he honestly hadn't done this as often as most other things - usually he had been receiving such treatment from his past partners. But he'd never felt this overwhelming need to taste them like he had with Byakuya. He shifted his hand to take and squeeze Byakuya's, his tongue still stroking him as he moaned around the head still in his mouth. 

Renji’s movement on him had Byakuya holding his breath, desperate to feel him squeeze his hand. The moment permission was given, he let go, crying out as a forceful orgasm washed over him. He felt Renji around him still, emptying him of every drop of release he could give. His entire body felt like it was on fire, overly sensitive after two releases, and he tried his best to relax back onto the bed when the intensity of his climax began to fade, taking deep breaths until Renji released him.

Renji swallowed every drop and thoroughly cleaned him off again with his tongue before crawling back up to lay on his back beside Byakuya, using his arm to pull him onto his side. He encouraged him to curl into him with gentle touches, Byakuya’s head coming to rest comfortably in the crook of his shoulder, Renji smiling as one long leg wrapped around one of his own. He tried to calm his own breathing, studiously ignoring his own aching need, running his hands along Byakuya's still trembling body. 

Byakuya brought his hand up to rest it on Renji’s chest, watching as his fingers traced the lines of his tattoos. He didn’t know how long they stayed there, but he wasn’t sleepy, not even remotely willing to let the night end yet. Even if he was fairly certain his body wouldn’t be prepared for another climax, he knew Renji was waiting, and Byakuya had been eagerly awaiting an opportunity to pleasure him. 

His hand began to wander a bit more freely, his palm fully pressing on the hard muscles of Renji’s chest and trailing from there to his sculpted abs, fingers pressing into each bit of definition. Eventually, he knew he had recovered enough to sit up, so he got to his knees next to Renji, looking down at him with a soft smile. He kept his touches light, lifting the pressure of his hand a bit to trace only the tips of his fingers along every black marking on his skin, starting with the tapered ends along his ribs. 

Slowly, he made his way back up his body, noting a few places along his sides that made him shudder lightly. Not nearly as powerful of a turn-on as the areas he had explicitly mentioned, but the reaction still caused a smile to curve Byakuya’s lips. He didn’t stop his obsessive study of Renji’s tattoos until they ended after curving around his shoulder and extending down to his elbow. 

And then he remembered the ones on his neck. He glanced briefly to Renji’s eyes, giving him a playful smile before leaning down and pressing his lips to the tattoo on the soft, otherwise pristine flesh. 

Renji arched into him, a whimper escaping him, and his entire body shuddered. “Bya…” Renji breathed out, his hands clenching the blankets to stop himself from grabbing the beautiful man above him. He desperately wanted to allow Byakuya this time to explore his body, free to do so as he wished - but he was going to drive him insane if he explored his neck with the same slow, thorough attention as he’d so far given the rest of his body.

Byakuya hummed into Renji’s skin, parting his lips briefly to trace his tongue along the mark before pulling away. He didn’t want to tease Renji too much. He was only just getting started, after all. He kept a hand on Renji’s chest as he sat back up, eyes sweeping his thoroughly muscled body. 

He shifted down the bed a bit, still on his knees, until he could easily reach most of the length of Renji’s legs. The hand on Renji’s chest slid down to his upper abdomen with the movement, and Byakuya continued the path, bringing his touch around to the outside of Renji’s hip, closing his eyes and breathing deeply as he tightened his grip only a bit over the fabric of Renji’s boxers. He fervently avoided Renji’s arousal, knowing how close he must be already. 

When his hand reached skin again, he exhaled sharply, fingers digging into the firm flesh of Renji’s thigh. His eyes opened again slowly to follow the path of his hand, which seemed to curve behind Renji’s knee on pure instinct when it reached that point. He reversed his path, his hand completely spread as it moved back up the back of his thigh, careful to stay over fabric when he reached it, even if only for his own sake. Still, he hid a moan when his hand tensed over Renji’s ass. Even if his body was much too spent to react properly, it didn’t stop the fact that Byakuya was thoroughly enjoying every inch of Renji’s body. 

Renji’s breathing picked up as Byakuya firmly stroked his thighs and he let out a soft moan as he felt him pause over his ass. He desperately wished Byakuya would remove his last piece of clothing, wanting to feel his touch directly on his skin, but he swallowed that desire down, content to feel his fingers trace over parts of his body he’d once never thought the other would even want to touch. Byakuya could explore him again like this whenever he wanted to, Renji would be only too thrilled. He was perfectly willing to give Byakuya the time he needed, to keep this last physical boundary between them, if that was what it took to keep him confident and comfortable. So he managed to stop the desperate request that Byakuya touch him more directly from leaving his lips, instead turning his head to groan loudly into the pillow, Byakuya’s every touch - even through fabric - sending waves of pleasure through him. 

Byakuya pulled his hand around to Renji’s hip again, running it over his side at a bit of a quicker pace than before. When he reached Renji’s shoulder again, he leaned over his partner, meeting his eyes and kissing him deeply for a moment, his hand running down Renji’s arm and twining their fingers together when he reached his hand. “Renji, I want you to turn over onto your stomach, please,” he requested in a whisper when he pulled back from his lips.

Renji whimpered a bit at the request, anticipating the pressure that would place on his cock, but nodded, rolling over. He hissed out, clutching the pillow below his head tightly with both of his arms and forced himself not to thrust into the bed. He tried to focus on his breathing, bringing himself back under control. He could hold out as long as Byakuya wanted - he could.


Byakuya smiled, his eyes tracing the tattoos on Renji’s back before he reached out to touch them. He almost withdrew when Renji shuddered as his fingers met with the edge of the mark beginning near his shoulder, but he continued his gentle, slow exploration. “Renji… have I ever told you how much I love your tattoos? I’ve wanted to touch them for a long time, even before we were together. You are a beautiful man regardless, but these tattoos just beg to be touched,” he spoke quietly. As he was speaking, he finished tracing the tribal patterns on Renji’s back, realizing well that his partner was likely legitimately suffering by now. He rested his hand on the small of his back and leaned down, bringing near his mouth to Renji’s ear. 

“I’m pretty sure I know the answer, but we didn’t explicitly discuss it before, so I’d like to ask specifically. I want to pleasure you with my hand, if you would allow me,” he said, his voice deepening a bit at even speaking such a thing so plainly. 

“Yes, Bya, please…” Renji gasped out, his voice ending with a desperate groan. “Please, I’d give anything to feel your hand around me right now - even the thought of you making me come with your hand around me…” Renji shuddered, biting his lip and clutching the pillow tighter. He took a deep, steadying breath, but it was getting more difficult to bring himself back under control.

Byakuya refrained from turning and kissing Renji’s neck as he wanted to, knowing that he may not even have a chance to do what he asked if he did something like that. “Will you turn back over for me?” he asked. He had never seen Renji so tense, just on the edge of completely losing control. Even the things they had done previously hadn’t left him in this state, and Byakuya was actually quite pleased that he could do this to the normally composed man.

Renji quickly turned over and he groaned as he settled back on his back - both in relief from the release of pressure of his hard length pressing into the bed and in loss of that same exact pressure. He wasn’t used to not being the one in control and he was finding it impossible to keep his composure. Byakuya seemed rather pleased with himself, however, so Renji didn’t really mind - in fact he felt amazing.

But at this point he also desperately needed to come, his cock so hard it almost hurt.

“Please, Bya,” Renji panted, his dark eyes pleading, “Please… I want to come… Please… I - I want you to make me come…” His voice was far too strained for the command to sound like anything other than the desperate plea that it was.

Byakuya settled lying next to Renji on his side, hooking his leg around Renji’s and pressing into him, letting out a sigh at the contact of their mostly bare bodies. He didn’t bother with any build-up, knowing Renji had likely had enough of that. He was begging , and his tone was a bit alarming. He brought a hand to the waistline of Renji’s boxers, pausing for only a moment. “Renji, I don’t care if this only takes three seconds. Come whenever you need to,” he murmured in his ear. His hand shook a bit as he slid his fingers under the fabric. It had been a while since he had done this, and, while he knew it likely wouldn’t matter to Renji, he was unsure how skilled he really was at it. Pushing his own insecurities aside, he wrapped his hand around Renji’s cock, beginning a firm, medium-paced rhythm, simultaneously leaning to press a forceful kiss to the flesh of Renji’s neck.

Byakuya’s hand finally wrapping around him caused Renji to whimper and arch into him but the kiss to his neck had his eyes rolling back as he desperately clutched at the blankets. He didn’t last long at all, Byakuya’s sure rhythm bringing him rapidly to release as he continued to forcefully kiss his neck. “Bya - ahhh…” Renji cried out as his climax crashed through him, whimpering as Byakuya continued to stroke him through it until the sensation became too much, his cock becoming overstimulated. 

He grabbed Byakuya by the wrist, stilling him as he panted, “Just… Just hold me for a minute… It’s too much… Fuck Bya… I - I haven’t… It’s been a long time… since I’ve held myself back like that… Felt fucking amazing…” He trailed off, his dark eyes still mostly unfocused as he attempted to regain control of his breathing.

Byakuya obeyed, holding Renji for as long as he wanted. It was actually odd to him that the mess on his hand wasn’t unnerving at all. It was actually the reason he didn’t usually suggest doing such a thing. In fact, he didn’t remember a time in his life that he wanted to. He smiled, shifting a bit to rest his head on Renji’s shoulder, letting him slowly calm down from the intense release.

“You’re beautiful, Renji. I know I don’t say it enough. I don’t say a lot of things enough. But your body is amazing. Thank you… for letting me take my time,” he said, turning to press a kiss to the skin just below Renji’s collarbone. “I love you,” he added in a whisper.

“Love you, Bya,” Renji breathed out, his arm wrapping around him, holding him firmly to his side and kissing the soft raven hair. “And I want you to know, never hesitate if you want to explore my body, if you want me to let you take the lead at all - you only need to ask… I’m usually not good with that sort of thing but with you… With you I want you to be able to direct me when you want to because I entirely trust you Bya, and I want you to be able to do everything you want to do when you’re with me… I still can’t believe how lucky I am… I never thought I could have this, that I could feel this way about anyone - I love you so much Bya…”

Byakuya smiled as he listened to Renji’s words. He agreed with so many of them, and he was actually surprised himself. He never thought he was going to be able to love, either. Not after what happened to him. He never thought anyone would want to love him after that. But Renji had picked him up, put him back together, and lavished him with such affection that he didn’t even think he remembered what the bastard that left him looked like. His mind had completely muted what had happened just that morning. It was just a foggy remembrance of something unclear that just ended with him loving Renji even more.

Byakuya sat up and pulled his hand from where it still rested in Renji’s boxers, not even grimacing at the mess that covered his fingers. In fact, he looked back to Renji, a playful grin on his lips as he took his index finger into his mouth. The taste wasn’t at all what he expected. It was actually pleasant, and he found himself proceeding to clean off the rest of his hand.

Renji’s eyes widened as he watched Byakuya clean off his hand that had been covered in Renji’s release, frozen to the spot as he did so. He never thought the well-mannered man would actually do something so vulgar. And he was entirely unprepared for how utterly seductive that simple act was, especially knowing that Byakuya had likely never done such a thing in his life. 

But he’d done it to taste him. To clean him off his fingers.

And then he’d continued, like he was enjoying how he tasted.

It was the sexiest thing Renji had ever seen.

When Byakuya finished, the last finger leaving his lips, Renji abruptly sat up and pulled him into a deep kiss, groaning into his mouth, his tongue sweeping into his mouth and yes Byakuya had really just done that, he thought, tasting himself in the other’s sweet mouth. He pulled away, his eyes dark and flashing, “Do you have any idea how completely sexy you are? What you do to me, Bya? If I wasn’t so worn out right now, I’d have you under me again…”

Byakuya laughed and wrapped his arms around Renji, holding him to him and running his hands over his back. “I would have never done that for anyone else. I should be asking you if you know what you do to me ,” he replied. He turned to press a light kiss to Renji’s neck before whispering, “And you really do taste exquisite, Renji,” his voice low and tinged with lust. “If I wasn’t so worn out, I’d want to be under you again.”

Renji shivered and groaned at the feeling of Byakuya’s lips fleetingly on his neck again, at the tone of his voice, at his words. He shook his head to clear it before kissing Byakuya quickly and sliding off the bed. Without saying a word he retrieved Byakuya’s sleep clothing, handing them over with a soft smile, “I’m going to clean myself up a bit and put on my own clothes in the bathroom - if you’ll be alright on your own for a minute?”

Byakuya nodded. “I’ll be fine. Go ahead,” he replied with a smile.

Renji carefully noted his relaxed expression, the genuine smile, and the lack of strain in those steel gray eyes. He returned the smile, confident he really would be alright on his own for a few minutes, and left the room after retrieving his own sleep clothes.

Byakuya stood only long enough to dress himself, and then settled underneath the covers to wait for Renji to return. In the silence, though, his mind replayed the events of the night. He actually couldn’t believe it had all happened. 

He had let Renji touch him… almost everywhere.

Put his mouth on him…

He had been completely naked under Renji’s intense scrutiny…

Licked Renji’s release off of his own hand ...

And he hadn’t minded at all, much to his surprise.

He had jumped into these actions rather suddenly, if he was honest, listening to some defensive urge to be with Renji. He still couldn’t remember the actual reason. That morning seemed like it was weeks ago. 

It didn’t truly matter. What mattered was that Renji was fantastic in every context. Though they hadn’t engaged in full sex, Byakuya knew this experience had bonded him with Renji in a way that nothing had ever bonded him with anyone else. He didn’t know what he would do if there was ever a reason he had to be away from him for any significant amount of time. He was a lifeline. He was confident, gentle, loving, attentive, everything no one else had ever been. 

Byakuya had called him his Renji before, and he meant it, but he had no idea what it actually felt like to claim someone until tonight. Renji was his. He would tell the entire world - that man belonged to him. And Byakuya was absolutely certain Renji wouldn’t mind at all. 

Chapter Text

Renji’s phone rang just as he was leaving work the next day. It’d been difficult to force himself to go in that morning after the amazing night before, finally being allowed to explore Byakuya’s gorgeous body and directly pleasure him… The sounds he made, the way he looked… Everything about that man had him impossibly captivated and he was eager to return to him. He paused at the unexpected sound of the ringtone though - he had programmed each person important to him to have their own tones so he would know by the sound who was calling. 

Toshiro never called him.

He pulled out the phone, his walk slowing a bit as he answered, still on his way to his car, “Hey Toshiro, there a problem?”

“I am hoping to resolve one.”

Well, Toshiro was never really one to mince words - he definitely knew how to get to the point. 

“Something I can help with?”

“Yukio said you’ve started a new relationship, that it was getting pretty serious.”

“Yeah,” Renji smiled - really even a passing thought of Byakuya brought a silly grin to his face, “It is. We’re doing really well right now too - I’ve never been happier, honestly.”

“Congratulations, Renji. After you helped us so much, I had hoped you’d find a partner that was well-suited to you. My only concern, of course, is Yukio.”

Renji stopped walking, just arriving at his car. He frowned a bit, getting in and just sitting inside the vehicle as he asked, “Yukio? What do you mean?”

“You know Yukio is happy for you, that he wants you to be happy more than anything. But you haven’t missed a monthly visit once since Yukio came to live with me and, though he hasn’t really admitted to it, it’s affected him. He misses you Renji. He has so few people he’s opened up to, so few he feels like he can be himself around, he’s afraid to lose that with you. That your new relationship may mean giving you up, entirely. 

“It’s most likely just his insecurity making him think that way. I know you Renji, I know that you don’t mean to cut off your friends. I realize that this is new, that your partner is new to all this, and that you’ve said he needs time - all of that is really reasonable and we both understand. But if you could spare an afternoon, if your partner is doing better, I know it would mean a great deal to Yukio to see you next weekend. He’s been fretting over it a bit, wondering if you’ll cancel again or not. He doesn’t say anything and tries to act like nothing’s bothering him but I can tell. Your friendship means a great deal to him, Renji.”

Renji sighed - he’d thought Yukio sounded a bit off the last time he’d spoken to him. He’d had a difficult life when it came to connecting with people. He didn’t even speak to anyone until he was seven, mute up until that point in his life. And his parent’s idea of love was space and money. True, he’d never gone hungry, had a warm bed at night, had an otherwise stable living situation… 

But he’d been completely starved of any physical affection, of any real interest in his thoughts and opinions. It had taken a lot for Renji to bring him out of his shell, even after Yukio had been the one to ask him for help. As playful as he could be around people he was comfortable with, he was also still painfully self-conscious and anxious about interacting directly with people he didn’t know well, that fear of being rejected, for not meeting their expectations never too far from the surface.

His chosen lifestyle had helped with a great deal of that and Renji had seen Yukio transform from a timid submissive that wouldn’t even look anyone directly in the eye, wouldn’t speak without being spoken to, into a far more confident young man that was proud of who he was and his role with Toshiro. Over that time, Renji had become quite fond of him and didn’t want him to feel anxious because of him at all.

“I’ll discuss it with my new partner. If he’s willing, would it be alright if he came with me? He would never gossip about your particular relationship with Yukio, Toshiro, you can trust him. If anything, he’ll be curious and want to know more. Even if he doesn’t want to come himself, I’m sure he’d allow me to spend a few hours with my friends. Really, I’m the one who hasn’t wanted to leave him alone these past several weeks - and he definitely wasn’t ready to meet anyone when I canceled last month.”

“I’ll be waiting on your call then, Renji. I’d like to tell Yukio something certain sooner rather than later so he can stop worrying over it.”

“I understand Toshiro and… Thanks for calling - really. I miss you both too.”

Toshiro hung up and Renji sighed again. He didn’t know if this timing was good or not. On the one hand, last night had been amazing - for both of them, if Byakuya’s good mood all day had been an indication. On the other hand though, he had also dropped earlier that same morning and he really didn’t know if Byakuya would feel up to meeting anyone in this context so soon after that. 

He shook his head, starting his car. There was really only one way to find out. And sitting here wondering wasn’t going to accomplish anything.

Byakuya had spent the entire day happier than he had ever been in his life. And he was fairly certain that wasn’t an exaggeration. He’d had the motivation to complete his work in record time, leaving time to tidy every room in the house that he used. It was cleaner and more organized than it had been since before his ex had left him, and likely even before that. The sun was streaming in through every available window, and Byakuya swore he had never felt so alive .

And that feeling wasn’t wavering. He no longer even considered Renji’s absence, fully confident that he would return each afternoon. It was as though everything negative previous to their activities last night had vanished. Renji was, quite literally, all that mattered. The consistency and love he gave overshadowed everything else that would even try to bring Byakuya down. 

The smile that came to his face when he heard the door open was completely subconscious. 

His Renji was home.

Renji found Byakuya on the couch like usual, a warm smile spreading across his face. He sat next to him, pulling him into a relaxed embrace and sighing out, the tension from the day leaving him entirely. 

He was home.

“Hey, Bya, have a good day today?”

“I did. Of course, it’s better now,” he said, the grin never leaving his lips as he sank into Renji’s arms, reaching up briefly to press a kiss to his cheek. “What about you?”

“Work was the usual boredom but texting you makes that far more bearable,” Renji said with a grin, kissing his soft raven hair. “I… got a call on my way out though. A friend of mine would like me to come over for a visit this weekend for a few hours as I haven’t seen him or his partner for a while. It had become a bit of a monthly occurrence after I helped them get together. They were a bit concerned I think, after missing last month. He said you were welcome to come too - he doesn’t know who you are, just that I’m with someone now. I know they’d like to meet you, if you’re up to it… And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want you with me but it’s your decision, Bya. Either way, I’m hoping it would be alright with you that I go.”

Byakuya considered for a moment. He was likely going to be going in blind, meeting new people, and he had never been the most social. But, he supposed these people didn’t know anything about him, either, and they had still invited him into their home. It would be rude to refuse such a kind offer, and Renji would be with him. That alone kept any real anxiety from entering his heart at the prospect of a social outing. “Of course, I would love to go with you,” he finally replied.

Renji held him a bit tighter at the words, pressing another kiss into his hair, “Thanks, Bya. That actually means a lot to me. I’ve been dying to talk about you more with them, for them to know who I’m so completely in love with. Would you mind if I called him back quick? He said he’d be waiting on my call for our answer and I’d rather not leave him waiting too long.”

Byakuya shook his head, taking up his usual position with his nose nuzzled into Renji’s neck, giving a slight sigh at the familiar comfort. “Go ahead,” he allowed.

Renji pulled his phone from his pocket, managing to do so without disrupting Byakuya’s position against him and called the last received number. He didn’t have to wait for long, Toshiro picking up almost immediately.

“Hey, we’re both good to come over. What time?”

“Afternoon tea, I think, around three this Saturday? You can stay for dinner if you want but that way you could leave beforehand, whatever is more comfortable for you both. Thank you for calling me back so quickly, I appreciate it.”

“Sounds good, see you then.”

With that Toshiro hung up again and Renji chuckled - he definitely wasn’t one for small talk or long goodbyes. Really, Renji knew he just highly valued his time, but he also tended to come off a bit cold because of it. At this point, the rather curt way he spoke only amused him, especially after seeing that ice completely thaw around Yukio.

With that he stuffed his phone back in his pocket and said, “We’re expected at three this Saturday,” giving Byakuya another quick kiss to his hair. “Thank you again for agreeing to this Bya, I’m honestly excited,” he said with a grin.

Byakuya chuckled, clearly feeling Renji’s excitement in his touch. “I am excited, too, I suppose. But I’m still a little anxious. Can’t you tell me anything about your friends before we go?” he requested. So far, he hadn’t gotten many details about Renji’s friends, namely those he had met through the kink community. Byakuya understood the need for confidentiality, but he wished Renji would tell him something.

Renji considered. It was a more than fair request, after all. “I don’t want to really go into any details as they haven’t given me permission to… I suppose it’s fairly obvious though that they have a dominant/submissive relationship. The dominant of the pair - the one that called me - his job requires that the details of his relationship to his submissive remain very private. He trusts me a great deal which is why he’s alright with you coming with me. The submissive… He lived with me for a time, actually, when he needed help navigating all of this. 

“I think I mentioned helping get them together? I mean that very literally. The submissive has very high levels of anxiety around new people and he was having an impossible time finding a partner for himself. We weren’t well-suited but I couldn’t not help him. You’ll understand when you meet him, he just has a way of endearing you to him. Also… he’s rather affectionate but he can tone that down if it makes you uncomfortable, Bya. He’s… he had a rough life - not many loving relationships. He’s far better now though, and I’m proud he sought me out, got the help he needed. Is… Is that enough?”

Byakuya nodded. “Yes, I understand why you can’t tell me anything more. I’m glad that you trust me enough to introduce me to your friends, Renji. Really, I understand how important it is that anything personal be kept between those who can be trusted,” he said, his voice barely above a whisper. The quiet he and Renji frequently maintained was incredibly comforting to him, letting him focus on things like Renji’s heartbeat and the way it felt for his arms to be wrapped around him. 

“Thank you, Bya,” Renji whispered, kissing his hair again gently. “Love you. So much.”

Byakuya sat with his arms crossed over his chest, eyes intently watching the scenery pass as Renji drove them to his friends’ house. It was late February, the world outside the window still deep within the clutch of winter. The house was in the countryside, southeast of their town. The land was mostly flat but they passed a few rolling hills with sparse, leafless trees, the branches lonely and crooked, surrounded by a sea of white. At least the sky was a clear blue, and the sunlight caught the snow as they drove. 

Unfortunately, it meant there was very little for Byakuya to focus on other than his own thoughts. He had spent the week agonizing over it, as unnecessary as that was. He didn’t remember the last time he had a social visit with anyone, really, and he was perfectly fine that way. As much as he had tried to convince himself that it was fine, and Renji would be there to ease his worry, his mind never ceased its speculations. They were ridiculous thoughts about whether he would even fit in with them, how quickly they would delve into personal conversation, what he was even willing to disclose to these strangers.

He shook his head and sighed, trying to clear his mind. He would find out the answers to all of those questions soon enough, he supposed, and if he was too uncomfortable, he knew Renji would recognize his stress immediately. As with everything else, he knew he would be leaning on his partner through this.

Renji reached over, taking Byakuya's hand in his right, the other still on the wheel and his attention remaining carefully on the road, watchful of ice though it looked clear and dry. "We're almost there," he said, squeezing Byakuya's hand. 

Byakuya’s hand involuntarily tightened on Renji’s at the statement, and he began scanning the landscape for their destination. It wasn’t long before Renji was turning onto a roughly paved, narrow road that led to a single house across from a vast vineyard. The cropland was the least of Byakuya’s concerns, and he found himself looking at Renji as they pulled into the driveway. 

He couldn’t help the fact that his heart was pounding unrelentingly in his chest. It was his natural response to new social engagements. Business transactions never did bother him when he was required to tend to them in person. That was strictly job-related - absolutely nothing social about it. He said as little as possible and ended those meetings as quickly as possible, and no one was ever able to fault him for it. But going into a stranger’s house with the intention of actually socializing for several hours tied his stomach in knots.

Renji squeezed his hand again, leaning over to kiss him gently on the lips. He’d seen the anxiety slowly building in him over the week and yet he’d still come with him. He was really proud of him for that, for being willing to do this for him, but he also wanted to make sure he had an out if he was feeling overwhelmed. “We only have to be here as long as you’re comfortable, Bya. If you want to leave at all, just grab me by the wrist and I’ll make up some excuse. Alright?”

Byakuya nodded, unable to pull his voice up from his throat. He took a deep, somewhat steadying breath and tried to give Renji a smile. “Thank you,” he forced himself to say. He was truly grateful for how Renji never failed to consider his well-being, no matter the circumstances.

Renji gave him a warm smile before exiting the car and waiting for Byakuya to join him. The air was cold, his breath visible. He walked with Byakuya to the door of the large house as he joined him, careful of the ice on the pavement. Thankfully the doorstep had been salted and Renji relaxed a bit when they reached it. He wanted to take Byakuya’s hand but refrained, recalling that he wanted to be the one to choose to do so around others. So instead he simply rang the doorbell, smiling slightly and bracing himself as he was sure an excited Yukio would be the one to answer.

Byakuya quickly clamped his hand around Renji’s after he rang the doorbell, not really having much concern for what these particular people would think about it. If they were Renji’s friends, and they knew of their relationship, surely it wouldn’t come as a shock. When the door flung open, Byakuya was a bit taken aback by the enthusiasm of the one who had answered. 

“Renji!” Yukio exclaimed, throwing his arms around him. Renji chuckled and returned the hug with his free arm.

“Good to see you, Yukio.”

“And it’s good to see you, Renji,” another voice from inside the house said. Byakuya turned, and when steel gray eyes met with all-too-familiar teal, he couldn’t help but gasp. There was no way… 

The next seconds seemed like long, awkward minutes in Byakuya’s mind as his mind tried to fully believe what his eyes were seeing. Hair as white as the snow on the ground. Cold, teal eyes. The last time he had seen those features together had been on a petite teenage boy with whom he had shared many classes in college. They were both business majors. They frequently studied together, and though the boy was a few years younger, only sixteen when Byakuya was nineteen, he was brilliant. 

But this… this was no boy. This was a man, having grown at least a foot since he had last seen him, now at least as tall as Byakuya, perhaps a bit taller. His features were sharp and handsome, and his hair was a bit longer and tamer. 

Byakuya had no idea how long he had been staring, but he was well aware that those teal eyes had widened a bit as well.

“Toshiro?” Byakuya whispered.

"Byakuya…" Toshiro murmured before a small smile formed on his face. "You know, I always wondered if you would come out here one day to visit me but I honestly could have never predicted this would be the context."

"Wait," Renji said, setting Yukio back down and resting his hand upon his fine blonde hair out of habit, not really realizing he'd done it, "you two know each other?" 

Toshiro nodded, "It's been since college, last we saw each other, but Byakuya was probably my only friend back then. We've kept in touch but he never accepted my offer to come out here - I've even made sure he receives a bottle of my wine every December for the holidays with a standing invitation." Toshiro smirked at Renji, "Figures that you could convince him out of his house." Toshiro turned back to Byakuya, giving him that same small, warm smile. "You look good. It's nice to see you Byakuya, welcome to our home."

Byakuya inwardly shook off his initial shock, still not being able to keep his eyes from wandering over Toshiro’s body. “Thank you. You… look good, too. You’ve grown up a bit since we last saw each other,” he commented, hoping Toshiro didn’t take offense. It was rather obvious, though, that he wasn’t the same boy Byakuya had met in college.

Toshiro chuckled, "Thanks, I suppose I was smaller than my Yukio, last time you saw me."

Byakuya looked to the young man who had shifted to stand leaned lightly on Renji’s side, Renji’s arm around his shoulders. Toshiro was right. Yukio was certainly small, but he still had a rather mature build, even if it was thin. Toshiro had looked like a child, and Byakuya knew his appearance had caused him to be dismissed in the university community. Byakuya had been one of the few, or evidently the only, person to see past that and treat him as an equal. In fact, he had learned a lot from Toshiro.

No one could ever mistake him for a child now, that was for sure. 

“Can we go inside, master? It’s very cold,” Yukio requested quietly. That got Byakuya’s attention. His eyes flicked up to Renji, but he tried to keep the overt question from his gaze. He certainly didn’t want to appear judgmental before they even made it inside the house.

Renji ruffled Yukio’s fine blonde hair before pushing him towards Toshiro, squeezing Byakuya's hand at the same time. He knew he probably had questions about the way Yukio addressed Toshiro but it would be better to allow the other two to explain their unique relationship. And they would likely be happy to, as long as Byakuya remained curious and not disparaging. Renji wasn't worried too much though, with Byakuya’s impeccable manners. 

Toshiro took Yukio by the hand, pulling him to him and wrapping his arm around his shoulders, rubbing his arm, "Of course, love," he said, kissing the top of his head before looking back to the other two, "Let's go to the sitting room."

Byakuya saw the way Toshiro completely melted when speaking to Yukio, and the softness in his normally severe gaze was a surprise. He looked down to the blonde under Toshiro’s arm as he and Renji trailed behind them, wondering how on earth he had chiseled down Toshiro that way. Even as Toshiro’s friend, Byakuya had simply accepted that the boy was just as frigid and evasive as he was, and while it had never bothered him, it was a bit of a relief to see the stress leave his eyes. 

Toshiro led them to a sitting room with large windows along each of the three walls, letting in the sunlight and showing a view of the expansive backyard and woods behind the house. There were two armchairs and a sofa set around a coffee table, teacups already waiting to be used. Toshiro gestured for Renji and Byakuya to take the sofa before turning to Yukio, instructing, "Go and get the tea, love," before settling himself in one of the armchairs. 

“Yes, master,” Yukio replied before practically skipping from the room. Byakuya had to keep from staring, still very much curious of how the young man spoke to his partner. Instead, he made himself comfortable next to Renji, their shoulders touching and their still-joined hands rested on his knee. Knowing Toshiro and Yukio’s relationship dynamic was very much not his business to inquire on, he held his tongue, instead occupying his eyes with the man across the table. 

Toshiro was watching Byakuya's reactions carefully - as he did with anyone new around his Yukio. His submissive didn't need any judgment for the role he had chosen to live his life in, least of all from someone that he wanted to be well received and accepted by. Renji was very important to him and Toshiro had encouraged the two to keep their close friendship. Byakuya was the first serious partner Renji had taken since Yukio knew him and Toshiro knew that his opinion mattered to his beautiful submissive. If Byakuya said something careless in ignorance, he could really hurt him. 

The Byakuya he remembered would bite his tongue and observe before coming to any conclusions about what was clearly an odd dynamic to him. Renji must not have told him anything about Yukio’s role - which Toshiro appreciated, in a way, but clearly he was going to need initiate the conversation about it because Renji most likely didn't think it was his place and the last thing the Byakuya he knew would do was ask anything that may be viewed as rude. 

Yukio returned quickly with the tea, glancing at Toshiro and waiting for his nod before pouring each cup. He fixed both his own and Toshiro's cups how they liked it before handing Toshiro his. Toshiro accepted it in one hand before pulling him to sit perched on his lap with the other, the arm coming to wrap around his lower back, his hand rubbing soothing circles into the side of his thigh. He knew Yukio was nervous but he was hiding it well. He smiled as he felt him relax a bit at the attention and the gentle pressure against his thigh, grounding him. Yukio hummed and smiled, sipping his own tea, and Toshiro focused back on Byakuya. 

"It's alright to ask us questions, Byakuya," he said with a look of gentle encouragement. "This is the first time you've seen a dynamic like ours, isn't it? I know you're curious, so ask. We won't be offended as long as you honestly just want to understand."

Byakuya saw the minute actions Toshiro treated Yukio to - how perceptive he was of his partner’s tension, something Byakuya himself hadn’t even noticed. He noticed the small smile that told him just how invested he was in Yukio. He shook his head, giving them both a warm smile.

“You can tell me as much or as little as you’d like, but I wouldn’t even know what questions to ask. The two of you clearly make each other happy. I must say, Yukio has achieved the impossible in melting your heart, Toshiro. You were never exactly personable when I knew you before,” Byakuya said with a light laugh. He leaned a bit further into Renji, understanding now that any overt affection he showed certainly wouldn’t offend or otherwise cause negative reaction from either of the other two.

Toshiro drank from his cup before leaning forward slightly and setting it back on the table so that he could have Yukio settle more against his chest. "Yukio," he addressed, "would you like me to inform Byakuya about your role? You can add anything you think I missed, of course." 

Yukio gave a contented sigh as his master brought him further into his lap, but at the question, bright emerald eyes immediately went to the raven-haired man across the table. There was no tension, no judgment in those slate-colored eyes, and his smile was gentle and genuine. “Yes, master. I wouldn’t mind,” he replied, settling again to rest against his master’s chest.

Toshiro kissed the top of his head before focusing back on Byakuya, continuing to rub gentle circles into the side of Yukio’s thigh. "Yukio is what's called a 24/7, TPE submissive. The 24/7 part is fairly self-explanatory - he's always in his submissive role. TPE stands for total power exchange, which means he has given complete control of his life and decisions over to his master - me. 

"You see, Yukio has a very difficult time managing his own anxiety - it can be crippling for him. But being free from decisions helps him to let go of that completely because he bears none of the responsibility for his own actions. In return for his submission and trust in me, I take care of him, making sure he is happy and content with whatever I ask him to do." Toshiro paused, tilting Yukio’s face towards his and making sure those beautiful emerald eyes were focused on his. "How'd I do, love? Anything you want to add?" 

Yukio smiled, his heart calm as he completely focused on his master. The only master who had ever been able to care for him this way, accepting and fulfilling each and every one of his complex needs flawlessly. “Master takes very good care of me,” he murmured before leaning in to meet his master’s lips briefly.

Byakuya had prepared and was sipping a cup of tea as Toshiro spoke, listening intently and absorbing it all. But it didn’t truly matter why Yukio called Toshiro his master. It was on display for the entire world to see that it was exactly what he wanted, and he certainly wasn’t going to fault either of them, no matter how foreign their lifestyle was to him.

Renji chuckled, "He certainly does. It wasn't easy, finding Toshiro, that's for sure. But even from that first meeting, he always had such a natural way of interacting with Yukio, it was obvious they'd do well together. I was honestly amazed that such a normally reserved, cold-seeming person could have such a high level of patience and effortlessly gave so much attention to Yukio’s needs."

"Yukio is easy to love," Toshiro said with a gentle smile, "And I'm incredibly honored he allowed me to become his master. I quite literally can't imagine my life without him anymore."

Yukio giggled, a light blush gracing his cheeks. He kissed his master’s cheek lightly before settling back into the warmth of his chest.

“I suppose I’m in no place to ask any questions, then, Toshiro. What Yukio calls you is no cause for me to be alarmed. It was only new, and I wasn’t expecting it. I’m really glad you found someone that makes you so happy,” Byakuya said, his steely gaze never leaving the perfectly content man in Toshiro’s lap. 

It was amazing, really, that having such a role would bring him such comfort. But Renji had told him before that everything is individually based. If that was how Yukio chose to live his life, Byakuya could only be glad that he had found someone who fit him so perfectly. With such intricate needs, anything less would have likely been disastrous. 

"I'll admit, Byakuya, I'm surprised you found your way to Renji," Toshiro commented. "Don't misunderstand, Renji is an amazing person. The way he helped care for Yukio before I found him, I'll always be grateful for. And for the fact that he's maintained that connection when he didn’t need to. 

"But this kind of lifestyle… It didn't seem like something you would have considered - let alone allowed - before. I know how hard it always was for you to allow anyone close to you - much the same as I. I've never seen Renji happier though, I'm glad the two of you found each other." Toshiro chuckled, "Especially after hearing about his gorgeous neighbor for so long - I had no idea he meant you. You look just the same as when I last saw you, except I think you're even more beautiful, Byakuya, because I don't think I've ever seen you actually happy."

Byakuya chuckled, averting his eyes at the compliment. “Actually, Renji found his way to me. We’ve been close friends for years. I just never saw him that way, until… he helped me through some unfortunate circumstances. The way he treated me… made me realize just how perfect he was, and how much I had been missing out on by keeping him at a distance,” he said, not sure how much detail to give. Surely Toshiro and Yukio didn’t want to know everything, though he had to admit that the twinge in his heart was minimal when he indirectly mentioned it. It was a relief to know that he may actually be able to share the full story without it breaking him apart anymore.

Renji wrapped his arms around Byakuya, smiling. He couldn't be more proud of him, actually talking about what had happened - no matter how indirectly. "How Toshiro so naturally responded to Yukio," Renji said reflectively, "I used to not understand. But… With Byakuya, I think I finally understood. Taking care of his needs - it was so obvious to me - what to say, what to do, because I could truly focus on him in a way that I had never been able to before. Yes, it helped that we had been friends for so long before, I'm sure, but it's always been just… so easy to be with him, even since the beginning of knowing him."

Byakuya smiled and brought Renji’s hand to his lips to kiss the back of it. “I believe we’ve established that I don’t make things easy on you, but thank you for the flattery,” he teased with a laugh. 

Renji chuckled as well, before murmuring close to his ear, "Not always easy, no, but not really difficult either…" 

Byakuya’s smile never faltered at the familiar words, and it was almost subconscious when he settled into his usual position with his nose nuzzled into Renji’s neck. It didn’t matter at that moment who else was present. Renji was his, and he didn’t care who else knew it. 

Renji shivered at the sensitive sensation as he sighed in contentment at the feeling of Byakuya's nose nuzzling into his neck. He was so happy Byakuya felt comfortable enough with these two to cuddle into him like this in front of them. They certainly had come a long way, and it didn't even seem like that long of a time, especially against the backdrop of the many years previously when Byakuya had maintained his distance from him. 

Dark eyes flickered and met surprised, widened emerald green. Yukio knew exactly how sensitive his neck was and how he usually didn't like others touching him there outside of a sexual context. But Byakuya was just different. He couldn't explain it but, knowing Byakuya was comforted by pressing and nuzzling into his neck had made it become comforting to Renji as well. 

The conversation lulled for several relaxed minutes before Toshiro asked, "Byakuya, would you mind participating in a game? It's how Yukio prefers to get to know new people. It's really just Jenga but each block has a question on it that you need to answer truthfully - or you can choose not to but then you need to pull another block."

Byakuya had to hold back a laugh when Yukio jerked up from his relaxed position, eyes wide with excitement, like a child on Christmas morning. He braced his hands on Toshiro’s chest, a bright smile lighting up his entire face as he leveled their eyes. “Really, master?” he asked, clearly brimming with enthusiasm for the idea.

“With that reaction, how could I refuse?” Byakuya replied, not completely able to keep the amusement from his tone. 

Toshiro chuckled, “You heard him, love. Go get it - the casual one. Then set it up on the table here.”

Yukio obeyed, jumping from Toshiro’s lap and rushing from the room.

“Is he always so energetic?” Byakuya asked, still smiling in response to Yukio’s liveliness. 

Renji was the one that answered, “He has to feel comfortable with everyone he’s with to act this way - otherwise he’s even more reserved than you were when we first met. I met Yukio at a community event called a munch, which is basically just a lunch in a private room of a public restaurant that’s a safe space for people to meet others in the community and to share stories or ask for advice. Yukio was off on his own in a corner, practically glued to a handheld video game but I could tell he wasn’t really playing it, just using it as a barrier to help keep himself isolated. After about an hour of that I figured he’d got himself there for a reason but was also a bit overwhelmed and so went over to try to talk to him. I think it took me thirty minutes just to get his name from him.”

Byakuya nodded. He had certainly sensed a vast amount of uncertainty from Toshiro’s partner, but, considering this new information, it seemed that Yukio had grown by leaps and bounds since then. He smiled when Yukio reentered the room, even though Yukio definitely wasn’t focused on him, only having thrown Toshiro a warm grin before setting himself to the second half of his task.

“You certainly have a way of helping people get to where they need to be, Renji,” Byakuya said softly before turning to kiss his partner’s cheek.

Renji blushed slightly at the comment, “I don’t know about all that… Yukio clearly needed the help and, at the time, I had the ability, resources, and time to do so, not having my own relationship. And other than work or seeing you, my days back then were fairly empty. Also, as you can imagine, his situation and needs are far from common - I’ve honestly never met another submissive with his preferred role. Finding a partner for someone like that… 

“People normally need breaks from the submissive or dominant mindset, it’s very uncommon, what Yukio prefers. I have no idea how Toshiro is able to maintain the 24/7 dynamic - I would find that exhausting. But we knew that from the start, which is why I was really only having Yukio stay with me for as long as it took to find him an actual master. I’ve not done that for another submissive. And in your case… You’re my best friend Bya, how could I not have helped you? It’s not like I go around seeking out people to help… I just try to do what I can as long as I actually have the ability to do something.”

Byakuya hummed thoughtfully. “Still, just your willingness to help others is something that’s hard to come by.” He knew that from experience. Until Renji, no one had ever voluntarily put themselves aside to help him. No one had ever even paid enough attention to realize when he needed help.

“Are you saying I was exhausting, Renji? I resent that,” Yukio shot teasingly, giving Renji a playful smile as he stepped back from the completed Jenga tower.

“That’s a loaded question if I’ve ever heard one,” Renji chuckled, reaching over to ruffle the soft blonde hair. “You definitely weren’t difficult to live with but we had a rough first week there, if you remember, trying to figure everything out when you’d barely say more than three words at a time. I’m glad I kept at it though and we figured everything out because it’s really great to see you this way, Yukio. Toshiro has been amazing for you. 

“I’m proud of you, remaining free to be yourself even with Byakuya here. I was never able to keep you that grounded. And yes, eventually your needs would have exhausted me, but you knew that - that was the entire reason we knew from the start that I wouldn't be a good long-term partner for you. Not because you’re difficult to be around at all but because I find remaining in that dominant mindframe that constantly to be draining. Like I said, I don’t know how Toshiro does it, but obviously he does it well and I’m glad.”

Toshiro pulled Yukio back to him, wrapping his arms around his waist but allowing him to remain standing, pressing a kiss into his forearm and resting his head against it, “It would actually be more difficult for me to turn off that frame of mind around Yukio - constantly considering his well-being keeps me grounded and out of my own head a bit. I used to over analyze everything and I still probably do that a bit too much, but Yukio gives me a constant focus for that attention to actually be beneficial in some way. So I don’t find it exhausting - I actually find it the opposite.”

Yukio simply relaxed into his master’s attention, his eyes to Byakuya. Renji was right. In the past, he never would have accepted someone so readily. But he had already known, even before meeting him, that Renji trusted him. And learning that his master had quite a bit of familiarity with him helped. Anticipating Byakuya’s initial reaction had been a bit unnerving, but then Byakuya had done nothing judgmental at all. Actually, he had done very much the opposite. 

He hadn’t questioned or prodded, never even given Yukio or his master a doubtful glance. He had been curious, of course, but he had been perfectly content even without the details. And even when the explanation came, he had only accepted it and smiled. His sharp intuition told him that Byakuya had a reason to be so accepting, especially after hearing his master’s account of how rigid and distant he had been in the past. He had mentioned unfortunate circumstances… Yukio was far too familiar with how that could open someone’s eyes to what truly mattered.

“Now, if I remember this right, you pull out the block, answer the question, and then put it on top without the tower toppling over. And if you don’t want to answer the question, you go again until you do, right? I suppose I can go first - I honestly doubt you all don’t already know most of what I’d be asked anyway,” Renji commented with a grin. “And if we’re to have any hope of Yukio losing, he should probably go last…” he trailed off as he shook his head.

Yukio stuck his tongue out at Renji, giggling as he stepped to return to the comfort of his master’s lap, kissing his cheek lightly before settling against his chest. It wasn’t his fault Renji wasn’t any good at the games he loved.

Renji pulled out a block - not like it was difficult at this point, and frowned at the question. “Yukio, you sure you grabbed the right version of this?”

Fearing he had made a mistake, Yukio leaned up a bit. Having written out the questions himself, and being very familiar with the actual blocks that each version contained - no one else would ever notice, but the wood grain was slightly different in the two sets he had acquired - he nodded. “Yes, that’s the right one. Why?”

“Question reads: Have you ever made out with several people during one night?” Renji said with a laugh. “Well, I suppose it’s just yes or no question and not asking any details so it’s relatively clean. Obviously my answer is yes,” he said, placing the block on top.

Byakuya covered a cough when he involuntarily inhaled sharply. He supposed it shouldn’t surprise him, knowing Renji’s history, but the bluntness of these ‘casual’ questions made him fear what would come for him. He leaned up to take a block, the tower not even shifting as he did so, but the question caused his heart to skip. 

“It says, what’s the most romantic gift you’ve ever given someone?” he read quietly. He honestly couldn’t recall giving any gifts to his previous significant others. “I don’t think I’ve…” but a glance at Renji changed his answer, his mind flashing to the conversation they’d had about gifts versus payment. “I suppose… my love for Renji is a gift, if that qualifies.”

Renji smiled softly, his hand coming up to cup Byakuya’s face as he kissed his forehead. “Best gift I ever received in my life…” he whispered, his eyes impossibly soft.

Byakuya knew he was blushing, but he still leaned in to kiss Renji’s lips briefly before turning to place the block in his hand on the top of the tower.

Toshiro deftly pulled out a block, not even removing Yukio from his lap, “Who do you regret hooking up with?” He shook his head, “Only Byakuya will recognize this name - Kusaka, college in our third year. Although, that experience was probably what opened my eyes the most for my own dynamic - let’s just say he was a bit controlling and I don’t take orders well.” Toshiro commented, placing the block on top of the tower.

Byakuya cringed a bit at the name. He certainly remembered. “You hid it well, but I don’t think I had ever seen you so frustrated,” he commented with a sympathetic smile toward Toshiro. 

Yukio was already reaching out to pull out a block, sinking back into his master’s lap to read the question. “What’s the worst break-up you’ve been in?” He paused, glancing worriedly at the others, but specifically to Byakuya - the one person who had never heard of what had happened before he met Renji.

“Remember, you don’t have to answer, love,” Toshiro murmured, “You can go again if you don’t want to talk about it.”

Yukio took a deep breath, silently reading the question again. “I think I want to, master. I think… it’ll help,” he murmured, eyes coming back up to Byakuya. “I was in a relationship just before I met Renji, and the man had very little tolerance for my insecurity and indecision. I guess… that’s a polite way to say it. He would become legitimately frustrated by me, even yelling at me sometimes if I took too long to decide on something. 

“Eventually, he just started doing things without me. He wouldn’t even ask if I wanted to join him, even in small things like watching TV or going out to eat. I would try to suggest things, and he would begrudgingly go along with it, teasing me about finally deciding something for myself for once. It was… admittedly toxic. By the time he left me, with absolutely no warning, mind you, I had all but stopped talking entirely.” The memory was painful to unearth, but Yukio replaced the block on the top of the tower and leaned into his master, seeking the warmth and reassurance that was always there.

Byakuya wanted to comfort him himself. He knew exactly what a toxic relationship could do, and it was absolutely crippling. “Thank you, Yukio. I’m honored that you would tell me that,” he said, giving him a small smile.

Toshiro wrapped Yukio in his arms, holding him more tightly than he had that day, putting a bit of pressure to his hold so that Yukio would feel that comforting feeling of restraint a bit as he murmured in his ear, “I’m so proud of you, you did so well, love.”

Yukio took a deep, calming breath, closing his eyes for a moment to truly feel the gentle force of his master’s embrace. He smiled, listening to the steady heartbeat under his ear before murmuring, “Thank you, master. You’re so good to me.”

Renji smiled at the pair, grabbing Byakuya’s hand and squeezing, trying to convey how happy he was with how Byakuya was treating and interacting with Yukio. That had taken a lot for him to talk about - it had taken several days of careful coaxing to get half of that out of the smaller man even when Yukio knew he’d have to tell Renji so that he could help him. He really had come a long way, and Byakuya’s reactions were kind and gentle, exactly the type of positive response he needed to continue being open.

Renji released his hand to snag another block. “Why am I the one getting these questions,” he questioned with a laugh. “Who is the youngest person you’ve made out with? That I actually knew their age for certain - and I’m assuming this means younger than me and not talking about the handful of teenagers I made out with back in high school - that’s probably Yukio. You just turned 22 last December, right? So that’s a four year age gap… I wouldn’t have knowingly done so with someone under 21 anyway,” Renji said, placing the block on top of the tower.

Byakuya shook his head. He had a bit of pity for his partner, but he knew without a doubt that, if anyone in the room wasn’t shy about their history, it was Renji. Eventually, his own luck was going to run out and such a question would likely strike him, though he supposed his previous relationships were tame enough that he certainly shouldn’t fear that anything distasteful would come to light. 

He reached to pull a block out, the clear opportunities for success actually growing a bit thin, but he managed. At the question, though, his breath hitched in his throat and his eyes widened. His eyes were everywhere at once, first glancing at Renji, then across to Toshiro and Yukio. “If you had to switch partners with another couple, who would you pick?” he read aloud. He considered skipping the question, but another glance across the room gave him the obvious answer.

Toshiro had been his friend for a while, though he admittedly hadn’t put much effort into maintaining contact. Still, he trusted him, even more so now after realizing how deeply Renji trusted him. And the man was gorgeous. “It doesn’t ask why, so I am in no way elaborating. I will simply say that, if I had to choose, I would trade Renji for Toshiro.” With that, he placed his block on top of the tower and sat back into the sofa, avoiding eye contact with everyone else in the room. His cheeks were burning, a sure sign that he was blushing deeply, and he had no intention of confronting anyone about his answer, even nonverbally.

Renji was shocked, to say the least. Not really at Byakuya’s answer - Toshiro was incredibly handsome and the two were friends, meaning that Byakuya was already more comfortable with him than most - he was shocked Byakuya had actually answered the question. He grinned a bit at Toshiro, taking Byakuya’s hand again but letting him have his moment to compose himself. He wouldn’t actually be opposed if Byakuya wanted to try one day - Toshiro was a very good dominant and he wasn’t worried in the slightest about him doing a scene with Byakuya - but he knew that admitting such a thing in the context of a silly game was far removed from actually going through with it. Still, he was pleased Byakuya had been open enough to actually think about and answer the question. 

Toshiro returned Renji’s grin, a bit of understanding passing between them, “Well, Byakuya, I certainly trust Yukio in Renji’s hands, and I’ve always thought you to be incredibly beautiful. I would only be honored by such a thing.” He kissed Yukio’s hair, keeping him still snug against him with one arm and leaned forward to pull out another block. The tower swayed a bit but he didn’t look that concerned, carefully freeing it.

“What’s your hidden talent,” he read, smirking. He put the block back on top of the tower and, looking directly at Byakuya he said, “Kinbaku.”

Byakuya’s eyes darted up from where they were focused on his hands. Toshiro was staring right at him, though he honestly had no idea why. Did he know Byakuya at least had a vague knowledge of what kinbaku was? He took a deep breath and looked back down to his hands. Surely, Toshiro was doing this to tease him, especially since he had just admitted to being willing to switch partners, or at least consider it. There was no way he actually knew he enjoyed bondage. Byakuya shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts. He couldn’t let them get as far as to imagine Toshiro practicing kinbaku on him.  

“Go on, love,” Toshiro said quietly, returning his focus and loosening his hold on Yukio, “It’s your turn.”

Yukio nuzzled his cheek into his master’s chest for a moment before sitting up a bit and skillfully taking a block from the tower. Renji may have been right. The others likely didn’t have a chance of winning. “What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the nude?” he read. He couldn’t help but laugh. The one completely humiliating nude moment in his life immediately came to mind. “Alright, I was nineteen, yes, not that long ago. I had just moved into a new apartment, and a few of my friends lived in the same complex. Well, one night at about midnight, we decided to go skinny dipping in the complex pool. At the time, that was crazy enough for me. 

“But, we all had the bright idea to run naked all the way from my apartment to the pool. We jumped the fence, stayed for maybe fifteen minutes, absolutely no one spotting us. All was going well. Until we got back to my apartment and realized one of us had locked the door. So, I had to call the apartment manager and we all had to stand there, completely naked, and wait for the emergency maintenance guy to come unlock the door. Thank goodness he knew us, and he just laughed it off. But it was definitely the craziest thing that’s ever happened to me while naked.” As he concluded, he tossed his block back onto the tower, landing it perfectly in place without even a shift in the structure.

Renji burst out laughing, “I can’t believe I never knew that story - or that you’d even do something like that back then!” He reached for his own block, the tower swaying dangerously before he was able to free it. “What’s the worst date you’ve been on? I haven’t been on many really terrible ones… Let’s see…” He thought a bit while placing the block back on the stack.

“Probably with Shuhei - it was a bit of a double date and the other couple was just terrible to each other. Shu and I wound up secretly texting each other back and forth about the way they were acting towards their supposed partner. Needless to say, we only had dinner with them that one night and never went out with them again. I really can’t stand it when people belittle the person that they’re with.”

Finally recovered from the mortification of the previous round, Byakuya leaned up to study the now structurally unsound tower. Finally, he picked a block, tapping it gently to dislodge it and slowly pulling it out of place. “Who in this room would you be most happy to share a sleeping bag with?” he read. His eyes immediately went to Renji, but he was almost positive he wouldn’t actually be happy with sharing a sleeping bag with him. The man radiated heat, and he would take up far too much space. “Yukio,” he said definitively, carefully placing his block on top of the tower.

Yukio perked up, eyes wide. “What? Me?” he asked, more than a bit taken aback by the sureness of Byakuya's response.

“Yes. You are the smallest of those in the room, making for a more practical arrangement,” Byakuya explained matter-of-factly.

"Ouch," Renji said with a grin, "but you're right, he'd probably make the most comfortable partner in something as small as a sleeping bag."

Yukio’s cheeks flushed a bit as he said, "At least my size makes me a better sleeping bag partner, that's one shining example I can hold to against all the negatives to being at least half a foot shorter than everyone else I meet - you realize how many people think my ID is fake, that I couldn't possibly be 22?"

Toshiro kissed his cheek, saying, "Your size also makes it easier for me to hold you all the time, and people are idiots about that sort of thing. I should know. I love you, just the way you are, love. And I'm sure they weren't teasing you at all - you'd definitely be my first choice as well. You fit perfectly in my arms."

Yukio turned to nuzzle into his master's chest, just breathing in his scent. "Thank you, master," he murmured. He was forever grateful that he knew just how to ground him. Most of that response, he hadn't been seriously upset, but a small part of him was sensitive to dealing with being so small. His master loved his size though, and that's all that really mattered. 

Toshiro gently rubbed his back and he had to move far more carefully this time to remove a block but he managed. "Who was the last person you had unrequited love for?" He carefully placed the block on top of the tower, watching as it swayed before stilling again. "The last person… I suppose there was really only one that I seriously had a crush on and never told." 

Teal eyes flickered to meet steel gray as he said, "I always have thought you were beautiful, Byakuya, but you always seemed unattainable to me - especially back then. And you were so kind to me, treating me like a peer instead of a child. So, my answer would have to be you, Byakuya. 

"I'm so grateful to have Yukio, so I'm not disappointed I never told you back then - if that meant I would have never found him - I'm perfectly happy with how everything turned out. But I have no reason not to tell you now, and it's the truth. You're incredible Byakuya, and I really am glad to see you so happy, and to see you like this again."

Byakuya was beyond shocked. Back then, Toshiro certainly hadn’t said anything of that effect to him. And, with their current situations, it didn’t make sense to speculate on whether he would have even accepted the boy’s feelings. Because, back then, Toshiro was a boy. No less brilliant than those older than him, in fact very much more so. Still, Byakuya had a hard time even fathoming that he had felt that way. He had been so reserved, even with him, so it wasn’t a surprise that there were things he didn’t know about him. 

But Toshiro certainly wasn’t lying. The softness in his normally cold teal eyes told him that he was, at least to a point, reliving those memories. Byakuya smiled. “I believe you would have been surprised if you had told me. But, things would have ended very differently for both of us, and I can’t imagine not having Renji,” he said, kissing Renji’s cheek before settling into his side. 

Yukio took only a moment to assess the deteriorating tower, choosing a block and tapping it flawlessly out of place with one touch. He smirked a bit as Renji groaned and shook his head, knowing he would have to contend with the tower next. “Who is the most good looking person you’ve made out with?” he read. Before he even settled back into his master’s arms, he lined up the block with the top of the tower and dropped it gently, causing only the slightest sway. 

“That’s a fairly obvious question. Master is definitely the most gorgeous person I’ve ever made out with,” he responded with a smile. He sat back against his master’s chest and reached up to kiss his jawbone.

"You didn't have to say definitely like that…" Renji pouted. "And this looks impossible," he said, gesturing at the tower. "How is this so easy for you?" 

Toshiro chuckled, "You realize that Yukio will play Jenga on his own just to see how far he can get the tower? It relaxes him."

"No wonder I've never won this!" Renji exclaimed. He frowned at the tower. He chose his block but knew he was doomed to fail as soon as he touched it and it didn't give at all. He looked up into Yukio’s grinning emerald eyes and pulled on the block, the tower crashing down with it. 

He glanced at the block in his hand and chuckled, tossing it back into the pile. It was for the best anyway. Who was the last person you saw in the nude? He wouldn't have answered anyway - for Byakuya's sake. 

The rest of the day passed in peaceful companionship and Renji found himself constantly smiling. Byakuya now seemed completely comfortable with his two close friends. It was honestly better than Renji could have hoped for. He couldn't believe Byakuya and Toshiro had already known each other - had been friends even. 

He certainly understood Toshiro's old crush on Byakuya - Renji had been in much the same position not that long ago. But he also felt that everything had worked out for the best. Especially whenever he looked at Yukio - at the vibrant, joyful, playful person he'd become with Toshiro as his master. 

When they went to leave for home that night, the hour was late and Renji found himself with Yukio tightly hugging him again, having jumped up and forcing Renji to catch him. Yukio’s hold was a bit tighter than usual, however, and Renji chuckled, "We'll return next month, Yukio. I've missed you too."

Byakuya couldn’t keep the smile from his face as he bid his old friend goodbye with the promise to see him again. It was a bit embarrassing, really, that Toshiro had tried to keep contact, and Byakuya had always refused his invitation. But that was all behind them, and Toshiro seemed enthusiastic - or, as enthusiastic as he ever was - to have Byakuya in his life again. 

A tap on his shoulder, though, brought his eyes to Renji, who discreetly looked to Yukio, now freed from his arms and standing looking a bit nervously toward Byakuya. Understanding completely, he gave him a warm smile and opened his arms to him. Yukio’s eyes lit up, and he stepped to close the distance between them. Byakuya grinned up at Renji for a moment as he held him, which he did until Yukio chose to pull away. Byakuya kept him at arm’s length, his hands on his shoulders.

“Thank you, Yukio, for trusting me. You don’t have to fear judgment from me, and I think you know that now. You and Toshiro take very good care of each other, and you love each other very much. Anyone who tries to say there’s a right way to do that is an idiot,” he told him. Yukio giggled and nodded.

“Thank you, Byakuya.” He was still smiling when he stepped back to Toshiro, who took him under his arm. 

"Yes, thank you," Toshiro echoed, holding Yukio close to him. Byakuya had always been amazing to him with his quiet acceptance of others and his honest desire to simply see those around him as who they were - not as they merely appeared to be. It was those qualities far more than his appearance, as beautiful as the man was, that had made Toshiro respect and desire him. 

Byakuya had no idea how rare those qualities actually were. Toshiro was pleased to see that, under Renji’s gentle encouragement and care, those traits had only been emphasized, brought more to the surface. And Yukio clearly felt safe, felt comfortable around him - just as Toshiro himself always had. He sincerely hoped that Byakuya would continue to join Renji to visit them. Anyone that could make his Yukio smile like that was more than welcome in his home. 

Renji smiled warmly, kissing Byakuya on the cheek and taking his hand. He couldn't believe how this man continued to amaze him, how happy he was, how proud to be with him. "Ready, Bya?" 

Byakuya saw the familiar pride in Renji’s eyes when he looked up. He nodded, and with a final goodbye, they went to Renji’s car to make their way home.

Byakuya could have never guessed that one of these mysterious friends would be so familiar to him. He smiled at the thought, reflecting on the time he had spent with Toshiro in college. They had met in an entry-level business class, and he had noticed the boy immediately upon entering the room. His stark white hair and stunning teal eyes were rather difficult to ignore. Realizing that he was alone in the back of the room, Byakuya had chosen to sit in the same row with him. Not directly next to him, but close enough that he wasn’t so isolated. Not that he had any interest in being particularly social, but he knew what it was like to be alone. If all he did was sit in the same row with the boy, that would be enough to think he had accomplished something.

And then he saw just how ridiculed and ignored Toshiro was. Ridiculed by his peers and ignored by his professors. The semester had ended, and they hadn’t said a single word to one another. Then, the following term in the spring, they were in two classes together. Byakuya took up the same position in both classrooms, three empty seats between them. 

It took until the following fall semester for either of them to even introduce themselves to each other, and it was really out of necessity. For the first time in his life, Byakuya was struggling in a class, and he had discreetly seen Toshiro’s grades. The boy was a genius. So, he caught Toshiro after class and asked him to study with him. At first, it was rather clear that Toshiro thought Byakuya was going to be just as patronizing as everyone else, but with time he opened up to him. It took several months for Byakuya to get more than just school-related conversation out of him. 

At the time, he had no idea Toshiro was warming up to him because of an unspoken crush, but now it was rather amusing. It was also amusing that Renji was the one to reconnect them after so many years. He’d have to thank him. 


"So, you glad you came with, Bya?" Renji asked with a smile, his eyes still trained to the road as he drove. 

Byakuya chuckled. “You have no idea how glad. I’ll definitely be coming with you again,” he replied. “Thank you, Renji. It was good to see Toshiro again. I wasn’t lying when I said you have a way with getting people where they belong.”

Renji laughed lightly, "I had no idea you two already knew each other, but I'm happy you were able to reconnect. And if I'm so good at getting people where they belong, I'm happy I was finally able to get myself where I belong, Bya." He grabbed his hand again, the other firmly on the wheel. 

"With you. 

"I've never felt more like I belonged with someone. I don't know if you realize what you did tonight for those two, accepting Yukio as easily as you did. And you're my partner." He shook his head a bit, "I'm so glad Toshiro never said anything, before, because you are utterly perfect to me, Bya, and I'm going to be a bit selfishly happy that genius wasn't able to sweep you off your feet when he had the chance. That I'm the one that gets to take you home, gets to call you mine. I've never felt possessive like that about another person. And what's more, I'm not the least bit concerned. 

"I know you aren't remotely ready for anything like this, but I just wanted you to know, if you ever do want to actually do something like a scene with those two, either with me or actually swapped with Toshiro, I really wouldn't mind. I know you love me, Bya, and I know that Toshiro is completely committed to Yukio. 

"So I don't want you to feel self conscious at all if you desire something like that - it's okay, I understand. I'm not blind," he said with a laugh, "Toshiro's ridiculously hot and I have done scenes with those two in the past - he knows what he's doing." Renji squeezed his hand again, saying, "I would never prevent you from doing something that would bring you happiness, to prevent you from experiencing things that I know would make you feel good. 

"I just wanted that to be clear - I know you, Bya. And I don't want you thinking that being attracted to Toshiro would bother me in the least. You'd have to be blind to miss how stunning he is. So I don't want you to feel the least bit guilty if you think about it. I love you, Bya. And I really don't think there's a single thing you could do, think, or ask that would change that at this point."

Byakuya was glad it was dark outside, because his cheeks were burning so badly he swore Renji could likely feel the heat. 

“I love you, too, Renji. I’ll keep all of that in mind,” he murmured. But, he’d be lying if he said that, for the remainder of the trip home, he wasn’t wondering about Toshiro’s talent in kinbaku.

Chapter Text

I remember tears streaming down your face when I said I'll never let you go, when all those shadows almost killed your light… 

I remember you said don't leave me here alone… 

But all that's dead and gone and passed tonight. 

Just close your eyes - the sun is going down… 

You'll be alright - no one can hurt you now… 

Come morning light… 

You and I'll be safe and sound. 

Byakuya stood in front of the large windows in the sitting room, which were wide open to let in the spring breeze, his silky raven hair being gently tossed behind his shoulders. April was upon them, and with it came temperate weather and sweetly scented fresh air. Byakuya chuckled a bit at the thought. In the past, even the previous spring, he never would have cared about such things. Life was a monotonous drone of… nothing. 

And then came Renji. 

Barely three months ago, he had confessed his love to his best friend. Of course, Renji had always been there, but his visits had just been another blip on the radar of Byakuya’s life. They were amusing, but they weren’t special. 

Now, every moment in Renji’s presence was special. 

Over the past two months, they had continued their scheduled visits with Toshiro and Yukio, which had really become a highlight in Byakuya’s month. It was always pleasant to spend time with Toshiro and his adorable partner. Yukio had actually taken quite a liking to him, as if the hug the first night after they met wasn’t indication enough. He greeted Byakuya with the same fervor as he did Renji, and Byakuya knew by the appreciative glances he was constantly thrown that Toshiro was overwhelmingly grateful that Yukio had found someone else he could trust. 

In the privacy of their home - yes, Byakuya fully identified it as Renji’s home, too - things had been fantastic. Byakuya had actually come so far out of his previous emotional low that he was eating more, something Renji praised him for constantly. He had to admit, he was more pleased with himself physically now. He had begun a previously unneeded workout schedule that he stuck to daily after he finished his work, and even if he didn’t see much difference, Renji certainly did. He could hardly keep Renji’s hands off of him when the weather got warm enough for short sleeves, which was something he likely wouldn’t have worn much outside of his home until his relationship with Renji. 

In their intimate affairs, they had stayed within their previously stated boundaries, which didn’t bother Renji in the slightest. He was constantly telling Byakuya how lucky he was to even be doing what he was allowed, which was, admittedly, almost everything. But, with his depression well behind him, Byakuya was beginning to consider why he kept those boundaries intact. 

There were no haunting flashbacks. No insecurities in the bedroom. No fear of any kind. In fact, when they were engaging in intimate activities, he found himself wishing Renji would shatter through all the boundaries and just take him. Of course, Renji would never do that, and Byakuya knew it very well. Something like that, after such clear expectations had been set forth, would be a breach in trust, and Renji just didn’t do that. He would wait for as long as Byakuya wanted, and he would never speak a word against him. But, perhaps it was time to stop making him wait. 

Renji was everything to him, and he wanted to give him everything.

When Renji arrived home that afternoon and got out of the car, he just took a moment to breathe in the spring air. It finally really felt like spring. The trees around the manor were in full bloom, white and pink blossoms of the surrounding trees bringing a sweetness to the air that gave a vastly different feeling from the crisp bite of the ice and snow of winter. Everything just seemed… lighter now - and not just because the sun was up for more hours of the day. 

Byakuya had really come out of his depression, his eyes remaining clear and bright even when he wasn’t focused on Renji. The shadow that had clung to him seemed like a distant memory now. Even visiting with Yukio and Toshiro, he remained calm and at ease. Sure, he could tell he was flustered by Toshiro at times and that Yukio’s exuberance could take him by surprise, but his gentle smile remained - not only on his face, but in his eyes.  

Renji was finally able to see what he’d always wanted to - Byakuya really, honestly happy. 

He also seemed completely comfortable with everything they did together, and initiating being physically intimate himself far more often as the days passed. Renji was ecstatic, of course, and more than a willing partner. Whether he was bringing pleasure to that beautiful body or simply talking softly as they relaxed together on their couch...

Every moment he could spend with Byakuya was special to him.

He made his way into the house, hanging up his light jacket and stowing his shoes out of the way before continuing on to find Byakuya where he always found him. He smiled, instantly taking his place by his side and kissing him sweetly, saying, “I’m so glad I’m home, and it’s Friday too so I won’t be forced to leave you again for the next two days. I never looked forward to weekends this much in my life,” he concluded with a grin. “How was your day, Bya?”

Byakuya smiled and settled into him, completely put at ease just by being with him. Days weren’t difficult anymore, but it was always just better in Renji’s presence. “Today was excellent. I actually think this is the first time the windows have been opened in this house. I had to pry some of them open,” he said with a chuckle. “I’m sure your day was very much average, but I’ll ask anyway. How was your day?” he added, smiling up to his partner.

“Very much average,” Renji repeated with a small laugh. He wrapped one of his arms loosely around Byakuya’s shoulders and took his hand with the other, entwining their fingers. “Just waiting for the day to pass so I could return here, to you.”

Byakuya hummed in agreement and pressed a light kiss to Renji’s cheek. Of course, it seemed like everything else in the day was just passing time until they could see each other again. He allowed silence to fall for a moment, the warm air moving in slightly from the open windows. He wondered if now was an appropriate time to mention what he had been thinking. He knew Renji would be thrilled, if not eager to go right to the bedroom. Byakuya decided he may not mind that, actually. 

“Renji… I need to update my boundaries,” he said quietly. He waited for a moment, his heart pounding as it always did when he did anything new. That hadn’t changed, no matter how comfortable he was.

Renji’s hand flexed within Byakuya’s at the statement. His heart sped up a bit, wondering what Byakuya wanted to change. He didn’t think he’d been uncomfortable with anything they’d done, so he very much doubted he wanted to restrict any of the things that Renji was allowed to do… which only left the opposite. Renji had to force himself to remain calm and to keep an excited grin off his face as he responded, “Alright, Bya. Do you need me to go through them, like before? Or do you feel comfortable enough to say?”

“I think… I think I’m comfortable enough to say,” he replied. He knew his voice was shaking, and he tried to keep his hands steady as he gathered his thoughts. “You may now be fully undressed in bed with me, and I am now allowing you to touch me… anywhere. Including putting your mouth on me. And also including…” he paused, knowing Renji had already tensed a bit next to him. He was having a difficult time getting himself to say the very blunt term that came to mind, but Renji did value clarity. “Penetration.”

It took a great deal of will power for Renji to remain mostly still as he asked, “Do you mean only with fingers or… any part of me?”

“Any part of you,” Byakuya responded. He knew Renji had to be summoning a massive amount of self-control right now, and while it was a bit amusing, he greatly appreciated it.

“Is there anything else you want to add at all? For example, if you want me to use anything on you specifically - like using a toy for prep instead of fingers? What toys - if any - I’d be allowed to use in general? Or if you would rather me use a condom or not?” Renji was honestly having a bit of a difficult time trying to think of all the things that could come up with this new level of freedom regarding his partner, wanting more than anything to drag him back to the bedroom. But he forced himself to remain focused and thorough.

Byakuya felt embarrassment creeping up again at the highly specific questions. He had never thought of these things. These decisions were usually made for him, and honestly, sex had never been this complicated. “I’d like to leave toys out of it for now. I’ve actually never used one. And I trust you enough to not force you to use a condom,” he replied.

Renji nodded, bringing their joined hands up to his lips to kiss the back of Byakuya’s hand, “I’ve just got one more question then,” he said, his dark eyes peering directly into slate-gray, “Am I allowed to do these new things now?”

Byakuya smiled, clearly recognizing the lustful anticipation in Renji’s eyes. “We’ll have to remember to eat dinner… but yes, you can do these things now.”

“Before I drag you off to the bedroom then,” Renji said, smiling, “I want to update my boundaries as well - you can do the same to me, Bya, if you want to. Whatever makes you happy and feel good, I’m more than willing to do with you.”

Byakuya chuckled lightly. That certainly didn’t surprise him. “Thank you, Renji. But I’ve been wanting you to take me for a couple of weeks now, so let’s do that first,” he suggested, his voice lowering a bit as a chill sparked through him just thinking about it.

Renji was quickly on his feet, gently pulling Byakuya to his own with their still-joined hands. “Weeks?” Renji questioned with a smile, “I’ve got a lot of time to make up for then.” He guided Byakuya to their bedroom - their bedroom, Renji’s mind still tripped over that a bit and it made his heart swell - and upon reaching it he immediately took Byakuya into a deep, fevered kiss, his hands tracing the edge of his shirt and starting to guide it up his lean, toned body. Renji had always thought he was the most beautiful man he’d ever seen, but after he’d started working out as well he seriously had a difficult time keeping his hands off of him. 

Byakuya hummed into Renji’s lips, already becoming significantly aroused just by his simple actions. He knew it was the sheer anticipation of what was to come, but he tried not to rush. He mimicked Renji’s movement, slipping his hands under his shirt and moaning a bit more heavily at the feel of his sculpted muscles under his hands. 

Renji had to break their kiss to remove Byakuya’s shirt completely, smiling as Byakuya did the same to him. He loved feeling Byakuya’s hands on his body, brushing his muscles firmly, sending pleasure racing through him, knowing that Byakuya wanted him just as much as Renji wanted him. He captured his lips again as his hands moved lower, to the clasps on his pants, deftly working the button and zip to allow them to fall down those long legs. His fingers toyed with the hem of Byakuya’s boxers for the briefest moment as Renji pulled away from their kiss again, watching Byakuya’s expression as he began to pull them down as well.

Byakuya knew he shouldn’t have been surprised by Renji’s pace, but he was still a bit shocked when he found himself completely nude in a matter of seconds. Infected by Renji’s energy, he firmly coaxed him to the bed, pressing his hands to his chest to take him down to the mattress. He quickly straddled Renji’s hips with his knees and leaned down to press his lips firmly to the tattoo on his neck for only a moment before pulling away to look him in the eyes. “Don’t worry, I’ll let you take control. I just wanted to get to the bed,” he whispered, running a light touch down Renji’s side as he spoke.

Renji’s eyes were impossibly dark and flashed a bit at the statement as he said, the commanding tone clear in his deepened voice, “I want you to finish undressing me then.”

Byakuya had to keep his breath from hitching at the change in Renji’s tone. He loved when he talked like that. He wordlessly obeyed, his hand continuing its path to the waistline of Renji’s pants. He unbuttoned and unzipped them with one hand before sitting up and shifting to pull them off, forced to get off the bed momentarily to do so. With no hesitation - because he knew if he hesitated, his ridiculous anxiety would strike again - he grasped the waistline of Renji’s boxers and snatched them off in one fluid motion. 

For a moment, he just knelt on the bed, taking in the image of his partner fully undressed. He couldn’t stop himself from touching, his hand wandering the areas of skin that had, up until now, always been covered. He let out a breath that almost felt relieved as he traced the outside of Renji’s hip, almost immediately curving down to finally squeeze his hand around Renji’s firm, perfect ass.

Renji groaned at the feeling of Byakuya's hands on his entirely bare skin, without the usual constraint of his boxers. Just knowing Byakuya was finally able to see his entire body and feeling the utter appreciation in his touch was making that burning desire within him grow. Yes, he wanted Byakuya - desperately - but he also wanted to give him this moment. "Bya," he said in that same commanding tone, "I want you to take your time and explore my body before bringing me the lube and lying down here, next to me on the bed."

At the sound of his voice, Byakuya looked up immediately. When they were here, together this way, Byakuya completely owned up to the fact that he was Renji’s submissive. The word didn’t bother him as much as it had before. In fact, he was more than willing to bend to that side of himself, and let Renji take complete control. He nodded acknowledgement before turning his eyes back to Renji’s body. 

He took his time, as he was instructed, not worried for Renji’s obviously aroused state. If it was too pressing, Renji wouldn’t have insisted on such a thing. He leaned down to press his lips to the smooth skin over Renji’s hipbone, sighing into his flesh before continuing his exploration with his mouth, kissing all the way from his hipbone to the inside of his thigh. Very careful not to tease, he pulled away, his hand following the same path and his eyes studying each inch of previously covered skin. 

Renji's eyes became half-lidded as he relaxed into Byakuya's exploratory touch. He moaned out quietly when he had kissed his inner thigh, a mixed feeling of relief and disappointment flooding him when he pulled away. It was likely for the best though, with how hard he already was. He was probably going to need to take the edge off before actually taking his beautiful submissive if he didn't want to come as soon as he was finally inside his gorgeous body. Just thinking it caused his cock to twitch and another groan to escape his parted lips, breathing deeply to keep himself under control. 

Byakuya had almost had enough of the build-up himself, so with one last caress of Renji’s hip, he lay down, reaching into a drawer of the bedside table and retrieving the bottle of lube. He pressed it into Renji’s hand before cuddling into his side, relishing the simple feeling of uninterrupted skin against his entire body. It caused heat to flood him, and he had to stop himself from grinding into the side of Renji’s hip to relieve a bit of the mounting pressure. Instead, he lay tensely still, awaiting further instruction.

Renji was over his body in one swift, smooth motion, his hand on Byakuya's shoulder turning him to lay completely on his back and pinning him to the bed as he captured him in a deep kiss. He allowed his now entirely bare body to settle flush against his, groaning into his mouth as his cock was able to finally rub against Byakuya's with no fabric in between. He circled his hips, not really able to stop the motion at the wondrous feeling. 

Byakuya didn’t even try to stop the loud moan that surfaced from his throat. Feeling Renji’s body against his was heavenly, and he truly wouldn’t have cared if this was all they did. The rush of pleasure was like none he had ever felt before, and it was a bit alarming when he felt the familiar sensation of climax approaching quickly. “Renji, if you don’t slow down I’m going to come,” he warned, the words spilling quickly from his mouth. 

"I want you to, Bya, I plan on you doing so several times tonight," Renji said, his own voice strained. He also really needed the relief to more properly focus on what Byakuya was asking him to do. "Come for me, Bya," Renji groaned, that deep command coloring his tone as he moved against him more quickly, thrusting their lengths together, willing himself not to release until Byakuya did beneath him. 

Byakuya let out a desperate whimper, clutching the blanket under him and raising his hips to increase the already blinding amount of friction. Just Renji’s voice sent waves of pleasure over him, leading him to the edge and almost instantly pushing him off into an intense climax that tensed every muscle in his body. He panted heavily as the blissful sensations tingled through his core, his mind sharply aware that he had just released on Renji’s completely bare body.

Byakuya’s release lubricated the motion between them and Renji thrust quickly a few more times, the pressure within him becoming unbearable, before coming himself, groaning as he did so. It felt so good, finally being able to directly feel Byakuya’s body fully against his. Renji settled against him, molding their bodies together as they both calmed down from their fevered release. Renji gently tilted Byakuya’s head to take him in a slow, deep kiss, his tongue gently exploring his mouth as they came down. Byakuya hadn’t been in subspace but he could have lightly been in one and Renji wanted to thoroughly make sure he was back before retrieving a washcloth and cleaning them off. He wouldn’t mind cleaning Byakuya off himself in the least, but the release on his own cock and stomach would dry and wanted to be clean for Byakuya when he finally took him. Luckily the ensuite to the bedroom was able to be clearly seen from the bed as long as the door was left open, so he never had to leave Byakuya’s line of sight to retrieve one. 

Byakuya sank into Renji’s kiss, but didn’t have the will to really move. He knew they were far from done anyway, and he had no idea what Renji had planned next. He certainly didn’t expect what had just happened, and he smiled into Renji’s lips bit as he considered just how thoroughly he trusted Renji. It didn’t truly matter what was going to happen that day. He was already confident that it was going to be fantastic if that was only the first act.

“Bya,” Renji murmured, pulling away a little to hover over him, “I’m just going to get us a washcloth, clean us off a bit, alright? You’ll be able to see me the entire time. There’s no way I’m leaving you - I’m just getting started,” Renji assured, his voice lowering as he pressed another kiss to Byakuya’s jaw.

Byakuya grinned. “I know. After what I said you could do to me, there’s no way you were satisfied with just that,” he teased.

Renji shivered, kissing him quickly on the lips again before getting up. He quickly made his way to the ensuite, making sure the water was warm and cleaning himself off with it before rinsing the cloth and bringing it back to Byakuya. He knelt between his legs, gently cleaning him off with the warm cloth before tossing it back to the ensuite - he’d take care of it later and he had no want to delay this further.

He leaned over to grab his own pillow and said, “I want you to lift your hips - I’m going to slide this below you so you’re more comfortable.”

Byakuya nodded and obeyed, watching as Renji slid the pillow underneath him. He was curious as to where this was going, but he shook his head and smiled. Renji likely knew more, better ways to pleasure him than all of his previous partners combined.

“Good, Bya,” Renji murmured as he leaned down, pressing open-mouth kisses to his chest. He had wanted to take his time, which was the entire point to making them come earlier. Renji felt completely in control again and not the least bit pressured by his own arousal, although he was certainly still very interested in Byakuya’s gorgeous body presented beneath him. Byakuya likely didn’t realize it but the pillow raised his hips more so that it would be easier for Renji to prepare him in this position. It would be easiest on his hands and knees but Renji much preferred being able to see Byakuya’s expression, making sure he wasn’t in too much discomfort. 

He made his way across his chest, feeling Byakuya’s breath beginning to quicken again as he brought a nipple into his mouth. He playfully carressed and flicked it with his tongue while he grabbed Byakuya’s hips to prevent him from moving against him, not wanting his own arousal to build as quickly as it had before.

Byakuya was having a difficult time not trying to fight against Renji’s hold. His attempts at deep breathing resulted in heavy breaths frequently traced with sensual groans. He was right. Renji did know better ways to pleasure him. Every time the tip of his tongue passed over the sensitive skin of his nipple, his body threatened to rut into whatever part of Renji he could reach. The building arousal and resulting tightness in his body had his eyes fluttering shut as he forced himself to release the tension, a shuddering breath allowing him to relax and let Renji have his way with him. 

Renji eventually pulled away from the now darkened, erect nipple, and gently blew across the wet skin, having to tighten his hold slightly as Byakuya reacted.

Byakuya all but whined at the sensation, his muscles again taut of their own accord when Renji’s breath ghosted over his already stimulated flesh. “So good,” left his mouth in a breathy whisper before he even knew he had spoken.

Renji smiled as he pressed his cheek to the area he’d just been tormenting, barely nuzzling against him, bringing warmth back before moving across his chest to do the same treatment to his other nipple. He kept his grip on his Byakuya’s hips relaxed, lightly massaging the inside of his hips with his thumbs, only tightening his hold when Byakuya attempted to arch against him again, preventing the motion. Eventually he released this nipple as well, breathing across it before using his cheek to dry and warm it again, loving Byakuya’s barely restrained reactions.

Between Renji’s thorough attention to his nipples and the slow massaging motion on his hips, Byakuya knew he had lost most of his control. Erotic moans and quiet whispers of approval left his lips before he even registered them as a thought. He didn’t even think of asking for anything. He doubted his mind was even clear enough to know what to ask for, or form a coherent sentence. That didn’t concern him, though. He was perfectly content to drown in this pleasure for as long as Renji wanted to treat him to it.

Feeling all the tension release from Byakuya’s body, Renji grinned, knowing that if he wasn’t already in subspace, he was close, accepting whatever he wanted to do without the least bit of resistance. He made his way down his chest, his hands slipping below his thighs and pressing against them, encouraging Byakuya to open his legs wider and exposing his body even more. He kept his hands there, supporting Byakuya’s legs in the lifted position as he continued to press until his knees were nearly touching his own shoulders, bending him in half. 

He shifted his own body lower, almost lying entirely against the bed as he kissed and licked Byakuya’s inner thighs, sucking gently on the quivering skin and steadily making his way to finally circle his entrance with his tongue, a place previously he’d not been allowed to touch at all, dark eyes focused on Byakuya’s expression and reactions as he did so.

An involuntary shudder tore through Byakuya’s body at the gentle motion at his entrance. The position Renji had him in had him fully exposed - as fully exposed as one could be. He grasped the blankets, his entire body tingling. The wet, smooth sensation of Renji’s tongue on his thighs, followed quickly by the same feeling in an area that hadn’t been stimulated in months almost sent him over the edge again, but he tried to steady his breathing, knowing Renji had far more in mind than this.

Renji allowed his tongue to simply stimulate the area around his entrance for a few minutes until he felt the tension lessen in Byakuya’s body again. He wasn’t trying to push him over too fast, after all. Sensing he could take a bit more, Renji finally pressed against his entrance, penetrating him with the smooth, wet muscle of his tongue.

“Aah, R-Renji!” Byakuya cried out. His legs began to tremble a bit against Renji’s hands, and his grip on the blankets only tightened, if that were even possible. He threw his head back and panted roughly, vehemently denying himself the release he felt approaching with every one of Renji’s actions.

Renji stilled, allowing Byakuya to recover himself a bit, bringing himself back from the edge. He was half-tempted to retrieve a cock ring but Byakuya had said no toys… for now.

Feeling him slightly relax again he began to actually move his tongue, stretching his as best he could with the relatively small appendage.

Byakuya did his best to relax, riding the waves of pleasure without focusing too much on just how painfully hard he was. The feel of Renji’s tongue moving inside him caused his breath to hitch again, and he actually had to make himself keep breathing through it. Finally having coached himself down from the edge again, he relaxed and focused fully on Renji’s gentle progression.

Feeling Byakuya fully relax again and that he’d stretched him as much as his tongue would allow, he made his way back up his body slightly, kissing his thigh before saying, “I want you to hold your own legs in place, Bya, can you do that for me?”

“Yes,” Byakuya’s voice came out as an exhale, and he brought his hands up to a comfortable position behind his knees, adjusting his grip a bit. His heart was pounding, knowing what was likely coming next. He honestly feared he wouldn’t last long.

Renji released him, petting down the undersides of his lifted legs and then reaching for the lube still lying on the bed beside him. He opened the bottle, pouring a liberal amount on his fingers and rubbing them together to warm it a bit, his other hand returning to gently pet Byakuya’s side and hip, rubbing soothing circles. “Bya,” Renji said, bringing his slick index finger to trace around Byakuya’s entrance, not unlike his tongue several minutes earlier. “I’m going to have to use several fingers to stretch you - I’m not exactly small. To distract you from that, I’m going to take your cock in my mouth. It’s alright if you come while I’m doing this - tell me you understand,” Renji finished, that low command back in his voice.

Byakuya whimpered and nodded. Just the idea of so many things happening at once made him absolutely certain he was going to come. He had already edged off several times. “I understand,” he forced the words out, conscious enough to at least realize that Renji had requested a verbal acknowledgment. 

Renji brought the head of Byakuya’s cock to his lips and took him gently into his mouth, simply holding him without moving. As he did so, he allowed his index finger to penetrate him, his already slightly loosened entrance allowing it to easily slip to the knuckle. He began moving his tongue around Byakuya’s cock and sucking gently while he moved the single finger inside of him, using his other arm to lean his body weight against his forearm upon the bed.

Byakuya’s hands tightened around his legs, actually grateful that his position didn’t allow him to move much, or else he would be much too tempted to grind in some direction. Renji’s mouth surrounding his cock with wet, slick heat was familiar, but no less mind-numbing. And the completely foreign sensation of Renji’s finger inside him was so immensely gratifying that it almost brought tears to his eyes. The combined sensations had sweat breaking out on the back of his neck, and he was absolutely sure he was only held back from an immediate orgasm because he had already climaxed once that day. 

Renji continued with the single finger until he no longer felt any resistance from Byakuya’s body - at least, not there. Byakuya was trembling and he wondered a bit how long he could possibly hold himself back. An orgasm would make stretching him easier when he got to the third finger… Well, he could definitely make him come with two if he tried.

He slipped in a second finger, Byakuya’s body accepting it readily, and sunk a bit deeper on his cock. He moved both fingers within him, simply stretching him more, feeling his body give even more and probing deeper. Then, curling them together slightly, he pressed in deep and up, directly connecting with his prostate and keeping his fingers there, massaging against it as he continued to suck him with his mouth.

By this time, Byakuya was gone, absolutely no control remaining except the subconscious will to keep a grip on his legs as Renji had commanded. It had been ages since someone had hit that spot. And no one had ever massaged it like that. “Renji, I’m--” but he didn’t even have time to complete his sentence before his second climax claimed him, a rush of warmth covering his entire body. He knew he was sweating on more than just his neck now, but he couldn’t care less. He sank into the undulations of pleasure with a low moan, letting every last bit of tension exit his body with his release. 

Renji dutifully swallowed his release, continuing to gently suck his cock and massage him through the aftershocks as Byakuya's body clamped down on his fingers within him. He continued to stimulate his cock with his mouth and tongue, keeping him hard even as he let go of all of his tension, Renji’s fingers abruptly freed to move again. Knowing he was most likely mentally absent right now, Renji carefully slipped in a third finger, relieved when it easily slid in, Byakuya’s lax body offering no resistance in his blissed-out state. By the time Byakuya seemed to come back to himself, Renji had him thoroughly stretched with all three fingers, easily able to thrust in and out of him, still working his cock gently with his mouth. 

Byakuya was finally able to calm his breathing, again able to enjoy the treatment Renji was giving him. The smooth motion of his fingers working in and out of his body was almost soothing, in a way, in the completely relaxed state of mind that had overcome him. He was aware, yes, but he had no desire to interrupt any of his body’s reactions by trying to focus on anything but Renji. The movement of his tongue on his cock kept enough arousal alive, and he still desperately wanted Renji to fill him with something other than his fingers. 

“Renji, I want you… I want you inside me, please,” he whispered, the hair on the back of his neck standing on end just at his own words. 

Honestly, Renji would have had a difficult time refusing such a sweetly desperate request even if Byakuya's body wasn't ready - luckily for both of them, he was. Renji gently withdrew his fingers and his mouth, grabbing the lube again and getting on his knees, groaning as he touched himself, making his length slick. He definitely didn't need any stimulation, already achingly hard. 

He moved to hover over Byakuya's presented body, lining up with his entrance and slowly pressing in, a loud moan issuing from him as he did so. Byakuya's body was still wondrously tight, even after such thorough preparation. Renji paused, barely halfway inside to allow his body to adjust to his size, still slightly larger than the three fingers had been. As he did so, he gently kissed Byakuya's cheek, his voice rough as he said, "You can relax your legs, Bya, or wrap them around me if that makes you more comfortable. You've done so well, so good, Bya…" 

Byakuya responded immediately, releasing his hold on his own legs and wrapping them firmly around Renji, using the new leverage to grind his hardened length into his abdomen. The feeling of being filled by Renji was almost overwhelming. Byakuya felt his body relaxing around Renji’s cock, and he knew he could take more. He shifted his hips down a bit, giving a low moan as he was even more thoroughly taken. 

Renji was forced to grab Byakuya's hips, afraid of hurting him if Byakuya forced himself too quickly to take all of him, as hot as Byakuya pulling him into him was. Renji started thrusting, sinking a bit more with each thrust as Byakuya's body opened for him. He was panting slightly by the time he was fully sheathed, stilling himself for a few moments as he simply felt Byakuya's body wrapped tightly around him. 

"Bya," he moaned out, "So perfect, fuck…" He leaned down, kissing him deeply, pulling away just slightly to whisper against his lips, "Love you so much, Bya. I never thought I could feel this…" He didn't even know how to adequately finish the statement - happy? Complete? Perfect? No words he could think of were even remotely adequate and so he kissed him again, hoping to convey what his words could not. 

Byakuya’s entire body shuddered when Renji fully seated himself inside him, and the fullness seemed to complete him in a way he’d never experienced. He found he was unable to respond to Renji with his voice, so he sank into Renji’s lips, the warmth inside him never ceasing to feel absolutely astounding. He turned his head to break away from the kiss, finding that he needed to take deeper breaths than he was allowed. He tensed his legs around Renji’s torso, and the slight movement it caused made tremors of pleasure spark through his body.

Shit, Renji you feel so good,” the words slipped by without his consent, his voice low with satisfied lust.

Renji found himself losing his control for a moment as Byakuya actually swore, his hips swiftly withdrawing and thrusting back into that gorgeous body - hard, hitting Byakuya's prostate while doing so and the sound Byakuya made only encouraged him to repeat the motion. He began a hard, steady pace, managing to hit Byakuya's prostate with each sure thrust. 

Byakuya tried and utterly failed to match Renji’s pace, his mind much too foggy to do much of anything but feel the staggering pleasure that resulted. He couldn’t control the endless string of sounds that surfaced as Renji skillfully found his prostate every single time he pushed into him. 

“Please… I want you to come inside me,” he begged, swearing what he had said weren’t even actually words. 

"Bya… Ngh… I - That's definitely… going to… happen -" Renji gasped. "But not before you -" Renji groaned desperately as he picked up the pace, panting. "Fuck Bya, come for me, want to feel you - want to feel you come on my cock -" He reached between them, pumping Byakuya's cock in time to his thrusts. 

Byakuya gave into the command and Renji’s actions almost immediately. He cried out at the feeling of sharply focused pleasure where Renji was still thrusting into him, the sensation of his muscles tightening around him being so intense that he swore he blacked out for a moment as the feeling waned into gentle shockwaves that drained his body of every last bit of release he could give. 

Byakuya clamping down around him had Renji burying himself inside after a few more thrusts, his own orgasm crashing through him. His whole body shook from the force of it, pressed as deeply as he could possibly be as he emptied himself into Byakuya's beautiful body. Renji felt a rush of possessiveness wash over him at the feeling of Byakuya still pulsing around him, wringing every last drop from him and keeping him warm within him. "Mine, Bya," Renji practically growled, pressing kisses into his exposed neck, barely preventing himself from marking him there so the entire world could see his claim on this gorgeous man. "You're mine - never letting you go…"

Byakuya felt that he could barely lift his hands, but he fought the weakness and wrapped his arms loosely around Renji’s neck, holding him to him, if only just to feel him near. “And you’re mine, Renji. I love you so much,” he muttered. His entire body was practically numb, thoroughly spent after three releases, so he truly couldn’t say much more than that. His vision was still unfocused, and his legs were only still wrapped around Renji by sheer willpower. At that point, he could only breathe and revel in the feeling of Renji still buried inside him. 

"Love you, Bya - so much," Renji answered him, gently kissing his slightly parted lips. "And I'm definitely yours - no way you're getting rid of me now…"

Renji was having a hard time keeping his weight off of him as exhaustion set in and Byakuya was still attempting to catch his breath. So Renji gently pulled out and nuzzled into Byakuya's neck as he laid next to him, one of his hands coming up to pet Byakuya's hair as he calmed down. "I think," Renji murmured, his proximity to Byakuya's ear one of the only reasons he actually heard him, "I think shower - and then food, as soon as I can move again… And you're joining me - for both." Even though his voice sounded exhausted, the words were clearly a statement and not a question. 

Byakuya smiled, really the most he could do. He didn’t care at all that he was sprawled out on his back while Renji cuddled into him, as much as the exposure and indecency of such a thing would have bothered him before. “That sounds good… if I can ever move again. That was the most amazing… I don’t even know how long it’s been. A few hours? Who cares? It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced in my life,” Byakuya said with a chuckle. 

"I'll carry you, if you can't move - I'm not letting you out of my sight for the rest of this weekend. I either want to be next to you or inside of you till Monday morning," Renji growled out, his teeth gently nipping at Byakuya's earlobe. "You feel so fucking good, Bya, I think I'm already addicted to you - no way I'll ever get enough. I'm exhausted and I still want you again…" Renji groaned into his ear. 

Byakuya shivered a bit at his words, but laughed in response. “Renji, I do hope you know this is the first time in my life I’ve had three orgasms in one day. You’re going to have to give me at least until after we eat,” he told him with a smile. He turned onto his side to face Renji, leaning in to press a brief kiss to his lips. “Then, what if I want to be inside you?” he murmured, a hint of playfulness lighting his eyes. 

"Then you will be," Renji murmured, his voice growing deeper again as he recovered. "You'll be so deep inside me that I won't be able to feel anything but your cock as you pound into me - I'll still be feeling it hours later, even the memory enough to make me hard for you."

Byakuya felt a familiar heat rush the back of his neck as he bit his lip. “Renji, seriously,” he gasped, trying and failing to keep his composure. He shook his head against the images his mind so involuntarily provided. “I do need a break,” he insisted through the tightness in his throat.

"Hmm, shower then," Renji stated, nipping his ear again before getting up and gathering him into his arms. Byakuya wrapped his arms around his neck as he lifted him, and Renji grinned at Byakuya's fondly exasperated look. "Did you think I was lying?" Renji asked as he moved towards the ensuite, "I mean every word I say to you, Bya," he stated, heatedly. 

Byakuya sighed as Renji carried him into the bathroom, only setting him down to turn on the water in the shower. He couldn’t help but slowly scan Renji’s body as they waited for the water to warm. He never would get over the tattoos showcased over his toned back, his bright crimson hair covering some of the black markings near his shoulders. That truly had been the best few hours of his life, but there was still tomorrow… and Renji’s ass really was perfect.

Renji was right - he really couldn't feel anything but Byakuya's hard cock as he took him hard and fast. The build up had been slow and Renji was rapidly approaching his second release. Still, the commanding tone in his voice never faltered as he said, "That's right Bya… Ngh - so good - you're gonna make me come Bya… Just like that, don't stop… Fuck - Bya - you feel so God Damn good…" He was panting, sweating, and he fucking loved it, Byakuya claiming his body, feeling him move within him - he really wasn't going to last much longer. 

Byakuya kept his pace, panting a bit with the effort. Renji was absolutely glorious. His body pulling him in so willingly, relaxing around him and just letting him thrust as deeply as he possibly could. And clearly Renji was enjoying it, which gave Byakuya just another layer of pleasure and satisfaction at seeing his lover - his dominant - so incredibly pleased with his actions. Renji was his - there was no doubt. He would do anything for this man.

As he felt his climax approaching, he leaned down to speak into Renji’s ear, “I want to feel you come, Renji.”

Renji groaned, "Fuck yes," he gasped out, "Make me come, Bya, gonna come as you fuck me - Ngh - use your hand Bya - pump my cock with your fist -" 

Byakuya didn’t hesitate, immediately reaching down to wrap his hand around Renji’s cock, setting a pace that matched his thrusts. He groaned when he felt Renji’s body tighten around him just a bit, just that much closer to release.

"Good, Bya - just - just like that… I… I'm going to come - Bya-ahh…" Renji’s body arched, trembling as he came, his body tightening around Byakuya's still moving cock within him and he moaned brokenly at the sensation - he hadn’t felt this since Shuhei had moved away, years ago now. And Byakuya was still his perfect submissive, effortlessly allowing his voice to guide him as he fucked him - as he was continuing to fuck him. 

"Bya," Renji panted, "You can come now - come inside me Bya, fill me up…"

Byakuya stilled his hand on Renji’s cock, not wanting to cause him any discomfort, but not pulling away. And at Renji’s clear, confident voice, he thrusted one more time, deep into Renji’s willing body, which was still pulsing slightly with the aftershocks of his release, and let go his own orgasm. The force of it caused him to buckle slightly, having to catch himself on his free hand to keep from collapsing on Renji. The dynamic heat surrounding him drew out the pleasurable tingling in his core, and he kept his hips tense to maintain his position, riding out his climax as he filled Renji with his release.

"It's alright, Bya," Renji said with an utterly sated smile, "I want to feel your weight on me, you can settle on my chest. Don't pull out for a few minutes though - still want to feel you in me."

Byakuya nodded, glad he could relax because his arm was trembling under his weight. He lowered himself onto Renji’s body, nuzzling his cheek into his chest as he caught his breath. “Renji, that was amazing. Now I’m not sure which is better. We might just have to do this every weekend until I decide,” he said quietly, smiling as he turned his head slightly to kiss Renji’s bare chest under his cheek.

Renji wrapped his arms around him, entirely uncaring about the sweat on Byakuya's back as he stroked him up and down, feeling his muscles and the small tremors still running throughout his body from his orgasm. "I would be more than willing, Bya, you feel amazing - either way. You did so well, I'm definitely going to be feeling you still tomorrow - I have no idea how I'm going to possibly concentrate on work when I'm going to be feeling the aching emptiness inside me and longing for you to fill me again. I have literally never wanted someone inside me the way I want you." Renji pressed his own kiss to Byakuya's soft obsidian hair. "I love you so much Bya, sometimes it's strong enough to make my heart ache when I'm not with you. I've never longed for another person like this, I hate leaving your side."

Byakuya never stopped smiling, closing his eyes to hear Renji’s voice under his ear. There never was - and likely never would be - another place where he felt this at ease. “I feel that way about you, too, Renji. I love you more than life itself. Good thing we’ll always be together, because I don’t think I could live without you. Forever and a day, remember?”

"Forever and a day…" Renji whispered, his heart impossibly full and warmth spreading through him that had nothing to do with desire. 

Only love. 

Renji tilted Byakuya's face slightly to take him in a slow, deep kiss. 

Of course he remembered… 

It was literally impossible for him to forget. 

Byakuya was everything to him - and he would always be. 

Forever and a day… 

Chapter Text

Byakuya was very much not looking forward to this particular visit to Toshiro and Yukio’s. Not that anything negative had happened between them. Very much the opposite. Yukio had called him two days ago, excitedly spouting off about what he wanted them all to do together. Byakuya was actually honored by the fact that Yukio was comfortable enough to even call him in the middle of the day. It had even become quite a habit. Every few days, he knew when his phone rang just after lunchtime that it was Yukio. But their last conversation had set Byakuya a bit ill at ease.

“Byakuya, you know what master had me do yesterday?” Yukio’s voice had been almost a full octave higher than usual, completely ecstatic about whatever it was.

“What was it, Yukio?” Byakuya had asked, a light smile on his face. Yukio was a ball of energy when he was comfortable, and Byakuya could see why Toshiro was so taken by him.

“He had me clean and set up the pool! He said, if you and Renji wanted to, we could go swimming this weekend when you come over!” he exclaimed, clearly very much wanting an affirmative response. And who was Byakuya to disappoint him?

“Sure, Yukio, that sounds fun,” Byakuya replied. The excited squeal that came over the phone made Byakuya laugh, not at all regretting his abrupt decision.

But now, sitting in Renji’s car on the way out to the house, he was beginning to have his doubts. He hadn’t gone swimming since… before high school, at least. He had actually had to go out and buy swim trunks. It wasn’t the idea of swimming that worried him, though. After all, it was late June, and it was hot. But, if getting relief from the heat meant being shirtless in front of anyone other than Renji, it was a bit nerve-wracking. 

Especially in front of Toshiro. He had argued with himself about that for every spare second of the last two days, telling himself he wasn’t a teenage boy with a crush. He could be a mature adult and face Toshiro without his heart skipping when he was given a calm smile. Byakuya was completely committed to Renji - there was no doubt about that. But Renji’s mention of doing scenes with Toshiro and Yukio, assuring him that there was nothing wrong with being attracted to Toshiro, had opened all kinds of doors in his mind. 

Byakuya sighed and brought his hand up to run it through his hair, rolling his eyes when the action was interrupted by the fact that his hair was secured in a braid - courtesy of Renji. 

The only parts that were loose were the shorter layers around his face that wouldn’t reach and stay in place. So, he dropped his hand back to his lap and stared out the window as they pulled into the driveway. 

"Does it bother you?" Renji asked. "I can take it out if you want - you look sexy like that though, and it'll help in the water. Not that you don't always look sexy," Renji stated with a light laugh. 

Byakuya shook his head. “No, it’s fine. I like it, actually,” Byakuya replied, trying to filter the anxiety out of his voice.

"Something is bothering you though, Bya. Please tell me…" Renji coaxed. 

Byakuya sighed again. “I’m going to warn you… it’s really a petty thing for me to be worried about. I don’t know how I’m going to stand being shirtless in front of Toshiro. And him being shirtless in front of me. I know you don’t mind me being attracted to him. That’s not what I’m worried about. I just… like I said, it’s petty,” he explained. He truly did feel ridiculous admitting something so juvenile. But he couldn’t help it. Toshiro was gorgeous.

"Well, petty or not, if you being shirtless actually makes you that uncomfortable, you don't have to be - you can keep it on. Yukio usually wears a light, open shirt outside to help keep the sun off his shoulders. Kid burns crazy easily. And I could have a word with Toshiro, if you wanted. Yukio wouldn't want you to make yourself uncomfortable to make him happy, Bya. You know how he is."

Byakuya narrowed his eyes, looking to Renji with a threatening glare. “You will do no such thing. I am not a teenager on a date and you are not my chaperone. We’re all adults. I’ll handle myself just fine. I told you what was bothering me. I didn’t ask you to do anything about it. Maybe it would ease some of my concern if we talked to them about… perhaps doing a joint scene with them sometime. Not today, obviously. But their approval of such a thing would ease my mind, because I wouldn’t feel like I had to keep hiding the fact that I can’t stop staring at Toshiro,” he suggested instead.

Renji grinned, honestly pleased with Byakuya’s response and glad he was more openly talking about his rather adorably obvious crush on Toshiro. They were all very aware, but Toshiro carefully didn't pressure him - even if he did make the occasional comment every now and then about how beautiful Byakuya was, making his own interest clear. "I think that's a good idea, talking with them about it. You realize though, both of them would love to. Are you ready for that answer?" 

Byakuya averted his eyes, looking to the house they were still sitting in front of. “I think I am. Like I said, I’m not saying I would expect it to happen today. Just… having it in the open that that’s something I’m interested in would ease some tension, I think. We’ve been sitting out here long enough, though,” he commented, looking back at Renji with a still tense smile.

Renji kissed him gently, saying, "Love you, Bya. And I'm proud of you." He grinned, "Let's not keep Yukio waiting any longer then, I'm sure Toshiro has his hands full right now keeping him calm and patient - two things Yukio rarely is," he said with a laugh, getting out of the car. 

“Love you, too, Renji,” Byakuya replied before getting out of the car, taking Renji’s hand as they approached the door. Before they even made it to the steps, the door flung open and Yukio ran to them, barrelling into Renji first. 

Renji easily caught him, holding him up as he tightly hugged him around his shoulders. "Hey, Yukio, waiting long?" he asked with a chuckle. 

Toshiro stood in the open doorway, a fond smile on his face as he shook his head, "You have no idea." He nodded to Byakuya, giving him that same, calm smile he always seemed to reserve for him. It was different from the ones he gave Yukio, or even Renji. He genuinely was grateful to Byakuya - not just for how he now treated Yukio - for the friendship he had extended him back when no one else took him seriously. 

Byakuya returned Toshiro’s silent greeting, grinning and successfully masking the fact that his heart had skipped a beat. Soon, though, he was distracted by Yukio, who had scrambled out of Renji’s grasp and moved to throw his arms around Byakuya.

“Master had to keep me busy today, but I kept looking out to see if you were here,” Yukio admitted with a laugh. Byakuya chuckled, returning his hug with his free arm. 

“Well, we’re here now. Sorry to keep you waiting,” Byakuya said, ruffling Yukio’s hair lightly when he stepped back.

"I would invite you to the sitting room," Toshiro said, "But I'm pretty sure Yukio won't sit still. Would either of you mind meeting us out by the pool? I told Yukio we'd wait to change until we were actually going to go out there. Byakuya's sense of decorum rubbed off on me a bit - felt oddly forward to meet you at the door with only swim trunks on," Toshiro finished with a smirk. 

Byakuya quickly averted his eyes, looking up to Renji as Yukio bounded back to join Toshiro at the door. He silently cursed the fact that he had to be blushing. One of these days, he would stop being such a child about this.

Renji squeezed his hand, asking quietly, "Alright with you, Bya?" 

Toshiro wrapped an arm around Yukio’s shoulders as he politely waited on the other two to follow. 

Byakuya nodded. “Yes, that’s fine,” he replied, finally glancing back to Toshiro and Yukio. He was not going to spend the whole day nervously avoiding even looking at him. Byakuya was above being so incredibly childish.

Renji nodded to Toshiro, guiding Byakuya to the house, asking, "We can use the spare room to change, yeah?" 

"Of course," Toshiro responded. "I trust you remember the way. Yukio, go on, get our trunks. We'll change in our room."

Byakuya watched as Yukio tried not to run through the house, chuckling a bit at his brimming enthusiasm. Renji led him to a spare room that wasn’t familiar to him. He had spent most of his time at their house in the sitting room, having no need to wander any of the other areas. As soon as the door was closed, he gave a sharp sigh, crossing his arms on his chest and staring at Renji, a bit of frustration furrowing his brow.

Renji frowned, instantly concerned. "What is it, Bya?" 

“Renji, as soon as we get outside, I’m talking to Toshiro myself. This is ridiculous. This amount of surface infatuation seems so juvenile, but I know I’m not going to be able to even look at him until I actually admit it. I’m not an idiot. He’d have to be blind to not notice how childish I’m acting about it, and I’m sure he’s laughing at me,” Byakuya spilled, finally fed up with what seemed to be completely involuntary responses to his friend.

Renji was actually relieved at his answer, worried he'd been upset with him somehow, but it was just his own insecurities creeping to the surface again. But he knew that those thoughts and feelings were very real to Byakuya and so he simply reached out to him, gently wrapping his arms around him. 

"Toshiro never suffers what he would consider actual childish behavior - I know he doesn't think that of you. Well-mannered or not, he would have said something if it bothered him. Yes, Yukio can act a bit that way, and he frequently does with me, but if you notice, he doesn't with him. And Toshiro would never laugh at you like that - for any reason. He obviously respects and appreciates you, Bya. More so I think than anyone else that isn't his Yukio," he said with a smile. 

Byakuya leaned his cheek into Renji’s shoulder, listening to his reassurance. He was right, after all. Byakuya knew Toshiro. Even in college, he was always much more mature, even than those much older than him. At this point, he wouldn’t have any reservations about having a conversation with Byakuya if his behavior bothered him. “I’m still talking to him - as soon as we’re outside and settled. It’s honestly killing me, Renji,” he murmured.

"I understand," Renji said, kissing his hair before releasing him. He passed him his swim trunks before starting to change himself. Renji tried not to stare as Byakuya removed his clothing - because he really didn't need the problem that would result in. Even after nearly half a year with him, and several months being allowed to fully explore his body, Byakuya was breath-takingly beautiful to him.

Of course Toshiro didn't mind his attention - anyone would be incredibly flattered to catch Byakuya's eye. And as apprehensive about this conversation as Byakuya was, Renji just wasn't because he knew Toshiro would handle Byakuya's feelings and insecurities with care. The man was very attentive to those he cared about, and he obviously cared about Byakuya. 

Managing to mostly keep his eyes and hands off of his partner's flawless body while he changed, Renji held his hand out to him when they were both ready. "Let's go then, although - I think Toshiro may be a bit flustered seeing you this way too. You're gorgeous, Bya."

Byakuya took Renji’s hand with a chuckle, still a bit nervous to even leave the room dressed in only black swim trunks. He didn’t hesitate, though, when Renji led him out.

The air was thick and muggy as it always was this time of year and Byakuya instantly frowned slightly as it hit his bare skin. He usually at least had a barrier between himself and the humidity during summer. It almost made him eager to just get into the water, disliking the feeling immensely. 

The woods weren't too far from where they were and you could hear birds and cicadas in the otherwise quiet area by the pool, the water currently still and reflecting the deep blue sky and bright, hot sun overhead. Not a cloud in sight. Unfortunately, that also meant no relief from the heat - except the water before them. 

Toshiro and Yukio were already there, Yukio gently kicking the water with his feet as he sat perched on the side of the pool. He wore a light, open, short-sleeved shirt, the material almost white-blue and obviously very thin - just like Renji had said he was likely to do. Toshiro was in a patio chair barely two feet from him, relaxed against the back of the chair beneath a large umbrella that was centered in a circular glass table. 

There was a pitcher of ice water with four glasses upon the table, one already filled. Toshiro was slowly bringing it to his lips to take a drink as Renji and Byakuya walked out of the house. His hand paused, waving them over and gesturing to the other chairs around the table before completing the action, watching them approach with appreciative teal eyes. Renji was as impressive as he always was - his tattoos drawing the eye to run along his chiseled body. 

But he barely held Toshiro's attention when his eyes fell to Byakuya, widening slightly. He had literally never seen him with so little on. Even back in college, the man was always dressed conservatively. A light blush stained his cheeks as he felt the old, familiar warmth of his crush on this man surge through him. 

Byakuya was stunningly beautiful, his ebony hair braided except for a few stubborn strands that fell into his slate gray eyes, his body slim but toned, his skin flawlessly smooth. Toshiro found himself instantly grateful that Byakuya was so conservative because there was no way he'd have been able to hide his attraction to him back then if he'd shown even half this much of his incredible body. 

Byakuya made his own visual sweep of Toshiro’s body when he sat down across from him, eyes tracing toned muscles but not lingering too long, as much as he wanted to. When he forced his gaze up to Toshiro’s face, though, he almost laughed. Renji was certainly right. Toshiro was blushing, as unbelievable as that was to Byakuya. But, really, it couldn’t have been more perfect. 

“Toshiro, the way you’re looking at me right now gives me the perfect opportunity to address something that’s been bothering me,” Byakuya said plainly, giving him a smile to communicate that it wasn’t an issue that was cause for real concern. Renji’s direct speech had definitely influenced him, and the new confidence that came from Toshiro’s reaction to seeing him with so little clothing on had him thinking this may not be as difficult of a conversation as he first predicted.

"Oh?" Toshiro said, feeling his blush actually deepen for being so directly called out about it. His mind immediately began to put together how the two things - his appreciative looks towards Byakuya and something that was bothering him - could be related. He hoped his attraction to him wasn't uncomfortable to him. He'd tried to be light about it. He really just didn't feel like hiding things anymore - not with friends. It was exhausting doing so from the rest of the world, especially his relationship with his adorable Yukio. But he hadn't been concerned before - if anything Byakuya had seemed to return his interest. 

Toshiro straightened in his chair, giving Byakuya his full attention. "What is it you feel you need to address?" 

Byakuya allowed his eyes to wander a bit more, glancing over the flawless skin of Toshiro’s shoulders and chest. Before he spoke, he looked back up to seemingly concerned teal eyes. “I’m going to try to be as straightforward about this as I can be. I find you very attractive, Toshiro. I don’t think anyone here is oblivious enough to have not noticed that. Honestly, I’m just tired of trying to hide it. 

"Renji has convinced me that I shouldn’t be ashamed of it, though I did fight with it for a while. It would just make it a lot easier to be around you if I got that information out in the open. So, I hope it doesn’t make you uncomfortable if I happen to stare. Honestly, it seems fairly involuntary sometimes,” Byakuya said, willing himself not to even slightly pause. The confession was quite nerve-wracking.

With every sentence Toshiro felt more and more like the small, scrawny boy he once was with an impossible crush on his beautiful friend. And Byakuya was telling him that he found Toshiro attractive. That he would stare at him - involuntarily - like he couldn’t help himself. Toshiro's face was beyond flushed as he said, barely managing to keep his tone even, "You could never make me uncomfortable, least of all by this. I don't know if I can really believe it - I still see myself how I used to be sometimes, before my body matured to catch up with my mind. 

"I… Yukio always tells me I'm attractive but… It's still hard to see myself that way, after so much experience being looked over because I looked like a child, even into my later teens. I didn't actually grow very much until I was 20 - and then I didn't see you again. Until Renji brought you back into my life. I already told you that I've always thought you were beautiful Byakuya. I just never thought you'd see me that way…" 

Byakuya’s smile softened as Toshiro spoke. He never knew, under the quiet, reserved confidence he always saw when they first met, he was actually quite insecure - much like Byakuya was. “You know… I never really found you unattractive. Why do you think I decided to sit near you in the first place? There was this boy with stunning white hair and eyes that looked like they could freeze anything they touched. And you were alone. Of course, at the time I wasn’t particularly looking for a relationship, and you weren’t exactly obvious about your attraction to me. 

“It’s amusing to me, though, that both you and Renji act like I’m something special. But I’m not any more beautiful than either of you. You are gorgeous, Toshiro, and Yukio isn’t the only one who thinks that,” Byakuya admitted. His mind was swimming with reminiscence of the first day he had seen Toshiro, alone in the back row of the classroom. He truly had wondered why no one would want to be near such a uniquely striking boy, and when the truth came to light, his faith in the general population only diminished more than it already was. The fact that everyone else would discount him just because he appeared younger than he truly was - because, really, a three-year age gap wasn’t exactly devastating - just made him more determined to get close to him.

“Thank you, Byakuya…” Toshiro said, his voice a bit quiet. “I guess it’s more relieving to hear you say that than anyone else that’s tried to convince me because… You did know me before, spent years seeing me when I was so small - and to hear that you thought I was attractive even back then…” He smiled, taking a calming breath. He just felt so relieved.  

Teal eyes focused back on slate gray as he said seriously, “You are special, Byakuya. You may not realize it. But what you’ve done for me - and even for my Yukio - I don’t think you understand how much we appreciate it. And I know you weren’t doing anything in particular to get that result - you’re just being you, completely honest with your words and actions towards us. Seriously, Byakuya, if there’s anything we can do for you, all you ever need to do is ask. I mean it…” Toshiro’s eyes glanced towards Yukio as he trailed off, seeing his bright emerald eyes watching him. He gestured for him to come to him, feeling a bit vulnerable and wanting him close.

Yukio obeyed the silent command, standing from where he was seated on the edge of the pool and stepping to settle in his master’s lap, nuzzling into his bare chest as a comforting action. “You are beautiful, master,” he murmured, turning slightly to press his lips to his master’s chest.

“There is… something I’ve thought about asking of you, if you and Yukio would both be willing,” Byakuya said, glancing at Yukio and smiling. They were both so perceptive of one another. Yukio had known exactly why Toshiro had called him over, and it hadn’t even taken words for him to know what to do.

Toshiro kissed Yukio’s fine blonde hair, resting his head on top and holding him a bit closer. He adored his Yukio, completely. He really didn’t know where he’d be without him. He didn’t feel half as confident of himself unless he was with him, taking care of his needs. Renji may think that it was fortunate for Yukio that he’d been able to match him up with Toshiro. But Toshiro was just as lucky. Yukio grounded him in a way nothing ever had, keeping him out of his own insecurities and being what he needed him to be. Just feeling him in his arms comforted him and it was with his usual confidence that he was able to meet Byakuya’s eyes as he said, “Go on, Byakuya.”

“Renji mentioned to me the possibility of participating in a joint scene with the two of you. While I don’t know what all that would entail, I believe I understand the general idea, and I do think it’s something I would be interested in doing, as long as both you and Yukio were comfortable with that,” Byakuya explained. It was becoming easier to speak of such things, thanks to his extremely blunt conversations with Renji, but his heart did begin to race a bit faster awaiting Toshiro’s response.

Toshiro felt his blush return a bit as he processed that. “Well,” he said, after a moment to make sure his voice was going to remain steady, “I certainly would not be opposed.” He turned his attention to Yukio, tilting his face up to look into his stunning emerald eyes, “And you, love? I know you enjoy Renji. Would you like to play with Byakuya? Or mind if I do?”

Yukio’s eyes lit up and he smiled. “I wouldn’t mind either of those things, master. I know we can trust Byakuya,” he replied.

Toshiro kissed him gently on the forehead, cuddling him back into his chest as he refocused on the two across from him, “I’ll need to add Byakuya to Yukio’s contract, talk to him a bit more about what he’s specifically comfortable doing - although likely he will have the same limits with you, Byakuya, as he has with Renji,” he said. “I’ll send you both that, as well as my own limits for such a thing, and Renji can use that to narrow down something more specific for an actual scene. Byakuya…” he paused, “You’ve never done this before, have you? Do you need me to explain what I meant by any of that?”

“Renji has vaguely spoken of contracts before, but really it all seems rather self-explanatory. If I have any questions later, I’m sure Renji can explain,” Byakuya replied. 

Renji nodded, taking his hand and squeezing it, “Of course.” His face lit up in a grin as he said, “Now, I think Yukio looks far too dry after practically dragging us all out here - you mind if I remedy that, Toshiro?”

Toshiro chuckled, tightening his hold a bit as Yukio tensed in his lap. “You feel like giving him a chance to escape? I’ve got him pretty captured here…”

“Master…” Yukio whined, his hands clenched against his chest and his emerald eyes directed up at him, pleading - though Toshiro knew better than to look down.

Renji stood up, coming around the table to tower over the two of them, Toshiro bemused and Yukio looking a cross between excited and panicked.

“I think I’d rather avoid the chance of him slipping on the pavement out here, as fun as a chase sounds.” He leaned down, easily plucking the far smaller man from Toshiro’s lap and Toshiro allowed the transfer, laughing as Yukio immediately tried to struggle against Renji. It was obvious from his own laughter though that he was really only fighting this on principle - he actually loved when Renji man-handled him like this.

“Renji!” he exclaimed loudly as he was secured against his chest, his legs kicking out but only coming in contact with air as he tried to press against him, “Put me down! Don’t you dare just toss me in the pool!”

“What if I do dare?” Renji teased, slowly walking them both to the deep end.

“I’ll - I’ll tell master to shove you in too!”

Renji laughed, “One, no you won’t - you wouldn’t command Toshiro that way. And two, it’s entirely unnecessary.” Renji paused at the end of the deep end, grinning. “You want to know why?”

“Why?” Yukio asked, body tense, his voice barely above a whisper.

Renji leaned down to his ear, whispering, “This is why…” And then he jumped in, Yukio still in his arms as Yukio let out a surprised yell, tightening his grip on him as the cool water rushed in around them. 

Renji easily swam back to the surface, laughing as he treaded water, Yukio still clinging to him and playfully glaring up at him. 

“What? You can’t tell me you didn’t want to go in the water…”

“Of course I did,” Yukio said, his glare flashing into a grin. “And now I get to do this-” He twisted in Renji’s hold, far easier with the water around him making him slippery, and threw Renji off-balance just enough to dunk his head under water, his triumphant yell and resulting laughter ringing through the afternoon air.

Byakuya laughed at their antics, already well aware that Yukio loved Renji’s energy. He glanced at Toshiro for only a moment before standing from his chair, taking the few steps to the edge of the water and sitting down. He flinched a bit as the relatively cool water submerged almost all the way up his calves. It had been a long time since he’d had friends at all. But he didn’t know if he ever remembered having friends he could actually relax with - letting down all of the facades and truly being himself.

Toshiro came to sit next to Byakuya, allowing his own legs to dip into the water before lowering himself the rest of the way in, not really bothered by the cold. He dunked himself, enjoying the cooling feeling of the water - he always had hated the hot weather of summer, preferring the shade and something cold to drink. But the pool helped, and his Yukio loved it. He turned to Byakuya, that same calm smile on his face again as he offered his hand up to him. “You coming in?” he asked, his voice steady and confident.

Byakuya was a bit shocked by the offer, but Toshiro made the question sound more like a statement, so he had a hard time finding the will to refuse. With a small nod, he reached down and took Toshiro’s hand, smiling at how incredibly natural the contact actually felt.

Toshiro offered his other hand and supported Byakuya’s weight as he slid into the pool next to him, just holding both hands when Byakuya found his footing, honestly loath to release him so soon. 

“Hey!” Renji called over to them, “You mind helping me out here? Yukio seems to think no one can knock him off and he says my dunking myself is cheating…” 

Toshiro burst out laughing, he couldn’t help it. Yukio was perched on Renji’s shoulders, his legs wrapped tight under his arms and he was grinning, obviously pleased with himself. All Renji would really need to do was tickle him, but Yukio would be severely displeased with him if he revealed that to the taller man.

Byakuya chuckled at the two on the other end of the pool before looking back at Toshiro. He squeezed both of the other man’s hands before asking, “Well, should we help Renji, or should we just let him fend for himself?”

Toshiro chuckled as well, softly saying, “My Yukio - he loves games, more than anything. He wants to have a chicken fight, Byakuya - which would mean you getting on my shoulders.” He looked at him, his face softening into that calm smile again, “Up to you, Renji is perfectly capable of fending for himself. And my Yukio hates to lose - he really won’t be easy to knock off.”

Byakuya laughed, glancing back to Renji and Yukio for a moment. “I would never want to disappoint Yukio. On top of that, I think it’s about time I had some real fun,” he replied when he turned his grin to Toshiro.

“Alright,” Toshiro said, his voice low and steady as he instructed, “I’m going to kneel under the water and I want you to get on my shoulders, I’ll stand up when you pat me on the head to say you’re balanced and ready. Don’t worry about it too much, I can hold my breath for quite a while.”

Byakuya nodded, already seeing why Renji had commented on Toshiro’s abilities as a dominant. The tone of his voice threatened to send the same chill down Byakuya’s spine, and all he was doing was telling him to get on his shoulders for a silly game. “I understand,” he replied, clearing his throat a bit when his voice came out strained.

Toshiro gave him that calm smile again before allowing himself to sink below the water, kneeling on one knee and holding himself steady. He just knew that this was his Yukio’s way of making Byakuya and him physically more comfortable with each other, now that Byakuya had admitted to being attracted to him - even going as far as to inquire about doing a scene with them. Toshiro would have to thoroughly thank his sweetly conniving submissive later. Because he was going to very much enjoy having Byakuya’s legs wrapped tightly around him.

Byakuya hesitated for a moment, not sure that he had ever actually been on someone’s shoulders, much less in a pool. With the intention of preventing himself from being knocked off. He’d had an admittedly dull life. Still, he positioned himself behind Toshiro and put a hand on his shoulder before bringing his legs around to secure them around him. He felt Toshiro respond by holding his legs firmly under his arms, and Byakuya shifted forward a bit to be sure he was seated properly before patting Toshiro’s hair.

Toshiro made sure his grip on Byakuya’s long, elegant legs was secure and that he felt balanced before standing, easily supporting his weight. Yes, Yukio was far smaller, but Toshiro was constantly lifting him or holding him and he’d actually grown quite strong over the last year. So while Byakuya admittedly weighed more on his shoulders, he could still easily support him.

“You’re going to need a tighter hold if you’re serious about winning,” Toshiro stated. “You need to wrap your legs more around and hook your feet against my back, like Yukio’s done to Renji over there. Also, do I have permission to hold and press down on your thighs? He may look small but he’s actually very calculating - if he sees a way to throw you off balance he’ll immediately capitalize on it. But you are stronger - if he can’t throw off your balance, you can probably actually knock him off.”

Byakuya did as he was told, tightening his hold around Toshiro and firmly pressing his feet into his back. He already felt a bit steadier, but he was unsure how long that would last. “Yes, you can hold my legs, just… be careful around the inside of my thighs,” Byakuya replied, figuring honesty was certainly best here. “I honestly don’t think I have any chance of winning,” he added with a chuckle. 

Toshiro nodded, gripping the outside of Byakuya’s thighs, his fingers wrapping around the top and pressing down slightly, making it very difficult for Byakuya to shift his legs at all - and, hopefully, difficult for Yukio. “You stand a better shot than you might think, look - Renji isn’t holding Yukio at all,” he said with a chuckle. His voice deepened as he continued, a confident smirk on his face though there was no way Byakuya could see it - Yukio could, and even from this far away he could tell his emerald eyes were lit up in challenge, his smile widening. “Whereas I’ve got you supported. I won’t let you fall easily, Byakuya - I don’t like losing either.”

Byakuya laughed, resting his hands on Toshiro’s on his legs. “I hope I don’t let you down, Toshiro, because if we lose it’ll certainly be because of me,” he said, a bit amused by the competitive shift in Toshiro’s tone. 

Toshiro squeezed his thigh very slightly, "Listen - if we lose it'll be because my Yukio’s brilliant at strategy and seeing how to win when everything is against him - and don't you dare take that away from him," he said, easing his grip back to how it was but his voice was deep, steady, and more than a little commanding as he said, "Understood?" 

Byakuya’s eyes widened and he swallowed roughly in response to the threat in Toshiro’s voice. Clearly, he didn’t actually care much about winning. It was much more about giving Yukio a challenge that he could overcome, which Byakuya was already convinced would be simple for the brilliant strategist even without Toshiro essentially telling him to throw the match. It wasn’t difficult to see that Yukio’s happiness meant everything to Toshiro. “I understand,” he replied.

Toshiro angled his head to focus narrowed teal eyes on Byakuya's widened slate gray. "Tell me what you understand."

Byakuya couldn’t help it when his hands tightened on Toshiro’s. “I… you want me to let Yukio win, right?” he asked quietly, now very much doubting his interpretation of Toshiro’s seemingly threatening words.

Toshiro shook his head, "Perhaps I should have been more clear - Yukio loves being challenged, legitimately. He gives it his all and he expects the same - so that when he wins it's because of his skill and strategy alone. Please never throw a game to him, he likes it more if he loses. Losing means that he can try again with a different strategy. He'll know if you throw it too - he can tell and it will upset him. He hates being thought of as weak. So that's why I told you that - don't belittle your skill, even if you don't feel that confident, and try your best. That's what will make him happy, just honest effort."

Byakuya laughed nervously, bringing one hand to the back of his neck. “Well, I have to admit that’s not the first time I’ve misunderstood someone. When Renji first…” but he trailed off, not entirely willing to bring those memories to the surface. “Never mind. I’m just an idiot sometimes,” he muttered, his eyes going to the water below him. It had been a long time since he’d said that .

The hand that had tightened on Byakuya's thigh earlier relaxed instead, rubbing soothing circles into the side with the thumb. The command in Toshiro's voice was clear as he said, "Byakuya - look at me."

Byakuya was completely taken aback by the immediate change in Toshiro’s demeanor, and he obeyed instantly, gray eyes quickly meeting with bright teal.

"I have never thought of someone less an idiot than you. I realized what I said may have been taken incorrectly - I tend to be less clear than I should sometimes when someone says something that could upset my Yukio, and I reacted without thinking through the best way to phrase what I meant. And I'm sorry for my tone. 

"My Yukio - he really does mean everything to me, Byakuya, but I shouldn't have reacted without calming myself first. For that I'm sorry. It was my mistake, not yours. You're definitely not the first person to think I just want Yukio to win, but it's not winning that matters to him - it's being challenged. Now, understand?" he asked again, this time his voice still clear but gentled, the motion of his thumb a constant, soft pressure on the outside of Byakuya's thigh. 

Byakuya shook his head. “Yes, I understand. Still, the fault wasn’t entirely yours,” he replied. He took Toshiro’s hand that was pressing circles into his thigh. “Thank you,” he whispered.

Toshiro nodded, squeezing his hand gently, "And if you ever want to finish that sentence you started earlier - I'd gladly listen, Byakuya. You mean a great deal to me too, I hope you know that."

Byakuya nodded. “I’m starting to. Maybe, one day I’ll tell you what actually brought Renji and me together. But for now… let’s just have fun,” he suggested. 

Toshiro gave him that small, calm smile before returning his hand back to securing his leg in place. "Renji!" he called over to the two, "Do you still require assistance?" 

Renji paused in trying - and failing - to remove Yukio from his shoulders without simply diving under the water. Although - even that wouldn't necessarily work, Toshiro knew from experience. Tickling would but he'd been sworn to secrecy about that. Yukio had Renji convinced he wasn't ticklish - and it took a really long time for Toshiro to figure it out. He was good at hiding his reactions for a while whenever anyone tried and they just gave up. Toshiro really found out by accident and he smirked at the memory. 

"Please?" Renji groaned, but he was smiling and Yukio giggled. 

"Come over here then, we'll see if we can't remove him," Toshiro chuckled. 

“Master, may I present the rules?” Yukio requested, still beaming from ear to ear as Renji carried him over to the shallower side of the pool, where he could easily reach the bottom.

“Yes, love. Go ahead,” Toshiro replied, giving Yukio a small smile. 

“Alright, Byakuya, rules of engagement are as follows: only grabbing and pushing allowed, no punching, scratching, biting, hair-pulling, shirt-grabbing , or other distasteful things. You’re looking at me like I’m crazy, but I’ve had to specify before. Master and Renji must stay put, as their interference may give one of us an unfair advantage. No touching of the person underneath you. If you begin to fall, you must catch yourself with your own strength, not use your partner as a prop. The winner is determined when their opponent is dislodged from their partner, meaning either their legs lose grip or their head is completely submerged. Are you ready?” Yukio explained, ending with a flashing, competitive stare into Byakuya’s eyes. Byakuya smiled, never having seen this intensely cutthroat side of Yukio. Though, this was the first physical competition he had ever engaged in with him.

“I am. They sound like perfectly reasonable rules,” Byakuya replied.

“Alright, will you hold your hand out? We need to be at the proper distance from one another,” Yukio requested, still keeping his tone polite. Byakuya figured it was likely impossible for the man to actually make a legitimate demand. Byakuya did as he asked, and Toshiro shifted under him a bit until his hand touched Yukio’s chest, continuing until his elbow was slightly bent. 

“Is that right, love?” Toshiro asked. Yukio looked down to him, his expression softening as soon as he met his master’s eyes.

“Yes, master, thank you,” he said sweetly. But all affection was put aside when he looked back up to Byakuya, who had dropped his hand from his chest. 

“Ready?” Toshiro asked both of them. The two competitors nodded, and Byakuya had to admit he was a bit intimidated by the fire in Yukio’s eyes. “Go!” 

Byakuya immediately tried to gain an advantage, leaning in to grasp Yukio’s arm near his elbow and attempting to pull him down. But Yukio responded instantly, grasping his wrist and wrenching Byakuya toward him, effectively throwing Byakuya’s momentum off. Now in control, Yukio snatched Byakuya’s hand from where it still grasped his arm, twisting his wrist and trying to urge him toward the water. Byakuya felt Toshiro’s hands on his thighs tighten, and he was thankful that he was physically stronger than Yukio and able to engage his core to reverse his path. 

Yukio, shocked by the development, almost had no choice but to bend to Byakuya’s superior strength. But he immediately aborted the approach, pulling his hands off of Byakuya completely and steadying himself. The two studied one another for a moment, Yukio’s mind running through possible chances for victory now that he had gauged Byakuya’s strength and ability. Knowing Byakuya had a reach advantage along with a strength advantage, he decided it would be best to let Byakuya come to him. 

“Come on, you two! This isn’t a staring contest!” Renji heckled from below. Though the comment had no effect at all on Yukio, it drove Byakuya to act, and he fairly hastily ducked a bit to press a hand to Yukio’s side, attempting to push him off with sheer strength. But Yukio retaliated, pinning Byakuya’s hand under his arm and leaning into it while simultaneously pushing his arm with his other hand, attempting to use Byakuya’s weight against him. 

The suddenness of the movement had Byakuya truly struggling, his momentum certainly aiming him directly into the pool. He stopped his free hand just inches from instinctually grabbing Toshiro's head, instead tensing every muscle in his core to halt his motion. Toshiro’s strong, unrelenting grip on his thighs supported his lower body as he righted himself, snatching his hand from beneath Yukio’s arm. 

Instead of taking another chance to assess, Byakuya grasped Yukio’s shoulders with both hands, legitimately attempting to just throw the man down into the water. 

Yukio tightened his grip on Renji with his legs, bracing himself as he ducked under Byakuya’s arms and pushed them away over his head with his forearm. He missed the chance to grab Byakuya’s wrist as he recovered, and suddenly he was being shoved again before he had fully regained his balance. His thighs formed a death grip around Renji’s neck and his feet were pressing painfully into his back as he stopped his movement just as his hair touched the water, grateful that Byakuya hadn’t thought to follow through and push him all the way down. 

Yukio knew all he had to do was take advantage of one more mistake, because Byakuya’s inexperience made him quite sloppy in his movements. 

Byakuya was amazed at Yukio’s maneuverability in such a confined position, but he didn’t take more than a moment to marvel, because Yukio was actually initiating an offensive, grasping his shoulders tightly and pulling him toward him roughly. Byakuya had no time to respond, as quickly as the next events occurred. Before he even knew what was happening, Yukio had shifted his momentum to the side, completely in control of him as the motion had put his body off-balance. Byakuya tried to recover, grasping frantically for any part of Yukio he could reach, but Yukio didn’t relent, keeping his hands on his shoulders and not letting up even a bit with his force until he was so far off-kilter that even Toshiro’s almost painful grip on his thighs could do nothing to keep him from splashing into the water. 

He felt Toshiro release his legs and allow him to right himself in the water, and all Byakuya heard when he surfaced again was Yukio’s shrill cry of victory. When he wiped his eyes and looked up, he saw Yukio pumping his fists in the air, still mounted on Renji’s shoulders, completely overjoyed. After a few moments of celebration, he looked down to Byakuya, still smiling. 

“That was fun. Maybe if we do it again I can teach you a thing or two and it can be a real challenge for me, because you’re just legitimately bad at it, aren’t you?” he teased. Byakuya chuckled and nodded. 

“I gave you my all, Yukio. I’ll have to take some lessons from the expert,” he admitted. 

Toshiro placed his hand gently on Byakuya's arm to gain his attention as he asked, "Are you alright?" He smiled a bit fondly as he continued, "I did warn you, my Yukio takes competition very seriously."

Byakuya chuckled and nodded. “Yes, I’m fine. Yukio is quite incredible,” he replied. 

“He certainly is…” Toshiro agreed. He turned to face his submissive, his arms open, “Come here, love, I miss you already,” his smile only grew more impossibly fond as he looked into Yukio’s bright emerald eyes.

Yukio maneuvered down from Renji’s shoulders, immediately wrapping his arms around his master and pressing his cheek into his chest. He sighed contentedly, just his master’s touch calming him from the excitement of the day. No one could ever ground him the way his master could - his master was everything to him. 

Toshiro held him easily against his chest, arms wrapping around his lower back as Yukio’s legs circled his hips, smiling as he felt his adorable submissive relax into him. He made his way to the wall of the pool, leaning his back against it and sighed contentedly, shifting so one arm continued to hold Yukio against him and the other was free to gently massage and rub his back.

Renji smiled at the two before coming behind Byakuya and wrapping his arms around him lightly as well. “Having fun?” he whispered into his ear.

Byakuya looked up, simultaneously leaning back into Renji’s body. “The most fun I remember having in a long time,” he responded, reaching up a bit to kiss Renji’s cheek. 

Renji turned his head into the kiss, catching his lips and kissing him lightly before releasing him, saying, “I’m definitely thirsty after trying to wrangle with Yukio for that long.” He made his way to the pool edge, grasping the ledge and easily using his arms to haul himself out. He poured water from the pitcher into one of the empty glasses.

“Can you bring mine and another for Yukio to the edge here?” Toshiro asked.

“Sure… Bya, you want me to bring you one too? I think I’m going to sit on the edge for a while though,” he laughed, “I think Yukio legitimately wore me out a bit.”

Yukio laughed lightly from within his master’s arms, not much in the mood to make a snide remark. He’d never admit that he was actually tired from the bout, too. 

“Yes, Renji, I would like some,” Byakuya replied as he waded to the edge of the pool, resting his arms on the tiled border. He couldn’t help but smile over to Renji, his eyes following the tribal patterns over his chest and abdomen. The man was honestly too perfect. 

Renji brought over two glasses, setting them down next to Toshiro before retrieving the other two. He handed one to Byakuya as he sat down on the edge, his leg brushing against Byakuya’s side in a fond motion. 

They settled into a calm silence for a moment, the sound of the birds and cicadas returning. Toshiro was the one that broke it, as he softly commented, “You know, I never even used this pool - not until my Yukio came to live with me. And then there are only so many games two people can actually play. I wanted to thank you both, for agreeing to this… You’re really two of the only people I trust this way with my relationship to Yukio. Being able to be this open and relaxed… It’s peaceful.” He leaned his head back a bit, resting it against the edge, his free hand continuing to lightly pet down Yukio’s back as he was still cradled against his chest, just how they both preferred him to be. It was immensely grounding for both of them, Toshiro holding him this way, Yukio’s head against heart.

Byakuya smiled as he regarded the two not far down the edge of the pool. He had never seen such tranquility in Toshiro’s expression. “I’m glad you found me trustworthy, Toshiro. I know I treated you well in college, but I had no idea it had left such an impression on you.” 

“I was pretty good at keeping everyone at a distance… Of hiding my feelings. But you did.” His teal eyes opened, having allowed them to fall shut, and he turned his head to look into Byakuya’s slate gray eyes, “I now find myself thankful to Renji twice over - for connecting me with probably the two most important people in my life. I’m not sure how Renji was finally able to break through the walls you had built around your own heart - we were always alike in that way. I wasn’t the only one good at keeping everyone at a distance. But I’m incredibly glad he did, and that you agreed to take the chance to meet us all those months ago. I’ve missed my friend.”

Byakuya kept eye contact as Toshiro spoke, maintaining a tame smile until mention of how exactly Renji had convinced him to lower his guard. “It… took a lot for Renji to get through to me. Years of platonic friendship that meant very little to me. Renji was simply the only friend I had, and I was fine with that. It never really occurred to me exactly how much he was really there for me all that time. And then there was one thing that completely changed how I saw him.” His voice shrank to a volume that he was sure was barely audible to Toshiro, and his hand seemed to instinctually go to Renji’s knee. 

Renji covered his hand with his own, entwining their fingers and squeezing gently. Toshiro shifted Yukio carefully, and came closer, reaching out and taking Byakuya’s other free hand, saying quietly, “You don’t need to explain - I’m just glad you’re here now.”

Yukio’s emerald eyes were focused on him as well, smiling encouragingly as he reached out himself, lightly touching his shoulder as he said, “I’m happy you’re here too - master has been happier since seeing you again. Sometimes, I’ll even see him smile when he’s not looking at me, and that rarely happened before. And I really enjoy your company, Byakuya.” His eyes softened slightly as he continued, “I’m sure whatever it is that’s difficult to talk about concerning how Renji and you got together, it’s very painful to you. 

“It… It took me a long time, to be able to even mention what had happened to me. Master and I understand, more than you know. And Renji… Renji helped me from a very dark place. I knew I needed help, but I didn’t make it easy on him. Still, he was more patient with me than anyone could be expected to be - than anyone else probably would have been, for me to finally find my voice again. 

“All he really did was give me a safe place to express my thoughts, to allow me to take as much time as I needed to answer his questions… He literally waited hours sometimes… I was mute once before, when I was really little, and what my ex did to me… Completely breaking down my self esteem, making me feel like my thoughts, my opinions were worthless anyway… It sent me back to that place. But Renji slowly brought me back, made me feel like he actually cared about what I thought, what I felt, and wanted me to express those things - but he never pressured me to do so, allowing me to do it in my own time and I never felt like I was disappointing him by taking the time I needed.

“And he helped me find my master - spoke for me, at the beginning. I met a handful of doms but… each of them just made me anxious and Renji made sure they clearly understood when I said no to contracting with any of them. And I knew that my role was a bit taxing on him, but Renji never complained, made it clear that he wasn’t just trying to hand me off to someone else, that he legitimately wanted to help me find someone that would actually be good for me. 

“Master - he seemed so cold at first, when he was talking to Renji, but when he talked to me… Like I was someone precious, someone dear… How could I not answer him? Whenever I spoke, he gave me his full attention, and he really seemed to care about what I said. But he never pressured me to speak. He would come over, more often as the days passed, and he would sit and play chess with Renji, talking sometimes but he was just there. And if I spoke, he’d stop whatever he was doing and focus on me, like I was the only reason he was there. Well… I likely was, but my self esteem was so low at the time, it was difficult to accept that. I finally got up the nerve to ask to play chess with him myself, and with the game to focus on, talking became easier, and I slowly gained my confidence back that my thoughts were worthy of being heard.

“And now Renji’s brought you to us too, which I’m really happy about because I think of you as a friend now as well. You always take my call, even if I don’t have much to talk about, you still listen. It can get lonely here when master is working but I’ve felt far less so, knowing I can call you when he has to leave and you’ll be there for me… I - I wanted to thank you for that before. You mean a lot to both of us now, master and myself,” Yukio finished with a warm smile.

While Byakuya was quite shocked that Yukio was speaking at such length to him - he had never even talked this much on the phone - he listened. “Thank you for telling me all of that, Yukio. You’ve come a long way, grown into an incredible young man, and you and Toshiro are undeniably perfect for each other. I’m very much honored to be your friend,” he said with a soft smile. “Renji… had to be very patient with me, too. And while I know neither of you expects me to speak of it, I believe I owe you an explanation after my slip earlier this afternoon, Toshiro,” he added, giving Toshiro’s hand a light squeeze. 

Toshiro kissed Yukio’s hair, already drying in the warmth of the sunlight, it was so fine. He said quietly to him, “I’m so proud of you, love.” He directed his attention back to Byakuya, saying, “You don’t owe me anything - in fact I owe you. But I’ll gladly listen to whatever you tell me, Byakuya.” He returned the light squeeze of Byakuya’s hand.

Byakuya’s heart skipped and proceeded to increase its pace at the prospect of recounting what had happened so many months ago. It was a distant memory, feeling more to him like it happened years ago, but it was the first time he had told the entire story since it happened. He took a deep breath, leaning a bit into the contact of Renji’s leg on his side. 

“Last August, so ten months ago, I suppose, I was in a terrible relationship. The man was pleasant, and we frequently went out together. But, when we began to be intimate, he was controlling and selfish. I’ll leave out most of the details, but one bit that is significant about what happened between us is that he always insisted on… finishing first. One particular time, it was late October by then, something happened to me that, at the time, I didn’t understand at all. He put his hand on my shoulder at a bit of an odd angle, and his thumb pressed against my throat.

“That action… quickly triggered what I now know was subspace, which sounds like it would have been a good thing. But it felt so good that I… finished before him, without even really knowing I had. I didn’t realize it until he had already pulled away from me and left me there. He never came back, even though he knew what he had done had upset me. I dropped… hard. I didn’t even get out of bed for a whole day, and when I did get the strength to move, I barely ate, hardly took care of myself at all. More often than not, I was crying for what felt like no reason at all.” Byakuya squeezed Renji’s hand, looking up to him with a deeply grateful smile before turning his focus back to Toshiro and Yukio.

“Renji knew something was wrong, probably from the start, but I tried to hide it when he visited. It took three months for me to bury myself into so deep a depression that I hardly even talked to him. Finally, I guess he’d had enough, because he very bluntly called me out when I said I was doing alright one evening. I didn’t want to tell him, because I was so afraid he’d leave me, too. I couldn’t lose my only friend. But he wouldn’t leave it alone. So, he gradually coaxed the story out of me. I swear it probably took hours for me to tell him what I’m telling you in just a few minutes. 

“And then the most unexpected thing happened. Renji stayed. He wasn’t put off by any of it at all. Sweet Renji,” Byakuya whispered, bringing Renji’s hand to his lips to kiss the back of it, “he told me that he knew what happened, that I had fallen into subspace, and he could help me. I couldn’t not trust him. He had been with me through everything. Every breakup, every drunk night venting about my boyfriends, every moment when I figured he should probably just give up on me - he never left me. 

“So I let him bind my arms - his suggestion to help me experience subspace with no sexual implications and no expectations. It was the one time in my life I had experienced true peace. And I never stopped hearing his voice and feeling his hands on me. I never wanted it to end, fearing that if it did, I’d be left alone by the end of the night. Surely, Renji would help me, say a few more kind words, and then go home. But he didn’t. He genuinely offered to stay for as long as I wanted him to, and as much as it hurt my pride to ask for help, I asked him to stay the night, because I didn’t think I could wake up alone again.

“He hasn’t spent a night away from my home since then. I… didn’t make things easy on him, either. I had several lapses, especially in those first few days. My mind insisted on taking everything as an insult, but at the same time I was still blaming myself for what happened, and really blaming myself for every snap toward Renji. I was defensive and, admittedly, a bit hostile verbally sometimes, not really able to keep my irrational fears from surfacing. My days were a never ending haze of negative lit up by a few positive moments in between. The first day he had to go to work, I almost had a breakdown just being in my house alone again. But Renji always knew what to say and what to do to calm me down. When he held me, with absolutely no expectations, no intention of taking advantage of my vulnerability as others had in the past, I felt like I could conquer the world.

“It didn’t take long for me to realize I was falling in love with him. He was everything positive in my life, and that extended far before that terrible breakup. I had no idea that he had been in love with me for so long. He had been so respectful about boundaries, so unlike every other man I had even expressed interest in. He asked permission to do anything, even something as simple as holding my hand. Between his overt respect and admiration for me, and the fact that I was beginning to realize that I couldn’t live happily without him, I finally told him I loved him,” Byakuya concluded, giving Renji a light, reminiscent smile.

Renji leaned down, his hand coming to cup Byakuya’s chin as he gently kissed his lips. He was so unbelievably proud of him, his dark eyes warm and filled with admiration. He smiled as he said, “I wasn’t able to believe him at first - that Bya actually loved me, especially after loving him for so long… Sometimes I’m still amazed.”

Toshiro squeezed Byakuya’s hand again, “I know that was difficult to say, Byakuya, I want you to know I’m incredibly honored you would share that with us. No one should have gone through what you did. Frankly, Renji probably handled the situation far better than I - I would have been incredibly angry at someone leaving you that way - no matter the reason. I’m angry now,” he paused leaning his head down to press against Yukio’s hair and closing his eyes for a moment, forcing himself to find his calm again. He felt like he should have been there somehow, but not even Renji’s constant presence had prevented what happened to Byakuya. So he tried to convince himself that there was really nothing he could have done, even if hearing how badly his friend had been hurt desperately made him want to get even - to ruin the one that had done that to him. 

“Never tell me his name,” Toshiro said quietly. “And Renji…” he said, looking up to meet his dark eyes, “Thank you, so much, for being there for him. For both of them,” he said, nuzzling into Yukio a bit more. 

Yukio withdrew his hand from Byakuya to rest it upon his master’s cheek, tilting up his face to kiss him sweetly. Toshiro melted into the kiss, letting go of the anger that he really had no place to direct. It had happened months ago, and Byakuya was happy now, that’s what was important. Yukio pulled away, feeling his master calm, and Toshiro smiled fondly at him. He kissed his nose, saying, “Thank you, love.” He turned to Byakuya, and with a gentle laugh said, “See? Renji handles things better than me, at least with our initial reactions. 

“I’m so thankful he was there for you. My Yukio keeps me grounded now, but I don’t think I could have remained calm after hearing that, while seeing you in the resulting state it left you in. I hope I can help you moving forward, though, to create better memories. After all, subspace should only make you feel free, light, and cared for. I can’t remotely imagine leaving someone in that state. It’s beyond cruel. Seriously, never tell me his name - I really don’t know what I’d do to him but I don’t think I would be able to just let it go, and that won’t help you at all. Right now, he has exactly as much influence on your life as he always should have had - none. And that’s the way it should stay.”

Byakuya looked at his hand, which was still joined with Toshiro’s. “It’s alright now. You’re right, he doesn’t have any influence over me anymore. My insecurities haven’t completely resolved, but that may never go away. After spending three months convincing myself that I was worthless, that’s a hard thing to let go of so soon. But, you are helping me already, Toshiro. Today gave me a good memory to hold onto, and I’m sure it won’t be the last time I say that about my time with you and Yukio,” he said, bringing slate-colored eyes up to meet Toshiro’s vibrant teal.

Toshiro gave him that small, calm smile as he responded, “I look forward to that, I honestly look forward to each time I see you again.” Byakuya was now what Toshiro had always hoped he would be one day - open with him, confident, at peace with himself, and happy. And what was more, Toshiro felt that way too. And really, Renji was directly responsible for that - for both of them. 

He released Byakuya’s hand so that he could turn and lift Yukio out of the water to sit upon the edge of the pool. He kissed his leg, saying, “Go dry off and prepare the tea, love, I think we’ll relax in the sitting room for a while. We can come back out here later if you want to but for now I want you to change into dry clothes.”

Yukio leaned in to kiss his master’s forehead. “Yes, master. Love you,” he murmured before getting up and going back to the house, shrugging out of his wet shirt as he went. 

Byakuya leaned on the wall of the pool, his eyes to the water before him. So many things in his past seemed to have occurred without his notice, evident by the anger and defensiveness Toshiro had expressed in response to his story. He had been so closed off before - both of them had - and Byakuya truly never knew how much he meant to Toshiro. He supposed it wasn’t the first time. The situation with Renji had been much the same, but on an entirely different level. 

As Toshiro lifted himself out of the pool to follow Yukio inside, Byakuya vaguely heard him throw a comment back to them about meeting them inside, and Renji responded. Still, Byakuya stared at the water, which was now rippling gently around him with Toshiro’s movement. He chuckled as a completely romantic, sentimental thought crossed his mind. 

Renji was a catalyst.

He set into motion vast waves of change for both Byakuya and Yukio, and he likely had no idea how much he had truly saved them. Byakuya honestly didn’t know where he would be without him, and he didn’t want to consider it. He brought Renji’s hand up to kiss the back of it.

“Love you, Renji. Thank you so much,” he spoke into the skin under his lips.

Chapter Text

Two weeks had passed since their day by the pool with Yukio and Toshiro - since Byakuya had brought up the desire to do a scene with the two. Toshiro had been as prompt and thorough as always, sending both of them his and Yukio’s kinks and limits in relation to both Renji and Byakuya, just two days later. Byakuya had seemed a bit… overwhelmed at first, and Renji suggested that they wait a week or two before discussing it at length - and creating Byakuya's own lists. 

Renji wanted to give the other two time to read over everything and he would still need to pull it all together, so he didn't want to put it off any longer than that - but he also wanted to give Byakuya as much time as he could. And it was fine if he still wasn't quite ready to discuss it - they could always wait until the following month. Everyone involved understood that this needed to be done at Byakuya's pace as it was his first time even contemplating something like a joint scene. 

"Bya," Renji murmured, both cuddled together on their couch, the lazy Sunday afternoon sunlight coming in through the windows, "Are you feeling up to discussing what Toshiro sent us? About your own limits? If you still want time, that's fine Bya. But if you wanted to try this next time we see them, we should start discussing it."

Byakuya sighed. He had been mulling over the extensive lists Toshiro had sent, wondering how he was ever going to put together something similar. Still, even after many months, he felt that he hardly knew himself except for a few obvious things. “Yes, I suppose you’re right. We should discuss it, but that doesn’t mean I know what to tell you,” he said quietly.

"Well, we can start by simply going over their lists, and if there's something that comes up that you're interested in we can put it on yours. How's that sound?" 

“It sounds like a good place to start,” Byakuya replied. Still, he was a bit intimidated. Their lists were extremely specific, and most of the things they named were things he couldn’t even really judge his own interest in. But he would try.

"We should probably do this at the dining room table," Renji said, kissing his raven hair. He stood up, offering his hand, smiling encouragingly. 

Byakuya took his hand, trying to muster that confidence that he thought he had gained through their many plainly-worded, honest conversations. But thinking about doing these things with others was on an entirely different plane for him. He knew he could trust Toshiro and Yukio, and obviously they trusted him as well. So he steeled his determination as they sat down, resolute to not get up until the task was completed. 

Renji passed him the lists Toshiro sent over, having printed them out for Byakuya to look through more easily and write on if he wanted to. He opened a notebook of his own, saying, "I'll actually write out and organize this from what you tell me, Bya. If that's alright? You can ask me any questions, and we'll put on here three categories - things you know you enjoy, things you want to try, and things you don't want to do."

Byakuya skimmed the lists again. He had read them several times already, but he hadn’t even known where to begin in his inquiries. He supposed the easiest category was things he knew he enjoyed. “We’ll start with the obvious. We both know I enjoy breath play and bondage. Though, I suppose on Toshiro’s list it specifies kinbaku," he shuddered a bit just saying the word. “Prostate massage and oral are another couple of obvious ones. You can write all of that down,” he completed the thought, looking up to Renji.

Renji nodded, asking gently, "Are you only comfortable with me doing those things right now? Or would you be comfortable allowing either Toshiro or Yukio to do any of that to you?" 

Byakuya tried to keep himself from blushing at the question. He was still dead-set on getting through this like a mature adult. “For now, I would lean toward limiting them to… less sexual things. If that makes sense. Bondage would be a good example of what I would allow one of them to do. Prostate massage, on the other hand, would be something I would hold off on until I had some experience,” he decided, his eyes back to the papers before him.

Renji nodded again, creating two columns for the list so it was more clear what Toshiro and Yukio were allowed out of Byakuya's kinks. He showed Byakuya what he was doing to make sure he'd understood him, so far only bondage being in the "allowed" column for the other two. 

“I’d like for you to put breath play on the ‘allowed’ column as well,” Byakuya requested, tapping the notebook.

Renji paused, saying, "We both know what that does to you… It's not exactly platonic. Are you comfortable with Toshiro doing that to you, with that in mind? Is he allowed to actually pleasure you - to the point you achieve release - or is he just to ignore that effect? Because that really needs to be clear…"

Byakuya’s mind stumbled a bit on that. He had considered the effect breath play had on him, but he hadn’t thought through the entire scenario. If he was honest, he wanted to allow Toshiro to pleasure him. And honesty had become what he knew Renji expected of him - no matter the subject matter. “I would only be comfortable with Toshiro pleasuring me with his hand. No further than that,” he muttered. It felt odd to even say, but anything else would have been a lie.

Renji grinned, adding it to the list, saying, “I’m actually really proud of you for thinking that through and being honest.” After he finished the note, he set down the pen, taking Byakuya’s hand and squeezing it. "What else, Bya? Remember, if you're not sure what something actually is, you can ask me and I'll clarify."

“Yes, but first I’d like to point out some things I know I wouldn’t enjoy. Impact play is out, for sure. And, though I can’t speak for all uses of toys, I would say no penetration with such things,” he stated, still trying to hold onto his business-like demeanor throughout this process.

Renji heard the tone and was fondly amused. Whatever was helping him get through this though, Renji wasn't about to say anything against. "Yukio loves both of those, but it's admittedly not common - especially the impact play. Yukio actually likes a bit of rough play in general," Renji commented. 

"It's not surprising to me though that those would be limits for you. They are for most people, honestly. Yukio is a bit more… open to things, than most, obviously," Renji laughed, gesturing at his list. "Well, except kissing…" He noted with a fond smile. "Of all the things…"

“It’s actually quite sentimental of him to save that for Toshiro,” Byakuya muttered as he ran his eyes over the lists for what felt like the hundredth time. “Oh… it may be a bit overly cautious of me at this point, but I think it would be prudent to add sensory deprivation to my list of limits,” he commented, his heart clenching a bit when he recalled the last time Renji had attempted it.

Renji placed down the pen again, reaching to take Byakuya's hand. "I'll add it, but I hope someday we can try again, between us, Bya. That even if you can't see me, you can still know and trust that I'm there." Renji raised his hand to kiss his knuckles, his dark eyes gazing into Byakuya's slate gray. 

“I’m sure we will, Renji. But it will only be between us. I obviously don’t want something like that surfacing with Toshiro or Yukio. It’s certainly not because I don’t trust you. Honestly, I still don’t trust myself - at least, not with that. Not yet,” he admitted, giving Renji a small smile.

Renji returned his smile, squeezing his hand before releasing it to add it to the appropriate list. "What next?" Renji asked. 

“I need you to explain wax play and ice play to me, so I can determine if they are things I’d like to try,” Byakuya requested, straightening himself in his chair and folding his hands before him. He had been to too many business meetings to not know how to summon back this persona almost instantly.

"Well, ice play is pretty much just using ice upon the skin. Some people really like temperature differences, and ice play causes an intense feeling of cold. Usually this is soothed using either breath to warm the skin back up or the other's body heat - like a cheek, as their hands get rather cold too… 

"Wax play is the other extreme, causing intense, sharp heat. It doesn't actually burn though. Candle wax is heated and allowed to drip onto the skin. And the wax needs to be gently peeled off afterwards - a lot of people actually like that sensation even more than the wax initially hitting their skin."

“You can add both of those to things I’d like to try,” he stated rather stiffly. Honestly, the thought of ice play sounded extremely attractive to him. Considering the fact that he loved when Renji even breathed on his neck under normal circumstances, the added dimension of the cold sounded fantastic. 

“Also, very much for later, I see that service top is on Toshiro’s list. You have explained that to me before, and I have done that with you. Perhaps, once I’m more comfortable, I would be willing to do that with him,” he added, knowing for absolute certain that his voice was unsteady.

Renji dutifully wrote down what Byakuya said before reaching for his hand again with a smile. "I'm sure Toshiro would enjoy that - when you're comfortable. I know Yukio doesn't… He just legitimately doesn't like to top. Speaking of Toshiro, he'd have to do the wax play with you," Renji blushed a bit before admitting, "I'm not nearly comfortable enough with any kind of open flame to do that, even if it's just a candle."

Byakuya chuckled and squeezed Renji’s hand. “That’s alright. I’m not unwilling to do things with either of them, I’d just like to ease into it. I’m not sure if there’s anything else, though I feel a bit guilty providing them with such a short list,” he observed, his eyes moving from Toshiro and Yukio’s extremely detailed lists to the paper Renji had been taking notes on.

"This is a perfectly honest and adequate list for someone just easing into this. I'm actually certain my first list was smaller," Renji stated, leaning over to kiss him gently. "You want to try a scene with this in mind next time we visit? Or do you want to hold off a while yet?" 

“Next time we visit is fine. That’s in two weeks. Honestly, now that this part is over, I’m looking forward to it, actually,” Byakuya replied.

Renji smiled, "Alright, Bya. Two weeks it is."

Two weeks had gone by rather quickly. Renji had called Toshiro the weekend in between - after sending over both his and Byakuya’s lists the previous Monday - and the two negotiated out a scene. Renji had put Toshiro on speaker so that Byakuya could listen in and Renji knew that Toshiro had done the same for Yukio on his end. What they had ended up with was slightly less platonic than what Renji had thought Byakuya would be completely comfortable with for a first joint scene, but his usually reserved partner had given his consent to everything and he didn’t look uncomfortable about any of it. Flustered, yes, but that was to be expected whenever he had to contemplate anything sexual. 

With the scene they had planned, Toshiro had insisted they do so in their play room. Renji knew for a fact that Byakuya had never seen one and he was a bit curious how Byakuya was going to react to actually being in a room dedicated to doing scenes. The room wasn’t exactly tame, with Toshiro’s skill in kinbaku and Yukio’s impact play and toy kinks. Renji was just hoping that Byakuya didn’t call everything off by the sight of it, even if they weren’t going to be using much of anything in the room other than some of the furniture.

Pulling into the drive, Renji took Byakuya’s hand in his, squeezing it before asking, “Ready, Bya? Remember, you can stop this at any point - you know the agreed upon sequence of the scene, we can end it at any point you feel the need to.”

Byakuya smiled and brought Renji’s hand up to kiss the back of it. “I know, Renji. I agreed to this for a reason. You don’t have to worry so much. In fact, I’d prefer if you didn’t worry about me at all. I want you to enjoy yourself as well,” he said. He had actually been contemplating everything they had discussed since the conversation had occurred, and the longer it was in his mind, the more comfortable he became.

Renji grinned, “I’ve never not enjoyed myself with you - and Yukio is definitely a fun challenge. That kid is so in tune with Toshiro, he doesn’t even really need to command him, he does it because Yukio wants to hear the actual command. But Yukio’s not nearly as docile and sweet with anyone else who’s not his master - he can be a bit of a brat.” Renji said with a laugh. “It’s been a while since I’ve played this way with him, and I’ll admit I’ve missed it a bit. Thank you for allowing that, Bya,” Renji said, bringing their joined hands to his lips and kissing him, his dark eyes playful and filled with restrained excitement. 

He couldn’t help it, he really was excited about this. And not just the challenge of subduing Yukio - he was certain Toshiro and Byakuya were going to look breathtaking together. And he still got to ease Byakuya in and out of this himself. He was pleased with what they had planned and was happy that Byakuya also seemed to be looking forward to it, not the least bit anxious. 

“I’m actually not surprised about Yukio. I saw quite a different side of him at the pool last time we were here,” he said with a chuckle. “And… I suppose my friendship with Toshiro makes it more bearable to think about doing these things with him. If these had actually been two of your friends that I had never met, I likely would have never even considered such a thing until I thoroughly got to know them. But, I wasn’t lying when I said I’ve always found Toshiro attractive. Circumstances just didn’t bring us together in the right way back then. It actually doesn’t feel unnatural or uncomfortable at all to think of him doing these things with me after having several weeks to seriously consider it,” he added, a bit of reminiscence in his voice as he stared toward the house.

Renji’s expression became more fond as Byakuya spoke, especially at the wistful tone in his voice. He turned his head to him and kissed his lips, hoping to convey just how perfect this man was for him. He pulled away, saying, “Love you, Bya. So, so much.” Then he grinned, “Now, let’s not keep them waiting any longer.”

“I love you, too, Renji,” Byakuya replied, giving him a soft smile before turning to climb out of the car. As much as the light atmosphere and the prospect of what was to come made him want to take a deep breath of fresh air, he groaned lightly at the humid heat that still hung around them. Summer had to be his least favorite time of year. Already, after only seconds outside, his t-shirt threatened to stick to his back.

They quickly made their way to the door, Renji holding his hand like usual, and just like last time Yukio met them before they managed to make it the rest of the way, laughing as Renji deftly caught him. Renji laughed as well, saying, “Someone is clearly excited.”

“It’s been way too long since we played together, Renji! Master already had me get the room ready and everything! He’s actually been really bad at hiding how excited he is to play with you, Byakuya,” Yukio said, looking to Byakuya from Renji’s hold on him. 

Byakuya chuckled. “Well, the feeling is mutual. I’m rather excited about it myself,” he replied, hoping he wasn’t blushing too heavily at Yukio’s words.

Yukio grinned, giving Byakuya a hug as well before taking his hand, “Master wanted me to lead you both to the room, he was still making sure everything was ready when you arrived. He likes to check everything himself before a scene.”

Renji and Byakuya followed him, Renji finding he couldn’t stop smiling between Yukio’s excited joy and Byakuya’s fond expression at the other submissive. He couldn’t be more happy that the two got along so well, that they’d been able to bond and talk to one another, moreso over the past month than ever before after speaking of what had happened to one another, last time he and Byakuya were here.

Renji squeezed Byakuya’s hand as they entered Toshiro’s play room. He had, thankfully, pushed most of what they weren’t going to be using to the side. Of course, Toshiro would have realized the same thing Renji had, that with Byakuya being so new to this that so much could be overwhelming, and thus detrimental to the scene. Renji could see the anchors used for kinbaku suspension in the ceiling but the ropes themselves weren’t tethered in their usual place. The odd chair that Toshiro would have Yukio pose on during rougher impact play was in an inconspicuous corner. The bed was where it always was, as were two sofas in a sitting area, facing one another, but all of Yukio’s toys had been put away.

What was new was the table placed by the sofas, upon it two small buckets of ice as well as a candle within a glass jar and a lighter. 

Byakuya glanced around the room, honestly not nearly as intimidated as he expected to be. There were a few things he didn’t understand the function of, but overall it all seemed rather tame, and much more subdued than he had imagined. He was actually a bit ashamed of how much his mind had grossly exaggerated what he was walking into. After all, with the activities he knew occurred in this room, his mind had painted quite the horrific picture. “I’m fine, Renji,” he said quietly, knowing Renji had been at least somewhat concerned with his initial reaction. 

Renji turned and kissed his hair before guiding him over to one of the sofas, Yukio having gone over to stand beside Toshiro. He sat down, pulling Byakuya to him like he usually would on the couch at home, holding him as he leaned into his side.

Yukio turned to nuzzle into Toshiro’s chest before glancing up at him, asking sweetly, “Please, master, may I unbutton your shirt?”

Toshiro smiled down at his submissive - Yukio much preferred being able to nuzzle directly into his chest and would rather he never had his shirt buttoned. Toshiro had told him of Byakuya’s reserved nature and Yukio had understood the courtesy, not requesting he wear his usual button-down shirt open when Renji and Byakuya had visited before. But obviously, with the fact that they were doing a joint scene, it did seem like a silly thing to deny him. “Yes, love, you may. And then I want you to completely remove your own shirt and lay on the sofa for me,” he instructed with a kiss to the top of his head.

Yukio grinned up to him as he unbuttoned his shirt, taking only a moment after that to press his cheek to the smooth skin and press his lips to it briefly. “Thank you, master,” he said quietly before turning to sit on the sofa, pulling his shirt over his head and draping it over the arm before lying down as he had been instructed. 

Renji turned to Byakuya, saying gently, "You'll want to remove your shirt as well." He nodded towards Yukio, "And lay down like him."

Byakuya nodded, removing his shirt and handing it to Renji as he vacated the sofa for him to lie down. Byakuya had only a verbal plan to reference in terms of what was actually about to happen, and that truly wasn’t enough for him to feel aptly prepared for what any of it was going to feel like. His heart began to race, and he took a deep, calming breath, reminding himself that he was still somewhat in control. If anything made him uncomfortable, he could stop, no questions asked.

Renji removed his own shirt as well, honestly feeling a bit overdressed and knelt next to Byakuya, just as he had all those months ago when he first bound his arms. He glanced up at a light touch to his arm - Toshiro placing a bucket of ice next to him silently. Renji nodded to him but ignored it for a minute, taking Byakuya's hand in his own and beginning to massage, slowly moving up to his wrist and arm. He wanted him completely relaxed and calm before actually using the ice and he was hoping the familiarity of this would ground him, even in the foreign room. 

Toshiro placed a second bucket far closer to the couch Yukio was peacefully laying on, a content smile on his face as he awaited either an order or just to feel what his master did to his body. Toshiro knelt between his legs on the couch, leaning down to kiss him slowly, Yukio’s mouth opening to him the instant Toshiro's tongue touched his lips. He blindly reached for where he knew he'd placed the bucket, grabbing an ice cube and gently guiding it down Yukio’s bare arm. 

Byakuya’s attention was arrested from Renji’s gentle treatment of him when Yukio inhaled a bit sharply, even with his mouth occupied. He turned his head to watch as Toshiro slowly slid an ice cube down Yukio’s arm, chills erupting on his own body as though it had touched him. A glance up to Yukio’s face told him that he thoroughly enjoyed the action, his eyes closed among a relaxed expression as he effortlessly surrendered to whatever Toshiro chose to do. 

Toshiro pulled away from the deep, slow kiss after passing the ice up and down Yukio’s arm several times. He dropped what remained of the cube in the bucket and sat up, grabbing Yukio’s hand with his still-warm one, bringing it up to kiss his palm. He then turned his arm, Yukio allowing the motion without a bit of resistance, and exhaled, slowly, down his chilled arm, the breath hot upon his skin as Toshiro opened his mouth wide and allowed it to flow from the back of his throat. 

Yukio hummed quietly in contentment, tensing a bit under his master’s warm breath before relaxing again, taking a deep breath through his nose and allowing a light smile to curve his lips.

Byakuya flushed a bit at Yukio’s reaction. It was fairly obvious that it was affecting him, and he had never actually intentionally watched something like this happening. But he couldn’t take his eyes away. Yukio’s flawless submission combined with the calm authority in Toshiro’s every move was captivating. 

Renji kissed Byakuya's chin, slate gray eyes turning to meet dark brown. Renji turned his body a bit to see the other two, Toshiro barely one third the way up Yukio’s arm and proceeding achingly slowly. He refocused on Byakuya, stroking his hair gently as he said, "You've been watching them. They're so peaceful together, aren't they? Beautiful, really… You don't seem to mind at all, having them this near while Toshiro is focused on Yukio… While I focus on you…" Renji kissed his cheek again before retreating to watch Byakuya's expression as he replied, still gently carding his finger through soft raven hair. 

Byakuya smiled, keeping his focus on Renji and silently enjoying the feeling of his hand running through his hair. “They are beautiful to watch. I thought it would be a bit unnerving, but it really isn’t. Having them near to us doesn’t bother me at all,” he whispered, not wanting to interrupt the calm silence in the room. 

Renji met his lips in a gentle kiss, smiling. He pulled away, the hand in his hair reaching to the bucket next to him and grabbing a cube. He lifted it, Byakuya’s slate gray eyes following the motion as he brought the small cube to just below his shoulder upon his arm. He rested it there before rubbing it in slow circles, carefully watching Byakuya's expression as he did so, allowing his skin to become chilled and cold. 

Byakuya flinched a bit as the ice touched his skin, chills immediately erupting down his arm. He focused on the feel of the ice on his arm, the sensation turning from a chill to a mild sting the longer Renji held it there. He maintained his calm, though, knowing that Renji was intently judging him for any discomfort. 

Renji removed the ice when his own fingers began to become a bit numb, not seeing any real discomfort in Byakuya's expression. He dropped the ice back in the bucket before leaning over the place he'd just made cold, exhaling hot breath upon Byakuya's chilled skin. 

Byakuya felt as though his entire body caught fire when Renji’s breath touched his cold skin, and he bit his lip to hold back a moan. He knew his body had tensed immediately, his hands clenched on the sofa and the rest of him fighting against the urge to squirm under the foreign sensations.

Renji felt accomplishment rush through him at Byakuya's reaction. Really - his normal reaction to being breathed upon had been telling enough to suggest that this would be a pleasurable experience for him. Renji was still happy about being right. He leaned closer, pressing an opened-mouth kiss upon the still slightly cold skin, firmly licking the area and gently sucking, careful not to actually leave a mark. 

Byakuya couldn’t stop his insistent voice as Renji’s tongue touched the chilled skin, a broken groan slipping past his lips as his hot mouth soothed the area and proceeded to tease a bit. He leaned to press his cheek onto Renji’s hair, steadying his breathing a bit. The intensity of the conflicting temperatures had taken him by surprise, and he did his best to calm his racing heart.

Toshiro had glanced over at the sound issuing from Byakuya, currently focused on running a cube of ice down the center of Yukio’s chest. Yukio was quivering beneath him a bit, his slightly glassy emerald eyes shifting towards Byakuya as well, both due to the sound and the redirection of his master’s gaze. Byakuya was clearly enjoying what Renji was doing, and watching him steady himself by pressing against Renji’s hair was both adorable and heartwarming. Toshiro's gaze shifted back to his Yukio’s, catching emerald eyes with teal and the two shared a smile before Toshiro lifted the ice cube from his skin and, foregoing the breath, directly licked down the chilled path upon Yukio’s soft skin. 

Yukio’s breath hitched, and he let out a short groan with his master’s action. He let his eyes slide shut again, reveling in the careful, caring attention of this particular activity. Though he was also fond of rougher play, he loved when the world seemed to slow down, his master treating him to a series of slow, gentle motions that made him feel like he was floating.

Feeling the temperature of the skin return to normal, and his own fingers warmed again, having been rubbing them together while he heated Byakuya's skin with his mouth, Renji grabbed another ice cube, running this one just under Byakuya’s collar bone in repeated swipes until that same numbness encroached upon his own fingers and he lent down to breathe upon the frigid skin. 

Even anticipating the feeling, Byakuya could barely hold back from allowing his hips to twitch. He held his ground, allowing Renji to continue, not even daring to open his mouth at risk of wanting to ask for more. His arousal was steadily mounting, and though it wasn’t yet uncomfortable, he was fairly confident it would be by the time Renji was finished with him. 

Renji finished warming the skin beneath Byakuya's collar bone again before placing the bucket closer to the sofa. Gentle pressure upon Byakuya's legs caused his clearly affected submissive to part them and Renji knelt on the sofa between them. He grabbed another cube, firmly pressing this one against Byakuya's lower abs and very slowly inched in up his contracting muscles. He leaned down, trailing his tongue behind as he breathed hot and heavy upon his twitching skin. 

Byakuya didn’t even notice when a sound somewhere between a whine and a moan exited his mouth, now having to seriously summon his self-control to keep from arching into Renji’s body. The feel of his tongue chasing the cold of the ice sent sparks through his body, and he had to tighten his grip on the sofa beneath him to prevent his hands from acting of their own accord and pulling Renji down onto him. Because he knew if he even touched him, he likely wouldn’t be able to stop.

Toshiro had buried both of his hands in the bucket for a full minute, allowing both hands to become numbed before pulling them out. He then gently traced and pet Yukio’s body, allowing his body heat to slowly return the warmth to his hands while he lent over him, capturing his sweet mouth in another deep, slow kiss. His hands mapped his body while his tongue mapped his mouth and Yukio was whimpering quietly as his body trembled. 

Yukio held tensely still, his mind still at ease throughout his body’s reactions. With his master, he knew everything would soon fall into place. His master never sought to make him uncomfortable, so he simply sank into the pleasure, awaiting the time when he was given an order. Until then, he was in his master’s loving hands - a place he always cherished.

Feeling the warmth return to his fingers, Toshiro sat back up, gently pulling away from his shared kiss with Yukio. He smiled down at his beautiful submissive, his body quivering even as he remained completely lax upon the sofa. Yukio wouldn't act until directed, but Toshiro knew he wanted to touch him, to press his face and lips against his chest. "You are being so good love, doing so well. I think you've earned a reward for such behavior." 

Toshiro gently cupped his cheek, his thumb stroking his cheek, waiting for Yukio to surface a bit more out of the subspace he had fallen into to be able to answer him and follow his directions. Ice play was a strong subspace trigger for his Yukio, the gentle attentiveness utterly soothing and relaxing to him. But Toshiro needed him to resurface a bit before releasing him into Renji’s care, and he knew just how to gain his focus. "How does that sound, love? Do you want your reward?" 

Yukio felt his master’s hand on his cheek, focusing on the contact as he followed his voice up from the depth of his subspace. When his emerald eyes began to clear and focus well on his master’s bright teal, he nuzzled his cheek into his hand. “Yes, master, please,” his voice came out as a sigh. 

"Sit up love," Toshiro instructed, his voice steady but gentle with his docile submissive. Yukio did so, Toshiro's hand upon his cheek wrapping down and around to his upper back to help him. "Good, love, now I want you to straddle my lap, facing me." 

Yukio nodded, still in a light subspace, a quiet, "Yes, master," falling from his lips as he moved. Toshiro moved with him until his back was resting against the back of the sofa and his feet were upon the floor, Yukio balanced upon his lap and facing him. Toshiro leaned forward slightly, kissing Yukio as he did and grabbed the bucket from the floor, placing it next to him. 

Yukio had melted into the kiss, his body relaxing, the slight tremors subsiding, and he whimpered as Toshiro pulled away with a soft smile. "Alright love, I'm going to use the ice on my own chest, and I want you to heat my skin back up using your mouth. Understood?" Toshiro didn't really feel one way or the other about ice play, but knowing how much his Yukio enjoyed touching his chest made dealing with the cold more than worth it. 

“Yes, master,” Yukio replied, his master’s request causing him to smile. His eyes were riveted on the ice that was now set on the sofa, his mind definitely returning to him quickly as he anticipated his master’s next move. 

Toshiro retrieved a cube and pressed the ice against his own skin, accepting the feeling of the cold and trailing it across his chest. "Go on love," he said, his voice still commanding but incredibly soft, "Warm me back up."

“Yes, master,” Yukio barely got the words out before he pressed his lips to his master’s chest, almost immediately parting them and running his hot, wet tongue over the cold skin. He took his time, lavishing each inch of chilled muscle with slow attention, not moving on until the temperature of his tongue matched that of his master’s now warm flesh. When his task was completed, he turned his head to rest his cheek where his tongue had been, listening to the steady, grounding sound of his master’s heart. 

Toshiro, having dropped the ice into the bucket a few minutes prior, rubbed his slightly cool hands over his Yukio’s back, lightly massaging and just enjoying the feeling of him relaxed against his bare chest. He rested his chin on his head and watched as Renji worked on a clearly affected Byakuya's chest. Byakuya looked about ready to pull Renji down and ravish him but he was desperately trying to keep his hands to himself. His grip was tellingly harsh, clutching the cushion beneath him, and soft sounds were constantly issuing from his mouth. 

"Renji," Toshiro said, his voice steady and low, "Unless you were thinking of altering the plan tonight, you may want to ease up…"

Byakuya turned his head toward Toshiro’s voice, trying to control his breathing, but still somewhat panting. He actually had a hard time remembering what the plan was, but he had to swallow another overt moan when he remembered. He couldn’t help it when his eyes traced every inch of Toshiro’s body he could see, namely his face and his arms around Yukio. 

Renji pulled back, looking at how far gone Byakuya had become. He chuckled, "I may have gotten a little carried away… I honestly have a difficult time stopping now when Bya's so clearly enjoying himself." He moved so that he was seated beneath Byakuya's long legs instead of between them, his hand wrapping around one and soothingly brushing his leg through the material of his pants. His other hand reached to hold Byakuya's, massaging his wrist as he allowed him to calm down. 

Byakuya took a deep, shuddering breath, feeling his heart slow a bit. The gentle but firm motion on his wrist allowed him to focus on something other than Toshiro, and he tilted his head back and closed his eyes, intentionally taking deep breaths and forcing his mind to focus only on Renji’s hands and not the almost painful amount of arousal he had been treated to. He certainly wasn’t complaining. The ice on his skin and the subsequent heat of Renji’s breath and mouth had been fantastic. But he closed off those thoughts for now, and soon he felt the pent-up tension leave. Renji always did know what he needed. 

Toshiro kissed Yukio’s hair, tilting his face up to him with one hand on his chin, looking into his mostly clear emerald eyes. Confident he was returned enough from his subspace, Toshiro gently instructed, "Go ahead and join Renji on the other sofa, love. I'll retrieve us some water. I believe we could all use a small break before continuing any further." His eyes had flickered to Renji at the last statement, Renji nodding his agreement, still massaging Byakuya's wrist and leg. 

Renji grinned, "Come here, Yukio, slide in next to me. You can cuddle into my side while your master gets us water."

Yukio nodded, pressing a kiss to his master’s chest one last time before crossing to the other sofa and settling next to Renji. He leaned up for a moment to look at Byakuya, who still had his head tilted back on the arm of the sofa with his eyes closed. He had come to be quite fond of Byakuya, considering him one of the only people in his life he could trust. He was actually looking forward to seeing the beautiful man with his master, especially knowing how much his master had anticipated this. He had been very good at subduing it, but it was obvious to Yukio that he was quite excited to have the chance to do a scene with Byakuya. 

Yukio sat back, cuddling into Renji’s side and looking up to him with the same fond smile he had graced Byakuya with. It had been no mystery that he was looking forward to finally playing with Renji again as well.

Renji smiled down at him, saying, "Would you massage Bya's legs for me, Yukio, while we wait?" he nodded to where his hand was gently yet firmly pressing. "Just his calves and ankles, not his thighs." After all, the goal was to help Byakuya calm down and touching his thighs would only do the opposite. 

“Of course,” Yukio replied, replacing Renji’s hand with his own when he moved it. He leaned over Renji a bit, his back against Renji’s chest as he began to press firmly into the muscle of Byakuya’s calf with the heel of his hand, the motion careful but still effective. He glanced up to Byakuya’s face, smiling when he saw that he had opened his eyes at Renji’s instruction. He only held eye contact for a moment before looking back down to his own hands, working from the back of Byakuya’s knee to his ankle.

Byakuya smiled up to Renji when Yukio averted his eyes. He never thought he would have so many people in his life he could trust. Sure, to anyone else, trusting three people seemed simple. But that was two more than he’d had before, because his trust in Renji had been the only lifeline he had for many years. With Toshiro and Yukio, though, there was no doubt in his mind. He could trust them. And that wasn’t something he admitted lightly.

His one hand free, he grabbed Byakuya's other hand, saying, "Bya, I want you to sit up and lean against me - Toshiro will be back soon and you should drink some water too. That will be difficult lying down. I'll help you up, pull against my hands."

Byakuya did so, though he was fairly certain he didn’t need the assistance. Still, he let Renji pull him against his side, Yukio shifting a bit to Renji’s other side as he did. “Thank you, Renji. I love you,” he said, reaching up to kiss Renji’s cheek. He settled comfortably under Renji’s arm, nuzzling his nose into his partner’s neck - a motion that had become quite a habit for him. 

Renji held Byakuya to his side, his other arm positioning behind Yukio’s back, his hand burying itself into the fine blonde hair and massaging his scalp. Both submissives were leaned into each side of him and he smiled at the feeling. He was very protective over both of these men and to have them both calm and happy against him brought him a sense of peace. 

Toshiro returned to the room, four empty glasses being carried by his fingers pressing against and holding them by the top and a pitcher of ice water in the other - the same set that had been outside by the pool their previous visit. He brought them over to the table that had been set off to the side of the sofas. He took a minute to gather both buckets and place them back on the table, as well as light the candle. He watched the small flame for a moment, teal eyes noting as the wax beneath the wick began to liquefy and nodded to himself. He then filled each glass with the ice water from the pitcher and passed one to each of the very content men on the sofa, keeping the last for himself and drinking deeply. 

Byakuya took the few moments of silence to sip his water and give a few appreciative glances toward Toshiro, eyes tracing along toned muscles all the way from his shoulders to his waist. He hadn’t truly been given the chance to see Toshiro like this other than their time at the pool, and that day had been a bit active. Now, in the quiet, he realized just how gorgeous Toshiro really was. His tall, lean body was accented by smooth muscle and flawless skin. And he still had the same eye-catching snow-colored hair and bright teal eyes. He would have never guessed that the small boy he had met in college would grow up to be this.

Toshiro lowered his glass, catching Byakuya's appreciative looks and giving him that calm smile in return. Byakuya looked as beautiful as ever and now completely relaxed against Renji. Yukio still had one of his hands gently caressing his lower leg, the other holding his water which he'd nearly finished. Toshiro calmly finished his own water, setting down the glass. He silently held out his hand to accept Yukio’s when he finished, his submissive smiling sweetly as he obediently passed him back the glass. 

Sitting on the arm of the sofa next to Byakuya he reached out, touching his bared shoulder and lightly stroked the skin beneath his fingertips as he commented, "You seemed to enjoy ice play." He laughed lightly, adding, "I honestly thought you were about to demand more of Renji or grab him yourself. But you remained still, letting him slowly pleasure your body…" 

Toshiro leaned closer, the hand on Byakuya's shoulder moving to trail the light touch of his fingertips up his neck to rest just below his chin. Teal eyes darkened with longing and desire locked on steel gray as he quietly asked, "Are you going to be that good for me?" 

Byakuya struggled to keep any unbecoming sounds from exiting his lips at Toshiro’s touch. He took a shaky breath, trying to calm his racing heart before replying. “Of course. I may not live in the submissive mindset constantly like Yukio, but something in my mind doesn’t allow me to disobey in this context, especially since I’ve been with Renji,” he realized. 

It wasn’t the first time he had made this observation. It really was like some part of his mind turned on and off given the context. He knew, by Renji’s voiced observations, that there were parts of his personality that made it a bit easier to identify his submissive role, even in daily life, but the need to be in control, make demands, have any amount of input, left him completely when they were being intimate. 

“Good,” Toshiro said, his voice calm and steady, his thumb brushing against Byakuya’s cheek. “Because while you are with me, when I give you an order, I expect you to do it, as well as you are able. I will only ever instruct you to do things that you have previously agreed upon before starting the scene. Even if you change your mind and want me to do more, I won’t go any further than the boundaries you’ve already set when you were completely outside of subspace and fully able to consent. 

“You are not to act unless I direct you to or if you have asked for permission and been granted it. You may say anything, and I want to hear your voice, your reactions, but you are not to demand anything of me. You will ask and wait for permission. We will use the color system and you must answer me truthfully and immediately when I ask for a color. If at any point you say the word ‘red,’ even if I have not asked for a color, I will immediately end the scene and make sure to bring you back to yourself. Understand?” 

“Yes, I understand,” Byakuya replied. He couldn’t help but listen to every word, closely and meticulously. He knew he was trembling slightly, though the cause was unknown. The room was comfortably warm, so he knew that wasn’t it. It hadn’t begun when Toshiro touched him. But his voice, much like Renji’s when he was firmly in a dominant mindset, sent chills down his spine. In that moment, Byakuya did summon a bit of control, because he certainly wanted to lean his cheek into Toshiro’s thumb and admit surrender before the session even started.

“Good,” Toshiro said again, nodding. He withdrew a bit, allowing his hand to fall as he said, “When you are ready then, you are to lie on your stomach on the other sofa. I will start using the wax on your back. I don’t want to cause your chest to become overstimulated after Renji concentrated on it for so long using the ice,” he finished with a smirk, teal eyes sliding over to Renji.

Renji didn’t look at all apologetic and Toshiro couldn’t really blame him. Given the opportunity, Toshiro would take the time to explore every inch of Byakuya’s gorgeous body as well. He was determined that Byakuya thoroughly enjoy his time with him though, so that meant doing all he could to avoid discomfort - wax play was already something that not everyone enjoyed. There was no need to add in the factor of dripping the wax onto skin that had already been stimulated from the iceplay.

Toshiro grinned though, feeling a bit mischievous about being denied to have Byakuya fully facing him for this, even if that likely hadn’t even occurred to Renji at the time. “Yukio, my love,” Toshiro said softly, directing his attention to catch his emerald green eyes, “You are only to obey Renji if you want to. You may deliberately misinterpret anything he tells you to do or ignore it completely. Have fun.” Whether that last statement was for Yukio or Renji didn’t really matter, applying to both, and Toshiro found himself suppressing a laugh at the overly exasperated look Renji was giving him. 

Honestly, Yukio would have only done what he wanted anyway - he didn’t take orders from anyone other than his master unless he wanted to - but with Toshiro’s explicit permission and instruction to do so, he’d be even more of a brat about it, and Renji was fully aware of that fact.

“Thank you, master,” Yukio said, his tone subdued and respectful. But his soft expression turned to a devious smirk when he looked up to Renji. “I always have fun with Renji.”

Renji returned the smirk, although internally he was a bit intimidated by the smaller man - Yukio was brilliant, and he could be entirely devious when he applied that brilliance. Toshiro saying what he’d said, the way he’d said it, had turned subduing Yukio into a game… And Yukio didn’t like losing. He was going to probably have to manhandle him into a bind and the brat was also going to enjoy every second of making that nearly impossible. “I’m sure - and I always have fun with you, even when you’re making things difficult for me. On that note though, Toshiro,” Renji implored, “can you at least tell him he’s not allowed to leave the sofa? I’m really not up for chasing him around the house this time…”

Toshiro did laugh then, saying, “Yukio, you are to remain touching either Renji or the sofa at all times.” He smiled, knowing Yukio would catch all of the loopholes he’d purposely allowed in that order.

Yukio’s smile never did falter. Renji likely had no idea how much he could do if those were his only limitations. “Yes, master,” he replied, sharing a knowing glance with his master. Renji really hadn’t done himself any favors, but Yukio would let him believe he had… for now.

Byakuya leaned up for a moment to kiss Renji’s cheek before rising from the sofa and crossing the short distance to the opposite one, lying on his stomach as he had been instructed. He folded his arms beneath his head, turning to rest his cheek on his forearm, both for comfort and so that he still had visual contact with Renji. Though he was far more excited than nervous, there was still a touch of apprehension sneaking in. 

Toshiro stood up as well, grabbing the candle and noting that there was quite a lot of liquid wax now pooling at the center around the wick. He set the candle on the floor, near the sofa, where he had set the ice bucket earlier, and kneeled next to Byakuya. He brushed his long, raven hair away from his face, saying quietly, “Before this starts, I want to clarify something, Byakuya. You’ve allowed me to touch you any way that I wish with my hands, but you have not clarified one way or the other if I’m also allowed to kiss you. 

“If you don’t want me to, I’ll keep myself in check, but I admit that I want to, very much. I thought I could do this without saying anything, but seeing you like this, submitting so beautifully… I had to ask or my mind would just be tormenting myself while I touched you, wanting to kiss your skin, your lips, but not knowing whether or not I was allowed. I… hope I’m not overstepping with you. You affect me a great deal, Byakuya, you always have…”

Byakuya smiled, reaching out briefly to trace his fingertips along Toshiro’s jawbone to his chin before returning his hand to its place under his head. “I can’t deny that you affect me, too. I would like it very much if you would kiss me. I just want to be sure that Renji is well aware of this change, since it wasn’t discussed before,” he said, glancing around Toshiro to Renji on the opposite sofa.

Renji and Yukio had so far been peacefully watching their exchange, Yukio still deceptively docile and cuddled up into his side. They both were a bit mesmerized by the two beautiful men, the longing between them obvious and Renji smiled as he said, “Whatever you two decide you are comfortable doing with one another, I don’t mind at all. I’m not concerned - I know you love me, Bya, and that Toshiro’s entire world is Yukio here. I’m sure Yukio feels the same way; you’re both stunning together, and it’s clear how much you care about and desire one another. I wouldn’t deny Bya anything or anyone that made him feel like you do, Toshiro - you two are already beautiful to watch, it’s not like I won’t enjoy seeing you together.”

Yukio leaned a bit more into Renji's side as he nodded, his eyes sweeping appreciatively from his master to Byakuya. “I do agree - you’re both beautiful,” he said with a smile. Not only did he mean their actual aesthetics, which were stunning, but the way his master looked at Byakuya, with so much care and admiration, which he had been forced to hide away until recently, made warmth flood his heart. Seeing his master this happy was a rare thing indeed, especially when Yukio wasn’t directly responsible for it. 

“Thank you, Renji. I knew you wouldn’t mind, but I can’t help but include you in all of my decisions,” Byakuya said with a smile. It was true. Doing anything without Renji just made his heart clench, and he didn’t want to cause him any distress by making decisions without knowing that Renji was aware of them.

Renji nodded, smiling fondly while carding his fingers through Yukio’s fine blonde hair, “I know, Bya. And that’s exactly why I don’t mind. I trust you completely and I’ve never loved anyone the way I love you.”

Byakuya gave Renji a soft, affectionate smile, one he knew was reserved only for his lover, before bringing his eyes back to Toshiro. “I’m ready to begin, whenever you decide to,” he told him, relaxing and letting his eyes shut for a moment as he took a deep breath. Though, the calming effect was a bit skewed when he opened his eyes to bright, striking teal that made his heart skip.

Toshiro had leaned in impossibly close to him, his small smile growing slightly as Byakuya opened his eyes again and he saw them widen in slight surprise at his proximity. He leaned in a bit closer, his fingers weaving into soft raven locks as he pressed a soft kiss to his cheek, teal eyes fluttering shut at just that brief contact. He’d wanted to touch him like this, to be allowed to show him how much he desired and wanted him for so long. In many ways, Byakuya had been his first serious crush, having only been 16 at the time they first met, and finally being able to act on that, nearly ten years later, was a staggering relief. He withdrew from him, still smiling, his fingers still playing with his soft hair as he whispered, “Thank you, Byakuya, for allowing me this. I’ll take good care of you.”

Byakuya felt the tender passion in Toshiro’s lips, forcing a content sigh to surface. From his position, there wasn’t much he could do to reciprocate, but he settled for leaning into Toshiro’s hand in his hair. “I know you will, Toshiro. I trust you,” he whispered. 

Three simple words, that Toshiro entirely believed, both made him want to sweep this man into his arms and thoroughly ravish his mouth and prevented him from doing so. Because Byakuya trusted him, trusted him to take care of him in this state, to be aware and respectful of his boundaries. And he’d been asked to perform a kink, to administer wax play, which is what Byakuya was expecting him to do. He took his own steadying breath, allowing his mind to fall into his own domspace, Byakuya’s needs becoming his sole focus, his own disappearing from his mind.

He ran his fingers down Byakuya’s back, the muscles below the skin reacting to his light touch. He made several sweeps, leaving no skin untouched, before putting more pressure behind his touch, massaging the muscles beneath his hands while rubbing against the skin. His goal wasn’t really to stimulate the skin - he was actually trying to deaden it a bit, so that the shock of the hot wax wasn’t so harsh as it would have been against skin that hadn’t really been touched at all so far.

Renji watched as Toshiro stroked Byakuya’s back and began to massage it, thoroughly caught up in just watching Byakuya’s reactions and Toshiro’s calm, sure motions. He looked down at Yukio, seeing the other two also had his full attention, he whispered to him, “Would you mind if we wait to have our fun to just watch your master with my Bya? I know you have a pretty strong voyeurism kink yourself, Yukio, and I really don’t want to miss this. They really are gorgeous together.”

Yukio nodded, not able to wrench his eyes away from the other two. “I wouldn’t mind. You’re right - I’d like to watch regardless, but seeing master like this… it’s a rare treat. I don’t want to miss it, either,” he said quietly. Sensing and seeing the amount of relief in his master’s eyes when he had kissed Byakuya made all of this worth it. He would never deny a chance to play with Renji, but he was more than grateful that Renji’s partner had been Byakuya, someone his master truly cared about. 

Byakuya began to relax from the initial tension of adjusting to Toshiro’s touch, his breathing calm and his heart at ease. He knew he could trust Toshiro, and having Renji there only made him all the more willing to completely let go. He knew it wouldn’t be difficult to allow himself to quickly sink into the peace and security of subspace.

Toshiro felt Byakuya completely relax, no longer tensing at all even as he varied where he touched him upon his back, doing so randomly with differing amounts of force. Gauging that he was properly desensitized enough to unexpected touches, he said with no small amount of command to his tone, “Byakuya, look at me while I instruct you on what will happen next and what I need you to do. I need to be sure you understand.”

Byakuya silently obeyed, lifting his head and turning to make eye contact with Toshiro. The calm authority in those teal eyes was riveting, and he had no choice but to stay focused on him, awaiting his instruction.

“The temperature of this varies, depending upon how long the wax is allowed to cool by falling through the air before it hits your skin. And not everyone has the same comfort level for the heat. So I’m going to start with the candle fairly high - you should barely feel any heat, mostly just the surprise of the wax hitting your skin. Then I’ll move the candle and lower it, which means it will be hotter with the next drip of wax. 

“After each drop, I’m going to ask you for your color. Green means you’re perfectly fine and I should continue with the candle lower, yellow means you think you’re at your heat tolerance limit and you don’t want me to lower it any more. And of course red will bring a stop to this. It’s perfectly alright to call red on the first drip, if you don’t like the feeling at all. My Yukio doesn’t - don’t be self conscious, just honest. Understand?”

“Yes, I understand,” Byakuya replied, still somewhat unwilling to look away. Also, he needed to be sure that Toshiro didn’t need his attention any longer, his mind already entering a state that put him at Toshiro’s mercy. He was well aware of Toshiro’s skill, as had been pointed out by Renji more than once, and his own personal trust in this man only caused the transition of his mind to quicken.

“Good. You may relax back down.” Toshiro was smiling gently, both at Byakuya’s perfect obedience so far that the other man had very clearly been waiting on Toshiro’s permission to break eye contact with him and lay back down. Byakuya was proving to be a delight to him, a perfect submissive, and he wasn’t at all concerned that his instructions wouldn’t be followed.

He reached for the candle, now with even more collected liquid wax pooling around the wick. He held the candle as high as he could while still remaining in full control of it and tilted it slowly, allowing a single drop of wax to fall before righting it, his eyes only falling to the shine of the wax upon Byakuya’s back when he was certain no more would drip. His voice was clear as he commanded, “Color.”

“Green,” Byakuya supplied an answer immediately. He had barely flinched when the wax had dropped onto his skin. Toshiro was right - it wasn’t hot at all at this point. In fact, he already felt it drying. Though the feeling didn’t do anything particularly for him so far, he was more than willing to allow Toshiro to proceed.

Toshiro moved the candle over so that the wax would impact a different section of his back, lowering it a bit as well before repeating the process of allowing one drop of liquid hot wax to fall. “Color.”

“Green,” Byakuya replied. There wasn’t much difference this time, perhaps a bit of warmth from the wax. And he had so extremely relaxed that even the sensation of it dropping somewhere else hadn’t really startled him. In fact, instead of being overtly arousing, he found it to be soothing.

Toshiro continued the pattern, lowering and moving the candle after each ‘Green’ response from Byakuya. His back was slowly becoming a patchwork of drying wax and Toshiro was determined to continue until it was mostly covered. Eventually though, he found Byakuya’s tolerance point. He had actually flinched slightly, that time, and Toshiro already knew the response even as he commanded, “Color.”

“Yellow,” Byakuya said. Throughout the process, he had so entirely melted into the sofa, bonelessly relaxed, that the sting of the heat had alarmed him a bit. But, knowing that his response would let Toshiro know his comfort level, he continued his steady breathing, actually a bit surprised that something like this would so thoroughly calm him. The almost continuous layer of wax on his back was warm and comfortable, and when he closed his eyes, the sensation pulled him into that familiar sense of floating, his surroundings seeming to fall away.

Toshiro’s sharp teal eyes quickly noted the distance his hand was above Byakuya’s back, committing it to memory. The terrifying thing about the way his mind worked was that such a thing would remain, perfectly in his memory - whether he wanted to forget or not. It was one of the ways Yukio helped ground him - keeping his focus on him instead of utterly random, useless things that Toshiro had no wish to recall. But he was a bit grateful to the skill concerning things like this - he wasn’t worried that he’d accidentally drip the wax too low. 

He knew that, beyond the issue of the open flame, this was one of the main reasons Renji was so uncomfortable performing wax play - he didn’t trust himself enough to keep the proper distance between the candle and the submissive’s skin. Toshiro continued covering Byakuya’s back, still requesting the color after each time as he wasn’t about to alter the man’s instructions in the middle of this, even though he was confident now that the only answer would be green. Eventually most of his back was covered in wax and Toshiro blew out the candle, setting it aside, carding one of his hand’s fingers through Byakuya’s soft hair as he allowed the rest of the wax to cool and fully harden. 

Byakuya gave a contented hum, resting and reveling in the weightless feeling for as long as Toshiro allowed. This experience closely rivaled the effect of being bound by Renji’s ribbons, pulling him out of his own mind just by the sheer comfort of being warm, accompanied by the feeling of something over him. Though the wax wasn’t restraining, the solid layer had a similar effect on his mind. He didn’t try too hard to figure out why. He just allowed it to relax him, feeling only Toshiro’s fingers running through his hair.

Toshiro lightly touched the wax after several minutes, checking to make sure it was completely dry. This next step - peeling it off - was sure to be interesting. It usually felt good, but whether or not it was good to the point of arousing varied and he could at least admit to himself that he was more than a little curious what Byakuya’s reaction to this would be. He leaned over, kissing Byakuya’s hair just above his ear as he said quietly, “I’m going to peel this off. Feel free to let your body react but try to remain as still as you can. I’ll tell you when it’s completely removed. Understand?”

“I understand,” Byakuya replied. He braced himself a bit for the foreign sensation, not entirely sure what to expect. Based on what had happened so far, he could imagine it certainly wouldn’t be unpleasurable, but he had a hard time allowing his body to relax completely again as he anticipated it.

Toshiro used his nails to lift part of the wax that was over Byakuya’s left shoulder blade until a thick band of it was lifted, and then he carefully peeled it off so that the wax didn’t crack and break during the process. Not only was that a bit annoying to the person removing the wax, it just felt utterly satisfying to the person it was peeled off of - like peeling the top layer of skin from a healing sunburn. The skin beneath the wax was a slightly reddened color from the heat and Toshiro leaned over, pushing cooling breath from his mouth over the revealed area.

Byakuya tensed instantly, an involuntary gasp exiting his lips as a severe - but extremely pleasurable - chill ran through his body. It had been enough to push a bit of pleasure into him when the wax had been initially removed, but Toshiro’s cool breath only intensified the feeling. He clenched his hands around his folded arms, his core muscles flexed to keep himself still as Toshiro continued.

Toshiro continued removing the wax, using his cool breath to soothe the revealed skin, and Byakuya was only becoming more affected beneath him. He couldn’t help but smile, enjoying that he could bring such obvious pleasure to his oldest friend. When the last of the wax was removed, he stated, his voice calm and clear, “I’m done removing the wax, Byakuya. If you need a minute, that’s fine. If you want me to continue, turn over onto your back.” He ran a soothing hand over his back as he waited to see what Byakuya would do - he’d wait as long as the other man needed him to, his focus completely on his needs in this moment.

Byakuya had no idea why he would want a minute. The teasing chills that sparked through his blood every time Toshiro breathed gently on his back had him fully aroused. He desperately wanted Toshiro to continue, so after only a few heavy breaths, he moved to turn over, his somewhat unfocused gaze immediately finding confident teal eyes. The desire to grab the man and pull him onto him was almost overwhelming, so he anchored his hands onto the sofa beneath him, just as he had earlier with Renji, intent to wait for instruction.

Toshiro took in his barely restrained state and felt his own arousal hit him hard, rapidly realizing that there was no way he was going to be able to hover over this man like this without pinning him and grinding down into him. Which meant… “Byakuya, remember how Yukio was sitting on my lap before? I want you to move so I can sit down and then I want you to do the same, sit facing me on my lap. Understand?” 

“Yes,” Byakuya breathed, shifting to allow Toshiro room to sit and then quickly moving to straddle his lap as soon as he was settled. Byakuya’s knees against the back of the sofa prevented him from getting as close as he wanted to, and he barely held back from immediately claiming Toshiro’s lips with his own. He rested his hands on Toshiro’s shoulders, willing them not to wander, because he definitely wanted them to. He tried to avert his eyes to something on the man that wasn’t so ridiculously sexy, but he issued a soft, subconscious whine when he realized it was impossible. He had no idea how he was going to survive this, his only hope being that his submissive mind prevented him from doing anything without permission in this state.

Toshiro honestly wasn’t much better, the desperate desire in Byakuya’s slate gray eyes - in his every movement - made him want to pin him down. But he remained focused - that wasn’t what Byakuya had agreed on before. He was allowed to touch the man though, and he planned to bring him relief soon. “You are to remain sitting, upright like this, unless I pull you to me. You can touch my body and my hair with your hands, as long as you don’t pull, push, or attempt to actually move me.” Toshiro grabbed Byakuya’s hip with one hand as he raised his other to lightly stroke his throat, his voice a bit rough with his own need as he asked, “Understand?”

“Yes, thank you,” Byakuya gasped, his hands immediately taking separate paths - one to the back of Toshiro’s neck to lightly thread his fingers into soft, white hair, and the other moving downward to meticulously study the lean muscles in Toshiro’s chest and upper abs. At this point, his body was acting of its own accord, only guided by Toshiro’s commands, and a heavy moan left his mouth, the hand in Toshiro’s hair trembling a bit as he willed himself not to close his fingers around it, a habit from his time with Renji that he had to prevent from coming to the surface.

Toshiro’s own breathing picked up, shivering at the feeling of Byakuya’s fingers exploring his body. His hand on his hip trailed up his side, over his chest, and behind his neck to take hold of Byakuya’s long hair, pulling just enough for him to angle his head slightly. All the while his other hand had circled the front of his throat, gently squeezing and slightly restricting his ability to breathe. 

Byakuya stopped himself just short of leaning into Toshiro, a long, low groan pushing past the hand around his throat. He buried his hand even more thoroughly into Toshiro’s hair, his other hand curving around to latch firmly onto his side, careful not to let him feel as though he was trying to pull him. “Toshiro,” Byakuya forced his voice out past the pressure on his neck, still practically whining the man’s name. The pleasure was blinding, and he wanted relief, but another part of him never wanted it to end, the sensation of being on the edge feeling fantastic .

“I’ve got you,” Toshiro murmured, entirely focused on the man before him, taking in his every reaction, his aborted movements as he unconsciously moved to lean into him and then halted his own motion. Toshiro was only holding him in place by the hand at the back of his neck, only pressing against his throat with his other hand to drive him further into pleasure, and Byakuya was already nearly begging with him for relief. Toshiro was so aroused himself at being able to bring Byakuya to this state, after so long of wanting to, after so many lonely nights fantasizing having this man look at him exactly this way, he couldn’t resist closing the distance between them, finally capturing Byakuya’s lips with his own. Toshiro shuddered at the feeling, teal eyes falling half-lidded in pleasure, his tongue sweeping across Byakuya’s lips before speaking against them, “Open for me, Byakuya, let me taste you.”

Byakuya immediately obliged, whimpering a bit at the commanding tone in Toshiro’s voice, his arousal mounting only higher with the contact of their lips. It wasn’t difficult to follow his every order when it was spoken so confidently, telling him to do things he had truly wanted to do before they had even begun.

Toshiro immediately deepened the kiss, his tongue seeking out Byakuya’s and prompting him to engage with him. Toshiro groaned deeply as Byakuya responded. He kept the pressure upon his throat but his other hand released his hair and pressed against his chest, his fingers seeking and finding each nipple, playing with them until they hardened, his hand moving lower and firmly stroking his toned abs. 

Byakuya’s breath hitched, even as Toshiro had his mouth thoroughly occupied, as his hand moved lower. He wanted to beg him to continue, but the immense pleasure coursing through him prevented him. The unique taste of Toshiro’s mouth, the feeling of his hands on him, it was all different, a novelty that he feared losing. He honestly never wanted Toshiro to stop, content to sink into the pleasure for as long as he was willing to give it. 

Toshiro allowed his hand to wander lower, to press upon Byakuya’s straining length. Byakuya whimpered and Toshiro captured the sound with his mouth, kissing him with a desperate edge even as he kept his firm control. He quickly unbuttoned and unzipped his pants, giving him the room he needed to slip his hand beneath his boxers and grasp Byakuya’s cock, his fingers wrapping around him firmly as he began to pump him. He found himself wanting nothing more than to feel and see Byakuya come undone, sitting on his lap, lost in his kiss, because of his hand.

Byakuya groaned heavily into Toshiro’s mouth as he began working his aching length. At the direct contact, sweat broke out on his back, and he knew he wasn’t going to last long after so long holding back the tension. He broke away from Toshiro’s lips only to say, “Toshiro, I want to come. Please, let me come,” he begged, his breathing ragged and labored and his eyes half-lidded as Toshiro continued the rhythm he had set.

Toshiro shuddered himself at the tone, and at the question itself. Byakuya really had been perfect for him. Even in this, asking permission because Toshiro hadn’t yet told him he could. Toshiro felt incredible, such a beautiful man - the man he had never thought he’d see this way - under his complete control. If he had any sort of stimulation at all right now, he was certain he’d be on the edge himself. “So good, Byakuya,” Toshiro groaned before his tone sharpened and he said clearly, “Come for me.”

It took only seconds before Byakuya was tumbling over the edge, his climax forcefully taking him over. He had to brace his hands on Toshiro’s shoulders to keep from collapsing onto him, resting his forehead against Toshiro’s and clenching his eyes shut, the only way he could be certain he wouldn’t lose his constitution completely. The waves of pleasure sent tingling chills down his arms as the pressure subsided, and he relaxed his hold on Toshiro’s shoulders as he attempted to catch his breath.

Toshiro withdrew both hands from his throat and cock, re-securing Byakuya’s pants without looking at him, maintaining his modesty as much as possible with what they’d just done. He wiped his slightly sticky fingers off on his own pants, uncaring, just wanting to pull the man into him to rest against his chest. Byakuya was far larger than Yukio but his weight was still comforting. He steadied his own breathing, ignoring his own achingly hard arousal. He would address that later. For now he focused on rubbing his hands down Byakuya’s toned back, one coming to tilt his head up to take him in a slow, deep, comforting kiss, Toshiro melting into the feeling of actually being allowed to do so, moaning into Byakuya’s welcoming mouth.

Byakuya let out a content sigh, resting in the calming contact of Toshiro’s hands running down his back and his lips against his. The kiss was soothing, not desperate as it was before. Byakuya felt impossibly more tension exit his body, his hands dropping from Toshiro’s shoulders to rest more easily at his waist.

Toshiro gently broke the kiss, nuzzling into Byakuya’s neck before pressing a few more kisses against his skin, trailing up his jaw to his ear, whispering, “Beautiful, Byakuya. Thank you, for your submission. I would be honored to play with you, to take care of you - you only need ask.” He kissed his cheek again before resting his chin on his shoulder, teal eyes finding the emerald of his beautiful Yukio and he smiled, asking, “Did you enjoy watching, love?”

“Yes, master, I enjoyed it very much. You and Byakuya are beautiful together,” Yukio replied with a bright grin. It was very much obvious that it had been an arousing experience for him, but more than that he had watched his master’s every move, every expression, especially when Byakuya submitted to him so flawlessly, and he was overjoyed that his master had found what Yukio knew he had wanted Byakuya to be. And though he knew Byakuya hadn’t tried to be that way - it was just his naturally submissive nature - he felt that he would need to thank him sometime for making his master so happy. 

Byakuya was honestly just trying to hold himself up, the weight of Toshiro’s chin on his shoulder causing him to shake slightly with the effort it took to stay upright. “Toshiro, may I relax?” he requested quietly.

"Of course, you did so well. You may do as you want now Byakuya, though I'd really like it if you relaxed against my chest. It's very comforting to me. I do believe Renji and Yukio held off their fun to watch us - which means we get the same pleasure," Toshiro said with a smile as he leaned back to look into Byakuya's eyes. 

Byakuya shifted to bring his stiff legs off to one side of Toshiro’s, all but collapsing and curling into his chest, resting his head on Toshiro’s shoulder. “They were watching?” he asked, turning slightly to find Renji, not being able to help the smile that curved his lips when he met those dark eyes.

"Honestly, Bya, there was no way we could tear our eyes away," Renji said with a fond smile. "Well, I have a difficult time not watching almost anything you do, but watching you completely let go and submit to Toshiro, to allow yourself to just lose yourself in pleasure… And then to see Toshiro so attentively take care of you… I don't think I've enjoyed watching a scene more. You two are gorgeous, even more so together." Renji turned to Yukio, dropping a kiss on his nose, "We really lucked out? Didn't we? That these two needed us to open up - otherwise I'm pretty sure they would have been too wrapped up in each other to notice we exist."

Toshiro chuckled, "Yukio, more than anyone, made me into the person I am today. Taking care of him, having him be my primary focus over the course of the past year and a half, made me a far better person. He's brought me an almost permanent sense of calm. The person I was in college… I never would have been able to be what Byakuya needed. We never would have had the necessary, blunt conversations it would have taken. The only reason we fit so well now, I'm certain, is because of you both, shaping us into who we always could have been but weren't able to see for ourselves."

“He’s right, Renji. I don’t know if you really understand what you did for me, but I hope the amount of trust I feel comfortable putting in you, Toshiro, and Yukio is testament enough to how far I’ve come because of you,” Byakuya agreed. He was still a bit hazy, but fully cognizant, really just wanting to rest. Habit drove him to lightly press his nose to Toshiro’s neck, and he gave a light sigh at the instant comfort the action brought him.

Toshiro smiled, leaning his cheek against his head, feeling utterly at peace with Byakuya so content against his chest. His own need was still present but easy to ignore in the face of this overwhelming feeling of finally being able to be with Byakuya this way. His teal eyes found the beautiful emerald of his Yukio’s as he said, "Well love? Do I get a show now too?" 

“Oh, yes, master. There will definitely be a show,” Yukio replied, looking up to Renji with a mischievous grin.

Renji groaned a bit. What on earth had he gotten himself into? 

Chapter Text

Byakuya shifted to bring his stiff legs off to one side of Toshiro’s, all but collapsing and curling into his chest, resting his head on Toshiro’s shoulder. “They were watching?” he asked, turning slightly to find Renji, not being able to help the smile that curved his lips when he met those dark eyes.

"Honestly, Bya, there was no way we could tear our eyes away," Renji said with a fond smile. "Well, I have a difficult time not watching almost anything you do, but watching you completely let go and submit to Toshiro, to allow yourself to just lose yourself in pleasure… And then to see Toshiro so attentively take care of you… I don't think I've enjoyed watching a scene more. You two are gorgeous, even more so together." Renji turned to Yukio, dropping a kiss on his nose, "We really lucked out? Didn't we? That these two needed us to open up - otherwise I'm pretty sure they would have been too wrapped up in each other to notice we exist."

Toshiro chuckled, "Yukio, more than anyone, made me into the person I am today. Taking care of him, having him be my primary focus over the course of the past year and a half, made me a far better person. He's brought me an almost permanent sense of calm. The person I was in college… I never would have been able to be what Byakuya needed. We never would have had the necessary, blunt conversations it would have taken. The only reason we fit so well now, I'm certain, is because of you both, shaping us into who we always could have been but weren't able to see for ourselves."

“He’s right, Renji. I don’t know if you really understand what you did for me, but I hope the amount of trust I feel comfortable putting in you, Toshiro, and Yukio is testament enough to how far I’ve come because of you,” Byakuya agreed. He was still a bit hazy, but fully cognizant, really just wanting to rest. Habit drove him to lightly press his nose to Toshiro’s neck, and he gave a light sigh at the instant comfort the action brought him.

Toshiro smiled, leaning his cheek against his head, feeling utterly at peace with Byakuya so content against his chest. His own need was still present but easy to ignore in the face of this overwhelming feeling of finally being able to be with Byakuya this way. His teal eyes found the beautiful emerald of his Yukio’s as he said, "Well love? Do I get a show now too?" 

“Oh, yes, master. There will definitely be a show,” Yukio replied, looking up to Renji with a mischievous grin.

Renji groaned a bit. What on earth had he gotten himself into?

Renji pulled out the ribbons he preferred using for bondage, holding them up. “Now, Yukio,” he said, his voice dipping into that commanding velvet tone - hoping it’d have at least some effect on the submissive. Although, Yukio could direct that impulse extremely well, only the person he saw as his actual master could affect him immediately. And his master had told him to disobey. Yeah… this was going to be fun… “Be a good boy for me and get on your hands and knees.”

Yukio didn’t bother asking questions. He knew where Renji wanted him to be. But, taking his master’s orders to heart, he slid to rest his knees on the floor, his hands flat on the sofa cushions, facing toward the back of the sofa, giving Renji none of the access he knew he wanted. But, that was what Renji got for giving vague instructions.

Renji sighed… Right… misinterpreting on purpose… He glanced back at Toshiro who had the audacity to be smirking right now. Fine… he’d be more specific… Or he’d just manhandle Yukio into position but he thought he’d at least try this way first.

Afterall, it was part of the game, and he didn’t want to deny Yukio any of his fun.

“Yukio, get back on the couch with your forearms on the arm, leaning your upper body on them, while you kneel on the right-most cushion - and then stay like that.”

Yukio considered for a moment, knowing that if he didn’t obey he would just be forced into position. Not that he’d mind that. But there was no misinterpreting this time. So, he’d concede this time. There would be other opportunities, he was sure of it. “Ah, well, you didn’t say that ,” he quipped as he pulled himself back up onto the sofa. 

He positioned himself as Renji had instructed, but when he placed his forearms on the arm of the sofa, he lowered his chest down onto them, again denying Renji access. Perhaps there was room for misinterpretation. He tried not to laugh as he looked up to Renji, maintaining a docile smile as well as he could.

Renji studied him for a minute. He could take the opportunity and probably bind his thighs together, since he actually was kneeling. He usually didn’t do that - thus Yukio wasn’t expecting him to - but it may be better to do so now. If it got in Toshiro’s way later he could undo it himself for putting Yukio up to being even more bratty than usual, Renji thought with a smirk. 

He pet a hand down Yukio’s back, moving it up and down, allowing his fingers to slide through the fine blonde hair. Then he moved rather swiftly as his hand traveled back down, getting on the sofa himself behind the smaller man, clutching Yukio by both hips so that he couldn’t move and pinning his lower legs beneath his own.

“Hey!” Yukio yelped, trying to struggle against Renji’s firm grip. He knew at this point there was no use in trying. Renji was much stronger than he was. He could barely budge his legs to get free. It didn’t matter, though. He would be lying if he didn’t say he got quite the rush from being handled so decisively. But leaving his hands free would be a mistake Renji would likely regret later.

Renji took one of the two ribbons, throwing the other over his own shoulder - he knew better than to place it where Yukio could grab - and began securely wrapping Yukio’s thighs over his pants. He glanced over at Toshiro - because this was definitely going to be in his way - but the other dominant didn’t seem to mind, that smirk still on his face as he sat cuddling Byakuya to his chest. Renji smiled as well, knowing Toshiro just wanted Yukio to have fun with him, completely uncaring about having to undo a bit of ribbon bondage later.

Renji made sure the ribbon wasn’t too tight but still made it impossible for Yukio to separate his legs now. It didn’t completely stop him from moving but severely limited his options, with the added benefit of the restricting feeling on his legs that he wasn’t entirely used to when with Renji. Hopefully, the restriction would start him falling into at least a partial subspace and he’d be a bit more docile, even without really thinking about it.

Yukio gave a light sigh, letting his guard down for a moment as Renji took the time to bind his legs. He let his head fall, hanging a bit off the arm of the sofa. The restriction did calm him, but in the back of his mind was his master’s permission. He didn’t have to listen to Renji, but he could certainly enjoy what he was doing to him. His thighs being bound was a rather foreign sensation, but he quickly decided he liked it. It was actually even more effective than binding his arms, in terms of a calming effect, because he felt that it was a much more pivotal part of his body that was disabled. Still, he didn’t lose sight of the desire to give his master a show.

Renji caressed his back and sides for a minute, just letting Yukio settle into the feeling. Yukio loved a challenge, but he also was extremely submissive, and he knew that he was enjoying the feeling of being restricted. If anything, it only added to the challenge. Renji slid one of his hands up to the back of Yukio’s neck, his fingers threading through his fine hair and gripping as he stood from the sofa, keeping him pinned against the arm. He moved to crouch next to him, his voice low as he asked, “Now Yukio, if I release you, will you sit back on your knees for me and hold your arms together in front of you so I can bind them properly?”

Yukio brought one hand up to Renji’s cheek, keeping his smile intact as he ran his thumb over the smooth skin. He truly did admire Renji, and he was always pleasantly surprised when they challenged one another. Still, he wasn’t finished. His hand drifted slowly toward Renji’s ear as he said, “You know, I don’t want to lie to you… I don’t think I will.” Before Renji was able to react, he slid his hand into Renji’s hair and pulled.

A whine slipped past Renji’s lips and he fell the rest of the way to his knees, his body shuddering at the harsh, completely unexpected pull. “Y-Yukio…” he groaned out as his hand released Yukio’s own hair, immediately clutching at his arm to release the tension in his hair. Renji growled a bit, because Yukio knew not to do that without permission, and he said, with no small amount of threat, “Let. Go.”

Yukio obeyed immediately, but he wasn’t even slightly afraid of Renji’s tone. He knew he’d never hurt him, but he did know his brazen action would drive Renji’s aggression a bit. Still, just to be sure he wasn’t truly angry, Yukio pulled his arm from Renji’s grasp and took his hand, watching him intently with a truly calm and not at all challenging expression until he was certain of Renji’s response.

Renji breathed deeply, calming himself as Yukio released him. Dark eyes locked on emerald green, no longer challenging, but Renji’s mind had been thrown into making sure Yukio yielded to him completely. He grabbed Yukio by the back of the neck, holding him in place. He honestly wanted to claim his mouth, to force him to submit to a demanding kiss, but Yukio’s limits flashed through his mind. Only Toshiro was allowed to kiss him like that and Renji growled again in slight frustration. 

It took a full five minutes, looking into calm, completely trusting emerald green eyes for Renji to find his own calm, convinced that Yukio wasn’t going to do something so brazen again. He leaned forward, pressing their foreheads together, their breath mixing together as he let go of the impulse that had almost overwhelmed him. Yukio wasn’t actually trying to win by challenging him - he wanted to submit to Renji - he was just having fun. Renji kept that thought front and center in his mind as he leaned back, kissing Yukio on the nose as he withdrew from him. “Let me ask again, now, will you sit up or will I need to force you to do so? And if you pull my hair again, I’m not going to ask or tell anymore - I’m just going to do.”

Yukio shuddered a bit at the thought, a thrill running through him at the prospect of being handled so roughly. Still, he didn’t want to do something so drastic again, even if he did know Renji would never lose control with him. “I’d like it if you’d force me, please, Renji,” Yukio replied, his tone fully subdued and willing to comply for now. He’d give Renji a moment to calm down, but still keep his spirit alive by asking him to manhandle him. He would give a light struggle, of course, but the goal wouldn’t really be to win, because he knew he couldn’t. But there was no point in having Renji force him unless he fought a bit.  

Renji nodded, understanding the compromise - it was an old one between them. Renji pushed Yukio up by his shoulder, quickly snagging both of his wrists with his other hand. Yukio was so slight that it wasn’t even hard for him to securely hold both together, even as Yukio gave a bit of a struggle. He brought the captured wrists all the way to Yukio’s chest so that he couldn’t lean back down and plucked the second ribbon from the floor where it had fallen. Using both hands, he twisted Yukio’s wrists flush against each other and wrapped the center of the ribbon around them securely, tight but not tight enough to cut off his circulation - and Yukio was aware enough of the importance of that to at least allow him to check it in peace in the middle of his struggling.

Yukio kept up the facade of fighting, but really Renji’s actions were quickly pulling him into submission, just as rough play always did. He gave a light groan when Renji tightened the ribbon around his wrists, and he stared - a bit apologetically - into dark brown eyes. 

Renji smiled at the expression, seeing and feeling Yukio begin to fully submit, his struggles far less motivated and almost unconscious, mostly just to make sure Renji remained somewhat rough with him. He carefully bound the rest of his forearms up to the elbow, tying off the ribbon, and then pushed him back down against the arm of the sofa himself. Yukio’s slightly glassy green eyes were still gazing up at him when Renji stood back a bit from the arm of the sofa, taking in his fully bound form, and very slowly he began to unbutton his own pants.

Yukio’s eyes widened, arrested by the action. He knew what the plan was, but he couldn’t help but squirm a bit in anticipation, the bindings not really allowing him to move much at all. It would sound odd to some, but he was going to thoroughly enjoy having Renji in his mouth, specifically in the way they had agreed on.

Renji finished opening his pants enough to free his very hard cock, smirking at Yukio’s expression and stroking himself in front of him as he said in a deep, velvet voice, “Look at you, you can’t wait for me to use your mouth, can you?”

Yukio whined at his words and his actions, attempting to lean forward, but finding that he would certainly fall if he tried to reach. “Please, Renji,” he requested softly, an involuntary groan issuing from his throat as he watched Renji lightly touching himself. 

Byakuya had been tense in Toshiro’s lap since Yukio had pulled Renji’s hair. Honestly, he had begun to fear for the smaller man’s safety, but it was clear that Yukio knew Renji far better than Byakuya had first assumed. The sequence of events since then had been nothing short of shocking, Yukio asking to be handled roughly and Renji skillfully obliging. He didn’t know why he had such a hard time processing it - he knew Yukio’s kinks were unique - but he figured knowing something in theory and actually seeing it happen were two completely different things. He shuddered a bit at Yukio’s desperate tone as Renji held himself back from him. He had never seen this side of Renji, for obvious reasons, but it was clearly driving Yukio crazy in all the right ways. Seeing them interact so compatibly was actually quite satisfying, most of Byakuya’s misgivings of watching such a thing having dulled. Still, he hadn’t relaxed, his eyes glued to the other two.

Renji stepped closer, his tone commanding, “You know how I want you, Yukio, bring your body and head up and support your weight on your forearms - then I’ll let you have my cock.”

Yukio did so, his eyes never leaving the reward he so desperately wanted to claim, subconsciously whimpering and licking his lips in anticipation.

Renji’s fingers threaded into Yukio’s hair again as he held him securely, his other hand moving to press his thumb against Yukio’s lips, forcing his mouth open, “Good boy, Yukio,” Renji murmured, “keep this open wide for me.” Yukio allowed him to press against his lower teeth with his thumb, opening his mouth as wide as he could, before withdrawing the hand, pleased when Yukio kept his mouth open. He used his now free hand to hold his own cock, stepping a bit closer and allowing just the head to touch Yukio’s lips, groaning at the sight and the feeling as he traced those open, soft lips with the tip.

Yukio was trembling a bit at this point, fully submitting to Renji’s slow approach but truly wishing he would just push into his mouth. He obeyed the command to keep his mouth open, but followed the tip of Renji’s cock with his tongue, a shuddering breath forced out at the taste.

Renji pressed in a bit further, allowing the whole head to enter Yukio’s warm, wet mouth, his breathing picking up as he continued to use his tongue on him but otherwise kept his mouth entirely lax, open, and accepting. “You can close your lips around me now, Yukio,” Renji said, “You’re being such a good boy for me.” Not needing to hold himself anymore, he instead brought his hand to caress Yukio’s jaw and cheek. “Such a sweet mouth, and so satisfying to sink into after the challenge of forcing you to submit - you’re a joy to play with Yukio, and you feel amazing.”

Yukio moaned a bit around Renji’s cock, stroking what he was allowed with his tongue. He felt himself relaxing completely - as well as he could while holding himself up - at both the satisfying feeling of a warm, heavy cock in his mouth and at Renji’s words. The tension from their struggle had entirely vanished, and he was confident in utterly and completely letting go.

Renji grinned as what little tension remained in Yukio’s body left him and slowly began fucking his mouth, sinking in just a little deeper each time. Yukio loved being filled, being used this way, completely at his mercy and also confident that Renji would never be so rough as to actually hurt him. His throat open and relaxed around him and Renji groaned at the feeling as Yukio occasionally swallowed around him, that tongue never ceasing its movement against him - fuck he’d missed this. Very few people would allow this - were able to even do so. But Yukio legitimately loved it, so much that his gag response was nearly nonexistent, desperately wanting Renji to use his mouth this way, wanting to feel him and give him complete control over the motion. It was a heady feeling and Renji understood just exactly how much trust Yukio was placing in him to keep control, to take him gently.

Yukio felt his own arousal reaching a painful peak as Renji thrusted into his mouth. Every time his cock gently but steadily passed the back of his throat, it sent waves of pleasure over him. He loved being filled, in any possible way, but it had been much too long since he’d had Renji in his mouth, and the familiarity in Renji’s touch and movements drove the effects only higher. Light tremors struck him with almost every thrust. He could do this for hours.

Toshiro had been watching appreciatively but was also carefully gaging Yukio’s condition. He wasn’t going to be able to hold back his own release at this rate. Toshiro felt he should have anticipated this - with how long it had been since he’d played with Renji. And this type of play… Renji was larger than Toshiro, physically, in every way, and Yukio was tiny in comparison. Yukio had a rather potent size kink which made him enjoy playing with Renji even more. They did look incredibly alluring, Renji’s large, hard body using Yukio’s small mouth - it really didn’t seem like something the younger should be able to fully take let alone love it the way he did. 

The two combined… Added to the comfort and return of a partner Yukio had been worried about losing the ability to play with as neither of them were certain Byakuya would agree to this - it was becoming too much. And with his hands bound, he wasn’t going to be able to hold himself from the edge. Toshiro could give him permission to come during this scene and that would ease the sense of failure he would feel, but he also knew Yukio desperately wanted to have both Renji and Toshiro before coming himself. 

Toshiro shifted Byakuya a bit to pull out the cock ring he had in his pocket, lightly kissing his soft hair as he did so, gently saying, “It’s alright, you don’t need to move, I’ve got you.” He’d planned to use the ring on Yukio when he was with him anyway but he was clearly going to need it before. “Renji,” Toshiro addressed, the authority in his voice causing Renji to pause, his length most of the way out from Yukio’s mouth. Yukio whimpered, likely from both his tone of voice and from Renji ceasing to move. “Catch,” Toshiro commanded, tossing him the ring, and Renji deftly caught it. His dark eyes met teal as he nodded, clearly understanding that Toshiro wouldn’t have interrupted unless he felt it was necessary - and he knew his Yukio far better.

Renji refocused on Yukio, noting he really did seem to be on the edge. Renji wasn’t far off but it was better not to risk Yukio not being able to hold on when he had set himself a goal like this. As odd as it may sound, failure during a scene - not being able to do as agreed upon or as ordered, as opposed to the play fighting and struggling he expected and wanted to lose earlier - was Yukio’s most prominent drop trigger. And Toshiro, very correctly, took it extremely seriously. The cock ring wouldn’t allow him to fail though, and so it was actually one of Yukio’s favorite toys when it came to orgasm denial like this. 

Renji gently slipped out of his mouth, Yukio whining at losing the feeling of his cock, and Renji said gently, “Your master wants me to place a cock ring on you, Yukio. He wants you to fully enjoy this without worrying about not being able to stop yourself from coming. I’ll give you back my cock and continue enjoying your mouth after I put this on, alright sweet boy?”

Yukio glanced at his master, though he admittedly wasn’t very focused in doing so. “Thank you, master,” he whispered, barely able to speak while catching his breath. He was truly thankful, because it was becoming rather uncomfortable for him to hold back. He hung his head a bit, resting his neck as Renji did as he had been instructed.

Luckily Renji had only bound his thighs - not his hips - and so it wasn’t all that difficult to open his pants enough to pull out Yukio’s cock and slide on the ring, Yukio trembling and whimpering as he carefully handled him. Though, the look of relief he had with the ring in place convinced Renji that Toshiro had been completely correct about him needing it. He nodded to Toshiro before returning to his position on the other side of the arm, his touch gentle as he coaxed him back up, saying, “Is that better, Yukio? You want my cock again? You want me to come down your throat?”

Yukio nodded, really in reference to all of the questions Renji asked. He felt massive relief at the feel of the cock ring, and he shuddered a bit at the thought of Renji coming down his throat. “Yes, Renji, yes, please,” the words spilled from his lips out of sheer desperation, glassy emerald eyes coming up to meet with dark brown.

Renji placed the tip of his cock back to Yukio’s lips and the sweet submissive immediately opened for him to sink in deeper, actually moaning around him as he did so and Renji had to prevent himself from moving too quickly at the feeling of the vibrations around him, causing a groan to escape his own lips. He slowly sunk all the way, until he could feel Yukio’s nose against him, before pulling back and setting as gentle of a rhythm as possible that was still enough to send him towards his own climax. With Yukio freely moaning around him though, letting go completely at no longer needing to be aware enough to hold off his own release, Renji knew he wasn’t going to last much longer. The image to his small, quivering body beneath him, those emerald eyes, impossibly glassy, gazing unfocused into his own… No he wasn’t lasting long at all.

With the security of the cock ring, Yukio felt as though he was completely absent of reality. With no ability to move most of his body and Renji’s cock filling his mouth and gently thrusting down his open throat, he was gone . He legitimately wasn’t in control of himself every time he moaned around Renji, each thrust only more firmly placing him deep in a state of bliss. 

Renji was panting because the slow build of this climax, not being able to increase his pace at the risk of hurting Yukio, was almost painful but so entirely worth it. He felt like he was on the edge for several minutes, gently thrusting into Yukio’s welcome mouth and open throat, and he finally felt himself about to release. “Yukio,” he groaned out, “I’m going to come now, so good, such a good boy, swallow around me…” Renji panted, the last statement a command as he thrust the entire way and held himself there. The feeling of Yukio obediently swallowing around him caused his orgasm to finally wash over him and he groaned deeply as he emptied himself down Yukio’s throat, whimpering as the blissed out submissive continued to swallow around him. 

Yukio diligently swallowed until he was sure that Renji’s climax had ended and only small twitches of shockwaves remained, at which point he held his mouth steady, completely still to avoid further stimulation. He didn’t even think of pulling away, mostly because he hadn’t been told to, but also because he simply loved this feeling just as much as anything else that filled him. Cock warming was just another thing he could literally do for hours. He actually knew he was going to loath the emptiness when Renji pulled away. 

Renji was shaking at the intensity of that, his breathing labored but he was quickly regaining control. He pet Yukio’s fine blonde hair, threading his fingers through as he simply held him in his mouth. It wasn’t stimulating and he was slowly softening, but it felt wonderfully comforting just to be within him and to feel the warmth around him. He continued to pet his hair as he completely calmed. “You did so well, such a sweet boy, Yukio. Thank you so much - you feel amazing. I’m going to remove myself now and your master will play with you next.” Renji slowly pulled out, smiling at the sound of loss Yukio emitted as he did so. 

He immediately knelt before him, pressing his forehead to Yukio’s, still petting his hair, “It’s alright, Yukio, I’m still here. Do you want to play with your master now? I know he misses you. I need to rejoin Bya but I’ll be right there, you’ll be able to see me still, alright? I’m sorry - you were waiting on me for a long time, weren’t you? You’d never lose me, Yukio. I just needed time… And you did so well…”

Yukio listened to Renji’s voice, trying and failing to focus on his face, eventually just closing his eyes and feeling the closeness and hearing his words. He had missed Renji - the only man who actually enjoyed the challenge of subduing him. He was much too obedient to his master for this to ever happen with him, but Renji filled that need for him. And no matter what risks he took, how far he went, how much he truly irritated Renji in the pursuit for submission, Renji would never leave, never hold onto any amount of anger. “I’m glad… glad you’re here, Renji,” he murmured. He inhaled deeply, their mixed breath entering his lungs as he calmed a bit. “I’m ready to play with master now.”

Renji kissed his nose before looking over to the other two on the opposite sofa. He fixed himself up a bit as he addressed Toshiro, “He needs you now, and I want my Bya back,” he said with a grin.

Toshiro returned the grin before saying softly in Byakuya’s ear, “I need to take care of my Yukio, now. But I want you to know just how much being with you like this has meant to me, Byakuya.” He stole one last kiss, just the press of his lips to the ones belonging to the beautiful man in his lap, before he gently maneuvered him to sit on the sofa, standing up. As he did so, Renji sat on Byakuya’s other side and pulled him to him. 

Seeing that Byakuya looked peaceful enough with the change, he focused entirely on Yukio, kneeling where Renji had been and kissing him gently, coaxing his mouth open in a slow kiss, completely uncaring of the taste of Renji still in his mouth. Yukio moaned and Toshiro smiled into the kiss. Yukio didn’t allow anyone but him this privilege and so when he did it, Yukio was certain he was with him again and he would have collapsed into him if Toshiro hadn’t held his shoulders. 

He pushed him back to sit on his knees, Yukio’s cock still being constricted by the ring becoming visible, precum still leaking in his highly aroused state. Toshiro slid next to him, between where Yukio was kneeling and the arm of the couch, and held him against his chest, petting and placing gentle kisses into his fine blonde hair as he whispered to him how well he’d done, how beautiful he was to watch, and how he loved him so much.

Yukio sank into his master’s arms, his breathing having evened out and his heart not quite so painfully racing in his chest. He had absolutely no negative feelings about his time with Renji, but his master was everything to him - his safety, his consistency, his trust, his love, his life. He nuzzled his cheek into his master’s chest, listening to his voice under his ear and occasionally turning to press his lips to smooth skin. 

Renji pressed a kiss to Byakuya’s hair, asking, “How are you doing, Bya?”

Byakuya gave a contented hum and turned to achieve his usual position with his nose lightly against Renji’s neck, kissing the tattoo there gently. “I’m doing fine. Yukio was quite the handful for you,” he whispered with a chuckle.

Renji laughed lightly, “Yeah, Yukio doesn’t get to play that way with really anyone else. He’s too submissive to Toshiro to be a brat like that, and he doesn’t have anyone else he’d trust enough to be rough with him while he’s being disobedient. I think you agreeing to this really made him happy, Bya - and I’ll admit I’ve missed the brat myself. He’s just fun, as frustrating as he can be. So, thank you again,” Renji concluded with a soft smile, kissing his lips gently before pulling away. “And you didn’t mind watching at all?”

“I was a bit embarrassed at first. But really I was more embarrassed by the fact that I actually enjoyed watching. It was… arousing. Not to the point that I was desperate for relief - definitely at a level I can easily ignore - but it was, nonetheless. Actually, I believe the fact that I was watching you was what made it affect me. Having Toshiro with me likely helped a bit. It probably would have been much more unnerving if I was the only one sitting here,” Byakuya replied. It wasn’t an exaggeration. Sure, he had watched Yukio only because he was with Renji, but with Toshiro and Yukio on the opposite sofa and his Renji there with him, his attention likely wouldn’t be arrested as easily.

Renji glanced over at the other two, noting that Toshiro was slowly undoing the binding on Yukio’s thighs, massaging them as he did so and Yukio was practically limp against his chest other than occasionally placing a soft kiss. “Toshiro will need to finish his scene with Yukio soon…” He murmured, “Do you want to stay for that? Or should we wait in the sitting room?”

Byakuya followed Renji’s eyes for only a moment before looking back up to him. “I don’t much feel like moving. To be honest, I may fall asleep regardless of what’s going on over there,” he admitted, laughing lightly. “If they don’t mind us being here, I don’t feel a need to leave,” he added, knowing his answer had been a bit vague.

Renji hummed, “I sincerely doubt you’re going to fall asleep once Toshiro actually gets started… But they certainly won’t mind. Literally no one else exists to those two right now - you can tell,” he stated, nodding towards them. 

Byakuya looked over again, realizing that Renji was certainly correct. Yukio was so deep in subspace still that he wasn’t concerned about much of anything , much less other people in the room. And Toshiro was so focused on him that there wasn’t even the slightest waver in his gaze as he caringly massaged Yukio’s thighs, sometimes looking at his face to monitor his condition.

“I may not fall asleep, but I assure you they aren’t nearly as interesting to me as you are,” Byakuya said, shifting a bit to kiss Renji’s cheek.

Renji turned to catch his lips with his own, humming into the kiss and deepening it. It felt so good to have him cuddled into his side again, to be able to claim his mouth like this - like coming home. He broke away gently, saying, “Love you, Bya.”

“Love you, too, Renji,” Byakuya replied before settling back into Renji’s side. He hadn’t been at all uncomfortable with Toshiro, but with Renji, it really was like everything else didn’t matter. This position, held into his side with his nose against his neck - one of the things that brought him peace in the lowest point of his life - felt like home.

Toshiro had completely removed the ribbon, laying it over the back of the sofa, out of the way. He tugged a bit at Yukio’s pants, not taking much to remove them from his slight body completely. He was so deep in subspace, from both his scene with Renji and from Toshiro’s own attention while he was being denied orgasm because of the ring still tight around him, that Toshiro honestly didn’t think he’d hold himself up very well. His legs were trembling - his whole body was really - and so he decided to simply take him like this, being able to remain collapsed against his chest. 

He removed a small bottle of lube from his pants pocket, setting it on the arm of the sofa before swiftly removing his own pants, only having to briefly lift his hips to slide them off. He supported Yukio against him as he maneuvered one of his shaking legs so that he could slide over a bit, settling the leg on the other side of his thigh so that Yukio was once again straddling him. Yukio’s cock was now pressed against his own between their abs, Yukio still completely leaning against him providing enough friction to make Toshiro give a slight groan at the feeling. Yukio whimpered as well but he was already so aroused, it was probably beginning to border on overstimulation as he was carefully keeping his body still and not thrusting into him. 

Byakuya’s attention had been claimed when his peripheral vision caught the motion of Toshiro’s pants being slid across the floor. He tried so hard not to stare, still convinced that viewing such an intimate act was highly indecent of him, but Toshiro was absolutely stunning. Yukio had his own appeal, which Byakuya definitely appreciated, but Toshiro was gorgeous . He was actually glad Yukio was straddling his lap, blocking much of his view, but that didn’t stop him from looking, eyes wide and cheeks burning, at both of the nude men on the opposite sofa. It seemed that he had no control over his eyes as they swept up Toshiro’s legs, over Yukio’s ass, up his lean, toned back, and finally to Toshiro’s face, bright teal eyes completely focused on his submissive.

Toshiro parted his own legs a bit so that he could easily access Yukio’s entrance, slicking his own fingers with the lube before beginning the gentle work of preparing him. He kissed him while he did so - really everywhere he could reach without moving his body - and when Yukio tilted his head up, his impossibly glassy eyes staring into his own, Toshiro captured his lips in a deep, slow kiss. Yukio moaned brokenly into his mouth and Toshiro took the opportunity to add a second finger, stretching him while supporting him with his other hand holding his ass.

A harsh tremor worked through Yukio’s body, which felt like every touch caught fire on contact. He focused on the gentleness of his master’s lips, urging his mind to stay calm. His master had him now. Though he was sweating with the strain of being held back, his breathing remained relatively calm, and he allowed his master to skillfully work his body. 

Toshiro gently broke the kiss as he removed his fingers, Yukio shuddering as he did so. He lifted him, angling his own hips to position his cock beneath him. Toshiro had to support him with one hand again, briefly, to hold himself in place, quickly lubing himself as he did so, before he thrust up a bit, entering Yukio’s tight body. His hand then returned to support him as Toshiro slowly let him slide down his cock. He had his own breathing fairly under control still, hyper focused on Yukio, watching him carefully for any sign of distress as he took his cock. But he saw none, his utterly pliant body accepting him easily. 

"You feel amazing, love," Toshiro murmured as he was finally fully seated, completely taking his hard length into his small body. He was still trembling, his bound arms between their bodies, his hands resting just above Toshiro's heart and beneath his own chin, still collapsed against him. "You're so tight and warm, so beautiful, so wonderfully accepting… Love you so much, love, I could stay like this for hours…"

Yukio could only sigh, a bit of a sensual moan accompanying the action, as his master filled him. The feeling of completion, of being utterly content in this state with his master so close, whispering sweet words of praise and reassurance, was something that could never be rivaled. “Love you, master,” he slurred, not even sure that his master had heard him. Much of the tension of his denied release filtered out of his body, the sensation of his master inside him grounding and calming him. 

Toshiro really would have been content like that for some time but he suddenly remembered they weren't alone. Teal eyes flickered up as he took in Byakuya's flushed face and Renji’s calm, appreciative expression, the two cuddled close and watching them, although Byakuya quickly averted his eyes when Toshiro caught his gaze. He'd been so completely focused on his Yukio that he had honestly forgotten about the other two. Well… He probably shouldn't take hours then. And his Yukio had been so good, had waited long enough for his own relief. 

Toshiro firmly gripped Yukio’s ass and lifted him slightly, groaning as his cock moved within him. He held him in place, slightly lifted, and began to fuck up into him. Yukio whined as he set a steady rhythm, his arms flexing with the strain of holding him up. "So good…" He breathed out. His breathing was becoming labored both from the effort of holding Yukio in place - even though most of his weight was collapsed against his chest - and his own mounting pleasure, pooling in his core and growing with each thrust into his tight, hot body. "You take me so well, love… Ahhh… Ngh… So good… I'm going to come soon, love, going to fill you so full…"

Yukio felt blinding heat flooding his body, his climax still held back by the ring on his cock. A steady stream of sounds issued from his mouth - groans, sighs, fragments of sentences and words. Finally, he caught his breath enough to speak, taking the chance to only say, “Yes, master, please,” before surrendering to the tense pleasure again. He pressed his forehead into his master’s chest, panting and bracing himself for the warmth of his master’s release inside him.

Toshiro let Yukio’s body lower back onto him completely as he thrust into him one final time, releasing deep inside him, clinging to his beautiful submissive as his whole body shook. He recovered fairly quickly though, his attention still focused on his Yukio trembling in his lap. He touched his side, his voice finding a low, steady tone as he said, "Arch your back love, give me some room so I can let you come."

Yukio obeyed, thankfully just by the instinct of following his master’s voice. The rush of heat when his master released brought him to an uncomfortable amount of build-up, and he knew the faster he followed orders, the faster he would be allowed relief. 

Toshiro carefully but quickly removed the ring from Yukio’s aching cock. He had so much precum at this point his hand easily slid against it. He set a fast, steady rhythm, knowing it would really only take a few pumps. He wanted nothing more than to feel him clamp down around his cock still buried deep in his body, to hear his sweet voice as he came, and see him shudder against him as aftershocks raced through his body. "Come for me, love," Toshiro said clearly, the command in his voice apparent. 

Yukio came immediately, really having no choice once the pressure of the cock ring had been released. The initial wave of pleasure made sweat break out on his face, his entire body tightening as an involuntary cry left his lips. It stayed for so long that he didn’t think he was ever going to release the tension, but finally his body relaxed for a moment before the subsequent shockwaves caused his body to twitch, his muscles spasming in a pattern that eventually died off, leaving him completely boneless against his master. 

"So beautiful…" Toshiro was murmuring to him as his body calmed, "So good, love. You did so well… Love you… You're so lovely, my beautiful submissive, my Yukio…" He gently removed the ribbon still binding his forearms, massaging as he did so, continuing his soft praise. 

Byakuya had tried to avert his eyes, but he found himself with his face buried in Renji’s shoulder, still looking from the corner of his eye. The sight was honestly beautiful, seeing both of them so thoroughly enjoying themselves, enraptured in the pleasure they brought each other. Yukio sinking into Toshiro’s chest as his climax waned and the affection in Toshiro’s expression and words… it was all beautiful. And the sounds they made. No amount of looking elsewhere could carve them from Byakuya’s mind. He felt entirely indecent, having seen something like that, but their willingness to let him indicated a level of trust and intimacy he previously didn’t even know existed. 

Toshiro wasn't willing to move Yukio for a while, not after such an intense scene. But he was also becoming more aware of the other two in the room, as well as how incredibly thirsty he was - and no doubt his Yukio could use water as well. "Renji," Toshiro addressed, "Can I ask for your help? Blanket -" he nodded towards the bed, "- and water?" he nodded towards the still half-full pitcher. 

Renji kissed Byakuya's hair quickly before getting up to retrieve the requested items. He grabbed the blanket first, draping it over the pair, and poured Toshiro a glass of water, handing it to him before returning to his place next to Byakuya. 

"Thank you," Toshiro said, the appreciation clear in his tone. He brought the water to Yukio’s lips, coaxing him gently, "Drink, love - careful, let me tilt it for you…" 

Yukio parted his lips to accept the water, not realizing until it touched his mouth just how thirsty he was, his saliva actually sticky compared to the cool water. He took as much as his master allowed, the cold actually permeating his heated body and soothing his fevered state. 

Toshiro allowed him about half the glass before pulling it away, smiling as he settled back against him. He drank the rest himself, making an appreciative sound at the cool water soothing his dry mouth and throat. He set the empty glass aside and simply held his beautiful submissive against him with one hand, the other carding soothingly through his fine blonde hair. 

He looked gratefully over to Renji - grateful not only for grabbing what he'd requested but for giving his Yukio literally the only thing Toshiro couldn't: someone he could challenge during a scene. He really wasn't able to do such a thing with him, his mind so thoroughly seeing him as his master that he couldn't help but obey. With Renji though, he could explore his more playful, mischievous side, and Toshiro was very thankful the other man allowed that - even seemed to thoroughly enjoy it. 

And then teal eyes slid to Byakuya. He was happy the other man had stayed, was comfortable enough to watch him with his Yukio. He was clearly flushed and affected by what he'd witnessed, but he had still stayed. "Thank you," Toshiro said sincerely - to both of them - "Thank you for sharing this with us today… There's so few I would trust with my Yukio, that I even want to play with myself… It means a lot, so thank you again."

Byakuya smiled, glad that his flustered state had waned significantly in the quiet moments while Yukio was recovering. “I’ll accept your thanks, because I know this was important to both of you. But I need to thank you also, for two things. First, thank you for trusting me. I realize that the depth of trust required for this kind of shared activity isn’t the kind you have for acquaintances, but those who are exceptionally close to you. The fact that you have that level of trust in me is an absolute honor. 

“Second, thank you for taking care of me. I truly felt like I had your sole focus, even if only for a little while. I never felt like you weren’t attentive to my needs. Really, I felt like I was special to you, and it means a lot to me that you would treat me that way. So, thank you , Toshiro.”

"Byakuya… You are special to me. And I trust Renji completely with my Yukio, so you did have my sole focus. It's not difficult at all for me to take care of you… After everything you did for me, that you're still doing, for both of us… 

"Yukio has finally found another submissive friend in you, someone that really understands him on that level. I can tell everyday when I come home the days he's spoken to you well before he tells me - just from the way he smiles. Usually, when I'm not there, his anxiety starts slowly creeping back - but not when he talks to you. You help ground him, just by being available to talk to, and by honesty listening to him, by wanting to hear from him. 

"And as for myself… I very rarely will play with another submissive. Part of the reason Yukio and I fit so well is because, when I'm in domspace, my submissive becomes my entire focus, and I'll remember everything about that time. So I'm highly selective about who I play with - who I want to remember that way. 

"With you Byakuya… I want to. I want to see you like that, to take care of you, to be able to show you how much you mean to me, to remember every detail. I meant what I said - anytime you want, I would be honored to play with you, to take care of you - you only need ask."

Toshiro smiled fondly before kissing Yukio’s hair. He was exhausted, yes, but he knew he was listening to every word - he always was, even in a deep subspace, his master’s voice could always reach him. "My Yukio," he murmured, "he knew, far before I had even thought to extend the offer. He told me that he would like to see me play with you. 

"He's never said something like that before - he knows I need to be connected to the person I play with, to care for them already. And he was right, of course - it was obvious to him from that first time meeting you how much I care, how much you affect me." Toshiro tilted Yukio’s face up slightly to look into steadily clearing emerald eyes as Yukio was slowly surfacing from his deep subspace. He kissed him gently on the lips and then on the forehead before allowing his head to rest against his chest again, his hand returning to repeatedly card his fingers through his fine blonde hair. 

Teal eyes found slate gray as he stated, his voice low and clear, "I certainly hope I receive that honor again. I thoroughly enjoy taking care of you, Byakuya, in every way that you allow me to. Yukio is my world, but you… You're probably the first person I would have sincerely called my friend… There's very little I wouldn't do for you - that I wouldn't do to you. Or allow you to do to me. Again… You need only ask…"

The smile never left Byakuya’s lips as he listened to Toshiro speak. He always knew there was trust between them - that Toshiro recognized Byakuya’s lack of judgement - but this was something else entirely. Saying that he wanted to remember everything about their time together, and that he wanted to see him that way again… it touched his heart in a way nothing else ever had. 

And Yukio… the fact that he was so thoroughly calmed just by hearing his voice on the phone, knowing Byakuya was listening, he only had a vague idea that he had that effect on him. Of course, he never knew that he was actually happier on the days they talked; he only heard his excitement and openness while they were speaking. It honestly made him want to talk to him every day. He would never want that sweet boy to feel lonely, especially if there was something so simple he could do to prevent it. 

But Byakuya shuddered a bit at Toshiro’s last statements. There was very little he wouldn’t do to him, or allow him to do to Toshiro. He was more than glad at that point that the two on the opposite sofa were covered, because he surely would have been staring again. “I very much enjoyed our time together, so don’t take this as a statement regarding my trust in you, but it may take some time before I am willing to move much past what we just did. As you know, my past makes me a bit… uncertain about letting others this close to me physically,” Byakuya said, still attempting to keep the atmosphere light as he smiled and kept his eyes locked on Toshiro’s. 

Toshiro returned his smile, “I understand, Byakuya. I simply enjoy taking care of you, in whatever way you are comfortable. If you were never willing to do more than what we did today with me, that would be fine. I wouldn’t want you to push yourself to do anything you didn’t want, or weren’t ready to do. That would be the exact opposite of caring for your needs. I get a deep feeling of fulfillment, taking care of you in that way. Whatever you’re comfortable with is already more than I thought I’d ever be allowed with you - I just wanted to make my own comfort level clear.”

Byakuya laughed lightly and leaned a bit more into Renji to reach up and kiss his cheek. “Between you and Renji I suppose I’ll never stop hearing such things. He’s said something very much to that same effect many times before. I do understand, though. Over the months Renji and I have been together, there have been rare instances when I have taken care of him . And it is quite the feeling, seeing someone trusting you like that. With that in mind, having at least a vague idea what this means to you both, I do try to give all that I can.”

Toshiro allowed his eyes to trace over Byakuya’s gorgeous body, sighing, “Well, I’ll certainly accept all that you choose to give to me, you really are beautiful. And you're such a natural, willing submissive… Even if only for scenes, you responded to me so well… I’ll readily admit to looking forward to such a thing happening again, as often as you wish - anything remotely related to this, we’ll do at your pace. But it would be a lie to say I’m not looking forward to it…” Toshiro’s smile became slightly heated as he said, “After all… I’m very interested in some of the other kinks you put on your list…”

Byakuya knew exactly what he meant. How could he forget? But he only smiled and nodded, knowing that his cheeks were flushed again. Silence fell for several moments as he cuddled comfortably into Renji’s side, turning to nuzzle his nose into his neck to calm himself. Given time, he was sure Toshiro would get what he was implicitly saying he wanted, but, just like Renji, he was fully willing to wait as long as it took for Byakuya to truly be ready. 

Renji hummed contentedly at the familiar feeling. He was happy to see the way Toshiro interacted with his Bya, the respect he showed for his boundaries. He had no problem trusting the man with his partner and enjoyed seeing the two of them together. His Bya was always beautiful to him and seeing him lost in pleasure, regardless at his direct hand or not, was always a treat.

Toshiro’s smile had widened a bit at Byakuya’s blush, making the elegant man look adorable to him and he wasn’t the slightest bit regretful of his words. Byakuya knew now, fully, where Toshiro stood and that clarity between them was necessary for any of this to work. His focus returned to his Yukio. He seemed mostly out of subspace, as out of it as he ever really got with his role, and he asked gently, “Do you want me to clean us up, love? Are you able to stand now, if I take us to the shower?”

Yukio shifted his legs a bit, feeling that they were stiff but no longer weak. He smiled up to his master and pressed a light kiss to his cheek. “Yes, master, I think I can manage,” he replied. “Love you, master,” he added, leaning in to kiss his lips briefly, just long enough to feel the warmth and comfort of his master’s mouth. 

Toshiro looked over to the other two, saying, “If you want to shower as well, there’s a restroom attached to the spare room you used last time you were here - you can use anything in there concerning soap or towels. I’ll carry Yukio to our room to clean us up and meet you both in the sitting room after. You… may want to leave first though…” he trailed off with an amused smile as Byakuya’s blush darkened a bit.

Byakuya averted his eyes, sitting up rather hurriedly and taking Renji's hand as he did. “Thank you, Toshiro,” he muttered as he all but dragged Renji up from the sofa.

Renji laughed as he was drug away, Byakuya’s slight embarrassment over seeing the other two nude was adorable to him, especially after the joint scene they had shared. When they got into the hall Byakuya stopped abruptly and Renji, still chuckling, directed him where to go as he still wasn’t very familiar with the layout of the large house. It wasn’t as large as his manor, but it was honestly close. He was still smiling brightly when they got to the spare bedroom, closing the door behind them before pulling Byakuya towards the shower, “I bet you really want to get clean after Toshiro made you come like that - which was ridiculously hot and gorgeous to watch, by the way. Good thing I threw a change of clothes in the car before we came. I can grab you different pants, if you want, to change into after… You will let me clean you up, right?” Renji asked. Byakuya usually had no issue with Renji taking care of small things like this, knowing how much Renji enjoyed doing so, but they were in a completely different setting and he wanted to make sure.

“Of course, Renji. I wouldn’t deny you that,” Byakuya replied. He leaned in for a kiss that was meant to be chaste and brief, but he couldn’t help but linger a bit, his hands wandering to Renji’s back and holding him a bit closer. 

Renji immediately responded, pulling him closer as he turned to face him completely, until he was flush against him and deepened the kiss. He kept it slow, gently exploring his mouth, his hands lowering to trace the line his hip made above his pants and forward to the front, loosening and allowing the clothing to fall to the floor as he quickly did the same to himself. His hands traveled back to Byakuya’s lower back as he carefully backed him against the wall near the shower. He broke their kiss just long enough to reach over and turn on the water, the curtain already closed to catch the spray, and returned to languidly kissing Byakuya against the wall. He really couldn’t get enough of this man… He broke away again, his breathing becoming slightly labored as his arousal grew, and said, “If we don’t get into that shower, I’m going to take you against this wall, Bya…”

Byakuya let out a shaky breath and looked up into Renji’s lust-filled gaze. His hands rested on Renji’s hips, his fingers tightening a bit as a chill ran through him at Renji’s words. “I want you, Renji. But let’s get in the shower first,” he compromised, trailing light kisses along his jawline before pressing his lips firmly into Renji’s neck. 

“Do I have to wait till after the shower, or just wait until we get in the shower,” Renji asked, his voice husky and deep.

“As soon as we are in that shower, and not against this wall, you can do whatever you want to me,” Byakuya replied, his breath ghosting over Renji’s neck as he spoke.

At that statement, Renji lifted him, holding him against him by hooking his hands under his thighs and encouraging Byakuya to wrap his legs around him. He carefully stepped into the shower - luckily it was quite large but he knew it would be, having used this room before - and pressed Byakuya against the other wall, the water falling down his back, his body mostly shielding Byakuya from the spray. He started kissing along his jaw down his neck, murmuring, “We’re in the shower… different wall… can I have you now?” His tone was equal amounts lustful and playful as he nipped a bit at Byakuya’s ear.

Byakuya groaned as Renji’s body pressed him into the cool tile of the shower, tilting his head back to rest it against the wall as Renji reached his neck with the string of kisses. “Yes, Renji, please take me,” he said quietly, a hint of a moan in his voice. 

Renji glanced over at the bottles along the side wall, grinning and grabbing the lube - because of course Toshiro would have that in here. He quickly coated his fingers and began to stretch Byakuya, his mouth returning to catch him in a deep, hungry kiss. He couldn’t help it, Byakuya was irresistible to him, and watching him today just made him even more so. He desperately wanted to claim him, to see him come undone against this wall, with his cock thrusting into him… Renji moaned into the kiss, sliding in a second finger at feeling Byakuya relax around his first, being sure to be thorough so that he wouldn’t be in any pain - no matter how desperately he wanted him, he never wanted to hurt his precious Bya. He was everything to him.

Byakuya relaxed into the preparation, keeping his word and letting Renji do whatever he wanted. But there was one thing he knew Renji wouldn’t do… a boundary Byakuya simply hadn’t thought to lift yet. He pulled away from Renji’s mouth, taking his chin in his hand. “Renji, listen. I am fully aware of myself right now. I want you to recognize that before I tell you what I want you to do,” Byakuya insisted, knowing that Renji would never accept a change in boundaries unless he was in a state of full cognizance. 

Renji immediately focused on him, his fingers stilling inside of him. He was breathing heavily but at Byakuya’s words, he instantly concentrated on what his submissive was about to tell him. “Yes, Bya, I’m listening,” he said, his voice clear and steady, his breathing quickly calming as he brought himself back under tight control.

“I am updating my boundaries. You may now put marks on me wherever you want to. I want the whole world to know I belong to you, Renji, and no one else,” Byakuya said, keeping his voice level and a bit stern, being sure there was no chance that Renji would doubt what he was saying.

Renji searched his determined slate gray eyes and expression, only finding certainty. He kissed him gently, before pulling away, kissing just as gently against his neck, causing Byakuya to tilt his head up a bit. His lips against his skin, just below his ear, he said firmly, “Take my hair out of the braid, Bya, and don’t be gentle.”

Byakuya obeyed immediately, pulling out the tie at the end and quickly pulling it over his own wrist before beginning the process of separating the interlaced sections of hair, bringing his hand up a bit instead of starting at the end and burying his fingers in, firmly unweaving it as he combed down to the end, repeating the motion until he reached the base of Renji’s neck. It took even more careful force to separate the hair that was braided flat to his scalp, and he dug his fingers in and pulled as hard as was necessary.

Renji moaned desperately into Byakuya’s neck at the pulling sensation in his long, crimson hair, his mouth opening to suck harshly, forming a deep red mark. He had to stop himself from actually biting down, his teeth just grazing the skin, as his fingers started to move within him again. He managed to curl them and thrust just enough to press against Byakuya’s prostate and he groaned again as Byakuya’s legs tightened around him, their hard lengths pressed flush together, and Renji rolled his own hips slightly to add more direct friction.

Byakuya’s hand subconsciously tightened around Renji’s now loose hair, and a low moan surfaced at all of the pleasure that rushed his system. Renji’s fingers inside him, sending sharp warmth into his core, the strong suction against his neck as Renji marked him, and the direct stimulation of Renji’s cock sliding against his own - it was all almost overwhelming, his breathing becoming harsh and labored in seconds as his heart rate soared.

Judging that Byakuya was ready for him and with his hands tightened in his hair, Renji withdrew his fingers and grabbed his thighs, raising him even higher against the wall. Byakuya allowed the motion, Renji shifting so that his cock rubbed against his ass beneath him, still kissing and marking along his neck. He moved forward, pinning him with his upper body flush against him so that he could use one of his hands to position himself at Byakuya’s entrance, groaning as he pushed inside.

Byakuya involuntarily mimicked the sound Renji made, relaxing even further into him while still being sure that he kept a good grip with his legs. Warm pleasure flooded his body at the sensation of being filled - by Renji. It was the most satisfying feeling he’d ever experienced. “It won’t be long. You feel so good. Please, tell me to come, Renji, whenever you want me to. I want to hear your voice,” he said, his tone low with the staggering pleasure that coursed through him.

“Bya -” Renji panted, sinking deeper into him, returning his hand to his thigh, still supporting him against the wall. “You feel amazing Bya, so, so, good - and mine,” he practically growled as he thrust in fully, Byakuya’s body opening around him. He set a fast, desperate pace, his arms starting to shake with the effort of supporting him but he felt so good, and he looked heavenly pinned between his hard body and the wall, his steel gray eyes half-lidded, pleasured sounds falling from his own lips. 

Byakuya was trying to help Renji support him - he really was. But the slick motion of Renji thrusting into him was causing his legs to shake, the heat in his body only exaggerated by the steam in the air from the warm water running down Renji’s back. At this point, he could only surrender and wait. Wait for that deep, commanding voice to allow him to let go.

The pleasure and heat within Renji’s body quickly built, his breath coming in quick bursts as he felt the tension inside tighten. Byakuya felt amazing around him, his body warm and tight, clamping down around him as he sucked even more bright red hickies along his neck. His hands in his hair continued to tug with every thrust, just driving him further - he honestly didn’t think he’d ever taken Byakuya this roughly before - but his unyielding domspace frame of mind, always aware of Byakuya’s well-being and reactions, prevented him from actually hurting him. 

And Byakuya looked wrecked from the force and desperation of Renji’s movements, completely surrendering as he claimed his body. The words, “Bya” and “Mine” fell desperately from his lips as he fucked him fast and hard against the wall, his hold on him firm even as his arms shook. Feeling himself getting close to the edge, Renji gasped out, “Bya - come for me, Bya - come on my cock -”

Byakuya came hard , his breath - already coming in gasps - completely cut off as the force of his orgasm took him. His body seemed to act on its own, his legs tightening impossibly more around Renji’s body and his hands yanking back on Renji’s hair. Every muscle was tight for mere moments before the shockwaves came, this time almost as powerful as the initial wave of pleasure. By the time the tension released, he sank into the wall, holding onto Renji with trembling legs and a loose grip on his hair.

Renji groaned out his own release, his hips stuttering as he came, burying himself deep in Byakuya’s body as he rode out his own aftershocks. He was only able to hold him for about a minute longer before he became concerned his arms would give out and instructed, “Lower your legs, Bya, need to set you down… Fuck that felt amazing though… So good Bya…” He pressed another kiss against his neck - now a mess of red marks of varying shades of severity - as he said, “Love you.”

“Love you, too,” Byakuya replied as he unwrapped his legs from around him. As he leaned back, trying to support himself as his feet touched the tile, he had no choice but to slide down the wall to the floor, his legs unwilling to cooperate. He was still trying to catch his breath, so he leaned his head back on the wall and closed his eyes, inhaling deeply, holding it for a moment, and forcing the breath to come out slowly.

Renji shook out his arms before grabbing the shower head, directing the spray against the side wall. Then, taking the washcloth and the soap, he sunk to his knees in front of Byakuya and began the gentle, careful process of cleaning him as the beautiful man recovered. Dark eyes flickered to his neck and he felt a mixture of possessive pride and concern that he’d been a bit too enthusiastic in marking him up. But the world certainly wouldn’t have any doubt now that Byakuya Kuchiki was his and he couldn’t help but feel overwhelmingly pleased by that fact. 

Byakuya smiled and opened his eyes, not moving his head as he looked down to Renji. “I love you, Renji - so very much. I’ve never loved anyone as much as I love you. Not in my entire life. I’m so glad you stayed long enough for me to realize it. I gave you so many chances to leave. Thank you so much,” he said, his voice barely above the volume of the water splashing on the wall. He sometimes couldn’t believe it - that, regardless of what he’d been through and how he had acted, Renji chose to stay. 

Renji leaned forward, kissing him gently and looking into those slate gray eyes he adored so much, “I could never leave you, Bya. I told you that first night, remember? As long as you want me to stay, I’ll stay. Forever and a day.”

Renji finished his gentle washing of Byakuya’s beautiful, exhausted body before helping him to his feet and quickly rinsing himself. He sat him on the bed in the spare room with fluffy towels, drying his long ebony hair, as he redressed and quickly retrieved Byakuya’s extra clothes from the car. Once both were presentable again and their hair at least dry enough that it wasn’t soaking their clothes, Renji took Byakuya’s hand and led him to the most familiar room in Toshiro’s house - the sitting room. 

They paused at the doorway, as Yukio was seated across from Toshiro on the couch, a game of Go between them. Toshiro saw them first, his teal eyes widening and a smile tugging on his lips as he caught sight of the state of Byakuya’s neck. He chuckled a bit, turning his attention back to Yukio as he said, “See? I told you nothing was wrong, they were just busy.”

Yukio hopped up from the sofa, turning, and his own eyes widening as he saw what his master meant. He giggled, a wide smile spreading across his face. He stepped a bit closer to them, taking Byakuya’s hand, pulling him - and Renji too by extension - over to the couch as he said, “I was worried when you took longer than us… I was pretty out of it and master had to take his time. But master assured me that everything was fine and he was right, of course… Byakuya… I didn’t think you wanted obvious marks like that.” Emerald eyes flickered over to Renji in slight concern for his friend. “It… It is alright… right?”

Byakuya saw the concern and pulled the smaller submissive into a brief hug, saying, “Yes, Yukio. I asked him to. I don’t want to hide my relationship with Renji anymore - from anyone.” His gaze found Renji’s dark eyes as he continued, “I love him. And I want that to be obvious to everyone - that this patient, kind, gorgeous man has my heart.”

“Bya…” Renji murmured, squeezing his hand. 

Yukio beamed at the pair before returning to his master, seating himself on his lap, “Isn’t that wonderful, master?” He pressed a kiss against his still bare chest - Toshiro having left his shirt mostly unbuttoned for him - and sighed in contentment, completely happy for his friend. 

“It is,” Toshiro murmured, pressing a kiss to the fine blonde hair. He honestly wished he had that courage as well… To be that open about his and Yukio’s relationship. The way Yukio addressed him was a slight more cause for concern than just them both being male but someday… Someday he wanted to allow Yukio that - to be by his side, introduced as his partner, for everyone to know that this beautiful man was his.

“It’s very brave of you, Byakuya,” Toshiro commented. “And it won’t always be easy, especially in our line of work. You may lose contracts - but I’m sure you already know all of this and made the decision anyway. It seems I have another reason to look up to you. We’re always here for you both. Our home is open to you, if you ever need to get away for awhile.”

“Thank you for the offer, Toshiro. If I lose clients because of this, I’m not sure I’d want to do business with them anyway. I may want to warn my sister, though. She may get a little concerned if that does start to happen,” he chuckled a bit at how that conversation would go, “but as long as I don’t lose Renji… I’ll be alright.”

Renji smiled, sitting down and pulling him to his side, like they always sat, saying, “Never. You’ll never lose me Bya. Remember what I said?”

Byakuya leaned into Renji, turning to nuzzle into his neck. He breathed in deeply, the weight of the world seeming to lift as he took in his scent. “I couldn’t forget,” he whispered.

“Forever and a day.”

Chapter Text

It was rather early in the day, but Byakuya and Renji were already in the sitting room at Toshiro and Yukio’s home, poring over a piece of paper on the table between them. Byakuya looked out past the large windows at the snow, really just to distract himself from the topic of conversation for a moment. 

It was December, six months after his first joint scene with Toshiro and Yukio. Since then, the connection between the four of them had only grown. Byakuya had held to his silent oath to speak to Yukio every day, though at first it had caused Yukio a bit of concern. He thought something must be wrong if Byakuya was taking time out of his day to call him, but Byakuya assured him that there wasn’t a problem - he just wanted Yukio to know he was there for him. 

It had also been nearly a year since Renji had first gotten him to open up about his depression, and Byakuya had to admit it had been the best year of his life. Renji never faltered in his caretaking, and Byakuya was both amazed and deeply honored to be the one he cared for. He figured he had an idea of what he was going to do to celebrate their year together, but he still had until late February to figure out the details.

In the meantime, he and Renji had done a few other scenes with Toshiro and Yukio, and Byakuya was beginning to feel very comfortable with anything they did. Thus the piece of paper on the table, which he was fervently ignoring for the moment, focusing on the snow-laden land behind the house. They had discussed another scene, during which Byakuya had decided to let down the boundaries specific to Toshiro and Yukio, giving them most of the same freedom Renji had. It was… nerve-racking, to say the least.

"Bya?" Renji said gently, getting his attention. "I think we're done here, if you're sure. Anything you want changed? Also, just remember that you can stop the scene yourself at any point by calling red."

Byakuya’s gaze jerked back to the paper, and he skimmed the plan once more. “Yes, it’s fine. I don’t want to change anything,” he said, glancing briefly to the other two. Just the thought of what was about to happen made heat rise to his face, and he quickly looked away and sat back against the back of the couch.

Toshiro nodded, signing the paper and passing the pen to Yukio. It was symbolic, but the action helped cement the scene in his mind and put himself at ease that everything was clear and consensual. The very last thing he wanted to do was hurt his precious Yukio or Byakuya in any way. Yukio was thrilled but he'd always been one to want to be as close as possible - and to bring pleasure - to those he loved. 

And Toshiro knew his beautiful submissive loved both Renji and Byakuya. 

They may not be his master, but Yukio clearly saw them as an extension to their family at this point - especially since Byakuya began calling him each day. Toshiro couldn't be more happy about the situation, that he didn't feel so alone whenever Toshiro had to leave for a work meeting, that he had someone else he could share anything with that wouldn't judge him, that would listen, that was actually interested in what he had to say. So Toshiro wasn't concerned at all about his Yukio. 

His concern was mostly for Byakuya. This was, admittedly, a lot. And there were a lot of firsts between them in the planned scene. But Byakuya had actually, apparently, suggested the key aspects of this, and Toshiro had to believe that he was comfortable doing everything on the sheet when he signed it. He gave Byakuya a calm smile before offering his hand to the elegant man, "Well then, shall we?" Toshiro asked, his voice steady and deep. 

Byakuya took a calming breath and nodded, taking Toshiro’s hand. He was fairly certain he was going to enjoy what they had planned, and he knew without a doubt that if he didn’t, no one would fault him. He was safe here.

Toshiro gently pulled him to his feet, keeping his hold on his hand as he led him to the play room. He could admit, he was very excited. He'd been waiting, fantasizing, about this for a long time. And now that the raven-haired beauty was in his care, he was going to thoroughly enjoy it. 

Renji glanced at Yukio, seeing him watch as Toshiro led Byakuya out, before grinning at the smaller man and scooping him into his arms. He laughed as Yukio immediately started squirming and tightened his hold, following behind the other two. "Oh no, you're not going anywhere cutie - you're mine till your master is done with my Bya, and I'm pretty sure he's going to take his time with him."

Yukio giggled, stopping his struggle just for a moment to find his master and Byakuya again, their hands still joined between them. “I hope he does. They’re gorgeous together, and Byakuya makes master so happy,” he said quietly. But only a moment later, he glared up at Renji. “Wait, did you call me cutie? I resent that,” he said, lightly shoving his elbow into Renji’s chest and settling into a pout.

Renji nuzzled the soft, fine blonde hair as he murmured, "But you are cute - adorable, sexy, hot - and I'm going to enjoy fucking you senseless. Are you going to be a good boy for me today?" 

Yukio masked a moan as a low hum and let his head rest on Renji’s shoulder. “Yeah, I’ll be good today. But don’t be gentle with me,” he requested, looking up to meet Renji’s eyes.

"Good boy, and I don't plan on it. Toshiro will have to be alright carrying you around for a while, because after I'm through you won't be able to walk properly for a week," Renji growled low before sliding one hand into his blonde hair, pulling it rather harshly, exposing Yukio’s delicate throat and biting the side of his neck - not near enough to break the skin but hard enough to cause the smaller man a bit of pain. 

Yukio couldn’t help but groan a bit as Renji pulled his hair, the sharp, brief pain of his teeth around his skin causing a small shiver to work through him. On days when he wasn’t in the mood to fight, it never took long for him to surrender, and based on the day’s plan, today was one of those days. He was at Renji’s mercy, and he was going to enjoy every second of it.

Toshiro threw a glance back at the two following them, smiling at the look of desire and want already on his Yukio's face, his cheeks slightly flushed as he groaned. Renji looked as far from apologetic as possible, a large grin on his face as he released Yukio’s neck and winked at Toshiro. Toshiro chuckled, entering the play room and bringing Byakuya to the ropes that hung from the hooks in the ceiling, directly in front of Yukio's impact play chair. He watched Byakuya's reactions carefully, as he hadn’t really seen either of these set up like this before. 

Byakuya only glanced at the chair for a moment, not truly concerned - he knew Yukio loved impact play and he was actually a bit curious to see it carried out. What arrested his attention were the ropes. He ran his hand over the nearest one. It was soft, but still strong, and he felt his heart begin to pound at the prospect of being legitimately tied up. He and Renji had only done light ribbon bondage, and this was certainly very different. He dropped his hand from the rope and turned to Toshiro, trying to offer him a smile.

Toshiro returned the attempted smile with a calm one of his own as he said, “Ropes feel differently than ribbons. Before we use those at all, I’ll be binding your upper body. If you’re comfortable with that and the feel of the rope, then I’ll actually suspend you. I need you to be very honest with me - if you don’t like how the rope feels before suspension, you definitely won’t enjoy it with gravity increasing the tension of the ropes against your skin. Understand?”

Just Toshiro’s words were enough to force some comfort into Byakuya’s slight anxiety, and his strained smile softened a bit. “I understand, Toshiro. I know you’d never hurt me,” he replied.

Toshiro nodded again, instructing, “Remove all of your clothing and kneel on the floor with your arms behind your back.” His voice was low and commanding as he said the words, his teal eyes piercing and filled with heat. Byakuya was already beautiful - he’d look stunning with the ropes around his body and Toshiro couldn’t wait to see.

Byakuya realized rather abruptly that this would be the first time either Toshiro or Yukio had seen him completely nude, so he slowly removed his shirt, tossing it to the side and hesitating for a moment. He locked his eyes on Renji as he unbuttoned and unzipped his pants, knowing that if he looked elsewhere, everyone in the room would know how unduly nervous he was. His hands shook a bit as he finished undressing, kicking his pants over to join his shirt and kneeling where Toshiro had indicated. Unsure how to position his arms, he simply crossed his wrists over one another behind his back - Toshiro would readjust if he needed to. He kept his eyes to the floor as he awaited his next command.

Renji simply held Yukio as Byakuya undressed, keeping eye contact and giving him silent reassurance. Once he was positioned as Toshiro had instructed, he set Yukio down on his feet, holding him close as he said lowly into his ear, "Get undressed and into position on your chair." He gave him a quick swat on his ass as he released him. 

Yukio yelped a bit at the contact, throwing Renji a playful smile. He undressed quickly, very much eager to begin. He positioned himself comfortably with his knees in what would have been the seat of the chair, his chest against the back and his forearms rested on the curve at the top. He tried not to squirm in anticipation, but it was difficult to contain his own enthusiasm. Renji was very skilled in administering impact play, and they had avoided it since Byakuya had been doing scenes with them. Not that his master wasn’t skilled, but the combination of an activity he loved and it being Renji was so rare that it had renewed a bit of the thrilling newness of it.

Toshiro quietly observed Byakuya as he undressed and got into position on the floor. He was so beautiful. Toshiro had been tempted to have him remain standing just to fully take him in but he knew that would only make the more reserved man nervous. As it was, he could see his entire body anyway and he was more than pleased at the sight. He discarded his own button-up shirt - already open as it usually was. Now that Byakuya was more comfortable with seeing his bare chest and abs, he'd had no reason to deny his Yukio the ability to snuggle directly into him whenever he wanted. 

Toshiro grabbed the coiled rope that was set atop the nearby table - along with everything else they could need for this scene - allowing it to hang from this arm as he also grabbed a cock ring, slipping it into his pocket. He couldn't help but smile at the look of pure joy and excitement on his Yukio's face as he attempted to hold his position still on his chair. He came to stand behind Byakuya, threading his fingers through his long, ebony hair, gently massaging his scalp and slowly allowing his fingers to travel down his body. 

Byakuya closed his eyes against the soothing action, allowing the tension to slowly exit his body. It wasn’t at all unnerving to have Toshiro touching him. If anything, it reminded him of the other times he had, which only brought to mind how he knew he could trust him. He slowly allowed his eyes to open and looked up to Renji with a genuinely serene smile. If there was any concern at all in his partner’s mind, he wanted to do what he could to dispel it.

Renji returned Byakuya's smile, running a firm hand down Yukio’s small body. There weren't many good places to hit him, not without the precision of a crop, and Yukio had wanted to feel his hand on his body. He thoroughly enjoyed how large Renji was compared to him, that his hands could nearly wrap around his waist, how easy it was for Renji to manhandle him. Toshiro was strong, far stronger than he looked with how often he was lifting and carrying Yukio, but Renji’s strength was obvious and all the more apparent next to Yukio’s fragile-seeming form. 

Yukio wasn't really weak, Renji knew that full well, but his fragile appearance did make what he was about to do to him all the more visually appealing. The fact that such a small person could want to be treated this roughly - begged to be marked and used - never failed to turn Renji on. He'd never lay a hand on his Bya this way but Yukio - those emerald eyes were pleading with him while he tried not to squirm, knowing how important it was that he keep his position and not move. 

Renji firmly grabbed his ass when his hands reached it, his fingers kneading the skin in a harsh parody of a massage. He leaned over Yukio’s quivering body, allowing him to feel his already hard, large length against his bare ass through the fabric of his pants as he said lowly in his ear, "I'm going to hit you three times, on each side of your ass, harder each time. You are going to count out loud. After that you can have a cock ring. Now, repeat your instructions."

Yukio whined as Renji leaned over him, his large hands almost painful on his ass, but in the best way. He took a shuddering breath and said, “I’m going to…” he swallowed forcefully before he was able to get the words out, “count out loud as you hit me three times… on each side of my ass.” His voice was practically a moan before he was done speaking, and his body was taut with anticipation. Renji knew just how to work up to this, just his voice and words causing arousal to course through Yukio’s blood. 

“Good boy,” Renji whispered, kissing his hair gently, “such a good boy.” He moved back until only his hands were still touching him, lifting his right hand and focusing exactly where he needed to hit him to cause a slight sting of pain but not actually harm him. He really was skinny and rather bony, even his ass a small target for Renji’s large, open hand. He brought the hand down hard but not nearly as hard as he knew Yukio could take, removing it almost immediately so that Yukio would feel the coolness of the air against his almost instantly heated skin, a light red mark already forming from the force of the hit.

“One,” Yukio groaned, letting his head fall to his forearms as the familiar pain-tinged pleasure sparked through his body with Renji’s strike and the resulting sting at the surface of his skin. He kept the rest of his body still, poised for the remaining five. 

Byakuya’s gaze shot up at the sound of Renji’s hand on Yukio’s ass. He had been essentially ignoring them, trying his best to relax in preparation for what was coming for him. But that was a sound he couldn’t shut out. His breathing hitched a bit, but when he looked at Yukio, he realized the man wasn’t actually in pain. In fact, it was fairly obvious that he was fully enjoying it. Of course, Byakuya was familiar with Yukio’s kinks, but seeing it happen before him was very different than seeing it written on a piece of paper. He couldn’t help but be concerned, as vehemently as he tried to push it back. 

Toshiro felt Byakuya tense up a bit under his fingers. He’d been watching the other two the entire time, though he trusted his Yukio completely with Renji. He couldn’t help doing so even as most of his focus was on Byakuya. He knelt behind Byakuya, wrapping his arms around him and leaning him slightly so that his back was flush against his chest, his arms pinned between their bodies, the rope around his arm pressed against his side. He spoke lowly in his ear, his voice calming, “Yukio loves this, I would never allow him to come to any real harm. Look at his eyes, Byakuya. He’s already falling into subspace, and Renji’s only hit him once.”

Byakuya nodded as he closely studied Yukio’s eyes. Of course, Toshiro was right. He didn’t know why he even thought it was justifiable to be concerned with both Renji and Toshiro keeping such a close eye on Yukio. They knew him far better, after all. So, Byakuya leaned into Toshiro’s calming presence, tilting his head a bit to press into his cheek.

Toshiro turned his head, pressing a kiss to his hair, before leaning back, quietly yet clearly instructing, “I’m going to position your arms and hands. Hold them where I move them. I’ll then begin to bind them and your chest. Understand?”

“Yes,” Byakuya replied, trying to fight the urge to stay in contact with the body behind him. He never thought he would be so willing to bend to someone’s demands other than Renji’s. But, in joint scenes, Toshiro was just as much his dominant as Renji was, and though he figured the idea would cause him a bit of discomfort at first, it never did, and he found himself seamlessly obeying Toshiro without even a second of hesitation.

Toshiro positioned Byakuya’s arms so that one forearm crossed the other, as far as Byakuya was flexible enough to allow and be able to hold. Noting that position in his mind, he pulled on his right arm a bit so that there was space just below his shoulder and began wrapping the first tie. He was careful that the rope was very tight but not so much to cut off circulation - he didn’t want it shifting at all if Byakuya was later suspended. Task complete, he did the same to the other arm, the rope extending just below Byakuya’s chest between the binds, before placing Byakuya’s arms back in position and wrapping several more times around his forearms and chest. As he did so, careful and critical teal eyes gauging each one of Byakuya’s reactions and his comfort to this, he listened as Yukio continued counting after the abrupt sound of Renji spanking him, each number more breathy and strained than the last.

Byakuya relaxed under the pressure of the rope, as much as he could and still keep his arms in position. The rope wasn’t abrasive at all, though it was a different kind of pressure than silk ribbon gave. It wasn’t at all uncomfortable, and with Toshiro’s careful but decisive motions, he found himself able to let go of any anxiety he was still harboring. 

As Toshiro worked, Byakuya occupied his eyes with Yukio and Renji. It was completely shocking to him that, after three strikes, Yukio seemed to be completely gone. He was loving every moment, his labored breathing calming between strikes as Renji fed him gentle praise. Byakuya had never seen anything like it, and though it had initially caused him a bit of worry, he couldn’t help but smile at how incredibly pleased Yukio seemed.

After the sixth hit Renji soothingly rubbed Yukio’s red skin, his fingers light upon his shaking form. Yukio seemed more than fine, but Renji commanded him anyway - it had been nearly a year since he’d done this to the slighter man - “Color.”

“Green,” Yukio breathed out. He brought his head up to look into Renji’s dark eyes, a small smile curving his lips. It had been much too long since he had felt this, and it was incredible. Renji’s hands on him always felt amazing, but with the long absence of the sensation, it was only better.  

Renji grinned, kissing his lower back before stepping away just far enough to grab a cockring off the nearby table, keeping one hand touching Yukio as he did so. At this point Yukio was fully hard and leaking as Renji gently put the ring on him. He retrieved both lube and Yukio’s preferred toy for preparing him. The object was smooth, narrow at first and gaining more girth towards the base, as large as Renji’s cock. He made sure it was well lubed before placing it at his entrance, saying in that commanding tone, “You are to remain still as I do this. If you push back yourself or try to fuck yourself at all, I’m going to spank you - hard - before pulling it out completely for a full minute and starting again. Now, repeat your instructions."

Yukio swallowed a moan. As much as he’d like Renji to spank him again, the rest of the consequences were less than appealing. So, he did as he was told. “I’m going to remain still as you prepare me, not push back or try to fuck myself,” he repeated. 

“Good boy,” Renji murmured before easing the toy into him. Yukio, given the opportunity, would try to take this far too quickly and roughly, enjoying the slight pain. But Renji wasn’t going to allow him to actually hurt himself. He’d take him as roughly as he could stand but he was going to make sure he was thoroughly prepared first. So he slowly thrust the toy into his all-too willing body, just a little more with each thrust, pausing midway to add more lube even as Yukio moaned out at the break in him being filled.

Toshiro completed the bind around Byakuya’s chest and arms, loops that would distribute weight across his entire upper body in place for suspension. He double checked each rope against his skin, please that they were snug but not too tight. He moved to crouch in front of Byakuya, lifting his face to meet his eyes, watching his expression settle as he left him bound that way for a couple of minutes, lightly stroking the long obsidian hair. Gauging that enough time had passed for Byakuya to give a real answer, he stated clearly, “Color.”

“Green,” Byakuya responded. He consciously noted each difference between this and the bondage he was accustomed to, but the effect was becoming similar as Toshiro finished his task. The lack of ability to move brought the same sense of surrender it always did, despite the ropes being a bit sharper of a sensation than the ribbons on his skin, and he found himself sinking into the feeling willingly.

“You will need to stand for me to begin securing the first ropes for suspension. I can help you to your feet but you will need to stand on your own. Do you feel able to do this?” Toshiro asked, still watching him closely.

Byakuya took a deep breath to bring himself back to full awareness, swearing he could get lost in Toshiro’s eyes if he stared for too long. “Yes,” he replied after a few seconds to be sure he had fully regained his bearings.

Toshiro helped him onto his feet, remaining in front of him and watching, stepping away so Byakuya had to completely support himself. After a minute he commanded again, “Color.”

“Green,” Byakuya said, finding that he could easily stand on his own. His eyes were somewhat distracted by Renji and Yukio again, and he swallowed forcefully at the sight of Renji gently preparing Yukio with a toy he had never seen before. It seemed Yukio had been avoiding many of his preferred kinks, just for Byakuya’s comfort, and it made a bit of guilt rise up in him. But that was quickly overshadowed by the sensual moan that echoed through the room from Yukio’s mouth. Renji almost had the toy fully inserted, and it seemed that Yukio was having to truly summon a massive amount of self-control to keep from leaning back into it, if his grip on the chair and his eyes being tightly shut were any indication. 

Teal eyes followed Byakuya's clearly captivated gaze. Toshiro couldn't help the warm smile that came to his face as he took in Yukio’s desperate state, his submissive keeping himself utterly still as Renji slowly and thoroughly prepared him. "You're doing so well, love," Toshiro praised. He moved behind Byakuya, running his hands down his bound arms, still watching his Yukio falling apart under Renji’s treatment. "You look so beautiful like that, being such a good boy. Byakuya… Tell him how good he's being, how lovely he looks. I know you agree with me." Toshiro leaned in closer, whispering in Byakuya's ear, "Continue to do so while I rig you, you both need the distraction." He couldn't have Byakuya subspacing until he was secured and his Yukio would be excellent to keep his focus in the here and now. 

Byakuya looked at Yukio again, and glassy emerald eyes were staring straight into his slate gray. He couldn’t help the soft smile that came to his face, despite their surroundings and circumstances. “Yukio, you’re beautiful, trusting Renji to take care of you… obeying so effortlessly,” he said, just loudly enough that he knew Yukio could hear him. “So good, Yukio. You always do so well, sweet Yukio.” Now, though it felt a bit odd at first, the words were beginning to spill out without much thought, and Yukio had relaxed again at the attention, his cheek resting against his forearms on the top of the chair as he just watched and listened to Byakuya. “You’re perfect - perfect for your master and Renji and me. Such a sweet, perfect, obedient boy. You’re incredible, Yukio. I consider myself lucky to know you…”

As Byakuya continued to speak softly to Yukio, Toshiro started securing the loops at the center of his back to the suspension ropes above. There were six loops and Toshiro secured a rope to each, the tension distributing across each evenly. The initial weight would distribute across Byakuya's arms and chest, but he would be binding and hooking Byakuya's thighs as well in relatively short order, so the strain shouldn't become uncomfortable. 

Once done, the tension taut, he said directly in Byakuya's ear, "Bend your knees, let the ropes slowly take your entire weight, and bend your legs fully. Understand?" 

Byakuya turned his attention back to Toshiro and nodded. “Yes,” he replied, just to be sure that Toshiro had his full, clear response. He slowly bent his knees, leaning forward slightly to keep at least some semblance of balance. The ropes caught not long after he began to bend his knees, and his heart jumped a bit at the feeling of his weight settling, the pressure evenly distributed across his front as he completely pulled his knees up, hovering off the floor. 

"Good," Toshiro said calmly, "Just like that." Toshiro made rather quick work binding Byakuya's right leg together so that it remained fully bent, his heel lightly touching the bottom of his ass. Loops from both sides of his leg, extending on either side of the knee, were tethered to further ropes hanging from a different hook in the ceiling, Toshiro easily supporting Byakuya's body himself as he secured them together. He allowed the ropes to slowly take his weight so that Byakuya now was suspended from the center of his back and his right thigh, gravity pulling him to hang sideways with his legs completely parted as the left leg was still free. It wasn’t really dangling though, Byakuya doing as instructed and keeping his own leg bent. Toshiro stepped back, careful teal eyes taking in his work, making sure the weight was distributing correctly and that he wasn't in any pain. Convinced it was holding him up correctly, Toshiro commanded, "Color."

Byakuya took a moment to truly gauge his position and his comfort, knowing Toshiro would want honesty and not just an automatic response at this point. He closed his eyes to the room for a moment, ridding himself of the distraction of Toshiro’s severe teal eyes studying him. He consciously made himself feel every rope, every point of contact, every place on his back and thigh where the loops were tethered to the ceiling. Nothing was pressing uncomfortably or pinching. Toshiro hadn’t been joking. He truly was talented. “Green,” he finally said, only barely willing his eyes to open. He was beginning to sink into the feeling of being suspended, which added a comforting reality to the weightless feeling of subspace. But, not knowing if that was what Toshiro wanted quite yet, he forced himself to focus for further instruction.

Toshiro saw Byakuya relax completely before forcing his steel eyes to focus back on him. Toshiro lightly allowed his fingers to trail across Byakuya's fully exposed abs, bypassing his hard cock, stroking the leg that wasn't yet bound. "It's alright, Byakuya," he said calmly, "You don't need to force yourself to focus anymore, I've got you now. You can let go." As he spoke he bound his other leg, attaching the loops of the left leg to a rope hanging from the first hook. The object of doing so was not to support more weight but to keep his legs fully open and so that Byakuya was no longer holding himself at all, the rope keeping his leg in place so he could relax entirely. 

He inspected each bind and point of contact again though he found nothing to be too tight or harsh, his fingers lightly caressing the skin around each section of rope. He continued lightly petting him even after he was sure of the work, pressing butterfly kisses into his shoulder, side, neck, and face, smiling warmly as he did so. He never imagined he'd have Byakuya in his hands like this, allowed to bind him so completely, utterly in his control. It was such a heady feeling and Byakuya looked gorgeous suspended from the ropes. 

As soon as Toshiro had said he could, Byakuya began to allow himself to let go, surrendering all control over to Toshiro. When he secured his leg, though, that was the final step to allow himself to let his entire weight hang. Between the pressure of the binding and the actual weightlessness of the suspension, he felt his mind slipping quickly, only aware of Toshiro’s hands and lips on his skin. The sensation was surreal, bringing his mind to a depth of submission he swore he had never felt before.

Renji had fully sunk the toy into Yukio at some point while Byakuya was being fully suspended. He had been gently moving it within him, stretching him, his attention mostly on Yukio but also watching Byakuya. As Toshiro completed his binding, Renji slipped out the toy, petting Yukio’s fine blonde hair and back as he looked at his partner, taking in his completely relaxed expression, the beauty of the ropes against his skin. Renji leaned completely flush against Yukio again, murmuring in his ear, "Doesn't Bya look beautiful like that?" 

Yukio took in every detail with vigor, giving a small groan as Renji pressed against him. Of course, his master had practiced kinbaku on him before, but he had never been able to see it done to anyone else. His eyes trailed from Byakuya’s bound chest, down his toned body, to his legs held in position, and then back up to his face. His eyes were half-lidded, glassy and unfocused. He knew Byakuya was beautiful, but Yukio had never been able to admire him in this state, knowing what he must be feeling because he had been in that exact place before. Just seeing him so thoroughly lost made him smile. “He’s gorgeous.”

"This is the first time you get to see my beautiful Bya like this, completely exposed. You've been such a good boy for me, Yukio, you deserve a reward. You see how hard my Bya is? You want to have his long, hard, thick cock fill your sweet mouth? You want to hold him like that, keeping him warm while I bind you to him? Bind you so his cock is either against your cheek or deep inside your mouth," Renji murmured, stroking Yukio’s cheek as he spoke. 

Yukio whimpered a bit, leaning into Renji’s hand on his cheek and just barely fighting the urge to take his fingers into his mouth. “Yes, please, Renji,” he whined, licking his lips subconsciously as his eyes scanned Byakuya’s body again, this time focusing on the hard length proudly on display between his open legs. A soft groan left him as he whispered, “Please.”

Renji leaned away, stepping back, commanding, "Go on then, and remember to bend over and do as your master says to bind you." He swatted his ass again rather hard, grinning at the smaller man's reaction. 

Yukio’s hands tightened around the chair for a moment and he couldn’t help but moan when Renji struck him again without warning. With a deep breath, he dismounted the chair and approached Byakuya, eyes still wandering his flawless, bound body. He positioned himself between Byakuya’s legs, but didn’t do much more, emerald eyes flicking up to his master for direction. He knew Byakuya was fully in subspace, and he didn’t want to do anything that might interrupt that. Even an unexpected touch could wrench him out harshly, and Yukio was completely unwilling to do that.

"Hey, love," Toshiro said softly, leaning down to softly kiss him as he cupped his cheek. He continued to pet Byakuya's left leg as he kissed his Yukio, before releasing his beautiful submissive, capturing his slight wrists and directing him to touch Byakuya's left leg. 

"Go ahead and touch him, love, Byakuya said you could. Your gentle touch won't be able to take him out of subspace. I want you to place your forearms on either side of Byakuya's leg and keep them there as I bind you to him. Then you can have your treat, my sweet love, you've done so well today. I'm so proud of you."

Yukio’s eyes followed the path of his fingers as he took only a moment to feel the pristine, smooth skin between the ropes. He kept his touch light, knowing that his master was right, but also not wanting to do anything to shatter the utter peace Byakuya was experiencing. He cared very much for Byakuya, and he was rather eager to have this chance to bring him pleasure. Finally, he slid both hands into position, resting against Byakuya’s left leg, the inside of his forearms flush with the either side of the other’s thigh, before looking back up to his master. 

"Good, love," Toshiro said quietly, kissing his hair and binding his arms in place. Yukio’s weight was so slight, even with him having to lean into his arms to keep his balance, bent over with his back arched and ass presented as Renji wanted, there was barely any additional pressure on Byakuya. Byakuya's straining cock was almost against Yukio’s cheek, the smaller man still avoiding touching him there until he was directed. Toshiro smiled endearing at him, "Such a good, sweet boy for me, love. I'm going to put the ring on Byakuya then hold him for you to take into your mouth. Be very gentle and just hold him for now."

Byakuya felt Yukio’s hands, his gentle touches causing warmth to flood his already heated body. He was incredibly glad he had agreed to use a cock ring, based on Renji’s recommendation when they planned the scene. It was really the only way for him to test his comfort with orgasm denial, because everything that was happening even now had him achingly hard. In this blissfully relaxed state, even letting his mind wander to imagining Yukio putting his mouth on him made a soft moan exit his lips. By the time he had even become aware again of the slight pressure on his lower leg, he was fairly certain Yukio had been bound in place, but he didn’t have the presence of mind to even look to confirm.

Yukio let out a shaky breath as his face rested so close to Byakuya’s cock. It was the first time he had even seen the man fully nude, and he was being allowed to pleasure him in a way that gave Yukio a great sense of accomplishment himself. Though the goal wasn’t climax, it didn’t change the fact that Yukio loved being filled. He shifted a bit impatiently as he looked up to his master, really just to distract his eyes from the cock he so desperately wanted in his mouth.

Toshiro pulled the ring out of his pocket and gently slid it in place. He held Byakuya in a way that would allow Yukio to easily take him into his mouth, petting his fine blonde hair with his other hand. Before instructing him to do so though, he clearly commanded, "Byakuya, Color," making sure he was alright with the ring and the slight stimulation of his hand wrapped around him. 

Byakuya was so firmly bound that he didn’t even have the ability to physically react to Toshiro’s hand around him other than a low hum that emitted from his throat, and the cock ring seemed to take the edge off of how close he was to climax. “Green,” he replied. He let his head fall - he had been trying to keep up enough effort to keep at least a bit of awareness. But he knew it was completely unnecessary. Being at the mercy of the others in the room wasn’t nearly as nerve-racking as it had been in theory. In fact, it was the most freeing feeling he had ever experienced. 

"Alright, love," Toshiro coaxed gently, "Go ahead. Remember, slowly, love, and just hold him until Renji or I give you permission to stimulate him."

Yukio shifted his head just a bit to take the cock in his mouth, his breathing a bit sharp as he successfully held back a moan. It was incredibly difficult for him not to habitually stroke the length with his tongue, as badly as he wanted to. The feel and taste was unique, and the newness of it was driving him to new heights of arousal himself. Painstakingly slowly, he proceeded, just until the tip pressed firmly into the back of his throat, holding it there and trying to relax while keeping still.

Byakuya groaned a bit heavily at the feel of Yukio’s gentle, warm mouth over his cock. He was floating, completely surrounded by comforting heat between the ropes and Yukio’s mouth. At this point, it didn’t even matter where he was. He was lost, and he honestly didn’t care if he ever found his way back as long as he felt someone there with him.

Renji and Toshiro allowed the two submissives to just serenely be together that way, Yukio bound to and holding Byakuya in his calm, warm mouth. Toshiro knew though that eventually Yukio’s lower back would start to feel strained. Teal eyes took in Renji, the larger man stroking slowly and lubing himself with one hand, the other petting down Yukio’s arched back and still slightly red ass. Toshiro nodded to him before stroking Yukio’s face and hair, instructing, "Renji is going to take you now, love. You can move your tongue around Byakuya and make as much noise as you want but keep him fully inside your mouth. Swallow around him when you need to. Make him feel good, love."

Renji positioned himself at Yukio’s entrance, still taking in the beautiful sight the two made together. He pressed in just the head of his large cock, Yukio’s small body easily yielding to him. He then tightly clutched at his narrow hips before thrusting in completely in one smooth, hard motion, groaning out as Yukio’s thoroughly well prepared body opened for him. His tiny form clenching around him looked amazing - felt amazing - and he immediately began thrusting, a slow but rough pace. His dark eyes flickered between Yukio’s fragile-looking body beneath him and Byakuya's entire form, from his body to his expression as Yukio was finally allowed to stimulate him while being filled from both ends. 

Yukio immediately ran his tongue down the hard length in his mouth, humming contentedly at the distinct pleasure of the smooth skin. He took in every one of Byakuya’s reactions, from the broken groan that left his mouth to the hard twitches of his cock. He traced every available inch before diving in a bit further, taking him a bit down his open and willing throat. The combination of Renji so thoroughly filling him from behind, thrusting roughly into him, and Byakuya completely filling his mouth, he found himself slipping deeper into his own subspace, only keeping alive the will to stay in position, his tongue and mouth running by themselves as they explored and stimulated Byakuya. His eyes fluttered shut as he swallowed around Byakuya, eliciting another long, low moan from the other man.

Byakuya was definitely distracted enough that Toshiro didn't feel the least bit hesitant about beginning his own prep on the beautiful man. He grabbed the bottle of lube himself, coating his own fingers, tracing Byakuya's exposed entrance from behind him. He gently pressed in his index finger, watching Byakuya's expression carefully, the man suspended before him almost as if he were laying on his side while Yukio pleasured him, his body slightly lower than his waist. 

The sound that came from Byakuya’s mouth was some indiscernible cross between a whine and a moan, the pleasure that shot through him as his entrance was penetrated being almost overwhelming. The tight heat of Yukio’s throat had already been sinking him into worlds of pleasure he hardly knew existed, but still it wasn’t uncomfortable. Truly, it was absolutely euphoric. After the initial shock of Toshiro’s finger inside him, the feeling subsided into a satisfying plateau, the cock ring keeping any possibility of release at bay and leaving him at the whims of the pure bliss that ran through his veins. 

Toshiro smiled at Byakuya's expression becoming lax and accepting again, his body loose and pliant to his single finger moving within him. He slipped in a second, thoroughly stretching him, before thrusting into him with his long fingers and hooking them to directly hit his prostate. He kept them there, firmly massaging, before withdrawing slightly and further stretching him, repeating the process, teal eyes catching every reaction from the beautiful man. 

Renji had picked up his pace, now fucking Yukio fast and rough, and between the noises both he and Byakuya were making - and seeing Byakuya come even more undone under Toshiro's hands and Yukio's mouth - he knew he wasn't going to last much longer. He leaned over Yukio’s body a bit, his voice strained as he panted, "You're so fucking tight and good around me, taking me so well." He thrust in even harder at that, loving how Yukio whined beneath him. "Such a sweet, good boy, I'm going to come inside your tight body, pulling off that ring as I do and I want you to come on my cock filling you up."

Yukio was unable to verbally respond, but he tried to give a controlled hum of acknowledgment around the other sounds he couldn’t seem to stop from coming up from his throat, which was still tightly holding Byakuya’s cock as deeply as he could - which, for Yukio, meant until his nose touched the spanse of skin at the base. The deep strain in Renji’s voice and the rough way he was thrusting into him made him absolutely sure he wasn’t going to have any problem following his instructions. He was painfully hard, aching for a release as soon as Renji removed the ring.

Well versed in Yukio’s different sounds, and from the way he was trembling, Renji wasn't concerned at all that he'd fail that command. He drove in a few more times, feeling his own climax rapidly approaching, and reached under Yukio. He removed the ring just as his own hips stuttered and held himself deeply against the smaller man's prostate, groaning Yukio’s name loudly as he came. 

Yukio’s own orgasm washed over him quickly, causing his knees to buckle only slightly before he regained control. He moaned heavily around Byakuya’s cock, taking sharp breaths through his nose as he panted. The following shocks of pleasure tightened his muscles around Renji, only heightening the feeling of his cock pressing into his prostate and prolonging the intense climax. As the tension gradually released from his body, he swallowed subconsciously, causing another light reaction from Byakuya, who still seemed utterly content to allow them to take complete control of him.

Toshiro eased his fingers out of Byakuya and deftly unbound Yukio’s still trembling form as Renji held his lower body against him. Toshiro supported his upper body as the binding was removed, preventing him from even feeling like he could collapse. He'd never allow his Yukio to fall like that. Once free, he helped him straighten and fully lean against Renji, the larger man slipping from his body and taking him into his own arms. Toshiro pressed a gentle kiss to Yukio’s lips, murmuring, "You did so well, love, Renji’s got you. He's going to take you to relax on the bed now. I'll just be a few minutes before I'll join you with Byakuya. You'll be good for me and watch me, alright? I'm right here and I'm not going anywhere."

Yukio locked emerald eyes with teal as his master spoke, his gentle, loving voice pulling the remaining tightness from his body. “Yes, master,” he whispered before he turned to let his head fall onto Renji’s shoulder, cuddling into the larger man and settling into the warmth of his arms. 

Renji brought him over to the bed, continually saying how good and sweet and sexy he was, how much he'd enjoyed playing with him, being rough with him, and feeling him snuggled against him now. He really had missed this - everything they'd done together today. And with Yukio’s birthday just two days prior, knowing how much he'd missed playing with him to this intensity as well, Renji was pleased Byakuya had agreed to everything the smaller man had wanted. He hadn't done so for that reason, of course - Renji made sure that he'd only agreed because he was comfortable doing so - but this still seemed like a very pleasant, belated birthday gift in a way. 

Sitting with his back against the headboard of the large bed, Renji spread his legs to surround Yukio's, the slighter man's back against his muscled chest. Renji softly instructed, "Remember to watch your master now, Yukio. I've got you." He pressed butterfly kisses against his soft hair, nuzzling into him with his nose, fully taking advantage of how cuddly Yukio just naturally was, his small body a gentle weight against him. His dark eyes were also directed across the room, however, only he only had eyes for his gorgeous Bya, Toshiro working slowly and gently to bring him down from his suspension. 

Toshiro started where he'd stopped before, working in reverse order to bring Byakuya safely back down. As each leg was released, he massaged out every muscle, only moving to release his back from suspension when his legs had stopped shaking and, even leaned against Toshiro's chest, Byakuya was supporting most of his weight himself. Once he was completely free from suspension - though his chest and arms were still bound - Toshiro brought him to sit on the side of the bed. He then underwent the slow process of completely freeing him, again massaging each muscle as it was freed until the shaking subsided. 

Byakuya looked back at Yukio and Renji, still mostly unfocused despite the release of the bindings. The gentle kneading of Toshiro’s hands on his limbs didn’t let him surface much from the deep state of relaxation he had been in, and he really only exerted enough effort to stand and make it to the bed. With additional stimulation absent, he was able to take a few deep, calming breaths, leaning into the comfort of Toshiro’s side as he did so. 

He knew he'd need them, recalling the innocent sheet of paper back in the sitting room, and shivered at the thought of what was to come next… 

Chapter Text

Byakuya looked back at Yukio and Renji, still mostly unfocused despite the release of the bindings. The gentle kneading of Toshiro’s hands on his limbs didn’t let him surface much from the deep state of relaxation he had been in, and he really only exerted enough effort to stand and make it to the bed. With additional stimulation absent, he was able to take a few deep, calming breaths, leaning into the comfort of Toshiro’s side as he did so. 

He knew he'd need them, recalling the innocent sheet of paper back in the sitting room, and shivered at the thought of what was to come next… 

Finished with freeing Byakuya from the long ropes, Toshiro coiled them around his arm before dropping the coil off the side of the bed. He captured Byakuya in a deep, slow kiss, loving the way Byakuya instantly melted into him and yielded to his gentle mapping of his mouth. He couldn't get enough of his mouth, not since being allowed to kiss him those six months ago. 

His teal eyes were dark with overwhelming desire and want for this beautiful man as he withdrew just enough to command against his lips, "I want you to remove the rest of my clothing." He stood back up, the outline of his cock strained against his tight pants. He threaded his fingers through the long raven hair to Byakuya's chin, lifting the darkened steel eyes to his own from where they'd focused on Toshiro’s obvious state of arousal in front of him, lowly and clearly demanding, "Understand?" 

Byakuya shuddered visibly at the command, his hands coming up to the waistline of Toshiro’s pants. “Yes,” he breathed, fingers trembling as he rather clumsily unbuttoned and unzipped Toshiro’s pants. He brought his eyes back down to what was before him as he slowly removed them, leaving Toshiro completely naked, standing only inches from him, after he kicked his pants to the side. Byakuya’s hands were legitimately tingling, itching to touch, and his body longed to lean into the previously undiscovered skin. He had seen Toshiro fully undressed, but he had never touched him like this. He left his still-trembling hands on Toshiro’s waist when his task was completed, fighting harder than he ever had against letting them wander. Toshiro was overwhelmingly gorgeous, every inch of his lean, toned body incredibly pristine and just begging for attention.

"You can touch me," Toshiro murmured, "You can even taste me if you so desire. Go on, Byakuya, feel free to explore my body - before I thoroughly enjoy yours."

Byakuya didn’t have to be told twice. His hands trailed from Toshiro’s waist to his hips, drinking in the feeling with vigor. When they reached the outsides of his thighs, he leaned in to rest his forehead in the space next to Toshiro’s hipbone, closing his eyes as he continued to feel every bit of the man before him. His hands curved around to the back of his legs, moving back up to lightly trace his fingers along the insides of his thighs before reaching the pliable flesh of his ass. He groaned at the feel of it under his hands, his breath striking Toshiro’s skin under his mouth. 

With his hands fully sated, he pressed his lips to the flawless skin, kissing over to Toshiro’s hipbone and pausing there for a moment, lavishing the attractively prominent bone with his tongue’s careful attention. He brought one hand around to follow the path of his lips as he ran tender kisses and a gentle tongue across until he reached Toshiro’s hard length. He only allowed his cheek to touch it before pulling away, still letting his eyes wander as his hands settled on Toshiro’s hips.

Toshiro's breath hitched at Byakuya's earnest appreciation and again as his cheek briefly touched his aching cock. He chuckled as Byakuya stilled, those slate gray eyes wandering over his body, before asking, "Done already? Or are you just wanting me inside you that badly?" 

Byakuya looked up to meet amused teal eyes. “Honestly, Toshiro, I never want to stop touching you. But then I’d never know what it felt like to have your body against mine… to have you inside me,” his voice came out as a desperate groan, and his hands began to move of their own accord, shifting back to squeeze that toned, flawless ass.

Toshiro groaned lowly at the feeling and at his words before commanding, "Get fully onto the bed, lay on your back with two pillows below your head. I want you to see every second of me taking you. Then you will hold your legs open for me, I want to see you present yourself to me."

Byakuya slid back on the bed, hastily positioning himself against the headboard next to where Renji and Yukio were resting, shifting the pillows beneath him until they were comfortable. He then spread his trembling legs, looking at Toshiro for approval and also in genuine, unadulterated lust. Other than Renji, he didn’t think he had ever wanted someone so badly in his life.

Toshiro looked over him hungrily, teal eyes sweeping his shaking form. Byakuya was as gorgeous as ever, but the sheer amount of lust in those slate gray eyes had Toshiro groaning lowly and crawling towards him until he was hovering above him between those invitingly spread, long, elegant legs. Toshiro allowed his body to lightly touch Byakuya's as he captured those lips again, this time in a far more demanding kiss. Byakuya opened instantly for him and Toshiro groaned into his mouth, bucking his hard length against him. Toshiro gasped at the contact, pulling away from the kiss to say, "Even this feels amazing, Byakuya - I want to be inside you so much, I don't want to wait, don't want to slowly torture either of us, just want to finally sink into your body."

Byakuya completely agreed. Toshiro’s body touching his, completely bared to one another and allowing skin to skin contact, was one of the best things he had ever felt. And the way he kissed him, like he had been waiting his whole life to taste his mouth. There was such overt passion in everything Toshiro did to him. He brought a hand up to run his touch down Toshiro’s side as he looked up into heated teal eyes. Byakuya was still achingly hard, even more so now, but he was actually surprised that it only caused a light tingle to invade his extremities. The cock ring was certainly doing its job. “I want you inside me, Toshiro,” he whispered, his voice low with desire.

Toshiro kissed him again, more than a little desperation behind his demanding tongue, before he released him, Byakuya panting beneath him. He turned to glance at Renji and Yukio beside him, both quietly observing with appreciative expressions. Toshiro's teal eyes settled on emerald, a warm smile falling into place even over his near overwhelming want as he said, "Hand me the lube that's in the bedside table next to you, love."

Yukio leaned over from where he sat in Renji’s lap, pulling the bottle out of the drawer before sitting back up and handing it over, his eyes sweeping over the absolutely stunning image of his master hovering over Byakuya’s gorgeous body. He waited for further instruction, knowing there was a role for him to play here, too, and he honestly couldn’t wait to do what they had planned.

"Thank you, love," Toshiro said, kissing his hand as he took the bottle from him. "Now, come here, cuddle into Byakuya's side. You are allowed to explore his chest and neck, with your hands and mouth. Especially your breath, love, you know he loves that. We want to make him feel good." He knew his Yukio had wanted to play a bit more directly with Byakuya for a while and he could never deny his precious submissive. 

“Yes, master, thank you,” Yukio said, the excitement clear in his voice. He eagerly climbed over Renji’s leg, settling himself next to Byakuya and briefly nuzzling his nose into soft raven hair, breathing in deeply. “You smell so good, Byakuya,” he whispered, his mouth close to Byakuya’s ear. He then ducked his head beneath Byakuya’s jawbone, pressing light kisses to the smooth skin of his neck before allowing his tongue to slip through, wetting the skin before letting an intentionally cool exhale ghost over the moist flesh. 

Byakuya tensed at the attention to his neck, chills erupting under his hair despite the sweat that was gathering there. “Yukio,” he groaned, his hand tightening against Toshiro’s side as a contrasting heat instantly flooded his body. 

Yukio hummed into Byakuya’s skin at his name being spoken in such a way, never having heard Byakuya speak that way to him. To know he was bringing the other such pleasure only drove him on, and he continued down to Byakuya’s collarbone, lavishing it with the same attention, this time dragging his teeth gently along the bone to bring a low moan from Byakuya’s lips. He soothed the slight pain with his tongue before pulling away again and letting out a light breath, watching as Byakuya’s muscles tensed and he let his head fall back against the headboard. 

Toshiro had lubed himself thoroughly while his Yukio set about his task. It was probably the sexiest sight he'd ever seen, his beautiful Yukio worshiping Byakuya's gorgeous skin. Toshiro shivered, knowing exactly what that felt like. He pumped himself slowly, watching them, his teal eyes growing even darker in lust until his Yukio made Byakuya moan in a way that had him groaning himself. He couldn't wait anymore. 

He positioned himself at Byakuya's prepped entrance, breaching him and panting at the feeling, moaning out Byakuya's name at just that alone. He felt amazing - but more than that was the overwhelming emotional catharsis of finally taking this man after wanting this for ten years. 

An immense rush of pleasure washed over Byakuya as Toshiro entered his body, his breath hitching as he tensed for a moment at the feeling. Between Yukio’s careful, but no less arousing, actions and Toshiro actually penetrating him, Byakuya had no choice but to bend to the heat, the cool of Yukio’s breath, and the trembling of his legs on either side of Toshiro’s body. “Toshiro… Yukio, it’s so… so good. Shit, this is just so much…” He wasn’t even fully aware that he was speaking, but words and sounds were tumbling out, many of them traced with a sensual groan as he tried to fathom the amount of pure ecstasy that was coursing through him.

"Fuck, Byakuya," Toshiro gasped out. He didn't think he'd ever heard the regal man actually swear before. He shallowly thrust into his tight body, just a little deeper each time, panting and sweating as he forced himself to take him as gently as he was able while just wanting to sink to the hilt with a single, unyielding thrust. Slowly he bottomed out, whimpering, "Bya - Byakuya - ahh…" as he felt himself fully sheathed within him. 

His heart was clenched almost painfully at the amount of emotion that flooded him. Overwhelming pleasure - but also relief - comfort. Byakuya really wanted him, had all but begged to have him. He leaned down to capture him in another kiss, his Yukio intuitively moving to give him the room he needed, focusing his attention to the side of Byakuya's neck as Toshiro kissed him desperately. He felt a couple tears slip from his clenched eyes, still entirely overwhelmed, kissing this man more desperately than he remembered kissing anyone before, assuring himself that this really was Byakuya he was finally inside - he'd never mistake the way he tasted for another, utterly impossible, even without his level of recall. 

He released him, his breath fully labored as he began to actually thrust within him. He nearly lost himself at Byakuya's utterly wrecked expression, at the sounds spilling from those abused lips. "I've wanted this - for so long -" he panted out, whimpering as another wave of pleasure and emotion washed over him, "You're so fucking beautiful - Byakuya - I never - never thought - Ngh… Never thought you'd want me - like this - so deep - you feel me, Byakuya? - Do you see the mess you make me -" 

Byakuya had truly been only focused on the feeling of Toshiro fully inside him, thrusting a mind-numbing rhythm that made him feel like he had completely crossed the plane of reality. But at his words, the desperation of his kiss, and the tone of his voice, he was brought back a bit, forcing himself to focus on Toshiro’s face. His eyes widened when he found bloodshot teal, light traces of tears on the other man’s cheeks. He reached up to grasp the back of Toshiro’s neck, pulling him down until their foreheads touched. 

“I can’t help but feel you, Toshiro. You feel amazing inside me,” he whispered, bringing his other hand up to wipe the moisture from Toshiro’s cheek. “You’re so gorgeous. This won’t be the only time I want you like this - buried deep in me,” he added before tilting his head and taking Toshiro’s lips against his own in a calming, tame kiss that was meant to relieve the sudden onslaught of emotion. To say Byakuya was shocked by Toshiro’s reaction to taking him this way would be an understatement. He had an idea before - based on their previous scenes - how much Toshiro cherished every moment with him, but this was completely unexpected. The normally composed, commanding man had all but fallen apart. 

Yukio watched for several moments, harshly wrenched out of his task of pleasuring Byakuya and really needing a moment to gather his own wits again at seeing his master like this. He had never lost control like this with him, and it forced a bit of involuntary anxiety into his heart. He took in his master’s almost distraught expression, so glad when Byakuya knew just how to react, bringing his master in close with reassuring words. Knowing it would help, Yukio lightly pressed his hand to his master’s side, stroking up and down the tense muscles, if nothing else to remind him that he was there.

Toshiro melted into the kiss, his movements becoming more controlled within Byakuya as he found his center. He felt what could only be Yukio’s smaller hand brushing soothingly against his side and between the two he calmed. He hadn't expected to be so overwhelmed - he so rarely felt intense emotions, it had been difficult to sort through. There had been just so much longing within him for so long, dammed inside him by the belief that Byakuya would never want him completely like this, it had been difficult to deal with when that dam had shattered. 

Toshiro concentrated on the feeling of Yukio’s calming touch against his side, on the feel of Byakuya's kiss and body - both against him and around him - and he found the pleasure within him rushing, mounting, rising. His thrusts evened out and increased in pace, smooth and hard into Byakuya's welcoming body. He was getting close, which was honestly its own relief. He wanted to fill him - and he was going to do so more than once. 

Yukio felt his master calm, and when his actions became more controlled, he reached up a bit to kiss his master’s cheek. He then returned his attention to Byakuya, gently kissing, licking, and lightly sucking the sensitive skin of his neck. Never enough to leave marks - that was for Renji alone. Still, he enjoyed the chance he had to have Byakuya’s flawless skin at his disposal. 

Byakuya smiled into Toshiro’s lips as he felt the tension leave and the confidence and control return, and he allowed himself to sink into the pleasure again. He was honestly surprised that his hard, aching cock wasn’t causing him more discomfort. In fact, the short plateau in the action had eased some of the pressure. Being on the edge for so long was actually an oddly blissful sensation, and as he felt the feeling of a pending climax again building, he only relaxed into it and allowed the overwhelming stimulation take over his body, pulling him back into that sense of his own control being completely out of reach.

Toshiro broke the calm kiss with Byakuya, needing the air as he felt himself reaching his edge. "Byakuya," he panted, his thrusts deep and fast now, "You feel so good, so fucking good, you're going to make me come, make me fill that gorgeous body," he gasped, thrusting quick and deep as his climax washed over him, his voice low as he groaned out Byakuya's name. His body was shaking even as he continued to fuck him, not remotely wanting to stop, the aftershocks racing through him nearly as powerful as the first release and causing him to whimper. 

Byakuya tensed at Toshiro’s release, feeling it fill him and further lubricate his continued motions. The prominent twitches of the aftershocks caused him to groan, the sound shrinking into a whimper. Though he felt like he should have released as well - without the cock ring, he likely would have - the pressure and heat in his gut remained. He rode the painful high until it waned again, but the dips in the discomfort were becoming shorter and less bearable. The fact that he hadn’t climaxed through everything he’d been subjected to was definitely beginning to catch up to him.

Toshiro continued to fuck him, his pace far more relaxed, the stimulation keeping him just hard enough to continue to do so as he came down from the high. He looked between Byakuya and Yukio, both nearly under him as Yukio was fully flush with Byakuya’s side. Toshiro smiled warmly at him, kissing him gently on the cheek and whispering into his ear, "Thank you, love, well done. You can continue."

He leaned back, giving Yukio plenty of smooth skin to worship, teal eyes catching Renji’s motion as he settled next to Byakuya's other side. The larger man kissed Byakuya's soft ebony hair as he pet along his abs and Toshiro closed his eyes for a moment, just allowing himself to feel Byakuya around him without all the overwhelming emotion that had overcome him before. 

Yukio smiled at the absolute bliss in his master’s expression before turning back to Byakuya’s chest, the only allowed portion of skin he hadn’t yet touched. He ran his hands over nearly every inch first, allowing Byakuya to fully realize that he was there, before beginning to repeat the motions he had performed on his neck. First came light, tender kisses, which, in Byakuya’s heightened state of arousal, caused his muscles to twitch a bit. Yukio smiled into the responsive flesh before parting his lips and running his tongue over a small portion, thoroughly heating it with his mouth before pulling back and forcing his cool breath over the same spot. The breathy moan he was rewarded with was more than worth it. He loved bringing pleasure to those he loved.

"You're doing so well, Bya," Renji said, directly into his ear. He had handled all of this flawlessly, including Toshiro's moment of emotional upheaval. Renji understood - all too well - having waited on this man himself for years. He didn't fault Toshiro in the least and he'd recovered far more quickly than Renji had. Renji still found himself in disbelief sometimes that Byakuya wanted him. 

He continued his quiet words, "I'm so proud of you. You look beyond beautiful, allowing them to pleasure you. So accepting, so submissive, even as you get no relief yourself. How are you, Bya? Do you enjoy them? Do you enjoy being denied orgasm like this while Toshiro takes you, finding his pleasure inside your body, and continues to take you still?"

Byakuya turned his head to face Renji, his vision so unfocused that he soon gave up and closed his eyes. He tried to summon his voice, gather his thoughts, do something to make his body actually work. He was quite overwhelmed with everything happening around him, but it was all so pleasurable that he didn’t want Renji to misunderstand and think he wasn’t enjoying it. “I’m good, Renji… So, so good,” he forced the words out, taking a few labored breaths before speaking again. “I do… it feels good to be… on the edge,” he hoped he had actually answered the question, though he was still doubtful that his words were even reaching his partner. 

Toshiro’s slow pace and relatively gentle thrusting had settled him back into a lower intensity of pressure, and if he kept up this kind of stimulation, barring the fact that Yukio was gently but skillfully working his chest, he honestly felt that he could hold out for hours. But even Yukio’s intentionally arousing actions were driving him into quite a bit of tension if he focused on them for too long. 

Renji smiled, kissing Byakuya's cheek gently, allowing his hand to lower and wrap around his cock. His voice was low, still speaking directly into his ear as he said, "The next time Toshiro fills you, I'm taking the ring off you myself, and I'm going to watch as you become absolutely lost in pleasure. But you look like you could hold out for quite some time - I'm thoroughly impressed. I was hoping to see you begging before this ring came off…" 

Renji slowly began to pump his hand, the motion lubed by Byakuya's own precum that had been slowly leaking throughout the entire scene. "I want to hear you beg Toshiro to fuck you, to fill you again, because I'm not going to let you come until he does." He increased the speed of his hand slightly, finding a steady rhythm he was certain he could keep as he watched Byakuya closely. He had wanted this - to really be edged this way - but Renji couldn't help his concern that it would become too much too fast and he didn't want to cause him true discomfort or pain. 

Byakuya gave a strained, shuddering moan when Renji wrapped his hand around his cock and started to pump him. It took mere seconds of direct stimulation before the warmth of his building pleasure began to burn. “Shit, Renji,” he muttered, his breaths sharp and ragged. He looked up to Toshiro, who seemed content to continue his easy pace despite what was happening under him. If Byakuya was going to get any relief, he had no choice but to follow Renji’s wishes. He determinedly met Toshiro’s eyes, gathering his thoughts for only a moment.

“Fuck me, Toshiro, as hard and fast as you’ve always wanted to. I want your cock so deep inside me that I still feel it tomorrow. I can take it, Toshiro, please , fill me again. Your cock feels so good, and you’re so fucking gorgeous,” Byakuya had to take a breath before he continued, determined to drive Toshiro right off the edge with words he’d never in his life had to resort to. A glance down to Toshiro’s hard length sliding in and out of him caused almost painful pleasure to course through him, but he had to keep talking. “You put me this way so I could see you take me. But have you looked? Do you see how sexy it is to watch yourself fuck me? Fill me, Toshiro. I need you to fill me,” his voice was beginning to wane, and he whimpered as Renji continued his insistent pace pumping his cock.

Teal eyes widened with each incredibly lewd sentence that fell from Byakuya’s mouth, the desperation crystal clear and sinfully sexy. Toshiro couldn't help but look down at himself as he slowly thrust into this gorgeous man, moaning at the sight and increasing his pace, without even really realizing he'd done so, utterly transfixed by the sight and wanting to see more of it, to see himself take him faster, harder. 

He pushed Byakuya's legs up, placing them over his shoulders, angling him better to watch himself continually sink into him without disrupting what Yukio or Renji were doing. "Fuck, Byakuya," Toshiro groaned out, "You want me to fuck you hard? Fast? Deep? Feel me tomorrow? You're going to feel me a lot longer than that." He started a far more brutal pace, each thrust striking his prostate deep within him. Toshiro hadn't really been aiming to before, not wanting to overstimulate him too much with the ring, but he wanted him utterly wrecked now as he finally came on his cock. 

Byakuya couldn’t control the grunts, moans, and other completely unbecoming sounds exiting his lips as Toshiro increased his effort. His entire body was on fire, every bit of stimulation piercing and verging on legitimately uncomfortable. But the consistent heat in his core never waned, and he knew that when he was allowed to let go, it was going to be the best orgasm he’d had in his life. Toshiro’s cock thrusting roughly into his prostate made sweat break out on every inch of his body that wasn’t already affected, and he was unsure how much longer he could take it. As though sensing his tension, Yukio had actually reduced his direct stimulation to just gentle caresses and kisses, but Byakuya was getting no relief from the other two, Renji’s rhythm never faltering and Toshiro only more determinedly hammering into him. “Toshiro, please , come inside me. I need to come, please, Toshiro,” he begged, his voice a hoarse whisper. 

Toshiro groaned, the sound deep and tortured at Byakuya literally begging him to come inside him. "Byakuya -" he gasped, "Fuck yes, I can't get enough of you begging me, going to fill you so fucking full -" his words cut off sharply as his climax hit him hard, causing him to cry out loudly, still fucking Byakuya hard and deep, like he never wanted to stop. 

Renji was beyond pleased with his Bya - the words pouring from his mouth in desperation were the sexiest, most arousing things he'd ever heard. When Toshiro's near tortured answer abruptly cut off, Renji pulled off the ring in one swift motion, knowing he was seconds away from release and wanting his Bya to be able to come with him. 

There was absolutely no warning as Byakuya’s climax claimed him as soon as the pressure was released. He grasped at whatever he could, his entire body tightening with the immense force. One hand found Renji’s, the other clutching at the blankets behind Yukio, who was still tucked under his arm. He was completely unprepared for the fact that the initial rush was really just another moment of buildup before heat - legitimate, searing heat - flooded his entire body, and Byakuya couldn’t stop the raspy scream that rose up from his throat. It cut off abruptly when he realized that was him making that sound, but he was still forced to fold completely under the waves upon waves of pleasure that didn’t seem like they would ever stop. He actually thought he might faint from the sudden release of tension when the feeling finally settled what felt like several long minutes later, leaving him in a boneless heap on the bed.

Byakuya completely falling apart as he finally climaxed was one of the sexiest, most satisfying things Toshiro had ever seen. And he clenched down, almost painfully hard around him, forcing Toshiro to still deep within him. He moaned brokenly as his own aftershocks raced through him, the pleasure only heightened by the feeling of Byakuya’s body holding him within him and pulsing around him. 

Toshiro panted, desperately trying to calm his breaths as he recovered from such exertion - he had done as Byakuya asked, taking him hard, deep, and fast, but he was now both completely sated and exhausted. He leaned to the side before he collapsed, his weight partially on Byakuya's still shaking form, partially on his beautiful Yukio. "That -" Toshiro said between breaths, "- was - amazing. Fuck - so - good." He nuzzled against Yukio’s neck, breathing in his submissive's gentle, lovely scent, allowing that to further calm him. "My sweet Yukio," he murmured, relaxing into his smaller form. 

Renji continually stroked through Byakuya's hair, watching him. He had never seen him have such an intense orgasm and he wasn't looking away for a second. He continued to praise him, telling him how good he'd been, how beautiful, how he completely adored him and that he was his everything. Nothing Renji said was anything but the truth - he really was everything to him. He gently kissed his cheek every few words, waiting for his Bya to surface from the deep subspace he'd be thrown into. 

Yukio shifted a bit to have his head on his master’s shoulder, and he reached up to run a hand through snow white hair. He didn’t say anything - didn’t really think he needed to. He knew his presence was often more comforting to his master than his words. Seeing him this way was spectacular, and he was so grateful that Byakuya had agreed to this, for so many reasons. Yukio had finally been able to indulge in a few of his favorite things with Renji, and that was something he had missed. But, more than that, he knew how happy Byakuya made his master. He reached up to press his lips to his master’s cheek. “Love you, master,” he said softly.

The quiet surrounding Byakuya, and the feeling of being pinned by the bodies on either side of him, allowed him to calm himself at his own pace, and he slowly came down from the high of the most intense thing he had ever experienced in his life. Eventually, his heart rate returned to normal, and his breathing slowed, though his throat was a bit sore. He figured that was from the tightness when he cut himself off from screaming. With a deep breath, he opened his eyes, which he had subconsciously closed, he supposed, because he didn’t really remember closing them. When he found Renji’s slightly concerned eyes, he couldn’t help but chuckle. “I’m fine, Renji. That was… the most amazing thing I’ve ever felt,” he assured him.

Renji smiled, relieved that his Bya had enjoyed himself so thoroughly. He kissed him gently, saying, "I'm so glad, Bya." He laughed lightly, saying, "So we can keep orgasm denial and cock ring use on your list? And you seemed to thoroughly enjoy both Yukio and Toshiro's attention."

Byakuya lifted his hand to cup Renji’s cheek in his palm. “Yes, we’re definitely keeping those on my list. And I did enjoy them, but I want you back now,” he said gently, leaning in to press his lips to Renji’s for a while longer, smiling into the kiss at the warm familiarity that could never be rivaled. It didn’t matter who else he was with for a scene, he would always want to come back to his Renji. 

Toshiro groaned a bit at Byakuya's statement, not so out of it he wasn't listening to the exchange. He lifted himself again, kissing Byakuya's other cheek before gently pulling out, whimpering slightly at being free from that tight heat. He moved beside Yukio, spooning against him as the smaller was still snuggled flush against Byakuya. Toshiro pressed kisses into his fine blonde hair, murmuring to him, "Love you, so much, you're my entire world, love. You kept me grounded, just as you do every day. You did such a good job. And you looked so sexy as you played with Renji and Byakuya. Did you enjoy yourself, love? Tell me the things you enjoyed most, and I'll make sure to repeat them in the future, as best as I'm able."

Yukio melted into the curve of his master’s body with a deep, calm sigh. “I did enjoy myself. You know what I like, master, better than anyone else. There were a couple of things Renji did, though, that weren’t entirely new, but I didn’t remember how much I liked them. When he had me repeat his instructions - that’s something you do sometimes, but not often, because you know I’ll follow your instructions without question. Still, it builds anticipation and really gets me excited. And the way he prepared me so slowly… that drove me crazy. I suppose it’s just a couple of things to build up the excitement. Renji is excellent with build-up,” Yukio replied with a laugh. 

His mind began to replay the events of the day, and only one thing really stood out to him over all the other things he had done. “But, really, the best part of the day was seeing you with Byakuya. It scared me for a minute, when you were overwhelmed with emotion, but I’m so glad it was Byakuya with you. He knew just what to do while I froze, trying to figure out how to respond. I did what I could, but… Byakuya helped a lot, I think. He told me that I was perfect for all of you, but really… he and Renji are perfect for us, master,” Yukio reflected, his voice quiet, but still audible in the silence.

Byakuya had broken away from Renji’s lips at mention of his name, not necessarily trying to eavesdrop, but not really being able to help it at such proximity to the other two. They were both still practically on top of him. Listening to Yukio speak, though, his heart felt impossibly full. Yukio had all but claimed him as a permanent part of his life, and that was a fantastic feeling, knowing that he had so thoroughly earned the man’s trust. He knew he had, but Yukio so often put aside his own feelings that he had never actually heard the words come directly from him. 

"I will ask you more often to repeat your instructions, and I agree, love," Toshiro responded, reaching over Yukio to clasp his hand, entwining their fingers as they rested upon Byakuya's hard chest, feeling his heart beating beneath their joined hands. "Both you and Byakuya are correct. You are perfect, love, for each one of us, and Renji and Byakuya are perfect for us." He knew both Renji and Byakuya were listening - he didn't mind at all - and they should hear this anyway. He was done closing himself off, at least concerning the people in this room. 

"You know I can't just trust you to anyone's care - Renji is one of the few I know for certain can take care of you and won't harm you, even when administering your rougher kinks. And you know that I usually refuse to be with anyone, completely, the way I want to be with Byakuya. I need to really care about a person to allow them close to me like that. Byakuya is the first person I've had full sex with after contracting with you - you know that, love, but I don't think Byakuya did. Had Renji’s partner been anyone else, I sincerely doubt I would have allowed even half of what I allow Byakuya.

"I apologize for becoming overwhelmed, love - I don't process strong emotions very well because I don't have them that often. Other than my constant domspace state of loving you, watching your every reaction, caring for you, usually nothing overwhelms that. Finally being with Byakuya that way, after nearly ten years of buried longing…" 

Toshiro chuckled, "I'll be 26 tomorrow… And I've fantasized being with him like this since I was 16. Not that I could really help it - Byakuya is both stunning and quietly supportive and kind, of course I wanted to be with him… I was just so insecure back then, I couldn't tell him how much I wanted him. The thought of doing so, of him rejecting me like I had convinced myself he would - it terrified me. You give me far more confidence than I've ever had in myself, knowing how you see me, it's a great deal of what makes me strong. 

"I'm so sorry if I caused you any distress, love. I never want to be the cause of any anxiety you feel. I should have considered that fully being with Byakuya may have had that effect on me. I wasn’t feeling any negative emotions during that at all, just so much relief and comfort and catharsis - it was overwhelming to me. But your touch grounded me, as much if not more so than Byakuya's actions - bringing my focus back to you, which is when I'm most comfortable and in control." 

Toshiro kissed the back of Yukio’s neck, nuzzling him with his nose before continuing, "I'd be more of a mess without you, love, than I think even I fully realize. You're everything to me, and I'm so thankful to have found you, that you're mine. I knew the minute we met, that what I wanted more than anything was to be able to take care of you. And then you agreed. And I've never been more happy. 

"I never became overwhelmed with you because I constantly feel strong feelings of love and protection towards you, ever since those first few meetings. It's just natural to me to feel that way with you. I had pushed those similar emotions away though, concerning Byakuya, after I'd convinced myself I didn't stand a chance… 

"Allowing them back fully was difficult for me, something I couldn't hold back anymore, finally being connected to him that way, feeling his body around me, knowing I was exactly where he wanted me. But now that I have allowed myself to fully feel those emotions towards him again, I don't want to bury them. It wasn’t all that healthy to begin with. I'm so happy that you enjoy seeing me with Byakuya, love - I don't want to disconnect with him like we were again. He's very dear to my heart and I don't want to lose that closeness. I feel so little for anyone but you, my precious Yukio. 

"And Byakuya adores you as well - it's clear - and part of the reason I felt so much relief was knowing that being with him didn't mean lessening anything I feel for you, didn't diminish our bond in any way. It just makes me love you even more, that you allow it, that you even want to see us together. Because you love him too, don't you sweet boy? Seeing you both together like this, Byakuya holding you against him as you cuddle into him - I don't think I've seen a more heartwarming, beautiful sight. You look so lovely together and you, love… You're so completely perfect for me. You're a treasure and you're mine. Always mine." 

Yukio shifted a bit to settle even more thoroughly into the comfort that surrounded him, his head resting in the space under Byakuya’s collarbone. “I do love Byakuya. He was so kind to me, right from the start,” he murmured. His next breath was a bit shaky, and he felt moisture gathering in his eyes. Now he knew what his master meant. Relief was an overwhelming thing. “I never thought anyone else would ever be close to us like this, except Renji. But having Byakuya… it’s honestly more than I ever could have asked for.” He would have said more, but he knew if he did the tears would fall, so he focused on taking deep breaths and feeling his master’s heat behind him. 

Byakuya tilted his head down to press a kiss to Yukio’s hair. “I love you, Yukio. Don’t ever doubt that,” he whispered, holding him a bit tighter against him before turning to Toshiro. “I suppose I should be telling you that, too. I still can’t believe you thought I was so out of reach,” he began, pulling his arm from behind Yukio to run his fingers through Toshiro’s hair. “I’ve always cared for you, Toshiro. Even in college, you were a dear friend to me. I’m sorry I was so bad at showing it all these years. I was rather cut off from most everyone. The only reason Renji stayed so close is because he never really did care much for privacy,” he chuckled a bit at that. “But now, I can say with full confidence that I do love you, Toshiro. I never did think it would be possible for me to love anyone , much less three people. But I find that it’s not so difficult for me to find room in my heart for all of you.”

"Thank you, Byakuya," Toshiro whispered, sitting up slightly so that teal eyes could capture slate gray. "That means more than you could know. And I do love you as well - I think I always did - but far more so now, especially seeing how gentle and caring you are with my Yukio. I really don't think I could ever thank you enough for accepting him into your heart like that, let alone me." Toshiro relaxed back down, snuggling more into his precious Yukio, squeezing his small hand still interlaced with his own upon Byakuya's chest. 

Renji kissed Byakuya's cheek, smiling as he said, "I've never been more happy about not caring much for privacy. I've never felt complete, before you, Bya. Always there was this giant, missing piece. Even being with Yukio and Toshiro, as enjoyable as that is, didn't really ease that feeling. Because, as much as we each mean to each other, Yukio belongs to Toshiro, in a way he never could to me, and Toshiro loves him so completely. 

"I wanted that too, wanted so much for that person to be you, Bya. I just knew you were perfect for me, that you were that missing piece. I would have waited forever. And you fit better than I ever imagined, even taking to Yukio and Toshiro. There's really only one other person I consider family - Shu - and I know without a doubt that you'll accept him and his partner as well - maybe not in this way, I didn't expect this, honestly. That you would love these two the way I do. I've never felt so at ease. Thank you, Bya - you're amazing to me."

Byakuya looked up to Renji with a soft smile. Just looking at him brought him so much peace. “You’re everything to me, Renji. There’s no other way to describe how much you mean to me. I understand so well now, and I still sometimes regret the way I reacted so long ago - it feels like years ago - when I realized just how much you had done with others. It was so foreign to me, I really couldn’t imagine… I didn’t know it was possible to separate the feelings you had for me from everything else. But now I sympathize so thoroughly with you. I love Toshiro and Yukio, I really do. Saying anything less would be a lie. 

“But what I feel for you, Renji, is so much more than that. There aren’t even really words to say what you are to me, and it’s surprisingly easy for me to admit to loving someone else and still know for sure that you understand that you’re different. Every time I say I love you, I hope you know that I really mean that my entire life is yours, and I could never imagine giving that much to anyone else,” he found himself rambling, but the emotions so suddenly cropped up, and he couldn’t stop. He leaned up to press his lips to Renji’s cheek before resting his forehead against the place where his lips had been, closing his eyes and just feeling the calm his Renji always carried.

"I do know that, Bya. Because I feel the same…" Renji whispered. He really had never felt this whole before. With everyone else he loved, had been with, he'd never felt anything like the connection and complete devotion he felt for this man. He'd been determined to know him from first sight, all the way down the street, as fleeting as it had been. And after he introduced himself, he was only more determined to know him better. 

He wanted to bring a smile to his face, to see those hardened steel eyes soften when he looked at him. If imposing his presence on him brought him any joy at all, broke up the dreariness that seemed to be his life - one strained and tentative relationship after another with men that didn't treat him like the precious gift that he was - it was more than worth his time, even if Byakuya never understood how he felt or returned his feelings. 

But then he did. 

And now he understands completely. 

Renji reached across Byakuya's chest, clasping his hand over Yukio and Toshiro's joined ones, squeezing slightly and relaxing into the perfect comfort between them. He was so glad they'd made it here, that they were together, that everything had finally fallen entirely into place between them. 

He would have waited forever. 

He'd never felt more relieved, though, that his waiting finally seemed to be over. And now he got to live this way.


He moved his head to nuzzle his nose into Byakuya's hair just above his ear as he whispered, "Forever and a day."

Chapter Text

Yukio sat across from his master in the sitting room, his eyes to the chess board on the table between them. The game had been an effort to distract him, but truly it only made him feel obligated not to pace. His master had tried to be unpredictable with his moves, but Yukio processed the changes so quickly, recalculating the course of the game in seconds, that his mind was free to wander. 

It had been nearly two months since their latest scene with Byakuya and Renji, making it mid-February. But, for some reason, Byakuya had requested to visit in the middle of the day while Renji was at work, saying he had something private to discuss with them. It was a bit worrisome, though Byakuya hadn’t sounded at all stressed on the phone when he had asked. As far as he knew, everything was going well between him and Renji, so there was no way their relationship was the issue. Still, Yukio couldn’t help but mull over the possibilities, which really led him to nothing conclusive. 

He moved one of his pieces on the board and leaned into the back of the couch, his arms crossed on his chest as he looked past his master to the view outside the windows that lined the room. The snow had melted early this year, leaving only bare trees and dead grass, the overcast sky only adding to the dreariness of the day.

Toshiro studied the board for a minute, trying to find a way to victory against his gifted submissive. Even with his thoughts mostly elsewhere, however, Yukio just didn't make mistakes and saw through each feint. He really had two options - neither would help him win - and so he chose the more unpredictable of the two, moving his piece. 

He sat back, observing Yukio as he gazed out the windows to the forest beyond their backyard. "Speak to me, love. If this cannot keep you from your thoughts I may as well hear them," Toshiro said with a gentle smile. Speaking still wasn't Yukio’s strong point, but he liked taking every opportunity to encourage him to share his thoughts with him. 

Emerald eyes shifted to catch bright teal, and Yukio sighed. With only a glance at the chess board, he made his move, effectively blocking his master’s attempt at victory. “I’m only a bit worried about the reason for Byakuya’s visit. I’m sure it’s nothing serious, so I’m probably concerned for nothing,” he replied, returning his gaze to his master’s face.

Toshiro chuckled a bit as he looked at the state of the board after Yukio’s immediate move. "You already have this entirely mapped out, don't you, love? Can I even win this game?" 

Yukio felt a smile tug on the corner of his lips, and he looked back down at their game. “No, you made a mistake six moves back that sealed it for me. Sorry, master, but no matter what you do I’ll win in five moves or less,” he said with a light laugh.

Toshiro shook his head and knocked over his own king. "Come here," Toshiro said with a fond smile, holding his arms open to him. 

Yukio stood from the couch and took the invitation, settling in his master’s lap and pressing his cheek to his chest. With a deep breath, all of his anxiety calmed. He brought a hand up to push his shirt back a bit more - it didn’t matter how cold it was outside, his master always left his shirt open for him - and traced his fingertips from his chest, down his side to his waist, holding him against him even more firmly. “I’m sorry for worrying, master. I know you don’t like it,” he murmured.

Toshiro kissed the fine blonde hair, saying gently, "I don't like you having causes to worry, love. You can't control that you are. I know how much Byakuya means to you. But I doubt anything is wrong. Those two are perfect together."

Yukio nodded, reveling in the comfort of his master’s arms, finally able to stop his incessant glancing at the time and obsessing over things he couldn’t control. He was so thoroughly at peace that he didn’t even realize how much time had passed until there was a knock at the door. He perked up instantly. “May I?” he asked, on edge as he looked up to his master.

Toshiro kissed him once more, saying, "Go on, get the door, and you can sit with him, love. I know you've missed him."

“Thank you, master,” Yukio replied, kissing his cheek before leaping up and going to the door. 

Byakuya wasn’t at all surprised when the door flung open and Yukio immediately embraced him. He had become very much accustomed to his enthusiastic greetings, and he returned his hug with equal strength. “Hello, Yukio. I hope I didn’t keep you waiting too long,” Byakuya said as Yukio stepped back from him, a hand clasped tightly around his. 

“No, you’re here just when you said you would be. But you know I get a bit impatient. Of course I was looking forward to you coming,” Yukio replied, pulling him inside. 

Byakuya caught the door on the way in, closing it behind him in Yukio’s hurry. He was led to the sitting room, where Toshiro sat in an armchair with a game of chess before him. Yukio settled on the couch across from his master, patting the space next to him as an invitation for Byakuya to sit with him. Of course, he obliged, a bit amused when Yukio cuddled into his side. He lifted his arm to allow him to fully sink into him and smiled at how comfortable Yukio looked next to him.

"Welcome, Byakuya, it's good to see you so soon. My Yukio said you wanted to talk with us on your own?" Toshiro really hadn't been worried, but his teal eyes swept over him anyway, taking in his condition and making sure nothing appeared wrong. It didn't, he looked as healthy, serene, and beautiful as his last visit just over a week ago. They had simply enjoyed one another's company during that visit and Toshiro couldn't remember a more relaxed day, especially for late January when winter always seemed at its harshest. 

Byakuya was suddenly very aware that he had likely worried both of them by keeping the reason for his visit a mystery, if Toshiro’s brief study of him was any indication. Really, he just didn’t want Renji to speculate, so he had kept the conversation with Yukio short and non-specific, if anything to keep himself from feeling like he was lying when Renji inevitably asked what they had talked about that day. “Yes, I needed your help with something. In ten days, it will be one year since I confessed my love to Renji. I know what I’d like to give him as a gift, though I’m not sure he’s even thought of giving me something, as ridiculously romantic as it is, but I can’t execute what I’m planning by myself,” he explained, still falling into his old habit of being quite evasive when he was nervous.

Toshiro smiled warmly, looking towards Yukio briefly, happy to see what little tension and apprehension had remained within him fade at Byakuya's words. Teal eyes returned to slate gray as he responded, "We'll help you, of course, especially if this is for Renji. As I said Byakuya, there's very little I wouldn't do for you, you need only ask."

Byakuya returned Toshiro’s smile and tightened his hold on Yukio for a moment. “I want you to help me write up a contract between me and Renji. I want to be his contracted submissive,” he explained, unable to keep the smile from his face as he spoke. 

Yukio jerked a bit next to him, looking up to him with a wide grin of his own. “Really, Byakuya? That would make Renji so happy!” he almost squealed. 

Byakuya chuckled at Yukio’s enthusiasm and looked down into excited emerald eyes. “Yes, really. He’s mentioned it before, a long time ago, but I wasn’t really ready to accept all the implications of such a thing. But now, I know it’s truly what we both want, and I know it would mean a lot to him,” he said, his tone soft and a bit reminiscent. Renji truly was everything to him, and having a contract between them would only solidify that bond, letting others know just how much they meant to each other. 

Toshiro nodded, "I'm very happy for you, and Renji of course. My Yukio is right - Renji will definitely be happy. I'm just so relieved to get to see you happy as well, that this is what you want and your idea. You already had a bit of a temporary one, correct? He clearly knew all of your kinks and limits, and there's what you've shared with Yukio and I. Do you have something already to work off of? Or do you want to start from scratch?"

Byakuya moved just enough to reach into his back pocket, producing two folded pieces of paper. “I copied down each of our kinks and limits from where Renji had written them down before. I couldn’t take the originals or he’d surely get suspicious,” he said with a laugh. He unfolded them and set them down on the table between them for Toshiro to see, a bit amused when Yukio leaned up to look as well. 

Toshiro looked them over. "Renji was always quite thorough…" he stated with a chuckle. "It would be fairly easy to turn this into a permanent contract but it's been some time since this was written. Has anything changed since then? I know you enjoy some kinks that are on our list from you that aren't on here… Ice play and orgasm control/denial come to mind…" Toshiro said, teal eyes flickering back to Byakuya with a playful grin. His expressions had become far more open with him since their last scene, late December, and it felt good to not hide away his emotions like he usually felt he needed to. 

Byakuya wished he could control his reactions when he felt a light blush shade his cheeks. “You don’t have to look at me like that when we talk about these things, Toshiro,” he muttered, letting his eyes wander to the landscape outside. “Yes, there are some things that need to be changed. When Renji wrote this, ice play was only a possibility, and orgasm denial and cock ring use hadn’t even been discussed. So those will need to go in the permanent contract,” he confirmed, still not meeting Toshiro’s eyes.

Yukio tried not to giggle at Byakuya’s response to his master’s brazenly teasing tone. He knew his master loved seeing Byakuya get even mildly worked up, and it was just plain funny to Yukio, seeing the pink on the normally composed man’s cheeks.

"I'll try, Byakuya, but I already promised myself to be open and honest with you about my reactions and moods. And we all know how you affect me, how I love seeing you flush. But I'll try to be a bit more professional about this, as adorable as making you flustered is. I'll get my laptop, that'll be easier and I type far faster than I write so I can quickly put in what's already here." Toshiro sent him one last amused grin with no small amount of heat as he left the room. 

Byakuya relaxed into his seat again, Yukio doing the same next to him. It was still amazing to him how Yukio had taken to him. Though, he realized how rare it was to have someone so fully accept him and his chosen lifestyle. He ran his hand up and down Yukio’s upper arm as he held him against him. “Your master is quite exhausting for me, Yukio,” he said with a chuckle. 

Yukio laughed before responding, “He’s been waiting a long time to show and tell you how he feels about you. Now that he’s comfortable doing so, he doesn’t want to hold it back anymore.” 

His words struck Byakuya’s heart, and he turned to briefly kiss Yukio’s hair. “I know, and I’m still highly flattered and deeply honored that both of you feel so strongly for me, even if in different ways,” he admitted. “But that doesn’t change the fact that I wish I could stop my involuntary responses when he has even the slightest suggestion in his voice,” he added, sulking a bit.

“Master thinks it’s cute, so seeing him smile every time you blush is worth it for me,” Yukio said, a bit of teasing in his voice. 

“Thanks a lot, Yukio,” Byakuya replied flatly, shaking his head and smiling.

Toshiro returned to the vibrant sound of his Yukio’s laughter and he couldn't keep the smile off his own face. He sat down on Byakuya's other side on the couch, the laptop in front of them so he could clearly see the screen. "I'm just going to transcribe your old contract to start. This way you'll be able to see what I'm typing and you can correct me as needed. That and I get to do this occasionally," he smirked, kissing him lightly on the cheek before reaching over the table to grab Byakuya’s old contract, his open shirt hiding nothing as his muscles worked to do so. 

Byakuya jerked a bit at the sudden contact, that dreaded heat returning to his cheeks, especially when Yukio was clearly holding back from laughing again. It certainly didn’t help that Toshiro was comfortable keeping his shirt open, and his eyes seemed to wander to his bare upper body without his consent. But two could play at this game. As soon as Toshiro sat back from reaching over to the table, Byakuya scooted as close to him as he could and leaned over to return the kiss to his cheek.

A rush of heat went through him at Byakuya's returned kiss. He felt himself flush, teal eyes darkening slightly as he turned to Byakuya, his hand coming up to cup his cheek. He leaned closer, stopping just a hair's distance from those tempting lips, wanting nothing more than to taste him again. He never could get enough of him. "You tempt me, Byakuya," he whispered against his lips, "and you're going to get me. I'll call Renji myself if I need to. And we'll never get this done properly. I am getting a kiss though, before you leave, a reward for focusing on this and not ravishing you right here on this couch. Understand?" 

Byakuya smiled, thoroughly satisfied by Toshiro’s heated response. “I understand completely. Rewarding yourself seems a bit much, though. Just for stopping yourself this once? How thoroughly am I allowed to test you?” Byakuya returned his low tone, actually very much enjoying this banter. It wasn’t something he could do with Renji, because Renji had no reason to restrain himself.

"Hmmm," Toshiro leaned back, grinning, "How about each time you do, I'm adding another minute to that kiss. Yukio, love, you'll keep track for me?" 

Yukio leaned around Byakuya to catch his master’s eyes. He could tell he was enjoying what was happening, and Yukio was surprised and pleased that Byakuya was playing along. It would be amusing to watch, at the very least. “Yes, master,” he replied, the smile not having left his face.

"Good, love." Toshiro leaned across Byakuya, pulling Yukio into a slow, deep kiss directly in front of the other man. After a minute he parted, saying, "Don't think I'd leave you out of this, love. You'll get your kisses though as we go. What's your count at now?" 

“If I was being completely unbiased, I would say one. But, if I’m taking in consideration my own enjoyment, I’d lean toward two. One for the kiss to your cheek, and one for Byakuya’s seductive tone,” Yukio admitted. He couldn’t lie. If he was to receive a kiss from his master every time Byakuya tempted him, he was going to count every slip he could possibly identify.

Toshiro grinned, kissing him again for another full minute, this one slightly more heated. He gently pulled away, clearly stating, "Two then." Teal eyes flickered back to Byakuya, saying, "Go ahead and tempt me as many times as you want, you know the consequences of doing so. And love," he added, looking back to brilliant emerald eyes, "Say your count out loud when you add to it and you'll receive your kiss."

“Yes, master,” Yukio confirmed. He would be watching Byakuya like a hawk. Though, if he knew Byakuya at all, he knew the man wouldn’t be trying to hide his advances. The sexual tension between the two wasn’t constant. They clearly knew how to turn it off, but when they were both in the mood to play this way, neither of them was all that subtle about it.

“I’ll keep that in mind, Toshiro,” Byakuya replied, now not even trying to hide the fact that his eyes insisted on wandering to the exposed skin between the two sides of Toshiro’s shirt.

Toshiro settled back in his seat and began actually transcribing Byakuya's old contract. He diligently recorded each word, although he chuckled at the Allowed to remove socks. 

Byakuya looked over to the laptop when Toshiro chuckled, and he rolled his eyes at the last line he had typed up. “I included everything Renji wrote down the first time we were actually intimate with each other in a way that required all of this questioning. Clearly, he asked me that in teasing. I was quite nervous the first time we had to speak of these things,” Byakuya explained, a bit of a habitual defense regarding the ridiculously thorough list Renji had for his allowances. 

"I honestly think this is very sweet, and also very Renji. He was actually just as thorough with Yukio’s side of our original contract - he wrote it as Yukio was far too anxious to do so himself. It must have taken a month to slowly get all that information out of Yukio back then." He smiled warmly at his precious submissive, "I'm so proud of how far he's come, how open he is now."

Yukio returned his master’s expression. He was more than glad that he had met him. The endless praise, pride, and care were something he now couldn’t imagine his life without, and he was grateful that he would never have to give it up.

As Toshiro continued typing, Byakuya smirked a bit and brought his hand up to gently run his fingers through soft white hair, watching his face closely as he did so.

Yukio didn’t call it immediately, waiting to see his master’s reaction to Byakuya’s actions. This really was just as much fun for him as it was for the other two.

Toshiro's fingers paused, his eyelids fluttering at the gentle touch. He'd always found it very relaxing to have his hair played with. He hummed, leaning into the touch before continuing to type, his teal eyes remaining half-lidded in quiet pleasure as he worked. 

“That’s three, but after I get my kiss, I won’t count it against you if you continue, Byakuya. In fact, if master isn’t against it, I wouldn’t mind if you didn’t stop while he kisses me. Obviously he’s enjoying it,” Yukio said, casting an amused glance up to Byakuya, who smiled down to him and nodded.

Toshiro stopped typing again, slowly leaning across Byakuya so as to not disrupt the fingers in his hair, gesturing to Yukio to lean towards him as well. He captured his sweet lips in an exceedingly tender, deep kiss, moaning into his mouth as Byakuya continued running his fingers through his hair, nearly melting into his submissive. 

When he pulled away this time - an exceedingly difficult thing to do - he knew his face was flushed and his breathing was slightly affected. He was really at the mercy of these two men, as much as he was supposedly the dominant one here. He nearly couldn't control how much he wanted both of them, and now both were teasing and tempting him. "When Byakuya leaves," Toshiro whispered against Yukio’s lips, "The second he walks out the door, I'm going to fuck you against it - hard."

Yukio shuddered a bit at the promise, and he was very much looking forward to it. He had a hard time settling back in his seat next to Byakuya, but he did so, not taking his eyes off of his master’s lustful expression. 

Byakuya dropped his hand from within Toshiro’s hair, not wanting to tease him too much. But habit had him leaning in to press a gentle kiss to his cheek, which he instantly knew would go into Yukio’s count. Not that he minded - he knew every bit of teasing he did to Toshiro would only result in more pleasure for Yukio later. And he was also looking forward to a long, slow kiss from the gorgeous man himself.

Toshiro shivered from the gentle pressure to his cheek, his dark teal eyes flickering to Byakuya. He brought his hand to grasp Byakuya's thigh tightly, doing so to prevent himself from grabbing him somewhere far more easy to pin him. It was taking quite a bit of control not to do so, unused to being teased like this and not simply taking what seemed to be so clearly being offered. He would resist, but it was damn difficult. His eyes flickered over to emerald, more than eager to redirect some of this restrained lust, knowing Yukio thoroughly enjoyed how passionate he could easily become when excited in this way. 

“Yes, master, that’s four,” Yukio said, hardly able to contain his own excitement. He was going to get it when Byakuya left, and he was going to enjoy every moment of pent-up tension released onto his body. 

Toshiro reached with his other hand, pulling Yukio to him so fast that he had to catch himself against Toshiro's bare chest. Toshiro practically devoured his mouth, groaning at the feel of Yukio’s small hands trembling against the heated skin of his chest. When he pulled back a minute later, Yukio’s green eyes were a bit dazed and both were breathing hard. He wanted him - he wanted him now. He forced himself to withdraw completely and refocused on typing, bringing his breathing back under control. He actually found himself wishing for Byakuya’s fingers in his hair, the soothing sensation would help him find his calm again. 

After his breathing had mostly calmed, he said lowly, "I do like my hair played with, it actually relaxes me - normally - when I'm not actively doing something arousing, like kissing my Yukio… which he knows…" Toshiro concluded with a fond sigh. "I don't know who is going to drive me more crazy, love, you or Byakuya. Still, I like it very much when you touch my hair, Byakuya. Yukio was telling the truth - he always does. I won't mind if you continue to do so."

Yukio gave a small amused smirk before settling back in his seat, Byakuya’s arm still around him.

Byakuya brought his hand back up to slowly comb through Toshiro’s hair. This was also something he couldn’t do with Renji often, what with the activity being so arousing for him. He only touched Renji’s hair when he meant to use it for sexual pleasure, unless Renji asked otherwise. “I apologize, Toshiro. That last kiss wasn’t exactly intentional. I often use small gestures like that as apologies to Renji, because I know the gentle contact tends to calm him. I didn’t mean for you to become so worked up, so I did what I would have done to defuse such a thing with Renji,” Byakuya explained. He was quite guilty that his body had seemed to act of its own accord in response to Toshiro’s mounting lust.

Toshiro leaned into the comforting touch, murmuring, "There's no need to apologize, Byakuya. I'm really only that responsive to you kissing me like that. When Yukio does so it's more comforting than arousing, and you've watched him do so repeatedly without exciting me like that. Partly it's because it's you and kissing you has become one of my favorite activities - I seriously can't get enough of your mouth - and it's also because I'm not willing to do much more than kiss you without Renji here, and being denied just makes me want you more. 

"There's no way for you to know all that, or these differences between Renji and I because you haven't been physically with me often outside of a scene. So really, you needn't be worried." Toshiro chuckled, "Besides, you're just making Yukio’s day, honestly. He knows I'm not going to be able to keep my hands off him after this for the rest of the night, and he doesn't even need to do the teasing himself - you're doing all his work for him."

Byakuya laughed and looked to Yukio, running a hand through his hair before returning it to his shoulder. “I’ll make sure he’s good and ready for you - later. I do want to get this contract done before Renji gets home from work,” he said. 

Yukio giggled, leaning back into the comfort of Byakuya’s side. “You won’t have to do much more. A four-minute kiss will be more than enough,” he teased. 

Byakuya shook his head, returning his attention to what Toshiro had typed so far, still keeping the consistent motion of his hand pulling gently through sections of his hair. He had already gotten through all of Renji’s allowances, kinks, and limits, and he was starting on Byakuya’s. As he skimmed his own list on the piece of paper Toshiro was transcribing, his heart skipped a bit. “There is another thing I would like to change. For Renji, I would like to lift my limit concerning sensory deprivation. I don’t believe there’s a need for that anymore,” he commented.

Toshiro glanced back to him with the unasked question clear in his eyes. It was an odd limit to have, considering, but limits could be very personal and he hadn’t asked about it, simply accepted it. "You're sure? You don't have to share why you've changed your mind - I just want to make sure you're certain before lifting any limit on your contract, especially one you made certain I knew was a hard limit with you."

Byakuya sighed, glancing at his hand in Toshiro’s hair. “I don’t mind telling you. I’ll admit it likely isn’t a limit most people have. Sensory deprivation was one of the first things Renji and I tried after light bondage and breath play. It was less than two months into our relationship, and in hindsight my previous emotional wounds were still rather fresh. When he covered my eyes and I fell into subspace, it was difficult for me to perceive where I was, which wouldn’t have usually been a problem. But then I realized I was in my bed, a place that Renji and I had never done anything intimate. So, with my mind being so hazy deep in subspace, it started trying to fill in the gaps… one of those gaps being who was touching me. Renji had distanced himself from me physically to intensify the feeling of the light touches, which is the idea. But, for some reason, I couldn’t get myself to believe it was him , because the last person I was in bed with was… the man who left me. 

“When that thought crossed my mind, my emotions spiraled down so quickly I couldn’t stop them. I dropped, and thank goodness Renji was there. He stayed with me, held me, didn’t stop talking to me. I couldn’t even get myself to open my eyes for a while after he uncovered them. I was trapped in those memories, all because I couldn’t see Renji. So, we haven’t tried sensory deprivation again since then. But that was so long ago. I feel that I’m removed enough from that to move on and let him try it again.” The story was still a bit painful, but he was confident that he was ready to completely erase that from his memory, and let Renji continue to inundate every part of his life with positivity and love.

Toshiro leaned in and gently kissed his cheek. "Alright, I'll do as you ask. And thank you for telling us. I'm sure it's painful, but if you're able to talk about it, you probably are ready." He kissed his cheek again, returning to his task. 

Yukio cuddled even more firmly into Byakuya’s side, and Byakuya removed his hand from Toshiro’s hair for a moment to hug Yukio around the shoulders, leaning down to press his lips to fine blonde hair. “Thank you, Yukio,” he said quietly. He knew full well that Yukio used his presence to calm others, and he was so glad he felt comfortable enough to do so for him. After a moment of holding Yukio close to him, he turned back to Toshiro, glancing at his progress on the laptop. Realizing he was almost finished copying what was written, he placed a gentle hand on Toshiro’s opposite cheek, pulling him toward him to kiss the cheek closest to him. “And thank you, Toshiro,” he said, his voice low and heated.

“Oh, Byakuya, that might count as two!” Yukio exclaimed, laughing as his master’s face flushed even deeper than before.

"Yukio," Toshiro whispered, keeping very still, because he was very seriously in danger of simply pinning the teasing, gorgeous man to the couch and being probably far rougher than he realized he was riling him up to be. "Come here. Straddle my lap, facing me. Now, love."

Yukio obeyed immediately, the tension in his master’s voice promising that this was going to be something he would highly enjoy. He stepped around Byakuya and took the laptop and papers from his master’s lap, setting them on the table before doing as he was told, noting that Byakuya had quickly given them a bit of distance. He could have sworn Byakuya’s steel-colored eyes reflected a bit of guilt, though he was unsure why. Yukio was very much looking forward to whatever consequences he had to endure, because if he knew anything, it was that his master would never hurt him. “Two minutes, master. I’m definitely counting that as two,” he said softly.

Toshiro hadn't moved, hadn't even opened his eyes until Yukio’s soft words. Teal eyes snapped open, catching emerald before bringing his arms around his precious Yukio, one clutching the back of his neck and the other roughly grabbing his ass. He immediately pulled him to his lips, reclining his back against the back of the couch so that Yukio’s weight settled against his chest, grounding him. The kiss was incredibly rough at first but he quickly settled, gentling as his Yukio allowed him to have his way with him. 

Yukio liked it when he was pushed enough to actually be a bit rough with him but he could never hold onto that for long. This was his Yukio and he could never actually hurt him. The kiss became far more passionate and deep but lost the desperate edge it had before. Yukio was clinging to him, his hands fisted in the fabric of his open shirt, whimpering into the intensity of the kiss. When Toshiro pulled away, two minutes later, his teal eyes were clear again, Yukio once again the complete center of his focus, and he held him close, nuzzling his soft blonde hair as his face came to rest against his chest. 

Yukio stayed there for as long as his master needed, taking a few deep breaths himself to temporarily dispel the thrilling tension of the kiss. It was actually quite amazing that there was someone who could affect his master this way, bringing out emotion in him that even Yukio had rarely seen. What was more amazing, though, was how he and Byakuya seemed to balance the effects the other had. When his master was overwhelmed, he came to Yukio, but when he wanted to let those emotions fill him, Yukio knew Byakuya was well-equipped to handle them. He could have never imagined that he and Byakuya would complement his master’s personality so well, but he was ridiculously glad they did.

"Thank you, love," Toshiro murmured, kissing his hair gently again. "You can return to cuddle with Byakuya now, I think we're getting close to being finished and I know you want to spend as much time as possible with him."

Yukio sat up after pressing a gentle kiss to his master’s chest, giving him a tame smile before standing and handing back the laptop and papers he had moved to the table. He sat back down on Byakuya’s other side, easily reading the unease that was still present in his slate gray eyes. “Don’t worry, Byakuya. Master is fine, and so am I. I believe he knew what he was getting into when he proposed this, and I’m certainly not going to mind anything that happens after you leave,” he assured him. 

Byakuya nodded, taking Yukio under his arm again and allowing him to sink into his side, the light sigh the smaller man emitted telling him that he was actually quite comfortable there. 

Toshiro quickly finished what was on the papers, pausing, "Yukio… Bring me Byakuya's contract with us, love. I should add what's on there to this as well."

“Yes, master,” Yukio said, his voice light and joyful despite what had just happened. He jumped up from the couch, quickly exiting the room to obey. 

Byakuya stared at the side of Toshiro’s face as the other focused on the laptop before him. “I know you would have told me if I had, but I didn’t take things too far, did I?” he asked. Though he believed Yukio, he feared he was causing Toshiro an unfair amount of tension with his actions.

"No," Toshiro said, sitting back and looking into those slate gray eyes as he spoke, "It's almost embarrassing that you get me so worked up with so little. I'm not accustomed to being teased like this without being able to really act on it. And you've never teased me like this - I want you so much, I'm so completely attracted to you, I'll admit it's difficult to hold myself back when you act like you want me too. 

"But I honestly love it, I'm happy you feel comfortable enough to flirt with me, of all things. And I don't think Yukio has had this much fun in a long time. He's beginning to figure out that he can use how you affect me to make me lose a bit of my control, which is a bit of a thrill for him. Because I'm always in complete control with him. One of the reasons I kept Renji so close was his ability to play with Yukio that way. 

"Our roles make that kind of play nearly impossible between us, but you - you bring out that want to subdue and claim in me. I don't need to do those things to Yukio, he's mine, completely, but he still enjoys that kind of attention and he's most likely thrilled that you bring that out in me. So no, Byakuya - I'll endure any teasing you do to me if it means making my Yukio happy. That's always my first concern. And like I said, I do enjoy it. Of course I want your attention, I want you." He smirked, "All the more so when I can't fully have you, it seems."

Byakuya chuckled, a bit amused by Toshiro’s seemingly complex feelings toward him. “Toshiro, I am very flattered by the way you react to me. Renji was always very good at hiding it, even when he didn’t feel that he could have me. Or perhaps I was just that oblivious,” he shook his head and smiled, “but I do hope it won’t always be this way. I know you can’t control it, but I hope one day you’ll realize that you can have me, occasionally. I’m not out of reach anymore. So I hope the times when you do have to hold back get easier.

“And the teasing… I do believe you started that yourself with that kiss to my cheek. I’m only playing along. Perhaps Renji has infected me with his playful personality a bit. After all, I’m realizing how adorable it is when you blush because of me,” Byakuya said with a smile. 

Toshiro's look became a bit heated again as he said, "I honestly can't wait to have you again - once was a gift that I definitely look forward to receiving again. And I wasn't teasing when I kissed you. I was simply giving in to my desire to do so. Admittedly… It's a near constant desire… You're practically irresistible to me."

Byakuya’s smile never waned as Toshiro spoke. “That’s not the first time I’ve heard that, and I still can’t understand it. You and Renji could try to rationalize it a thousand times and still it wouldn’t make sense. But I’ll be sure to tell Renji I’d like to indulge you next time we plan a scene. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want you again as well,” he said, trying to keep his tone rather neutral. 

Just then, Yukio returned, handing his master the requested papers. The overly kind smile and the brightness in his eyes made Byakuya believe he had likely been listening to their conversation and allowing them to talk, because there was no way it took him that long to locate something in his own home.

"Thank you, love," Toshiro said, accepting the papers, catching his hand pulling him slightly closer to kiss his palm. "Go on, take your seat again with Byakuya."

Yukio nodded, turning his grin to Byakuya before settling next to him, leaning completely into his side as Byakuya lifted his arm to allow him to. Byakuya shifted to put his arm around Yukio’s waist, holding him against him. “You are so sweet, Yukio. Deceptively so, I’d say,” he teased. 

Yukio feigned a look of insult, bringing his hand up to flatten on his chest as though appalled. “Deceptive? I think not, Byakuya. I only care very much for those I love,” he claimed, throwing another bright smile up to him.

Byakuya shook his head and bent to kiss Yukio’s hair before turning his attention back to Toshiro, who had begun to add the information to his and Renji’s contract.

It didn't take him but a couple minutes as there wasn't a lot to add that wasn't already there. Toshiro sat back a bit when he finished, stating, "I've added everything that's been more recent… Ice play, wax play, kinbaku, orgasm control/denial to your allowed types of play… Only cock rings for allowed toys… And Yukio and I as allowed play partners for scenes. Is there anything else I need to alter or add?"

Byakuya read over the contract, knowing that details and accuracy were very important. He couldn’t help but think about how Renji was going to react, how incredibly happy he was going to be that Byakuya had been the one to consider writing up a contract instead of having to hint and prod, because Byakuya knew it would get to that point eventually, even if Renji thought he was being subtle about it. “No, I think that’s it. I really can’t thank you enough for helping me do this,” he commented, giving Toshiro a warm smile.

"Honestly, between what we already had, all I did was organize everything and transcribe. There was very little work to this on my end but I was more than happy to help. And now it's more of a living document, one you can easily make changes to if needed with it being electronic like this. Do you want me to send this or give you a flash drive? Some don't want this type of information to be transferred over the internet at all, even just over email." Teal eyes flickered over to Byakuya as he spoke, waiting on his response. 

“You did more than you think, because I had only a vague idea where to even start,” Byakuya laughed, “but I’d rather have it on a flash drive, so that Renji and I can both easily make changes when needed. And I’d like a physical copy, if you can. I want to actually sign it, because I know that will make it all the more special to Renji.” 

Toshiro nodded, saying softly, "I can certainly understand that. We have a printed and signed copy of our contract too - we reaffirm it each time we make any changes to it… The last time was adding you, Byakuya." Toshiro smiled warmly at Byakuya before teal eyes slid to Yukio's gentle emerald green, the other clearly remembering the last time they had reaffirmed their own contract as well. "I'll send this to the printer. Please go retrieve the copy and a flash drive, love."

“Yes, master,” Yukio replied, pressing a kiss to Byakuya’s cheek before leaving the room again.

Byakuya watched him go, a fond smile on his face. “He’s certainly affectionate once he gets to know someone,” he said quietly, still in a bit of disbelief that he was able to so easily gain a place in Yukio’s heart. The man had been through so much, had so many reasons to doubt and distrust others, but he had almost immediately accepted Byakuya, who really didn’t think he deserved such a lack of scrutiny. He could have just as easily accidentally hurt him with careless words, but Yukio had blind faith that he wouldn’t.

"It's more than that - Yukio adores you, Byakuya. He's become even more open and affectionate since being accepted by you, especially since you started calling each day. I was always attracted to you, and appreciative for what you did for me, but none of that compares in my heart to how happy you've made him. You didn't even realize the effect you were having. The confidence you've given him to actually be himself, simply because you honestly enjoy him being that open. He's even gone out a bit more - both with me and on his own to run errands - and had simple conversations with strangers. Mostly just greetings with cashiers and such but still, he never had the confidence to do that before." 

Toshiro shook his head before looking back to slate gray eyes, "Even without our past, I likely would have loved you for that alone. As it is, it just makes me even more taken with you. Seeing you with him, seeing him completely content when cuddled into you, the passion and confidence he has when pleasuring you, the way his eyes light up whenever he sees you - or even talks to you over the phone - I'll never tire of that. And I'll always love you for it, Byakuya."

Byakuya let out a light sigh. “You’re right - I never knew that my calls and how I treat him were having such an effect on him. I’m glad, though. It’s not right for him to think he has to hide. I know how hard it must be for him to accept himself with how others must view him, so I’m glad I could give him some confidence. He has no reason to fear what strangers may think of him, because he has people who love him, people who would never hurt him. I’m so happy I could be one of those people for him. 

“As much as I used to avoid people, I’m starting to think my life wouldn’t quite be complete without the two of you. I love Renji with all my heart, and I certainly couldn’t live without him, but you and Yukio are still essential pieces. If we ever stopped seeing each other, there would be a bit of a hole. Like losing part of my family,” he mused, a bit surprised at his own words, but knowing that none of them were untrue. 

He took Toshiro’s hand from where it was resting on the couch and twined their fingers together. “I’m not trying to get you worked up, I promise. I just want you to know that you and Yukio are very special to me, and I love you both more than I ever predicted I could,” he concluded, looking up into striking teal eyes.

Toshiro brushed his thumb across the top of Byakuya's hand and flexed his other fingers a bit at the admission. The smile Toshiro gave him was impossibly tender as he leaned towards him, kissing his forehead before withdrawing and saying softly, "Like family. I know exactly what you mean, Byakuya. You and Renji are certainly family to us. We would lose a bit of ourselves if we were ever to lose the two of you. 

"You've made us better - happier - and I'm so glad you came with Renji that day. That you're here now. That I'm helping you with this. That we've become as close as I always wanted. That Yukio loves you and wants you too. All of it, Byakuya, thank you, so much for trusting and opening up to us." He leaned forward again, this time kissing his lips briefly before whispering, "And thank you, so much, for allowing us to be physically close with you as well." 

Toshiro took a steadying breath as he withdrew completely, saying clearly, "Yukio, you aren't interrupting, come here, love. I want to hold you for a minute."

Yukio smiled and pushed himself off of the wall he was leaning against, discreetly listening and loving every moment of their conversation. He placed the contract and flash drive on the table before doing the same with the laptop, taking his place in his master’s lap and cuddling his cheek into his toned, bare chest. He agreed wholeheartedly with everything both of them had said. He was more than grateful for Byakuya - he’d never met someone so kind and accepting other than his master. Even Renji was a bit rough around the edges sometimes, though he never did hurt him in any way. Yukio never could have asked for a better partner for Renji - someone who could accept every part of Renji’s life, including him. 

Byakuya leaned in for a moment to run his free hand through Yukio’s hair and kiss his forehead. “Love you, sweet Yukio,” he whispered before sitting back.

Toshiro nuzzled into Yukio’s hair, just breathing in his scent. "I really am so proud of you, love. You make me so unbelievably happy. Seeing you interact with Byakuya, so open, free, and happy…  Nothing warms my heart more, love." He tilted Yukio’s chin up to kiss his lips gently, whispering as he parted, "Love you."

“Love you, master,” Yukio replied, sinking back into the peace and comfort that always came from being in contact with him. After a moment, he looked up to Byakuya. “Love you, too, Byakuya. Thank you for everything you’ve done for me, and for being a part of our family.” It was still a bit unnerving to speak his emotions to anyone other than his master. It was a big leap from small talk, but with everything he and Byakuya had talked about, done, and seen of each other, it seemed like a silly anxiety to have. 

Byakuya gave Yukio a soft smile and a nod, and then looked at the contract on the table. His contract. “I should go soon. I want to make it home before Renji does,” he said, though he truly could have spent all day with Toshiro and Yukio.

"Yes, that would probably be wise." Keeping Yukio balanced on his lap, Toshiro deftly reached over, put the flash drive in the laptop, and copied the file. He then ejected it, closed the laptop, and placed the drive on top of the paper contract on the table. Task complete in his mind, Toshiro refocused on Yukio, tilting up his chin and asking with a grin, "What is the count at, love?" 

Yukio returned his smile and glanced at Byakuya out of the corner of his eye before returning his gaze to his master. “Six,” he replied.

"Six. So that would be six straight minutes. You'll need to time it for me, love, because I know I won't have the focus to keep track." Toshiro turned heated teal eyes towards Byakuya as he said, "I know exactly where my focus is going to be for those six minutes, and it won't be on the time."

Yukio vacated his master’s lap in favor of the armchair across the table. He was going to thoroughly enjoy watching this, and he wanted a good vantage point. “Alright, master, I’ll start counting when you start. Whenever you’re ready,” he said, holding back an excited smile as he took in the absolutely tangible tension between the two of them.

Byakuya felt a chill run down his spine at the look in Toshiro’s eyes, and he honestly felt as though he should brace himself, because he had no idea what he had gotten himself into. All he knew was that he was definitely going to enjoy it.

Toshiro thought about this for a moment, because he could get into a lot of trouble in six minutes. He wanted to avoid pinning Byakuya, which he knew he’d probably do if he simply kissed him against the couch. He didn’t want to escalate this beyond a kiss and he knew he’d be driven to do so in that amount of time - it was so easy for him to lose himself in this man. So he turned his body completely towards Byakuya, sliding his leg behind him and keeping the other planted on the floor. He firmly gripped the back of Byakuya’s neck, pulling him down on top of himself as he laid back completely on the couch, catching his lips and immediately invading that sweet mouth with an insistent tongue. He moaned brokenly at tasting him fully again, kissing him deeper and with even more passion, keeping one hand firmly on the back of his neck to hold him against him and the other firmly grabbing and squeezing his ass.

Byakuya grunted quietly at the force with which Toshiro handled him, but he melted into his mouth so effortlessly, responding to his tongue with his own, invading Toshiro’s mouth and closing his eyes to revel in the taste. As much as he wanted to let his entire body fall onto the one below him, he kept his elbows propped on either side of Toshiro’s head and tensed against the pressure of his hand on his ass, resisting the urge to grind down into him. After a moment, he felt rather settled, and he moved one hand to bury it into soft white hair. When his eyes fluttered open, Byakuya moaned into Toshiro’s mouth, finding complete and utter passion and contentment in the other man’s expression.

Toshiro completely melted into the couch. With Byakuya over him and his hand in his hair, he was content with simply exploring the other man’s mouth as he yielded to him. But after a couple minutes he found himself desperately wanting more, to feel him against him. Knowing the other wouldn’t pull away, he slid his hand from the back of his neck to grab his ass with both hands, pulling down. He didn’t force the other man, only tugged him to let him know what he wanted, and began to whimper into the kiss at being denied, Byakuya holding himself firmly apart from him. He had to stop himself from arching up into him, instead running his hands over his perfect body, frustrated at the clothing between him and that wonderfully smooth skin but holding enough presence of mind to not slip his hands beneath the fabric. 

To say Byakuya was frustrated would have been a vast understatement. To have Toshiro under him like this, having to summon his own self control to keep from obliging his overt desire to feel their bodies against each other, was almost more than he could handle. He had half a thought to pull away just to keep himself under control, but the other half of him quickly won over, and he released Toshiro’s hair only to run his hand down his body, hooking his thumb on the belt loop of his pants when he reached it. He needed to anchor himself somewhere or he wasn’t going to be able to stop. He craved the feeling of their skin touching, and he found himself growling into Toshiro’s mouth, the pent-up desire verging on overwhelming him.

Toshiro shuddered at feeling Byakuya run his hand down his body, immediately arching his back and groaning desperately at not being able to reach him, to feel him. His hands on Byakuya became firmer, fisting into his clothing and tugging downwards. His hips started to move at feeling Byakuya's thumb hook into his belt loop, wanting him to shift his hand further down because he was fully hard now and wanted him to touch him so badly. He kissed him more desperately, his teeth tugging at his bottom lip but careful enough not to bite. It was taking everything he had to not flip their positions and he groaned loudly in frustration. 

Byakuya responded with a low moan of his own. His body was on fire with the effort it took just to hold back from this man. This had to be the longest six minutes of his life, and he whined desperately when Toshiro began abusing his bottom lip. He was so close to lowering himself down onto that hard, sexy body. So close… 

“Time!” Yukio called. Byakuya immediately pulled away and attempted to sit up, but found himself still held in place by Toshiro’s insistent grip. He was panting, only inches from Toshiro’s face, wanting to get up but also never wanting to leave.

Toshiro knew he had to allow Byakuya to get up, to leave, but he desperately didn't want to. He was so turned on, achingly hard, and he was right here, inches from him. He literally couldn't find it within himself to release him. Impossibly dark teal eyes burned into Byakuya's slate gray and he groaned out, "Fuck I want you, so much, Byakuya -" he groaned before forcing himself to look away and commanding, "Yukio, need you. Now."

Byakuya immediately sat up, standing from the couch completely as Yukio came to take his place. He ran his hand through his own hair and held it back from his face for a moment, taking a deep, somewhat calming breath. 

Yukio settled himself almost just as Byakuya had been positioned, but with his head rested on his master’s chest, his entire body flush with the other, not even trying to keep from further arousing him. That may have been one of the sexiest things he had ever watched, and Byakuya and his master had both been fully clothed. The sexual tension between them was just captivating, and it was no secret that Yukio had become significantly aroused watching the scene play out. 

Feeling Yukio's familiar form flush with his own, Toshiro immediately flipped him so that he could pin him to the couch and roughly kiss him, grinding his own arousal against Yukio’s hard cock as he did so. This had been what Yukio wanted, for him to become frustrated and outside of his control enough to be rough with him, and he wasn't about to disappoint him. He pulled away with a gasp, teal eyes taking in Yukio’s clearly flustered state before saying in a strained tone of voice, "I think you'll need to walk yourself out today, Byakuya. Regardless if you stay any longer or not, I'm going to give Yukio what he wants, right now. Watch what you want, we'll talk to you later." That was all he could restrain himself to say before rather forcibly removing Yukio’s shirt and starting to suck and bite against his flawless skin, grinding down on him again as his hands returned to pinning his arms to the couch beneath them. 

Byakuya shook his head, a bit amused by the fact that Yukio was just melting into the rough attention, clearly loving every second. He took the contract and flash drive from the table before silently leaving the room and letting himself out. It was only after he had settled in his car that he could finally breathe easily. There was no question - next time they planned a scene together, he was letting Toshiro do whatever he wanted to him.

On the drive home, he couldn’t help but glance at the contract in the passenger seat, wondering just how Renji would react to such a thing. Clearly, he’d be happy, there was no doubt about that. Byakuya was happy, too. Finally, truly happy.

And now he’d be Renji’s .

And Renji would be his.

Toshiro vaguely noted the sound of the front door but he honestly couldn't care right now. His hands found the front Yukio’s pants, removing them quickly before hastily removing his own and thrusting against him. He moaned out Yukio’s name at feeling him against him, thrusting roughly and sucking a deep, bruising mark against his neck. 

A broken moan snuck up from Yukio’s throat. He was completely lost in the fact that his master - his constantly calm, controlled master - was currently pinning his arms down, thrusting into him, and painfully sucking his neck, all completely unabated. He felt the unrestrained force in every action, and it made another groan surface at the delicious, rough friction between them.

"Yukio," Toshiro groaned, "Fuck I need you, wrap your arms and legs around me, I'm not taking you without lube."

“Yes, master,” the habitual response came out in Yukio’s next breath, and he didn’t hesitate to do as he was told. He held tightly to his master after pulling his arms out of his grasp and locking his grip behind his back and around his waist. He didn’t even really want to stop himself from grinding into toned abs when every inch of their flesh was touching. It felt amazing, even after so long of experiencing it. His master’s body never ceased to impress and arouse him. 

Toshiro got up from the couch, his arms sliding around Yukio’s body to further support him, kissing him again as he made his way to their playroom - the nearest room with a bottle of lube, which was the only thing preventing him from sinking into his beautiful submissive. He didn't even really need to be concerned about stretching him, having taken him earlier that morning, and Yukio would appreciate the slight pain. He'd never been so frustrated to even consider skipping prep - and honestly he was still going to finger him to be sure - it was ridiculous, the effect Byakuya had on him. At least Yukio fully enjoyed it. 

Walking into the room, he grabbed the lube, saying, "I know I said the front door…" He turned, retracing his steps, kicking the door to the room closed. "But this one is far closer and I want you now," he growled, pinning Yukio against the door. 

Yukio grunted at the force of his master’s body against his, pressing his back into the door. His master had only very rarely been this rough with him. In fact, he couldn’t bring to mind any specific times, though admittedly, his mind was rather absent already. The unbridled intensity in those usually calm teal eyes made a chill spark down his spine. 

Toshiro lifted him higher on the door, and keeping him pinned with his body, quickly lubed his fingers and cock. His mouth found Yukio’s neck again, biting down a bit as he pushed two fingers into him, his body accepting the intrusion as easily as he'd thought it would as he moved them within him, quickly stretching him. Mere seconds elapsed before he was certain his body could actually take him without any damage. He removed his fingers, grasping himself instead as he lowered Yukio onto his achingly hard cock, taking him down to the hilt in one hard motion, Yukio’s name falling desperately from his lips as he was finally buried deep inside. 

“Ah, yes , master - feels so good,” Yukio groaned, his head falling back against the door to allow access to as much of his skin as his master desired. The quick, single motion was so incredibly uncharacteristic of how he was usually taken, and the blinding pleasure that resulted caused a cold sweat to break out on the back of his neck. His master’s hard cock fully inside him seemed to burn, coursing searing heat through his lower body. 

Toshiro relaxed considerably at being inside his Yukio, mostly finding his calm center, but his voice - so clearly filled with lust and desire at the rough treatment - made him continue to take him roughly against the door, committed to giving his sweet submissive everything he wanted from him. "Yukio," he panted between thrusts, "You feel - so - fucking - good - you're so - good - for master - taking me - so - well -" 

Between the hard, deep thrusts that had his master hitting his prostate almost every time without even trying and the strained, gratifying praise filling his ears, Yukio had only the will to keep his arms and legs tight around the flawless body that had him pinned against the door. Every full-force thrust into his body pulled him further and further from his mind and closer to the unfathomable amount of pleasure that was mounting within him. He was only vaguely aware of the occasional and completely uncontrolled sounds and sentence fragments that spilled from his mouth.

Toshiro could feel himself getting close. He was half tempted to make Yukio come now so he could take him to the bed and continue to fuck him far more gently but he figured, at least this once, his submissive would love being filled just like this, being taken far more roughly than he'd ever been willing to before. So Toshiro increased his pace, seeking his own orgasm, knowing Yukio was already on the brink of his own from the sounds he was making. He was so damn vocal, that more than anything made him certain of continuing to take him so hard and fast. "Yukio -" he gasped, the tension rising within him, "So good - you're going - to make - me come - so hard . - You want - your master - to fill you?" 

Yukio had to catch his breath for a moment before replying or else he was unsure that words would even be what exited his lips. “Yes, master, please… please fill me,” he begged, his voice waning to a whimper before he had even gotten those few words out. His body was a bit conflicted between the feeling of never wanting his master to stop roughly fucking him into oblivion and the desperate desire to feel his master fill him. He was far past caring, though, just content to feel every movement, every time his back was pressed even more firmly into the door as his master thrust into him. 

"So close -" Toshiro gasped, feeling the tension and heat within him about to snap, seeing his precious Yukio so far gone, nonsense spilling from his lips. "Come for me, love - need to feel you - come on my cock - make master come -" 

It was ingrained in Yukio’s mind by now, after learning such control, that when his master made such a command, it was all but automatic. He allowed his climax to claim him, a long, low groan accompanying the initial wave. His master still continuing to move through it only intensified what was already a surreal amount of pleasure. The combination of the rough treatment and the fact that it was his master doing this to him made this one of the most intense orgasms he had ever experienced, and he hadn’t even had the aid of a cock ring or direct, intentional stimulation other than the contact of his master’s abs with his cock. 

"Yukio -" Toshiro groaned out, his submissive's body tightening around him pulling him into his own release. He continued to thrust through it until he was utterly spent, panting and leaning against Yukio’s smaller body and the door. He regained his breath, pressing light kisses against Yukio’s marked up neck, before he felt strong enough to carry him into the bathroom. There was a large soaker tub and he perched Yukio on the edge of it, making sure he was leaned against the wall before reaching around him for the taps. As the water filled, he kneeled in front of him, kissing butterfly kisses across his face, neck, and chest. He didn't feel bad about the rough sex but now all he wanted to do was pamper and love him, making sure he was comfortable, relaxed, and at ease. 

Yukio breathed deeply as he felt the tension completely exit his body, no longer being forced to hold himself against his master or really maintain any control over himself other than remaining upright. “Love you, master,” he murmured, smiling at the light kisses that were being littered over his skin.

"Love you, sweet boy," Toshiro murmured. When the bath was full, he shut off the taps, and gently lifted Yukio into the warm water, settling himself behind him. He just held him close for a few minutes, nuzzling into the back of his neck and fine blonde hair, still continuing to kiss him gently. Eventually he reached for the bar of soap, slowly and thoroughly beginning to clean him. This was a rather common occurrence between the two, usually after a scene but Toshiro felt that that experience had been close enough. "Did you enjoy yourself, love?" he whispered, kissing his hair again. 

Yukio melted into his master’s slow attention, already relaxed but now feeling completely limp in the strong arms that surrounded him. He gave a small hum of contentment when his master began washing him, always loving the tender affection. “Yes, master, very much. That was so good, master,” he replied to the quiet question. He let his eyes close, ridding himself of all distractions and focusing on the gentle feeling of his master’s hands on him.

Toshiro tilted his face to kiss him tenderly, "I'm glad," he said softly, letting Yukio settle back against his chest. "I know you would like me that way sometimes, it's just so difficult for me to even remotely cause you pain. Every time you're in my arms, I just want to take care of you, to make sure you're safe and loved." He wrapped his arms around the smaller man, nuzzling into his hair. "My sweet Yukio…" he murmured. He loved his precious submissive so much. "You're everything to me… I didn't hurt you at all, did I?" He'd been careful not to - no amount of frustration could make him disregard his Yukio’s safety - but he needed to know that he hadn't, that his sweet boy was safe, whole, and happy. 

Yukio leaned into his master’s attention, smiling all the while. “No, master, you didn’t hurt me at all. It really was so good. Please don’t worry about me,” he insisted. He was always touched when his master worried, and it brought him a small spark of satisfaction to be able to reassure the man who so often did the same for him. It was so rare that he was able to do much for his master other than what was asked of him. And for his words to be so powerful, enough to ease his master’s concerns, was amazing to him. No one had ever valued his voice the way his master did.

"Thank you, love," Toshiro responded, continuing his gentle care. Yukio truly did seem fine - more than - he'd clearly enjoyed every second of Toshiro’s redirected frustration. He chuckled, "Maybe we should invite Byakuya over a bit more often in the middle of the day…"

Yukio laughed wholeheartedly at that. “I wasn’t going to suggest it, but I certainly wouldn’t complain if you did,” he admitted. Truly, he wouldn’t mind if his master more often had a bit of pent-up frustration to channel into him, but it seemed a bit brazen for Yukio to ask for such a thing. He loved his master anyway, so it didn’t matter much to him. His master was everything to him, whether he was able to treat him roughly or not. “But you know I love you, master, and I love the way you treat me, even without Byakuya’s teasing,” he said quietly as he settled back into the relaxation of his master’s gentle actions. 

Toshiro smiled. He'd definitely bring it up with Byakuya though - and Renji of course - after Byakuya had the opportunity to surprise him. He'd do anything to give Yukio everything he wanted, including this, and Byakuya knew just how to work him up. It'd be a wasted opportunity to not take advantage of that. 

Still, he didn't want to get Yukio’s hopes too high, just in case the beautiful raven-haired man declined. So instead he focused on pampering his sweet Yukio, washing each section of smooth and marked-up skin, helping him out of the deep tub afterwards and toweling him off himself. Then he scooped him up, carrying him back to their room. "It's far too early for bed, but I want to hold you for a while, feel you safe in my arms," Toshiro whispered. Yukio was fine now, not needing near this much aftercare, but Toshiro felt like he needed it after being so rough with him. He needed to just dote on him for a while. 

Once his master settled him in bed and slid in next to him, Yukio snuggled into his bare chest, pressing kisses to the smooth skin. There was really only one reason his master would be doing this - he was still worried, even if only a little bit. So Yukio looked up into his master’s bright teal eyes, bringing his hand up to thread his fingers through his hair. “I love you, master. I know you’d never hurt me,” he whispered. They were really the only words he could think to say, because he wasn’t all that eloquent, honestly, but he hoped they put his master’s overactive mind at ease. 

"I never could - it would tear me apart, love. You're everything to me. I know you're more than fine, that you enjoyed yourself, it's just taking me a bit to be fully convinced of that. Thank you for reassuring me, love. Just…" he smiled, softly admitting, "you may need to put up with me being a bit overprotective and attentive the rest of the day."

Yukio smiled. “That’s alright, master,” he replied. He leaned in to kiss his master’s cheek before shifting to cuddle back into his chest, one hand still running through the hair at the back of his neck. He would do everything he could to calm him, but he knew the best thing he could do was just be there and let his master take care of him. It was truly all he wanted to do, and that wasn’t just now or when they did heavy or complicated scenes, that was every day

His master never stopped taking care of him, just as Yukio never stopped taking care of his master. They helped each other in ways no one else could see, and that most would never understand. But that was alright, because they knew. They understood each other on a level that sometimes even Yukio had a hard time fathoming. But every time he looked into his master’s eyes, the love, care, and unconditional compassion he found there made him realize that he didn’t have to always understand. 

His master loved him… 

…and that was truly all that mattered. 

Yukio smiled, hearing his master’s softly spoken words, so perfectly reflecting his own thoughts… 

"Love you… 


Chapter Text

It was finally February 26th, the anniversary of the day Byakuya had confessed his love to Renji. Byakuya still smiled fondly every time he thought about it. As nervous and insecure as he was, Renji’s reaction had been well worth taking the leap. The way he completely broke down in utter relief, unable to truly fathom what Byakuya was saying, stayed in Byakuya’s heart and mind to remind him that Renji had always loved him, no matter what he said or did. Because he was still convinced sometimes that he had given Renji a million chances to give up. The fact that he never did, and continued to care for him through the most difficult time in his life, was something Byakuya would never forget. 

Even a year later, Renji’s intense love had never weakened. It was obvious that he was still just as much in love with him as he had been that day, perhaps even more. Byakuya knew his love for Renji only mounted with time. Every time they spoke, touched, made love, interacted in any way, he knew he wasn’t just complacent. This wasn’t a relationship of convenience or obligation. Renji loved him with all of his heart, and Byakuya returned the sentiment with full commitment. He knew without a doubt that time would only strengthen that. Every time another part of himself opened, be it positive, negative, or highly private, he gave it to Renji. He trusted Renji with every single facet of himself, and that was something he had never felt for anyone before.

Renji would be home any minute now. Byakuya had been on pins and needles all day, considering how Renji would react to the neatly folded paper next to him on the couch. He would have been holding it, but his hands were sweaty with the nerve-racking anticipation. He smiled and shook his head slowly. Wanting this to be perfect, he had tied a red ribbon around the folded - and signed - contract. It was a gift, after all. Byakuya had never been so extremely romantic, but Renji had pulled all kinds of things out of him he never knew existed. He had even slid the black cashmere scarf into his back pocket for when Renji noticed that he had lifted the limit on sensory deprivation. 

That was another thing that had his anxiety heightened. His memory couldn’t help but remind him that this had gone terribly wrong in the past. But he had coached himself for the past ten days since his solo visit with Toshiro and Yukio, now thoroughly convinced that he was ready to try again. Toshiro’s observation that speaking of it likely signaled that he was far enough removed from the situation had encouraged him, as had his self-assurance that Renji was certainly the only person on his mind while they were being intimate. By now, he truly had forgotten what his ex looked like, so there was no way he would still be haunting him. 

In his musings, he heard the door open, and he snatched the contract up from the seat next to him, his heart pounding as he waited for Renji to come to him.

Renji took a deep calming breath as soon as he arrived home. It had been a bit of a hectic day and he was a bit nervous about this evening. It was February 26th - a year to the day that Byakuya had confessed that he loved him and that Renji and confided in him that, as far as he could remember, he always had. He had taken the time to pick a flower arrangement he had ordered - after all, shops usually didn’t have sprigs of cherry blossoms on hand. Byakuya didn’t seem overly fond of more traditional flowers, but he knew that he loved the cherry trees around the manor and would often sit outside when they were in bloom. It had taken a bit of planning to get some in given the time of the year, but Renji wanted to make today special. It was the day he’d been made the most happy he'd ever been, Byakuya telling him that he loved him. And he was determined to make this day even more meaningful. 

He carried the vase with him into the sitting room, grinning as soon as he saw Byakuya on their familiar couch. He quickly walked over, leaning down to drop a kiss on his lips before holding the vase out to him, saying warmly, “Happy anniversary, Bya. Also, I’m cooking tonight - and you best let me,” he continued with a wink. 

It took a moment for Byakuya to really process what he was seeing and hearing. He hadn’t expected anything from Renji, and nothing at all had been said between them. When he realized he had likely just been staring up at him for far too long, he set aside the paper in his hands and stood to take the vase. “Thank you, Renji. How on earth did you get cherry blossoms? They’re beautiful,” he said, enamored by the vibrant pink flowers on thin, cut branches. 

“Not nearly as beautiful as you are, Bya,” Renji said. The words may have been a bit cheesy but he was entirely serious. His dark eyes were drawn to the clean white paper wrapped in red ribbon, the contrast striking, and it looked remarkably like… “Bya,” Renji asked with a grin, “did you get me a gift as well?” Byakuya didn’t give physical gifts often and Renji was honestly touched to receive anything from the man. He wasn’t with him for his wealth at all, and he didn’t want Byakuya thinking he was, and so he never asked for anything or made a big deal out of things like Christmas or their birthdays. But today was far more special to him than any of those other celebrations - thus the sprigs of cherry blossoms. And, it seems, today was more special to Byakuya as well. Renji found himself unbelievably warmed by that.

Byakuya nodded as he set the vase down on the table in front of the couch, and he cursed the fact that his hands were shaking as he picked up the contract. With a deep breath that didn’t at all calm him, he turned back to Renji and held it out to him. “Yes, I have a gift for you, too,” he said, trying to keep his tone steady. “Happy anniversary.”

Renji accepted the gift and sat down on the couch, pulling Byakuya to him as they usually sat. He carefully untied the ribbon, taking a second to secure it around the end of his braid. There was no way he was losing that. He then unfolded the paper, dark eyes widening as he realized immediately what it was. “Bya…” he whispered, his fingers brushing reverently over the contract duration - permanent. “This is…” He had to blink away tears because he had honestly not expected Byakuya to do this. He had hoped for it, but he had been certain he would need to lead the process. How had Byakuya even known to make a permanent one? To his knowledge, he’d never even seen one. His dark eyes captured steel gray, asking, “How?”

Byakuya gave him a warm smile, his eyes going to the contract for only a moment before replying, “Toshiro helped. He put it together for us, because I certainly didn’t know how.” He chuckled lightly, leaning further into Renji’s side. He was fairly confident that he’d have more to say than just that.

Renji found himself reading every word of every sentence. He took his time, even though most of the information wasn’t new to him. He paused though on Byakuya’s allowed play. “Bya… I sincerely doubt Toshiro would make a mistake… Did you mean to allow sensory deprivation with me?” He turned to look at Byakuya, concern evident in his dark eyes.

Byakuya smiled, shifting a bit to reach into his back pocket. He took one of Renji’s hands from where it gripped the edge of the contract and placed the black scarf in his palm. “That’s not a mistake. I want to try again, Renji. I trust you with every single bit of myself, and I don’t want to hold this back from you anymore,” he told him, closing his hand around Renji’s, holding the scarf between their hands.

Renji returned the smile, saying softly, “If you’re sure Bya… You know that I wanted to try again, but only when you felt you were really ready. I never want to see you experience that again, even the memory. I know you trust me, Bya. I’m honored that you feel like we can try this again.” He felt the soft fabric between his fingers, asking quietly, “Having this scarf… Did you want to try again tonight?”

“Yes, but only after you sign our contract and cook for me. Hold onto the scarf for me until we’re ready,” Byakuya requested. He couldn’t help the smile that hadn’t left his face since Renji had opened the contract and realized what he was looking at. He leaned in to kiss his lips softly. “I love you so much, Renji,” he said against his lips when he pulled away.

“I love you, Bya - and of course I was going to wait until after dinner. Do you really think for a second that I would let you just skip a meal?” he asked with a laugh. “Especially one I intend to personally make for you?” He shook his head, grinning. He was so unbelievably happy. Dark eyes returned to reading the contract, his arm wrapping even tighter around Byakuya.

“Of course not,” Byakuya chuckled, relaxing into Renji’s side and skimming over the words himself. He had read it over multiple times already, not because he thought Toshiro would make a mistake, but because he was honestly overwhelmed by the fact that this was his contract. No, it wasn’t a legal document, but he knew how much it meant to Renji. It was a physical indication that they were permanently together , and the more Byakuya took the time to read it and really understand its implications, the more he understood that. 

Renji finished reading the contract, murmuring, “Toshiro certainly did well. It’s perfect, Bya. I couldn’t think of a more wonderful gift, and there is very little in this world that I’ve wanted more. I want you, of course, more than anything, in whatever capacity you are comfortable. To know that you want to be with me - this way - permanently… Bya, I can’t tell you what this means to me…” Renji took a deep breath, his fingers brushing over Byakuya’s elegant signature, blinking back tears as he asked shakily, “Do you have a pen?”

Byakuya moved just enough to retrieve a pen from his pocket - he had been prepared for this, after all. He had to pause for a moment and just look at Renji’s face, how incredibly relieved and joyful he was. It was another one of those moments Byakuya felt Renji couldn’t really get a hold on, reminiscent of this very day one year prior. He never wanted to forget either of these days - the days he made Renji happier than he’d ever seen him. He gently placed the pen in Renji’s hand, still watching closely so he could engrave this moment in his memory.

Renji took the pen, leaning to kiss Byakuya as he did so. He set the contract on the table, quickly signing it. After doing so, he placed the pen down, just seeing their signatures next to each other. He laughed lightly, asking, “Is it odd that I think that’s beautiful?”

Byakuya shook his head, looking down to the contract for a moment before returning his eyes to Renji’s face. “Not at all, because I think it is, too. I’ve been waiting ten days to see your name next to mine,” he replied.

Renji's eyes flickered to the windows, the sun just starting to set, casting a golden glow upon the snow. "I'll need to start dinner soon," he whispered, "but first, I just want to hold you here, sit with you, on our couch." He sat back, pulling Byakuya into his lap, leaned against his chest. "This has become the place where I'm most at peace. It's where you confided in me, where I first helped you experience subspace, where you asked me to stay with you, where you told me you loved me… I had wanted to do this after dinner, but I can't think of a better time… Or a better place."

Renji lifted Byakuya's chin, his dark eyes searching slate gray as he asked him, his tone sure and warm, "Bya, would you marry me?" 

Byakuya’s heart legitimately stopped at the question, and it was several moments before it restarted again, pounding unrelentingly when it did. He felt like he might faint as his breathing became a bit shallow and his hands began to shake. Habit had him grasping at Renji’s shirt to ground himself a bit. He knew he was taking too long to respond, but he couldn’t seem to get his voice to work. And then tears - a very sudden flood of tears - were streaming down his face. He brought one trembling hand up to Renji’s cheek, holding it there as he willed himself to speak. He was a bit embarrassed by the fact that he didn’t seem to have control of himself at the moment, especially when an unexpected laugh surfaced seemingly on its own.

“Yes, Renji. Yes, I will,” he finally said around the onslaught of emotion.

Renji smiled brilliantly, feeling relieved. The contract had put him mostly at ease - but this - this would be official, legal, something that they wouldn't be able to hide. Byakuya had already made clear that he wanted the world to know that they were together so Renji hadn't felt too much anxiety over asking the gorgeous man for his hand. But he still had some, and he was glad to feel that anxiety completely leave him now. 

He captured Byakuya in a deep kiss, shifting slightly to retrieve the simple gold ring from his pocket. He broke the kiss to bring Byakuya's left hand to eye level, watching as he slipped the ring over his finger. Dark eyes looked deep into slate gray, his other hand raising to wipe away the tears that had gathered upon his cheeks. He kissed him gently again before whispering, "I'll never leave you, Bya. I promise to stay with you." He smiled, his expression impossibly warm as he finished his vow - the one he'd made that first night, here, on this couch. 

"Forever and a day."

Byakuya laughed again, still completely out of his own control. He looked at his left hand, which was still shaking, and seeing the gold band on his ring finger only renewed the tears on his cheeks. Without warning, he threw his arms around Renji’s neck, simultaneously laughing and sobbing into his shoulder. “I can’t believe… Renji, I… I can’t even speak,” he spluttered, both frustrated and amused by just how suddenly these emotions had overtaken him. 

He had barely gathered himself before more words were spilling from his mouth. “I never would have thought… I thought I had a big surprise for you. But now, with this… a contract just seems so insignificant. I just… nothing could ever compare. I love you so much, Renji. So , so much. Yes, forever and a day,” he rambled. Byakuya tightened his grip on Renji’s neck, but it wasn’t really enough to slow his racing heart. “Renji, I need you to hold me. Please put your arms around me. I feel like I can’t calm down. Just like you used to. Just like you always have. You always know how to hold me.” It was like he couldn’t control his own words. Once his voice decided to work, it wouldn’t stop spilling whatever he was thinking with absolutely no filter. The tears had yet to stop, and he just couldn’t pull himself back together.

Renji immediately wrapped his arms around him, holding him against him, more than happy to have him in his arms. “That contract is very significant to me, Bya. Don’t ever think it isn’t. It gives me full confidence in our relationship and what I’m allowed to do with you. It’s a representation of our open communication with each other, something we know we can always revisit and talk about. There is literally nothing you can’t be open with me about or I with you - that’s what that contract is for me. 

“And it’s permanent, meaning you always want to be mine, to always have this open, honest communication. Honestly, that’s more meaningful to me.” He chuckled, “All I did was buy a ring, in comparison. You have no idea what you going through the process of creating that contract means to me, Bya. This ring - a legal contract of marriage - shows the world we’re together. But that contract is our promise to each other to continue to be open, honest, and respect each other.” He kissed the long raven hair gently, his arms still crossed over him, holding him tightly against him. “You’re so perfect for me, Bya. I love you so much,” he whispered against his hair. 

When Renji’s strong arms tightly wrapped around him, holding him in a way that only Renji could, Byakuya finally felt like he could breathe. His mind slowly cleared as he listened to Renji’s words, but he didn’t try to reply for a while. He just processed what was happening, trying to come down from the high of so many things overlapping in his mind. The contract. The ring. They truly would be together forever and a day. 

He took a deep, level breath before saying, “Thank you, Renji - for everything. We would be here all night if I tried to name all the things you’ve done for me that I’m thankful for. I love you.” He loosened his arms from around Renji’s neck and wiped his face on his sleeve, finally settling completely into Renji’s embrace. He turned to press his nose into Renji’s neck. He would never be able to understand why this particular position brought him such comfort, but it did, and he didn’t try to question it. 

They sat like that, Renji reveling in Byakuya cuddled into him, his nose against his neck. Only Bya could ever do so to him and have it bring him such a level of calming comfort. Eventually the room dipped towards darkness as the sun fully set. He pressed another kiss to his hair, saying, “Let me get dinner ready. Would you sit in the kitchen with me while I do so? I still want you near - I always do, honestly.” He said with a smile.

Byakuya chuckled. “Of course. I don’t want to be far from you, either. I want to see my gorgeous fiance as much as I can,” he said quietly. Just saying that word put him on the verge of tears again. Happy tears, of course. The happiest he had ever been in his life. Renji was always outdoing himself that way - finding ways to just make him happier than he had ever been.

Renji’s heart skipped a beat. “Fiance… We really are, aren’t we…” He chuckled, “I hadn’t even really considered the change in title, I just wanted you to be as tied to me as possible.” He stood up, Byakuya claiming his feet as well, saying, “Well, fiance, come watch me make us dinner. And after we eat…” he whispered, kissing him gently before continuing, “I’m taking you to bed for a while - with that scarf, yes?”

Byakuya smiled, wrapping one arm around Renji’s waist and pulling him to him for a moment, holding their bodies firmly together. “Yes, I want you to have your way with me tonight, Renji. I’m yours ,” he said, a bit intentionally dramatic and teasing but he meant every word. He was positively giddy, and he didn’t think pure joy had ever bubbled up inside him like this before. It was intoxicating, and he never wanted anything but to be with this man - the only man to ever make him feel this way.

Renji pulled him into the kitchen, the conversation between the two light and teasing. Renji didn’t let Byakuya lift a finger tonight, insisting on setting the table himself - he even managed to put the silverware in the proper place. When they were settled, he paused, saying, “I remember that day, actually, a little over a week ago. You had said you went to visit Yukio. You practically attacked me when I got home, so I didn’t ask much about the visit.” He laughed lightly, “Did Toshiro tease you a bit while helping make that contract?”

Byakuya flushed even thinking about it again. “ A bit is a vast understatement. Damn him, he practically turned it into a game,” he grumbled. “Though, I’ll admit I had my share of blame. The fact that he blushes and gets worked up every time I touch him is a bit difficult to resist sometimes, especially when he’s all but daring me to do it. I may have told him that next time we plan a scene, I’d like to indulge him a bit,” he admitted. He knew none of this would disturb Renji. In fact, he expected a fair amount of amusement. 

Renji chuckled, “I wish I could have seen this ‘game,’ both of you are gorgeous and adorable when you’re flustered. I bet Yukio had a ton of fun with that. Actually, if he made it into a game, he likely did so for Yukio somehow. What were the rules?”

“Oh, if it didn’t start with Yukio in mind, it certainly turned into that very soon after it was proposed. Each time I teased Toshiro, Yukio kept count and would receive a kiss. Before I left, Toshiro was rewarded a kiss with me, and the duration depended on how many times I had teased him. So, it was a six-minute kiss, and by the end we were both so frustrated that Toshiro pinned Yukio to the couch before I even left. I think the only reason I was even able to put it out of my mind until I got home was because I was thinking about our contract,” Byakuya explained, looking at Renji to judge his reaction. He knew Renji was being serious about wishing he had been there. If he was honest, Byakuya wished he had been, too. It would have saved him some tension, at least.

Renji did laugh fully at that, “Six minutes? And all he could do was kiss you? I’m surprised he let you go so easily, the way you so obviously affect him. Not that I don’t trust him with you or you with him, but that was likely really difficult. He would have been very uncomfortable going further than that without my explicit consent and being there. And I bet Yukio had a great time after you left. You said he actually pinned him? He’s always so gentle with Yukio, I can hardly imagine him doing so - you really must have tormented him, Bya.”

“I’m not at all sorry about it, either. I realized quickly how much fun Yukio was having with it, after being a bit concerned about it at first. I don’t know why I would be worried about those two - Yukio loves being treated roughly, and Toshiro would never hurt him. And I can’t say I wasn’t enjoying it as well. I can’t flirt with you very effectively. Neither of us has any reason to hold back once we get to the point of frustratingly aroused, and we don’t really ever let it get that far anyway before we can’t resist one another,” Byakuya confessed. It was strange for him to admit that there were things he couldn’t do with Renji that another man fulfilled, but it was the same with Renji and Yukio. The rough play they thoroughly enjoyed with each other wasn’t possible with their partners. It was just another reason for Byakuya to believe that the four of them fit perfectly together.

“Well, that’s certainly true. I’d never torment the two of us that way. And you told him you’d indulge him a bit during our next scene with them, hu? I fully understand, Toshiro is a great dominant and he’s gorgeous. If he were a switch, back before we were together, I probably would have asked to play with him too. But Toshiro isn’t comfortable unless he’s in control, and I just can’t submit to another person either. 

“I have actually made out with him before - a game of truth and dare where Yukio decided to dare him to do so. We don’t mesh together well but Yukio at least seemed to fully enjoy that.” Renji chuckled a bit, “Brat doesn’t let anyone kiss him but loves watching Toshiro make out with people he thinks are attractive. He’s got a huge voyeurism kink. So this game isn’t the least bit surprising to me. It sounds like everything Yukio loves, as much as I’m sure Toshiro actually really enjoys kissing you - he’d do anything for Yukio.”

Byakuya laughed. “I suppose I wasn’t inaccurate when I told Yukio he was deceptively sweet. They’re perfect for each other, really. Just like we are,” he said, his tone falling into a quiet reminiscence. He looked at his left hand again, still smiling as he stared at the golden ring on his finger. It was all he was going to be able to think about for a while, and he didn’t mind at all that his mind kept wandering to it. 

Renji smiled softly, taking his hand and kissing it, "I fully agree." He released him to finish his meal, comfortable silence falling around them, only broken occasionally by a light bit of banter. Renji finished his meal as quickly as usual, content to simply watch Byakuya eat, so clean and neat. He still found it utterly endearing to him. 

By this time, Byakuya had become accustomed to Renji’s hurried eating, especially on nights when he knew something else was to follow. But sometimes he swore the man rushed through his meals just to have a chance to look at him, because he saw him out of the corner of his eye, just staring as he finished eating. 

Renji’s quiet attention to detail never ceased to amaze him, evident in the fact that he had taken the time to prepare many of his favorite foods, at least the ones that didn’t require advanced cooking skills. The cherry blossoms in the sitting room were just another example. He had never told Renji any of this. He just noticed everything about him, no matter how seemingly insignificant. Byakuya truly didn’t care how ridiculous it sounded to admit, but being engaged to this man - eventually marrying this man - was going to be a dream come true. To be with someone who loved him as much as Renji did forever was more than he ever expected.

“Thank you for making dinner, Renji. You did very well, and it was delicious,” Byakuya said with a smile as he finished eating.

Renji immediately stood up, collecting the dishes before Byakuya could even think to move, saying, "I'm taking care of you tonight, in every way I can." He simply placed the dishes in the kitchen sink - committing to do them later - and quickly returned to Byakuya. He took his hand, his thumb brushing over the ring, and he couldn't help the smile that took over his face. He guided him to their bedroom - Renji definitely felt an equal claim over this room now - and had Byakuya stand next to the bed. Pulling out the scarf, Renji stated clearly, "I'm going to blindfold you, and then you're going to allow me to take care of everything. Alright?" 

Byakuya glanced at the scarf, but just as quickly forced his eyes to the ring on his hand. He realized it was really just a reflex. There really wasn’t any fear in his heart. Finally, he looked up to meet Renji’s eyes. “Alright,” he replied, a soft smile on his lips.

Renji returned the smile, raising the scarf and securing it over his eyes, the knot to the side of his head. He then leaned in, pulling him into a slow, deep kiss. He took Byakuya's left hand in his, turning the ring upon his finger. He pulled away, continuing to turn the ring, asking softly, "You feel this?" 

“Yes,” Byakuya replied. The loss of his sight was already intensifying everything he felt, heightening his other senses immediately to make up for the deficit. He wanted to melt into Renji’s kiss, resisting the urge to lean back in when he pulled away.

"I'm never going to remove this. If you need something to ground you, to know that you're mine, that I'm with you and always will be, I want you to feel this. You're mine, Bya, my gorgeous fiance." Renji slowly began to remove Byakuya's clothing, kissing each piece of exposed skin as he did so, smiling with each sound that escaped his beautiful fiance's lips. 

Byakuya effortlessly surrendered to Renji’s gentle treatment, taking his words entirely to heart. Now there was something physical, something permanent to remind him that he was under Renji’s care. He didn’t have to rely on his fickle mind to remember that he was safe, as much as he solidly knew that now. There was absolutely no chance he could ever forget. Renji had so thoroughly inundated every part of his heart, mind, and body with doubtless love that there was no way he could ever think he was with anyone else. His lips on his skin were familiar - unmistakable - and even the feel of his hands was unique. 

Once Byakuya was completely bare, save for that simple gold ring, Renji kissed him again, pushing him back gently until the back of his knees hit the bed. "Lay down, Bya," he said with that command in his voice. He withdrew from him, undressing himself quickly but watching Byakuya carefully, making sure he was still fine without direct contact with him. 

Byakuya obeyed, admittedly a bit awkward as he felt his way to a comfortable position. Not feeling the same apprehension about being blindfolded that he had before, it was actually a bit amusing to try to follow orders without Renji’s hands actually directing him. His sense of direction and his surroundings were completely cut off, and he honestly was just trying not to blindly move enough to fall off the bed. 

Seeing Byakuya settle into a comfortable position, Renji joined him on the bed. He gently directed him with his touch to spread and open his legs, kneeling between them. He then began to lightly touch his body, the pattern random, still watching him carefully. He was utterly gorgeous beneath him, and Renji felt like he could simply watch him react to his unexpected caresses for hours. 

Byakuya couldn’t stop his muscles from twitching every time Renji touched him, hyper aware of every light brush against his skin. Eventually, the feeling began to dull, not because he wasn’t enjoying it, but because he was quickly being pulled into deep relaxation. The darkness behind the scarf and the complete lack of distraction influenced him gradually until all he seemed to be aware of were Renji’s hands on him and the ring on his left hand. Really, they were all he ever needed - the only things he ever wanted to be aware of.

Renji smiled as Byakuya completely relaxed beneath him. This was how this was supposed to be - relaxing. Allowing him to focus on feeling alone. Renji retrieved the lube from the bedside table, placing it near him. He also grabbed his own pillow and shifted down the bed. Using touch alone, Renji guided Byakuya to raise his hips so he could position the pillow beneath. He then began to kiss and suck at his inner thigh, slowly working his way up, his goal more than obvious with the direction of his movement even if he didn't state his intention aloud. 

Byakuya let out a broken gasp when Renji’s mouth touched the inside of his thigh, not expecting the action at all. The fact that he couldn’t see Renji to anticipate his movements made everything he did feel phenomenal. Byakuya’s reactions were completely involuntary and candid, driven only by his natural responses instead of any kind of prepared feedback based on what he saw. But when Renji’s mouth began to move upward, silently stating his next intended move, Byakuya couldn’t help but shudder.

Byakuya had only been half hard, so completely relaxed, but he was rapidly growing harder the closer Renji got to his goal. Renji merely allowed his hot breath to wash over him, his mouth moving from the base to the tip over his cock, just hovering over him and breathing heavily, the obvious tension in Byakuya's body building as his cock twitched. Unexpectedly, Renji allowed his tongue to dart out, firmly licking the tip, before returning to breathe on him, grinning at Byakuya's reactions. 

“Ah, Renji ,” Byakuya growled, his voice low. He had to keep from bringing his leg up in a reflexively defensive manner when Renji’s tongue touched him without warning. Just his breath was causing desire to quickly fill him, arousal coursing heat into his core at a rapid rate. 

Renji repeated the action several times, to different parts of his twitching length, loving the sound of Byakuya's breath hitching and how he would growl out his name. He then grabbed his hips, and with the same motion he completely took Byakuya's cock into his mouth, sinking down in one fluid motion, his hands keeping Byakuya's hips pinned to the bed. Renji groaned himself at the feeling of having him fill his mouth, at his wonderful taste. The vibrations of his voice were delivered directly across Byakuya's hard length, the sound of his own voice surprising a bit even to him after being carefully silent since he had given Byakuya the order to lay upon the bed. 

Byakuya had to be thankful that Renji was mindful of details, because if his hands hadn’t been firmly holding his hips down, he would have had no choice but to thrust into that warm, wet, glorious mouth. He was running completely on habitual motions and responses to Renji’s actions, his mind fading away as he surrendered himself. The sound and sensation of Renji’s voice around his cock caused a shiver to work through him and an unsuppressed moan to surface from his lips.

Renji spent a few minutes just sucking and allowing his tongue to bathe Byakuya's hard length in his mouth. Confident that Byakuya wouldn't thrust into him anymore, he removed his hands from his hips, grabbing the lube and lubing his own fingers. He returned one hand to keep Byakuya pinned as he traced his entrance with the other, allowing the tension to build again in Byakuya's body before allowing his finger to sink inside him. 

Just the feeling of one finger caused pleasure to ripple through Byakuya, his heightened sense of awareness still working to intensify every single response. It was ridiculous to him that such simple actions already had him so close to the edge, so close to begging Renji to fill him with something much better than his fingers. But he fought down the request, remembering that he had accepted the fact that Renji was taking care of everything tonight, and he trusted him to take care of him.

Renji slipped another finger inside, Byakuya's body accepting and then tensing around him at the unexpected intrusion. Byakuya slowly relaxed again as Renji continued to suck him and eventually he was able to move his fingers, stretching him slowly and carefully. Byakuya was shallowly moving back onto his fingers and Renji wasn't sure he was even aware he was doing it - all but fucking himself. Renji began to move his mouth up and down his cock, moving his fingers deeper and hooking them, pressing directly against his prostate. 

Byakuya let out a sharp breath, followed quickly by a tense moan when Renji began to actually intentionally stimulate him with his fingers and mouth simultaneously. “Ren-Renji… Please--” his voice was promptly cut off when Byakuya realized he was speaking. It was so automatic, especially with the desperate state he found himself in. He hadn’t wanted to ask for anything, just let Renji have complete control without any of his own influence, but apparently his building pleasure had his body betraying his mind.

Renji would have smiled if his mouth wasn't entirely occupied. Byakuya was really becoming desperate. He increased his motion on his cock, taking him all the way into his throat and swallowing before retreating and repeating the process. His fingers pressed directly against his prostate, massaging it, and he knew Byakuya wouldn't be able to hold out against both for long. 

Byakuya had been reduced to panting, moaning, and trying his hardest not to grasp at Renji’s hair. It didn’t take long before he felt his release approaching, Renji’s mouth providing such constant motion to accompany the sharp heat from his fingers pressing into his prostate that it was unavoidable and impossible to push back at this point. “Renji… I’m going to come,” he groaned, holding the tense pressure at bay until he had Renji’s approval. 

Renji pulled back so only the tip remained in his mouth, the hand on Byakuya's hip taking the place of his mouth, pumping him smoothly and quickly. Renji withdrew completely just long enough to command, "Come for me, Bya," immediately rewrapping his lips around the tip to drink down his release, his other fingers still gently massaging his prostate.

Byakuya let the tension in him snap at Renji’s voice. As rare as it had been to hear it that night, it was only more effective in driving him into his climax. Waves of warm pleasure washed over him, and he felt his muscles tighten around Renji’s fingers, the pressure inside him and against his prostate drawing out the shockwaves that followed. Finally, the involuntary spasms waned and his body calmed, and he relaxed into the bed, attempting to catch his breath. 

Renji swallowed every drop before releasing Byakuya from his mouth and slipping his fingers from his body. He moved back up, settling his weight against Byakuya so that he could feel him, still being sure to allow him to catch his breath. He kissed along his chin and across his face, murmuring, "You're doing so well, Bya. So good, so beautiful, so responsive. Love you, Bya, so much."

Feeling Renji’s body against him led Byakuya back to taking deep, even breaths until he had fully calmed. The immensely grounding sensation of Renji’s contact and soft praise caused a smile to come to his lips. He wanted to see him, but it wasn’t really necessary anymore. His mind could draw the picture for him. “Love you, Renji,” he whispered in reply. He moved his left hand just enough to feel his ring, stroking it with his thumb several times before relaxing his hand again. It was just another thing to remind him where he was… and who he was with. His Renji. The man who would never hurt him and never leave him.

Feeling Byakuya calm beneath him, Renji kissed him gently, commanding, "Color."

Byakuya tried not to laugh, knowing Renji was entirely serious. But it had been a while since they had needed to use the color system. “Green,” he replied. He understood Renji’s concern, but today, after everything they had exchanged - words, gifts, commitments - there was nothing that could take his mind away from his fiance.

Renji grinned, "Good. Wrap your arms and legs around me, Bya. And hold tight."

Byakuya obeyed, bringing his arms around Renji’s neck and his legs around his waist and pulling himself against him. He gave a quiet groan when Renji’s hard length pressed against him. He had no idea what Renji had planned, but he certainly had never disappointed him before.

With Byakuya holding onto him tightly, he was easily able to flip their positions so that Byakuya was above him, straddling him. Renji's voice was calm as he instructed, "I want you to explore my body this way, Bya. Keep the blindfold on, only feel me. You can do whatever you want except remove the blindfold for twenty minutes, I won't interfere at all." Renji relaxed against the bed, bringing his own arms above to clutch at the pillow beneath his head, just in case he felt the want to use them. This was Byakuya's time to explore his body using only touch, a sensation he was sure he'd never attempted with anyone, and Renji was looking forward to watching him as he did so.

Byakuya moved his hands to rest flat on Renji’s chest. “Anything I want?” he asked, a bit of a smirk coming to his face.

"Anything you want," Renji replied, his smile wide across his face even though Byakuya couldn’t see. He could tell Byakuya was probably about to have far too much fun with this. And he couldn't be more happy. He tightened his grip on the pillow, his eyes catching the time on the bedside table. "Twenty minutes, Bya. Starting now."

Byakuya began slowly, tracing his hands over Renji’s chest and abs. It was all familiar to him, but he was surprised at the effect his lost sight actually had. He felt every detail - every dip of every muscle, the smoothness of Renji’s skin. His mind drew his tattoos as he ran across them. He couldn’t feel them, but he knew exactly where they were. He had traced them so many times it would be impossible for him to forget. When his hands began to wander further down, he halted his path, not quite allowing himself to reach Renji’s hips. 

Instead, he leaned over Renji’s body and began pressing his lips to the flawless, bare skin beneath him. He had begun a bit lower on Renji’s body than he had intended, so he felt his way back up with his lips, pausing for a moment when he reached a nipple. He had twenty minutes, after all. He may as well take full advantage of it. So, he gently ran his mouth over the sensitive skin, smiling when it responded to him with just that small action. Encouraged by this, he enveloped the nipple in his mouth, teasing with his tongue in different patterns. He tormented the flesh for only a few moments before pulling away, ghosting cool breath over the wet, hot skin, just as Renji had done to him before. He couldn’t help but smile at Renji’s reaction. It was absolutely thrilling to be able to affect him this way. He rested his cheek on the stimulated area until he felt Renji calm a bit, and then continued to what was his original goal. 

Renji had a very firm grip on the pillow beneath his head to prevent him from reaching out and influencing Byakuya at all. He looked dead sexy with the soft black blindfold, mapping out his body with his hands and mouth. Renji was unbelievably turned on that even without sight, he deftly traced each tattoo upon his smooth skin. 

And then the attention he gave to each nipple - Renji couldn't resist arching into him, whining as he played with him using his tongue and then groaning loudly as his cool breath washed over him. His breathing was already labored and he forced himself to calm as Byakuya finally gave him a moment to collect himself, his eyes flickering to the time. Seven minutes. It had only been seven minutes. He groaned again at the realization and the feeling of Byakuya again making his way further up his body. 

Byakuya ran his tongue up from where he had paused to Renji’s collarbone, scraping his teeth over it and lavishing it with kisses. He followed it up to his neck, where he promptly began pressing firm, wet kisses, lightly sucking, but not enough to leave marks. He never had any desire to leave marks on Renji. Not because he didn’t feel possessive over him, but because the marks Renji already had were beautiful, and Byakuya didn’t want to detract from that. 

Renji's grip on the pillow became nearly painful as Byakuya paid special attention to his sensitive neck. "Bya… Bya… Ngh… Ah…" he whimpered, the sounds he made barely comprehensible and completely unaware he was making them. All he was aware of was Byakuya's near torturous, pleasurable attention and how it was taking every ounce of control he had not to reach down, wrap his hands around those delicious hips, and grind into him. His eyes flickered to the time, whimpering out again - ten minutes, he was only halfway through this mind blowing torture. 

Before Renji became too worked up by the attention to his neck, Byakuya abandoned that expanse of skin in search of another. His hands led him down Renji’s sides to his hips, and he gave a light moan when he curved his hand back to fairly roughly squeeze that perfect ass. He knew exactly what he wanted to do to fill his time, though he was unsure how much time he had left. So, just to be sure he wouldn’t run out of time before Renji’s obligation to stay still expired, he ran a hand down Renji’s body, giving a satisfied groan when he found Renji’s cock. He wasted no time taking it in his hand and holding it. As if by its own power, his thumb began to stroke the smooth, tantalizing skin while his other hand felt around on the bed, knowing Renji had used the lube and he would have placed it somewhere next to him. When he finally found it, he popped it open with one hand and brought it down to his other, opening his hand around Renji’s cock and applying what felt like a good amount to his fingers before closing the bottle and tossing it back onto the bed. 

Renji sucked in a breath when Byakuya abruptly wrapped his hand around him, holding his cock. And then he had to hold back a groan at the sinfully innocent yet erotic sight of Byakuya searching blindly for the bottle of lube. He did groan when he applied said lube to his cock, shivering at the thought of what Byakuya had in mind. He was already painfully hard and if Byakuya's plan was to make him come, he was going to succeed. He glanced at the time - whatever it was, he was going to have to somehow endure it as peacefully as possible for the next seven minutes. 

Byakuya immediately wrapped his hand around Renji’s hard length again, moving up and down slowly to spread the lube. He knew Renji didn’t need stimulation at this point unless he wasn’t going to get his full twenty minutes. He was grateful that Renji had already prepared him, or this wouldn’t have worked at all. He kept his hand on Renji’s cock as he lifted his hips, positioning himself and easing down onto Renji, taking him in slowly, painstakingly, to be sure that Renji wouldn’t be concerned that he was hurting himself. The effect of his impaired sight didn’t cease to impress. Byakuya felt every tight movement as his body accepted Renji, and the intensity of the sensation had his heart racing and his own arousal mounting. A low groan left his throat when Renji was finally fully sheathed, and he settled down onto him and began rocking his hips in a rhythm that had him seeing stars behind the blindfold.

Likely the only reason Renji didn't come was because he was far too enthralled watching Byakuya blindly and slowly take him, his beauty only accented by the black scarf over his eyes. Renji watched every reaction, the heightened feeling of the loss of his sight apparent in the shudders of his gorgeous body. And then he was fully seated, Renji desperately wanting to move under him, to thrust into that wondrously tight, hot body. He glanced at the time, "Fuck…" falling from his lips. Byakuya still had three minutes without intervention. He moaned brokenly, "Bya…" as he clutched the pillow even tighter. 

Byakuya braced his hands on Renji’s chest, breathing heavily just with the sheer pleasure coursing through his body at the feeling of setting the pace of Renji’s cock moving inside him. It wasn’t often that he had such control, because he honestly didn’t want to be in control often, but this time - with the blindfold in place heightening every single sensation in his body - he couldn’t believe how satisfying it was. Hearing Renji’s voice, desperate with need, caused a chill to rush down his spine. He increased his pace a bit, suddenly very close to climax himself. He had no idea how much time he had left, but it couldn’t be long. And when Renji was free to react, he knew he was going to love every second of it. 

Renji's eyes flickered to the time every few seconds, desperate to regain control. Byakuya was beyond gorgeous above him, and his body felt amazing around him, fucking himself on his large, hard cock. But the pace was maddening because it was just a bit too slow to bring him to his own release, instead keeping him on the edge. During these last few minutes, he found himself counting each second, words falling from his lips as he panted, "Bya, you're so fucking gorgeous, riding me like this - Ngh - I'm going to take you just like this, hard and fast as soon as I can move - going to make you come on my cock, Bya - Ah - you feel how hard you make me? My beautiful fiance, going to make you come and fill you so fucking full, you look so goddamn sexy, taking me so well -"

Byakuya groaned at Renji’s words. He was holding onto the tension in his body, hoping that Renji could move soon. He wanted to feel him respond, wanted him to take him hard and fast just as he was promising. “Yes, Renji, so fucking hard, I want you to fill me. I love how you feel inside me. Damn it, Renji, please,” the words were spilling out a bit more habitually now, and he knew it drove Renji insane to hear him speak like that. It had to be close now. He wanted to feel Renji thrust against him, needed to feel him increase the pace and bury himself deep inside him.

The second the clock indicated the elapse of twenty minutes, Renji’s hands immediately moved to tightly grasp Byakuya's hips. He held him slightly above him and immediately began thrusting hard and deep into him. "Fuck, Bya, so good -" Renji groaned, feeling his own climax rapidly approaching. Feeling Byakuya's body clench around him would definitely trigger it. "Come for me, Bya," he gasped, "Need you to come, need to feel you, Bya-" 

Byakuya moaned brokenly as Renji unexpectedly wrapped his hands around his hips and began his own pace of thrusts. After such a torturous build-up, he was sent over the edge within seconds. He couldn’t stop it, especially hearing Renji telling him to let go, and he let the pleasure take him, tightening his muscles momentarily with that familiar heat washing over him.

Renji groaned out Byakuya's name as his own release was triggered by Byakuya's gorgeous body shuddering and clenching around him. His hands raised to brace Byakuya above him, gently lowering him to settle upon his chest. He tilted his face, kissing him chastely as they both regained their breath. He gently pulled off the scarf over those gorgeous eyes, smiling as Byakuya refocused on him. "So perfect, Bya, you did so well," he murmured, petting his soft raven hair. 

Byakuya just lay there for a moment, feeling Renji under and still inside him, and listening to his heart as it slowed. It took awhile for him to readjust to the brightness of the room, what with all of the other highs his body was trying to come down from. When he did, he turned to press his lips to Renji’s chest before shifting a bit to look up to him and bring a hand to his cheek. “I love you, Renji. My gorgeous fiance. I still can’t believe it, really. I suppose now I know how you felt when I said I loved you for the first time,” he said with a chuckle.

"If you do, you're handling all that joy and relief far better than I did." Renji said with a bright smile. "Now, let your fiance take you to the shower and clean up that gorgeous body."

Byakuya chuckled and kissed Renji’s cheek before wrapping his arms around his neck, allowing him to gently remove himself as he sat up and took him in his arms. There wasn’t a more relaxing place in the world than being pressed into that warm, hard body. 

After he was settled in the shower and Renji began his gentle process of washing him, Byakuya took a deep, calming breath. He never had to let go of this overwhelming peace. Never. Between the permanent contract and their engagement, it was clear that neither of them ever wanted to lose the other. 

“Renji…” he murmured, his voice barely audible over the water, “we really will be together for that long, won’t we? Forever and a day… It sounds like a fairytale. Just something people tell each other to give them a bit of hope that maybe something like that really is possible. But with you… I feel it. Finally. After all the pain and neglect and forced relationships, I’ve finally found someone who is everything I didn’t even know I needed.” He brought his left hand up to study his ring, a smile coming to his face. “I love you, Renji. I give my entire life to you,” he said, averting his eyes to meet with Renji’s.

"I've never said anything to you I didn't mean with my entire heart, Bya. When I said those words that first night, I was making a promise to both of us. Even if things had turned out differently, even if you hadn't become mine, if you hadn't wanted me to be yours, I never would have left you. I hadn't since I met you, Bya. Every week, I couldn't stop myself from coming to see you, to spend time with you, to make sure you were alright, to try and make you smile. 

"You never turned me away, even if you never asked me to return. That night you actually asked me to stay… I could never leave you, Bya. And so I made that vow to you. The ring, the contract, they make it more concrete, but it was very real to me when I said it, even that first night. I love you, Bya, and I can't imagine my life without you in it. You're never getting rid of me," Renji said with a grin, holding him close and pressing their foreheads together. 

Byakuya tilted his head to kiss Renji gently. There wasn’t a single place better than where he could be close to him. Not a single other place where he was home. 

Because home wasn’t a place. 

Home was with Renji.

“I never want to,” he responded. “Because you are mine now, completely. Just as I’m yours. You’re never getting rid of me either.”

“I never want to,” Renji repeated, smiling widely, “and I never will.”

He brought Byakuya’s hand to his lips, kissing the simple golden ring. This gorgeous man was his now - completely, forever, his.  

Forever and a day.

Chapter Text

Renji was sitting on the couch, Byakuya cuddled into his side, holding his left hand and playing with the simple gold ring on his finger. They had so much to figure out, but before any of that, there were a few people they really needed to tell. Renji was going first, about to call Shuhei. He told Byakuya he wanted to do so with him there, informing his best friend together on speaker. 

Byakuya hadn’t even really met Shuhei. He’d seen him before, in pictures and Shuhei always waved to him when he saw him, back when he lived with Renji. But he’d moved to the Cities with his partner several years ago and with the distance and Shuhei having a complete opposite schedule to Renji, they hadn’t really been able to actually see each other, though they texted back and forth constantly. As it was, it was 7am on a Saturday and Shuhei would be getting home around this time so it was the ideal time to call him. Renji didn’t want to tell him in text - would rather do so in person - but a phone call would have to do.

“Ready, Bya? Shu can be a bit… Well, you’ll see. But I know he’ll be happy for us and I really want to do this with you. My beautiful fiance,” he said, kissing Byakuya’s soft obsidian hair.

Byakuya chuckled a bit. Renji was always rather vague when talking about Shuhei. He could only assume the man had a rather rambunctious personality, very much the opposite of Byakuya’s mostly calm demeanor. The only other solid detail he had on the man was that he was the only person with which Renji had ever had a contract. “Yes, I’m ready. I’m not sure why you seem so anxious just for me to hear him on the phone,” he teased lightly. 

Renji laughed a bit before kissing him again. He quickly dialed Shuhei, putting the call on speaker as he did so. He was hoping, probably in vain, that he’d be a bit tired after working all night.

“Renji! Hey, it’s been a while! You gonna spill the details on what you’re doing with Byakuya this time? Because you know I wanna know.”

Renji blushed heavily, scrambling a bit to say, “Shu, you’re on speaker with Bya and I here, and you know I don’t tell you details anyway so you can stop asking for them. Seriously, you’d think you’d give up after over a year.”

Byakuya heard Shuhei laugh, not at all perturbed by Renji’s insistence. He was already understanding why Renji had put off their meeting until he was good and ready to handle it.

“Oh, hey, Byakuya! I don’t think we’ve ever actually talked, but I definitely remember you. After Renji spent a good deal of time doing nothing but talking about you, I can’t really forget. Since you’re there, maybe you could tell Renji he could give me just a little bit. Something. I’ve been dying to know.”

Byakuya’s cheeks flushed as well, and he looked up to Renji, who seemed equally mortified at his best friend’s outspokenness. “No, Shuhei, I’d rather we keep our affairs private,” he replied a bit shakily. Shuhei was definitely going to be someone that would take some time to get used to.

“Well damn. Alright, then if it’s not that, what’s up? You’ve never made it a point to have Byakuya on the phone before. Everything’s good, right?”

“Amazing, Shu. Bya agreed to marry me and I wanted you to be the first person I told. As embarrassing as you can be, you’re my best friend Shu. And I really want you to be there, to be my best man.” Renji smiled at Byakuya, kissing his cheek. A joyful rush had gone through him again just saying it out loud to another person. This beautiful man really was his fiance.

“Holy shit, Renji, that’s awesome! But… I can’t bless the marriage. Sorry.”

Byakuya’s heart dropped when Shuhei’s tone fell into a bit of deep regret. He hoped he was joking, because he already realized the man had a propensity to be a bit dramatic. But he had no idea how Renji would react if he was serious.

Renji sighed, “Why not, Shu?” He winked at Byakuya, hugging him a bit tighter, “What do I need to do to get your blessing?”

“Dude, I haven’t even really met him. How am I supposed to know if he’s right for you?” Shuhei asked, clearly feigning a good amount of exasperation. “You’ll have to come visit me. We’ll have a bachelor party at the club Tensa and I go to, and I’ll get to make sure Byakuya’s good for you. Deal?”

Byakuya smiled and shook his head. Definitely a personality he’d have to get accustomed to. But he could see how Renji got along with him so well. He could have similar energy given the right circumstances.

“Well Bya, what do you say?” Renji asked with a grin. He was honestly excited for the two to finally meet anyway, and he missed Shu. “I’m sure we can talk him out of the club idea, if you’re not comfortable with that.”

“That actually sounds fun, Shuhei. I think I can handle a club as long as you’re there, Renji. Though… would it be alright if we also invited Toshiro and Yukio?” he requested. It was really an effort to have as many people present as he could that he knew he could trust. He knew Renji wouldn’t allow anything to happen, but he would be only more confident with the others there as well.

“Oh, they’re the ones you told me about, Renji? The 24/7 TPE submissive and his master? The more the merrier. I’m not going to say no.”

“Yeah, that’s them. And we’ll need to ask, I honestly don’t know if they’ll agree or not. Yukio is doing far better than ever and he gets a lot of confidence from Bya, so they may say yes. Just, Shu, please do not even remotely tease Yukio. He doesn’t show it but he takes things to heart far too much, even if it’s clear that it’s a joke. And if you hurt him at all, I’m not going to get between you and Toshiro.” 

“Come on, Renji, you know I can turn it off when I have to. I’ll be nice, I promise. I save all my worst stuff for you and Tensa anyway.”

“Thanks Shu… And that last part is a lie, you’re definitely worse with me than Tensa - I can’t shut you up over the phone like he can,” Renji said with a laugh. He really had missed this crazy goof ball. “When do you want us up there?”

“Hmm… Thursday is BDSM night at Ground Zero. And I’m off Thursday and Friday next week, so that’ll work if you can make it then. Pretty sure Tensa and I would be going anyway,” Shuhei replied with a chuckle.

“I’ll need to take that Friday off but I do have a ridiculous number of days - I never miss work. Bya?”

“I can work ahead and let my sister know I’ll be away from my computer for a couple of days. There’s not much I do that she can’t pick up for me, and she’s always more than willing,” Byakuya replied. 

“Alright, sounds like a plan! I gotta get some sleep. It was good talking to you, Renji. And congratulations to you both.”

“Bye Shu, and I’ll text you about the other two, if they decide they can come or not.” Renji hung up the phone before Shuhei could make a more dramatic exit. He turned to Byakuya, saying, “Well, that’s Shu. I hope he’s not too…” Renji laughed, “Honestly, I don’t even know. Too crazy? But I’ve been through so much with him and I know he’s always got my back. We’ve been best friends since I can remember.”

“I know, Renji. He’s just very outspoken. I can just expect very blunt conversations with him, I suppose. His teasing is definitely something I can handle. It’s fine,” Byakuya assured him. 

Renji kissed him again before checking the time, “It’s 7:30 now… Yukio is definitely up, after all you did tell him you’d call him in the morning about you giving me the contract, right? Do you want to call him now?”

Byakuya nodded and pulled out his own phone. He knew Yukio always loved to see his name when his phone rang. He honestly couldn’t get over just how ridiculously adorable Yukio was about everything. He tapped Yukio’s name on his recent calls - it was always either first or second depending on if Renji called after work - and tapped the speaker button. It didn’t take long for Yukio to answer. 

“Byakuya! You gave Renji the contract?”

It was obvious that Yukio was almost as excited about it as Byakuya had been. Byakuya had half a mind to think he had been holding his phone since he woke up, waiting for him to call. “Yes, but he actually had a surprise for me, too. Could you get Toshiro and let us talk to both of you?” he requested. There was a bit of a pause, in which Byakuya looked up to Renji with a soft smile.

Renji returned his smile, kissing him until he heard Toshiro’s voice on the line, clearly now on speaker phone.

“I’m here, Byakuya. Yukio said you wanted to talk to both of us?”

“Yes, I wanted to tell you both at the same time. I gave Renji the contract, and he was very surprised and a little emotional about it,” he began, giving Renji a smile. “Then he had a surprise for me. He asked me to marry him, and I agreed.” Yukio’s brief squealing caused Byakuya to cringe for a moment.

“Master! Did you hear that? They’re going to get married!”

Byakuya couldn’t help but laugh, only imagining how he was likely bouncing, either in his seat or in Toshiro’s lap.

Toshiro’s light laughter could be heard as he said, “Yes, love, it’s wonderful. It really is, congratulations to you both. You’re perfect for each other, I’m sure you’ll only continue to be. Yukio,” he laughed again, “if you’re going to bounce that much I’m going to have to set you down. Find your calm, love.”

Byakuya heard a few audible deep breaths on the other side as Yukio calmed himself. “Also, to celebrate, I wanted to invite the two of you to a bachelor’s party of sorts. It will be with Shuhei and his partner at a club they frequent. It would mean a lot to me if you would both come. Not only are you my closest friends, but I would feel a bit more prepared to go into such a thing with the two of you there, especially you, Yukio.”

“Me? Why me?”

Byakuya couldn’t help the smile that came to his face, even though he knew Yukio couldn’t see him. “I don’t know if you realize, but you have a way of calming me when I’m near you. I’m not even sure if it’s intentional, but you’ve become someone who can ground me just by being with me,” he explained. There was a short silence before Yukio spoke again.

“If you and master are there, I think I’ll be alright.” His voice was soft, obviously heavily considering going somewhere as crowded and overwhelming as a club. 

“If Yukio wants to try, we’ll go. But I’m driving. I don’t drink anyway and if he needs a break I’ll take him back out to the car. He clearly wants to go,” Toshiro’s firm voice came over the phone.

“Thank you, Yukio. It really does mean a lot to me, and neither your master or I will leave your side if you don’t want us to. We’re going Thursday, and Renji will have to text you the details. I believe he’s at least somewhat familiar with where we’re going,” Byakuya said. He was truly grateful that Yukio had agreed. He wasn’t lying - Yukio’s normally calm demeanor, despite his bursts of energy, was very grounding for him. Having Yukio and Toshiro there would provide a bit of balance from the obviously energetic Shuhei.

“And I’ll be there too, of course, Yukio. You know I’d never let anything happen to you. I think you’ll actually have a lot of fun with Shu and Tensa is just as calm as your master. We’ll all be looking out for you. We’d love to have you and Toshiro. Honestly, between you all, it’s like my entire family will be there,” Renji said with a warm grin.

“Of course, Renji. I’m sure I’ll be fine with all of you there. Thank you, really. It actually does mean a lot that you all care about me so much,” Yukio assured him. Byakuya was glad to hear the confidence return to his voice. He was very proud of him, having come so far as to accept an invitation like this. 

“Toshiro, Renji will get in touch with you with details. We’ll see you both Thursday,” Byakuya said. With the signal that the conversation was over, the two on the other side gave a brief goodbye and the line went dead. “Toshiro certainly doesn’t give long goodbyes,” he laughed as he pocketed his phone.

"No," Renji laughed, "he certainly doesn't. I'm very much looking forward to this, Bya. Thank you for agreeing, for thinking to ask those two. I couldn't think of anyone else I'd want more at my bachelor's party - our bachelor's party. My gorgeous, wonderful, brilliant fiance," Renji said with a grin, cuddling him close to his side. 

Byakuya settled into his usual place against Renji with his nose nuzzled into his neck. It was still amazing to him that he would never have to stop feeling this. “They’re my family now, too. Of course I’d want them to be there. I’m glad Yukio accepted. I have a surprise for him, too.”

Thursday came rather quickly, and Toshiro had insisted that it wouldn’t be efficient for the four of them to travel separately. Byakuya and Renji agreed, so they were all in Toshiro’s car, Byakuya having been shocked but pleased when Yukio requested to sit in the back seat with him. Renji had feigned a bit of offense, but their banter hadn’t lasted long when Toshiro insisted that they keep to the planned time schedule. 

So, Yukio was in the seat right next to him, their hands joined on Byakuya’s knee. They had already been on the road for half an hour, and conversation had lulled. Yukio’s insistent attachment to him had only solidified his decision, and now that things were quiet, it was the opportune time to mention it.

“Yukio, I have something to talk to you about,” Byakuya began, squeezing Yukio’s hand. 

Yukio looked up to him, a bit of anxiety tracing his eyes. “What is it?” he asked, studying Byakuya’s expression. He was still relaxed, a slight smile on his face.

“It’s nothing bad. You’re my best friend, Yukio. I know you say I’ve been there for you when your master can’t be, and that’s done a lot to bolster your confidence. I’m honored that I’ve done so much for you, but you’ve done a lot for me, too. You’re the person I know I can turn to when Renji is at work, just like you can turn to me when Toshiro is. I can talk to you about anything, and I know you’ll always listen. As much as I’ve done for you, you’ve always returned the same courtesy to me. 

“And, as I said before, I don’t know if you realize just how grounding your presence is for me. I’ve never really told you, I’ve only thanked you for it without telling you what I was thanking you for, so I’m sorry for never being properly grateful,” he said with a chuckle. “You always doubt that you deserve any honor or recognition, so really, I’m telling you all of this to answer the inevitable ‘why?’ you would have asked when I tell you what I’m really leading up to. I’d like for you to be my best man at mine and Renji’s wedding,” Byakuya finally concluded. 

Yukio’s eyes widened, but soon a wide smile spread on his face. “Byakuya… really? Are you sure?” he asked, in a great deal of disbelief. 

“Yes, I’m very much sure. So? Will you?” Byakuya asked. 

“Of course, Byakuya! I can’t believe you’d want me to be your best man,” Yukio said, the excitement returning to his voice. 

Byakuya smiled and brought Yukio’s hand up to kiss the back of it. “It wouldn’t be right for it to be anyone else. Thank you, Yukio,” he said quietly. Yukio rested his head on Byakuya’s shoulder, and Byakuya’s smile never waned. 

Toshiro exchanged a smile with Renji before returning his focus to the road. “You realize, Byakuya,” Toshiro stated, still smiling and glancing in the rear view mirror at the two cuddled together in the back seat, “that Yukio will likely insist on helping you plan this now. He’s amazing at such things, so you should take advantage of how passionate he gets with organizing and planning. You’re also completely correct - the way you and Yukio have connected, I was honestly hoping you would ask. You’ll do wonderfully, love.”

Yukio looked up to his master with a bright grin. “Thank you, master. You wouldn’t mind, would you, Byakuya? He’s right, I would love to help,” he said, looking up to Byakuya.

“Of course not, Yukio. I’m sure you’ll have much better ideas than I would. Since Renji surprised me with the proposal, perhaps you and I could surprise him with the wedding,” Byakuya said, casting Renji an amused glance.

“I fully leave this to the two of you,” Renji said with a grin, “I can’t wait. Just - not too large, alright? Honestly, I don’t have anyone that I’d invite that we aren’t seeing tonight. I’d rather just have our close friends and family there. I know with Byakuya’s family name, this could easily turn into something the media would attempt to swarm and that people that don’t even know us would try to attend but I really just want this to be about us. I’m not marrying Byakuya for any reason other than that I love him and he’s my entire world. I have no wish to be other people’s entertainment - he deserves far more than that. So, if you can take that into consideration in your planning, Yukio, I’d like the venue to be private.” 

“Of course. The two of you can make a list of things you’d like and things you definitely don’t want, and Byakuya and I will plan the whole thing. Don’t worry,” Yukio assured him. Honestly, he was brimming with excitement that only showed in his bright emerald eyes. He was trying to hide it, stay calm at least for the time being, but he knew his master understood how enthusiastic he was about this. The minute Byakuya had announced their engagement, his mind had begun to work.

About twenty minutes from the club, Toshiro pulled into a gas station. “I’d rather get gas now than worry about it later,” he explained.

“Works for me,” Renji said, “I’d like some water anyway. Anyone else want anything?”

“I’ll come inside with you, Renji. Yukio, did you want anything?” Byakuya asked.

“Water, please,” Yukio replied. Byakuya nodded, climbing out of the car to join Renji.

Toshiro got out of the car, using his card at the pump. Renji took Byakuya’s hand, walking with him into the store and leading him to the back where the water was. He paused though as Byakuya had stopped, glancing at his still form. “Bya?” Renji questioned, concerned.

Just as they had reached the end of the aisles into the open area at the back of the store, Byakuya spotted an all-too-familiar man. He thought he had forgotten, but it was definitely him. Not many were so tall and thin, and when the man happened to turn in their direction, the scar over his left eye was a dead giveaway. “Shukuro,” Byakuya muttered. 

The man’s eyes widened a bit, but just as suddenly narrowed, an unkind grin coming to his face. He was only a few steps from them, and Byakuya had no time to explain before he was approaching them. “Byakuya,” Shukuro said, his voice low and a bit patronizing. His eyes swept over Byakuya’s form rather slowly. “I see you’re doing well,” he added, “and I see you’re with someone.”

“I am. Not that you truly care,” Byakuya shot back. Seeing this man again, he expected to feel fear, or at least something like it. But really he was angry, and definitely defensive of Renji.

Renji had never heard his Bya this way before. He actually sounded angry - and he was legitimately surprised. He didn’t know exactly what had occurred between these two but he was determined to support Byakuya however he needed him to. So he squeezed his hand a bit, stepping closer to him, and a little behind. Byakuya clearly didn’t need him to fight any battles for him but he was for damn sure going to have his back.

Shukuro’s dark eyes went to Renji when he moved, that smirk never leaving. “So, how long has this been going on?” he asked brazenly, his gaze returning to Byakuya.

“Why does it matter to you? I have no interest in sharing my life with you. Honestly, I’m not even sure why I’m still talking to you. What you did to me was unforgivable, and you are nothing to me,” Byakuya said, his voice strained with seething anger.

Shukuro didn’t even flinch. “Ah, long enough then, if he knows about me,” he said, looking to Renji. “I hope you’ve learned to deal with his bad habits.”

Renji’s dark eyes narrowed, gripping Byakuya’s hand tighter. He suddenly realized who this had to be. He hadn’t really thought about how he would feel, how he would react if he ever met the man that had left Byakuya those many months - seemingly a lifetime - ago. As much as he wanted to hurt him, he realized it wouldn’t matter. Because he didn’t matter. Not anymore. He had no bearing on their lives. That, and any amount of physical pain he could inflict wouldn’t come close to the damage he had done. But those events had brought him and his Bya together, as awful as that was to consider. 

He found that he could easily despise this man but that he felt nothing towards him, himself. Because he really was nothing to him. But he’d been asked a direct question by this… trash, and Byakuya’s honor demanded he answer him. “My fiance has not a single bad habit - except for perhaps skipping meals. And yes, I’ve made sure to help correct that.”

Shukuro was actually a bit rattled by that, and he looked briefly to Byakuya’s unoccupied hand. There was a ring. He regained his composure quickly, though, looking into Byakuya’s hard steel eyes. “I see. I suppose you found someone who doesn’t mind poor performance,” he muttered. 

Byakuya only glared, tense, angry tears gathering in his eyes. He so incredibly wanted to give this bastard a piece of his mind, but this wasn’t the place. If he spoke, he knew he would yell, and they were in public. 

“Nothing to say, Byakuya?” Shukuro asked, obviously provoking him. He swiftly brought a hand to Byakuya’s chin, forcing him to look up to him.

Renji swiftly grabbed his wrist in a crushing hold, forcing him to let go, saying commandingly, “Bya has nothing to say to you because you aren’t worth a single word from his mouth. Aren’t worth a single thought in his head. Because you are nothing. You ceased to be anything the moment you left him and your shadow has long since been lost to light. I love Bya, every single detail, and I’m not the only one. I can’t imagine anyone seeing you for who you really are, being able to stand being in your presence, let alone feel anything other than disgust. Our friends are expecting us.” Renji tossed his wrist away, smirking a bit as he rubbed it - Renji had definitely been holding tight enough to bruise. He turned Byakuya to him, saying in that same commanding tone, “Yukio wanted water, right? I’d like one too, Bya. I don’t see anyone else here that’s worth our attention, do you?”

Byakuya fought the urge to look back, knowing Renji certainly wouldn’t want him to. “ No , I don’t,” he replied. He heard a small grunt from Shukuro, and then brisk footsteps as he walked away. Finally, Byakuya breathed a sigh of relief, wiping his cheeks as his withheld tears fell. “Don’t worry, Renji. I’m not upset. I wanted to punch him. I was so angry,” he admitted in a whisper.

“I could tell,” Renji said softly, kissing his forehead gently and bringing him into his arms. “I’m glad you didn’t, because I really don’t want you ever touching that man again for any reason, but I honestly would have understood. I’ve never seen you so angry before. Honestly, you’re kinda scary, Bya - I don’t ever want to make you mad at me,” Renji said with a grin. “Fuck him. Like I said, he’s not worth a single thought or word. We’re celebrating our engagement tonight with friends that love us. And I’m so madly in love with you, Bya. He’s obviously an idiot for ever letting you go, for treating you as anything less than the reason behind every one of his smiles. Because you are that and more to me, Bya. And I’m never letting you go.” Renji brought up his left hand to kiss the ring upon his finger, smiling peacefully and gazing directly into Byakuya’s steel gray eyes. 

Byakuya was calming, but still a little tense from the encounter. “You think I was scary? That piece of shit better be glad we ran into each other in public. That’s the last thing I’ll say, I promise. I love you, Renji. I’m glad I have you, and I know we’ll never let each other go,” he said. By the end of speaking, he had let go of much of the fire that still ran through him when seeing Shukuro again. But Renji was right. He didn’t matter, and he wasn’t worth a single thought. With a deep breath, he settled into Renji’s arms, letting the tension flow out of him when he turned to press his nose into his neck for a moment. Thank goodness their height difference allowed this fairly easily, because there was nothing else that calmed him faster.

Renji smiled as he felt Byakuya calm, kissing his soft obsidian hair again. “Ready, Bya?” He asked softly. “I’m sure Toshiro is done by now, and we both know how Yukio gets when he’s kept waiting,” Renji said with a small chuckle.

Byakuya nodded. “Yes, I’m ready,” he replied, his voice finally absent of any pent-up volatility. He and Renji gathered the requested bottles of water, Byakuya taking one for himself as well - he knew he’d need a distraction when they got back to the car - and made their purchase. They made their way back to Toshiro’s car, and when they were settled, Byakuya knew he was a bit tense, though Yukio didn’t comment as he took the water he was given. He hoped no one would ask what had taken them so long, relying on Yukio’s propensity to not pry and Toshiro’s tendency to usually do the same.

Toshiro noticed the difference, of course. Byakuya had been peaceful and happy going into the store but now he was tense. Either something had happened or the nerves of going out to a place so crowded were getting to him now that they were almost there. He captured Renji’s eyes and Renji said, quietly, “Just ran into someone we weren’t expecting - someone decidedly unpleasant. But they don’t matter and we’d both rather just forget they exist. Again.”

Toshiro nodded, turning to see Yukio cuddling into Byakuya again, offering his physical support to his closest friend. “If you’re sure… Love, why don’t you tell Byakuya about the plans you have for installing a pond out back so you can go skating with him? This winter is probably too late, but it should definitely be ready by the next…” 

Yukio’s eyes lit up, but he didn’t move from his place cuddled into Byakuya’s side. “Oh, yes, master is letting me take a half acre to make it into a pond! Of course, to keep it healthy in the spring we’ll have to have fish and the right kind of vegetation and aeration so it doesn’t get overgrown with algae. So I was thinking of having carp to keep it clean, and maybe some other native species to balance the ecosystem, because they’ll survive the harsh winters here. But in the winter, when it’s frozen, I was going to invite you to come ice skating with me, if you would want to,” Yukio rambled. 

Honestly, Byakuya was glad for the distraction, and he was well aware that was the purpose of the comment. Neither of them lacked the perception to realize that his attitude and expression had changed between going into the store and coming out. “I would love to, Yukio. With how Renji loathes the cold, I don’t have anyone to go skating with, though I really do like to. It’s been years since I’ve done it, though,” Byakuya replied. He lifted his arm to allow Yukio closer and bent to kiss his fine blonde hair. “Thank you, Yukio,” he murmured, knowing Yukio would understand his meaning. 

“I’m glad I could help,” Yukio responded, his voice just as low. It felt fantastic to be able to affect Byakuya in such a positive way. Yukio had only ever had his master, and while he was grateful for him and always happy to help him in any way he could, the fact that Byakuya valued his presence was special to him. No one else, not even Renji, ever needed him this way, and it only encouraged him to relax into Byakuya’s side and take his hand again, resting their joined hands on Byakuya’s knee. 

As conversation again fell silent, Byakuya’s thoughts were pushed back to what had happened at the gas station. He could have never predicted that he would ever see Shukuro again. He had put the meetings with the Tsukishimas in his sister’s hands since the breakup, otherwise he would have been forced to interact with him occasionally, and that would have done nothing but keep Byakuya in a revolving door of negative emotions. 

But, while he had expected a reminder of the deep wound the man had inflicted on him upon seeing him, he had nothing in his heart but anger. Pure, unmistakable anger. The pain had long been resolved, leaving him in a state to clearly understand that what Shukuro had done was unforgivable, something that should never be done to another human being. If they hadn’t been in a public place, he knew he would have raised his voice and possibly been far too tempted to physically harm him. So, he supposed it was fortunate that they were in public. He didn’t figure Renji would have appreciated having to pry him off of Shukuro’s body as he assaulted him. The thought caused him to smile a bit, though, as violent as it was. The man certainly deserved it. He was glad that he would probably have a nice bruise on his wrist where Renji had grabbed him. Byakuya had never hated someone so much in his life.

But he had to remember what had happened after Shukuro had left him. Renji had saved him, quite literally. If it wasn’t for Shukuro’s complete lack of human decency, Byakuya would have likely never realized just how much Renji meant to him, how much he had always been there. Just how perfect he was. He never would have even given him the chance. So, even though he still wanted to strangle or otherwise mutilate Shukuro Tsukishima, he knew things had turned out for the best, and there was no need to hold onto any resentment toward that indecent man. 

And Renji had known just what to do. He hadn’t gotten any more involved than needed, and Byakuya was glad when he had come to his defense when Shukuro had touched him. Byakuya leaned up a bit, supporting Yukio as he did, and reached over the seat in front of him to put his hand on Renji’s shoulder. “Love you, Renji. Thank you,” he said quietly.

Renji immediately took his hand, squeezing it. He knew what Byakuya was thanking him for. He also didn't want to bring any more attention to it. He remembered Toshiro's reaction all too well from the first time he'd heard Byakuya's story. And now Renji knew the man's first name - more than enough for a pair like Toshiro and Yukio to track him down. 

He honestly didn't know which would be worse. 

Toshiro would likely cause him to be blacklisted, unable to continue doing business around the area, and Yukio would misplace most of his company's finances - he'd never seen someone better with technology and hacking. He knew Toshiro had Yukio attempt to hack his own company all the time just to improve security. He was amazing at it, never left a trace, and worst of all he just thought it was fun. That if someone didn't want to be hacked they should have better security. 

Yukio would likely ask Toshiro for permission first but with how angry Toshiro was… He'd likely let him. And while amusing, he really just wanted the man to disappear completely from their lives. And completely ruining his life would only focus a man as clearly full of himself as Shukuro appeared to be. 

"Love you," Renji responded, not elaborating any further. He hoped Byakuya understood why. Toshiro's brilliant teal eyes flickered over to him occasionally, clearly concerned but trying to respect what Renji had said and not prying. But Renji also understood exactly how protective he was of Byakuya and wouldn't remain quiet if he thought Byakuya was stressed about something. "How are you feeling about tonight, Bya? We'll be there in about… ten minutes? I know clubs aren't really your thing - and I apologize in advance for anything Shuhei says or does," Renji commented with a chuckle. 

Byakuya slid his hand out from under Renji’s and sat back in his seat, allowing Yukio to get comfortable again. “I’m actually very much looking forward to it. I think I can handle Shuhei, though he does seem to be quite a handful. I can’t remember the last time I actually got out and had fun other than going to Toshiro and Yukio’s, so this will be a good change of pace,” Byakuya replied. A genuine smile curved his lips as he spoke. He wasn’t lying or trying to cover up his tension anymore. With a few minutes removed from the situation, he had talked himself down from that, with Renji and Yukio’s help. 

Renji smiled, "It's been a long time since I've been here - really only went a couple times with Shu when he first moved up. But it's a pretty chill place, everyone is really accepting - of everything. There's even a Domme that works in the back, away from the dance floor. I wouldn't be surprised if Shu does a scene with her, he usually does - he's such an exhibitionist. And with Yukio’s voyeurism kink, I'm sure we'll probably just hang out there at a table for a while, talking and drinking. Actually… Yukio, do you drink? I know Toshiro doesn't… I just realized I've never seen you drunk before…"

Toshiro chuckled, "Yes, Yukio drinks. I don't because I don't like the feeling and owning a vineyard kind of takes away the appeal of casual drinking. Yukio just gets more cuddly and adorable when he's drunk, if you can imagine that."

Renji grinned, "More? That's possible?" 

Toshiro gave a nod, though he was clearly smiling with affection as he talked about his partner. 

Yukio looked to his master from where he was settled under Byakuya’s arm. “I don’t know what you mean, master,” he teased. Of course, he was well aware that he was stuck to his master’s side, even more so than usual, every time he drank, but everyone else didn’t need to know that. Still, he knew his master loved it, and he was never patronizing about it. 

“It’s been a very long time, probably since college, that I was actually drunk , so we’ll see how it goes for me,” Byakuya commented. Though, he wasn’t counting the times when he was drunk as a result of a breakup, something only Renji would know about. Those nights usually ended in yelling, a few tears, and him eventually being carried to bed. Social drinking was very much a different situation. 

Renji very tactfully didn't say anything about the many times he'd seen Byakuya rather painfully drunk. He was severely hoping that under happy circumstances, Byakuya would remain happy as well. Honestly, after so many terrible nights, seeing him a bit drunk and remaining happy would be a very welcome sight. And, honestly, just another marker for how different his life was now, how far he had come, how much in a better place he was. Renji was truthfully looking forward to it. Still, he was going to watch over him. He always did. 

"I'll look after you both," Toshiro said with a calm smile, "Tonight you shouldn't need to worry at all, Byakuya. This is your bachelor party after all. And Yukio, I want you always with either myself, Byakuya, or Renji while we're at this club. I'm sure that's what you want as well but I'm making it an order. I don't want you separated from at least one of us, for any reason. I don't want you becoming anxious at all - especially if you're drinking. I won't let you drop, love." Toshiro was all too aware that Yukio was constantly in a light subspace because of his 24/7 TPE role. The potential for him to feel abandoned was higher as a result - especially in these circumstances. 

“I know, master. I feel much more comfortable going into this with three people I can trust. I know you’d take care of me, even if it was just the two of us, but I’d have to admit that I would be anxious that I would lose sight of you if I only had you there, master,” Yukio replied. He smiled fondly in his master’s direction, though he was focused on their route. They had almost arrived, so the directions on his phone had his full visual focus when he looked away from the road.

“Thank you, Toshiro. I know Renji will take care of me, too, but I don’t want him being forced to worry with me if he wants to spend time with Shuhei,” Byakuya said. He knew it had been a while since Renji had seen Shuhei, and though he was aware that Renji wouldn’t want him out of his sight, he also didn’t want him to feel responsible for him. 

Renji chuckled a bit, "I'm pretty sure that's as impossible for me as it is for Toshiro concerning Yukio. I do miss Shu, but you are always my focus, Bya." Renji turned in his seat, giving Byakuya a soft smile, before his dark eyes darted to the side and he pointed, "There Toshiro! It's not marked, just has that gargoyle above the entrance. It's a bit of a joke I think, 'only those that know where it is can find it' kind of thing. It actually does keep most vanilla people from just wandering in without knowing what they're walking into. Well - that and the cover," Renji concluded with a laugh. 

Toshiro parked in the lot across the street, teal eyes flickering to Renji as he asked, "Are we to meet your friends inside?" 

"Yeah, Shu and Tensa are already in there - they texted me, said they have a table for us. There's also a coat check, so no need to freeze on the way in." Renji grinned to the two submissives still cuddled together in the back seat. "You two ready to have some fun tonight?" 

“Of course, Renji. As excited as you’ve been about it all week, I can’t help but look forward to this,” Byakuya replied. When he looked down to Yukio, the brightness in his emerald eyes told him that he was also quite excited. “Alright, come on, then,” Byakuya added, opening the door to the frigid evening air and grabbing both his and Yukio’s coats on the way out. He shrugged into his black wool peacoat before helping Yukio into his almost identical one. Really the only difference was that Yukio’s was double breasted and had eye-catching gold buttons. 

“You don’t have to do that, Byakuya,” Yukio commented as he rolled his shoulders to adjust his coat. Byakuya only shook his head. Of course, he knew Yukio was an adult that could put on his own coat, but the appreciation in his eyes as he tried to complain was well worth it.

Toshiro wrapped his arms around him from behind, tilting his face up to kiss his lips. He smiled softly at him as he withdrew, kissing Byakuya on the cheek as he said, "Thank you, Byakuya." He took Yukio’s other hand, leaving the hand closest to Byakuya free for him to take.

During the exchange Renji had taken Byakuya's other arm, kissing his cheek nearly the same time that Toshiro had kissed the other side. It wasn’t intentional at all and Renji nearly laughed at Byakuya's reaction. His blush was adorable and he was completely unable to stop the wide smile that spread across his face.

Yukio wasn’t quite so tactful, giggling a bit as Byakuya flushed at their actions and taking Byakuya’s hand. “We all love you, Byakuya. You’ll just have to learn to deal with it,” he teased. 

Byakuya chuckled and squeezed Yukio’s hand. “Sometimes it’s still unexpected,” he admitted. He turned to Renji, returning the kiss to his cheek before leaning around Yukio to do the same to Toshiro. “I love you all, too,” he said, the smile never leaving his face.

Toshiro flushed as well, but his smile remained. He couldn't help the rush of heat that flowed through him whenever Byakuya was affectionate towards him. He squeezed Yukio’s hand a bit, letting his presence keep him grounded. 

Renji did laugh lightly at that - Toshiro was ridiculously gorgeous and when he blushed it gave him an adorable softness that the man usually didn't have. It was something he'd only really seen his Bya able to bring out in the other man that was usually so controlled and cold to everyone that wasn't Yukio. 

"Come on then, let's not freeze," Renji said, leading the way across the street. He opened the door beneath the gargoyle statue and proceeded into the otherwise unmarked club. Inside they encountered a hall with a cashier at the end, managing the cover, ID check, and the coat check. They were very serious about the 21+ age restriction, something Renji was very grateful for. 

Toshiro handled the payment for the covers and checked in their coats as each cleared the ID check, gaining a stamp across the back of their hands for doing so. Renji led them further in afterwards, the industrial music greeting them before the hall opened into the main club. 

Byakuya couldn’t stop his eyes from trying to investigate everything at once, from the stage at the front to the almost blinding accent lighting spread around the room. It was fairly dimly lit, but well enough that he could easily see. It was the music and the noise that he knew he would have to get used to. For now, he would rely on Renji to navigate the tables and the crowd to at least get him settled in a seat that he wouldn’t have to leave if he didn’t want to. He subconsciously tightened his hold on Renji’s hand and pulled Yukio a bit closer to him - not for Yukio’s sake, but for his own. 

Yukio certainly didn’t mind Byakuya urging him closer. He had done the same to his master as soon as they had crossed into the room. It was a bit overwhelming, but with the three people he trusted most with him, he was confident that he could handle it. He shifted his hand in his master’s to fold their fingers together, holding a bit tighter as Renji led them through to where they would be meeting Shuhei and Tensa - yet another thing that had Yukio’s heart beating a bit faster. If Renji trusted them, he was sure he had nothing to worry about, but new social situations never ceased to unnerve him.

The club had opened just twenty minutes ago and Renji was glad it wasn't overly crowded. There were a couple groups dancing but it was easy to guide the others to the back. Renji snatched a paper flyer drink menu from the bar as they passed it, knowing Yukio would likely rather look at it at the table. 

Shuhei’s black, spiky hair and fishnet shirt were easy to spot in the back room, sitting with a rather elegant looking Tensa. Renji always found himself surprised that Shu's partner was rather petite, a few inches shorter than Byakuya while Shuhei was Toshiro's height - surprised because he had no problem with making Shuhei submit to him with a severe look and a handful of words. Tensa and Shuhei seemed to be polar opposites but that was partially what made them work so well - they balanced each other. 

They were seated with two of the rather small, round tables pushed together, four empty wooden chairs left positioned around, angled to face the back. The Domme would likely start in another ten minutes or so. She wasn't present at the moment but all of her equipment was on display - ribbon, rope, crops, switches, cuffs, collars, leashes, several burning candles - and that was just what was currently visible. 

Shuhei waved at them, a wide smile upon his face. Tensa merely nodded to Renji, watching the rest cautiously with piercingly blue eyes, his long, wavy black hair framing his rather feminine face. Underestimating him was a mistake though - as submissive and delicate as his features suggested (not unlike Yukio), Tensa was as much of a switch as Shuhei was, with such a deep, commanding voice that Renji had a difficult time not simply complying to the man. Both roles were effortless to him, making him an ideal partner to a bratty switch like Shuhei. 

"Hey, Shu, Tensa, this is Toshiro, Yukio, and my fiance, Byakuya," Renji introduced, kissing Byakuya's hair as he said the last introduction. Byakuya and Toshiro had chosen to wear more formal clothes - black slacks and button-down shirts, although Toshiro's wasn't fully buttoned, open to mid chest for Yukio's benefit, not that anyone minded seeing more of his sculpted body and smooth skin. 

Yukio was in a rather tight black tank and black cargo pants that hung low on his hips. When he lifted his arms at all, the skin at his hips showed and Renji noted that was likely on purpose because Toshiro had a difficult time not touching him there, Yukio half smirking/half grinning each time he did so. Renji was in black skinny jeans and button-down shirt. It'd likely be open by the end of the night if anyone dragged him to dance so he'd worn something he could unbutton on purpose. 

Shuhei wore the fishnet shirt he usually wore out to this club, with skin-tight leather pants. Tensa was dressed as formally as Byakuya, the material of his black dress shirt looking smooth, however - like it was satin. Wearing so much black, it just made those startlingly blue eyes all the more piercing. They both had matching black leather collars, though Renji was amused that only Shuhei had a leash - and that Tensa had looped the end of it over his slim wrist. 

Byakuya’s eyes found Shuhei first, and he realized he did vaguely recognize him. He had greeted him on occasion when he had lived with Renji. But almost immediately he found that his gaze was following the leash that connected him to Tensa, whose severe blue eyes were boring into him rather harshly. “It’s good to see you in a more social setting, Shuhei. I believe our previous meetings have left a lot to be desired. And it’s a pleasure to meet you, Tensa,” Byakuya greeted them, trying to lighten the tension in Tensa’s expression. He seemed wary, much like Toshiro had been when Byakuya met Yukio, and Byakuya wanted to prove himself unworthy of such scrutiny as quickly as he could.

“Yeah, like a wave and a hello from a hundred feet away really even qualifies as meeting each other,” Shuhei said with a laugh. 

Tensa actually stood, offering his hand, his deep voice like liquid velvet as he said, “It’s a pleasure to meet you as well, Byakuya. I am glad to see Renji happy. Shuhei hasn’t stopped gushing over your relationship since Renji informed him, not that he’d admit that,” he added with a very small twitch of his lips, his eyes still severe and piercing as Byakuya took his hand. He seemed to notice everything as his gaze swept over Byakuya. His tone became a bit more sultry as he stated, “Shuhei failed to mention how gorgeous you were, however.” And instead of shaking the now acquired hand, Tensa smoothly brought the back of it to his lips, kissing it once gently, those stunning blue eyes seeming to hold Byakuya captive as he did so.

Byakuya felt heat creeping to his cheeks at the action. He wanted to pull his hand away, pull his eyes away, something to keep from already being so flustered by a man he had just met. But he was frozen, enraptured by Tensa’s voice and the stark contrast of his bright azure eyes. A laugh from Shuhei broke his focus, though, and he looked down to the man who was still sitting.

“Damn, Byakuya, you’re adorable when you blush. Tensa tends to have that effect on people. Hell, he’s still got that effect on me when I feel like letting him,” Shuhei teased with a suggestive wink. 

Tensa released Byakuya, frowning a bit at his partner. He tugged on the leash just enough to pull Shuhei to standing, as he said, “The least you can do is introduce yourself properly after being the one to insist on them coming here. Honestly, after all that training, still you have no manners.”

Shuhei wrapped an arm around Tensa’s waist, nearing his mouth to his ear as he whispered, “You can punish me later.” He then turned to the others. “Thank you for coming, Byakuya. It’s good to see you and Renji so happy together. And it’s good to meet you, Toshiro, Yukio,” he greeted them as he shook each of their hands. 

Yukio shook Shuhei’s hand, but instantly returned his grasp to Byakuya’s hand when he was released. He only nodded a greeting to Shuhei rather than speaking, though, still very much on edge. He knew Shuhei was outspoken, based on what Renji and Byakuya had told him, but until he personally felt out the other man’s personality, he was hesitant. Tensa was very much easier to read. He was obviously confident and very much composed, much less likely to allow his words to spill without careful consideration, much like his master. 

Toshiro simply said, “Likewise,” as he shook Shuhei’s hand, holding his out to Tensa in turn. Tensa accepted but froze as Toshiro did to him as he had done to Byakuya, kissing the back of his hand, a light blush dusting his cheeks as Toshiro said with a grin, “Renji also failed to inform us how gorgeous Shuhei’s partner was.”

Tensa tore his eyes away from gorgeous teal eyes to sweep over Toshiro’s equally gorgeous body, his voice far more quiet and submissive as he answered, “Did he mention that Shuhei and I both switch?”

“No,” Toshiro said with a smirk, “That is interesting though. Unfortunately I’m rather selective with who I play with - I need to know and trust someone extremely well before doing so.”

Tensa lowered his eyes a bit, “That is unfortunate… Though I completely understand. Hopefully… we can all get to know and trust each other better. And, this is your partner?” Tensa asked. He hadn’t withdrawn his hand, the switch from dominant to submissive a perfect transition. His voice was still that deep baritone but it had completely lost the commanding edge.

“Yes,” Toshiro said with a soft smile, “this is my Yukio. Go on love, you can introduce yourself if you want,” Toshiro said to his submissive, letting go of Tensa’s hand after pulling it between Yukio and Tensa, Tensa holding it there via a silent order. Honestly, Tensa’s personality was a good match for them, and he really was a perfect switch, the way he responded to Toshiro and the way he had handled Shuhei and spoke to Byakuya. Toshiro found himself a bit taken with the man. Perhaps he was right, if they actually kept in touch, maybe he could come to trust him enough with himself and his Yukio. And Shuhei had to be Renji’s best friend for a good reason, so perhaps he’d get to know him as well. Although, Shuhei seemed a bit too free-spirited for him. Still, he’d give them both a chance. 

Yukio was quite stunned by the instant change in Tensa’s demeanor when faced with a solidly dominant personality. He hadn’t met many switches, and never one who could so flawlessly embody both sides. He shook Tensa’s outstretched hand, but still couldn’t seem to find his voice. When he met Tensa’s eyes, though, he completely understood both Byakuya and his master’s reactions to him. He really was stunning, but Yukio’s nerves got the best of him and he found himself looking back up to his master.

Before Toshiro could even say anything though, Tensa’s demeanor changed again, finding himself needing to reassure such an obviously delicate submissive. He actually smiled at him, his expression softening as he did so, lightly running his thumb across the back of Yukio’s hand. “You don’t need to worry about saying anything, I understand. You’re very sweet, aren’t you? I’m very glad to meet such a good, well-behaved, and beautiful man. It’s obvious that your master is proud of you, and why. I would feel honored to get to know you as well, but don’t feel like you need to force yourself. You’re perfect, just as you are.” 

Yukio’s hand tightened around Tensa’s as he spoke, and his attention was claimed again at the softness of his voice. This man continued to amaze him, effortlessly reading the situation and knowing how to react. It was clear that none of it was an act - Tensa was genuinely just intuitive and naturally able to communicate effectively with anyone. “Thank you,” were the only words Yukio could seem to summon, and even then he was unsure whether they were audible in the growing noise. 

Tensa’s smile grew slightly in encouragement, squeezing their joined hands as he gently praised, “Such a good boy.” He turned piercing blue eyes to Toshiro, asking, “He usually sits in your lap, doesn’t he? You can do so here, no one will remark on it other than how good you look together.” His eyes fell to his partially open shirt, “and I’m betting that’s for him too. You clearly take good care of him, it’s very reassuring to see. 

“There aren’t many that choose to live as a 24/7 TPE submissive, but the role so obviously fits him and I’m very glad to see him so well loved and respected. I’m a known protector in our local community around here - I help submissives like Yukio find good partners. Much like Renji did for him, if I understand what happened correctly. I would never hurt him, you have my word. I’d like to sit next to you both - I was serious about wanting to know you both better. Renji,” Tensa said with a quick smirk, handing him Shuhei’s leash, “keep him in line for me.”

Renji grinned, “I suppose I can do that.”

Shuhei threw Renji a smirk. “You can try. Just like old times, huh? I bet you’ve gotten spoiled with Byakuya. I wouldn’t mind having such a gorgeous submissive in my hands for a while,” he said, his eyes tracing Byakuya’s body for a moment before he dropped back into his seat, his collar catching a bit. He pulled against it, urging Renji to come take Tensa’s now vacant chair next to him. 

Renji glanced over, noting that Toshiro had indeed taken Yukio into his lap and Tensa was sitting next to them in the seat left open by Yukio not using it. Byakuya, still holding Yukio’s hand, had sat himself on their other side. There were two chairs left, the one Tensa had vacated and the one next to Byakuya. Renji grinned, tugging on the leash, “You’re crazy if you think I’m not sitting next to my fiance. You bring your chair over here, unless you want a very sore neck,” Renji commanded, though his tone had a teasing quality to it. Even so, he sat next to Byakuya and barely managed not to laugh as Shuhei was tugged rather harshly towards that side of the table via the relatively short length of the leash.

Shuhei obeyed, a bit begrudgingly. Not because he wanted Renji and Byakuya separated at the table, but really just by habit. Tensa knew that handing the leash over to Renji would bring out his more bratty side, and he had half a mind to think he was using his interest in Toshiro and Yukio to watch it play out. When he was settled in his chair, he nudged Renji’s side with his elbow. “You’re gonna have way too much fun with this, aren’t you?” he shot playfully.

Renji grinned, “I have no idea what you mean. Tensa asked me to keep you in line - that’s all I intend to do.”

Shuhei rolled his eyes and chuckled, knowing full well that Renji enjoyed subduing him. 

Byakuya chuckled a bit at their banter. It was fairly obvious that Shuhei was just a rambunctious version of Yukio in that he enjoyed being made to submit. He took Renji’s free hand, glad the seating arrangement had kept both him and Yukio a bit guarded from the other patrons. Not that Byakuya was as nervous in social situations as Yukio, but he had his fair share of anxiety. He found himself rather comfortable already with Shuhei and Tensa, though, especially after seeing how Tensa had treated Yukio. 

The Domme arrived, walking to her area at the back of the room. She was very petite, maybe even an inch shorter than Yukio, but she had a level of unshakable confidence that made her height the last thing one noticed about her. Her long, black hair was caged in two low pigtails that were wrapped in white ribbon down her back, the rest of her hair cut short and flared out just below her ears. She wore a loose, black, sleeveless shirt, the back only connected by a simple golden chain. Her pants were loose as well but split from the ankle to her hip, her skin flashing with each movement. 

Her build was clearly athletic and, though small, the strength in her body was readily apparent and none doubted that she could subdue nearly anyone, regardless if they wanted her to or not. But she had several that wanted her to - most of them girls, actually. But the first in line was a very large man. She smirked at the sight of him, “Omaeda, first again I see?”

“Every night on your nights, Mistress Soifon.”

“And what can I do for you?” She all but purred. It was amazing how clearly she was heard, even if the music wasn’t as loud in this back room. She was clearly very comfortable in her position and very experienced, focused only on the man in front of her, otherwise ignoring the crowd. 

The man - Omaeda, apparently - whispered something to her and her smirk only grew as she nodded. She took his hand, leading him to sit in a chair in the middle of all her equipment before grabbing a long piece of soft, black fabric, too broad to be a proper ribbon and too narrow to be a scarf.

She completely ignored the audience as she unbuttoned his shirt herself, running the fabric over his skin and eventually securing it over his eyes. 

Tensa wasn’t watching the stage though, he was still smiling gently as he watched Yukio on Toshiro's lap. Clearly he hadn’t been to something like this before and his reactions were endearing. Blue eyes flickered over to Byakuya and his smile grew a bit. Obviously neither of them had, though Byakuya was more subtle with his fascination. 

Yukio remained cuddled into his master’s chest, but wide emerald eyes were focused completely on the pair on stage. He tried not to tense up, but it was difficult to stay calm with how strong of a voyeurism kink he had. Though what was happening on stage wasn’t overtly sexual, it was obvious that the man was gleaning quite a bit of pleasure from it. The confidence in the Domme’s every move had him watching her just as raptly. 

Byakuya merely found himself highly curious, having never witnessed something like this before. He certainly wouldn’t be one to volunteer for such a public display, but it seemed that those who were waiting for the woman’s attention very much enjoyed it, and enjoyed watching her work. And Byakuya wasn’t blind - she was beautifully confident. Even her voice captured the attention of most everyone in the room, and Byakuya was no exception. He found himself watching without even really intending to, eyes following the petite woman on stage.

Shuhei couldn’t keep his eyes off of Byakuya for long, smiling at how intently he was studying the experienced Domme on stage. He really hadn’t remembered just how attractive Byakuya was. In fact, he was unsure if he had ever even seen him this close. But he knew the light in his steel gray eyes wasn’t something he would have seen before. Renji really had achieved what he had always strived for - Byakuya’s happiness.

Renji placed the paper menu in front of Yukio and Byakuya, saying, “Shu and I can go get everyone drinks if you tell me what you want. They have all the usual drinks, of course, but these are their house specialties.” He pointed at each one, saying, “This first one is really sour, this one fruity, this one chocolate, and the last is pretty spicy.”

“Chocolate for Yukio,” Toshiro said immediately, kissing his soft blonde hair, “Right, love?”

Yukio’s attention was abruptly wrenched from the stage, and he glanced down to the menu between him and Byakuya. “Yes, master, of course,” he replied before even reading it. He had only vaguely been listening until his master had spoken, but he heard ‘chocolate,’ so it should be fine.

Byakuya read each option, finding the last one interesting. It wasn’t often that he actually found spicy drinks, but when he did he insisted on trying them. “That last one for me. Thank you, Renji,” he said as he pointed to it on the menu. 

Renji nodded, getting up and tugging Shuhei’s leash as he said, “Come on, you’re helping me carry all that.”

The two left, Shuhei teasingly complaining the entire time, and returned about ten minutes later. Two girls were being bound together on stage now - both wearing little more than their bras and short skirts. One was very petite, even an inch shorter than Mistress Soifon, with a very adorable body and strikingly violet eyes with short, raven black hair. The girl she was being tied to - her partner if the way they looked at each and occasionally kissed was any indication - was almost her polar opposite. She had long, wavy strawberry blonde hair, warm honey brown eyes, and was extremely curvy. She was a bit short herself but still several inches taller than her partner. Renji didn’t focus on them much other than note that they were both gorgeous in their own, very different ways, placing the drinks he was carrying at the table. He noticed Byakuya seemed a bit more focused on the scene than he’d expected though, as he hadn’t even glanced up at his return. Renji touched his shoulder, commenting as he sat down, “We’re back, Bya. Enjoying the show?”

Byakuya’s eyes were wide, and his face was burning. He knew he had to be an absolutely mortifying shade of red. That girl… how had he not recognized her when he had scanned the people in line? Though, he had to admit she was usually dressed professionally when he saw her during company visits and meetings. He had never imagined his sister would be wearing a mesh crop top clearly designed to show the lacey red bra underneath and an embarrassingly short red and black plaid skirt. He cleared his throat before looking over to Renji. “Yes, it’s… good entertainment,” he muttered. Honestly, everything up to the moment he had recognized Rukia seemed to have fled his mind. He could only hope she didn’t see him there.

Renji took his hand, a bit concerned. He leaned in, whispering in his ear, “Something wrong, Bya? You seemed fine until I left… I’m sorry if you didn’t want me to, I won’t leave your side again if you want. You’re the entire reason I’m here Bya.” He was very confused on what was wrong. He doubted the fact that there were two women on stage had upset him so he could only think it had to be because he’d left with Shuhei for the drinks. But he’d thought he had wanted to remain with Yukio.

“No, no, Renji it wasn’t that,” Byakuya insisted. He had to come up with some excuse quickly if Renji was going to believe it. He glanced back up to the stage for only a moment before replying, “Those two women being bound together… it reminded me of when Yukio was bound to me.” He was glad he had made such a vague connection so promptly, but still his heart was pounding as he fought to keep his eyes from his sister.

Renji didn’t really know why that would cause him to seem upset but perhaps he was just reading him wrong? He definitely looked flustered. “You know that Yukio really enjoyed that - especially giving you pleasure. I’m certain he wants to do more scenes with you… The way you're so flustered, I’m not sure if it’s because you want to do more with him or… You’re not embarrassed, are you?” Renji was purposefully keeping his voice as low as possible, not wanting Yukio to hear them. He was likely caught up in watching the scene but he also regularly seemed like he wasn’t paying attention when he was and he didn’t want him to think Byakuya didn’t want to play with him - he was sure that wasn’t what was actually going on but he was really confused.

Byakuya was becoming increasingly frustrated with Renji’s speculation. “No, I’m not embarrassed about that, and I’d love to do more with Yukio. You know that. I love Yukio. It’s just… I’ll tell you after we leave, maybe. I might wait until we get home. Let’s not make a big deal out of it,” he whispered. He was quickly losing his composure, but he was absolutely determined to not reveal his sister’s identity until they were at least out of the club.

Renji nodded, backing down immediately, trusting that Byakuya really would talk with him outside of this context. “Well, here’s your drink,” he said, tilting his face towards him and kissing him. “Sorry,” he said, looking into his steel gray eyes, “I can’t help but be concerned is all. I’ll try to lessen up a bit while we’re here - we can discuss anything that comes up at home. Deal?”

“Of course. I would never keep anything from you, I just don’t want to talk about it here,” Byakuya agreed. He reached for his drink, which was set on the table in front of him, and took a sip. His eyes widened when the pleasant burn touched his tongue and warmed down his throat. “This is very good,” he commented, taking another drink before setting it back down. He would need that, perhaps two of them, if he was going to face his sister on the off-chance she actually found him. At least she wasn’t on stage anymore by this time, and he had no desire to search the room to find her.

After several rounds of drinks and several shots that Shuhei had insisted on taking with Renji, Byakuya, and Yukio (both Tensa and Toshiro abstaining as they were driving), an older man with light blonde hair was receiving light impact play from Mistress Soifon and Renji commented, “I’m really surprised you haven’t requested to go up there yourself, Shu. What are you now, shy?” he asked with a chuckle. 

Shuhei looked up to the stage, watching for a moment before turning back to Renji. “That a challenge? You’ve got the leash. What would you want to see her do to me?” he inquired, smirking a bit. 

Renji pretended to think for a minute, his eyes flickering to both Byakuya and Yukio. Both submissives enjoyed ice play, and it was a fond memory between the four of them. He also knew that Shuhei didn’t particularly enjoy iceplay, which honestly made it the perfect dare. He did enjoy bondage, though, so he’d compromise a bit.

“Alright, I want to see Mistress Soifon tie you up and then do ice play across your chest,” he said with a grin. “Well?”

Shuhei grimaced a bit at that second part. Of course Renji would choose something that he had neutral feelings toward at best. Really, the feeling of the ice made him want to crawl out of his skin if it went on for long enough. But the sessions here weren’t long. Just long enough for Renji to get some entertainment out of it. “Fine,” he agreed. “But you’re taking me up there. Pretty sure Tensa wants me leashed all night,” he added, throwing his partner a playful grin.

Tensa had been having a rather riveting conversation with Toshiro that had very little to do with what was going on in the room. He paused to say, “It’s better for everyone you remain leashed tonight, Shuhei, but I can take you up there myself if Byakuya doesn’t feel like loaning out his fiance tonight to be your escort,” he said with a slight teasing quirk to his lips. 

“Well, Bya?” Renji asked, laughing lightly, “I guess this is your decision.”

Byakuya didn’t really feel that decisions were his strong suit at the moment, after how much alcohol had entered his system. He had already moved his chair closer to Toshiro’s, Yukio spread across both of them, his legs resting over Byakuya’s lap. With their closeness and his drunken lack of care, Byakuya had ended up leaned into Toshiro’s side, one hand lightly moving up and down Yukio’s leg from his knee to his ankle and the other occupied with a drink. “I’m fine, Renji. You go with Shuhei,” he insisted. He really was fine - more than fine, actually. He didn’t remember the last time drunkenness hadn’t been accompanied by deep despair, and it was very much a pleasant change.

Renji lent in, kissing Byakuya deeply, not caring in the least how near Toshiro was with Byakuya leaned against him. It was adorable, honestly, especially with Yukio supported by both. "I'll be back," he said with a smile, "don't you move. Love you."

“Love you, too, my gorgeous fiance,” Byakuya replied, pulling Renji back in by the collar of his shirt for another kiss before he backed out of his reach. 

Renji had a much more difficult time leaving him after Byakuya pulled him into such a deep kiss in public. He was definitely smiling wider than he thought he ever had before. Shuhei tugged on the leash a bit to get his attention and he immediately turned, batting his hand away. "Don't touch your leash Shu, you know better," he reprimanded, although as he was still smiling it didn't have any of the threatening authority he would have preferred. 

"Come on," Renji said, walking towards the line. There weren't many people left, as the Domme only worked for two hours, packing up an hour before the club closed. They stood behind a very gorgeous woman with caramel skin and purple hair. She gestured for them to cut in front of her saying, "Go on, I'm always Soi's last. Oh! Hey 'ya Shu! Didn't recognize Red here so I missed you at first. Where's Tensa?" 

“Yeah, Tensa’s over there,” Shuhei replied, gesturing toward the table they had just left. “Renji, this is Yoruichi. She’s one of Soifon’s very regular patrons. Yoruichi, Renji was my partner before I moved here. He’s just visiting with his fiance for their bachelor party. He’s with the gorgeous man over there, long black hair, all cuddled up with those other two. How do you even stand it, Renij? He’s just adorable,” he said, trying to identify Byakuya to Yoruichi.

"No… That's… That can't be Byakuya, right? I haven't seen him in ages. Rukia is going to flip when she realizes he's here!" Yoruichi said with a laugh. "Wait!" she gasped, "How long has he been here?" Her eyes practically gleamed as she waited for the answer. 

Renji was still processing that this woman recognized his fiance, answering a bit automatically, "We've been here since the beginning of Mistress Soifon doing scenes."

Yoruichi burst out in full laughter, even wiping away a tear as she managed out, "Oh this is too perfect, I need to see them both realize - ahahaha!" 

"I don't…" Renji started. The alcohol certainly wasn't helping him keep up with what this woman was suggesting but it was apparent she knew both Byakuya and his sister somehow. 

"Hold on," she said abruptly, "Shu, you said fiance? Since when? Details, Shu - now."

Shuhei held his hands up in a mock surrender. “It was, what, last week? You called Saturday, right, Renji? But they’ve been together for a year now, known each other a lot longer than that,” he explained much of what he knew, because Renji never did give him actual details.

"How do you know Bya?" Renji managed to ask before she quickly spoke over him again. 

"Oh, Bya hu?" Yoruichi asked with a grin. "And I'm an old family friend. I work pretty close with Rukia now. I introduced her and her sweet sub to the scene a couple years back. Never thought I'd see Byakuya here though - he looks so much more… elegant than when he was a teenager, even if he's clearly drunk. Unless he's really mellowed to be that close to those two, admittedly gorgeous men. Seriously, how much hot can possibly be at one table? Please tell me you play together and let people watch? Please?"

To say Renji was overloaded was an understatement, and honestly too drunk to keep up. But he fully caught the last bit, "I'm certain Bya would not be comfortable with that."

"Damn. He really is hot now," Yoruichi said with another chuckle. "And so are both the men he's cuddled up with. I'm sure I've never seen them around - I would have remembered that hair and those eyes. Both of them are stunning."

"Yoru," Soifon's clear voice cut in, "Is this who's left?" 

"Just Shu here, hun," Yoruichi said, immediately focusing on Soifon. 

"Ah, Shuhei. What can I do for you tonight?" 

Shuhei threw a glare at Renji for a moment and considered making a joke of it, but he knew Soifon wouldn’t at all be entertained by such a thing. “I’d like you to tie me up, however you choose, and then perform ice play on my chest,” he replied as he directed his eyes to her, trying to keep the begrudging out of his tone.

Soifon narrowed her dark eyes, "Shuhei, you don't enjoy ice play. Why on Earth would I do that?" 

Shuhei had to chuckle at her response, and he looked over at Renji. “Well, Renji? Why would she do that?” 

“He was being a brat, so you’re helping me punish him a bit. I’ll make it up to him later, I promise. Just go light on the ice play, focus more on tying him up,” Renji said with a wink.

Soifon scowled, “I’m not sure I like this but if Shuhei actually consents to this then I will.”

Shuhei gave her a smile. “Yeah, it’s fine. I wouldn’t be up here if it wasn’t. I know Renji’s got my back. He wouldn’t actually let me suffer,” he assured her.

Soifon nodded. “Leash,” she commanded, holding out her hand to Renji. Renji handed it over, mostly amused. “Come,” she commanded again, lightly tugging Shuhei. She had him stand beneath a bar she had just above the center of her work area. “Stay,” she commanded, gathering soft rope from her work station. “Arms up, clasped together, and kneel,” she commanded, nodding approvingly as Shuhei did so. They’d honestly done this so many times before, she probably didn’t need to issue the orders, but she was aware Shuhei liked to hear them. She efficiently and expertly bound his arms, directing him to stand again and secured him to the bar above by deftly tossing over the rope and knotting it to his collar. “You don’t stand up straight, you’ll constrict your own breath, clear?”

“Yes, Mistress Soifon,” Shuhei replied. He was already in more than a light subspace just from the binding. Bondage was by far one of his strongest triggers, and the light pressure on his neck from the collar certainly wasn’t keeping him at the surface of his consciousness. 

“I’m following your ice play with a massage to warm you back up, and I’m only going to use the ice for 5 seconds - which you will count. You do so and remain being a good boy for me, you’ll get your massage, clear?”

“Yes,” Shuhei said, the word coming out as a light exhale. He wasn’t exactly looking forward to the ice, but in this state it was less concerning than it had been before.

Soifon grabbed a very small ice cube - most had melted by this time - and pressed it against the center of his chest over the fishnet as he began to count. She swiped it across his skin, not stopping at all so that no area got properly cold, avoiding his sensitive nipples but otherwise painting his chest in cold water.

Shuhei flinched a bit at initial contact, but was actually pleased that Soifon was being so gentle with him, knowing this certainly wasn’t something he actually enjoyed. He counted steadily, trying not to speed up just to make the session end faster. “Five,” he finally said, breathing a sigh of relief when Soifon’s cold hand was removed from his chest.

Soifon immediately dropped the ice back into the bucket, grabbing a soft, fluffy towel and thoroughly drying him off. Making sure her own hands were warm again, she began to massage out the tense muscles in his chest. He’d reflexively flexed them during the ice play - something she had known he would do as he didn’t actually enjoy it - and she made sure he was good and relaxed again, sagging a bit into the bind and putting a bit of pressure on his own throat. She grinned, pinching his nipples a bit, reprimanding, “I told you to stand straight.” Although that was hardly a punishment - Shuhei did enjoy pain.

Shuhei groaned quietly at the slight pain, but did as she instructed, straightening his posture and relieving the pressure on his neck. It was honestly a bit difficult to do in his dazed state. Between the massage and the constant sensation of the ropes on his arms, he was legitimately far from anything but what was immediately happening to him.

“Good boy,” Soifon praised with a smile. “Now, stay on your feet while I release you from the bar, then kneel so I can release you fully from the bind. You did very well, Shuhei, and you’re almost done. Then we’ll get you back to your Tensa.”

Shuhei hummed a confirmation at the mention of his partner and put in a bit more effort to stay standing. “Yes, thank you, Mistress Soifon,” he murmured. He was just conscious enough to look in the direction of their table and find Tensa, his smile completely involuntary as he did so.

Tensa had been watching the entire time, grateful that Soifon knew exactly how to care for his Shuhei. She always settled him - the main reason they came every night she was working. She was good and it also fed into Shuhei’s exhibitionism kink. He returned Shuhei’s smile, saying to the others, “I’m going to go collect Shuhei, Soifon will be freeing him now, and he’ll need me. I’ll take him aside for a bit and come find you all again in about twenty minutes or so. He subspaces pretty hard when in public like this, so I’ll need to gently bring him back out of it.”

Toshiro nodded, “That’s perfectly understandable.” He had thoroughly enjoyed speaking with the competent man over the course of the night. It was refreshing, speaking with another that could debate with him a bit and speak deeply about a variety of topics. And he was obviously a very attentive individual, the way he would gently praise Yukio from time to time, the way those blue eyes would often wander to subtly check on his partner, and his words now. It usually took Toshiro a long time to warm up to someone, but Tensa was practically effortless for him to like, being so similar and even tempered.

Yukio had watched the entire scene, not allowing much of anything to distract him other than his master’s voice and Tensa’s occasional words to him. Though the ice play was tame, he thoroughly enjoyed watching Shuhei fall fairly deep into subspace from the bondage. Both activities were enjoyable to him, and he found himself tightening his hold on Byakuya’s hand, which the other had provided without even needing to be asked. 

Even in his inebriated state, Byakuya was very much aware of Yukio’s mood, perhaps even more so somehow. For a reason he couldn’t really understand, Yukio had become much of his focus once Renji had left the table. He watched the scene, fairly affected by it himself, but more often he was looking at Yukio, smiling a bit when he reacted. But when the scene ended and Tensa stood to retrieve Shuhei, Byakuya’s eyes followed. Once Tensa was near the stage, Byakuya found Renji, but his eyes were completely arrested by the woman standing next to him. 

“This is just not my night,” he muttered, not truly meaning for the words to actually exit his mouth.

“What do you mean?” Toshiro asked, turning a bit to kiss the side of his hair. Byakuya was drunk but didn’t seem to be sick at all. His teal eyes followed his line of sight to catch a beautiful woman with caramel skin and purple hair grin and wave towards them.

Byakuya audibly groaned. “Yoruichi Shihoin. She would be at a place like this, waving at me like she expected to see me. And she’s been talking to Renji. The only thing that would be worse was if--” but he cut himself off, almost rambling drunkenly and admitting that his sister had been on stage not long ago. “Never mind,” he added, slumping into Toshiro’s side and sulking. 

Toshiro wrapped an arm tight around him, “It must be a bit shocking, seeing someone you know in this context… It certainly was a shock to me when Renji showed up holding your hand,” he said with a chuckle, kissing his hair again. “She seems nice, at least.”

Byakuya sighed, relaxing into Toshiro’s touch. “She is, I suppose. She teased me a lot when we were both young, but I know it was all in good fun. She’s probably at least… civil by now. I hope,” he replied. At least Rukia hadn’t found them yet. Perhaps he could dodge that bullet, but it seemed unlikely. His eyes scanned the room for a moment, but he knew it was useless to try to find anyone specific with the number of people and the fact that he was quite drunk and unable to focus on anything that was too far away. 

“Well… It’s looking like she’s about to be Mistress Soifon’s last playmate for the night, and Renji is returning now that Tensa has Shuhei. Are you comfortable watching her? Otherwise… I think Yukio here wanted to dance a bit with you before the club closes. If you still feel up to that, love?” Toshiro questioned gently, kissing Yukio’s soft blonde hair.

Yukio snuggled into his master’s chest for a moment before turning to kiss the smooth skin. “Yes, master, I’d still like to do that. Byakuya? Would you dance with me?” he asked. 

Byakuya smiled at the request. “Of course, Yukio. Though, I’ll warn you, I’m very inexperienced, and drunk on top of it,” he admitted with a chuckle. 

Toshiro laughed lightly, “Honestly, Yukio isn’t very coordinated this drunk either, but he can dance. I think he’ll be perfectly happy if you just held him and swayed to the music. And, honestly, I would very much like to hold you, Byakuya.”

Byakuya wished he could blame the heat in his face on the alcohol, but Toshiro’s comment had certainly been the main cause, and being that he was completely sober, he knew Toshiro had noticed. “I believe we’re all very much aware that it’s practically impossible for me to say no to you, Toshiro,” he teased, straightening his posture a bit to kiss Toshiro’s cheek. 

Toshiro smiled, teal eyes heated as he responded, “I love it when you’re good for me, Byakuya, taking direction so well. Renji,” Toshiro greeted as he returned to them, “we’re going to dance. And I’m borrowing Byakuya for at least a few. Are you going to join us?”

Renji was still trying to wrap his brain around the information dump from Yoruichi but at the mention of Byakuya dancing he promptly forgot everything else. “‘Course! There’s no way I’m missing out on that!”

Toshiro stood, setting Yukio carefully on his feet before offering Byakuya his hand. “Shall we?” he asked with a heated smile and playful teal eyes.

Byakuya nodded and took the offered hand, letting Toshiro help him to his feet. He took a moment to let the lightheadedness settle before looking up to Toshiro. “Sorry, it’s been a while since I’ve been this drunk. Kind of forgot what it feels like to actually try to function like this,” he said, laughing at his own unsteadiness. 

Yukio gravitated toward Renji, taking his arm and leaning into him a bit. He realized Byakuya didn’t seem all that different when he was drunk, perhaps his emotions were more pronounced, but really it wasn’t anything he hadn’t seen in him before to a lesser degree. He was actually looking forward to watching his master dance with him. He’d be lying if he said he didn’t enjoy watching the two of them do much of anything together. Byakuya always did make his master happy. 

Renji grinned, carding his fingers through Yukio’s fine blonde hair. “You want to dance with my Bya too, don’t you cutie?”

This drunk, Yukio completely disregarded Renji calling him ‘cutie,’ instead actually answering the question. “Of course. Byakuya’s my best friend. I never actually expected to get along with him so well, but here we are. He really is amazing, Renji. I think if anything ever happened to you, I’d get master to let us keep him. I wouldn’t be able to let him go,” he replied, his eyes still focused on his master and Byakuya. 

Renji fully laughed at that, “I’m glad to know he’d be in such good hands,” he said, kissing the top of Yukio’s hair.

Toshiro smiled at Yukio, giving him a wink before pulling Byakuya gently towards the dance floor. He weaved them slightly into the crowd but made sure they had a pocket of space before spinning Byakuya in his arms, molding his front to Byakuya's back. Toshiro’s hands settled upon his hips, guiding his motion to move with him, his mouth immediately finding and pressing kisses against his neck.

Renji had followed the pair, grinning at Toshiro’s sure motions - his sobriety clearly helping here - and encouraged Yukio to lean into Byakuya’s front. “You mind if I unbutton your shirt a bit, Bya - you know what Yukio wants,” Renji asked with a grin, enjoying the state Toshiro so easily put his fiance in whenever they were together like this.

Byakuya’s face was surely flushed again, and he found it a bit difficult to concentrate between the drunken haze and Toshiro’s hands and mouth on him. He was glad Toshiro was guiding him, though, because if he hadn’t been, he likely would have just been standing there looking like a complete idiot. But he did register Renji’s words, somehow, and looked up to him. “Go ahead,” he replied, still trying to wrap his mind around what exactly was happening.

Renji smiled, unbuttoning Byakuya’s shirt to Yukio’s level so that he had access to the smooth skin of his chest. Yukio immediately took advantage of that, pressing his lips to Byakuya’s chest before resting his head and nuzzling into him. Renji pressed against Yukio’s back, matching his movements. Yukio was very graceful, even drunk, and fell into a natural rhythm with his master. Renji pet down his petite body, caressing his arms, sides, and gripping his slim hips occasionally. 

Toshiro had let his eyes fall closed, thoroughly enjoying the feeling of Byakuya firmly pressed against him. He was certain the man could likely feel how hard he had become against his ass but Toshiro couldn’t find it within himself to care. He already knew how he affected him, how much he wanted him. He just groaned into his neck, his kisses becoming open-mouthed as his tongue played across his skin, careful not to leave any marks but thoroughly enjoying the gorgeous man in his arms, gripping his hips a bit tighter as he ground into him from behind.

Byakuya had to bite his tongue to keep a moan from surfacing at Toshiro’s actions and quite obvious arousal. He placed his hands on Yukio’s waist, holding him to his body quite tightly. He had fallen into a bit of a pattern when Yukio had come to be in front of him, but it was even easier when he was feeling his movements under his hands. It was difficult to stop the fact that this was very much arousing, their three bodies moving in such unison against each other. Byakuya found himself unconsciously moving his hands up and down Yukio’s sides, occasionally running over Renji’s hands in the process. Finally, he took Renji’s right hand in his left, twining their fingers together and resting their joined hands on Yukio’s hip before looking up to his fiance with a smile.

Noting Byakuya’s attention, Renji returned his fiance’s smile, before lifting his left hand to deftly unbutton his own shirt, grinning as Byakuya’s darkening gray eyes watched the slow reveal of his tattooed skin and sculpted muscles. He then allowed his left hand to move back to Yukio’s hip, squeezing for a moment, before traveling up Byakuya’s chest and wrapping around the opposite side of his neck that Toshiro was giving his full attention to. Renji’s fingers twined into the long raven hair, tilting his face slightly, and Renji leaned towards him to kiss him deeply. Yukio was firmly pressed between the two at the action and he half giggled, half moaned as he felt both of their smooth, bare chests against each of his cheeks, his face still tilted to the side.

Renji withdrew as the song changed, allowing both Byakuya and Yukio some space to catch their breath, a bit amused that both were now breathing heavily. Yukio followed his movement though, turning around in Byakuya’s hold. His hands traveled the contours of Renji’s muscles blindly as emerald eyes, half-lidded and slightly glazed, gazed up at him. The smaller man began placing open-mouthed kisses against his bare chest, playing with each nipple he came across with his tongue and teeth. He also hadn’t stopped moving against Byakuya, only now Byakuya had his firm ass to grind into as he himself was continuously ground into, Toshiro’s motion behind him practically forcing his movement. The music was loud but Renji could tell Yukio was falling deeper into subspace and moaning nearly continuously between being able to do what he wanted to Renji’s chest and feeling Byakuya’s own arousal against his ass in a paradody of fucking him. And Byakuya’s gray eyes were so dark with desire they were nearly black, an expression that sent a shiver down his spine.

Byakuya had all but forgotten this was supposed to be dancing, and honestly the rest of the room was beginning to not matter, especially after Renji reached across to kiss him. He couldn’t help but hold Yukio’s hips tighter, pulling him flush against him as Toshiro guided his motions from behind. It seemed to be completely subconscious when he leaned down to bury his face in Yukio’s hair, his breaths ragged as he tried not to look like he was actually trying to fuck Yukio through their clothes. Perhaps it was the alcohol, but Yukio’s body was divine in a way Byakuya hadn’t noticed before. 

Yukio groaned heavily at the feeling of Byakuya pulling him closer, and he was more than willing to let him. He was so lost in being surrounded by Renji’s chest and Byakuya’s body that even his own actions at this point were beyond him. His hands continued to wander Renji’s body while his hips matched the rhythm set by the two behind him. Perhaps it was the alcohol, but he wanted Byakuya. The sensation of his arousal against his ass had heightened his awareness to the tight grip on his hips. Everything Byakuya did to him was traced with overt desire. He had always loved to bring the man pleasure, but he was finally owning up to the fact that he wanted him. 

At the next song change, Tensa and Shuhei managed to find them, Shuhei’s rather loud whistle bringing Byakuya back to his surroundings a bit, causing him to still, darkened steel eyes flickering over to the other two men. Both Toshiro and Yukio groaned as he stopped and he flushed, his eyes catching Renji’s as he stated, firmly, “Water - Renji, I need air and water.”

Renji nodded, pulling Yukio to him so that Byakuya could step away from Toshiro, though it was obvious the man was loath to let him go. Yukio was panting and shaking a bit in his arms and Renji ran a soothing hand through his fine blonde hair. Toshiro came up, wrapping his arms around him, and Yukio immediately turned into him. Toshiro leaned down, his darkened teal eyes flickering to Tensa and Shuhei, asking, “Do you want to keep dancing, love, or take a break? The club will only be open for a little while longer and I know we don’t get to do this often.”

Yukio shook his head, leaning into his master’s chest and taking deep breaths. “I need to sit down, master,” he replied, his voice a bit strained. He blinked heavily several times, trying to clear the drunkenness and the rather unexpected subspace he had fallen into. It actually wasn’t a pleasant combination, and he needed a moment to really collect himself again.

Toshiro immediately lifted Yukio, his legs winding out of habit around his waist, his body leaning fully against his chest. He supported him with one arm, the other petting down his fine blonde hair and back. “I’ve got you, love,” he said into his ear, “Let me know if you feel sick at all.” He said more loudly to Renji, “I’m going to return to our table, sit with him. Can you bring us both water?”

Tensa immediately touched his shoulder, saying, “Shuhei and I’ll get the water, you should all go back and sit down.”

Toshiro nodded, making his way back to the back room, murmuring to Yukio how well he had done, how sexy he looked, and how much fun he’d had. Renji placed his arm around Byakuya’s lower back, guiding him as he followed Toshiro’s path through the crowd. They found their same seats at the table although Toshiro kept Yukio seated the same way on his lap as he had carried him, continuing to speak softly into his ear as he slowly surfaced out of the rather deep subspace he’d fallen into. 

Yukio finally fully relaxed, his breathing leveling and his head not swimming quite so painfully. Still, he didn’t try to move. He pressed his cheek a bit more firmly into his master’s chest, grounding himself before even looking up to him. “Thank you, master. Love you,” he murmured.

“Love you, such a good, sweet boy, Yukio. Love you so much,” Toshiro responded, kissing his upturned face and smiling as he settled against him again. His eyes flickered to the water that was placed on the table in front of him, nodding to Tensa in appreciation, the other returning a kind smile before taking the chair next to them. 

Toshiro grasped one of the glasses, placing the straw next to Yukio’s mouth, saying, “Drink, love. Go slow.”

Tensa reached out to card his fingers through Yukio’s hair a bit, brushing the longer strands in the front out of the way. “How’s he doing?” he asked in that deep, calm voice.

“He’s mostly himself again, he’s just relaxed now. Thank you, for the water, and for keeping an eye on us all night. You didn’t have to but I want you to know that I appreciate it.”

“I was telling the truth before,” Tensa responded, continuing to pet Yukio’s hair when he leaned into the touch, “I really do want to get to know you both. I don’t often meet people that share my temperament the way you do, Toshiro, and Yukio is a joy. You can’t help but want to take care of him.”

Toshiro nodded, smiling softly, “That’s exactly what I thought the first time I met him. That I had to take care of him. I was so relieved the day he agreed to let me.” He kissed the fine blonde hair, near Tensa’s fingers, Tensa’s smallest finger brushing his cheek as he did so. Toshiro’s teal eyes met Tensa’s piercing blue and he smiled a bit, purposefully nuzzling into both Yukio’s hair and the side of Tensa’s hand. Tensa’s expression softened a bit more, returning the smile.

Byakuya was sipping his water, which was thankfully helping quench both his thirst and the fire that seemed to have gathered in his core. He watched Yukio melting into the attention from his place leaned into Renji’s side. After an entire glass of water, he was finally cooled down enough to actually focus on the room again. But just as he was beginning to relax, a very familiar voice came from behind him.


He immediately whipped around, a very poor decision when his head was still swimming with intoxication. He closed his eyes for a moment to clear the feeling before opening them to find Rukia. He almost couldn’t stand to look at her for long, what with how scantily clad she was, but he forced himself to focus on her face instead of staring disapprovingly at her clothing.

“Rukia… it’s good to see you,” he said, completely giving up on even trying to be defensive. They were both there, obviously being open about their chosen lifestyles, so he figured he may as well let his sister in a bit, as much as he had always cut himself off from her before. 

“I really thought Yoruichi was lying when she said you were here. I couldn’t find you for a while,” she replied. Her bright violet eyes flicked to Renji, and she finally took in the position they were in. Yoruichi had mentioned he was there with someone, but she didn’t realize she meant he was with someone.

“Rukia, this is Renji, my fiance. Renji, this is my sister, Rukia. I don’t believe you’ve ever met,” Byakuya introduced them, somewhat amused when Rukia’s eyes widened. She finished approaching the two of them, having been standing back a bit from the table.

“Your fiance? You never even told me you were seeing someone. After what happened… never mind, I know you don’t want to talk about that. I just thought…” she trailed off, still trying to wrap her mind around it all. “It’s good to meet you, Renji. I’m actually really glad to see my brother here, and happy,” she averted her train of thought, holding her hand out to greet Renji.

Renji immediately took the offered hand, far less off balance than he would have been after the information dump from Yoruichi earlier. “It’s really good to finally meet you, Rukia.” Renji grinned, “I’m also glad that our relationship isn’t going to take any real explaining, after what Yoruichi said earlier. Where’s your beautiful sub?”

Rukia giggled, looking back in a vague direction. “She’s with a couple of our friends. She basically can’t stand up when she gets as drunk as she is right now,” she explained. She pulled her hand from Renji’s grasp and leaned on the back of Byakuya’s chair. “You are happy, aren’t you?” she asked quietly.

Byakuya gave her a genuine smile, which in itself was enough to tell her that he had truly surfaced from what had become a monotonous, unfeeling persona. “Yes, Rukia. I’m very happy. I have Renji, who is more than I ever could have asked for, and I have Toshiro and Yukio, the two right there, Yukio is in Toshiro’s lap,” he said, nodding toward the opposite end of the table. “This past year has brought me more joy than the rest of my life combined, and I have Renji to thank for all of it,” he concluded, reaching up to kiss Renji’s cheek.

Rukia was actually quite taken aback by the information. Her brother was implying that he actually played with all three of them? Not that she minded, but it certainly wasn’t something she would have ever predicted her stoic brother would have done. “That’s good, Byakuya. I’m glad. Thank you, Renji, for taking care of him. It’s really good to see him this way,” she commented, bringing her eyes back up to Renji.

Renji grinned, saying, “I would have been taking care of him a lot sooner had I thought he’d remotely see me this way. I’m so ridiculously happy he said yes when I asked him to marry me. Bya is the only person I’ve never wanted to be apart from - not even a single day if I can help it. Yukio is going to help Bya plan the wedding, I’m sure he’d want you there,” Renji said, his gaze flickering to his gorgeous fiance.

Rukia’s smile dropped into a bit of reminiscence as she looked at Byakuya. “Byakuya never has been one to ask for help when he needs it, so I’m glad he finally let someone in,” she said quietly.

Byakuya chuckled. “I didn’t feel I had much choice with Renji knocking on my door at least once a week. But I’m glad I let him help me, too. I would like for you to come to the wedding, Rukia. I’ll send you a proper invitation with a date, I just want to put it in your mind,” he told her.

Rukia’s grin widened, and she nodded. “I’ll definitely be there. I need to be getting back to Orihime now. It really was good to see you, Byakuya, and good to meet you, Renji,” she replied. 

Byakuya caught her hand on the back of his chair before she could go, though. He sat up and put his arms around her shoulders, sighing as he rested his chin on her shoulder. “I’m sorry I’ve shut you out, Rukia. From now on, we’ll talk more,” he promised. 

Rukia was completely stunned by his actions. He had never even done anything close to hug her, and his words were only more shocking. She recovered just long enough to return his hug as well as she could over the back of the chair. “It’s fine, Byakuya. But thank you,” she whispered. She wiped her eyes to hide her tears as she backed away. “I’m sure I’ll talk to you both later,” she said as a final goodbye.

A couple minutes later, the full lights flickered on, the music lowered in volume, and someone from the stage announced that they were 10 minutes from close and it was last call at the bar.

Tensa asked, “You are all staying with us tonight, right? Because that’s way too far of a drive at two in the morning.”

Toshiro nodded, “Yes, we all made sure we had tomorrow off.” He pulled up maps on his cell, handing it over to Tensa, instructing, “Type in the address, that way I don’t have to worry about an intoxicated Renji remembering where you live.”

“Hey!” Renji said, but he was smiling and obviously not actually offended. He was actually really happy that Toshiro, Yukio, and Tensa had hit it off so well. But he had predicted that Tensa and Toshiro would likely get along. “You might as well put your number in too, Tensa,” Renji teased, satisfied when Tensa blushed a bit and laughing when he saw him actually do so.

He turned to Byakuya, kissing his cheek before asking, “Ready to get out of here, Bya?”

Byakuya nodded, but still stayed leaned into Renji, honestly hoping he would offer to carry him to the car. Between everything that had happened that night, he was unsure whether he would actually make it without tripping. And he couldn’t deny that he just wanted to feel Renji hold him, as much as they had been separated that night.

Toshiro glanced over to Byakuya, saying, “I need to get our coats as I’m the one that checked them in, do you think you can support Yukio on your lap while I do so?” He looked alright leaning against Renji like he was but he was uncertain adding Yukio to the equation was a good idea right now, even if Byakuya would be his submissive’s first choice to cuddle into other than himself.

Byakuya laughed lightly at Toshiro’s doubtful tone. “Of course. I’ll be fine,” he insisted as he straightened in his chair a bit, still under Renji’s arm but very much supporting himself just fine. 

Toshiro tilted up Yukio’s face to his own, kissing him gently before saying, “I need you to stay with Byakuya for a few minutes while I get our coats, alright love?”

Yukio looked over to Byakuya, who opened his arms to him when they caught eye contact. “Alright, master,” he replied, kissing his master’s cheek before carefully unraveling from him, shifting to Byakuya’s lap with his master’s aid. He sank into Byakuya’s warmth just as easily, pushing his shirt aside a bit more with his nose so he could press his cheek to the bare skin of his chest. 

Byakuya smiled, reaching under Yukio to unbutton one more and separate his shirt to give him easier access. He put his arms around him, holding him close and kissing the top of his head. “So sweet, Yukio. Did you have fun tonight?” he asked quietly. 

“I did. Thank you for inviting us,” Yukio replied. 

“It wouldn’t have been right not to. You and Toshiro are very special to me and Renji,” Byakuya said, running his fingers through Yukio’s hair. Yukio only smiled in response, and Byakuya never stopped his calming actions, ever thankful that Yukio had chosen to trust him. 

“The relationship, the trust you have in each other, it’s beautiful,” Tensa said honestly, his deep voice gaining Byakuya’s attention as he watched them, smiling softly.

Byakuya smiled as he looked up, still slowly caressing Yukio’s hair. “Yukio chose me. I only accepted him - all of him - just how he was. The fact that he chose to trust me still baffles me sometimes, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything,” he replied, not hesitating to kiss Yukio’s hair again.

“From here, it’s easy to see why he chose you, Byakuya,” Tensa said, his deep voice smooth as he responded. “Not only are you one of the most beautiful men I’ve ever seen, you’re clearly very honest, caring, and kind. Renji is exceedingly lucky to have you, and so is Yukio.”

Byakuya focused his attention back on Yukio, giving a quiet “Thank you,” to Tensa’s compliments. He never did know how to respond to such things, feeling that he had done nothing to deserve such high praise, so conversation lulled as they waited.

Toshiro returned soon after that, helping Yukio into his coat before picking him up again to hold against his chest. Renji helped Byakuya to his feet and into his own coat before ginning and sweeping him into a bridal carry, kissing his cheek as he said, “I’ve honestly wanted you in my arms all night, going to take this chance before Yukio claims you again in the back seat. I hope you don’t mind.”

“Of course not. I’ve wanted to be in your arms all night,” Byakuya replied, looping his arms around Renji’s neck and pulling himself up to return his kiss. He then rested his head on Renji’s shoulder, breathing a deep sigh. A bit of an impulse had him fiddling with the ring on his left hand, and he couldn’t help but smile.

Tensa and Shuhei bid them a safe drive as Tensa led Shuhei outside, the leash secured around his slight wrist and Toshiro was both amused and a bit awed that neither cared if they were seen together that way by anyone outside the club. He held Yukio closer to him, nodding to Renji as he led them out and back to the car, helping Yukio slip into the back seat before taking the front on the other side. 

Renji really didn’t want to let Byakuya go, saying loudly so Toshiro could hear him, “Hey, Toshiro, you don’t need me to direct you, right?”

“Not really, I was planning to use my phone anyway,” Toshiro answered, gesturing at the already set-up device.

“Good,” Renji grinned, kissing Byakuya’s cheek before whispering in his ear, “Slide over and take the middle, the back can easily fit three and I want to cuddle you too.”

Byakuya obeyed, taking Yukio under his arm when he almost immediately leaned into him. Yukio really was more apt to cuddle when he was drunk. When Renji slid in next to him, Byakuya let his weight relax into his fiance’s side, absolutely comfortable and really never wanting to leave. 

Renji leaned into Byakuya, wrapping him in his arms as much as the seat belt would allow. One of his hands came into contact with Yukio’s hair and he carded his fingers through it, smiling as he did so. He’d never really thought he would feel this complete, this happy, this whole in his entire life. Right now, literally everything was perfect. Byakuya’s past had been put solidly behind them, he was closer to Yukio and Toshiro than he’d ever been before, he had his best friend more fully in his life again and his partner was also involving himself more, he’d met an old family friend of Byakuya’s and his sister that night, who now fully knew about and approved of their relationship - every part of it. 

And his Bya was in his arms.

His dark eyes connected with teal as he heard a soft click and he smiled as he realized the other man had taken a picture of the three of them, Toshiro smiling unapologetically.

It really had been a wonderful night.

And it wasn’t even over.

Chapter Text

Yukio was trying to set up the Jenga tower on the table in the center of Shuhei and Tensa’s living room, but the loud conversation around him was a bit distracting in the drunken haze that still lingered. He swore he had been holding the same set of three blocks for ten minutes, though it had probably only been a few seconds. 

Byakuya had texted him earlier in the week, after his phone call inviting them, asking him to bring the other version of Jenga that they hadn’t touched the day he had met him. Yukio’s mind wandered to some of the questions he had written, and he knew it was bound to be an entertaining night.

If he could ever get the tower built.

He knew once he had some water and settled down for a moment, he would likely still be more coordinated than the rest of them, even with his master and Tensa being sober, but having just arrived with little time to relax before pulling out the game, he was a bit exhausted. 

“Master, will you help?” he asked quietly, finally giving up and rubbing his eyes. This amount of focus simply wasn’t possible at the moment.

Toshiro knelt behind him, caging him between himself and the table, steadying his hands with his own as he kissed his cheek, “Of course, love. Just tell me if I’m doing anything incorrectly, but I’ve certainly seen you do this often enough.” He took over building the tower after making sure Yukio properly placed the blocks he currently had in his hands. He chuckled a bit, “You really are drunk, aren’t you love? You’re positive that you’re up to this? We can wait a bit, no one will mind.”

Yukio nodded, leaning back into his master’s chest. “I’ll be fine in a little bit. I just need some water. I am quite drunk, though,” he admitted. He glanced around the room before adding, “if my turn is last, I’ll be steady enough by then.” At the moment, though, he was content to snuggle into his master’s chest, not even really caring if he carried him to a chair or not. 

Toshiro deftly completed the tower, cradling Yukio as he stood and sat with him on the couch. It was near enough that if he leaned forward he could reach the tower so he wouldn’t need to move much during the game. He gave Tensa an appreciative smile when he set two glasses of water near them, having been bringing one to everyone as they got settled. Toshiro and Yukio were the last to receive theirs and so he sat next to them, smiling as Shuhei all but collapsed next to him on the floor, carding his fingers through his short black hair and massaging his scalp, his head leaning against his thigh. 

It was a rather small apartment and they only had the one sofa and a single armchair. Renji decided to take the spot on Toshiro’s other side, pulling Byakuya to sit on his lap and wrapping his arms around him, kissing his soft raven hair, careful not to spill the two glasses of water Byakuya had been carrying. 

“I’ll go over the rules quickly,” Toshiro said, “as Yukio could use a minute.” He grabbed one of the glasses of water Tensa had brought, supporting most of its weight as he softly told Yukio to drink. He continued to watch and focus on Yukio as he spoke, “This version of Jenga has a dare printed on each block. You need to do the dare after placing the block successfully back on the stack. You don’t need to do the dare if the tower falls when you pull the block or place it on top. If you don’t do the dare, you need to take another block and place it on top. 

“This repeats until you complete a dare and it becomes the following person’s turn. If your dare involves another person and they back out, they have to finish taking your turn, pulling another block and doing the dare. Turn order remains the same - they still need to take their own turn, even if they would be next. If there is no time limit indicated, you can’t take longer than one minute. I suppose, being sober, I’ll go first, followed by Tensa, and we can keep going in that circle from there - Shuhei, Renji, Byakuya, and then my Yukio. Sound good?”

Everyone generally agreed around the room. Toshiro allowed Yukio to stop drinking from the water glass on his own before setting it down again. Keeping him snug against him with one arm, he deftly leaned forward and pulled a block out with his other hand, reading, “Using just your fingertips on their back, neck, and shoulders, give the person two turns before you a truly sensual experience.” Toshiro smirked, easily placing the block back on the tower. Teal eyes turned to catch steel gray as he said, “Two turns before me would be you, Byakuya. Do you accept or are you taking the rest of my turn?”

Feeling a bit playful in his still-inebriated state, Byakuya gave Toshiro a soft smile. “You know I can’t say no to you, Toshiro,” he said, his voice low and quite suggestive.

Toshiro shivered a bit at his tone, his teal eyes darkening as he murmured to Yukio, “Can you keep yourself leaned against me, love? Otherwise I’ll just use one hand.”

“Yes, master, I’m fine,” Yukio replied. The look in Byakuya’s eyes and the tone of his voice had Yukio grinning. He knew this would be a fun night.

Toshiro made sure Yukio actually was balancing against him on his own before he glanced at Tensa. “You should probably actually time the one minute… We tend to get carried away.”

Tensa chuckled, pulling out his phone, “I’ll start it when you do.”

Toshiro nodded, locking eyes with Byakuya again before reaching out and stopping just before touching him, a seductive smile on his face as he said, “I can hardly touch your back with your shirt still on.”

Byakuya didn’t even have the mind to be embarrassed, knowing full well he had started this. So he finished unbuttoning his shirt, pulling it off and draping it over the back of the couch behind Renji. “Better?”

“Better,” Toshiro agreed, his voice low as his eyes flickered over every inch of exposed skin. He wasn’t the only one looking appreciatively either - Byakuya was gorgeous. Toshiro had him turn a bit in Renji’s lap so that he could actually reach his back without disturbing Yukio too much, eyes tracing over each line of flexing muscle as he did so. 

Finally, Toshiro finished reaching out to him, lightly touching the beautiful smooth skin of his lower back with his left hand’s fingertips before pressing harder and massaging, his right hand’s fingertips caressing his shoulder and sweeping towards his neck. He allowed his left fingers to slowly, yet steadily, make their way up, massaging either side of his spine, as his right fingers found the front of his throat, gently pressing against it and very slightly restricting his ability to breath. 

Byakuya was actually relaxing into Toshiro’s touch for a moment until he realized his goal as his right hand came around to his throat. He masked a moan as a low hum, biting his lip as he felt legitimate arousal spreading heat through his body. “Toshiro,” he growled. He hadn’t at all been expecting him to take this so far. Not that he wasn’t enjoying it, but his involuntary responses were a bit humiliating.

Toshiro relented, grinning at the response he’d pulled from him. He allowed his right hand to open, cupped around his throat but no longer pressing, using his thumb and fingers to massage either side of his neck, sliding up and down. His left hand had just reached between his shoulder blades when Tensa called time. Toshiro immediately withdrew, that seductive smile never leaving his face. He had wondered how Byakuya would respond to the light breath play and he hadn’t disappointed at all - he really was heavily affected by it, even without anything else sexual going on. Toshiro found it ridiculously endearing but would refrain from exploiting it - at least outside of an actual scene.

Byakuya settled back into Renji’s lap, not really able to keep his eyes from Toshiro, a bit frustrated but much more aroused by his actions. It was absolutely sexy that the man knew his weaknesses and could so easily affect him. He took a deep breath and reached for his water on the side table, taking a sip before returning it to its place and pressing his nose into Renji’s neck to calm himself.

Renji smiled, holding him closer, exchanging a knowing look with Toshiro. He thoroughly enjoyed how sensitive Byakuya was to breath play and it was hot how worked up Toshiro had gotten him with just a minute’s worth of time. He’d actually growled. He saw Tensa grabbing his own block and focused a bit, wondering what the rather serious man would get.

“Choose a person to hug and tell them how much you adore them,” he read in his calm, deep voice. He placed the block on the tower, striking blue eyes finding emerald as he smiled softly, “I choose you, Yukio. Do you accept?”

Yukio’s eyes widened, not expecting such a thing. He glanced up to his master, but knew exactly what he would say. It was completely up to him and his comfort level. But Tensa had been so kind and supportive of him at the club. He had no reason to be nervous. “Yes,” Yukio murmured, making himself keep eye contact with Tensa as he responded.

Tensa handed his phone over to Shuhei, asking him to time the minute which Shuhei agreed to without much fuss. He did know how to turn down being such a brat, as he had said, especially with Yukio involved. Tensa then deftly unbuttoned his own shirt, as it was an obvious comfort to Yukio, before he turned in his seat, bringing up his leg to do so fully. He gestured to Yukio, saying with a gentle command in his voice, “Lean against me, Yukio, I want to properly hug you.”

Yukio was a bit embarrassed that his hands were actually shaking as he shifted from his master’s lap to Tensa’s, trying his best to relax into the bare skin of the man’s chest. He kept reminding himself that Tensa wouldn’t hurt him, but he was still very much prone to anxiety when allowing anyone new this close to him.

“Good, Yukio,” Tensa murmured, wrapping his arms around him. He nuzzled his soft blonde hair a bit with his nose just above his ear, his deep voice calm, steady, and quiet as he spoke only to him. He was sure Toshiro could hear every word and was listening, but he didn’t want Yukio thinking he was just saying these things for a silly dare. He wanted the smaller man to know that he meant what he said.

“You’re beautiful, Yukio. It’s obvious how adorably sexy you are but your personality, your mannerisms, your gentle, willing nature is beautiful too. You’re such a good boy for your master, and you’re so stunning, I couldn’t help but adore you almost immediately. You fit so lovely in my arms, I understand perfectly why your master always wants you in his. You’re such a joy to be around, Yukio. It makes me happy when you smile, each time you blush, every laugh. I can’t help but feel protective of you and I really hope you come to find comfort in me as well. It would mean a lot - I find myself very taken with both you and your master. I already adore you Yukio, I couldn’t help it. You’re such a perfect, sweet person, just the way you are.”

As Tensa spoke, Yukio felt the tension leaving his body. Just like Byakuya had, Tensa surprised him with his immediate acceptance. He never expected anyone to so readily accept and actually admire him in his chosen role. And, honestly, he had never expected to have such a large group of friends that shared that admiration for him. He pressed his cheek into Tensa’s chest with a relieved sigh. “Thank you,” he said quietly when Tensa finished speaking.

Tensa had really only stopped speaking because he felt Shuhei’s gentle tap on his leg that he was still leaning against on the floor, indicating the minute was up. He could have held him and praised him for far longer, he really was lovely. Obeying the rules set by the game, however, he simply pressed a kiss to Yukio’s fine blonde hair, saying softly, “I meant every word, dear. Go on back to your master now, and thank you for allowing me to hold you, Yukio.”

Yukio nodded, moving back across Tensa’s lap to rejoin his master. He smiled up to him, easily reading the immense pride in those bright teal eyes. Yukio surprised himself with how easily he was beginning to trust, and it lifted a weight from his heart that had been there for far too long. 

Shuhei leaned up from his seat on the floor, easily taking a block and flipping it over to read, “Kiss the belly button of the person two turns before you.” His eyes wandered to the left, smirking as he found Toshiro. “Well? Is another shirt coming off?” he asked as he returned the block to the top of the tower.

Toshiro frowned a bit as this meant having to move his Yukio again, although he did seem to be sobering up a bit with the water. "Can you move over a bit, Tensa? I want to make enough room for Yukio to sit next to me for this, he doesn't need a ton of space," he said fondly, kissing his fine blonde hair. 

Tensa nodded, moving as far over as he could, blushing a bit as Toshiro slid to be flush against his side, feeling his hardened body and heat. The man was gorgeous and unbelievably sexy - and he wasn't even trying. And the way he cared for Yukio, so gentle and loving - Tensa really was falling for the pair. He hadn't had regular play partners really - more just joined Shuhei with who he wanted to play with when he felt like it, which actually wasn't that often. But both these two and Byakuya had caught his interest. 

He found that he was attracted to intelligence almost more so than beauty, and all three men had both in spades. Shuhei was actually exceedingly bright as well, just a complete brat at times. Tensa loved the challenge but Byakuya's and Yukio’s easy submission was also very appealing to him - as was Toshiro's effortless control and confidence, obviously. He watched as the man coaxed Yukio to squeeze between himself and Renji, tucking him into his side after deftly removing the rest of his shirt. He found himself flushing more as he stared - Toshiro's chest and abs practically demanded worship, the muscles defined but not overly large. He was perfectly toned, his body lithe with obvious definition. And he had pronounced hip bones that Tensa had a difficult time not following with his azure eyes, both frustrated and thankful that his sight was halted by Toshiro's dress pants. 

And Shuhei was about to kiss that perfect body… For a full minute… And the word "kiss" was far from clearly defined… 

"Hand me my phone back, Shuhei," Tensa said, a level of seriousness to his voice that he knew Shuhei would listen to. "If I don't time this, we'll be waiting all night for you to be satisfied."

Toshiro glanced at Tensa, immediately noticing how affected he was by the sight of his body and the fact that he was now pressed flush against his side. He smirked a bit, realizing his Yukio clearly wasn't the only voyeur in the room. He spread his legs and gestured for Shuhei to come towards him, the other man still on the floor, his dark eyes watching him but otherwise having remained unmoved. "Well, Shuhei?" Toshiro questioned, his tone low and suggestive, a level of command entering his voice as he said, "Give Tensa the phone and come here - unless you plan to forfeit your dare?" 

Shuhei slapped Tensa’s phone into his waiting hand, looking up to his partner with a confident smirk. “I’m not the only one we’d be waiting on,” he commented teasingly. Before he could get a reprimand for all but calling Tensa out on his staring, he slid over and positioned himself between Toshiro’s legs, hesitating a bit. “As much as I’m going to thoroughly enjoy this, I don’t want to make you uncomfortable. So, where do you want my hands? Because if it’s left up to me I’m touching every inch of that perfect body I can reach in a minute. And what are the boundaries? Tongue? No tongue? How far from your belly button am I actually allowed to wander? A minute is a long time.”

"Hands on my sides and hips only - the dare was a kiss, not full-scale groping," Toshiro chuckled, "And stay to the skin on my stomach. Otherwise you can use your tongue - I think that's fair for the definition of a kiss." Toshiro turned to Yukio, nuzzling his hair before saying, "Are you comfortable with that, love? I'll take his forfeit if you don't want him to do this to me." 

Yukio nodded. “Yes, master, it’s fine. I’ll enjoy watching,” he admitted.

With Yukio’s approval, Shuhei looked to Tensa, honestly just making sure he was still paying attention with Toshiro’s body on display right next to him. “Ready, Tensa? Make sure there’s an alarm on that thing because I don’t think any of us is going to be looking at your phone,” he said with a chuckle.

Tensa nodded, tearing his eyes away from Toshiro's body long enough to set the timer. He took a deep breath himself before announcing, "Minute begins in 3… 2… 1… Now."

Shuhei immediately anchored his hands on Toshiro’s waist, determined not to give into the temptation to allow them to move. Toshiro had given him a small liberty, but he knew his own tendency to get overly handsy. He leaned in, not hesitating to press his lips to the skin just above Toshiro’s navel. He honestly thought the dare was ridiculous. There was no way he was putting his tongue in someone’s belly button. But damn if he was passing up a chance to put his mouth on Toshiro’s gorgeous body. 

He gave an appreciative hum when Toshiro’s muscles tensed beneath his touch, darting his tongue out to investigate the toned abs, following the lines almost down to the waistline of Toshiro’s pants. He was sure he was almost out of time. Yes, a minute was a long time, but not nearly long enough. So, he reversed his path, tasting the smooth skin at his disposal as much as he possibly could and very much appreciating the feel of hard musculature under his hands, allowing himself to move only his thumbs to stroke down Toshiro’s sides. 

Shuhei’s adamant worship of his stomach and abs with his mouth and tongue was both decidedly hot and strange - because there had been no lead up at all. It actually tickled slightly and Toshiro couldn't prevent his muscles from twitching. He tried to relax into the attention. He wasn't uncomfortable, really, but the sensation was certainly odd. Shuhei looked sexy between his open legs though, gripping his waist tightly to prevent his flexing fingers from wandering. 

He focused on that, more than the sensation, and found himself growing heated at the other's obvious enjoyment over his body. Shuhei was so open, honest, and unfiltered in everything he did - and his obvious enjoyment in this was a bit heady and arousing all by itself. To think he had that effect on people now - he certainly hadn't when he was younger. Except Byakuya… But Byakuya had always been special… 

If this minute was going to drag on for this long, Shuhei honestly felt that he had no choice but to venture a bit into a gray area. Toshiro had said he was allowed the skin on his stomach, but… that was a bit vague. Deciding he would rather be punished than waste precious seconds clarifying, Shuhei moved downward, below Toshiro’s belly button, trailing his tongue along the waist of his pants before very slightly sneaking it underneath the fabric.

Toshiro sucked in a sharp breath, not expecting Shuhei to actually dip his tongue below the fabric of his pants. He hadn't technically violated his guidelines and so Toshiro forced himself to relax. Other than the surprise, he could easily accept this as Shuhei wasn't actually near his sensitive areas. Now if he had tried to kiss and suck nearer his sides… 

The timer went off and Toshiro released a sigh as Shuhei withdrew, playful teal eyes smiling down at him. 

“A few more seconds and that would have been too much fun,” Shuhei said with a teasing grin as he met Toshiro’s eyes. “Thought that was gonna get me in trouble, really. Not that I’d mind if you punished me,” he added with a wink. 

"I'm very used to my Yukio finding and exploiting loopholes, I would never punish for that. It reminded me a bit of when he plays with Renji - and I encourage it. If you wanted me to punish you, Shuhei, you would have had to have broken my guidelines. But you were a good boy, so I'll reward you instead." Toshiro glanced at Yukio, asking, "What should his reward be, love? What do you want to see?" 

Yukio glanced from his master to Shuhei. He didn’t know Shuhei well - really not at all - so he wasn’t familiar with what he enjoyed. Still, Yukio always enjoyed watching his master kiss anyone he thought was attractive, and Shuhei was certainly attractive. “I’d like to see you kiss him, if Shuhei and Tensa are alright with that,” he finally replied. 

Shuhei’s eyes lit up, he really couldn’t help it. He whipped his gaze to Tensa, almost begging for his approval with his eyes.

Tensa's face felt hot with how much he was blushing and thoroughly turned on between the suggestion and watching his partner with Toshiro, both men gorgeous to him in such appealingly opposite ways. He took a rather shaky breath, focusing on Yukio as he said, "Honestly, Yukio, I can't think of anything I would really be uncomfortable with pertaining to you or your master at this point. Whatever Shuhei is comfortable with, I don't mind at all."

Shuhei couldn’t contain the wide smile that came to his face as he looked back at Toshiro rather expectantly. “Well, Yukio and Tensa have spoken. How about it?” he asked, trying and vastly failing to keep his casualness intact. He honestly couldn’t believe that seemingly shy Yukio had suggested such a thing, but he had observed at the club that he had quite the voyeurism kink, so he was likely suggesting it for his own enjoyment.

"I can't really refuse my Yukio anything…" Toshiro murmured, his voice low and husky as he brought his right hand to Shuhei’s chin, his left arm still wrapped tightly around Yukio. Tilting slightly, he smiled as Shuhei moved without the slightest resistance. He directed him closer until he was leaned against him, his bare chest lightly touching Shuhei’s through his fishnet shirt before lowering his own head to meet Shuhei in a kiss, swiping his tongue firmly at his lips, all but demanding entrance. 

Shuhei completely melted at first contact, not even trying to give this man a challenge, because he wanted this and he was definitely not going to ruin it. He parted his lips at the silent instruction - because it certainly didn’t feel like a request - and groaned lightly into Toshiro’s mouth at the unique pleasure of being allowed to taste him like this. The whole experience was arousing, but knowing he was being watched was almost just as much of a turn-on when he caught both Tensa and Yukio on either side of Toshiro, watching them intently. 

Yukio couldn’t possibly tear his eyes away from what was happening right in front of him - literally, right in front of him, since his master had kept his arm around him. The vast contrast between his master and Shuhei was captivating, Shuhei’s tattoos and edgy appearance both clashing with and complementing his master’s flawless skin and snow-white hair.

Tensa found himself even more affected by this kiss than by the dare. Toshiro had such clear confidence and control as he led Shuhei, as he explored his mouth. He found himself becoming uncomfortably aroused but couldn't begin to care, couldn't look away for certain, other than to see Yukio’s equal enjoyment, the smaller man so near to the other two. Not that Tensa was much further, Toshiro still pressed against his side. He had to bite his lip to suppress his own groan when Shuhei’s was lost to Toshiro's insistent mouth, his breathing and heart rate quickening. 

Toshiro found Shuhei to be surprisingly pleasantly docile as he mapped out his mouth, deepening the kiss when the other man only welcomed him, moaning as he felt him release complete control over to him. Toshiro loved that feeling, knowing that the person he was with was willing and placed complete trust in him. His hand slid further to thread his fingers into short, dark hair, gripping tightly as he finally withdrew so that Shuhei couldn't follow him. His grip relaxed when Shuhei didn't try to continue the kiss, massaging into his scalp as Toshiro smiled down at him, praising, "You taste good Shuhei, and you submit beautifully. I certainly wouldn't mind tasting you again."

Shuhei had fallen into a light subspace just from submitting so quickly and so willingly to Toshiro’s sure confidence, and he leaned into Toshiro’s hand, smiling at his words. “Thank you, Toshiro. I definitely wouldn’t mind doing that again, either,” he replied, even his voice a bit subdued. He was actually a bit surprised at himself, but Toshiro just exuded dominance in a way that even Tensa didn’t, being a switch. He felt he hadn’t had a choice but to submit.

Renji piped up from the other end of the couch, "I'll just take my turn!" He actually understood a bit of what Shuhei was going through, although his one kiss with Toshiro hadn't gone near as well - as neither would relent control. They'd agreed not to repeat the experience. But Shuhei actually was a switch and Toshiro was a very strong dominant, so he likely needed a minute. 

He kissed Byakuya's cheek as he leaned passed him to pull a block - the tower still mostly stable - and read, "Put a sweet in your mouth and pass it to someone else at the table without using your hands. Hmm. It seems I require a sweet…" He glanced around at his options. "And I'm passing it to Yukio," he said with a wink, knowing Byakuya hated sweets while the smaller submissive loved them. 

"I'll grab the candy bowl from the kitchen," Tensa managed out. Honestly he needed air anyway. "Shuhei has a sweet-tooth too."

"Well, Yukio?" Renji asked, "You want a sweet? Or are you taking my forfeit?" 

Yukio was actually quite taken aback by the offer, so he had to take a moment to consider. The implication was that whoever got the dare would be kissing a person of their choice, but Renji knew he didn’t kiss anyone other than his master. Yukio also knew Renji could get creative, though, so he decided to trust him. “I’d like to see how you’re going to do this, Renji, so I’ll take the sweet,” Yukio replied.

Tensa returned with the bowl of sweets, placing it in front of Renji on the table and Renji grinned, "Perfect. Yukio, hold out your hands, cupped together."

Yukio obeyed, smiling and shaking his head as he did. He was beginning to think Renji had intentionally taken the easy way out by choosing him.

Renji grabbed a Hershey's kiss, taking a hold of the white paper that extended from the wrapping with his teeth. He then carefully leaned over to be above Yukio’s cupped hands, opening his mouth and plopping the kiss into his hands. 

Yukio laughed, taking the chocolate and beginning to unwrap it. “You gave me a kiss without giving me a kiss. Clever, Renji,” he teased as he popped it into his mouth.

"I have my moments," Renji said with a laugh, ruffling Yukio’s fine blonde hair. He kissed Byakuya's cheek, "Your turn, Bya."

Byakuya leaned up from where he was settled in Renji’s lap, not needing to study the tower for more than a moment to find one that gave easily, pushing it from its place and reading, “Do a strip tease down to your underwear.” His cheeks immediately flushed, and he quickly placed the block on the top of the tower. “I’m taking another,” he muttered, despite the lustful and immediately disappointed look he was getting from his fiance. When he pulled another block from its place and silently read the dare, though, it certainly wasn’t much better. “Pick two people and send them to another room to swap underwear,” he quoted with a light, frustrated groan. This really wasn’t his night.

He glanced around the room, considering the possibilities. His highly logical and gradually sobering mind told him that it would be sensible to choose two people with similar statures, thus making the change as comfortable as possible. As he thought, he placed the block back on top of the tower. The most similar of those present were likely Shuhei and Toshiro, but he didn’t want to force them into that situation having just met one another. So, that left himself and Toshiro. They had even seen each other nude before, so it truly shouldn’t be an issue. “Toshiro, you and I are switching underwear