Renji & Byakuya (Ren/Bya & Bya/Ren)Word Count:
~44,000 in totalWarnings:
M/M explicit sex, angst, language, mild kink, toys, voyeurism, did I mention sex? There's lots of it.Notes:
This story is set in my world, Monoshizukanohi. There are minor references to Naruto characters as they exist in that world.Summary:
Life's good for Abarai Renji and gets better when he meets a mysterious man in a bookstore erotica aisle. But what starts out as a casual fling quickly turns into something more. Who is this man who refused to tell Renji his name? And what will Renji do now that he's fallen for him?
The Heritage was a grand affair with a doorman, valet service, private pool and sauna, and a massive aquarium in the lobby. Renji thought that even the fish looked smug. But he refrained from comment as Byakuya walked over to a wall of gold mailboxes and produced a key. A woman with dark hair hastily walked by Renji on her way to the entrance, and the doorman cleared her way.
“There’s a taxi waiting to take you to the hospital, Miss Haruno,” the doorman said.
The woman nodded and left without another word.Huh…probably a doctor. Might make enough to live in this place if you cut people open all day.
Renji looked around the lobby with his hands shoved in his pockets and tried not to appear terribly out of place. Byakuya slowly walked back toward Renji, mail in hand, and Renji noted that even in jeans and a t-shirt, Byakuya carried himself like royalty.
Damned irritating, that.
“Good day, sir,” said a man behind a black granite counter. Byakuya didn’t even acknowledge his existence as he went by, Renji in tow. Feeling kinda bad for the guy, who surely got treated like crap by all the Heritage residents, Renji nodded at the man before stopping next to Byakuya to wait on the elevator. Renji watched Byakuya sort his mail and frowned a little as they got into the shiny, moving compartment.
“Ya know, it wouldn’t kill you to notice your subordinates from time to time,” Renji muttered, eyes up and watching the numbers scroll higher as they rose.
Byakuya looked at Renji. “I beg your pardon?”
“Nothing.” Renji shifted and felt the gap between them start to widen dangerously into a maw.
There was silence for a second or two. “You mean the concierge?”
“It’s nothing. Sorry I brought it up.” Now Renji felt embarrassed. Of course Byakuya wouldn’t say anything to the man at the counter. He was just an employee, after all. But all Renji could think about were his days as a busboy and then server and all the fake smiles he’d thrown at snobby assholes who demanded solar systems as if they were their due as a member of the elite.
Byakuya folded his hands in front of him, mail clasped loosely between his fingers. “Sheldon’s been the concierge for the Heritage since I’ve been here. His wife’s name is Maryann, spelled without an “e,” they have two children – Bree and Joseph aged 9 and 5, respectively – and every Christmas I have my secretary send them a basket of foreign sweets as I know they like them.”
Renji looked at Byakuya, shamefaced, but a little happier for the confession. Byakuya regarded Renji coolly but with something like curiosity in his gaze. Well, at least he wasn’t angry.
“Oh,” Renji said.
“Do not mistake distant observation for complete disregard, Renji,” Byakuya said without bite. “I keep to myself but that does not make me…” He seemed to search for the word. “Immune.”
“No matter,” Byakuya said, waving one hand as the doors opened. “You’re not the first to think me a cold bastard, Renji. Nor will you be the last.” Byakuya got out of the elevator and turned to the right. Renji followed and grabbed the other man’s elbow and pulled him closer.
“I’m sorry,” Renji said earnestly to the startled Byakuya. “And I don’t think you’re cold. I just don’t understand you entirely sometimes.”
“You understand more than most,” Byakuya said softly, head turned toward Renji but eyes down.
“And I like it that way,” Renji said, matching Byakuya’s tone. He reached up and tenderly brushed Byakuya’s hair behind one ear. “So forgive my little fuck-ups while I learn everything about you…if you please.” Renji tried to smile, hopeful with heart pounding.
Byakuya’s lips turned upward in amusement. He nodded and stepped away. “I do please. And forgiven.”
Renji blew out a puff of air and followed Byakuya down the hallway. Marble tile, expensive-looking wall paper, subtle lighting…yeah, this was one hell of a place. Renji tried to focus on the décor as opposed to the butterflies with teeth that were gnawing on his insides. He smiled wryly to himself while Byakuya unlocked the door with the silver filigree “5603” on the front. Byakuya not only made Renji feel
more than anyone else he knew; the man also challenged Renji. Definitely kept the redhead on his toes.Not such a bad thing…but damn I don’t want to piss him off.
Renji followed Byakuya inside and kicked himself for a second over being such a wuss. But then in a flash of self-realization, he understood that the sentiment had nothing to do with the fear or worry that Byakuya would up and leave if Renji did something wrong. Most of those fears were silenced when Renji recalled newspaper headlines and Byakuya’s words in the limo.
Instead, Renji realized that he wanted Byakuya happy. Just happy. And Renji would do anything to get him there. He watched Byakuya turn on a light in the long entry hallway and empty his pockets into a large bowl standing on a table near the door. He toed off his shoes, and Renji smiled as he observed Byakuya’s routine. Something about it made Renji relax a little, and a few of the butterflies receded.
“I’ve got it bad,” Renji sighed and muttered to himself, one hand coming up to the wall for balance so he could take off his shoes.
“Yes,” Byakuya replied.
Renji damned his tendency to babble when nervous for the millionth time and looked up, butterflies back in force. Byakuya stood in the middle of the hallway, watching.
“But so do I,” Byakuya said.
“Really?” Renji asked, wondering if and hoping that they were talking about the same thing.
Byakuya smirked a little and his eyebrows went up and down in admission. “So it seems.” He turned and walked deeper into the apartment, and Renji followed. Anxiety, hope, and happiness made for an interesting cocktail of emotion, and Renji tried not to let any of it get the best of him.
The hallway was long, walls covered in fine art and mirrors. They passed a nook with two doors on their right, then a set of double doors with panes of colored glass set into the wood on the left.
“Bathroom, den,” Byakuya narrated as they walked. “Guest bedroom.” Byakuya pointed to yet another closed door on an angle as the hallway turned to the right. Renji nodded and then his eyes went wide as the apartment opened up to reveal a large kitchen and living area surrounded by windows. A massive sectional sofa covered in a soft gray, suede took up a lot of the space. There was also a desk, a small table and chairs, and lots of low bookshelves under the windows. Rugs covered the teak flooring, the colors were gray, chrome, and light blue, and Renji saw a door to his right that must lead to the other bedroom. Several doors led off the back of the apartment and Renji could see Byakuya had a private terrace with one hell of a view. He walked over to a glass door and looked out, marveling.
“Wow,” Renji said.
“I can’t take credit; a decorator did most of the work,” Byakuya said as he moved to stand behind the kitchen counter, fingertips idly tracing a pattern on the stone.
“You can see half the city from here,” Renji said.
“I don’t like feeling enclosed.”
“Mission accomplished,” Renji laughed and looked over his shoulder. “Did you live here with your wife?”
Byakuya flinched minutely and turned to take down two glasses before moving to the fridge. “No,” he replied.
“I’m sorry…should I not…?” Renji frowned. He wanted to know everything, dammit. It felt like they had years of catching up to do, and Renji wished he had a damned checklist or folder or something to read so he wouldn’t have to ask all the wrong questions.
“Cold tea?” Byakuya asked calmly, pouring himself a glass from a pitcher.
“Sure,” Renji answered on auto pilot.Fuck I hope we can actually exist outside the bedroom…
Renji swallowed, nervous again, and followed Byakuya when he moved to sit on the couch. Renji sat down sideways to face Byakuya and sipped his tea – jasmine – before putting the glass down on a stone coaster.
“Renji,” Byakuya said. He opened his mouth and then shut it, eyes down and considering for a painful few seconds. And just when Renji thought he might have a heart attack, Byakuya looked up at the redhead with a little smile.
“I’m 29 years old, and I’ve run my family’s company since I was 18,” Byakuya began, matter-of-fact. “I have two Masters’ degrees – business and history. I don’t have many friends, but I like to keep track of everyone in my life in some capacity and actually employ staff to monitor people.” Byakuya rested one arm on the back of the couch, hand curling to brace against his head. Renji’s heart ached a little for reasons unsorted and his hands curled into fists to keep from touching.
“I rarely take vacations, but I love the mountains in winter. My favorite color is silver – like wet, gray pearls. I hate sweets but cannot turn down bananas foster for dessert. I need at least six hours of sleep a night or I’m utterly worthless. My hobbies are few and far between, but I’m a fair hand at painting and I once won a ballroom dancing competition with my wife many years ago.”
The nerves were fading under the soothing waves of Byakuya’s voice, and delight bubbled in Renji’s chest at the idea of Byakuya cutting a rug and winning a trophy. He kept the thought and emotion to himself, however, and Byakuya shifted again, turning to stare out the window.
“I loved Hisana. Dearly.” Byakuya’s eyelids lowered. “The only time in recent memory that I recall crying was at her funeral. I don’t know what it makes me that I loved her yet want to be with you, now, and I don’t care.” Gray eyes met wide brown. “I defied my family to be with her, and I have done so again to be with you.” His head tilted back, ironic smirk in place. “It appears that my loyalty to my family does not, in fact, supersede my desire to be true to myself. I suppose that makes sense…I’m determined, tend to value justice over mercy, am hardest on myself, and have had to learn to lower my expectations of others else I spend my entire life disappointed and angry.”
Renji remembered how to breathe and blinked rapidly as Byakuya smiled at him. “I keep a tight reign on myself, and am usually strict about rules and protocol. But one of the things I most enjoy about you is that you undo some of my control. I like that. You…” Byakuya stopped speaking with a tiny frown and little laugh. “You make me exist in the moment, Renji. Ground me down. It pushes me; makes me a better person, and I find that I value that and you very much.” Byakuya’s arm straightened on the back of the couch, fingers lightly touching Renji’s shoulder. Renji thought his arm might burst into flames with the emotion behind such a simple touch.
“Now does that…help?” Byakuya asked. “You appear nervous and overcautious. I stepped down for you. I want you. And even though I find it the height of irony that every woman I’ve dated wanted nothing but commitment and yet I was unable to say such things until you came into my life, I mean it when I say there is none but you. And I would like it to stay that way.”
Renji met Byakuya’s frank gaze and nodded a little, overwhelmed and processing information. Well, he thought, I wanted a manual and I think that was the abridged version of the whole thing.
“Damn,” Renji said finally.
Byakuya chuckled. “Is all of that agreeable to you?”
“Well, sure,” Renji said. “But it’s probably insane to talk like this when we barely know one another.”
Byakuya looked a little shamefaced. “I fear in that I have the advantage; thanks to my niece, I know more of you than you know of me.”
“I’m working on it,” Renji said quietly, smiling a little. He felt warm and knew his face was probably flushed. “It makes me feel better that I wasn’t totally off base about you. I can read situations and people pretty well. Always been good at that.”
“I concur,” Byakuya replied, fingers toying with the fabric of Renji’s shirt.
“I feel like I understand the more complicated things about you but don’t know most of the mundane shit.”
Byakuya laughed outright. “I do love your way with words, Renji.” His eyes danced with good humor. “So, why don’t we work on the ‘mundane shit’ as you say? What would you care to do? I have an abundance of free time, it seems.”
“Hell, I dunno…You like movies?” Renji asked and then snorted a little in delighted surprise when Byakuya’s face actually lit up.
“I do,” the brunette replied. He pointed to a long stand with glass doors under a wall-mounted TV. “Collection’s over there.”
Twenty minutes later, Casablanca
played in a room dimmed by shades Byakuya drew while Renji set up the complicated sound system. Renji had to coax Byakuya into his arms as they settled to watch the movie, but Renji managed and Byakuya only grumbled about it for the first minute or so. Then he relaxed against Renji as they stretched out on the couch and watched the black-and-white pictures flash across the screen.
An hour into the movie, Byakuya’s breathing changed. Renji gently pet Byakuya’s hair and realized the man dozed, body pliant and peaceful. The feeling of undiluted protectiveness and contentment that stole over Renji damn near took his breath away, and he rubbed light circles on the other man’s back. The fact that Byakuya felt at ease enough to watch a movie and take a nap on Renji’s chest meant more to Renji than ten speeches that recounted Byakuya’s likes and dislikes. But he knew such speeches were Byakuya’s way of telling Renji he was an open book; that Renji could ask or do what he wanted.
It seemed that Byakuya knew Renji well enough to understand the redhead needed both words and deeds to be convinced of emotion. And Renji knew Byakuya well enough to know that gently overriding Byakuya’s protests proved Renji a match for the stubborn man.
All in all, life was crazy, crazy good, and Renji sighed. The earlier butterflies were gone, lassitude stole over his body, and he held Byakuya and let him rest.~*~A/N: Was that...Sakura???
Why yes. Yes it was. She lives on the 47th floor of The Heritage. We saw her over in Rhythm & Bruise looking out her window. <3
Ah yes...a little more conversation and fluff before we get to more smut. I know, I know...I can't help it. I wanted a sleepy Byakuya all passed out on Renji's chest while they watched a movie. *pets the image*
Oh, and if anyone's interested you can view Byakuya's condo references/images here:
Click here to see some images of Byakuyas Condo
(More coming soon, kids & neighbors.)