Title: Closet Games
Pairing: Renji & Byakuya (Ren/Bya & Bya/Ren)
Word Count: ~44,000 in total
Warnings: 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.
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?
“A hook in the wall?” Shuuhei asked, eyes intent.
“Yep,” Renji nodded and swallowed a mouthful of insanely overpriced beer.
“With a latch?” Shuuhei pressed.
“You gonna make me repeat everything all night or just when I talk about the bondage shit?” Renji asked, cocking a brow.
Shuuhei frowned and ignored the sarcasm. “So was it an actual hook or more like a-”
“Guys. Really?” Ichigo pressed a hand to his forehead and looked around somewhat sheepishly. “This conversation is bad enough without the rehashing.”
“Quite right, Ichigo,” Kisuke agreed. He looked at Renji with a serious expression from where he reclined in his chair, one leg propped on the other knee. “Leave the details for later. I believe you were tied up, hooked to a wall, and were about to tell us what happened next.”
“Right,” Renji agreed. “So then-”
“For fuck’s sake!” Ichigo hissed. “Can’t we leave this until we’re at the damned bar? This is fuckin’ Tobi’s man. You don’t talk about this kind of thing in a five-star restaurant.”
Renji snorted. “You just hate hearin’ about me gettin’ lucky.”
“Lucky?” Ichigo retorted. “You blow some guy in a bookstore and a fancy hotel and don’t hear from him in, what’s it been, two months? And this is somehow lucky?”
Renji glared at Ichigo. Leave it to this bloody ass to pick out the most painful details and throw them in Renji’s face. He opened his mouth to give a suitable reply but a waiter appeared to lay out dessert.
“You need to win more late-night radio contests, Ichigo,” Shuuhei commented after the waiter left, eying his cheesecake greedily.
“Yeah, and invite people who won’t talk about gay sex all through dinner while I’m at it.”
“Urahara’s straight and you don’t see him whining, now do ya?” Renji asked.
Ichigo rolled his eyes. “Just ‘cause Kisuke’ll listen to anything involving sex-”
“I draw the line at farm animals,” Kisuke interjected around a mouthful of sorbet.
“Comforting. Really.” Ichigo forked key lime pie into his mouth and chewed with vigor.
“You were the one who wanted details anyway,” Renji muttered.
Ichigo made a protesting noise. “What I said was that I was pissed you didn’t tell us weeks ago that you were doin’ some rich guy in the freakin’ Magnolia and wanted to know how that happened to a dick like you.”
“Better to be one than not have one, babe,” Renji quipped.
“We seriously can’t take these two anywhere, can we?” Shuuhei asked Kisuke.
“Tragic and true,” Kisuke agreed.
Ichigo scowled, and Renji smiled a little that it was still so easy to rile him up. It was the first official smile of this week, and it felt like the corners of his mouth creaked from lack of use. Really he should be thanking Ichigo for dragging him out to dinner. Winning a rather lavish gift card to Tobi’s through some radio contest was a nice gig, and Ichigo definitely didn’t have to ask Renji’s sorry ass to join him. He’d buy the blond a shot at the bar later and say thanks.
In the meantime, Renji watched his friends eat and managed to conjure up a little relief that he’d finally told them what was going on with him. Renji was under no illusions as to why it took him so long: talking about it made it real. And the reality was simple and brutal - it was time to get over Byaku along with the anger and hurt that still made his blood boil at the very thought of the man’s name.
Two months and not a fuckin’ word from that pretty bastard…
Some part of Renji wasn’t surprised; looking back on the experience at least ten times a day for eight weeks did lend one a certain amount of hindsight. He was pretty sure he’d been right in his original assessment: call boy. For whatever reason, Byaku couldn’t find a nicer piece of ass than Renji’s that week, and so he’d been called in to do a little fantasy play and help the asshole unwind. All the tender moments and bits of what Renji thought were connection were really just evidence that Renji was a sucker for beautiful men who begged Renji to make them come.
Renji winced at the heat that memory inspired.
But your so-called logic still doesn’t explain why he wanted your full name with that medical check or why he left the bottle of aftershave lotion.
Renji firmly told himself for the millionth time that the first was his own stupidity and the second was an egomaniac’s tease. Poor boy – such a nice fuck, let’s leave him a pretty French gift that costs more than his entire store. It wasn’t cash on the nightstand, but it was fuckin’ close enough. Renji nearly snarled.
“Renji? You with us?” Shuuhei asked, face set in the beginnings of a concerned frown.
“Yeah, yeah,” Renji waved a hand and drained his beer. His ice cream was half-melted, and he couldn’t find it within himself to be upset about that.
The table was quiet, and Renji shifted uncomfortably. He reminded himself that these were his friends, and that it was good he’d finally come clean to them. They wouldn’t condemn him for this…or call him stupid. Surely they could see he was doing plenty of self-deprecation on his own.
“Jackass got to you, huh?” Ichigo asked, eyes askance to look at Renji.
“Yeah,” Renji admitted. It was pretty obvious that was the case what with the short temper and long weekends spent in bed ignoring his phone often enough that even the most unperceptive friend could tell something was wrong.
And none of Renji’s friends were the oblivious type. They just also knew when to give Renji space.
“You know nothing other than this nickname?” Kisuke asked gently.
Renji shook his head. Oh he’d done his due diligence on Google and managed to come up with exactly jack shit. It was rather hard to search for someone when you only knew a fake name, a description, and how they sounded when they got off in your mouth.
“You met at Cain’s – you could see if Reggie knows the guy,” Shuuhei said.
“Tried that,” Renji groused, staring at the bottom of his empty beer glass. He actually hated to admit that he’d gone that far, but there it was. “No dice.”
“Damn. He really got to you,” Ichigo said softly.
“Fuck off,” Renji muttered, but it didn’t have much venom.
“Hotel?” Shuuhei asked, hands folded on the table as he thought through the situation.
Renji shook his head and his mouth twisted into an ironic smirk. “They’re not real forthcoming with details of the guests who stay in their most expensive rooms. No matter how many times you tell them you were just up the ass of said guest.”
Renji sighed bitterly and recalled the desk clerk who told him over and over again with the most irritatingly polite voice he’d ever heard that the particular guest about whom Renji inquired wished to remain anonymous even to the man who shared his quarters the night prior.
Renji had a memory for all the times he got told, “No” in such a genteel manner it was impossible to just deck the bastard.
“So you fucked him?” Ichigo asked.
Renji sighed and shook his head once. But if thoughts and dreams counted as truth, then he and Byaku were long-time lovers with a beach house and perpetually exhausted bodies.
Imagination was a bitch.
“And it was an untraceable phone number,” Kisuke said to himself. Renji didn’t bother to answer.
“Well, hell…I think you’re kinda screwed,” Ichigo said with a sigh. He pushed his half-eaten pie toward Renji and the redhead forked up a mouthful and chewed the food without tasting it.
“What does he look like?” Shuuhei asked. “Maybe we know him.”
Renji smiled a little at the kind optimism and tried not to dismiss the sentiment out of hand. He stared at the table and as easily as breathing an image of Byaku appeared in Renji’s mind. “Six feet tall in shoes, long dark hair, gray eyes, ‘bout 160 pounds, lean muscle, wide shoulders, perfect abs, sweetest ass you’ve ever seen, pale skin, little pouty mouth.” Renji paused to smile a little. “Sometimes he wears these silver bead things in his hair, and he’s got these seriously hot, frameless glasses that-”
A clatter interrupted Renji and the redhead looked sharply at Kisuke. The man had dropped his fork and was staring a little wild-eyed at Renji.
“Oh – so like that guy?” Ichigo said, pointing across the restaurant.
Renji jerked his chin to follow the direction of Ichigo’s hand and gaped. Byaku stood near one of Tobi’s signature round tables while wait staff hurriedly cleaned the half-moon bench seat and smoothed invisible creases from the linen tablecloth.
“Shit,” Renji whispered, sitting up straight in his chair. “No, not like that guy – that is the guy.” He didn’t know whether he should crawl under the table and hide or go start a fight.
“No fuckin’ way,” Ichigo breathed, staring along with Renji. Shuuhei turned in his seat to look and Kisuke covered his mouth with one hand.
“Dude…the hell’s he doin’ with her?” Shuuhei asked. Renji watched as Byaku put a pale hand on the small of a woman’s back. She had long, red hair, wore a slinky black dress and four-inch heels that barely put her at Byaku’s shoulder. When the waiters cleared out, Byaku took the woman’s hand and assisted her as she slid into the semi-private booth. He followed after her a moment later, head tilted down to say something that made the woman laugh.
“Renji…I don’t think that’s his fuckin’ sister,” Ichigo said softly.
Renji was too busy being angry and nauseated to reply. For two long months he’d tried to keep parts of his body and brain shut off out of a need for self-preservation. But seeing Byaku threw wide all the doors, and in flooded the memories, the pleasure, and the hurt along with a healthy dose of anxiety and anger. Renji felt things for and about Byaku that were entirely new and terrifying to Renji, and seeing him brought them back to the forefront of his thoughts.
It was fuckin’ awful.
But Renji couldn’t tear his eyes away from Byaku, and the small voice of reason told him he should be thankful the booth was situated in such a way that Byaku couldn’t see him staring like a love-sick moron.
“Kuchiki Byakuya,” Kisuke said quietly. He sipped his wine.
Renji’s heart stopped for a second before continuing its spastic rhythm, and his blood ran cold.
Did he just say what I think he just said?
Shuuhei turned around to look at Kisuke. “Surely not.”
“You’re kidding me,” Ichigo said aghast. “That’s Rukia’s uncle?” A passing waiter gave Ichigo a strange look that all the men ignored.
Kisuke nodded. “The description isn’t terribly accurate, but I understand that the Kuchiki family is rather old-fashioned and felt the need to label the relationship.”
It felt like someone just stabbed Renji in the gut with a dull blade.
Holy fuck I kissed Rukia’s uncle. The cold, heartless, bastard Byakuya is the guy who let me blow him in a bookstore and hold him while we slept. And we…I…
Renji was rooted to his chair, and for a second he forgot how to swallow. Panic fluttered in his breast until his throat found muscle memory and choked down the saliva pooling on his tongue.
“I never really understood all that adoption crap,” Ichigo said with a frown. “And I’ve heard the story like sixty times.”
“It is complex,” Kisuke admitted. “Rukia’s aunt – her mother’s sister – had one daughter, Hisana. Byakuya married her despite the fact that his family had someone else in mind. Caused quite the riot.”
“The elite and their addiction to arranged inbreeding,” Shuuhei said disgustedly.
“Shut-up,” Ichigo said. “I’m trying to get this. But they all died, right?” he asked Kisuke.
“Yeah,” Renji answered, voice rough. He watched Byaku – Byakuya, he supposed – take a sample of wine from the waiter and sip it. He offered it to his lady friend, and Renji wanted to throw a chair. “Car wreck. Took out Rukia’s parents and her aunt.” He spoke out of a mouth that felt numb.
“Yes,” Kisuke somberly agreed. “Tragic. And then Hisana was stricken with cancer shortly thereafter.”
Renji blinked. “So his…wife,” he nearly gagged on the word. “Died.”
Well…that might explain some of the icy reception to mankind…and fuck me, the guy was married. To a woman.
Everything was falling apart, and Renji couldn’t even sort out one level of fucked up from another. He swallowed a moan, but despair and anger and pure ache ran through him like the trifecta of personal torment.
“Shit,” Ichigo whispered.
“And her dying wish was for the Kuchiki family to adopt Rukia so that she’d have family again and Byakuya would have a…daughter, of sorts, if you will.”
“But he didn’t remarry,” Shuuhei said, looking at Renji.
“That’s true,” Kisuke agreed. “He remains a widower, although the Kuchiki family does not approve of that status.”
“Why not?” Ichigo asked.
Kisuke hesitated. “It has to do with the family business: Kuchiki Stone. It’s the oldest family-owned business in the country, and Byakuya is the current CEO and only heir.”
“So they’re pissed ‘cause he doesn’t have a kid to pass along the company to?” Ichigo said. “That’s like…medieval.”
“That’s the Kuchiki family in a word, yes,” Kisuke said dryly.
“But there’s Rukia,” Shuuhei said, frowning.
“No interest in the family business,” Ichigo said, shaking his head. “She doesn’t talk much about anything Uncle-related, but I know that much, at least.”
So did Renji, but he couldn’t find the strength to comment. “Enough,” Renji managed. “Just…” He shifted in his seat, finally tearing his eyes away from Byakuya. His hands were shaking, and he cracked his knuckles nervously.
“So your guy’s a closet freak,” Ichigo said.
Renji didn’t answer.
“Just closeted, period, from the looks of things,” Shuuhei commented.
“I am sorry, Renji,” Kisuke said sympathetically.
Renji looked down at the table and found he couldn’t make his brain work. Really, Byakuya’s connection to Rukia was the least of it: Renji’d never met that man, after all, only heard of him. When he thought about Byakuya being Rukia’s uncle, his mind hit a wall of incomprehension. The curled, sleeping man in the bed at the Magnolia just didn’t match what he knew of Rukia’s uncle. They continued to be two people in his head, and Renji didn’t try to force the images to mesh.
Because while those images made little sense, they paled next to another set of competing pictures: the man in a gray kimono looking at him with hungry eyes and the same man in a tuxedo cutting wedding cake with a smiling bride.
Renji wanted to throw up.
How in the blue fuck could he be so stupid? Byaku didn’t have a boyfriend; he had a dead wife. Clarity crashed and burned in Renji’s mind; no kissing, no fucking…all the rules, the hesitation…
I was totally and completely fucking used.
“It’s utter shit the way he led you on like that,” Ichigo said, seemingly reading Renji’s mind and looking at the redhead worriedly.
“He didn’t,” Renji rasped and barked a bitter laugh while his guts twisted. He thought about karma and his guts twisted harder. “It’s not like we had long walks on the goddamned beach or anything. He just called and I…”
Ran to his lap with my tail between my legs like some fuckin’ well-trained dog.
Anger at himself, Byakuya, and the distance between them boiled in Renji’s blood, and his head snapped up to glare daggers at the brunette across the room. He saw that the man stood next to the table, obviously saying something to the woman. Then he turned and began walking toward the back of the restaurant. Without even thinking about it, Renji stood up.
“Renji,” Shuuhei and Ichigo said at the same time.
“Leave him be,” Kisuke said, holding up one hand.
“If I’m not back in half an hour, he’s dead or fucked,” Renji growled. He stalked away, making sure to stay semi-hidden. Byakuya gracefully weaved around tables and waiters toward the restrooms, and Renji followed without any idea of what he would say once he caught up to the man. But the shame brought about by two months of feeling weak and pathetic over some homo-dabbling asshole kept Renji moving.
Renji let Byakuya enter the restroom a full ten seconds before he followed. A bathroom attendant stood just inside the door next to a wall that blocked the view of the urinals and stalls. Large, glass bowls of cut blue glass served as sinks and lined a counter to Renji’s right. Renji looked at the man in the tux.
“How many in here?” he asked.
The attendant blinked, startled. “Just one, sir. A gentleman entered before-”
“Good.” Renji reached into his back pocket and retrieved his wallet. He yanked out a fifty and stepped directly in front of the attendant who was smaller and older than Renji. “I need a few. And I think you need a smoke.”
Something about Renji’s expression made the man swallow and frown nervously. “Sir, I’m not-”
“Please.” Renji just looked at him.
Finally the attendant nodded. He took the bill and left the room, and Renji threw the service lock on the bathroom door.
Wasting no more time, Renji rounded the wall and stopped in his tracks. Byakuya stood in the center of the bathroom with his arms crossed, obviously waiting on Renji. His hair was long and loose, and there were two rows of flat, pearly beads over his right ear. He wore a dark gray suit over a sky-blue shirt, and Renji could smell the flowers even at this distance. It was, in a word, intolerable.
Renji gnashed his teeth and glared.
“May I assist you with something?” Byakuya asked.
“You can fuckin’ assist yourself over a goddamned cliff,” Renji said, biting off the ends of the words.
Byakuya didn’t even flinch. “I’m afraid I don’t find that suggestion worth consideration.”
“Yeah?” Renji said, stepping closer with his hands fisted at his sides. “You’ll pardon me if I don’t give a shit.”
Byakuya’s eyebrow twitched. “And you’ll pardon me if I don’t understand your irritation.”
Renji barked a laugh. “Aw, come on: you don’t call, you don’t write…I’m thinking you’ve forgotten all about my sorry ass.” Renji tried very hard to keep the pain out of his voice.
“That was my intention, yes,” Byakuya agreed politely.
Red started to bleed around the edges of Renji’s vision. “Some advice: next time you want to fuck outside your comfort zone, tell the guy he’s just a fuck toy and don’t bother to leave gifts by the bed.” Renji sneered. “Makes it a little obvious that he just got fucked over by some straight-ass, closet-case, rich boy.”
Byakuya’s eyes flashed and Renji felt a surge of triumph.
“I should think you’d be sympathetic to my side of this equation, Renji,” the cold bastard said. “I understand you have quite the kinship with the ‘love-them-and-leave-them’ philosophy.”
“The fuck you talkin’ about?”
Byakuya smiled without warmth. “My niece does enjoy her camera and her stories of her best friend Abarai. Apparently he’s quite the…oh, how does she put it?” Gray eyes rolled to consider. “Oh yes: man whore.”
Renji ignored the insult – Rukia wouldn’t say that – but felt like he’d been stabbed in the gut, anyway. “Wait, you knew who I was? Even at the bookstore?”
“Of course,” Byakuya said smugly.
Renji just gaped at the man, brain on temporary mute.
“I count myself as rather observant,” Byakuya continued. “And so I also saw you with your friends tonight. You must give my regards to Urahara. We’ve not spoken in some time.”
Renji shook his head to clear the fugue and frowned furiously. “So the medical note thing…that was just…”
“A way to protect myself and what I already knew, yes,” Byakuya replied neutrally.
Renji didn’t even know what to think about it all, really. But he knew how he felt. Oh yeah, that was easy:
He was fucking pissed as hell.
Not bothering to process the information further, else he try to kill the man, Renji stalked across the bathroom and roughly shoved Byakuya back against a wall. The man let him do it, not looking in the least surprised, and honestly, Renji was a little confounded by the lack of fight. But it stopped him from punching the pretty man in the face, at least.
“You’re a real asshole, you know this?” Renji asked, eyes searching Byakuya’s.
“I would not entirely disagree with that assessment.” Byakuya returned Renji’s gaze without expression. It wasn’t the answer Renji expected, and confusion bloomed in the garden of rage. Damn this man and his…His everything, Renji thought as he resisted the temptation to shake the jerk until his teeth rattled.
“So glad we agree. That your woman out there?” Renji hissed, pressing closer and boxing Byakuya in by pressing palms to the wall next to the brunette’s head.
“For now,” Byakuya answered.
“Yours until you leave her with a note and room service, huh?”
Byakuya didn’t deign to comment. The arrogance incensed Renji further.
“You think ‘bout me when you fuck her?”
“I don’t ‘fuck’ her,” Byakuya replied disdainfully. He shifted against the wall and Renji sneered.
“Oh yeah, I forgot. You don’t fuck.”
“Not entirely correct, but also not important,” Byakuya replied.
“I disagree, Kuchiki,” Renji said, bringing his face even closer to Byakuya’s. “Curious minds wanna know: are you straight with a cock fetish or are you gay and feel the need to please Daddy dearest?”
Byakuya’s mask crumbled slightly and his smooth forehead wrinkled with a slight frown. “It’s none of your concern.”
“I’m makin’ it my concern.” Renji’s eyes bored holes into Byakuya’s.
“Why would you do such a thing?” Byakuya asked, and Renji heard the tone change from formal and distant to just slightly upset with the hint of ragged. Renji’s shoulders relaxed a fraction and some of the anger receded. Not much, but some. Hurt born of the months spent hoping the asshole would call quickly filled the void left by the rage, and Renji shook his head slightly at the insanity of the situation.
With a quiet noise of disbelief and desperation, Renji leaned forward and crushed his mouth to Byakuya’s. He wanted to hurt this guy: make him feel. Renji wanted to own Byakuya – possess him – and prove to them both that he could and did. Renji bit at Byakuya’s lips, and while the brunette didn’t kiss him back, he didn’t knee Renji in the balls, either. Renji pulled back to look Byakuya in the eyes after a moment, breath a little harsh.
“Because I can’t stop thinking about you,” Renji answered. They looked at one another, and Renji saw flickers of emotion ripple in Byakuya’s eyes. “And I wanna know if I should fall on my sword now and just get it over with or what.”
“I think ritual suicide might be slightly drastic,” Byakuya said quietly, his voice a little more like the one Renji’d heard in bedrooms and bookstores.
“Again, I politely disagree,” Renji said.
“You don’t ‘politely’ do anything,” Byakuya murmured.
“Which is one reason we get along so fuckin’ well,” Renji replied with mock merriment. “I don’t take your shit.” His voice lowered. “Now answer my damned question.”
Byakuya swallowed and sighed through his nose. “I am what I must be and nothing more.”
“Not nearly good enough, Byakuya.”
“It’s all you’ll get, now-”
Renji made a frustrated noise and reached down to cup his hand over Byakuya’s crotch. He smirked when his fingers found hardening interest instead of soft indifference.
Byakuya sucked in a breath and looked ready to kill Renji. But the hard-on buoyed hope in Renji’s mind; made him think he could read this guy and understood something about him. So Renji bared his teeth in response to the deadly gaze, waiting on his answer.
“Very well,” Byakuya sighed. “I do what I must to preserve my family’s honor and my wife’s memory,” Byakuya said very quietly, sounding equal parts resigned and pissed. “I keep tight reigns on immaterial needs as I don’t normally deem them worthy of attention.” He paused. “And until recently, I was extremely good at control.” He sounded quite bitter about the whole thing.
Renji processed that for a second or two. “So you’re gay and spend too much time making other people happy.”
Byakuya snorted – a very undignified noise. “I would reply but I doubt it would make a difference to your forming opinion.”
“And when you get too backed up you invite guys up to a penthouse suite and spend some quality time with cocks and leather?” Renji couldn’t believe he’d been so blind when it came to this guy. He really was the stereotypical corporate closet case.
God, I’m such a dumbass.
“No,” Byakuya said reluctantly.
Renji’s gaze intensified. “Whattya mean, ‘no?’” he asked, infuriated. “It’s what you did to me!”
Byakuya just looked at him.
Seconds went by and shock sucker punched Renji. “Wait a damned minute – you said, ‘recently…’”
The gray-eyed man sighed and arched an eyebrow as if waiting on a child to solve the problem on the board right in front of his face.
“You mean I’m the only one you’ve ever…” Renji trailed off, eyes wide in disbelief.
“Impressive deduction; I salute you.” Byakuya’s eyes grew hard and flinty. “Now get your hand off me before I break every bone in your arm.”
Renji removed his hand but bodily blocked Byakuya from leaving. “Seriously?” Renji asked, still dazed. “But…all that shit with the leather and silk and…” Renji looked at Byakuya, feeling lost. That had been one of – if not the – most intense orgasms of his life. And everything was so carefully planned and…
“Is it so surprising?” Byakuya sighed, a world of emotion tainting the warm air. “Some of it was instinct, some was what I know I like…” Gray eyes slid away from Renji’s to stare at the wall. “You’ve never had a forbidden fantasy that you still wanted and researched, Renji?”
So not call boy at all…no, I was this guy’s one shot at being able to…fulfill his…
Renji’s tongue felt thick in his mouth as he recalled Byakuya’s words –
“Thank you…you have my gratitude…”
- and the way he looked nearly innocent in his study of Renji’s nude form. What Renji thought was teasing was actually inexperience. Renji felt entirely too hot and the room swam a little at the thought that this man – this exquisite, refined man, despite his fucked up flaws – chose Renji to trust. Renji couldn’t even fathom the kind of balls it must have taken to do what Byakuya did.
And knowing what Renji did now, everything made more sense: the way Byakuya came so fast back at the bookstore. Hell, the first time Renji was with a guy it’d taken five strokes for him to come. Granted, he’d also been 12 but…
And the nervousness when Byakuya wrapped his wrists in the silk…That wasn’t anxiety over bondage – it was desire and nerves after years of denial. And…
Then Renji thought about the desperation in Byakuya’s voice in bed in the early morning hours…
“Renji…make me come…”
Renji shook his head, furiously frowning as every experience with Byaku – Byakuya, he corrected himself – reformed and remade themselves in Renji’s mind. And he winced as he realized that the bottle wasn’t the equivalent of cash on the nightstand; it was a parting gift. A memory, a thank you, a symbol…
Renji looked at the proud, complicated man next to him and reached with two fingers to touch Byakuya’s jaw; tried to get him to look at Renji. “Byakuya…” Renji said softly, anger and hurt gone in his revelation of this man.
Byakuya jerked his chin away from Renji’s touch, not allowing it. “Now that you have your understanding, I’ll take my leave, if you please.” He nodded to indicate Renji should step back.
“I don’t please,” Renji said. “I want to see you again.”
“I’m afraid that is not possible.” Byakuya brushed Renji’s arm aside and began to walk away from the redhead.
“Bullshit it’s not. What’s stopping you?” Renji called after the stubborn man.
Byakuya turned his head to speak over his shoulder, eyes down on the floor. “I already explained things to you, Renji. Leave it be.”
“That family crap? You’re rich and powerful and the CEO aren’t you? Do whatever the hell you want. God knows you’ve done what they want for long-”
Byakuya whirled and looked angry and confused and stripped. “That ‘family crap’ is important, Abarai. But I do not expect someone with your background to understand such a thing.”
The barb hurt and hit home, and Renji’s vision grew red again. “Oh fuck me, I’m sorry: I forgot an orphan like myself wouldn’t understand your kind of family. And thank the gods for that!” Renji stalked toward Byakuya with his lips pulled back in a snarl. “The kind of family I know takes me as I am and loves me for it. Not despite it.”
Byakuya’s mouth stretched into a cruel smile. “Then I suggest you remain grateful for your little, low-class world and definition of familial ties and leave the more difficult and sacrificing decisions to the adults, dear child.” The man spun on his heel and stalked around the wall toward the door.
“Yeah, and you keep dreamin’ of my fuckin’ cock and wishing you could have another taste, old man!” Renji yelled, but he blinked back tears of rage as he heard the lock release and Byakuya leave him to stand alone in a cold room.
- Tobi's is first seen in the story, Undercurrents. Owned by Madara.
- The late night radio show from which Ichigo wins the gift cards is Kiba's program, "Open Line - Bite Me Monoshizukanohi."