satsu: (Tuti)
Title: From Aria to Cadenza
Author: [profile] satsu_basu
Characters: Kuchiki Byakuya, Abarai Renji, Kuchiki Rukia
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Soul Society Arc
Disclaimer: Bleach and its original setting belong to Kubo Tite
Word Count: 1.470
Summary: Byakuya lived his life as if music was playing in the background. And, somehow, Renji wanted to listen to it, too.
Note: Written for [ profile] senkaimon but I also dedicate this to [ profile] fernandassk because she loves ByaRen and I owe her a KenBya so this is kinda like a peace offering xD


His first thought upon entering the Sixth Division was that he wouldn't be able to fit in. At all.

Having been to a much too-lenient-and-friendly division like the Fifth and a kidou-is-for-losers like the Eleventh, Renji was unsure if he could find it in himself to adapt to the strict rules set by Kuchiki Byakuya's high standards.

But as he first saw the man working, the redhead was surprised with his Captain's routine.

Kuchiki Byakuya lived his life as if music was playing.

His overwhelming power was beautifully balanced with his elegance, making it seem like the flawlessness of his every action was effortlessly and naturally achieved.

Watching him write his reports, one could almost hear the sounds of the orchestra following each unfaltering stroke of his brush.

It wasn't long before Renji was captivated by it, but he was also sure that he could never do something even remotely similar. So he decided that he would win his Captain's trust through his own matters.

And by doing so, by achieving Kuchiki-taichou's 'approval', he would once again be together with Rukia.

She was sent to the human world and he decided to postpone their encounter so he could proudly show her the insignia adorning his left arm after the ceremonies took place.

It was an unfortunate, yet premeditated, turn of events that made their meeting quite an unpleasant one...

Renji had his heart torn when facing the decision of who to follow. And by the time he lifted his sword against the same person he had sworn to protect and obey, he was already broken.

However, it wasn't his inability to surpass him, his utter shame in having to ask for someone else to protect Rukia, it wasn't the horrid pain across his body or the far more hurtful one stinging at his pride that nearly brought tears to his eyes, but the discovery of his Captain's dilemma.

One far more difficult than his own.

The scarlet-haired shinigami fought against the restraints imposed by the Fourth Division's officers before the injuries his Captain had inflicted on him could even begin to heal.

He climbed the stairs from his commoner stall to the noble room with severely injured legs and several broken ribs, perhaps as a self-inflicted punishment for not realizing Kuchiki-taichou's pain.

Everything made sense now.

He had never seen a hesitant stroke in his kanji before the very same day Rukia's sentence was given. He had never seen him leave his tea unfinished before the report of her being taken to Senzaikyu reached his hands.

But he decided to believe in the never changing calm expression and in the cool words of insensitive reasoning.

Even though he could see the disturbance in Byakuya's, otherwise, unblemished routine, he never enquired anything, blindly following at his own imperfect pace, too caught up in trying to reach the unattainable level of his Captain to see that his very goal was crumbling beneath its master's feet.

He limped towards the door and stopped right in front of it, the 'Kuchiki' kanjis staring at him, mocking his blood, unworthy of even being in the same floor as them.

But still, he wanted to go in. He wanted to see his Captain. Ask for forgiveness, retain for his betrayal.

At that moment, Renji looked up to him more than anything and his heart thundered painfully inside his chest at the thought of dancing to the sound of clashing swords with him again, not as enemies, but as rivals.

With a deep breath, he opened the door, surprised at the sight of the noble man looking as frail as his beauty had ever been, but lacking the powerful aura that made him the feared and respected warrior he was.


"Kuchiki-taichou..!" He bowed deeply, immediately regretting not having remembered about his various wounds before doing so. Renji also adjusted the nervous and loud intonation of his voice as to not disturb the man. "I-I..."

And suddenly, he found himself with no words, fearing that the man he wanted to surpass would... reject him.

But before he could try to gather his many thoughts into one coherent sentence, Byakuya's calm voice sounded again.

"Thank you..." He said, truthfully, even though his blue eyes were still set on watching the scenery outside the window.

"...W-What for?" Renji was a bit confused.

"For protecting her." There was a lingering sadness to his voice and he turned his face to look at his underling. "When I... Chose not to."

The redhead was rendered speechless. Not only was he forgiving, or more so, not even finding the need of an apology, but he was thanking him.

With tired and somewhat emotional eyes, Byakuya was acknowledging Renji's strength and worth, not only as his vice-captain, but as a person.

And it might have been on that moment that he realized it...

Ever since they were children, Renji sought after Rukia. It was his reason for joining the Sixth, after all, staying close to the man who pushed them apart, surpassing him so he could somehow retrieve the connection with her that was lost due to the distance.

However, along the way, those priorities seemed to change.

And he found himself wanting to see him right after regaining his conscience.

Renji, like he had always done, was chasing after Rukia, but his goal was no longer her...

Still not being able to proffer any words, the vice-captain simply bowed his head, taking a seat after the other man asked him to do so.

A comfortable silence settled between the two and they simply looked at each other for several seconds.

Something changed inside them. A small, newly found sense of realization.

And who knows if their upcoming relation would have started right then if Ichigo hadn't interrupted.

It developed slowly, in a hesitant and slightly clumsy way.

One had to learn how to be open, the other, how to pull back.

Byakuya was cool, composed and very well reserved. His mere presence made Renji a much calmer person, what gave him the opportunity to relish the small reactions the stoic man would eventually show him, to the fullest. His blushing face was his absolute favorite.

Renji was passionate and wild. But most of all, he was free, in every sense of the word, meanings which Byakuya only knew in theory, but was quite hopeful that, beside the scarlet-haired man, he could learn them in practice as well.

Those differences which they admired so much in each other were the exact reasons why they cherished one another with such intensity.

Because, in the intimacy held inside four walls, Byakuya could lick the path of black strokes adorning the slightly tanned muscles, he could bite onto the strong neck as he took him from behind, enjoying the scent of those red tresses he loved so much.

And likewise, Renji could touch the alabaster skin with utmost care, relish the feel of creamy smoothness under his calloused fingers as he held his lover by the waist while he sat on top of him, placing butterfly kisses over Byakuya's flushed cheeks, trying to hide his pleasure with a light frown.

Both of them could easily shift from luscious to loving, from demanding to submissive, they could integrate both sides or even fight for their picks.

In the end, they'd be lying beside each other, scarlet threads tangling with black ones as they spent immeasurable moments simply taking pleasure in their proximity.

And at some point, they'd shift even closer, until their bodies shared some sort of contact.

Right then, with Haoris, insignias, hair-pieces and scarves scattered on the floor, there were no differences in status, position or worth. There was no need for strength, skill or honor. They were equals at heart.

Two boys forced to grow up too soon, one lost his freedom abiding to the traditions of his household, the other's freedom cost him his innocence.

Byakuya lived following the melodic sounds of his family's orchestra.

Renji survived through the passionate cries of the battlefields.

But when together, their hearts beat in synch to their own accord.

And as they fall asleep enveloped by each other's warmth, they can retrieve the youth that was never theirs to begin with and learn together not to follow the rhythm imposed by the world, but how to play the soundtrack for their own lives.


Last minute writing, inspiration came in late, this time. .__. First time writing this pairing, I don't know how I feel about the result xD I enjoyed writing the angst, as always. But I'm unsure if the characterization is any good. I believe I can do them justice separately, but together... not so much ^^'

About the title, I used Aria as in any pre-written work and Cadenza as an improvised passage. Not sure if I used it correctly, but that's what I was going for xD

I hope you enjoyed reading it!
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March 2012

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