Pairing: Kenpachi/Jushiro, past Kenpachi/first!Yachiru
Word count: 851
Summary: Sometimes, love just doesn't need words.
A/N: Written for Table 12, prompt #1: speaking out of turn, 5_prompts and prompt #39: hardships, otp_100.
Stepping out of the bathroom, wrapped in nothing but a white bathrobe, Jushiro paused a moment to allow his eyes a moment to linger upon the form on the bed. Lying spread-eagled, Kenpachi appeared very much asleep, his chest rising and falling steadily with each breath he took.
Jushiro tiptoed towards the bed, securing the robe around himself to block out the cold, and slipped under the covers as carefully and quietly as he could. Kenpachi stirred, cracking an eye open to take in his lover and, grabbing him by the scruff of his robe, pulled him down to his chest. Jushiro landed hard, his back smacking against the man, but Kenpachi seemed every bit unfazed.
"Ye took yer time in the shower," he muttered, grinning when Jushiro raised his head and frowned at him. "Didn't want me in there, too. What, ye playin' hard-t'-get or somethin'?"
That brought a smile to Jushiro's face, and he, chuckling, pressed a kiss to Kenpachi's temple. "Maybe." The grunt that he received only made him pat the other man's chest, reassuring him – not like he needed it.
Jushiro pulled the covers over them, ignoring the desire that stirred within him at the sight of Kenpachi's bare torso, the way his loose hakama slid so low down his waist, and snuggled close for warmth. It was a rather cold night, with the window open to let in some air; Jushiro wondered just how Kenpachi could stand having so much skin exposed to the elements, but then again, he was very much used to it. Living in the hellhole of the Rukongai had steeled him against nature.
Jushiro's fingertips fleeted across his skin, tracing the many scars littering his body, the contours of flesh and taut muscles – he had realized a long time ago not to fight his indulgences; Jushiro simply couldn't keep his hands off the man. He had tried so many times, but always ended up with a craving for physical contact. His natural scent, one that smelled like sandalwood and freshly cut grass, was one that Jushiro couldn't let go off – it was just addictive.
Raising himself on an elbow, Jushiro took Kenpachi's face in a hand and bent down to kiss him. A soft touch of their lips; Kenpachi wrapped a large hand around the back of his neck and brought him down, deepening the kiss. Jushiro allowed his free hand to roam across the other's chest, stroking his collarbone, neck, abdomen, till it came up to his cheek, eyes holding a sentiment that he only felt whenever he was in the man's presence.
"I love you," he whispered against his mouth, just loud enough for the both of them to hear. It took a moment before Kenpachi could recover from his daze, but when he did, he pulled away and turned around to lie on his side, his back facing Jushiro.
The older man knew what his partner was going through right then. On rare occasion, he had been fed little snippets of life way back in the Rukongai, the 80th District. He never really knew what it was like, just that it was a place where the worse of the worst spent their days hunting prey. And in all that darkness, the chaos, Kenpachi had admitted into discovering that one person who made his life all the more worthwhile, who moulded him into someone from the nothing that he used to be – who gave him a purpose to live.
And when she died, he had lost his anchor, resurfacing once again when the child came along.
To say that Jushiro understood what he was going through would be a lie. He didn't know just what had happened back in those days – Kenpachi never really talked much about it, but when he did open up to Jushiro, when he held a sake cup to his lips on a moonlit night, Jushiro could detect the straining amount of pain in his eyes when he brought up the subject.
And now it seemed like those memories had come back to haunt him once again.
With his mouth set in a thin, straight line, Jushiro rested a hand on Kenpachi's waist, silently reassuring him that it was all right. After thinking twice, he planted a soft kiss to his shoulder, on the long, deep scar that stretched from his blade over to his chest. Whatever managed to deal such a blow to him, Jushiro would never know, but he was only grateful that the attack didn't cost him his life.
The silence was beginning to unnerve him, but just when he was about to lay down, Kenpachi grabbed his hand and pulled it forwards, causing Jushiro to press up against his back. He didn't say anything, his eyes squeezed shut, but his grip was firm, solid, holding Jushiro's hand to his chest.
A small smile, and Jushiro tightened his hold around Kenpachi, burying his face in his broad back. There were no words needed, but both of them knew that whatever happened, Jushiro would always be there for him.