Bleach Fan Fiction ❯ A Woman Behind These Clothes ❯ Chapter 5 ( Chapter 5 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
A Woman Behind These Clothes

Summary: After concealing her true gender for years, Juushiro Ukitake thought she had the art of hiding mastered...but then Ichigo, in all his brash glory, happened to stumble across her secret. Is there a way to keep the loud orange-hair substitute soul-reaper quiet? Probably not...

Pairings: Most likely Ichigo/Ukitake, Kyouraku and Ukitake friendship and Renji/Byakuya yaoi.

Disclaimer: Don’t own any of the characters associated with the Anime of Bleach.

Warnings: Juushiro Ukitake is dictated as a female in gender in this story. Yes, I am well aware that he is male in both Manga and anime, but work with me here. Yaoi is featured in this story as well. Don’t like? Then back out now...

AN: Comments, suggestions and advice on how to improve are always welcomed. Don’t be afraid to let me know what you think. Thanks in advance and I hope you like this chapter.


Chapter 5:

Ukitake opened her eyes, feeling refreshed and comfortable, and her bed warm and welcoming. She was only a little surprised that she didn’t wake up with a minor headache, something that happened quite often when she had an impromptu afternoon nap.

If we forget the fact that she was forced into having this nap...

Sitting up in bed, she pushed aside the thin blanket covering her, but paused before removing it completely. She didn’t remember moving under the sheets during her nap. She fell asleep above the bedcovers, that she was certain. Where did this blanket come from?

Gently picking up the edge of the blanket, Ukitake placed it against her cheek, feeling a sense of gratitude that someone paused briefly in their precious life to place this piece of material over her sleeping form and did it in such a way that didn’t make her feel that she was burdening them. But she also felt a sense of shame that as a captain, she was being looked after by those she should be taking care of.

It wasn’t right.

She took a deep breath, urging herself to find the energy to get out of bed, but abruptly stilled. There was a very light smell upon the blanket, very vague, but it reminded her of...

“Ichigo?” she murmured as she pulled the blanket away and gazed down at it with her eyes widening ever so slightly in surprise.

But...he left just before she fell asleep, she was definitely certain of that. She didn’t fall asleep until she no longer felt his spiritual pressure. He didn’t come back to drape this sheet over her, did he?

Ukitake chewed on her bottom lip at the thought. It was nice of Ichigo to do that, if he did, but surely, he had better things to do?

A soft knock at the door pulled Ukitake out of her thoughts and she glanced over in time to see Kiyone slowly slide the door open, appearing slightly hesitant. She seemed to glance around quickly for a moment as if she was searching for something before turning to her. “Captain?”

“Yes, what is it?” Ukitake asked as she tilted her head to the side, her brow furrowing ever so slightly as she wondered what it was Kiyone was looking for.

She was probably checking to see if Ichigo was here.

“Captain Byakuya and lieutenant Renji are here to speak with you,” Kiyone informed her with a more professional tone, the tone she usually used when she and Sentaro was competing for her respect.

“Oh?” Ukitake said as her brow unfurrowed from surprise. She pushed the blanket aside, deciding to think about its origin later and slowly climbed to her feet, patting down her clothing to appear more respectable. It’s not every day that you get a visit from both a captain and a lieutenant, especially a pair she saw canoodling earlier that day.

“Very well then, let them in,” Ukitake said with a smile on her lips and moved to vacate her room. But, she abruptly paused when she stood by Kiyone and glanced down at the younger female. “Ah, before I leave, Kiyone?”

“Yes, my captain?” Kiyone asked as she gave him an enthusiastic salute.

Ukitake continued to smile a little too cheerfully. She didn’t have a smile as deadly and frightening as Unohana, but hers can be a little intimidating when she wants it to be. “Who have you told?”

A sense of fear rippled through Kiyone’s posture. “About what, sir?” she asked with a telltale squeaky voice.


“No one! I haven't told anyone, I promise!” Kiyone said as she protested her innocence, her hands flailing about at her sides. “Sentaro told me, but I haven’t told a soul, I swear!”

Ukitake dropped her smile and narrowed her eyes at the flailing girl, her gaze holding a sense of suspicion and was searching her very carefully.

“Er...” Kiyone muttered as she took a step back, her posture edgy and nervous. Suddenly, she seemed to perk up and spun around as if she just heard something very important. “Oh, I think I can hear Sentaro calling my name! I have to go!”

And without waiting for a response, she takes off running, disappearing deeper within the walls of the Ugendo. Then, everything was silent. A little too silent.

Ukitake stood in the empty hallway for a moment before sighing deeply and slumping her posture forward as if from defeat. “...Oh, she’s told Isane,” she murmured as she touched her forehead in a weary type way.

Returning back to her full height, Ukitake made another mental note to speak with her third seats regarding what they think they witnessed with her and Ichigo later on and returned to what was important right now. Byakuya and Renji are most likely waiting for her to appear, it would be rude to make them wait any longer.

Lingering outside the sitting room to make sure she looked presentable and hiding any signs of her previous head spin, Ukitake walked confidentially into the room and smiled widely at her fellow Soul Reapers.

“Good evening, Captain Byakuya and Renji-kun,” she greeted warmly as she sat down across from them. “What can I do for you?”

“Good evening Captain Ukitake,” Renji immediately responded as he bowed his head just a little in a show of respect. Renji might be wild and loud at the best of times, but he was also very respectful toward his captains.

Byakuya offered no verbal greeting, instead simply nodded his head in her direction. He was never really the one for such formalities for others, anyway, and Ukitake accepted that. “We have a matter we would like to discuss with you.”

“Very well then,” Ukitake said as she nodded her head in understanding. “First, would you like something to eat or drink?”

The very moment those words left her lips, the door flew open and a hand full of her lower seats stepped into the room with trays of drinks, tea, food and fruit, before all scurrying away, leaving the two captains and lieutenant alone once again.

Renji looked blatantly surprised by the quick response while the ever cool and seemingly emotionless Byakuya merely raised an eyebrow.

“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Renji muttered under his breath, but sounded impressed nonetheless.

Ukitake, however, just smiled.

Oh, she was well aware that her Division members were lingering just outside the door. They weren’t eavesdropping, but something worst. They were waiting in the wings to immediately jump into action if she suffered yet another coughing fit.

“Please, eat whatever you like,” Ukitake encouraged as she picked up a steamy cup of tea that was placed ever so subtly in front of her.

Renji looked uncertain for a moment and discreetly glanced in his captain’s direction. And Byakuya, for his part, returned the gaze, which lingered a lot longer than it should have and nodded his head ever so slightly. That little action caused Renji’s expression to brighten considerably and he reached forward to take some of the food that was being offered, happily popping a couple of sweets into his mouth.

Then, he moved toward the pot of tea and poured a small cup, but Ukitake suspected that it wasn’t for him, but for...

Yep, she was right! Renji placed the tea in front of his captain and Byakuya actually accepted it when another small nod.

She giggled into her tea. She couldn’t help herself, the way the two of them were sitting as close as possible without looking too suspicious, the way their hands accidentally brushed against each other made her want to coo at them. They were so cute.

“Ah, captain Ukitake?”

Pulling her tea away from her lips, Ukitake cleared her throat in an attempt to quell her chuckles and straightened her posture. “I’m sorry, I just remembered something Rukia told me about Ichigo,” she explained quickly. “What were you saying?”

“Eh?” Renji muttered as he arched one of his eyebrows upward. “Ichigo?”

“Yes, she speaks about him quite a lot,” Ukitake replied as she placed her tea back down upon the table in front of her. “Now, what pressing matter brings both a captain and a lieutenant here?”

Again, Renji looked a little uncertain and shared another glance with Byakuya. They seemed to have a silent conversation with their eyes before Renji gave a very light wince and scratched the back of her neck. “Ah, there are these rumours going round.”

“There usually is,” Ukitake simply quipped back.

“Yeah, I guess,” Renji said as he scratched his neck a little harder. “Well, these rumours are about Ichigo.”

Ukitake resisted the urge to sigh. Of course there would be all sorts of rumours flying about the Seretei. Ichigo and his friends did make an abrupt and explosive entrance, didn’t they?

“That didn’t take long, did it?” she said with a slow shake of her head.

Renji shifted uncomfortably in his seat. “And they, ah...”

“What’s wrong, Renji-kun?” Ukitake asked, frowning at Renji’s uncharacteristic fidgeting.


“They’re about you and Ichigo,” Byakuya was the one to explain in his usual and monotone tone of voice. “And your sudden closeness with the human.”

“Hmm?” Ukitake blinked slowly for a moment, surprised simply etched upon her face. “Me and Ichigo?”

That was quick! Neither she nor Ichigo even had the chance to stop gossip from spreading. She knew she shouldn’t have had that nap Ichigo was so intent that she’d have. Although, stopping gossip from spreading was nigh impossible, especially within the Soul Society.

When you live for hundreds of years, you get bored quite easily. And Hell Butterflies can be right little fighters when the situation called for it.

She’s going to have to have a nice long chat with her two third seats about the pressing matter of captain privacy and confidentiality afterwards.

“I knew it...” she murmured darkly under her breathe as she resisted the urge to drop her head to the table before her.

“He’s been seen here quite a lot as of late,” Byakuya continued to explain, Renji seemingly relieved that he’s not the one doing it. “Why is that?”

Again, Ukitake found herself blinking in utterly bewilderment.

Here a lot? Well, not really. It’s only been a week since she made her deal with him, and she’s only seen him twice, three times if you include today. Although, for the past week she was sick in bed with a fever and slept most of the time. Could Ichigo have come to visit her while she was resting, checking up on her without her knowledge?

Would he really do that for a sick, frail old woman like her?

Aw, that would be so sweet if he did come to visit. Surely, though, he would have much more pressing matters to contend with then visit her while she’s sleeping, right?

A suddenly spike in spiritual pressure pulled Ukitake out of her musings and she tilted her head to the side, glancing outside for a moment. It took only a mere second to recognize that spiritual pressure and a second after that did she realize that he was heading back in this direction.

With a sigh of sympathy escaping her lips, Ukitake shook her head when she recognized the other spiritual pressure not far behind the first one.

It appeared that poor Ichigo wasn’t able to hide from Captain Kenpachi for very long. She wondered who ratted him out first. Was it Ikkaku looking for a fight himself? Or maybe it was lieutenant Yachiru in effort to make Ken-chan happy?

“I’m afraid this conversation will have to pause for a moment,” Ukitake said as she turned to her two guests, calculating that Ichigo was only mere seconds away.

“What?” Renji said in blatant surprise, but then he furrowed his brow, Byakuya next to him doing the same.

Ah, so they finally sensed Ichigo coming as well.

Not a moment after that, they heard a loud thud on the roof of the Ugendo, followed by rapid footsteps along the tiles to the location where they were. Renji and Byakuya glanced up and followed the noise while Ukitake found herself shaking her head in mild disbelief.

Maybe she should have a chat with Captain Kenpachi sometime in the future as well. Ichigo should be allowed the walk the streets of the Seretei without fear of being killed around every corner in a ‘friendly’ battle.

Flipping down from the roof in a way that appeared effortless, Ichigo landed in a crouched position on the floor. He stilled there to catch his breath, giving Ukitake a moment to take in his appearance and felt a sense of relief that he wasn’t sporting any injuries. He was getting better at avoiding his impending battles with Kenpachi.

Well, he has had a lot of practice lately.

Heaving his Zanpakuto onto his back, he sprung to his feet, dashed around Ukitake’s side of the table, offered a very quick ‘Hey’ in her direction, threw open the door and then slammed it shut behind him.

He moved so quickly that he actually left a strong breeze in his wake and Ukitake felt her hair fall over her shoulder. She heard a few gasps of surprise from her beloved lower seats before everything went silent.

And through it all, Ukitake continued to smile sweetly, keeping her attention on her two very bewildered guests. Even Byakuya seemed to be openly surprised by what just happened.

This was going to take some explaining...