My third and final entry. There's a bit of a story behind this one behind the cut.
In Japan, November 11 is Pocky Day, (11/11 happens to look like sticks of Pocky), and the day also happens to be my birthday. Because of some mistranslation on some scanlations back when I was re-reading the beginning of Bleach, I mistakenly believed that Ishida and I shared the same birthday, and this fic idea entered my head. When I learned it was five days earlier, I scrapped the fic idea - until this contest.
Anyways, enjoy the fic!
There was a knocking on Ishida’s apartment door, and the young Quincy got up from his calculus book to attend to it. He hadn’t been expecting anyone, so he wondered who it might be – with equal parts annoyance and curiosity.
He opened the door to find Inoue Orihime beaming radiantly at him, holding out a bag from the local convenience store.
“…Inoue-san,” Ishida said finally, clearly surprised to see her there.
“Happy Pocky Day!” she exclaimed, quickly handing him the bag. He took it automatically, clearly still taken aback.
“What…?” he asked.
“It’s Pocky Day!” she informed him brightly. “One-one-one-one POCKY!” This chant was accompanied by holding up two V-signs with her fingers and beaming at him so brightly Ishida felt a faint flush at the tip of his nose.
It was the Eleventh of November, wasn’t it?
Still, that begged the question of why she wanted to spend her Pocky Day with him.
“Would you like to come inside?” Ishida offered politely.
Orihime smiled and nodded, as Ishida stepped out of her way so that she could enter.
As Ishida set down the bag filled with the day’s namesake, Orihime pulled up a second chair and whisked away his calculus book. Ishida registered this fact with only a faint feeling of regret that was quickly pushed aside as she began to unload the candy.
“I wasn’t sure what type you would like, so I bought them all,” she told him. She said this like it was the most normal thing in the world, and Ishida decided he probably would never stop being surprised by her. “There’s green tea, and strawberry, and grape, and men’s pocky if you like bitter chocolate, and-“
Startled, Ishida cut her off. “You didn’t have to do that, Inoue-san,” he said quickly, pushing up his glasses. He was a little bit flattered.
Orihime paused from her recitation. “But I wanted to!” she told him. “I wanted to share my Pocky Day with you!”
“Inoue-san, you… why didn’t you spend your day with Tatsuki-chan?” Or Kurosaki-kun, he added mentally.
She was already opening one of the boxes of plain chocolate. “But Tatsuki-chan is at karate practice,” she said. She handed one of the chocolate-covered sticks to Ishida. “Think of it as… your late birthday present from me!”
Ishida was once again surprised. He didn’t think anyone knew that his birthday had been five days ago. “How…” he started to ask.
“Rukia told me,” she said. That begged the question of where Rukia had gotten the information. “I didn’t know in time for your birthday, so I’m making it up to you now.”
“Rukia…?” Ishida questioned, unsure of what he wanted to know more – how Rukia had known his birthday, or why she would tell Orihime.
Orihime continued on, unheeding. “Nobody should be alone on their birthday!” she said, and she smiled so sweetly, Ishida wondered why he had kept his birthday a secret for so long. It had always seemed like such an extravaganza-- “So I’m making it up to you now.”
Ishida flushed and slid his glasses further up the bridge of his nose.
“It’s like…” she searched for a simile, and snatched the Pocky stick from Ishida’s hand. “It’s like eating just one Pocky! One is okay, sometimes. But once you have one, you end up eating a whole bunch until you’re all full, and your mouth tastes like chocolate and green tea all over!”
Ishida wasn’t sure if this was the best metaphor, but she was already opening a package of green tea flavor.
“Do you like mixing Pocky flavors, Ishida-kun?” she asked him.
He was about to reply that he did not eat candy that often, and so had never had the opportunity to try and mix flavors, but Orihime had already put the two sticks in his mouth. Startled, Ishida closed his lips around the chocolate.
“Try it!” Orihime said, her face glowing.
Ishida took a tentative bite and tried it out on his tongue. The flavor combination wasn’t actually that bad – maybe she was actually on to something. Orihime watched him carefully for any sign of disgust, and found that she was very close to his contemplative blue eyes, his slanted nose, and his lips closing sensually around the candy. She wasn’t sure, but he seemed to notice too. For a moment, she just wanted him to kiss her.
Instead, he flushed, turned away, and quickly pushed the rest of the Pocky into his mouth.
Well, if he wasn’t going to be the unchivalrous one and just kiss her, then she was going to have to do it.
She placed her hands on his cheekbones, turned his head, and for a moment just stared through his glasses into his intense blue eyes. And then she kissed him.
It didn’t last very long, but he tasted like chocolate, and his soft response was enough to gratify her.
Orihime pulled away, blushing and smiling shyly. What do you say to a boy you’ve just kissed?
Ishida’s surprised gaze turned heated, and there was an intense look in his blue eyes. He cupped her head and pulled her into a sweepingly passionate kiss that left Orihime breathless. She was highly aware that this was the first time she had kissed a boy.
Ishida grinned at her a little boyishly. He turned to the snacks on the table.
“Shall we?” he prompted, grabbing another chocolate and green tea. He handed them to Orihime.
She smiled at him. The time for saying things, for working this out, could come later. For now, they could just share the moment.
“You’re right,” he said philosophically, contemplating the chocolate. “Together, it is sweeter.”
Orihime nodded and bit into the chocolate.
It really was sweet.