Author: Tsubame Ongaku
Characters: Uryuu Ishida and Orihime Inoue
For months, they had always noticed each other’s names. They were far too different and far too engrossed in their own worlds. But their differences--- they discover were only skin deep. After one discovery, one thing lead to another and it lead to friendship. Bit by bit; little by little--- things change.
Thank you, elfishscallywag It was you wo got me thinking.
No offense to fans of Shakespeare. I am actually a Shakespeare fan too. I love the guy, really!
I read the last Part 2 again. Before I knew it, I deleted the last chapter and decided to rewrite it again. I want to make it so much better because in my head it had potential. Because I was trying to reach a deadline, it was so rushed. I think my best works are those that allowed me at least 3 months to write. Someone’s comment got me thinking. This is really thanks to you! You gave me the idea. What if this were a story were Orihime was out of the loop a little longer? It would be a lot more like the Bleach we know. I think most people will agree that this is so much better.
Disclaimer: The World you are about to Enter is Completely fictional. They belong to the Manga artist, Kubo Tite. I do not own Shakespeare. Any events or characters resembling real people is purely coincidental… or I am just psychic. :D
: Of His and Her Circumstances :
By Tsubame Ongaku
: Part II :
: His :
The Best thing in Life is finding someone
who knows all your mistakes and weaknesses
and still thinks that you are completely amazing.
Give him Algorithms.
Give him pie charts.
Give him the Periodic Table of Elements.
But, someone please rescue him from Shakespeare.
Unfortunately for him however, for this semester he was part of the lesson plan.
English is actually one of Ishida’s strongest subjects because he had studied it along with Chinese and Spanish as a child. His father had always been strict with his upbringing and education. According to experts, someday Chinese will become one of the most frequently used language and surpassing English.
So, that wasn’t the problem.
“Mr. Ishida, please stand and recite the Sonnet 18.” Since Mrs. Honda was still in the hospital after giving birth to a healthy baby girl, a substitute teacher took over during her absence. Unfortunately, it was a teacher that he could never seem to see eye to eye. In fact, detesting him was probably one of the rare things that he and Ichigo could agree on.
And their mutual dislike for the man is not without reason.
“Yes, Tanaka-sensei,” The bespectacled boy almost growled. He knew that teacher was calling him specifically on purpose, but he knew better than to let the overweight educator get to him. Picking up is book, he began reading. “Shall I compare you to a summer’s day? You are lovely and more constant…”
When he was done, his classmates applauded him for his fluent English. Making the teacher very unhappy, when his purpose was to humiliate him. Instead of allowing him to sit, he made him stand to explain the poem for the whole class.
With a sigh and a very stern frown, Ishida did as he was told. “…and what Shakespeare is trying to tell us is that with this poem, he presents the girl immortality. Because, for as long as there are still people on Earth that keeps this sonnet alive… she is.”
“What is that look you are giving me, Mr. Ishida?”
He only frowned deeper, but pretended not to understand. “What look?”
The older man gave an amused smirk and leaned against his desk in a ‘I-Am-More-Superior-than-thou’ pose that really got in Ishida’s nerves. “A look that tells me that you just want to pick that pen up from your desk and stab me with it.”
It was funny that he said that, because that was exactly what he was thinking of doing. He wouldn’t miss either. Being a member of the Archery club, he was an excellent shot. The man deserved it. In fact, he probably deserved more. Instead of saying anything, he remained silent.
“You think you are so smart, don’t you?”
As tempted as it was to reply that he, in fact, was smart, he stopped himself and remained silent. Letting his eyes do the talking. And if looks could kill, Tanaka would already be lying on the ground swimming in his own blood.
Despite the teacher’s show for the class that he was not afraid of the young man, the sweat down his back said otherwise. As quiet as he mostly seems, Ishida was not one you could push around and he made that quite clear to the man as well.
No one knew who was more grateful when the bell rang, the students that could sense the growing animosity in the room or the teacher that was sweating buckets on his chair. Ishida simply didn’t care. He just began fixing his things and left the room like nothing happened.
He immediately went to the roof to be alone. Once he was there, he locked the door and dropped his things on the ground. It was only then that he let all is anger and frustrations out. Shouting, he threw a punch at the wall, accidentally hitting a light switch. His punch was so strong that he cracked it right in the middle.
“You’re destroying school property, you know.”
“I did not ask for commentary, Kurosaki. What are you doing here?”
Ichigo had been lying around on the water tower when Ishida stormed inside. “I was in here before you. I should be the one asking you that.” Ichigo shrugged--- his attention then going to the bruised hand that Ishida was trying to hide. “You need to get that looked up by a nurse.”
“I can take care of this myself.”
Not wanting to pick a fight, Ichigo just jumped down from the water tower and began massaging the sore muscles from lying down on a hard surface too long. “What happened? I have seen you calm while having a knife pointed at you. Something ticked you off.”
“Mind your own business and leave me alone, Kurosaki. This is something I can handle myself,” he answered, forcing himself to show nothing but his cool façade. This was his fight; not Kurosaki’s. And if he even knows the name, he’d probably decide to get involved. He was much to proud to have another person involved in his business and no one took pride more seriously than he did.
Whether it was pride or just plain old stubbornness, Ichigo couldn’t really tell the difference at times. Sometimes with Ishida it was the same thing. “You’re a stubborn bastard as usual.”
They were interrupted by a loud knocking on the door, Ichigo walked pass him to unlock it. Keigo, Mizuiro and Rukia walked in and they were looking for Ishida. It seemed news traveled fast. They had already heard of what had happened in his class.
After Keigo told the group of what he’d heard, Ichigo could stop frowning. He knew the man of course and he was annoying as hell but that wasn’t why he’d personally want to stab him and would probably help supply the weapons for assassination. Oh, no. The reason was much more personal...
Most of the time, he and Ishida couldn’t agree on anything. But for this… he was definitely on Ishida’s side.
“What are you going to do?”.
Frowning, Ishida pushed his glasses up again deep in thought. “Nothing. Why are you asking me? You’re the one who should be looking for revenge?
That caused Ichigo to pause, remembering exactly why he loathed that teacher so much. That scum. He should have beat him up until he forgot how to walk. “I need more proof. You know that. Someday. I’ll get him.”
“Got any ideas?”
Turning to Mizuiro and Keigo, he saw that they were talking with Rukia, who was laughing forcefully. It seemed Keigo made a joke and Rukia just didn’t get it.
But--- Someday Ichigo’d really like to know what problem he had with Shakespeare.
“It was the first time that I ever thought that Ishida-san could look so scary,” Michiru Ogawa, a girl from class A and a classmate of Ishida’s told the rest of the members of the Handicrafts Club. “It was like he could just pull out a gun any minute and shoot him.”
The members--- including Orihime were huddled together in a circle.
Most of the members who were not part of Class A found it very difficult to believe the tale. It was pretty hard to imagine Ishida being as scary as Michiru described him. Ishida wasn’t unpopular in school. He always looked angry and stern; kept mostly to himself but was mostly a pretty harmless guy.
The fact that they had seen him wield a needle and thread with a doll on one hand didn’t help in painting that scary image either.
“I’m serious!” She insisted.
It was only received with giggles by the other girls. One by one, they began to leave to do their own business. Still very much in turmoil by what to believe, Orihime stayed behind to ask more questions. “Are you sure it is Ishida-kun?”
“Inoue-san, I know what Ishida-san looks like.” Michiru leaned back on her seat, a bit disappointed that no one would believe her.
Orihime hadn’t seen a lot of Ishida since he kissed her. It was probably for the best, because if she did see him… she wasn’t at all too sure what to say.
“Maybe, he is a fake!” Orihime jumped up and smiled. “Maybe the real Ishida-kun is trapped in an alien space ship and the scary person in your classroom is a fake Ishida-kun. Maybe it is a robot they sent to scout for information about humans, to see if they can use anything to take over the world!”
Michiru blinked, not knowing what to say really. No one could ever catch up with Orihime’s excitement once she got an idea for something.
Ishida walked in quietly, busy reading a book that was in a language they couldn’t understand. It didn’t look English. So busy was he that he didn’t notice that the room became eerily quiet. Nor did he notice that the students were following his every move… from the moment he opened the door to the moment he sat down on his usual seat, two seats away from Orihime.
Michiru bit her lip nervously and walked away, joining the other members at the back. Orihime--- well, she walked towards him, then pulling a seat beside him and sat down. Ishida still didn’t seem to notice at first, but she for some reason… knew he noticed her.
After a few seconds of silence, he flipped to the next page. “How may I help you, Miss Orihime?”
“Are you Ishida-kun?”
At the question, Ishida stopped reading to look up at her, not quite understanding what brought her to ask such a question. He had been asked a lot of strange things in his 15 years but this was the first time a friend had ever questioned his identity.
When he didn’t reply, she began poking his shoulder and pinching his cheeks. “If you aren’t Ishida-kun, this is a very good disguise, Robot-san.”
“Robot-san?” What in the world was she saying? What gave her the idea he was a robot? His hand wrapped around hers to cease her from poking him. “Miss… Orihime, I am Ishida. I am not a robot. This is real skin--- so please stop. It doesn’t feel pleasant to be poked… or pinched.”
Orihime pulled her hand away from his face and continued to stare. “Hnm… then something is wrong, isn’t it? I don’t think Ishida-kun would get angry without a very good reason.” Her expression now was very serious, and her voice was low enough for only him to hear. If the reason was something too personal, she would understand is need for privacy.
Putting down his book, he tried to think of what to say. “Miss Orihime, I will tell you some day, but not now, okay?”
Ishida expected insisting and coercing, but Orihime just smiled and nodded that she understood. “What are you reading? It doesn’t look English… what is… vi…v--err?”
“It is vivre. It’s Spanish. I already read the English. Probably a man that makes more sense to me than Shakespeare. Metamorphosis by Kafuka.” He proceeds to tell her about a man that woke up as a giant cockroach.
The next day, there was an announcement in the P.A. system.
Mr. Yoshihiro Tanaka was killed in a vehicle accident on his way home. That was all the teachers were saying but rumors say that the teacher was drunk, which was probably the reason why he had driven off the road. It was very possible since he was often seen dancing on top of tables in popular bars. Nobody liked the guy, 89% of the students think it was good riddance. The rest thought he could at least have left them their grades. Since he was an educator of the school, the students had gathered in the courtyard to show their respects.
Except for Ichigo and Ishida. They were watching everything from the roof. Tanaka’s death meant trouble for them. That meant somewhere in the city that asshole was lurking around doing who knows what.
“Why are you here, Uryuu?”
“Probably the same reason as you. I am not showing my respects to that bastard.”
And, he was right. “You didn’t kill him, did you?”
The bespectacled teen frowned and looked away from the scene of students offering their condolences to a teacher that brought them nothing but insults and torture. “Don’t be stupid. You know as well as I do that killing the man wouldn’t solve anything. In fact, it would probably cause more problems. How do I know you didn’t?”
“Killing him was never my plan. The bastard deserved a lot more than that.”
Ishida couldn’t agree with him more. He and Ichigo fought over almost everything. They differed too much. This was an exception. “You expect me to believe that stupid plan of yours to dress Mizuiro-san in a dress and use him as bait would have worked?”
Shrugging, Ichigo replied. “I don’t exactly see you coming up with anything. Are you just going to just wait for the next girl?”
Of course, Ichigo had a point.
The question was--- what they were going to do now? Waiting was no going to be easy. “What did Kuchiki-san say?”
“There is no reading yet, but she’ll let us know but we have to be alert and standby in case she needs us. For all we know, that thing is defective.” He leaned against the metal rails and slid down until he was sitting on the floor. “Knowing what a bastard that guy was, this is probably going to be trouble.”
“How much time do we have before he becomes a hollow?”
“Hard to tell. I know one thing. We need to kick his ass soon.”
“In other words, we are working tonight.”
Ishida wasn’t really bothered that it was dark and that he only had a flashlight in is hands as his only light source. It didn’t bother him that the halls were dark, the night was cold and it didn’t even occur to him to think of the monsters that could be lying within the shadows… because he knew there weren’t any.
Oh, he would definitely know if something was there.
He was an intelligent man, so you could say that the imagination wasn’t his area of expertise. What he knew were tactics, techniques, strategies and facts. His efficiency and High IQ had proven to be valuable in the team countless times.
His lack of… imagination had always made him wonder if that was the reason for why he had soft spot for Orihime Inoue. That, however, did not make any sense to him. Now that he thought about it, trying to find logic in his own actions felt very odd. Trying to find reason for his soft spot for the girl wasn’t any better.
That night, it was supposed to be like every other night...of course, plans don’t always go the way you imagine it. As he walked down the halls on his way to the classroom where he knew the others would be waiting, he spots a figure walking towards him in the dark.
If it had been one of the night guards, he was just about ready to duck into the empty classrooms, but as the figure came closer, something caught his attention.
No night vision goggles were necessary. Just the burning orange hair that was clearly reflected by his flashlight was enough to tell him who it was. “Miss Orihime? You are here so late. Why aren’t you home?”
Most students had hurried home early. Probably to celebrate.
“Ishida-kun! I’m so glad you are here!” A bright smile and a relieved look on her face, as she ran towards him. She had her book bag tightly in front of her. “Tatsuki-chan already left for her tournament at the next town--- so I was scared that I was the only one here again… wait.” She suddenly stopped and tilted her head to the side and asked. “Ishida-kun, you’re not a ghost are you?”
Another odd question. She never failed to surprise him.
“I mean, you have to be, right, Mr. Ghost? What would Ishida-kun be doing here at night? Unless, Ishida-kun took the job as a night janitor… Ishida-kun doesn’t really look like the Night janitor type.”
“No, Miss Orihime. It’s me.”
“Oh! That is good, then. I don’t have to call an exorcist.”
At that, he shook his head and gave a small smile. “Come on. I’ll take you home.”
“What are you doing here, Ishida-kun?:” Orihime asked, her gaze on him and doesn’t seem to be leaving him until he answered her. His trying to avoid answering her questions concerning that had not gone unnoticed. “Is this about… your job? If it is… what does it have to do with the school?”
“I think you should really get back home, Miss Orihime.”
“You don’t want to show me?”
“I hardly think you need to know.”
“I do if I want to know more about you.”
Orihime had her moments. She had a way of making him unable to know how to respond. This is a very impressive talent too, because he usually knew what to say--- in five languages.
“Not this time.” Taking a hold on her arm and leading her away. She wasn’t safe in school. Explaining why he was there could wait until later. Taking her home would be his first priority. “Let’s go.”
“Is there something wrong?”
“Nothing is wrong.”
“Why are you acting so weird?”
“I’m not,” he replied, still pulling her with him as they made their way to the exit. “It’s late, and you aren’t safe here.”
No. That wasn’t it and Orihime could sense it. She could feel it.
This job of is was really very curious. Night guard and Night Janitor are definitely not one of them.
It was a peaceful night. He could hear crickets, trees tapping on the windows, cars speeding pass and dogs barking. Then he heard it. A sound that couldn’t possibly be a dog’s bark. Cursing under his breath, he listened more closely. It sounded close. Possibly even outside.
Ichigo and the others must have sensed it too, because a few minutes later. Ichigo, Rukia and Chad were bounding up behind them. Rukia was holding a Hollow blinking detector, Ichigo in his Shinigami form--- and Chad carrying Ichigo’s body like a sack of potatoes.
Unable to see the Shinigami Ichigo, Orihime tilted her head curiously at the seemingly unconscious Ichigo. “Chado-san, what happened to Kurosaki-kun?”
“He’s drunk,” Rukia lied easily, her eyes still on the blinking detector. “It’s close.”
Forgetting that Orihime couldn’t see Ichigo. “We’ll take care of it. You and Chad can stay here and pro--- keep Miss Orihime company.”
It was hard not to question what he meant by ‘we’ but he seemed too busy to be bothered now. If Chad and Rukia were staying, then who was going with him?
With that, Ishida and Ichigo ran outside.
The echoes of the ugly hollow growl was getting louder.
Ichigo took the lead, swinging his Zanpakuto up. Ishida had his Quincy bow out and ready as well. When the source of the growl was finally in sight in front of their gymnasium, they found a monster in the shape of a arachnid with a hole in the middle of its chest already beginning it’s rampage by snapping the poles of the basketball hoops in two.
“Don’t slow me down.”
An hour later, Ishida walked her home. The others left in opposite directions. Ichigo walked Rukia home… the sight didn’t feel quite as painful anymore for Orihime. Even when they looked like they were enjoying arguing about whatever it was they were talking about. Chad had quietly went ahead, telling them that there was somewhere he had to go first.
She had a very melancholic on her face as she watched Ichigo and Rukia together. And Ishida noticed. Immediately, he knew that she was thinking of Ichigo. Probably even hiding how she really felt by forcing a brave smile.
“Ishida-kun, where did you go?” she asked him as they walked along the street on her way to her apartment. It was a moonless and starless night, with the street lamps as their old guide. Quietly, she was glad that he was here. It would have been a pretty scary walk if she had been alone.
“Work. Nothing for you to worry about, Miss Orihime.”
With the serious look on his face, he was going back to being the Ishida she knew before. It didn’t look like nothing if he was so troubled by it. Another thing that was odd is that a few minutes after Ichigo and Ishida came back, Ichigo just got up like he was never even drunk. She dismissed it at him sleeping… but why would Miss Rukia lie?
It did hurt a bit that he wouldn’t let her help with whatever it was they were doing. Maybe she should be used to it… people have always pointed out how stupid she was. A part of her wanted to believe that Ishida at least wouldn’t be one of those people maybe.
They walked in silence for a little while. Neither knowing what to say to the other. Ishida had a lot on his mind too. The hollow they destroyed earlier wasn’t of the one they were looking for. That meant they had to keep looking. He had been skipping sleep for a few days already. Kuchiki kept calling them in the middle of the night.
Uncomfortable with the silence, Orihime began talking about random things. She told him about a television show that she watched recently.
His eyes widened in surprise and told her that he watched it too. It broke the uncomfortable atmosphere.
“You look really tired,” she commented when he yawned for the third time that night.
“I haven’t really had a lot of sleep lately. The exams,” he lied.
She nodded, but sensed that he was probably lying. Their next exams were no where near. They had at least three more weeks. It was too early to be worrying about them now, right?
Changing the subject, he asked, “Miss Orihime, I have noticed that you always wear these.” His hand again reaching out for her hair, but his finger was admiring the hairclips on her hair.
Orihime smiled, but now looking down at her shoes. “They--- they were from my brother. He died… almost five years ago.”
Feeling guilty, he quickly pulled his hands away and turned his head to look straight ahead, feeling much too embarrassed to look at him. “I---I am so sorry. I apologize for asking.”
He puts a comforting hand on her shoulder. “No, it’s not. I know it isn’t.” That was all he would say. Ishida was much too quiet about his personal life. He did understand her. His grandfather died while he was a kid.
“Thank you.” Wondering a bit about what he meant. She followed his gaze, looking straight ahead. “I wonder if Kurosaki-kun is really alright,” she muttered. “He really didn’t move. Does he always recover fast after drinking--- eh? But---Kurosaki-kun isn’t old enough to drink, is he?”
He coughed, trying to stop her thoughts from dwelling over it any further. He knew Orihime was smart and if she did not stop, she was going to put two and two together.
Just below her apartment, Ishida’s cell phone began vibrating. It was a call from Rukia and she said that there were hollows around. Ichigo was already going to go after one, but there was another one to go after. He told her that he’ll go.
Orihime watched him with a curiosity as he hung up the phone. “Work?”
“I’ll be alright here. You should really go,” she told him, already going up the stairs. “Thank you so much for walking me home, Ishida-kun.” He waited until she was safely inside her apartment before leaving to off after---yet another hollow.
“So… she just went inside and closed the door without saying anything?”
Ishida frowned, wishing he didn’t say it like that. It made him look idiotic. “If you have nothing helpful to add, Kurosaki, I wish to enjoy my lunch in peace.” Not looking up from his lunch, which was his favorite Mackerel Miso stew.
“I bought you that lunch.” Actually, Keigo did, but it was still because of him. “You’re either dense or just really stupid.”
At that, Ishida almost choked on his miso stew. “The last thing I want is to hear that from you.”
“You have to hear it from someone.”
Talking about this was really getting no where. What were they expecting though? Neither of them really understood girls. Keigo liked to brag that he did, but he knew as much about girls as they did.
“So, you found him last night?” Their conversation switching to their job. “Near Inoue’s place?”
“Just a block away. Can’t be a coincidence.’
“I don’t think it is.’ Ichigo looked up to see what Keigo and Mizuiro were doing. Rukia was still keeping them busy, but their demonstration of how to play basketball wasn’t actually helpful. “Her pictures were in the envelope too.”
“Slippery sick man.” Ishida frowned, not liking where this might be going. They had found an envelope in the teacher’s lounge. Ishida told the other teachers that he was looking for the class list. Since Uryuu was well-known to the teachers to be a model student and potential class president, they didn’t refuse him. “Chad and I will watch her tonight. I think you and Rukia should keep watch in school. This is where we almost got him last time.”
Crossing his arms, he shook his head. “No. Chad can take the school. I am not leaving my sister alone.” That was final. His sister, Suzu had a photo in the envelope as well.
The reason why Ishida and Ichigo hated the man so much? Mister Tanaka had chosen the wrong victim. Suzu Kurosaki, Ichigo’s little sister. Her brother stopped him before he could really do anything but it forged his eternal dislike for the man and the feeling was mutual. Ishida found out about it and shared his dislike for the pervert.
Ishida saw a little problem in their plan though. “Splitting up won’t work. What if he visits those other girls in that envelope?”
“He has 10 pictures of Inoue with her skirt flipped and 20 pictures of her in her PE uniform. And not to mention more pictures of her in angles that emphasized her rack.” Ichigo rolled his eyes and began scratching his head tiredly. He may not be as smart as Ishida, but the math is clear here.
They frowned at each other for a long time, but Ishida finally surrendered. It was his sister after-all. He had to protect her.
Ishida had finished eating quickly after they talked, “Kurosaki, I want to ask--- did you know Inoue-san’s brother?”
Ichigo nodded. “Yeah.”
“Was he important… to her?”
“He practically raised her,” he answered, quietly remembering that night. Orihime crying over her brother’s death and his father doing all he could to keep him alive. “He died at my dad’s clinic.”
“I see.” Now, Ishida understood why she wore those hairclips every day. It was her way of remembering him.
Ichigo finished the last of his lunch and began packing up to go back to the classroom. “Inoue is a good kid. Weird, but good. I suggest that you don’t do anything to hurt her.”
“What will you do? Hit me?”
“Probably not, but I know someone who will and she can really pack a punch,” he smirked, thinking of the girl’s bestfriend who was a member of the Taekwando team.
Break her heart; break your leg.
Ishida could tell that he surprised Orihime when he asked her if she would be alright with him walking her home. It confused her because there was still light outside. There was no reason to walk her home when she was going to be quite fine on her own. He insisted and that was how they ended up walking the same path they walked the last night together.
She was itching to ask if something was wrong, but she kept her smiley façade. In all honesty, she was really uncertain with what to talk about with Ishida. He never really seemed to like talking about himself.
To Ishida, he wasn’t really sure what to make of Orihime’s lack of words. He figured that se probably ran out of things to talk about. And she might be embarrassed by it. That would explain very well why her cheeks were flushed pink.
Of course it would never occur to him that he was making her feel nervous.
“Are you working tonight too, Ishida-kun?” Orihime flashed a perky smile his way. Normally, it had the guys sighing, but Ishida was quite composed.
“Do you work every night?”
“Not really. Just having a busy week.” Thanks to the Hollows.
“It must be great to work with friends!” she exclaimed, her hands making an exaggerated excited gesture. Orihime had been working to support herself since she her brother died, but she didn’t have close friends with her.
“Kurosaki and I--- are business partners, nothing more.”
“When I was little, daddy always went drinking with his friends. You have to be close if he gets drunk with you.”
This was a strange conversation, but very difficult to get out of. If he told her that Ichigo had not been drunk, she is going to wonder why he was so knocked out. If he allowed her to believe that he was drunk… she was going to think he and Kurosaki were actually---friends.
He decided to go with the latter.
“Yes. Friends,” he bit out unhappily. Just this once. Because normally, there would be absolutely no way he was going to call that idiot a friend. “Miss Orihime, have strange things been happening around you lately?”
“Eh? What do you mean?”
“Earthquakes? A strange crash? Things falling off without reason?”
Orihime paused, giving the question some thought. “Just yesterday. Someone drove a car into a store--- I saw it, but the weird thing is that it looked like it was thrown there---”
“Wait. Stop,” Ishida cuts her off. He had heard something.
“What is it, Ishida-kun?”
He doesn’t answer the question and instead told her to keep moving. Pulling out his Quincy cross, he takes Orihime by the arm and began dragging her along to walk faster. He needed to get her some place safer.
He had heard them. He heard footsteps. He could feel it too. The presence of a Hollow. A part of him knew that he should call the others and tell them that the target was here, but he wanted to handle this himself. It was simply one Hollow, he will kill it.
“Is there an earthquake?” Orihime could neither hear footsteps or sense the Hollow.
“Orihime, please move faster.” His sprint becoming a full run.
She did as he told and tried her best to follow his pace, but he was still yet to explain why exactly they were running. It wasn’t possible to out run an earthquake, was it?
But, Ishida really had no time to explain about Hollows and shinigamis and the fact that their dead teacher was very much attached to her. So attached in fact that he chose to stay near her as a hollow and kill her. He was going to need more than luck to explain all this to her.
They duck behind a dumpster, using his body to cover her and keep her out of sight.
Their faces were close and it was making Orihime nervous. Up close, Ishida really is a good looking guy. He didn’t have Ichigo’s rough edges, but his smooth edges made him quite attractive as well.
“Stay here,” he whispered. “I will be right back.”
“Wait. Aren’t you going to tell me why?”
Shaking his head, and shoving her back to keep her hidden. “There is no time. Just stay here.”
He didn’t give her any more time to answer questions. Ishida, quickly went to the source of the quakes. He didn’t have to go far. The Hollow was near and he looked like he was expecting him too.
The Hollow was wretched monster with eight tentacles. It looked like a giant octopus. It made sense. Tanaka was a slimy bastard. Like all Hollows, it had an empty space in its middle. There was no need for him to say a word… he wanted Orihime. And Ishida was an obstacle. It growled in anger.
Ishida brought out his Quincy bow and directed his first shot at the Hollow. Probably sensing Ishida’s intent to kill it, the Hollow began moving around, jumping from one spot to another even crushing as a small car as he did it. It was difficult to get a clean shot.
That didn’t stop Ishida from shooting. However, it always seemed to escape by an inch.
Even dead, Tanaka always seems to find a way to make Ishida hate him.
In his frustration, he did not notice Orihime go out of her hiding place to find him. When he did not return, she began to worry, especially when the tremors were getting worse. What she saw was something she was not prepared for. It was Ishida and he looked like he was fighting some big invisible enemy.
Ishida’s eyes widened when he saw her standing there. “Orihime! No! Run now!” Whatever he was fighting took the opportunity to fling his against a brick wall.
A shiver went down her spine when she heard a terrible growl and large footsteps running towards her. She did not know what to do. Ishida was injured. She couldn’t just leave him there.
“I’ll be alright! Just run!”
The creature was drawing closer, finally she ran as fast as she can with no destination in mind.
Cursing under his breath, his arm hurt but he quickly got up and ran after them. He wouldn’t allow that monster to hurt her. Over his cold, dead body.
She couldn’t see it, whatever it was that was after her but she could hear it. No words could describe the fear she was feeling. How does one fight something she cannot touch?
As much as she tried, she suddenly felt something wrap around her waist. It felt like slimy tentacles. And they were squeezing her so tightly that she couldn’t breathe.
She was going to die. She was really going to die…
…or so she thought.
Just when she thought she was about to give up, Ishida saw what was happening and shot the tentacle that was holding her. She took a deep breath of precious air and looked up to find Ishida. His blue eyes darkened, turning almost black and indeed showed a lot of killing intent. They were more intimidating than his eyes filled with anger.
“Miss Orihime come over here and stay behind me.”
Despite the pain she was feeling from having the overgrown octopus literally squeezing the life out of her, she tried to get up limp slowly towards him. The Hollow wasn’t done. With one flick of his tentacles, he flung her against a car. She immediately fainted from the impact, he body sprawled on the cement.
His worry didn’t last long because the Hollow was now running towards him, determined to destroy him. Ishida returned his attention to the battle and concentrated everything he had in it. He shot it again, this time it was at least able to make a crack on it’s mask. It screamed in anguish--- and revealing the face that belonged to someone he knew.
Mr. Yoshihiro Tanaka.
“School’s over for you, sir.”
With that one shot, Tanaka disintegrated and finally disappeared.
Now that the threat was done, he puts his Quincy bow away and ran to see to Orihime. He was feeling very foolish now. All because he was stupid and not called for back up, Orihime was now hurt.
Pulling her into his arms, he first checks for a pulse and sighed with relief to find one. It was going to be for the best if he took her to Rukia to have her memories altered. He tried calling her but se was not answering her phone for some reason. Perhaps they were busy.
“Miss Orihime, you are awake?” His voice was soft and comforting. “Close your eyes and rest.”
“I know what you do now.”
He was quiet, pretending not to hear what she just said. Stubbornly, she wanted to be heard. “Ishida-kun, I know now. I understand everything. I know what you are.”
“Really, Miss Orihime?” Ishida smiled, feigning ignorance. “What am I then?”
“You’re--- Ishida-kun is a Ghostbuster.”
More than a week later, it was like nothing changed. Orihime would still go out with Tatsuki and her other friends. Ishida would still go directly to the faculty to meet with teachers and student council members. They would still meet a few times that week for club. But one thing did change that Tatsuki noticed when she returned home.
They walked home together much more often. Especially Tatsuki was busy with the Taekwando team. Sometimes, he even escorted her to work.
Tatsuki didn’t trust the guy, but Orihime did seem to like him. She acts comfortable around him. Ichigo also assured her that he was an okay guy, but he did say that she also had his blessing if he sowed any signs of breaking her heart.
“It’s true, Ishida-kun! I keep having dreams about you being a ghostbuster,” Ishida informed the poor boy, giggling uncontrollably.
“I’m not a Ghostbuster, Miss Orihime.” Telling her for so many times, he just simply lost count. With Rukia’s help, they altered her memories and made her believe that everything she saw was a dream and the sprained arm was from falling off her bed.
“It felt so real though.”
A part of his troubles were over, but he continued walking Orihime home, telling himself that it was just in case. But three days passed without any incident and he still continued walking her home. It was inconvenient since he usually had to return to school afterwards, but he enjoyed her company too much…
…except maybe when she started talking about ghostbusters.
Orihime was beginning to know Ishida more and more. Despite his looks, Ishida really wasn’t as cool as everyone had always thought. He just spends a lot more time looking cool.
He sews---- more than once she saw him sewing dresses for dolls for their fellow club members. Each new dress looking better than the last and each dress looking better than anything any of the female members could ever make.
He doesn’t talk---- it was really hard to know what he was thinking. He kissed her cheek but he never told her what he meant by it. Friendship? Maybe it was something he did out of impulse. It was frustrating that he wouldn’t tell her anything.
He had so many secrets. Maybe even too many. Trying to figure them out was really troubling.
He had so many lies. It is true that Ishida had the perfect poker face, but Orihime could always seem to sense when he, Ichigo and the others were lying. She had always just laughed and act convinced, but she knew. They were likes--- or at least half-truths.
It was so strange how different the things she discovers about Ishida were. With Ichigo, she discovers his strengths and likes him for all of them. Ishida. , however--- what she discovers were not always good or cool but she… still likes all of it.
“Did you hear?” She turned to him. “Tatsuki-chan told me this morning that they found an envelope full of pictures of girls inside Mister Tanaka’s desk. A student found it while cleaning.”
“You don’t say.” He already knew, seeing as he was the student that was doing the cleaning. “So that was why the police was called.” Tanaka was dead, so he wouldn’t bear punishment in life. But, at least now people would know that he was not the good teacher that most people thought he was. If there was one thing that he really detested, it was wrongs done on females. His grandfather had always taught him to be respectful of women, especially women who couldn’t defend themselves. “You really should start being careful, Miss Orihime.”
“Could you call me Orihime instead?” Fiddling her fingers in front of her.
Hesitating, but he nodded.
“I know taekwando, Ishida-kun.”
“That is not the point. You are still a female. I strength a man can still very much overpower you,” he reminded her. “Men like him likes to prey on girls like you--- girls he thinks he can push around.”
“But, he can’t, Ishida-kun.” A smile creeping from her lips.
“I know,” he sighed, finally calming down from his tirade. “Because you know taekwando.”
She laughed and shook his head. “No. It’s because I have you.”
That certainly gave Ishida quite a surprise, his cheeks became very red and he was at a loss with how exactly to respond. It was Ishida’s turn to freeze. At the expression that was so out of character from his usual image made her laugh and proud that it was finally her turn to render him speechless with something.
“I think I might like you too, Ishida-kun.”
If possible, his cheeks became even redder. This was really unexpected. A part of him didn’t believe it. He had watched her for some time and she had always been looking at Kurosaki. She loved him.
“But you love Kurosaki.”
“I did, she admitted. “I did. Not anymore. I haven’t loved him for quite some time.”
He still doubted her. “Is it really that easy to get over loving someone?” It couldn’t be easy. And Orihime ad been hiding her affections for years.
“No. It is a bit hard.” Shyly, looking away. Doubting her was probably not in her plan. Quietly, she was now contemplating if this was a good idea. “It was just easier to fall in love again… with you.”
He wanted so much to believe her. “May I kiss you?” he asked, thinking it was the most chivalrous way to kiss a girl.
“You didn’t ask last time.”
“I was too afraid you’d say no.”
Twining her arms around his neck, she pulled his face closer to hers. This time a proper kiss.
What he expected? He didn’t know what to expect. He didn’t read romance novels. He was a gentleman but not really a romantic at heart. Her soft lips were definitely nothing he’d ever tasted before. Arms wrapping around her, he wanted her there in his arms and just stay there.
What she expected? Sparks flying, heart racing, bells tickling and knees buckling. That was what she always read in books. She always wondered if books were just making a kiss sound wonderful. Not that the thought of kissing very often.
And, what she felt those few seconds his lips touched hers? All those and much, much more. His lips moving against hers, he was gentle, sweet and tender.
At least before she dropped the bombshell.
“Ishida-kun, what is a Quincy?”
I need to stop making long author’s notes. Not a lot of people like reading them. It is a habit I developed from my close friend. Whenever she asks me to make a story for her, she wants me to write long author’s notes. According to her, she enjoys reading them. I don't know why. For people who find it annoying~ Please let me apologize. :) Some habits are hard to break.