Author: ayshariham PM
Ishida is awake on a cold, cold, winter night. And Inoue doesn't like strawberries. I can't think up a better summary yet. Warnings: Silliness and strong coffee.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Humor - Uryuu I. & Orihime I. - Words: 1,392 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 7 - Published: 01-19-10 - Status: Complete - id: 5679568
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The wind howled loudly outside his windows, making the house creak. It was midnight and Ishida finally put away his books. He shut his bedroom door and got ready to settle in for the night. It was cold and he contemplated pulling out his special Quincy quilt. (He never left it out because no one understood how special Quincy Crosses were to him; it was always hidden under his bed.)
Groaning tree branches tapped on his pane, as if struggling to get inside. He was glad he was on the inside, not on the outside…On hearing closer, Ishida realized it was almost as if the tree was knocking to get inside, the tapping was loud, like knuckles…
He crept towards the window slowly, and jumped back in shock as he saw a figure with wild hair grinning at him. No, wait a bit, it was only Orihime. ORIHIME?
Orihime waved madly, the bitter wind whipping her hair, her teeth chattering. Ishida quickly opened the window, wincing as a gust of cold air clambered in along with Orihime. He shut it just as quickly and turned out to face his unexpected guest.
"Inoue-san…? What are you doing here?"
She seemed unperturbed by his question. "I couldn't sleep, so I …" she shrugged.
He raised an eyebrow. "So…you…came to see if I was… sleeping? Inoue-san, did you walk all the way in this cold weather?"
She shook her head strongly. "No, I ran." she replied, rubbing her hands together.
Ishida gave up on trying to fathom the way Orihime's mind worked and led her to the kitchen.
"I'll fix you some coffee" he said, wondering why she chose to visit him in the middle of the night.
He rummaged in his fridge and found a plate of strawberries as Orihime spooned 5 teaspoons of sugar into her coffee. He placed it on the table and sat across her.
"I don't like strawberries." Orihime said softly, as if she was afraid of offending the red fruit.
"Why not?" asked Ishida, surprised.
"They're … sour" she replied, sipping some more coffee.
He let out a low chuckle. "I didn't think you disliked anything" said Ishida. "I mean, you have pretty…unique…tastes. You even like watermelon soup. Maybe you would like strawberry soup…" he trailed off as he realized he was rambling. A blush crept up his cheeks and he inwardly blamed the cold for affecting his mind. He was glad the kitchen was dimly lighted.
Orihime stirred her coffee a little more. She then proceeded to pull out two bars of chocolate from her pocket. "Do you like chocolate, Ishida-kun?"
"Chocolate? No, not really. I don't like sweet things very much."
She nodded as if it fit in with whatever train of thought she was on. Ishida drummed his fingers lightly on the table, growing uncomfortable. It was past midnight on a school night, and he was sitting with Orihime discussing fruit and sweets. Life was strange…
"Is something bothering you, Inoue-san?" he finally asked.
"I…I hate…someone" she whispered.
Ishida almost choked on his coffee. He thought of checking to see if Orihime had a fever. Or maybe he had a hearing problem? Did he just hear her say she hated someone?
"Who?", he asked hesitatingly. Did she hate him? Did he ever do anything to upset her? He didn't annoy her friends, nor did he pick on her and he never EVER made fun of her sandwiches.
She pulled out a small mirror from her pocket and placed it on the table.
"Her", she said, pointing to her reflection.
For the first time that night, Ishida found himself interested in the conversation. He waited for her to continue, but she just finished her coffee and stared up at him, a plaintive smile on her face. Her soft brown eyes were warm and deep.
"Do you hate anyone, Ishida-kun?" she asked, just as Ishida was planning to make an excuse to get away from her gaze.
As a personal rule, he didn't talk about his family. It kept unnecessary complications out of his life. But, whether it was the effect of the strong coffee, or the gaze that kept him frozen, he began to speak.
"My…My father." he said slowly, his expression turning hard.
Orihime's eyes widened and a wave of curiosity passed her face. "Why?" she asked.
"I'll tell you if you tell me why you hate her first." he said, pointing to the mirror.
She gulped and looked down at her hands. "Every time I look in a mirror, I see a pitiful figure. I have powers that I can't use properly. I want to be stronger, instead of being a burden on others. It's always the same. I want to fight alongside my friends, but somehow it ends up with someone fighting to protect me."
She raised her head, and forced a smile. "Your turn".
"He didn't like the Quincy power." Ishida said "And I'm proud of it. We never got along. My grandfather…he used to say that my father gave up being a Quincy to have a family…that's not even an excuse."
The kitchen fell silence once more. Ishida grabbed the chocolate bars from the table and walked over to the stove. Orihime stared at him uncertainly.
"These bars are squashed." he said, holding up the dented bars.
Orihime giggled. She got up and joined him. "What are you going to do with them?"
"Melt them" he replied. "Melt them till it's a creamy, smooth mixture with rippled patterns bubbling through." He began to heat it. "There might be a few bits which won't melt, but they won't ruin the beauty of the final mixture" The chocolate turned to liquid slowly.
"D'you have a fever, Ishida-kun?" Orihime asked worriedly.
Ishida smirked and put a finger under Orihime's chin, lifting it till she was looking up into his eyes. A tiny shiver ran down his spine as he was drawn into her hazel eyes. "You're a beautiful person, Inoue-san. On the outside and on the inside. Through and through. There might be a few oddities sticking out, but it won't ever ruin the overall beauty. Everyone has faults. And the first step to fixing them is to love yourself. Be proud of who you are. If you're blessed with these powers, it's because you have the potential to use them."
She blinked twice, a blush reddening her cheeks. "I thought you didn't like chocolate" she said.
He grinned. "Doesn't mean I don't appreciate it. I enjoy sweetness sometimes."
Her expression softened. "Then why don't you appreciate the sacrifice your father did for your family?"
Ishida was taken aback and dropped his hand. He looked at her helplessly, almost as if he believed she knew the solution to his problems.
Orihime walked back to the table. She picked up a strawberry and bit into it. Swallowing, she said "Sometimes strawberries are sweet. If , in a bitter world, a sweet strawberry passes by, don't let it go, Ishida-kun. You don't have to love your father, but you don't have to hate him either."
He returned to stirring the chocolate on the stove, thinking about Orihime's words. Amazing, thought Ishida. This girl perked his interest more every minute. He poured the chocolate into a bowl and put in on the table.
"Was your strawberry really sweet?", he asked, pointing to her half-eaten fruit.
She shook her head, grinning. He laughed and handed her a strawberry dipped in chocolate.
"To loving more, and hating less" Orihime whispered, holding up the hazel-tipped berry.
As Ishida bit into his strawberry, he hoped they could find the perfect balance in life.
Just like the sweet and sour strawberry.
A/N : I know this story isn't my best - I feel disconnected and it was pretty plotless. But I haven't written for two months, and I wanted to write and this story happenned. I promise to make my next stories better though, I just need to get over my writer's block =)
Thanks for reading!