Title: Janken 1- Rock
Author: Celeste
Rating: PG-13 (Some shounen-ai themes. Like you expected anything else)
Feedback: (yes!)
Pairing: None… at least, not really. YET. Yet, dammit. Though I guess there's sort of OT3 vibey-vibage or something. --;;
Spoilers:
Not really…I think?
Summary: Chad- Slow and steady.
Word Count: 1,475
A/N: Something bit me and made me want to do something that was more than a one shot for Bleach. I'm still not sure what it was, but this is the first part I managed to pump out from a computer that's not mine (ie I was working outside of my comfort zone), but regardless, hopefully it's not complete suckage. Plus I don't want my brain to completely turn to mush during Spring Break, and this is the result of those endeavors. Plus, I think Chad needs more fandom love. ;; Even if he is ridiculously hard to write. Aheh.
Dedication: Mel, even if she doesn't know who the hell these characters are, cuz she let me hijack her computer to write. Even though she had homework (I'm a bad friend).
Disclaimer: Not mine… if it were, this show would probably be unfit for young children (by young I mean… under 17? XD). Yes, I am a pervert.
Distribution: Just lemme know.


Slow and steady wins the race.

It might have been cliché, or something like that, but it was one of those old saying that Sado Yasutora had always believed in.

Not because of any deliberate attempts on his part to drift through his days at a permanent, leisurely lope, but just because that seemed to be the way fate had deemed life would treat him.

And the fact that his slow, steady friendship with Kurosaki Ichigo enjoyed a certain amount of longevity despite the great differences in their personality was testament to the applicability of his philosophy.

Ichigo was quick tempered and loud-mouthed, often thoughtless, rude, and inexplicably dense despite his scholastic intelligence.

And Chad was, as Ishida Uryuu saw fit to point out on one lunchtime occasion, everything Ichigo was not.

The orange-haired boy bristled predictably, glaring at the archer and shouting insults that he didn't really mean but said only because they were the first responses that happened to pop into his head at the spur of the moment.

Ishida adjusted his glasses coolly and made a snide remark in that dead-pan voice of his, that Ichigo had just proved him correct and wasn't that nice of him?

Chad took another bite of his curry pan. From his position between them, he eyed them one after the other through the curtain of his bangs.

"Oi, Chad! Tell this prissy-boy that he's the last one to be talking about bad personality traits!" Ichigo demanded, deliberately avoiding any more direct conversation with Ishida.

Chad chewed for a moment, swallowed. Took a sip of his milk, swishing it around in his mouth before swallowing that as well.

He turned to Ishida. "Ishida…Ichigo says… you're mean."

"Well tell Kurosaki-kun that I didn't say I didn't have certain traits that need improving, but rather that I was simply pointing out his more obvious ones seeing as to how he seems to be the only one in the universe who hasn't already noted them by now."

Chad finished off the last of his bread in thoughtful silence. Pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and wiped the oil from his fingertips. Took another gulp of milk.

"Ichigo…Ishida says… you're meaner."

The Quincy huffed and tossed his long bangs back from his face so he could finish his onigiri in the most dignified manner possible. "Your dictation leaves something to be desired, Sado."

Chad blinked at him. "Did you want me to let Ichigo know that too?"

Ichigo snorted from his other side. "I already know."

"Okay." He opened his cream pan.

Both shinigami and Quincy looked slightly put out, but couldn't really say anything since technically, Chad hadn't done anything.

Chad sipped his milk and finished his dessert, eyes occasionally drifting to the other two boys seated on either side of his large frame.

There was something about the two of them that made him want to smile, and at the same time close his eyes and completely tune them out.

Maybe it was the predictable rise in noise level that occurred whenever one of the two was within ten feet of the other that brought on the latter reaction. He wasn't quite sure about that. But he was fairly certain that his urge to smile when he watched them was due to the fact that he could see the flush of life brightening Kurosaki's features or the exhilaration blooming in a small percentage of Ishida's smile whenever they bickered like that.

In either case, it was a little nice to watch over them both when they were together like that, to experience with them, life in a different, faster light than the one he was used to.

He supposed this was how the mountains felt, when they watched the winds playing their erratic games all around them. Or was it rocks? He could never quite remember the little details of the things they discussed in their Japanese literature classes, but today's lesson had had something to that effect in it (he was pretty sure anyway), or perhaps something even more poetic than that. Well, regardless, he thought it was applicable in his situation. And Chad didn't think anyone who knew him and Ichigo and Ishida could really call that description wrong even if it hadn't been in the text book exactly as he'd described.

Though it did tell him that maybe he needed to pay more attention in lit class, if only for the fact that there was probably going to be a test sometime soon on the material and if he couldn't even remember it on the same day it was taught, he might be falling into Keigo and Mizuiro's realm, which sort of hurt his pride when he thought about it.

"Oi… Chad, don't space out like that," Kurosaki demanded after a moment, knocking Yasutora firmly on the temple with his knuckles to bring him back into the argument. "I don't want to be stuck in conversation alone with that guy," the shinigami announced, blatantly belligerent towards the unruffled archer.

"Okay," Chad responded, tearing the remnants of his cream bread into little crumbs so it would be easier for the birds to manage later. He scattered the pieces over the rooftop in front of him and dusted his hands off on the front of his pants.

"Maybe he just wanted to avoid having to listen to you any more, Kurosaki," Ishida offered, helpful as ever.

Ichigo made a frustrated noise in the back of his throat. "Oh shut up already, would you!"

"I'm not the one shouting."

Chad chuckled a little, and Ichigo, looking plainly disgusted and a little bit betrayed by his best friend's reaction, harrumphed.

Ishida, satisfied with his victory, respectfully held back any other comments, but not before Yasutora caught the slight crinkling in the corners of his eyes, a small concession to his amusement towards their strange, volatile relationship.

Chad smiled back, because there was something about Ishida's small presentations of happiness that the taller boy couldn't help but reciprocate.

On his other side, Ichigo caught the action between the two of them and frowned, looking away uncomfortably, though not completely unhappily. "You two always gang up on me," he complained, only to dispel the fact that something larger than the fact that Ishida was an asshole was happening before his very eyes.

He mumbled something about a best friend's dubious loyalties and stretched out his legs, crossing them at the ankle. Folding his arms behind his head, the orange-haired boy stared upwards, looking distanced. "Well, whatever. Keep that kinda stuff down in public at least, would ya?"

Ishida and Chad both blinked.

"What stuff?" Ishida questioned, an inexplicable tinge coloring his ears as he fumbled to adjust his glasses again.

Chad wadded his trash, shrugged, and responded with a simple, "I dunno." When neither of the other two pursued the topic, he simply leaned back against the wall beside his long time friend, shoulder to shoulder in comfortable closeness with Kurosaki.

Ishida eyed them both, frowning behind the glint of his lenses. After a moment, he made a defeated noise and leaned back beside Yasutora's solid mass, not quite touching the other boy.

For the remainder of the lunch break, Chad sat steadily through Ishida's sighs and Ichigo's occasional grunts, the two of them stealing glances at him or each other every so often, looking thoughtfully perturbed about something but confused about what, exactly.

Their confusion made him smile again, made him rest one heavy hand on Ichigo's shoulder and pat Ishida's head with the other.

Stirred by the sudden contact, Ichigo fidgeted uncomfortably, glancing at the larger teen. "Uh…what's up, Chad?"

Ishida flushed slightly and ducked out from under Yasutora's fingers. "Sado-kun?"

"…nothing." He let his hands settle solidly in his lap again and leaned back, closing his eyes.

On either side of him, Kurosaki and Ishida were still very confused.

He could have told them, being the first to come to the correct conclusion at that constant pace of his. And knowing Kurosaki and Ishida's capricious ones, telling them right off the bat might have saved the other two boys a little confusion and most likely, lots of aggravation. It probably would have been easier if he simply told them, definitely quicker. Despite that, Chad surmised that if he simply came out and said it, it would create a whole other set of problems for his erratic companions, proving more detrimental than helpful in the long run. Even if it was quicker, possibly easier.

But Chad still believed in slow and steady. If anything, the fact that he had realized what was happening first proved that his beliefs in the old aphorism weren't entirely outdated.

So, he was sure that given the time, they'd get it eventually.

Until then, Chad sat quietly by and waited for them to catch up.

END