A Proper Thank You
author: carla, aka cali-chan
rating: PG. i think.
genre: romance, WaFF, and really sucky attempts at humor XD
canon: well, i've only seen up to anime ep. 31 and haven't read the manga at all, so...
summary: our dear, impressionable orihime takes tips from the girls in the movies.
warning: this doesn't make much sense. the sentences are scrambled together and there aren't many punctuation signs. but, well, this IS orihime, after all.
Orihime's eyes were wide open as the credits started rolling.
Tatsuki was sleeping over at Orihime's place and they'd decided to watch some movies. They'd chosen a few classic movies and sat down. Tatsuki didn't much like these kind of movies-- the female leads were often very weak, in her opinion, and depended too much on the leading male characters. She usually liked films in which the female lead character was strong and could kick ass just as much as any guy... and so she'd been mumbling the whole time they were watching the movies. Orihime did like the movies very much, though, she thought they were very romantic. They definitely captured her attention, especially one specific trend she had just noticed...
"Tatsuki-chan?" she asked as her best friend was taking the DVD out of the player. When Tatsuki hmmm-ed, letting her know she could ask whatever she wanted to ask, she proceded. "Why do the girls always kiss the guys at the end of the movie? They just go all starry-eyed and say 'My Hero!' and they kiss. Which is funny because they've always just gotten out of a problem and they always ran a lot and were out of breath, but they still kiss and I thought you couldn't breath when you kissed someone, so they shouldn't really be kissing, should they? Or can they breathe when they kiss?"
Tatsuki could see that Orihime could go on and on about kissing and breathing so she just interrupted her. "They can't, Hime. Or well, sort of. And it's just a cliche-- the girls in those times couldn't really defend themselves so they would just faint and let the guy save the day. And afterwards they were so thankful to the guys for saving them that they would kiss them."
"So the girls weren't strong enough to fight and the boys helped them and the girls were very thankful and that's why they kissed?"
If Tatsuki had been more aware (it WAS three in the morning and she was sleepy), she would've noticed that tone in her best friend's voice. The tone she always got when she put two and two together and obtained eighty-seven as the result. "Yeah, pretty much."
She was so busy putting the DVDs in their respective cases that she missed the gears spinning in Orihime's head.
It wasn't hard to figure out who she would kiss first.
It was when he saved her from her brother when he became a Hollow that this whole ordeal had started, after all. And of all the people she was thankful to, he was the one that was most like a true hero, dashing and strong, always willing to help someone in need.
It took her a while to find him, because he wasn't hanging out with his friends that day. Butterflies were flying in her stomach; she had to admit she felt a little giddy about doing this, because she did have what other girls would call "a little crush" on the orange-haired shinigami. She steeled herself, because this kiss was just about gratitude, but she couldn't help but feel a little YAY, if you know what that means, because she was going to get her first kiss from the boy she liked, even if she was sure the boy didn't feel that way about her.
In fact, when her lips touched his, his body became so tense, he might as well have been a statue.
It was only a little peck, and she knew she caught him by surprise because, silly her, she hadn't explained to him what she was about to do before jumping at him. He was so still, she had to wonder if she was somehow like that Medusa woman-- only Medusa turned people into stone with her eyes and Orihime had apparently turned Kurosaki-kun into stone with her lips, and if she did have that strange power maybe it wasn't a good idea to keep kissing people as a thank you gesture because she'd have a hard time explaining to her teachers why half of their students were turned into stone and if the Evil People League found out about her powers they'd trap her and take her to an underground laboratory so they could study her and use her powers in their Evil People Schemes to take over the world and-- was Kurosaki-kun turning blue? Was he choking!
"A-ano, Kurosaki-kun, don't die! I didn't mean to kill you!" she whined as she tried to give him air. Keyword being "tried;" the way she was shaking him wasn't helping much. "I only wanted to thank you for saving my life all those times like those girls do on movies and I don't want the Evil People to take over the world because of me!"
Ichigo didn't have enough oxygen in his brain to understand what she just said so he opted for wheezing out a weak "I-Inoue-e...!" and letting his eyes roll to the back of his head as he fainted dead on the spot.
When he came to and saw her standing over him with a worried expression, he twitched all over and promptly ran away leaving only a trail of dust and his desire never to remember that moment again.
Orihime found that okay. At least she had given him a proper thank you now.
Finding Sado-kun was easy. Because he was so tall.
She couldn't exactly remember when he had saved her, but she was sure he had, at one point. So she was also going to thank him. And since he was always so quiet, it didn't really take that long. It was quite simple, really.
She bounced up to him, and called his attention. She explained quickly that what she was about to do was to thank him for all his help-- she didn't really know if he was paying attention to her because he didn't give her any kind of sign that he'd heard her speak-- so she just pecked him lightly on the lips and stood back to look at him with a smile.
His eyes widened a little.
Her smile grew and she bounced. "Arigatou Gozaimasu, Sado-kun!" And with that, she left the quiet but always loyal young man in much the same position as she'd found him.
Orihime was telling her girl-friends about what she was doing when a small detail popped into her head: It was really unfair that she could kiss boys as a thank you but not girls. She knew she was a ditz, and so many people had to jump in her defense when she messed things up, including other girls like Tatsuki-chan and Kuchiki-san, so she wanted them to know she appreciated their help, too.
Tatsuki was still moaning about how one girl could be so naïve (and thanking the gods that she had only kissed Sado-- who was as close to a lightpost as possible-- and Ichigo-- who was as dense as lead) when she turned to see the look in her best friend's eyes. And said best friend was also advancing in on her--
"Oh nonono, Hime, don't you dare-- stop, what're you-- just don't--"
Orihime, who was about to lung at her, pouted and instead just grabbed her best friend's arm. "Awwww, but Tatsuki-chaaaaaan! You've helped me so much! Like when those girls would cut my hair and you helped me with that, and when a guy would try to grope me and you helped me with that, and when someone said something bad about me that I didn't get and you helped me with that, and that's all very important to me, so I want to thank you so much!"
"A simple hug and a thank you will work for me--"
"You can kiss ME if you want, Hime-chan!" Of course Chizuru jumped at the chance, latching onto Orihime's free arm and rubbing her head on it. Almost immediately steam came out of Tatsuki's ears and she pulled Orihime towards her, and then Chizuru, whose glasses were askew from the harsh movement, retaliated by pulling back right away and it all escalated into a giant tug-o-war.
In the end Orihime had her way and just hugged Tatsuki and kissed her on the cheek (she also had to kiss Chizuru too, to stop the drama).
Tatsuki was still worried, though. "Hime, I don't think it's a good idea to go around kissing boys just like that. They'll get the wrong idea."
"But Tatsuki-chan!" She looked at the karate champion with big, innocent eyes, like the mere notion of what Tatsuki had said could never happen. "They're my friends, they would never... besides, the only one that's left now is Ishida-kun!"
Tatsuki's eyes narrowed. Orihime would swear on her life that Ishida liked someone else, but Tatsuki had seen him giving Hime looks. Granted, they weren't the usual lecherous looks other guys in their class would shoot at her, but this was Ishida they were talking about-- the guy kept his thoughts held tighter than a corset. For all they knew, he could be having wild fantasies about Orihime and his eyebrows wouldn't even twitch.
"Hime, listen here," Tatsuki held her at arms' length and made her look into her eyes. "I know you got this weird idea from the movies, but those girls in the movies only kiss the heroes because they love them. The heroes are their boyfriends. You don't go around kissing someone you aren't in love with."
"But I love Kurosaki-kun!" she exclaimed, and Chizuru looked like she wanted to say something-- she had rivers of tears falling from her eyes-- but Orihime continued. "And Sado-kun! And Tatsuki-chan! And Kuchiki-san! I love them all, they're my best friends!"
Tatsuki sighed. She was so innocent.
"Don't let your guard down, Hime-chan!" Chizuru intervened, hugging Orihime yet again as if to protect her from those fiends she called boys. "You may think they're your friends, but boys only have one thing on their mind! They're not trustworthy! Maybe you should stick to us girls, we won't..."
"One thing on their minds?" Orihime turned her big, innocent eyes to Chizuru now. "What do you mean, Chizuru-chan? Is it chocolate? Or mechas? Oh, wait, that's me. Oh, I know! It's those little plastic tripod thingies that hold pizza boxes up? Or maybe..."
Chizuru didn't know if she should laugh (she was so cute!) or cry (then again...). The rest of the girls sweatdropped. Tatsuki just sighed.
For some reason, it was really hard to find Ishida-kun that afternoon. She tried to quickly talk to him right after lunch ended, but he didn't come into the room until right before class started. So she had no option but to corner him after their handicrafts club meeting.
He was putting away his sewing utensils when she approached him. "Anooo, Ishida-kun?"
He stopped what he was doing and looked up at her. "Yes, Inoue-san?" The sunlight coming in from the window refracted in his glasses.
"Ishida-kun, remember last summer when we were in Soul Society and we had to fight all those Shinigamis to save Kuchiki-san and you saved me a lot of times?"
Well, how could he forget; that summer had changed his whole life. He nodded his head, so she would continue, as he bent down again to put his things in his bag. He was only half-listening to her as she continued to babble about that summer and all the things they had gone through; he just continued to "hmmm" his assent once in a while so she wouldn't feel ignored.
"...And that was really funny, haha! Because I thought... oh, wait, I forgot what I came here to do. Oh, yes! I came by to thank you! It never ocurred to me that I never properly thanked you for saving me all those times, you were so strong and collected, I could never have fought like you did! You are a true hero, Ishida-kun!"
Hero, the word resounded in her mind. He wasn't like Kurosaki-kun, but he was a hero in his own way, she knew that from just taking one glance at him when he was fighting. And as a hero he deserved all her gratitude.
Ishida had barely registered that the girl had gone quiet when he felt her hands touch his face and move it towards her so he was looking straight at her. Next thing he knew, she was kissing him.
Orihime found it very amusing that she had just been thinking about Kurosaki-kun, because Ishida-kun tensed completely, just like Kurosaki-kun had. But then, after one heartbeat, he melted. It was strange to her to think that, that a person could melt, but it was so appropiate for Ishida-kun because he always acted so cool, or better said, so cold. Tatsuki-chan always said he was like an ice cube. Throughout their adventure in Soul Society she thought he had opened up to people, but in the end he just froze more, and now he was melting. And she was glad she was the one who made him melt; maybe that way he'd be happier. He should smile more, she liked it when he smiled.
By the time this thought rolled around, his arms had wrapped around her waist and he was kissing her back with more emotion than she had ever felt from him. His bag made a lot of noise when it fell to the floor, forgotten. Then another thought popped into Orihime's head: they had been kissing for a long time. She'd only meant to give him a little peck, like with the others, but for some reason this kiss had extended for a long time and she didn't want it to end, either. His lips made her shiver, but it was a good shiver.
Tatsuki's words came back to her at that point: "Girls in the movies only kiss the heroes because they love them." Did this mean that she was in love with Ishida-kun? She wasn't sure, but she was sure she liked this kiss. Was everything supposed to just click, like it did in the movies? How did you know? Was Ishida-kun her boyfriend now? Because she'd also kissed Kurosaki-kun and Sado-kun but this kiss was definitely different. She just didn't know why. Maybe she'd ask Tatsuki-chan tomorrow...
Thinking about Tatsuki-chan reminded her of school or, more importantly, of where they were: in the middle of the handicrafts club room, where the other club members had still been piling out. And while she wasn't particularly uncomfortable with kissing in front of other people, she thought he might be, so it would probably be wise to stop kissing soon...
Finally they separated, and she gave him a breathless smile. "So, thank you." He just sort of gaped at her (he looked like a fish! Or so she thought. His glasses were askew, his hair was messed up and his mouth opening and closing-- it was so cute!)... and THEN he noticed that most of their classmates from the handicrafts club were standing around them, wide-eyed, which was a fact that had strangely escaped his attention because up to a second ago his world had contained only him and Inoue.
"Uhhhhh... you're welcome," he said, fixing his glasses and hoping that his hair hid the blush that inflamed his face. He looked at her, wanting to say something else, something more eloquent (where did all his elegant prose go? She took it away, along with his breath and his heart, he guessed), but he couldn't think of anyway. His brain was having a meltdown. So with a nod of his head, he picked up his things and rushed out of the handicrafts club room.
"He should've asked her out," one of the club members piped in, when he finally got his mind wrapped around the fact that Inoue and Ishida had just kissed.
"He can't be so mushy! He has a reputation to uphold," another member, this time a girl, replied.
"What reputation? Everyone thought he was gay! This can actually help him, you know."
"Why would anyone think he was gay? I've never thought so."
"...YOU sew too."
"... ... ... ...Movie? Saturday?"
"In your dreams."
Orihime wasn't really paying attention to the argument. She was looking down the hallway through which Ishida-kun had left, with a smile on her face. She was smiling because she wasn't sure if she loved him, but maybe, if they kissed again, it would finally click. She'd try it tomorrow.