Title: Fevers and Fingertips.
Rating: G? PG?
Pairing: implied Ichi/hime
Disclaimer: Don't own, don't sue
Summary: Sora's hands are very different to Ichigo's.
When Orihime had been very young, she'd gotten sick a lot. Not dreadfully so, none of it was life threatening, but it was painful and exhausting and it was hardly something she enjoyed. Then again, she was yet to meet anyone who truly enjoyed having a chronic case of the flu.
It had always worried her brother, something that she'd hated as a child. Once, just to quell that nervous stare, she had gone to school, flushed and fevered…she'd hid the thermometer, assured Sora she was fine.
She'd woken up three days later in a hospital bed, she couldn't remember collapsing, but many people assured her she had.
When fever overcame her, and the heat on her forehead burned at her eye sockets, Sora would never leave her bedside. She'd cry and whimper and sweat, and his long, cool fingers would trail icy water over her face. He always looked sad as he did it, and he'd sit back on her bed, holding her sweaty fingers in his own, hand still dripping with liquid freeze.
Maybe in this situation, she didn't mind getting sick so much. It wasn't in a masochistic way, nothing like that, just her brother was a conservative man by nature, and always felt awkward about holding her hand, even in the private of their own tiny home.
He was shy and quiet and beautiful, and Orihime often wondered if they really were brother and sister, because they seemed to have nothing in common. She thinks that if she finds out Sora isn't her brother, she won't be surprised, but she'll pretend to be, because he probably won't like that she'd been thinking about it. None of it will matter though, she's sure, because she'll love him none the less.
Even as she gets older, his reactions to her being sick never change, maybe he isn't as worried, isn't as fretful, but he is still a forever-presence over her shoulder. Still has those cool fingers on her forehead.
It doesn't last long. Orihime thinks later that nothing in her life is permanent…not her parents, not her hair, not her brother…not a cool hand in hers.
He died in a flurry of twisted metal and concrete ground and sometimes, when fever over took her brain, she could hear her own screams drilling holes in her head, could see his cheerless face. Those long, cool, graceful fingers of his had felt like ice that night, but not in the way that she remembered. His fingers felt heavy and dull and something about them simply wasn't there. Maybe she knew he was dead before she'd even gotten to the doctor. Maybe she just hadn't wanted to believe it…
"What are you thinking about?" A decidedly familiar, masculine voice said from behind her.
"I was wondering what would happen if the queen of England married a catfish." She stated absently, tucking numerous strands of hair behind her ear.
The boy shot her a bizarre stare, before rolling his eyes and sitting himself heavily on the lawn beside her. She felt rather hot and flushed, but in a much more pleasant way than she had felt growing up. He pried her fingers off the blades of grass, linking his thicker fingers through her own.
Ichigo's hands were very different from her brother's. His fingers were surprisingly short and stumpy, nothing like those long graceful things of Sora's. Ichigo's palm was always kind of sweaty from running or leaping or fighting hollows and god knows what else.
Ichigo wasn't conventional, he was open and new and challenged what most people thought or believed in, simply by being him. He'd hold her hand, purely for the sake of holding her hand.
He was very different from her brother, Orihime knew, and she wouldn't have it any other way.
R and R?