Summary: When Valentine's Day comes, can a certain bespectacled Quincy pluck up the courage to tell the girl he loves just how he feels?
Disclaimer: I have been to busy trying to obtain 'Inuyasha' to even contemplate owning 'Bleach.'
Spring was always her favourite season, mostly because of the sakura blossoms and the promise they gave her. Orihime could smell their tantalizing fragrance as it lazily wafted through the open window, and once again found herself wishing that cleaning would get itself done and not take up her time. Sighing – for she knew that it was something that had to be done, a necessary evil – she rummaged through a drawer of cleaning products to find a duster she was absolutely certain was in there somewhere, probably right at the bottom… Then she remembered that she'd already taken it out earlier that afternoon and left it lying around. Blowing a strand of hair out of her eyes she crossed the room again, shifting piles of loose paper and causing a single sheet to flutter out. With a small smile she picked it up and placed it back on the stack of paper. Her thoughts drifted back to when she had opened it – it seemed so long ago now but surely couldn't be more that a month…
She had only remembered about the letter in her bag that evening, after coming home from a 'girls night out' at the local shopping mall, during which Tatsuki had stared into space most the time, Chizuru had tried hitting on her so many times she had lost count – someone diagnosed this behaviour as 'Valentine's Day Syndrome', or VDS for short – and the rest of the gang had been too busy looking at guys to pay much attention to the time. Mentally berating herself for forgetting about it she extracted it from between two rather crumpled textbooks, smoothing out the crease down the bottom right corner… which she couldn't for the life of her understand how it even got there in the first place…
The 'doorbell' rang; she instantly dashed over to the door, carefully (a/n: can 'Inoue' and 'careful' even go in the same sentence?) picking a route through the mess all over the place.
Two of her friends from school stood in the doorway, smiling at the sight of her. "Oh, hi! I wasn't expecting to see you guys until Monday…"
"Yeah, last minute plans. Do you wanna come out with us this evening?"
"Gomen, but I can't today. I've… got a little problem to sort out."
One of the girls peered around her to see the 'little problem' she was talking about. "You probably won't be finished for ages, huh?
Shaking her head Orihime grinned. "I might by tomorrow evening, if I can find where I put the duster!"
"Well see you at school! Sorry for not asking earlier…"
"No, it's fine, it's fine!" Nodding they left again; she shut the door behind them, turned and announced to the room in an exasperated voice:
"You're determined to make life difficult for me, aren't you!"
Setting her mind back on track she slipped a finger under the tab and lifted it up – whoever had sent it was probably in too much of a hurry to seal it properly, or had an allergy to the gummy stuff they put on the back… Quickly taking it out she unfolded the paper inside and went to sit at her usual spot next to the window, once she was settled starting to read.
I guess that even if you do read this you won't think anything of it, but I need to do this before I lose heart again.
The very first day I met knew I somehow knew you were special. Always upbeat and happy, never without that pure smile you gave everyone – even when it wasn't on your face it was there in your eyes. I'm not joking when I say you looked like an angel to my eyes, because you did. Everything about you just seemed to be perfect.
But I wonder – if you were perfect then, what would you be now? Far out of my league, I know that for certain. Far out of anyone's league, I guess, because there's no one who could even dream of comparing to you.
The end of the letter was left unsigned, a clean, mocking blank that stared up at her (as people said, the words left unspoken were often the most important). She became aware, after a few minutes in which the thought had plenty of time to process itself and get heard, that she had no way of even identifying who it was from. She was certain it was from either a boy in her class or the one above, since none of those from other years would really pay much attention to a girl so much younger than them…
After reading it through a second time she suddenly realised that the hand clutching the paper was trembling.
A month on and she was still no closer to finding out who it was… though had worked out who it definitely wasn't. Kurosaki-kun and Sado-kun were instantly ruled out, leaving Keigo-kun, Mizuiro-kun and Ishida-kun… or the boys from the year above, of course. But Mizuiro-kun already had a huge fan club, which was just about ruled out the possibility (why go for another girl when he already had so many?), Keigo-kun didn't seem like the type to write a letter, and Ishida-kun… was just Ishida-kun, wasn't he?
'Argh, I'm spending too much time on this!' she thought, flustered. 'It can't be good to spend a month thinking about a single letter!'
Promptly – though probably to try and soothe her clamouring mind, which was, for some reason unknown to her, objecting to her apparent dismissal of the matter – she renewed her search for the ever-elusive duster.
He was restless. He always was these days, for some reason. Not only that, but the scent of sakura drifting in through the window made it even more difficult for him to concentrate on his work than it usually was. Whatever crazy notion had made him think that sending the letter would perhaps make things easier hadn't – every minute that he was trying to get some rest the thought came back to plague him, and in response he was working himself harder than ever. He never looked tired to most people who saw him, but those who knew him better were continually asking things like, "Ishida, are you okay?" and, "You should take a break, seriously. You'll kill yourself if you keep this up!"
Sighing heavily he slammed the book shut. It really was no use trying to study, especially on a night like this. 'I wonder what she's doing…' he found himself thinking once again as he crossed to the window and shut it. That seemed to be one of the only thoughts he ever had these days.
As he stepped out into the night he immediately felt a little better – the irritation that seemed to be directed at everything these days fading slightly. Locking the door behind him he started walking, letting his feet take him wherever they would while his mind wallowed in thoughts. Some people gave him strange looks as he passed – they never usually saw him outside at this time – but he ignored them. He knew where he would probably end up – by the waterfall, where he had trained before going to Soul Society…
'Before I lost my powers.' He still wished that there had been another way in which he could have defeated Mayuri. He still found himself unconsciously reaching for powers that were not there whenever he sensed a Hollow approaching. He still found himself pretending that nothing was wrong in front of everyone.
He hated being unable to do what had been as easy as breathing before.
He hated being so useless.
He hated feeling weak.
He hated himself.
He hated life.
He hated everything… except her.
Sighing again he sat down. The sakura blossoms hung all around him, lacing the air with their delicate perfume. Taking several deep breaths to try and calm himself he stared down into the water, watching as the full moon shone down on the surface… A month ago, at this time, he had written the letter by the light of the full moon – a full moon was supposed to symbolize luck, which he didn't seem to have any of…
He sighed – even now, when he was trying to distract himself, he could still hear her voice…
A wisp of orange hair fell down into his vision. "Inoue-san!" He looked up, surprised to see her. "What are you doing out here?"
The girl moved out of the uncomfortable position she was in – bent half over, looking down at him – and responded, "I just wanted to get out, that's all."
"Ah." He couldn't think of anything more eloquent to say, especially with her so close…
"Ishida-kun, are you okay?"
"You don't look it," she retorted, sitting down next to him, then her voice softened. "You've been down ever since we got back from Soul Society."
"Honestly, I'm fine." 'With you nearby I don't feel so useless.'
She seemed to accept his excuses, looking up at the night sky. "It's beautiful, isn't it?"
Dragging his eyes away from her face he whispered, "Yeah." But he wasn't talking about the sky, even though it was. Thankfully she didn't seem to notice that he wasn't.
"Did you know a full moon's supposed to be lucky?" she asked suddenly, staring up at the silver disc hung amongst the stars, leaning back slightly to get a better view.
"I've never seen any signs of that being true." He pushed his glasses up slightly, an age-old habit of his. "It's never worked for me, at any rate."
The two sat in silence for a while, staring up at the sky, each lost in their own thoughts. 'Inoue, you never did say what you were doing out here…'
'Is it him? Was it Ishida-kun?' Orihime glanced at him out of the corner of one eye, trying to make sense of the situation. '…It can't be, he only ever calls me 'Inoue-san'…'
"Ah, look! A shooting star!" She pointed up at the arc of light that flashed across the sky, marvelling at the sight. 'I wish…'
As the shooting star disappeared from view Ishida turned to her. "What did you wish for?"
"Mou, Ishida-kun, you're not supposed to tell! It won't come true if I say!"
He looked away with a slight smile, the first she had seen on him in weeks. With a sudden urge to see his true smile again she declared, "Alright, I'll tell you."
"Iie, Inoue-san, I wouldn't want to deprive you of your wish."
'It probably won't come true anyway,' she thought, but then shook off the depressing realisation and continued, "Have you ever heard the saying that the words left unspoken are the most important?" He nodded, turning to look at her once more, and she felt a slight blush creep up her cheeks – she was glad it was dark, he wouldn't be able to see. "W-well, it's not so much a word as a name…"
The first thought that came to mind was one of puzzlement. 'A name?'
Then, 'She couldn't mean…'
"My wish was to find out who it was."
"Who what was?" he prompted gently. Was it really…?
"Who…" Their eyes met. "Who sent me that letter a month ago."
He sat in stunned silence for a moment. He wasn't sure what he had been expecting, but it definitely wasn't that. 'It was me.'
"Ishida-kun, did you say something?"
He hadn't been aware of saying the thought out loud, nor was he truly aware of what happened next. It was as if his hand had suddenly developed a life of its own, reaching out to take her smaller one in his. Mouth suddenly dry, he repeated in a soft whisper, "It was me."
He half expected her to pull away, or to say something that would put him down, but once again was unprepared for her reaction. She flung her arms around him, hugging him so tightly he could hardly breathe, but he didn't complain. He brought his arms round to circle her, drawing her even closer to him. He could feel her warm breath on his neck, the almost desperate way she clung to him, as if afraid he would suddenly say it was only a joke.
Half-drunk on euphoria though still completely aware of what he was about to do, he loosened his hold on her so that she looked up at him in confusion. With a small smile he bent down and pressed his lips to hers.
She was his.
He was hers.
Nothing else mattered anymore.
Just a bit of randomness - to combat love with logic is illogical. Therefore, love is illogical.