Attempted start of a Bleach Yaoi fic surrounding Ishida and Ichigo. Is rated M for what may potentially be written in the future. Review at your leisure and please be honest. Reviews which say, its great are fantastic as always, but also, if there were bad points which you thought could be better, please also mention this too, as how will I know what to improve upon!
Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach damnit.
Viewed from the outside and Ishida Uryuu came across as being a rather strange individual, one that people never seemed to quite understand. In fact if asked many wouldn't be able to tell you much, if anything at all about the boy. He kept himself to himself and apparently that's the way he liked it. Quietly brooding at the front of the classroom, hair always in place, uniform neatly fitted and pressed, he seemed like the model student, cool, calm and collected in almost every situation, never wavering from the dotted line.
Internally however and the general perception of him was skewed off somewhat at a rather alarming tangent. Most of their preconceptions were accurate, apart from one small part, he was not socially inept, neither was he uninterested in social activity, it was just an unfortunate side effect to a situation he wasn't even aware of.
People came up to him, talked with him, even went as far as offering him small smiles, but for some strange reason, Ishida always ended up sitting behind his desk, alone. Or sitting on the bench outside, unwrapping something tasty, sometimes having brought too much, perhaps he could offer some to someone else? But no, wait, he's Ishida, he's on that bench, but the majority of it is empty. That squirrel looks rather scrawny, maybe it wants to share?
It was times like these that made him feel as empty as the hollows he fought, tears worrying his eyes, almost falling but never quite getting there. Not that he didn't try. Like the other day, some kid, accompanied by a girl in his own grade, had brought in a stuffed toy. It looked as if it had been through some sort of civil war with itself and lost, badly. Its legs were hanging thread bare, threatening to drop off at any time, one of its arms was missing, correction, present, but currently unattached, whilst the colourful buttons for eyes, if real would probably have needed several days work from an optician, involving needles and various other sharp objects, followed by a long painful recuperation period.
The toy was a wreak and the child clutched its siblings hand tightly, looking for all the world as if it would scream blue murder, bursting into tears if something bad happened.
Ishida had enquired as to the reason behind the mangled mess before him, the child sobbed a little and said 'kitty'. His sister, explaining that the little ball of terror had been purchased a week before and had been on a rampage ever since they got it home, this toy being its latest victim.
Figures Ishida had thought to himself, kittens tend to have very sharp claws and if inclined towards a boisterous nature could inflict mayhem if not dealt with accordingly.
The child started to look even worse when Ishida's mind drifted for a moment towards what could happen if a cat got near to some of the filigree embroidery he was working on in his spare time. As expected his face contorted into a rather gruesome scowl upon plotting suitable punishments for any wayward felines. Not that Ishida enjoyed cruelty towards animals, but there was a time and place for everything.
Realising he'd spaced out Ishida comforted the child, explaining his toy would be fixed up in no time. So without further ado, needle was thrown high into the air, thread wicked and poised, ready to fit snugly into the eye when the alignment reached a certain point. Seconds later and he was at work, hands flying faster then was visible, the child standing there agog.
Not even a minute had passed, Ishida presenting the toy back to the child, a look of satisfaction on his face, as he pressed his glasses firmly back in place. The child just beamed back at him, as if Christmas had come twice. His sister offered her thanks with a pleasant smile. Ishida looked back, grinned (how could anyone not grin at how happy that kid looked, like when a baby smiles, you just instinctively smile back) and began to say something in return, but before he could finish she'd disappeared, as if having seen a ghost. Ishida's grin quickly being replaced by a look of despair. What had he done to deserve this? All he really wanted was a couple of friends to talk with occasionally, but whenever he tried they ran away.
In comparison his days in Soul Society had been some of the best spent of his entire life, finally grouped with people, company he enjoyed. However on returning to earth things had deteriorated back into their usual slump. Not that any of Rukia's rescue force avoided him, far from it, they always acknowledged his presence, a wave of the hand, a curt bow of the head, a slight smile, a wink, but they never really went out of their way to accommodate him into any of their activities. He had almost resigned himself to being forever like this, giving up on all of it, but something, someone, always stopped him, one helluva annoying bastard who went by the name of Kurosaki Ichigo. The Shinigami he was sworn by oath to detest, the only problem was he didn't hate Ichigo at all, in fact he didn't know what to think.
Of all the people, of all Ishida's limited social skills, he had never met someone as weird as Ichigo. Ishida knew deep down he felt something different for the fluorescent haired man then he normally did for other people. The moment he had sensed Ichigo's reiatsu he knew there was something more there then he would have normally given time to. To Ishida it didn't matter who he could make a potential friend with, anyone would do, but Ichigo had stuck out like a sore thumb worming his way deep into his conscience, ever present no matter what was currently swimming through his mind.
Ishida didn't like it one bit, true he wasn't at all pleased by his social status, the somewhat castigated class mate, who sat alone, but he did like being in control. That never wavering line he was always proudly on the right side of? Not when Ichigo was around, he set his nerves on end and his mind losing focus. Some complicated maths problem he was working on? Ichigo would absentmindedly walk into the class room, a few minutes late and whatever the answer may have been was lost instantly, replaced by a blank space, filled entirely with nothing and everything at the same time. It should have infuriated him, but for some reason it didn't. The teacher would call out and ask him a question, or another students badly aimed prank would fly past his head, causing him to lose concentration. At these Ishida would curse, thinking of painful ways to release his annoyance on the person in question, occasionally wanting to impale them on a spike, no, their head on a spike, in the middle of a field, a feast for a crow.
Yet when all the blame was Ichigo's, nothing then an odd fuzz would appear, dissipating over time and leaving Ishida's mind suitably zombified. He could never truly understand why, but when looked at objectively he couldn't really be angered at Ichigo, simply because the man hadn't done anything apart from enter the room or walk casually by. So technically he hadn't done anything apart from just being there, which puzzled the archer even more. Again doing nothing, yet doing everything at the same time.
It was with these thoughts that Ishida was interrupted again, as Ichigo sidled into class, after the lunch break and sat in his seat.
"Nice of you to join us Kurosaki." Their teacher called out, Ichigo the last into the room, but by no means late.
"Whatever." He deadpanned back, holding total disregard for how he sounded.
'Why'd the old bat always pick on me' he thought as his bum-met-chair.
"Now we are all here," continued the teacher, "I'll begin this afternoons lesson!"
At that Ichigo tuned out, drifting off into his own reverie, only every now and again catching the odd word, said more loudly then the others, as the over zealous teacher spoke on. Probably history he thought, mostly likely Ancient Rome, if his intuition was anything to go by. Their teacher loved this particular topic, it was after all the forth time that year they had been given the same lecture. At least that made homework easy; he had this one saved on computer.
'Ichigo' He thought he heard someone say, probably just his imagination.
'Ichigo' there it was again, but too feint to pick up on whom it was.
"Gyaah!" he started to yell, but on realising how girlish it sounded, cut his outburst short, it conveniently coming out more like a hiccough.
Ishida was not however fooled; he was rather enjoying the teacher's flamboyant gesticulation, with paper cut outs, rein acting a battle between some gladiator and a chimera. Suddenly he felt a slight increase in reiatsu from someone, Rukia he noted, quickly followed by Ichigo's own formidable aura flaring greatly also accompanied by a short high-pitched noise. Whatever happened next between the armour clad warrior and mythical beastie would never be known as his mind went zombie, casually wondering why Ichigo's spirit force would have flared like that in class.
(Mmmm Ichigo's spirit force – slobber (Homer Simpson style)
What the hell was that' Ichigo thought angrily as he looked down at his right ankle, only to see a still smouldering scorch mark.
"Oi, Ichigo." Rukia whispered loudly from her position to his side.
Ichigo put two and two together and actually came up with four, rather then most time when he arrives at four and half, yes four and not three. You ever seen Ichigo do anything calmly or in an understated manner? I rest my case.
"You mean, you fired a shot at me?" he hissed back.
"Meh," Rukia brushed off lightly before continuing, "We've got a small party tonight, just a few of us, was Inoue's idea. Supposed to be to study, but I don't think anyone expects to get any real work done, wanna tag along?"
At this point it should be noted that the Chimera had been slain, the lights now dim and the OHP turned on. ! Shadow puppets ! Yes their teacher loved Ancient Rome. But I'm getting away from the story.
"Hmm," he replied whilst thinking, "Actually I've got something else I need to do. Thanks for the offer, but perhaps some other time."
Rukia pulled a face.
"Pfft, you're no fun."
"Shut up!" Ichigo yelled back, "Its about to get interesting." Pointing towards the happily bobbing shadows.
"What? You aint even watchin' it."
Which was true, he wasn't, but Rukia didn't need to know that, Ichigo's attention was now fixed on something else, or rather, someone else, that someone almost as shadowy as the figures merrily going about their joyful display.
Before their ordeal in Seireitei, Ichigo had never actually noticed who he was now looking at and it worried him a little. Ichigo practically knew everyone by name and could easily remember the face of everyone in his class, however when it came to Ishida, he had totally eluded Ichigo's sense completely. So it was for this purpose that Ichigo sort of felt he should make up for lost time and get to know the guy a little better.
The whole Quincy-Shinigami rivalry had at first been rather annoying, but on later inspection came off as being rather productive. More often then not it gave both of them time to bond, whilst also time to practise fighting skills.
But through one reason or another their "fight time" had almost completely, if not completely, stopped. Perhaps through earned respect, Ishida, although still holding his own firm views regarding Shinigami, no longer felt the need to prove his worth to Ichigo and had therefore not issued any challenges. Whatever the reason, Ichigo had noticed the somewhat grey cloud over Ishida slowly getting darker and he was getting rather worried. So like the good friend he was, Ichigo was going to try and do something about it. He didn't have anything specific in mind, that's why he wasn't paying any attention to the battle royal playing out at the front of the classroom, although Ichigo knew whatever he decided on would be fun as he had always enjoyed Ishida's company.
All of a sudden it hit him and he wondered why it had taken this long for the idea to implant itself into his brain. If not for the fact it was something he did on a regular basis, the small display upfront should have prompted alarm bells to start ringing and although it wasn't something they had ever officially done together, it made a whole lot of sense, now he had finally come up with it.
'Hmmm, good thinking Kurosaki' thought the orange topped Shinigami as he settled in on the idea. 'Now how to ask Ishida.'
This he ran a few times around his mind before mentally kicking himself.
'This is Ishida you moron, your friend, why the heck do you need to think of a way to ask him something?' his inner voice spoke out.
'I don't know you idiot,' He replied to himself, wondering why, but not really coming to any logical conclusion. 'Perhaps I just see him sitting over there all depressed or something and I don't wanna upset him in anyway, you know make it any worse?'
'What does it matter?' he argued back 'You will ask him, if he refuses you will ignore that and drag him along anyway, its not as if the boy has any choice in the matter he will be doing what you say.'
'Oh nice thinking, piss him off and then drag him against his own will to somewhere he doesn't want to be, that's a sure fire way to make someone feel better.'
'Tch I guess you're right, but you got any better ideas?'
'Hmm well we could…'
But before Ichigo had managed to go round two with himself the bell rang outside signalling the end of class, and also indicating he'd run out of time to formulate any kind of plan. No, that wasn't entirely accurate, Ichigo had a plan, it was just lacking any kind of tact. Although his usual bull in a china shop routine had a relatively large success rate, he'd rather use something less hostile this time round, but hadn't had long enough to think of anything, damned brain. To make matters worse the class was spilling out of the room at a rate of knots leaving even less time. Thankfully Ishida wasn't among the many who had already left.
'I guess we're gonna have to play it by ear then,' Ichigo confirmed to himself, 'I hope you can come up with something useful.'
Ichigo stood whilst packing his equipment into his bag, not that this took very long, a pencil and a pen don't require much attention, no matter how much he would have liked them to provide sustenance for stalling.
'Right I hope that was enough, Ishida, here we go.'
Ichigo swung his bag to his back and placed his chair neatly under his desk before moving towards the front of the room, but just as he got there something else caught his eye up on the blackboard.
-Select a battle of epic proportions from any period among history, research it and then create shadow puppets for a dramatic presentation in one weeks time! Students will be awarded bonus marks for any sound effects!-
"Oh bloody marvellous." Cursed Ichigo on reading what he had to do.
"What was that Kurosaki?" a familiar voice spoke out.
"Ishida!" Ichigo spluttered, spinning to face the owner of the voice.
"Yes Kurosaki? Who else would I have been?"
"No one." The carrot top answered intelligently.
"No one? I see." Retorted Ishida.
"Yes there I was thinking how terrible that homework sounded, when you rudely interrupted."
"Really? I thought it sounded rather amusing. Oh by the way, who are you paired up with?"
"Paired up with?"
"Were you not paying any attention at all? The teacher said we could pair up if we wanted to, I figured, being the popular guy you are, you'd have paired up with someone."
"Well I didn't. How's about you?"
Ishida looked down at his feet and shuffled a little.
"I didn't pair up with anyone either," he answered rather quietly.
"Hey you, what's with feeling down all of a sudden? It's not as if it's the end of the world, I didn't get a partner either."
"Perhaps not." Ishida offered back, "but that's hardly an issue, you'll just ask someone tomorrow and that will be that."
"Or," Ichigo riposted "I could ask someone now and be done with it. So what do you say? Want to team up on this thing?"
This notion knocked Ishida for six, working with Ichigo on a school project, his mind deciding rather inconveniently to turn zombie, going to that place where not a lot happened.
"Oi Ishida, it wasn't that bad of an idea that you have to go all silent on me."
"What? Oh!" Ishida struck back quickly regaining his composure.
"Yes, Ok I guess, it could be fun."
'He guesses' thought Ichigo.
"Anyway that isn't what I came to talk to you about." Ichigo finally remembering why he'd walked that way in the first place.
"Oh you wanted to ask me something?"
"I am heading over to Uruhara's underground training facility after school and was wondering if you would like to join me. Figured you could use the company."
"…" Ishida almost spoke out.
"You don't have to, if you don't want to, I can just go swing my sword at boring rocks all afternoon."
"I.. I wouldn't want to intrude." Ishida replied, starting to feel rather nervous.
"That's practically a yes, come on Quincy we're going."
At that both teenagers walked out of the building, side by side.
'That wasn't so hard was it now eh?' Ichigo spoke to himself.
'Be quiet you, and what was with the 'you don't have to if you don't want to line?'
'Oh that's a good one, one minute you're saying you don't want to upset the boy, then you complain when I try to be considerate of his feelings.'
'Alright, whatever, lets just get there ok?'
As they were walking it suddenly dawned on Ishida exactly what he had agreed to and then it hit him like a ton of bricks at what this actually implied. Practising fighting, smashing rocks, Shinigami powers, Shit. In all his haste and temporary mental incapacity Ishida Uryuu had forgotten that he had lost his Quincy abilities. Oh. Crap.