A/N: Let us just pretend there is no winter in Soul Society, okay?
-shivers- I … fluff is… is… difficult. I absolutely adore writing angst…but here's my hand at fluff, special for Valentines… Enjoy!... –mutters under breath- I hope…
I know you.
Soul Society was holding its annual Valentine celebration. It was a fairly new tradition, having only started being celebrated by the Shinigami about a decade ago, but once it started it bled into the innermost corners of the Soul society and soon everyone was a part of the very pink festivities.
Ichigo and his gang came for a visit and were welcomed briefly but warmly, due to the fact that everyone was busy either trying to find another to spend this very special moment of the year with or trying to find something to give to that person. Or they were simply the ones who were organizing the entire party.
But within time, all was ready. The festivities were being held outside; it was a full moon too. The Cherry Blossom trees were in full bloom already and their pink petals fit perfectly with the color co-ordination of the whole event, adding an extra spice to the navy blue sky.
Ichigo was fooling around with Rukia at the punch bowl, pulling foolish faces and making Rukia giggle and blush. They were like little school children. And then there was Abarai Renji, who was hovering about, punching Ichigo with a pained grimace and trying to impress Rukia by rebuking Ichigo for his silliness and acting like the mature one.
Where as Uryu; was sitting with Orihime under a tree, showing her how to knit. Where ever you went you could constantly hear a squeal of triumph, a hurried apology and an abashed assurance. Usually in that order.
Shiba Kukaku was chasing her brother Ganju about, aiming hefty kicks to his behind yelling about some stolen firework display.
Kiyone and Sentaro were arguing about some kind of new gambling game, shoving each other as they lost the lead and bickering about who was better in god knows what. Insane was peering over Kiyone's shoulder, whispering hints into her ear and pointing excitedly, only to be batted away by her frustrated sister.
Matsumoto was trying to force feed Hitsugaya to drink another cup of sake, who was desperately trying to dodge her attempts at holding him still, while shooting pleading looks at Hinamori, who was watching on the sidelines, laughing at his helplessness.
Chad was talking to Kyoraku, though Kyoraku seemed quite absent minded at the moment, constantly shooting looks at Nanao, who caught them, and blinked demurely in return. Heightened by her responses, his looks got to be quite ridiculous; a fact which was not something that the others missed.
Zaraki Kenpachi was weaving Yachiru a tiara from thorny vines. Yachiru clambered all over him, quite restlessly. " Can't you go faster?" she complained. He smiled tolerantly and quickened his pace, his hands a fiery blur.
Then he was finished, he murmured something to her, and then tossed her up into the air where she plucked a perfect little cherry blossom with her small hands. Kempachi took it from her and gently slid it into the woven crown then set it tenderly on her head. Yachira beamed and leap up to hug him tightly around the neck. Hanging on like a tiny doll. Kenpachi grinned like a little boy, hugging her back tightly.
Byakuya was conversing quietly in a business like matter with Genryusai and Ukitake.
Soi Fon, however loomed in the shadows, very much alone. She watched the others flirt and talk and smile and laugh. All so happy. Her eyes narrowed. They probably all thought she was a frigid evil bitch. And it didn't help matters much when just recently a whole group of them saw her punishing Kiyone for her stupidity, minutes before Yoruichi came flying in the fray.
Yoruichi... where was she?
Tatsufusa suddenly appeared out of the nowhere. " All alone, Soi Fon?" he asked.
Soi Fon shook her head, still lost in her thoughts.
" I can accompany you if you wish," he said in his deep voice.
Soi Fon shook her head again.
" You look very lonely, here in the dark."
" I'm not. Go away."
" It is Valentine's you know… no one should be alone on Valentines."
" You big headed idiot. I should probably take my Zanpakuto and slice your ego into smaller pieces. Do you not understand anything I said?" retorted Soi Fon scathingly, reaching for her sword just to make a point.
Tatsufusa smiled nervously and lowered his head, backing away as quickly as he could without appearing rude, which was a feat he has yet to accomplish.
Soi Fon delved into her thoughts immediately once more. Sinking into the troubled brewery like knife through butter. She's probably with Urahara, spending time together like the outcast lovers they were. Albeit the lovers part. Though Soi Fon, no matter how she tried to deny it and pass it off for something else, Yoruichi did seem to be a bit too close with Urahara for comfort. Soi Fon's comfort that is.
She sighed wistfully as she watched the others from the shadows that engulfed her in its cold embrace. An embrace she wasn't sure if she was thankful for or despised. She stood there, observing with hooded eyes and an aura of aloofness and resigned indifference.
She let her dreams guide her through her mind, preferring to escape from this torturous reality. It was a pity, the only time they had alone together for the first time in a hundred years, she spent that trying to kill Yoruichi. There wasn't much time after that, because Yoruichi had accompanied Ichigo and the rest of the gang back out of the soul society.
It was ironic, really.
The leaves rustled softly, but there was no wind. Soi Fon slowly coaxed herself to face the real world. She glanced about her, anxiety and apprehension triggering adrenaline to course through her veins in preparation for battle.
A branch creaked slowly as adjusted itself to accommodate the something that had landed upon it.
Soi Fon slowly looked up, her knuckles white from gripping her sword so tightly in hand. The wind, this time, picked at her Captain's cloak and ruffled her hair, as she remembered fondly, like Yoruichi's touch used to.
" Hey, Soi Fon," came the voice from within the shroud of cherry blossoms.
" Yoruichi?" Soi Fon, incredulously. " Is that you?"
" No," came the reply. " It's Tatsufusa."
Soi Fon cocked an eyebrow, craning her neck to try and see past the thicket of pink petals. " I thought I told you to go away!" she said, a little hesitant at first. Unsure as to whether it really was the obnoxious idiot again.
" I thought you were smarter than that." Then a black cat dropped from its spot on the tree branch, and landed on Soi Fon's head, bouncing nimbly off as she tried to swat it away. Turning around the instant it landed upon the soft green grass, a fog spread to engulf the small creature.
Soi Fon smiled, bemusedly. " Don't be silly," she retorted, " I knew it was you."
As the mist started to dissipate, Yoruichi's gleaming smile was like a beacon cutting through darkness. " Gah," she scoffed. " I heard you. 'I thought I told you to go away!" she mimicked, grinning at Soi Fon's indignant expression.
" Wait here, I'm just going to zip in and get some clothes."
" I–" Soi Fon blurted, but Yoruichi had already gone.
Soi Fon leaned against the trunk, waiting for her to return, oblivious to the misery she had felt only moments ago. Soi Fon blinked, and Yoruichi appeared right in front of her again. " So what was that you were saying?" she wondered idly, her voice muffled as she pulled the black tank top over the tight white shirt she was already wearing.
Soi Fon blushed, embarrassed.
Upon hearing no answer, Yoruichi looked up as she pulled on the baggy Shinigami pants. " Blushing, Soi Fon?" she smiled, amused.
" It was nothing," said Soi Fon hurriedly.
" I see," said Yoruichi, eyeing Soi Fon with a knowing gaze. She enjoyed watching her squirm in discomfort, just like Ichigo did whenever she taunted him right after morphing from her cat form.
Soi Fon broke the gaze, watching Kira and Hinamori tease Hitsugaya and helping the drunk Matsumoto in her efforts.
" I know you, Soi Fon," Yoruichi whispered in her ear.
She nearly cringed, awaiting the words that were to come, half hopeful, half filled with dread.
" You're all alone tonight, aren't you?"
" Great observation," she muttered, sarcasm dripping from her words.
" Oh? Is that mockery I hear?" said Yoruichi, feigning surprise. " That's mean," she chided playfully, punching Soi Fon on the shoulder.
Soi Fon whirled, swinging madly in retaliation.
Yoruichi ducked and swung out her leg, sweeping Soi Fon's feet from under her. She toppled backwards, quite alarmed and piqued all the same at being trounced like a clumsy novice.
Soi Fon held up her hand for Yoruichi to pull her up, which she ignored. She opted to topple into the long green grass to lie right beside her. Soi Fon dropped her hand.
" It's another full moon tonight," she observed quietly.
" Yeah," said Soi Fon. " Does it make you remember the past?"
" A little." Yoruichi couldn't help but smile. She rolled over onto her elbows, bringing her face millimeters away from Soi Fon's. " So tell me, Soi Fon… what were you about to say when I left to get some clothes?"
Perhaps it was the intoxicating and infectious mood of Valentine's that made everyone feel so giddy and foolish and daring. Perhaps, she simply wanted to confess the thing that had been bothering her for so long…or perhaps…
" I said… I said… I don't mind," Soi Fon averted her gaze, obviously abashed and a little frightened, but brutally honest.
Yoruichi smiled. " Thought so," she said, rolling back onto her back.
The breath Soi Fon had been holding as her mentor leaned over her; slowly was let out, to her relief.
" Happy Valentine's day, Soi Fon."
" Yeah," she agreed, sighing.
She did feel happy. Really. Now that Yoruichi was here, again. By her side… but then it evaporated, paving the way for her curiosity. " Why'd you leave your lover?"
Yoruichi simply laughed. " Urahara?" she snorted dubiously, as a cherry blossom petal fell upon her nose. She blew it away with one great huff of breath. " My lover?"
Her peals of mirth slowly faded away and she grew serious once more. " Nah."
Soi Fon was puzzled. She was trying to figure out what she meant by the cryptic denial when suddenly she found out why.
" He can't be, because I left him for mine," Yoruichi smiled, laying her hand upon Soi Fon's, who tried to suppress a shiver on contact. " Surprised, are you?"
Soi Fon was at loss for words. " I-I…"
" I told you, I know you, Soi Fon," said Yoruichi softly. " And I'm glad I do."