Gah. This killed me, for two reasons: one, because I love Ishida/Orhime, and I feel so bad for Ishida. Two, because it took way longer to write this (and other pieces that are finally on the way) than I wanted it to. Lol, been more than half a year since I posted anything. Curse you, my stupid schedule. But fortunately the insanity might be dying down for a bit during the second semester of school. One can only hope… Thanks for reading, as usual, and for tolerating my complete ineptitude when it comes to posting.

Just Pretend:

"Just pretend I'm him," Ishida whispers in her ear as he ties the final knot in the blindfold and eases her slowly back onto his mattress. Her hair, soft and sweet, spills across his pillow and Orihime offers a nervous smile at his words. Her fingers clench and unclench in the sheets, her chest rising and falling in short, wary breaths.

She's beautiful. More than she'll ever realize, Ishida knows, and the thought makes him ache so bad that his hands hesitate in where they rest at the waist of her jeans, toying with the button. She's so fucking beautiful, and he could happily tell her over and over again, every single day of his life, but she'll still never believe it—not until it comes from him.

But it never will. They both know that.

"Just breathe," Ishida murmurs and takes a shaky inhale of his own, finally pulling off her jeans. Orihime makes a small noise: maybe from surprise, or nerves, or the cold air against her bare legs. She wears plain cotton underwear; no frills or cute little patterns like he'd expected, like he'd wondered about (much to his shame) every time he glanced at her from across the classroom, watching the hem of her skirt rising along her upper thigh whenever she shifted in her seat.

His palms are sweating, his fingers shaking more than he wants them to as he undoes the first button on her blouse (way too small, and still five more of them to go) and he hates himself for it. It wouldn't be like this if Kurosaki were here instead of him, he knows it. Ichigo would be calm, steady—fucking perfect, as usual. Ishida pretends to dislike Ichigo on the basis that he's stupid and incompetent, but it's not true. Never has been. Everything seems to come easy for Ichigo: school, fighting, the courage to face any challenge head-on with an eager, confident smirk.

Ishida hates him for that—as well as the pure fucking stupidity that keeps him blinded to the adoring gazes Orihime shoots him when she thinks no one's watching. But Ishida is, always is, wishing she would look at him like that instead.

He finally gets her shirt open, parting the folds of fabric. Her bra's light green, with little white flowers blossoming in random patterns—unpadded, her nipples hard beneath the thin material. Ishida bites his lower lip and brushes the pad of his thumb over her right nipple, circling, rubbing, making Orihime take another shuddering breath and spread her legs wider in encouragement.

"P-please," in a rush of breath, her chest rising and falling quickly, though he's barely touched her. Ishida obeys, fumbling with her bra—it closes in the front, thank God—until he gets the clasp undone. Her bare breasts spill out, and Orihime lets out a small cry. Her face has gone bright pink, and Ishida knows his is a similar shade as well.

He wishes he could see her eyes.

He dips his head a little, heart pounding—holy shit, can't believe he's doing this, that she's letting him do this. She's gorgeous naked, more than he could have ever possibly imagined. He closes his lips around the same nipple he was teasing before, runs his tongue in a slow circle, and Orihime literally sobs underneath him—her cotton panties no doubt already wet by this point. He would know, his erection painful from where it's trapped in his own jeans. He won't take his hands off her, though, can't bear to stop running them through her long, silky hair, or rubbing slow circles along her hips long enough to relieve himself. He doesn't have to, either: one small hand reaches in between their bodies, cups him gently, and Ishida bites down on his lip even harder, tasting blood. Anything to stifle the embarrassingly loud moan trying to claw its way out of his throat.

"Orihime," he whispers, and wants to say it over and over again. Her name feels like a song, like a prayer, rich and sweet, sacred. No one else makes him feel this way: like his whole body is burning, his insides melting, pure heat igniting and contorting in the pit of his stomach. Like there's fire just beneath his skin.

He loves her.

Orihime's lips curve in a smile and she throws her head back against the pillow, one hand reaching to entwine with his where he's trailing his fingertips up and down along her side.

"Kurosaki-kun," she murmurs back.

Two words. A slap to the face. A sucker-punch to the gut. The feeling of something breaking somewhere deep inside his chest.

With just two simple words.

Ishida swallows hard around the unexpected lump in his throat; bites the inside of his mouth, a harsh reminder that he did this to himself.

That she needs him.

"Call me Ichigo," he corrects gently, and his voice sounds strange to his own ears, rough and unfamiliar. Like he really is someone else.

Just pretend I'm him, Ishida tells himself, fighting an unusual sting in his eyes as he brushes a gentle kiss over her cheek.

Just breathe.


Poor Ishida…but, on the other hand—first het piece ever! (I think? Maybe not…feels like it anyway…does it even count as het? Hrm…) Again, thanks much for reading. Lalala…I need to sleep a lot more.

Cheers to S.K., btw, for being awesome and not simply tolerating, but also welcoming my insanity with the sort of eagerness that every writer adores/wishes for. Love ya.

Over and out,