When Ichigo confesses to preferring short black hair, big eyes, petite and modest-sized chests, Renji is horrified that his friend has fallen for Ulquiorra, Keigo concludes he likes Mizuiro, and Ishida wonders why Ichigo would consider him petite.
Byakuya glared above his pile of papers and wondered how he could eliminate his vice-captain without staining his floor.
"-it's not like I give a shit who he chooses to bed, but fuck! Ulquiorra? The enemy?" With a distressed sigh and shuffling of his papers, Renji continued half-heartedly with his Lieutenant duties.
Byakuya gripped his ink brush and attempted to steady his breathing. For the past hour Renji had not stopped his one-sided discussion about the boy's homosexuality. With an impending headache and a month's worth of paperwork due by sunset, the idea of "accidentally" summoning Senbonzakura on Renji was fast becoming number one on his to-do list.
"-black hair, small boobs – which is pretty much NO boobs, and short! That isn't even a chick he's describing!"
Renji failed to notice the single pink petal fluttering dangerously close to his cheek. Why Byakuya was being subjected to this was beyond him. Had he recently kicked a puppy? He was quite certain he had not. In the hour of Renji's undisrupted ramblings, the sixth squad captain had not uttered a syllable, hoping in vain that his silence would deter the talking. But Byakuya in his previous life must have slaughtered a village, for the ramblings only intensified as his vice-captain fuelled on his own anger. Byakuya would have preferred the sound of nails against a blackboard than to listen to Renji ponder on the human boy's sexual role.
"-like would he just take it, y'know, up there? And – "
And suddenly the ink brushed was snapped in two. "Renji." His voice, low and dangerous. Death was looming. "Leave."
With confusion written all over his tattooed face, Renji objected, "But captain-,"
Byakuya concluded that Renji had indeed perfected his shunpo when the only trace left of the vice-captain was the fluttering of his paperwork scattering around his desk.
Pinching the bridge of his nose, Byakuya replaced his broken ink brush and proceeded with his work.
Three minutes passed and with another snapped ink brush, Byakuya decided he still wanted to murder his vice-captain after all. With all the imagery Renji had placed in his head, Byakuya could not stop debating internally whether the boy suited the Seme role or the Uke role more. It would not surprise him if Ichigo preferred to be the Seme given his obsessive nature to protect. But on the other hand given the boy's lack of experience, it was difficult to picture Ichigo taking control and topping. However, given the type Ichigo was into, perhaps he would be the Seme after all. Not that he cared or anything.
So he likes black hair. Even if the boy was disgustingly uncouth, he had to admit that the boy had taste. To an extent. Ulquiorra that bastard nearly cost him Rukia's life, and of all people, Ichigo went on to fall in love with him. So perhaps it was fair to say that Ichigo was a Masochist. Byakuya couldn't help the disturbed look that escaped him. He was learning too much about the boy for his comfort. He had now learned that Ichigo was gay, was a masochist and likes black hair. Now as he was dwelling deeper, wondering whether there were any hinting signs previous to today, he realised he hadn't imagined the wishful looks Ichigo threw his way. It did not surprise him. He had topped the shinigami women's association most desirable bachelor two years in a row for a reason.
Too bad for Ichigo, Byakuya against popular belief was in fact straight.
With a smug smirk, the sixth squad captain proceeded with his paperwork.
"Ulquiorra's got nothing on me."
"Think about it Chad! He never greets me the way he greets him!"
Chad remained expressionless.
"He's.." Struggling to find the word, "gentle.. with Mizuiro.." Keigo's hands clenched into his hair as a disappointed sigh escaped him.
"I should've known! The signs were all there!"
To this, Chad merely glanced at his hysterical friend as he paced back and forth in the school car park.
"One. He ignores Orihime-sama's advances!" Groundbreaking. "No straight man could resist that, NONE I tell you!"
Chad strummed his guitar lightly.
"Two. He punches me when I suggest exchanging porn!"
Chad masked his disgust perfectly.
"Three. Have you seen how fitted his jeans are ALL the time?"
"Four. His hair is never messed up! His spikes are always in their same positions, even after running!"
Chad looked at his watch.
"And have you seen him shirtless, you must because for some reason his shirts are always half torn up! He. Has. No. Hair. Like none. Zilch. Nadda."
Okay, Chad got it.
"What straight main cares to shave there?"
That was quite a generalisation, but Chad stayed quiet.
"You know, now that I think about, I've noticed him staring at Mizuiro a lot lately. And there's always this look, like a longing type of look." Keigo's expression turned serious.
Ceasing his pacing, Keigo sat quietly next to Chad. "Do you think Mizuiro knows? Like do you think he'd feel the same about Ichigo?"
Keigo stroked his chin, "Do you think I should say something?" He looked at Chad for advice.
Chad made no movement.
"Yeah you're right. I shouldn't say anything. It's his business and he can deal with it himself. Either way, I won't look at Ichigo any different. He's still my friend!"
"But what if Ichigo wantsme to say something. Y'know, like in the movies when they really want to confess but need someone to start the ball rolling? Maybe I'm that man for him!"
The car park was emptying out as most teachers had already gone home. The school was getting quiet and the sun looked about ready to set.
"-and I will be there for Ichigo in his time of need! Because that's the type of friend I am!"
The breeze was picking up as a cool chill accompanied the orange glow of the evening.
"I don't know though Chad. I feel like Ichigo can handle this, you know what I'm saying? Like he is totally capable of dealing with this on his own. I shouldn't say anything." He resigned himself.
Smiling his toothy grin, he turned towards Chad and slapped the gentle giant on the back, "Thanks for the talk Chad! Great advice!" And grabbed his bag and walked off.
Chad strummed his guitar.
I can't believe that idiot would just announce to everyone that he.. that he..Bastard! He's just fooling with my head. Probably trying to humiliate me! I am NOT petite.
But I really can't believe he's, well, gay.
I guess it's really not that surprising. He's always staring so intensely at me when I speak. I suppose it was because he liked my eyes. And my short black hair. But I am not petite! So he thinks he can top me does he? Kurosaki you arrogant fool. Quincies are superior to you shinigami! But more importantly, I'm not gay! But that's beside the point, how ignorant of him to think he would be the Seme!
So I sew. Big deal. I'm man enough to be unashamed of my hobbies. I may be smaller than him in stature but who's to say I can't be the Seme?
But I wonder who has the bigger...
... I'll just follow him to the toilets next time. Then I'll know for sure.
This is purely to make a point. Nothing to do with curiosity.
He's pretty tall and I think he has pretty big feet...
What am I? A kid? Big feet just mean bigger shoes! There are no proven correlations!
But his hands are pretty large as well.
Stop! Once I follow him into the toilets, lean over his shoulder as he does his business, I can settle our pride once and for all. Kurosaki will not make a woman out of me! When I see the size of his penis, who's going to look like the fool then? I can't wait!
Ichigo knew the moment he stepped into Urahara's rundown little shack and watched the simultaneous turn of ten heads, he should have bee-lined right out of there. His high school gang he could understand being there, but Renji and Byakuya with his shit-eating grin unnerved him. The room went silent the moment they laid eyes on him. His scowl deepened slightly as he slowly sat between Rukia and Inoue.
"Hey." He managed.
A chorus of awkward 'Heys' were mumbled back at him.
Okayyy, shit was getting weird. "So why the urgent call to be here?" He asked, suspicion dripping from his every word as he threw confused glances at Ishida's glaring.
Ichigo looked toward Urahara and Yourichi for answers, but all he received in response was a sly smile hidden behind that fan and an entertained Yourichi leaning back into the cushions. He tried Chad and Mizuiro but Chad looked like his usual self, indifferent, and Mizuiro was for some reason blushing so hard and avoiding his gaze. Right.
"I would like to know why we're here too." At least he wasn't the only one baffled by the entirety of this. Rukia coolly crossed her arms against her chest as she knelt by the circular table, fast running out of patience.
When the substitute shinigami glanced around the room again, he noticed that Byakuya still had his shit-eating grin plastered against his usually stoic features. Renji, he noticed looked uncomfortable, Keigo kept smiling at him, Inoue – well he couldn't really see Inoue's expression since she was right next to him and Ishida, well he was just going to bypass the moody bitch. What was with the glaring?
After another pregnant pause, a mumbled voice was detected.
"Speak up baka." Rukia rolled her eyes.
"I said 'it's wrong'!" Renji had cracked.
At this, Ichigo's back straightened. Confusion and annoyance now clearly painted across his face.
It seemed Rukia was just as offended. "What are you on about?" Her voice was still calm, but there was definitely a warning tone behind it.
Renji ignored Rukia altogether and spoke directly to Ichigo, "You can't do this to us man!"
"Do wha-," But Ichigo was cut off.
"I don't want to intrude on your private matters, but this affects us all! You can't be so selfish!"
Ichigo was a breath away from flipping the table at the pineapple and his cryptic bullshit. "What. The fuck. Are you talking about?" His fists were clenched and his jaw was locked and the whole room knew that the shit was hitting the fan.
"We know you're gay Ichigo! But that's cool!" Renji quickly amended, "But you falling in love with Ulquiorra is NOT cool!"
The room fell so quiet that if Urahara tried hard enough, he could make out his neighbour's conversation. When he looked at the substitute shinigami, he thought to himself that if there ever was a perfected 'what the fuck' expression, it was this one. And if there ever was a 'I'm going to skin you alive' expression, it was also this one... and if there was also a 'I'm gonna fuck you up Renji' it was also Ichigo's current expression. And they say the boy wasn't expressive.
Before Ichigo's brain could register this information to form a coherent sentence, he heard his friend defend him, "What? Ichigo is not in love with him!"
He looked at Keigo and offered a small smile in than- "He loves Mizuiro!" His face immediately dropped.
Oh my God.
"What?" Renji choked, "You mean to say he loves him?" He shoved his finger right into Mizuiro's face.
And when Renji quickly recapped on the criteria, the idea was suddenly plausible. "Oh thank fuck!"
Through gritted teeth and extreme self-control, Ichigo finally managed to speak. "What the fuck is going o-,"
"I'm not petite Kurosaki!" Ishida had finally snapped.
Ichigo snapped his head at Ishida, "What?"
"Don't think just because you're stronger now that you're naturally the Seme!"
At this Ichigo had to choke on his own saliva.
"This has nothing to do with you Ishida! Just stay out of Ichigo and Mizuiro's affairs!"
Kill me. Ichigo wouldn't have minded eating gravel at that moment if it meant he could be spared from this nightmare. Looking at the three spectators, who in return all retained their smirks, he finally understood why Byakuya looked so fucking smug! They were in no hurry to intervene.
"Like hell it doesn't, I'm defending my pride as a man!" Ichigo didn't even want to know what he meant by that.
"Ishida-kun.." Inoue tried to sooth to no avail.
"Shut the fuck up everyone! And tell me what is going on!" This quieted down the room successfully before Keigo and his infinite stupidity decided to speak up.
"You like boys." Keigo didn't even see the fist that left him half unconscious.
Glaring back at the group, he gritted, "And how was that conclusion reached?"
"You said it yourself." Renji sat a little behind Byakuya now. Ichigo didn't look too forgiving today. "It was an article about you in the Shinigami's women's association's recent release, y'know, how you preferred your types." He cowered a little more behind his captain when Ichigo's eyes turned to slits.
"I don't recall saying I was gay."
"But," Finally Yoruichi decided to speak up seeing as though this was the part she had waited on all evening, "your preferences were stated as, and I quote, 'short black hair, big eyes, petite and modest-sized chests'." Her cat-like grin stretched further.
Ichigo clenched his hands more so than he did before, "And from that, you dumbasses gathered I was gay." It was a statement, not a question.
"How else were we supposed to take it?" Renji cried indignantly.
This time, it was Ichigo who snapped. "Her!" His right hand flew to grip her cheeks as he showed her face to the people in the room, "Rukia! I meant Rukia!"
Said girl was in such a state of shock she didn't even register how she was being manhandled by the strawberry.
The room fell quiet. Eerily so.
With all his anger, Ichigo didn't even realise his sudden confession, "Ahh. Ahh? That's all you have to say? How is it that you're more inclined to think I'm gay? How is it that you ALL came to that conclusion?
"Well, it's really not that hard." This time, Keigo really was knocked out.
Ichigo couldn't believe that before they even considered his best friend, they would weave an entire elaborate story because it seemed him being gay was just that believable. His ego had never been so wounded.
Rukia's back had straightened and her arms were still crossed over her 'modest-sized chest', only now she had a smug smile.
"Well if it was Rukia from the beginning, why didn't you just say so?"
Ichigo glared at Renji, "Maybe because I wanted her to find out in private and not through a gossip magazine!"
Urahara and Yoruichi were both holding back laughs now, Chad had a little smile, Ishida couldn't look Ichigo in the eye, Mizuiro had by then zoned out, Keigo was still knocked out, Inoue a little crestfallen, but Byakuya's expression was gold. His shit eating grin was no longer so shit eating, nor was it a grin anymore. He by then didn't know who to annihilate first, his vice-captain for feeding him false blackmail material, or the human boy whom he now wanted to castrate.
"Well," Renji now sulked, "it just sounded like it was a boy you were describing. I'm sorry I thought you were gay. Truce?"
Suddenly it seemed like a dark cloud had enveloped the group. If this had been a forest, the little animals would have scurried away.
"What did you just say?" There was so much venom in Ichigo's words.
"I said I'm sorry I thought you were g-,"
"Um, that the description sounded like it was a boy? The description of your preference, the one you were really hinting at...Rukia...?" And then, he realized his mistake, "Oh shit."
Ichigo slowly got up, "Oh shit is right Renji."
And then all hell broke loose.
His hands were stuffed into his jean pockets as he and Rukia made their way back home. Rukia couldn't help the smug look still plastered on her face as Ichigo continued to sulk.
"What are you still sooking about? You cleared your name."
"Rukia, they thought I was describing a boy!"
Rukia knew if she giggled now, there would be no way Ichigo would speak to her, so she kept quiet.
For a while, they walked in a comfortable silence.
"So." Rukia started. "You like me."
Ichigo looked the other way still sulking, "Yeah. I too wonder what I did wrong to end up in this situation."
"Oh, that's so unfortunate that you loveee me." She cooed, trying to stir him up a little.
"Whatever." He huffed. This was not how he was intending for her to find out.
"Baka. If those idiots weren't so meddlesome I don't think I'd ever find out you felt this way. So they thought you were gay, so what? I don't... except.."
Ichigo looked at her now, "Except what?"
She smiled, a magnificent genuine smile reserved only for her strawberry, "Except, I wouldn't mind you showing me just how 'all man' you are." And with a wink, she took off running as she laughed freely into the night skies.
A gentle smile broke free on Ichigo's face as his heart pounded. What they didn't realise was that he wasn't offended that they had questioned his sexuality, yes shocked, but it didn't bother him. What had angered him was the fact that they had all thought that a description of Rukia could resemble a boy. To think that they could come up with three different people fitting the criteria when Rukia herself was so wholly unique and so beautiful was unjust. But that didn't matter anymore, Rukia was happy, and now, so was he.
Watching as her outline was getting smaller, Ichigo began his chase after her, all the while thinking about how 'all man' he would be to her tonight.
AN:Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this little one-shot. It's really just a take on how perception could vary so much from one source of information. And from there, how people are so inclined to look into things and interpret it in a way so that it makes sure to hold true to what the mind has conjured.
Take the story for what it is. I didn't write this thinking whether I was portraying the characters in or out of their usual personas, nor did I have a specific time frame from the anime when I was writing this. This was just a light-hearted one shot written for your enjoyment!