The Tragic Debate

"I still say that Romeo and Juliet is rather sad, but when it comes to truly tragic endings you can't really get any better than Orpheus and Eurydice."

"Oh, come off it Uryu! I fail to see how you can deny that Shakespeare was anything less than the master of both comedy AND tragedy. Now, I will give you that Romeo and Juliet was about two teenagers, in love though they be, who were extremely stupid in their actions because they were blinded by their infatuation with love and acted way too hastily, but there are still plenty of other plays that are plainly more tragic. Othello, for instance. He killed his own wife because he was sure that she had cheated on him and then took his own life when he found out his mistake."

"Please, that play is no better than Romeo and Juliet. Othello was just as big of an idiot because he let Iago play him like a lute. Othello only saw and noticed what Iago told him to. Before he killed Desdemona, Othello even asked her to confess to her supposed crimes and when she denied them Othello didn't believe her. He was willing to trust a man like Iago more than the woman he had married and was supposed to love, honor and protect.

"Now, if we want to talk about real tragedy let's move on to Aida. Love between someone of noble origins falling in love with someone supposedly below their station can always be good. It is made even better when that same 'lowly' character is actually shown to be just as prestigious as the person they are in love with…or at least were at one point. And then add to that the element of one being condemned to death by being buried alive in a tomb and their lover secretly hiding away in that tomb so that they might die together. Love can't be more devoted than that."

Ichigo looked around at his friends debating/arguing as they sat on the roof and ate their lunches. How this whole conversation had even started in the first place, Ichigo would never know. The debate had mostly been between Keigo, Uryu and Tatsuki; however, the next statement came from the soft voice of Orihime.

"Love is not a word that can guarantee happiness, but it is terrible to behold when love is attacked by sadness, despair and tragedy. It can be especially hard when a strong and devoted love is not shared by the other person. Like the Lady of Shalott."

The expressions of the other's faces were a mixture of shock, bemusement, sympathy and a trace amount of anger on Tatsuki's part. To everyone's utter amazement, Ichigo spoke up next.

"You're right about that, Orihime. However, what makes the whole thing even more sad and stupid is the fact that Lancelot refused Elaine's love because he in turn was enamored with Guinevere. In the end, though, the only thing accomplished through their love was that Camelot was torn apart and King Arthur mortally wounded so that he had to be sent to Avalon. Lancelot and Guinevere went their separate ways then with him becoming a hermit and she went to be a nun. That would be a good example of how love can unwittingly cause the most damage to others."

Before anyone could respond, the bell rang signaling that students should begin making their way back to class. As everyone else started making their way to the door, Ichigo suddenly felt his way impeded by a strong hand pulling on his arm. When he turned to confront the person, Ichigo barely managed to keep himself from letting out a cry of pain when a fist connected with his shoulder.

"What'd you do that for, Tatsuki?" Ichigo demanded as he rubbed his shoulder.

Tatsuki returned Ichigo's glare and ground out, "For being such a blind idiot."

Without giving Ichigo a chance to react, Tatsuki stormed off after the others leaving Ichigo to follow behind and grumble under his breath about a 'stupid karate nut'.

Throughout the rest of the school day, Ichigo had to endure not only Tatsuki, but Uryu, Chad, Mizuiro and even occasionally Keigo turning around and giving him hard, meaningful stares to which he responded with his usual scowl.

When the school day finally ended, Ichigo snatched up his belongings and all but ran out of the building. He then went around to lean against the wall of the school's barrier and wait for a certain someone to walk by.

After waiting for about ten minutes, Ichigo sensed and heard the person approaching his spot. However, before the person came within Ichigo's view, they stopped and let out a soft laugh.

"Whatever are you doing Ichigo?"

Ichigo huffed and said, "Waiting for you. What took you so long?"

The voice laughed again and said, "The others wanted to make sure that I was all right after that incident at lunch."

Pushing himself away from the wall and walking around the corner, Ichigo grumbled, "Yeah, I want to talk to you about that too. Why'd you have to go and talk about the Lady of Shalott? Do you know how much trouble I got in over that remark?"

Orihime looked up at Ichigo at valiantly attempted to keep her face from breaking out into a smile as she said, "I'm sorry about that. It just sort of slipped out because I did used to sympathize with Elaine's plight on unrequited love, you know."

With a sigh, Ichigo looked up and ruffled his hair saying, "I know, I know. I guess I was pretty thick for quite a while."

Attempting to look down at Orihime with a scowl Ichigo asked, "But do we have to keep it from them much longer? If another conversation like that one at lunch comes up again, I'm not sure that Tatsuki or the others will let me off so easy."

Orihime replied, "I plan to reveal it to everyone this weekend when we all get together. Thank you for being willing to go along with me on this, but I just want to keep this thing between us for a little while longer. I just want to savor it in secret before we make it public knowledge."

Ichigo moved his hand down in order to rub his neck and said, "I guess we can keep this up until the weekend."

Orihime smiled and reached up to cup Ichigo's cheeks saying, "Thank you, Ichigo."

Then Ichigo allowed her to pull his head down so that she could kiss his cheek tenderly. When she made to move away though, Ichigo cupped her face and kissed Orihime full on the lips. She gave a small sigh and leaned in to the kiss.

Eventually, Ichigo reluctantly pulled away to look into Orihime's slightly glazed eyes, saying with a smirk, "Just keep in mind though that in order to keep up this charade, I will require some recompense for my troubles."

Orihime laughed and gave him another, lighter kiss and asked, "Like this."

Ichigo grinned and said, "Exactly like that."

Author's Note:

Ok, this is a product of me going completely bonkers and finally giving up on trying to pound out some sort of sense into my contest pieces for FLOL. All of the tragedies listed in here are ones that I love, so any negative comments that were made in the story were simply things that I came up with off the cuff because it suited the story.

Anyway, in case things weren't quite clear, Ichigo and Orihime have begun a relationship and for whatever reason, Orihime wants to keep it from the others for a time. Rather ridiculous, I know, but this was just something I came up with because I wanted to take my mind off other things and it has been far too long since I posted a story.

Hope it was somewhat enjoyable!