Sometimes it's the little things that really make or break your day. Written for mistressrenet in the yaoi_challenge round of December 2006.
The bandages on his hand scratched at his eyelids unpleasantly. A fiber came loose and got in his eye, which immediately began watering. Blinking rapidly, he sat quickly up in bed to look for something softer to wipe at his eye, only to notice via the sharp tug of pain as he attempted to drop his hand that his hair had gotten stuck in a loose end of a bandage as well.
Thusly pulled irreversibly from sleep, Ishida took a deep breath to calm his rising impotent rage as his eye teared continuously and prevented him from being able to see to loose his hair. He headed to the bathroom mirror to untangle himself.
Ichigo woke to a sound more nerve-wracking than the almost-normal sound of his father kicking his door down. He woke to a timid knock and Yuzu's voice calling through the closed door, "Ichi-nii, you better come down soon or you'll be late for school!"
Jerking himself up, he stared at his alarm clock and swore with feeling. A glance at his closet confirmed that Rukia was already gone. Damn her.
He pulled on his clothes in record time, ran to the bathroom to splash water on his face and run a toothbrush through his mouth a few times, grabbed his school bag and flew down the stairs.
Yuzu was standing next to the door with a bag for him. "There's some toast in there for you to eat on your way, and I was trying something new, so I made you tonkatsu sandwiches for lunch," she said with a smile as Ichigo pulled his shoes on.
Ichigo blanched. "But I hate - never mind. Thank you, Yuzu," he said, grabbing the bag and sticking the toast in his mouth as he ran out the door.
Ishida eventually managed to pull himself together and get out of his apartment. He'd made it almost to the school, and was nearly back to something approaching his normal calm, when a woman bumped into him. And spilled something she was taking a sip of all over the side of his face. He could feel it, syrupy, running down his neck.
She apologized profusely. He looked at her and tried to convince himself that screams of frustration would not be dignified. Eventually he convinced her that he was fine, and managed to make it to a school bathroom to clean up a bit.
Ichigo took a sort of brute satisfaction in the fact that Ishida staggered into the classroom at the same time as he did, looking less awake than he was. His mood then turned for the worse again when Rukia smiled at him from her seat and said tooth-rottingly sweetly, "Oh, Kurosaki-kun, did you oversleep?"
He just glared at her and took his seat before the teacher got angry at him.
"They're rather surly today, don't you think?" Mizuiro commented to Keigo at lunch time.
Keigo looked back at him incredulously. "What, more so than usual, you mean? They've been snapping at each other constantly every time Ishida's come up here with us."
"Yes, more so than usual. Let's give them a little space, shall we?" Without waiting for a response, Mizuiro picked up his lunch and walked to the opposite side of the stairway down from the roof. Keigo stared at him for a moment before following.
Oblivious to this exchange, Ishida and Ichigo continued ignoring their lunches in favor of sniping at each other.
"I don't see why you care," Ishida offered angrily. "If you don't like me, just don't talk to me. It's not like anyone's forcing you."
"Like I could do that when you're always... /around/," Ichigo said with a scowl.
Ishida looked at him in disbelief. "You're quite aware that I've been around the entire school year? You seemed to do okay with it until recently."
"Well, that's your fault. I can't ignore you now that I've noticed you," Ichigo said as if it made all the sense in the world.
Ishida tossed his hands up in frustration. "I don't know why I bothered to get out of bed today. At the very least I should have known the company of the idiots at school wouldn''t improve."
"Aw, is poor baby having a bad day?" Ichigo's voice was heavy with sarcasm. "I guess you look it. Well, you're not getting any sympathy from /me/," he said with feeling.
"I wouldn''t expect - what do you mean 'I look it?'" Ishida asked, eyes narrowed.
Ichigo grinned at the unexpected hit. "Well, let's see. Your shirt's got a stain on the collar, your tie's tied crooked, your right eye's all red and puffy-"
"Still?" Ishida blurted, then clamped down on further comments.
"-and your hair's sort of tufting up on the one side."
Various expressions crossed Ishida's face in the space of a few seconds. Finally, he managed, "Well, at least I probably look better than you do on a daily basis. I'd ask if you just leave your clothes crumpled in a corner, except that I know for a fact you leave your whole body crumpled wherever you feel like." Ishida frowned darkly.
"Forgive me if my desire to look pretty isn't quite comparable with yours. Not that it matters, all the girls are scared of your attitude anyway," Ichigo snapped. Ishida raised an eyebrow at that, and Ichigo amended quickly, "er, or so Inoue tells me."
"I assure you," Ishida said wryly, "just because I like looking neat doesn't mean I have any desire at all to impress the girls. Why, are you jealous? At least I don't scare them away before they even talk to me."
"Ha! I really couldn't be less interested in what girls think of me," Ichigo said with a scoff.
There was a pause. "Is that so?" Ishida said with a twitch of his lips, but didn't continue. He looked Ichigo over with interest, then turned to his neglected lunch. He took a bite of fish and smirked when Ichigo just looked blankly at the chopsticks leaving his lips.
A blush covered Ichigo's cheeks as belated realization hit, and he turned his face toward his own bento. Then he forgot to be embarrassed as he remembered what was in it and scowled. ...And he was hungry, too.
When next Ishida's chopsticks rose to his mouth, Ichigo's darted across the space in between their lunches and stole a piece of fish. Ishida looked up disbelievingly as Ichigo chewed.
"Don't you have your own food?" he said with a glare.
"Yuzu packed tonkatsu. I hate tonkatsu," Ichigo said matter-of-factly, and reached out his chopsticks to snag another piece. Ishida stared at him.
"This is ridiculous. We're not in elementary school," Ishida said as Ichigo's mouth closed around the food.
He grabbed Ichigo's shirt, pulled him forward, and crushed their lips together.
Ichigo's muffled sound of surprise was quickly followed by muffled sounds of choking. Ishida leaned back, blushing a bit, to allow Ichigo to cough a few times, chew and swallow.
Ichigo looked down at Ishida's hand fisted in his shirt, and then back up at Ishida's face incredulously. Then he leaned forward, slid his hand through Ishida's ruffled hair, and brought their mouths back together more gently.
As his hand smoothed out Ishida's hair, his tongue pushed roughly into his mouth, tasting of salt and grilled fish. For the first moment of the day Ishida felt his body relaxing as his mouth met the force of the kiss head-on. /Maybe the idiots at school can improve/, he thought dazedly.
Around the corner, Keigo looked up as the muffled sounds of arguing stopped.
"Think they've killed each other?" he asked with interest.
"Possibly. Let's give them a bit more time to deal with the bodies, and then go see," said Mizuiro placidly.
Some time later, Ichigo felt the need to make something clear.
"You know, I wasn't just trying to annoy you. I really do hate tonkatsu."
"Shut up." Ishida said eloquently. Then he lifted his chopsticks and pulled Ichigo's lunch over.