Ishida, Orihime, and flowers. In reality, it all started with a key. Written for the bleach_het prompt challenge, 'in the language of flowers'.
In reality, it was Orihime who gave a copy of her house key to Ishida one afternoon after school, lagging behind their schoolmates as they walked home. Secretly, it was a godsend. Ishida had a problem with the notion of Orihime meeting Ryuuken, the disapproving, brooding father figure. In his father's eyes, Inoue-san may not have been one of the shinigami, but she was close enough.
A week later, Ishida moved in. He slept on the couch, despite Orihime's insistence that they share the same bed (did she even know how wrong that was for them to do that?), and cooked dinner, even when the requests ranged from the normal dishes to the bizarre tastes only Orihime would approve of.
On a hot summer night, Ishida came home after dusting off a stray Hollow lurking near the sports field to find a purple-and-yellow flower on the kitchen table. After setting up his shoes and dumping his Quincy cape and gloves in the laundry bin, he asked about it and found out it was a classic bought-on-a-whim purchase, courtesy of Orihime. It was on sale, she said smiling, and Ishida really couldn't argue when she smiled like that, like she had figured out how the pieces of a puzzle fit together.
It was, Ishida found out, a Hibiscus trionum - the Flower of an Hour. He thought it a ridiculous name. The botany guide said it was both a weed and a garden plant. This fact struck Ishida as quite two-sided, and he instantly took a dislike to the terracota pot of plants taking residence on his dining table.
The 'Flower of an Hour'. How absurd. And he thought no more of it, except for those moments that, while eating, he found his sight involuntarily gravitating towards it, a petaled eyesore. Orihime liked it, of course; it reminded her of her hair pin and the Shun Shun Rikka that slept within them. Ishida didn't see the resemblance, despite both of them being hibiscus, but let Orihime keep her fantasies intact.
Funny thing, the effect of flora on an environment such as theirs. After a couple of days, Orihime moved the pot so it hung in the middle of the living room, swinging on a hook and plastic chains. Ishida lost count of the times his forehead accidentally bumped into the bottom of the pot.
Orihime commented that Ishida was growing so fast, like a weed, that the poor hibiscus could not compete. She said this as she lounged beside him on the couch, head resting on one of his thin shoulders. She wondered if the room was too hot as Ishida's face suddenly crimsoned.
The next time forehead met flower pot, Orihime caught it on the back swing before Ishida risked a concussion. He expected to be chided for not looking where he was going, or to hear another comment on how he was growing like a weed again. What he didn't expect was the soft kiss on the crown of his head, nor the hour that followed, in which they both lost their sense of direction to the bedroom, their co-ordination as they fell over multiple knick-knacks making their way into bed, their sense of time and space, their clothes, minds, virginity, everything.
A week later, Ishida became a florist.
Lying with her new Quincy lover on the roof and under the star-struck night sky, Orihime concluded that everything became perfect when she gave Ishida a copy of her house key. Silently, Ishida thought it was really the pot of hibiscus in the dining area that did it.
The 'Flower of an Hour'. How absurd, he had thought. In retrospect, it was one hell of an hour. In reality, it was the beginning of the rest of their lives - the weed and the flower.