Title: Figured You Out
Rating: Let’s call it R, just to be sure.
Summary: Sewing doesn’t make you gay.
Note: This fic is based on the actual experiences of a real-life friend of mine. His story didn’t have quite as happy an ending, unfortunately.
Figured You Out
The first hint Ishida had of Orihime’s interest in him was when, upon their return from Soul Society and the start of the new school year, she made it a point to include him in her group of friends. Ishida liked Tatsuki and wholeheartedly agreed with Chizuru’s desire for Orihime. He’d always enjoyed the company of women over men so he had no real complaints.
He was, however, slightly disgruntled when more often than not, their little cluster of people included Kurosaki and Sado and the other two imbeciles as well as the girls. It irritated him to have their discussions about interesting things like sewing and films and music and celebrity idols grow stilted because the girls were not as comfortable around the boys as they were with him.
Oddly, when he asked her why she always invited the boys, Orihime seemed surprised.
“I ask them for you, Ishida-kun,” she said, her tone careful, as if explaining something to a very slow child. “I know having just girls around must be boring for you.”
“Not at all,” he replied honestly. “All they want to talk about is sports and video games.” He shuddered. “I never really did know what to do with boys.”
Orihime said, “I think you’ll figure it out eventually, Ishida-kun,” and laughed, much longer than he thought the comment warranted. She was a strange girl, though, so he didn’t think much of it.
His suspicions of her crush on him were confirmed a little more when she turned to him at the end of handicrafts club one day and casually asked him if he’d like to see a movie that weekend. She seemed so comfortable around him, not at all how nervous and jittery she was in Kurosaki’s proximity; he exulted.
The film she named was what most people would consider a “chick flick” but Ishida had little patience for the mindless shoot-em-up debacles that many people their age liked to see, and indeed had had trouble finding someone to see it with, himself.
He accepted with pleasure.
“Thank you so much for coming with me, Ishida-kun!” Orihime enthused as they entered the theatre. “None of my other friends would go with me.”
”Why not?” Ishida asked, pushing up his glasses.
“They said it was too girly,” she replied with a frown. “But I knew you wouldn’t think so.”
Ishida felt a warm glow of satisfaction; clearly, Orhime was far more astute than she seemed if she were able to recognize in him the same rejection of society’s prejudices of what preferences men and women “should” have. After all, wasn’t she herself a considerable fan of mechas? Didn’t she want to be a Gundam when she grew up? That certainly wasn’t a typical female dream for one’s future.
The theater’s air conditioning was cranked far past “high” and seemed to be pushing toward “cryogenic”; Orihime was soon shivering. Ishida felt it a fine time to test a boundary or two, and took advantage of the moment to put his arm around her shoulders and pull her against the heat of his body.
She started, just a little, before relaxing against him, and beamed at him a smile so sunny he could even see it in the flickering darkness.
“You’re so kind, Ishida-kun,” she murmured before turning back to the film. Inwardly, Ishida laughed, and wondered if she’d still think so if she knew his true motives.
They enjoyed the remainder of the film in silence, and chatted companionably as Ishida walked her home. At her door, after she fumbled with her keys, she smiled at him and kissed his cheek.
“See you soon, Ishida-kun!” she said before disappearing through the threshold in a whirl of floral skirt and warm brown hair.
Ishida stood there a moment longer, inhaling the delicate scent of her lingering in the air, before trudging home. “Oh, yes,” he murmured to himself. “She wants me.”
The third, and final, hint— the thing that sealed it for Ishida— was when Orihime asked him to come to her home and help her fit a dress she was working on.
“No one else in our club has the skill you do,” she said, and gestured nervously in the vague area of her bosom. “I don’t trust anyone but you to be able to work with these.”
Ishida felt a fine glow of satisfaction— and, it must be admitted, lust— at her words and actions. Her chest was indeed a challenge. Not only would he be pushed to the limits of his tailorship in finding the exact right darts and curves in fitting the bodice around those glorious globes, but he’d be placed in close proximity and— gods willing— actual tactile contact with them, as well.
He realized, with a delighted jolt, that that was exactly what she intended— no girl would invite a boy over for what amounted to several hours of breast-fondling without knowing precisely what she was doing. Not even Orihime could be that dense.
Ishida heard the hours of his remaining virginity tick-tick-ticking down to zero hour in the recesses of his hormonally-charged mind, and smiled.
“It would be a honour,” he said, and he meant every word.
After school that day, he rushed home to shower, shave, and pick the perfect outfit for his seduction of Orihime. He felt his bottle-green narrow-wale corduroy trousers and nubby lightweight oatmeal cotton-poly blend sweater would be perfect for it; both were easy to remove, and he had every intention of getting naked that fine October day.
Orihime answered the door still in her school uniform. She seemed surprised to see him in different gear, however.
“Oh, you changed!” she said brightly. “You look so handsome. Do you have a date later?”
Ishida blinked. “Er, no,” he said cautiously, then decided to take a risk. “I wore this to come here.”
“You’re so dedicated to fashion!” Orihime exclaimed admiringly. “Even just for me, you wear a terrific outfit!”
“You’re entirely worth it,” he replied with what he thought was considerable suaveness, and was rewarded by her glimmering smile and watering eyes.
“You’re such a good friend,” she quavered, giving his hand a quick press. “If only you were interested in—in my type of person.” Then she fled to the other room, leaving him wondering what in the world she meant by that.
So, Orihime was interested in him, but felt he was unobtainable for some reason… did she think that Ishida’s standards were so high that he wouldn’t consider her? Sure, she was ditzy, and went off quite often on bizarre flights of fancy, but she was by no means stupid.
And even if she were, those breasts of hers sure went far in recompensing any deficiencies she might bear in the intellectual realm. Not to mention her legs… Ishida had contemplated her legs at length, as well, and decided that even if her bust were the far more typical Japanese handful, her legs would have made most efforts to date her completely worthwhile.
Feeling his eyes glaze over (and his bottle-green narrow-wale corduroys become a tetch more snug), Ishida forced himself to calm down. It wouldn’t benefit anyone if he became so excited that it was over before it began, after all.
“Are you alright, Ishida-kun?” Orihime asked, touching his arm, and he jerked back to reality to find her standing before him, completely topless from the waist up.
“They’re horrible, ungainly things, aren’t they?” she lamented into the silence that fell when he latched his gaze onto her breasts and could not look away. She glanced down at them herself, with rather more ruefulness than Ishida was feeling. “From a fashion point of view, at least. They’re just always in the way, jouncing all over, and they totally ruin the line of anything I try to wear.”
“What? No!” he protested, mesmerized. “They’re not horrible at all.”
They were, in fact, the most amazingly sexy things he’d seen in his life. Pale as cream, with rose-pink nipples that looked as if they’d melt in his mouth, and a delicate blue tracing of veins that his mind’s eye refused to stop following with his tongue.
Scraping together a modicum of that famous Quincy resolve, he dragged his eyes back up to her face and said (hoarsely), “No, with the right skill, you’ll be perfectly pleased with the results.”
“That’s where you come in, Ishida-kun!” she said happily, and clapped her hands, making her breasts bounce bewitchingly.
He twitched, hearing her state it so plainly. “When?” he croaked.
“When should we get started, you mean?” At his shaky nod, she continued, “Right away! That’s why I have my shirt off, after all. No time like the present!”
Ishida couldn’t agree more. Hands outstretched, he filled them with the mounds of silky, warm flesh at the same moment he covered her mouth with his, sliding his tongue to kiss her intimately when she gasped in surprise.
There was just time for him to taste her, and for her nipples to lightly abrade his palms, before she wrenched herself away.
“Ishida-kun!” Orihime shrieked. “What are you doing?”
Fogged by lust, Ishida’s brain directed him to pursue her, and he stumbled blindly after her as she flinched back and began to flee across the room, hands clamped over her bosom.
“Nonono!” she shouted, wrapping one arm around her chest so she could slap at his groping hands. “Ishida, why?”
He blinked slowly as the sting from her slaps penetrated the haze in his head. “You—naked—fitting—thought you asked me here-- you wanted to, er, be with me.” He pushed up his glasses with a finger that shook. “Why else would you come out with your top off?”
“Because the dress that needs fitting is strapless, with a built-in bra!” Orihime told him, pointing to where a mass of tulle and taffeta was slung over the back of a chair.
“You really didn’t ask me here so we could have sex?” Ishida was stuck on that notion, and mightily confused. Affronted, too. “Why would you think it appropriate to reveal yourself in this way to a boy? You can’t be surprised I’d get this sort of idea.”
“I thought you were gay!” Orihime wailed, eyes huge. “Everyone said so! Why do you think I kept asking Kurosaki-kun and the other boys to join us all the time?”
Ishida felt his eyes begin to bug out of his head. “You were trying to fix me up?” he demanded unhappily. At her miserable nod, his disbelief was so great that he felt the need to ask again. “Fix me up? With Kurosaki?”
“Or—or Sado-kun,” she added, her voice wobbly. “I thought you’d be cute with either of them.”
“Cute?” He was certain the pulse in his left temple was about half a minute from spraying arterial flow everywhere. “I am not gay!” he roared. “How could you even think such a thing?”
“B—but everyone was so sure!” Orihime whimpered, distraught. “Tatsuki-chan made such a good case for it! All the information pointed that way!” She began ticking off the ‘proof’ on her fingers. “You like hanging out with girls, you hate action movies and video games and sports, and you argue with Kurosaki-kun all the time. Chizuru said it was because of, you know, sexual tension between the two of you.” She paused before delivering the coup de grace. “Ishida-kun, you sew!“
Ishida removed his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Those things do not make a man gay, Orihime,” he said with strained patience. “You know what makes a man gay?”
When she slowly, hesitantly shook her head, he replied forcefully, “Fucking other men! That’s what makes a man gay!”
He jammed his glasses back on his nose and turned away, fists clenching as he sought to bring himself under control. Behind him, Orihime began weeping softly.
Ishida remembered how Orihime would act differently, shyer and more nervous, around Kurosaki and the other boys in contrast to the easy rapport she had with her female friends and with him. Suddenly, he realized how he’d misunderstood it all, all her overtures to him, and her surprise in the movie theater when he’d put his arm around her.
His face felt numb, frozen, in direct counterpoint to the mass of emotions roiling away in his chest at that moment. It was more than just his disappointment that sex was not forthcoming. He hadn’t entertained much confidence that it was a sure thing, after all.
It was that he’d been so completely misjudged, that someone whom he’d thought understood him— a friend he’d come to value-- hadn’t really understood anything at all. Orihime had made an incorrect assumption about him, then based her friendship upon that assumption. She had spent time with him, revealed herself to him (both figuratively and literally) because of that assumption, because she felt comfortable sharing herself with him for what she thought he was, rather than who he was in reality.
“I’m sorry,” Ishida said, gaze politely averted. “I’m very sorry for this misunderstanding.” He closed the door on her distressed cry of “Ishida-kun!” and walked resolutely away, head down, feeling very low indeed.
The next day at school, Ishida distanced himself from Orihime and her friends, sticking resolutely by the mouth-breathing Kurosaki and his simian companions in the hopes that their typical antics would drive away the womenfolk as usual.
However, even the insensate Kurosaki was not oblivious to Ishida’s general air of dejection and Orihime’s distress- and tear-filled eyes as she gazed with heart-rending sadness across the room at them.
“What the hell is going on with you two?” he hissed in the middle of algebra. “If you didn’t look as miserable as she does, I’d kill you for making her feel bad.”
Ishida was none too thrilled with himself, either. For all that she’d made him feel two inches tall the previous afternoon, she was still a kind girl who’d been nice to him. He liked her, and had been her friend, even if she hadn’t really been his, to his way of thinking.
Every time he felt himself relenting, however, wanting to go to her and tell her all was well between them, the image of her traumatized face and shocked horror at his touch flashed in front of him once more, killing the impulse.
“Nothing,” he told Kurosaki. “Nothing happened. Leave it alone.”
The other boy looked nowhere near convinced, but he seemed to have learned some discretion somewhere along the way, and merely grunted before returning to his studies.
That left Ishida to stew over everything some more. How could he have been so stupid to think that the prettiest, buxomest, sweetest girl in school was interested in him? How could he— who prided himself on his skills of perception and observation— have failed to see that she and her girlfriends saw him as nothing more than one of them, though slightly different?
“Ishida-kun?” A soft touch on his arm jolted him from his reverie, and he blinked. Class was over, the room was nearly empty, and Orihime stood beside him, a shaky and tentative smile on her face. “We need to talk about yesterday.”
He stood and shoved his books into his bag. “I think it was all settled last night,” he replied, trying to sound neutral instead of terribly hurt. He turned to the door only to find Chad standing before it, his solid bulk an effective barrier to escape.
Ishida sighed and turned toward the other door, only to find Ichigo planted firmly in his way, leaning back against it and glaring out from under that ragged fringe of bright orange.
“Inoue asked us to keep you here so she could say something to you,” he growled. “So we’re gonna, and you’re gonna, and she’s gonna. So talk.”
That vein in his left temple began to throb again. “Fine,” he snapped shortly at Orihime. “Go ahead, talk.”
Her eyes filled with tears at his brusqueness; behind him, he heard Ichigo growl.
“I just wanted to say how very, very sorry I am for my misunderstanding,” she whispered, twisting the hem of her skirt in her fingers. “I thought about what you said a lot, and I understand now that you’re right. I was wrong to listen to what the other girls were saying about you. I shouldn’t have assumed something about you, and treated you differently because of my mistake.
“But I don’t want you to think that I only like Ishida-kun because of what I thought!” she continued, somewhat desperately. “I would have done all the same things, even if I had known the truth!”
“I somehow doubt that,” he said dryly, quirking a brow even as he felt the hard, jagged little bits of ice within him start to thaw. It really was impossible to stay angry at the girl, especially when she looked so damned pathetic and pretty, blushing as hard as she was at that moment.
“Well, no, not everything,” she agreed. “I wouldn’t have taken off my blouse and bra last night, that’s for sure!”
The cracking noise from behind Ishida was, he soon realized, the sound of two male spines snapping upright in shock.
“Whaaat?” Kurosaki demanded.
“…” said Chad, but Ishida could feel his astonishment.
He ignored them both, his gaze trained on Orihime, and waited for her to continue. Her face was scarlet, but she forged on regardless.
“Do you remember when I said I wished you liked people like me?” He nodded. “Well, after I got over my surprise last night, I realized that I’d been wishing that a lot, in the last month. I was wishing that Ishida-kun was himself, with all the ways you are, all the ways I like you, but not liking boys, so he would date me. And now I find out, you really don’t like boys! You’re still you, but even better because now we can make out in the movie theater and when you fit my dresses you can grope me and I’ll like it! So, it’s like my wish came true!”
Kurosaki muttered something unintelligible; Chad rumbled an agreement.
“So,” Orihime concluded, “I was hoping that we could maybe start over, and see a movie, and go places, but with the understanding that it was because we liked each other in the romantic way, not just in the friends way.”
Her face changed then, became strangely avid, and she pounded one fist into the other palm. “And if anyone ever tries to say you’re gay, I’ll send them to the moon! Because the way you kissed me and groped me last night, there’s no way you could like boys! They don’t have boobs! And you like boobs! A lot!”
More mumbling from behind them. Ishida smirked.
“Yes,” he said, “that’s certainly one of our biggest flaws. No… boobs.”
“And penises,” Orihime supplemented helpfully. “Boys have penises, and if you don’t like penises, then you’re in a bind.” She paused thoughtfully. “Of course, I like penises, so I have trouble understanding why you wouldn’t—um, not that I have a lot of experience with them!”
She hastened to clarify that her preference was in no way indicative of any vast amount of prior contact, and looked to be working herself up into a fine state. Ishida felt compelled to comfort her.
“Orihime,” he said, “calm down.”
“Yes,” she agreed, taking a deep breath and beaming. “Calming down.” She peered up at him. “Are we friends again? Maybe—maybe more than friends?”
“Yes,” Ishida said. “We’re friends. Or more. Whatever you want.”
“Oh, good!” she exclaimed, clearly relieved. “Because I was hoping we could do more of that.”
He blinked. “More of… that?”
“You know.” She puckered her lips, making kissy-noises, and gestured toward her chest. “I was trying to remember it all after you left last night. Without the appalled shock and blinding terror, that is.”
He gritted his teeth. “Oh?”
“And I think it could feel pretty nice, under different circumstances. So I think we should do it again.” She paused. “Your hands were nice and warm. They felt good. But I think you could be a little rougher, this time.”
Twin groans sounded behind them. Ishida smiled, a slow and— he hoped— suave smile.
“Certainly,” he said, his voice almost a purr as he sidled closer to her and cautiously slipped an arm around her waist. “That could be arranged. As soon as you make these baboons step out of the way, that is.”
“Oh!” she said, surprised. “Kurosaki-kun, Sado-kun, thank you so much for your help!” She bowed politely. “But you can let Ishida-kun leave.” She beamed at them. “Ishida-kun and I are going to go fool around now.”
They groaned again as Ishida and Orihime sailed out of the classroom, arm in arm.
Left behind, Ichigo turned to Chad, speechless for possibly the first time in his life.
“Yeah,” replied Chad. “I know.”
And that’s all that needed to be said.