Characters: Ishida Uryuu, Ayasegawa Yumichika
Warnings: None, yet.
Notes: I forget what the hell I was reading, but suddenly it struck me that Yumichika and Ishida were a perfect complement to each other… I expect a chapter 2, but doubt it’ll be much longer.
Disclaimer: Bleach is the property of Kubo Tite. I just borrow his characters and play with them.
There was something about that Ishida guy that just drove Yumichika to distraction. In fact, at that very moment, the very thought of Ishida had driven him to set a single feather at an angle that was something less than stunningly beautiful, and at that moment, that was the worst possible thing that could have happened. Yumichika, after all, was jealous.
For all that his aesthetics and combatant desires had carried him through the centuries, it thoroughly infuriated Yumichika to see a human boy of maybe sixteen catching up with him — and not only that, but that bastard Ishida could sew his own damn clothes. Yumichika was dependent on the erratic path of the world’s fashion sense and his own ability to obtain enough money to commission the clothes he wore. It wasn’t so bad, most of the time, since he tended toward the standard uniform, most days. But standing beside Ishida, in a fight, he could almost feel himself becoming plain. Even Ikkaku had noticed — hell, Renji had noticed — he was getting bitchier and bitchier the more time he spent in proximity to that boy.
He snarled as attractively as possible and re-set the misaligned feather.
"Hey, Ishida," Ichigo called out to the slim figure primly preceding him out of the senkai gate, "What the hell did you do to Ayasegawa?"
Uryuu pushed up his glasses and smiled thinly, over his shoulder. "I didn’t have to. Clearly he recognises my talents and sees me as a threat to the security of his own arrogance." If he makes his own kimono, though, I have no idea what he’s worried about… Uryuu thought to himself. Ayasegawa’s kimono collection was a sight to be envied and marvelled at, and Uryuu was especially fond of the one with the lotus blossoms and the silver-embroidered cranes. The work on the cranes was clearly hand-stitched, and he knew he wasn’t that good, yet… but, one day…
His thoughts were interrupted as Ichigo started talking again. Uryuu sincerely wished he’d stop doing that. At all, really.
"Security of his arrogance? The hell’s that even mean? I think you’re making shit up so you don’t have to say," Ichigo protested.
"No, what I’m saying is, by the time I’m my grandfather’s age, he’ll be jealous of me." Uryuu stopped suddenly, with a sharp laugh, and Ichigo nearly bumped into him. "Ha. I’d best up my skills faster, or I won’t be beautiful enough for him to care, anymore," he joked, leaving Ichigo irritated and confused as they again progressed along the road.
"You? But you’re not even beautiful to begin with! At least I could kind of mistake Ayasegawa for a girl, in the right light!"
Uryuu stopped again, at the edge of the glow from a streetlight, and glanced back at Ichigo. "Your sense of aesthetics is severely limited, Kurosaki."
And in that moment, Ichigo saw, exactly what Ishida had meant, and promptly promised himself a full bottle of brain bleach, as soon as he got home. He saw it — actually saw the beauty in Ishida’s face — the soft light in the sharp, mocking eyes — the pale, smooth skin — and he was never going to be able to un-see it. Ichigo glanced back to see if the gate was still open. Maybe if he hurried back, Kyouraku-taichou would get him good and drunk. Ishida. Ichigo shook his head. That’s disgusting.
"And your sense of tactics flat sucks," Ichigo replied, a split second too late. "Is it a competition? Do I get a point for being right?"
Uryuu sighed audibly and kept walking.
Time passed. A war broke out. Riots and arrancar slid by like water down the drain. Yumichika seemed less bitchy, if only because he could take it out on the unfortunate arrancar who crossed his path, instead of his friends. The world slid through his slender fingers, unblemished, until, again, he found himself beside that damnable Quincy.
They sat in a bar — Ishida was there with Kurosaki, Abarai, and Ukitake-taichou, and they looked like they were waiting for Kyouraku-taichou to arrive. Ishida, Yumichika noted, vindictively, appeared somewhat uncomfortable in his drunken surroundings. Yumichika, of course, was there with Ikkaku and Tetsuzaemon, distractedly half-listening to them argue about who was buying the next round. He drained his cup and leaned back, glancing across the room to where the Quincy sat, staring back at him. A thin smirk slithered onto Ishida’s face, as he cocked his head, invitingly, at Yumichika and stood up, walking a little too inconspicuously in the general direction of the restroom.
Yumichika’s eyes nearly rolled out of his head in shock at the first thought that crossed his mind, but it clicked pretty quickly that Ishida just wanted whatever he had to say to go unnoticed by his companions — and perhaps by Yumichika’s as well. After a moment’s debate, he followed.
"What do you want, Quincy?" Yumichika sniped, leaning toward the mirror, to make certain his feathers were still on straight.
"I want to know how long it took you," Ishida stated, as though it were the most obvious answer in the world.
Yumichika turned his head, staring, slightly dazed, at the slim, lithe Quincy. "How long what took?"
"The kimono, Ayasegawa-san." Ishida pushed up his glasses.
"You want to know how long it took me to put on my kimono?" Yumichika blinked, and his expression grew sharper. "What kind of asinine —"
"No, I want to know how long it took you to do the embroidery."
Yumichika froze. His first instinct was to lie, to say it had taken weeks — to keep the upper hand. Instead, he looked Ishida straight in the eye. "I don’t make my own clothes, Quincy. I pay people to do it for me," he said, looking down his nose at Ishida.
The Quincy just looked smug. "But seriously, how can you ensure the quality if you’re not doing it, yourself? How can you be certain it’s exactly what you want, when you never saw the little opportunities to make it better?"
Yumichika huffed, and stopped just short of a full-on pout. "And you can do better?"
"For myself I can. And I have better taste than any of my friends, clearly. For you? Maybe not," Ishida admitted, with a slow nod. "But I have the hands, and you have the face." He reached into his bag and drew out a heavy white kimono — twelve yards of silk — lightly patterned in a pale-blue bellflower and pentangle design, with the Quincy cross embroidered in dark blue on the back and shoulders. Blue edging chased the hems, and what appeared to be a slim vine of wisteria crept from the bottom hem, across the back, and up over one shoulder, diagonally transversing the field of bellflower. He held it up to Yumichika.
"I wanted to give you a reason to look at me like you do," Ishida offered, removing his cape, and slipping the kimono over the rest of his slim-fitting Quincy clothes, but what he meant was, ‘I wanted to prove my superiority.‘