[Bleach] In Search of Normality

He’s an idiot. And Uryuu can’t really understand the attraction. But here he is anyway, sitting next to Asano Keigo and waiting for the inevitable and not so subtle slide of fingers. They creep across the back of the couch, as though pretending to be ninja-like but failing miserably, as Keigo attempts to “work the moves” on him.

Keigo’s words, not his.

The Quincy does a fine job of pretending not to notice, though every instinct wants him to roll his eyes and just finish it himself. But that would be a blow to Keigo’s pride, what little of it there is. So he sits and locks his eyes on the movie. Poor acting, poor effects, and even worse music, but what does he care? He didn’t pick it out. And he feigns inattention.

Warmth settles across the back of his shoulders, tentative at first, and then becoming a solid weight. Uryuu waits for several planned breaths and then leans in, ever so slightly, practically feeling Keigo’s grin sparkle next to him. The other teen is so simple; it takes very little to please him.

They sit in comfortable silence. Keigo laughs at some stupid joke on the TV screen, and Uryuu amuses himself by re-designing his Quincy outfit. Maybe something with a wider collar this time. Or a flare to the leg of his pants. The possibilities are endless. It doesn’t bother Uryuu that they don’t share the same taste in movies since this is not really about the movie but the time spent together. It is a sacrifice he makes for Keigo, among innumerable others.

The hand around him, from the arm so carelessly slung, begins to stroke gently on his shoulder. Simple little circles or short petting rubs. It is an action that is entirely unconscious. And Uryuu knows that if Keigo ever realizes it, he would likely blush darker than that idiot Abarai’s hair, his vocabulary degenerating to mere stutters. Which will, of course, prompt Uryuu to shut him up with a kiss, if only to end the imbecilic stammering.

On second thought, perhaps that is Keigo’s intention all along, and he is smarter than Uryuu gives him credit. Or maybe that is just the uncharacteristic hope inside of the Quincy.

He figures that at the rate they’re moving it will be next spring by the time Keigo works up the courage for a good grope. Possibly a month sooner if goaded well enough. But that works out just fine for Ishida.

Despite all the odds, he likes that bit of innocence in Keigo. The bit that doesn’t really know about the other world and believes that the Shinigami he sees are merely actors in some strange show. Uryuu thinks it is something precious almost, something he should covet for his own, that innocence.

Keigo doesn’t know the story of the Quincy, doesn’t know what they’ve suffered. He isn’t aware of the burden that Uryuu carries, and in some ways, Uryuu prefers it that way. He doesn’t want the pity or the sympathy or the understanding. He wants the ignorance to make him feel just this side of normal. And Keigo, for all his odd behavior and outlandish responses to just about anything, is about as normal as normal gets for Karakura.

A gentle tug brings him closer to Keigo, and for the sake of it, Uryuu lets himself scoot a hairsbreadth closer. Near enough to share body heat on this small couch. It’s such a normal teenager action, and he revels in it. He finds his lips twitching into something close to a smile but just barely.

No need to get ahead of himself. Not just yet.

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