Spoilers: For episode 73 of the anime
Summary: I didn’t like seeing Yoshino finding and rescuing the runaway Ishida, so I decided to settle my inner IshiOri fangirl and write this. This is a birthday ficlet for Kat! A thank you present for helping me overcome my smut-writing anxiety! XD
Disclaimer: Last time I checked, I was definitely not Kubo. I’m just using his characters to write fluff.
“Oooh, when I find him, I’m going to teach him a lesson he’ll never forget and heal all his injuries!” Orihime fumed as she, Chad, Rukia, Ichigo, and the plushy squad searched through the town looking for Ishida. Ichigo and Chad had never seen the ever-cheery Orihime this livid. Nor had they seen anyone talk about resolving their anger with threats of healing.
They spent a couple hours looking for Ishida, calling out his name, waking up irate neighbors, trying to find evidence of where he had gone. Ichigo, noticing the time, realized he would have to leave their little search party early. He was not happy with the promise of a beating his father would give him for staying out past 10, and staying out longer would just intensify it. About fifteen minutes after Ichigo took off, Chad had to leave too. He explained that he had homework that needed to be finished that night. Rukia left about the same time, explaining that Ichigo wouldn’t be too happy with her sneaking into his bedroom window while he was asleep.
That left just Orihime and Claude to continue the search for Ishida. Claude did his best to cheer Orihime out of her anger with some jokes, but she was on a mission.
She spent the next hour and a half looking for Ishida. Towards the end, Claude did his best to convince Orihime that she needed to go home and rest. She was about to give up when she caught a tiny trickle of Ishida’s reiatsu trail. Empowered with hope, she hurried to find him. It didn’t take long for her to find him face-down in a puddle. It was very obvious that his fever and very long barefooted walk outside in the cold night had taken a severe toll on his body.
“Ishida-kun!” Orihime wailed. Ishida was half expecting her to burst into tears and drape herself over his exhausted body as if he was about to die, (which was quite possible if he didn’t get out of the situation he was in at that moment.)
Yet, Ishida was surprised he didn’t get such a greeting from his savior. Before he knew it, Orihime had tugged him to his feet, and was babbling at him angrily as she helped him walk.
“You had me so worried!” Orihime scolded Ishida like he was a small child who had run away from his mother, “I was afraid that perhaps the broccoli demons had abducted you and taken you to their space ship where they were going to turn your feet into bananas and make you tap-dance on jello!”
With a scolding like that, Ishida wanted to laugh and feel guilt-ridden that he had actually made Orihime angry from worrying over him.
“Now, when I get you back home I’m going to nurse you back to full health whether you like it or not!” Orihime’s scolding tone continued.
Thankfully, Orihime didn’t have to drag Ishida very far to her home. In his fever-induced haze, he had inadvertently wandered his way near Orihime’s apartment. As soon as they got inside, Claude slunk off into Orihime’s bedroom, knowing he was better off out of sight for the moment with a very angry Orihime on the rampage.
Orihime was still rather angry when she got him inside and comfortable on her couch. She was also still babbling nonsense like she was giving Ishida a stern lecture.
“I bet those Bounds are related to evil mole people! And they need Quincys to run in their massive person-sized hamster wheel to power their spaceship!” Orihime came out of Sora’s old bedroom with a clean pair of pajamas for Ishida to change into, since his hospital-issue set was cold, damp, and dirty. So caught up in her anger, Orihime began taking off Ishida’s damp pajama shirt.
“Inoue-san!” Ishida flustered, and touched Orihime’s wrist to make her stop undressing him. “I can change by myself, but thank you for being so helpful.”
“Oh! Excuse me, Ishida-kun! I’ll go get you some tea and aspirin!” Orihime blushed for a moment and then scurried into her kitchen to give Ishida a bit of private time as he changed his pajamas. Her anger had dissipated a bit, but was still keeping her determined to help Ishida recover.
Fifteen minutes later, when the tea was ready, Orihime felt that it was safe for her to march back into the other room and give her patient his treatment. She placed the tray had carried the tea and aspirin onto a coffee table next to her couch, and sat next to Ishida.
“Open your mouth.” Orihime ordered Ishida.
“What are you doi—“ Ishida was cut off as Orihime snuck a couple of aspirin into his mouth before he could finish his sentence. She quickly followed by holding up a glass of water.
“Drink it.” Orihime ordered again.
Ishida obliged, and chased the aspirin down with the offered water, and cleared his throat when the deed was done.
“Anything more you want me to do, ma’am?” Ishida asked, half-expecting her to shove the cup of tea in his face next.
“That’s all! I made the tea in case you wanted it. But now I know you’re safe and going to get better, so I feel better.” Orihime sighed with relief, her anger fading quickly away.
“Thank you, Inoue-san. That glass of water was fine enough for me. I’d like to sleep now, unless you have anything else you need me to do?” Ishida yawned, feeling ready to fall asleep on the spot.
“Just this.” Orihime said as she leaned over and embraced Ishida in a hug. He could feel his face growing hot in a blush, and he could feel Orihime’s body stifling back sobs.
“Inoue-san, you don’t have to…” Ishida reached up and stroked Orihime’s back to comfort her. That simple act of comfort caused Orihime to let loose the floodgates as her stifled sobs developed into complete weeping.
“Please don’t run away again,” Orihime cried. “Even though you have no powers, you’re not useless to us!”
“Thank you, Inoue-san. I’ll be sure to remember that next time. It makes me feel so much better hearing it from you.” Ishida said soothingly.
Orihime’s crying subsided after a while, and she sat back up, wiping the tears off her face.
“I’m sorry. I should let you be so you can sleep now.” Orihime stood back up, and took the tray back into the kitchen. She let him be until he fell deep asleep on her couch, tucked beneath a quilt that he had made her the previous Christmas.
The next morning, Ishida woke to find Orihime’s head perched on the edge of the couch, resting on her crossed arms. She had apparently spent the night watching him sleep. Ishida settled back down and went back to sleep, deciding to wait for her to wake up before getting up.