Sado was staring at him.
Uryū didn't know how he knew. If Kurosaki had asked he would have said it was the heightened senses of a Quincy…instead of, "I don't know." Whenever the substitute shinigami looked his way for any length of time Ishida could easily sense the difference in the flow and focus of other teen's reiatsu. Unlike the ginger, Chad was quite adept at containing his spiritual pressure (when he could focus).
Really Uryū couldn't claim total control; his father had shown him that aplenty, knew all his buttons; hell Kurosaki had even succeeded in snapping the young Quincy's control.
Only one way to confirm…The dark-haired teen took his eyes off of his notes and glanced back. Chad sat one row over and four chairs back and…
Was staring at Uryū.
As their eyes met the barest smile twitched Chad's lips and he leaned across the aisle and passed a folded piece of paper to the girl sitting directly across. Blue eyes returned to staring straight ahead as sensei spoke on and he mechanically took notes, brain whirling about what his friend wouldn't wait until class was out to ask him.
If it were a hollow Uryū was confident he could have sensed it, plus Sado would have just excused himself. There would have been an exchange of meaningful glances between blue and warm chocolate before he left.
They had an agreement; Chad took the nearby hollow since he couldn't hirenkyaku or shunpo. Occasionally the still competing Quincy and substitute shinigami followed the contract.
Sooner than he'd expected Uryū felt a poke between his shoulder-blades and Tatsuki was passing the note up to him.
Checking to make sure sensei wasn't watching (Quincy did not procrastinate!), Uryū unfolded the notebook paper.
Want to talk in private after school. Need you.
N-need? For what? He couldn't keep himself from peeking back over his shoulder at Chad again. Their eyes met and Sado did that tiny flickering smile again and the Quincy saw his broad shoulders visibly relax.
Then the large teen stopped staring and returned to his notes.
Uryū was too preoccupied to take decent notes after that. The edges of the small square of folded notebook paper dug into the palm of his hand as he sat staring forward, as if listening to the lesson.
Maybe he should ask Chad for a copy of his notes.
Sensei didn't help, as the classroom rose at the end of session she called out to Sado. "I need to speak with you a moment."
Uryū gave an irritated sigh and Chad noticed as he moved up the row toward the teacher's desk. "Meet you at the gate?"
"O-kay," Uryū heard his voice crack and quickly moved to leave the classroom.
The Quincy jumped as Chad reached out to stop him from escaping, a large warm hand resting on the top of his forearm, fingers gripping slightly. "Thank you for waiting."
Giving him a nod Uryū pulled away and turned, making a quick departure that he refused to call running away.
"What the hell Ishida?" He huffed fiercely to himself as he took a shortcut through the empty band room to the front exit. Taking a spot on the outside edge of the brickwork that ran on either side of the school gate Uryū felt his own hand coming to where calloused fingers had touched and a shock had zipped straight through him that had nothing to do with surprise.
After a moment he tugged his book bag off to let it sit on the ground between his feet and unceremoniously sat down on the uncomfortable seat of books, skinny-jean clad knees akimbo.
Did Sado like guys? Uryū had to be honest he had wondered about him along with other classmates. Chad had never given a clue either way for his preferences, he was just…Sado, quiet, strong, muscular…
"There you are," Chad's deep voice cut into his quickly escalading though patterns and spectacles flashes as Uryū looked up to see him exit the gate. "I'll walk you home."
Since it sounded more like a statement than a suggestion, no hint of question, Uryū nodded softly and pushed up onto his feet, hand snatching up his bag to shrug on. "Did you lose your phone again?" He hinted at the folded note, still clutched in his hand, instead of a text.
"Left it home, forgot to pay bill," Chad moved a hand through his long hair, giving a brief sight of both eyes and Uryū forgot he was supposed to be starting toward his apartment. "Paid bill but it's still disconnected."
It was the larger teen that finally turned and started in the vague direction of Ishida's small apartment, Uryū moved to catch up, shoving Sado's note into his back-pocket. "I'm sorry to impose-"
"Don't even Yasutora," Uryū quickly cut him off and pulled up even with him, walking down the sidewalk. "Nakama don't impose on each other."
Chad definitely smiled that time, and Uryū was glad he had used Kurosaki's word; they had bled and fought together. The smile looked good on him and Ishida tried not to let the frown slip onto his face as he mentally shook himself. How could a scrap of paper wreck him like this?
"I remember," Chad gave a soft nod and his cyclopean look was just as affecting as the earlier one revealed when he'd run fingers through his hair. "It's just been so hard. I tried on my own but I don't think I can…" He gave a tired sigh and pushed his hands into his pockets. "You're the only one I thought of."
"Me?" Uryū almost bit his tongue, and the word came out an obvious amount of octaves higher than normal. "What…ah…" He let his gaze move to stay pointed at the sidewalk a few feet in front of him pretending to look into his book bag. "You thought of me?"
"You know so much," Chad gave an easy shrug of one shoulder that gaze turning on Uryū just as he took his eyes from the ground to look over.
"So do you," The Quincy argued, even if he was getting a little freaked out about the note in his pocket, and the larger teen was not helping.
"Not as much as you!" A rumbling huff of mirth came from Sado's chest and it did funny things to Ishida's stomach. "I always thought you were smart, before I found out about the Quincy stuff."
"You're smart about more than academics."
Uryū focused on being irritated by the much-too-humble attitude, it kept his blush of modesty from overtaking his entire face. "You have to know the same is true of you Sado."
"I guess," Chad did another one-shouldered shrug and used one long arm to push open the front door that led to the courtyard of Uryū's apartment building. "I've never really been in your space."
You're in there now damn it. Ishida led him down the path cut through the courtyard, to the far corner apartment on the topmost floor. As the taller teen followed him up the stairs the Quincy fought not to hirenkyaku up them as they climbed them in silence, footsteps shuffling on the steps. "It's nothing special really."
Uryū retrieved his keys from his book bag and gained entry to his small flat. He toed off his shoes and left them at the door, turning on the lights as he stepped into the kitchen and put some water in his electric kettle on the counter, it was much quicker than the stove. Chad took an entire step and passed by the kitchen into the living/dining/multi use room, and Uryū followed him, dumping his school bag next to his folded futon as his other hand tugged the knot of his tie loose.
"Where does your sewing machine hide?"
Adjusting his glasses Ishida moved to the door leading off to the bedroom, which was being used as a sewing room while he used the futon. "I myself don't need much space."
"Shit yeah, such a tiny thing," Sado said as he leaned around Uryū to look inside and his chest came into contact with the Quincy's arm.
Holding very still Ishida turned his head enough to look back and upward at the taller man his heart thudding in his chest. "Maybe you're just big," He was glad his voice came out even, he felt anything but on level ground.
Chad only gave a non-committal grunt before his eyes moved from the small room, filled with everything imaginable (not that he knew what to imagine when it came to crafting), to blue eyes wide behind their glasses and staring right up at him. "I am. No 'maybe,' mi amiguito lindo."
The Quincy was a few seconds away from attempting to slip around the larger man when Chad gave him a step or two of space and glanced over his shoulder to the nearby kitchen (everything was nearby in this apartment). "You making tea?"
"Yes," Uryū adjusted his glasses again nervously, eyes stuck on his large guest in his small, small living room. "Or I have instant coffee in the fridge…It shouldn't take long in my electric-"
The kettle in question gave a ping to indicate the liquid inside was at the required temperature and Ishida watched as Chad turned away and made for the kitchen. "Whatever's easiest."
"I can do it," Uryū protested moving after the larger teen as he reached down for the dwarfed fridge's handle and popped it open. Ishida was sure he'd been looking for the offered coffee and was set on searching for it, but the canister didn't have many friends to keep it company inside the empty appliance. "Go sit down," Uryū was glad for the steel in his own voice as he stood outside the kitchen, since there really was no room for both of them in there, not when one of them was Chad-sized.
"No wonder," He turned, letting the fridge door close so he could open the small top compartment filled with frozen meals. "You can't grow on this food."
Affronted Uryū reached back for the doorknob of the narrow closet just behind him half-entryway-closet/half-pantry, the ramen containers inside battling with the Quincy's supply of bedding and winter coats. "I have carbohydrates."
Chad merely gave what could have been called an indignant sniff and moved out of the foot-or-so of space Ishida's move had given him and moved to sit on one side of the futon. "If you help me, I'll help you," Could be heard from the other room easily.
"Help you?" Ishida called as he pulled out two of his four tea cups and poured hot water in each asking Chad if he preferred tea or coffee.
"Tea's all right," Sado answered. "I said I needed you."
Uryū cut off a cry as scalding water sloshed over the lip of the cup and onto his hand. He replaced the kettle on the counter and quickly turned the cold water on in the sink and held his hand underneath it. "Y-yes you did," He called back, although he didn't really need to raise his voice.
"Will you help me?"
While making the tea Ishida watched his hands, the skin of one hand pinkened, "Do you really think I can?"
"It's always been you Ishida," Chad's voice came to him and Uryū's hands froze over the cups, eyes widening at the other man's words. "You know all about that stuff."
"What?" Forgetting the teacups he took two or three steps until he could see Chad where he perched on one side of the futon, making it look small, suddenly the Quincy's mind calculating Sado's height and the size of his unfolded bed. "What stuff?"
"English?" Chad murmured the white of his visible eye a little wider as the pale archer suddenly stalked into the room. "And probably econ, that's what sensei kept me after for…I failed the quiz today."
"You…?" Uryū stood there in the middle of his small apartment, staring at the man filling up the space with his presence and his body. "Need a tutor?"
"I thought I said that."
"You thought…hn…" Uryū gave a stiff nod and moved back out of sight into the kitchen, not mentioning what he himself had thought after reading Chad's note in class (he would take it to his grave). "I'd be happy to."
"Ishida," Surprised him as it came from right beside him, and not the 'right beside' of his apartment (everywhere in it) but back in the kitchen a relieved smile finally curved Chad's mouth and Uryū found himself staring at it. "Arigatō."
"Eh," Uryū turned away to push open the corner cupboard which contained a spinnable Lazy Susan the entire top shelf of it was devoted to tea. He tried to offer a smile in return but didn't really let Chad see it as he turned to find the right tea.
Why was Uryū disappointed?