Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach. I am not making money from this fanfiction. It is purely for entertainment purposes only.
Characters: Hiyori, Shinji (mentioned)
Note: This continues along the same vein as the first. I hope it isn't too repetitive for anybody. :/
Warning: Angst, possible OOC
Hiyori couldn't help that she was in love. She couldn't help the way she looked, either. For a long time, she had always thought that that was why Shinji didn't notice her. But, recently, she'd come to realize that wasn't so. She had only thought that Shinji seemed to choose the bustier, taller, more womanly girls to flirt with or to drool over, but that was just what she had allowed herself to see.
The real truth of the matter was that Shinji was that way with all girls. All girls, equally. Well, that is except for her. She mostly seemed to be an irritant to him. Which she certainly helped along. It was part of her mask, her other mask. Not the one that proved her a Vaizard, but rather the one that she had had up long, long before that. A mask to protect herself, her inner self. To protect her feelings and her heart.
But, in reality, she had not been protecting anything. She had just simply been delaying the inevitable. She had closed herself off so completely that even the people she really wanted to let in couldn't get in completely. And she had done it to herself. Now, it was second-nature and a precious security blanket to keep herself protected. Even though that protection was now, instead, the weapon against herself.
It just seemed to her, that no matter what she did, she couldn't quite shake the usual tough attitude. She'd had it so long it was part of her now, and to change it would be to change herself. And it was only a hollow victory, no pun intended of course, if you changed yourself in order to gain love. For in that instance, the person in love with you wasn't truly in love with you. Just a new perception of yourself, a fake perception.
Still, it hurt that Shinji either didn't see, or didn't care, that she was so in love with him. And, at the same time, it was a huge relief. Because, she knew that if he did know there would only be two reactions that she could see him having. Okay, maybe three. The first would be to laugh hysterically, the second would be to tell her simply that he wasn't interested or perhaps to give her reasons why...reasons she was sure she had already come up with on her own a million times, and the third was probably the worst yet. She didn't want to see that pause that he would get when he had realized he'd made a misstep and hurt someone's feelings. And that he couldn't fix it. Which would mean that he felt sympathy for her, but that he just did not return her feelings. And those two things, especially the sympathy, were just too much for her to even take a lot of time to dwell on in her mind.
She felt like crying, but she wouldn't. Shinji and the others, they were just outside. It was likely that they already felt the shift in her reiatsu, the shift in her mood, which was so drastic. She didn't need to add to that by risking their ears catching soft sobs. No, that was unnecessary and it was an unbearable thought.
But, really...what was so wrong with her? What was such a turn off? Because, damn it, every single girl that Shinji came across seemed to be his dream girl. Sure, she knew he was a terrible flirt and with him flirting didn't always mean he was actually interested, but it might as well mean that! She was the only one he wouldn't so much as pretend to flirt with. He often flirted with Lisa. And if Masshiro wasn't such a child, he'd probably flirt with her.
The only person Shinji had never and likely would never flirt with, or show even the slightest bit of interest in, was herself.
What was so wrong with her, as a companion, as a girl, as a friend...that he couldn't show the slightest bit of interest? All those other girls...all of them...probably most of them Shinji had forgotten by now, long forgotten even. But, all of those girls...and not once had he ever so much as flirtatiously winked or grinned at Hiyori.
That was the only conclusion to draw in this case, right? According to Shinji, obviously something was the matter with Hiyori. She still often insisted that she was going to be a virgin bride, but who was she kidding? The only virgin bride she wanted to be was Shinji's virgin bride. And, aside from that, whenever she mentioned it, Shinji always seemed to get this air about him, or this look on his face, that said he was thinking, but knew better than to say, “yeah, right.”
Of course he knew better than to say it. She would knock his teeth down his throat. But, that wasn't the point. The point was that obviously did want to say it. And she knew it. And she wondered if perhaps he knew that she knew it. Probably. He made no real effort to hide it, so it was probably meant for her to figure out.
Why? Why was Shinji such a jerk? What about her was such a turn off, after all the years they'd been together as friends and companions, even as comrades in arms and fellow fugitives. What was so wrong with her after all of that history that he couldn't at least give her consideration?
And what was wrong with her? That she sat and pined away for a man that didn't want her, didn't appreciate her for who she was and what she could be to him? This wasn't like her. This wasn't Sarugaki Hiyori. But, at the same time, it was. It was the fragile side that she didn't let anyone else see. Ever. It was the side that had doubts and fears. It was the side that was self-conscious. A side that no one else got to see, but that was just as much a part of her as the rest of her personality.
The part of her that couldn't leave well enough alone, but that at the same time she couldn't allow anyone else to see or know about. The part of her that Shinji had only seen on rare occasions, very rare, and no one else had.
She wished that they could just go back to the Rukongai. That they could erase all those years, all those agonizing, slow years. Erase them, start over, and this time choose anything except going into the Academy. They could have lived happier lives in the Rukongai, it was sad to say. Or at least...more content lives.
There, in the Rukongai, she might have had a chance. There, in the Rukongai, she might have found happiness. But, she hadn't known then what she knew now. If she had...she would've put her pride aside for a while and begged and pleaded with Shinji for them not to go through that.
There, in the Rukongai, she might have been able to be Shinji's dream girl. But, now...where they were now, where they had been after entering the Academy...all other girls were Shinji's dream girl. Every other girl, except Hiyori.
And, that was just how it had to be. Because, she couldn't swallow her own damn pride now to tell him how she felt, and she knew that Shinji would never pick up on it. Or, if he did, he wouldn't reciprocate and as long as she was quiet about it, he would never mention it.
That's how it would continue. Every other girl would be Shinji's dream girl. Except Hiyori.