Ichigo: The breeze felt pleasant against my bare arms as I surveyed the school campus from the vantage point of the rooftop. A silly grin graced my lips and I released a sigh of happiness. I loved the way everything felt so far away from up here. I patted my pockets until I found the familiar rectangular shape. My silly smile became a wide grin as I extracted the familiar silver case. A chuckle escaped my lips as I pressed the release button and the case opened. rumor had it that I carried marijuana or any other assortment of drugs inside it, but truthfully, all I carried in the case were Newport 100s and my black lighter. Some of my friends tended to assume I smoked Mavericks or some other cheap brand, but my preference in cigarettes was one of the only things that had passed from my father to me. I pulled one of the long cigarettes from the case and placed the tan filter between my lips. Flicking the lighter open with a snap, I lit my cigarette and took a long drag. Morning classes had been stressful, and I'd been needing this cigarette since the first five minutes of my AP English class. The teacher was an utter bitch, but I continued to take the AP course for three reasons: one, the class was great college prep; two, I'd had to fight tooth and nail to prove I belonged there in the first place; and three, there was one beautiful, serious boy that sat beside me and I found him absolutely engrossing. Uryū Ishida, class president and top-ranked student, had become a bit of a fascination of mine. He was utterly beautiful with silky black hair and midnight blue eyes, but he was completely set apart from the rest of the student body. It was as though there was an invisible wall between him and the other students. He was never bullied, never more than casually attached to any other student, never close to any of his classmates. I could see no reason why he wouldn't fit in –honestly, class elections were more of a popularity contest than a matter of qualifications and he had been elected. He was well-liked by other students, but he never made any effort to get closer to any of them. I finished my cigarette and absently stubbed out the cherry. Taking a moment to check my cell phone, I smiled as I realized that I still had close to twenty minutes left in my lunch period. It was unlikely that I would be disturbed on the rooftop. Most people tended to eat with their friends or play games or neck with their significant other at lunch time. Very few of us wanted the solitude the rooftop could afford us, which was why the rooftop was my sanctuary. Relaxing a bit, I sat down and leaned against the cool stone that kept me from the edge. I squinted when the sunlight nearly blinded me in this new position, then simply closed my eyes. Relaxing a little would do me good and prepare me to face the rest of my classes. I had a few minutes of blissful, relaxing silence before I heard the roof-access door creak open. Opening only one eye, I gazed upon the exquisite beauty that had fascinated me in the moment that he exhaled a soft startled sound. "I… I'm sorry. I wasn't aware someone was up here," he said in lieu of a greeting. "Class President," I greeted. "If you're seeking solitude, I won't disturb you. I just want a few moments to myself, as well." He nodded to me. "Very well. Thank you." I smiled and inclined my head for a moment before sitting up and reaching for my cigarette case once more. "Do you mind if I smoke?" I inquired. "Those things will kill you one day," he responded. "Just make sure your smoke goes another direction, yeah?"' My smile became a grin once more. "Can do, Class President." Imagine that. I never thought I'd be smoking a cigarette on the rooftop with the class president not much more than an arm's length away.
Uryū: King of the Delinquents Ichigo Kurosaki was surprisingly true to his word. He smoked his cigarette in silence and managed to keep the smoke from coming my way. In fact. He didn't make any attempt to distract me at all. Which was why it was really too bad that he distracted me by merely existing in the vivid way that he did. At first, he'd been an arbitrary interest of mine. It had all started only a few years ago, after English class one day when I overheard his friend Mizuiro jokingly ask Ichigo if he'd made honor-roll again. it had seemed like a joke to me. I mean, the student that earned the title 'King' an honor-roll student? It was ridiculous to even contemplate! Weirder still had been the fact that he was in my AP English course. I could tell that he absolutely hated the teacher, but he had stuck it out and she (grudgingly) passed him based on his merits and his hard work. It seemed completely preposterous, really. What delinquent worried so much over his grades or the way his high school transcripts appeared to a college? To my shock, apparently Ichigo Kurosaki did. That was the first time I'd looked at the tall boy with orange-ish hair and whiskey-colored eyes and thought, There's something about him that I can't quite put my finger on or explain away. And so the King of the Delinquents became the favorite puzzle of the class president. It sounded like a bad storyline from one of the mangas that my friend Rukia seemed to devour. It wasn't like I was in love with him. He just… intrigued me, because he was an enigma that was at odds with itself. Delinquents by definition were unmotivated in the classroom, but his grades rivaled my own! He skipped classes, but only electives. He already had more than enough credits to graduate and was only hanging around to finish up a few required courses. What made him a delinquent was his penchant for making up his own rules and taking up the cause of justice –sometimes for himself but mostly for others– with his fists. After all, that was how he'd earned his title. According to most, that made him an unsuitable companion for the class president –though I'd heard the phrase "class idol" whispered several times in connection with my name. It was ironic that he was the only one of my classmates that I had any interest in. "I know I said I wouldn't distract you, Class President, but do you mind a class-related question?" that warm voice asked. I blinked and looked up at him. "Of course not." He took a deep breath. "Do you get the poetry assignment? I mean, I like Shakespeare's poetry as much as the next guy, but I have no idea how to write a sonnet." "They're difficult, to say the least. I've started at least three, but I always run out of steam at the second half of it," I admitted. His smile was almost blinding in its brightness. "It helps to know I'm not the only one struggling. I'm having trouble coming up with a good topic." "Try something that fascinates you," I blurted. It took me a second to get my mouth and my brain back on the same page to finish the thought. "The more interest you have in a subject, the less likely you should be to run out of steam like I have been." The last half of my statement was punctuated with a wry smile. The smile that appeared on his lips was slower, sweeter. It made butterflies dance in my stomach. "Thank you. I think I have the perfect idea now." I couldn't help but smile back. "You're welcome. Glad I could help." Silence reigned for a few heart-pounding moments as we looked at each other. I imagine to anyone else, it would have been a study of contrasts. He was fairer haired, and his sun-kissed skin stretched over well-defined muscles that made me envious. I was slenderer and darker haired, with a practically ghostly pallor and an almost girlish figure. Yet in that moment, what I felt was an odd sense of camaraderie with someone I'd never bothered to get to know before. The shrill bell was loud and startling. "Well, that's the end of lunch. I'll see you around, Class President," he told me with a half-smile and a mock salute. "Uryū," I corrected. "Huh?" "My name isn't 'Class President'. It's Uryū, and I fear it will rust if no one but the teachers dare to use it," I informed him with a sardonic smile of my own. For some reason, that brought another soft smile out of him. "Uryū, then. You can use my first name, too, you know. I know you know it," he prodded mischievously. "What, afraid that everyone remembers your title and not you, King?" I inquired teasingly. "A title implies you have a place on a pedestal somewhere that you have to get back to. A name is an intimacy." Ah, a budding philosopher was the reigning King. How interesting. "I agree. Ichigo." With one more smile in his direction, I headed back downstairs, knowing I had a limited amount of time to get to Chemistry and that my teacher was likely to volunteer me for one of his own experiments if I was late. Yet that silly little smile wouldn't leave my lips.