Toshirou avoided Ichigo the past few days after his mother called. That included looking at each other in class, passing notes, sneak texting in class, or saying hello during lunch. Rangiku hasn't contacted Ichigo either, she probably knew something was up and it bothered Ichigo greatly. The strawberry was still able to do the things, touching the flask that was wrapped around his neck. One of the interesting things he found out today was that he and Toshirou were the only ones who could see the contents. Everyone could only see an empty flask with the cap and swirling glitters but no confetti and snowflakes.
Their plan to go to the planetarium was canceled as well. All his attempts to make plans with Toshirou have failed. Could he have done something wrong?
Ichigo looked down to the ground, trying not to lose his disposition.
"I didn't do anything," Ichigo told himself softly, and that was indeed the truth.
"You can't keep ignoring Ichigo like this," Rangiku argued by the lockers. "He's not part of your problem."
"That's exactly the reason why I'm avoiding him. If he finds out, he will become a part of it."
The woman sighed, "It's normal to get him involved. If that were to happen then that obviously means because he cares about you and wants to do something about it."
"Matsumoto, enough with this conversation."
Another sigh escaped her mouth. "Toshi, I'm going to keep talking about it because you know that I know what you're doing is wrong."
Toshirou closed his locker, his eyes swimming with indecisiveness and confusion.
His mother called the next day after stargazing with Ichigo. She cried on the phone, apologizing the moment he answered the call and begging for him to come back. From what he remembered, his mother never gave a care about him. When she and his father were together back in Japan, she was constantly working, refusing to spend any quality time with Toshirou, thus not knowing her as much as a child should have. It made him depressed at first, but it helped him realize that there are just some people who are not meant to be a part of your life and there was no better way to overlook the past than to look forward. It's difficult to do, but he encouraged himself and found peace in his heart the moment he gave in and forgave his mom.
"I told her I'll think about it," Toshirou said softly. "I didn't want to leave granny behind."
"You better not! She took care of you when your parents moved to the states. Heck your dad returned to support you financially!"
The smaller one nodded his head, fighting back the tears accumulating on his eyes.
Rangiku crossed her arms, "you know I think she's fighting with your stepdad."
"What makes you think that?"
"Well think about it. Your mom never once called you to apologize and even came to visit when she and her husband number two were on good terms."
"True but there could be other factors to her apology, Matsumoto. Let's not over think it."
Saying anything else might just make Toshirou upset than he already is. Rangiku gave in, patting her best friend on the head and hugged him before they turned and saw Rukia walking down the hall. Rukia caught the white tuft of his hair, knowing exactly that it was he and greeted him.
"Are you guys going home?" Rukia smiled sweetly. "I heard you canceled planetarium with Ichigo."
"How did you know that?" Toshirou asked, surprised.
"He didn't say it was you, but he said he was supposed to go to the planetarium with someone and he never takes people with him to look at the stars."
"You can't assume that it's me, Kuchiki. What if it was someone else?"
The girl's eyes narrowed. "There's no someone else. If there was a someone else it would be me. Unfortunately, Ichigo only has his eyes set on you. But if you don't mind, I'm going to change that."
Toshirou sighed. "I don't want you to think that Ichigo is some kind of prize to be won."
"Oh I know. He's not a prize, he's meant for me."
"Oh brother." Rangiku rolled her eyes and grabbed her best friend. "Rukia-chan, you know that Ichigo only has his eyes set on my little Toshi here so run along and pair yourself with Abarai."
"Renji?" Rukia raised her brow. She gaped when the other two began to walk away from her. "HEY! I'm not done talking yet!"
Rangiku looked back, "I know you're not done, but I'm showing you're done. Have a nice day~"
Rukia groaned and walked back to class to grab her back feeling embarrassed and angered.
Ichigo waited for Toshirou by the entrance gates. Matsumoto texted him during class saying that she'll walk Toshirou home, giving him chance to take the boy away to find out what was bothering him. He took that opportunity by saying no to his study group and hanging out with Keigo and Mizuiro who wasn't necessarily surprised now that he had other priorities.
Toshirou was unaware of Ichigo standing, waiting for him to get closer until he grabbed Toshirou's arm and dashed out of the school grounds, leaving Matsumoto snickering and laughing sheepishly.
"W-Wha? Kurosaki, release me this instant!"
"No!" The strawberry protested. "Not until you tell me what I did wrong!"
"You didn't do anything wrong!" Toshirou said, squirming to get out of Ichigo's grasp. "Let me go!"
And Ichigo did, he stopped before the intersection, wrapping his arms around the smaller boy's waist and tightened it, staring deep into his sea-foam-green eyes.
"If I didn't do anything wrong, then why are you avoiding me?"
Toshirou tried to look away but Ichigo cupped his face back. "You wouldn't understand, Kurosaki—"
Cars passed them by and the lights turned from red to green then red again yet the two of them remained by the sidewalk, the sun setting in front of them. Toshirou closed his eyes, breathing in heavily from the pressure that he felt. Ichigo stood in front of him, patient and eager to understand what the problem was about.
"I..." He started. "I got a call from my mom."
"Then isn't that good news?" Ichigo asked, confused.
He shook his head, "No... I mean, yes... I suppose. She wants to make it up to me but—"
"I have to move to America."
Ichigo's face dropped that instant. Toshirou already saw it coming, tiptoeing and raising his hands to cup Ichigo's cheeks. "But I don't have to if you don't want me to, Kurosaki."
The carrot head looked around their surroundings and carried Toshirou over his shoulders, running towards the park where he can have a decent conversation with Toshirou without having to stand up for a long time. Toshirou demanded Ichigo to put him down but Ichigo resisted, slapping Toshirou's butt playfully and receiving a yelp and a scratch from the smaller boy. When Ichigo placed Toshirou on the swing, he smiled.
"Do you want to stay because of me, Toshirou?"
Toshirou was hesitant for a moment and Ichigo understood then that he was torn in between staying for his sake or leaving to patch things up with his mother.
"Yes for you..." Toshirou started slowly, "but I want to go for my mom..."
Ichigo smiled slightly, holding Toshirou's hands. "Then go."
"A-Are you serious?"
"Yeah. I mean, I'm not going anywhere; we can still talk online and stuff. Don't think too much about this, always put your family first."
Toshirou frowned, "Don't make it sound like I'm leaving you. I'm planning to go to America but I'm not going to move."
"What? But it's a chance for you to fix things with your mother, to spend time with her."
He shook his head. "I think it's a good thing to patch things up with her, but moving there isn't the way. Not when I have to leave people I care about."
Ichigo's face softened, "If you think that's the right way... then do it. I'll support you."
"I'm leaving during the summer, but I'll try to come back as soon as I can."
"Alright. But you have to promise me that you'll talk to me everyday."
"I'll try, Kurosaki." Toshirou rolled his eyes over the childish promise and pulled Ichigo closer, "can you promise me another thing?"
Ichigo stared at him, surprised. "Uh... Okay? Sure?"
"Stay away from Kuchiki."
Words slipped out of his mouth without thinking about it. Toshirou's eyes were wide just as Ichigo's mouth hung open in surprise then a smirk formed from his lips. The white-haired boy forthwith regretted saying such a thing. Ichigo lessened the space between their faces and Toshirou could feel Ichigo's breath brushing through lips.
"I promise I'll stay away from Rukia."
Toshirou couldn't say anything else. He was already satisfied. He didn't even realize that he was so satisfied, he was smiling in relief.
Ichigo's smirk wouldn't go away. "You're jealous of her aren't you?"
Toshirou turned pink, "I am not jealous!"
"You are! Admit it!"
The small one puffed his cheeks. "I'm not!"
Toshirou looked down to hide his pouting lips, remembering what Rukia told him after school.
"Okay... Maybe I am..." He mumbled in defeat.
Ichigo couldn't believe how honest Toshirou was. His brown eyes stared at Toshirou in disbelief, finding himself blushing at how cute his Shiro was acting like. Stop it Ichigo! Control yourself! the orange head thought, mentally slapping himself.
Toshirou sighed, already ashamed enough. "What now?"
"...I really want to kiss you right now."