想参加一下一期山活动顺便庆祝切国极化，然而本理科生文笔渣手也残orz （拖了n久稿后）写篇英文赶在截止前凑一下热闹吧，ooc可能有，剧情无逻辑可能有，手癌可能有，渣文笔可能有qwq 灵感来自于人可以尝到的五种味道，含五个设定，五个短篇。如果可以接受请继续：
Ichigo Hitofuri stared intensely at the clear liquid in the Erlenmeyer flask as he carefully performed the titration, dripping NaOH one drop at a time. His gold eyes narrowed in concentration as elegant hands gently swirled the citric acid solution, blinking as several strands of sky blue hair fell in front of them. Long eyelashes gracefully framed his eyes.
“Yamanbagiri?” Ichigo turned warm honey eyes to meet his classmate’s blue-green gaze. “I’m finished with this sample.” The finished solution was tinged slightly but undeniably pink.
Blinking out of his reverie, Yamanbagiri Kunihiro glanced away in embarrassment and shrank back into his lab coat. “Are…Are the values as we predicted?” The blond’s fingers twitched, itching to pull his hood over his head to escape from those smiling amber eyes. If only he wasn’t wearing a heavy lab coat over his hoodie.
Ichigo nodded. Of course perfect Ichigo, Yamanbagiri thought, with his perfect smile and perfect elegance would also achieve a perfect titration on the first attempt.
Belatedly, Yamanbagiri suddenly realized that he had not finished preparing the second sample as he should have been doing. “Sorry I did not finish the second sample yet!” He blurted out, blushing dark red and hurriedly turning to weigh the solid citric acid.
Ichigo gently laughed, shaking his head in reassurance. “Don’t worry. We still have over fifty minutes before class ends. I’ll help.” Stepping beside a still-blushing Yamanbagiri, Ichigo began to measure out the deionized water. The pair passed a few moments in peaceful near-silence, the other students only a murmur in the background.
“Do you like sour candies, Yamanbagiri?”
Startled and confused, the blond looked up from his almost-finished measurements. “What?”
Having just finished pouring the water, Ichigo looked up and pushed the filled flask towards him. “Citric acid is what gives a lot of sour candies their flavour, right? Some of my younger brothers love them, though a few others can’t stand the taste. What do you think of them?”
“I…I don’t know. I don’t remember trying any before.” Yamanbagiri looked back down as he concentrated on pouring the citric acid.
“Then, perhaps I should bring some sour candies so we can find out if they’re to your liking,” Ichigo smiled, seemingly pleased. Yamanbagiri had no idea why he offered why he seemed content why he would be glad to speak to someone like himself—but he firmly pushed back his urge to flee, unsuccessfully tried to fight back his blush, and took a deep breath. “Then, I look forward to it.”
“Good morning, Ichigo. The usual today?” A voice like dark chocolate greeted as the glass door glided closed behind the blue-haired man. The blond at the counter seemed almost as distant and reserved as usual, but for the slight upturned angle of his mouth.
Ichigo warmly smiled in return. “Good morning Yamanbagiri. Same as always.” His golden eyes followed the blond as he methodically moved between the different machines, adding the ritual mixtures of liquid into the paper cup. As was his custom, Ichigo sat at the table beside the counter after paying, letting the rich bitterness of his coffee wash over him. The little coffee shop Ichigo had frequented for years was always busy at this time during weekdays, so he was content to silently watch the young man instead of chatting between customers like they would during weekends. Yamanbagiri had come a long way since starting to work here, his hands efficient instead of hesitant, his gaze calm instead of nervous. With the ease of practice, every motion was fluid, assured, and exact. Every motion turned into a dance, revolving around the various machines, gliding past assorted foods and drinks, spinning Ichigo Hitofuri’s heart in endless pirouettes.
Reluctantly, Ichigo downed the last of his coffee and stood. “Thank you for the coffee. It was wonderful, as always.”
“I’m glad you enjoyed it. I hope it will brighten your day.” Though the words were the formulaic phrase of the coffee shop, the blue-green eyes that met Ichigo’s contained an undeniable warmth that (hopefully) none of the other customers had the privilege of seeing. Not bothering to contain his smile, Ichigo pushed open the glass door, wondering when he would be able to tell the blond that it is not the heavenly bitter coffee that brightens his days, but a dancing figure with a barely-present smile.
Ichigo Hitofuri woke to dark silence. Thirsty. Warm. He’s in his bedroom. On his bed. His throat felt like he had swallowed sand. What time…?
“You’re awake?” A voice whispered from his right side. Ichigo stiffly turned his head to meet dark eyes. His neighbour and classmate, Yamanbagiri Kunihiro. Those eyes would be blue-green if not for the light. Or rather, the lack of light. His blond hair almost glowed in the dim light though. Halo-like. Ichigo suddenly realized that he should respond, and tried to croak out a “yes,” but only managing a gasping wheeze.
“I’ll get water,” Yamanbagiri murmured. The blond stood and vanished through the dark doorway. Ichigo blearily blinked and Yamanbagiri was back, urging him to sit up. Some pillows were placed behind his back and a glass of water was held to his lips, from which he drank gratefully. After a few gulps, the glass was gently lifted away. “More?” Yamanbagiri asked. Ichigo shook his head. “Food,” he squawked through his broken throat. He weakly tried to move off the bed but had barely budged before warm hands were gently pushing him back down. “For goodness sake,” Yamanbagiri sighed before disappearing again. Defeated and frankly already exhausted, Ichigo closed his eyes again with a sigh.
Wait. Darkness? It was only mid-afternoon when he decided to nap. Certainly Ichigo had already been feeling sick by then, but surely not sick enough to sleep so much of the day. How were his brothers? Why was Yamanbagiri here?
Before Ichigo puzzled out the answer to any of his questions, Yamanbagiri was back. This time, he turned on the small lamp on Ichigo’s table, gently illuminating the room. Propping Ichigo up again, the blond lifted a spoon to Ichigo’s lips. Obligingly, Ichigo drank from the proffered spoon and felt the warm savoury soup wash over his tongue. Fatigue, Ichigo found, was very good at overriding any embarrassment at being spoon-fed he might have normally felt. Fatigue, however, was not enough to cover the warm feeling spreading through his chest.
“Chicken soup,” Yamanbagiri confirmed. “Left over from dinner, but I don’t think you’d mind.”
“What time is it?” Ichigo asked, finishing off the last of the small bowl and meeting solemn blue-green eyes. “Three in the morning,” Yamanbagiri replied. “Saturday.”
Saturday…So if Ichigo went to sleep Thursday afternoon, that means…
“I slept through all of Friday!” Ichigo wheezed before being overtaken by a coughing fit. A glass of water was waiting for him once he finished, which he drank from with a thankful glance.
“Don’t worry,” Yamanbagiri sighed, all too aware of Ichigo’s inner panic. “I took your brothers to school and back and made sure they were fed and got your class notes from the lecture today.” Eyes narrowed, the blond suddenly scowled accusingly, arms crossed. “You always worry about everyone except yourself! Do you know how frightened your brothers were? All of them would have stayed up for you both nights had I not made them sleep! I told you that you didn’t look well in class Thursday and that you should rest and I can help with your brothers but did you listen?”
Quiet though the forceful words were, Ichigo felt unable to respond. Golden eyes wanted to both escape the heat of that blazing green gaze and also never look away. And in staring, he finally noticed the dark circles under those beautiful eyes, and how much duller they look than normal. Eyes that were quickly losing their fire and evading Ichigo.
“Sorry, I…I shouldn’t have…I didn’t intend to…” Yamanbagiri stumbled for words, only to be cut off. “Thank you, for staying up to take care of me,” Ichigo smiled, brushing away the other’s sudden nervousness. “You should rest too,” he continued, shifting slightly closer to make more room on the other side of the bed before stopping with a sudden realization. “No, I’m sorry, I wouldn’t want to infect you…” Ichigo trailed off as he watched Yamanbagiri’s face become redder and redder until he sighed and walked around Ichigo’s bed and turned off the lamp. “If I’m going to catch something, I would have already caught it by now,” the weight settling to his left offered in explanation. Such a shame that the Yamanbagiri’s blush is invisible in the dark. But that’s alright, Ichigo thought as he closed his eyes with a smile. There’ll be plenty more opportunities to see it in the future.
"Good morning, Yamanbagiri," Ichigo greeted as he approached the great cherry blossom tree and sat, back leaning against its solid trunk. It was a peaceful day, fluffy cotton candy clouds drifting across the azure sky.
“Gokotai left for his kiwame training today,” Ichigo paused, letting the sentence sink into the silence. It was cool underneath the pink shade of the blooms, though some petals are already fluttering to the ground like falling droplets. “He’s nervous, but I think he will do well,” he continued, slightly quieter. It was not just cool, it was almost chilly. Cold, even, despite the sun.
With a sigh, Ichigo closed his eyes. “I never…I never had a chance to say thank you. For saving him.” Behind his eyelids, he saw white cloth covered with red, red, red. “If only…Why would you…I could have…”
But there is no longer an if only, a could have would have should have. Even in retrospect, there was nothing anyone could have done. Even if, in his dreams, it was Ichigo who steps in front of the charging green Kunai instead.
Ichigo opened his eyes and looked up, blinking away his blurred vision and tasting salt. The place where the tree’s massive branches met is truly quite a nice place to sit.
But no one was sitting there anymore.
(but nothing’s sweeter than you)
Yamanbagiri spotted the familiar blue-haired figure astride the chestnut horse before he even neared the foot of the mountain. Soaring between clouds, the gold dragon circled around behind them and bid his time until horse and rider had entered his territory before silently descending. Carefully, he glided lower and lower, until his wing tips were almost brushing the treetops—almost, but not quite. Yamanbagiri’s vertical pupils widened with predatory focus as he soundlessly closed in on the richly dressed youth before him.
But this wasn’t a hunt. Golden wings noiselessly folded as he went into a dive, changing into human form in midair before landing lightly. Perched on the horse’s loin just behind the rider, Yamanbagiri leaned forward until his nose was almost touching the water-blue hair. “Hello, Prince Ichigo.”
Not a hunt, but a game that has grown familiar to both players.
And a game that Yamanbagiri would lose once again. Ichigo showed no sign of fear at the deep voice suddenly materializing at his ear, nor at the blond with golden leathery wings crouched behind him. Although, his horse certainly did, bolting forward with a panicked neigh. Tucking in his wide wings to avoid falling off, Yamanbagiri placed a hand on the horse’s back but otherwise retained his balance with superhuman grace as Ichigo tried to bring the terrified horse to a halt.
No matter how often he tried to demonstrate his uncanny abilities and scare the human in front of him away, Yamanbagiri has never succeeded. And part of him doesn’t want to succeed, he thinks as he watches the prince murmur soothing words to his stallion and slow it to a steady walk.
“Good day, Yamanbagiri,” Ichigo greeted as he turned with a smile. “Your skills are as amazing as always.”
“Amazing,” the blond scoffed. “These amazing claws can shred you with little effort. These amazing wings can knock over your horse just by stretching.”
Prince Ichigo remained unconcerned. After all, they had had similar conversations many times prior. “They can, but they will not. I’m sure everyone back at the castle would agree with me should they be allowed to see what a gentle being you are.”
“I…can’t…” Yamanbagiri folded his wings behind his white cloak and tugged down his hood until his vertical slit pupils fell behind shadow, shrinking into himself.
“I have something for you.” Calmly changing the subject, Ichigo reached into a bag and offered a small wooden box to the distressed dragon behind him. “It’s chocolate, imported from a distant kingdom. It’s very sweet.”
Opening the box and removing a small brown square, Yamanbagiri gingerly placed it in his mouth. Molten warmth flooded his senses, rich and creamy. Smooth sweetness slid across his tongue as the square quickly diminished, vanishing into a pleasant sweet aftertaste with a hint of bitterness. Looking in astonishment at the melted smudges of brown on his too-hot fingers, Yamanbagiri unabashedly brought them to his lips and chased after the sweet taste with his pink tongue. “It’s very sweet,” he unnecessarily commented, still basking in the heavenly flavour.
“It is sweet,” Ichigo laughed, indulgently watching even though the awkward position must have been straining his neck. Suddenly, he leaned further back and pressed his lips against Yamanbagiri’s in a brief kiss. “But not as sweet as you.”