|The Missing Count:
Author: Enigmatic Ice PM
AU. The count of Altena was killed 18 years ago, leaving an heir who doesn't know his true identity... Now, the past is reaching up to him, and the truth will slowly unveil itself...IshixHime...Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Adventure - Uryuu I. & Orihime I. - Chapters: 4 - Words: 12,230 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 3 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 05-28-07 - Published: 05-03-07 - id: 3520399
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach.
Thank you for all those people who have reviewed on my stories. They all mean a lot to me! I have had an opportunity to read my stories and truth to be told, I am ashamed in many ways about my wrong spellings and bad choice of words, not to mention my grammar! I will do my best to minimize these mistakes. Anyways, I will continue to use these marks for both our convenience:
Cassandra's Destiny – Thank you very much for your comments. It is very educational specially when you point out my mistakes. I will try hard on this chapter to appease you expectations. I do suggest that you should see the anime Bleach for yourself though. This anime rocks!
Anyway, it is just you. Although maybe from some strange reason, I feel that the scene you are talking about is inspired from a movie that I can't remember. About the necklace, Unohana still has it; the necklace fell from the letter. Anyway, I will do my best to improve my run-on sentences… Wish me luck!
alasforgotten32491 – he he, your right! Byakuya do not act like that… I just decided that Byakuya softens around Rukia whenever he is still in Prig because he grew up there and the people in that town know him well enough. Whenever he is in his duties and is basically outside Prig, he always donned into his mask. Well, to make it simple, let's just say that he has a double personality. This fiction is mainly on Ishida's part but bits of Ichigo and Rukia and other characters will come out eventually but definitely, there will be tons of Inoue's. I hope that you will like this next chapter!
Amynta – You wouldn't believe how happy I am to see my first review! I must admit it though that you are right in many ways… I am very fond of grammatical errors and I will do my best to lessen it in the next chapters. I like the way you construct your review. It gave me joy and hope. I hope that you'll enjoy this chapter!
The House in the Sphere
Unohana Uryuu shouted at his companion. After getting odd stares from passers by, he cleared his throat and hurriedly followed Orihime's trail. They have just gone through the bookstore, upon Uryuu's request. They have planned to go next to the busy streets of the market to look around. But just after a minute of walking, Uryuu found out that he almost lost his excited companion.
Orihime, he thought, is a very fun person to be with. She is innocent and trusting, not to mention her smile and jovial disposition in life. Her character always wants to make him smile. Unlike her first attitude towards him, she becomes very happy and open at every passing second that they are together. Gone was her nervousness and uneasiness she showed before. They were all replaced by her cheery and honest smiles that, he mused, can make every man's heart melt.
"Hurry Uryuu!" Orihime shouted while waving at him. She is standing in front of one of the stalls in the marketplace. For some odd reason, she insisted on keeping her hood up on a humid sunny day. She even refused to take it off even when they are inside the bookstore. She only reasoned that it will be terrible to her complexion if ever she took off her hood.
Although Uryuu found it hard to believe her excuse, he just didn't say anything about the matter and kept his silence. 'You are a bad liar Orihime… You already have a fair complexion and you surely don't seem to be sensitive in your looks, I can tell. There must be a reason, if you don't want me to know, then that will be fine'
Uryuu finally managed to get to her. She is excitedly looking over the merchandise the trinket stall is selling. The stall's owner is a woman who is strangely enough, also wearing a cloak over her head. 'Do the people here always wear cloaks with hood?' thought the curious Uryuu. Both his companion and the stall owner seem to like those kind of dresses.
"Uryuu, come! Look at this!" Orihime said to him excitedly. In her hands is a half-sphere glass container full of water. Inside is strange enough, a small replica of Uryuu's house. Even the fence is there. On the grounds are small white pieces that are supposed to be snow. "Look Uryuu! Look when I shake it like this!" she said enthusiastically.
Orihime give the little glass a shake at let Uryuu see what happened next. When she removed her hands that are keeping the vision of the house from his sight, Uryuu saw the white flecks inside come down to the house that made the image that it is really snowing and falling into the house and the grounds.
Uryuu smiled after seeing that, feeling the first wave of homesickness at him. 'Why does this thing look like their house anyway?' With a smile he looked at his companion, "That is very beautiful Orihime-san", he then turned to the stall vendor with an inquisitive look in his eyes.
"Good afternoon Madam, but could I ask you where did this thing is modeled from?" he asked while gently taking the glass from Orihime's hand. The vendor then looked at him. Upon seeing his face, she shifted nervously from her position.
"I have modeled it from one of the houses that I have seen in my journey young sir" she said looking at him with somewhat unbelievable eyes. Her eyes behind her clear glasses looked misty for a moment, and then it was gone.
"How odd…" Uryuu said examining the glass sphere again, gaining a curious look from Orihime. "This house strangely looks like my house in Prig" he said.
"Does it really look like your house Uryuu?" Orihime said slowly, her face mixed with surprise and happiness.
"I believe it does Orihime, which is the reason why I asked where the woman did model it from", he answered then once again, focused his eyes on the lady vendor.
"Now, isn't that a coincidence!" the lady vendor chuckled nervously under her hood.
"Madam, I must have this! I never imagined that I will be able to come across this wonderful little thing, more importantly, it looks like my friend's house, I am really lucky!" Orihime squealed, taking the glass sphere once again in Uryuu's hands, taking a little twirl with it.
Uryuu couldn't help himself but smile at her antics. Even the vendor has a smile plastered on her lips as well. 'This new friend of mine,' Uryuu thought 'She really is something else'. He then turned his attention to the lady vendor, pushing up his glasses; he bought the little trinket for his lady friend.
"No Uryuu! You don't have to buy it! I can pay it for myself you see" Orihime shyly told Uryuu when she saw that her new friend is now paying for the glass sphere.
"And how did you assume that I am paying it for you Orihime?" Uryuu asked. One of his brows quirking upward, his face holds that one of amusement.
"Huh? You didn't?" Orihime looked lost. Then it vanished, as quickly as it came. She pouted at him, her face annoyed. "Mou, Uryuu, that really isn't fair, I saw this one first!" she said, flinging her arms on her sides.
'Cute', Uryuu thought, while his gaze continues to stare at Orihime. Catching himself already staring, he shook his head to clear his head. Chuckling, he continued their little 'argument'. "But Orihime, I paid for it first didn't I? So, it's mine." He said flatly taking the glass ball from Orihime's hand quickly before she could even protest. Looking at the lady vendor, he asked "Could you wrap this up for me?"
"Yes of course", she said, her face hinting a smile at the little display unfolding before her eyes. After wrapping the object of argument in her hands, she handed it back to Uryuu.
Orihime looked FURIOUS! She couldn't believe this man could do that to her. She flashed the man her rarely seen glare. She couldn't understand it either why this man could invoke her emotion so easily. Other people even tried very hard at times to make her angry, but this man, he could easily make her angry or annoyed with just some words.
Seeing his companion's furious glare, Uryuu just smiled even more, which the lady vendor, as the silent spectator did not miss. Orihime did not seem to see his smile because she looked more annoyed than before.
Uryuu smiled at her defiance, he closed the distance between them with three strides, and handed her the gift. "This is for you Orihime, as my thank you gift to you for being my guide today and to always remember me by."
Orihime couldn't believe it. Uryuu is just handing her the wrapped box and saying that it was a gift. "But you just said that you didn't buy it for me".
Uryuu just smile. Shooting his index finger upward, and said in a singsong voice as if it is the most logical thing to think. "Aah! It's true; I really did buy it for myself because it will be my gift for you".
Orihime looked like she was surprised. Realization dawned on her at Uryuu's words. Blushing slightly, she received the gift that is being given to her. "Thank you Uryuu-san. Thank you for the wonderful gift you have given me. It will always remind me of you" she said looking at the ground, her voice very quiet but sincere as well.
"You're very welcome Orihime", Uryuu answered. He then motioned Orihime to resume their walk.
"Wait sir!" the lady vendor yelled at them. The two both looked back.
Returning to her stall, Uryuu looked at her then asked, "What is it Madam? Is there a problem?"
"Take this sir, it is yours. Wear it at all times" she said, putting a silver bracelet at his hands. The bracelet has a single cross charm. It is adorned with deep blue color with silver linings. At the intersection of the cross, a small circle could be found.
"I could not take this from you madam. This looks very important to you." He looked at her disbelievingly. He is not a fan of glamorous things but he knows something expensive when he sees one.
"No sir, this one is yours. Believe me; you are destined to have this… Just promise me young sir to wear it at all times. But don't let anyone see it. You can depend on it when the time comes and I am sure that it will keep you safe", she said shoving the bracelet deeper in his hands, not letting Orihime see what it is.
Uryuu just looked at lady vendor again. Upon seeing her pleading face, he relented and just agrees with her. Promising her that he will always have it with him, the lady vendor sighed in relief. Only after his promise did she allowed them to leave, leaving a very bewildered couple.
The sun is starting to set down and the skies are slowly turning into a dark orange hue. Uryuu and Orihime are now sitting on a bench in the town square, looking at the pigeons that are eating some bird seeds thrown by an old woman nearby. The day's events have surely been interesting for the both of them.
"Orihime, can I ask you something?" Uryuu asked.
"Okay, but I can't promise that I could answer all of your questions" she answered off handedly.
"Fair enough" he answered. 'She is always very cautious', he mused. "Umm, you see, my friends and I entered this competition in the castle", he started, noticing her ears perked up in attention. "I was just wondering if you would be able to see it, the start of the competition will start tomorrow you see".
"Really! You are one of the competitors in the upcoming competition! You must be very good Uryuu! I'm very proud of you! Sure, I will definitely be there! I am planning on going there anyways, I will be cheering for you Uryuu!" she babbled, her voice dripping with happiness.
Stretching her arms, Orihime stood up and looked at her companion. "I really had much fun Uryuu, but I think that I must be going now. Big brother might get mad at me if he didn't found me at home"
Standing up too, Uryuu look at Orihime, happiness radiating through his eyes. "I have fun too Orihime." Blushing suddenly, he lowered his gaze and look at his dwindling fingers. "However, would you let me accompany you for your walk home? It is getting dark you see, and it might be dangerous for a lady to walk on the streets at this time".
Orihime looked genuinely surprised at his proposition. It took her a few seconds to answer him. This gesture made Uryuu nervous a bit more. But then, as the pressure of the moment slowly ticks by, Orihime saw some guards turning at the corner behind Uryuu.
"I'm very sorry Uryuu but I could not let you walk me home. Please don't think badly of it. I just can't for the time being, I hope you understand", she said hurriedly but sadly. "I hope to see you again soon!", after securing her hood, she picked her dress up and run towards one of the corners of the capital.
Uryuu stayed there standing. A look of shock plastered in his face at her sudden flight. He took a step forward to chase her running form but then stopped, deciding against it. He let her go for now, anyway, she promised him that she will watch the competition tomorrow didn't she? He will just have to wait until tomorrow.
It was already dark when he arrived at the building where the competitors took residence. He discovered that the building they are currently staying at is called Edifice. Slowly, he comes up by the stairs towards their room.
'I wonder if Ichigo arrived before me.'
He opened the door that leads toward their room. On lower part of the double-decked beds, lay his orange head friend. He lay there with closed eyes and a silly grin accentuated his rough face. It looks like he didn't noticed Uryuu's arrival yet for he made no indication whatsoever.
'Something good must have happened'. With a naughty smile, he silently sat himself down on the single bed. Ichigo seems to be oblivious as to what is happening around him, taking the opportunity to surprise him, Uryuu cleared his throat louder that what he have intended.
This get the reaction he was waiting for from his orange head friend. With a surprised yelp, Ichigo instantly opened his eyes, his feet that is comfortably resting on the bed shot upwards, hitting the bed above him. Slowly, he turned his head to the right, Uryuu, seeing the red blush on his friend's normally scowling face, grinned haughtily.
"I see that you have had a wonderful time with Rukia Ichigo. Care to elaborate some of these stuff to me?" Uryuu said, pushing up his glasses in the process to see Ichigo's face clearly.
"Wha?... What does that suppose to mean Uryuu!?" Ichigo shouted, automatically standing up, his face beet red.
"Oh nothing… I am just wondering if ever something good happened when I left the two of you alone."
"What are you getting at Uryuu?" Ichigo said suspicion clearly in his voice.
Noticing the change in his friend's tone, Uryuu decided to take his teasing to another level. "Oh, I don't know", he then grinned like the Cheshire cat, "It looks to me like something good happened when I was away, I can't really say what it is, really, but…" he then looked at Ichigo straight in the eye.
"It looks to me that what ever happened between the two of you today looks like a DATE to me. Don't you think so my friend?"
Suddenly, Ichigo's already red face shoots steam in all direction, making Uryuu surprised. He didn't expect that from his roommate. This made Uryuu's smile broaden even more. 'So, something did happen'
"I SAID SHUT THE HELL UP! DIDN'T YOU HEAR ME!!!"
Chuckling at his friend's demise, Uryuu decided that he has enough teasing for now and decided to change the subject. "As you wish. But remember that I will not let go of it that easily, remember that Ichigo. Changing the subject, do you have any information that could help us in the competition?"
Ichigo visibly calmed down after hearing Uryuu's question. Sitting down, with his face serious he contemplated on his answer. After several seconds, he looked at Ishida. "Well, I never cared about the other competitions before. I never even think about who my competitor is. You know that I flunked out of the competition early because I was put in the archery competition last year don't you?"
With that, he flashed Uryuu a glare, fully aware that he is the reason why he is the one who should participate in the competition if he had participated in it anyway. His glare earned a nervous chuckle from his friend. Sighing, he just looked down on the floor, "Practically, I don't have any clue on who will be our rival in the competition. We should ask Oomaeda and Aramaki. Those two seems curious enough in last year's competition".
As if on cue, a knocking sound came from their conjoined bathroom doors. After hearing the words "Come in" from Uryuu, the doors slowly opened revealing their two team mates.
"Hi there! We just came in to ask you two if you want to go down to dinner" said Oomaeda while he slowly went into the room.
"And maybe we could have a team meeting for the competition before we eat", followed by Aramaki.
Uryuu and Ichigo grinned at the two, motioning them to sit beside them so they could talk face to face, they began their meeting.
The very next day, the four team mates ate together in the building cafeteria. All of them are silent for this is the day that the tournament will begin. Oomaeda and Aramaki are strangely silent as they slowly eat their meal. Uryuu is pushing up his glasses every so often; on the other hand, Ichigo is squirming on his seat as if he needs something to do but decided against it. After their meal, the four of them slowly got up from their position and headed towards the door where they will be escorted towards the castle grounds.
"Hey guys! Good morning!"
The four stared at the door, surprised at the voice that greeted them. Sure enough, at the door is Rukia who is enthusiastically waving at all of them. At the sight of her, Ichigo automatically flushed and returned her wave half-heartedly, which their resident matchmaker did not miss. Seeing it, he hold Ichigo's shoulder, making the both of them fall back and let their other two team mates go to Rukia first.
"So, Ichigo, have you told your feelings for her yet?" whispered Ishida, making no odd body language that could make the rest of his team mates suspicious.
Because of Uryuu's not-so-innocent inquiry, Ichigo's face turned into a lovely shade of red. He is thankful that they are still a long way from the door that none of his team mates noticed, well except for Uryuu that is.
"I-I…." he then sighed at his friend, "No, I can't seem to gather up my nerves to say it to her yet", he told Uryuu honestly.
"I understand. It must be really difficult huh? But, don't worry, you will do it someday. Just don't take too much time. Rukia is a beautiful girl and someone might beat you to her" Uryuu whispered to him as they neared their awaiting team mates.
"Hey guys! What are you waiting for! Hurry up or we'll be late for the opening ceremony!" Rukia waved at her last two team mates. 'The three of us are already waiting inside the carriage and those two are really slow. What's wrong with them?! Oh no! Don't tell me they are starting to have cold feet!' thought the innocent Rukia.
Do you like it, hate it? Please Review! Tell me what is on your mind in this chapter. Don't hesitate to put in the review if there are technical or spelling errors, they are more than welcome here!
More IshixHime moments in the next chapter! On the next chapter, Ishida will discover some of the mysteries in his life.