Disclaimer: Bleach is owned by Kubo Tite and Itsuka no Summer is owned by Aiba Masaki/Johnny's Co. X)Translation of the song is by Aibakaland(dot)forumup(dot)org :D
A/N: Requested by SilverStella to write the alternate ending for this ;) Dedicated for her and to everyone who's read and reviewed all 17 (hopefully 18? XD) chapters of this fic! You guys are awesome!! 3
New School, New Friends, New Beginnings
Kuchiki Residence, Rukia's Room— 10:45pm
Rukia packed her bag with newly bought books and stationary (as a conciliatory gift from her brother, she suspected) and sighed. School tomorrow.
New school. New friends. New beginning.
But she didn't want a new beginning! She wanted her old life back. The one with Momo and Orihime… The one back in Hisaki High. The one she had so happily in Tokyo.
Rukia fingered her new sketchbook and took her 0.5 mechanical pencil in her dainty hands. She fiercely scribbled lines on the new page. Black thick lines were soon filling up the once white paper. This was her way of expressing her frustration. Rukia stopped scribbling and stared at the page. The page of the sketchbook was filled with anger, frustration, and exasperation. She asked for forgiveness from the trees but continued her scribble, a slower pace this time.
As much as she tried to feel happy for her brother, she couldn't dredge up any gratitude for her brother's boss for transferring him here.
Where ever here is.
She fell asleep in the car and when she woke up, she was in her new room (total blank white walls; no longer covered by her favorite J-pop group posters, or pictures of her friends, or unsystematic post-it notes all over. Rukia didn't like it). Byakuya-nii must've carried her upstairs.
Boxes, still unpacked, scattered all over her room and stared back at her. Rukia glared at them. They were mocking her. She knew it. Her fingers unconsciously glided up summer-trip bag and she took out the half-finished drawing of herself. Such a beautiful drawing…
She cursed her mind for thinking of that person.
That one person she didn't want to think of.
Rukia bit her lower lip and shut the book closed. She pulled herself up and headed towards her open window. It was such an unfamiliar scene. Back at her own room, all she saw was the blinking lights of the city; all she heard was the buzz of the riff-raff in the busy town; all she smelled was the faint scent of the car exhaust.
It was so different here. She saw stars, much like the ones in Rikka Island. Were they the same ones she saw? The crescent moon smiled back at her, hanging high in the sky, illuminating the night-time clouds that drift pass. He heard a million crickets chirp, and she heard the trees whisper secrets among each other. She smelled the newly-forming dew on the sweet green grass. Rukia let her head lay on her arms on her windowsill and sighed. Her eyes closed at the serenity of the place.
His fingers played with my hair, lightly caressing my face. I opened my eyes; I saw stars and the dark blue sky. His expression came into view as he smiled at me, his gaze soft and piercing. I can't help but to stare at him. I sat up and he took my face in his hands and leaned in—
Ichigo just had to ruin everything!
Rukia stood up properly and shook her head. No more… no more thinking of him. She turned on her laptop on her bed and went online. Hopefully her friends were online. She signed herself in and lay down comfortably on the bed.
PrincessHime16: Rukia-chan! You're online!!! I'm so happy!!
Bunny-chan: Orihime, hi! I can't believe it, but I miss you so much already! TT_TT
PrincessHime16: Me too! I want to yell at your nii-san's boss for promoting him. No offence!
Bunny-chan: I feel the same way! Rawr! —curses nii-san's boss—
PrincessHime16: Lol :DWhere'd you move to?
Bunny-chan: Can you believe it? I have no idea! I fell asleep and just recently woken.
PrincessHime16: Ah, typical Rukia-chan…
Bunny-chan: Haha… You know me too well.
PrincessHime16: Of course! I HAVE been your best friend, haven't I? Have you caught up with Kurosaki-kun after you left?
Bunny-chan: What! No, of course! Why would I??
PrincessHime16: Coz you two had… 'history' together… -heart- -heart-
Bunny-chan: What's with the inverted commas? And the heart mark?
PrincessHime16: Hehe… Oh! Maybe you two would somehow end up to the same town? It's kismet for you to be together, I tell you!
Bunny-chan: D: No, no, no! I don't want that to happen!
PrincessHime16: Uh-huh. Keep telling yourself that, honey. It still won't work with me. ;)
Bunny-chan: Why, Hime?
PrincessHime16: Because...;) ;) ;) ;)
Bunny-chan: Oh, yeah, very mature.
PrincessHime16: Haha, c'mon tell me honestly, wouldn't you be happy to see him again?
Bunny-chan: I'd rather see you.
PrincessHime16: Rukia-chan! You're not answering my question!
Rukia stared at the computer screen. There was no way out. Orihime would somehow drag her back into this conversation again. In the very back of her mind, she knew that she'd be ecstatic to see him again. But there was no way that she'd tell herself that.
Orihime ping-ed her.
PrincessHime16: Ruuuuuukia-chan! You have to answer me sooner or later!
Rukia groaned and covered her face with her hands. She knew Orihime would start massively bombard her with pings soon. She knew Rukia hated that noise. And if not, she'll text her phone non-stop.
Fine. If it made her best friend happy.
Bunny-chan: A bit.
PrincessHime16: REALLY?? AWWW RUKIA-CHAN!!! THAT IS SO CUTE! -heart- -heart-
Bunny-chan: I knew this would happen… D:
PrincessHime16: Okay, now everyday, I'll do that beach magic technique you told me last year so you two can be together!
Bunny-chan: There's no beaches in Tokyo, dearie.
PrincessHime16: Yeah, but there's the pond in Eikushi Park. That'll do, right?
Rukia was just about to type in a few more words into the computer, before Byakuya knocked on the door. "Rukia, lights out in 10 minutes. You have school tomorrow." Rukia pleaded silently at her brother, but resistance was futile. Byakuya was as lenient as a brick wall when it comes to sleeping early.
Bunny-chan: Hime? My brother said I have to log out now. TT_TT
PrincessHime16: What? So early?
Bunny-chan: You know my brother. I guess I'll try to come online tomorrow
PrincessHime16: Promise you'll come online at 8 tomorrow.
Bunny-chan: -pinky promise-
PrincessHime16: -pinky promise- Bye, bye Rukia-chan. Love you 3 Good night!
Bunny-chan: Night, Hime. Say hi for Momo for me. Love you too :)
Rukia shut the laptop close and headed for the bed. Snuggling into the bed, she kicked her blankets aside. The summer warmth was enough to keep her happy that night. And Ichigo's jacket helped too. (As much as she didn't want to admit it, she liked the jacket)
"You can still contact them, right? Unless you don't know about the internet or the invention called phones at least."
Ichigo said that, right?
And he was right.
For an idiotic baka, he was pretty smart.
Rukia smiled and held on to the jacket tighter. His scent floated over to her senses and she closed her eyes, reminiscing the memories in that island. For the first time since she left Rikka Island, Rukia let herself admit it, she missed Ichigo.
That reverie stopped by and dominated her mind again, but this time she let it expand.
His fingers played with my hair, lightly caressing my face. I opened my eyes; I saw stars and the dark blue sky. His expression came into view as he smiled at me, his gaze soft and piercing. I can't help but to stare at him. I sat up and he took my face in his hands and leaned in. He kissed me.
His lips, so soft, so gentle against mine, felt so right.
His previous bashfulness faded off as I pulled him towards me, my hands hidden in his soft hair. "I love you," he whispered, out of breath, before kissing me again under the moon-lit sky.
Rukia laughed to herself, hugging Carrot tighter. As if something like that could happen. She and her over-reactive imagination. Her eyes fluttered close as she he whispered words that no one but she could hear.
"I love you, Ichigo."
School, Hallway— 12:39pm
Rukia fiddled with her hands as she was walked over to her new class.
The prefect she was with was blabbering about something, she didn't know what. She wasn't listening. Since this morning, she had this tingling feeling deep in her stomach. Like something good was going to happen.
Or something absolutely terrible would happen.
Momo texted her that morning, "Ganbatte, Rukia-chan! Make lots of friends at your new school! (^_^)"
She planned to follow Momo's advice.
But that nervousness just won't fade.
The footsteps seemed to echo loudly in the empty hallways. It was… third period, maybe? No one was coming out from their respective classes. Rukia followed the prefect —Mao, her name— step by step.
Mao's long black hair swished over to her shoulders as she turned around, facing Rukia. They came to a halted stop in front of a class. Inside a lone voice enunciated a text in English. She heard a very didactic voice assessing the voice's reading.
Mao grinned at her, and said, "Well, Kuchiki-san, this is your class. Currently it's English lesson now. And good thing too, coz this teacher is your homeroom teacher. It saves both of yours and Maki-sensei's time." Mao smiled. She reminded Rukia a lot of Orihime; her cheerfulness, her generosity of her smiles, her overall appearance was much alike her best friend. Or maybe it was just her mind. "Hold on here while I go inside."
That's it. There was no escape.
New class, new friends, new beginning.
Mao's head popped out from the sliding door. She gestured for her to come in. Rukia did as she was told and she was greeted by a multitude of unfamiliar faces staring back at her. Some of them smiled, trying to be friendly. Some of them whispered among each other, pointing oh-so-(not)-subtly at her figure. Some of them just looked at her blankly, as if she wasn't even there.
Make lots of friends at your new school!
Rukia smiled at them. "I'm Kuchiki Rukia. Nice to meet you." She bowed at her new classmates. A few of them said hi from their seats and the pointing people smiled back at her.
The blank-faced people still stared blankly at her.
"Dozo yoroshiku onegaishimasu."
Karakura High, Class 3-1 —Fourth Period, Japanese History
Ichigo grumbled a long line of colorful words to himself.
He was forced to stand outside the classroom for not paying attention in class. Okay, some of it was his fault. He really should stay away from that look-outside-the-window expression.
But most of the blame can go to Rukia.
He hated it that she can make him think of her so much. Geesh, he started to remind himself of David in Sphere Lotus, that book he was reading. His mind had a photographic memory of her, every single part of her. Her sweet voice, her beautiful violet orbs, her soft hair, her humble chest, her kissable lips…
"Stop it, Kurosaki," he mumbled to himself, knocking his head slightly.
Eiko-sensei walked out the class, holding her book close to her chest. She turned to look at him. "So, Kurosaki, hopefully this punishment will stop you from not paying attention in class."
Like heck it will.
The only way that can happen is if someone brainwashed all his memories of a certain Kuchiki Rukia.
And he did not want that to happen.
"You can go to recess now, Kurosaki."
Ichigo pushed himself away from the wall and started walking towards the canteen. The hallways were already empty; most of the students had already reached the designated place of eating. Ichigo took long slow strides, his hands at the back of his head.
Tatsuki passed him and slapped him on the back. "Yo. What's up with you today, Ichigo?"
Ichigo shrugged. "Dunno. Just having the vacation fever."
"You look more like you're suffering from lovesickness in class just now."
To which Ichigo replied with a plummet to the cold cemented floor. "What the hell?? I am NOT having lovesickness!"
Tatsuki tilted her head and crossed her arms. "Well, you look like one. Though very unlikely that anyone can like you that way." Tatsuki smirked. "No offence, Ichigo." With a wave of her hand and a laugh, she left to go to the canteen.
"Stupid Tatsuki…" Ichigo pulled himself up from the floor. "I do not have lovesickness." His thoughts wandered, yet again, to Rukia. Her smirking expression, her smiling one, her tear-streaked cheeks, her reddened face; all zoomed through his mind like a photo-slide, one by one.
He shook his head void of those images.
Ichigo let out a groan.
Tatsuki was right.
No, no, no, no, no!!
She was by far, NOT right.
He liked her, yes. He might've somehow developed this crush on her. He even could've gotten close as to falling in love with her.
But Kurosaki Ichigo does not have lovesickness!
Karakura High, Field— Recess
Ichigo took his juice-box and his burger and headed towards the field. He wanted to sit down under his favorite sakura tree. It was huge and gave people —especially during summer— shade from the tormenting heat. Usually during the summer period, there were dozens of students who would come and sit under the tree.
But today, however, it was almost like the 'dozens' multiplied into a dozen dozens. Ichigo stared at the sea of people under the tree. His tree!
"Geez." Ichigo frowned at them. There wasn't any space at all under the shade.
He made a U-turn towards the class. There was, for sure, no one there. At least he can have some peace there instead of the overcrowded tree. Ichigo passed the classes slowly, glancing at each classroom.
Class 2-3, his previous class, last year.
Class 2-4, Ran-sensei is the homeroom teacher for this class
Class 3-1, his class, empty and stranded.
He stopped at class 3-2.
An oddly familiar girl was bent over her desk, scribbling on her notebook. Her raven hair casccaded from her shoulders elegantly, like a waterfall, covering her part of her face. Her lips moved gently while singing a song as her hand continued to draw clean (but childish) strokes on her sketchbook.
"Kyo wo tanoshi mou… ima wa modora nai… heibon demo shiawase kanjiru samaa…"
She smiled softly as she shut the book. She stretched her arms and looked out the window, twirling her pencil with her fingers. His heart continued to beat at a fast rate. Ichigo took a deep breath and walked into the classroom. He stopped in front of her, but she didn't notice; her attention was full on the scenery outside. He took a deep breath and steadied himself.
Rukia snapped her head towards him. In a moment, the pencil dropped to the floor, making a somewhat thunderous noise within the silent classroom. She pushed herself backwards on the chair and stood up. Her mouth opened and closed, but no sound came out. Every limb in her body felt freezing cold. Her heartbeat was rapidly quickening, making her breaths shallow. Her hand was latched tightly onto the back of her chair as she tried to speak again.
"Ic—" her voice cracked. "Ichigo?"
He reached out to touch her. His touch brought tingles to both of them. She was there. He couldn't believe. She couldn't believe it. His heart rate was accelerating to even think of this moment. He never thought that something like this could happen.
He leaned down and wrapped his arms around her. She shut her eyes, believing that this was a dream, a hallucination, her reverie. That warmth spread around her, from her head to the tips of her toes.
This was real.
This was real.
She felt herself embracing him back slowly, breathing slowly as if the slightest movement could take all this back. "Missed you…" he whispered, gently in her ear.
She pulled him closer to herself, saying nothing.
But he knew.
He pulled away and kissed her lips. Softly and gently, much like what she dreamed of.
Outside the class, three of Rukia's new-found friends and five of Ichigo's closest ones stopped and stared.
Chad smiled enigmatically.
Mizuiro snapped pictures.
Keigo was crying.
Ishida tutted amusedly.
Rika giggled softly.
Kaoru stared, awed.
Yume suppressed her laughter.
Tatsuki crossed her arms and grinned. "Well, well, well, so Ichigo did have lovesickness. I was right after all…"
Ah, I'm really going to miss writing this! Haha, I like both endings, but which is your fave?
The song that Rukia was singing while drawing was 'Itsuka no Summer' by Aiba Masaki of Arashi. I love that song! Go, go, go listen to it on YouTube ;) I just thought it fitted XD
Translation: Kyo wo tanoshi mou… ima wa modora nai… heibon demo shiawase kanjiru samaa…// Let's enjoy today… The present won't come back… it's a summer where you feel happiness even in the ordinary.
Comments make me happy! Thanks you so much! –bows-