Author's Note: Gah, I'm such a softy. I said I was gonna wait a week to throw this one up, but I couldn't resist. Anyways, welcome to "Worth the Risk" the (for some odd reason) awaited sequel for "What Happened Last Night" (God I had fun doing that story XD). Anyways, a few quick points before we start
Point 1: As I stated in the summary, this story takes place five years after the events in "What Happened Last Night". So here's a list of ages for you to go by:
Ichigo, Orihime, Uryu, Chad: 20
Rukia: Well, technically 125, but let's call her 20 as well
Yuzu & Karin: 16
And that's everyone important, I believe. Okay, moving on
Point 2: This story starts in the summertime, around mid/late-June. So while everyone is still in school (yes, I sent Ichigo and Rukia to college), they won't be at the start. Oh, and they still live in Karakura Town. Okay, that's all, I'll stop boring you. On with the story! Oh, wait...
Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN BLEACH. Happy? Now I'm depressed. Oh, just read!
Worth the Risk
Chapter 1 – Had It
Ichigo Kurosaki smiled in his sleep. At the moment he was having a particularly wonderful dream that involved his girlfriend of five years. And he would have liked to continue enjoying said dream. But fate – being the cruel mistress that she was – had other ideas.
Ichigo jerked awake as he felt a small foot connect with his knee. Every freaking morning, for the past two weeks, she'd managed to kick him as she darted out of bed. How did she do it? Did she do it on purpose? Ichigo thought so; he knew she enjoyed torturing him.
He sat up, rubbing sleep out of his amber eyes. For the past two weeks, said girlfriend – more commonly known as Rukia Kuchiki – had been darting into the bathroom every morning to throw up. And while Ichigo was really worried about her (as far as he could tell there was absolutely nothing wrong with her, after all) he had to admit, he thought she rather enjoyed hitting him as she ran out.
Sighing, Ichigo pulled himself out of bed and walked across the hall to the bathroom. He and Rukia had been living together for two years; ever since they'd graduated high school. They'd found a small apartment that was just within their price range (Ichigo worked; Rukia didn't, but that was understandable), and had instantly taken it.
He carefully pushed open the bathroom door and stepped in. Rukia, it appeared, was done throwing up, and was now just kneeling on the floor, her arms wrapped tightly around her upper body. "Hey," he kneeled down next to her, trying to be tender. "Are you okay?"
She shook her head and leaned against his shoulder, eyes closed. He laid a tentative hand on her forehead. No fever. She hadn't had a fever for the last two weeks. And yet every morning it was always the same. Ichigo had the bruise on his knee to prove it.
"Come on," he reached over and flushed the toilet, then carefully pulled her to her feet. "Let's just...get you back into bed"
For the first, and probably only time in her life, Rukia didn't struggle against Ichigo's helping hands, and instead allowed him to lead her back to their room. Though she did mutter, "I don't need you to help me," to which Ichigo responded by pulling his hands away from her just a little, just enough for her to sway. He grabbed her again before she fell. She glared at him but allowed him to lead her back to bed.
He helped her under the covers and tucked her up to her chin. All though it was summer time, she was still shivering terribly. Sighing, Ichigo retrieved another blanket from the closet and put it over her as well. She rolled over so she was facing the wall, her eyes closed. Ichigo ran an absent minded hand through her raven hair. He hated seeing her like this. She was still shivering, and looked awfully pale, even for her. "I'm gonna call my dad," he said finally, standing up, "Rest, okay?"
His words were useless, really, considering she was practically already asleep. He walked out into the living room and grabbed the cordless phone off the small table next to their couch. He dialed his house's number, and waited through three rings before a perky Yuzu picked up. "Hello, Kurosaki residence!"
Not questioning why Yuzu was up, or finding it at all odd that she was so hyper, Ichigo said, "Hey, Yuzu"
"Oh, hi Ichigo! What's up?"
"Do you know if Dad has any appointments this morning?" Yuzu did all the scheduling for the clinic, she would know.
"I think his earliest is noon"
"Do you think he'd be willing to see Rukia sometime before then?"
"Mmm, probably," Yuzu said after a moment's thought, "Why, is she sick?"
"Not sure; she's been throwing up a lot, but she doesn't have a fever"
"Well, bring her by, I'm sure Dad won't mind. She's practically family, after all"
"All right," Ichigo nodded, knowing full well Yuzu couldn't see him, "She's sleeping right now, but I"ll make sure to bring her in before noon"
"Okay, bye Ichigo!"
"Bye," he hung up and ran a hand through his spiky orange hair. He was really worried about Rukia. He didn't like to think about her being sick. He went back to his room, and saw that she was now fast asleep. Satisfied, he smiled tiredly and crawled into bed next to her. He needed a few more hours as well...
What felt like minutes later, Ichigo felt something poking him. "Ichigo"
He groaned and rolled over, swatting Rukia's hand away. She poked him again, harder. "Ichigo. Did you call your dad?"
"Yes I called my dad. Go away," he pushed her hand away again.
"What'd he say?"
"I talked to Yuzu. We have to go over before noon"
"Don't you think you should get up then?"
"Well, I'm just saying. I mean, it's already quarter past eleven..."
"That's nice..." then her words registered. "WHAT?!"
He shot up, and Rukia winced, grabbing her head. "Don't yell so loud," she muttered. Ichigo looked over at the alarm clock on the bed-stand. Sure enough, it read eleven-fifteen.
"Why didn't someone wake me up sooner?" he groaned, climbing out of bed. "When did you wake up?"
"Just now," Rukia fell back on her pillow and pulled the blanket over her head. Ichigo quickly changed into a pair of pants and a white t-shirt, then grabbed the blankets and yanked them away. Rukia groaned and curled up in a tiny ball.
"Come on," he said, sitting down next to her and pulling her up, "I'd look pretty stupid going over there alone, considering I told Yuzu you're the one who's sick"
"Am I?" she finally pulled herself out of bed and got dressed.
"Well, I assume you are," Ichigo shrugged, "I mean, why else would you be throwing up and always tired?"
Rukia imitated his act of shrugging and went in hunt of some shoes. Luckily it wasn't that long of a drive to the clinic.
Rukia fell asleep on the way over, and Ichigo almost hated to wake her again when they arrived. "Rukia," he shook her arm, "Come on. We're here"
She rubbed her eyes tiredly as she pulled her head from the window. "Why am I so tired all of a sudden?" she muttered as Ichigo got out of the car and walked around to her side. "I'm perfectly capable of walking," she added when he opened her car door. He shrugged and let try to walk on her own, but they hadn't even gotten halfway up the path when her knees buckled. She refused to be carried, of course, but used Ichigo as support the rest of the way.
Yuzu frowned when they walked into the clinic, and stood up from her desk. "Oh Rukia, you really don't look well," the teenager had concern etched all over her face, "Come on, Dad's waiting in one of the rooms. Ichigo are you..."
Rukia looked back at him, her eyes pleading with him to follow. So, being the ever lasting sucker that he was, he followed his sister and Rukia into a smaller room. "So you decided to come!" Isshin Kurosaki said brightly. Ichigo glared at his father. How could he be so happy?
Yuzu helped Rukia onto the bed, and gave a quick bow before leaving. Ichigo stood next to the bed and Rukia slipped a small hand into his own, larger one. "So," Isshin tapped the clipboard he was holding with a pen, "What are your symptoms?"
"Well, I've been throwing up a lot, and I've felt so tired lately, and..." the rest of her sentence was cut off by a small yawn. Isshin just nodded as he wrote.
"Have you been sick recently?"
She shook her head
"Been near anyone who was sick?"
Rukia frowned, deep in thought. "Well...we saw Orihime and Uryu a few weeks back, and I think Orihime said she had a cold...but that wouldn't cause vomiting, would it?" she looked over at Isshin, who shook his head.
"All right then," he finished writing on his clipboard, "I'm gonna have to take some blood, just to run a few tests. Hang on a sec..."
He went over to the counter and started grabbing the stuff he needed. When he held up the needle, Rukia's grip on Ichigo's hand tightened quite painfully. He knew she hated needles. Right when it felt like his fingers were about to break, Isshin walked back over, and Rukia released Ichigo's hand. Flexing his fingers, he watched as his dad carefully stuck the needle in Rukia's arm (he had to give her credit, she was good at hiding the fact she didn't like it). "Ichigo, grab a cotton ball and put it over the spot when I pull out the needle"
Ichigo did as he was told. After a minute Isshin told his son to pull the cotton ball away, and put a band-aid on Rukia's arm. Said girl now looked exhausted again, and leaned her head against Ichigo's shoulder. "It'll take about half an hour to run all the test," Isshin said, "If you want you could hang around here until they're done. Or maybe you'd rather go home..."
"I'd like to go home," Rukia said in a quiet voice before Ichigo could say he'd rather stay. He scowled. Rukia was the one who was sick, he had to give her what he wanted. Damn, he'd be happy when she was better.
"All right then," he said, pulling her to her feet. She wobbled slightly, but stayed up. He glared at his dad. "But you'd better call us as soon as you get the results"
"Don't worry; I will"
Author's Note: Now, I know none of you are stupid, and know exactly what's wrong with Rukia. And I do not want to hear that this is an overused idea. I never even wanted to post this to begin with. So unless you can give me one damn good reason to keep it up, the chances of it disappearing from the Bleach Archive are very high. So, let's say...between five and ten reviews saying I should keep this, and I'll think about it (yes, I'm doing review limits for this story; those worked out very well with "What Happened Last Night") – Sam