Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach.
A Bleach Beach Trip
Orihime Inoue, and her friend Tatsuki Arisawa were browsing around the bathing suit section of one of the clothing outlets in the local mall. They had spent the past few hours browsing through the displays of various shops, looking for something new to wear to the beach.
Just a few day prior, at the start of summer vacation, a co-ed trip to the beach had been suggested, and this time it had been accepted. This was much to the satisfaction of Keigo, who had been looking forward to a trip to the beach for a very long time. For most of the group it was finally a chance to relax and do something normal, put fighting Hollows and traveling to different worlds to save friends aside for a while and just be normal kids for once.
While browsing the store's selection Orihime found her attention attracted to a particular dark pink, one-piece swimsuit that was perfect. She held it up for a better look, certain that this was the right one.
"How about this one, Tatsuki-chan?" She asked, turning to her shorthaired friend.
Tatsuki looked up from the swimsuit she had been considering, a simple two-piece suit. She showed no reaction, other than her left eyebrow rising. "Well…it's nice…" she started to say, "But I think I have something that might look better on you."
She flicked through a few of the swimsuit she had been looking at, and pulled one out, holding it up with an air of triumph.
Orihime blushed and tried to hide her lower face behind the swimsuit she was holding. "Eeep." Was all she could say.
Tatsuki grinned, and looked at the yellow bikini, with its green three-leaf clover on the left chest. "Yup," she said, satisfied, "This will work nicely."
Orihime regained some of her composure, at least enough to try to make a reply. She shook her head as if to clear it. "I can't wear…that…it's too…not enough…" The rest of her protests were lost to.
"Calm down," Tatsuki said, "And trust me. This is just what you need. He won't be able to keep his eyes off you if you're wearing this." Tatsuki's grin spoke volumes.
Orihime blushed even harder, her eyes fixed on the ground. She lifted her gaze to look at the bikini and quickly lowered her eyes again, wishing she could just disappear. She was so embarrassed that her mind wasn't even able to go down any of it's bizarre paths; all she could think about was how embarrassed she would be if she were to wear that bikini. More fabric was used to make a handkerchief than was used on this bikini. It wasn't even the bikini itself that had her flustered; it was more for the reason that Tatsuki wanted her to buy it. There was no way she could wear anything like that in front of him, she'd be much too self-conscious.
Tatsuki, afraid that her friend would pass out, decided to compromise. "Tell you what, how about we buy both suits for you. I'll chip in for the bikini, and you can decide if you want to wear it later."
Slightly relieved, Orihime agreed. But she couldn't keep her mind off of wondering what his reaction to the bikini would be. She followed Tatsuki, who had picked up the swimsuit she'd chosen for herself earlier, to the register.
As they walked out of the store, having paid for the swimsuits, Tatsuki continued to tease her friend with advice on how to best use her new purchase on a certain orange-haired someone.
At that very moment Ichigo Kurosaki was doing something he hadn't been able to do in a long time, relax. His nasal passages also happened to be very clear. Living in a clinic did have it's benefits, despite the obvious disadvantage that came in the form of Isshin Kurosaki and his flying kick, among other things.
On the ground next to his bed was a bag, packed for a summer trip, and Rukia Kuchiki, busy reading a manga she had convince Ichigo to buy for her. She paused in her reading and glanced in to the bag next to her.
"Ichigo," a grunt was all the reply she received. "Are you sure you aren't forgetting anything? It doesn't look like you have enough packed for a ten day trip."
Ichigo replied without moving. "I already checked. I'm not missing anything."
"But you've only got two shirts, and six pairs of shorts."
"We're going to the Beach. I'll be wearing the shorts more often than the shirts, so I don't need to worry about changing shirts as often." He scratched his nose. "Besides, I like to pack light. I don't like having to carry too much crap around."
"So you'll be wearing nothing but those shorts most of the time?" Rukia inquired, almost innocently. It didn't matter though, Ichigo wasn't paying much attention.
Rukia's mind wandered to sunny coasts, warm water, and athletic guys wearing nothing but shorts all day. She shook her head as somehow tattoos managed to crawl their way into her daydream. She rolled onto her side so that her "roommate" couldn't see her red face.
A trip to the beach did sound like fun. It was too bad that she had to report back to Soul Society for the next few weeks. Maybe…
"Orihime, don't you think you might have packed a little much for just ten days?" Tatsuki asked her friend, as she stood next to a pile of what could be anywhere from ten to twenty bags. If nothing else, they looked heavy enough for more than ten bags.
"Well, I had everything packed into just one bag, but then I thought, what if it starts raining and floods the Cabin, and we had no way to escape? So I packed rain gear for everyone and an inflatable raft so we could get away. Then I thought 'What if there's a change in Climate and it snows?' So I packed extra blankets, winter clothes, a space heater, and a sled so we could still go out and play. Then I thought, 'What if they don't have Bean Paste?' So I had to pack a suitcase of that just in case. Then I thought 'What if the power goes out?'…"
"Okay, okay, I think I understand," Tatsuki interrupted her spacey friend. "But there's no way you can carry all of this by yourself." She said, as the train pulled into the station. She turned around. "Oi, Ichigo, come help us with these bags."
Ichigo turned from where he was standing––trying to ignore his family, who had come to see him off––with his single, half-full duffle bag, and stared at the mountain of luggage. "Why are you asking me? If you couldn't carry them by yourself, why did you pack so many bags?"
"They're not mine," Tatsuki replied. "They're Orihime's."
Ichigo stared for just a moment. "Oh," he finally said, and went over to grab two of the bags.
Orihime blushed, and kept her gaze focused on the ground, mortified that because of her typical flakiness Kurosaki-kun had to carry all those bags. "You…you don't have to, if you don't want to," she stuttered, "I'm sure that I can manage them by myself."
"Nah, it's all right," he said, shouldering the bags as he turned, missing Orihime's deepening blush. "Hey, Chad, help me with the rest of these bags."
Chad came over and picked up five of the bags on his own. "WAIT, I'll help," Keigo exclaimed, but after trying to lift just one of the deceptively heavy bags he gave up. "I don't know how you do it," he told Chad.
The doors opened, and the group started to pour into the empty compartments. Keigo felt his shame deepen at not being able to help Orihime with her bags when he saw Tatsuki, Ishida, and even Orihime herself pick up the remaining bags.
Rukia stood on the platform, wishing everyone fun on their trip. "Are you sure you can't come with us, Kuchiki-san?"
"Oh yes, and even if I could, it'd be too late now, I haven't anything packed."
"You could borrow one of my swimsuits," Orihime offered.
Rukia blinked a few times while she tried to think of a reply for Orihime's generous, yet naïve offer. Tatsuki just stood behind her friend, shaking her head.
"Thank you very much, but I'm going to be busy for the next few weeks. So I really couldn't." Rukia answered.
"Are you sure? I packed one of my bathing suits from when I was twelve, in case somebody needed it."
Tatsuki tried to suppress a snicker, while Rukia's eye twitched; she had to remind herself that it was just a slip of the tongue; Orihime didn't actually mean anything by it.
"Yeah, why don't you come, Rukia?" Ichigo remarked, passing behind Orihime, "It'd be a perfect fit for you."
"SHUT UP," Rukia yelled, throwing her shoe at Ichigo. She quickly regained her composure, and regained her shoe from Orihime, who had caught it after it had bounced off Ichigo's face.
"Anou, Kuchiki-san," Orihime started, her face downcast because of her slipup, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean…"
"It's all right, I'm not angry," Rukia said. Ichigo scoffed, his hand covering his nose as he tried to stop the blood; Rukia glared at him, but said nothing.
Orihime just nodded, and turned to get on the train. She turned to look back at Rukia, her demeanor a little more upbeat. "Well, have fun anyway, we'll see you when we get back." Orihime followed Tatsuki onto the train, just as the doors slid shut. The two compartments their group shared were filled with the noise of excited teenagers on their way to an exciting new destination. Most of the noise, however, belonged to Keigo. Pretty much everyone else was just sitting back and taking it easy.
Tatsuki leaned close to Orihime, "Do you have it?" She whispered.
Orihime's blush, and the way she focused on her thumbs, was answer enough for Tatsuki.
Ichigo, who was sitting next to the window across from them, looked confused at the expressions of the girls sitting across from him. He shrugged to himself and turned to look out the window, only turning his attention away long enough to clobber Keigo who had jumped on him for some reason or another.
Orihime ignored the noise from her friends, her mind lost in her own thoughts.
I guess I could try it on for a day…She reasoned with herself. What am I thinking? I'd be too embarrassed to wear that thing. But, Tatsuki-chan, said it looked really good on me. But…I can't…it's just… Oh, I wonder what Kurosaki-kun would think of it?
End Chapter 1
Author's Notes: This is the first fanfiction I've written in a while, and the first story that I've set out intending to actually finish. I'd like to know what everyone thinks, so please review, and let me know what to improve in my writing. Feel free to review and tell me what you liked too; I'm not too picky.
I hope you like it. I feel pretty good about it myself. Which is funny, since I started off thinking the idea was crap, and the first draft was crap, but it is turning out to be pretty decent. I guess that's what the writing process is all about. 'Crap. Crap. More crap. Fire starter. Send to an editor, maybe they'll have pity on me and give me a food stamp or something. Hey, I think it actually looks like a story now. Crap. Double Crap. Huh? It's published?"
Or something like that.
I think I'll stop here, before the Author's Notes get to be longer than the story.