In My Life
Disclaimer: Bleach does not belong to me. It belongs to Kubo-san.
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The sun hadn't risen yet when Ishida stood up from his bed. He walked to the window and looked at the black and blue surroundings. He remembered Orihime's expression last night when Rukia and her fiancé left. He could feel her pain despite of her assurance that's she'll be fine. (How could he not when they're at the same page?)
He continued to recall last night's events. He was undeniably one lucky guy when he got to dance with Orihime. As a matter of fact, he was thankful to the event organizer. Rangiku Matsumoto was her name if he wasn't mistaken. He remembered what she said to him after the dance number, "I saw you sneaking glances on her for a couple of times," Frankly, he was embarrassed hearing that. It was then he realized… was he really that obvious?
He was taken off from his thoughts when his cellphone suddenly rang, "Yes?" He turned himself from the window. "I understand. I'll be there in thirty."
Orihime gently opened her eyes. She stared at the ceiling for a moment before she decided to get up. She walked around her room until she stopped at a particular picture standing on her table. She held it in her hand as she sat on the chair. It was her picture with Ichigo when they celebrated her seventeenth birthday. She smiled meekly. They've been together for so long and yet she felt there were still things she didn't know about him. Sometimes, she couldn't help but think that the only reason Ichigo cares about her was because of the false commitment. He had to take care of her because he was her so-called fiancé, because he had to.
Should she blame herself for suggesting Ichigo to help Rukia? Should she wish she hadn't said that? No, she's not the selfish type of person. She shoved those thoughts away from her mind. For the slightest period of time, she could see how the petite woman affected Ichigo. He would not have notice it but she does. She sighed and returned the photo from where it was originally placed. She stood up and decided to freshen herself up. Sora would be leaving today due to some business matters.
"Good morning," Orihime greeted Sora, Nemu and Nanao as she went to the dining table. She noticed Ishida wasn't there. Usually, he would be waiting there by now with a book. "Where's Uryuu-kun?"
"Ishida-san said he had to leave because of an important matter. He didn't say when he'll be back." Nemu replied.
"I see," Why was she looking for him anyway?
"Have Ichigo already discussed with you about the wedding? The two of you should be talking about it now. Besides, you've known each other since you were young…" Sora suggested as he started eating.
She thought about the idea of it before answering. "I guess… you're right."
After having breakfast, Sora stood up and got himself ready. "I had to go now or else I'll miss the next flight to America." He looked at his watch and grabbed his suitcase. "I'll be away for two weeks. I'll call you when I get there, okay? I'll miss you." He kissed her temple and left. Saying goodbye to his sister in the airport will be much harder rather than at their home.
"I'll miss you too. Take care, brother." She waved goodbye to him.
Orihime went to their garden. It's been her daily routine to check the flowers. She picked the ones that she would need for her favorite vase.
One of the maids went to her. "Excuse me Orihime-san, Kyouraku-san is here."
Orihime gave the freshly picked flowers. "Please place them in my room. You'll see an empty vase there." She thanked the maid and went to the visitor's area.
"Orihime-chan!" Shunsui greeted as he hugged her. He was holding two bouquets of roses. He handed her the first one.
"Shunsui-san! Thank you for the flowers." She took the bouquet on her arms and gestured him to sit down. "What brings you here?"
"Well, uhh… you see," He was searching for the right words so he wouldn't be misread. "I came here to see Nanao-chan," He held a wide grin on his face.
"Oh, Nanao-san, ne?" She chuckled. So Nanao has an admirer. "She'll be here in a while."
Soon enough, Nanao finally came into sight. As soon as she saw the visitor, her facial expression changed from calmed to horrified.
"Ahh… Nanao-chan! We meet again!" Shunsui rose from his seat.
"You! What are you doing here?" She tried her best to maintain composure.
"I came here to see you! Are you not glad?"
Nanao took a deep breathe. What is happening to the world? "No."
"Now, now. Is that how you treat your admirers?"
She was definitely aghast. Orihime, who was quietly watching the two, smiled and decided to leave them for a while.
"Will you please leave me alone, sir? I still have work to do." Nanao irritatingly replied.
"Sir?" Shunsui repeated what she said. "Didn't I tell you last night to just call me Shunsui?"
She only sighed to calm herself.
He smirked and turned to Orihime, who was already making her way outside. "Oh, Orihime-chan, can she have her day off today?"
"Of course she can. I've always told her to unwind or relax every now and then."
"B-but Orihime-san!" Nanao cried in protest.
"Very well then, Nanao-chan. I'd like to ask you to go out with me today." Shunsui raised his brows and plastered a grin in anticipation that she would say yes.
"Thank you for the invitation but I have other things to do. You can leave now, sir." She curtly bowed and was about to turn herself from him when she heard him speak.
"Please…?" He was still hoping.
"He's a good person, Nanao-san. He won't harm you. I'm sure of that." Orihime whispered at her and smiled.
"But Orihime-san, I have a job to do. Your brother will not like this when he learns that I left you."
"It's just between the three of us right? And I'll be happier if you'll accept his invitation."
For a moment, Nanao was silent until finally, she gave him one last irksome stare. "Fine."
It was already past lunch time when Rukia arrived at Ichigo's office. He said she could even have her day off today since she doesn't have anything much to do.
"I thought you're not coming today." Ichigo asked as he flipped some pages from the folder he was holding.
"Would you like me to go back?" Rukia replied jokingly.
"That's not what I meant. I—"
"I was just kidding!" She immediately said, smiling. "So serious…"
"Yeah, yeah…" He smirked. "So, how's your sister?"
"She's doing fine. She's getting stronger actually." Rukia's voice seemed relieved.
"Let's buy her some fruits at the plaza later."
"You shouldn't bother doing that you know."
Ichigo was about to answer when his cellphone vibrated. He motioned 'just a minute' to Rukia before answering it.
"Hey," He said smoothly. It was Orihime. "How are you?"
"I'm alright… Brother left this morning. He didn't want us to escort him to the airport."
"Yeah, we all know why." There was an awkward silence.
"Ano, Ichigo-kun," Her voice was hopeful. "Do you have anything to do for the rest of the day?"
Ichigo made a long pause and then looked at the black-haired woman in his office. "I'm… sorry. I have."
"I see," Orihime found herself feeling dejected. "It's alright. I understand."
"Thanks," It was the only thing he said. He was a little worried though.
Orihime replaced the receiver and sat on the sofa. She turned to Nemu who was silently standing near the tall windows. "Would you like to come with me at the Karakura Town Plaza? I remembered something I needed to buy."
"What do you think? Apples or Bananas?" Ichigo asked as the two of them stood in front of the fruit stand.
"Bananas," Rukia was facing the road.
"Well, apple is good for the body." He started to reason out.
"So is banana."
"Yeah, but apples are better."
She turned her face to look at him. "Do you know that banana is the number one fruit of the world's leading athletes?"
He furrowed his brows. "Uh-huh… But your sister isn't an athlete."
"Regardless. I'd still go for bananas. Besides, you asked me to choose between the two."
"Okay, okay. We'll get both." Ichigo paid the vendor and took the plastic bags. "How did you know so much about bananas?"
"I do research sometimes." She chuckled as they began walking. He just smirked as he walked beside her.
On the other side of the street, Orihime was with Nemu with some paper bags. She bought some paint and brush. She wanted to explore her inclination in art. She had always loved going to art exhibits if it wasn't for Ichigo's not-so-interested attitude. Since then, she decided go there without him until she learned that Uryuu was fascinated about it as well.
The two women stopped at a toy shop. They looked at the beautifully-made dolls displayed through the window. Shortly, she recognized something as she looked at the reflection on the mirror. She saw a familiar figure walking by the opposite side of the road. She turned her head to see it clearly. It was Ichigo.
Orihime stared at him. He was with Rukia and he didn't even notice someone was looking at him.
Ichigo was laughing as he teased Rukia. Orihime saw how he smiled. That smile… she seldom sees it when they were together. She felt something inside her that she couldn't explain. Something that was… painful.
She made her last look at the retreating couple and turned to her female companion. "You go ahead Nemu-san. I'll be with Ichigo-kun so you don't have to worry, okay? He's right over there, see? I'll catch up with them."
"I'll accompany you," Nemu offered.
"No need. Thank you, Nemu-san. I can walk there by myself." Orihime gave her an assuring smile.
"Take care, Orihime-san." Nemu gently bowed and left her.
Orihime waited for Nemu to disappear from her sight before she started walking. She didn't really intend on going to Ichigo. She just wanted to be alone for a while.
She continued to wander alone until she found herself entering a pub. It was her first time to enter such place. She settled herself on one of the stools.
"Feeling down, huh?" The barista asked as she shined one of the glasses.
"I'm just confused…" Orihime sighed. "…a little apprehensive perhaps." She blankly looked down at the marbled counter.
"Anything I can do for you?"
"I think sake will be fine,"
"Here," the woman handed her the small cup. "Name's Yoruichi." It's seldom for her to introduce herself to others really. She felt this certain long-haired woman needed someone whom she could talk to.
"Thanks," She took it and sipped it straight. "Orihime."
"Easy," the dark woman reminded her.
"Oh, sorry… I wasn't used to this kind really. I just feel like drinking today. I'd like to have another one."
Ishida was driving his way back to the Inoue Mansion. He decided to drop by at the Karakura Town Plaza because he needed to get some sewing materials.
The reason why he had to leave early today was because Aizen gave him a special job and also because he still hadn't given his report since last week. Uryuu was ordered to deliver a specific package. Aizen told him it was very important that's why he was the one he wanted to bring it. He could have assigned that task to someone else. He just wasted my time. The hell I care what's in the package.
Ishida dialed Nemu's number to know how they were doing. While waiting for his call to be answered, he saw Kurosaki with his assistant, Rukia, walking along the street. He didn't really mind when he saw them. Soon enough, he heard Nemu speak.
"How is she?" He asked.
"Orihime-san is with Kurosaki-san right now. We saw them a little earlier and said that I could leave her because she'll be with him."
"What?" He asked exasperatingly. He really hated it when he had to make someone repeat what they said.
"We saw Kurosaki-san before I left that's why—"
"And you believed her? She's not with him." Ishida cancelled the call. He just saw the strawberry a second ago and Orihime's not there. Now where are you? He did the first thing he should do—call her.
"I think you had enough already." Yoruichi told Orihime.
"No… Another one…" She was starting to feel lightheaded. She took out her cellphone and stared at the wallpaper for a while. She smiled and placed it down, not really caring if someone calls her. She plopped her head on her other arm and find herself getting comfortable with it. Not very long after, her phone started ringing but unfortunately, it was in silent mode. The cellphone screen only blinked to death.
"I can't believe she gets drunk so easily," The dark woman placed her hands on her hips and looked at the groggy, orange-haired customer. "She only had four shots!" She continued with her monologue until she saw something flashing on her hand. She opened her hand and noticed it was her cellphone. She looked at the caller's name and saw 'Uryuu calling'. She presumed it was her boyfriend. She had no choice but to answer it. "Hey, are you her boyfriend? Coz if you are, you better go here and pick her up. She had kind of fallen asleep already."
Ishida was surprised with what he heard. Was she in danger? "What do you mean 'kind of fallen asleep'? Where is she anyway?"
Yoruichi told him the address of the bar and luckily it somewhere near where he was.
"Hey Orihime, your boyfriend called. He'll be here any minute to pick you up so stay put, okay?" Yoruichi gave Orihime's cellphone back. Before long, five customers entered the bar that was why she had to leave the woozy woman for a while.
Orihime slowly sat herself up, not hearing what Yoruichi said, and hazily looked at her watch. "Almost…" She narrowed her gray eyes to make the numbers more visible. "…seven? Ooohhh… I better go. Others are probably… looking for me right now." She tried to stand but seemed gravity was getting stronger than her. If she hadn't placed her arm on the marbled bar counter immediately, she would have fallen directly on the floor. She pulled some cash from her wallet as she attempted to stand again and started to walk outside.
"Orihime," Ishida was just in time to catch her as she stumbled her way to him. It was a good thing he was the one whom she bumped into and not some perverted guys.
"Ichigo-kuuun?" Orihime eyes were half closed.
"No, it's me, Uryuu." He held her closely to him.
"Uryuu-kun? You came here for me," She closed her eyes and smiled. "Thanks,"
Now their situation wasn't getting any better. First, she was dangerously close to him. So close, he could already feel her chests pressed to his. Second, their faces were only inches away from each other. One wrong move and their lips would touch. He tried to shift her position to a safer one but Orihime clutched tightly at him. She was now hugging him… firmly.
"Uryuu-kun," She snuggled her face closer to his neck. "You're so warm…"
"Orihime-san," He tried to wake her up so he could distance himself slightly from her, much to his disappointment. "We're going home."
"Going where?" Orihime asked amusingly.
"Home." He replied decisively and swung his head away from her. The last thing he needed was too much distraction. Her pinkish lips were too tempting!
"Uryuu," She muttered, forcing him to look at her beautiful face once more. "I didn't know you had… nice lips…"
Orihime drew her face nearer to him. She was going to kiss him! Ishida could already feel her hot breathe as their faces decreased in distance. He had always wondered how her lips would taste but of course, he's a refined man! He would never take advantage of the situation and besides, he didn't want their first kiss to be this way if ever.
He was about to prevent her when suddenly, her face fell back on his shoulders. She had already fallen into a deep slumber. Ishida sighed in relief. That was so close. He carefully shifted her and piggybacked her on their way out. Please remind me not to allow her drink alcoholics again.
"I'll just drop this cake to Orihime's." Ichigo told Rukia as he placed the pretty box at the back seat of his car. He wanted to make it up to her for not canceling his agenda today.
"Ichigo-kun… Rukia-san… together… earlier…" Orihime murmured while she was carried on his back.
Ishida just listened to her mumblings about her feelings on her fiancé, how worried she was if ever Ichigo decides to leave her. They went to his car and gently laid her on the seat beside the driver's. He put on her seatbelt and walked to the other side of the car.
Before starting the engine, he took a glance at the woman beside him. She looked so peaceful when she's asleep. He couldn't help but tell himself how fortunate that strawberry guy is. If only he was born to be Orihime's…
Ichigo came about a minute earlier than Uryuu at the Inoue Mansion. He instantly slammed the car door as soon as he saw Orihime asleep inside the bespectacled man's vehicle. "What happened?"
"I'll just bring her to her room." Ishida said deliberately as he went out of his car, ignoring Ichigo's question.
"Hey, what the hell happened? You were supposed to be her bodyguard." Ichigo repeated and grabbed Ishida's collar.
He pulled Ichigo's hand away from his shirt and went to Orihime. "You should be the first one to know." He picked her in bridal style and stood for a while before walking inside, his back facing Ichigo. "You were supposed to be her fiancé."
"What the—? What are you trying to imply?" Ichigo really gets pissed off easily.
"Please," Rukia tried to interrupt. "It won't be good for her to know you were arguing."
Ichigo stared at him for a while and simply said, "I'll see her tomorrow. Let's go." He went back inside the car and recalled the reason why he went there in the first place. He pulled down the window and handed the box to Nemu who was waiting at the front door. "Give this to her."
Ichigo and Rukia had a silent trip while driving the petite woman home. They were so preoccupied with their thoughts. Ichigo was thinking what had just happened a while ago. Why did he get angry? Was it because he saw Orihime being carried by some guy? Was it because Ishida was more capable of taking care of her than him? Or was it because he was jealous? Damn. Of course, he loves her but not yet really in love with her. He believed that someday he'll learn to but now what? Things were indeed getting confusing.
Rukia stared at the streetlights, her mind wandering. She could tell how Ichigo cares for Orihime. She knew he was mad because he was scared… scared of the possible bad things that might have happened to his fiancé. She wondered how Ichigo would react if something happened to his assistant. No, NO! Can't! Can't! She convinced herself. She struggled to remove her blush from her cheeks. She had to admit her strawberry boss was a good person. He had already done many things for her. Nevertheless, she can't entertain any growing feelings for the guy because… he's already taken, idiot! And because… he gets mad easily. I wouldn't like to be with that kind of man, right? She sighed. Yeah right, what a lame reason.
Rukia continued to look at the stationary lights until she decided to break the silence wrapping them. "You shouldn't have driven me home you know."
"It's not safe if you'll go home by yourself especially this time of the night." Ichigo replied, his hands clutching the steering wheel.
"But I can manage myself."
"Still, you'll never know what's out there waiting for you." He made a left turn.
"Then you should drive your other employees home as well." Was she getting irrational?
"You're not an employee. You're my personal assistant, remember?"
She raised her right hand for emphasis. "So what's the difference?"
"What is it that you really want to say, huh?"
She paused for a while. "It's just that… you're being so nice."
"So what's wrong with that?"
"I-it's wrong!" Rukia proclaimed. "Because…" She was thinking of the right explanation. "What if… what if I fall in love with you?" She gasped. She didn't expect to spill those words out. What did I just say?
Ichigo surprisingly stepped on the brake pedal.
Author's Notes: Chapter 5 finished! Hope you like it! So happy! XD
Teh Squee-Chan, I suppose you have a point that's why I hadn't made them kiss in this chapter. It would probably be too abrupt or raw for their relationship to have them kiss even though one of them was unaware with what she was doing. Ishida will still have the right and proper opportunity to kiss her. He just has to be patient. Hahaha! Thank you very much for your review! :D
Blackrose2005, I love drama too and not in real life as well!! Haha! I like your idea about Uryuu and Orihime only a millimeter apart then Ichigo suddenly enters the picture!! And yup! It would be more interesting if they would look like they just kissed! XD Although, I apologize if I hadn't used that idea in this chapter. Probably on future chapters? Or maybe on my third IshiHime fic? If it's alright with you… :D
foreverangellove, I'm so pleased to know you'll read my fic 'til the end! Thank you so much! :D
Kohryu!! Sorry if I didn't make them kiss in this chapter! Yeah, poor Orihime! But don't worry! Soon, she'll realize that there's someone who was there all along… just waiting for her to see him! :D
About the short "character development" info, thanks for telling me! I still have a LOT of things to learn on writing. ':D
I would have to agree with you again! Feedbacks from their readers are really important and most of the authors would always want to know how well or how bad they are doing with their stories. I guess every writer has what you said "the wanting feeling of wanting to know". A big YES for that! :D
Cheese-san, Oh! Sorry for the grammatical errors! It's one of the things I want to improve on my writing actually. Next time, I'll double check them before I post it! Thanks for telling me! :D
asakura4ever, I'll try my best to make the story run naturally. Arigato! :D
Every review is greatly appreciated! It's not that I didn't consider them or think that your inputs are not great, it's just that… I have to choose what would be most appropriate for the story to flow smoothly. :D
I decided to make them kiss in the future chaps so that it wouldn't be that soon for the two of them. Anyhow, I know you've been reading this since the first part of this chapter but still, I want to say THANK YOU to all of you! You guys don't know how much you make me HAPPY whenever I see your reviews! Ciao for now! :D