Act 1 the innocent ask out

RandomHeroX: My submission for the Tanabata Festival. Ichihime (Of course XD). Please excuse me if my practices on the festival are a little off. I've tried my best to learn of the celebration and customs. I'm using Acts to break the time line in the story just for the sake of using something new. With all that aside I really hope you enjoy this story.

--Story: Impossible and Never Practical--

Act 1: Chasing Moons

The school day was coming to a close and with the class relaxing as the last few minutes was winding down. The orange-brown haired woman was silently looking out the window in deep thought. 'The Tanabata Festival is coming up. The girls have been making it into a big deal this year since most of them are going with dates. The idea of going alone again this year kind of depresses me. No one has bothered to ask me not even him'

The bell rang and the students filed out "Orihime! Wait up!" The beautiful girl turned around to see her best friend speeding up to her.

"Tatsuki. Sorry I left so quickly. Are you walking me home today?"

"Yea of coarse. The streets are getting unsafe everyday. The one day I'm not looking out for you something might happen."

"Thank you Tatsuki" Orihime flashed her one of her generous smiles and left the school with her. The sun was shining brightly in the horizon, slowly sinking into the land. The two girls were enjoying the walk home:

"A lot of the girls today were talking about the Tanabata festival coming next week. So are you doing anything special for the festival Orihime?"

"Well, nothing amazing. I'm go downtown for the decorations and stuff but it's the same old, same old from my last experiences."

"Why not go with someone. It's a festival based of a love story. You should ask Ichigo to be your date." Tatsuki teased inventively.

Orihime tinted red at the thought of a date with Ichigo. "No no no. I can't do that with Ichigo. We 're just friends and to ask him on such a thing then maybe he would get the wrong idea and what if we can't be friends anymore. Losing Ichigo…" Orihime's rant was paused with Tatsuki's finger.

"Orihime calm down. You don't have to do it but from the looks of it you really want to, bad." Tatsuki grinned into the statement. "You should give it a shot Orihime. You never know it might end up like you always wanted it to be."

Orihime looked to the floor. She loved Ichigo and loved having him as a friend, but she would always want to be more than that. "Wh-what if he says no Tatsuki and everything becomes awkward after that."

"I wouldn't worry about that Orihime. Ichigo may be a brutish idiot, but he's a gentleman when you peel away the layers. He couldn't refuse an invite to a festival from such a pretty girl." Orihime flushed deeper with the thought of Ichigo complimenting her as such. Her apartment came into view. "Just think about what I said ok Orihime. Good night see you tomorrow."

"Thank you Tatsuki. See you tomorrow too." Orihime resided into her apartment and descended onto her futon thinking 'I want to ask him out, but how would I? I would get to nervous and he would think I was a crazy person and probably laugh at me.' She let out a deep sigh and she sunk deeper into depression. 'I'll just forget about it with some food.'

Orihime went to her kitchen to find no real food. Not even enough to make some of her odd confectionaries. "It's not that late yet. The sun is still up enough for me to run down to the store and back." Orihime quickly grabbed her keys and money and sprinted on down to the corner store. She shopped around the store and found what she needed for dinner.

Orihime was going over what she needed in her head "Ok now all I need is some gelatin and I can …whaa!" Orihime opened her eyes. As her sight became less distorted she could make out an outline of someone she knew.

"Ori-Orihime?" a familiar voice asked.

"I-Ichigo, is that you?" her vision cleared up and the face matched the voice.

"Yea." He softly said. Orihime reddened and noticed that Ichigo was right on top of her. Ichigo read her body and flushed as well.

"Umm I'm so sorry Orihime." Ichigo quickly rushed off her and looked a little panicked. "Here let me help you up." Ichigo pulled her up and her dusted her off, as much as he was allowed to touch.

"I'm so sorry Ichigo. I should have been paying attention!"

"It's fine Orihime. I too wasn't paying much attention." He dropped down and started picking up Orihime's items.

"Ichigo please don't worry I'll get them." She hurriedly grabbed as my items as she could. "Ouch!" Orihime grabbed her shoulder to soothe the pain.

"Are you all right Orihime? Did I hurt you?" Ichigo questioned.

"No no of coarse not Ichigo." She quickly defended.

"Are you sure Orihime?" Ichigo quietly analyzed her.

"Yea. I'm totally fine. You know I'm injury-prone. I'll recover fast no worry." She raised her arm high and winced at the pain, trying to cover it up but Ichigo saw right through her.

"You're hurt. I'm sorry."

"It's alright Ichigo. This could have happened to anyone." She was trying to balance herself. She fell a little harder than she thought.

Ichigo reached out to keep her still. "You fell down pretty hard there. Orihime let me walk you home."

"No it's fine Ichigo. I'll make it back in my own way." She frantically declined

"Let me walk you home Orihime. I'll feel better if you let me do this just so I know that you're home safe. Please."

Orihime softened. He looked too concerned to deny him at this point. "O-Ok Ichigo. I'll meet you at the front of the store."

'He caught me at the worst moment but, this could be a good thing.' The streetlights were igniting as the moon replaced the sun. The silvery orb's light paved the streets and buildings with its' aura. Orihime's heart quickened with each second that passed. 'I need to calm down. Ichigo's just being polite that's all it is.'

Ichigo walked out of the store, bag in hand. "Orihime lets get going."

"Y-Yes." Orihime was glowing red but faintly noticeable under the full moon. Neither of them said a word for the start of the walk. Orihime took the initiative to break the tension "I-Ichigo why were you at the store?"

"Oh Yuzu wanted me to pick up something for the Tanabata festival. I have nothing better to do so my dad volunteered me to go down to the store to get it."

"So you doing something with your family during the Tanabata. That's nice of you."

"Yeah, but my dad always bugs me to see what I put on my wishes every year and tries to find me a girl to go out with. I've always had a bad experience with my family at the festival. I wouldn't mind going with someone though but I never bother to ask anyone."

'This might be my chance. If he goes with me, we could have a good time and . . .' She hopefully thought.

"Well we're here." Ichigo declared. Orihime's eyes widened. "See you tomorrow Orihime"

'No. That was too short of a walk.' She watched as her volupture was walking away from her. 'This might be my only chance. I'm too nervous, I want to say something, but nothing is coming out. Wait Ichigo!'

Ichigo turned around. "Did you say something Orihime?"

Orihime froze. 'Did I say that out loud?' She saw him turn around and her feet started moving toward him. The two were now face to face. 'It's now or never.' She looked up and felt her body completely tense. Ichigo's light hair was glistening in the moonlight as his shadow cascaded over her. 'Say it Orihime'

"I-I-Ichigo, would you l-like to go to the festival w-with me."

Orihime stood there stammering and sweating waiting for his response. 'That didn't come out good. I can feel the heat coming off my face. He thinks I'm an idiot now and will reject me.' Seconds of silence was broken at last

"Y-Yea I'd like to go with you Orihime." Ichigo answered unaware of how red the both of them were.

Orihime's eyes lit up. "O-Ok then Ichigo. I'll see you at school tomorrow then." Ichigo bid her good night and Orihime ran into her apartment and was completely ecstatic of the end.

"In a week, I'll be going on a date with Ichigo! I'd better be praying for clear skies for the whole week."

Act 2: The Sun Burns Out

The doorbell chimed and Orihime rushed to open the door. "Tatsuki, thank you so much for coming."

"Not a problem Orihime. We have to make you acceptable for your big date today. I got everything you could possible think of to make Ichigo trip over himself."

"Please don't over do it. I want him to at least see me not the hooker in front of me." Orihime pleaded.

"Don't worry Orihime. Light touches here and there. Your already beautiful but, we just have to make sure that Ichigo notices." Tatsuki said while brushing some dust off Orihime's shoulder. "Ok strip down and put your yukata. Might as well start off with that and I'll get set up with your hair and make up in the other room."

Tatsuki exited and Orihime started undressing. As she let her skirt down, she noticed herself in the mirror. 'It's been a long time since I measured myself, but from the looks off it, I've grown a bit.' She turned to her side to see her prominent bust. 'I hope you aren't the reason Ichigo's going with me tonight. People keep saying they're a gift, but all guys see are you.' Orihime unhooked her bra and felt her breathing become easier. 'Damn. I just bought new bras a season ago. No time to think about this now.' She put on her dark blue yukata. The print was golden and the belt was a deep red.

"Ok Tatsuki. I kinda need help with the belt."

"Come in here. I need to style our hair now. Hurry I've got to get ready too"

Orihime sat back and quietly tried to organize her uncertainties. 'I just hope everything goes ok tonight. I'm doing all this for him, but what if he catches on and take advantage of me.' Orihime shook those ideas out of her head. 'Ichigo is too kind of a person to do that sort of thing. I just wish that today ends well'

"Orihime, something on your mind?"

"No nothing at all." Orihime cheerfully implied.

"You can't lie to be that badly and expect to get away with it. Come on. Maybe I can help."

"Sigh Well, I've been thinking a lot of the 'what ifs' that could happen and a lot of them have bad outcomes."

"Like what scenarios?"

"Well scenarios like Ichigo trying to take advantage of me, him only going out with me for my body or even if I go to far and end up doing something that would upset him and the end result is that we can't be friends anymore."

Tatsuki was trying to hold back laughs. "Orihime, you're thinking about this way to much. First off, I've known Ichigo long enough to know that he wouldn't rape somebody. He just doesn't have it in him. Second, when have you ever heard of a guy denying a kiss? Orihime I can guarantee you can get away with kissing him the whole night if you wanted too. Also Orihime, you two are both still children when it comes to sexual relations. Neither of you have really seriously thought about it because you've never been in a relationship. Trust me ok. Just re-lax and have a good time. Worrying about it won't make it any better."

"Thank you, Tatsuki. I really needed to hear that."

"No problem and finish. Take a look." Tatsuki grabbed a hand mirror and placed it into Orihime's hand. Tatsuki had fastened some of her hair in the back upwards and straightened her right bangs so that they were barely covering her eye.

"T-Tatsuki, this looks really good."

"Yea, thanks. Try and don't mess with your bangs too much. Try and keep it over your eye. It shows you've got something to hide and guys always love the thrill of the chase. Ichigo will be all over you whether you want him to or not." She grinned devilishly into that statement. "A final touch now. Close your mouth Orihime."

Tatsuki applied some glossy faded pink lipstick on Orihime. "There now you are complete. Now make sure that shade is on Ichigo's neck before the night ends. Now go on without me. This is your date and the sun's sinking quickly"

"Tatsuki, I thought we were going there together."

"I'll go together with you in spirit." Tatsuki picked up Orihime and pushed her out the door. "Now come on Ichigo is waiting."

Being shooed out of her own house got Orihime going to the festival. 'Ok Ichigo told me to meet him by the fountain in the first district.' Orihime kept up the fountain to find no one who looked like her prince. 'I must be a little early it's only understandable. He'll be here I'm sure of it.'

The sun had almost set and the people around continued to have fun while she was waiting. 'Maybe Ichigo had to do other things and forgot to call me. It's ok.' That's what she told herself to keep herself. More time passed and the lights were turned on. 'It's fine. Ichigo was obviously too busy today or else he wouldn't have bothered to show up' A tear slid down her face. 'I'll just head home now. To think I thought tonight was going to be happy.'

"Orihime!" She stood up and looked around for the voice.

'M-must have been my imagination.' She continued her walk back. Some grabbed her shoulder. Orihime looked back and it was Ichigo.

"Orihime I'm so sorry I'm late. I didn't tell my family that we were going to the festival together and because of that I've been trying to sneak away from them this whole time. If I wasn't embarrassed from telling them I would have been here on time."

Orihime's heart lifted with the news. 'I should have believed in him more. Thank You Tatsuki.' Orihime quickly wiped the tears from her eyes and faced Ichigo.

"It's ok Ichigo. I just got here." She lied. Ichigo looked relieved and straightened up.

"W-Well how about we go have some fun." Ichigo insisted

Orihime walked with Ichigo and they enjoyed the festival together. Each attraction had it's own characteristic that brought the two closer together, whether it was the sake tasting booth or the story of the legend, unknowingly the two were falling more and more in love. "Ichigo have you wrote down a wish yet?" Orihime asked.

"No, I haven't Wanna go find some of the paper and make our wishes."

"Yes. Let's go." As they pushed through the crowds, Orihime heard whispers like 'Oh they make such a cute couple.' and 'To be young again.' Orihime's heart fluttered when she thought of it like that. At the booth they grabbed their paper and pencils and walked out to a place with many bamboo poles.

'What should I wish for?' She turned towards Ichigo and inspiration. 'Tatsuki was right? Ichigo is a gentleman and she's treated me better than ever. I will end it the proper way even if it's on the cheek.' Orihime quickly scribbled her wish on a paper and hung it on a pole.

On Paper: I wish for Ichigo to go out with me.

Ichigo came up from behind her "So what did you wish for?" He smiled at her.

Orihime giggled, "It's a secret" and she ran off. Ichigo followed. Orihime wandered off the festival grounds into a grassy area. She took a seat down and Ichigo took one right next to her. Orihime turned to gaze at Ichigo. She loved him, every characteristic, every body part, and every thing inside and out. 'I should do it. If I tell him maybe just maybe.' Orihime's palms leaked and are breathing increased. 'Ok go'

"I-Ichigo. I've got to tell you something."

"Yeah. Orihime?"

Orihime turned red, "I-Ichigo, I w-want to tell you that I-I boom u."

Fireworks exploded in the distance. "Wow the fireworks are incredible this year." Ichigo shouted.

'I guess there's no trying to compete with that. 'It can wait I guess.' The show continued and finished with a spectacular finale. Ichigo and Orihime collapsed on the lawn.

"Orihime, what were you saying before?"

"O-Oh it was nothing. I forgot it already."

'Why did I lie to him? I should have said it, but I failed to speak what's on my mind.' An awkward silence followed and Orihime turned to her side and closed her eyes. Ichigo did the same. 'An opportunity lost. Usually they only happen once, but maybe I might get another chance.'

Orihime opened her eyes and Ichigo was right next to her. Side by side as the festival raged on. Orihime froze and the electric feeling returned. 'I can't move again.' Ichigo's features were glistening in the soft light. She noticed herself redden and Ichigo's eyes began closing and his head a little closer. Orihime fell under the spell and followed. The moist air of Ichigo's breath was touching her lips.

"HELLO ICHIGOOOO!" a voice bellowed from behind the duo. Ichigo snapped into the real world and saw familiar faces.

"Keigo!? Mizuru?! What the hell are you doing here?" Ichigo asked and he quickly rose from the ground.

"Better question, what were you about to do with the lovely Orihime now." Keigo obnoxiously added. Ichigo backed up and looked frantically for an answer.

"We w-weren't doing anything Keigo."

"Are you sure Ichigo? Looked a little different from our point of view." Mizuru said.

"It's nothing. I wasn't going to kiss Orihime. I wouldn't kiss a friend like that. We're just friends right Orihime?" Ichigo explained.

Orihime felt like her heart was stabbed. 'We're just friends… We're just friends…We're just friends…' Those three words rang in her head. Orihime quickly snapped back into reality.

"Y-yes. We're friends. Just friends." Orihime looked at her watch and painfully lied. "Ichigo I'm sorry but, it's late and I should be heading home." She turned her back to him and walked the opposite direction.

"Wait, Orihime. Let me walk you home." Ichigo pleaded.

"Don't worry Ichigo. I'll head home by myself. You still enjoy yourself with your friends." She smiled big at him and fast walked into the crowds.

"No! Orihime don't go!" Ichigo ran for her, but the thickness of the crowd was too much and he lost track or Orihime. "Damnit. I have to find her." Ichigo kept pushed through but to no avail was he to find his princess.

Orihime blasted out of the festival at full speed. 'I can't believe that he would try to kiss me like that. So I'm just a friend to him after all.' Tears were streaming, the moonlight making them bolder as they slid off her face. 'I can't believe that he tried to steal my first kiss. Nothing would have changed if I went through with it. Ichigo played me like a fool and almost got away with it.' Orihime ran into her apartment and shut the door and blinds. 'I hate myself. I hate myself for even thinking Ichigo would like me the way I like him.' Orihime softly cried unbeknownst that the substitute soul reaper was punishing his own self.

Act 3: The Waxing Moon The night replayed in his mind, each repeat etching harder in his heart. 'What the hell was I thinking. I could have said anything else and it probably wouldn't have ended this way. I don't even know if I should go and see her, but she probably hates me.' Ichigo couldn't forget the night even in his dreams. Hurting Orihime was something he couldn't forgive himself for. 'Damn it. Last time I checked I promised to protect her.'

A curious stuffed animal opened the door. "Ichigo you need to get off the bed and out that door." Kon jumped on Ichigo's chest "The Tanabata festival is here and your not celebrating it. There are a plethora of beautiful ladies out there that are just aching for the pleasure of being held in my strong and secure arms. If your going to just lay there all day then you should give me your body. The lovely Orihime is probably completely alone and in need of some vitamin K." Throughout the entire rant of the plushy, Ichigo was thinking of the way to make this right. "Ignoring me. I'll make you love me. Forget that I'm going to make Orihime love m—ahhh!"

Hand wrapped around its throat Ichigo calmly said "Kon I'm going to say this once. If you haven't noticed already, I'm not in the best of moods and you know how I feel when you mention Orihime so when I loosen my grasp I suggest you take the opportunity to leave the room and don't bother me." Ichigo loosened his grasp and the stuffed animal rushed for the door.

"Damn Ichigo. Next time why don't you go see her if your having trouble and not strangling me. Cough. That really hurt this time." With this said he exited.

Although the plushy talks a lot of shit, he did have a point. 'I'll just call her again and maybe arrange another date with her. Even if she says no at least I can say I tried.' Ichigo picked up his cell phone and called her. The phone rang, but no one answered. 'It's fine. She's probably out doing something with someone. I'll take a nap and call her back. The darkness of his unconscious kept out and he saw Orihime in a corner with tears in her eyes. 'A short walk couldn't kill me. I'll just go see if she's aright.'

Ichigo headed for Orihime's place not thinking as rationally as he should. 'What the hell am I so damn concerned about? Why am I going through all this grief for Orihime? That night we were just going for a friendly kiss, right? A one-time thing, but I was going for her lips. Do friends kiss on the lips? I wish I had more experience with women and maybe I would know this. Sometimes I wish there was a class for this.'

Ichigo tried to calm his thoughts down as he reached her apartment. He knocked on the door, but no response was noticeable. He peered through her window so see if shadows were shifting, but nothing moved. 'I let my imagination get the best of me again. It's fine. I'll just...ahhhh' A small misstep had Ichigo on the floor.

"Oh my God Ichigo. Are you all right?!" a familiar voice said. Ichigo started picking himself up, and Orihime helped him up as well.

"T-thanks Orihime." She said while dusting himself off.

"Ichigo, Please come inside, while you recover. Taking a seat will give you the energy to walk home."

"Thanks Orihime. Falling down stone steps does kind of hurt. I hope it's not too much of a burden on you."

"No not at all Ichigo. Please come in. I'll make us some tea."

"Sounds great, but that's too much trouble for you."

"No not at all." Orihime insisted as she unlocked her door. "Please sit down and wait here while I get the tea ready." Ichigo remembered that he had never been cordially invited into Orihime's apartment. Every time he's been in here it's been because of a hollow attack or a massive panic. He laughed a little at that as he sat down.

Ichigo peered into the kitchen to see Orihime happily buzzing around the kitchen. 'She seems like that night never happened. I never noticed how beautiful Orihime is. Even when she's in the kitchen she still has that aura hovering around her. Wait what am I thinking? Maybe I was hoping for a little too much. Yea there's no way a girl like Orihime would like me anyways. Wait, what am I saying? I don't like Orihime that way, do I?'

Orihime then came out with a tray of cookies and two cups of tea. Sorry sat down next to him on the couch and handed him a cup. "Ichigo I was wondering why you fell down on my doorstep?"

Ichigo almost choked. Whatever answer he had wouldn't be good enough. Either way he would end up looking like a stalker. The truth, although the worst scenario, was the right thing to do.

"O-Orihime, I came over today t-to ask you on a d-date since last time was cut short. I called, but you didn't pick up so I came to see if you were home." A long awkward silence endured as the two teens flushed from Ichigo's response. "I-I think I'll head home now." Ichigo headed towards the door.

Something tugged at his sleeve. Orihime had it and looked down at the ground. "I-Ichigo it's ok. Y-you can stay here." Shocked was an understatement at the point. Ichigo wanted to ask again because her voice was so meek, but was literally speechless. "Ichigo I-if you want to go on a date then it would have to be here. You're a little banged up from before." Although her bangs provided some cover, Ichigo noticed Orihime was beet red.

After finding his voice he responded, "Y-yes that's g-great, but what would we do here." A silence formed again. Neither of them noticing how much redder the other was getting with each passing second.

"We could sit and watch TV or maybe go the rooftop and eat some tea there. The sun is starting to set and I've never watched it set before."

"Y-yea sounds great. W-what should I do?"

"Just get some sheets over there in my room a-and I'll meet you up there." Ichigo abided and was up on her roof with a few steps. Orihime's flat roof made it easy to set up.

'I need to calm down. My heart is beating so fast it's starting to hurt. Why is it doing this? I don't think I like Orihime that way but the way I'm reacting says different. I need to think of ways to calm myself. Lets see. We both are inexperienced. Everything we could possibly do today would be the first. Wait that's bad. What if we kiss and I suck and I make her first kiss unmemorable. I don't want that.'

"Ichigo!" He turned and looked down at his beautiful friend. She smiled at him with basket in hand. Ichigo's pulse slowed and was able to think clearly again. "I need help. I can't get up by myself.

"I got it." Ichigo used his battle license and picked up Orihime and glides towards the roof. Orihime set up more tea and some cookies. They began where they started inside.

The two chatted and were enjoying themselves as they were doing at the festival. It's almost as if they were at the beginning. The sunset before their eyes and a few stars leaked through the city lights. "Ichigo, this had been great. I'm glad you came by today."

"Don't thank me. You did a lot of the work."

Orihime smiled at him and looked at the distance. At the corner of his eye Ichigo saw how beautiful she was. 'I'm just learning what love is. Maybe this is it.' Ichigo collapsed on the ground and Orihime followed suit. They were back to that fateful day on the grassy day at the festival. Orihime blushed and Ichigo looked at her. Instincts were controlling his movements now.

"Orihime, what do you think the first thing the weaver girl and the cow herder do when they first meet each other?"

"I think that they would kiss passionately. A whole year's love and passion unleashed with one kiss. It sounds so ro..mmmm" Orihime was cut off when Ichigo's lips touched hers. Orihime's eyes, full of shock closed and she kissed back. The softness of Orihime's lips encouraged Ichigo's to part his lips a little. Orihime did not complain. Idle hands made their way of the base of Orihime's neck as hers wrapped around his neck. The world became non-existent for the few seconds the lip lock endeavored. Ichigo broke the kiss so see if it went as smoothly as her hoped. Orihime started clinging her chest and gaping for air.

"Orihime, are you ok!? Do I need to call a doctor?!" an alarmed Ichigo questioned.

"No, no it's fine. It's just hard to breathe when everything becomes a fantasy." She was able to end it with a smile. Ichigo relived his hime was unhurt and kissed her again, with more passion than the last.

Final Act: You Eclipse Me

Her first kiss and the kisses after that was the only thing replaying in Orihime's mind. Her unrequited love wasn't so unrequited anymore. She got up for the last day of the Tanabata Festival was here. Orihime had plans today with Ichigo for he had asked her to spend his birthday with just her. She didn't care anymore. What she wanted even more now could only be depended on fate. She got dressed and headed out the door to meet Ichigo. She had to stop somewhere before he could catch up there.

The last day was a beautiful and clear day. Orihime couldn't have asked for anything better. She walked where they were on the first day. Although many of the decorations have been taken down it still took her back to the heartbreak but out of the sorrow came realization and love. The place she was heading still had what she was looking for. She loosened the string tying her wish to the tree. She pulled out a pencil and rewrote her wish.

'This may be childish but, it never hurts to try. People say love is simple, but lately I've been thinking differently. I believe love is like a complex design. Only if the chemicals combine can chemistry be created. I believe that Ichigo and I can be like that.' She hung her wish back onto the pole.

"Orihime!" Ichigo called for her in the distance. Orihime turned and ran towards him. She leaped into his arms. Ichigo's build supported them both and he let her off gracefully onto the ground. Orihime looped his arm with hers and they were off.

'And so now I will take this step in hopes that one day our hearts will blend together. I turn my back now. And leave my hopes on inching ropes and leave this all behind.'

The wish: I wish for one day Ichigo to feel as strongly as I do for him.

The End.