*fanfare* Final chapter!!! ^_^ So I know I said lemon, but I lied...there's a slight lemon, but this is mostly fluffy mcflufferson. You may barf rainbows when you read this, but hopefully you'll mostly go "awww" and maybe giggle a little. I really wanted to give them a sweet ending, and a lemon in this chapter just seemed out of place to me. *shrugs*

Thank you a million times over to all my readers, reviewers, subscribers, and favers!!!! I dedicate this story to you! *blows kisses*

Disclaimer: Bleach is Kubo Tite's. Otherwise it would be a smut-fest. :D


2 months later…

Eyelashes fluttered as she bit down on her lip, holding back the moan that was threatening to erupt from her throat. Her lips were crushed by his as his fingers lost themselves in a rapid rhythm inside her hot sex.

She wrapped her legs around his waist, not caring about the desk's edge digging into her buttocks. She felt him shiver when she moaned in his mouth and his hand slipped, knocking over various desk items onto the floor.

He felt the familiar pattern of shudders as she neared the brink and forcefully ran his thumb in circles against her pearl, bending his fingers as he thrust harder and faster. Her scream was silenced with his mouth and tongue. Reverently he kissed her sweet, flushed face as she threw back her head, riding out the waves. He moved his mouth against her ear and huskily whispered, "I love you, Hime."

Orihime gripped Ichigo's shoulders tighter and kissed him soundly, "Yeah, I noticed."

He chuckled against her neck and smoothed down her skirt as she slipped down. His eyebrows shot up as she firmly put her hands on his chest and started pushing him around to the other side of the desk, smiling impishly. He started to say something, but she forcefully pushed him backwards into the high back, leather chair, "Your turn."

Slowly, she slid her hands down his chest and over his thighs as she knelt down in front of him. A grunt escaped his lips and she smiled coquettishly, "Hush, darling. Don't want anybody to hear do you?"

He gave her an amused glare which turned to a hazy, lustful stare as he watched her swiftly open his trousers. She quickly found her prize and slid a teasing finger up and down its length. He bit down on his tongue as Orihime's tongue slowly retraced her finger's path. Gripping the armrests on his chair, fingers digging into the leather, he fought to give his body outlets other than sounds from his throat as she took him into her soft, pink mouth.

Tap-tap.

Ichigo jolted, was that somebody at the door? Did I lock it? Shit! I forgot! Panicking, he gently but quickly tried to move Orihime underneath his desk, his penis still in her grasp. He cleared his throat and straightened his tie.

Bam Bam.

Geez. Impatient bastard. "Yes, come in." He ran his fingers through his hair that was a little more tousled than usual.

"Iiiiiiichiiiiiiiigooooooooo!"

Ichigo's eyes flew open in panic as his father barged through the door. Oh God, what do I do if he attacks me? He glanced down to see two huge gray eyes staring up at him in shock. Of all the times…

His father let out a huge guffaw just before standing in front of his desk, "Aw, don't look so scared, son! I won't attack the administrator of this fantastic establishment! But this panic…hmm…I hope pushing papers hasn't made a bulbous wimp out of you! In that case you'll be no son of mine!"

"Uh, no, Dad, I'm just surprised to see you, that's all. You're early." And he actually knocked. What the hell?

He struck a pose reminiscent of Zeus and boomed proudly, "Ha! Your genius of a father was able to finish his business in record time! Be proud, son!"

Ichigo rolled his eyes and watched as his father suddenly began searching the office frantically, "Uh, can I help you find something?"

His father raised an eyebrow and glared in his direction, "Where's that fine specimen I hired? What have you done with her?"

"Y-you mean, Orihime? Ah…well…she's…at lunch!"

"Lunch? At three o'clock in the afternoon?"

"Yeah…well…she's…um, you know Hime, weird eating habits that crazy girl has. Yipe!" He glanced down to the girl who had a death grip on his precious member, her eyes shooting silver daggers.

"Yipe?"

"Ah, just remembered I have a lot of work to finish up here. Very busy. Why don't you go on ahead home? I'm sure Yuzu and Karin are anxious to see you. I'll let Hime know you came by."

Isshin looked at him with a suspicious gleam in his eyes and slowly walked closer to the desk, placing his hands on the edge and leaning over slightly, "Ichigo. What have you been calling Orihime-chan?"

Nervously, Ichigo tried to scoot his chair further under the desk, but did it a little too quickly for Orihime.

"Eep!"

"Eep? You sure are making some strange sounds today, son."

"Me? Strange sounds? Hahahaha, no way…I…eep!...just have the hiccups!"

"Hiccups…right…are you hiding something, Kurosaki Ichigo?"

He chooses today to be intuitive?! "Hiding? Me? No…er…you were asking what I called Hi…er…Inoue? I called her Inoue of course."

Isshin violently slapped his hand on the desk, "No you didn't! You called her Hime! By golly you're calling her your princess and I'll soon have grandkids! Masaki did you hear that! My plotting was not in vain!"

Ichigo watched in horror as his dad flitted around the office, his eyes spouting streams of tears. "How the hell did I go from calling her Hime to having kids you crazy old goat!" He almost stood up in anger, but then realized that was not the best of ideas.

"So you admit it! Hahaha! Oh my dear son, okay, okay. I'll let you keep things under wraps for now. See you at home!"

Ichigo frowned, "Oy, Dad, out of curiosity, since when do you knock before entering a room?"

"Since I want to save Orihime-chan the embarrassment of being caught in the throngs of passion." Isshin let out a loud laugh when he saw his son's shocked face flare bright red and stalked out the door.

As soon as the door shut Ichigo let out a breath and raked his fingers against his skull, "That insane-shit! Sorry, Hime!" He slowly brought her out from hiding and sat her on his lap.

"Eep! No, Ichigo!" To his confusion and amusement she quickly dropped back down to her knees. "What if he comes back in?!"

"Oh…ah, well I think he kind of already knows...wait, no way, he couldn't know. He must have just been tryin' to yank my chain...Well, anyways, you could hide in the bathroom till we're sure he's gone, I suppose."

She tapped her finger against her chin as she sat there contemplating, "Oooor, I could just finish up here."

"Finish up? Oh!" All rational thought flew out of Ichigo's head as she slid him back into her mouth and his hands fell to her bobbing head.

On the other side of the door, Isshin stepped away after listening, and smiled to himself, rubbing his hands together. As he left many of his employees stopped short of welcoming him back, concerned that maybe he'd finally gone daffy as he muttered to himself about 'litters' and 'enough to fill up the entire maternity ward…at the same time!'


4 months later…

The stillness in the cabin is broken only by the crackling of a fire, the darkness driven away by only its light. Orihime shivers and Ichigo pulls her back closer against his chest and the thick blanket higher. He kisses her hair, "Cold, love?"

"Mmm, not really."

"I can get more hot chocolate…" He made a move to shift her in order to stand up, but Orihime pushed his thigh down with her hand.

"No, don't go."

Perfectly alright with him, "'Kay." He wrapped his arms around her and they slipped back into a comfortable silence, simply watching the fire.

Hardly ever getting to see each other over the semester had been grueling to say the least. Even calling every day had done little to ease the longing they felt. They had to touch and see; being apart was worse than being apart from their own souls. Inwardly, they each were amazed at how quickly their hearts had become intertwined, but then maybe it did make sense. Years, maybe even a decade, their hearts had patiently waited for them to find each other and now was just lost time being made up.

They decided getting away for most of the winter break was exactly what they needed. Ichigo had mentioned their idea to Tatsuki, and she generously offered to let them use her family's ski cabin in the mountains near Niseko, Japan.

Ichigo let his head fall back against the couch and let out a content sigh. It doesn't get much more solitary than this. No crazy fathers. No school. No nosy friends. Perfect. He scowled as he realized he really owed Tatsuki big time.

He glanced at the snow and frost covered window. No chance of interruption here. He really needed to ask her about something that had been bugging him for years, but he hesitated. She rarely talked about Hueco Mundo, only revealing bits and pieces. He knew it wasn't about trust, she trusted him with her life and he trusted her with his. But she was Orihime, and Orihime would never want to burden people with her problems. Especially the people she loved the most. But this…this was easing into it. Maybe it would open doors later…anyways, for now, the beginning of it all was a good place to start he supposed.

"Hime."

"Yeah?"

"I need to ask you something."

The seriousness in his voice caught her attention and she turned her head to look up at him, "Anything."

"When Ulquiorra took you, how…how did he do it? I mean how did he convince you?"

She looked back towards the fire and he felt her still under his arms.

"Well, as you know he intercepted me on my way back to town from Soul Society, and then he…he said that if I didn't say 'yes' to everything he said then he would kill all of my friends. I-I'm sorry Ichigo, I was so naïve, I…"

"Shh, no, no. I wasn't asking to make you feel guilty! It's all over now. It wasn't your fault! You were just protecting us. Like any of us would've done." He picked up her hand and soothingly stroked the top with his thumb, tenderly speaking into her hair, "So he let you say goodbye to us? To make us think you were a traitor?"

"Yeah. Heh, I thought maybe he was just being nice back then. He gave me a bracelet that made me invisible to everyone and only gave me twelve hours to say goodbye to one person."

Ichigo blinked in surprise, thought for a moment, and then moved Orihime so that she was sitting sideways on his lap. He looked into her grey eyes, lit up against the firelight, "One person?"

Orihime blushed lightly and lowered her eyes to her fingers fiddling nervously with the blanket. Gently grasping her chin, he raised her head so he could look into her eyes again, "Hime, you picked me?"

She gave him a small smile and he leaned down to kiss her thoroughly. "I love you," he whispered. She grinned and pulled him down for another kiss. When they parted he smiled softly and stroked a long finger against her rosy cheek. "Oh! I just realized I never thanked you for healing my hand that night! So, thank you, my dear." And he lifted her hand to his lips, giving it a soft kiss.

"H-healed you? I didn't heal you!"

"What? Of course you did! When I woke up that morning my hand and wrist were perfect and I felt your reiatsu as strong as if you'd been right there holding my hand!"

"Holding…it? Oh…oh my. Oh dear…" Her face flushed several shades darker as she remembered that night and realized where this conversation was most likely going to lead.

Ichigo looked at her red face, perplexed and highly amused. It wasn't like her to be this shy around him anymore, "Hime? Why is your face so red? What happened that night?"

She looked up at him with huge eyes, "H-h-happened? Ah, well…I might have held your hand…and said some things…and…" She trailed off in mumblings that Ichigo couldn't quite understand.

He leaned in closer, "What was that? Didn't catch that last part."

She looked at him in a panic and then suddenly gave an exasperated sigh in surrender, letting the words spill out, "Ialmostkissedyougoodbye."

Ichigo stared at her in shock for a few moments. Orihime winced and turned away from his stunned gaze, oh geez, he's gonna think I'm such a weirdo now!

Finally a huge grin spread across Ichigo's face, "Did you now?"

Orihime, still not looking up, nodded quietly.

"Trying to swipe my first kiss without me even knowing, eh? A poor innocent little boy, helpless in his sleep."

He suppressed a chuckle as she squirmed on his lap. She didn't dare look up at him as her explanation tumbled out, "I-Ichigo I'm really sorry! I didn't actually kiss you! I mean its bad enough that I even thought of such a thing! But I swear I didn't! I just talked to you while you slept and said goodbye. I just…"

She was interrupted when Ichigo couldn't hold in his laughter any longer, "Orihime, its fine, really. I understand."

"You do?"

"Sure. Who wouldn't wanna give what they thought was their first and last kiss to a handsome young stud like me?"

Her mouth dropped open in horror and then she giggled as she swatted his arm, "Ichigo you beast!"

He feigned pain and then chuckled into her hair as he hugged her close, "I wouldn't have minded. Kinda wish you had. It would've given me one humdinger of a dream." He softly kissed her forehead and tucked her head under his chin, "So what did you say to me?"

"Eh?!" She whipped her head back, barely avoiding smacking her boyfriend in the chin. "S-s-s-say?"

Ichigo's eyebrows shot up and another smile threatened the corners of his mouth when he saw her face had returned to tomato red, "Don't tell me you whispered H things into my ear while I slept? Inoue Orihime!" He looked at her as if he was appalled at her lewdness.

"I-Ichigo! No! Geez…you're such a meanie." She unconsciously gave him his favorite adorable pout, and he gave into the urge to gently nibble on her stuck out bottom lip.

"I'm sorry, princess. But you just look too delicious when I tease you."

She gave him a haughty glare and stuck her chin in the air. Ichigo laughed and tugged on her chin, "C'mon Hime, what did you say to me?"

"I can't! It's too…you'll think it's cheesy…"

"You've made me too curious now. I promise I won't make fun."

She eyed him suspiciously, but finally gave in to his big brown puppy-eyed stare, "Oh fine, it's just my usual ramblings though."

He sat patiently, urging her on with his look, "Okay, well I just said some silly stuff about what I wish I would've done with my life and what I wish I could do…I…I said that I wanted to be a school teacher and an astronaut and own a cake shop and I wanted to taste all the donut flavors and all the ice cream flavors. I wanted five different lives and then I could live in five different towns, stuff myself with five different types of food, have five different jobs, and…and…I could fall in love with the same person five times…and then I said goodbye."

She finished quietly, avoiding his gaze. Fearing the silence, she looked up apprehensively and saw that he was staring at her in disbelief. Oh no! He probably thinks that's too weird or too clingy or maybe he doesn't love me as seriously as I love him or maybe it's just unbelievably cheesy or…

Ichigo turned his head and she caught him wiping at his eyes, "I-Ichigo? Are you-?"

"Fine! I'm fine! Just…uh, some ash must have flown in my eye." He cleared his throat, recovered, and looked back in amazement at the beautiful woman perched on his lap. Her words had shaken him to the core and sent his heart soaring when he heard the depth of her love, even back then, so many years ago. He reached up and tucked a string of hair behind her ear. "Hime, I don't know what to say," he said, his voice hoarse.

"I-it's okay, really, I know it's probably really weird and-."

"No. It's just…even back then…I'm- Hime, I didn't think it was possible to love you anymore than I already did, but apparently you just proved me wrong."

He gently kissed her, stroking her face and running his fingers through her long silky hair.

"Ichigo, I love you so much!" Orihime threw her arms around his neck and deepened the kiss. Soon they gave in to connecting their bodies, slowly cherishing each other. The fire cast a soft glow on their loving movements; its flames a feeble representation of the passion they held in their hearts.


6 months later…

"Dammit, dammit, dammit!"

"Sir, please try to control yourself or I'm afraid I'll have to have you escorted out."

He cast a scowling glare at the snobby saleswoman. Seeing the other customers staring at him in various expressions of disgust, pity, shock, and amusement, he forced a tight smile and sauntered out of the jewelry store.

Initially he thought surprising her with a ring would be better than shopping with her for one because knowing her she'd love being surprised and getting one he'd picked out more than shopping. But how the hell was I supposed to know there were so many goddamn rings out there. How the fuck am I supposed to pick!

He heaved a sigh. Their one year anniversary was tomorrow and after weeks of searching he still hadn't found it. He left the mall in a huff and made his way back to the house, ignoring his sisters and tromping up the stairs to his room.

Yuzu wringed her wooden spoon in her hands, "Oh dear, I hope he's okay."

"Bah! Don't worry about that idiot. He's probably PMSing."

"Karin!"

Upstairs, Ichigo grabbed his embarrassing stack of wedding magazines and tossed them on his floor. He stood there, hands on his hips, glaring at the mocking dog-eared pages. Sighing heavily, he sank onto the side of his bed. None of these pathetic rocks came even close…

"Iiiiiichiiiigoooooo!!!"

Isshin jumped into the room ready to clobber his son, but slipped on the glossy magazines and landed on his rear with a loud thud.

Ichigo expected his father to make fun of him for the girly magazines and braced himself to deflect the inevitable beatings. To his amazement, none came. His father's expression suddenly grew serious, and he slowly stood up and walked out of the room. Ichigo blinked several times. He never dreamed his father would be against him and Orihime getting married. For God's sake, the day he announced that he and Hime were dating Isshin had asked if they'd set a wedding date yet.

Before Ichigo could ponder it further, Isshin walked back into his room with a sad smile on his face and a small box in his hand.

"Dad?"

"Son, I don't know if you already have one or not, but I'd love for you to give this to Orihime-chan." He held out the box for Ichigo to take. Confused, Ichigo popped it open to reveal a beautiful princess cut diamond, surrounded on either side by two small diamonds on a platinum band. "It was your mother's."

Ichigo felt a lump gather in his throat and he looked up at his softly smiling dad, "Dad, I…thanks. Really." He stood up and walked over to give Isshin a rough hug.

Isshin blinked away threatening tears, grinned broadly, and struck Ichigo on the back, "Congratulations, Son! Masaki would be so proud!"

"I have to get the girl to say 'yes' first," Ichigo replied dryly.

Isshin let out a laugh and as he walked out of the room said, "Oh she will. She will, son."

Ichigo stood there staring at the ring. Mom…

"So, howya gonna propose, doofus?"

"Yeah, you better make it really special for Hime-chan or your ass is mine!"

Ichigo whirled around at the voices coming from behind him to see two shinigami perched on his windowsill.

"Renji? Rukia? What the hell! Do you two have nothing better to do except stick your nose in my business?!"

Renji jumped down onto his bed and leaned down close to Ichigo's face, eyeing him warily, "Kurosaki? Have you been…crying?"

Ichigo shoved Renji's face to the side, "NO! And get your filthy feet off my bed you smelly parasite!"

"Ichigo, parasites don't smell and why are there girly wedding magazines all over your room?"

Ichigo twisted around to glare at Rukia, "Breathe one word of this to Orihime, midget, and you'll wish you'd never been born."

Rukia let out a loud belly laugh, "Okay, calm down. My lips are sealed." She grabbed a magazine and plopped down on his bed to riffle through it. "So, got any good ideas?"

"For what?"

Renji swatted the back of his head, "For proposing, you nincompoop!"

Ichigo punched him in the side, "I don't know! And even if I did it's not like I'm tellin' you guys!"

Rukia looked up, "Oh I see. So you have no idea what you're gonna do."

Ichigo's face contorted into a scowl and he opened his mouth to retort, but let out a defeated sigh instead, "Pretty much."

"Well there are lots of ideas in this magazine! Liiiike, here's one! Write your proposal in sunscreen on your stomach, so that your tan will stencil in the words," Rukia offered excitedly.

"Are you serious right now? Besides I don't have that much time. Tomorrow's our one year anniversary and I wanna propose then."

"Tomorrow?!" Renji and Rukia shouted in unison.

"Yeah," Ichigo sunk to the floor and dropped his head into his hands.

Rukia perked up, "Well do you at least have what your gonna do for your anniversary planned?"

"I got a room at a beach resort."

Renji knelt down and clapped him on the back, "Well done! Verrrrry romantic. You really are going soft on us, aren't you, doctor?"

"Shut the hell up!"

Rukia interrupted, "Well here's another one, write the proposal in the sand!"

Ichigo groaned, "No way, too cheesy."

"Well, no worries. We're on leave so we can help you with this allll night."

Ichigo closed his eyes and rubbed at his temples, "Really, that's not necessary."

"Oy!" He glanced over at Renji who had picked up another magazine, "What about this? Write down ten reasons you want to marry her and send it via singing telegram!"

"NO you idiot!"


The next day…

The sun was almost ready to dip behind the ocean, the weather was beautiful, and amazingly they were the only souls on the beach as they walked along the shore hand in hand. Everything was perfect. Except Ichigo's heart was going a billion miles an hour and his stomach apparently had acrobatic aspirations. He stuck his hand in his pocket for the hundredth time to finger the small box holding his future. Argh! Just do it already you idiot!

Orihime glanced up at her scowling boyfriend; something was off about his scowl today. In fact, he'd seemed a little nervous all day and she was beginning to get a little worried.

"Ichigo?"

"Hmm?"

"Is everything okay? You seem a little on edge."

"O-on edge? Noooo, nope. Far, far away from the edge."

She studied his face for a few moments and finally gave him a big smile, "Okay."

Crap. I didn't think about how I'd lead into this. Shit, shit, shit…

Last night his…friends had been of little help. Later, Matsumoto had popped in and one glance at the wedding magazines and Ichigo's stressed out scowl had told her all she needed to know. She left without a word and soon rushed back, saki bottles in hand.

"Let's celebrate!" She had yelled.

"Matsumoto, there's nothing to celebrate yet," Ichigo had told her, his patience waning thin.

Rukia rolled her eyes, "She'll take any excuse to celebrate. You having the idea to propose is more than enough."

"Correct Rukia-chan! Now bottoms up my little chickadees!"

Little more than an hour later, all three shinigami had passed out in various positions all over his room. He had shoved the magazines and Renji off his bed and plopped down in frustration. His eyes heavy with sleep, it finally came to him in a rush how to do it. He smirked to himself. A little cheesy, but she'd love it. Satisfied, he rolled over to finally sleep in peace…

Now, that peace and satisfaction seemed like a distant memory. Okay, nothing to this. Just spit it out. Okay…here I go.

He suddenly turned and grabbed her by the shoulders, stopping them both, "Hime, there's something that I need to…to tell you."

Orihime gazed up at him, concern in her eyes, "Yes, Ichigo?"

Ichigo coughed nervously and blew out his breath, "H-hime I…you see the thing is…I…" C'mon you moron! Just say the words! He took another deep breath, took her hands in his, and looked straight into her eyes, "There are a lot of things I want to do with my life. I'd like to be a screenwriter and a rock singer and own a chocolate shop and I want to taste all the ice cream flavors and every spicy food known to man. If I had five different lives then I could live in five different towns, eat five different types of food, have five different jobs, but, Hime…I'd fall in love with the same person all five times."

Orihime felt her heart melting at his sweet words, "Ichi-." He stopped her with his finger against her lips. She watched curiously as he reached in his pocket to pull something out, but then her mind exploded when he dropped one knee to the sand.

He carefully pulled open the little box to reveal a diamond that gleamed in the orange light. For a moment Orihime inexplicably mused that it looked just like the color of Ichigo's hair.

"Inoue Orihime, I could never love anyone as much as I love you. W-will you spend your lifetime with me?"

Orihime stood in shock for a millisecond before she felt the tears roll down her face as her face broke out in the happiest and most beautiful smile he'd ever seen, "Yes! Ichigo!" She bent over to throw her arms around him and kissed his face multiple times, "Yes! Yes! Yes! Oh, I love you, Ichigo!"

He wrapped his arms around her, hugging her close, and grinning broadly from ear to ear. She finally pulled back, and he took out the ring, placing it on her finger. "Hey, it fits!"

She looked at him, confused at his surprise. He laughed softly, "It was my mother's. I didn't even think about the size till just now."

She gazed at the ring on her finger in awe, and then placed her hands on either side of his face, "Ichigo. Your mothers?" He nodded, his jaw tightening slightly. "It's unbelievably beautiful. Thank you. Thank you a million times. I'll never forget this."

He looked at her, giving her that smile that was hers and hers alone and then glanced at the rapidly darkening sky and smirked, "Well, I may be ruining the romantic mood with this, but whaddya say we go milk that room for all the money it's worth?"

Orihime giggled and kissed him, "I'd say that sounds wonderfully romantic."

She stood up, bringing him with her and they ran hand in hand back to the hotel, Ichigo smiling and laughing as he hadn't done since the days with his mother, so many years ago.

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Fin


Ah, there it is friends. My small story has come to a close...I was so tempted to put "and they lived happily ever after" instead of "fin." Aren't you glad I resisted? XP

A few author's notes: I swear some of the things in Ichigo's proposal didn't come out of my ass, but came from his official profile. Screenwriter because person he most admires is William Shakespeare (playwriter is close to screenwriter). Rock singer because one of Ichigo's fave celebrities is Mike Ness and his theme song is by Bad Religion (both are rock). Chocolate shop because it parallels to Orihime wanting to own a cake shop and one of his favorite foods is chocolate. Ice cream flavors is one Hime said. And he also loves spicy food (aw, maybe he and Hime would share wasabi ice cream after all!).

Also, Niseko, Japan is a place where a friend of mine goes with her family every year to go skiing (yes they're filthy rich). I guess Japanese have such a thing as ski cabins? Anyways, I just through it in there for those of you who from that side of the world, for those on this side...um...google it if you want to visualize?

Okay, (I'm really not just trying to make my story seem like it has more words . ) now for my next fanfic. It will be IchiHime of course. But this time I wanna try my hand at an even longer one, and I'd like to make it AU. I have a few things up in the air about what I wanna do, but if you guys have any suggestions for settings, themes, etc. feel free to throw it out there for me so maybe I can give you something you've been wanting to see.

And I'm shutting up now. Thanks again for all your support!!!! *hugs and glomps all around* ^_^