A/N: Yay, my first Bleach fanfic! I started reading Bleach recently and I'm hooked! I actually had a dream about this, and I thought it'd be fun to write it out. Yay for IchiHime!

Also, sorry if this is weird-ish, this is my first time writing a Bleach fanfic, so it might be a bit OOC?


Chapter 1

Orihime's POV

It had been one week since Kurosaki-kun successfully defeated Aizen, with the help of the other captains. He brought me back home, and everyone was happy again.

I do not feel happy as well.

Every night, I am haunted by nightmares of the Arrancar, Aizen, and even Kurosaki-kun. I pray every night to be able to dream happily, but it unfortunately does not happen. Every morning, I wake up with hot tears running down my cheeks, because the darkness has nuzzled itself deep inside my mind, replaying horrifying images in my head over and over again.

I don't know whether this newfound tunnel is my glorifying light, or the fiery glow of hell. I pray to my brother to give me guidance in my time of need…

I heard a knock at my door that interrupted my sorrowful nonsense I had just put into my diary. I looked up from the ratty notebook, with pages all crumpled and messed up. The pages were caked with previously dried tears and other unknown substances.

It seemed like writing could be my only way to vent, logically, meaning, without being full of confusion, like how I normally am. Yes, I even know that I can be weird a lot. Ever since Hueco Mundo, I feel like I've mentally matured, but for the worst. Also, since Hueco Mundo, I haven't been eating and sleeping as well as I normally would. I was always tired, and felt no need to eat. It's common knowledge to eat when you're hungry.

I sighed, closing the journal and stood up. "Coming!" I yelled half-heartedly to the person outside my door.

To my surprise, it was Rangiku-san.

"Hello," She spoke in a singsong voice. She looked at me very closely. "Orihime-chan, you don't look to good. Did you lose weight?" She pointed out. I just laughed, putting on a fake air.

"Hi Rangiku-san! What brings you here?" I forced a smile. She just cracked up a big smile herself and walked right in. I didn't mind though, and I closed the door behind her.

"I have something amazing to tell you!" She walked in, her bag on her side bouncing along with her. "There's going to be a party!" She shook off the snow on her shoulders and kicked off her shoes. She then proceeded to sit down at the small table in the next room.

"A party?" I blinked, confused as to what Rangiku-san had just brought up. She nodded, smiling in the process, as a response. "What for?" I started preparing some tea for the two of us in the nearby kitchen.

"Yup. It's been almost a week since we got back from Hueco Mundo and since Ichigo successfully defeated Aizen and saved you, I think a celebration is in order." I finished making the tea and put in on the table in front of her. She picked up the teacup and took a sip. "So the party will be tonight."

"Tonight? Who's invited, and where's it at?" I asked her, pouring myself a cup as well.

"Yes, tonight. Most of the captains, vice-captains, and you and your friends." She laughed awkwardly, and took another sip, "It'll also be here, at your apartment.

"M-my place?! I don't mind, but I don't have anything prepared!!" I ranted very worriedly. She patted my back reassuringly.

"Don't worry, don't worry. Everyone is bringing something along." She pointed fiercely at herself; "I'm bringing some alcohol!" She smiled proudly.

"B-but Rangiku-san…" She leaned over the table and put her finger on my lips. My face heated up a bit from her being so close.

"Don't worry about a thing, Orihime-chan. We've got this all figured out." She winked. 'We?' I thought, 'Who's we?'

She continued, "I also didn't think you'd mind that it was here, but sorry for the assumption anyway." She finished the last of her tea, and pushed the cup towards me. "More please," She spoke happily.

"Ah… T-thank you, Rangiku-san…" I paused, trying to think about what to talk about now. "So how many people do you think will come?" I looked around my apartment, "You also know it isn't very big here, would it be able to hold enough people?"

"Like I said, your friends, so you should know how many right there." She paused to count on her fingers. "And I guess maybe another 10 to 15 people?" She laughed. "I'm sure we can squish everyone in."

'Most of my friends… So does that mean Kurosaki-kun will be there?' I felt my face heat up a bit. I heard a giggle from Rangiku-san.

"Yes, Ichigo will be there, why wouldn't he?" She took another sip. "Wouldn't the party kind of be for him, since he did most of the work?" I twirled my fingers around on the table, still feeling the hotness on my face.

"I suppose…" I paused, "Um, Rangiku-san… I've been thinking about a lot of stuff recently…" My face was still hot, and my thoughts were still buzzing around in my head, but my mood suddenly went down. "Especially on a certain thing."

"Hm? What's wrong, sweetie?" Her smile from her face went away after she saw that my smile had disappeared. I saw my sad reflection in my tea.

"I just want to tell someone, because it hurts too much to keep it bottled up inside. Plus I think someone should know, more so if he'll be here tonight." I took a deep, heavy breath.

"I… L-love Kurosaki-kun, but I don't think he will ever feel the same…" I barely managed to choke out the words I never wanted to say in the first place. "So I've decided to give up on him…" I smiled weakly. "I suppose I should be saying, 'I loved Kurosaki-kun,' right?" I laughed half-heartedly.

"Orihime-chan…" She gasped lightly, saying my name very quietly. It was almost inaudible.

"For one, I-I think he likes Kuchiki-san…" I mumbled, trying to force down that lump in my throat. My fingers were fidgeting madly. I couldn't afford to be weak anymore, so that meant no more crying. It didn't work to well, as my eyelashes were started to get slightly wet. I kept my head down. "I can understand why though…" I sniffed, still trying to smile. "She's a great person. She's pretty, and smart, and can always cheer up Kurosaki-kun."

"You think he likes her?" Her voice sounded confident and loud. "So you have no proof that he does?" I looked up at her with tears clouding up my vision. She had a point, but I still had my reasons for telling her this.

"I-I don't understand how he could like someone like me…" I wiped my eyes and laughed half-heartedly. "Back in Hueco Mundo, he fought so much… He almost died so many times… And he went into his hollow form so much." I bit my lip. "And it was all for me…"

"Orihime…" Rangiku-san murmured again.

I sobbed, but tried to keep that fake smile on my face. "All because I'm incompetent, I made him become what he hates the most." I laughed, hot tears now falling freely down my face. I was weak again. No, I've always been weak. I disgusted myself. I couldn't even do a simple thing like not cry. I guess all I'm good for is crying, I laughed bitterly on the inside.

Rangiku-san inched over to me, and put an arm around my shoulder.

"You are not worthless." She poked at my side, making it feel ticklish a bit. I grabbed onto the side she just poked, as if it was my only lifeline. "You are worth so much." She took a sip of her tea using her other hand before continuing.

"Remember that time I stayed over here for a bit, before the Winter War?" I nodded, starting to taste blood from biting my lip too hard. It was an interesting taste, weirdly enough, but the pain from it kept me sort of distracted from my stupid thinking.

"And what did I say to you, that evening?" She squeeze-hugged me a bit.

"You said that Kuchiki-san had an important place in Kurosaki-kun's life…" I mumbled, forcing that lump in my throat to go away again.

"No, you baka." She flicked my forehead. "After that." I rubbed at my head, the place she hit. Another pain that kept me even more distracted.

"That I was also an important part in Kurosaki-kun's life…" I spoke quietly.

"Right." She patted my head. "You mean a lot to him, so you shouldn't give up."

"But Rangiku-san. It was all because of me that he became a hollow. Just to protect me." I pouted at her, trying to feign a new mood. "If he goes into his hollow form, I don't want be the cause of it." She just smirked lightly. I know she's not one to give up suddenly, so her smile only meant she either had something planned, or already knew something important. I brushed the feeling off for the time being.

"Fine, fine… It ultimately your decision." She hugged me tightly, causing me to not be able to breathe, temporarily. "Just don't give up ALL hope just yet. Please."

"Rangiku-san… I can't breathe." I was still hugging me closely. Another knock at the door separated us. She let go of me and smiled. I stood up hastily, trying to regain my breath. "Coming!" I made my way to the door, and heard Rangiku-san slurping her tea in the background.

I opened the door to find Tatsuki-chan. She brought a smile to my face. I couldn't tell if it was a fake one or a real one though.

"Orihime!" She grinned. "I'm here to help!" She held up a bag of items. They appeared to be decorations.

"Help? For what?" I poked my head into the bag, to see if my suspicions were correct.

"The party!" She gave the bag to me, and grabbed 3 more that were sitting behind her. "Some incredibly busty lady showed up at my house earlier, telling me there would be a party here, and knowing you, you're going to need help setting this up." She stepped in casually and shook off the excess snow she had resting upon her shoulders and head. I closed the door behind her, feeling a bit of cold, winter wind wash over me.

"Ah, Rangiku-san?" I questioned.

"Is that her name?" She set the bags on the floor and took off her shoes. As one would say, 'Speak of the devil.' Rangiku-san waltzed over to my side, and introduced herself.

"Hello, my name is Rangiku Matsumoto. Nice to meet you. Please call me Rangiku." She bowed politely.

"Ah, my name is Tatsuki Arisawa. Nice to meet you too." Tatsuki-chan bowed as well. "And you can call me Tatsuki." Rangiku-san smiled a bit.

After that, we were all awkwardly standing in my foyer. That is, until I felt something on my back.

I jumped slightly, causing Tatsuki-chan to raise her eyebrows. It was Rangiku's finger, and she was drawing the characters for "Gigai" on my back. I already knew she was in one at the current moment, otherwise Tatsuki-chan wouldn't be able to see her. Also did this mean that she would be in her gigai all evening or that everyone would be in gigais tonight? I mentally noted myself to ask her that later.

"So… Tatsuki-chan, you said you were here to help?" I asked her awkwardly, trying to break the odd tension. She nodded, bringing the bags to the table in the other room.

"I brought cups, streamers, confetti, and a big roll of paper we can use to write stuff on later." She smiled, pulling all the stuff out of the bags and set them on the floor. "Ah, that reminds me." She suddenly stopped. She reached into her back pocket and dug out her cell phone. "I need to make a quick phone call. You two can dig in and see what else I brought." Tatsuki-chan smirked, twirling her phone around by her phone charm. We both nodded and proceeded to dig into the bags as Tatsuki-chan left the room.

Ichigo's POV

"I'm telling you, there are hot new women working at the bakery!" Kon exclaimed happily, repeating what he had said about 5 minutes ago. "Ooooh, how glorious would it be to be able to see them working with only aprons on…" He trailed off, his nose starting to bleed a bit… Can stuffed animals even get bloody noses? Either way, I had started to phase him out after a while, so I really hadn't heard most of what he said.

My cell phone started to ring, and I picked it up, looking at the caller ID. It was Tatsuki.

"Oi, shut up Kon, I'm going to answer this…" I smacked the back of his head, causing him to go flying out into the hall. I heard Yuzu talking in the background, "Bostov! I've been looking everywhere for you!! I have a new dress for you!"

"Hey Tatsuki, what's up?" I answered nonchalantly, twirling around the pen around that was currently in my hand.

"Hey, I just wanted to see if you heard about the party at Orihime's tonight." She paused, taking a deep breath before continuing. "If you don't show up, I'll beat you up later." Wow, what a great way to invite someone.

"I had actually heard from Rukia earlier, who heard from someone else, who heard from the actual planner. She didn't say where it was though, just that there was going to be one."

"Rangiku-san?" Tatsuki's voice rang through the phone.

"You know her?"

"I just met her," she huffed. "I'm at Orihime's already, helping set up, and she was already there." She paused again, only there seemed to be a big tension in the air this time. "I think she and Orihime were talking about something quite serious."

I stiffened a bit. "How serious?"

"I don't know, I didn't ask her yet, considering I just got here. But seriously Ichigo, something isn't right with Orihime."

"I'm sure she's fine…" I hesitated to say.
"Ichigo. She has no emotion in her eyes." Her voice got tenser. "And she's lost weight, I can tell." Inoue lost weight? She always appeared to be average, weight-size, just by looking at her. But then again, considering what's been happening lately, I wasn't all too surprised if she a bit of weight, from all the stress. "A lot." She stressed at the end.

"Oh…" I just managed to say. What was I supposed to say to Tatsuki to make her feel better? "Um, so what time should I be there tonight?" I tried to suavely change the subject. It didn't work out too well there; she saw right through me.

"6, and you better see her at least once, for yourself. If you don't, I'll beat you. More so if you make her cry."

"Fine, fine…" I mumbled. "Rukia and I will be there at 6 then."

"Rukia?" She sighed heavily. "Fine, and totally expect everything to be all fine and dandy." Her sentence was obviously dripping with sarcasm.

"What?! What do you expect me to do?" I fumed. So far, I'd done nothing wrong.

"So far, I'm expecting you to make Orihime cry." What the hell, how could I make her cry by showing up with Rukia?

"Wait, Tatsuki, how the hell would I make Inoue cr-" I couldn't even finish my sentence as Tatsuki hung up on me. I sighed heavily, putting my face in my hands.

Women can be so damn confusing.


A/N: Yaaay, chapter one is finished! Woot~ I hope you enjoyed it! If not, then my apologies?