I LOVE YOU ALL!

*ADD* Hey guys, I just truly wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading this story and leaving such wonderful reviews and I'm glad it made so many people smile and laugh. I'll keep writing when I can, but in the meantime I'd love to see more people go out there and write good, adorable, creative IchiHime, because they're the best couple & deserve more LAAAAAVE 3 XD

Please expect more Ichihime fan fics from me in the future and a truly hope you enjoy my ending here. XD


DAY 2:

The next morning Ichigo woke up in his warm little bed at the foot of Orihime's bed. He stretched satisfyingly and breathed deeply the sweet scene of her room and her covers.

Shaking off some morning shivers he looked up and noticed that the bed above him was empty.

He had a momentary drop in the pit of his stomach. Where was she?

He trotted out to the living room and was quickly relieved to find Orihime there. She had her spandex running pants on and a cute, loose fitting pink t-shirt, doing some morning stretches.

"Are you ready for our run?" She asked with a radiant smile.

Damn straight!

They were out the door running through the cool, dewy morning streets of Karakura town. Peaceful, invigorating and focusing, Ichigo couldn't help but smile knowing he had a beautiful partner always running by his side…

After their morning run and a few failed attempts at reitsu training on their own, the orange haired pair were sitting in Orihime's little kitchen tired and munching on some snacks. That's when Orihime was struck by an incredible idea! It was really a stroke of brilliance! She had jumped violently out of her chair spilling her juice in the process and yelling, "Vizards, vizards!"

Foxy Ichigo almost jumped out of his fur at the sudden crazy outburst and started looking wildly around for any invading vizards. Orihime dropped to her knees and whispered (unnecessarily because they were alone) her plan in his furry little ear. The sudden closeness startled him, not the mention her warm breath and the clear view of her cleavage as she bent over…

"Yoruichi-san said we weren't allowed to go to shinigamis for help, she didn't say anything about vizards!" She whispered excitedly.

His little eyes (which were busy nervously staring down her heavenly valley) went wide with realization! They might just be able to help! He wished he could hug her! Seconds later the teens were bolting out the door and running towards the Vizard hideout.

She figured maybe some of the training she had been doing with Hacchi could possibly help or give them a clue. Yosh! She thought with a determined look as they ran full throttle down the busy streets of Karakura town.

10 minutes later the auburn beauty and her foxy companion arrived at the Vizards stronghold and descended into their warehouse training grounds. As they reached the bottom of the long stair case, they were met by a shout.

"Orihime-chan!"

The yell was followed by a gleeful Shinji running full speed towards his first love!

Fuck if I'm letting this happen…

BAM! AHHHH!

Shinji's look of pure joy (one that clearly said he expected to be copping a feel within moments) was now one of PAIN! He opened his eyes to see a little fox biting the shit out of his leg!

AHHHH!

After a 2 minute struggle Shinji had kicked his foxy attacker off and now they stood face to face. It wasn't long though before a cocky grin made its way onto his face, "Well if it isn't that Ichigo punk. Ha ha, we all heard what happened to you."

Who's spreading these goddamn rumors?

The next moment Hiyori had lept from across the grounds, landing like an earthquake between the two morons. "Oh, is this the flasher pervert with a furry fetish?"

THAT'S IT, THEY'RE GOING DOWN!

Orihime stood there watching as an all out battle broke out. She tilted her head to the side and a few sweat drops fell. Kurosaki-kun sure does get into fights quickly doesn't he?... she thought weakly.

Fortunately, Hacchi picked this moment to come waddling up to his little protégé'

"Ah, Hacchi-san" She called happily, greeting him with a little bow.

"Inoue-san, this is a happy surprise. I haven't seen you lately. How may I help you?"

She smiled, and explained the entire situation.

((20 minute later))

Nursing some wounds Ichigo made his way over to where she was training with Hacchi.

What he saw really surprised him. It was Inoue working with her shun shun rikka, only they didn't look normal at all. What was normally a flat triangular shield looked like a pyramid with a flower enclosed in the center.

Inoue and Hacchi were sitting together as she worked to keep this new shape and protect the flower inside from little projectile that Hacchi was sending its way. Ichigo could see the beads of sweat forming on her brow and an intense look of concentration that he had never seen before (yet another face he was surprised to learn she had… he wondered how many more faces he could discover…)

Has she been working this hard all this time? That kind of technique could be really useful in battle!

Ichigo sat patiently near-by and just watched pensively with one little paw over the other, his ears straight up. What a strong girl, training all this time by herself just so she could be more useful to her friends… and to me…

It was close to midnight as the pair returned to the apartment exhausted and dejected.

Despite their best efforts they hadn't come any closer to finding a way to help Ichigo return to his normal self. After speaking with Hacchi and the rest of the Vizards, and trying a few things (which mostly ended with Ichigo in a great amount of pain) they had run out of ideas.

Orihime plopped down on the couch and Ichigo lept up to sit beside her. A heavy sigh escaped her lips and Ichigo looked up in time to see a sad expression on her beautiful face. Despite everything that had happened there was nothing that made him feel worse than seeing his normally perky and happy go lucky friend showing the kind of sad expression she worked so hard to hide from the world.

Is there really nothing I can do for him again? She thought sadly.

Orihime was pulled away from her depressive thoughts when she felt something soft and furry nudging her hand. She looked down to see little furry Ichigo giving her a burning and encouraging look. His ears were perked up high again and he seemed to be telling her that it was all alright. Her Kurosaki-kun was always there to help her, even when he was the one most in need. She smiled a soft genuine smile just for him and it made him melt a little bit inside. Her small genuine smiles were even more devastatingly beautiful than her normally large silly ones. His little heartbeat quickened as he nodded his encouragement to his friend.

It was, as always, just way too cute for her to handle.

Without thinking her hand was on his head and she began scratching behind his ear. She caught herself a moment later and was just about to apologize when he did something that surprised the both of them! He nudged his head deeper into her hand, loosing himself to the wonderful sensation of her fingers.

She was shocked at first, but with one more furry nudge she smiled a small smile and continued her ministration...

Ichigo relished the feeling. Heck, he could blame it later on being an animal, he could claim not to remember any of it, but for now he thought they both needed a little bit of comfort…

He knew he would never do this with any of his other friends… not even his female friends! Tatsuki would probably stomp the life out of him, and he could never show this kind of weakness to Rukia… It just seemed to him that Inoue was the singular one of his friends that he could drop his guard with and feel comfortable, feel safe and secure knowing not only would he not be mocked or judged, but he would be comforted in return. Even if this didn't exactly happen when he was in his human form, he knew Inoue was always an open ear and a gentle spirit that he enjoyed having by his side.

While Ichigo was lost in thought below, Orihime was fixing him with a soft gentle gaze as she continued to scratch his ears and rub his head and stroke his fur.

It was hard to fully understand that this was Kurosaki-kun… this was definitely not something he would be doing if he was in his normal form. She blushed a little at the thought… but then giggled too. The thought of Ichigo acting like a kitty in real life was pretty hilarious. That little giggle lifted both their spirits and they sat in quiet relaxation together. It a feeling of relishing each other's company and a level of comfort Orihime hoped she could have with him…

As they fell asleep that night, Orihime lay awake. She couldn't seem to stop the events of the day replaying over and over again in her mind. She was beyond tired and angry with herself for not being able to help her Kurosaki-kun. A silent tear fell down her cheek but she quickly swept it away. This was no time to be giving up… wait! The beginnings of a new plan were starting to form in her head and a glimmer of hope returned to her eye… it may just work!

DAY 3:

It was devious, it was sneaky, it was downright cheating and Ichigo loved it.

Orihime had explained her plan that morning over breakfast. It was just one surprise after another when it came to Inoue as far as Ichigo was concerned.

"Urahara-san isn't at his shop all day," Inoue explained in another one of her unnecessary whispers. "We could wait outside the shop until he's gone and then sneak inside and see if we can find something to help us turn you back! He has all kinds of products and scrolls, there's bound to be something. Of course we'll repay him or replace anything we use but they're playing dirty Kurosaki-kun –ouch!" As if to make her point she was shocked for the millionth time by Yoruichi's shock bracelet.

His respect for this gorgeous girl grew daily, not to mention he was learning that Inoue could be pretty damn fun and not so straight laced as she appeared! The girl was cunning!

Orihime was met by a very hearty, very furry series of nods from her little partner in crime.

"Yosh!"

It was around noon and the pair arrived to set up a stake out of sorts a few roof tops away from Urahara's shop. They weren't there very long at all, though, before Urahara, Tensai, Jinta and Ururu all came walking out.

"It's a lovely day for the zoo don't you think everyone!" They heard him shout as the group headed out and down the street.

Wow, what luck! This was really their chance! It was almost too easy!

Once they were sure that Mr. Hat & Clog's group was completely out of sight, the pair made their way stealthily down from the roof top and tip toed over to the non-descript shop. Fortunately a side window had been left open…

After quietly climbing inside the pair split up and started rummaging around.

Orihime really did feel terribly guilty for all this and she planned on apologizing and all that was necessary, but right now her number one priority was helping Kurosaki-kun turn back. She fixed a determined little look on her face as she continued opening drawers and looking through closets.

Serves that suspicious old nut bag right… thought Ichigo as he scampered around from room to room as fast as his little paws would take him.

That's when he saw it. In a back room that looked like an office there was a small table in the center with all kinds of scrolls rolled out on them. Around the room were boxes labeled all kinds of things… One box said soul society, another said medicinal formulas, and there in a prominent place in front of all the other boxes with a fresh new label was one that said "Animal transformations"! HE had found it!

The little fox went running back out of the room, zoomed over to the beautiful friend and started tugging on her shoe laces to get her to follow him. At first she thought he was playing and was getting ready to assault him again for his cuteness… but then he ran ahead to the door and started spinning in circles. Oh, he wants me to follow him!

"Did you find something?"

The little fox nodded vigorously and took off down the hall way. Orihime sprinted behind.

Once at the back room the teens slowly approached the box that promised the answers to all their problems… Orihime dropped to her knees and put her hands on the lid of the box. Her and furry Ichigo shared one last meaningful look as she lifted up the lid and reached down inside…

As she brought out the heavy, glossy booklets the teens' eyes went wide!

What the hell is this?… They thought simultaneously…

The first one read "Barefoot Confidential" and has an awful lot of pictures of feet on it…

Orihime began to shuffle through the apparent magazines…

The next one was "Sole Satisfaction"…

Then "Toe tongue tusslers"

It's…

This is…

Ichigo and Orihime's pure innocent minds were trying to process… but the extremely graphic pictures on the last magazine cover ("Fantasy Foot Frenzy: 18") were enough to help them understand exactly what this was…

"FOOT POOORN!" She screamed!

Orihime dropped the magazines like they we brimstone and fell to the floor clutching her virgin eyes like they were burning! While Orihime was rolling on the ground in agony, Ichigo was rooted to the spot. He was positively purple with embarrassment. There was practically smoke coming out of his little ears!

That son of a bitch set this up!

As if to confirm his suspicions, a hand written note fluttered down at that moment landing between the teens. Orihime (who was also purple at this point, she had just looked at porn with Kurosaki-kun!) stopped clutching her eyes long enough to read the little note. Ichigo looked down too.

It read:

"Shame, shame on cheaters. Please return my very important documents to their proper place when you're done snooping Kurosaki-san."

BASTARD!

Ichigo clawed the note to shreds, lifted his leg, did something unspeakable to the magazines and the partners in crime took off at top speed like their lives depended on it! (And their lives probably DID depend on it, because Urahara was going to be pissed when he found out what got pissed on.)

(Back at the apartment)

The teens collapsed on Orihime's floor, panting from their non-stop sprint away from Urahara's scary porn.

"I never knew," Orihime said while shaking, her eyes looking into nothingness. "I never knew… something like that… people actually…"

Great, she's fucking traumatized!

There was nothing he could do except pat her with his little paw until the shock wore off...

((An hour later))

After some calming tea and some quiet time to recover, the pair was sitting on the couch again. Now, the two were quickly running out of ideas and the frustration was mounting.

Heck, Orihime was seriously thinking of pulling out the sewing machine and making miniature shinigami robes just see if it made any difference. (Ichigo kept shaking his head furiously when she brought this idea up.)

Ichigo was finding it hard to hide his disappointment and anger with himself. He didn't want to make Inoue feel bad and he loved her company, but he didn't want to be stuck as a fox for the rest of his life. This was horrible and he felt like they were no closer to figuring out how to get his normal body back.

What was it that damn Yuroichi said, something about the heart and the soul? Couldn't she have been more fucking clear? Why did she have to be so vague? Is she doing this just for kicks?

Orihime was keeping a smile on the outside but she was slowly deflating on the inside, with every day that went by she felt more and more useless. She could tell the little furry shinigami was more tense and down hearted. Her best efforts weren't working…

What can I do for him? I have to make this right!

"Maybe you should just meditate for now Kurosaki-kun, ack! Please don't worry, I'll think of something perfect!"

Ichigo gave her an odd look… Her eyes were squinted shut and her smile didn't seem as bright.

She's forcing herself to smile. He thought grimly. But there was nothing he could do or say. He knew she must be just as frustrated as he was. Orihime kept babbling to cover her tracks and said she would just be cleaning and thinking and not to mind her one bit…

Ichigo knitted his little eyebrows together… she's a terrible liar. But there's nothing I can do for her like this. He thought with a sinking feeling in his stomach. We have to figure this out soon, we have to…

(Later that night)

It had been a pretty depressing rest of the day. Try as he might, Ichigo just couldn't seem to concentrate. And what made it worse was Orihime bustling around the apartment pretending to be happy when she was obviously pretty upset too.

The pair finally called it the night and plopped into their respective beds. Orihime gave a very brief good night without even looking at him. That has to be a bad sign. He thought.

I don't want to keep troubling her like this. It's entirely my fault she got dragged into this in the first place…

Ichigo lay awake in his little make shift bed at the foot or Orihime's bed. There was nothing that he could think of that they hadn't already tried and the damn shinigami conspiracy wasn't going to let him take a short cut out of this either.

What did Yoruichi mean? What did this all have to do with the heart? I used to think it was just if I desired it enough, but now I'm starting to think there's something else to it… He was getting closer, he knew it... there was something to this train of thought… he could almost feel it.

He was deep in thought when he heard the first sniffle coming from the bed above. Hmm?

At first he thought it was just the sounds of her falling asleep… but then another sniffle came and then the undeniable sound of a suppressed sob.

Ichigo blanched! Fuck! She's crying!

The next little sob found him pacing next to her bed. Shit, what should I do?

Worried, little Ichigo lept up onto the bed. What he saw broke his heart. Orhime was there with the covered pulled up to her chin. Messy auburn hair fell around her beautiful round face, and her eyes were closed with tears running down her cheeks.

It was just too much, he couldn't stand to see any one of his friends looking so vulnerable. What can I fuckin' do? He used one little paw brush away some of the hair. But he didn't expect what she did next!

With her eyes still closed, Orihime reached out and pulled foxy Ichigos into the covers with her! It was almost as if she was reaching out for the comfort of his warm, soothing presence. Before he knew it Ichigo was being held in a tender embrace close to her bosom, in Orihime's bed.

This was beyond his imagination! His heart was racing, his breathing quickened and he could feel himself turning red under his fur but her grip wasn't easing up. It was dark and warm here, her wet face just inches away. There was a deep swooping feeling falling through the pit of his stomach as he looked up into her face. He was pressed into her soft porcelain skin and her smell was sweeter than he could have imagined. Ichigo was nervous and embarrassed. He shouldn't be here, in her most private place wrapped in such a warm embrace when she wasn't even fully awake!

Her teary eyes were still closed when she began to speak…

"I'm sorry Ichigo." She said in a sleepy, sad whisper.

If he could, have he would have gasped. His name sounded incredible coming from her supple, sweet lips. "I'm sorry I can't help you."

It's not your fault! You're doing everything you can! He screamed in his mind.

"I miss you, I need you to be you again, please, I'm so sorry."

Why is she apologizing? It's my fault not hers! What can I do?

"I'm sorry to put you through so much trouble. I… I lo… I love…"

Wide eyed, Ichigo was hanging on her every syllable.

He needed to comfort her, he needed to speak to her, he needed to tell her that it was going to be alright, that she didn't need to cry, that he would always be there to make it right, that he had promised to protect her with every fiber of his soul and that nothing could make him go back on the promise. He needed to be with her!

(Oh. you know how this is going to end)

And, it was that overwhelming NEED that finally pushed him over the edge of what he had been touching upon so closely before.

Once again he felt himself start to grow!

His fur began to recede revealing long lean limbs. His long legs and arms filled out the rest of the space under the sheets and enveloped the thin, busty healer in a full embrace.

Orihime, in her sleepy sadness was suddenly surrounded by warmth. She snugged into this strong presence, wrapping her delicate hands around his smooth hard body. Huh?

Wait a minute… She thought as she became a bit more conscious. What is this?

With her eyes still closed she began tracing her fingers all over his body, up and down his back, around his sides, and from his rock hard abs up to his broad chest.

While Orihime was trying to figure things out, Ichigo was trying not to die from shock and pleasure.

OH MY GOD.

Every touch was electricity on his skin and his body was all goosebumps. Orihime was in his arms, her head fit snuggly into the crook of his neck. When she put her arms around him he had taken in a sharp breath and he was pretty sure he hadn't breathed since.

What was happening… she was… this is… the most amazing thing he had ever felt! No one had ever touched him this way, EVER. It was certainly a welcome departure from being beaten and cut and hurt all the time. It was so gentle, so soft. Before long he closed his eyes and let his brain turn off, as her fingers continued their exploration. He let a small happy sigh escape his lips.

Normally he might have been embarrassed beyond belief that he was currently naked in bed with his friend Inoue who was feeling him up, but after everything they had been through, and after trying so hard and finally transforming on his own he was relishing the feel of being back in his body, close to the woman he…

Ichigo's eyes flew open. The woman I… she brought me back… she always brings me back…

As his brain kicked back in gear, a large strong hand enveloped Orihime's two small ones, stopping them from their wandering, and held them over his heart.

Orihime didn't want to open her eyes.

With every new touch she was starting to realize that this wasn't a dream at all. Her body and her face were getting hotter, every moment seemed an eternity, and every heavy breath filled with the overwhelming scent of the man she loved. But even though she was starting to realize… she could bring herself to stop her hands! It was pure heaven, the feel of his strong back, tight abs and slightly hairy chest were all too much. This fiery anxious feeling was filling her up all over… and the most incredible part… he wasn't stopping her!

With her eyes closed she felt him give a contented sigh and it sent shivers down her spine. Orihime was overheating. What is this? Kurosaki-kun is back, but how? And how did it get to this? Oh, where do we go from here? What is this feeling? Will he believe I was sleeping? OMG I'm feeling up Ichigo! OMG it feels so good! How do I stop myself?

But luckily Ichigo had a little more self control at the moment. She felt him take up her hands and hold them against his chest, and she could almost feel the passionate gaze he must be giving her right now.

"Inoue." He whispered huskily into her silky hair.

Oh, how wonderful it was to hear his voice again! And how devastatingly sexy it sounded!

"Inoue, don't cry."

Her face was flushed, her body giving off waves of heat through her pink polka dot pajamas. Orihime's strategy for handling this: keep pretending to be asleep!

She snuggled her face more deeply into his chest. It sent physical shivers down Ichigo's entire body making him suddenly very aware that, oh yeah, he really was completely naked! In Orihime's bed! In a tender embrace!

While still holding onto her upper body, he shifted his hips up and away from a dangerous encounter and tried very hard (hehe) to focus on the girl and not on the physical reaction he was having right now.

Snuggling into her hair, he went on quietly.

"I can't stand to see a sad look on your face. You should always smile. Please, don't apologize. Your kindness always bring me back." And, then in the lowest of voices he said, "I'll always come back to you... Orihime."

It was too much to bear! A fresh sob escaped her lips causing Ichigo to jump badly. With hands on her shoulders he pulled away and looked down at her and immediately began to panic when he saw her crying face… but at the same time she was also… smiling?

"Kurosaki-kun," she cried. (The effects of the shock collar apparently now gone)

"Inoue!" said panicked Ichigo. His whole body was turning beat red. "Inoue… you were… were you... awake?"

"Kurosaki-kun came back to me," she cried. Orihime closed her eyes and with all the courage in her being she went on. "And I will always be here for Kurosaki-kun, because…"

She paused.

"Because… Because I love Kurosaki-kun the best!"

Wide eyed stunned silence met her passionate confession.

But before long those surprised eyes became gentle, smoldering amber ones.

She's mine.

There was no doubting his feelings now, on the contrary her words filled him with a confident, overwhelming happiness that he never knew existed. One thought filled his mind.

She's mine.

Orihime tentatively opened her eyes, and the look she saw made her gulp. She had never seen that look before. It was almost like he wanted to devour her! So piercing, so fierce, so devastatingly sexy. Her body temperature was rising again, a nervous fiery pull enveloping her entire being.

She trembled as she eked out a few more words. "How… I thought Kurosaki-kun was a kitty…"

His face was coming closer, his grip on her hands tightened, both teens' heartbeats were speeding up as their temperatures rose.

And, as his face hovered just centimeters away from her trembling hot lips, Ichigo let go a small smirk and answered deeply.

"I was fox."

And then her lips were his.

Epilogue:

It didn't matter that 10 minutes later Ichigo's crazy father came bursting into the room with a picture AND video camera. Isshin had conveniently been tipped off as to the whereabouts of his "dear kidnapped son" at precisely the moment he had transformed back. (Ichigo was sure this was Urahara's revenge). Isshin did manage to get a few spectacular shots of his naked son pummeling him into the ground. Not to mention a few shots of an extremely embarrassed Orihime covering her eyes with her hands, but obviously peaking between the cracks in her fingers.

None of it mattered, because they had their perfect moment. The many adventures they had yet to face, they would face them together.

((P.S. I wonder what happened in those 10 minutes :x Muahahaha ))