This is something that I've been wanting to try out ever since I finished 'The Princess and the Protector' and I finally got my butt around to actually going through with it. A series of one-shots and drabbles featuring Ichigo and Orihime. Some of them could be interconnected and some not. I'm also toying with the idea of having multiple one-shots on the same idea like two stories on their first date or kiss etc, y' get the idea.

And I'm totally open (hinthint!) to any prompts from my dear readers. Toss me a prompt and I'll do my best to write a good story around it! First (and second) prompt given by dear Thail.

Here we go!

(Edit: I thought I was forgetting something!) Disclaimer: If you recognize it, I don't own it. Le sigh.



Prompt: Rain

At the first rumbling of thunder in the distance, Inoue Orihime excitedly ran around her apartment preparing for the oncoming storm. As the first raindrops hit the window, she had already locked her apartment and was opening up her umbrella. Humming to herself and twirling her bright yellow umbrella, the auburn haired girl decided to make her way towards the Karasura River(1). After all, its such a beautiful day for a long walk!

While some people hurriedly went on their way underneath their umbrellas and others rushed by with their coat over their head, it was apparent that everyone was in a hurry to get out of the rain or avoid getting wet. They side stepped puddles, both big and small, and took greater care not to let even one drop of rainwater fall on their person. Which was why Inoue received many an odd looks from these people as she took just as great care to step into puddles with great enthusiasm, not caring a wit or hoot if her raincoat and boots were getting splattered with muddy water. She would clap in delight when she would sight a good sized puddle before jumping right in the middle of it (after making sure that no one was within the splatter range that is).

So it was no surprise that by the time she had reached her destination, her raincoat and boots were thoroughly covered with mud and rainwater. She raised her cold hands up to her mouth and blew on them, hoping to lessen the chill as a cold wind made her raincoat flutter around her slender legs. She stood at the edge of the embankment and watched the rain water mix into the river and roar past. She stared mesmerized at the rushing water until a sudden crash of thunder made her gaze dart upwards.

She forgot to keep the umbrella over her head as she stared up at the sky to watch the lightning as it streaked across the sky. I wonder if Kami-sama is sad about something…it doesn't rain this hard that often. He must be really sad and angry at the same time if there is so much thunder and lightning too. I hope He feels better soon…

Her fingers let go of their hold on the umbrella as she closed her eyes and raised her hands, almost in prayer as she enjoyed the serenity and unbroken silence around her. She suddenly smiled as she turned her face fully upward towards the heavens. Of course he can't be sad! Kami-sama is allowing the Earth and Sky to meet and spend time with each other. Obviously Kami-sama is a romantic at heart. I hope that it keeps raining so that they both can spend some more time together…maybe have a cup of tea and some muffins…

She giggled slightly at the mental image that formed in her mind before exclaiming out loud, "I hope you have a good meeting! After all, a month is a long time to be away from someone you know."

"Inoue?!"

Startled, the girl turned towards the voice to see an appalled shinigami substitute gawking at her. "Kurosaki-kun! What brings you out here in this beautiful weather?"

As he walked up to her, he glanced at the dark grey clouds in a manner which clearly spoke, "This is beautiful weather?" before asking, "I was running some errands. But more importantly, why exactly are you standing in the rain without an umbrella and looking like you lost a fight with a mud puddle?"

She clenched her fist and held it up in front of her in a determined post, "I fought more than one mud puddle and I won over them all! These," she gestured dismissively at the mud splattered over her, "are merely the signs of my victory over the weak mud puddles! Though there was this huge mud puddle that had to be nearly 2 feet wide and I knew that I just had to jump into it but then…"

Ichigo shook his head bemused as his girlfriend of two weeks animatedly went into great detail of her 'fight' with the giant mud puddle and how she narrowly escaped certain laundry disasters as she had fought with the great King of Puddles, who was called Pudding (apparently that was because he resembled chocolate pudding). He bent down to pick up her umbrella as she waved her arms (barely missing a hit to the face), acting out her battle with more enthusiasm than was strictly necessary. He held her umbrella over her head as she concluded her fight.

"And I jumped right on his stomach and he went 'sploosh!' all over the throne room! I even got some of him on my coat that time. Wait, would that mean that I got his blood and remains on my clothes?"

Ichigo felt the corner of his mouth twitch as he fought back a smile at her adorably horrified face as she stared up to him in confirmation, holding the corner of her raincoat.

"It's a mud puddle Inoue. No blood or remains involved there."

"Oh thank goodness. I'd hate to have Pudding's remains on my clothes! I'd end up being haunted by a King! I wouldn't be safe in my own house or school. Can you imagine being chased by a giant puddle of mud through the school corridors Kurosaki-kun?"

"…"

"It would be really scary though…getting dirt stains on your freshly laundered clothes, mysterious dirt stains on the carpet and walls…" Ichigo decided to cut in before her mind wandered off into a completely new fantasy.

"err Inoue, you never said why you were standing in the rain like you were."

The sudden change in her expression from child like happiness to a womanly serenity had Ichigo blinking in surprise. Her soft gaze did not waver from the skies as she said, "I was thinking that Kami-sama must be a romantic."

Ichigo couldn't help but frown confusedly at the girl-woman in front of him as he tried to make any sort of sense from her statement. He could come up with no link between God being a romantic and standing in the middle of the cold rain getting soaked to the skin. Maybe he was too cynical to understand her way of thinking.

"I don't get it."

Her soft grey eyes met his confused brown as her smile widened. He looked like a little boy who couldn't understand why the light turned on whenever he flicked the switch.

"Didn't you know Kurosaki-kun? The rain is the only way that the earth and sky can ever be joined together. There is no other way in which the both can ever be connected together. Its like they both are star crossed lovers who couldn't ever meet but Kami-sama created a chance for them to be together."

Ichigo's eyes filled with warmth, admiration and amazement as she finished her explanation. Every day, every time that he spoke with her, she always amazed him in a new way. Her dietary habits, her clumsiness, her compassion, her kindness – she never failed to amaze him. But seeing this side of her, so insightful and seemingly unfathomable in her thoughts, made him stare at her as though it was the first time he had seen her.

Inoue felt her cheeks heat up at his intense gaze. She was not used to being stared at so deeply by anyone much less her boyfriend, who happened to be the boy she had been crushing on for years. She nervously laughed as she twirled her umbrella in her hands and let her gaze dart around her, willing her cheeks not to turn as red as her hair as she stumbled over her words, "W-what does Kurosaki-kun think of the rain?"

She squeaked out his name and turned red as his hand covered her and gentle tugged her to his side to stand with him underneath his larger umbrella "Ku-Kurosaki-kun?!"

He gently pried her umbrella out of her stiff and cold fingers before closing it and handing it back to her, "It doesn't matter what I think of it. I like your way better. "

She shyly sneaked a peek up at his countenance as she timidly asked, "Really? You don't think it's silly?"

A gentle knock on the head was his response as he said, "Come on, I'll walk you home."

Twisting her cheerful umbrella in her hands, she asked "Can…can we go past Tsubakidai Park(2)?"

"Sure. Why though?"

Her smile was like the sun peeking through the grey clouds as she chirpily replied, "There are always loads of puddles to splash in!"

Ichigo shook his head with a slight smile, "I'm starting to think you were an Ame Warashi(3) in another life Inoue."

That resulted in his girlfriend gleefully clapping her hands and chattering about being a rain sprite all the way to the Park.


(1) from the Databook Souls Book. It's not that far from her house if you see.

(2) again, from the Databook Souls Book.

(3) xxxHolic reference! Though I think Inoue as an Ame Warashi would be so adorable!

Whew. That was fun but a bit difficult to do!I hope I did it justice and I really hope you like it Thail! And this turned out way longer than I planned and thought it would. Not a bad though right?

Do review and tell me how you like it. Reviewers will get Mars chocolate bars!