Yet another new story. XD I'll edit this later, because I want to just get this up now, so please keep in mind this is raw/unedited chapter. I'm just too tired to fix anything now. Enjoy though!
Brown eyes hovered over the mass of people. Er, make that dead people. Shinigami, vizards, humans, they were all there. One too many though, he thought, eyebrows knitting themselves together tightly. Why he came here in the first place, he had no idea. Hell, he didn't even know why he was there! He wasn't sure if it was it was because the Winter War was over, because Yoruichi was surprisingly pregnant (which Ichigo didn't find shocking, as those two were always… friendly, in the weirdest ways), or if it was just a random party, thrown for the heck of it.
Groaning again, Ichigo wanted to slam his head against a wall of some sorts as he wondered why, oh why did he come here?? It was like hell had broken loose in Urahara's lower training grounds.
"Kurosaki-kun!!" A small voice called out to him, breaking him from his shallow angst. He turned around and saw a small redhead attempting to throw herself through the throng of people. He cocked an eyebrow as she held two glasses above her head with a clear liquid. She most likely did that to keep the contents in the glasses, and not accidentally on her.
Noticing her current struggle to get through, he easily grabbed at her elbow and helped her get through the crowd. A quick blush spread through her face and she bit her bottom lip in embarrassment. He led her to a less crowded, and oddly a bit darker corner of the large room. Sighing in relief, Orihime dropped her arms down along with the glasses, her appendages sore from holding them up so long.
"T-Thank you, Kurosaki-kun," Orihime stuttered, slightly nervous. He only nodded in return before leaning against the cool wall in a smooth and quick manner. Though he stopped halfway, wondering why the hell he was trying to act all suave in front of Inoue. He tried to beat his hollow's thoughts out of his head. "Here! For you!" The healer suddenly chirped before suddenly shoving the small plastic glass into his hands.
"Thanks…" Ichigo replied tonelessly, looking at the drink as if it was the most bizarre thing he'd ever seen. Orihime took a sip from her own glass before leaning against the wall the same as he did. She had a satisfied smile on her face while she watched the partying people.
"I should be thanking you, Kurosaki-kun," she replied, her voice laced with a hint of hesitation. He looked at her from the corner of his eye, watching her fiddle around with her plastic cup accompanied by a downcast gaze. "Though I'm sorry you got so hurt… I always put you in a bad position and it's-"
"We can talk about this later," he told her reassuringly, looping his thumb through a belt loop on his pants. Orihime looked to him with a surprised expression and big, gray eyes. Though instead of looking just from the corner of his eye, he turned his head towards her, facing her straight on. "But for now, let's just have enjoy ourselves, okay?"
Orihime kept her lips slightly parted in a cute pout, before turning beet red and nodding her head quickly. He tried to hold back a grin at how silly she looked, but he eventually managed to let a chuckle slip. So much for my tough image… He brooded. Soon the healer brought her cup higher into the air with a happy smile plastered on her face.
"A toast!" She exclaimed, her cheeks flushed a rosy pink color. Truthfully, he was a little startled from her sudden yelling, but quickly composed himself after her little outburst.
"For what- Oh… hm… How about…"
She stopped her thinking and looked at him, again, surprised at his quite intelligent toast. Her smile quickly returned with twice as much fervor and she knocked her glass with his. "To nakama."
The two both took a gulp of their drinks, Orihime still okay with her own, but Ichigo's face started turning awfully red, soon coughing as soon as he managed to swallow. Fear and worried filled Orihime's eyes as she looked at her companion.
"Kurosaki-kun, are you okay??" She asked quickly, honestly fretting over her long-time crush.
"I'm fine, it's just… W-What is this stuff?"
"Oh… Uh…" Orihime glanced down to her own drink before cocking her head to the side and raising her eyebrows in confusion. "I'm actually not sure. Rangiku-san gave it to me, saying it was a specialty's of Urahara-san."
Great… It's more than likely alcohol.
"And you're not feeling weird at all, Inoue?" He questioned, noticing her state of normalcy. She only shook her head and took another sip.
"I actually feel great," she muttered, bringing her small hand up to brush away a stray hair. "In fact, I really like this stuff. It's so sweet and the funny feeling in my stomach kind of tickles."
Though now that she mentioned it, his stomach felt sort of off too. Maybe it was from the alcohol the two, both minors he would add, were currently consuming. He gave the innocent drink a hard stare, wondering just how okay it was to drink this.
It's only once, King. Quit being an ass and drink that shit.
Shut up, I don't need you to tell me what to do! Besides, I was planning on it anyways.
And with his short-lived argument with his hollow, he took another gulp, still unable to get used to the burning sensation in the back of his throat after he took another sip. The two both leaned against the wall, staying far away from the rest of the group. After all, it was darker and quieter. Just the right surroundings for the oncoming headache he could feel rapidly approaching.
Ichigo quickly extended his arm and checked his watch. With a frown, he decided it would be best to go home. Everyone else still appeared to be busy and having fun, so it would just be best to duck out unnoticed.
"Hey Inoue, I think I'm going to-" He started to talk to her, facing the small girl, only to find her struggling to keep her eyes open. "go…" Her eyes quickly snapped open.
"E-Eh? Leaving already?" She questioned, trying to hide the fact she almost fell asleep standing up. He nodded.
"Yeah, it's getting late, and by the looks of it, you could tend to get home too," he responded casually, prodding her with a light joke at her teetering on the edge of sleep and awake. She flushed again and sighed, putting down the drink at the nearby table.
"I should… We do have school tomorrow…" Orihime responded, knowing she would be unable to hide her fatigue. With a yawn, she peeked open an eye at the nearby shinigami substitute. "I guess I'll see you then, Kurosaki-kun?"
"Don't be ridiculous. It's so late already, it isn't safe for you to walk home alone," he quickly assessed her form as he spoke. "On top of you being that tired and not alert. So I'm walking you home." Orihime opened her mouth to protest, but he shot a gentle warning glare towards her, immediately causing her to shut her mouth and blush once more. With a hesitant nod and a last glance at the partygoers, the two teens head out into the dead of night.
They were about halfway to Orihime's flat when she started to sneeze sporadically. Sneeze after sneeze into the dead of night still managed to startle him every time, and eventually, he shrugged off his jacket and offered it to her.
"O-Oh no, I can't possibly take that jacket-" Sneeze. "-away from you, Kurosaki-kun!" She protested, only her returning sneezes giving him more reason to loan it to her. With another warning glare, Orihime was stuck and much to her dismay, and secretly pleasure, she accepted his offering and put on the large coat over her small frame.
"Sorry, um… It's kind of big…" He apologized as they resumed walking. Orihime shook her head and brought the ends of the sleeves to her nose, inconspicuously taking in his scent.
"Oh no, it's very warm. Thank you, Kurosaki-kun!" Ichigo couldn't help but turn a bit red at her polite thanks over a mere jacket. It's just like her, though… It wasn't long after that until they got to her apartment. Ichigo watched her go up the stairs, as if it was forbidden for him to do the same. She gave him a small smile and waved him silently goodbye, and he awkwardly raised his hand to motion to her the same. He began to leave and Orihime was about to close her door when she realized, I still have his jacket!
She rushed outside with some hope he'd still be there or at least somewhere close, but it was to no avail. He was already on his way home, as expected, so she would just have to settle for giving it to him tomorrow. Letting a smile grace her tired face, Orihime turned back around and went inside, locking the door behind her. Till tomorrow, Kurosaki-kun…
The first thing she thought was how she'd have to find Rangiku-san and ask her what that drink was, because it made her feel awfully funny as she woke up. Orihime let her eyes flutter open and she took in a shuddering breath, a large headache apparent in her skull. Ooooh, this hurts so much. She sat up slowly as she decided she'd need to get some pain relievers for her head after getting dressed.
Orihime kneaded the back of her neck awkwardly as she tried to wake up, only to find all her long, precious, auburn hair had disappeared! Her eyes snapped open and she threw both hands to her head, finding only short, very bright orange locks instead. But then she noticed how built her arms were as she was prodding with her suddenly changed hair. Removing her hands from her head and bringing them down to her face, Orihime looked at her palms and digits in alarm, seeing that they were large and… large! What happened to her small, smooth hands! These were bigger and definitely more defined! Almost like…
Her eyes growing wider, she snapped her head around the room at an awfully quick speed, realizing she was not where she shouldn't been.
But would that mean she's no longer a…
Biting the bottom lip, Orihime glanced down, only to find in horror, her always-apparent chest was gone. What had happened to her breasts?? Surely the little blue men hadn't taken them! She glanced around the room frantically once more, looking for a mirror of some sorts. With finally a little luck kicking in, she noticed a mirror on the nightstand just next to the bed. After much stumbling and tripping, she managed to grab a hold of the small object, and was almost afraid to look into the darned thing.
And she saw him. Kurosaki-kun was staring right back at her.
And a low, terrified yell rang through the house.