Well isn't this long overdue!
Disclaimer: I own Bleach. Say what? April Fools is still over a month away? Ah…forget I said that then. Also do not own the awesome scene from Seitokai no Ichizon.
Note: This story is pure AU. No Shinigami, no Aizen, no Soul Society etc etc. So expect a slight level of OOC-ness but I will try my best to keep it to the minimal.
So much thanks to Thail *muwah* BEST Beta-Reader and part time personal cheerleader EVER.
Sempai to Kouhai
~C h a p t e r 01~
"Not even 40?"
Inoue Orihime stared at the red 32 on the top of her returned Japanese History test before turning her morose expression towards her best friend.
"What should I do Tatsuki-chan? I promised onii-chan that I would improve in Japanese History. But this is my lowest score yet."
The dark haired girl patted the depressed girl on her head as she spoke, "Its alright Orihime. Why not sign up with a cram school?"
"But the good one's are really far away from where we live."
"Good point. How about a private tutor then?"
"I can't ask onii-chan to hire me a private tutor! Aren't they terribly expensive?"
Tatsuki frowned and crossed her arms as her list of suggestions rapidly got shortened. "Well then I can try to help you out whenever I can. Or we can ask someone from class to tutor you." She smiled slyly at the auburn haired girl who was folding her test and putting it away into her bag. "Maybe someone like Ishida from your handicrafts club."
The auburn haired girl turned to her best friend with a slightly puzzled look on her face, "Ishida-kun? I doubt he has enough time to help me out with my studies. His father is really quite strict."
Tatsuki stared for a moment bewildered at her best friend. 'Wait. She doesn't know that Ishida is aiming for her? . . . . oh well. I don't think the two match up well anyways….'
The familiar sights and sound of the kyudo club hit Sora with a sense of nostalgia that nearly had him physically reeling backwards from the doorway. It seemed nearly a lifetime ago that he was the kaichou and preparing his team for the National Kyudo Competition. Many of the old members had come up to him and greeted him, but no one dared to raise their voices too high in fear of their orange haired, (supposedly ex-delinquent) fuku kaichou.
Sora couldn't help the small smile that came to his lips as he watched the bright haired man slowly move from the hikiwake to kai. He held the position for a few strained moments before releasing. A smug smile came to his lips as the arrow hit the mato a few scant centimeters away from the center.
"You've gotten better."
Ichigo's smile remained smug, "Its all talent."
Sora snorted with laughter, "But of course it is."
"I don't trust the tone in which you said that Sora-san."
Sora shook his head slightly bemused as Ichigo slid his bow back into its dark colored yumibukuro. Ichigo turned back to the tall dark haired man, "So what can I help you with Sora-san?"
"Well it's about my little sister…."
Orihime looked up from her notebook at the soft knock on her door.
"Its open onii-chan."
Sora stood in the doorway, holding on to the doorknob as he spoke, "How are you studies going along?"
She smiled weakly, "Same as always onii-chan."
"History dates are an evil created by the alien race because they want to take over the world by melting student's brain?"
His little sister's firm nod had him chuckling into his fist. No one other than Orihime could come up with such creative reasons to dislike something. He walked over to her and patted her on the head, "Well unfortunately you'll have to deal with history if you want to go to the same university I went too."
Her slim shoulders visibly slumped as she mumbled, "But I just can't seem to get any better at this. Even though Tatsuki-chan's been helping me, I still can't remember a lot of these dates. If I don't manage to raise my scores, then I won't be able to apply for a scholarship to S University."
Sora placed both his hands on her shoulders, "Well then I have good news for you."
Her curious mercury gaze met his as he continued, "I managed to find someone who is willing to tutor you in Japanese History and English. He's a kouhai of mine from the kyudo club. He's in his third year studying Journalism."
"B-b-but isn't it expensive to…"
"Don't worry about that part Orihime. Now,"
He grabbed her by the hand and made her stand up. "Why don't you meet him."
"EH? Right now!?"
"He's waiting outside."
Before she could speak or even think of a response, her older brother was dragging her out of her bedroom and into the main room. While she was extremely distressed that someone (a boy!) would be seeing her in such an untidy state, a part of her was very curious about her new tutor. Her older brother rarely spoke of his university days much less about his club and his kouhai.
She peeked behind her older brother and was surprised to see that the person standing in front of the bookshelf had an unruly mop of bright orange hair. 'I remember this person! He came to visit us when otou-san and oka-san passed away. But…what was his name…'
The 21 year old turned towards the siblings, his glance shifting from the older brother to his younger sister who he pushed in front of himself.
"This is my sister Orihime."
'She really grew up.' Ichigo couldn't help but think as his gaze landed on her chest before he mentally kicked himself in the head. He would not think of his senpai's imouto in that manner! No matter how impressive her…assets were, she was still 18!
Orihime bowed deeply, her hair falling over her shoulder, "Yoroshiku onegaishimasu, sensei."
He nodded, "Ah. Yoroshiku."
Sora clapped his hands, "Well then I'll leave you two to get started. If you need me, I'll be in the kitchen."
Silence hung between the two occupants of the room, both of them shifting awkwardly from one foot to another. Ichigo cleared his throat, making Orihime's gaze shift to meet his scowling gaze.
"You want to study here or in your room?"
"Oh! In my room I suppose. I have all my study material there."
Ichigo followed the petite girl to her room and wondered briefly if she didn't feel any qualms about letting a strange man enter her bedroom. If it were his own little sisters, he'd have made sure that they study in the living room rather than their own bedrooms with some strange man. Okay so he wasn't exactly a strange man or a stranger to Inoue Sora but still….
Before he could control himself, he asked, "Is it alright for me to be here?"
Bright mercury eyes turned to look into his, "Hai?"
He nodded towards the door of her bedroom, "Are you alright letting a stranger enter your bedroom?"
A bright smile, "You're not really a stranger. Onii-chan said that you're his kouhai from the kyudo club."
"Doesn't change the fact that you still don't really know me."
Her answer was simple and to the point, "But onii-chan trusts you. So, I trust you as well."
He shook his head slightly, "You're really too trusting."
She tilted her head to the side, a finger lifted up to her chin, "You think so? My best friend says the same thing too. Hai, dozo."
Ichigo muttered his thanks as she opened the door. Ichigo entered into the room, fully expecting to see an explosion of either pink, ruffles and frills or stuffed animals or some combination of the three. He was relieved to see that there was a scarcity of the color pink and ruffles and there were only a few stuffed animals placed upon a bookshelf. He sank into the chair that Orihime offered him, his eyes taking in her room with vague interest.
He waited for her to plop into her own chair before he asked, "Before we get started I'd like to get an idea about how much you know. That way I can know where to start from and how much work needs to be done. You intend to go to my university right?"
Ichigo wondered for a moment if it was possible for a head to fall off someone's shoulders by too much enthusiastic nodding.
"Alright. Do you have any of your old tests with you?"
Orihime turned slightly pink before she turned towards her school bag. With an embarrassed expression on her face she handed over her quiz to Ichigo. She waited for the scolding or worse, teasing to start at her weak grasp on the subject. She kept her eyes locked on her lap, her fists clenched tightly.
"…Lemme ask you a few questions. Some basic stuff about history."
Her gaze still locked on her hands she nodded.
"What took place in Japan in 794 (nana hyaku kujuu youn-nen)?"
'Looks like she knows this one.' Ichigo watched as she placed one finger on her forehead and frowned as she tried to remember the full sentence.
"Cries the Reyrin for utopia?"
Ichigo suddenly felt the urge to face plant as hard as he could on the floor of this girl's bedroom. How do you go from "Cries the Japanese bush warbler" to that?! Instead he face palmed and muttered, "History just changed right there. What about the year 710 (nana hyaku juu-nen)?"
'If she doesn't get this right I really am gonna fall flat on my face.'
"What an … unexpected..trick?"
Ichigo stared at her half hopeful expression and felt her tests slip through his suddenly nerveless fingers. Ichigo didn't know where he found the strength to answer back but he managed to choke out, "It's 'What a magnificent Heiijyoukyou'. If it was the one you said, I can't help but wonder what the hell happened that year."
Orihime now seemed on the verge of tears as she stared at her fallen tests. Ichigo eyed her as she bent down to pick up the paper sheets before sticking them into a seemingly random pile of paper. She stayed that way – staring at her desk as though that would keep her tears at bay.
Ichigo sighed, running his hand over his face before scratching the back of his neck.
"Do you really want to get into S University?"
Her gaze was fierce and determined even with the tears present in her eyes. "Hai."
Ichigo stared at her, wondering silently if her resolve would hold. 'Well time will tell on that account. I'll hold up my end of the bargain though.'
"Alright then. I'll do my best to help you out."
Her eyed widened and Ichigo felt very uncomfortable under her hopeful gaze. He couldn't help but snap, "What is it?"
She flushed slightly at his tone, "You won't say that I'm an idiot who can't even remember the basic dates of our history?"
"Ha? What kind of nonsense is that? How the hell would that help you?"
Orihime raised a hand to the back of her head as she let out a small nervous laugh, "It's what my teacher keeps saying."
Ichigo clicked his tongue, his disapproval towards the teacher showing in his tone as he spoke, "Forget what that old fart said. We all got stuff that we can't remember. You just trust me when I say that I'll get you in the 90's in two months."
"Two months?!" Her surprise at his bold statement making her voice more high pitched than she intended.
"Did I stutter? Yeah. Two months."
"b-But…how are yo…it's going to be im-"
He held up a hand to cut off her protests, "Do you trust me?"
She blinked at the sudden change in direction, "Well…yes I suppose I do."
"Then trust me when I say I'll do it."
She stared his face for a moment before nodding with resolve. "I'll do my best to fulfill your expectations Sensei! Even if I need to bleed for it."
"Err. There won't be any need to go that far you know. And don't call me Sensei."
"Eh? Then what do I call you?"
"Just call me by my name."
She tilted her head to the side, "Kurosaki-sensei?"
He groaned out loud, "I just said not to call me sensei didn't I? Kurosaki-san is fine."
"Hai, Kurosaki-san! Lets do our best against those brain sucking aliens!"
". . . . the… what?"
~Three weeks later~
Orihime sat on her chair, her back straight and her body stiff as she waited for Ichigo to hand her back her test. She really wasn't sure how well she had done in the test that he had just given her. While she felt confident that she had done better than her previous school tests but she wondered if it was enough.
"Not bad for a student who was getting 40's three weeks ago. You got 67."
Ichigo was thoroughly amused as she happily clapped her hands together and bounced in her seat. She was more like a girl than a blossoming woman when she did things like that.
"Arigatou Kurosaki-san! This is all thanks to you."
He lightly smacked her on the head with the checked test, "Baka. You're still far away from our target! Besides, don't forget that this is thanks to your own hard work. Don't sell yourself short Inoue."
Grasping the paper on her head with both hands, she laughed, "Hai, Kurosaki-san!"
Ichigo checked the notebook in his lap, the past scores of Orihime's tests jotted down in a neat table.
"We really need to pick up the pace if we want you to be ready for the entrance exam…."
A knock on the door interrupted Ichigo as Sora stuck his head into the room.
"How's it going?"
"Ah onii-chan! Mite Mite!"
She bounced over to her older brother to show her the test. The older man was carrying a tray in his hands and leaned over to look at the paper before congratulating his little sister. Ichigo watched the siblings interact without really listening to their conversation. 'What would be a good way to motivate this girl…There has to be some way to get her to give her all…'
" . . . . reward for this. You've never gotten this high marks before. So what'll it be?"
"Flan caramel from that store near your office!"
"Eh? Just that?"
"I love that flan caramel! It tastes so yummy with red bean paste."
Ichigo blinked as that statement penetrated his brain. 'Red bean paste with flan caramel as a reward? What kind of taste buds does this girl have? Wait a minute….'
Ichigo raised a hand to his chin as he contemplated the idea, other arm crossed across his chest. 'There really was nothing to lose. It's a win-win situation and it's gonna bring her closer to her goal as well.' He looked up and started backwards in surprise at seeing Orihime's face mere inches away from him.
She in turn tilted her head slightly to the side as she asked concernedly, "Are you alright Kurosaki-san? I kept calling your name but you wouldn't reply back."
"I was just thinking about something…what were you saying?"
She held up the plate she was holding in both hands, "Would you like some red bean cookies with your tea?"
He picked up one cookie and took a bite out of it. He wondered what were the dark colored additions to the cookies. 'Raisins maybe?' As he chewed on the cookie, he realized that a) raisins didn't make a slight cracking sound when being chewed on, b) raisins when chewed upon did not taste peppery, and lastly, c) he had mistaken whole black pepper cloves for raisins.
The black pepper was making his taste buds cry out in agony and he quickly grabbed the tea cup in front of him. He took a few quick, deep gulps of the tea before slamming the cup back down on the table. While the hot tea scalded away the burning taste of the black pepper but downing hot tea like that made his chest feel as though he had swallowed a glass full of fire.
One hand was on his chest as he wished this burning feeling would quickly subside as he waved the other hand at her. He opened one bleary eye to stare at her concerned face. She was staring worriedly at him, leaning over him slightly.
"Were those…black pepper cloves in those cookies?"
She gave him a wide smile, "They give the cookies an extra kick ne?"
'A kick straight in the bal…'
"You didn't like them?"
"Not at all."
Ichigo wanted to bite his tongue off as the words rolled off his tongue before he could help himself. Her shoulders slumped and her expression dropped as she mumbled a small, "Oh…"
An awkward and depressive silence hung in the air as she picked up another cookie and nibbled at it, her dejected gaze resting on the platter of cookies. Ichigo ruffled his hair and spoke, "When do you have your next test for History?"
"Next Thursday I think."
"Alright. I'll make you a deal then."
She looked up at him, a small spark of interest glowing in her grey eyes.
"If you can get more than 80 marks in your next test, then I'll give you a reward."
Ichigo blinked and had to stop himself from rubbing his eyes because he could have sworn that a pair of dog ears and tail had appeared on the girl as she looked at him. She was holding her hands in front of her chest, her eyes sparkling in delight as she asked, "What kind of reward?"
'Errr…what kind of reward….'
"Well…I'll do anything you want."
She eyed him a tad suspiciously as though she doubted his word. "Anything?"
Ichigo nodded, "Anything."
"Yosh! I'll accept your challenge Kurosaki-san!"
'God I hope she doesn't make me eat those cookies again…'
"By the way, what do you think about amusement parks?"
Ichigo blinked in surprise at the seemingly random question and very articulately replied back, "Huh?"
I've had this idea for such a long while but was lacking the inspiration to actually write it out properly. But yesterday I was in a rare mood to write so I was like 'Lets get cracking on this!'. The title 'Senpai to Kouhai' means 'Senpai and Kouhai'. And this will be a multi-chapter story. While I'm not sure how I'm going to end it, but end it I shall! And man, for once I had to do some research for the stuff I was writing!
If anyone doesn't like that I put Ichigo into the Kyudo club, I'm sorry! *bows* But it was either that or kendo!
And the history dates thing, a total shout out to Seitokai no Ichizon. That part was my favorite from the whole series. Silly Pres!
In case you don't know, Japanese students they remember a lot of events in their history by making up sentences from the dates themselves. So if you can remember the sentence, you can tell what happened in that year. The whole thing is more funnier in Japanese and I hope I managed to get that across. I hope /me sweats profusely.
And this will be an M rated fic! . . . What? You expected something else from me? phft.
Kyudo – Japanese archery
Kaichou – President
Fuku Kaichou – Vice President
Hikiwake - drawing apart. The archer starts bringing down the bow while spreading his arms, simultaneously pushing the bow with the left hand and drawing the string with the right, until the arrow is level with the eyebrows.
Kai - the full draw. The archer continues the movement started in the previous phase, until full draw is achieved with the arrow placed slightly below the cheekbone.
Mato – the target for the kyudo practitioners
Yumibukura – A cloth bag usually made from silk in which you put the yumi (bow) in to protect it from scratches.
794 (nana hyaku kujuu youn-nen). The phrase to remember what happened starts "Nakuyo" (cries) and is supposed to be "cries the Japanese bush warbler" but…
Reviewers will get red bean cookies! Without any black pepper in em of course.