This is Chapter 5. Sorry it took so long to get out everybody. School, and life, and writers block are like the triad of story killers. But I broke through them all and am now prepared to bring you something new.
I don't own Bleach, Kubo Tite does.
IchiHime's Escape from Vegas: Chapter 5
Self restraint was something Ichigo prided himself on, being able to keep from breaking any of his father's bones when the man attacked him first thing in the morning was great practice for restraint. But restraint from laughing was a lot harder. It took everything the teenage boy had to keep from busting out laughing as he, Chad, Uryu, Orihime, Rukia, and Renji walked down the side walk, Rukia holding onto Renji like a girl holding onto her boyfriend. And that was what had Ichigo nearly splitting his sides. Renji was so tall he made the already short woman look even shorter, almost like he was with a girl many years younger than him. Not to mention Orihime's comment earlier
A small sound escaped from Ichigo, and despite all the odds, it reached the ears of said 'couple' and they immediately stopped and turned around to face him.
"Is there something funny Kurosaki?" Renji asked in a strained polite tone.
"No, nothing." Ichigo replied, keeping his voice straight.
"Good, then let's keep going." Renji turned around to keep walking.
"My, my, if that's what he's like, just imagine the children." Uryu commented quietly.
Then, it was like the flood gates had opened. Ichigo couldn't hold back his laughter anymore, and even Orihime and Uryu joined in. Chad remained as quiet as ever, although he was smiling rather largely. Renji and Rukia, on the other hand, were blushing furiously and turned around to angrily glare at the group.
"Just what the hell about this is funny? You think we want to do this?" Rukia nearly yelled at them.
"Maybe you do." Ichigo teased.
"Why the hell would I want to be handcuffed to Rukia?" Renji said indignantly, "If I had to choose of all the women I knew, Rukia wouldn't make the top twenty."
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Rukia turned to anger to Renji, "I'll have you know plenty of men think I'm very attractive."
"Yeah, there's a word for those kinds of men." Renji muttered, earning him a punch to the gut, "Gah!"
"You wanna say something else?"
"I AM NOT A MIDGET!"
"Excuse me, is something wrong here?" came a male voice from behind them.
"Mind your own business!" Renji and Rukia snapped at the man.
Everyone immediately froze upon seeing the man; in front of them stood a police officer. Rukia was quick to clasp onto Renji's arm again, trying desperately to hide the handcuffs on their wrists. Ichigo and the rest had stopped their laughing was debating whether to run away or see if they could bluff their way out of any trouble.
"S-Sorry sir." Renji quickly apologized, "We're just having an argument with our friends here." He jerked his thumb back at everyone behind him.
"Well this is a public place, I need you two to quiet it down or I'll have to classify this as a public disturbance." The officer was about to turn around then he gave Rukia and Renji a strange look.
"Is there something wrong officer?" Rukia asked, putting on her sweetest fake voice and flashing him an innocent smile.
"I don't know, you two seem familiar, in a bad kind of way." The officer narrowed his eyes as he searched his brain for a memory of the two.
Ichigo and his group took a cautious step back, preparing to make a run for it. They knew that if Rukia and Renji were getting caught, they might be taken in as accomplices, and the last thing Ichigo needed to add to his day was getting arrested. The action didn't go unnoticed by the 'couple' as they continued to smile at the suspicious officer and they turned around to glare at their 'friends'.
Everyone froze as the officer looked at the source of the sound, the handcuffs completely visible between Renji and Rukia. The officer's eyes widened at the sight, and then everything clicked in his head.
"You two!" he pointed at Renji and Rukia.
"RUN!" Renji yelled, stepping forward to knock the officer down then turned and ran in the opposite direction.
Ichigo, Orihime, Uryu, and Chad didn't even need him to tell them. Before the word had even left Renji's mouth they had turned and started running. Lucky for them, Chad had been at the back of the group and was also a good runner. He was tall enough that people saw him coming and were quick to make way for the barreling giant, followed closely by the others. They heard the officer shouting behind them but didn't comprehend the words or even stop to consider them, they just kept running. At the intersection a block away they ran into a red light and ended up turning right to keep going, effectively losing the cop for a short amount of time as the building hid them from sight. Halfway down the new street, Renji felt the handcuffs pulling at him and realized that Rukia was falling behind. Without saying a word he hoisted her up and held her bridal style as he kept running. They heard the officer behind them again, and saw that another police car was screeching to halt at the end of the block in front of them.
The group looked around and saw the traffic to their left was stopped, and quickly darted between the cars to the other side. The second they were on the other street the cop car started to follow them but the traffic started and it couldn't get through, the officer that had been chasing them was stopped as well, buying them a precious few minutes as they took random turns to loose the cops. After the third turn Ichigo turned to check on Rukia and Renji and saw that Orihime was falling behind slowly. He reached out and grabbed her, pulling her forward to his side but kept a firm yet gently hold on her as they kept running.
Eventually they all ran out of breathe and wound up bent over, trying to catch it. They spent a few seconds breathing deeply until they saw a cop car turning down the street a block away and heading for them. Everyone's eyes opened wide as they watched it approach, and then two more turned onto the street too.
"There." Chad said, and started pushing everyone into the casino they had stopped to catch their breathe in front of.
They quickly rushed in, but when they stopped to look behind them they saw the cars stop and six officers followed them.
"Split up." Uryu ordered, "Try to lose them in the crowd and try to meet up on the roof."
Everyone nodded and proceeded to split up. Renji and Rukia headed off in one direction themselves, Chad headed straight for the rows and rows of slot machines, Uryu followed Chad for a little while then split away and headed somewhere else, and Ichigo headed off in a random direction, not remembering that he had a grip on Orihime.
He quickly but calmly navigated his way through the crowd until he was in the back of the casino. A woman was on a stage, singing some old song he had no idea about, there was a bar with several tables set around with cocktail waitresses tending to patrons. Older slot machines were set up and older people were playing them, continuously putting in coins and pulling the handles, occasionally getting a happy jingle as they won a small amount. Ichigo headed for a dark spot in the back of the bar area, set between two large fake plants against a wall and leaned against it, catching the rest of his breathe and trying to think things through.
"K-K-Kurosaki-kun." He heard Orihime.
Ichigo turned to her, remembering he had grabbed her to help her keep up and hadn't let go. He was confused to see she was blushing until he looked down and realized he had taken a hold of her hand, and was still holding on. He quickly let go and began kneading the back of his neck, a blush creeping onto his own face.
"S-Sorry." He apologized. He just couldn't seem to stop inappropriately doing things with her today.
"It's fine." She leaned up against the wall like him, "So what do we do now?"
"Well, we need to get up to the roof without being seen by any cops." Ichigo looked around, "And that's gonna be hard since we're not near any stairs or an elevator; which means we'll have to have to look for one and risk getting caught."
They were quiet as they thought through what Ichigo said and finished getting their breath back.
"Wait." Orihime said as Ichigo was about to start heading into the casino area to look for stairs or an elevator, "Why don't you stay here and let me go find something. This way you'll be safe."
"No way." Ichigo said, fixing her with a stern but gentle look, "I'm not letting you go risking this by yourself."
"No buts." He gave her the same look, only sterner, "We'll find a way to the roof together." He reached out and took her hand again then led her to the casino area.
Orihime couldn't stop the blush that lit her face as he pulled her along. And Ichigo didn't look back; unable to hide the one on his face as he carefully navigated his way through the rows of gamblers. They narrowly avoided getting caught twice, but were lucky enough to see the cop before they saw them and head in a different direction. They stayed as close to the walls as they could, hoping to find something quickly, and they were lucky enough to spot an elevator by a set of stairs in a corner back in the back.
"C'mon, c'mon." Ichigo grumbled as he rapidly pressed the button to bring the elevator down.
"Kurosaki-kun." Orihime said, a hint of urgency in her voice.
Ichigo looked at her then in the direction she was looking. A cop was looking around and hadn't spotted them yet but was heading straight for them. Ichigo quickly turned away and pushed Orihime towards the stairs. Orihime quickly went up the first two but her didn't put enough of her foot on the third, causing her to fall back when she lifted her other foot to step up. Ichigo was still at the bottom and reacted quickly enough to catch her, but hadn't shifted to prepare for the change of weight. He caught Orihime but ended up being dragged with her into the corner by the stairs and within view of the elevator. Orihime landed with her back in the corner and Ichigo was quick enough to put up his arms and stop himself from crashing into her, but now he was shoved up next to her, his face just centimeters from hers.
They froze still as they heard a set of shoes hitting on the tile of the floor they were on. They knew it was the cop, checking to see if they had run up the stairs. Ichigo and Orihime didn't pull apart, knowing that this was their best camouflage to hide from the cop. They heard him step up a few of the stairs, probably looking up the stairwell to see if they were going up. After a few seconds he headed back down, and then stopped. Ichigo and Orihime held their breathes as they were sure he had spotted them, and then his footsteps started again.
"Tch, teenagers." They heard the cop mutter as he headed back into the casino.
Both Ichigo and Orihime let out the breathes they had been holding, and were suddenly once again aware of their closeness. Orihime felt Ichigo's breathe across her face, and turned a bright red as it became the only thought in her mind. The same was happening to Ichigo as he felt Orihime's breathe around his neck, and then he started to smell something, like flowers. The scent invaded his nose and started to cloud all his other senses, until the only thing he could focus on was the pair of beautiful grey orbs behind long lashes in front of him. And it might have been his imagination but they seemed to be getting bigger.
'No.' Ichigo was able to think through the fog, 'I'm getting closer.'
He was getting slowly closer, his eyelids drooping as he fell more and more blissfully into the fog.
The sound of the elevator reached the ground floor, opening, and the sound of the crowd inside it was enough to snap Ichigo out of the fog, but not soon enough for him to stop his lips from gently brushing up against Orihime's. He roughly pushed himself away from her, cursing at himself in a harsh and hateful tone as his back slammed against the wall a few feet away from her. Luckily for them the crowd in the elevator had been busy talking with each other to notice the near kiss in front of them as they exited the box. Ichigo rushed in when it was empty and Orihime followed. Several other people who saw the open elevator got in before Ichigo punched the button for the top floor, pushing the buttons for their floors as well. Although it felt cold to be away from her, Ichigo was rather glad there was a group between him and Orihime.
Orihime, on the other hand, felt so far apart from him, even though it was only a few feet. She'd been completely lost in his eyes with him so close, but had been totally aware as she and he had slowly leaned forward, and that moment when she felt his lips gently rub against hers . . . She reached up and touched her lips, remembering the feeling with every bit of sensation her mind could conjure up. But she'd be lying if she said she wasn't confused, it seemed like Ichigo had wanted to kiss her in that moment. Didn't he want to? And now he wasn't even looking at her.
Neither of them said anything, even as the last of the group exited and they were alone for the last ten floors to the top floor. As soon as the doors opened, Ichigo was out and heading towards the end of the hall. It was a pretty straightforward design, the elevator was at the end with the door to the roof at the other end, far down the hall, and doors to rooms were on both sides. Ichigo was walking quickly towards the door but at a pace he knew Orihime could keep up with, he'd just tried to kiss her, he didn't want to make her feel like he was trying to get rid of her too.
"Kurosaki-kun." Orihime said quietly, although it might as well have been said through loud speakers in Ichigo's ears. He stopped walking and looked back at her, though only just barely out of the corner of his eye.
"Yeah, Inoue?" he asked cautiously.
"Wh-Why did you pull away?"
"EH!" Ichigo turned to face her completely, his guilty face replaced by one of shock. That was a hell of question, and an unexpected one at that.
"It's just . . ." Orihime's hands were held together behind her back and her head was hung forward, although held high enough that Ichigo could see her watching him with those beautiful grey eyes of her, "It seemed like you really wanted to just now. But then you pulled away."
"I . . . I . . ." Ichigo rubbed the back of his neck again, mentally yelling out every curse word he knew, "It's just." He sighed, "Everything is a big mess right now, we don't even know what happened to us last night." He looked at her, and his heart feel seeing the sad expression on her face, "I don't want to make things worse, I don't want to lose a friend like you."
"Right." Orihime said quietly, so quietly Ichigo almost didn't hear it, "Because we're just friends."
Ichigo repressed the growl that wanted to escape from his throat; hearing that from her, made him feel like shit, and those words made his stomach twist in a really uncomfortable way, "Just friends." He didn't like that phrase for some reason. He didn't know what the hell was going on, he wanted to give Orihime some room away from him, considering everything that had happened, but he was just drawn to her. He didn't want to leave her alone, and even worse, he was gripped by an incredibly strong urge to walk up and kiss her, and along with that urge came the strange feeling of weight from the ring on his hand. Like there was something he was forgetting that the ring was trying to remind him of.
"It's about time you got here, we're starving."
Ichigo and Orihime were broken out of their inner thoughts as the door to Ichigo's right and Orihime's left was opened up and a familiar face stood there. The face went from annoyance to shock to happiness at seeing them.
"Ichigo, Inoue, what are you two doing here?"
"What are we doing here?" Ichigo asked incredulously, "What are you doing here Mizuiro?"
Okay everyone, sorry the chapter is late. I hope you enjoyed it. And be prepared for a surprise next chapter, I don't know if I should classify it as a big surprise, but I think it's hilarious.