AN: Before I insult anyone with the content that is depicted in this story, I would now like to say I have personal experience with this kind of situation. Thank you. Once again I do not own anything in here, except the idea. I only hope you enjoy.
Ichigo had multiple personalities. Schizophrenic was the scientific term used when he was at his therapist's, or a psychologist. When had he been born? Ichigo wasn't sure. What he was sure of was that it had all started two months ago.
Ichigo stared up at the ceiling. He traced imaginary patterns with his eyes, and when he felt dizzy with doing so, he closed his eyes, and breathed slowly in and out. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. When you simplified things, they suddenly seemed one hell of a lot easier to do properly, without the extra stress. Ichigo opened his eyes and then opened his window a little, breathing in the ice air. It was freezing, bone-deep cold, the kind that wrapped around your spine and turned your breath into tiny crystals, the kind that matted your eyelashes together with ice. Ichigo closed the window abruptly. He could hear the doorbell ringing insistently, and frowned in irritation. He slowly got up, and made his way down towards the door, yelling as he went, "Don't bother answering the door, dad, Yuzu or Karin! I'm only meant to be studying and taking my exams in two weeks!"
"Sarcasm won't get you anywhere son!" was the reply.
Ichigo grunted in response and opened the door. Ichigo didn't know that what he saw would change his life forever. And the ironic thing? He let it over the threshold of his door, and into his home.
Orihime Inoue sat – apparently having collapsed with sheer exhaustion – on his doorstep. Her clothes were torn, and her hair was knotted. He could remember noticing she was barefoot, and later wondered how in that moment he could file away a fact so perfectly normal. Blood was pooling around Orihime, and Ichigo could see the oily red liquid running down her legs. When he looked at her, her gray eyes reminded him of the sky you saw from airplanes – everywhere and nowhere at all, all at once.
"K-Kuro… Saki-kun… Oh… The-They… raped me…" And with that, Orihime Inoue passed out.
Orihime had wanted to shower. Ichigo and Isshin hadn't let her. 'Evidence' the word had flashed into Ichigo's mind, like a hamster in a wheel, it ran round in circles, chasing every wrung of possibility, and still, somehow, getting nowhere at all. They had gone to Isshin's clinic, and Orihime had been introduced to an overly friendly, and too understanding girl who had smiled encouragingly at Orihime with every second word she had said. Orihime had nodded weakly at every sentence, and had then allowed herself to be steered into the examination room. A blood sample had been taken, and Ichigo could remember, as though recalling something from a dream, how Orihime had gone quite pale at the sight of blood when they were testing for something or other in pig's blood. She had been sick afterwards. Now he watched from behind a sheet of glass as Orihime allowed a needle to extract blood from her, and Ichigo had understood, that Orihime didn't think of her body as her own anymore, she was physically there, but mentally she was drifting among the stars, where they couldn't hurt her anymore.
When Midoriko – the name of Orihime's nurse returned, she had said, "The doctor's going to use a special light now, a Woods lamp. It won't hurt, I promise." It could have been a thousand needles Orihime thought dimly – she knew she still wouldn't feel it. The light glowed ultraviolet, and when Orihime had glanced down in detached curiosity at her own body, it had been covered in angry purple lines and blotches that hadn't been visible to the naked eye before. The doctor then took swabs from each mark, and Orihime had time to glance at the packaging 'suspected saliva from neck' or 'suspected semen from inner left thigh'. The doctor then gently combed Orihime's long red hair, folding up the comb inside a towel when she had finished.
When Midoriko pulled a pair of stirrups from the end of the examination table, Orihime began to panic, and struggled to get up and run. Midoriko pushed her gently, but firmly back onto the table. "Have you ever been to the gynecologist, Orihime-chan?"
Orihime shakily shook her head, lip quivering.
"You're going to feel a little pressure," Midoriko said kindly, folding Orihime's legs into the stirrups, a human origami that left her stark and open. In that instant, Orihime could feel the little part that was left of her sinking down from the starry heavens to take dark root in her beaten body. For the very first time since Orihime had entered the hospital with Ichigo's arms around her, Orihime was violently aware of who she was and of what had been done to her. She wanted to scream.
There was cold steel, and a rasp of flesh. A push from the outside, as her body struggled to keep the speculum out. Orihime tried again to sit up, and at the same time tried to kick out, but she couldn't, as several nurses Orihime did not know kept her held down firmly by her thighs, and then there was a pain and force and 'you are ripping me in half.' The thought crossed her mind very suddenly, and left her feeling nauseous. Now that Orihime could feel exactly what was happening to her, she wished with all her might she couldn't. She started shaking uncontrollably; an atom about to split beneth its own compounded weight.
And then suddenly the door burst open and Tatsuki – Orihime's best friend burst in. She was wild eyed, and looked like she had just gotten here; snow was still melting in her raven hair.
"I must ask you to step out of the room, madam," came Midoriko's voice.
Tatsuki ignored her, and instead she elbowed her way toward Orihime's side and clutched her hand as though to keep her from slipping beneath some emotional ocean.
"I must ask you to leave now." Tatsuki took the hint this time.
"We will get through this." Tatsuki lied for her friend, because in the wake of disaster, the last thing you wanted to do was set off another bomb. Instead what you did, was walk amidst the pile of rubble, and you tried to convince yourself it was not nearly as bad as it looked.
Tatsuki clutched the styrofoam cup between her fingers, scalding herself in the process, but seemingly not noticing.
"We should have been there Ichigo." Ichigo closed his eyes at her words, and she filled the silence by taking a small sip of her too bitter coffee.
"I know." He bit out eventually.
"If we hadn't… If we… If we hadn't gone home immediately, instead of waiting for her to finish her extra mathematics class… We… She…" The tears she was trying, and failing to suppress had choked Tatsuki's voice.
"This…" And here Tatsuki indicated the waiting room, and the door leading to where Orihime was now being prodded and poked, "is our fault."
Ichigo sighed, and leant against the wall, as though looking for something to keep his world from crashing down around his ears.
"Ichigo." A familiar voice sounded through the hallway.
Ichigo looked up, and nodded in the direction of Rukia, Renji, Chad and Ishida.
"I told them." Tatsuki offered up for explanation.
"How…" Rukia coughed. Her eyes were too bright to be naturally like that. Ichigo could see the tears clinging to her eyelashes.
"How is she coping?" She managed, but her voice cracked like a fault line half way through the small sentence.
"Not too well." Ichigo said in an effort to keep his voice steady.
"W-Why?" Ichigo looked up, somewhat taken aback that it was Renji who was asking.
"I-I mean," he said hastily, "this isn't meant to happen to people like us. This is the kind of stuff you read about in novels, or newspapers, or hear about on the news, or over the radio. This shouldn't happen to us."
They were all sitting or leaning against the wall, the chairs lay abandoned; it felt too normal to sit down properly. The door swung open and they all looked up immediately. Midoriko stood there, and she looked down at a clipboard, her long dark hair swinging to hide her face.
She looked up and said, "Inoue-san will need new clothes."
"I'll do it." Ichigo knew that he should probably have let Tatsuki or Rukia go, but he needed to have something to do. Anything. He nodded towards his friends, and left the clinic, glad to be out, and to not have to breathe in the stale disinfectant smell, mingling with that of the rubber gloves the doctors and nurses used.
The cold hair winded him momentarily, but he quickly made the short way towards Orihime's house. He realized, in surprise that he had never been to her house. It made him wonder why, momentarily he had never taken his time to go and watch her favorite television program 'Laugh Hour' with her, like a friend would do. He cursed himself then.
Ichigo knew Orihime kept a spare key under a stone shaped like a heart, and he immediately found it, and let himself in. Her apartment was small, and he hastily made his way to Orihime's drawers and wardrobe. He opened the wardrobe and a faint smell of vanilla mixed with apples greeted him. Orihime's scent. He breathed it in, marveling at the familiar. He gazed critically at her clothes. There were summer dresses Ichigo had never taken the time to notice when she wore them, but he grabbed a pair of jeans, as well as Orihime's pajamas, which were covered in animals that looked suspiciously like his sister's teddy, Kon. He then grabbed a jumper and a t-shirt.
Ichigo was worried however about the underwear. He closed his eyes when he opened the underwear drawer, and rummaged grabbing a pair of socks, what he hoped were knickers, and a bra, which he probably couldn't mistake anyway.
Reluctantly Ichigo made his way out of the apartment, but a photo caught his eye. There was one of her brother next to it, but the one that had caught his eyes, was one of them all together, laughing and smiling. Orihime wasn't in it. And then Ichigo remembered. They had gone to the seaside, and Orihime had had them all line up together and had made them laugh. Then she had taken a picture. Ichigo, hadn't even noticed.
When Ichigo finally arrived at the hospital, he looked at Tatsuki who was now slumped across Chad's lap, sleeping. Chad, Ichigo noticed, was blushing.
Rukia and Renji were both huddled up in a corner, holding hands. Ichigo shook his head inwardly. They were all growing up. Nothing would be like it had been before, because they were all pairing up. Only Ishida and Ichigo remained waiting stubbornly for any news on Orihime.
Orihime wanted to have a shower. So badly. To wash away what had happened, to scrub the feeling of their hands away. She regretted that she couldn't wipe away the bruises that had bloomed on her wrists, as if she were a canvas, and they had been determined to leave their mark.
A soft knock on the door made her look up, instantly afraid that it might be them. When Ichigo entered, she scolded herself mentally, and told herself to stop being so paranoid.
"I…" Ichigo cleared his throat, as though something had been clogging up his voice box. "I brought you clothes." He handed her over her pajamas, despite the fact that by now, it was practically morning. He left her jeans and t-shirt on the end of the bed, and handed over her underwear, carefully averting her eyes.
"Thank you, Kurosaki-kun." Her voice was just a whisper, ghost-like.
"It was no problem." Ichigo looked down at Orihime, tracing the lines of her face, and the way her hair fell. Who could be capable of doing such a thing to her? Why?
"Kurosaki-kun, have you heard anything from the doctors?" She asked this in a detached manner, as though not aware of her voice functioning to form words.
"No, not yet, they're still running tests." Ichigo answered, hating the fact that this wasn't helping her in any way.
Ichigo looked at her again, the way her posture seemed to have collapsed, her shoulders hunched forwards hiding her from the rest of the world, the way her long red hair hung like a waterfall in front of her face.
"Inoue." He said abruptly, surprising himself.
She looked up at him, and her eyes threatened to swallow him whole.
"We will get the people who have done this. Honestly we will. The police said they'd be over in the morning, once you've gotten some rest. I promise you, we'll get them, even if I have to do it myself." When he got no response, he sighed and made his way towards the door.
"Thank you, Kurosaki-kun." And Ichigo knew she wasn't talking about the clothes he had brought her.
FEEDBACK is ALWAYS appreciated. I hope you enjoyed the first chapter. Thanks for taking your time to read this. :)