A/N: Please take the IchiHime songfic poll on my bio page, it is right at the top there under my name. I would appreciate your input very much!

Definition was taken from Merriam-Webster's Dictionary.


Joy: noun \ˈjȯi\
1 a: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires; delight. b: the expression or exhibition of such emotion; gaiety
2: a state of happiness or felicity; bliss
3: a source or cause of delight


The sun was setting on Karakura Town as an orange-haired couple walked along a serene sidewalk and happily fell in step with each other. Ichigo carried one grocery bag slung over his shoulder and the other down at his side. Orihime carried her grocery bag with both hands, bouncing it against her legs as she walked. She sang a song to herself, a commercial jingle that she'd altered into some type of food nonsense.

Ichigo felt his face relax into a smile. He glanced down at Orihime and she continued to sing with an even bigger smile as she looked back up at him. He chuckled briefly as her grocery bag bounced harder against her legs with renewed gusto.

"Orihime, let's play a game," he said bemusedly.

"Red Rover?" Orihime beamed excitedly.

Ichigo tossed his head to the side and laughed. How did she expect two people to play Red Rover? Although he had to admit, the idea of her running at him as hard and no doubt merrily as possible with intentions to knock into him was appealing.

"A guessing game. I'll guess something about you and if I'm right I win. And if I'm wrong, well... then you win."

"What do you get if you win?" Orihime asked suspiciously.

Ichigo rolled his eyes back in his head and thought about it.

"Hmm, how about a date?"

Orihime giggled. "Ichigo, we're married, you don't need to go to lengths like that to get a date with me."

"Come on, it's the challenge. And besides, it's not like a guessing game is anything big. I'd do..." Ichigo's cheeks colored slightly. "I'd do most anything to date you."

The couple blushed modestly as Orihime twisted her foot gently into the ground.

"What do I get if I win?" she asked shyly.

"Hmm, I'll... watch Laugh Hour with you for a week."

"A whole week?" Orihime clutched her hands together over the grocery bag. There was no way she could refuse. She put a hand squarely on her hip and with the other poked bravely at his chest.

"There's not even a downside for me! I accept your challenge, good sir!"

"Well the date would be during Laugh Hour, so I would get to skip that racket for at least a night."

"No fair! You said so after I already agreed!" There was an unmistakable pout on her face that Ichigo just wanted to... pinch. He mused that, years ago, he wouldn't have dreamed of doing something so juvenile. And yet now, even though he was older, it didn't seem childish at all.

"Alright," he said in a matter-of-fact tone, "So I'm guessing that the reason you don't drink a lot of soda pop is because it always explodes on you. Am I right?"

Orihime's eyes opened wide with surprise. "It's true! How did you know?"

It never failed. Orihime always swung her arms around exuberantly when walking. She just wasn't the type of person to keep still, so of course the soda would get shaken up. That much was obvious just from observing her grocery bag. But he, of course, had to keep this knowledge a secret.

"Magic," he said dismissively.

"That's cheating."

He shrugged.

They walked in silence for a moment as Orihime pouted and admired the sunset. Ichigo spotted a vacant park bench and suggested they sit on it. All in all it had been a long and rather tiring day of errands, so the plans for the rest of the evening were basically dinner then bedtime.

"Every time I see it," Orihime said gently nodding towards the sunset, "I always think, 'What a pretty color. It's beautiful.'"

Ichigo's eyes were on his wife, not the sunset.

"Yeah, me too."

He knew Orihime could tell he wasn't talking about the sunset. She closed her eyes and took in a deep breath, then let it out contentedly.

"Well," she set her bag gently down on the ground. "I guess it's time to..."

She flipped her face quickly towards Ichigo and her eyes flashed playfully. "Catch me!"

Before Ichigo knew what was going on she was up and running, dodging and weaving at nothing but making a spectacular show if it. He couldn't help but think, yet again, that years ago he would have stayed on the bench and called out to ask what she was doing. He would have thought she was weird. He would have stared on, wondering when she was going to injure herself. And he wouldn't have joined in, because if people saw him what would they think?

But this wasn't years ago, it was now and Orihime's radiance had seeped into him completely. Without a thought of concern or worry he rocketed out of his seat, even forgetting the groceries in the process. She giggled as she looked back at him and he laughed at her skips and outstretched airplane arms and the way her hair bounced around her waist and her courageous leaps over rocks that could trip her... and everything. All of his other emotions got replaced when joy came into the picture. And to him that's what his beautiful wife Orihime was, pure joy.