Prologue – Life Goes On

How long had it been? How long had it been since those emerald pools stared into her soul as if she had been an open book? How long had it been since she'd seen him turn to ash right before her eyes? Since he had reached out for her… She couldn't remember, in fact she couldn't even remember what he looked like.

Funny, you think I would remember something like that. I wish I did…

"Miss Inoue?"

Orihime looked up from her textbook realizing she was the only one left in the auditorium classroom. Immediately feeling embarrassed she quickly began grabbing all of her things.

"I'm sorry Dr. Ellison I must've got…"

Dr. Ellison interrupted,

"Caught up in your own little world again?"

Orihime sighed, this was the 3rd time this semester she had done this and in the same class no less. The professor in question was an older woman in her late 40's, graying blond hair and just slightly shorter then Orihime. Her appearance and attitude gave the aura that in her younger days she was probably a heartbreaker, though in her later years it wasn't as prevalent. Overall she was an attractive and intelligent professor that expected greatness from not only her students, but her peers.

AHH, I'm so stupid! Dr. Ellison should fail me

"It won't happen again doctor. I'll study super hard for the exam, copy the notes online and I'll…"

The older female smiled interrupting again,

"Inoue you're at the top of the class, I'm not too worried about you failing."

Orihime let out a breath in relief but was still a bit embarrassed. Dr. Ellison lightly grabbed her shoulder as Orihime tried to leave,

"Inoue, I've seen a lot of studious, hard working girls get caught up with some college frat boy and end up ruining their college careers. Out of all the students I have ever taught you probably have the most scientific potential and authentic love for helping others that I have ever, so it would be a shame if something like that happened to you."

Orihime smiled in genuine delight as she continued,

"Obviously you're a little spacey and tend to be a bit ditsy but I see you being something special, a doctor of true brilliance."

Orihime off-handedly thought that Dr. Ellison was very eloquent with her words,

"I have to ask though, is your overly disinterest due to a young man? Because if it is I would strongly advise you to think about your future. College is meant to be both a social catalyst for your adult life but also a jumpstart for your eventual career. I would hate to see you throw all of that away for some boy."

Normally this type of talk would seem oddly personal and inappropriate for a student and professor but Orihime had been in college for 4 years now and knew Dr. Ellison on a more intimate level. She had been the one to recommend to the board and Dean that Orihime receive a special scholarship due to both academic excellence and financial situation. She had also help Orihime find an affordable apartment near the school and throughout her college years if she had ever had a problem, Dr. Ellison had went out of her way to help. It was just the type of relationship they had. Without her, Orihime would be working at some dead end job with no future. She was truly grateful.

"No no, it's nothing like that doctor, it's just… my mind has been wandering lately."

The doctor raised an eyebrow in concern and amusement,

"That tends to happen when you leave it unattended, especially yours."

Orihime gave a small chuckle,

"Well you know me."

"I most certainly do, which is why I'm so worried. If you ever need to talk Orihime, you know I'll lend an ear."

The beautiful red head nodded knowing full well she would never be able to tell the woman that had become like a mom to her the full truth. Dr. Ellison turned away,

"If you'll excuse me dear, I have a lecture I need to be getting to."

As she walked away leaving Orihime to her thoughts she added,

"And I'll be expecting that paper on the Cardio Vascular System bright and early Monday morning."

Orihime simply nodded as she walked toward the exit. If Orihime was ever a mother, she hoped she would be able to be a kind and wise as Dr. Ellison. As the Pre-med student walked out of the class, she still couldn't get one thing out of her head for reasons that were beyond her.


"Ramen Noodles…"

Why was college so expensive? Orihime sighed as she grabbed her last 'chicken' flavored pack and began to cook it in the microwave. She would be the first to admit that deciding to go to the University had been on of the best decisions of her life but sometimes she missed having a nice dinner with her old friends. Dinner that wasn't based on a 49 cent package of dehydrated noodles. Setting the microwave for a few minutes she turned away and turned on the TV as she went through the pantry. She listened for anything interesting on the news as she looked for some red bean paste.

"In other news, the city famous for bizarre phenomena, Karakura Town, is back in the headlines after an unexplained explosion severely injured several people and destroyed an entire section of a 5 story building. Authorities insist it was some type of gas leak that lead to the explosion."

Orihime ignored the newscaster knowing it was just another Hollow. As the microwave began to beep she gave an irritated huff at realizing she was out of red bean paste.

"Well you can't have Ramen without red bean paste…"

Even though it was a bit late, 8:32pm to be exact, it was a Friday so she didn't mind running to the store. Besides, she would have to go tomorrow anyways because she was out of milk, Ramen, and bread. Throwing on a light jacket, she grabbed her keys and headed out the door. As she left the apartment she realized that her stomach wasn't the only thing rumbling as loud crack followed by thunder scared her a bit.

"Great, it's going to rain…"

Please go through, please go through, please go…

'Transaction Approved'

Orihime secretly stopped biting the inside of her cheek in relief as the little screen on the card reader continued to say thank you for your purchase. The clerk at the counter smiled and said,

"Thank you and have a nice night."

"You too"

Orihime turned and walked out of the small convenience store and nearly fainted.

"I had enough!"

She immediately slapped her free hand over her mouth as she realized she was in public. Recomposing herself, she continued on the long walk back. The walk didn't really bother her, it was the light drizzle that annoyed her. She even debated using her Shun Shun Rikka to make an umbrella but decided against it because it was likely someone would be able to see it. Even though Tokyo wasn't as high a concentration of spiritual particles like Karakura Town, it still had people that could see in the spiritual realm. Just as she allowed the thought to go through her head she felt something. Something close.

A hollow? Why would a Hollow be here?

In the last 4 years she had spent in Tokyo she had only ever seen 1 Hollow and it had been when Ichigo and her friends had helped her move into her apartment so naturally they all assumed it had sensed all of them. The fact one was here when the only semi-powerful being she was aware of in all of Tokyo was herself made her a bit on edge.

"Well I can't let it run wild."

She knew she was more then strong enough to take on a normal hollow so she started toward where she felt the creature.

"If it makes me break my red bean paste I'm going to be so pissed."

The glass jar clanged hard against her running thighs as she ran to her destination. As she rounded a corner she knew it was in the alleyway across the street. Slowly she sat her bags down and crept across the street, thankful that the Hollow had appeared in a deserted part of Tokyo. She stopped just short of the alleyway feeling the presence of the creature just mere meters away. Something kept telling her in the back of her mind that something was off, that something wasn't right here.

Either way I can't let this thing hurt anyone, I'm just going to get rid of it quickly

Hurling herself out to the entrance of the alley and calling on her Shun Shun Rikka out in a shield in front of her she was prepared to attack but what she saw caught her off guard. It was a small boy who was stripped bare laying face down on the hard concrete as rain pelted him. Orihime looked around suspiciously making sure it wasn't a trap but her instinctive nature took over and she ran to the boy. Kneeling beside him, she summoned her fairies to shield the rain as she checked him over. As she flipped him over she checked for a pulse and felt for any internal injuries, both confused and relieved that he seemed fine though he was sickly skinny. It wasn't until she turned him toward the light that recognition immediately dawn upon her like a collision with a freight train. As the boy began to move in her arms she was frozen in her spot and when the boy's eyelids slowly opened revealing emerald pools, she had no doubts.

Some concept I thought up out of the blue. Not to worries readers of Promise, I have a chapter ready and will release soon. To everyone else, thank you very much for reading and please tell me what you think and review! Thank you - Oh, and if your confused a bit that's good ;), that's what I was shooting for. As long as you get the general concept of what is going on then we're good. Oh and if you have any suggestions or critiquing (positive or negative), or criticism then feel free to tell me because I know there is always room for improvement. As always, Thank you so very much for reading and hope you enjoyed this!