The Best Laid Plans: Final

"I-I-I-chigo, oh I-I-I-chigo. Wakee, wakee."

Out of all the voices known to him, this voice trying to coax him to consciousness was about to send Ichigo over the edge. Apparently the owner of the voice had no idea of their imminent peril for they continued in the same sing-song voice trying to convince Ichigo to open his eyes.

Finally Ichigo couldn't take anymore and said without opening his eyes, "You have one chance to lessen your beating from near death to a mere upset stomach for a few days and a Grade 2 headache, Keigo."

Not seeming to understand his vulnerability, Keigo kept going, "Hey everyone! Sleeping Beauty is finally awake!"

Fed up, Ichigo lunged forward and grasped Keigo by his shirt front and all but growled, "Keigo! Where is it?"

Giving a mock girly scream of fright, Keigo cried, "Someone save me! Ichigo's become a beast!"

"I'm not in the mood for your jokes! Tell me where my ring is right now or so help me-"


Jumping at the sharp tone, Ichigo turned his eyes to the doorway where he saw Orihime standing with hands on her hips. She was giving him a look of disapproval that he had never seen on her face before.


Walking over, Orihime said, "Let Keigo go. He and the others came over as soon they heard that you collapsed after you saw the ring. Tatsuki's already scolded him for switching rings on you again before they left. As for you, until you rest up you are not going to be giving out any punishments or overexerting yourself in any way, shape or form. Understood?"

Ichigo had never seen Orihime in this I-will-brook-no-nonsense mode, but then again, he had never seen Orihime deal with some of her more difficult patients at the hospital before. After he had let Keigo go and leaned back against his pillows, Orihime sat down on the edge of his bed and gently smoothed back his hair from his forehead.

Orihime sighed slightly as she said, "Look at me. I've seen you slashed, knocked around and even killed in front of me, yet you pass out from not eating anything since lunch and I just about lose my mind. What's wrong with me?"

Ichigo took her hand and pressed her palm to his lips, "Sorry to make a complete mess of your day."

"Oh no, Ichigo! I'm the one who kept changing your plans around and then you had to come and get me out of trouble when they thought I had killed you."

Sitting up a little, Ichigo asked, "About that, why did they think that you had killed me? You were in the restaurant when I left my body in the trunk, so it would have made more sense for someone to have mugged me and then thrown my body in the trunk rather than to suspect you."

Orihime blushed and looked away as she answered, "Well, soon after you left with Rukia I got up to go to the restroom when I happened to look out the window and see the trunk of your car open slightly. It looked as if your hand had blocked it from closing, so I thought I would go out and fix that before someone noticed. I went out and put your hand back in and…" she hesitated slightly as her blush deepened, "…I couldn't help but look at your body for a minute and remember how much you looked like you did that time that I came and almost kissed you before I left for Hueco Mundo. I stayed too long though, because one of the employees came out for a quick break, saw me, thought I looked like I was ill or something, came over to investigate, saw you and immediately called the police. I was so absorbed in my reminiscing that I didn't hear the employee behind me until they started yelling. After that, everything began to blur together with the police coming and the camera crews and everything. I really hope they don't make a big deal out of this tomorrow. You and Urahara shouldn't be smeared all over the news like that."

"I wouldn't worry about that," Rukia's voice came from the doorway, "While everyone was occupied with Urahara's performance, Yoruichi, Captain Soi Fon and a couple other Soul Reapers were able to collect all film footage, paperwork and any other incriminating evidence and exchange it with something less fascinating. Basically, there is no story."

"Well, that's something at least. Still doesn't explain where my ring is," said Ichigo ruefully.

"Oh it's right here," said Orihime reaching over and picking up a little white box from the nightstand next to Ichigo's bed, "I wanted to wait until you were up so that you could show me and put it on my finger yourself."

Ichigo took one look at Orihime's face and decided that trying to get out of bed and kneel in front of her would fall under overexertion, so he opted for sitting up straighter against the back of the bed as he reached for the precious yet troublesome box.

As he opened the box he said, "Just so we can do this somewhat right I'll ask again: Orihime, will you marry me?"

Orihime didn't answer right away as she stared with wonder at the ring nestled inside the box before she looked at Ichigo with a radiant smile, "Oh Ichigo, it's beautiful."

Ichigo smiled, "I'm glad you like it, but that doesn't really answer my question."

Orihime put both her hands on Ichigo's face as she gave him a sweet kiss before she pulled back and asked, "Does that answer your question?"

Ichigo looked thoughtful, "I'm half-convinced…maybe if you did it again…"

Orihime laughed softly as she kissed him again and said, "Of course I will you wonderful, considerate, crazy, lovely man."

"Well in that case, you'll probably need this," Ichigo said as he gently slid the ring onto Orihime's finger and kissed her back.

Sensing several presences by the door, Ichigo said, "Will you guys go away now? You've taped all you're going to tape, Dad, so there's no point in you, Yuzu and the others hanging around."

Isshin responded, "How can you say that? This will be perfect for-"

Rukia shuffled the onlookers away from the door saying, "All right, move along. Ichigo can't recover and get back to his duties if you're all bugging him like this."

Before she closed the door, Rukia poked her head in and asked, "So who's going to plan the wedding? Doesn't look like you have much luck setting this kind of thing up Ichigo and Orihime isn't much better."

Orihime smiled, "I've already been discussing some ideas with Yuzu and Rangiku, so I'll think we'll be okay."

Ichigo groaned, "Wouldn't it be better if we just ran away to Europe and eloped?"

Orihime looked at him, "Just who do you think we're dealing with?"

"We could try."

Rukia laughed, "Man, one might think you were discussed plans for some kind of subterfuge rather than a wedding."

Ichigo looked at her, "You're still here?"

Orihime gently scolded, "Ichigo."

Rukia laughed again, "It's okay, Orihime. I can take a hint. I'll get him back later."

The last part was less distinct as she had already shut the door.

Orihime looked at Ichigo, "I should probably let you rest too. You've had a rather strange day."

Ichigo put his arms around Orihime, pulled her towards him and held her against his chest, "Well, it could have gone worse."

Orihime pulled back to give him a skeptical look, "How?"

Ichigo smiled at her, "Everything could have gone according to my original plan."

Orihime laughed and made him lie back down before she ordered him to rest. Before she left, Orihime kissed Ichigo one last time with such love and sweetness that after she left, Ichigo was hard pressed to remember when they had ever shared such a wonderful kiss or when they might ever kiss that way again. Then he remembered that she was going to be his wife…