A/N: I know that the flow of the story's been going a bit slow, and I'm sorry for that. ^^; I hope to change that. Anyway, updates after this will probably take a while because I have essays and other things to do for school, so I'm going to have to keep my attentions on that for a while. :/ The characters also may be a bit OOC and if they are, I apologize. My muse was lacking in creativity today -.- and my attempt at action is a total fail, so yeeeah...if I have any reviewers left, I will count myself lucky. xD

Disclaimer: How many times must I say this? I do not own Bleach.

Chapter Four

Orihime walked down the dark streets of Karakura, keeping her jacket wrapped closely around her body. Her orange hair had been pulled back into a ponytail, allowing the moon's light to illuminate her face beautifully.

The teenager put her hands in the pocket of her jacket and she looked around as she walked to the cemetery. At 9 P.M, most of the town's people were at home, either eating, sleeping, or relaxing.

Orihime had already gotten her homework done for school and she'd eaten. She wasn't worrying about that at the moment, though. She was only concentrating on visiting her brother and to talk with him.

As she approached the gate to the cemetery, Orihime hesitated for a moment before she turned around, her grey eyes taking in her surroundings. She'd felt something observing her as she'd walked. But there was nothing out of the ordinary...

That's strange...I could have sworn that someone was watching me...Orihime frowned, wondering if she was being paranoid. Although at 9 at night, a girl couldn't be too paranoid, there were weirdos out around this time of night.

Orihime shook her head and she opened the gate, stepping into the cemetery as the gate opened, squeaking like a rusty unused machine. She walked through the darkness, looking for the gravestone she knew as her brother's.

Not that it will do me much good being as dark as it is, the teenager chided herself. She grabbed the flashlight she'd put in her pocket as she'd left her home; she turned it on and looked for Sora's gravestone.

After some minutes of searching, she found it and she kneeled down onto the grass. A sad smile graced her lips. "Hi, Nii-san," She said quietly. "I have so much I want to tell you." Orihime began to talk about school and how she was getting along in school, her friends and what they were doing.

When Orihime paused to take a breath, tears filled her grey eyes. "I miss you so much. I know Tatsuki thinks I'm getting over this, but I'm not. I-I miss you terribly and I just wish you were-"

A loud roar interrupted Orihime from talking. She froze, and she heard branches breaking from something HUGE. She slowly turned around and her hold on her flashlight trembled as she shone a light on a gigantic monster.

It was a grey creature, about as tall as Karakura High, and it's eyes...the eyes were glowing bright red! Tentacles writhed on the thing's back, as if starved. Orihime gasped in horror and the flashlight fell from her hand. The creature growled. "What-what are you?" She whimpered, trembling.

She backed away, but it didn't do much good as the creature slowly approached her, and its jaw opened, revealing a massive row of fangs. Orihime screamed in fright, mentally pleading for someone to come and save her.

Ichigo and Kisuke had arrived in Karakura a few hours before this event was happening. Yamamoto had needed a Soul Reaper to keep an eye on the town because he'd heard reports of hollows beginning to become drawn to that particular area.

Once he'd heard about Ichigo's adventure though, he'd been lessed then pleased with the boy and had seemed to reconsider sending Ichigo with Kisuke so the boy could learn what being a Soul Reaper was actually about.

Fortunately for Ichigo, his mentor had intervened on his behalf, telling Yamamoto that the boy was still a child, after all (and that ruffled Ichigo's feathers, being told he was still just a child); and that the Hollow had been on the outskirts of the Seireitei of sometime, having found remains of Shinigami that had gone missing a few weeks prior that were dead now.

However, Ichigo had not been given a gigai like Kisuke had. Yamamoto had been prepared to allow Ichigo to use one for the first time, but as punishment, told Ichigo he was only to observe Kisuke's methods that may very well one day be of use to Ichigo should he become a Soul Reaper.

Ichigo knew that gigais were the only thing that allowed Soul Reapers to be seen by humans, and that only people in the Seireitei used them. Even though Ichigo accepted his punishment, he still wished that he would be able to be seen by humans and get to talk to one in person.

This mission was not meant to take long, Kisuke had told him. They were only being sent to monitor the town for a few hours to see if they could pick up any trace of hollows before they went back to the Soul Society.

Around sometime in the evening, Kisuke recieved an alert of a hollow in Karakura at the cemetery.

Ichigo stepped down onto the grass next to Kisuke, taking in a breath of fresh air. "So this is what the World of the Living feels like," He said quietly, looking around the darkened cemetery.

"Not quite, Ichigo. This is a place of rest for deceased souls. There's much more to the World of the Living then this," Kisuke said, still looking at his phone, a phone set up by Soul Society for Soul Reapers to alert them of Hollows. "Oh." Ichigo said, scratching his head. "That's good then, I couldn't imagine such a world being so gloomy..."

A loud roar and a feminine shriek interrupted Ichigo's musings just as Kisuke's phone went off. "There's a Hollow! Quick Ichigo, follow me!" The blonde ran through the cemetery not bothering to see if Ichigo was keeping up. Ichigo followed, his hand leaping to his Zanpaktou.

He was told not to use his sword tonight unless it was a dire emergency. Yamamoto knew the boy had amazing abilities and that they were quite impressive to the others, but he also had to keep the boy in line.

Ichigo scowled. He wouldn't hesitate in breaking the damn rules for one minute if he thought it would save Kisuke's life. The man was like a father to him. He'd been close to him and his sisters after his father died, and it had been that way as long as he could remember. So he wasn't about to let something bad happen to Kisuke. Not now and certainly not ever.

When the two arrived on the scene, they found the Hollow snatching up an orange haired girl in tentacles, looking ready to devour her. The girl had passed out from fright, not that Ichigo could blame her. He took a look at her though.

Her skin was a fair peach, and her long orange hair was pulled back, but some strands had fallen loose, sticking to her face. She looked like a sleeping angel, Ichigo mused. The teenager was shaken from his thoughts when the Hollow roared, having seen Kisuke. "Ichigo!" Kisuke said over his shoulder.

"You get the girl. I'll handle the Hollow. Alright?" Ichigo hesitated briefly, his brown eyes checking out the Hollow for a moment as if he was thinking of a stratery for both. "Ichigo!" Kisuke snapped. The teenager sighed. "Sorry. Yes, that's fine..."

Unsheathing Benihime, Kisuke leapt forward to attack. Normally, he wouldn't be so bold, but he needed to distact the Hollow to give Ichigo a chance to save the captive human female. The Hollow roared again and ducked, missing being sliced from Kisuke's sword.

The moonlight shone brightly through the trees, illuminating the scene and giving Ichigo some light to see how he could get the girl away from the Hollow.

Taking ahold of his Zanpaktou, he met Kisuke's eyes and the blond nodded, cutting the Hollow's foot off.

The creature roared, stumbling back and the grip it had on Orihime loosened. The girl fell, and Ichigo ran forward, catching her in his arms. Kisuke stumbled as the Hollow's hands swiped at him, nearly catching him off guard. More tentacles shot out, directly at Kisuke this time. The blond managed to deflect most of them, until one grabbed his ankle in a sneak attack, and shoved his Zanpaktou out of arm's length. The Hollow's jaw opened again, drool dripping from the creature's mouth as it brought Kisuke closer and closer...


The creature screamed in agony one final time before it collapsed. Ichigo glared at the Hollow, holding his Zanpaktou tightly in his hands. Kisuke shook his head. "Thanks, Ichigo, but I could have handled it. You're only going to get in more trouble for that."

Ichigo scowled at him. "Didn't look like you were handling it well from where I was standing. You usually fight much better then that. Are you alright?" Kisuke retrieved his sword and sighed. "I'm fine. Check on the girl, would you, please?" Ichigo nodded. "Alright." He knelt down by the side of the girl he'd propped up against a tree, looking her over.

She was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen, he thought. He'd seen pretty women in Seireitei, of course, but this human...there was something about her that was drawing him to her for some reason. He couldn't explain why. He checked her over for any injuries. She was alright. "She's unconscious, but she's going to be ok," Ichigo told Kisuke.

"Does she have any identification on her? It would give us her address." Kisuke asked. Ichigo looked at him strangely. "Why would we need that?" Kisuke sighed quietly as he walked up to his student. "One of us needs to take her home. She can't be left here. It doesn't look like there are any more Hollows around, but this time of night isn't safe for a young woman."

"Oh. Where should I look?" Kisuke pointed at Orihime's pockets. "Try her jacket." Ichigo checked and pulled out a wallet that had her photo and address on it. "Excellent work, Ichigo. I'll take her." Kisuke said, holding his arms out. "No-if she wakes up she'll see you and freak. I'll do it," Ichigo volunteered. Kisuke rose a brow. "And she won't freak out if she sees she's being carried by someone she can't see? That makes no sense Ichigo."

"I know but...I just want to make sure she gets home safely. It's not that I don't trust you," Ichigo said in a rush, looking at Kisuke's amused expression with some annoyance; "I just want to be certain she's alright." Kisuke hesitated for a brief moment. "Alright. Take her home and then return to the spot we arrived at. We'll be going home from there." Ichigo nodded. "Thank you."

Kisuke watched Ichigo gather the girl in his arms and flash-step off. He shook his head slowly. That boy is going to be the death of me someday.

Ichigo found that returning the human girl home had been easier then he thought it would be. She'd left a window open and he'd been able to get through, although he had thought he'd gotten stuck at first when he tried to climb through.

He placed her on the couch, and he stared at her. He wondered why she'd been at the cemetary. A place of rest for deceased souls, he thought. I wonder who she lost. It must have been someone close to her if she had been willing to be that place at the time of night it was...He brushed her hair away from her face.

She shifted, opening her eyes briefly. "You have...really warm eyes," She said quietly with a smile before her eyes closed and she was out again. Ichigo froze. She could SEE him? He looked at her and smiled. "Goodbye, Orihime Inoue," He remembered her name from her wallet. He would never forget her, although she would most likely forget him. He wanted to stay there with her and protect her. She looked so vulnerable. But he knew Kisuke would be waiting for him. With one last long look, Ichigo left, unaware of how much that night changed everything.

A/N: So Ichigo has met Orihime! No it wasn't Sora, I'm afraid to say. I have other plans for that storyline. So please tell me what you liked/disliked! I know my action attempt was a failure, I'm sorry. :/ I'll try to work harder at it.