Synopsis: AU. In the midst of a tragic accident, a young man with orange hair meets a violet eyed young woman. Fate can be either a cruel monster or a remarkable attractor for many kinds of people. What we all must remember is: accidents happen. IchiRuki.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Bleach characters in this story. The idea for this story belongs to a good friend of mine, who wishes to remain anonymous.
It was just another day…mostly.
"Why the hell do people always expect you to wear a tie?"
Ichigo Kurosaki had just left his family's home, a small clinic that was their livelihood, heading off to a job interview. He wore a pair of black dress pants and a white dress shirt, struggling to fix his tie. He had combed his bright orange hair but it was already beginning to take on its natural spiky form. And the deep scowl on his face surely wouldn't win over any potential employers.
Having recently graduated from Karakura University, the young man had absolutely no idea what he wanted to do with his life. His degree was merely an associate of science, a common and simple degree.
Although his family was crazy, particularly his lovingly abusive father, no one had pressured him into choosing his path. His father, Isshin, didn't expect his son to take over the family's clinic, wanting him to find a career that made him happy. His younger sisters, Yuzu and Karin, were just about to enter their last year of high school and were in no hurry for him to leave home again anytime soon. They encouraged him to take this time to find what he really wanted to do with the rest of his life.
The problem was, Ichigo never even gave it a thought. He never considered medicine, like his old man, and without a bachelor's degree, his opportunities were rather limited. He really wanted to do something important with his life, but there just wasn't anything he could imagine that would be of any use to anyone. The weight of having no real goal in life was beginning to come down on him.
And so, as he rounded the corner just past his family's house, he almost didn't notice the car that was swerving wildly down the street. However, he heard the loud screeching of tires and his head shot up to see a violet Toyota Corolla flip as it hit a fire hydrant. Metal crunched into the pavement and the car skidded upside down, barreling directly for him.
On instinct, the orange haired man leapt aside as the violet vehicle slammed into the light pole that he had just been next to, ceasing its advance. As he rolled and flipped up onto his knees, Ichigo stared at the upturned vehicle. No flames had erupted from the car as of yet but he didn't want to take any chances.
Forgetting that the driver had almost killed him, the orange haired young man ran toward the upturned windshield and tried to look in.
"Hey! Are you alright in there?!" he shouted, trying to see through the heavily cracked glass, "If you can hear me, just…uh, shout or something!"
"S-Stop s-shouting!" a deep but feminine voice called back, "I-I can't…focus—".
Hearing the voice, Ichigo circled around the side of the car and sank to his knees next to the driver's door. The driver's window was shattered and inside the car was a young woman with raven hair. She was grabbing at her seatbelt and tugging, trying to force it loose.
Without thinking, Ichigo reached in and grabbed her arm. The raven haired woman jumped a bit as he grasped her but suddenly shrieked in pain. Her cry made Ichigo stop and really take a moment to examine her. She was upside down and trying to get free of the safety belt but something was odd.
Her white blouse was stained in a bright red and it was spreading out from her abdomen. Gasping in horror, Ichigo saw a long, jagged piece of metal piercing her body.
"Don't move! You're bleeding!" he shouted, finally getting her to look to him. Her violet eyes shimmered as she glared hard at him.
"I kn-know that! The d-damn belt is…p-pushing it in deeper!" she screamed at him, still trying to undo the belt.
Clenching his fists, Ichigo quickly looked in the back seat behind her. Nothing protruded out the back, which meant that the metal didn't penetrate all that far. Thinking quickly, he pulled out his pocket knife and slowly crawled toward her.
"Use this!" he shouted, extending the blade to her. For a moment she looked at him, completely puzzled. "Cut the belt and I'll help you get you!" he told to her, already working his way through the window to get closer to her.
The raven haired woman didn't need to know more than that, grabbing the small knife and flicking it open. She carefully began to slice into the material of the belt, the pain beginning to overwhelm her. Nevertheless, she managed to cut clean through the strap holding her.
However, the moment she did, her body fell toward the ground. She panicked for a moment, fearing the metal piece would be driven further into her. But that fear subsided when she felt two strong arms grab onto her. Her head shifted and she saw the orange haired young man carefully pulling her from the ruined vehicle.
Ichigo was almost shocked at how small this woman was. Her petite body was light and it was almost no trouble to slip in and wrap his arms around her. Taking extreme care not to touch the metal piece, he pulled her free from the wreckage. After he got her out into the sunlight, he finally got a good look at her abdomen wound.
A long piece of metal, possibly from the frame of the car, was deeply embedded just above her waist. The blood was dark, indicating that an artery was probably punctured. The crimson liquid ran slowly down her legs and dripped onto the concrete, leaving long red trails down her grey skirt.
Fortunately, Ichigo's father had taught him some first aid years ago and he immediately set the raven haired woman down to begin treatment. He set her against the nearby concrete wall that lined the street and ripped off parts of his shirt. He was sure that his sisters would forgive him for using his shirt they bought for his interview as bandages.
"This is gonna hurt but I need you to be tough for me," he explained to her as he moved to put pressure on her wound, tossing away his tie.
The woman huffed and replied, "I just survived…a car crash, how much…tougher…do I have to be?" She gave him a confident smirk, putting on the bravest face that she could. The mere idea that she was able to make a joke at time like this reassured him, even if he could tell she was hiding her fears.
"Alright, here we go!" he announced, pressing hard around the sides of the metal.
The raven haired woman gritted her teeth for a moment but quickly let out an agonizing scream. Doing his best to ignore her screams, Ichigo quickly ripped more "bandages" and did his best to wrap them around her wound. However, since he couldn't remove the metal embedded in her due to fear of blood loss, there wasn't much else he could do.
Moving his hands behind her and tying a firm knot, he managed to secure the bandages around the wound. After securing the bandages, Ichigo began looking her over for more injuries. He looked up and saw a few scratches on her face, pausing for a moment to watch her carefully.
The raven haired woman breathed heavily through grit teeth, her eyes closed as she endured the pain. A stray band of hair hung between her eyes and it caught Ichigo's attention for a moment. Shaking his head a bit, he glanced down at her lower body and shuddered.
Her stained skirt was torn and it left her battered legs in clear view. Her legs were covered in bruises and deep lacerations. Without a word, he ripped more of his shirt and began tying the long white strands around the largest of the cuts in her legs. The raven haired woman grunted a bit as he tied the bandages tight. At the very least, he legs didn't appear twisted but since there could be internal damage, he decided to take action.
Ichigo sighed and asked, "Uh, miss? Can you hear me?"
The raven haired woman snapped her eyes open and looked to him. "What?"
"Your legs are pretty beat up and I'm worried if they feel alright," he said plainly.
To his surprise, the woman scoffed a bit and closed her eyes again. "Shouldn't you be calling an ambulance instead of worrying about that?"
Ichigo's eyes widened, having completely forgotten about it. For a moment, he considered running back to his family's clinic to enlist his father's help, but he worried about what would happen to this injured woman while he was away. If he didn't hurry, she'd bleed to death. Instead, he did as she suggested, whipping out his cell phone, standing up and frantically speaking to the emergency personnel.
The raven haired woman watched him desperately gawking at the street signs as he gave directions, shouting for them to hurry. She turned her attention to her legs, thinking about her rescuer's suggestion. She tried to lift her legs but a sharp jolt of pain shot through her. She could see the blood covering her body and felt herself getting weaker. Concentrating on controlling her breathing, the raven haired woman laid her head against the wall behind her and closed her eyes, hoping the pain would pass soon.
"They're on their way!" her rescuer informed her, coming back to her side. "You just have to hold on for a little longer. Just a little longer."
Although she couldn't quite place why, she liked the sound of his voice. It was strong and confident, warm and soothing. Even with all her agony, his voice calmed her and let her rest easier. That is, until another shot of pain ripped through her abdomen.
The raven haired woman cried out and was incredibly surprised when she felt something warm encase her hand. She opened her eyes and looked over to see her rescuer gripping her hand tightly, staring down at her with strong, amber eyes.
"I know it hurts but you need to hang on, Miss!" the young man with orange hair said, "Talk to me, tell me if there's anything I can do to help!"
Giving a light chuckle, the raven haired woman slowly replied, "Rukia…"
"What's that?" Ichigo asked, almost not hearing her.
"It's not…Miss. It's…Rukia Kuchiki."
Ichigo gave her hand a slight squeeze and relied, "And my name is Ichigo Kurosaki."
"Well then, Ichigo, it's a pleasure to meet you." Rukia nodded lightly to him and gave a simple but gentle smile. "By the way, you were right."
"About what?" Ichigo asked, utterly confused.
"Something is definitely wrong with my legs," she replied and saw her rescuer's face twist in horror.
"What's wrong?! Can you move them at all or is there a lot of numbness?!"
"I can move them but every time I do, I feel a sharp pain," she answered, trying to move them again and feeling the sharp jolt once more. She winced but saw a look of relief wash over Ichigo's face.
"Is my pain amusing to you?" she said with a glare.
"Oh, no! That's not it!" he fervently defended, "It's actually that having the pain is good, in a way. It means that there isn't too much nerve damage and you should be able to walk again."
Rukia gave a quick huff but smiled. "So the pain is good? Tell that to my stomach," she said looking down at her wound, "Can't we pull this thing out? I don't know how much longer I can take it."
Her empty hand reached for it but Ichigo quickly caught it. "We can't remove it. If we do, you'll bleed our faster and we won't be able to stop it. I know it hurts but—".
"—I need to tough it out. I got, Doctor." She flashed him a cheeky grin and let her empty hand lay down by her side. "So, how do you know all of this, medical stuff?"
"Medical stuff? Most of what I've said is common knowledge," he said with amusement.
She frowned and replied, "I'm kinda bleeding out here. So I think you can forgive my lapse in medical knowhow for the time being."
Ichigo scratched the back of his head nervously. "My old man runs a clinic not far from here. He taught me quite a lot about medicine in his spare time. Figured I'd need it if anything happened."
"Was he the one who taught you to rescue unfortunate folks from car wreckage?" Rukia chided, chuckling a bit.
"No, I can proudly say that I'm solely responsible for my own actions." His answer made her turn away as her face twisted in self-disgust.
"I should have been more responsible," she said, her voice low. "If I hadn't swerved to miss that bunny, this wouldn't have happened."
"You swerved to miss…a bunny?"
Rukia turned back to see Ichigo staring at her with confusion. "What? Was I supposed to run over the poor creature?"
"Considering the outcome, probably."
"You know, if you're trying to comfort me, you're doing poorly."
"Never said I was. I'm just trying to keep you active. That way you won't lose too much energy and pass out."
Scoffing, Rukia gave him a look and replied, "Did you ever stop to consider that uselessly arguing with a car crash survivor might be even more exhausting than just agreeing with them?"
"Normally," Ichigo answered quickly before smirking, "But given that you nearly got yourself killed to save an animal that won't live half as long as you, I just couldn't help myself."
Rukia sighed deeply but smiled and said, "Great bedside manner, Doctor."
"Never said I was a doctor either," he reminded her, but she merely shrugged.
"More of a doctor than I am. And that's good enough for me."
For the first time since the incident, Ichigo let a smile break out on his lips. Seeing this, Rukia couldn't help but reciprocate it. She gave a light chuckle but suddenly began to cough. Her eyes squeezed shut and she gave a weak cry of pain.
"What's wrong?!" Ichigo asked frantically.
"Arrgh! I don't know…" she replied, her voice noticeably weaker than before.
Then, her vision began to swim and her eyes suddenly felt heavier. At the same time, Ichigo saw her face growing paler. Gritting his teeth, he pressed on the bandages around the metal, hoping to lessen the bleeding. The pressure felt like it was tearing her apart and Rukia let out a surprised cry of agony. Ichigo clenched his fists around the wound, angered by the fact that he was unintentionally causing her pain. However, if he didn't think of something fast, she might not survive long enough for the ambulance to reach her.
At that moment, his eyes flicked up to see Rukia with her jaw clenched, growing paler and paler, fighting desperately to keep conscious. His eyes widened in horror at the sight.
"Hey! You need to stay awake! If you fall asleep in this condition—".
"Ichigo, will you do me a favor?" Her voice cut him off and got his attention instantly. She was slowly fading but her voice remained story, and he knew he had to reciprocate the gesture.
"Sure. Anything!" he answered swiftly, still focusing on keeping the pressure on her wound.
"Whatever you want! Just stay awake!"
Abruptly, Ichigo felt her hand grasp his arm. His eyes drifted to her shimmering violets and he found himself lost. She had a melancholy smile on her face and it frightened him more than anything he'd ever seen before. Why the hell did she look so lost and...afraid?! Rukia tugged him closer to her, their faces inches apart.
"…Propose to me."
The breath caught in Ichigo's throat and he felt his face heat up. Her eyes were shining in the morning sun and they pierced right through him, into his very soul. For a few seconds he just stared at her and couldn't find words but suddenly, they came to him.
"W-Why would you—?"
Her sad smiled deepened and she replied, "No one ever proposed to me…I can't die without…someone proposing to me."
"You're not going to die!" Ichigo practically shouted at her, going back to putting pressure on her wound. "You're going to be fine! The ambulance will be here any—".
Rukia's hand suddenly tightened its grip on his arm, her nails digging into him. His face was drawn back to hers and he saw her glaring at him. Her eyes had narrowed but the look she gave him seemed to almost plead with him.
"We both know I'm running out of time...Besides, you said, 'Anything'...Don't you even have enough decency to do me this one favor?" Her eyes bore into his and she breathed heavily as she continued, "I don't want to waste…this last chance."
Her violet eyes struggled to stay open, desperate to hear his answer and see his response. Any moment now, she could fade away, and she didn't want to do it without experiencing the one thing she never received from anyone.
Ichigo took in a sharp inhale before turning away. He looked down at the metal in her abdomen, saw the blood slowly seeping out her body, and then looked back to her. She had a strong and proud look on her face but deep within her eyes, he could see she was terrified. At that time, something inside of him snapped and he couldn't stop himself.
Clenching his bloody fists, he got on one knee and looked her right in the eye. Their eyes connected and for the first time in his life, Ichigo felt a real and unbreakable connection with someone. With a warm and gentle smile he didn't know he was capable of forming, he felt a heat rise and he opened his mouth, words flowing out seamlessly from deep within him.
"Rukia Kuchiki…Will you marry me?"
Those words brought the most joyous and vibrant smile to Rukia's face. Tears appeared in the corner of her eyes as they slowly began to close. Her head began to lower but she kept her strong smile the entire time.
Rukia's body slumped forward and Ichigo reached up and grabbed her, proper her back up. When he looked at her face, all he saw was her restless expression, her smile displaying a look of utter contentment. Gritting his teeth, tears spilled down his cheeks as he looked at her peaceful form. Rearing his head up toward the sky, he screamed at the top of his lungs.
In the distance, the sirens of the ambulances were heard getting ever closer.
To Be Continued…
Hello again, my beautiful readers! No, this is not the end of the story and shame on you for thinking I would leave it all like this! I'm not the sadistic type...usually.
This is an idea I've had for over a year and it comes from a friend who allow me to use the idea. I cannot release his name, but he gave me express permission to use his idea as a basis for my story. He's a script-writer and we read his script in class a long time ago. I was the one to read the part of the man who proposed to the injured woman, and it instantly gave me this idea.
Another quick update about my other stories:
For the time being, I'm going to be working more on "Long Way Home" than "Chappy Rukia". I apologize to fans of Chappy but I need more time to craft the comedy. I can't just sit down and write comedy, I have to be in the right mood and mindset. Lately, I've been in a slump comedy wise and so I'm taking some time off from it to focus on "Long Way Home".
A wise fellow writer once told me that the reason for writer's block is because you have other ideas you want to write and need to get them out first. At the moment, I really really want to work more on "Long Way Home" and I've been struggling with that. I didn't think it was fair take time off from "Chappy Rukia" but as it stands now, I'm not writing anything with all these distractions. I am by no means abandoning "Chappy Rukia"! I love that story too much to ever do such a thing, but I need to reorganize my thoughts on it.
So, I decided to finish this short story that I began over a year ago to get some fresh ideas flowing again! I will update Part 2 later on today and Part 3 the next day. This is a rather short story but trying to do it as a one-shot killed the ambiance, so I decided to split it up.
Leave a review to tell me what you think of it and don't worry, I'm a sucker for happy endings! ;)