Pairing: Ichigo and Orihime
Summary: ONESHOT. If I just had five lives to live! Then I could be born in five different cities and eat until my stomach is full five times and work at five different jobs… and five times… fall in love for the same person. [Complete]
Disclaimer: I don't own Ichigo or Orihime, though I wish I did.
There were explosions everywhere and the noise of sword hitting swords was heard throughout the entire area. Orihime looked up from the carriage she was in and her eyes widened when she saw the view. Arrancars, Hollows, and every living thing in Hueco Mundo fighting against Shinigami, lots of Shinigamis. Her heart began beating fast against her chest as she searched the crowds for her friends and Ichigo.
I should join them, they are my friends and I can’t sit here without doing anything.
Orihime got up from her seat and opened the door. Stepping out, she was surprised to see that her guards had left her unattended and she was free to move away from here. Sighing with relief, the girl quickly turned and began running towards where she felt Ichigo was.
Aizen had locked her up in her room when the Soul Society group had invaded Hueco Mundo in an attempt to grab by surprise Aizen and his army. The surprise attack had worked and in panic, Aizen had sent her to be locked up and not to be taken out unless he said so. Ulquiorra, her caretaker, had followed his master’s orders and locked her up. She’d been scared, but not for herself but for her friends. Aizen had planned many evil schemes and she knew that if her friends did one wrong move, they’d be gone. Finally, after a while Aizen sent an order to retrieve Orihime and send her to where he stood. The highest hill in Hueco Mundo, Punto de Muerte.
Ulquiorra was long gone and the ones who escorted her to the small carriage were thin but strong Arrancar. They warned her to not run or try anything, as they had been ordered to rip off her legs if she did anything. Nodding, Orihime had sat down and waited inside until she was told she could move again. The ride had been a bumpy one and she wondered what was happening until an explosion took place not to far from where she was, sending the carriage she was in tumbling down. She’d screamed and tried to grab onto something to lessen the damage.
When the chaotic tumbling stopped, Orihime did not move and waited for her guardians to come and see if she was okay. Minutes passed and no one came, Orihime had grown impatient as well as scared. That’s when she had peeked out and seen the scene that had unfolded in front of her.
Now, she ran and ran away from the carriage and up the hill, to her destination. She heard a scream and turning around, she saw as a headless Shinigami fell to the floor. Quickly, the girl turned away from the horrible scene and continued running upwards. She needed to hurry and end the pain and suffering.
Kurosaki-kun, she thought, as she continued running. Her foot slipped and she landed on her face in the cool sand. Spitting out sand, she picked herself up and continued her way. Nothing was going to stop her, nothing. She needed to get there and stop everything. Was that copper in her mouth? Orihime spit and what she saw didn’t scare her. Blood was mixed with her saliva and she wondered if she’d bitten her tongue when she fell down. Not caring if she did or didn’t, she continued her way up towards where two major reiatsus’ were clashing.
Reaching the top, Orihime stopped abruptly and stared wide eyed at the sight that was happening in front of her. Ichigo and Aizen were fighting against each other and scattered around them were countless bodies of both Arrancar and Shinigamis.
Looking at him after so long, made Orihime want to start crying. The last time she’d seen him was when Grimmjow had asked her to heal him. The once ditzy girl had obliged and healed her long time crush. She was sad though, because he didn’t wake up. Grimmjow had wanted to fight with Ichigo but Ichigo never woke up. Furious, Grimmjow had kicked Ichigo and was about to punch him, but Orihime’s shield had protected the orange haired boy.
Pissed off and annoyed, Grimmjow turned around and ordered Orihime to follow him. She didn’t want to leave Ichigo but she knew if she didn’t follow orders, she’d make things worse. So with all her heart’s strength, Orihime pulled herself away from Ichigo and slowly walked behind Grimmjow, glancing back one last time before turning the corner. After that, all of her friends’ reiatsus’ had disappeared. It was said that someone helped them escape, but Orihime could not figure out who it was that helped and in the end just thought it had been aid from the outside world.
The clash of two strong spirit forces brought her back to reality and Orihime noticed that both Aizen and Ichigo were growing weak. Except, Ichigo seemed to be spilling out extra spirit power and it looked like he’d be strong once more. A sense of happiness filled the girl as she watched the love of her life fight. At the same time, a small sense of tranquility was starting to grow deep inside of her. She didn’t know why, but she really had faith that this would be Aizen’s last battle.
“It’s over, Aizen!” She heard Ichigo yell. Her hands were clasped together resting on the heart side of her chest. It’s almost over, she said in her mind, as she watched Aizen’s expression change from a surprised one to a mischievous one.
Oh no! That look, Orihime had seen it before and it was right before Aizen had been rescued by the Menos Grande back in Soul Society. Alarmed, Orihime took a quick step towards them and began looking around. What was it? She thought, as she took another step. Her eye caught a quick movement from the sky above and her eyes widened and her heart nearly stopped.
“KUROSAKI-KUN!” she screamed, as she quickly picked up her pace and began running over to him.
Aizen had a trick up his sleeve and now that he was about to lose the battle, he had brought it out. It was one of the newest modified Espada’s. Except this one was stronger and more dangerous than the original ten. This one, could Cero ALL of Soul Society in a second, and at the moment he was preparing to fire down upon them and the millions fighting in the Las Noches desert.
“KUROSAKI-KUN! MINNA!” She shouted, as she continued running towards Ichigo. She was breathing hard and deep inside her heart, she slowly felt a small burning sensation begin to grow. The girl looked up and saw the flash of the Cero intensify. In a second, they’d all be blast to pieces. Her heart now pounded against her chest and her gaze was on Ichigo, who was just turning around to see the huge Espada.
No! No! No! I don’t want them to die! NO! KUROSAKI-KUN! KUCHIKI-SAN! SADO-KUN! ISHIDA-KUN! RENJI-KUN! MINNA! Tears slowly began filling her eyes as she saw the Cero shoot down towards them. The fire inside of her chest expanded and breathing was now difficult for Orihime.
A loud explosion was heard and a bright light lit up all of Hueco Mundo. Everyone who was fighting stopped and looked around, not knowing what was happening. Immediately after the explosion, a strong gust of wind ran through everyone and pushed them all to fall over to the ground.
It took a few seconds for the smoke to clear and the wind to die down and when it did, everyone looked up to the sky and was shocked. Far above them stood a wide and long glowing orange and yellowish shield with a huge crack in the center of it. Even farther up, the huge Espada was slowly disintegrating and everyone down on the ground gasped and looked at each other for a brief moment for explanations.
At the peak of the hill, Ichigo stared at a shocked Aizen before realizing that this was it. It was now or never. Lifting up Zangetsu, Ichigo pointed it at Aizen and screamed, “Getsuga Tenshou!” A black wave of spirit power emerged from Ichigo’s sword and was shot towards Aizen. A grin was set on Ichigo as his attack hit the enemy, it was now finished! Aizen was… Aizen was… Ichigo’s eyes widened.
The smoke cleared and on the ground was a Hollow, dead from the attack. Not believing what he saw, Ichigo rubbed his eyes and stared hard at the dead form. No, it was really a Hollow, but where was Aizen? Rage boiled inside of him as he realized that the bastard had quickly used some form of power to switch with the Hollow.
“DAMN IT!” Ichigo screamed, as he frantically searched the area for the previous fifth squad captain. “DAMN IT!” The ruler of Hueco Mundo was no where to be found and it seemed like the battles down below were beginning to end.
In that instant, he remembered something and his heart beat accelerated. Where was Inoue? He moved his gaze to the last spot where he’d last seen her before the big explosion. She wasn’t there, but as he neared the place, he could see where her foot prints ended. The prints were in the middle of a small crater and the sand around it had been turned into solid glass. Almost crystal like, yet it was just her foot prints that were present, proof that indeed she had been standing there.
“Inoue!” Ichigo yelled, as he walked around the hill, searching for her. “INOUE!” Where was she? She’d screamed his name and then ran towards him before the big flash of light. Had Aizen taken her? His heart nearly stopped at the thought and more anger seemed to spread. “INOUE!!!!!”
“Ichigo! Look!” Rukia came running to his side and stopped, only to point up at the sky. “Look! That’s…”
“Inoue’s Santen Kesshun!” The Shinigami Representative’s eyes were wide with surprise. Indeed it was Orihime’s defense, but it was the largest protection shield they’d ever seen. It covered half of the sky and the crack in the middle was starting to spread. “It’s going to break,” Ichigo said, as he watched the crack expand some more very rapidly.
“Where is she?” Rukia asked, as she looked at Ichigo before searching the area for her big breasted friend. Not a second after asking the question, the shield in the sky cracked and exploded into millions of pieces before disappearing.
Both Ichigo and Rukia looked at each other with worry.
“I don’t know, but I have to find her.” Ichigo closed his eyes and began searching for Orihime’s spirit thread. “Inoue…”
“Inoue-san… Inoue-san… Wake up… Wake up… Inoue-san… wake up…”
The voice was fuzzy at first, but slowly it became clear as a bell. Orihime opened her eyes and sat up. Where was she? And who was calling her?
“Inoue-san! You’re finally awake!” The voice said.
She looked around and could not find the owner of the high pitched yet cute sounding voice. Confused and a bit scared, the girl tucked her legs beneath her and said, “Ano, who are you? Where are you?” Everything around her was white and the only thing that was out of place was her.
The voice giggled for a moment before clearing itself. “Gomen, Inoue-san. I didn’t mean to scare you; it’s just that I wasn’t expecting you to join us so early!”
Us? What did they mean by us? “Who are you?” Orihime slowly got up and stretched her hands and legs as she did so. Surprisingly, she felt relaxed and strong! Looking down at her arms, she noticed she was no longer in the outfit she’d been given while in Hueco Mundo. Instead, she wore a beautiful peach colored kimono with an aqua flower pattern decorating the red obi. “S-S-Sugoi!” she said, as she twirled around to get a good look at herself. “It’s so pretty!”
“Hai! You look like a goddess, Inoue-san.” The voice paused for a few seconds before continuing. “Well, you are a goddess so I suppose you look like yourself!”
“Eh?” Orihime stopped in mid twirl and stared at the vast white space. “I’m a goddess? Since when?” When had she become a goddess? Who was this voice? They hadn’t answered her question!
“I’ll eventually answer your question, Inoue-san! Just be patient, please. And to answer your other question, you’ve always been a goddess. You just didn’t know it.” The voice giggled. “You are Inoue Orihime, Megami no Mamoru. You are the goddess that protects.”
“Hmm,” Orihime was now lightly biting her bottom lip as she registered this information. “Then how come I didn’t know? And where is this place? Where are Kurosaki-kun and my friends?” So many questions were rising up and she wanted answers. Though, she was finding it hard to believe that she was a goddess.
“Well, you didn’t know because you were sleeping.” (“Sleeping?”) “Yes, sleeping, Inoue-san. The reason you woke up was because you used your power to protect with all of your heart and soul.” Orihime’s hand dropped to her side as she listened. “You didn’t want anyone to get hurt or die anymore, and you wished so hard with your heart to protect your loved ones that it woke up the goddess power in you. You saved all of your nakama’s lives.”
Orihime stared down at her outfit as she listened to the voice explain. The memories began flooding into her mind one by one as the voice continued to talk. She’d been running towards Ichigo right when the Cero was blasted. And then, just as the intensity of the fire in her heart had risen to its peak, she had closed her eyes and longed for their safety and her Santen Kesshun had appeared and she was blinded.
“Since the goddess in you has woken up, you can no longer live in the human world. Rest assured though, your friends are all safe and sound.” The voice took a short pause before continuing once more. “This is the Corridor of Welcome, the barrier that separates the Gods’ world and the human world, and I am the one that watches over it.”
Looking up, Orihime scanned the white area and nodded. This was all hard to believe, but deep down she knew it was true. Sadness filled her as she registered that she would not be able to live among her friends anymore. The unhappiness grew even more when an orange haired boy’s image popped into her head. Kurosaki-kun…
“I’m sorry about your heart though…”
“Unn,” Orihime lifted her hand to wipe a tear from her eye. “I guess it’s okay.” Her other hand went up and she wiped another tear. “I mean, who gets to be told that they are a goddess and they can live in a world for Gods?” More tears began sliding down her face. “This is amazing and super cool!” She lifted her hands up and smiled, but it faltered and once again a sad expression became apparent. “Will I ever get to talk to them again?”
The whole room was filled with silence for a brief moment before the voice began speaking again.
“No, once you awaken, you can never go back into the human world… but you can see them from afar!” The voice seemed to go into a much more cheerful tone. “That’s how the gods take care of the humans, by watching them.” Orihime noticed that the voice had now lost that cheerful tone and was serious sounding again. “Once you enter El Jardin de los Paraisos, you can never go back.”
Never going back? Never seeing Ichigo for the rest of her life? For ETERNITY? Never knowing what his feelings for her were? Never growing up and getting married and having kids? Never experiencing her first kiss? What about her first time making love? Orihime teared up a bit but she didn’t let any fall. Kurosaki-kun…
At this, Orihime looked up and her heart fluttered with hope. But what?
“That’s why the Corridor of Welcome exists, because this is the place where you are given the chance to make a choice.”
Orihime’s eyes lit up and she turned around, continuing to search for the owner of the voice. “And what are those choices?” Her heart had now begun to beat fast. The girl really wanted to know what the choices were. Small butterflies of hope had begun dancing in her stomach as she was excited to know there was something to look forward to.
“Well, you have the choice of entering El Jardin de los Paraisos and claiming your spot as the Goddess of Protection and living all of eternity here with us… or you can decide to go back to the human world...” Orihime’s heart nearly stopped and her breathing had slowed down as she listened for more. “But for that, you’d be put back to sleep and you’d be reborn and live a new life, and your old self would be forgotten by everyone… including yourself.”
Her chest felt heavy and it was becoming hard to breath. She’d be forgotten? But why? She’d be reborn? What about… about Kurosaki-kun? Her friends? She wouldn’t know them! The small light of hope she’d been looking forward to was slowly diminishing. Why? “That would be the price to pay to go back, then?” she asked, her voice emotionless. Her gaze was now on the ground, her memories all dancing in her mind. Her brother, her brother’s hugs, her brother giving her the hairpins, her brother’s death, the first time she met Kurosaki-kun and Tatsuki and Kuchiki-san, her trip to Soul Society to save Kuchiki-san, the adventure she’d had with Ishida-kun to search for the white tower, the battle between Ichigo and Kuchiki san’s brother… her feelings? Her confession to Ichigo!? EVERYTHING?
Live life for eternity and never speak to Ichigo and her friends again, forget all of her memories and live life as a goddess here in El Jardin de los Paraisos or get a new life and not know Ichigo, her feelings towards him and her friends? Weren’t they the same? They were both torturous, but at least the first one she’d get to see Ichigo, even if it was from far away. But that would only torture her heart and soul knowing she’d never get to confess to him and know what he felt for her and she’d live with that feeling for all of eternity. It would be painful!
Closing her eyes tight, Orihime fell to the ground on her knees and clutched hands towards her. What should I do? Kurosaki-kun, I never got to tell you how I feel while you are conscious. I never got to tell Kuchiki-san how much I love her for being there for me when I needed her. Ishida-kun, I never told you how grateful I am for understanding my feelings towards Ichigo. Sado-kun, I didn’t get to thank you for never losing your faith in me. Minna… What do I do?
The girl slowly stood up and kept her gaze hidden by her bangs. Her posture was slouched and her hands were clenching into fists and unclenching.
If I just had five lives to live! Then I could be born in five different cities and eat until my stomach is full five times and work at five different jobs… and five times… fall in love for the same person.
Orihime looked up and held her head high, her gaze was intense and her heart was set. “I’ve made my choice.” Yes, it’s the right choice. I know it.
“Very well… what is it?”
“I want to go back and live in the human world.”
“Are you sure? This is your last chance, Inoue-sa-“
“Hai! I’m very sure.” A small smile appeared on her face. “I’d really be thankful to you and all the gods if I was returned to the human world.” Orihime kept her head up high and her expression a confident one.
The voice seemed to hesitate, but eventually it spoke once more. “Very well then, since it is your desire, you will be returning to the human world. You will be re-born and your past, friends, family, acquaintances and life will be forgotten.”
Orihime nodded. She felt as the tears filled her eyes up once more, but she was determined that she would not cry. This was her choice and it was the best choice.
“Since you’ve chosen to go back, we allow you to make one wish. It can be anything you want or desire. It can not be someone remembering you or loving you and it can’t be you remembering your life. You can bring back a person that had died in your previous life or you can make yourself be born into a rich family.”
A wish? The girl scratched the back of her head as the thought registered in her mind. Wow, that was a hard one. She had so many wishes at the moment but the one she wanted the most could not be granted. She was about to say that she didn’t need a wish when something popped up into her head. For sure, this would be a GREAT wish. “Oh! My wish…” Hear heart began filling with the same warmness it had before. “My wish is for the Hougyoku to never have been created.” Orihime smiled as she said this and continued to speak. “I wish it was never created so that it was never sealed inside Kuchiki-san and that all of these bad events never happened. That’s my wish, for the Hougyoku to never exist.”
“Very well, Inoue-san. Your wish shall be granted and you will return to the human world.” Once more, the voice sounded cheerful but if you listened carefully, you could hear sadness. “May you live a wonderful life and may you be happy!”
“Thank you!” Orihime smiled and was about to add something else, but at that moment, her whole world went black and she blanked out.
“Settle down class! SETTLE DOWN!” The teacher fixed her glasses and stared at each of her students as they quieted down. A smirk was plastered on her face as she began to speak. “Very well, today before I begin my lesson plan, I have an announcement to make.”
Kurosaki Ichigo rolled his eyes and felt annoyed as his teacher talked. Seriously, why couldn’t they just skip the damn announcements and get the whole lesson thing over with? He looked over at Yasutora Chad, who was staring at the teacher, and wondered if the big boy had gotten into any more problems. Last time he’d seen him he had to go and beat the crap out of the gang that had been bullying Chad. Ichigo’s gaze then moved over to Ishida Uryuu, who had just pushed up his glass with his middle finger, and remembered he needed to talk to him about the whole Quincy vs. Shinigami thing. Seriously, what was up with that guy? What did he have against Shinigamis?
“Oy, Ichigo! Ichigo!”
Annoyed at the obviously loud whisper, Ichigo turned around and came face to face with Kuchiki Rukia. “What is it?”
“There’s a peculiar reiatsu approaching… I checked to see if it was a Hollow, but the Hollow Detecting Device says it’s not.” The dark haired girl opened her mouth to say something else but immediately shut it when the teacher began talking again.
“This is Inoue Orihime, and she just moved here from Hiroshima. She’ll be joining us for the rest of the school year, so please make her feel welcome.”
All the boys in the class went wide eyed and their jaws dropped as they stared at the big breasted girl with the beautiful, long and bright brown orangish hair. Ichigo turned around and could not stop staring at her, but not only because of her wonderful figure… Oh no… it was also due to something else.
The girl smiled and bowed three times. “It’s a pleasure to be in your class, everyone! I’m Inoue Orihime, as the teacher just said, and I hope to make friends with all of you!” Orihime looked up and felt the butterflies in her stomach calm down. Her parents had been right, once she’d step into the classroom and introduced herself, she’d be okay. As she scanned the room, she stopped and made eye contact with a scowling boy. A small smile appeared on her face as she waved to him. What’s this? I feel so warm.
“Inoue-san, please sit beside Kurosaki.”
“Kurosaki?” Orihime repeated, breaking her eye contact with the boy and glancing briefly at the teacher before turning around to search for this Kurosaki person.
“Yes, he’s the boy with the orange hair.”
“Eh?” Orihime looked at Ichigo once more and smiled. So he is Kurosaki? She walked over to her desk and sat down, before glancing at Ichigo. “Dozo Yoroshiku, Kurosaki-kun. We’re neighbors! Isn’t that great?” Orihime laughed a small laugh.
What’s with this girl? Ichigo thought, as he sensed something familiar yet strange. Normally, he’d be annoyed by anyone talking to him like that, but with her… it was different. Instead of ignoring her (something he usually did to anyone he didn’t know and was annoying) he kept his attention on her and nodded. “Ah, Inoue.”