Pairing: Ichigo and Orihime
Summary: "You’re heart will be forever scarred, but there is nothing you can do but accept what life throws at you." With hands in his pockets, Isshin walked away and left his son with the eternally sleeping princess. [Complete]
Comments: Here is the second and final part for Backward Dreams. I hope you guys enjoy it and I'm sorry if it sucks. I just like to see my little ideas get down in fics and yeah. Gomen!
This chapter's title is from the song called Best of Me by Sum 41 it's such a nice song and it inspired me while writing this chapter!
Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach, Ichigo or Orihime.
"ICHIGO! WAKE UP!”
“Ichi-nii! Wake up! Wake up!”
Ichigo’s eyes flew open and he immediately sat up turning to face his family. “What?” he asked, looking at them with worry. Why were they yelling?
“We have to go to the shelter, Ichigo. The river is about to over flow and there is an alert for a flood!” Isshin turned around and began packing up the clothes for Ichigo. “Hurry! Get up!”
Confused, Ichigo turned to look at his family before asking, “What? Another flood?”
“What other flood?” Isshin opened the closet and stuffed Kon inside along with pants, socks, boxers and shirts. “Get up, Ichigo! Your sisters are packing because who knows how long we’ll be in that shelter.”
Ichigo slowly got up and looked out of the window. The sky was dark and the rain was pouring down like crazy. He could see people running out of their houses with their loved hands at hand. Walking over to the window, Ichigo noticed that the street had become a small river itself. “There was a flood here three months ago and that was where Inoue died.” His voice got low at the end of his sentence and his gaze fell down on the window sill.
“What are you talking about, Ichigo? There was no flood three months ago and Orihime-san is not dead! What are you saying? You’re still asleep, aren’t you?” Isshin walked over to his son and smacked him on the back of the head. “WAKE UP ICHIGO!”
Ichigo glared at his father and rubbed the back of his head. “What was that for!? I’m fully awake you old man! And what do you mean Inoue is alive? She died three months ago! You even took me to her grave earlier today!”
Isshin stared at his son like he’d grown an extra head before shaking his head. “Ichigo, I have no idea what you’re talking about but it’s not time to be talking about this. We have to get out of here and get to the shelter. Karin! Yuzu! Are you guys done packing?”
The two girls replied with a yes from their rooms and Isshin turned to walk out of his son’s room. “Hurry up, Ichigo or else I’m taking you by force.”
What was going on? Ichigo wondered. “Dad, what’s the date today?” he asked, his attention on his father. Could his wish been granted?
His father looked annoyed but answered anyway. “It’s the first of August, why are you asking that?”
Ichigo’s brown eyes widened. First of August? That couldn’t be right… because he’d arrived here the tenth day of October and that was the same day he’d gone to visit Orihime’s grave. So how could he fall asleep on October the tenth and wake up August first? Unless his wish did come true…
“Are you ready, Ichigo? We’re leaving.” Isshin walked over to his son and grabbed him by the arm and pulled him towards the door.
“Wait! Where is this shelter?” Ichigo asked, not resisting his father’s pulling.
“It’s on top of the hill by the cemetery. We’ve got to hurry, the water is already getting inside the house.” By now, Yuzu and Karin were walking beside them with their packs on their backs. Yuzu had a frightened expression and Karin had a confident one, though if you looked closely you could see her upper lip shaking.
“What time is it?” Ichigo asked, his mind going more than 100 miles per hour. If he got sent back in time it was to change something right? He went back to the day he was in the cemetery.
“I’m sorry, Inoue. I’m sorry for not saving you. If I could, I’d turn back time and stop this from happening.”
“I’d do anything to go back and save you from this tragedy. Death doesn’t deserve you…”
A lady screaming and people shouting brought him back to the present, or was it the past? Well it brought him back to his senses and right when they stepped out of their house, the heavy rain drops began attacking him and his family. The rain was falling hard and fast and they were now half way to getting too soaked.
“It’s 11, we’ve got to hurry! I think river has started to over flow! The street is rising!” Isshin said, as he let go of Ichigo and grabbed his daughters’ hands. “Let’s go.”
Ichigo began following but suddenly stopped. “I can’t go… not yet.” If he was sent back here, it was to do what he’d said he’d do. To save Orihime from the claws of death. “I’ve got to get Inoue! I’ll meet you guys at the shelter!” With that, Ichigo turned around and began running towards Orihime’s house.
“Ichigo!” Isshin yelled, shaking his head. He turned to Yuzu, who was crying, and said, “Don’t worry, he’s your brother. Everything will be okay. Let’s go.”
The closer he got to Orihime’s house, the slower he began to run because the water was now way up above his knees. People around him were screaming and yelling “Get to the shelter!” to each other. Ichigo noticed that a lot of the houses had their lights off and no one was coming out of them. Should he stop and wake them up? Why weren’t they getting up from the chaos being caused? He rounded a corner and Orihime’s apartment building came into view. He picked up his pace (as much as he could) and continued to make his way.
Finally, he was able to reach the stairs and up he climbed skipping two steps each time so he could reach her faster. Her door came into view and Ichigo nearly broke the door with his fast and loud pounding. “Inoue! Inoue, are you in here? INOUE!” His heart was pounding hard and he figured it was due to his running and this much excitement.
The door slowly opened and a sleepy Orihime appeared, rubbing her eyes before they widened and surprise was etched all over her face. “Kurosaki-kun! What are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be in the United States?”
It was relief and he was so glad he was hearing her voice once more. How long had it been? “Inoue, we have to get you to the shelter. There is a flood coming and-” he stopped, no it wouldn’t be good to tell her anything about the future. “And we have to get to there right now. Get dressed and we’ll be on our way, but hurry!” Ichigo pushed her into her house and closed the door behind him. It was dark and even though he couldn’t really see her face, he could tell that she was still trying to process what he’d said.
Orihime nodded after a moment and rushed off to get dressed. Ichigo felt a bit awkward being there while she changed so he decided to keep an eye outside and see how far the water was rising. Opening the door, he met the rain again and looked down at the street. His eyes widened when he saw that the water was now halfway up the stairs. If this continued, it would be hard for him and Orihime to get back to the shelter!
Orihime was barely putting on her shirt when Ichigo barged into the restroom and grabbed her hand. “We’ve got to hurry, Inoue, the water is rising fast.” It was here that Ichigo realized that her shirt was halfway on and that her breasts (yes, she did have a bra on) weren’t covered with it. His face became hot and Ichigo turned around to not look at her. “Sorry, finish putting on your shirt and let’s go. We can’t waste anymore time.”
“Okay, I’m ready,” Orihime said, pulling her hair out from under her shirt. “Let’s go.”
Ichigo nodded, before leading the way towards the door. Once outside, Orihime gasped and Ichigo turned to see what was wrong. He could see fear on Orihime’s face and that made him worry. “What’s wrong?” he asked.
“Kurosaki-kun, I… I can’t swim.” Orihime looked up at him with anxious eyes. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to mak-“
“Come on, I’ll be with you and I won’t let anything happen to you.” With that, Ichigo grabbed Orihime by the hand and pulled her close to him. “Once we’re in the water, you have to get on my back and I’ll take us both to the shelter, okay?”
Orihime nodded, stepping down on the steps as he did so. “Arigatou, Kurosaki-kun,” she said, right when Ichigo got in the water and turned back to look at her so she could get on. Orihime hesitated for a moment before getting on him and wrapping her legs around his waist.
Both young adults found this situation to be awkward but that wasn’t their main concentration so they continued to get to safety. The current was strong and Ichigo found that the water was rising even faster than before. He heard Orihime cough and he stopped, trying to turn around to see her but he couldn’t seeing as she was on his back.
“Are you okay?” he asked, as he slowly began to swim once more.
“I’m fine, Kurosaki-kun, but what about you? Are you okay? I don’t have to be on your back if it’s slowing you down.” Orihime felt bad about not being able to swim. Once again, she felt useless and wished there was something she could do.
“Don’t worry, Inoue, I’m fine.” Ichigo smiled, looking back. “There is something you could do, and that is to keep an eye out for people or rescuers that could help us, okay?”
Orihime saw the smile he’d given her and she felt light once more and she too smiled. “Okay,” she said, wanting to kiss him on the forehead at that moment.
The people that they saw were either swimming or screaming and crying on the roof of their houses. A few mothers were screaming for their children while some men were calling out to their disappeared wives. At this, one of Ichigo’s hands went up to take hold of Orihime’s hands. He would get them both to safety and Orihime’s future wouldn’t be the one he’d already seen.
As they continued swimming, the water depth kept making it difficult for them so they were slowed down. Ichigo was growing tired but he wasn’t going to let Orihime sink, no he was not.
Suddenly, a scream filled the air and both Ichigo and Orihime turned to see who had caused it. A little boy was trying so hard to keep a float but he was failing miserably and he was popping in and out of the water. Orihime gasped and she almost jumped into the water if it hadn’t been for Ichigo who grabbed her other hand and kept her there.
“Don’t do that, you’ll only drown. I’ll go.” Though the twenty two year old wondered how he would manage to save the boy with someone else’s life depending on him.
“There’s a door, Kurosaki-kun!” Orihime leaned to the side and tried to get a hold of the door that was now floating beside them.
Ichigo was thankful to everything at that moment and swam over to the door. He could leave Orihime here while he went to get the boy. “Inoue, hold on to the door. I’ll be back, wait here.”
“Hai,” She slid off of his back and grabbed the edge of the door tightly. “Please save him, Kurosaki-kun!” she told him, her eyes fixed on his.
Ichigo felt the urge to kiss her, to tell her that he was going to save all three of them, but he resisted himself and knew he’d have time for all he dreamed of when this was all over. With one last glance at Orihime, Ichigo nodded before turning around and swimming over to the drowning boy.
Not having Orihime on his back made it easier for Ichigo to swim through the current of the water and he managed to reach the boy with no trouble. He caught the boy’s flying wrist and pulled him up and onto his back. “Are you okay?” Ichigo asked, his other hand patting the small boy in the back.
The boy continued crying but nodded to answer his savior’s question. His tiny arms wrapped themselves around Ichigo’s neck and Ichigo just smiled. Now he just needed to get back to Orihime and that door and then they’d continue their way to the shelter.
“What’s your name?” Ichigo asked the boy, as he began swimming back to Orihime.
Right when the boy was going to answer, Orihime’s scream pulled their attention and Ichigo’s heart nearly stopped. The door was slowly floating away from Orihime’s reach and she was trying so hard to reach it but it seemed as though something was pulling her down. Her arms were swaying back and forth in a panicked mode and she was trying with all her might to keep her head above the water.
Panic seemed to reach Ichigo so before he could be tied down by that, he swam forward but found panic rise up once more when he remembered that with someone on his back he wouldn’t be able to get to her that quickly. Cursing in his head, Ichigo continued swimming and doing all he could to get to her no matter what.
“Kurosaki-ku~” It wasn’t finished because she was suddenly pulled under and once more, the water became calm.
Ichigo’s heart was now almost jumping out of his chest and his mind wasn’t helping at all. He found the door floating not too far from him and he quickly got an idea. He swam over to the door and sat the boy on the door. The boy looked scared and Ichigo could tell that the boy was now concerned with Orihime and not just himself.
“I’ll save her,” Ichigo assured him, but at the same time assuring himself.
“Hurry, Mister! Go save her!” the boy said, tears leaking out of his eyes and getting mixed up with the falling rain.
Ichigo nodded, not needing to be told what to do but he appreciated the words the boy told him. He plunged underwater and saw Orihime struggling to reach the surface. When he looked down at her legs, he saw what it was that was pulling her down. It was one of those ropes that were used to help people cross the river when it was flooding. It had tangled itself around Orihime’s leg and she was so scared that she wasn’t even trying to get it off.
Quickly, he swam down and began working on releasing her foot from the rope. He undid one ring and then another and he would have done another one but he felt Orihime beginning to shake in a violent way. Looking up, Ichigo saw her with one hand on her throat while the other one was in front of her nose and mouth.
Without finishing the rope, Ichigo swam up to her, grabbed her hands, leaned forward and kissed her.
Orihime’s eyes widened and for an instant, she stopped moving and her arms slowly began making their way around Ichigo’s body. Ichigo could feel her relaxing and was relieved to know that he’d be able to keep her from drowning by kissing her. Slowly, he pulled away and looked into her eyes before his lungs began to burn. Now he was the one that needed air!
Swimming up, he breached the surface gasping for air. Worried, he looked around for the boy and found him looking at him intently. Reassured that the boy was okay, Ichigo took one big gulp of air and dove back in to save Orihime. This time though, he didn’t stop in front of her and went down to her leg and began working to release her foot. I’m almost done with freeing her leg, he thought before looking up at her once more. His eyes widened when he saw that she was in need of air again. Instantly, Ichigo swam up and carefully cupped her face before leaning in to kiss her again.
Orihime relaxed once more and this time, she lifted her hands and began to caress Ichigo’s face. When she did this, Ichigo opened his eyes and saw that she was looking into his eyes. The way she was looking at him gave him hope and confidence that he would free her and get out of here alive. At the same time, he felt something and wondered what it was but now was not the time to be thinking about that. Determined to save her, he ended the kiss that had now been turned into a passionate one and swam up to the surface to get more air.
His lungs were burning and he could imagine Orihime feeling the same painful sensation in her chest. “I’ll save her!” he yelled over to the boy, who nodded with a small smile. “I’ll definitely save her.” Ichigo dove back down and headed straight for her leg.
There were only two more rings left to be untied when Ichigo looked up to see how Orihime was doing and what he saw made him stop. Orihime was with her eyes closed and her expression was calm, so calm that Ichigo had now begun to panic and start losing his breath. Air bubbles began coming out of his nose in a great hurry and his eyes began to sting. Immediately, he swam up to her and touched her cheek while his other hand shook her to wake her up.
He wanted to shout her name and tell her to wake up but the burning sensation in his lungs reminded him that he was underwater and he needed to go back up for air again. Leaning forward, he kissed her on the lips one last time before going up to the surface for a quick breath of air before diving back down.
Not bearing to look at her peaceful expression, Ichigo swam past her and headed straight for her leg. His chest felt heavy and there were no more thoughts in his mind as he finally released her leg from the rope. He wrapped his arms around her waist and swam up to the surface. The moment he reached the surface, he was gasping for breath and his lungs felt like they were on fire. His vision was blurry and he felt a knot in his throat. Ichigo searched around for the door and saw that it wasn’t too far from where he was. The little boy had a shocked expression and Ichigo had to look away from him to keep himself from shouting, “What!?”
Reaching the door, Ichigo carefully laid Orihime down and asked the boy to keep an eye on her while he searched for help. By now, the rain was no longer falling hard and the sky was clearing up because Ichigo could see the outline of the moon. His body was tired and he felt a cramp beginning to settle in one of his legs but that didn’t stop him. He needed to get to the shelter and have Orihime be looked at.
Suddenly, out of thin air Ichigo heard an engine roaring and when he turned around he saw a small motor boat approaching them. “HURRY! OVER HERE!!” The orange haired young man began to shout while waving his arms around. “OVER HERE!”
The little boy started yelling as well and Ichigo felt thankful to him for that. The rescuers reached them and upon seeing the girl on the floating door, they knew what to do. One of them picked up Orihime bridal style and laid her down in the middle of the boat.
“She’s drowned! Save her!” Ichigo yelled, as he took a hold of the boat and peered in. One of the men was giving Orihime CPR while the other one pressed down on her chest.
“1, 2, 3, breath!” The man leaned down and covered her nose and breathed into her mouth before turning his head to the side to see she was breathing. This procedure was done about ten times before the other man looked at Ichigo and shook his head.
“We’re sorry, it’s too late. She’s no longer here with us.”
Ichigo felt as though he’d been slapped by a thousand hands. The knot in his throat was getting bigger and his eyes were stinging even more than they were before. “What?” he says, his voice shaking but not breaking.
“The water reached her lungs and-“
“I KNOW!” Ichigo yelled, glaring up at the man.
The boy looked at Ichigo and Orihime before he broke down and clung himself onto Orihime’s body. “I’m sorry, Onee-san! I’m sorry!”
Hearing the little boy like this made Ichigo close his eyes and turn away from the people because right at that moment tears began to leak out of his eyes.
“Get on the boat, sir, we’re leaving.”
Ichigo wiped his eyes and nodded. He got on the boat and carefully picked up Orihime before sitting down and setting her on his lap. Looking down at her, Ichigo noticed that she looked swollen and that only made the knot in his throat throb once more. Leaning down to her ear, Ichigo let the tears fall out of his eyes before saying, “I’m sorry, Inoue.” His voice broke but his crying was tuned out by the roaring engine of the small boat.
It was her time to go. The only difference is that she didn’t die alone. She died with a smile on her face. You were with her until the last minute.
Ichigo re-read what he wrote in his notebook and felt the sadness well up inside of him again. It was now October the tenth, three months after the tragic flood and he was on a plane back to Los Angeles. It had been sad saying goodbye to his family but Ichigo needed to go back and finish his education.
Outside the window, Ichigo could see the vast ocean and felt glad to know that he would be home soon. The past three months had been hard for Ichigo and all he wanted was to get away from everything that reminded him of her. The feel of her lips kept haunting him but at the same time it made him grow warm inside. Once again, he hadn’t been able to tell her how he felt, nor had he asked her about that dream.
Looking away from the window, Ichigo decided that perhaps a nap would do him good. It would rid him of these memories and he’d be able to get some rest. So he closed his eyes and drifted off to dreamland.
When Ichigo woke up, the plane was landing and everyone was getting ready to get off. He unbuckled his seatbelt and grabbed his suitcase and stood up to get in line. His body was stiff and he wanted to stretch, but he’d hit one of these people and a problem would probably start.
After five minutes, the line began moving and out he walked with the crowd, glad to be off of the plane but not happy to know he’d have to sit in a taxi for an hour or so.
The crowd wasn’t that small when he entered the terminal. Hundreds of people were chattering and walking and it bothered Ichigo to have this much noise and people in the wee hours of the morning.
“Hey! Watch where you-“ Ichigo had been bumped into from behind and that irritated him so much that he was about to curse them out…. Except when he saw the culprit his mouth closed and his eyes widened.
“Oh! I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to bump into you!” The brown haired girl bowed down three times before looking up at him with big brown eyes. “I don’t want to be late to catch a taxi! Sorry!”
He couldn’t believe it! He was staring at Inoue Orihime… but how? She was… dead. “No… It’s okay…” he said, watching her until she disappeared around the corner. Immediately after that, Ichigo dug into his bag and reached for the notebook.
His water had spilled in his suitcase and Ichigo cursed, as he took out the notebook. Great! Now all of his things were wet! He’d have to worry about that later because now he had to get to that page. Opening it to the spot where he’d written about Orihime, he found that the water had reached the special page and smeared out some words.
It was her…she didn’t die. With a smile on her face… you were with her.
Ichigo looked up from the page and stared at the direction the girl had gone towards. For the first time in the last three months, Ichigo smiled. He closed the notebook and stuffed it back in his wet bag before walking towards where the taxis were.