AUTHOR NOTE: SUPPPP! Peeps! Thanks for reading!

So basically right now, they're getting to know each other and things will progress a little slowly. Please keep in mind everyone that Rukia is calling herself Hisana!

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Bleach

Chapter 2: Life and Death

"First stop, Pearl Bridge, here we go!"

Ichigo gritted his teeth as she pushed down on the pedal. What a crazy driver she was; reckless and fast (racing every red light, not even stopping), she was exactly the type of driver everyone hated and wanted to avoid on the roads. Drivers honked their horns and yelled abuse at her, but she just laughed them all away, not caring.

He still couldn't really understand why he said yes to this trip.

Maybe it was because of the fact that he could go to places he has always wanted to go for free. Ichigo didn't ask where she managed to pull all the money out when they stopped for lunch or why she picked at her food, hardly eating anything. It didn't feel right asking someone who was paying for him where they got the money from.

Or maybe, it was because of her.

She was so different from everyone else.

It was like she lived life separately from the people in this world.

"Admit it; Asaki Chō is an absolute genius!"

Ichigo snorted.

"Yeah, right. Her stories are all so mushy and stupid. Don't know why she's so popular."

"Are you kidding me? I'm one of her biggest fans!"

That was another thing; he talked to her so easily. It was like they had known each other for ages instead of mere hours. Their conversations were long and rambling, filled with random topics and discussions, but they were so interesting. He didn't want to stop talking.

He rolled his eyes.

"What's so good about her stories? I mean, they're all so typical and long winded, and they take forever for the plot to develop!"

"Oh, take that back!"

"No!"

"She is so good! How can you say she sucks? Have you ever read Ume No Tsubasa? It's like the best book ever; if you read it you'll definitely fall in love with her stories!"

"Hah, I doubt it."

She stopped at a red light and pointed up ahead.

"There it is, the Akashi Kaikyō Bridge."

Ichigo stared in wonder.

It was beautiful.

"Want to go get dinner now?"

Ichigo's stomach growled.

"Sure."

After a quick dinner, the walked out of the restaurant to find that the sky had already grown quite dark and several stars had appeared. A cool autumn breeze blew through and ruffled their hair. She giggled as several leaves landed in her hair and softly picked them out.

"Man, this is like a scene from one of her stories . . ."

Ichigo muttered.

She grinned back.

"See, you have read Asaki's stories! You even know her style of scenes!"

"What the hell? No way!"

She pursed her lips and folded her arms across her chest.

"Ok, I'll show this then."

They were on the walkway of the bridge by now and during this time; everyone was home to keep warm, so it was just them, the cars and the night sky. She reached up and tied her scarf around Ichigo's eyes and shifted him over.

"What are you doing?"

"Just wait, I'm going to show you something."

She made sure that Ichigo wouldn't peek and then slowly walked out.

"Can I take off the blindfold yet?"

"Not yet, don't move."

Ichigo decided to wait patiently for 10 seconds before yelling at the direction he thought she went.

"Can I take it off now?"

"Yeah, go ahead."

He lifted the white scarf off his eyes and gasped at the sight in front of him.

"What the hell are you doing!"

Balanced precariously on the end of a thick wooden plank that protruded out from the side walk, she stood happily, her arms outstretched. The plank was under Ichigo's feet and he was the only thing that balanced the weight to stop her from plunging into the cold water below.

Cars continued to pass by.

"Do you recognise this scene?"

"What? What are you saying? Hurry up and come back, you idiot!"

He moved his feet and the plank shook.

"Don't move. If you move, I'll die."

Ichigo swallowed nervously.

"Then hurry up and come back!"

He shouted; his voice filled with fear. His whole body was tense and shaking slightly; completely opposite to the seemingly cool girl on the other side of the plank.

"I will if you do one thing."

"What's that?"

She grinned cheekily.

"Say that you love Asaki Cho's stories!"

An eyebrow twitched.

"Fine," he said through gritted teeth.

"I love Asaki Cho's stories!"

He stared at her but she still didn't move.

"Come on! I said it!"

"Yell it!"

Ichigo groaned.

"I LOVE ASAKI CHO'S STORIES!"

"Say that you love her!"

"I LOVE ASAKI CHO!"

"Say that you worship her and that you really want her autograph!"

"I WORSHIP ASAKI CHO AND I REALLY WANT HER AUTOHRAPH!"

After yelling out the sentences, Ichigo took a deep breath, finding himself out of air. He felt like such an idiot and he was sure he would never hear the end of it if someone he actually knew heard him. To his surprise though, she still wasn't scared, in fact she was laughing. The tinkling of her laughter seemed to echo in his ears. The cool evening air seemed to tingle.

"Alright. Come on. No more nonsense. Hurry up and come back."

This time she obediently edged closer to the bridge, towards where safety lay.

"Alright, I've had my fun."

When she got the last stretch, just when Ichigo thought she was going to make it, she stumbled and the plank wobbled precariously. It creaked and suddenly a massive crack appeared. Launching herself forward, she crashed into Ichigo's arms and they tumbled to the ground. The plank of wood broke and fell into the cold waters below with a soft splash. Next to them the cars kept passing by, oblivious to frantic beating of two hearts on the sidewalk. It was so close, just one second later, and it might have been too late.

"You idiot! Why the hell did you try to do such a dangerous thing? Do you want to die?"

Ichigo expected a light cool answer as usual but this time the answer was different,

"Nobody wants to die."

She muttered quietly.

Ichigo didn't know what to say to that. Then suddenly her head snapped up and the usual grin was on her face again.

"That was fun! See, it was totally like that moment in Asaki Cho's books, right?"

"Why do you like her so much?"

She shrugged.

"I dunno. I guess it's because her stories are perfect. They all have a plotline that will never happen in real life, yet it seems so real, and we all wish that it would actually happen to us. However it still has that dream like quality to it."

Ichigo stood up, leaving her on the ground.

Silently he walked away.

"Hey! Where are you going?"

"Away from you."

"Why?"

He turned around, his eyes flashing angrily.

"Because you are an idiot! Why would you do something like that? Ever since my family disappeared from me, I hated seeing anything fade in front of me! Then you come and go throw your life around in my face, not caring that it could disappear any second?"

He stalked off.

As Ichigo walked along the streets, his mind drifted off towards his deceased family members. Masaki, his mother, had died when he was 8. Since then, it was just him, his twin sisters and his father. One day, his father disappeared and he was sent to the orphanage with his sisters. From there they parted and he never saw any of them again. No matter how hard he searched, no traces of the Kurosaki family were to be found.

He was alone.

BEEEP! BEEP, BEEP!

Ichigo ignored the beeping behind him.

"Oi!"

He kept on walking.

"Come on. Get on! You're not going to walk all the way back to Tokyo, are you?"

Ichigo didn't even acknowledge her. But she was stubborn, it was pretty clear. She kept on driving at a slow pace, keeping only several metres behind him. They continued like this for about 100 metres before Ichigo realised that the car had stopped moving. Thinking that she had finally given up, he continued walking. But something nagged at his mind, something didn't feel right. Someone with her fiery personality wouldn't just give in that easily.

So he turned around.

"Oi! Kuchiki!"

The small figure was slumped against the side of the car, her skin paler than usual.

"Hey, Kuchiki! Kuchiki, wake up!"

Ichigo had jogged back to the window of the van and was knocking on the door.

"Kuchiki, hey, what's wrong?"

Frustrated, Ichigo pulled the door open and she fell into his arms.

Ichigo quickly felt her forehead but there was no sign of a fever or anything wrong with her. She must have just fainted. He frowned. That doesn't sound right. Normal people don't just faint randomly on spot and especially not when driving a car. He shifted her until he was carrying her bridal style and walked into the back of the van before placing her on the lower bunk bed. He covered her with a blanket before heading to the front to drive.

How on earth was he supposed to find a caravan park so late at night?

Ichigo shook his head.

No use just sitting in the car which was in the middle of the road. He turned the key and the engine roared to life. Sighing, he turned the steering wheel and drove off.

BZZZZT BZZZT

Ichigo stared at the small vibrating purple phone, hesitating a little before picking it up.

"Moshi, Moshi?"

"Eh? A guy?"

Ichigo coughed awkwardly.

"Uh, yeah. I'm, uh, a friend of Hisana's. She can't pick up the phone right now."

"What! Why? Where is she?"

"Why do want to know? Who are you?"

The voice on the other end drew a panicked breath.

"I must ask you, please take care of her. I'm her cousin, Abarai Renji."

Ichigo frowned.

"Why? What's wrong with her?"

"Nothing's wrong with me."

The phone was grabbed out of Ichigo's hand. There was a loud slap as she closed the phone and tossed it on the bed. She ran a hand through her short hair, her strand of hair moving before falling back into place. Then she sat down on the bed, her eyes never meeting Ichigo's.

"Hisana."

She flinched. It was the first time that he had actually called her by her name.

"Tell me. Why are you on this trip?"

There, he said it. The unasked question that hung above their heads finally fell and she couldn't run away from the answer anymore since Ichigo asked her head on.

"I . . . I want . . ."

She trailed off, not knowing how to continue.

"Can I tell you tomorrow? I really can't find the words right now."

Ichigo nodded and turned to the sofa to go back to sleep when she suddenly spoke again.

"If . . . if he calls again, don't answer. Don't tell him where I am, please. I'll explain everything tomorrow."

He nodded again.

They both drifted off to sleep and it was about 2 in the morning when the phone went off again but only Ichigo awoke to the buzzing. Quietly he took the phone and slipped out of the caravan. He held it in his hands, contemplating whether to answer or not. He did promise not to, but he had to find out why Hisana was doing this. Making his decision, he flipped the phone open and put it next to his ear.

"Yeah?"

"Hello? Oh, good, you picked up."

"Ok, listen. Tell me what's wrong with Hisana."

"Tell me where she is."

There was silence.

"I can't."

"Why not?"

"I promised. I'm sorry, but until I know what's going on, I'm not saying anything."

The voice sighed on the other side rather sadly.

"Hisana, she . . ."

Ichigo strained to hear the voice which had dropped into a whisper.

"She's got leukaemia. She's predicted to die in 2 weeks."

AUTHOR NOTE: Don't worry; this won't be a sob fest story! I can tell you right now, if you have read my summary, that this is still describing their first meeting.

I won't say anymore other plot spoilers . . .

ANYWAYS, REVIEW AND I WILL UPDATE! :D

Actually, just review even if it's a smiley face, I allow anon!

Aprilup.