A/N: I'd like to thank: halcyon, tenma, Chuain, ngela, I CAN DO IT and Koimiko for your reviews. And for everyone else who read, followed and faved this story. I really appreciate it.
This chapter is longer than the others, so far.
Orihime couldn't help but feel frightened. She never expected to see the newlyweds.
"I need to face them now. I can't hide anymore." She told herself. It was more painful for her to see them now then ever before. The lady wanted to be happy for them.
"Hey. I'm so very sorry. There's no excuse for me leaving so abruptly. I wouldn't blame you if don't want to talk to me anymore." Orihime apologized with a sad look. Tears were ready to fall from her face.
The couple was left speechless. They really didn't know what to say. Ichigo was sure she'd walk away. He wasn't as mad as before. He realized that he was more hurt than mad as well as Rukia.
"Umm. What you did was really hurtful. I mean you ran out in the middle of the ceremony." Rukia added.
"I'm . . . I'm so sorry." The red haired lady apologized again feeling worse. She wiped the droplets from her face but continued to cry. Orihime didn't know what else to do. She couldn't run away again. She needed to deal with this now.
"Inoue? Please stop crying. We don't want you to cry." Now Ichigo felt bad about making her cry. He knew she was sensitive. He never liked seeing any girl cry especially her. His eyes soften a little. There was still one thing they needed to know. Kurosaki couldn't let her off the hook too easily. "Why? Why did you do it? Were you mad at us? Or did you not feel well?" He pleaded.
"Kurosaki-Kun, It wasn't . . . You two didn't do anything to make me mad. I-I." Orihime stuttered. Her hands tightened around the front of the cart. She dropped her head to her small hands in shame. She really didn't know what to say at this point.
"I wasn't feeling well. I felt like I was going to pass out. But, I made the wrong decision by leaving."
"Inoue, you should've told someone. We would've helped you." The raven haired lady replied. She doesn't know how she should feel. They couldn't stay mad forever.
"I know. If you don't want to be friends anymo-"
The blonde cut her off before she could say another word. "Bye." He said harshly. The couple left and went down a different aisle.
"I should've known. I wasn't ready to see them yet. They probably won't ever forgive me." Orihime wasn't thinking straight when she pushed her basket to the register. She couldn't think of anything else she needed from the store. She needed to leave now.
The orange haired lady became lost in her thoughts once again. She didn't notice the people walking by. The beauty made dinner once she made it home. She cooked salmon with honey, rice and leaks as a meal. Orihime watched some movies to pass the time.
"I should be going to bed now. There's no use staying up."
Ichigo loved his wife. He truly did but, he needed a little space. At least they don't share many classes together. Both adults needed some time apart before they made each other crazy. Their honeymoon was fine. The guy didn't mind spending those three days on a remote island with her though.
"ICHIGO, WHERE DID YOU PUT MY BRUSH?" She yelled from the bedroom.
"IN THE DAMNED BATHROOM." Kurosaki yelled in irritation. "Where the hell else would it be?" He said with an even tone.
He placed the leftovers in the fridge.
"WHERE IN THE BATROO-. NEVER MIND I FOUND IT" Rukia replied.
"Where's a fucking hollow when you need one?" Ichigo though with a hint of sarcasm. He flopped down on the couch. He turned the television back on.
Something felt off about tonight she just couldn't put her finger on it. Maybe it was her woman's intuition kicking in. Rukia brushed it off and took a long bath before going to bed. At first she thought she'd be up all night. But, the brunette fell asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow.
Unlike Rukia, Ichigo couldn't sleep. He didn't know why. There was nothing good on television. He kept flipping through channels hoping to find something interesting. Kurosaki thought about his run in with Inoue. He wanted to forgive her. It's not like she murdered anyone.
His badge went off. Ichigo shot up off the couch quickly. He grabbed the badge and pressed it to his chest, changing into soul form. The blonde concentrated on finding the location of the hollow before leaving. After he pinpointed where the monster was. He felt a familiar spiritual pressure near it.
"Damn it. I need to hurry." He flash stepped near Orihime's apartment. The monster finally came into sight. He saw the hollow attack the red haired lady. Ichigo defeated the monster with one strike. Her body laid limply on the ground with blood seeping through her shirt. When everything set in. He rushed to her side. Ichigo bend down to hold the upper half of her body up.
"Inoue, please get up." As if she could hear him. He repeated himself many times hoping the red head will listen. His cries fell on deaf ears. He didn't notice the two figures behind him.
Uryu and Chad felt her reishi lower faster than normal. They walked closer to make sure it was Orihime.
"Inoue, you can't leave like this. You can't. We need you." For the first time in a long time. Tears threaten to fall from his face. He never thought that this would happen.
"Kurosaki? What happened?" Ishida asked. His eyes glued to her battered form.
"We should get her to the hospital fast. There's still a bit of spiritual energy in her." Sado spoke calmly. He doesn't want to over react but one of his closest friends is severely injured.
"We should go to Urahara's shop first. It's closer." The black haired quincy stated.
"Ichigo, let me carry her."
"No, I'll do it. We'll get there faster." His eyes never left form.
Chad did not protest against his wishes. They all went to Kisuke's.
Three hours passed by slowly. Tessai treated Orihime's wounds in the backroom. Chad, Uryu and Ichigo waited in the other room.
"Would you guys like some tea?" Kisuke asked them. Sado and Ishida accepted the offer.
"Ururu go make them some tea."
"Okay." She said before leaving for the kitchen.
"Ichigo, you haven't said a word since we got here." The brown haired guy tried to talk to his best friend. But, he didn't respond. He sat their quietly with a deep scowl on his face.
"I failed to protect her again."
"He's right ginger head." Jinta added.
Tessai walked in. All eyes on him. They were waiting for them to speak.
"How is Inoue-San?" Uryu asked worriedly.
"She'll be fine. Inoue-San needs a few days to heal." Tessai responded.
The teenage girl came back with their tea. Before anyone could move. Ichigo was already heading to the room to see her.
"Let him go." Kisuke told Ishida.
Orihime's body lied unconscious on the futon wrapped in bandages. Kurosaki sat beside her. The soul reaper remained silent for a few seconds.
"I'm supposed to be mad at you. You . . .You. I forgive you for that now. I should've been there." His stuttered.
Sado and Ishida walked in to check on Orihime.
"Inoue-San, you should be healing one of us. You're not suppose to be." Uryu turned around so no one could see his face.
"Ishida, are you crying?" The gentle giant asked.
"Of course not. Don't be silly. I'll be heading home now. She'll be fine. Bye." He walked back out the room.
"Me too. It's really late. Ichigo are you going home? Kisuke and Tessai will take care of her." Sado stated to his best friend.
"Nah. I want to be here when she wakes up." The strawberry blonde answered.
"What about Rukia? I'm sure she's worried about you." Urahara butted in.
"She's fine. If she was worried she'd be here now. Rukia's sleep now." He insisted
The older man knew how stubborn Ichigo was. He should've known he'd blame himself for what happened. Even if it wasn't his fault. "It's not your fault you know. Sometimes bad things happen. It's impossible to control." The former captain explained.
Ichigo turned around to face him. "If only I'd gotten there sooner, this would've happened." He responded with disappointment evident in his tone.
"You need some rest. Go home. I'll let you know when Inoue-San awakens."
"Are you sure? Alright. I'll be back tomorrow." He sighed in defeat.
Ichigo came back around 10:00 am with Rukia by his side. She wanted to see how Orihime was doing. The newlyweds were greeted by a scowling brunette.
"Why the hell didn't you tell me that Orihime was hurt.." Tatsuki scolded.
"Damn it, Tatsuki. Can you turn it down a notch. By the way we were in a hurry to get her help." Ichigo tried to defend himself. His wife remained silent.
The tomboy really wanted to kick his ass for not telling her about the incident.. But, she fought against it. It wouldn't do any good.
"Is she awake now Mr. Hat and Clogs?"
"Yes she is Kurosaki-San." Urahara answered with his fan covering his face.
"Hey, idiot. You better not make her cry." Arisawa said angrily.
"Why would I do something like that?" Ichigo was slightly offended by her comment.
"He wouldn't do anything like that." The blue eyed lady explained.
"Thanks Rukia." He answered proudly.
"At least not on purpose anyway." She continued with a laugh. Tatsuki laughed as well. It's always fun for them to tease him every now and then. His frown only made them giggle more.
Arisawa watched the two adults walking hand and hand to the next room. She couldn't help but feel a little mad. Even though it's official about them being together. It bothered her. Knowing that Orihime will never be with the one person she loved the most.
"She's been through enough already without them rubbing their relationship in her face. I hope she can find someone that loves her back. Orihime deserves to be happy like everyone else."
The injured lady eyes fluttered open when she felt familiar spiritual energy close to her.
"Hey, Inoue. How are you feeling?" She asked gently.
"Oh. I'm fine. I'm so sorry." Inoue pleaded.
"No more apologies. All you need to worry about is getting better." A half smiled appeared on his face.
"Thanks, Kurosaki-Kun, Kuchiki-San." Orihime said with a smile.
Ichigo grabbed his wife's hand. "It's Mrs. Kurosaki now. His smiled widen. But, the red head suddenly felt like crying again. She gave them a fake smile to keep her tears at bay.
"Sorry about that. It's a force of habit Kuro-saki-San. How's your gigai?" That was almost as painful as passing a gall stone.
They flinched at her tone. Something else was definitely going on with her. But, the two let it slide. "It's fine. My soul's really adjusted to this body."
She's lived in Karakura for a year now. Rukia decided that she'd rather be here with him. They dated a year before getting married. Ichigo realized how much he loved her. The twenty year old was content with his life.
Orihime wished she hadn't woken up so soon. It was better when she didn't see them. She wasn't sure of how much more she could take.
"Now I know what I need to do."
A/N: I hope you're not disappointed with this chapter.
halcyon: I'm not sure if I want to add Renjihime to the story. Maybe friendship. I also like to see jealous Ichigo too.
Tenma: Grimmjow seems like an interesting person to add to the story. I'm flattered that you think my writing is good. This chapter is a bit longer than the others.
Chuain: It seemed to make more since to me if she received scholarships and grants. Orihime's like second or third rated in her class. Glad you liked that change. I thought it'd be more in character for Ichigo to be worried about her safety. And, finally realizing how important she is to him. I'm not sure if jealously would play a big role for them getting together. No matter who you are. You do things that others don't expect. Sorry for rambling on.
I CAN DO IT: Okay.
Koimiko: I know. They meant leave before the ceremony started. They do sound a bit hypocritical. This is a Ichihime fic. It only starts off as Ichruki. But, I want it to be a little different from the usual Ichihime story that starts with this overrated pairing.