One week later

Ichigo was really nervous today. Not because it was Christmas but because he asked Miss Inoue to come to the party two days ago. He wasn't sure if she'd accept his offer or not. But, she accepted the invitation with no hesitation. The party would start in a hour.

He spent the first half of his day with his dad and twin sisters. It was just like any other holiday they spent together. Except for going to a party which Ichigo wasn't used to.

"COME ON EVERYBODY IT'S TIME TO GO. WE NEED TO LEAVE NOW." The orange haired male yelled to his family that were getting ready upstairs.

"Why are you in such a hurry all of a sudden? You're not usually this enthusiastic to go to parties." Isshin asked curiously walking down the stairs.

"I'm not in a hurry. I just want us to be there on time." He wanted to get there before Orihime arrived. That way he could introduce her to his friends and family to avoid the lady Rukia's attempting to hook him up with.

"Liar. You're actually dressed decently. Is there a special lady you invited?" His dad said smugly. Was Ichigo wearing a blue sweater vest?

"Dad, I doubt Ichigo can find a woman so easily with his short temper." Karin added.

"Why would you say something like that?" He was clearly irritated by his younger sister's comment.

"That's not very nice, Karin. Ichigo is a good guy and any woman will be lucky to have him." Yuzu defended.

"Thanks, Yuzu."

"More like she'd be unlucky." The black haired girl retorted.

"Don't say things like that. Don't jinx this for him. I want him to give me grand children."

"Shut the hell up old man."

"Is she pretty?"

"Of course she is but, that's not why I like her." It wasn't supposed to come out like that. Now his family will continue to ask him questions.

"How old is she, brother?" The gentle girl responded.

"She's the same age as me."

"Are you going to pick her up?"

"No dad. She's going to meet me there."

"What an idiot. You're suppose to pick up your date. What if she arrives there before you do? Nobody knows her but you." Karin said.

Ichigo face palmed at his mistake. How could he send her there instead of picking her up? Everyone left the house and got into the car headed for the party.

It's already 4:45. I hope we're not late. His heart raced at the thought.

The elder Kurosaki stared at his son. "Don't worry about it. You won't miss her."

He remained silent and kept his eyes on the road until they arrived.

5:05 pm

There were so many Christmas lights, Reindeers, Snowmen, an elf and baby Jesus in a crib. She's not even Christian. The decorations were really over the top. "Hello. Ichigo, Kurosaki-San, Yuzu and Karin." Rukia greeted the family. "I'm glad you all could make it in time, the party is just getting started. Sado and Ishida are already here." What was up with everyone wearing Xmas sweaters? The Kurosaki's were the only ones wearing regular clothes. The decorations inside were just as elaborate. Mistletoes, Christmas stockings, more elves, snowmen, Santa Claus and seven foot tall tree with fake snow and ornaments.

"I'm sure they are. Why don't I hear any music playing? It's a bit quiet for a party, Rukia." The strawberry blonde answered.

"RENJI. TURN THE RADIO ON AND GET ONE OF MY CHRISTMAS CD'S" Kuchiki yelled to her best friend.

"ALRIGH, ALRIGHT. YOU DON'T HAVE TO YELL SO LOUD."

"Hey, Kurosaki. Glad you could take time out of your busy schedule to come here." Uryu stated sarcastically.

"Don't test me Ishida."

"Hey, Ichigo." Sado greeted the orange haired guy.

"What's up?"

"Not much. Just got here a few minutes ago." Chad explained nonchalantly.

"You can help yourself to some eggnog or apple cider." Renji guided him to some of the drinks.

He took a cup of apple cider and sat at the table. The man took a few sips before checking his watch to see the time.

5:17

Ever so often he would check his cell for any calls or stare at his watch. Some of his friends sat at the same table. They talked about many things.

What's taking her so long to get here?

"Ichigo, this is my co-worker and friend. Her name is Yuki. Yuki this my friend, Ichigo." Rukia introduced them.

The lady also had black hair but, her eyes were a very light blue. You could almost see through them. Yuki was of average weight and height. She held out her hand for him to shake.

#

#

#

Orihime panicked a bit. She was going to be late to the party. The red head's barley ever invited anywhere. Maybe it's because she didn't have many friends. She groaned in frustration because she over slept and had to rush to get ready. And, it was really cold outside though it was no longer snowing. So, she decided to wear a red turtle neck sweater. "I hope Kurosaki-Kun isn't mad at me for being late." Orihime thought.

I'll be home for Christmas. You can count on me.

The song began to play in the cab. She felt sad whenever she heard this song play. No family to go home to. Why did she have to live alone? Why did they have to die so soon? It was really depressing. But, she found a new friend to spend Christmas with this year. And, that made her feel a little better. "Maybe I'll find more new friends."

"May I ask where you're headed to young lady?" The cab driver stated.

"I'm going to a Christmas party."

"Why aren't you spending the holidays with your family?"

"I don't have much of a family. They're either dead or distant." She announced sadly.

"Oh, I see."

"What about you?"

"I have a wife and two kids waiting for me at home. I don't get off work for a few hours. Hopefully I could at least have dinner with them."

"Have a Merry Christmas, sir. Don't take your family for granted."

"I won't. Happy holidays to you too. We're finally here. Have a good time, okay?"

"Thanks a lot." The young lady said before paying the driver.

"I'm here." She saw lights and decorations outside the house. The music played loudly from inside. Orihime twiddled her finger nervously while walking to the front door. She found the nerve to ring the doorbell.

"Hello. Who might you be?" Rukia asked politely.

"I'm Inoue Orihime. My friend is Kurosaki-Kun, he invited me." The gentle lady bowed respectfully.

Kuchiki couldn't find any words to say. She was too shocked to speak. Ichigo invited a pretty girl? No way.

"Um, are you alright? Am I at the wrong house?" The gray eyed lady began to worry.

"No, not at all. Come in. I'm Kuchiki Rukia, nice to meet you." She placed the new girl's jacket on the coat rack

"Same to you, Kuchiki-San."

"Where the hell did Ichigo go?" She scoped the room looking for him. "You stay here I'll be right back."

"Where could he be? Did he leave?"

"Hello Miss. What's your name?" Isshin greeted her.

"I'm Inoue Orihime."

"Kurosaki Isshin. So, you're looking for my son?"

"Yes, Kurosaki-San."

He smiled at the young lady. Not only was she pretty but, polite as well. He motioned her to follow him through the hallway.

"There he . . . Is." They saw him talking to some random woman.

She didn't say a word. Her feelings were crushed. For a moment she thought maybe he liked her too. But, she was wrong. He only thought of her as a friend, nothing more or less.

"Hey, dumbass. Inoue-Chan's here to see you."

Ichigo turned around slowly to met her gaze. He smiled lightly until he saw her facial expression. The look of sadness. "Inoue?"

She walked off without a word. This overwhelming feeling hit her when she saw him with another woman. Orihime promised herself not to cry in front of everyone.

"Inoue, please wait." The blonde chased after her.

She reached for her jacket on the coat rack but a strong hand grabbed her small wrist. "Look at me."

"Can you let go of my hand?" Her gray eyes met his.

"Not until you talk to me. Why did you run off like that?"

"I-I forgot something." Orihime sighed in frustration. "I didn't want to bother you." She lied.

"How are you bothering me? I invited you to this party."

"Yeah, you did. I'm your friend, right?"

The one word he didn't want to hear from her was friend. He wanted to be more. They already knew enough about each other to be more. The two adults were too shy to admit it. Orihime blushed when she realized that he was still holding her wrist.

"I just met her. My friend introduced us. We were just talking. There's nothing going on between me and Yuki." Ichigo wanted to clear things up between them.

"Why are you telling me this?"

The blonde started to blush as well. Why was it so hard for him to say how he felt? "I thought you needed to know."

"Why?"

He brushed a strand of hair from her face and pressed his lips to hers gently. She never expected a kiss from him. The red head returned the kiss. Her arms wrapped around his neck. Ichigo's hands held on to her small waist. The couple's first kiss.

"I think she needs air to breathe. Don't suffocate the poor lady."

They broke the kiss only to see everyone staring at them. The blush on their cheeks grew darker.

"Shut up. This is . . ."

"Dad already told us." Yuzu stood beside her father and twin sister.

"So, pigs are flying after all? Are you two just going to stand under the mistletoe all night and make out?"

The pair looked up to make sure it was one there.

"Karin?" The blonde haired girl chastised.

"What? Everyone else was thinking it."

"That's my boy. Glad you finally have a girlfriend. A very beautiful one who is kind and polite. She even has a nice body."

Ichigo punched him in the face. "Stop looking at her you pervert."

"You've gotten better, my son. Let's see if you can dodge my roundhouse kick." He attempted to kick Ichigo but he dodged it and threw him to the floor.

"Kurosaki-San. Are you okay?"

"I'm fine Inoue-Chan."

He introduced his new girlfriend to all his friends. They all got along great. Everyone ate, sung Christmas carols, danced and laughed the night away. This was the first Christmas she didn't spend alone in a while. She was happy again. Tears welled down her face.

"What's wrong? Why are you crying?" Her boyfriend was concerned.

"I'm just happy to be-"

"You don't have to explain." He held her possessively in his arms. "You don't have to be alone ever again."

#

#

#

A/N: So this is the end of the three-shot story. I originally wanted this story to be a little longer. But, I don't want to drag the story on for too long. Maybe I'm still inexperienced when it comes to writing. I hoped everyone enjoyed this chapter. I'd like to thank: Magdalenda88, Ermilus and recchinon for your reviews from my last chapter. And, another thanks to everyone else who read, followed and faved this story. I truly appreciate it. I'm not sure of how many more T rated Ichihime fics I'll write. Maybe in the future. For now I'll just focus on finishing No Bounds.

Magdalenda88: I was thinking about making it longer but, didn't have much else to add to the story. I'm glad you liked her in this fanfic.

Ermilus: I hope you like the end of the story as well.

recchinon: I really wanted this story to be a bit different from some Ichihime stories. I always thought her eyes were blue.