Title: The Goodbye
Characters/Pairing:Completely one-sided IchiHime, Karin and Yuzu show up too.
Genre: Sappy sappy drama
Spoiler: Chapter 237
Summary: Exactly the events that happened with Orihime in Chapter 237, complete with Orihime’s thoughts and feelings that were implied, but not written into the manga chapter itself.
She had been given twelve hours of grace by her captor. There was so much she wished she could cram into those twelve hours. At the very least, she knew she must leave a note of her farewells. She spent most of the time hiding in her room, thinking and debating over who that special one person would be that she would give her personal farewell to, there were so many. But every time, her thoughts returned to Kurosaki-kun. She knew she couldn’t waste her time thinking, she had to act before her appointed meeting time with her captor.
“There… we… go!” She said as she fumbled with the temporary ability to penetrate all matter and simply walk through the wall into the Kurosaki clinic. “Ehehe… I ended up here.” She looked around and realized she was standing between the window and the bed that Kurosaki-kun was resting on.
“To tell the truth,” She thought aloud, knowing that no one would hear her with the bracelet still on, “Tatsuki-chan, Sado-kun, Ishida-kun, Kuchiki-san... There were so many people I would have liked to say goodbye to…” Orihime studied Kurosaki-kun’s face for a moment. He looked so peaceful sleeping like that. His permanent frown was relaxed into a neutral expression that she had seldom seen before. Of the few times she had seen Kurosaki-kun before this, he seemed to be suffering some kind of inner turmoil. Orihime idly wondered what Kurosaki-kun may have been dreaming of as she watched his eyelids twitch subtly.
The sound of a sleepy mumble that didn’t come from Kurosaki-kun’s lips momentarily startled Orihime, and she carefully peered over his bed to see his younger twin sisters fast asleep on the floor next to his bed. Yuzu’s cheek clinging precariously to side of his mattress, the bed sheet providing the only friction keeping her in such a position. Karin was curled up on the floor next to her.
“…I see Yuzu-chan and Karin-chan ate dinner in here today…” Orihime thought aloud again. She knew she wouldn’t disturb the girls’ slumber. “I understand… You guys were sad because Kurosaki-kun was away for a long time. You guys wanted to eat with him in his room, right?” The lingering smells of the food that was recently eaten smelled nicely. She wished she could have ever had the chance to be invited to Kurosaki-kun’s home and eat dinner with him.
“In Kurosaki-kun’s…. r-room….” Orihime stammered with realization. She wasn’t in the clinic. She had been in the clinic before, when her brother passed away a few years ago. But she was too distraught to notice much at the time. But this was definitely not the clinic. She should have noticed the obvious personal touch to the entire décor. She gave a brief look around his room for a moment, and tried her best to memorize it. This was her first time, and perhaps last time she would ever see Kurosaki-kun’s bedroom, and she had to make sure she would remember it. He had a guitar by his dresser, photos of his friends pinned to the wall above the head of his bed, and neglected homework on his desk.
“Come to think of it, it’s my first time coming into Kurosaki-kun’s room.” Orihime thought. In fact, it was the first time she had ever been in a boy’s room. She had visited at all her girlfriends’ houses, and been in their rooms, but she had never been in a boy’s room before. Not even Ishida-kun or Sado-kun had ever invited her over to their house before. She savored the moment of discovery, enjoying how new this all felt.
“I can smell Kurosaki-kun here.” She thought. That scent that she had always caught when she passed him in the halls in class. Or that time back in May when she accidentally bumped into him. His unique scent she remembered from when he rescued her from her brother’s hollowed soul a couple nights afterward. She wished she could have more chances to experience that pleasantly intoxicating scent.
Orihime reached out a hand to touch his bandaged one. His skin was rough and calloused from years of fighting. Her fingers dared to touch more of his hand as she leaned closer to his serene face. She terribly wanted to kiss him while he was like this. It would be like a fairy tale, where she would kiss her Prince Charming Kurosaki-kun, and he would awaken, fully healed. Her own spell would be broken and Kurosaki-kun would be able to see her, and her captors would be unable to reach her while she was in Kurosaki-kun’s embrace. If only she could even brush her lips upon his slightly parted ones. Even the tiniest taste of Kurosaki-kun’s lips would be enough to last her a lifetime. His slow and steady breathing teased lightly at her skin, causing her to flush. Her hands wrapped tightly upon his relaxed one, as if letting go would mean all of this would disappear. Her lips were so close, she could even feel his warmth on her skin. His spiky hair brushed against her forehead, as hers draped upon his neck. But she could go no further. Her captor’s words rang through her heart, and she could not bear to betray Kurosaki-kun like this. She drew back, tears pouring from her eyes.
“I can’t... I really can’t.” She couldn’t let herself be as so selfish to steal a kiss—her very first kiss—from Kurosaki-kun, awaken him to her presence, and spell both of their doom from such a small yet meaningful gesture.
“Hehe…” she nervously giggled, trying to exchange her sobs for laughter, she always hated crying, it never felt as good as laughing did. That mix of a sob and a giggle caused a few of her tears to land on Kurosaki-kun’s cheek, “I’m terrible, aren’t I? It’s my last time to see you and I’m…” She couldn’t finish her sentence. She dried her tears, and backed up, and leaned against the edge of his windowsill, parting the drapes slightly.
“Kurosaki-kun, you know I had a lot of things I wanted to do. I want to be a teacher, and I also want to be an astronaut, and also make my own cake shop… I wanted to go to Mister Doughnut’s and say ‘I’ll have them all!’… And I want to go to 31 Flavors and say ‘I’ll have them all!’” Orihime sighed.
“Oooooh… I wish I could live life five times over! Then I’d be born in five different cities, I’d stuff myself with different delicious things five times over, I’d have five different jobs. And then for those five times,” she paused, “I’d fall in love with the same person.”
They could have their first kiss five different ways, get married five times over, they could make love five times as much, raise a family five times, and grow old together each time. Each lifetime would be different, but their love for each other would never change.
“…Thank you, Kurosaki-kun.” Orihime’s eyes began to well up again with the pain of parting drawing closer. She knew she could impart Kurosaki-kun with one last gift, one last gesture to validate that moment they had together. She quickly healed the burning wounds beneath the bandage on his hand that moments ago she was holding tight. Her past month’s training had helped her increase the speed and potency of her abilities considerably. She could easily manage now to restore Kurosaki-kun’s damaged hand in a couple quiet minutes. She was very careful and gentle to not awaken him at this rate. It was amazing he could manage to sleep through all this so far, bracelet or no.
Now, there was nothing left to be done. Everything was said, yet she still felt that was simply a drop from the entire deluge she held dammed up inside of her. If only she had more time, if only she could stay until Kurosaki-kun awoke. Orihime was filled with ‘if only’s, but she knew she had to leave. The clock was nearing midnight, and she was expected at the rendezvous point shortly. The time to linger was over.