The Flower Princess and the Alchemist @bloodpokemon101
Across the Stars of Destiny

(A/N: Here's chapter twenty eight! Last time, Orihime was mysteriously kidnapped by an unknown force, and Edward was helpless to save her. Find out what happens next. Enjoy! I just want to warn you... There is some implied lime in the beginning. Just a warning, so people won't complain that they weren't giving a heads up.

Konohamaya Uzumaki: Thanks for the review! Yeah, exams sucks, but they are important. I'm so glad you like the introduction of Mod Souls. They are completely overlooked. So many people focus so much on Soul Reapers and Arrancars and now, thanks to the last arc, Quincies. Even, they human characters get ignored. I could honestly understand why so many viewers thought Ritsuko was either a Soul Reaper or an Arrancar. Goes to show how much people only focus only those two...categories, I guess, forgetting there's a lot more out there in the Bleach world.

SunniKing: Thanks for the review! Thanks your review cheered me up. I hope you continue to enjoy this chapter and the rest of the story.)

Across the Stars of Destiny

The creaking sound of an old bed could be heard throughout the night. The rustling of blankets and sheets cried out as two figures moved together in sync in a tangled mess of lust. Lustful moans and guttural groans were the only noise escaping them as the lean yet bulky man had his lover pinned underneath him.

He cared not what the woman's name was, only that she'd be a good pawn to quench his growing and animalistic need. However, as he was plowing the woman underneath him, thoughts of a certain auburn haired healer filled his mind, his sick fantasies, wishing he was doing this to her instead.

Ah! When he first laid eyes on her, she was goddamn beautiful! The sexiest woman he'd ever met! Her big, gray eyes that shined with such innocence and compassion that looked so corruptible, her long, silky, auburn hair that reached past her waist and curled slightly at the ends that he wished to run his fingers through to feel just how soft they really are. Let's not forget her voluminous, bountiful breasts that he just wanted to squeeze and play with to his heart's content, her sexy behind that he just wanted to mess with it until it turned a beautiful shade of red, and her long, smooth, and creamy legs that led to her forbidden flower.

Damn, she had the body of a goddess!

Oh, god! Just thinking about her, gets him going! How he wishes to lay claim to her. No! He's going to claim her. One day… Someday soon… He's going to have her. He's going to see how great she is to have in bed. Even if he has to tie her up and force himself on her. After all, women only exist to satisfy him.

Heh, even if she dies before he could relieve his lascivious fantasies, he wouldn't mind desecrating her unmoving body a little. He's done it before. Just as long as her sexy, gorgeous body remains mostly intact. Can't do anything to a body that's in pieces.

He grunted, not caring if he hurt the woman below him. He wasn't concerned about pleasuring her, only that he was pleased and satisfied in the end. After all, this woman was nothing more than a pawn, a pleasure toy to sate his lust for the beautiful healer.

He screamed out the healer's name as he collapsed onto the bed, fully content for now. Sweat dripped from all parts of his body as he laid there, trying to regain his breathing. Afterwards, he lazily climbed out of bed. He had to see how progress was coming along.

He grunted in displeasure as he threw his pants and boxers on, ignoring the musty stench in the air. He had to see how the creation of their new ally was coming along.

"Hey, Morgan!"

He grunted, disregarding the impudent woman as he threw the remainder of his clothes on. She served her usefulness.

"Who the hell is Orihime, you bastard?"

He turned to face the woman who dared to look at him with anger and defiance, the sheet wrapped around her to cover her womanly parts. He doesn't know why she bothers covering herself. He's seen her naked and there's no one in this room, besides the two of them.

He went back to dressing himself.

"Don't ignore me, jerk!" the woman screamed, angrily. "Just who the hell is Orihime? You have been screaming her name all night! I'm not your replacement, you sick freak!"

That did it.

"Morgan," Ritsuko drawled as she saw the dark haired man enter the damp, barely lit cave. She gave him a look of both blase and slight disgust. "Are you done fucking your whore?"

Morgan rolled his dark green eyes, quite used to Ritsuko's vulgar language. She was so not his type. Too unladylike and uncouth. He wouldn't do her in a million years.

"God, you're disgusting!"

"Bite me!" Morgan snapped.

The red haired girl let out an unladylike grunt. "What did you do with her? She'd waiting for you back at the hotel with her legs spread out?" she asked, nonchalantly, not caring to receive an answer.

"I killed her," the blond haired man replied, simply. "She talked back to me, so I shut her up. Forever." He lecherous smile grew across his face. "I didn't want her anyway. I wanted the beautiful Orihime."

"Hmm," she hummed, although, she wasn't really interested nor listening.

Just then a sky blue light shined within the cave. They both turned towards the third member of their group, Kyuko.

Kyuko was staring blankly at her mirror as it placed on top of a tall, sturdy rock. The reflection flashing a brilliant blue light.

"It's time," she muttered, softly.

Both Ritsuko and Morgan grinned, maliciously at that.

"Wake up, Orihime!"

The healer stirred as she heard someone calling her name. She felt someone shaking her shoulder violently.

"Orihime! How long do you plan on sleeping in my class?"

When something hard struck her head, Orihime let out a loud yelp. Gray eyes shot up wide eyed and alert. She looked up to see Ms. Orochi staring down at her with an irritated smile.

"Glad to your awake, Orihime. Could you tell me what the answer on the board is?"

Orihime glanced at the scribbles and numbers on the chalkboard. It was obviously some sort of math problem. However, her mind was too forgone to concentrate on it.

"I… I don't know," she said, absently.

The teacher clicked her teeth. "Stop sleeping in my class, Orihime, and pay attention!" she lectured the poor girl.

"Y-yes, ma'am," she responded, hesitantly.

Ms. Orochi walked back to her desk and resumed the lecture.

As Ms. Orochi was continuing the lesson, Orihime wasn't listening to a word she was saying, taking the time to look at her surroundings. Students and desks laid about the room, as some of them took notes and others stared off into space. Her own notebook was laid out before her. White painted corner of the room, and the door leading out to the hallway was just by the teacher's desk at the front of the room. She glanced at the window to see familiar trees with leaves blowing gently in the wind and recognizable buildings out in the distance, and the school's front gate.

The school's front gate.

The school's front gate!

Karakura High School's front gate!

Her gray eyes flew as wide as saucers as swiftly averted her eyes downward. They instantly meet a pair of gray skirt. She frantically looked all around herself to see she was wearing her school's uniform, and then she noticed all the students were wearing Karakura High uniforms as well!

The ginger haired girl closed her eyes, taking a deep breath to stop her racing heart. This isn't a dream, right? This isn't an illusion, right?

Popped her eyes open trying to find Ichigo, Tatsuki, and the others. When she located mob of orange and dark hairs she felt her heart burst from intense joy and happiness, ignoring the odd looks she was getting.

She faced towards the window as joyful tears stream down her face.

She was home. She was finally home!

"What hell happened to her?!" Edward screamed out for the tenth time that night. He kept banging against the doorway Orihime flew into and disappeared. No matter how many times he slammed his hand against, an invisible force was preventing him from getting any further. He tried using alchemy, but to no avail.

Ed glowered, raging fury burning in his golden eyes. In blind rage, he grabbed the scruff of Riku's shirt, his fist shaking, violently, lips twisted into a snarl. "Bastard! What the hell happened to Orihime?! You've been to this house before! You should know! Tell me!"

The blond alchemist was speaking so fast, the brown haired man could barely comprehend what he was saying. "I don't know!" he shouted, honestly. "Th-this never happened before!"

"Brother!" Alphonse intervened, grabbing Ed's arm. "Let him go!"

"Fighting isn't going to solve everything, Ed," Winry interjected, watching the Fullmetal Alchemist with worried filled eyes. She had never seen him that infuriated before. It was kind of scary.

"We should focus on finding Orihime," Al added, trying desperately to reason with his older brother. "Riku said his brother owned a lot of books here, right? Maybe we could find clues in those books to see who or what took Orihime."

After a few moments of internal struggle, Edward let out an angry sigh and uncurled his fist from Riku's shirt. "Fine, let's check out the books." He threw a nasty glare at Riku. "This is all your brother's fault! If he hurts one hair on her head, I will kill him!"

Riku opened his mouth to retort, but then decided to close it. As much as he wanted to defend Reo, he couldn't understand why he was doing all this.

He nodded, solemnly. "C'mon, I'll show to the library."

Orihime was happily eating her lunch on top of the school's roof. Normally, she'd be eating with the other girls in the yard, but she wanted to be as close to Ichigo as possible. Tatsuki decided to join her as well.

"So…? Orihime?"

"Hmm?" Gray eyes glanced over to Tatsuki.

"Why were you sleeping you class? Did you not get enough sleep last night?" the female martial artist inquired.

Orihime pondered, thoughtfully. "I guess…" She suddenly realized something. "Hey! Can anyone tell me how I got back here?"

She watched as everyone gave her a look of confusion. She raised an eyebrow, inquisitively. Was her question weird or something?

"Got back from where?" Uryu decided to ask, hesitantly. He hoped she wasn't talking about Hueco Mundo. That was months ago.

Orihime scrunched her brows even further. "You know, a big portal came out of nowhere, and sucked me into this unknown world that looked similar to ours but in the 1900s," she explained, animatedly, waving her arms around with wildly.

When the auburn haired girl saw everyone looks of uncertainty and disbelief, she started vividly explaining everything that happened to her since she left. She actively explained how she ended up as an unlicensed doctor in a small town until Edward and Alphonse Elric showed up, how there are alchemists, and that Edward was a State Alchemist working for the country's military with an alias, the Fullmetal Alchemist. She also included how Ed had a robotic arm and leg and Al was just a walking, talking, seven feet tall suit of armor. She told about all the adventures she went on with the famous Elric brothers along with their search for the legendary Philosopher's Stone and the stone's dark secrets along with these non human creatures known as homunculi. She spoke with such vigor and impassion, and after it was all over, she took large gulps of air to regain oxygen in her lungs.

"Uh, Orihime?" Ichigo spoke out, unsure. "You never left."

"Eh?" Orihime blinked in confusion.

Tatsuki rubbed the poor, confused girl's head affectionately. "That's one wild dream you had in class, Orihime."

"A dream?" the ginger haired thought, feelings of uncertainty, doubt, and wistfulness swelling up inside her. Was it really all just a dream? As much as she was happy to be home, she was also glad about all the friends she made in that world. Edward, Alphonse, Winry, Nina, everyone she meet, she was delighted to be a part of everything. She knew for sure it wasn't a dream as Ichigo and Tatsuki were stating. They were real! They were her friends as well.

The only regret she felt was no being able to say goodbye.

"Urgh! There was nothing useful in these books!" Edward screamed out in frustration as he tossed aside another book. He along with Al, Winry, and Riku were frequently looking through books inside Reo's large library.

All of them obtained pretty useful information on alchemy, albeit Ed didn't care about any of it at the moment. Just focusing on anything that was remotely related to that thing that took Orihime.

"Don't get so worked up, Ed," Winry chastised.

"How can I not?" Ed spat back. "There's nothing in here that tells us how to get Orihime back!"

"Brother! You need to calm down!" Alphonse advised. "You're too angry. You're not focusing. Maybe you're missing something in those books."

Edward sighed. "I know, Al, I know. It's just…" How could he say he was partly angry because of the overwhelming guilt he felt inside of him? How he wished he didn't ignore her out of frustration? This was all his fault and he knows it!

He clenched his teeth out of indignation. If she died… If Orihime died… He had only himself to blame.

"Brother, come look at this," Al called out to his brother. He carefully maneuvered himself around the scattered layers of books until he reached Ed. "Look at this Transmutation Circle!" he exclaimed, urgently shoving the book within his brother's line of sight.

Edward took the book out of his brother's hand. His golden eyes widened slightly in awe and surprise. It looked just like an ordinary Transmutation Circle. The more basic form actually. However, there was a small six pointed star engulfed in a sideways circle. His first thought was to say that the Transmutation Circle was gone, that it'll cause a rebound or alchemy won't work at all because of how improperly constructed the Transmutation Circle is.

But then his mind flashed back to what Reo said.


"Listen to me, Orihime, don't come near this house," Reo warned, his blue eyes narrowed into slits. "Otherwise, I'd be forced to kill you."

Edward stood protectively in front of the ginger haired girl. "Oh, yeah? Like I'd let you lay a hand on her!" he shouted, furiously, clapping his hands together and slamming them on the ground. The familiar spark alchemic energy surged through the ground, creating spikes of pillars that hurled Reo.

However, they were instantly stopped by some kind of force field.

"No way. A barrier?" Orihime said, surprised. Does this mean this guy possesses spiritual powers? This is the first time she's encountered another human being with spirit energy, so one can't blame her for feeling a little bewilderment. So, the powerful spiritual pressure she's been sensing all this time was coming from him?

"No Transmutation Circle," Reo mused. "I'm guessing you performed Human Transmutation. Even so, it's still incomplete. A man who looks at the world with closed eyes, trapped in his own illusions, could never see that which is in front of him."

Edward gritted his teeth, furiously. "Just what the hell are you going on about, you bastard?"


As much as he didn't want to take advice from that devious, manipulative bastard, was his words supposed some sort of hint? He said that his Transmutation Circles were incomplete. Ed had to wonder how was incomplete. All his transmutations were perfect. He's never gotten a rebound, except for the time he performed Human Transmutation, but that's something else entirely.

So, what was that guy going on about? What was he missing? He wasn't seeing what was in front of him? What the hell was that supposed to mean?

Urgh! Edward scratched the side of his head in frustration. Damn bastard and his stupid, cryptic riddles. He stared at the book in front of him. If say, this book was a hint, how would it help get Orihime back?

It wouldn't hurt to read it and see. It is the only clue the blond alchemist has to go on at the moment.

Orihime was so, so happy! Her life was back to normal. Going to school, fighting Hollows, chatting with friends, studying… Oh, how she missed all those things. But even so, she's never once forgotten Ed and Al. She had to wonder how those two boys were doing. No doubt worrying about her. She did vanish right before their eyes, after all. She sighed as she wished she could tell them that she's finally home and not to worry.

The sound of sizzling could be heard, signaling the tea she was preparing was ready. She opened one of the cabinets and pulled out a small teacup. She began making her cup of green tea. She went into the fridge out and grabbed a plate of homemade red bean paste cookies. These taste great with green tea.

As Orihime took a break from her homework, enjoying her snacks, there was a knock on her door. "Huh? Who would be at the door this late?" she wondered.

She opened the door to be greeted with her dark haired friend.

"Tatsuki!" Orihime squealed, happily, pulling the other teenage girl into a tight hug.

"Whoa! Whoa! Orihime!" Tatsuki protested. "You're going to make me drop the stew!"

"Oh, sorry, Tatsuki," she said, sheepishly, letting go of her. "What brings you here?"

"My mom made stew," the dark haired girl answered, holding up the bowl filled with a meat and vegetables in a thick, broothy soup. "If I don't bring you food, you'll just end up eating weird stuff."

"But they're really delicious," the ginger haired girl playfully pouted. She laughed as she led her friend inside.

Suddenly, she saw something black flew across her vision. There was something familiar about its spiritual pressure, but she couldn't put her finger on it. All she knew was that she felt this spirit energy before.

"Orihime!" Tatsuki called from inside. "What's wrong?"

"Oh… Nothing, Tatsuki," Orihime replied back, entering the apartment and closing the door behind her.

"Alright, class, we have a new student," Ms. Orochi suddenly announced.

Orihime perked up as she said this as did the rest of the class. A new student? Who could it be. Maybe someone from the Soul Society? Maybe Rukia has come back? But wait… If she did, would she be considered a new student? She wasn't sure how this memory erasing thing works. It could erase memories, but could it restore certain memories back?

The auburn haired girl was snapped out of her musings when the door suddenly cracked up. Walking into the classroom was a man with long, black hair tied into a ponytail and blue eyes. He had a lean physique was wearing the male uniform.

There was something about this guy that felt familiar, but Orihime couldn't remember where she's seen in before. All she knows is that she's got a strange sense of deja vu.

"Please introduce yourself to the class," Ms. Orochi instructed.

"Hello, everyone. My name is Reo Kaname," the guy spoke in a monotone voice.

Reo Kaname? Where has she heard that name before?

Orihime flinched slightly and instinctively slapped the back of her neck. Lately, as days passed, she's been getting this strange itching sensation at the back of her neck, and she doesn't know where it was coming from.

"No fair! How come he gets to sit next to Orihime?" Keigo whined.

The ginger haired girl perked up at this to see the new student was indeed placed next to her. "Uh, hi," she greeted, shyly.

Reo just gave her a silent glance before staring ahead of him at the board.

She pouted a little, but didn't let his rude dismissal get to her. Maybe he was the silent type, like Chad.

The rest of the school day went on as usual. Orihime made several attempts to befriend Reo, but he was insistent on being left to his own devices. Still, she couldn't help but feel sorry for the guy. Why is he so persistent on being all alone? She knows from first hand experience how much it hurts to be lonely. Maybe that's just it. He was so used to loneliness that he doesn't see the goodness in having friends. Well, she would just have to change his mind!

"This makes little to no sense to me!" Edward cried out, tossing away another book. He read through all the various alchemy books in he could, but for the love of god, he couldn't figure out what the weird symbol in the middle of the odd Transmutation Circle meant.

"Did you find anything, Al?" Ed called out to his brother.

"No," Alphonse answered, distraught, a cloud of misery hanging over his head.

The elder Elric sighed in a mixture of frustration and disappointment. He held up the notebook high, his brows furrowed in confusion. "It'll usual take days, maybe weeks for us to decode other people's notes, but we don't have that kind of time. Every minute we sit here trying to figure this thing out, Orihime might be…" he trailed off, not wanting to finish that thought.

"I know, brother," Al said, solemnly. Then an idea came to him. "Maybe we should ask Riku for help."

Ed scoffed. "Pfft. No way. That'd be admitting we can't figure this out for ourselves."

"Brother!" the soul bonded armor chastised him. "What's more important? Pride or Orihime?"

Edward stiffened as Alphonse took a sorrowful glance over to a sleeping Winry. She was sprawled out on the floor with books scattered all around her.

"Winry has been really worried and scared about what happened to Orihime. She even cried herself to sleep."

Ed flinched at that. He didn't needed to be reminded. It left a bad taste in his mouth. Another reminder that he needed to rescue Orihime and fast, and that he was the cause of everyone's current suffering.

Riku seemed to have impeccable timing as he came with a tray of tea and cookies. He set the tray down on the table. Both brothers took notice of how sluggish his movements were and how tired he was. He had bags under his eyes for crying out loud! Not to mention, god only knows how late it is!

Ed and Alphonse are used to staying up this late researching. Sometimes Al even chides Ed about getting some sleep, and not properly taking care of his health. But people like Riku are not used to pulling all nighters. Don't forget the fact that his older brother, someone he greatly admired, could potentially be a murderer may also weigh heavily on his conscience.

"How's the search coming along?" Riku asked, stifling a yawn.

Al shook his head. "Not so good." He glanced over at Riku. "Hey, Riku?"

A brown brow raised. "Yeah?"

"Do you how to decipher this damn circle?" Edward questioned, rudely, shoving the book in his face.

The brown haired young man leaned back slightly to properly look at the picture of the Transmutation Circle.

"Hmm?" He furrowed his eyebrows in concentration. He looked it over multiple times checking over every nook and cranny of the drawing.

Ed and Al waited anxiously for his input. Seeing as he was Reo's younger brother, Riku would know his mindset and how it works better than anyone else, which they were asking for his help, begrudgingly by Edward.

"Well?" the blond alchemist asked, tapping his fingers against the table, impatiently.

His voice seemed to startle Riku a little. He must have dozed off to be jumpy so easily and quickly. "Oh? Oh…" He set the open notebook on the table. He trailed his finger over to sideways circle enveloping the six pointed star. "I'm not sure what the star means, but I do know what the circle means."

Edward and Alphonse leaned in close as they listened intently to his explanation.

"The circle is a symbol of life and death," he continued.

"Life and death?" Ed inquired, raising an incredulous eyebrow.

Riku nodded his head in an affirmative manner. He traced his fingers over the visible part of the circle. "This part represents 'life', and the part we can't see represents 'death'. It shows how both life and death are interconnected. It could symbolize the things that can be see and things that remained unseen."

"Things that remained unseen?" Alphonse questioned, tilting his head, puzzled.

"Yes," the brown haired male confirmed. "Have you ever heard of Schrodinger's cat?"

"You mean that paradox theory where the cat in the box is both alive and dead at the same time?" Ed said, questionably.

"Yeah," Riku answered. "Think of the circle similar to that scenario. The object in the box could be simultaneously alive and dead. We won't know until we open it." He paused for a moment, blue eyes taking in Al's armored form. "Don't get offended for what I'm about to say…"

Ed narrowed his golden eyes.

"Alphonse, you have a connection with life and death."

"What do you mean?" Al asked, confused.

"Well…" He fiddled with his words a little. Even though, he's only known them for a short time, he quickly realize how much Edward is protective of Alphonse and their...situation. He took a deep breath. "I'll put simply it this way… Al's soul is alive, but the body his inhabiting is inanimate, or another words, dead."

"What the hell does that have to do with this?!" Ed screamed out, angrily.

"Calm down, Ed," Riku spoke, waving his hands to settle an angry Ed down. The blond alchemist huffed, but said nothing. Just opting to settle for an intensified glare at the young man. The latter took this as an incentive to continue. "What I was getting at is way...Alphonse is both alive and dead at the same time."

"What do you mean, Riku?" Al questioned, somewhat nervously. He didn't like where this was going.

"Well, what would happened if we removed your soul from the armor, Alphonse?" Riku asked, rhetorically.

"Wh-what…?" the younger Elric stuttered.

Edward, on the other hand, was becoming increasingly furious. What the fuck does Al's condition have to with this life and death crap?! "What are you getting at?" he growled. "He'll die, you idiot!"

Brown eyebrows furrowed in cryptic seriousness. "But we don't know that for sure. Sure, we could assume he dies because we can't physically see his soul and the armored body stops moving. However, just because we can't see Al's soul, doesn't necessarily mean he's dead. After all, his soul is alive. If it wasn't, would you be able to transmute to that body of armor. For all we know, his soul could be aimlessly wandering around until its original body returns to it, but we wouldn't know that because we can't see it."

Edward's and Alphonse's eyes widened at this. They have never thought about it like that. Although, it was nothing to feel down about, nor get their hopes up for. It was just a theory. A stretched out theory that Ed would never take the risk of doing, but at least now he could understand what Riku was saying.

"That's what the circle surrounding the star means," Riku continued. "Life and death are connected in many ways we just don't know about. Life, death, rebirth… It's a neverending cycle of life. Seeing is unseeing and unseeing is seeing… But the question remains… Why is there so much emphasis on death? If there is an afterlife… A life after death… Is there something we must aware of? A post life blessing? A warning? Another stage of human life we don't know of?"

Edward, Alphonse, and Riku all remained silent, staring at the circle as if it would unveil all of its remaining secrets. Then Riku let out a loud gasp.

"What…?" Alphonse almost panicked. "What is it?"

"This is just a thought…," Riku trailed off. "But what if…? What if Orihime is trapped somewhere where she's simultaneously alive and dead?"

"How's that even possible?" Edward hissed, gritting his teeth.

"Well, if this circle is a hint, Orihime could be trapped in a place where she's alive and dead at the same time. She's like the cat in the box. If she so chooses to, she could either come out of the box and live or stay in the box and die."

"Of course, she'll choose to live!" Ed protested.

"But for what reason?" Riku retorted, calmly. "And please don't say 'just to survive'. Haven't you ever heard of the saying 'life is not worth living if you don't have something to live for'? If a person doesn't have a purpose, then a meaningless survival is the same as being dead. We all go through that in life. Trying to find the one thing that would give our life meaning. To me, a meaningless life is worse than being dead," he said, dolefully, his blue eyes drooping down, sadly. "Life is more than just simple survival, you know. All this is also reminding me of Tanabata. The princess gets separated from her loved ones."

He covered his mouth to hold back a stifled yawn. He stood up from the chair and began to take his leave. "Well, I'm off to bed. I'm sorry I can't be of any further help."

"No," Alphonse disagreed. "You helped us a lot, Riku. Thanks!"

Riku nodded his head, and turned his gaze back over to Edward, who was deep in thought, golden eyes glaring at the page in front of him, eyebrows furrowed in unrelenting concentration.

As he headed off to bed, Riku didn't know what to believe. He could hope, pray that Orihime would come out alive somehow. "Brother?" he thought, somberly. "What are you thinking?"

Days turned into weeks and weeks soon transformed for months. Right know, Orihime was busy making her special chocolate brownies. The Tanabata Festival was coming up soon and Orihime was gradually looking forward to it. She was… She was going to confess her feelings towards Ichigo.

She didn't know what exactly compelled her to express her love towards the orange haired substitute Soul Reaper. Maybe it's a combination of love, admiration, anticipation, and fear. Of course, she always feared that there was chance of her being rejected. Nothing scares her more than getting her heart broken.

But strangely, it wasn't just that. For somewhere she felt like if she didn't get this confession of her chest, she would deeply regret it.

And yet, why was she feeling this way? What was the reason? It's not like she's going anywhere. After all, she's escaped from the terror that is Hueco Mundo.

Ichigo saved her. He had helped her. Guided her. He was her pillar of support.

Of course, there were times where she was scared, deathly scared. But it wasn't for her life. It was for his. It was one of the reasons why she willing became Aizen's prisoner in the first place, so Ichigo wouldn't fight, get hurt protecting her.

It was Orihime's first selfish act of love. In the end, she even completely giving up on life, ready to die at a moment's notice.

But then he showed up, and casted away the shadows that enveloped her crumbling world once again.

He was her light.

He was her support.

He was the reason she could be brave.

He was her strength.

He was the one who gave her life purpose.

He was everything to her!

And Orihime would never fall in love with another man, like Ichigo! He was the only man for her! Always and forever! And she would do anything for him! Even sacrificing her life, if it meant keeping him safe!

That's why the ginger haired girl was so scared, absolutely terrified of getting rejected, of her heart breaking. She's spent so much effort, radiated smiles, and tried to become a better person because of him. To put every ounce of love, admiration, and devotion into Ichigo… It's understandable why Orihime is downright petrified of her feelings not being reciprocated. Or at the very least, giving some thought. Go on a few dates to how it goes. If he doesn't… Well, she just wouldn't be bare it. She doesn't know if she could handle it.

She couldn't help it! Orihime Inoue was hopelessly in love with Ichigo Kurosaki! She loved everything about him! From his wild, tangerine hair and slightly tanned skin to his cute scowls, strong jawline, and muscular shoulders. His lean, powerful build and long, sturdy, slender legs. But most of all, she loved his eyes. His deep brown eyes. Eyes that held such overwhelming fierceness, intensity, protectiveness, and most of all, warmth. Just one glance was enough to make the auburn haired girl's feet turn into jelly, butterflies to flutter in her stomach, and her face to become slightly hot, dusting her cheeks a light pink color.

She heard a small 'ding' noise.

"Oh, the brownies must be ready!" She smiled as took them out of the oven. The ginger haired hummed in delight as she took a whiff of the delicious goodness. "Now, time to add my special banana, peanut butter, and chocolate frosting!"

Gray eyes stared at her finished work in both excitement and anxiety. "I hope Ichigo would like this…"

However, Orihime could help but to feel incredibly anxious, like she was forgetting something. Something important.

She flinched, gripping her head in slight pain. A flash of blond, red, and steel appeared inside her mind in a blinding light. A slight sense of a deja vu hit her. That same sense of vague familiarity just like Reo, but this time much stronger.

A flash of pain banged against her heart. It hasn't the first time she saw visions of two odd boys, although they remained very blurry and she could see their faces. Somehow, whoever the people, they were important to her. But, for the life of her, she just couldn't remember their name, no matter how much she concentrated. Nothing came up.

"Who are you?" Orihime thought, sadly. "Just… Who are you?"

(A/N: That's the end of chapter twenty eight! I hoped you enjoyed it! Oh no, Orihime is starting to forget about Edward and Alphonse! Why is that?! I've decided to make this a three parter. There are a few things I wanted to add, and if add them now… The chapter may become too long. So, I'll put them in next chapter. Plus, I could focus entirely on this Bleach world and character interaction, and I may or may not add some Ichigo/Orihime moments. Haven't decided, but I'll 'go with the flow' as I write. I'll write it in, if it feels natural. And won't, if it doesn't. I can honestly say I'm getting kinda inspired by Angel Beats opening theme: My Soul, Your Beats. I've been listening to that song, and it's given be a few ideas. There's nothing much to say.

Anyway, leave any comments, questions, and suggestions in a review and thanks for reading!

Oh yeah, and one more thing. I'm taking a break from this story. I'm starting to lose motivation to keep writing for it. As I keep writing more and more chapters, I'm feeling less and less compelled to write anymore. I guess, I'm getting more and more mentally exhausted. I need a break… And also I want to work on my other stories. Even got a new genderbent Naruto/Hinata fanfic I've been working on [people have been asking me for more]. I don't know when I'm returning to this story. Scratch that! I am returning! This is one of the few stories of many I've written that I absolutely want to finish! It's just the fuse for this starting to die out. Once, it's relit with renewed motivation, I'll return. Let me put it this way, I need to take a break before my engine runs completely out of gas. Hopefully, I'll be back near the end of summer. And I also like to take the time to watch more anime. So there's that… Anyway, goodbye for now. You might see me posting chapters for something else, but not for this. So, think of it as 'The Flower Princess and the Alchemist' being on a small hiatus. Thanks to all my readers who have reviewed, favorited, and followed this story! You guys are the best! And I'll see you again when I return!)

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