Careless Wonder

A girl with strange light red hair, borderline pink, appears out of nowhere from Ichigo's past and demands that she speaks with his father... and why is Urahara looking for her? Ichigo/oc

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14. Chapter Fourteen: Making Plans

Careless Wonder

Chapter Fourteen: Making Plans

Everything wasn't as simple as she wanted it to be. The events of the past couple of days had her mind reeling over questions she could not find the answers to. It was driving her insane. The thing she wanted most at that very minute in time was to confront Roy and get the answers she desired, to end the turmoil bubbling up inside of her. She wanted it all to end. Friends were getting hurt, and the family she was staying with and growing to love, was in danger because of her. If only she stayed away then none of this would be happening. She didn't care if she was now controlling her hollow side, she would go back in time and stop herself from coming to that town if it meant protecting the Kurosaki family.

The last couple of nights she'd been walking the streets of Karakura town in hopes that Roy, or anyone, would confront her. To end the madness once and for all. But nothing happened. The only thing she ever confronted were mere hollows. It aggravated her to no end knowing how much control they had over the matters at hand. They could pop out anytime they wanted to and she was forced to wait, not knowing what their next move was or when they were going to attack.

It had been a full month since she's been staying with the Kurosaki family. She felt like a burden, but they acted like she was part of the family in which she was grateful for.

At school she still mostly stayed to herself. Sometimes she would meet up with Orihime for lunch, or talk to Uryuu about any new news about the recent hollow attacks. Other than what was needed, she was beginning to conform into a routine of sorts. Something she was relatively okay with. She was beginning to open up more, growing more comfortable with the people around her. She could stand the occasional hug from Orihime, which was an achievement of its own. Occasionally, she would talk to Asano when he was around the times she was speaking to Orihime or Uryuu. It amused her to see him so giddy when she responded to his constant pestering.

And then there was Ichigo. At school, she tried her best to ignore him, but she was beginning to enjoy his company so it was growing exceedingly difficult to do so. Occasionally, when Asano and Ichigo parted ways to go home, Ichigo and she would end up walking home together. She enjoyed teasing him.

Today though, she decided to give in and 'make friends'. She was starting to grow bored anyways, maybe hanging out with people would get those crazy fan girls off her back. She was starting to believe they only liked her because she was some mysterious loner. She hoped that was the case.

Ichigo eyed the girl, dressed as a boy, walking next to him on their way to school. She didn't even have a book out like she didn't notice him, but instead chose to walk to school with him to be seen by others. He grew extremely suspicious.

"What do you want?" Aria turned and blinked at him.

"What do you mean? I don't want anything?"

"Are you sick?"

"No."

"Is something troubling you?"

"Not at the moment."

He stayed quiet but stared at Aria, seeing if her expression would slip. She felt her eyebrow twitch as he continued to stare at her. "What the hell is wrong with you?!" Aria blurted out.

"Why are you walking to school with me? I thought you didn't want anyone to know we knew each other?"

"I changed my mind."

"How so?"



Aria crossed her arms, a vein popping to her forehead. "I didn't know it was such a big deal for you. I'll just leave you alone then." She reached into her pocket to pull out her book, her pace quickening to walk ahead of Ichigo. He too, quickened his pace, keeping stride with her.

"Hey, wait, I didn't mean it like that! I was just wondering why the change of heart? Can't blame a guy for asking."

"Do I really have to explain myself to you? Maybe I just want some company." She had her nose in her book, but gave him a sideways glance. "Pansy."

"You know I hate it when you call me that," he grumbled, looking the other way with half-lidded, constricted eyes.

"Ichigoooooo!" Asano came running out of nowhere toward Ichigo, but stopped short when he saw Aria. His eyes completely white and mouth agape, stuck in mid-stride, as he gapped at Aria.

"What's wrong with him?" Aria whispered, covering her mouth with her hand.

"He's surprised to see you talking to me," Ichigo rolled his eyes, walked over and smacked Asano on his forehead before continuing his walk toward school. "Everyone thinks you're a loner."

"I'm still a loner, just opening up more!" Aria defended, her finger pointed up in the air, her face mimicking his from earlier. Ichigo turned to look at her, slinging his book bag over his shoulder.

"Are you sure you want to ruin your reputation? People will think your more approachable now." Aria shrugged.

"They'll learn soon enough I only talk to people I want to." She followed after him, giving a small hey to Asano when she passed and walked next to Ichigo to continue their way to school. Asano finally unfroze, turning and quickly running to Ichigo's side, covering his mouth to whisper viciously in his ear with excitement.

"Why's Blake talking and walking to school with you? Are you two friends? Do you know each other? How did this happen? Where was I when this happened? – Ichigo. Ichigo. Ichigo!" Ichigo pushed his face away, his eyebrow twitched with irritation.

"Will you stop that!? He wanted to talk to me first. If you want to know why and how you ask him!"

"What!" Asano exclaimed, sweat pouring down his face. "But he doesn't like me! I can't ask him anything!"

"He doesn't hate you. Besides, what's the worst he could do? It's only a question." Ichigo sighed at his friend's stupidity. Why does he hangout with him again?

"You know," Aria began, turning her head with a narrowed, angry eye. "I don't like it when people talk about me behind my back, literally. I'm right here, morons." Asano sweated more, scratching the back of his head with embarrassment.

"What? Us? No! Not us. We would never do such a thing!" Aria rolled her eyes and turned around again to read and walk.

"So you guys weren't just discussing about if I hate you or not?"

"What!" Asano shook his head back and forth rapidly, his hands in front of him defensively. No, no, no, no, no… well – since were on the subject…" he laughed sheepishly, scratching the back of his head.

"I don't hate you," she answered for him, not looking back at him as she spoke. "I don't know you. You haven't gave me a reason to hate or dislike you – yet."

Asano pumped his hand in the air, slightly jumping when he did. "Yes!"

Aria was glaring at him over her shoulder. "And now you gave me a reason to not like you." Asano cried. Aria faced forward and smiled at his antics. He was actually amusing, he was making her smile which was rare with someone she hardly knew. "I was only kidding."

At school, everyone gawked. Aria, or Blake as everyone else knew/thought she was, walked in-between the two boys conversing like they were good friends. Aria ignored all the stares like she did every day, but Asano was walking with euphoria from all the looks he was receiving. He was already scooping out all the girls who were leaning in and whispering to their friends as they watched them walk. Ichigo, however, was scowling and walking with his eyes closed, trying his best to ignore all the looks they were receiving. He could already feel his eyebrow twitching with irritation.

"Blake," A familiar voice called. She looked up to see Uryuu walking over to the three, his usual uncaring stare present.

"Hey," Aria responded with a small smile. "What's up?"

Uryuu returned the small smile, Ichigo's eyebrow slightly raised from the interaction. "I'm surprised to see you socializing. If I'm not mistaken, I remember you specifically saying you hated to interact with anyone outside of your… comfort zone." His eyes instantly shifting too Asano. Aria shrugged, looking back down at her book, putting up the act like she wasn't in the mood to talk.

"I was getting bored."

Uryuu pushed his glasses up, his smile returning. "I guess that's a valid reason." The warning bell rang, the four teens walked into school and into homeroom. Aria took her usual spot next to the window, ignoring the stares she was receiving as she took out her material for the class.

The day went by well, Aria continued to open up to Ichigo and his friends. Walking to and from class with one and even gave Asano attention when he tried to converse with her. She had to admit to herself that it felt – nice, talking to her friends. Every time the word 'friend' crossed her mind, she couldn't help but think how only a month ago she would be running away from the thought of it. Now, was different. She was enjoying herself. Something that felt so foreign, but also felt so right. She could get use to that feeling.

But…

She was still planning on leaving after the whole Roy situation passed. Why?... she kept on asking that herself. Would it be so bad to continue living in Karakura town? There was a reason why she had to leave. She had to protect the people she was growing to… she was growing to love, and she also had to protect herself.

"Asano," Aria began as she walked up to said boy. He was putting his books away in his small locker and grabbing his lunch. He turned when he heard Aria call his name, a bright smile instantly lighting up his face.

"Blake!" he waved at her and closed his locker. Aria walked up to him and waited until he was fully turned toward her. "What's up?"

"Do you guys eat up on the roof every lunch period?" Asano nodded.

"Sure do. Why? Do you wanna join us for lunch!?" He sounded hopeful, his eyes sparkling with hope and joy. Aria couldn't help but chuckle at his innocent behavior.

"I was planning on it. Have you seen Ichigo around by any chance?"

Asano scratched his head as he thought about it. "Not yet. He's probably already heading to the roof right now as we speak." Aria nodded and started to walk past him to head to the roof. "Hey, I'll come with you!" He ran up and fell in sync with her walk, his lunch bag swinging at his side. "Hey, I was wondering," he started, looking down at Aria, (who was only an inch or two shorter than him), with question. "How long have you known Ichigo? You two seemed like old friends this morning walking into school?" Aria glanced up at the brunette and shrugged her shoulders before looking ahead again.

"A month or so."

"You've known him for a month or was friends with him for a month?"

"Well, the first week, to tell you the truth, I didn't much care for him, but something happened and now we're pretty good friends. Why you ask?"

"O-oh, nothing, just wondering." Asano laughed a weird laugh, causing Aria to look over at him with a raised eyebrow. She shrugged it off and continued their walk to the roof.

Like Asano predicted, Ichigo was already on the roof eating his lunch. With him was Mizuiro, and Chad, all three sitting around each other and conversing. Asano, being the goofball he was, ran over to their group with a huge grin on his face. When he was close enough Ichigo looked up toward his friend, then his eyes moved to Aria's approaching form. "So, you're going to eat with us?" He asked with a smile. Aria shrugged her shoulders.

"Why not, I have nothing better to do." Ichigo narrowed his eyes, annoyed yet more on the playful side.

"I'm glad to know you only want to hang with us when you get bored." Aria smiled lightly and shrugged her shoulders. She turned her gaze toward chad and smiled, extending her hand to the tall and tan male.

"We haven't been properly introduced," she tried her best to sound polite, a warm smile present. "Names Blake, and you are?" Chad took her hand without hesitation.

"Yatsutora Sado, or you can call me Chad. It's nice to meet Blake Diederich." They shook once before letting go. Aria instantly noted how firm, yet soft his grip was. She could already tell he was a gentle giant.

"Chad," she began, turning her body sideways and sticking her hands in her pockets. "Are you Mexican, or part?" Chad nodded replying he was part, which in return Aria smiled. "¿También hablas español también." Chad looked at her with surprise, blinking a couple of times.

"Sí. ¿Eres fluidez?" Aria smiled at his surprised… tone? At least, she thought he sounded surprised with the look he was giving her.

"Si."

"Wait a minute," Asano raised his eyebrows at the two, his eyes settling on Aria. "You can speak Spanish, too? How many languages do you know?" Aria smiled, closed her eyes and shrugged.

"Ten or so."

"Ten or so!?" His eyes were the side of saucers, in complete disbelief. "That's crazy! Are you a genius?" Aria couldn't help but chuckle, Ichigo's friends were so amusing.

"I wouldn't say genius, more like… I had a lot of time on my hands when I was little."

"A lot of time? How so?"

Ichigo grimaced slightly from Asano's questions. He knew Aria didn't like to talk about her past, he watched her carefully to see what her reaction would be. Surprisingly, he didn't see anything pass through her eyes, she still looked stoic as ever.

"I was homeschooled, my… aunt was a linguistics, so she taught me all the languages she knew. Being so young, being fluent in the different languages was simple." She smiled smugly when she saw Asano continuing to gape at her. "It's really nothing special."

Asano continued asking questions, much to Ichigo's dismay, but Aria didn't mind. She answered each one truthfully, or as close to the truth she could get without everyone knowing who or what she was. He had to admit to himself, she seemed happy. More happy than usual. Just a month ago he could remember how she scowled more than him; talked less than him as well. She wasn't an open person. But now, she was socializing, her true personality coming to light. He wondered what changed.

Uryuu joined their group as well. He felt Aria's presence up on the roof and came to inspect only to find her opening up to Ichigo and his friends. He decided he would finish his lunch on the roof as well, he enjoyed talking to Aria, especially since she didn't have anything moronic to say about every little things like other people.

Orihime and Tatsuki joined halfway through lunch, their little group turning into a full house. Everything seemed normal, like they were all normal teens.

"Um… hello there…" Everyone looked up to see a girl with long, dark brown hair with matching eyes and rosy cheeks, speak with nervousness. She was fiddling her thumbs together and occasionally looked up to meets Blake's staring eyes. "Um… Blake…"

"Yes?" She answered, already having a gut feeling why this girl was standing in front of their little group with blushing cheeks, and a nervous flicker in her eyes.

"I'm sorry if I'm b-bothering you, but I wanted to ask you a question…" she trailed off, her hesitation irking Aria.

"Just spit it out already, lunch won't last forever."

Her eyes grew wide as she looked away from the piercing blue eyes of the person she knew as Blake. "I-I w-was wondering if y-you wanted to go to the dance next week with me." Aria didn't hesitate with her response.

"No."

The girl looked at her startled, her eyes growing wide with rejection clear on her face. She looked devastated. Aria shook her head and turned the other way, getting annoyed that she was just standing there looking at her with hurt in her eyes. The girl bowed and walked away, her face growing redder from embarrassment and hurt.

"That was pretty harsh," Asano said, turning back to look down at his food. Aria shrugged her shoulders.

"Whatever. I need to be mean in hopes they'll let up soon. I'm getting sick and tired of being asked out every day. You would think they would get the hint."

"But how can you say no to that!" Asano practically cried, his arms flailing in the air like it meant something. "They're all so hot! And their bodies! How can you not say yes to that?" Tears fell from his eyes. He let his arms fall to the side, letting them lie limp as he cried. "You're so lucky! I have no one that wants to go with me!" Aria rolled her eyes.

"Do you really want to go that badly?"

"Of course! I can't go unless we have a date. The stupid student committee made it a stupid rule!" He crossed his arms, sticking his bottom lip out in a pout. Aria smiled at his innocent cuteness.

"I know someone who would be willing to go with you." That got Ichigo's attention. Asano perked up, his tears stopped.

"Yeah? Who?"

"My sister."

"What?!" Both Ichigo and Asano exclaimed. Asano more out of excitement, Ichigo out of complete surprise.

"Yeah, her name is Aria. She likes those sort of things," she said with a smile, her eyes moving to Ichigo to see his mouth agape and eyes white with disbelief. She held back a laugh. This time, Orihime leaned forward in their little circle, her eyes wide with excitement.

"Are you serious, Blake? She's really going?"

"Yeah," Ichigo said with confusion clear in his voice. "Aria, your sister, your twin sister, will be going?" He was leaning in, his eyes boring into hers, waiting for the answer. Aria shrugged her shoulders.

"Yeah, like I said, she likes those sort of things," she smiled at his confusion. "She likes to dress up once in a while. God knows how long since the last time she wore a dress."

"And you do know how much a dress shows?"

"They make dresses that cover up… certain parts." He was referring to her scars. Asano began to squirm in his spot, his excitement evident on his actions.

"Are you serious?! I'm so excited! You said twin? Exact twin? What color is her hair? What she like? Do you guys have the same personalities…?" he continued on and on and on. Aria ignored him.

"Aw," Orihime sat back, her disappointment clear. "I would like to go too, but I have no one to go with." Aria smiled, her sly eyes moving to Ichigo.

"You can go with Ichigo."

"WAAAHHHHHH!?" she fell backwards, her face redder than a cherry. She quickly fixed herself, sitting back up and running her hands down her skirt, but her cheeks were still aflame, her eyes darted over to Ichigo.

"What the hell, Blake?! I don't want to go to some stupid dance!" Ichigo yelled, his own cheeks tinged pink. Why did she have to say his name? Aria waved him off.

"Don't listen to him, Orihime, he's just shy. He's been talking about asking you for the last week but couldn't sum up the courage to do so."

Orihime's face was priceless. She began to spew out incoherent words, her head shacking back and forth so quick her face was a blur. Ichigo was almost in the same predicament, his face too, was as red as a cherry, but he was sweating profusely, he couldn't even form words. Finally, though, he was able to speak.

"That's a lie! Even if that was true, I wouldn't be shy about it!" Aria rolled her eyes.

"Whatever, Ichigo, just go will you? I need someone to watch over my sister anyways," her sly smile returned to her face causing Ichigo to eye her suspiciously. "I'll even let you have a slow dance with her if that makes you feel any better?"

An arm wrapped around her head, forcing her into a headlock. Ichigo continuously rubbed his knuckles against her scalp, tears forming in her eyes. She pushed against his hands in a failed attempt to make him release her but his grip only tightened. "Let me go you pansy dumbass!" she yelled through his sleeve. He wouldn't let up.

"Oh? And why should I?" his response came out like a growl. "Maybe if you stop lying I might let up."

Her arm flew up and elbowed him in the gut, and when he released her to press his hands against his stomach, her elbow made contact with his head, flinging him backwards into the pavement below. He twitched on the ground with pain which caused Aria to stare down at him with triumph. "Idiot."

He shot up and rubbed his chin and the back of his head where it smacked against the pavement, shooting a glare at Aria. "You know that hurts, a lot."

"It's supposed to." The whole time the two were fooling around, Orihime continued her own embarrassed twitching with only one thought racing through her mind: did Ichigo actually wanted to go to the dance with her? No, it couldn't be. Of course, she wanted to go the dance and wanted Ichigo to ask her, but she never thought he would. He never acted like he returned her feelings… but… but…

"Orihime? Are you okay?" Tatsuki asked, staring at her friends sitting next to her with worry. Orihime had her mouth agape, her face still red as a cherry as sweat poured from her pours. Apparently she was still in shock. Tatsuki sighed when she didn't get a response. She turned and looked over at Blake, her eyes narrowing. She didn't trust the guy still. There just wasn't something right about him, he was definitely hiding something. But it seemed Orihime trusted him and even said they hung out a couple of times after school. She sighed again. He was hiding something but he didn't seem like he wanted to hurt any of her friends. Hell, even Uryuu seemed to have warmed up to him. Actually, she seen them conversing a lot lately. They've seemed to become good friends. Maybe Uryuu knew his secret? If so, would he tell her?

Lunch was over soon, the group of friends dispersed. Aria, Uryuu, and Orihme walked together to their next class since the three shared the same class. Ichigo said his goodbyes and walked with Asano back to their class. So far, today was a good day. Almost like it was normal, like he was a normal teen. He almost laughed at the thought. Before he became a substitute soul reaper he always longed to be normal. Now that he was losing his soul reaper powers completely, he was one step closer to becoming normal. But unlike then, he wasn't longing for it. He has the power to protect the ones he loved, and that alone gave him pleasure and happiness. He couldn't protect his mother all those years ago… but now he had the power to protect, and after having a taste of that power, he didn't want to let it go. He wanted to continue protecting, no matter what.

He shook his head. He sat down in his seat and splayed his books out on his desk. It wasn't the time to think about that. He'll deal with it when the time came.

But dammit, why couldn't he stop thinking about it.

He had to distract himself. He looked outside the window, trying to find something to concentrate as the teacher lectured. His eyes grew wide at what he saw. He definitely found something to get his mind of that subject completely.

Outside was Aria. She was standing at the school gates conversing with someone. She was tense, he could see her stiffness all the way up to where he was on the second floor. He squinted his eyes to see who she was talking to.

It was that Jade girl.

He stood up quickly, his seat making a rather loud squeaking noise making everyone around to look at him. "I have to go to the bathroom!" He said then ran out, not waiting for his teachers' response. He ran down the stairs and out the front school doors to the courtyard. He looked toward the gates, but she was no longer there.

What he felt next made him sprint as fast as he could toward home.

He felt Aria giving out a massive amount of spiritual pressure. Where she was at made his heart almost leap out of his chest.

She was at his house, fighting with than man names Roy.

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