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NaNo Day [#7]; [Untitled Ishihime Thing]

NaNo Day: 7
Title: Untitled Ishihime Thing
Word Count of Selection: 1,257
Current Total Word Count: 2,293/ 50,000 (lol I am so behind)
Why are you posting this for us? The rest of what I have so far. Just in case anyone actually cares.
Notes: This just picks up where my last post left off.

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Immediately upon arriving in Sereitei, Orihime was separated from Ichigo, and was instead spending nights tucked away in storage sheds with the bespectacled Ishida-kun, who was actually quite a nice boy, and a rather good companion. His fighting ability wasn’t too shabby either. He saved her life twice before they left. In the end she ran back to Ichigo, who she couldn’t help, and wished.

Back in the living world, things didn’t go back to normal, as things are supposed to after such an adventure, but got even worse, the aims of the traitorous Aizen becoming clear relatively quickly, allowing those in the living world to be able to prepare for the upcoming war. Everyone spent time training, Ichigo off with the Vaizard behind a barrier, Orihime with Rukia in Soul Society, Sado with Renji in the space below Urahara’s shop, and Ishida with his father in a special chamber beneath the hospital.

Urahara told Orihime that she couldn’t fight. That she was too weak. Orihime was fairly certain that princesses don’t usually get scolded for just being in the way in their own fairytales. But being able to find Ichigo, even through the Vaizard’s special barrier made her feel a lot better. That was definitely a sign. The only one who can find him, who knows where he is at all times, must be the one destined to be his princess. Right?

Then Ulquiorra showed up and offered her her ultimatum. Come to Hueco Mundo or your friends die. It seemed like a relatively easy choice, once she squelched her self-preservation instinct. Her only goodbye was to Ichigo, and she declared (to no one, really, because he was asleep), that she would love Ichigo for five lifetimes if given the chance, and mourned the fact that he would never know now much she loved him. It never crossed her mind that she had never said anything to him about it in the long years that she’d cared for him, but it seemed like the fitting end to a tragedy, and that was almost as good as a fairytale. Sometimes the princess has to wait until the next lifetime to be with her prince. So she followed an Arrancar into Hueco Mundo.

Orihime didn’t think of fairytales at all when she stood before Aizen in his throne room, and he told her of her purpose there. This felt much more like a nightmare, and even though the Arrancar called her “princess,” she had never felt less like one. She was afraid and alone, and while she had a plan to destroy the hyougoku and save her friends back home, she had no hope that anyone would come save her.

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Once upon a time, an archer loved a princess.

Ishida Uryuu first met Inoue Orihime in the third grade, when she moved to his district of Karakura. She always stood out, because of her oddly-colored hair, but other than that she wasn’t anything remarkable. She was cheerful more often than most children had any right to be, something that at age eight, Ishida already envied. She clearly didn’t have a very difficult life at all, probably two parents who loved her and wanted her to be everything she ever dreamed of. After all, they’d named her “Orihime.” A princess from a legend about a star. She moved away only a short time after that, but he didn’t forget her.

Their first year of high school, Ishida immediately joined the Handicrafts Club. He had always enjoyed sewing, especially since his grandfather had taught him how, and his grandfather was now dead. The customs and traditions of the Quincy didn’t include needlepoint and stitching seams, but Ishida felt that he was keeping his grandfather’s memory alive every time he made a perfect stitch anyway. He was instantly at home in the Handicrafts Club room, and at the first meeting, became so engrossed in a project he was working on – a new pair of slacks with Quincy crosses emblazoned across all the seams – very subtle, very classy – that he almost didn’t notice the redheaded girl burst into the room. Good thing he had all that Quincy training to fall back on, or else his reflexes wouldn’t have allowed him to twist around fast enough to catch the girl.

Orihime hadn’t remembered him. Of course, they hadn’t even been close when they were younger, but he was slightly put out anyway. He’d certainly remembered her. She still radiated light and was bouncy and beautiful…and now all grown up. Ishida wasn’t the sort of boy who went around noticing things like the size of girls’ breasts, but with Orihime it was impossible not to take note. Ishida filed the fact that he’d Noticed far back in his mind, and pretended to scoff at anyone else he caught staring at her.

He scoffed a lot.

The two of them sat side by side in Handicrafts Club, twice a week, and while they didn’t talk much, Orihime occasionally asked him to help her with a stitch, or to teach her how to line up the seams correctly when quilting, or whatever else the project was that day. Their conversations never went very far beyond the realm of handicrafts, but Ishida was glad to have the time to talk to her anyway, enjoying her natural effervescence, and her extremely overactive imagination, which he pretended to think was ridiculous, but secretly envied. Through these conversations he learned a lot about the girl, unconsciously clinging to each new snippet of information and tucking it away into that file in his mind, a file which was becoming increasingly thick as time went on. Ishida learned Orihime’s favorite foods, and that she liked autumn best out of all the seasons. He learned that the left side of her neck was ticklish, because she shied away when anyone tried to whisper to her in that ear. He learned that Orihime lived alone and that her brother and only guardian had died when she was twelve.

This particular piece of information had shocked Ishida, because he didn’t understand how someone so cheerful could have been through so much pain. When he’d known her as a child, she’d always been happy, and even then, she’d not had parents to look after her (not that parents were any better than an older brother who clearly loved her more than anything else from the way Orihime described him, considering the way Ishida’s own father treated him). And now, even after losing that one person who’d cared for her – at such a young age too…Ishida had been four when his mother had died and nine when he’d lost his grandfather, and he still wasn’t over either death – she was living her life, and seemed to be enjoying every minute of it. He thought about his mother and grandfather every day, and every day he tried to live up to the example they’d left behind, to be better. Orihime seemed to not have a care in the world. Ishida envied her ability to be so happy, even under the circumstances she’d lived through. That he’d lived through too. Losing Souken had been just as painful as losing a parent, just as Ishida imagined losing Sora had been for Orihime. He longed to commiserate with her, underneath that Quincy pride that dictated that he keep his pain under wraps; longed to learn her secret, to being happy – or even just content – even after losing so much, but day after day, all they shared was a sewing machine.

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