Need

Jan. 28th, 2016 08:27 pm
mistkitt: (Default)
Originally posted 4.30.2015. Wood nymph AU.

~

His fingerprints reminded her of tree rings. She liked that about him, thought it significant somehow. When they were together she would grab his hand and examine the lines - the faint and the many, not the dark creases - as if she was trying to decode him. As if she was constructing some hypothesis on their fundamental differences, or deciding that they had none.

She could decide whatever she wanted, he supposed, but it wouldn’t change the facts. There was magic inside of her. Magic in the very way she moved. Standing beside her, the air smelled cleaner, and he wasn’t sure if that was because she was magic, or because he loved her.

And he did love her. He loved her like he’d never known love in his life, and who knows, maybe he hadn’t. Nothing like this. He’d breathe her in if he could. He’d inject her magic straight into his veins. She was everything he wasn’t, everything he’d been missing. The kind of carefree he’d aspire to be but never grasp. She took his worn out life and repurposed it into something useful, something beautiful. He woke up earlier every morning because he couldn’t stand the excitement of existing - a way he hadn’t felt since he’d arrived there a decade before - and he had her to blame for that. No, he had her tothank for that. He’d stopped blaming her for his happiness a long time ago.

He let her have her way with him. If she wanted him to chase her through the forest, he’d chase her, no matter how much faster she was. If she wanted him to be her prince, her knight in shining armor, he’d shelter her from storms and talk her down from nightmares. If she wanted to touch him, he allowed her to touch him, and tried not to think of her small hands on his chest, turning every breath of clean air into an effort.

There was nothing he wouldn’t give her. He was weak, he was in misery, he was in raptures, he wanted to cry when he held her in his arms. The sunny smile that broke across her face when she spied him would drive him to madness sooner or later. He’d never wanted anything as badly as he wanted her.

“How do I feel about you?” she echoed his question one quiet afternoon, and her flushed cheeks, her downcast eyes, told him everything he wanted to hear. “It’s… a big feeling.” Her small hands, gesturing. “It inhabits my entire being. Warm, and… it frightens me.” Her silver eyes, seeking. “It’s like I have to remind myself how to breathe.” His hands, in her hair, drawing her close enough to know how mutual the feeling was. “Oh God, Ulquiorra…” his name, whispered in agony against his temple, “I can’t breathe.”

And neither could he.

TwT

Apr. 29th, 2015 12:37 pm
mistkitt: (Default)

Originally posted 4/26/2015

My internet is down, so it’s time for a challenge! Dryad AU, Rukia style.

~

“Good morning, Rukia!” Miyako Shiba had a splotch of orange on her right cheek. Her hair was pinned up away from her face, and a shabby, stained white apron was secured to her front. But even so, she was still beautiful, Rukia thought. She was always beautiful. “Come in! Kaien left early this morning, so it’s just us girls today.” A white canvas had been set up in front of her. Music from the nearby record player filled the sitting room with a man’s crooning.

Rukia had never spent much time alone with Miyako. Usually it was the three of them together; sharing meals, lounging by the mansion’s outdoor pool, playing board games into the late night hours. She approached shyly, stepping around a table where a bowl of oranges had been placed. “What are you doing?” she asked Miyako as she came to stand behind her.

“Painting. It’s a hobby of mine, but I’m afraid I haven’t had much time for it lately.” Miyako moved over to allow Rukia to admire her work. The oranges had been perfectly replicated; they looked good enough to eat. “Not too shabby, huh?”

“It’s breathtaking!” Rukia agreed, and Miyako beamed at her.

“If you’d like, I could paint a portrait of you one of these days. Which is more boring than it sounds. You’d have to sit very still for a long time.” They stared at each other for a moment, then burst out laughing. Asking a wood nymph to sit perfectly still was like asking a cat to be lazy: no trouble at all.

“Rukia?”

She blinked, coming back to her senses. Night had fallen around her, and the sitting room, though still the same size and shape, was filled with different furniture. All that remained of the past was the record player, the man’s crackling voice echoing off the high ceiling.

Ichigo stood in the doorway looking in on her, where once she had stood looking in on Miyako. “Thought you wanted to watch a movie.”

Rukia stared at him. “I do.”

His frown was a questioning one, but after holding her haunted gaze a few seconds, he decided to keep the questions to himself. “Come on,” he said, “popcorn’s in the microwave.”

Rukia nodded. When he’d disappeared into the hall, she reached forward and lifted the needle from the record, cutting off the music. If fifteen years had done so little for her broken heart, she began to fear that it would never mend. 

The Ash

Apr. 29th, 2015 12:35 pm
mistkitt: (Default)
Originally posted 4/24/2015

 Alright, I’ve had enough of the happy. Bring on the angst. (Wood nymph AU.)

~

There was nothing left. Hard to believe - impossible, really - but everything from the swirling ashes to the tendrils of smoke forced him to. Of the house, the forest, the picturesque mountain view, his happiness; there was nothing left. Only the photographer’s instinct to capture the ruin for posterity remained.

The glow of still burning embers in the ground, for example, looked a bit like runes. And the charred archway that marked the entrance to what used to be his home - still miraculously standing - made a solemn, almost noble figure. It had endured, and it deserved the admiration, the praise.

Beyond the doorway, little landmarks reminded him of what he was looking at. There was the kitchen island. Some broken glass from blown out windows. The ceiling fan, on the floor, mangled. Here was the hallway, open to the gray sky above. And finally, the bedroom, with the bed a steaming, sunken ruin.

There he found the ring. A plain, thin gold band, sitting on the mattress. Perfectly formed. Unmarred by the fire, and cool to the touch. Exactly the way it had looked when he’d slipped it on her finger. And he thought, of course it would be here. She always hid in the bedroom when she was scared.

The ring became a blur. Something was building, building in his chest, rising up like a tidal wave.

She’d been scared.

He stumbled out of the house, into a scorched, blackened, and unfriendly world that he no longer recognized. His refuge. His place of safety. A realm beyond the false glamour of Hollywood where magic - real magic - had once existed.

She was gone. He cried, he rebelled, he got sick, and he cried more. But the scene remained unchanged. He couldn’t bring it back with filters and proper lighting. He couldn’t manipulate her into his life again.

There was no magic in him. There never had been.

mistkitt: (Default)
Originally posted 4/23/2015

 More dryad!Orihime because I need cuteness in my life. Much thanks to shiloah18 for the idea. ;D

~

Orihime picked up a heavy black object from Ulquiorra’s glass coffee table and examined it. The contraption was boxy with one long, circular limb, a knob at the top, and several buttons. “Be careful with that,” Ulquiorra warned her as she pressed down on the biggest button she could find. A bright flash went off in her face. Startled, she screamed, threw the object in the air, crashed into the sofa, and scrambled over it while Ulquiorra dove to save the black box. “I told you to be careful!”

“I’m blind!” Orihime screamed from the floor.

Ulquiorra sighed. When people came across nonhuman creatures in movies, the teaching process was often skipped over in a humorous montage. God forbid they portray it as the challenge it was. “You’re not blind,” he said to Orihime. “Just keep blinking.”

She blinked rapidly. “Oh.” Once she was certain she’d recover, she stood up and glared at the object in Ulquiorra’s hand over the top of the sofa. “What is that thing?” she asked, flinching back when he turned towards her.

“It’s called a camera.” He tried to keep the annoyance out of his voice. “It’s an integral part of my work.”

“Work. Labor that you exchange for human currency,” Orihime said, repeating the definition he’d given her verbatim. “Your work is a camera?”

“Sort of.” A small smile tugged at Ulquiorra’s mouth. She’d taken an accidental selfie - and a very unflattering one at that. “I’m a cinematographer.”

“Cinematographer,” she echoed uncertainly.

He nodded his head towards the television, where two men were walking together. “Take that scene, for instance. The camera is at a distance from the men, so that you can see the valley before them, and the mountains beyond. The colors are darker than they would be in real life. It evokes a gloomy feeling, doesn’t it?” Orihime nodded. “Those are choices a cinematographer made, together with the director of the film. Giving focus to the scenery rather than the men establishes setting. You wouldn’t do that with a shot of a man’s mustache, because what does a mustache say about setting? Very little.”

Orihime nodded again. “I think I get it.” She tilted her head. “Umm. Well. Maybe.”

“Here.” Ulquiorra motioned for her to sit on the sofa. She did so reluctantly, casting suspicious glances at the camera in his hand. Then he went and lowered the blinds of two windows, opened another, plucked a dying rose from the bouquet he’d been sent by a transexual actress named Charlotte, and gave it to Orihime.

“Oh, this poor thing!” she cried, momentarily forgetting Ulquiorra as she brought the rose to her lips. The moment she kissed its withering petals, Ulquiorra took the photo of her. She looked up. The flower had come back to life. “What was that noise?”

Ulquiorra brought the camera over and showed her the accidental selfie she’d taken. She gasped at the close-up of her face. “What does this photograph say about you,” Ulquiorra said, then flipped to the picture he’d just taken, “compared to this one?”

Orihime stared at the photograph for a long time. The way the light shone in her hair, the soft glow of the magic reviving the flower, the almost sorrowful expression that lingered on her face at the sight of the rose, the gentleness and care with which she handled the stem. “Do I really look like that?” she wondered.

“That’s the way I want others to see you.” She turned her large eyes on Ulquiorra. He looked away, embarrassed. “I mean, as the photographer, that’s… I arranged the lighting so… Cinematography. It’s a similar concept, only with moving pictures.”

Orihime smiled. “Okay. I think I get it now!” She blinked, then frowned. “But how did I get in the camera when I’m sitting right here?”

Ulquiorra sighed. It was going to be a long afternoon.

mistkitt: (Default)
Originally posted 4/21/2015

 Orihime as a tree nymph AU.

~

“Yoo-hoo!”

What descended on the woods that afternoon was more mist than rain; a shroud of gray that crept silently from mountain to mountain, cool and refreshing to the touch. Its scent filled every room of Ulquiorra Cifer’s spacious home, wafting in through an open window.

At that very window, a lump of auburn hair appeared, followed by the top half of a face, peering in with wide brown eyes. “Ulquiorra, are you there?”

Standing on the tips of her bare toes, Orihime frowned when no reply came from within. He never would have left the window open if he was going to step out of the house. “Hmm…” She lowered herself from the screen and bounded lightly over to the back deck, nearly slipping on her own muddy feet with a yelp of surprise. When she tried the door, it came open with neither creak nor resistance. He must have been home, then.

Just inside the door, a towel hung from a recently installed hook. Above it was a handwritten note: Dryads, Please Wipe Your Feet. Orihime rolled her eyes, but took the towel and removed the mud from between her toes before leaving the welcome mat.

From what she could hear, the television was on, but nothing else. “Ulquiorra?” She received no answer. Walking past the laundry room she entered into the living area, with its high ceiling and walls of windows, framing a picturesque view of the yard and the mountains beyond. A black and white movie was playing on the flat screen TV, beautiful human actors in long coats talking to each other in crackling, accented voices. Across from it was a modern white sofa, and there Orihime found Ulquiorra at last, sprawled on his back, a hand on his stomach, fast asleep.

Orihime crept to his side and crouched down. She’d never seen Ulquiorra sleep before. He looked younger that way; a little less cranky. A few strands of black hair had fallen into his face, and just as she was about to sweep them away, his eyes opened, and she recoiled. “Ah! You scared me!” she cried.

Ulquiorra blinked, his gaze unfocused. “Clearly I did no such thing, as you have managed to maintain a corporeal form.”

Orihime stuck out her bottom lip at the jab to her flighty nature, but she was quick to recover her smile. “I was surprised. You’re always awake when I come by, so I kind of started to think you never slept.”

“That isn’t far from the truth,” he murmured, searching the cable box on the console to see how long he’d slept. “There was a wrap party last night for cast and crew. Couldn’t get out of it. Had to call cabs for a few less-than-sober people.” Orihime blinked at him. Right. He might as well have been speaking Greek for all that she understood of the human world. “Nighttime gathering. Merry-making got out of hand.”

“Ah,” she said, drawing out the sound to show comprehension. Her smile softened, and Ulquiorra noticed that her hair was damp, curling slightly. “You must be tired.”

He stared at her for a long moment. She was close - close enough for him to pick up the rich, earthy scent that seemed to cling to her. Only now it was mixed with the rain, leaving him with the impression that he was out wandering the forest, rather than dozing on his couch. He reached out and laid a hand on her cheek, marveling at the smoothness of her skin, the way her lips parted. But the confusion that spilled into her eyes made him remember himself, and he retracted his hand, ignoring the painful twist in his chest. “You don’t know the half of it,” he said.

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