mistkitt: (Default)
 Originally posted 12.17.2015

I might have promised someone for how Muse!Ulqui met Grimmjow. ;D

~

“Listen, I know that I haven’t treated you well lately. I would even go so far as to say that I–” Ulquiorra lowered his voice, “–deserved this.” He shuddered like he’d swallowed a mouthful of cough syrup. “But don’t you think you’re being a little immature?”

His car remained indifferent. Ulquiorra tried the key again. No luck.

At nineteen years old, Ulquiorra Schiffer could tune a piano, speak fluent Italian, and cook a restaurant-worthy salmon. He didn’t know the first thing about cars.

Outside, sparse snowflakes drifted from the sky as if the clouds were hesitant to inconvenience anyone. Ulquiorra got out of his car and went back inside Las Noches.

The front desk attendant, Cirucci Sanderwicci, took her headphones off. “Thought you were going out.”

“My car won’t start,” Ulquiorra said. He could see, as he approached the front desk, that Cirucci had the computer’s web browser open to her MySpace page. He refrained from commenting. “Is there a good mechanic nearby?”

“Huh. Don’t know about good, but the guy in 606 works at a garage.” Cirucci grabbed her cell phone. “I’ll call him for you.”

“That won’t be necessary. I do not wish to be in my neighbor’s debt–”

“Hey, asshole, do you always sleep ‘til noon after getting laid?” Cirucci said into the phone. She winked at Ulquiorra. “Right, that bimbo who stumbled through the lobby this morning was just my imagination. Uh-huh. No, she wasn’t Nnoitra’s. He had a blonde last night. Anyway, got someone who needs your help down here, so put some pants on.” She hung up.

Ulquiorra backed away from the front desk. “Really, if you could just hand me the Yellow Pages…”

“Don’t worry, Grimmjow will fix it up on the cheap.”

He sighed and slipped his hands into his pockets, doubting Cirucci would be half as helpful if he hadn’t caught her on MySpace. And would it kill her to turn on the heater? How was he supposed to not play the piano later with stiff fingers?

Twenty minutes later, Ulquiorra shivered beside his car as a blue-haired Greaser peered into the hood, muttering to himself in–French? Why French? “Holy God,” the thug exclaimed in perfect English, “when was the last time you changed your oil?”

Ulquiorra blinked at him. “Huh?”

The thug - Grimmjow, was it? - looked Ulquiorra up and down. “You some kind of idiot? There’s no oil in here. Your engine looks like a fucking pot roast.”

Ulquiorra’s eyes narrowed. At least I graduated high school, he almost said. “So all I need to do is get more oil.”

“No,” Grimmjow deadpanned. “Your engine has to be fixed.” He cringed at the mess in the car. “Or put out of its misery. Either way, it’s gonna cost ya. But since you’re clearly a moron and I feel kind of sorry for you, I’ll give you a discount if you take it to my place.”

“How charitable of you.” Ulquiorra’s voice oozed sarcasm.

“Damn straight.” Grimmjow pulled out his wallet and produced a business card, which surprised Ulquiorra. Greasers carried business cards? “Just get it in before the end of the month. I’m going to France in February, and my coworkers ain’t half as nice as I am.” He left Ulquiorra standing in the snow and trudged his way back into the building. Ulquiorra looked at the business card. Grimmjow Jaegerjaques

Well then. At least living in a dump like Las Noches proved to have its uses.

Missing

Jan. 28th, 2016 08:34 pm
mistkitt: (Default)
 Originally posted 5.26.2015

As expected, it was a long day of vicious weather and constant emergency alerts from the television. Here’s some Muse for coping.

~

At the airport, she’s collected. Cheerful, even. She reminds him not to blame the flight attendants if there are an odd number of pretzels in his bag. In fact, she says, don’t even count the gosh darn pretzels. The last thing she needs is to get a phone call saying they had to reroute the plane and arrest him for causing an incident.

Scarlet doesn’t say half so much. She’s six; her principle concerns are pouting because she can’t go and asking him to bring her back a souvenir. “Bye Daddy,” she mutters, unable to help smiling when he picks her up and kisses her cheek.

Then he’s off to the security checkpoint, setting his carry-on into a plastic bin, enduring the body scanner, putting his shoes back on, and giving them one last melancholy look before he disappears into the terminal.

Orihime drives them home.

It’s seven o'clock that evening when Scarlet comes out of the bathroom and finds her mother crying quietly at the piano. She joins her on the bench, wide eyed, concerned. “What’s wrong, Mommy?”

Orihime wipes her cheeks. Her make-up smears on the backs of her hands. “I miss your dad,” she says.

Scarlet tilts her head. “He’s only been gone a coupla hours.”

“I know.” Orihime laughs. “This sucks.”

“Sucks,” Scarlet agrees, uncertainly. Orihime pulls Scarlet into her lap, burying her nose in her daughter’s freshly washed hair. They sit in silence broken only by the occasional sniffle, surrounded by the ghosts of compositions past, feeling Ulquiorra’s absence as if it were a physical presence. He isn’t a loud person by nature, but the music in his mind is so plentiful that Orihime imagines she can sense it just by standing beside him. The thought intensifies her longing, and she sighs.

“Someday,” she says wistfully, “you’re going to meet someone who makes you cry when they leave, even if it’s only for a few days.” She can tell by the scrunching of Scarlet’s nose that she doubts that, and Orihime doesn’t blame her. Had it been ten years ago, she wouldn’t have believed it herself. “And when that happens–” here she smiles, “–you’ll know that person has your heart in the palm of their hand.”

mistkitt: (Default)
 Originally posted 5.17.2015

Ah geez. Okay. Muse. FLUFF WARNING.

~

Ulquiorra was halfway through a dream about being late to a test he hadn’t studied for when a hand smacked his side and catapulted him out of slumber. “Wake up!” Ms. Inoue was bouncing up and down beside him, apparently forgetting that he’d paid for a mattress where she could do so all she wanted and he would remain undisturbed. “Wake up, wake up, wake up!”

Of a few things he became certain as he opened his eyes: it was still dark outside, his alarm hadn’t gone off, and therefore it must have been too early for his anti-morning girlfriend to be waking him. But there she was on the other side of the room, ripping open the curtains and bustling about like it wasn’t – dear God, 5AM? Was she drunk? “Is the building on fire?” he asked instead, lucid enough to remember questioning her sobriety would make her angry.

“What? No. Do you hear any fire alarms?” Orihime clicked on the beside lamp with her elbow, revealing a coffee mug in each hand. Ulquiorra stared at them blearily.

“You’ve been in the kitchen. There must be a fire,” he said, to which she rolled her eyes. She pressed a mug into his chest.

“Just take that and drink it.”

He took it, but he didn’t drink it. “Is it laced with something? Are you kidnapping me?”

“Oh my God, if you don’t shut up and drink your coffee.” She left the threat open to his imagination as she crawled over him, handling her own steaming mug carefully. Ulquiorra had several objections to consuming food stuff in his bedroom, but he figured he would need the caffeine to deal with… whatever this was. He took one sip and immediately noticed that it wasn’t his usual coffee. Orihime was watching him over the lip of her mug.

“What is this?” he asked, though her concentrated stare was enough to revive his suspicion of the drink being drugged somehow.

Orihime took a deep breath and spoke rapidly into her mug. “They were selling it at that frou frou coffee place next to Tiburon. I went there with Rukia yesterday, remember? And they had these like gumball machine lookin’ things filled with coffee beans and they weren’t all that expensive, so I got whatever this is because I couldn’t pass up a name like Billie Bean is Not My Lover, and, well, anyway, do you like it?”

Ulquiorra took another sip. Billie Bean was, in fact, much better than his usual coffee. “Yes,” he answered slowly, his eyebrows furrowing. “But did you have to wake me up at five in the morning for this?”

“No…” She looked away.

“Then why am I awake?” he asked, noticing her toes digging into the blankets. There was a stubborn little pout on her face; the kind she wore when she didn’t feel like telling him something.

“I wanted to watch the sunrise.” She mumbled it so quietly that he almost didn’t hear her. Ulquiorra blinked. She didn’t need him to watch the sunrise. There was no reason to be embarrassed about something like that, unless… unless there was an implied, silent “with you” tacked onto the end of her statement. Which certainly seemed to be the case. She chanced another look at him and immediately looked away again. “Sh-shut up!”

“I didn’t say anything.” A rosy, pleasant feeling was spreading through Ulquiorra’s chest. It was a happiness bordering on obnoxious, the kind that made people walk around half asleep with goofy grins on their faces. But Ulquiorra, being a man of little expression, could only manage the tiniest of smiles; the rest would be left to his eyes. He sat up and moved beside Orihime, reclining against the wall. “What time does the sun rise?” he asked.

She opened her mouth, then frowned. “I don’t really know.” Her cheeks were adorably pink. Ulquiorra leaned closer to her. She relaxed, shifted her legs, and leaned back.

“Then we’ll just have to find out,” he said, turning his gaze to the window.

The First

Apr. 29th, 2015 12:25 pm
mistkitt: (Default)
Originally posted 3/30/2015

 Muse.

~

The nature of their relationship always seemed to change when they least expected it to. That day, they’d been arguing about socks.

She’d insisted on buying him colorful socks to go along with his new dress shoes. He didn’t want colorful socks. She went on like she hadn’t heard him, making plans to match socks to his ties, because no rich boyfriend of hers was going to walk on stage with black or white or even gray socks. His first public appearance had been rescheduled for April, so she was thinking of green, blue, pastel yellow.

He didn’t want to talk about socks anymore.

They’d unfurled the sofa bed because both of them wanted to lie down and there wasn’t room enough on the couch unless they cuddled, and she didn’t feel like cuddling with him because he’d dropped one of her thongs in the garbage disposal two nights ago. Granted, she’d put red food dye in his toothpaste so he’d think his gums were disintegrating, but it had been her favorite thong, and he knew it.

She’d almost pushed him away when he started on her neck to get her to shut up about the socks. Almost. Then he had honed in on that sensitive spot behind her left ear and she’d thought, eh, what was the harm in letting him think he’d distracted her? She would just start up on the socks again the moment they were done fooling around.

But within a few minutes she was picking up on a strange mood in the air, and suddenly, she really was distracted. What were they doing?

Name a place a cheating husband would keep a spare pair of underwear,” the game show host was asking, and she silently listed them off, tears welling up in her eyes.

At the office. His fingers laced through hers.

At his lover’s apartment. Her heart was beating so fast.

In his car. He whispered something in her ear.

In the dog house. She’d had no idea it could feel so good.

Sorrow as dark and as deep as the ocean floor welled up in her chest. She kept thinking she shouldn’t have known the answers to that question, shouldn’t have known other places that the contestants would have never guessed. And the way he kissed her tears away, looking at her with so much love and concern, only deepened the wounds she wished she could hide from him.

He held her for a long time afterwards. She kept whispering apologies, even as she allowed herself to be carried away by sleep. In any case, he didn’t seem upset; when she woke up alone on the sofa bed an hour later, he was in the kitchen making them dinner, like it was any other day. 

And indeed, on the surface, it seemed like nothing had changed at all - especially when she started hounding him about the socks again. But when she stepped out of the apartment the next morning for her work shift, she couldn’t help thinking, in an uncharacteristically moony sort of way, that the world looked just a tad bit brighter.

mistkitt: (Default)

Originally posted 3/13/2015

Orihime Inoue survives the train crash that kills her husband. She then goes on to survive the knowledge that he is dead, his funeral, and the putting away of his things. She survives two months of near catatonic depression, followed by four months of sullen moods and bitterness. She survives the overwhelming impulse to burn down the house he had built for them, exactly as it was before they left it, so that it would be theirs forever.

Orihime survives, because that’s what she was born to do - only now she must do so without a crutch.

She throws money at orphanages, schools, music programs, women’s shelters, the ASPCA. She creates scholarships in her husband’s name. She counsels girls like herself and helps them off the streets at the risk of her own personal safety.

Eventually, she recovers her sense of humor and becomes an embarrassing and inappropriate (great-)grandmother. Asks for Victoria’s Secret gift cards for Christmas. Pretends to commune with her dead friends at the dinner table. Swears she won’t date unless Ulquiorra has reincarnated as a strapping young German boy with a monstrous package. Carries around a walking stick to hit people with, not because she actually needs it.

In what spare time she has, she plays the piano. She’s not very good at it, but the older she gets, the more she starts to understand Ulquiorra’s complaints of an untamed composition. There’s one that’s been buzzing around her head ever since he died.

At the age of 93, on a sunny afternoon, she finishes and records her one and only composition. Scarlet finds her a few hours later, slumped over the piano, resting her head on her arms as if she’s fallen asleep.

The recording of “The Uninspired Pianist” features Orihime having a cheerful one-sided conversation with the music, which seems to be complaining because it sounds far too nice. She sounds happier than she has in decades. When the song ends, there’s a brief silence, followed by:

“I would like that very much. Hold on a moment.” 
mistkitt: (Default)
Originally posted 3/11/2015

 Everything else was too sad. “See You Tomorrow” from the Azumanga Daioh soundtrack for atmosphere, pls.

~

The evening sea breeze pushed the curtains into the hotel room. A single lamp illuminated Orihime Schiffer where she sat on the edge of the bed, phone pressed to her ear, flipping through a brochure of things to do in Genoa, Italy. “Trust me, I wish I’d gotten here when you and Klaus did, but you know how your father procrastinates when he has to perform. If it was anyone other than Natalia, I’d worry about him falling asleep at the piano.” She frowned. “Don’t tell her I said that.”

“She’s retiring. I hardly think it matters,” Ulquiorra chimed in from where he lay behind her, then said in a louder voice, “Good night, Scarlet. See you tomorrow.”

Orihime rolled her eyes. “We’ll be on the 8:15 from Genoa, so meet us at the station. Bring some water… and possibly a barf bag. Night, sweetie. Try not to get pregnant until we’re stateside again.”

“Mom!”

“I love you!” She hung up and set the phone on the nightstand. Laying beside Ulquiorra, she wiggled the brochure in front of his face, hitting him on the nose several times. “Look here, they have a booze cruise. Can we do that before we leave the country?”

Ulquiorra took the brochure, irritated. “You wish to pregame our flight home. Why does this not surprise me?” He turned in her direction, placing a hand on her hip. “If you were the slightest bit more embarrassing, you’d be fighting drunken middle aged white women at county fairs for a crown.”

Orihime stuck her tongue out at him. “You love me.”

“I do,” he agreed, so easily that she narrowed her eyes, suspicious. “But how about we save it for our anniversary?” He pulled her closer, lowering his head until his forehead rested on her shoulder. “I want to go home,” he murmured. “I want to see Tchaikovsky. You know how anxious he gets when we leave him at the pet hotel.”

“Oh my God, if someone’s scratching his rump, he’ll hardly notice we’re gone.” Orihime combed her fingers through Ulquiorra’s hair. There was more gray in it, obscured by the black that had been touched up prior to their coming. The stress was doing him in, she thought, and kissed the top of his head. “Fine. We’ll bring Tchaikovsky on the booze cruise in April, but if he gets into the alcohol, it’s on your conscience.”

Ulquiorra sighed. “I don’t say this often enough, but I am so glad I married you.”

“Damn straight,” Orihime replied. Then, because neither of them were tired, they stayed up half the night trying to make each other tired.

In any case, there would be plenty of time to sleep on the train.

mistkitt: (Default)

Originally posted 3/7/2015

This was in my head ALL DAY.

~

The future Mrs. Schiffer had gotten into the wine.

Despite having more money than two people in a cheap one-bedroom apartment knew what to do with, Ulquiorra and Orihime didn’t go on vacation very often. This hotel adventure hardly counted; Las Noches could be seen from the balcony of their room, jutting out of the Hueco Mundo district like a cold sore, if they turned south and craned their necks a little. But Ulquiorra had had a thing, and Orihime had dressed very nicely for the thing, and dancing had been mandatory at the thing, and bedroom eyes had been made until they’d had no choice but to extend their hotel stay. Who would miss them at Las Noches, anyway?

“You know who you’re like?” Orihime asked as she rolled over to face Ulquiorra, nearly knocking over the food and dish tray she’d eaten her breakfast-in-bed on. “You’re like… a sexy Beethoven.”

Ulquiorra thought the drunken compliment over. The afternoon sunlight glinted off of the nearby empty wine bottle, of which he’d had one glass, and Orihime the rest. He shifted his leg under the scratchy sheets and the bottle rolled off the bed. “I don’t have a powdered wig, though,” he said.

“That’s okay, we’ll make ya one,” Orihime patted his stomach reassuringly. “Well need a couple dozen Barbie dolls and some powdered sugar.”

“I’m not sure that’s correct, Ms. Inoue.”

“Then you can put it on and I’ll screw your brains out.”

“Hold on, let me find my phone. I doubt that you can text in your condition so we’ll just have to record a verbal contract, for future reference.”

“Oh no you don’t!” This time she succeeded in knocking over the tray, which flipped over the edge of the bed and landed on the floor with a noise of broken dishes. She threw her entire body across Ulquiorra’s skinny midsection to prevent him from moving. “I’m too smart to fall for that again.”

“For what again?” Ulquiorra asked innocently.

“Verbal contract a-k-a blackmail!” she cried. “‘Cause you’re an asshole. A sexy Mozart asshole.”

“Wasn’t I sexy Beethoven?”

“There’s a slight to major possibility that I might not actually know the difference.” Orihime tried to lift herself up, then went limp. “There’s also a slight to major possibility that I’m drunk.”

Ulquiorra stroked her naked back. “That’s fine. You’re engaged to me, and social convention dictates that I should take care of you in your vulnerable state, not lock you out of the room in nothing but a bed sheet, no matter how badly I want to.” He tilted his head to look her in the eyes. “I really, really want to. I’m letting you know this because I love you, and hope that you’ll forgive me, should I give in to the temptation regardless of our premarital status.”

“I don’t want to marry you anymore,” Orihime grumbled. “I was gonna make you a powdered wig and wash your underwear and cook you dinner sometimes but you can forget all that now.”

“Were you really?” he asked, sounding much too cheerful for someone who was being dumped.

“No. Maybe. It doesn’t matter 'cause I’m not marrying you anymore. I’m leaving just as soon as I throw up in your piano.”

“I’m so touched.”

“I hate you.” 
mistkitt: (Default)

Originally posted 2/21/2015

Finally, there’s the question of Ulquiorra’s mental health, which Aizen claims is excellent in chapter five or so.

It’s not. Aizen was lying. (ノ´ヮ´)ノ*:・゚✧

To start with the most obvious, Ulquiorra suffers from high anxiety. He has violent panic attacks before his concert performances, but they can also be triggered by memories and seemingly trivial things. In high school, his anxiety was so bad that it rendered him unable to eat, which in turn led to him being hospitalized when his weight dropped dangerously low.

Second most obvious, obsessive-compulsive habits, such as rearranging his furniture when he’s stressed, his refusal to compose on any piano but his own, and his severe dislike of odd numbers.

Third are autism-like behaviors, such as:

- lack of empathy: He uses Natalia for the opera and is utterly blind to her feelings for him, and was on track to doing the same to Orihime. There is very little that he truly cares about. Other people’s problems don’t concern him at all (Gin and Rangiku; caring more than there will be no Thanksgiving turkey if Nel leaves than the effect it’ll have on Grimmjow).
- trouble socializing: He doesn’t seek others very often and prefers to be alone. The few friendships he’s made in Las Noches were either out of necessity or against his will. He’s not very talkative, and when he is, he dominates conversations with his rants, moods, and tantrums.
- upset by changes in routine (playing Moonlight Sonata a billion times after Gin retires from the front desk)
- extremely organized
- temper tantrums
- aggressive when stressed
- trouble expressing himself: As a child, he wants everyone to hear the piano’s voice, not realizing that the piano is merely acting as his own voice. His compositions all contain his memories, thoughts, and feelings. Rather than tell Orihime he doesn’t want her to go, he drags her back to his apartment; and rather than tell her he loves her, he tells her he doesn’t want to have sex with her.

(Note: Mrs. Ingram recognizes the above symptoms in Ulquiorra after he’s adopted, which is why she defends him against her husband. She also loves him unconditionally, despite him not showing much affection back, or just staring at her blankly.)

In Las Noches, only Szayel and Aizen know the extent of Ulquiorra’s mental health problems. Szayel was the first to recommend Ulquiorra see a psychiatrist, after Gin noticed that Ulquiorra was way too skinny and privately asked Szayel to check on him.

Ulquiorra is on antianxiety medication for the panic attacks. Other than that, it’s up to the people around him to figure out how to be his friend without upsetting him.

mistkitt: (Default)
Originally posted 2/21/2014

 Here we come at last to one of the antagonists of this universe. What does my mind have say about him?

Lowell Ingram was born in California. He double-majored in music and business, becoming adept at playing several instruments. It was in one of his theory classes that he met Rebecca Hunter, a younger woman who, despite being conservative and quiet, made his head spin with her wisdom and beliefs. They married after she graduated.

The record company was his baby (before he had kids of his own), headquartered in Seattle. He built it from the ground up, finding success in the classical world, and took delight in starting and nurturing the careers of many musicians. But for all his effort, it still remained within the confines of the classical music world. “Kids these days just aren’t interested in us,” was a firm belief of his.

He and Rebecca had two children, the tone-deaf Matthew who couldn’t have learned an instrument if he were held at gunpoint, and Sarah, who picked up the violin and never put it down again. Their home was a happy one, filled with children, music, and dogs at any given hour.

While attending a local talent competition, the family was collectively struck dumb by the talent of a pianist named Ulquiorra Schiffer, who had been entered into the competition by his orphanage (and won). Lowell, seeing the limitless potential in him, spoke with his caretakers, and was invited to the orphanage to hear the rest of Ulquiorra’s compositions, which he was shocked to discover the boy had memorized entirely. He asked Ulquiorra if he would like the opportunity to share his music with the world. Ulquiorra, beside himself with happiness, said yes, and was shortly after signed to Ingram’s label.

Under Lowell Ingram, Ulquiorra was given proper lessons and taught how to write music. His very first compositions were collected into an album and released by the company. But where all others had failed, Ulquiorra succeeded; his music and story hit the mainstream so hard that he was invited to talk shows and concert halls the country wide before the age of ten. Tours were demanded. A private tutor had to be hired for him so he could graduate elementary school on time. Classical musicians flocked to the Ingram label, hoping to find the same success, and Lowell was more than willing to receive them.

He expected Ulquiorra to slow down or become exhausted once the shock of fame wore off, but it never seemed to happen. The preteen boy produced hit after hit after hit, followed by a concerto, followed by a Broadway musical, followed by an opera. And it wasn’t money he was after; it was the attention. Lowell was surprised to hear Ulquiorra say, again and again, that as long as people were listening to what the piano had to say, he was satisfied.

Therefore Ulquiorra came to shoulder all of Lowell’s hopes for his label. He was adopted into their family after his European tour, and the Ingram household became even happier.

But it didn’t last long. With his astronomical expectations, and the bar set so high, Lowell couldn’t separate “boss” from “father.” Having never lived with Ulquiorra until then, he couldn’t understand his new son’s eccentric and rigid creative process. He was shocked when Ulquiorra showed such little regard for his dreams and plans. There didn’t seem to be a hint of familial affection, gratitude, or empathy in the boy anywhere.

The two were soon fighting constantly. Lowell began to think him manipulative and cold, and threatened to take back all of Ulquiorra’s money when he finally left the house, because he believed that Ulquiorra had just used them to get ahead. He also fought bitterly with his wife, who defended Ulquiorra to the end, furthering Lowell’s belief that his family had been charmed by a sociopath.

As the years passed and the label’s success grew, Lowell noticed that Ulquiorra had not gone to another label, was not performing for anyone anywhere, and had all but dropped off the face of the earth. He asked his wife one day what she knew of Ulquiorra, and she reported to him that last she’d heard, his inspiration had abandoned him.

Something in Lowell’s heart began to give. He sought out the compositions that Ulquiorra had written after he’d been adopted, and listening to them, heard the joy, the gratitude, and affection that Ulquiorra had never himself expressed to them.

Lowell was deeply grieved. He remembered how proud he used to be of Ulquiorra, how he’d shown him off as if he were his own son long before they’d adopted him. He wished desperately to see Ulquiorra’s inspiration return, to hear his house filled with the piano again.

Then, days later, he fell ill with pneumonia and died, never able to reconcile with his wayward son. He was 62 years old.

mistkitt: (Default)
Originally posted 2/18/2015

 My brain is preparing to turn all of her focus back to original stories and the few fics I have left, so let’s get a few stray fic things out of the way.

Ulquiorra’s birth mother, Gloria, was a young Peruvian woman, still in her teens when she met an American missionary by the name of Schiffer. The two had a brief affair before he packed up and went back to the US with his church (A+ morals).

Shortly after she found out she was pregnant, and became scared to death that the drug guys would take her baby for ransom money if they knew the father was a “rich American.” So she left, heading always north, the only clue she had to Schiffer’s whereabouts that he came from a place called Washington.

But the journey took its toll on her; she was very sick when she went into labor. Her first and only son was born in Arizona, and named Ulquiorra because he cried constantly. When they reached Washington state, she was taken to a hospital in grave condition, and lived only long enough to fill out her baby’s birth certificate. She gave him the last name Schiffer in the hopes that it would lead him to his father.

And so Ulquiorra came to Seattle, growing up and eventually bringing his family back to Washington with no idea that his birth father - with wife and kids of his own - lived in the vicinity. Likewise, his birth father, though aware of the classical pianist Ulquiorra Schiffer, hasn’t even a remote suspicion that they’re related, let alone father and son.

They may have passed each other on the street and been none the wiser.

mistkitt: (Default)

Originally posted 2/18/2015

Muse.

~

When Fitzwilliam Darcy proposed marriage to Elizabeth Bennet, he said to her, “I cannot fix upon the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation.”

Like Fitzwilliam Darcy, Ulquiorra Schiffer had found himself in the middle before he knew that he’d begun. But unlike Mr. Darcy, Ulquiorra could, with some effort, fix upon the hour, the spot, the look, and the words which had laid the foundation of his love for Orihime Inoue.

He’d heard from various sources that love was a thing that took people by surprise. Certainly, it had been the same for him. He was not above admitting that if he’d known what she would reduce him to when he saw her face in that dark alley, he’d have left her there and waited for his inspiration to come back on its own. Unfortunately, his selfishness had been his undoing, and just like that…

“I guess between you and me, you’re the lucky one this time.”

Just like that, it began.

All of the sudden, his plans, his moods, his thoughts, his anxiety, his choices; everything revolved around her. But he was not in love with her yet.

He was not in love with her when he confronted her old friends. Nor was he in love with her when she told him he was strong. Nor did he love her when she made him dinner, when she hid his dining table chairs, or when he allowed her to sleep in his bed for the night. But he was already in love with her when he held her in the rain, and when he kissed her for the first time.

There was a moment in between. One tiny, inconsequential moment, amidst the clatter of dishes and bustle of dinner preparations in his family’s home. He’d happened to glance into the dining room and saw her standing there, fidgeting behind the table, watching everyone move around, unsure of what to do with herself. Ah, he’d remembered, she’s never done this before.

And he was in love with her. Motionless in the kitchen with a stack of plates in his hands while his brother snuck food scraps to the dogs and his sister said something to their mother and Natalia Moretti could be heard singing upstairs. He was in love with Orihime Inoue, so lost, so harmless, so very much like him.

And he never once stopped needing her. 
mistkitt: (Default)
Originally posted 1/12/2015

 A thing my mind would not let me write at the time, even though I wanted to.

~

“Ulquiorra, there you are. I received a call from Mr. Maddox a few minutes ago, claiming he tried to get in touch with you but he was rudely told off by two strange women, then hung up on.”

A sequence of memories flashed through Ulquiorra’s mind as he held the phone to his ear. A brunette lady with a kind smile and a gentle voice, introducing herself, shaking his hand even though he was a child. That woman, leaning over to fix his bowtie before the host of the television program called his name. That woman, digging snacks out of a travel bag, holding three packets out in front of him and asking which he’d prefer.

“I understand that you’ve decided to take this slow; believe me, I wouldn’t want you doing anything you weren’t ready to do, but you can’t keep disrespecting these men if you expect an easy transition.”

That woman, asking him all manner of questions about his music, listening with interest as he told her of his little match girl and the songs she liked to sing. That woman, in the audience, applauding him after every performance.

“If you want to do business with adults, you need to stick to your commitments. You promised them you would be at that recital, and you didn’t show up. Didn’t even apologize. They have every right to be annoyed.”

What did he call that woman, who looked as terrified as he was when she brought him into her home? That woman who picked him up from school when he wasn’t well? That woman who cried for him when she thought he couldn’t hear, who felt the pain of his departure so much, who continued to watch over him even though she didn’t have to, who loved him even as she chewed him out on the phone?

“Mom,” he said, and there was silence on the other end of the line. A threshold had been crossed. A barrier had been broken down.

“Ulquiorra,” her voice was thick with tears, “what’s going on?”

He’d wandered into the hallway when he’d seen the name on his cell phone display. He leaned back against the wall, staring at an impersonal painting of a landscape that was probably meant to be calming. “Ms. Inoue is in the hospital,” he slid to the floor, “ because of me. She could have died, because of me,” he felt his own voice thicken, “and I think I’m going to lose her.” This was what mothers were for, wasn’t it? He’d seen them do things like this in television and movies, so it was alright to confide in her, wasn’t it? “I’m afraid,” he whispered. “What will I do if she dies? How will I go on without her? Who will throw shoes at me, and complain when I play the piano at five in the morning, and watch those daytime court shows on my TV? I hate those shows, Mother. I hate them so much…”

“Stop.” He stopped. “Take a deep breath. Are you breathing?”

“Mmhmm.”

“I’m going to pray for her. You don’t have to if you don’t want to, but when I’m done, you’re going to tell me everything, is that understood?”

“Mmhmm.”

And so she prayed, and when she was finished, Ulquiorra told her the truth from beginning to end. There were several disappointed murmurs, a handful of shocked silences, an interrupting accusation of “you made her lie for you,” and a couple of sobs. And as he recounted the story from August, as he heard his mother’s reactions, he saw himself not as the heartless beast he’d claimed to be, but as a frightened and wounded kid, swinging his fists at anyone who tried to help him, no matter how good their intentions.

He knew that this was the way his mother had always seen him. Even here, at his absolute lowest, and at the height of her disappointment, he felt like she was lifting him up from the ground, wiping his face while scolding him for running around recklessly. And when the berating was done, she smoothed it over with a figurative kiss on the forehead:

“Orihime isn’t going to die. If you love her half as much as I think you do, you’ll try to make peace with her when she wakes up; and if she loves you half as much as I think she does, she’ll listen.” In her Washington living room, surrounded by concerned dogs, Mrs. Ingram smiled a sorrowful smile for her wayward son. “Worst case scenario, she’ll leave you, and you’ll deserve it. But don’t give up before you’ve tried. She’s important to you, isn’t she?”

Ulquiorra thought of Orihime, sitting on the piano bench with her head against his shoulder and her hands under his. But he also thought of the woman who’d tenderly welcomed him to his new home nine years before. “Mom,” he said again, and he heard her breathe in, “I’m sorry I hurt you.”

“I know.”

“You didn’t do anything wrong.”

A painful pause. “…I’ll call Mr. Maddox and apologize on your behalf, but this is the last time. You’ll call him too in a few days. Go get yourself something to eat, and when Ms. Inoue wakes up, you grovel, you cry, you kiss her feet and offer your body as a punching bag, is that clear?”

“Yes.” He sighed. “Thank you.”

And just like in the movies and television, he felt better.

mistkitt: (Default)

Originally posted 1/1/15

Muse brats being silly! Don’t worry, I’ll write the other one too!

~*~

The university was close to two hours from their home on the hills of Dupont, Washington; therefore, Orihime spent close to two hours crying, through traffic and waterfront views and one pathetic excuse for a rain shower. Ulquiorra pretended not to notice.

Everything felt empty. The car felt empty without Scarlet’s mountain of crap blocking the rearview. The house had felt empty when they left it that morning, Scarlet chatting on the phone with her roommate about her estimated arrival time. A little corner of Ulquiorra’s heart felt empty too, but hey, at least he wasn’t embarrassing himself crying about it. His wife had obviously missed the memo.

Orihime sniffled at the intersection in town, whimpered as they drove past the place Scarlet had once fallen off her bike and scraped her knee. She blubbered a bit when they pulled into the garage, car shutting off as the door closed behind them. Ulquiorra sighed.

“Calm down,” he muttered halfheartedly, “we can visit her this weekend.” Orihime made a vague noise and blew her nose into a napkin from her glove compartment stash. Ulquiorra looked at her. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“This sucks,” she spat, turning to him with a miserable grimace. “Of all the people in the world, why do I have to be one of the ones who gets empty nest syndrome?”

“Because you aren’t heartless,” Ulquiorra said, then immediately realized his mistake when she started to bawl. “Hey,” he put a hand on her shoulder, “this college business is nothing to cry about. You should be celebrating. Somehow, despite all the odds stacked against you, you not only gave birth to a healthy child, but raised her so well that she’s now on the road to pursue her own future. Aren’t you amazed by that? I am.”

Orihime hiccupped. “Really?”

“Of course. My first impression of you was that you shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a child, let alone be given permission to raise one.”

She glared at him over her hands. He looked innocently away. “Furthermore, this is the first time we’ve truly had the house to ourselves since we moved in, if you catch my meaning.”

The glare eased into a bewildered stare. Ulquiorra withdrew the keys from the ignition and got out of the car, then went around and opened Orihime’s door for her. She climbed out, thoughtful and sniffling. He made it as far as the house entrance before she grabbed his arm, turned him around, threw him against the door, and pulled his head down into a very aggressive kiss. Ulquiorra’s eyes flew wide, hands scrambling behind him. Orihime drew back and gave him a sorrowful look. “I miss Scarlet.”

“Me too,” he agreed, finding and twisting the doorknob and all but falling into the laundry room. Orihime had her coat off before she’d stepped over the threshold, and tossed it onto the washing machine carelessly.

“I miss her so much!” she sighed, lunging for him again. He had enough sense to kiss her back this time, though he almost fell over a second time when she wrapped her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist. She looked him dead in the eye as he pressed her into the wall. “It feels empty inside.”

“Impossible, I can hardly carry you,” Ulquiorra answered, deadpanned. Orihime rolled her eyes.

“Oh shut up, you can make it to the couch at least.”

~

“Hey Mom!”

“Scarlet!” Orihime pointed to the phone she held with her free hand. “It’s Scarlet.” She beamed at Ulquiorra, who was walking - a bit crookedly - from the kitchen to the dining table with two plates of food in hand and a wine bottle under his arm. “What’s up, sweetie? Everything alright?”

“Yeah, just calling to say good night. You didn’t cry too much, did you?”

Orihime snorted as Ulquiorra set down one of the plates in front of her. “Who do you think you’re talking to?”

Her daughter let out an identical snort. “You cried a lot, then.”

“Your dad says hi.”

“No I don’t.”

“Paco, really?”

Scarlet laughed. “Tell him I said hi back. Don’t kill each other, okay?”

Ulquiorra uncorked the wine bottle, eyed the glass on the table for a moment, then handed the entire bottle to Orihime. She gave him an approving smile. “We won’t.” They said their good nights, then she put her phone away and eyed Ulquiorra’s backside up and down as he walked back to the kitchen for water. “What are we toasting?” she asked.

“Our excellent parenting skills.”

“To our bad-ass parenting skills!” Orihime cried, thrusting the wine bottle into the air victoriously. “And to Paco Jr. for trying so hard to get me pregnant again.”

“Don’t you dare,” Ulquiorra said from the kitchen. His lower back was killing him; he wasn’t sure he’d be able to survive sending a second child to college. 

Same Old

Apr. 28th, 2015 06:07 pm
mistkitt: (Default)

Originally posted 12/16/2014

The Muse brats as seniors was requested because the other outcome is too sad. TwT

~

Forty years into a marriage was probably considered too late to be complaining about her spouse, but Orihime was determined to do it anyway. “Will you please take your father to live with you?” she whispered to her daughter Scarlet. “He’s taken to fiddling around with his other wife at two in the morning and I don’t think I’ve gotten any REM sleep in the past week. Which, in case you didn’t know, is very dangerous. Lab rats deprived of REM sleep died in two days.” She leaned closer. “I think he’s trying to kill me.”

Scarlet couldn’t help smiling at the ways her parents had rubbed off on each other. In her childhood, it was always her dad who went on long tangents to prove or reach a point, and lately her mother had started up too. She leaned back on the couch to look around at her father, who was hanging ornaments from the Christmas tree and didn’t seem all that happy about it. “Dad, are you trying to kill Mom?”

Orihime whacked Scarlet’s arm. “Traitor!”

Ulquiorra paused, turning his head to give his daughter an unreadable stare. “Maybe.”

“Can you stop? I know you think it’s a good idea now, but you’ll regret it when there’s no one around to nag you.”

“You lived with us for twenty years. How are you not on my side?” Ulquiorra complained, while Orihime let out a triumphant squawk. He turned his glare on her instead. “Inspiration doesn’t sleep, woman. If you had a shred of talent, you would understand this.”

“You wanna go, old man?” Orihime snapped, standing from the couch.

“Mom, don’t get excited.”

“She’s survived one heart attack already. A wrestling match won’t kill her. Hell, I’m starting to think nothing will.”

Scarlet buried her face in her hands. “I’m too pregnant for this,” she sighed, effectively stopping both parents in their tracks.

“You’re what?!” Orihime shouted.

“Who did this to you?” Ulquiorra demanded.

“The popular theory is my husband, Dad.”

Orihime burst into tears. Ulquiorra pulled her into his arms, the argument forgotten. “Look, you’ve upset your mother.”

“I’m old!” Orihime sobbed. “Old and getting older and now some brat’s going to be hanging around calling me grandma!”

“Really?” Scarlet stared at them flatly. “You can’t even be a little happy for me?” But her mother was too inconsolable to speak, and her father was fussing over her, trying every sarcastic remark and insult in his arsenal to distract her. Scarlet shook her head and smiled. Of course they were happy for her. The complaints about age were just her mother’s lame excuses for her emotional display. “I’ve got ultrasound pictures, if you’re interested.”

Orihime wailed even louder. “Now who’s trying to kill her?” Ulquiorra said defensively, and stroked her hair. “Calm down, woman, you’re embarrassing yourself.” 
mistkitt: (Default)

Originally posted 12/12/14

Sad drabble as I try to scoop all this sadness out of me and unapologetically hurt you all in the process. Muse-verse.

~

7AM, the alarm clock rings. It took her two hours to fall asleep the night before. She glares at the ceiling.

7:50AM, she wipes the condensation from the bathroom mirror and stares at her reflection. Everything’s gravitating downwards no matter how much she exercises. Lines, crevices, bags. She hasn’t dyed her hair in six years.

9AM, she drives to her daughter’s to help with the grandchildren. They’re all youth and energy, running from place to place, showing off disastrous masterpieces in their coloring books. Her daughter asks her how she’s doing. She can’t complain. Then she chases her grandkids around the backyard until she’s too tired to move.

1PM, she heads into work. The shelter is full of girls with mistrustful eyes and haggard appearances. They stare defiantly at her as she talks to them. But little by little, their defenses fall. Little by little, they begin to hope, and to love themselves again.

5PM, she arrives home and makes dinner for herself. It’s not very good. It’s never been very good, but lately it hasn’t tasted the same, which makes it worse.

6PM, she watches Wheel of Fortune, grumbling that the new host isn’t as good as Pat Sajak, may he rest in peace. She yells at the contestants to stop being greedy and solve the damn puzzle already. She laughs when their greed lands them on bankruptcy.

8:30PM, she gets ready for bed, because who is she kidding, she’s sleepy.

9PM, her fingertips caress the black piano. She says hello, and sits on the bench, removing the cover from the keys. She make a clumsy attempt at Claire de Lune because she’s always liked it - who doesn’t? It’s slow going. She can’t get up to the right tempo without pressing the wrong keys, and she’d rather play it lento than play it wrong. But it sounds off to her anyway, as if both herself and the piano are too tired to make it beautiful.

10PM, she lays in bed, staring at the empty space beside her. She reaches behind her for the phone on her nightstand and navigates the menu. At the very bottom of her music playlist, a sound file that’s traveled from phone to computer to phone and phone again; a file that’s survived for half a century. She taps on it, and places the phone on the bed next to her.

Do I really have to do this?

Uh, yeah. An unreleased track from the late Ulquiorra Schiffer? I’ll be filthy rich.

If you outlive me, that is.”

Are you going to play or what?”

…sometimes I get the feeling that you don’t love me at all, Ms. Inoue.

Quit yer bellyaching.

There’s a beat of silence in which she can see him clearly, in the light of the Las Noches apartment, sitting on the piano bench, glaring at her. Before the gray showed up in their hair, before he felt their daughter move beneath her skin and smiled, before he put the ring on her finger, before the nights they would stay up planning their next vacation, before they needed a calculator to keep up with their anniversaries, before his arms slipped around her for the last time.

Then the music begins, more lovely than anything she could ever play.

And in minutes, she’s asleep. 

Space Case

Apr. 28th, 2015 05:13 pm
mistkitt: (Default)

Originally posted 11/9/2014

Tonight’s drabble: Scenes that won’t make it into Muse, Musings, or the crossover (unless mentioned in passing).

 

~*~

Don’t go.

Words so simple, whispered in the dead of night. Arms tightening. Voice laden with fear. Weak, weak, weak. He was weak without her. But he wasn’t the one who’d almost died.

During the day, there were apartment-sized spaces between them. Seemed like she was always in the laundry room when he was in the bathroom or he was in the bedroom when she was watching television in the living room or he was at the piano when she was asleep and– It was funny to think about later; that she should have to ring him up on the phone just to get him to come to dinner.

And yet, he made these face when they were together. Faces that said things like I need you or you’re the most important person in my life or don’t leave me. Things that were far too complicated to say out loud. He sighed them into her mouth at night.

Then sunrise, and there was the remote control and the sofa and the music and the walls and the city and the entire solar system wedged between their two hands. There he was, across the galaxy. There she was, afraid to move her fingers a few inches to the left.

She parted her legs and found herself thinking of cosmonauts, of dying stars and black holes. She wrapped her arms around him and thought of small steps and giant leaps and an American flag standing erect on the moon, announcing to the vast and empty universe that mankind had accomplished something. She gasped his name and wondered if what he’d heard instead was I’m trying; Oh God, I’m trying, but you’re making it so hard.

Then the rising sun would cast light on the vacancy beside her. Then the dawn would come hauling hurt feelings and words that neither of them meant. With no sound… no hope… no air left for panting reassurances…

She was bitterly surprised that she could hold her breath for so long. 
mistkitt: (Default)
Originally posted 10/9/2014

 Muse-verse, part two of the last (fan fiction) drabble.

~

“For the record, I don’t need your help defending myself.”

“Hmm?”

“That’s what all that stuff you said was about, right?”

“Your arrogance never ceases to amaze me, Ms. Inoue.”

“So you just randomly decided to end that girl’s career tonight.”

“I decided to end her career the moment I heard that so-called breathtaking composition of hers. The forced acquaintance was simply a convenient excuse to gain access to the party, where I would have her, the record company, and the press together in the same room. You heard the composition, didn’t you?”

“I thought it was nice.”

“That’s because you’re tone deaf, and I swear to you that when a cure is found, I will pay for your correctional surgery - please get your talons away from my crotch.”

“That’s what I thought you said.”

Orihime stretched her arms above her head, then immediately dunked them under the surface of the bathwater, shivering. Ulquiorra pulled her back against him with a sigh. “Are you mad at me?”

She shook her head, watching the ends of her hair cut through the water like sea serpents. “Nah, I think your mom expressed all of my feelings in that phone call.”

“I’m not going to apologize,” Ulquiorra said for the umpteenth time that night.

“I’m not going to make you,” Orihime reassured him, leaning her head on his shoulder. Secretly, she was glad that Ulquiorra’s seniority would override his eccentricities and put an end to the stupid bimbo’s rise to stardom. And if it didn’t, Natalia’s likewise opinion of Miss Georgia Sones would settle the matter. She smirked, turned, and placed her hands on his chest to steady herself. “Hey, wanna have totally awkward and potentially dangerous bathtub sex?”

Ulquiorra gave her a once over, eyeballed the dimensions of the bathtub, looked to make sure his cell phone was within reaching distance, then pretended to consider it for all of two seconds. “Yes.”

Payback

Apr. 28th, 2015 04:51 pm
mistkitt: (Default)
Originally posted 10/4/2014

 I was watching The Voice and I don’t know what happened. Muse-verse, sometime between engagement and wedding.

~

Orihime didn’t let insults get her down very often. Most of the time they bounced harmlessly off the steel door her heart was locked behind (to which only Ulquiorra had the key). But this was different, and she had the sulky expression to prove it.

Here she was, wearing a dress specially tailored to accommodate her gratuitous bust, acting like a lady in front of music industry big wigs because her famous pianist fiance had been invited to some chick’s party. The chick in question - Miss Georgia Sones - was a rising star in the piano world, and reportedly a huge fan of Ulquiorra’s. He’d been spending a lot of time with her in the past month, and starting fights with Orihime by making airy comments about how nice it was to be appreciated.

Orihime never took them seriously, though. Jealousy wasn’t the issue. It was the fact that she’d genuinely wanted to get along with Miss Georgia Sones… and the little two-faced apple tart had, in relative privacy, sneered that she had no idea why Mr. Schiffer was dating an ignorant, tone deaf slut.

Never mind the slut part - Orihime had a secret fear that her lack of musical knowledge was a point on some imaginary list of reasons for Ulquiorra not to marry her. And now she was sulking. And he was noticing. Twice he’d asked her if she was alright, if she needed a Tums, and once he’d made a phone call to Italy and woken up a very annoyed Natalia Moretti. Unfortunately the conversation had been in Italian, so Orihime had no idea what was said.

“It’s nothing, geez. I’m just so depressed by this glamorous hotel. Like, if I let it slip to the staff that being adopted by white people doesn’t make you any less Mexican, we might get kicked out,” Orihime muttered spiritlessly.

Ulquiorra didn’t buy the social justice act for a second. He’d watched, from across the room, as Orihime’s face fell while talking to Miss Georgia Sones. Unfortunately, it was his turn to sing Miss Georgia Sones’ praises to the gathered audience, and he’d fraternized with her often to excite everyone. He left his gloomy fiance at the table and stepped up to the microphone.

“It is truly an honor to be here tonight,” he said, straightening the cuffs of his sleeves nonchalantly. “As you may know, Miss Sones has been coming to me for advice since we were introduced to each other by the label a few weeks ago. If you ask her, she’ll tell you that I’ve said very little on that subject, and it’s true - I’m hesitant to impart wisdom, as I suffer from a general lack of it.” Chuckles from the audience. “But now that I’ve got you all here, I figure it is time to stop dancing around the subject and say exactly how I feel about Miss Georgia Sones.

"To say that she is a third rate musician would be too kind. Her piano playing is reminiscent of the midi keyboards in those God-awful Kidz Bop albums. Her style is flashy and deceptive, like films that try to distract viewers from a terrible plot with constant, unnecessary explosions. Her compositions have the emotional depth of a snail, and evoke in me no other feeling than a desire to be run through by the lance of an actor at a Renaissance fair. My advice to you, Miss Sones, is to remove your greedy hands from the piano at once and find a career better suited to your terrible personality. And cease your attempts to sleep with me, I’m engaged.”

Dead silence. The color had drained from Miss Georgia Sones’ face. Horrified looks were exchanged by everyone. Even Orihime had sunk down in her chair like she was considering sneaking out from under the table. Ulquiorra blinked. “But again, thank you for inviting me. The food is delicious. Don’t forget to tip your waiters.”

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