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Originally posted 12/14/2014

 SWAN LAKE/FAIRY TALE AU

~

The moon loomed large and full in the sky above, and on the lake’s surface where it was mirrored, and in the princess’s eyes as she gazed at it with something like longing. She had learned to love that moon, the means by which her humanity was restored. But alas, she could not be fully satisfied, for she knew that her salvation meant condemnation for another.

The sound of wings drew her attention back to the darkness of night. Having stared at the moon for so long, she did not immediately see the shadow flitting amongst the stars until it was practically upon her, and shortly there landed Ulquiorra Cifer, the princess’s one and only companion. With long talons, bat wings, a wiry tail, and a gaping hole in his chest, he was not one to inspire anything but fear in mortal men. Yet Orihime Inoue could only smile at him, and stand from the chair that had been left out for her by the sorcerer Aizen. “Good evening, Ulquiorra! Have you any news from my kingdom?”

Ulquiorra drew his wings closer around him. “They still search for their lost princess,” he said, “but the years have not been kind to them. There are no leads that could take them here, and even then, no magician skilled enough to remove the curse that binds your highness to this lake.”

Orihime’s smile was tinged with sorrow. “I see.” She drew in a deep breath, then reached out and pinched his cheek. “And for the last time, call me Orihime! Aren’t we friends?”

His eyes, discolored and beastly, widened marginally. “My apologies, your highness.” She frowned. “Forgive me… Orihime.”

Satisfied, the princess let go of his pale skin and turned her gaze back to the moon. “If only the both of us could be human at the same time! Not me a bird when you’re a man, and you a beast when I’m a woman. Wouldn’t that be something?”

“Does this form displease you?”

“No, nothing like that,” she said, clasping her hands behind her back. “I merely tire of feeling sorry for the both of us.”

Ulquiorra watched her watch the moon above, as if at any moment it would free them itself, and he was certain that if his heart had still been in his chest, he would have felt it stir.

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