Faust (3)

Jan. 28th, 2016 08:44 pm
mistkitt: (Default)
 Originally posted 1.27.2016

I need to keep this fresh in my mind before I write it, yeah? ULQUIHIME!

~

She was late. 

Ulquiorra could not recall the last time it had taken him more than ten minutes to retrieve an herb from the garden. He fought the urge to tap a finger against his desk. Its surface, he noticed, was no longer dusty. The woman had seen to that. Somehow this only made his irritation grow.

“If she cannot identify rosemary by now, she’s hardly worth your time.” Kokuto picked scum from his fingernails with the tip of a dagger. “Even that witch Unohana’s pious assistants are capable of that much.” He smirked to himself. “The tall one–what is her name again? I’m having so much fun with her. Such monstrous height, and she can’t even have the decency to flower into a beautiful woman.“

“I am surprised Unohana hasn’t tried to stop you.”

I’m surprised you still think Unohana cares about anyone but herself.” Kokuto threw Ulquiorra a grin. “You’re both cut from the same cloth.”

The study door creaked open and the woman rushed in, footfalls echoing off the high ceilings, her boots still covered in snow. Kokuto, of course, had vanished. Ulquiorra had a quip prepared, but the distressed expression on her face turned it into a question. “What happened?”

She stopped to catch her breath, the ends of her long brown hair sweeping across the surface of his desk. Without a word, she thrust her arms out towards him. Ulquiorra observed a mess of blood and feathers cupped in her gloved hands, staining the white fabric red. “Please,” she gasped. “I am not yet knowledgeable enough to save it.”

Ulquiorra’s eyes lifted from the bird to the woman. “You have delayed our lesson for an insignificant kestrel?”

Her own eyes met his, and he was struck again by the life in them. How transparent, her soul: its light illuminated her entire being. “This bird was attacked. Look how it still breathes! Is it not the very purpose of a doctor to mend a creature, as long as it still breathes?”

“If the bird allowed itself to be attacked, it does not deserve to live. Go put it back in the mouth of whatever flea bitten mongrel you found it in.”

The woman recoiled from him slowly, brows drawn, tears unshed. Her disgust struck Ulquiorra with all the force of a fist in the stomach. “Never mind. I will tend to the bird myself.” She cradled her bloodied hands to her chest and marched towards the door, where she hesitated before turning back to him. “It is true that your knowledge is unparalleled in this land, Mr. Cifer, but I do not have it in my heart to call such a cynical man a doctor.”

As soon as her footsteps had faded, Kokuto reappeared. “There, you are rid of her at last. Shall I tell Giriko to prepare the carriage for her return home?”

Ulquiorra sat back in his desk chair, unable to erase the image of her blood-stained gloves from his mind.

Some hours later, Ulquiorra emerged from the shadows of another study, one the woman had claimed as her own. In daylight t had a view of the snow-covered garden in back of the house, and beyond that, the rising slope of the mountain, its gnarled and tangled trees. The room itself was sparsely furnished: a work bench, a sofa, a fireplace, a sink. 

Here Ulquiorra found the woman, dozing at the bench. In the glow of the firelight he could see the leftover tracks of tears on her cheeks. Before her, a rusted cage she had procured from God knew where contained the injured bird. Ulquiorra reached past the woman to open the cage door and inspect her work. Having no knowledge of avian anatomy, she had done her best to stitch the wounds, but it was clear the bird still suffered. It gazed at Ulquiorra with eyes glossy and beak open.

Ulquiorra removed his glove. He drew a penknife from his coat pocket and pricked his thumb, then held it over the mouth of the bird until a drop of blood landed on its tongue. The bird blinked rapidly. Its wings fluttered once, twice, then it hopped to its feet and regarded Ulquiorra with a tilt of the head. He closed the cage door and licked his thumb to heal the self-inflicted wound.

Beside him, the woman sighed in her sleep. Ulquiorra watched the firelight cast dancing shadows upon her face. “Cut from the same cloth, am I?” he whispered, then left the room the way he’d come.

mistkitt: (Default)
 Originally posted 9.3.2015

It’s Orihime’s birthday, and what do you know, my brain spawned a drabble. Tell Yourself style, somewhere between chapters 41 and 43.

~

The weather was beginning to change. Mornings were overcast. The dragonflies, for the most part, had moved on from Karakura Town. Through her open window Orihime felt the subtle coolness of a passing breeze before it died away, leaving the afternoon’s summer heat to fill the void. She stretched her arms above her head and laid her head on her desk, wondering why there was homework to do. Why couldn’t she be outside, enjoying what was left of the hot sun? Why wasn’t she at a festival, watching fireworks and eating everything within reach?

Orihime stared at her desktop calendar, her eye catching the third of September, circled and decorated in pink ink flowers. Things had quieted down since her birthday the other week. Although she couldn’t help the feeling Ulquiorra had done something to make Soul Society angry, she’d received no official complaints–which suited her just fine. They’d had a nice weekend, the two of them. She’d even had the pleasure of seeing him smile. 

Her lips curled up at the memory of it, her eyes falling shut as she allowed the sun to warm her outstretched arms, her mechanical pencil slipping from her fingers. A new breeze stirred the leaves of her notebook and she inhaled deeply, cherishing the sweet summer smell. Taro-san’s wind chime tinkled one balcony over, almost masking the faint music permeating Orihime’s bedroom wall.

Music? 

She sat up reluctantly, horrified at how close she’d come to falling asleep. Leaving the window’s temptation behind, she stood from her desk and wandered out into the hall, the music growing louder with every step. “Ulquiorra-kun?”

Footsteps. His bedroom door opened a moment later, and Orihime almost smiled at the look on his face. It was that dazed, half-awake stare he got when she pulled him out of a book. He had his thumb stuck in a thin novel, which he held at his side to show her she had his undivided attention.

The music was coming from inside his room.

“Are you listening to the radio?” she asked.

Ulquiorra’s perpetual frown deepened. “Is it disturbing you?”

“No. No! Not at all. I was just wondering.” Orihime leaned against the door frame, trying to appear casual. He was listening to music. He never listened to music, with the exception of his music phase, and that had been strictly scientific. It didn’t interest him, it was too personal, he couldn’t relate to it, it was too…

Human.

Orihime blinked. Of course. Ulquiorra was human. Wasn’t she the first person saying it to anyone who doubted? Hadn’t she heard and felt his heart beating under his skin multiple times? Why, then, had the word caught her so off guard? 

Was it possible she’d still been thinking of him as the man with the hole in his chest this entire time?

“Woman.”

“Umm.” She faltered, feeling for some reason like the Earth had shifted on its axis. “Would it be all right if I joined you? I’m a little sleepy, and I can’t afford to take a nap right now, so… ah, but I won’t disturb you, I promise! If you could just give me a little nudge or something when my head starts drooping…”

Ulquiorra sighed. “You do not need to ask my permission to enter the rooms of your own apartment.”

This argument again. Orihime planted her hands on her hips. “It’s your room! You’re paying bills.” But Ulquiorra had already disappeared within, leaving the door open in a silent invitation. Orihime ignored the fluttering in her chest and went to grab her textbooks, pausing only to close her bedroom window before she dashed away again, towards the music. 

Towards him.

mistkitt: (Default)
 Originally posted 7.18.2015

Ulquihime feels + period hormones + an idea from sOMEBODY that I kind of… flipped. This is a brand new AU(!!!), that I will scribble because this western is giving me hell.

~

The things reflected in my eyes have no meaning. The things that cannot be reflected in my eyes, don’t exist.

How could he possibly say that to her?

“Thanks for letting me hang out with you. My friends were all going to try that new rock climbing wall at the rec center and, well, I could try it with them, but I don’t think the university safety policy would allow that.” In one hand, his arm. In the other, her walking stick. Even when she had him to guide her, she took small, hesitant steps. It forced him to slow down.

“It isn’t very kind of them to go without you.” A squirrel hopped through the grass a few feet away from them. He pointed it out to her, as she’d instructed him to whenever they walked through campus together. The things reflected in my eyes have no meaning…

“Hello squirrel!” she said. Her sightless eyes did not try to seek it out, but rather stayed on the path ahead. “You’re wrong, by the way. I think it would be unkind of me to hold my friends back. It’s not their fault I can’t do stuff like that.” Her smile widened. “Things were difficult after the accident but they never abandoned me. If it wasn’t for that, I’d have lost hope a long time ago.”

The things that cannot be reflected in my eyes, don’t exist. “Hmm.”

They stopped at a bench across from a fountain. She’d told him it was her favorite spot because she could hear the water droplets, as well as the birds that congregated there. Without sight, she could imagine she’d wandered into a forest teeming with life. Until someone power-walked past them with coffee, anyway. Then it was like trying to listen to ambient noise at a Starbucks. “How does the fountain look today?” she asked.

“The same as it did yesterday.” No meaning. “Only…” It has no meaning. “There is a large cloud partially eclipsing the sun at the moment, so the shadows have almost blended with the light.” He glanced at her, and saw in her smile a warmth that wrapped itself around his heart.

How strange that he should allow this blind girl to influence his own perception

The Shirt

Jan. 28th, 2016 08:36 pm
mistkitt: (Default)
 Originally posted 7.1.2015

I have to drabble it out. Would love something sweet and romantic, but the usual universes feel worn, and that means it’s time to reopen Pandora’s Box with… Eros.

~

If she was wearing his shirt in the morning, she wasn’t done with him. First time, he’d thought it meant something. Read more into it than he should have. But Ulquiorra was quick to learn that a missing shirt from his bedroom floor signified nothing but the fact that whatever fight the woman had gotten into the night before had left her with a particularly voracious appetite. And it wasn’t pancakes with whipped cream she was hungry for.

When the woman was really hurting, she got sloppy like that. Stayed longer than she intended to. Laid on her stomach beside him, the glow of her cell phone screen illuminating her exhaustion, her anger; things she tried to keep behind her straining bedroom door along with all her sadness and dying expectations. And he would sit there, tousled and tired, until she either left or pushed herself back into his lap.

Shame, really. She wore his shirts way better than he did. Ill-fitting, too tight in the chest, never able to cover much of her backside because he wasn’t exactly tall. His old self would have been disgusted by his shameless admiration of the view. But his old self had never been in love before, and love had a way of blinding smart guys like him.

If they ever got into a real relationship, would she wear his shirts more often? Would she sleep in them, go to class in them, steal them for warmth in the winter? Take his sweaters and wear the sleeves up to her fingertips? Would she smile at him when she did?

He stepped out of the hallway, into the kitchen where she stood buttering a flaky croissant, clad in one of his night shirts and nothing else. It wasn’t his job to think about such things. In the stage drama of the woman’s life, he was no one, a lowly stagehand who ensured that the woman was comfortable, while staying in the darkness, out of sight. He approached her from behind and lowered his lips to her neck, knowing it was pointless to bother with a greeting she wouldn’t return.

And she, with her shadowy eye circles and vacant stare, rolled her head back onto his shoulder as he opened his stolen shirt one button at a time.

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.

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.

mistkitt: (Default)
*To Be Updated at a Later Date!*

Year 0: (Orihime is 16)

- Winter War ends
- Immediately after, Orihime undergoes psychological evaluation. Unohana delivers the report to the shinigami captains.

Year 1: (Orihime turns 17)

- January thru June: Life returns to normal. Assuming that Ichigo loses his power in this universe as well, no one’s stupid enough to think he’s fine, and his powers are returned to him shortly after (Feb or March). He and Rukia get swept up in the emotion of it all and become a thing (April).
- Early July: Ulquiorra revives in Las Noches in his newly humanish form. He goes to the living world and finds Orihime.
- Mid July: Ulquiorra and Orihime are tried by Central 46
- August thru November: Ulquiorra gets his human emotions under control and resumes his stoic nature.
- December: Orihime misses out on the holidays to stay home with Ulquiorra, who refuses to go anywhere with her friends.

Year 2: (Orihime turns 18)

- January and February: Ulquiorra’s human education continues
- March: The main storyline of the fic begins
- April: Ulquiorra starts working with Urahara
- May: Ulquiorra realizes that he’s developed feelings for Orihime
- June thru July: Summer vacation, Orihime finally admits that she isn’t in love with Ichigo anymore
- August thru Early September: School and responsibilities resume
- September: Orihime becomes aware of her feelings for Ulquiorra
- October thru December: Things become increasingly awkward
- Mid December: First kiss
- Christmas Eve: Ulquiorra and Orihime become a thing

Year 3:

- January thru March: Ulquiorra’s ongoing human identity crisis, Orihime graduates high school.
- April: College prep
- May thru December: …

Year 4:

- January thru December: …

Year 5:

- January thru June: …
- July: Story ends.

mistkitt: (Default)
Originally posted 4/28/2015

 AN EPILOGUE because my brain is frantically trying to balance out the tragic vs happy endings.

~

Inoue hadn’t been the same since the virus was deleted from her laptop. Ichigo still saw her in class, but she never spoke to him. She didn’t speak to anyone that wasn’t Tatsuki, and according to Tatsuki, her perpetual cheerfulness had yet to return from its wanderings.

So when Kisuke Urahara requested to meet with Orihime, she refused. For two days, she refused. She was tired. Her exhaustion made it hard for her to get out of bed. She’d been skipping classes and meals, sleeping more often. She hadn’t touched her computer in weeks. But if seeing the hacker would help her get back to normal somehow, what did she really have to lose, other than a little bit of time?

“So happy you could join me, Inoue-san,” Urahara greeted her upon her arrival at the hospital fountain. Why he’d wanted them to meet there in broad daylight was a mystery, but asking questions would extend the interview, and she would rather not be in his company longer than necessary. “You’re wondering why I’ve asked you here, eh? Skeptical? I’ll cut to the chase, then. I’ve discovered the true nature of Aizen-chan’s viruses.”

Orihime stared at the cascading water. “That has nothing to do with me anymore,” she mumbled, but it sounded weak, childish.

Urahara smiled. “Hear me out first. As you’re already aware, my anti-viruses were commanded by living humans from a remote location. Because I was working in secret, my machinery was not the best quality, and endangered the lives of everyone involved. Aizen’s viruses were different - artificially intelligent… or so I assumed.” He gestured to the hospital beyond the fountain. “This is where Aizen worked. Hacking was only his hobby, see. Neuroscience was his true field of expertise.” Orihime stared at the hospital uncertainly. “What Aizen did was use his position and the hospital’s resources to run his terrorist operation. He introduced a new technology that claimed to stimulate the minds of comatose patients, in order to speed their recovery. Gave false hope to the families when he was really trapping his victims into doing his bidding.

"Some, like Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez, were able to resist - rebel, even. Four of the patients died when their virus selves were erased. The rest survived, and some have even regained consciousness in the aftermath. Do you understand what I’m saying to you, Inoue-san?”

Orihime’s eyes, fixed on the hospital, had widened considerably. “There…?”

Urahara stood from the fountain and guided her into the building. An elevator ride and several twists and turns later, they arrived at a quiet ward filled with unconscious patients. Orihime’s entire body trembled so violently her teeth were practically chattering. When Urahara stopped beside a door and motioned for her to go in ahead of him, she found herself unable to move. So he helped her inside, keeping her steady as her gaze landed on the bedridden patient, his familiar black hair, his pale skin, the tangle of wires attaching him to advanced hospital monitors. He had no wings, no horns, no stains on his cheeks, no hole in his throat. But it was him. There wasn’t a single doubt in Orihime’s mind.

“Inoue-san, meet Ulquiorra Cifer,” Urahara said cheerfully. “31 years old, works for a software development company, no living family to speak of. Five months ago he was struck by a car and slipped into a coma. Aizen got to him shortly after.”

Tears slipped down Orihime’s cheeks unnoticed. She could only stare.

“According to the doctors, his physical injuries have healed, and his brain activity is healthy. He’s expected to make a full recovery, whenever he wakes up.”

“Can…” Her voice didn’t make it past a whisper. “Can I come visit him, until he does…?”

Would he remember her? Would he think it strange, a nineteen year old college student taking interest in his well being? Would he dismiss her, return to his life as if everything they’d gone through had been a dream, as if he hadn’t held his hand out to her when he was certain he was going to die? She saw that hand now, stuck with an IV, and when she tentatively reached out, when her fingertips registered flesh and not a computer screen, her sobs burst from her chest. He was real.

Urahara smiled gently. “Visit him? Of course. Guy with no family, he’ll probably come to the moment he realizes he’s not alone anymore.”

mistkitt: (Default)
Originally posted 4/24/2015

 The HAPPY’S BACK. *delirious* Tell Yourself! Boom!

~

Mornings were a tangle of sheets and trying to figure out whose limbs belonged to who, followed by mild-mannered complaints like, “Stop it, I’m going to be late for class!” or, “I have work to do, you know.” Generally such complaints were accompanied by giggles, whines, growls, and another five minutes of unproductive activity before either of them made it out of bed.

And whoever left first was bound to feel a pair of watchful eyes on their bum.

~

After she’d told him she loved him, he began to notice just how much she’d changed in his absence. It was kind of hard not to notice when she did things like sit on his legs - a respectful distance from dangerous areas - and kiss him without preamble. There was never any objection to this on his part. He found it fascinating in an almost scientific way.

How she’d take charge, be the first to deepen the kiss, and the last to pull away. How she’d comb his hair back with her fingers and kiss his forehead, his eyelids, the corners of his mouth. And the way she looked at him - if looks could kill his heart would have given out under the weight of her gaze - left little to the imagination.

She loved him, and she wouldn’t have him doubting it. Not for one second.

~

When he went away for three weeks on business, she waved him off with a wide smile and he thought, it was only three weeks. They’d been separated longer than that before.

When he stepped through the door three weeks later, he wasn’t sure who grabbed the other first. They tripped over furniture, clothes, their own two feet. He’d never heard such sounds from her before, never thought that she could want him half as bad as he wanted her.

“I couldn’t sleep without you,” she later confessed, in such an innocent whisper that he had no choice but to make love to her again.

~

One morning, when there was neither work nor school to drive them out of bed, he noticed her daydreaming expression and asked her what was on her mind. “Marriage,” she said almost coyly, and his stomach flipped over. “My family would want me to have a traditional wedding, but I think I want mine Western style.”

“Is that so,” he murmured, kissing the back of her neck.

She snuggled closer to him. “A trumpet style dress, strapless, with a big veil! But, it should be a small ceremony. Close friends, and maybe some classmates, and the Gotei 13, and a few Arrancar…” She paused. “And no reception.”

“No reception?”

“You don’t like parties, so…”

“Oh, am I the one you’re marrying?” he asked airily.

She pursed her lips, unable to decide if things had been better before he’d developed a sense of humor. “No. My true love, Don Kanonji.” She had the satisfaction of feeling his body stiffen. “I’ll be Kanonji Orihime, and our baby’s first words will be bohahaha!” His arms tightened around her. There was an unhappy spike in his reiatsu that made her smile. “Don’t make jokes if you’re not going to play along, Ulquiorra-kun.”

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.

Hook Echo

Apr. 29th, 2015 12:28 pm
mistkitt: (Default)
Originally posted 4/16/2015

 It’s been pouring rain all day and I’m dying to write M!Ulqui and TY!Hime (ノ´ヮ´)ノ*:・゚✧

~

Orihime shook her head furiously, her hands balling up the bottom of her pajama top. She sat in the middle of Ulquiorra’s bed, where she had been since the television posted a tornado warning for a list of counties she could not yet recognize. He’d tried to tell her they would be fine, but she didn’t believe him; and to further illustrate her disbelief she went off in Japanese that was peppered with the occasional English word like “Dorothy” and “twister” and “munchkin.”

Ulquiorra, reclining with his back against the headboard, smirked when a flash of lighting sent Orihime diving into the sheets. He waited for the thunder to subside before he leaned over and lifted the blanket off her. “Do you know how I know we’ll be alright?” he asked her.

Orihime blinked at him with frightened eyes. He held his phone out to her, its screen displaying a Doppler radar loop. “See how the red and yellow are moving more north than east? It means the storm is going to skim the city at best. And this,” he pointed to a spot where the colors appeared to be twisting in on themselves, “is called a hook echo. Your tornado will most likely be located there.”

Orihime straightened, watching the colors move away from the dot that labeled the city. “It is not coming toward us.”

“That’s right,” Ulquiorra said, adding with a hint of wickedness, “but if you still want to sleep here tonight, you’re more than welcome to.”

Orihime lowered the phone, lifted her head, and did her best to look aloof. “Okay.”

“That’s what… huh?”

“I said okay.” She reached over him to put the phone on the nightstand. Ulquiorra watched her slip her legs under the covers, yank a pillow from his stack, fluff it, and plop it down. “Big storms make me nervous. I will sleep here.”

Ulquiorra handed her a second pillow. He’d rather sleep on two pillows than three. He’d rather the tornado throw a cow through his window than sleep on an odd number of anything, bed excluded. “It could be dangerous for you,” he said quietly.

Lightning illuminated the wall. A moment later, the lamp on the nightstand went out, along with the air conditioning, and the dishwasher in the kitchen. Thunder rolled over the building with strength enough to rattle dishes. When it was over, Ulquiorra found Orihime clinging to him, her face buried in his chest, her heart beating so hard he could feel it through her back.

They couldn’t see each other in the darkness at all. But her lips found their way to his anyway, and when the lamp flickered back on minutes later, she lifted her mouth to his ear and whispered, “turn it off.

mistkitt: (Default)
Originally posted 4/11/2015

 AN EPILOGUE

~

When he came down the stairs for coffee, she was already there. Hard to believe he used to fear for his life when that happened. She’d be sitting in a chair doing something casual like reading the paper, leaving lipstick stains on his Batman coffee mug, and he’d know that for the next few days his life would become far more interesting than he’d ever wanted it to be.

But that was before. Today, she sat on the living room floor, an open scrapbook between her legs, an array of flowers laid out in an arc beyond it. She’d stuck a small blue flower behind her ear to adorn her short auburn hair, and she wore her pajamas. “Good morning,” he greeted her.

She looked up at him, blinked, then picked up the book and held it out for him to see. “You can’t decide which flowers to use?” he guessed. She nodded. “Can the decision wait until after breakfast?” Her head bobbed up and down eagerly. “Very well.”

It hadn’t been easy looking at her during the recovery process. Long surgeries to repair her skull, blood transfusions, psychological evaluations, physical therapy. But although the mob had failed to kill Orihime Inoue, they had succeeded in silencing her. She would never speak again. She would never be herself again. And Detective Ulquiorra Cifer, having chased her around the world for years after she’d first escaped him, remained bound to her by guilt.

Because she’d known what was coming. When she’d said goodbye to him last, her voice had been thick with finality, her eyes conveying her fear.

He should have tried harder to stop her, should have thrown everything on the line to get her to stay. But when had he ever been able to get her to listen to him?

“What would you like to eat?” he asked her as she padded barefoot into the kitchen behind him. She pointed to the refrigerator. “Eggs?” She nodded. “Scrambled?” She shook her head. “Fried?” No. “Boiled?” She whined and whacked his shoulder, puffing out her cheeks. “Oh, an omelette. Why didn’t you say so?” he teased, knowing full well that omelettes were her favorite.

Orihime hovered behind him as he prepared it, making sure he added just the right amount of vegetables. When it was ready, he watched her clumsily turn over a bottle of ketchup and draw a lopsided happy face on the omelette before digging into it with her fork. Soon Retsu Unohana would arrive to look after Orihime while Ulquiorra was at work, and he’d spend another nervous, impatient day fearing someone would change their minds about letting Orihime live. With no voice and no memory, she wasn’t useful enough to the mob to warrant a second assassination attempt, but who could be certain?

It wasn’t the life Ulquiorra had imagined for them, painting what-ifs in European hotel rooms as she lay in his arms, smiling sadly. But it was something. She wasn’t in jail. She wasn’t dead. He came home to her every day, child-like and altered though she was, and she was always happy to see him.

Which was fine, he thought as she held her fork out to offer him a piece of omelette that he refused. Things had never been perfect between them anyway.

mistkitt: (Default)
Originally posted 3/30/15

 Did I mention I found a good writing position that doesn’t hurt my hands? I did. But you know what hurts me even more than my hands? THIS AU.

~

The human woman was listening to that song again…

Humming, bouncing along in her seat, tapping her pencil to the beat. It was the tenth time she’d listened to it in the last two hours, and she was beginning to pick up the lyrics as well, even though they were in English. He watched her from the corner of her desktop, his avatar stationed close to her pencil-tapping hand, though in reality it was the stationary webcam that provided him with sight. “Woman,” he addressed her, his voice cutting into the music, “why do you play this song repeatedly?”

She copied something from her textbook onto a note card in tiny, neat handwriting. “Why?” she wrinkled her nose. “Because it’s my favorite. My current favorite. My last favorite was…” she turned to the laptop and clicked open her music player. He did not so much watch her scroll down the playlist as he did feel the commands given. “This one!” She double-clicked on the title and the music changed into a Japanese ballad.

Ulquiorra listened to a minute’s worth of the song before speaking again. “I do not understand.”

Orihime leaned forward on her arms, staring at the green-eyed sprite standing above the start button. “What don’t you understand?” she asked him, always curious to hear what he had to say.

“This former favorite and your current favorite have nothing in common,” he said. “Should not these favorite songs be similar to each other?”

She blinked. “Why would they be?”

In answer to her dumb question, he took control of her computer and went to the music market. “Patterns,” he explained, sifting through thousands of songs in the space of a second. “The familiarity should be comforting, reminiscent of that which you already know you have a preference for. Like so.” A sample of a song nearly identical to the English one began to play. Orihime smiled at him.

“You’ve got a good theory,” she said, “but it doesn’t work that way.”

“Why not?”

Orihime shrugged and tapped the screen with her index finger. “The heart knows what it wants, I guess.”

The heart again. Ulquiorra was no closer to understanding it than he had been weeks ago. All that appeared to remain constant was the fact that the heart was illogical. It followed no rules, obeyed no orders, bowed to no authority. “I do not accept that response,” he said, resuming the Japanese song where it had left off.

“Then I don’t know what to tell ya.” Orihime yawned and closed her eyes. Her dorm room window was open, allowing in the springtime breeze and the sounds of students talking on their way to class. “Can you feel that, Ulquiorra-kun?” she asked, not waiting for an answer. “It’s warm today. There are these trees around campus that put out white flowers right about now, and you’d think that they smell good, but they kind of smell like fish. They’re still pretty, though. I call them the fish trees.” Her lips curled up into a soft smile. “I can smell them through the window because there’s a few outside of my building. If you come with me on my phone tomorrow, I’ll show them to you.”

“You are going to fall asleep,” she heard him say, and perhaps it was her imagination, but his voice sounded gentler, almost fond.

“Wake me up if it starts raining…” she mumbled. Seconds later, she was dozing.

The window was in the webcam’s line of sight. Ulquiorra could see the sun, and thanks to the microphone he could hear the breeze as well, though it sounded far away. But he could neither see nor smell any fish trees. Nor could he feel the woman’s breath, though it created a little circle of fog on the laptop screen. She would get sick, he thought, and stared at the blanket on her bed, all the way across the room. He could not retrieve the blanket and place it over her shoulders. He could not close the window for her, so that she could sleep undisturbed. He could not stand or grasp or move at all.

But he could sleep, couldn’t he? The webcam light turned off, the laptop’s humming quieted, the flow of viruses into the university’s network slowed to a stop. Yes, he realized, as his avatar’s eyes closed; he could sleep.

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 3/25/2015

 I’m supposed to write a smut drabble for this, but until then…

~

If he had to be asked, it was this or that. Like the upturned corner of her mouth when she saw him, just beyond the glare of the spotlight, and pretended she hadn’t. The rueful way she said “detective.” How water clung to her as long as possible, whether it was dripping from her hair or hanging on to an eyelid.

Not so much the time he spent bedridden after she pistol-whipped him. Or the time she’d called the French police and claimed a pervert had snuck into bed with her. Or the time his rental car had exploded not even two minutes after he’d left it.

The back and forth. It wasn’t normal. He’d never suspected himself of being insane until he’d met her. “Not insane,” she’d murmured, her hands trailing from his shoulders to his chest, her front pressed against his back, “in love…”

Him, of all people, wrapped around the delicate pinkie finger of a criminal. A game of cat and mouse where neither knew who was who.

He captured her. He let her go.

She captured him. She let him go.

Their intertwined hands like chains as they lay together in darkness, gazing at each other, haunted by “What do we do?”

It was the way she needed him and hated him all at once. How her breath caught when he talked about the future they could have. The lipstick stains, in various colors, left behind on her tea cups. How unexpectedly kind she was to children.

Not so much the blood splatter on her dress. Or the way she hissed at him to stop following her. Or the gentle caress of her fingers on her bodyguard’s cheek - no, especially not that; he’d strangle that Tsubaki if he could.

But no one would ever ask him why he loved her, because no one would ever know he did.

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.

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