Orihime was standing on the edge of a battle field. No, really, in the middle of one. All around her was death. Only a
few feet from where she stood were the ashes of Ulquiorra, and she wasn't quite sure what to think about him. He'd not been
cruel, just dominating. Curious, uncaring. He was deadly, but for some reason, she'd found herself drawn to him. What was
the saying? Ah, like a moth to flame. Except he was more chill than heat, rain than fire, setting out to dampen her spirits
along with her soul.
He'd wanted to crush her hope, her will. So why did she now mourn his passing?
"Inoue Orihime," came the voice of one of the Seireitei shinigami. She remembered that he was Kuchiki-san's older brother.
"You will come with us."
You will come. Ah, she kept hearing that. Over and over again, 'you will come'. She wasn't given a choice in the matter.
The first time, it let he meet someone wonderful. Dreadful, but delightfully wonderful. And she'd just let him go. Let him
die. I should have stopped Kurosaki-kun from killing him. I should have. Now... "No," she whispered, looking down.
There was a tense silence that followed before she sensed him move closer, reiatsu swirling and obviously ready for yet
another battle. "You will come with us."
"It'd be interesting to study those flowers of her's, too," his clown-faced companion commented curiously.
Study. You will come and we will study you. You will come. She grit her teeth and looked up at the man standing a few feet
away, tears pooling in her eyes. "No," she repeated, curling her hands into fists. "I won't. I will wait right here for Kurosaki-kun
to come back." She glanced to make sure her shield was still in place. It wouldn't keep them out for long, but maybe long
"Eh, he won't be comin' back, girly," the biggest of the three commented, scratching his ear. "We'll have ta bring ya to
'im." He looked around, as if searching for something more interesting than a puny human girl to occupy his interest. Finding
nothing, he returned his attention to her but said nothing more.
"I promise you'll be quite comfortable if you let me study you," Clown-Face said, and she imagined he'd be rubbing his
hands together gleefully if they weren't busy messing with that strange machine he was holding.
Kuchiki sighed. "You are a traitor, Inoue Orihime, and as such, we are under orders to arrest you. We will take you by
force if necessary. Surrender."
A traitor? She was a traitor? So that's what they were thinking. That's why no one came to rescue her sooner. She
should have known. She let her eyes slip closed and reinforced the shield around her with her own reiatsu, shaking her head
but saying her nothing. She felt the thud of his attack against her shield and winced. But she had to keep it up until Kurosaki-kun
could come rescue her. Again. It was all she was good for, apparently. Some damsel in distress waiting for someone to rescue
How pathetic. Can you truly not stand on your own two feet?
Surprised, her eyes snapped open, watching as Kuchiki tried to find some way to get into her shield. A pair of arms encircled
her waist, but when she looked, there was nothing there. Was she going crazy?
Use Tsubaki to distract them, the voice that was so familiar to her yet not possibly there whispered. She could
even feel his breath on her neck as he spoke, but she couldn't see him. Before she could question him, he continued. Then
use the defensive shield to trap them. This will require you to release it from around yourself, so be careful. The eleventh
division shinigami sees no interest in you for now, but if you trap the others and not him as well, he might see you worth
fighting. Do not allow that to happen; he will kill you.
Hesitantly, sure she was going insane, Orihime nodded. These were captains, though. So much stronger than her...
Don't worry; I will reinforce the shield long enough for you to get away. Don't forget to grab at least some of my ashes,
It clicked and understanding dawned, even as she called Tsubaki forth obediantly. That was why he was helping her. She
had no idea how he was still here, and briefly wondered if dead people could even have ghosts, but somehow he was, and he
wanted her to restore his body. All it would take was his ashes, she knew. She'd already experimented under Aizen's orders.
It worked like a charm. They were so surprised by her being outwardly aggressive that she managed to trap them under her
Santen Kesshun long enough to grab a handful of his ashes and dash in the direction he told her to. She'd been running for
maybe ten, fifteen minutes when she felt the shield break and hoped she could get to safety soon. Somewhere to hide. Where?
"Where?" she whispered.
There. See the dip? Go there; grab the rope and pull as soon as you're in.
Too frightened to question him, she ran towards the sharp dip in the sand and stumbled. She looked for a rope and saw something
sticking up out of the sand. With desperation nearly choking her, she grabbed it - it was the aforemention rope - and pulled.
The sand sucked her in.