Disclaimer: Kubo Tite owns Bleach; Bleach owns my soul.
Description: Hard R. A story about identity. Can Ulquiorra’s allegiance ever waver? Can Ishida’s? Aizen, Gin, Tousen, Orihime, Zael-Apollo.
Warnings: Spoilers for Hueco Mundo arc, (mild) dark-fic-ness, (not overly explicit) sexual weirdness, mind fuckery, a hougyoku with erotic powers, and a long author’s note at the end.
A/N: This story, written the week chapter 272 appeared, begins with the presumption that Renji and Ishida were defeated by Zael-Apollo.
Those of you who know my drabbles will tell now which one this story came from; it’s really undone but you can recognize it. There’s another tidbit from a fic by me in this chapter, and I’ll give you a drabble if you can tell me what it is.
For Aizen this is just a game ~ Ulquiorra, chapter 249
“Oh my,” said Gin as Ulquiorra kissed the Quincy. “I told him not to do that. Look at him cheating on you, Sousuke.”
“I didn’t expect,” Aizen said, “that either subject would be able to resist the inherent sensuality of this experiment.”
“He’s kissing back. So much for all those noble declarations of I will rescue you, fair maiden, eh? I don’t think the Quincy’s thinking at all about our Orihime-chan at the moment.”
The Quincy’s pale human face was locked with the white Arrancar one, and rolling movements of tongue showed through his cheeks.
“They’re not going to meld into one big blob of Quincy, are they?” Gin rose from his chair and approached the monitor with acute interest. “Didn’t you mention side-effects? One of them wouldn’t happen to be impotency, would it?”
Aizen was turning knobs and flicking switches. “Gin….” He wasn’t in the mood for Gin’s humor.
“I’d really hate for Number Four to lose his one pleasure in Las Noches,” Gin went on. “The only time I ever see him without that dour look on his face is when you’ve got him by the balls… um, like right now.”
“The spiritual pressure within the hougyoku shell has quadrupled,” Aizen said softly. “This is good, very good. Even Wonderweiss’ creation didn’t register power this high.”
Arrancar and Quincy dropped to the floor and clutched one another on the floor. Ulquiorra rubbed his cheek against the top of Ishida’s head, and Ishida’s face nuzzled in the crook of Ulquiorra’s arm.
Gin must be laughing.
Ulquiorra kissed Ishida’s smooth hair and felt his Arrancar lips of hierro chafing. Arrancar skin eroding so easily? I’m losing myself and my power and my identity. The Quincy’s fingers opened and closed, opened and closed, grabbing folds of the Espada coat and dropping them.
“Do you want to live, Quincy? Let go of me.”
“It’s not me.” The Quincy was breathing hard.
“Put your arms down. You disgust me.”
But Ulquiorra didn’t know if he himself could break free.
Right before he had cupped Ishida’s face in his hands, a storm of reishi had re-ignited around the pair. At the kiss, Ulquiorra had felt the experiment’s outcome sealed. Now, the spirit power was impossibly high and maybe death was imminent.
The erotic force pushing the pair into one another was like what Ulquiorra had experienced before in Aizen’s proximity. The pressure was like Aizen himself, all-encompassing but not insistent. It encouraged submission, but it was not irresistible. No, it could be freeing to defy it, to walk forwards as into a strong wind.
Gin wants a display of helplessness? He’s not going to get it.
Whatever exchange of Quincy and Arrancar memory (Ulquiorra refused to acknowledge it as soul) had already occurred, it wasn’t too late to avoid death. If after the experiment, Ulquiorra felt that he was more Quincy than he wanted to be, then he would kill himself.
That would be his declaration of identity right there: I choose not to be.
But at the moment, if he allowed himself to die in this strange womb, he would take Ishida Uryuu with him.
Why did that matter?
I’m not going to die with a Quincy in my arms.
“Do you want to live, Quincy?”
Ishida’s pushed himself away with his palms. He whimpered as if in pain--a pitiful sound, and one Ulquiorra thought the boy should be more ashamed of than of the shape pressing Ulquiorra’s thigh.
“Resist,” Ulquiorra ordered. “There’s nothing to be ashamed about unless you come in your pants like human trash. Right now, you’re raising the spirit power here to an intolerable level--we’re going to…”
Ishida fell on him again, and his mouth opened against Ulquiorra’s cheek. Quincy teeth ran against an Arrancar jaw, and Ulquiorra, who never shivered, shivered.
“Resist,” whispered Ulquiorra, and in direct contradiction of his order, raised one leg over the boy’s leg, swept one hand into the boy’s hair.
When the Arrancar’s eyes met the Quincy’s, he saw the pleasure welling there. Ishida’s eyes were wincing, top black eyelashes stuck together and the bottom ones beaded with tears.
“You’re going to burst apart like some simplistic life form unless you resist, Quincy.”
The Quincy bared his teeth.
“Like a deep water fish brought too quickly to the surface of its ocean.” Ulquiorra wondered where he got that memory. “Do you want to die like that, Quincy?”
Then Ishida let out a growl of resistance and tried to pull away. Ulquiorra, feeling preposterously unlike himself, hugged the thin frame closer.
Ishida rolled Ulquiorra onto his back, lifted him a centimeter off the floor and shook him by the shoulders.
“Who,” he asked through gritted teeth, “are you?”
Ulquiorra thrust his pelvis forward and felt his hipbones smack Ishida’s. Whoever you want me to be, he thought, but at the moment he felt he might be Aizen. Paternal, experienced, the one with the secret wisdom. His hand reached to massage Ishida’s shoulder. “Don’t fight it.” Death was fine. Death was preferable to facing Aizen again.
“Don’t fight it.”
But the boy fought. He let go Ulquiorra whose mask hit the floor with a cracking sound.
My mask broke. That’s not supposed to happen.
Ishida scooted away, took off his glasses and rubbed his eyebrows as if doing that would erase what was happening.
Zael Apollo said that most forms of sexual expression would facilitate the change, but had just this been enough to--?
Ulquiorra looked to see how the Quincy was faring.
For one moment Ishida’s face was distorted with self-loathing, and then, as easily as a line in the sand would disappear under the wind, the boy’s face didn’t care. It smoothed into an expression that looked more like sleepy contentment than lust. His lips parted. “Ahhhhh.” His arms fell around Ulquiorra’s neck.
Ulquiorra felt it too. A floating sensation. A respite from the agony of transformation. Was it done? Was the boy now an Arrancar and the Arrancar a simple Quincy?
The crystalline cocoon still held. A brightness refracting from the glasses in Ishida’s hand hurt Ulquiorra’s eyes. He took the glasses with no protest from the limp Quincy and put them in the pocket with Orihime’s bracelet.
Since when had Ulquiorra ever felt pain in his eyes?
So this had been Aizen’s plan.
A trivial plan, Zael-Apollo had said, but one that Aizen would pursue merely to fend off boredom. Unlike Kurosaki Ichigo--who was already hybridized and always on the verge of shifting allegiances--the proud and wholly human Ishida Uryuu could never be convinced to lend his unique powers to Aizen’s army. Instead, Ulquiorra’s Quincy soul would be awakened, and Ulquiorra would learn how manipulate spiritrons and summon a bow.
It would be a degrading trial, one with little chance of success. But Aizen wanted a loyal Quincy in his court and that Quincy was to be the ex-Espada Number Four.
And Ishida Uryuu couldn’t, in all likelihood, be persuaded to become an Espada either. The plan was to keep him prisoner and to bring Ulquiorra to his room each time Aizen felt like re-testing the experiment.
A Quincy-Arrancar hybrid within three or four months time? Possible. If not, it made no difference to Aizen. The Winter War was as well as won.
Ulquiorra pushed Ishida’s body off his chest, and the Quincy’s eyes rolled back into his head.
It wasn’t over.
“Quincy,” said Ulquiorra with a fierceness he had never heard in his own voice. “I need more reishi. Summon your power.”
Ishida didn’t move.
Ulquiorra abandoned the body on the floor and stood up. He felt for the crack in his mask--it was an insignificant fissure at the back of his head.
A disembodied voice purred through sound-altering fractions of the crystal womb. Aizen sounded like a machine. “What is it, Ulquiorra?”
“The experiment failed. The Quincy is dead.”
Orihime had fallen asleep. She had been kneeling on the floor with her cheek against a couch cushion and then, bewildered, exhausted, unwilling to bear the suspense from the drama in the next room, she’d drifted into a light state of unconsciousness.
“Well, well, what have you done, little human girl? Did you wreck Aizen-sama’s experiment?”
Zael-Apollo stood, arms crossed over his chest, and cast a thin shadow over the white couch.
“Let her sleep,” whispered Aizen.
“Let her sleep,” Gin’s even softer whisper mocked Aizen’s. “So says the man who wanted the child exposed to scenes of ruthless violence. What is it now? You want her to sleep so she can have terrible dreams?”
“I want her to grow accustomed to our world.” Aizen stepped closer and looked at his captive with shiny-eyed interest. “She’s going to be with us for a long time, and I couldn’t have her fainting over every drop of blood shed on these white floors. She’s a quick study.” He leaned forward so that his own shadow fell over her. “Orihime-chan, we’ll win your soul piece by piece. You’ll be so happy here.”
Zael was pointing a detection device at one corner of the room. “Done,” he announced. “The reiatsu repression wasn’t affected. The walls seem fine. Are you sure you don’t want me to give her the once-over.”
“Later,” said Aizen.
“My bracelet is missing.” Zael gestured to Orihime’s wrist.
“We saw Ulquiorra take it,” Gin said. “I, for one, had no idea that he fancied little baubles like that.”
“Make him give it back to me,” said Zael. “I worked hard on that device and there are still so many things to adjust on it.”
“I’ll send him to your laboratory,” said Aizen. “His powers of regeneration seem to have restored the crack in his mask and negated all traces of Quincy ability transferred to him, but nonetheless, I’d like you to give him a thorough examination--”
“To the best of my ability.” Zael-Apollo looked annoyed. “I’m not God. I can’t read his mind, and you are aware, Aizen-sama, that soul manipulation is not my forte. That’s your area.”
“I’ll be examining Ulquiorra later,” said Aizen with a slight smile. “In the meantime you need experience with the hybridization process. Maybe you will be the one to discover how to successfully hybridize Quincy into Arrancar.”
“Am I going to be granted access to the Quincy’s body?”
“I don’t see why not.” Aizen was still looking at Orihime.
“And I don’t see why you didn’t zap the sad shell of a once hearty boy into oblivion, Sousuke. You’re always allowing bodies to lie around and expecting me to clean up.”
“Gin,” said Aizen. “You have absolutely no interest in science, do you?”
“None,” said Gin, and the three white-robed men left Orihime’s room.
Orihime dreamed her first dream since coming to Las Noches.
Kurosaki-kun was coming to save her, and he was running across a long stretch of grassy bank. The Onose River ran alongside him in the other direction. Tatsuki stood in one place with a red dragonfly on her finger, and Tatsuki said (as she had one school day when girls were talking about their dreams and trying to interpret them), “Ichigo says he dreams about very boring things, like walking to school or taking a nap.”
The boring, ordinary world was a wonderful place, and Kurosaki-kun should stay in it, but no, he was running, running to save her.
In a state of drifting to awareness, Orihime told herself that she was in Las Noches and that she was just having a dream. Precognition had never been one of her powers, and the dream about Kurosaki-kun running wasn’t like what she’s experienced while trying to break the hougyoku. That had been a weird connection to Ulquiorra and Ishida-kun and all the Quincy. An anomaly. Usually Orihime couldn’t see through walls and into peoples’ pasts.
Kurosaki-kun isn’t coming to save me. He’s safe at home. Please, let them all be safe at home.
She was asleep again. The colorless sand rolled over her in a wave, taking her to a dark, churning world and then bringing her back to the sunlight. Wave by wave, she was rolling towards a shore. A beach in Las Noches? She smiled in her sleep. There were colorful umbrellas scattered about and pop music played--several songs at once, and it sounded jangly and disorienting but nice.
Ulquiorra was there, standing on the shore. His long white coat wet with seafoam and his hand outstretched. Orihime thought he looked a little less white-skinned--maybe he’d gotten a summer tan?
The closer Orihime got to shore, she could see that Ulquiorra held a bracelet. It wasn’t the one he’d given her in the dangai. It was a Quincy bracelet, a shinier silver--but what hung from it wasn’t the Quincy cross--a five-pointed star?
The sky and sand melded and fell over her in and an avalanche swept her away. She couldn’t breathe and she was drenched with the colorless landscape. When she could stick her head out of the sand, the world had changed.
Five-pointed stars everywhere. On closer inspection, they were men, women and children lying with arms and legs spread. The fifth point was the head on each. A million, million white stars on the sand. They turned into twinkling blue souls and drifted away.
Into a black sky.
They’re all dead and gone, she thought They’re never coming back here. She reached her hand out--but it was like trying to catch a red dragonfly.
Ishida-kun, come back.
She could catch the dragonflies spinning around her head. She could. Ishida-kun wasn’t going to die for her sake. That would be wrong and a very unhappy ending to this dream.
She stopped grabbing at the insects and held her hand out like Onii-san used to do by the Onose River.
A dragonfly alighted on her wrist.
Ulquiorra stood over the body. The Quincy looked tired but not ill and certainly not dead. A sandstorm was still blowing past the window of the room.
It had been the only way to stop the experiment. Ulquiorra had asked Aizen to break the enclosure created by the hougyoku, and then there had been a silence longer than Ulquiorra had expected.
“Wait,” Aizen had said, “I’ll go with you” --which made Ulquiorra think that Aizen had nodded to Gin to perform the deed and then changed his mind. Having Aizen himself come to inspect the area had given Ulquiorra a little thrill.
He had never lied to Aizen-sama before.
The reiatsu in the enclosure had been in a stasis; the experiment could have continued for who knows how much longer. Death was no longer a threat, but Ulquiorra wanted to stop everything that was happening. Conveniently, the Quincy had fainted.
So, hoping that Aizen would recognize that there was no point in subjecting the one subject standing to further soul manipulation, Ulquiorra had told his Aizen-sama that the Quincy was dead.
It was a lie, but it could be explained away as a mistake--the Quincy’s reiatsu was imperceptible.
At the scene, Aizen talked about Inoue Orihime’s unusual part in the experiment and he had shown very little interest in Ulquiorra, the Quincy, or the crystalline form that he broke apart with one gesture of his finger. Water had spilled to the corners of the room. At this point, Ulquiorra had expected that the boy would wake up, coughing. Gin and Aizen had seen the body and they weren’t questioning the Quincy’s death.
But as water swept past Ishida’s nostrils, Ulquiorra had felt anxiety. Should I kick him to his side so he doesn’t drown?
Then Gin had raised his hand to disintegrate the body, and Ulquiorra had felt don’t! No!
Ulquiorra and the boy were still connected.
“No, Gin,” Aizen had said, “Save him for me and Zael-Apollo.”
After the king of Las Noches had called for his scientist, Espada Number Eight, to meet in Orihime’s room, Ulquiorra had stayed in Ishida’s room, presumably to resume his guarding Orihime after the inspection team was finished. He had heard Zael-Apollo’s annoying voice, even as it whispered, in the next room. Live body or dead body, the Quincy was probably going to get dissected.
The window in the Quincy’s room showed an evening on the verge of night. The sandstorm had passed. The landscape, glinting with quartz trees, was visible now.
Ulquiorra kicked the Quincy, not hard, in the ribs. “Are you alive?”
Ishida’s eyes opened. Hair dripping wet from the womb water, he sat up. When he raised his eyes, the look he gave Ulquiorra was defiant.
“I’m not you, Espada.” Ishida rubbed one of his wrists. “I still have my powers.”
“Good,” said Ulquiorra. “I don’t want your powers.”
“I feel completely like myself,” Ishida said. He didn’t look it.
Ishida stared. Ulquiorra stared.
“Why,” asked Ishida, “are you wearing my glasses?”
Ulquiorra took them off. “I wanted to test if my vision had been disturbed by the experiment.”
“No.” Ulquiorra handed the glasses to Ishida. “I’m reporting to our science laboratory to see how much of your loathsome Quincy-ness remains in me. I may be regenerating over your spiritrons, but I won’t know for certain until the laboratory examines me.”
“Why would anyone want to do this?” The Quincy was removing his wet coat. His eyes were indignant, but his hands looked shaky. “Was it Aizen?”
“In the meantime,” Ulquiorra continued, ignoring the Quincy’s questions, “I’m allowing you access to Inoue Orihime.”
Ishida’s fierce look evaporated.
“I know you want to see the girl; I’ll let you see the girl. Don’t doubt, however, that the room will be sealed, and you will have no chance of escaping with her.” Ulquiorra, hands in pockets, walked towards the far wall. “I won’t be gone long. I’m giving you twelve minutes.”
“What?” Ishida didn’t believe it. “How?”
Ulquiorra pressed a button on the wall and part of the wall rose. “You will go from this room….” His tone could’ve been mistaken as sadness but Ulquiorra recognized it as his natural voice. He pressed another button. “And you will go into hers.”
Ishida didn’t look like he trusted the Arrancar one bit. Nonetheless he said “thank you,” and Ulquiorra wondered if the Quincy had once had a culture built on excessive politeness.
“You have twelve minutes. When I return, it will be to take you to your own examination.”
She looked like she had fallen asleep while kneeling to pray. Her arms pillowed her head on the couch cushion, and her legs were crossed beneath her.
The fact that there was no bed in the room told Ishida that this was a holding area; Aizen did not mean to keep her here night after night. Or…. Ishida couldn’t deny the possibility that she was to have been killed after serving some usefulness but before she could even get sleepy at the end of one day.
The clothes she wore were beautiful; she looked like a princess. She also looked like every Arrancar Ishida had encountered in Las Noches. The clothes suggested that the Arrancar wanted to make her one of their own. What would her role be and why would Aizen want to keep a healer with undeveloped powers over Kurosaki, a fighter with proven strengths? Aizen had sent Renji, Rukia, Chad, and Kurosaki back into the windy path that was Garganta. Ishida had been held for some obscene purpose--the weird experiment with Ulquiorra. Was Inoue-san going to be subjected to a similar trial? When she was taken from this bed-less room would it be to….
Not to Aizen’s bed. Please not there.
Ishida had not had a single moment yet to even begin to recover from the sexual disorientation of earlier. A visceral memory of helplessness resonated in his body. If not for the simple fear of dying, he would’ve abandoned himself to the feeling, transported God knows where inside a delirium of pleasure.
He, Ishida Uryuu, the person so aware of how he held his body in anyone’s presence and who always wanted to appear adult and poised--he had been writhing like an animal over some wetness on the ground.
His hair was still dripping.
What had happened? From the scattered imagery of Hollow being shot down by arrows (had he felt the pain of those arrows?) and from an ache in the pulse points he used to draw his Quincy power, Ishida knew that the humiliation was connected to his Quincy heritage and identity somehow. And it had been inspired by something….
Something that he felt about Inoue-san.
She looked so innocent asleep but Ishida clutched his fists and imagined handfuls of her ginger hair inside them. Kissing her. He took a step back…. And another.
The memory of the Arrancar’s bony fingers pressing into his shoulders made him close his eyes.
“It’s ruined,” Zael-Apollo said and tossed the bracelet over his shoulder.
Ulquiorra appeared behind him and caught the bracelet mid-air with one hand. “I didn’t think you were this sloppy and indiscreet with your inventions. Anyone could’ve picked this up and--”
“Anyone can have it,” Zael-Apollo said. “The experiment degenerated its basic composition. Or maybe your putting it in the same pocket as the hougyoku caused it to react oddly. In any event, it’s screwed.”
“And totally useless to you?”
“I’ll rebuild another from scratch.” Zael narrowed his eyes at Ulquiorra. “I thought you understood that prototypes are dispensable. Now, shoo. I couldn’t tell anything about your own spiritual composition from the scans.”
“Such a cunning device,” Ulquiorra said, pocketing the bracelet. “Imagine every Arrancar wearing one--visible to one another but as far as the enemy is concerned, an encroaching unseen army.”
Zael-Apollo pushed his glasses up his nose and looked annoyed. “Everyone expects me to work quicker than I can. One simply can’t rush the mass production of my inventions. They have to be tested. I can outfit one room with reiatsu-draining material but not the whole exterior of Las Noches. Flaws would be unacceptable if I did that; Aizen would kill me if anything went wrong.”
“Aizen hasn’t killed anyone yet,” Ulquiorra noted. “Not any Hollow or Arrancar, that is.”
Zael was still huffing. “I couldn’t possibly provide every soldier in Aizen’s army with a bracelet rendering him invisible. And besides, the thing is useless. I believe those with exceptional sensing ability can see right through it, and--oh damn, suppose one of you Quincy got near it with your spiritron-sucking abilities. You’d invert its whole function.”
“Oh?” Ulquiorra fingered the hougyoku in one pocket and the bracelet in the other. “You’re a Quincy. Aren’t you sure that it isn’t you affecting your inventions with your bizarre heritage?”
“Look, I’m not the one who’s giving off Quincy sparks from having had his soul half-melded with a pure-breed.”
“I’m going to be fine. Aizen-sama said I would be, and he’s the superior scientist.” Ulquiorra raised his chin.
“Then let the superior scientist examine that half-dead Quincy. I’m sure I won’t find anything. And besides, Aizen-sama will probably be disappointed if I cut up the specimen before he gets a chance to look at it.”
“Whether the Quincy is examined by you or not is for Aizen-sama to decide.”
And with that, Ulquiorra sped with sonido out of the room.
Forget twelve minutes--Ishida felt like he’d been staring at Inoue-san for a lifetime.
He had tried and tried to think his way out of their mutual predicament, and he couldn’t see how they could escape Las Noches. They were stuck here until some fortuitous opportunity presented itself. Inoue-san, a member of the Aizen’s forces. And himself--Ishida looked down at his damp white tunic--he was only steps away from allying himself with the Arrancar as well, wasn’t he? The experiment--whatever had been its ultimate goal, Ishida was sure that it had been leeching his Quincy abilities from him. Maybe soon, there would be a repeat experiment….
Ishida saw himself in Ulquiorra’s arms again. Entranced by the frighteningly white flesh, the unmerciful kisses on the top of his head, the voice that didn’t come from the Arrancar’s mouth but sounded in Ishida’s mind:
And there was something else. Had he dreamed it while lying on the ground or had Ulquiorra sent him a transmission during the experiment? If the Arrancar found enough Quincy in himself after it was all over, he planned on … destroying himself.
It made sense. Losing one’s essential self was the same as dying.
Ishida rubbed his wrist. His Quincy bracelet was still there, the five-spoked medallion apparently unharmed. There was no reason, Ishida told himself with a sinking feeling, to even begin to contemplate suicide. He had to stay here to protect Inoue-san. Even if he had to pretend to be Aizen’s faithful follower.
Twelve minutes? It made no sense, but Ishida had the feeling he was not going to see Inoue-san again. Not for a long time.
He walked towards her. He knelt beside the sleeping beauty and put his arm lightly around her shoulders. Sweet Inoue-san. Of all the people in the Living World, she didn’t deserve this fate. She was supposed to be laughing with her friend Arisawa-san over ice cream. She was supposed to go to university and awe her professors with the intelligence people never expected her to have. She was supposed to finally catch Kurosaki’s attention, and then they would marry and have children and….
Ishida brushed a lock of hair away from her eyes. His face moved close enough to hers to see the single clear tear-track on her cheek.
One chaste kiss wouldn’t be wrong, would it? He was never going to see her again.
He was so close to her soft, regular breathing sounding like roaring in his ears. He felt dizzy.
This is shameless. This is selfish.
Ishida pulled away. He took his arm off the sleeping girl but stayed kneeling next to her. What was he trying to prove? He couldn’t feel that way about her, could he? It was selfish. He had recently been used, so he wanted to use someone in return?
He was ashamed of his defeatist thoughts as well. Would Kurosaki Ichigo resign himself so easily to the enemy? Even if Kurosaki couldn’t think himself out of a situation, he would smash through it. Damn Kurosaki.
“Damn Kurosaki,” he said out loud. “I’m the one who’s going to save you, Inoue-san.”
Orihime had bolted straight up at the sound of Ishida’s voice and screamed. Ishida had half-gasped, half-yelped in response.
Orihime put her hand to her chest and breathed hard. As her bosom rose and fell. Ishida watched the tiny hand ride her breathing and didn’t believe that he would question his sexual identity again. How could such a simple dress with such a high neckline look so…womanly? The inappropriate thought sped through his mind that he would have to sew Inoue-san a dress like that when they returned home.
“Ishida-kun, what are you--how did you get here?” Her eyes shone with happiness. She was about to touch his face with her hand when a part of the wall rose.
It was Ulquiorra.
And just like the first time he had entered Orihime’s room unannounced, she startled. She had already screamed seconds ago so this time all she could manage was a tiny yip of fear.
“It’s alright, Inoue-san,” Ishida said. “This Arrancar is the one who let me see you.”
“Ulquiorra, Espada Number Four,” Ulquiorra corrected him. “And your time is up, Quincy.”
“Time?” Orihime still looked sleepy and confused. “Where did the dragonflies go?”
Ishida stared at her, but Ulquiorra ignored her and held up a sparkling object.
“My bracelet,” Orihime said.
But Ulquiorra was offering it to Ishida.
This morning I read a couple people hypothesizing about Quincy-Hollows over at BF. Heh, I'm going to be so tickled if Kubo goes this way with Zael-Apollo, but I'd really prefer a quick Zael-Ishida-Renji match. Yes, the fight has potential. Genius and science and Renji's pluckiness and ban kai. Not to mention Pesh-ness. But I want to see Ichigo (I can't believe I said that!) right now. I mean, see Shirosaki.