Look familiar? You probably recognize everything down to the paneling from the infamous "hand reach" scene depicted in "The Ash" and "The Heart". (That page is from ch. 85, Intruderz 2: Breakthrough the Roof Mix).
The more recent hand reach.
Now I know, most of you are expecting me to assert UlquiHime here. But while we can't entirely cut either of them out of her life- nearly everyone she's interacted with has had some sort of effect on her- what does this mean about Orihime?
I know the point of posting here is to TL;DR to your heart's content (xD), but this is just sort of a discussion touch-off- I'm interested in how everyone else interprets these two scenes. Kubo is notorious for bringing back old concepts and planning far ahead- Shinji showed up in the first chapter, and many titles are given "sequels" or "reduxes", sometimes hundreds of chapters apart. Examples would be the "United Front" series of Renji and Ichigo, Uryuu and Renji, then Kenpachi and Byakuya, or the more recent "Eagles Without Wings" follow-ups. With "Intruderz 2" and "The Ash", the paneling is almost exactly the same- two hand-shots, and a full-out of the two characters just inches from reaching one another, complete with others watching, but being unable to do anything.
So, my question to you is: what does the change in who she's reaching for mean about how Orihime's changed? Note also the onlookers: Uryuu and Ganjyuu at first, then Ichigo himself. Your thoughts?