Rating: T, for a tiny, tiny bit of swearing
I got this idea and just ran with it. However, my idea resulted mainly in Uryuu and Renji walking around together; I'm afraid the IshiHime is barely apparent. I'm contributing it to the birthday celebration anyway because it provided my initial inspiration.
Walking within the shifting walls of Las Noches, Uryuu Ishida and Renji Abarai were abruptly thrown into a vacant room. The resulting jumble of shinigami and Quincy barely had a chance to figure out the new surroundings when everything changed. With a shimmer, the stark blankness was replaced by a pastoral countryside. Turning around, they saw only more grass and what might have been a cottage in the distance. No sign of the entrance they had obviously tumbled through only moments before.
"What the hell is this?" Renji railed, eyeing his surroundings suspiciously, zanpakuto at the ready.
"It's an illusion," Ishida answered with maddening calmness, as the glint of his glasses seemed to imply, "as any fool can see."
"Oh really? What tipped you off? The shimmering, or the fact that we were in a completely different place two seconds ago?"
Uryuu paused, as if considering the very air, "I can sense Inoue's reiatsu much more clearly." He moved on with a renewed sense of purpose, walking in the opposite direction of the vanished entrance.
"Couldn't that just be part of the illusion? Make you think the girl is this way? We wander in this field forever, and meanwhile Kurosaki saves the day," Renji grumbled.
Uryuu didn't dignify the question with a response. If there was a chance that this way led them closer to Orihime, he couldn't very well pass up the opportunity.
In the distance, six tall structures appeared. Wide columns tapered to a triangular top, and four long arms rotated from a point near the top.
"Now what are those?" Renji asked. Even the farthest reaches of the Rukongai had nothing like this.
"They're called windmills. They're typically found in Europe…" Uryuu trailed off, lost in thought for a moment.
"Great. This illusion is taking us on a fucking tour of the world."
Uryuu ignored the comment, almost on the verge of remembering something, but with a shake of his head and an instinctual adjustment of his glasses, he continued, "I guess there's really nothing to do but keep walking and check them out. If this is meant to be a trial, then there's no point in avoiding whatever may come." Besides, Inoue is that way. Some impulse made him keep the thought to himself. Whether it was out of a general frustration at his shinigami partner who seemed to have a smart-ass response for everything or because he was afraid of what he might give away if he spoke the words aloud, it was hard to say.
"Now that I can agree with."
However, as they approached the structures, they shifted in shape and appearance. The entire column darkened. Blades became reaching arms and the peak of the column bulged outward into a mask. Instead of six windmills, six hollows now blocked their path.
Preparing to fight, Uryuu called on his bow, but something was wrong. In all of his years as a Quincy, drawing his bow had never felt like this. Uryuu looked in wonder. Instead of a bow, his reiatsu had settled into the rough shape of a long spear. On his right forearm, a glowing blue shield appeared.
"Roar Zabimaru!" Renji stared in disbelief as his zanpakuto shifted into a similar spear instead of the usual serrated edges.
The weaponry finally made something click in Uryuu's mind. "Don Quixote."
"What does that crazy guy on TV have to do with this?"
"No. Don Quixote, not Don Kanonji. In the human world, Don Quixote is considered one of the great works of world literature. It comes from Spain, so I'm guessing these images are an approximation of the Spanish countryside. In the story, Quixote was delusional, really. He thought he was a knight, and when he came across some windmills, he thought they were giants and fought them with weapons similar to the ones we have right now. Except in our case, we get hollows instead of giants." The same impulse he felt earlier stopped him from saying anything about the fair Dulcinea for whom Quixote pined. Instead, he added, "I think Don Quixote had a horse. Too bad Kurosaki wasn't with us when this illusion started."
The spears were awkward in their hands. With both fighters accustomed to the advantage of long-range attacks, the task became even more difficult. In the midst of a field of lunging arms and frenzied screeching, Uryuu almost missed an important detail. The hollows never got any closer.
"Abarai! Even though they have the form of hollows, they're stuck in place like windmills. I don't think they can even turn around. We can use the illusion to our advantage."
Uryuu and Renji teamed up to methodically take down the hollows, approaching from slightly behind, just out of reach of the grasping arms, and simultaneously plunging the spears into opposite sides.
As the last windmill-hollow disintegrated, so, too, did the constructed world around them. An almost identical shimmering brought them back to a stark white world of hard surfaces and sharp angles. A door appeared just ahead.
Uryuu paused while surveying the surprisingly small room, "Inoue's reiatsu is still stronger in this direction. That wasn't part of the illusion. Let's go." Apparently free of commentary this time, Renji simply nodded.
They headed towards the next challenge Las Noches was sure to provide.
Years later, Orihime would wonder why Uryuu insisted on calling her "Dulcehime" at his most tender moments.
Note: I'm taking a bit of liberty with "Dulcehime" because really it should be "Dulcihime" to be parallel to "Dulcinea", but "dulce" means "sweet" in Spanish, making a much cooler pet name.
Also, this is my first attempt at Bleach fan fiction (or fan fiction for that matter), so I welcome feedback. (Be gentle?) I'm normally a non-fiction writer, and the straightforwardness of web content doesn't lend itself well to narrative.