A/N: Ishida, Orihime, and the Shun Shun Rikka. Set during the Soul Society arc, sometime after Ishida's new bow is revealed. These two are determined to be adorable together in my head. Silly kids.

POINTS I blame Moonsheen for getting me on the sheer CRACK that is this series. firm nod So if I fic half as much for Bleach as I have for Naruto, you'll all know who to blame.

.

.

"Stories About a Girl"

.

.

Orihime pushes her hair- long, long because of (for) Tatsuki- out of her eyes and Ishida remembers when she told him that story. Then again, they haven't had much else to do but talk since they were separated from the others, so it wasn't very long ago.

Her hairclips (gift from her brother, though she didn't like them at first) are temporarily disassembled, and those- Ishida doesn't know what to call them, really doesn't have any clue what to call them except the names they've given, and that's not a classification- little flitting creatures, Orihime's power, whatever they are, flicker around and about. They are not exactly scouting and not exactly not.

The "Shun Shun Rikka." She'd called them that. And he wonders as he watches them, listens to their bickering and taunting, is that a species? And then he wonders what kind of totem those barrettes of hers are, if her brother made them or bought them or knew what they could become, or if these creatures (Hinagiku. Baigon. Lily. Shonou. Ayame. Tsubaki. All flowers, of course.) would be born of any piece of jewelry that Orihime wore.

Tsubaki is yelling at Orihime (he's done that since he was first created/summoned/born). Ishida is tempted to throw a rock at him, though he's not quite sure why. Instead he looks at his glove and wonders, when was the last time he fought to protect a person? Not because of duty or guilt or disgust, but to keep one person safe.

Just one.

Orihime laughs at something Shonou said and Ishida thinks about Ichigo Kurosaki and the way Orihime lights up when people talk about him. Thinks about the way she lights up at so many things and wonders if . . . possibly . . .

Ishida brushes his hair out of his eyes and tells her that they need to keep moving. She nods, serious for a moment as she follows him, her precious flowers flitting around her: her abilities and her birthright and her gift from Ichigo. Ishida just thinks that he likes the way she follows him, without question or doubt or accusation in her eyes.

Even though, if Ishida had found her brother first, he would have destroyed him and not regretted it.

Orihime came here for Ichigo. For Rukia.

Sometimes Ishida wonders where she would go for him, but he's not sure if he wants the answer.

And sometimes Orihime smiles at him, and then it's the only thing that he thinks he'll ever want.

When Orihime tells stories, it takes a long time- she'll ramble and start over and lose her place and switch to others halfway through. It would probably take a lifetime to get through every one she'd tell if she were asked.

Ishida really wants to hear all of them.

.

.

:: ende ::

.

.

. : i could listen to your voice forever : .