Seeing The Bigger Picture

"No, really," Orihime said, "I've got the most marvellous idea."

"Yes?" Ishida asked, gravely courteous, choosing to ignore the way that his fellow classmates were eyeing the available exits and edging away.

"It's shinigami," Orihime explained. "Oh, I'm so sorry! Did you bite your tongue or something?"

"Merely an uncontrollable reflex," Ishida muttered through gritted teeth. "Do go on, Inoue-san."

"It's psychological warfare!" Orihime waved around several of the manga that cluttered her desk. "What we do is we introduce them to public consciousness in a way that will filter back to affect public expectations of them and cause them to reconsider their lives and make Hollows rethink the whole thing! I was reading all about it the other day in the stuff the teacher gave us about psychological manipulation . . ."

"I'm not sure that was meant to be a how-to set of notes," Ishida pointed out.

"Bah." Orihime tossed her head. "So then we need to tap into the public perceptions of shinigami, and I've been reading all about them! . . . er, did you just say something about not sullying my eyes with such trash?"

"No," Ishida lied. "Please go on."

"We need to play on the tragedy aspect," Orihime said earnestly, gazing into his eyes. "I mean, they're all dead! We want to show them struck by the way the world's changed and everything's altered and then one of them comes in in a giant mecha and puts a foot through the roof or something while preparing to use laser cannons on the Hollows --"

"That's Gundam Wing," Ishida put in.

"-- while the younger ones who committed suicide are busy consoling pop idols --"

"Full Moon wo Sagas-, um, never heard of that," Ishida corrected himself hastily. It might be impossible to be deaf and unaware of all female conversation while in the Sewing Club, but there were some things he didn't have to admit to.

"-- and meanwhile the daughter of a demon lord is despairing about this prophecy that she's going to destroy the world --

"I think that one's an error in translation," Ishida pointed out gently.

"Oh." Inoue sighed. "Pity. I was having fun with the shadow tentacles."

"Well, there's nothing actually wrong with shadow tentacles," Ishida said hastily, crossing his legs.

"-- and meanwhile a group of them has to undergo dark missions while struggling against demons and an evil diabolical scientist doctor --"

"Haven't we already had enough of those?"

"-- who wants to cut off Aizen's head and sew the decapitated head of his brother onto his body so that he can torture him for the rest of eternity!"

Ishida took a deep breath.

"Or perhaps it shouldn't be Aizen's head," Orihime added thoughtfully. "Perhaps it should be someone else's head. And all the molesting."

Ishida adjusted his glasses so that they glinted menacingly in the afternoon sunlight. "Oh, I don't know. You may have something there."

Kurosaki was making is it safe to come back in signs from outside the doorway. Ishida ignored him.

Orihime clasped her hands together in front of her breasts. "But will you help me?"

"Have you spoken to Kuchiki Rukia about this?" Ishida temporised.

Orihime nodded. "She was really keen about the idea! I think she wanted to tell Ichigo about it herself --"

From the corridor came a yell of, "You bitch!" and the noises of a scuffle.

"I think she just did," Ishida said. He smiled.

Seldom had he been more grateful that he was not a shinigami.