Title: It's not Stockholm Syndrome, she thinks
Fandom: Bleach
Type: Ficlet
Rating: G
Pairings: None, but see Ulquiorra/Orihime if you'd like
Word count: 696
Summary: Orihime introspective and chapter 262.

A/N: Nightmare punctuation and run-on sentences ahoy. How else to write this character though? Since I don't read much in the Bleach fandom and currently have only a passing interest in the chapters, maybe I'm totally off the ball on this one. Probably.

Orihime always knew Rukia was someone to be admired. She had taken her imprisonment with dignity and grace, like some beautiful queen who still held her head high after the peasants declared "Off to the gallows with her!" Now it was Orihime's turn to be the princess in the tower and she found out very quickly that it was different from in the fairy tales. She admired Rukia's strength all the more. Sometimes it occurred to Orihime how well Rukia and Ichigo would work as a couple; both of them strong, courageous, and deep-down good. (Nevertheless, they wouldn't work out forever because Orihime knew that when she grew up she was going to marry Ichigo, and since three people can't get married, only two, they'd have to settle for threesomes - but that would be no good either because Orihime had heard all about jealousy, and if Ichigo got jealous of her and Rukia where would they be then?)

Orihime sometimes wished she had a cool sword like Rukia so she could smite their enemies too, but she immediately felt silly after thinking that; her own powers were a blessing and she was happy to have them. No one else could heal like she could. The only problem now was that her friends were rushing into Hueco Mundo with their swords swinging and fighting powers going zippity-zap, while she and her healing were stuck in a room as Chad's reiatsu began to fade. As much as she daydreams about Ichigo kicking down the door and sweeping her up into his arms and away, away!, she'd much rather tell her friends to stay safe at home because this time she'll figure out a way to save the day on her own.

Another thought that's often on her mind is what to do about her captor, Ulquiorra. He kidnapped her, yes, but that's only because he's got a boss that makes all others look like kittens with their milk-teeth still in. When Ulquiorra visits her, she can't help but want to see him without his usual frown. She guesses this is because healers are supposed to be 'empathetic'. Whatever that word means. (Sometimes she feels it must be a bad quality, or else why would it have 'pathetic' in it?) Orihime thinks that if Ulquiorra went away, or if she went back to the human world without him, she would be sad. (Not sad like when your best friend moves away or your pet goldfish dies though, more like how she missed that boy back in elementary school who kept putting glue in her hair until her brother went and beat him up and then he had avoided her completely.)

It's not Stockholm Syndrome, she thinks to herself. That's when you make friends with your captor and then maybe go off and rob banks together. And although secretly she thinks she would look really cool revving up the engine of a fifties-styled getaway car, dark sunglasses obscuring her features behind the already tinted windows, somehow Ulquiorra doesn't really strike her as the sort to don a hat like in those mafia movies, much less use a revolver to hold-up some panicked civilians (and maybe a fainting secretary or two) – they weren't named Bonnie and Clyde either so that whole thought was a 'no'.

When she slapped him, she hadn't meant to hurt him; she only wanted some sort of reaction. Something to let her know that, under everything, he had been human once. But he just kept standing there with his big sad eyes that made her want to smile bright and blinding to see if it really was, as Tatsuki always said, contagious. But she couldn't smile like that at him now because Chad was hurt while trying to rescue her, and her friends didn't realize that she would find a way out and solve this whole mess, and Ulquiorra's expression was still painfully the same as he turned to walk away, and Chad's reiatsu was fading and she wasn't there to help this time, and, and…

And as she sinks back sobbing against the wall, she realizes that sometimes it's hard being the healer, you know?