Orihime scratched her head and pounded the desk. A bandana with "Sure Win" painted in bold black was tied to her forehead. It was 2 in the morning.
Ulquiorra had not slept. Partially because he had recently discovered the amusing human artifact called a "television", and also because of that occasional racket Orihime made. He was sitting in front of said talking metal box, watching late-night low-budget horror shows as the human girl with the power of God wrestled with her school subjects.
"Ulquiorra-sannnn..." groaned Orihime as she put her forehead to the flat surface for the umpteenth time, "It's not fair!"
"What is? And be quiet, woman. A dead human is about to bite another human's head off."
"You never seem to study for anything at all! Yet your grades are so high!" The girl complained, "And I have to slave away to keep in the top 5 so I can go to a good university!"
In all honesty, Ulquiorra didn't get this collective human effort to memorize things in books and regurgitate them when needed. It wasn't like these things kept anyone alive in Hueco Mundo. But he did it easily enough. He is a Vasto Lorde, after all.
"The results for the quiz...Ishida-kun, 100 as always. But you're not alone this time...Schiffer-kun also has 100."
There was a collective swish as everyone's head swivelled to the transfer student, who didn't spare a single glance either way. Ishida didn't look of course, being the aloof person he was. But one could only wonder that deep down, perhaps he felt slight annoyance that his place of top student was being usurped by someone from an entirely different world.
"No on has ever gotten 100 in physics except Ishida...who is he?"
"I've never heard of an otaku good at schoolwork!"
"Can uhh...Schiffer-kun come up and write out the solution to this equation?"
Under everyone's eyes, the otaku transfer student rose and walked to the front of the blackboard (with hands in his pockets, mind you). He picked up a piece of chalk elegantly, and wrote a series of numbers and operatives indecipherable to the common student, ending in an equal sign with the correct answer.
The teacher's eyes widened as he flipped through the book.
"Sch-Schiffer-kun, this wasn't how the book says...but the answer is correct..."
"The method in the book is longwinded and clumsy, I took the liberty of using another one." Replied the arrancar, and left the math teacher glued flabbergasted to the floor.
...And that was how it went in nearly every academic class. In English class he would know all the hard words no one could recall. In history it would be the dates and people. Much to Ishida's chagrin, Ulquiorra tied with him at the top in nearly every subject. And to think the arrancar came from a place where there was no such thing as school!
Everyone thought he wasn't human, and they were right.
"Ulquiorra-san is so good at athletics too." Orihime mused, "But it must be because you were a warrior once..."
Athletics was another thing Ulquiorra didn't get about humans. Here, bounce/kick/throw/hit a ball around but you can't claim victory by knocking someone out (as he learned, with trial and error). He must look ridiculous even to himself, despite how fun (yes, he admits it) it is...
Ulquiorra jumped up with perfect timing and smacked the ball down over the net. Of course, it was too fast to have been caught by anyone.
The teacher would have made him run laps because he insisted on putting hands in his pockets, that is, if he didn't score the goal everytime.
--Track and Field--
Not having sonido was quite a handicap. If only he wasn't up against humans.
Everyone reconsidered the rule that you have to be over 6 foot to play basketball well. Whoa, look at that guy jump!
He never missed a pitch, ever. And the balls were never found, ever.
The consequence was that he was bombarded by requests to join athletic clubs wherever he went. But Ulquiorra turned them all down, it conflicted with his talking box schedule. (1)
"But..." The girl giggled, "you need to work harder in theater, art, and music...those are the only subjects I beat Ulquiorra-san in!"
"Schiffer! I have never met a student like you in my lifetime of teaching!"
"Thank you, Murazaki-sensei."
"IT'S NOT A COMPLIMENT!" Screamed the teacher with great force. "Ishida and Sado can at least play trees and bushes, but you can't even do that!"
The two other boys wondered if that was a compliment.
Ulquiorra couldn't see how it wasn't a compliment that he couldn't play trees and bushes. He was of course, best being himself rather than things that photosynthesized.
"You will forever be a backstage! You hear? BACKSTAGE!" Murazaki-sensei had to be forcefully restrained.
"...what is this, Schiffer-kun? It's...black and...has some grey parts..."
"But...rainbows have...other colours."
"It's a rainbow at night."
"Everyone must play an instrument! Let's start with the basics, how about the piano?"
A while later...
"...right, we're going to have to fix it...but nevermind. We'll find you an instrument...hmm...I think you would do well to play the violin."
After a few minutes...
"Err, forget the violin, try the cello."
It wasn't long before...
"...I think you just have very strong arms, maybe you can play the drums?"
There were some sounds...
"What do you mean broken sticks? Oh, is there anything you couldn't break? Try the trombone."
Something indescribable happened...
"Huh? What's that you say? I can't really hear you, Schiffer-kun, you need to speak up. What?"
In the end, he got a triangle to play with. Ulquiorra liked it, it was simple and effective.
As for the exams, Ulquiorra aced all academics, flunked theatre, and scraped a pass in art and music. Orihime had to beg Murazaki-sensei to give him at least another chance provided that he was, in fact, a good backstage.
The first term of the students' final year drew to a close with the heat wave of summer. Ahh, the long-anticipated summer. Orihime thought the winter war would never end, or that she would perish before she saw it to completion. Yet she was right here, now, shading her eyes against the brigh sunlight. And beside her was the person who was an irreplacible factor in her survival.
(1) Remote reference to Lucky Star there, Konata is very good at sports but doesn't join any afterschool activities because she'd miss her evening anime.
A/N: There's a disconcerting fact I've come to notice. It's the fact that...I don't read any Bleach fanfiction at all. I swear, when I find time these days, I will plough through all the UlqOri fanfiction in the C2 community, though my fear of OOC-ness and general aversion to hard angst will probably hinder me. I'm really quite picky about my animu fanfics.
Q: Can anyone stomach Ori's food?
A: Matsumoto, maybe.
So, I updated this week. Give me love, in the form of reviews. Or I shall pout, harrumph.