Ishida stands there, on the battlefield, and he ponders balance.

Soul Society is, to him, meticulously balanced, and it amazes him that they achieve it so effortlessly. It's yin-yang, absolutely, the libra that is eternally balanced in the stars. The divisions, the people; down to the uniforms balance is preserved.

And so he watches, impartial, as white on black and black on white face each other, infinitely fascinated. Yamamoto looks at Aizen and they're parallel, perfectly; neither has a shred of respect. Shunsui looks tiredly, sadly, at Tousen; both wave their poetic ideas up high and agree, then draw their swords to duel. Gin and Ukitake smile at each other, the irony of the situation not escaping them, and banter with scathing words like they never could before.

And like yin and yang, there is black and white disruption. Orihime stands just behind Grimmjow, confused and tearful, weak at the knees. Mayuri grins from his division, thrilled by the bodies that he know will fall and will be his to use. Black and white, no gray or light, just stark clarity stands there, in front of Ishida to see and analyze.

Ichigo is upright and alone in the middle of the battlegrounds, his hair a stunning contrast to the black and white monotony. Ishida frowns a little, smiles a little, and wonders what it means.

He thinks about perpendiculars, and then he realizes that he's always known.