The hospital is filled with ghosts.
Ishida, as a boy, always hated going to see his father at work. But this time he had to, to get a permission slip signed so that he could continue to live in his own apartment. He liked living alone. He liked shopping for himself and cooking for himself. And being alone made it easy to do what needed to be done.
Ishida enters the side door, trying to get through as little hallway as possible to make it up to his father's office.
The old men outside the heart ward laugh and smoke and play mah jong, while the nurses step through their placed tiles. The emergency room seethes with gunshot wounds and stabbings. A man with eyes like bruises and an arm tracked with black veins looks at him, already half Hollow. Ishida's eyes narrow, nostrils flaring just a tiny bit.
He walks. He can't do anything to lay the dead. That is Shinigami territory and his father made him swear to have nothing to do with them. On days like this he is glad of it. Rage burns him at how many of the ghosts are left to rot, left hungry, left to wander alone rather than be given a guide. It's as if only those that are threatened by Hollows have any hope of moving on.
Then again, knowing that they all go to Soul Society, Ishida isn't all that sure it's the better thing.
At the elevator, Ishida pushes the buttons with precise fingertips. On the slow slide up to the top floor, he takes a slow breath.
Outside the pediatrics ward it is just a girl this time. Ghost pale sitting in front of the aquarium and watching the fish. Her chain still has links. Ishida keeps going and reaches the polished door of his father's office.
He opens it. His father bends over paperwork, perfect hair, perfect suit all exact. Ryuuken looks up.
"How can you stand all the ghosts, Ryuuken?" Ishida knows he's being rude, he doesn't care, the rage he feels just always comes out that way.
"Ghosts? What ghosts?" His father asks, pushing up his glasses. Light reflects off his lenses, obscuring his eyes.
"I saw you out in the park. Saw you as a Quincy. You can't tell me you can't see them." Ishida bites it out, hard.
His father looks at him with that look Ishida can never read. "You can always close your eyes."