A/N: This is a crossover between Bleach and The Labyrinth. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything, least of all Bleach and The Labyrinth.
"Dear Kurosaki-kun," Orihime said as she wrote those very words on a piece of paper. Orihime bit the end of her pen. She really didn't know what to say to him. She glanced down at the silver bracelet adorning her wrist and scowled. If it wasn't for the bracelet she could say these things in person. But she knew that even if she didn't have the bracelet, she would still not be able to see her friends. They would never allow her to do what she planned on doing. She sighed. She was in quite a conundrum. If she didn't go to Hueco Mundo with that arrancar, he would attack and, judging from his fighting abilities, most likely kill her friends. However, if she went with the arrancar to Hueco Mundo her friends would undoubtedly attempt to rescue her, a scenario which would also most likely result in their deaths.
Orihime bit her lip as she glanced at her bookshelf, her eyes lingering on a single book she remembered well from her childhood. She had always believed in fairy tales. After all, how else would you explain fairy circles, shooting stars, and narwhals? Orihime's eyes became hard and impassive as she stared at the book. She knew what she had to do.
Grounding herself in the knowledge that everything would turn out okay, Orihime turned back to her letter. "I know you don't know who I am," she wrote, "but we used to be friends. We were all friends: you, me, Ishida-kun, Sado-kun, Kuchiki-san, and Abarai-kun. I went to the Soul Society with you to save Kuchiki-san, and I went again with you to stop the Bount. It may sound crazy, because you don't remember me, but it's true. Please, remember that everything I did was for you and our friends. Good bye, Kurosaki-kun. I…" Orihime couldn't bring herself to finish that last sentence. She knew she needed to tell him, but…she knew he would never return those feelings. She felt as if in writing the words she would be giving something of herself away, and that empty space would be hollow, never to be filled by requited feelings. Well, Orihime thought, maybe it would be good to leave something of myself here. With those thought in mind, Orihime finished her sentence, "I love you."
Ten minutes later, Orihime was walking down her street with her letter addressed to Kurosaki-kun. She dodged out of the way of pedestrians, not wanting to bump into someone that couldn't even see her. Eventually, she made it to the end of her block. She deposited her letter in the big, blue mailbox.
Orihime looked at the world around her before closing her eyes and shutting out the sights and sounds of a world that couldn't see or hear her either. Gathering the courage needed, Orihime began. "I wish the Goblin King would come and take me away…" She paused and took a deep breath before finishing, "right now."
She winced, waiting for something drastic to happen. Instead she felt the temperature instantly become warmer and the air pressure change, giving her the feeling that her ears needed to pop. The place she was in now was completely silent, but it smelled slightly of hay, stone, and…chickens?
Orihime cracked one eye open. She saw dozens of tiny, wrinkly, brownish creatures gazing at her from their various spots about the large stone room. Random chickens walked aimlessly about, and vines climbed uninhibited across the walls.
"Not many people wish themselves away," a smooth, aristocratic, and slightly haughty voice said from behind her.
Orihime spun around. Sitting leisurely upon a stone throne, a man with slightly wild hair and pants that were much too tight for him gazed at her with two different colored eyes. Orihime gasped as she saw him twirl a silver bracelet between his fingers, the same silver bracelet the arrancar had ordered her to wear. The man smiled mischievously as he saw her glance down at her bare wrist and then back to the bracelet he was holding. "You won't be needing this here," he said and threw it into a corner of the room. A couple goblins dove for the shiny bit of metal, and shrieks and growls were heard from the brawling group.
Standing, the man approached Orihime. "Welcome to my castle. I am Jareth, the Goblin King." Orihime nodded in understanding, and Jareth smiled.
Orihime spoke, "No one…" She paused. She wasn't sure she really wanted to know the answer. Blinking away her tears, Orihime continued, "No one will remember I ever existed, right?" Jareth nodded, and the girl sighed, both relief and regret bringing tears to her eyes and making it a little painful to breathe.
"Now, Orihime," he said, "are you ready to become a goblin?"
Orihime's eyes brightened slightly and a small smile pulled at her lips. "I get to become a goblin?!" she asked. If she was in better spirits she would be bouncing with excitement by now. After all, if she couldn't be a robot, a goblin was the next best thing.
Kurosaki Karin grabbed the wad of mail from the mailbox and glanced at each envelope as she took the stack into the house. The mail that was for her dad she dropped in a box by the door, and she pocketed the mail for her and Yuzu. As she sorted the mail, she noticed a letter addressed to her brother. Normally she wouldn't care, but the address wasn't typed out like on official letters. Instead it was hand-written.
"Ichi-nii!!!" she yelled loudly to her brother who was in his room working on homework. "You have a letter."
"Who's it from?" he yelled back down.
Karin glanced at the envelope. "Someone named Inoue Orihime," she called back.
Ichigo stopped his homework for a moment and tried to remember if he'd ever heard that name before. He thought hard, but he couldn't think of anyone he'd ever known who had the name Inoue Orihime. It just wasn't ringing any bells.
"It's probably junk mail," he yelled in response. "Just throw it out."
Karin shrugged and dropped Orihime's last words into the garbage.