Orihime shot up and looked around. She was laying in a field of misty lollipops. They all looked tasty but just as she reached for one, someone pulled her back by the hair. She back stepped while trying to swat the thing but they only tugged harder.
"Stupid girl!" A voice shouted, "Its your own fault you're like this!"
The pull dissapeared and a second voice said, "Orihime's restraint is all that's keeping that thing at bay."
"Huh?" Orihime asked, "What thing?"
The Mist cleared to reveal the other four fairies struggling with a shinigami. What stunned her, was that this one looked exactly like her, just with white hair and clothes.
"Wh-who are you?"
The shinigami batted away the fairies and lunged, grabbing Orihime's neck. She cringed at their grip and wild gold eyes.
"I'm YOU!" They declared, "Or I will be...soon enough! HAAHAHAHAHAA!"
Orihime shot up again and headbutted Hanatarou. The meek boy was knocked out and Orihime frantically apologized. It was only then that she realized she wasn't injuried and felt even guiltier for hurting the boy who healed her. She decided to let him sleep in her lap untill he woke up. He smiled and became quite comfortable, but when he woke up he flashed tomato red and jumped away babbling.
"Let's go already." Ganju complained sharply "Before they tighten security."
"Right!" But first she bowed to Hantarou, "thank you for healing me."
They remerged fromt he tunnel and ran across the open area of the previous battle Hanataro explained that the other shingiami already took him to the Squad Four Barracks. Orihime was delighted to hear this, despite her new resolve. Rukia was so close, she had- A force like a tidal wave slammed into her, pushing her down, tearing. It was a challenge just to stand up.
"What's this outrageous spiritual pressure?"
Orihime shook he head, "Doesn't matter! We need to move!"
She felt like she was running through molass. her legs felt heavy. the intensity felt like walking on jupiter. Reaching with her senses she pinponted it. Behind me! She spunn around and drew her zanpakutou to face a shingiami on the far wall. He disapeared. A blade impaled her chest from behind. fear and death filled her senses. Then it was gone. She was fine. She patted her chest but it was still whole.
"What's wrong?" he asked, "Arern't you the strongest?"
"Wh...who who are y-you?"
He grinned and she shivered, "Kenpachi Zaraki, Captain of the 11th Squad."
"C-c-c-captain?" If you see a captain, your orders are as follows: Run away. That is all. Yoruichi's words pounded in her head. Not only was this a captain, it was the captain of the squad that loved fighting, the one she was warned about. His spiritual pressure...it blows Renji out of the water!...I...I don't think I...
"Since you haven't replied, I'll start. I want a duel to the death with you."
"If...if that's what you want then...then..."She grabbed her zanpaktou..."Ganju, Hanta-what's wrong?" Ganju was on hsi knees and Hanatarou was knocked out.
"Wow!" a small pink haired girl poked out from behind the monster's shoulder, "She's pretty!" She disappeared then reappeared on Orihime's shoulder. "Ken-chan, do you think I'll fill out like her someday?"
Kenpachi shrugged, " not?"
"Who are you?" Orihime asked. The girl jumped off her shoulder and did a handstand inn front of Kenpachi, before flipping to her feet. "I'm Yachiru Kusajiishi Lieutenant of Squad 11."
"...Huh?" Orihime titled her head, But you're adorable."
Yachiru blushed, "Tha-"
"Rukia." Ganju reminded.
"Oh...right...you go on ahead, I'll hold him here." She smiled reassuringly, "I'll catch up in a minute."
"Don't die all right?" he slung Hanatarou over his sholder and ran off.
Kenpachi picked his ear, "Are you done?"
Orihime brandished her sword, "If you want them you'll have to get by me first."
"What? I don't care about those worms. Only strong people interest me. They can die or succeed, I couldn't care less."
A light bulb went off, "Oh, well then you should look for Chad. I told..ah...your bald subordinate...that Chad's bigger and stronger than I am. He's been fighting longer too. I've only been a shinigami for a few months and only had five days of trainning. I had to rely on a sneak attack win last time. You'd splatter me into paste in an instant."
"...I guess you're right." He turned around, "What's this 'Chad' look like?"
"Tall, curly haired, one arm is solid red with black and white stripes." She waved goodbye, "Good luck finding him." Kenpachi waved goodbbye in return and walked away. Orihime breathed a sigh of relief and was bout to catch up with Ganju when her senses screamed at her. Spinning she blocked Kenpachi's attack. She had to power up to repel him...though it seemed strangely easy...
"Just as I thought..."Kenpachi said, "You're stronger than you say you are...still you're not at my level, so how about a handicap?" Putting his sword away, he pulled open his hakamta. "I'll even give you a free shot."
"You're so generous Ken-chan." Yachiru praised
"Ain't I? I'm juser hemorraging generousity."
"But...but I..." She had resolved herself to killing, but killing by sucker punch?
He frowned, "This won't be any fun at all if you don't want to kill me. You can gouge my eye, cut off my ear or leg; anywhere. Then you can rescue Rukia whatshername." Orihime shifted her grip but didn't move, "Stop quivering and kill me!"
"All right..."She cocked her blade next to her ear,"you asked for it! Bloom! Shun Shun Rika!" Grey metal shimmered into blue-green crystal, "Kesshun Zanshen: I reject!"
The orange beam of death gathered at the tip and fired, zooming through the air. Then it slowed down, and zigzagged, and bent out of shape. Orihime frowned; it looked like her spell was getting beaten up. By the time it reached Kenpachi, all it did was trim his chest hair.
Kenpachi groaned, "Kiddo user? You've got to be kidding."
Orihime blinked, "That's not suppose to happen. You're supposed to be vaporized! That's how my power works! It rejects reality! You're supposed to be dead!"
Kenpachi groaned a second time, "That's why I hate kido users. They throw a hissy fit when their light show doesn't work." He redrew his sword, "Now cuting someone in half...that always works."
"The nature of your power doesn't matter." Yachiru called from above, "If its based on spiritual pressure then the one with greater killing intent can suppress the other."
"You're forcing yourself to kill. You don't truly want to. Against me, that's fatal." Grinning madly, Kenpachi stalked towards her. Fear tightened Orihime's body.
"I REJECT! I REJECT!" The beams didn't even reach him now. They fizzled out midway. Orihime's breath came fast and shallow. I...can't hurt him...She shook he head, No I can! I can do this! "YAAAHHHH!" She swung Shun Shun Rika with all might into Kenpachi's side and cried out as pain exploded in her hands. She barely keep her grip.
"Dissapointing." Kenpachi was right in front of her, towering over her; his spiritual pressure almost made her faint. "All this time searching for a weakling."
Orihime bent over double as he punched her stomach. He tossed her away and she skidded on impact. Wincing she struggled to her feet and ran away. What's wrong? Why can't I hurt him? Kenpachi lunged. She blocked. A jolt of pain almost made her drop her sword. "Santen Kesshun: I reject!" The outer shield repelled Kenpachi's next strike and gave her enough time to turn a corner. " Souten Keshun:," she whispered, still running and nearly out of breath, "I reject." Slowly the wounds in her hands closed up. Remember what the Shun Shun Rika said: drive out fear, it will only dull your blade. If I refocus I-
Suddenly a new spiritual pressure spiked on her senses. Chad! Looks like he's about to finish someone-It fell just as quickly, to the point she couldn't even sense it. No Chad! She pushed her sense further, desperately seeking some sign of life. There! He IS still alive...but he won't be for long. Kill or be killed. I need to save Rukia. I need to save Chad. I need to kill. I want to kill. I WILL KILL!
"There you are." he drawled, "I hate playing hide and seek with weaklings."
Orihime jumped forwards and swiped at his chest, Shun Shun Rika glowing with her resolve. Its aura wavered as it clashed with Kenpachi's then cut through his chest. Blood slowly dripped to the ground; his blood, not her's.
"Yatta!" She clashed with his sword again and again, feeling him put more strength into his blows. She slashed and drew more blood. She slashed again. He blocked, then saw the green crystal erasing his sword, and parried instead.
"You'd better release!" Orihime ordered, "Or I'll destroy it!"
"It is released." Kenpachi said,throwing off her blade, "Always has been. My spiritua pressure is too big to seal!" Orihime cut another gash in his chest
"That means I'll win!"
Situation reversed, Orihime began to enjoy herself. I'll kill him! She thought with more excitement than she'd ever known, I'll kill him and I'll kill everyone else in my way! Shun Shun Rika flashed dangerously, but she ignored it and pressed Kenpachi further.
"I've been naive all this time..." Orihime said wildly, a perversoin of her innocent wonder. She moved faster, struck harder; a manic grin on her face. Kenpachi on the defensive she jumped slashed, "In this world, violence is the only solution!"
Kenpachi kicked her stomach, stopping her jump and driving the wind from chest. He stomped her into the pavement. She groaned at the blunt impact then screamed at the sharp pain of Kenpachi's blade.
"Solution?" He groaned, "You're just like that one kid...what's his name? Oh whatever, he was an idealist. Gave me crap about 'fighting for a cause' but was just a wuss. Violence isn't a means to an end; its an end itself."
Arms, shaking, Orihime pushed herself up and then fell back down.
"Just like him, you're too weak to challenge me."
A pulse of pain rang in her bones. Her body locked up. Two lights shot from Shun Shun Rika, their arc clumsy as they were thrown out. The blade shifted from blue-green to orange and red- green, then grey creeped from the hilt. The two lights returned, Kenpachi watched, as they capsuled the fallen shinigami.
Orihime jumped up, fully healed. She was so amazed she got konked by a shooting star. It fell into her hands and soldified into Tsubaki. He scowled and flew in an arrow at...something that looked like her. And attacked with something that looked like Shun Shun Rika. The other five floated nearby, looking sad and frustrated.
"Excuse me...where am I? What's going on?"
"Orihime..." Shuu looked disapprovingly, "You have broken our unity."
"Most zanpaktou consist of only one spirit. Shinigami power arises from unity with that spirit. You have six spirits in your zanpaktou; we all work together. If we cannot, this is what happens."
The healing spirits looked sad and withdrawn. The barrier spirits looked insulted. The sword spirit looked thrilled as it...sparred apparently with the thing that wasn't her.
"We six have the same goal, protect you, we have diffrent opinions on how that is best done; literally portecting you, healing, and..."
"Offense is the best defense."
"Exactly." Shuu said, "By siding completely with Tsubaki, you broke our unity and allowed that thing to run loose in your inner world."
The white Orihime batted Tsubaki away a second time and fired beams from the lightgreen Shun Shun Ruja which sliced up the landscape. All the while laughing madly.
"What is it?"
"Your inner hollow." Shuu said, "We call it 'Shirohime'."
"Oh my innerhollow...I have an inner hollow?"
"How did it get Shun Shun Rika?"
"Tsubaki gave it to her because you didn't use him enough. He doesn't think you deserved to wield us."
"So I have to defeat it to prove I do?"
Shuu sighed and flew back to his trio. Orihime ran after him but was hit in the head again by Tsubaki. The white Orihime laughed laughed her head off.
"That's two points for me! Zero for you!"
"That wasn't nice!" Orihime scolded. "Hadou 33: Shakahla!"
"I reject!" A triangular force field emerged from SSR's hanguard and blocked the red sphere. "I reject!" Without dimissing the shield, the blade fired a beam that Orihime narrowly avoided. "Hahaha! I'll reject you, stupidhead!"
She jump slashed. Orihime side stepped, grabbed her arm, and sweeped her feet. Somehow, Shirohime swung on her arm like a swing and pulled her down instead. Then she did an irish step dance on her stomach.
"You are so stupid, you think you've reached Shun Shun Rika's true poetenial! You've barely met! Do you think a friendship is based solely on names?"
Orihime pushed her off and tried to stand up, but Shirohime put her in a headlock and gave her a nuggie, "One fairy is one/sixth power, regardless of its application." Grabbing a handful of hair, she spun Orihime over her head by it and threw her one of the giant lollipop buildings. Then she screamed as Tsubaki finally pireced her.
"I reject." The hole mended itself. She threw her arms wide and allowed Tsubaki four more free hits before squashing him with the Rika, all of which mended with two words, "I reject."
"Don't you get it?" Shirohime shrieked, raising Shun Shun Rika, "This blade is too powerful; you cannot defeat me with only one fairy, much less empty handed."
One fairy...She's right! I depended so much on Tsubaki...treating him as the real power...that I neglected the others...Shirohime raised Shun Shun Rika and charged. Orihime stood still. I need all the fairies of my Rika in order to win...Shielding Flowers...forgive your princess...please...Shirohime slashed, give me one more chance! Shun Shun Rika disapeared from Shirohime's hands and she tumbled forwards and headbutted a lollitrunk. It reappeared in Orihime's. She hugged it with tears in her eyes.
"Thank you." She whispered, "Thank you all so very much. I promise never to neglect any of you again."
She opened her eyes in the Seireitei. Kenpachi was walking away. Then Shun Shun Rika flashed bright light; its blade a healthy green. Even as he walked back, Orihime played dead; better to avoid the fight if possible and give her time to heal.
"Get up!" Kenpachi growled, "If you have that much spiritual pressure left, then you can still fight, get up!"
Orihime jumped up. Using the same move she did against Renji she sliced across his when she finished and was behind him, he was still standing.
"Wow. I didn't even see that." Kenpachi grinned despite the bloodloss, "This could be more fun than I thought."
Orihime struck again and again, striving to keep her bloodlust in check while her intent to kill stayed high. Yet the more Kenpachi bled the happier he seemed to get. Eventually she was blown away by sheer bloodlust.
"Finally, I've found a decent opponent." He reached to his eyepatch and removed it, almost knocking Orihime out with the increase in spirit power. "Its so hard to find someone I can go all out against, I had the Department Research and Development make this: a monster that eats my power. It makes me weaker so I don't get bored."
"You love fighting that much?" Orihime asked, "Aren't you afarid of dying?"
"Dying?" Kenpachi scoffed, "A kidou user wouldn't understand, but the strong love battle. They seek it out. Fighting, killing, I relish in it. But only if the opponent can give me a challenge." His aura grew even higher, "GIVE ME A CHALLENGE!"
"IS SEVEN AGAINST ONE GOOD ENOUGH?"Orihime called back, "I rely on Shun Shun Rika; six different spirits empowering me. WE FIGHT TOGETHER!"
"Only weaklings rely on their zanpaktou! Saying 'we fight togehter'" He charged, IS NOT MY LINE "
"I'LL SHOW YOU THE POWER OF TEAMWORK!" She met his charge, "SHUN SHUN RIKA: I REJECT!"
Their blades clashed. The resulting explosion vaporized the surrounding buildings. When the light faded, Orihime was without a scratch. Then she coughed up blood and collapsed. Kenpachi, bleeding in two dozen blaces, followed a second later.
AN: I've had an epiphany. The reason Orihime doesn't fight in canon is because her power is a gamebreaker. Ikkakau's fight was hard to write, Renji's was harder and I was stuck in Kenpachi's because of the 'free shot' thing. I'm still not happy with it. Part of me says that 'Orihime doesn't have the strength nor stamina to go head to head with Kenpachi, she should lose.' Another part of me says 'Orihime can reject reality. If she is committed to killing Kenpachi, then he would die at the 'free shot', then the first part says 'That's anti-climatic and worse, it could make her a sue'. Finally a third part compromised.