disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: les.
notes: allergic reactions always make me sleepy.
notes2: ick. ick. ick.

title: just like we always do
summary: Spill my heart for you. — Orihime, Ulquiorra.

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On the roof sometime in between the minutes when Orihime first stumbled into Hueco Mundo and when Ichigo came crashing through the sky to save her, she had a stupid conversation with a stupid person who still made her heart still and stop.

It was just a little thing, her fingers curled around the stem of the only flower she'd found in that desert wasteland. He'd stood behind her with his arms crossed, and watched the sky.

"Stop making that face," he said.

Orihime didn't moved. "I'm not making a face, Ulquiorra-san."

"You are. Stop it."

She scrunched her face up. "Better, Mr. Grumpy-pants?"

"Hardly," Ulquiorra replied.

He wasn't even looking at her. Orihime stuck her tongue out, and swung her legs over the edge of the roof. The ground was far below, and she'd known that if she'd fallen, she wouldn't survive it. Maybe she didn't want to survive it. She would have stood up and danced along the edge, but that would have set her guardian off (and she despised that word for him, really—he wasn't her guardian. He was her jailer. But the line was starting to blur—), and Orihime wasn't in the mood for repercussions. Steady, steady.

"Woman, you are still making that face. I told you to quit it."

Orihime whipped her head around, orange-auburn hair a wave over her shoulders, and she glared at him. "What?! What is wrong with my face, Ulquiorra-san?!"

"You look in pain. It is… unsettling."

She'd drawn air into her lungs to argue, but the words died in her throat. She turned her face away, and smoothed her fingers over the flower's petals. He loves me, he loves me not.

She plucked the petals away one by one.

Yes, pain. Yes.

"It's my heart," she said. Softly, gently.

"What does a heart do?" he asked. He sat beside her, then, legs long and hanging over the edge, spine straight and uncomfortable. Orihime wondered if he had ever sat comfortably in his life. Probably not.

"It hurts," Orihime whispered. "It hurts a lot. Sometimes it's okay, but usually it hurts."

"Always?"

That might have been genuine curiosity for all she knew. Orihime looked towards where Hueco Mundo's moons hung low in the sky. She plucked the last petals away and let them flutter from her fingertips.

"Yes," she said. "Always."

And then she swung her legs up, and pulled herself away from the ledge.

She left the bare stem behind her.

fin.