Head Like a Hole

Orihime was never very good at keeping secrets.

Every time Aizen called his core component in for a meeting, her gaze would involuntarily flicker to the tall, disinterested Sexta Espada. While never blatantly ignoring the proceedings, even his surprisingly superb military bearing could not conceal his annoyance at every one of these assemblies. Orihime hoped she could use his subtle theatricality as an excuse if she was ever caught staring.

To her distress, she had to enact her plan sooner than she ever thought.

"What is your interest in the Sixth Espada, Orihime Inoue?" Formal as ever, Ulquiorra Schiffer asked her the question bluntly one day as he brought her meal. The girl being questioned fumbled her response.

"Eh? Ah, um…" She struggled to deliver her planned answer. "You see, he, uh…" The Cuatro's unchanging expression further derailed her ability to speak as she felt the pressure of his shockingly emerald gaze. His eyes would be pretty if they weren't so expressionless all the time. Spinach? No, they're not that green. Lettuce! Maybe. Booger?



With a start, she was shocked from her musings. She tried to answer. "You see, he's always, um. He never pays attention, and, uh. I don't think he likes… erm." Ulquiorra was evidently unamused. As Orihime struggled to answer, a thought occurred to her with a randomness that often delighted her friends back home.

"You know, I can always see where his Hollow hole is, but I've never seen yours. Where is your hole?"

If the Cuatro was any less emotionless, he might have been mortified at her wording on her behalf. As it stood, though, he merely pursed his lips. "That has nothing to do with the question I have asked you," he stated. Orihime pouted, the childish expression unusual in the presence of this stoic Espada whose unshaking composure she usually tried to emulate.

"Yeah, well, I'm curious. It's not anywhere embarrassing, is it?" she asked with a conspiratorial whisper. Then, "And how do you wash your hair? Does that helmet thingie come off?"

This girl was such a terrible curiosity for him. Every day, he tested the limits of her psyche with his conversations. One evening, he would have her near tears with utter hopelessness. The next morning, though, the emotion will have been washed from her face, and she would ask him such childish, inane, imagination-driven questions such as these.

The Fourth hated to admit how much it intrigued him.

Exasperated with her line of questioning, Ulquiorra stared at her for a moment longer before turning on his heel and abandoning her to her meal. He did not see her again until the next day.

Orihime chalked it up to a victory.

Later that evening, Grimmjow stormed into her room while she was lying on her back in the middle of the floor, counting ceiling tiles in her boredom.

"What the hell did you tell that fucker today?" he demanded, worry lining his face.

Orihime shot upright in surprise, slightly intimidated by his rage and confused by his insinuation. She didn't give up any information!

"I asked him where his hole was!" she squeaked, the response spilling from her lips before she could think. Her verbal filters did not work so well under pressure.

Grimmjow stood there, momentarily dazed by her answer. She thought the look on his face was actually adorable if it wasn't for the fact that he could render her limbless in the blink of an eye.

He did not stick around much longer, though. Orihime could not help the tiny incredulous smile that came to her face at the memory of his roaring laughter as he walked back out her door.

It seemed her reluctant ally had a better sense of humor than her babysitter. His laugh was different when it wasn't in the heat of battle or destruction, she mused.

Her lips stayed slightly upturned as she picked up counting ceiling tiles where she left off.

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