Bridge ficbit – Orihime 3

“Kurosaki… isn’t human.” Orihime swallowed, trying not to cry.

“Not entirely,” Loki agreed. It was, after all, only the truth. “To save his sisters, and Uryuu, he accepted the wolf into his heart. It’s part of him, Orihime. He can live as a human. He can act human.” He sighed. “But he is Fenris, in a way none of you are your youkai forms. Save Uryuu, who is Vali, for many of the same reasons.” Though not all. But that was not his story to tell. If Uryuu chose to tell the two of them of the bargain he and Ichigo and Momiji had been forced to, to save the Quincy from leafy doom….

That has to be his choice.

“Ichigo’s heart is a wolf’s heart,” Loki said, plain and gentle as he could. “And the heart wants what it wants. Fenris wants a mate who will hunt beside him. Who will strike, and kill, and pass through winter like a ghost, leaving only dead enemies behind.” He looked into the distance, thinking of an icy casket, and all his life crumbling around him. “You can only fight your heart for so long.”

“So… he doesn’t want me because part of him is youkai?” Orihime’s voice was still full of pain. But thoughtful.

Ah. Best to nip that in the bud. Ichigo’s own sword had made his peace with youkai power, even as he had jotunn; the thought of more meddling raised the hairs on the back of Loki’s neck. “That is part of the reason,” he allowed. “But not all. Not even most.”

Tatsuki put a comforting arm around Orihime. Squeezed gently, and nodded toward him. Listen.

“The heart wants what it wants.” Loki tried not to look away. This memory was still painful, centuries later. “When I was much younger, about your age in mind and body… I saw a girl.” He took a breath. “Her name was Sif.”

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28 thoughts on “Bridge ficbit – Orihime 3

  1. Meddling. With something that managed to entrench itself that deeply, likely with more power and experience fueling the change… Please, no. There are better ways to murder someone. Physically, mentally, and emotionally- That’s likely to hit all three.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ow . . . .

    It can be hard lesson, understanding that sometimes the person you like just doesn’t see you that way.

    Personally speaking, I’ve never been much of a IchigoxOrihime shipper. Orihime is a fine character (usually, when the writers don’t forget that she can and should be more than just a damsel in distress) and I like her. I just don’t like her with Ichigo. Maybe it’s just me but I can’t see them fitting together. Just because Ichigo is a protector doesn’t mean he wants to be with someone who wants / needs* / likes to be rescued all the time.

    *I don’t think Orihime would need to be rescued so much, even with her gentle personality, if the people writing her would remember that strong doesn’t equal violent. Or forgetting that what her powers can do. Or that doesn’t want to fight and doesn’t like fighting doesn’t mean can’t fight. Gentle characters who only kick behind when it is really necessary are possible to write and write well.

    I guess Ichigo’s friends don’t know that Isshin isn’t human? Because I think it would take more than losing his powers for fourteen years to make Isshin human – after all, he was born in the Soul Society. So even without Fenris complicating matters, Ichigo was never fully human to begin with. Neither are the twins. Now granted without their Shinigami powers active, they are probably a lot closer to human than they would be after but . . .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. *Nod* C’mon, people, remember Orihime’s supposed to be a karate champ too!

      And no, Ichigo’s friends don’t know Isshin’s anything but a Really Weird Guy. (Ishida knows. But he can see spirit ribbons.) So they don’t know that for the family, “human” is a flexible term. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “So… he doesn’t want me because part of him is youkai?” Orihime’s voice was still full of pain. But thoughtful.

    Really nip that in the bud. Ichigo might not have had many options that he could live with when he made that choice (I assume) but it was still one he made. And no one has the right to unmake it for him. Especially without his permission.

    Which, knowing supernatural creatures and how not upholding your end of the bargain in a deal like that is a really, really, really bad idea, Ichigo would probably say no.

    Also he’s probably had Fenris there for long enough that he wouldn’t feel right without the wolf there. It would be like part of him is missing. Like taking away Zangetsu. And Isshin could testify about how much something like that hurts.

    Not saying Orihime is a vicious person, she isn’t. But a lot of people aren’t trying to be vicious when they do something that is “for your own good.”

    (And also doing something like that would destroy their friendship. Because she not only hurt him, she put his sisters in danger and that is a deal breaker for Ichigo).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like Orihime but never with Ichigo. I really think she was given a huge disservice in the Hueco Mundo when Ichigo lay with a hole in his chest and Uryuu is fighting like hell to protect them all and all she could do is scream “Ichigo Help me!”

    That right there. NO. She can reject reality and they write her as the extreme Damsel in Distress.

    I know, activated his will and hollow regeneration powers, but…

    Another note: I am addicted to these snippets. Thank you for sharing them. It’s now my reading chocolate. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So if Ichigo is considered something akin to a protector/lord by the local youkai community, what do the rest of the gang fall under?

    ‘Humans who actually understand us to some extent’ or ‘humans who will eventually become us’.

    Because will all the energies they channel, shapeshifting etc can they really be considered ‘just’ humans anymore?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve always assumed that for Yokai/Fey/Spirits it was less about species and more about power (and generally that meant personal physical power, though occasionally it meant faith, willpower, or who you know).

        Humans/mortals=weaker and gods/immortals=stronger as a default attitude/assumption clouded the issue a bit, but the beings in question seemed to all have a ‘if I’m strong enough to, why shouldn’t I?’ and a ‘if you don’t like what I’m doing, stop me’ attitude. Plus I’ve almost always seen personal power immediately garner respect. The cases where it doesn’t (Sun Wukong, Coyote, Kitsune) are usually A. Tricksters, and B. Notable for being irreverent and occasionally disrespectful amongst members of their own species.

        Granted these groups obviously have their own internal rules, moralities, cultural mores, and laws saying what they can and cannot do. But they also have individuals that run the gamut of personality types and attitudes on these points just like humans. Nevermind that all of those mores, moralities, and standards come from places that are explicitly non-human and alien and Do Not always make sense to Humans. Kidnap someone’s kid? Sure, whatever. Violate the Rules of Hospitality/Harm another creature’s Territory/do not keep your literal word? How could you, you MONSTER!

        That’s before getting (much) into that the myths we have are all couched in their cultures of origins, and so for all of the… alien-ness of these beings they also are assumed to hold certain cultural attitudes as universal, when those attitudes are clearly Not universal amongst humans.

        One of the things I liked the most about Urban Legends was the implication that Yokai and Fey were the same species, just different ethnicities (Euro-centric Fey are weak to Iron, Yokai are poisoned by human spit) and different local cultures just like the humans they existed alongside.

        I’ve gotten off topic; the point I was trying to make is that I doubt a Yokai would be too confused as to what the party members were. Sure, initial assumption is whatever they look/smell/’feel’ like – but a Kitsune that shapeshifts into a Human is still a Yokai as far as Yokai are concerned. A Human doing the reverse is still Human (powerful enough to be maybe worthy of respect, but still a Human). Ichigo is probably one of those funny cases where he isn’t half-yokai half-Human, he’s just both Yokai and Human (though now that may be Yokai and Shinigami).

        I wouldn’t be surprised if local spirits give them more funny looks for being ‘foreign’ (they may have all been born or grown up in Japan, but Loki has taught them Asgardian magic tricks, and that probably looks/feels slightly different) then for being Human, given some less than stellar traditional Japanese attitudes (not that most countries or cultures are all that better on that point *sigh*).

        Part of this is because it’s Marvel, I’ll admit. I don’t think Dr. Strange is the most powerful mage out there, I think the Sorcerer Supreme is the most powerful Earth-Human mage. That’s powerful enough to qualify for ‘oh gods, run away!’ and get him immediate respect, but that doesn’t make anything he fights/works with say he’s not Human. Plus in the issue where he faced off in a Battle Royal against other magic users for his title everyone else we saw there was Human.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. To be fair to Strange: after earning the title the position does come with several nifty magical artifacts (speaking as someone who’s seen its stats in tabletop, the Eye of Agamotto is RIDICULOUS levels of overpowered) and the backing of the Vishanti on top of his skill as a mage.

        So even if only Earth-Humans (or mutants or Atlanteans, I guess it’s actually probably Earth mortals) qualify for the position for whatever reason, being the best of those and then gaining the perks of being Sorcerer Supreme certainly qualify someone for taking on dimension devouring horrors like Shuma-gorath. (Worth noting: Shuma-gorath, Strange’s first major enemy, actually predates his comics as a creature/character/entity.

        Shuma-gorath first showed up in the original Conan the Barbarian novels – Marvel had Conan’s comic rights at the time, and Conan is still considered Marvel comic canon – where it was an alternative name for one of the entities that Conan’s writer had borrowed from his friend H. P. Lovecraft. Actually the whole Hyborean Age was written from the start as a part of the Lovecraft Mythos. The creature in question was The Black Goat of the Dark Woods and Mother of a Thousand Young.

        That’s right. Lovecraft is Marvel Comics canon. And Strange has fought toe-to-toe and whupped its but. Multiple times. In fact that’s basically his job description.)

        Like

      3. Though there is one thing that the Nakama likely now share with the Youkai and other magical beings as compared to ‘normal’ humans.
        Namely that, as Loki said: Words have power.

        One of the common themes in myths is that out right lying and breaking oaths/promises without very nasty mystical backlash tends to be a human thing.

        All the various Youkai, magic users, spirits etc? When they make a promise or give an oath they keep it. They may rules-lawyer it to hell and back but at the very least the letter of the agreement will be kept.

        While there is only one sorceress-in-training and a Youkai/human/Shinigami mashup in the crew all of them are probably magic-users enough that there would be real consequences to broken promises. As a result the local spirits know that when these ‘humans’ say they’ll do something, they won’t weasel out of it.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Ooo yes. “Can I ask you for a favor?” is going to be met by “tell me what it is, first,” at the very least!

    Or something other variant of “I will listen to your request but I’m not agreeing to anything else yet.”

    Exact Words is a thing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Urahara:Can’t you simply trust that my word is good?
      Everyone: NO.
      Urahara: Wherever has this unexplainable and deep seated mistrust in little old me come from?
      Ichigo: You want the full list or just cliff-notes Sandal Hat?
      Uryū: Make it the short version Kurosaki, we don’t have all week.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Urahara: What if I ask for the long versi-
        (Multiple hardback books fall from midair, about the equivalent of having the full set of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Loki looms out of the shadows, giving Urahara a Look) …on second thought, never mind.
        Yourichi: I still like you.
        Urahara: (wounded look intensifies) But you don’t trust me either!
        Yourichi: After all the messes I’ve pulled you out of over the years I barely trust you to dress yourself in the morning.
        Urahara: Now that’s uncalled for! When has clothing ever hurt anyone?
        Loki: (picks up one of the books he summoned) I seem to remember something about a kimono, one of your old associates, and something called a Hellmouth, let’s see if I can look it up.
        Urahara: Fine. Fine! Forget I said anything!

        (Lone Flower refrence in there, didn’t want to confuse anyone…)

        Liked by 3 people

    2. A very important Thing. The condition of Loki’s curse on Strange was very, very simple: get through 24 hours without lying, deceiving, or telling the truth from a “certain point of view”, and it lifts.

      …As you can imagine, Strange had to come back to get it taken off.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. This reminds me of the conditions set for dissolving a soul bond in the web-comic Supervillainous. The more they were loyal to the person they were bound to, the more their power would return to them until they weren’t bound anymore.

        Since the being being bound is a spirit bent on destruction and the person he is bound to is the most influential supervillain nobody really thinks this is a bad thing: http://supervillainous.spiderforest.com/comic/loyal-to-a-fault/

        Actually, Supervillainous is a great webcomic if you’re looking at how to do a Villain Protagonist and still keep them likable. The main character is clearly a villain (as opposed to an anit-hero), but he’s got a great relationship with his kids and wife and doesn’t have to worry about his sidekicks or mooks betraying him. IE: the first strip is about him asking his trap master to childproof the death traps in his base… it just gets better from there.

        Liked by 1 person

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