Consider an IshiHime au set in victorian England, where Grumpy Professor Ishida Uryuu is the estranged prodigal son who returns to his father’s country estate after his passing except he just locks himself in the study and reads all day so his only friends, Ichigo and Rukia, stage an urgent intervention because oh my god, Ishida, you look like a goddamn corpse. Why does everything smell like dissatisfaction? What are you even eating? Are you even eating? Why do all the children in the village think this place is haunted??? Their idea of a solution is basically to get him a housekeeper.
And so, Enter Miss Orihime Inoue.
Enthusiastic, bright and eccentric in all the ways the professor isn’t, she’s every sort of outrageous he can think of; slides down staircases and puts goddamn daisies in every vase and brings in stray cats from the road to feed and climbs trees and good god, Miss Inoue, why on earth would you try to ride a cow– No, no, I don’t want to try it out for myself, you nutter –Miss Inoue!!
(Even then, it doesn’t take him too long to grow fond of her.)
She’s sort of useless at housework and her cooking’s a whole different conversation on itss own, but what he realises soon–after she points out something obscure in his own work– is that Miss Inoue is goddamn brilliant; orphaned at a young age when her brother died, then passed around from household to household as a governess when she came of age while she studied on her own– Orihime Inoue knows her way around the equations he pores over better than half his contemporaries, has the sharpest sense of patterns and recurrences, looks far more at home in front of the blackboard, with chalk in her hair and a textbook in her hand, then she does in some stuffy kitchen.
So housekeeper Miss Inoue becomes partner-in-research Miss Inoue; on one condition.
Orihime refuses hand-outs of any sort; turns down his offer to pay for her tuition because she’s so sick of being indebted to people–to her parents, to her relatives, to the mistresses that employed her despite being so “airheaded”.
(Ishida Understands the sentiment)
So they decide to treat it like a loan instead; the housework is divided up between them, as is the research. People probably start thinking she’s the lady of the house because who is that Inoue girl, always with the young Professor? The consensus is split between *Victorian Gasp* and *Victorian Gasp*. The professor either got married without telling high society or–
(We’ll leave them to their assumptions.)
Because this is a victorian England Au, lots of things happen. Things like one of them falling sick from going out in the rain, and scaring the other out of their wits, because medicare doesn’t exist yet.
(But that’s okay because that just means we get to have bedside ust.)
There’s probably a picnic too, and a dance, and lots of witty banter in good clothes,
and someone saying “I love you, most ardently”, in the rain.
Consider Victorian Ishihime :’)