Aizen sat upon his throne, looking down at the espada that he's called into the room. A callous smile stretched over his face, causing all of them to shiver. His smile only seemed to widen as he stood and walked towards the table the espada resided at. He knew he had their attention, and even though they weren't looking at him, they were listening to him.
"I have a job for you, Ulquiorra, Hallibel," Aizen voiced, gaining the attention of the third and fourth espada.
"What do you want us to do, Lord Aizen?" Hallibel asked, her green eyes sliding to look at the shinigami.
"Before I defected from the Seireitei, I took notice of a certain human, a friend of Kurosaki Ichigo's," Aizen explained, smirking slightly as he gave out the order. "Her name is Inoue Orihime, and I want you to bring her to me. Her ability can provide great strength for our cause."
"Would you mind explaining to us who this trash is so we can carry this out successfully?" Ulquiorra asked, turning in his chair to face Aizen completely.
"She doesn't have very much reitsu and she's got a... bubbly personality," Aizen explained. "Not only that, but she has a fascination for cooking. You may be able to find her near Kurosaki, or another female with dark hair and a tomboyish nature."
"When do you wish for us to execute your demands?" Hallibel asked.
"As soon as you can," Aizsn replied.
Hallibel and Ulquiorra looked at each other, nodding before disappearing from the meeting in a flurry of sonido. Their presence left Las Noches and the rest of the espada looked over at Aizen. He turned around and returned to his throne, causing the second espada to speak up.
"You've assigned them a mission, but you never told us why you told the rest of us to be present," Barragan spoke freely, glaring as Aizen sat on what should be his throne.
"Nothing of importance," Aizen stated indifferently. "It seems I have wasted your time."
"Bastard!" Grimmjow shouted, ready to lunge from his chair when a sword was placed firmly on his shoulder and up against his neck. The sword nicked his skin through his hierro, causing a stinging sensation to erupt from that area as he glared at the blind man behind him.
"You are stepping out of line, Grimmjow," Kaname regulated, angering the blue haired espada.
Grimmjow clenched his teeth, balling his hands into fists before moving away, making a sound of discontent before placing his hands into his pockets. He strutted out of the meeting hall, leaving everyone else behind.
"You are all dismissed," Aizen stated simply, causing the rest of the espada to stand from where they sat and leave the room. When they were all gone, Kaname lowered his zanpakuto and shealthed it, earning a chuckle from Gin.
"My, that was a little rash, don't you think Kaname?" He chuckled, his sly smile widening as Kaname turned away from him and began leaving the room.
"Those who dare to defy Lord Aizen will be punished accordingly. If he had taken one more step, his blood would have covered every inch of my blade."
Gin grimaced, cowering back slightly as Kaname completely exited the room.
"That's a little dark, coming from him," Gin commented, a frown momentarily covering his features, "but you are being devious, captain," he continued. "Just what plans do you have for that poor girl you sent Ulquiorra and Hallibel to kidnapp?"
Aizen only smirked, looking down at the place where Gin stood, sending him a snake like smile before replying. "I require her powers, that is all. Then, once she is of no more use to me, I will throw her in the gutter."
Yuzu and Karin were walking by themselves back home from school. A bag of groceries was in Yuzu's hands and she smiled, humming in delight to herself. Karin just had a bored look on her face, her arms wrapped around her head as she looked up at the sky. Noticing her sisters nonchalant demeanor, Yuzu stopped humming and looked over to her sister.
"Karin, is something wrong?" Yuzu asked worriedly.
"It's nothing," Karin replied, scratching the back of her head and sighing. "I'm just bored is all."
"I wouldn't mind if you went to the park and played soccer, Karin," Yuzu supplied, smiling brightly towards her sister. "I'll just tell dad where you are so he doesn't worry."
"Eh, are you sure?" Karin asked, glancing towards her sister. "I could always just walk home with you and head over after that."
"Oh, don't worry about me Karin!" Yuzu stated happily, assuring her sister. "I won't be in any trouble. You go and have fun with your friends."
Karin gave her an uncertain look, analysing her sister before sighing and giving in. "Alright, but be careful."
"I will, I promise!" Yuzu agreed, her smile widening. "Just be sure to be back by dinner!"
Yuzu stared after her sister as she walked away from her. Satisfied, Yuzu continued her stroll down the street and began humming to herself happily again. She greeted people as she walked, stopping a couple of times to hold a converstaion with some friends she met on the way.
As she got closer to her home, however, she began to feel uneasy. She didn't understand, but it suddenly felt like the air around her had darkened ominously. A worried look crossed over her features and she gripped the bag in her hands tighter. Her eyes began to wander around her, her unease only growing stronger with each step she took.
The onimous feeling never left, and she found herself suddenly glued to the ground. A shiver ran up and down her spine as fear overtook her. Her weary brown eyes glanced around, confused and panicked at her sudden fear. She didn't understand why she was suddenly so terrified, and that only seemed to make her look around even quicker.
Her breathing seemed to highten as her panic grew. Her eyes scanned over the empty streets so quickly that the world around her seemed to swim. She felt a pressure pushing down on her body and she dropped the bag in her hands. Goosebumps appeared on her arms as she suddenly felt like someone was behind her.
She whipped around quickly, her eyes widening considerably as she only saw the blurred outline of two figures. Her air supply seemed to be sucked from her body as her vision continued to swim and darken around the edges. It wasn't long after that her vision darkened completely and faded into darkness.
The blond female bent down, catching the unconscious girl before she hit the ground and carrying her in her arms. She adjusted her hold, letting the small girl's head to rest against her shoulder in a comfortable position before turning to the male beside her.
"Are you sure this is her?" Hallibel asked, glancing back down at the middle school student. "She seems too young to be involved in any of this."
"I am positive," Ulquiorra assured, turning and opening a garganta. "We followed Lord Aizen's instructions. She was carrying a bag of food, which means she loves to cook, and she was with a dark haired girl. Not only that, but she was heading in the direction of Kurosaki's house."
Hallibel sighed, glancing down at the small girl in her arms sadly. She closed her eyes in discomfort before following behind Ulquiorra.
"Fine, but I don't like involving such an innocent girl."
"You're late!" Isshin shouted once Karin walked into the door. He bent down in front of her, bawling his eyes out. "Do you have any idea how worried you made me and your brother?"
"Late?" Karin asked, furrowing her eyebrows in confusion. "I'm back before curfew!"
Karin sniffed the air, noticing something was wrong. She crept towards the kitchen, noticing no one was sitting at the table eating and nothing was cooking. Not only that, but Yuzu was nowhere in sight, which worried her slightly.
"Hey, where's Yuzu?" She called out to both her brother and father.
"We thought she might have been with you," Ichigo replied, coming downstairs with a confused look on his face. "She never came home."
"She told me that she was coming home and to go to the park to play with my friends," Karin mumbled. "She even said she'd tell dad that I'd be out for a while so that didn't happen." As she continued thinking, she saw her brother dash past her and out into the street in what seemed like panic mode.
"Hey, Ichigo!" Karin shouted, quickly following her brother, trying to catch up. "Slow down, Ichigo!"
Ichigo slowed down enough for Karin to catch up, then both kept on running down the street of their home.
"It was shopping day, right?" Ichigo panted out, glancing at Karin for a moment.
"Yeah," Karin replied, "she only had one bag since we have plenty at the house, though."
They kept running through the streets together. The sun was setting over the horizon and casting the world into darkness. It got harder for Karin to see, causing her to squint her eyes in protest to make out the little shapes on the street. Luckily, the street lamps came on not long after, making their search a little easier.
When they rounded a corner onto a road that Karin had never been on before, both of them stopped, their eyes widening at what they saw in the center of it. Karin was off towards it first, kneeling by the bag and checking through its contents. Her eyes widened in horror as she felt her brother standing next to her.
"Butter, eggs, beef, rice, leeks, it's all here," Karin breathed out in dismay. "This was the bag that Yuzu was carrying."
She sat on her legs, placing her hands on the ground at her side and closing her eyes tightly. She felt her brother kneeling next to her, examining the ground around them. As he searched around where she sat, she suddenly felt something dark creeping around her legs and fingertips, causing her to shiver and widen her eyes.
'This feeling, I've felt it before. It's what I feel before Ichigo just suddenly disappears. I've even felt it from that monster that I helped Chad knock up. Could it be that one of those monsters got to her?'
Ichigo had gotten quiet next to her, and she turned her head to look at him. A distressed look overcame his features as he went further into thought. She scooted closer to Ichigo, looking into his amber eyes and seeing his sadness and what looked to be like him blaming himself.
'Why would he blame himself? It's my fault that Yuzu is missing. If I had just stayed with her, then this wouldn't have happened!'
"Ichigo?" Karin whispered, bringing her brother out of his reverie. He looked back at her before standing, grabbing the bag of groceries. Karin stood up as well, following her brother as they began a slow walk towards home.
"There isn't any blood anywhere, so she wasn't exactly hurt. We know that she's alive, so we could work our way up from there. I promise Karin, we will find Yuzu," Ichigo stated, determination lacing his voice and causing all emotions she saw ealier to disappear.
Karin looked at her brother before sighing, nodding her head and smiling slightly up at him. He smiled back, rubbing his hand over her head and causing her to shout in dismay.
"She's waking," Hallibel announced as she followed Ulquiorra through the halls of Las Noches.
The girl in her arms groaned softly, shifting slightly. Her soft brown eyes fluttered open, unseeing for the moment as she cuddled closer to Hallibel. She sighed in content, shocking Hallibel with what she said next.
Hallibel took one of her hands, running it through the girl's short brown hair and whispering to her.
"I am not your mother, little one."
Yuzu shifted her eyes to where she was looking directly up at Hallibel. Her eyes widened as she took in the woman's appearance. She's never seen hair so blond and soft looking, or eyes as green as the one's she looked into. The arms that held her felt warm and safe, but the atmosphere around her felt threatening.
It wasn't long after that she noticed the woman holding her was covering her jaw with her clothing. She wondered why such a pretty lady would want to cover it up, but never asked her. She kept her mouth shut, unable to speak for fear of her voice not working. Instead, she made herself content as she looked around, answering some of the quesrions she had by herself.
' This place is really big and practically pure white, like the walls of the clinic. But I don't see that many people. Either there aren't that many in the first place or this building is too big for me to see all of them. I wonder how high up the cieling is? It seems like this place is a castle of some sort.'
'No, snap out of it, Yuzu! What am I thinking? I've just been kidnapped for heaven's sake! The presence of the woman holding me doesn't make me feel trapped. In fact, she makes me feel safe in this place. Everything else has a threatening feel to it. It's kind of creepy.'
Yuzu looked forward, noticing that she was being brought to a room with the largest set of doors she had ever seen. As they drew closer, Yuzu found herself gripping tightly to the woman carrying her. Her mind went on high alert, knowing that whatever was behind those doors was extremely dangerous.
Ulquiorra knocked on the door once they reached it, waiting for someone to answer. An ominous voice traveled through the doors, causing Yuzu to shiver uncomfortably and shove her face into Hallibel's shoulder.
The door opened and Yuzu felt Hallibel moving once again. They stepped into the room and a feeling of dread washed over the young girl. Her body started shaking as she felt another, much more dangerous presence walking towards her. Halibel leaned down next to her ear and whispered to the young female in a motherly manner.
"I must set you down, but do not fret. Nothing too bad will befall you."
Yuzu hesitantly removed her head from Hallibel's shoulder, looking into the woman's reassuring gaze before slowly nodding her head. She was carefully set onto her feet, but she still leaned into the woman for support for fear of falling on her unsteady legs. When she thought she was steady enough, she finally looked up at the approaching figure.
The brown haired man caused her to cower. His chilling smile seemed to rattle inside of her and her jaw seemed to quiver in fear. He had a menacing aura, which only seemed to strengthen as he got closer. All in all, the man flat out terrified the middle school student.
As he got closer to her, she noticed his smile slowly turning into a frown, which only made her even more scared. He stopped in front of her, looking down at her appearance before glancing over the woman who had held her and the man who had led them all of the way here.
"Is something wrong, Lord Aizen?" Hallibel asked, looking from him to the young girl clutching her uniform's sleeve tightly.
"We've done what you ordered and brought Inoue Orihime," Ulauiorra stated afterwards.
"This is not Inoue Orihime," Aizen answered, bending down and staring directly into the young girl's fearful eyes. "But, she may be of some use to me."
He reached his hand out to her, causing her to gasp in fear and cower closer to Hallibel. Her eyes closed tightly and she shook. Aizen frowned even further before adressing the young girl.
"Do you have any relation to Kurosaki Ichigo?" He asked her. She slowly nodded her head, opening her eyes.
"Y-Yes, he's my brother," she replied. "Please don't hurt me!"
"No harm will come to you as long as you listen to what I tell you and do what I say. Now, tell me your name."
"I-It's Kurosaki Yuzu," Yuzu squeaked out.
"Kurosaki Yuzu, come with me," Aizen commanded, turning and begining to walk out of the room.
Yuzu gulped in fear, looking helplessly up at Hallibel, who sent her an assuring glance before gently pushing her forward. Yuzu bit her lip before taking a deep breath and taking hesitant steps towards Aizen's retreating form. When they both left the room, Hallibel, turned and glared at Ulquiorra, who seemed to be deep in thought.
"You've caused us to involve an innocent young girl who has no idea about the dangers of all of this. What do you have to say for yourself?"
"Only that I've helped Lord Aizen in another way and that I will still carry out the mission," Ulquiorra replied, walking out of the room.
"You may do what you wish, but I will no longer be helping you on this mission. I will not participate in ruining another girl's life."