Yuzu awoke, quickly opening her eyes in hopes to find that what happened yesterday was all a nightmare. That she truly was just sleeping and that she'd be home and ready to make breakfast for her family. But her hopes were soon brought to their knees when she was met with the familiar plainness of the world around her and the never ending darkness that seemed to loom outside of her window.

She didn't move from where she lay, uncertain with her actions. She hoped that if she just lay there without moving and close her eyes, she'd wake up in her own bed with familiar surroundings. Of course, when she tried, she found that it was no use. She was still stuck in this unfamiliar place, trapped like a princess in a tower.

'This is all too much', Yuzu thought, finally sitting up on the cloud like bed. The covers atop her shifted, allowing a shaft of cold air to hit point blank at her bare shoulders and sides. She shivered slightly, wrapping the blanket around her for a few more minutes before she thought it okay to begin moving.

Her bare feet touched the ground next to her bed, seeming to make them instantly numb from the coldness it brought. She couldn't tell what time it was, but she had a feeling that it was still very early. It was as if nobody was awake and she was the only one who disturbed the silence of the castle.

But something wasn't right. She didn't know how she was able to tell, but she felt like there was someone she knew near the area she resided in. A familiar tug seemed to pull at her and she quickly pulled on a pair of silky white boots that had been placed beside her bed and tested them out for a moment.

"They feel a lot like ballet shoes," she whispered to herself. Ballet shoes had a tendency to not make a sound when you walk, which seemed perfect for what she was about to do.

With the sudden urge to find out if er feeling was correct, she dashed towards the door on silent feet. She turned the door handle, surprised that it was unlocked.

'Tier must have forgotten to lock it on her way out last night,' Yuzu thought to herself, giving a soft thank you to Hallibel through her mind as she peered through the crack in the door.

The corridors were empty, much to her relief. She had a feeling that something bad would happen if someone were to find her out of her room and report it to Aizen-sama. She slipped out of the room, closing the door silently behind her and locking it just as a precaution. Taking a deep breath, Yuzu turned to her right and began to trudge down the hallway.

The door to the next room over seemed to be so far away, for the time it took to reach it seemed to last an eternity. Her heart pounded in her chest, the exhilaration of the task at hand finally taking over her fear and putting a little bit of bravery in her. She wasn't sure just how she had gotten the feeling, but the adrenaline pumping in her veins because she chose to do something she wasn't supposed to do felt really nice.

As wrong as she knew that what she was doing was, she was happy that she chose to do it. It was the first time she chose to do something wrong, so she got a feel of what others did when they did the same thing. Now she understood why they did it. it felt great to do what your not supposed to do.

But what about afterwards?

She had heard from her friends who did things that they weren't supposed to do, and they had said that they felt just like she does now when they were doing it, but the weight it put on them seemed to drown them. Rule number one about breaking the rules, they had said, was that you don't admit that you did it, even if you are caught.

Yuzu quickly shook her head, taking a deep breath. She has been able to keep the secrets of her own friends, so keeping her own secret can't be that hard to do. Plus, she felt confident that she wouldn't be caught.

She reached the next door and put her hand on the knob. The presence seemed to be much stronger on the other side of the door, making her want to know just who is there. She unlocked the door, turning the knob and pushing it open.

The sight of the room was exactly the same as her own in all of its pale complexity. The only other color that she could see was that of a burnt orange that sat upon the head of the person sleeping on the bed. She wore an outfit that Yuzu would think only a princess would wear, but considering the person that was on the bed, she wasn't surprised that she picked out that outfit.

But Yuzu was happy to see a familiar face, even though she knew that the girl had been kidnapped along with her.

Orihime shifted on the bed as Yuzu began to run over to it. The older girl opened her eyes and saw the little girl making her way towards her. The younger female was quick and light on her feet, and Orihime could see the relief and fright on the girls face. Yuzu had tears in her eyes, conflicted emotions running through her body. She wanted to shout Orihime's name, but she knew that a loud noise such as that would wake up everyone else in Las Noches.

She jumped onto the bed, flinging herself into Orihime's arms and crying silently into the older girl's shoulder. Orihime, surprise and relief flooding through er, welcomed Yuzu into her arms and quickly wrapped her arms around the middle school girl, hoping to give Yuzu a sense of protection.

"Inoue-san," Yuzu whispered into Orihime's shoulder as she tried to collect herself. She wanted to say more, but her crying had gotten worse for reasons unknown to her.

"Yuzu-chan, I'm so glad that you're alright!" Orihime stated in happiness, her own tears coming to her eyes as relief fell over her. "We've all been so worried since you were taken away from home. Your family has been a complete mess without you."

Yuzu sniffed, pulling away and sitting on the bed next to Orihime and leaning into the older girl.

"Of course they'd be worried," Yuzu thought dejectedly. "First it was me who had gone missing and now you have too. Now Ichi-nii has double the reason to come to this place and try to rescue us, which is exactly what Aizen-sama wants."

Orihime stiffened next to her, turning her head slowly to look at Yuzu. Yuzu looked back at her, noticing the fear that had plagued her eyes.

"You've met Aizen, Yuzu-chan?" Orihime whispered, not even bothering to block the fear that had come into her voice.

Yuzu slowly nodded her head, casting her gaze aside and feeling ashamed for some reason.

"He was the first person that I officially spoke to when I got here," she answered. "When I was taken from the world of the living and brought here to Hueco Mundo, I had fallen unconscious without even being able to see my captors. I woke up in the arms of a woman named Hallibel Tier, but I didn't speak to her. Then there was this other man named Ulquiorra who had opened the door to the room where Aizen-sama sat high upon a throne. But, when I was presented to Aizen-sama, he told them that they had captured the wrong target and asked me for my name, to which he decided that it would be best to keep me here anyway because I was related to Ichi-nii. They had been trying to get to you only, Inoue-san, but they had grabbed me and Aizen-sama thinks I could be useful. I don't get how I could be an asset to him. I already know without having to see what weapons they have that they're a powerful group on their own. What strength could I add to what they already have? I would only be a burden to them, just like I am to everyone else."

"Yuzu-chan, don't say that!" Orihime countered. "You've never been a burden to anybody, and I can promise to you that nobody thinks of you as a burden. Your like the new sunshine in the Kurosaki household. I've seen it! Everyone is happier when you are involved in activities and they can't help but smile in your presence. So never, ever doubt yourself like that."

Yuzu looked up at Orihime, a small smile stretching her face. "I wasn't doubting myself, Inoue-san, I just thought I was a burden to everyone is all."

Orihime shook her head. "No, Yuzu-chan, you were doubting your own strength. You were able to pick up the pieces of your mother's parting way quicker than anyone else and you practically assumed the role as mother of the household. I believe that was not only brave of you , but it proved just how strong you really are. Even I was a wreck after the death of my brother, who was just like a father to me. But I, unlike you, brooded for far too long before I realized that no matter what I did would bring him back."

Yuzu stared guiltily down at her hands and opened and closed them, realization finally breaking through her muddled brain. Tears once again fell from her eyes, but this time it was from relief instead of fear or unsatisfactory. She sank into Orihime's arms as Orihime laid back on the bed. She felt the covers being pulled over the two and sighed in relief, curling up closer to Orihime and closing her eyes.

'Who would of thought that it would be Inoue-san who opened up my eyes to the fact that I was worth more than I thought I was?' She thought to herself as she felt herself drifting in the comfort of Orihime's presence.

"Thank you so much, Inoue-san," Yuzu whispered before completely succumbing to a very peaceful sleep.

...

Ichigo woke up from his sleep with a feeling of something wet stuck and still running down his face. He stood up and wiped the side of his face, getting rid of the wet substance.

"Again?" he whispered as he rubbed the tears between his fingers. "It's happened every night since she was taken. I was hoping that I hadn't cried since I slept without nightmares last night."

He sighed, standing up from his bed and leaving his room. He walked downstairs and into the kitchen, where he saw Karin standing in front of the stove and scrambling some eggs. His gaze turned sad as he stared at her, noticing the very concentrated look she was giving to the cooking eggs.

Ever since Yuzu disappeared, Karin thought of it as her responsibility to pick up the things that Yuzu had done previously. Ichigo could clearly notice the worn out look that Karin had gained since then, and her mood had become even more snappy in the process. He could also clearly see the dark bags that had decided to live underneath her eyes, which proved her lack of sleep.

She quickly stirred the eggs in the pan before letting them burn as they had the day before. She picked up the pan and scraped the eggs onto a plate of rice, covering the top of it.

"How many times do I have to tell you that you don't have to do all of the stuff by yourself?" Ichigo asked as he took the pan from her hands and brought it over to the sink, taking a rag and lathering it with soap before beginning to wash it.

"Well, I didn't see you making an effort to help with anything 'till now, so you have no e=room to talk Ichigo!" she snapped, growling and crossing her arms.

Ichigo turned to look over at her and he saw that guilty look that had overcome her features. Karin had looked down at the floor in dismay and sighed, moving over to the fridge and grabbing the milk.

"I'm sorry Ichi-nii," Karin stated softly, almost in a whisper as she stood next to him and poured three glasses; one for her, Ichigo , and their father. "I guess I've just become really stressed since Yuzu disappeared. It's just not the same without her around."

"Hey, it's going to be fine Karin," Ichigo stated in a tone of comfort. "I promise that no matter what, I'm going to find Yuzu! I have a feeling that I know who took her, and I just need a little help from a friend before I'm able to get there."

Karin looked over to him, and he gave her a reassuring smile. He saw her frown at him and that caused him to frown as well in slight worry.

"What's wrong?"

Karin sighed, shaking her head. "It's nothing, really, but you made it sound like your going to go and find her all on you own. You know that otou-san and I are going to be looking for her as well, so if you think that you're going wherever you're talking about without us, then you can bet your ass that we're coming with you!"

Ichigo saw the resolve that had appeared in his sister's, and couldn't help but silently praise the determination that she was showing. But, in the end, he knew that he couldn't just bring her and their father to Hueco Mundo. Neither of them have any powers to fight off the hollows and they will be right in the middle of enemy territory, which could possibly cause for their deaths. It's bad enough that Yuzu had been pulled into this mess, he didn't want the rest of his family to be involved.

Of course, Karin seemed to know exactly what he was thinking with the look he was giving her. It made her angry that her brother doubted her ability to defend herself. She huffed in annoyance and turned away, crossing her arms.

"No need to say anything, cause I know exactly what you're going to say: that it's way to dangerous to go with you and I could get hurt, possibly even killed."

"If you can understand that, then why do you think that I would let you come?"

"Because Yuzu is my sister too!"Karin countered loudly, causing Ichigo to take a step back from the sink in surprise. "You can't just go around everywhere and try to find Yuzu without the rest of the family you idiot! We love Yuzu just as much as you do and we have a right to be there to help find her!'

Ichigo looked at Karin and couldn't help the sigh that escaped his lips. Of course he knew that his family had just as much of a right to come and find Yuzu and bring her home, but they wouldn't even be able to get there and it was too dangerous.

He turned away from her, drying the dishes and moving to put them away. He stayed quiet for a moment, thinking of a way to explain just why she couldn't come without sounding like an idiot.

Karin, on the other hand, had thought she had won the argument since her brother hadn't rebutted yet. But the feeling of victory was short lived once her brother opened up his mouth.

"It's not that I don't think that you and dad don't have as much a right as I do to find Yuzu, but where she is, Karin, is a place physically impossibly for you or dad to enter. Even if I wanted for you to come with me, it would be impossible. Even if I was able to explain this place to you, you wouldn't understand."

Anger flared up in the young Kurosaki and she huffed in annoyance. Her hands clenched into fists at her sides and she felt like punching her brother. She wasn't even surprised by his answer, because it was to be expected. He was all orders and protective with no explanation since school started; he's become so secretive.

As much as she wanted to retort, she knew that there would be no way that he would change his mind. His resolve was like a rock- you could never break it.

Instead, she allowed herself to sigh unhappily and walk away from her untouched breakfast and grabbed her school bag.

"I'm heading off to school," she told Ichigo in an off manner as she walked over to the door without looking at him. "If otou-san asks where I've gone so early, just say that I wanted a head start on the day at school." Without waiting for so much as a reply, she walked out of the door and practically slammed it behind her.

Ichigo just sighed, knowing that Karin was going to be upset at him for a while. He picked up the american breakfast that she made and put it in a bento box and putting her name on it, planning to bring it to her school so she had something to eat. He set it next to his bag on the table and began to eat his own food.

His thoughts quickly wandered to Yuzu, which violently saddened him. The horrible things that could be happening to her began to plague his mind and he began to feel queasy, which caused him to push his food away from him. His appetite gone, he stood up and cleared his dishes, grabbing his bag and getting ready to leave.

As he was getting ready to leave the door, the phone to the house rang. Knowing his father was still asleep, he sighed and placed his bag on the floor before picking up the phone.

"Kurosaki clinic, this is Ichigo speaking," Ichigo spoke as soon as it was next to his ear, ready to take in the information of the situation.

"Hey Ichigo, you haven't seen Orihime this morning, have you?" the voice of Uryu asked, allowing Ichigo to drop his business like facade.

"I haven't been out of the house yet this morning Uryu," he replied. "Why? Is something wrong?"

"Oh, nothing really," Uryu replied sarcastically through the receiver. "It's not that big of a deal. It's only just that Orihime's spiritual pressure just suddenly vanished. You imbecile! I thought you would have been the first to recognize that her presence was no longer here since you're closer to her than I am!"

Ichigo nearly dropped the phone in his hands as he listened to what Uryu told him. Just when he thought things couldn't get any worse, Orihime goes missing too?

Just what the hell is going on?

"Let's meet up with Chad at Urahara's," Ichigo stated after a moment of silence. "First Yuzu, and now Orihime. We have to find a way to get to Hueco Mundo as quick as possible. I hate the thought of what Aizen might be doing to them right now."