O.O I HAVE FALLEN IN LOVE WITH BLEACH! Yup, ignore me… Why am I writing UlquiHime?! I don't know the pairing that well but… Well, I love it. I wrote this whole thing in present-tense. Wow, I NEVER write in present-tense… Had image in head, had to write it down. Just so everyone knows, this is just a oneshot. I didn't mean it to be anything expect a oneshot, and I don't think I'll add on to it.

Once again, I can't seem to write anything remotely funny…

Disclaimer: Ha, I wish I owned Bleach.

Dedication: To… being sick and having a computer password?

Orihime is lying on her bed, staring out at the bloody moons of Hueco Mundo. Her hands are behind her head, and her earphones were blasting Paramore. Her eyes are closed, and the redhead doesn't hear the door open.

Ulquiorra steppes into the room and sets down a tray of food.

He shakes his head. She's listening to that thing again. She never turns it off, does she? She has it on when she is forcing him to follow her around the compound, when Nnoitra takes her into the kitchen to have her cook something (even if her cooking should be considered a lethal weapon), when Szayel is stupid enough to let her into his lab…

He shakes his head. Sad music. That makes him half-smirk, because Ulquiorra does not smile, not for anyone.

Her eyes are open, and she sits up and stares at him.

"Hello. You're back."

It is a question, not a statement.


His voice is soft, because he hates himself, he hates himself, he hates himself. And she knows it, so she smiles, her eyes lighting up the room, and it doesn't help his hatred.

She gets up and walks towards him.


She holds up the little white thing.


He takes it delicately from her slender fingers, but, considering he isn't quite sure what to do with it, he just stares at it, and she laughs at him, her mouth quirking in the strangest way. It makes him want to smile, but he hates himself, and he won't.

She laughs again, and lifts his fingers to his ear.

Music. He hears music. She smiles, and he drops the little white thing.

Something has happened, and neither acknowledges it, but they both know it's there.

He briskly leaves the room, not wanting to face her, with the bright smile and the bitter laugh and the broken eyes. They were only standing at the door of the small room, and he closes it behind him.

He leans back against the closed door, unaware she is doing the same. The both slide down it, ending up in a sitting position.

He hangs his head, because he really does hate himself for the pain he's caused her, and she hangs her head so no-one will see the tears dripping down her cheeks, even though she knows no-one is there to see them.

Neither wants to face what they've both somehow realized. They don't want to face the loss, the pain, and -most of all- the truth.

A day and a half later, Orihime see's him for the first time. No words are spoken, but he sits down beside her, hating himself for making her wait this long, and she smiles at him again.

It's brittle, but there's an underlying current of strength beneath it, and he can't help but admire her will.

He does not realize she's staring at him.

Nor does he realize how close she's gotten in the past few seconds.

Her eyes are closed and she –gently, gently- presses her lips against his. It's short, and soft, and on Ulquiorra's part, a little strange. She pulls away, and her eyes are half-closed with days and months and weeks of broken promises. And he hates himself even now, because he's not helped, and he knows it.

So he carefully reaches out and takes her hand. She looks up at him, surprise evident on her features.

He re-closes the gap between their lips.

The music playing is 44's Make You Smile. Orihime smiles against his lips.

He feels her lips quirk upwards and he is resigned to loving her.

He hates himself, but that doesn't mean he can't love her.