Green light glimmered and pooled at the center as his fingers clenched together. His eyes flickered to the boy standing in a defensive crouch, sword pointed towards him and eyes watching the forming cero. For an instant, the scene blurred and he watched a bleeding red head kneeling in front of a black robbed figure in defeat and defiance at the same time. 'Ron' flashed through his mind. Trusting eyes, a wide smile and defiant orange hair. A friend. But the green eyed Espada pushed the encroaching thoughts away as he stared at the hateful hazel eyes in front of him. Aizen-sama had saved him from that pain. And now he would give his all for Aizen-sama.

The biting energy of the forming cero thrilled his senses and he enjoyed the brief flash of fear from the person in front of him. The person, who would dare to bring back the old pain and make him feel it all over again. He let go of the cero that he rarely ever used with an odd sense of something long forgotten. Avada Kedavra, a voice whispered as green light filled his vision.


A bright flash of light burned his eyes that were so used to the darkness. His bones squeezed together and muscles tore each other to rearrange themselves. He did not scream. Physical pain never hurt him. He looked at the figure in front of him. It reeked of something he was unable to place. Barely restrained power with a hint of something lying underneath in wait tickled at his senses.

"What is your name?" a voice asked in a gentle yet commanding tone.

Twinkling blue eyes. Gentle voice. Commanding presence. And the sudden urge to tell the voice everything. He blinked in confusion. "Ulquiorra Schiffer" he stated in a firm voice, images flashing through his mind. Each with people he could no longer recognize.

He blinked the images away and stiffly moved his arms to the floor while absently noting that the room was empty except for the thing in front of him. He looked up curiously and immediately noticed the lack of any hollow mask along with brown hair and eyes and a deceptively kind smile. Footsteps echoed as the man moved forward and grasped his chin lightly.

"What do you fear?" the voice coaxed gently as he looked into the unyielding brown eyes.

Ulquiorra remained silent. But his mind was assaulted by a torrent of images. Blurred faces. Anguished cries. Harsh laughter. Blinding green light. All with someone dying, dying for him.

The man in front of him smiled, "I can make the pain go away." his voice lowered to a kind whisper flowing with seductive syllables. "Follow me and you will never feel this pain ever again."

Ulquiorra hesitated, he didn't wish to be a slave to anyone. But images pushed into his mind once again. His hollow hole started to burn uncomfortably. The man in front of him continued to smile. He bowed his head stiffly in submission, "I do not wish to feel this pain again. I will follow you."

The brown eyed man let loose a spike of reiatsu, and Ulquiorra felt a burning sensation on his chest. As he looked at his newly acquired tattoo, his mind went blissfully blank.

"Welcome to the Espada, numero quatro, Ulquiorra Schiffer, I am Aizen. It is time to meet the rest of your brothers."

Ulquiorra rose stiffly, head barely reaching the shoulders of the brown eyed man. "Hai Aizen-sama". The man smiled even wider and led his new soldier out of the chamber.


Even through the haze brought on by the cero, Ulquiorra felt the boy's reiatsu change. The boy had blocked out most of the damage by calling on his hollow mask and was shunpoing away from him with the small child clutched in his arm protectively. It moved him to take action immediatelty.

Sand blew past his face as he sped in the direction of the shinigami. The air rushed through his black locks hitting his mask while sand tickled his exposed skin through the torn sleeve as he flash stepped after the orange haired shinigami. His mind was a fuzz of images, colours and faces meshed together, drowned in an overwhelming sense of guilt and pain. The hole on his chest twinged in a brief flare of pain.

Running away. Wasn't Ron always that way? Running away when things got too tough.

No, another part of his mind warred, Ron always came back.

Ulquiorra furrowed his brow in confusion and flash stepped to the side of the running shinigami intent on ignoring his thoughts. Without missing a beat he took advantage of the shinigami's surprise, pivoted on his heel and kicked the boy back into one of the stone towers littering Las Noches.

Dust clouds floated about as he entered the tower though the hole created by the boy's crash. The boy in front of him, heavily burnt and bleeding on his knees, struggled to catch his breath. "The speed with which you drew on that mask against my cero was amazing. But its broken now" Ulquiorra said, hands back in his pockets. "Just give up"

He looked down as he felt a prickle near his tattoo. "Who's going to give up now?" the boy grunted out between breaths, clutching his sword defiantly. Ron always fought, even when the odds were against him. The boy's head rose and he smirked defiantly, "You're the top of the Espada right? So if I beat you then it's the same as winning the whole battle."

Ulquiorra's eyes slid to the boy in front of him, hazel eyes staring back at him bright with defiance. He grabbed the sword and pulled it to the side, tearing open his coat and exposing his rank. He watched, fascinated, as the defiant hazel eyes widened in fear. "Four..." he sputtered.

"Yes, Quatro Espada, Ulquiorra Schiffer" Wind whipped in through the hole behind him. "Among the Espada I'm considered the fourth most powerful..." Green eyes were drawn to the open wounds, crimson blood unlocking memories in his mind. Memories that triggered phantom pain he refused to acknowledge. Memories that Aizen had promised to keep away.

Aizen-sama. In an instant, the memories vanished to be replaced by an overwhelming urge to destroy his opponent. Ulquiorra held out his hand and flash-stepped directly in front of the boy. Warmth engulfed his hand and he watched dispassionately as the boy's eyes lost their living glow.

A loud squelch accompanied the removal of his hand. He barely spared a look at his blood coated wrist as he flicked his arm to the side. "It looks like I overestimated you" Ulquiorra said feeling oddly disappointed. The dull thud of the body hitting the ground only filled him with one thought. Aizen-sama would be pleased. But as he stared down at the orange hair, that tugged at his mind, his mouth moved on its own, "If you're still able to move, leave this place immediately"

Feeling utterly stupid, he turned around swiftly coat billowing behind him. "If you can't then just die there" he whispered, green eyes watching the unmoving sand under the fake sunlight of Las Noches.