Note: This is a request from SomeoneWhoLikesBleach. She PMed me saying that she loves Ulquiorra's Resurrecion (he does look pretty damned sexy), so for her being so awesome and proving to me that not all shippers are evil I wrote this in her honor! If you guys enjoyed this as well, please REVIEW! It helps to know if I messed up on their character depictions and surroundings. I sometimes miss those tiny things and need to have it pointed out.

Warnings: a jerk Ulquiorra and a bit of an undescriptive lemon (can't get too smutty, but I may have overdone it anyway so TELL me if anybody is mentally scarred so I can fix it) Partly inspired by the song The Hollow by A Perfect Circle. Some SPOILERS for the fullbring arc. Orihime's POV

Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach, Kubo Tite does and I'm dirt broke because I don't make any money out of writing this.

Life was as it always had been... though some of her friends looked a bit older, they all still acted the same. Even she hadn't changed as much as one would expect. Everything was as it should be, though not as she wanted it to be, but she never dared to complain because worrying people over trivial things wasn't in her nature.

Inoue Orihime was nearly unmarred by the ugliness she had lived seventeen months earlier. Once in awhile she had nightmares of her time in captivity but as soon as she awakened every morning she would forget them as if they were worthless little snapshots of someone else's life. Like those things and experiences had been lived by someone else, anyone else but her.

No one spoke about it. It was sweeped under the rug, some may say. Ichigo was now a human again, there were no more shinigami asking them or anyone for assistance and hollows, after Aizen's defeat, had also seemed to have forgotten about the little town of Karakura. Now they all had a routine of going to school, randomnly socializing when they saw each other and speaking of anything normal, human, anything but the unwanted adventures they had all lived during...

Sighing heavily at how her mind had wondered off, she felt silly because though she thought she had forgotten it, she had yet remembered again. It wasn't much progress but her thoughts had skimmed over those past events for just a couple of miserable seconds.

Something happened...

What exactly did she want to forget so badly? Was it him? She couldn't recall anything about him other than him being her jailer. A cold, white-clad melancholic boy that looked no older than her who always stared at her with a dead flat gaze that seemed to not only see through but into her all the same. That boy.

Could she even call him a boy? Whenever she had been in his presence he had felt more like a silent dark force that was so detached and at the same time so tangible to her. Every time he entered her chamber to check if she had eaten as he had told her to, his deep monotone voice would vibrate through her whole being and much to her embarassment, she would feel her face heating lightly whenever he looked at her with those eerie empty eyes.

Even though he never had shown interest in those reptillian orbs, it felt as if he were searching through her soul every single time his dulled gaze fell on her. How could someone so lifeless make such a deep impression on her by merely giving her a disinterested stare?

Maybe because in the end he had finally shown an interest. Not a sexual interest, but some curiousity. It was like he had found some wisdom within her that he had thirsted to know about... He who usually had a condescending air despite appearing so impassive and controlled.

What an unusual hollow he had been...

Startled at her how her thoughts kept going to that Arrancar that had tried to twist and bend her into another one of Aizen's servants, she stopped her walking and looked up at the building in front of her.

How did I...? What am I doing here?. Puzzled, feeling absolutely helpless because her wandering mind had practically led her there, she looked around her flustered and a little embarassed at how she had walked without looking to another school. Luckily for her, she already knew the place but that didn't change the fact that if she had been paying attention she wouldn't have ended there instead of her apartment.

"Ah...! I'm so totally hopeless! Dummy Orihime-chan! What was I thinking?" blushing brightly because she had just blurted that out in front of other passing students that eyed both her and her different school uniform, she spun around on her heel to leave the place and probably pretend she hadn't just made a fool of herself by going there for no apparent reason.

That was when she felt it. The instant she had turned around, giving her back to the front doors of the school, she sensed those eyes on her. She didn't need to look to know that someone was looking at her with a distant curiousity coupled with a mild hint of disgust.

It was like when he had looked at her.

Frozen on the spot, she let the feeling of those eyes caress every sensitive nerve of her body. It was frightening yet strangely exciting to have that sensation of being looked down upon as if she were a curious creature meant to be studied.

Shivering, she slightly turned her head and only saw a flash of black like when someone quickly retreated, or a black bird flew past you. It was so fast that she wasn't sure if whatever that had been standing there watching her had ever truly existed.

My mind playing tricks again! It's those aliens! I know its them! Tatsuki-chan thinks I'm kidding when I tell her that those little green things are evil! Now I'll have to put some tin-foil on my windows to keep them away from me!, thinking that and murmuring those words to herself, uncaring if people looked at her as if she were crazy, she quickly left the strange school's grounds and headed for her empty apartment, willing away the thought of her former jailer as if he were just a forgettable ghost of the past.

All the while reminding herself that mere ordinary ghosts could never hurt her.

She had tried to erase that brief moment... Had tried but couldn't. That night she had gone back to her lonely apartment, though to her it wasn't lonely as long as her brother Sora's image was staring at her and had completely immersed herself in her homework and random nightly rituals only she would do; like eating a plateful of salted crackers with melted marshmellows and raisens while watching a latenight rerun of an old soap opera that had been probably filmed a decade before she was born.

Another normal uneventful night. A night that only appeared to be just that over the surface. Unfortunately she forgot that danger was never too far away and her being her, always drew in danger without making an effort.

It's howl was what alerted her of its presence. Just a thundering shriek that shook her walls and shocked her enough to drop the plate full of crumbs off her lap to stand up startled.

A Hollow! B-but it's been so long! How could a Hollow have gotten here?, Hollows still existed, it was just that their attacks had lessened considerably after Aizen's defeat. Their town barely had any strange sightings of the things and Ishida-kun, being the one that Urahara-san had contacted to keep an eye on things was the one handling whatever few Hollows made an appearance in their town.

Wishing she hadn't stopped using her hairpins months earlier, she shot a quick nervous glance at the altar she had for her brother. Right in front of his picture were the hairpins she needed to fight the thing that had made such a horrible sound outside her home.

Now... If I could just move really quickly over there and take them-

The sound of the walls of her kitchen caving in made her jump and dash hurriedly towards the altar. She was so desperate about getting her trembling fingers on the things, that she kept accidently dropping them in her haste to put them on her now longer bangs.

Maybe I don't need them on my head! Yes! I could just-

She could already smell its fetid breath close to her. The creature overshadowed her trembling form as she closed her eyes, clutching those hairpins as if her life depended on it, which in that moment it did.

The stench of the air it expelled breezed through the hair on the back of her head and she already sensed that the massive beast was going to swipe the air with one of his large arms to throw her across the room.

"Tsubaki!" she gasped and was relieved to have a small reiatsu come to life in her fist.

Like always... Her mind had blocked out yet another memory. She could recall summoning Tsubaki to aid her, but after that, what appeared to be just thirty seconds lost in time, had been erased from her mind. When she returned to consciousness, she was laying on her couch, still clutching her hairpins with the light of the turned on television set lighting her groggy confused face.

Sitting up and frowning, she looked around her and from her place on the couch, her wide eyes could finally see the damage done to her home.

Though she couldn't remember destroying that Hollow, the wall of her kitchen was no more than a pile of rubble spilling into her small apartment. That was enough evidence to prove that her mind hadn't made it all up. Something had been there, but something else had gotten rid of it.

That unnerving feeling, the feeling of something being hidden from her shook her to her core. There was something or someone erasing her memories. For how long had this been done to her? With her heart pounding hard within her chest, she slowly rose from the couch, her eyes narrowed in both suspicion and confusion as she took her first tentative steps towards the mess that used to be her tiny kitchen.

Who is going to pay for this?, Mentally kicking herself for thinking about repair costs instead of what exactly had happened to her house, she studied the scattered pile of concrete and plaster littering her floor. Not only would she need to get her entire wall fixed, but she would need a new sink...

A new stove., sighing heavily, slumping her shoulders at the sight of a new problem, she thought of calling Tatsuki to ask if she could stay with her until the apartment was safe again. Of course no house was really safe from a Hollow barging in set on destruction, but there were other very physical dangers that could harm her. Just the thought of the vulnerability had her wrapping her arms around herself as she stared blankly at the remains of part of her safe haven from the outside human world.

Last time a wall in my house was destroyed, Kuchiki-san had it fixed but... Kuchiki-san doesn't come to Karakura anymore, not after..., Feeling a small wave of sadness that used to be much larger the last time she had seen the small shinigami that had befriended her, she turned around, still set on calling Tatsuki and doing the best she could with what she already had.

Tatsuki wasn't all that surprised to see her using her hairpins again. After that night, no one was going to keep her from protecting herself the best way she could, even if her only means of protection wasn't all that powerful. She just knew that if she stayed out of trouble, maybe, just maybe she would not have so many blackouts. It was either her fear that made her have time skips or someone was purposely erasing bits and pieces of minor things. It wasn't like she had lost a day, or an hour. No, she had lost just a couple of seconds and had lain unconcious on her couch, unaware of what had occurred to that Hollow.

She needed to know what or who was behind it and why it was doing what it did.

Staying with her friend had helped ease her, though not as much as she would have really wanted. Tatsuki already knew about Hollows and shinigami, so telling her about the break into her house hadn't been a shock. What had shocked her friend speechless was how Orihime had cheerfully told her about it.

"-no! The Hollow just broke through my wall, smashed some things and breathed over me! Then I woke up on my couch like someone had laid me down on it and the Hollow was gone!" after saying this in a rush with a forced bright smile, she attacked the icecream her friend had given her to 'soothe' her.

"Only you would act so cheerful about something that fucked up," not offended by Tatsuki's sceptical words in the least, Orihime gave a light shrug and gave her another smile while her mouth was full of chocolate icecream smothered in maple syrup.

However, Orihime had lied. She hadn't been altogether honest with her friend. Sure, she knew about the 'blackout', but she didn't know that it wasn't the first time it had happened. She didn't need to have an over-protective Tatsuki trying to champion her and Ichigo... well Ichigo wouldn't be able to do anything to help her. No one needed to tell her that he would try his best to keep her and all of his friends safe, yet he couldn't do it as he used to.

Telling Tatsuki and Ichigo would just put them in a bind. In fact, she couldn't really tell anyone about what was going on, though she was tempted with going over to Urahara's... but embarassment over making a 'big deal' out something that could be minor kept her from doing so.

Ishida-kun... Maybe he could help. He's been exorcising Hollows ever since Kurosaki-kun...

Then a week passed. A single miserable week with inner questions and half-said truths. Ichigo had asked her what had happened and she told him that 'something' had crashed through the wall of her apartment. When she had seen the alarmed sharp look in his eyes, she had tried to change her wording by mumbling something about a satellite and dwarves. She knew she had actually botched things the instant her friend and 'secret' crush gave a wry slightly disappointed smile at her lie.

"Right, Inoue. It was the little people riding on a satellite that went out of orbit."

"Yeah...," blushing at how stupid she must look to him for making up something that farfetched, she looked away from him as he scratched the back of his head while subtly studying her, probably wondering what she was hiding.

She didn't want to bother anybody, even though Tatsuki had already sort of ratted her out to Uryuu by telling him that a Hollow must have 'slipped' past him. The worried questions and embarassment of Uryuu as he apologized for not getting there on time only worsened her own confusion. He hadn't been the one that had killed the Hollow. In fact he hadn't even realized or had sensed a Hollow in the premises which was why he'd been so surprised at the news.

However, there was at least something she was aware of. There was something at that other school she had accidently walked to on that one specific day and that was why, she was driven to go back even leaving school early to see what was there that had watched her so intensely.

Arriving at said school's court yard filled of talking students dressed in black uniforms that were somewhat similar to her grey one, she bit her lower lip, almost yearning to feel that stare again so it would be easier to pinpoint its location...

"Are you lost again?" surprised at the soft female voice behind her, she spun around with a "Oh!" in her lips. In front of her was a smaller girl, perhaps a freshman judging by her soft baby-faced features and the childish large pink ribbon adorning her high dark ponytail.

"Um... no! I'm kind of looking for someone...," she trailed off, now feeling foolish again for explaining herself. She didn't even know what or who she was searching for.

"Really?" lifting up her books, that seemed too large for her short thin arms, the girl cocked her head to the side, "Then who? Maybe I can help you out."

Smiling shyly at the other girl's politeness, Orihime bowed in gratitude while inwardly berating herself for saying that small lie.

Ulquiorra-san. That look felt like his.

"Thank you!" a bit more confident, she gave a winsome grin as the other girl blinked in confusion at her suddenly upbeat attitude, "I was wondering if a foreigner has entered your school recently!"

"A... foreigner?" the girl asked slowly, frowning.

"Yeah! He's a bit taller than me, has pale skin, longish black hair and green eyes!"

C'mon Orihime-chan, you're just grasping at straws here. For all you know there might not be a foreigner anywhere near here!, After finishing her generalized description of Ulquiorra, sans his tear streaks and Hollow half-helmet she waited anxiously while the other girl mulled over her words.

The girl's eyes brightened, "Yes! One just started here about two months ago," Orihime's heart stilled then hammered at that small fact, "He's a bit on the quiet side and doesn't talk to anybody, though there's this junior that kind of hangs out with him or tries to."

"W-What's his name?" she whispered, a bit too excited yet scared to raise her voice at the revelation.

It can't be him! I saw him turn to ashes! How can...?

"He's got a strange last name," furrowing her brows together, the girl tried to think of the name, "I think its European or something..."

"Is it-is it Cifer Ulquiorra?" that question came out in a stammering squeak.

"Yes!" the girl nodded eagerly. "That's his name! What a strange name, isn't it?"

"Do you know where he could be right now?" ignoring the girl's question completely, Orihime was now in a rush to see if it was indeed the same person.

Blinking, the girl finally gave her an answer, "He usually hangs out at the back of the school. That girl might be with him though..." from the way those last words were said, apparently the other girl thought that Orihime was interested in the 'new student' for a different reason.

"Thank you so much for telling me about this!" clapping her hands together in a show of gratitude and giving a final bow, she thanked the dumbfounded girl repeatedly before turning around to walk to the back of the school. Now that who she was looking for was real, her walking was more confident and the blush on her cheeks was from excitement, not embarassment like before.

The other students that she passed on the way to the back of the school stared at her strangely, but it was easy for her to ignore them. To tell the truth, she didn't even feel the stares. All that was in her mind was seeing for herself if her assumptions weren't just another figment of her wild imagination.

If its true, what am I supposed to say to him?, her hurried walking faltered. She had been so excited at proving her own sanity to herself that she hadn't thought of how this boy that could be Ulquiorra would react to her. What should she do if it was someone else that happened to have the same name and fit the description that hadn't been very precise in the first place? She was certain that a lot of foreign boys could have black hair, green eyes and pale skin. At least that was what she thought because she hadn't been around many foreigners before.

Biting her lower lip and closing her eyes at the thought of another impending embarassment for her jumping headfirst into things, she almost wanted to give up and leave. If it indeed was him, he was probably not interested in seeing her. If he had been, he would have sought her out, like she was seeking him...

Then that means that I'm interested in seeing him?, blushing furiously at that small inner question, she straightened her back, snapped her eyes open with a gleam of determination and recommenced her walking with a little more enthusiasm. She was just going to take a peek and if it wasn't him, she would leave. She wouldn't even talk to him. He would never know who Inoue Orihime was or that she had looked for him thinking he was somebody else.

Just one look and it was over. That was what she told herself. She would stop thinking about him and never return to that dreary little school on the other side of Karakura. She would forget about it and try to live with her blackouts. If she was still alive in spite of them, then whatever was causing them couldn't be all that dangerous, could it?

I... I still want to know.

Reaching the back of the school, she finally came to a stop and had her eyes widen at what she saw leaning against a tree.

There under the shadows, though she couldn't see him all that clearly was Ulquiorra. It had to be him; the resemblance between the Hollow that had held her prisoner and this teenaged human boy was too similar to not be the same person.

His tall slender frame rested nonchalantly against the tree, his body looking thinner because of the black school uniform he wore. Though he no longer had tear streaks, he still had the same soft impassive face. Those same elegant lines, pale smooth skin and eyes so green that they were even noticeable in the shadows he stood under. His hair was slightly longer than the last time she had seen him and it continued to frame his delicate-featured expressionless face, though some of the silken black locks now brushed the top of his shoulders.

This must be some kind of trick! That boy just looks a lot like him but can't be...! He looks so human but has no Hollow reiatsu! How is that even possible?, those were her thoughts as she stared dumbly at the familiar boy who was seemingly unaware of her gawking while both of his hands were shoved deeply into his pockets. Another thing that reminded Orihime of him.

Gulping at the strange coincidence that there was a boy with the same name and face as her former captor, she steeled herself to confront him and walked forward. The instant she took the first step she almost caved in because those almost bored green eyes finally looked at her with that all too familiar detachment.

Oh Kami-sama! He knew I was standing there!, She honestly wanted to run at that fact. He didn't even look surprised to see her walking towards him. His slender body remained unmoved from his resting spot, those unbelieveable eyes of his showing a nothingness she could only associate with him. If only she could be as calm as he was! There he was so unnerved by her appearance while she was feeling light-headed at simply looking at him.

"Cifer-san...?" she asked slowly, a bit proud of not stuttering at saying his name once she stood in front of him. Her nerves were driving her crazy! Those empty eyes didn't even show recognition and wouldn't look away from her own. He practically held her anxious gaze captive. Shivering at the effect he was having on her by just looking at her, she fought to keep herself from looking away and showing cowardice. Ulquiorra didn't like weakness. He had told her once that he didn't respect weak creatures and showing weakness in front of him might keep him from even speaking to her.


Her heart skipped a beat at the sound of his deep voice, a voice too deep to fit his young face. He didn't so much as blink when he uttered that single word. How long could he keep himself from blinking? Her eyes were going dry but he still stared at her unblinkingly like he could go on all day without needing to do it.

It's him! It's HIM!

"Wha-what are you doing back here?" she knew who he was. He didn't need to tell her that. If he lied, she'd see through it.

"What do you mean?" still so distant and flat. That voice of his didn't hold truths or lies. He merely asked a question like it were another single-syllabled word. Monotone and dull.

"Back in Karakura...," she wasn't begining to lose the little bravery she'd had left because of his vagueness, "After Aizen's defeat... After Kurosaki-kun...," her voice trailed off at seeing no hints of emotion coming from him at her words, "When you had faded away I thought... I would never see you again and that you'd gone to the Soul Society."

"The Soul Society?" though it was very slight, she could swear she saw a tiny hint of disgust in his lifeless eyes, "What is this Soul Society you speak of, girl?"

Her stomach cramped at his questions. He had called her 'girl', not 'onna' like he usually did. She could only recall him calling her by her name once and he had made it sound so clinical that it wasn't as big a deal as some may think it. Her name might as well been another word he had spoken. Not a name belonging to a person.

"You're Cifer Ulquiorra aren't you?"

"I believe you have me confused with someone else," with those cutting words, his eyes looked away from her in dismisal as she stood there in cold shock.

He lies...! Why would he lie...? He knows that I know and still lies about it!

Angered by his audacity when she was slowly going insane without knowing what was wrong with her, she lashed out and grabbed his forearm. His eyes focused on hers once more, widened in a surprise unlike she had ever seen in him before.

"Don't lie to me! I know it's you! You're him!" her fingers squeezing his arm assured her that he was very real. As real as her. Standing so close to him she could even smell the soap he used and see the deph of his unusual emerald eyes. It was probably the first time she had ever touched him, other than that time she had slapped him for being cruel in his remarks about her friends' sacrificing themselves. It should have made her nervous but her anger at his lie kept her from blushing or looking away from him.

"You look like him, act like him and whenever you look at me you feel like him! So don't tell me that I don't know you!" she exclaimed as he quickly regained that iron-composure she was begining to loathe. He might have felt nothing at all. Her turmoil meant nothing to him and he wasn't afraid of showing it and shattering her sanity with it.

"You have gone too far with your delusions, girl," a knot formed in her throat at his calm tone. "When I tell you that you have confused me with this other boy that went to this supposed Soul Society you've invented, it means that the conversation is over."

She gasped as he looked down at her hand still gripping him. There was no disgust when he looked down at it, so when he lifted his own hand to cover hers gently to remove it she nearly felt her heart stopping.

"Is there something wrong, Cifer-kun?" an edgy voice spoke behind her and Orihime stiffened at the evident hostility in it.

That other girl had mentioned a junior..., Without acknowledging the newcomer that had spoken, Ulquiorra released Orihime's hand while giving her one of those eerie stares that seemed to speak volumes yet said nothing. She would never understand him. One moment he could feel like a riddle, the next he would be so shuttered and dead in life. Like he was empty inside and always had been.

"Don't you have your own school to go to Inoue Orihime?" he asked, still looking into her eyes.

Paling, she gave a single nod, bringing the hand he had touched to her chest before turning around and passing the other girl that glared spitefully at her for just talking to him. She had already gotten what she wanted. He was alive but didn't want anything to do with her. He might try to pretend that she was nobody, but he remembered her. He had to remember her.

Why would she think that he gave her enough importance to keep her in his memory?

As she walked away, she didn't feel his heavy gaze on her. He had already dismissed her from his thoughts and was probably being more amiable with the girl that already disliked her for touching him. However... She could tell he did know who she was. He might be good at hiding it yet he hadn't forgotten about her. It was something in his words that may have slipped her mind because she had been so stunned by his bold lying... What had he said...?

The answer came to her once she was outside of that school's gates. The 'words' he had said that proved she wasn't crazy or had made it all up.

"He said my name."

"Do you think people can come back from the dead?" Tatsuki who had a Dorito halfway to her mouth, blinked at her question, "Not 'zombie back from the dead', but died as a human then as a soul kind of dead?"

"Is this a philosophical question or a serious life or death question?" Orihime, slumped her shoulders at Tatsuki's dry question countering hers.

"A bit of both?" she winced at being unsure about what she was even talking about. After what had happened with Ulquiorra she had gone directly back to Tatsuki's house since her kitchen only needed one more day for repairs. They were both currently in her friend's bedroom going over homework they had to turn in the next day... But she still couldn't keep herself from asking,"I... I think I saw someone that looked like someone who had died... twice I think."

Still not getting it, Tatsuki frowned and shifted on her bed to get a better look at her.

"Who did you see, Orihime-chan?"

Feeling her face drain of blood, Orihime looked away from Tatsuki's worried eyes, "A boy I kind of knew not too much." Not knowing how to proceed she spoke so lowly that Tatsuki had to lean forward to hear her.

"A boy you kind of knew not too much? Was he a shinigami or another soul?"

"Sort of," she couldn't just blurt it all out unless she was one-hundred percent sure.

"Well... I guess so. With all of the weird crap this town has gone through, I think even the strangest stuff is possible so it wouldn't surprise me."

"Yeah... I guess you're right," biting her lip she looked down at her lap, mulling over those words though they didn't give her many answers.

Things slowly went back to normal and though she desperately wanted to see him again and go through another fruitless confrontation, she hadn't once gone close to that other school. Sometimes she felt like running out in the middle of class to see if he was really there but she struggled to keep herself from going through the torture of him lying to her and making her feel like she was crazy.

Her kitchen was almost back to its original state though she still had to wait for a new stove to arrive which didn't sit well with her because that forced her to eat bland food from a neighboring restaurant. The only thing that was going well for her was that her house was back in one piece and that no external dangers could waltz right in to harm her.

She didn't feel safe though. The truth that he was still alive always entered her mind whenever she stopped thinking about regular mundane habits. Because of this she tried to keep herself as busy as possible so that she wouldn't wonder about the aloof boy that didn't care for her...

Why would she want him to care at all? It wasn't in his nature to show emotion, so 'caring' was probably a foreign thing he had never even heard of. She could bet that if someone asked him about the meaning behind the word he would stare blankly at the person without answering.

Maybe he did know but didn't bother with the emotion and was incapable of feeling it. She sometimes wished it could be that easy for her. To be so untouched by problems and always so composed at the face of adversity. Like he had been when he had faded into ashes. Even in those last moments he hadn't panicked. He looked so resigned as if he had expected his dying to be an outcome. Perhaps... he had even welcomed it.

Clutching her blankets close to her chest as a shiver raked her body at how serene he had been in his supposed death, she forced her eyes to remain closed. Lately sleep had been evading her because she would always think of him and how lifeless he could be. She who felt far too much to keep herself from going insane, almost envied that 'gift' he had.

She sometimes cared too much... Just recently Sado had gone missing and she had been the one that had worried the most for him. She had told Ichigo about it to see if he could at least say that he knew that their friend was alright, but he hadn't showed a hint of concern which had stunned her speechless. Could it be that he was trying to hide his worry for their friend to not make her go into a panic because he could no longer protect all of them?

"Onna..." a deep voice echoed inside her mind. She was already nearing sleep as it was. Some dense invisible energy pressed on her blanket covered body. It was so light and lacking in hostility that it was easy to dismiss as a mere change of temperature. It was still springtime so the weather always fluctuated between cold and comfortably warm so it wasn't anything for her to grow frightened about.

"Onna look at me," his voice was a soft melodious whisper that hummed through her ears. He spoke so lowly that anyone would have thought it was just the sound of a specter haunting her dreams. It was almost ghostly in intonation.

Grumbling under her breath at the sound of the unchanging flat voice speaking to her, she opened her eyes and squinted at the oddly shaped shadow crouching above her.

Her whole body feeling numbed by the warm energy he emanated, a weak rasp was all that left her lips. Despite the darkness of the room, she could see him clearly. A Hollow. A beautiful grotesque being that was neither human or monster. He shone with an inner light that all of his naturally sad features were as clear as if the light had been on

Ulquiorra..., Feeling her chest ache painfully at the sight of him so monstrous, she didn't know if she should scream or stay still hoping that no sudden moves would make him violent. Those tear streaks that she often recalled were now thick black streaks that bled over his pallid cheeks. His melancholic empty green eyes were no longer existent. Now they were replaced by a darkness surrounding bright yellowish irises that didn't hold warmth or any sadness.

He merely stared at her as his great wings folded behind him gracefully. They looked so delicate. Nearly all of him did. So thin, yet so powerful with a terrifying appearance that seemed to have come out of a child's worst nightmare. If she hadn't seen him in such a form before, she would have screamed thinking a demon had broken into her house to take her soul because Ulquiorra did indeed look like he had stepped out of an ancient myth.

"Is this a dream...?"

He didn't answer. She didn't know why she had expected to hear any form of response from him.

Swallowing, she glanced quickly at his white hard chest with the painful looking hole that let her see the whiteness of the ceiling above them. He was a Hollow, so he was incomplete, but being able to look right through him was scaring her. It was a good reminder that said what he originally was. A being devoid of remorse that fed on the misery of others. That was a Hollow. He may look human with a more composed nature, but he was still a monster that devoured souls to exist.

A clawed blackened hand touched her cheek and she almost jerked away at the contact because it startled her. He was touching her, not in a hostile way, but in a soothing way as if he meant to calm her.

This has to be a dream..., His horrifying face was still motionless when he had made the gesture and his hand, though it shocked her, was strangely warm and soft as it cupped her cheek.


"He's useless now," her brows trembled in confusion as the pressuring air, that she suspected was his reiatsu, made her limbs heavier.

What is he doing?, Her mind was panicked at the unknown, yet she could say with absolute certainty that he wasn't going to hurt her. He would have done it before she ever had awoken to see him there. To tell the truth, she probably wouldn't have known his intentions in the first place if he had wanted to abuse her. He could have probably erased her thoughts...

"What... What do you want?" he stared down at her, still so perfectly composed. If it hadn't been for his hand now stroking her cheek without scraping with his lethal black claws, she would have said he was leaning over nothing.

"You ask too many questions, onna," her blood sped at his comment as he came closer to her body. From then on, the influence of his reaitsu on her took on a new purpose. It paralyzed her, made her soft, made her yearn for him. Perhaps she had always wanted him and hadn't even known it because of how laughable it had been for her at the time. This beautiful nearly lifeless creature was giving something so intimate and precious to her on that night.

He never kissed her lips. He appeared to only want to touch her body and get her used to him before invading it. Those elegant sharp nails of his tore at the sides of her t-shirt, shredding it off her. He was so slow and deliberate in doing it that she barely heard the sound of the cloth being ripped. All the while he unclothed her, he looked into her eyes. He didn't look down at the naked body beneath him, but into her eyes. Such terrifying melancholic blank eyes. It was almost funny she would associate melancholy with someone as apathetic as Ulquiorra, but his eyes always appeared so sad.

It touched her enough to reach out to craddle that permanently pale saddened face. His skin was so smooth, she found herself envying its softness and for some reason when her thumbs accidently skimmed the blankened streaks down his cheeks, the skin there felt even more satiny.

She knew what he was doing. Though people had liked sheltering her, she knew what he was going to do. And despite it all, she was going to let him, because after all... You can't feel guilt for something that happened in a dream.

He didn't recoil from her touch or seem surprised by it. He allowed her hands to comfortingly caress his cheeks as one of his clawed hands gently stroked her now naked skin. That hand, so horrendous in appearance, was almost tentative in its slow exploration of her heaving breasts and clenching lower stomach. She should have been shamed of being so exposed to him in both sight and touch, but his lack of emotion, that lack of disgust and disappointment made her oddly at ease with him.

Still she wished he showed at least some pleasure in arousing her. To let her know he desired her up to some level... but he wasn't one to display such things. The rest of her clothes became nothing in his claws. He wasn't violent in the destruction of her sleeping pants though he apparently didn't feel like going through the process of pulling them off her along with her underwear. He had come there with a purpose and he was going to go through with it.

When the velvety fur of his lower body brushed the insides of her thighs she jerked at how it tickled. She didn't dare laugh because of how immature it would seem to him, so instead she bit her lower lip to keep a giggle from leaving her as he settled gently between her legs.

"Look at me," her eyes widened on his own because she hadn't realized that that whole time, out of either shyness or cowardice, she had looked away from him in a couple of occasions.

She never looked away from him again as he entered her body. Even as her eyes trembled in unshed tears at a sting of pain at having him stretching to fill her, she never once removed her eyes from his calm ones. It soothed her to see him that controlled even while her insides struggled to accept him. Once half of him was inside, he paused, his eyes having the tiniest hint of some vulnarable emotion she couldn't name. After that brief moment in which he allowed her body to grow accostumed to having him partially impaled, he pushed the rest of himself inside, spearing her tenderly to the hilt.

The effect of his reiatsu probably dulled the pain and she was grateful for it since that meant that he cared for how she felt in a way. Even though she couldn't say Ulquiorra was a particularly passionate lover, he was intense. He crowded over her shuddering body without pressing heavily on her as he began to rock against her. His wings overshadowed them, almost protecting them from unseen eyes as he moved. He barely made a sound though she couldn't help moaning at the sensation of him sliding inside her body that was experiencing that for the first time. The friction he created so easily within her was actually building a knotting pressure in her lower belly that felt nearly painful yet wonderful to her.

In some intances if she moaned a bit too loudly or twitched at a especially hard thrust, he would change the rhymth to avoid hurting her again. With her heart pounding wildly in her ears, she finally gave a final cry at finally feeling that painful growing pressure release suddenly around him and she could sense that he dug his claws on the matress beneath them as a soft breath was expelled through his mostly immobile lips.

Panting with that body still within and over her, she felt twice her own weight. The climax had only added to her grogginess and before she could help herself, her sight on Ulquiorra's familiar grotesque face faded from her vision as her hands craddling it fell limply to her sides.

"I need to stop watching so much tv!" that was the first thing Orihime blurted out randomly when she woke up the next morning. Frowning at how her inner thighs ached, she grumpily pulled the blankets off herself.

I-I'm naked!, Feeling her face heat up at how she had probably undressed herself in the middle of a very strange dream, she slowly rose off the bed and studied it to see if 'other things' other than dreams may have happened the night before.

A couple of smears of blood met her wide disbelieving gaze.

Gulping at not only seeing blood, but seeing some tattered cloths littering the sides of her bed and clear indentation of claw marks on either sides of her pillow, she shivered.

Could I have made that myself or was... was he really here doing that to me? Cifer... No. I don't know why he'd come here to do that. He must have had a good reason behind it.

Uquiorra, as little as she knew him, didn't appear to be the kind of person that liked exposing himself that intimately. He had been shy and almost fearful of hurting her while he...

I am going crazy! That's it! I AM CRAZY!

The pounding on her apartment's front door was what broke her out of her inner ranting. Turning around at the sound, she forgot about her nudity and headed towards the living room that was bathed in early morning sunlight.

"Orihime-chan!" Tatsuki's voice called out at Orihime froze mid-step towards her door, "It's almost eight in the morning already!"

"WHAT?" she gaped and glanced at a round wall-clock hanging over her tv.

7:43 a.m.

"Oh, c'mon! Don't tell me you aren't ready!" the exasperation in Tatsuki's tone wasn't a shocker.

She didn't get to hear the rest of Tatsuki's one-sided argument because she had already rushed into her bedroom to get dressed for school.

Because of them all being in their last year in high school, their group which had been together in first year, actually got separated into two groups. Ichigo, Tatsuki and Mizuiro where in group D, while Orihime, Yasutora who still hadn't appeared like she'd hoped, Uryuu and Keigo were in group C. Because of this they only got to see each other during break or lunch time. It should have put a damper in their friendships but they still managed to make at least some time to socialize among each other.

Passing her fingers over her hairpins to make sure they hadn't fallen off her long bangs, she was walking absentmindedly down the hallway when Uryuu sped past her.

"Stay inside! Hollows are in the courtyard!" he yelled without looking at her when she yelped out a questioning sound.

Watching him retreating and turning on a corner further down the hall, she stopped walking and slumped her shoulders. It wasn't the first time she had seen him doing this. He would always run out in class, disappear during lunch or sometimes not come to school at all because he was practically taking in all the grunt of Hollow extermination in Karakura after Ichigo had lost his powers.

It wouldn't hurt him to ask me or Sado-kun for some help though..., she thought meekly to herself as she followed the path he had taken moments earlier. Regardless of him telling her everytime that he could handle it, she would always watch him to make sure that things never got out of control. Luckily for all of them, Uryuu was fast at what he did and she had never once felt forced into battle with Hollows whenever he was around.

However, one could never be too sure and her shadowed over memories didn't encourage her to give up on trying to be Uryuu's standby.

That dream..., She wasn't sure if it had been a dream. It had been so vague and real at the same time, then there was the evidence in her room that made it harder for her to write it off as her typical wild imagination. Usually when she dreamt, she would see only things she understood. Like zombies, werewolves... Things she had seen in the reruns of old black and white Twilight Zone episodes. One time she had even dreamt of Nosferatu. That dream had kept her up for days, because that particular vampire movie had one scene that greatly disturbed her.

The hideous crippled humanoid monster leaning over a sleeping form, his long daggerlike claws hovering over its slumbering face.

Trembling at that mental imagery, she felt her face go cold as she finally reached the glass doors that led to the courtyard.

"INOUE!" the glass she was facing exploded inwardly, showering her in tiny pinpricks of pain.

Stunned by the sudden attack of a Hollow that had taken advantage of Uryuu's distraction with its comrades, she didn't have time to react. The only thing she could do was leap away and press her back against a wall as the large monster contorted its massive body to go further inside the school's lobby to get her.

Move! Move!, Once, just once she had seen a Hollow devouring a soul. It had been so disgusting that she hoped she would never meet such a fate. The way in which that Hollow had merely popped the shrieking soul into its gaping mouth had been forever in her mind whenever she saw one those loathsome beings. How it had bent the body, snapping bone, the way the pained screams had been drowned in its chomping mouth...

I'm going to die here! I'm going to die and it'll be all my fault because I'm too scared to move!, Closing her eyes, she let some tears she hadn't realized she'd had, trail down her cheeks.

And then there was silence. The beast wasn't howling in hunger or outrage like one would expect it to.

Confused by it, she carefully opened her eyes and at seeing the masked monster's face just inches from her, she quickly shut them again.

Her hair waved lightly as the thing breathed on her, sniffing her it seemed like. She could hear it making confused noises within its throat before it little by little inched out of the lobby, completely forgetting her when before he had been so focused on taking her soul.

What...?, No longer sensing danger freezing her limbs, she dared to open her eyes again and only saw the broken glass doors with their bent metal frames and Uryuu, who had clearly just exterminated the Hollow that had attempted to attack her, running across the schoolyard towards her.

"Inoue-san! Are you alright?" he blurted out as soon as he reached her side.

"Yeah..." she said numbly, her eyes still glued to the destroyed doors.

If she hadn't known any better, that Hollow had smelled her and had been frightened off by what he found.

"It's official! I'm either moving in with you or you're moving in with me! I don't care what you have to say about it, so don't argue on this with me!" Orihime thought it'd be best to remain quiet as Tatsuki went off on her on their way to their respective houses.

"It-It didn't hurt me or anything. It was the glass...," she didn't finish when Tatsuki's fierce brown eyes glared at her for 'arguing' about it when she had expressedly told her not to.

After the incident, she had gone to the bathroom to use her Shun Shun Rika on her wounds. In spite only using her reversing powers, Tsubaki had also chewed her out for not being quick enough. He had spent at least ten minutes insulting her for it while she grinned weakly and bared it. She knew he was right about half the things he said, but she wished he hadn't called her a 'dumbass' over thirty times while getting his point across.

"I'm going to have to talk to Ishida about this! Those Hollows keep getting closer and closer to school every time!" nodding at Tatsuki's muttered remark, she slowly stopped walking alongside her.

He's here. I didn't think he would come looking for me, but he did.

Nervous at the thought that her excitement at having him there was apparent, she casually glanced across the street at the other sidewalk. Unfortunately what she had intended to come off as a brief look, made her eyes lock with his.

Wearing the same perfectly uncreased black school uniform, with both his hands in his pockets, Ulquiorra would have passed off as another human boy, just like on that day she had seen at the other school. Even from a distance she could see how vivid his flat green eyes were and the pale flawlessness of his skin that clashed with his black hair.

He didn't have any expressions of joy at having her acknowledge his presence, but he still held her eyes directly which was something more meaningful than any words he could have spoken.

"Whoa! How long are you going to stand there gawking, Orihime-chan!" flinching at Tatsuki's teasing voice, she made the mistake of looking away from him.


Snorting and rolling her eyes at her dumb reply, Tatsuki smirked, "You and that guy eye-balling each other! I didn't think I'd ever see you going ditzy over some guy that isn't Ichigo, but its nice seeing you looking around!"

"Wait! What?" her face felt so hot her head would surely explode. Was that what it had looked like? She had been eye-balling him and he had eye-balled her back?

Wait a sec... Tatsuki-chan saw him too?

"You saw him too?" she couldn't help but ask, even if she sounded dumb.

Making a face at her question, Tatsuki said in a dry tone, "Yeah. I did. Wasn't I supposed to see him? I mean guys that look like that aren't that hard to miss."

So she wasn't crazy. Ulquiorra was still alive.

Looking back at the area she had last seen him standing, she felt a pierce of disappoint spear through her chest at seeing that he was gone.

It should have hurt having him disappear like that without at least saying something to her, but his brief presence had given her an answer to a question she had never to thought to ask and the answer to that was that yes...

He had always been there all along.

So there you have it, my fine folks! Hope that Ulqui wasn't too OCC (he didn't talk too much, did he? Well it's just a "oneshot". LOL It was probably awful *winces* To tell the truth I actually LIKED writing them a little too much... Hmmm... Might do a longfic of them in the future that's why I kinda' left an open-ending just in case. Might have even found a favorite pairing after all... Hehehe... Also apologies for the sucky lemon. I tend to be VERY descriptive, but I leave that to my other accounts while for this one I censor my fics or just make them 'less' hardcore. I can't guarantee to keep it tame though since it was a bit of a 'dream sequence' type lemon. It was hard writing an undescriptive lemon without much foreplay so if I continue this, I'll probably have to censor it eventually. *blushes*)