Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach!

Orihime Inoue sat on the end of her small cot, gazing up at the small ray of moonlight that shot through the ceiling. That was all she ever did nowadays. Her room was bare and boring, so that really was the only thing that she could do. She gazed down at her small, fine hands. How much blood was being spilled for her sake at this very moment? Or perhaps Ulquiorra-sama was simply being cruel in claiming that her friends had come to rescue her. Glancing back up at the ceiling, she folded her hands neatly on her lap. Yes, that must be it.

"To rescue you. For them, no other reason is necessary." the cold arrancar had stated simply, as if it made no relevence in the world. Of course, it probably didn't. Aizen-sama would be much too powerful. Even for Ichigo. Ichigo... He probably didn't even recall when she had went to see him late at night before her departure. There, she had confessed her feelings; the ones that she had been keeping within herself ever since she had met the orange-haired boy. Orihime bit her lip harshly, cursing inwardly for letting her mind wander yet again. I promised myself that I wouldn't do this anymore.

It was too hard. Too hard to be open and kind as she once was. Normally, she'd be the one to leap up, full of hope and excitement. Not this time. This time, she knew that Kurosaki-kun wouldn't burst through the door, ready to save her. She knew that Rukia-san and Renji-kun wouldn't run in behind him, scolding every little mistake that he made. Sado-kun and Ishida-kun wouldn't watch behind as chaos ensued between the party.

Vaguely, she wondered what must be of her friends now. If they were here in Heuco Mundo, would they be alright? Of course not. Judging by Ulquiorra-sama's ease to the situation, something told her that this wouldn't be the same as last time. The same as when we all went to rescue Kuchiki-san.

She stood from the edge of her cot, taking small steps until she was directly under the ray of lights that expanded from the moon. She looked up at the window, longingly. It was too late for regret now. She had went willingly to Aizen-sama in order to secure the safety of her friends that she held so dear. Why was it turning out this way? Why was everything so wrong? Please be safe...


"Ichigo-than, are you sthur that we're going the right way?" Nell asked innocently, looking up at the orange haired shinigami. They had been running for the past 15 minutes; rather, Ichigo had been running, as Nell was simply being carried. Beads of sweat covered his face as they continued down the plain hallway. Hadn't they been down this one already? Or maybe all the walls were all the same. The young girl contemplated the possibilities as Ichigo went on.

"Beats me," Ichigo muttered through shallow breaths, determined to keep going. "But we can't stop now. When I get my hands on that bastard, I'm going to wish he had never came across my path in the first place," he growled darkly, referring to Aizen.

Nell gazed up at the shinigami, noticing the large amount of determination that shrouded his face. After his encounter with the previous espada, he had been totally wiped, body and mind. "Ichigo-than, I know you want to find your friend, but you sthould rest!" The orange haired boy stopped for a moment, taking in large breaths in an unsteady pace.

"You don't understand, Nell. Inoue has been there to help us through everything. If you think that I'd do anything to risk her safety now..." he clenched his free fist tightly, and Nell looked up in concern.

"I never sthaid that! I just think that you sthould rest, or you won't be able to get past any other guys like that that ethspada!"

Ichigo recalled the man's voice. They were wise words, and he regretted missing the last part due to his exit. "Become a demon. Just as strong as a demon. Just as wicked. You must realise that the only way to defeat the coldhearted is to become coldhearted yourself," he recited word per word. "I'm not sure that I'm too fond of those ideas, but they're true. I'm not going to be able to get very far in here if I stop and rest every time someone comes along. If I do that... I'll never be strong enough to rescue Inoue."

Nell paused, not exactly sure how she should respond. Of course, he was right. She didn't want Ichigo to get hurt. Before Nell could debate further, Ichigo began to sprint once again.

The hallway soon opened up into another room, similiar to the one that they had just fought in. Three different hallways appeared before them both, all the exact same. Nell felt Ichigo's grip loosen around her waist, and she was quickly lowered to the ground.

"Ichi--" Nell was cut off when Ichigo grasped the handle of his zanpakutoh.

"There's someone here." The wrapping that covered Zangetsu's blade unraveled themselves, and Ichigo pulled the blade to his front, preparing for someone's attack.