Updated: 14th February 2015 (cosmetic changes)

Updated: 24th October 2016 (cosmetic changes)


If you are reading this, then it means that you have somehow stumbled upon my story, which makes me very happy! I'm new to FanFiction, so please be kind :) Also, English isn't my first language, therefore I apologise for any mistakes in grammar, spelling, structure and style.

As for this fic of mine… well, I like unusual pairings ;D And in my humble opinion Ulquiorra and Rukia would look absolutely cute together. So please, give it a chance. I really hope you'll enjoy this story!

朝霧 -Asagiri-

Disclaimer: Sadly I don't own Bleach. I just borrow the characters to play with them a little, mfufufu ❤

Rated T for coarse language, some violence, dark themes, occasional angst, slightly toxic relationship(s), minor non-explicit suggestive adult themes. (Beside those, there are: lots of drama, lots of tension, forbidden romance and a tad of humour, too! ;) Oh, and silly omakes here and there... ^^" How could I forget about them...)

Set mainly in Hueco Mundo, after the original chapter 297 of the Bleach manga. Rukia is after her fight with Aaroniero, and Ulquiorra has been Caja Negación-ed by Grimmjow.

The Frozen Whisper

Chapter 1
Dark and Cold

Where am I?

Who am I?

Those two questions suddenly appeared out of nowhere. It was rather instinctive than conscious, but he desperately needed answers to them. His mind was nearly blank and to worsen the situation, his five basic senses didn't register anything – no touch, no smell, no sound, no sight, no taste. No nothing. It was so pitch black that he wouldn't be able to see his own hand, even if he shoved it right into his face.

In fact, he wasn't completely sure if he had a body at all. He felt… incorporeal, if it made any sense at all. He was convinced that he must have had some shape, but the cognisance of it was somehow concealed deep in the shunned and yet to be unveiled part of his consciousness.

He was also intuitively aware that this state was dangerous for his further existence. His being was somehow fading away and the reason for it was unknown to him, adding to already many enigmas regarding his plight, as well as his identity.

He needed to focus on the remaining consciousness, that was slowly but steadily fading into oblivion, and grasp as much as possible, hoping that the rest would return as well. He needed to summon the withering memories, images, thoughts… anything that would connect him to something more material. And with them he expected to find purpose and strength that would allow him to break away from this void.

Different reality existed, he was sure of it; he craved for it to exist.

Slowly, lazily, a name surfaced in his mind. Ulquiorra Cifer. Was it he? He couldn't be sure, but somehow it felt… right. At any rate he decided to hold onto it. It was the first step to getting out of here and to the world he belonged to. At least it was unmistakable to him that he didn't belong in here.

Ulquiorra Cifer. He tried to voice the name, but was unable to utter a sound. Perhaps it was because he didn't have a body, yet? It might be some explanation.

For a brief moment he wondered when he'd be able to regain his shape. Whether the time existed in this forsaken place, he didn't have the slightest idea, but frankly he couldn't care less as long as it wouldn't take too long. There was a thought tugging at his mind, telling him that something needed his attendance, however what it was, still eluded him.

Gradually an outline started to appear before him. Whether he saw it with his actual eyes or in his mind, he was unsure. Piece by piece it became a form of a man.

Who was he?

Undoubtedly he looked familiar. The black hair, pale skin, deep green, cat-like eyes with marks symmetrically descending down to the line of his jaw giving him a melancholic look… Even his clothes, sword fastened to his side and something that resembled a broken helmet on his head… Everything about this man simply screamed that he knew him. However he just couldn't figure out his identity. He also wondered whether the man was an enemy or an ally.

He cursed. There were still too many memories that had slipped away, when he'd been vulnerable.

The man watched him carefully, but without hostility. He, too, seemed curious about the identity of the other person.

Then a flash of understanding glimmered in his eyes, and he also understood.

No, neither enemy nor ally, he answered himself. He wasn't any of them, because this man was… him. It didn't make much sense to him at first, but slowly it became more and more comprehensible, as memories began to fly back into his mind.

The man before him was himself. And his name was… Ulquiorra Cifer.

With this realisation, he discovered that at last he had a body, his own body. It fit perfectly with his mind, like they were two symmetrical halves of one complete entity. Moreover, having a body, he started to feel the close vicinity to some degree. And it was thorny. He couldn't see anything, but he felt the pitch black surroundings coiling around him, tearing his clothes, piercing his skin and carving his flesh, trying to rip him apart. Not only that – the darkness tried to claw its way inside his skull and into his mind, too.

Ignoring the pain, he proceeded with his escape plan. Now all he had to do was find strength to get out of this black Hell. He searched for his reiatsu. It flowed quite chaotically in his body, and was also scattered around him. Ulquiorra concentrated on summoning and stabilising it to obtain the highest possible impact, which would allow him to shatter this dimension into the tiniest bits. Finally he accumulated a satisfactory amount of reiatsu and released it at once in a powerful Cero.

At first nothing happened.

Then a tiny crack appeared right before him, and with it a ray of light as if it was seeping through a keyhole. He brought his hand next to it and gently pushed. The darkness started to crumble soundlessly, revealing more light.

Without hesitation Ulquiorra stepped forward.

The brightness blinded him, but the moment he left that cursed dimension, he felt coldness. It confused him, since there was never this cold in Las Noches or Hueco Mundo.

He'd expected that he would emerge in the same place from where the bastard – actually named Grimmjow Jaegerjaquez – had sent him to that nightmare. (Ulquiorra had every intention of making the 6th Espada pay pound of flesh for using Caja Negación on him.)

At any rate, he was slightly surprised to find himself (without any damage to his body or clothes, too) right in the middle of what were the remains of battle between Aaroniero Arruruerie and Rukia Kuchiki.

He knew the outcome of this fight thanks to the Cognition Synchronisation of his now dead associate. However he'd thought that the Shinigami had died as well. Strangely enough she was still breathing, even if barely. It seemed that she'd used her zanpakutō powers to cover her wounds with a layer of ice to stop the bleeding.

Not bad for a trash, he mused. Nevertheless he didn't give her more than few minutes of life left.

Ulquiorra sensed that his charge was still with Ichigo Kurosaki. It appeared that the Human brat had defeated Grimmjow as the latter's reiatsu was extremely low. That idiot. How he could have got beaten up was beyond him, but it was clear he'd disgraced all Espadas with his shameful performance. He did deserve whatever beating he'd received, though, that arsehole.

And there came another inconvenience – Nnoitra Gilga. That man was unpredictable. It would be beneficial if he only killed the intruders, but what he'd do with the woman, was he left to his own devices, Ulquiorra didn't fancy to imagine. He didn't want to step into the sick and rotten mind of the 5th Espada for the fear of tainting his own. He was fully satisfied with his mental balance and wasn't looking forward to degenerating it, thank you very much.

Unfortunately, he wasn't in shape to join in the fighting as breaking free from that dimension had cost him quite a substantial amount of reiatsu. All he could do for now was count on another Espada to take his charge back to Aizen-sama, or on Nnoitra not to forget how important the woman was to their master. However he had this feeling that his wishes would be graced with nothing even close to acknowledgement.

Suddenly he sensed new sources of reiatsu appear in Hueco Mundo and head towards Las Noches. Four were strong, three quite passable. Backups? Had Soul Society decided to get involved after all? It was the only possibility. The four Shinigamis he recognised as powerful were most probably the captains and the other three – lieutenants.

If that was the case, the likelihood of losing their hostage was high, unless something was done quickly. And although he knew there were many strong Arrancars, he was also aware that as long as Aizen-sama didn't personally put them in order, they were capricious. Counting on them could turn into a very bitter disappointment and there was no room for such miscalculation. After all it was obvious that the vast majority of Las Noches residents didn't find the enemy threatening or interesting enough, seeing that only few lower-ranked Espadas and Privaron Espadas bothered to engage them – most for sport only, too. If intruders' little venture didn't clash with his duties, he too might have ignored them, unless Aizen-sama had ordered otherwise.

Once Soul Society retrieved Orihime Inoue, she'd be undoubtedly put under a tight supervision, so a deal similar to the previous one would be out of the question. No matter how cunning he were, there was no way he'd be able to capture her as smoothly as before without a bloodshed. Not that he minded spilling someone's blood, of course. But might it happen, the woman wouldn't be in that suitable for them mental cage. If only there was something that would again make her come to them by herself…

Ulquiorra's eyes travelled down to the Shinigami lying dead still on the floor in the puddle of her own blood.

His mind started working at fast pace. Could she be used for a new bargain?

The answer was positive even without any deeper thinking. He knew of the almost carried out execution of Rukia Kuchiki and the desperate rescue her friends had undertook. It had been similar to the one happening now. He didn't understand this, the motives that drove them to such helter-skelter actions, but he might be able to use them for Aizen-sama and their cause.

Friendship. Loyalty. Trust. Every bond between them would be their downfall.

Quickly a draft of plan was formed. He'd work out the details later.

Ulquiorra approached the unmoving figure and lifted her carefully, so as not to worsen her condition. She was deathly pale and freezing cold. Her shallow and infrequent breaths were coming out in a soft, almost invisible mist that left white frost on her blue lips. He needed to act fast or she'd die from severe wounds and blood loss, causing his plan to end in vain.

Using Sonido, he swiftly headed down the white corridors of Las Noches to the infirmary.

He needed to have her put as soon as possible behind a barrier that wouldn't let through her reiatsu. For now it would be favourable if the rescue party thought her dead. Later he'd have to speak with Aizen-sama about the new situation. He trusted that his actions would benefit his master. However if the new hostage turned out to be useless, he'd just kill her, no problem.

In any case, it would make their enemy deeply wounded, no mistake in that. Rukia Kuchiki was very important to them and that didn't even result from her powers. It was that thing he didn't quite understand. Friendship.

Nevertheless he had to admit that for a trash she wasn't as defenceless. She had her fair amount of battle experience that was followed with decent power, and thus she couldn't be taken too lightly. Dead body of Aaroniero Arruruerie, the 9th Espada, was proof enough. He could tell she still had the potential to grow stronger than this, too.

Not even a minute passed when he arrived at the infirmary. Gently laying her on a bed, Ulquiorra spotted a female Arrancar responsible for running this place.

"Heal her," he gave a terse order. "But firstly put her behind a barrier so her presence here remains unknown."

"Understood, Ulquiorra-sama," the woman answered without any questions, and while handing down the responsibility for setting up the barrier to her colleague, she quickly started working on the Shinigami's injuries.

"I'll be back soon," Ulquiorra added, and without looking back he left the room. Now he had to speak with Aizen-sama.


Thank you very much for reading the very first chapter of this story!

I know that in the manga Grimmjow said that Ulquiorra would spend in that dimension about 2–3 hours before breaking out. I hope you will overlook this alternation I made. Besides, he probably wasn't sent there himself, so he wouldn't know for sure :P

And I'm also aware that this chapter was rather boring, but it had to be done. The next chapter will have more action or so I hope.

If you have any comments, ideas or thoughts you'd like to share, or if you spotted a mistake that made you cringe, or anything really… just let me know ;)

Until the next time!

朝霧 -Asagiri-