I couldn't think of a name for this one, so I decided to keep with my 'pet name' for the story. I think some of you might be s touch confused, but it should clear up once I get around to writing the second chapter, whenever that is. So, until then, read chapter one, okay? Okay.
Warnings: Oh, there WILL BE YAOI!! Some sursing later on, typical Grimm behavior, and typical Ulquiorra behavior (He's a little OOC, but just roll with it.)
Disclaimer: I do NOT own Bleach. Bleach is the property of Tite Kubo, as liscenced by VIZ media and Shonen Jump magazine.
Grimmjow leant against the brick wall lazily, sighing and shifting his feet every few seconds. Standing beside him, Ulquiorra glanced at his 'partner' that had been forced upon him for this mission (most likely to get him out of everyone else's hair). The shorter Espada was quickly becoming irritated with Grimmjow's restlessness, although he hid it well behind emotionless green eyes. Tempted to sigh himself, Ulquiorra turned back to what he had been sent to watch. His black-lashed eyes wandered back to the small gathering of Shinigami in the clearing, watching their every move intently.
Ulquiorra had been surprised that Aizen-sama had asked him to take Grimmjow along, since the sixth Espada was often a liability in this type of assignment. It was well known that the blue-haired Arrancar had no patience to speak of, besides being ill-mannered and vulgar. None of Grimmjow's strong suits were suitable for a stealth mission, nonetheless one that was as relatively boring as this one.
Listening to the sounds of the man behind him and watching the Shinigami in front of him, Ulquiorra noted how much alike his partner was to some of the black-robed figures. Both redheaded Shinigami were loud and boisterous, much like someone he knew. Without thought, Ulquiorra's eyes drifted to glance sidelong at Grimmjow. The sixth had his head lolled back against the wall, staring up at the sky and twitching boredly. The dark-haired Espada glanced back to the Shinigami and allowed himself a small, measured sigh.
Grimmjow's eyes were immediately alert, staring at the back of Ulquiorra's head. He stood, and the blue-haired Espada jumped to his feet excitedly. There was no doubt that Grimmjow wanted to leave, but he would have to be disappointed for now. Instead of opening a garganta right where they were, Ulquiorra tucked his hands in his hakamas and turned away. The look that Grimmjow gave him was enough to cause him to let loose a small 'heh'. It was easy enough to picture the way thin blue eyebrows drew together over a frown as Ulquiorra simply began walking towards the far street. The annoyed huff and footsteps beginning to follow, however, let the fourth know that Grimmjow was just curious enough to give up the opportunity to start an argument. Not surprisingly, Ulquiorra could sense Grimmjow's discontent fading as they walked, for the other Espada only grew more curious with each placed step. After he felt that he had given the other enough time to come up with a few possible (but completely wrong) assumptions as to where they were going, Ulquiorra spoke.
"Grimmjow. Aizen-sama has informed you of the full extent of this mission, has he not?" The small smirk on the fourth's face could have been an effect of the light on his face as he walked. Could have been.
It took just those few words to throw the sixth into a spluttering rage that didn't abate for several minutes. After Grimmjow had had adequate time to calm himself, Ulquiorra reached into his sash and pulled out a sheaf of papers which he held over his shoulder for Grimmjow to take. The other Espada did so reluctantly and stepped away to walk a few steps further back as he read. Those few minutes walked in utter silence were strange for the fourth, for he had come to expect a lot more noise from Grimmjow. It was almost as if the other was on good behavior by his own choosing. But finally, the silence had to end.
"Ulquiorra…What the hell does this say?" In truth, the sixth sounded more oddly stumped and disbelieving of what he had read than angered. Ulquiorra could feel Grimmjow's questioning eyes on his back and let his lips turn up a little more.
"It says, in layman's terms, that we are stuck here together, and expected to make ourselves as inconspicuous as possible. I gather it is the why you are having trouble grasping?" At Grimmjow's acknowledging grunt, Ulquiorra continued.
"Aizen-sama wishes for us to study the human world in more detail for him. He considered sending the eighth, but feared that Szyael would have deviated from his original orders. Therefore, we were chosen as the next most likely candidates for the task. I, because of my impassive and calculating nature. You, because of your callous and more open mined approach to things. You are very likely to pick up on things that I will unconsciously dismiss as unimportant."
"Which means?" Grimmjow asked slowly, as if not quite comprehending.
"You are simply supposed to be yourself, within reasonable limits." Ulquiorra turned his head to the side just enough to catch Grimmjow staring at the papers strangely and shaking his head. In a way, Ulquiorra could sympathize with the blue-haired Arrancar. Aizen-sama had never seemed to favor Grimmjow as he did Ulquiorra, but the fourth understood in his own way what it was like to be a pawn in their master's games. Literally. Aizen-sama often sent the pale skinned Arrancar out and about in either Hueco Mundo or the real world in order to gather ideas for his entertainment. Afterwards, he would have Ulquiorra recount all the details of the events that had occurred.
From the corner of his eye, Ulquiorra continued to watch Grimmjow walk. The other had dropped the hand with the papers to his side and was glancing around with avid interest in their surroundings. It was probably the first time Grimmjow had come to the human world for something other than a fight, Ulquiorra surmised. Yet, as they continued to amble their way down the sidewalk, Ulquiorra couldn't help but laugh inwardly to himself as the sixth walked from shop window to window in an attempt to understand what products they were selling. It was a hopeless endeavor, the fourth knew, for the human world contained many mysteries that simply could not be fully understood. Surely Grimmjow's rampant peering through the sheets of glass that acted as windows in many of the shops did little more than allow the Espada to gather a brief glimpse of what wonders were contained inside, for Ulquiorra's silent presence urged him to keep walking rather than take the time to gawk.
As they approached a block of apartment complexes, Ulquiorra gestured for Grimmjow to follow him into another side alley. As they came to a stop, the fourth held out his hand for the documents that Grimmjow was still holding, and upon retrieving them, folded them up and slipped the papers back into his sash. With his fingers still tucked into the edge of his sash, Ulquiorra turned the edge of the fabric just enough to reveal a small pocket sown to the inside. From within it, deft white fingers withdrew a small pouch stenciled with kanji.
Glancing from side to side surreptitiously as if he felt rather foolish, the dark haired Arrancar pulled a small black orb from the bag and held it to his lips as Grimmjow arched a slender blue brow at him. Ignoring his companion, Ulquiorra blew into the orb and watched as it began to expand. Within moments, the fourth held in his hands a gigai that looked similar to himself, but not enough so to attract notice. Turning to Grimmjow, Ulquiorra handed the other Espada the bag and took the time to slip into his faux body. Seeing as to how he hadn't had time to examine the gigai after Szyael Apollo Grantz had created it, Ulquiorra did so now.
The long black coat was similar to the one that he usually wore, the exception being that it was leather rather than cloth, besides from being studded with metal cones. The thing that would take the longest to adjust to, Ulquiorra assumed, would be the tight black jeans that he had donned with his gigai. The pale-skinned Espada was unaccustomed to wearing pants that accentuated his willowy figure, and he would have felt almost naked if it hadn't been for his long coat. The black boots he was wearing only seemed to add to his discomfort, for Ulquiorra had never worn more than a typical sandal in all the time that he could remember since becoming a hollow. Sighing at the odd clothing that he been dressed in, Ulquiorra reached up and pulled the small sunglasses off of his nose. They were shaped strangely, each lens like a rounded triangle that pointed downwards. Ulquiorra turned to stare at his reflection in a shiny scrap of metal on the brick wall and tentatively placed the glasses back on. He assumed they had been included to counterbalance the absence of his typical green tracks from his face, and admittedly, it worked. Done going over his gigai, Ulquiorra turned to Grimmjow.
The other Espada had just entered his own gigai, and was rolling his shoulders at the constricting feel of a physical body. It was odd seeing Grimmjow's face without his distinctive eye markings and electric blue hair. It was even odder to see the other wearing anything other than white, although he could say the same for himself. For a moment, the two stood, facing each other mutely. Slowly, Grimmjow's lips quirked up and let out a chuckle as he gave Ulquiorra's outfit a once over. Saying nothing, the fourth arched a brow and nodded his head towards the improvised mirror. Grimmjow's reaction upon staring at his own appearance was immediate.
Tanned hands ran up to grasp imploringly at medium length white locks as crisp blue eyes widened noticeably. The almost horrified gasp that followed actually put a smile on Ulquiorra's pale face. Seeing Grimmjow so appalled by his own visage was extremely amusing to the rather stoic Espada. However, Grimmjow's shock slowly faded as he looked down to examine the expanse of muscled stomach where his hollow hole rested on his spiritual body. Smooth to the touch and unscarred, Grimmjow's torso peeked from behind a studded leather biker vest. The now bleach blond Arrancar reached a hand towards where his scar should have been, but paused to register the knowledge that his hands sported a pair of open-backed fingerless gloves. Camouflage cargo shorts and a pair of black combat boots finished off the look for the sixth, who was now flexing his hands experimentally.
Giving Grimmjow another moment to adjust to his gigai, Ulquiorra searched the inside of his jacket for pockets. Once he had found what he was looking for, Ulquiorra snapped his fingers to direct Grimmjow's attention and led them both around to the front of the building. They entered the office of the complex, and Ulquiorra went to the deskman to sign for the keys for the apartment that Aizen had had secured for them. Once he had the keys in hand, they went in search of the apartment they would be occupying for their near foreseeable future.
The first room was small and ill lit, with only as few furnishings as the landowner felt adequate for their use. A couch and a single rib backed chair sat in the room by a small TV stand which was absent one TV. A tiny lamp on the only end table let out a dim glow that barely brightened the room when turned on, leaving shadows to lurk abundant. Truly, the place was dismal. But on such short notice, it was all that could be had.
Ulquiorra was unimpressed when Grimmjow flopped down on the sagging couch and stretched out to his full length to throw his feet up over one of its arms, but said nothing as the sixth settled down for a nap. Instead, the fourth allowed himself to wander the other rooms. Of them all, only the bedroom was worth what they had paid for the place, and barely by that. A large, king-size took up nearly the entire opposite wall from the door, and the remaining space was practically eaten by a chest of drawers. Ulquiorra considered further examining the apartment, but declined the idea.
The thought of a nap, however unorthodox, was rather attractive though. And since there was only one bedroom, it was first-come-first-serve. Grimmjow could have the couch, Ulquiorra resolved as he pulled off his coat, boots and shades and threw them up on the dresser. Now, it was time for sleep.