Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach nor do I profit from Bleach. I only do this as a fan.
The usually composed Urahara was currently in the midst of destroying almost every mountain, cliff and mole hill in the training area beneath the store. His mind was in a constant loop replaying every moment of the mock trials that he had just secretly witnessed at the soul society. After three hours his body was exhausted, but his rage still coursed through his veins. Urahara fell to his knees tipping his head forward and causing his hat to fall unceremoniously to the dirt ridden ground. His long bangs hid away his sorrow filled eyes as a feeling of defeat hung thick around his throat like a noose.
"I wish I could have been of more help." Urahara breathed out into the wide empty space.
Ulquiorra's fingers twitched as he cracked open his jade green eyes to the unfamiliar dark sky. He slowly moved into a sitting position and looked around the foreign area in confusion. If there was a sun in this world it was being held captive by ominous onyx clouds. Ulquiorra's teeth chattered as a bone biting wind whipped into the flesh of his cheeks leaving a harsh sting. From what he could see of his surroundings it had at one time been a large thriving metropolis, but now it lay in ruins. The howling winds battered the already crumbling buildings making any type shelter that they would give treacherous and futile.
"Hey!" A voice shouted through the thick debris filled air catching Ulquiorra's attention.
Ulquiorra turned his head to see an auburn haired youth making his way down a rough beaten path.
"Hey man, got any idea where the hell we are?" The young man asked leaping onto a large boulder before Ulquiorra.
"I am not entirely sure of that myself." Ulquiorra said moving into a standing position and dusting himself off.
"I told you he wouldn't know nothing either dumbass." An azure haired man said moving out of his hiding space.
Ulquiorra rubbed his temples trying to ease the ringing and confusion. "Who are you people?" he asked
The men looked at each other and then back to him.
"Well, we can't really recall anything. Just that…." The auburn haired man stopped and stared off.
"Just that you feel as if something is missing." Ulquiorra said finished the man's statement.
"Yeah, yeah like someone shoved a wire up your nose and scrambled your brain." The blue haired man said.
The other two men looked at him with tilted heads, before the red head voiced out.
"Not sure what that would feel like, but… ahhh yeah anyway."
Ulquiorra shook his head at the pair and wondered if he should just silently walk away from the noisy beings. He had only moved an inch before the sound of a scream pierced his ears. The men did not even think as their feet dashed towards the blood curdling sound. They froze when they found a woman half buried and oozing a strange substance from her body. Her face was covered by dark hair, but Ulquiorra feared that she was dead. There was no way that a human could sustain such injuries and live.
Ulquiorra quirked a brow as the blue haired man slowly moved to the female's side.
"Man, you should just leave her be." The red haired man said rustling his unruly hair.
The azure haired man did not halt his foot steps. "I…I feel as if I know her."
He knelt down beside the body and brushed the hair from her eyes.
It was as if a switch had been hit on a machine as forest green eyes popped open startling all that surrounded her. A soft smile graced her slightly dirty face as she raised her hand and placed it gently on the man's face. The blue haired man's entire body stiffened from the touch and then in the next moment he was hastily flinging away the rubble that was holding her prisoner.
"Help me!" he shouted to Ulquiorra and the other man whom had been observing the strange scene.
"Do you know her?" Ulquiorra asked as his numb fingers flicked away large pieces of rubble.
"I…I think…something…Man just help me out." The man fumbled in his words as he lifted a heavy stone.
The three men worked quickly to free the limp body of the woman. The Azure haired man had refused to let her go once he had scooped her up in his arms. Ulquiorra sighed deciding that he just didn't care enough to fight with some stranger over another stranger. If she was dead and the blue haired man wanted to cart around that weight then so be it; who was he to tell him other wise.
Ulquiorra was growing getting tired and his limbs were numb from the cold. If they all didn't find shelter soon it would surely be the end for all of them. He was growing frustrated with the entire situation and with the ever growing group. He just brushed the hair from his face when a structure caught his eyes. An old abandoned bomb shelter was braving standing strong not too far from where he stood. He didn't bother to tell the others where he was going since he was sure that they would follow him regardless of what he wished.
There had been no food inside the dwelling, but at least they were warmer and protected.
"Hey!" The blue haired man said rather excitedly as he pulled something from his jacket.
"Candy bars?" Ulquiorra questioned looking at the oversized kid whom was still holding the ever sleeping female.
He was just about to ask the man why he had such things when the woman began to stir.
"Grimmjow?" She muttered as her eyes once again fluttered open.
"Grimmjow, what the hell is that? Is it your name or something?" The red haired man asked.
Ulquiorra ignored the two as he searched his own clothes in hopes of finding a food like treasure. He however had no such luck. His brow creased as he pulled a single barrette from his pocket.
"Why on earth would I have something like this?" Ulquiorra questioned himself in a mutter.
"Maybe you're a cross dresser." The red head joked getting a small rock chucked at his head from Ulquiorra.
The man frowned as he rubbed his forehead with one hand and searched his pockets for clues with his other. His eyes lit up when he plucked a letter from his jeans. He had barely unfolded the letter before his comrades were staring over his shoulders to see what the letter said.
"Hey back up a little and I will read it; damn." The red head huffed
"Ichigo" The red head said with great enthusiasm. "Guess my name is Ichigo."
The others looked as if they could least care if his name was Ichigo or Santa Claus.
Ichigo's smile faded slightly as he began to read again. "Ichigo if you are reading this than it is as I feared. You, Rukia, Orihime, Nemu, Ulquiorra and Grimmjow have been tossed into the soul's mate's trial."
"Soul mates trial? Sounds like a bad reality show." Grimmjow snorted getting a sharp look from the others.
"Your memories are gone and you have been separated from your partners. First thing you must do is find your other half. Sound easy; well it is not. I am sorry that I can not inform you of any thing other than this, but it seems as if no one has ever returned from the trial. I wish you luck and hope to see you alive and well again someday. Your friend Urahara." Ichigo finished
The shelter was silent as all let the words sink into their heads. Ulquiorra was the first to get on his feet and head toward the door. He turned to look at Ichigo whom seemed to be still lost in thought.
"Ichigo." Ulquiorra said making Ichigo jump back into reality. "It seems as if we need to find two more people."
Ichigo read over the letter once more. "Yeah, looks like it."
"Grimmjow, you stay with here with her." Ulquiorra said turning on heel and walking towards the door.
Grimmjow raised a brow at being ordered to do anything. "Like I wanna go out in that crap again." He replied.
Ulquiorra took a deep breath and opened the door receiving a frigid gust of wind to his face. He had no clue as to where he should look for the missing two. His green eyes strained to see anything in the soot like air. Ichigo, it seemed had a different idea as to how they should approach things. He just put one foot in front of the other and walked out into the unknown world.
"Do you even know where you are headed?" Ulquiorra asked starting to follow behind.
"Nope, but this way is just as good as the other." Ichigo shrugged still padding along.
"I suppose you do have a point." Ulquiorra said with a scratch to his nose.