RATING: M for nudity.
Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach.
Szayel was going through a pile of documents when he heard someone knock on his door.
He ignored it. He was not in the mood to entertain anyone.
A few more knocks.
He busied himself with filing the documents. Perhaps that person would leave him alone if he ignored him or her.
Szayel slammed the documents on to the desk, breathing hard, his temper rising. Whoever it was out there sure was persistent.
The pink haired scientist frowned. Who the hell can that be? He did not appreciate being disturbed when he was working. All of his inventions so far were perfect, and he would be damned if one of his creations turned out less than perfect due to some idiot interrupting his work. Cursing the person who dared to disturb him, he walked over to the door and twisted the doorknob open.
Once he saw who was outside his room slash laboratory, however, his expression changed. Szayel immediately wore a more soft expression and he even gave a small smile.
"Oh, hello, Ulquiorra. How nice to see you." Usually, he was rude and would stare at others as though they were something to cut up but right now he being polite and nice out of fear for his superior rather than actually liking the emerald eyed arrancar. He did not want Ulquiorra to kill him for being rude. "You are just in time." And with that said and done, Szayel retreated into his room and pulled open a cabinet, revealing numerous bottles of chemicals, liquids and pills. He looked over his shoulder at his pale superior. "Go on and sit down."
Ulquiorra stepped in wordlessly and sat down on top of a table, his gaze following the pink haired scientist the whole time, emerald eyes large and calculating.
"Will be with you in a minute." Amber eyes began running over the labels of each bottle. Since there were hundreds of bottles in there, Ulquiorra figured that this might take awhile.
The pale skinned arrancar sighed. This was something that he and every other Espada had to do every day and he found it quite troublesome. Aizen-sama was quite insistent that all of his Espadas had to take vitamins every day so that they would remain in tip top shape and always ready for battle. So he had Szayel Aporro Grantz create special vitamins for each Espada. He did not want to risk one of his Espadas falling ill when the war was upon them. Ulquiorra thought that making all of them go through this was pretty unnecessary since arrancars rarely fall ill but Aizen-sama would not hear of it. Besides, Aizen-sama's word was law and he was not going to break any one of them.
When Szayel noticed the bored look on Ulquiorra's face, he attempted to start up a conversation with his superior. Although he doubted that the ever stoic Ulquiorra would actually kill him, he would like to be on the safe side and try to keep Ulquiorra's thoughts away from sending a cero in his general direction.
"So, have you spoken to Grimmjow yet?" Szayel asked as he picked up one bottle, read the label, shook his head and pushed it back into the cabinet again.
Ulquiorra stared at his feet, kicking at them.
That name. He knew it well. Just as well as he knew his own. It sent shivers up his spine. It gave life to his dead heart. It made him feel alive. But at the same time, he feared it.
"You don't have to tell if you don't want to," Szayel said quickly, thinking that he may have angered his superior.
"No," Ulquiorra said finally, looking up. "It's perfectly fine. To answer your question; I haven't. I… don't see the need to." Ulquiorra looked away, biting his bottom lip.
He was not sure why he was telling Szayel this. The pink haired scientist was not exactly his first choice of person that he would confide in, but then again, who else was he supposed to turn to? He did not want to bother his superiors; Stark, Barragan and Halibel, since they probably had more pressing matters to think of rather than trouble themselves over Ulquiorra's problems. Nnoitra was uncouth and more interested in women and fighting to care about his comrades. Zommari was too arrogant. Aaroniero was… disturbing. Yammy was stupid beyond belief. And Grimmjow?
Grimmjow was the problem.
And there was no way he was going to talk to the Sexta Espada about it.
As pathetic as it seemed, it seemed that Szayel was the only person that he could confide in. Although he knew that Szayel was only being nice to him out of fear, the pink haired scientist was intelligent and probably knew more about him than the other Espadas. This was because whenever Ulquiorra came by for his daily vitamins, he would sometimes sit and talk to the Octava. So it was no surprise that Szayel knew about his current predicament.
"It's not important anyways," Ulquiorra added. "It's nothing."
"What?" Szayel threw a sharp look at Schiffer. "Ulquiorra, this is not nothing. You should know how important this is. For arrancars to have dreams about another arrancar, it could mean-"
"I know what it means," Ulquiorra interrupted. He did not want to be reminded about how important those dreams were. "Grimmjow does not need to know that I have been having dreams of him."
All it took was one word to slip past Ulquiorra's lips and Szayel became quiet, instantly understanding that Ulquiorra was serious and that if he did not keep quiet on the matter, the Cuarto Espada might just cero him and bring an end to his life.
Ulquiorra knew that Szayel was just trying to help, but he really did not want to think about it. Although he was fearless in battle and would not hesitate to cut down an enemy and ending their life, the thought of confronting the Sexta was quite frightening. Especially on such an important issue. At first the dreams would come once in awhile, but now, they came every night. The dreams were not really dreams, but more like seeing the image of a person. So every night he would see Grimmjow's image in his mind's eye. He would then wake up from his slumber, breathing hard and panicking.
He knew that it was crucial for him to talk to the Sexta about it, but he could not bring himself to do it. If just dreaming about Grimmjow was affecting him this much, he could not bear to think about what would happen if he actually confronted Grimmjow. Or the words that would come out of Grimmjow's mouth. The Sexta would have just laughed at him mockingly and called him an idiot. No. Ulquiorra not bear the thought.
"I'm sorry," Szayel said.
Ulquiorra shook his head. "It's alright. I-"
Just then, a knock came at the door.
"Coming!" Szayel called out, making towards the door.
The emerald eyed Espada looked at ground, lost in his thoughts. He did not even bother to look up to greet the visitor. It was probably one of Szayel's freaky fraccions, arriving with some new specimens in hand for Aporro Grantz to dissect. Most of the residents of Las Noches stayed away from the Octava, particularly the lower arrancars, for fear of being next in line of becoming the pink haired scientist's new guinea pig or specimen to dissect. It was only the Espadas that were ranked above the Octava that dared to make contact with Szayel.
"Hello," Szayel said. "How are you, Grimmjow?"
That name alone was enough to pull Ulquiorra out of his thoughts and make him stiffen. He had completely forgotten that the Sexta usually came by at this time. If he had remembered, he would have come to Szayel's a little later. The pale skinned arrancar's emerald eyes widened and he slowly lifted his head up, only to be met with sapphire eyes. Grimmjow was looking at him. Ulquiorra felt like he had stopped breathing altogether, panic now rising up his throat. He gripped the edges of the table that he was sitting on tightly.
Grimmjow and Ulquiorra looked at each other intently, both never moving, never breaking the eye contact. The silence that hung in the air was so thick, Ulquiorra felt like he could suffocate in it.
Szayel looked at Grimmjow, then at Ulquiorra, then back again, wondering whether he should break the silence.
But he did not need to worry about that seeing that Grimmjow had decided to do it for him. "Ulquiorra," Grimmjow said. He took a step towards the Cuarto Espada, lifting his hand up as though to reach out for the slender arrancar.
Hearing his name come out of Grimmjow's mouth was enough for Ulquiorra's brain to start functioning once more. The emerald eyed arrancar blinked a few times, and then finally closed his eyes and looked away from Grimmjow, signaling that he did not want to have anything to do with the Sexta at the moment. "Trash," he muttered. The moment the words slipped past his lips, Ulquiorra immediately regretted it. He knew that this was his way of pushing the Sexta away. It came out, like a reflex. He wished that he could take them back now, but it was too late.
Hurt flashed through sapphire eyes. Grimmjow looked like he wanted to say more, but seeing the negative reaction that he had gotten from Ulquiorra, he pulled his hand back and bit his bottom lip. The teal haired arrancar took one final look at Ulquiorra, who still had his head turned away defiantly, and turned back to face the Octava.
"I'm here for my daily drug," Grimmjow grinned, showing his canines (or rather, felines?), his demeanor immediately changing, acting as though nothing had transpired between himself and the Cuarto.
Hearing the Sexta joke made Ulquiorra's heart tighten. How could the Sexta be able to act like this when Ulquiorra was suffering? Dealing with his inner turmoil? Well, he reasoned with himself, it's not like Grimmjow knows what I'm going through, after all.
Amber eyes narrowed. "They are not drugs," Szayel retorted, irritated.
"Then what do you call them then? Crack?"
"They are called vitamins, Grimmjow," Szayel gritted out, not wanting to lose his temper and start a fight with the Sexta. That was a battle that he would never be able to win. He grabbed a bottle that had Grimmjow's name on it, dropped a few pills onto the palm of his hand and pressed them into Grimmjow's hands. "Here. You know what to do. Drink these with a glass of water."
"Yeah yeah. I'm not stupid." Grimmjow waved a hand at Szayel dismissively and turned on his heel to walk out of the Octava's room. "See ya later, Grantz." Before he walked out of the door, he gazed at Ulquiorra's back for a second or two, looking like he wanted to say something to the Cuarto but seemed to have thought better of it and left.
As soon as the teal haired arrancar was gone, Szayel shut the door and turned to look at Ulquiorra, who still had his head turned away.
"Ulquiorra." Szayel paused. "Why didn't you talk to him just now?"
Ulquiorra closed his eyes, trying to still his breathing and fast beating heart. "Like I have said," Ulquiorra said, straightening up. "It is not important."
"But he looked like he wanted to talk to you."
"He didn't." The pale arrancar got off the table he was sitting on. "He probably just wanted to fight with me. It is his nature, after all, to fight." He walked towards the pink haired scientist. "I see that you have located it. My vitamins now, if you please, Szayel." He nodded at a bottle that Szayel held in his hand. "It is important that I get this done as quickly as possible. I have some duties to attend to," Ulquiorra lied. He just did not want to talk about this whole matter anymore. And it was quite likely that if his comrade continued probing him, it would only end with Szayel's death, and Ulquiorra did not want to answer to Aizen-sama when his top scientist turned up dead.
Sensing Ulquiorra's reluctance to discuss the matter any further, Szayel merely nodded and dropped the pills into Ulquiorra's waiting hand.
"Thank you." And with that, Ulquiorra left.
Ulquiorra walked down the hallway, making his way to his room. His room was only four doors away from the Octava's. He walked past Zommari's room and stopped for a moment when he came to the white door that had a black gothic number six written on it; it was Grimmjow's room.
Ulquiorra stood outside of the Sexta's room, gazing at the white door, his hands shoved in his pockets, contemplating what he should do. Grimmjow was definitely in there. Ulquiorra could sense Grimmjow's reiatsu coming from inside the room. And from the way Jeagerjaques' reiatsu was behaving erratically, it seemed that the Sexta was having some sort of conflict. Not with someone else since Ulquiorra could not sense any other reiatsu coming from that room. Rather, it seemed that Grimmjow was perhaps having some sort of inner conflict?
The emerald eyed arrancar pulled a hand out of the confines of one of this pockets and reached out to rest his hand on the cool metal of the doorknob. Should he confront Grimmjow just like Szayel had suggested? Perhaps it would be better to just put an end to the stupid doubts and fears in his mind right here, right now. Then he would not have to think about this anymore. Or go through sleepless nights just because he did not want to see the image of a certain someone.
Ulquiorra was about to twist the doorknob open when he felt Grimmjow's reiatsu suddenly became stable and started approaching towards the door until it finally stopped behind the door. Ulquiorra's eyes widened. The Sexta must have felt his presence. Withdrawing his white hand from the doorknob, Ulquiorra turned on his heel and quickly walked away before Grimmjow could open the door and find out that Ulquiorra had been lingering outside his door just moments ago, eager to return to his own room.
Once Ulquiorra was in the confines of his room, he shut the door behind him and leant against the door, slowly sliding down to the floor, his back still against the door, breathing heavily.
That was close.
He nearly got caught by Grimmjow.
He was not ready. The confrontation had to wait for another time.
Letting out a shuddering breath, Ulquiorra slowly got up and made his way to the dressing table and gazed at his reflection in the mirror that hung above the dressing table. That all too familiar pale, doll-like face stared back at him. His slightly messy raven hair nearly reached his shoulders. Large emerald eyes were looking back at him with a look of exhaustion in them.
What on Hueco Mundo was happening to him?
He was a strong and proud Espada. Since when did he start running away from someone? Especially from someone who was lower ranked than him? He was usually able to face his problems and solve them with ease, but when it came to the Sexta, Ulquiorra could not do anything. That was the effect that Grimmjow had on Ulquiorra.
He had not always been this way when it came to the Sexta. At the beginning, all he felt towards Grimmjow Jeagerjaques was indifference. He did not bother with the Sexta, the Sexta did not bother with him. However, there were times that Grimmjow disagreed with him but Ulquiorra simply ignored him, further infuriating Grimmjow. From there, when Grimmjow began challenging Ulquiorra on nearly every matter that Ulquiorra began to view the Sexta with distaste and contempt. But all of that ended when Ulquiorra began having dreams of Grimmjow.
The moment he started having the dreams about the Sexta a few months ago, Ulquiorra was mortified beyond belief. He was not able to look Grimmjow in the eye after that. Whenever he did, Ulquiorra would immediately move as far away from the Sexta as possible or if he was not able to move away, he would avert his gaze from the Sexta's. If Grimmjow had noticed this change of behaviour in Ulquiorra, he did not make any comment on it. Well, he did, at first. He would grumpily ask why Ulquiorra was acting so weird and that it was pissing him off.
Emerald eyes averted their gaze from sapphire ones.
Grimmjow grabbed Ulquiorra's arm, fire blazing in his sapphire eyes. He was furious. "Teme. Why the fuck are you being so weird nowadays? It's pissing me the hell off. Will you fucking cut it out?" He squeezed the Cuarto's arm painfully intending to hurt Ulquiorra.
Ulquiorra merely looked at the hand that was gripping his arm and said coolly, seemingly unaffected, not once meeting Grimmjow's gaze, "Let go of me, Sexta."
But after awhile, those comments died and Grimmjow himself began to become more silent around Ulquiorra.
Perhaps he knew that trying to get a word out of Ulquiorra would be fruitless?
Or perhaps… Perhaps…
Ulquiorra shook his head.
He would not entertain that thought. It was not possible, anyways.
Ulquiorra gazed at his reflection and raised his hand to touch his cheek lightly with his fingertips.
These tear tracks.
At first, they were nothing more than birth marks to him. Something that he was born with. If a person was to take one glance at him with these marks, they would immediately assume that he was a weak and rather sensitive individual when he was actually cold, strong and stoic. In spite of how fragile and delicate Ulquiorra looked, he was the exact opposite of what people thought of him at first glance. But, if they looked at him now, Ulquiorra would have said that their assumptions were correct. Because somewhere along the way, Ulquiorra had become this. This weak being.
And he hated it.
This was not him. Ulquiorra glared at his reflection. He was the strong, proud Cuarto Espada. And no one, especially not the Sexta Espada, could bring him down.
With that thought, Ulquiorra downed the pills and drank a glass of water. He was tired and he needed rest. Tomorrow, tomorrow he was going to confront Grimmjow Jeagerjaques for sure.
Szayel was rearranging the bottles in the cabinet once he had given the vitamins to all of his fellow Espadas. The last one being Stark. No surprise there since all the man did was sleep. He was the laziest person that Szayel had ever come across; how Stark was the Primera Espada was a mystery to him. He had probably forgotten to come and only came when Lilinette kicked him awake and reminded him at the very last minute.
The pink haired scientist rubbed at his amber eyes tiredly. Really. This ridiculous job was going to be the death of him. Keeping track of all of his fellow Espadas' vitamin intake was not fun. And trying to get them to take the stupid pills was even worse.
Then he caught sight of the bottle of pills that he had given Ulquiorra. He picked it up, his eyes heavy with sleep but immediately snapped awake when he read the label.
Oh. My. Fucking. God.
Szayel's hold on the bottle loosened and it slipped out of his fingers, falling to the floor.
He had given Ulquiorra the wrong pills.
He was so dead.
Ulquiorra woke up the next day feeling extremely groggy. The emerald eyed arrancar rubbed at his eyes tiredly, slipping out of the covers of his bed and making his way to the dressing table. He remembered absently that he had promised himself that today he was going to confront Grimmjow. If he was going to do that, he might as well be well dressed and presentable. Ulquiorra stood in front of the dressing table and felt around for the hairbrush, his eyes still heavy with sleep.
Finally locating it, Ulquiorra grabbed it and ran it through his raven locks. Once he had made sure that his hair was free from tangles, he unbuttoned his top and discarded it to the floor. He needed to shower. As if on cue, his eyes began to focus and he found himself staring at his reflection openmouthed, eyes wide in a mixture of shock and horror.
It was at that very moment that Ulquiorra learned that he had somehow sprouted tits overnight. The whole of Hueco Mundo must have heard the scream that emitted from Ulquiorra Schiffer's room.