This is just a simple one shot fluff. I couldn't help myself! You won't be getting any other chapters to this because I have so many other stories to write. I hope you enjoy!

OMG! It's a cheesy one shot! xD

Author: Ongaku
Genre:
Romance
Series
: Bleach
Pairing:
Ulquiorra/Orihime
Summary:
Orihime's Birthdays were always such a bitter sweet day for her.


Birthdays – One Shot

Her Birthdays have never been anything fancy.

When she was barely old enough to walk she was lucky if her parents had forgotten it. If they did remember they would yell at her and hurt her. They would tell her how worthless she is and how they would be better off if she was never brought into the world.

She was too young to understand what they were really saying but she knew it was scary. Her brother would be working all day, but he would make sure to come home early on her Birthday. He would give her a great big hug and then sneak her out of the house for an ice cream cone.

It was the highlight of her life. She loved being with her brother more than anything in the world.

After her brother was old enough to take her away from that awful place, and raise her as his own, her Birthday's would turn out a little more pleasant.

It still wasn't much, but she didn't expect or want much. She was happy enough to be away from the abusive parents and spending her life with her beloved brother.

She would go to school and, like usual, be picked on by the kids in her school. She was able to ignore it on her birthday and keep a smile on her face because she knew her brother would be waiting for her when she got home.

He always bought a small cake and a movie rental. They would eat it together with great big smiles and talk and laugh all night long. He would then let her take the next day off from school if she was too tired.

She never did it though. It was because he never took a break from work. She didn't want to be the only one so lazy that she couldn't even go to school, even though she hated it.

Her brother seemed to be so proud of her but she was more proud of her brother than anyone would really know. Seeing him made her feel like the luckiest sister ever.

So when he told her how he loved her long hair she was super happy. She was even happier when he bought her these cute hair pins.

It was also the reason she couldn't just outright tell him that she was being bullied for it. When the kids chopped at it with scissors Orihime felt crushed.

She didn't care that much about her hair but she knew her brother loved it.

When she came home with really short hair she told him a lie so he wouldn't feel guilty or worried about her. He gave her the saddest look that day and Orihime tried her hardest not to break out in tears.

It was the first time he looked disappointed in her.

She had no idea that he would die not to long after that. It was the worst feeling in the world. She clung to her brother's body, begging him not to leave her alone.

It was then that she decided to never cut her hair again. She also wore the cute hair pins he had given her, every day, even if they didn't match or if she got to old for them.

It was to help remind her of her brother and to never cut her hair short. Some people might have thought she was trying to punish herself by wearing them all the time but that was far from the truth.

She felt more like she didn't deserve to have them so she was going to cherish them as if they were the most expensive item she owned.

In a way, they were. Even though they were probably no more than 500 yen, to her they were priceless.

After he died Orihime dreaded her Birthday. She knew she would be all alone and it would make his death all the more realistic.

Thankfully a girl in her class befriended her. Tatsuki was the nicest person she had met since her brother. She loved spending time with the girl and started to become more bubbly and happy. She also started to get along with her classmates.

When her Birthday came around she was surprised to see Tatsuki at her house, waiting for her with a Birthday cake. She broke out into tears and Tatsuki freaked but she was just so happy and relieved that she wouldn't be alone.

So many things happened to her after that. She learned that her brother was lonely once she started to become happy again. He changed into a scary monster who wanted to kill her. She was scared at first until she realized he was just her brother, with a broken heart. She felt guilt for not praying for him everyday like she use to.

So she willing walked up to her brother and told him that if she were to die she wouldn't have minded if it was by his hands. When she thought he was going to make the fatal blow, nothing happened. She opened her eyes to see her brother's crying face.

He had realized what he had become and couldn't believe he was about to hurt the one person he loved the most. Orihime began to cry as well and then Ichigo saved them both by helping him cross over.

After that, Orihime was in love with Ichigo.

She wanted to get to know him better and learn to fight so she could protect her friends like he did. She ended up gaining a power thanks to the hairpins her brother gave her and the strong powers that leaked from Ichigo. She wasn't strong but at least she could be of some help and that was enough for her.

However, when her friends where being threatened she couldn't do anything except willingly give herself up again.

The man-like being that took her away from her happy life was named Ulquiorra. Orihime could tell he was really strong so she did as he said without complaint. Even though he intimidated her she had a feeling that he would not go back on his word.

She wasn't captured by them for long before her friends came to the rescue. At first she was upset that they would risk their lives to get her back when she left them in the first place to save their lives. Yet, when Ulquiorra started to insult her friends all she could feel was anger.

Enough anger that she actually retaliated and slapped him across the face. She was scared of what he would do but surprised to find out he did nothing. He just gave her a strange look and left the room, telling her to eat.

She broke down in tears after that. She felt so many emotions but the worry for her friends and the pain in her hand was only part of the reason she cried.

She cried because she felt something in Ulquiorra when she had slapped him. His face was hard, but yet it was warm, which surprised her because she thought he would be icy cold like death. When their eyes met, Orihime's heart felt like it was being crushed. At first she didn't understand it but later she realized it was because Ulquiorra was always feeling that pain.

She wanted to help him but she felt completely hopeless. She didn't want him to fight her friends, for her friends' safety and because of his.

When he asked her if she was scared she told him no because the heart of her and her friends beat as one. He looked surprised and then angry and started to say scary things about ripping open her chest or cracking open her head to find her heart.

When he reached up to her chest, to where her heart would be, it began to pound quickly.

He might have been making threats to kill her but she did not feel the least bit scared, almost like when her brother had changed.

Later, when he asked her why she didn't help her friends sooner she didn't know what to tell him. He started to say something but then Ichigo interrupted him.

Orihime just continued to stare at Ulquiorra.

When the battle was over and Ulquiorra had lost Orihime felt the pain in her chest even more than before. It was so intense that she couldn't help but tear up. He reached his hand out to her and asked if she was scared of him.

She didn't even have to think about it, she wasn't scared of him at all. In fact, she felt love for him. She wasn't sure she could call it being in love but she knew she felt love for him. Not as a brother and not just as a friend, but a sort of strange bond she had never felt before. It wasn't the same feeling she got when she thought she was in love with Ichigo.

She told him she wasn't afraid of him and tried to reach out to him but it was too late. As soon as her hand touched his it turned to ash and he was gone.

She fell too her knees and started to sob silently.

Ichigo and Uryu didn't bother her. They let her cry for a few minutes. Then Ichigo ran off to help the others fight and Orihime healed Uryu's wounds.

A year after all of this and the war was over. Everyone was in good spirits because they had won.

Orihime was happy that the fighting was over but she could never be the same cheerful person she used to be. She was a changed woman, tainted by pain, death, and sorrow.

She went about her days, smiling and pretending to be normal, but inside she was drowning in despair. She didn't want her friends to worry about her, she knew they loved her and she loved them but this was something they would never be able to help her with.

Today was her birthday for the sixteenth time. She was not happy about it though. She wanted to just stay home and be left alone but her friends would never allow that.

So she splashed some cool water on her face and smiled big into the mirror. It was hard but she kept doing it until she felt it was natural.

The doorbell to her apartment rang and Orihime bounced her way to answer it.

Tatsuki was on the other end. She was there to walk with her too school and wish her a Happy Birthday. Orihime smiled at her and thanked her, then grabbed her bag and headed out the door.

She tried to block out all the thoughts that had rushed through her head all night long. She felt exhausted but was use to not sleeping much so it went unnoticed by her friends.


"HAPPY BIRTHDAY ORIHIME!"

Orihime flinched as Chizuru ran up to her and grabbed her tightly. It wasn't long before Tatsuki was pulling her off with great force and lecturing her about keeping her distance.

As they continued with their antics, Orihime made her way to her desk only to stop halfway when she noticed something on it.

It was an oh-so familiar item and a folded piece of paper.

Orihime's heart stopped. She couldn't believe her eyes.

"What's wrong Orihime?" Tatsuki said as she followed her gaze to see what had made her friend look so upset.

"Ohhh! Looks like you have a secret admirer!" One of the guys in class said.

Orihime rushed over to her desk and snatched the paper. It didn't take her long to read the contents but as soon as she did she felt complete anger.

"Who did this?!" She yelled and all the people in her class stopped what they were doing in shock.

"Orihime calm down, what's wrong?"

Once Orihime realized what she was doing she lowered her head and started to shake. "I'm sorry, it's just. It's not funny. Who ever did this, it's just cruel and insensitive."

With that Orihime grabbed her bag and exited the class as fast as possible.

Tatsuki wanted to run after her but decided against it when she noticed Ichigo was in the room as well.

"Do you know what this is all about?" she asked him with anger in her voice.

"Don't ask me, I haven't a clue." Ichigo just glared back, getting tired of being blamed for everything that happened to Orihime.

Tatsuki looked at the items on the desk and sigh. She didn't see what was so bad about it. The gold bracelet was simple, yet elegant.

She took the piece of paper off the desk and read it.

"This is it, Woman."

Tatsuki was even more confused. So it wasn't a love letter. In fact, it wasn't even nice since he signed it with Woman instead of her name.

"This doesn't make any sense!" She was about to rip the paper when Uryu came up to her and stopped her.

"Let me take a look." He pushed up his glasses and then held out his hand.

Tatsuki wasn't sure about it since it was her friend's private business but decided it couldn't hurt since the letter had nothing personal on it.

She watched as Uryu read the letter and saw his face go from serious too shocked.

"I was afraid of this."

Tatsuki looked stunned. She couldn't believe he could understand it when she couldn't.

"What is it? Why would she act so upset?"

Uryu looked at Ichigo and Ichigo nodded.

"Follow us." Uryu left the classroom with Tatsuki, Ichigo, Chad, and Rukia close behind.

Once they got to a secluded area Uryu began to talk.

"Ichigo, do you remember your fight with Ulquiorra?"

Ichigo scowled. "How could I forget? I almost died!"

Tatsuki hit him on the back of the head. "What does that have to do with this?"

Uryu turned to Tatsuki and began to explain. "Well, you know how Orihime was taken hostage by the other side right?"

Tatsuki just nodded her head.

"Well the one who took her was an Espada named Ulquiorra."

"I still don't understand how this relates."

That's when Rukia butted in. "If I remember correctly, Uryu, you said that after he died she cried violently to herself."

"That's right, but before he died he asked her if she was afraid of him and called her, woman."

Tatsuki's eyes widened as Ichigo turned away, remembering how wrong that fight went.

"So, are you trying to say that she had feelings for her captor? Don't you think those feelings would just be Stockholm syndrome?" Tatsuki didn't like the way this discussion was heading.

"If you were to have seen her that day you wouldn't be saying that. Believe me when I say I was in total shock. Ichigo and I couldn't do anything but just stand there and wait for her to ride it out."

Tatsuki tried to take it all in but she just couldn't picture her best friend falling in love with someone so scary sounding. She used to be afraid of Ichigo for crying out loud!

"What about the bracelet?"

"Well, the letter makes it seem like it would be from him but that can't be possible since he is gone. The bracelet might have some sort of meaning for the short amount of time they spent together."

The group of people stared at each other, not knowing what to make of it.

"I guess, I should go and talk to her." Tatsuki headed back to the class to prepare to lie to the teacher so she could go home.

The rest of the group nodded their heads and Rukia followed. "Let me go with you."

Tatsuki wasn't sure if she should let Rukia go. She knew Orihime liked her but Orihime was also jealous of her because of the relationship she had with Ichigo. However, if she was no long in love with Ichigo it couldn't hurt to have another person there. "Okay."


"Orihime? Please let us in." Tatsuki knocked on Orihime's apartment door with Rukia standing next to her.

Orihime opened the door but she didn't look good. She had tear marks on her face and red eyes.

Rukia looked a little uncomfortable at the sight but Tatsuki wasn't surprised. Orihime let them both in and started to prepare some tea.

"You don't have to do that Orihime." Tatsuki said as she took a seat at the table.

Orihime just shook her head, "its fine. I want to."

The room was silent and the air was tense. Both girls looked at each trying to decide when it would be best to speak and what would be the best way to start out.

After they were all settled with their tea Tatsuki decided it was now or never.

"So Orihime, about the bracelet and note this morning…"

To her surprised Orihime didn't pull away. "I know. I'm sorry I acted that way it just came as a shock to me, that's all."

Rukia decided to talk as well. "What happened?" she pulled out the items and handed them to Orihime.

Orihime grabbed for the bracelet and held is carefully. "This bracelet, it was something that Ulquiorra gave me so that I could say my goodbyes to this world. I never thought I would see it again."

Rukia and Tatsuki looked at each other but said no more.

"When I wore it nobody could see me except for the Arrancars." She placed the bracelet down on the table but didn't take her eyes off it.

There was another long pause before anyone said anything else.

"Look guys, I'm grateful that you care enough to be here and are worried but I'm going to be okay." Orihime's voice cracked some as she finished her sentence as more tears fell from her eyes.

Tatsuki moved over to Orihime's side and put her arms around her. Orihime clung to her best friend's shirt as she began to cry harder.

"I'm sorry. I thought I was okay but-"

"It's okay Orihime, you don't have to put up a front in front of us." Tatsuki patted her back lightly.

Rukia came up and tapped Orihime's shoulder.

Orihime turned her head to see what she wanted.

"You loved him didn't you?"

More tears leaked from her eyes as she nodded. "I didn't know it until it was too late. I didn't really understand until he reached out for me. It was then that I felt his heart."

Rukia remembered something about her past that made it so she could relate.

"Orihime, I know what you are going through. There was a man that I loved a lot even though he already loved another, even though I was the one who had to kill him."

Orihime shot up from Tatsuki and looked at Rukia with worried eyes.

"He had turned into a hollow and asked me to kill him before he lost himself completely. He told me that his heart was left with me. I wasn't able to forgive myself for this and carried it around with me for a long time."

Rukia took a small break before continuing her story.

"I'm not that way anymore. His death doesn't bring me sad memories anymore. I'm able to remember the good times and be happy that he trusted me with his heart in the end."

Orihime never stopped crying. She grabbed for Rukia and Rukia let her as she clung to her tightly.

Tatsuki felt a little out of the loop since she had never experience any strong emotions of love but she knew not to say anything. It was a good thing she had let Rukia come because she wouldn't have known what to say to Orihime when it came to love.

After a few minutes they finally broke apart and Orihime had stopped crying. She wiped at her eyes and cleared her throat.

Tatsuki took this moment to speak. "What I don't get is if this guy is gone, how did you get those things on your desk?"

Orihime shook her head. "I have no idea that's why I thought it might be some sick joke."

Tatsuki sat up from her chair and clapped her hands together. "Well, there is no use in worrying about it right now. I say we make some food and have a sleep over. We can worry about it tomorrow."

Rukia sat up, bringing Orihime along with her. "That's sound like a great idea. Let's go shopping."

Orihime smiled at her friends' enthusiasm. She was grateful for them since it was a nice distraction from all the emotions she was going through.


Orihime awoke the next morning feeling a little better but still in deep thought as to why she had the bracelet and note. It put a bit of a damper on her sixteenth birthday but at the same time it kept her from having to put on airs.

She got up quietly so not to wake her friends. She smiled when she saw that Tatsuki was all stretched out and showing her belly while Rukia was cuddled up in a small ball.

Her friends were both so different and yet they were the best friends she has ever had and trusted them both the same.

Getting to her bathroom, Orihime took a good look of herself in the mirror and blanched. She looked like hell. Turning to the shower the turned it on and felt until it was just the right temperature.

The water felt wonderful on her dried up skin and crazy hair. It almost felt like it was washing away a lot of the stress she was feeling the previous day. It probably helped that she was able to cry and laugh yesterday.

Not wanting to waste much time, and because she heard her friend waking up. She quickly got of the shower and dried off. She loved the smell of her shampoo, sweet, like strawberries, but not over done like some of the scents could be.

Staring down at her clothes she spotted the bracelet that Ulquiorra had given her. It was really rather pretty. She picked it up and slipped it on, hoping that it had lost its power so she would wear it.

After she was fully dressed she headed to the kitchen only to see that her friends were already making themselves at home and cooking up breakfast.

"You look much better today." Tatsuki said as she scrambled the eggs.

"Thanks, I feel like a big load has been lifted off my shoulders." Orihime felt relief when they were able to see her.

Rukia patted a seat next to her and Orihime followed.

"Yeah, crying out and getting some emotions free when you have bottled them up for so long can help that."

Orihime just nodded and giggled slightly when her stomach rumbled.

The rest of the girls giggled as well as they all prepared for breakfast and school.


When Orihime and her friends got to school, Ichigo and Rukia started to fight already. He was mad that she left him alone all night to fight of the hollows. She told him to shut up and get over himself because he was big enough to take care of them himself.

Just when Orihime thought she would get by, Uryu stopped her with a serious look on his face.

Tatsuki stopped as well but Orihime told her to go on ahead. At first she looked like she wouldn't do it until Rukia grabbed her arm to drag her along.

"I might know how you got those things yesterday."

Orihime nodded her head and followed Uryu to a more secluded area.

"Come with me after school, Urahara wants to see you."

Orihime eyes widened at the mention of Urahara's name. She should have known he would have something to with this. He always seemed to be the root of so many problems.

When she got back into her classroom she noticed that Ichigo was staring at her. She felt a little uncomfortable by his gaze by waved at him and smiled.

Ichigo must have felt stupid by this so he got up to talk to her.

"Um, I never really got to tell you that I'm sorry about that time."

Orihime's smile faltered a little bit. "Don't worry about it, Kurosaki. It wasn't your fault. Nothing could be done to avoid it. He was hell bent on fighting."

"I see you are wearing that bracelet."

Orihime raised her arm instinctively and touched it. "It's-"

She paused in what she was about to say but when Ichigo gave her no indication that he was there to judge she went ahead with it.

"It's the only link I have with him. He is the one I love." Her last part was quiet but Ichigo heard it because he blushed slightly and tried to cough it off.

"I'm sorry."

Orihime's smile was completely gone by then. She didn't want him to feel sorry for her or for what had happened but she felt like no matter what she said he wouldn't move on from it. That was something only Rukia could do, which is why she decided she could no longer love Ichigo.

The bell rang and the teacher came through the door not to long after. Ichigo finally went back to his seat and Orihime breathed a sigh of relief. It was going to be the longest school day of her life.


"Welcome Orihime and Uryu! I have been waiting for you." Urahara opened the door to his home even before they could knock.

The two young adults just blinked and followed him in, taking a seat at a table in the back.

Sitting at the table was a little black cat, as they all knew as Yoruichi. She hardly ever took her human form when she was down on earth for some reason.

"Can I see it?"

Orihime was puzzled at first as to what Urahara was asking about but then realized it he was meaning the bracelet. She lifted up her arm and gently took it off, setting it down on the table.

"Humm…"

There was nothing but silence for the longest time but Orihime dared not say anything. Although Urahara was not a mean guy she couldn't help but feel self conscious. Ever since he had coldly told her to stay out of the war because she was too weak she could never really be the same way around him.

Urahara actually knew this and felt guilty about it, but he figured it was his punishment for being so harsh. Someday he would tell her he was sorry but today was not that day.

"This was sent to me from Soul Society. They said they found it at the remains of Aizen's castle. The note is actually a torn piece of paper, the only part of it left that wasn't blown away or burnt to a crisp."

He put the bracelet back down and Orihime took it.

"I was the one who left it on your desk at school, thinking it was the best way to give it back to you without disturbing you. However, Uryu told me it had the opposite effect."

Orihime blushed slightly when she realized she made her friends worry.

"I'm sorry Orihime. I didn't mean to spill out your life to everyone."

Orihime just shook her head.

"Thank you Urahara-san. I'm glad you gave it to me instead of just tossing it aside."

Urahara scratched at his chin. "Well the interesting thing about this is- I was actually threatened to give it to you by one of the remaining Arrancar's."

"What?" Orihime was surprised by this news, but then she figured he had to find out why the bracelet connects to her in some way.

"Yes, the green haired one that drools."

Orihime giggled at the thought when she realized he was talking about baby Nell.

"She said that she just knew that Ulquiorra wanted you to have it. Something about the presence he left behind in his room was so strong, almost like his soul was lingering to try and tell someone to give that to you."

Tears started to leak from Orihime's eyes again at the mention of Ulquiorra's name. She was sort of happy to know that he wasn't completely gone even though she couldn't see him anymore.

Urahara paused and worked up the courage to say the rest.

"I believe you will see him again Orihime."

Orihime looked up at Urahara and glared. She didn't want to be told false hopes as if she was a stupid child.

Urahara noticed her glare and flinched. He should have know she wouldn't have taken that well. "I'm serious Orihime. I don't think Ulquiorra is gone. I believe when he took you captive he found his heart, slowly, but surely. When he died he realized his heart and therefore he was purified."

Orihime softened her look when she realized he was being serious. "So, you think he is in soul society?"

That's when Yoruichi spoke up, "not exactly."

Orihime was now confused.

"We think he was already reborn on earth."

"What?" she didn't understand this at all wasn't there a thing called balance that had to be kept in order?

"He won't be the same." Urahara said. "I believe he will remember you once he sees that bracelet, which is why his aura was so adamant on you having it. If you ever want to meet him again I suggest you wear it all the time."

Orihime got up from her place at the table and kept her head down. She didn't know what to do about this new information. She was happy about it but upset at the same time.

She was happy to know that he was getting to start over as a normal human being but upset that she would want to see him knowing he was out there and it might not ever happen for years, if at all.

"I think I need to go home and think about this."

Urahara just nodded his head. "I'm sorry to just drop this on you, but I thought you should know."

Orihime smiled at him and nodded her head as he got up to show her out the door.

"I'm thankful, Urahara-san. I truly am."

Urahara looked at her sadly and hated himself a little more inside. He always seemed to make her sad.


It was twenty years later and Orihime was now a full grown adult, working a full time job and keeping herself busy.

She saw a lot of her friends from time to time but they weren't around her like they use to be, especially not Ichigo and Rukia. They had gotten married and were busy taking care of their kids.

Tatsuki was the one she saw the most still. She was the only one she would celebrate her Birthday with.

Orihime touched the small hairpins on her head. They were really worn out but she would never take them off. She had comments about them from other female staff at her job but once she told them that it was a gift from her deceased brother they left her alone.

She then touched the tattered bracelet on her wrist. She had been doing her best to keep it in the best of condition. She was lucky that it didn't look like something cheap so it didn't turn green over the years. She had taken it to a jeweler once to get it cleaned and he had gasp at it and tried to get her to sale it to him.

That was the last time she let someone else touch it.

Today was her thirty-sixth birthday and Orihime was starting to feel her age. She had many prospects over the years but she could never really fall in love with them. She had her heart set on one man that she knew was out there.

Sometimes she felt really lonely and was tempted to give in and try to love someone else but it wouldn't be long before she came back to her senses.

Tatsuki didn't like her that way but she couldn't do much about it. She wasn't really one to talk anyway since she only married no to long go. Her husband was a nice guy, simple and down to earth. She knew he was a perfect match for Tatsuki, when she had told her that she just blushed and tried to change the subject.

This year Orihime would spend her birthday by herself. It would be the first time it ever happened. Tatsuki tried to insist on coming back early from her honey moon to celebrate it but Orihime held her foot down and said no.

She was old enough now to not be overly upset about being alone. Besides, she never truly felt alone with the memories of her beloved brother and love with her every day and every night.

Since Orihime had nothing better to do she decided to take an extra shift for a friend of hers at work. It probably wasn't the best thing, since working as a nurse for that long would be really tiring but she needed the extra money and going home to an empty house didn't seem very appealing.

She hated the afternoon shift thought. It was always hectic and full of people getting in the way of her job. Still, she was a popular nurse. All her patients seemed to really like her.

She really liked them as well. At first it took her awhile to get use to were she worked. They place was a nursing home, and therefore people would die quiet often. Over time she grew us to it and even got to see some of them move on to Soul Society with a smile on their face.

Her two shifts were almost over when a bunch of people came rushing in with a new resident. The lady was very frail and tired looking. Orihime popped her fingers and stretched before she made her way over.

"Hello, my name is Orihime. I will be one of the RN's here that will take care of you." Orihime smiled brightly and lightly touched her on the shoulder. She didn't want to get too much into her space but she didn't want to seem like a cold jerk either.

She was the head RN at her job and she made it a strict rule not to get into their personal space or call them pet names.

The lady didn't really respond but she knew she was heard. It seemed as those she suffered from a sever stroke.

Orihime brought her arm up to her hair to push it out of her way. The bracelet on her arm jingled lightly.

"Orihime?"

That's when Orihime noticed a man standing behind the old lady. He was the one who was pushing her in the wheel chair. The man looked to be in his early 40's but his face still looked young and full of life.

She studied him carefully until he came up to her and grabbed her arm.

Orihime yelped slightly in surprise and was about to smack him until she realized he was looking at the bracelet on her arm.

"Your name is Orihime?"

Orihime's heart stopped. A familiar feeling was seeping into her as the man sill had her arm in his hand.

"Hai."

The man let go of her hand and smiled softly. "I've been looking for you for such a long time."

Tears welled up in her eyes. "Ulquiorra?" She never would have guessed it was him by his appearance, but his presence was exactly the same as she remembered.

She stumbled closer to him as the tears fell down her face. She wrapped her arms around him and clung to him tightly.

He didn't make any moves to get her to left go and instead reached up to hug her back. It was so strange to see him express so much in this short amount of time.

"Happy Birthday, Orihime."

Orihime gasped. "How did you know?"

They pulled apart and Ulquiorra pointed to the balloons hanging next to her station.

"Oh." She blushed feeling very stupid at the moment. She should have known that the observant side of him was still the same.

The embarrassment didn't last long when everything just dawned on her. He was there, Ulquiorra, finally the man she loved was in her sight. Not only that, but he showed up on her Birthday, the only one she was going to spend alone.

Somewhere deep down inside she knew it was because she was being watched over by her brother. He didn't want her to feel the loneliness he had to go through.

Ulquiorra took her hand and brought her closer to him. "I hope you don't have a man."

Orihime shook her head.

"Good." Then he pulled her close and pressed his lips to hers.

She gave into the kiss even though it didn't last too long before she was getting cat calls from the male staff at her job. She pulled away and smiled brightly. "This is the best Birthday I have ever had."

And it truly was. Orihime had never felt happier.


The End.