I was always running. Always running through the rain. Always, my hair would dance with glistening shards. Always, my body would be worn and damp. Always, I would be alone.

Until now.

I knew there were others, I just didn't know if they were alive. I had always dreamed of finding someone else, but never thought it would actually happen.

Everything happens eventually.

Shattered Light

Introduction

I used to love the rain, until it became too close to me. It was dark out, completely dark because of the clouds. I missed the moon now; I missed the light of the stars and the vibrancy they threw against the night sky. Nighttime was when I traveled. It was not the safest, but it was much better than traveling in the day when everyone could see me.

Tonight it was cold. The iciness of the water splashing against my exposed skin made me shiver as I folded my arms to my chest. My shirt was merely a tank top, I never seemed to have enough clothes since I didn't have the time to make money or settle anywhere for long. My jeans were worn; holes lining them with a sequence of tears and frayed edges. My hair was wavy, flattened by the wetness that always seemed to be my shadow. Perhaps I just noticed the rain more since I began running, but it seemed to be following me everywhere these days. I hoped that would stop.

A piece of stationary carried my directions from a mysterious source, someone who was like me, but clearly had found a place to hide, or had stolen money. I did not recognize his name, but I knew he was safe. It could be a trap, but how he wrote, the illness to his tone – he was in agony as well. Of course, I didn't mind running all the time. It was refreshing sometimes, living on the edge, scattering my life across the world. Other times, I wanted to have someone beside me, I wanted to travel with a partner, knowing someone else shared my pain. This man… he seemed to carry a decent personality, at least from his letter. Letters, didn't tell much, especially not business related ones. Most people carried the same business tone, but when it carried as much precision as his, I had hope that he was intellectual enough to trust my time with.

I usually took to the forest when I traveled, but a direct route was given to me, and it cut across fields more than anything. I trusted his instincts, his details were so thorough I knew he had an idea of how to avoid danger. He wouldn't want me to expose him, after all. I had no idea how he had found out about me nor did I know how the letter happened inside my bag when I was asleep. I took it as a sign. If someone went through the trouble to be that sly, he was working under tight order.

My feet were worn, and I knew the sun would be up in a couple hours. I was supposed to meet him in an hour, and I hoped he was right on the distance and time. It could have been that I was supposed to be running this whole time, but I didn't have the energy for that, not now. I hadn't ate in a couple days, and my patience was wearing thin on optimism for any sort of insight on how to react. Walking at a fast pace was good enough for me.

And then there was the continual rain. Folding my arms across my chest, and huddling my head low only hindered my ability to see, and move quicker. The more I tried to warm myself up, the slower I began to move. I needed to get back into my normal habit, my upbeat, never giving in, stimulated self. I couldn't feel that tonight. I wanted some sort of light, some sort of guidance to let me know I was actually getting somewhere in the endlessly darkened fields. Lightning was my only backdrop, giving too little time to see the details of the world.

Then it appeared. There was a building, a light shining dimly on the porch. The inside wasn't lit up, but I knew I was at the right place. It was only a few hundred feet ahead of me. I only had to live a few more moments outside, only a few more moments waiting in anticipation.

There will only be a dim light to signal our existence.

That was true to our entire existence. Only a dim hope, that there were others like us, others striving to live and fight back. There was a possibility that we could fight back. Especially if he knew others besides me.

I began to run with the next lightening strike. I couldn't handle walking anymore. I didn't mind the rush of heat instantly leaving my body, because my adrenaline was running high. My heart was beating just as loud as the thunder that shook below my feet. I am almost there. I am close to redemption.

I slid to a stop when I reached the door, the stone porch agreeing with my sudden stop as it gripped to my shoes smoothly. I was still shaking in my cold skin, but my heart was racing. I knocked lightly on the door, always weary of outside eyes watching me. I shouldn't have let excitement flow through me so easily, it seemed suspicious, it made me stand out. But to who? No one was out here. Yet paranoia clenched me all the time.

The door creaked open smoothly. The building was old it seemed, made of wood that seemed to be lacking substance and beauty that it might have held long ago. The doors creaking was simply because it had never been changed, the whole exterior seemed original and held antique quality. I couldn't see much about it other than that, no matter how long I strode through darkness, my eyes never adjusted properly without any light.

I could sense someone inside. He felt different, the same difference I felt when we had all been clumped together. We could feel each other that way, but I hadn't felt it in so long. It made us easy to pick each other out in a crowd, it also hindered us because some of the others helped to find us, in hope that their lives would be spared. I had not even managed to come across them before.

There was someone else too. That made me more suspicious. Pairs were not too common, and very rarely would anyone put three of our kind in one building, that was too risky. Detection was too easy with larger groups.

"Don't worry, we won't be here long enough for this to get dangerous," a female's voice spoke up in the darkness. A candle lit up in the corner of the room, and I glanced around before stepping in the door and trapping myself within walls. The light flickered revealing that it was bare in there, no furniture, no decorations. The candle was sitting on a windowsill, which I took as a safety issue as well since it shone in the window too brightly for my cautious nature to leave unnoticed. My glance fell back on the woman standing near the flame, her hair lying across her shoulders in three braids, disheveled longer pieces falling around her face in golden tones. Her eyes weren't entirely clear to me, but the green intelligence stood out as she examined me. Someone was standing to the side of her, avoiding the casting of light. I couldn't help but to let my eyes linger on him until she began talking again.

"I have been trying to get everyone set up in pairs for now," she began, "Ulquiorra has been with me a lot, though we often travel alone. I've found someone for you."

I turned my attention back to her. Someone for me? Why was she pairing us off – why did it matter if we were loners?

"Oh?" I asked, stepping inside and closing the door behind me lightly. She was talking with the door wide open, our secret life drifting with the wind. She must have felt secure here to be so expressive.

"He's a bit reckless. I don't have him here right now; I figured I would make sure Ulquiorra was correct about you."

"What exactly are you looking for in me?" I asked, remaining far away from her, my eyes glancing towards the mysterious shadowed figure in the was still cold in here, my breath was visible as I spoke, the light puffs of air captured in the dim lighting.

"I've already found it." She said simply. "You'll follow the instructions on here," she stepped towards me and I tensed slightly. I hadn't been close to anyone in a long time, it felt awkward to have someone directly passing me something. The heat radiating off her made my skin jump as she stood close. She handed me another piece of paper, and I unfolded my arms to grab it daintily. I chose not to read it then, that would make me seem impatient.

"It's dangerous to work alone, and dangerous to work with more than a pair. Us three in here right now, you already noticed the danger of it, haven't you?"

"Yes."

"I can tell you know how to handle this situation. Your partner, you will find, is out for revenge."

"Revenge? We're all out for revenge," I said silently. She backed away from me, moving closer to the door.

"It seems we are. We have to be wise about it, however. Ulquiorra and I have been strategizing an attack for some time, working with others of our kind in secrecy. The day will come soon."

"How soon?" How soon will it be before we can walk with pride? How soon will it be before we can be out in the open, able to stand caressed in the sunlight? I wanted it soon, I wanted to be close to people again.

"You will be notified." She turned away and twisted the doorknob. The mysterious shadow followed behind her, his cyan eyes falling on me for a brief moment before they both slipped out into the shadowed lands. They were both tall and elegant; I had picked that up from the way they moved as they brushed past me in silhouetted forms. I wanted to know more about them, but that was possibly my excitement of actually knowing people I could trust.

"Well… they were just odd," I muttered to myself. I sat down on the floor, leaning back against the wall. It felt good to relax for a moment, even if this note declared that I leave right away. I sighed deeply as my body settled into that stature, my muscles relaxing. I pulled my hand up that contained the letter, and I ran my thumb along it lightly. It was brand new stationary again, folded tightly in a design that kept it closed until I pulled up on the center crease. They were so odd with everything they did, almost as though they were too perfect and precise to be seeking out someone as grungy as I had become.

I tugged it open, scooting myself closer to the light as the ink began to catch my sight. It was different handwriting than the last; I presumed it must have been the woman's this time. I never caught her name, and I scanned the bottom to see if it was left behind. Nothing. I squeezed my knees up to my chest, holding with my arms and resting my chin on my knees as I held the paper in front of my eyes. I scanned the words, hopeful that her instructions weren't as peculiar and mysterious as her and her companion had been.

Neliel,

You have joined our mission. If you chose to defy us at this point, we will destroy you ourselves. You are ours now. You serve us, and you listen to our instructions when they are given. Please take into consideration the serious attitude we have towards all of this – I am sure you are the same way.

You will only remain in one place for two days. This allows easy recovery between traveling days, and it doesn't hinder the chances of you being found. You will stay in specific hotels throughout this time, and you will no longer have to travel every day. If you are as tired as you have been, you will be of no use to our mission.

As you travel, you will be given everything you need. You will be free to do as you please while you are staying at your destinations, but you must never give yourself away. I understand you are cautious, so I doubt you will have any issues with this.

However, because we do run a cruel operation at times, you are being given a partner that doesn't always follow our guidelines. He has been a reckless loner for quite some time now, and he knows you are coming. He does not know who you are yet. I am not setting you up to watch him; I'm simply setting you up with him so you can protect each other more easily. You lack several substances that are important to this mission – just as he does. We have found him to be suitable for you. He may disagree, but I cannot guarantee how well your personal relationships will go.

You will travel north. The first town you come across will be where you will meet up. You must leave as soon as you finish reading this so you can get there in the early morning. He will be waiting for you on the edge of town. Ask for his name when he approaches you, and he should reply Grimmjow Jaggerjaques.

I reread it a few times, trying to piece together the way my life was going to be, but the letter held just as much mystery as everything else that had been happening to me. Just as I had predicted, I was to leave right away. Whenever I would be able to lie down and rest, I didn't know. I hoped this person would know the answers.

Stretching, I felt my bones and muscles tense up with agony. I was almost too tired to bother with the expectations of that letter, but I knew I had to. This building was not entirely safe anymore after we left traces of ourselves all around the land surrounding it. I was ready to leave again. I did not know the distance between here and my next destination, but at least I had a destination.

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A/N: Hello all =D Trying out a different side of the pairings world. I have only seen Nel when she is little, so… all of my Nel abilities may be slightly lacking, but if anyone wants to help with that a little and tell me my flaws, that'd be amazing xD Im so paranoid about being OOC.

Anyway, I left it kind of mysterious for an introduction… And I left Grimmy out! No worries though, he will be here soon enough. Comments and Critique are appreciated. Thanks for reading.