Introduction (For those of you who haven't read Unexpected Relationship. anyone who has could easily skip this, and save on some reading time)
He had taken me. I was carried into his world, on to enemy territory with ideals of somehow finding a weak point, a way to destroy it from the inside that I could later use in helping my allies.
Then everything went unplanned – for both of us.
Ulquiorra Schiffer, ranked number four on Aizen's Espada superiority, was more stoic and intelligent than blood lusting and rebellious like the others seemed to be. He was corrupt, nonetheless, but something about his calm demeanor made me curious.
And so, it began. Our mission to learn more about each other. Even after revealing my human form, he showed no shock, no insecurity. Even as he lay dying in my arms after months of our spending time together, he still held no shock. He knew very well who I was from the start, my power, my place in history. And the most unexpected of all came from this – we grew fond of each other. I began to grow careless. I allowed myself to forget we were enemies. I allowed myself to believe I could pull humanity out of his soul. There were small pieces of such a thing revealed, but all the while, he was still cold as he was made to be.
After growing so close to him…
I killed him.
The story never ends with death.
Let us shatter our hearts and mix them together, only to toss the pieces across the trails we created to become our broken lives.
Chapter One: With or Without the Memories
It is strange here. I do not remember anything, only faint delusions. I do not remember a childhood, nor do I remember anything around me… but somehow I am here. Somehow, I am touching foreign planks and staring at new sights. It is certainly a poor area.
His cyan eyes held distance as he tried to remember something, something vague to retreat to, but his mind was blank. All he could remember was being there, nothing more. How he got there, where he came from, none of that could be brought back to him. It seemed as though people stared at him as if he was different and did not belong there, it only helped to confirm his idea that he was clearly not from around there. He wore tattered clothes like them, but he seemed to hold more vibrancy and intelligence. He seemed out of place in their poor society, too elegant and retreated to live their lives. It didn't feel right to him either as his lanky shadow contrasted against theirs. There were many children around him, it seemed. The adults looked at him as though he was trouble; the children stared in awe of his awkward appearance. He didn't know his own face; he had no way of seeing his reflection. He felt secluded almost, as people parted for his movements. He almost felt powerful amongst them, as if he was some being they could not handle. Why am I so different? Why was I placed amongst such trash of people that consider themselves any importance?
She wasn't sure where she had come from. She wasn't sure what everything meant to her, or why she was staring at the ceiling wishing she were lost in the white deserts she could have called home once. The off-white room almost reminded her of the sand, and it warped around her in a memory of gain and loss. I killed him. Her body seemed to quiver as a rebound to that thought as she traced her memories back to his blood lacing her fingers. It was not a normal death for her, she had killed in the past and it had not bothered her, but his particular hold on her made this event painful and strenuous. Even if he held the title of her enemy, she had found a way around any hatred, though the effects of entrancing herself in another world were anything but positive. It was impossible to ravel in the idea of getting along with their hollow counterparts, because no matter the ending, it was tragic. No matter how close or humanized they could try to enforce the enemy to become, it couldn't result well. If someone had brought this much pain into her eyes, certainly he had worked some sort of scheme. She rarely felt pain and sorrow, let alone this deep. Damn him.
"Ah, I see you are in thought again, Yoruichi." Kisuke walked in the room, his upbeat voice making her readjust her eyes to see what was truly before her. She didn't look at him, but he smiled when the distance was lost. "You realize I can tell you're still upset." He knew how much she hated feeling weakness as she allowed herself to be consumed in sorrow. She tried to bury it; he noticed that, because anytime she was purposefully around anyone else, she was herself. For him though, he walked in on her down times, he knew what was lying beyond her mask.
"It has only been a couple days," she said faintly, her mind still trying to detach from what had occurred. For the past two days, she had not only realized how much she had actually loved him, but she also realized just how much it pained her to remember her hand causing his death. She was alone in it, no one else had provided to his completed defeat. Although Kisuke and Soi Fon had been supporters in the issue, it was neither of them that made the final attack. Did he seriously believe she should have recovered so soon?
"I realize this," he said, his voice growing softer and losing its cocky edge. "However, I am still concerned as to why it should bother you at all."
"I suppose it might be difficult for some to understand," she continued staring at some distant world, closing him out again.
"I understand more than you think I do," he said with a slight smile, stepping back out the door, leaving her to her memories.
He had found a place to rest down an empty alley. When he woke from a light sleep, at least some of the haze had managed to disappear. He was familiar with the sights, though he still held uncertainty with why he was there. He stood, knowing that nothing would be explained if he allowed himself to lie around and question the world.
The sun was nearly gone, only flecks of deep purple rimmed the sky, the moon claiming the largest resource of light by this point. Why is it that I wake up just in time for the night? He stared at the crimson sun's last peak, and then straightened his head to start walking. He was still worn out, hungry even. The same people stood at every corner, their daytime life slowly fading. The streets were getting empty by this point, but those who were still outside stared at him. Why do they still look at me like this? His expression held a tired gleam as he glanced solemnly at the people he passed by.
The ancient streets were worn and filthy; the people decorating them matched their rustic ensemble. He still had no place there, no ideas, no life to recall. He didn't even know if he matched the same feel as this place, though his clothes were just as torn and dirty, he didn't know if his face held the same filth as there's. He didn't notice the children enjoying themselves, or the people socializing, he only saw the filthy outer shell of them. The rest of the scene didn't matter to him.
"Are you new here mister?" a small girl was standing next to him in a moment he had stopped walking without noticing it. Her large golden eyes were looking at him expectantly. A small smile on her lips told him she didn't have fear like the rest of the people, just curiosity. Her hair was a dark auburn, long and straight, reaching to the middle of her back. She looked to be about five years old, though he wasn't entirely sure of the age. He assumed so because of not only her height, but the roundness in her cheeks despite how thin she was. Her voice was also rather high pitched with an overly innocent tone to it.
He eyed her, but didn't speak.
"You can come with us, we have extra room," she smiled larger at him, more securely this time, as though his silence didn't bother her. Her hands were clutching the seams of her clothes, which made him think she was still nervous, despite her ease of hiding any discomfort. He stared at her for a long moment, his cyan eyes hard and calculating. He didn't know her, she had no clue of him – yet she was the only one brave enough to step forward and offer him a home.
"No, I'll have to refuse." He said finally, and her eyes grew wary.
"Where will you go?" She seemed concerned which only added to his confusion.
"I'm not sure."
"They all think you're strange," she said happily, tagging along beside him as he tried to leave her in the past. He only glanced at her for a response again, and as soon as she knew he was paying attention, she continued, "And reports have been made describing someone just like you! Why do they want you?"
Who wants me? He stopped waking and noticed the girl moved and stopped in the same instant he had. She was like a shadow, nagging him along into more confusion.
"You don't talk a lot, do you?" She asked, her upbeat voice undisturbed from the more serious conversation he thought they were going to have. He removed his hold on her and continued walking.
"Who are they?" He asked, "The ones looking for me."
"The Soul Reapers, of course. It's a wonder you aren't causing more commotion." This time it wasn't the girl talking, but rather an older man who was half hidden by a shaded corner of one of the alleys off to Ulquiorra's side.
Soul Reapers. He knew who they were.
"Soul Reapers are after you?" The girl asked with an excited voice, "Wow!"
"I'm not sure why, kid," the guy said with a rough voice, "But dealing with them can be dangerous, I wouldn't be too excited."
The girl scooted closer to Ulquiorra, the older man's harsh tone made her aware of him. Ulquiorra didn't notice her much, and kept staring at the shaded man. He was standing at just the right angle where Ulquiorra couldn't see his details, only his height looming on the corner of the building.
"How would you know so much?" Ulquiorra asked calmly.
"I hear a lot."
"You aren't very accurate with your remarks," Ulquiorra said plainly, continuing to walk away from him. It was easy for him to shove things aside with little regard. He wondered if there were rumors, if that was why he was looked at strangely, if perhaps the girl hadn't heard of them yet.
"He scares me," the girl said walking uncomfortably close to Ulquiorra. He tried to move aside but she moved with him, just as she had earlier. He tried to ignore her, wondering why she was following him so far away from where she had started following him earlier.
"Did you ever consider that he is right?" Ulquiorra asked, wondering if fear would shake her off him.
"I was told not to listen to him," she said proudly.
"Why is that?"
"I'm not sure… I just do what I'm told." She looked around where they were at, "Where are we going?"
"You should probably head home," he said still walking.
"But… I don't want to walk all the way back there alone," she pouted, and he finally stopped.
"Fine, I'll take you back. You shouldn't have followed me in the first place," he muttered. It was true, he didn't know where he had planned to go, but he figured if he had kept walking he would walk into something useful, maybe.
They began walking in the opposite direction, this time they walked in silence that he preferred over the child's rambling. He hardly noticed her while they walked back, not with her being so quiet. She must have been tired, he assumed. He was still awake, as he had slept most of the day rather than waiting for night to come.
When they reached her home again, he stopped to allow her to get inside safely before he would resume walking to a random place of uncertainty. Instead of running along inside, she turned to him again. He tried to avoid eye contact, hoping that was the solution, but she spoke anyway.
"My name is Akemi," she said, still tugging at her clothes as a habit.
"Ulquiorra," he said solemnly. As he spoke it out loud, it had an odd sound to it that made him wake up suddenly. He knew his name, he had said it several times in his head, but saying it out loud, admitting his identity… it made him suddenly realize he wasn't walking in a dream. It sounded so familiar, but not by his own tongue. Someone else had said it before, it was a name that had been spoken by several, but carried only by him. A feeling of loss enveloped him again as he recollected more confusion.
"Ok Ulqui! I'll see you tomorrow," she said his name awkwardly, even as shortened she didn't pronounce it entirely right, which made him think she wasn't someone he had known before. She waved shortly at him and ran inside her house. He assumed during his wandering, he would have to hide out if he hoped to escape her curiosity the following day.
She had busied herself with research, a habit she had picked up when she had decided to figure out how fate served an Espada.
I didn't cleanse him. I had no means to do so…
The only possible way for his soul to be at rest was for a Shinigami to cleanse him. It was useless. She had left him to perish because she simply hadn't been thinking. Now she was thinking too much.
A travel back to Hueco Mundo could tell her if he survived, or at least what had happened to his remains, or if anyone had cared at all about his demise. That was a reckless option, and one that would be nearly as impossible as she doubted anyone would help her get there again.
She had found a place to think, the same tree she had ran to after she had killed him. It was sunny out now, and she was enjoying the bits of sunlight warming her skin through the leaves. Her eyes were closed, her breathing light. It smelled so fresh here, it relieved her mind for a few moments of peace. This was where she thought of him every day, so she could leave him out of her mind when she was at home, or working with anyone else. It did some good, but he was always on the back of her mind. It felt to her, as if somehow, maybe, there was something missing, a piece to the story that hadn't completely been finished. She could still feel him out there somewhere, but she knew it was all in her head, that she was still simply mourning.
Once the clouds came, her eyes opened and she sighed at the darkness of them. Rain again. It seemed like it was following her everywhere, chasing her out of her thinking spot so she would return home at the worst of times – when her mind wasn't at all relieved of its daily worries. She jumped down from where she was perched and went home, using her flash step to get home in a measurable time before she had to face getting soaked. She didn't find a need for rain anymore, as there were no more tears edging her eyes, she hadn't once shed a tear over him, instead she left all the misery to dwell inside her.
Kisuke waited for her to return with some hesitation. He was bothered by her betrayal, and she knew it was only fair for him to be. Still, he always looked her over as if trying to determine if all the filth from Hueco Mundo had washed off her yet. He looked at her with troubled gazes, he could see straight through her to the pain that was seen when she looked at him. She was by no means clean of Ulquiorra's world, surely not in such a short time since she had to kill him. She could still feel the blood on her hands, soaking through her clothes – most of the time she felt that when Kisuke was around.
It was partially his fault, and while she didn't blame it on him, every time she saw him she thought of the deliberation in his appearance that had caused her to slip up. It was for the better, after all, it was a reason for her to let go and stop playing games. Only it hadn't been a game by that point – it had turned into something else.
"You have a guest, Yoruichi," he smiled at her his lazy smile, his shadowed eyes watching her carefully.
"All right," she nodded her head and walked past him. Soi Fon was sitting inside, her eyes determined as they followed Yoruichi's strides. Yoruichi felt guilt for what had happened to Soi Fon. It was only natural for her to have leapt into the mess. She had once had the mission of protecting Yoruichi, and surely, it hadn't faded too much. That was obvious.
Yoruichi couldn't help but to notice the bandages lacing Soi Fon's arm, something that had happened because of Ulquiorra's influence in their lives. It was something that could remind Yoruichi he was cold just like the rest, that he was cruel and vile. Still, even that didn't leave distaste for him. She felt guilty for that, as well.
"Yoruichi, I'm sorry for dropping in so suddenly," she said with true devotion of guilt for appearing without notice.
"Don't be sorry, I was expecting you," Yoruichi said as she sat down in front of Soi Fon.
"Oh… why is that?"
"It's been a few days, I figured you'd come to check up on me, it's only natural for you."
"Are you fine?" She asked softly, trying to look at Yoruichi without giving away too much concern that would make it look as though she thought she was frail. After all, Yoruichi had always been the strongest one in her life, and to even think she wasn't fine didn't seem right.
"Of course. Why wouldn't I be? You're the one that got hurt," she eyed Soi Fon's wrist again, though this time she made it obvious.
"This? Oh, it's nothing," she pulled her hand up into her sleeve a little, "I'm just worried… you look," she glanced at Yoruichi for a long moment. She looked as she always had, energetic, yet attentive. At the same time, Soi Fon could feel unease in the air. While she hated to admit it, that Espada meant something to Yoruichi. "You look like you're exhausted," she said finally. It was true, while she held energy on the outside, her posture, and expression held wear.
"Exhausted? What gives you that idea?"
"I can just tell," she muttered. She loved Yoruichi, she respected her, cared for her, and greedily wanted to be the only one Yoruichi found protection in, but it was times like these she felt helpless. Once, she couldn't have read her, but now she knew Yoruichi all too well. Her eyes were bright, her cocky smile too unnatural after what she had just been through only a couple days previous. It had only been a few days since she thought she would see her Goddess cry for the first time, yet the smile she wore was unsure, it wasn't the true smile she liked to see from Yoruichi. These emotional battles were what Soi Fon was bad with, she hadn't been taught a way to deal with them, yet she was facing a large emotional pull so suddenly.
"You worry too much, Soi Fon," she said with a huff of annoyance, "Clearly I'm not exhausted, or I would be resting."
"I'm afraid you wouldn't," she said with a slight blush, she was getting too personal now, showing that she knew too much.
"I'll be fine, Soi Fon. I have some things planned to keep me busy. After all, it was only another battle."
She knows exactly what's wearing on her, I never mentioned that…
"I suppose so. What do you have planned?"
"There are some things that need to get done, is all."
"You want revenge, don't you?" Her voice was more serious this time. She noticed a change in Yoruichi after she asked that question, surely the plans Yoruichi held were reeling through her mind now.
"Revenge? That's a weak objective," she said intently, "But it's along those lines."
"Don't worry about me. you have other things to be bothered with."
"Yes, of course, but…"
"Soi Fon, you know there is no sense in arguing."
"I'm not, Yoruichi, it's just…" she looked at Yoruichi, both of their eyes connected for a brief moment before she turned her head down to speak. She spoke with a hushed tone, her mind hoping that for once she wouldn't be left in the dark with Yoruichi's plans. "I'm offering you my help."
"I've gone through enough things alone," she said, "and I wouldn't want you getting punished for following me."
"I wouldn't mind…"
"Soi Fon…" She looked at her sternly, her voice holding the same quality. After a moments silence and consideration, Soi Fon lifted her eyes to meet Yoruichi's again.
"At least don't be reckless," Soi Fon said with a lopsided smile, "I don't want to worry anymore."
"I'll be fine, I always am," she said objectively, as Soi Fon began to stand.
"Well, then I will trust you," she said truthfully, "So please don't go against that."
"I never would. You be careful as well, Soi Fon," she smiled lightly at her, trying to push some hope into the air.
"I will be," she smiled unsure at Yoruichi one last time before walking out the door. She had things to attend to, and she couldn't hold up with herself if she spent another moment with her obviously pained superior. Please, really do be careful. I will find a way to fix this safely, just give me some time.
Yoruichi's smile faded all too quickly as Soi Fon's shadow disappeared from around the door. She laid back in that moment, allowing herself to relax, easing her mind away from everything. Everything around her seemed to transform back to the stark sandy scenery she dreaded most.
A/N: Ok, I said I'd have it posted by the weekend, but I was a day late D: Oh well. I kind of ran short on time yesterday while my muse was oddly at a high. Ulquiorra's story is kind of a side thing for now just for some added entertainment xD
Thanks everyone for reading =D Comments/Critique are appreciated. There are many things that will be showing up later in here, many relationship developments, distrust, and all the angst and romance anyone could handle. It is going to be different from UR, in the sense that it has a deeper plot, as far as I have planned anyway. I hope it's even more enjoyable to read than UR was. ^^ Thanks again!