Author Notes: Requested by sometimeshatter at LJ for the 'write my interests' meme, this is my first Ulquihime fic ever! I'd really like to write them more, but I've only actually read a handful of Bleach chapters, most of which I did only for Ulquiorra or Ulquihime moments, so my handle on the series/characters is rather poor. XD;;

Pairings or Characters: Ulquiorra/Orihime
Word Count:
He left her as he always did: with a heart beating fast and a face wet with tears.


The first time she woke up to find Ulquiorra looming over her, Orihime inhaled sharply, immediately pulling her arms up over her head. She didn't actually realize it was him until he swept out of her room, skeletal helmet silhouetted in the light from the large hallway of Las Noches before the door shut behind him, leaving her back in darkness. Heart beating nearly fast enough to pop out of her chest, she fought back tears as she tried to fall back asleep.

Right then, all she knew was Las Noches was a prison, and Ulquiorra her jailer.

The second time she blinked her eyes open to see she had visitor, she kept as still and silent as possible, terror racing through her. Their eyes met before she could try and feign sleep, and she felt as if her heart had stopped completely as a coldness flooded through her. They stared silently for several chilling seconds until Ulquiorra scoffed and turned around to walk out. The moment the large door slid shut after him, the air she had trapped in her lungs finally escaped in a wheeze as she began to hyperventilate.

Orihime brought her hands to her face as rapid breaths turned into sobs, and dreams of her friends back home to nightmares of pale hands dragging her into blackness.

The third time wasn't until a while later. She was growing used to the environment, as unnatural and uncomfortable as it was, and while she still wasn't quite sure what his motives were, Ulquiorra no longer frightened her as much as he once had.

"Ulquiorra-san," Orihime muttered, voice raspy from sleep. He stiffened, and she realized he'd been extending a hand towards her. Her pulse began to quicken, but she remained visibly calm. "What do you want?" she asked boldly. He said nothing, returning his arm to his side, and glared down at her. "Ulquiorra-san?" she tried again, more curious than worried.

"Go back to sleep, woman," he ordered, spinning on his heel and leaving her.

"... Well, I can't now," she whispered to the walls of her room, vision blurring as a shiver shot through her.

The last time was the night before he would reveal that her friends had come to Las Noches to save her, this time between them quickly running out. Orihime was neither surprised nor scared to see him standing above her, and laid quietly as his hand lifted from his side and reached towards her. His piercing green eyes were locked on her chest, and slowly her own trailed down from his face to his pale fingers. As her chest rose with each slow breath, his hand came ever closer until he placed a single finger above her heart and slowly traced a circle around it.

"Ulquiorra... san?"

His eyes flicked up to hers as his hand stilled.

"That's where it's supposed to be, isn't it?"

"What?" she asked breathlessly.

"The heart," he answered slowly, hand falling away to be stuffed in his pocket.

Ulquiorra was slower to leave than ever before, and as he turned to depart she was struck with the absurd urge to reach out and call him back. She didn't, and he left her as he always did: with a heart beating fast and a face wet with tears.

When Ichigo came to rescue her, Orihime realized she no longer knew what Ulquiorra was. Las Noches was still a hell full of demons and devils, a place of evil and darkness. But Ulquiorra was no jailer. He was stunningly white against the colors of the world and people around him, innocent and unknowing in matters of the heart that came so easily to everyone else.

When Orihime finally understood that by trying to find his own he had stolen hers, Ulquiorra was nothing more than dust in the wind and specks of blood on her tattered uniform.