Synopsis: Forever we're lost in our souls' storm, reflections of each other's faults.

Author's Notes: I guess the one-shot became a two-shot. This is an Ulquiorra and Grimmjow love story. Written in first person, alternating between Ulquiorra and Grimmjow's POV, beginning with Ulquiorra. Yaoi.

Warning: Slash. Male/male sex. M-rated.

Disclaimer: The Bleach franchise and any characters or trademarks of Bleach that you may recognize in this story are not my own. The song title, Sleepwalking Past Hope, and lyrics thereof are property of HIM. No copyright infringement intended.


Sleepwalking Past Hope

I hid the keys to unlock love's heart

To hold you in my sweetest pain and suffering

I slept better than I've ever slept before. My body hurt in a couple of places. It was worth it though. I woke up early that morning, noticing that there was dried blood on my sheets from where my back had bled. I could tell I was walking weirdly too.

I stepped into my shower, turning the water as hot as it would go, leaving angry red marks all over my body. The dried blood on my back washed away, stinging. I let the water cascade over me; clearing my head. Even thinking of what I'd done, I didn't feel dirty.

I wondered vaguely how Grimmjow had gotten back to his room. Had he made it without getting noticed, like I had? Or had someone found him, naked, and figured out what had happened?

I turned the heat down as the water was burning me. Grimmjow… What had we started? And how would it end? Would we be able to maintain any sort of relationship here in Hueco Mundo?

Everything's unfair in our lust and war

Redemption beyond right and wrong

I sincerely hoped that I wouldn't have to get out of bed today. I had much to ponder, and my body was tired. A different kind of tiredness from any fight I've been in, from any battle I've fought. This was a good kind of tired.

I pulled a fluffy pillow closer to my body and rolled over on to it. It was soft. Without consciously thinking about it, I concentrated on locating a certain reiatsu. He was in his room.

Ulquiorra. He was so strong. Stronger than me, although I'd never say it out loud. I guess everyone knew though, since he's two ranks higher than me. Something about that fact made me want him even more. There's always been this tension between us. Repressed sexual energy.

I was snapped out of my thoughts by a powerful reiatsu radiating through all of Las Noches. Aizen, the bastard, was calling yet another meeting. Slowly, I arose and readied myself. I wondered what he wanted this time.

In our hearts, love keeps sweet-talking to despair

And goes on sleepwalking past hope

Another meeting. I sat across from Grimmjow as usual. Aizen-sama had a mission for one of us. A dangerous mission. One that the chosen person might not return from. I wouldn't complain if I was chosen to fulfill the task, as I didn't mind doing Aizen-sama's bidding. He had a higher aim that I was happy to be a part of. But I had a feeling it wouldn't be me. Aizen-sama wouldn't send me too far. Not to sound narcissistic or anything, but he valued me too much.

No, it would be someone of a lower rank, who he could afford to lose, but someone of a high enough rank to have a chance of surviving.

Grimmjow Jeagerjaques, the sexta Espada. Aizen-sama chose him. And he would be leaving immediately. No time for preparations; no time for goodbyes. Perhaps it was for the better. I wouldn't have known what to say anyway.

All is lost in this war

And all we can do is wail and weep

To the saddest song

Mentally I blasted a Cero at point-blank range right into Aizen's face. This was a suicide mission, and he wanted it to be me who went. Right away.

That ruined my plans for that night. It may have ruined any plans I had for the future at all. Would I return to Hueco Mundo? Would I walk the halls of Las Noches ever again? I couldn't tell. I just wish I could have said something. There was only one person I needed to say something to, and he'd already retreated to his chambers. No goodbye, Ulquiorra?

I suppose… If he had said goodbye, it would have made it more final and sealed my fate. Perhaps now, I'd fight even harder, knowing I still had something to say to Cuarto.

I am not the type of person to go down without a fight, but even I can tell when the odds are against me, when I might not make it through this mission. But I guess that's what I'm here for; to be one of Aizen's little pawns. I'm not such a big sacrifice for him to make.

Aizen opened a portal for me out of Hueco Mundo. I stepped through without looking back.

I unlit the light to embrace the dark

To be near but not to turn into you

My darling

He was gone. I could feel his reiatsu disappear. Wherever he was, it wasn't Hueco Mundo. Despite myself, I silently prayed he would return. I would never say it, but I wanted him to be okay. I wanted to see him again.

I had nothing to do with myself now. What could I do? I was not about to sit and worry; what was meant to happen would happen regardless. If Grimmjow died, never to see or touch me again, I would carry on. Wouldn't I? I'd still be the Cuarto Espada, one of Aizen-sama's most valued soldiers. I would still fight for him.

But what would I be fighting for, really?

I wondered what would happen to one of us if we were to "die". Were we not dead already? I'd seen what Grimmjow did to Luppi, his replacement when he'd (temporarily) lost his rank. Had he gone to Soul Society, memories gone, to roam the streets of Rukongai? Or had he ceased to exist at all, leaving only a memory that too would fade?

Would that happen to Grimmjow? Would I never stroke his cheek again, or feel him looking into the depths of my eyes, seeing what I tried to hide from everyone else? Would we ever rock to the rhythm of our pounding hearts as he pounded himself into me, again?

I could only wonder.

Forever we're lost in our souls' storm

Reflections of each other's faults

I fought harder than ever. Before, all I had as my incentive was to live to fight another day. The joy of battle. That was my reason. I cared nothing for Aizen's "higher plan". All it meant to me was that I would have stronger, better opponents.

But things were different now. I had something to return to, or more accurately, someone. I wondered if he was waiting for me. If he was expecting (or maybe even hoping) that I come home.

I had a reason, and if not for that reason, I doubt I would have survived. But I did. It took everything out of me, everything I had to make it… But there I was, alive (somewhat) and ready to go back to the arms of the only person I gave a shit about.

But there was nothing for me. No portal to return through. I was trapped in an unknown dimension with no way to call out, no way to be saved.

All that was left for me was to wait; to survive, with the hopes of one day seeing that pail, tear-streaked face again.

I gave up long ago

Painted love with crimson flow

Ran out of blood and hope

So I paint you no more

Weeks had gone by. And still, I was alone. Without him, I was stuck here in Las Noches with even less emotion, even less to say.

What had happened? Where had he gone? Why hadn't he come back yet?

"Aizen-sama". There was only one person to ask about this, so I put my pride aside. "What has become of Sexta?"

"Ah, Ulquiorra. Grimmjow has not returned to Hueco Mundo. But he succeeded in his mission, much to my surprise and delight" the overlord spoke calmly with that warm smile he always wore. I understood why they'd always trusted him in Soul Society.

"Oh?" I inquired. My face remained straight. There was no way I was showing how relieved I was to hear that. "Why hasn't he returned, then?"

Aizen-sama turned his swivel-chair better to face me. "We've lost him" he stated plainly. He saw my look of slight confusion. You lost him? But I thought you said he survived? "We don't know where he is" Aizen-sama explained.

"But-" I was about to say something, but had no idea what. I was angry. How could he be lost? What kind of pathetic organization was Aizen-sama running here? How the hell could he LOSE one of the Espada, the elite of his team of soldiers? I had no words to say.

"I'm sure you can understand how upsetting this is for me" Aizen-sama said. He looked anything but upset. For the first time in my memory, I wanted to stab him. I just looked at him. "Which is why I've decided to send you to look for him and retrieve him" the former shinigami stated.

What? Really? I thought. "He is most likely still alive. I have no reservations about sending you, now that the real danger is gone" Aizen-sama said. That just confirmed what I said earlier. He valued me too much. I was mildly insulted. Did he not think I could handle the danger?

"Yes, Aizen-sama" I said robotically.

My hell begins from the tenth

And descends to the circle

Six hundred threescore and six

There were no lost souls here. There were only shadows. From the weeks that I'd been in this place, I'd managed to gather that it was not the human world. This was also not Soul Society. This was another dimension, somewhere between Soul Society and Hueco Mundo. The realm of the dead that were beyond death.

Here I'd encountered the shadows of people I'd killed. This, surely, was hell. Where the people had no form; only shades of darkness and silhouettes. Satan reigned here.

When humans die, their souls go to Soul Society. If they don't, they become Hollows and go to Hueco Mundo. Now I knew what happened when a Hollow died. They came here, to Hell.

I'd fought so hard, held on to tightly, clinging to life. And what for? To be trapped here, starving, tired and feverish. I'd held on, but my grip was slipping. I was losing the remnants of my sanity. Just when I thought I couldn't hold on any more, when my vision faded to black and I fell desperately to my knees, I thought I saw a vision, in my delirium. I thought I saw Ulquiorra in the distance.

And from there I crawl

Beneath Lucifer's claw

I searched for him in this dark, hallowed place. I was afraid. I never thought I'd feel true fear, but this truly was what it must have felt like. There was nothing that was frightening; rather, it was the lack of something that was frightening. The emptiness and the heat were unnerving. It was like a desert of nothing but fire and shadows.

It didn't take too long to find him. My first thought was that he was dead; but that couldn't be so. If he had died, his body would no longer be there. Would it become one of the shadows that flickered in the glow of the fire? I could only guess.

I kneeled down and touched his forehead. It was hot. Grimmjow's torso was adorned with all manner of scars and marks that were certainly not there before. His clothes were ragged and dirty. His hair was out of place.

But he was alive, and that was all that mattered. To me, he was perfect. I picked him up none too carefully and threw him over my shoulder. I was not about to carry him princess-style. He was a man and I would treat him as such.

As I walked towards the portal that I'd left open, I could feel the drawback; the shadows were scratching at my wrists and ankles and neck. They didn't want me to go. I had to leave though, as soon as I could, before it could to the point where I couldn't any more. My feet felt like lead and the weight of Grimmjow's body was almost too much. This dimension was warped.

With a final surge of sheer willpower, I stepped through the doorway, back to our world; the world the shinigami thought was "hell". They had no idea what lay beyond, past our realm of hollow souls. The true hell that even I now feared.

Just for one last kiss

I woke up in a stark white room with white sheets and white furniture, wearing a white hospital gown. My first thought was that I must be in Las Noches.

I was right. I didn't know how I got there, but I was back in Hueco Mundo. More specifically, in the medical facility. I wasn't sure how long I'd been there or how far along in my recovery I was. Judging by all the wires and tubes I was connected to, I'd probably been in pretty bad shape when I'd arrived.

I tried moving my fingers. They seemed to be working fine. I lifted my arm up slowly. It didn't hurt. In fact, I didn't really hurt anywhere. But I still couldn't really move much. I supposed my body was just lagging from being still for so long; it was out of practice.

After another moment of gingerly experimenting with movement, I closed my eyes and focused. I almost jumped out of my bed when I realized where that reiatsu was coming from. Ulquiorra's unique spiritual signature.

"Cuarto" I said, surprised at the hoarseness of my voice. He was right there, standing in the shadows, against the wall in my ward.

"You're awake" he stated the obvious.

"No shit" I replied. I thought I saw a flicker of a smile in his eyes, but it was gone so fast that I wasn't really sure if it had been there at all.

"Indeed" he remarked quietly, arms crossed. He closed his eyes, bowing his head. A few strands of his black, messy hair fell forward into his face.

I tried again to move, but found I couldn't. "Why the fuck can't I move? Its not like I'm in pain" I demanded to know, frustrated.

"When you were connected to life-support, you started thrashing about wildly. The medics couldn't keep you down. So they administered a muscle sedative" Ulquiorra explained, lifting his head and opening his green eyes again.

"How long…?" I asked.

"Almost two weeks" he answered. Two weeks, huh? That's how long I was unconscious.

"Bet Aizen's got something nasty to say about that" I snorted. He probably saw me as weak now. As if he hadn't before.

"Aizen-sama is glad you survived at all" he said emotionlessly. I turned my head (with a bit of difficulty) to look out the window. As always, it was night-time. Don't know what else I expected.

I felt a cool hand on my forearm. I turned my gaze up to Ulquiorra's face. Those teal tear-tracks were more beautiful than ever. "Did you miss me?" I asked with a grin.

He didn't say anything. And then he smiled. He actually smiled.

I tried to move my head up to his so I could kiss him, but my neck wasn't so accommodating. Ulquiorra let go of my arm and turned away, walking towards the door. Momentarily I panicked. He was leaving? Already? But then he locked the door and returned to my bedside.

"You're not in pain, you say?" he asked.

I shook my head. "I just can't move much". I then caught sight of a devilish look in Ulquiorra's eye. He was planning something.

He seemed to smirk at what I assumed was the look of confusion on my face. With this mischievous look, the Cuarto Espada pulled down my sheet until it pooled around my knees. My eyes grew wide. He then climbed up onto my bed, sitting on my ankles.

Ulquiorra seductively pushed my hospital gown up so that I was exposed. I could already feel the blood flowing to my cheeks – and to my groin. Slowly, while looking right into my eyes, he bent forward and enclosed his lips around my manhood.

For someone who didn't speak all that much, he was really quite skilled with his mouth. Especially his tongue.

I lay back helplessly while Ulquiorra pleasured me until I couldn't take the intensity of it any more, and I found my release right into his mouth.

After I came down from the high that was ecstasy, Cuarto moved in a cat-like manner up the bed to place a kiss on my lips. I could taste my own essence. I kissed him back adoringly, trying to say what I couldn't out loud. "Thank you for saving me". "Thank you for being here". "I need you". "I did it all for you". I only hoped he understood.

Ulquiorra gracefully descended from the bed and straightened out his uniform. "Rest well, Sexta" he said emotionlessly. But I swore I could hear a hint of an evil smirk.

He began to walk away when I realized that I couldn't move enough to pull my sheets back up and my hospital gown down. "You can't leave me like this!" I yelled in protest.

He looked back at me over his shoulder. "I can do what I want"

Damn him! He was so sensual, even when he was being an insufferable prick. I wasn't about to beg for help.

He visibly smirked this time when he saw my internal debate. He must have felt a twinge of compassion, for he turned back to me and fixed me up. There wasn't much he could do about the sheets though. At least the white stains matched.

In our hearts, love keeps sweet-talking to despair

It was harder than he ever could have imagined; leaving him. Even if it was just to return to my chamber. I'd been away from him so long that I was almost afraid that if I walked away, I could never go back. But when I remembered his erotic cries and moans of joyous sensation, I knew that he would be waiting for me. Always.

Would it just be for the physical pleasure we brought each other? Would it ever mean more to either of us? At that moment I couldn't and didn't know. But I knew; as long as our soulless eyes could see and our blackened hearts could beat (metaphorically of course), we would live on together. Giving life to each other, because without the one, the other was dead. Two Espada. In a twisted web of "love".

He was alive. We were reunited. And nothing could take that away from us. And even though there were so many questions left unanswered, nothing could have meant more to me than that he was here. What else could have mattered? What more could I need?

And goes on sleepwalking past hope

Author's note: Please review?