Hello, dear reader. I have been working on this for over a year now and I am so happy to finally post it, well at least one part of it. I still don't know how to end this story but I guess we'll see when it progresses further.^^

I don't own Bleach


Prologue

It was a dark and chilly winter night, no stars could be seen through the thick wall of clouds. Inside a little room of a big white building, sat the very exhausted form of Orihime Inoue. It was half an hour before midnight and it had been a stressful night for her so far. She rubbed her tired and burning eyes before returning to the papers in front of her, but the letters on the paper all turned into a blur of black on white with her tiredness. Not being able to concentrate on anything but the wish to get a bit of sleep she decided she would get some coffee. Pushing her tired limbs out of her uncomfortable chair the young woman walked out into the empty halls of the now quiet hospital. As she made her way to the vending machine the auburn haired doctor mused about how different night and day were in this place. By day there were all kind of people hurrying through the halls, rushing from one room to the next, patients waiting in front of examination rooms, for their doctors to spare them some time, everywhere was the sound of people talking, wheels of various vehicles screeching and the constant peeping of machines. By night this hospital was a whole different place, the halls were poorly lit with lurid artificial lights, the peeping of the machines seemed much louder, while constantly playing in the background, the only people seen were other doctors, nurses or other personnel working night shifts. Orihime hated night shifts.

Of course she loved being a doctor and she knew this was a part of the job, but she still couldn't help herself. Maybe she would get accustomed to these long nights once she was here longer and more experienced, at least she hoped so. But long nights and little sleep was a price worth paying for Orihime in order to help people, it was something she had always wanted to do.

The young doctor now stood before the coffee vendor waiting for the hot liquid to flow into the cup. While waiting she tapped her fingers against the machine in tune to the melody she was humming. As she finally took her cup and sipped her drink she could feel the warm coffee flow down her throat sending new energy through her body.

Refreshed she made her way to the nurses reception desk to ask if anything new had happened or if there was anything she could do, leaving her paperwork for later.

"Ah, hello Sayu-san," Orihime greeted the elderly woman behind the desk with one of her bright smiles, "do you have any news for me?"

"Dr. Inoue," the nurse returned a gentle smile, "half an hour ago there were some new patients admitted. I don't know too much myself, I heard one was hit by a car another was admitted for alcohol poisoning and the third one who was brought here lies in a coma. I'm not sure but they say he jumped off a building. Though you can go ask Dr. Unohana for more information she is in the intensive care station right now."

"Sure, I'll be off then. See you later."

"See you," waving her hand shortly in goodbye she left the nurse behind, making her way to the intensive care station.

It didn't take long to find Dr. Unohana in the empty hospital. She was in one of the employee rooms, deeply concentrating on the files before her.

"Unohana-sama, I heard we have new patients. Is there anything I can do?" Orihime now stood next to her superior and mentor.

"Hello Inoue-san, yes there are three new patients. Though they are mostly taken care of I still need someone to supervise the coma patient. It would be great if you could handle this," with her gentle but authoritative smile the older doctor gave her the patients file.

Orihime knew what this meant, one boring night spent beside a patients bed, checking the computers from time to time and nothing else to do. She wasn't too eager for this task but she didn't dare say anything, not because she was still new but because of the scary smile Unohana was giving her. Nobody dared to disobey this woman.

"Yes Unohana-sama," taking the files, the assistant doctor left the room.

It wasn't that she didn't want to take care of this patient, it was just that taking care of this patient was about as much fun as doing her paperwork. So she decided to kill two birds with one stone and do her paperwork while watching this coma patient.

After collecting her paperwork Orihime walked down the long halls of the intensive care station to the room 216, it was the room she would have to spend the rest of the night in, and she wouldn't even have somebody to talk to. Though she also pitied the man lying in coma, she knew how hard it was to predict the outcome of coma patients.

The young doctor now stood in front of a heavy white door, a plate with the number 216 showed her that this was the right room, and although she knew nobody would answer she still knocked gently before opening it.

She was greeted by a dark and silent room, only the peeping of the monitors signalled the presence of somebody else, the only source of light coming from the various machines set up around the patient.

"Let's see, Ulquiorra Chifer, it's nice to meet you," she knew he couldn't hear her, but she still greeted him like every other patient with a bright and charming smile. The smile however was soon replaced by a look of sadness. She had read his files on her way here and she couldn't believe someone as young as him would try to take his life. The man before her was barely two years older than her and to see someone waste away his life in such a manner filled her with grief and a little anger. Her attitude was to cherish life, every aspect of it, because it was short enough as it was. This she painfully had to learn when her brother died.

Shaking her head she seated herself on a chair by the patient's bed and turned on a little light next to her. The young doctor watched the man in front of her with a serious expression, he was in a critical situation, with several broken ribs, one of them pressing against his lung, so he couldn't breath on his own, his left arm broken and a serious head injury it was still too early to tell if he would make it through the night. The only glimmer of hope to them was that he had no internal bleeding and his organs still functioned so far.

Sighing she stood up and leaned over the comatose man and studied his face, and even though half of his head was covered in bandages she could still see that he was a handsome man. His black hair lay flat against his pale face, shining in the dim light of the room. Dark lashes covered his eyes and Orihime wondered what colour was hidden behind those shut lids, she hoped she could find out one day. Tilting her head she allowed herself one last glance at Ulquiorra Chifer's features, before standing up to check the different devices, attached to his body. From what she could see nothing had changed by now, this meant he still had a 50-50 % chance of surviving.

Orihime hated to see her patients die, everybody told her she got attached too easily, but she couldn't help but get depressed after she lost a patient, especially if they were still in the prime of their life.

She once again took her seat next to Ulquiorra's bed and opened the rest of her paperwork. As she was about to begin she felt something underneath her files, it felt like some sort of book. Lifting the paper she found a black notebook, judging from it's look it was old and used very often. There was no name on the notebook indicating to whom it might belong and looking around herself she also couldn't see anybody who might have left it there. She stared down at the notebook wondering what she should do with it, to look inside would definitely go against the privacy of the person it belonged to but she had to find out who that owner was. She decided to look into the first page, maybe a name was written there. Carefully, as if the book could fall to pieces at any time, she opened the lid. Written there in the left bottom corner stood in tidy handwriting: "Property of Ulquiorra Chifer".

With a gasp she looked up at the man in front of her, as if fearing she was caught red handed. When she saw his eyes were still closed she took a deep breath of relief. Her hands were clutched by her chest, still holding on tightly to the book, she could feel her heart beat erratically. Taking another breath she relaxed her stiff posture and stared at the object in her hands debating heavily what to do with it, should she read it and violate her own patients privacy or should she lay it back down. What to do, what to do?

Her confused and guilty eyes wandered around the room, as if an answer was hidden somewhere in there. After several moments of pondering temptation got the better of the curious red head. She once again opened the notebook gently and moved one finger across the yellowed fist page. What would lie behind these pages, maybe just boring dates of an overflowing schedule or maybe poems or a diary, telling her what kind of person Ulquiorra Chifer was.

She let her eyes fly over the first few lines of his neat handwriting, but her eyes got slower with every word she read until they finally stopped, wide in horror. Stormy grey eyes slowly lifted to look at the man in the bed before them, setting in an intense stare. She couldn't believe what was written there before her. She scanned the text before her again, reading word for word, letting them sink into her incredulous mind.

"This story I am about to tell you is nothing like you have ever heard before. It is my story, one of happiness and dreams and at the same time one of despair and grief. Let me tell you now this story does not have a happy ending because this is not just a simple story but this is life in its rawest and most brutal forms. You might not imagine that a short life as mine was could be so full of misery but be assured it can. ...


I hope you enjoyed the beginning to my story and want to read more. I would be really happy if you tell me what you think in a review.