Liars Like Me
"Here's the Massacre"
Two days. At least, she thought it had been two days. They had brought her two breakfasts at this point, so she was pretty sure it had been two days. But outside her window, the sliver of a moon had not changed its position in the sky. The shadows in her room had not changed, had not lengthened or moved. The air still felt like night, cool and crisp despite the desert surrounding Las Noches.
Inoue Orihime sighed and looked down at her lap, still unsure that she had done the right thing. When her keeper, Ulquiorra Cifer, had brought her uniform this morning it was almost more than she could stand to put it on. But she was determined to save her friends and if having to play Aizen's lap dog was the way to do it, that was what she was going to do. She still wasn't entirely sure what he wanted her for. Sure, her power had grown a bit in the last month or so, but she still didn't see herself as being worthy of kidnap.
She had to keep reminding herself that she was really here of her own choice. She was forced to choose between herself and the lives of her friends. She chose their lives and so here she sat, alone in her cold rooms wondering what time of day it could be in the real world. She had lost all sense of time.
And I'll lose all sense of how long I've been here if I don't keep some kind of record, she thought to herself.
Orihime startled as she heard a knock on her door. She looked up to see her captor, Ulquiorra, open the door. He stepped in the room and moved to the side so that a few lower Arrancar could move in and place a tray of food on the table. They left quickly, as if they were afraid to be in her presence. She wasn't really hungry yet. She hadn't realized that it should be time for her to eat something again already. Time moved strangely here for her. She didn't move from the couch and stared across the room at the dinner tray without actually seeing it.
"Eat, woman," Ulquiorra said from the doorway.
Orihime sighed. It was like this at almost every meal now. She didn't feel the need to eat and he felt the need to threaten force. She broke the cycle and instead of arguing, moved across the room to the table. She picked up her chop sticks and took a bite of under seasoned food. Ulquiorra stood in the doorway, waiting to see that she swallowed. When she did, he nodded and turned to leave.
"Wait!" Orihime called, causing him to pause though he didn't turn around. Orihime balled her hands into fists at her sides. "I need something."
Ulquiorra turned, face impassive. "I was told to tend to your needs. What are you lacking?" he said, his voice firm and cold.
"I would like to have a notebook, paper of some kind, and a pen…please," Orihime said, her voice less sure than it had been a moment before.
"And this is a need?" Ulquiorra asked. "Why?"
Orihime clenched her fists tighter, until she could feel her nails biting into the palms of her hands. "I need to keep a journal. I need to be able to remember how long I've been here."
"Why?" he asked again. Orihime couldn't tell if he wanted to know this because he didn't think she had a good reason, or if he were just curious. His tone of voice was the same as before so she couldn't even hazard a guess.
She sighed, her shoulders drooping a bit. "For my mental well-being, let's call it that."
"Your mental well-being is a need," he said. At first she thought he was asking a question, but it turned out he seemed to be agreeing with her.
With that, he turned and left, pulling the door shut behind him.
Orihime listened as the door closed and, as always, waited to hear some kind of lock that never came. As far as she could tell, they never locked her in. Ulquiorra never told her to stay in her room. Orihime just assumed that she should. Even though she knew she'd come here as her own choice, she couldn't escape the mentality of having been brought against her will.
She let out a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding. She shrugged her shoulders to relieve some of the tension there and then sat at the table to eat her dinner.
Orihime didn't sleep well in Hueco Mundo. She wasn't sure if it was the situation she was in, which was very likely, or the fact that she was forced to sleep on a couch. All of her life she'd slept on a futon on the floor. The couch felt strange, both too soft and too hard. She didn't like the way it cradled her, as if it too were holding her captive. She tried putting the cushions on the floor and sleeping there, but it was no better and made her more stiff.
She ended up trying to make due on the couch, though she slept restlessly. She wasn't even sure how long she'd slept since she had no way to keep time. She only had one change of clothes as well. She rolled over on her back and threw her arm across her eyes, sighing. She knew her uniform would be wrinkled when she woke up. She had no idea how the others kept their uniforms so crisp and clean. What did they sleep in? Did they even sleep in anything? She blushed at the thought.
Did they even sleep?
She had a lot of questions about the Arrancar, things like this. Every time Ulquiorra brought her meals in, she fought with her natural curiosity. Did they eat anything besides souls? Did they have bathrooms somewhere? She was escorted to a small bathroom next to her room several times a day, which Orihime found embarrassing. The tiny room had only a toilet, and even this was different than what she had expected. It was more or less a hole in a bench, and she wasn't sure where the refuse went. She was starting to think there wasn't any water in Hueco Mundo.
She ran her fingers through her lank hair. What she wouldn't give for a nice hot bath. Ulquiorra said he was to tend to her needs. Did that mean he could find a way to fix her a bath? She didn't think his courtesy would stretch that far, but then, what did she know?
So many questions boiling in her brain, it was a wonder she ever fell asleep. Somehow she managed it, and was rudely awoken a few hours later as her door was pushed open. Bright light from the hallway shone in, right across her face, pulling her out of sleep. She sat up to see Ulquiorra coming through the door, the servants bustling behind him with a tray of food for her. She wasn't sure if they were actually servants or not, but that was the only thing she had to compare them to.
Ulquiorra dismissed them with a wave of his hand and they left, pulling the door shut behind them. Ulquiorra stayed, leaning against the wall and staring at her.
Orihime felt suddenly self-conscious of her tousled hair and wrinkled clothing. She turned and put her feet on the floor, trying to ignore his presence as she pulled her fingers through her hair, working out the worst of the tangles. She took a deep breath and stood, moving over to sit at the table. Whether it was breakfast, lunch, or dinner, she was served the same meal. A bowl of rice, steamed vegetables, and an apple. She was getting used to it, but she figured it would drive her crazy after a while.
She took a bite of the vegetables without being told to. She had assumed Ulquiorra had been waiting to see that she was going to eat. When she glanced up to see him watching her, she wasn't surprised. Those quiet, emotionless green eyes watched her every move as she chewed and swallowed. She didn't take her eyes away from his, waiting for him to say or do something.
But he just quietly stared, leaning back against the wall with his hands folded behind his back.
Behind his back? That was odd. She was so accustomed to seeing him with his hands in his pockets. She was tired of waiting. She figured she'd be waiting for an eternity if she wanted him to speak first.
"Was there something you wanted, Ulquiorra?" Orihime asked, folding her hands in her lap.
Ulquiorra put his right foot up against the wall and pushed off. He moved toward her, his hands still behind his back. She was not yet used to the way his footsteps echoed as he made his way across the room.
"I believe there was something you wanted," he replied as he closed in on the table. Orihime's eyes widened in surprise as he laid a black, leather-bound notebook and pen on the table across from her food. She was stunned.
Before she could say a word, Ulquiorra said, "You can thank Aizen-sama when you see him next. He seems to think you keeping a journal would be a good idea."
Orihime looked up at him and almost smiled. His eyes narrowed a fraction, as if he could read her thoughts. "Thank you, Ulquiorra, for asking him for me."
"As I said before, I am not the one to thank," he said. He turned and headed back to the door. When he reached it, he turned his head and, over his shoulder, said, "Do not let this make you think you can ask me for any frivolous desire you may have. I am not here to serve or indulge you."
With this, he left.
Orihime, no longer the least bit hungry, pushed her tray to the side and grabbed the notebook. She was eager to inspect it. The material on the exterior was as she had originally suspected, a supple, black leather with thin leather ties. She untied them and flipped the book open to the middle. The pages were soft, a very pale yellow color with no lines. She grimaced as she tried to imagine keeping her handwriting legible without lines.
"Well," she mumbled to herself, "At least I'm the only one who will read it."
She then flipped to the first page where she found there was already writing.
"Dearest Orihime, Ulquiorra has requisitioned this journal for you from the human world. I felt it was important to our endeavors to keep you as sane as possible. You must realize by now that there is no way for your friends to survive the upcoming events. Your life shall be forfeit as well, should you fail to be of some use to me. Rest easy until I summon you. –Aizen"
Orihime stared at the sentences on the page, her eyes heavy with tears. How could he speak of the death of her friends with no remorse? How could he tell her these things while at the same time professing to care about her sanity? He knew better than most perhaps that the only reason she had agreed to come here was to save them.
Did this mean she had sacrificed herself for nothing? She had agreed to massacre her morals for a chance at sparing them. And now, if she couldn't find some way to be useful to him, she would lose her own life as well. There had to be some way she could be useful and still save Kurosaki-kun and the others. If it meant more pieces of her soul were on the line, she didn't care.
She took a deep breath, trying to steel herself for the trials to come. She wouldn't let them win. She knew, in her heart of hearts, she would find a way.
A/N: Welcome Ulquihime shippers, and anyone else who likes a tragic pairing. Thank you for reading thus far. This is my first attempt at a Bleach fan fiction. I've been reading quite a few lately and the idea for this one just wouldn't leave me alone until it had been written. I'm one of those authors who prefer to attempt to keep the characters as true to the originals as possible. This story will change the course of events a bit from the manga and anime, I'll warn you now. And, as for lemons, if they happen, they happen. I'm rating this story mature so that if things tend that way, I don't have to change the rating later. I don't like to write a lemon just for the sake of it, but that doesn't mean there won't be one. Alright, now that I have you all confused, I would greatly appreciate some feedback. Let me know what you like and what you don't like. Thanks very much!
Also, this whole story was inspired by the song "S.C.A.V.A." by Hollywood Undead. Most of the titles of the chapters are taking from lyrics from that particular song. It's fantastic and tells this story perfectly so I very much recommend looking it up and giving it a listen. Fantastic song.
Disclaimer: I do not profess to own the rights to any of these characters and I do not profit from writing this story. While I truly enjoy borrowing these wonderful personalities, the credit for their creation goes solely to whomever owns the rights to Bleach. Thanks.