"Liars Like Me"

By Lucawindmover

Chapter Seven

"What Can the Future Bring?"

Dear Journal, I know you are only a substitute journal, but that's okay. I can write in you anyway. I really don't like this. I don't like it at all. It's far too quiet, and I don't want to be alone right now. I'm too anxious.

When I woke up this morning, Ulquiorra was already dressed and waiting at the table for me. I was still a little groggy. I had slept better than I had in a very long time. Once he saw that I was awake, he stood and went to the door. He told me there was a notebook on the table to keep me busy and that he would be back later with some food for me. I didn't even have a chance to respond before he'd left.

And ever since then, I've been in turmoil.

I can feel them out there. I can feel my friends fighting against our foes, against my captors. I can feel the ebb and flow of reiatsu, the push and pull of power. Every once in a while, I can feel the whole building tremble, hear crashes in the distance. People are out there getting hurt, human and hollow alike. Blood is being spilled and I'm not a good enough reason for that.

My heart hurts. It hurts like it's going to fall right out of me. And that isn't the worst part. The worst part is I'm worried sick about my friends, but I'm also worried sick about my captor.

I'm terrified for Ulquiorra.

He didn't tell me where he was going when he left. I mean, I guess I didn't expect him to. He doesn't usually tell me anything anyway. But shortly after he left I started feeling the fighting getting more intense. I had thought maybe he was just leaving to get breakfast or something, not going out to fight my friends.

There was a time when this would have been very simple for me. I would sit here in my chair and pray that Kurosaki-kun and my friends could destroy whoever they needed to in order for us all to be safe. I would hold my breath and wait for them to be triumphant. But I can't do that now. I can't hope that they win. If they win, it'll be because they've killed someone I care about.

See, I realized something last night as I was falling asleep, holding Ulquiorra's hand. I care about him. I don't want him to be hurt, or worse, killed. I don't want harm to come to him because of me. I don't want harm to come to anyone because of me. But particularly Ulquiorra.

So what do I wish for? That isn't rhetorical. I wish you had an answer Journal, because I surely don't. Maybe I just hope and pray that no one is hurt, but I'm sure that's beyond possible. I can already tell that some of my friends, Kuchiki-san and Sado-kun in particular, are injured. I can't tell who is fighting who, and I'm not sure I would even want to know.

I don't think I can keep writing. This is making too worried.

Orihime put down her pen and held her head in her hands. She felt so helpless. There was nothing she could do. She couldn't just run out and look for them. She couldn't have found them if her life had depended on it. She couldn't find them even though she was sure their lives depended on it. All she could do was wait for someone to come to her.

She stood and moved over to the bed. She had already made the bed several times. She kept unmaking it and remaking it, to give herself something to do. First she grabbed the pillows to move them over to the table. As she picked up Ulquiorra's, she couldn't help but put her face to it and take a deep breath. The pillow smelled like him. She wasn't sure what the scent was, but it was cool and clean. Ocean water maybe? Sandalwood? She didn't know, but she liked it. The whole bed smelled like him and she had a hard time not laying back down and wrapping herself in the sheets. She sighed and put the pillows on the table and went about making the bed for a third time.

She pulled the sheets tight, spreading out any wrinkles. She tucked the blankets in tightly, neatly arranging the pillows against the black headboard. She went back and leaned against the table, surveying her work. It looked nice. It looked at least as nice as it had when they had first come in the night before.

Orihime gasped suddenly, and fell to her knees.

The reiatsu of the fighters had suddenly dropped dramatically. She had been keeping part of her brain focused on their reiatsu since the battles had begun. Now, it was as if all those little lights went out. From this distance, she couldn't tell if it was because they were shielding, had stopped fighting, or were dead. She couldn't tell. She couldn't feel her friends anymore.

She couldn't feel Ulquiorra anymore.

Her breath caught in her throat and tears began streaming down her cheeks. She didn't sob, she didn't retch. She just knelt on the floor trying to keep her breath going in and out. She just tried to keep from fainting altogether.

When the door burst open a few minutes later, Orihime couldn't help but scream. It had really and truly scared her. She had been so focused on trying not to hyperventilate that she had completely forgotten that she might need to protect herself.

She looked up and saw Ulquiorra in the doorway. She started to relax but then she saw the shape he was in and jumped to her feet.

Ulquiorra stumbled into the room, blood dripping from wounds on his right shoulder, chest, and left leg. His jacket was in tatters, not even clothing anymore. His mouth was set in a grimace of determination, something his eyes mirrored. He limped over to the bed and sprawled out on his back, instantly ruining the white bedspread that Orihime had straightened so many times.

The bedspread was the least of her worries however. Orihime quickly shut the door and moved over to the side of the bed. "Ulquiorra," she said nervously. She wanted to heal him, but she didn't know if he would want her to.

"What is it, woman?" Ulquiorra labored to say. He had his eyes closed now.

"You're injured," she said, kneeling next to the bed.

"Your powers of observation never cease to amaze me," he replied.

Orihime stiffened. He was mocking her. He was mocking her? Well, he can't be hurt that bad then, she thought to herself.

"Will you let me heal you?" she said softly. His left hand was dangling off the bed. She took his hand in both of hers, holding it to her chest. He didn't fight her, and let her do so. She was even sure she felt his fingers tighten around her hand, gently.

"My body usually heals very quickly," he answered. He took a deep breath and sighed. Worry creased Orihime's brow. "But it seems I've used too much reiatsu to heal these injuries myself."

He didn't say yes, but he didn't say no. He didn't want to ask, Orihime realized. Well, she wasn't going to make him. She let go of his hand and stood, calling her fairies to their job.

Healing his injuries took more time and energy than Orihime thought it would. It seemed that no matter how much she put into her shield, he was healing only a little at a time. It was almost as if Ulquiorra's body was pulling on her reiatsu, feeding on it. She began to feel very tired, and very faint, but she wouldn't let herself stop. She watched closely as each rend in his flesh stitched itself closed. When the last bit closed on his chest, she fell forward, unable to stop herself.

Her shield vanished, the fairies going back to their respective homes. Orihime was barely conscious when she felt her knees hit the floor. She leaned forward, her upper body leaning against the edge of the bed. She felt her head fall forward and land on something soft, but she couldn't see anymore. The last thing she felt before she fainted was a pair of strong arms grabbing her shoulders.

When Ulquiorra stumbled into his room, he had almost forgotten the woman would be there. She had shrieked upon his entering, startling him into action. He managed to get himself to the bed before his bad leg gave out. He thought he would start healing on his own, but he had underestimated how much of his own reiatsu he'd used up in the battle. His healing abilities were dependent on that.

He didn't want to ask her for help. He knew she could probably heal him in no time, but he didn't want to admit his weakness. He tried snapping at her, saying something mean. But it didn't seem to faze her and she called out her fairies instead. When he felt the warm aura of her shield, he sighed and tried to relax, letting her do what she was best at. He didn't argue, even though he wanted to. It would be a waste of time, he reasoned with himself.

He was starting to feel a lot better. He could feel his wounds closing. He felt more energized. He opened to his eyes when he felt her shield fade. She was swaying on her feet. Her eyes rolled back in her head and she fell to her knees, her head falling into his lap. He grabbed her shoulders out of reflex, to keep her from falling backward and hitting her head on the floor. He wasn't sure what had happened to her.

Ulquiorra strained to pull her into the bed with him. Even though she had closed his wounds and seemingly drained her own reiatsu to help replenish his, she hadn't had the time to heal the muscle and tissue much. He was very sore, and every muscle he possessed protested as he rolled her over his body and onto the bed on his other side.

She was unconscious, as far as he could tell, but nothing else seemed wrong with her. She was breathing normally; her heart was beating as if she were asleep.

He could recognize that sound now. He had spent the entire previous night awake, listening to her heart beating. He didn't have to sleep. His body didn't usually require it. He usually slept out of boredom. Sometimes he slept to help his body heal after a battle. But it wasn't usually necessary. He hadn't suffered for lying awake, listening to her. His body hadn't, anyway.

He looked at her now, sprawled on her side. She was facing him, which she hadn't seemed to do the previous night. Her hair was draped across her face and he found that he didn't like that. He reached over and, with his good hand, pushed the hair back away from her face. His fingers trailed along her cheekbone, savoring the warmth of her skin. She stirred a little and he thought he might have woken her. But she just whimpered in her sleep a little and settled into the pillow more comfortably.

Ulquiorra allowed himself to sigh once again. He knew he was getting himself in too deep but he couldn't stop it. He couldn't help that he wanted to protect her, wanted to keep her from harm.

It made him angry. He was angry that he couldn't withstand the charms of this human girl. A hundred years of stony exterior had crumbled in nearly no time at all. Not crumbled, he thought to himself. Just cracks. Cracks can be fixed.

He wasn't sure why he was trying so hard to convince himself of this.

Ulquiorra sat up and strained to get the blankets out from underneath them. It was no easy task, and the unconscious woman in his bed didn't help. He finally managed and pulled the sheet and blanket up over them. He settled on his back and closed his eyes. His body needed rest to finish the healing that the woman had started.

That Orihime had started.

A/N: I realize this chapter is a bit short, and I apologize. I had almost the entire thing written earlier, 1900 words of it, and deleted it because it wasn't going in the right direction. So now it's late AND short. But I've had another case of "let's not add words for the sake of words" days and decided to let the darn thing be what it is. Thanks so much for sticking with me and reading. Please review!

Also, I have started a Facebook page for my writing! Please visit me at Facebook . com / Lucawindmover (remove the spaces) and add me as a friend. This is a great way for us authors to keep in touch, for readers to get updates and as questions, make requests and challenges. I think this could be a lot of fun. I look forward to being friends with you all!

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 whoever owns the rights to Bleach. Thanks.